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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Why I'm Voting Republican-

I know that all you whiny Obama Defeatocrats think the US economy is in the tank, just because you don't have affordable health care, or a pension, or a job, and your payments for food and gas and home heating oil have quadrupled in the past few months- well get your minds out of the WHINY GUTTER! American Corporation Exxon Mobil just posted an 11.7 BILLION dollar PROFIT for the last quarter, a record quarterly profit for any corporation anywhere, ever. SO THERE. Our economy is fine. If you want more money, work harder, like the chairman of Exxon/Mobil [probably] did!

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And all you Obamaniacs who think this guy is ready to lead our country- have you thought about how ignorant this one-term senator really is?

I mean, answer me this-

What US Presidential candidate recently-

-referred to the "the Iraq-Pakistan border", a non-existent border, because Iran happens to sit squarely between the two countries.

-claimed that American troop strength in Iraq was "down to pre-surge levels" when, in fact, we had 20,000 more troops than when the surge began.

-repeatedly refers to "Czechoslovakia," which no longer exists; it was peacefully divided in 1993 into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

- while discussing Darfur, wondered: "How can we bring pressure on the government of Somalia?" when Darfur is the capitol of Sudan?

-Recently referred to "President Vladimir Putin of Germany"?

Huh???????

well, ok, all of these were McCain, but hey, he was shot down 40 years ago, so all of you worried that he may actually be senile, SHUT UP!!

I'm voting Republican!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Random Asparagus Oil-

Color me green and call me an asparagus spear, but we need to raise the gas tax, or our roads and bridges will be falling apart faster than they are already. With gas at $4 a gallon people are driving less, and buying fewer gallons of gas. Since the gas tax, which is the main source of money to maintain our roads and bridges, is charged per gallon, that means gas tax revenue is declining. And God knows, our roads and bridges were in such great shape to start with...

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From today's New York Times:

BEIJING — The Chinese government has confirmed what journalists arriving at the lavishly outfitted media center here have suspected: contrary to previous assurances by Olympic and government officials, the Internet will be censored during the upcoming Games.

gee -color me shocked...
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It was George the Mailman's last day on the job after 35 years of carrying the mail through all kinds of weather to the same neighborhood. When he arrived at the first house on his route he was greeted by the whole family there, who roundly and soundly congratulated him and sent him on his way with a tidy gift envelope. At the second house they presented him with a box of fine cigars. The folks at the third house handed him a selection of terrific fishing lures. At the fourth house he was met at the door by a strikingly beautiful woman in a revealing negligee. She took him by the hand and led him up the stairs to the bedroom where she blew his mind with the most passionate sex he had ever experienced. When he had had enough they went downstairs, where she fixed him a giant breakfast: eggs, potatoes, ham, sausage, blueberry waffles, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. When he was truly satisfied she poured him a cup of steaming coffee. As she was pouring, he noticed a dollar bill sticking out from under the cup's bottom edge.

"All this was just too wonderful for words," he said, "but what's the dollar for?"

"Well," she said, "last night, I told my husband that today would be your last day, and that we should do something special for you. I asked him what to give you. He said, 'Fuck him. Give him a dollar.' -The breakfast was my idea."

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Audrey Tatou hopes everyone is having a good summer!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Verizon is OK

UPDATE: So, when the front office finally got around to sending the linemen (a man and a woman, actually) out, everything was cool. They worked their butts off, scaling ladders and clambering around the pole and the roof and all, and got everything working.

It's interesting- I've never had a complaint about the line workers for the cable company, phone company or UPS- the people in the field are always friendly, knowledgeable, diligent, hard-working and get the job done, no matter what the weather or circumstance. It's the folks in the office who are dirtbags. In all 3 cases. I could tell you stories about dealing with the office staff at UPS, boy...

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We had a big storm blow through here around 3 pm yesterday. Took out a bunch of trees, power and phone service around town. Took a big limb of a tree out front, and one of our phone lines with it, one half of the line dangling in the street, the other half dangling off the porch. It also bumped our other phone line down to about 8 feet above the street, where the first big truck that goes by is going to rip it down (and that's the last you'll hear from me).

