Monday, December 21

"I Suggest We Start Throwing The Jerks Overboard..."

The difference between the unfortunate souls who perished after the tragic sinking of the Titanic and we disenfranchised souls who are languishing under the Democratic controlled Congress is that the folks on the Titanic knew that they had a large gash in their ship, but couldn't do anything about it, whereas the elitist idiots in Washington not only know they have incised a gigantic economic hole in our ship of state, were themselves responsible for inflicting the wound, but don't give a damn about repairing it; determining instead that future generations will deal with the problem long after they have sunk beneath the waves of history's more despicable footnotes.

This band of fools is poised to inflict upon the American people the most expensive boondoggles ever conceived in the annals of American history, all in the guise of Health Care reform, which represents 1/6th of our nation's GDP, that clearly the majority of American people do not want and certainly cannot afford. To make a tremendously ill-conceived bad idea even worse (even for Congress), this bill doesn't come close to reforming out health care system; it merely rearranges the deck chairs on a sinking ship by forcing 30 million more people to buy into an already failed and broken system.

No one who has witnessed the cost of health care services and health insurance spiral astronomically upwards in the last decade can argue that our nation's health care system is not in dire need of revision, but blatant partisan politics, clandestinely conducted in the dead of night, is the not the method by which such meaningful and fair reform can flourish. Obama's promise of open and transparent government "in the sunshine" hasn't seen the light of day since he assumed office. The Democrats have literally seized control of the Halls of Congress, meeting behind closed doors without opposition party participation, and have refused to entertain even moderate Republican proposals that would enrich the proposed legislation to make it more palatable to the American electorate. It is an ever escalating "Us Against Them!" mentality that permeates both chambers of Congress, and the American people are the losers, facing the prospects of higher insurance cost, more taxes, and a limitation on what types of medical treatments we shall be entitled to receive. If this isn't elitist and arrogant socialism being paraded in the garb of serving the "greater good," then I don't what else to call it.

This has been a particularly difficult year for our nation. Unemployment overall stands at a disheartening 17% with no viable economic recovery in sight, although the liberal media would paint a far rosier picture that we have bottomed out and renewed happy days are just around the corner. If that is so, then why is American business not rushing to add more workers to their employment roles? Such are wise to hold in abeyance such expansion, knowing that Obama, Pelosi, Reed, et al. are not through with adding yet more overhead restrictions and tax burden to their costs; health care being the first, with Cap and Trade legislation waiting in the wings. Printing and spending more and more money that has less and less purchasing power and taxing America into prosperity is simply ill-conceived, if not diametrically in opposition to every heretofore proven economic model to the contrary. Why would Obama proclaim in panic stricken tones that unless America adopts his radical health care plan that the nation would soon be bankrupt only to several short days later pledge $10 billion dollars of America's tax dollars to combat global warming? Has the elevated CO2 emissions reached such stifling degrees in the Oval Office that his already previously displayed impaired ability to make rational decisions (although the Beer Summit was indeed an exception to the rule) become even more damaged, or is the truth of the matter that as a woof in thinly veiled sheep's clothing Obama is crafty enough to speak out of whichever side of his mouth that suits his lemming audience at the moment?

Obama prophetically said on the campaign trail that he would be satisfied if he only served one term as long as he made a viable impact in imparting his radical ideals for changing America. Of all of his pretenses to viability, I am happy to line up to vote for this one. But first things first... "We The People" now have the task of disposing all of the liberal jerks that think they know more than do we. Think again. Anyone who cast an affirmative vote for Health Care, regardless of party affiliation, and is up for re-election in this coming mid-term election, will soon thereafter be out of office and practicing the phrase "Would you like fries with this?" It's time to take names and kick butts. The ship is taking on water, but there's a helluva-a-lot more of us than there are of them. And after we lighten the load by throwing the bums overboard, we'll turn this freedom ship around and reclaim it again for the true liberty loving Americans. Be advised, if you're not willing to be part of the solution, you are the problem. If you can't push, pull. If you can't pull your own weight in this fight, get the hell out of the way. We're about to run over you.

Saturday, December 19

"Christmas Greetings..."

