Friday, January 31, 2014

It is a little late for me to be getting started but I had to spite the cat a little.

He's been getting a bit too feisty lately. He used to wait until I was at least awake before he started telling me to feed him and now he's starting to wake me up. 

It'll take a few days but when he wakes me I just stay in bed an extra hour to let him know he's not going to get too far with that crap. 

It's warm this morning and thawing which isn't a bad thing at all. In a few minutes I'll go out and tend to the driveway and get the packed down snow out of the way before it turns to ice.

I just got word that Beretta is moving out of Maryland and into Tennessee taking their jobs with them. Prince George's county is likely going to be hit pretty hard by the move.

Tennessee will get stronger.

Actions have consequences and the people in Annapolis that run the state most likely thought they could get away with enacting draconian gun laws with impunity.

What a lot of people don't know is that the firearm industry, coupled with the rest of the things that go with it are a lot bigger than General Motors.

When GM needed a bailout the government came running and afterwards bragged about saving all of the General Motors jobs.

Yet the liberal faction wants to eliminate the entire firearms business. Suppose they do. Who is going to feed these displaced workers? A lot of them will go straight to the government and go on relief. 

Of course unlike GM the firearms business is all over the country. The Remington plant in Ilion, NY as fairly large, making different types of firearms. It's a big employer there in NY.

On the other hand, Shiloh Sharps builds blackpowder arms somewhere up in Big Timber, Montana. They''re a fairly small specialty shop.

Personally I think it's going to be interesting to see what happens in Prince George's county. My guess is that it will keep going down the tubes until it becomes yet another cesspool that Annapolis has to shore up at the expense of more successful counties.

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, January 30, 2014

Yesterday I got JT-65 up and running/ washing machines.

and made 3 contacts, Brazil, Venezuela and Uruguay. It's a slow, boring process and it's like watching paint dry. It's also of dubious practical use. Still, it's pretty cool communicating with South America using less power than a $59.95 Western Auto CB puts out.

Seeing I just repaired my washing machine I might pass a few things along because I was actually preparing for replacement and did some research. Much of this is word of mouth from repairmen and a couple of thoughtful guys.

A washing machine's job is to wash clothes. The way it is judged is by it's ability to take dirty clothes and make them clean again. To do this it basically uses energy and water. 

My wife generally reads 'Consumer Reports' and sees what they have to say about things before she buys. Researching is generally a pretty good idea and CR is usually a pretty good source.

One of the guys said that CR has started to add a few other things to what they call a good product, including energy consumption. He said they seem to be losing focus these days.

The thing he uses CR for is the comments by people that have owned the product for a while. He noted that a lot of people that bought the top rated product seem to think it isn't as good as it is cracked up to be. He also noted that the products at the bottom of the list sometimes draw rave reviews from users.

I asked him what kind of washing machine he bought and he told me he bought a Speed Queen. A few days later a couple of repair men told me they thought that a Speed Queen was the way to go.

Interesting. Speed Queen has been a laundromat staple for years.

They do not have a whole lot of fancy settings and are pretty simple compared to a lot of others. The repair man told me that the difference between the commercial machine and the residential machine is that the commercial machine has a coin box. That's interesting.

He also told me that there are only a few makers that sell under a number of different labels. Most of them are made by the same conglomerate and both my friend and the two repairmen said the way to go is either get an industrial machine or get the cheapest one you can find and throw it out every five years.

He also said that the Speed Queens do not come with an energy star. The do use more energy(electricity) than the residential machines do. They also last longer and get your clothes cleaner than some of the energy conserving models, according to the repairmen and some owners comments.

Personally I like fairly simple industrial type machines.

I like doing a job right the first time and do not worry about energy consumption unless it is something serious. I just want a simple machine that gets the job done right the first time.

Having to wash clothes twice to get them clean doesn't really save anyone anything. Ask anyone with a post ban gallon per flush toilet that has to flush repeatedly to keep his plumbing clear.

I believe in saving energy as much as anyone else but sometimes we have to step back and look at the big picture. We have to look at our savings over time instead of focusing on next month's electric bill. You have to look at total cost over time. 

With a washing machine that goes so far as to include how often you have to replace cloths because they get dingy from poor cleaning as well as everything else.

I get accused of not being green but in fact I am. I look at things from a bigger picture.

For example, my pickup had a 4 cylinder engine in it because it gives me the power I need and it was engineered to give 300,000 miles of service. Depending on the season and the type of gas I can get at the pump it gets me up to a little over 30 miles per gallon on long hauls.

The trick of buying something is to look a little further down the road and not let the smoke and mirrors the system throws at you fool you. You have to stop and think.

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, January 29, 2014

One recent day at the laundromat

There are fewer things as aggravating as the laundromat.

The other day the washing machine crapped out and I was waiting for parts. Yesterday I noticed I was in danger of running out of clean underwear which is a fearsome thing to contemplate.

Suppose I had an accident and had to go to the hospital?

So I scraped up a pile of skids, T-shirts, socks and a couple of pairs of jeans and headed off to the laundromat.

Most little kids are pretty good, but for some reason the aggravating ones always seem to accompany their moms to laundromats. 

Laundromats in themselves are aggraviting places to begin with.

When you couple the pair of them, laundromats and bratty kids with a grouchy old man that hates both you have trouble.

I saw my usual bad luck at laundromats show up. It was a bratty kid running around so I decided to run Plan A.

The first step is recon and I saw that the mother was one of those moms that let their kids run around because they are idiots and heaven help anyone that tries to interfere.

That made this one a slam dunk easy one for me.

The second time the hyperactive little yard ape plowed into my laundry basket I looked at him and said, "Hey, Kid. You want to go for a dryer ride? If ya break my old record of 50 cents worth I'll give you ten bucks." 

(Back then two bits bought you about 45 minutes of drying. Now it's 7 1/2 minutes for a quarter)

Needless to say, the mother came charging over and asked me what the hell I thought I was going to do with her precious little child of God.

"Simple," I snapped. "Once I got the kid into the dryer I was going to stuff ten or fifteen bucks worth of quarters into it to keep the little pest out of my hair while I got my wash done."
The look of shock on her face was precious.

Of course, she grabbed the little crumb snatcher, dragged him across the laundromat to the TV area and sat him down and told him to watch TV and stay away from me. The kid protested loudly  to his mom that he wanted to go for a dryer ride. I admit it was kind of funny listening to the mother discipline the kid for what appeared to be the first time in his short little life.

Then the offended mom went straight over to the dry cleaning section and started complaining. The woman behind the counter had heard me whan I offered the kid a dryer ride and I had seen her snicker.

