Saturday, June 22, 2002

"Miss Washington DC got 4 right. Miss Tennessee, Miss Massachusetts, and Miss New York got 5 right each. Miss Oregon got 6 right and went on to become Miss America and she cried a whole bunch and wore a tiara and all the other Miss Whatevers hugged her and Tony Danza sang."

Are you smarter than Miss America?

I got ALL EIGHT RIGHT on THIS TEST. Siso, you should be ashamed!

My back itches and I wish I had someone to scratch it for me. I honestly believe I enjoy a back-scratch as much as any pleasure in the world, except for ... well, I'm not going to talk about kinky sex tonight, so just trust me. I REALLY ENJOY having my back scratched. When someone with just the right fingernails does it, I know why a kitten purrs. I become docile, quiet and putty in her hands. My mama learned this fact early in my life, which saved her the cost of a tranquilizer dart-rifle when I was growing up. If I became unruly and she wanted to calm me down, all she had to say was, "Rob, would you like me to scratch your back?" That stopped everything I was doing at the time and everything I planned to do next. Some women I knew later in life extorted money from me by scratching my back, because I can't say "no" to ANYTHING while in the throes of such ecstacy.

Where are they tonight when I need them?

I sent my boy off to the movies to see Scooby-Doo with Jack and his sisters. He and Jack were getting a serious case of cabin fever around my crackerbox house with all the rain, so this movie thing is a good idea. I cooked a pot of boiled peanuts ($1.88 a pound at the Super Wal-Mart. OUTRAGEOUS price, but I bought them anyway) and a corned beef brisket while they were gone. I now have some carrots, potatoes and two genuine Vidalia onions steeping in the brisket-juice. My house smells wonderful!

People who aren't from the great state of Georgia may not be familiar with Vidalia onions. A Vidaila is the most perfect, sublime, sweetest onion known to man. I can eat one raw the way yankees eat apples. I like to cut a hole in one, stuff it with butter and minced garlic, then put it in the microwave for about three minutes and eat it that way. I like to grill a hamburger and garnish the bun with a slice of Vidalia onion as thick as the hamburger patty. I like to buy Vidalias in 50-pound sacks and freeze a lot of them for spaggetti and other sauces, then eat the rest before they begin to ferment. I live a mere 40 miles from Vidalia, so usually I have no problem obtaining all the onions I want at an excellent price.

But the Vidalia onion crop was wiped out this year. Global Warming brought an unusually cold spring down South and froze the first crop of tender onion seedlings in the field. About the time the farmers replanted, Global Warming brought another unheard-of frost in late spring and killed those onions, too. By then, it was too late to replant a third time. As a result, sweet Vidalias are in short supply. If you can find them at all, you'll pay about $1.00 per onion for them. I bought three today.

Ask Vidalia onion farmers about Global Warming and they'll ask for some next year.
Dax Montana has a rough job. He has to deal with YOUNG, NUBILE FEMALES COVERED WITH YAGERMIESTER at work. I don't know how he does it, night after night. My hat's off to him.

And I would like to lick a Yager out of the navel of THAT ONE! THAT ONE RIGHT THERE!
Well, JB, she says you helped, too, but you were probably just trying to get into her Southern California pants. I was being a chivalrous South Georgia gentleman. I believe HAIRY TOES is getting the hang of it now. Welcome aboard, sister!

I must learn more about the name of that site. The lemonade rhino I understand, but hairy toes? We simply must converse at length.

And I am a man of my word, goddess. You did me, so I did you. Are you... satisfied?
BLOGGER did its thing again this morning and devoured a great post about last night. I would try to reconstruct the entire piece, but I know that I cannot. That's the odd aspect of writing. The words come to mind, you arrange them on a page, sometimes all the planets align and you are proud of the end result. Lose the page, however, and you'll never get the words just as they were again. If I wrote it once, I should be able to repeat it, word for word. But I can't, and I don't want to try.

Dust in the wind...
If Al Gore could fail to reinvent government for eight years and settle for reinventing himself about every five days when he ran for President, I see no problem with Lynn reinventing her blog. I like the NEW TEMPLATE, but I preferred "Lynn Unleashed" to the new "Poets and Peasants" title. The old name had more "umph" to it. Of course, this opinion comes from a guy who named his site "GUT RUMBLES," so you may figure correctly that I am unqualified to speculate on the "umph" value of anything in a blog title. At least I didn't call my site "FART." I leave that subject to HEATHER.

