Thursday, July 31, 2014

George Foreman

George Foreman.

George Foreman is a favorite of mine even though I don't care very much for the boxing game.

Quite frankly I have never cared for a sport where the objective was to knock another man out. 

Still, I have a special spot in my heart for George Foreman. He was a clean character in what I think of as a dirty sport.

He was one hell of a boxer and had his ups and downs. He became a born-again Christian and was ordained a minister whaich seems odd but really isn't.

One interesting thing is that he staged a comeback at age 38 and continued in the game until he was about 45. That says a lot in that he has spunk.

What truly does interest me is that he is in good shape after a boxing career and isn't a brain damaged idiot. He's really quite a good role model in a sport that produces damned few of them.

He's a successful entrepreneur having endorsed a cooking grille for healthier eating. I have one and think it's great. I actually like his ads for the product, too. He's a pretty good charismatic spokesman. 

He's one of those guys that make you smile when he shows up and starts to speak.

When his ads gome on the tube people grin and say, "George Foreman" and watch him give his spiel. They don't change channels, they actually watch the guy.

He seems to be a pretty good approachable outgoing guy and I'd just love to have a guy like him for a neighbor.

Truth is he really is quite a very likeable, personable  character.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Deer are not an endangered species

The other day I was on the subject of hunting and the perception people have of it.

Sometime around the turn of the 20th century the white tailed deer population of the continental United States was around 50,000. Now it is estimated at over 32 million.

So much for the argument of Bambi heing an overhunted species. It is growing to the point that in my neck of the woods they are a nuisance. The Fish and Game people issue doe permits left and right simply to try and get the numbers down in places.

A few years ago when I visited my hometown I saw a small herd wandering around after dark. I had seen only one or two in the wild there during my entire childhood and I spent a lot of time in the woods.

A big part of this is likely because those animals have value. They are sought after by hunters who buy licenses and contibute to various preservation groups.

My sportsman's club begins every meeting with reciting the Izaac Walton pledge to conserve the outdoors.

Personally I mow the way-back every fall to insure that there is regrowth to feed the deer. I probably shouldn't but I do like seeing them in my back yard. I've watched several does give birth to their fawns over the years. Often 40 feet away from my back window.

While I am not going to say that the hunting groups and the resulting fees are totally responsible for the number of deer in the country, they have sure helped.

There are a lot of other contributing factors. 

Many of their natural predators have been reduced either by being killed off or by the reduced habitat. Generally the former.

When you think about it, it makes sense. There are not a whole lot of cattlemen out there that look forward to seeing wolves near their herds. If I were a cattleman and saw wolves I'd be reaching into the scabbard for the .30/30.

Same holds true for coyotes. I'd drop them, too.

Still, the truth is that the deer hold value.

I live in Pennsylvania and most of the rural schools give their students the opening day of buck season a holiday so sons can accompany their fathers into the woods for the opening day of the hunt.

A lot of people come from out of state bringing in money to local merchants. They need licenses, food, a place to stay, gas and other odds and ends.

If it wasn't for the deer they would not come to Pennsylvania. It really is as simple as that.

The deer hunting industry draws a lot of revenue. This gives the animals value.

There's a running joke about how much a pound venison is to hunters after they get outfitted. I suppose in some instances it's true but for most of us, it's a license and a box of ammunition and we're good to go.

For me the costs are gasoline, a couple of rounds of ammunition and a license. That's about it.

I'm not too much of a traditional sportsman, either. I simply consider it a job if I want venison that year.

My hunting for the most part is done several days before the season. I scout the area, plan ahead and pace things off.

Then I set up a simple sniper's hide, arrive at the legal time, dig in and wait. Generally I am out of the woods and home well before noon, seldom empty handed.

Of course, many years I simply use opening day to take a long walk in the woods. It's been a few years since I have taken a deer. I generally take a nap and come home in the early afternoon, rested and satisfied.

Several years ago I took my cat with me on a leash. That was a fun hunt but I digress.

Still, a big part of the boom in the deer population is that the animals have value.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I read this comment on another website and thought it was rather interesting.

"An instructor pointed out to me that once you are four generations away from your agricultural base, you lose touch with life and reality. Hence farm boys and girls understand the cycle of life, plants and critters. City folks think you can get everything from a supermarket and that killing is cruel. More liberals in the cities than country."

This comment is duly noted.

Frankly I think it is closer to two or three generations.

I am looking at a number of people I grew up with and see that very few people went into any fields that involved growing things or working with animals in one form or another.. 

I can think of a small time dairy farmer, and a couple of  fisherman. That's about it.

I know of a social worker, a few teachers, an attorney, a small buisnessman. Incidentally the small businessman has run a small town type lumberyard for years and it is still there. He managed to survive a Lowe's and  Home Depot moving into town and that speaks voumes for him. More than one became teachers and returned to the same school system they had left after college. (I wonder about that. I've covered  this one before. Holy Welcome Back, Kotter.)

The bottom line is that a lot of people I grew up with have strayed away from being close to nature and look at things far differently than those of us that have lived in the out of doors.

Personally I have lived in a couple of far-flung remote outposts. I've also spent a period of time in bear country where I had no electricity or running water. The simple act of answering nature's call meant grabbing a shotgun to take with me. Food, stored away from camp in a tree, was brought into camp, cooked immediately, eaten and the scraps were discarded far away from camp.

It seems that most of my peers grew up living entirely in a man-made world and have not been near how the natural part of the world works.

I suppose they think that meat and produce comes from the back room of a supermarket or something along these lines.

Several years ago I mentioned that venison was a part of y diet and that I occasionally shot a deer to fill the freezer. The person I told that to seemed upset and called it barbaric and cruel in one breath and in the next they told me about the Angus steaks they had ordered from a butcher someplace.

