Monday, December 31, 2007

Clinton Campaign Has A Good Point

They're Thinking Speaking The Unspeakable Unthinkable...

It seems that last weekend a few folks associated with the Clinton campaign made some public comments about the potential invalidity of maintaining Iowa voter's importance in the overall National election picture.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (CNN) – Just days before the Iowa caucuses, a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter criticized the state’s privileged role in the presidential nominating process, forcing her campaign to declare that she did not agree with the assessment.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland was quoted in Sunday’s edition of The Columbus Dispatch as saying that it “makes no sense” to grant Iowa the right to hold the first contest of the 2008 race for the White House.

"I'd like to see both parties say, 'We're going to bring this to an end,'" Strickland told the newspaper.

Competing campaigns seized on the article and emailed it around to reporters to highlight Strickland’s comments late Sunday night. The Clinton campaign moved quickly, and issued a statement shortly after midnight distancing the New York senator from the governor’s remarks.

“Senator Clinton has worked her heart out campaigning in Iowa because she knows it plays a unique and special role in the nominating process and that process must be protected,” read the statement. “As she has said many times she is glad Iowans are entrusted with this responsibility because they take it so seriously. On this issue Hillary and Gov. Strickland strongly disagree.”

Now wait just a darn minute Folks...I think that the good Governor might be on to something here, because I've wondered that exact same thing myself in the past election years and again in the past few weeks heading into January.

Bringing the subject up again, I did a little Googling and found this information about the state of Iowa here and here.

When thinking about the validity of kicking off something as important as the process of choosing the president of the most powerful nation on the planet, wouldn't you expect to base the first results on an "average" sampling of people representing the country's "Average" population, right?

Well, if that were the case than you'd be WRONG, because the population of Iowa is far, far from a representation of the true average American mainstream. For instance:

Iowa's population is only 2,982,000--less than 1% of the nation's total (by the way, being an Agricultural state, there are 16.6 million Hogs living in they get to "caucus" also?)

The population of Iowa's largest city, Des Moines, is only 194,311.

Unfortunately, something which I couldn't find valadation of was the true count of the number of people expected to actually show up at the polls for the Democratic and Republican primaries on January 3rd. Based on averages, it's probably less than 50% of registered voters--many times somewhere in the 20% or 30% range.

That means you can knock the Iowa Caucus down to being the opinion of somewhere in the area of less than a million people out of 300 million Americans...1/3 of 1%.

I'm sure that you will excuse me if I admit that for some reason I personally am not impressed.

That said, now I have to ask how in the heck the media and the political elite can place so much emphasis on what Iowa "Caucusers" think this week, when most of the time they could care less what the farmers and "hayseed" residents of our country believe and about which issues they worry about on a daily basis?

After all, there is no major metropolitan area in the state of Iowa and, with so few people living within its external borders, what's the big deal with what this little 1% of Amercans think?

And another interesting thing I found when looking at the demographic data on the Great State of Iowa--something that should piss off Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton in the process...

Iowa's population is 95% white/Caucasian, with African Americans and Hispanics making up only 2.3% and 3.7 % of the citizenry respectively.

I thought that those numbers were somewhere around 12% and 14% nationally.

How can they let that happen?

Yeah...I thought so...

NY Times Gets A Clue?


In the past, I, like many other independent minded/libertarian/conservatives, have lambasted the NY Times editorial page for their inane, one sided content that most of the time cannot stand up to even the lowest levels of intellectual scrutiny.

As a result, in the past year or so the Times elected to hide their Editorial content in their online edition behind their paid subscription service--ostensibly as a protective measure shielding their mush-mined columists from bloggers like myself who are not willing to toss cash at them in return for the hours and pages of blogging topics their ill founded and poorly thought out essays represent.

In spite of this ongoing online blockade, this morning I was pleased to learn about the Sunday announcement that conservative columnist Bill Kristol is joining pseudo-conservative David Brooks on the NY Times editorial page next week.

His column will run one day a week against the two a week offerings of Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd, Thomas Friedman, Nick Kristof, and Gail Collins.

Of course liberals the world over are shrieking in indignation that the Times, with Brooks two columns and Kristol's weekly offering, is now at a 1-1/2 to 5 disadvantage in opinion thinking (or the lack thereof.)

The move still doesn't make things at the NY Times fair and balanced in my opinion either, but it's a good start.

Of course the liberals will probably expect the Times to hire Al Franken or Al Gore or even Wierd Al Yankovic to slide things back to the left.

I say let them eat cake...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The First Bar-B-Que Grilling

And Shepherd's Kept Watch Over their Weber Kettles Flocks By Night...

(click to enlarge)

Notice the little Black and Tan Dockie standing Guard?

Instead of a charcoal grill, that thing in the middle is actually a little candle holder I bought this weekend in my Mother's favorite gift shop in her home town.

Obviously we made it back home this afternoon to our little island in spite of Mother Nature's wrath, and after unpacking and consuming a nice Sushi dinner...I believe that I'll rest now.

Also, I guess that I'll get an early start on wishing you all a Happy New Year...a day and a half in advance...

Drought...What Drought???

Would Someone Please Call Noah?

I hereby announce that I've come to believe that I have weather powers verging on "Mythical."

You see, I can conjure up a major rainstorm virtually every single time that I visit my century old family farm in south Alabama--IF I have work to do outside.

When it's not raining, then it's 100 degrees and I'm trying to stand on the roof or work in the attic of the house.

We've visited south Alabama twice in the past week and one half and it's rained EVERY SINGLE DAY I'VE BEEN HERE, and it's not just affecting me and my good intentions--it's getting to the entire family.

Instead of letting Missy the Turbo Pup wander around the lake without a leash attached to her fuzzy neck, we've been forced to tie a rope to her and let her take a few steps off the breeze way by the pool to "do her business."

The roofs and gutters on three buildings are still covered with pine straw, and there is no way that I'm lugging my new cupola into position in its lofty perch over the garage, in spite of extending the visit by one if not two days (due to bad weather.)

We just had another round of thunderstorms before midnight, and looking at the Mobile, AL weather radar there is more heading this way from where that came from. I'd say we're pushing six inches of rain in the past week, and it isn't supposed to end until late tomorrow when the weather plunges into the high twenties overnight for a few days.

That Global Warming...she be a real BITCH.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Different Kind of Christmas Shopping

Power Tools From Sears...

Here's a quick peek at the unpainted results of my handiwork:

And here's some of the tools I used to put everything together:

Time to add some tarpaper and shingles, and put on a coat of paint.

Travel Rain Delay

The Tower Put Us On A Ground Hold...

I awoke this morning expecting to finish up some maintenance details around the property, take a few pictures of my finished but unpainted and uninstalled cupola, then hit the road back toward our little island by 9 AM eastern.


Upon reviewing the satellite picture and radars at Ft. Rucker, AL and Jacksonville, FL it was clear that unless we wanted to travel in a driving rain all day that alternate plans were in order.

Things only look slightly better in 24 hours, but I made an executive decision to wait until tomorrow to make the trip.

I was tempted to act like the airlines by loading our luggage in the car, then driving out to the end of the driveway and sitting for 45 minutes to an hour before returning to the terminal building departure gate my mom's house to wait out the weather--but I thought better of the idea in the end.

I make weird jokes about the prospect, but I admit that this Christmas holiday certainly has been a difficult one for people that had to fly to get to their destinations.

I have a rule about Christmas and Thanksgiving travel--it goes like this.


Pretty simple, huh?

Another trick that is guaranteed to piss off your wife and mother is to travel ON CHRISTMAS OR THANKSGIVING DAY. You can OWN the airport and rental car counter on Christmas day.

Early on the the Sunday morning (6:00 AM) after Thanksgiving is also a good time to go to the airport. I've flown to an ASME conference in Orlando on the Sunday morning after Thanksgiving three or four times back in the 1990's and the airport was a Tomb. The car companies were giving away rental cars and you could walk into Disney and Universal without standing in line because all of the kids were back in school.

