Saturday, January 31, 2015


Today I will likely take the PRC 320 up the hill to test out the battery that I just got rebuilt.

We'll see how that goes

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Yesterday I broke out the heavy artillery

and fired up the snow blower.

I was in the garage and it surprised me when it fired up.

So I opened the door and simply started blowing the driveway clear and got about halfway done when a neighbor saw me and pointed out that I was blowing snow clad in jeans, a T-shirt and flop flops.

I wasn't cold until she pointed it out but as soon as she did, I realized it and put some shoes on and grabbed a jacket.

I guess that means I am from New England.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

It's OUR turn!

Every year New England towns would have an annual town meeting. Many still do. It is democracy in its purest form.

Every registered voter is eligible to attend and speak their piece. 

Issues are often hotly debated for hours and just about anything that involves raising taxes is voted down.

Over the years the first two things I do when I move someplace is get my driver's license changed and register to vote. 

Most Alaskan towns have a different system. They have the usual city council that meets and takes care of things. Often these meetings are open to the public and feedback is allowed.

At the time the town's fish canneries were generally manned by a hash of resident Filipinos, college students, transients and others that seemed to be just passing through. The long time locals, for the most part, seemed to have other sources of income.

Without these people the canneries wouldn't be manned and likely they would collapse putting a pretty good dent in the local economy which was fishing based.

I groveled in the canneries a couple of times but quickly found other sources of income. Surprisingly, they were legitimate.

A handful of people never understood that a big part of the transient population contributed to the good and well being of the town. They resented these scruffy characters because they generally lived in tents, campers, WW2 bunkers, or whatever they could manage. Rents then were atrociously high and housing was scarce.

I briefly lived in a bunker when I first arrived.

Anyway, there was a scheduled city council meeting and the word was that a certain old long time resident was going to go to demand that the city council order the police department run these people out because they were supposedly ruining the entire town. 

This guy was one of those self-appointed city fathers that was in reality nothing more than a stuffy old windbag. He did have a sizable chunk of money and likely knew where a couple of bodies were buried but they had probably decomposed by now.

I knew the guy and he knew who I was. He had offered me some work but didn't want to pay for it so I had told him to shove it.

Anyway, I decided to attend the open meeting because I wanted to listen to the old bastard rant and rave. I also wanted to point out that the transients were a pretty good part of why the town was successful.

I had done some work for a couple of the members of the board and they knew who I was and was respected as a person that paid his own way. I caused no real trouble to speak of and was  accepted as a part of the community.

Anyway, the old timer got up there and started his rant. He had just gotten a few seconds worth off when he spotted me, pointed at me, stopped and turned to the council. "What's he doing here?" he demanded.

One of the councilmen conversationally said, "Mr. Piccolo is a registered voter and a part of the community. He has every right to be here."

"Hmmph." he said, giving me an angry glare and continued his rant. He carried on about how the transients were the ruination of the town for several minutes and went on and on. As he ended he did a particularly mean thing. He singled me out.

"Well, Piccolo, what do you think of that?"

"You're just jealous because I get more pu$$y than you!" I shot back.

There was a brief silence as everyone went agape and let it sink in. Then the place exploded with outrageous laughter.

The old goat turned to the city council and demanded I get thrown out. The secretary answered, "He's probably right. He stays!"

About this time Jinka shouted out, "And he's probably going to get some from me tonight if he plays his cards right! Pic! Meet me at the Ship's Wheel after the meeting!"

Jinka was a fisherman's widow that was a long time resident. She was college educated, very active in the community and well respected. Generally she was pretty cool, calm and collected but on very rare occasions she would let fly with an outrageous outburst. When she did it was generally a real corker.

The old man stood there in the face of laughter from the entire town and stormed out in humiliation as laughter and chaos reigned. It took about twenty minutes to bring things back to order.

For the rest of the meeting the city councilmen would look at me, smirk and shake their heads in amusement.

As the meeting was breaking up a longtime resident stopped me. "He's pretty vindictive," he said. "And he's got the ear of the chief of police."

A voice interrupted. It was one of the councilmen. "We've already had a quiet word over that," he said. "We'll have a quiet word with the chief." He turned to me. "This is NOT a get out of jail free card. You are expected to at least try and behave yourself. Try not to start a major brawl, rob the bank or hack anybody up. Do you take my point?"

"Yes, Sir," I replied.

I left the meeting and went out into the street and stuck out my thumb. The first person passing by stopped. "Headed to the Ship's Wheel?" laughed the driver.

"Damned right!" I replied.

When I walked in the bartender took one look and uncapped a Rainier beer and handed it to me. "On me," he said. 

I looked at the bar and there was Jinka with an empty seat next to her that I instantly took.

This was an important turning point in my life. It was when I finally decided that enough was enough and from there on in I refused to be intimidated by self-appointed jerks. Or even elected officials, for that matter.

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 28, 2015

You're never going to get anywhere if you don't.....

is how a lot of lectures I have received started.

"You're never going to get anywhere if you don't stop playing around with boat and buckle down with a career," is one I heard several times.

I would always snap back at my accuser, "Where am I going? When it's all over and done with we're both going to wind up in the same place."

Anyway, I didn't start my career until I was damned near 40 and inside of ten years my home and cars were paid off.

I'll bet a lot of my detractors were still paying off theirs while I was sitting in Fat City.

To top that I have a whole lot of neat adventures to look back on.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mob guys and other fools.

One of the things I notice about criminal types is that they always seem to stay put. I have never figured it out. They don't leave the area.

They do something that either draws police heat or gets the mob after then and they wind up being picked up or whacked  in the same area they got into trouble in to begin with.

I can't figure it out.

If I were in, say, New York and got either the police or the mob after me I'd be out of New York like a shot. Maybe move west somewhere and start over.

Yet you seldom if ever hear about anyone doing that. They always seem to want to hang around the neighborhood and either get arrested or gunned down.

I suppose these days they can track you down on line etc. unless you can get into the Witness Protection program. Still, the least you can do is give them a run for their money. For one thing you have to remember about the mob and most city police departments and that's that they seldom if ever leave the pavement.

If you can get into a remote area somewhere and stay mum you at least have a chance of surviving.