If the nation's economy has gone to the dogs, you couldn't prove it by me. I've ventured out on several errands these past few days, and if the full parking spaces at the local shopping venues are any indication that people are truly "cutting back" on their Christmas shopping, then there's a whole heck of a lot of folks who have either abandoned their cars or there is a bunch of window shopping going on. Fortunately, except for one quick jaunt into Target to pick up renewed supply of golf balls and to take advantage of the five pairs of frilly panties for twenty dollars, I have managed to purposefully avoid the "holiday rush and crush." Still, I must decide on what to get Judi for Christmas...

Seriously, due to our personal less than robust economic condition this year, Judi and I have decided to forgo our usual gifting to each other. Instead, we have applied what little extra money we can scrape together and purchased two airline tickets to spend Christmas week with our children. We fly to Chicago on the 23rd, pick up our rental car and drive with daughter, Megan and her boyfriend, Greg, to Cincinnati where we will spend Christmas with our son, Chris, his wife and our two granddaughters. I'm most looking forward to seeing our loved ones, but dread, as would any Floridian who goes instantly into shivering convulsions if the temperature drops below 70 degrees, the Midwest deep freeze.

In the interim, I've kept busy directing all of the construction requirements that is associated with our church's annual Christmas music celebration, the first of two performances is tonight and we are expecting 3,000 folks to witness the event over the two day run. Come Monday we take one day to tear down and store what it took the better part of a week to assemble, which includes two-four sectional 20 foot and one 18 foot electronic Christmas trees. You can see a small section of the three trees in the background of the photograph at right.

This photograph is of the members of our Men's Assemble. I sing lead tenor in this group of misfits. (I'm the fellow on the front row, far right sporting a new bread that makes me look like the fellow who hawks fish parts on the television commercials.) Yesterday we were the main entertainment for the Downtown Kiwanis Christmas luncheon, which should lead one to correctly assume #1) these folks were extremely hard up for program filler, and #2) we'll go anywhere for a free meal. Walmart was certainly glad we formed this group. We got real deal on all of those red sweaters.

I doubt I will have much time to compose another post prior to leaving for Chicago. So, I'll take this time to wish all of the dozens upon dozens of my faithful readers who have so unselfishly throughout the year financially underwritten my personal charity ("Help Support My Fallen Arches), a very Merry Christmas. See you in the New Year.

P.S. I don't care if it is becoming more and more politically unfashionable, I still wish to emphasise that at least for me and my family, "Jesus Is The Reason For The Season." If you agree then be truly thankful to God for Christmas.

Monday, December 14

"It's Official..."

This morning, bright and early, through a fog enshrouded Tampa landscape, departed our daughter, Megan, north for the snow bond, wind sweep, and bright lights of Chicago, 1oo5 miles away from the familiar and the comforting hearth and home she has known for the past 24 years.

It has been a whirlwind of time constrained activity these past several weeks since it was officially determined that the "love of her life," Greg, had been offered a leadership position at the national headquarters of his university fraternity, Sigma Chi. There were the daunting tasks of finding and securing a suitable (and affordable) apartment, completing the final undergraduate requirements for Greg's degree in elementary education, participating in the commencement ceremonies this past Saturday for the University of South Florida, hosting the graduation celebration, and yesterday's "all hands on deck" clearing our of Meg's and Greg's Tampa residence that entailed the packing of all of their worldly possessions into a rental truck packed to the gills in readiness for this morning's departure.

Now they are on their way... The plan is to travel to Cookeville, Tennessee today and spend the night with my life-long friend Dallas, before making the final leg of the journey tomorrow. They have a good 12 hours of driving today and another 9 0r 10 the following. Ahead of them lies the unenviable task of arriving at their final destination at who knows what hour of the day or night to unload the truck in Chicago temperatures that will undoubtedly be 50 to 60 degrees less than the tropical 80 degrees predicted for we south Floridians. I do not envy them the ordeal, but I do envy them the excitement of a new adventure in this new chapter in their lives together. God willing, they will do well.

The realization that our little girl is no longer within an arm's length of me and her Mom has yet to come to take up full residence in our hearts and minds. Megan has always been a self-determined young lady. From the time she resolutely set out as a four year old with an attache case of mine singularly packed with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, headed off around the corner to conquer the world, she has all through her developing and maturing years been in quest of embracing and shaping her destiny in her own terms. This is but a new chapter in that journey, for which I am very and unashamedly proud as I watch her go. I hold no fear or misgivings that she will embrace with limitless intrepidness all of the many challenges and opportunities that lie in her path. Chicago has no idea what it has in store when these two young people blow into town. A new chapter in the Windy City is about to be written.

