Tuesday, February 24

"Thanks For Nothing..."

A 12 year old boy decided that he could use a $100.00. Not being able to find any odd jobs to earn the money, he determined that he would send God a letter and ask him for the money. The letter was received at the local post office and the postal worker who opened and read the letter decided that the letter was so earnest and well written that he would forward it on to Treasury Department in Washington, D.C. The letter was dutifully delivered to the Treasury Department and eventually landed on the desk of the Secretary of the Treasury. He in turn too thought the letter required additional personal attention and decided to forward it on to the White House, and sure enough, it was soon hand delivered to President Obama, who read it with great admiration. Wishing not to dash the child's hopes of not receiving a reply, and believing that instead of the $100 the child requested, assumed that the youngster would still consider the $5.00 he personally took out of his wallet to be a lot of money for a boy his age. A few days later the boy received the letter addressed from the White House, opened it up and found the $5.00. Being appreciative of the money received, albeit less than he had requested, the child again sat down and wrote a second letter to God.

"Dear God, Thank you for answering my prayer for the $100.00 requested. However, I would suggest that in the future any other letters from me requesting money, that you please send it directly to my home address. I don't know how it happened, but it looks like the letter some how got sent to Washington and those money-grubbing jerks up there took $95.00 in taxes!"

Last evening on NBC's Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams stated that the American people were becoming "skeptical" of all the money that the Obama administration is spending to confront our nation's economic implosion. The word skeptical means a strong tendency "to not believe or accept things, but to question them." I passed being skeptical the day before the national elections that put these Chicago armatures on the threshold of the pathway to dooming this country to an ever increasing burden of personal taxation debt that will take generations to pay off, if ever. Two other words come to mind that better describes my current disposition: incredulous and disgusted.

How can one not be incredulous and disgusted when the House and Senate Committee version of the stimulus bill, crafted behind closed doors without opposition party representation, was over a thousand pages in length, received a final vote and passed by the Democrat controlled Senate without a single representative having read it? How can one not be incredulous and disgusted when Speaker of the Senate, Nancy Pelosi, who previously publicly pledged not to include a single self-serving earmark into any appropriations bill, jumped to her feet in her designer green house coat to rapturously applaud every time Obama took a deep breath throughout Obama's joint address to Congress, knowing fully that contained within the legislation were millions upon millions of pork barrel provisions? How can one not be incredulous and disgusted when the newly released Federal budget has hit an all time high of 1.9 TRILLION DOLLARS!?! That's a one followed by TWELVE ZEROS? There are over nine thousand "pet projects" contained within that budget, among which is 460 billion dollars as a "down payment" for national health care, a program that has not even officially been proposed. Did you get to vote to implement a national health care program? I didn't and I doubt that I or anyone else of voting age will get to do so when it is eventually introduced by the Washington elitist.

"Well Jim, we've got to do something." I agree, but when your hard-earned tax dollars are pledged for you, your children, your grandchildren and their children's children without any regard or input by those who would say, "If we're going to do something, let's make sure we hear from all sides to determine what is the best way to tackle a given problem," then I continue to be incredulous and disgusted with those currently running our ship of state aground who believe "we the people" don't have enough common sense to know what is best for us. What is best for me and my family? A change in regime. I just hope I, my family, and America can wait for four years before it comes to pass...if we don't all go bankrupt long before then.

Monday, February 23

"Can Spring Be Far Behind?"

It is 51 degrees here this morning and "nippy." For we residents on the west coast of Florida, that's cold. I know, I know, comparatively speaking we shouldn't have anything to complain about since this morning in Bismark, North Dakota it is currently, at the time of this post, a frosty 3 degrees above zero. Still, it is all relative to what one is accustomed to, and for me I am accustomed to and prefer temperatures at this time of the year in the high 70s to low 80s. At 51 degrees, it is hardly bikini weather, but I see signs of a promised spring to come.

