Sunday, December 31, 2006

Reflections On The Old Year

Hopes For The New One

Well, here we all are--posed at the end of the old year, looking at the beginning of 2007.

If you’re like me, you’re sitting there scratching your rear end head and wondering where most of 2006 went. I guess that the old adage really is true that the older you get, the faster time seems to fly.

Doing a quick calculation, I just figured out that I have thus far lived 17,274 days, so surviving another 365 sunrises and sunsets keeps getting incrementally smaller and smaller in the overall total of things.

For me, the year 2006 saw some fairly substantial changes in the planet in general and in my life personally--many good, and some bad.

The lowest point came in April when my Father’s Mother, my beloved 93 year old Grandmother Bessy, passed away after a short illness. In one day, with the passing of the woman who was married to the man I am named for, my immediate family went from four generations to three.

Then this summer my childhood friend, former Air Force fighter pilot and American Airlines captain Mike Parker, died of Stomach Cancer. I traveled back to southern Alabama from the Georgia Coast to celebrate his life with my friend Mark with several dozen of my high school classmates in attendance at the graveside ceremony. I guess that it is true that “only the good die young.”

On the personal health front, I managed to avoid spending any time in the hospital this year, after nearly buying the farm in August of 2005. That’s most definitely a GOOD THING. This fall we purchased two new Electra Townie bicycles and, while Pat is several hundred miles ahead of me on the odometer, I think that as the weather improves and the days get longer we’ll both see the health benefits of riding on an almost daily basis.

I wish I could just turn off the TV and let the world take care of itself without commenting because I am so tired of yelling at the TV picture tube while I watch highly paid STUPID PEOPLE say STUPID things that at least 51% of the population takes at face value. For that reason, I’m quite happy to have never reproduced and be closer to 50 than I am to 25. I’m just gonna die some day within the next 30 or 40 years and let the rest of you worry about things from there on out.

It looks like that the year 2007 will see my reentry into the engineering consulting business in a substantial fashion, with design opportunities coming at me from all sides. I hate having to admit that I’m excited to go back to work at the expense of my beach bum lifestyle, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

Later this morning we’re heading over on I-10 to southern Alabama to celebrate the New Year with some old high school friends, then we’ll move on to the northwest to spend most of the week with my mother while I do a little work on our farm. The cool weather will hopefully allow me to crawl around in the attic to replace a fan that’s been dead for years and do some work on outbuildings without dieing of heat stroke.

I guess that it is appropriate that I begin the new year in the area of the planet where I began my life--I’m very comfortable there because everything and everyone is so familiar. Best of all, it’s generally a low stress environment, and that’s my number one priority these days…

Avoiding unnecessary stress.

Here’s hoping you can do the same in YOUR New Year.


Friday, December 29, 2006

That's Gonna Leave A Scar

More Photoshop Insensitivity...Saddam's new look:

I know, I know, I know...I'm so mean.


Public Service

Working Incognito...

On Wednesday night Pat and I helped our friends Bruce & Ski host a pre-nuptial party for the Daughter and soon to be Son Inlaw of some of Bruce's real estate clients.

Your's truely tossed on a tab collar formal shirt and a red bow tie and played the part of BARTENDER.

Here's some photos of the results of the evening:

First there is the snack table:

Here's Ski and Pat and another of our girlfriends...

Here's a staged photo of Ski and the bride's mother mis-behaving...

Bruce & Ski and the proud parents of the Bride yucking it up...

At the end of the evening, this strange guy showed up and scared off all the women...

(That isn't me, by the way)

In the end, a good time was had by all, and I successfully dispensed libations for over thirty people without anyone knowing that I had never done it before.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Close Encounters Of The Leaf Blower Kind

The Torture Continues...

Well, we're only back in town for a little less than 48 hours and I've already been tempted to kill three more men wielding leaf blowers in one form or the other.

Within the first FIVE MINUTES of arriving home on Tuesday morning, the morons employed in our own yard crept over to our car while we were inside unloading our luggage and proceeded to blow all of the leaves and rainwater puddled beside the car onto the driver's door and hood.

When I walked back outside they tried to ignore me and act like they didn't know what they had done as they slithered out of sight. Seriously, we'd not been there for FIVE MINUTES, and they couldn't bother to wait so that I could move the car out of their way.

Then, on my way home from the Post Office this afternoon, this other idiot was doing the old "blow it out of my customer's yard into the road" maneuver, wherein the aforementioned rocket scientist lawn maintenance technician considers his task finished when all of the debris left over from his efforts are resting across the road or in someone else's yard.

When I was a kid, we did something called RAKE the leaves and grass clippings up into a pile, then we MOVED them by hand to somewhere else in the yard (like a compost pile) or loaded them into bags and hauled them away.

Not anymore...

That fool didn't even have enough sense to stop blowing everything across the street into the neighbor's yard and move out of the road as I approached.

He made me stop and watch his artistic efforts.

I somehow resisted the urge to hit the throttle and risk spending 20 to life in the Georgia big house for smashing him and his little gasoline powered noise maker flat.

Be advised that if I hit you once...


You'll be dead so you can't sue me...

Just stop it...dammit...

And Then There Were Three

President Gerald Ford Dies...

I was sitting here this morning doing a little reading for a consulting project I'm working on when word came across the news sites that former President Ford has died.

He was 93.

Now we're down to three living former presidents--Carter,Bush 41, and Clinton.

Regardless of my political and personal differences with some of our former chief executives, I join the rest of the nation in mourning the loss of any of these men that carried the burdens of the world on their shoulders.

RIP President Ford:

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I’m Back In The Saddle On The Sofa On The Keyboard Again

It Wasn’t An Easy Process

Can you guess where the worst weather in the country was about 2 PM yesterday?

Central Florida.

Can you guess where we were starting to drive from about 1:15 PM yesterday?

Central Florida.

Had it not been for Pat forgetting to pack some important personal items, resulting in us turning around to retrieve them from our host’s home, I would probably be sitting in a hospital or morgue right now because the weather was FIERCE for several hours during what would have been the first half of our four hour drive.

Instead, we caught the local TV news channel’s belated warnings of two tornadoes and a line of severe thunderstorms running up I-4 and I-95 and I made an executive decision to abort our mission and reschedule for a 4:30 AM departure this morning.

We arrived home at 8:30 and after a restful late morning nap and a little internet surfing, and here I am again for your loathing or enjoyment.

We’ve got a short week ahead, then it’s off again to Southern Alabama to visit Mom for a long New Years’ vacation. I’ve got a bunch of work to do on the farm if the weather holds out, but I’ll have to endure her slow dial-up internet service so I’m preparing myself mentally.

All and all a good holiday season thus far, and just like James Brown said it...

"I feel Good, na,na,na,na,na,na,naaa...Like I knew that I would..."

Ever wonder where Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson got their moves?

RIP Mr. Brown


Sunday, December 24, 2006

I Think That I'm Going To Explode

God Save Me From The Food...

You should have seen all of the food we had laying around on the tables here this afternoon and evening.

First a small group of family and friends that were Pittsburgh Steeler fans gathered to watch the team's hopes for a wild card spot in the playoffs vanish with the loss to the Baltimore Ravens. By the time dinner was served I couldn't eat anything because I spent the earlier hours gazing on the colossal boiled shrimp and other smacks.

Now I have to sleep off my stupor and take my turn at the stove tomorrow morning doing cornbread stuffing to go with a 7 pound turkey breast and a small spiral sliced ham that we hauled to town with us on Friday.

I've already taken one nap, and I feel another three or four hours of sleep coming on shortly...and let me again be the first to wish everyone a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Christmas Break

A Little Time Off

As you have probably noticed, I missed a couple of days writing this weekend.

The reasons are twofold. I'm staying in a house full of teenagers, and there is only one phone line and two phone jacks--one in the master bedroom and one in the kitchen.

Blogging from either place is practically impossible, and using the DSL from the kitchen with a cable running across the kitchen and dining room floor to the living room is a pain in the butt for the cooks, thus my delimma.

