Saturday, June 10, 2006


Abu of one...

I'm not saying that I'm psychic (I'm actually psyco) but look at this story

BAGHDAD -- Now that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead, there seems little certainty who will succeed the brutal killer who was the most wanted terrorist in Iraq.

An American general thinks it will be Egyptian-born, Afghanistan-trained Abu al-Masri, whose name is an obvious alias, meaning "father of the Egyptian."

Maj.-Gen. William Caldwell, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, said yesterday that al-Masri was the "most logical" successor but offered no details on why.

All I have to say to the troops is "keep on keeping on..."


Simple Pleasures

I just came back in from another pool expedition.

This time was spent watching twilight arrive. Jupiter, Saturn, or Venus (one of the big bright planets) was hanging low in the eastern sky and I enjoyed watching the color of the horizon change from black to various lighter shades of blue.

Most people forced into the 9 to 5 routine never get to see the sights I see several times each week. We’re coming up on the summer solstice—the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere—later this month and then it’s downhill from there.

I love and hate the event (summer solstice), knowing that we’re headed back toward the inevitable 5:45 PM sunsets and the associated psychotic melancholy.

I grew up spending weekends and weeks during the summer on my mother’s father’s farm in rural south Alabama in the 1960’s and came to appreciate the early morning hours, although I personally didn’t have much use for them at the time.

My, my, how times have changed.

Since then I’ve learned to maximize the morning and evening twilight, having taken hundreds of photographs and stored away thousands of mental images of waxing and waning landscapes and vistas through the years.

You haven’t lived until you’ve set alone on a fall day on a boat in Blackwater Sound next to Key Largo, without another boat in sight, as your vessel swings on its anchor line from sunset to sunrise, swatting mosquitoes and sipping Margaritas as God paints an infinite number of images into the heavens.

Speaking of simple pleasures, my raw peanuts are boiling, and it's time to go check them to see if they're done.

Goober Peas, anyone?

The Sun Is Rising

The Torture Continues...

I'm Awake...


OK, Still.

There's nearly a full moon outside, and I've already walked out to the pool to check the progress of the most recent chemical treatment.

Not green any more, but cloudy.


Call me obsessive, but yesterday when I walked out to the pool for my afternoon painting session and found the water GREEN


For the third time in THREE weeks, I felt compelled to spring into action.

So I called Miss Crappy Pants, the miserable mean-spirited lesbian lovely assistant property manager, and was promptly told by her that the pool company had until 5 PM on FRIDAY to accomplish their mission.

“That’s OK,” I responded, but “IF I spent another weekend with pond water substituting for crystal clear pool water there would be hell to pay.”

Within thirty minutes I not only had a visit from the Mr. Pool Maintenance Company Owner, but Miss Crappy Pants also came out in person to sneer at me.

And a damn fine job of sneering she did.

By then I had a bit of a Friday afternoon buzz and I was busy inking in the outlines of my latest painting, so I basically ignored her (Miss Crappy Pants) except to tell her that Mr. Pool Maintenance Company Owner had already stopped by.

What is hilarious to me is that this silly bitch (the miserable mean spirited lesbian Miss Crappy Pants) chooses to obstinately bark at me on the telephone, then she resorts to a capitulating stance after the fact.

Last week she bitched back at me when I called about the pool, then when she realized that I was right she resorted to sending me a FAX rather than calling to talk in person.

Two or three times now she’s had to eat crow after acting unprofessionally in situations where a simple “thanks for the tip, Virgil…I’ll look into the problem” would have been so much easier.

I give the miserable mean spirited lesbian Miss Crappy Pants about another month or two on the job and I'll have her back to her old job asking "you want fries with that?"

She needs to learn that you should never, never, ever, mess with a man that does nothing for a living.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Downside Of Getting Old

Outliving Your Peers

The Carroll High School Class of 1977 lost a great man yesterday when my good friend Mike Parker passed away. Rumor has it he died of cancer.

I was shocked.

I hadn’t seen or heard from Mike since our last class reunion about four years ago because his job as an American Airlines pilot kept him in Dallas while I rambled around Georgia and Florida.

