Saturday, March 30, 2002

I enrolled for the "Blog Review" that was advertised on BLOGGER a few weeks ago, and I finally received my site to scrutinize today. I did scrutinize it and you can, too, RIGHT HERE.

I did not lavish praise upon the writer's head. He has a difficult time locating the "cap" button on his keyboard and he is 'way too obsessed with bowel movements. But check his site and I'll post my scathing review later.
I believe Campaign Finance Reform is a crock, but JACOB SULLUM says it better than I can.

Friday, March 29, 2002

Forgive the post below, even though it was sincere. Scenes of senseless carnage on TV do that to me sometimes.
Go ahead and KILL THE BASTARD. Yasser Arafat is a bloated, ugly, disgusting, evil creature. He should have been dealt with quietly years ago, with a .22 behind his ear; instead, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Now he has 18 year-old girls blowing themselves to smithereens on his behalf. Fuck him and the people who follow him. Kill the bastard. If someone like him rises from the cesspool of Palestinean politics to take charge, kill him, too. Kill them until they stop killing Jews, even if it means killing them all.

Enough is enough.
Here's a REALLY UPTIGHT DAD who probably has a picture of John Ashcroft framed above the fireplace in his living room. I don't understand where these pinheaded people come from.

As an English major, journalism student, wandering minstrel and recent resident at a nudist resort, I have seen a lot of alternative lifestyles. None of them offended me as long as nobody tried to preach about how screwed-up I was for not understanding the ONE TRUE WAY when I saw it. Half the people I went to school with in the English department were gay. That didn't bother me and I didn't bother them about it. When I went to J-School, about 80% of the UGA newspaper staff was gay, and that didn't bother me either, except for the fact that I thought I was a fairly attractive young man and I wondered why nobody hit on me. (After all, people tell me I resemble either Geraldo Rivera or Sonny Bono. See my FRIDAY FIVE post below) I ate Ruben sandwiches and drank pitchers of beer with the J-School group and not once, NOT ONCE, did any of them grab my ass and make an indecent proposal. In retrospect, I feel somewhat rejected.

So, this idiot in California sues to put his daughter in a separate bathroom, away from alleged gays and lesbians who have not molested his child at all. I believe we should put THAT FOOL in a bathroom and nail the door shut.
I stole this FRIDAY FIVE from the WAKE ME UP ON JUDGMENT DAY blog, but I can't get the link to the questions to work. So, I'll do the test the old-fashioned way.

1) "If you could eat dinner with and 'get to know' one famous person (living or dead), who would you choose?"

My literary idol Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) if the "get to know" is purely platonic. My porn goddess Nina Hartley if it's not.

2) "Has the death of a famous person ever had an effect on you? Who was it and how did it make you feel?"

I started to answer John Lennon, but that's not the one that really hit me the hardest. Jim Croce's death put me into a total funk for weeks and I listened to his eight-track tapes (yes, it was THAT long ago) over and over in my car. John Lennon had his success. Croce was just getting started.

3) "If you could be a famous person for 24 hours, who would you choose?"

Easy. Bill Clinton. I really want to know the feeling that the entire universe revolves around MY ass. I wanna see how many BJs I can get in one day, too.

4) "Do people ever tell you that you look like someone famous?"

Yeah. Geraldo Rivera and Sonny Bono. I hate that shit.

5) "Have you ever met anyone famous?"

I not only MET someone famous, she KISSED ME, too. I believe it happened around 1971, when Donna Douglas (remember Ellie May Clampett?) came to Savannah to host a telethon. I was playing in a two-man folk band at the time and our booking agent asked us to go the the WTOC television studio after we finished work that night to do about 15 minutes on the telethon. We said we would, not realizing that every band in Savannah had been told the same thing. We arrived at the studio to discover about fifty musical acts crammed into every nook and cranny of the place. It was 3:00 in the morning, I was tired and full of beer, and we were told our performance would begin at 6:30. I told my partner "to hell with this." I grabbed my guitar case and started for the door. Donna Douglas was there, and she stopped me (she also looked VERY delicious, just like Ellie May). She asked us to stay and do our part for a worthy cause, and I said, "I will if you'll give me a kiss." She did not hesitate. She grabbed the back of my head with both hands and planted a smacker square on my lips. A deal's a deal, and I may have had lipstick stains on my face when we played on TV that morning.

