Friday, December 24, 2010

How Do You Confound A Set Of Kids Who Are Going To Stay Up Till 12 Midnight To Open Up Their Presents?


Tell them that "Jesus was born at 7am. You can't open your presents until then".

I recall being the first one out of bed - 5am - on Christmas day.
I can't recall my parents' policy on opening presents at 12 midnight. They had to have one because we didn't do it.

I do recall watching the "Gumby Christmas Special" every Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Terrorist Threat? What Terrorist Threat?

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Friday, December 17, 2010


I owe a special shout out to Pedro's Extra Dry Chain Lube!

Earlier this week my wife called me to tell me that her garage door was not closing all of the way down and was stuck about 2 feet off of the ground.  Someone could break into the house.  I needed to go fix it.

It just so happened to occur on the coldest day of the year thus far.  The weather woman said that it would be 15 degrees over night.

I went into the garage with my jacket on to take a look at the door.  It was freezing in the garage because the temperature was below freezing out side.  My hands were about to fall off.   I opened and closed the door several times and indeed it got stuck in different places on the way down.

By this time I was thinking up several schemes to get past this problem.

  • I am not going to pay "Overhead Doors Inc" $200 to come out here for a service call.  Any problem with the door is right in front of my eyes for me to fix. 
  • "That woman is just going to have to deal with this.  It is too cold out here.  She is just going to have to park her car outside for now."
I looked at every possible nut & bolt, cable and bracket there was.  No problem was evident. 

The movement of the door was rattling all of the brackets and the pulleys were squeaking.

I got on the Internet and did a search on "Garage Door Not Closing".

I found a page that talked about a guy who had the same problem and he used "Lithium lubricant" but that did not help.   A second guy came along and told him to wipe the Lithium off and use a clear lubricant like "Liquid Wrench".

I searched through my storage shelves for one of the many bottles of "Liquid Wrench" that I know I had.  I found a rusty pair of pliers that I used "Liquid Wrench" on about 4 months ago.  I could not find the stupid bottle though.

Then I looked in another closest and found a bottle of lubricant for my bicycle chain.  It was not an exact match but the only other option was to wait until the Home Depot opened and drive up there.

I sprayed the chain lube on all of the rollers from the door and the guide rail.
On the first run - the door still got stuck.  "Damn It!!   $200 to Overhead Door Inc".
Then I tried it again and it worked.
I noticed that the pulley that holds the tension spring was still squeaking and I gave it a shot.

My wife came home and the door opened and closed with no problems.

Yesterday as I opened the door it rolled up and down like it was riding on a sheet of ice.
No more shaking, rattling and squeaking.

After 13 years of constant operation all that was needed was a LUBE JOB.

$200 = a new Xbox 360

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Israel Struggles With The Balance Between Civil Liberties and Security

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Serial Violent Protests In European Cities Go Underreported

Antigovernment ire is the only common thread among fed-up Europeans of diverse backgrounds and goals.

Subtitle: Biting The Hands That Redistribute Their Feed

In American political discourse over the past 3 years the right-wing Tea Party was called a "hate group" by their progressive-fundamentalist enemies.  A small sampling of the signs with hateful messages held at certain rallies sufficed in the claim that they would lynch vulnerable people if this movement is not stopped.

The American Tea Party does not like the policies of the government and they would use violence to get their way.  Their claims against the government were seen as irrational.

If we take the same framework and apply it to Europe a stunning reversal in sentiment is seen.  In Europe left-wing anarchists are on the street protesting government austerity cuts that are made to keep the nations' economies in balance (or return to such a state).  Instead of having their behavior in public checked for the fear of being labeled "violent" their actions appear to be in line with the prescriptions which tell the individuals to take to the streets to force their government to hear them.

Few people cross-reference the discombobulation between left and right perceptions of violence between the USA and the rest of the world.

  • In America the left casts an indictment against the right wing that they seek to "turn back the clock" to the days of violent oppression.
  • Those same individuals in the American left that can be heard making positive references to Europe (Bill Maher) seem to be silent about the present violence
  • The oppression in certain Islamic nations as the work to restrict civil liberties of the little people is turned inside out as the American left views the Islamic minority in America as a victim of right-wing Christian oppression.   Those who have an eye upon any growth in Islamic entrenchment as they fear that Shari law might one day get a foot hold are called bigoted. Thus we see that individuals who can articulate the threat of "American Imperialism" around the world are disinclined to make a connection about Islamic dogma.  (Note - not all Islamic sects are as culturally oppressive as these others)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Which Is A Bigger Threat IN The USA? Factory Farms Or The Increase In Hunger Due To Lack Of Food?

Data Shows 20 Percent Growth in Factory Farming In Past 5 Years

Gotta love those activists.
They are able to argue about the danger of our present circumstances both coming and going.
I suspect that if America did not have an abundance of "corporate" factory farms where there is a high concentration of farm animals or large farming operations that make use of chemicals then they would be focused on the presence of malnutrition in America and how our capitalistic system creates resource imbalances.

Now that America's "factory farms" have risen to the challenge to keep our population fed the indictment against them is the concentration of living animals for food stock into small spaces and questions of how chemicals used in farming might be harming the water table.

Dear US Treasury - I Can Take Some Of Your Defective $100 Bills Off Of Your Hands

The Fed Has a $110 Billion Problem with New Benjamins

Our government has the power to turn a piece of paper into a monetary certificate that has value.
They also have a Secret Service that enforces the value of the certificates that they print by arresting those who use  their own printers to make a facsimile.

US Profits On Citibank Bailout, Ireland Prepares For Massive Austerity Cuts

$12 Billion Profit vs planned $6 Billion In Spending Cuts

USA Announces A $12 Billion Profit On Citibank Securities 

Citigroup received $45 billion in taxpayer support late in 2008 in one of the largest bank rescues as the government struggled to contain the worst financial crisis to hit the country since the 1930s.
"Citi is pleased that the U.S. Department of the Treasury has finalized plans to exit from its remaining holdings of Citigroup common stock. We are very appreciative of the support provided by the Treasury during the financial crisis," Citigroup spokesman Jon Diat said in a statement.
"This is a milestone for the government and for Citigroup," James Angel, a Georgetown University professor of finance, told The Wall Street Journal. "It signals the company has been fully privatized and that their parole is over."
Linus Wilson, a finance professor at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, told the newspaper the government's sales strategy had been a success. "They took a risk by not selling early or selling too much at once," he said.

