Saturday, December 29, 2007


It has become a tradition for me to make the trek to Fozzy Bear's Bar & Grill every Christmas Eve . It's a modest place on the South side of Chicago, and I have known the proprietor of the establishment for quite a few years now.

On Christmas Eve he dons many a hat, as host, chef and mixologist. His trademark breaded shrimp and fish I look forward to all year, to savor, along with his world renown Italian sausage. Chefs the world over would kill to get his recipe, for those shrimp. And I even get to tote some home, guarding them with my life. Fearing for their safety, I end up devouring most of them on the way home.

As for pouring drinks; the man has no equal. He knows the perfect combination of water to Scotch. He is the most skilled of all, in pouring this fine elixir of the gods.

It would have been a perfect evening of food, drink and fine companionship. There was only one thing missing. That was Scooter and his patented laugh, that lights up a room whenever he enters. We both missed him, and we silently toasted to his health.

Don't ask me for directions, to find this bar & grill. It's only open one night a year; and is by invitation only.

Monday, December 24, 2007


One fantastic wife
Six wonderful kids
Eight outstanding grand kids plus one in the oven
A couple of great friends and a wonderful family
Numerous acquaintances
Forty acres of pure heaven in Central Illinois
Lets not forget the half full bottle of MACALLAN 18year old Scotch to warm the insides

With all this bounty, there is nothing that little fat guy in a red suit can bring me to top it, except maybe another full bottle of those aged spirits. So, to all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I am all for getting rid of this new breed of mommies, and bringing back the good old fashioned Mom. You know what I am talking about. These micro managing, over informed, I know what's best for my kids mom's, instead of the old fashioned mom who was there only when you needed her.

Everyone is on the edge of their seats, wondering, what got the old goat's dander up this time. I wont keep you in suspense. It's these health crazed mommies, who want to destroy their kids school Christmas parties; by serving health foods, instead of the decadent cupcakes and cookies.

Cupcakes and cookies are being replaced with wheat bread, iced with low -fat cream cheese and decorated with sliced veggies, such as shredded carrots, mini broccoli or cut up red peppers. I can just see the kids jumping up and down with glee at seeing all that nutrition they will be gobbling up. The fun is being taken out of parties, over worry about ever expanding waist lines. But your the same idiots that were for banning tag from school lots, where kids burned off those calories by chasing each other around.

You enjoyed stuffing your face with all those goodies, so why deprive your kids of the same joy. So screw all of these nutritionists. As a matter of fact, the more of these people that appear on the scene, with all their facts and figures, the fatter we get.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I can remember a time gone by, when adults would gather on front porches and talk to one another; and as the children played, everyone enjoyed the outdoors. Neighbors knew one another by their first names.

In those days people parked on the street and would greet their neighbors as they parked their cars and walked into the house. Now with side drives and garage door openers, people pull in and walk directly into the house, not even knowing who lives next door.

Not to long ago, people would lean on chain link fences and converse with one another in the back yard. Then privacy became the big issue, and a war ensued to see who could build the bigger and more secure fence; to isolate us from one another.

Kids were able to play outside, since there was always a watchful eye to see that they were safe from any predators and themselves.

At one time you enjoyed the company of your neighbors, and their stories. They were always more then willing to give you a helping hand with your kids, or to fix something around the house.

We discarded these people, and now give our undivided attention to Oprah, Judge Judy and alike. Call one of them and see if they will keep an eye on your kids for an hour or two as you run some errands.

So the next time you see your neighbor, say hello. Start a trend, and who knows, your neighborhood may be as exciting, if not more so, then the one on Desperate Housewives.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


I know there is going to be an election in November of 2008. Now, however, with the entry of Oprah and rock bands in the Obama campaign this weekend, it begs the question; are we going to vote for a president, or the next American Idol?

The media does refer to him as a rock star, rather then a presidential hopeful. As a result, issues have taken a back seat to glitz and glimmer. The corn in Iowa will grow twenty feet tall with the amount of bull shit that has been spread around the state for all these months.

I have yet to see Obama take a stand on any real issue. From the many sound bites from him and his supporters; I gather that I should be taking guitar lessons. It seems the message is that once he is elected, we will all sit around large camp fires, singing Kumbya My Lord, roasting marshmallows, and```` all our problems will be solved.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Two news stories in the past week really struck me. Tho they were unrelated, they both showed where our priorities are when it comes to education.

The first was on Bryant Gumbel's Real Sports. It was a story of an alumni, Boone Pickens a Texas oil billionaire. It seems that he has donated $165 million dollars to Oklahoma State University. Every one of those dollars going toward the state of the art athletic facilities and the improvement of the football stadium; so that the best football talent would be drawn to the university.

The other was a short news item on a radio station, that we now rank 23rd in the world, when it comes to math and science.

We constantly read stories of school districts, cutting educational programs, for lack of funding. But funds are always readily available for athletic programs. Students are short changed, while athletes are treated to first rate facilities.

Teachers pinch pennies, to survive, with the meager wages they receive. Yet multi million dollar contracts for coaches are the norm.

Page upon page is devoted to athletic endeavors in our daily papers. But academic achievements are relegated to a line or two on the obituary page.

As long as the football and basketball teams are winning, who cares if Johnny can't read or write. No wonder the world is passing us up, and the only jobs Johnny is qualified for are flipping burgers and those ever popular high paying Wal-Mart jobs.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Sometime back, while browsing through the many sections of a book store, and as the title of this post would indicate; a book I once enjoyed came to mind. I began hoping for a big bonfire; fueled by many of the books around me . No, I am not advocating any form of censorship. All I am trying to do is save a few trees, and eliminate these mega book stores.

The first to go would be all those diet books, which raise a false hope in millions of people. The only thing they ever seem to lose by purchasing these books is their money. I compare the writers of these books to the old medicine peddlers, from years gone by; as they sold bottles of their magic elixir to an unsuspecting public.

Next would be all those cook books. This new trend for everyone with a cute gimmick is to write a cook book. We can't pronounce the names of most of the ingredients, much less have them around the kitchen. That well worn, red covered Betty Crocker book has everything you need to know; besides anything cooked from that book is guaranteed to be eaten.

The expose' or tell all books would follow. If you are such a sleaze, and bite the hand that once fed you; how can you be trusted in anything you have to say. Enough said on these books.

In the next episode we will continue to build this bonfire, as we bring the book store back to its normal size; a place that serious book enthusiasts can once more enjoy.


I don't know about anybody else, but I am getting mighty pissed at all the politicians from local to federal; like vultures, picking my bones clean. They have forgotten, that they are elected officials, and not royalty.

Hey elected official....

Those are "My" tax dollars, and not yours. These dollars were intended to provide you with an equitable salary and benefits. The rest was to provide services for us, the tax paying public.

In the past I didn't mind your skimming a few dollars off the top to enhance your life style, and that of a few friends. But now as time goes on, you have gotten greedy. No longer is it a dollar here, a dollar there; now its just back up the dump truck and load it up.

What got his dander up, you may wonder? Relax and I will tell you. These past few months the mayor and president of the county board have been crying poor mouth, and finding new ways to fleece us. Taxes upon taxes are charged in order to hire friends and family at exorbitant salaries, for do nothing jobs, with do nothing employees.

I am ready to march on city hall and all the other bastions, after reading an article in the local paper. The interim police superintendent will retire in January with a $130,000 a year pension, and, after retiring, will be handed a $100,000 plus a year job as a head of some Human Relations commission. He is not the first; just the latest of an ever growing list of jobs created to waste my tax dollars.

This double and triple dipping has got to stop! If you can't get by on that meager pension, GET A REAL JOB, and don't sponge off my hard earned dollars.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Alexander Bell labored long and hard to invent a contraption to convey voices over great distances. Note the key word voices. So why do we abuse his invention by using it as a teletype machine and send text messages.

Isn't it easier to call and simply converse and get an an immediate response, instead of waiting for another text message reply?

If I want to read something, I will pick up a book or newspaper and not my phone; and when I do, I will be talking, and using it as it was intended.

Monday, November 26, 2007


There should be a law enacted that if you are influenced to vote for a candidate because of Oprah's endorsment; you are automaticaly labeled a moron, and are never again allowed to vote.


I was just wondering. Why is it, when someone robs a bank, everyone is up in arms to capture the culprit? Local and federal law enforcement agencies go into over drive to ensure that he be taken off the streets and incarcerated for as long as possible. They loose nothing, since they are covered by insurance.

But when banks, trough creative financing laws, rob millions of people of their life savings and homes; to ensure huge profits, nary a peep is heard about this injustice. The thing we do hear, is how are we going to help the banks out of the mess that they have created.

So I guess the old adage is true. "THE PEN IS MIGHTIER, THEN THE SWORD".

