Thursday, September 25, 2008

How Do I Become an Illegal Alien?

This is an outstanding offer! Take advantage now! This came to my email from a friend who wanted to save us all some money.

On Becoming Illegal. You'll love this!

Becoming Illegal (Actual letter from an Iowa resident and sent to his senator)

The Honorable Tom Harkin
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Phone (202) 224 3254
Washington DC , 20510

Dear Senator Harkin,

As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.

My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S. Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005.

Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year.

Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as 'in-state' tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.

Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums. This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car.

If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative. Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent,

Donald Ruppert
Burlington , IA

Get your Forms (NOW)!! Call your Internal Revenue Service 1-800-289-1040.

Please pass this on to your friends so they can save on this great offer.

Denny’s Senior Menu

The other night Lucy and I wanted to go to What-a-burger over on FM1960; but the closer we got the more it became apparent that none of that section of the electrical grid was up and running. There was a strange darkness where normally it was pure commercial lighting, no traffic lights or anything else.

One exception was Denny’s which was bright and all lighted up. Denny’s had rented a fairly large portable generator and parked it on the back side of the lot. I figure if they want my business enough to stay open late and go to all the extra expense then they should be rewarded. They had a sign on the front door showing how they had a limited menu and would close at 9pm rather than their normal 24 hour service. ( I wonder where the night shift cops are getting fed; just a thought. )

The restaurant had plenty of customers as we were led to a booth. Going over the menu Lucy pointed to the Senior’s side and found something she might enjoy. It occurred to me I could order off the Senior’s Menu; never thought of my self in that category before. I asked the waitress, who was busier than the one legged man in the butt kicking contest, what the difference was between a regular Club Sandwich and the one listed on the Senior’s Menu.

“Nothing really, maybe it’s a little smaller.” She kept walking and serving others as I pondered the additional information. We placed our order and when it arrived I studied the size and shape of the Senior’s version Club Sandwich; if it was smaller it must have been with the number of French Fries. We saved four dollars between the two of us and enjoyed their air conditioning; at the time our electricity hadn’t come back on yet.

There was a little old man sitting in the booth across from us, a thin supply tube hooked up to an oxygen canister was looped around his ears as he had dinner with his family. Then there was a little old lady with one of those aluminum walkers scooting toward the front door, a daughter assisting her every step. Those are Seniors, I’m just a kid who got a little older and can benefit by saving a couple of dollars when ordering food now.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Change, Change to What?

I got the following in my email from my friends Steve and Linda; thought it was worth sharing.

Some of you will remember the man that kept claiming that the country needed change. It was a lifetime ago. He, too, didn't say what the change was, just that they needed change! The people fell for it... The man was Hitler.

This is one you'll want to share with your e-mail group. All I can say is , I wish I was the author of this. I believe he said it all....

My name is Joe Porter. I live in Champaign, Illinois. I'm 46 years old, a born-again Christian, a husband, a father, a small business owner, a veteran, and a home owner. I don't consider myself to be either conservative or liberal, and I vote for the person, not Republican or Democrat. I don't believe there are 'two Americas ' - but that every person in this country can be whom ever and what ever they want to be if they'll just work to get there - and nowhere else on earth can they find such opportunities. I believe our government should help those who are legitimately downtrodden, and should always put the interests of America first.

The purpose of this message is that I'm concerned about the future of this great nation. I'm worried that the silent majority of honest, hard-working, tax-paying people in this country have been passive for too long. Most folks I know choose not to involve themselves in politics. They go about their daily lives, paying their bills, raising their kids, and doing what they can to maintain the good life. They vote and consider doing so to be a sacred trust. They shake their heads at the political pundits and so-called 'news', thinking that what they hear is always spun by whom ever is reporting it. They can't understand how elected officials can regularly violate the public trust with pork barrel spending. They don't want government handouts. They want the government to protect them, not raise their taxes for more government programs.

