31 May 2011

Tuesday Tidbits...
First off, please do not attempt to adjust your monitors...someone else is in control.
BLOGGER is having brain-fart "issues" again, and that the comments you post here ARE being PUBLISHED...but my FOLLOWER list and my edit "screwdrivers" are MIA.
Actualy it's on ONE of the computers (the one I always use to produce the blog posts...figures).
Again, we have to deal with a bunch of trained (?) primates that are mucking about CHANGING things all over the place, when, for over SIX YEARS I haven't had any problems of this magnitude (or frequency).
I would suggest you bear with Blogger, and eventually...they'll show back up (unlike Jimmy Hoffa).
Would be nice if they had a BONAFIDE HELP DESK to sort out this crap, because that should not be "my" job...I ain't getting paid to rewrite the parameters and template HTML for anyone's blog...nor do I wish to.
With that "Public Service Announcement" over with, let's move on...
*** Here we are at the end of the (merry?) month of May for 2011, and (I) we can official go on record as having recorded the WETTEST MAY in Indiana history (according to the weather prognosticators).
How's about them apples, hmm?
It's been a weird-ass weather month, no matter where you seemed to live.
And it's been VERY hard on people over much of the Midwest, from Texas and Oklahoma up through Ohio (and all points in-between).
*** We have another Memorial Day behind us as well, and I can state (with a sense of pride) that OUR HOUSE was the only one in viewing distance that displayed our nation's FLAG from sunrise to sunset.
Yet, let it not be said that NOT having seen Old Glory being flown elsewhere had ANY bearing on the level of cookouts and partying around the ghettohood!
If there's one thing these people LOVE to do...it's EAT...and DRINK...and PAR-TAY!
Amazing how easily you can get with THAT program when someone ELSE if paying the tab, isn't it?
As for us, in our Fortress of Reason?
Well, Mr. Bunny stopped by to thank us for flying the flag, and was rewarded with some daily treats.
Wifey and I got our red, white and purple (closest thing to blue they have) petunias planted in our urns out front, as well as some other small plants about the garden and patio.
We filled the bird feeders, put out a hummingbird feeder (just in case some from Mexico arrive early...now THOSE "immigrants" we have NO problem with....lol), and stuck a suet cake in that feeder, too.
Take care of God's creatures first...that's what I like to do.
Then, we set about to have ourselves a BBQ of sorts, but none of that goofy-ass shouting and loud music...no sir.
We use our grill for dinner, as in eating INSIDE where the A/C was running (and quite well).
We had ourselves some grilled Salmon as well as a rack of baby back ribs (and it WAS yummy).
Polish THAT off with a cold Guinness and the Memorial Day parade live from D.C. (with a few classic war flicks tossed into the mix), and you had all the trappings for a really MEANINGFUL DAY.
All that was missing were those that have passed before us.
And in that regard, we kept OUR time spent yesterday as much in keeping with the meaning OF the holiday...remembrance.
Nothing wrong with a bit of solemnity once in a while...keeps one humble...and thankful.
Wouldn't know that elsewhere in the area, though.
Even heard the first fireworks of this all-too-long season.
Fortunately, we didn't have any cars skidding into houses (always nice to hear that), and no one appeared to get shot, but that did not deter this city from racking up it's NINTH homicide of the year over the weekend.
Here's the *4-1-1*:
(( Published: May 30, 2011 3:00 a.m.
Victim of bat beating dies; county’s 9th homicide of ’11 - Archie Ingersoll The Journal Gazette
A Fort Wayne man has died of head injuries he suffered last week when he was severely beaten with a bat, the
Allen County Coroner’s Office said Sunday.
Christopher Deaton, 39, died Saturday evening at Lutheran Hospital. He had been a patient there since Tuesday night after he was beaten at a home in the 400 block of Bass Street, south of Parkview Field. Fort Wayne police said 45-year-old Manuel Silva arrived at the home upset, beat Deaton with the bat and left.
City police, with the help of U.S. marshals, later found Silva and arrested him across town in the 3300 block of Figel Avenue.
Silva, of the 5300 block of New Haven Avenue, was charged with aggravated battery. On Thursday, he posted $10,000 bail to be released from the Allen County Jail. He was not in custody Sunday.
