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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy New Year.........2013

Thanks for making 2012 a great blogging year.
See you after January 1.


Sunday, December 23, 2012


Another year, another Christmas.  They seem to come quicker as we get older!

Thanks to everyone for making this blog a success.  Although I have been writing it since 2005, the five year period between December 2006 and December 2011 was the AZ Central era where I met most of you loyal readers.

Unfortunately, AZ Central decided to be edited by Facebook at the end of 2011 and that essentially ended the blogs as we knew them.

As most of you know, I have continued doing blogs the same way I did them before AZ Central got involved.   To my delight, the blog has grown in popularity more than I believed it could.

By writing about several subjects over the years, I have received hits from around the world.  There aren't many key words that go into Google that won't send people my way.  If I had to name the blog that gets the most hits, it would have to be the one I did in November, 2008 about kids growing up too fast.  Number two would probably be the one about Alfred Hitchcock and the making of Psycho in 1959.

I now average well over 100 comments per blog. I thank everyone for their participation and wish Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all as we head into 2013.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


A good enough response by Obama to the Newtown killings but he blew it with the fake tears.  C’mon, BO, you can do better than that.  You should have had stooge Carney wave an onion in front of you to get some real tears.  Your face was as dry as the AZ desert in July. 

Maybe since BO accepted border guard Brian Terry’s death without tears a couple years ago and thousands of abortions do not bother him, his PR guys felt he better try to look a bit more emotional this time even if it meant imaginary tears.

The founder of Domino's Pizza is suing the federal government over mandatory contraception coverage in the new health care law:

FROM THE AP:  Tom Monaghan, a devout Roman Catholic, says contraception is not health care and instead is a "gravely immoral" practice. He's a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court, along with his Domino's Farms, which runs an office park near Ann Arbor.

Monaghan offers health insurance that excludes contraception and abortion for employees. The new law requires employers to offer insurance that includes contraception coverage or risk fines. The government says the contraception mandate benefits women and their role in society. There are similar lawsuits pending across the country.

This is really stupid.  Is the cost of contraception so expensive that it has to be covered by insurance?  How much can birth control pills and rubbers cost?  Also, “the contraception mandate benefits women and their role in society.”  What kind of phony liberal nonsense thought that up?  Women will be better citizens if insurance money pays for their sexual adventures?  Please tell me this foolishness is not happening in what used to be the greatest country on earth.  Good luck to Mr. Monaghan.

This has to be the quote of the week:  Tiny Mission College in California (where else?) has added a 50 year old, 6 foot 6 inch, 220 pound transsexual to its woman's basketball team comprised of girls 18, 19, and 20.  

Gabrielle Ludwig wants to be the first person to play college basketball as a man and a woman.
Needless to say, there has been a lot of controversy over this as one would expect except maybe Gabrielle who commented:  “I don’t want to be a distraction to the team.”  What?  Do you mean that this is not an every day event in basketball?  Well, maybe in California.

The Washington Redskins of the NFL have a great black quarterback in Robert Griffin III.  I watched him against the NY Giants a couple weeks ago and the guy can run like Emmett Smith and throw like Aaron Rodgers.  He also is not interested in being referred to by the color of his skin.  He wants to be defined by his work ethic.

That sounds like a real stand up guy to me.  Unfortunately some second string  columnist named Rob Parker does not agree with Griffin’s ideology.  Parker, who is black, wants to know if Griffin is a “brother” or just a “cornball brother”, whatever that means.

Parker teeters back and forth evaluating how “black” Griffin is and whether he is “not really down with the cause” or “not one of us”.   He says “We all know he has a white fiancĂ© and there was this talk that he is a Republican.”

Oh, my God!  Griffin might be a Republican and have a white fiancĂ©?  Mr. Parker  is clueless and is an embarrassment.      
                                Finally, a well dressed shopper in an Alaska Walmart!
                                (photo courtesy Ed Brown)

Saturday, December 08, 2012


We live in a soft society where kids are taught that everyone is a winner.  Kid’s soccer teams don’t keep score because it might be “hurtful” to be on the losing team.  Everybody gets a trophy just for participating and everyone goes home feeling special.
Unfortunately, that type of thinking is not reality.  There are always going to be winners and losers.  Someone will always be better than the others regardless of how kids are coddled into thinking otherwise.  My advice is to deal with it.
A good example of receiving undeserved rewards is the college football bowl lineup for this year.  It used to be that a team had to have a good record of wins over losses to earn a coveted spot in a bowl.  Today? Not so much.
In the case of college sports it is more a case of greed than worrying about feelings.  The players are old enough to realize that all the coddling nonsense they got as kids about everyone being equal is silly.  Now, it’s a case of putting on a bloated show for someone to make a buck.
I remember when if a team lost more than two games they could forget about being bowl bound. But, in those days there were  not 34 bowls like there are now. 
The A-list bowls were the Orange, Cotton, Sugar, and Rose.  There were a few secondary bowls:  The Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, and the Sun bowl in El Paso.   Even those bowls usually required schools to have no more than three losses.
This year’s bowl lineup shows that teams can be actually awarded for ineptitude.  There is some justice though that some of these schools are being sent to bowls with names like The Belk Bowl, whatever that is.
Zurlon Tipton scores for Central Michigan as 
fans disguised as seats look on.
The Belk Bowl will match my old alma mater, Cincinnati (9-3) vs. the mighty Duke Blue Devils who boast a 6-6 record that includes losses by scores of 50-13, 41-20, 48-7, 56-20, 42-24, and 52-45.  It seems like the toilet bowl would be more suitable for Duke.
There are ten other teams with 6-6 records that will be going to bowls with names like the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl in Detroit, the Russell Athletic Bowl, the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, and the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

I wonder if I can still get tickets to that Little Caesar’s Bowl.  I have always wanted to see Central Michigan (6-6) play Western Kentucky (7-5) on the day after Christmas in a garden spot like Detroit in winter.   Let’s see; where did I put my .38?
ASU and U of A are both 7-5 and going to insignificant bowls.  With their records they certainly have as much right to a bowl as the 6-6 guys but when I watched Oregon beat ASU 43-21 in a game that could have been 100-0, I wonder how good these guys are.  It was men against boys that night.
The same goes for U of A:  They lost to Oregon 49-0 and UCLA 66-10.  Are those the kind of games that earn a bowl trip?  It will be interesting to see how many trudge to Albuquerque on December 19 to watch them play the mighty Nevada Wolf Pack.
What is my favorite bowl game?  It has to be the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama where Pittsburgh (6-6) plays Mississippi (6-6).   The only appropriate score of that one should be 0-0.