I've never found a candidate in any election with whom I agreed on everything. So when I step into that voting booth, I always try to look at the big picture and cast my vote for the man or woman who is best qualified for the job. I've hired a lot of people in my lifetime, and essentially that's what an election is - a hiring process. Who has the credentials? Whom do I want working for me? Whom can I trust to do the job right?

I'm concerned that a growing number of voters in this country simply don't get it. They are caught up in a fervor they can't explain, and calling it 'change'.

'Change what?' I ask.

'Well, we're going to change America', they say.

'In what way?', I query.

'We want someone new and fresh in the White House', they exclaim.

'So, someone who's not a politician?' I press.

'Uh, well, no, we just want a lot of stuff changed, so we're voting for Obama', they state.

'So the current system, the system of freedom and democracy that has enabled a man to grow up in this great country, get a fine education, raise incredible amounts of money and dominate the news and win his party's nomination for the White House - that system's all wrong?'

'No, no, that part of the system's okay - we just need a lot of change.'

And so it goes. 'Change we can believe in.' Quite frankly, I don't believe that vague proclamations of change hold any promise for me. In recent months, I've been asking virtually everyone I encounter how they're voting. I live in Illinois, so most folks tell me they're voting for Barack Obama. But no one can really tell me why - only that he's going to change a lot of stuff. Change, change, change. I have yet to find one single person who can tell me distinctly and convincingly why this man is qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful nation on earth - other than the fact that he claims he's going to implement a lot of change.

We've all seen the emails about Obama's genealogy, his upbringing, his Muslim background, and his church affiliations. Let's ignore this for a moment. Put it all aside then ask yourself, what qualifies this man to be my president? That he's a brilliant orator and talks about change?


Friends, I'll be forthright with you - I believe the American voters who are supporting Barack Obama don't have a clue what they're doing, as evidenced by the fact that not one of them - NOT ONE of them I've spoken to can spell out his qualifications. Not even the most liberal media can explain why he should be elected.

Political experience? Negligible. Foreign relations? Non-existent. Achievements? Name one. Someone who wants to unite the country? If you haven't read his wife's thesis from Princeton, look it up on the web. This is who's lining up to be our next First Lady? The only thing I can glean from Obama's constant harping about change is that we're in for a lot of new taxes.

For me, the choice is clear. I've looked carefully at the two leading applicants for the job, and I've made my choice.

Here's a question - where were you five and a half years ago? Around Christmas, 2002. You've had five or six birthdays in that time. My son has grown from a sixth grade child to a high school graduate. Five and a half years is a good chunk of time. About 2,000 days. 2,000 nights of sleep. 6, 000 meals, give or take.
John McCain spent that amount of time, from 1967 to 1973, in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp. When offered early release, he refused it. He considered this offer to be a public relations stunt by his captors, and insisted that those held longer than he should be released first. Did you get that part? He was offered his freedom, and he turned it down. A regimen of beatings and torture began.

Do you possess such strength of character? Locked in a filthy cell in a foreign country, would you turn down your own freedom in favor of your fellow man? I submit that's a quality of character that is rarely found, and for me, this singular act defines John McCain.

Unlike several presidential candidates in recent years whose military service is questionable or non-existent, you will not find anyone to denigrate the integrity and moral courage of this man. A graduate of Annapolis , during his Naval service he received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross. His own son is now serving in the Marine Corps in Iraq .

Barack Obama is fond of saying 'We honor John McCain's service...BUT...', which to me is condescending and offensive - because what I hear is, 'Let's forget this man's sacrifice for his country and his proven leadership abilities, and talk some more about change.'

I don't agree with John McCain on everything - but I am utterly convinced that he is qualified to be our next President, and I trust him to do what's right. (ed. note: Can any Democrat say this about Obama?) I know in my heart that he has the best interests of our country in mind. He doesn't simply want to be President - he wants to lead America , and there's a huge difference. Factually, there is simply no comparison between the two candidates. A man of questionable background and motives who prattles on about change can't hold a candle to a man who has devoted his life in public service to this nation, retiring from the Navy in 1981 and elected to the Senate in 1982.

