Thursday, April 30, 2009

Perhaps I Am A Foreigner

So I was cruising the 'net today and I saw where the State Dept. was claiming that one of the foreign countries Hillary has visited was Texas.

I do believe I am a foreigner from the USA. You see, I was born when the last of the Civil War veterans were dying. Back then kids were allowed to run free a lot. There was no such thing as a "play date". My parents told me to get out of the house and get some sun and air. If I wanted to play with friends I went out and found them.

Sometimes, instead of the kids I'd find some old men sitting in the park. Many of these old men were hard old men, veterans of the fighting with the Moros in the Philippines following the Spanish American War, others were veterans of the trench fighting in WW1. If these old men decided to whittle, the old pocketknives were razor sharp. And many of them, regardless of the guns laws, had something extra stashed away under their clothes. The stories I heard. Some even may have been true.

I was growing up when the Interstate Highway System was born. I remember how long it took to drive a hundred miles on the old roads. I grew up hearing the tales of the old Model T Fords, the car that had to back over a steep hill. You see the Model T had no fuel pump. The gas reached the carburetor by gravity feed from the gas tank, located under the windshield. Of course this also means that, in a hard crash, the gas would be all over everyone inside the car. Of course, with no seat belts, padded dashes or any other safety features, this didn't matter much, a hard crash and it would have been gasoline soaked dead bodies.

and this is the country I'm from. The country where it was expected that boys (and some girls) had .22 rifles and maybe even a single shot shotgun. Where you could see a few boys on bicycles, or even a pony or two, with those .22s and nobody thought anything of it.

I'm from a country where most of us didn't notice much if our friend's parents spoke Spanish, or if the kid had dark skin and especially curly hair. Yeah, they were different. That meant we'd get something special if we were there instead of home, come suppertime. Sure, there was some racism but most of us didn't know about it. We only found out about it later, in high school. mostly. And there was far more of some odd kind of classism. We didn't know much about that, either, the rich folks were too far away so we didn't know how they looked down on us. Again, not really until high school. While that stuff went on, we kids didn't see it. We didn't have TV until about 1954 or so and there were no cartoon channels. There was Walt Disney's show. Before Uncle Remus became a symbol of white man's racism we all thought he was just another wise old man with good stories. I suspect we could still learn things from Uncle Remus, too.

Children don't get to play like we did, they are much poorer for it. I don't see ten year old adventurers much anymore, it's sad. Instead I see a lot of overdressed kids. Do you know how long it's been since I saw a dirty-faced kid with patches on the knees of his jeans, ready to fight Hell with a cup of water? Hmmph, pretty much since I was one of those ten year olds. Today it's all some kind of Stranger Danger!

It's a shame. Kids could still hear stories of today's hard old men. There aren't many from WW2, a few more from Korea, those were the grownups of my boyhood. No kids but my grandkids will ever hear my stories, too bad. I had some adventures. But kids don't run loose any more. I don't think they are in much more danger, I think it's because few people have a bunch of kids and everyone is supposed to die of old age in the nursing home now.

When I was a boy the Polio vaccine happened after I started school. My best boyhood friend nearly died from polio, he still has a shriveled leg. I was somewhat unusual, growing up. I only had one sister and no brothers. I talk about the hard old men. I think one of the reasons we are a lot less hard today is that so many of the things that used to kill us have been vanquished. Oddly, the easier it is to live, the more we seem to be afraid of death.

When I was a boy there were no such thing as grief counselors. Somebody died, we grieved. Nobody had to tell us how. And nobody was much interested, either. My grief was my own. I grieved, then I went on.

So I do not recognize the country I grew up in. It's there somewhere, I recognize some of the hills. I sure don't recognize the wusses running it, though. What happened to the Ike Eisenhowers and Trumans? How in the heck did we go from the men who made Picket's Charge, and the men who stopped Picket's Charge to Obama and Pelosi?

I am a stranger in my own country and I don't much like this place. And the older I get, the less I like it. When I was a boy I wasn't afraid of strangers. I knew, not only would almost no adults hurt a child, ninety-five percent would die trying to save one. I wonder what that percentage is now.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dear John Cornyn

John, I've supported you since your days as Texas Attorney General. That is very close to changing. I do not know why you establishment Republicans don't like Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania but it's time you got over it. We saw what the support of Specter got us. Remember Specter, the guy the whole Party, except for the voters just loved back in '04? Remember how loyal he's been? What a strong Republican vote?

John, I know that you think the most important thing in the world is that you stay in the Senate. This is incorrect. The nation is important. Fighting the leftist trend in the nations politics is important. It would even be nice to fight the leftist trend in the Republican Party. If you are unwilling to do these things explain why you should be in the Senate.

Toomey came close to beating Specter with the whole might of the Party against him. How about, just once, you Washington scumbag peabrains try acting like Republicans, you know, people willing to fight for conservatism.