"Oh. Dryer rides? We don't allow that here anymore." she said to the mother. "The kids would get sick and we got tired of cleaning up the vomit." She gave the woman a thoughtful look. "I think my youngest son lasted about $3.75 worth without getting sick once. The kids say it was an all-time record."

The mother walked away not looking too pleased.

Meanwhile I got my laundry going and sat down with a worn copy of Field and Stream. When my wash was done I took it out, bagged it and took it home wet to throw in my dryer that is working.

Life is now good. I am not in jail for homicide because I would have likely strangled the little whelp if his mother hadn't parked him in front ot the TV.

I am now ready in case of an accident and can go to the hospital because I now have clean underwear. If I do have an accident the doctor will see my clean underwear and know I come from a good family and try harder to save me.

When I got home I got a call. The parts are in and as I write this I have the machine up and running again.

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, January 28, 2014

I just got an email joke about Medicare part G.

which is where they give you a pistol and 4 cartridges and you go out and shoot 4 politicians and go to jail.

Need new teeth? An operation of some sort? No problem! The prison system likely had a better health plan than most of us do.

It was an interesting email.

I sent a comment back that I was a tar and feather sort of guy, myself.

It is now -7 outside. School has been called off and I am home with a couple of waffles and a pair of fried eggs this morning. I made a larger than usual pot of coffee, too.

Yesterday I had to bail out early because I got a call from Neighbor Bob who had managed to tear up his pickup by hitting a greasy patch of road and wrapping the nose around a phone pole or something. Bob was unhurt but his pickup looks like hell. It had to be towed.

Bob has a bad habit of taking backroads everywhere for some reason. While he knows them all much better than I do, in bad weather it's generally a good idea to stick with main drags. They get taken better care of than side roads.

In other news the washing machine purchased in '01 gave up the ghost. The tub rusted through. I'm going to try and get a new tub even though I know I ought to get a new machine. We'll see how that works out. Truth is, Mrs Pic likes the machine.

Someone remind me to write about washing machines tomorrow as I have done some research and someone else explained that Consumer Reports is not all it is cracked up to be.

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, January 27, 2014

Yesterday was an interesting day. I tried to learn something

I wound up learning my computer's clock is acting up. The mode of digital communication I wanted to learn, JT-65 relies on accurate time. Oh, well.

A friend of mine reminded me of the time at Camp Perry that I went to bat for a handicapped shooter because a range officer didn't know the rules.

Gotta go, I got a call from Neighbor Bob and he's had a truck accident but is OK.  Maybe later today I can finish. 

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, January 26, 2014

The deer wandered by earlier this morning and set off the motion detectors.

I was up and watched. They're not shy about it and don't spook when the lights go on.

It's snowy and damned cold out and the furnace is constantly running. I have been told it is going to get colder. Ouch!

Today is a day to put on warm jammies and sit at home drinking cocoa. Of course, a grouch like me does not own a set of warm jammies and the closest thing is a set of sweats and heavy wool socks. 

Still, I have things to do so I donned my basic uniform of jeans and a warm shirt. Close enough. 

I'll start the pickup and warm it up just to keep it ready for an errand or two. 

Later today I'm going to either have an Elmer over to teach me JT- 65 or another neighbor over to handload some ammunition for him. Either way I'll be busy and inside.

I just passed by my map of the world that is pretty full of pins, each representing an overseas contact. The map looks pretty full.

I don't put a pin in for every single contact, just each country. The map would never hold them all. Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe are chockablock full and when you look at Asia it looks kind of sparse. Still, the bulk of Russia gets only two pins, China gets one. 

This radio business has given me one hell of a geography lesson. I just looked up Kaleningrad the other day as it is a part of Russia that is separated from the mother country. It is surrounded by Lithuania, Poland and the Baltic Sea. It reminds me of Point Roberts, a part of Washington state and a pretty good place to party.

Point Roberts is surrounded on three sides by water and the top part is connected to British Colombia. We got it because the border line clipped it. I pulled into it in mid to late October '86 in my sailboat and tied up to the fuel pier. 

While I went ashore looking for someone to pump fuel, someone from the marina came down and shook my shipmate down for some bogus tie-up fee. You are supposed to be able to tie up for fuel free of charge.

Shaking my crew member down proved to be a mistake as we instantly went ashore, got plastered and started tearing the place apart. They sent down some big guy to settle us down and my shipmate promptly threw him off the dock. Note I said threw him.

He simply picked him up and threw him off the dock.

It was the second time I had watched my crewman throw a human being, the first being when he broke up a brawl in Petersburg, Alaska. There he picked up a pretty good sized fisherman and threw him at another one. We fled and went straight down the Wrangell Narrows to Wrangell where we were welcomed because Wrangell didn't like Petersburg for some reason. Likely because every time a person from Wrangell stopped in Petersburg he got the daylights beat out of him.

I digress. 

Anyway, when the big guy wound up in the drink they called the state police. The Washington state police had to drive to Blaine and cross into Canada and over to Point Roberts. Generally when they did this someone went to jail.

Of course, we instantly set sail for Victoria, British Colombia where we were out of the jurisdiction of the Washington State Police and holed up for a while until we deemed it safe to re-enter the States.

When we got to Friday Harbor the harbormaster had a look in his eye about something and asked us a few pointed questions. He said that if we misbehaved in HIS town he'd have our asses.

A couple days later he came down and apologized for our initial greeting and asked us a few questions and been told to keep his eyes open for a couple troublemakers that had torn up Point Roberts a few days earlier.

The following day he saw me stump into a tavern, followed me in and bought me a beer. Then he asked my why the pair of us had torn up Point Roberts.  Admitting to nothing, I suggested it might have been the way we were treated.

He said he had figured it was something like that because he had gotten reports from other mariners about the nickel-diming of visitors by the marina people. Then he said that it was why he gave us a break until he checked us out. 

We made ourselves useful on the docks for the time we spent there and when it came time to settle up he diddled with the books a little and charged us a pittance. He actually said he was sad to see us leave.

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, January 25, 2014

Saturday mornings.

So I am home and it is a snowy Saturday morning and I have to go out and shovel a little snow. Oh, well.

One of the things someone said is that to ought to be a snap for me because I have a heavy duty snow blower. That's a idiotic statement when you think about it.

Setting a snowblower up for less than about 8 inches of snow is a waste of time, effort and gasoline. It's much easier to shovel a path. Eight inches isn't going to make parking a problem, either.

I read Eugene Sledge's excellent memoir, 'China Marine' and found it to be more interesting than his combat memoir, 'With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa'.

