30 May 2011

28 May 2011

Brings To Mind An Old "Meat Loaf" Tune...



Tim, a HUGE Meat Loaf fan, will probably know which tune I'm thinkin' of right away.
(Photo borrowed from a flock of 'em over at
BZ's Blog. If you can stand more, go check 'em out.)

26 May 2011

Pay Me Now, Or Pay Me Later.

Predicting the end of the world is a big deal. When you wake up "the morning after", everyone is smirking at you.
Nevertheless, I'm going out on a limb with a big prediction of my own here, and please, smirk all you want when it's obvious I'm wrong.
But here's my prediction:


One way or another, in the next several months, this country is will undergo some BIG changes.

There was a special election held in New York State day before yesterday to fill the seat of that idiot (married) Congressman who put cheesecake photos of himself on the internet while trying to get a discrete partner to respond, then resigned when those photos were made public. Much of the discussion by candidates running to replace him revolved around medicare...
One of those candidates even had a deceptive video of a Paul Ryan look-alike pushing a wheelchair laden with grandma to the edge of a cliff, then dumping her over there. Congressman Ryan's plan will have absolutely no effect on anyone over age 55. This is the way politics is played today, and that video is a preview into how nasty the election of '12 is going to be.
That New York race was won by the candidate that ran those deceptive ads. So the medicare issue will, without question, be front and center during the coming presidential campaign. Look for democrats/liberals to fear-monger the issue to the max. And the saddest thing?
It won't make much difference who wins. The country is bankrupt. We are OUT OF MONEY. Changes are gonna come. In reference to the budget, the debt, and our economy, we can either try to "fly this aircraft until the wreckage comes to a complete, dead stop", or we can simply stand by as spectators and watch it fall apart.
Folks in New York have shown they are like drug addicts...
"I don't care that a disaster is coming, I WANT MY ENTITLEMENTS!"
And our elected officials, always campaigning to be re-elected, will take notice of results there and run their campaigns accordingly.
So we're doomed.
Are there any leaders left to stop this impending disaster?
Is the electorate intelligent enough to discern the truth when they hear it?
Is this New York election a good barometer of things to come? If it is, here's how I think things HAVE to unfold:

Our government will continue to print money like crazy in order to pay off our debts, thereby decreasing the value of existing dollars, and the price of everything we want/need will climb.
"Wheelbarrow full of greenbacks", meet "loaf of bread".

Back in the 80's I proudly discussed my financial retirement planning with a 20-years younger friend. Her comment at the time was, "What good is it to save a ton of money now when those funds won't maintain a normal standard of living then?"
At the time, I thought I was the smart one.
In retrospect...
[deep sigh.]

20 May 2011

I Support Israel


I'm flabbergasted.
Is this president(?) just stupid, or did he do extremely poorly in his history courses?

He's meeting face-to-face today with the leader of Israel, a genuine war hero. It's truly my hope that when he emerges from that meeting he looks somewhat like the idiot pictured above, and claims he slipped and fell down the stairs.

Our leaders are living in Seinfeld's "Bizarro World".
(Sarah Silverman, please call me. I'd like to discuss your vote in the last presidential election.)

19 May 2011

Where's Flightfire When You Need Him?

Obviously, I rub elbows with a lot of Doctors.
Three of 'em are what I would at least call "close associates"...
Two of 'em I'd actually call close friends.
All are disheartened with the Obama "Health care reform" system.
Two are retiring early, and the other would retire if it was financially feasible.
Thank you, Flightfire and Rodolfo, for your enthusiastic support of the destruction of our admittedly flawed, but wonderful health care system.
You've made your bed. Now lay in it.

16 May 2011

NotAHarley


You have the advantage of looking at the picture from the side. From the kitchen window of the condo we were just looking at the rear of the machine. It sure LOOKED like a Harley-Davidson...
Looked enough like one that my Harley-riding nephew thought it was one. And we wondered how it got parked that close without us taking notice.


