Monday, December 31, 2012
Disappointments in the making yet to come are forgotten in these last few moments. Future events will take care of themselves. For the next 15 minutes, I will exist the here and now, soon to be that was then and this is when we begin again.
Begin again? Does something magical happen that we experience a new beginning on the first day of the next year? ............... Not really I guess. Yet we still place significance on this night as we pass from one year to the next. We have chosen this date to purge the mistakes, sadness, and empty moments of our previous 365 days and replace them with hope for happier moments to come. The empty moments yet to be are free and clear of guilt or misplaced angst. The new year is full of nothing but hope and fear. Only getting on with it will fulfill either. Yet for at least a few minutes in between last year and the next, we can be happy, pleased, and generally satisfied. We made it.
Happy New Year !!!
Monday, December 24, 2012
Joe looked up. He mumbled something like he always does. Louder this time, "I can't hear you Joe", I waved the stick at him again and shouted "Merry Christmas".
Joe stopped and looked up at the sky. Loud enough this time for me to hear, "Supposed to snow tonight." He turned around and walked back into his multi-car shed.
Ya'll have nice low key holiday season, ya hear? We always keep it low key here in Maine.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
I have stopped trying to understand the reasoning, the objectives, the point low life's use initiate such ghastly acts. I have also stopped trying to find convenient labels that might offer excuses as to why these losers do what they do. At some point, their reasons mean nothing once they enact their twisted perspectives into real action. They stop being human and become something else. Something evil inside a human vessel. Any shred of humanity is gone once they have drawn down on their targets. Any hope of saving them from themselves or saving us from them is gone as soon as their insane perspective becomes physical action. Then it is time to clean up after them.
As a parent myself, I cannot fathom the depths of grief the parents of the 20 children killed are feeling right now. I feel somewhat guilty that I hope I never do know those depths. I do understand the need to find something to blame besides the perpetrator. And because firearms were used, they become the convenient "other evil" in this scenario. Unfortunately focusing all the attention on guns does nothing to address the core problem. The core problem of mental illness. For too long this country has been focused on controlling the tools of violence and not focusing on the user of those tools. We are a reactive society, not a proactive one.
Maybe in addition to cleaning up some gun issues, maybe our leaders will also give mental illness and the damage it causes the attention it deserves. We do that even half assed successfully and I imagine it will have a more positive impact than trying to control the stupid number of guns in this country.
This perspective from a mother of another troubled youth.
Image "The Grief Knot" from The Hungry Tiger and Wikipedia
Friday, December 14, 2012
The Zodiac, planet alignments and orientations were discussed with straight faces. Sagittarius rising and the moon is on your side conversations. Yeah, many folks got fired up for 12/12/12. I went through 12/12/12 positive it was just another day on the planet like all the rest.
I was in the kitchen about to sit down to some supper of leftovers, beer, and a yogurt for dessert. On the Tube, Brian Williams was running through the latest 12/12 wackiness his lackeys had dug up for his daily "lighter news" piece. I looked at my wife and declared, 'What a bunch of boneheads. Nothin special about 12/12/12."
My darling wife looked up from her plateful of just barely left over left overs and stared at me. Her fork had stopped midway on its way from her plate to her mouth. A twinkle came to her eye. Yet she said nothing.
"What?" I was seriously clueless.
She set down her fork on her plate. She continued to look at me. A more amused look began to creep from the corners of her mouth and move up to her eyes.
Again, "What?" Sirens inside began to warm up. I might be clueless, but years of seeing that look on my lovely wife's face meant she was about to drop the hammer on someone. And I was the only someone in the room. I thought hard. What was I missing, what had I screwed up?.....oh no, I was in need of an clue and there was not a one sitting in the waiting room with their hand raised.. I was about to panic..............................Oh Shit! Realization was quite the rush.
The sheepish grin of a bonehead caught in the act of being extremely stupid was all I could muster at first. I had no words to smooth it over. Might as well suck it up and take it like the dimwitted guy I was.
"Uh, well I guess 12/12/12 means something after all............. Happy Anniversary Babe."
My sweet wife smiled, "Nothin important huh?" She picked up her fork and continued feeding her face.
Celebration of our 32nd anniversary was over, and I almost missed it..............once again. I know I scored no points this time. I do not deserve any. But at least I was not reminded I had missed our anniversary a week after the fact. That's when points, serious points and possibly some skin gets shaved off.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
When the spam hordes first stormed my gates in appreciable numbers some years back, the blogger spam filter caught 90% of them. That has changed. The mob under the evil leader "Anonymous" have slithered their way past the Google guards, under the blog fence and have taken to kickin over all the furniture around the pool.
I can deal with the spam that Google rounds up for me. The comments that have made it onto the blog however are another story. And as much as I would like to continue letting anyone comment, I guess it is time I put a security guard at the door. As of as soon as I remember how, I am going to stop allowing "Anonymous" to comment on the BoZone anymore. Seems I can't trust that guy. Yeah he is usually angry, but when he starts talking gibberish and totally off topic - I mean what does porn have to do with gun rights? Regardless, "Anonymous", you are outta here. Sorry dude or dudette or maybe dude-bot.
And I apologize to any of you regulars if this screws you up. But spending time dealing with comments that have no other purpose than to disrupt is not even on my radar of pleasant things to do.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I read this term as part of Supreme Court Justice Scalia's legal argument that equates murder and sodomy. He responded to a college students question about this view.
Said Scalia - "It's a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the 'reduction to the absurd, .....If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?"
The term and the use of it in terms of Gay issues caught my interest. Because a Supreme Court Justice was using this as support for his legal take on sodomy, I thought I better check up on what I thought Reduction of the Absurd was. I had been rudely taught the lesson by my English teacher when I participated in the Debate team for a brief moment or two back in high school. So I googled it.
Wiki folks had this:
"form of argument which seeks to demonstrate that a statement is true by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result"
It was as I remembered it. I had been participating in a debate practice and had made some outlandish claim with no evidence to back it up. Teach hit me hard in Latin with "Reductio ad absurdum". He was a snobbish know it all. But to be fair to him, he was one of the best teachers I ever had. He demanded my best. He would not let me be lazy.