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 26, 2015

Women can't sew or cook anymore... or so it seems.

I went to Target to buy a certain kind of thread and the entire sewing section was about 3 feet by 3 feet if that. They didn't have a whole lot. I got curious and asked the woman in the aisle that was stocking a shelf what the deal was. Why such a small section?

The clerk had a pretty good sense of being able to read people and she read me by the look on my face.

She said dryly that although women didn't know how to darn a sock, they were pretty good at whipping out the plastic and buying another pair. Sounds about right in this day and age.

She reported to me that about 60% of the people that bought stuff off of that section looked like they were single men. I wasn't too surprised to hear that.


I'm on a first name basis with a couple of the deli clerks in the supermarket next to the Target. A while back we had a brief discussion about the number of women that feed their families straight out of the deli and prepared foods section.

He told me he was convinced there were a lot of women out there that couldn't even cook a basic meal.

This really doesn't surprise me a whole lot as I have seen a lot of things change over the last 63 years. The changes in American womanhood are one of these changes.

Still, I wonder about the future because it seems we are losing basic skills and becoming dependent on others to take care of us. 

Many men are no prize, either. There are a lot of guys out there that can't even change a tire and that's nothing less than a disgrace. There is nothing that I hold in contempt more than an incompetent male.

I suppose that there are changing roles in between the sexes for any number of reasons but there is no excuse whatsoever for not being able to cook a meal or sew up a torn jacket.

As I write this I just recalled that some of the best housekeepers I have ever met are co-workers on the boats and guys I have fished with. At sea there is a sort of rivalry between men as to who the best cook is. In addition to that, I have never seen anyone like a fisherman that can sew up a torn set of raingear so it won't leak.

Granted, the fisherman may be using dental floss for thread and shoe goo as a sealer but when he is done generally the job is a piece of art.

I suppose that as time passes we will keep getting more and more dependent on The Big Machine out there to take care of our basic needs.

While that may sound good to some, it is a double edged sword that can swing back on someone. When we get too dependent the providers then have us at their mercy and can likely get away with charging us what they want.

I suppose when that happens there might be a rebirth of people learning cooking skills but I don't see that one coming into play in the near 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 25, 2015

I'm gonna go it ALONE!

Yeah, right. Who are you $hittin'? It sure as hell ain't me.

I saw on some internet board the bright idea of some survivalist with a bunker somewhere in Outer Slobovia that has plans to hole up there alone in the case of TEOTWAWKI.

TEOTWAWKI stands for The End Of The World As We Know It. 

So this clown is going to hole up in his bunker with a bunch of food, gasoline, ammunition, medical stuff, and so on and wait the big collapse out.

Yeah, right. 

You have to sleep sometime and when he does someone will just take his stuff away from him. Bang. One shot fired, done and over with. Drag the body out and toss it somewhere to feed the buzzards. They gotta eat, too.

Over the years I have done a couple of interesting things that were fairly independent. I spent 14 months in a tipi in the Rockies and I've done some singlehanded sailing.

One thing it produced was a bunch of hot air on the part of other people that wanted to tell me how independent and free I was and so on ad nauseum.

Nothing was further from the truth.

It reminded me of all the people that gush over the pilots when the Blue Angels show up at an air show. 

I remember back in the early sixties when my dad took us to an air show and we got to meet the pilots. My dad said "Son, hotshot pilots are a dime a dozen. Let's meet the real brains and brawn of this operation."

The pilots grinned broadly when he said that and one of them said, "Your dad is right." Then he turned and shouted, "Hey, Smitty! Come on over! You and the guys have some fans here!"

Dad had been a WW2 flyboy of the propeller age and wasn't too familiar with jets but that was OK. He stood there and had an interesting chat with the guys on the ground crew much to the amusement and appreciation of the pilots. The pilots knew that they were only as good as their ground support. It was obvious that they appreciated dad giving them their fair share of the credit.

When I moved into my tipi back in the mid 70s I did erect it myself and I did live in it myself. Still, there were a lot of other people involved that probably never even knew who I was.

Someone at the tent company built the tipi and someone shipped it. People made the canvas and so on.

I wasn't alone. 

My axe, rifle and other goods required people get up and go to work to make them so I could have them. 

God knows how many unseen and unheard of people were involved in that 14 months I spent in the Rockies.  

We really don't do a whole lot of things alone when you think about 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

Saturday, January 24, 2015

this is my new wallpaper

I find it to be very kind to my eyes and it reminds me of simpler days. This picture has a very calming effect on me.  

Left click on it and see it in a larger size. This little picture doesn't do it justice.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

eBay bids.

Someone asked me where I got a power supply for my 2 meter rig and I told them I got it on eBay which I did. I paid $25 for it. Shipped.

They were astonished that I got it at that price.

The reason I got it so cheap is because the seller had mispelled the word 'supply'. He had put down 'suppy' instead.

When I saw that there were thousands of power supplies to choose from I started cruising through different mispellings and found several. One fit my needs so I bid on it and got it for peanuts.

Normally when I see something I want I figure out how badly I want it and then toss out a bid and forget about it. Either I get it or I don't. I'm not stupid enough to get into an emotionally charged bidding war and wind up buying something used for three times its new retail price like some people do.

I recall reading about a bidding war that ended with someone coughing up over $400 for a rifle sling that sold in the surplus market for about $6.

You can easily let yourself get taken to the cleaners on eBay if you let your emotions get in the way. It's not a hard thing to do. Sometimes it is insidious. You just keep upping your bid a buck or two at a time as things climb and then before you realize it you've overpaid for something. You can't balme anyone because you did it to yourself.

I always wondered if someone has tried to sue them because they overpaid for something. My best guesss is probably so. I can see some whiny little hippie babbling that they overpaid and it's eBays fault. Screw that. Dumbass. He did it to himself.

As I sit here I see a couple of items that I have bid on that I won't get. Someone else has topped my bid. It's gone and that's the way it is. Too bad. I'm not getting into the bidding war. I'm not stupid.

I am getting ready to post this and I have had another offer declined. I'm not too worried about it.

Still, every once in a while you can get a pretty good deal on things on eBay if you're patient and careful.