It  made me think for a while and I would not be surprised to read that Sledge was pretty upset over doing China occupation duty after a pair of grinding Pacific island campaigns. If he felt he got screwed by this he might rethink his position.

His time in China gave him at least a couple of months to decompress. Although he returned home to Alabama a bitter, angry man it likely would have been worse had he come straight home after Okinawa.

I have spoken to a couple of Pacific veterans that were discharged almost instantly after the fighting stopped and a couple of them expressed a feeling of being cheated. They ran through boot camp, trained, shipped out and fought, retrained, fought again and went straight home after the last shot was fired.

While many were glad to go straight home, a couple expressed the feeling that some sort of brief postwar duty might have served as a decompression period.

I commented to one that he got screwed because of this and he thought a minute and agreed.

Our GIs in Vietnam had it somewhat worse in terms of no decompression. The WW2 guys at least had a long voyage home in a troop ship. With air travel, a Vietnam GI could be literally sitting at home two or three days after a major firefight, still vibrating and shaking.

Anyway, Sledge's ;China Marine' is a pretty good read. 

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, January 24, 2014

Piccolo and the gossip

Someone the other day asked me about my EXPENSIVE ham radio hobby. They actually said it!

"How's that expensive ham radio hobby of yours coming along?" he asked.

"Expensive?" I asked. "I went on the air with an army surplus radio and a chunk of wire I hung in a tree."

"I don't understand. Didn't you have to set up a tower with a big antenna on it?" he asked.

"No," I said simply.

"But someone told me you talk to people from all over the world. You can't do that with a piece of wire, can you?" He looked confused.

"Tell that to the guy in Kuwait I was talking to or the Austrian I just got a QSL card from," I shot back.

He looked confused. "I thought all of that stuff was expensive," he said.

"Hobbies are just like anything else. You can put as much or as little into them as you want. While we're at it, let's clear the air. You've been a snippy little gossip over the past couple of years and I'm tired of it," I said.

"The expensive sports car cost me $1200 and I rebuilt it with my hands which was free labor. I scrounged parts from Craigslist and worked in my garage. It cost me little to turn it into a nice little racer/runabout," I said.

"Really?" he asked.

"Yes," I replied. 'While we're at it, let's talk about the $75 sailboat you were telling everyone about. Or my trip to Atlantic City."

He started to look uncomfortable.

"I was in Philly and a crewman's car broke down. He lives near Atlantic City so I dropped him off. I didn't go to AC to gamble.He actually gave me $50 for the favor. I made money on that one. As for the sailboat, I gave a guy $75 for it. It was about seven feet long and had a beer logo on the sail. Incidentally, he wanted it back so I got my $75 back and a case of Coors for my trouble."

He looked a little foolish now.

"Let's talk about Camp Perry and my shooting at the Nationals," I went on. My Garand was a gift. The Springfield was a deal I got from a buddy and the carbine was a loaner. Barracks bunks are $10 a night. Match fees generally run $25 or $30 and generally they include ammo. I bring a lot of my own chow, beer and whatever. It's a lot cheaper than you think."

"I didn't know..." he said, looking a little shocked.

"That's right. You didn't know. You ran off at the mouth before you got your facts straight," I shot back. "I get by, and damned well, on working man's wages and the leavings and cast-asides of an affluent society!"


"I decided when I was rebuilding the Mazda to see of I could do it all for free," I said. "I started scrounging scrap metal. Remember when you remodeled? I asked you if I could raid your dumpster for stuff?"

"Yes, I remember that," he said. "I did a lot of the tear-out myself to save money."

"Well, thank you very much," I snapped. "You threw about $400 worth of copper and aluminum into that roll-away. I dug it out and scrapped it. It paid for the shocks and the sway bars I put on the Mazda. I appreciate that."

He looked stunned.

"Now stop gossiping like an old lady or I'll tell everyone how dumb you are."

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, January 23, 2014

My confirmation number went up by 5 while I was at work

I came home last night to see that I had a stack of mail waiting for me. It was mostly QSL cards.

I now have 5 more DX confirmations. Azores, Asiatic Russia, Sultanate of Oman, Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and Tajikistan.

The Tajikistan QSL was a little odd because it contained 2 QSL cards and an SAE to someone else in the States. I guess he figured I'd drop it in the mail for him over here which I will. It's in the outgoing mailbox right now.

There were also a couple of other QSL cards from guys on an internet board I visit frequently including a beautiful one made of Hawaiian Koa wood sliced thin. I worked hard for that one and the guy that sent it worked hard at it, too. 

There was also a 20 MOA scope base for my long range rifle. My scope doesn't have enough clicks to reach out to 1000 yards so I'll install the base and re adjust the present scope and I ought to be good to go. There's a 1000 yard match come spring and I want in on that again.

It's too cold to do any shooting so I guess I'll just do prep work today and see what happens over the next couple of days.

Lord, it's cold out! I do not do cold well anymore. I hate it. It's now 9 degrees out and that is cold.

Today when I make my rounds some youngster is going to tell me it's cold out and I will have to refer to page 14, article 2, amendment 7,  subsection C of section 2D of the Old Fart's Manual.

It says specifically that when a youngster complains about the cold you are to supposed to tell him that back when you were his age it got so cold you had to put hot water bottles next to the fire to keep the flames from freezing and tell him that back then this would have been T-shirt weather.

I do not know why that is in the manual because it is complete BS but it's there and as an old man I follow it because it is expected of me. Truth is it's just plain cold out.

Of course, parts of the manual are pretty good. My favorite is having to walk to school uphill both ways. That's a pretty good one.

This is the first time in many, many years that I have worn my insulated work boots home but I did yesterday. 

Anyway, I am home and the cat was glad to see me.

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, January 22, 2014

One of the things that irks me to an extent

 is the people that look down on others that have chosen a different line of work.

Much of my work is out in the elements. I have to stand a watch because crews are smaller these days. This is fine and dandy by me because I like the work. I'm generally clad in the full dress uniform of a merchant seaman which is to say I'm clad in rags.

Again, that's fine. Rags is the uniform that pays the bills. The price is right, too.

There's another guy down the street that works in construction as some kind of hands on engineer that is generally seen leaving the house in work clothes because his job takes him into the mud of construction projects.

I think he busts six figures. He's got to be worth it or they wouldn't pay him that much. Whatever. I suppose if I wanted to I could easily bust six figures but I prefer to stay where I am and not work any overtime. I like the people I work with.

I have a neighbor that is an RN that has gone into the management end of things and dresses well for work. She's in an office and I suppose is expected to dress well. I alway see her leaving for work in a suit.

