Monday, August 30, 2010
I can't go to a movie, read a book or watch TV without watching something destroy the earth!
It's either a comet, asteroid,
gamma ray burst,
earthquake, tornado, hurricane, or virus.
God only knows what else is poised in the wings to annihilate all life on our small blue planet.
I've had enough....I'm going to grab some good smoke, a couple truck loads of Boones Farm apple wine, munchies, and watch cartoons until December 21, 2012. It won't matter much after that!
I'm just saying,
Sunday, August 29, 2010
His business card simply reads, I might call you.
If he had a beard, it would have experienced more than a lesser man's entire family.
He once had two awkward moments, just to see how they felt in case he was wrong the first time, which he never is.
He can speak Russian...in Pigeon English.
He is a fighter, not a lover; but he is also a lover, so please get some ideas.
His mother has a tattoo that reads Dos.
His blood does not smell like cologne, but his cologne does.
Sharks dedicate their whole lives to him.
His favorite bartender has a tattoo that reads Stay thirsty, my friends and they do.
He was the life of all the parties he never attended.
If he were to punch you in the face, you'd have the urge to thank him for only punching you once.
If he were to mail a letter without postage, it would still get there with a postage due sign.
The list is endless my friends...he isn't imaginary, he's my brother!
Friday, August 27, 2010
I will always remember the day we left her at boot camp. She was so young and vulnerable and I wondered if this wasn't the biggest mistake I had ever made in my life. I was consoled by the knowledge she wasn't signing up to be a marine. Navy guys and gals would be at sea where it was relatively safe, right? There was no way she could end up on land and in battles, right? The next twelve years would be a proving ground, not only for my daughter, but also for her mother, father and stepmother.
I was so proud of her at boot camp graduation day. She didn't look the same anymore. She looked older, wiser and certainly not vulnerable. She was now a woman and no longer my little girl. I had to release her that day, and it was gut wrenching to know that she would now be assigned to a Naval boat, God only knows where in the world.
My daughter wrote when she could, and we sent care packages when we could. She was on a nuclear submarine tender somewhere in the Gulf area and then moved on to a nuclear aircraft carrier cruising the highseas.
From the carrier we got word from her that there would be a Tiger Cruise from San Diego, California, to the Puget Sound in Washington State and she wondered if I would I like to go. Would I like to go? Hell, yes, I would like to go! I drove a rental car to San Diego and met up with her and some of her shipmates for a baseball game at the Padres Stadium before the boat got underway. It was so much fun to be with my grown daughter whom I hardly knew anymore. She was self-assured, aggressive, and even smarter than before. I was bursting with pride!
When we got underway the next day, my excitement was over the top as I marveled at the sheer size of the aircraft carrier. This was going to be a blast....but unbeknown to me, I would soon learn just how dangerous the work environment was and how cramped the living conditions were. This was not a pleasure boat. It was a floating battle city, ready and willing to defend our interests worldwide with weapons of truly mass destruction.
By the time we reached Puget Sound, I was more than ready to get off and kiss solid ground again. The cramped airplane ride home would seem spacious after my boat experience. I gained such appreciation for what these young people accomplished each and every day, and they weren't even at battle stations! How in the world could they stand six-month deployments? It was obvious that training and dedication to their country were the answers.
I left my daughter once again wishing she would just come home, but of course, she reenlisted, only this time, was sent back to her original boot camp base to train in law enforcement. Oh, great...more danger, and more danger it would be when we got the news she was being sent to Iraq. How can that be, I wondered? It was simple actually, she became a drug dog trainer and eventually she and her dog, Katie, were deployed to the one place I just knew she would never have to experience.
My daughter survived Iraq and did come home. It was the happiest day of my life when she drove into our driveway with what I perceived as the meanest, baddest dog I had ever met in my life. Yes, she was able to bring Katie home too! Unfortunately, only a few months later, Katie had to be put down, which I know was the toughest thing my daughter ever had to do. Their relationship was and still is just between the two of them. My daughter had to deal with trauma issues I can't even imagine after returning home. I don't ask, and she doesn't tell. It's better that way, I suppose.