Oh yeah. Soupy Sales once bought me a drink and shook my hand when he heard me play as a solo at the Desoto Hilton in Savannah. I have hobnobbed with many a celeb in my time...
THIS JUDGE WOULD NEVER MAKE IT IN AMERICA! British High Court Justice Richard Field dismissed lawsuits against McDonald's filed by 36 money-grubbing copycats who were scalded by spilling hot tea or coffee on themselves. The decision obviously came from a twisted mind, because Justice Field said, "customers should know that coffee and tea are served hot and can burn them if spilled." WHAT? That HEARTLESS SWINE doesn't realize that NOBODY is reponsible for ANYTHING he or she does anymore. If a business can't produce products that are completely idiot-proof, they deserve to pay through the nose when idiots hurt themselves. That's the way it is in MY great country.

Read OVERLAWYERED every day, just so you keep a clear definition of "absurd" in your mind.

Thursday, March 28, 2002

As an English major in college and a semi-professional musician for a number of years, I often am amazed to realize that I have been a supervisor in a chemical plant for more than twenty years. I have done well where I work, judging from my performance reviews and the money they pay me, but I remain amazed that my life played out the way it did.

In college, I declared a "Wonderful Wednesday" whenever I felt like it. That was a Wednesday when I decided I had better things to do than go to class all day, so I cut them all. I laid in bed some days, played golf on others, or pulled out all the sofa cushions to find enough spare change to buy $1 pitchers of beer in the afternoon at the old railroad station in Athens, Ga. I was a professional student at the time, so academic work could easily take a back seat to real-life experience; I could make good grades standing on my head back then. My roommate was a law student and I was such a corrupting influence that even HE indulged in a few Wonderful Wednesdays. For me, it was part of a bohemian lifestyle; for him, it was a liberating experience.

Once I hit my semi-professional musician stage, I became accustomed to living vampire hours. I woke up at the crack of noon, or maybe later. I staggered off to bed at about four o'clock in the morning, or maybe later. Time was very fungible in those days, as long as I showed up where I was SUPPOSED TO BE on time and did what I was SUPPOSED TO DO, which was work from 9:00 till 1:00, Tuesday through Friday, then work 9:00 till 2:00 on Saturday nights. That made for a very difficult 21-hour work week, where I kept my nose to the grindstone, did exactly what I wanted to do at the time and got paid very adequate wages for my artistic suffering. A great employee benefit package was included, too, because women like musicians. I won't go into details about that part of the job, because I don't remember enough details to elaborate. Let's just say that I recall a grand moasic.

But I put away those childish things a long time ago. Now I go to work at 5:30 every morning and come home whenever the work is done. Ten hours is a typical shift, plus an hour travel time each way to and from home. I wear a beeper and stay on call 24 hours a day. People from work call me at ungodly hours of the night. I work weekends every tenth week as the "duty" supervisor. I suppose I'm a great American success story.

I've been divorced twice. My son from my second marriage is with me tonight, on a visitation. We played basketball on the GOAL FROM HELL (damn, but I'm proud that I finally got that thing assembled instead of shooting it!) and then I threw football passes at him until the sun went down. He is fed, watered and bathed. He's on his Play-Station II now, but his eyelids are drooping. He'll be out like a light shortly.

My daughter from my first marriage will be in town tomorrow. I have not seen her in five years. She is nineteen and lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She wants to see my son and my son wants to see her. But that may not happen because my BC (bloodless cunt) ex-wife usurped my weekend visitation by booking a trip to Vermont for my son's spring break and she will come to reel him in at 7:00 tomorrow night, whether he sees his sister or not. So it goes. She has airplane tickets and at least one other guy to sleep with.

I could raise a big stink and hire a lawyer to sort this out, but the truth is that I don't care anymore. I just wish I could declare a Wonderful Wednesday every now and then.

