Friday, March 31, 2006

Practice Strike

Opportunity or reclaimation?

Got nothing wrong with sharing life's opportunities with our neighbors to the South, but this garbage goes too far. I'll fight your indigenous ass with everything I got. Kick 'em all out post-haste if this is the true motivation of the majority of the immigration movement.

I don't see this opinion expressed much in the Southeast, but you never know. Granted, it's the Southwest US that these folks want to reclaim.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Do You Know Who I Am?

Sorry folks. But you need to remember who she is and just how important she is.

Cynthia McKinney assaulted a Capitol police officer today as she tried unsuccessfully to sidestep a security checkpoint.


Woe to the Capitol Security personnel who forget just one of the Congress' 435 Representatives or 100 Senators who get privileged access. There's no reason why someone can't learn 535 different names and faces intimately after a week on the job right? Bottom line, these folks are just trying to do their part to keep our elected class safe.

Tip to anyone wanting to infiltrate Congress, dress up like Cynthia McKinney. They won't touch you with a 10 foot pole.

Update II:
And 'the last time this happened,' they had to put a picture of her up so that the security personnel would know who she was. Question: Isn't the purpose of the security staff to find potential security risks? Why are they being hassled into singling out Senators and Representatives for privileged attention? That's just distracting them from their core purpose. If McKinney wants a doorman, she needs to look elsewhere.

And apparently this isn't the first time this has happened. Too bad there've been no legislators standing up to say, "I've been stopped numerous times without incident."

McKinney obviously likes to play this game. If she didn't want any chance of mistaken identity, she'd wear the blasted pin that designates the wearer as the privileged congressional class.

Forty two GT Students Volunteer in N.O.

Georgia Tech students gathered in the student services building on campus to tell of their experience volunteering to clean up the Chocolate City. The young adults wanted to help out some way or just wanted to do something different when they volunteered for the post-Katrina cleanup.

42 students were accepted and 40 were on the waiting list when they departed for New Orleans to join 1200 other students from around the nation. A volunteer agency was responsible for gathering the student volunteers and organizing them into work teams to gut houses. Donning face masks to fight the mold & stench, the students had "some fun with sledgehammers" as they dismantled the house to its skeleton.

"When you lift it up, water seeps out the edges so the smell goes everywhere. Even if you've duct-taped it shut, it'll clear out an entire street," said Thomas Christian.

Hattip - 11Alive

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Things I Didn't Do Before I Met My Wife

Add drink Diet Coke to the list that includes,
Sleeping in the wet spot
Pick out women's shoes
Watch soaps - just a little
Attend church
Trim my nose/ear hair
Shave my genitals
Get a vasectomy (see shaving)
Consider shaving my genitals post surgery
Feel comfortable in a lingerie store, and not fear the store detectives
Watch Gilmore Girls
Opt for sleep over sex
Watch musicals, and like them
Drive a mini-van
Pick out women's clothes (non-linguini, er lingerie)
Drive the baby-sitter home
Fear hiccups
Stay awake all night with the incoming thunderstorms

That's enough for now.

You Know Your Diet is Working When

you observe how nicely a gold wedding band bounces on asphalt after it flies off your finger when directing Sunday morning church traffic.

Immigration - Law, Security, Economy, Taxes

Our immigration laws and policies are badly outdated. For years, national and state administrations looked the other way and selectively enforced the immigration laws currently on the books. Our immigration laws hail from a time when travel was more difficult. Very few folks braved the dangerous desert crossings into the land of the free. Nowadays, even with gas at $2.50+ per gallon, travel overland and even cross country, is ‘a breeze’. As a result we have basically said to any potential Hispanic immigrant, “Come on in.”

Things need to change. The status quo is unacceptable. The system is broken and something needs to be done.

I’m proud that we are a country founded on immigrants. I hope and expect that to continue. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

I welcome all immigrants who wish to come to my country, seeking to seize opportunity and freedom so as to better their lives, and in return better my country. Better our country.