Thursday, December 10

"A Subpar Performance..."

I don't wish to waste a lot of time on Mr. Tiger Woods and his precipitous fall from prominence, as I believe there are far more important and critical issues ensnaring this country and our world that deserve far greater dissection and discussion than the continuing despicable escapades of an individual who has a better than average knack of striking a golf ball with some notable consistency. The country is sinking deeper daily into the pit of socialist hell, but the media deliberately chooses instead to focus on the titillatingly sensational, fueling the 24/7 news cycle with a tireless onslaught of dirty laundry tidbits to feed the public's unquenchable appetite for scandal. I often wonder as a society whether or not we are capable of paying attention to or passionately being moved by anything of substance other than what we stuff into our addled brains in the form of mindless entertainment. I have my doubts...

That having been said, my personal reaction to Mr. Wood's many documented dalliances is that he has sullied so many beds in his past extramarital exploits that he will be indeed a very fortunate man if he is permitted again to occupy the marital bed in which he made a devout covenant never to defile. Mr. Woods would do well from this point forward to take an extended sabbatical from the game of golf and devote himself to the sole goal of salvaging his marriage. If that indeterminate amount of time required for such reconciliation amounts to months, if not years, then so be it. He owes such a tireless effort, not to his heretofore adoring public, but to his wife and their two children. His legacy as perhaps the greatest golfer the world has ever witnessed pales in comparison to the besmirched legacy that now hangs around his neck like an albatross. Whether or not Tiger can ever again trod the fairways as a redeemed man will depend on how the public receives him, proudly wearing the iconic "TW" on his golf cap or with a forever tainted scarlet "A."

The time for a forthright decision as to his and his family's future has been thrust upon him. It is time for him to tee it up and do the right thing... no errant shortcuts...just a determined deliberateness to remain on the straight an narrow. Failing that, he will be remembered not so much as being a great athlete, but as a failed man.

Tuesday, December 1

"Conspicuous Absence..."

The old saying, "You never miss something until it's gone," has plagued me for the past couple of weeks. Now that my eyesight has been surgically corrected, I have no need to constantly ask my wife, "Have you seen my glasses?" And I have managed to adopt a pretty fail proof method of keeping up with the keys to my vehicle; I place them next to the coffeemaker each night before I retire for the evening. Life overall can be pretty stress free if one applies oneself to either learning to regiment oneself to a set routine, or like me, just say "The hell with it!" and go with the flow. However, there are those times in one's life where no matter how carefully one plots out one's next move, everything goes to hell in the proverbial hand basket.

That was the case a couple of weeks ago when my computer decided to go on the fritz and left me abandoned and removed from access to the cyberworld of self-indulgent mass communications. Priding myself on being able to out think a stubborn piece of hardware, I made numerous attempts to eradicate the gremlins lurking deep within the bowels of the equipment only in the end to be time and time frustrated with the far less than satisfactory results. Finally the infernal machine decided "enough was enough" and refused to even provide me with a monitor screen from which I could further attempt to overcome its refusal to cooperate. With another mighty utterance of expletives deleted, I gave up on my quest to again prove that man could conquer machine and delivered it to my "on call" computer guru.

After initially enduring a prolonged and painful interlude of chastisement for my having waited until the problem became a whole series of potential problems, computer guru Rick performed a series of quick diagnostics and announced, "Why here's the problem," in that tone of voice that suggested that if I possessed even one ounce less of common sense I would be unable to extract myself from a broom closet. My response to him was something on the order that if everyone was as knowledgeable about how to fix their own computers he'd be out on the sidewalk selling pencils. He couldn't argue with that type of profound logic. So as to make his time and effort a paying enterprise, I acquiesced to computer guru Rick's suggestion that I leave the machine with him a couple of days so that he could "thoroughly tune up it's innars." Three days and $90.00 later, I am back in possession on my computer that now once again behaves like a well discipline child.

Hopefully the always demanding and time consuming holiday season that in now officially upon us will leave some personal time so that I may get back to the enjoyable routine of banging out a few post to this blog...for better or for worse. Now, if I could just locate where I put my wine glass, I'm good to go.