Sunday, May 31, 2015


I made the short post because I wanted to see a B-17 that happened to be in the area.

It is a really cool airplane and is actually smaller than a lot of people think.

There was a 90 year old WW2 vet that showed up and the people running the show offered him a free tour.

"No way in hell!" he replied. "Every single time I got into one of those bastards people kept trying to shoot me down! I didn't make it this far by getting into one when I didn't have to!"

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

Quick post today

Because I am going to run.

I have something to do and wll be busy.

I may report later on.

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

One of the things that teachers really miss is a way of motivating students.

One damned good way is to actually teach the kid to do something he's interested in. An example of this could be when a kid has an interest in cars and mechanical things.

I suppose that when a kid does show an interest in mechanical things they aim him in the direction of the mechanic program and teach him to be a mechanic. Then the school system gloats about how they set the world up with another mechanic and taught the kid a trade.

Too bad they didn't take a little more time with him and open a few more doors and split his education between the shop and the math and science department.

Granted some of these guys are going to do well as mechanics but the field of mechanical engineering can always use another member of the community.

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, May 29, 2015

Just a quick post. Nothing special.

I just put up another antenna yesterday, a fan dipole. We'll see how that one works out. I did notice that it works better in some circumstances than my 43 foot vertical but of course is not the answer to all problems.

I suppose even a 200 foot tower with a 9 element Yagi really isn't the answer.

Oh yeah. The other day I dropped one right on top of a certain gossip that is often giving the Mrs. a bad time.

I was wandering in to pay for gas at the local 7-11 when a friend of mine and the gossipy old woman were both waiting in line. My friend asked me how I was doing.

I said. "Pretty good. Yesterday the DA dropped the cannibalism charges against me so I don't have that hanging over my head anymore."

He grinned and knew it was just apply anywhere BS and played along. "That's good to hear," he replied.

Ten bucks to a stale Krispy Kreme it will get back to me by tonight or tomorrow. Someone will call me and let me know the old hag is spreading the story that I was arrested for cannibalism.

This is a pretty good way of destroying the credibility of gossips. 

You give them something totally outrageous to spread and they make fools of themselves.

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, May 28, 2015

The show must go on!

And I guess it will.

This is post 2164. Be the first kid on your block to read them all.

Anyway, yesterday I wrote about General Kuribayashi and reading up on him led me to another aspect of the Japanese side of the war.

Yesterday I started a book about some the stories of some of the survivors of the Japanese army in Burma. Only about 39% of them ever returned to Japan.

From what little I have gathered being a Japanese soldier, especially a conscript was no bed of roses. 

Bad food, shoddy equipment, brutal officers and noncoms were pretty much the norm. It strikes me that stern but compassionate officers like Kuriayashi were few and far between.

Either the Brits or the Americans wouldn't stand for treatment like that for a minute. The public would would not have stood for it for an instant and the troops simply would have mutinied. 

In fact there were a few small mutinies. The NCOs of Easy Company, 506th PIR said they'd turn in their stripes if Captain Sorbel wasn't relieved. Patton was almost relieved simply for slapping a shell-shocked GI.

The American public was willing to send their sons off to war but they made damned good and sure their boys were taken care of. Even the greenest of recruits had rights and was given a certain degree of respect.

Striking an enlisted man in the American army was a court-martial offense and was at least paid lip service. Although hands-on discipline existed in the American services (and still does to a point) it was not really widespread. Nor was it casually administered.

I just read that a horrendous number of Japanese military deaths were from disease and starvation. Damned few GIs died of starvation and routine immunizations and compulsory field sanitation coupled with excellent medical facilities kept GI disease deaths to a minimum.

American disease deaths have plummeted since the Civil War and by WW2 were way down. Most GI deaths during the war are likely attributed to accidents and combat.

The life of a Japanese soldier was probably pretty grim when you think about it. The average Japanese soldier was given little respect and were often referred to by officers as 'one cent men', (or the Japanese equivalent) being the price of the post card sent to them as a draft notice.

It must have been a horrible existence.

When I'm done with the book I might make another post on what I read.

Anyway, that's all for today.

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, May 27, 2015

Tadimichi Kuribayashi

Interesting man. He was the general that was in charge of the Japanese defenses at Iwo Jima during WW2. He was a genius. For the only time in the entire Pacific campaign the Marine Corps took more casualties than they inflicted.

The truth is the only way the United States captured Iwo Jima was to pour on the coal and send thousands of Marines straight into a real meat grinder.

I first thought about Major General Kuribayashi shortly after a family reunion when my Aunt Martha passed out a family tree. I saw the notation on the part of a distant cousin. It simply noted that he died on 6 March, 1945 in Iwo Jima, Japan.

I was aware enough to realize that Jack Davis wasn't in Iwo Jima on that date for a sightseeing excursion. At that time there was a very heated discussion being conducted over the ownership of that particular piece of real estate. It was being conducted in a very businesslike manner. The United States Marine Corps was trading the lives of young Marines for real estate. It proved to be a costly trade.

I decided to look into Jack Davis and find out about him and the Gods of Luck were with me. I found three old Marines that knew him and served with him. One of them was there when Jack was killed. He was a few yards away. I had lunch with one of these men who chided me mildly for showing up at his place in a Toyota. He dryly asked me how many miles I get to a bag of rice.

While I was looking up things on Jack Davis I read up a little on the battle. There was a little on General Kuribayashi and they mentioned a few things about him that did not seem normal  careerwise for a Japanese officer of the 1920s and 30s. For one thing he had spent considerable time in the United States.

I started to dig into the story of this man and I came away with a tremendous respect for him both as a soldier and a human being. He was a good officer and a good father as evidenced by the letters I have read that he sent home while serving outside of Japan.

Kuribayashi spent about three years in the United States studying here and another two years in Canada. He knew Americans and I do believe he genuinely liked them. 

He learned to drive in the States and bought a car here and traveled extensively. His first flat tire taught him quite a bit about Americans.

Being a Japanese officer of the time driving himself was probably a novelty as Japanese officers generally had assigned drivers. 

He was taught to change a flat tire by a sixteen year old girl that happened by, pulled over and helped him out and drove off.

The incident didn't get past him. He realized that Americans were pretty much hands on people and that it had worked its way down to the point where teenaged girls could maintain an automobile. He knew that Japanese soldiers actually needed to be trained to do this and marveled at it.
He also visited American production places, including Detroit and realized that these places could be converted almost instantly to war production. He was amazed by this.

