29 August 2010

A Poll I'd Like To See:

Liberals are incredulous at the stupidity of those polled...
Apparently almost 25 percent of the citizenry now think Bozama is a Muslim.

Here's what I'd like pollsters to do-
Go to Kenya and ask Muslims there if THEY THINK Bozama is Muslim.
What do you think the percentages would be there?

27 August 2010

The "News"?

Lindsey Lohan is out of jail!
I heard it on the "News". I bet you did too.

Oh, friend Terry sent me an email...
David Dolby died earlier this month.
"Who?" you ask?
Yeah, that's the problem.

Lindsey Lohan is a mess... a drag on society and an example of how NOT to live life.
David Dolby was a hero...
His life, AND his death should have received more attention than it did.

Thank you for protecting me and mine, Sgt. Dolby.

26 August 2010

Those Peaceful Lefties!

"My way or the highway!"
If you don't come around to our way of thinking we "Progressives" might get angry.
That means we may-

Beat you up, even if you're a "person of color" in a wheelchair!

Firebomb the Boss's office, then blame it on those idiot "Tea Partiers".

Stab a Cabbie
after affirming he's a Muslim, then blame it on those "hate-filled" righties.

They are getting desperate.
Be prepared folks. I truly think this will get
much worse before it gets better.


My relief came in right on time yesterday morning. I had called and roused Sara Jean 45 minutes earlier and she showed up 15 minutes after normal shift change time. I got my stuff out of the aircraft, briefed the oncoming pilot, and pointed the Penske truck toward its stable with SJ and the furkids following along behind. Turning the truck in went without a hitch. Ninety minutes later we were back home, and the bed was calling.
But I did it to myself again...
To help stay alert I had ingested a quart thermos of coffee on the drive into BigTown.
Part of it came out an hour after going to bed.
Another portion came out an hour after that.
I realized I had failed to take the phone off the hook when it woke me about an hour after that.
I gave up trying to sleep.
Time to catch up with some of the stuff recorded on TIVO.

Sara Jean came home from work...
It's "Dog Wash" time!
For me, it's easiest to just climb into the tub with both dogs and let the soap/shampoo fly.
Yogi first...
Anal gland squeeze, then a liberal application of baby shampoo (to protect the eyes) on the head and ears, followed by an equally liberal scrubbing with Zest soap over the rest of his body. A good rinse completes the task...
"Mom, he's ready!"
SJ collects Yogi and takes him upstairs for his blow-dry while I repeat the procedure with Lucy.
While Lucy is being dried, I soap the "wet dog" smell off my own body.

Big Bubba calls to let us know he's boarding his airplane... right on time.
He calls again when they stopover in Phoenix.
Two hours before his arrival time we get back on the road to BigTown, and the wear and tear of the cumulative driving to get the bike, return the truck, etc., begins to be REALLY old!

Ten minutes from the airport I look up to see a Southwest 737 fly right over us and point to it...
"That could be your son's airplane right there."
Three minutes later SJ's phone rings...
"I'm on the ground."

Knowing he still has to collect his bags I stop off and buy a bag of White Castle cheeseburgers. As we are driving up the "Arrivals" ramp he calls to say he's outside waiting on us. Perfect timing. Thirty seconds later we load BB and Desi and while he scarfs the belly bombers, I point the car toward home.

We pull into our drive at exactly midnight. I have to cover Mike for his day-shift so the night is gonna be mighty short. I hit the sack and this time I actually sleep soundly.
At 0545 this morning the alarm reminded me why I hate working day shifts.

The Moto Guzzi is in the garage. (And NO Old Man, BB won't be driving it! He can't even drive a stick-shift car.)
Big Bubba is back in his old surroundings.
Right after I push the "Publish Post" button I'm gonna try to catch a power nap here at work.
Things will return to normal and the visiting will begin when I get home tonight.
All is well.

25 August 2010

It's A Red Letter Day

Big Bubba will be home from L.A. later today!

I'm about to drive to BigTown to return the Penske truck. Accomplishing that, I'll return home for a little rest after my shift last night. Big Bubba's plane lands at 2230 hours, so we'll be headed right back into BigTown tonight to pick he and Desi up. Doubling back on myself, making two 90 minute trips in one day is an irritation I'll gladly suffer, 'cause he hasn't been home in more than a year.
We all need the family time.

