Friday, February 28, 2014

Those repercussions Obama promised

President Obama:

“'We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine,' he told reporters at the White House.

“'Any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing,' he said in a brief appearance.

“'The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.'”

(Whatcha gonna do now, Vlad? Huh? The man who killed Bin Laden’s told you, by golly. He is deeply concerned. Got that? Anything you do, Vlad, will be deeply destabilizing. Understand that? And we’re gonna go along with the international community, Vlad. Ooh, shaking your boots now, I’d bet.)

“Admin officials tell CNN's Barbara Starr this is an ‘uncontested arrival’ not necessarily ‘an invasion’ and that this distinction is ‘key.’"


Moving in the mother-in-law

Priscilla and I planned on bringing my mother-in-law to live with us, but Mrs. R. is not cooperating. She doesn’t know she isn’t cooperating; she lives in now, when 15 minutes ago or 10 minutes ago never happened.

Mrs. R. was in an assisted living place in Texarkana from last April until Christmas Day, when she fell and broke a hip. Doctors replaced the hip. Priscilla and I discovered from that episode of the damage anesthesia often does to dementia patients. Mrs. R. was out for a long time and then rattled when she woke up. Then, she developed pneumonia. Doctors also said she had a small heart attack.

Priscilla had Mrs. R. transferred to Twin Rivers Health and Rehabilitation, where Mrs. R. has had excellent care and attention. As an aside, the Texarkana hospital staff did not tell Twin Rivers staff of Mrs. R.’s pneumonia or heart attack. Twin Rivers staff was not pleased.

About three weeks ago, Mrs. R. decided she would get out of bed. She can’t walk, but she can fall. That is another thing we have learned: Dementia patients can and will work through obstacles put up for their own safety. We might consider safety obstacles beyond the realm of solving by a person with limited cognitive function, but a dementia patient sees the obstacle only as a problem that can be overcome.

After Mrs. R. fell, staff put her in a bed four inches from the floor and placed a crash pad on the floor. Last night, the facility called and said Mrs. R. had again managed to overcome obstacles and proved the worthiness of the crash pad.

Priscilla has contacted a home hospice business for moving Mrs. R. to our house and for two-hour daily visits by an RN or CNA. We have a place with tiled floor and of sufficient size for Mrs. R.’s bed and ancillary equipment.

We had hoped to have Mrs. R. here on March 3, but complications from a strangulated hernia and her latest episode of getting out of bed caused us to delay the move for another two weeks.

Meanwhile, Mrs. R. has recessed into a time when Mr. R. is still alive, her brother is still alive, her sister is still alive, and she is again caring for John.

There are times in everyone’s life when things necessary are not things you would choose to do, if you had a choice. Actually, we do have a choice, and we choose the right course of action.

It’s the family.

Unusual baseball statistics

Dan Brouthers, 1B, Detroit Wolverines.

1886 – 11 HR, 72 RBI, .377 avg. Also: 40 doubles, 17 triples

1887 – 12 HR, 101 RBI, .228 avg. Also: 36 doubles, 20 triples.

1888 – 9 HR, 66 RBI, .307 avg. Also: 33 doubles, 11 triples.

To go from a .377 average with 72 RBI to a .228 average with 101 RBI is unusual.

Brouthers played 19 years, with the Trojans, Bisons, Wolverines, Beaneaters, Redstocking, Bridegrooms, Orioles, Colonels, Phillies and Giants. His lifetime batting average was .335. Brouthers was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1945.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ukrainian Gun Owners Association

(This is one of those “I better check before posting,” and real news sites have reported it.)

“Today every citizen of Ukraine understands why our country has hundreds of thousands of policemen. Last illusions were crushed when riot police used rubber batons and boots at the Independence Square on peaceful citizens.

“After such actions we realize that it is not enough to only adopt the Gun Law.

“As of today Ukrainian Gun Owners Association will start to work on the preparation of amendments to the Constitution, which will provide an unconditional right for Ukrainian citizens to bear arms.

“People should have the right to bear arms, which will be put in written into the Constitution.

“Authorities should not and will not be stronger than its people!

“Armed people are treated with respect!”

Found at

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain died 100 years and two days ago

‘Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: Professor, Soldier, Christian Man of Honor’

While throwing monkey spit around the cage …

Imagine if a REPUBLICAN had said this?**

“Immigration reform is important in our country We have a lot of employers over on the beaches that rely upon workers and especially in this high-growth environment, where are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping? We don’t need to put those employers in a position of hiring undocumented and illegal workers.” – Alex Sink (D), candidate for Florida’s 13th congressional seat.

At Ace of Spades Headquarters.

** Always a good headline to use when showing equal treatment of diverse peoples by the PDs (Progressive Democrats).

So easy Update

After working through Ford's attempts at keeping me from reaching what I wanted and going past sales of things I do not need, I reached the fill in the blanks and get your $20 rebate in 4-6 weeks ... on a prepaid Fort debit card. "Subject to credit approval." What? Ford's plan is to give me $20 credit, but only if I meet Ford's credit approval? I have no doubt the "rebate" debit card will arrive in the mail, but I would just as soon had $20 taken off my bill. It's the same money.

So easy even a child … SERVICE ERROR

On Monday I took my 2005 F150 in for service – oil change, filters, check all fluids, tire check and rotation, windshield wiper replacement.

On one page of the bill was a note to access to check rebates. The service clerk said I would get $20 by filling our a rebate form.

Form-s, he should have said. As in 22 screens of information.

OK, so I’ll have to work a little for the $20.

“User friendly” does not apply to the Ford owner rebate site. Finding what I needed required a two-screen search and then entering another search field.

Page 3. Dealer ZIP code or name. Not a problem. Page 4 had the dealer’s name and a query as to whether the information I entered was correct. Yes.

Page 5. Service error, please try again. Or, call this number and talk to a person.

I have an idea a person will not be available within a minute of my call.

I’ll wait until later and try the web site again.

Monday’s mail

included a catalog with ads on the cover for things to “Quickly clear stubborn mucus;” allow you to “Get a gorgeous, maintenance-free lawn;” and a cream that will give you “Fuller, more voluptuous breasts.”

If required to choose, I’ll take the maintenance-free lawn. I do not have unnecessary mucus, stubborn or cooperative; and if I decided to have big breasts, my wife might have questions.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

There is no pleasing the bureaucrats ...

“A federal proposal to clean up the smoke wafting from wood-burning stoves has sparked a backlash from some rural residents, lawmakers and manufacturers who fear it could close the damper on one of the oldest ways of warming homes on cold winter days.

“Proposed regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would significantly reduce the amount of particle pollution allowed from the smokestacks of new residential wood-powered heaters.”


… not until we all live in government housing, heated by boilers and cooled by fans powered by expensive solar- or wind-produced electricity, driving electric cars (except in downtown urban areas, where government bicycles are provided), born in government hospitals, doctored by government-employed physicians paid for by government insurance, retiring to government nursing homes, corpsed by government funeral homes, buried in government cemeteries.