Any way, just in case I don't get back online until we return home Christmas evening, I hope that everyone has a Merry Christmas and is safe on the roads in their travels

Regards Y'all

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Vacation Coming Up

Of Course It's Gonna Rain In Florida...

I'm afraid that my Blogging will once again be hit or miss starting on Friday while we drive back to the Orlando, Florida area for Christmas.

I've done a bunch of work on Pat's Mustang (20 MPG versus my Suburban's 9 MPH) and had the oil changed and tires rotated this week, and once I have a couple of coats of RainX on the windshield we should be good to go. If you've never tried RainX, go buy some right now before you head out to GrandMa's house or where ever you're spending your Christmas because the stuff is GREAT!

On the professional front, I'm working on a new lighthouse for the Atlantic coast of Florida. Actually, it's an industrial chimney that's over 100' tall and will be designed to look like a lighthouse to the innocent bystander. We're just budgeting and bidding the project right now, but I really want to do this one because of where it is and who is buying it.

Hopefully Miss USA, Paris Hilton, and all of the Islamic terrorists will give us a break for a few days so we can visit with family and friends without FOX News and CNN interrupting the celebration, but you never know.

I'll be fairly close to the keyboard, and if something bad or stupid happens be assured that I'll be here to comment and explain things.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Leaf Blowers--Part II

Where Are My Ear Plugs?

I've had a significant revelation this week.

In the big picture of things, apparently I really don’t matter.

Neither does Pat.

You see, for the past almost three years that we’ve lived here in paradise, we’ve been assaulted almost daily with the sounds of …

get ready…


I swear, if one of our own people isn’t standing under my window with a hedge trimmer or lawn mower or weed eater or edger or leaf blower in his hand, then the condos on either side or the Mexicans working on the golf course that borders the other two sides of our property are clipping or trimming or pruning or chopping using something powered by a little screaming gasoline engine.


Isn’t there something wrong with this picture?

After all, we’re part of a few dozen people that actually LIVE here in one of the 48 condo units 365 days a year (vacation days excluded.)

Instead of listening to the sounds of traffic on I-285 in Atlanta, now I’m condemned to attending a Homelight convention every daylight minute of every day of every year--rain or shine.

It has finally occurred to me that our Executive Board and property management company runs things based on the needs not of the full time residents, but rather it accommodates people that are either here on weekends and holidays else rent their property to TOTAL STRANGERS that drive into our parking lots to enjoy the landscaping and peace & quiet we rarely enjoy.

Of course most of the members of our Board are closer to age 100 than they are to age 50, so you could set off a two megaton nuclear blast on their back patio and all they would feel is the ground shake a little--they can't actually HEAR the goings-on on the property.

If I‘m not careful, I swear that I’m going to be convicted of murder by hedge clipper if I have to keep listening to the whine and smell of two cycle engines every waking minute.

Please, give it a rest already.

And regarding the leaf blower thing, why not take the time to tap on my door and give me the opportunity to move my car or truck before you create a dust storm over and around my freshly washed vehicle?

Right now my Suburban looks like it hasn’t been washed in three years because, in spite of resting comfortably in our covered carport, the idiot yard guys insist on assaulting it weekly with their leaf blowers. I haven’t driven it in the rain since I last washed it, but the sticky salt air down here grabs every bit of dust and attaches it to the paint finish, and it’s FILTHY as a result of our lawn maintenance efforts.

If they keep it up, I'm gonna steal their sparkplugs...

Baby Raccoon

Look Who Came To Visit

I found this little creature wandering around our yard by his/herself last evening:

The little raccoon was so busy eating that it let me walk up within a few feet of it several times. I just talked to it softly and moved slowly and it let me get several good photos like this one.

Our resident armadillo and opossum aren't quite as hospitable.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Leaf Blowers

Don't Make Me Have To Hurt You...

Be hereby advised that if you own and/or operate a leaf blower, and I find you in my yard before 8 AM or anywhere near my cars, I will pick up the nearest tree limb or piece of lawn furnature and beat you within inches of your life.

Thank you for your attention.

That will be all for now...


Why Bother To Play?

I’ve only attended a couple of professional basketball games in my lifetime. If you gave me free tickets to the finals next year I wouldn’t go.

Even if you paid me.

I might even burn the tickets in a show of disinterest and disgust if they weren’t worth so much money.

I would probably end up selling them…to someone I either didn’t like or didn’t know.

You see, I have a several personal problems with the NBA--starting with the character of the players and their rap/hiphop culture. I also can’t stand most of their fans that attend the games.

Can you say “Punks”? Can you say “Idiots”? Can you say “Thugs”?

My real problem with the NBA is that they steal young players from college basketball programs like my beloved Georgia Tech after they’ve only played a year or two.

While pro football will only take a player after they have played out at least three years of their college scholarship commitment, the so called basketball pros will take a guy after he’s signed a four year scholarship commitment and only played one season on campus. Heck I bet they would take a guy after two games if he was good enough and wanted to leave.

The problem for the colleges is that they only have a limited number of scholarships, and the mix of players that they get is limited by and determined by who takes a scholarship to any given school.

Sometimes recruiting the very best player in a given position will cause other good players in that same position to look elsewhere for an opportunity. Georgia Tech’s program has been decimated a number of times over the past twenty years by guys like Kenny Anderson leaving after only one or two seasons when the team was on the verge of greatness.

I don’t understand how Coaches Smith at NC and Dukes’ Krzyzewski keep their players for four years, but Bobby Cremmins and now Paul Hewitt lose the good ones after only two or three years.

The other thing about the NBA that should bother everybody is the criminal background and behavior of an unfortunately large percentage of the player population. The fight this past weekend that has been widely reported and endlessly shown on TV is a good example. (I can’t remember the teams and I refuse to do a Google search to find them.)

If I acted like one of those players at work, I wouldn’t be fined…I’D BE FIRED.

But these spoiled, pampered assholes will just laugh it off, pay their fines out of their pocket change, sit on the bench for a few games, and then it’s back to the status quo.

What kind of message does that send to our kids, especially “minority” kids that are already growing up without fathers or otherwise quality supervision and often see the NBA and the NFL as the only avenue to success?

I think that if you throw a punch at a coach, fan, or other player you should be suspended for the rest of the season and forfeit all of your pay for the season.

If you do it again, you should be banded from further play.

But that’s just one man’s opinion, I guess…

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Strike The Set

It's All Over...

I went back to the theater this afternoon to shoot a few more posed photos after the show, then reduce the set back down to the original sheets of foamboard and sticks of lumber.

It only took a little over an hour and a half, and by 6 PM the stage was clear and you'd never know I'd been there. Here's a couple more photos.

Next up is a giant staircase for the play "Little Foxes" in April.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Theatrical Misbehavior

Things Are Going Along Nicely

Pat & I attended the GIAHA's performance of "A Christmas Carol" tonight. They put on a darn good performance. We were also invited to attend the cast party afterward at my friend Mayor Thompson's house.

All and all a good evening, I think.

Here's a little peek at what we saw (click on each picture to enlarge):

I really like the looks of the final touch I put on the set last week, the sign there center stage that says "Scrooge & Marley".

What do you think?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Thing's I'd Liked To Have Had

Free Stuff...But No Where To Put It

I came home from my foggy photo shoot this morning with the trunk of Pat's Mustang full of chunks of wood. I just couldn't resist their beauty.

There's also a marvelous chunk of Eastern Cedar stump laying within two miles of our Condo that's headed for the wood chipper or woodpile unless I can find someone to help me pick it up and haul it to some as yet determined location for storage.

Sometimes I hate not owning a house these days because of times like this.

My big "K Street" tree was saved by the City of Brunswick and has been moved and stored at their expense.

Back in the late 1980's when they were clearing land to build the new Georgia Dome football stadium for the Atlanta Falcons a lumber company offered me a working boiler and working STEAM ENGINE that they had used to saw logs, for FREE, if I would come in, dismantle the equipment, and move it off site before they demolished their 100 year old buildings.

I begged and pleaded for help, but everyone just saw a bunch of stinky old iron and steel and I couldn't find a home for the wonderfull antiques.