Incidentally the season of eBay deals has passed. Generally you can do pretty well between Thanksgiving and New Year's as people divert funds from stuff they might simply want and put the money toward Christmas presents.

Something to remember next holiday season.

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 22, 2015

I suppose I'm going to get slain for this but that's too damned bad.

I just got an email from a friend that commented on the racial situation in this country. For what it is worth this man works and plays with a number of blacks. He's not a Klansman type.

It seems to me that these days that when blacks accuse whites of keeping them down they are spouting off a lot of crap left over from the 60s.

The truth is that not a whole lot of people want to keep the black man down. If for no other reason, it's just too damned expensive. They want people to succeed.

One of the very few things the failed Great Society programs did was to put many blacks in the golden handcuffs of the governmental welfare system. This means that it costs the average guy money come tax time.

The average guy is sick and tired of shelling out his hard earned cash to Uncle Sam to support those that won't support themselves and would really like to see everyone start taking care of themselves.

It really is that simple.

While there is no shortage of non-blacks on the governmental assistance rolls, it does occur to me that the percentages in the black community are pretty high.

Most people in this country simply wish these people would start supporting themselves.

A big part of the problem actually lies with the black man keeping himself down. It's crab syndrome. When you put a crab in a tub he will try and escape. He very well may unless you throw another crab into the tub. Then the crab that is escaping will be pulled back into the tub by the other crab.

Same seems to hold true in the urban black community. Some of this is done by gang recruiting. A lot of youngsters seem to get dragged into the local gang and sucked down the tubes by this. Many of them never really have a chance. It's sad.

Of course, the gang isn't going to support them trying to get ahead in anything but the gang. The last thing they want is their membership to start heading out into the straight world.

Another thing is that it has been 40 or so years since the LBJ Great Society programs have been enacted and that has given people an awful lot of time to get used to things. That's about three generations of dependency.

Add the support to the dependency being thrown at the black community by the professional race baiters (Al Sharpton etc.) and you have more support for not even trying to be successful.

Incidentally, this dependency is not strictly a black thing. There are a lot of whites that fit this bill.

Still, what I am paying attention to in this post is the black community. That was the subject of the email I received and am addressing now.

The truth of the matter is that in a most cases it isn't the white man keeping blacks down. It is quite often a case of blacks being their own worst enemy and keeping themselves down. 

Incidentally, don't expect me to shoulder any of the blame on this. I have spent my entire life believing that Dr. King was right when he said he was looking for a day when a man would not by judged by the color of his skin, but by the content of his 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, January 21, 2015

I remember the time we had a Russian ship

 pull into Kodiak for some reason or another. It turned into a pretty good party if I recall.

I believe that this was before the Berlin Wall was torn down but I may be wrong.

Still, I remember that there was a political officer of some sort that was wandering through the bars watching and listening to the guys off of his ship. He was a real wet blanket because when he walked in the Russian sailors got pretty quiet pretty fast.

Along came a certain somebody that befriended the guy and somehow managed to get a couple of drinks into him and relax him enough to drop his guard. That seemed to be all it took. I don't know what he did to the guy but he passed out and was left on the dock at the end of the Russian ship's  gangway. That's when things in the bars began to cook.

Work of the political officer being taken out of the equation really got things cooking. Word went through the Russian sailors ashore like wildfire. Let the party begin!

I like the retelling of the tale because as it got retold time and again I believe the story grew to where they took the passed out officer somewhere and tattooed the Stars and Stripes on his chest.

Then again maybe they DID tattoo the bastard! I don't know. I always hoped they did.

Still, I remember I had nothing special to do that day and enjoyed having a couple with a bunch of Rooski sailors. It was a lot of fun.

If I recall the Russians started running out of money quickly as they didn't get paid nearly as much as we did. That didn't slow things down much. The fishing fleet was in and they were flush and had plenty of cash to blow on a good party.

The truth is that I'd bet that the fishermen of the Kodiak fleet did more for grass roots international relations in a day than anyone in Foggy Bottom could in months. I'm sure the Russian sailors had a blast.

I kind of liked those guys. They were all right as far as I could see. Then again sailors are all cut from the same cloth.

Now that I think about it we'd all be a whole lot better off if we were more careful about who we let run our countries. Generally it's governments that start all this crap in the first place.

Maybe we ought to elect drunken sailors to public office. After all, unlike the present breed of elected officials, drunken sailors stop spending money whenn they run out of 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

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Oh, yes. I go there for lunch.

Today a shipmate traced a package he is having delivered and it seemed that the post office couldn't find the address so they were in the process of sending it back.

He called the post office nearest his home and I got to listen to a real interesting conversation that confirms that you can't fix stupid.

He asked the postal woman why they couldn't find the address and she said it wasn't to be found in the area so it must not exist. It is a marina behind a restaurant. In fact it is owned by the rstaurant and they share the same address. They went round and round and I was listening because he had put the call on speakerphone for my listening pleasure.

"Ma'am, there is a restaurant about a half-mile from your post office called the Such and such," he said.

"I know, I eat lunch there," she replied.

"So how about the next time you go there for lunch you bring my package and drop it off with the marina office behind the place?" he asked.

"Uh, uh...I guess I could do that," she said. She sounded pretty embarrassed.

Sometimes I wonder about the post office.

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 19, 2015

One of the things I can't figure out

 is why people think that laws will protect them.

Every time I hear someone say something is against the law my mind flashes to a scene on The Bridge on the River Kwai. Colonel Nicholson holds a copy of the Geneva Convention up and Colinel Saito knocks it out of his hand and smacks him.

Of course, Colonel Nicholson has no way of enforcing the rules because he is an unarmed prisonor of war. Colonel Saito is in the driver's seat because he has control of the armed guards.

The truth is that the laws enacted for our protection are not even worth the paper they are printed on because the person in power, often a criminal-government or civilian, is the one calling the shots.

A lot of laws are often flouted by otherwise law abiding citizens. The (so-called) assault rifle registration law in Connecticut is one example. Over 90% of the owners simply ignored the law and refused to register their arms. Can't say as I blame them. I most likely wouldn't have, either.