24 August 2010

And We're Driving... And We're Driving...

Well, the trip started off shakily...
But I'm getting ahead of myself already.

I took advantage of my friendship with "TwoDogs".
I reserved the Penske truck for pickup in Indianapolis, THEN called to ask if he might consider driving his hindquarters off all day Saturday to help me pick up the Moto Guzzi. It's terrible, taking someone for granted like that, but I know that he knows I would do the same for him, and I sorta knew the answer to my question before I even asked.
He didn't disappoint me.

Sara Jean and I drove to Indianapolis Friday night and arrived just prior to Sunset. That gave us a couple hours to visit before hitting the sack. We were facing a 7 hour drive to Girard, Pennsylvania... just outside Erie, and wanted to get on the road as early as possible on Saturday in hopes we could make it back late Saturday night. We walked in the door at Penske Truck Rental shortly after they unlocked it.
They had no record of my rental.
"No worries", they said, "We have an extra truck."
But it was a 16-footer, not the 12-footer I was promised.
"We'll give you the 16-footer for the price of the 12-footer. They get about the same gas mileage anyway. What are you gonna use the truck for?"
"I'm moving a motorcycle."
"You need the 16-footer anyway. It has a ramp. The 12-footer doesn't have one."
God works in mysterious ways.
We were on the road Eastbound at 0930 hours.

Twodogs took the first shift. He's a former over-the-road truck driver and noticing how natural and smooth he was behind the wheel made me hope I wouldn't embarrass myself. Two hours or so later we stopped for fuel and I got behind the wheel. I was amazed at how car-like the truck was. With the exception of the fact that it took up most of the lane, it was comfortable to drive, drove easily at 70 m.p.h., and didn't make our kidneys ache. We left the radio off and chatted about news... old and new.

At Dayton Ohio it started to rain. It rained past Cleveland. It rained off and on most of the way to Girard. But other drivers behaved themselves and the Ohio roads were in absolutely GREAT shape. At 4 P.M. Carmen the Garmin lead us right to the sellers front door.

Paul and I had emailed one another and had two or three phone calls to firm up plans. He had everything ready to go... the bike, title, extra parts, and he even helped us push it up the ramp, (thank GOD for the ramp!), and secure it.
TwoDogs and I ooh'ed and aah'ed over the eight or so other bikes Paul owned...
Several Guzzis of various sizes and a couple Boxer BMW's.
On his lift was a Guzzi engine he was rebuilding so we got a chance to look the beast over with nothing to obstruct the view. The 90-degree V is a work of art. I find myself wishing I lived closer to this man... he could teach me a great deal.

I hand Paul the check, we wave goodbye and get on our way at 5 P.M.. It's raining again so we change our minds about driving the short distance to take a look at Lake Erie...
We'd only be able to see a few miles offshore anyway, and one big body of water looks pretty much like all the others doesn't it?

Two fuel stops and several downpours later we pull into TwoDog's driveway at almost exactly midnight, having driven 792 miles.
Do the math... 792 miles divided by 13.5 hours equals an average 58.6 miles per hour, including fuel stops, a food stop, a couple construction slowdowns, and potty breaks.

Leaving Indy the next day I was in the truck solo with Sara Jean and the furkids following behind. The rain from the day before was long gone... we had near-perfect weather all the way home and arrived just as the sun was setting.

This morning I gently rode the bike down the ramp, gave it a good once-over, snapped the lockable Givi bags into place, (note... that link is to a Honda with the bags, borrowed from the 'net), and rode the bike... sans tags and motorcycle driver's license... three miles to determine if this was a tremendous mistake. There is more mechanical noise from the big twin than I was accustomed to with my last bike, an in-line four cylinder 1100cc Yamaha, but I think the noise of the engine working is something I'll learn to enjoy. The exhaust note is nothing short of muted music. I think I'm gonna love the thing.

I'm back to work tonight for two nights and will be off Wednesday morning. I'll try to take a few pictures to share with you soon.