My ex-wife wouldn't let me put it in my back yard, so I guess it went to the scrapyard.

I sure hope I can save this old stump.

Foggy Morning In Georgia

Here's What I Saw This Morning

Perhaps the only sad thing I found was this old Cedar that was being removed from Gascoigne Bluff Park because of it's poor health. It's about four or five feet across at the bottom and seven feet long.

I want that piece of tree trunk, and I'm calling my County Commissioners to talk about saving it

More Christmas Carols

Yes, I know…I know...I Won’t Let This Idea Go

For your enjoyment this morning, I have a few more selections of my Muslim friendly Christmas Carols available.

How about this old favorite:

Away From The Danger
(sung to the tune of “Away in a manger”)

Away from the danger, some rocks for a bed,
The little Osama, laid down his turbined head,
The Drones in the bright sky looked down where he lay
The little Osama asleep in the Cave.

Cruise missiles are soaring, the satellite phone rings
But little Osama, has already moved his things
The flashes and explosions are over the next hills
But little Osama knows that we’re after him still.

Or how about:

It’s Beginning to look a lot like Jihad
(obviously sung to the tune of “(It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”)

Feel free to make up your own words

Or maybe this one:

Wreck the Walls
(sung to the tune of “Deck The Halls”)

Wreck the Walls with blocks of C4
A la la la la la la la lah
Make every thing just like here before
A la la la la la la la lah
Don we now our desert apparel,
A la la la la la la la lah
Troll the ancient Muslim carol,
A la la la la la la la lah.

See the blazing Hummer before us
A la la la la la la la lah
Strike the infidel, bomb the tour bus
A la la la la la la la lah
Follow me to meet our Virgins
A la la la la la la la lah
While I tell a Jihad story
A LA LA LA LA….La La La La Lahhhhhhh

I could go on forever, but I think that the novelty has worn off now.

Unless I come up with something else special, I think I'll move on...besides, I've got to get to work mailing out the rest of my Christmas cards.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Muslim America Preview

Oh God, My Face Hurts From Laughing...

For those of you out there that don't own a TV or have been living under a rock for the past twenty years, let me tell you that if and when Speaker Pelosi, John Murtha, and the rest of the appeasers peace advocates get their way and the US finally pulls out of the middle east, things will likely change a good deal here in America.

You see, the zealous idiots that we are currently fighting over there in Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t likely to just lay down their guns and bombs and go back to farming olives and herding sheep....No Siiiiiirrrrrr.

I’m pretty sure that as soon as they get all of their women wrapped back up in black cloth and finish killing all of the othe tribes that aren't related to them that they will be stopping by your or your kids' front doors in the next twenty years and they won’t be there selling Amway products or Girl Scout Cookies.

If that’s OK with you, I guess that it will have to be OK with me because I’ll probably have moved on back to my home planet of Meepzorp by then, but in the meantime I thought that I’d make a little money getting you prepared for the transition.

In addition to my Muslim Christmas Carol translations, I came up with this idea for a Christmas card that you might need one day when the time comes:

(original osama image from Here)

Then for all of my Jewish friends I have this offering:

(Original image from here)

And finally, can you imagine how media ads will probably have to change? Something like this will come out:

Original Image frome Here

I'll be continuing on this topic for a while because it's just too damn fun, so you can let me know if you want to order any of my products and we'll see what we can work out.

And by the way, if you don't like it, just go the hell away and I'll be just fine entertaining myself.

(Damn I'm smart, funny, and insensitive, aren't I?)

More Muslim Terrorist Christmas Carols

I'm Writing a Song Book...

For the second installment in my translation of traditional Christmas carols, I offer this Children's favorite

Abdul the Bomber
Sung to the tune of "Frosty the Snowman"

Abdul, the bomber, was a zealous miserable soul,
With RPG and explosive vest, and two eyes as dark as coal

Abdul the Bomber, was an Iranian they say

He made quite a show, when his body did blow
And he lost his life that day.

The must have been some dynamite in that old
Linen prayer shirt he wore

For when they finally found his head, it was
Fifty yards away or more!

Oh, Abdul the Bomber, was as dead as he
could be;

But the Imams say he could blast and pray,
About the best in the middle east.

Boom Pow Bam Bam, Boom Pow Bam Bam
Look at Abdul go

Boom Pow Bam Bash Boom Pow Bam Bash
What else could he blow?

(feel free to make up your own second verse)


Multicultural Christmas

Please...Somebody Stop Me...

In the spirit of the Christmas Holiday Season, I'm extending an olive branch to our Terrorist friends in the Muslim world by translating some common Christmas Carols to be more Islam friendly.

My first selection this evening is one that is a favorite of my old friend Rusty. I actually started singing a version of this one back in the mid 1990's:

Walking in Desert Battlefield
Sung to the tune of "Walking In A Winter Wonderland"

Camel bells ring, are you listening?
In the oasis, the Palm Trees are glistening
It’s a beautiful sight,
We praise Allah tonight
Walking past the bodies of the infidels we killed last night.

Gone away is civilization
Here to stay a conflagration
We’ll bomb and we’ll blast
Kick some Sunni ass
Walking past the bodies of the infidels we killed last night.

In the morning we can build a car bomb
Pack it full of nails and TNT
Drive it into town to the market
And see if we can kill a family

Later on, we’ll conspire
Launch a Mortar, burn some tires
To face unafraid
The plans that we made
Walking past the bodies of the infidels we killed last night.

(If anybody thinks this is stupid or "insensitive"...TOUGH! Go somewhere else on the web...)


I Outsmarted Myself

Last month, in anticipation of traveling out of town for a week, I elected to activate one of those 60 day free America Online accounts that they bombard everyone with in the form of CD's in the mail.

I gave them my credit card number, contact information, and it turns out that I never made a single call through their service.

Yesterday I remembered that I needed to cancel the membership else beginning in early January AOL would start carving about $25 out of my card each month.

After spending about an hour on the telephone over the past TWO days, making six phone calls that were mysteriously cut off after announcing my intention to cancel their service, and after allowing my blood pressure to drop a couple hundred points, I just faxed out THIS missive using the instructions from the AOL website as the outline (my comments are in blue):

December 13, 2006

FAX NUMBER : 1-703-433-7283.
PO Box 65100
Sterling, VA 20165-8800

To Cancel Your AOL® Membership

We hope you've enjoyed being an AOL member and that we can help you again in the future.



For security reasons, AOL accounts cannot be cancelled either online or through e-mail. You can get your AOL account cancelled either through phone, U.S. mail or fax.





To cancel your AOL account over the phone, all you need to do is call AOL® Member Services at 1-888-265-8008. You can speak to our representatives to get your account cancelled. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


You can also request the cancellation of your AOL account through the U.S. mail. Just send your request to:
PO Box 65100
Sterling, VA 20165-8800



If you prefer sending in your request through fax, please send it to us at 1-703-433-7283.


If you choose to write or fax us, please include a brief note stating the nature of your request, the primary billing contact's full name, phone number, address, and handwritten signature.

In addition to that, for account security purposes please provide any one of the following:

The master screen name of the AOL account

The last four digits of the current method of payment (for your security, please include only the last four digits)

The answer to the account security question of the master screen name

Cancellation will take effect within 72 hours of receipt of your request and AOL will send you e-mail confirmation. Please note that AOL LLC reserves the right to charge and collect fees, surcharges or costs incurred before your cancellation



Born in xxxxx, xxxxxxx

CARD NUMBER xxxxxx5119

And by the way, y’all have a nice day up there in Virginia…

I signed it, dated it, wrote my address and phone number on it by hand, and I'm going to mail a couple of more copies out separately and see what happens.

All I have to say is...

Don't screw with me...dammit

Original Thoughts--One More Time

I’ve Written Most Of This Stuff Before…

OK Ladies & Gentlemen, as we approach the end of 2006 and the media prepares to bombard us with highlights and lowlights of the past 12 months, including their gleefully anticipated reporting of the 3,000th death in the War in Iraq, I feel compelled to remind you of a couple of things.