He also took time to meet the locals and once invited the paper boy in for a slap-up meal to talk with him for a while.

We are a very different people than the Japanese who are more mannerly and demure. We're outgoing, loud, outspoken. From what I have been able to read on the man it took a little getting used to and from what I gather he kind of liked what he saw.

His family album contains a number of letters from American officers among others and he seems to have been respected by those he met.

Several times he stated both in the States and at home in Japan that the United States was the last country the Japanese should go to war with.

Of course, he was ignored.

After the war broke out he was sent to Hong Kong as Chief of Staff. He regularly used to visit enlisted men in the hospitals, something unheard of for an officer to do. He often brought the men fruit and other gifts.

My guess is that he likely did this because he realized from his time in the States that he developed a compassion for the ordinary guy. Later an ordinary military contractor that tried to follow him to continue to personally serve him was instantly sent back to Japan. 

Apparently the General had some compassion for the man and didn't want him killed needlessly. Kuribashi knew what the future was going to bring. 

The man was actually a tailor and had served with him in Hong Kong. He was not a Japanese soldier, but a sort of military hiree. He had done Kuribayashi a favor and Kuribayashi returned it by including him in an official picture taken of him. 

It should be carefully noted that Kuribayishi sent for him when the photographer showed up and waited for a half-hour for the tailor to show up as he was some distance away.

An analogy would be like the egotistical General Patton sending for a cook or orderly and waiting for a half hour for him before letting the press take pictures. Fat chance THAT would have happened!

It has been said that he was sent to Iwo Jima partially  because he had spoken out and likely said that the best thing to do at that point was sue for peace. He was a realist and knew that Japan was being beaten to a pulp. It was considered a defeatist attitude. He knew that being sent to Iwo was a death sentence.

Still, he was a soldier and a soldier obeys orders. He went.

I am not going to say anything about the battle itself because volumes upon volumes have been written about it by generals, historians and privates. 

I will mention that the Americans had predicted the invasion would take 5 days. They Japanese held out for thirty-six days. I suppose if you include the holdouts the Japanese actually lasted four years!

General Kuribayashi died along with his men at the end. Most likely he was wearing the uniform of a private as his remains were never identified.

I would imagine the model 1911 that he was gifted by American officers during his stay in the States wound up in some Marine's pack and came back to the States as a bring-back. It very well may be floating around in a pawn shop somewhere or in someone's attic.

Still, Kuribayashi went to Iwo with a knowledge of Americans and that they have an absolute distain for commanders that wind up with heavy casualties.

He also knew there was no possible way he'd win and manage to defend the island against the strength of the war machine of the United States. He knew they would just pour on the coal of their industrial might and take the island.

Kuribayashi knew weapons and he knew men. In addition to that, he knew Americans. His plan was simply to inflict as many casualties on the Americans as he possibly could. He was hoping to get the Americans to agree to a negotiated peace.

I think there's a damned good possibility he might have succeeded forcing the Americans to accept a negotiated peace if he had a little more time to prepare his defenses. He was in the process of tunneling between Mount Suribachi and the north of the island when the Marines hit.

Had he completed this the casualties may have very well skyrocketed and shocked the public even more than they already were. The American public were pretty upset that such a small island cost so much in Marine lives. It should also be noted that he was short on arms and ammunition.

Meanwhile, he had instructed his wife and children to move to the country and avoid the bombings that he saw as inevitible. In addition to being a general he was a most concerned father and husband.

Truth is, he did what he set out to do and I have to respect that. He bled the US Marine Corps like no other foe they had ever faced, inflicting an unprecidented number of Marine casualties.

From the Japanese point of view he was obviously the right man for the job.

Here's the other side of the coin where I think he was truly wasted as a human being and probably a diplomat of sorts.

Expending this man on a mission that was doomed to failure was in another light a waste of talent. With his intimate knowledge of Americans and their ways he most assuredly would have been incredibly useful during the peace process and early post war years.

To me it seems that he was truly wasted in a last ditch useless battle that everybody knew he would never win.

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, May 26, 2015

Deer birthing seems to be running a little late this year.

I was in the yard yesterday and back a few feet from the normal place I caught a flash of something wet and brown and I checked it out.

It was a newborn fawn and it laid there blinking at me. I looked for a minute or so and left. The mother was likely nearby. 

The spot is about 30 to 35 feet from where I am sitting and looking out.

It's nice having a place like this to live and I look forward to finding a newborn fawn practically every year.

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, May 25, 2015

Have a good Memorial Day and DON"T

go running around thanking veterans for their service. Save it for Veterans's Day.

Today is NOT the day we remember veterans. Veterans are the guys that made it home.

Today is the day we take a few minutes out to remember the guys that didn't make it home. It was once called Decoration Day and was the day we decorated the graves of the war dead.

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, May 24, 2015

I did d a nine week tour once

and was astonished at what I came home to.

Mrs Pic had been out of town for most of the tour and I had placed a certain neighborhood kid in charge of taking care of the cat and a few things.

I was beat to hell when I got home and really wanted to simply unwind for a bit and knock back a snort of bourbon and crash out.

I came home to a happy cat and the mail neatly stacked and assorted by category on the kitchen table. Bills/business in one pile, junk in another and ham radio/personal stuff in the third.

The place was fairly clean and neat everything was where it belonged.

But the crowning glory was the refrigerator. Apparently he had raided his mom's fridge for leftovers because there was a nice pasta dish there and a note explaining that i was likely tired and hungry.

Now it was dark when I arrived and I was beat and didn't bother checking things out out side. The following morning I looked out to see a freshly mowed lawn.

The young man responsible for this is twelve years old. 

He's going places.

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, May 23, 2015

Piccolo meets a new neighbor

And promptly stuffed four beers into him like I'm supposed to.

It was an interesting meeting. I didn't want to meet them as a couple because often a guy will hold back in front of his wife.

Besides, there are a few questions one can ask a guy that if asked in front of his wife would make her uneasy.

"This first question I want to ask my new neighbor is this," I said.
"If I saw somebody I just  plain didn't like the looks of entering your house and I gave him a real nasty sucking chest wound, would you have a problem with it?"

He said something like hoping I would just go and finish him off  if I did.

Good answer. Now I know he's likely going to be an asset to the neighborhood instead of a millstone.

The guy that lived there is a jewel and fortunately just moved to a bigger house a couple of doors down so things still look pretty good here.

The first time I met him that was the first question I asked and he pretty much gave the same reply.