All of these people have one thing in common. They get paid pretty much what they are worth.

A while ago I was listening to someone gripe about having to have a master's to keep his job and how it doesn't pay very much. For once I kept my mouth shut and listened.

The person in question works behind a desk doing some kind of human relations work and was griping that a lot of employees at his workplace make more than he does and many of them haven't finished high school.

He also grumbled that guys working in the oil patch were making one hell of a lot more than he was. He didn't think it was fair.

That's when I asked him why he wasn't working in the oil patch. He didn't like that question and his look told me he thought it was beneath his dignity to be a roughneck or drive a truck. 

Besides, he didn't want to go away from home. Everyone seems to have excuses. 

It reminds me of being a sailor. We have all sorts out here working on various vessels and the truth is we get paid to perform. There are King's Point graduates as captains and mates and guys that didn't finish high school as captains and mates.

The average is somewhere in between the two.

I looked at the man and wondered. He must have been in a flooded market to need a master's to keep his job. My line of work is generally crying for competent people. If he is such a sharp guy he could come out here and in a few years be making a lot more than he does now. Possibly he'd start out at what he's making now.

While the engineer's job requires a degree he doesn't sit in an office too much. He's always in the mud somewhere and likely part of his pay is for being uncomfortable on job sites and slogging through the mud. I would imagine most engineers prefer to work in a comfortable office.

My job requires little formal education but it does require hands on skills. It also takes me away from home for periods of time. I suppose that besides being paid for my skills I am paid for being inconvenienced. For example, I have spent 17 or 18 of the last 23 Christmases at sea. I suppose that's worth something.

As a rule of thumb companies pay what they have to to get capable people. They have to. Without capable people they can't get the job done. Capable people are almost always in demand is many fields.

Of course, if the market gets flooded, the laws of supply and demand engage and wages in a particular field drop. The man with the master's in the human relations business appears to be in a somewhat flooded market. I suppose maybe he ought to consider a career move if he wants to make more money.

Of course, the human services guy seems to have an attitude toward guys that get dirty but he really ought to stop and think for a second. A lot of them make better money than he does and to tell the truth often have more interesting jobs.

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, January 21, 2014

Opportunity comes a knockin"

I recently had someone comment about how when he was in his 30s he was tied down with a wife, kids, job and that he was also in school working for a master's.

He was telling me that he was laying out the foundation for success and the usual crap.

I told him that I was living in a sailboat and traveling through Alaska and the Pacific Northwest doing odd jobs, fishing to eat and generally adventuring. I pointed out that a lot of people disapproved and said I would never make anything of myself.

The sailboat years were a time of individual responsibility and I look back on them fondly. Unlike most people I have literally been the captain of my own ship and master of my own destiny and written a lot of my own scenario.

What's funny now is the way things turned out. 

About the time I turned 40 I settled down a bit and now at 62 I own my own home, live a somewhat sedate life in the suburbs and have something saved for old age. It didn't take me long to 'catch up', although I don't know what I caught up to.

About the time I turned 40 I just decided to pursue a career. I didn't know what career and looked around and suddenly a career just fell on my lap.

It was around Christmas time and I wanted to go to visit my family over the yuletide. My soon to be wife mentioned that we couldn't afford a flight to Boston so I told her not to worry and checked the map. I'd simply hitch hike into the Boston area and snag the T to Quincy and have my sister pick me up.

The future Mrs. Pic was flabbergasted and decided that we could afford a train ticket to Boston. I packed. The next day I got on the choo choo in Pittsburgh and rode to Boston.

When I arrived in Philly I had to change trains and there I met up with three guys headed to New England. They were sailors. I mentioned that I had fished and wasn't happy in my present situation and asked it they needed any deck hands.

One of the guys gave me an 800 number and told me they did from time to time and to check. I wrote it down on a matchbook and put it in my wallet.

When I got home after visiting the family I mentioned it to my other half and she said it was probably a dead lead. I decided to try it anyway and got through to the people that hired.

In seconds I was writing down information and answering questions about my background. I was told to show up the next day for my interview with my seabag packed. There would be a ticket at Pittsburgh airport for me in my name.

I was at the time laid off and tenatively was scheduled to go back to work in a couple of weeks. I packed right then and there and an hour later called the airport. Indeed, ther was a ticket awaiting me.

The next day I hopped on the plane and arrived in Philly and called the office people and was told to look for a van with their company logo on it outside the lugage area. It showed and I arrived at the office and was interviewed and hired as an entry level deckhand on the spot.

They stuffed me into a van and took me to Baltimore to get my Z-card and upon my return I was dropped off at a dock awaiting a tug and barge. When it hit the dock I  helped tie the barge up and clambered aboard the tug. 

It didn't take me long to ask around and find out that there was a career to be started and a career at sea sounded pretty good to me. I worked the rest of the three week tour and was asked if I wanted to work over.

I did because I had decided that the skipper was a jerk and figured that if I got off of his rotation I wouldn't have to deal with him again. Five weeks after I had boarded the plane I was headed home for three weeks.

The money wasn't very good but there was plenty of room for promotion.

Upon my arrival home I wrote every single skipper I had fished for in Kodiak for a letter of sea time. I also started reading up and learning as much as I could about my new career. 

Ten months later I was an abe seaman with a tankerman's ticket and two months after that I was a licensed (limited tonnage) captain of motor, steam and sail vessels.

I worked my way up with that company to bigger and better things and when they sold some of their assets I went with the equipment and actually negotiated a raise to stay with the equipment.

It has been a good career for me and I will be bold enough to admit that it came down to two things. Chance and my taking advantage of the opportunity.

First, I took the train. I also let my outgoing nature meet people and wasn't afraid to admit I was between gigs. That got me the phone number.

I called the number and let my abilities take things from there. I was ready to go, didn't tell anyone to wait and simply went where I was sent and did what I was told, all the while doing the best job I could.

All I have to say after this story is that when opportunity comes knocking you had better have your bags packed.

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, January 20, 2014

One of the things I am beginning to see is that the liberal

 movement in this country for the most part is an urban thing.It looks like the cities tend to have more liberals in them and the rural areas tend to be more conservative.

I recently read an interesting thread about how a lot of farm families start putting their kids to work at what seems to urbanites a very early age.

Kids under the age of ten start to learn to run machinery and do things and according to the farmers that chimed in this is a very common thing. Frankly, I am not surprised.

While farming isn't as labor intensive as it was a century ago, there always seems like there is something to do on a family run farm. There is planting, harvesting, working with livestock and a whole pile of things to do that would keep a family going from sunrise to sunset.