19 August 2010

Weather and Wires

Here's my understanding of what happened:
It was a little after midnight when the flight request came in. The pilot checked weather and accepted the flight at 0035 hours.
At 0041 the aircraft lifted and informed dispatch that they were airborne with three aboard.
At 0043 they called called again, saying they were aborting the flight due to weather and returning to base.
The dispatcher assumed the aircraft had landed safely.

At 0610 hours the oncoming day-shift pilot arrived to find the helipad empty. He called dispatch to inquire as to the whereabouts of the helicopter and crew.
It's hard to imagine the tension and emotion all must have felt at that point.
The wreckage of the helicopter was found at 0820 hours. All aboard were killed instantly when the helicopter collided with the water of the Choctawhatchee Bay.

We stay often in Destin, less than 30 minutes drive from the base where this helicopter took off that night. I'm familiar with how quickly the weather can change there.
But it can change quickly almost anywhere. I have on more than one occasion landed the helicopter at our base and walked in to complete my paperwork, only to find the helicopter almost completely shrouded in fog when I return 30 minutes later to put the logbook back in its appointed slot.

I'm more and more cautious as I grow older. As I type this post our local airport is reporting 10 miles visibility, sky clear, calm winds, temperature 24, dewpoint 22. Two airports within 30 miles are reporting 6 miles visibility with calm winds and temperature/dewpoints within 2 degrees centigrade. I expect our visibility will be headed South soon, and if I'm called to fly a patient I'll probably turn the flight down...
I don't want to kill 4 trying to help 1.

All three aboard the fatal flight above were killed instantly and a prompt search for them would have made no difference in the outcome, so I was somewhat surprised to find there was disciplinary action taken against the dispatchers for their actions. They'll no doubt feel guilty for the rest of their lives, and that's too bad.

There is one thing that kills more people in helicopters than any other:
Colliding with wires.
Helicopters lend themselves to foolishness. It's fun to get "down in the bushes" and zip along at high speed... you can better sense how fast you're going when you're down low. But the environment is "dirty" down there...
Wires, support cables, unlit towers and poles, and even kid's kite strings have brought helicopters braving low altitudes to their demise.
And of course those obstacles are worse when you add darkness or weather-reduced visibility to the equation.

"There are old pilots and bold pilots, but NO old, bold pilots" is a saying aviators hear over and over during their careers.
A potentially fatal accident very early in my career convinced me that saying is true.
That accident and that realization helped me to get to this point... where I'll turn flights down when the wind is calm and temperatures and dewpoints come together and the trend is for reduced visibilities.
When I look in the mirror I see gray hair and lots of wrinkles.
If you fly and want to have lots of great stories to tell when you are wrinkled and gray, you need to heed my warning about weather and wires!

18 August 2010

Understanding Truck Rentals

I have to drive to Northwestern Pennsylvania... soon.
That's where my Moto Guzzi presently resides. The guy that sold me the bike has to leave for Beijing, China on the 29th of August and will be gone for months, so he obviously would like to have the sale consumated before then. That's a problem for me...
My schedule and required training absolutely fill the next few weeks. But the guys I work with have come through for me... they'll cover my shifts Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, giving me the time to go retrieve the bike.
But that presents another problem:
Conveying it home.

Last year I bought a rusty, ratty, '89 Chevy Silverado pickup truck. It has oodles of miles on it, but its 350 engine runs great and I bought it to haul stuff like manure and motorcycles when necessary...
But I never considered I might need it to cross country almost 1500 miles.

I think it has a 4:11 rear end in it. When the speedometer indicates 70 mph and the engine is humming along like we're goin' REALLY fast, Carmen the Garmin indicates we're only doin' 55.
So the truck uses a considerable amount of gas while doin' it's job. A trip of 1500 miles in it would not only concern me with questions of "will it make it?", but it'll cost a fortune in fuel too.
Add to that the fact that it has no air conditioning and you can see how I really don't want to drive this thing to PA.

So I stopped by to chat with my local Penske Truck Rental guy, a guy I like a lot and have rented from three times previously. As he has in the past, he "cheated" a little for me and gave me a break on the mileage fee, but it was still gonna cost me over $500 to rent a truck for two days and go 1500 miles. I told him about my old truck and that it looked as if I had an "adventure" driving it to Pennsylvania in my future, and he made a suggestion:
"If the trip is not local, Penske allows for UNLIMITED mileage!"
How does that make any sense at all?

