Monday, June 30, 2008

We don’t need no stinkin’ racists here!

One of the news stories hitting the national arena came from Houston where a grand jury decided that a citizen was within the law when he shot two burglary suspects who’d broken into his next door neighbor’s house. The details of what happened can be found on most of the news outlets; but the one which got me hot under the collar was found on the Houston NBC local website, KPRC, where self appointed black community activist and public relations mouth piece Quanell X had a chance to get in front of a microphone.

“"There is not a snowflake chance in (expletive) that an African-American could have done what Joe Horn did and not be locked away in the Harris County jail," community activist Quanell X said in a statement Monday.”

Quanell X has impugned the entire community with a blanket statement which simply is not true. Where are the leaders of the black community stepping up to the line to challenge this hate mongering media whore? The fact that there are no black leaders stepping up to challenge such an irresponsible racist such as Quanell X does not speak well for the black community. Why would the news media go out of its way to lend Quanell X the spot light each time there’s a racially charged event? I think I answered my own question, at least in part when I wrote, Problem with Criminal Justice System in a Nut Shell .

This is not the “Jim Crow” oppressive white society which existed quite a while back; although there are many who continue to feed off the memory, selling that lie as if Jim Crow were still in place to the down trodden masses in our time, those looking for an excuse to justify their own lack of effort rather than be honest. There was a time when “people of color” were treated as second class citizens, or worse; but this is not the case today; except in the twisted minds of those living on hate and a desire to drive a wedge into the community in order to further selfish desires, Quanell X is such a person. I would hope Houstonians; black, white or other, would show Quanell X the highway leading out of town, we don’t need no stinkin’ racists here!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Life or Death in America

“Some Houstonians were stunned this week when a 14-year-old girl was charged with capital murder in the death of her child, who was born in the restroom of Cedar Bayou Junior High School.”

I hope I’m not the only one shaking my head in disbelief when I hear about a 14 year old murdering her newborn baby and trying to flush it down the toilet. This story was first reported as an “accidental birth”, one in which the young mother supposedly didn’t know she was pregnant and panicked when she had the baby in the bathroom at school.

Facts have been released from the District Attorney’s office which, if true, paint an entirely different picture. The baby had toilet paper stuffed down its throat blocking the air way along with blunt trauma injuries

Rick Casey of the Houston Chronicle wrote, “Some Houstonians were stunned this week when a 14-year-old girl was charged with capital murder in the death of her child, who was born in the restroom of Cedar Bayou Junior High School.” The article went on to question the rational thinking of the District Attorney’s office.

“How about the girl's mental state? How about whether she was hysterical when she gave birth and possibly when she spoke to emergency workers?

How about evidence that young teenagers, even under considerably less stressful conditions, don't have fully developed mental capabilities and impulse

Those questions, Hawkins indicated, are not part of the charging decision. Questions about the alleged perpetrator come into play in determining whether she should be certified to stand trial as an adult.

They also can be taken into account by the jury, he said, which may decide to convict the accused of a lesser included crime, such as murder or manslaughter.”

I don’t suppose anyone thought to remember the right to life of the murdered child; remember the victim? According to this article we should be more concerned that the District Attorney’s office is being too harsh on a young girl who couldn’t possibly be responsible for her own actions.

Okay, for the sake of argument, let’s agree that the District Attorney’s office shouldn’t have gone for Capital Murder charges; that some lesser included crime such as Murder or Manslaughter should have been applied. That would have been more acceptable to everyone, right?

I’ll give you half a moment to assess your answer as I move along to include late term or partial-birth abortion in this discussion on Life and Death in America. Most folks are not able to comprehend the method used by “doctors and professional health care providers” to end the life of another human being; one who has only to make it through the birth canal and continue.

One accepted method for ending a late term pregnancy is to insert a steel probe into the babies brain and scramble those brains prior to the baby taking its first breath; but this is all legal because, as stated, the baby never took its first breath and so it’s classified as a fetus instead of being a real human being. This procedure used to be accomplished with a dirty coat hanger when abortions were carried out in secret illegal clinics; aren’t we a civilized society for having required the use of sterile probes to break through the skull and scramble those tiny brains.

“Late Term Abortion – The procedures
There are three general procedures of late-term abortions and partial birth abortions. The first and most popular is called D&E (Dilation and evacuation). Once the cervix is dilated, the fetus is removed by inserting forceps into the uterus. The Fetus is then separated into pieces. These “pieces” of your baby will be removed one at a time. Vacuum aspiration is then used to ensure no tissue remains in the uterus.

The second procedure is early induction of labor. This is very painful and intense for the woman and is rarely used as an abortion procedure.

The third procedure is called Intact D&X surgery. This procedure includes a 2-3 day process to gradually dilate the cervix using sticks of seaweed which absorb fluid and swell. Once this process is finished, the doctor uses forceps and grasps the baby’s leg to turn it to breech position. The baby is then pulled out of the birth canal, leaving the head inside the canal. An incision is then made at the base of the baby’s skull and the brain tissue is removed, causing the skull to collapse. The entire baby is then removed.”

If we use the rationalization of our so called “civilized society”, the one which has willingly gone along with the atrocity of child murder in the early stages of pregnancy, all in the name of “a woman’s right” to decide; then we need to apply the same standard to the 14 year old “who took care of business” in the school bathroom. If this is the case then the only thing she’s guilty of is performing a late term abortion without following the prescribed procedure and without having achieved the title of professional health care giver. That wasn’t a baby being murdered, technically; it was a procedure being carried out by someone not qualified or licensed. The 14 year old girl simply didn’t understand how important it was to finish off the little critter before a first breath was taken.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A rose by any other name…

Shakespeare wrote: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet." Most folks are familiar with the famous line, even though they might not know it was from Romeo and Juliet; a reference to the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues.

I read several articles this morning before the work day pulled me off to make a living; I’ll figure out how to tie them together now that the sun’s gone down. I had a great day other than wrenching my back out on the first job; drilling out a bad ignition switch on a Ford Contour pulled the left side near my rib cage into spasms.

The Wall Street Journal had a heads up on Nancy Pelosi, “The Pelosi Doctrine”, which explained “that House Democrats aim to reimpose the "Fairness Doctrine" on radio and TV broadcasters.”

“Polls show most Americans and in particular most conservatives view the Fairness Doctrine as nothing less than censorship, specifically aimed at silencing Rush Limbaugh and similar icons of conservative talk radio. When Indiana Republican Mike Pence last year offered a House bill that would impose a one-year moratorium on any new Fairness Doctrine, the bill received more than 300 votes. Even many Democrats supported the provision.”

The left can’t stand the fact that conservative talk shows are able to offer an opinion outside of the drive by media; the Fairness Doctrine could easily be used to silence the opposition. A rose by any other name…

Never Yet Melted had a similar post, “Liberals: Totalitarian Enablers”, which identifies the Democratic Party through recognizable monikers past and present.

