Saturday, April 13, 2002

I've always wanted to nominate somebody for a Darwin Award and HERE'S MY CANDIDATE. If she had only flapped her arms really hard on the way down, she might have flown like the dingbat she was.

If her motto was: "Better me than the tree," she got what she wanted. Pathetic child.
The band played "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet," but I've heard it all before. Al Gore CRAWLED OUT FROM UNDER THE BED where he has been curled in a fetal position whimpering, "I won...I won...I KNOW I won" since last year and gave a speech in Florida before an adoring crowd that loves him. The entire, enthusiastic throng couldn't pass the hat and produce enough gray matter for a complete brain if they gave their all. That's why they love Gore. That's also why they fucked up ballots that my eight year-old son can handle adroitly. They are stupid people.

Gore passed gaseous bromides that sounded like profound wisdom to these dim people and was roundly cheered for showing up. A few other jugglers, fire-eaters and circus geeks appeared to confirm the diversity of the Democrat party and support their new motto: "We're not an asshole. We're A BUNCH of assholes." Democrat spirits soared, and at the end everybody walked away exhausted, feeling victimized, abused and deserving of some sort of reparations from the illegitimate Bush government. A good time was had by all.

They have a game plan. First, they run Jeb Bush out of the state by offering (ta-DAH!) JANET RENO for governor. Her campaign slogan: "Vote for me or I'll BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" Then, they retake the Presidency by offering...let's see...AL GORE! No, he sucked last time, so we'll go with JOE LIEBERMAN, that wizened gnome who always appears to have severe gas pains whenever he speaks. No, people will be begging him to take a laxitive after about three televised speeches, so we'll go with JOHN KERRY! Yeah, that's the ticket. A butt-weasel from Massachusettes is EXACTLY what America wants now that we're at war with terrorists.

Come to think of it, maybe Gore has another chance after all.
Republicans are demanding an APOLOGY from Cynthia McKinney for her outrageous assertion that the Bush administration knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance and did nothing about it because Bush senior could make a buck ot two off the disaster. If I ever utter such asinine words myself in my life, I hope I'm as drunk as a worm at the time and have no recollection of it when I awaken, hung over and trembling, in the morning. If I showed MY behind in such glorious fashion and saw those words in the paper the next day, I would bury my feverish face in my hands and swear off the sauce forever.

But McKinney won't apologize. In fact, the winged dingbat probably BELIEVES THAT SHIT! In her twisted mind, people who disagree with her thoughts on the issue are either part of the conspiracy, racist, or both. She is a total nutjob and a personal embarrassment to me as a resident of Georgia.

She should be an embarrassment to the Democratic party, too, but they have so many embarrassing people on board their garbage barge that McKinney actually can pass for sane among that crew. A spokesman for Dick Gebhardt's office blamed the entire uproar on Republicans attempting to distract people from James Traficant's recent conviction on corruption charges, which might make a miniscule bit of sense if Traficant were a Republican, but Traficant is A DEMOCRAT, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! But THAT's the excuse issued by the office of the eyebrowless wonder-lizard, Dick Gebhardt, who has ambitions of becoming President or at least Speaker of the House.

No wonder McKinney seems sane to those people.
I don't know if my Uncle Virgil reads this blog, but he should, especially when I offer such rich tidbits as THIS ONE that I got from the Sarge. Uncle Virgil spent 30 years in the Air Force. He probably agrees with the post.
Every now and then, somebody SAYS IT ALL and I feel obligated to spread the word. Yeah, Bill Clinton is my hero. When I was told as a boy that ANYBODY in this great country can grow up to be President of the United States, I didn't believe it. Now I do.

I stole this link from NO-COUNT COUNTRY BOY who is not posting today, probably because he is mourning Arnold Palmer's passing from the Master's scene or just too lazy to get out of bed yet. I mourn, too, buddy. But I'm rechannelling my energies to root for Davis Love III. He's from my beloved state of Georgia, don'cha know?
THE WEASEL CONDEMNS TERRORISM! Or does he? Read what YASSER ARAFAT said and decide for yourself. Sounds a lot to me like a schoolboy in trouble being forced to apoligize for calling someone a monkey-faced moron and saying, "I'm sorry I think you're a monkey-faced moron."

I don't believe his heart is really in it
Thanks to Tim Blair, the Crocodile Dundee of bloggers, I found THIS INTERESTING ITEM about billboards becoming boob-boards in Australia. Personally, I believe there is a certain all-round, uplifting, global symmetry to these ads.
I have been busy today. I did some laundry, fed my son and his friend, Jack, a lumberjack breakfast, cranked up the riding lawn mower and made exactly one pass over the horrible weeds sprouting in that sand-spit front yard of mine before I almost ruined the mower. I hit a 5/8" piece of rebar that was cleverly hidden among the weeds so that the three-inches protruding above ground could not be seen. It was a surveyor's stake, probably driven there since before construction started on the house. It was there while all those boys were playing all those games of tackle football on all those weekends when my son was here. I suppose I was lucky to find it with the mower. That thing could put out an eye or puncture a skull if someone fell on it. After I physically lifted the lawn mower off, I worked three feet of it out before it came free of the ground. It was a solid steel bar, slightly bent at the top from violent contact with a rapidly spinning object. I shudder to think what my brand-new lawn mower blades must look like.

I took the boys to the Super Wal-Mart and bought a "Triple Play" baseball game for the Playstation II. My plan worked, because they stayed absorbed with that amusement while I did my income taxes. I GET A REFUND! YAY,YAY,YAY! My government is SOOOO good to me. Of course, I started over-withholding as soon as the divorce loomed on the horizon, which didn't give me a lot of time to prepare. From Get Out Of Here to court took a little over a month. Zap, zowie and swoosh. But I weathered the income tax storm in one piece by paying those vultures ahead of time. It's really less painful that way.

But I look at what I DIDN'T get back, and it's still painful.
The anti-smoke Nazis are just as stupid IN CANADA as they are in the USA. Government has no logical reason, or legitimate right, to regulate smoking in a private business AT ALL. If I operate a bar or a restaurant and choose to allow smoking, no public heath issue is involved. If people believe that second-hand smoke will kill them dead, then they won't patronize my business, I will go broke and the public health menace takes care of itself. The last time I looked, cigarettes were still legal in both the USA and Canada. If people WANT to smoke in my establishment, however, and the government won't let them, then we have a gross, intrusive misuse of power, which is what every government eventually does best.

Why? Because it becomes staffed and operated by witless dingbats who qualify for their jobs by demonstrating a complete lack of common sense. "For the city's part, the DIRECTOR OF THE BYLAW COMPLAINTS AND INVESTIGATION SECTION (read: witless bureaucrat), David Aitken, says he sympathizes with Griscowski's plight, but RULES ARE RULES."