But amigos, you are breaking my country. Every one of you that is here illegally, is an unplanned burden on our government services. Since you are not a citizen, you do not pay the income taxes that fund our hospitals, our community support services and even our schools to some extent. Yes, you pay sales taxes and such, but because you are not paying your equal share, that burden is shifted to the legal citizens. As a result, you are receiving a partial scholarship to work and live here. Our tax code, a tool used by our politicians to reward/punish constituencies, assumes that only legal citizens reside and work in this country. You do not equally share this burden.

And when you bring your families with you, you tax our resources for learning. Your children are behind the curve when it comes to learning the English language. And who can they turn to for homework assistance when they leave school? Certainly not their ‘No hablo ingles’ parents. As your kids fall behind, they begin to lose momentum and are likely to drop out. And if they don’t drop out, they become dead weight in our classrooms, due mainly to their lack of proficiency in English. (Personally, I’m doing what I can there on that issue)

I see Hispanic immigrants everyday, working hard building houses, landscaping property, working on farms, opening restaurants & businesses. They are earning a living and providing a better life for their families, all the while making it more difficult for the rest of us. But without them, the building process would be lengthened, and crops would be much harder to get to market. The labor market would be in short supply and prices would rise as the cost of hiring scarce manpower elevates.

Illegal immigrants - sorry, they’re not all “undocumented workers” - do fill unmet manpower needs. I know of perfectly capable and well educated individuals who willingly stay on unemployment because the jobs that are available or offered are beneath them. I hear from my rural friends of the seasonal migration to the fields. And in many cases they work with more motivation than our pampered and coddled potential collegians.

Lately, I’ve seen the demonstrations around town and the country. One illegal on TV said "they want to treat us like criminals." Newsflash - you ARE here illegally. That DOES make you a criminal. Period. You are here illegally you’ve broken the law. Protests like those we’ve seen recently turn America against your cause. And so does waiving the various flags of your mother country. It’s as if you want to be here but you came only for the money. (Not that it should be any different than my friends and neighbors proudly sporting flags of their Scottish heritage.

Meanwhile, we are just as responsible for this mess. We should change the tax policies to something like the fair tax and everyone would be taxed, regardless of their citizenship status. We need to know who is in our country. That requires closing the border to not allow uninvited guests. Not only to prevent illegal immigrants, but mainly to prevent an easy repeat of Sept. 11. We need to come up with an easier way for foreigners to register, be vetted and come to our country for work.

We can’t do it all overnight. Georgia is working on it’s own immigration bill. It’s not perfect but it’s a start. The portion of the bill which affects private employers does not kick in until 2008, which means the first enforcement could not take place until 2009. Employers would be required to keep documents indicating an employee is legally in the country if the employer claims an employee's wages as a state income tax deduction… one goal is to pressure the federal government to deal with the issue. They blame the federal government for failing to enforce the borders or laws that were set up more than a decade back to crack down on immigrants who unlawfully entered the country.

"All this does is create a lot of fear in a community that is simply here to work," said State Sen. Sam Zamarripa. Try being an “undocumented worker” in someplace like China, Saudi Arabia or even Mexico. I bet the illegal immigrant experience is much different from that in the US, and filled with more peril than the hyped up consequences of tighter US immigration. Kicking everyone out overnight would cause major problems within my state. Who’d fill the vacancies in the fields or on work crews? I don’t want that. I also don’t want our state to be at a disadvantage when it comes to finding labor and selling our goods.

What I do want is well thought out policies and a build up of the funding necessary to properly filter out the welcome and unwelcome visitors. I want the new policies to be easily enacted. I want businesses to register their workers with the authorities so that we know where the law abiding immigrant workers have gone. I want the tax code to be fixed to account for all kinds workers in this country, even illegals.

I don’t mind sharing my country. Our culture, language and society are always changing and will continue to do so. We’ll welcome anyone who wants to contribute to our way of life .But so much has happened too fast. Too many visitors have created huge problems for our society’s infrastructure. That is what has created such a backlash against the illegal immigrants. Please come here to work. Help make and keep our country the best in the world. Just do so legally.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

MMMmmm.... P i e. fRIEd Pie.