Cornyn, this is your last chance with me. You are supposed to help elect Republicans to the Senate. Toomey is a strong Republican. Quit messing around trying to find another Democrat lite to run against Specter. The left wing on the Democrats hate Specter over card check. He will probably be in a bruising nomination fight. If you put up a Democrat lite we'll lose. Democrat lites have been doing that, if you haven't noticed. And when they don't lose, they turn tail and run to the Democrats. Jeffords. Now Specter.

John, support a Republican for a change.

Goodbye, Specter

So I was reading about how horrible for the Republicans Specter's jumping back to the Democrats is. How us horrible social conservatives are killing the Party. Oddly, of course, the Party has been crapping in the social conservatives since oh I don't know, 2006.

Strangely, the Party lost Congress, when? Now I'm only the smartest guy in the room when it's a small room. Still, I'm not quite sure why so many Republicans are taking the advice of people who hate them. The Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) keep telling us what we must do. I wonder when, exactly, the Democrats wanted Republicans to win.

Specter is one of those career politicians. Most people forget, he jumped to the Republicans when it was to his political advantage. Naturally his views did not change. Nor have they changed now. Specter hasn't ever believed in anything but Specter. I can think of no action he's ever taken that helped the country although it hurt him politically. His gyrations over card check were a lame attempt to get back in the good graces of Pennsylvania Republicans.

Oddly the nutroot websites are against Specter winning in 2010. Seems that he came out against card check. So Specter infuriated Republicans with his vote for the "stimulus" and infuriated the Dems with card check. And we are supposed to value his advice?

How about we wave bye bye to Specter and return to the politics that made us unbeatable, strong defense, economic growth, lower taxes and respect for life?

We have seen what compromising with the left has gotten us. Dubya let Teddy Kennedy write the No Child Left Behind bill. Now it is touted by the left as George Bush' education failure. The bottom fifty percent of income earners pay only three percent of income taxes yet we here nothing but George Bush' tax cut for the rich.

As for the social conservatives (I am not a social conservative but share many of their values) we see what their compromises have gotten them. It wasn't very long ago that the gay organisations were saying, "just give us civil unions. We won't ask for anything else." We see what that Peretz Hilton creature respects the compromise. Now I am not particularly interested in teh gheys. I sometimes wonder if the people of the vast majority of history were right or wrong when they strongly discouraged it but, ultimately I dunno and don't care. If the conservative Christians are right and teh gheys burn in Hell forever, well they were warned. If there is no Hell, if religion is a sham, what the heck to they care about marriage? Shouldn't civil unions, what they said they wanted, be just fine? In this my complaint is not about gay, it's about the politics.

No one that believes in freedom should ever believe a leftist about anything. If the left tells us that the sky is blue, run to the window and look.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blogiversaries And Other Comments.

I just noticed that yesterday was my blogiversary. Whee! Woot! Yipee! Hopefully that is festive enough.

It's also the 34th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. If anyone cares, go back to my archives and see what I had to say about it in 2005. I still say that it was the date on which the word of America became useless. If I were living in Iraq or Afghanistan I wouldn't bet very much on the word of America now, either.

I'm still somewhat perplexed over the hoohraw over the VC-25 over New York yesterday. How come Obama is getting to act like he didn't know? Um, didn't they have to tell him: "Oh, by the way Barry, you can't fly off anywhere on the 27th." "Oh, why?" Did they tell him the airplane was due for an oil change and tire rotation? Maybe that the windshield washer fluid needed to be filled?

Another thing I don't understand is that everyone knew that Obama is a Sept. 10th sort of guy. Now I live so far out in the country that I wouldn't get the Grand Ol' Opry on the radio until sometime Tuesday Afternoon. No one is going to come out here and shout Allahu Ackbar! and set off a dirty bomb. Yet it wasn't people in the country that elected Obama. It's the folks in NYC, Washington DC, Chicago, etc.

So if the people in lower Manhattan were so sure that it was time to return to a Sept. 10th world why did they panic?

Now I don't go around claiming to be the smartest guy in town (and it's a very small town) but I know enough to take precautions when I'm walking out to the targets. And when I'm out there I duck when there is a sudden BANG! Did the city folks forget? Seems like they would have noticed the big tall shiny glass buildings missing. Eh, maybe the lack of salt in their new diets makes them stupid. Or maybe it's all the constant noise in the city. I know when I go to the big towns I can't hardly think straight because of the noise.

Anyhow, it doesn't make sense. New York City voted for a return to Sept. 10th. And now they're afraid of airplanes. New Yorkers aren't exactly the brightest of all God's little door prizes.

Seriously, I don't understand. Here are some eight million or so people and they vote for folks who thing they aren't smart enough to feed themselves. They've had the Sullivan Laws since 1911 and they still haven't noticed that crooks have no problem getting guns.

Which brings be to another question about that airplane over NYC. I'm told that they can't disclose where and when the airplane is going because of the danger that someone with a stray antiaircraft gun or missile will take potshots at it. Okay, private ownership of antiaircraft guns and missiles is illegal. But the government won't tell us about it's airplanes because of the danger of these guns and missiles. In other words, the government is telling us that it's laws don't work.