So here is Supreme Justice Scalia using this fallacious argument to support some of his views on things legal.
And Scalia is supposed to be one of our go to "wise men" we rely on to keep our laws fair and balanced? He must have fallen back on this argument back in 2000 when he and his robed cronies gave the Presidency to Bush ll. It was most certainly an absurd decision.
Sunday, December 09, 2012
Anyway, so here I am early Sunday morning, coffee cup full of fresh brew in hand, and sitting in front the computer catching up on all the stupidity I may have missed out on the new politics forum since yesterday at this time. Well lookee there, a new poll:
"Should Photo ID be Required Before Buying Ammunition"
I open the thread up and it is a yes or no vote poll. I skip the vote because I really just do not care. I hit the comments. After all the comments are what make this so much fun.
I sift through the typical responses from the limp wristed liberals and the bad ass hunting is my life don't fuck with me or I'll shoot your sorry ass wingers. And then I notice someone has suddenly brought the UN into the question. Seems this guy, who reloads his own ammo and owns more guns than he can shoot in a month, and must be 8 feet tall with a package he has no need to over compensate for, well this guy, this dedicated packin Winger tells us and I paraphrase:
"I was readin somewhere before the election about how the UN is gonna take away our guns and Obama is going to let them do it. Not sure what it was called. Heard a lot about it before the election, but nothing since. But for sure the UN is gonna go after our guns and why do we even have a Constitution if the UN can take away our guns?"
An image from South Park immediately filled my head. Jimbo and his gay compadre, Ned. So from now on, whenever I read a comment from this guy, unfortunately anything he writes will forever conjure up Jimbo in my head.
At least my Sunday is starting off with some hilarity.
Friday, December 07, 2012
Maybe it is my inability to think outside the box created for me at birth. Possibly it is a genetic or gender thing. But try as I might, I find it difficult to come up a similar number of options I had in front of me oh say 40 years ago when I was younger and number. Back when I was clueless and feeling overwhelmed I ended up picking the path of least resistance, which entailed picking a direction, any direction and putting one foot in front of the other. Worked for me back then. Got me to where I am today.
The road ahead has fewer forks. Less variation in the curve. And yet I find the difficulty in choosing a fork as tough now as it seemed back then and back when. I have tasted one way to go. There was some satisfaction I will admit being cantankerous and generally grumpy. But the mood did not last. I flat out just don't like being an angry old white guy.
So which fork is the one? Which path is left that might give me some peace and maybe a smidgen of grace?
I guess the only alternative to being an angry ole white guy is to work hard at being a dirty ole man in a good mood. After all, enjoying the sights beats the Hell out of bitchin about there being no lights. Watch out Ladies.
.....................Um..........Where was I?
Monday, December 03, 2012
Congress it seems is back to business as usual. That is they are once more proving they were hired to do nothing but feed us lip service. And the Right Wing continues to lead out for this totally useless excuse for a branch of our government.
The tragedy of a Pro athlete dying as the result of a murder/suicide was quickly picked up and turned political by the anti-gun crowd. Bob Costas even used his sports bully pulpit to editorialize about how much we need gun control now. His claim was KC linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend would still be alive had we better gun control laws.
First of all Bob......I hope I can call you Bob because you do not deserve my respect enough to call you Mr Costas.....Anyway Bob, I like my sports on the tube to be politics free. And even before the bodies have cooled, you immediately turn it from a tragedy to a moment of political opportunism. Pound sand Bob. And I mean that literally.
I went to the Dump today. Played chicken with a crusty old fart pulling up in his plow truck behind me in line at the hopper. As I stepped toward his rushing plow truck to give me and my truck some space, he had to hit his brakes and screech to a halt about 6 inches from my leg. We looked hard at each other. I smiled. I won this round and he knew it.
Yeah Life seems to be returning to something resembling normal again. Crusty old farts are again butting heads over stupid encounters instead of politics. Women are getting pregnant. And Bob Costas is back to his semi regular op/ed moments of stupidity. Even better, the Sun's out bright and even warm. Must be 45'F out there. T shirt weather..........
Life is beautiful............Later ...........................
Friday, November 30, 2012
I will admit that for a few days I toyed with turning off the fun parts of my Internet usage and going back to Business related use only. I once more stepped out into the wilds and had another taste. I was once again reminded just how brainless and mean the anonymous of the Internet can be. Oh well.
I was also a bit down because of the intense hatred I have found across the Internet waves that America has for itself. We have allowed ourselves to let ideologies and the differences between them divide us like I have never seen before. The United States of America is populated at the moment by a large number of very angry people. While the reasons vary, the anger is intense on both sides of the political spectrum. I am no different. But I guess admitting and owning my anger is a good first step to that wonderful level of bliss I call "I don't give a damn."
In order for me to move closer to my bliss point, I have decided to try to avoid being angry. I say "try", because I gotta say, there is plenty to be angry about. But being angry without moving to resolve that anger is just getting all worked up for the sake of getting worked up. So from today on and into the future (at least the next week or so) I will not type a word in anger.
If I can reduce my stress based on fruitless anger, maybe I can find some of the root causes for the hate America has for itself. There are the obvious reasons that many, some, or a few people might keep in their quiver of things to be angry about. Things like the lousy economy, feelings of persecution based on any number of stupid reasons, anger over losing, winning, or just that that black guy is still our president. Most of the things I am angry about, I have no way of changing as an individual. All I can do is identify that which pisses me off and address the things I can actually have some sway over. My first task will be to control my anger. A good first step I am thinking. Once the anger is brought back to a reasonable level, maybe I can once again work with other like minded folks and as a group move things in a positive direction.
When it comes right down to it, we do live in a wonderful country. Yeah, we have our problems, our stupidity, but for the most part, we seem to make it work in the end. As bad as I think it is here, all I have to do is consider that I could be trying to post this from almost anywhere else in the world under much tougher conditions than I have right now.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
At first I was, "Who the Hell cares? Never use them anyway." But then I got angry. That did me no good either. And now I figure that if an insignificant human such as myself has become the target of low life assholes who use a computer to prove how macho they are, then I can only assume they have run out of more important people to bother.