After breakfast I went out to take a look. One of the first things I always look at is the final drive, and this one surprised me when I observed its drive-shaft...
It ain't a Harley.
The owner saw me admiring his bike and came out to chat.
"What's the displacement?"
"1300cc's. And if you didn't notice, it's a V-4."
I didn't notice.
Sure enough... four exhaust pipes. Water cooled. Shaft drive.

I wonder how smooth the darned engine is?
I can tell you this much...
If it had been a Harley, we almost certainly would have heard it pull in.

I feel a test-drive coming in my future.
(It's a Yamaha Royal Star Venture.)

13 May 2011

Sold It.



(The bike in the photo is similar to the subject BMW of this post.)
My garage is too small. An old Corvette, a "Grasshopper" lawn mower, and four large motorcycles along the path make trying to get to the deep freezer a challenge.
A friend of a friend called about the BMW. He wants to do with it what I thought I might do...
Tweak it. It was fundamentally a solid bike. All it needed was some TLC.
So I sold it to him for a price that just covers my expenses.

But while I owned the bike I rode it a few hundred miles and learned some important stuff:
Two-cylinder motorcycles vibrate. Some vibrate a LOT, some not so badly.
The BMW surprised me. It vibrated a little, (not badly), between 2,000 and 2,700 rpm, then smoothed out to a barely noticeable hum. At 60 mph it ran like a sewing machine. I bought the bike to compare it with the Moto Guzzi, and the BMW comes out on top in the vibration category. (But it has less "personality" and isn't as visually appealing to me as "Pizza Bike").

So I'll keep the Guzzi. I now have the newer Goldwing tweaked to my satisfaction so it also will stay in the stable. The older 'Wing is next on the block.
And when it sells, I'll once again be checking eBay...
This time for a 650cc BMW airhead twin...
Perfect, I think, for my 32-mile ride to work!

"Blogger" and Murphy's Law

If it can happen, it will.
Those of you with your own "Blogger" blogs know, Blogger was having a convulsion yesterday.
My post about snorkeling in Destin disappeared completely for a while. Then when it returned, comments to that post were gone. I guess we should all be glad these things don't happen more often.
Still, it's irritating when things don't work the way they're supposed to, even infrequently.

11 May 2011

Mask, Fins, Snorkel, And A Senior Citizen

I was a little bit excited. It seemed like such a good idea.

I got my "Basic Diver's Certification" back in 1979. At the time, I bought some of the finest diving equipment available...
Mask, swim fins, snorkel, dive boots, bouyancy compensator, dive knife. My Mom bought me a very expensive breathing regulator. I was new to the sport, but I sure looked the part of an expert. I then proceeded to make two fresh-water lake dives before life got too complicated to continue. My dive bag sat over there in the corner of the closet for over 30 years. From the balcony at Destin, several times I thought, "If I had my dive bag here I could take a look at what is beneath the surface of that beautiful water".
I remembered the bag this trip. I unpacked it and since the bag itself had a considerable layer of dust on it, put it in the washer, then carried the mask, fins, snorkel, and dive boots with me to the beach.

Farce.
That's what it was.
Did my feet grow? I couldn't get the booties on. By the time I finally DID get them on (15 minutes?) I was winded and worn out.
I caught my breath, walked to the water with mask/snorkel and fins, donned them, and waded in. The first wave hit me and knocked me down, filling my snorkel (and mouth) with salt water. I was still in shallow water so I stood up, cleared my snorkel, and promptly got knocked over by the next wave... same result.
I was out of breath again.

I finally got organized and started swimming away from the beach. Salt water is more bouyant than fresh water and I was bobbing on the surface like a styrofoam cup. It felt weird. I realized I was getting NO USE whatsoever from the fins, so I took them back to the shore and left them.
Back into the water, when I finally began to be able to move in the direction I wanted I'm lookin' at the sand about six feet beneath me...
Nothin'.
Bare, white, beautiful sand.
There was a little bit of seaweed in the water itself, but the visibility in the water was still greater than 30 feet. And the only thing I could see within sight distance was a couple brightly colored fish, each about 3 inches long.

