Monday, February 29, 2016

Sailor stuff

One of the things that sailormen have to deal with is snarled deck lines. this is especially true if they are used on capstans and gypsy heads.

I have seen deckhands on tugboats and barges fighting to unsnarl lines by working the snarls out from the point of snarl to the end of the line. It's a slow, tedious process and not a whole lot of fun.

However, like a lot of things, there is an easy way to do this naturally.

WHen you are anchored or ties up simply take one end of the snarly old line and put three or four wraps around the capstan or gypsy head and tie the very end off so it can't slip off and get away. then lead the line to the nearest cleat ot timberhead and put either a round turn or half of a figure 8 on it.

Then simply toss the rest of entire line over the side and let the current take it away. Wait until the line has run out straight and then let it settle down for a few minutes.

Then simply haul it all back in with the capstan or gypsy head.

The round turn or half figure 8 will force the snarls to unwind and they will work themselves out of the deck line with no further ado. Simply coil it as it comes in.

When you have it coiled up you're done and the line is now snarl free.

Generally speaking, if you are sharp enough you can let Mother Nature do an awful lot of your work for you.

Again, Yes. It reaally is that easy.

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

I see where the governor of Mississippi

 has declared April to be Confederate Heritage Month. Good for him.

I live in Pennsylvania and this has no bearing whatsoever on what I pay for gasoline at the pump. Or what a six-pack of beer is going to cost me the next time I want one. 

It certainly isn't going to effect the prices the girls charge for a lap dance at the Kit Kat club.

So what's the big deal?

It simply ain't any of my business.

If the good people of Mississippi do not like this as far as I am concerned they can tar and feather their governor or re-elect him. Just so long as it doesn't raise what I pay at the pump or cough up for my next six-pack.

Enter the usual meddlesome suspects. 

I would imagine the Southern Poverty Law Center is going to declare the entire State of Mississippi to be a dangerous racist organization. The NAACP (another group that has outlived their usefulness) will start moaning and bellyaching.

The usual gang of liberal do-gooders that live in every state BUT Mississippi are going to get their bowels in an uproar. 

To top it off come the 26th of April, Piccolo will hold his First Annual Politically incorrect Confederate Memorial Day barbecue, weather permitting.  

I have never been a confederate flag kind of guy. However, I refuse to cave in to the politically correct set hence the upcoming barbecue.

Besides, isn't there a special rule out there that says specifcally 'Anything for a party?'

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Someone once asked me

 where I went to school and I replied "Hawsepipe University". For those of you that don't know, a hawsepiper is a guy that became a ship's officer without going through an academy. They studied and learned on their own.

He was a young guy fresh out of college in a somewhat competitive but not totally flooded field. He'd probably find a decent wayof supporting himself and I figure he's not headed off to join the Free $hit Army and let the rest of us support him.

He asked me about Hawsepipe University and I explained what it was. Then I pointed out tht my entry level license cost me 720 sea-days of learning in an enviornment far less forgiving than any college classroom. 

People die out here.

I explained that my 'sheepskin' was issued by the Coast Guard and said "To: United States Merchant Marine Officer" on it. It was my ticket to employment. Unlike someone else's degree in woman's studies, puppetry or basket weaving.

I also pointed out that I was and am still in graduate school and would be for as long as I work on the water.

"So you did pretty good with a high school diploma?" he asked. "It sounds like an apprenticeship program of sorts."

"I suppose you're right," I said. 

Anyway, this kid I think is going to do OK in the long run. For one thing he has a pretty good work ethic and told me his student loans were pretty low. He's paying them off working construction and wants them out of the way as quickly as possible.

I hope he makes out OK. He seems pretty motivated. He's also willing to add a couple of courses come spring to increase his marketability.

Of course, his graduating class contains any number of snivelers that graduated with uselsss degrees and will blame the rich for their foolishness. Truth is, I don't give a damn. If they were stupid enough to borrow a couple of hundred grand for a degree in woman's studies or gay pride history then I know why God put them here.

I used to be disgusted with people like that until I realized why God put them here. He put them here to give me something to laugh at.

He also put this young man in front of me to remind me that not all of his creatures are idiots.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

When I start trying to learn a skill

 I generally start at the bottom and learn to do things the old fashioned way first.

For example I learned to drive on a manual transmission. In the long run that proved to be a good choice as over the years I have been handed a lot of different vehicles to drive and have been comfortable with just about all of them.

Come to think about it, I didn't get my first decent car until I was almost forty but that's a different story. 

I learned to shot on iron sights and didn't start shooting through a scope until recently.

Right now I am on again-off again learning to send code on my ham rig. I am starting out with an Old School Chinese Army surplus K-4 telegraph key and battling to learn to read code by ear. It is a difficult battle.

There are any number of side-keys, paddles, bugs, benchers out there. In addition to that there are any number of electronic keyers that send perfect code.

In addition to that, if one gets a good signal and the person on the other end is sending computer generated code there are all sorts of readers available.

These make it fairly easy to communicate in code and get started fast.

Still, I am adamant abut starting out the old fashioned way because I am not content simply being able to send and receive computer generated code. I want to become a real telegrapher, as opposed to being a keyer operator.

I think that in the long run it will pay off because when things head south and I have a weak signal or hand generated code I will be able to read it with no problem.

Technology is a great thing and I am not a unibomber type anti-techie. Still, I do believe that learning a skill should entail being able to practice it when technology breaks down.

Anyway, that's the way I look at things.


FWIW my 'O' key is getting sticky.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

I just read where someone involved with the RNC

 said he'd never vote for Donald Trump.

Interesting comment from such a person.

I could certainly see a comment coming from a die hard Democrat or some liberal type or even a hard-nosed conservative.

However, someone with ties to the RNC making a comment like that is rather interesting.

After all, the RNC created Donald Trump.

They did it by not paying attention to the electorate and continuing to do things that were strictly to the advantage of the RNC and not to the country as a whole.