The new guy is an engineer so most likely responds to logic instead of emotion so he'll likely be easy to deal with. Thank God he isn't some kind of dopey liberal arts major that thinks the solution to crossing a river is to hold hands and sing Kum-by-ya. This guy knows how to build a bridge and that is always a good thing.

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, May 22, 2015

From time to time I go snooping

 into different areas for different perspectives. 

Today someone forwarded me an article from one of the white supremacy web sites regarding the recent Baltimore riots.

Sadly enough, I had to agree with a lot (but not all) of what they said. 

For the most part I am toe to toe with those people but every so often even a blind squirrel finds a nut somewhere.

I won't get into it in detail here but I think the truth is that a lot of what went on in Baltimore is directly or indirectly the result of the failed social programs of the LBJ presidency.

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, May 21, 2015

One of the people I ran into when I drove cab

 was an older German that had been injured on the Russian front and was assigned light duty as a guard in a couple of German POW camps.

I don't remember how I got him to open up but he spoke with me at length about his experiences as a guard in a few different camps. What was interesting is that he had his kids wth him and his kids listened carefully. His daughter later told me it was the first time she had heard any of it.

After getting injured on the Russian front and sent back to Germany to recover he was reassigned for a brief period of time to a POW camp guarding Russians who he claimed were pretty docile. He was also assigned to guard British and American army types for a while until he was assigned to a Stalag to oversee American and British aviators, mostly officers.

He said the most boring duty was manning a machine gun tower at any of the camps although he preferred it at the Russian camps. It kept him away from the horrible stench of the Russian prisoners.

I asked him what his worst duty was and he stated without any hesitation at all that it was guarding American and British aviators. I asked him why.

He pointed out that American and British aviators were volunteers to begin with and were pretty adventuresome and self confident to begin with. When you couple that with the fact that the air services of both countries generally got the pick of the best and brightest of the lot you had a recipe for trouble and mischief. American and British officers were constantly up to something.

For one thing they were alway plotting an escape and when they were not doing that they were constantly letting the enemy think they were trying to escape.

He said that it never ceased for even an instant.

Once the Commandant once announced that they were aware that there was a radio in the barracks somewhere and that it was to be turned in. He said it was turned in an hour later. The fact that it was turned in told him that there were most likely a dozen other radios in the camp.

They never seemed to let up.

It was interesting spending a few minutes with this guy and I wish I could have spent more time but he had places to go.

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, May 20, 2015

The negativity ads are already up and running.

The RNC has started a 'stop Hillary' campaign and someone else has started bellyaching about Rand Paul wanting to continue the Obama policy with Iran.

I really think that a stop Hitlery campaign is inviting a Democratic victory for Warren. For one thing a lot of people do not like Hitlery. A Hillary vs a halfway decent Republican candidate wold probably put a Republican in the White House. I say let her run.

However, if you get Hillary to drop out and back Elizabeth Warren then a Democrat in the presidency is a damned good bet.

My prediction, and I am generally wrong is that Paul is going to run out of momentum and have to drop out.

Hitlery will likely drop out and be replaced by Elizabeth Warren who will likely win because the American population is already over the tipping point.

The Democrats have already gotten their voter base by making sure that close to half the population is tapping the federal treasury one way or the other. They will vote with their pocketbooks so as not to lose their nipple on the federal tit.

Meanwhile, back at RNC we have the boys in the back room trying to stab Paul in the back much along the way they tried to stab Teddy Roosevelt by offering him the vice presidency. It was actually a pretty good strategy.

TR was a well-loved war hero that th RNC knew would draw the votes for MacKinley and the vice presidency was a good way of keeping TR out of the hair of the RNC (meaning the big boys in the RNC back room pulling strings.)

Of course, the RNC had no way of knowing MacKinley would be assasinated. You can bet they were not happy campers when they got the word TR was at the helm. Teddy really upset the apple cart of the boys in the back room.

When Paul runs out of steam he will likely be replaced by one of the lackey clowns out of the usual gang of wannabes. Some clown of a lackey like Huckabee, Santorum, or a retreaded Mitt Romney will run and be soundly beaten.

Actually, of all of the leftovers the RNC has kicking around lurking hopefully the one with the best chance would be a New and Improved Mitt Romney.

The public is disgusted with the past 8 years of Obama. They are looking for a change...but someone that won't take their free stuff away from them. The public (as usual) wants to have their cake and eat it, too.

It seems to me that the RNC would rather have Hitlery or Elizabeth Warren in the Oval Office than Rand Paul, Ted Cruz or someone along these lines.

Pesonally I think the job should go to Larry the Plumber or someone along those lines. As far as the financial end of things goes, they ought to elect an Irish Catholic mother of twelve that is married to an auto mechanic and has all 12 of her kids put through college. Any woman that can put 12 kids through school on a mechanic's wage could probably have the national debt paid down to nothing inside of two presidential terms.

Either that or she has been married to a closet bank robber all these years.

People often wonder about third party and that is a Major Cause of Concern for both parties. Both parties are like a dog fighting over a bone. When the third dog shows up they both gang up on him, run him off and resume fighting over the bone. Neither party really wants a third party to enter the fray, especially if it looks like it may be a winner.

Of course, there are times when a third party is encouraged by one or the other party. An example of this might be if Rand Paul doesn't get the nod from the RNC (and it is unlikely he will) and they opt to run Mitt Romney. Paul decides to run third party.

That is cause for the Democrats to rejoice because virtually every vote for Paul is a vote Mitt won't get.

It's happened before and likely will happen again. It has been said that H. Ross Perot changed the outcome of the election when he ran on a third party ticket and most likely he did.


As of now my guess is that Hitlery will drop out, Elizabeth Warren will be drafted, they will throw Hitlery's assets behind her and Warren will win. That's my early on guess.

Then again, maybe Hitlery may NOT drop out. She's really quite a Queen Bitch and wants it so bad she can taste it. What is interesting is that I saw her a couple of hours ago on the ship's TV and she said, "Don't you want a woman president?"

One wag said, "Yeah, but not you, Bitch. How about Condi Rice?" I reprimnded him severely for that by going to the freezer and dishing him up some ice cream.

Incidentally the thinnest book in the library is the book of black voters that did not vote for Obama. The old 'give a brother a chance' line fits right in here. There are a lot of women that are very likely to vote for Warren simply because she is a woman. Or for that matter, Hitlery.