Isn't ninety-seven years long enough to figure out you've made a mistake? Seems like fifty years would be long enough for most folks to see it. But no, the government goes around saying that it's rules don't work but never tries to change them. Now I'm not going to say that everyone ought to have an antiaircraft missile or three in the closet, after all, not very many people can afford to practice enough to make effective use of them.

The thing is, the governments always try to have everything both ways. You can't have this! We can't tell you what we're doing because you might have that!

Angry Leftists in 3-2-1...

So, to celebrate his first 100 days Teh Won blames the Republicans on Swine Flu. Then they send the plane that would be Air Force One if he were on it to buzz the Statue of Liberty, sending New Yorkers into a panic.

Sooner or later even Democrats are going to have to figure out that this guy isn't exactly the brightest bulb on the Christmas Tree. Hey Barry, how about you ask your teleprompter if it can order up a new Surgeon General? Let's see, that idiot Bush (according to the Dems) had to put up with two months of suits and counter suits after his first election but still managed to staff his administration. And this with no "W" keys. Now Dohbama has all the keys, including the "o" keys and the "0" keys. He had full cooperation from the previous administration. He has time for a party every Wednesday, and to burn nine thousand gallons of jet fuel to celebrate Earth Day. He just can't find the time to do his job. This should come as no surprise. After all he's never had a job where he had any responsibility.

So, yesterday we went to town, Linda Lou had an appointment with a hematologist. The last time she had blood work they found something wonky so they sent her to a specialist. I went along, along with Bingo. I didn't go in, instead staying out in the cool, sometimes raining day with Bingo. Listening to the radio and reading my book, taking Bingo out once in a while.

This Doc has her office in a cancer center, my bald head made me feel right at home. Anyhow Bingo was a big hit when people saw him, and the older couple with the Dachshund let their dog out to make friends. Everybody and everydoggie loves Bingo.

When Linda Lou came out we went to Paperbacks Plus, my favorite used bookstore where I spent another $27.00+.on used westerns. I bought several more Louis L'Amour books, and a few other authors. I'm still looking for a few new (to me) writers to replace old Louis. Elmer Kelton is one but they didn't have much of his stuff.

Oh, Linda Lou had a low platelet count. The Doc says it's probably not a big problem. They took another quart or two of blood for more tests. I would probably worry more except we've been through this before when she had to take periodic shots of one of the B vitamins. Now I'd also maybe worry more if I knew what a platelet does. Red Cells carry oxygen, white cells kill germs, plasma is mainly useful for winos to get a few bucks but I dunno what platelets do. I imagine someone will tell me when I need to know.

So I got home and the intertubes were alive with the hoohraw over the VC-25 buzzing New York City. I don't want to talk about the incredible stupidity of this move, many others already have. The thing that interested me is that New York, and the rest of the northeast voted for an Administration with a September tenth mentality. Then when the Administration acted like September tenth New Yorkers panic. So why did they vote for Sept. tenth? Either there is a serious threat or there isn't. We know who ran as 9/11 and who as 9/10. Why are all those who voted for 9/10 so angry with the 9/10 Administration?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dear Barry

Hello, Barry, it's me again. You remember me, I'm one of those poor people you claim to want to help.

I'm kind of curious, Barry, we are still in a battle with people who want to put my granddaughter and your daughters in burkhas. They want my granddaughter and your daughters to be forced into marriage and refused education and careers.

Barry, I admit I'm not the smartest guy in the world but the logic of your attacking the Operations Directorate of the CIA, cutting the muscle out of the Navy and gutting the Army and Marine Corps and cutting that new fighter from the Air Force just escapes me.

Your seeming vendetta against the Bush Administration is also puzzling. So, while you weaken the military and intelligence arms of this country you seem to want to criminalize the legal advice given to the past President. Barry, you can't do this. If you set this precedent what will the next administration do to you? You do believe there will be another administration, don't you?

Why are you allowing your administration to bleat on and on about "torture"? We are dealing with people who videotape themselves hacking folks' heads off with dull knives. Waterboarding has nothing on that. Yet you seem to want to make sure no one has the chance to do any more than say pretty please to these animals.

Barry, do you really think this is what the parents and grandparents of America want? Now this may be real big with nineteen year old students and various people like Andrew Sullivan, those of us with children and grandchildren will gladly trade all the suspected terrorists in the world to protect our kids from so much as a skinned knee.

Barry, if you are squeamish, fine. The next time we might need this "high value information" to protect your daughters and my grandchildern, just step back and let me ask the questions. If it takes gouging an eye out and eating it in front of him, hand me the sharp spoon and a little salt.

This way your precious little followers can hate me but my grandchildren and your daughters might be safe. Seeing as how the folks that follow you have hated people like me since I came back from my first tour in the Southeast Asian War Games this won't be new. And if your idiotic hysteria means I get thrown in the slammer for torture, well, enjoy paying all my medical bills. I'll be glad to work in the prison library and then I'll be nice and handy when we capture another one of these idiots.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Progress, Not Perfection

I managed to get my computer to restart and ran the Restore Disc. Unlike some folks I still had it, I have a pile for everything and keep everything in it's pile. The only danger is that I sometimes forget which pile is which.