Another holiday travel trick I used to use involved going to the Florida Keys on Labor Day Monday. There would be a traffic jam of cars moving north from Key Largo to Homestead, and my Suburban would be the lone vehicle heading south on the overseas highway. of three vehicles southbound...but you get my drift.

The hotels were half price and the restaurants were glad to have your business and the weather was exactly the same as the week before Labor Day without the bulging crowds of college students and Hemingway wannabe's.

I guess that is one of the better advantages of being unemployed self-employed is that you don't have to live on everyone else's holiday and vacation schedules.

So now I have to go install a couple of ballasts in the kitchen lights and then cook some breakfast. Y'all be safe if you're traveling today--make an executive decision like I did if you have to.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Goin' To Alabama

With My Banjo Computer On My Knee

After seven more hours in a car today, I'll do some writing and some construction and until then...

Talk to y'all later

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The History Of Christmas

Click Here And Take A Look

Via my blog friends and idols over at Powerline.

Too Tired To Eat

I Need Another Refrigerator

Dang I'm Tired.

I'm starting to think that anyone who believes that working in the construction industry is harder than working in a restaurant kitchen should be taken out and flogged--or at least dressed in cooking attire and dumped into the Souse Chef position in a 50 seat restaurant for a couple of evenings.

Do that and you'll have a different attitude toward your restaurant experience the next time you go out to dinner.

Any way...this cooking for large crowds fantasy of mine is starting to get the best of me in spite of my best efforts. It's not the actual menu design and cooking that's the problem, it's the logistics of getting all of the food done on time, having it hot on the buffet line, and accomplishing same in a small residential kitchen.

In the past I've prepared an entire Cinco de Mayo feast for over thirty participants a couple of years ago and done several meals for six or eight, but I think that yesterday's "Christmas Feast for Sixteen" finally got my goat when it comes to single oven cooking.

By 3 PM yesterday I must have looked something like a whirling dervish, spinning around at orbital rotational velocity having already delivered my horseradish crusted beef tenderloin and two pans of uncooked cornbread dressing to our friend's home, along with chafing dishes and ancillary supplies that were in my way on the counter tops of my little kitchen.

Then reality set in as the oven, not my efforts and ability, proceeded to create a logjam in the food delivery process. Pat's scalloped potatoes took a little longer than planned, the glazed ham needed 75 minutes of heat at one temperature, and I still had shitaki mushroom gravy and the Oysters Rockefeller appetizer to put together.

Picture me stirring gravy with one hand and opening fresh oysters with the other.

It can't be done..but I had to wait until the last minute to open and prep the oysters because there wasn't room in our fridge for two pans containing two dozen oysters with spinach toppings. When it was all said and done, I figured out that I should have prepped the Oysters earlier in the day and delivered them along with the balance of the earlier shipment to the scene of the crime dinner venue.

When the dust finally settled about seven thirty PM, seven pounds of ham, five pounds of beef tenderloin, and gobs of other stuff that I can't recall right now were consumed and my Mom and Pat dragged me back home and laid me on the sofa to recuperate.

Unfortunately I didn't eat half of the dishes I cooked, and I didn't eat half of what did make it onto my plate because...

I'm Tired.

Why do I do this to myself?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Here's Wishing You

A Very...

(yes...I drew that picture myself a few years ago...)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Flying Away For Christmas

Vapor Trails anyone?

I was running through the day's photos this evening after opening Christmas gifts, and I came across this photo of the evidence of the commercial air traffic over our little island about noon today.

Here...take a look:

The image was shot looking south across St. Andrews Simons (oops) Sound toward Jekyl Island.

We're under the north-south flyway and it's not unusual to see "contrails," but today the atmosphere was such that it seemed to hold the vapor trails in suspended anamation.

I count over two dozen there myself.

Pretty cool...Huh?

Christmas Eve In Paradise

Hope Yours Is Lovely...

Early Grocery Shopping

Harris Teeter Beckons...

I'm happy to report that we made it home yesterday by late afternoon with little harassment and fuss as Sunday turned out to be a light travel day.

A combination of good luck and good planning I guess.

After an early dinner at our usual table with the friendly staff at Blackwater Grill, we retired back home to recover from the trip while I thrashed around reviewing Tuesday's menu, the recipe details, and made up my final shopping list.

I plan on being at the grocery store when it opens this morning in order to avoid another situation that might cause me to have some kind of screaming epileptic fit or collapse into a deep unrecoverable catatonic state in the parking lot after encountering hoards of wild eyed last minute shoppers.

I think going early is best for everyone's safety--mine and the general public. better head over to the mall to start your shopping this morning. I know that you have all day, but why not try to get done early and head over to the local tavern before they close Christmas eve?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Rant From The Road

The ASSociated Press Strikes Again...

I was looking through Drudge this morning to see what was going on in the world when I came across this headline: "Rocket launched into space; carries satellite to guide weapons."

Holly Cow, the Russians or the Chinese are sending space weapons up into orbit I thought.


After reading for five seconds I learned that it was the United States, not our enemies that's responsible; the so called "satellite to guide weapons" is in fact in space right now, and it was launched by a rocket, not a slingshot or a "super soaker."

Beyond those facts the implication of the Headline and most of the ASSociated press article is pretty much hyperbole and the usual innuendo laced BS.

CAPE CANAVERAL - A rocket carrying a GPS satellite to better guide military weapons was launched into space Thursday.The Delta 2 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 3:04 p.m. with the modernized NAVSTAR Global Positioning System Block 2R military navigation satellite aboard for the U.S. Air Force.

The satellite is part of a constellation of 24 and one of eight that were modernized to more precisely guide weapons and a variety of civilian applications.

See, this is another perfect example of what I'm always bitching about regarding the headlines and story text of the ASSociated Press and much of the balance of the Lamestream media.

Ordinarily this would be a non-story, but by tossing on a headline they probably got a couple of inches of column space in every little newspaper in the US.

What these rocket scientist media experts fail to tell you is that your "Tom Tom" or your Garman or Magellan GPS that you use to navigate your drive to the mall today or over to Grandma's house on Christmas has been using what were originally MILITARY SATELLITES that have been in orbit for decades and are wearing out and being replaced every year.

In reality, this event was just the latest launch of a replacement satellite, not some new ominous plan to militarize space beyond the level that's been common for the past thirty years. The Europeans and the Russians are also in the process launching their own GPS type systems because our system doesn't currently cover the entire surface of the earth.

What total unmitigated, useless, moronic CRAPPOLA. Don't you agree?

Now get back to wrapping packages and mixing egg nog...and all of you men head on over to the mall and get started with your shopping for your wife or girlfriend.

Let me worry interpreting the meaning of satellite launches...

You certainly can't count on the ASSociated press to tell you anything of value.


Cupola Wins Round One

Going Home To Regroup For Christmas

Well, the hard pressure treated lumber bested my best intentions and the shop's ability to carve decent uniform louvers of the size and thickness I had designed, so I had to resort to plan "B" on Saturday.

By four o'clock I had four 35" wide x 22" high panels full of wooden louvers and plywood panels for the cupola roof cut out, but I was short one base frame assembly and the roof structure was a figment of my imagination as I had run out of lumber and energy.

I resorted to tidying up the shop, doing some more design on AutoCAD, then showering and heading out to a Bar-B-Que dinner before coming home to crash for the evening in anticipation of hitting the road back to our little Island this morning.

We'll be on the road in the rain and fog that the Weather Channel decided to predict yesterday, after telling us on Thursday that it would be sunny and clear. I swear that all of the Global Warming loonies aught to consider the accuracy of short term weather forecasts (less than one week out) before they run around screaming about forecast weather trends which run over decades if not centuries.

Time to finish packing and load the car, then we brave the "holiday weekend" morons on the road for another seven hours.

Wish us luck...if you will.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Living In The Cabinet Shop

Cupola Construction...

Having survived the trip across south Georgia and Alabama, today finds me transitioning my construction tallents into my Dad's cabinet shop with the intent of building a replacement Cupola for the roof of the main house.