Woman that are pistol packin' mamas that would normally vote for the most conservative candidate out there are very apt to throw their votes to Warren  under the guise of 'Let's give her a chance'. Her policies will likely have little or nothing to do with anything. Many women will vote with their emotions. Plan on hearing a lot of 'Do it for the children' going around.

Things like this are not uncommon among the low information voters. They never seem to get it.

I had a shipmate ones that said, "Democrats are for the people, right?"

When I pointed out that he was a hunter and fisherman and reloader and that the Dems were likely to put the kibosh on things like that he voted blue, anyway. He lived in Maryland.

Some time later he came up to me and asked me to pick up some reloading supplies for him and seemed upset he could no longer get things in Maryland and wondered why. I told him that he voted for it and he didn't seem to get it. This is a lot of the same type of mentality among woman that will garner Warren votes.

You have to also remember I am not any kind of political analyst, I'm only a sailor with a high school education. There's a lot going on in back rooms I am not aware of.

One thing I'm fairly certain about, though, is that it's going to be a damned ugly election and I seriously don't recommend putting a bumper sticker on your car, especially if you're a conservative. It's an invitation to vandalism.

Then again, I suppose it you need a new paint job and are willing to watch your car 24/7 it might be the way to go. You catch some spoiled brat of a college student keying your car and have him arrested. Most likely his rich daddy will come in with an open checkbook offering to make things go away instead of letting the kid face felony vandalism charges.

Hell, you might even be able to get a new car out of the deal if you play your cards right. (Gee, Pic! How could you afford a new Corvette? They only gave you $325 trade in for your pickup!)

Still, I think it's going to be a particularly nasty election and truth is I'm not really looking forward to it other for the reason that Obama is going to be out of office.

I am NOT looking forward to Elizabeth Warren.

Of course, this is all subject to change.

You have to remember I predicted that George Zimmerman would not have to go to trial in the Treyvon Martin shooting. The following day Zimmerman was arrested. I don't have the best track record of seeing the future.

That honor goes to Carnac the Magnificent.

Speaking of predicting the future, ever call a psychic hot line? They always ask you what you want to know. I always say, "You tell me." If they really were psychic they would already have the answers. Calling such a place  would sound something like this: "Hi, Pic. The winning lottery numbers are..."

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and now I see a dark horse on the Democratic ticket emerging. Jim Webb of Virginia. Watch him. From what little I see of him he is a moderate Democrat and likely could bring the Democrats together.

Democrats that hate Hillary may very well find him to be the guy they are looking for.

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, May 19, 2015

One of the reasons I seem to get

so many freebies and favors done is because I am not stupid about it.

Many moons ago there was some now long forgotten and no longer used software a friend of mine purchased a ten pack of. Tom only needed six of them. He got the extra four as part of a package deal. 
Because they were his, he could do with them as he saw fit and gave me one of the ten he had license for. This included the secret code key that I could not figure out with my Marvel Mystery Encoding ring.

He also gave one to Louise because his wife said she could use it. Tom's a pretty generous guy. That left him eight which meant he had two spares.

Louise also got the secret code key.

Of course, Louise decided to share it with a few of her friends and a few days later when Tom went to install the software on his machines it wouldn't take because Louise had passed it around. Tom had bought ten programs, used four, given away two and figured he had four left.

Needless to say, he was flabberghasted and called me. I reported I had only used the one he gave me and kept quiet about it.

He had his wife call Louise. She reported that Louise had not only given the code to three of her friends, but to Hippie Al who promptly posted it on some on line hackers net. Poor Tom didn't stand a chance.

This part of the story has a happy ending, though. Tom's wife is a tiger and promptly went after Louise and got her to cough up for a five pack of the software. There was almost a cat fight over it and Tom's wife marched Louise straight down to the office store and made her put the five pack on her credit card.

Tom also pinned a jacket on Louise and she probably hasn't gotten too many freebies over the years.

Although this is small, it serves as an example. Some years ago I used to get the safety guys to save me a few of the out dated chemical light sticks  from our survival suits. I'd toss them into a box. Come Halloween I'd hand them out to a couple of the mothers on the street to pin to their little kids on Halloween.

The kids seemed to like them and they could be seen by motorists after dark so it was a win/win situation.

The truth is I was pretty selective about who I handed these out to simply to avoid getting a bunch of calls from the neighborhood mothers. I actually handed them out, for the most part to the fathers. They were admonished not to tell anyone where they got them lest the supply instantly dry up.

Everyone kept quiet about it and I did that for several years until the policy at work changed and they could no longer give them to me.

Over the years I have seen any number ot things magically disappear because the recipients didn't know well enough to keep their mouths shut.

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, May 18, 2015

My niece and nephew are on to me so

I don't get away with a whole lot anymore.

They know how I think.

However their friends do not which is a pretty good deal.

It seems to be their friends and other relatives  have preyed on since the birth of my soon to be God son.

Every time one of them even mentions the words 'new baby' I ask them what my niece is going to do with the old one.

Invariably the guys grin or outright laugh and the women look confused.

Try it some time and you will see what I mean.


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, May 17, 2015

WHaddya nuts?

Yesterday I said I am going to dress like the Godfather because I am going to become one.

My wife asked what she should wear and I directed her to check out spaghetti sauce jars. I do not know if she was too happy because she never said anything. 

Someone else suggested I take a Michael Corleone/ John Gotti look.

Bullshit! Those guys are not Godfathers! They are greedy, selfish killers. They don't even LOOK like Godfathers.

You have to remember that the Old School mob was smart enough to throw a little scratch around and put something back into the community.

Al Capone may have been one of the best killers in the business and is considered responsible for the St. Valentine's Day massacre. On the other hand, he ran the biggest soup kitchen in Chicago.

When you'r hungry and someone feed you on tends to look pretty favorable on one's benefactor. The recent gang of thugs doesn't seem to give a damn. They have no sense of decency.

If I am going to be a Godfather, I am going to be a REAL Godfather instead of some two-bit thumper!

Truth is most likely the Old School Godfathers studied Niccolo Machiavelli...or at least adopted his style.

Anyway, I have decided not to get measured for a suit at Gino's in New York. "The best tailor in the city". This is occasion requires someone that knows Old School and can turn me into a REAL Godfather. I don't want to look like someone slick and over polished that has been plucked out of a Saville Row tailor's arse.  Save that for the Michael Corleones and John Gottis of this world.

I need resources that Gino the tailor doesn't have at his disposal.

It's off to Goodwill.