Just saw this TV article while playing in bed this chilly Saturday morning. Another case where we need to get the blasted government out of our lives.

A local woman, Mrs. Willie Watts has been raising money for her husband's medicine by selling fried pies. She's been cooking them in her home.

Unfortunately, some wretch from Cartersville,Ga "complained about their home-made pie business to the Georgia Department of Agriculture after he saw a news story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about them. Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin says he had no choice under the law -- he shut them down." (Personally, I hope he gets his just desserts. Too bad we weren't given his name. I'd like to make sure I never sent my business his way.)

The good news? The State Agriculture Commissioner will ask the Ga. Legislature to "legalize the sale of foods made in home kitchens like the Watts’ kitchen."

But why should this be necessary? I've got friends who run a 'casserole' business out of their kitchen. The mainly sell to church members, and let me tell you, during our ordeal with my wife's vision, we've received and consumed quite a few of these homemade, pre-made casseroles from our concerned Sunday School members.

What about school bake sales for schools and church functions? I see these all the time.

But, food safety is important. But if it's that important, the State Agricultural Commission is going to need to hire an awful lot more staff to inspect every lemonade stand and entrepreneurial kitchen in the state.

In the meantime, I'm sure this lady would love donations for her cause. And if she gives them a pie in thanks, what's wrong with that? :P

Awfully cool that one of her biggest customers, Johnny's Barbeque has offered to let her cook her pies in their kitchen. I don't know what her home situation is like, but she could make them in the restaurant for the time being. May have to check this restaurant place out. Smart move on his part.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Driving and Compulsive Compassion Don't Mix

Cruising the streets today with my half blind (okay 10% blind) wife looking for mischief. Earlier I'd passed a hot lookin' silver Ferarri driving through residential Buckhead. As I approached the strip of retail shops marking the approach of the asphalt ribbon of life, I notice the Ferarri pulling out of the Charbuck's on the left and into the suicide lane heading in my direction.

The Chrysler Magnum station wagon in front of me slows, I assume to avoid collision with the hoity toity engine wrapped in aluminum foil. The Ferarri had stopped, caty-corner in the midst of the suicide lane instead of pulling completely into it and parallel to traffic. At the last second, the Magnum decides to come to a complete stop and let the mid-life crisis into traffic - backing up everyone behind the Magnum as I screech to a anti-lock brake assisted stop.

I let 'em both know what I thought of them via my monotone epithet translation tool aka the horn.

What is it with folks? I know part of it is they only see the world in front. And in their efforts to be considerate, go out of their way to let people in front of them into traffic (not like the Ferarri lacked the power to merge). Meanwhile, they cause mayhem behind them due to their erratic behavior.

I feel these people are just as bad as those idiots who have to be first onto the exit ramp and squeeze their car between two drivers who now have to change their pants when they could have decelerated and taken the 50 yards of space behind me.

Just take a little time to glance in your rear view mirror before letting someone in. If their is space behind you, let them take it - or if you must make an extreme case of your generosity stop and let them in front of you. But for Pete's sake! If there is traffic on your tail, keep the traffic moving! Let the driver find an appropriate opportunity, one of their choosing, to join the viscous flow of traffic.

455 Rocket

One of my all-time favorites. Reminds me a little of Mustang Sally.