THIS IS THE SAME MENTALITY THAT SAUDI "MORALITY" ENFORCERS USED to justify locking fifteen teenage girls in a burning school to die because they were improperly dressed for public view. They have rules. Maybe nobody dies because of this stupid bylaw, but nobody dies without it, either. But it's a rule; therefore it must be enforced to the letter regardless of how ridiculous it is.

Why do we have the rule? Because some self-important, pompous bunch of bullies disapprove of smoking. They don't like smoke and if you do, you're woefully misguided and must be brought to heel by... a RULE. That's what government does today. Individual rights that displease the bullies are stomped like roaches on the kitchen floor so that the collective may be uniform in beliefs and behaviors, with no rough edges out there to annoy the bullies.

If you believe a square peg can't be forced into a round hole, you're not likely to work for the government. You don't understand what rules are for.
My coonass friend in Louisiana sent me this e-mail:

Subject: Southern advice to all visiting Northerners
Refresher course,
issued by the Southern Tourism Bureau to ALL visiting Northerners And
Northeastern Urbanites:

1) Don't order filet mignon or pasta primavera at Waffle House. It's
just a diner. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day. Let them cook something
they know. If you confuse them, they'll kick your ass.

2) Don't laugh at our Southern names (Merleen, Bodie, Ovine, Luther
Ray,Tammy Lynn, Darla Beth, Inez, Billy Joe, Sissy, Clovis, Bubba Jean,
etc.). Or we will just HAVE to kick your ass.

3) Don't order a bottle of pop or a can of soda down here. Down here
it's called Coke. Nobody gives a flying damn whether it's Pepsi, RC, Dr.
Pepper, 7-Up or whatever -- it's still a Coke. Accept it. Doing otherwise can
lead to an ass kicking.

4) We know our heritage. Most of us are more literate than you
(e.g.,Welty, Williams, Faulkner). We are also better educated and generally a lot
nicer. Don't refer to us as a bunch of hillbillies, or we'll kick your ass.

5) We have plenty of business sense (e.g., Fred Smith of Fed Ex, Turner
Broadcasting, MCI WorldCom, MTV, Netscape, Dell, EDS). Naturally, we do
sometimes have small lapses in judgment (e.g. Bill Clinton). We don't
care if you think we are dumb. We are not dumb enough to let someone move to
our state in order to run for the Senate. If someone tried to do that, we
would kick their ass.

6) Don't laugh at our Civil War monuments. If Lee had listened to
Longstreet and flanked Meade at Gettysburg instead of sending Pickett
up the middle, you'd be paying taxes to Richmond instead of Washington.
If you visit Stone Mountain and complain about the carving, we'll kick
your ass.

7) We are fully aware of how high the humidity is, so shut the hell up.
Just spend your money and get the hell out of here, or we'll, you
guessed it, kick your ass.

8) Don't order wheat toast at Cracker Barrel. Everyone will instantly
know that you're a Yankee. Eat your biscuits like God intended -- with
gravy. And don't put sugar on your grits, or we'll kick your ass.

9) Don't fake a Southern accent. This will incite a riot, and you will
get your ass kicked.

10) Don't talk about how much better things are at home because we know
better. Many of us have visited Northern dives like Detroit and
Newark, and we have the scars to prove it. If you don't like it here, Delta is
ready when you are. Move your ass on home before it gets kicked.

11) Yes, we know how to speak proper English. We talk this way because
we don't want to sound like you. We don't care if you don't understand
what we are saying. All other Southerners understand what we are saying, and
that's all that matters. Now, go away and leave us alone, or we'll kick your
ass.

12) Don't complain that the South is dirty and polluted. None of OUR
lakes or rivers have caught fire recently. If you whine about OUR scenic
beauty, we'll kick your ass all the way back to Boston Harbor.

13) Don't ridicule our Southern manners. We say sir and ma'am. We hold
doors open for others. We offer our seats to old folks because such
things are expected of civilized people. Behave yourselves around our sweet
little grey-haired grandmothers or they'll kick some manners into your ass
just like they did ours.

14) So you think we're quaint or losers because some of us live in the
countryside? That's because we have enough sense to not live in filthy,
smelly, crime-infested cesspools like New York or Baltimore. Make fun
of our fresh air, and we'll kick your ass.

15) Last, but not least, DO NOT DARE to come down here and tell us how
to barbecue. This will get your ass shot (right after it is kicked).
You're lucky we let you come down here at all. Criticize our barbeque, and you
will go home in a pine box --- minus your ass.

When I read this, I realized that God DID HAVE A REASON for creating fire ants and sand gnats. Without those pests, we would be up to OUR ASSES in Yankees.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Friday, April 12, 2002

Time for a FRIDAY FIVE on an actual Friday.

1) What is your favorite restaurant and why?
Right now, I would like nothing better than the prime rib and lobster at Duffy's Steak House, because it is in Key West, Florida. But that's about 750 miles away, so I don't go there often. When I really crave a delicious meal, I go to Pearl's Elegant Pelican on LaRoache Avenue in Savannah. Every table has a wonderful view of salt water and marsh grass, the seafood is delicious and they serve the BEST DAMNED HUSHPUPPIES in the world. I could make a meal out of those sweet morsels.

2) What fast food restaurant are you partial to?
I like Taco Bell, with the hot-hot sauce on whatever I order. I hate McGrunge, because my son is VERY partial to that place and I eat a lot more of their food than I really want.

3) What are your standard rules for tipping?
I tip what the service is worth. I learned that from working in the bars. I start at 15% and work up or down from there depending on how my server treated me. A good one loves me. A bad one thinks I'm a cheapskate. Both earned what they got.

4) Do you usually order an appetizer and/or dessert?
I am famous for filling up on appetizers until I am no longer hungry when the main course arrives. I like raw oysters, calimari, fried mushrooms, crab cakes and a blooming onion wherever they're served. I never eat dessert.

5) What do you usually drink at a restaurant?
Everything they stock at the bar. No, that's not true. I drink wine. I like white zinfandel with seafood and merlot with steak. Sometimes, I like an Irish Coffee and a fat cigar when I've finished a big, expensive meal. At McGrunge, I drink Coke, but I don't particularly like it.
If I were a Viking in the mead hall right now, I would wobble to my feet, pound the table for attention and wave my cup in the air. Once I had the attention of my raucous fellows, even if it meant drawing my sword and threatening violence, I would propose a toast to a mighty warrior and a man of legend who will fight no more on the field where he won his glory. This is a somber day and it should be remembered.

Arnold Palmer will play his last round in the Master's today.