The old cupola, also home made, is over fifteen years old and is suffering the effects of the sub-tropical weather and the South Alabama sun.

A replacement of equivalent style and quality cost over $600, while the material cost is something under $75 so the decision was obvious, and the results serve as part of my Christmas gift to my mother.

Of course building one is twice as much fun as ordering one and waiting on the truck to arrive.

Time to go make some sawdust...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Beating The Holiday Traffic

On The Road Again...

I don't think that we could hang one more light or place one more ribbon on the tree, house, or furniture, so we're off to lower Alabama by car this morning--happy that the rain blew through last night and most everyone else won't be traveling until Saturday or Monday (hopefully.)

After a little maintenance work and some visiting, we're heading back this way Sunday with Mom in tow for Christmas and a four day tour of the Golden Isles.

I've got a HUGE meal to cook, beginning preparations on Monday and serving fourteen hungry mouths late Tuesday afternoon. I haven't had time to panic yet...because I have a Cupola to build for my Mom's house in the mean time and fourteen hours of sitting in a car to contemplate my situation.

Y'all have a good weekend...if you will.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Time Magazine Still Full Of Crap

Take Your Copy To The Bathroom And Leave It There...

I read yesterday that Time Magazine named Vladimir Putin their 2007 "Man of the Year." I can't find a decent sized copy of the cover photo to post here, but you can read the story here on the Times website.

Imagine that?

After all, Time has a long, long history of political insurrection and irresponsibility--they even named Hitler and Stalin back to back "Men of the Year" in the years leading up to the US entry into World War II.

Liberal Media Assholes...can't live with them...apparently no way to live without them.

Is it just Me?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Your Daily Reading

Thought For The Day...

You need to read Victor Davis Hanson's essay "In War: Resolution:"

What can be done about our impatience, historical amnesia, and utopian demands for perfection? American statesmen need to provide constant explanations to a public not well versed in history—not mere assertions—of what misfortunes to expect when they take the nation to war. The more a president evokes history’s tragic lessons, the better, reminding the public that our forefathers usually endured and overcame far worse. Americans should be told at the start of every conflict that the generals who begin the fighting may not finish it; that what is reported in the first 24 hours may not be true after a week’s retrospection, and that the alternative to the bad choice is rarely the good one, but usually only the far worse. They should be apprised that our morale is as important as our material advantages [emphasis mine-VRR]—and that our will power is predicated on inevitable mistakes being learned from and rectified far more competently and quickly than the enemy will learn from his.

Only that way can we reestablish our national wartime objective as victory, a goal that brings with it the acceptance of tragic errors as well as appreciation of heroic and brilliant conduct. The Iraq war and the larger struggle against the anti-American jihadists can still be won—and won with a resulting positive assessment of our overall efforts by future historians who will be far less harsh on us than we are now on ourselves. Yet if as a nation we instead believe that we cannot abide error, or that we cannot win due to necessary military, moral, humanitarian, financial, or geopolitical constraints, then we should not ask our young soldiers to continue to try. As in Vietnam where we wallowed in rather than learned from our shortcomings, we should simply accept defeat and with it the ensuing humiliating consequences. But it would be far preferable for Americans undertaking a war to remember these words from Churchill, in his 1930 memoir: “Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter.”

From my Friends and Idols over at Powerline.

The Guest List Grows

...Along With The Menu

I'm sitting here this morning working on plans for my big Christmas Feast. The guest list just went from eleven to fourteen yesterday afternoon.

Here's a copy of the current Menu Cards I'm making which I'll be printing out later this morning for the girl's approval:

Of course nothing is final at this point because I have to slide this past four grown women that are happy to have me slaving away in the kitchen but at the same time want to add side dishes and get their own names and influence on my efforts.

I'm trying to maintain control of the non-salad Appetizers, the ham, tenderloin, stuffed tilapia, and the cornbread dressing because I've mastered those dishes and cooked most of them many times previously.

The Bread Pudding is also on my to-do list . I've never made it before, but I'm doing a small test batch later this week and I'm confident that I can make it work because I have a good recipe.

I think that I'm tired already.

(And its back to the construction site this morning...Yawn)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

'Twas The Week Before Christmas...

Feeling Rushed Through The "Holiday" Season?

A million years ago, back in the days when I was a kid and I had virtually nothing else to do with my money but buy things like "Mad Magazine" comic books, I remember coming across a passage in one of the aforementioned editions of "Mad" that went something like this:

Twas the month before Christmas, and all through the store

each Department was dripping, with Yuletide decor.

The Muzak was blaring an out of tune Carol,

and Fake Snow was falling in Ladies Apparel.

It's amazing how true that passage still rings today.

We went out looking for a Christmas Tree yesterday afternoon, and panic was starting to set in after finding a total of four trees--three at the Ace Garden Center and one at a local nursery--at our first two stops. All Ace had was two giant ten footers and one little four foot "Charley Brown" tree.

We ended up driving back by the local farmers market where we learned that our usual source--the Rotary Club--had lost their butts with leftover trees last year and had cut their inventory in half this year. All they had left were the culls and rejects from their limited Virginia Pine inventory.

Fortunately, one of the other Farmers market vendors saved the day by providing us with a nice little 7' tall Leyland Cypress.

Outside of Christmas preparations, it's "T-Minus Two Days and Counting" here in the Golden Isles on the construction project as I have to finish this week's work by Wednesday afternoon in anticipation of driving over to southern Lower Alabama for three or four days to do some work on the farm and to pick up Mom for the return trip back over here to spend Christmas week.

We have tons of sightseeing and fine dining planned for her next week, and then of course I have an extensive Christmas Day meal to cook for ten or eleven hungry mouths. The guest count and the menu has grown steadily over the past few weeks--why I do this to myself I'll never know.

Thank GOD we got all of the Christmas cards and packages sent on their way by the middle of last week so that we don't have to go anywhere near the Post Office or a UPS/FedEX location between now and January 1st...else I just might have to try to hurt myself with a spoon or butter knife.

As things stand right now, if I can make it to Saturday the only risk of death by kitchen utensil will be eating too much food in the ensuing celebrations.

Imagine that?

Monday, December 17, 2007

I Hurt My Nose PickingTouchpad Finger

Inconvenience Squared...

I'm back home from the job site a little earlier than expected today because I finally managed to harm myself--not badly--but it made me mad and I just cleaned up, loaded up the truck, and came home in a huff.

The building originally had natural gas radiant heaters in every room and gas stoves/water heaters and I've slowly been cutting off or removing the old pipes from the walls.

Today's injury involved a little three inch tall stub pipe sticking out of what was one of the kitchen floors that served the long ago relocated water heater. I've been tripping over it since last week when we started moving walls around, and today after tripping on it a half dozen times I finally managed to pinch my right index finger between it and the pneumatic framing nailer frame when I tried to lay the nailer down.

Screaming, profanity, and blood flow ensued as it really hurt in the 50 degree temperatures we were working in with the door open all morning.

I took a sledge hammer and beat the pipe into submission after installing a bandaid--now blood soaked--on the end of my finger.

Typing also sucks with the bandaid sticking off the end of the fingertip...

I've got to go now and do some first aide before making a trip to make a Christmas tree purchase.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ghost Pictures

He's Resting In The Theater Attic Tonight...

Strike The Set

Yet Another Successful Dickens' Production

Last night we had dinner with five friends over at Christies in Brunswick and attended the latest show at the Ritz Theater.

All and all a successful evening, I think.

This wasn't my favorite version of the script for "A Christmas Carol", the but Mayor Thompson did his usual good job as Scrooge and the kids danced and mumbled their way through the dialogue in good order with no awkward pauses or obvious missed lines.

The Ghost of Christmas Future Puppet came out pretty well, and I already have some ideas for using parts of it again in a future season in slightly modified form.