I miss the good old days.
A PALESTINEAN ROACH, caught in the middle of the kitchen floor when the light came on, scuttled on its belly for the sanctuary of the refrigerator vent before a foot stomped him flat. Yasser Arafat, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Ringo Starr doppleganger, today promised his tenth cease fire, after violating the nine before this one. This time HE MEANS IT! Unfortunately, a crazed Palestinean gunman broke into an Israeli house and killed four people while Arafat was declaring the cease fire.

Perhaps the word didn't circulate quickly enough and Yasser Arafat, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, was unable to rein in the lunatics he programmed for years to kill Jews. That's a pretty rapid about-face, given his present precarious circumstances, and some of those really crazy people out there may take a while to get the message. Yasser, beginning to check himself for signs of leprosy because of the way he is being treated by "friends" in Hamas, who basically said we don't need no stinkin' Arafat and we will continue to strap bombs on our bodies whenever we feel like it, has undergone a transformation from the egotistical, bloodthirsty, pistol-toting piece of arrogant scum he once was. Now, he is a frightened, bloodthirsty, pistol-toting piece of desperate scum.

If he becomes "collateral damage" when the Israelis extract their justifiable payback for the suicide bombers and the gunmen who kill innocent civilians every day, then the world will be a better place. Let Satan have him, scraggly beard, elegant turban and all. I don't give a damn what the "Arab Street" thinks about that, and neither should the Israelis.
I believe Osama bin Laden is dead. I place little creedence in the allegedly authentic e-mail received by an Arab newspaper in London, especially when the editor testifies that he believes Osama wrote it. The man comes from a culture where pathological lying is as natural as breathing.

Nobody has heard a peep from Osama for quite a while. One of two reasons may explain his silence. First, wily Arab that he is, Osama laid low and dodged daisycutters and thermobaric bombs with the steath of a fox. He was here, he was there, he was everywhere and nowhere. The man knows how to take to the rugged Afghan mountains and hide, waiting for his chance to regroup and strike a blow for Allah. He lives up to his legend.

Second, and much more likely, is that somewhere inside a bombed-out cave, a pile of rocks glisten with a substance that resembles phlem, with a few red highlights here and there, and maybe the remnant of a tooth or a bone. There's your dead fox.

If Osama were alive, he would not be content with an e-mail message to announce his ability to frustrate the infidels who tried to kill him. He would insist on another cheesy home-made video with the bearded bastard gloating in person, with adoring sychophants on all sides. THAT would be a sharp stick to the eye of the Great Satan.

Instead, we have an e-mail, received on the eve of the Arab summit, at a time when if Osama were not alive, it would be necessary to invent him. Naw, I don't buy it.

I believe he's dead as Dillinger.

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Okay. I just hit myself to see what the page looked like and I found everything tangled up in blue (as Bob Dylan would say) after I did the link on my last post. I went back and attempted to edit it, but everything seemed to be fine. I hit myself again and it's still blue. That has happened several times to me (scroll the archives) and I still don't know what causes it. If anyone reading this knows what I'm doing wrong, e-mail me at: pigmenteer@yahoo.com and tell me how to correct it. I would have my e-mail address over on the left side of the page for everyone to see all the time if mercenary Scott had not taken my money and run before he taught me how to do that.

At first, I blamed all the blue fonts on the fact that Blogger was so asleep and then soooo sloooow when he woke up that I had too much time to sit at my desk and eat fresh barbecued spare ribs and wash them down with several glasses of white zinfandel wine. I bought the ribs and a wonderfully-cooked Boston Butt from a street vendor in the Food Lion parking lot in Garden City after work today. The naturalists and nudists I met in Key West were amazed at my tales of barbecue, grits and eggs, low-country boils and oyster roasts (where you cook 'em on an old car hood over an open fire) and I'm pretty sure they thought I invented a lot of what I said. I may have elaborated somewhat (that's a writer's perogative) but I didn't invent ANY of it. That's what we do down South. I certainly didn't invent the guy in the cowboy hat with the portable smoker who was hawking his wares in the grocery store parking lot. I paid a total of $17 after a few minutes of haggling over posted prices, for which I received supper tonight and fixins for my son's visit tomorrow, because he loves barbecue as much as I do. The ribs will be gone by the time he gets here, but he thinks it's funny when I tell him we're gonna have Butt for supper. "Does it poot?" he asks. "Yeah, but only from the inside out," I reply. He eats well, and poots well afterward, very proud of himself.