Arnie is old enough to shoot his age in Senior's tournaments, he's bending more to gravity now, and he looks tired and whipped when he walks off the 18th green at Augusta National. Hell, he's had HIS prostate ripped out, too, and I KNOW that changes a lot of things about your physical wherewithall. He has not made the cut in the tournament since 1983, and I WAS THERE to see him shoot 68 in the opening round that year. (No, I didn't have the most coveted ticket in golf. I conned my way into manning the scoreboard on the 14th tee from 0800 until 1200, when I was relieved by a Boy Scout and allowed to roam the course the rest of the day.)

I WAS THERE again, in 1992, this time with a ticket, to watch him put his tee shot in the right greenside bunker on #16, whiff it twice, then blast out and hole the shot for a bogey four. He received a louder, longer and grander standing ovation than whoever won the tournament that year (I believe it was Fred Couples. I don't remember for sure, but I remember ARNIE'S SHOT)

Palmer had that effect on his fans, and he remains beloved by those of us old and gray enough to remember him in his prime. I have only a few sports heroes whom I truly worship, and Arnold Palmer is one. (The others are Johnny Unitas, Willie Mosconi and Hershel Walker, even if Hershel never panned out as a pro. I am a Georgia boy, after all.) I want them all to be as great forever as they were on their greatest day. Life will not grant them that privilege, but my memories will.

So, I propose a toast to one of the greatest golfers who ever stuck a tee in the ground: Arnold Palmer, may you have nothing but fairways and greens the rest of your life. If you stray from that path, may you always have a good lie in the rough. And when you really need the putt, may the ball find the bottom of the cup every time. Amen, and let's find the bottom of OUR CUPS now!

UPDATE: Arnie's last round at Augusta was rained out before he finished. He'll be back today to play six holes. V.J. Singh is leading the tournament at 9-under par. Arnie is 28-over.
I was about to write a scathing rant about Cynthia McKinney and what a complete, blithering idiot she is, but I made a slight typo and BARELY MISSED the "y" on the keyboard and hit the "u" instead when I first typed her name. When I saw the result, I chuckled, then laughed, then guffawed, and then hit something on the keyboard that erased my post. It's probably just as well, because her real name IS NOT Cunthia McKinny, even if it does fit.

In case you've forgotten, HERE'S HER SLAVERING LETTER to "Your Royal Highness" of Saudia Arabia that she wrote while whoring for dollars as a true war profiteer after 9/11. The woman is a maniac, a true nutjob, and she'll probably win reelection in a landslide. How she manages to stay in office really reeks of conspiracy to me.
When that bizzare congressional representative from my beloved state of Georgia suggested that Bush may have known about the 9/11 attacks in advance and did nothing, I really began to wonder if I was the ONLY person who thought long before now that Cynthia McKinney was a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal. But I performed a very brief "Google" and learned that I am not alone. Other takes on Cynthia McKinney:

"Asking if McKinney is an embarrassment is like asking if the sky is blue or if Atlanta traffic stinks. The answer is not in doubt. The question, given the volume of evidence, is where to start." --Luke Boggs

"McKinney is of the opinion that the United States is one of the worst human rights abusers in the world. She went so far as to say, "An African-American newborn has less chance of reaching 65 than does a baby born in Bangladesh." She finds it is no wonder that we have been excluded from this committee cofounded by Eleanor Roosevelt more than 55 years ago.
Giving proof that we are a great country of human rights molesters, she said, "Minorities have filed discrimination lawsuits against six federal agencies." Well that sums it all up. I mean, if someone files a lawsuit, then that can only mean the accused is guilty, right?" --Debbie Shussel

"I have a confession: It's very difficult for me to be honest about how stupid I think some black politicians are without either sounding racist or being accused of racism. This is one of the reasons I don't spend much time on the speeches of Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. I honestly believe he's not sharp enough to slice baloney. But, if I were to write about him as I would about any white politician (or, say, Alec Baldwin) who said equally dumb things, I would no doubt be called a racist.

Sometimes, though, a politician is so aggressively stupid it simply becomes a moral obligation to point it out, for fear the contagion will spread. Now is such a moment. I am referring, of course, to one of America's most pugnaciously ignorant politicians — Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia." Jonah Goldberg

There's a LOT MORE where that came from.

GO TO COLLEGE, DRINK AND DIE! The National Institute on Alchol Abuse and Alcoholism just released "A Call to Action: Changing the Culture of Drinking at US Colleges. This frightening report says that when you mix college students with alcohol, the result is 1,400 deaths, 500,000 injuries, 600,000 assaults, 70,000 sexual assaults and 400,000 students having unsafe sex. Those are some pretty impressive numbers. They also are a bunch of crap.

Let THE JUNKMAN explain:
"'A Call to Action' doesn’t present the analysis behind these claims. It only references a new study simultaneously published in the March 2002, Journal of Studies on Alcohol. The study’s lead author is Ralph Hingson of the Boston University School of Public Health.

As an example of how goofy Hingson’s numbers are, here’s how he calculated the headline-grabbing estimate of 1,400 deaths.

There are about 25.5 million 18- to 24-year-olds living in the U.S., according to U.S. Census data. Thirty-one percent of this age group are enrolled as full or part-time students in two-or four-year colleges.

The number of alcohol-related motor vehicle crash deaths among 18-24 years olds during 1998 is 3,674; 31 percent of this figure is 1,138.

Similarly applying the 31 percent factor to the 991 alcohol-related, non-traffic deaths among 18- to 24-year-olds in 1998 results in an additional 307 deaths.

Adding the 307 and 1,138 figures equals the alleged 1,445 alcohol-related deaths annually among college students.

But Hingson relies on a key, but unsupported assumption. It does not automatically follow that college students constitute 31 percent of alcohol deaths simply because 31 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are college students.

The simplistic reasoning is equivalent to assuming that because women constitute about half the population, they commit half of all crime. In fact, men commit more than 75 percent of crime.

The definition of what constitutes an "alcohol-related" death is another problem.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines a fatal traffic crash as being alcohol-related if either a driver or a pedestrian had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.01 grams per deciliter (g/dl).

But 0.10 g/dl is the traditional level at which persons are considered to be intoxicated. Just because a person involved in a fatal accident has a measurable BAC doesn’t mean that the alcohol caused or contributed to the accident.

Even accepting Hingson’s results at face value, his study is still silly.

There isn't a statistically-meaningful difference in rates of alcohol-related problems between college students and non-college students."

These manufactured numbers were printed without question as fact by newspapers and intoned with solemn faces by the talking heads on television. That's how really stupid political-correctness movements gain traction-- misinformation and propaganda willingly disseminated by the very folks who are supposed to be the WATCHDOGS over this kind of stuff. I suppose Ralph Hingson can be trusted to tell the truth. After all, he works for the Boston University School of Public Health. HE wouldn't have any hidden agendas. Unless...