I guess now it's time to start my Pizza crust rising for the evening meal while we wander over to take Mr. Ghost Puppet apart after this afternoon's matinee show and break the simple set back down into individual panels and pieces.

It's always sad for me to tear down the world you build for one of these shows, even if it's imaginary and the residents that live and die there are just actors. Fortunately we're spending a half hour making posed still photos of some of the scenes before it all evaporates into every ones' memories.

Photo postings to follow later...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I'm Calling In Dead Sick Today

Weather Saves Old Body From Breaking Down...

Well, I've been nursing a bit of a head/chest cold this week--trying to beat it with a positive mental attitude and ZiCAM. I'd say right now that we've fought to a solid tie.

I've used up a half box of tissue while basically keeping things moving forward. I just had so much to do and it was really impractical to reschedule the deadlines with trucks and deliveries, but today I'm making an executive decision and staying off the jobsite to let my body rest.

The real final reason for today's absenteeism was the rain front that is blowing in this morning--that and the fact that all of the new wall framing has to be built outside in the front yard.

Since the giant gaping hole I tore in the front wall on Friday is temporarily closed up with OSB panels, I've decided things can wait until tomorrow or Monday to finish up the new framing and sheathing.

All is not lost however, as there's still the obligatory trip to Lowe's to buy some more supplies, then possibly brave a couple of stores looking for a TV card for the new server PC and some other personal stuff.

Y'all have a good weekend...if you will.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Some Concrete Giveth

And Some Concrete Must Be Taketh Away

I'm happy to report that the new concrete slab survived last evening unscathed, I found my lumber stockpile to be intact when I arrived to accept the delivery of the new windows yesterday morning, and now I'm pleased to announce...

(drum roll please)

that today is the final "Demolition Day" over on Wolfe Street in Brunswick, Georgia.

Thank GOD!

I've already worn out one cheep Skilsaw (actually a Ryobi) and one diamond blade cutting large holes in concrete walls, and the second sacrificial saw will be tossed into the construction dumpster sometime after it arrives later this morning.

After making about 50' of additional cuts in 4" and 8" cinder block walls in order to enlarge one rough bathroom door opening and more importantly, blow out a 12' wide section of the exterior front wall, the transformation of my old 1959 vintage duplex into an 1,100 square foot single family home will be complete.

Thank GOD!!!

The new floor plan features three bedrooms, two baths, a laundry/utility room, and a generous sized combination living/dining area attached to a good sized modern kitchen with lots of counter and cabinet space (by starter home standards.)

You could hardly turn around in the old efficiency plan living/kitchen areas of the duplex floor plan, but courtesy of my genius architectural efforts I'm ending up with a very livable like-new home that is only limited by the neighborhood.

Move it north or south about three miles and it would be worth an additional $50,000, but that disadvantage was factored into the price I payed for the property to begin with.

Any way, I dread holding onto that saw wearing safety glasses and a respirator for an hour making concrete dust, but the work has to be done and after that there will be another couple tons of concrete block chunks and other debris including things like sinks and toilets which have to be loaded into the dumpster.

Why I torture myself like this I'll never know, but I'm past the point of no return now. I have stacks of new windows and doors to install and siding to hang and other untold punch list items to accomplish, and unless Aliens beam me up to an orbiting UFO or out to Mars...I'll be on my job site bright and early tomorrow morning.

In the mean time, will someone please write an essay or at least a few nasty words for me about the silly woman they used to moderate the Republican & Democratic Debates in Iowa? Where do they get these women, and why are they always liberal Democrats?

I didn't like girls like that in college, and I have even less patience with them out here in the real world as an Adult. I'm sure they don't care much for me either, but ask me if I care.

Maybe it's just Me?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Concrete Solutions

Answers To Questions I Never Wanted To Ask...

I regret to tell you that after yesterday I've decided that I'm pretty sure that my body is getting too old to physically accomplish a good deal of the crap that my mind comes up with for me to do.

Due to medical reasons associated with my ever increasing age, over the past twenty five years I've stopped doing a number of things which I once loved to do--long distance running, flying airplanes, Slalom Water Skiing, and scuba diving easily come to mind --and I can add several of yesterday's tasks to that ever increasing list without the least regret.

A truck showed up about 9:30 AM with eight interior doors, a stack of OSB and exterior siding panels, and 1,760 pounds of pre-mixed dry concrete. By 9:45 their little fork lift had left me and my materials standing in my front yard scratching my body parts.

What the $#%@&* was I thinking?

I elected to save money by paying a single $59 delivery fee, but now I was looking at having to either use the material on Wednesday else move the excess inside so it could be locked away from the third world thugs theiving crack heads lovely local residents which had already elected to remove my kitchen sink and $5 worth of functioning copper pipe from the project over the past few years.

At my mind's request, my body poured, troweled, and floated a 6' wide by 12' long, 2" thick section of 4000 PSI concrete on top of an existing area of concrete in a little over two hours using a small electric mixer. ( For the experts out there that care, I even used a concrete bonding agent on the well cleaned existing 4" slab.)

Then I came home, stripped off my filthy clothes, and collapsed in a heap on the sofa.

I think that Pat was impressed with the process, and I have to emphatically state that if it weren't for her providing psychological support and measuring and hauling buckets of water back and forth between the kitchen and the mixer I'd probably still be there this morning frozen in a cloud of concrete dust.

The mixer was the the real lifesaver of the project, religiously handling two eighty pound bags of Quikrete and 2-1/2 gallons of water at a time. Together we mixed eleven batches--it seemed like one hundred and eleven--as I lugged the eighty pound bags from the pallet to the mixer drum, then rolled the sloppy load over and dumped it out inside the form work.

I also panicked as I mixed the last two loads because it looked like I was going to run out of cement before the form was filled completely, and I had ordered one extra bag of cement beyond the 21 bags recommended by the manufacturer's website material calculator.

Would you believe that I had less than a couple of shovels full of concrete left on the ground when I was finished?

I guess that the Construction Gods were smiling on me that day.

I was so tired that I ended up leaving the OSB and siding sitting on the front porch (something that is routine on most job sites), so I have to go back over this morning to move and stack it inside the front dining room and to meet the truck that will be delivering my new windows at 9 AM.

I sure hope that the wood is still there.

The new windows will also have to be moved inside to await beginning the process of their installation next Monday.

In the mean time I have some other final internal framing details to complete, and of course there is the inevitable trip to Lowe's for even more lumber and tools.

The best part of today's trip will be buying...


If I wasn't so tired I probably wouldn't have slept last night, but sleep I did, thus the lack of late posting.

I've got to go now and do some more reading on choosing a nailer so I can make a good selection.

Wish me luck, if you will...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Time To Mix The Concrete

I'm Tired Already...

We're scheduled to be at Lowe's when the doors open at 7:00 AM this morning, then pick up the cement mixer at 7:30 and wander over to the job site to get things started on what will be a loooooonnnnggggg day.

Pat's promised to hang around for the first two or three hours while we wait on the truck to deliver the materials, then lend a hand and dial 911 just in case I get my pants leg or ear tangled up in the cement mixer.

I'm actually pretty excited because this week will see the building footprint take it's final modified shape and by next week the external envelope will be finished except for paint and possibly some trim work.

I'm not setting any land speed records here, taking seven months give or take a little to do work that should have been done in less than 90 days...but hey, it's my project and I've had a darn good time doing virtually everything myself--just to prove that I can.

Next time I'll probably hire some help...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Feverish Procrastination

Putting Off The Inevitable...

Well, the bad news is that I didn't go to the jobsite yesterday.

Believe me when I say that it wasn't for lack of desire or effort. It was just clear at the last minute Sunday night that due to a lack of adequate planning on my part that there really wasn't much to do that couldn't be done on Tuesday because:

A. I had no idea where I was getting my concrete and...

B. I had no clue when I could get it delivered.

So by executive indecision, I stayed home to work around the house and order materials in anticipation of the week's work. It still ended up being a productive day regardless of the slow start.