Seems that an awful lot of Republican types have gotten fed up with the business as usual attitude of the RNC and have gotten behind a renegade.

Can't say as I blame them. Generally when people are ignored they tend to take the law into their own hands after they get fed up.

What I see here with the man who made the comment of not wanting to vote for Trump is that he's upset because nobody is supporting just another half-assed Republican candidate that the RNC wants to pass off on the American people.

My advice to him is that he man up and take his medicine and pull the lever and vote for Trump.

After all, you and your little RNC buddies created him. Now live with it. 

The people in the RNC culd learn a lessn from the late Jimmy Hoffa. 

There wasn't a teamster out there that didn't know Hoffa was stealing from them. They really didn't mind because Hoffa wasn't stealing it all.

The teamsters used to kid about this by saying "He get his and he makes sure we get ours."

Had the clowns in the RNC passed around a share of the pie then they would probably not be terrified of what might happen to them if Trump does make it all the way.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I was

 listening to a conversation the other day and someone was badmouthing another group. It didn't really matter who was being badmouthed.

 I'm not going to post who it was suffice to say that if you want to live in this country you had better get used to it. This is going to happen a lot. Can't do nothin' for you. Don't like it? Leave. It really is that simple.

Anyway, someone got on the badmouther's case and he replied that he had a right to speak out as he saw fit.

The badmouth Nazi, a supporter of the politically correct set, started in on how the badmouther was being offensive.

A third person, a teenager, spoke up.

"Sometimes freedom is offensive. Get used to it!" said the teenager.

Kudos to the teenager. Someone gets it.

Freedom. Sometimes it's a bitch.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

One of the things I notice that a lot of cable, insurance, internet suppliers and cell companies

 do is ignore their long-time customer base.

They let the rates stand so long as the long term customers will continue to pay it even though they give newer people a cheaper rate.

I've even seen city governments pull this kind of crap. They gave newer companies all sorts of incentives but never lowered taxes on companies that have been there for years.

I once saw a major Philadelphia based transportation company respond in an interesting way. Philly offered a company reduced taxes to attract them.

The CEO of the transportation company asked why the new comer companies got tax relief yet the long time companies got none. He was told it was to attract business and they refused to give the company any relief.

So the CEO simply closed the Philly office and moved the company elsewhere. It cost the company little if anything to do this and they wound up not only with lower taxes but cheaper rents and other operating costs. It was a good deal for the company and a loss for Philly. 

The same sort of thing happens to the average Joe that has been, for example a cell customer for years. They often give the newer customers a better deal but seem to forget that their long term customer base deserves a break for long term loyalty.

I know that the people that are always switching auto insurance companies save money over time because they get rates designed to get them to switch.

Right now I am going to check up on my cell service because mine had a limit on data when I first signed up. Now the same money will buy unlimited data for newer customers. 

I don't use a whole lot of data on my cell so I have never runover. Still, I do pay attention to make sure I'm not running over. It would be ice not to have to bother.

I'm going to have to check and see if they altered my plan to reflect this. If they have I will be pleasantly surprised.

I do know that my car insurance has stayed the same rate for years and thatif I shop around I can do better. I think I will when I have some time in the very near future. My wife just pointed out that there are better homeowner's deals out there.

One of the reasons people are loathe to change is because it is a whole lot easier to write a check than shop. Still, I suppose if you look at shopping around as a way of getting an indirect raise it may change one's attitude. A penny saved is a penny earned.

There are numerous options out there these days. At one point there was only one show in town as far as TV suppliers go. Now there are several and that means competition.

A lot of communication companies offer package deals of TV, phone and internet.

Yet I admit I have been using the same TV supplier for years even though if I checked newer customers probably pay a cheaper rate.

My wife generally handles a lot of this and she's pointed out this and I asked her to look into this. Seems the cable company is balky. They won't give us the lower rate until some time after we cancel.

Sounds like stupidity to me. If and when I decide to cancel I will likely just go to one of the other companies offering a better deal.

Maybe something is wrong with me but it strikes me that taking care of long term customers pays off in the long run.

I have a long period of little on the schedule coming up nd I think I am going to look at my cell, TV, ISP and both homeowner's and car insurance and see what the best deals are out there.

A penny saved is a penny earned. 

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

I was looking at an old silent movie

 of the Wright brothers flying an airplane in France circa 1908.

No safety gear, helmets, no nothing.

Just two guys in suits and ties and bowlers. There they were, headed off into the wild blue yonder dresses to the nines.

It would be interesting to see what the various federal regulatory bodies in this day and age would have to say about that.

Between the FAA and OSHA they would have been saddled up with so much safety crap that they would never be able to get the plane off the ground!


Incidentally aviation sure progressed fast!

In 1903 the Wright Flyer took off at Kill Devil Hill.

Thirty years later they were shooting King Kong off the roof of the Empire State Building!

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

I just got an email from a cop I know from an internet board.

Seems he gets into hot water every so often because he has a disability. We swapped notes and it seems we both have the same disability. What we have wrong with us is the filter between our brains and mouths does not seem to work very well and our mouths (and keyboards) run away with us.

We both seem to agree that this ought to be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Maybe we can send a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and have it listed as a disease or a disability of some sort. Who knows? Maybe we can draw some kind of disability and not have to work any more.

Or we can take out a couple of full page ads and throw a fund raiser for people so afflicted. That sounds like a pretty good idea. My pickup is getting along in years and needs replaced one of these days and I could use a new one.

Anyway, there are a few Americans that have this disability and it keeps getting us into hot water. There ought to be something that can be done about it.

If there are any of you out there that are halfway decent fund raisers please let me know.

This is a terrible thing to live with.

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Some time ago I did a post on Kilroy of WW2 fame.

I won't rehash it here.

I did, however read where the fictitious graffiti tag showed up in so many places that Stalin turned to Roosevelt and asked.

"Who is Kilroy?"