Fact, the US population crossed 300 million this year. You probably saw that statistic on the front page of your local fish wrapper Newspaper and heard it blasted out on the evening news a couple of times.

Fact, over 40,000 people lost their lives in automobile accidents since January 1st of this year.

Did you know about that annual tragedy?

Actually, the death rate has declined slightly from nearly 45,000 in the mid 1980’s due to the increased use of seatbelts, air bags, and increased drunken driving prevention efforts.

That's a rate of 1 person dead in and around autos for every 7,500 members of the US population.

Next, let me report that currently there are about 1.4 million Americans serving as Active Duty members of our Armed Forces today. About 1000 were killed in Iraq this year (including members of the Reserves and National Guard.)

I can't find the website, but I've read previously that more members of the military die each year in non-combat related and training accidents than in actual combat. You'll just have to take my word for that as I continue to look for the numbers and a link.

Any way, now here’s my point…

Since the start of the war in Iraq in March 2003 (46 months), using the above numbers it would be safe to say that over 153,000 people have died crashing things made by General Motors and the other auto manufacturers into each other and roadside trees.


I have to ask, “Where’s the daily Associated Press front page Newspaper Stories on that little insignificant (apparently) statistic?”

Where’s the daily running total in the national newspapers?

Yes, I know that locally the more spectacular accidents and casualties are often reported, but I’m thinking about starting a website and attempting to consolidate the carnage on a daily national basis and selling the numbers to the media.

IF I could actually sell the results of my efforts, I doubt that it would end up anywhere but in the back pages of section B in the papers because the anti-war crowd all drive SUV’s and my hideous statistics don’t support their political agenda (except possibly that while killing the environment with SUV’s they ignore the enhanced occupant safety they provide.)

I’d probably starve to death trying to make a living doing that kind of stuff in the current political climate.

With a little more than 1 in every 214 people of the total population in the military, it’s really amazing to me that everyone is brainwashed into freaking out over the TRULY LOW LEVELS OF MILITARY CASUALTIES we’ve experienced thus far in our efforts.

Almost as many members of the military died IN ONE DAY during the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 than have died in the entire effort in Iraq.

A greater number of GI’s were killed in the invasion of Utah and Omaha Beaches in Normandy, but all the media can do today is scream “O MY GOD, ANOTHER DEAD SOLDIER…”

Get a GRIP, people.

As I've written at least a half dozen times before:


Don't just read the headlines and first paragraph of the story each morning.

And for God's sake, read something and watch something other than just the lamestream mainstream media.

(And before you start commenting and e-mailing me with complaints, let me state that I consider the death of any human being, regardless of their station in life, to be a tragedy, but then again--better kill our country's enemies in their homes overseas than to have to fight them on my patio and in my front yard.)

You'll have to excuse me now, but I have to go clean my guns...


Gosh, my math was off on my calculator, so the vehicular deaths is 1 in 7,500, not 1 in 75,000. I thought that sounded low but I was bleary eyed at that time of the morning and failed to check my calculations and transcription.

It also assists my argument that living in the modern world is inherently dangerous, because using that same mortality rate 200 out of our 1.5 million troops would have been killed stateside this year in auto accidents.

Where's the headlines about That?


Poof, the Manic Shiite

More Political Incorrectness

Here's a little ditty I wrote tonight. It's sung to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon”

Oh, Poof…the manic Shitie, Grew up in Basrah,
And Frolicked in the desert sand with his home made IED

Well little Donnie Rumsfield, hated that rascal Poof,
He sent him planes and Abrams Tanks, and other fancy stuff…

Oh, Poof, the manic Shiite, grew up in Basrah
And frolicked in the desert sands with his home made IED
Oh, Poof, the manic Shiite, grew up in Basrah
And frolicked in the desert sands with his home made IED

Together they would travel on a Camel with big old teeth,
Rummie kept a lookout from thirty thousand feet
Arab Kings and Princes would cowtow wheneer they came,
Toyota Vans would go “Kaboom” when Poof roared out Allah's name!


Mohammad lives forever but not so for little Poof
Navy wings and two ton bombs are pretty deadly stuff
One grey night it happened, Don Rummie came out no more
And Poof the Manic Shiite, up to Allah he would soar

His head, it flew off one way, fingers fell like rain,
Poof no longer was a threat , they couldn’t find his brain
Without his life-long enemy, Poof made his final play
Poof the manic Shiit was heard to say...

"Hey, you guy’s ain’t no VIRGINS”

Oh, Poof,, the manic Shiite, grew up in Basrah
And frolicked in the desert sands with his home made IED
Oh, Poof, the manic Shiite, grew up in Basrah
And frolicked in the desert sands with his home made IED

Offered with sincere apologies to Peter Paul and Mary

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I've Been Erroneously Accused!!!

Oh No, I just got an Anonymous comment on my Posting entitled Dead As A Doornail.

Here, check their complaint out...

Anonymous said...

I think you should at least state the website you copied this from. you know this is plagiarism? the original website is
Thank you.

9:51 AM

I just answered as follows in my own comment:

The Head Web Bastard Master (that would be me) said...

The above reader was hopefully sincere and just limited in their Internet skills, because I did post the link to the website, IN RED TEXT, just like I always publish copied text in blue italic text.

10:13 AM

Hey everybody, let's get a couple of things straight here regarding the rules of my website...

I want to emphatically state that I always link to the source websites IN RED TEXT (no link here--just an example), just like I always publish copied text in blue italic text like this.

You see, when I started out I just settled for sticking the little link thingy into the body of my writing like this-- than doing a little classy word editing to make things read better like saying Coastal Companion.

Also, I find that when I am quoting things like news articles that are already full of quotations, everyone gets confused if I try to put more quotation marks into the process, so I just settled for the colored text like some of my other fellow bloggers do.

I'm a writer, photographer, and artist and am sensitive to ownership issues, but every now and then I might miss a link for an attribution. Let me assure you that it is usually an oversight or technical error rather than an intentional effort to use other people's work and call it my own.

But I'm also not going to get all Anal Retentive now in my writing because, after all, you don't see any ads on this website, so any perceived crime definitely doesn't pay for me here in my efforts...

Partial Success

One Down, One To Go

Picture me sitting out in the street...


In my pajamas...

With my computer in my lap writing this message...

Now picture me buck nekked with my computer on the pool deck...wait a laughing or throwing up...maybe I've gone a bit too far in my jubilation.

I'm not actually doing any of the above things (although I considered it), but I just changed one stupid little field on an obscure form in my router configuration file and I'm pleased to make the following announcement.


Since I've been awake since 11:30 PM, and since I've determined that our other computer's problem seems to have something to do with Pat's corporate office security settings, I believe that I'll relax and go take a nap now.

Damn I'm good lucky...


I Need A Tape Recorder

Or Possibly Just Hire An Assassin A Computer Nerd

I swear that just when I think that I know what I’m doing when it comes to computer networking, everything manages to go to heck in a handbasket.

I think that my problem is that I only fool around with our network once every three or four months when I add new hardware, and it seems that I always manage to forget some little tiny detail in the time in between my efforts.

As the old saying goes: "The Devil's In The Details..."

You see, not one but two new computers have come into our home in the past couple of months, and I’ll be darned if I can get the wireless network to work properly with either of them.

I had my new HP working almost as soon as I brought it home, but when it crashed and I had to reinstall everything it’s since been able to see the network but refuses to allow me to install the 128 bit WEP encryption info.

Thus I’m still running around with a 50’ CAT5 cable attached to my belly button the side of my machine.

Ditto for the new machine that arrived from Pat’s company last week. I installed the PCMCA wireless card and cranked through the installation process on the CD, but it still won’t let you walk around and surf the internet without a cable hanging out of your armpit the back of the Dell Notebook.

I took a pretty good set of notes last year when I sat the network up for the first time, but I guess that I’m going to have to tape record step by step instructions when I finally manage to get things going again.

I know what I‘ll do…

This time I’ll video tape the process for posterity.