Anyhow I got the computer to restart, put aol back on and that works fine. The only problem is that the thing won't let me install Firefox, the file is corrupted, whatever that means. And when I tried to put the sixty thousand megabyte avg virus scan in, it got over fifty-five megabytes in (at dialup speeds, mind you), the thing bounced offline. I shall change phone cords and try again. ARRGH! I did not cry, though I felt like it. By that time it was five in the morning. I gave up and went to bed.

I got up this afternoon (I love retirement I can sleep like a teenager would like to) and the first thing I saw online is how some UN guy says we must prosecute the CIA guys for torture. I have an idea. Lets us prosecute our guys right after the Castro brothers, Robert Mugabe, the chinless wonder in Syria, Imadinnerjacket of Iran, that bunch in China with their forced abortions, Putin, and all those other murdering creeps that populate the UN. Lord, I miss John Bolton. And Ronnie.

I am also furious with the political class in Washington. I'm old enough to remember what those idiots, Jimmeh Carter and Frank Church did to our military and intelligence services. I'm also old enough to remember how difficult it was to rebuild. Especially the cost in lives.

I do not know exactly what would have happened if Carter hadn't been such a Casper Milquetoast. Would Khomeini have taken over Iran? Would the Russians have invaded Afghanistan? I doubt it. What would the world look like today, absent those events? I dunno but I suspect there would still be a couple of tall, rather ugly buildings standing in New York City.

I notice that some sixty (so far) people in Mexico are dead from swine flu. I'm not overly worried about me, I never go anywhere but the supermarket anymore, I'll just have to remember to wash up carefully afterwards. This is something I'm used to, the people I dealt with while working I had to wash my hands before going to the bathroom.

I gotta run, I have to get gas for the mower and deliver the cookies and fifteen dollars for getting pulled out of the mud.

Update in the middle of the night... I'm trying to download all the updates in the Kasperky Virus Scan, I started off needing to download 58,000+ kilobytes, I'm one third of the way through and now it's up to 77,000+. I was up until five thirty AM trying to get some kind of virus protection, now it looks like I'm going to be up that long again. Al Gore promised everyone would have high speed internet. He lied but now too many people are believing him about global warming. Yeah, right.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


As most folks know I'm on aol out here, it's the only Internet service that isn't long distance from here. The only high speed Internet is satellite and that cost a fortune out here. We've lived here since '98 and each year the phone company has told us "soon".

Periodically aol goes weird on me and I have to uninstall it and put a disc in to reinstall. This has always been no problem, right up until last time. The last time I was uninstalling awy, minding my own business, not bothering anyone when I accidentally uninstalled one thing to many, something called photo album.

Now I have never in my life used photo album. It has nothing to do with the pictures I have on the computer, they're still there. What it seems to be is something very important, though. Although I've never used it, the computer won't start without it. So I am using this circa 1999 laptop again because Linda Lou won't let me use her computer. Actually she won't let me sit in her chair, she decided that the recliner, which she chose, hurts her back.

Anyway, the silly computer pops up this little screen, right in the middle saying that it's installing photo gallery. Then another little screen pops up from Microsoft.NET Framework There is a big X in a sorta stop sign shped red field and the following text: An unhandled exception has occured in a component in your application. Click continue and application will ignore this error and attempt to continue. (then it skips a line or two and says)

Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Then there is a box over here and over here

Details continue

Now the box that says details is full of unintelligible computer gobbledygook and continue does nothing. No disc I have, not the restore disc, not the disc with WindowsXP, nothing will make this go away.

I do not wish to spend hours a day on an old laptop. All I want is to get online, read the blogs and news sites and write a little.

I only wish I knew this E-Machine was junk when I bought it. Does anyone have a suggestion?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Again

One would think that once I retired I'd never dread Monday again. Shows what I know. Funny, though, most of my life I had days off during the week. Today I hate Mondays because that's when I start hearing the news.

I don't watch TV except for old movies and NASCAR. (How about Mark Martin, winning at Phoenix?) I hear the news on the radio, listening to Rush, Mark Levin, etc. I'd listen to Hannity but he hardly ever talks about anything except that he's gonna be talking about something later. So when he's on I listen to the country stations.

As an aside, country sure has changed. I'm more likely to slip a Tennessee Ernie CD in, or one of the compilation CDs.

Anyhow, the news isn't great these days. Obama thinks the Presidency is about him. How can someone go to college, Law School, serve in a State Senate and the United States Senate and run for the Presidency and win, without figuring out that the Presidency isn't about a man but the country? Seriously, how can this happen? I keep reading little things about Obama being a narcissist but that doesn't explain things for me, after all, politics is full of narcissists, of both Parties. I can't think of a single US Senator who is not at least somewhat narcissistic, certainly not my two. Politics is that sort of business. And that's the problem.