Officer John Chambers, a city police spokesman, said detectives and prosecutors will discuss the possibility of more serious charges being filed against Silva.
The coroner’s office said an autopsy performed Sunday found that Deaton died from blunt-force trauma to the head. His death was ruled a homicide – the ninth this year in the city and county.
Silva does not have a listed phone number. He has not yet retained an attorney in the aggravated-battery case, according to the Indiana courts website.
))
NOT ARRESTED (again) ???
WTF are you WAITING FOR?
And here's the link to a more comprehensive sory:
http://www.wane.com/dpp/news/baseball-bat-beating-victim-dies
Some people just cannot control their animal instincts all that well.
Then again, the house where the beating happened looked to be a halfway house. The people interviewed didn't give ME a sense of well-being...just looking at 'em made the neck hairs stand up.
And then there's THIS story about something I've talked about AT LENGTH (here):
(( Published: May 31, 2011 3:00 a.m.
Driver flees after hitting 3-year-old - The Journal Gazette
A 3-year-old girl was in fair condition after she was hit by a car Monday evening on the city’s southeast side.
The driver drove away, police said.
The girl was playing in the street in the 4300 block of Spatz Avenue about 7:25 p.m. when a silver Saturn came speeding down the street, Fort Wayne police Sgt. Robert LaLone said. She was hit just south of McKinnie Avenue between South Park and Gaywood drives.
There were skid marks on the street where the driver tried to stop before hitting the child. LaLone said the driver skidded sideways and struck the girl. The girl was taken to a hospital in fair condition, he said.
The girl’s parents were at one of the homes nearby, but LaLone did not know whether they lived in the area.
Shortly after the girl was struck, numerous children were playing in the front yard of a home adjacent to the scene. A toddler nearly ran into the street while police were investigating, but his mother grabbed him just before he reached the pavement.
Spatz Avenue is narrow and had cars parked on both sides of the street Monday evening.
Anyone with information is asked to call Lt. Tony Maze at 427-1373.
))
Now WTF have I been saying about SPEEDING down here?
--It's prevalent.
--It's rampant.
--It's a daily occurrence (many times over).
--It's not being properly addressed by the FWPD command.
--It's been allowed to happen for YEARS.
And well, this is the result...if it's not a HOUSE being tagged...it's an UNSUPERVISED 3-year old...obviously IN THE STREET (where the cars like to drive)
Now, we can make a case BOTH for having people that do NOT deserve to be behind the wheel of ANY vehicles, just as much as we can belabor the point that there are people who do NOT deserve to be able to PROCREATE (and eventually allow their preschoolers to roam about in our streets).
Stupid IS...as stupid DOES (and does pretty damn well in some cases).
Helluva way to come off of such an IMPORTANT holiday, isn't it?
We commemorate the SACRIFICES of HONORABLE people who serve this nation and give so much ...in order to allow the REST of us to be FREE...
Free to be as dumb as a bag of rocks (in some instances)...
Somehow, the justification is appearing a bit muddied in that regard.
Goes to show what CAN happen when (some) people get their priorities ass-backwards.
I know I see such lack of responsibility every...single...day.
Freedom is NEVER free, but it goes way beyond the service of our troops to this nation.
What it comes down to is EVERY ONE OF US taking SOME responsibility for WHO WE ARE.
If we're a parent, we have a specific responsibility.
if we serve the public, we have quite another.
And even if we're Joe or Jane "Citizen" we still have a responsibility to encourage, empower, and teach those that need to LEARN...in whatever manner that learning presents itself.
WE can therefore LEAD by example, enabling others to do likewise, should they choose to.
Still, when the choices are made, we must remain responsible for whatever outcomes spring from them.
That is accountability, plain and simple.
It's not hard to acquire...all it takes is courage, persistence, and a willingness to do the right things in life.
And that should suffice for most ANY of us.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.