They called me barbaric for harvesting a game animal with a clean kill in one breath and bragged about the product of a slaughterhouse in the next. Apparently they have never seen where that beautiful Angus steak comes from. 

I've also heard of a hunter being chided for killing a poor animal by someone in a Burger King parking lot as the accuser was on their way in to wolf down on a BK triple or two made of greasy beef that someone else at a meat packing plant had killed.

Incidentally wild venison is generally a lot healthier than ranch raised beef. For one thing it is lower in cholesterol.

Slaughterhouses are outright nasty to watch. They simply kill animals systematically, one right after the other. It's a processing line of killing, yet harvesting a game animal seems barbaric to them. Those animals know their demise is coming and often die panicked deaths. A deer, properly harvested,  simply drops dead.

Incidentally a farm butchered hog or cow generally dies quickly and humanely.

To an outdoorsman, venision or other wild game is simply do-it-yourself meat. To someone that has been detatched from nature they simply can't fathom doing their own butchering.

People that are removed from nature seem to develop a strange sense of reality. They tend to grow dependent on others to do their dirty work. Many of them go so far as to make fun of and look down on those that do the behind the scenes work to make their lives simpler.

I used to watch eagles along Cannery Row in Kodiak swoop down on sea gulls and other birds. Swoop, bam! dead!

Animals in the wild have a food chain and it is as simple as that. Four or five generations away from the agricultural base  and a couple of Walt Disney movies later and these people now believe that the animals in the woods are one big happy family.

Incidentally I read somewhere that someone claimed that a deer was trying to find a bear to help him. Truth is, the bear, given the chance, would relish the opportunity to meet the deer up close and personal because it would give the bear a pretty good venison meal with leftovers to boot.

You can tell who is who in a heartbeat simply by carrying a deer home and listening. If you pass someone listen. If you hear digestive juices flowing the person is likely a country person that is close to the farm or not too far away.

If you hear them sob "You killed Bambi!" they've been a couple generations away from the farm.

My late father-in-law was a farm kid and it never left him even though he graduated from college and worked for a major corporation. He wasn't a hunter, but understood it.

It was fun one Christmas time when we went to a place that had hay rides. We didn't go for one but when he saw the Belgiums that were pulling the wagon his face lit up and he headed straight for them. It was special watching his face light up as he petted and examined them and for the rest of the evening it was all he spoke of.

Here was a man that had been a corporate type for his entire career that had simply slipped back into his childhood roots. It was wonderful to watch.

It was also interesting listening to the way he spoke about my cat. He simply picked him up and examined him with sure, kind hands. the cat, Tokie, who generally didn't like people too much responded by letting him examine him, which was rare.

He never slighted me for hunting or commercial fishing as he understood the real ways of the world. He understood nature  because as a farm kid he had to. It was the family livelihood. It was ingrained in him as an infant.

I can't say we were friends, but we respected each other in matters involving nature, working with tools and basic economics. He said the death of this country would be debt and I can't say he was far off.

He sure wasn't too far off the farm he grew up on, either.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, July 28, 2014

Yesterday's post drew an interesting comment.

Seems someone decided to change careers at the age of 37.

My guess is that he didn't like what he was doing beforehand and wanted to make more money so he did what he had to do to improve his lot.

He can take the mask off because he isn't the Lone Ranger.

I was 38 years old when I decided to change careers and it didn't take too long for me to get ahead.

I took an entry level job back in January of 1990 for peanuts and by November of that year my position had changed and my pay had more than doubled.

It didn't take a whole lot, either. All I had to do was put down the beer mug for a bit and pick up a book and study.

I admit I had to be somewhat assertive and sell myself but it didn't take a whole lot looking back on it. It was sure worth it, though.

Truth is that I did my homework and boned up before I even thought of applying for a company training program. I went in and was promptly told I didn't have enough seniority.

I asked to take the test anyway, "as practice for when I do have seniority". I maxed it. 100%.

Three weeks later when I reported back to work I was told to report to the training people. They were a little red faced when they told me I had best plan on entering the training program. Seniority was waived. I was told that they would look a little foolish if they didn't let the only person that had maxed the test into the program.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Sunday, July 27, 2014

One of the things that comes up every so often is that the minimum wage ought to be raised.

The hue and cry for this is that 'those poor people on minimum wage' deserve a raise.

While that may sound all fine and dandy the truth is that there really are not a whole lot of people working for minimum wage that I have run into that have any motivation at all.

A plumber I know said that unless you are either in school or some kind of training or apprenticeship and working at an entry level job in your mid twenties then you are most likely a dud to begin with.

I tend to agree with him.

If you are in your mid 20s and still flipping burgers you ought to either resign yourself to it or get motivated. Nobody's going to come up to you and offer you a way to get ahead. You have to do that on your own.

Incidentally, you can change if you want to at just about any age. For what it's worth I didn't embark on my present career until I was almost 40. I went to sea as an ordinary seaman for peanuts and put my ass in gear.

In a year's time I was no longer an ordinary, I was an AB with a tankerman's endorsement and my pay had damn near doubled. 

I suppose there were and likely still are a few people that resented me. They're still in the entry level position they were in when I met them. They had choices and opted for beer and strip clubs. I opted for hitting the books and entering every training program the company offered.

They made their choice, I made mine.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A few years ago

 there was a fairly small grocery store I used to buy a few odds and ends from when I was in the area.

Seamen are generally pretty hard up for places to purchase grub as we don't have an amphibious vehicle to run us in and out of places to get grub. This place was located just outside of an oil refinery we pulled into to load or discharge.

I remember that the women that worked there were actually working there as a second family income and they told me thay were getting their health insurance from their husbands.

They also said that they were most likely going to lose their jobs when the state mandated that employers provide health insurance. 

Truth is the place looked like it was on their last legs and were staggering around like a boxer trying to avoid the inevitible knockout that was coming.