If anyone wants to come to St. Simons and stay for the weekend for free, just bring your network skills and come on down.

Monday, December 11, 2006

More Public Mischief

I have an opinion on everything…

Last Wednesday some ignorant moron lovely local citizen had a letter published in our local newspaper, The Brunswick News, expressing his belief that our little island airport should be closed.

His basic argument was threefold.

(1) The airport is unsightly.

(2) Airplanes are noisy. (duhhhhhh)

(3) Finally, given the validity of reasons (1) and (2) above, it was abvious that the County owned land the airport occupies could be put to better use as a park and green spaces.

Within five minutes of reading the letter, I wrote the following missive which was published last Friday in the letters to the editor section:

I would like to take this opportunity to offer my rebuttal to a recently published letter promoting the closing of the McKinnon St. Simons Airport.

First, I want to remind everyone that, void the actions of some supernatural or extraterrestrial forces, Glynn county’s land area hasn’t changed much since the early 1900’s when the airport was built for the US Navy.

I assert that, since all of Glynn County is not already covered with concrete, the idea of closing the airport to regain land for other public uses is dubious and renders mute the argument that the size of the airport property “detracts from the natural beauty of OUR island.”

I invite the people that want to complain about living around the airport to put their own money where their mouths and keyboards are. If they don‘t like the airport, let them buy the entire island, thereby truly making it “THEIR Island.”

I would be remiss to not remind them that, upon closing “their airport,” that they will then also have to subject themselves to the risks of not being able to get a ambulance jet or helicopter to come to their assistance when and/or IF the time comes.

Finally, while complaining about “the increase in air traffic…especially the large rent-a-jets”, I again remind the public that the airport was here first. If you didn’t want to vacation around or live in a building next to a lively operational airport, then you, your ego, and your checkbook should have gone elsewhere.

Instead of closing the airport, why don’t we all just vote to buy dump trucks and fill in the marshes and creeks?

After all, there’s a bunch of extra land out there for “public use” if you look for it hard enough…

Maxwell Raymond

I don't actually recall the name of the muttering old Curmudgeon the mis-informed gentleman that wrote the original letter, but I'm fairly certain that my response made his head spin around.

(By the way, I write my letters using my Nom de Plume “Maxwell Raymond” not because I'm afraid of public opinion, but because of personal differences which I have with the newspaper’s editor…and I believe that he probably wouldn't publish anything I wrote if he knew it was me holding the pen.)


Sunday, December 10, 2006

I’m Dragging

Is It Illness, Or Just Old Age?

I hated to do it, but I had to cancel cooking dinner for our friends and Pat’s brother Saturday night because apparently I’ve contracted some kind of creeping crud that makes me feel physically weak and mentally light headed and “semi-stoned.” Maybe I have the same list of ailments that my computer has contracted.

Not only did I miss out on part of the tourist style sightseeing trip this afternoon, but I also missed a cocktail party at a friends house and sat out dinner by laying in bed fitfully sleeping-thus the lack of Saturday writing.

Time to go back to bed…

Friday, December 08, 2006

Random Bitching, Complaining, and Observations

I Guesss That I'm Just Spoiled

The NOAA website says that it's 34 degrees F outside right now. It’s below 20 F just north of Atlanta, so I guess that we‘re actually lucky.

Would someone out there please tell me where I can go to put a few hundred dollars into the weather machine in order to buy us another thirty degrees of warmth for the next few months?

Or, on second thought, I'll just try giving Al Gore a call and ask to have a delivery of his "Man-Made Global Warming" shipped in for the weekend.

Well, maybe not…

I guess that it was inevitable that winter would finally arrive here on the Georgia Coast, and by my estimation it probably has. They predict that it might go down into the high 20's outside tomorrow night.

We have some of Pat's family from Pennsylvania visiting us this weekend and we were hoping for good bicycling weather. There's nothing we can do about it, but when we get the chance to entertain friends and family we hate tripping over the Potted Plants and Palm Trees we have to drag into the foyer as a result of the low temperatures.

I know that all of you people that live north of the Mason-Dixon Line will probably want to offer me a hearty WAAAAAHHH WAAAAAHHH Booooo Hooooo HOOOOOOO with that revelation, but just the same I’m not embarrassed for admitting that I don't like cold weather unless I have carefully waxed and honed planks strapped to my feet any time the thermometer drops below about 50 degrees.

OK, maybe 30 degrees for skis, but you get my drift (and excuse the pun…)

Any way, without snow sleds and skis, here on the coast I find that the cold temperatures suck because I have to do things like remember to wear shoes when I take out the trash and put on a lightweight coat if I anticipate going outside to watch the space shuttle launch from the bridge down by our pool deck.

Speaking of which, just in case you didn’t notice, they scrubbed the Shuttle launch last night at the last minute because of weather. I had my camera in my hand at the time, and it (my camera) is ready to go again tonight or later this weekend when and if they manage to get a combination of weather and functioning hardware together.

The scheduled night launch path will take it within less than 100 miles of us as it streaks off to the northeast, so I hope to get some nice timed exposures of its progress as it comes by.

That said, I have to admit that otherwise it's hard for me to muster the energy to rise up off of my sofa these days. After all, my theater set is 99.9% finished and my knees have basically had it as a result of jumping up and down chasing tools and lumber for two weeks.

A couple of days ago I stabbed the hell out of my thumb with a power screwdriver bit doing some final set adjustments and since then it’s made it difficult to do anything but bleed on things and yell “OUCH” when I touch something the wrong way. Even the keyboard hurts me because it was my “space bar” thumb that I put the hole in.

In closing, let me mention that I've got a pretty good head of steam building up regarding some of the political crap that's been going on, but in the spirit of the holidays and in respect of my ongoing effort to actually make sense when I write rather than just issue mindless blabbering...

I'll just make you wait for now as I keep the rest of expert opinions to myself...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Ocean Shore Is Timeless

Only Ignorant People Need A Map, A Thermometer, Or A Barometer

Well, we had yet another neighbor die this past week--a really nice articulate young fellow (mid 60’s?) named William-and I missed his passing by a few days because I was trying to stay out of the way of his and his family‘s business.

I spoke to him briefly less than two weeks ago to ask if he wanted me to call anybody or do anything as he was hauled solo out the door of his condo on his way to the ambulance and on to the hospital, but I have to admit that I was really afraid that he would not make it alive to Christmas...having openly mentioned holding that opinion since this past Spring.

It turns out that I was right.

Bill died of Cancer.

Just Damn.

His sister told me of his demise a few days ago, and at first I felt bad because I hadn’t inquired about his status and done something else (other than nothing) earlier, then I realized that I couldn’t have done anything except make him sit up in his deathbed to talk on the telephone or straighten his hospital gown when I walked in the door.

I’m starting to see a trend here, and I'm afraid that I might actualy be leading the charge myself.

Remember that over seventy percent of our planet is covered with water?

Most, if not all, of the animals that aren’t actually living IN the water are spending most of their existence ensuring that they can attain access to water, and when it‘s time to move on to the next plain of being, it seems to me that we all seek to move back to the place where we all originated--the ocean.

Some of us like my friends in Connecticut will accept the colder waters of the north Atlantic while I elect to move ever farther south along the Georgia and Florida shores, but regardless the nautical sounds and temperate climate provides an environment I find ever so soothing to the savage beast within me.

Bill apparently also knew this fact, and thus like me and many, many others before us, he elected to stay here at the end of his life on St. Simons Island.

And thereby, he made a very graceful exodus from his mortal existence…

RIP Mr. Walther

Premature Proclamations

I Sprayed My Keyboard With Lysol

Well, just as I was about to declare myself safely back on line, I've just got another alien "System Alert" trying to sell me software to remove itself from my computer.

I still think that after about four hours of jacking around removing strange programs from my hard drive I have at least 75% of things under control-at least Internet Explorer comes up in Yahoo mode rather than some software ad.

The tits and ass ads have also disappeared.