“The liberal agenda (today) is, in many respects, the same as it was in the thirties. Whether you call it communism, fascism, socialism, liberalism, or progressivism, the only real difference is how much they believe they can get away with, the way they sell it to people, and the latest trendy name for what they believe.”


“Instead, what you have to do is watch what other liberals have done when they have come into power. Look at Canada, where conservatives are being put on trial for hate crimes because they’ve dared to criticize Muslims. Look at European countries, where they have socialistic economies, sky high tax rates, rigid speech codes, and overweening nanny states. You can even look at liberal enclaves in the United States like Berkeley and San Francisco, where members of the military are treated like pariahs and they boo the national anthem.”

There’s a pattern which begins to become more clear, the Democratic Party’s agenda is, and has been for quite some time, to erode the liberty of individuals in favor of a collective in which the state takes care of making choices because they believe it's too dangerous leaving it in the hands of individuals, far too dangerous for individuals who are too dumb, ignorant or in some other way incapable of self government.

Better than half of our elected Congressmen and Senators, mostly Democrats, don’t believe the average American is capable of managing a budget, providing their families with health insurance, retirement or most anything of importance; that’s what government is for.

Washington DC doesn’t trust their citizens to own guns, neither does San Francisco or Chicago; only government agents such as the police or the military are capable of the discipline necessary to properly use firearms, isn’t that what their respective mayors have said?

Political Correctness is simply another step closer to the removal of one more liberty supposedly guaranteed, freedom of speech; but that only applies to certain folks, not everyone. A rose by any other name…

Lisa over at Liberal Common Sense shared an email from John Kerry in which he went to great lengths to stress the need to pack the Senate with “progressive” leaders.

“Let me cut to the chase: If you want anything big to happen after January, you need to give President Barack Obama a big progressive majority. Period.”

“We need a more progressive Senate to fight for a better America. With your help, we can elect some more great progressives and take another jump forward to a government in DC that works for all of us.”

Let me think for a moment, that’s right, progressive is the new name for “communism, fascism, socialism, liberalism” because most folks associate those monikers with failure and encroachment on individual liberties and rights. By the time the masses figure out how badly they’ve been duped it will be too late. John Kerry has already counted the votes and declared Barack Obama President; see how this works. A rose by any other name…

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You Play Like a Girl

The words, “You play like a girl”, at one time were tossed around as an insult; however, after watching the ball girl make this catch it might turn out to be a compliment. I’ve heard some say this whole thing was a set up; but with the moves this ball girl showed, Jackie Chan must have been the coach.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Don’t Confuse Me With Facts

The other day I learned why little, if any, progress is being made in my attempts to expose Obama for what he is; a slick politician with Marxist leanings and sympathies for the Black Liberation Theology. I have a group of folks to whom I send my blog articles via their email; these are the other 7 readers that make up my total of 10 or so “regulars”. I engaged one of the more liberal left leaning folks in conversation wanting his opinion on the latest articles I’d sent him this past week.

“As soon as I saw Obama in the title I quit reading. I knew it would only …” You get the idea, he didn’t want to hear anything which might run contrary to the mantra. This is the same response to articles written which don’t fit the “Algorian” environmental whacko template, the English as an official language, illegal immigration and rigid enforcement of our borders or the long term threat the US faces from militant Islam. The ears are shut and the eyes are closed to information which include facts as opposed to feelings.

The first thing which came to mind was the scene at the beginning of Beverly Hills Cop. I’ve been subjected to foul language ( technical police terminology ); but this film had more than its share. The movie starts off with a chase, a wild no holds bared romp with our hero, Axel Foley working as an undercover cop, being tossed around in the back of a truck full of cigarettes; taking out parked cars, cop cars, a city bus and half of Detroit.

The cigarettes were supposed to be impounded as evidence from a previous case; but had been used by Axel Foley without his supervisor’s knowledge, and more importantly, their permission. Foley is standing next to his locker in the back area of the police station, about to find out how unhappy his immediate supervisor is, all the while his buddy’s reminding him that taking the truck load of cigarettes wasn’t a good idea. Foley covers his ears and pretends to be ignore what is being said.

“La la lala la la la …I’m not listening to you, la lala la la la la…” Foley’s talking so loud as to drown out what he doesn’t want to hear. Shortly thereafter the supervisor shows up and starts in on Foley.

For the record, the human factor in global warming is a sham which will, if permitted, shut down the industrialized world as we know it. There are those who would have us believe, by governmental decree, that the consumption of oil and coal must be to blame for each and every hurricane, drought and flood. It makes perfectly good sense to turn a limited supply of corn, something which should be used as food, into gasoline additives which lower regular gasoline’s efficiency and at the same time drives up the price of food and transportation costs with the added bonus of costing billions of tax payer dollars as incentives for going along with this farce.

Obama stands for change; vote for change, vote to save the planet and he will guarantee those evil oil companies, those rich corporations and anyone else who has taken advantage of Joe Lunchbox will pay dearly, to the point of destroying them as an example to the world that we will not be out done by the socialist countries in Europe and Asia. Obama, ummmmmm…Obama will make sure that Americans won’t live in fear by making guns illegal. Obama, ummmmmm… Obama will negotiate with those who hate America and take their word that their nuclear production facilities are only for peaceful purposes and would never be used as weapons against anyone. Obama, ummmmmm; placing a little dot in the middle of my forehead, ummmmm, Obama for change.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Ultimate Lie Detector Test

I went through the process of joining the Houston Police Department, interviews and then more interviews. They scheduled me for a lie detector test and asked me all manner of questions which would, if shown to be untruthful, end the hiring bid.

The first part of the lie detector test was fairly simple, a chance for the fellow giving the test to establish how the indicators reacted to my answers. “Is your name Thomas Stern?” “Do you work in the Hardware Department of Montgomery Ward?”; questions which are sure fire yes or no and which the tester already knows the answer.

The questions got more bizarre considering the fact that I was trying to join the police, not a suspect in some kind of auto theft ring that side lined in strange sexual urges. I had to wonder; did some of the applicants ever answer yes to any of those rather odd questions or lie in order to try covering up some kinks in the armor?

I noticed the electrical outlet on the wall across from where I was strapped in, the banding so tight as to cut off the circulation in my arm; the places where the prongs go in started to get fuzzy and look more like a “smiley face”. I mentioned this to the tester and he said it was time to take a break. He told me to go down to the snack machines and we’d finish the test when I got back, “Try to remember anything, anything at all that you might have done that needs to be considered.”

Anything I’d ever done; that covers a lot of territory. I went over and got a can of soda and looked at the marks in my arm where the straps had dug in while thinking of all the rotten things I’d done growing up. I forgot all about blowing up the center support of my dad’s garage with a home made bomb, torturing turtles, throwing snow balls and hitting a police officer whose window happened to be down; none of that came to mind. I never thought of the time I took nickels and dimes out of my brother’s coin collection to buy baseball cards; none of those things came to mind as I searched my evil past.