"Why is Hingson playing fast and loose with the data?

He’s on the board of directors of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

Although MADD began in 1980 with the laudable goal of reducing drunk-driving fatalities, it has strayed beyond its original mission. "If truth-in-advertising laws applied to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, its name would be changed to Mothers Against All Drinking of Any Kind," says the Center for Consumer Freedom.

MADD’s crusade has turned into a prohibitionist movement. Focusing on college kids and pressuring universities seems to be the new tactic to implement its misguided goal."

You didn't hear any of Steven Malloy's information when the mainstream media reported this story. As a result, a few inspired busybodies will swear, "WE'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING!" and people will support their efforts because we have a crisis on our hands. This is exactly how we the got stupid marijuana laws in the 1930s that we're still living with today.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Acidman feels a lot better today. I probably gave myself a mild case of food poisoning, ebola viris or foot and mouth disease from the deplorable housekeeping I do here by myself. But I think I'm gonna live.

I received two interesting e-mails today. One was that well-publicized offer to help move $41 million out of Africa in return for a 25% cut of the loot. I deleted that one without reading it because too many bloggers already wrote about that scam, but I feel privileged to be included on the crook's mailing list. I just wonder how I got there.

The second was really clever. Some woman named Virginia said that she read my blog and noticed that I was not registered on "certain search engines." A little picture of my home page was right there in the letter, and even the www.monsterman.blogspot.com URL in bright blue in the text. I was impressed. I clicked on the "LEARN MORE" link and discovered that for a mere $14.95 per month, my site can be listed at over 500,000 locations every month. If I happen to be the cheapskate type, a one-time payment of $59.95 guarantees me a one-time listing on 500,000 sites. I pay the money, sit back and watch the hits come rolling in!

How could I pass up such a wonderful offer?

It was easy. I hit the "delete" key and it was gone. I have no idea what this "seekandserve" (or whatever it was called) does, and I don't care. I believe that piece of spam was a lot like those "Publish your Novel or your Poetry" ads vanity press houses run in every magazine in the country. I learned long ago that if you have to PAY SOMEBODY to publish your work, your work probably doesn't deserve publication. That's why I like BLOGGER. It's free.

About this time one week ago, I wrote a vitriolic screed about Captain Den Beste complaining because he received too many hits on his page. I mentioned that I still waited for my counter to hit 1,900. Today, I notice that I have a chance to pass the 2,200 mark either tonight or tomorrow. You do the math, and that's... well, I TOLD YOU BEFORE that I'm an English major and I DON'T DO MATH. But I believe I'm getting more than 200 visits per week now, which is a vast improvement over the 50 per month I started with. And I know that my Mama is not doing all of them. I am happy.

I throw this stuff out there hoping someone will read it, and I am delighted when they do. But if the hit counter freezes tomorrow, I'll keep doing it anyway. This blog's for ME!
I LOVE THIS! Republicans are accusing Democrats of racism in their opposition to the appointment of Miguel Estrada to the federal bench. The Democrats deny the charge vociferously, as well they should, because the Republicans are saying that crap just to make the Democrats look bad. It's not true, and it's a really rotten accusation to hurl at anyone.

Democrats know that, because they've been doing the same thing to Republicans for years. I believe the Democrats are most offended by the fact that Republicans are STEALING THEIR ACT. They are saying, "Wait a minute. I'm the one who calls YOU a racist every chance I get. You don't call ME a racist, ever. You're not playing the game right."

Check this sanctimonious quote from the article:
"Bringing up the highly charged issue of race without evidence to back it up is one of the cheapest and most manipulative forms of political argument. Lott, Santorum and Domenici are trying to embarrass Democrats -- who often call for more diversity in the courts -- by making them look like hypocrites. But they are the ones who should be embarrassed, for dragging down the political debate."

Democrats would NEVER drag down a political debate. No, they just proclaim any tax cut proposal is "welfare for the rich," call any attempt to reform Social Security "an attack on our senior citizens," and brand Republicans as racist, sexist, environment-raping pawns of Big Oil whenever a microphone finds their faces. Dragging down political debate is the only way Democrats know how to operate. They don't have many ideas, other than rob Peter to buy Paul's vote, so they rely mainly on villifying their opponents to win elections. When the table turns, they whine like spoiled children.

I suppose the logic is: That's not FAIR, unless WE do it.

It appears that James Traficant proved that any client who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer. (And Traficant IS NOT a lawyer) He was FOUND GUILTY today on all ten counts he faced, including racketeering, bribery and fraud. He may be sentenced to 63 years in prison.

I alway liked Traficant and his "Beam me up, Scotty!" speeches on the House floor. I thought he was a wild nonconformist then. Now I believe he's a corrupt, dishonest, money-grubbing sleazeball with a big mouth. After reading reports about the trial and his bizarre behavior, I also believe the man has slipped a sprocket in his mental machinery and is not exactly right in the head anymore.

That makes him a corrupt, dishonest, CRAZY money-grubbing sleazeball with a big mouth, which makes him abundently qualified to return to Congress, where he can mingle with others of his kind.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

OKAY! Here's a "Not ready to go to sleep QUITE yet" blog, just to show that I know how to communicate with fellow bloggers. You'll find GUT RUMBLES way down at the bottom of THIS LIST, but I'm on it, and I'm proud.
MORE RANDOM RAMBLINGS: (I have a TV dinner in the mircowave and I just took the last vicodin remaining from my prostate surgery. I feel THAT POORLY, and the wine isn't helping very much. If the blog gets a little wobbly about thirty minutes from now, it's the codeine kicking in. Bedtime will be shortly thereafter.)

1) The best day and the worst day of my life both involved dealing with the same person. Go figure.

2) I have sat on top of a mountain and watched a spectacular meteor shower. If that doesn't make you feel small, you are.

3) Grits are good with breakfast if you know how to cook them and how to serve them. If you don't, they suck.

4) My idea of a fine fishing trip is to sit in a boat and drink beer. I really don't care if I catch anything or not.

5) Some people live to work. I work to live. I give it my all, but if I hit the lottery tomorrow, I won't work any more.

6) I STILL have no use for fire ants, sand gnats or kamakazi hamburger patties. But I love going barefoot.

7) You can have sex with a woman and still be her friend, without the sex, years later. I KNOW that's true.

8) Happiness is no tan lines. That was the motto of the nude resort I visited in Key West. UNHAPPINESS is a burnt butt and a henna tattoo that makes your arm swell and leaves a permanent scar. A true adventure, nonetheless.

9) The older you grow, the more you become JUST LIKE YOUR FATHER, no matter how ridiculous that concept may have seemed years ago.