There is a price one pays I guess for using one's real name on the WWW.
What makes me chuckle though is this recent series of attacks comes on the heels of my participation once again in a political forum. And because I have been packing my political views more to the Left than the Right in recent years, I assume it was a Winger who is trying to intimidate me by attacking me from behind. I am fairly sure I know who (well their internet persona anyway) is behind it. They have made it a point that they know my name and that I have a daughter.
Frankly I just do not care. I have my opinions. I express my opinions.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
When I first began my travels through the byways and highways of the World Wide Web back in the 1990s, I was thrilled at the possibilities of the Internet. Some of my visions of what it could be are coming to fruition, but sadly, most are not. Instead of bringing this clown planet together, it seems all the Internet has done is fill the worldwide conversation with overwhelming doses of hate and discontent. People would rather draw lines in the sand than try to erase them. And from the first day I ran into BBC he was sure that the horde of humanity that takes up space on this rock were nothing but a horde of assholes, or "monkeys" as he called them.
I argued with him some. I ignored him some. Slowly, his low opinion of humans began to take hold. His comment on my "Monday Morning" post yesterday combined with my stupid decision to once again try to find sane and reasonable conversation on a new political forum has pushed me over the edge.
"I don’t like what
I have to agree and maybe taking his advice would be wise.
Monday, November 19, 2012
The dirty hippies who did not die from making love like barnyard animals or ingesting really bad Acid man, don't eat the purple microdot, it has strychnine in it, but brother those orange barrels will send you away and you'll never come back, and hey man, know where I can score some doob, wink wink. The Hippies got tired of their barnyard antics and slowly were sucked up and into the culture they claimed they hated. They cut their hair, took a bath, got a job, and before they knew it they were sitting on the couch with their belt unbuckled and that top pants button undone. With a beer in hand and their belly draped over their sacks they tried to watch the ball game in peace. Instead they began yelling at their damn kids to "Quiet down gaddammit and ferchrisakes take it outside". Dad works hard, and all he's got is Sunday watching his game or another race around the track with Dale Earnhardt, a real patriot. And suddenly without much fuss and very little muss the Hippies had lost their battle and their dream. They had become their parents.
But you know it's hard to keep that hope for a brighter future burning when your shoulders are bearing mortgages, a job you hate, kids to trip over, and neighbors that keep you up at night. It's hard to keep flames alive when just finding the matches is about all you can do. You know now sitting there in your mid forties, Life does not change. You are born, you fornicate, and then you die. You realize your parents were right, they had this life pegged. It is better to live angry than to follow a dream.
Afterword of sorts - I started this post with two words - Monday Morning. With nothing else to go on, what I just wrote was the result. I am often surprised with what I manage to dredge up from the cranial cesspool.
Keep it 'tween the ditches....................
The tune that floated through my mind
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Governor Paul Lepage, the 74th governor of the State of Maine. There have been dumass governors before and I am sure there are some in our future. So far to this point, not one has taken dumassery to such lofty heights as the bloviating liar Paul LePage. Elected by mistake or maybe because Mainers just lost their minds for a day. His less than a majority win two years ago in no way indicated he had a mandate. But like bullies and dumasses everywhere he puffed up his chest, swaggered into the Blaine House and proceeded to make Maine the laughing stock of America's political world.
The only thing that softened the blow was the GOP/Tea Party nation wide managed to install a whole slew of dumasses. Soon Paul and his lies, his idiocy his over bearing manner was lost in the sea of GOP/Tea Party dumasses throughout the land.
I could go over the countless embarrassing incidents caused by this man in the short time he has squatted in the Blaine House. But time is short and I need to make my point by exposing one of his lies and its affect on the national political scene.
Paul has always been critical of welfare. Okay, it is one of the run of the mill fires the GOP/Tea Party folks like to dance around hootin and hollerin gettin themselves all lathered up and ready to do battle against those evil
Paul however must feel why tell a small lie, when a whopper will do. Seems a year or so ago he claimed, "There are more Mainers receiving welfare benefits than there are income tax filers paying taxes." He contended that 453,000 people received welfare bennies and only 445,000 paid any taxes. Like I said, not a small lie but a whopper. As it turns out, the number of folks who are on welfare in Maine is closer to 50,000 and if we count joint returns as like, oh I don't know being filed by at least two people, the number of tax payers immediately jumps to over 700,000. Add in those folks on Social Security and the number just goes up. Maine's population is around 1.3 million. There are at least 275,000 children, most of whom I figure are not taxpayers yet. You do the math. Obviously Paul did not.
It is bad enough we have to suffer this fool and his lies here in Maine, but recently as part of the national conversation regarding entitlements, Paul's lie has been hoisted up the entitlement pole and waved around for all the slack jawed of the Right to use as more justification that indeed this is a nation of takers and wanters.
And then the other day while cruising by the tube, whose face do I see on some national news program? Charlie Webster, the chairman of the Maine GOP. I stop and I cannot believe the words coming out of his mouth. Somehow "dozens and dozens" of blacks walked out of the woods and voted. And nobody knows these blacks. There must be voter fraud and by jeesus he is going to get to the bottom of it.
On behalf of the overwhelming majority of sane Mainers I would like to apologize to this great nation for allowing idiots like Paul and his dumber brother from another mother Charlie to confuse and make a mockery of the political process.
If you don't want to listen to the whole interview - the remarks are around 15:45 in.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Taking a deep breath. Filling these punished lungs with some of Maine's finest oxygen, I tried to calm down. The calmer I tried to be, the angrier I became......................Well that ain't workin. Instead I figured I would write down my impressions of this election and maybe some words of caution for the victors and a few well selected ones for the LOSERS.
Six Billion dollarsHey LOSERS are you happy now? Managed to turn corporations into people and prove that corporations know how to piss money down the drain better than a 47%er at Wallymart just after cashin their welfare check. And like the shoppers at Wallymart, you came out with a shitty product that wasn't even worth half the price.