Part of this was competition from a chain and part of this was the neighborhood slowly declining.

The owner was well past retirement age and more or less kept the place open as a courtesy to the employees that had served him well through the heyday. The women that worked there knew this and were not bashful in mentioning this.

I believe the final nail in the coffin was the health insurance requirement that was enacted in that particular state. Another four or five jobs lost and another vacant storefront in a declining neighborhood.

I suppose that if they had not had health insurance thrust upon them they would have gone belly up when the minimum wage was raised.

Still, the point is that there are a lot of little guys out there struggling to make some semblence of a living with a small business and they don't need government intervention to make things harder on them.

The truth of the matter as I see it is this little market was on the ropes when government came in and delivered the knockout. I suppose it may have well gone under eventually but it sure didn't need government help to fail.

It's hard enough to run a small business and little guys don't need any more help from Uncle Sam.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Friday, July 25, 2014

Every so often there comes a time to stop and rethink things


Some time ago I almost had what would have been a serious traffic accident and it scared the hell out of me.

I was in the wrong and won't get into the details save had I not been in a hurry I would not have had the close call happen.

It wasn't long ago I'd shrug off close calls but for some reason this one was different. It was out of character. Maybe it was a wake-up call for me to slow down a bit and take in more of the scenery. I hope so because that's what I am going to do from now on.

We often get in a hurry to get someplace and the truth is that when we get there we are only going to do nothing.

When I get to work I generally overnight in a motel and when I get off and go home I'm just looking forward to doing something like mowing the lawn.

I suppose I can get there a little later as the motel or the lawn are not going anywhere fast and will still be there when I get home.

I think that one of these days soon I am going to either get up a little earlier or get off work a little earlier and drive the backroads home instead of hurrying.

I'll take in a little more Americana and see the sights and smell the smells.

Some time ago I took a US route across Pennsylvania and stopped off when I saw something worth seeing. I came home with a can of maple syrup and the memory of watching a pretty good Pony League ball game.

It was fun stopping off at some Dutchman's place and buying the syrup. He also gave me a tour of his work shop where he makes cabinets.

The ball game was pretty neat, too. Unlike a professional game with overpriced hot dogs, the dogs thee were a buck apiece and I had a ice cold beer and chatted with a couple of the parents.

It was good seeing those kids play their hearts out for love of the game as opposed to a bunch of overpaid big egos out on the field playing for the big bucks.

Maybe that close call was a good thing and I can use the heads up it gave me to my advantage.

There are a few other things I am going to rethink.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I do not know why

 but from time to time women approach me under certain circumstances and ask me questions about how guys think.

A little while ago someone asked me to meet him at a halfway point which I did. We picked a place that we both knew the location of and called it good. It was actually a bar and I got there first.

I was early so I sat down at the bar and ordered a coke because I seldom drive even after a single drink and never drive after two. The bar was a little crowded and some young lass of about 30 or 35 sat down next to me. She was pleasant and I quickly surmised she was doing the same thing I was, which is to say she was waiting for someone.

We chatted and as we were I thought that if this was back in Kodiak I would have likely challenged her to a cribbage game to pass the time. They don't do that in stateside bars though. Every Alaskan bar used to have a deck of well worn cards and a cribbage board in it.

After a while I guess she grew comfortable chatting with me. Maybe she thought of ma as a fatherly figure or something. Then lowered her voice a bit and and asked me what guys talk about when they are out drinking. Was it sports?

I, of course, looked around like some kind of mafioso type getting ready to give the order for someone to be whacked. 

I drew my head in and lowered my voice. She lowered her head and looked at me like I was some kind of Indian guru that was getting ready to tell her the true meaning of life.

"The younger guys," I said. "They talk about their jobs and girlfriends."

She nodded, sucking in my precious pearls of wisdom.

"Middle aged guys talk about their jobs, wives and kids," I continued.

She listened carefully, most likely because whe was entering middle age and realized it. She nodded.

" The older guys gripe about their prostates," I finished.

"Really?" she asked.

"That's about it," I replied.

"Thank you," she said.

I caught me friend coming through the door so I excused myself and bailed out. 

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

David Codrea is wrong.

He said he was Larry Pratt. He's not. He's David Codrea.

I'm  Larry Pratt.

I'm Larry Pratt

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ah, yes. It's Tuesday.

Last night I stumbled onto a doe and fawn in the back yard. I got about 40 feet from them and they bolted which is par golf.

Last summer I was home a bit more and outside more and started seeing how close I could get to them. It was interesting to note that they would ignore me from 10 to fifteen feet and let me get as close as 5 feet from them. 

I very well may have been able to get them to eat out of my hand.

God has been pretty good to me as far as animals go. For some reason I can get closer to deer than most and it seems like there are not a whole lot of cats and dogs I can't make friends out of rather quickly.

I once taught a cat to walk with me on a leash.

Maybe if the recycling theory of life is true and I have to come back again I might decide to work with animals.

Truth is they are a lot less frustrating than people.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, July 21, 2014

I ate at a Chick-fil-A the other day and it was pretty good for fast food.

 It's often called 'Hate Chicken' by a lot of people because the management made a comment that they were against gay marriage. 

The gay community put them on their little boycott list which is a crock. If you have ever read the Chick-fil-A mission statement they bear no ill will to the gay community. They are open to serve everyone regardless of race, creed, color, national origin or sexual preference.

This is another case of people with a political agenda looking for trouble just because someone won't toe the line 100% with them and kiss their ass.

Well, guess what? I don't really support one aspect of gay marriage, either. In fact I simply wish the government would go out of the marriage business altogether and replace it with civil unions.

That goes for all of us regardless of sexual orientation.