Ireland Joins The Rest Of Europe In Announcing Austerity Cuts To Remain Fiscally Viable As A Nation

DUBLIN — Ireland's deeply unpopular government will unveil a record austerity budget Tuesday, inflicting more pain on voters in an attempt to impress the IMF and EU and ensure quick access to their rescue funds.
Prime Minister Brian Cowen is expected to get his fiscal plan through parliament, averting the risk of a snap election that would have plunged the country into an even deeper crisis and compounded contagion in the euro zone.
But the 2011 budget, which will squeeze 6 billion euros ($8 billion) out of an economy still smarting from a prolonged recession, marks the beginning of the end for Ireland's government.
Cowen, the most unpopular leader in recent Irish history, has promised to call an election once the legislation underpinning the budget is passed, likely to be early next year.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Euro-socialism Under Stress - Ireland Takes $89 Billion From The EU

EU agrees on $89 billion bailout loan for Ireland

If the government supported lifestyle has shown to be unsustainable why protest the austerity cuts?

For those who long for the day where capitalism will fall - tell me - Where did the money for the bailout come from?  The gold vault which communism had filled up?

European Union nations agreed to give euro67.5 billion ($89.4 billion) in bailout loans to Ireland on Sunday to help it weather the cost of its massive banking crisis, and sketched out new rules for future emergencies in an effort to restore faith in the euro currency.

The rescue deal, approved by finance ministers at an emergency meeting in Brussels, means two of the eurozone's 16 nations have now come to depend on foreign help and underscores Europe's struggle to contain its spreading debt crisis. The fear is that with Greece and now Ireland shored up, speculative traders will target the bloc's other weak fiscal links, particularly Portugal.

In Dublin, Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen said his country will take euro10 billion immediately to boost the capital reserves of its state-backed banks, whose bad loans were picked up by the Irish government but have become too much to handle. Another euro25 billion will remain in reserve, earmarked for the banks.

The rest of the loans will be used to cover Ireland's deficits for the coming four years. EU chiefs also gave Ireland an extra year, until 2015, to reduce its annual deficits to 3 percent of GDP, the eurozone limit. The deficit now stands at a modern European record of 32 percent because of the runaway costs of its bank-bailout program.

Cowen said the accord — reached after two weeks of tense negotiations in Brussels and Dublin to fathom the true depth of the country's cash crisis — "provides Ireland with vital time and space to successfully and conclusively address the unprecedented problems that we've been dealing with since this global economic crisis began."

However, in a surprise accounting move, European and IMF experts decided that Ireland first must run down its own cash stockpile and deploy its previously off-limits pension reserves in the bailout. Until now Irish and EU law had made it illegal for Ireland to use its pension fund to cover current expenditures. This move means Ireland will contribute euro17.5 billion to its own salvation.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Police Blast Their Way Into "Victory" Against Drug Gangs In Rio De Janeiro

Armored vehicles roll into Rio de Janeiro slum

If there is a "Stop Police Violence" movement in Brazil they ought to start a march there soon.

(CNN) -- Authorities launched a massive sweep of the Alemao favela complex in northern Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday morning.
Military police told reporters they were entering the virtually impenetrable labyrinth of slums, searching for drug gang leaders and illegal drugs.
CNN affiliate TV Record showed images of armored vehicles entering the slum Sunday morning, followed closely by police trucks and helicopters equipped with military rifles.
Police told TV Record that they had arrested at least nine people, confiscated heavy weapons and seized four tons of marijuana.
On Saturday, police spokesman Mario Sergio Duarte declared an ultimatum against drug gangs in the complex, stating that a military attack was imminent.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Al Gore: I Changed My Mind About Ethanol But There Still Will Be Hell On Earth

Report: Al Gore Reverses View on Ethanol, Blames Politics for Previous Support

So let's see - Al Gore said that his previous defense of Ethanol was in defense of farmers but he expects us to not consider who he might be politically and financially bounded to with regard to "Global Warming"?

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore reportedly has had a change of heart on ethanol, telling a conference on green energy in Europe that he only supported tax breaks for the alternative fuel to pander to farmers in his home state of Tennessee and the first-in-the-nation caucuses state of Iowa.
Speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank, Gore said the lobbyists have wrongly kept alive the program he once touted.
"It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for first-generation ethanol," Reuters quoted Gore saying of the U.S. policy that is about to come up for congressional review. "First-generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.
"One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president," the wire service reported Gore saying.

Read more:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

2 Lynched And A Beheading In Tiajuana Mexico. Sorry Arizona Governor - This Does Not County As AZ

2 bodies hung from bridge, man beheaded in Tijuana

For Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to take credit for these beheadings in response to criticism from the Left the murderers would have had to go about 2 hours to the east in her state, not Tijuana Mexico.

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TIJUANA, Mexico – Two men were slain and hung from a bridge, another was decapitated and a fourth was shot to death over 24 hours in Tijuana, the latest gruesome killings in a Mexican border city where hopes had risen that cartel violence was decreasing.
The bodies of two men were found hanging from the Los Alamos bridge early Friday, said Fermin Gomez, Baja California state's deputy attorney general for organized crime.
Both victims had their hands and feet bound and one had his head covered with a black plastic bag. One of the bodies fell into traffic when the rope broke.
A day earlier, a human head was found underneath another bridge in Tijuana, which sits across from San Diego, California. The body of the 24-year-old man was found 12 hours later alongside the highway from Tijuana to the beach town of Ensenada.
Gomez said the victim, Victor Ramirez, had recently been deported from the United States, though he had no information on the circumstances.
Also Thursday, a man was shot to death while leaving his house in the exclusive Tijuana neighborhood of Chapultepec, and two other people were wounded in a shootout on one of the city's main avenues.
Gomez blamed the killings on feuding between drug-dealing gangs, but declined to give details.
Beheadings, massacres and body hangings had initially declined in Tijuana since the January arrest of Teodoro "El Teo" Garcia Simental, one of two crime bosses who had been waging a bloody turf war in the city.
President Felipe Calderon even visited Tijuana last month and touted it as a success story in his nearly four-year-old drug war, noting during a festival to promote the city's industries that homicides are down from a peak in 2008.
Days after his visit, drug gangs started beheading rivals and hanging bodies from bridges again. On Oct. 24, armed men burst into a Tijuana drug rehab center and killed 13 recovering addicts.
Prosecutors say they are investigating whether the rehab massacre was related to a record seizure of nearly 135 tons of marijuana the previous week.
The latest killings come two weeks after U.S. authorities made one of the largest marijuana seizures in San Diego, confiscating more than 20 tons of pot that was smuggled in through a tunnel connecting warehouses on either side of the border. Mexican authorities seized more than four tons of pot from the warehouse on their side of the border.
Meanwhile, the lawyer for alleged drug kingpin Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez Villareal said Friday that the Mexican government will not deport the U.S. citizen for prosecution in the United States.
The government considers Valdez, son of Mexican-born parents, a Mexican national who must go through the more complicated extradition process to be sent out of the country, attorney Kent Schaffer said.
Mexico has increasingly extradited high-profile drug kingpins to the U.S. under Calderon, a way to prevent them from running cartels from corrupt Mexican prisons.
Mexican officials in October extended a 40-day limit for holding Valdez without charge and that expires after this weekend, so they must decide whether to try him in Mexico.
Schaffer said both he and the U.S. Justice Department want Valdez to be prosecuted in the United States, where he is wanted on cocaine smuggling charges in three states. Schaffer said an extradition request had yet to be filed. U.S. Department of Justice officials could not be reached late Friday.
The Mexican attorney general's office would say only that Valdez was still being held and the investigation continued.
Valdez, a former Texas high school football player, was arrested Aug. 30 by federal police on his ranch outside Mexico City.
Described by authorities as a former ally of Mexico's most-wanted kingpin, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Valdez allegedly had been fighting for control of the notorious Beltran Leyva gang after Mexican marines killed its leader in late 2009. The warring factions were responsible for brutality and bloodshed from Cuernavaca south of Mexico City to the state of Guerrero and the resort city of Acapulco on the Pacific coast.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Americans Have The Luxury To "Sweat The Small Stuff" - Bristol Palin On "Dancing On Stars"