Somehow we must find a way to change politics as business. I doubt that term limits alone will do it. If a politician is term limited out (s)he just runs for another office so they go from one to another, always at the public trough. Joe Biden got his law degree in 1969 and was elected to the city council in 1970. Thirty-nine years later he still has made his living in the private sector.

Lest one thinks I'm only attacking Dems, my own Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson is little better. After college she went to work for a Houston television station. The same one that led the Jihad against the chicken ranch. (if you are underage, don't ask.) That didn't last, the next thing she was in the State Legislature, then to the Senate, pledging only two full terms. Somehow that pledge is now inoperative.

John Cornyn? From law school to Judge to Texas Attorney General to the US Senate. Don't get me wrong, I like John. But I'd be a lot happier if every one of those people had run a 7-11 or something. Maybe a farm or welding shop. I always said Billy Carter would have made a better President than Jimmeh. Billy knew how to run a gas station.

Politics is littered with career politicians. I have no workable answer to that. I know that something is seriously wrong with a system that allows people making about $170,000 a year to retire as millionaires. Meanwhile having to have two homes.

Much of the problem is the power of government. When government was small there was little reason to make politics a career. Folks went to the Statehouse or to Washington for a term or three, then came home. Or, like Davey Crockett, when defeated for reelection, famously said "Y'all can go to Hell! I'm Going to Texas." And did.

Instead we see the Tom Daschle debacle where he cheats on more in taxes than most folks earn in years. But it's all right, just a mistake. Of course if an ordinary citizen made a mistake involving that much money the courts would make an exception to the "cruel and unusual punishment" thing. After the flogging was finished the miscreant would be hauled to a federal prison, a large hole dug in the exercise yard and be buried up to the neck with a kick me sign.

So, what can we do? Beats me.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Texas Longhorns

Something I've noticed in the last few years is that we have seen a lot of new people raising Longhorn Cattle. Now when I was young we seldom saw a real Longhorn, people wanting beef want Herefords, mostly. And lately there are a lot of Angus, some Charolais and, of course our Santa Gertrudis. There were always some of the old Longhorns hiding deep in the thickets of south Texas and a few of our wealthier types kept some around but commercially they've been out for over a century.

The smaller, more compact Hereford has knocked the old champ out of the ring. There are some obvious reasons, the Longhorn is a big, rangy animal, with far less beef for the size of the critter than some of the other breeds.

And then there are the horns. A Longhorn in a bad mood is quite a critter. Those horns can span ten feet and have points like swords. The stories of cowboys and cow ponies killed by mean steers (and cows) as well as bulls are legion.

Most of the Longhorns being raised are now large family pets. Now some Longhorns are just plain mean, kind of like Dem Congresscritters. Most, though can become quite tame. We see small herds of Longhorns these days, not like the days of Shanghai Pierce and Chisolm, Loving and Goodnight.

The Longhorn is done as a commercial thing, they walk off too much beef. A longhorn next to a Hereford looks like a cow on stilts. They only reigned for a few years. The Longhorn will only come back as a commercial proposition if the doom and glooomers about water are right. A Longhorn can thrive in country that no Hereford can survive.

Anyhow we are three and a half miles from the nearest Farm To Market Road that takes us to Quinlan or Wills Point. We have two small herds of Longhorns between us and the "big" road. Neither small herd is on a humongus ranch. I usually forget to take their pictures, actually when I have the camera they are mostly too far away. This time I got a couple of nice pics. As always, click them to embiggen them.

A Pretty Spring Day Turns Into Disaster

After my "morning" coffee, breakfast and stuff we loaded all three dogs in the car and drove out to the only place within miles with a pretty fair patch of Indian Paintbrush plants. It will be important to note that we drove right past a couple of Bluebonnet Patches within easy reach of paved road and flat, dry parking.

Oh, and "morning" is in quotes because after a lifetime on the swing and graveyard shifts I do not get up until 11:00 AM, just in time for Rush.

As is our usual custom Linda Lou drove while I sat in the backseat with Cochise' Apache Princess and Bingo. Bingo demands a lap and CAP just wants to get in the front and help drive, and also stick her head out the window. That's the disadvantage of the van, no back windows a dog can stick her head out.

So Linda doesn't like to be in the car with all three dogs unless I'm in the back controlling the beasts. This is important to the story.

So we drove out to the place with the Indian Paintbrushes and tried to get within an easy walk. This is where it became a disaster for which I will catch Hell for until either I or Linda Lou dies. You see, I forgot what a city girl Linda Lou is. Instead of taking over the driving I simply told Linda Lou to stay on the grass and drive around the mud and angle toward the flowers.

So she ended up driving into a muddy ditch. Again, this is my fault. Linda Lou doesn't even like dry dirt roads, much less empty fields. So, there we were in our minivan buried to the front axle in the mud, a hundred yards from the public road and further from the driveway we came in on. So we did exactly what self reliant Americans have done since the Great Migration of the 1800s, we got on the cell phone and called for road service. We then settled into waiting. Linda Lou, with her bad knee made no attempt to walk to the wildflowers, proving again who is the smartest person in that car. I, on the other hand, did.