Prior to the legalization of abortion an awful lot of pregnant women terminated their pregnancies through illegal and secret means. 

Illegal distilleries have been out there since Day One and today they flourish to the point where they are the subject of several reality TV shows. Moonshiners continue to be the heroes and the revenooers are hooted and jeered.

Yet in most cases, the moon shiners generally obey the rest of the laws they encounter. I would imagine few are robbers, burglars, or murderers. They simply flout the laws regarding the manufacture of spirits. 

I'll admit that while I certainly don't make illegal spirits because I'm too lazy, I have sampled a taste of moonshine. I suppose that makes me as bad as the 'shiners because I'm part of the reason they exist. I give them a reason to make it.

Personally, I'll flat out say that I'm an outlaw. I only obey the laws that I see are fair and reasonable. I consider myself a fairly moral person and don't seem to be in a whole lot of trouble so it seems to work for me. I do NOT consider myself to be a criminal. There IS a difference.

The drug laws in this country are a prime example of laws that are routinely flouted. Hell, there are a lot of citizens that harp constantly against drug abuse that are guilty of breaking drug laws. So are many members of the law enforcement community. 

Got a prescription over 6 months out of date in the medecine cabinet? You're in violation.

The truth is that the system of laws we have really doesn't work very well. The government enacts a law and those that choose to obey it do and those that don't flout it. About all that can be done is that the authorities pick up the pieces after all is over and done with. The law has been broken, the damage has been done.

The truth is that decent, responsible people don't need laws. They behave themselves and cause the reat of us little if any trouble. 

Irresponsible people don't obey laws, anyway so the laws don't do a whole lot of good to regulate their behavior.

Of course, when a bad law is enacted you can bet your ass that the responsible people ignore it along with the criminal element. Bad laws simply create criminals out of responsible people.

Good people don't need laws and bad people don't follow them.

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 18, 2015

On one show Bart Simpson flushed a cherry bomb down the toilet

Columns of water came out of the adjacent toilets and lifted a couple of people up off the throne.

Back in my day I do not think that there was a normal school in the country that hadn't had a cherry bomb flushed down a toilet. It is a All-American guy kind of thing.

I never did do this myself because another guy that was a fellow altar boy beat me to it. 

Anyway, Mythbusters is seeing if it is possible to do what the cartoonists on the Simpsons did several episodes ago. You will shoot water out of several adjacent toilets if you flush the cherry bomb down and get it into the pipeline.

If course you will not shoot an enormous column of water up but you will shoot the water in the bowls all over the place and will likely shatter them. Mythbusters shattered the toilets as did my fellow altar boy friend back around '65.

THis is one subject that is kind of like the Three Stooges, or the Tarzan Yell. It's a guy thing. I used to have the Tarzan yell on my cell as a ringtone. When I got a call in mixed company, women would look confused. Guys started looking around to see which direction the elephants were going to come from.

Of course, it the Stooges come on the TV, the women start to roll their eyes and the guys start doing Curley imitations.

The same holds true for cherry bombs flushed down the toilet. Women will roll their eyes and guys will be fascinated and wonder how badly the plumbing will fare.

Anyway, a cherry bomb down a toilet on Mythbusters is pretty sure to capture the minds of American males everywhere. We are guys and like stupid stuff like 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

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Over the years we change.

Back in the summer of '70 I was on the road and made 2 rock festivals. One was the Powder Ridge festival in Connecticut and the other was the Strawberry Fields festival in Mosport Raceway north ot Toronto.

Powder Ridge was a mess and to a point so was the Strawberry Fields festival. 

At the time I felt a need to be in on the action so I volunteered to help out in the medic tents. There was little there that was actual first aid as one thinks of it. However, there were a lot of mind altering drugs going around as I'm sure most of us are aware of. A lot of users were not cut out for these drugs and a lot of bad trips were the result.

At Powder Ridge I got pretty good at handling someone reeling out of their head and was considered a pretty good hand. I saw every sunrise and sunset, sleeping in the mornings in a corner of the trip tent.

When I was spotted at the Strawberry Fields fest by someone I had met at Powder Ridge I got drafted and did it all over again.

At the Strawberry Fields festival I began to wonder why I was wasting my time on some of the people because they didn't learn. They'd eat acid, flip out, people would bust their asses to bring them down and they would do the same damned thing a day or two later.

I guess some people can handle it, some can't. My attitude got to be that if you can't handle something stay away from it. It got aggravating seeing someone return to the trip tent reeling out of their gourds seeing who knows what in terrifying hallucinations while screaming theri lungs out.

I won't get into the details but it made me think that there is a difference between being kind and helpful and being stupid. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!

Anyway, the following fall I was sleeping at home as I hadn't left yet. I had turned in early. That night a van pulled up in the driveway and a friend of mine simply walked into my room and shook me awake.

"Timmy ate some acid and is flipping out in my van," he said. "What should we do?"

I put on my pants, pulled on a shirt and stepped into a pair of mocs and headed downstairs. My mother had heard something and met me in the kitchen.

"What's going on?" she asked.

"Nothing to worry about," I replied. "Some kid got a bad hit of LSD and I'm going to try and settle him down."

"Take him to the hospital," said Ma. "I can hear him scream from here."

"Last thing we want to do," I said. "They'll just club him senseless with thorazine and call the police. I'm leaving. I'll be back."

Mom paled. "How long will you be gone?" she asked.

"Between a half-hour and 8 or 10 hours," I replied. " Depends. Don't worry, I know what I'm doing."

We left, hit the road and if I recall it didn't take long to get him settled down. We took him somewhere with a bunch of lights and got him to walk around and he started looking at the lights and his demons went away. 

A couple days later I went looking for him and found him downtown. When we met he profusely thanked me for helping him out. I listened to all the grateful crap and accepted his offer of a slice of pizza.

Then it was my turn and I told him that I didn't mind helping out a guy that was in a bad way. However, because he had discovered that acid brought out his demons that he had best avoid in in the future. Furthermore, there was no way in hell I was going to help him out in the future if he decided to continue down the road with LSD. The reason is because if he hadn't learned the other night he wasn't going to learn and I had no time for someone that didn't have any sense.