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Time to got buy a double breasted pinstripe suit

along with a black shirt, a white tie and a wide brim fedora.  I want the widest lapels I can find.

Oh, yeah. I also need a big, giant diamel pinkie ring.

I'm gonna be a Godfather! My niece just gave birth to a little boy!

They asked me to be the child's Godfather!

If you're going to be a Godfather, you ought to at least LOOK like a Godfather!

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, May 15, 2015

I have been exchanging emails

 occasionally with a couple of Japanese hams and they are pretty interesting people. Polite almost to a fault.

Some Japanese hams take their rigs with them when they go on vacation, many of them in the Pacific Islands.

For example it is a small group of Japanese hams that go on the air on Saipan or Tinian by getting an FCC callsign. Every so often a Japanese will go on the air down in the Solomon Islands.

 Hams can get reciprocal privlidges in many parts of the world with varying levels of difficulty. It varies with the rules of the governing state but it is fairly common.

Of course it is not only the Japanese that are the people that seem to be putting Pacfic islands on the air. I worked a German that was on American Samoa a while back. 

Still, it seems an inordinate number of Japanese are the ones that make it possible to get some of the islands in my logbook.

What seems odd, though is that they seem to set up shop in places that were heavily contested during WW2. There are often Japanese on the air on Tinian which is where Enola Gay took off from to flatten Hiroshima back in '45.

I was always taught that the Japanese were pretty sensitive about WW2 but I guess the young people are not anymore. I don't have a problem with this. None of these young people had anything to do with the war and as far as I see things people bear no responsibility that happened before they were even born.

Anyway, it's interesting being in touch with such polite people.

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

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Throw it the hell out.

I am going through things these days and I am constantly surprised by the amount of just plain stuff I have accumulated. It's ridiculous.

When one looks at things that they have that either don't fit him any more or have gone out of style it is amazing. I just tossed out about four pairs of worn out sneakers. Why I kept them in the first place I do not have a clue.

My new rule is pretty much that if I haven't worn it in a year then out it goes. I am also thinking of reducing a lot of other things in my life and trying to make things simpler.

We'll see how that goes.

Stand by for future results.

I am going through things these days and I am constantly surprised by the amount of just plain stuff I have accumulated. It's ridiculous.

When one looks at things that they have that either don't fit him any more or have gone out of style it is amazing. I just tossed out about four pairs of worn out sneakers. Why I kept them in the first place I do not have a clue.

My new rule is pretty much that if I haven't worn it in a year then out it goes. I am also thinking of reducing a lot of other things in my life and trying to make things simpler.

We'll see how that goes.

Stand by for future results.

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, May 13, 2015

I see where Apple now has

a wristwatch out for consumer reviews that has internet access.

Back in the day comic strip character Dick Tracy had a 2 way wrist radio and taped the antenna, a piece of wire, to his arm. It later evolved to a 2 way wrist TV. He'd sign out with "Six-two even, over and out."

Betcha Chester Gould, Tracy's writer, never invisioned that Tracy would be able to Google things from his watch.

This is an amazing age we live in and what makes it more interesting is that we have all of this amazing stuff yet people in Africa are not even able to get enough to eat.

It's really quite sad when you think about it.

A while back some of the MIT boys developed a computer that was supposed to be so cheap that it would enable the poorest in Africa to have internet access.

It made no sense when you thought about it because starving people do not need the internet. They need food to eat before they can even think about going on line.

I guess that when this was pointed out the boys decided to invent a toilet of some kind that they could use in villages to stop the spread of disease.

Close but no cigar. They don't need a toilet if nobody's eating. They need food. The order of things is that you eat first and then use the toilet. 

While I am all for the reduction of disease, the priority seems to be getting these people something to eat. 

Actually the priority is getting these people so they can grow something to eat. 

Right now in first world countries there is a hue and cry over genetically modified foods. While the arguments seem to hold water, it strikes me that the genetic engineers could put their skills to better use than making agri-manufacturers higher profits at the expense of our health.

They could maybe modify grains so they could grow in places that seem to have a less than abundant supply of water.

That way the people in question could become able to feed themselves.

Then they could use the special disease preventing toilets and after that the inexpensive computers the MIT boys devise.

Let's keep technology in its proper perspective.

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, May 12, 2015

The other day Lefty Davis swung by

 to pay me a visit which is always welcome. Lefty is a pretty good guy and I enjoy seeing him show up periodically. He's also in and out of Alaska on business and every so often we chat about people we both know.

Lefty has two things that I can count on. When he show up he will invariably have the adult beverage I happen to be in the mood for. If I am in the mood for a particular brand of beer Lefty will invariably show up with a six-pack of it.

The other thing I can count on Lefty for is to call me on the phone while I am sitting on the toilet. I don't know how he does either of these two things but he does. It's one of the reasons I take my cell phone with me when I head to the throne and place it within arm's reach.

Part of the ritual of a visit from Lefty is that we watch the news together because he and I tend to bounce off of each other with our running commentaries. We sort of share the same sense of humor.

We were watching one of the news programs drinking the Dos Equis he brought along. They're all the same when you think about it. CNN is about the same as Fox when you look at the big picture. It's all been screwed with by the various spin doctors.

Suddenly Lefty shot out with, "Screw that nigger faggot retard!" I was kind of shocked and turned to him agape.

"There, I said it!" he grinned. "Got all three of 'em in one short sentence!"

I was confused for a minute. Lefty never spoke like that. He certainly wasn't homophobic. He wasn't a racist. He had dated a black girl some time back. He said they broke up simply because Lefty's career made him travel too much. Personally I think it was because Lefty is too much of a party animal but that's neither here nor there.

It was Lefty that had brought me the news that a Down's kid I knew had died. Both of us considered ourselves to be her friend. Louise was one of the happiest people I had ever met. Truth is, I learned a lot from her. For one thing she never let the weather get her down.

Once I had asked her if she found the constant rain to be depressing. She simply replied, "No, I just get wet." in a matter of fact voice. Those five words changed my life for the good.

Lefty also passed word on to me when Bob Hatcher passed. We both knew Hatcher. He was the OSHA guy in Kodiak and did his job with a lot of class. We respected him. He was a former GI that served in Kodiak in a segregated black outfit. After the war he returned to Kodiak and married and raised his family. Bob was a good guy and was well respected. He was also a real character sometimes.  

"What bringeth this delightful outburst to be bestowed upon us?" I asked.

Lefty looked thoughtful for a few seconds.