Perhaps Obama's supporters are taking a stance between old and new. Maybe they don't care about McCain's service or his strength of character, or his unblemished qualifications to be President. Maybe 'likeability' is a higher priority for them than 'trust'. Being a prisoner of war is not what qualifies John McCain to be President of the United States of America - but his demonstrated leadership certainly DOES.

Dear friends, it is time for us to stand. It is time for thinking Americans to say, 'Enough.' It is time for people of all parties to stop following the party line. It is time for anyone who wants to keep America first, who wants the right man leading their nation, to start a dialogue with all their friends and neighbors and ask who they're voting for, and why.

There's a lot of evil in this world. That should be readily apparent to all of us by now. And when faced with that evil as we are now, I want a man who knows the cost of war on his troops and on his citizens. I want a man who puts my family's interests before any foreign country.

I want a President who's qualified to lead.

I want my country back, and I'm voting for John McCain.

It is not a black and white issue, it is a right or wrong issue.

Please pass this on to all your thoughtful friends.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Spam and Baked Beans

Lucy and I are living without electricity still, having a chance to use our emergency food rations. Tonight we enjoyed Spam and Baked Beans, a little like camping out only this time we’re cooking on a one burner butane stove and taking the meal over to the table where we have a couple of romantic candles to eat by.

I commented to Lucy how all we needed was a full moon hanging in the sky over some low lying brush with the Black Canyon of the Gunnison to make the clock turn back some. One night we were having our dinner with the park all to our selves when the park ranger came by to check on us. We offered him some of our food and he told us all about the geology and intrusive lava veins that can be easily seen throughout the canyon walls.

Many years ago, long before we had kids, we would take our vacations in the early Fall; one of the advantages to having low seniority in the police department. Those with more seniority would either go for the Summer and take their kids or wait until hunting season, a little later in the Fall. The national parks at the end of September and early October are almost empty since all the students are back in school so we had our pick of camp sites and got to enjoy the foliage change colors; pure magic to see nature that way.

So, tonight we had a chance to recall moments in time as if by blinking our eyes a quarter of a century was just yesterday. Lucy was standing there looking so good in her sweater and jeans; I can see the purple hues of evening after the sun went down leaving the moon there with a thin veil of upper level clouds to announce the night. It was so quite; not like tonight where the sound of all the generators in the neighborhood creeps past the open windows while we wait for the power to come back on.

While in church this afternoon we got to hear an interesting quote from one of the leaders, “You have all the power you need, you just don’t have electricity.”, close enough since I wasn’t writing it down at the time. He was referring to the marvelous efforts being put forth by members of our area to clean up our yards and those of our neighbors. I’d have to say how pleased I am with the way our friends and neighbors have helped to shoulder the burdens, doing what they could to make the load a little lighter and just following the Golden Rule.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hurricane Ike Pictures ( 2 of 2 )

You can't see it; but on my t-shirt there must be a fuel gauge that reads, "empty", with a flashing yellow warning light.
That's and "owie".

Hurricane Ike Photographs (part 1 of 2 )

I’ve had a few moments to download pictures to go along with what I’d written earlier. We’ve just been told to expect at least another week without electricity, more likely two weeks, because the survey crew that was out to repair the line damage said it was done by a tornado that passed along the back of the subdivision and took out several poles and all the power cable that feeds to our neighborhood. We also had more bad news; not to use the water because there was a break in the sewer and the water might be contaminated. So, other than that, “How’d you like the show, Mrs. Lincoln?”

Hope these come out in the order I picked; all the same, here goes nothing.

The first picture should be of my neighbor Bob across the street, where the pine tree went through his roof.