455 Rocket, Kathy Mattea

Mr. Smith had an oldsmobile
Baby blue with them wire wheels
I took her home the day that she was adverstised
He said she leaked when, it would rain
And sounded like an aeroplane
But I knew she was a jewel in disguise
She had a 455 Rocket
The biggest block alive
I couldn't hardly wait just to take my turn
She was made for the straight aways
She grew up hating Chevrolets
She's a Rocket, she was made to burn
Whose junkpile piece of Chevelle is this?
You boys come here to race or just kiss?
Don't you wanna know what I got underneath my hood?
I know she might sound like she's missing
But buddy, she could teach you a lesson
In just a quater mile, and I'll smoke you good
In my 455 Rocket
The kind the police drive
I couldn't hardly wait just to take my turn
She was made for the straight aways
She grew up hating Chevrolets
She's a Rocket, she was made to burn
I'm telling you and I ain't ashamed
I cried when that wrecker came
As we skid I thought I heard the angels sing (sounded like the Beach Boys)
We hit the curve and began to sail
Took out most of the safety rail
Even the cop asked me
"Man, what'd you have in that thing?"
I had a 455 Rocket
The very kind you drive
You oughta watch yourself when you take that turn
'Cause she was made for the straight aways
She grew up hating Chevrolets
She's a Rocket, she was made to burn
Lord, she's a Rocket she was made to burn

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Coffee Wars

I'm a large Caribou Coffee fan. Used to be a BIG one, but they've changed over the years. Still prefer them over Starbucks.

My local TV News just reported that Dunkin Donuts and another competitor, can't remember who, is giving away free samples to compete with McDonald's new 'gourmet coffee' offering.

The coffee industry is about to get real competitive I think. McD's is widely distributed. And instead of going far to reach my Caribou, my family is quite content to buy Dunkin Donut's coffee and grind it at home. It's half as cheap as my favorite Caribou blend (espresso beans, ground in my coffee grinder for coffee) and very satisfactory.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Live Long and Prosper

Don't know what we left on the boob tube last night of if my hot wings disagreed with me, but I dreamt I was with the Mrs. in someplace like the Varsity and on my way out, stopped to thank Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner for all that they've done. Ignoring for a moment their musical careers.

They were sitting side by side at a small table eating, or waiting for me to stop by. Who knows in dreams, right?

Made some comment about how their shows and movies even their costars aka Locklear helped inspire my imagination and such. At the very least made my childhood more enjoyable as I dreamed of traveling amongst the celestial bodies (Locklear?).

Second star to the right, and straight on till morning.

It's Bucky Day

Lil' Bubba was with us at a friend's house for dinner one night recently and he'd discovered the mamma's Barbie dolls. Like any male offspring off mine, he started passionately disrobing the young woman so that he could better play with her. He then proceeded to carry her round the house and right into the middle of our dinner conversation.

"Why won't you go put clothes on Barbie?"

"Because she's having 'Bucky Day' at school." sayeth my boy.

[Theme music from Beverly Hillbillies "Oil, black gold, texas tea"]Bucky. Buck-naked. Nooooo clothes.[/End theme music]

Now, we've had Pajama Day, Hat Day, Backwards Day, Sports Day and the like at school. But I've yet to see Bucky Day on the calendar. Maybe it's just wishful thinking on his part?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sorry Excuse for a Blogger

Been busy with life and what-not lately. The Mrs. gave me a kick in the seat when she said she'd been disappointed that I've not blogged and given her something to chuckle about.

Looks like we're starting the intravenous steroids again tomorrow. The pain has been so bad that she's been unable to complete a day of work. She comes home and plays vampire in the bedroom, except that she won't bite me anymore.

The steroids help the healing process speed up, so keep your finger crossed that we'll see marked improvement over the next week or so. We've become frustrated dealing with/waiting for the past month.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Eeny Meeny Miney Mo

as told by my boy tonight, while searching for an after dinner desert
Catch a diga by iz toe,
if he howers wet im go,
my mudda tole me,
to pick da vewy best one,
and you are it.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I've got cooties!

How do you get the cooties? You get them from touching or talking to a member of the opposite sex, the most virulent strain coming from someone who secretly likes you, according to the Center for Imaginary Disease Control.

Who's got cooties?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

This Just In

President Bush's approval ratings are down! As a result, he's not likely to be reelected.

What purpose do these reports serve? Are they to inflame or assuage the Bush hating left? Demoralize the rabid right? Yes, congressional elections are approaching. Yes, those Republican candidates will have to stand on their own if they don't want to be linked with an unpopular president. So?

Oh, you're going straight to hell for that one.

Thank you Gomer Pyle.