What could start a new civil war in the United States?

  1. Our government inching closer to insolvency?
  2. Massive Unemployment with little hope of  a return to normalcy?
  3. A blanket of crime that floats over certain areas?


It doesn't take much to set them off.

Despite the fact that the political institutions in our nation being primary in governing the key civic services in all of our lives some people's small minds prevent them from seeing that "Dancing With The Stars", "American Idol", "I Think I Can Dance" or "The Gong Show" do not rise to this same level of importance.

Monday, November 15, 2010

We Need An International Perspective On The News Now More Than Ever

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During the Iraq War we were told of the need to get an international perspective on the news as a means of countering the information that we were being fed by the American media.  I believe that today this mandate is even more important.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hugo Chavez Confiscates Apartment Complexes Accused Of "Housing Fraud"

'Act of justice': Venezuela seizes apartments

CARACAS, Venezuela — Facing a wave of criticism from business leaders, President Hugo Chavez is defending his order for government officials to seize control of residential complexes.

Chavez promised Sunday to crack down on construction and real estate companies that he accused of unjustly boosting prices, which he labeled "housing fraud."

The president, a self-proclaimed revolutionary who idolizes Cuba's Fidel Castro and is currently on a visit to Havana, called his decision last week to order the expropriation of six residential complexes and "the temporary occupation" of eight gated communities in Caracas and other cities "an act of justice."

'Organized crime'
Venezuela's consumer protection agency and state prosecutors are investigating complaints that construction companies and real estate firms are illegally charging buyers high interest on unfinished apartments, even though the buyers settled on a price years ago and made down payments.

"We have decided to put an end to this type of organized crime," Chavez wrote in his weekly newspaper column.

Companies accused of violating consumer-protection regulations deny any wrongdoing.

Apartment owners affected by the measures have had mixed reactions.

Some don't like having soldiers posted near their homes or fear the measure could encourage pro-Chavez squatters to invade buildings still under construction. Others applaud the measure, saying it has protected them from unscrupulous business practices.

In some mostly middle-class residential complexes, groups of neighbors have implemented security measures aimed at keeping squatters out, such as organizing around-the-clock surveillance teams and putting a siren at entrances to be sounded in case of emergency.

Monday, November 8, 2010

In Georgia - First Jew Elected To Statewide Office

Sam Olens breaks through an ancient Georgia barrier

Though the "Black / White" divide receives more attention, the struggle of Jewish Americans in electoral politics is a reality as well.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Government Can Legally Steal Your Money After All

Birmingham man wins $20K at casino, loses it in Windsor tunnel seizure Read more: Birmingham man wins $20K at casino, loses it in Windsor tunnel seizure

This is some B.S.

How does lying about your currency declaration to Customs give the US government the "right" to TAKE your money?

Yes - take the taxes due on the spot.
NO - to taking the lions share of the money.

I Am Glad That The 2010 Election Season Is Over!!!!

America really needs to check itself on the campaigns that leads up to the elections.   There is far too much ignorance and negativity expressed in many of these campaigns.  This does nothing more than to stoke the group think and tribalism within the ranks of Americans.

Worst of all these contentious groups do nothing more than sell false hope that will never come true for the majority of their loyal supporters.   The United States has a $13,000 billion deficit because the promises have outlasted the MONEY to pay for them.

I believe that the present political system that is charged with assigning the stewards of the national treasury is ultimately the main threat to the treasury and the ultimate financial solvency for the nation.  Sadly neither party is charged with prioritizing the long term best interests of the nation.  We respond to the latest crisis at hand.  The previous shot gun decisions often imperil us in the future.

The short term election night high or depression that is suffered as "your side" wins or loses should not be mistaken for the long term situation that will undoubtedly impact the entire "ship" that both are riding on.

No I don't have a better systems to offer.   Unfortunately the long term fiscal un-viability of this entire fiat economy is going to be the most prominent force that precipitates a change.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Christians Are Loved In Iraq. They Make Good Hostages

Baghdad church seige ends with 47 dead

BAGHDAD — Iraqi security forces stormed a Baghdad church where militants had taken an entire congregation hostage for four hours, leaving at least 47 people dead, including a priest, Iraqi officials said Monday.

It was not immediately clear whether the hostages died at the hands of the attackers or during the rescue late on Sunday night in an affluent neighborhood of the capital.

The incident began when militants wearing suicide vests and armed with grenades attacked the Iraqi stock exchange at dusk Sunday before turning their attention to the nearby Our Lady of Deliverance church — one of Baghdad's main Catholic places of worship — taking about 120 Christians hostage.

Officials said at least one priest and 10 policemen were among the dead. Many of the 62 wounded were women.

The casualty information came from police and officials at hospitals where the dead and wounded were taken. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

There were conflicting accounts about the number of attackers involved in the assault, with Baghdad military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi saying Sunday night that security forces killed eight, while the U.S. military said between five and seven died.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

15 Dead At Car War In Mexico - Too Bad Arizona Governor Hasn't Comments Thus Triggering Awareness Of This Massacre

CNN: 15 shot dead at carwash in Mexico, officials say

(CNN) -- Fifteen people were killed Wednesday at a carwash in the western Mexican state of Nayarit, the state attorney general's office told

The attack happened at a business called the Gamboa carwash in the capital, Tepic, and is presumed to be the work of a drug cartel, the state-run Notimex news agency reported, citing local police.

A man had been killed the night before in the same area, police said.

Initial reports by investigators said witnesses heard the gunfire Wednesday morning, only two blocks away from the offices of the federal police, Notimex reported. The federal police responded to the scene to find 15 people dead, including clients and employees of the carwash, the news agency said.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I Had A Choice Today And Chose The Vegetarian Meal: Mozzarella and Tomato Sandwich

Today at a conference I had the option of the following boxed lunch sandwiches:

  • Roast Beef
  • Smoked Turkey
  • Ham
  • Vegetarian
I asked the lady "What is in the vegetarian box?"
She told me "Mozzarella, basil and tomato sandwich".