I marvel at the fact that ALL KIDS THINK POOTS ARE HILARIOUS. Burps are good, and worth a giggle or two, but a good, loud, stinky cutting of the cheese can make a room full of younguns fall on the floor and roll as if they were being tickled by the hand of God. They come by it naturally, both male and female, although the women outgrow it when they start plucking their eyebrows and wearing makeup. Boys never do.

I still remember the time about five of us boys were spending the night in the "woods" of somebody's back yard and Andre said, "Y'all wanna see something neat?" We all agreed that something neat was exactly what we wanted to see inside that tent right then, so Andre started pounding his fist against his belly.

"What are you doing," I asked. "I'm conjuring a fart," he replied, with a look of complete concentration on his face. We all sat back and marvelled. Suddenly, he said, "All right! I'm ready! Get back!" We scattered to the walls of the tent.

Andre struck a kitchen match, half-masted his pants and farted over the match. A foot-long blue flame lit up the tent and we all thought it was the funniest thing we had ever seen. Talk about fire-breathing dragons? We had a genuine, four-star, fire-breathing ass right there in the tent with us. We laughed for hours and nobody slept much that night because when it finally got quiet, if one person started giggling, everybody else ignited, too. Forty years later, I still chuckle when I think about it. Of course, those were the days of two-channel, black and white TV and it didn't take a lot to entertain us back then.

I'm afraid to tell that story to my son, because he may try it himself and burn my house down. He can be a windy boy sometimes. But I sure do love him.

FORTY ACRES AND A MULE? HELL, WE WANT 1.4 TRILLION DOLLARS!

Following in the footsteps of the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who learned long ago that extortion pays handsomely, a group of selfless laywers announced A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT against Aetna, Inc., Fleet Bank and CSX Railroad, among 1,000 surviving companies "that profited directly, OR THROUGH THEIR PREDECESSORS from deals involving an estimated 8 million slaves." Yeah, yeah.

Reparations for slavery. Do you suppose that's why Denzel Washington won the Academy Award for Best Actor? He wasn't really deserving of such an honor, but collective White Guilt kicked in and he received reparations. Hah! See? We got that award for Denzel, and we can get you a check! So-called "Black leaders" should push that button until they wear it out. And they will, sooner or later, and it's a bad idea.

They cheapen the accomplishments of Denzel Washington and thousands of other Black Americans who earned their success the old-fashioned way-- through hard work and true grit. I am not suggesting that racism diesn't exist in this country-- it does-- but so does every other kind of prejudice that some people manage to overcome every day. Life is never going to be fair, and if you expect a handout, walk around with your hand out and listen to the wise words of my 90 year-old grandmother: "Wish in one hand and shit in the other. See which one fills up first." (She's a salty old mountain woman who actualIy told me that)

Denzel Washington won the Academy Award because he was the BEST ACTOR, period; not the best black actor, not an affirmative action recipient and not a winner of the reparations lottery. He EARNED what he got.

I come from a long line of Kentucky hillbillies, farmers and coal miners, all of whom clawed their way out of those mountains and did well in life. I was raised to believe four things:
1) You are as good as anybody in the world.
2) Nobody will ever give you something for nothing, except Mom and Dad, and even then you had better wonder what THEY'RE up to.
3) You may not be the biggest, the strongest or the smartest, but if you're willing to outwork the rest, you'll come out on top.
4) Don't ever quit.

I believe that's damned fine advice and I preach it to my son today. Somebody preached it to Denzel Washington, too.

This lawsuit is frivilous and it is an insult to successful Black people. The people supporting it are wishing in one hand, and I hope they end up with exactly what they deserve in the other.

By the way, the mouthpiece for the group said the $1.4 trillion would be held in a Black welfare fund. "He did not say how the lawyers would be compensated." About 1/3 of the money, plus expenses would be FAIR REPARATIONS, don't you think?