In addition to getting a refinishing stain coat on an old crappy antique table we use in our entry foyer, I also got started staining one of my new home made nightstand tables, and a bunch of pictures got hung up on the guest bedroom walls using the laser level.

Also, as a result of having handed out my Visa Card number to Lowes on the telephone late yesterday, now I absolutely must leave our little island, drive across the causeway, and raise a dust storm for four or five hours this morning because sometime on Wednesday morning I have a ton of Quikrete, sixteen sheets of exterior siding board, some OSB, and eight interior doors arriving on a delivery truck.

Then there is the rented portable cement mixer...did I mention that I need one of those?

Well I do, and I have to admit that I'm a little afraid of the process.

The plan is to add a two inch thickness of concrete to a 6' x 12' area of an existing front porch slab so that I can extend the new dining room walls into the newly prepared area. In the process I've had to learn about concrete bonding agents (already purchased) and pray that running a cement mixer isn't that different from mixing cement in a wheelbarrow with a hoe.

Wish me luck, if you will ...

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Turbo Pup Takes On Santa

I'm Not Sure Who's More Uncomfortable...

Missy the Turbo Pup visited Pet Smart yesterday, and while she was there Pat tossed her into the "Pet Santa's" lap for a photo. Here, take a look:

If you've never before seen a little soon to be one year old Mini long haired Dachshund petrified with terror, you have now.

"Officer...Police...Pervert with a white beard in a red suit over Meeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

(I'm not sure if that was worth six bucks for one print with a cheesy frame, but we have it now and I scanned it violating the intellectual property rights contract because I don't care.)

A Day Off

And A Busy Week

As you may have noticed, I took yesterday off and didn't write anything. Sorry if you missed my ramblings, but if you write as much as I do your realize that sometimes you just have to give your fingers and your synapses a break for a little while.

Instead of ranting, what I did do on Sunday was a bunch of AutoCAD drawings, cleaned out and reorganized my garage again, built two round table tops for night stands from my drawings, hung curtains in the guest bedroom using my laser level, and started cutting parts for a Wooden Manger I've been promising to build for Pat's Nativity Scene figurines for two seasons now.

I basically can't turn around here without knocking over a Poinsettia plant or upsetting a garland or Wreath, and we haven't even purchased our Christmas Tree yet. I tossed up a string of white lights around the front door and a couple of strings into a big Nelly Stevens Holly bush adjacent to the entry, and I guess to balance things out I'll have to run over to Ace Hardware tomorrow and get a couple of extra strings to put on the big shrub on the other side of the doorway.

I've thus far been able to suppress any Turret's like explosions of Bah Humbug's or catatonic shivering fits, but I'm going to have to take Pat's car keys away from her if she keeps dragging more decorations home every time she walks out the door. I was informed that we already need a couple more Rubbermaid storage locker boxes to handle this years new festive "nick-knacks and paddy-whacks"...It's a girl thing...I know...

Later today I'm going over to Brunswick to finish the final concrete form work for the new front slab extension on my renovation project, pre-cutting the interior cinder block seams on the front wall in anticipation of blowing the wall section out, and doing final cutting of the two bathroom doorway openings in order to make them handicapped accessible when the new doors are installed next week.

The new custom windows are arriving on Wednesday, so this week looks to be quite busy as I push toward being ready for the Framing Inspection with the City Inspector shortly. Then it's plumbing, electrical, a new metal roof, and hopefully interior finish and trim in January.

It really is tough being me...

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ima Buffoon

My New Alter(ed) Ego

In a moment of genius inspired activism, I just signed up for a new Yahoo E-mail account using the name "Ima Buffoon." The address is if you want to sent me a howdy doo sometime in the future.

Ima's a pretty fun loving yet serious guy, and I'm challenging Ima to wander around the Internet on my behalf over the next few months, torturing the various scam artists that manage to piss me off on TV or via the WWW with offers of things that intelligent people should know better than to believe.

You know--things like "systems" promising unimaginable riches gained through buy low cost foreclosed real estate, E-bay marketing schemes, programs teaching you to make money by placing "little tiny" classified ads in newspapers, hair re-growth concoctions, and pills promising larger male body parts.

Don't the ads and infomercials touting these products bother anyone but me? I'm really tired of the onslaught--free speech issues aside--and I'm going to dive in with my altered ego Ima and find out what's going on from the inside if I can.

This morning Ima got things started with The Home Equity Repositioning people. These guys purport to advise you on how you can borrow your home equity and use the money to buy into some mutual funds and securities they sell.

As if you aren't already making (or losing) enough appreciation on your home investment--these morons are encouraging people to borrow money against their HOUSES and give it to them to pay their sales commissions while they put you and your house at risk in the stock market.

If you think that's a good idea, I have another scheme that you'll find attractive...


I have a program to sell your pre-school aged kids each a 9 MM pistol and some ammunition, then I'll give them target training and send them back to your home to be in charge of you and your family's personal security.

You'll never see your little munchkins while they're running around the perimeter of your property in their new camo colored fatigue uniforms...and don't worry, you can borrow the money from your home equity, and the program only costs $10,000 per student.

Such a deal, huh?

The Equity Repositioning website has absolutely no information on it, it's just a data collecting screen that asks for your name, e-mail address, and phone number.

I gave them my real phone number and the Ima Buffoon name and e-mail address, and it will be interesting to see what happens.

I'll keep you informed as the situation develops.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Sixty Six Years Ago

How Soon Most Of Us Forget...

Just in case you aren't paying attention, let me remind you that about 66 years and 9 hours ago from right now the Japanese Navy and Air Forces attacked Pearl Harbor.

We've all seen the movies and read the history books in school, so I really don't have much to say this morning other than to pause to recognise my Aunt and three Uncles--two since deceased--that served in the military during that time in what ended up being called World War II.

None were at Pearl Harbor, but all three served with honor and survived the war unscathed to come back home and live long successful lives enjoying the freedoms they risked their lives for.

It's sad that today, when I look back, all I see is that we as a country and citizens had a Hell of a lot more patriotism and resolution then than we do now, and I regret that we've probably already squandered most of the hard earned advantages and political currency earned by a generation of true War Hero's that believed in the US Constitution, Personal Responsibility, and the original American Dream.

The way I see things, most of today's so called "Dream" is in reality much closer to a freak show or a nightmare to me...

Here's Your Christmas Card

An Oldie But Goodie...

I promised myself that I would get my Christmas shopping done early this year and get my Christmas cards out early also. Unfortunately I didn't have the energy to make my own new cards, so the store bought variety will have to do for the first time in about three years.

There will also have to be no last minute shopping rush for me this year because we're having company for the holidays and I'm going to be busy acting as Head Chef and Island Tour Guide and won't have time to be dashing to the mall to brave the wild eyed masses while dodging sniper fire.

The good news is that all of the shopping will be done as of tomorrow, the cards are laying here beside the computer on the coffee table ready to be addressed, and by scrolling down here you can have your own Christmas Card delivered immediately.

I'll feel free to check Christmas Cards to my Blog Readers off my list now...

(I apologize to any of my regular readers that remember this original PhotoShop image from last year, but it's just too good to not use again...and doing the Owl Gore Hanukkah Card reminded me of my earlier here it is.)


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Equal Opportunity Enviro-Whackism

Spreading the Misery Responsibility...

I'm sorry to report this morning that it looks like Owl Gore's Environmental Derangement Psychosis has spread to the Jewish community now during Chanukah.

In a campaign that has spread like wildfire across the Internet, a group of Israeli environmentalists is encouraging Jews around the world to light at least one less candle this Hanukka to help the environment.

The founders of the Green Hanukkia campaign found that every candle that burns completely produces 15 grams of carbon dioxide. If an estimated one million Israeli households light for eight days, they said, it would do significant damage to the atmosphere.

"The campaign calls for Jews around the world to save the last candle and save the planet, so we won't need another miracle," said Liad Ortar, the campaign's cofounder, who runs the Arkada environmental consulting firm and the Ynet Web site's environmental forum. "Global warming is a milestone in human evolution that requires us to rethink how we live our lives, and one of the main paradigms of that is religion and how it fits into the current situation."