The only thing I could remember was a candy bar I’d eaten at the grocery store while mom was shopping. I thought I’d gotten away with it; but mom found the wrapper and made me own up to my theft to the store manager; that was embarrassing to the point of tears for a five year old.

I went back into the lie detector room, got strapped in once more and told the detective all about how I’d stolen that candy bar, a Milky Way if memory serves. I watched the eyes in his head roll up just a bit, “You’re kidding me, right? That’s your big confession? What, did you live in a closet all your life?”

I guess the lie detector test showed I was telling the truth because I got to the next level of the process, more interviews. A week later they called to tell me to report to the academy and to make sure to shave off the mustache and the rest, as they say is history.

This afternoon in Sunday School the discussion was centered on chapter 5 in Alma. Starting in verse 16:

“I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?

Or do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say—Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth—and that he will save you?

Or otherwise, can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect remembrance of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God?”

It’s just a guess; but most folks would rather be looking at their shoes or the floor when explaining what went on during their mortality; anything but having to look the Lord in the eye. I don’t think there will be a lie detector device, won’t need one.

The rest of the chapter goes on to explain the time to repent should not be procrastinated; oh, and some good news, our Savior will take up the slack on our short comings. This is a good chapter to read every now and then, a chance to take stock of your progress; either toward becoming a better person or to acknowledge a needed course correction.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Vero Possumus

A tip of the hat goes to David over at Third World County for sharing this tidbit. Hope your newest computer configuration comes together and works.

My folks live in Vero, Vero Beach that is, Florida; sounds a little like the beginning of a Beverly Hillbilly show. When I saw the “Great Seal” of Obama along with the fancy Latin verse I thought it was a reference to some kind of road kill.

Vero Possumus translated comes out as “Yes We Can”; how was I supposed to know the presidential hopeful was a fan of Bob the Builder? Being a grandparent whose turned the pages looking for Bob the Builder’s hammer in the “fold downs”, finding little blue kitty and all kinds of neat stuff, at least to a two year old; I should have known right off. I have to wonder, not that it’s a proper question to ask a presidential hopeful, does he have fancy underwear with pictures; my grandson went through a stage where it was Bob the Builder, Spiderman or nothing.

In the case of Obama and the fold downs, what will we find in those places to look for a clue while the presidential campaign rolls through? Looking for answers in his book, “Obama for Change”, might prove more challenging. At least in Bob the Builder books the fold downs are pretty easy to pick off, not so with Obama and his smoke and mirrors.

Why couldn’t Obama have used something different on his newly created Great Seal; like maybe, “Where’s Waldo?” which is a lot more fun for adults and challenging to the eye. Anybody out there up on their Latin, “Where’s Waldo”; come on, got to have a Latin verse on Obama’s Great Seal.

In the Where’s Obama version of the book start looking for our hero in the shadows, he’ll be sitting next to a corrupt real estate developer or a home grown terrorist from the 60’s; one place you won’t find him will be the vacant spot in a pew at the Rev. Wright’s Trinity Church. I Hope I didn’t give it away for you still wondering where to find Obama.

There could be a sea of white businessmen scattered all across the pages, some carrying brief cases, getting into taxi cabs, waiting at the train station and then there would only be one black business man hidden in the maze of humanity wearing the red and white give away cap and scarf. This will be a fun book to turn the pages with my grandchildren, “Where’s Obama?” The first book might be called, “Change to Marxist America” with other versions later on, “Find the Handguns” and “Scrap NASA”.

The red and white striped cap might be a problem with Obama since he won’t even wear an American Flag pin on his lapel and just this morning I read where Obama knows how the GOP will use the race card to frighten voters away from a black candidate; perhaps the “Where’s Obama” book will have lots of black businessmen mixed in there too. Some folks might think the cap was some kind of Muslim thing; no, better not have anything to suggest Osama has any links to Islam.

How is it Obama was the first to pull out the “race card” and then warn us that this was what the GOP would be doing? Obama, “Do we smell a skunk?”, and the answer comes back, “Yes We Can!” Vero Possumus!

There was a song we used to enjoy with our children while on vacation. Driving down the road there would be a faint unpleasant odor that grew stronger the closer we’d get. The kids would hold their noses as we all began singing, “Dead skunk in the middle of the road, dead skunk in the middle of the road, dead skunk in the middle of the road and it’s stinkin’ to high heaven.” We’d all have a good laugh and hope the smell didn’t linger too long.

Four years is a long time; wake up America, don’t you smell it? There won’t be near as much laughing as we sing, “Dead skunk in the middle of the road, dead skunk in the middle of the road, there’s dead skunk in the middle of the road and it’s stinkin’ to high heaven.” Can we prevent Obama from pulling the wool over our eyes, “Yes We Can!”

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Obama – Is There Reason To Be Concerned?

The presidential race has boiled down to Obama and ole’ what’s his name, McCain, the white guy. I really don’t know that much about Obama and so I figured one way to better understand what he believes is to learn about the folks he associates with, those who are in his inner circle of influence.

The first would be his wife, an important person of influence; I know almost nothing about with the exception of her rather awkward announcement, the one where she came out and told everyone how this was the first time in her life she was proud to be an American; as if her entire life had been an embarrassment. I still know next to nothing about the woman; but first impressions are hard to forget.

Obama’s close association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright as his theological advisor gives me pause as well. I listened to an interview on the Hannity and Colmes program where Jeremiah Wright kept referring to the Black Liberation Theology and the writings of James Cone, author of Black Theology and Black Power. Let’s just say I’ve heard this brand of hate spewed far too often and had hoped this type of rhetoric had faded into the past; apparently it has been simmering and waiting for a chance to boil over all this time.

I don’t claim to be an expert on the Black Power Movement; however, in their own words, “the destruction of the white enemy by any means…”, would not come across as measures intended to unite a nation. This separatist mentality, the desire to only serve the interests of Black citizens, the teachings of James Cone as declared by the Rev. Wright for an extended period of time, 17 – 20 years, would have to be considered as significant when considering anyone who wants to occupy the White House and represent America.

Again, the red flags are flying as I picture Obama’s refusal to hold his hand over his heart during the playing of the National Anthem. Some how the Commander in Chief of our armed forces should be the first to snap to attention as the symbol of America is acknowledged. What does Obama really want to do if he gets to run the United States of America; bear in mind, I’m not sure he intends to represent all of America, only Black America from the indicators I’ve been shown.

The information I’ve been able to obtain regarding Black Liberation Theology doesn’t sit well either; far from being sound religious doctrine, these are Marxist doctrines intended to undermine democracy and the teachings of the Gospel which highlight the importance of the individual. The platform used in third world countries historically has been for government to socialize medicine, put as many on welfare as possible making them dependent on government in order to control the population and to make sure citizens had their guns confiscated to avoid resistance later on. Isn’t this the same platform the Democratic Party has been built around?