Negative Ads - Millions and Jillions of themWhat the fuck are you people thinking? And don't you smirk you loser Obama ad folks. You have no reason to sit there all smug and shit. You were almost as bad. Remember this for next time. I turned yours off as much as I did Romney's. Cool it with the bad vibes, the lies, the technically accurate but when its put together makes the whole damn thing a big fat fucking 30 second lie. I am disgusted with the both of you. Assholes.
The MediaI was not going to mention YOU DICKWADS. I was going to keep you out of this. You were just doing your job I know. AND THAT'S JUST IT. YOU WERE DOING YOUR FUCKING JOB! And doing a mighty fine shitty job of it.
Next time stay home and watch Andy Griffith. You only made a bad situation way way worse what with your endless polls, your mob of pundits puking up polarizing nonsense who ended up not knowing their ass from their elbow. Here's a suggestion. Take those polls next time and shove them up the nearest pundits ass. And maybe instead of asking stupid questions just to fill air time, suck on a sock instead.
RomneyHe lost. A great concession speech, but the canceled credit cards took the shine off that moment.
ObamaHe won. And he better goddamned well stare those republicans down. Take it to them Barry. Find some Balls. I'm giving you until next election and then you're outta there......
I feel better now. And I know Life will return to normal in a few hours when I turn on the Patriots game instead of those assholes at MSNBC or Fox.
Ya'll have a nice day ya hear.............................................
Saturday, November 10, 2012
First of all, I have determined that we do not start out with the same hardware. There are two basic packages inserted at some point after coitus and before birth. Who inserts these two packages and why is not my concern with respects to this treatise. I will leave the who and the why up to the guy with the Bible in his hands.
1. The Female Brain
I won't pretend to understand the final product the Female Brain becomes once it is in control of the adult female. I do know that when the female brain is new and not used much yet, it is a sweet and gentle brain full of soft thoughts and gentle ideas. This all changes when hormones work their evil magic starting around the time of menstruation. The Female Brain moves it's center of operations to the heart and into territories unknown and unfathomable. Any actions put into play at this point forward are designed to befuddle and confuse the Male Brain. And whether the Female Brain knows of this confusion and befuddlement or not, the Male Brain becomes convinced the Female Brain is probably evil sent down to make their lives harder than they need to be.
2. The Male Brain
It is a wonder beyond the ability of science to understand how these two brains manage to even live on the same planet with each other. Often it seems they don't. But by some freakish combination of chemicals and a basic urge installed early in both to survive, these two brains find the time to ensure the future of the species.
I established now without a doubt the existence of not one brain but at least two distinct brains that control the actions of our species. My next installment will delve into the murky world of sub brains. It is here the fun really begins.
Thursday, November 08, 2012
My introduction to online Internet interactions began back in the days of the 1990s newsgroups. The software was crude and the screens were boring, but the conversations were no holds barred, knock down, kick em in the nuts conversations. I was in pig heaven.
The software improved and suddenly "forums" and blogs plopped into my online life. Uh oh. I did not see it coming, but trouble with a capital T was sneaking up on me. I dove into the forum circuit like a fly, well you know what I mean. There at the end of it all, I was participating in over twenty different forums. You could find me most days on more than a few cycling forums, at least one "The south will rise again" forum, and numerous other forums, mostly political in slant. I loved the "south will rise again" forum. There were so many bears to poke and most of them lead with their chin.
My skill set on the forums was solid. I was a good troll. I was able to hold my temper online while seething about to blow a gasket offline. And I made valid points on a semi regular basis. Bear poking was what I lived for. Sleep was lost. Time was wasted. Eventually one day, I knew I had to give it up.
The Internet was taking over my life. I vowed to never visit another forum again. So I started my blog. That was in 2004. Blogging became my Internet passion and still is. But sadly the blog thing had to be cut back also. I found I was spending more time than I should on it. So this year I cut back my participation. I could/can not stop the blog completely however. I like to write and it still offers the best platform I have found for me to do that.
So anyway, while this election season was building to its crescendo, I noticed an invite to join a new kind of forum. A political forum but one with some of the new fangled "social" attributes attached. So I visited. I was only going to lurk. Really. That was the plan I swear. I had no plan to fall off the wagon. I should have known that temptation and I are never a good mix. So I joined. The hunting ground was flush with game. So many bears to poke I could have three sticks workin 24/7 and never poke them all.
I have finally regained some perspective and control I think. What do I bring away from it? The Right is a very angry crew. The Right is so angry, they cannot even hope to think straight. There are reasonable Right Wing voices, but they are few and far between. And I feel bad about that when once upon a time I used to feel great joy at pissing them off. Now All I have to do to elevate their anger from really angry to over the top spittle comin out their mouth anger is disagree with them. It is sad really and no fun because it takes no effort at all to poke the bear anymore. All I have to do to make them angry now is exist.
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
It was 1:30 or so in the AM when Fernando decided to rub his perpetually wet cold nose on my face. My eyes sprung open, my hands reached to throttle him, and my legs performed some sort of automatic move that brought me to my feet in about one second. "Goddamned cat. Come here you little shit. Waking me up. You wait you little bastard until I get my............." All the while my feet moved of their own accord towards the living room.
Automatic reflexes had kicked in as I simultaneously reached for the remote just as my lard butt hit the cushions of the couch. I flicked on the TV. It was still set on the same channel I had on over twlve hours earlier; one of those low rent Liberal news channels. Still half awake I struggled to focus on the graphic image on the screen. "That can't be right," I thought. I looked again and there it was, that's waht I'm talkin about, right there in Red and Blue - four more years of the O Man. Oh fuckin yeah. Immediately a heavy weight lifted off my shoulders and I became instantly wide awake. He frickin did it. The frickin bastard pulled it off. he and his boys were the smartest guys in the room after all.
I had gotten to the point in this election a few weeks ago when I couldn't stand to hear Romney speak. It drove my wife bonkers. As soon as one of his ads or speech segments came on I made a mad dash to the remote to mute his voice. I could not listen to him anymore. But I sat there on the couch a few hours ago and live in person as it happened, listened and watched Mitt Romney concede the race to his arch rival. It was the best concession speech I have ever heard. He stood tall all alone and looked presidential when he gave it. His words were upbeat and I could tell he probably meant every word. Props to the Mitt. He fought hard. When it came time to admit defeat he sucked it up and handled with dignity, grace and whole lot of class..