I can tell you this, our men and women who risk their lives daily for our freedoms deserve our eternal gratitude and respect. I salute you all and I thank God for returning my daughter from harm's way. At the same time, I mourn the fallen soldiers and civilians who are not returning home. I also feel deeply for the parents, wives, husbands, children, relatives and friends who will not know the joy of greeting their loved ones back home.
I am just saying,
Thursday, August 26, 2010
80% held up their hands.
The Minister then repeated his question.
All responded this time, except one small elderly lady.
"Mrs. Neely, are you not willing to forgive your enemies?"
"I don't have any," she replied, smiling sweetly.
"Mrs. Neely, that is very unusual. How old are you?"
"Ninety-eight," she replied.
"Oh, Mrs. Neely, would you please come down in front and tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years and not have an enemy in the world?"
The little sweetheart of a woman tottered down the aisle, faced the congregation, and said:
"I've outlived the bitches."
She is just saying,
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
This may seem absurd to you, but when you understand I only have a few hundred thousand brain cells left of any kind, the seriousness of the situation becomes apparent. I have none to spare, having wasted billions of the little critters as a young man steeped in learning about life the hard way.
My blog writing addiction rivals any I have experienced in the past. Good, God, Claude....I should be working on my Evil in the Mirror murder mystery sequel, Day Stalker. But, no, here I am writing yet another blog. At the beginning of this piece, I could have simply said, "I'm not writing a blog today, because I need to work on my novel. It's my blog, and I won't write if I don't want to!" Yes, I could have said that, but one word leads to another, and then I think about losing more brain cells tonight and I give in one more time to my addiction....
I'm just saying,
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
For those of you who have read my murder mystery novel, Evil in the Mirror, and don't believe in the existence of the Atomic Crucifix that once adorned the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona, let there be no doubt.
The pictures posted on this blog do not do it justice. My memory of the crucifix is as vivid now as it was in 1962 when I first gazed up at the crucifix as a young man not yet twenty-one years of age. I wondered why Jesus looked like a black man? In my young mind, Jesus certainly wasn't black. He was a blond- haired, blue-eyed Caucasian! It wasn't until much later in life that I learned that because Jesus was Jewish, he probably had dark skin, brown hair and dark brown eyes. You think?
Why was Jesus' body stretched and elongated, looking like it was melting from some unseen flame? Jesus looked like he had been in an nuclear blast, thus the name, Atomic Christus.
Is the urban legend true about the mysterious disappearance of the Atomic Christ? I really don't know, all I know is that when I again visited the chapel, only the rusty metal used to attach the crucifix remained embedded in the large concrete cross that made up the south window wall and altar.
Personally, I wish the Atomic Christus was still where it belongs in the chapel. After all, it probably was a truer depiction of the crucified Christ than all the silly crucifixes I had seen before or since. Blond hair and blue eyes indeed! I wonder who thought up that one?
I'm just saying,
Monday, August 23, 2010
I have found the perfect healing sweat lodge and it's free! All you have to do is visit me at our desert homestead in Quartzsite, Arizona, and help me do yard chores. I just got home from a visit weighing three pounds less and ten years older.
How hot was it? Well, I was able to turn a margarita glass upside down on my sweating arms and had an instant salt rim. That's how hot is was, and no, it wasn't a dry heat. The humidity was brutal.
Once a month I travel to Quartzsite in the summer to water trees and replace the three, five-gallon pails of water we keep in the motor home so that the cabinets won't dry, shrink and fall to the floor. Our motor home is in a carport, but what about the people who live there year round in motor homes and trailers with no covers? How do they do it? It's simple, they have been living there for so long that they are able to function on the two brain cells they have left that haven't yet fried.
Why do I brave the heat to keep our place from turning to dust? Because in the winter, Quartzsite, Arizona, turns into a warm, pleasant oasis. The only winter downside is a crazy book store owner who waits on customers and rides his bike around town wearing only a thong. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
I'm just saying,
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Do you remember Treasure of the Sierra Madre? Now that was a classic Bogie movie.
