Monday, June 28, 2010

Stray Voltage

Stray thoughts on a hot June afternoon.

State of Play. Spent some of the weekend tending my poor neglected garden, until the heat drove me inside. Having spent so much time away from home it is currently "out of control". The zucchini are doing well, both the green and the yellow. We love them here in the Swamp. It really is a Native American food but my Italian/Irish/Swiss wife does a really good job with making things with it. I can't tell you how many different meals we have where the mild mannered zucchini is the star on the plate.

The beans are doing well too and so the potatoes. Both of these I added to the garden because I had them at my Uncle's late last year and they were so good I simply had to grow them. The Potatoes especially are so good right out of the ground.

My tomatoes are toast. I had 9 plants of the Roma or plumb variety but the wilt has all 9 in a death grip. I will have to pull them all out and send them away in the trash. I guess I have grown tomatoes too many years in the same space. I'll have a lot of work to do in the fall and winter to rehab the garden. I am not planning on growing any tomatoes next year. I am thinking of corn, maybe some Blue corn.

The Empire Strikes Back. I have a tax audit in late July, they want to go over two years worth of taxes, 2007 and 2008. The one year, 2007 I had a lot of extra income. I worked two jobs that year and had a lot of income to show for my efforts. I kept great records in anticipation of the problems of a monetary blip of this nature. Still, getting ready is a real pain. I have spoken with the "examiner" as they call them now, and he gave me some idea of his interest in my tax return and especially what I have to show him (basically anything over $1,000). Good think I have all the receipts from that year. He has hinted at a couple of areas where some discussion may ensue. He has me looking up the difference between a "Capital" improvement and routine maintenance. Should be an interesting discussion. I hate paying taxes.

The Wind and the Lion. I flew back to New Mexico for a weekend. My father is not doing well. He caught a cold late last year that eventually developed into Whooping cough. But he has still had problems and a recent CT Scan found cancer on his lungs, esophagus and liver. They are not sure how developed it is so a biopsy will occur later in July. He is a lifelong smoker so some of us were not surprised. Part of going out was not just to be with him but also to re-introduce my family to SN2. Seems the good Marine has departed ways with the USMC and was driving back to PA and his trail east would take him right into Albuquerque. So, I flew out to greet him and show him to the family. They had not seen him in some 12 to 15 years. After the weekend and a day, I returned to the Swamp by commercial air but SN2 is continuing east by car. I carried back with me 20 dozen packages of flour tortillas made at one of the long time tortillas factories in Albuquerque. Can't get anything close to this good east of the Mississippi. You should have seen the looks on the TSA screener!

Road Trip. The Good Wife and I travel this weekend (a holiday too) to some fancy place in Virginia. Family reunion, only this one is on her side of the family. These are people that very few if any of the PA side of her family has seen in maybe 30 or 40 years. She found them doing ancestry research, digging around in the family tree. We are driving with her parents with us, should be a woolly 8 hours in the car. This resort has a lot of activities available and I am taking advantage of one or two. Lying around with a book or a DVD player and a beer or two is my idea of a relaxing day or two. We will see. This place requires full pants, collared shirt and a sport coat for dinner and I kind of eschew that kind of dress for summer time meals.

More Stray thoughts soon enough.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hoist on one’s own petard

A central theme of the PresBO administration seems to be "Leave No Good Contributor Go Unpunished".

Health care companies gave money in huge amounts to Democrats and BO himself. With this the Dem's promptly tossed out the Free Market system and set about the ruin of the world's best health care system. I am sure in its wake hundreds of companies who make these contributions will go out of business to be replaced by the federally run program.

Only Trial Lawyers contributed more to Democrats and BO than Wall Street et al, Bankers included. BO promptly demonized bankers and Wall Street as the bane of our society. Declaring that making too much money was a bad thing famously saying "I do think at a certain point you've made enough money". Well, except for his friends and fellow Democrats like Al (Manbearpig) Gore and his global scheme/lie or Franklin Raines who plundered Fannie Mae.

Now we see BO and his administration eating BP for lunch. Hearing him in a vacuum you would think BP was single handed killing the planet. And has is no trouble declaring war on BP but not on Terror. His greatest visible response so far was to send a pack of Lawyers down to the Gulf to wage his war on BP. And that is how Liberals or Lefties see things; there are no "enemies" in their eyes just potential victim for which the DOJ Lawyers are there to represent. (The concept of war being a foreign concept to the left.)

BP's greatest sin was giving handsomely to the BO campaign (reportedly over $900 thousand dollars worth). And who knows how much BP gave to the Democrat party, millions no doubt. And what good will did all this money buy? So far not any.