After a few e-mail exchanges with Lynn, I am convinced that she is a persnickety, pedantic rule-monger of the English language whenever grammar and spelling are concerned. Guess what? SO AM I! My parents made many sacrifices so that I could attend college, learn to drink beer, perfect my poker skills and cut as many classes as possible. I emerged from that experience with a totally useless degree in English Literature, and I owe it to Mom and the memory of Dad at least to APPEAR to be literate whenever possible, just to prove that they spent their hard-earned money to some worthy effect. That's why I enjoyed Lynn's thoughts:

"The way I see it, there is a grammar spectrum much like the political spectrum. On one side (I'll let you decide whether it's left or right) you have the grammar snobs, the prissy old schoolmarm types who insist that we all must follow every grammatical rule no matter how archaic, and are constantly ready to pounce on the tiniest slip-up. On the other side you have the grammar slobs who believe it's their God-given right to break all the rules even if it means their writing is totally unreadable. Just like the two ends of the political spectrum, people at these two extremes tend to believe that everyone else is at the opposite extreme, even those who are fairly close to their postion, only slightly less extreme. (but I digress) The grammar snobs believe that everyone with less than perfect grammar (by their standards) is a slob bent on bringing about the destruction of the English language, while the slobs believe that anyone who dares to suggest that punctuation and a passing familiarity with the correct spelling of common everyday words might make what they write more readable is a snob and a fascist."

I look at writing the way an architect reads a blueprint. I have a project to complete, and certain rules apply. Important parts must be built strictly to code standards and the stress-bearing supports must handle the weight. The frills and the froo-frahs I attach for decoration are subject to my whimsey, and I make my own decisions there. But the steel that makes the structure stand must be strong and it must be put together RIGHT. If you don't know the rules, you can't build it.

Lynn offers a dare: "Okay, many mistakes did you find in that?" Okay, here goes.

#1) "The way I see it, there is a grammar spectrum much like the political spectrum." "There" is undefined. My college profs would have red-lined that baby and said "The way I see it, we have a grammar spectrum much like the political spectrum." Or, "The way I see it, a grammar spectrum exists much like our political spectrum."

#2) "the prissy old schoolmarm types who insist that we all must follow every grammatical rule no matter how archaic, and are constantly ready to pounce on the tiniest slip-up." Such as the tiny slip-up of a SPLIT INFINITIVE? "Constantly" is in the wrong place in that sentence.

I could be A REAL ASS the way some of my profs were in college and debate whether or not her paragraph ends with two run-on sentences. But I'm not going to do that because I really think her entire paragraph is MOST EXCELLENT. She has a thought, she expresses it most eloquently and the idea is cogent when she's done. A good writer can bend the rules (or break them and jump up and down on the pieces) in order to express an idea more clearly. Split an infinitive! End with a preposition! Screw the word "whom!" Writing in the verncaular sometimes is good, too, when that device helps to drive the point home. But every writer should know the rules first.

I read a lot of wordsmiths at work and I read a lot of semi-literate ranters in blogdom. I prefer the wordsmiths, even when they're breaking the rules, because they know what they're doing. The semi-literates don't mangle grammar and diction for style or effect. They do it because they don't know any better, and I believe that is a crying shame.

So, am I a fascist or a slob?

Friday, June 21, 2002

My 19 year-old daughter took the Monday Mission and said this:

6. Was there ever a time when your father became "uncool." Or maybe embarrassed you?
My dad likes to sing and play the guitar. He is really good, but it sometimes used to embarass me when he would sing and play infront of my friends because they thought it was "dorky', I feel differently now. I wish I had my dads musical talent and though I don't see him often, I wouldn't really mind at all if he sang and played infront of my friends. I guess when your 13 you don't know how to appreciate anything. I can't think of anything else embarassing that he did.

I'm PROUD of that.


Jack just threw up big time on my hall carpet. The boys "raced" to see who could eat supper first. My son won. Then, they wanted a nice, cold Yoo-Hoo for dessert. I gave them a bottle each and they raced to see who could drink it dry first. My son won again. He let out a contented belch and sat down on the couch. He has the cast iron belly of his Old Man. Jack rolled his eyes and took off running for the bathroom.

He didn't make it.