30 May 2011

Memorial Day Musings...
Seems every year I look to find the right words...and often without plagiarizing that which others have said so very eloquently.
How can one fully explain the REAL meaning of today?
















Can we look to all the cemeteries, replete with their small flags decorating the graves of fallen comrades or family members who have served this country and that have passed on?
Can we look to the parades that will commemorate those who have served or are currently serving?
Can we listen to the services and the music from military bands that will be presented to all of us remaining?
I think it's all of these, and so much more.
Some people throughout history have noted as much:
Robert E. Lee once stated that:
"It is good that war is so terrible, otherwise we would grow too fond of it."
William Tecumseh Sherman put it more bluntly:
"War is hell."
George S. Patton Looked at it this way:
"The object of war is to not die for your country, but to make the other bastard die for HIS."
William Westmoreland saw it in this manner:
"War is fear cloaked in courage."
Jose Narosky made this observation:
"In war there are no unwounded soldiers."
John F. Kennedy had this to say:
"Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind."
Ulysses S. Grant said:
"I have never advocated war except as a means of peace."
Herbert Hoover noted that:
"Older men declare war, but it is the youth that must fight and die."
Now all these people (and many more throughout history's past) seemed to understand what war really means.
it means changing one's lifestyle...leaving one's family, and perhaps making the ultimate sacrifice to one's nation.
That is what WE remember this day.
Now, we can see all the sales at all the stores, and look to our BBQ grills and even set off fireworks as some sort of divisive way to "have fun" and send a false homage to those in uniform, both living and deceased, but all this falls far short of the ACTUAL REASON we acknowledge this day each year.
America has placed literally MILLIONS of it's citizens into harm's way...
Some (in the past) through conscription, and these days, all by volunteerism.
And of that vast number, while many signed up because it was the RIGHT thing to do, many others simply did NOT want to be placed in the situation they soon found themselves.
But then, a remarkable thing occurred...
Those American troops fought...and fought long, hard and far beyond their normal abilities (as former citizens) in order to achieve the victory needed to end whatever hostility they were thrust into...and that's something VERY remarkable.
The wonderful thing about all that...we've been doing this since the 18th century. This nation has within it, a unique people....
No other nation on earth has accomplished that which we have, in such a short time AS a nation.
And we did it by having brave men and women of honor and integrity fight for liberty and freedom.
There can be no greater patriotism found than in both our military and it's extended families.
THAT is what this nation stands for.
War is never the best option to solve any dispute or problem, but it is often the ONLY recourse left when all else fails.
And when attacked on our shores, we WILL respond and not merely with words, but by deeds and action.
We ARE a free people...and perhaps more free than ANY other nation on the planet.
As such, we are often ridiculed or scorned by those who march to beats of different drums.
And to those people we would only ask that they embrace liberty instead of tyranny; freedom instead of oppression.
Should we be drawn into conflict because of OUR beliefs, we will answer the call to duty.
And we shall prevail.
The endgame is not without cost to us, as a nation...as a people.
We will mourn those we lose in battle, and celebrate their memory.
THAT is what today is all about.
Our nation comes together at this time every year to do this, and it is proper and fitting to take part.
I would ask that EVERY American take today to reflect upon that which is allowed you, by way of such sacrifice by others.
Use this day as a time to appreciate the life you have, and the manner in which you are permitted to live it.
And then look to our men & women who have served and are serving...and thank them for what they have done, and will continue to do, in order that you may life free.
It's what makes THIS nation the one others look to in that regard.
Have a wonderful day, and remember that many of our public safety workers are ALSO veterans of the military.
Take a moment to thank them ALL for their service to you...and this country.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.