So I called some friends in Indianapolis to see if they'd be up for visitors, then called Penske's 800 number. Here's the surprising outcome:
I can rent a 12-foot truck in Indianapolis Saturday morning, drive it for four days, then return it here at home, UNLIMITED MILES, for $244.64! (10% military discount included).

Can someone explain to me why renting the truck locally (for two days) would cost TWICE what returning it (after using it four days) one-way will cost? What's the business sense in that?

It's a crazy world.

I Fought For You

(Corey, I'm proud of you!)

17 August 2010

Early Morning Thoughts, 17 August

My days and nights are mixed up.

Phil and I covered Mike's vacation last week as he went to Sturgis. Phil got first dibs on the schedule, and for some reason he wanted to work one night, take the next off. then work the following night. That meant I had to work a night, take the next off, work the next, take the next off, and work another. I no longer can shrug off lack of sleep the way I once did. Working a night shift means I have to sleep much of the next day to recharge my batteries. That then leaves me wide-awake the next evening, driving Sara Jean crazy with my late-night TV watching or my tap-tapping as I leave extraordinarily intelligent comments on the blogs of others. So here I sit, in bed, laptop on lap, pecking out a post at O-dark-thirty. I'm trying desperately not to wake my sleeping beauty, 'cause she's not pleasant when she's awakened early. (I hope you realize the danger I'm exposed to here, trying to get information out to you!)

I'm headed into Bigtown later to fly a farmer I've known for years over his crops. He wants to take a look at drainage to get an idea of where his efforts are worthwhile and where he's wasting his time. He also wants to look at some real estate for a possible future purchase. Plat maps will be involved and photos will be taken.

Then I'll be headed back to my EMS base for our monthly pilot meeting. All four base pilots get together at these things to be brought up to speed on policy changes, safety matters, and sometimes, issues that have been raised by fellow employees. It's about the only time all four of us get together. Our lead pilot generally pops a pizza in the oven and we chat while dining. Three of the four of us are retired ARMY. The "odd duck" is our Britisher, who has experience flying in exotic areas and at altitudes the others of us can only dream of, so we grudgingly have accepted him into our fold, even though we frequently have to ask him to "Say that again, this time in AMERICAN!"...
A wonderful, interesting, life-filled bunch of guys.

One of the things we'll discuss today is an unforeseen problem for me...
I need time off to go get my Moto Guzzi.
It's in Pennsylvania, and I'm estimating it'll take 10 hours to drive there. So I'll need at least two days off to get it. Maybe three. The guy I'm buying it from is another interesting case...
He travels the world building plants that manufacture a very special product. He leaves for a MAJOR world capitol half-way around the world on 29 August, so I have to get the bike prior to that date. With my upcoming schedule sooner is better than later, so I'm thinkin' I'll be headed to Northern PA this weekend in a rented truck with a check in my hand. I'm excited, but it's one of those complications in my life that I'll be glad to have behind me.

So that's my Tuesday. It's not ferociously hot today, so flying will be pleasant.
I may be needing a little nap later to insure I'm not checking the inside of my eyelids on my way from Bigtown to the Base Pilot's meeting.

Watch this space... If you see a post after this one, you'll know I stayed awake and survived.

14 August 2010

Fear, and Anger

What in the world is going on in my country?
Things are out of control and our leadership is making things worse.

The term "Coup D'etat" actually came up in a forum I was participating in a few nights ago.
I've used the term "tinderbox" to describe what I'm seeing and feeling, and that seems even more appropriate now...
What happens when the majority of the populace realizes they're being ignored and starts thinking about available options?

The coming election is SO critical...
I pray it goes without a hitch and we get the country back on the path to sanity, because the anger I'm feeling frightens me.

13 August 2010


Are you familiar with the term "Taqqiyah"?
If not, it'd be to your advantage to get familiar with it quickly...
'Cause things around us are sure happening quickly!

Be prepared, or be a victim.