He looked a little shocked when I said that and I got up and left. I never heard if he took my advice or not because I started to avoid the people around me that were into psychedelics and hard drugs.

I'm glad I did.

Still, that was about the time I stopped wasting my time on people that were going through life doing stupid things just to be cool.

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 16, 2015

I have an old friend from high school that took an alternate route.

 He was voted most likely to succeed by our graduating class, and also if I recall correctly, he was best dressed.

He's a micro dairy farmer in Vermont these days.

He dropped out of college and did a few things here and there and likely got caught up in the times and looked into the back to the earth movement that was big back in the 60s and 70s.

The movement didn't really go anywhere because much of it was was based on ideas, many of them half baked. Just about every hippie thing that came along had a lot of ideas but no nuts and bolts solidity behind it.

I recall one of the few things I saw hippies do that actually worked. It was a kitchen at the Powder Ridge mucic festival and to me it looked like it was run by a couple of engineering-type dropouts.

They did it by using methods used by commercial food and military food services and the guys running it were disciplined. Funny that for a group of hippies to get something to work they had to use methods developed by the Establishment that the so hated.

Right now there are a lot of micro breweries and people are aware of them. There are also a number of micro dairies that are out there that are likely known only to their customers.

These little micro dairies basically produce milk and maybe a few milk products. They are not big commercial dairies like the Mennonite guy I met owns. The Mennonite  has well over 100 cows and basically milks them with a robot of some sort.

My friend has four cows and I believe he uses a milking machine of some sort and has whatever it takes to process basic milk. He also runs a company selling equipment for micro dairies.

I think, but may be wrong, that he was part of the back to earth movement in the early 70s and decided to get real about it. He decided to give it a go and produce milk in smaller quantities than the bigger commercial farms by feeding his cows basic grass and not using antibiotics or anything artificial.

There's something to be said for this besides the quality of the milk he produces. I don't want to get into that as I am basically uncivilized and drink milk that I get at the supermarket. I'm pretty happy with that.

The thing that interests me is that he actually decided to make a viable little part time business out of it. It takes a lot of work to run something like this. The cows have to be milked on schedule and taken care of. This means getting up in the morning and putting on your work clothes seven days a week. Cows don't stop producing milk on weekends and must be milked.

I'm sure he has to deal with customers and collect money for his milk because if he didn't he would not have a micro dairy. Sad as it is, things like this have to at least break even. You can't run a small business on good vibes, peace, love and flowers. You need cash.

It's a nuts and bolts business even if it is small. There are machines that need to be taken care of and maintained. He has to have a barn and probably some sort of office to keep things organized.

There are bills to pay and he has to collect from his customers just like any other business.

There are problems to deal with such as ground hogs tearing a field up. They dig holes and a cow stepping into one can become crippled. Vetinarian bills are an expense as is replacing a cow.

The average hippie will babble on about how the ground hog needs a place to live. So will my friend, most likely but you can be pretty sure he wants the ground hogs to live somewhere else. If they don't they are likely to be removed one way or another.

I think that he's managed to enter capitalism on his own terms. I know that there are a lot of things I have entered on my terms so I do understand the way he's playing the game. I respect him for that.

He took his hippie type values, sifted through and added a dose of reality and hard work to it and has what he wants out of life.

Of course, some people just don't seem to get it. They ask him why the guy voted most likely to succeed didn't become a big shot lawyer or investment banker instead of a micro dairy farmer in Vermont.

What these people fail to realize is that he did succeed. He's living his dream and has had a good, long marriage and raised a couple kids and is doing what he wants.

If that isn't success, I don't know what is.

Of course, it's no surprise he ended up this way because after all, he was voted most likely to succeed back in high school.

Then again sometimes those high school senior superlatives don't live up to their expectations. After all, he was voted as best dressed. However, dairy farmers are not known for stylish three piece suits. Maybe we should have picked someone else for best dressed.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Busy today

which sucks, but it is what it is.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I posted a picture on Facebook

 of myself in Old School flight clothing standing in front of the Stearman I rented a couple of years ago. I labeled the picture as being taken in 1933 after Jimmy Cox and I shot an oversized ape off of the Empire State Building.

You watch. Someone's going to get indignant and call BS over it and make a big deal over it. Of course it's BS. I'm not 108 years old. 

A few years back on another website I made a comment about charging up San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt and someone accused me of all sorts of things. Of course, it simply showed me he couldn't count. I would have had to have been 129 years old at the time. This takes into account that I claimed to heve enlisted at 16 using someone else's birth records.

One of my admirers was pretty quick. He took the famous picture of Teddy and the Rough Riders standing on top of the hill and put an arrow aimed at the hat of one of the guys. His face wasn't exposed, only his hat. He labeled the arrow "Piccolo". I'll be damned if I didn't get a letter of apology from my accuser.

Come on people! You have to at least think!

I have a scar on my torso and a couple of years back when I was taking off a sweatshirt my T-shirt rode up and exposed it. The guy that saw it asked me about it and I told him I caught a Japanese bayonet at Tarawa. As I told the guy this I winked at an old timer on the other side of me that had fought in the Pacific.  He picked up on it and smirked.

The battle had been fought 8 years before I was born. I would have had to have been 26 years older to have been there.

The guy asked me if I'd be willing to tell his son's history class about fighting the Japanese Empire. In return I asked him to guess my age which he did fairly accurately. Then I asked him if he could count.

He looked foolish for a second and shook his head.

I looked at the Pacific vet and said, "Guess I'm going to have to back it up to going over the top with Black Jack Pershing!" 

He laughed. "Go back to Teddy Roosevelt," he said.

"Yeah, I suppose," I said. "If they want to think I'm 135 years old, that's on them."

Anyway, we'll see what happens. Someone's bound to question the picture and if they do I'll figure out a reply.

This ought to be good. Most likely I'll drag Fay Wray into it as she is STILL the all time scream queen.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

One of the most under rated medals

 a GI can be awarded is the Good Conduct medal.

I was awarded one. It was awarded to me for three years of highly disciplined conduct.

I went for three consecutive years without strangling anyone and there were a lot of people I met that truly deserved it. 