I wonder what Roosevelt told him.... 

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Life has gotten very busy

Hopefully later today I can find time to make a decent post.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

I wrote this post some time ago and misplaced it

Right now I have nothing going on for a few minutes and I think I'll whip out a fast post.

I am NOT a political analyst and only put any predictions I make by taking what I find out and drawing my own conclusions.

I have been following the campaign of Donald Trump lately because if fascinates me. Trump has no political history and just threw his hat in the ring and very well may become the next president.

I really don't know what is  going to happen but from what i can see he very well may become our next president. Time will tell.

I can only make conclusions on what I see and find out. Like everythig else it is a batle for information. A lot of mine comes from the man on the street and I do admit that I don't travel in circles big enough to get the entire picture.

One thing I see is Jeb Bush making a complete idiot of himself by continuing to run. Then again, maybe he knows something the rest of us don't. It is entirely possible that there has been some kind of a backroom deal cut with him.

It would not surprise me to find the RNC is going to try and palm him off on us as the Republican candidate. If that happens an awful lot of people are either going to sit the election out or vote third party.

The way it looks, though, we are seeing Jeb Bush carry on with an indignant, constipated look on his face like a little kid that got cheated in a game of marbles.

Personally I wouldn't vote for anyone capable of being photographed with that look on his face. 

I wish he would just pack it in. He's already made such a fool of himself that nobody will vote for him in the General election anyway. So why not just pack it in and leave with what little dignity he has left.

Truth is, he doesn't appear to have any dignity and would only stand to gain if he left the race.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

South Park was on in the background

 and I just looked up in time to see where one of the kids got busted because he socked  black kid. Of course, he was instantly charged by the FBI for a hate crime.

Several years I spoke with an FBI agent and he told me that hate crimes were a pain in the ass because you had to prove to a jury what was in a man's heart.

The whole thing leaves me annoyed. It clearly says to me that one group of people is more precious than another.

An assault is an assault just like a murder is a murder. It's really that simple. It really doesn't matter what color the victim is. In fact, when you get right down to it victims and perps HAVE no color. It is simply a case of one human being wronging another.

Dr. King once said there is one race and that's the human race. I look at it that way.

Just because something crosses racial lines doesn't mean a damned thing to me. What does mean something to me is that if there is a crime that the victim and the perpetrator get their day in court.

Personally I think that the hate crime legislation was passed to appease the NAACP andother groups. I wish that the government had enough moxie to tell these whiners to go to hell. I have said that for a large part the NAACP has pretty much outlived their usefulness. It seems that all they do these days is proclaim that that they're different. 

Bull$hit! We're supposed to be all the same. There's one race and that's the human race.

Another thing I don't like about hate crime legislation is that it really isn't applied fairly. Run the numbers and see how many minorities are charged with hate crimes.

One thing we have to realize that we ae going to continue to have problems things crossing racial lines as long as we let it. Repealing the hate crime laws would actually go a lot further in relieving racial tensions. 

It would tell everyone that minorities are not going to be treated as special little snowflakes. Instead they are going to be treated the same way everyone else is.

Instead of dragging race into things, the NAACP should be pushing race OUT of things. Dragging race into things just serves to tell everyone how different we are rather than what we have in common.

Personally, I would consider getting some kind of 'protection' like that to be an insult. It would mean to me that the government thought I couldn't take care of myself without their help.

When you think about it that's what fair play is all about.

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I just got off a web site I frequent

and some member started a thread about his 8 year old kid trying for a Technician grade ham license.

If the kid is into it, it sounds pretty good to me.

I do believe this to be the case in this instance. A curiosity like this is something to be nurtured and fed. There is no telling what a kid with that kind of curiosity will do in life.

As usual, I'm going to mention the other side of the story.

When I started in on the thread I was going to brag that my daughter was four hours old when she passed the tests for Extra class. It would have been typical Piccolo sarcasm and I can figure some dumbass would believe it but I digress.

There's a huge difference between nurturing a kid and pushing a kid. A lot of parents push their kids too hard and wind up with sad results. Most of us know about the Jean Benet Ramsey type beauty contests where they take toddlers and dress and make them up for the pageants. It's really not right.

My guess in this instance of an 8 year old getting ready to test is that it is a  case of a curious kid and a patient father feeding the natural curiosity of his child.

Kudos to him for good fathering!


Yesterday while shopping I heard a mother use the word 'no' on her two kids. I admit I had to grin and when we saw each other I had to tell her that it  was refreshing seeing a mother doing a good job.

She seemed flattered.

Sometimes I'm too outspoken but I do have to admit that good parents should be complimented.

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Monday, February 15, 2016

One service that is often overlooked is the Coast Guard.

They do a lot of pretty good work when you take the time to look at them. 

While in my line of work they are often thought of as a PITA, you have to look at the bigger picture. They do a number of fairly important things. 

They chase smugglers and do drug interdiction. They do search and rescue and enforce federal laws. All Coast Guard officers, commissioned and noncommissioned are considered to be Federal marshals of sorts. They are permitted to make arrests on the high seas.

Their boot camp at Cape May, NJ is considered to be the second toughest boot camp of the five armed services.

Like the rest of the services there is pretty much something for just about everyone to do. If you want to pick up an administrative skill they have jobs that you can train for.

Law enforcement is also a part of the Coast Guard and that can be interesting work as can pollution enforcement.

On the other hand if you want a little adventure and excitement you can strike for the small boat handling course at Cape Disappointment, Washington and you'll learn how to handle a 44 foot self-righting motor lifeboat in heavy seas.

Search and rescue can be exciting and there is a lot of satisfaction at fishing someone out of the drink.

While most of the Coast Guard live by the motto 'Semper Paratus' which means 'Always Prepared' the SAR guys live by another motto.

'Ya gotta go out but you don't have to come back in'. 

That informal motto comes from a regulation in the old Life Saving Service book. The Life Saving Service became a part of the Coast Guard many years ago and the Coasties in SAR live by it.