I thought the Campaign Finance Reform legislation sucked, but I like the way President Bush signed it. He did it quickly, quietly, with no fanfare and no preening members of Congress standing around basking in their own glory. "Bush then embarked on a two-day swing to South Carolina and Georgia, where he planned to raise MORE THAN $3 MILLION for GOP candidates for Congress."

Some people don't like the way George Bush appears to smirk sometimes. Heh. I do.
When I wrote that snidely post below about the idiot judge forbidding a mother from smoking in her own home when she had custody of her healthy 13 year-old son, I didn't realize that there was THIS MUCH OTHER CRAP going on. Good God! We're rapidly becoming a nation of people following orders from cultural mullahs just as whacked-out and maniacal as Muslim fundamentalists. Jeez!

Well, they can have MY cigarettes when they pry them from my cold, dead, nicotine-stained fingers. Right after they take my guns.
Persistance paid off, I think. Post and Publish both worked that time. So, let's ask a cosmic question: DIDN'T THIS GUY EVER HEAR OF A VASECTOMY? Luther Crawford, 49, of the planet Hormone, is just your typical deadbeat dad who fathered 12 children with 11 different women and never paid a red cent to any of them. As part of a plea bargain to get out of jail and negotiate settlement of the four quadzillion dollars he owes in overdue support payments, he agreed never to have sex again. He now has changed his mind, perhaps after awakening in his jail cell with a woody one morning. He wants to abrogate his plea bargain.

His lawyer believes Luther deserves some slack. "He can't work... is blind in one eye, nearly blind in the other and takes medication for a heart problem and high blood pressure." Well, that certainly didn't slow the horny bastard down when it came to impregnating women.

I suggest the authorities let Luther out of jail and put him in a research laboratory. Find out how he did what he did. Can't work, blind in one eye, can't see out of the other, heart problems, high blood pressure and 11 women producing one dozen children. Hmmm.

What's he got that most men don't have?
Okay, I was correct in my suspicions. I believe the post connected, but the publish request didn't function. I knew problems were afoot when I attempted to make certain my archives were intact. I gave my site address to a person at work who might genuinely appreciate my Gut Rumbles, and I couldn't access my own goddam blog again. That happens a lot. But what can you really expect for something that's free?

I gave my blog address to the guy at work (that would be YOU, Trainerman!) for a selfish reason. If he goes there, I collect another hit on my counter; also, he is very computer literate and probably can teach me how to do all the stuff for which I paid that mercenary little 14 year-old shit Scott, who took the money, showed me how to do a link, and then disappeared. I desire a little more poshness on my page and I freely admit that I am incapable of doing that without help. I am not ashamed to troll...
BWHAHAHAH! I'M IN! At least I think I am.

Blogger went to sleep again and took a long time to awaken. I was beginning to suffer severe DTs and symptoms of blog-withdrawal before the portal finally opened and allowed me to write. Of course, I should not celebrate prematurely. Just because I scribe these words does not mean that I can post them, nor does it mean that I can publish them. Blogger often awakens in stages and sucks up words the way a hungover drunk does coffee and then forgets all about it. Let's see. One, two, three... POST!

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Okay, I am done for the night. This is the second time I have typed this, by the way, because BLOGGER ate the first try. I thought it ate the post below, but I got lucky for a change.

I just returned home from a wonderful week in Key West, where I learned that naked Europeans call themselves "naturalists," naked yankees call themselves "nudists," and people from my part of the country call lying around a swimming pool with no clothes on "gettin' nekkid." I believe I assumed all three identities while I was there. My only regret about the whole vacation, other than the remnants of the henna tattoo that still makes my left bicep appear to be the victim of a branding iron, is the fact that I fell asleep early the night a couple performed an erotic show in the hot tub. All my neighbors said that if they did it again, we should line the balcony and hold up score cards, just like Olympic judges. I agreed, and decided to go French and offer the woman the opportunity to bribe me, but the couple checked out the next morning. I was disappointed.

I went back to work today and walked into THE JOB FROM HELL. I arrived at 0615 this morning and left at 1915 this evening. You do the math. I am tired and dirty and I wish I was back in Key West. I have a TV dinner in the microwave. No more conch and prime rib for me. Just a quick meal, a quick shower and straight to bed, nekkid of course. And back to work in the morning.

Boy, those judges in the Salem witch trials were some really ignorant, superstitous, misguided dorkles 450 years ago. They believed in magic, swallowed all kinds of misinformation and did some really stupid things. Thank goodness we don't have such pompous DOOFUSES making the same kind of rulings from the bench today.

No, we have judges filled with enlightenment who would never believe the kind of crap that served as "Conventional Wisdom" 450 years ago. They don't hang, burn or drown witches anymore; they just insist that they can't smoke cigarettes around their children.

Judge Robert Julian has decreed that a mother cannot smoke when she has visitation with her 13 year-old child. He made this Solomon-like decision "citing studies showing the health dangers of second-hand smoke." I would submit to the judge that THERE ARE NO LEGITIMATE STUDIES showing the health dangers of second-hand smoke, but he might declare me a warlock and have me strapped to the local stocks before seating me in the dunking chair. I might ask WHICH STUDIES he cites? The totally bogus EPA power grab of 1992, which a judge much brighter than Julian said "bordered on fraud?" Perhaps he read the World Health Organization's ten-year study, which found no coorelation between second-hand smoke and any health effects, including premature death. Or maybe he simply perused the headlines, which still refer to the EPA's bogus study as fact and the WHO results as a "smoking gun." Perhaps he is an environmentalist and an anti-smoking Nazi. If so, he needs to disrobe immediately and get his ass off the bench he occupies. If not, then he is too dumb to be where he sits, and should disrobe and get his ass off the bench anyway.

How's this for clear judicial reasoning: "Where the child's health was involved," the judge said, "the court would intervene." Exactly what does that mean? When my eight year-old son comes to visit me, I let him play my electric guitars. He makes a joyful but horrible noise and he really enjoys making the "guitar player face" I am teaching him to do. But think of the damage I may be doing to his tender eardrums! Think of the possibilities of electrocution! Think of what might happen to my son if he ever makes that "guitar player face" to a cop on a dark road late at night!

Here I go back into the stocks and the dunking chair if Judge Julian ever sees my Cracker ass in court. I probably shouldn't admit this, but I also allow my son to TURN HAMBURGER PATTIES ON A FLAMING PROPANE GRILL when we cook supper in the evening. He also has been sent to the refrigerator to fetch Daddy a beer when we sit on the back porch and I show him the constellations. I AM TEACHING MY SON TO BE AN ALCOHOLIC! Back to the stocks and dunking chair I go.

I believe this judge is unworthy of the title. Small-minded, anal-retentive, ignorant egomaniacs belong in Congress, where everybody understands what they are, not swathed in black robes playing judge like a kid in a sandbox. Whatta maroon.
OHMYGOD! The Bush administration met with ENERGY PRODUCERS when it forged an energy policy. Bush turned to people who drill for oil, generate electricity, burn coal and operate nuclear plants for advice, and concluded that we need to drill for more oil, generate more electricty, utilize the vast coal reserves we have in this country and consider building more nuclear plants. The facts are obvious: Bush wasn't forming an energy policy, he was rewarding his buddies and paying back his campaign contributors; otherwise, he would have consulted crazed environmentalists, ignorant consumer groups, pedophile priests, Michael Moore, Al Gore and at least one homeless person to design a truly American energy policy.

Thank God Bush is corrupt enough to listen to those who actually know what they're talking about. Not many people have the courage to do that today. (Clinton certainly never did) Listen to crazed environmentalists and the cant never changes. We should shut down dirty power plants, never build another one, ban nuclear energy and protect nature whatever the cost. Conservation and renewables are the answer. Ask ignorant consumers the right question in a poll and they will agree wholeheartedly, until the blackout comes and their electric bills triple; then they want to hang the dumbass politician who got them into this mess. Just look at California last summer.