Mozzarella = strings

I took a shot and I liked it.
I am trying to switch to a "mostly vegetarian" diet slowly but surely.  I have a clause in my agreement that permits me to continue to eat Jerk Chicken no matter what.

So far I have tried:

  • Stir-Fried Vegetable and Tofu
  • Hummus, Pita and Vegetable Wrap

Friday, October 15, 2010

Maybe Arizona Governor Was Speaking About Texas With Respect To Beheadings

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Notice the silence by the "Attack Left" over the latest outrage on the border of the United States and Mexico.
When Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was in their line of fire and could not show proof of headless people found in the Arizona Desert they attacked her.

We see the "attack left's" concern for "Headless Mexicans" with their present silence over the killings that have been taking place on the Texas/Mexico border.

A Mexican authority charged with investigating the recent murder of an American on a lake that spans the borders of our two nations was found with his head delivered as a warning message to back off.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Socialized Health Care In Greece: Amputations Are Cheaper Than Diabetic Footware

Greek Health System Opts for Amputation as Money-Saver

This Saturday, one of Greece’s most respected newspapers, To Vima, reported that the nation’s largest government health insurance provider would no longer pay for special footwear for diabetes patients. Amputation is cheaper, says the Benefits Division of the state insurance provider.
The new policy was announced in a letter to the Pan-Hellenic Federation of People with Diabetes. The Federation disputes the science behind the decision of the Benefits Division. In a statement, the group argues that the decision is contrary to evidence as presented in the international scientific literature.
Greece’s National Healthcare System was created in the early 1980s, during the tenure of Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou. Papandreou, an academic, won election under the slogan, Αλλαγή, which is the Greek word for Change.

Friday, October 8, 2010

NJ Governor Kills NJ-NY Tunnel Project. Says State Can't Afford It

CNN: N.J. governor kills Hudson River tunnel project

What do you do when you are in a financial hole?
Stop digging tunnels.

It appears that NJ Governor Chirstie is an "anti-Keynesian".  Many would argue that spending additional government money during a time of recession and on infrastructure for future benefit is the right thing to do to dig yourself out of the hole.

Christie took a sober look at his state's finances and realized that it was this type of expansionary thinking in the past that created the debt situation.

I personally empathize with both sides of the issue.

My own views have changed since I attended the "Fiscal Wakeup Tour" that warned of the problems with unchecked debt in the US.  They warned that the nation is going to have to drastically cut spending and that the tax increases that they do make will need to be targeted at debt reduction rather than new entitlement spending.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How To Not Be A Victim Of FRAUD

The easy answer: "If it sounds too good to be true - it likely is".

Phone call:

"Hello - this is credit card holder services.  No there is not a problem with your card that you have with us.  We are calling to notify you of your qualification for a reduced rate of 6.95%.   Your time to qualify for this rate is nearing an end.   This is your last notice.  

If you are interested in this rate please press 1".

What were my thoughts?

  1. Which of my credit cards is this for?
  2. Since all of the companies went up on their rates (or forced you to close your account to new charges if you rejected the rate increase)  why would this be so low?

The first question that I asked the man when he picked up the line was "What company is this calling?"

His answer:  CLICK!!!!

Sorry dude.  I refuse to be a victim.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My First Homecooked Tofu w/ Stir Fried Vegetables

I am trying to switch to a more vegetarian diet.

As with most other dietary migrations - I have to first master how to prepare and season the dish and then get my wife and kids to go along after I get it matches their expectations for taste.

I liked the taste of the extra-firm tufu.  While I have to admit that I chewed upon it, hoping that it would have the consistency and flavor of chicken - the fact that it was taste neutral is not bad either.

I got my daughter to try a piece of tufu by linking it to her request for a container of yogurt.  She didn't hate it, saying that it had no taste.  Once again - this is a good thing.  If it had a strong after-taste she would not go with it.

My son is addicted to a brand of instant oriental soup that he ate at a Tae Kwon Do conference.  I pointed out that he was eating tofu.  I showed him the noodles and then pointed out that the other "noodle looking things" were not noodles.  It is TOFU.   He was already eating tofu.  He doesn't like the name.

If I can get my family to reduce our meat consumption and eat more vegetables then all of our dietary health will be improved.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bono's "ONE" Campagin Gives Only 1% Of The Money Collected To Charity

Bono's One Campaign Gives 1% To Charity

Bono For Congress!!!
This is "government type" graft and incompetence

After all of the years of receiving e-mails from them - I thought they had more integrity than the Nigerian scammers.

Friday, September 24, 2010

7 Murdered Inside Of Mexican Resort Town - This Is No Big Deal Among The American Left Unless Arizona Governor Says Something About It

AJC: 7 killed in shootout in Mexican resort city

This story of the latest mass murder in Mexico has no legs unless Arizona Jan Brewer says that "Acapulco is a part of Arizona". If this doesn't happen the American left who are the protectors of Mexican interests will prove once again that their care for these people only extends to those who have made it across the border.

It seems to me that an increased amount of pressure needs to be directed upon the Mexican government to better address the situation that is spiraling out of hand down there, causing more people to seek to come to the USA to escape the chaos. Indeed the present state of the American economy has had a suppressive effect on illegal immigration. Once things get back to normal in a few years the flow will return to previous levels.

ACAPULCO, Mexico — Mexican authorities say seven people were killed in a shootout between rival drug gangs in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco.

Guerrero state investigative police director Fernando Monreal says gunmen used grenades and automatic rifles to attack a house in a residential area of Acapulco on Thursday.

The state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located, has become a drug cartel battleground.

Authorities on Wednesday found the decapitated bodies of two men inside a car abandoned in the community of Kilometro 30, near Acapulco.

Nationwide, more than 28,000 people have died in drug violence since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown against drug traffickers.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

In Gulf Oil Spill - Though Government Trustee Of BP Oil Fund Is Behind He Is Not Being Attacked Like BP Was For Slow Payments

Feinberg, a month into job, acknowledges he oversold program speed, transparency

The independent paymaster overseeing BP oil spill claims admits that he oversold the speed and transparency of the program he took over a month ago, but his office still promises to make businesses whole.
Critics have charged payments have been slow in coming, and often for just pennies on the dollar, and that people have had difficulty getting information on their claims.
But Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, told NBC News Thursday that his office is quickly catching up on payments to people who show they lost money due to the April oil spill.
In the first month of its program, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility says it’s paid 26,572 claims more than $349,271,301.
"We are being much more generous than BP," Feinberg said. "This will be a very generous program."
"We're working 24 hours a day, seven days a week in three shifts," he said. "We're doing now about 1,500 claims a day. I think that we're rapidly gaining the high ground now."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

2 Killed In Quaran Burning Protests........In Afghanistan

2 killed in Afghan protest over Quran-burning plan

If we step back and make a dispassionate analysis of the "quaran burning" issue globally the truth is that the balance of the world who believe themselves to be "civilized and evolved" feared that the "savages" in the Muslim countries should not be riled up as they are known for their savage behavior.