12 August 2010

Bought It!

...The sexy Italian!

A relative who is also a lurker here emailed, (paraphrasing):
"You! Of all people! ARE YOU CRAZY?"
And the answer is, "Yes, a little, I suppose."

While I was in Viet Nam I had a friend who was an engineering Grad from M.I.T..
When I asked him why he joined the ARMY and went to flight school he replied,
"I wanted to be here, with the guys."
At the time I was incredulous...
Why would anyone WANT to fly a large, slow-moving target in a live-fire exercise?
The passage of time has cleared my head some, so I understand now. I'm proud of my service and glad for the experiences I had with "the guys". Over beers, after a mission, we often talked about how "alive" we felt doing that job.
Draft dodgers and those who couldn't pass the physical were back home doin' the routine stuff while we were "living".

My line of work exposes me to folks getting hurt or dying from all sorts of strange things. Motorcycle accidents happen to be one of 'em.
Bein' around horses or other large animals is another, as is a lot of farmwork.
My point is, you have a decision to make-
You can be cautious and grow old, then look back at your life through cataract-dulled eyes and say, "Boy, I wish I had (fill in your dangerous experience here)."
Or you can get out while you're healthy and actually live, then smile when you and your "old" friends talk about your shared memories over beers.

Heck, I fly helicopters.
Motorcycles are like rockin' chairs.

11 August 2010

Decisions, Decisions.

Well, I haven't pulled the trigger.
...Partly because I've been so busy I didn't have time to do the research I wanted to lead me to the proper decision. But I'm also getting conflicting advice from folks I respect (BZ, for one), who have more knowledge about the subject than me. Part of my confusion is due to the fact that those giving me advice have my best interest at heart and are trying to guide me to a "rational" decision. How can ya not love that?! But many (a LOT of my co-workers) would say the simple act of riding a motorcycle is irrational. Why should purchasing a bike have anything whatsoever to do with logic?
Let's review my thoughts leading to considering buying a bike, (and here I'm gonna make a fool of myself by trying to rationalize)-

I rode bikes for years, then quit riding 30 years ago when Big Bubba was born.
A couple years ago I started reading the Blog of a retired Air Force Aviator, Jim*In Texas. Jim was a neophyte rider, and as you can see at his post he bought a good starter bike... a Kawasaki Ninja 250.
I enjoyed reading his thoughts on the joys of riding, to include riding his little Kaw on Patriot Guard rides with others who, for the most part were on Harley-Davidsons. My very first motorcycle displaced 250cc's so I know although they're small, they are also perfectly capable of getting out on the Interstate and will out-accelerate most family trucksters.
And what tweaked my interest about Jim's little Kaw was that he gets 75 miles per gallon with it!

I live 32 miles from my workplace. The roads are two-lane, paved, virtually flat, and well maintained. I'm presently driving to work alone in a car designed to carry five adults very comfortably. Driving this automobile at 55 miles per hour I burn 2.4 gallons each round-trip. For ease of calculation and because I think Bozama will succeed in jacking up our fuel costs, let's assume a per-gallon price of $3. That makes my cost to drive to/from work in the car $7.20. The same trip on Jim's Kawasaki Ninja 250 would cost less than $3, and I wouldn't be bored stiff riding to work in a metal box.

I started discussing my thoughts with a bike riding paramedic friend here at work and his first comment was, "Sara Jean won't be able to ride with you."
Well, when I owned my original 250cc bike I had a girlfriend who was delighted to ride along behind me. I'm not now considering a 250 cc bike, but Sara Jean certainly COULD ride behind me on one...
I've seen rear footpegs on bikes much smaller than 250cc's!

But I thought about his comments and realized they were somewhat valid. He made me focus on what I'd want in a bike:
I want it to be reliable.
I'd like to be able to do much of the maintenance myself.
If it breaks I want to be able to get parts quickly and at a reasonable price.
I want it to be fairly quiet, vibration-free, and get good gas mileage.
I'd like it to be comfortable enough for Sara Jean to come along now and then.
I want it to please my eye.