"You never hear the Italians referring to the word 'wop' as the 'W word', nor do you hear Norwegians calling 'squarehead' the 'S-word', he said. 

"Yeah, and I never heard an American Indian call 'wagon burner' the 'W-word'," I replied.

"Wagon burner?" Lefty snickered. "Where did you hear that one?"

"It's my all-time favorite racial slur," I said. "Not because it insults Native Americans but because of the context of where I heard it for the first time. First time I heard it ws in Ketchikan. What made it so funny to me is that there has never been a covered wagon within 1000 miles of the place. Calling a Tlinget a wagon burner is a real joke."

"Yeah, really," answered Lefty. "For what its worth, Louise Strongbow was the sweetest girl in town. She was happy, cheerful, upbeat and a total joy to be around. She used to ask about you when I'd run into her because you were good to her. That being said, she was retarded."

"This man speaketh the truth," I answered. "Yes, Lefty, she was retarded. It is indisputable. She was in fact retarded."

"I remember some guy groping her. I walked by and socked him right in the ear and knocked him off of his stool," Lefty said.

"Get kicked out of the joint?" I asked.

"No," he replied. "The bartender bought me a drink."

"Figures," I said. "We all used to keep tabs on Louise."

"Anyway," he continued. "The gays don't like being called 'faggots' which is fine by me. I won't call them that but you can bet your ass I'm not going to go around calling it 'the F-word'. Besides, we already got one of them... I suppose it will eventally be called 'the other F-word'."

"Yeah," I replied. "Then 'retard' or 'retarded' is going to become the 'R-word'.

"Pic, I don't use a whole lot of slurs and neither do you," said Lefty. "I never heard you call Louise retarded. You referred to her occasionally as a Down's kid which is fine because she was. I've never heard you use the word 'nigger' or 'faggot' in any context except to quote someone like LBJ."

"I don't just because of the way I am," I replied. "But you can bet your ass that I'm sick and tired of the Gods of Political Correctness telling me that something as petty as a slur is unmentionable...Especially the two faced liberals like Denise Rafael."

"Who's she?" asked Lefty.

"Ahh...some broad down at the bar I used to hang out at that's a real do-good liberal dipshit. One night I had to listen to her go on and on about how welfare and social programs are the most wonderful thing in the world," I explained. "Of course, after a couple of drinks she sidled up to me and quietly said 'Besides, welfare keeps the niggers downwhere they belong instead of in our neighborhoods.'. That's a direct quote. Word for word."

"Lot of that going around in liberal circles," said Lefty.

"Lot of it going around in our circles, too when you think about it," I shot back."That kind of crap knows no bounds."

"I suppose," he agreed. "Anyway, I am not going to run around using a bunch of slurs but I sure as hell am not going to cave into the PC crowd by calling them the N or the F or the R word."

"Nah. Neither am I," I answered. "Which leads to another question. How come everyone else like the Italians or the Norwegians or the Jews don't get up in arms over this kind of crap. Or the Indians."

"Which Indians?" asked Lefty. "Feather, dot or Cleveland?" I didn't take this as a slur, it was more of a clarifier. Blame Colombus. He was lost. He thought he was in India. I suppose if he thought he was in Manila Bay  I would have grown up playing Cowboys and Filipinos.

I said that to a couple of Filipinos once. They sat there confused for a second until one of them figured it out and told the other in Tagalog. They burst out laughing and handed me a beer. They kidded me about it for weeks.

 I got along pretty good with the Filipino community in Kodiak. All it generally takes is a sense of humor.

"Cleveland," I answered. I was playing into Lefty's sense of twistedness. "The people that gripe about Chief Yahoo are just a bunch of do-gooders with nothing else to do. Remember the Fighting Whities? I got one of their T-shirts."

"Oh, yeah. I remember," said Lefty. The team in Colorado that named themselves the Fighting Whities to put down another team that had an Indian name. It kinda blew up in their faces because it took off. They sold about a jillion shirts, though."

"It can't be all bad," I replied. "They got my fifteen bucks!"

"Truth is, we really don't give a damn, Pic." he said. "Neither of us really give a damn. We go around treating people the way we want to be treated and leave it at that. Screw the PC crowd!"

"That's about it," I replied."That's about all anyone's going to get out of me. What this country needs is another Mel  Brooks. He made all of us look about as stupid as we really are."

"Ya got that right," agreed Lefty. 

The news switched to something else but we were bored alread. The news ritual between us was over. 

Neighbor Bob wandered in. "Siddown and listen with your ears and not your mouth. This here's Lefty Davis and he and I are going to watch this movie." I said. "In about fifteen minutes you'll figure out why. It's "True Grit' with the Duke."

After about an hour of listening to Lefty and I doing our running commentary and playing various roles Bob figured out where he belonged. He played a pretty good Matty Ross. 

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, May 11, 2015

Inspected by # 17

I will admit that it has been a while since I have bought any decent clothes but even so it has been a while since I have seen one of those slips of paper they used to put in shirt pockets. They used to say 'Inspected by # whatever'.

Do they do that anymore?

It sort of used to be part of the fun of buying a shirt.

You'd get the shirt home and then a couple of people would try and guess the number of the inspector before you pulled the little slip out of the pocket.

I remember in Alaska we had a pretty good conversation about this over beers at the Anchor Bar one day.

There were all sorts of conjectures over who #17 was or even if the shirt had actually been inspected. 

When you get six or eight fishermen together opining about just anything the ideas are going to flow. Add some beers and the ideas increase exponentially.


Now that I think about it, the more inane something is the more fishermen are going to dig into their rum soaked twisted little minds to figure it out.

I remember the discussion and hilarity that went along with it lasted for hours.

Of course, when it was all said and done, nobody really had a clue as to who #17 was or even if they ever really inspected the shirt at all.  

I haven't seen one of those little slips in years.

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, May 10, 2015

I just saw where some imbecile of an Iranian general

 has claimed to welcome war with the United States.

Sometimes I think the solution to that is to simply open a giant imperial sized can of whoopass canned sunshine on them and get it over with.

I get tired of seeing US troops get chewed up and a one round knockout would preclude this.

The trick to keeping something like this from happening again is not to rebuild them afterwards. We have rebuilt just about every one of our former enemies. It is getting to the point where failing countries can get a free rebuild simply by going to war with us. Instead leave them in total ruins and starving.

Flatten the place and when they ask for money to rebuild the answer is simple.

"Oh. We don't do that anymore."

 Then we simply leave them to their own devices.

A lot of places would then think twice before they did anything to us.