The people doing internet spam obviously don't know me, else they'd spam me with the products and tools sold at Home Depot instead of "adult toys" and tempt me with offers of antique cars and their associated spare parts, Cooking Recipes, and Radio controlled model airplane info instead of photos of silicone enhanced female body parts.

I'm to the point where if I turn the volume down I don't hear the "boop" sound when the "Malware Threats" window pops up at the bottom of my screen, so I can work at least a few minutes without cursing the unidentified and as yet un-known names of my volunteer computer consultants that invaded my house this week.

Now where is my really big hammer???

Spammers, Spyware, & Viruses

My Computer Has The Flu

It would appear that the Klingons or some other aliens came down from outer space last night while I was reviewing websites on Charles Dickens' work, captured my new HP laptop, and left in it's place some kind of mutant machine designed to make me lose my mind and start throwing expensive things out the door into the Condo parking lot.

Half the time I've got pop-up windows everywhere showing God knows what kind of body parts doing God knows what to who and/or whom, and the other half of the time I've got windows opening by themselves trying to sell me spyware sweepers and "malware" cleaning programs to fix the problems I'm having.

Of course my free subscription to Norton Internet Security ran out recently and I had not gotten around to renewing it, and now I'm afraid to renew it online because I don't really believe that I'm certain where I'm at on the internet even now because of the crap that's happening when I hit the return key or click the left mouse button.

It looks like that, in addition to a trip to the theater, tomorrow I'll have to go to Staples or Circuit City to buy another shiny silver disk full of bullshit and hope for the best when it's all said and done.

In closing, let me mention that I'm adding Internet Hackers and Spammers to my list of people, along with Militant Muslims, that should expect to have their asses kicked upon sight.

If you are one of these internet shitheads that intrude on other people's computers, I WILL BEAT YOU WITH ANYTHING I CAN LAY MY HANDS ON...INCLUDING MY BARE FISTS.

You Can Bank on it

Monday, December 04, 2006

Busy, Busy Busy

Here's What I've Been Up To

I'm hiding behind the camera while Miss Heather operates the broom and associated broom handle...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Two Hundred Twenty Two To Nuthin’

Mixed Emotions About College Sports--Close But No Cigar

I pride myself in being able to say that I only missed a couple of Georgia Tech home football games between 1977 and 1997.

I also traveled to places like Clemson, South Carolina; Auburn and Birmingham, Alabama; Winston Salem and Raleigh, North Carolina; and Annapolis, Maryland to watch what many people would consider at best to be mediocre Tech Teams play the home teams in those cities.

The quality of the football play didn’t matter much to me because I was there to study engineering, but I did enjoy following my school’s team because of it’s great football history.

The cause of one of my few absences in 1985 was having to sit in the hospital recovering from a blood clot in my leg while at the same time having my personal Physician attended the Georgia/Georgia Tech game using MY TICKETS. Since he forgot to sign the Hospital discharge order, I wasn’t allowed to go home to watch the game from my own sofa.

Afterwards he belatedly turned me out of the medical facility, I went home, and I got over it in the end.

Other personal milestones include having witnessed Georgia Tech’s running back Eddie Lee Ivory’s effort covering 356 yards in a snowstorm at the Air Force Academy in November of 1978, and Tech finishing in a 3 to 3 tie with a number one ranked Notre Dame in 1980 without throwing a single forward pass. Notre Dame actually had to come from behind to earn the tie.

I was also in the stadium in Orlando in 1990 at the Citrus Bowl when Tech pounded Nebraska and tied for the NCAA Division I National championship.

Since that time, I have only visited “Grant Field at historic Bobby Dodd Stadium” on a few occasions, my personal fortunes and life priorities having changed greatly since I spent two or three thousand dollars a year watching football and basketball just north of Atlanta’s North Avenue.

This year I managed to get a little excited about GT football, but when it was all said and done things have ended pretty much as usual, with Tech snatching defeat from the jaws of Victory on a number of occasions.

Other than an embarrassing 31-7 loss at Clemson back in mid October , Tech managed to come up short by a total of 10 points (Notre Dame 14-10, Georgia 15-12, and Saturday’s 9-6 loss to Wake Forrest) in three other games.

Just Damn.

I have to ask the question out loud: “Where are the points when we need them?”

That’s OK I guess…I’m still “a Hell of an engineer” and life goes on…

Speaking of points, I have a piece of GT memorabilia that is very special to me, not to mention very RARE--a 1917 Georgia Tech Student Yearbook. My Dad was an old book fan, and one day we were wandering around the old Atlanta Flea Market on Piedmont Road (there’s a MARTA transit station there now) and he points out this old tome, and we bought it for $10.

Inside of that canvas hard-covered book, in addition to documentation of life at “The North Avenue Trade School” in the early 1900’s, was an amazing outline of John Heisman’s (of Heisman Trophy fame) 1916 campaign leading Georgia Tech to a college football national championship.

Not only did Georgia Tech score a record setting 222 to 0 victory against Cumberland College in the second game of the season, but they only allowed their opponents to score a TOTAL of 20 points in ten games while my beloved Yellow Jackets scored 467 points.

The schedule that season included Alabama, Georgia, and Auburn Universities, with Tulane, North Carolina, Washington & Lee, Davison, Cumberland, and Mercer thrown in for good measure.

So in closing, I have to say to all of you sports fans out there that perspective is where it is at--not the points spread.

In my opinion, GT had a pretty good year, in spite of Saturday’s conference title loss, and Monday morning I’m still the same useless beach bum or expert Theater Set designer none the less.

Let’s all just try to have a GREAT holiday season regardless of the numbers on the scoreboard…

Hey...can you pass me the gravy and dressing?

Collard Greens

I'm Happier Than A Pig In Mud

It's truely amazing the things that life will throw at you when you least expect them.

Take what happened to me at the theater last Friday as an example.

Out of the clear blue, Rob, one of the Ritz Theater employees, walked up to me with two grocery bags full of fresh home grown Collard and Spinach greens and just GAVE them to me.

One of the other theater employees had grown them and everyone in the building was either crazy else they didn't cook, so by default I inherited the sacks of green treasure.

I acted like Wyle E. Coyote, "Super Genius", and ran away with them as fast as I could, but Pat made me wait until tonight to cook them.

After lovingly being hand washed in cold water to remove any bugs and most of the sand that was present, they're now sitting comfortably in some 212 degree F water simmering away with the Pork Ham Bone left over from Thanksgiving.

The house is starting to stink nicely smell good as I write...


Pat's really gonna hate me now, because there's a big pot of Black Eyed Peas soaking in cold water on the stove top right now, and I'm planning a early morning trip to the grocery store for a few things including some thick sliced bacon.

I'm pretty sure that a nice pone of my soon to be famous "low cal" cornbread made with low colesterol bacon grease is likely to ensue.

It's just a matter of deciding between fried chicken or fish and tonight's dinner is finished.

Excuse me while I let my belt out a little...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Drama In The Theater

Strange Goings On...

Here's what was happening on Tuesday Night:

and here's a look at where things are tonight:

I've got to get off of my ass and get some trim around the windows and fireplace tomorrow, and convert the as yet unseen non-existent canopy of that bed frame center stage into something that looks like the Ghost of Christmas Future by Sunday's Tech Rehearsal.

I'm presently paralized with indecision...

Just So We Are Clear Here...

Are You A Good Muslim?

You better not get on an airplane with me and start praying loudly, yelling Allah, and doing other stupid Muslim shit because I WILL RISK GOING TO JAIL as I kick your stupid Muslim ASS.

Seriously...put a towel or scarf on your head and try me...

Here's What I Was Riding To Grade School In In 1966

It's Not My Dad's Car...But It's Close

A zillion years ago, each and every schoolday morning back when I was in the first grade, I rode to school with my dad in a car almost exactly like this one to Daleville, Alabama on his way to his test pilot/engineer job at Cairns Army Airfield--one of the busiest helicopter airports in the world (slightly behind Lowes Army Airfield also at Fort Rucker, Alabama.)

For all of the auto entheusists and trivia buffs out there, the 1963 VW had a 6 volt electrical system--thus the "yellow" cast of the headlights. The other details are the shape of the bumpers and the narrow shape of the tail lights and center tag light housing on the rear deck lid.