I hope I’m wrong, I hope Obama turns out to be an okay kind of guy because he might end up winning; but deep down in my gut there’s a really bad feeling that there’s a hidden Black Liberation agenda which he’s worked very hard to disguise. Obama’s a slick politician and has the ability to say nothing in particular in such a way as to make it sound impressive; but is that good for America.

Houston We Have a Problem

Okay, so I’ve reference a familiar phrase; maybe it got you’re attention. According to a Houston Chronicle article, City Council met this week and determined to add 125 more red light cameras to increase revenue. You might recall the supposed reason for installing the original set of red light cameras was for the safety of the driving public; if you believed that one I have some land in West Texas up for sale. The driving force is now, and always has been, creating revenue.

“Councilman James Rodriguez asked for the budget amendment, arguing that red-light cameras are good sources of revenue, and the money can be used to put more police on the streets.”

Just as surely as the sky is blue, City Council will always need more money than has been collected. Put this down in your book of things to come; in the not too distant future City Council will ask for a study on remote cameras that ticket drivers for exceeding the speed limit. A private firm will be paid a huge sum of money to justify installing a handful of speed trap test cameras, to make the roads safer (in large print); and to raise revenue (in fine print). Conflicting data will support the notion that drivers slowed down at some locations; but revenue definitely increased.

City Council will approve the installation of several more speed trap ticket cameras and begin the next phase of permanent installations across the board. Speed trap ticket cameras will spring up all over the city and the money will roll in like a tsunami; enough to drown us in money.

Eventually City Council will find a private firm with a technologically advanced gadget to be installed in every vehicle operating within the Houston metropolitan area, a device which records each and every violation and sends the data to a central processing office; don’t laugh, rental car agencies are already using this technology. Tickets will no longer be issued due to the mountains of paper required; instead a monthly bill showing the accumulated infractions, all of which carry incremental fees, will be sent out. Drivers who neglect to pay will have their vehicle booted or confiscated until such time as the debt is paid.

The picture with the posted speed came from, a company which sells similar devices. I have no idea if they’re involved with camera enforcement or not, I needed a visual reminder; but here’s a line from their website:

“Finally, an easy to operate driver feedback sign for neighborhoods, school zones, parks, daycare areas, churches, or anyplace where traffic tends to zoom past a safe rate of speed. The radarsign is built to alert motorists, and tests show over and over, that speeders WILL slow down. Typical speed reductions are 8-15%, and overall compliance with the posted speed limit will go up by 30-60%.”

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Idiots and/or Hypocrites

I read where 11 Senators, 10 Democrat and 1 Independent, “called on the Bush administration Tuesday to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization against eight members of the OPEC cartel, saying they are violating trade rules by colluding to hold down global oil supplies.”

“These eight countries operating as an illegal cartel have refused to increase production, reduced the supply of oil on the market and driven up the gas prices that consumers pay at the pump," the senators said in a statement.”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black; these are the same folks who consistently have refused to let American oil companies drill for oil, to increase the oil supply. Now these same folks are upset because OPEC won’t increase oil supplies and are demanding the Bush administration do something about it.

Mean while, “President Bush put his weight behind a move underfoot in Congress Wednesday to lift a 27-year-old ban on oil exploration off U.S. shores as gasoline prices reach ever higher, and he cast blame on Democrats for Americans' pain at the pump in an election year that is focusing more heavily on economic issues.” Read the entire article as it explains the old adage Zig Ziglar likes to quote, “Okay stove, you give me some heat and then I’ll give you some wood.”

In what could be called a typical response, “Democrats contend that oil interest-tied Republicans are only seeking to expand oil companies’ territory, and are ignoring land already available for oil exploration.”

Democrats don’t mind if OPEC gets rich and holds the puppet strings over our economy and our national security interests while in the same breath of hot air they refuse American oil companies the opportunity to supply that oil because they might become rich. I have to ask the question, how long will the voting American public continue to vote these idiots and hypocrites into office?

Zig Ziglar liked to use an old fashioned water pump to explain the need for consistent effort; in any case, oil or water, “
This I do know beyond any reasonable doubt. Regardless of what you are doing, if you pump long enough, hard enough and enthusiastically enough, sooner or later the effort will bring forth the reward.

I’d recommend Zig Ziglar put on a management seminar for those folks in Washington, particularly the Democrats; but it would be a waste of time, those folks quit believing in the American way of life a long time ago and would prefer we live in a socialist structured environment where everyone was equally shackled in poverty. Is there a way we can charge congressmen and senators with treason for putting America at risk?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Chicken in a Basket – a Father’s Day Story

Saturday I posted a short story in which there was a reference to my Dad, “Wanna see the chicken fly?” I figured I better jot this down before forgetting.

I may not have been a witness to this and even if I had, I would have been too young to appreciate what went on; this story has been handed down, kind of like a story around a campfire gets passed from one generation to another.

My folks had gone to a fancy restaurant in New York City, couldn’t tell you which one; but it was a nice place. My older brother, Dan, might have been 3 or 4 years old and very alert as each member of the party went over the menu items. Dad’s finger rested on the Chicken in a Basket as he explained to my brother, with an added degree of excitement, how the chicken would be covered with a towel to keep it warm.

My brother must have shown considerable interest at the prospect of seeing a real live chicken in a basket, one that would be brought to the table for him to see. Dad picked up on the opportunity and used the anticipated moment to hold Dan’s interest while the meal was prepared.

The waiter eventually made it with the items ordered, all the while Dad prodded the imagination along, “Wanna’ see the chicken fly?” Dan must have been at the edge of his seat, not wanting to miss the chance to see a live chicken spring from the basket, a neatly bound straw basket with a red and white checkered napkin covering it.

Dad carefully grabbed the corner of the napkin, unaware that each piece of chicken had been individually wrapped in serpentine fashion by that very same napkin. “Wanna’s see the chicken fly?” followed immediately with a quick pull of the napkin to unveil it; instead, pieces of fried chicken shot across the room, people ducking as drum sticks and thighs passed over head.

Dan hadn’t been disappointed; that chicken surely did fly.

Bless all the fathers who go about doing silly impromptu shenanigans to impress their children, even when the end results are less than heroic. Happy Father’s Day.

Just for fun, click on the title bar and watch the Swedish Chef prepare Chicken in a Basket on the Muppet Show, courtesy of Charles Presley.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Getting Paid For Work Done

This week in the comic strips Dilbert has been highlighting the plight of a small company doing business with a large company. T.F. Stern & Company is a one horse operation; I like to tell folks that it simplifies things when someone wants to complain about the fellow who came out and screwed up, doesn’t happen very often.