Turns out Fernando did me a favor. He must have had his cat like radar tuned into the other universe that really dictates ours. In that other universe, all things past are forgotten, but anything coming is known in advance by at least five minutes before it makes here for our consumption. He was just looking out for my interests because he is one of my true buds. So I snatched the little bastard up and gave him a ten minute belly rub. Both of us were happy now.
Okay, it's time to move along now and get on with it.................................
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
My first thought was about the convenience of using this solemn spot to cut short the distance to this years voting booths. And then I looked at the names so neatly laid into that stone and checked for some I might recognize. The was Goding, Winchell, and some other well used local names. I looked at the names lined up cleanly in four rows and decided that why I had also chosen to pass this way was to honor those names. I had done it for at least the last 3 or 4 elections. These dead soldiers had given their lives for this country and I figured that voting was the least I could do to let them know they had not died in vain.
Some moments later I looked over at Town Hall. Time to get it done. Inside Town Hall, now election central - Acton Maine, the same voting booths I had used for as long as I remembered voting in Acton had been set up along the back wall. Pulling up at the check in table, once again my next door neighbor was one of the two check in ladies. A-L to the left. M- Z to the right. Nancy was in charge of A-L. We exchanged cordial greetings as the gal controlling M-Z looked up my name. She crossed out a box next to my name and handed me two ballots. She looked me in the eye. "You have two ballots. One is for the state and national elections . It has two sides. please fill out both. One is a town ballot with just one question."
I was about to head for the booths when she followed up quickly, "Now there have been some changes.........."
I suddenly became nervous. There were changes in how I have voted for the last 30 plus years? Oh no. Shit. I am not liking this.
"........On the state and national ballot you no longer X out the box with a pencil. This year you need to fill in the circle. That means fill it in, don't just mark it." She looked at me to make sure I got it.
"Uh okay. Got it. But why is it different?"
"The ballots are read by machine now."
I said something about how it felt like I was in Ohio what with the high falutin technology and all. All I got back was a look that said, "Really? Like I haven't heard that one 20 times already today."
Ballots in hand I slipped past her side of the table and sauntered over to the one booth open at the moment. Stepped in and noticed tied with a granny knot, not one of my old friends the stubby pencil with no eraser, but a slick new felt pen. I shrugged or grunted or in some other way acknowledged this step into the brighter and newer future of voting in Acton, Maine and got right to work filling in the circles next to my choices.
President - Obama./Biden - check
Senator - Angus King - check
House - Chellie Pingree - check
And so on down the line to finish with Judge of Probate. I flipped it over and the five referendum questions looked up at me. Checked yes on all of them. Gay Marriage and the rest that ensured we Mainers would continue to be in debt for the foreseeable future. And I felt not one iota of guilt. We need to keep up our infrastructure up to at least crappy status.
When I had finished the General election ballot, I unfolded the town generated ballot. "Cool, we have our own special ballot." That added an uptick in the importance of this year's vote. I checked off yes and left the booth.
Up until this election, Acton had been using two wooden boxes with a slide covers into which we stuffed our ballots. Each one was attended to by a dedicated volunteer. Those locally fabricated boxes had served us well as long as I could remember. We needed two when there was a local question in addition to anything either state wide or national. Guess keepin them separated saved time at the countin end. Today I walked over and there was only one of the old boxes with the slide cover. In place of the other one sitting loud and proud on a very rugged steel frame, was what looked like a copier with a TV screen. The friendly fellow responsible for this machine said, "Just feed it right in there." He pointed to the intake port of the copier.
I fed the paper in and up popped on the screen "Your Vote has been counted". I smiled and in my best local old dubber dialect, "Well ain't that fancy." Just like James Bond." The nice fellow smiled and said, "You're all done." He said it in a way that let me know there was no dawdlin or foolin around. He had votes to process.
I grinned and left. I passed by that WWll Veteran monument again and paused again. I looked at the flags on each side of it and smiled. "This is still a grand country, no matter what we try to do with it. Hope you guys are watching. We're still here strokin." I tipped my hat and strolled home.
On the way back up the hill I realized that I did not enjoy this vote as much as I have other votes in the past. It wasn't all the hate and discontent surrounding this election. It wasn't the down to the wire part. It was those damn stubby pencils that had been replaced with felt pens and that alien looking machine that replaced one of the wooden boxes with the slide covers. Their absence reinforced that even in boondocks Acton, Maine we can never go back or keep things as they were. Even Acton has to face the future. And that means so do I. And sometimes that makes me nervous.
Keep it 'tween the ditches..............................
Right after the last mid-term election I vowed as I have done after almost every election before to stop paying attention to politics. Following politics is a sick passion and useless endeavor. But like a rubbernecker passing that 5 car pile up on the Beltway, I cannot seem to keep my eyes on the road. I have to look, just a peek I figure won't hurt. Yeah right. One look and I get sucked in once again. So it has happened to me this time as it has so many times before.
I blame my parents. Damn them. I blame my oldest brother what with his know it all superior I know how you should feel about this candidate, that candidate and those loser welfare queens in the Bronx. I was inundated, saturated, and generally overwhelmed by the heated political discourse that took over the family conversations at dinner, in the car going somewhere, or after either parent read the op/ed page in the morning paper. Letters to the editor were especially volatile. My father would often zero in on them right after he had consumed the front page. It was a good morning when all I heard was an occasional grunt or snort. But if one of those letters pushed the right button, the man was off and running amok. "Goddammit ,......." I learned to leave the room once he had flipped to the Letters section.