So let me share with ya what I've been lookin' at and include a little discussion about each of the machines I'm considering-

The Solid Teuton:

That's an older BMW. The engine displaces 1000cc's, so it will definitely get out of its own way.
A two-cylinder machine, (as are all the machines I'll discuss here), you can see one of the cylinders sticking out on the lower left side of the engine... there's another just like it on the other side. The weight of the pistons on this "horizontally opposed" engine cancel one another out, (it's called a "Boxer" engine) making this bike VERY smooth.
It's reliable as a Swiss watch, so although it has a good dealer network, folks riding old BMW air-cooled "airhead" bikes won't need to visit the dealer often. A driveshaft connects the engine to the rear wheel, so that would take the same amount of attention as the driveshaft on your car... ie. NONE.

For me it's a strange looking bike, but anyone who knows the "whys" of its design will see beauty in its engineering. This bike would be purchased USED. I have one on my EBay "watch list".
Sara Jean would learn to love riding this machine.

The Efficient Little Japanese:

(This was BZ's recommendation.)
You're lookin' at a Kawasaki Ninja, similar to "Jim In Texas'" bike, only the engine on this bike displaces 650cc's instead of 250, and where Jim's little bike is air-cooled, this machine is liquid-cooled like your car. Because they will operate in a more limited temperature range, water-cooled engines can be tuned to operate more efficiently, (better gas mileage and more power), and I suspect this 650cc machine probably puts out about as much horsepower as the 1000cc BMW above. Having the cylinders surrounded by water also makes the engine quieter. But this bike has two pistons that go up and down vertically in their cylinders, and riders have to accept a little vibration with this configuration.
Three Kawasaki motorcycles occupy the pages of my memory and I had good experiences with them all. There are Kaw dealers everywhere but again I suspect someone owning this machine would not need service beyond the routine, and parts would be easy to obtain and reasonably priced.
Final drive to the rear wheel on this bike is by chain, which would require now-and-then maintenance. (No big deal, but chains DO require adjusting/lubricating.)
Aesthetically? I'm not a big fan of cafe racers, but I don't HATE the looks of this Kaw. I can afford to buy this machine new right now, but would probably try to find a "good-USED" version of it...
I'm not at all sure Sara Jean would enjoy riding behind me on this bike...
(In fact, it looks as if there's no pad for a rider at all in the photo unless the rear seat is painted Kawasaki Green!)

The Sexy Italian:

That's a Moto Guzzi.
Ever hear that name? Moto Guzzi is one of the oldest manufacturers of motorcycles in the world. It's an odd bike appealing to a niche crowd, so you don't often see a Moto Guzzi on the road. Some refer to them as "The Italian BMW", because like the BMW above, it's a two-cylinder, air-cooled, driveshaft bike. Unlike the horizontally opposed "Boxer" configuration of the BMW, the Guzzi's cylinders are pushed up into a 90-degree V-twin configuration, but the engine on both the BMW and the Guzzi are mounted transversely, as opposed to the tandem-cylinder arrangement of a Harley Davidson. (You can see one of the Guzzi's cylinders just below the gas tank above... its valve cover is painted red like the tank.)
Guzzi's are fairly quiet, fairly smooth, simple, and reliable. But their dealer network is sparse and should parts be needed, they'd come at a price.
I once had a student that had a Moto Guzzi. He liked it. When I rode it, I liked it.
I like the looks and sound of this bike.
Driving up on one would attract attention.
Two-up riding would be very pleasant.
I'd have to buy a good-USED one.
There are two Guzzis on EBay that I'm watchin'.

The American "Fat Boy":

Over the years I have owned and ridden many Harley-Davidsons. Most of that riding was done when the Harley was the fastest, most dependable motorcycle on the road. They're no longer the fastest... not even close. They're no longer the most dependable.
But NOTHING sounds like a Harley!
Most towns of 100,000 or more will probably have a Harley dealership, but if I buy one I might need to establish a personal relationship with the parts guy because those parts would come in packaging marked "Harley-Davidson" and that name comes at a premium.
Like many things these days with an American badge, much of the bike is of Japanese origin, (suspension, electrics). And I think the new fuel-injection systems are German.
The vibration on this 45-degree V-twin would have made me dismiss the idea of owning a Harley years ago, but they have eliminated much of that with new technology.
Final drive is by a belt, which is cleaner than a chain but still requires a now-and-then adjustment.
Several family members own Harleys, so we'd quickly be part of a "gang".
I LOVE the look.
I LOVE the sound.
Sara Jean would be happy riding it on short trips.
Harleys are fairly expensive, so this too would be a "USED" purchase.
(But Harley's fortunes lately are such that prices are coming down and dealers are giving finance and other incentives to buy.)