And, what about Gone With the Wind. Man, that was a great one too.
Let's not forget The Wizard of OZ!
Do you remember Bonnie and Clyde? Now that was a gangster movie. I almost forgot The God Father. Holy crap, that was the king of gangster movies!
Did I mention The Wizard of Oz? Well, it's worth mentioning again.
OMG, I almost left out slapstick...The Three Stooges round out my choices for great classic movies.
If these pictures offend you, it's not my fault.
Someone sent them to me. You know who you are!
Friday, August 20, 2010
I had listened to every past interview I could find and studied what made an author sound good, and more importantly, what made them sound bad. I listened intently to John Austin's questions on each and every podcast because he refused to send me the questions in advanced. He didn't want the interview to sound like a info commercial. Crap, better that than me having a panic attack and forgetting my own name, let alone the names of the characters in the book.
I carefully laid out typed cheat-sheets with the book's life history, along with mine, on the desk in front of my computer. All the sentences where triple spaced so I wouldn't get confused. I highlighted anything and everything that might be important to the interview. Each page was almost completely yellow.
At 12:30 p.m., I put the four dogs in their crates along with ample treats to keep them quiet. I pushed our evil parrot's cage into the master bath and closed the door. I taped warning signs on the front and rear doors that read: "IF YOU KNOCK ON THIS DOOR YOU WILL DIE!"
When I returned to my office, it was 12:45 p.m. I closed the door and listened for sounds. Our chihuahua Annie was still barking as usual, but I doubled her meds to calm her down. I could still hear Pickles screeching and wondered if I should have given him some of Annie's Prozac too.
It was now 12:50 p.m. as I sat down for the phone call that would start my first radio interview ever. I watched the computer clock refuse to move forward, but I could hear the wall clock go tick, tock, tick, tock....I now knew how the condemned felt while waiting for the sound of the Guillotine release just before they lost their heads! The way I felt was a sure sign I would lose mine.
Why won't that phone ring? Oh, my God, what if it doesn't ring? What if I miss the call? What if I dove off a bridge with no bungee? What if aliens landed? STOP! Quit worrying, Mitt. How bad could it be?
I just about croaked when the phone rang. I was so busy worrying that I forgot about the call. The minute the producer said hello and asked how I was doing, things calmed down and I immediately started a familiar line of BS with John Austin. Like Mom always said, "If bullshit were money, you could retire now and take care of you parents!"
Seems she was right,
Thursday, August 19, 2010
The hypocritical use of the Hippocratic Oath has now reached worldwide shame. If you click on the title of this blog and read the classical Hippocratic Oath, you will read much about sharing your wealth and resources with mankind. Don't worry about parts that refer to gods and goddesses, after all the Greeks had many gods. Yet, they could produce the Hippocratic Oath and many more philosophies of goodwill toward their citizens and indeed to the world.
I find it very interesting that they (the Greeks) had many gods, but we only have one God. Somehow that fact supposedly makes us better, but we treat our sick and injured with disdain and neglect, especially if it is discovered the inflicted person does not have health insurance. Greek doctors would be rolling over in their tombs if they knew how their oath is being prostituted each and every day in the civilized world with only one true God.
Some might think this blog is a statement for or against national health care. They would be wrong! This blog is about something much less complicated. This blog is about We The People taking back our own health destiny.
I realize that people who are critically ill or injured must become part of a system the Greeks could have never imagined, but the rest of us need not participate in that system. We are tied to the system through the drugs we take to supposedly maintain our health. No doctor visit, no scripts! It's just as simple as that. Whoa, what have we here? A conspiracy perhaps? The drug companies in cahoots with the doctors? No shit, Dick Tracy....