So my passion for the political process came to me honestly and without my permission. I had no choice. If I was going to survive in a house full of political junkies, it was either slink away and become a shut in or join in and take my lumps as a rookie. And I took those lumps. I would like to remember the early years of my political education as a time when I stood up and held my own. Fought the good fight and took no prisoners. The reality though is etched in my mind. I was dog food, easy pickins, the family chump.The fact that I was still not 10 years old when I chose to take part did not mean I was given any slack, sympathy or treated with kid gloves. I cannot remember how many times I was drawn and quartered by either parent or my oldest brother. If you led with your chin in our house, someone was going to tag it. Age and inexperience had nothing to do with it.
I assumed every other kid had the same experience in their homes. It wasn't until I was in my early teens and poaching a dinner at a friends house that I discovered some families did not discuss politics at the dinner table. The Billy Sol Estes/ Lyndon Johnson scandal was all over the news. I remember I was a tad uncomfortable sitting there and no one was talking. They just ate and exchanged mundane niceties. So I brought up Billy and by then President Johnson. All eating activity stopped as if they were all controlled by the same electrical switch. In unison I felt all eyes focus on me. The dad wipes his mouth with a napkin and glares. Okay maybe it wasn't a glare, but it sure made me feel small. "We don't discuss politics at the dinner table." And that ended it.
I finished eating and politely refused a second helping as I was usually more than happy to take, what with being a teenaged boy with two hollow legs. My friend and I retired to their basement to "get out of the way" as he put it. As soon as we got to the basement he turned to me and ripped me a new asshole. His exact words escape me now, but I left for home that night knowing that political discussion in that household was off limits. I was never invited to their house again.
I had an epiphany that night. I realized that I was being raised by lunatics. But really really cool lunatics. My lunatics might skin me alive, but they still allowed me my say first. There was a passion for our political system in my house that encouraged taking a stand and defending it even if it did not fall in line with the parental line. My parents and yeah even my brother allowed me and even helped me to find my own political center though it might be in complete opposition to their take. I just better be ready to defend it.
All this brings me to the current sad state of the political discourse in this country. In my childhood home wherever we were, opposing views were not denigrated, they were disagreed with. Sometimes vehemently but I was raised to respect the right of others to hold the view even if I had other notions on the subject. And it seemed the general way of political discourse back then. Today, there is no discourse. There is no respect. And now that I think about it, I have also been sucked into this intolerant wave that has our nation by the short hairs. Any civility between opposing views is gone now. We have become so polarized that we won't even entertain another take unless it coincides with our own. It makes me sad to think our country has become so angry and hostile to itself. We need to lose the attitudes, the anger, and talk rather than shout at each other. This my way or the highway schtick is not doing us any favors. All it is doing, this squabbling among ourselves is to make it easier for the rest of the World to kick us off the top rung.
PS - Just a reminder to vote if you haven't already or did not know this is election day. I wish they would let us know further in advance. These last minute reminders coming from the media make me wonder if they are even paying attention.
And if you are so inclined and have not decided which ticket to vote for, might I suggest :
Monday, November 05, 2012
The other day I called a bike shop customer who lives near my house. I had hauled his repaired bike to my house the other day to save him having to go into town to pick it up. No problem, I do it often. I'm coming home anyway. He told me he would be right up.
I am not sure what "be right up" meant to him. All I know is hang around for someone who might need 5 minutes to "be right up"and they still have not made it after 30 minutes, well it became clear to me his notion of "be right up" did not dovetail cleanly into my notion of "be right up".
While I cooled my heels until he showed I considered just how much time I had spent waiting during the last 60 years. And because any time waiting falls into the category of "filler time", it never made it to the hard drive in my brain. An accurate accounting of any time I have spent waiting is not going to happen. I did determine though after considering all the ways one can wait, I spent a good portion of my time on this planet waiting. The number of things I have waited on seem infinite.
I have waited for things to begin. I have waited for things to end. And once past the waiting for things to begin but before waiting for things to end I have sometimes waited for that thing to resume after having paused for one reason or another.
I have waited for people to show up. I have waited for people to leave. I have waited for people to speak. I have waited for them to shut the Hell up. I have waited for deliveries, mail, and the occasional email not sent to me robo style.
I have waited in line. I have waited to get to that line so I can get in line. I have waited to go to the bathroom. I have waited occasionally for something to happen once I got to that bathroom stall. I have waited for pots to boil, burgers to grill, and fish frying in a pan. And don't get me started about waiting for traffic lights to change. Once I began thinking about it, I have spent more time in my life waiting than actually doing.
Kinda diminishes the grand impression of what I have to show for existing 60 years on this rock. Too bad I had to wait 60 years before I figured it out.
Sunday, November 04, 2012
Sorry. I am a hopelessly independent minded Patriotic Constitutionalist Christian Conservative Republican partisan and the t(h)reat of death will not change that. (To be forever open minded is admitting you can not come to conclusions on anything and stick with them. In other words no moral compass.)
What brought me up short was not that The Lone Ranger is God fearin Bible thumper of the first water. I have run into them before. What caught my eye was his definition of what being open minded is. I struggled to find a respectful reply that showed just enough disrespect so it was obvious I thought the guy was full of BS.
I ask now if my answer will fit the bill. Too much? Not enough of too much? Or just right?
My Answer to The Lone Ranger
How should I interpret this? Should I look at it as an open minded reader or use my moral compass and conclude that since you feel hopelessly independent, you really are not the happy go lucky guy all your posts indicate you are and never will be because you have reached a conclusion on this issue? Or should I just ask you if all that starch itches? ............Nah. I'll keep my open mind and you keep yours closed so that moral compass continues pointing you hopelessly in the only direction that makes sense for you. Whatever it takes to get you through the day.........Oops, sorry. Didn't mean to get all open minded on you. My moral compass must be acting up.
I checked the Lone ranger's bio page and looked through his answers to a bunch of other questions this site asks. Turns out Ranger Man is a complicated fellow/woman, uh whatever. He's rock solid for the right wing agenda, but leans some in the libertarian direction when the issue is not clearly laid out in his Mormon version of the Bible. He does not come off as a lunatic, but his inflexible mindset indicates he might be one. He does not rise to trolling so I am assuming he has had some experience at the forum game.
A worthy adversary? No. I decided he is just another person who is wrong on the Internet. I am sure he would be proud though that I finally found my moral compass and came to a conclusion.