Anyway, I sometimes recommend the Coast Guard to young people that are looking for an alternative to the other four armed services.

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

That woman in the checkout was HOT!

Damned straight she was!

Wow! Tight, firm, well dressed and very well put together.

But she'll soon learn that no matter how hot and sexy she is, it won't be very long for the guy she was with to get tired of her bitchy attitude.

I actually had to change registers because I was biting my tongue.

I wanted to tell her that no matter how hot and sexy she is, that she might as well not plan on having a decent relationship with anyone because they will eventually grow tired of her shit.

Something to think about.

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Saturday, February 13, 2016


Right now the systems in this country are terribly overloaded. Our social assistance programs are stretched well past the breaking point and all we seem to do about it is rack up more and more debt.

Now the leadership wants ups to stretch the social networks a little thinner by taking thousands of Syrian refugees.

How about no?


No. What part of no do you not understand? It's really quite simple. No. No means no. Ask any braided armpit feminist. She'll tell you that  no means no. It's as simple as that.

Unless we are willing to make a few rules.

The first thing is that we run individual background checks on all males between the age of about 17 to 50. Yes, I am profiling here, Most terrorism acts are committed by males between the ages of about 18 and 45. Is this profiling?

You're damnend right it is. So what?

The next rule is simply this: You don't cost us any money. Our systems are stretched too far as it is. This means no welfare, no medicaid, no nothing except for a GI bill or some other public service benefit payable AFTER you serve.

In short you have to be able to take care of yourself. You better get on the band wagon MOST riki-tik and learn the language and customs.

It ain't gonna be easy. Your culture is totally different. You have to leave your Syrian shit back in Syria. 

This means no sharia courts. This means you can not dump  acid on your wife's face because she burned dinner and walk off feeling good about yourself. Try it and draw a Monopoly card. Go to jail Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not colect $200. You can't hack up your daughter because she smiled at the boy down the street either. You don't like it? Go somewhere else.

In short you have to get with the program. You are not in Syria anymore.

The truth is that a lot of people here that are not willing to stop being a whatever they were and are not willing to become Americans simply do not belong here.

If you look at the Middle East Muslim invasion of Germany, France and the UK then it is a slam dunk case for not letting a lot of these people into this country. 

I am not picking on Muslims or Middle Easterners. Many are good people. But there are a lot of these people that simply should not be allowed into the country. These are the people that simply don't have anything to contribute. From what I have seen in Europe they seem to have done a a lot of damage.

We simply can not afford to support them. Sad as it is.

If you look at the Swiss they are pretty careful about who they let move there. The people they let in have to be able to contribute and be able to take care of themselves. They also have to be able to contribute.

Tina Turner became a Swiss citizen. She can take care of herself. In her case it was both that she had the money and the talent to make money.

We ought to be more like the Swiss as far as immigration goes.

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Some of you guys are pretty damned stupid.

Now that I have gotten along in years I have seen a handful of youngsters that try and score points with their sweetie by being rude to people.

Especially people they think are weaker than they are.

Guess what, dumbass? If she has even a lick of sense she's really not too impressed no matter what she may say. If she has half of a brain in her head she's probably mulling over a way of ditching you after she's gotten what she wants out of you. She's really not too impressed.

You sort of forget that she's probably looking at the way you treat other people very carefully. She knows that you will eventually start treating her the same way you treat everyone else. Or at least start treating her friends and family that way.

Most woman are not completely stupid. Nor are they blind.

Now, as for the young stud that was rude to me last weekend because he thought I was a lot older than I am. You really don't know how that went down. You missed half of it because you turned yoour back on me.

Your sweetie was really embarrased by your conduct. She looked like she wanted no part of it and at that point, or you for that matter. The look on her face told me that and you were too dumb to see it.

Remember that she told you that the old man could take you out? You said, "Yeah, right!"

It's because of what you didn't see when your back was turned. I tipped my hat up, gave her a sly wink and put my hat back down over my eyes. Then I held up (but did not open) the knife I was carrying and put it back in my pocket.

You didn't even see the look in her eyes or catch her hiding a smirk because you were not paying attention. 

You may not be paying attention but I'd bet that she certainly is and I don't think she likes what she sees. She sees that a future with you isn't going to be what she's looking for. She's really not interested in a rude jerk like you.

Keep working at it! She'll dump you.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Of all of the federal programs I can think of two that have worked well

Neither of them gave the program user anything but an opportunity and both required hard work

The Homestead Act of 1863 was signed by Abraham Lincoln. I have heard of it being referred to as a government giveaway but in fact it wasn't. You had to work for it and 'prove up'. Many people tried and failed and many were successful.

In the 1860s Lincoln signed the bill in order to try and turn the midwest into something that would benefit the country. It was pretty much a whole lot of nothing at the time.

The bill offered the opportunity to get ownership of 160 acres with certain provisions. You had to work the land and meet a number of requirements. You had five years to 'prove up'. If you succeeded you got the deed to the land.

I've personally visited a few farms that began with the act. My wife's ancestors came here from Scandinavia and proved up. The farm was in her family for generations. Most of these farms had humble beginnings.

It was an opportunity for the poorer people in the country to become successful and make something out of themselves. It wasn't a handout, it was more of a hand up.

The other successful federal program that comes to mind was signed by FDR in 1944. Officially it is the Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944. Most of us know it as the GI Bill.

There are a lot of provisions in the GI bill for home and business loans. (Remember, loans have to be paid back) However the big thing people associate with the bill is being able to go to college or technical school.

An awful lot of people that couldn't even dream of attending college before WW2 got their degrees. A lot of my schoolteachers got their educations that way.

It was an opportunity given to returning servicemen and it is one of the very few government programs that has actually made money rather than cost us money. Most returning GIs that took advantage of the program got useful degrees and made something worthwhile of themselves.

I guess that every so often even a blind squirrel finds a nut.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Shoot the hostage.