I'm amazed at the number of breakins/burglaries at my church in Atlanta. Yesterday there were two cars broken into on the lot. We've had numerous items stolen from inside the church. Items easily pawned like TVs, musical gear, etc.

And as is usual, some of the 'heists' involved an insider.

The church has many entrances, many not visible from the road. The church has expanded over the years and one of the things not planned for was a need for security. This oversight is understandable in light of the more important things, but I really hate the fact that my pledge money, turned into resources for charities and for the church, is being pilferred. For a family living paycheck to paycheck, I'm concerned.

Just shocked. Of course, I'm one of those people who don't litter either.

Maybe I need to volunteer to patrol the lot with a bible and a slingshot.

Monday, March 06, 2006

You've gotta be kidding me!

Chip of the old block came home from a birthday party yesterday. We told him to wash his face paint off prior to retiring to bed. He hops into the bathroom to 'unmake' his face and closes the door behind him. His sister had already completed her deconstruction and we hear from behind the closed door, "You've gotta be kidding me!"

His sister says, "You need to use soap AND water."

"You mean I need soap?"


Sunday, March 05, 2006

Waiting for Patience

It's been a beautiful weekend here in Atlanta, Ga. I'm currently reclined on my front porch with a glass of sweet, iced tea (dark, none of that weak tea here) watching my Hispanic neighbors play in the cul-de-sac. The Bradford Pears are in full bloom, my dogwood is straining to bud, the camellias at my feet awake with pre-spring blossoms.

The black and white clouds are drifting high overhead as I watch manmade mechanical dragon flies skirt the periphery, punctuated by the 'sound of freedom'. Sunset is near, but the sun is still fading on the trees at the top of our subdivision's hill. The rest of the world in dusk.


That time of day between daylight and night.
A time when your eye doesn't see well. Something about not enough photons for accurate day vision, but too many for your night vision to fully kick in.

We're frustrated by our lack of progress. Her peripheral vision has returned and was documented by our doctor during our last visit. She's lost the ability to focus worth a darn with that eye. She sees double sometimes, gets night halos, gets eye fatigue quickly, causes headaches, and lacks depth perception with one good eye...

I can only imagine the Mrs.' vision as being some sort of dusk.

Our emotions are kind of duskish too. My beloved is never far from being reminded of her frailty. The pain was back in her eye today. It's gone now, she's since slept it off. Nice to be able to close the eye for a hiatus from focal workloads. But other times, she's reminded in other ways. She has a hard time seeing the faces of the kids in her class, gets startled easily when riding in the car, can't locate the dress she wants to wear and probably has difficulty prettying her face. Crowds and their movement drive her nuts. Difficult to sleep some nights too, especially on the steroids.

The nagging guilt that she's broken once again and a medical burden still clings to her.

Feeling like the family buzzkill is no peach either.

The doubt that things are going well because things aren't back to the status quo is growing. Got little reason to believe that we're on the wrong track but we talked about getting a second opinion. Just in case. That's mainly the frustration talking. We want the magic pill.

Coping is difficult. A vicious cycle of mental fatigue, drains your emotional reserves, making you more susceptible to frustration and despair. Which makes managing the front end of that list any easier.

I'm of the opinion that whatever happens, happens. That's not pretty, but I'm not about to fret needlessly over something we've little control over. Especially since the steroid treatment does appear to be the primary method of managing this thing. There are other options, but don't know what the future holds after our follow up appointment in a week or so.

Keep on doing what we've got to do. Just trying to keep our shack and family functioning at minimal levels.

But it was nice to sit on my quiet porch this evening, listening to the mongrels bray in the twilight as the atmosphere chilled. Maybe I'll warm up by the Mrs if she'll put up with me and my now cool toes.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I Can't Drive 55.

The people have voted. You don't do 55 in Atlanta on the interstate. You do 70-75. Nobody wants to do 55. And if you do. Please move to the right.

The next day, this story made it above the fold of the online AJC.
Saturday, they interviewed this 'kids' on the NBC Today show.