And that brings us back to the original parameters-
The bike will be used mostly as a to/from work commuter...
Because of the explosion of deer in the area, we WON'T be riding cross-country at night...
Dependability and fuel mileage are important factors, as is the bike's "attitude".
Fuel efficiency? It will be better on the Kawasaki, but not enough to put the other bikes out of contention.
It all boils down to looks, sound, and "gut" factors.

So there ya have my thoughts.
Of those shown, do you have a favorite?
Tell me which, and why!

Added- I am now the high bidder at EBay on a bike similar to one of the above, with less than 24 hours left in the auction.
I'll let ya know how it turns out!

09 August 2010

Things That Make Ya Go Hmmmmm!

His middle name is "Hussein".
He lived in Muslim Indonesia during his formative years.
He attended Muslim schools there.
During his campaign for President, he referred to the
"57 States".
He bowed deeply to the Saudi King, then denied doing it in spite of obvious photographic evidence to the contrary.
He referred to America as
"One of the largest Muslim countries in the world".
Our first lady is in Spain, visiting Marbella, a city with a shady Arabic history, at a time when many Americans are rightfully concerned about the implications of current events in our own back yard.

Do I think Barack Obama is a Muslim?

Do I think he's being intentionally provocative to sew division, confusion, and hatred?
How would you explain the totality of the above list?

ThirdWaveDave emailed this link, which was new to me, but fits right in duddin' it?!
(Interesting comments at that post, now more than two years old!)

07 August 2010

"How Am I Doin'?"

That's a question you'd hear from a Democrat I learned to love...
Former New York Mayor Ed Koch. He'd regularly get out amongst his constituents and ask 'em, "How am I doin'?",
and then he'd actually listen to their response. I don't know how often he got useful information from folks on the street and put it into action, but at least he wasn't tone deaf to voter's desires.

Can you imagine Bozama walking the streets of Plaquemines Parish Louisiana asking "Hey, how am I doin'?"
His secret service agents would have to form a barricade around him.

In order to stand in place, this economy needs to be creating (not "saving!") 100,000 jobs per month...
Remember, that's just to "Mark Time"...
100,000 jobs PER MONTH.
Last month the nation LOST 71,000 jobs "unexpectedly". (I put unexpectedly in quotes because I think the only people who were surprised by the job loss were the media folks trying desperately to convince the stupid amongst us we really are in a "Recovery Summer".)
So instead of gaining 100,000 jobs, we lost 71,000.
We're diggin' ourselves a deep hole!

Damn that George Bush!

But have no worries you "little people"...
While you're out lookin' for work, Michelle is in Spain spending 375,000 of your tax dollars, and Barry is in Chicago shaking hands with corrupt Banker Alexi Giannoulias.
(I wonder if the President(?) had time to drop by and see his good buddy Tony Rezko in jail this trip home?)

Folks, the country is in the best of hands.

Okay, you tell me...
Is the number -143,000, -131,000, -97,000, -71,000, or -65,000?
Whatever it is, it ain't good.

Updated Update:
From Instapundit, introducing...
Michelle Antoinette!
Let 'em eat cake!

06 August 2010

I Wanta Build My Own Helicopter!

It's REAL important to remember-
If you build it yourself the Test Pilot will look strikingly like the face in the mirror.

04 August 2010

For Those With Bad Memories-

How did it happen?
Four (of our own!) airplanes were used as guided missiles against us.
3,000 innocents died a horrible death.

Because we weren't paying attention.
We allowed our enemy to take sanctuary in Afghanistan. They set up training bases and plotted against us there, knowing they need not fear we'd attack them.
There is now a rising tone of opposition to our mission in Afghanistan...
"It's Obama's Viet Nam."
Yeah, if we don't learn from the history of Viet Nam, it very well could be.