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, May 9, 2015

My new business venture

Recently on a forum I have been on for years a policeman member posted that a woman called her over to her house and asked him to 'arrest' her recaltricent son.

The officer refused and said it wasn't policework.

Several officers chimed in that they hate being called for things like that. Can't say as I blame them. The result is generally a kid that grows up hating the police.

WHat one wag posted is written below:

You shouldn’t call the cops for things like that… 

You should have some dirty bearded guy wearing overalls show up with a truck that says “Bubba’s Alligator Farm” on the side and a bathroom scale. Everyone knows that Alligator farmers pay $2.00 a pound for bad kids. Cause if there’s one thing Alligators love to eat its bad children. 

Nothing like the threat of being sold for animal feed to keep a kid in line. 

Hmmm, I wonder if I could turn this into a business. 

Beint the clown I am, I copied that and posted it on a police board I drop in on occasionally. I asked the policemen on the board if they would hand out my business cards if I really did start a business like that.

One replied that he'd start by taking 400 cards and another said I couldn't print them fast enough.

Don't call the police to do your job for you. It's not their job to discipline your kids, it's your job. Please do it and let the poor policemen do theirs.

Bubba's Alligator Farm opens next week. The charge is $75 for a house call.

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, May 8, 2015

There has to be an end in sight of anything bad.

One of the worst feelings one can experience when dealing with something negative is that there is no end in sight.

It's one thing to know that something is going to go on forever, like a life sentence. It's another thing to be given an indefinite sentence with no release date to look forward to. It's harder to deal with than a life sentence.

It's simply because you just don't know what's going on and there is no end in sight.

It is a terrible feeling.

Something wonderful has happened to me. An end came to a situation I did not like to be in. It came suddenly and there is now a positive change in my life.

I never thought there would be an end to it.

The change came in the nick of time, too. I was getting ready to do something radical to force things.

Personally I try nip things in the bud and make my changes early before things get too bad. Still, some people go through life refusing to change things until they are forced to.

What I really hate is having to force an issue. Some people are pretty good at that. I'm not. When I force an issue I am like a bull in a china shop. The fallout lasts for an awful long time. It isn't a good thing.

Of course, I generally get labeled the a$$hole when the truth is that if someone had been paying attention they would have fixed whatever it is.

Truth is they are generally the asshole when you look into things a bit deeper.

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, May 7, 2015

The other day I wrote about wearing an AVG blood chit

 into a Chinese restaurant and the fun I had with a certain character of a waiter. 

There is another Chinese restaurant I occasionally eat at. It's more of a true sit down and be waited on place as opposed to the buffet place I mentioned that has a real character working there.

The guy that owns this place is an immigrant and has two places, one in the 'burbs where I occasionally eat and one in the city that I have never even seen.

This guy is special.

Apparently a few feds assigned to downtown eat there regularly because immediately after the attacks that occurred on 9-11 an agent came into the restaurant and asked him how they would go about setting up some sort of a chow line in Shanksville where one of the planes that had been hijacked augered in.

He told the fed that he'd get right on it...personally.

Right then and there he told a waiteress to assemble the entire crew in the dining room and explained to the customers to please take their time, finish their meals and that they would be closed for a while.

He then started barking orders to shut down the grille, oven and stoves, disconnect the gas fittings and prepare to pack up. They were going to Shanksville.

They did this in record time and set up shop there keeping the various workers fed for quite some time.

What is interesting to note is that after he resumed his business downtown he 'accidentally' forgot to send the government a bill.

I heard this story from someone else and one day when I was eating lunch the owner walked in to the place to take care of things.

I walked up to him and asked him about it and he smiled.

"No, I did not send a bill," he said. "This country has allowed me to be successful and own a couple of great businesses and do well. It was just my way of paying it back."

I have no idea whatsoever what this cost him but I know it wasn't cheap when you even begin to add things up.

What a neat guy!

When I see immigrants and others simply sucking the government tit I think of this guy and it only adds to my anger toward the system.

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, May 6, 2015

Do not wear an AVG blood chit to a Chinese restaurant

 unless you want hilarity to ensue.

For those of you that don't know what I am talking about, an AVG blood chit is a patch the original WW2 Flying Tigers were issued with a Chinese flag on it. Under the flag in Chinese there is an explaination that the wearer of it is an American aviator in China to help chase the Japanese out and to provide him with food, shelter and medical attention. Those who do this will be rewarded.

It was given to aviators in the event they got shot down as an aid to overcome the language barrier as very, very few of the Americans there spoke Chinese. Some of the sewed it on the back of their jackets, most sewed it on the inside. The guys that sewed it on the inside had  a few brains.

It was likely bad enough being a shot down aviator in Japanese occupied China but with a civil war going on between the communists and the nationalists wearing a Nationalist Chinese flag on one's back isn't the smartest thing to do. It also made a pretty good aiming point for a Japanese rifleman.

So a couple of us amble in for lunch and I'm wearing my flight jacket with the AVG blood chit sewn onto the inside lining. I took it off and tossed it over the unused seat carelessly and a part of the blood chit was exposed.

The waiter I have had serve us before. He's a character that has a real 'Hop Sing' Chinese accent at work but in reality grew up in Jersey. He's really got a 'Corner of Toidy-toid Street an Toid avenue' Jersey accent in real life. It rates right up there with a Korean with a West Texas drawl I met once. 

He spotted the part of the blood chit that was showing, opened it up and left without asking for our beverage order. A second later he returned with another older guy about my age, also Chinese. 

He showed the older guy the blood chit and the two of them started babbling, presumably in Chinese. They were both entertaining and animated. He then turned to me.

"Melican pilot. Come. Jap-nee near. We hide you!"

With that he picked up my jacket and took my arm. "Come!" he said.

What else do you do? You go along with it. As we passed another waitress he showed her the blood chit and said, "Melican pilot. I hide," as I was whisked into the kitchen. She shook her head with a big smile.

When we got into the kitchen he pointed to a door and said, "I hide you here."

"I'm not standing around in a walk-in freezer full of dead cats," I protested. He laughed and reverted back to being the Jersey guy.

"Dead cats," he said, derisively. "We had that rumor going around about us about six months ago."

"Did it hurt business?" I asked.

"Not really," he confessed. The usual buffet hogs still came charging in and wolfed the food down like there wasn't going to be a tomorrow. Who started that rumor, anyway?"