Each year I gauge the advent of the coming of the longed for warmer spring weather by certain events that occur with the predictability of a precise time piece. Last summer's leaves on the oak trees have given way to a thick coating of golden pollen sprouts that with the slightest breeze rain down to coat every surface with a thick yellow haze and to clog to overflowing the gutters on my house. The dormant weeds that I was so sure I had eradicated last year begin with a renewed vengeance to sprout up in my yard as if to mock my feeble attempts to thwart Mother Nature. In the world of sporting events, I mark the first race of the new NASCAR season, the Daytona 500, as a sure sign that spring is just around the corner. Closely following on it's heals awaits the granddaddy of all golf tournaments, The Masters, played on the lush fairways of the August National golf course, nestled among the most beautiful, breathtaking flowering foliage imaginable. And then, ladies and gentlemen, (mostly "gentlemen"), there is the surest sign that a new spring season has finally dawned, the appearance on magazine vendor's display shelves all across America, the iconic Sport's Illustrated Swim Suit Edition! (Is that a trumpet fanfare I hear in the background?)

This year's release of the swim suit edition sort of snuck up on me. Ms. Judi announced last evening that if I expected to have cereal for my breakfast in the morning that I would need to go to the store the following morning to pick up another gallon of milk. Braving the 51 degree weather, I grabbed my winter coat and headed out for the local grocery store. Entering the store I made a right up isle number 10 toward the dairy section in the rear of the establishment where I knew the milk is located. An entire half of isle 10 is devoted to the display of every monthly publication known to man. Usually I just tut-tut my way past the dozens of periodicals in my quest to accomplish my assigned goal of picking up those articles of food stables that Judi had entrusted me to obtain in full by providing me with her carefully crafted list. This morning...the milk would have to wait. There among the motorcycle, woodworking, home and garden, crossword, electronics, scrapbooking and zodiac magazines loomed the epitome of summer days to come, the alluring cover photograph of one Miss. Bar Refaeli, seductively adorning this year's swim suit edition. (I swear I detected a chorus of heavenly voices singing reverently somewhere in the background! Probably over close to cheese and wine section.)

I don't subscribe to Sports Illustrated, obtaining all the sports information I require and then some from my nightly dose of ESPN. The only monthly periodical I have delivered to my home is National Geographic, and that is because it always contains such nice pictures. Nor am I ever tempted to purchase this one particular edition of Sports Illustrated, even though it too contains some really nice pictures. But it certainly isn't beneath me to linger for an extended period of time in Isle 10 to offer a silent but earnest critique of the "nice pictures" contained within. Like I said...the milk would have to wait.

Marvel, did I, at the many examples of engineering prowess whereby what appears to be no more than 50 cents worth of fabric can so precisely adorn the all but naked women in the most precise locations on their bodies that one would otherwise swear would require at least another dollar or two of material. And then there is also several interesting pages whereby no cloth is utilized...just body paint! I stared quite intently in long moments of appreciation for the artistry that must be required to paint a map of the world with such accuracy in just the right spots! I'm thinking, "Who gets to do this?" I'm currently without employment, have a pretty steady hand when it comes to artsy-crafty kind of things, and I also own a pretty reliable digital camera that I certainly would be willing to bring to bare (pun intended) if given the opportunity to do so. Some people have all the luck!

Ah, but I purposefully digress. I appreciatively replaced the already well dogeared copy of the swimsuit issue back into the shelf and walked out of the store being even more convinced that the warmer days of spring time would soon be upon us, to be followed by the sweltering days of summer that hold forth renewed trips to the beach where I know will be once again a bevy of real live bathing beauties unabashedly displaying the latest swim fashion. It can't happen soon enough.

Darn if I didn't get all the way home to realize I had forgotten the milk!

Friday, February 20

Okay... Let's Be Fair."

In the late 1960s and early 70's the war in Viet Nam was raging. This conflict at its outset was received by the American public with little opposition, willing to initially believe that our government was correct in its assumption that without a forceful presence of our military in southeast Asia , the end result would be an unrelenting tide of communism would remain unchecked to engulf that part of the world. Such a perceived consequence was regarded as an unwelcomed shift in the balance of powers, which would eventually threaten all of the remaining democratically ruled nations in that region. The voices of disagreement were initially few, often quelled by hawkish slogans such as, "My country! Love it or leave it!" Vocal dissent against the war was decidedly squelched with angry threats and accusations towards those who would speak otherwise as being treasonous and unpatriotic.