I suppose the government should sanction civil unions between any two people that want one. If you want to get married then go see the preacher. It would be recognized as a civil union for tax, inheritance purposes etc.

That settles that issue.

The other beef I am starting to have is the 'celebrate the beauty' of the gay lifestyle crap I am beginning to see.

No. I will not celebrate the beauty of something that belongs behind closed doors. I simply don't want to hear about it. It really is as simple as that.

While we were on the subject of Chick-fil-A it reminds me that I have another bone to pick with you. 

Remember when Phil Robertson spoke and said that he didn't cop to the gay lifestyle?

The gay community started in on him, too and wanted him off the show.

Guess what? 

America decided that enough was enough and backed Phil. I know I did.

Phil never condemned anyone, nor did he say anything mean or cruel. He simply said he wasn't interested in that kind of sex. Guess what?

Most of America isn't, either. I'm not, either.

Middle America slapped back and Phil is still on the show. 

Most of the people that slapped back and supported Phil are very likely many of the same people that have a 'go in peace' attitude to the gay community. It's the attitude I have. I don't want to see you bashed because of your sexuality simply because I believe in liberty.

If it doesn't hurt someone or rob someone it's pretty much OK by me.

I can see how the many in the gay community are starting to get greedy much like many in the black community are. It's the good old 'It's never enough syndrome'. Give an inch and someone takes a mile.

When that happens I will continue to stick up for your rights to assemble. Everyone has one. I'll also stick up for your rights to do what you will behind closed doors.

On the other hand when you get publicly obnoxious you can expect me to show up at your rally with a bag of tomatoes. I grew up in the 60s and have been to more than one rally on Boston Common and haven't forgotten how to throw a rotten tomato.

Keep getting greedy and that's where you'll find me.

For the record I used to be able to hit a politician with a tomato at about 30 yards. Head shots at about 20 to 25 yards. I suppose I can muster enough up in my old age to keep them in body at 25 or so and headshots at 20.

Fair is fair and enough is enough.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Sunday, July 20, 2014

UXO may be present!!!

I picked up a pretty good sign a while ago.

It says

Former military training area. Unexploded ordanance (UXO) may be present.
If you see a suspicious object mark the position and dial 911.

There is a picture of an old pineapple grenade in  the middle. It's pretty neat.

I put it up in the way-back of my yard to try and chase the kid out that keeps stealing pieces of paracord from the bottom of the tree my wire antenna is on.

Needless to say he was likely checking out my paracord and saw the sign. He apparently told his parents because I got a knock on the door and an indignant woman that reminded me of Larry Mondello's mother in the old 'Leave it to Beaver' series was there.

She was all worked up and I simply told her that keeping her kid out of my way-back was a good idea and left it at that.

I also pointed out that damaging a federally licensed radio station was considered an act of sabotage. I said that if whomever it was kept damaging my antenna by stealing my paracord I would prefer charges.
She got huffy and left.

As soon as she left I removed the sign and waited for the police whom I assumed were forthcoming.

They never showed.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Yesterday was a last minute change in plans hence no real post.

CMP changed the schedule  this summer a little and things didn't coincide as I thought they would so I didn't sign up for the Garand match.

I was going to go up on a shopping trip today but  yesterday my partner begged off so on impulse I went yesterday morning.

It was a good trip because I got to meet a few people I have known for years. Celeste Dennison is still there making earplugs and has since she made a pair for Teddy Roosevelt at the first National Match. (or so it seems) 

The usual vendors were there on commercial row, much of which bored me and some of the vendors I was glad to see.

Rifle prices are down for the first time since Sandy Hook. I could have picked up an M-Forgery kit complete but without the stripped lower or rear sights for about $500. I was sort of tempted.

Ammo was high and powder, bullets and primers were still through the roof, though. Varget seemed unavailable although 4064 aand 4895 were in stock if you wanted to pay $20/pound.

I haven't shot at Perry in a few years and maybe next year I'll enter the Garand match. 

I made my trip over to visit the Marines, most of whom had a free afternoon as they were not slated to shoot the vintage sniper match which was going on at the Viale range.  I didn't go watch it as I have shot the course of fire before and got to watch it.

What is likely to happen with the vintage sniper match over the next year or two is the same thing that happened to the Garand match.  It had no service participation for the first year or two until a couple Marines brought their own Garands and shot it on their own nickel. After that a lot of service people entered the match.

My guess is that some Marine will go out and buy a Mosin-Nagant or something and shoot it next year and open the floodgate.

I went to the Marine Armorer's van and met a couple of people there I know and decided to call the van 'Headquarters' for my time there. As usual the armorers were pretty sociable to the point of just being outright funny at times.

One of them, a woman, I had met before and I was trying to remember where and under what circumstances. She admitted the same thing.

I am a sneaky bastard and when she sat down outside the van to grab a snack I waited until she had a mouthful of Mountain Dew and then asked her, "Will  marry me?"

Of course she snarfed and when she got over it saw me sitting there with a very self satisfied look on my face. That was when we both seemed to remember where we had met. She was a line armorer at the time. She was the one that gave me the name for the Hyman Skrunkle Award years ago.

We laughed over that and she got filled in on the details of what happened to that big trophy that went with it.

We gave it to some poor henpecked guy that had been shooting for years but had never won anything. We were looking for the guy that had a wife nagging him about still shooting all those years and had never seemed to win anything.

The purpose of the trophy was to give someone something to get his wife off his back. It's probably still on his mantle.

Occasionally clubs do this. There was a nearby club that wanted to show their appreciation to a guy that busted his ass for the pistol team but never seemed to make it into the winner's circle.

At the end of the season they gave him an award for being club's "Highest Scoring Black Catholic". It was just one of those things the guys do to thank someone. 

Anyway, I did make it to Perry this year even though I didn't shoot.

