Thursday, December 29
Wednesday, December 28
Friday, December 23
Friday, December 16
Tuesday, December 13
Want to know what to do with all that left over Christmas wrapping paper? Here's an idea... Wrap the entire family in it, set the timer on the trusty Kodak, smile like you've been up to something, and "Ta Da!" You've got next year's family Christmas card already checked off of your list of things to do.
No need to thank me. I'm glad to do it. Until next time, here's hoping you don't scotch tape yourself to the cat.
Monday, December 12
Wesley Chapel, Florida:
A 78 year old man is recovering in a Tampa hospital from a life-threatening gunshot wound inflicted by his heretofore faithful hunting bulldog, Eli. Occupying his usual seat of honor between his master, Billy E. Brown, and another unidentified male hunter, the pick-up truck in which all three were riding was laboring to navigate the heavily rutted trail, bouncing violently up and down and side to side. Eli became so agitated and distressed that he elected to vacate the passenger seat for the assumed safety of the truck's floorboard. In doing so, Eli came into inadvertent contact with Mr. Brown's high powered hunting rifle, which discharged, striking Mr. Brown in the right, upper thigh. Having traveled approximately eleven miles into the woods, Mr. Brown suffered a sever loss of blood before he finally was able to receive emergency medical treatment.
This near tragic story would otherwise have ended at this point, except Eli's unfortunate misstep is gardening some unexpected and unwanted notoriety. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is convening their executive board this week to vote unanimously on bestowing their most coveted Metal of Merit award to Eli for having the temerity to take up arms on behalf of the much beleaguered and defenseless deer. While PETA is hailing Eli as a hero, the National Rifle Association is calling for Eli to be relegated to the nearest dog pound and to revoke his owner's NRA membership for failing to train Eli in the proper and safe use of firearms.
Representative Darrell Issa (R- Vista, CA.), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has suggested that it might be in order to issue a subpoena to Eli in order to have him testify before Congress so as to ascertain whether the weapon involved in the incident was one of estimated 2,000 lost firearms that "walked" across the Arizona boarder with Mexico as part of the now infamous and failed Fast and Furious gun tracking scheme concocted by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Representative Issa wants to know "what Eli knew and when he knew it." Rebutting the alleged allegations that the Justice Department was yet again negligent in this latest near death incident, U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, Jr., delivered a prepared statement emphatically declaring that Eli was "unknown by any person in the Justice Department" and any allegation to the contrary would suggest that Eli was a "deliberate plant by the committee in an attempt to further embarrass and bring undue criticism upon the Justice Department." Eli, thus far, as made no public pronouncement regarding the sudden onslaught of turmoil swirling around his furry head.
Liberal pundit and minor television personality, Jon Stewart, is labeling the entire messy affair "just another example of the vast, on-going right-wing conspiracy to undermine the progressives' agenda to bring sanity to the nation by banishing all firearms from the public sector." Asked to cite factual documentation and/or quotable sources to underpin his allegation, Stewart stated that, for the moment, he felt no need to concern himself with the trivial notion of factual proof, as the mere fact that he declared the matter so makes it so. Continued Stewart, "Besides, I just like saying 'vast and on-going right-wing conspiracy.' It has a nice ring to it."
Politically biased talk shows are all clamoring to have Eli appear on their respective broadcasts to present his insider perspective on the incident. MSNBC is reported to be willing to pay Eli a very significant undisclosed amount of dog biscuits to appear on their morning show, and FOX wishes to produce an hour-long documentary on Eli's life. David Letterman is trying to entice Eli to come on The Tonight Show as a featured participant in Letterman's regularly scheduled segment "Stupid Pet Tricks." Said Letterman's producer, "Eli will more than make up for the sudden cancellation by Vice President Joe Biden's previous agreement to appear in the same segment."
Poor unhappy and deflated Eli. Devastate and clinically depressed that he caused such pain and suffering to his beloved best friend, all Eli wishes to do in the near term is to remain in seclusion beneath his master's front porch. Expressions of support and condolences are solicited and appreciated through personalized cards and letters, or by befriending Eli on his Facebook page. Hurtful statements such as "Guns don't kill people, dogs with guns do" are particularly offensive and should be avoided at all cost. Let the healing begin...