I'm not saying we should move to the jungles of South America and live on roots and berries. All I am saying is that we need to stand up to the doctors who would rule our lives with greed in mind. My doctor wanted me to submit to invasive examinations every six months. I said, "No, I will come in every year. Thank you very much." The doctor said, "Well, you are healthy enough, and your tests look good...." "See ya next year, doc." I left there empowered because I finally realized it was my life and that I am in control of my life, not anyone else on the planet!
It was just one little step to the realization that we indeed can have control over our lives. Don't be afraid to look your doctor straight in the eyes and express YOUR wishes. Now is the time. Did you know your doctor is caught up in the same recession as you? They can't afford to lose a patient any more than you can afford to lose your doctor. Touche!
I'm just saying,
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Anyone can make it today if they have enough determination, drive, work ethic and character ethic! Opportunities in the 21st century are limitless. You can do and be whatever you want. You don't have to be rich to do it; all you have to be is determined to do it!
Follow your dream! No matter what that dream is. If you want to be a rock star, then be a rock star! Follow that dream, no matter who tells you that you cannot be successful at it. People say you can’t only because they can't be successful at it. They are living your life with their old failures! The main point is, don't listen to other people. Follow your dream; your inspiration, to the end. See it through.
What you are and what you feel speak louder than what you say. You project who and what you are long before you open your mouth and prove who and what you are.
Love your enemies; they will hate you for it. It does not mean you should love you enemies just so they will hate you. It means loving is better than hating. Hate is like acid, it only destroys the vessel it is contained in.
Humans are endowed with the capability of love and compassion for all creatures. We also have the power of imagination! We can imagine the future. We are not tied to our past or present. We can dream of things to come and change our destiny. No other creature has the capabilities of humankind. We can demonstrate the qualities of God! If we were not here, God would go unexpressed on this planet! What better explanation do we need for our existence on our small, blue planet in the middle of our huge, infinite universe? None that I can think of….
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I would come home tired after a long day's work to the happy screeching of Albert. He seemed so glad to see me, but that was just a ploy to get Mommy to open the cage door. I would go upstairs to undress for a shower. While I was undressing, Albert would slowly, but methodically climb up the stairs. He would be silent in his stealthy approach, always catching me unaware.
He would then run in a crouched position for my bare feet just like a vulture to the kill. I would jump up on the bed yelling for my wife to get her damned bird as he started climbing the bedspread slowly, beak and claws, toward my unprotected feet. It was right out of a Hitchcock movie!
Finally, our son went to give Albert a kiss and ended up with Albert hanging off his lip like a large piercing, with wings flapping and beady eyes alight with the joy of the bloody lip kill. Good-by Albert, have a nice life at the aviary!
You can understand why I was reluctant to spend hundreds of dollars for another killer in bright feathers. That was just a passing thought as we jumped in the truck and headed for a pet store. After all, it was her birthday.
Inside the store, we found a small, green, blue and yellow Meyer's parrot who seemed so very friendly toward my wife, but only casual toward me. What else was new? In any case, how much damage could this little fellow do? It turns out, a lot, but not to me.
We bonded, and to this day we take showers together while talking and seeing who can imitate whistles the best. He tolerates my wife, but no one else will take the chance of a bleeding finger or lip. Our daughter calls poor Pickles an evil bird, but that is just not true. He is the most loving creature I know. Of course, my tune would be different had he bonded to my wife like he was supposed to. I have found it is not the size of a parrot that counts. It's the sharpness of their beak!
I'm just saying,
Monday, August 16, 2010
Once in a lifetime, if you are lucky, you may meet someone very special like Sandy Winstead. This lady will be a dear friend to any critter that passes by whether they need a home or not.
She also tirelessly donates her time and energy to the Connections Equine Therapy Program in Cornville, Arizona, helping challenged people of all ages learn more about themselves through the amazing healing love of horses.
I have seen the ecstatic smiles on the faces of clients as they ride for the first time in their lives while Sandy leads their horse around the arena and side walkers make sure they don't fall off.It's not all fun with the horses and clients either. Sandy volunteers for horse care duty, which includes shoveling horse dukie, feeding, watering, brushing, hoof cleaning, fly spray and masks for all the horses. There is also the chickens who need feeding and the dogs who need their early morning treats.