Please note - I did not call them "savages". I made the case that this is how certain people view them.

No where in the media analysis is the question of how the "death penalty" is assigned to anyone who is perceived to be a part of the same gang as the offending preacher in Florida who threatened to burn the quaran.  The common relationship is their country of origin and the would be murdered person proximity for attack.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Michael Moore: Build A Mosque Right Upon The Land That The World Trade Center Once Stood

Trending: Build Islamic center on Ground Zero, says Moore

I am not going to "bite" as the majority of people will scrutinize these comments.

Instead I am going to ask one question and then move on:

Do you think that there is any scenario in which Michael Moore would suggest building a conservative Christian church in the same spot?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

American Union Sues China Over Unfair Green Energy Practices As American Firm Near The Brink

WSJ: Steelworkers Blast China on Subsidies

The United Steelworkers filed a complaint with U.S. trade officials Thursday charging that China is unfairly subsidizing its clean-energy technology sector, presenting the White House with a potential political headache ahead of congressional elections in November.

The union's 5,800-page brief asks U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to take action against China's efforts to build its green-technology manufacturing, from compact fluorescent light bulbs to wind turbines.

China has used "hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies, performance requirements, preferential practices and other trade-illegal activities to advance its domination of the sector," the USW said in a statement.

However consider the plight of Evergreen Solar.  They are now a penny stock.

Whereas the environmentalists and the unions make the case that solar power is the way forward for American manufacturing - it appears that their vision is more of what they hope for one day than what the market actually bears out.  Ironically even Evergreen is planning to move its manufacturing operations to China. 

Here is the state of the market in Europe:

Attention has recently been focused on solar power following the success of the government's new feed-in tariff which has led to a steep increase in the number of solar panels being installed by householders.

This hasn't necessarily translated into good news for UK manufacturers: Oxfordshire-based PV Crystalox (PVCS), for instance, reported a sharp drop in first-half profit last month, hurt by a 'competitive trading environment' that triggered a 40% reduction in prices, despite improved demand. Shares are roughly 30% down since the beginning of the year.

Why isn't anyone investigating the notion that solar power panel manufacturing is a viable "growth" industry?

Mexico - Authorities Kill 25 Drug Traffickers In A Fierce

Mexican shootout leaves 25 drug suspects dead

With all due respect - if 25 drug suspects in the United States ended up dead while while "only" two police men were wounded - you can be sure that the activists in America would be up in arms against the police, demanding an investigation about the apparent "slaughter" and unbalanced the authorities.

It seems to me that the real issue in this immigration debate should be focused upon bringing Mexico closer to the standards of justice that the Unites States operates from instead of attempting to condemn the Unites States as being intolerant.

One thing is for sure - while Hillary Clinton reported the State of Arizona to the United Nations as an example of human rights violations - this particular incident involving the Mexican military won't be reported as such.

Mexico City (CNN) -- A shootout between soldiers and suspected drug dealers in northeast Mexico left 25 of the suspects dead, the regional military said Thursday.
After the fighting ended, soldiers captured a cache of weaponry and 23 vehicles, two of them painted to look like military vehicles, the military said.
The incident began when anti-drug forces flying over Ciudad Mier, south of the Rio Grande, observed armed people in front of a building, the military said.
Once they saw they were being observed, the armed people drove off, the military said.
Soldiers were dispatched on the ground. When they approached the building, they were greeted with gunfire and responded with their own, the military said.
The soldiers also freed three people whom the suspects were holding, the military said.
Two of the soldiers were wounded.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Killing Fields Called Mexico

Mexico drug war: the new killing fields

In the first of a three-part investigation, Rory Carroll reports from the gateway to America, at the centre of drug cartel violence that has claimed 28,000 lives

Sadly some people are more interested in having Arizona Governor Brewer to prove that decapitated Mexicans have ever been found in the Arizona side of the Sonora Desert than they have any interest in noting that the desert which spans the border between the nations and the landmass that is connected to the desert now holds the blood of 28,000 human beings and growing.

CBS Atlanta's Dagmar Midcap Hides Her Personal Grief Well

Dagmar Midcap puts in her notice at WGCL-TV

This is the most happy and perky personality on local television.  Though she is a "weather girl" her personality has carried her over into other duties for the station.  She takes the lead in many community based events.

I would have never guessed that in her personal life she was dealing with such grief.  She does an excellent job in isolating her on-screen persona from her personal life.

This is a massive loss for WGCL (CBS) .

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Is It Rupert Murdoch Rather Than Islam That Takes Over Everywhere He Goes?

BBC director general Mark Thompson says Sky is becoming 'dominant force' in British TV – but isn't investing enough

Mark Thompson, the BBC director general, has launched a scathing attack on Rupert Murdoch's media empire, warning that BSkyB is too powerful and threatens to "dwarf" the BBC and its competitors.

Delivering the annual MacTaggart lecture at the Mediaguardian Edinburgh television festival, Thompson rounded on Sky's chairman, James Murdoch, who used the same speech last year to attack the corporation.

"A year ago, James Murdoch fretted aloud about the lamentable dominance of the BBC," he said. "He was able to do that only by leaving Sky out of the equation."

Thompson said Sky was "well on its way to being the most dominant force in broadcast media in this country".

He said that News Corp, in effect controlled by the Murdoch family, now enjoys unprecedented industry power in the UK. News Corp owns 39% of Sky and is in the process of buying the part of the broadcaster it does not already own.

That money could be used to invest in original UK programming, plugging a £300m funding gap that Thompson said had emerged since 2006 as advertising revenue has plunged.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Kerri Washington - Liberal Actress and Activist

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Though that closing scene in the movie "I Think I Love My Wife" where Richard Cooper - the part played by Chris Rock resists the advances of Nikki Tru - the part played by Kerry Washington will always be burned into my mind at to how Ms Washington would be able to get every last credit card out of my wallet if she did the same to me ( :-)  )  her own liberal activism, while it disturbs me at times- is not able to make me shake that thing that I have for her.

The character that she plays as shown in the video clip wishes to take a shot gun to "corporations and capitalism".   I am not sure where the character's views end and where Ms Washington's own views take over.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

72 Migrants Heading Toward The USA Masacred In Mexico - News Surpressed In The USA

Drug cartel suspected in massacre of 72 migrants

The Zetas gang was featured on "Gangland". They operate in southern Texas.

Those who are in denial can't admit that all that is happening in Mexico will some day define the way of life in the southern border states failing an attempt to enforce the border in the United States.