Friday, November 02, 2012
Whatever it is, I hoped I had left it behind me. Apparently not. I have recently become an insomniac again. Maybe now my mind is in sync with Greenwich Time across the big pond while my body tries hard to make it through the day here in Eastern Standard Time. I fall asleep around 8:00 PM and wake up between 1:00 AM and 2:00 AM. Going on a couple of weeks now I guess and it is not making me any more pleasant during the day. I am not grumpy or caustic really. I am just not completely engaged in the day like everyone else. Thoughts are gather slowly if at all. My eye lids weigh heavy as they struggle to perform the wide eyed bushy tailed facade I need for that cheerful small retailer schtick I use on a day to day basis.
Anyway, waking up and being awake with nothing to do while I wait for the Sun to catch up has enabled me to relive all that wee hour channel surfing I have been missing out on.
I went through my infomercial phase. And though I purchased nothing I now know where I can get anything I never knew I wanted for $19.95 and for a small handling charge, oftentimes they will send two for the price of one.
I went through a sports phase, mostly the NFL channel. Seems there really is not much more to glean from watching "NFL Total Access" more than once a day. Or more than once a week for that matter. But at least there is no political talk or even any political commercials. And that's odd. Every other channel out there is over the top chock full of back to back thirty second political spots.
I spent some time trying to get jiggy with my feminine side and spent a few hours watching the various girly channels. I notice Oprah is still black and Dark Shadows is still alive and well at the bottom of the cable channel pool. Sadly, I don't think my sensitivity to the emotions of others or myself has been improved much. At sixty years old, I am thinking that horse left the barn a long long time ago.
Just when I thought early morning cable had nothing to offer, I scrolled by the Chillz Channel and just caught the word "Zombie" as I skipped past. Backing up and highlighting the channel I saw that "Zombie Women of Satan" had just started. Oh goody. Zombies are cool, especially hot zombies who happen to be women. I tuned in and before the first ax hit the first head, I passed out and missed the rest of it.
I guess I need to find a copy of that movie for those nights when sleep eludes me.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Because I am a glutton for punishment, I screened a bunch of Romney ads. Something was bothering me about him. I knew I had seen him somewhere in my past before he conveniently turned up as the supposed progeny of a much classier man than he is. It all became clear when I found this:
The man used to be a car salesman. No wonder I don't like him.
The man used to be a car salesman. No wonder I don't like him.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
There is a secret, okay not so secret facility in Alaska that is supposedly run by the US Air Force and the US Navy. From this not so secret base stuck out there somewhere in the tundra of Alaska they manipulate the ionosphere in ways one could only consider magic....Black Magic I am sure. They claim it is "scientific research", but we all know "science" is just a code word for Satan's Handiwork. And the fact that Obama is currently Satan's man on the ground here in the US, he took full advantage of the "science" of that Alaskan base and used it to help him in his bid to win reelection.
(HAARP) turned up to wow and focused on the ionosphere above the East Coast of the US. Apparently hurricanes cannot resist the come hither call of those evil machines. And having already manipulated the Jet Stream into it's unusual new path, the stage was set for what happened these past few days along the East Coast. Obama gets to look presidential and cool under fire. And millions of people change their vote next Tuesday.
What a diabolical man. Or is he even a man? Hmm...........At the least he is an evil wizard bent on controlling our minds by turning us gay. Thank God for watch dogs like InfoWars and HaarpStatus, or this plan to dominate our minds and souls would go unnoticed.
After I found this nugget of Truth on the Internet, I dug deeper. Where I dug is up to your imagination as I cannot reveal my sources because well, would you believe they do not exist? Of course you would, yeah right. Let's just say I know a guy who knows a guy who used fly a black helicopter. His claim is that Katrina was a similar despicable misuse of presidential power. Seems Bush the Lessor set Katrina in motion to pay back New Orleans for the trauma his father suffered in 1964 when he had his pocket picked on Bourbon Street. Wow. These Demigods can be a petty bunch.
Monday, October 29, 2012
The media has not only made sure we know a big storm is going to have it's way with the Mid-Atlantic Seaboard, they have outdone themselves with their efforts to instill the needed panic to drive the aftermath for more than a few news cycles. Store shelves up and down the East Coast are emptying. Generators are being crammed into car trunks, pick up beds, and ole lady handbags in anticipation of widespread electrical failures.
Brilliant news folks are asking the questions that need to be asked of the various authorities who will have to deal with the clean up.
"How long will it take to get electricity restored for 50 million people?" - one smart news woman asks a FEMA honcho.
I watched and listened to this unanswerable question come out of this woman's mouth and I imagined what the FEMA guy was thinking as opposed to the company line that came out of his mouth.
"Of Course Connie (not her name, but who cares what her name was)... Of course Connie, FEMA stands ready to deal with whatever comes our way. We have strategically placed teams in the areas we feel will take the brunt of the storm. We are ready."
"You dumass broad. What kind of question is that? When will we be able to restore electricity for 50 million people? I don't have a fuckin clue bitch. But I would love to tell you one thing. If 50 million people lose their electricity, we are all screwed."
Connie doesn't get it that this guy is giving her a chance to not look like a total idiot. Instead she presses him. "Well that's fine and good, but you did not answer my question. How long until power is restored?"
FEMA guy smiles tightly and says, "Connie, FEMA is doing what it can to prepare for the worse so that we can bring back normalcy as soon as possible once the storm passes. Predicting any kind of time frame for clean up is impossible given that the storm has not even made landfall yet. We can only do our best to prepare for it and deal with what it leaves behind."
"So you are telling me FEMA is not ready?"
"No Connie, I am trying to not tell you that you are an idiot."
Okay, okay, so I took some liberties with the last parts there, but it certainly is a plausible conversation between a media idiot and a bureaucrat.
It is interesting that this particular weather event has made every metereologist on the East Coast wet themselves in anticipation. A "super storm" they are calling it. Two unusual things that do not normally happen are what will possibly make this storm one to remember. Instead of behaving like a good hurricane and heading out to sea, Sandy is proving to be a juvenile delinquent. She is taking a sharp left hand turn at Atlantic City, NJ where she will hook up with a rather large system who prefers to remain anonymous that dropped down on us from Canada.