I didn't buy the usual pile of crap and as I type now I realize I didn't pick up the pellets for my pellet rifle which was on my short list.

One of the things that makes me realize I am getting old is that senior NCOs look pretty young these days. You are getting old when you see a Master Gunnery Sergeant and realize you could probably address him as "Young Man" and get away with it.

The Master Guns and I chatted a while and I learned something that kind of floored me. This year the team had to teach a couple of new members to shoot with iron sights! They had gone through boot camp and learned to shoot with Acogs. (optics)

The basic service rifle has changed as time has gone on yet it is still the basic Eugene Stoner design that has served since the 60s.

Anyway, I had a good day.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Friday, July 18, 2014

Busy today.

If I am home early I'll post then.

Don't expect it, though,

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Nice day. I think I'll work in the yard today.

I got this in my email today. When I read it I thought I'd share it.

In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from the University of Toronto .

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air.

The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee, inspected the elephants foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. 
The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments.

Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled.

Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day. 

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Toronto Zoo with his teenaged son.

As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing.

The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down.

The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure.

He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. 

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

This is for everyone who sends me those heart-warming bullshit stories.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I am looking at the makings for a pretty good breakfast and it makes me grin.

Last night I figured I'd want beer waffles so I opened a beer and put it in a glass and left it to go flat. It was there when I woke up, it was flat and for some reason it reminded me of a short-lived relationship that ended when I moved out on her.

Actually, the break-up itself was a classic and people kidded me about that for years.

I was living in a small trailer in Kodiak close to the Anchor Bar. 

When I got fed up with her in the middle of the winter I fired up my pickup, hitched the trailer up, and pulled it ahead several feet.

Then I piled her stuff up in the bare patch in the snow and then drove the rig up to Fort Abercrombie and stayed there for a while.
She came home to find her entire home missing.

But I digress.

Her major malfunction is that she kept trying to save me from myself.

One night I opened a beer and poured it into a glass and put it out. I wanted beer pancakes for breakfast. When I woke up it was gone. I asked what happened to it.

 "I poured it out so you wouldn't start drinking in the morning," she sniffled.

I was angry so I grabbed the 'kitchen brandy' and poured a good dallop of it into my coffee, drank it silently and stormed off to the greasy spoon for breakfast. Before I left, I said, "There. I started drinking! Next time leave things alone."

Strike two took place when she found my condoms in my hunting box and threw them out. Kodiak is a rainy place and when I decided to hunt I'd stuck a condom over my rifle muzzle to keep the rain out of the bore.

Every now and then I'd use one to make wine with. They would be put on the neck of the water cooler bottle I used.

When I went looking for one for a friend that was headed out for deer I found them missing. I confronted her and was treated to more pouty sniffle action.

The last straw was when my pal Blaine left me a package of venison. He said he had left it with her. When I got home I asked about it.

"Oh, I threw it out. It hadn't been inspected by the government and I didn't want you to get sick." she sniffled.

I was kind and thanked her warmly and told her I appreciated her thoughtfulness and she smiled.

The next morning I split.

I had taken enough of someone that was trying to save me from myself.

It is one of my biggest peeves. While it isn't too bad when an individual does this because you can simply throw them out, when the government does it I get livid.

That seat belt in my vehicle is for MY safety. If I decide to put it on or not put it on that is my choice and I do not need the police to tell me what is good for me.

The truth is the government doesn't even know old Piccolo, much less care about him. Those seat belt laws are on the books for three reasons.

First to give the police one more thing to stop someone for so they can snoop.

Secondly they are there for revenue generation.

The third reason is that the government wants me to live because I pay a pretty hefty amount of taxes. When I did they will lose my tax money.

There are a lot of other things government does but they are too numerous to list.

I just wish people and governments would stop trying to do me favors I don't want done

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Well, the Grandfathers Club recklessly endangered several young lives last night.

We took the grandkids for a ride in the bed of an open pickup through farm country.

No injuries, no deaths, no arrests. Everyone was kept way up after bed time. A good time was had by all.

We have been doing this for five years now and the kids have grown up. What's interesting is they have not lost interest. They said they look forward to it even more which is a little different for teenagers.

The oldest boy is now a 'soldier' in the club as he has a driver's license and is now the designated driver for the after-action 'mission whiskey' we grandfathers share afterwards.

The kid, the oldest of the lot, is coming along well. 

He asked me if I would teach him to drive a manual and I spent a couple hours with him this afternoon and he seems to be getting the hang of it.

Last night he was funny. George said that when he dropped the grandkids off the kid stayed in the car. His mother asked him where he was going and he replied, "Someone's got to drive those old goats home after they get snockered."

To tell you the truth, we were all glad the kid was with us because we didn't have to really watch ourselves with the drink.

While none of us really drank a whole lot, we were actually more relaxed simply because we knew we didn't have to feel like we had to watch ourselves. 

Another interesting thing came up, too.The kid was talking about stuff he wouldn't talk with his dad about.

With the kid around we didn't pull any punches and we discovered that kids that age belong with guys our age because we have something in common.

We're not caught up in the zoo of middle age.

I am beginning to think that kids under 20 ought to hang with guys over 60 and learn something that they can drag into middle age with them and that's not to sweat the small stuff.

His father is likely to tell him not to do this, that and the other.

We'll likely tell him to go ahead. Then we'll teach him how to get away with it.

In all seriousness we passed on a few things on decency, manhood and character to him.  Pete was funny about it. He did an imitation of a guy in his 40s reprimanding the kid. For a second the kid cringed until he realized Pete was doing a middle-aged man imitation. We all busted up.

The incident made me realize that the family as we know it is seriously falling apart. Years ago grandparents generally coached their sons from behind the scenes. They'd sneak off with their sons and do a little coaching.