Urbanites really have no idea as to what running a farm entails. Many of them are so clueless if you ask them where meat comes from they will say it comes from the back room of a supermarket.

Some people were astonished to find out that little kids run tractors and other machinery on family farms and think it should be illegal.

First of all it is not their family to push their urban values on. It simply is none of their business. Secondly there are not a whole lot of farmers out there that are likely to turn a child loose with an expensive piece of machinery without extensive instruction. For one thing that kind of equipment is damned expensive to fix and so is the damage it can incur if not operated properly.

Likely the kid started out barely past infancy on  his father's lap on the family tractor learning the ins and outs of safe operation of the equipment in question. By the time he is in school he has very well spent a few hundred hours on his dad's lap learning how to operate it. The first time he plows a straight row is a rite of passage.

What was interesting on that thread I read was when someone found safety statistics on farms and farm kids in specific. It looked to me like the kid was in more danger of getting hurt on their way to school in an automobile than he was running a tractor.

That makes sense to me because in addition to dad training the youngster, there isn't a whole lot of vehicular traffic on the lower forty for a tractor to run into.

Farm kids learn a lot of skills from their parents and generally grow up pretty competent in area that require hands on skills.

It is funny to watch because I know a couple that met in college and married. He is a city slicker and she is a farm girl yet she has been polished up pretty good. You wouldn't know she was a farm girl looking at her. What's funny to watch in the dynamics of their relationship. I have to surpress a smirk when I see hands with manicured and polished nails change the spark plug on a lawn mower. She can fix most anything.

She also shot an antelope in Wyoming at over 400 yards a while back. One shot. Oh, yeah. I watched her drop a tree last year and crush the empty can she was using as an aiming point for the tree to fall on. She's pretty good with a chain saw.

A couple of hours after she bucked the tree up I saw her leave the house with her husband dressed to the nines and looking like a million bucks.

She grew up on a family farm growing vegetables, working with livestock and running machinery and started at an early age.

A lot of kids start working around the family farm as little kids and do quite well in life. Some leave the farm and pursue careers elsewhere but they bring not only a competence but a work ethic along with them.

What was interesting in the service was the difference between the city kids and the country bumpkins. A lot of country kids grew up as hunters. A lot of the city kids regarded a tree as being a wild animal.

The country boys simply took their hunting skills into the service and simply found out that the only difference they were dealing with is the species they were hunting. The simply stopped hunting animals and started hunting men.

Whatever career paths they choose, farm kids bring a lot of practical knowledge with them.

The truth of the matter is that urbanites have no right to judge the way family farmers run their farms and raise their children and they damned well should butt out.

That holds trebly true for elected governmental urbanites. Government interference in a case like this is just another case of government trying to regulate something they know nothing about.

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, January 19, 2014

A while ago I was texted.

I just had a text message sent to me and had to return it so I hit the ditch, stepped on the brake pedal, came to a complete stop, sent my message and reentered traffic. I figure I lost a little under two minutes, total time.

While I hate annoyances like that I had to deal with it and I get tempted to text and drive like everybody else does I still pull over and deal with it from the side of the road.

Texting on the fly is out and out dangerous and while I suppose there are a small handful of people that can text and drive, most will say they can and most are liars. Either they are lying to the rest of us or they are lying to themselves or both. Generally both.

Once I had to go somewhere and get there as fast as possible and was cranking down the interstate in a state that dooesn't permit the use of cell phones while driving.

I swung into the breakdown lane, stopped and answered it. They asked where I was and I told them i was in the breakdown lane of the interstate.

"What's wrong?" they asked in horror and when I told them that I pulled over to answer the phone they got upset. I shot back that it was illegal to use a cell phone while driving and they gave me some answer like they do it all the time.

I pointed out that it must be nice to have friends in high places to get their tickets fixed but I had no such friends and that I could not afford to get ticketed for such an offense. I simply hung up on them and reentered traffic and about 15 minutes later they called again asking to know where I was.

I told them I was stopped in the breakdown lane.

"What? You haven't even moved yet?" they asked in horror.

"I am fifteen miles closer than I was when we spoke the last time but have shut down in the breakdown lane again because you called. We went over this the last time you called. I will be there when I arrive and your calling me slows things down," I replied.

While I suppose I arrived on time I wasn't too polite when they asked me what took me so long.

Teenaged girls are famous for texting and cell phone gabbing while driving. Many soccer moms are no prize, either. 

Sometimes I wish that cops had more latitude. They ought to be able to give people choices like destroy their cell phones in front of him OR get a ticket.

Personally if a cop gave me that choice I would smash the phone and drive away grateful that I wasn't ticketed and keep my mouth shut that I had the good fortune that was offered me. A trip to Wallyworld and I'd have another phone and be back in business a poorer but wiser man.

I can picture an outraged teenaged girl screaming, "Oh, no! Not my cell phone!" and talking her way into a fat ticket for a fine of about three times the value of the phone PLUS five points against her license. PLUS an incease in her insurance. People often don't think. Many also do not know how to count, either.

If she did opt for smashing her phone you can bet your ass that she would go straight to her soccer mom who is just as bad as she is. The pair of them would lodge a vicious complaint against the officer and he'd wind up in the chief's office defending himself.

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, January 18, 2014

Here's a link to the end of a fascinating story.

Back in '62 a book named 'The Stragglers' came out and I read it. It fired my young imagination.

My dad saw mme reading it and told me he wanted it after me. Dad flew B-29s in WW2. We later discussed it and he told me how the bomb very possibly saved his life. We both marveled at the tenacity of the pair of Japanese stragglers that had finally been repatriated sixteen years after the war.

Thirteen years later I was in the army when the subject of the above link was finally tracked down and ordered to stand down. Notice I didn't say surrender. I said stand down.

I remember my First Sergeant mentioning it to me before the noon formation and I commented dryly to him that it meant there was now one less Japanese soldier out to get me. My CO overheard that and shook his head and chuckled.

I turned to him and told him I was going to have to tell my Uncle Bill that he must have missed one. The CO outright laughed at that comment.

A couple of months later I was downrange on a field problem and three of us got dropped off with the assignment of watching a crossroads. It was really a dumb assignment. If anything happened there we had no radio to call into the TOC with.  We were there four or five days and did little. 

We challenged a couple of people passing and finally the DivArty CO came by and told us to stop stopping people and just watch the traffic.

When the FTX was over we were supposed to be picked up but nobody showed up. It was briefly mentioned that maybe we ought to try and bum a ride back into garrison. However, we nixxed that.