So, we called Verizon yesterday afternoon and used their automated message system to leave a problem report for "line down". We knew they had a lot to do, so we waited until this morning to call back and check the status of our job. The computer told us we had reported a problem with our phone jack inside the house, and they'd check it later in the week.

no no no. That's NOT what we reported.

So we called them up, and got a live person. Told her the wires are down in the street and hanging low over the street. She said she'd change it, and somebody would call back within the hour.

No call back.

So I went online and used their website form to fill out a report, and checked the box that said "line down or in street".

Waited about 6 hours, went back up to check the status and saw the report now said "no dial tone" as the problem, and we are scheduled to be visited in 2 days.

have now sent off a somewhat tense email to Verizon, and sent another message back through the website. We'll see what happens. Not sure what part of "line down" they are not picking up on. They were friendly and attentive enough back when they were selling us services...

Did I mention Verizon sucks?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

extra innings-

Wow, long time, no write. I'm also behind in visiting and reading blogs. Work has been hellacious this week, and looks to be that way next week too. This Saturday we're going to an old friend's 50th birthday party, and I'm coming to terms with having old friends who are turning 50.

I've been having odd dreams lately- dreams featuring some people I knew back in high school, a few specific people, night after night. Not quite sure what to make of it all, except perhaps stress and too many beers before bed.

Can summer really be almost halfway over? it seems like we just got here. I haven't even set foot in the woods out back, where I said I was going to clear dead wood and cut new paths this year. but it's been 85+ and sticky humid for the last three weeks, so who wants to do anything after lunch? And even if I did want to do anything, there are mosquitoes the size of hummingbirds out there.

The Yankees are in town this weekend for their annual Summertime series with Our Sox. Big Papi is back, and this is where the season gets interesting. Here's one of my favorite baseball songs, by one of my favorite song-writers and singers-



Let's play two!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

if You Build It, They Will Come...

That was the headline to an invitation we got a few weeks ago from our next door neighbors, Mark & Elena, an invitation to last night's Grand Opening of a brand new soccer field Mark built in their back field.

I'm really sorry I don't have any photos of what the field looked like before he started, but a few years ago, before they moved in, it looked quite a lot like this photo I stole off the 'net-


Yesterday afternoon it looked like this-
No grand opening is complete without a party and barbecue, and a little after 5:30 people from far and wide began showing up and digging into the beer, soft drinks and munchies-


Our neighbor Father Coonan began things by giving the field an official blessing-

with a little help-


And then it was time for some FOOOOOOTBALLLLLL!

Everyone can play-

And no summer party is really underway before Mark fires up the barbecue pit-


After a half-hour hiatus during which about three inches of rain poured down and the lightning crackled, play and eating continued into the evening. If you listened closely you could almost hear the swoosh-swoosh of the players of yesterday walking through the fields beyond the fence.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summertime Recipe #1

Ah, Summer is really here- the corn is in!

Please forgive me if I get a bit pedantic for moment, because summer corn is one of my favorite topics. Here are some guidelines to follow for the best summer corn- the kind whose sweetness and freshness just pops like a firecracker in your mouth.

First, a few observations- the main thing you have to be aware of is that the sweetness in corn is the sugar, and that this converts itself to starch after the ear is picked, and that this process goes more quickly dependng on how hot the ear gets and how old it is. Grocery store corn is hopeless, as it was picked a few days ago, and was probably not stored properly. Save your money.

For the best taste, buy your corn in the morning from a farm stand that has just harvested it. The ears need to be cool to the touch, and moist. If the tassels are brown you don't need to peel it down and look inside- just look for bug holes in the ear itself. Take it home and put it in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook it. City people take heart- when we lived in the city, our local farmer's market consistently provided corn that had been picked that morning and was still cool when bought shortly after the market opened.