This, of course, after CAP led me on a wild chase through the for sale lot and then the flea market before a women came out to see what was going on with her beautiful little Corgi. I can never remember which kind of Corgi has a long tail and which a docked tail but this was one with a docked tail. Anyhow I caught CAP when she got ready to eat the Corgi and then we walked to the wildflowers.

Please forgive the poor pictures, one I couldn't see the little pic on the back of the camera, I miss the viewfinders on conventional cameras, you looked through the little hole and you could see in bright sunlight. Unlike these electroniwockle ones.

The other drawback was the having to hold the lead with one hand and work the camera with the other.

Meanwhile the wrecker driver showed up and decided he could not get the truck in and out so, there we were.

Enter Francis and her golf cart. Francis is the manager of the big new flea market next door to the disaster. She started calling people for us, plus took Linda Lou to the air conditioned office. First some guy in a pickup truck, no joy. We did, however, manage to pull off the muffler when the chain went tight against one of the supports.

Next try worked. She called someone else who came out, started the backhoe, drove it to us and dragged us to pavement. We then started the car and drove home with the muffler in the back of the van. This is the odd thing, I've never been under the van (although Linda Lou would have cheerfully thrown me there yesterday, but that van must have two mufflers because it was not much louder than before. The most remarkable thing? The guy that dragged us out only wanted fifteen dollars to pay for his helper's time.

It's a cloudy, rainy day today but maybe, just maybe, when the sun has been out for a couple of days I'll take the beasts to the flat place with the Bluebonnets. Or maybe we'll never leave home again.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NRA One Year Memberships For Free

I just saw where the NRA is giving one year free trial memberships. Seeing as how I am unable to remember how to fix what this infernal machine does to my attempts to link I'll just publish the URL. I think you can just cut and paste that.

The URL: http//nra.orgnrabonus/accept-membership.asp

The advantages to NRA membership are obvious. The only disadvantage is the constant stream of E-mails and sometime phone calls. These are fairly easy to deal with.

At any rate it's a pretty good way to make sure that we are more numerous than the ACORNS.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

No Big Tea Parties In Quinlan

Well there are no big tea parties scheduled for tomorrow within easy driving distance so I'll just pour a cup and sit out on the front deck with the Pugs for awhile. I have Irish Breakfast, English Breakfast and Earl Gray for fancy teas, my plain vanilla tea is Tetley's British Blend. Okay, so I like limey tea, so sue me.

Actually, I'm told that the Brit control of the tea trade back then is why we Americans developed our love affair with coffee. But it's been a while since the first revolutionary war and I'm not mad at the Brits anymore. I think they're doing some awfully stupid stuff in their government these days but I don't live there, ain't about to move there so it's not my business.

I'm interested in this Department of Homeland Security blurb out with all this right wing groups may be recruiting... As if we haven't had an eight year assault from the left about Bushitler and all. I'm just a little to the Right of Tamerlane but I never wanted to overthrow the government, all I ever wanted was for the Feds to follow the Constitution. Seein' as how the only power they're supposed to have comes from that document, they ought to.

Of course every time I say that on a big blog's comments some lawyer type wants to tell me about how the Constitution is interpreted. They always say I'm stupid when I mention that it ain't in a foreign language but in English and what part of Congress shall make no law needs interpretation?

So now we have a "Constitutional scholar" as President firing executives of private companies and demanding States take money from the Federal Government. I'm kind of curious exactly where in Article Two he has that power. Yes, he gets to make treaties, if the Senate concurs, and appoint judges, if the Senate concurs. Let's see, commission officers in the military, commander in chief, yup. Sorry, nothing there about bullying Governors.

But we have to watch those crazy right wingers. Oh, and veterans. Especially watch the veterans. After all, there might be another Tim McVeigh. I wonder how come nobody ever mentions that it's very unlikely that McVeigh would have blown up the Federal Building if Janet Reno's Justice Department hadn't burned a whole bunch of harmless religious loonies to death in Waco. Oh, sorry, I forgot. The children were in danger! Oh noes! We have to set them on fire! To Save them!

The Left always brings up the white power and antisemitic groups in these arguments, always ignoring that those groups are usually just another branch of that tired old socialism. We of the right think of individuals. The left thinks of groups. Which is more likely to be racist? The one that says "those people" or the one that says "that person"?

In other news I saw my new Neurologist yesterday after he reviewed my MRI. So now I've got a new pill and am off the Requip. This new one is Gabapentin or generic Neurontin. I'm not sure why I'm taking this, it seems my overall weakness comes from degenerated discs in my neck. They are doing something to my spinal cord. So now I'm taking more pills. Oh, goody. And it's another pill that I have to make sure I don't get pregnant, too. Not that I worry too much about that, being old and all. This is quite a pill, though. A month's supply of the generic version is a hundred and three dollars. My insurance makes me pay for a whole two dollars. There seem to be a lot of other possible side effects, too.