Wait.
What's that?
Brown, and about the size of a tennis ball... a sponge. A REAL sponge. I grabbed it, made my way to shore, and presented my "treasure" to my wife.

When I got back to the condo I found the washer had destroyed my 30 year-old dive bag.
It was old.
So am I.
The dive bag got thrown in the trash.
But I'll be back.

06 May 2011

Lawrence, You Ignorant Slut!

This is why I can no longer watch MSNBC.
If O'Donnell had a pair before this interview, he had to ask her to return them at the end of it.

NOT AGAIN! Yes, Again.

You may remember this post about destroying my datebook while we were in Mesa, Arizona.

Or this post about it happening again the very next year, while we were in Destin.

It's been three years. We're in Destin. But there IS a positive side to it this time...
It's early in the year. I'm only losing 4 months and a few days data.
Sigh.

Silver, 6 May, 2011

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
I must admit I am surprised. Is it a collapse in the market, or just a correction? Pick an expert, see what they have to say. Then pick another and get an opposing view.
I'm goin' with my gut.
Our government is still printing money. The world situation is not getting any more stable. I'm goin' with my gut and have a figure in mind where I'll once again be buying.
Or...
Everything is coming up roses. This administration has it under control and all will be well in just a few days.
Your choice.

05 May 2011

"News Alert" And Vacations

Vacations are for re-creating. Sun, surf, beach, and walks along palm-lined streets. We had hoped to "get away" from the pressures of everyday while we were here.
And then Sunday night our son called and asked, "Are you watching the news?"

It's our own fault, of course.
If I really wanted to get away from it all, electronic devices would be OUT...
Cell phones, TV's, radios, laptops. To be perfectly oblivious you'd have to pre-buy all your staples and avoid going to any retail outlet to insure you wouldn't get a glimpse of a newspaper headline.
That's almost impossible these days unless you're vacationing in Northern Canada.

So Sunday night we got sucked in. I have no problem admitting I'm not at all confused about bin Laden's death... I'm elated. "He needed dyin'".
But the result has been entertaining, hasn't it, watching liberals trying to turn on a dime, hoping we'll all ignore past STUPID pronouncements.?
Is he really dead?
Should the photos be made public?
Are the internet photos faked?
What now, re: our relations with Pakistan?
Sigh.

I'm on vacation.
We're running errands and doing a few chores this morning, and intend to spend the afternoon on the beach.
Next time you see me you'll be knocked out by my gorgeous tan.

03 May 2011

Isn't It Ironic?

Yes it is. Fitting too.
A man that would not eat crab, lobster, shrimp, and other "bottom feeding" sea life, is now providing sustenance for those very creatures.
Remember that the next time you eat at Red Lobster.

Insecure People

You asked my wife, "Who does he think he is? Why would he think anyone would be interested in what he has to say on that blog?"

I'm puzzled as to how to react.
You come here a lot. You also were critical about my motorcycle purchases.
Yeah, it may seem crazy in some ways. Maybe I AM crazy. We'll see.

But I'm sure of one thing...
No one is forcing you, or anyone else for that matter, to come here and read my thoughts.
Yet, if you check my "profile", you'll find 14,000+ folks (agreeing or disagreeing) have been interested enough in what I say over the last six years to have a look-see at who I am and what I do. I know that doesn't answer your question. Maybe it puzzles you even more.

Do us all a favor pal...
Start your own blog. Let Sara Jean know about it. Then I can come read your thoughts and see what's goin' on in that sad head of yours. (And I promise when I come I'll have the stones to leave a comment now and then, too.)
Let's see if YOU can make it interesting for six years. (Or six months!)

I know exactly what is going on here...
And I feel pity for you.

02 May 2011

I Gotta Win The Lottery

I'm at the dining room table where this blog was conceived.
Today, once again, we have sunshine, moderate temps., and a brisk refreshing breeze.
To my left I can see whitecaps breaking on what may be the white-est sand in the world.
To my right I can see a swimming pool with several people chatting with one another, lying in the sun, enjoying life.
Sara Jean, Lucy, Yogi, and me just finished walking two miles, and now she is on the beach with visiting family members.
I wanta do this full time.
This is near-heaven.