Later on we also had a 1965 hard top VW Beetle for which I had the opportunity to do my first car engine rebuild in the early 1970's.

Now you'll have to excuse me while I take time out for an early morning nap and to think about building the Ghost of Christmas Future...

The NY Times Sucks

It's Just That Simple...

(And it's just one man's opinion...but hey...It's my blog...sorry Folks, but I'm yelling at the TV as I'm watching the live news conference this morning in Jordan with President Bush and Iraqi PM Maliki)

Bottom line, almost all reporters are leftist partisan assholes...timetable, timetable, schedule for withdrawal, schedule for withdrawal, get out, get out, oh OH Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!


After watching President Bush negotiate his way through that press conference where he had to call reporters down and ask them to shut up so he could speak, I swear to God that I'm certain that the 99% of the Arabs are lucky that it's not 1944 else we'd be turning the entire area into a sheet of silica glass...I'll fly the airplane if someone will load the bomb.


Wierd Weather

I'm Worried

It was almost 80 degrees here today on our little island of St. Simons. I spent half the day spinning around on the stage of the Ritz Theater, and much of the evening installing lights on a friend's Christmas tree while we had drinks and ate dinner.

To me it seems that the warm weather this late in November is a precursor to a bout of severe weather with thunderstorms and tornadoes bouncing around the lower Southeast over the next few days.

I hope that I'm wrong...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Still Making Sawdust

Will Somebody Please Buy Me A New Screwdriver?

I'm afraid that I'm about to lose my mind, and the loss will be over something really stupid.

You see, there is this queer little reality out here that most people, at least those not in the construction business, don't understand...

All Phillips Head screws are not created equal, but I digress.

In the theater set construction business, virtually everyone has adopted the use of screws rather than nails to put the boards and sheets of foam and plywood together.

Makes good sense to me, since you have to take everything back apart within weeks if not days of lovingly putting it all together in the first place. Backing a screw out of a hole with a power drill or cordless power screwdriver is generally much easier than cursing while fooling around trying to pull a bunch of bent nails out of 2x4 studs every few months.

Now as to my delimma.

For the past few weeks I've been working with this giant plastic bucket full of left over, recycled screws-sort of what I call "The Ghost Of Christmas (Plays) Past..."

99% of them SUCK

No Matter what you do, you end up trying to drive two or three 2" screws into any given position, and you find yourself ANGRY.

I told my Boss & Director, Miss Heather, that I would return to the building this morning with NEW SCREWS and Phillips Head Screwdriver Bits that ACTUALLY FIT the heads of the NEW SCREWS that I provide.

Other than that little detail, the rest of my life is just Peachy right now.

Talk to y'all later...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dead As A Doornail

Trivia That Interests Me...

I love looking up the origins of words and phrases on the internet.. Tonight's phrase of interest is "dead as a doornail" because it occurs in the opening dialogue of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", in reference to Scrooge's former business partner--Jacob Marley.

Here, take a look:

This is an ancient expression: we have a reference to this dating back to 1350, and it also appears in the fourteenth-century work "The Vision of Piers Plowman" and in Shakespeare’s "Henry IV."

Another expression, of rather later date, is as dead as a herring, because most people only saw herrings when they were long dead and preserved; there are other similes with the same meaning, such as dead as mutton, or dead as a stone.

But why particularly a doornail, rather than just any old nail?

Could it be because of the repetition of sounds, and the much better rhythm of the phrase compared with the version without door?

Almost certainly the euphony has caused the phrase to survive longer than the alternatives I’ve quoted. But could there something special about a doornail?

The usual reason given is that a doornail was one of the heavy studded nails on the outside of a medieval door, or possibly that the phrase refers to the particularly big one on which the knocker rested.

A doornail, because of its size and probable antiquity, would seem dead enough for any proverb; the one on which the knocker sat might be thought particularly dead because of the number of times it had been knocked on the head.

But William and Mary Morris, in The Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, quote a correspondent who points out that it could come from a standard term in carpentry. If you hammer a nail through a piece of timber and then flatten the end over on the inside so it can’t be removed again (a technique called clinching), the nail is said to be dead, because you can’t use it again.

Doornails would very probably have been subjected to this treatment to give extra strength in the years before screws were available. So they were dead because they’d been clinched. It sounds plausible, but whether it’s right or not we will probably never know.


It's Coming Along

First here's a photo of the cast of "A Christmas Carol" walking around on a few platforms on a virtually bare stage last week:

And here's what they're dealing with last night:

That center platform is 5 feet high, and the two walls on each side are 14 feet tall and twelve feet wide.

Now it's time for trim & finish work so that Miss Heather can get her painting done.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Got Holiday Leftovers?

Here...Try This...

When you finally get tired of eating leftover Ham and Turkey sandwiches this week and next month after your Christmas celebrations, you should consider making some White Chili like I'm making this morning. All you need is:

1/2 large Onion, diced how you like it
5 cloves of Garlic, diced fine
1 carrot, sliced & diced
3 tbsp olive oil

2 cans chicken stock
1 can beef stock

2 19 oz cans white Cannellini Beans
1 pound of diced ham, turkey, or chicken (whatever you got left over...)

1 4.5 oz can of Old El Paso diced Green Chili Peppers

Put your olive oil in a large deep pot over medium heat, then add your onions and cook them until they are clear, adding your carrots about half way through the process and your diced garlic a few minutes later.

Doesn't that smell good?

Now dump in one can of chicken stock and cook a little longer, then add the beans, chicken/pork/turkey meat, the rest of the stock, and the peppers, bring everything to a nice simmer, and cover it all up with the lid to your pot.

Now step away from the stove, stopping back by every half hour to check and adjust the heat.

Cook it until you can't stand it any more or it's done or you're hungry, then ladle a few big globs into your bowl and EAT!

(I'll be dining on my White Chili later this afternoon after putting in another four hours working on the set at the Ritz Theater.)


After you've cooked everything down real good, do this:

Add another whole can of beans.

Now you have a nice mild soup.

Do You Really Want White Chili?

...then add 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp chili powder, 2 tbsp Chrystal Hot Sauce, and 1 tsp Cumin.

Cook everything another half hour or so, then put a couple of rolls of your toilet paper into the freezer...

E N J O Y...

EVEN MORE got to have cornbread with your chili:

Toss 1/2 cup of plain flour in a mixing bowl along with about 1/2 cup of plain corn meal, add a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of baking powder and baking soda, a pinch of sugar, two well beaten eggs, two tablespoons of vegetable oil, a handfull of diced sweet onions, a half can of creamed corn, and enough whole milk to make a nice smooth batter (between a one-third and one-half cup.)

Stir, stir, stir...

Now melt a 1/4 stick of butter in a 6-1/4" cast iron skillet in a 425 degree oven, pour your batter into the skillet, cook it for twenty to twenty five minutes, chow down on the results, and call me when you wake up from your nap...

Here's What I Was Building About This Time Two Years Ago

Does Anyone But Me Remember?

In November, December, and January of 2004/2005 I spent most of my days running around in circles a few hundred yards from the Atlantic Ocean in St. Simons Island's "Old Casino" Theater, building the set for the Agatha Christi play "The Mousetrap."

The director challenged me to duplicate the original set used in London's West End Theater back in the 1950's, and I ended up doing the entire project virtually alone because of "Theater Politics"--they did manage to establish a chorus of malcontents that endlessly complained about the cost of my efforts after I spent the budget pre-approved and allocated for the project.

In the end, when the dust settled, after expending over 300 hours of my time, the fruits of my efforts looked like this:

Excuse the shadows in the working lighting, but I never managed to get pictures of my set with the show lighting because I didn't ever attend a performance of the play.

Here's a look at the 10' tall window center stage--that baby took nearly a week to cut out and to hand stain all of the individual wood pieces (I also painted the snow draped tree landscape in the background.)