While I was dropping the script off I managed to score the last two Dove chocolate Easter bunnies in the store at half off. I usually try to get out early on the day after the "candy holidays" but we're a little short on cash and gas this month so I waited. So I ate the ears and then the tail off one of them already. The next one I'll eat the tail and then the ears. Mmmm, chocolate bunnies. I got a couple of bags of jelly beans and some of those malted milk Robin's eggs, too.

So, good luck at the tea parties if you're going.I'm going to be interested in seeing if the ACORN types try to mess things up.

Update: It's kind of embarrassing to misspell the name of the nearest town but I managed. What can I say? It was late. Anyhow It's fixed now. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to do updates to call attentions to spelling corrections like we're supposed to do for factual corrections.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The War On Piracy Was Won On Land

We are still rejoicing over the rescue of Captain Phillips but we need to look forward to the long fight against piracy.

I am on record of arming merchant ships but history tells us that this is only part of it. History tells us that piracy ended because the Navies of the world, with the British Navy in the lead, took the fight to the ports where those ships came from.

There are reasons for that, a merchant ship had a small crew, with only a few guns. They were slow, due to heavy loads. Pirates had fast ships, large crews and plenty of cannon. The pirates would slash down, dis mast the merchantman, board and take the best of the cargo, any women, anyone worth ransoming and kill everyone else.

Now it's hard to enjoy anything but the women and the rum at sea so any successful pirate got to shore at first chance, to sell the cargoes and enjoy their (temporary) riches. The most famous, at least to westerners, of these pirate ports was Port Royal. This was the only one that wasn't destroyed by a Navy, but by an earthquake.

The rest of them were wiped out by Naval cannon and shore parties. Most of these were in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Mediterranean Sea and the western Atlantic. Including places in what is now the United States. Captain Kidd operated around Long Island. Jean Lafitte from the bayous near New Orleans.

We all know the story of "The shores of Tripoli". Without taking anything from Decatur and Lt. Presley O'Bannon it was mostly the Brits that put paid to most of these pirate fortresses. I don't recall the US Navy doing much in the Pacific back then. And it was the Brits that took out the ones in the Caribbean. Not to mention the heavy lifting in North Africa.

To end these pirates we must go to the places where they go to spend their wealth. We must do this in the Philippines, in those choke points in Indonesia, and on the Horn of Africa. It would be nice if we could get the Brits involved and the Chinese. Especially the Chinese, I'd like our guys to have a close look at China's new Navy for a couple of reasons.

Last, I want to see if the Captain of the Bainbridge gets promoted on time or has to take retirement soon. This will give the really definitive look at how serious this administration is about this problem. Bear in mind there are many who do not believe in shooting the bad guys.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

One Returned, One Risen

The good news this Easter. beside the obvious good news we are reminded of every Easter, is the rescue of Captain Phillips. I do have to commend the President for giving the order. Most of all my gratitude is for the United States Navy.

I have seen no details yet but I would assume that is was either the Navy SEALs or Marine scout-snipers or Force Recon. I would assume that the SEAL Team men would be the first choice. It's been a long time since I was at the Amphib Base At Coranado and even then I hardly saw those guys but they did a lot of shooting, including a lot of shooting from small boats at sea. If I were important and needed someone in an out of gas lifeboat to become room temperature suddenly I'd call on those guys.

The only drawback I can see is that one of these pirates survived. I am assuming that this is on purpose so they can quiz him. Unfortunately we have a whole bunch of people these days that are so much smarter than the ones that ended piracy and the slave trade back a couple-three hundred years ago.

Back then they would have questioned the survivor and then hung him from the yardarm. Of course back then we'd have already have sent several Frigates and a couple of Ships O' The Lines into these pirate ports and shelled every building into rubble, then landed shore parties of armed sailors, plus the Marine contingents ashore to hang the survivors.

We don't do things like that anymore, now our mainstream media types write about the good business model of the Somali pirates. It's only a good business model if they survive and there is no good reason for that to happen. We must have thousands of surplus machine guns and antiaircraft guns around that could be put aboard merchant ships for almost nothing. Nor would it cost much to put gun crews on board these merchants. Considering that the current administration is wanting to cut the number of Carrier Battle Groups from fifteen to ten, we have plenty of Sailors and Officers to this job. Say a fifty caliber on the waist, a twin twenty mm on the bow and a double 40 mm Bofors on the stern. Piracy problem solved. At least until the pirates trade in the small boats for ships. Then we can upgrade the guns and crews. I wonder how many five inch guns we have in the mothball fleet.

Oh well, a good day. One returned, one risen. Can't beat that.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A Giant Pot Of Pinto Beans And Other Stories.

Yesterday we mowed. My neighbor has been trying to mow his yard with a little bitty electric push mower. That's fine for a little bitty urban yard, where I live it's all half acre lots. The guy would finish mowing and it would be time to start again. Did I mention that he's in his seventies? Anyhow we got together and took turns on my riding tractor mower and we knocked out both yards after Rush yesterday.