Sunday, December 02, 2012


So, now the left and the right are slugging it out over the “fiscal cliff”.

President Obama and a good chunk of Democrats want to raise taxes on the nation’s highest earners even though the increase wouldn't amount to a hill of beans. Though the president says he also wants to have a conversation about reforming entitlements, he hasn’t put any type of proposal on paper. Nor is the president or his party interested in serious spending cuts, aside from cuts to the Department of Defense, something Republicans argue would hurt our national security muscle in a time when we need it the most.  Charles Krauthammer says it all with “Robert E. Lee was offered easier terms at Appomattox, and he lost the Civil War.” 

At the same time, Republicans have put forth plans to tackle the biggest driver of our debt—entitlements—and even had a presidential ticket that ran on those reforms. The House of Representatives has passed some version of these plans and Speaker John Boehner has adopted a Mitt Romney idea to eliminate certain deductions in order to raise revenue to pay down our debt. Raising taxes, however—on anyone—is not an option, they say. Unless one side caves, we’re slated to dive off the so-called "cliff" in December.

So why don’t Republicans just get out of the way and let it happen? It sounds crazy, but there is a case to be made.

Let Democrats bring a bill to increase spending on what Obama calls a second stimulus, raise taxes on high earners (including many small businesses) without doing a thing to fix Medicare and Social Security for current and future generations. Republicans can take a page of Obama’s playbook and vote present as he did when he was a senator. When the nation falls off the fiscal cliff, he can own it.

The tax increases that happen will be the Obama tax increases. When spending spikes, it can be the Obama tax and spend plan. And if we slide into recession with 9% unemployment and millions more out of work, as the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts will happen, it will be the Obama recession. In other words, it's time for the right to call Obama's bluff.  Is he so hard headed as to risk his legacy because of his bloated ego?

Many who voted for Obama, especially low income people, would be hit the hardest.  A single unemployed person making $10,000 per year would see a tax hike of 55.2%.  An average married couple making $20,000 to $30,000 per year would see their taxes go from a $15 refund to paying $1,408.

If a majority of the country elected Obama to four more years in the White House, then let them have it their way without GOP support.  Perhaps our nation needs to dive off the cliff in order to realize how dire our debt problem really is.  Then maybe they'll support real change.

Plus, Republicans will get blamed anyway and probably get swept in 2014. The president’s current public relations tour across country on the fiscal cliff is designed for that exact purpose. It’s much easier than leading.

So, when January 2 arrives bringing whatever changes it may bring, Obama has plans to be in Hawaii vacationing for three weeks at a cost to taxpayers of $4 million.  This will be interesting.

Portions of the above courtesy of Andrea Tantaros

Friday, November 23, 2012


If you like music of any kind and have Cox cable, you need to sign up for the “Music Choice” channels.  There are 37 of them and they cover every genre you can think of whether it be reggae, solid gold hits, country, swing, hard rock, or anything else you prefer.

Lately, I have been listening to the solid gold stuff because I enjoy many of what we used to call in the days of the hit parade, “one hit wonders.”  That was a competitive time in the music business.  From the mid 50s on there were so many great songs that I figured the artists doing them would launch successful careers.  Alas, with the competition and the quality of stuff recorded, most of those tunes and the artists were one and done after their first and only success.

For example, In 1969 Norman Greenbaum had a gigantic hit with “Spirit in the Sky.”  It reached #3 on Billboard and stayed in the top 100 for 15 weeks.  Since its debut I have heard it as background in some commercials and in a couple films.  It was one of those songs that we used to say “Turn the volume up all the way and break off the knob.”

In spite of its popularity, I have never heard anything else noteworthy from Greenbaum.

Billy Ray Cyrus. "Achy Breaky Heart"
was huge for him in 1992
 If you like country, how about Billy Ray Cyrus and his one and only hit from 1992, “Achy Breaky Heart.”

I was doing DJ gigs at that time and because of the “Achy Breaky” dance craze and the catchy tune, it was my most requested song. (Click the link above)  Cyrus was a good looking guy and it was a decent recording.  It made it to #4 on Billboard and hung around for about five months.

That was pretty much it for Billy Ray who went on to some minor acting gigs.  His daughter Miley gained some teen fame when she was playing “Hannah Montana” on Disney.

In August of 1967, Bobbie Gentry had a huge hit with “Ode to Billie Joe”.  It held number one on Billboard for four weeks and stayed in the top 100 for 12 weeks.

She sang about Billie Joe and his jumping off the Tallahatchie bridge.  That plus a mourning tune as background kept that song alive for a while.

Bobbie was from Mississippi and had a couple minor hits with Glen Campbell later but “Ode to Billie Joe” was about it for her.  Today, she is 68 and probably still in Mississippi but she once knew fame.

Those are just three examples of one hit wonders but there are many more like Jeannie C. Riley’s “Harper Valley PTA”, Carl Douglas and “Kung Fu Fighting”, Devo with “Whip It”, and the great dance song “Macarena” by Los Del Rio.  The Macarena fell into the same hole as the Limbo, the Twist, and the Electric Slide.  Popular dance songs always have a limited life.

With YouTube, all these songs can be heard anytime you wish and they get thousands of hits from fans.  In fact, I think I’ll open a Stella Artois and check out Mungo Jerry with “In the Summertime”, a huge hit from July, 1970.  Then, there is Wild Cherry with “Play that Funky Music”, a number one biggie from 1976.

One hit wonders are great to remember and the list of them is endless.  Happy listening!

Friday, November 16, 2012


I keep hearing about how there are no jobs to be had because of the bad economy.  I’m not so sure there are NO JOBS to be had but here are plenty of jobs that people don’t want to take either because of their pride or that the job doesn’t pay enough.

I look at it from the point of view that if my family is starving I will do just about anything to make a buck.  When I hear someone say “I can’t do such lowly work because I have a college degree” I just laugh.  My wife Barb has a god line for those people:  “Ya gotta do what ya gotta do!”

When I graduated from college in 1969, I was concerned about making the most money I could.  I had been married for two years and the economy was decent so I didn’t care about the prestige of the position; I wanted the dough.  That’s how I got into the grocery business as a salesman.  I always had a gift of gab and going to school and being in the military gave me the nerve to ask for orders from sometimes grumpy buyers.

When I hear about the number of food stamp recipients going from 32 million to 46 million during Obama’s first four years, I shake my head in disgust that so many people who could probably have been doing SOMETHING productive have decided to jump on the government teat instead of doing something beneath what they consider their dignity.   Or, they could be just plain lazy!

It seems un-American to be that way.  But, is this the America many of us grew up in?  Absolutely not!  Many of us remember when a person in need was embarrassed to take any kind of welfare and if they did it was some place like a church.  Now, the government welfare lines proudly extend around the block.

Even as kids, my friends and I in Ohio always seemed to find some way to make our own money.  I had a job in the 4th grade that paid me $1 to go around the neighborhood and put advertising circulars on porches (remember porches?) for a record store.

Later, at 16 I had a job in a neighborhood deli making deliveries, putting away returnable bottles (remember returnable bottles?) and clerking.  In the Air Force I had a job doing janitorial work for a few hours in the evening.  In the summer of 1957 I had a full time delivery job at 16 and on holidays delivered flowers for a local florist.  During two summers of college I worked on home construction for 60 hours a week.  Did I mention caddying at the Cincinnati Country Club where I would carry two golf bags for 36 holes and $20?  That was decent money in 1958.

Carrying doubles for 36 holes will keep you in shape
Okay, enough about my exploits in the teenage working world.  But, those jobs did teach me the value of a dollar and prepared me for a full time career in sales after college.  With what I see today, I wonder if a lot of applicants are prepared for success and a career.

I guess a lot of it has to do with initiative.  Welfare is so common today; it is an easy crutch for many.  A person can go that route if they wish but I believe in Barb’s assessment:  “Ya gotta do what ya gotta do!”

Thursday, November 08, 2012


I'm taking a week off and re-printing a blog I wrote on December 14, 2005.  Those of you familiar with Scottsdale will surely remember the speed cameras on the 101, the Westworld tents with the American flags that were so controversial, and Scottsdale's flirting with light rail. That stuff is history now but was news in 2005.  

I have lived in Scottsdale since 1987 and I have never regretted the decision to leave the icy winter climes of Kansas City and Cincinnati for this oasis in the desert. It's not that those are bad places. I grew up in Cincy and lived in Kansas City for many years after being stationed there in the Air Force so I had to leave many good friends behind but I felt the time had come to make my move.

Sunset in Scottsdale 
I think it started when I was a kid in Cincinnati and would watch the football games from the west coast on television and see everybody in the stands in their bright colored clothes, laughing and having fun in the sunshine. As I watched the games it would be dark in Ohio, usually with icy rain beating against the windows, and the prospect of another thirty days without sunshine. Unlike the typical conservative Cincinnatian who would never leave their home town, all I could think about was the day I could live out west and fulfill my lifetime dream: to wear shorts and see lawn sprinklers operating on New Year's Day.

In December of 1979, I decided to run in the Fiesta Bowl Marathon in Scottsdale. A friend of mine who had run many marathons with me and I decided to drive from Kansas City to do the race. Well, that was that as I was hooked on the area as soon as I saw the flowers blooming in December. Eight long years later in 1987 I made the move and am glad I did.

As great as modern Scottsdale is, there are still some things that people here worry about which cause me to roll my eyes and shake my head: (1) Concerns about the speed cameras on the 101 freeway, (2) the "dreaded American flag" of Westworld's tent, and (3) light rail.

Why would anyone complain about speed cameras being anywhere? The speed limit is posted and that is the maximum you drive, period! If you do complain you are obviously in favor of breaking the speed limit and simply do not want to get caught. Isn't 75 MPH enough? I can't believe you are in that much of a hurry.

The Westworld American flag tent.  I loved it; a lot of 
spoiled people didn't
I don't want to hear this silliness about speed traps, big brother, and a loss of rights either. Ask the families of the people whose loved ones have been killed on that road about rights. Besides, Scottsdale has their ubiquitous little radar vans on the streets every day to catch speeders, I don't hear complaints about them. Admit it, you just want to fly down that freeway.

I like the Westworld flag. Note to complainers: You probably got on the bandwagon after the gulf war and 9-11 adorning your cars with flag stickers and banners. At that time you didn't seem to worry about the aesthetics of patriotism.

Of course, those flags are gone now as that is yesterday's news. Well, in case you haven't noticed, we are still involved in war and the protection of our country from people who would like to kill you and your family. I suggest you put those flags back on your cars and salute the Westworld tent every time you have the pleasure of seeing it. Don't tell me that it is unsightly and destroys the looks of your neighborhood. It is your country's flag plus it is not even close to you; it is surrounded by Westworld's barns, fairgrounds, ugly three story apartments, an ice rink, and an office park.

Scottsdale made the right decision by not approving
light rail
Light rail is nothing but a modern streetcar. Phoenix used to have those but disbanded them about 50 years ago for gasoline buses. They do need some type of public transportation and if they want to waste their money on light rail that's up to them.

As far as Scottsdale, I'm proud of the city council for shelving the idea of light rail. Of course, the idealists disagree. They think that the citizens of Scottsdale will actually ride light rail. Yeah, just like they ride the buses in Scottsdale: one at a time and that's the driver by himself. Do they really think that people who live in Troon or Desert Highlands are going to inconvenience themselves to save a couple bucks on gas and help the environment? The people who believe that are sadly lacking in knowledge of human nature.

Remember, this is the place where people sit parked in their idling $50,000, 8 miles to the gallon air conditioned SUV's, burning $3 per gallon gas and talking on their cell phones. They are not going to ride a streetcar and at a $54 million installation cost per mile plus subsidies this would be a folly of utmost proportions.

Yes, Scottsdale is wonderful but some of us are spoiled with our great lifestyle. Maybe we need to stop a moment and smell our Starbuck's coffee.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


George Will wrote an interesting column about a month ago concerning the topic of race when it comes to liking or disliking Obama.