MEXICO CITY — A Mexican drug cartel massacred 72 Central and South American migrants within 100 miles of the U.S. border that they were trying to reach, according to an Ecuadorean survivor who escaped and stumbled wounded to a highway checkpoint where he alerted marines, official said Wednesday.

The marines fought the cartel gunmen at a ranch in the northern state of Tamaulipas on Tuesday, a battle that left one marine and three suspects dead. They found the bodies of 58 men and 14 women in a room, some piled on top of each other.

The Ecuadorean migrant told investigators that his captors identified themselves as members of the Zetas drug gang, said Vice Adm. Jose Luis Vergara, a spokesman for the Mexican Navy. Authorities believe the migrants were from Honduras, El Salvador, Brazil and Ecuador.

It is the biggest massacre to date in Mexico's drug war and the most horrifying example yet of the dangers faced by immigrants trying to get to the U.S.

"It's absolutely terrible and it demands the condemnation of all of our society," said Alejandro Poire, the government's security spokesman.

Authorities did not say why the gang killed the migrants. Mexico's drug cartels frequently kidnap migrants and threaten to kill them unless they pay fees for crossing their territory. Sometimes, gangs contact relatives of the migrants in the U.S. and demand they pay a ransom.

The bodies were discovered Tuesday when Marines manning a checkpoint were approached by a wounded man who said he had been attacked by gang gunmen at a nearby ranch. Officials said he identified himself an illegal migrant and said that he and other migrants had been kidnapped by an armed group and taken to the ranch in San Fernando, a town about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Brownsville, Texas.

The scale of the massacre of migrants appeared to be unprecedented even by the gruesome standards of Mexican drug cartels.

It was unclear if all 72 were killed at the same time — or why. A federal official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said investigators believe the victims were killed within recent days.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Taliban Lashes And Then Executes A Woman

Widow, 48, is given dozens of lashes before being shot dead

Its a good thing that the Taliban is not the US Military.  If so we'd hear more news about this.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

From Ground Beef To Veggie Meat In My House

Today I went shopping and picked up some faux ground beef that is made of veggie matter.

The two main dishes that I make with ground beef are Chili and Spaghetti sauce.

My kids and wife don't mind when I substitute ground chicken/turkey instead of beef.  

I have never tasted this MorningStar product to know how much its ground beef product tastes like real beef.

I am either going to be a revolutionary or a rebel.

The feedback will be obvious based on there being abundant leftovers or empty pots.

If Mike Tyson can lose 130 pounds by going vegan I am good for about 50 pounds via this method.  I need to bring my family along with me for this to work.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Phobia Of Open Toe Shoes On Myself

While sitting on a plane recently I looked across and saw two women with open toe shoes sitting next two me (and ahead of me).

As I saw all of the people walking by, many with rolling bags I realized how all of the years of stubbing my toe while barefoot has impacted me.

There is no way that I could sit with my toes exposed while on an airplane and so many threats that could step on my toe or roll their bags over them.

(Note: I would have taken an actual picture of these women feet but I didn't want to risk being considered a "perv" and thrown off of the plane).

Over my life time I am quite sure that I have fractured my toe bones despite never having received treatment.   From kicking furniture in the dark to recently kicking some steel dumbbells in my basement - the excruciating pain that comes from stubbing my toes has me preferring to keep my toes covered throughout the day.

I am happy that women have the inverse appeal.  They seek to show off their polished toenails as part of their fashion allure.

For me - give me some steel toe boots.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

France Declares War On Al-Queda

France Declares War On Al-Queda

I hope that they will be more willing to back this claim with more troops where they are needed.

The USA did not declare war and we have been supplying the largest amount of manpower.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hamas Attacks Youth Summer Camp In Gaza - You Won't Hear This Incessantly Repeated

Rival Hamas, UN summer camps compete over children

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Masked men trashed a U.N. summer camp Monday, tying up guards and slashing tents and an inflatable pool in the second such attack blamed on suspected extremists in just over a month — a sign of how, in Gaza, youth camp is not just about crafts and volleyball.

Rival day camps by the United Nations and Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers compete for the hearts of the next generation, the roughly 700,000 children under 15 who make up nearly half of the Gaza Strip's population.

Hamas camps teach an anti-Israeli doctrine and military-style marching, along with horseback riding, swimming and Islam. U.N. camps try to instill hope in a better future, a message wrapped in fun and games.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Robert Kennedy Jr's Wife Files For Divorce To Get Away From This Man

RFK Jr.'s wife faces DUI charge after divorce filing

If I were forced to live with this man I would be drinking as well.

One of the most fraudulent left-wing attack merchants operating.

Days after the BP oil spill he took to the tubes and proclaimed that he has proof that Haliburton was responsible.

Months later when we all found that while Haliburton demanded that BP use 24 "centralizers"(?), BP used only 6. 

We did not hear an apology from Kennedy about his fraud.

Monday, July 12, 2010

International Press Silent As 4/5ths of Afghani Civilian Deaths Are Caused By The Taliban

International troops are responsible for about one-fifth of civilian deaths

It all goes to show - The press is more interested in indicting the US Troops and holding it up to the higher standards.  In doing so they prove that they have INFERIOR expectations upon the Taliban.
KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban insurgents are carrying out more attacks this year than at any time since early in the war, killing increasing numbers of civilians as U.S.-led forces push into the militants' southern strongholds, an Afghan rights group said Monday.

International troops were responsible for about one-fifth of civilian deaths — down from previous years, thanks to restrictive rules of engagement that some soldiers feel put their own lives at risk.

That so many noncombatants are dying shows that the international force has yet to succeed in its goal of protecting the Afghan people, whose trust and support are key components of NATO's new counterinsurgency strategy in the nearly 9-year-old war.

At least 1,074 civilians died in the first half of this year, triple the number of international forces killed over the same period, the Afghanistan Rights Monitor said in a report that called 2010 the worst year for security since shortly after the demise of the Taliban regime.

Violence has soared as coalition forces, bolstered by 30,000 American reinforcements, move into Taliban strongholds in the south and east to try to wrest the areas from the militants, strengthen Afghan government control and win Afghans' trust. The insurgents have responded with a wave of ambushes, suicide attacks, roadside bombs and assassinations.

The number of civilian deaths are up in 2010, though only slightly, over the previous year's first half, but the number of insurgent attacks — and their share of the civilian deaths — has spiked.

Afghanistan Rights Monitor director Ajmal Samadi said the group recorded 1,200 violent incidents in June alone, the most in a single month since early 2002. The number included coalition actions such as airstrikes against insurgents, but Samadi said the vast majority were attacks by the Taliban and their militant allies.