One of the tricks some women keep up their sleeves is they turn on the water works when things don't go their way.

Most men are a sucker for this tactic. I'm not. The reason is because I see it for what it is. I've seen this before over the years and I generally do not let a woman or for that matter, anyone else get away with it.

I am not talking about when there is a serious reason for being legitimately upset. I am talking about a woman using tears to get her own way or squirm out of something.

I have somewhat of a 'shoot the hostage' mentality to begin with. If you shoot the hostage you take away the thing someone is hiding behind. Generally I take the same attitude towards blackmail, too. Then again if you accuse me of something I'll generally admit that I did something worse.

Anyway, it was a few years ago when some woman at a party started running her mouth about how the NRA was this and the NRA was that. One of the things she said is that the members were anti-Semitic.

I reached into my pocket and pulled out my wallet and showed her an NRA membership and let her prattle on and accuse me of being anti-semitic. When she did that I pulled out my JPFO membership card. I stuck it in her face.

"Never again!" I said. 

Her eyes opened wide as she looked for an escape route. Cornered, she tried her female option. She started crying and wept, "I didn't know you were Jewish," She wailed.

Of course, I never said I was but I didn't have to tell her that. Over the years I have let people think all sorts of things.

A lot of men will do anything to get a woman like that to stop crying. They get all mushy inside. Because I see it for what it is, I don't. I simply poured on the coal and really got on her case. When she saw the waterworks were not going to work she stopped instantly.

Because I see the waterworks for what it is I am somewhat immune to it. It is nothing more than an evil trick some women learn at an early age as a trick to get their way.

Over the years I have had a number of men tell me that they are a sucker for female tears. They admit they cave in and give anything away just to get a woman to stop. I tell them not to avoid it, but to embrace it. It means that you have scored a victory. It is the last gasp before they raise the white flag.

Any line GI knows that when when you have the enemy getting ready to cave in that you go in for the kill. The waterworks is nothing more than a last ditch maneuver. When it starts you fix bayonets and charge.

When you know that you can easily become immune to it. After a while you learn not to get all mushy inside and cave in to it. You learn to attack it with cruelty. It makes it stop. Sometimes cruelty can be a kindness.

I didn't let this woman off the hook. I demanded an apology for calling me anti-semitic and got one. 

A couple of people chided me about the incident and as usual I had people call me cruel and others said they liked my style. One guy asked me how I could be that way and confessed that he couldn't stand women crying. 

I explained to him that the waterworks is nothing more than another way of taking advantage of someone's inner kindness. 

"Am I generally a kind person?" I asked.

"That you are," he said. "You go out of your way to be a good guy. When my back went out you really went out of the way to help. You did everything to help and then more."

"Have you ever seen what happens when my kindness gets taken advantage of?" I asked.

"You become brutal," he said.

"There it is." I replied. "I saw her trying to take advantage of my good nature. Hence the bayonet charge."

I suppose she might try the waterworks on someone else but you can bet your ass she won't try that trick on me again. She found out that it won't work on me.

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

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Someone asked my why

I would do such a dumb, childish and immature thing such as show up at a gun show dressed up like I was 20 years older than I am.

The answer is quite simple.

I am a dumb, childish and immature 64 year old man. Case closed.

Besides it was just plain fun and enlightening. I now know what kind of treatment I have to look forward to and what steps to take to insure I get treated with a little dignity.

It was also quite a bit of fun. I have not had that much fun since my cat, Tokie, died. 

Tokie used to walk with me on a leash and I could take him anywhere simply by donning a pair of sunglasses and grabbing a white cane.

You would be astonished at how many people really believed that he was a bona fide Seeing Eye Cat.

As for the future indignities of old age, I very well might rebuild a cattle prod into a cane of some sort. It would be used as a memory aid for the younger punk smart ass set.

One good shot of about 9,000 volts will do wonders on making people remember their manners. It might even help improve their hair style!

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, February 8, 2016

One of the things I tend to do with

things I use a lot of over time is buy in bulk.

I do that a lot. 

Right now I am scoping a deal out for simple 25 watt light bulbs because they are somewhat hard to find and I use them in a specific lamp in the living room. A while back I scooped up a case of 24-7.5 Watt light bulbs. I go through these regularly and they are sort of hard to find and when I do they're somewhat expensive.

It actually makes sense to buy like this because it is a double whammy in savings. First of all you get them cheaper by bulk and secondly it saves on traveling around finding them. It's even more convenient as you can shop for stuff like that on line and have it delivered to the door.

The other day while I was grub shopping I saw bathroom tissue on sale and made a mental picture of the linen closet where I keep the stuff. I knew there was plenty of room on the shelf so I snagged a 36 pack and filled the shelf. That ought to last me for a while.

While picking stuff up in bulk puts a speed bump of sorts in the weekly budget you have to remember that over time you save a lot.

I think that part of poverty is the here and now mentality. The poor tend to buy just enough to get through the present time. The wealthier tend to think ahead.

I had to change oil in the pickup the other day and actually caught a pretty good oil and filter package deal so I bought two. Come the spring oil change I'll have it in the garage ready to go. While it isn't a whole lot, it does save me a couple bucks plus the trip to the auto parts store. These add up over time.

Anyway, that's the post of the day.  

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

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Yesterday I went to a gun show for the hell of it.

 I went dressed like an old man.

My winter beard really ages me to begin with so it wasn't too difficult to add to it. I put on a somewhat drab looking pair of ill fitting pants, a brown shirt, a faded necktie and a beat up brown tweed sports jacket. The I topped it off with an old brown fedora.

Then I hunched over a bit and presto! Instant late octagenarian!

The guy I went to the gun show is a policeman and he took one look at me and said that if someone tried to mug me and wound up in the hospital than he'd bust me for hunting over bait.