27 May 2011

Friday Follies...
Well, here we are, at the doorstep of the first of the BIG weekends, culminating in Monday's celebration OF Memorial Day.
And we got a much-needed respite from this constant rain we've been having...for a while anyway.
Of course, by Monday, temps will be in the 90s....a far cry from the upper 50s we're feeling THIS morning in the Heartland.
*** But first, we bring you this "Public Service Announcement" from those monitoring the law-breakers across the USA:
This is an excerpt from an article at the 24/7 Wall St. site via Yahoo finance:
Here's the link to the entire article:
http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/112804/most-dangerous-cities-247
(( Earlier this week, the FBI trumpeted the news that violent crime dropped 5.5% in 2010 while reported property crimes fell 2.8% during the depths of the worst economic slowdown since the Great Depression. The news, though, is far from positive.
Though most regions of the U.S. saw declines, the Northeast saw an increase in murders (8.3%), forcible rapes (1.4%) and aggravated assaults (0.7%). Why that region was affected by crime more than others isn't clear.
Perhaps it was because of the grinding poverty found in some of the area's cities and their high cost of living.
A 24/7 Wall St. review of 2010 FBI crime data shows violent crime rose in several of the largest and poorest cities in the U.S., particularly those which have been in decline for some time. Even when crime rates dropped, older urban areas still had more violent crime than other cities. Philadelphia, Cleveland, Buffalo and Hartford finished high on the FBI's list but failed to make the final 24/7 Wall St. ranking.
The crime problem is not completely explained by crimes committed. Police forces are supposed to keep crime rates down, but officers have begun to disappear from the streets of some large cities. Pontiac, Mich., part of the corridor of high crime cities that runs from Detroit to Flint, recently turned over its police operations to the sheriff's office of Oakland Country, where Pontiac is located. Old industrial towns need to cut costs as populations fall and tax receipts recede, but the money trouble almost makes it certain that criminal activity will grow because it is mostly unchecked.
))
***
The top ten cities rated by 24/7 Wall St are as follows:
10- Stockton, CA
9- Rockford, IL
8- Baltimore, MD
7- Little Rock, AR
6- Oakland, CA
5- Memphis, TN
4- New Haven, CT
3- St. Louis, MO
2- Detroit, MI
1- Flint, MI
Now, I wonder what ALL these cities have IN COMMON that was NOT said in that article?
(I think all of you can figure that one out easily enough)
And then there's THIS article (list) from the Neighborhood Scout website: http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/neighborhoods/crime-rates/top100dangerous/
While there are a few discrepancies among THIS top ten list (actually, they cover the top ONE HUNDRED cities with the highest levels of crime), there are a lot of "repeat offenders" (pun intended).
You can click on each city at this site to see the areas that are both the safest and the worst (satellite maps).
Maybe YOUR city made the cut...maybe not.
Makes you wonder how some folks can say crime is going DOWN, while these cities (as well as other places not even mentioned) are seeing an UPTURN in crime, or at least an increase in such activity that leads TO crime.
But, we can look to other things this weekend in the meantime, can't we?
*** This Sunday marks a once-in-a-lifetime experience for everyone who has ever enjoyed motor-racing.
The 100th anniversary of the INDIANAPOLIS 500 will be telecast.
Now THIS is something my late Dad would have loved to see (and somehow, I think he's gonna be watching from some pretty good seats)
Here's a list of ALL the drivers who have won the previous races (excluding the war years):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Indianapolis_500_winners
Dad got me interested in this back when it only used to be broadcast on the RADIO.
Every year, he and I would huddle near the old Telefunken set and listen from flag to flag at the announcers as they aired the race in it's entirety.
Then came a very unusual event in the early mid-sixties...someone got the bright idea to send a CLOSED CIRCUIT television signal into a MOVIE THEATER...and well, Dad and I were THERE...even have a lunch packed from Mom to hold us over.
It was amazing to watch the race on a FORTY-FOOT screen and NO commercials (even if the live feed was disrupted time and again...or the race was rain-delayed). It was a real blast to be with a few hundred OTHER race fans in Philly...all with their favorite drivers.
It was there that Dad and I watched Mario Andretti win his only 500 back in 1969.
That was THE place to be for us on Memorial Day Sunday.