A 98.6 degree mixture of ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, milk and Yoo-Hoo is decorating my hall carpet like a piece of NEA-funded artwork. I have to clean it up and I am not good at that job. I sent the boys back to Jack's house while I gird my loins for the task. I hope I can do this without adding my personal contribution of White Zin and cucumbers to the canvass.
Right now, I am about to go kill two young men in my house. My son and his friend Jack are supposed to be watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone but I hear sound effects from a WWF wrestling match coming from MY BEDROOM, where they are supposed to be peacefully watching the movie in MY BED. Vengance will be mine!

I'm kidding about that, of course. I love both of those young'uns, but I'm going to stop the craziness before it gets out of hand. Supper is ready and it's time for them to eat. Besides, if they keep on with what they're doing, somebody will get hurt and I don't want that to happen.

Of course, some despicable people in the world don't feel the same way about children. They don't break up rough games and then feed them ham and green beans and mashed potatoes. They just kill them, even when THEY'RE ONLY FIVE YEARS OLD and beautiful. Open this link and see the picture of Gal Aizenman.

No, don't do that. It may sicken you the way it did me.

Too bad it doesn't sicken Yasser Arafat.
Well, either the taxidermists did a good job and equipped Osama's corpse with puppet wires and a hole in the back of his neck fit for a hand, or another Arab is LYING HIS ASS OFF. You decide.

I still believe Osama Bin Laden is as dead as a sack of dirt. His mortal remains exist as snot-like stains on the walls of a Tora-Bora cave or he died wretchedly in one piece, deaf from the bombing and crapping green liquid in his robes from too much concussion. Either way, I couldn't be more pleased that the world is rid of him.

If Osama were alive, we would have heard from him by now. It's an Arab thing. Those dumbasses will stand in the open and throw rocks at a tank, for crying out loud, just to show their bravery and defiance in the face of the enemy. The fact that throwing rocks at a tank and getting shot dead for it is a really STUPID thing to do never enters into their thinking. It's a glorious way to die, and that's good enough.

Of course, if the dumbass throws rocks at a tank and lives to tell about it, you can't shut the motor-mouthed bastard up afterward. The brag is just as important as the deed to an Arab. If Osama were alive, he would be turning out videos at the pace of a California porno factory and having them played on CNN every day. That hasn't happened.

The scumbag is dead and the Arab promising the second coming is lying.
As I was thinking all those brilliant thoughts under the influence of nitrous oxide in the dentist's chair yesterday, I happened to look out the window and notice that it was dark outside. I was puzzled. I arrived at the dentist at 4:00 and the unspeakable procedure they performed was supposed to take one hour. The gas had swept my mind far away from what was happening to me, and I wondered exactly how long I had been skipping barefoot and joyful through the wildflowers of anesthesia. My God, I thought. If it's THAT dark outside, it HAS to be past nine o'clock! I managed to crook my eyes to my wristwatch and saw 4:30 displayed clear as a bell. For a moment, I was convinced that I had been in the chair for twelve and one-half hours. Then, I saw the rain drops pounding the window panes.

The rain started sometime around 4:30 yesterday, and has quit only occasionally to catch its breath since. It's almost 7:00 PM today and Mother Nature is holding her water in abeyance right now, but the clouds remain glowering and forecasters predict a 90% chance of more rain tonight. I hope it comes, and comes some more, and keeps coming after that. For the first time since I bought this crackerbox house last October, the sandy yard is not making a giant sucking sound when water touches it. Every living plant in the neighborhood is at least three deeper shades of green than it was yesterday.

This thirsty sandhill I live on is almost sated. Now I say, drown the bastard!

Thursday, June 20, 2002

I've gone through the matrix, I have reviewed my supervisors one by one, and I am about to put the results on the official corporate document that flies like a suicide bomber to company headquarters (once it has passed through MY boss, HIS boss, the PLANT MANAGER and wherever else it goes) so that some strange, ill-defined entity known as CORPORATE HUMAN RESOURCES can correct any mistakes we made in PERFORMANCE REVIEWS for people they don't know from Adam's housecat. I do this task while sitting in my underwear at my computer (yes, Siso, I OCCASIONALLY wear clothes when I'm here alone) and I use a Magic Eight Ball to make all my decisions.

I hate doing this stuff. I DON'T hate performance reviews, because I believe they are a good tool to let people who work for you know what you think about how they do their jobs. But I DON'T like rating people and sending the forms off to Corporate Headquarters for THOSE WEENIES to peruse and modify before I show them to the people I am rating.