Larry Klayman is just plain nuts

Klayman is one of the last holdouts in not answering the Arkansas Attorney General’s office on complaints lodged by Priscilla and me on behalf of Mrs. R.

On Friday one of Klayman’s ridiculous letters arrived in the mail, with Klayman claiming President Obama intends to prohibit state-to-state travel through issuance of a national identification card. Jail time, Klayman said, is automatic for anyone who refuses to obtain national ID or who refuses to show national ID to a requesting law officer.

Klayman uses eight pages (both sides) in his attack. Any argument that requires 16 single-spaced pages to defend is an argument not worth defending.

Also, on Page 2 of the letter, Klayman writes: “I’m sure you have heard of me as my name is all over the news right now …”

Well, Larry, I hadn’t heard of you.

Time is running out for American freedom, Klayman says, because “Obama’s national identification card is IN THE WORKS NOW and is due to be released in some states THIS MONTH.”

I’ll wait and see.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Killing the children, legally

“Late last year, Belgium's Upper House voted 50-17 for legalizing child-killing. Last week, the Chamber of Representatives voted 86-44 to legalize, making the bill law contingent upon the signature of Belgium's King Philippe, a largely ceremonial gesture that will not impede the law's implementation. While there was some opposition to the bill, it was weak at best. Belgian public opinion has been largely supportive.

“In this regard, perhaps the most telling piece of information emerging from the legalization was the general consternation among the Belgian public and media about the international backlash to the whole idea of doctors killing children after they have asked to die and have been aided and abetted in their march to death by their parents' consent for the killing.

“So there you have it -- children in Belgium now have the ‘right’ to ask for their own deaths, and doctors are now legally sanctioned to kill children under the guise of helping to alleviate their suffering. ‘Humane"\’ killing medicine, if you will.”

(Forty-something years ago when abortion opponents said legalizing abortion would lead to legal killing of the elderly and of children not wanted or “damaged,” I, as a good liberal, said “Nonsense.” I was wrong, as I have been horribly mistaken about all other things liberal.

(Ironic, that the defenders of “women’s rights” and originators of “Children are our future” are the ones who justify the killings.)

Thank you, John Petray, Arkansas Attorney General’s office

Mr. Petray handled the complaints Priscilla and I filed against 65 so-called “non-profit” groups that used lies and intimidation to get Mrs. R.’s Social Security and Teacher Retirement money.

Mr. Petray went through the 75 complaint forms and sent notices to the organizations and persons who hide behind non-profit status while sending money to politicians or spending money on salaries and additional money-raising schemes.

Most of the replies to Mr. Petray were of the “We haven’t done anything wrong, and we won’t do it again” variety, but a few went beyond that, saying Priscilla and I sought to deny their First Amendment right to free speech. One Washington law firm representing four organizations used the argument that since clients did not offer anything for sale, the clients had not broken any consumer laws.

Regardless of denials of wrong-doing, the groups no longer send letters demanding money.

In a two-year period, the thieving bastards convinced Mrs. R. to empty a checking account of more than $23,000. Mail from the thieves ran from 15 to 45 letters a day for more than eight months.

We realize the U.S. Postal System will now suffer a loss of 16 cents for each letter no longer stuffed into the mailbox, but, hey, justice always has a price.

The bully

One of the first things my wife’s new boss did when coming on board was have a private meeting with each non-management employee. The new boss asked each, “What do you like and dislike about your supervisor?”

Right off the bat, you know the woman has no management and leadership experience. By asking an employee what she does not like about her supervisor, the new boss was asking for behind-the-back accusations as well as disloyalty.

The only time an employee tells her dislikes to a supervisor’s supervisor is when she (the employee) has attempted to resolve a problem, but has been denied by her supervisor. Those little dislikes that have nothing to do with mission accomplishment, you keep to yourself or talk about, quietly, with others of your pay grade, if someone else brings up the subject.

After worker-to-bigboss interviews, the new boss told my wife the younger employees “felt bullied” by my wife.

A fact gleaned after some consideration: People less likely than my wife to bully someone: (1) Shirley Temple.

That’s it. List finished.

And, definition of “Bullying” by some Twenty-Somethings: “She said I was not meeting my goals. She said I was not working to standards.”

The new boss wants approval from younger workers. Experience does not matter, because, in the case of this boss, experience means you have been doing the job for some time and know more than the new, just-hired woman.

The new boss also said my wife failed to understand leader-servant management style. As explained by the new boss, if an employee cannot perform a part of the job, the leader must do the task for her. Now, that’s kind of dumb. If someone you supervise cannot perform a task, you train her.

My wife says she is pleased not to have to worry about things getting done, because all that work is someone else’s responsibility now, someone the new boss hopes to mold into a representation of “How great thou art, oh bringer of knowledge.”

Me, Me, Me, Me, Me, Me …

Or, Thoughts (you’ll pardon the expression) from a Misunderstood White Liberal.

Not too bad, this one:

Just as 150 years ago, white people were out to conquer the world, since the 1060s they have been out to save the world.

Genghis Grill in Texarkana

We'll cut right to the chase: Good food, lousy service. Correction: service beyond lousy.

The idea is good – Fill up a metal bowl with a bunch of ingredients; give the ingredients and a smaller bowl of sauce, plus your pasta choice, to a griller; sit down and wait for the food.

After ordering drinks – sweet tea for Priscilla; hot tea for me – we went through the line.

I had Beef Broccoli – sliced beef (paper thin); broccoli heads, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms; citrus garlic seasoning; spiral pasta; and 3G sauce.

Priscilla had Citrus Beef – sliced beef; classic stir-fry vegetables; Mongo mix; ginger citrus sauce; Udon noodles.

We filled our bowls, gave the bowls to a griller and returned to our table, where we found:

Our server had spilled a glass of hot water (for tea) on the table and in my chair. He apologized and got another chair … and left the spilled water on the table. I got another server’s attention and asked, “Can I get this cleaned up?” He looked around with a somewhat disturbed look, said, “Yes, Sir,” and got a couple hands of paper napkins and wiped up the water, except the water underneath a large square saucer, which held another glass of hot water and a bag of green tea.

After a few more minutes, our original server came by. I asked, holding up the tea bag, “Do you have another kind of tea?”

The server replied, after looking around the restaurant, “I don’t know. I’ll ask in the kitchen.”

“Thank you,” I said.

He returned about three minutes later, saying green tea was the only kind the restaurant had.

I do not like green tea. It tastes like minted grass. There is a reason: Green tea is grass, with mint added.

I made my tea anyway, added three packets of sugar and squeezed a lemon slice, making sweet lemony minted grass-flavored hot water.

Priscilla and I checked the servers while we waited for our food. All the waiters were men in their early 20s. All had close-cropped hair. None smiled. They looked like young, short-haired men on work release from county jail.

The food arrived 10 minutes later. The food was good, beef cooked just right, vegetables hot, and pasta of the right consistency, all flavored quite nicely.

Overall: D├ęcor, 1.5 stars; service, ½ star; food, 3 stars; price; 2.5 stars. We left a minimum tip.

Liklihood of return: Not.