It was pretty interesting beig about 85 years old ad there were two types of people I ran into. Most were pretty polite and treated me with courtesy. A small handful were rude to me and I learned a lot about the indignities of old age. All in all it was an interesting experience.

A couple of people made me.

I saw a guy a couple years older then me with a Vietnam veteran hat and asked him what year he had been in country. He told me he was there in '66. I was in high school at the time but didn't tell him. I nodded.

He looked carefully at me. A confused look came over him and he said to me "Bet you were still in high school back in '66. That beard and those clothes make you look a lot older."

"One of the kids called me an old guy so I'm havin' a little fun," I replied. "He wants an old man so I'll give him one!"

He laughed. "Well, the beard and the outfit sure aged you 20 years," he replied. "You did that right!"

A while later I was looking at something, an old top-break revolver and some guy in his late 20s plowed into me because he wasn't paying attention. He didn't bother apologizing and just gave me an annoyed look.

His girlfriend looked angry with him for his lack of manners and said something to him about it. When she was finished with him and his back was still toward me I looked at her, tipped my hat back, stood up straight, gave her a sly wink, pulled my hat back down and hunched back over . I saw her surpressing a smirk.

"That old man could probably give you a good licking," I heard her tell her boyfriend as I quietly shuffled off.

A few minutes later I ran into a guy I know from Camp Perry. He didn't recognize me at first and when he did it was because I spoke to him. My voice is probably the most recognizable part of me.

He asked me why I looked so old and I told him about the kids and that it was actually kind of fun going out in disguise. He grinned and shook his head. "I didn't recognize you," he said.

I had some fun with one of the vendors. She was a really sharp woman in her late twenties, quite attractive and really quite charming. She looked like a woman that could easily handle my bull$hit and would challenge me a bit mentally.

I looked at her seriously. "I was thinking of asking you to marry me," I said. "But maybe that's not a good idea."

She was completely unruffled. "Oh? Why is that?" she asked.

"Because if you refused my feelings would be hurt," I replied. "If you accepted it would be proof positive you were completely crazy and I'd have to call the wedding off because I want nothing whatsoever to do with a crazy lady."

She grinned broadly and I knew I had made her day. Then she about floored me with her reply.

"Groucho Marx," she said. "You stole that line from Groucho Marx."

My face lit up. I was impressed. In general women hate the Three Stooges and Groucho Marx. 

I knew then and there that this was a young woman that liked men, liked being around them and enjoyed their company. It's actually pretty rare. It is actually the product of a woman that was raised with a very strong male influence in her life.

"That's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard," I answered and she laughed. We chatted for a couple minutes and then I left. We had both made each other's day and we both knew it.

My friend and I wandered about, I bought nothing, he bought a couple of inexpensive items and when we had made the rounds we left back to my place for a spaghetti dinner. We were joined for dinner by my brother in law. 

All in all it was an interesting day. I got to see life the way it is going to likely wind up if I last that long.

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, February 6, 2016

Sure enough the whiners are crying 'That's not fair!"

over the GI bill.

"Those guys that get out of the military get to go to school for free and it's not fair! I pay taxes and should get to go to school for free, too!"

Oh, really?

Did you write a check payable to the government for the amount up to and including your life? Not hardly. 

All you have done is sit on your ass and whine under the shelter that those men and women have provided. Until you pick up a weapon and sit on post then please have the decency to shut the hell up.

The GI bill is a part of a soldier's total compensation package. He is paid a somewhat lower wage than most and the payoff is that he gets to use the GI bill when he gets out.

Incidentally, the average GI does NOT get to go to school for free. The GI bill is certainly very helpful but it's not like a program that pays for everything. In most cases GI Joe has to work in addition to what he gets on the GI bill.

No, you whiny little twit, you shouldn't get free schooling. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Someone has to pay. The government in and by itself has no money whatsoever. They get it from people that work in the form of taxes or they borrow it from someone.

These days we borrow from China and the Chinese government gets it from their working people to loan to us. So if you really want to get all liberal and have something to snivel about we can say that you want to go to school for free and let poor exploited Chinese peasants pay for it.

The GI bill isn't free. GI Joe pays for it in various ways ranging from the minor inconvenience of being away from home for a few years to being crippled for life. The dead get no GI bill.

Still, everyone that ever puts on a uniform and completes basic training is changed for life in one way or another.

I have always stayed in touch with the military and veteran community and have seen this to be true. Everyone that serves a hitch is changed.

Is the GI bill worth it? Opinions among veterans differ.

One grunt I met a couple of years ago said he thought it was a pretty good deal. He feels he made the right choice. He had pretty extensive combat service. Another guy that had no combat time under his belt says he thinks it was a fair deal.

I also have a longtime friend about my age that spent a year in Vietnam as a combat medic. When I asked him years ago if the GI bill was worth his year in Vietnam he said emphatically not. He pointed out he could have gotten a job and worked his way through school.

I have been around a lot of vets. While most of them are pretty routine normal guys, I've met an awful lot of guys that have paid some pretty heavy dues. Things like an arm here, a leg there. A lot of these guys have paid some pretty hefty dues.

While I served for a while I had a room mate that had a tour in Vietnam. He didn't sleep very well and was constantly waking up in horror. A good night's sleep was a rare occurrence.

Another comrade I served with had face that looked like it had been run through a meat grinder. I sometimes think he was a lucky one. His scars showed. A lot of the guys had terrible scars that didn't show.

Little Sister, you have a lot of sand putting yourself in the same category as the troops. Judging from the way you whine about things the troops really don't want you with them unless you go through some pretty big changes.

Unless you go down to the recruiters and sign the contract and write a check payable to Uncle Sam for the value of up to and including your very life than butt out. You are in no way in the same league as these people.

You have done nothing whatsoever to contribute to the safety and security of this country. Yet you want to steal money from the coffers. You want the average working stiff  like me to pay for your education.

How about no?

How about if you get off your dead ass and onto your dying feet and support yourself? Get your education the same way most everybody else does. 