With Obama we have a guy who has flopped at about everything he has attempted and seems hell bent on continuing that mentality if re-elected.

His biggie at the moment is the screw up in Libya.  Also, as of August, real disposable income has again declined.  Recent figures show a 13.2% drop in durable goods orders and that “nearly 25%, the highest in three decades, of Americans between 25 and 55 are unemployed.”  Here’s more from Will:  “The second quarter growth rate was adjusted down from an anemic 1.7% to the stall speed of1.3%.”

How about his investments regarding the ever popular “green” mentality?  Tesla received $465 million from the Department of Energy for an electric car. Then, there is Solyndra’s $535 million lost while Fisker, another “would be maker of high-end rides for rich people” received $529 million.  All have floundered.

To put it mildly, “Obama’s administration is in a shambles” according to Will yet somehow he still maintains a high degree of popularity.  It seems inconceivable that anyone of normal intelligence would ever vote for the re-election of this guy.

George has a theory about why Obama remains popular in spite of his failures and that theory involves a parallel to baseball and race.

On October 3, 1974, Frank Robinson was hired by baseball’s Cleveland Indians as the first major league black manager.  Frank was one of the all time best as a player but he was unable to improve the Indians so he was fired on June 19, 1977; not even three years into the job. 

Frank Robinson was baseball's first black manager
after his playing days.  Like most managers, he was fired.

Although the firing of managers is common in baseball, firing Robby was the first instance of a black manager getting the axe thus allowing another racial barrier to fall.  However, after the Cleveland firing, Robby went on to greater success in managing four other teams. “Henceforth,” says Will, “African Americans could now enjoy the God given right to be scapegoats for impatient team owners” without relying on the old saying “He was fired because he was black.”  The trauma of a black man being fired was eradicated by future success elsewhere.

In Obama’s case, many thinking adults realize that he has failed but hate to give up on the first African American president in spite of his failures.  It’s a scary position for the country that there are those who would vote more with their heart than their head and re-elect this guy.   Those people are called liberals.

I would have no problem with a black president and once Obama is gone, there will be more room for a black guy who is actually qualified to lead.   I see more success coming from that direction for someone like Allen West.

Great comments department:  A guy from Scottsdale recently sent this to the Republic opinion page:
“Someone said voting for Obama this time would be like the Titanic backing up and then hitting the iceberg again.  But, if he should somehow prevail in November, just think of the awful mess he will inherit.”

From Jimmy Kimmel:  “I think that Apple keeps releasing new products just to see if there is anything they make that we WON’T buy.” 

Monday, October 22, 2012


Editorial Endorsement for President


The last U.S. president to attempt transformative social change on the scale attempted by President Barack Obama was Lyndon B. Johnson, who in 1964 launched his Great Society.

Times were different then. At the end of Johnson’s term, the national debt stood at just $353 billion, representing an annual growth rate during the five-plus years of Johnson’s presidency of just over 3 per­cent.
The nation’s debts then were under control.

Fair or not, the debt mon­ster since then has grown un­imaginably, forcing its harsh reality into every new dis­cussion about federal spend­ing.

Not counting long-term unfunded liabilities tied to Social Security and to many of those Johnson-era programs, the nation is more than $16 tril­lion in real-time debt, one of the greatest financial-debt burdens in modern history.

Our belief that Republican Mitt Romney should be elected the 45th president of the Unit­ed States is anchored in that
 tough reality. We believe the nation’s best opportunity to escape the com­pounding woes of spiraling debt and economic stagnation lies with a president who be­lieves in the free market’s capacity to heal its own wounds.

That leader is Romney. The nation’s economy now is in desperate need of the kind of jobs-creating animal spirits that President Romney would encourage.

The economy indisputably will benefit, perhaps signifi­cantly, from a flatter, fairer system of taxation along the lines proposed by Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan.

It will benefit, too, from a regulatory environment that does not smother small busi­nesses with punitive, anti­competitive, hoop-jumping requirements that favor their bigger competitors. We expect a Romney administration to foster that kind of growth ­oriented, business-friendly environment.

But, more to the point, we expect better job growth in a Romney economy mostly be­cause
 Mitt Romney does not fear or dislike a free-wheeling, growing, free-market econo­my.

We cannot say the same of President Obama.

In our judgment, the econo­my will not fully revive under Obama. Certainly not to the degree it would thrive if Wash­ington, D.C., would only get past its current “Dodd-Frank” frame of mind, its free-mar­ket- fearing sense that the terrible times will come crash­ing back if Washington lets those scalawags of the private sector loose again.

The president’s proposals for a second administration project scant hope that the
 economy will do much more than stumble forward at the current, anemic, sub-2 percent rate of growth. The 23 million Americans either unemployed, scraping by in part-time, low­paid jobs or not looking for work anymore need to see a commitment to revival. And, simply put, Obama isn’t of­fering them much. Not in his vision of the future as illus­trated in debates thus far. And certainly not in the record of his first term as president.

The reason Obama’s infa­mous “You didn’t build that” comment on July 13 in Roa­noke, Va., resonated among his political opponents wasn’t because it revealed some great secret.

It resonated because it vali­dated a suspicion that the president has done little to dismiss. He has consolidated federal power and reach in health care, banking, the auto industry and energy produc­tion. He has fostered the view that all good economic things flow from Washington.

Obama’s very first proposal to revive the economy — initi­ated in February 2009 when
 the economy was shedding more than 600,000 jobs a month — in fact was highlight­ed in large part by his plans for government-centric health-care reform. That, re­member, was when we learned how crises were too valuable to waste.

Mitt Romney, certainly, would not a perfect president make. But he is far, far re­moved from the grotesque caricature of the heartless plutocrat created by the Oba­ma campaign and its allies.

Democrats from Bill Clin­ton to Cory Booker defended Romney’s work at the much­maligned Bain Capital for a reason: because it has been financial engines like Bain that have helped power the American economy.

America needs a return to that kind of economic power, that kind of jobs-creating ener­gy.

The nation’s best chance for reviving those spirits lies with Mitt Romney.
The Arizona Republic recom­mends Mitt Romney for presi­dent of the United States.

It looks like Benson, Valdez, and Montini aren't the only ones working for the Republic!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012


The Romney-Obama debate of 10-16 was a bit of a snoozer for me.

I disliked the Town Hall set up and Candy Crowley.  She wasn’t extremely partial but like most CNN people, she had a special place in her heart for Obama.  That is probably why she gave him an extra three minutes for the night.

First we get a liberal in Jim Lehrer for the first debate but at 78 he was no match for handling Romney and Obama so it went well.

This time we got Candy who, instead of asking the questions and getting the hell out of the way, felt she had to interject her own opinions into the fray.   Like, who cares what she thinks?

Candy, Barack, and Mitt. Who is squeezing 
the hardest?
Both guys got in some decent licks.  For Romney it was pretty easy pickings as he only had to pick a few items from a large laundry list of Obama failings from his 2008 promises.

For Obama, he managed a dig at Romney’s Detroit comment about letting Detroit autos go bankrupt and got after him about outsourcing.

Obama also couldn’t resist getting in the obligatory 47% crack during his summation but Romney beat him to the punch as he mentioned it during his summation a couple minutes before when he said it was sad that 47% of Americans are on food stamps.  I thought that was a good move and a miss on Obama’s part.  Actually, Obama should have mentioned it in Denver but he didn’t mention much of anything else that night either.

One funny point that kind of diminished Obama:  On a couple of occasions, he followed Romney’s moves.  At one time, Romney got up from his chair and Obama followed.  Another time, they were standing next to each other when Romney took about four steps forward.  Like a good puppy, Obama followed again. 

Both instances may be more subliminal than anything but it came across as kind of odd to me.

There was a lot of bantering but not much new since the Denver debacle.  If I had to give the debate a score, I would say it was about 50-50.  Romney was about as good as the first debate in Denver but Obama improved enough that at least he didn’t look half asleep this time around.

I doubt if the prez will gain any ground from this round.  Romney matched up good with him at a time when Obama needed a knockout.

Next comes the third and final debate; this time from Boca Raton, Florida.  It will be Bob Schieffer of CBS moderating and the format will be the same as Denver.  Foreign policy will be dominate so expect some fireworks since the mere mention of Libya got some blood flowing tonight.

No word yet on whether Hillary will be there since she has taken the fall for Libya hence being dispatched to Peru.  How would you like to be a mouse in Bill’s house and hear his reaction to that move?

Thursday, October 11, 2012


When Mitt Romney walloped Obama last week in their Denver debate, he was cordial and polite as he dissected the president and easily won the night.

Although Obama fans were not happy with the thrashing their man took, I didn’t hear anything about Romney being rude or impolite during the process.

There is no substitute for class and Ryan proved it. 
Unfortunately for Joe Biden, I think he set a record tonight for being one of the rudest, most ill mannered, boorish debaters I have ever seen in the political arena and I have been watching this stuff since 1960 when Nixon and Kennedy started TV debates.

The disrespect, interruptions, mugging to the camera, and laughing while Representative Ryan presented his side of the debate, was unconscionable.  It’s one thing to disagree with your opponent; it’s something else to exhibit your bad manners.

Fortunately, Paul Ryan held his ground and let Biden bloviate which was a good strategy.  It showed that he wasn’t going to let the guy get under his skin.  Instead the condescending Biden just dug himself further into a hole as the debate went on.

Whether Biden was trying to kick it up a notch after Obama’s lackluster performance and show what he might interpret as a “personality,” I don’t know.  He could have used some time with a good coach who I’m sure would have told him to “cool it.”

Notes:  The time each candidate got was about the same; approximately 41 minutes…..Funny moment:  After Biden complained that Ryan got 40 seconds more than he did on one item Martha Raddatz said , “No, he didn’t.”

 Some comments from left leaners:  MSNBC’s S.E. Cupp:  “Biden needs to laugh a little less through the Libya, Middle East, and nuclear Iran segment.”

Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza: “Ok. I have decided. I find the Biden smile slightly unsettling.”

PBS’ Jeff Greenfield: “Biden has always had a smile that at times is really, really inappropriate.”

Jennifer Rubin, “The Washington Post”:  “Biden’s laughing is losing the debate- obnoxious”

On the other side:  Chris Wallace:  “I’ve never seen a candidate as disrespectful as Biden.”

A CNN Poll gave the win to Ryan 48%-44% so it was pretty even by their reckoning.  Charles Krauthamer said if it was only on radio, Biden would probably be the winner.  If it was written on paper, it would be a tie, and if you watched it on TV, the winner was Ryan.

As far as personalities, I was pretty sure Joe would act the way he did.  That is his nature to be outgoing, loud, and garrulous.  He probably overdid his shtick tonight trying to save something for the two weeks after the poor showing of his boss.

Ryan was the soft spoken intellectual I expected and was a nice relief from Biden.  He had his facts down and disregarded the nonsense from his right as much as possible.

As far as how much this debate affected the election, I would say it was negligible.  However, the Democrats could have used a shot in the arm tonight which they didn’t receive. 

Next week its Romney-Obama again.   If Obama makes another showing like his last, he could be in big trouble.  


Saturday, October 06, 2012


I rarely go to movie theaters anymore.  Not only do most films look too ignorant in the previews (How many times do we have to see a car explode) but I am so tired of the Hollywood phonies in films that I will not pay $7 to watch them.  Are you listening to me George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin and the rest of you losers?  Not you Clint, You’re still a good guy and I will be seeing “Trouble With the Curve” soon.

Luckily, there are some good British films around.  Not only are the British stars superior in talent but they give us the opportunity to see stories enacted that don’t require sex or violence.

Has anyone seen “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, “The King’s Speech”, or “My Week with Marilyn”?  They have all come out within the last few years and are great viewing with great casts.  You’ll spit in George Clooney’s eye after seeing those films and others from the UK.

Speaking of theaters, I recently ran across a list of things that an employee of a movie theater will not tell you but will tell me.

For example, have you ever wondered why popcorn smells so good when you are in a theater?  According to our snitch it’s because it is loaded with chemicals to make its aroma fill the theater.

Take it from a pro, you don't want 
these at your local Bijou!
Did you know that for the first month or two of screening, money from ticket sales goes to movie studios? Theaters rely on concession stands to make money. That’s why concessions are overpriced. Popcorn costs almost nothing to make.  

Theaters hate me.  I never buy anything there, popcorn or otherwise.  I laugh when I see people with barrels of popcorn and quarts of soda.  Are they there for the movie or to eat junk food?

Our snitch knows all the methods you may use to sneak in. He (she?) just doesn’t always care enough to kick you out for it, though.  Have you ever sneaked into an indoor show?  I haven’t but I snuck into many drive-ins.

Our snitch says that “The only foods I trust are the popcorn, drinks, and boxed candy. I wouldn’t eat the pretzels, hot dogs, or nachos.”  Me either!

“Chances are, if you complain to the manager and he sides with you, he’s just putting on a show to calm you down. The manager might pretend to yell at employees for a minute, but he’ll pat them on the back the moment you’re out of sight.”  Who would have thought?

“No, I can’t give you extra cups. Everything is inventoried at the end of the night” says our guy.  I’ve heard that happens at other places too.

If you think the ushers don’t always sweep out the theater, your suspicions are correct. Sometimes they sweep excess food under the seats. Movies often end every few minutes. Sometimes, three or more screenings end at the same time so they don’t always have time to clean everything up.

Do you ever wonder why movies start late?  Here’s why:   “Yes, movies start late. But they almost always end on time – otherwise, the ushers wouldn’t know when to clean up. Theaters tell you to come in early so you have time to watch commercials and previews.

Last but not least we are told that Popcorn keeps for a day or two. Many customers confuse warm with fresh.  Yum!

See you at the movies.  I will have my own provisions!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Be very scared of Michelle Obama if you are a parent of kids in school.  Never mind that while her kids eat pizza and cream of mushroom soup for lunch at their private school and her husband smokes and eats junk food, your kids are supposed to survive on celery and carrot sticks among other kid loving treats like brown rice and low fat milk.  It’s bad enough the kids are starving on this stuff but the cost is 20 to 25 cents higher than what lunch used to cost.

Maybe the scariest thing about this woman other than her Walmart wardrobe and the giant sums of tax payer money she uses for her trips with friends around the world are the following statements by her in relation to her school lunch diet: “The federal government has a responsibility for what children eat at school.” After that she says:  “We can’t just leave it up to the parents.” Big Brother couldn’t have said it better.  Does anyone sniff a socialist?

The Act that allows this new control also gives the federal government the authority to regulate the food sold at local schools in vending machines plus it regulates what children eat before school, at lunch, after school, and during summer vacations in federally funded school-based feeding programs.

Mark Levin..."She's the new
Eva Peron."
School cafeterias are now required to serve twice as many fruits and vegetables while limiting proteins and carbohydrates. For an average high school student, that means two baked fish nuggets, a cup of vegetables, half a cup of mashed potatoes, one whole grain roll and 8 ounces of fat free milk is the fuel that is served to get them through their last four hours of classes.  That is about 800 calories; pretty unreasonable for growing kids.  When I was in high school in the 50s, I knew guys who could eat that much for an appetizer!

"We hear them complaining around 1:30 or 2:00 that they are already hungry," said Linda O'Connor, a high school English teacher at Wallace County High School in Sharon Springs, Kansas. "It's all the students, literally all the students... you can set your watch to it."

In New Bedford, Massachusetts, students have created a black market  for chocolate syrup. The kiddie capitalists are smuggling in bottles of it and selling it by the squeeze, according to one source.  It’s a good example of the ingenuity and cunning of kids.  They will not put up with this nonsense; they still know where the Circle K’s and Dairy Queens are. 

Michelle is clueless.  Eating junk food is a rite of youth.  We had plenty of candy bars and soda pop growing up and no edict by her will stop kids doing it now.  When kids get older, they normally move on to a better diet and cool it on the junk stuff.  It has to be their choice and not some killjoy president’s wife looking for undeserved recognition.

Radio host Mark Levin described the Department of Agriculture and Michelle Obama's new school lunch regulations as "tyranny."  “I think Michelle Obama is the new Eva Peron with her lunch standards," Levin said. "Like she knows something about this?  Where does the Constitution empower her or that department to reach all the way down to every school- public school - in this country and set the menu?”

Hey, parents.  I’ll bet you thought that you had the responsibility for what your kids ate for meals; not the mighty out of control federal government in Washington.  But, as Michelle says above, it’s not up to you anymore.  She wants to raise your kids her way and if you don’t like it, maybe she can send some of Big Sis’s government police to your house and force compliance.

References:  CNS News (David James, Elizabeth Harrington),  TownHall:  (Kyle Olson)

Saturday, September 22, 2012


If you want to test yourself on the “Barf-O-Meter” to check your tolerance for tossing your cookies, click here and take a look at what your taxes are going to be beginning on January 1, 2013.  That is 100 short days from tomorrow (September 23).  Click here to watch Dick Morris explain it better in a 4 minute YouTube.

I hope all the Obama voters are proud of themselves for allowing this to happen.  I know, I know…… Obama seemed so nice at the time in 2008 with all his baloney about hope and change. 

Vote Romney on November 6. 
Now, he wants to go “forward” along with the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Eric Holder, and all his Hollywood phony friends in spite of his inability to get anything noteworthy accomplished other than taking credit for killing bin Laden; something that was disputed by the SEALS. However, in spite of his “me, me, me” attitude about getting Osama, he may have had little to do with it.  The SEALS know the truth.

 Sure, you now feel bad about mistakenly voting for the guy in 2008 but in a way, I don’t blame you. McCain was not exactly a thriller and Obama talked a good line; especially when he had his trusty TelePrompTer.  Ok, so it was disappointing to hear him say “You didn’t build that” since you may have worked hard to build a small business and didn’t enjoy hearing that it was more because of government that you succeeded instead of your own hard work.  Unfortunately for him, no TelePrompTer that day!   

Then there is his recent statement to a shocked Univision audience that he “can’t change Washington from the inside.”  “It was an unfortunate thing for an incumbent to say, especially when the nation is so unhappy with the way Washington operates. The federal government has gotten more dysfunctional in the era of Obama, despite his promises to unite and lead” writes columnist Chris Stirewalt.

So you say, “What about his great support from Bill Clinton at the convention?”  Clinton is anything but dumb and he is a good party man so he gave it his all in supporting Obama in Charlotte.  It was quite a change from his statement to Ted Kennedy in 2008 when he was pushing hard for Hillary to get the nomination.  At that time while referring to Obama, he told Kennedy that "A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags."  A little racism?  You be the judge.

There is still time to turn this around and on November 6, you will have your opportunity to do it via a vote for Romney.  Swallow your pride and realize that as Edward Klein wrote in his book, Obama is truly “The Amateur”.

I saw a bumper sticker this morning that read “Obama makes me want to throw up in my mouth.”  In layman’s terms, that pretty much covers it.

Monday, September 17, 2012


I have always loved pop music.  As a kid in the 50s we had the standards from Eddie Fisher, Vic Damone, Joni James, Teresa Brewer, and a lot of other artists you never heard of.

In the mid 50s Elvis came along and achieved a popularity that no one in the genre had ever known.  His emergence lifted to fame a lot of rock stars like Bill Haley and His Comets, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard.

The Rolling Stones, c.1962.  (L-R)  Mick Jagger,
Charlie Watts, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman 
As big as these acts were, most of them slipped in the 1960s, including Elvis.  After he started making those terrible movies, his role as a top rock and roller was diminished.  It didn’t matter because with the arrival of The Beatles in late 1963, everyone took a back seat to them.

I was in my early 20s by then and still a big fan of rock tunes.  The Hit Parade was a big deal for popular music and many watched for the weekly Billboard list of top songs; especially the top ten.

In January of 1964, I was home on leave in Cincinnati and I remember driving through downtown when the DJ on WSAI radio said he had a tune from a new British group called The Beatles.  The song was “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.  Those of you old enough to remember 1964 know how that tune started The Beatles onslaught on American pop music.  It was a time when Elvis had to slide over a seat and make room for the British invasion.

Before that time, if someone made the Billboard Top Ten, they considered to be a true star.  When The Beatles arrived, it didn’t take long for them to take over the entire Top Ten!

The Stones today:  (L-R)  Watts, 
Richards, Jagger, Ron Wood 
Other British stars saw the opportunities in America as groups like The Dave Clark Five, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Herman and His Hermits, and Freddy and the Dreamers moved across the water to take advantage of the new American market.  Individual British artists like Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield, and Sandi Shaw came over also as all their songs became hits via radio play and popular TV shows like “Shindig” and “Hullabaloo”.  Ed Sullivan showcased them also as he did Elvis when he arrived in the mid 1950s.

Most of those groups and individuals are long forgotten by now as their music didn’t hold up for future generations.  As big as The Beatles were, they disbanded in 1970 and since then, John Lennon and George Harrison have died. 

By the late 60s, Americans got the hint had made headway in pop music with artists like Tommy James and the Shondells and others.

Any discussion of pop music would be incomplete without mentioning The Rolling Stones.  2012 marks their 50th year of performing.  Someone might say, “Yeah, but how many of them are from the original group?”  It’s a legitimate question as we have seen many popular groups lose their most important members through either retirement, death, or career changes.  With The Stones, three of the five original members (Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, and Mick Jagger ) are still with the group that started in 1962.  Founder Brian Jones died in 1969 at 27 and Bill Wyman retired at 57 in 1993.

Think about it:  Where were you in 1962?  I was 21 with three years left in the Air Force.  When I first heard the Stones they were more of a rhythm and blues band rather than rock.  I bought their album “12 x 5” in 1964 and loved their cover versions of some blues favorites like “Around and Around” and an all time fave, “Susie Q”.  (1:54)

Guitarist Keith Richards will be 69 in December.  A few years ago he was interviewed and one of the questions was, “How much longer do you want to play?”  His answer? “Until the chicks stop diggin’ me.”

Now, there is a stud!

Monday, September 10, 2012


I rarely ride elevators anymore, especially in an employment situation where I would be working in a job that requires going up and down several floors a couple times a day.

CareerBuilder has done a study which showed that elevator riding can be a source of stress for a lot of people who are regular riders of them.

More than 3,800 workers spoke up during the study and described some unusual incidents and odd stories about things they have observed happening on elevators.   It seems unbelievable but they reported items like someone changing a baby’s diaper, the flossing of teeth, clipping fingernails, dancing throughout the ride and someone showing another passenger a rash and asking for a diagnosis.

Granted, those are unusual examples of weird elevator behavior and have to be scarce at best.  However, we all have been annoyed by some more typical breeches of elevator manners.  Some have been happening since elevators were invented while others are more recent because of changes in technology.

For example, one of the biggest annoyances was the cell phone.  During the study, 35% of those interviewed mentioned cell phones were very inappropriate on an elevator.  I agree 100%, but for me cell phones are inappropriate anywhere in public.  It’s bad enough that people still talk too loud on them but the new ones have about one hundred other ways to be annoying.  Stow them until you are alone.  We don’t care to hear your conversation.

33% said that not holding the door for those running to the elevator was inappropriate. (16% admitted that they purposely close the elevator door when someone is rushing to it!)  For me it depends on the situation.  If someone is a reasonable distance, wait for them, otherwise, hit the close button.  They can catch the next elevator.

Standing too close when there is plenty of room in the elevator:  32% didn’t like that.  I don’t blame them.  That reminds me of the “close talker” on Seinfeld who had to be within a couple inches of someone’s face when speaking.  Besides, do you really want to smell used deodorant?

Squeezing into an already crowded elevator, 32%.  Once again, it’s a common sense decision and a possible deodorant situation.

Shirley MacLaine as elevator 
operator Fran Kubelik with Jack 
Lemmon and other passengers in 
The  Apartment (1960)
27% thought it was inappropriate to not step off the elevator to let other people out.  It depends on how crowded it is.  If it’s packed, sure, step off for a moment.  It’s simply a courtesy. (This would not be a problem many years ago when elevators in busy buildings had human operators and “starters” with their clickers controlling the traffic flow!  Can you imagine Shirley MacLaine in “The Apartment” allowing such confusion in her car!)

Cutting in line to get on the elevator even when other people have been waiting in line.  Surprisingly, only 23% thought that was inappropriate.  Excuse me, but nobody jumps in line ahead of me at an elevator or anywhere else.  Well, maybe if it’s Muhammad Ali in his prime or Marilyn Monroe, circa 1953.  Anyone else better can expect a black eye.