The initial introduction of a few "military advisers" evolved over the coming months into the insertion of battalions of this country's military fighting forces until the bulk of the ensuing bloody combat was being waged by American troops. The tide of public opinion began to steadily swell into a chorus of dissent, as the casualty and death reports filled the nightly news reports. Leading the challenge to American remaining in this increasingly unpopular war were the college and university students who weathered the bullets of Kent State, who burned in protest their draft cards, and who shouted for all the world to hear, "Hell No! We won't go!" What once had been considered the "right thing to do," turned into an overwhelming clamoring for America to get out of Viet Nam.

If the Viet Nam era teaches us anything, it should impart the lesson that public opinion is at best fickled. Introduce the subjects of politics or religion into any conversation and the varying opinions from the mildly held to the infuriatingly upheld pour torridly forth like a snow melt mountain river in spring time. This present perilous time in America is no different than in the decades of the 60s and 70s. A new president has moved into the White House and with him he has installed in the executive wing a new assembly of cabinet and lesser government officials who have begun to chart a "new direction" for this country to pursue. What once was embraced by the majority of Americans, prior to January 20, was the anticipated dawning of a new day of hope. What has dawned instead in its wake is still another day followed by yet another day of trepidation, fear, anxiety, and an increasingly uneasy sense of foreboding and loss of hope. This country is floundering in despair and the opinions regarding our appointed leadership's ability to right our nation's ship are becoming increasingly boisterous and, perhaps, eventually unruly.

Of late some of the more vocal individuals within the ruling majority party, who are hearing the crescendo wrath of their constituency, are suggesting that some means of control should be instituted, which would guarantee that those who so vociferously oppose the present administration's policies and Congressional dictates could no longer dominate the nation's public airwaves. Generally known as the "Fairness Doctrine," such a reinstitution of this policy would require radio and television stations licenced by the Federal Communications Commission to utilize the free and public airwaves would have to, by statute, provide programing and give "voice" to those individuals who hold contrary opinion.

Examples... All radio stations that air Rush Limbaugh's daily conservative talk show would be required to provide equal time for programing that was decidedly moderate if not liberal in its content. A religious radio or television station that is, by their avowed faith, voicing opposition to abortion or with the homosexual lifestyle, would in turn be required to air equal time to opposing view points on those two topics. On first blush that would appear to be "only fair." However, let's be realistic in analyzing that assumption. In the first example, it is the revenues generated by the sale of advertising spots immersed in the individual station's programming that affords the stations to remain on the air and to anticipate, rightly, a reasonable profit for doing so. Programs which do not generate sufficient revenue are deemed unprofitable and are soon jettisoned from their respective formats. Forcing the radio and television stations to air programing that the free market doesn't want, will not listen to or watch, and thus attracts no advertisers to underwrite, is a formula for a rapidly diminishing audience and revenue base that eventually could lead to a loss of those stations all together. Non-profit and specialized media outlets, such as religiously formatted stations, rely on the continuous generosity of their listeners and viewership to underwrite their programing. Forcing such entities to air programing contrary to their core beliefs would not only erode, devastatingly so, their support constituency, but would force the ownership to refuse to adhere to the fairness dictates, thus electing to cease further operation rather than bow down to Cesar's decree.

President Harry Truman said it best, "If you can't stand the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen." For those individuals in positions of national leadership who believe that their toes are being unduly stepped upon and thus require a more level playing field on which to be judged, let me suggest that you band together and purchase your own radio and television stations that will air nothing but your favored opinions. Then, by all means, go out into the marketplace and secure as many willing advertisers that will subscribe to your selected format and then see if they will hang in there with you for the long haul. If they do, then you now finally understand how the free market and the marketplace of ideas truly functions in this country...not by writ, but by choice.

So, in deference to the underlying attack on free speech in this country and in anticipation of some form of Fairness Doctrine eventually coming to bear, let me personally attempt to be unbiased in expressing my personal opinions about the current leadership of our country.

Opinion Number One: The people currently in charge of our Federal government are complete idiotic incompetents.

Opinion Number Two: The people currently in charge of our Federal government are without a doubt bumbling fools!