("Give that boy a break, Son. He didn't do anything wrong. Two lousy beers! Big deal! While we're at it you might remember that you owe your very life to a batch of vodka and cranberry I shared with your mother one night. That was the night I knocked her up in the back seat of a '48 Ford! Now lay off the kid. He's doing just fine.")

Technology is a very good thing, too. I turned the TV on and the 
Three Stooges 'just happened' to be on. (Thank you, DVD) Nature ran its course and inside of seconds Pete D'Angelo, acting as Moe decided to take on the kid. The kid, playing Curly won in a landslide.

Not only did he block every attempt Pete made to poke him in the eyes, the skinny 125 pound kid stuck out his 'belly' and knocked Pete back into the Lazy Boy. Not bad. Just shows to go you that as i have said before the Three Stooges transcends generations as far as men go.

One other thing came up.

Last St. Patty's day the kid asked me for suggestions for his prom date. 

Being the smug bastard I am, I told him to take the girl with the biggest tits. 

He didn't.

When I asked him why, he told us that the girl with the biggest rack happened be Pizza Face Miklowski and her butt was two axe-handles wide.

Good point. Sometime you have to be flexible.

Smart kid, really. I gave him some advice and he decided not to take it. He made his own decision and seems to be glad he did. I respect him for that.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Monday, July 14, 2014

I am now swapping emails with a bunch of people overseas.

The people are other ham radio operators and the subject is QSL cards.

A fellow ham in Uzbekistan emailed me to tell me that the US Mail is screwing up. The card he sent me was returned to him. A discussion with other hams says that the Post Office has been screwing up a lot of mail coning in from overseas these days.

Anyway, he's going to try it again.

Another French ham sent me an email explaining that I have a card coming from French Polynesia.

Right now I have 173 entities confirmed on paper sitting on my desk and the big push will quit when I get 200.

For those that don't understand what I am writing about I will explain.

When 2 hams make contact they log the event in their station log. Generally most 2 way communications end there. The contact has been logged and that is that.

However, when one ham or the other needs proof of the contact he sends the other guy a postcard with the pertinent information on it and drops it in the mail.

The recipient sends the sender one of his cards. The cards are called QSL cards and may range from a simple hand written note of some sort to a fancy, fairly expensive picture card.

Rumors that some Sheik of Araby type was sending solid gold cards went around a while back but that's a crock, although the cards send by the late King Hussien of Jordan were very nice.

The most expensive one I have is made of a piece of Koa from Hawaii and the cheapest I have is a 3x5 card from Alaska with the information hand written. These two are framed together because I'm proud of both of them. They were both accompanied with a lot of work and help from others.

Both were three hour dramas of sorts and I'm grateful the guys on the other end gave of their time to work on this. The Alaskan was a GI stationed in Anchorage at the time. He sat in a snow bank for three hours trying to establish contact with me and finally the band lifted and we made contact.

Anyway, The guy in Uzbekistan just told me he's  going to re-mail my card today in his own envelope along with the SAE I sent him.

Right now I have 173 overseas contacts confirmed and when I get French Polynesia and Uzbekistan I'll have 175.

My goal is 200 even though there are about 350 entities out there. I figure that 200 is an honorable count.  The remaining 150 are pretty much uninhabited islands that only open up every so often and most of them will take years if not decades to contact.

In other news, the third Most Interesting Man in the World just got promoted to Second Most Interesting Man in the World because I shaved my beard off. I'm now just a nobody.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Sunday, July 13, 2014

What a gut bomb!!

Yesterday afternoon I had a craving for a real gut bomb of a cheeseburger.

I generally don't have cravings like this but maybe by body's oil level went down a quart or something. Anyway, the little red light went on. I didn't want to throw a rod or blow a piston so I figured I better take care of it.

Take 3 grilled cheese and bacon sandwiched and a couple of burger patties and stack 'em up. Add lettuce, tomato, onion to taste and there it is.

I ate the entire thing and enjoyed it. I may be an old goat but I still have a pretty good constitution and have no problems in the digestive department. I washed it down with a cold beer and the little light went out.

Not bad.

In other news I watched 'Song of the South' and I nave a message for the NAACP. Stop whining and looking for trouble where there isn't any. All I saw was a typical Walt Disney wholesome kids movie and I enjoyed it.

I suppose if the NAACP wants something to complain about they ought to watch 'Roots' backwards so as to have an ending that will give them something to complain about.

I have posted earlier that I used to be quite a fan of that organization when they were fighting for education, honest advancement and independence. They lost me when they reduced themselves to griping about welfare and encouraging governmental dependence.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Saturday, July 12, 2014

To presidents, elected officials, CEOs and other big shots.

Take a good, long hard look at this picture.

When you look at your little empire from this point of view you realize that your big office building, house on the hill or even entire empire isn't as big as you think it is.

When you look at this and think about it your empire really isn't a single bean much less a hill of beans.

Left click on the picture to make it easier to read it.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

Friday, July 11, 2014

Dateline: Harrisburg, PA

The Attorney General has dropped all charges against a trio of Allegheny county men after declaring he would never be able to secure a conviction because of public interference in the case. He has said that over three hundred people have filed statements declaring that they witnessed seeing the three defendants at a family barbecue.

The three Allegheny county men were charged with a  number of charges including reckless endangerment of children, assaulting police officers, causing a riot, escape, littering  and public intoxication. Their location at this time is unknown. 

The men, George Gordon, 68, Peter 'Pete' D'Angelo, 66 and Horace T. Piccolo, 22, are believed to be hiding somewhere in West Virginia. It should be noted that Piccolo should actually be 62 years old but while he was in the army his First Sergeant took away his birthday. He has remained 22 years old since.

All three are reported to be members of the so-called Grandfather's Club, a gang reported to having a mission of taking their grandkids on rides through farm country in the back of open pickup trucks.