The Orleans Theater in N/E Philly!
We even got some programs with the driver lineups...don't know where those things went after all this time...they're just gone.
Wish I still had 'em.
Then, when the Indy 500 became "standard fare" on the TV (complete with commercial breaks), we'd both settle in for the race, and then dinner.
If the race ran long, Mom knew that Dad and I would set up trays in the living room to watch, and she even got into it with HER favorite drivers.
We even "bet" on who would win. (illegal gambling in PA? Horrors!)
Yeah, real high stakes, too...like who would wash WHO'S car if they lost...LOL.
Mom got off easy...dinner out at a restaurant if she won. If she lost, she made either dad's favorite dinner or mine (which was usually the same).
But those were fantastic times...and it always made me want to go TO Indianapolis...
Dad so wanted to go there as well, but since it was 1100+ miles, a "weekend" outing was kinda a no-go.
And it would COST some money we really didn't have (yeah, money WAS actually "tight" in those days for a lot of us)
Dad and I DID manage a race up at POCONO RACEWAY in the early 70s (The Schaefer 500)...now THAT was the next best thing to Indy (for us).
Sadly, when Dad passed in 1978, he never did realize his dream of going to Indy...
I took up the mantle and went for the BOTH of us.
Granted, it was not for the "500", but rather for the Brickyard in the early 2000s.
And I but walked all around the damn track, as well as go to the race museum and see all the former winning cars they have on display there.
Even got to see the Marmom Wasp - winner of the FIRST Indy 500 (driven by Ray Haroun)!
Now that was fantastic...and literally wore me the hell out with all the walking (and the driving down and back)...but it WAS worth every step of the way.
After all, in many ways, my DAD was with me that entire day.
This year, Sports Illustrated has a commemorative issue (costs about $15) for the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500, and if you can afford it...go and get it!
I consider this one of my few "indulgences" in life, and I do look forward to this every year...just as I did growing up.
Some things never leave you, thankfully.
One good thing to come of this...I can do a pretty decent imitation of JIM NABORS when he sings "BACK HOME AGAIN IN INDIANA", even though I will ALWAYS be from Pennsylvania. Glad to see that the letter I got in high school choir didn't go totally to waste...LOL!
I figure if Jim retires, they could always ring me up...what the hell.
Yeah, remembrances of days long past help urge many of us forward into tomorrow, if for no other reason, than to share with others such good times, and let them know that regular people can appreciate simpler things in life...like a radio broadcast...or a stroll around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Here's to YOU, Dad...I know you'll be somewhere nearby this Sunday (with Mom).
Now, we will be talking more about Memorial Day on Monday, and I do hope that all of you will spend some time with loved ones, or perhaps outside, enjoying all that our creator has allowed us to behold.
(most of it is STILL FREE, too)
And even if looks like no one is around, God is there holding you in HIS hand, and that is always something to celebrate.
So enjoy yourselves this weekend, and wherever you go, remember that you are not going there alone.
And please take time to remember those across America devastated by this recent weather.
A prayer in passing, or even a small donation to the Red Cross will work wonders to ensure that these people have something to hang onto, as they piece together their lives...namely that they are NOT forgotten by the rest of us. We will stand to help whenever and wherever we can.
That's what Americans do for one another.
And it makes us all appreciate who we are in the process.
We'll catch you all up on the flip-side.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and as always...
Stay safe out there, America.

26 May 2011

God, This Is Noah...You Got A Minute?
I'm telling you, in 58 years, I have never seen such a rainy time as this past month in Indiana.
Now, I know any Hoosier would tell you that:
"Well, Bob, this IS Indiana, and the weather changes by the minute most times."
Certainly didn't expect it to change along THESE lines.
Yesterday was one of those days that reminded me of the MONSOON SEASON in Southeast Asia.
My Dad often spoke about what a "wonderful time" that was when he was stationed in India during WW II.
It's when you become accustomed to NOT BEING DRY for a couple months (so get used to it).
This is the kind of weather that brought to mind that Ray Bradbury story from his book: The Illustrated Man", entitled THE LONG RAIN...
This story was later included in a reprint of the book "The Golden Apples of the Sun".
It's not a long story, but I highly suggest you give it a read.
It was included in both the movie The Illustrated Man (1969) and was an episode of Ray Bradbury Theater (starring Marc Singer & Michael Hurst).
Yeah, it seems like THAT kind of rain.
Don't dare look up...or you'll drown!
Aside from that, we also had our share of TORNADO WARNINGS, what with the way the wind was whipping about, I was busy with the radio on (hearing the warnings every 5 minutes) the TV on (watching the NOAA weather channel), and going from window to window, checking for funnel clouds to appear.
MY thought was how the hell am I going to convince the CATS to come down the basement with me?
(without being clawed, bitten, and shredded six ways from Sunday, that is)
Yeah, they get a might skittish whenever thunderstorms hit. They don't know where to go to get away from it.
(now they know how I feel about boomcars...lol)
While streets were flooded across Fort Wayne, and trees fell, taking down power lines and such, we came through it all relatively unscathed.
We STILL have that roof leak that has encroached into our one room downstairs.
Be nice to get that fixed up proper...but you DO need something called NICE WEATHER to make that happen, and I'm not seeing all that much of THAT coming around these days.
Then, there's the basement leak...only occurs when we get a TORRENTIAL downpour (like yesterday).