Mike and I grew up together, attended vacation Bible school together, went to church and school together, were in Boy Scouts together, and graduated as part of the pride of our High School class having ambitions to fly fighter jets in the military.

Mike got into the Air Force Academy, while David, Steve, and I had to settle for ROTC scholarships to our respective colleges.

Mike was the only one of us that actually made it to our goal, as my vision went bad (you had to be 20/20 to fly jets) and my determination sagged in my sophomore year of school. I don’t know what happened to David and Steve, but Mike ended up graduating and going to flight school, and he flew F-16’s during the cold war years prior to Operation Desert Storm.

After a couple of tours of duty, Mike got married and opted out of the service, taking a job flying SAAB jets for American Airlines. A horrible auto accident back in the late 1980’s killed his wife and seriously injured him, but as usual—Mike recovered and kept on flying.

He remarried a few years later, to a OB/Gyn doctor, and they had a couple of kids together as he continued his career in aviation.

You couldn’t ask to know a nicer gentleman than Mike Parker. He was just a really good guy—the type of guy that you would want sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet with his thumb on the missile and bomb buttons or hanging onto the yoke of the airliner delivering you and your kids home for Christmas.

We’re all going to miss you a great deal, in peace.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

This Just IN

Al-Zarqawi Is Still Dead

OK, the TV...listen to the radio even...

Now I hope that they will shut the hell up about this story by noon today, because I'm already entirely tired of it.

I should be so lucky.

One swarthy, murdering, uncircumcised moron is dead, but there is a car-bomb load full of wild-eyed, bearded morons following behind him in his footsteps looking to fill his shoes sandals.

Look for Kerry, Dean, Pelosi, Kennedy,, along with all the usual suspects the partisan talking heads and media types to doubt and second guess and move the goalposts yet again because they just can't stop beating the anti-war drum and reciting the "Bush lied--Soldiers Died" mantra.

And after all, in the end, when it's all said and done--we still haven't killed or captured Osama Bin Laden. You do remember the reason for going into Afghanistan in the first place, don't you?

Maybe after Al Zarqawi "Bin Dead" for a while, we can all get a little peace and quiet...

Abu Musab Al-zarqawi Is DEAD

I Suppose That The Virgins Are Shuddering Waxing Their legs...

In the past half hour the internet blasted out the news that the murdering bastard Jordanian terrorist and Al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab Al-zarqawi was killed in an air strike in Iraq. I just turned over to FOX News to catch the live coverage.

I hope that they filled the warheads with a little pork and smeared the outside of the bombs with bacon grease. I support anything that could have been done to make his death not only painful, but also disrespectful to his “peaceful” Islamofascist Muslim beliefs.

Just in case you've been living in a cave or under a rock or are otherwise deprived of news coverage, this murdering son-of-a-bitch is personally responsible for killing hundreds if not thousands of people all over the world in the past few years.

Instead of Virgins, I hope that he finds a herd of particularly angry Camels awaiting him in his oasis of paradise in the afterlife. Hell has a special chamber for men like this, and no amount of prayer or biblical “love thy enemy” preaching should be able to mitigate the celebration associated with the elimination of this miserable waste of oxygen from our planet.

I guess Uday and Qusay Hussein have a new roommate now.

Is That A Gun In Your Pocket?

Or Are You Just Glad To See Me…

As I’ve said many times before here on this blog, I’m a big believer in gun ownership, or at least the right thereof.

I don’t have any of my guns here with me in the condo, but I have two 12 gauge shotguns, a 22 semi-automatic rifle, a clip feed bolt action 22 magnum, and a lovely 30-06 “sniper” rifle residing comfortably in a closet on our farm where they can be quite useful when called upon.

As a kid I had water pistols and cap pistols and BB guns laying around all over the place, something that today’s society is frowning on more and more. Like all young boys in the 1960's, we played politically incorrect games like “cowboy’s and injuns” and “Army” in the woods beside our house.

Apparently such games are the source of scorn now from the “neighborhood Nazis.” As I understand it, now just pointing your finger at another kid and saying “bang bang” can get you tossed out of school in a heartbeat.

People have become so hypersensitive to the appearance of anything that even remotely resembles a real weapon, and the politicians and law enforcement has happily accommodated the hysteria with new laws and legal interpretations that border on ridculous.