Friday, February 21, 2014

‘Overheard at the Auto Parts store’

One thing I can say about the Upper Valley. There is more than a bit of “local color” here. There is a distinctive and drolly humorous demeanor to some of the folks up here, even if they lack the full complement of teeth. Think Red Green, with a Vermont accent. While I was buying some windshield wipers today, and shooting the breeze with a former Marine at the counter, a heavy-set older fella strolled up to the counter next to me. The other guy behind the counter walks over to help him, and the following conversation took place:

“Can I help ya?”

“Yessir, I come by to pick up a tranny core you said was in.”

“Oh yeah, I seen the note that said Dave Perry was gonna come fetch it. It’s out in the bay.”

“Well, then, that one ain’t mine.”


“Nope. See, I ain’t Dave Perry.”

“Are ya sure?”

Notice to the po-leece:

You are being recorded. Get used to it. And stop violating citizen’s First Amendment rights.

Traffic stop. Woman tells Broward County deputy she forgot to tell him she is recording the conversation on her phone. Deputy: “Ok, well I have to tell you that you’ve just committed a felony.”

Nip it in the bud! In the bud!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Union Members Indicted for Burning Down Quaker Church

“I think there’s a resurgence in violence because unions are contemplating their loss of market share,” he said. “I wish that leaders in the Philadelphia region would speak up against violence. They don’t tolerate it in schools, but they look the other way when it’s their supporters.” – Robert Reeves, president of E. Allen Reeves, Inc., the firm building the burned down Quaker meetinghouse.


It was, of course, my wife’s fault

Priscilla has a camp bag. The bag contains: a set of single bed sheets; a pillow and pillow case; and, a lightweight quilted single bed coverlet. Priscilla augments the camp bag, depending on season and inclement weather.

She developed the camp bag about 25 years ago, when she first became a fulltime, professional Girl Scout. Some work required overnight stays at camps, or even stays of several days. Priscilla knew from experience about limited amenities at Girl Scout camps -- a bed and mattress under a roof and between walls, or, a bed and mattress inside a large tent.

Sometime last fall, Priscilla’s previous boss scheduled a senior staff retreat at a camp in western Arkansas for a few days in December. By the time the retreat days rolled around, that boss had retired and a new boss had been hired.

Priscilla and the new boss decided to travel in Priscilla’s car, since Priscilla knew how to get to the camp, two hours away. Priscilla and her new boss packed their things in the car, and they left the main office in North Little Rock.

About an hour into the trip, the new boss looked into the back seat and said, in a surprised voice, “Is that a pillow sticking out of that bag?”

Priscilla said it was, indeed, a pillow. She explained her camp bag and the contents. The new boss said, “Why, I don’t have any of that! You mean we won’t have sheets and blankets at camp?”

Priscilla said, no, and she explained amenities were limited to a bed and a mattress under a roof, and etc.

The new boss again expressed surprise that camp would not have a made up bed with sheets and pillow and blankets. Since she had nada, zilch, nothing in the line of camp necessities, she had Priscilla stop at a WalMart on the way, where she bought enough for the retreat.

Not long after the retreat, Priscilla learned from another senior staff member that the new boss said “It was Priscilla’s fault” that she, the boss, was not aware of camp limitations.

I figure this: If you are CEO of a Girl Scout council, you should know what your camps have. And, there are these words: “Do I need to bring anything?”

Priscilla doesn’t have to worry about any of that, since the new boss decided Priscilla and two other senior vice presidents were no longer needed, and she had friends who would take those places.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lots of companies and people GTT** from California…

… so why not a punk band lead singer?

Why Exene Cervenka Is Moving to Texas

Let’s see. Freedom. Guns.

Yeah, that pretty much does it.

“The other reason I’m moving, if the creek don’t rise, is that when I moved to California in 1976, Jerry Brown was governor. It was barefoot hippie girls, Hell’s Angels on the Sunset Strip, East L.A. lowriders, the ocean and nature. It was this fabulous incredible place about freedom. Now when I think about California, I think of a liberal oppressive police state and regulations and taxes and fees. I’d rather go someplace and have my own little place out on the edge of town. I’m a country girl at heart. It makes me happy when I see people in Texas open-carrying. It makes me feel safe. I’m not even a gun owner, but I’d like to see a gun rack in every pickup truck, like my boyfriend had when I was fifteen years old in Florida. An armed society is a polite society.”

She cracks a smile. “Now Jerry Brown’s governor again. He’s done some great things, like balancing the budget and libraries are open on Sundays. But things are getting to the point in this country where people are going to have to fight to survive and fight for their rights.”

**Gone to Texas

Win with truth

To conservatives:

"Do America a favor, drop the Willy Loman routine and unmask these leftists for what they really are: anti-child, anti-God, anti-business, anti-justice, anti-family, anti-male, anti-marriage, anti-Israel thugs, drunk from the vine of 1960's narcissism.

"After the 2012 elections, the R.N.C launched a supremely embarrassing campaign to attract minority voters into the conservative cause in hopes that mean-spirited leftists would stop calling them racist. They must've been kidding! People call you racist with zero evidence to back it up and you respond with a recruitment campaign?

"You want to rally black voters to your cause? Tell each and every one of them the truth about Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger whose organization's very mission statement was to annihilate blacks off the face of the earth. Sanger is admired still, to this day, by the likes of Hillary Clinton.

"Tell Latinos how our open border policy fattens the wallets of lawless drug cartels, allowing them to terrorize beloved friends and family down in Mexico.

"Tell Asians how self-righteous university brats marched down Pennsylvania Ave., chanting "Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh! The N.L.F is going to win!" while wearing buttons of murderous Mao.

"Tell the pacifist youth about the millions of Southeast Asians we abandoned to a slaughterhouse once that last helicopter fled the Saigon Embassy in 1975. Let them know how the same is happening in Iraq and will happen in Israel if the left gets its way.

"Sure, the media will vilify you, they might even call you a bully, but better bully than racist, and when you feel that salacious itch to jump back into that comfortable, lukewarm shallow-end talking of "debt-clocks" and "fiscal years," just remember this simple, easy-to-remember slogan, 'It's anti-left, stupid!'"

(Here’s a liberal for you: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said in an interview that following the Roe v. Wade decision, she and people like her did not envision the ruling leading to abortion on demand, but as a means to there being fewer children of the kind “we didn’t want.”

(See that? “… we didn’t want.” Because, after all, who calls the shots? “We” the people, or “We” the wealthy liberal lawyers? And these days, establishment Republicans are the same.

(So, pitch Republicanism. Argue money in your pocket. Argue jobs, if only the federal and state governments would get out of the way.

(And above all: Make government get out of the way.)

There will be, you know, consequences

“TOLUCA, Mexico (AP) — President Barack Obama on Wednesday urged Ukraine to avoid violence against peaceful protesters or face consequences, as the United States considered joining European partners to impose sanctions aimed at ending deadly street clashes that are sparking fears of civil war.

"’There will be consequences if people step over the line,’ Obama said shortly after landing in Mexico for a summit with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, as fires burned in central Kiev.”