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Once again it is bonus time on Wall Street. And again the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. Even tho the bonuses were excessive last year, I could in part understand them, since investors also made some gains.

This years bonuses will total 38 billion dollars, even tho investors will end up loosing over 74 billion dollars. Rewards for incompetence have become the trend. One CEO after another was reward with multi million dollar severance packages, after driving their companies into near ruin. We sit back and do nothing. Yet we allowed them to scream and holler, and do everything in their power, to try and keep the minimum wage down.

We are chastised by sports announcers for booing, when over paid athletes give half hearted performances. How dare we complain when they strike out or drop a ball. We hurt their feelings. For the amount of money they make, the should never strike out or drop that ball. I am quite willing to be booed, and for a quite less amount of money. Even tho we do get lack luster performances, the stands are filled and products purchased in support of them.

If we fail to live up to expectations at our work place we are fired. We walk away empty handed without a peep. They fail, and are rewarded, as they are chauffeured by limousine to another company or team that is willing to spend more millions to reward them for their failure.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Two different nations, but one single goal. Dubai an oil rich nation, is planning ahead, and Norway who also has struck it rich with oil in the North sea is following suit.

Leaders of both nations know that eventually these oil assets will run dry. Dubai is investing the money in construction, to make it a world class resort area, which will attract tourists from around the globe, ensuring a money flow into its economy for years to come.

Norway on the other hand, takes part of the money and provides for better education and health care for its citizens. They have also set up a fund to ensure that future generations will be able to benefit from the oil profits.

And what do our leaders do, besides stuff their own pockets? Speeches and promises. They promise us rose gardens, but all we ever seem to get is the thorns.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Just sit back and think about this small four lettered word, and how it has changed our lives. And sad to say, none for the better.

From the minute we wake up, government and big business makes sure that we are in a constant state of fear. It is used to control us, and to sap us of our hard earned money.

There is nothing sacred. We are made to fear everything. Stroll down a store aisle and pay close attention to the labels on most of the products. One food product is healthier for you then the next. Cleansing products deodorize and disinfect, and eliminate germs. Shampoos will do everything but comb your hair, as we fear those split ends and unruly hair. Let's not forget the fear of that dreaded body odor, and purchase all those sprays and roll ons. And that fear of someone smelling what we had for supper. Deodorize and disinfect the house.

What happened to mothers holding new born's in their arms and the rest of the kids unrestrained in the back seat of autos? They weren't dying by the thousands. But the fear mongers entered the picture, and we spend small fortunes to ensure their safety. We spend hours strapping and buckling them in for a ten minute trip. A simple game of tag, once played by millions of kids, eliminated for fear of someone getting hurt. A million and one products to ensure their safety, and yet they still manage to get sick and hurt.

Traveling was fun as we stopped at hotels and enjoyed a dip in the pool. The fear of drowning
either has eliminated these pools or turned them into places where only our ankles get wet.

Local governments have installed cameras and initiated road blocks, as they work the fear factor. Not for safety's sake, but rather to enrich the coffers. Our liberties are trampled on, and yet the streets aren't safer then they used to be.

And our federal government eliminates our civil rights one by one by waving that fear flag around. Not to make us safer, but to have better control over us.

We need to learn from football. A game that was once played with minimal protection, seemed to have less injuries. Now with the latest in technology to ensure safety, the injuries are more numerous and severe.

Look around and see if we are any safer? My wife puts it in the best perspective. "Look at what we are giving up for the illusion of safety"; or as President Roosevelt said, "we have nothing to fear, but fear itself".

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I was enjoying the Sunday morning paper along with a good cup of coffee until I began to read the business section. There was a story about an Arizona based chain that will open in Urbana, Illinois; that will get dimwitted parents to part with their hard earned money.

And what was it that got my dander up so early in the morning? It was a story about a gym. Not an ordinary one, but "The Little Gym". It's for kids up to 12 years of age. It will focus on motor skills, agility, coordination and muscle development, as well as boosting confidence and social skills.

If it is in fact a chain, that means there is an endless supply of fools willing to part with their money. No expense will be spared in turning these tykes into Greek Gods.

Parents spend hundreds of dollars on electronic toys that keep kids sedintary and in the house. Now they will spend hundreds of dollars, as they transport them to get needed exercise.

Wouldn't it be a lot easier and cheaper, just to open the front door, boot them in the ass and have them try something kids have done for thousands of years? It's called playing outside. By doing so, they will develop all of those skills mentioned above on their own. Not only that, they will learn to laugh and enjoy themselves.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


No more studies are needed, nor should people worry about global warming. I have researched this subject and have solved this dilemma.

It's all the methane gas released from the large quantities of daily bullshit we are fed by the sports and news media. For the past two or three weeks we were bombarded daily, on the game of the century, to be played between the Colts and Patriots. Led by two gods who walk on water, and one coach from heaven and the other from hell. This was supposed to be this years Super Bowl.

Except for a few minutes of excitement, the game of the century was just another game; already forgotten, awaiting the hype for the next week's game of the ages.

And so it is with our politicians; they shovel the shit making promises by the truck load to get elected; but once elected, we sit and wait for those promises to be fulfilled. Just like the girl who awaits the promised phone call after an amorous filled night; it never happens.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


There are some mysteries in life and this happens to be one of them. I will use pseudonyms (eat your heart out La Sirena, I know some big words to) to protect the innocent. For my thirty plus years on the police department I worked with a great partner whom I will refer to as Whitey.

For the first eighteen years we worked together in what is referred to as a fast district. We learned quite a bit in those years about police work. Trough hard work and dedication we were promoted to be Evidence Technicians (CSI for the less informed).

We went to a new district and after some time, we were together again, working midnights. We alternated days being ET's, and on the alternate day we worked the desk, lockup or a beat car.
Then a young and naive officer (whom we will refer to as Dennis) transferred into our district and watch. The Captain, who was old and wise took pity on this lost soul. He asked us to take him under our wings, and impart some of our infinite wisdom on this lad.

We soon realized that he threw us a challenge, and as hard as the task was, we began to mold him like a piece of clay. The work was hard and tedious, but Whitey and I refused to fail. To our surprise Dennis started to become a fine officer under our tutelage.

Then he broke both of our hearts, as he informed us that he was going over to the dark side. He was going to become a Sargent. How could he do this to us. All that hard work, and he would be on managements side.

Needless to say we pondered hard and long, over both distilled and brewed beverages; using all our police expertise to solve this mystery, on where we went wrong.


If the two minute drill works so well before the half or end of the game; why don't the teams use it trough out the whole game?

On the other hand, the normal defense has worked all game, why go to the prevent defense which almost never works?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


According to an MSNBC poll, on who won the Democratic debates, the results as of this morning were Obama 30%, Clinton 20% and Biden 18%.

I will be busy this morning printing up deeds for bridges, as well as swamp land that I will have no problem selling. I have such as vast list of idiots to choose from, seeing the results of the poll.

The two leaders of this poll should have been partners on Dancing With The Stars, since they would have won hands down; as they danced around at every question posed to them. After listening to those two, I for one wouldn't buy a used car from either one, much less vote for them to be president.

So to those who voted for these two, please call 1-800-111-1111. Operators are standing by, you wouldn't want to miss out on the prime lots or bridges. There are so many of you, they will be going fast.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


My father always looked on the bright side of things, something I fail miserably at times. I loved his view on why he never attempted to go trough an intersection whenever the light turned yellow, and he would always stop. Why follow all that traffic, when I can be the first one when the light turns green, and I have a free and clear road ahead.

One day I was looking at my pay check stub, after I had worked quite a bit of overtime. I complained to him how much they had taken out in taxes. He quickly burst my bubble. Why are you looking at the part your paying out, you have no control of that, rather look at how much more you are making and bringing home.

Then one day he was stopped by a policeman for making an improper turn. I implored him to plead his case that this was the first time in the neighborhood and he did not see the sign. With the policeman standing there and waiting to see his license. He simply stated, look how many times I probably broke the law and never got caught. So now I did, and it's time to pay the piper. I am way ahead of the game. Not in those words exactly, but rather in his broken English sort of way. The policeman after looking at his license, didn't have the heart to give someone that wise and honest a ticket.

Then their was the time I was wondering why he was taking the same road home from work, when on the previous day it was quite congested. He simply explained, that many of the frustrated and impatient drivers would look for alternate routes and that they would be fill the other routes. Needless to say he was right as we sailed along on a traffic free street.

So no matter how many lemons fell into my father's life he always managed to make lemon ade out of it. If the rest of us managed to look at life trough his eyes, we would have a wonder full life indeed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


When I applied to join the Chicago Police Department, the first step in the process was to take a test. After passing the test, a list was posted of those who passed it. Then as needed, people were called, and after passing a physical, you would enter the academy.