When cooking corn, get the biggest pot you have and fill it with water, and bring it to a boil. Then throw in the corn and bring it back to a boil as quickly as possible- put a cover on the pot if it has one. The point is to keep the corn in the water for as short a time as possible. Boil it for three minutes, not a second longer, take it out and plate it, with a towel for a cover until you eat it with butter, salt and pepper, hopefully within fifteen minutes.

There is no better summer food than fresh picked corn on the cob, if you store it and cook it correctly. Trust me- I bring a lifetime of experience to this question. Here is your diligent reporter harvesting corn straight from the garden some, um, well... ok, maybe 40 years ago.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

BREAKING NEWS- Perfect Pick for President!!

The Green Party has picked their sacrificial offering Presidential candidate for the upcoming dog-and-pony show election, and it is none other than former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. You may remember her- she is not only on record as musing that George Bush knew about 9-11 beforehand and allowed it happen because the subsequent war would profit Carlyle Group, in which he and his friends have deep financial holdings, and she not only blamed "The Jews" for her defeat in the 2002 Congressional election, she's also the one who slugged a Capitol Hill police officer when he tried to speak to her as she walked into a restricted area of the Capitol building without her Congressional identification badge.

So- she's not only a paranoid whacko, she's a violent paranoid whacko. My first thought about this was that I've had enough of the violent paranoid whacko thing in the White House in the last 8 years, and I was hoping for a change, even if it's as small a change as switching to violent senile whacko John McCain.

But then I thought again (and thinking twice in one day isn't very common for me, so bear with this). My second thought is- she'd make a damn fine President! Just think about it- we always SAY we wish world leaders would get together in a room and slug it out personally instead of sending thousands of young men and women to die as surrogates for their own insecurity and demons- but do we REALLY mean it? Well, here's our chance to find out. Iranian President Achoominidickwad getting rowdy? Cynthy will go over there personally and punch him in the nose. Medvedev causing problems? No problem- Cynthy'll slug him.

No bombs, no missiles, no poison gas- just a good 'ol American President who knows how to use her fists!

I want a button.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Protecting America's Morals-

From our Stupid Is As Stupid Does Department, the nutburgers fine folks at the American Family Institute, ever-mindful of protecting America's fragile morals from the Dangers of The Homosexual Agenda have (well, had) an auto-replace filter on their website that automatically replaced the word "gay" with "homosexual". Now don't ask me why that makes a difference to America's Morals- if you have to ask I guess I could never explain it to you.

The other person who'd probably like an explanation is US Olympic hopeful Tyson Gay-

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Summertime Foods-

Summertime, good old Summertime! Time for firing up the barbecue, having a few cold ones, and reflecting sadly on some

Summertime Foods That Never Quite Caught On-

-Spamsicles

-Vanilla & Hash Softserve

-Batburgers

-Deep-fried ferrets on a Stick

-Moldslaw

-Bacon, Lettuce & Turnip sandwiches

-Hotfrogs

-Fried Bunions

-Cow-chip Ice Cream

-Sardine Smoothies

-Basscream Sundaes


OK, come on, share! What goodies are you putting on the grill?

um...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Librarians & Book Lovers-

Sara Sue started a meme about town libraries, and I'm happy to join in, although our little town library is not going to be able to compete with some of the really fine buildings we've seen so far.

Here's a picture I took two years ago during the annual Library Sale/Vintage Auto Show/Vintage Tractor Show that's held there each September.



It's a lot of fun, with the Fire Department setting up a burger and hot dog cookout, and more and more vintage cars every year- last year there must have been more than 75 of them, including some real lookers.

And speaking of lookers, here's the image Phoebe Fay remembered my posting once or twice before-



And, since we're on the subject, these aren't exactly librarians, but they are book lovers-




Friday, July 04, 2008

Fourth of July Concert-

Everybody grab a beer, pull up a seat and think about whether you want a hot dog or a burger!

Gotta start the concert with this one, one of my favorite songs about America. Sing along!




Now we're going to change the pace up a little, just to make all our friends from down south feel at home, y'all!