There...that seems fair. Now, is everyone happy? Let's all join in and sing a chorus of Cum Bye Yaw.

Saturday, February 7

"Really...Not So Much!!"

On first blush the image of this drunken teenager passed out with his head in a public urinal may invoke an immediate humorous response. However, when the laughter fades away one should ask oneself is it really that funny?

On Wednesday of this week I posted a two-part satirical piece on two newspaper articles I read that touted the economic stability of the lingerie industry and an Australian based study which purported that males who consume alcohol - as opposed to those who abstain - are better able to perform sexually. Being the egotist that I am, I thought I did a pretty good job of poking fun at the reasons why folks continue to purchase unabated those frilly "unmentionables," and especially at the ludicrous study that would have one accept as fact that the copious consumption of alcohol in anyway enhances a male's ability to perform sexually. Another look at the guy with his face planted in the urinal should speak to the undeniable fact that in his present state of total inebriation, he is incapable of even obtaining an upright, standing position much less entertain any cohesive thoughts or ability to consummate a sexual encounter.

My post garnered an unsolicited "comment" from a lady who resides in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, who didn't mince words when she classified my article as "nothing but rubbish! - utter bunkum!" - going on to say, "What you're doing here is encouraging alcohol drink & while you may think there's no harm, well, you're painfully wrong!" My initial reaction was, "Whoa Lady! What's got you so bent out of shape?" So, I decided to do a little investigating to try and determine the basis for her scathing dislike of my article. I discovered that she also is a blogger and has two blogs devoted to her late husband and the catastrophic effects that the continuous, life-long consumption of alcohol can have on an individual's life. I strongly encourage you to read both, which can be accessed at the following Web-Blog addresses: http://www.shelia-mygary.blogspot.com/ and http://www.shelia-sigibbs.blogspot.com/.

Shelia's story is a profound expose on the insidious dangers of alcohol, the effects of which may lie dormant for years until the devastating health consequences ravish a person's life. Shelia's husband, Gary, lost his life as a direct consequence of his early life's continuous over-indulgence of alcohol, and even now Shelia is suffering the unrelenting afflictions of Grand-Mal seizures, blindness, deafness, failing liver function, and heart attack. Shelia's story is indeed a living testimony for bad choices, but her present day testimony is not one that seeks condolence or pity, but rather, as a strong woman of profound Christian faith, she is reaching out as best she knows how to sound the much needed alarm that there are dire penalties that could easily be paid at the end of the long road taken with strong drink in hand.

I am not so bold or "holier-than-thou" than to prop myself upon a soap box and suggest that everyone should abstain completely from the consumption of alcohol. That would be hypocritical on my part. However, I am smart enough to realize that there but by the grace of God go I. A law of physics states, "For every action there is a reaction." My personal failure to ignore the potentially additive nature of alcohol each time I elect to consume an alcoholic beverage flirts with a latent reaction that could hold immediate or eventual destructive and irreversible consequence. Shelia's story is testimony to those potential and real dangers. I am glad that she took me to task and rebuked my off-the-cuff attitude toward the casual acceptance that there are not inherent dangers that appear so innocently lurking in the liquids of adult beverages. I, you and we should chose to consume these beverages with an understanding that there is a real and dangerous risk involved. To offhandedly assume such dangers do not exist is to do so at our own peril.

Friday, February 6

"They're At It Again..."

This is a photograph of the city hall for Kenneth City, Florida, the location where some of the most inane, idiotic and ridiculous, small town government decisions continue to be made as a matter of protocol. To classify Kenneth City as a "city," in the true sense of the word, is comparable to suggesting that a postage stamp is equivalent to a billboard, so minuscule are the outer boundaries of this burg. However, don't let it's 0.7 square mile size and it's fledgling 4,400 population of year-round and seasonal residents fool you into assuming that within the walls of city hall there doesn't lurk a certifiable collection of elected and employed government officials with accompanying gigantic egos that rival any government institution.