Sandy is also on the board of directors in the capacity of secretary. She attends all the meetings and is the founder's personal assistant. You would think after many years as an office professional for The Dow Chemical Company in Michigan, she would have had enough dictating and such, but no, she does it out of love for the program, owner, volunteers, clients and all the wonderful animals at Connections, and her love of being a secretary.
I, for one, am amazed at her devotion and selfless dedication to volunteerism. Sure, I am sometimes a Connections Equine Therapy widower and, no doubt, prejudice. But, you have to know, I am also the proudest husband in the world!
Saturday, August 14, 2010
The class was informed that the first assignment of the new school year was that we were going to do a live performance of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds on local radio! The whole class was ecstatic about trying out for parts in the production. Scripts were handed out and we broke up into small groups (which were regulated by social class). My group, having no class whatsoever, huddled with desks drawn in a semicircle to practice the script.
As the students practiced their parts, the teacher would hover around the class switching characters to fit personalities. This went on for a week until all the parts were filled. I ended up with the radio announcer's part knowing my performance would get me noticed in Hollywood.
The day of the performance came and the class loaded into the yellow beast for the ride to the radio station. Students who didn't get parts would be allowed to sit in the station and watch the performance, while the principles huddled in the sound stage around a long table fitted with microphones.
As we sat down, a lump started forming in my throat, and sweat beads formed on my acne-covered forehead. For the first time, I was thinking, Oh, my God, this is real and everybody and their mother is going to be listening to me. Yes, as usual, it was all about me, except this time, me, wanted to be gone from this place, Now!
My performance was ghastly, and Hollywood never called. Worst of all, I didn't learn a thing and everything remained all about me until I finally got my P.h.D from the school of hard knocks later on in life.
Here is the deal, for the first time since that awful experience, I am going to be on a 30-minute radio interview from WTAN in Tampa Bay, Florida. We will be discussing my new murder mystery novel, Evil in the Mirror , and its sequel, Day Stalker. The program will be streamed live on the Web at http://www.tantalk1340.com/Tuesday, August 24, at 9:00 a.m. EST. Scroll down to The Book Club with John Austin which is located on the left side of the screen. You can also hear the program later in the day at the same Web address.
For those of you who missed my horrible performance the first time, this is your chance to hear what may turn out to be another bomb on live radio.
I'm just saying,
Friday, August 13, 2010
Oh no, not another small town story! Well, if you don't like small town talk, read someone's blog who lives in the big city. Now there's a new one, bragging about living in the big city on a blog. Not!
As an author, quiet early hours writing my new novel is a must and Camp Verde, Arizona, provides me with just that. I like to start writing around two a.m. and that is when Camp Verde is so quiet that you can hear cactus grow, unlike the big city where bars are closing and all you can hear is screaming and gunfire. No thanks....
Of course, we are blessed with a Bashes', Crusty's Pizza, Wells Fargo Bank, and a hospital only seventeen miles away. What more could you ask for?
Camp Verde is the oldest settlement in the Verde Valley and we have our very own fort to boot (no pun intended). Some family names go back to covered wagons and homesteaders. You can still see real cowboys riding horses and herding cattle. We also have wildlife up the kazoo, including bald eagles, mountain lions, wildcats and elk, just to name a few.
Look, if I don't brag about this small, wonderful community, who will? There is just one thing though. I would love to live in a condo on at least the twentieth floor facing the river in Chicago. I know, it's hypocritical, but this is my blog and I can be hypocritical if I want!
I'm just saying,
Thursday, August 12, 2010
After signing up for my first ever radio interview that will be 30 minutes long (which is a lifetime), I hung up the phone, and immediately started the worry process. What if this and what if that started flashing through my pea-picking brain like an old Pong game. Soon I became a nervous wreck with all the worrying.