Leadership. Finally.

He took a risk.
He took a serious risk.
This obviously could have been a "Jimmy Carter" scale disaster, and I'm sure he weighed that possibility, then took the risk anyway.
But look at the results gained from taking this calculated risk.

Mr. Obama...
Good on ya.
More please.

01 May 2011

Differing Perspectives



I tried like crazy to figure out how to get down here with the newer GoldWing.
None of our cars has a trailer hitch on it, so renting a trailer is out.
A call to Penske to check on a truck resulted in a price about half-again what I felt I could afford. (But they dropped their price trying like crazy to satisfy me, then called back to insure they had covered all the bases. Good on 'em.)

There was another possibility-
Rent a bike once we got here. The Harley Dealer over in Ft. Walton will rent us a bike similar to the one shown... $2,000 deposit, $300 for the weekend.
I swallowed hard... seemed a little steep to me.
Two Harley-riding family members from Chicago are here with us. They expressed surprise at how cheap that price was.

I'm once again reminded how "frugal" I am.
(Sour grapes anyway... I bet there are no bikes available this weekend with "Thunder on the beach" going on in Panama City!)

Destin. April/May 2011

We got a late start.
That's okay. I slept until Noon and actually prefer driving at night for reasons I've explained here before... less glare, less traffic, better long-distance AM radio reception.
No matter how often I tell myself I need to make a checklist so I'm sure I've got it ALL as we back out the drive, I still haven't done it. Thirty minutes down the road Sara Jean says, "OHMYGOSH. Did you bring the keys?"
Yeah, those I remembered. But I the farther I drove the more I remembered stuff that I DIDN'T remember... and my laptop was one of those things. So here I am trying to make stubby fingers work on this netbook. It's better than nuttin'...
Just.
Most of the rest of the stuff we forgot we can just buy here.

Even in the dark we could tell Alabama had been pummeled. Lots of trees down alongside the highway, some of which were so thick they just topped 'em out right next to the white line marking the lane limit. We stopped for gas shortly after we crossed the State line and the "Pay at the pump" function worked until I needed a receipt. I had to get my receipt from the cashier. She looked frazzled and said they had just gotten power restored the day before. (And she knows she is one of the lucky folks in her neighborhood.)

South of Birmingham, everything looked pretty normal in the darkness. We had not a drop of rain the entire 12 hours we were on the road. Sara Jean slept most of the way with the dogs keeping her lap warm. They wake only when I slow or they hear a turn signal clicking, looking around as if to say "Are we here yet?"

We rolled into Destin at 4 A.M.. I stopped at Wally World for "musts"... BEER, eggs, bread, milk, etc.. Early Saturday morning, the store was empty except for employees restocking, and after the Friday night madness there was a LOT of restocking going on.
We were on the balcony at 4:30. It was still dark... the stars were beautiful. Though we couldn't see it we could hear the surf crashing against the shore... something you can't always depend on along this beach... sometimes the Gulf is so calm here I refer to it as "Lake Destin".
Cold beer in hand, bride and pups alongside, bed downstairs calling... life is a good way to pass the time.

We woke at Noon to one of those days you dream about. BLUE blue sky, low 80 temps, and an offshore breeze to put a huge smile on your face. Back on the balcony with coffee in hand this time we noticed an abnormal number of bikes on the road. Cousin Bonnie FB's me that "Thunder on the beach" is happening at Panama City. Good.
It makes the parade more fun.


So we're safely here with a whole week left to unlax and enjoy. We're dashing over to Pensacola this afternoon to grab Mom and bring her back so she can sit on the balcony and watch her beloved Pelicans fly by in formation. The dogs like that... Mom's lap is as good as any out on the balcony.

The water is four colors of green, making the whitecaps look extraordinary.
We truly are blessed. Thank you Lord.

Wish you were here.