What happens is that the old flue line off the chimney tends to leech water from the ground outside and well, it's gotta go somewhere, so why not into OUR basement.
There is a "drain" of sorts below, but the way the water runs down the inside wall...let's say it kinda "misses the mark", hence the tube to help drainage...and the clothesline to permit "capillary action" and allow water to run DOWN the line and into the drain.
But even that gets overwhelmed, and well...the result become obvious.
Not anything a good mop and catch-bucket (and some elbow-grease) can't cure, however.
It's not as though we have an "indoor water-feature"...or an impromptu wading pool (yet).
But is IS a bit of an inconvenience when it rains THIS much and for THIS long.
You have to remember that this house IS a tad on the "senior side"( fits right in with ME then, doesn't it?), in that it was built near the end of WW II.
Maybe I'm not THAT old (yet), but I can relate to things that age all too well.
The rest of the ghettohood was pretty much quiet, except for some "hard-core" thumpers that just HAD to "share" their lack of melodic appreciation and acoustic disrespect for others. Hope the 100% humidity crapped out ALL their equipment...serves 'em all right (assholes).
Most times, Mother Nature's "thunderbowl" tends to trump the morons driving the ghettosleds, and that suits me just fine.
Nice to hear myself think once in a while, even if it IS regarding hiding in my basement or worrying if Wifey's gonna have a house to come home to.
Our trellis blew the hell over...pulled some foot-long stakes out of the ground. So, I had to go out IN THE RAIN, and hammer them back in and zip-tie them down. Seems to be working SO far (crosses fingers, toes AND eyes). We shall see.
I did buy a few lengths of COPPER tubing to use at the base of the trellis, as the steel tubing rusted away...BUT (again) I need some NICE WEATHER to get that done.
Can't win for losing sometimes, hmm?
(Yeah...that kinda rain)
Our backyard was nicely inundated too, and the first thought I had as I looked at the blades of grass above the waterline was....
"Maybe I could plant some RICE?"
Lord knows the CORN FARMERS are having a real bad go of planting this year...
Funny, because we "really" need that corn for....ETHANOL (not).
Seems a lot of folks in the government are setting about shooting themselves in a lot of feet over that one.
But, if we planned a lot better, we'd not be in such a state of affairs.
Wifey had some troubles getting home...most roads were flooded, and she called saying she didn't know WHEN she'd get back.
Now, I've ALWAYS been a strict proponent of the old (military) saying:
"For every ONE way IN...you'd better have at least THREE ways OUT."
And that always worked for me whenever I had to travel about in my line of work.
You never rely JUST on ONE way to either get somewhere or return FROM that somewhere.
I used to have the best collection of county road maps for the east coast you ever saw...LOL.
And whenever I do drive anywhere, it's still with that in mind.
Always have a way out...or around.
I reminded Wifey to plan more alternative routes in this city, especially since it's SO prone to easy flooding.
We have plenty of tech to assist...like those online maps (easier to fold back up than those OLD ones...LOL)
Today's forecast is simple...check every other day for the previous 3 weeks...
Gonna sound about the exact same...
The only thing that will differ will be the TIMES the rain gets here...that DOES change up.
Other than that...more of the "same old".
If you're wondering what you can do while all this is going on, how's about THESE?
--Become a rice farmer
--Open an UMBRELLA kiosk...anywhere.
--Go into the used pontoon boat rental business.
--Buy a KAYAK.
--Make mudpies.
--Stow a trashbag in the car as an emergency "poncho".
--Turn your backyard into a CRANBERRY BOG.
--Do some bellyflops in the driveway.
--Purchase a hand-crank radio.
--See if you DO have flood-damage insurance...just in case.
--Consider building an ARK.
--See how many "pairs" of animals YOU can round up.
--Think about using your trashbin as a lifeboat.
Yeah...plenty of things to do...but it could ALWAYS be a helluva lot WORSE.
And all we have to do to remind ourselves of how FORTUNATE we've been HERE, is to turn on the TV and see those from Texas up through Ohio (and all points along the Midwest)...they took the brunt of all this, and many have lost everything.
They have to start over...a new beginning for them.
We can also begin to realize that nothing lasts forever, and that we need to cherish that which we have been blessed with.
That's also part of what makes us all who we are.
Keep your powder dry, watch out for standing water in your travels and do drive safely.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.