After a few moments of this torture, I thought to myself, What am I doing? This sucks! I Googled nature and started looking at all the wonderful pictures of earth, alive with color, life and splendor. It didn't take long for my problem to seem minuscule, without merit and unworthy.
Just like the Karen Drucker song says, "My religion is kindness, my church is nature. My God is a feeling that lives deep inside."
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Desk Sergeant Walt Wigley looked up as his brain tried to perceive what his eyes were seeing. The elderly woman before him was a dead ringer for Mae West, sex symbol of old Hollywood movies. She wore a low-cut, frilly dress right out of Gone with the Wind. The only thing keeping her breasts from becoming a trip hazard was an exposed vintage corset. Her hair was blue-silver with ugly curly bangs that hung down limply just above her drawn-on dark eyebrows. Her painted cow-lipped mouth, when open, revealed ugly stained teeth not unlike her grandson, Otis Buford. Her mouth hung down on both sides of her heavily powdered face in a perpetual frown.
She stood there defiant; fat, stubby legs planted apart holding up a body that had long ago given up its fight against gravity. She smelled like booze and lilac cologne which was strong enough to makes the sergeant’s eyes burn. She was leaning on a wooden cane with a silver fox head for a handgrip. Walt couldn't help but notice she also resembled Colonel Sanders.
“Can I help you, Madam?”
“Not likely. Where is Jon Mull?” she answered in a thick southern accent.
“I’m afraid Detective Mull is not here right now. Can I be of assistance?”
“Are you deaf? I said, ‘not likely.’”
“Madam, I am the duty desk sergeant and you won’t see anybody unless you state your business.”
“I am Ms. Betty Jean Buford and I demand to see your superior this instant. I won’t be treated like a stable boy!”
Much to Walt’s relief, Captain Mason walked up and intervened before the situation could turn really ugly. “Ms. Buford, I am Captain Mason. Please permit me to escort you to my office where we can wait for Detective Mull.”
“Captain, it is a pleasure to meet you. Finding someone of your obvious southern charm is rare, unlike this sergeant before me. Please lead the way.” Mason opened the gate and steadied Ms. Betty Jean Buford by holding her free hand as she waddled toward his office. Sergeant Wigley’s relief suddenly became Captain Mason’s concern. He couldn’t help but notice the way the old crow was eyeing his crouch. Fortunately for Walt, the captain could not see the smile that was spreading over his face as he made a beeline for the men’s bathroom and a good laugh.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Remember the Seinfeld TV show where Jerry and George write a pilot for NBC about a show about nothing? Well, even if you don't remember, it has inspired me to write a blog about nothing.
I know, you think that I am just lazy and don't feel like writing today. Wrong! I feel like writing everyday. The reason that I am writing about nothing is simple. My wonderful wife, Sandy, was looking through the newspaper last Sunday and discovered that Jerry Sienfeld would be appearing, in person, at the Dodge Theater in Phoenix, Arizona, this October 9th. She brought me the article and asked, "How would you like to see Jerry Seinfeld on stage?" My reply? "Not only yes, but hell yes. Who do I have to kill for this honor?" "No one silly," she replied, "We will call going to the show a Christmas present to ourselves." Merry Christmas indeed, I thought to myself. Life is good....
Since the Sunday paper ad indicated we could order seats at 10 a.m. and it was 10 a.m., wifey was able to get front center seats, section 5. Holy smokers, we will actually be able to see him! Our next challege is simple; how do we get the whole cast of the Jerry Seinfeld Show to the Dodge Theater this October? It just won't be the same if they are not there.
I'm just saying,
Monday, August 9, 2010
About the time I think people have stopped looking for the Lost Dutchman mine in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona, someone seeing piles of gold in their dreams heads to one of the most nasty places God has to offer in the winter, let alone in the summer!
July 12, 2010, three men went missing looking for Jacob Waltz's lost treasure. They were from Utah, which has its own rugged terrain, but they weren't ready for the deadly Arizona heat. There is a good chance they will be never be found.