Go to the center of the "V" of the black granite memorial wall in Washington, D.C. and face it.
Many of the 29,000 names to the right of that cleft are there because our media failed us...
"Peaceniks" got the spotlight and we lost confidence that we were doing the right thing.

Was Viet Nam mishandled?
Of course. Robert McNamara, President Johnson, and other politicians tied the hands of our military leaders.

Will we learn from history?
Will we allow our military to do its job?
Only if those of us who actually remember why we failed in Viet Nam speak up.

And if we withdraw from Afghanistan?
If the Taliban once again control that country...
How long before we have to return and lose EVEN MORE of our warriors?

What was the phrase Democrats were using before the election?
"Smart Power!"

I like that...
Let's actually use "Smart Power"!

03 August 2010

The 401K Loan-

Oops, I did it again, (and I ain't even blonde).
A little over three years ago I took a loan on my 401K. Have you ever considered borrowing money from yourself?
At that time the important factors for me were-

The negative:
If I lost my job, I'd have to pay the loan back in its entirety.
The money you borrow is deducted from the working part of your 401k... and won't be earning interest.
If you are under age 59-1/2, and don't pay the loan back, you'll have to pay a penalty on the unpaid portion. (Not a factor for me.)

The positive:
At the time, the loan rate I'd be repaying myself was 9.25 percent, and that rate was higher than the market was paying, but still lower than the interest I was paying on the other bills... Win/win.

I repaid the loan over three years and was paying myself that 9.25 percent interest while most of my other investments were earning a negative return.

Now that the loan is repaid, I'm gonna do it again, but for slightly different reasons:
The loan rate this time is only 7.25%.
Using this money to pay off other bills I'll be virtually debt-free. The debts I'm paying off are charging me much more than 7.25%, so again this is a win/win.

We've seen that our Federal government has put out a "Notice of proposed rulemaking" signaling they may abscond with our retirement funds and give us a "guaranteed income" account in return, (like the WILDLY successful Social Security Insurance program).
If they decide to steal my money, there will be less to steal since I took the loan.

The seven and-a-quarter percent I'll be repaying my own retirement account is still a LOT more than that money is making in the market right now.

Only time will tell if this is actually a good move. But right now I think the upside of taking the loan FAR EXCEEDS the downside.
Watch with me over the next three years and see.

02 August 2010


I came to a halt at the four-way stop. The car across from me proceeded, then I made a right turn. I guess the guy to my left thought he should be next, because when I checked my rear-view mirror he was so close I couldn't see his front bumper.
He honked his horn, loud and long. When I looked at my mirror again he was giving me the Bozama salute with both hands, sitting there next to his significant other.
I slammed on my brakes and luckily he had pretty good reflexes... he avoided rear-ending me.
I put the car in park and stepped out to see if there was some way I could help the guy.
He jerked his Kia Rio into reverse and did the fastest U-Turn I've seen since "The Dukes of Hazzard" left TV.
Were I a nasty person I'd have taken down his tag number and paid him a visit later.

It's a good indicator of where we are in this nation at this moment, isn't it?
...All anger and demonstration.
No balls.

01 August 2010


For a while, we went to Church regularly and enjoyed it.
Then I was dismayed at the bitterness displayed by my brothers and sisters during the kerfuffle between the homosexual rights folks and the Boy Scouts. (And that's a whole 'nother blog post for a later date.)
I also realized I was being controlled from on high by "the quarterlies"...
The 4-times a year study guides used by most organized Churches that TELL followers what part of the Bible to study and discuss.

I wrote a similar post four years ago...
I was raised in a Christian family. I like Christian values and believe the world would be a much better place if we all tried to emulate Jesus Christ.
But in all my 63 years I have never been in a Church that studied The Bible in its entirety...
I have NEVER studied "Songs of Solomon" (sometimes referred to as "Song of Songs") in any Church.
Do you know why?
I do.

I've informed our friends at our old Church that we'll return when the quarterlies direct them to Songs of Solomon. In the meantime I'll continue trying to treat my fellow man the way I'd like to be treated.
And unfortunately, I don't expect a call anytime soon.