Several months ago I wrote a dissertation on one of the city's hotly debated and publicized issues, the passing of an ordinance prohibiting any person within the city limit's from distributing food sources to wild life. The original intent of the ordinance was to discourage the citizens from feeding the marauding flocks of Muscovy ducks, whose unchecked and rampant proliferation habits lead understandably to their equally undesirable habit of leaving their less than desirable calling cards all over citizen's lawns. Ever ready to make a simple matter of resolution into a full fledged debacle, the city leader's drafted a proposed ordinance that not only made it a misdemeanor to purposefully feed the Muscovy ducks, but any creature...fowl or foot. So unfavorably was this proposal greeted by the citizens that the entire police force (numbering somewhere in the neighborhood of two) were assigned to keep order during the public meeting of the city council to discuss this matter. Rumor has it that there are now some pretty gaunt looking squirrels banding together to gather signatures from all the non-Muscovy wildlife to petition the council to resend that ordinance.

Not being satisfied with the bad press garnered from the Muscovy duck calamity, the city officials turned their undivided and muddled attention to two more community issues to disembowel. The first being the "neatness ordinance." Problem...within the town's limits there exists several noted properties that were deemed to be in need of repair. Simple solution...require the owner's of said property to make the necessary repair(s) so as to satisfy the local codes governing such matters. Kenneth City's solution...require property owner's to not only make the repairs to those areas of the structure in need of attention, but to also require that the entire building be brought up to community standards, which turned out to mean, after the ordinance was drafted, that if a property had a one square foot section of exterior wall with pealing paint, not only was that section to be painted, but the entire building was to receive a new paint job. And, kind gentlemen and fair ladies, the ordinance didn't stop at the building's front door. Oh no. The ordinance also stated that city code officials had the unencumbered right to enter one's property's interior to determine if any portion of those spaces were also in need of repair(s), and should such an arbitrary inspection detect said issues, the city had the enforceable "right" to require the owner to make specified repairs to rectify. This exercise in over-reaching by the elected officials understandably infuriated the citizenry who, in a open forum to discuss the ill conceived ordinance, let loose a ton of irate outrage that hit the proverbial fan for the better part of two hours. You'd think these small-minded despots would learn their lesson, but apparently not...

Let's talk about fair and open elections...Kenneth City style. On March 10th the citizens will go to the polls to elect their mayor. One of the more popular candidates that has filed for the position is Teresa Zemaitis, who, as a high school teacher, is an employee of Pinellas County, the county in which Kenneth City is located. The town clerk informed Miss. Zemaitis that she would have to either drop out of the mayoral race or resign her teaching position because "the town charter prohibits public employees from serving as mayor." To Miss. Zemaitis credit, she refused to do either, stating correctly that she is a candidate and not yet the mayor. Semantics, yes, but on point. Under the rallying cry of "take your city back," (all 0.7 square miles of it!) 80 residents crowded the recent council meeting to demand that a charter change be adopted that would permit public school teachers to serve as mayor if elected....to no avail. Town attorney Paul Marino withstood two hours of constant harangue and his shaky ground by saying an emphatic "no" to every suggestion offered to overcome the stalemate as being impossible to implement for one reason or another. In an attempt to save face and appease the disgruntled citizens, the council decided to toss the question to the State of Florida's Attorney General for his opinion. So far the only good thing that has emerged from this latest Kenneth City fiasco is that Mr. Marino has announced his intention to retire as the city's attorney. Smart man.

Is there nothing I can say that reflects well on the governing body of Kenneth City? Well actually, yes. Number one I am glad I am not a fellow citizen of that town and number two, I am most appreciative of the bumbling antics that these local Harry Reed and Nancy Pelosi wannabes provide me in the form of fodder for my blog. You can't make up this stuff.

Wednesday, February 4

"Revelations...One New, The Other, Not So Much..."

First...The Not So Much...

According to a recent Los Angeles TIMES newspaper article, the intimate apparel industry appears to be recession proof. Although women's sports wear began to falter in comparative sales to the spring of 2008, (and I quote) "the straps didn't start slipping off the lingerie business until late this past fall." "Need" is the number one reason women buy lingerie. I dare say that men who venture forth to purchase articles of intimate ware for their lady fare embrace a certain degree of "need" as their motivation for doing so as well. For women, according to the article, "it's a lot more acceptable to wear last year's outfit than it is to don a ratty bra. Replenishment of existing undergarments is the "F" cup of lingerie market segment." But one should not discount the more fancy and alluring items that boarder if not totally embrace the fantasy aspect for lingerie purchases.