(Like consequences if Syria stepped over the line. Why doesn’t he just get on the internet and radio and tell people to stop, as he did with the miracle in Central African Republic? They stopped killing each other … Oh. They didn’t?)

And a 389

(Part of Chapter 1, The Greatest Years of Rock and Roll.)

June day, mideastern Kansas, bright day, big blue sky and cottonball clouds; flatland-straight two-lane highway, 1:40 and Jack on the road since 7:30 that morning. Missouri hours behind, and yesterday traveling north through Arkansas before Missouri, just driving.

Ahead? Oklahoma south, Colorado west. Oklahoma flat as Kansas in places, dusty as West Texas in other places. The mountains west -- Rocky Mountains -- the main goal after the Mississippi River and Missouri River for wagon trains of farmers and merchants and seekers of gold or silver way back when, forgetters of lives left behind, lives that counted no longer, because East was the past. The future was West, young man.

And young woman.

Yess, young woman, in an olivegreen 1967 Pontiac GTO convertible, even from half a mile behind Jack can tell make and model of the car and blonde hair blowing in the wind, the GTO really looking fine, not piddling down the highway, but not as fast as Jack’s pickup, either, and he swings into the left lane, slows when alongside the GTO.

Yes, young woman. Fiiine looking woman, white pullover shirt with short sleeves and white shorts, probably white sox and white sneakers, too, but her feet are hidden by the door and beneath the dash. Long legs tanned, and the girl sits on a white towel on the white leather seat, hot leather from the afternoon sun.

Jack smiles. The girl doesn’t look up, she’s used to men passing the GTO, men who smile or leer, and she never looks up. The girl wears dark sunglasses with silver rims. Her eyes are blue or green, probably, maybe gray, and her hair tied in back with a black ribbon.

Jack bumps up the pickup and passes the GTO, turns on the signal light, eeeases back into the right lane, checks the GTO in the rearview and watches until the car is only a small green dot.

Jack is running a 409 in the pickup, saved his pennies and his dimes, Holley 4-barrel now, original straight-six and three-speed column shifter long gone, now a Craig four-speed, heavier shocks, new flywheel and driveshaft and axle, tires a bit larger than standard, and chrome wheels. All in all, a fine looking 1963 C-10, metalflake green.

Jack smiles at the mirror, not too disappointed the GTO girl never looked up.

Psychological test

“You’d think, to hear some people talk,
“That lads go West with sobs and curses,
“And sullen faces white as chalk,
“Hankering for wreaths and tombs and hearses.
“But they’ve been taught the way to do it
“Like Christian soldiers; not with haste
“And shuddering groans; but passing through it
“With due regard for decent taste.”
--Sigfried Sassoon, How to Die

With Due Regard for Decent Taste

I am at this time, at this moment, supposed to be writing a list or series of words or explanation as to how I changed when or after returning from my war. All I can do is recount a conversation with Chip Troiano, said conversation occurring on August 24, 1986, nineteen years and three months after his and my arrival in the war. It was at dinner the night of the first reunion, after the meal and during a quiet time before introduction of the event’s speaker. Chip and I drank our drinks and made small talk about jobs and families and such. At some point in that conversation I said, “I don’t remember who I used to be.”

It was a fine phrase, but not satisfactory to my psychiatrist. She wanted more. Well, Hell, they always want more, don’t they. If you’ve never been quote treated unquote by a psychiatrist, you probably don’t understand what I mean. Trust me, no matter how much you tell a psychiatrist, it’s never enough.

With a psychologist, it’s different. Psychologists give tests and come up with what are claimed to be measurable results.

I remember one test in particular; not the name of the test or even what the test measured, other than I was supposed to study a card and then look at other cards and point to the design that was common to the first card. I failed. Miserably failed.

The psychologist wrote that while a lower score was not uncommon for a subject with very superior verbal skills, the totality of my failure indicated subtle yet significant deficits in levels of higher cognitive thinking. Those deficits, she said, were caused by brain damage.

Okay, so I failed a test.

Within six months of the first go-round, the psychologist tested me again.

About halfway through the second test I said, “What if I said I don’t want to play any more.”

The psychologist said, “You don’t want to play any more?”

I said, “I don’t want to play any more.”

She said, “I think it will be beneficial both for you and for me if you continue the test.”

And, again I failed. Miserably. Forty-seven correct answers from a possible total of one hundred twenty. Truth be known, those forty-seven correct answers were guesses, every one. I had no idea what was the connection between the first card and subsequent cards.

So for my psychiatrist to ask for a list or series of words or explanation as to how I had changed -- Well, that explanation is impossible. If I do not remember who I used to be, how can I explain how I have changed?

There were many things I could have told my psychiatrist, but she wouldn’t have believed me.

Hey, hey, Captain Jack
Meet me down by the railroad track
With a rifle in your hand
I want to be a fighting man
-- Army marching song

(Written several years ago, when I still thought the system maybe had some ... I don't know -- treatment or made sense. Or something.


(A chapter in a story of a war in which a young captain leads a company of drafted known delinquents, all under 18.)


Lara flowed over and down the rubble and leaped onto the soldier. She wrapped her legs around his waist, lifted his chin with her left hand, slit his throat, rode the body onto the pavement and then flowed up and over the opposite rubble pile.

I stood paralyzed, transfixed by the impossibility of what I had seen. She is as quiet as a shadow. First Sergeant Malaski said that, and I had witnessed … Only a small part of Lara’s abilities when she killed the two Phalangists who guarded me and then she slid between me and the one who held my shirt. She cut his throat as easily as you or I breathe.

But this … This silent movement down a pile of rubble, this slicing and then silently climbing additional rubble and the Phalangists did not hear her.

This … And then the four remaining heard their comrade’s body rattle on the rubble. They turned. They saw me, standing at the top of the rubble.

I remembered the submachine gun in my hands; I remembered the safety and the trigger. I fired from the waist, a two-second burst of thirty rounds into chests and shoulders and heads and then I ran down the backside of the rubble, across a smaller pile, between others, down a sidewalk amazingly clear of broken concrete, into a shadow that once contained a door, into a large room, to the middle of the room and into a pile of shadows inside a cavern made of large broken commercial tables and desks.

And I waited.

Ten minutes later, Lara was beside me. Her lips almost touched my ear. “You killed the other four?”


Our heads touched and we talked in voices more quiet than whispers.

She asked, “Have you reloaded your weapon?”

“As I ran. What you did is impossible.”

“I know.”

I heard the smile in her voice. I wanted to see her face. My mind made a picture -- Lara’s short, curled blonde hair and her pale face and the smile of satisfaction. Shadows hid her from me.

I said, “What do we do now?”

“You are the captain.”

I waited a moment. “Yes, but you are the hunter.”

She said, “I will tell you a thing. I am my mother and my grandmother. I am my daughter and her daughter.”

I had wondered … “Your brother’s father was not your father.”

“No. I am David’s mother and his sister.”

“You are older than sixteen.”

I saw the glint of moonlight in her eyes. “I am older than one hundred sixteen.”