The Pittsburgh STAR has managed to get the full story from a State Police investigator and a number of the defendant's relatives who were accompanied by the attorney of the three defendants. The investigator has spoken under conditions of anonymity.

According to the STAR'S sources, the first incident began in Mackle county when a county sheriff's officer was returning from a domestic disturbance call. He was headed back to the station and passed a small three vehicle convoy. The middle vehicle was a pickup truck with a number of children sitting in the bed. He turned around to investigate.

While the officer was turning around the  convoy stopped and the children fled to the lead car where they were quickly whisked away. The last car in the convoy pulled alongside the pickup blocking the officer from chasing the lead vehicle.

During the heated argument that ensued the officer was advised that following the lead car was futile. The driver of the lead car was reported to have learned to drive in North Carolina where he ran moonshine and outran the feds on a nightly basis.

He ordered the blocking car moved and proceeded to try and locate the escaping vehicle to no avail. When he returned to the scene of the alleged crime, both the pickup and the car were gone. 

It has been learned that the gang later met at a bar called the Rusty Spike. The oldest of the children was ordered to drive the rest of them home and drop them off. 

The driver, Lewis Gordon,17, explained that his grandfather simply told him to take the kids home. Gordon had admitted to being a soldier in the gang but has not been charged. He has been interviewed extensively by the authorities and has graciously allowed the STAR to interview him.

When the STAR showed up to interview Gordon he was clad in an outfit that would have done Edward G. Robinson proud. John Gotti, the Dapper Don, would have ordered Robinson whacked to have such an outfit.

Gordon was clad in tailored 40s retro double breasted wide lapelled  pin stripe suit, a black shirt accompanied with a white necktie, topped off by the obligatory wide brimmed fedora. 

The desperadoes then entered the Rusty Spike and according to Mike Sphinks, the bartender, they "proceeded to strike several blows for liberty''. The were also reported to have amused the clientele and Sphinks reported that they 'had a pretty good night'. He also believes that the three were taken home by local farmer Nathaniel Stoltfus and allowed to sleep in his barn. 

The following morning a county sheriff's deputy saw a vehicle matching the description to the vehicle involved in the previous evening's incident parked at an Amish roadside stand. He ran the license tag number and immediately called for a backup.

Four police vehicles and seven officers descended on the roadside stand only to be beaten back by a heavy barrage of fruits and vegetables. In addition to this, it was reported that four of the officers were hit in the face with pies.

When asked about the pie killings during the interview with Lewis Gordon simply stated, "Most likely the thrower was  Pete D'Angelo. Pete studied the fine art of pie throwing under Moe Howard."

Fans claim that Moe Howard of the Three Stooges saved Colombia studios a large amount of money in retakes because of his deadly accuracy with the round pastries.

When the officers regrouped to storm the stand they were repelled with what they thought was heavy automatic weapons fire. They retreated.

When they returned the perpetrators were gone and the deputies found only a 60s era Mattel toy Tommy gun and several strips of fired roll caps. 

Ruth Yoder, the stand owner,  has refused to charge the so-called desperados with anything, saying that before they left they left her with more than enough cash to cover all damages. 

It is believed that from there they invaded the farm of Amos Yoder, a longtime Amish resident. Yoder explained that a car containing three men that fitted the description of the gang roared into his farm at a great rate of speed and parked behind his barn. 

Three men got out of the car and ran straight to the clothes yard where they proceeded to change their cloths with the clothes they found hanging out to dry.

When Yoder asked what the men were doing he was asked to provide three straw hats and come sit on the fence with them 'if he wanted to see something funny'. He quickly supplied the trio with Amish hats and the four of them sat on his fence and watched over a dozen police cars roar by.

During a police interview, Yoder told police that one of them was heard to say, "This is almost as good as the Blues Brothers chase!" and the other two laughed.

Yoder has refused to press home invasion charges because he said that the three carefully rehung the damp clothes back up before changing back into their 'English' clothes. He also said they left him a bottle of Jim Beam and 'fixed his old woman's gasoline powered washing machine before they got back into their car and roared off in the opposite direction they had come from'.

Yoder also commented that, "The English seem to get crazier and crazier every day".

The Pennsylvania department of Human services was instantly alerted to the situation and sent counselors to the Gordon and D'Angelo homes to see if their services were necessary for the children after their terrible ordeal of being endangered by their open truck  ride through farm country.

Seven yer-old Jennifer D'Angelo was reported to have come out in a  pretty gingham dress and told the social workers  "Go piss up a rope and leave my grandpa alone! I wanna go for another ride in the country!" 

Her brother, Jeff, age ten is reported to have run into his bedroom and shouted, "They'll never take me alive!" and locked the door behind him.

Social workers have said they have not ruled out the possibility of Stockholm syndrome.

A trip to the Gordon residence proved fruitless, too. All four of Gordon's grandchildren were reported to have lined up outside where they sang a beautiful rendition of "Hit the road, Jack" for the social workers. Upon completion of the song they went back into the house and locked the door behind them.

In the instance of the Gordon children, social workers are claiming that the possibility of PTSD is a likely scenario.

A spokesman from the law firm of Dewey, Cheatam and Howe, who are representing both families pro bono claim the department of social services are 'just covering their sorry asses'.

The head of the department has suggested the possibility of  taking custody of the six children to insure the children are given the proper counseling.

A spokesman for Dewey, Cheatem and Howe announced that if the Social Service people ''Look at those children cross-eyed they will sue the director personally and recommended that he put his socks and underwear in his wife's name because they'll take everything else he owns...including his cheap, two-bit diamel pinkie ring!"

The Human Services offices announced they have reconsidered.

While the Gordon and D'Angelo families were being visited by social services, an all points bulletin had been posted for the trio, according to a state police spokesmen.