Next might be harder to figure out; a mass of twisted tree limbs, some cut, others waiting to be cut that are wrapped around the telephone line/cable line that runs along the back fence. This was a primary reason for me to get the chain saw out.

I had all my shoes doing overtime, these were on the front porch drying out.

The sandbags were a precaution since that part of our house is where we have a problem when there’s high water. This is where the roof pores down on its way to the drain; no water ever got in the house.

If you look closely, there’s a gap under the suspended tree that was just lifted from out of Bob’s house; yup, that’s air under the tree’s base. “Where do you want this tree delivered?” ( Blogger will only let me post this much so I’ll have to get the last two on a separate entry; but here are the explanations to go with those last two pictures. )

This is my friend Russ wearing his David Haken commemorative t-shirt; only worn on special occasions like when you have to get down in the mud or cut down trees after a hurricane. For a couple of aging old farts we did okay this time.

Last one I’ll share is my Hurricane Ike War Wound. The picture doesn’t share the depth or the blood since it was taken this morning after I’d cleaned it with peroxide.

Hurricane Ike Clean Up Break

Wednesday September 17th

I just got through cranking up the generator; a morning ritual that includes topping off the gas tank while it’s cool enough not to worry about causing a flash fire. My laptop needed to be charged up and I noticed the spyware program had kicked in and was in auto update mode, downloading the latest fixes; that meant we had internet! I looked over at the “tower” and sure enough it was “green across the board”. Everything below was written during the last few days.

I wonder is kids going back to school after this unexpected break from classes will be asked to write a paper detailing what they did following Ike’s visit. I’ve proven to myself how I enjoy living in our day as opposed to the “good ole’ days”. Those little conveniences like cable television, air conditioning, microwave ovens and internet have become part of my life and I miss them.

I found the once buff version of myself no longer exists; having been replaced by an older less efficient model that tires easily. I worked in the back yard with the chain saw for about an hour or so trimming limbs that were leaning on the telephone lines and the power line that runs to the house. I figured the safest time to do that was when the whole neighborhood was without power; the idea of becoming a ground wire didn’t set well so I worked quickly just in case power was restored. I then loaned out the chain saw to one of my neighbors; only then did I realize that I’d missed a whole section of limbs resting on the telephone line that went along the back of the garage area, a place I hardly ever visit.

That’s when I came in and took my first shower of the day; thank goodness we have natural gas to heat the water instead an electric water heater. I changed clothes, started up the generator to keep the refrigerator and freezer nice and cold and sat down at the computer so I could start recording my thoughts, along with catch my breath. The cable line that connects me with the internet was part of the tangled mess brought down by the tree limbs which is why I can’t get my email or blog yet.

My friend brought back the chain saw and looked a bit worn so I offered him a glass of ice water, with real ice; having a generator has its advantages. He then offered to stick around and help with the remainder of the trim work; much more than I’d figured on. We wrestled with limbs that were woven together, cutting the knots with the saw and then dragging the limbs to a huge pile which later would be hauled to the curb. This lasted at least another hour; but we did get to take a break when a huge crane arrived to lift the tree, the one which landed on my neighbor across the street’s house.

Half the neighborhood came out to watch them lift a seventy five foot pine tree like it was magic; should have sold pop corn and soda to raise a little money since the locksmith business went into hiding last Thursday and might stay away for who knows how long, at least until some semblance of normal returns to the Houston area.

Bonnie, my Harry Potter fan club, wanted to see if her Latin spell casting worked, “Leviosa”, or something like that, pointing her make believe wand at the tree. The crane operator must have proven his worth as the tree was returned to its upright position while a crew with chain saws sliced the base to separate it from the stump and root. I wondered why they would cut it that way instead of chopping the top off first. Pretty as a peach that tree floated perfectly upright in the air, hanging from the harness which then held the whole tree while the platform of the crane turned and laid it perfectly on the edge of the yard while the chain saw crew removed the branches on its way down.