This was done for years before I entered and a few years afterward. Then those who couldn't pass the test, began to file civil suits. Every excuse imaginable was used. And our judicial system, and I use the term loosely, always sided with the complainants. Not only were they allowed to join the police department, in most cases, monetary compensation was awarded.

In it's infinitive wisdom, the police department initiated a new system. They now gather all the applicants in a large auditorium. Then someone from the higher echelon of the department enters the rear of the room, and yells out "hey moron". Those that turn around, are ushered into a separate room; where their names are taken, and they are placed on the list. All others are sent home, having failed the test.

On today's news there was a story of a policeman whose approximately 500 DUI cases will probably be overturned. His transgression was to by pass many of the procedures used in processing these defendants, while affirming that he followed them. This was done, while having not one, but two States Attorneys as ride alongs watching him work.

Not only did the attorneys file a complaint, they did so two years ago. Why has it taken so long for the police brass to act? It's because so many of them entered the department under the moron system.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The damage parents are doing to kids these days is total insanity. We see every Christmas, at what lengths they will go, to purchase the latest fad to hit the market, so that the precious bundle of joy, will not be disappointed.

And so it goes with the latest craze, as parents are paying anywhere from several hundred to several thousand for concert tickets to Hannah Montana. And how many of these parents can really afford to pay those prices?

Take my word for it, a simple NO will work. They may hold their breath and stomp their feet. But they will grow up to be normal if you use it often enough.

Monday, October 22, 2007


When will all this insanity stop or at least slow down? I am speaking of school authorities and their "Zero Tolerance". With each passing day you think that the pinnacle has been reached, only to find out that they are getting more outlandish. It seems common sense has been cast aside, to be replaced by sheer stupidity.

A student innocently packs a pairing knife with her lunch, to cut up items she was to consume at lunch. You would think she had a machete and was threatening the entire student body, as she is suspended from school.

Another passes an aspirin to a friend who is feeling ill. A dent in the drug war is made as she is treated as the head of a drug cartel and suspended.

Then on today's news a boy of about ten gets suspended for a crude drawing of someone holding a squirt gun. No signs of violence or dead bodies. Just a picture, drawn by school boys for ages.

Another story quickly followed the previous one. This one I could understand why they were suspended. It was a group of kindergarten kids who were playing Cops and Robbers. They made a serious mistake by choosing to use "Weapons of Mass Destruction". The weapons they chose to use were their FINGERS. Luckily no one was injured or killed from this hail of imaginary bullets flying around the playground. And many people wonder why the trend toward home schooling.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


With Christmas fast approaching, kids are being told to start on their toy lists. Soon aunts and uncles, along with grandparents will be getting these lists.

In the past these wish lists were short and sweet. A doll, an inexpensive game, or a model plane to build. Now the lists need to be deciphered, with a thousand calls made to parents, so that the correct items are purchased. The prices of some of these toys exceed the military budgets of many countries.

Then the big day comes, as one expensive toy after another, with all the bells and whistles on it, are opened and cast into a huge waste pile; for many of these toys will only be touched to move them aside in search of others to play with. There is no interest in these toys after a few minutes, it was just to see how big the pile would be.

Then a tragedy occurs. One last present to open. It's from an old uncle or aunt living on a fixed income. The present is from the past, a small inexpensive, metal or wooden car or train. It was found in a trunk in the attic, or bought in a second hand store. Suddenly the child's eyes light up. It's a strange toy indeed. No bright colors, no lights and it doesn't make any noise at all. Last but not least, no batteries needed to propel this strange new toy.

Now it's the adults turn to be disappointed. Realizing the credit card bill will soon be in the mail and that toy laying in the pile will have to be paid for in instalments; while that simple toy gets all the undivided attention from all of the kids around.

Just watch the kids as they have fun with empty large boxes, or blankets draped over chairs. Let them float around in that magical land of let's pretend. Or would you rather have them in a zombie state as they sit and stare at a toy that robs them of all that is magical to be a child.

Give a child one of these new fan dangle toy that does a thousand and one things with a press of a button; and watch them get bored with it after a few minutes. But give them a simple large cardboard box, and they will play for days, or until it is finally destroyed from over use.

There is even a greater tragedy in all of this. By the time most of these kids reach five or six, they can rival Donald Trump with all the toys they have; that they don't play with.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I had to watch my two granddaughters this past Tuesday, as my daughter had things to do that day. We conversed at how many mothers were shocked, that my daughter was letting her kids lead a normal childhood.

Mothers couldn't believe that the only organized activities that my four year old granddaughter participated in were a once a week dance class and an hour at the local library.The rest of the time was spent playing with her two year old sister.

It seems that your not a good parent these days, if your not enrolling your kid in a thousand and one organized activities from the day a child can walk. Mothers are driving the kids from one activity to the next. Organized sports started in seventh or eight grade when I was younger; now we even have races for kids that are crawling as mothers scream on the sidelines for their child to win.

Summers aren't for play anymore, as kids are sent off to specialized camps, to improve their skills. Not one camp, but rather dozens for whatever activity's they are in.

So it was a pleasure for me to watch kids at our annual Fall Frolic down on the farm. They were doing things that kids did in the past. That is running around and laughing. Chasing each other, letting their imaginations run wild. The only time their fun was ruined was when a parent interfered.

Pay close attention the next time your at your four or five year old baseball or basketball game. They are going to be the terrified ones standing around not knowing what to do. Your the one who will be yelling and screaming at him or her to run, catch, throw or shoot the ball. This is supposed to be fun for them, but is it, as they stand around like zombies.

Its amazing to see how much kids learn on their own, without parental or adult interference. And what a feeling of accomplishment on their part when they do. Look at your child's face the next time they learn do something new, and then tell you "I did this by myself'. Why are you so hell bent of depriving them of this joy?

Some of the best athletes did not come from forced organized activity's, but rather honed their skills as kids on play grounds, with other kids. Some times the trial and error method is the best teaching tool around.

So let them enjoy their childhoods. It's their turn, not your's.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I was watching CNBC when I caught a bit of a short commercial. It had to be about fifteen seconds or less.

I looked up when I heard a man say "your right, I DON'T need it". In bold letters on the screen it read "FEED THE PIG". The only word I could make out, was that it was presented by an organization with savings in its title; since it flashed so briefly on the screen. And the commercial was over.

What are the odds that this commercial will be repeated over and over again on main stream TV; until the morons who, I have to have it, no matter the cost, will have it ingrained in their minds, a penny saved, is a penny earned?

I suspect the odds are pretty high against it; since the idiots will look at each other and say "I don't get it. I can't blame them for their stupidity. A year or two ago, I went searching for some piggy banks for the grand kids. I went from the smallest to the largest stores in my quest. It was unbelievable the quizzical looks I received, when asking if they had any in stock.

The savings banks of the past have been relegated to the antique stores, as the credit card has now taken the spotlight.

Monday, October 1, 2007


On one side of the street thousands of fans attended the Cubs rally at Daley Plaza. Home made signs and banners galore. Their voices were loud and clear as they voiced their support for a sports team in the baseball playoffs.

While on the other side of the street, at the Cook County Building, the county board was meeting to discuss raising the sales tax by 2%. If this measure passed, we would be paying the highest sales tax in the nation at 11%.

As the reporter spoke of the proposed tax increase, not a person was seen or heard protesting against the increase.

So we can see where our priorities are. A few dreamers who comment on the blogs I follow, believe that the pendulum is turning. As I see it, it is stuck in the wrong position and rusting away from lack of activity of any sorts.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


One thing we keep hearing over and over again;" to keep prices low, we have to ship all these jobs overseas".

A worker in China earns one dollar a day. Material might cost a dollar or two. So according to my old way of math, one plus two equals three. But with today's new math, Mattel and Nike as well as other big brand names seem to come up with totals of forty or fifty dollars and a lot of times, quite a bit more.

So what math are we going to use. My old fashioned method or the new math created by the corporations; for they are the only ones benefiting from it, as we continue paying top dollar for products we purchase.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


On September 11, 2001 close to 3,000 people were killed in a terrorist attack. Since that day we have killed close to 4,000 and maimed over 25,000 of our soldiers in a fight against these terrorists. We have also given up numerous civil liberties, and have been inconvenienced in our freedom to travel.

Yet over that span, according to FBI statistics over 97,000 Americans were murdered. A rate of over 16,00 a year, and increasing every year. Quite a disparity. None of our presidential candidates campaigns against this deplorable number, nor do we see anything about it in our news media. Even congress doesn't consider it a problem.

It seems the odds are a lot greater that you will be murdered, rather then killed by a terrorist. So why aren't we doing anything about that??????????????????????????????????????????