While working construction in the Valley of the Sun during the early 1970s, I too fell victim to the lure of Jacob's gold mine. The only reason my bones are not still there bleached white by the wicked Arizona sun is that I did my homework before entering the Superstitions. You have to remember that computers and the Web were not invented yet, so I had to research the old- fashionrd way. It's called a library, and I spent many late afternoons learning about the area I was going to explore.
I read about an old woman prospector who tried to blow up Weaver's Needle looking for the Lost Dutchman and ended up in a Phoenix mental hospital for her effort. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find any Web reference to her story and memory fails me as to her name. I also read books by Barry Storm, Robert Allen, Orn Arnold and Barney Barard, to name a few, and without exception, their descriptions of the mountain and the people who have lost their lives there were grim.
If the legends of death won't keep you from entering the mountains, then the terrain itself should. Yes, there are well-worn trails throughout the area, but you can bet once you leave the trails to the good pickings, the terrain becomes your worst nightmare. Sharp rocks, steep cliffs, cactus, critters and searing heat all conspire to bring you down.
I know it's hard to believe that there could also be another danger still present in the Superstitions. That danger is other prospectors who stay in the area full time and are struck with the fever, gold fever, that is. The incidences of murder are real, and I for one would never go back into those mountains because of the prospect of having someone dry-gulch me and dump my body down a mine shaft. I'm not saying that's what happened to the three unlucky guys from Utah, but I wouldn't bet against it either.
I'm just saying,
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I can't compare my life with The King of Cool, but we did have one thing in common; the love of getting in the wind on a motorcycle. Of course, I never raced because of a fear of dying on a lonely dirt track in the middle of nowhere, but I did find the courage to ride thousands of fantastic miles throughout America.
I think Steve was the first Hollywood notable to really collect vintage motorcycles as a participant in the sport. I believe he was an early-day Jay Leno of sorts, but no one collects like Leno! McQueen also supported motorcycle racing throughout his career until his untimely death in 1980.
Steve McQueen also raced cars and I will never forget the car chase in the movie, Bullitt, as long as I live. Now that was a car chase. Of course, I never raced cars either. Same fear, but different reason. I didn't want to go to jail for a maniac car race through downtown Tucson!
This Sunday I'm praying that Steve McQueen is riding free on a gloriously warm, sunny day in heaven with a wide smile, which was rarely seen during his life.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
This morning I went to sign my dogs up for welfare.
At first the lady said, "Dogs are not eligible to draw welfare."
So I explained to her that my dogs are mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can't speak English and have no frigging clue who their daddies are. They expect me to feed them, provide them with housing and medical care, and feel guilty because they are dogs.
So she looked in her policy book to see what it takes to qualify.
My dogs get their first checks Friday.
Damn this is a great country!
Friday, August 6, 2010
Born 1776, Died 2008
Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul , Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning last November's Presidential election:
a.. Number of States won by: Obama: 19 McCain: 29
b.. Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 McCain: 2,427,000
c.. Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million McCain: 143 million
d.. Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Obama: 13.2 McCain: 2.1
Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory McCain won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country.
Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low income tenements and living off various forms of government welfare..."
Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.
If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegals - and they vote - then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years.
Apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom.
It's obvious that the elections in November take on monumental importance, and the general election in 2012 is even more critical.
Personally, I don't know if the country can survive this president until then.
I'm just saying,
Thursday, August 5, 2010
By the by, if you plan on flying soon, don't click the title of this blog...it may make your spirits crash. If you already clicked it, don't blame me, no one was holding a gun to your head making you read this blog.
OK, what brought on this flying tirade in the first place? Well, there was an airplane crash in Phoenix yesterday morning, and a friend e-mailed me the following words heard spoken while flying in commercial jetliners. I just don't get it. Why would anyone want to fly after hearing the following pearls of wisdom?
1. On a Southwest flight(SW has no assigned seating, you just sit where you want)passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people, we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"
2. On a Continental Flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew,
the pilot said,"Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude
and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and
to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."
3. On landing, the stewardess said,"Please be sure to take all of your
belongings. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's
something we'd like to have."