We still had grub and water and decided that we ought to simply stay put. After all, the senior NCO that was supposed to be responsible for picking us up was a jerk and we figured he'd get burned when the mess got sorted out.

So we stayed put.

Of course, the next day we were listed as AWOL. Nobody showed up to get us so we decided to stay over another day. After all, we had chow and water.

Anyway, later that afternoon someone did show up and got us and were told to report to the First Sergeant. When we got there Top demended an explaination. I told them that my First General Order of guard duty included "And not quit my post until properly relieved."

He blushed and replied, "You men are absolutely right." He then faced me. I lived off post. "YOU! Go home and get cleaned up. Get some sleep" Then he dismissed us. 

We overheard the CO in his office. He was laughing outright. He was a pretty good battery commander. My Battalion Commander didn't share his good nature.

The next day the BC, Top and I were hauled before the BnCO to explain why I hadn't just hitched a ride back in. Apparently the case of the missing guards had made the rounds quickly and the BnCO had been asked about it, most likely from someone further up the food chain.

He looked at me and asked me why, as non-com in charge I hadn't taken it upon myself to find a way back to garrison for myself and my charges.

Again, I quoted my First General Order of Guard Duty. He looked at me like I was stupid and asked me how long I had planned on staying out there.

"Sir, do you remember that Japanese soldier that was ordered to stand down a couple of months ago? The one in the Phillipines?"

"I am aware that a Japanese soldier surrendered a few weeks ago," he answered sounding very irritated.

"I would have broken his record standing on my head, Sir," I said.

Top rolled his eyes looking upwards and my battery commander smirked. Before the BnCo could ask him what was so funny he looked at him and said, "Sir, I seriously believe that if you had left Sergeant Piccolo there he very would likely have broken that Japanese soldier's record."

He threw all three of us our right then and there.

On the way back to the barracks my BC looked at me smiled and shook his head. "Piccolo, you can be downright dry," he said.

None of us ever heard another word about the incident although the Staff Sergeant that forgot to have us picked up got an ass chewing so monumental that it took three medics and 9 pressure bandages to stop the bleeding and 12 weeks to heal.

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, January 17, 2014

I was reading where the good people of Connecticut,

 in compliance with recently passed state law have registered 30,000 semi-automatic weapons. 

Big deal. Sounds like somewhere between 5 and 10% if you ask me. 

Those that believe that this is a good thing are gloating about it as being a great victory to make the state safer. I call it a pille of crap as far as safety goes. I also see there that there are a lot of recently made criminals in Connecticut these days as I'd venture that that's a very small percentage of those firearms in the Nutmeg State.

Just before the registration deadline the governor got out and grumbled and made noises and half-hearted threats at the low turnout for mandatory registration. 

Registering 30,000 firearms sounds like a big deal until you think about the other God know how many that went unregistered and as a result are now contraband. Likely ten times that.

It would be interesting to find out how many people in Connecticut that own several semi-autos just registered one or two out of a large collection as sort of a 'rabbit garden' to show the state that they were 'good honest citizens'. They likely just registered their junk.

I can picture the police doing their Public relations thing in front of the cameras. "Here's a  good citizen that registered his firearm!"

Yeah, right. The guy just registered a piece of junk. The good stuff is hiddden in his attic.

"Hey, look, people! This guy registered three!" Here's a fine member of the Nutmeg State doing his duty!"

Meanwhile the guy, a collector has registered his junk and has forty of them in a vault in his basement.

The police administrator is beaming while the working cops are looking at each other with dubious looks. Working cops are not stupid. They know what's going on. In the back of their minds thay know that somewhere between 5 and 10% of the firearms that are suppose to be registered are not and the law is pretty much being flouted.

Connecticut just created a humongous glut of contraband firearms with the stroke of the pen. Now all of the unregistered firearms in the state cannot be legally traded or sold through registered dealers. They can not be brought above ground so to speak. At least legally.

Of course, these firearms CAN and likely will still be bought and sold illegally. Most owners will hold onto them but as time passes a few will sell them. Some will be stolen and being contraband, the thefts will go unreported.

This means that they will now be sold and traded through underground deals. There will be no bills of sale, just a cash and carry form of trade. No sales taxes will be collected, nothing. Deals will be conducted the same way drug deals are. Cash carry and quietly.

Of course if you ask any of the owners of these unregistered firearms if they own them, it's likely that every one of them will swear on a stack of bibles that they are keeping them legally stored somewhere out of state. Either that or brace for an awful lot of tragic boating accidents and overturned canoes.

As in "No, officer. I was out canoeing and the canoe overturned and I lost all of my guns. It was tragic."

One of the things that has to be thought of before a government enacts a law is the liklihood of it being obeyed. It looks to me like the government of Connecticut didn't do their homework when they enacted that one.

Why were they stupid enough to enact such legislation when they just KNEW it would be ignored by most of the people effected? Did they think that the people were stupid enough to register something so that later on they can be confiscated?

The truth of the matter is that the 30,000 firearms registered sounds like a lot the Connecticut government has to hoot, holler and claim it as a victory because the governor would look pretty stupid standing there screaming crying and making empty threats to the majority of gun owners that just told the governor to kiss their asses.

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, January 16, 2014

One of the things that seem to bridge social and financial classes are hobbies.

I've seen it at places like Camp Perry and on some of the Sturgis specials I've seen.

Hobbies and passions seem to be where the common interests seem to transcend what are otherwise barriers. A person is then judged by what he puts into the hobby.

On one of the Sturgis type shows I've need some pretty well to do types treating a rough looking character with a lot of respect because of his ability to build, repair or design motorcycles.

I've seen the same at Camp Perry with gunsmiths and good shooters.

In the motorcycle community it was interesting to see some doctor type treating a gnarly looking guy like a god of some sort. The man probably doesn't have a whole lot of formal education, either.

Truth is, the richer guy is enamored by the man's ability to take a piece of steel and make it flow as he molds and sculpts it into a fender, gas tank or some other part. He knows he can't do that and likely wishes he could.

The same holds true in the shooting community where a talented gunsmith is held in esteem. There are an awful lot of top marksmen that can't do their own gunsmithing. These guys truly respect a good gunsmith.

There's a lot of mutual respect there and it is interesting to watch. Too bad things like this are not contagious.

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, January 15, 2014

Occasionally I get a post from somewhere else.

I'm a regular at a somewhat conservative website and every day I visit I run into interesting comments. I asked the commenters for the OK to post them here and they graciously agreed.

Here are two of them and I'll let them stand in their own right.

"Poverty" is a state of mind. People in poverty live on very little money, but more than you would expect.