Monday, September 24, 2007


With Mattel apologizing to China, saying "it's a design flaw" by Mattel, that caused all these lead tainted toys to enter the country.

My question is, what do design flaws and lead paint have in common???????

And if someone punches me in the face; do I have to apologize, to that person, for letting my head interrupt the flight of his fist????????

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Can someone please explain to these so called bundles of blubber, that they get paid for making tackles and scoring touchdowns; and not auditioning for Dancing With The Stars.

I can no longer watch a game I loved to play; destroyed by MTV wannabees. Maybe if they spent a part of those millions they make on football lessons, instead of choreographers, the game would return to it's original form.

I could understand if it happened after scoring the winning touchdown, or a game saving tackle. But now it's almost after every play. And sad to say the chest pounding and butt bumping is filtering down to the college level and makes college football a hard thing to watch also.

No wonder the most overused phrase during a football telecast is "missed tackles". If the players concentrated on the game and not what routine they will perform, a few more real tackles would be made.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I look forward to visits from my wife's girlfriend. She is a flight attendant who travels around the world and picks up newspapers from various countries for me.

Unlike the newspapers in this country, the majority of the paper is devoted to news of the day; and not the daily flood of celebrity trivia and sports.

It's not enough, that such drivel consumes the majority of the paper; but it now has taken over the ever shrinking news section and front page.

The articles are short and concise. Only the facts are presented, and it is left to the reader how to decipher this information. The editorials are the writers opinions on the subject matter, going down the center, with no bias to the right or left.

The newspaper industry is worried about readership being down, and blames it on the switch to the Internet by its readers. Give us a paper with real news, and not the supermarket tabloid headlines and news stories and we just might flock back.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Why are cop shows that kick-ass and don't bother to take names, as well as violating numerous civil rights so popular? But heaven forbid, a real-life policeman smacks someone upside the head while arresting them for a real crime; then the community is up in arms.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Today I attended a grandparents day at a parochial school down in Central Illinois. I saw something that rarely occurs in America today.

One of the preschooler's parents was wearing a case on his belt that contained a folding knife; when unfolded the knife would measure close to a foot long.

What was amazing, is that no metal detectors were set off. No mass hysteria of an armed man. And most importantly, the building wasn't surrounded by swat teams from every police agency imaginable.

It was considered just a tool that he may use everyday in his work, and not a weapon of mass destruction. Nobody cared that he wore it to school. And the only reason I noticed it and made note, is that I had a money clip with a knife blade of less then an inch treated as a sword as I attempted to board a plane.

Will we ever see the day when we look at things as they really are, and not as a threat against our national security?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I prefer the full bodied taste of imported beers. I find that I drink much less since they satisfy the taste for a beer; not like the massed produced domestic beers. I have tasted many a beer in my day, and they ran the gamut from great to drinkable.

Someone had left a bottle of Corona after a party, and I decided to give it a try. I wanted to see what the big thing was about this craze for it, especially among the younger crowd.

What disappointment I felt as I quaffed a few mouth fulls of this so called beer. It didn't taste or even feel like a beer. It was as if I was drinking colored water. I felt no remorse as I poured the rest down the drain.

I then went and retrieved one of my better beers, and as I sipped this beverage I pondered why this frenzy for it.

Quickly I realized that Madison Avenue had struck again. Put on a big ad campaign, print t-shirts, charge an exorbitant price and finally a gimmick of putting a lime inside of it. Suddenly you have the masses swearing it's nectar of the Gods. Have to give it to them, they are good.

Monday, September 10, 2007


I'm a fairly good driver. I did some wild and crazy things with a squad car and avoided accidents while doing so. Never spilled a drop of drink, as I sipped and drove at excessive speeds, zipping in and out of traffic.

I have to tip my hat to a driver I passed today on my way to the farm on I57. The gentleman I passed was clipping along at 65mph. Going by him, I glanced over and noticed he had a book open across the steering wheel. He had his head down and totally engrossed in the book. Kudos to him, for as I watched him disappear in my rear view mirror, he had better control of the vehicle then most people on cell phones.


As a youth my parents instilled certain values into me, such as hard work and responsibility. I did the same with my kids, and I am very proud they heeded my advice and are passing it on to their kids.

How quickly things change, and not for the better. A new program being instituted in the Chicago Public school system, will reward students with cars, vacations and gift certificates for attendance. Rewards for things that they SHOULD BE DOING naturally.

As a crotchety old fart, I might have bent a bit on this subject and allowed it as a new way of teaching responsibility; but a fatal flaw of mine, reading the entire article, drew my ire. This wasn't for the entire year. Rather it was for several months, pick and choose when you want to go to school and you will be eligible for the drawings of these prizes.

I think my mother had the right idea, as she took me into the pantry and had me bend over and grab my ankles, after I had done something wrong or bad. She would tell me she was knocking my brains from my ass to my head, as she applied the old razor strap to my posterior.

So instead of rewards, how about a boot up the ass; to knock those brains into there rightful position. It worked for me.

Friday, September 7, 2007


Brent, a North Dakota Democrat blogger, complained today of how the Justice Dept. has allowed web sites to charge more for higher speed outputs. We have no one to blame but ourselves, since we allowed this to happen with our insatiable thirst for more and more gimmicks.

Take the cell phone. A lot of people weren't happy with the dozen or so ring tones that come with the phone; they have to pay a dollar or two for a distinctive one, that fits their personality. A phone was always used to talk on; now we have to text everyone, and this also costs a few dollars. Seeing that fools would part with their money so easily, corporate America joined in the game.

In days gone by banks were small and community based. They loved having your business and gave away toasters and other incentives. High rates of return were paid on savings accounts and fees for services were almost nonexistent. Then slowly fees for various services began to appear, until now we get monthly notices of ever increasing fees, and ever decreasing rates of return. We are paying them to make more money off of our money.

They got us hooked on ATM's, and soon it was fifty cents; and now it costs several dollars. Some even tried charging to use a teller. How soon will it be when they start charging for the automatic bill paying? Are they waiting for the holdouts to get hooked, and then start charging?

Phone, cable and credit card companies quickly joined in with their own fee set up. For just a few dollars each, they can custom fit you with services that you don't really need.

Water fountains were everywhere to quench our thirst; but they got us hooked on bottled water, and soon those fountains became extinct. Promotional items displaying company logos were given away for free at one time. And now they are being sold at inflated prices as people stand in line to purchase them.

As long as the public is so willing to part with their hard earned money, they are willing to dazzle us into believing we can't live without it. So the next time you say to yourself it's only a dollar or two; multiply those dollars by twelve months and see the results.

Friday, August 31, 2007


We visited the Village Craftsman, a small Amish owned furniture store, where several brothers build and sell their handy work. I have visited it numerous times, and spent quite a bit of time engaged in conversation on various topics.

No TVs, computers, blackberry's and such for them, yet they are up to date on the latest local, national and international news. They seemed better informed and more knowledgeable then most who are armed with the latest in technology.

It was a pleasure to converse with someone whose ideas and opinions are guided by common sense. No need for gray areas or loop holes. Just say what you mean and mean what you say. They don't dig in their heels to defend their position, but rather welcome a differing opinion to guide them in making a decision.

So who is better off; we who are bombarded with bullshit from every electronic gadget under the sun, or these people who take their bullshit and fertilize their fields?

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Here is a news flash for all of the executives at CNN, MSNBC, and FOX news. If I wanted to read the news, I would part with fifty cents, and get my cardio workout in at the same time and go purchase a newspaper at the gas station on the corner.

I didn't turn on your station to read the scroll at the bottom of the screen; those cute bobble head dolls are supposed to do it for me. So don't repeat the same four or five stories every fifteen minutes. Do something brash, and report something besides Vick, Britney and the Utah mine disaster.

Don't you think that Michael Vick and all of those U.S. Marshall's are totally exhausted from going in and out of the court building for the hundred thousandth time; so change those standard videos once in a while.

What is with rounding up the Usual Suspects, to comment on the stories. I know what they are going to say, before they say it, as they spiel the same lines over and over. Try someone with an original idea, that would be so refreshing.

Last but not least, your a news station, not Entertainment Tonight. So stick with serious news stories that concern and inform me. There are enough stations for the brain dead to be entertained 24/7, so leave that fluff to them.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


During this whole Michael Vick fiasco, I cannot believe how many times the term "he is such a gifted athlete" has been used to excuse his actions. How dare they do this to him.

If your a gifted athlete, your allowed to do anything you want. I was going to exclude murder, but it seems that falls in the realm also.

After hearing some of the comments of how he is being persecuted by the media and the public, I am surprised the pope hasn't canonized him for Sainthood yet.