This should be a lesson to any capitalist organization, if you think your contribution to a democrat candidate or to the party itself will be used to help you or your industry, think again. You might as well use all these dollars as toilet paper or maybe simply burn it while you still can have open fires, carbon itself to be outlawed by this very regime.

Oh, and there is one more – Lt. General Stanley McChrystal openly bragged about having voted for BO.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An Empty Suit

An oil well blows out and starts to spew an undetermined amount of raw oil into the ocean. The well owner informs the Federal Government as required with estimates on both the amount of oil being lost but also what they were going to do to stop the outpouring of raw oil. This last being measured in Weeks.

The immediate Federal officials (local Coast Guard personnel) notified their Chain of Command what they were hearing from the Oil Company. Issues of this nature are above their pay grade. Soon the gusher is presented to this countries Chief Executive and he takes the news and hands-off the issue to his political operatives. Let them 'game' the issue to see how best to take advantage of this bad situation. Not wanting to let a good catastrophe go by without some exploitation. Then he checks-out to play a round of gold or two or four. Oh and to host a state dinner or two, or to throw a party or four or five. You know, Paul McCartney is in town only so often and you have to grab him when you can.

Ok granted, this countries Chief Executive job is pretty hard and I don't begrudge the man for taking a break or even two. But for a man who believed in the absolute ability of the Federal Government to solve even mundane problems, he has done a very poor job of leading that government to the "rescue" in this situation. A wholly inadequate response and on top of that his political team has returned with more of a strategy than his technical team has. I mean it is more than 65 days and the whole in the world is still bleeding oil into the Gulf.

A shameful response. And these people will be doing our health care.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stray Voltage

Stray thoughts wondering through the grey matter, needs to be exercised.

Europe – what's all the fuss? I don't get why so many people in the States America (and why is America referenced as the "States") think that things are "superior" in Europe? Is it because they have been here longer? You know as a "civilized" or "organized" community? I still don't get this. I have recently spent a lot of time in Europe and watched a lot of their television. Spoke with many people about "things" here, the general conditions for the masses, the state of their society as I see it and what the expectations of the people are towards their government.

The poor in America live very well as compared to people in Europe. I'd say if compared to Asia Major or Minor even more so. Why would you want to be degraded down to their level? The taxes in Europe are really regressive even on the most poor.

That whole VAT thing has jacked up the cost of almost all consumer goods. Even countries that do not have it still have a very high tax structure. Again, those with the means can use loopholes and shelters to keep a lion's share of their loot, the middle class and the poor can't.

Airport Security – why is it that when you fly in America they make you take your shoes off but not in Europe? Did not the shoe bomber originate in Europe somewhere? And why are we not being forced to remove our underwear as a response to the Christmas day "Great Balls-O-Fire" incident? Again, another flight that originated in Europe. When you go through security in Europe they don't require you to take your shoes off, and they especially don't ask you for your underwear. When will they be doing that in America?

Liability – that is a huge difference between America and Europe. It speaks to the huge outpouring of those societal leaches here, Lawyers. I say this because I had a fall in a bath tub in Norway. You see my fellow Americans, most Europeans don't shower every day like we do here. They take baths a couple or three times a week. So, when they "Americanize" a hotel to attract US business travelers they simply put a shower kit on the existing plumbing in tub. Add to this they do not provide traction mats or a towel to make it safe to stand in the tub and you have a recipe for near disaster.

And Yes, I took a spill falling in the tub and hitting my face on the way down on the edge of the tub. I actually struck the edge across the top of my check immediately under my eye. I was never lost out of it, no double vision or headaches. By the time I finished and dried off the swelling was starting, I finished the morning servicing and hurried into some cloths so I could go out and find a bag and some ice but by the time I left the room maybe 15 minutes later the eye was completely closed off with swelling. Now, if this had happened in America and I showed up at the front desk with a swollen face to the point of not being able to see out of the eye, they would have sent out for a doctor or at the least an ambulance. I would have been showered with gifts and free this and that from not only that hotel but the chain as well. Anything to keep from getting sued, you know keep those human wolves off them.

But not in Europe. The found me a bag and told me where to find ice. Nice.

I got plenty of stares going through airport security and on the airline flight back home. Every stew asked about the eye which about 6-hours into the return flight started to work again. Making is possible for me to walk without running into things.

This reminds me of a joke that I used to hear when I first moved to Pennsylvania. It had to do with all the toxic waste sites in New Jersey at the time (back in the 70's when the superfund site list was formed more than half of all of them were in the "Garden State") and PA having so many Lawyers.

It seems New Jersey had first pick.

That's all for now folks, more very soon. I promise.

BT: Jimmy T sends.