She stiffened then and through a gap in the jumbled tables I saw five Phalangists enter the room. They walked from shadow to moonlight to shadow, right to left, toward a stairway. They made no noise.

“We will leave,” I whispered.


“You will lead.”

“As you wish.”

The Phalangists reached the marble stairs and then walked up the stairs, each holding his rifle angled, prepared for battle, yet none knowing his greatest danger sat hidden in a jumble of broken furniture.

Lara and I waited. She touched my cheek. I started to speak, but she pressed a finger against my lips.

After a time, she eased from the pile of shadows. I followed.

Wolves in Yellowstone lessen soil erosion

Not with picks and shovels or backhoes, of course, but by killing deer. Which means more trees grow in certain places and ... It's a long process. Just watch the video.

Found at

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Showing Lil’ Kim what for

Forget the UN report.

“We have full faith that once Connie makes her way to the Sea of Japan ... then Kim Jong-un will stop pursuing his nuclear ambitions and calmly go back to shooting free throws with Dennis Rodman, or maybe just shooting more members of his own immediate family.”

‘Navy Flexes Muscle, Tows Retired Aircraft Carrier Toward North Korea’

BREMERTON, WA — Seeking a way of keeping Pyongyang in check amidst a tightened budgetary environment, the Navy today began towing a 52-year-old decommissioned aircraft carrier from what some call a “ship’s graveyard” at Naval Base Bremerton, to the politically unstable Korean Peninsula.

The deployment of USS Constellation (CV-64), which was put out of service more than a decade ago and will rely on a 230-foot Navy tugboat to make its 5,000 mile journey, is intended to “send a strong message” to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that America and its allies won’t tolerate that country’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, according to the commander of U.S. Third Fleet, Vice Adm. Kenneth Floyd.

“It’s been proven time and again that if you want an aggressive nation to stop rattling its saber, all you have to do is park an aircraft carrier in that nation’s back yard,” Floyd said during this morning’s low-key recommissioning ceremony at the base’s inactive ship maintenance facility.

“We have full faith that once Connie makes her way to the Sea of Japan in about six or seven weeks — provided her badly rusted keel won’t be breached in rough seas — then Kim Jong-un will stop pursuing his nuclear ambitions and calmly go back to shooting free throws with Dennis Rodman, or maybe just shooting more members of his own immediate family,” Floyd added.

Though the Navy says it’s confident in Constellation’s ability to persuade North Korea to tone down its nuclear rhetoric, many military scholars believe that the Kitty Hawk-Class carrier, which hasn’t received any form of maintenance or preservation since being officially stricken from the Naval Vessel Register in 2003, faces some big challenges coming out of retirement.

“For the Navy to think they can haul some antique, cold war-era vessel without any crew or aircraft aboard halfway around the world in an attempt to scare an unstable dictator into giving up his nuclear ambitions is beyond absurd, because that ship’s a fossil,” said Milton Osborne, a retired two-star admiral who now works for the military consulting firm The Spectrum Group.

Seeming to anticipate and preempt such criticism, Floyd mentioned in his speech that the Navy is in the process of procuring both a crew and an unspecified number of aircraft for Constellation before the vessel reaches the Sea of Japan.

“We’re currently in negotiations to borrow back a handful of F-16s we’ve given to the Egyptians, and we’re hoping to tap the Navy Reserve for pilots to fly those aircraft, as well as for some Sailors to run the ship,” he said.

If the funding isn’t available for reservists to man the Constellation, Floyd added, the Navy would look at other “creative” manning options.

Among those options: Asking retired veterans to return to active duty without pay, hiring 5,000 day laborers from the nation’s various Home Depot hardware stores to work in shifts, and — as a “last resort” — seeking donations via a Kickstarter campaign.

Floyd’s upbeat remarks regarding Constellation’s deployment weren’t enough to sway such self-described “military realists” as Osborne, however.

“This makes absolutely no sense, and it’s probably the most horrible idea the Navy has had since ‘Perform to Serve,’” he said.

“Just look at those birds,” Osborne added, while pointing to a murder of screeching crows that flew from Constellation’s shattered bridge windows, as the ship’s whistle blew loudly during the ceremony’s conclusion. ”If that’s not a bad omen, then I don’t know what the hell is.”

Found at

Cleaning a storage room at Mrs. R.’s house

Dozens of quart jars with canned vegetables and fruits from back when people used pressure cookers and canning jars to save all the garden crops – recognizable pickles and figs, maybe plums, and stuff that can be described only as “black liquid” and “brown liquid.”

The earliest recognizable date is 1984. That’s only 30 years ago. Who would expect food to go bad in 30 years? Arrgh. That’s Army thinking, about C rations and such.

New Jersey??

Looking for a bit of humor to break the clouds, I searched “auto correct mistakes.”

Among the hits was: “Auto correct near Newark,” including J&B Auto Body Inc., Bodyworks Unlimited Inc., Internet Glass Network and “see all 19 entries for auto correct mistakes near newark.”

Do I really want to use a body shop that’s listed under “auto correct mistakes?”

I would inform Goodsearch that “near newark” was not a part of the search parameter, but (1) no one would care; and, (2) the reply would be “What?”

Breaking important news!!!

”UN-mandated human rights inquiry on DPR Korea documents 'widespread, systematic abuses'”

“17 February 2014 – A grim array of human rights abuses, driven by ‘policies established at the highest level of State,’ have been and continue to be committed in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) …”

And, the UN “calls for urgent action to address the rights situation in the country, including referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC).”

The report “documented in great detail the ‘unspeakable atrocities’ committed in the country …”

Well, by golly, that should get Kim’s attention. The UN will show him, he keeps up those unspeakable atrocities he’ll face another report and referral to the International Criminal Court.

Here is a way to end unspeakable atrocities against the people of North Korea: snipe or stab or blow up Kim. Initially, there would be much confusion and a mass race for the DMZ and the Republic of Korea, but things would sort out.

Monday, February 17, 2014


What it means -- Date Estimated for Return from Overseas Service.

The day you go home.

The day you walk from the terminal at Tan San Nhut, onto the concrete pavement, toward the ramp that touches the Boeing 707.

Freedom Bird, the airplane is called. Freedom Bird will take you Stateside, back to The World, to the Land of the Big PX.

On DEROS day, you will walk from the ratty terminal and onto the concrete. DEROS day will be a hot day, maybe a wet day.

DEROS day will be just as hot as the day you walked down the ramp from another Boeing 707.

But on DEROS day, you won’t care about the heat. You will walk into the heat, and you will see Freedom Bird fifty meters away.

Just fifty meters away, Man.

Those hundreds of miles you walked, those miles you rode in Hueys -- all those are a long way behind you the day you see Freedom Bird and the ramp.

Freedom Bird has air conditioning, Man. Cold air.

Freedom Bird has a half dozen round-eyes. Stewardesses in white blouses and blue jackets and blue skirts or red jackets and red skirts.

The round-eyes speak American.

Fifty meters. You could walk that fifty meters on your hands. You know you could.

On DEROS day, you will wear the Class B uniform -- short-sleeve khaki shirt, khaki trousers, AG-344 overseas cap, white T-shirt, white drawers, black socks and black shoes, black garrison belt, brass buckle highly polished.