Do WHAT???

Leave out a candle from the ritual?

Which one would they have honorable religious people to omit?

The first one?

Don't light the eighth night's candle?

These morons are Jews, and they aught to know better.

So what about leaving dark the Shamash light usually presented in the center highest position in the Menorah?

Is any religious ritual sacred and safe from their assault and scrutiny?

While we're at it let's get the Methodists to dump their Acolytes and/or leave at least one of the two candles dark on their altars every Sunday.

Let's make all of the Christians leave a candle dark on this years Advent Wreaths --that will lower CO2 and reduce global warming by something like 0.000000000000000000000123 degrees Celsius.

And let's not leave the Catholics out--they could stop with the incense burning during Mass and possibly prevent a couple of Locust plague induced crop failures in the Sudan and Ethiopia ( live in a Desert...)

Seriously, this whole story is ridiculous, and the people behind it are clearly mindless politically motivated morons asking people to jump on the Man-Made Global Warming bandwagon while making strictly ineffective "SYMBOLIC GESTURES."

The next series of wildfires in the foothills of Malibu will undo everything accomplished by leaving little wax candles unlit by ten fold. The next volcanic eruption on Montserrat or in Micronesia will spew more CO2 and volatile organic hydrocarbons than all of the cars in the US in an entire YEAR.

The ritual surrounding the lighting of the Menorah involves eight or nine little bitty candles sized to burn for about thirty minutes each night, and I think that leaving one out for a silly reason like this is beyond pale.

This is a perfect example of ever increasing politically correct crap which we can look forward to in the future if we don't manage to nip this Climate Change insanity in the bud.

Today it's candles, tomorrow it's your fireplace, your lawnmower, your electric razor, and your chain saw.

By the way, I tried to contact Owl Gores' office for comment, but all I could get was this photo:

(Yes...that's the product of me and my Photoshop skills)

So sue me...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Where's Bob Dole When You Need Him?

I'm Suffering Disenchantment With The Whole Crowd of Candidates

Will someone please call the School Principal or the Hallway Monitor and separate Obama and sHrillary for me before someone gets food thrown on their clothing? I don't know how much further below Kindergarten and First Grade we can sink in what should be an otherwise serious political adult debate.

I fully expect in the next week for someone to pull out Fred Thompson's Vacation Bible School finger paintings and interpret them like Rorschach Inkblots --using them to accuse him of sexual harassment of the volunteer teachers in church, or possibly racism for smearing out an image that vaguely looks like Jesse Jackson having sex with Madonna using a weed eater and a chicken as "marital aides."

Speaking of Bob Dole, while we can blame him for at least 4 years of Bill Clinton's tenure, I sort of miss him walking around speaking of himself in third person (or whatever it is when you address TV cameras and microphones with phrases like "Only Bob Dole speaks for Bob Dole...")

Then there was the omnipresent pen that poor old Bob always carried around in his wounded hand to keep people from noticing that he was in fact a GENUINE war hero and had been wounded in action. If I were him I would have been proud of the abilities he showed and accomplishments he made in spite of his combat injuries.

It would be sort of funny if someone had stabbed John sKerry's ass a couple of times with a ball point pen so he could have, using Dole's logic, wandered around clenching an ink pen is his butt cheeks at campaign events. Imagine the scene when he signed autographs using that method. "Sorry there'll have to excuse the brown streak...did you know I served in Vietnam?"

Kerry was definitely no Bob Dole in any shape, form, or fashion, else he would have resigned his Senate seat as he started his presidential campaign like Bob did. Then we wouldn't have to have paid his useless carcass for not appearing on the senate floor for a year and a half.

Of course if he'd resigned the Senate Seat he'd be reduced to carrying Mrs. Heinz's purse and polishing the calluses and bunions on her feet these days, because I doubt that even the glorious State of Massachusetts, home for Ted "Jabba The Hut" Kennedy, would bring him back to congress once he'd given up incumbency.

Come to think of it, maybe Senator Dole was on to something back then--using a prop in an attempt to distract people from defects that they find personally embarrassing as a political candidate.

For instance, today I think Fred Thompson should consider carrying around copies of old Video Tapes of episodes of Law and Order and the movies he's appeared in looking Presidential. Let's face it, I'm afraid that's the only way many people are going to see him in that light based on the performance of his campaign thus far.

As for sHrillary Rodham-Clinton, I think that she could mount herself on Bill Clinton-Clinton's back like the pair of actors calling themselves "Master Blaster" in the Mad Max-Beyond Thunderdome movie.

Then Bill would have to walk around everywhere all day wearing her while she bitches at him and does that cackling laugh of hers at debate questions. Using the toilet and taking a shower could become a bit of a problem with that arrangement however.

Here's a look of what they'd look like in Iowa next month: he's a little more difficult...let's see....

I know, he could be forced to wander around from event to event holding a sign that says something like "Remember I'm Black...remember I WAS Muslim...but today I'm not a BLACK MUSLIM..."

Does anyone buy that story?

Ron Paul is a little tougher still.

No, he's actually easy. Mr. Paul could come out with a line of T-shirts with the saying "I'm With Stupid" with an arrow pointing upwards towards his own face.

I guess that I could go on and on here, but my inspiration is becoming less funny on a moment by moment basis. I think that I'll leave things at that.

Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me if you come up with anything obvious on the other candidates, and I may come back by later if I come up with something else on my own.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I'm Developing My Own Weapons of ASS Mass Destruction

Filibustering My Way To Insanity Infamy

I'm just beside myself. I don't know what to say this morning folks.

I was actually in a bit of a bind figuring out what to write about, then I stumbled onto this story...

I saw some Pinhead on TV on MSNBC interviewing some captive commentators (you called experts like Pat Buchanan and some other talking head media morons) about the revised US Intelligence estimate stating that regardless of what we've heard on the news for the past two thousand years, Iran really stopped developing Nuclear weapons in 2003.

If you don't believe that story, other versions are printed here, here, and even here at the NY Times.

The MSNBC Pinhead moderator was already on the "Bush Lied" mantra, while I'm sitting here wondering why everyone is willing to ignore the bullshit uttered by Iran's own little Capuchin Monkey look-alike dictator:

...statements basically admitting that Iran has Nuclear refinement technology beyond that NEEDED TO SUPPORT A PEACEFUL ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATION PROGRAM, and saying that they (the Iranians) have the right to develop nuclear powered handbags and suitcases to lob into your living rooms and stow on airliners for your enjoyment and demise in the future.

As I recall, a stupid dead SOB named Saddam Hussain kept on pounding his hammers and rattling the swords in this same manner back a few years ago before we captured his rat bastard ass and his fellow citizens stretched his neck to the point of breaking.

My point here is this...

I you don't want the US Marine corps to tear your door off the hinges or the US Navy to fly a GPS guided Cruise missile up your butt, stop with the rhetoric, because the partisan liberal idiot professional morons down at the US State Department and the so called "Intelligence Agencies" apparently spend more time watching old "Get Smart" 1960's TV reruns than they do actually gathering any Intelligence.

If I were Bush I'd be walking around poking people with a pointy stick and kicking their butts with my size 13 boots...but instead I'm relegated to delivering commentary here on my measly little website safely sequestered in rural coastal Georgia. (if ever you piss me off enough and I manage to get close enough to grab hold of you and bite you, believe me that I'm taking something important like your nose with keep that in mind in the future.)

And while you're at it, stop blaming the President and the White house for the failings of these Partisan "PROFESSIONAL INTELLIGENCE" shitheads...It's Bush's fault he let them keep their jobs when he took office after Clinton hired them in the 1990's, but it's not his fault that they lied to him and the American public or just plain missed the truth when they wandered into the sandy abyss to do their jobs.

After all, grumpy old Helen Thomas and the balance of the White house press corps would have soiled their undergarments and had public conniption fits should he have kicked them to the curb like sHrillary Rodham-Clinton would have done in the same situation.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Back To The Real World

Building Fantasy...