Are we rockin'? If anyone needs another beer, help yourself, the cooler's full. All right, how about a little Johnny Cash-




You just can't have a 4th of July "Happy Birthday America" concert without playing The Boss, but which song? 'Born in the USA' seemed too predictable, but then I thought of this, in honor of Mama Marie, who died this week-




And, of course, we have to end with the great Ray Charles-

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July-


Patriotism has become a contact sport, and that's not a good thing. Patriotism as love of country is essentially meaningless, because it assumes blind loyalty, and that can include anything, including illegal wars and torture- hey, I was referring to the Nazis starting WWII, and the Chinese communist torture of political prisoners -why, what did you think I meant?

In any case, I hung the red-white-and-blue bunting off our porch yesterday, because it pleases me to do so, just as it pleases me to hang the flag off the porch every morning. I think I have said before here that it's a bad idea to let the Limbaughs and Neocons steal patriotism, because we not only let them steal the definition of what patriotism is, but we also let them steal the country while they are at it. If patriotism is what THEY say it is- agreement with a Republican president of the moment, then what's the point?

But IF patriotism is EXPECTING the very best for your country, and FIGHTING FOR the very best FROM your country, NOW we're talking.

What if patriotism is *not* blindly supporting your countries temporary leader, but instead is supporting your countries founding ideals???

Huh. Interesting concept.

We've got beer an burgers in the fridge, and badminton and croquet stuff on the lawn, and relatives, friends and neighbors over here tomorrow. But what music shall we play? I have a July 4th Medley started for tomorrow, but please, give me some more ideas. Whatever your side of the political spectrum, what should we be listening to tomorrow, to celebrate our collective birthday?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Questions That Will Keep Me Awake Tonight-


-Nelson Mandela has just been taken off the U.S. Government's 'Terrorist Watch List'. Um, are you guys sure? Do you really think the 90+ year old African Nobel-Prize winner may NOT be about to bomb us all in our beds? Well, ok, I guess Dik knows best.

-Speaking of Dik, he's going to be in Boston for the 4th, to attend a special Re-Enlistment Ceremony being held on the USS Constitution, America's oldest commissioned warship. Now here's what's worrying me- since Dik is on record as having never been enlisted even ONCE, because he had "other priorities" during the Vietnam War, will his attending this "re-enlistment" ceremony cause a tear in the Space-Time Continuum, and lead to the extinction of the Universe?

and if not, why not?

-Now that Wall Street's big investors are about to lose money, does that finally mean the economy stinks?

-If George Bush thinks he can use the Constitution as toilet paper, can I use copies to heat my house this coming winter when heating oil goes above $6 a gallon?

-If all those internet stories are true, and Barack Obama is a Muslim, then why was everyone so upset about his Christian minister last month?

-What IS Angelina Jolie going to name her twins? Are Tweedledum and Mantuefel completely out of the running?

-Where the Hell is my marmalade?

-Has baseball ever had a more entertaining manager than Earl Weaver?



except possibly Butch Hobson?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

September 10th-

Barack Obama gave a good speech about patriotism the other day, but what really got my attention was the McCain campaign rolling out what is sure to be one of their chief talking points from now until the election- they accused Obama of having a "September 10th Mentality".

Huh?

It's a phrase the Republicans have been throwing at Democrats since September 12th, 2001, but perhaps it's time to have them define just one more time exactly what the hell it's supposed to mean.

A September 10th Mentality, eh? What exactly does that mean? Does it mean a mentality that doesn't approve of unilaterally invading foreign countries that pose no threat to you? A mentality that does not approve of a government illegally wiretapping its own citizens? A mentality that does not condone torture, or imprisonment without charge or trial? Is it a mentality that cares about law, the Constitution and due process, and does not thrive on hate, fear and ignorance?

I mean, you know... I'm just asking.

Hey- I'm patriotic, and I approve of displaying the flag as much as possible...



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Mike posted about boxers vs. briefs today, and alluded to a condition known as, well, "gapping", which reminded me of this-