After reading commentaries from the hungry hero worshiping sports fans, Vick would have been smarter to face a jury of his peers. I firmly believe this jury would have found the prosecuters guilty of picking on this "gifted athlete", and sent them off to prison instead.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Must every law that we pass in this country have a million loop holes. A story regarding trans fat in our food products, showed what a sham our laws are.

As long as there is less then half a gram of fat per serving, the product can be labeled as "zero grams trans fat". But was is a SERVING? One would assume a cookie as a serving; but it seems some of them are three servings or more per cookie. So we are misled to believe that we are not gorging ourselves with artery-clogging fats, when in fact we are.

As of late the consumer is left out on a limb, wondering what and whom to believe.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Recalling toys and bad publicity; so how much money did Mattel save by shipping there operations to China, instead of paying a living wage here?

Saturday, August 11, 2007


How did we become a nation that is so short sighted? Instant gratification must come right now, and worry of the consequences is put off till much later.

Electronic gadgets must be purchased instantly upon their entry on stage. Heaven forbid you're not the first one on the block to own it. These toys aren't cheap and eventually must be paid for.

American auto makers, have no contingency plan for after the truck and SUV craze dries up, and there is no longer a market for them. As long as the last quarter was profitable, we will worry about the next one later. You would think after a hundred years in the business and having gone through such periods, they would have learned a lesson. Then they wonder why foreign auto makers are surpassing them!

It was such a fun idea for the invasion of Iraq. We got to "shock and awe" with all our bells and whistles as the skies lit up like the fourth of July. Did anyone think of what would happen next? We got to show them how tough we were at the time. Now we get to show them what a bunch of blundering idiots we are, with one misstep after another.

And now the mortgage fiasco. Let's throw money at everyone whether they can afford it or not then bundle up these loans and sell them off to someone else. Didn't we think someone was going to get bit in the ass eventually. Now it seems as a couple of the major players in the game are crying the blues at having to hold on to these money losing propositions. Now they too have to suffer with the others who were blinded by the short lived high rate of return.

Our elected officials are spending like there is no tomorrow. In some states they are selling tomorrow's money making assets to private corporations in order to pay for today. What will they sell in the future? Or will there ever even be a future we don't plan on saving it.

Trade agreements are made that sound good at the time and then come back to haunt us later. For example the case of China threatening us with bankruptcy if we should question or cease imports from them; whether they are safe or not.

And what will happen when all the credit card companies come crashing down from the weight of all that debt? How long can this pyramid scheme continue to function without collapsing?

Let's throw people out of work so that today's quarterly profits can be high and ship the jobs overseas. What happens when all of these out of work people can no longer afford to purchase these products?

La Sirena laments that many things that ail us has to do with air conditioning. She may be right. It seems the brains have been frozen and are not functioning properly.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Instead of simplifying our lives, all that these experts have done is make it more complicated. Name any subject and there are hundreds of consultants with hundreds of opinions how to solve the problem.

For a fee they will solve any problem that we have. They tell us how to raise our kids, solve our marital and financial problems. Everyone scurries to meet the expectations that they have set forward. Heaven forbid someone doesn't fall within the guidelines. Suddenly they are in need of counselling or medication. All it does is enhance the financial portfolios of these consultants.

Why can't common sense rule in solving our problems. I always look back and think of my father whenever facing a dilemma.

How quickly he would come to solving problems that he faced. A neighbor's dog would come to our fence and tear up the grass my father worked so hard to grow in between two buildings, as the dog barked at ours and scampered about, ripping up the newly seeded area. My dad laid down some chicken wire over the seeded area, and after watering the area, electrified the wire. What a surprise the dog got when he stepped on the wire, never to return again. It gave the dog a reminder, without hurting it.

Another problem was solved when we worked together at a construction site and were faced with the theft of all the hardware for the doors. They were stored in a closet and someone would break and steal them. Dad purchased a gallon of liquid tar and poured some gravel into it. He then set it up above the door of the closet. The next morning as we came to work we saw a trail of droplets on the sidewalk. Going to the closet we saw that the thief received the full brunt of the tar over his head and body.

There was no need to call the police or put up an elaborate security system. An annoying problem was simply solved. Needless to say we never encountered any more thefts.

So remember don't compound a problem by worrying about it. Just sit back, relax and think it over. With a clear head, examine it and find out how easily it can be solved. Find out for yourself. It has always worked for me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Where is a nation headed, when at one time in its history, we used to welcome parents and grand parents into our homes in their old age? We took care of them,and they helped in household chores and care of younger children.

Now we punish them, and ship them off , so that their remaining days can serve corporate America as greeters at the big box stores dotting our country. My God, I hope this isn't waiting around the corner for me.

Monday, August 6, 2007


They should be getting paid a whole lot more, and not made to wear those silly blue vests; if they are going to be called associates.

I don't see them rowing a boat, so why are they referred to as crew members.

None of them are dribbling, kicking or swatting at a ball, so they can't be team players.

Most of them are adults who are forced to work these minimum wage jobs for the lack of something better. So don't degrade them any more then you have already, and refer to them in a pure and simple way, as employees.


What would happen, if everyone in this country, was as well informed about politics and politicians; as they are about movie and sports celebrities?

Sunday, August 5, 2007


When will the phrase "the war on terror" finally be put to rest. Anyone with an ounce of a brain will realize there is no such animal.

No matter how sophisticated or well armed a military is, they are no match for a rag tag collection of believers, with stone-age armaments. A look at history, including the United States, reveals that some of the greatest armies were either defeated or held to a stalemate by these dedicated forces.

If this war continues, the nation will go bankrupt, and the terrorist will not only have defeated an army, but a whole nation will crumble.

Isn't a soldier's life just as great a loss as one in the twin towers? Oh I forgot; they volunteered. I think it was to fight, not to die. So people are still dying at the hands of terrorists, but it doesn't count, since it is over there.

Has anyone considered that more lives are lost in this country each year to homicides, then to any terrorist actions? More teens die in stupid speed related accidents. On a daily basis lives are lost on cities' streets to hit & run drivers; yet no war is declared to fight this senseless loss of life.

But the worst loss of all, are the real freedoms we are so willing to give up for this false perception of safety.

So lets take all of these billions of dollars that some over grown children are using to play war games, and put them to good use in rebuilding this country. Who knows, there might even be some left over to help other nations that aren't as blessed as ours.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Why do we have millions of dollars for bridges that are not wanted or needed, and nothing for one that serves hundreds of thousands daily?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


It was bad enough that Chicago had to suffer all these years with the Rev. Jesse(I knows lots of big words) Jackson. Now a blaring headline in the Chicago Sun-Times has ruined my day, as the other blabbering idiot from New York ( Rev. Al Sharpton) is planning to set up shop here.

What have we done so bad here that we are going to have to endure this tag team of Reverends Al and Jesse?

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Traveling I-57 as I go to and from the farm I have made a few observations. One is that the majority of women drivers believe they are named Danica Patrick and that the vehicles they are driving are Indy cars.

Just a word of advice to these drivers about those speed limit signs that are posted along the roadside, you know the ones I mean, they have 65/55 MPH marked on them. Well, the top number is for vehicles and the lower one for trucks; it is not the total sum when you add them up, as most women seem to think.

At one time when I was younger I enjoyed the compliments I received from women about my rear end. Now, however, I am older so please stop drafting, and stay away from my back bumper. Besides I am married, and don't want to be introduced to you, no matter how cute you are. Even if I have to stop fast in an emergency, I want you to resist my rear end.

No matter your age, young, old or in between, it seems you all subscribe to the pedal to the metal theory. Please remember they are called highways and not speedways for a reason.

And, when you decide to cut back into the right lane, give it a few car lengths before you do; some of us are not professional drivers like you.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I figured out a simple solution on electing our next president. Who ever collects the most money wins. They sell their souls out to the highest bidders anyway, let the corporates spend a few more dollars to get who they want. No more debates as candidates lie through their teeth. All the money saved by not having conventions and since a lot of the delegates are either elected officials or have government jobs, they would be doing what they are payed to do.

A lot of fuel would be saved since the candidates would not be crossing the country attempting to garner votes. No more worries about electronic voting and no need for cutting down more trees to have a paper trail.

On election day, all the money is counted and a winner is declared. Then the best part of this solution. We then take these untold millions of dollars and put it to good use by turning it over to charity or to improve our schools and teachers salaries.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I can imagine what World War II dog fights must have been like, since I am treated to them every weekend as the hummingbird's put on a daily non stop aerial show from morning till night, at a place I call home in Central Illinois.

I have three feeders for these tiny creatures, who awaken me each morning with their flapping wings as they feed outside my bedroom patio doors. It's impossible to count them as they put on that acrobatic show. I was always amazed at how they could speed around without knocking into one another, until this past weekend when the impossible happened and two of them had a mid air collision.