For Some Reason I Am Now Motivated To Watch "The Price Is Right" Once Again

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Smooth Chocolate!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I May Have To Start Watching "The Price Is Right" Again

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cobra Attacks Baby

This Cobra had to have had its fangs removed in advance.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Taliban Executes A 7 Year Old As A Spy

Officials: Taliban executes boy, 7, for spying

I take it that they ran out of acid to throw in his face?

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Suspected Taliban militants have executed a 7-year-old boy, accusing him of spying for the government, officials in southern Afghanistan said Thursday.

The execution took place Tuesday in the Sangin district of Helmand province, said Dawoud Ahmadi -- the provincial governor's spokesman.

In the past, militants have carried out similar killings of those accused of spying, Ahmadi said.

Three years ago, a 70-year-old woman and a child in the Musa Qala district of the province were executed following the same allegations, he said.

During a news conference Thursday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said officials were looking into reports of the execution and said he condemned the act if it is confirmed to be true.

"I don't think there's a crime bigger than that that even the most inhuman forces on earth can commit," Karzai said. "A 7-year-old boy cannot be a spy. A 7-year-old boy cannot be anything but a 7-year-old boy, and therefore hanging or shooting to kill a 7-year-old boy ... is a crime against humanity."

"If this is true, it is an absolutely hiorrific crime," British Prime Minister David Cameron said during the news conference on an unannounced stop in Kabul. "If true, I think it says more about the Taliban than any book, than any article, than any speech could ever say."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Tale Of Two Oil Spills - Private Sector BP versus Mexico's State Owned Ixtoc I

Ixtoc I oil spill - Year 1979

BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill - Year 2010

Soveriegn Immunity - Government's Wild Card

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

No To $25 Million Natural Gas Pipeline Spur - Make Them Get Propane Tanks

AGL wants customers to fund pipeline to resort

If nothing else respect my consistency.

Recall last year I took a drive through rural Georgia and noted that every house had what my son thought where "submarines" on their side which were actually propane tanks.

The logic was that these sparsely populated communities did not justify the build out of a natural gas grid.  It was more efficient for them to have propane delivered to each house by truck.

The thought that a ritzy development in Greene County Georgia is slated to have a natural gas pipeline strung between Atlanta Gaslight's service area in Baldwin County is equally preposterous.  The $25 million investment is not worth the money.

If infrastructure providers in the areas of telecom, water, sewer and roads make use of "return on investment" calculations to determine where to build out then this same logic should be applied in this case.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Israel Kills 10 Activists That Seek To Bring Aid To Gaza

Security Council to meet after raid in international waters kills 10 activists

Israel you have grossly miscalculated this one.
The flotilla of ships headed your way figured that there would be one of two outcomes derived:

  1. The Israeli military was going to react to the ships heading toward Gaza, prompting an international incident
  2. The Israeli government, realizing that all eyes are on it was going to back down, allowing the flotilla to pass 

With the reports that Israeli commandos boarded the ships and responded with gun fire to threats from knives, leaving 10 people dead is not going to go over well. I have today's broadcast of "Democracy Now" queued up for coverage. I assure you that this will be the lead story.

Israel made a major misstep.
The pressure will mount upon Israel to receive sanction.

If indeed these are "humanitarian aid" going to Gaza - where is the neutral third party with traction upon Israel to allow the safe passage of these goods?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Illegal Aliens Run Bank Fraud In Payroll Check Scheme Costing Banks Millions

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Boycott BP - The Dumbest Most Misguided Actor-vist Operation

Boycott BP

The left is at it again.  The calls to boycott BP are originating from their ranks.
If they only called for "Boycott The Federal Government" after Katrina, refusing to receive anything from the Feds.


Because BP must pay.

Eleven oil workers are dead. One of the largest oil spills in U.S. history continues to worsen. BP's oil gusher at the floor of the Gulf of Mexico may be 100 times worse than BP first estimated (and 20 times worse than the company presently claims). 100 times!

BP's oil gusher is now threatening coastal lands in Louisiana and is almost certain to destroy fisheries and the livelihoods of people who fish and shrimp in the Gulf, or rely on the Gulf for tourism business. The giant plumes of oil deep underwater will exact an unknown toll on sea life. And the spreading oil may even wind up in currents that eventually take it to the U.S. Eastern shores.

BP CEO Tony Hayward is sanguine about the whole problem. The Financial Times quotes him saying, "I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest."

A boycott will send a message to BP that its shoddy oversight of this project and its history of environmental and worker safety violations is unforgivable. Take the BP Boycott Pledge, and commit not to buy gas from BP for at least three months. Go here:

BP cares desperately about its public image. This is the company that has sought to rebrand itself as "Beyond Petroleum." BusinessWeek estimates the BP brand as worth $3.9 billion -- the highest among oil companies. "Not even an Alaskan oil spill or an explosion at a Texas refinery has put a dent in BP's strong [brand] performance," said BusinessWeek in 2006. This time must be different. A boycott will express the organized consumer anger that BP so fears.

This is a company that should fear the public's wrath, for the Deepwater Horizon blowout was a preventable disaster. While much remains unknown, there is mounting evidence that BP could have averted the catastrophe. BP made a conscious decision not to install a $500,000 safety device that could have prevented the blowout. There is good reason to believe BP's contractors on the Deepwater Horizon made multiple mistakes leading up to the disaster, but it is ultimately BP's job to make sure its contractors are exercising sufficient care. And Mike Williams, the chief electronics technician on the Deepwater Horizon, told 60 Minutes that BP pressured its contractors to skirt other safety measures that might have prevented the disaster.

The Ole Tale About The "Acoustic Switch"

 The $500,000 safety device that they speak of is the "Acoustic Switch".  In their version of events, had BP and Halliburton spent the money - this disaster would not be with us.

The acoustic switch is a device that allows a surface ship to send a command down to the value on the sea floor to close.  Common Dreams is not intellectually honest enough to note that the switch was activated by the workmen prior to them abandoning ship.

In addition after the "Top Kill" method has failed BP plans to CUT OFF THE VALVE and put a new one on top over the next few days.

For Common Dreams "the struggle" where they unify the masses behind a mission is more important than anything else.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Am Going To Kill That Freaking "Tree Rat" For Eating My Peaches!!!

This is war on the rodents who keep picking my fruit trees bear.
I planted them in order to share a few of them with the wild creatures in my back yard.  Not for them to take all of my stuff while I am away working!!!

I am going to skin me some squirrels!!!

Here is a picture of a peach tree that I planted late in the season two summers ago.  A few weeks ago I was happy because it was sprouting an abundant number of peach-lets all over its branch system.  

Today there are no peaches left on the tree.   I saw two damned squirrels feasting on my prized peaches.

This is no longer "cute".  They are now pissing me off.

If they had waited until the fruit had fully developed I would have been less pissed off.  Instead they helped themselves while the peaches were still green and no bigger than a grape.