They pay more for items they should pay less for. They spend much more than they can afford on luxury items, like tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs.

They have children they can't afford. They spend their children's shoe and coat money on spinner rims.

They live paycheck to paycheck...almost. They tend to always be in debt, but can't figure out why.

They feel it is NOT their fault, that society and "The Rich" somehow owe them something.

They have pride, but really have no reason to have pride.

I know people in poverty. I've been poor, but I've never been in poverty.

(Piccolo's note. I spent a decade living in Alaska in a string of campers, tents and finally for the last year or so, a 24'7" sailboat. I lived on a barter economy for the most part, caught or shot much of my own food.  I wasn't looked down on, either but by dealing with people fairly and pulling my own weight I was a fairly respected part of the community. While chronically unemployed by choice, I was never in poverty, either.)

Here's another comment:

Having skills is not enough today. There are plenty of college educated folks who are unemployed. I'm not talking just about liberal arts major but those skilled in engineering, carpentry, plumbing, small engine repair, lawyers, dental technicians, etc. Where jobs may be outsourced, they will be. Where they can't be outsourced, there is no consumer demand.

The problem is that we've moved from a production economy to a consumer economy and the consumer is broke (and yay free trade!). Those who are still employed are finding themselves increasingly taxed so as to support those on extended unemployment, FSA, those in public housing, etc. Like Piccolo said in his blog, it is unsustainable.

We are in a paradigm change. How we think, do things and expend our resources is all changing. The collapse has been here but has been hidden by EBTs (so no soup lines), propaganda (the recovery is fine) and distraction (Christy Kreme and his bridge closure, sports, Syria, so call Chinese militarization, etc.). The "suck" is upon us. Have your 3 Bs in order.

(Piccolo's note here. I disagree with a part of this. Many of the skilled people mentioned, engineers, plumbers, etc can almost always find jobs in this country. They may have to move or work away from home but they can't really be outsourced as the work they do is in the States. You can't outsource domestic construction or repairs.)


The American Military's Most-Trusted News Source is none other than 'The Duffel Blog'. The DB has been called "the Onion of the military" and sports one hell of a readership.

Almost all of my readers know that the DB touts itself as The American Military's Most Trusted News Source. Many are aware that they claim Gen. James 'Mad Dog' Mattis, USMC (Ret) as a regular reader.

Anyway, the other day on another post I attributed my source as "The American Military's Most Trusted News Source" and someone got upset about it.

If you have any questions about anything I post here, feel free to ask in the comments section. I have nothing to hide but will not embarrass people by using the names or addresses of private citizens.

Incidentally I consider the DB to be about as accurate as the mainstream media. As a veteran, many of their stories are entirely believeable. Yes, sometimes the military IS that screwed up.

I once posted this direct link to a DB post on my Facebook page.

Hilarity ensued. Several people read it commented that it was tasteless which in fact, it is. The best part is that a couple of them immediately forwarded the link in protesting letters to their congress critters.

When they found out they'd been had there were penalty markers out. My reply was that they should take it as a lesson in learning not to believe everything they read.

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, January 14, 2014

The other day I wrote about cellular phone coverage.

It wasn't long ago that cell phones were only capable of making basic "Hello, Joe. What do you know?"type of calls.

Next there was the ability of making text messages until the technology companies decided to add more capabilities to the things and hooked them up to the internet and then all hell broke loose with the various apps and other doo-dads and dohickeys that grace the now smart phones.

While I suppose there are a few people out there that use various features of these phones, I would imagine that the average person generally makes basic calls, sometimes texts and sends a friend or loved one an occasional picture.

That's about all I do with my phone even though I can access my email and do a bunch of other things. I would imagine there are a lot of people that do the same things I do with theirs.

These days I see a lot of young children running around with the latest cell technology that costs hundreds.

I will cheerfully admit that the kids today take to the modern technology like a duck does to water. A lot of kids know how to use just about every smart phone feature out there. I don't.

Still, this technology is pretty expensive and a lot of parents out there are sending their kids out the door with a lot of expensive technology the kids really don't need.

A parent I was talking to said their children have plans that run about $175/month, times four for each of their four kids. Adding the same $175 to both of the parents and you have a bill for $1050/month which is enough for a modest house payment in parts of the country.

It makes little sense to me, especially when the kids are older and could get off their asses and find a part time job to finance their own technology.

I suppose there are a lot of young people that wouldn't want me to be their dad because I wouldn't put up with a wholle lot of the demands kids seem to put on their parents these days.

If I deemed it a good idea to issue my children cellular communications they would likely get handed $20 basic cell phones and a limited phone/text only plan similar to the one Walmart sells for about $30/month. Good enough for the old man, good enough for them.

I see a lot of kids being handed a lot at an early age and it strikes me that they don't understand that things are not free.

On the other hand there's the kid across the street that is praying for snow because I hired him to keep the driveway clear for me when I am out of town. Neither Mrs. Pic nor I are spring chickens anymore.

A while back he wanted a $300 iPod or something and his dad told him to earn it. He promptly trooped over the Piccolo residence and said he was available for various jobs for a reasonable rate.

I have put him to work a few times and he does a pretty good job. He's a pretty good weeder and helped me out weeding last summer.

I don't know what else the kid has done but I heard he got his iPod, which is fine because he earned it.

A few times when the Mrs and I have been out of town he'd be guardian of the family cat and gets along pretty well with the little guy. My recon sources tell me he spends more time with the little guy than he bills me for which I sort of expected. Kids like that go the full mile.

It's going to be interesting in four or five years when he wants a car. Generally kids like that wind up on the road shortly after they get their license because they have learned frugality and the value of hard work.

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, January 13, 2014

The case of Nidal Hasan grows more and more interesting

He's presently incarcerated in Ft. Leavenworth now awaiting execution after being convicted by a courts-martial for killing 13 people at Fort Hood.

Word from the American Military's Most Trusted News source is that Hasan isn't going to be executed in the foreseeable future. There's an interesting administrative glitch that has put the execution on hold.

It seems that Nidal Hasan hasn't turned in his field gear.

When a soldier is assigned to a post he is generally issued field gear. This is generally the soldier's helmet, web gear, field jackets, camping gear etc.

When he is reassigned to another post he is expected to turn this gear back in before he clears post and leaves for either his next duty station or his discharge. Until he turns his gear in he is still assigned to that particular installation.

Seems Hasan didn't turn in his field gear and hasn't properly cleared post at Fort Hood. it looks like they can't execute him until he does.

There is a mechanism in the system that allows the person clearing post to pay for any lost, stolen or damaged government property. It is called a Statement of Charges. The cost of the missing field gear is deducted from a soldiers pay.