"The first time I heard it I was about ten," I said. I heard it from my uncle who told it as an absolute truth about a place near him. Likely he got the story from a guy he met in a bar who heard it from his college room mate's girl friend who heard it from...You get the general idea. That was over fifty years ago I heard it for the first time."

"Yeah?" he asked.

"Yeah," I replied. "It's in the Chink's Guide to running a Chinese restaurant in the United States. Chapter seven goes into it in great detail."

He laughed. "The Chink's Guide to...," he chuckled. "Where'd joo come up wit that one?" He was in normal Jersey street mode now.

"Who knows?" I asked rhetorically. "Probably there is one. There's a book for everything, although that one sounds like it was written by Mel Brooks."

"Who?" he asked.

"Mel Brooks. He wrote Blazing Saddles." I replied. "It's a really funny movie. My favorite."

"What in the wide, wide world of sports is a-goin' on around here? I know that movie." he replied. "It's a classic."

"Yup. that one." I answered. "Mel made us ALL look as stupid as we really are. Gotta go." I took my jacket and he followed me back to my table.

When we got back he looked at my partner. "Jap nee all gone now. All velly good. What youse guys want to drink?"

We ordered.

My partner, Rennie, looked at me. "He the guy?"

"Yeah, He's the guy that took Vince and I to the MacDonalds a block up the road, held his eyes wide open and said, Big Mac, "Frrrrrrench frrrrries!" I said.

I already wrote about that incident a while ago. Look it up if you want. 

He grinned and left and came back with our beverages and a couple of chits good for a free meal there.

"You already paid when you came in," he explained. "This is for the fun. I wish you guys would drop in more often."

I'd forgotten that the place was a fun place to eat. The food's OK, but the floor show is priceless. I'm going to go there more often.

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, May 5, 2015

I am getting near retirement

 and a a sailor when I do retire I am not going to wind up in the Old Mariner's Home sitting on a porch telling sea stories and watching ships roll in and out.

No way in hell.

Besides my career being somewhat of an odyessy my life has certainly been one and I have been told by the Gods that after I retire that there is only one way to end my odyessy.

I, much like Odyusses, have been told to take an oar and carry it inland until someone asks me why I am carrying a winnowing fan.

I have heard a lot of mariners say that the instant they retire they are going to buy a big bag of pot and smoke it. I can see this but it is not my style.

When that happens my odyessy will end and I will settle down. I have been thinking that my march inland will be an interesting subject for either this or a seperate blog.

Several years ago I met a Louisianan that was born in Maine that did a similar thing. After he got out of the service he returned to Maine. He had gone through basic during the winter and had been promptly sent to the Pacific. 

Not the part of the Pacific that everyone things of, he was sent to Alaska.

I guess after he was discharged and returned to Maine he bought a surplus jeep and put a snow plow on the front and lived there another year or two.

One day he just packed Maine in and hopped in the Jeep and headed south and kept going south until someone asked him what that thing was on the front of his Jeep.

That's where he decided to live. He was tired of ice and snow and it made sense to live somewhere that people didn't even know what a snow plow was.

The Jeep with the snow plow now is likely little more than a pile of rust sitting in his back yard, assuming he's still with us.

Of course my luck seems to be a luck of extremes. What will likely happen is that someone will figure out my plan and ask me before I get half a block. Either that of nobody will ever ask me and I will be hiking forever.

Oh, well. We'll just have to see what happens.

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, May 4, 2015

I just read a quote from some coal miner

 that was in a book. I forgot the title of the book but remember the quote as it is an absolute truth.

"Most people don't know how this damned country works."

He's right. Most people DON'T know how the country works and that includes most elected officials. It's sad, really.

It's not too bad when someone in the working class doesn't know, but when the lawmakers don't know then there's likely going to be trouble.

Looking at family run farms we have to say that they are very much that. They are run by families and as soon as a child is able to do something to contribute he or she is expected to pitch in. Children fresh out of infancy are given jobs to do based on their ability to perform the tasks. A little one might be required to feed the chickens for example.

Pre teens are sometimes trained to run farm machinery that their big city counterparts don't even know exists. Youngsters may learn how to run a plow as a small child by sitting on their father's lap. When they are still in their pre teens thay may find themselves running various machines.

It's been this way since Day One and the system seems to work. You have to remember that a farmer is pretty damned likely to make sure the kid is competent to run the machine. First of all, he doesn't want his kids injured. He also knows that an incompetent operator can destroy a very expensive piece of equipment.

The farmer isn't likely to turn a kid loose running something until he is damned good and sure the kid is up to snuff.

This is pretty much a part of how a lot of family farms run.

Yet an awful lot of people don't even begin to understand it.

I'm a mariner and over the years I've had a few people ask me questions about it. Most are questions that indicate that they at least have somewhat of a clue as to what I do.

"Do you sleep on the boat?" one guy once asked me.

"No," I replied. "We just have Tom Bodett leave the light on for us. He has a bunch of his motels floating around in the Atlantic." The line came from a Motel 6 ad that was going around at the time.

Still, there are a lot of people that don't understand that the way they live is because a lot of people are behind the scenes working their ass off and jobs they don't even realize exist.

I had someone ask me what I do for a living and told them I move oil so they didn't have to walk home and freeze in the dark while watching television by torch light.

There's one guy out there that seems to get it, though. It's Mike Rowe, who hosted the TV series 'Dirty Jobs'.

He had a long running show about how people that work behind the scenes provide us with a lot of things that we take for granted. Mike Rowe knows how this country runs.

Anyway, we have a lot of elected officials out there that don't really seem to have a clue. Let's revisit the family farm and the twelve year old kid that dear old dad finally let plow twenty acres of the lower forty.

Enter Senator Whatshisface on some fact finding mission. He's been sent there to investigate child labor in the fields. He sees some kid that's been training on a machine for the past six or seven years now running it.

Of course he looks at the kid's New York City counterparts that can't get a driver's license until they are eighteen and decides that the kid running the machine is all wrong and shouldn't be permitted.

When he gets back to Washington, he'll get right on it. Of course he does and then gets the other people in the Senate to push through legislation to keep people away from farm machinery until they are at least eighteen.

Either the family farm gets weaker or the farmers flout the law. Can't say as I blame the farmers for flouting the law. I also can't say I blame the county sheriffs for turning a blind eye and not enforcing the law, either. After all, it's just another case of lawmakers not knowing how the country really works.

It's a shame but the coal miner was right.

Most people DON'T understand how this damned country works. Congress ought to just shut the hell up and get off of our backs.

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