I did some residential work for a realty company many years ago, a house that needed some work after having been abandoned. I was in the middle of changing out the locks when a woman in curlers, a night robe and fuzzy slippers came marching across the street demanding to know what I was up to.

I explained in rather point blank fashion how stupid she was, “Lady, if I was a bad guy you’d be dead by now.” I handed her my business card and told her next time she suspected something was wrong to call the police. That must have angered her as she called my office. Lucy answered the phone and explained how this “new guy” would be reprimanded for being rude; I got a kick out of that one.

I did some locksmith work for a medium sized oil company, big enough to have their own multi-storied building. When it came time to get paid the receptionist signed the work order and explained how the person who writes the checks wasn’t available and to leave it with her. Each time I’d call to remind them about the due bill I got the run around; this went on for a few months.

Not to be out done I waited until they had a board meeting, all their top executives gathered around a spacious table in a room almost as big as my house. I walked past the receptionist and barged into their meeting holding my due bill. I wish I’d brought my camera to catch the looks on their faces as they tried to hide their embarrassment.

“I’m not leaving until I get paid”, does wonders when spoken at precisely the right moment. The fellow who wrote and handed me the check explained that I’d never get any more work from them. “Is that a promise?”

Last on the list goes all the way back to when I first got started in the locksmith business. I’d been called to a small “mom and pop” car lot to make keys for a Ford product, a simple job that I was quite adept at. The owner noticed how young I looked and questioned my abilities while I continued to fashion an “impression key” for the door lock.

While observing my skills the key took form and worked as it should. I guess he was sufficiently reassured I was up to the task of then making the ignition key as he disappeared somewhere behind the other side of the building. When I was finished with the set of keys I went to the office with my bill.

“Mr. Frost is out right now, just leave me the bill and I’ll have him send you a check.”

“I have a better idea; as soon as I get that check I’ll send you these keys.” Mr. Frost came out of his office snorting and stammering all kinds of pleasantries. I may have looked like I’d just fallen off the turnip truck; but Mr. Frost figured out real quick that he wasn’t getting a free set of keys that day, at least not from me.

Getting "Yes Sired" to Death

I called to wish my Dad a Happy Father’s Day, in advance knowing I’d be tied up in meetings at church tomorrow. My folks were telling me how they’d gone to a restaurant where the young man waiting on them thought they were “somebody”, related to some fancy pants rich well to do society folks. Dad, should I tell the story about the “Wanna’ see the chicken fly?” now or wait? No, better wait; got me laughing all the same.

Anyway, the young man waiting on my folks kept a steady supply of, “Yes, Sir” and “Can I get you anything else, Sir?”, to the point of being excessive all evening long. The way I was hearing it made me think of something that happened way back when I was working evening shift as a police officer in downtown Houston.

The first half of our shift we worked as one man units, writing traffic tickets up until rush hour when we’d direct traffic for those attempting to exit the central business district. We then would team up for the remainder of the shift, either with a regular partner or, in some cases with a junior partner; a chance to teach and watch out for the rookies.

I’d had a busy afternoon and written several red light tickets only to find my assigned junior partner had nothing on his work card. I took him to a location where the likelihood of observing a red light would get him something to show the Sergeant. We sat for a while and sure enough, a really good violation took place; only my junior partner hadn’t been paying attention ( head stuck where the sun don’t shine) and so he hadn’t seen it.

I wasn’t about to let it go and took off after the violator. When I walked up to the driver, before I even introduced myself, he immediately began apologizing for having busted through the red light; a res gesti (hope I spelled that right, it’s been a long while since I used legal terms like that) statement of guilt since I hadn’t asked him anything as yet. It occurred to me, since I had an open and shut case, to let the junior partner write the ticket, get something on his card, knowing it would never come to court.

I explained to the driver, in somewhat vague terms, how I was trying to get a younger officer some confidence, his being uncomfortable with his new blue uniform and dealing with the responsibilities that go with the position; in other words I exaggerated considerably. The driver, being an otherwise upright citizen, was more than willing to help one of Houston’s Finest develop into a better police officer. I walked back to my junior partner and explained I’d been given a res gesti statement and how he could take care of the ticket.

“Yes, Sir, I ran the red light, Sir.” I stood back and listened from the rear bumper. My junior partner began filling in the blanks; every now and again he’d look in my direction, wondering what had gotten into this “yea-who”. “I’m sorry for not paying attention, Sir. It won’t happen again, Sir.” It went on and on and on until the driver signed the ticket and made his way on down the road. My junior partner just shook his head since I never told him how he’d been set up.

Problem with Criminal Justice System in a Nut Shell

While reading the Houston Chronicle this morning there was a story explaining how one of our poor misguided victim citizens, Carlos Antoine Daniels, “accidentally” killed a man while attempting to steal his SUV. The gun discharged “accidentally” when the owner of the vehicle tried to keep the door closed during a tug of war, the edge of the door hitting the gun and a bit of bad luck caused the owner of the SUV to die a tragic and rather painful death.

“He (Carlos Antoine Daniels ) was convicted of robbery with bodily injury in May 2007 and possession of marijuana in March 2007.”

The newspaper article listed the incident as a carjacking; a watered down acceptance of the inevitable rather than call it aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. People have their cars stolen all the time, what’s the big deal, just write a traffic ticket, isn’t that the way a major crime is viewed since it happens so often? We don’t have room in jail for all these petty criminals, and besides, it cost too much.

How come Carlos Antoine Daniels wasn’t in prison, you know, that place where they put dangerous people to keep them away from the public? Carlos Antoine Daniels was convicted, that means he’s been found guilty in case you were wondering, convicted of robbery with bodily injury in May of 2007; that’s last year for crying out loud. What is a dangerous criminal doing out on the street?

I’m sorry, I forgot to mention that Carlos Antoine Daniels is only 19 years old and should be treated differently in the criminal justice system; isn’t that what presidential candidate Obama wants? Putting Carlos Antoine Daniels in prison for a crime he might not fully understand could damage his chance to fully achieve, to escape all those years of living in the shadow of the ghetto.

Robberies happen all the time, pull a gun, rough up the victim a little; what’s the big deal? Carlos Antoine Daniels has already said it was an “accident”, that the gun went off because of the SUV’s door hitting it. Carlos Antoine Daniels was just doing what he always does to earn a living; and anyway, the victim, Enrique Heras, should have picked something less desirable, something that didn’t pollute the environment.

The shift in attitudes here in America makes me wonder if this isn’t just a bad dream, that when I wake up life and property will still hold value. We’re more concerned about keeping young violent criminals out of prison than we are about protecting honest law abiding citizen’s lives and property. We’re more concerned in perceived injustices supposedly inflicted on convicted criminals due to race than we are with crime victims.