( Nothing good comes out of Canada. But I do appreciate the fact that they keep us so far away from the North Pole) Romantic sparks will fly as Sandy and Storm Doe party like there's no tomorrow and well, there will be some unhappy hosts when they finally move on their way.
But predicting who will be unhappy and how many there will be is an exercise in stupidity.
Batten down the hatches and I will see you later....................................
Friday, October 26, 2012
Something tells me God or the celestial bureaucrat he put in charge could give a rat's ass whether the plumbing between consenting adults meshes as intended. Come on. Just how tight of an ass are these homophobes packing they want to interfere in the love affairs of others? Shouldn't same sex couples be entitled to the same wonderful
I know. I know. I should be respectful of the religious views of others. That's what I am told. Sorry. I feel an obligation to respect their right to believe what they want. But no way in Hell do I have to respect the view itself. And I certainly do not have to respect the idiots who harbor such a hardline view of the world around them.
Do we really think we are such a priority God feels the need to micro manage our pedestrian existence in what is arguably a fairly large Universe? What an egotistical bloated opinion some of us have of our importance in relation to the rest of the Cosmos. We are but insignificant astral fleas floundering around on some back woods planet spinning out of control on the edge of the Milky Way. God's got more important things to do than nursemaid Humanity. Did not the Great One give us Free Will? If so , then he's got nothing to say how we use it. I guess he could fire off some lightening, hit us with some bad ass pests and a little pestilence. But why would he? If he's so talented to have come up with the Heavens, the Earth, and the Donald's excellent pompadour, why would he be so petty and bush league to get pissy over who marries who, who diddles who, or who makes the final four on "The Voice". Besides Humans prove time and time and again, we are our own worse enemies. We do a fine job of screwing ourselves without God throwing in his two cents worth.
(Brief interlude - While I calm down, grab a Papst, and consider just why this pisses me off so much.)
Maine is once again attempting to get the issue of same sex marriage behind us. Our legislators passed it once a few years back. But outsiders who felt the need to stick their nose in our business pumped stupid amounts of money (most of it came from Utah) into the petition drive to get its repeal on the ballot. Once they had it on the ballot, we were bombarded with so many lies and religious mumbo jumbo about how God meant marriage to be between a man and woman, the law was shot down. Toss out enough fire and brimstone and even the most rigid fence sitter is liable to fall your way.
It took awhile, but it's back on the ballot. I hope this time it passes. I am so tired of hearing about it. It looks good this time. The negative ads are fewer and farther between than the last time. I guess the Mormon church is pumping all their spare change in Romney's direction. Or they may have lost interest. Who knows, who cares? This time, there is serious bipartisan support. Hell, just yesterday I read even Obama has endorsed Question 1 in Maine.
For your enjoyment - one of the many pro gay marriage commercials from Maine. I especially like this one because the old duffer has such a great Maine accent.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Slogans are particularly popular in the political world. They date back into our history when men still rode horses to get around and women waited at home sewing,knitting, and minding the wee ones.
"Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" has always been one of my favorites. It first crossed my radar as a historical fact I had to memorize for a history quiz or test. This election slogan referenced William Henry Harrison as Tippecanoe and his running mate and soon to be successor, John Tyler. Seems ole Will rose to some distinction during the Indian wars of the early 1800s in the then North West Territories. These territories would later become Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, what we now call the Rust Belt, the Heartland, Fly over country. Tippecanoe refers to a specific battle in which the good and noble White Man claimed victory. Depending on which revisionist historical record you read, the victory was a nominal one at best. Still, ole Will would be able to cash in on this battle and his average to below average efforts as a military man to capture the White House.
My interest in the slogans of politics was sparked by the slogans of our current election. "We Built This" was and still is about the dumbest slogan I have seen in a long time. Obama's "Forward" is not much better. But at least it offers a direction and not some unsubstantiated subliminal claim that Republicans are responsible for what we have.
Anyway, I found this site that has all of the Presidential slogans used by the winners and losers since I guess they started keeping track. Apparently William Harrison started it all with "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too". I looked them over and some were quite catchy. "Keep Cool with Coolidge", "I Like Ike", and who could forget Warren G Harding's famous slogan, "Cox and Cocktails". Guess it was one of those, "Had to be there" things to even have a clue what it meant.
Lincoln's slogans for his two terms were telling. His first run , he offered promises of free land with a beautiful idyllic farm planted right in the middle of it. "Vote Yourself a Farm" certainly left much up to the beholder, but it was definitely upbeat. Abe's slogan for his second term on the other hand was less a promise and more of request. "Don't Change Horse's in Mid-Stream" says it all about the reality that became Lincoln's tenure in office.
Lincoln's situation, while more serious and potentially nation destructing than what Obama faces today, would indicate that maybe O Man should have chosen a different slogan. "Hang On" seems so much more appropriate. Starting over with a new president after only giving the previous one one term is ill advised given the deep hole we carved out for ourselves.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I hand rolled 1000 pennies from a dusty Ball canning jar I found buried in a closet. I made it about half way through that Ball canning jar before my hands, my interest, and will had run out. I have $10 dollars more to add to the bike shop deposit today and about four pounds of Lincoln Head pennies are on their way to recirculate around the good ole USA.
This was not always so. When I was a kid, a penny could actually buy something. A hip corner store would have so many penny candy options, a kid could spend an hour if they let them picking out the tasty sweet morsels that would fit their mood that day. Jaw Breakers, Atomic Fireballs, and small round chunks of Tootsie roll wrapped just like their big nickel brother. Lollipops of every color and hue, and small Brown Cows mooing from their small bin.
Yeah, a penny was worth something when I was a kid. And so what if I'm dating myself. This one fond memory I would love to see come back. Sadly, returning to times fondly remembered does not happen. We can try, but they only seem the same in our minds. 1950s rock n roll diners, resurgence of the Bell Bottom and the return of Christ will never halt our participation in the expanding Universe.
Time marches on..................
Nothing feels like the Present.................Not even the Past.