Here are pictures of some other threats to my vegetation:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Greek Government Threatens To Sue American Banks For Stirring Fears About Default Thus Increasing Borrowing Costs

Claims comments about ability to repay debt have raise borrowing costs

Earth to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou!!!
The problems with your country started a long time before any American banker said anything about your loans.

You have been running an economic system that was doomed to fail a long time ago.
Now you appear merely desperate to find a scape goat.

I don't blame you though.  If I had the threat of mass violent riots in my nation again - I too would be looking for some capitalists to redirect people's anger toward as well.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Halle:Is It Time To Admit That You Have Issues (With Keeping A Man)?

Halle Berry has taken another trip to Splitsville.

You get no argument from me girl - yes you are cute.

Its those eyes.  Within those eyes is a woman with a temper - at least as I see it.

What looks good on the outside for lustful brothers (like me) appears to turn into a "Let me out of this relationship with this woman".  This is happening time and time again.

I thought that this time was "the one".

Why not go in the other direction and get a dark chocolate brother?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Petition: Give The "New Avenues" Babe A Name On The Commercial

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If there is "Wolfman and Donna" on the old furniture store commercials why doesn't "New Avenues" allow the fine chocolate sista in the commercial to present her name along with the Mike Moore, president of the company?

In fact - let her do the commercials herself.

(Place Holder. Let me go find videos for the other two commercials that got me interested in renting some furniture all of a sudden)

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Journey To Cuba - My Arrival In Cuba - Part III

I made it to the passenger lounge of the airport in Nassau Bahamas.  The new terminal was for passengers bound for the USA.  This older terminal was for the rest of the world.  There was a sea of Europeans returning to other places around the world.  I happened to notice that more often than not mother, father and child was either reading something or using a computer.

I heard "Last call for Cubana Airlines".  My heart dropped as I thought that I was about to miss my flight.  The long line of people going to Amsterdam blocked my view of the shorter line that was going to Cuba.

Finally I was allowed to board the Cubana Airlines turbo prop plane into Cuba.

(Note to self:  There were two Black lesbians two seats in front of me.  They were nice people.)

We landed in Cuba.
I observed an airport with the standard runway markings and signage as expected in the United States.  These are international aviation standards so Cuba's relative isolation to the United States had no bearing upon these standards.

We deplaned and there was an array of Cuban personnel who directed us toward the shuttle bus that was waiting for us.  We were driven to the main terminal.

My stereotypes of Cuba put me on full alert.  First there was an immigration agent who inspected my passport and boarding pass.  They spoke English.  I told them "no stamp on the passport".  They gave me a visa card instead.  

My passport was retained and I was asked to pass through a door that had an electric lock.   Another woman who was standing on the other side of the door directed me to the luggage scanner and metal detector.  She held onto my passport.

The lobby was dark.  Instead of the large florescent lights and/or open air windows that you might see at an American airport - this area had circular lights which barely illuminated the area and cameras dangling from the ceiling.

Why are you all holding onto my passport?

I was told to move to the right.  I had to hand in my "H1N1" form to a row of nurses that were waiting for me.  I asked one female passenger who was on my plane if they had taken her passport?  She did not speak English.   Another woman overheard my question and said "Yes.  You have to go through an interview".

I retrieved my duffel bag from the luggage conveyor.  The thing was loud and squeaky as it rubbled round and a round.

I walked through the lobby about to exit through a final set of metal detectors as I asked the guard where I could exchange my money.  Then a young male customs agent tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to come with him.

  • Why are you in Cuba?   Vacation
  • Where are you staying?  El Presidente Hotel
  • What do you do in America?  I am a consultant for cellphones
  • How long are you staying in Cuba?  For 3 days
  • Do you have a computer with you?  No
  • Do you have a camera?  Yes - its in my bag
  • Do you have any family in Cuba?  No
  • Have you ever been to Cuba before?  No
Then he took me over to a metal table where he ruffled through my duffel bag and my backpack.  I had a bunch of magazines and newspapers.  I wondered if he thought that I was an insurgent who was smuggling news from the outside world into the county.

Throughout the interview process he went over to his supervisor at least 4 times, seeking his council.  

Finally after the last discussion with this other guy he waved me along.

As soon as I set foot into the terminal a lady who was a hospitality agent engaged me.  She took me to the currency exchange.   What?  The Cuban Peso is equal to the US dollar with a 20% hit?   The Euro doesn't have the same 20% penalty.  It appears to be traded at market rates.

The hospitality agent got me a cab and sent me onto my hotel.  I gave her a $5 peso tip.  The first thing that I realized I needed to figure out is the proper index for tipping.  Even though they make the peso nearly equal to the dollar the Cuban wage rates are not equal to that of the American worker.  If the average wage is about $30 per month then a $5 tip from one passenger is a goldmine in relative terms.

The Cuban taxi driver was European in ancestry.  He didn't say a word throughout the trip.  I was amazed as I passed through large cement apartment buildings with the same water storage containers on the roof that I am used to seeing in Jamaica.  I also noticed that each had window unit air conditioners dangling from them - a sign of no central HVAC system within.  

There was some type of old manufacturing plant near the airport that was shut down.  The large buildings were still present but grass and weeds had taken over where work used to be conducted.

The streets were abuzz with human activity.  There were masses of people waiting for buses.  I swore that my driver was going to hit someone.  As a person crossed the street while he decelerated at a red light he never yielded to allow them to pass in front of his car.  They had to walk behind.  Finally we arrived at the El Presidente Hotel.  It took my bag out of the minivan and I gave him a $5 peso tip.

I entered the lobby of the hotel to check in.  They asked for my passport.  
I told them that my friend had arrived the day before and that I needed to check into the same room.  The lady remembered: "Ahh you are the one who he told us about.  You'll have to sign this as evidence that we gave you a key to the room".   

As I stood at the front desk the "lobby man" came over to me as said "Please sir, have a seat on the couch.  She will be with you in a minute".   (WHERE IS MY PASSPORT?  Why do you all keep taking my passport in Cuba?)

I noticed that there was a man standing at the doorway at all times.  He was there to keep an eye out on those who entered the lobby.  No native Cuban was allowed into the hotel unless they had official business with the hotel or was escorted by a guest.

I noticed that there was a restaurant on both ends of the lobby.  There was an Internet cafe there (cool).  There was a bar on the other side of the check in desk.

Finally I was given the key and told to go to my room.  The bellhop would bring me my bags.

I went to my room.   About 10 minutes later my bag arrived.  The bellhop asked if there was anything else that he could do for me.  He waited for me to tip him.  I gave him a $3 peso and he left.

I browsed the television channels and relaxed.  
I wondered where my crazy friend was at the time.  
I had no means of contacting him.  The Cubacel cellphone network does not have a roaming agreement with any American telecom carriers thus none of our phones work there unless we get a Cuban SIM card.