With the present economic crunch in full crush, extra-curricular, out-of-the-house forays have become more and more of an elected rare occasion than in the recent past, thus leading many couples to venture no further than their bedrooms. Thus the second tier of the skimpy foundation industry falls under the category of the more daringly risque, those titillating items of apparel that serve to hopefully "spark the imagination." Even in a down economy "sex" will always sell, and in today's economy it is selling in the form of lingerie in quantities and varieties just slightly less than a year earlier. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, far be it from me to not do my part to uphold this vital segment of our struggling economy. We don't go out much any more anyway...

And Now For The New...

There is a new "scientific" study that proclaims that alcohol leads to better sex. Now we're talking! The study, conducted by Dr. Kew-Kim Chew of the Western Australian's Keogh Institute for Medical Research, employed 1,580 Australian men to test his theory that the consumption of alcohol "within safe and moderate quantities seemed to have the best erectile function." Dr. Chew further discovered that even binge drinkers functioned better sexually than those who never drank. So THAT"s been my problem all these years!!

The study further concluded that low risk consumers of alcoholic beverages - those who drink up to twenty drinks per week over a five day period - had on average 30 percent fewer performance problems than did the men who did not drink at all. The men who performed the poorest were previously heavy drinkers who had stopped the intake of alcohol all together. I'm no scientist, but I'm not sure that the cessation of alcohol consumption can be so readily attributed to poor sexual performance. My guess is that their suddenly non-depressed brains become overwhelmed with the foreign reality of being sober for a change that merely being able to place successfully one foot in front of the other is about all they can concentrate on at any given moment.

Of course I always somewhat skeptical about how these types of studies are conducted. For instance, how were the results of these experiments measured? Now there's fodder for visualization! Can one really depend on a binge drinker to be forthright in relaying the results of his sexual escapades? "Tell me Harvey, how did things go last night between you and the Misses?" "The who!?!" See my point?

For me personally, in my youth I use to be a heavy drinker. My memories of those times hearken back the realization that I don't remember very much about very many of those instances. Perhaps that's a good thing. I do now believe that an occasional adult beverage isn't going to do me any harm...unless it's a glass of wine, which results in my getting a gigantic case of indigestion. No, I'll just continue to muddle along in the blissful state of sobriety and let the chips and lingerie fall were they may. So, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll head on over to Victoria's Secret and see what's cookin' there. You, on the other hand, feel free to imbibe. Just keep your case studies to yourselves.

"Who Are All Of These People?"

Apparently, I'm arriving late to the party...or at least that what my daughter, Meg, advised me. "Dad! Everyone has a Facebook page! You need to get one too!," she exasperatedly said to me just recently. I replied, "Is that the same thing as the tabloid that you can purchase at the 7-11 for a $1.00 that has such flattering photographs of all the local people who have been arrested in the last month for DUI, drug possession, soliciting for prostitution, vagrancy, and other enterprises that don't read well on one's resume?" "You buy that?" she asked. "It beats the obituaries by along shot," I replied.

Of course she wouldn't let the subject rest, so I acquiesced, deciding to venture forth from a Google search to acquire my own Facebook page. That's where the fun began. In spite of the fact that the applications are of the basic point and click variety, there appears to be a myriad of ways one can go around one's elbow to get to one's thumb...and still end up lost. If you don't compare my initial attempt with that of my daughter's, whose page may well be considered for a Pulitzer Prize in composition, I have managed to publish my own entry. To what end, I have no idea.

It appears that one of the end game objectives for this particular enterprise is to "acquire friends." Lots and lots of friends. No sooner had my Facebook page "gone live" when I began to receive inquiries from people who wanted to be friends with me. Most I knew. Some I didn't. And some were creditors. I handled the latter by posting a disclaimer that the former possessor of the page had become suddenly deceased and his remains shipped, along with all of his former earthly possessions, to one of the remote Aleutian Islands. That ought to hold then off for a while.