25 May 2011

Humpday Happenings...
And for a lot of people along "Tornado Alley", I'm pretty sure they can't wait for this week to end.
More storms popped up from Oklahoma City through Dallas last evening, leaving even more damage in their wake.
We can add THAT to the devastation in Joplin, Missouri, the 3 million acres of farmland flooded along the Mississippi, those DISPLACED along the same river when the levees were blown up to not allow flooding further DOWN-RIVER (yeah, that really made sense), and those suffering the wildfires in Texas.
Been a REALLY busy week, mother-nature-wise, hmm?
And it has to make one wonder "if" someone's not purposely tampering with our weather All this is more than merely "coincidence". Has to be.
I mean, it CAN be done, and was in the past when they use to "seed" the clouds with silver iodide and dry ice. This started back in 1946 and here's the WIKI on this relatively easy manner to urge clouds to release more water:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_seeding
Now, I'm not getting into the "chem-trail" gig or harping on theories regarding that HAARP array up in Alaska...that's best left for another day, when we can gather some more pieces to THAT puzzle and get the whole picture, fair enough?
*** While all THIS is going on, our fearless leader has been in jolly old England, pressing the flesh with the Queen and other notable royalty.
(whole lotta POMP goin' on across the pond)
Betcha he's also got ENGLISH roots to go with the IRISH ones.
Isn't that just "ducky", mate?
(meanwhile, back in he USA)
Citizens of Joplin, and all points destroyed, devastated, or ruined...don't fret.

Our PREZ will be there...this SUNDAY (Sunday...Sunday.....)!

((*ROLLS EYES*))