I was actually pretty pissed off about the results of so-called set decorator's efforts with the furniture selections since they had promised me that they would match the scale of the room (14' high walls) with new chairs and tables that everyone on the southeastern Georgia coast hadn't already seen 27 times on the sets of plays beforehand.

I was rewarded for my efforts with the omission of any credit for being Set Designer and Set Construction Chief in the Published Performance Program, and when I finally returned to the theater at the end of the show's public presentation several of the usual suspects the other jealous theater assholes of my other helpful assistants had reduced the big window (which I had built to be included in the sets of next two shows) to toothpick size pieces of broken wood.

I was furious, and like my current entrepreneurial situation, I quit as a result of my obvious but yet confusing shortcomings...

Is it just me, or what?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I Have Nothing To Say

I'm Sick And Tired Of Being Sick And Tired


Saturday, November 25, 2006

I'm Angry

Why Bother To Work When Being A Bum Is So Easy???

A long time ago, in another life, I sold a big project on the Hilo Coast on the big island of Hawaii.

Nearly a half million dollars worth of stainless steel and other materials including fabrication costs. In the beginning I was the only one in the building that was interested in pursuing the business, but everyone was delighted when the purchase order came in the door.

Problem was, my last name didn't match the name on the front of the building.

Everybody in the upper levels of the company jumped on airplanes to do "vendor sourcing trips" and other made up reasons for their travel, and when it was time for the actual work to be done all of the travel budget had already been spent on beachside hotels and snorkeling trips, so I never made it over across the Pacific to America's 50th state.

I thought it was a bit funny when the job turned into a disaster because of our 5000 mile absence and at best they ended up breaking even on the endeavor--but at least the President and Vice President of the company got nice sunburns in the process.

A few years later, again in the late 1980's, I chased down a job in the little hamlet of Moss Landing, California, on the coast just south of San Francisco and the northern wine country.

Again, my only visit consisted of a mandated OVERNIGHT visit accompanied with my boss to close the deal with a hurried return to Atlanta, then a series of "follow ups" by other executives that were, to quote an old adage "useless as tits on a boar hog." Again, profits suffered with job site problems addressed by Fax and long distance, but hey...who am I to complain...twern't my company...

This week there's a bunch of work going on up in Canada that I sold and originally expected to travel to attend--cold weather aside. Instead, my so called business partner's girlfriend is flying around in first class airliner seating and staying in bed and breakfast Inns and Hotel suites, and yet all I get to hear about is how cold it is up there, endless bitching about the bank currency exchange rates (something he should have understood before HE set the pricing), the fact that all of the Seminar attendees didn't bring personal or company checks with them to the sessions (like average Joes run around with an extra $600 in their bank accounts), and how I'm costing him money (my commission) sitting here on St. Simons doing nothing all day on Thanksgiving (Canadians celebrate their Thanksgiving holiday in October.)

Well EXcuuuuuuuuuusssssssseeeee Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

I quit, in writing, tonight, and told him to keep the change to cover his perceived losses.

Please let me ask you...Why do I torture myself dealing with most other humans?

You know who you are, and your just rewards are coming in eternity....


Friday, November 24, 2006

Turkey Devoured

Belt Loosened

Well, I got through Thanksgiving Day little worse for the wear, and I couldn't have asked for a more appreciative audience than our dinner guests Bruce, Ski, and Walt provided.

I like guests that walk in the door with bottles and bottles of wine, liquor and dessert, then insist on leaving the leftovers.

Likewise, a better kitchen assistant could not be found to have exceeded Pat's efforts. She managed to put together a new baked sweet potato dish and a Hors d'oeuvre tray, all the while avoiding being yelled at or stepped on by my size 13 feet while I spun in circles around her. I'm afraid that I'm a tyrant in the kitchen when I'm cooking.

After a couple of hours of conversation and cocktails had slipped by, we had also made a serious dent in three pounds of spiral sliced ham, a really juicy five pound turkey breast that spent the night brining in the fridge, a pot of smashed red potatoes, a pan of cornbread stuffing, a big boat of turkey gravy, and a fairly mediocre pot of last minute green beans (I have high standards for fresh vegetables).

I made perhaps the best 12" pone of cornbread I've ever made, using bacon grease because of it's low cholesterol properties. It was almost a shame to have to crumble it up in a bowl and soak it with chicken stock to make stufffing with. I don't think that anybody missed the little wedge that I consumed in my quality control efforts.

I also tested out a new baked apple dish to which I have to give mixed reviews. It involved coring the apples, slicing them into thick, thick slices, and then stacking them back up in a baking dish stuffed and layered with a chutney of pitted dates, apricots, and port wine sauce; then baking them in the oven for a while. I used giant Granny Smith apples, and it was good, but not great. I think that they need to bake longer at a lower temperature next time.

Oh well, like I always say, if you can't test out new dishes on close friends and family, who else can you risk poisoning?

Now it's back to the theater again on Friday for a few hours of set construction--It's really tough being me...

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Here's Hoping All Of YOUR Wild Turkeys Come Home To Roost Today

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

For Once I Agree With Chucky Rangel

My Thinking Might Surprise You…

Many times in the past I’ve expressed my belief that every US citizen-- male, female, trans-gendered, and gay--should be required to register for the draft upon attaining the age of 18 years and, barring the existence of some significant limiting medical condition, be required to go through basic training and serve at least two years in the armed forces.

Having two left feet wouldn’t get you out of the program, nor would having wealthy parents or being related to important, influential politicians like Robert KKK “pretty pretty” Byrd.

Whether you were required to serve (or were allowed to serve voluntarily) beyond the two years of mandatory conscription would be based on a couple of factors, the first being your actual suitability for military service, and the second being your ability and choice regarding academic pursuits and other employment opportunities if you were allowed to leave the military after your initial 24 months of duty.

There’s a method to my madness here, so bear with me while I explain.

If all you want to do after dropping out of high school is sit around all day playing combat games on your new Playstation III, hanging on the corner with your Homies popping caps in your rival’s asses, and spending your evening squirting out sperm and siring illegitimate babies up and down the block, under my plan you can figure on wearing government issued kaki and camouflage-colored pants until you either get a clue about the meaning of a productive life else you reach something nearing the age of 30.

You might still be looking at a video monitor 24/7, but the primary difference in what you see on your screen in the intervening years would be that the bullets and bombs could be real, and I would expect that you would get very serious and very mature very quickly else risk dieing and removing your defective DNA from the gene pool.

The implementation of this program, which mirrors the requirements made of young Israelis and is the latest idea to come out of NY Congressman Charles Rangel‘s normally stupid racist mouth, would have multiple benefits in addition to serving our society in a number of ways.

The first benefit would be that of producing a wider range of young citizens involvement and engagement in protecting our national security. Quoting part of Thomas Sowell’s essay which I referenced yesterday:

“Two generations of being insulated from the reality of the international jungle, of not having to defend their own survival because they have been living under the protection of the American nuclear umbrella, have allowed too many Europeans to grow soft and indulge themselves in illusions about brutal realities and dangers.”

I have to offer a huge “ditto” in regard to holding this ignorant attitude on behalf of most teenagers and at least half of the adults here in the US.

No one has ever really felt threatened (other than on 9/11), and I think that almost everyone believes that if we just close up shop on the world stage and stick our heads up our butts stick our heads in the sand here in North America that all of the bad guys will just revert back to killing each other and the Jews and leave us alone.


This new generation of Turban clad assholes is not satisfied with letting us read Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John and sing the Doxology on Sunday morning a couple of times a month…NOOOOoooooooo SSSiiirrrreeeee

They won’t be satisfied until everyone is on their knees seven times a day on a prayer mat, head facing Mecca, mumbling foreign words in a foreign language. Sorry Abdul, but I speak Redneck a variation of the King’s English, and I also happen to be a pretty good shot with a rifle, so it’s a good thing that I’m 47 rather than 17 or there would be a few more bearded radical Muslim butts in the dirt right now.

And by the way..."Hey Chucky, why not drop all of your partisan racist crap and spend your time working on productive ideas like the draft."

Even though I know that you’re in it for all the wrong reasons, the underlying concept is sound.