4. "There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane."
5. "Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."
6. As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Ronald Reagan, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella, WHOA!"
7. After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."
8. From a Southwest Airlines employee: "Welcome aboard Southwest Flight 245 to Tampa. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."
9. "In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite."
10. "Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."
11. "Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and, in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."
12. "As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."
13. And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Delta Airlines is pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"
14. Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City, the flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump, and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."
15. Overheard on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo, Texas, on a particularly windy and bumpy day. During the final approach, the captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the flight attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"
16. Another flight attendant's comment on a less-than-perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."
17. An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline." He said that, in light of his bad landing. He had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have
a smart comment. Finally, everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?" "Why, no, Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"
18. After a real crusher of a landing in Phoenix, the attendant came on with, "Ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Capt. Crash and the crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we'll open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."
19. Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of US Airways."
20. Heard on a Southwest Airline flight. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing and if you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."
21. A plane was taking off from Kennedy Airport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, nonstop from New York to Los Angeles. The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax....
OH, MY GOD!" Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!"
A passenger in coach yelled, "That's nothing. You should see the back of mine!"
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
He went on to say that the citizens of Arizona pay TWO BILLION dollars a year in medical and educational benefits to Mexicans (Hispanics) in their state illegally. How can he say it is just Hispanics? I bet there are many people from other countries as well, like Canada and New Mexico!
This disgusting person went on to say that there has been an law in this country since 1940 that illegals (foreign nationals) must be able to produce proof that they are here legally. If that were true, I am sure President Obama would have told us so. This is just another far right tactic to persecute our peace loving, honest, drug free, respectful neighbors to the south.
The absolute worst insult came when this person called the Mexicans in Mexico "a broke dick, busted-ass, ignorant-ass, uneducated, going-nowhere culture and has been for the last 500 years, and in all likelihood, will be for the next 500 years."
I, for one, am not going to take this abuse of our illegal Hispanic friends lying down. Letters of protest will be sent to Nancy Pelosi, President Obama, the Democratic Party leaders and my mommy! You know, she has belonged to the Democratic Party for over sixty years, and even though she is deaf, blind and senile, I trust her judgment about politics and political correctness....
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Well, I'm back home again from my four-day trip to Tucson and Quartzsite, Arizona. Tucson's monsoon weather was much like here in Camp Verde, but when I got to Quartzsite Sunday, I quickly renamed it, Arizona's Death Valley. No rain, no way, no how!
Let me back up. My trip was dictated by a book signing that was planned for Saturday in Tucson. We didn't sell many books at Coco's Restaurant, but the folks there were so gracious and accommodating that I would recommend Coco's in a heartbeat.
I stayed with my evil twin brother and his lady, Virginia, Friday and Saturday night. They treated me to a scrumptious Mexican dinner Saturday night from which I am still stuffed like Roy Roger's horse,Trigger.
The next morning I headed for Quartzsite, thinking that if it had rained there like in eastern Arizona, this will be a wasted trip. The trees we planted on our lot last winter will be just fine. Wrong! One mesquite tree had lost all its leaves and even the palm trees planted by our neighbors on their lot were yellow and singing, Cool, Clear, Water....please!
I spent the afternoon watering ours and the neighbors' plants. When I finished about five p.m., even the palms had started turning green again. With the watering finished, I sat on a lounge chair in the shade and watched desert animals flying and scurrying about their lives in the desert. What a treat it was.
I went to bed early, barely able to keep my eyes open and woke up at one thirty a.m. wide awake, bushy tailed and ready to go home. Driving in the desert early in the morning is always nice. The air is cool and all I had to do was dodge skunks and frogs that dotted the endless highway. I managed to reach home unscathed to my wonderful wife, four dogs and evil parrot, of which even he was glad to see me.
Of course, there were a zillion e-mails to catch up on this morning, but the break was wonderful and now I am ready to dazzle the world with all my B.S. Speaking of B.S., if it were money, I could have retired when I was ten years old!
I'm just saying,