10) Young men who die in war always cry out for "Mama" as their lives fade away. Mama gave you life and took care of you every time you were sick. Mama loves you when nobody else does. You always will be her baby, and she will always be your Mama. That's a good thing, and you can't screw it up if you try. I tried, and it didn't work. Trust me on this one.

Okay, I'm buzzing now. Time for a quick supper and bed. God, I hope I feel better in the morning.
My momma sent me an editorial from the "Savannah Morning News," Georgia's Best Newspaper (which I have not read in almost a year, even after being a guest columnist with my own picture at the top my piece), about blogs. Norah Vincent wrote the piece and it's amazingly even-handed and correct, considering what the mainstream media usually have to say about web-folk. I like this:

"Web logs are infuriating because they are thoughtful alternatives to the self-important New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and their toady satelites, much of whose reporting has become hardly less biased than the bloggers'. Bloggers at least have the honesty to admit their biases up front."

Yes, bloggers do that, but the REALLY cool aspect of blogging is that if you read something you don't like, or write something that somebody else doesn't like, the communication is almost instantaneous. I have a pretty half-assed "comments" option on my front page, but IT"S THERE, and I give out my e-mail address, too. People respond. And common blogger courtesy demands that you reply at your first opportunity when somebody writes to tell you how full of shit they think you are. If they present a formidable counter-point, a good blogger considers the logic and may agree to reconsider the post. Or, the blogger may write back to the critic and say, "Same to you, doofus! Bite me!" I know I had the same sort of interplay with Scott Ganz just the other night. I don't know Scott from Moses, but I read his blog, which is the next best thing. Letters to the Editor just don't produce the same immediate effects.

The truth springs frequently from Lileks, and he's absolutely correct when he says, "The newspaper is a lecture. The Web is a conversation."

And a grand and glorious, no-holds-barred conversation it is, too.
I believe Acidman may be getting sick.

No, I don't mean SICK IN THE HEAD, because if you read this blog, you know that I crossed that threshold a long time ago. I think I am coming down with some sort of medical malady, such as the flu, the grunge or the effects of an alien space-pod that burrowed in behind my neck to take over my central nervous system and control my body. I feel poorly.

It all started during a THREE HOUR MEETING at work today. The drone quotient was running near maximum and I was having trouble staying awake, when all of a sudden, IT HIT ME. My spine, right between my shoulder blades, started to ache like a rotten tooth, and I realized that I was running a fever. I began to chill and shake right there in my seat, and I developed an incredible case of the cotton-mouth. I told myself, "Self, this is not good," but I hung in there like grim death until the meeting finally concluded. Then, I staggered back to my office to find frost on my breath when I walked through the door. I checked the air conditioner and, sure enough, whatever crazed Eskimo terrorist I have working for me had struck again, turning the thermostat down to 20 degrees. I saw about half my crew having lunch in the break room.

Remember how Charleton Heston appeared in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS when he came down from the mountain after talking to the burning bush? Kinda wild-haired, feverish, red-faced and crazed? Well, I looked A LOT LIKE THAT when I entered the breakroom and announced in no uncertain terms that if I EVER SAW ANYBODY turn the office air conditioner down to 20 degrees, I PERSONALLY would give them three days off to go home and do the same thing to their household air conditioners to their Eskimo heart's content. Without pay. And if you bunch of sorry layabouts don't like the 70-degree climate control in the office, GET OUT IN THE PLANT AND CHECK YOUR FRIGGIN' JOBS! I bowed up like a cat at a dogfight and beamed laser-eyed hostility at everyone in the room. The silence was golden.

When I left, they probably looked at each other and asked, "Jesus! What got into him?"

I don't usually behave that way. I'm a pretty firm but fair boss, and I believe that most of the operators and supervisors like to work for me. I don't blow my top very often (although I have DONE IT ON PURPOSE when I thought the situation called for it. Being a good supervisor involves some method acting sometimes). I just didn't like having fever and chills, sitting through a three-hour meeting and returning to my office to discover that some idiot had set the thermostat at 20 degrees. I was pissed and I wanted to make an effective statement. The fever helped the presentation, but I was serious in what I said. If I find the asshole who puts the air conditioner on 20 degrees, I'll generate the necessary paperwork to eventually run him off. He can get a job at McDonald's and stay in the god-damned walk-in freezer all day, if that's what his personal thermostat requires. But he won't do it on MY WATCH, in MY AREA, in MY PLANT. Not on MY air conditioner.

Jesus! The nerve of some people!
HERE'S A PLEASANT SURPRISE! Bob Woodward, one of the greatest investigative journalists of all time (even if I DO BELIEVE that he invented a lot of his anonymous sources), LIKES President Bush. I really am not surprised. I believe that we have the first President since Ronald Reagan who is comfortable with himself, and therefore comfortable in the job. Woodward has seen Presidents come and go since Nixon, and he has seen a lot.

Think of Nixon: a brilliant man, but paranoid, and wedded to stale ideas of wage and price controls and other "central planning" schemes that never worked and never will. I've always loved the phrase "maximize the incumbency," which accurately reflected the bunker mentality Nixon brought to the contest against George McGovern in 1968. McGovern was a joke and Nixon would have won the election in a landslide without the dirty tricks, if only he had believed in himself. But he didn't. He was, at heart, a crook.

Think of Gerald Ford: the "who, me?" President. He had the opportunity to have greatness thrust upon him, but he fell down airplane ramps and was portrayed as a bumbling buffon by the press. I don't think he ever wanted the job in the first place.

Think of Jimmy Carter: the grinning, boar-toothed huckster from my beloved state of Georgia, where I never voted for his ass when he ran for GOVERNOR. I believe the man meant well, but he sucked as a President. Some people just are not up to a job that important. He should have stayed in Plains and grown peanuts, which he WAS good at.

Think of Ronald Reagan: my hero. Reagan remains the ultimate voodoo doll for the "intellectual left," who regard someone with a few good ideas and the skills to see them through as something to stick sharp pins into. To the wishy-washy, vacuous drones who could not stand him, Reagan remains anti-matter, an honest man who knew who he was and behaved in office the same way he did in his personal life. He was a simple man, but a great one. History will judge him well, no matter how many people try to reinvent HIS legacy.

Think of George Bush #1: the ultimate bureaucrat. Hero of the Gulf War, but unable to sustain his popularity because he STOOD FOR NOTHING. Too willing to go along and get along, he was eaten alive by the pirhanas in the Democrat Congress.

Think of Bill Clinton: Okay, don't. It's unpleasant for me, too. I'm not a big fan of abortion, but once upon a time, he was one fetus this world could have done without. You want a legacy? He's got HIS legacy DANGLING!

Now, think of George W. Bush: he may mangle the language the way a weed-whacker does tall grass, but he knows who he is, and he is comfortable with that person. He doesn't have a lot of BIG IDEAS, which is a trait I admire in my President. He has a few simple values and I believe he will stick with them. That's an admirable quality in a man elected to lead this country, because we've been sorely lacking it for a long time. I don't believe Bush has gone "wobbly" on the Middle East, either. I believe he is playing for time while his original agenda remains clear in his mind.

No wonder Woodward likes the man. Hell, I DO, too.
YOU'VE GOT TO ADMIRE THE COURAGE OF THE FRENCH. Today a school bus full of Israeli students was attacked by rock-throwing morons in France. Prime Minister Lionel Jospin condemned the attack, saying that "anti-Semetic acts are unacceptable," which is a hoot, considering what his whining government officials and butt-weasel diplomats do every day to encourage this sort of behavior from the Palestinians in the middle east. When a rock-throwing mob stages such a disgusting, downright Palestinian spectacle right there on French soil, Jospin is shocked, SHOCKED, mind you, that his people behave so badly. "We can and must live together in harmony," he intoned.

I'm certain he wants that harmony; otherwise, the Jewish students might leave the bus, launch a counter-offensive and force France to surrender in less than twelve hours.
DOWN, BOY! Forget my post below about the fabulocity of dogs. I don't want one LIKE THIS. The doctor may have cut a few things he wasn't supposed to cut when he removed my prostate, but at least I remain intact enough to go naked in Key West for a week. The dog took the stuff you're supposed to strut and, hoping for a game of "fetch" returned it to his master and probably dropped it in a ball of slobber at his feet. The story gives a whole new meaning to "Scooby, DO!"

And I hope Scooby never does me.

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

RANDOM RAMBLINGS:

1) A dog makes a better friend than any woman I've ever known. A dog is loyal and loves you no matter what you do. It's always happy to see you come home. And it does what you want it to do most of the time.

2) A good guitar is a better friend than a dog. It won't eventually up and die on you, and break your heart. And it never shits on the floor, no matter how long you're gone.

3) A good friend is somebody who knows all your faults better than anyone else and still likes you anyway.

4) Kids are a joy to be around because they believe in magic. They love ghost stories and stupid card tricks. Life will beat that innocence out of them eventually, but it's fun while it lasts.

5) If you don't know what the "'zacklys" are, you never came over to my house to play guitar and passed out on the floor to spend the night. You wake up in the morning feeling 'zackly like a herd of buffalo walked across your tongue while you were asleep. That's the "'zacklys."

6) God had no logical reason to create fire ants or sand gnats.

7) No matter how old I grow or how much crap life throws my way, I still feel 23 years old in my mind.

8) I just saw a picture of Julia Roberts in her Academy Award outfit. She has an incredibly large mouth and ugly feet.

9) A broken toe HURTS LIKE HELL and there's nothing you can do about it.

10) I consider myself to be an honest man, but I sometimes stretch the truth. Why would anybody ever trust a politician?
I was born and raised for a number of my formative years in a coal mining camp in Harlan County, Kentucky, deep in the absolute armpit of the Appalachian Mountains. I know "The Code of the Hills" and in many ways it reminds me of what the Palestenians are attempting to do against Israel.

Everybody knows about the famous Hatfield-McCoy feud fought nearby in those mountains, but nobody ever heard of the Philpot-Benge feud fought right there in my neck of the woods. Philpot-Benge was bloodier, lasted longer and involved a lot more people than Hatfield-McCoy, but Philpot versus Benge just doesn't roll off the tongue as poetically as Hatfield versus McCoy, so MY family feud is relegated to the dustbin of history while those mere pretenders reap all the glory.

The truth is, nothing about a senseless, bloody feud is glorious. The story really is about a bunch of stubborn, prideful people who started something that their idea of "honor" would not allow them to stop. They killed one of US, so we'll kill two of THEM! The bullets flew and people died, and in the end, the entire affair didn't prove a damned thing except the fact that I come from a long line of hard-headed, violent people. That's the Code of the Hills. Payback and revenge are important. Pride rules, and trumps good sense every time.

I believe the Palestinians are a lot like feuding Kentucky hillbillies who have more pride than good sense. They have a fire of resentment burning in their souls, because they don't want to face the fact that THEY ARE A BUNCH OF LOSERS. Israel is not the only country ever to kick their asses. MOST OF THEIR NEIGHBORS DID, TOO! They channel their resentment toward the Jews, because to do otherwise would require a long, hard look in the mirror and admitting that they've been a pretty fucked-up people for a long time and EVERYBODY screws them over whenever they feel like it because THEY CAN. Their solution to this problem is to allow a disgusting maggot such as Yasser Arafat to claim leadership of a very confused segment of the world and then strap bombs on their children to demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt just how crazy they are. I have news for the Palestinians: YOU CAN'T WIN THAT WAY, and I don't care what the idiot sympathizers you manage to gather to support your doomed cause have to say.

Grow up. Don't teach your children to be suicide bombers. Make them doctors, lawyers and teachers. End your losing streak by deciding that WE HAVE TO OUTWORK the opposition and beat them at their own game. Forget the resentment and use your intelligence, if you have any that you've saved up by not displaying it before. Become civilized and demonstrate that YOU DESERVE A HOMELAND, not just because you found your insane asses parked upon that ground once upon a time, but because you have the wherewithall to make a viable country of your own if given a chance. Behaving like a vast pack of rabid dogs doesn't engender a lot of sympathy from me. If you're going to continue to behave the way you do now, I DON'T WANT YOU IN MY WORLD. Go to hell, you crazy bastards.

Palestinians need to forget the feud and find a statesman, not a terrorist, to lead them. Arafat has had forty years to improve the condition of his people, and he has "lead" them to their current state. Throw the bum out, if you have a lick of sense, or embrace your suicidal captain and go down with the ship. Either way, stop the whining. Make your choice now, or somebody more powerful than you will make it for you.

Palestinans seem to believe that the more inhuman they act, the more sympathy they gain from the civilized world. I disagree. Show me you belong here, in the world I want my eight year-old son to grow up in. Otherwise, I want you gone, for the good of us all.

Sometimes, even the most stubborn among us must forget The Code of the Hills and get a real life.



I wrote a week or so ago about how bloggers think alike and a lot of posts appear to be stolen from someone else just because the thought patterns are so similar. Today, I ranted about my taxes, checked JB's PAGE and he offered THIS LINK TO NEAL BOORTZ that sounds a lot like what I wrote, includes many of the same statistics and even uses the Peter-and-Paul reference. That's downright spooky when you think about it.

I offer one improvement on Neal's take. "Bend over and grab you ankles" describes the government's taxation sodomy ACCURATELY, but there's a better term which I use frequently at work. It's called "BOHICA." The letters stand for "Bend Over, Here It Comes Again."

I know for a fact that I am not a homosexual. I am sodomized regularly by the government, and I DON'T LIKE IT!
HERE'S A BRILLIANT IDEA! George Bush proposed that the federal government enter the TERRORISM INSURANCE BUSINESS now that legitimate insurance companies won't touch it with a ten-foot pole. That's exactly what we need-- the federal government, already hemmorhaging money from self-inflicted wounds like a hemophiliac at an oyster roast, setting itself up as a cash cow for tort lawyers.

Out of control malpractice litigation already has led Mississippi surgeons TO LEAVE THE STATE (scroll down seven posts) rather than practice medicine there. When hyena lawyers eat like the gluttons they are, the private sector has enough sense to say, "THIS IS INSANE! NOBODY CAN AFFORD IT!" and quit trying to compete in a system that rewards carrion eaters and punishes the productive. That's essentially what insurance companies now are doing.

I blame the Mississippi situation on their famously ignorant jurors, much sought-after by tort lawyers, because the fools produce brain-fart verdicts with lots of dollars attached every chance they get. Mississppi juries love giving away large sums of other people's money, never realizing that SOMEBODY has to pay for it sooner or later. Now, THEY ARE, by running their doctors out of their state. Way to go, morons. But the Mississippi Syndrome is spreading, and the potential ruination of a multi-billion dollar, brain-fart jury verdict discourages a lot of companies from doing business ANYWHERE such dangerous exposure is possible.

The federal government, on the other hand, has an endless supply of money, which it earns fair and square in the marketplace from all the tireless work it does, slaving away day and night and drawing its own paycheck.

WAIT A MINUTE! That's not what the government does. That's what surgeons, insurance companies and other businesses in the country do. The government simply confiscates what it wants and doles the loot out like a rich grandfather. Forget the fact that Gramps stole the money from hard-working grandson #1 and gave it to layabout grandson #3, who never hit a lick in his life and never intends to. Gramps has a heart of gold, grandson #3 loves him for it, and grandson #1 simply gets fucked and is told to work harder to make up what he lost. That's our income tax system in a nutshell.

If the government enters the terrorism insurance business without tort reform first, a lot of lawyers are going to become VERY wealthy as a result. Terrorism will quickly be redefined as anything that upset a fragile, sue-happy person. It won't require hijacked airplanes flying suicide missions into tall buildings. It won't require guns, boxcutters or shoe-bombs. Terrorism will be whatever a carrion-eating lawyer and a greedy client says it is, and the lawsuits will come in droves. It happened with the Americans With Disabilities Act and it will happen again now.

With the deep pockets of the federal government available to be fleeced and the possibility of collecting twelve very generous morons for a jury, why not sue early and often? After all, it's only somebody else's money.

I MUST do my income taxes this weekend. I have all the necessary information and all the required forms in a neat stack next to the television, where they have been for about two and a half months now. I kept ignoring them, hoping that somehow they would do themselves and I would be spared this annual torture. Even if I receive a refund, I become so pissed off by the time I'm finished rooting through the paperwork and interpreting the byzantine instructions that I'm ready to tear down the entire government and start over. I fear it will be same experience this year.

I pay a lot of taxes; therefore, I must be "rich." That's what the Democrats call me whenever Republicans propose a tax cut. "More tax breaks for the wealthy," they sneer, and at least 50% of taxpayers agree. According to figures from 1999, the most recent available from the IRS, 55% OF ALL INCOME TAXES are paid by 5% of the population. The bottom 50% of taxpayers contribute a mere 4% of the money feeding the gaping, ravenous maw of the federal government. That's 6.3 million golden geese being royally plucked for their wages, while 63 million people pay chump change and squawk at the idea of a tax cut.

Why not? When the federal government robs Peter to pay Paul, the arrangement suits Paul just fine.

Besides, everybody knows the government "can't afford" a tax cut. Without an incredibly wide, deep and swift river of money flowing into the coffers of Washington DC, the government would be unable to squander 20.1 BILLION DOLLARS ON PURE PORK. If the government didn't shake down its productive citizens unmercifully, other shakedown artists wouldn't have 4.1 BILLION DOLLARS to STEAL OUTRIGHT from mismanaged programs such as HUD.

No, the government can't afford a tax cut, even though it spends every dollar it extorts from taxpayers so wisely. If the government didn't take their money to do wonderful things, such as reelecting incumbent politicians and rewarding friends and cronies, ordinary taxpayers would spend the money on such foolishness as food, shelter and clothing. Lord knows, we can't have THAT kind of anarchy in our country.

When I do my taxes this weekend, I'll keep a barf-bag handy. I'm gonna need it.

Monday, April 08, 2002

MAYBE I OVER-REACTED? I wrote a snarky e-mail to Captain Scott's Electric Love Bunker last night after I mistakenly took offense at a comment he made about the South. He has apologized for the misunderstanding and so have I, so honor now is satisfied. We need not meet on the ball field behind the IGA grocery store in Guyton, where all local duels are fought, and I can put my pistols away. Captain Scott lives another day.
President Bush was heckled by protesters today while GIVING A SPEECH in Knoxville, Tennessee. The handfull of witless cockroaches who did the heckling crawled out of a 60's time-warp for this occasion and sounded like something from an Austin Powers movie. "We won't fight your racist war!" they chanted, perhaps because they didn't realize that the draft ended THIRTY YEARS AGO and nobody is going to ask the worthless idiots to fight ANYTHING, although a battle against halitosis, tooth decay and shit for brains syndrome might do them a lot of good. Counter-hecklers heckled the hecklers as the latter were escorted from the room, and a wonderful heckling time was had by all. Bush maintains an 82% approval rating, despite this minor incident.

I have no doubt these anti-whatever-they-were protesters (Anti-war? Anti-USA? Anti-Israel? Anti-whatever is handy?) are driven by deep commitment and grand passion. So are people who believe the earth is flat, Elvis lives and the moon landing was faked on a movie stage. Deep committment and grand passion don't guarantee that you're not a fricking fool when the ideas you embrace are intellectually bankrupt. Somebody SLAP THOSE PEOPLE, the way you would an unruly dog humping on your leg at a dinner party. That's what their protests amount to, and they do it for the same reason as the unruly dog: I don't really know WHY I'm doing this, but it feels sooo gooood!

If I were going to protest anything Bush had to say in his speech, I would concentrate on his "Citizen Corps" volunteer plan, which is nothing more than Peace Corps, which morphed into Americorps, and now is making yet another comeback, like that evil Jason character that nobody can kill in the Friday the 13th movies. I am all for citizens doing volunteer work. I know a number of folks who do great things for people they've never met before, just because the person needs help. After my father died, the church was wonderful to my mother. She joined the "Ageless Wonders," the seniors group in the church, and they do good deeds all the time, no questions asked, and they have fun doing it. That's what volunteer work should be.