I was walking from the deck on the pond to the house and witnessed this catastrophe. The many years of experience as a police officer took over as I rushed to assist these two dazed combatants as they lay on the ground motionless.

Mustering up all of my medical knowledge I placed them in the palm of my hand and administered first aid, even tho my resources were slim to none. For the next fifteen minutes I was enthralled at giving aid and comfort to these to tiny birds.

Seeing their eyes lids flicker, I knew my attempts were not futile and that my
hard work was paying off. To my delight one of the birds regained his strength and flew off. My worries about the second one soon disappeared and he to was back in combat.

If my friend Dennis, from the days on the police department would have witnessed this, and he being a Sargent, I am sure he would have quickly submitted my name for a life saving award. But knowing him like I do, he would have gone beyond that and would have pursued a Department Commendation, and maybe just maybe a Medal of Valor.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I just don't understand this Harry Potter craze. I never saw guys sitting outside drug stores awaiting the arrival of the latest issue of Playboy when I was younger.

I do believe, however, that Playboy is a greater literary achievement then the Potter series; since it has something to please every-one's taste. There are colorful photos for the illiterate; stimulating articles for the inquisitive mind and short stories for those who love to read, yet have little time for it. Last but not least, there are cartoons to tickle the funny bone of everone. I really could understand anticipating the arrival of this fine literary creation.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Even here, as I drive these corn or soybean lined roads, the ugly signs sprout from the ground by the dozens. Not one or two, but a dozen or so in a row, as if one weren't enough to convey the message. All of them displaying the same message.

Wrigley Field, once a pristine mecca is peppered with ugly advertisements of one sort or another. Golfers and tennis players are beginning to resemble NASCAR drivers and their vehicles, as shirts and hats sport more logos with each additional tournament.

Each walk, strikeout, hit or homer is sponsored by someone. As a matter of fact just about any action on the field is brought to you by one company or another. Not to mention the regular commercial breaks which now run into the ballgame as they get longer and longer.

Reading a newspaper becomes an adventure as you have to hunt for articles amongst all the advertisements. TV programs grow shorter and the commercials longer, as you lose track of the story for all the commercial breaks.

Lets not even talk about our mail as the carriers fall by the wayside with injuries from carrying all that junk mail they stuff our mail boxes with. Not to mention how many trees sacrificed there lives for said junk.

Billboards and neon signs blind us with there massive paper and electronic displays. Why not boycott the worst violators and no longer purchase their products? Then, maybe just maybe, we can go back to a more tranquil visual and audio society.

Monday, July 16, 2007


The McMansion crowd swooped down and destroyed what would be a pleasant weekend at the sand dunes of Lake Michigan. What once was a great summer getaway, is now something to avoid.

Pristine lake front property was once dotted with quaint and unique family cottages. Even tho the crowds increased during the summer, it was quite manageable. It was a pleasure to listen to the waves crashing into the shoreline and to walk around exploring the small shops and restaurants and enjoy a quiet drink overlooking the lake.

There have always had bigger homes in the area, but they blended in quite nicely and were not an eyesore. Suddenly grotesque condos and mine is bigger then yours homes blocked out the view of the lake. The noise level grew, and the crowds increased. A landmark restaurant closed only to be reopened as a sports bar. Small lake side bars, driven out by the ever expanding marinas.

Small family owned restaurants driven out by the franchises. Old structures torn down, to be replaced with new structures, made to look old.

People would drive a hundred miles and more to get away from all noise and congestion of the city, to enjoy the piece and quiet. Now they make the same drive, to get more of the same. Why do we allow this crowd to take over everything that we enjoy?

Friday, July 13, 2007


No longer am I angry at the growing disparity between the rich and poor in this country. This is a self inflicted wound that keeps growing bigger yet the poor have no one to blame but themselves.

A financial page article in today's Chicago Tribune has left me shaking my head and asking the question, How Stupid is You? The headline read: Bank overdraft fees total $17.5 billion. Boys and girls that is not a typographical error that is a B not an M.

People magazine's readership far outnumber that of any financial magazine. People now know more about the lives of personalities such as movie stars and pro athletes then they do of their own personal finances. We are making others rich with high credit card debt and usury-like fines. We get taken to the cleaners, as others clean up.

Not a peep is heard from the public as banks manipulate deposits, and enter checks out of order to ensure these fees keep going higher. It is more important to know up to the minute stats on your favorite ball players, and the blunders of Hollywood personalities, then what is happening to the few dollars you have.

We are told to wait until this next election, we are going to get rid of those money grubbing Republicans. The Democrats are going to tax the rich and make them pay their share. Things will get a whole lot better.

The question should be for whom? Surely it won't be for you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I was listening to a radio show the other day and listened to a man talking about the new Iphone. I was shocked to learn that this new gadget has a battery life of about a year. It was bad enough that people paid $500 for it, but Apple found a gold mine in that the battery will cost $80 to replace. Not only that, it can only be done at the factory by a trained technician.
So now shipping charges are also added to the cost. So the old adage is true, A FOOL AND HIS MONEY ARE SOON PARTED.

Monday, July 9, 2007


I yearn for the good old days when common sense prevailed. Back in the dark ages of my youth we did not need heat advisory warnings on TV, radio, or news print to tell us it was hot and what we should do to stay cool. We could tell it was hot just by going out doors and sweating. A simple thing like opening the windows and a fan or two sufficed. Evenings were spent outdoors, as people gathered on front porches and talked and the kids enjoyed the freedom of running around outside, as the house cooled down and it was bearable to go inside. We didn't have to be told to drink liquids. When we were thirsty we drank something to quench that thirst.

Now it seems no one can do anything without someone, somewhere telling us what to do and how to do it. Grocery stores shelves are emptied as a snow advisory goes into effect. I never went hungry with each snow fall, as there was always plenty of food around the house, no matter how much snow fell. Or being told to dress warm on a sub zero day.

After a rain storm, one would drive a few blocks out of the way and avoid that flooded viaduct and arrive at a destination safe and sound. Now we have to be told to avoid them, and only a few pay heed, as we see stories of people being rescued from cars almost on a daily basis.

Thinking has become passe, as the "nobody told me" seems to be the phrase of the day.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Every time there is an awards ceremony, and there seems to be one every week from Hollywood to Broadway and in between. The one thing they all have in common is that the presenters are given gift bags worth thousands of dollars.

Would it not make more sense to hand out these bags randomly at various venues such as movies and concerts to the people who spend their hard earned money to make these people outrageously rich? Just a little thank you for the support.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


For years now a lot of people had called me crazy for my one man war against purchasing products made in China. I should not refer to them as products but rather by there true name, which is junk.

Now the headlines for the past few months have vindicated me as one item after another falls into the junk category. Just today 400,000 tires were found to be defective. How many pets have perished by feeding poison laced pet food?
Toothpaste recalled due to tainted content.

We are giving our kids toys laced with lead, and stuffed animals filled with garbage. All of this under the guise of saving a few pennies.

It has become hard to find things made in the USA. But what a thrill it is when you do. Comparable to landing a three pound bass if your a fisherman, or a birdie if your a golfer. They are out there, but you have to hunt for them. The one thing I have found is that they are comparable in price, and sometimes even cheaper.

They ship billions of dollars of their junk here, but allow only a few of our products in for sale. Our biggest export to China is our scrap metal, which cause higher prices here. So where is the savings as we pay more for anything metalic.

So join me in this war and boycott the made in China labels, there will be a recruiting office opening in a neighborhood near you.

Monday, June 25, 2007


There must be a million and one political polls and they seem to be taken almost on a daily basis. I have never been asked my opinion, nor the people that I know asked of theirs.

So the big question of the day is, who are these people that give these opinion, or are they just numbers drawn up by the pollsters to sway our way of thinking?

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I read a sad story in the paper the other day about the death of the small repair shops. Many people haven't experienced this delightful part of life, since we have advanced from the repair it era to the throw it away and replace it one.

Eons ago, when TVs were filled with tubes instead of transistors, we would either call a fix it man or took the tubes to a store and tested them and replaced them. Only as a last resort was something thrown away, as things were repaired at home or taken to the fix it shop, and only after trying to repair it yourself.

Screws were used to hold everything together as we could open things and tinker inside. As kids, time was spent taking apart and putting back together all sorts of gadgets, just to see what made them tick, and the thrill we had when it still worked after our inquisitive inspections.

Then the molded plastic era started where once it was put together at the factory, it was harder to get into then Ft. Knox. If screws are used, they are of a different variety that most people don't have around the house and a fortune is spent to procure them. No longer can the local fix it man repair it, it has to be done by factory trained specialists at outrages prices.