My grandfather used to have little sayings he’d share with me, some of them I can even share in mixed company. He told me that watching a professional apply his skills to a given job was one of the most entertaining events and well worth the price of admission; the only thing more fun to watch, he’d smile and give me a wink, was to watch some fool who hasn’t got a clue. He’d give me a big old belly laugh for having shared his wisdom and most times he’s been right. The crew with the crane and chain saws was smooth as glass and had everyone’s admiration for a job well done.

I helped put a blue tarp over the hole after the tree was removed, some clever use of bungee cords to hold the edges in place. We used some two by fours to anchor the edges down to the roof until repairs can be made. I don’t like getting on ladders or climbing on roofs; but sometimes you just gotta’ do what you gotta’ do to get the job done.

The rest of the day was spent hauling the pile of chopped limbs from the back yard and putting on the curb where we’ve been promised a large claw truck will come by “soon” to take it away to the dump. Bonnie and I finished as the last of the day’s light was about gone and the mosquitoes were in full swarm. I think I used the rest of my energy getting that done, panting and lumbering with each successive trip.

Lucy used the camp stove to cook corned beef hash, mixed vegetables and dirty rice for dinner. We really are prepared for this kind of back woods life style, even though I’d prefer doing it while camping instead of making do until our regular amenities are restored. We shared our other cook stove with some other neighbors; they come over each evening with to plug their coffee maker into the generator and to retrieve some coffee cream which is stored in our refrigerator. It’s nice that we are able to make life easier for our friends; sure was nice of my other neighbor to help with the tree trim work, it all comes around.

I went out thinking I’d pick up some more of the leaf debris only to find my back refused to bend from all the extra work I’ve been doing; kind of the way folks feel the day after a bad automobile accident. I then decided I’d do some more pruning along the back of the house near the telephone and cable lines. I used one of those extension pole limb trimming things that has a rope that you pull once the small limb is secured. That worked fine until the little spring that returns the cutting blade to its ready position jumped off and got lost.

I then used the curved saw blade end, not near as efficient, to work on one last branch that was still resting on the telephone/cable lines. It was giving me a challenge and I was returning with as much energy as could be found; at least until I tugged down really hard and forgot where the top of my wrought iron fence post was in relation to my fingers.

We have very sharp pointy things ( I’m from Texas so they are called “floure de le”, how you spell that is anyone’s guess ) on the top of each post to keep the bad guys from hopping over the fence. One of them bit off a piece on the side of my left index finger and reminded me how stupid the human race is about staying focused.

While the finger was in a state of being relatively numb, I decided it would be better to snip off the flap of skin rather than let it remain and become something to get hung up on. A little water to run over the top, a couple of band aids to keep the dirt out and I returned with “resolve” to the task of removing the last no good rotten tree limb.

My finger will survive, not very pretty to look at or use at the moment; but this is one of those “war wounds” from Hurricane Ike to show that I was there; that and all the little nicks and slices on my hands and arms from doing battle with the other tree limbs that will fade with time.

We had a neat feast at another friends last night, a thinning out of their meats and vegetables which needed to either be used or tossed. Steak and potatoes, mixed steamed vegetables, boiled shrimp with spicy sauce and Dutch oven cobbler; that’s hard to beat. We sat next to their swimming pool which had a collection of leaves at the bottom since they have no power to run the pumps and filters; a nice mess that will be fun to clean once power is restored.

Speaking of power being restored; they tell us that by September 23rd most of the area will have electricity. The gas stations are just now getting power since they are along the major roads where it’s been easier to restore the lines and replace downed poles and it’s slowly getting back to normal.