About the time social services left the D'Angelo and Gordon families the local police on Neville Island reported finding the vehicle owned by Gordon and  converged on the area.

It wasn't long before the trio was located sitting atop a WW2 relic known locally as the gas ball. Neville Island is the former site of a WW2 shipyard that made LSTs (Landing Ship, Tank). These vessels served in every theater of the was. The gas ball held natural gas used to heat the various workshops of the shipyards. It was emptied and abandoned after the war.

Today the former shipyards house a number of salvage, scrap and recycling businesses. The gas ball still stands and is considered an eyesore by locals who have wanted it torn down for decades.

Lewis Gordon explained he received a call from his grandfather, George telling him they were cornered atop the Neville Island gas ball and instructing him to gather the family and show up.

Gordon immediately called the D'Angelo family and his mother gathered the family and left for Neville Island immediately. He said that when they arrived  there were at least 20 police vehicles on site and over two hundred spectators. He explained that most of the spectators were on cell phones calling other people. He said the crowd grew rapidly.

Authorities estimate that the crowd grew to over 9500 people. The number of police vehicles was estimated at over 75.

Authorities and spectators argue about what happened next.

The police claimed that they heard a blast of muffled automatic gunfire coming from the top of the gas ball and immediately returned fire. 

Spectators claimed it sounded like a toy cap gun.

When police gunfire subsided a shout came from atop the gas sphere. One of the trio shouted down "You missed!"

Another voice was heard to shout, "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!"

A stray police round penetrated a home a mile away and shattered a toilet bowl being used by an elderly woman. She dialed 911 on her cell and claimed she had fallen and couldn't get up. Paramedics arrived and she was taken to Allegheny General where she was reportedly cleaned up and released.

After things settled down three officers were detailed to climb the access stairs and apprehend the trio. When they were a few feet off the ground the stairway collapsed and two of the officers received minor injuries.

Four ladder companies from downtown Pittsburgh were called to the scene. During this time George Gordon's daughter-in-law approached the incident commander and was heard to say, "Just send those old drunks up a half-dozen bottles of bourbon and when they pass out you can just scrape them up. No need for violence."

When the fire department showed up they were instructed to shoot a line up over the sphere. It took them several tries until an retired Merchant Mariner offered to teach them how. He made it on the first shot.

A bottle of bourbon was placed in a pail and the incident commander told the trio he was sending up a peace offering.

Lewis Gordon has since commented that the incident commander made a blunder worse then Pickett's charge. He asserted that a single bottle of bourbon would only serve to 'really fire those old coots up'. He was also quoted as saying "Those old buzzards can drink! You'd have to send up at least six bottles to settle those old nasty old goats down!"

Twenty-five minutes later an empty bottle came whistling down and smashed on the pavement. This was followed by cries of "More whiskey!"

The incident commander promptly added littering to the growing list of charges against the man.

Shortly after this the angry crowd broke ranks and surrounded the base of the sphere. It took the authorities a half-hour to herd then back behind police lines. 

As soon as the crowd was contained the firemen were ordered to put up several ladders and a number of policemen stormed up them. When they arrived at the top they found only a pair of Mattel Tommy gun toys and several strips of fired roll caps. The trio of men was nowhere to be found.

During the search for the men one of the officers stepped on an old tarp and almost fell through an access hole. The access  plate having been removed decades ago. Further investigation located another service hole at ground level. It is believed they climbed down the service ladder, exited the lower service hole and were absorbed by the crowd that had surrounded the base of the sphere. 

The lower service hole had apparently been hidden by overgrowth and accumulated debris.

Gina D'Angelo, a relative of the D'Angelo family has explained what happened under condition of anonymity. She claims one of Pete's grandchildren spotted a flash of hot pink in the bushes that hid the lower access hole and told her mother who started to pass word among the crowd to break ranks and mob the base of the sphere. The three men were quickly absorbed into the crowd.

Lewis Gordon filled the STAR in with more details. 

"As soon as the guys hid in the crowd someone traded T-shirts with Piccolo. He was wearing that disgusting obnoxious neon glow-in-the-dark pink T-shirt he wears all the time. The guys were then quickly whisked into a van owned by a neighbor of ours  that runs a diaper service. The guys were whisked into a van belonging to the Dy-Dee diaper service under a pile of dirty diapers and whisked off the site," he explained.

Gordon was asked by the STAR why the three men picked the diaper service truck as a getaway vehicle. He grinned and replied, "Those old goats have been in a lot deeper $hit than that!"

An hour after the escape a number of people mobbed the local State Police barracks, many of them wearing fedoras. They proceeded to make sworn statements that the three were at a family barbecue at the time of the incident. After over three hundred identical statements were signed statement the State Police, acting under orders from the Attorney General stopped taking statements. 

An estimated eight hundred people were turned away.

A state trooper was allegedly overheard to dryly comment that it must have been one hell of a barbecue. Must be an Irish Catholic family. They breed like rabbits. This has not been confirmed.

The Attorney General then announced all charges against the trio have been dropped, citing an inability to be able to secure a conviction.

Popular Mackle county sheriff Dave Zylinski has announced that the officer that stopped the trio would face no sanctions as he was acting in good faith. He added, however that in the future families would be permitted to drive through rural county areas with children in open vehicles so long as they stayed off of state highways and obeyed the applicable traffic laws.

He grinned and smugly told reporters he was going to find out where the Amish in the area obtained blinders for their horses and buy all his deputies a pair.

The governor's office has declined comment, stating that this was a matter for local law enforcement. Inside sources have said the the State Police are now instructed to coordinate with county sheriffs and local authorities in this matter.

Lewis Gordon has opined that the trio has likely been taken in by anti-government West Virginia moonshiners and are likely to return by late August for their annual Indian Summer ride through Mackle county or whenever they get sick of drinking moonshine, whichever comes first.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY