Sunday, May 27, 2012

1,000+ Views (an update)

Wow, this has been fun.  93 days ago I sent out my first post (Happy Birthday), now 21 postings later we’ve arrived at a significant milestone.  Through your loyalty and spreading the word about this blog it has been visited 1,000+ times.  Most of the views are in the United States but Russia and Germany are also frequent visitors.  In total, folks from 11 different countries have stopped in. 
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH, you’ve really made my day!

    The most read story is still Kill People and Break Things (sent out 19 March, 2012) followed closely by Yes Ma’am (1 April, 2012) and Lessons from my Daddies (12 March,).  It seems some stories have a bit of staying power.  I’ve tried to deliver a variety in the subjects from week to week in an effort of keeping this blog entertaining but also informative.  It would be easy for me to fall into writing on the daily malfeasance's of politics (I’m a political junkie and they’re easy targets). 

    I wish I knew who number one thousand was; I wanted it to be my son-in-law Aaron.  I tried to cheat a bit, at 999 views I called him to tell him to open the blog but I got voicemail.  I felt he should have the opportunity to be number 1,000 since he set this up and got me started on writing my little post.  Thank you AaronJ

    Again Thank You and I hope you continue to visit.  I also hope you enjoy reading my little stories as much as I enjoy writing them.

Keep a smile on your face, so people will wonder what you up to…


Visits from the following countries:
Czech Republic
United Kingdom
United States of America 

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Last Monday

    Its here, the official start of summer, Memorial Day weekend.  Grills will be lighting up, drinks will be flowing and couches will be tested as fans enjoy the race on Sunday.  Some may take the opportunity to visit friends and relatives over the long weekend.  Others could be going to a ballgame.  Baseball in early summer… What could be better?

    In all the excitement of the weekend, in all of the planning, something may be forgotten, something is starting to be lost… 
Memorial Day.  Its meaning, its history, its significance.
    After the Civil War in the late 1860’s a movement began in the northern states to honor fallen Union soldiers, this became known as Decoration Day.  There was no specific date set but usually took place in May on a day decided by the local community.  By the early 1900’s the practice was extended to all American soldiers that had paid the ultimate price during war and was designated as Memorial Day with a set observance on the last Monday of May.

    Traditionally in national cemeteries the fallen are remembered by a flag being placed on each grave. Locally, veteran’s organizations or family members visit community cemeteries to honor lost comrades and loved ones at their grave sites.  For myself, I have a reminder to remember these fallen heroes each day.

    Some years back my girls gave me a framed art print and placed it above our home computer desk.  The picture is called Vietnam Reflections by Lee Teter.  His painting is of a man standing with his hand upon the polished black granite of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, his head down in a moment of pain, loss and grief.  Within the cold stone wall are the faint reflections of his brothers in arms that did not return from the war.  One of the soldiers within the wall has his hand raised to meet the hand of the grieving man in an attempt to comfort him…  The first time I saw this painting my throat tightened as the tears began to well up.  Even as I write this, those same feelings come over me.  It is a very powerful painting.

    So on this Last Monday of May please take a moment to think of those who gave all in the service of our  country during times of war.  If you have children take a moment to explain the meaning, the history, the significance of this day.  Finally, take a moment to say a little prayer for the safe return of those in far off lands serving today, in the hope future Last Mondays in May will not be their day.


Side Note: The proceeds from the sales of Mr. Teter's Vietnam Reflections go entirely to veterans groups, millions of dollars so far… Mr. Teter, Thank You for your service to those who served.  

If you are interested in a copy of the print visit Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 172 web site.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Perversion of a Good Idea

Hi All, I hope this finds you in good health and an optimistic attitude.  Today I’d like to dive into a subject that most consider politics…  They couldn’t be more wrong!   The use of political office is just an expedient tool used by today’s neo-progressives.  Wow, I just shut some folks off but please give me a chance to explain.  The original progressive ideology wasn’t a bad thing, provide for the needy within society.  Sounds great to me.  Where it goes wrong is when the ideology becomes corrupted.  When under screams of fairness, equality or tolerance the presumptive liberators of the downtrodden do not lift them from their misfortune.  No, instead they focus on dragging an unsuspecting public down to the lowest common denominator.  After all what could be fairer.     

    Let’s break the true progressive concept into its parts, should be easy there are only two parts, the needy and the providers.  Each has a responsibility to achieve the progressive goal, no more needy within the society.  The providers, just as it sounds provides, provides food, clothing, shelter and opportunity, the basics of life as needed.  You can accept that but you may be asking yourself “What responsibility could the needy have?”  Very simple, use this opportunity or gift (yes I said gift) to better themselves, to educate themselves to work towards becoming provider themselves.

    Who are the providers?  Who are the needy?  A provider can be a family member helping a relative, a neighborhood group helping someone within the neighborhood, a religious or community origination's providing services within the local vicinity such as a shelter, food/dry goods bank or trade school.  The needy could be a family who lost everything in a fire, a young single parent, someone who fell into substance abuse problems or poor decisions that got them into trouble with the legal system.  At the extreme ends needy persons could have medical, physical, mental issues that may require extended or more personalized attention.

    Did you notice, I never once mentioned a government role.  The reason for leaving government out is when you add them you’ve added a whole new layer to the equation, actually two layers, the collectors and the distributers…  The more layers the more opportunity for distortion, perversion, the more opportunity for corruption.  The collectors and distributors by their vary nature must maintain a continuous level of needy to validate their existence, the easiest way to maintain these levels is by converting the needy into dependents (distortion).  The next effect is the perversion of what should be a charitable act.  With collectors and distributors rather than seeking to get the most bang for the buck (as when spending their own money or resources) they seek the most money for the bang.  The more monies controlled the larger the base of dependence they can build.  Finally corruption sneaks in as the collectors and distributors seek rewards, pay and compensation for their roles, skimming money from pool that had been collected (after all its hard work building and maintaining a base of dependents).

    Each year counting pay and compensation (i.e. insurance and pension) for every government bureaucrat filling the role as collector or distributor five families could be fed, clothed and housed for a year while they worked towards a better life.  Would they be eating steak and lobster every night? No.  Would they be wearing designer clothing or Air Jordan shoes?  I wouldn’t think so.  Would a family of four be living in a four bedroom three bath condominium on the beach?  I doubt it.  Be honest, do the dependent have that now?  What they have is what they are given and that could be taken away in a moment, after all they are “DEPENDENT”.

    The same old arguments pops up from neo-progressives as soon as they hear talk like this, they say either “You just lack compassion and want the poor to starve.” or “Your selfish, intolerant and don’t want the poor to succeed”.  What they are really protecting is their hold on power and money.  A truly concerned and compassionate society would seek to aid the needy/dependent in becoming independent, self-reliant, productive members of the society, sharing in its benefits’ and opportunities, an equal partner.

    For far too long we have turned a blind eye to the assembly line production of a dependent class.  At least three (more likely four to five) generations of people have been mislead into believing they could never succeed in life by a self-serving system full of self-serving individuals.  The dependent class has been conditioned to accept that food is purchased with a booklet of coupons they are given each month, clothing and other dry goods are covered by an allowance issued by the local welfare office, housing is subsidized but no training in life skills, no incentive to reach for a better life.  Actually the dependent are given an incentive to not succeed, if the home is broken-up larger payments are given to the recipient.  Children raised in this environment get the misguided view that the way to succeed is to not succeed.  Boys grow up having children but not knowing how to be fathers.  They never had the relationship with a dedicated male figure in their lives giving them the opportunity to learn devotion to family, respect (for self and others) or responsibility inherited and searched out.  Girls growing up in the dependent environment don’t know how to seek out a devoted life partner, they hope their needs are somewhat met by a faceless agency and they see their self-worth diminished as they become objectified and used by others.  All this leads to a self perpetuating dependent class ultimately used by what has become a corrupted politically based system.

    Some may think that I’ve written this out of anger or disgust.  Just another old man complaining about the “Welfare State”.  Actually I’ve written this with a bit of sadness and a lot of thankfulness because I easily could have been amongst the ranks of the dependent.  At age 18 I was a high school dropout, washing dishes in a restaurant and had a drinking problem.  I had made many poor decisions as a teenager and was headed nowhere fast.  I didn’t really think I could succeed at anything of importance but through a twist of fait I was given an opportunity to enlist in the military (Thanks Your Honor).  In the military I learned self-discipline, many valued skills, I furthered my education (associate degree in maintenance technology) but above all I learned to be self-reliant and have the freedom that came with it!

    Yes I’m a bit saddened.  Saddened for those who have been trained to believe they can’t succeed.  Saddened for those who have been conditioned to live a life in the binding chains of dependency.  Saddened for those who may never know freedom.  I’m saddened for all those who cower down to the divisive political rhetoric aimed at blinding them to the true goals of the “Enlightened Left”, a two class system them being the ruling class and then the rest of us…

    Have you ever read the book or seen the old movie Animal Farm?  I recommend you take the time if you haven’t.  It always turns out the same “All Are Equal” just some end up being more equal than others. 

You think about it, you decide for yourself.

Till next time, make one thing better than when you found it… 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

120 Hours ahead of my time, (Damn I’m Good)

Last week I put out a posting 2+2=3 (May 9, 2012) although it dealt with percentage and number manipulation mostly on unemployment but I touched on the estimated fuel reserves in the United States.  Guess what’s out now (after a house subcommittee hearing).  According to the GAO Director of Natural Resources, the Green River Formation located under southern Wyoming, northwest Colorado and northeast Utah has been upgraded.  This shale oil deposit is now estimated to hold 3 TRILLION BARRELS of oil, 1.5 trillion of that could be recovered with today’s technology.  To put it into context the proven oil reserves of the entire world have been estimated to be 1.39 trillion barrels.  Effectively overnight the world’s oil supply has been doubled by one site.  Have you even seen this on the news?  This is a big deal!  Does the United States want and need a reliable source of economical fuel for the next 200 years??? 


    Even with this, we would be at the earliest 5+ years away from seeing a benefit from this national natural resource.  The government needs to fast-track the development of this site ASAP.   Everybody needs to speak up. 
The new battle cry…     GRF FOR THE NATION NOW!    
Any Politician that’s in the pockets of special interest that thinks they can stand in the way of GRF development needs to be tossed out like yesterdays trash.
    Most of the formation is located under federal land, that doesn’t make it the property of the government; it’s the property of every United States Citizen…  This should be a nationalized reserve developed for domestic consumption only.  Production baseline limited to previous year demand.  Prices of the 3% to 4% of supplemental oil would be greatly reduced without the U.S. being dependent upon the open market.  Again this would be a nationalized reserve operated by a federal workforce (normally I’m against the Gov. being involved in almost anything but a federal agency that actually operates at a profit).  A real national health care benefit could be funded, social security could be set back on track and a portion dedicated to alternative energy research with all data/breakthroughs made available to privet industry for development, no funding of companies for supposed development (like Solyndra… Political contribution payback? Someone needs to go to jail over that one).  An amendment to the constitution would have to be put into place to prevent the resource from becoming a slush fund for special interest or political earmarks/vote buying.        

    Finally for all the “Green Energy” buffs (that don’t practice what they preach, Al Gore) it has been said “Necessity is the mother of invention.” I disagree.  Necessity leads to one failed stopgap measure after another until you accidentally stumble across something that works for you.  Cheap reliable energy frees up money and resources for effective research and development.  If someone can make money on it, they’ll build it.  If someone can save money by using it, they’ll buy it.  To artificially elevate fossil fuel prices by withholding our own resources to further an agenda is nothing short of extortion and criminal. 


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Just Another Day???

    I’ve been involved in maintenance of one form or another for thirty years now. Twenty years as an aircraft mechanic in the Air Force, five years in heavy industrial maintenance at a local foundry and the past five years it’s been light industrial maintenance primarily preventative, servicing and electronic component adjustment.  One little thing they all had in common, the equipment was tied up through the weekdays with normal operations.  This usually led to heavy repairs or modifications being pushed off to the weekends or even holidays.  After thirty years I’ve come to accept the probability that I will have to go into work and take care of big jobs while other people were off enjoying their weekend or holiday so for me these days lost their importance.  I kind of got to the point that days set aside to recognize and honor others or events became Just Another Day to me.  This attitude caused me to hurt someone’s feelings that deserved much better…  My Mother.

    Last year on Mothers Day I didn’t call herL  I cant remember what was going on with me that was so important that I couldn’t take a few moments to pick up a phone, push a few buttons and say a couple of simple words,  Happy Mothers Day, I Love You.  I just didn’t do it.  A few weeks later when the family got together I met up with her.   She pull me to the side and asked why I had not called, she was visibly upset almost to the point of tears.  I had no answer but her words burnt into me.  I needed to make a change, I needed to improve myself, I needed to be considerate of others.  I made a promise to her that it wouldn’t happen again.

    This year my wife had flowers delivered (very thoughtful of her) but I needed to take that extra step.  I needed to go visit her, take her out for lunch.  Show her she is special and she’s important to me.   

    Management at the plant where I work decided we needed to work this weekend.  Must have been test tube babies or hatchlings but then again they wouldn’t be the ones coming in.  I thought it over for a moment; I had a choice, take a point for missing a night of overtime or cancel visiting my Mother on a day that would be special for her.  I told my supervisor I’ll take the point; I wouldn’t be available this weekend.  I’m driving down to Kentucky to take my Mother out to lunch. 

    I’ve made the change.  I’ve reset my priorities.  Weekends are still whatever days I’m off but holidays and special days are reserved to remember the people and events intended.    

Plus your picture gets to go around the world.

Q:  What do you get when a welder forgets to stop by the florist on Mothers Day?

A:  A 10 pound scrap metal bouquet…   Yes, even the flowers are metal.

(Nice welding Kidd-O) 

Make a phone call today

Friday, May 11, 2012

Let me get that for you

It has been just over one year since the raid leading to the death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Coinciding with this anniversary there has been much noise made lately on the so called “Hard Call” President Obama made to send in the team to eliminate this high profile target.  Comments like “What a brave call” or “It was a gutsy decision”. 

Are you kidding me?

    #1 All you had to do was point the team in the direction of OBL and you’d play hell trying to hold them back.  These guy’s are the best of the best, they know what their job is and they freely accept the risk and danger.   

    #2 You do the mission.  You debrief.  Then you shut the #$@* UP!  Giving the name of the team painted a big target on them and their families.  Any terrorist that hears a hint that someone is associated with the team is going to be even bolder in the risk they’ll take to harm them.  If you’d exercise even the basics of information security the terrorist wouldn’t have a clue who to target. 

    #3 You hear “Spiking the Ball” a lot right now so I’ll go with the same sport.  The best of the pro football players walk out of the in-zone after a touchdown.  They give the impression that they been there before, they belong there and they’ll be there again.  It’s just the rookies and the want-to-be’s that jump up and down screaming “Look at me, Look at me, I’m in the in-zone” like it’s a big surprise. Rookie…

    If you think it was a difficult decision, Let me get that for you.  Give me the list of your top 10 most wanted and I’ll make the call when you think you know where they are…

    You know what; I’ll make the call right now! 

TEAM they have located (insert name here)
He/She is hiding at (insert location here).
You are to capture or kill them at your discretion.
Everything is on stand-by to support your mission.    

I must admit, I really agonized over this decision… For about 0.2 seconds.


Side Note:  To any active military members out there remember you don’t have the full protection of the first amendment.  KEEP QUITE; We’ve already lost a Marine for making comments on Face Book. We can’t afford to lose anymore brave troops.  I’ll keep speaking up… I did my 20 and got my Honorable Discharge they can’t take it away now.      

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

2+2=3 As long as it looks good

    I love math, to be more precise I love statistics and percentage equations.  It is so easy to manipulate the input values to arrive at the outcome you desire.  Mathematically I can put just about any U.S. citizen into the working poor category or I could put the same citizen into the upper 1% wage earner category.  It all depends on what I want the numbers to tell you.

    President Obama gave a speech a couple of weeks back that really caught my attention (I heard a percentage mentioned).  He said “The U.S. uses 20% of the worlds produced energy but only holds 2% of the worlds energy supply”.  His numbers were accurate (at least I could make an equation that arrives at 20% and 2%) but the wording he surrounded the numbers with were inaccurate.  In some circles it's estimated the U.S. could control (or holds) up to 48% of the available energy resources when you count untapped oil, natural gas, coal, geothermal, hydro and nuclear power production capabilities along with a few exotic forms of energy production.  I’m sure what he meant to say was currently produces instead of holds.  He wouldn’t intently manipulate numbers or wording to arrive at a desired outcome… Would he?
    A conservative estimate according to the Institute for Energy Research, the U. S. has access to 1.4 trillion barrels of technically recoverable oil using current drilling and extraction methods. That could be enough oil to meet our needs for the next two hundred plus years without any imports.  The only reason we are not using these resources is because we have placed an embargo on ourselves… We could lift the embargo just as easyJ      

    Energy reserves isn’t even what started me on writing this post, it just kind of floated to the top as I started.  What I really want to get into is the unemployment rate, specifically the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) U-3 numbers.  The BLS actually tracks four categories dealing with unemployment, U-3 (the official unemployment rate), U-4, U-5 and U-6.  Each category becomes a bit more inclusive as you progress.

U-3:  Represents the number of people actively seeking employment divided by the total active work force.    Last report 8.1% (but always revised up after getting all the data).    