That said, take a look at this story about two guys misfortune for possessing a water pistol:

MELBORNE, Fla.--Brevard County authorities said two furniture delivery men were arrested for pointing a water gun at a passing motorist.

The frightened woman thought it was a real gun and pulled into a store to call police.
Authorities tell the newspaper Florida Today that the driver pointed the water gun at the woman as a joke but said she didn't know that.

The two men were delivering furniture at a nearby residence when deputies stopped them. Their names aren't being released.

The woman positively identified the men and said she wants to press charges.

Authorities said it's a felony if someone points an object at another person and they reasonably believe it's a gun.

I’m just going to let this story lie there and fester in the sunlight as a stinking example of how low we’ve sunk as a panty-waisted society full of blubbering morons.

OK...let me reiterate their main point...“it’s a felony if someone points an object at another person and they reasonably believe it’s a gun…”

Testing that hypothesis, if you were a mindless, blithering, anti-gun idiot, and I drove past and pointed THIS at you...

Would YOU seek to have me jailed?

Yeah...I thought so...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Bringing A Knife To A Gunfight

I’ve Met The Enemy, and He is Me

I honored my commitment to be standing in front of the pool house yesterday morning at the appointed time. Actually, I was there at ten minutes before 8 AM.

Surprisingly, everyone was on schedule for a change. I just hate working for free and having to wait on all of the paid people to get there fifteen minutes late, which is usually what happens.

Miss Property Manager was second to arrive. I think that I’ve finally gained her confidence, although I only trust about half of what she tells me right now. (More on that later.)

Being the self-important smart ass that I am, I’m carefully leaking certain Condo Nazi “political” information to her on a “confidential basis” just to see where it ends up going. The good news is that right now I find that she will listen to me when I tell her something important, and that’s all that really matters.

As long as she manages to keep the swimming pool clean and the Condo Nazi’s and their inane rules off my back and away from my grill, I’m happy as a Pig in fresh mud.

Any way, Miss Property Manager told me that she called the mean old bastard retired pawn shop owner Condo Board President to invite him to attend our little meeting, but he was out of town.


He’s continually a pain in my ass and he knows zero about these buildings except for eating, sleeping, and taking a crap in one of the units for the past twenty years or so.

Then she said that he told her that he (the mean old bastard retired pawn shop owner Condo Board president) didn’t want me to attend the meeting.

Maybe I’m just confused…I thought as committee chairman I was IN CHARGE of managing issues when it comes to property maintenance. The mean old bastard retired pawn shop owner lovely gentleman asked me to head the “maintenance committee”, but now he is lamenting me wanting to “run everything” when it comes to maintenance?

Maybe I’m better suited to chairing the swimming pool committee or the geriatrics committee or something.

After the arrivals and introductions, we proceeded to spend an hour and one half ambling over the property with a civil engineer that Miss Property Manager had invited to give us a quote on doing a site topography survey and producing a revised site rain water drainage plan.

I’ve been laughing in my hat ever since the last board meeting when they decided to go the consulting engineer route.

You see, our condos are situated on a flat piece of dirt about four feet above sea level at high tide. The site topography map wouldn’t have any lines on it unless you used a contour increment of three inches or so.

The real problem is that when we get twenty inches of rain in fifteen minutes, some of the old ladies have been getting their orthopedic shoes pumps wet walking to their SUV’s in the parking lot. A couple of ground floor condos have actually had water enter through the back doors when we’re in monsoon season.

I tried to tell the board last year that all we needed to do was get a contractor to bring a half dozen Mexicans laborers and a tractor with a blade and backhoe in here and spend two or three days cleaning out the swales and existing drainage routes that have been allowed to silt in and grow full of grass over the past thirty years.

But nooooooooooo, if doing nothing won’t solve the problem, they decide to turn 180 degrees around and run out and hire a Professional Engineer.

It turns out that Mr. PE, the civil engineer, was about as enthusiastic as I was about the situation. I got him to admit that the cost of the topography survey alone would run in the TENS of THOUSANDS of dollars, and then we’d have to pay for his design and drawings, and then we’d have to hire a contractor to implement his design…

and then if he was going to guarantee his work we’d have to pay one of his guys to stand around on our site each and every hour of each and every day that work was going to be done.

So much for having a new roof this year, but we’d have the fanciest DIRT on Saint Simons Island when the dust finally settled.

After Mr. PE left, I had a final conversation with Miss Property Manager and another member of the board that is a professional home builder. I reiterated my idea to simply cut out the existing sod, re-grade the contours of the dirt, and replace the sod.

Then we’d step back and see what happens in the next rain storm. I figure that for $5,000 we can move a hell of a lot of dirt, and it's clear to me personally that I could manage the project and make a major improvement if they would just let me.

Now I suspect that as usual, now MY idea is THEIR idea, until if and when it fails. Then and only then I'll own it again.

Oh well, at least they can’t fire me, and they can’t cut my pay because I’m already working for free.

I have to be the poorest philanthropist on the entire planet.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Official “Unofficial” Recognition

Turn Your Head And Cough…

I'm thinking that I absolutely MUST be getting better when it comes to practicing my journalism skills.

Take the issues behind this recent posting, Adding Apples And Oranges, where I took to task a Washington DC “Think-Tank” smarty pants, Mr. Anthony Cordesman, whom managed to get his thoughts published on the LA Times Op-Ed page last weekend.

OK, I admit that I did write here on the blog that he was wrong, wrong, wrong in his analysis of the latest Department of Defense report to Congress dated May 31, 2006.


I also tendered this polite text directly to the LA Times:

While I respect Mr. Anthony Cordesman’s position as an analyst with CSIS, his credentials make his flawed numerical and logical analysis of sections of last month’s DOD report to Congress titled Measuring Stability and Security In Iraq even more shocking.

In opening his discussion, he states that only 46%, not 77% as published in the DOD report, of the Iraqi population voted in last December’s election. This assertion has two critical flaws.

First, he assumes that all Iraqis over the age of 14 are eligible to vote, which is patently false. Secondly, he omits the entire
2.05 million registered Iraqi voters living in exile from his calculations.

Having verified that
CIA’s population estimate of 26.8 million, but instead using UNICEF’s estimate of 13.3 million Iraqis aged 18 and over, it is quite easy to calculate the total number of potential voters to be 15.35 million.

Based on the DOD report’s figure of 12.2 million actual voters, one can easily do the math and calculate a number (79%) very close to the DOD’s more conservative published figure of 77%. I believe that this variation is hardly something worthy of opening an editorial by throwing around words like “fundamentally false.”

To further quote Mr. Cordesman’s own words, I suggest, without dissecting the balance his editorial, that it is HE, not the DOD, that is “simply incompetent” in his analysis and reporting of the conditions in Iraq.

Quite an eloquent dissertation…don’t you think?

Well…here’s Mr. Cordesman’s personal E-mail response to my commentary today:

The report clearly states on pages 3 and 6 that "77% of the population voted." It never goes on to qualify what it means by voter turnout beyond that point.

There are many areas where someone can guess what should have been said. Should have doesn't count.

Perhaps ironically, I generally agree with the strategy the US is trying to pursue. It is the quality with which it is executing the strategy, and its reporting that I find to be the problem.

Tony Cordesman

So this highly paid so-called "expert" has to hide his "politcal" rational and commentary behind semantical "issues" as simple as the lack of the words "registered voters" or " elligable voters."

What complete and total CRAPPOLA.

Being the nice guy that I am, here is my (presumably) final rebuttal:

Mr Cordesman,

I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my commentary on your Op-Ed piece in the LA Times...but...

You can't be serious however--defending your analysis on the belief that the DOD would actually assert that everyone alive in Iraq was eligible voter--that's ludicrous.

While I agree that the word "eligible" was omitted in their text, you have expanded what would reasonably be considered to be a typo or otherwise a language error into a gigantic purported lie or misstatement of mathematical facts.

I know that we're each entitled to our own opinions, but I don't believe that someone of your position should be writing such nonsense and using it as an opening argument to support your thesis in the pages of a major national newspaper.

The good news (excuse the pun) is that your writing was clearly identified as "opinion/editorial", not hard news.

Best Regards,

Virgil Rogers

So there you have it Ladies and Gentlemen, I challenge each and every single one of you to differentiate between my own intellectual, logical, and writing skills and that of these so-called “experts” employed by newspapers like the LA Times.

Now where’s my nice fat glass of ice, vodka, and cranberry?

AAAAHHHHHaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh…just as I suspected…


Listening To The Voices

“…they’re telling me to stay home today and clean my guns…”

For those that don’t already get it, my subtitle is actually the punch line to one of my favorite politically incorrect jokes.

The joke involves some guy calling in to work and, having exhausted all of the standard excuses for being absent from his employment, he tells his boss that “the voices told him to stay home and clean his guns…”

What’s an employer to do when faced with the option(s)?

Can you say “postal”?

Any way, that’s not what I’m talking about this morning.

I find myself entirely frustrated with my moronic, self-serving, self important neighbors the lovely people that serve with me on our Condo Board of Directors.

Basically, I‘ve figured out what they (the board) are up to (or down to,) and they’re pissed off at me as a result. Since there is nothing else that they can do to me, they’ve chosen to launch petty anonymous assaults on our use of the property in an effort to cause discomfort and otherwise discredit me personally.

Last week I was told that I couldn’t have my barbeque grill on my front patio. “Twern’t allowed according to the ‘covenants’”, which I couldn’t have a copy of (the covenants) because “I ‘twern’t’ an ‘OWNER’”. And by the way, “they would be contacting the owner of our condo if we didn’t comply…”

Resisting the urge to bitch slap the insolent woman lovely young property manager’s assistant, I said “Fine, I’ll take care of it” as I held my temper in check.

What was interesting to me is that my Webber Kettle has happily resided on the corner of our front porch for at least 18 months without any commentary as to a violation of the sensibilities of the “Condo Nazi” codes.

It was only after my arrival on the board with criticisms that unexpectedly struck a bit close to home with certain useless imbeciles members of said board that our living standards became an issue.

This latest missive was delivered by the property management company’s newest employee—I’ll call her Miss Crappy Pants—in honor of her personality and demeanor.

Actually, her personality could more aptly be compared to that of…oh…I don’t know…possibly…a BRICK?

This assault follows on the heels of the denunciation of my installation of my lovely flamingo and parrot lighting on our screened sun porch last month.

As a result of the latest directive, I had my grill and associated Rubbermaid grilling supply storage locker relocated to our narrow back patio within a half hour of our conversation. I can hardly wait to stand with smoke filled eyes, balancing on one foot, while attempting to handle my next load of grilled beer butt chickens.

Regarding the “Condo Nazi’s” prior efforts…I only need one or two words:

Can you say “ineptitude” or possibly “willful malfeasance”?

Here’s the real problem that I’ve uncovered in my unofficial official capacity as head of the so-called “Maintenance Committee” of Sea Palms Colony.

Again, as an executive summary, I only need three words:

“Everything’s falling apart.”

How simple is that?

Ok, it’s really not that bad, but this place is over thirty years old and has gone from a moderately priced development on a rural coastal island, to a highly coveted property worth about $15 million dollars on an island with ever increasing population density.

The only problem is that until the past few years, when the descendants of the original owners and new buyers started coming in, maintenance was a sideline issue—just so much eyewash on the agenda of the “tea party” annual board meetings.

The board loves to pound their chests and tout their six figure escrow balance and the fact that they keep the annual association fees at a constant level. The only problem is, they should have started increasing the fees each year—five or ten years ago, because they need three or four times as much money as the have in the bank to handle the roof, site drainage, and patio structural issues that I’m finding about now that I’ve started looking at the property details.

At the last board meeting the president basically waived me off and irreverently dismissed my comments, just prior inviting me to excuse myself from the meeting after wasting 75 minutes of my time enduring mindless “Roberts Rules of Order” BS and motions to spend $2,400 planting new palm trees.

Now they want me to meet with their civil engineer this morning to walk the property to address the site drainage issues.

Fine, I’ll be there with bells on.

I’ve been beating that drum (site drainage) for 26 of the 27 months we’ve lived here and I’m probably only one of two people on the board that knows how to use a transit and read a topographical drawing.