The time I think I truly deserved it was when I had to be a 'safety NCO' at the grenade range. After the guys in out battery did our thing, someone decided it would be a good idea to let this group of nurses throw a couple.

The one in my pit dropped hers and I kicked it into the sump, grabbed her and threw her out of the pit and followed her, landing on top of her looking quite heroic. The truth is I was starting to roll her on top of me when the damned thing went off. 

During this-- I don't remember it-- I guess I used a bit of government issue profanity and the BnCo heard it.

He wanted to bust me!

The fact that I didn't grab another grenade, yank the pin and stuff it down his shirt is enough reason to say that I truly earned the medal.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

This post is dedicated to my aunt Pat

For my entire life I have constantly been running into people that try and tell me what I have to do and not do. It's been ridiculous.

"If you want to become someone and have a good job you have to get a degree" was one I heard for years. I'm 63 and still don't have one yet I am a licensed US Merchant Marine officer. I consider the license to be my degree.

My favorite is the old 'You'll never get anywhere if you don't do such and such' line I have heard a lot over the years.

Where was I going to begin with?

My favorite time I heard this line was when someone told me I'd never get anywhere if I continued messing around with a sailboat I bought. The conversation was pretty memorable.

"You're never going to get anywhere if you just waste your time sailing,"

"Yes, I will," I replied. "I'll get to Kodiak because that's where I'm going. I'll get there."

"Yeah, but you'll be there with a bunch of fishermen and other offbeat people that never get anywhere."

"Will you be there?" I asked.

"Of course not!"

"That's reason enough for me," I said. "You are going to stay here and when I get to Kodiak I will be surrounded by people that didn't stay here and lead a boring life doing the same old thing."

A few days after that I did set sail for Kodiak and after a long, enjoyable trip I arrived there. I got somewhere. I got to Kodiak. It is where I had wanted to go in the first place. 

The person that said that to me stayed put. I got somewhere and they didn't. As was generally the case.

I think I'm going to dedicate this post to my Aunt Pat.

Back when I was fishing in Alaska and adventuring all over hell I visited her. Her kids were all in good colleges and have all done well in their own right. I dropped in on her and she always had a snort of a bottle of Johnny Walker Black for me. 

My aunt encouraged me and defended me during those years.  She was the one that said to my mother, "For God's sake, leave him alone! At least he's doing something interesting with his life!"

She was the one that never told me what I had to do to be happy or successful. She knew I'd figure it out on my own. 

Yeah. Here's to my Aunt Pat.

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

I just read where a guy by the name of Brian Banks

 was released after spending jail time for a false rape accusation. He's a football player.

Apparently his accuser admitted the charges were bogus and he was exonorated.

What I would like to know is where the hue and cry of the feminists are? After all, fair is fair and things like this only go to make things look bad for honest victims.

Banks had a football career truly damaged by these false accusations and spent time in jail for something he didn't do. 

Policeman have said for years that most rapes go unreported and that an awful lot of reported rapes are not rapes at all. I'm not a policeman but I'll take their word for it.

Woman don't report rapes because they feel like they are going to be treated like criminals and I can't say as I blame them. It's probably like having to go through the ordeal over again several times during interviews with police and prosecuters. I can see where someone would not want to go through all of that.

A big part of the reason woman go through this type of grilling while trying to report a rape is because of the number of false allegations made by other woman. The police and prosecuters have to hammer the woman reporting the crime in an effort to weed out the false accusations.

Several years ago I listened to a guy that was a juror on a rape trial. He had something interesting to say after the trial was over. He said that clearly something had happened that wasn't really right but whatever happened wasn't actually a rape. 

A few months later another juror commented that to her it seemed more like a case of buyer's remorse than anything else.

You hear women complain loudly about being treated like criminals when the report a sexual assault. Yet you hear crickets when you ask why more women are not up in arms over false accusations.

Sexual assaults are no joke They are serious business and those that commit that crime deserve to do serious time. Women have screamed out demanding justice and rightfully so.

What they have not seemed to do is scream out for true justice and demanded that the women that falsely accuse someone of these crimes get prosecuted.

Truth is that until women start policing their own ranks they are not likely to see a whole lot of change. In order to see change woman are going to have to get involved and condemn those that abuse the criminal justice system with false accusations.

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

The other day I

 made a comment on a website and got a few people upset, most likely because I didn't explain myself.

There was an article hotlinked about a parent throwing his young child off a bridge. I didn't bother even opening the article because I have read too many articles like that and they are too damned depressing.

I've read too many sick stories in my life and to be honest, they continue to make me sick at heart. It reminds me of how awful human beings can be.

After I read something like that I have to find something upbeat to read like about how some kid won a science award or some cop, GI, fireman or maybe ordinary guy  did something decent above and beyond the call of duty. If I don't I'll be in a mean funk for days.

My comment was that the kid should have eaten his vegetables. A lot of people were upset at the gallows humor.

Truth of it is that most likely the kid did nothing but act like a child and the parent couldn't handle it and dear old dad simply threw the kid off a bridge. Things like this  happen more often than one thinks, as sad as it is.

Generally crying is the thing that sends a new parent over the edge. Over the years I have read that parents that murder young children claim they couldn't stand the crying. At least that's the most common excuse I seem to read about. Dirty diapers as a lame excuse is a distant second.

I have sometimes wryly stated that a person ought to have to be licensed to reproduce. Although it isn't necessarily true, it does have a kernel of truth to it. There are a lot of people out there that should just plain be sterilized so they can't have any children.

My guess is that this was just another case of an immature person that entered fatherhood with no idea of what he was in for. He probably had no clue as to what he was in for. Reality stepped in and he simply rejected it and the fastest way out of dealing with the child was to toss it over the side.

Hospitals, police and fire stations are generally safe havens for unwanted children. While I have little respect for those that decide they don't want to be parents anymore, I have to say that dropping an unwanted child off in a safe haven is probably going to come to a happier ending.

The kid is more likely to be adopted by a loving couple that will do a better job of raising it than a couple that doesn't want the kid to begin with. Even foster care is generally better than being raised by parents that don't want to be responsible.

If course he will likely either wind up in a mental institution or jail and he deserves to. There is no real excuse for this kind of thing. Anyone that would do something like this doesn't deserve to be allowed to run around and walk the streets.