For twelve months, minus the five days you were on R&R, the khaki uniform was stored in the supply room tent or at the bottom of your foot locker, or maybe the uniform hung on a hanger on a nail driven into a support stud in the squad hooch.

The black shoes might have a bluish-green grunge on the leather when you take the shoes from wherever you stored them a year ago. Jungle fungus. If the shoes do have that grunge, you will wash the shoes and buy or borrow black shoe polish and apply the polish to your clean shoes and buff the polish to a sheen.

You will Brasso the belt buckle, polish that buckle to a Stateside shine, and maybe wash fungus from the garrison belt so it is black again.

You will take apart the two three-piece sets of collar brass, one piece with the big “US” letters and the other piece with crossed rifles or crossed sabers or a tank or whatever represents your branch of service.

You will Brasso each piece of brass and rub off the residue of polish, and, with the end of a handkerchief, careful not to touch the brass, affix each set to its proper collar.

If you are an infantry soldier, you will lay each set of brass into the blue plastic discs before attaching the brass to the collars.

You won’t pin your ribbons one-eighth inch above the left shirt pocket just yet. You will save that job until the morning of the day you are to board the Freedom Bird.

The Freedom Bird will take you to Oakland Army Terminal. The weather in Oakland might be cold and rainy or just cold. It doesn’t matter what the weather is at Oakland. When you walk across the concrete and to the ramp, you will wear the short-sleeved shirt and khaki trousers. You will not feel the cold or the wet. You will feel the Home.


Before reaching DEROS, you will have become short.

Becoming short takes a while. You have to remember how many days you have left. You don’t think about the day you’ll walk to the Freedom Bird, but you always know how many days you have left.

After you have been in-country two months and five days, you will announce, “Busted three hundred today.”

Everybody will laugh. Then you will bust two-fifty and two hundred, one-fifty and one hundred.

Busting one hundred is a magic day. Two digits, Man. You’re into two digits. Busting one hundred, you’re almost three-fourths done. You don't think about busting one hundred as being more than three months remaining. Three months is a long time. Busting one hundred puts you on the edge of being a short-timer.

There is no official designation of what short is. Busting thirty-one days, maybe. At some point, you can say “I’m so short, Man, I got to stand on a rock to take a leak.” Or, “I’m so short, Man, if I fell down, I’d be below the ground.” Or, “I’m so short, Man, I don’t even cast a shadow.”

Designating yourself short is a realization that it’s almost over. But you can’t let that realization get in the way of reality. You can’t think about being short. You can announce your status, but you can’t think about it.

If you are lucky, you won’t do much of anything the last week. You have to clear post, just like Stateside. Doesn’t matter that “post” is base camp, you have to clear post.

You have to go to places on base camp you’ve never been before, only heard about. You have to take a form to finance, the base camp library tent, the EM or NCO club tent, Provost Marshal’s Office, and so forth.
People at those places will check lists of names and see if your name is on the list and if you owe the army any money, such as a bar tab at the club you’ve never been in or if you have any overdue books at the library tent.

You have to clear company supply, too. If your company has a good supply sergeant, he’ll ask you if you turned in all your jungle uniforms, TA-50 and anything else issued, and you’ll say, “Yes, Sergeant, I have.” A good supply sergeant will take your word. A good supply sergeant will sign the form.

Dear TK


“You know how they say absence makes the heart grow fonder?” TK said one night when Fourth Squad sat on the bunker near the hooch. “Sometimes that’s a crock of shit.”

The squad had come in from ambush that morning, slept until the heat of the day made sleep impossible. Between noon and about six o’clock, nobody did much of anything. It was the time of year of dry heat, when the entire country seemed to bake beneath a relentless sun. That time of year, the Vietnamese had enough sense to put off work after noon. Only mad dogs and Americans went out in the afternoon sun.

When the heat lessened, Frenchy and Reese walked to the PX and bought two cases of beer and carried the beer back to the platoon area. Two cases would be six each, enough to enjoy, but nobody would be hungover next morning, when Fourth Squad relieved First Squad on perimeter duty.

When TK made his remark about absence, O’Mera said, “I don't know about that. There’s girls in Philly I’m a lot fonder of now than I was a year ago.”

“Yeah,” Reese agreed. “I remember girls I wouldna looked at too much in high school, I’d sure look em over now.”

“That’s not exactly what I meant,” TK said.

O’Mera said, “I miss all those girls at Dodge Park. Some of them weren’t all that much to look at, but like Reese said, I’d sure like to see them now.”

“Ahh,” TK grunted. “That’s ‘cause you’re all horny.”

“You got that right,” Bo said. He glanced my way. “Hey, Tom. When’re you gonna get us another trip to Long Binh?”

I laughed and said, “When they start giving three-day passes.”

“Man,” Bo said, “why don’t the army realize we need a little relaxation now and then.”

“They got a in-country R&R center in Vung Tau,” Reese said. “Course, I don’t think they’d let us all go at the same time.”

Bo laughed. “I can see that. A whole squad goin on R&R.”

“Yeah,” Allen said. “All of us descending on civilization at the same time.”

Bo said, “It’d be your first time, right, Professor?”

Allen grinned as he looked at Bo. “That’s none of your business, is it.”

“Well,” Bo said, “all’s I know is you ain’t never talked about any women you had.”

“I think,” Allen said, “the important word you used was ‘had.’ To me, that denotes using a woman for your own gratification.”

“Well sheeit,” Bo said. “Let me write that down.”

Allen said, “Do you want me to spell the words for you?” Bo just laughed.

“You’re missing the point,” TK said. “I wasn’t talking about the absence of pussy.”

Frenchy laughed. “That’s the only absence that counts around here.”

“No,” TK said. He shook his head. He took a long swallow of beer -- Black Label or Hamm’s or Reisling, almost never Budweiser or Schlitz. The REMFs always got to the PX first and bought up all the best beer, if the good stuff ever made it to base camp to begin with. All of us figured the real REMFs, the ones in Saigon or any other city, got to the air base or distribution point where beer first arrived in-country, checked shipping manifests and bought most of the Budweiser and Schlitz straight from the warehouses.

“No,” TK again said. “I’m not talking about an absence of pussy. What I mean ... Say somebody gets a letter from a girl.”

“Aw, shit,” O’Mera said. “You got a Dear John letter?”

“Man,” Bo said. “What’s wrong with a girl, she writes a Dear John letter. I mean, don’t you put up with enough shit already?”

TK said, “You’re missing the point.” He lit a cigarette. “Paula broke up with me when I was in Basic. She said things just weren’t the same anymore.”

“I guess not,” Frenchy said. “You were puttin up with all that bullshit from drill sergeants, she’s back home, got nothin to do on Friday night.”

“Yeah,” TK said. “Anyway, I got a letter from Paula yesterday. Paula’s at college now, and she said ...” TK laughed. “She said she just can’t believe I do the things she reads about in the papers, sees on the TV.” TK pitched his voice high. “‘I just don’t see how you can burn those villages and do unspeakable things to women and children.’”