The only problem is that we need to buy a new ROOF to keep the rain out of the buildings, but I’m afraid that the cost of the site improvements to make that rain water run off of the property is greater than the amount that we currently have in the bank.

I emphatically stated that FACT in a meeting 18 months ago, but no one listened.

Here’s the bottom line. For the past five or ten years our condo board has been populated by people that are very old and know that their time here in these condos, if not on this planet, is quite limited. Their strategy has been to vote to limit their out of pocket costs to a minimum, knowing that they are either going to buy the farm die else move into assisted living before the bills come due.

Thus the low bank balance and ensuing fiscal crisis.

I have in the past lamented the fact that we might have missed a good deal by not purchasing our condo when we moved here in 2004. Now I am certain that I am glad that we didn’t buy and hold it past about right now because the proverbial feces is about to strike the fan blades and the result is going to be a SUBSTANTIAL increase in annual condo fees in addition to a SUBSTANTIAL assessment to cover the existing cash shortfall.

The condo board is definitely going to have a shit fit regret their intimidation campaign and failure to heed my warnings when I get through delivering the written results of my independent investigation to all 48 owners. The ground is already shaking under my feet.

If you don’t hear back from me soon, someone please call 911.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Poisoned By Moroccan Food

I Think I’m Gonna Explode

I’ve always been fascinated with the Northern African country of Morocco.

Forget places like London, Paris, and Rome; if I had the time and money I’d head straight to Portugal, and then when I was through drinking all of the Port wine I could consume I would catch a commuter plane or ship and head down to Casablanca.

Then I’d hang out with all the other Bogart and Bergman fans at “Ricks” sipping Sherry & Cognac while listening to Sam’s replacement pianist “playing it again.”

Unfortunately, since Morocco is something like 97% Muslim, I think it best to keep my white Redneck butt here stateside for the time being. Not to worry, however, because I can always cook Moroccan food here at home and pretend that I’m looking out at the Mediterranean or the far side of the Atlantic.

That’s just what we did last night.

Take a look at this recipe for Moroccan Chicken with Apricot Couscous and Green Olive Sauce in Flatbread.

I cooked my own version last night, and let me tell you—I ate more at one sitting that I have in months if not years. The whole condo smells like a Moroccan Bazzar (without the goat & camel dung) from the unique aroma of the spices involved.

The spice list includes cinnamon, cloves, cayenne pepper, cumin seed, fennel seed, coriander, sweet paprika, kosher salt, and brown sugar. You put everything but the salt and sugar in a skillet and heat it up to bring out the oils, then after it cools off a little you run everything through a spice mill to grind it up.

Instead of a whole chicken, I took some boneless chicken breasts and coated them with the spice mixture, then wrapped them up around lemon wedges, diced garlic, and cilantro; then pinned them all together with toothpicks and baked it in the oven.

The couscous has apricots, almonds, mint, cilantro, and green onions all mixed together with kosher salt and lemon juice.

The Green Olive sauce has Shallots, parsley, sherry, rice vinegar, and olive oil pureed smooth, smooth, smooth in a food processor.

I didn’t have time to bake the Lavosh (flat bread) myself and our Catholic/Protestant grocer didn’t even have any Pita bread available, so we had to settle for some pretty good Tomato Basil bread that was fresh baked yesterday afternoon.

We sat down to eat about 8:15 PM.

I was in a food induced coma by 9:00 PM, thus the lack of posting before midnight.

I tell you this, if you spend your entire life eating basic meat and potato dishes and never venture offshore to sample other countries’ cuisine, at least in your home and restaurant cooking and dining, you are missing one of life’s greatest pleasures.

I’m working up a recipe for Lavosh bread and I guarantee you that we’ll be eating Moroccan Chicken again this weekend.

Stop by about 7 PM, if you will…

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Time To Bake The Biscuits My Brains Out

Still Working On My First Case Of Skin Cancer

I'm forced to go to the pool this morning, because the sun is shining brilliantly and there's a law or something to that effect.

I hate it...well...actually not.

I feel a good rant coming on, but I guess that it will just have to wait.

Bartender...SPF 30 for everyone...on my tab...