Well, I reluctantly walked out of the Ritz Theater a little after 3 PM Sunday afternoon having turned over my set and giant puppet to the actors and stage crew.

I've done all I can do with it...the rest is up to them.

I think that I just might feel like the parent of a little first grader on the first day of school....I sure hope everything performs as expected.

On projects like this there are always things that you would have liked to have done or could have done differently in retrospect, but I think that I exceeded 90% of my own expectations and the cast was pretty impressed with the results of my efforts. I got the electronics installed just in time for a couple of trial runs and the strobe light eyes really make the scene effective and scary.

Now I have to buckle down and turn my attention back to my for-profit construction efforts with the arrival of the new windows and a few thousand pounds of unmixed concrete this week.

I wish that someone would volunteer to come over and help me for a few days for free...but that's not how the world works.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

All The Math I Needed To Know

I Learned By The Ninth Grade...

From time to time in my public service career I have some interesting revelations and insights about teaching science and math to today's children.

Since I don't have any kids of my own, it is through my work with the theater and one of the local high schools which brings me into contact with the occasional rare student that asks the question: "how did you figure that out?"

In answering these little darlin's questions, of course I could as a matter of pride drag out my calculus books and differential equations textbook--all giant, dusty hardcover tomes with which my instructors tortured me while I was attempting to make my way through the first couple of years at Georgia Tech back in the late 1970's.

Instead, thus far I've resisted that urge and tried to keep things simple.

I usually just mention how I use a handheld calculator to solve simple little things like the Pythagorean Theorem and Sine/Cosine/Tangent functions that most college bound children learn in middle school.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure how far my attempts at putting a practical insight into the use of apparently mundane subjects goes when it comes to inspiring academic excellence, but I'm darn sure of how easy my ongoing mastery of those subjects makes my life on a day to day basis.

Tonight I'm working on the pre-planning for the final Ghost of Christmas Future fabrication later this morning, and in that process a working knowledge of basic geometry concepts are all that I need to lay out the shape of the "tether lanyard" that keeps Mr. Ghost Puppet from crashing down across Scrooge while "leaning down in the middle of his face with flashing red strobe light eyes." (you know what I mean here Rusty...)

I did have to cheat a little by employing some of my Sophomore year college Statics Structures class to fine tune the details, but the basic geometry was still the key to problem.

I really wish that our schools could employ more hands-on educational solutions instead of computer labs and diversity sermons--employing things like balsa wood, wooden dowels, or PVC pipe in lab sessions in order to demonstrate the usefulness of mathematics concepts. I'm building giant pyramids featured on football fields and humongous puppets seen on the theater stage using the exact same simple concepts.

At the same time, it would also be nice if they taught things like (real) economics, household budgeting, credit management, and how to balance a checkbook.

Is it just ME???

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Ghost Of Christmas Future Lives

Almost Finished...

Do You Need A Hand With That?

I've Got A Few Extra...Hands that is...

At the risk of appearing to be pompous, I thought that I'd give everyone a look at the new HP computer and 22" widescreen monitor presently residing back in Pat's office.

My "Ghost of Christmas Future" hands are also seen there wandering around testing out the keyboard at the moment.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid to go out into the Garage right now because this thing is lurking around in the shadows.

Is that not hideous looking, or what?

(don't worry, it's not done yet...I'm just waiting for a secondary application of foam to set up so I can do some more carving.)


Friday, November 30, 2007

30 Days Has September, April, June, And November

Spinning Your Way Through The 2007 Hurricane Season...

Darn it all Ladies and Gentlemen, but I swear that most of the basic problems with the "professional media" today have to be centered upon their personal, professional, and corporate investment in the political interpretation of the cause and outcome of the "so called news story" at hand rather than the reporting of the DETAILS of what got the people involved into the situation to begin with and what we could learn from the final RESULTS of the event when it was all said and done.

(ANGRY WHITE MALE REDNECK BLOGGER NOTE...Yes, I realize that my last sentence, which was also presented as a single paragraph, according to MS Word, contains a total of 86 words--so sue me or go somewhere else on the Internet if you don't like it or otherwise can't keep up with writing aimed at people with greater than an 8th grade education.)

Now back to my original thesis...

I was sitting here working on the details of Mr. Ghost Puppet's Skeletal Head while The Weather Channel was droning on in the background, and they managed to get my attention with THEIR OWN VERSION OF THE LIBERAL MEDIAS' REVISIONISTIC STORY ABOUT THE PAST SIX OR SEVEN MONTHS WE'VE LIVED THROUGH HERE ON OUR LITTLE ISLAND...

Let me remind my regular readers that I CHOOSE to live within less than two miles of the Atlantic Ocean. Let me tell my driveby readers that I can walk outside right now and smell the adjacent salt marsh and hear the surf breaking when we have north east winds.

That said...Get ready...

Sit Down...I'm gonna blow...



Today is the last day of the 2007 Hurricane season.


I insensitively say "Hurray" because no one died here in the Continental US as a result of a landfalling Hurricane this year, but I also recognise that a whole bunch of poor people died and/or were displaced from their homes in Mexico and Central America as a result of two giant category five storms.

I also pray that the media and the liberals and the local foreign governments will rapidly move toward making the same improvements to their own infrastructures that we've enjoyed here in the Gulf Coastal areas of the United By-God States of America.

Instead of bitching and complaining and blaming people and administrations, I'd rather see progress based on using the same technology which the American taxpayer has already bought and paid for.

Regardless of the outcome, the TV faces over at the Weather Channel were blabbering on and on about how the Hurricane Season was really still a bad thing and that we shouldn't get complacent because Katrina II was coming back to jump into our bedrooms next year...the weather gods just chose to give the Republicans a break and attack somewhere else because ...just because...

What really jerks my chain is that the National Hurricane Center, a supposed bastion of science, has even resorted to going to what I call "Instant Replay" mode

They've decided that Hurricane Karen --previously only identified as a Crack Whore Tropical Storm--actually attained Hurricane strength while assaulting a bunch of crabs and jellyfish wandering around offshore of Barbados and Angullia.

So there was actually one more Hurricane this season that didn't make a damn to me or Allstate Insurance company...whoop te doo.

(Taking another big breath and collecting my thoughts...)

Bottom line is...I believe that the lamestream media can't stand this situation.

It doesn't fit their "template"

This because the slums and public housing projects haven't been rebuilt in New Orleans--so why waste a perfectly good act of GOD result of OWL Gore's much lamented human capitalist induced Global Warming?

Just change the words and results to fit your agenda and toss it out there for public constipation consumption.

When I think about it, all I have to say is that I guess that the mean old Republicans got their money's worth out of the efforts of George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Carl Rove.

New Hands Clapping

Head Stuck In A Vise...

I made a hasty visit to the theater for a couple of hours yesterday to do some work, and I took my new giant hands along with me to let them get used to the venue they'd be working in starting next Tuesday and to meet the theater staff.

In addition to putting a few finishing touches on the set, while we were there I also took the opportunity to introduce my giant hands to their new arms and spine.

Everyone got along just fabulously, although they came back home with me last night in order to help me with their giant skull head which is still in fabrication mode.

Currently this morning I'm glancing at my wristwatch every few minutes and tapping my foot on the floor (and drumming my giant wood and latex fingers on the table) while we're waiting on the second casting of Great Stuff expandable foam (four cans worth) to cure around the internal plywood support bracket so I can release my monstrosity from the 18" x 18" x 16" high cardboard box it currently resides within.

Today is a big day in the two week construction window with the fabrication of the separate copper toothed jaw in the morning and the carving and finishing of the balance of the skeletal head with a latex resin and fiber mesh material that arrived via UPS from New York City yesterday.

Then there is the final assembly of the electrical system with things like soldering of wires, heat shrink tubing, rechargable batteries, switches, strobe controller cirucits, and problems as yet to be discovered that always pop up at the last minute while trying to do good deeds.