Among the "Let's be friends" inquiries, I have received a number of contacts from former members of my senior high school graduating class of 1966. Interesting observation, the guys provide profile photographs, while the women, for the most part, do not. Admittedly, I'm not getting the least bit younger, and from the looks of some of my fellow classmate's photos, the ravages of passing time, lo these past 43 years, has taken a decidedly downward spiral. What they have lost in their previous youthful boyish and girlish good looks, they have gained in girth. There haven't been many meals missed in this group.

Which brings to mind an interesting aside that occurred when Judi and I attended my 30th high school reunion. It was held in the Odd Fellows Hall in Clemmons, North Carolina. (I kid you not! Sophistication was not and remains still not a concept to be grasp among my more rural, agrarian classmates. "Give me the simple life," still rings true with many of my former mates who have found comfort and certainty for their lives within 10 miles of where each graduated form high school.) Arriving Judi and I were greeted by the organizers of the event, none of whom looked the least bit familiar even though I was called by my name as soon as I walked in the door. I don't know what to make of that...

Anyway, I harbored a fear that the rest of the evening would be one where classmates would glad hand and call me by name, but I would be left embarrassingly unable to reciprocate in kind. Not to worry. Someone had the forethought to create name tags for each attendee from a copy of their high school annual photographs. Good idea except that each photo was the same size as when it was originally published and the accompanying printed names beneath were of such a small font that reading same without the aid of a high intensity spot light was impossible. Whereas few classmates in 1966 had need for glasses, they were bountiful aplenty in this group. And I, whose eyesight was once 20/20, had dissolved into barely being able to distinguish between shades of grey. To make the task of identification even more of a gauntlet to overcome, the majority of the ladies were displaying unabashedly their ample augmented feminine attributes in the most revealing evening gowns on which their name tags were most prominently and pointedly displayed. One had to literally get very up close and personal to determine the namesake of those proud attributes without the effort being regarded as gratuitous ogling. "Hi Jim. It's great to see you." "Well hi there...ah-a-a...hum-m-m...Betty Lou. My haven't we all grown up!?!" There's something to be said about being nearsighted. If I recall, Judi suggested the word "perverted."

Anyway, I now have my very own Facebook page. I know how to access my own and the pages of those who have "tagged" me as being among their selected friends. How anyone else goes about accessing my page is beyond me. All I know is that my daughter now considers me to be among the "cool" and "with it" crowd. So, if you get bored with my blog, you can try and find me on Facebook and ask me to include you as one of my friends. I'll be happy to do so...unless you happen to be one of my creditors, whereas you too will be informed that "Mr. Latchford has left the building."

Monday, February 2

"Perhaps Some Good News..."

Today I had an interview for a job! As bad is the economy is, such a pronouncement is not unlike saying "Today I walked out into my backyard and found a hundred dollar bill!" Fat chance!!

A dear friend of mine has recently joined an established company in the area as one of their newly reorganized corporate officers. He apparently told the boss that he knew "a guy who walks on water" and would be "just perfect" for a particular position in the company that currently is being held by an individual who, according to my friend, "couldn't pour water out of a bucket and hit the ground!" Of course that's only one man's opinion. I've never met this fellow with such terrible aim, but I wouldn't want to be in his shoes. It sounds like it is about to cloud up and rain all over him.

I have mixed emotions about my possibly being hired to replace this fellow. I'm betting that he thinks he is doing an adequate job, and probably believes that his position is secure. Maybe he has a family and if and when the axe falls eventually, his outlook on life is going to suddenly turn precarious at best. Granted, I haven't been tapped to take over his office and responsibilities, but in my heart I wish that it could be a win/win for everyone involved.

One would have to possess a heart of stone or have become callously immune to the ever increasing reports of layoffs that are a daily doses of reality for more and more people...wherein each job lost represents an individual whose hopes and dreams have now been interrupted with chaotic uncertainty. Having been in that boat for six months and counting, I emphasize with their plight. In these days of national economic turmoil, the only thing assured is the uncertainty of tomorrow.

If I am offered a position with this company, I most certainly will be thankful, but I'll keep a prayer on my lips for the gentleman whose place I unceremoniously usurped. I do not take lightly the fact that he shall be entering a place which I am only to glad to leave. Wish us both well.