“An entire industry in the law schools now dedicates itself to flushing out prosecutorial and judicial bias, using ever more complicated statistical artillery. The net result? A few new studies show tiny, unexplained racial disparities in sentencing, while other analyses continue to find none. Any differences that do show up are trivially small compared with the exponentially greater rates of criminal offending among blacks…says Patrick Langan, former senior statistician for the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Prosecutors and judges observe the heinousness of a defendant’s conduct, for example, but a number-crunching researcher has no easy way to discover and quantify that variable.”

Recently several state legislatures have gone to great lengths to define in very specific terms when and how individuals may protect life and property; for antiquities sake they are referred to as “castle laws”, a throw back to a time when it was commonly expected that a man’s home was his castle. In times past it generally acknowledged that the right to defend property and those who live on that property was a right from God. Now, the state, by defining when where and how you may defend yourself has taken upon itself the role of God; after all property can be replaced, do citizens (subjects of the state) really need to kill some stupid criminal just to prove he can? That’s “taking the law into your own hands”, let the courts decide; yea, we see how the courts did such a good job keeping Carlos Antoine Daniels off the streets and how safe the world was for Enrique Heras; remember Enrique Heras, he’s the dead guy who got shot by Carlos Antoine Daniels who’d already been convicted of aggravated robbery with injury only last year.

Think about it; after learning about the details of a robbery gone sour while watching the “tube”, sitting there in the comfort of your living room, the kids are upstairs playing Gone in 60 Seconds on their X-Box, hearing about a shop owner who’d shot a gun wielding suspect (alleged gun wielding suspect) for stealing a six pack of beer? The public outcry for killing a young person who only wanted a six pack of beer; what’s the value of a life wasted compared to a six pack of beer? Never mind that once or twice a week the shop owner gets ripped on similar trivial losses, sometimes after looking down the barrel of a gun.

Quanell X will, no doubt, make a personal appearance while holding the hand of the alleged gun wielding suspect’s mother to ask for a thorough investigation by an outside agency, implying how totally corrupt and untrustworthy our own local police department has become. “Is this what our community wants, young people cut down by a greedy shop owner who couldn’t wait to shoot this poor misguided young man?” “I’m not advocating violence; but if his shop gets burned to the ground, and I’m not suggesting anyone should get a box of matches, two and a half gallons of gasoline, a shop rag to be used as a fuse or anything like that; I’m just saying this is what happens when shop owners take the law into their own hands and shoot a young person who hasn’t had the benefit of a trial by his peers.”

I’d say the death of Enrique Heras at the hands of Carlos Antoine Daniels during the alleged commission of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon spotlights the problem of our criminal justice system in a nut shell. If you don’t already have your wallet card, a concealed handgun permit; get one and learn how to defend yourself, the criminal court system is broken. Vote for Obama if you think letting folks like Carlos Antoine Daniels wander around free is a good idea.

I’m starting a special account to help raise defense funding for Carlos Antoine Daniels to help with his legal fees while defending himself from a biased and prejudicial justice system. Use your Pay Pal account to send your money to or call our toll free number, 1-800-BAD-EGGS (The phone number was made up for the purposes of this article; please don’t start calling that number. If you insist on calling; the folks at MGI, the folks who have that listing, will get annoyed rather quickly)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lucky Guess

This morning started with a read of the comic strips in the Houston Chronicle, beats reading the editorials. There was Dilbert, an unusual take on corporate life. Interesting how seemingly unrelated topics come together, jumping back twenty or so years to when I worked night shift with the police department.

I had a rookie partner, couldn’t tell you his name; but he’d progressed along enough to the point where he was driving the patrol unit. We’d arrested a young man on some minor charge, probably traffic warrants, and had him in the back seat on the way to book him at the substation.

I noticed the young man was more than a little agitated, beads of sweat dripped from his face; it wasn’t that warm. There was something bothering him and I didn’t have a clue as I changed my position to where I was almost turned around to observe him while my rookie drove; time to have some fun.

“Didn’t we get a flyer on a rape suspect in roll call; this guy fits the description, don’t you think, partner?” My rookie had no idea what I was talking about; all the same he had enough “snap” to go along.

“You know, I think you’re right, he’s a little shorter; but other than that…” For a rookie, he showed remarkable flexibility. The nervousness became pronounced in the back seat as our guest’s hidden secret had accidentally been revealed. I’d heard it said that the public believes police officers have the ability to “know things”, some gift or talent which transcends normal abilities; maybe it’s true.

The suspect began explaining how he’d had a "relationship" with his niece, an under age girl of 14, while he was over one afternoon. He didn’t think she’d told anyone about it. I had my rookie partner change our destination to the downtown jail facility where we’d have the suspect finger printed and checked six ways to Sunday; sure enough, a report had been made listing our man for aggravated rape of a juvenile.

We never went to court on this; my guess was some kind of plea bargain agreement had been reached; justice had been served when feelings of guilt, manifested in the form of excessive sweating, got noticed. I’d be the first to admit, sometimes we just get lucky.

While writing this an old Burl Ives tune began rumbling around in my head, “A little bitty tear let me down, spoiled my act as a clown, I had it made up not to let me down; but a little bitty tear let me down.” The song has nothing to do with guilt; but fits all the same; deep feelings are often times written on our countenance.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Unlicensed Locksmith Solution

All the legislating and bureaucating ( new word, just made it up; see definition below ) regarding the locksmith industry, or any other profession, got me to thinking ( a rare but occasional effort ). A good portion of the civilized world wants everyone licensed, a way to safe guard society; never mind that these are the same folks who, at age 35 are waiting for the Tooth Fairy, “it could happen!” What about those who could care less about being safe guarded by Big Brother, those who live in the real world, have realistic expectations and live on a budget?

There are plenty of folks who get their next door neighbor to fix a broken toilet rather than call for a licensed plumber. What about those who don’t care if the “healer” they go to is a licensed “MD” or just some guy who knows how to make them feel better?

Those who need a locksmith are responsible for investigating the qualifications of who they call; this is not the responsibility of the State. Most of my customers are repeat business and already know my qualifications; either that or they are referrals from those who’ve done business with me in the past. I don’t know if there’s an easy way for folks to check with the State of Texas to see if a locksmith is licensed or not. If you like, have an easily accessed list of licensed individuals; but leave it to the public to decide who to use. Have something like the Better Business Bureau does; just because you don’t sign up with BBB doesn’t mean you’re not trustworthy, it simply means you’re not a member.

When a potential customer calls requesting service, I ask questions to determine their need and to make sure we’re on the same page. I make sure that what they’re asking for is within my abilities and their ability to pay. I do a fair amount of “teaching”, especially when it involves some of the newer transponder key technology; mostly to justify the additional expense involved so the customer understands why K-Mart’s minimum wage hardware employee can’t whip out a two dollar duplicate and expect it to start the car. It’s up to the potential customer to determine whether or not I’m the one for the job.