The outlandish prices charged for parts to repair something is highway robbery as the example given by the subject of the story. A man called him to repair a $2,000 TV set, when he inquired about purchasing the part needed to repair it, he was told that it would cost$3900 for said part.

It was a pleasant surprise when you did take something in for repair, and the repair man only charged a dollar or two for it was something minor, and once more the thing worked as good as new for years to come, and not another piece on the landfill pile.

The pride we had in ourselves as we tore down car engines and put them back together to get them to go faster. The joy of hearing a well tuned engine purring like a cat.

Now all we can do is turn something on and off, and if it doesn't go on, just throw it away and purchase a new one. Minds are going dormant as they are no longer used for problem solving, and we wonder why we are getting so stupid.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


At this time last year I was in Lithuania and the people knew what to do on this summer feast. In this and other European countries it is a holiday weekend as everything shuts down and people take time to relax and celebrate, as many head for the sea shore to relax and reflect.

No expensive toys to play with just a fun time strolling around and being with people you care about. People were doing things that people once did in this country. That was get together and talk and enjoy a bit of cheer.

Now we run out and play for a designated time and speed back and lock ourselves indoors in our air conditioned homes. It was nice to stroll around, and go to restaurants and not freeze as windows were open to let in the refreshing breeze. There were hundreds of out door cafes to enjoy a drink and watch the world go by.

I just don't understand it. We sit inside our houses because it is to hot outside as we have the thermostat turned down low to freezing, and then when it is freezing outside we stay indoors and turn the temperature to hot. Something has got to be wrong with this picture.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Are we that bored and stupid, that we really need the latest gadget that will be selling for $80?

I'm talking about an attachment for a land based phone that will give us a choice for different tunes instead of the standard ring. For $3 more a wider choice of tunes will also be available.

How many people will rush out and purchase one? And how many dollars will be spent on different tunes, since you can program it to personalize each caller that you know? And we wonder why we are getting poorer?

Monday, June 18, 2007


While killing time in an auto parts store, I cruised the aisle seeing what was new. I then stopped in the aisle that had valve stem covers for tires and since two of them were missing from my vehicle, I decided to buy a package.

The dilemma was, that there were so many to choose from. Should I spend a dollar and purchase the same dull black plain ones that came with the vehicle, or should I tap into my vast financial portfolio and spend a couple of bucks more.

My better senses told me to go for the bland, but in a moment of weakness I decided to go up in class and spend a dollar more. As I walked to the cashiers counter the doubts began to filter in as to how long these domed shaped with silver stripe covers would last.

I left the vehicle alone for four days, and to no surprise found all four gone on my return. I am glad, since I have been know to place a wager or two legally or with a bookie, and in this case I would have wagered that they would have lasted at least a week or two. So the only disappointment I have, is how fast they disappeared.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


The word "HERO" is tossed around quite loosely these days, and it seems as if a day can't go by without a dozen or so new so called heroes appearing on the scene.

For as long as I can remember, I have had only one hero my entire life. Someone I looked up too, and admired in all that he accomplished and the peoples lives that he affected. This man was my father, but most importantly, he was my "Dad"

He was born on a farm in Lithuania, and he and his brothers all craftsmen, rose to a bit of prominence in their small town, as they plied their trade as carpenters. But World War II interceded, and seeing the writing on the wall, that hard times were coming, my father packed what he could in a buggy and took my mother, brother and I on a trek across Europe, not knowing what lay ahead.

We ended up in various displaced persons camps throughout Germany, as my father would go into the towns, not speaking the language, he would get jobs to take care of his family. After six years, we finally got the notice, we were going to America.

We got to Chicago on a Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday they had a party to welcome us. On Monday, my dad was at the stockyards applying for a job.
I remember the conversations at the dining room tables as friends from the camps gathered and enjoyed what were now considered feasts on Sundays as they drank and questioned each other about their work and pay. Finding out someone was making a penny or two an hour more, quickly meant a change in jobs, as they bounced from one butcher company to the next, in search of the American riches.

Even tho exhausted from a hard days work, it was very important for him to go to night school, to learn the language of this new country, and most important, become a citizen.

With only a third grade education under his belt, his wisdom and knowledge surpassed most scholars, and being small in stature he toward like a giant and was strong as an ox.

He taught me many lessons about life, with his stories and fables. His greatest gift was knowing how to give a compliment and making it sincere. As an example, I was working with him at a construction site and was very proud of the job I had done trimming and hanging cabinets in one of the rooms. I called to him to see this majestic job that I had done. He entered the room, pulled out his pipe and filled it slowly. He lit his pipe and slowly walked around the room, running his hand slowly across joints, taking a puff here and there, and not saying anything. What seemed like an eternity, he finally spoke. No it wasn't the words I wanted to hear, on what a wonderful job I had done. Rather it was a simple "someday you will be a fine carpenter", but I could see from the glee in his eyes, how proud he was off me.

Then there was the time I had borrowed some money off of him. One day as I sat and talked to him, I asked why he hadn't mentioned anything about paying him back. It was a simple, "if you are good and honest, you will pay me back, if not you won't, even if I ask for it'. Therefore I learned a lesson about you and will know never to lend you anything again. I couldn't pay him back fast enough. A few little words, but such a big lesson.

He knew the appropriate time to say things, so the message got across. Such as "I don't mind you drinking my whiskey, but don't water it down". Trying to be smart as a teen and putting in shots of water so he wouldn't notice any of it gone.

He would drive me crazy, for he seemed to have all the answers. No matter the problem, he would always seemed to find the solution. And he always knew whenever I had a problem. It was always "the back of my neck is hurting, and you know two heads are better then one to solve a problem". And it was such a relief, when we did solve it.

My greatest regret in life, is that he left me so long ago, and those that I love deeply never got the pleasure of meeting him and enjoyed him as much as I. I love you dad, always have and always will. Rest in peace, for you truly are my HERO.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I just shook my head in amazement as I dined and spoke with some patrons in Oakland's fine dining emporium, who had returned from watching the St. Louis Cardinals engage in a game of baseball the previous night.

The question was, why would people part with $8.25, for a beer, so that over compensated athletes could ask for more outlandish salaries? I could understand one to quench a parched throat. But from the conversation, it seemed people were consuming them as if Prohibition was to start at midnight.

We hear complaints every day how the gap is growing between the haves and have no ts, yet we are the ones wielding the shovels, as we dig ourselves into a deeper hole.

Saturday, June 9, 2007


For the past several weeks, we have seen adds in print and TV for those perfect Father's Day gifts. Let's show dad how much we love him by going into debt and purchasing that wide screen plasma TV, or if he is a golfer, that driver that costs an arm and leg.

As for me I got my first present almost thirty-three years ago. That was followed by another a year later, then I had to wait three years for the third one. Thirty years later I got three more in one day.

These six, have combined to produce eight "grand" presents, making me not only a father, but also a grandfather.

There is nothing they can purchase me that would bring me more joy then they have already given me or will give me in the future. There is no greater pleasure then hearing "grandpa you are driving me crazy". The hugs and kisses are worth millions.

As for the older presents, the thrill is when they disagree with me, and I can see they are thinking and have a mind of your own. Then I know I no longer have to worry that the decisions they are making or will be making, will be foolish ones.

I have fourteen reasons to be happy on father's day, and who knows how far this number may increase.


It was bad enough that the Republican party pandered itself to the religious right, but now it seems that the Democrats are also quick to drop to their knees to kiss these holy posteriors in their quest for votes.

I was about to regurgitate a fine meal, as I watched the three leading candidates pander themselves on the Paula Zahn show, to the so called ministers of God. "HOW STUPID IS YOU" to believe that anyone of these three would truthfully and honestly answer any of the inane questions posed to them.

Edwards beating around the bush, when asked his worst sin, as if he would tell a national TV audience of his transgression. Or what did they expect of Clinton, when asked about how she survived her husbands infidelity. Tho not a fan of Obama, I have to give him credit for his avoidance of questions, with nonsensical rambling to a question, for his fifteen minute duration, so that only a minute was left for second one.

If one were to believe any of these dozens of candidates from both parties, they all have replicas of the Sistine Chapel where they all spend part of their days in meditation and prayer to help them make their decisions, in their quest to help man kind.

But being the skeptic that I am, and the legislation passed by our congress, I believe those chapels are shaped more like banks, to give them the needed inspiration.


Tuesday, June 5, 2007


There is a liquor store that is not to far away from my abode. Even if I was a tea totter, I would em bide in these alcoholic beverages, for medicinal purposes only, mind you, just because they play by the old fashioned rules.

From the time they open, till they close the stream of people is so steady that the place works like a fine tuned Swiss watch. The selection and prices are fantastic. The decor is in the staff who are very help full and efficient. No fancy names or gimmicks. Just great prices. The profit comes from the high volume of sales.