Work for it and earn it.

Oh, and as far as your education goes, you sound an awful lot like a liberal arts student that is pursuing what is probably going to be a worthless degree. For one thing the money is in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The acronym for this is STEM.

There are not really a lot of liberal arts degrees that pay. You're likely to wind up as an over educated idiot working at Starbucks trying to pay off a student loan on peanuts.

On the other hand there is a way you can graduate and get your loans paid off by joining up. The services are not picky about what subject your degree is in. If you complete Officer's candidate school you can commission as a second lieutenant.

Until you d serve, though stop putting yourself in the same category as the troops.

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, February 5, 2016

I just parted with my electric chair.

Someone made me an offer for it that I couldn't refuse.

The history of it is pretty interesting when you think about it. There is a hardwood sawmill along my usual march routes and somehow I made friends of the guys that work there when I saw piles of what proved to be scrap.

They let me dig through the scrap pile every so often. They told me they were going to urn it in the boiler anyway so I might as well help myself if I promised to keep it down and not get greedy.

A while back I made a couple of end tables and a really nice desktop out of mahogany I got there and snagged some wood for a guy I know that is a woodworker. I got it for him but refused to tell him where it came from as I didn't want to create a mob scene at the sawmill and have the freebie shut down.

Anyway, I snagged some nice 1x6 pieces of oak. They were eight footers but you could only get about four feet out of them as the ends were bad. I grabbed a bunch of these and stashed them and then sort of forgot about them.

Several months later they had some oak 4x4s. The guys said they were for a customer, a furniture maker that wanted them to turn on a lathe to make beefy table legs out of. However, they were not perfect. Again, the ends were screwed up.

Still, if someone wanted shorter lengths there they were, free for the cutting. On the way home I wondered what to make out of 4x4s.

I was about halfway home thinking of what to do with the oak and my mind wandered to the old movie I had seen a week earlier. 

What do you do with a bunch of oak 4x4s and oak 1x6s?

You make an ELECTRIC CHAIR out of them!

So I Googled for pictures and the Tenessee hot seat looked makeable so I made one just like it.

The chair itself took a couple of days. I had most of the hardware but the devil is in the details. The chair was solid enough and I slapped a couple coats of varnish on it.

Thrift shops supplied me with a stainless  mixing bowl to use as a skullcap and some woman's wide belts became the tie-down belts. A piece of copper flashing became an ankle contact and I found an old small fuse box to bolt to the bottom right leg. A quick coat of grey paint made the fuse box look 'official' and while the woman's belts couldn't really hold anyone down, they looked pretty realistic.

An electrician friend gave me some scrap cable.

When I was done it would have been something James Cagney would have been proud to be fried on it. The ghost of Ethel Rosenberg would have been proud on the way it came out. Richard Hauptmann and Ted Bundy would hae marveled at it.

To cap it off I had a brass plate enscribed with 'Property of the State of New York. Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Ossining, NY". I screwed the plate to the back of the chair with brass screws.

It was a truly professional job.

So what does one do with an electric chair?

You put it in the living room facing the TV. That's what you do.

So that's what I did.

It was an instant hit with my guests. EVERYONE that walked in immediately sat down in it.

One of my friends came by with his wife. She sat down in it and laughed a bit... or at least until I slapped a wet sponge on top of her head and pushed the skullcap down but I won't get into that.

It was actually a pretty comfortable place to watch TV.

Anyway the other day someone made me an offer I couldn''t refuse and it is now gone.

I'll miss 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

Thursday, February 4, 2016

On doing business with eBay and Amazon

Both of which I have had pretty good luck with. It does make things easier for me and actually saves me money on things. 

I actually save money on many things because I don't have to go all over hell and hunt for something. I have only had one seller that was a jerk about something and I left him feedback that probably cost him a lot of business.

Yesterday I picked up a totally drop dead fedora to add to my collection off of eBay. It was perfect except that the brim wasn't quite as wide as it should have been. It was about a half-inch too narrow.

Now I am not a skinny jeans hipster. I don't like the current inch wide brims they make these days.

I am an old man Old School to boot. I like utile in my lids. A brim should be two and a half to two and three quarters of an inch wide. Not only does it have that Old School Indiana Jones/Humphrey Bogart look but it keeps my eyes shaded from the sun.

Anyway, it arrived and the brim was a touch too narrow. I really believe that was an honest mistake in advertising by the seller. Maybe one of his people looked and guesstimated the size wrong.

I suppose I could have returned the lid but I opted not to as everything other than that was just great. I decided to let it slide.

I generally have a gimlet eye for fraud and in that case I go after the cheater with a purple passion. I get downright vicious. On the other hand I tend to be pretty damned compassionate of someone that truly makes an honest mistake. We ALL screw up sometimes and I realize that.

What galls me is when someone comes charging in and tries to take advantage of someone else's honest mistakes. Like the jerk that raised all sorts of hell with some seller that mis-typed a decimal point. The ad offered to sell a $4,000 rifle for $40. It was an obvious error.

Lucky for the seller the website moderators stepped in and permitted the seller to fix his error. However, there were a couple of jerks that wanted him slain for it. Personally I would have gone after the jerks and taught them a few manners.

When I pointed the discrepancy out to the seller he charged right in there and offered to make things good. Another sign of basic integrity.

Now comes the feedback problem.

In the interest of integrity I can't really give this guy perfect feedback. After all, he did make a mistake. 

On the other hand, any feedback but 100% good is a pretty serious ding in an otherwise good record.

I think the gentleman's way of doing business in this case is to simply leave no feedback. Simply call this the Piccolo way of doing business. 

There is no point of putting a blemish on an otherwise unblemished record of an honest guy. Especially one that I would cheerfully do business with again. In fact it he could find the same hat with a wider brim I would probably buy it from him. 

Anyway, back to the title.

Amazon and eBay actually do save me a lot of time, money and effort. If you know exactly what you want it is the way to go.