There’s a story about a young woman coming out of the grocery store on a rainy day. She realizes her keys are locked inside the car and falls down on her knees to pray for help. About that time a young man taps her on the shoulder and asks if he can help.

The woman asked, “Are you a locksmith?”

“No, actually I just got out of prison; I’m a convicted auto thief.”

“Thank you Lord for sending a professional”, where upon the young man fashions a coat hanger into a tool, pops the lock and retrieves the keys.

What would be the harm in having a separation, a level of achieved status; State licensed locksmiths, those who have jumped through the hoops, balanced on the wire and barked at the appropriate moment and on some other level, the unlicensed locksmiths who could give a rat’s patootie whether or not the State recognized their skills? This would take all the bite out of the male bovine excrement group we now call the Department of Public Safety Public Security Board (DPS/PSB) as their enforcement arm would no longer be needed.

The State will have “done their good deed” by making the list of qualified and reputable locksmiths available to those who seek such information while at the same time those who don’t insist on the State’s approval or advice would continue without interference.

I joined the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) after a couple of years working as an apprentice; it was THE organization respected by anyone in the locksmith industry. Two veteran locksmiths had to “sign off” on my application, their acknowledgment of my skills as a locksmith. Membership in ALOA was recognition enough because there were no licensing requirements. That was 30 years ago and I proudly display the ALOA logo on my work orders and have it listed on the bottom of my letterhead; not because it’s a requirement, rather as an achievement or stamp of approval.

On the other hand, I am mandated to display my State of Texas Locksmith License number on all my paperwork because some nit wit wrote it into the rules and regulations governing licensed locksmiths; not because I feel it’s an honor, rather it feels more like a ring in my nose that has a very short length of rope attached. There was no feeling of achievement when the official license came in the mail; it’s a receipt showing I sent in my money, nothing more. Well, maybe it is more, it’s evidence of the fact that someone has hold of the strings and I’m a puppet.

Licensing doesn’t guarantee quality locksmiths, nothing government does can guarantee that. Licensing does guarantee “bureaucating”. I like this new word already; were I a big time radio talk show host folks would laugh and just have fun with it, kind of like “strategery” ( stra-tee-gerr-ee ) on the Limbaugh Show.

Bureaucating ( pronounced : be euro kate ing ): 1. the manufacturing of requirements intended to agitate and annoy incessantly, to include unwarranted expenses, those unfortunate enough to fall under the shadow of government’s ever expanding powers intended to make the world a safer place. 2. the slow and sure means by which individual rights are replaced with rules and regulations intended to impress upon the public the need for government workers who always know better. 3. one of the steps necessary in reducing citizens into serfs.

File this under Never Do This

And I thought Richard Sutton was such a nice man; can't believe he sent me this...

If you are sitting next to someone on a plane who irritates you follow these simple instructions:

1. Quietly and calmly open up your laptop case.
2. Remove your laptop.
3. Start up.
4. Make sure the guy who is annoying you, can see the screen.
5. Close your eyes, tilt your head up to the sky & move your lips as if praying.
6. Then hit this link

Friday, June 06, 2008

Texas Unlicensed Locksmiths Arrested

I got my June issue of The National Locksmith and read Marc Goldberg’s article which starts off, “The state of Texas has just begun a major crackdown on locksmiths who are operating without a license.” This started after a complaint from the West Texas Locksmith Association and since then at least ten have been arrested for working as locksmiths or alarm installers without BENEFIT of the state license.

I bolded the word BENEFIT, it helped as I was puking in the trash can; BENEFIT, what benefit?
I thought maybe I didn’t understand the meaning of the word so I looked up some of the associated thoughts; advantage, profit, help, assistance, promote, gain, subsidy and allowance. On the other hand, under antonym were detriment and suffer.

I’d have to say that locksmith licenses fall into the category of detriment and suffer far more easily than the word BENEFIT. Marc pointed out the purpose of locksmith licensing; but is that what’s really happening?

“The law is intended to weed out (bad) people in the industry to protect the general public.”

Define bad people for me in such a way as to justify denying a person the right to work. If you’re not behind bars for a crime, then you are not considered a danger to society; or am I mistaken? ( just poking a little fun with the total disaster we call the criminal justice system) Again I ask, define bad people in such a way as to justify denying a person the right to work; be very specific which crimes make you a bad person.

A few years ago I needed to paint my house; more specifically, I wanted to re-paint it with the same colors that were on it. My home owners association kept turning my request down because, in their own terms, it had to be painted in “earth tones”. What these folks wanted were muted earth tones, kind of grey mud with a hint of brown; but there is no such requirement in the deed restrictions. My house had been tan with dark brown trim since I’ve owned it; define earth tones. They couldn’t produce a list of “approved earth tones” and eventually I was grudgingly permitted to re-paint the exterior in order to maintain the “value of the neighborhood”. To hell with the value of the neighborhood, this was my house, my investment, it needed painting and I wanted to paint it to my satisfaction.

“Capt. Renearl Bowie, who directs the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Private Security Bureau (DPS/PSB), which is in charge of licensing security services companies and enforcing the licensing law, said state law bars people from getting a license if they were convicted of a felony in the past 20 years, a Class A misdemeanor in the past 10 years, and a Class B misdemeanor in the past five years, with some exceptions.”

This does not adequately define a bad person; actually it sets the stage for shot gunning anyone and everyone who makes a mistake and to eliminate competition. I hope somebody takes this on, takes it all the way to the highest levels of our justice system.

Dropping down in the article I found an instance where, no doubt about it, a really bad person was arrested for promoting himself as a locksmith.

“Juan Campos, owner and operator of Manny’s Lock and Key, said he was denied a state locksmith license because of drunken-driving convictions…”

I recognize the fact that getting arrested for DWI is not a great character trait nor is it something you’d want to advertise on the front page of your resume; but is this a reason to deny a person his/her right to work as a locksmith? The questions should be, does Juan Campos know how to work on locks and is he honest; not does he drink too much after getting off work. I’m sorry but the DPS/PSB has arbitrarily established a standard which goes far beyond protecting the public from unscrupulous locksmiths and has taken upon itself some other function never intended.

“Campos said he’s been a locksmith 18 years in a business his father started 23 years ago.”

It sounds more like some folks in the West Texas Locksmith Association, certain prim and proper elitists have found a way to get rid of their competition. On the other hand, if these folks are illegal aliens, well that’s a horse of a different color; throw them back across the border and be done with it. This is America, a place where you shouldn’t have to have a license to go to work in most jobs; at least it used to be that way until we all decided to become professionals.

I can go along with some “professions”, doctors and dentists, having to get licensed and maybe engineers too; but to deny a license to a man whose been a locksmith for 18 years, claiming he’s a bad person because he’s been arrested for DWI; shaking my head doesn’t come close to how that rubs me wrong and I’m not supposed to express myself with crude and unacceptable words, words which at one time easily flew from my mouth in the past. How many doctors have to give up being doctors because they had a few too many and got pulled over?