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Warming up a bit

Once I get caught up with my inside stuff maybe I'll do some outside work. We'll see.

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A day of cold weather.

I'm gettin' too old for this $hit.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

One of the rules

 of being an Anchor Bar patron is that it was not considered good form to try and cheat the bartender. That was considered fair as he was an hourly employee and had no vested interest in the joint.

The owner rarely tended bar but when he did he was considered fair game. 

Of course you couldn't out and out steal from him or rob the joint but con games were considered within the rules.

Of course he had run the joint for years and knew all the tricks and people seldom tried to con the old guy. He was a WW2 era vet and had a dry sense of humor regarding his military service. He used to tell us that he had to work hard at getting out of the Air Force the same rank he had when he entered. He was actually quite proud of this.

"Do you know hard that is?" he would ask another vet. "Everybody's aleays trying to promote you and you have to work overtime to find things to do to keep them from promoting you without getting jail time or fines. It was close! I almost made PFC four times!"

Anyway, one day my running partner started an argument with me and I bet him a round for the house that I was right and he was wrong. The owner came by and heard a part of the argument. I asked him if we could pay for a round for the house after the argument was settled.

The joint didn't have much of a crowd, maybe a dozen fishermen. A round was only about $35 and therefore reasonably affordable.

He must have been asleep because he agreed. I rang the bell and theowner poured the drinks. Doc and I didn't pay much attention to the drinks as they were delivered as we were to engrossed in our argument. When the drinks came we quickly acknowledged them and continued bickering.

Suddenly Doc shouted that he was willing to go double or nothing and looked at the owner who nodded. He rang the bell and the owner poured the drinks. When they arrived we picked up both drinks and went out onto the porch and started looking up at Pillar Mountain and discussing it. It was a mountain, it was there and had been for quite some time yet we were paying attention to it and actually looking at it in detail.

The owner came out and asked us when we aere going to pay and we told him as soon as the disagreement was settled and not to worry about it.

"Yeah, Okay," he said. "What was the argument about anyway?"

Doc looked at the owner. "You see Pillar Mountain up there?"

"Yeah, what about it?" asked the owner.

"Pic says there's gonna be an earthquake that puts it into the sea before 2050 and I say it's not gonna happen," said Doc.

The look of outrage appeared on his face as the blood rushed into it. He looked ready to pop. Then he looked into the bar and I saw him do some mental arithmetic. The redness in his face dissapated.

"You a$$holes!" he said and walked back in. we followed him as he went back behind the plank.

He turned to the fishermen. "Boys, it looks like you guys are drinking on me because I've just been had by those two con artists." He pointed at Doc and I.

"If I'm going to the poorhouse, I might as well have a party on the way!" he said and then rang the bell and poured another round.

With a few free beers in them the fishermen started pounding them down. As people trickled in one of them would tell the newcomer what he had just missed. The crowd grew a bit and at the end of the night he had a fairly lively group.

The next three or four night the place was a total zoo as word had gone around town that the owner had been taken for a ride. People came in to hear about it and stayed and drank. The place did rather well and the coffers saw quite a take over the next few days.   

The owner played the fool a bit but the only fools there were the ones emptying their pockets into the bar owner's till.

He had been handed a lemon in the form of a $100 loss  and made lemonade out of it and sold it at a tidy profit. He made a fortune over the next several days.

He never held it against Doc and I. On the contrary. We were always welcome there. 

Of course, he never played into our hands again. But then again, we knew when to quit.

A few months later the story came up on board a fish boat while we were at sea and the entire crew agreed that if we had pulled our shenanigans in the States we would have likely been thrown in jail and permanently kicked out of the bar by the outraged owner.

Kodiak, being Kodiak, was full of people that knew how to cast their bread on the water and generally got back poached eggs on toast. 

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Bob Hatcher died

While I was scouting around the web for another project I found out that Bob Hatcher had just died recently. Bob was a longtime fixture in Kodiak and I remember him well.

Backwhen I lived in Kodiak he was known as 'OSHA Bob' because he was the town's OSHA guy. The government sure screwed up big time when they picked him because he was sure the right man for the job. He was pretty damned good at working in a small town.

He and his family were the only blacks I remember that were living in town full-time. There were a couple of transient black fishermen but they were generally passing through. Bob and family were a serious fixed part of the town seeing Bob arrived during WW2 and stayed after he was discharged. He was a character and was certainly a wonderful part of town.

I recall after I met him that only twice was Bob slurred by race. Both times the person slurring Bob was met by angry glares. The  man had character. He had not only overcome race, but his very job was considered a nuisance to the builders in town. He had the kind of special character to overcome both and likely never even knew it. Bob was Bob and it was as simple as that.

He was a real piece of Old School craftsmanship, likely self made.

I was talking about a construction project with a bar owner once and the subject of OSHA came up and when it did, the bar owner commented, "Bob Hatcher's a real  classy guy."

Coming from that particular guy that was one hell of a compliment.

He was, too. He was one of the most unflappable people I ever met. James Bond had nothing on him. We met under interesting circumstances. I was working on a construction job as an hourly employee for some contractor out of Anchorage when Bob showed up.

At the time I was a heavy user of a drug called mischief. I might have very well been overdosing at the time. I have had this problem all my life. There is a syringe of it hidden away within easy reach now as there has been all of my life.

Bob shouted up to me in the rafters where I was working and asked me to come down for a minute. He wanted to file a 'contact report' on me. He explained I was guilty of no wrongdoing and it was just a formality. He said I'd get a copy in the mail and I could just throw it out.

I looked down and just instinctively knew he had a pretty good sense of humor. I later found out Bob was famous for that. He also was no sucker.

"Yeah, OK," I said.

"Ok, what is your name?" he asked.

I gave it to him, spelling it out to him carefully and he wrote it on the form. Then he asked me my address. I told him I didn't have one and he looked at me.

"You don't have one?" he asked. He didn't seem upset but he did seem curious.

"Where do you get your mail?" he asked.

"Nobody writes me," I replied.

"Well, what do you put on your taxes? Everybody files taxes." he asked.