Yesterday I ran my first locksmith job since last Thursday and saw a line of cars spilled out onto the freeway service road. I thought it was for gasoline and had to laugh when it became evident that these folks had found a fast food chicken place that was open for business. Most of the traffic lights on my side of town were still out in the morning. Watching folks without a clue as to how to use these intersections was a challenge; those talking on their cell phones and not paying attention should have been shot and left as a warning to other idiots as they followed the car in front of them through as if the light was green, never noticing the mess they almost caused. ( omit next word )

Last night most of those same intersections had their light systems working and with each day we get closer to being a working city once more. I’ve missed watching and listening to my Houston Astros; although it appears from what I’ve read, that the Astros must have had their bats damaged by Hurricane Ike as they were shut down completely their last three games. Enough for now, I’ll post this and follow later with pictures.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Surviving Ike

Hurricane Ike is almost out of here, moving up to the north as I sit here in my house; no electricity and no water in the pipes. Our house came out pretty well with only minor damage to tree limbs and a small spot on the den ceiling where some water figured out a way to seep in.

There are lots of fences down all around, fences that couldn’t withstand hurricane force winds for an extended period. My neighbor Bob, across the street had a huge pine tree topple across the house and smashed into his den. He’d worried about a smaller pine tree that was closer to the house yesterday; contemplated cutting it down prior to the storm’s arrival. That tree did just fine; it was a much older pine that uprooted and destroyed his roof.

Lucy had extra tarp material; Bonnie and I went over to help cover the hole in Bob’s roof along with my other next door neighbor, Russell. Bob had one tarp which he used to cover most of the damage on the top side; standing on a very nice ladder while the rain and wind soaked all of us. We then took the extra tarp and fashioned a funnel of sorts to catch and divert the rest out through the front of the house where the window used to be.

I took pictures with my digital camera(will post later when things get more stable); mostly for his insurance company to show that he’d done as much as he could to minimize damage; but also to use in my blog article to give you an idea of what happened. With all power and services down for who knows how long, I’ll file this away until such time as can accommodate internet use.

Lucy followed the list of instructions down to the last; filled the bath tub with water last night knowing that once the power went out there would be no running water since the pumps that make all that happen would also be out. We can still use the toilet; just have to dip a pitcher into the tub and transfer water in order to flush it.

After getting soaked fixing the roof I “peeled off” in the entry way and left the stack of water logged clothing in a pile. I had to keep reminding Bonnie to stay in her room until this old man could finish that task; her clothing was in a heap as well and we’ll deal with getting them dry later. It’s a good thing I was in the hospital last year and learned how to take a bath with only a bucket of water. There’s not much to say about a sink bath; glad to have a supply of Johnson’s Baby Soap in a bottle left over from my trip to the hospital; that stuff is perfect for an emergency wash.

Lucy has all her Ham radio stuff set up in her car and they held a “net” meeting last night and again this morning to check on everyone in the area. I think they enjoy playing with the radios more than anything else; but eventually those radios will come in handy.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Welcome to the Human Race

Getting ready for Hurricane Ike has been a test for us here in Houston. Over the years we’ve heard the warnings which accompany each and every tropical storm headed in our direction. Not so long ago there was Gustav which got our attention but turned and left us alone. Before that we had Rita which tore up the Beaumont / Port Arthur area pretty good leaving plenty of downed trees and power lines to clean up; but spared the Houston area, another warning with nothing to show for it.

I’ve been watching Ike as it inches ever closer and has the potential of destroying lives and property as the Gulf waters are pushed toward shore. There’s an estimated “catastrophic” surge projected along that stretch of land on either side of Galveston which would include the Port of Houston and the low lying areas adjacent to it.

Mandatory evacuations were posted for nearly every zip code within the area threatened by the storm surge; however, from the reports on the news channels, about half the residents have decided to ignore the warnings and are going to become “statistics” and clog up the storm sewers with more bodies than I care to think about. Just how stupid do you have to be, not that stupid; you just have to be part of the human race.

Speaking of the human condition; Lucy got a request to go down to help a fellow Ham radio operator set up and program his unit a while ago. Lucy has the knowledge and willingness to be of service and didn’t give it a thought so I helped her carry some stuff to the car. By the way, the sun is shining and there’s hardly a hint of pending doom from what I see around here.