Gonna wait until everything's well over and done with, right?
(good idea - sure to endear you to THOSE citizens)
But, there has been things happening ELSEWHERE....such as this literally right around my corner of the ghettohood:
*** Yesterday around 1930 hours, Wifey comes in where I'm watching Top Gear on BBC America with one of our cats firmly resting upon my chest, and tells me there's a whole bunch of cop cars outside.
Her first thought was:
"What the hell did BOB do now?"
After allaying her concerns, and allowing the cat to remove himself from his (obviously comfortable) spot, I went to the window, and sure enough, there were about SIX FWPD cruisers all over the intersection.
I noticed a blue Chevy Cobalt missing it's front end at the YIELD sign, so I figured that car was the one that got tagged by whoever else was involved.
The other vehicle was a gold Malibu that was parked nearby...IN THE FRONT of a house in the next block up.
Yes...not at the house, but IN IT.
The car hopped the curb, rode through the front lawn and came to rest in what used to be the living room.
It couldn't have hit THAT hard (shoddy house construction?), as the car had little damage to IT'S front end...but the rear wheel was definitely at the WRONG angle to allow driving further.
Seems that the GOLD car was SPEEDING northbound on Monroe (big surprise...been telling the FWPD quadrant captain about this for literally YEARS.)
We have better than TEN such speed violations PER DAY...add them all up and do the math (at $125 a shot for basic moving violation).
That is some REALLY SERIOUS MONEY being lost (and a lot of UNSAFE drivers allowed to continue such dangerous practices).
Of course, we had literally TRIBES of lookie-loos outside gawking with kids running about the accident scene (the last thing investigating officers need, right?), but hey, it's ENTERTAINMENT to these people...better than cable.
We got to talking to one black woman who lives behind our place (and has her share of loudass friends over - she's on my "watch-list").
I played it SO cool, Steve McQueen would have loved it.
You never divulge information about you or your habits to anyone that even seems dubious.
That's a given around here....you play all your cards close to the vest, as it were.
So, there I was in my camos (well I consider it to be a "war-zone" to some degree), and she asked me "Are you a vet?"
I answered with a smile, "Oh, I'm a veteran of MANY things."
I told her I'm originally from Philly, and that I used to work for the Treasury Department (all true).
I also told her I try to work with the police as much as possible to keep the area SAFE (also true).
And then when she was asking about the neighborhood, I told here...(you guessed it)...the TRUTH.
I pointed out various facts about the city and how they ignore us down here.
Former renters that were drug dealers...who lived where...that kinda thing.
Basically, I let her know that I know a LOT about this particular area.
And she seemed OK with that.
She did ask if I was "the guy with the laser", and I proudly smiled and said "Yes I am"!
I explained that I ONLY shine it at vehicles that are WAY too loud, and that she will NEVER hear our house doing anything like that...we like to be good neighbors in that regard.
So, if any vehicle is quiet enough where I can't hear it 30 feet away...no problem..
I believe she knows where I stand with that...hopefully.
She seems nice enough, BUT, I've been burned once before with someone who had a "good story" about what they WHAT to do in life (versus what they really wind up doing)...so it's "once bitten, twice shy" for me and mine.
After about a half hour, everyone went their own ways...no one was injured (amazingly), and even the WANE truck came out and shot some video (that I have yet to see appear on TV...or even the local papers).
Cripes, they even ignore things like THIS now...amazing...LOL!
Perhaps this will be the "wake-up" call the FWPD command needs, because Lord knows whatever I've been saying has fallen on deaf (brass) ears.
*** And while we're on the subject of the Ghettohood...there's THIS:
(( Last updated: May 24, 2011 3:39 p.m.
3 welfare workers indicted - Ken Kusmer Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS – A federal grand jury has indicted two former Indiana welfare workers and a current one on charges they stole $191,000 in food stamps and other benefits with bogus electronic benefit cards.
U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett said Tuesday the three created 126 benefit cards in the names of welfare clients and used them to withdraw money at bank machines, buy retail goods and sell them from 2008 until April 2010.
One of the three, Timberly Snyder, coordinated the electronic benefits program in the central office of the Family and Social Services Administration until leaving her job about a year ago, about the same time that Indianapolis case worker Robert Edwards left his job.
The third person, Adina Lopez, is still an Indianapolis caseworker.
A message seeking comment was left for their attorney.
))
Welfare fraud...who the hell knew that things like THIS were going on, hmm?
And welfare is one of those "entitlements" that this government provides...just like Medicare and Medicaid.
Mark my words, something like THIS could be the catalyst that causes a lot more discussion regarding federal BUDGET CUTS, even at this time, when no one wants to talk about it.
It (at least) warrants a lot closer SCRUTINY of the way the system operates, and could wind up saving a LOT more than cutting Medicare and Medicaid combined. That needs to be looked into and talked about, especially in the wake of these FEDERAL charges.
And this is only ONE instance...hate to think of ALL the other fraudulent cases that are still out there all over the nation.
*** Lastly today, I listened to Benjamin Netanyahu's address to Congress yesterday, as well as his interview with Sean Hannity later in the evening.
All I can say is: "Can we CLONE this man and let HIM run for President HERE?"
Here's the WIKI on Israeli's Prime Minister:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Netanyahu
Now, I gotta love this man if for no other reason than this:
He went to school in PHILLY, and still speaks English with a "Philly accent"...LOL!
But aside from that, I find him to be a remarkably erudite person, and one who can give a speech to Congress WITHOUT the aid of a damn TELEPROMPTER!
He used some 3x5 cards yesterday, and that was it.
His passion of his beliefs and the truth are astounding.
I would have to add him to MY list of people I would love to spend an hour with (and believe me, he's in very good company).
And he's only THREE years my senior, so we share the same value system from the same era...gotta love that! When you read up on this man, you just have to say "wow". He's totally a self-made individual...none of this "elitist" crap.
He "GETS IT"....he's "been there and back"...and he DOES know "jack".
Netanyahu is one of those people that is not content to be the same person we has the day before...
He wants to be a better person today than he was yesterday...not a bad way to go (imho).
I can relate.
And I think there is a moral to that for all of us.
We can celebrate every day we're alive...and never rest on past achievements, but always move FORWARD.
Let's face it, time only moves ONE WAY...so should it be with us.
We can recall the past with fondness or as a cautionary tale to be remembered.
Either way, we must always strive to LEARN from such things, so that we may indeed become that better person TODAY.
We are not the person we were yesterday...not if we're moving forward.
We are more...more than the sum of our experiences.
And as Americans, that puts us all in a unique place wherever we find ourselves.
I kinda like being unique as an American....what about you?
Take a moment to pray on those still suffering in all the states hit by nature...move as you feel the need to and allow yourselves to do whatever needs to be done, no matter how small it might be.
Add up all those little things, and we CAN make miracles happen.
That's a fact.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.