"I leave that space blank," I replied. "If the IRS wants me they can just find me as best they can."

"I like that," he said. "Make the taxman find you. That's pretty good. How's it work for you?"

"Pretty good. I've never heard from them," I answered.

Right then I knew this guy was my kind of guy but I figured I'd finish what I started.

"Well, where do you live?" he asked.

I pointed to the trailer attached to my pickup. "In that trailer," I replied.

"Where do you park it?" he asked.

"In the lot of whatever bar I pass out at," I answered. "Sometimes Tony's, sometimes the Anchor, sometimes the B&B, sometimes the Ship's," I said. "No tellin'."

I had expected some kind of hassle but I found I wasn't getting it from Bob. I looked and watched him write 'unknown' over the address part of the form.

I glanced up into the rafters and saw my partner, Ralph, had been watching the entire thing. Ralph was another itinerant.

He called Ralph down and started on getting a contact report done on him.

"What is your name," asked Bob.

"Ralph W. Martinson, Jr," he replied. Bob wrote it in.

"What is your address?" asked Bob.

Ralph pointed to a camper on the back of a pickup that was parked next to my trailer. "I'm Piccolo's next door neighbor," he replied.

Bob looked stunned for about a nanosecond and realized he'd been had by a couple of professionals. Like most true Alaskans, he took his medicine. He stood there and laughed for quite some time. Fair was fair, and he'd been had and knew it. No use getting upset and starting trouble where there wasn't any.

He then pointed at the third guy on the job and asked us if he was a neighbor of ours. We said he wasn't. He looked again and commented that he was a local and called him over and the two of them filled out the required paperwork as Ralph and I returned to work. 

When he was done with the paperwork for the third guy he went over to the contractor and asked what time we were going to roll up. When he found out he called me back down again.

"I'll be here when you guys roll up," he said. "Right now I'm going to call my wife and tell her I'll be late. I'm taking you to the Village and buying you a drink. I want to know how you go through life without having an address!"

Sure enough, he was good to his word.We both enjoyed each other's company.  Seeing he was such a neat guy, I decided that I wanted to make life easier for him. I told him if he wanted he could use "General delivery' as my address and I'd check in there every so often.

"No," he replied. "I'll turn it in the way I got it. This is Alaska and they had better get used to it!" 

And that is how I met Bob Hatcher.

My life was better for having met him.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

So it goes.

Another day, another dime.

Someone asked me yesterday if I really was the designated driver on New Year's eve for my mother.

Idiot. He was listening to a gossip and heard a rumor I started about myself when some fool couldn't grasp the concept of staying home on New Year's eve which is what I did. I NEVER go out on New Year's. It's amateur night.

When he insisted I had to do something on New Year's, I told him I was the designated driver for my 90 year old mother. I also added that she had won $500 in a wet T-shirt contest.

The neighbors that matter know that from time to time I whip up a wild-assed tale on some fool rather than try explain reality to him because it's generally a lot easier. A lot of people can't believe the truth but will believe something akin to space aliens in a heartbeat.

Of course, he asked how that was possible.

I told him that the boob job held out because back in the day they didn't have the silicone and saline implants they have today. They used surgical concrete and stainless rebar.

I also told him one of Ma's friends had a set of 1952 Caddy front bumper bullets surgically installed and she's 93 and they haven't rusted out and caved in yet. In 1993 they pulled them out, sandblasted, re chromed them and re installed them. Good as new.

Some people will believe anything. 

I'm not sure if he believed the whole tale I spun for him but he believed enough so that he told one of the neighbors I had taken my mother out partying and that she had won $500 in a wet T-shirt contest.

Years ago the neighbors were agog when someone would pass on a story like that but when they got the truth from me they stopped wondering and began to be entertained. I think the turning point was when I told someone I had hacked up the paper boy with a chain saw and ground him up with the chipper-shredder and used him to fertilize my garden.

When they heard that one they outright laughed. There is no paper boy in the neighborhood. The  papers are delivered by an older woman.

The Piccolo rule of thumb is tell the truth first. If they don't want to believe that come up with the most whacked-out tale you can. They'll generally believe that.

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Sometimes you just have to pack it in.

When I moved to Pittsburgh one of the first things someone did was stuff me into a car and take me for a ride through a neighboring township and stick it in my head that the area was one big speed trap.

I was grateful, of course and as time passed I learned several routes to avoid the area when at all possible.

What was going on at the time was a township really couldn't afford their own police department so they decided in a way to finance their own jobs by writing tickets whenever possible.

The city would get a part of the fine and the number $12.50 per ticket comes to mind unless I am wrong.

I once had to pass through the township and was stopped along with everyone else in what they palmed off as a DUI checkpoint but was in fact a seat belt check point. They were ticketing people for not wearing seat belts.

In PA a police officer can not stop a person simply for not wearing a seat belt. It has to be in connection with something else. For example if one gets stopped for running a stop sign the seat belt offense can be an add-to.

This particular department was using the excuse of running a DU checkpoint to cover for a seat belt check.

The department was nothing more than a nuisance and finally the township realized they couldn't afford them anymore so they abolished the department and contracted with another municipality to get police protection.

Personally I was glad to see them go as they seemed to have forgotten what they were there for. They were also poorly trained.

It costs money to train and supply a good police force and it is not cheap. Often times a poorly trained and financed department is more trouble than it is worth and in this case the township decided to contract out. It was a small township and likely the cost per citizen for police protection was pretty high and likely unaffordable.

My guess is that some of the officers were likely hired by the municipality contracted and they wound up better off as they probably didn't have to run to the bank on payday.

What most likely happened here is that the people in the township actually got the services of a better department with better trained officers.

I have an old classmate living in Vermont and he reported that his small town abolished their department a while back and now gets their police protection from the (he says)well trained Vermont State Police.  

I guess in his case it makes sense. He said the local department got to be a nuisance and it was probably for the same reasons as I saw down here.

Departments are always clamoring for money and the truth is that they would be able to get it if the funds don't keep getting diverted for other things. 

It seems that a lot of politicians keep saying a tax is going to first responders when in fact it gets diverted into useless social programs.

Screw the social programs! If something is being earmarker as being for first responders, then send the funds there. 

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