The locksmith industry got along just fine without licensing for hundreds of years, thank you Judy Clifford at Anchor Safe and Lock for reminding me of that fact. Certain individuals wanted to elevate the locksmith from being “tradesman” to being “professionals”, whatever that is, as if the world would somehow embrace locksmiths at the country club simply by calling us professionals.

“I’m a professional, that’ll cost you an extra $20 at least.”

I wear blue jeans and get my hands dirty, I drive a service truck and don’t have time to play golf so I must not be a real professional locksmith like I should be now that I’ve bent over backwards for the DPS/PSB, gotten my license and forked over plenty of hard earned money to those monkeys. Each time I have to renew that license I feel the veins in my neck start to swell. I resist the urge to strangle those helpful bureaucrats, the ones who decide the rules of the game. I send in my tribute money, bow and genuflect and let it go until the next time.

I tried to let my state representative, Debbie Riddle, understand how the DPS/PSB had become tyrannical as they go about the business of destroying the locksmith industry; don’t think I did all that good a job. Somehow the idea of Americans getting together in groups to decide how other individuals with similar interests seemed like a good thing to her. Locksmiths and state bureaucrats should decide how other individual locksmiths run their business, conform to standards and all that; disregard the free market where competence and a competitive spirit determine how the weak are naturally taken down, where those who are not able to get the job done go out of business; no, we have to license everyone. Spit!

We Stop to Help Injured Dogs

There’s a headline story out of Hartford, Connecticut about an elderly pedestrian getting slammed by two cars and, “like a dog they left him there”, as the story goes.

“There seems little question that the driver of the car that struck Angel Arce Torres on May 30 knew what happened,” she said in a written statement. “Almost as chilling is the reaction of some passers-by who did little in the moments after the crash to assist Mr. Torres.”

This story got to me as I read it last night. You see, yesterday was a very hard day for me emotionally; I’d accidentally run over my dog, she’d been sleeping under my truck after having gotten out from the fenced yard.

I felt a “bump” as the tires rolled over “something” and I stopped to see what I’d run over. There’s almost nothing that can express my horror upon seeing my Puppy sitting there trying to figure out how to make her legs work. I let Lucy know that we needed to get her to the Vet right away, grabbed a bath towel and carefully scooped Puppy into the make shift hammock and got her into the car for transport.

We had two young men helping to clear away limbs and debris and they were able to accompany Lucy and Puppy to the dog hospital. I was about to follow when I looked around for my cell phone and couldn’t find it; looking everywhere and my head not too clear as to anything. The mother of the boys drove up and wondered what was going on and I managed to explain what had just happened. She figured out how to locate my cell phone by dialing the number; it began ringing, in my pocket.

Puppy was lying on the floor in the outside waiting area, a black and white “office cat” walked around in a wide circle; perhaps this was the CAT scan. Puppy didn’t give the appearance of being in pain; a quiet acceptance of the moment gave me false hope that maybe the damage was minimal. She hadn’t yelped when I picked her up and had even licked my hand; damn that stupid dog for breaking my heart.

I had a job waiting, the one I had just prior to running over Puppy. I left Lucy and the boys at the Vet and they would call once the Doctor had a chance to evaluate everything. I got a call about a half hour later letting me know how severe the injuries were. Puppy is 13 years old, has been incontinent for the past year or so, is totally deaf and the Vet said that she is almost blind from cataracts in both eyes. I was then told that the required surgeries would mean several months of healing, bolts and screws in the legs along with the pain. It was a fairly direct way of telling me that Puppy’s odds were slim to none and it was time to let go; the Vet handed the phone back to Lucy, “Say goodbye for me.”

I couldn’t imagine leaving my dog in the driveway after having rolled over her; how in the name of humanity can anyone leave the scene of an accident where another human being has been injured? I called my folks, mostly to have an outlet for the emotions which were dripping down my cheeks. They did all the talking, trying to bolster my damaged heart with soothing words. “You gave her a great life while she was with you”, didn’t take away the pain knowing that I’d run over my Puppy; damn animals for getting inside my heart, for being part of my family and for the pain and emptiness when they die.

As my friend Steve Sanders would say about now, “So, other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how’d you like the show?” This was a tough one to write.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Granny Salad Time

Lucy noticed a few more tomatoes were ready for picking a while ago and suggested they might be a good reason to make a “Granny Salad”. Around our house Granny Salad is high on the list of things worth having.
It’s a hand me down recipe from my mother’s side of the family; finely chopped lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion with a blend of herbs which have been crushed to a powder, sprinkled over with salt and topped off with vinegar and oil. Somehow the blending of flavors makes it better than any regular tossed salad; enough so that small salad bowls won’t do, only large bowls filled to capacity.

If any is left after the first go around, it sits for only a short while in the refrigerator where the chill and extra chance to blend flavors makes for a neat snack later on. Don’t wait too long is the wisdom around here; it’ll be gone, a little like that last piece of Lucy’s chocolate pudding pie that disappears in the twinkling of an eye.

Time for a Rant

I read where a high school student was being denied a chance to “walk the stage” with her classmates because of cancer. Well, that’s not really correct; but if they reported the truth there wouldn’t have been a story. The young woman has been battling cancer and has overcome much; but the fact remains she hasn’t completed the requirements to graduate. She will need to attend summer school; last time I looked, surviving a terrible disease didn’t count towards a high school diploma.

video reporting of this made my blood boil as they tried to make the school principle out to be hard hearted for not “bending the rules” to accommodate this latest victim of misfortune. I can hear it now, “She’s entitled to a little recognition for having fought such a good fight.”

Elsewhere in the news; twenty years ago, Darryl Barnes, a poor victim of the police, hit the “justice system lotto” when a
jury awarded this slime ball $ 76.4 million after getting into a shoot out with the police, a shoot out which left him paralyzed. Let’s ease his suffering and pain with millions of tax payer dollars; never mind that this dirt bag had a gun and shot at a police officer.

“The court issued a terse, one-line decision on Tuesday, saying, “Motion for leave to appeal denied with one hundred dollars costs and necessary reproduction disbursements.” That ruling ends the case, the city Law Department said.”


“The city appealed, arguing the trial court had improperly excluded proof that Barnes was a member of an anti-white, anti-police group that advocates violent resistance to arrest.”

Thank goodness someone in the court system had the backbone and sense enough to put an end to the lunacy inflicted upon society. How can our society survive when criminals can persuade a jury (of their peers) to award them, reward them, for attempting to kill police officers?

I don’t think I can read much more of the news as my blood pressure elevates each time one of these stories makes its way to the headlines. Sure glad my tomato garden is doing so well; some folks are having to toss out all those store bought tomatoes for fear of contracting
salmonella poisoning.