I really like the way THE STORY is being handled in the press. We're going to learn "Conventional Wisdom," which is the Orwellian term used to describe absoulte, unmitigated lies told over and over again. "There is no 'smoking gun' directly suggesting the Bush administration sold policies to the highest bidder," but we ALL KNOW (wink, wink; nudge, nudge) that is exactly what happened.

Bullshit. No country "conserves" its way to wealth and prosperity. The environmentalists won't be content until we have people in America freezing to death in the dark, and most "consumers" don't know a turbine generator from a loaf of bread. Bush doesn't need advice from those people and neither does the country. Besides, environmentalists don't give a damn about an energy policy. They simply want a platform from which to expand their personal agenda, which is to make life nasty, brutish and short for everybody. They are not pro-nature. They are anti-civilization. Anybody who listens to those idiots has natural, organic cow manure for brains.

Our bozo President is smarter than that.

Monday, March 25, 2002

PASS THIS GIRL SOME CHEESE! SHE ALREADY HAS THE WHINE! Thanks to Alice In TV Land I found this heartbreaking tale of a young woman who worked hard, gained a degree in English Literature from Yale and went forth into the world to suffer angst and self-pity when a dream job did not fall immediately into her lap. The poor darling!

As an English major myself, I realize that analytical reading skills and the ability to write well are wonderful assets to apply to almost any job. But few businesses beat the bushes in a frantic effort to find English majors when they have a vacancy on the payroll. Most prefer someone with a marketable degree-- such as an engineer, a CPA or a lawyer-- or someone with experience at work similar to what they offer. No one gains such experience by stomping her little foot and pouting. She has my best wishes, but not my sympathy.

I also offer this piece of advice: no job is beneath your dignity while you work your way up the ladder. But it's easier to climb if you take your butt off your shoulders first.
Here is JOHN HUDNALL expressing opinions remarkably similar to mine about our erstwhile fearless leader, Bill Clinton. (Via Rand Simberg)

Clinton was much better at terrorizing women than dealing with terrorists.
Okay, the debate is over. If anyone doubts that blogging is changing the face of journalism, just read THIS COLUMN by Jay Nordlinger in National Review Online. It's a FISKING, by God, of NYT columnist Thomas L. Friedman. Maybe it's slightly more polite and civil than some of the tear-apart slapdowns administered by confessed bloggers, but it's a Fisking nevertheless, and a successful one.

Here are a few good zingers. When Friedman laments "deeper tax cuts for the wealthy," Nordlinger responds: "But, as anyone who pays taxes knows, the Democrats' definition of 'wealthy' can get a little weird." Friedman scorns the notion of drilling for oil in wilderness areas. Nordlinger says, "Opposition to drilling in the ANWR is based either on ignorance or some kind of mysticism-- a Green religion."

Koyoto? Friedman believes we should ratify it, both to save the planet and to demonstrate what nice people we are, saying, "Selfishness and hubris are a terrible combination." Nordlinger observes, "The Koyoto Protocol-- it's hard to be polite about this-- is a crock, and everyone knows it, including those governments who pretend to be for it."

Yep, that column looks a lot like a blog. Wonder where Nordlinger got the idea?


Did you realize that when "Congress caved in to both Big Business and Big Labor" and failed to increase mandatory fuel economy standards for automobiles, "American soldiers will continue to put their lives at risk to defend our right to drive inefficient vehicles?" I thought American soldiers were risking their lives to punish those who attacked us and to defend our right to go to work in the morning without worrying about an airplane crashing into the building. But I was wrong.

No, it's all about oil according to Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "The terrorist atrocities of Sept.11 should have stunned Americans into acknowledging the price we pay for guzzling gas," she writes. I know when I watched the twin towers collapse, my very first stunned thoughts were about gasoline. And I knew right then that if the government didn't pass regulations requiring me to drive a vehicle made of recycled beer cans that gets 100 miles per gallon, the terrorists win. And maybe they should, because Americans are 4.5% of the world population and we use 26% of the petroleum. That's enough to piss anybody off and make them kill 3,000 people.