However, when the government dismissed Hasan from the service he forfeited all pay and allowances so he has no pay coming to deduct the cost of the missing field gear from.

This is nothing more or less than a classic military Catch-22.

They cannot execute Hasam until he pays for his missing gear and the army has seen fit to not to pay him so that he can. 

Anyone that has served will understand this diliemma instantly because they know just how formidable an army supply clerk is. If the equipment is not turned in then the clerk simply isn't going to stamp the paperwork and the soldier isn't going to clear post. It is as simple as that. 

Any former soldier can tell you that there is nobody in the service more formidable than an army supply clerk. Nobody. Most people do not believe this unless they have had to deal with one.

First sergeants that would cheerfully lead a bayonet charge into the face of tanks get very nervous stomachs thinking about having to deal with a supply clerk at Central Issue Facility. Their knees turn into jelly when they have to turn their field gear in.

The late General Norman Schwartzkoff mentioned that when he retired he felt quite intimidated by a young Sp/4 he had to deal with while outprocessing for his retirement. This is a very real situation.

It looks like Nidal Hasan is going to be with up a while sitting at Fort Leavenworth for an execution that doesn't look like is going to take place in the forseeable future.

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, January 12, 2014

So where does the money come from?

As usual someone mentioned to me that the government ought to do soething about some dopey thing or another and my reply was "Cool! You figure out where the money comes from and I'll support it!"

And as usual, he said the money ought to come fro the government and as usual I pointed out that the government doesn't have any money only to be treated to an incredulous look.

It is the truth. The United States government does not have one single dime of its own. It gets its money from the peope that go to work and pay taxes. It is not their money, it is our money and the damned governnment is doing a terrible job of mismanaging it. This country is in hock up to our ears and still people are trying to dream up social programs that will drive us deeper into debt.

The other day I read where about half of the families in this country are getting some sort of relief from the government in one form or another. It is unsustainable. I also read where close to half of the population pays no income tax.

This means that less than half the population is putting into the common pot and that about half that are not are taking out.

Do the math. This obviously doesn't work very well. It doesn't take a whole long time before a system like that implodes.

Truth is, I suppose it already has and we just haven't received the fallout yet. I'm sure it won't be long. 

Of course, the obvious answer to this is simply to raise taxes, which are pretty high already. Back in late '09 I bought a new pickup and figure it'll last me about 10 years. It isn't much of a truck, it's a 4 cylinder, 5 speed manual transmission and is as close to stripped because no truely stripped models were available due to the fact that the cash for clunkers (another gazillion dollar governmental failure) was going on and stripped, 4 cylinder models were unavailable.

Now I am driving a semi- basic truck that I bought for myself out of my wages which is all well and good but when I look at what I have paid in taxes over the past decade or more I have bought the government a brand new truck every single year, and one that is a whole lot better than the one I drive.

What's wrong with this picture?

Of course, there are those that think that maybe we ought to start taxing the various businesses in his nation of ours and that will solve the problem.

Fat chance. A number of them have already moved out of the country because other nations have offered them a lower tax rate. In addition to the corporate taxes that they now no longer pay to this country they have taken a boatload of jobs with them which compounds the problem because it puts more and more people on the already overworked system.

When you think about the face that the CEOs have a responsibility to the shareholders to return a profit, these moves make damned good financial sense. This has been common practice in the country for years. Corporations have headquartered themselves in states with the lowest corporate taxes for years. For quite a while the majority of tugboats hailed out of Wilmington, Delaware to escape taxation, but I guess now either Delaware has either started taxing them or their home ports have reduced taxes to bring them back.

Taxation kills things off, yet the people that insist that our social programs MUST be left in place have not realized that the more they tax the more of the tax base they kill off and the more they press  the fewer and fewer of us that are still remaining to cough up every April 15th.

At this rate it won't be long before the remaining few that are contributing are simply going to be told to turn their paychecks over, sign them and hand them in.

Right now a shipmate tells me that he has a neighbor that was working a pair of under the table jobs and just started collecting both food stamps and welfare. The guy is in his thirties and is in good health. When my shipmate heard about this he asked the guy if he was going to start saving a few bucks and get ahead.

Nope. The guy immediately quit both his jobs and headed right to the beer store.

Guess who is paying for him to sit on his ass by busting his? And when he pickles his liver, guess who will pay to have the doctors give him a new one?

You guessed it, guys like me. We're going to foot his bill, too because the poor guy drank himself silly and now can't take care of himself. Poor him.

Where does the money come from? Some damned fool has to get up and go to work and pay his taxes.

Anyone that pays their bills knows what a budget is and they know what happens when they go over budget for any length of time. Anyone that has ever had a checking account knows what happens when the money is no longer there in the bank and they continue to write checks.

Still, our beloved government has continued for an awful long time to write checks even though there is no money there to cover them. It looks like there is no end in sight.

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, January 11, 2014

Stolen from a website I frequent and Yahoo comments

The workplace is a vicious, cut-throat place full of sociopathic degenerates who in a different set of circumstances would be happily machine-gunning trenches full of Gypsies, Jews, and Homosexuals. 

Why do so many people out there worry so much about someone else's money?

A lot of people do.

If they worried about their own, everyone would be better off.


This is a comment that someone posted on a Yahoo story about Obamacare. Interesting.

I will have the most transparent administration in history.
I have Shovel ready jobs.
The IRS is not targeting anyone.
Benghazi was about a movie.
If I had a son.
I will put an end to the type of politics that "breeds division, conflict and cynicism".
You didn't build that.
I will restore trust in Government.
The cops acted stupidly.
I am not after your guns.
The Public Will Have 5 Days To Look At Every Bill That Lands On My Desk.
It's not my red line it is the worlds red line.
Whistle blowers will be protected.
We got back Every Dime we Used to Rescue the Banks, with interest.
I will close Gitmo.
I am not spying on American citizens.
ObamaCare will be good for America.
You can keep your family doctor.
Premiums will be lowered by $2500.
If you like your plan, you can keep it. Period. 
We'll put it on C-Span.
57 states.
Your taxes will not go up unless you make more than 250K a year.
I will cut the deficit in half in 3 1/2 years or this will be a one term proposition.
The recession is over.
I'm not an ideologue.
We will get to the bottom of this. 
I will not sign the NDAA bill.
Reverend Wright
Bill Ayers
no lobbyists in my administration. 
I'll go through the budget line by line.
Fast And Furious.
I've never met the uncle I used to live with.
I Barack Hussein Obama pledge to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.


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