“No shit?” Bo said. “She write you that?”

TK nodded. “She did. This morning, I wrote back. I said, ‘Well, darlin’, I’ll tell you. Hooches go up real fast when you apply the proper flame. Dumb fucking gooks don’t have enough sense to build proper houses. And as for the unspeakable acts, well, you’d be surprised how easy it is to put a dick in a gook pussy. Wide as a fucking barn door. And kids? They don’t run so fast you can’t cut ‘em down, even on rock ‘n roll. That’s full auto for you dumbass civilians.’ I signed it ‘All my love, Tom.’”

All of us about fell off the bunker laughing. Frenchy said, “You really tell her that?”

“Damn straight,” TK said.

Bo said, “Well, Home, I figure the army owes you some kind of award. Above and beyond the call of duty, as they say.”

TK said, “What really pisses me off is ... Paula’s known me all my life. We went together two years, and I get a letter like that. I mean, she gonna believe me, I say nobody I know ever burned a village, raped a woman, shot a kid? Fuck, no. She sees it on TV, doesn’t she? She reads it in the paper, doesn’t she? Who’s she going to believe, me or some fuckin idiot journalist?” He drank about half his beer. “I guess that letter shows who she believes.”

Sunday, February 16, 2014

WD-40 and baby oil

Or, Paint removal tips.

In Lowe’s today, Priscilla and I got some painting stuff and then went to the floor department to get wax for taking paint from a hardwood floor.

A man and a woman were in the floor department. The man said, “What can I help you with this fine day?”

I made circular motions with my hands and said, “Wax on, wax off.”

“Nineteen-eighty-six,” the man said, laughing. “The year I graduated high school. Now, what can I do for you?”

“We’re looking for floor wax,” my wife said. “We need to get paint off a parquet hardwood floor.”

“Oh, not floor wax,” the man said. “WD-40.”

“Really?” my wife and I said.

“Indeed,” the Lowe’s man said. “WD-40 will take up any oil-base paint.” He looked at my wife’s hands, which were spotted with white paint. “And for that, baby oil. Get in the shower, put on some baby oil, the paint will wash right off.” He gestured at me. “Just let him know, because if he gets in right after you, he’ll slip and fall down.”

So now we know.

I’m beginning to think just about any problem can be fixed with WD-40, Windex and duct tape.

This Ain’t Hell

… does a good job outing phony soldiers and linking to other sites run by people who believe in kicking the wanna-bes to the curb.

Here is one of the most flagrant: A “retired first sergeant sniper” who must have been one of the most bravest and straightest shooting soldiers in the history of warfare:

Mark Hans Smith; Sockpuppet phony

TAH has a link to a longer story at Guardian of Valor, whose operator made the original investigation on Smith.

Yea, Kyrgyzstan!

"MOSCOW, February 13 (RIA Novosti) — Officials in the Kyrgyzstani city of Osh have banned Valentine’s Day celebrations in local schools. 'This holiday has never been celebrated in Kyrgyzstan’s history,' the city’s education department head Kushtarbek Kimsanov was quoted as saying by the news agency. 'The holiday of love is a bad influence on children’s morality.'”…

At gatesofvienna.

Conspiracy by propagandists

“Mr. Ed Bearss, who served as Chief Historian of the National Park Service from 1981 to 1994 said:

“’I don’t want to call it a conspiracy to ignore the role of Blacks both above and below the Mason-Dixon Line, but it was definitely a tendency that began around 1910.’”

‘A Southern Black History Month Tribute’

(Much of that tendency came from the South, as most white and black Confederate soldiers were dead, and a white generation that knew only fear, and not respect, of blacks were in political and economic power. The children of those whites were my grandparents, and they passed to my parents the undisputed idea that blacks were good only for field and farm, that no black man ever made contribution to American science or mechanics, and the only role Southern blacks served in the Civil War was as servants to white officers. Northern historians assumed the same ideas. Those who call themselves historians but who ignore unpleasant ideas are nothing but propagandists.)

What you get when all systems are equal

European Arrest Warrants

“In one miscarriage of justice case highlighted by critics, Andrew Symeou, a British citizen, was extradited to Greece on homicide charges under the system and spent 11 months in jail before being cleared.

“In another case, two men from Derby accused of attacking a police officer in Latvia were extradited to Riga and spent two months in an “appalling” prison before being acquitted.”

(The Greek justice system is equal to France’s is equal to Germany's is equal to Latvia’s …)


Remington moving 2,000 jobs from NY to Alabama?

Numerous sites have the story, with the usual "Yes, it's true" and "No, it's not," the latter especially from NY Democratic office holders because, after all, NY companies are Progressive and readily pay increased taxes and back the legislature's common sense killer-gun control laws.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo -- “extreme conservatives” who are “right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay,” have “no place in the state of New York.”

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley in response: “We will protect the Freedoms of individuals and welcome any one or any company to Alabama to discover as so many have, that we are a pro-business state filled with good, hardworking people.”

Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard: “If he doesn’t want hard working pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment people in his state, we will gladly take them here in Alabama.”

‘Remington Arms moving 2,000+ jobs from NY to Alabama’



Priscilla, Michael, Kathleen and I had dinner with Mrs. R. and John.

Dinner with an 88-year-old Alzheimer’s woman and a physically 57-year-old man/mentally 6-year-old boy offers opportunities to practice patience not asked for.

At my pickup, after getting Mrs. R. and John in Michael’s car for the trip back to Mrs. R.’s assisted living place, I said to Priscilla, “It certainly is an adventure.”

“What, going out with Mother and John?”


“You should try doing it by yourself,” she said.

A week before, she had that experience. I stayed at home for the annual termite inspection. Priscilla drove the 140 miles to Texarkana and signed out John from his group home. She then drove to Mrs. R.’s assisted living place and signed her out.

John can walk unaided, but requires time to get anywhere and additional time to get into and out of a car. Mrs. R. uses a walker at the speed one would expect from someone who is 12 years from being a century old.

Priscilla got both into her car and the walker in the back of the car and drove to a restaurant. She stopped near the handicap area and got her mother’s walker from the car and then her mother and John. She told them to stay there while she parked. Then, she guided her mother and John into the restaurant and to a table.

Within a minute of being seated, Mrs. R. said, “It’s cold in here.” She had declined Priscilla’s suggestion of taking a jacket into the restaurant. Priscilla now said she would go to the car and get her mother’s jacket. She told Mrs. R. and John to stay at the table.

While she was gone, a waitress went to the table and asked Mrs. R., “Were those purses here when you sat down?” She referred, of course, to Priscilla’s purse and Mrs. R.’s purse.

Mrs. R. replied, “Well, I haven’t seen those purses before.” The waitress took the purses to the checkout area.

Priscilla returned with Mrs. R.’s jacket. She helped Mrs. R. put on the jacket. She noticed the purses were gone. She said, “What happened to our purses?”

Mrs. R. replied, “Well, I don’t know. I don’t think we brought purses.”

It is an adventure.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Solyent Yellow alert!