In other news we replaced our back door, the original door was made out of some kind of plastic, the dogs had clawed a humongus hole through it and were using it for a doggie door. This did not last, before winter came we covered up the fake doggie door with plywood. My pal Steve works in the flooring biz, plus whatever else he can manage to keep food on the table, he started looking for a door in good shape from a remodel job, found a nice French door and took it home. He eventually came out and put it in, now we have a real back door, hopefully it will be a while before CAP claws her way through. Seeing as how everything that isn't glass is real, solid wood we ought to have a few years. Of course Linda Lou hates the sound of dog claws on glass. I am deaf enough to not hear it. I also can not hear an Obama speech on the TV. Lucky me.

So we now have the old back door and a bunch of other crap out on the street for a "large object" pick up from our trash service.One of the joys of country life is paying extra for large object trash pickup. This is one reason why one sees so much junk around in the country.

So tomorrow I'm going to the range for a "work day". We are going to mow some, paint the steel targets, put up a sign and do some general upkeep around in and on the buildings.

Linda Lou brought home two pounds of bulk Pinto Beans, a couple of onions and a three pound bag of bacon ends and pieces. So I cut the bag in half, fried up that bacon and put it in the soaked beans with an onion and a half, some chili powder, Cumin, Oregano, Sage, salt and pepper and a can of Ro-Tel Tomatoes and Chilis. It's simmering over a low heat. Tonite I'll make some corn muffins and eat 'til I near explode. Then sleep with the window open.

I poured the bacon grease over the dog food, they love that and I'm told it's good for their coats.

The Puppyblender linked to a James Joyner piece about how men's underwear sales going down are a sign of recession/depression. A while ago I read somewhere that men buying themselves new underwear, without being forced by their wives, is a sign that the husband might be cheating. So, are we in a recession or are more men being faithful? Probably both, seeing as how it takes money to have an affair.

This is why Linda Lou doesn't worry about me running wild with some honey from Home Depot. (Thanks, LeeAnn) I never have any more unaccounted for money than could come from skipping lunch. Or new underwear. Anyhow I hope that link works, it's the funniest thing I've read in days. Nope, go see Look! A Baby Wolf! from Monday, Apr 6th. As much as I love to read the things I find on the interwebs I hate trying to make these things work.

I heard on Rush that the President of the United States of America has nothing to say about the Somali pirates holding a US citizen hostage, instead he says we're talking about housing. Just out of curiosity, who the hell does he think he is? Hey Barry! You work for us! Don't you dare tell us what we need to talk about. You, sir, have no, zero, repeat no constitutional authority over housing. You do, however, have the duty to protect Americans from pirates.

Now I read that they're sending an FBI hostage negotiator team over there. We don't need the Feebs, we need someone from SEAL Team One in Coronado or SEAL TEAM Two from Little River. Come on, Barry, we figured out what to do about pirates back when Britain outlawed the slave trade. When we see a pirate we kill him. We hang them, we drown them, we shoot them. We do not negotiate with them. We've elected an Urkel with delusions of adequacy. A pencil necked geek trying to get even for being picked on in middle school. Barry, I'm sorry your momma fell in with an abandoning louse, don't take it out on my grandchildren, though. Or your own daughters.

I gotta go, I promised myself to write a blog the kids can read to their kids and thinking about this clown makes me want to spew ugly words.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Well, I got the tractor running, I'll start mowing right after Rush. That's a pretty big deal, maybe I'll get it knocked down before it gets out of control.

The bad news is that Obama is coming back. Big news, we're not at war with Islam. I wonder who told him we were. Bush couldn't say three paragraphs about anything without "religion of peace" slipping out.

My problem with not being at war with Islam is simple. There is an unknown, but significant, percentage of Islam that has declared war on us. I am mindful of Palestinians and Pakistanis dancing in the streets on 9/11/01. I am just as mindful of that Imadinnerjacket clown in Iran and his rhetoric. And, not that he's Muslim, there is Li' Kim of the Norks flinging missiles.

Meanwhile, Uh-uhbama is cutting missile defense. So the Nork's biggest exports are fake Viagra and nuclear and missile technology. Iran is working feverishly for nukes of it's own.

Meanwhile we're cutting defense nationally and it's almost impossible for civilians to buy ammunition. This will end well. We've played this song before. In 1940 we kept the draft by one vote in Congress. We had a big set of war games in Louisiana with "TANK" painted on the sides of trucks. We had troops drilling with broomsticks.

I do not know we could do that "Arsenal of Democracy" thing today. We no longer have that kind of workforce. The factories that switched from making cars and refrigerators, sewing machines and typewriters to rifles, tanks and bombers are now located in China. Somehow I doubt that will work.

Now all that doesn't even include what has happened to too many of our young men (and now young women). We have barely enough young men and women to staff our all-volunteer military. Trouble is, there is not the slack for a major war. Does anyone really think we'll have the Infantry to take on Iran and the Norks at the same time? Much less China. In WW2 Harvard and Yale were almost empty while those young men climbed into Uncle's suit. Those kids are not going to volunteer these days. Even with the Draft does anyone think someone taught by that Singer clown at Princeton would be an asset as a Platoon Leader?

Oh well, time to go mow.