Drilling for our own oil is out of the question, of course, because the trifling amount we might extract from the Arctic Wildlife Preserve is not worth the "damage" to the environment. No, we've got to protect that God-forsaken piece of the planet that is uninhabitable by man or beast for nine months out of the year, even if it means a few thousand people dying unnecessarily in car wrecks. The fact that we can extract the oil WITHOUT damaging the environment, the way we ALREADY DO in Prudhoe Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea doesn't matter. The message is "conservation," that sweet word that makes all environmentalists feel warm and fuzzy inside.

We cannot grow an economy and prosper as a nation by "conserving" energy, no matter how delicious the idea may taste to some. You want to conserve? Go right ahead. Buy a recycled beer can for transportation, unplug your air conditioner in Atlanta this summer and hang your laundry on a clothesline to dry. Die in a car wreck, sweat your buns off in the heat or let the beautiful wild birds poop all over your clothes in the glorious sunshine. If it feels good, do it; just don't cram your good feelings down my throat.

The original CAFE standards did not reduce gasoline consumption in this country. They DID kill people unnecessarily. Increased federally-mandated standards would accomplish exactly the same thing now: costly sound and fury that signifies nothing, except the further erosion of personal liberty through unwanted and unneeded government intrusion.

If enough people demand cars that go 100 miles on a gallon of gas, auto makers will build them. People will stand in line to buy them, with no prodding from the government. Right now, however, more buyers prefer gas-guzzling SUVs because of the room, comfort and safety they provide. That's called making a choice. That's called freedom. The government made the proper decision not to take that right away.

If we ever run really low on gasoline, Ms. Tucker can flip me the finger while I sit on the tailgate of my full-sized pickup truck, out of gas on the side of the road, while she tools merrily along in her recycled beer can. Then, I will say she was right and I was wrong.

But not until then.
As intended, I ate and drank well while I was in Key West. Conch and calamari and lobster, with an occasional prime rib thrown in for variety. I abandoned my rented bicycle after the first day and walked everywhere I wanted to go. Duffy's Steakhouse and Crabby Dick's were my favorite dining establishments, and Irish Kevin's Pub my favorite bar. Yeah, I visited Sloppy Joe's, Captain Tony's, The Bull and Whistle, and a few other places I don't recall, but the music was better at Kevin's. It's probably just as well that I came home when I did, because a few weeks of that kind of living would require membership in Weight Watchers and a liver transplant to restore me.

I stayed at a place called DEJA VU. I've never been particularly modest about people seeing me naked, because I skinny-dipped with friends in my youth and showered in locker rooms full of bare-assed guys during my athletic days. I adapted quickly to this "clothing optional" (read: nobody wears clothes) atmosphere and forged vacation friendships with a lot of interesting people from all over the world while I was there. I am more convinced than ever that Congress should meet nude. I lot of social masks fall away when everybody is naked. It's difficult to act regal and pompous with your buns in the wind and nothing but a towel to hide behind.

Congress could use a dose of that sort of medicine.
I arrived back home last night before 11:00 and in pretty good shape, except for two self-inflicted wounds. I worked just a little too hard on my overall tan and earned the nickname "Lobster Tail" the next day. It was better than "Baboon Butt," which was the image evoked in MY mind when I checked my rear-view in the mirror. But I recovered quickly and was able to sit in the hot tub by that evening.

The other wound came from a henna tattoo I actually PAID someone to paint on my left bicep during a lengthy tour of Duval Street. The tattoo looked good the next day, but by that evening, it started to itch. Then it started to blister and my entire left arm began to swell. The cute little barbed wire design soon resembled an evil space parasite growing and throbbing on my arm in a merciless attempt to absorb my life-force. I tried washing it off, but the creature had its tentacles embedded too deeply for soap and water to touch it. I relied on Benadryl and alcohol for temporary relief-- the Benadryl applied directly to the wound and the alcohol taken internally. I survived, but the damned thing still looks as if I were attacked by a demented sadist with a branding iron. Obviously, I am terribly allergic to henna. I never thought about something as simple as a paint-on tattoo having this kind of aftereffect, because I saw lots of little kids getting the tattoos and it never seemed to bother them.

I guess the oozing sore on my bicep is simply further proof that I'm not a little kid anymore.