Lately I have found a lot of libraries and charitable institutions have been selling a lot of books for a penny and $3.99 in shipping. When you get down to it even though I live near the library it is actually a whole lot easier and in the long run cheaper for me to buy a used book on Amazon.

Where else can you have a book delivered to your door for four bucks?

I also wanted a basic simple TV switch to be able to swap the TV from antenna to TV. Radio Shack wanted about $20 for one that was too big and complicated looking. I went straight to eBay and Bam! Five bucks, delivered. Can't get a whole lot better.

Incidentally, it is interesting to note who pioneered the ability to be able to shop on line. It was the pornography business. Someone explained this to me a while back.

They developed the secure technology that enabled a person to make secure financial transactions. Ain't that a hoot?

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, February 3, 2016

Rainy day and little to do today.

Right now I have little to do.

I bought a nice Harris tweed sports jacket yesterday because come spring I am going to make it a point to dress a little nicer for the hell of it. I've been dressing like a grub for decades.

The funny part of it is that one can dress nicely cheaper than he can dress like a grub when you think about it. A pair of Levi 501s is pretty expensive these days.

Six bucks at the thrift store bought me the Harris tweed jacket. It is a classic and therefore never goes out of style.

About twenty years ago I was working at a place that issued coveralls. They stopped doing this for one reason or another. Most likely because it was being abused. The guys generally ruin every single freebie that they run into.

Anyway, my coveralls finally wore out and I was looking for a substitute. Coveralls at the time were running about $35 a pop. However I noticed that pretty good suits were running between five and ten bucks each at a local thrift store.

So I started showing up for work dressed in a suit. The next trip after I told my shipmate how cheap used suits were my shipmate joined me. We were the two best dressed sailors in the fleet!

It didn't last long, though. A dock man told his supervisor and it worked its way up the chain and one day someone told one of the muckety-mucks at the top that the guys in the piece of equipment I was on dressed better than they did.

It was sent down to middle management to settle and when they boarded us I pointed out that we exceeded the dress code. I also told them I couldn't afford coveralls so I had to opt for a suit.

They were shocked until I pointed out that at the thrift store they sold suits for about a fifth of the cost of coveralls.

They returned a couple of hours later with several sets of coveralls they found in a corner of the warehouse and gave them to us. That, of course, ended that.

All in all if you shop around you can often dress well for a lot less money than you can dress like a grub.

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, February 2, 2016

Today will be a pretty busy one.

I will likely be running all over hell today because things have stacked up.

I gotta bring some chow into the horse pistol for a friend that is supposed to gain some weight. He's gotten too skinny and although the hospital people are feeding him well he could use a little help.

Then I have to show something I plan on selling and I won't get into that here even though it is a legitimate deal.

After that I am on guard duty as I am going to be the 'door opener and closer' for my neighbor. She has to work and needs some plumbing done. I worked on her sink yesterday with a remarkable lack of success. It is the first time I have not been able to unblock a stoppage. 

The headache is that there are too many bend in the piping and I can't seem to get a snake to pass through.

A lot of these older house on my street still have the original steel piping in the drain systems. Mine doesn't as I yanked it out years ago and replaced it with ABS.

I suppose I'll piss someone off today before I turn in tonight. It's not hard to do. In fact it's getting hard NOT to. Everything you do is offensive to someone so I took a different outlook on things. I just took a taxidermist's attitude to things. Don't like it? Then stuff it.

I see the Iowa caucus results are out and I have not bothered to look at that yet. I will after I post this.

My guess without looking is that Hillary won the Democratic nod in Iowa which I can't figure out. Why people would vote for her is beyond me. She belongs in jail. 

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, February 1, 2016

Just for the hell of it I wore my Indian Joe hat to the mall

It is similar to this:

I was in kind of a go to hell mood which is why I went to the mall in the first place.

It got a lot of grins, several compliments and a couple people asked me where I got it. 

I actually made it out of a $2 hat I saw at Goodwill.

Of course, (as usual) there was someone that didn't like it and gave me a bunch of crap about it being offensive to Native Americans. It was some kind of a hippie couple.

What was interesting is that a Native American told me he was a Native American and asked me where I had gotten the hat about a half-hour before I met the hippies. He wanted one and we had a chuckle about it. He said it would be a good hat to get drunk in.

Anyway, the hippie started in and I didn't let them get very far. 

I pointed out that I was a native American with an Irish heritage and that was a bad combination when alcohol entered the equation.

(Not really a lie. I am a native American. I was born here. A Native American (capitalized) is someone with a heritage that goes back to before the white man settled. One capital letter makes the difference.)

I suggested that he meet me in the Sears tool department in a couple of minutes so I could run over to the bar and have a few quick snorts. Then we could get a pair of Sears roofing hatchets to serve as tomahawks and settle our differences outside. I assured him there would be lots and lots of blood on the parking lot.

Of course, he begged off.

"Too bad," I replied. "It could have been a first."

"What would be a first," asked the hippie chick that was with the guy.

"For the first time in the history of the motion picture industry the United States cavalry would have been too late to save his sorry ass," I replied.

I heard a snort from behind the counter of the kiosk we were standing next to. The clerk was a tall, very athletic looking black guy. He spoke up.

"You don't want to be messing around with and old guy like that," he said. "He'll hack you up with a tomahawk and walk off laughing. I wouldn't go near him myself. Especially if he's been drinking."

The hippie couple left rather quickly and the clerk turned to me.

"Where did you get the hat?" he asked.


In other news, I weighed myself in the morning after I got home and I was about 3 pounds heavier than I was when I left. 

I had the obligatory couple of drinks to get my sleep rhythms back to normal but decided no alcohol until I lost the three pounds.

It took about four days and although I suppose I could have a few I think I'll refrain until next weekend. My body chemistry is changing as I age. It's harder to keep my weight down and I suppose i should forego the empty calories.

I might have a couple this weekend, though. We'll see.

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