No overpaid CEO's, no beating last quarter profits to worry about. Both the customer and owner win as both parties are happy. One at saving money and the other making it.

No one greeting me at the door, no one bothering me while I shop, for they are to busy stocking the shelves. If all businesses ran as well as this place, we would all be better off. Like I said the old fashioned way.

Monday, May 28, 2007


When is it going to be enough? I am old enough to remember when a TV was considered a piece of furniture, and the astronomical dimensions of a 21" inch screen were unbelievable. Now I need the fingers and toes of friends to calculate the new dimensions of the wide-screens. We have even built rooms to house the shrines. Rock bands are jealous of the speakers and amplifiers we have hooked up to this god as an offering.

At one time the only major debt people had was the purchase of a home. Now, monster sized vehicles take their places behind the homes, and people quickly go into endless debt including paying for these electronic gadgets. I even remember when you could purchase said gadgets, carry them out and place them in your vehicle for the journey home. Now, flat bed 18 wheelers, or at least your monstor-sized vehicles with all the attachments , are needed to form convoys in order to transport the icons to their shrines.

Once, four channels sufficed. Then we thought we died and went to heaven when UHF hit the scene. Now there are hundreds of channels to choose from, and a new word hit the TV vocabulary as we surf the program guide: when asked "anything good on?" the new refrain is "NOTHING" (That is of course, unless you want to watch ME TV & all the shows that were made when when we only had four channels!).

Thursday, May 24, 2007


It used to be that a few dollars kept the political machine well oiled and running like a fine Swiss Watch. A simple hand shake completed a transaction and things were quickly done even for the ordinary citizenry.

Things quickly changed, and the hand shake was replaced by the heavy laden envelope. Then the bane of our society, attorneys, seeing a golden opportunity, intervened, with well hidden portfolios and blind trusts. Now the machine that needed a few drops to work efficiently was consuming barrels of oil daily.

The over consuming machine, no longer functions for those who helped build and maintain it. Only those who can afford to drive the filled tankers, are given easy access, to this ever hungry guzzler, whose appetite is insatiable.

The early consumption of this oil was done discreetly, and even behind closed doors, and it was a bit more efficient as it stretched out and greased a few more machines with those precious drops. And they were accessible to everyone.

Now these machines can only be fed at five star restaurants, and private golf clubs around the globe, and must be fed separately, for nary a drop for any other machine.

And we wonder why the price of oil is so high and not as efficient as it once was?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


After reviewing my latest credit card bill, I was in total shock. Supposedly I was one day late with my payment and the late fee was $39 plus interest. Five or ten dollars could have sufficed, but this was outright highway robbery. Even the mob wasn't as greedy when they were in the loan business. Stories of people paying fifteen thousand on an original purchase of three thousand are not uncommon. Naturally I called and had this removed from my bill. But how many fools , just pay and pay.

I don't begrudge anyone from making a profit, but let's not get carried away. Drinking emporiums are filled with people forking over ten dollars and more for a mar tine, which the establishment would make a hefty profit at half the price. And don't get me started what they charge for a fifty cent beer.

A personal loan is needed to purchase a coffee and muffin at Starbucks, yet there is one on every corner, and the fools stand in line to part with their hard earned money.

I have a friend, whom I shall refer to as Dennis to protect the innocent, and he and I golf occasionally. He whacks the hell out of the ball as it travels quite a bit further then mine. He hasn't fallen to all the new technology and purchased the new three hundred dollar drivers, each and every year, but sticks with his vintage clubs that he may have purchased at a Sam Snead garage sale.

Ten dollar wooden bats have given way to four hundred dollar aluminum bats , and people are happy to pay.

What are the profits? Why are these CEO's making such huge salaries? Why are there so many fools so willing to part with their money? Get your head out of your ass and stop this insanity.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


We could get this country back on the right track with one simple thing. Get rid of all the TV cameras. Ever since the dawn of the multiple 24 hour a day news and sports channels, we have progressed backwards instead of forward.

The politicians would no longer be prancing around and showboating in front of the cameras. They could actually be doing real work on our behalf. It would even help global warming since all that hot air they are always spouting off would be eliminated.

Professional athletes would start playing their respective sports as they were meant to be played and not just waiting to make the highlight reel. Everything from dress to speech is done for the cameras. No more dances, no more antics. If I wanted to see that, I would watch pro wrestling.

We can't do anything without holding a news conference. Trials would be shortened, since we wouldn't need fodder for the daily speeches for the cameras. People would be found and rescued sooner, were it not for those hourly updates.

American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, and reality shows would soon start to disappear. As they did, life would once more come back to normal, as people weened themselves away from those electronic home drive in sized screens and learned there is a life waiting to be lived rather than staring at others all day long.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Just like spoiled kids on the playground, political beliefs are no longer debatable, but rather the old dig in your heels, and fight, no matter the cost. Now it's either my way, or no way at all. No wonder nothing of value is accomplished in Washington.

Just like World War I, lines have been drawn and trenches dug. Now, as the fierce fighting goes on, nothing is accomplished and a stalemate occurs. They view each other as the evil empire that must be defeated; not the problems that face out country.

So grow up, start thinking, and surprise the advisers and strategists. No longer should they be able to predict your way of thinking. No longer should they be able to program the candidates with robotic lines.We need to be able to see them in their true colors, with their original thoughts and ideas.

If we took the time to study all the candidates, we would quickly find out that no matter what the party affiliation, some of them are middle of the roadies in their views and it wouldn't be a mortal sin to cross over party lines to vote for the better candidate. But the strategists know that the majority of voters will stick to party affiliation and will vote the straight ticket. And we wonder why all the idiots in congress!

Independants might enter the contests, knowing they have a chance to win rather then being spoilers. The quality and quantity would improve and we would all benefit.

Monday, May 7, 2007

RIDDLE ME THIS, BATMAN..............

A simple solution to terrorism, is to get a copy of a NON SEQUITOR cartoon published in the Chicago Tribune on Thursday 3 May 07 and have it translated into Arabic, and then printed up as leaflets and plastered on walls, dropped from planes and such.



The question is being asked by a member of a crowd being addressed by a mullah.

It would be niece to see their reaction to this cartoon. Maybe they might start to question on why they have to die so young, while the leaders lead long, healthy, and wealthy lives.


All this impeachment talk and other rhetoric coming from Washington is a smoke screen for business as usual.

CEO pay rose by a measly 37%, while the average worker saw his rise at a hefty 3%. Job cuts and shipping them overseas, under the guise of saving money, and this savings is for the corporate pocket and not ours.

Trade inbalance is rising by leaps and bounds. Cargo ships loaded to the brim on the way here, and nearly empty on the way back. Yes there are jobs galore, that is if you like to greet people at the big box stores at minimum wage.

As a nation we are falling behind the rest of the world in education. Coaches are given carte blanche and multi million dollar contracts, while teachers can barely scrape buy on their salaries, and have to dip into their own pockets for supplies.

A feeding frenzy is going on at the public trough. As local and federal elected officials stuff their pockets, and clamor for more, as services which were once paid for with tax dollars, are now laden with high fees.

The only thing we are getting cheap from our elected officials is talk. The medicine peddlers of old would be jealous at how easily people fall prey to all this talk. They would have made millions, if they talked as much as our politicians.

I say impeach them all and let's get a bunch in that are camera shy and will role up their sleeves and do the job they were elected to do. No speeches, or fancy promises, just work, and if they worked as hard as they talked, maybe we could fix a few of the problems ailing this nation.

Friday, May 4, 2007


There are more things to worry about and report on the news, then somebody saying something. The deluge of comments and stories that filled the papers and airways over a rap song a recent football draftee (Chicago Bears)made during his freshman year at college was unbelievable. The indignation by reporters was unbelievable. One would think his transgression surpassed that of the Virginia Tech incident.

At one time or another each one of us has butchered a joke, or said something inappropriate. Those around us understood it for what it was, a simple mistake, and life went on. A simple apology won't do now, for they will become Super Bowl events, attended by thousands and televised world wide.

Like vultures, in a feeding frenzy,You Tube is visited by millions to feast at someones mistake. Still hungry they turn to the papers and news channels, where news casters and their endless list of experts from every field devour the story to the bone.

Now various ethnic groups have taken common words and declared them for their private use only. At the rate we are going, a new dictionary will have to be printed denoting who may use which words and when.

A new industry will flourish, as word advisers take their place in rank with the thousand and one other advisers that we can't seem to live without these days. And local and federal government officials will burden tax payers, as they create agencies to police word usage.

My God they are only words, not sticks and stones. Ignore them and get over it. We have a right in this country and it is called "free speech" and we are trying to give it away.