If the government acts as coordinator, however, the spirit of doing good because it feels good will be stomped out of the program by bossy bureaucrats and thick books of regulations. The entity will begin to feed upon itself, just as ALL government entities do. The money lavished upon it will go to the people running the program, and they will demand more money to expand the program, and pretty soon, we'll have this gigantic government tapeworm, pulsing with bloat and sucking up every nutrient it can find to stay alive and grow.

That's not what real volunteers want and it damned surely IS NOT what the needy require. Let those with hearts of gold do what they do best and leave the cold-blooded bureaucrats to screw up other people's lives. The plan works better if Uncle Sam keeps his bossy ass out of it.



Sunday, April 07, 2002

Broken toe and all, I attempted to start my brand-new riding lawn mower today and discovered that the key would not fit in the ignition. My friends and I wrestled with the problem for a while before finally throwing in the towel. We hauled the damned thing back into the bed of my truck and I took it back to Wal-Mart. The manager of the lawn and garden department used MY pocketknife to straighten out the key slot and he cranked the mower right there in the bed of my truck. I told him just to leave the key in it. It works now and I'm happy.

I sowed about two pounds of centipede grass seed on that sandflat I call a lawn today, too. I have my Rainbird sprinkler going and my friends and I just finished a nice Chinese takeout meal. Daylight Savings Time has my internal clock all screwed up, but the lawn is seeded, my mower works and the beer is cold. Life ain't square, but it's not bad sometimes.

Besides, my page has added poshness now. Ain't it neat?

When I was in Florida, I saw a lot of people riding motorcycles. Nobody wore a helmet. That's a strange sight for me, because my beloved state of Georgia cares so much about its citizens that it REQUIRES motorcycle riders to wear helmets. We have mandatory seat belt laws, too. See how compassionate and caring MY government is? MY bureaucrats and nannies aren't like those could-give-a-shits in Florida. If they catch me riding a motorcycle without wearing a helmet or driving without wearing a seat belt, they'll give me an expensive ticket or even ARREST ME because they care so much about me. It is wonderful to be so loved by the government.

I wear a seat belt, not because it's the law, but because I experienced a very dramatic lesson in physics several years ago on Highway 278 near Bluffton, South Carolina. I was in the passenger seat of a brand new Chrysler LeBaron that was travelling 55 miles per hour when it came to an abrupt stop by crashing into the side of another vehicle. I saw the wreck coming and locked my feet on the floor and grabbed the dashboard with both hands. The car stopped, but my ass kept going at 55 miles per hour. I held on to the dashboard, which peeled neatly away in my death-grip as my head went into the windshield and my right knee wiped out all the hardware on the passenger door. I ricocheted off the windshield and ended up face-down on the floorboard with my hat and sunglasses in the back seat. The car was totalled and I was about two inches shorter than I was before compaction. The driver and I both walked away from the wreck, which was amazing if you looked at the car. Front-wheel drive probably saved our lives.

I learned my lesson that day and I have worn a seat belt ever since. But I still believe that the government has no business REQUIRING me to do so. I had a momma and daddy to raise me and enforce certain rules when I was a child. I am a grown man now, and I don't need some pinhead in Atlanta treating me as if I were still six years old. And I damned sure don't need those bloviating toads in Washington, DC to take care of me. I have a college degree, a good job and I pay more than my fair share of taxes (involuntarily, of course). I believe I am capable of making my own decisions without some do-gooder in government telling me how I must live my life.

But government has mutated from what the founding fathers envisioned into a giant octopus that inserts its slimy tentacles into every nook and cranny of life today. Somehow "promote the general welfare" became "micromanage every atom of existence," and we're getting to the point where the government wants to split those atoms and micromanage the pieces, too. And it's not because they're GOOD at it. Hell, the government would fuck up a one-float parade.

They do it because THEY CAN. And we allow it, like the docile sheep we have become.
Here's a pretty lame FRIDAY FIVE on a Sunday morning.

1) What are the first things you do in the morning to start your day?
I roll over, look at the alarm clock and groan. The alarm is set for 4:30, but I usually wake up before it goes off. I light a cigarette, turn off the alarm and smoke in bed. I contemplate using some of the 1,200 hours of sick leave I have at work. Then I get up and take a shower.

2) What are the last things you do at night before going to bed?
I set my alarm clock and say goodnight to a picture of my son, and I miss him so badly that I ache.

3) What daily routine have you recently added to your day?
Nothing. It's the same old shit every day.

4) What routine do you wish you could get rid of?
All of them. I want to shoot my alarm clock, move to Key West and play guitar for a living.

5) What's the one thing that makes you feel like something is missing if you don't do it at some point in your day?
I...MUST...BLOG! I have become a weblog junkie and I need my fix, every day. Mark Twain once observed that almost everyone starts a journal but few people keep it for more than a month. I started this blog on December 26, 2001. I'm going on my fourth month now, and I'm not tired yet. I believe it has become an obsession.
If I'm transporting a bunch of urine specimens, must I do what THIS KID had to do? I believe an airport security guard would be WEARING it before I drank it.
ATTACK OF THE KILLER HAMBURGER PATTIES!

Yesterday, I did about half of what I intended to do. I went to the Super Wal-Mart and bought a riding lawn mower, then drove to Springfield and purchased five pounds of centipede grass seed, a 50-pound bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer and a whirly-bird spreader. I tilled my front yard, raked all the suspicious triffids and body-snatcher pods into a couple of garbage bags and had my "lawn" ready for seeding.

That's when the Meat Man came by. I checked his wares and found them acceptable, so I bought $138 worth of dead cow meat from him. I stored the T-bones, filets and strips in my freezer in the garage, but I put two four-packs of frozen hamburger patties on the top shelf of the freezer in the kitchen refrigerator. I had three racks of baby-back ribs cooking at the time, so I didn't expect to eat any hamburger that evening. I just wanted to keep them handy.

That mercenary little shit Scott, along with his dad and sister, Kristin (a future heartbreaker if I ever saw one-- she's 17 and a lovely young blossom of a woman) arrived around 5:00 and RECONDO23 and his darling wife showed up shortly thereafter. The aroma of slow-cooking baby backs attracts people from all over to my house.

As I was preparing supper, I opened the freezer door to get some ice and one of those packs of frozen hamburger patties fell out. It landed squarely on the second toe of my right foot like a one-pound hockey puck and hurt like hell. This morning, I know why. My poor toe is purple and swollen to twice its normal size. I can barely stand. I believe I fractured something.

Although it's painful as can be, I still see the humor: in my freezer, I have the body parts of a martyr cow, a suicide toe-bomber, a dedicated terrorist and something evil beyond the grave. I'm just glad I didn't put one of those T-bones in the freezer door.