Friday, December 9
Thursday, November 24
Monday, November 21
This particular Airbus was hangered in Toulouse, France, having yet to log a single hour of flight time, and was awaiting the scheduled acceptance and delivery to Eithad Airways of Abu Dhabi. Assigned to conduct the pre-delivery tests, that was to consist of only on-the-ground pre-flight procedures, was an Araba flight crew representing Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies. Having failed to take the time to read the run-up to take-off section of the aircraft's manual, the flight crew throttled up the four engines to full take-off power. Rocketing down the runway the on-board computers activated the take-off warning horn, thinking the empty aircraft had reached maximum take-off speed and rotation of the aircraft into the air should occur immediately. However, since the Arab crew had no intention of actually taking off, the flight controls to set the flaps and slats for that procedure had not been configured for an actual take-off.
Saturday, November 19
Monday, October 31
I thank my friend John for his gift of these books that presented this small yet significant slice of our nation's history in a manner that stirs the soul and elevates the lesson of human history as best taught by those who endured the making of that history.
Tuesday, August 23
Do mankind a gigantic favor, Joe. Just shut the hell up!
Thursday, August 18
Saturday, August 6
Tuesday, March 29
The question became, "What to put in the blog's place to keep my creative juices engaged?" I decided to return to the hobby I had happily pursued before I move to Florida 27 years ago: model railroading. When Judi and I were married we moved from the town house we first inhabited as a couple and bought a home that, to my delight, had a detached garage. "Hurray!!" thought I. "Now I could finally build the model railroad empire I had been planning in my head for years." Not to be... As often times occurs with married folks, I was soon thereafter greeted by Judi with the news (and it was thrilling), "I'm pregnant." This announcement prompted me to get busy with creating a nursery for the anticipated arrival of daughter Megan. That project lead to another remodeling project, which lead to another, and a third, then a forth, and so on. I spent, as time and money permitted, the next 24 years remodeling our 86 year old home. It isn't totally finished, but now that I have a lot more time (due to the fact that I haven't been able to secure full time employment since 2008), I don't possess sufficient funds to tackle any of the remaining projects I had previously envisioned. Such is life into which bushels of lemons sometimes fall.
So, I again decided to try my hand at some sub-category of model railroading. Not in my detached garage. That is full to the gills with stored possessions of my 25 year old daughter (who is now residing in Chicago) and my 90 year old mother-in-law (who is residing in a local nursing home). Bless my wonderful wife's heart, she allowed me to use our dinning room table to construct my first 1/8 scale diorama in over 30 years (as long as I promised to clean up my "mess" after each modeling session). I began the project in February of last year and finished it this month...just in time to enter it into the local model train show contest next month. I'm excited.
Finally, I decided that if I am to continue to pursue my blog on an even semi-regular basis that I needed a new direction, and perhaps a name change would be in order. I'm thinking about entitling it, "Aisle Six." Why, you may ask. Three reasons. First, because the phrase "That's All I'm Saying" has been declared hackneyed, trite, and over-exposed. The urban dictionary explains that the phrase is like a "fire escape at the end of a sentence," whereby it makes it possible to deliver a rude comment and have it discounted as merely being an opinion disguised as an objective opinion, but an opinion that the author apparently doesn't really support. "I'm just saying..."
Secondly, I have a good friend that paid me a genuine compliment for some volunteer work I had accomplished for my church. I discounted his praise, flattered nevertheless, but wishing to downplay the role I had played. He countered by saying, "Take the cookie." In other words, accept the compliment. I appreciated his wise counsel.
And finally thirdly, my favorite aisle in the local grocery store is "Aisle Six." That's where all the brands of cookies are displayed. I will literally run over you for a cookie. I LOVE cookies! Send me to the grocery store with instructions to buy milk and bread, and I'm going to also purchase some type of cookies on aisle six. Never fails.
So, dear friends, if I decide to continue to blog I will probably depart from my cynical ways and attempt instead to be a provider of far less inflammatory rhetoric, leaving each reader with the admonition to "Take the cookie." time will tell...
Wednesday, February 2
Friday, January 28
Not too many decades ago my home town of current residence for the past 28 years was unflatteringly referred to as "God's waiting room," euphemistically so labeled because it had been embraced as the final roosting spot for hundreds of our nation's seasoned citizens who had flocked from the colder northern climes to enjoy their remaining days basking in our warming sunshine. The streets of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, particularly along both sides of Central Avenue, were neatly spaced rows of "green benches" upon which our elderly residents would while away the day's hours in casual communal communication. Those iconic green benches have long since disappeared, as has the city's melancholy reputation, to evolve and reinvent itself into the state's fourth largest city, teeming with a vibrant, younger and proud citizenship that is eager to make and keep their hometown an enviable place to live and raise family.