U-4:  Is U-3 plus “Discouraged Workers”, workers that have recently given up looking for work thinking there aren’t any jobs available for them. The rate climbs to 8.9%

U-5:  Take U-4 and add people who indicate they are available for employment and may have looked for a job in the past year but not the last four weeks.  Unemployment rate is now 9.9%

U-6:  Finally take U-5 add persons who took a part-time jobs being unable to find full-time employment.  The unemployment rate jumps to a staggering 15.1%.  Think about it this way, a laid off assembly line worker takes a part-time job at the local quick stop store making $7.50 an hour (down from $22.50) are they really employed? NO, they’re being an adult, doing what they can to try and make ends meet but they’re not what could be considered gainfully employed.

BLS U-3 Official Unemployment Rate, The bureau almost hit the nail on the head, had they only dropped the L from their initials. 

November 23, 2009 Quote from President Obama “I will not rest until businesses are investing again and businesses are hiring again and people have work again”.

    Two and a half years later (3+ years into his term), the nation is $3.92 trillion deeper in debt and another estimated $1 trillion on the way (if you’re interested that’s approximately $70,000 of additional debt saddled on a family of four).  An unemployment rate of between 8.1 to 15.1% depending on the category used (promised to not go over 7%).  Finally something that not often reported on.  Using the BLS monthly job gain/loss numbers from Jan. 2008 thru Apr. 2012 and a simple +/- column equation, our country has suffered an overall loss of 3.5 million jobs under the Obama administration. That’s 3.5 million employees not actively producing in our economy.  1.8 million of the lost jobs were in manufacturing.  Conservatively averaged out let’s say each of the 3.5M would have a $2,000 tax liability, that’s a loss of 7+ billion dollars in revenues each year.  Total privet sector jobs on 01/2008 was113.6 million by 04/2012 that total was down to 110.1 million.  By comparison the federal government has grown from 2.7 million employees to 2.8 million during the same time.  Like I said at the beginning, I can make the numbers say any thing I want, so I invite you to stop by  Look the data over for yourself and come to your own conclusion. No spit, No polish, the numbers are what the numbers are.


“I will not rest until businesses are investing again and businesses are hiring again and people have work again”.

Dude, take a break… We can’t afford much more of you not resting.

Yes, I just Duded the President of the United States of America.  I’m a bad boyJ

Thanks for stopping by
Have A Great Day


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Shifting into Neutral (Just for a moment)

    Hi Folks, I hope you’re having a great day.  Myself, well I’m doing fine.  It’s Sunday night and I’m finishing up a busy weekend (got to go to work in about an hour, another 10 hrs. of overtime coming, already did 6hrs. OT on Friday night).  Looking back on the past week it’s been a bit hectic and looking forward it doesn’t look any better.  Life is trying to consume me again but I’ve got a few tricks to fight it off.  Maybe they could help you if you feel life is coming at you a bit fast at times.

    My first little trick is pure goof (and my wife hates them).  I have a certain pair of shoes I wear when I’m working on a project around the house or in the woodshop.  If things aren’t working out or I start to get frustrated I look down at them and think to myself, “You’re a fifty year-old man, look at your shoes.  Don’t take yourself so serious… No one else is.” That gives me the fifteen second break to clear my thoughts and get back to what I was doing.

Next is what I call my five minute vacation (I use this at work).  I was given a little book that I keep in my lunch bag, it has condensed stories from the bible and traditions of the catholic faith, each story is only one page long.  When I get the feeling I don’t want to be here right now I flip the book open to just about any page and go away for a few moments.  Things don’t seem so bad when I get back.  

Finally, I know every week I’ll have an hour and a half of absolute peace with myself and the world, this is when I attend mass on Sunday morning (or sometimes Saturday night).  This is my time to enter sanctuary, to take refuge from the troubles of the world. 

You may or may not be religious but it’s something I do and something I look forward to.  I think it’s an attitude thing with me, I started attending mass just over two years ago (guess that’s when the light flicked on for me).  Before, I thought of going to church as something I was being pressured to do and me being the kind of person I was, when I encountered pressure I pressed back.  Now I look at it as my time, something for me, a gift of serenity.

    These are just the little things I use to make it through the days. The little things to keep life in the proper perspective.  For you it could be a painting on the wall that gives you that little break or a small book of quotes that takes you away for just a few moments.  You may find taking a fifteen minute walk around the block or in a park a time or two each week refreshes you and gives you the moments of peace you need in your life.  Either way I hope you find something that helps you shift into neutral (even if just for a moment).


Mr. Seau I’m sorry you didn’t find the peace in your life that you were seeking.

In memory of Tiaina Baul “Junior” Seau, Jr. 
January 19, 1969 – May 2, 2012

There will be an additional
posting Wednesday.