About ten minutes after Lucy left she called in a panic asking me to check around for her portable Ham radio which she accidentally left on the roof of the car. She thought of it as she got to a major street and got that sinking feeling; the kind you get when you’re a hundred miles from home on vacation and ask yourself if you turned off the stove.

I checked all along the drive way where it might have fallen, the curb line along the path she took all the way down around the curve and to the stop sign a quarter of a mile away; nothing. I drove my truck along the same path asking neighbors to keep an eye out for it. I even joked with my neighbor across the street as he helped scour the area with me, “Bob, if you want to have some fun at Lucy’s expense; bearing in mind you might get shot, take a small piece of two by four, paint it black and stick a piece of coat hanger on the end of it. Knock on the door later today and ask, ‘Is this what you’re looking for’.” Bob gave me one of those looks, like “I may look stupid; but not THAT stupid”, and decided it wouldn’t be such a good thing to do.

I again looked under the few vehicles parked on the street and in the bushes where the street curves around; nothing. I pretty much gave up on the idea of finding the Ham radio; somebody must have already picked it up and headed off to the pawn shop thinking it must be worth a few bucks. I called Lucy to tell her the bad news and knew how low that made her feel; not that I’ve ever misplaced something and panicked while trying to find it.

I sat back on the sofa and picked up on the “paused” movie I’d been watching, “Final Countdown”, about a strange storm that swallows up a modern day aircraft carrier and transports it back to December 6th of 1941 just off the coast of Hawaii. A thought came to me, more like a “still small voice” if you get my drift; “Go back out there, this time go a little farther and you will find the radio”. I’ve heard those promptings in the past; once or twice it may have saved my life when I was working as a night shift police officer.

This was a little like the, “If you build it he will come”, “Ease his pain” or “Go the distance”, like in the movie where Kevin Costner plows up a perfectly good corn field and builds the “Field of Dreams”. The impression was clear as was a gentle prompting that needed to be acted upon so I put the movie on pause, again, and got back in my truck.

I drove along the same route only this time I past the larger intersection at T. C. Jester where I know Lucy hardly ever comes to a complete stop; doing what I call a shuffle as opposed to a legal complete stop. I figured that the extra momentum combined with her giving the car a little more gas at the apex of the turn might be just enough to cause a Ham radio perched on top of her car to become dislodged and slung onto the yard of the corner house on the opposite side of the street; I figured this all out on my own, yea right.

I glanced at the shrubbery that lined the walk way leading to the corner house and sure enough there was a little black box which had bounced off the edge of the street and suspended itself in the bottom branches of a bush. There was only a small scuff mark on the edge where the concrete put an ugly spot; other than that the radio works fine.

I called Lucy and let her know that the radio had been found, that she could take a deep breath and relax now. The cost of the radio was nothing compared to the knowledge that Lucy was relieved from having lost it. For those of you wondering about how the Spirit works; consider this part of the learning curve for the human race, all you have to do is listen and then act upon the promptings.

What The Second Amendment Really Means

Col. Hogan posted a short article the other day, complete with a video link, which explains what the Second Amendment really means. A young woman testifying before congress explains the most basic right of self defense in compelling fashion; watch the video and see if you don’t agree.

Since I’m borrowing most of what the Col. had to begin with; might as well finish this off with his own sentiments, “People should not be afraid of their governments; governments should be afraid of their people.”

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I Like Ike

I’m old enough to remember seeing a campaign button with a picture of Dwight D. Eisenhower along with the slogan, “I Like Ike”. A returning commanding general of the Allied efforts in Europe made for good credentials for president back then.

This week my attention will be focused on yet another ugly hurricane threat, Ike, as it threatens to enter the Gulf of Mexico with a dangerous game of pin the tail on the donkey. I looked up the projected paths, based on computer analysis, at the SciGuy’s page; nothing I saw there made me feel comfortable.