Body found on conveyor belt at West Palm Beach, Fla., recycling center.

“Derrick Parker, who works for nearby LKQ Keystone Automotive, was surprised by the news.

“’(Y)ou know never would I have thought anything of that magnitude would have happened you know, so close to home.’”

“Police are calling the case a 'death investigation.'” (As opposed to what? Duuuuhhh.)

A posting.

Britain’s biggest dog

Seven-four when standing, still growing.

Eats four roasted chickens a week, has destroyed 14 sofas.

Photo: What are you looking at?

(Is it just me, or does his owner look like an older Marcia Brady?)


What do women want? asked 1,000 women and 1,000 men “which cars make the opposite sex more attractive.”

A pickup, said 32 percent of the women. Top color -- black. Top brand -- Ford.

Fancy sports car, said 27 percent of the women. Red Porsche.

Link to poll at

Friday, February 14, 2014

Gary Indiana, Gary Indiana, Gary Indiana

"We're in Indiana, they [are] from Illinois, they don't know people got permits to carry guns, so bang bang, that is what happened," Sturgis said.

(I thought everybody in Gary carried a concealed weapon. Those Chicago yoots be a bit stupid.)


Priscilla and I spent Monday-Thursday painting Mrs. R.’s house in Texarkana. We failed to remember our basic rule of redecorating – Take the number of days expected for completion and multiply by two.

That’s the way things have always worked. In Grand Prairie, Texas, we decided to install a shower stall. A weekend should be enough time. Not so. Five days. Other projects have been the same.

You do not know the condition of a house until you begin repairing and painting. Then, the things you saw multiply by a factor of several.

We will get the job done.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Why there are fairy tales

The stories must fit the location.

Pie in the sky; something for everyone; a report for all seasons

Everybody has taken the CBO football and run for the end zone, self-assured of a big TD and extra point guaranteed. Another:

“This week the big story was the tag end of the old JournoList gang trying to spin gold out of the dross of the Congressional Budget Report. The CBO report projected that by 2021 under ObamaCare more than 2 million full-time workers will find it financially advisable to quit work entirely or switch to part-time jobs in order to get more subsidies for healthcare insurance. To most of us who studied real economics or just paid attention to human nature, subsidizing indolence means you'll get more of it.

“But to the airheads on the left and their JournoList spinmasters -- the very people who believed in their hearts that young, healthy workers would willingly pay more for their health insurance to subsidize older, sicker Americans and learned nothing from the failure of that prediction, this devastating CBO report spelled out a wonderful new world of possibilities for American workers at the bottom rungs.”

Dipsticks at the Pentagon and cable news

A poster at the Pentagon Channel two weeks ago, following a piece on bullying: "Who's life will you save today?"

A streamer two nights ago on a cable TV channel, telling of a company that says "it's" product was safe or something.

How many people had editing responsibility for those farkups?

‘Huge ovation as Vladimir Putin enters Olympic arena …’

(He channeled The Great Stalin and heard: “Vlad, I am your fathah.”


Earliest human footprints outside Africa found in England

That was a real giant step.

“The footprints have been described as ‘one of the most important discoveries, if not the most important discovery that has been made on [Britain's] shores,’ by Dr Nick Ashton of the British Museum.”

However: “The hollows were washed away not long after they were identified. The team were, however, able to capture the footprints on video that will be shown at an exhibition at London’s Natural History Museum later this month.”

My amateurishness in such matters, but: The footprints were made 800,000 years ago but then washed away after discovery.

Friday, February 7, 2014

I (Heart) Waffle House

As we were leaving Waffle House in Texarkana a few days ago, my wife said, “They have a sign that says you should reserve a table now for Valentine’s Day dinner.” Not really, said I. “Oh, yes,” she said. “A candlelight dinner for that special sweetheart.” At Waffle House. She said, “That’s what the sign said.”

Nothing says "I love you" like a patty melt on Texas toast.


OK, OK. Got it. By race, I am a “La Raza,” because I am of the human race.

Also under “Race” is “Carolinian,” but not “North” or “South.” News to me that someone from a particular part of the South has a separate race.

Iwo Jimian?


Earth from Mars

The big blue marble is a light in the Martian sky.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

All they want to do is transform military culture. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Progress on women in combat criticized

Not surprising. All military branches are between ye rock and ye hard place, going too fast, not going fast enough.

The story quotes Greg Jacob, “a former Marine and policy director of the Service Women’s Action Network.”

OK, so SWAN wants women carrying rifles and machine guns, driving and commanding tanks, pulling lanyards and all those other combat-related jobs, right?

Well, maybe a little more than that.

“SWAN's mission is to transform military culture by securing equal opportunity and freedom to serve without discrimination, harassment or assault; and to reform veterans' services to ensure high quality health care and benefits for women veterans and their families.”

Forget everything that follows “SWAN’s mission is to transform military culture.” That “equal opportunity” and “freedom to serve” is lipstick and mascara. All you need to know is, SWAN has hooked up with the Yale Law Center and the ACLU and that group.

“Transform military culture” means get the boys out of sight and let the girls run things, just as girls now run public education.

Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic “represents the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) in its campaign to persuade the Department of Defense more forcefully to address military sexual trauma (MST) within the ranks. The representation has included researching and writing a forthcoming policy paper, drafting federal legislation to improve compensation for victims of MST, drafting and submitting a petition for rule-making to VA, and representation of SWAN, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, and the ACLU of Connecticut in two Freedom of Information Act lawsuits in U.S. District Court seeking DoD and VA records related to MST.”

More here:

If a woman meets the physical and emotional requirements for a job and successfully completes standard training, then there is no reason to keep her from that job. What the military services do not need is a bunch of pissed off liberals saying, “This is how you must do things.”

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Vladimir Putin -- conservative

“The Moral Code of the Builder of Communism, if you read it, is just a pathetic copy of the Bible: Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife. The Code of the Builder of Communism has the same commandments, just that they are written in a simple language shortened drastically. This code has passed on, it does not exist any more. A new generation of Russian citizens, young people don't even know what it is. But the only thing that can replace it is those traditional values that you mentioned. Society falls apart without these values. Clearly, we must come back to them, understand their importance and move forward on the basis of these values. I want to reiterate something I said in the Address to the Federal Assembly: yes, this is a conservative approach, but let me remind you of Berdyaev's words that the point of conservatism is not that it obstructs movement forward and upward, but that it prevents the movement backward and downward. That, in my opinion, is a very good formula, and it is the formula that I propose. There's nothing unusual for us here. Russia is a country with a very profound ancient culture, and if we want to feel strong and grow with confidence, we must draw on this culture and these traditions, and not just focus on the future.”


Saturday, February 1, 2014

In today's mail

Michael got a 2014 Arkansas Republican Party membership card. He lives in Texas.

Kathleen got an Arkansas voter registration form. She lives in Florida.

My mother-in-law got a 100% Cotton card from the Tom Cotton for Senator campaign. She has not been a resident of Arkansas since around 1951.

My wife and I didn’t get any of that. Priscilla has been a resident here since 2005, and I’ve been here since 2007.