As far as Shirley MacLaine, does anyone remember elevator operators?  You had to be skillful to run the early ones.  When the operator stopped them at a floor, they had to line up the floor of the elevator manually with the floor of the building.  It took a bit of skill unlike modern elevators where they are automatically lined up.

As far as the guy wanting a diagnosis on his rash, I know a good dermatologist who can help him!

Saturday, September 01, 2012


You have to love the Associated Press (known by some as the “Administration’s Press”) and their never ending attempts to create a ray of sunshine from the cloudiness of our national government.

I just read one of their columns from 8-31 titled Gloomy national message misrepresents consumer spending, home prices, jobs.

Long may it wave.....
Gosh, it sounds like things are looking up according to writer Tom Raum.  He says things aren’t as gloomy as the Republican National Convention would want us to believe.  Tom has been around a while so he knows something about trying to turn a lemon into lemonade.

He mentions that spending was up in July and personal income also rose.  No numbers though which makes one feel that they were miniscule or they would have been trumpeted.  The same goes for the slight rise in home sales and prices.

He did mention the addition of 163,000 jobs but failed to mention it was counterbalanced by lost jobs and that the unemployment rate, which is a sham in itself, ticked up to 8.3% from 8.2%.  How about the real rate of 16%, Tom?

Other positives mentioned were an increase in exports, retail spending, and factory production.  No mention of numbers on any of those items.

Alas, no matter how much lipstick you put on a pig; it’s still a pig.  Raum knows that so he has to admit that when the unemployment numbers are released for August on the morning of September 7, no one should expect much encouragement.

Did you notice I said the unemployment numbers will be released on the morning of September 7?  How convenient!   That is the day AFTER Obama accepts his nomination.   I guess they figure there is no sense in throwing rain on his parade with more bad news after what will certainly be called an upbeat convention.  No word yet whether the theme will be “Hope and Change.”  So far, the mood indicates a definite NO!

Raum has been at it with the AP for 39 years so he knows how to make full use of the inverse pyramid style of writing where one top loads a column with what they think are the more important and desirable aspects of the story.   As you can see from the above paragraphs, it looks like things are looking up and that voters should probably give Obama another four years to keep the ball rolling.

Unfortunately, reality has a way of rearing its ugly head as happened to the Wicked Witch of the East when she and her flying monkeys were splashed with water in The Wizard of Oz.

Raum ends his piece stating the reality that the U. S. economy is “the weakest of any since the Great Depression” and that “Economic growth has never been feebler in a post war recovery, consumer spending has never been so slack, and only once before has job growth been slower.”  Debt problems in Europe are still a concern and consumer confidence is at its lowest since November, 2011.

Finally, an AP poll taken a week before the Republican Convention showed that 60% of those surveyed thought the country is headed in the wrong direction while 35% said it was going in the right direction.

Needless to say, the Dems have their work cut out for them in Charlotte.   Maybe Michelle can unveil her new “Supermarket Shopping 101” course to the 99 percenters who are gathering by the thousands for the big shindig.  The fact that the course was not written by Michelle but by someone named Lisa Cericola and includes such tidbits as “steer clear of the cookie, snack and soda aisles” should be of great interest to them as they set up camp. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012


From the Hedda Hopper school of journalism:

Dammit, Biden!  I said move the prompter over a 
TRACE; not in front of my FACE!
Flash!  Obama joins the faculty of the Biden school of gaffes. 

A few months ago, Biden referred to candidate Romney as “President Romney” and now Obama refers to current House member and Senate hopeful Todd Akin as “Senator Akin.” 

Was it a Freudian slip?  Was it Biden who pushed the teleprompter in front of Obama’s face recently?  …..And the beat goes on.

This week (August 21) Barb and I had our 45th anniversary so I thought I would dredge up some numbers from that era to compare to now.

I was looking through some old check entries from 1969 which show quite a contrast to the expenses of today.

I don’t have my check register of 1967 when we got married but I still have the receipt from our first grocery shopping trip in Warrensburg, Missouri.    We were setting up house so we needed everything from food to brooms, mops and other one time purchase items.  Our total bill for three jam packed grocery carts was $54 and change.  Today, we spend that much just dropping into the store to “pick up a few things.”

Probably the biggest shocker would be a check I wrote on July 1, 1969 for $19.50.  That was our monthly cost for health insurance through Blue Cross.  Barb had some minor surgery in the summer of ’69 and I later got a bill from the hospital for $2.30.

In those days my doctor in Warrensburg charged me $3 a visit.  That included a $2 discount I received from his usual fee of $5 since I was a student and a veteran.  When we moved to Kansas City later in ’69, my doctor’s fee was $7.50.

In September of ’69 my gas bill in KC was $2.74 for our one bedroom apartment in Overland Park, Kansas.  My monthly bill for the KC Star newspaper was $7.  On June 20, 1969 I filled my ’61 Chevy with its 20 gallon tank for $4.40.  We were shocked if gas ever drifted over 30 cents a gallon.  My electric bill in December, ’69 was $13.82.  My Kansas driver’s license cost $4.50

Houlihan’s Restaurant was a big deal in those days.  Barb and I would eat there for about $12 which included a bottle of rot gut Riunite wine.  Cover charges to great nightclubs were a buck and the beers were 50 cents.

With an income of $13,500 a year, we lived like royalty.  I even had a company car at my disposal.  Sweet memories!
 On the last blog, we got into some car talk and the subject of “Woodies” came up, in particular Middy’s ’49 Ford wagon.  At left is a photo of a ’49 Ford Woody probably a lot like Middy’s.
                              A '48 Ford Woody 
                              How bout that shine!
The woody style was popular mostly in the1930s and 1940s with the Big Three turning them out.  Many early versions were made by third party carpenters or coach builders.  It didn’t matter whether you had a 4 door, coupe, convertible, or station wagon, you get it in a woody style.

A '42 Ford Woody.  (Photo from 1948)
People loved their woodies and many took great pride into polishing them to a beautiful sheen.  They were classy as they looked like a vehicle from some posh country estate.  Ford and Buick even played up that image calling their woodies the “Country Squire”, and the “Estate Wagon.”

By the late 50s the woody style was disappearing mainly because of new safety regulations that wood vehicles couldn’t pass.

I remember those cars very well having grown up when their popularity was at its zenith.