You'll have to excuse me, because I've got to go check what's going on with my my head now (something that many readers have been saying that I should do for a few years.)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Observations On The Clinton News Network CNN YouBOOB YouTube Republican Debate

And The Beat Goes On...

Sorry, but I managed to miss most of last night's live broadcast of the big Republican debate because I was lying on the sofa with my eyes closed while recovering from dinner, but I caught most of it early this morning on the reruns.

Just Damn...

Besides seeing Fred Thompson still asleep at the Helm, I guess I finally agree that Ron Paul is a whacko, McCain's still angry about being a POW in Vietnam, Rudy's fading a bit, and Mitt Romney and Huckabee seem to be hitting their stride going into Iowa.

CNN, as usual, filled part of the event with bullshit loaded questions while hiding behind the "YouTube" Crowd...questions that they would have never, ever, Ever, EVER thrown at sHrillary, Obama, and the Democratic Presidential wannabees.

Things like "what would Jesus do" in reference to the Death Penalty, "Do you believe EVERYTHING in this book" (showing a King James Bible), and some moron with a Confederate Flag that everyone on the panel refused to address directly.

What a totally rediculous low blow--letting some idiot toss the confederate flag into the ring in 2007. I've had my confederate flags folded up and hidden in the root cellar since about 1990--but CNN apparently still thinks that with the retirement of Trent Lott that there has to be some KKK alumni out there still running for president.

The Coup de Gras, in my opinion, was CNN letting one of sHrillary Rodham--Clinton's campaign officials ask a question on YouTube.

I knew that the question was loaded as soon as it hit the airwaves--I just didn't know that the guy was a Clinton campaign guy doing the asking.

Of course CNN claims that they didn't know that retired US Army Colonel Keith Kerr was actually a member of Senator sHrillary Clinton's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual Americans For Hillary Steering Committee.

He's also part of a film production crew trying overturn the US Military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy (a product of the Bill Clinton--Clinton Administration.)

All I know is that these #@%*!ing morons over at CNN obviously don't give a damn that they're going to get caught doing crap like this, and further, even if they do get called out, enough of the American voting population doesn't read my blog and don't follow the news closely enough to understand the bias and unfairness of the process.

I swear people, I'm ready to move to Costa Rica or Belize if the Republicans do another debate with CNN, and I'm going to take the Fred Thompson Ad off of this blog if the man doesn't wake up and start running a legitimate campaign.



I was still wincing at CNN on TV while working on the Skeleton hands when their own news broadcast reminded me that not only did they let Colonel Kerr ask the YouTube pre-recorded question, but they also had him live during the debate in the audience to follow up with his admission that he was GAY and had served in the military for forty odd years without any problems (read that getting his ass kicked by his fellow solders.)

Don't get me wrong here because a) I'm not really anti-Gay, b) I haven't been in the military since the late 1970's and c) I really don't give a damn what kind of rules the government (read that Congress) issues as long as the bullets and bombs we use hit their intended targets every single time someone pulls a trigger or pushes a button.

If you have a hairy chest and want to wear a bra while sitting in a Foxhole or have your Mr. Pee Pee cut off and replaced with God knows what other body part (perhaps another knee or elbow?) just keep your clothes on and keep your hands off my butt and the butts of your fellow soldiers who or whom are not of like mind and everything will be just hunky dory.

But... (or maybe I should say BUTT in this instance...sorry..I couldn't resist the inuendo)

CNN had to know who the heck Keith Kerr was because The New Republic has this link to the transcript of his appearance on a CNN broadcast entitled "Gays In The Military: 10 Years Of Unfair Policies" aired on December 11, 2003.

When it's all said and done, all I want to know is how much longer are YOU going to put up with crap like this from your so called independent professional media?

I Almost Forgot

Here's What Dinner Looked Like Here Tuesday Night...

That would be my version of this Paella Recipe. In addition to a cup of rice and a pinch of
Saffron, mine had Sausage, Chicken, and Shrimp; but I left out the Clams because Pat is still afraid of a lot of seafood.

It was simple to make, and good to eat--You should try cooking it sometime.

Time to go fool with my skeleton hands again...

Hands Take Shape

Larger Than Life...And Capable of Changing Channels

Here's a look at the goings on on my kitchen table recently (the remote control laying there is over 8" long):

(click on the photo for a bigger view)

The hand in the foreground has a couple of coats of gauze and liquid latex already in place, and the one in the background gives you a glimpse of the 20 pieces of wooden dowel ranging in diameter from 3/8" to 7/8" that makes up the wired together "skeleton."

I've already got the head half cast out of expandable urethane foam and the electrical components (red strobe eyes and blue lighting for the inside of the mouth) are mocked up and working.

This thing is going to cause some kids to pee their pants if we're not careful.

I guess that I'm just a baaaaaaaaaddddddDDDDDD man.

I believe that I'll wear that description with honor.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Dumbass Of The Day

Just In Case You Missed The Story...

Some guy from Georgia tried to open a bank account in South Carolina using a $1,000,000.00 bill as his deposit.

The employee refused to open the account and called police while the man started to curse at bank workers, Frank said.

And you wonder why many of us here in the south can't keep the rest of the planet from thinking we're STUPID?

And another thing...If you're gonna break the law, at least listen to your mother and be polite while you're doing the crime.

The Religion's Name Which Shall Not Be Spoken

Don't Anyone Start Calling a Muslim Youth a Muslim Youth

I just learned this morning that some people described by the ASSociated Press only as "Minority Youth" are running around burning buildings and cars and shooting at French police officers again over the past few days in the suburbs of Paris France.

VILLIERS-LE-BEL, France - Youths rampaged for a third night in the tough suburbs north of Paris and violence spread to a southern city late Tuesday as police struggled to contain rioters who have burned cars and buildings and — in an ominous turn — shot at officers.

A senior police union official warned that "urban guerrillas" had joined the unrest, saying the violence was worse than during three weeks of rioting that raged around French cities in 2005, when firearms were rarely used.

Bands of young people set more cars on fire in and around Villiers-le-Bel, the Paris suburb where the latest trouble first erupted, and 22 youths were taken into custody, the regional government said. In the southern city of Toulouse, 20 cars were set ablaze, and fires at two libraries were quickly brought under control, police said.

Despite the renewed violence, France's prime minister said the situation was calmer than the two previous nights. About 1,000 officers patrolled trouble spots in and around Villiers-le-Bel on Tuesday, he said.

The government was striving to keep violence from spreading in what was shaping up as a stern test for new President Nicolas Sarkozy. The unrest showed anger still smolders in France's poor neighborhoods, where many Arabs, blacks and other minorities [emphasis mine-vrr] live largely isolated from the rest of society.

The trigger was the deaths Sunday of two minority teens when their motorscooter collided with a police car in Villiers-le-Bel, a blue-collar town on Paris' northern edge.

Residents claimed the officers left without helping the teens. Prosecutor Marie-Therese de Givry denied that, saying police stayed on the scene until firefighters arrived.

But wait a minute...I thought that Europe was a model of tolerance, and I thought that France specifically had solved most of societies' problems with 30 hour work weeks and other liberal government supplied benefits?

Further...where's New York Al "torch the place and kill your White Oppressor" Sharpton when the disenfranchised Parisian suburbanites need him for Public Relations?

Sorry folks, but this is all simply a replay or continuation of the rioting and disorder that happened in 2005 when primarily young immigrant citizens of France--primarily of Black Muslim descent from Northern Africa--staged mass protests and burned thousands of cars and did millions of dollars of damage to private property of innocent bystanders and the public buildings in and around the cities of France.

I did a little further checking around on the News websites and English. Aljazeera, The LA Times, and the BBC Website all elect to mention the nationality of the criminals only in passing.

How long before we see the same kind of "unrest" here at home in North America on a daily basis, and how soon are we going to be forbidden from pointing out the true source--the radical segment of the religion of Islam--as the problem?

Yeah...I thought so...