I have four pretty good supervisors working for me. Not a one is perfect (of course, I AM... gaakk, choke!) and I attempt to score them according to their abilities and point out what I consider to be their weaknesses. That plan backfired in my face two years ago, when I was told that I MUST rate one of my supervisors as "Needs Improvement" overall. Corporate "Human Resources" dehumanized everybody and resorted to a bell-shaped curve to get the nice, symmetrical results they wanted. That shit looks good on a chart and makes one hell of a Power Point presentation, especially when you don't have to deal with the actual "human resource" you're cold-bloodedly screwing.

I looked around the plant and saw areas where EVERY SUPERVISOR should have been rated "Needs Improvement." On the bell-shaped curve, one of those nimrods had to be rated "Exceeds Expectations" even he wasn't fit to polish the work boots of the worst supervisor in my area. But I had to choose and annoint a designated idiot, even if I didn't have one.

I am a good soldier. I did the deed, but I didn't like doing it and I thought it was totally unfair and ridiculous.

I'm not sure what corporate policy is this year. Human Resourses has been through a reinvention process and I am yet to see the mutation it has become. I simply soldier once again and submit the completed forms in the morning. I hope nobody in the rarefied air of corporate headquarters feels compelled to change anything. But they may. What is MY opinion worth? I just work with those people every day.

I know nothing about "human resources."
The Supreme Court made a pretty nit-wit decision today when it ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that giving the death penalty to mentally impaired murderers, sadists and scumbags is cruel and unusual punishment, and therefore unconstitutional. Lawyers will have a field day with that decision. They'll work to spare their cold-blooded killer clients from lethal injection NOT by proving that their clients are innocent of the crime, but by suggesting that their clients are REALLY STUPID.

Jesus! Most people who commit senseless, violent crimes aren't members of Mensa.

I agree with James Taranto when he writes, "In the future," the Associated Press reports, the ruling in Atkins v. Virginia "will mean that people arrested for a killing will not face a potential death sentence if they can show they are retarded, generally defined as having an IQ of 70 or lower." In the present it means that Daryl Atkins, who had 16 prior felony convictions when he murdered Airman Eric Nesbitt by shooting him eight times in the thorax, chest, abdomen, arms and legs, will be spared the death penalty. Atkins has an IQ of 59.

Does this ruling really make sense? Atkins may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but does it take a rocket scientist to figure out that murder is wrong? Besides, since when are liberals such enthusiasts for IQ tests? If you have a job opening for a rocket scientist--or a brain surgeon, for that matter--giving applicants an IQ test to select the most intelligent one would probably violate civil rights laws, as interpreted by the Supreme Court. IQ tests, after all, are "racially biased." Oh, and they don't really measure intelligence anyway, only the ability to take tests.

Even OPPONENTS OF THE DEATH PENALTY have a problem with this ruling. So do I.

I favor the death penalty in cases where there is ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT that the murderous bastard did it. In my beloved state of Georgia, we endured the Alday killings about twenty years ago. Three prison escapees, led by a truly evil individual named Carl Issacs, descended upon a rural farmhouse and murdered six innocent people, raped and sodomized one of the women, and then bragged about it when they were captured. There's a textbook case for the death penalty in my view.

They received the death penalty, but the sentences were overturned by a Federal Court that ruled the snotwads didn't have an impartial jury when they were tried in the same place where they committed the crime. I could understand that ruling if there were some question of their guilt. But Carl boasted that if he ever got out of prison he would DO IT AGAIN because he hated hard-working, upstanding people such as the Aldays. Two of the three got life sentences from the retrial, and at least one of them is free now. Carl is still in jail, nearly 30 years later, but not even a quick Google search can tell me if he remains on Death Row. I doubt that he does.

I am not so naive as to believe that innocent people have never been executed in this country. I don't have that kind of blind faith in our politicized legal system. That's why the death penalty should be reserved for people such as Carl Issacs, who we KNOW is deserving of it.

And I don't care if he has an IQ of 25. He was smart enough to break out of prison and commit the crime. He's smart enough to die for it, too.

Mothers kill their children a lot more often than most people think. Or maybe people just don't want to think about it. I don't. And I don't know how ANYONE can do what this woman did and live with herself.
After work, I spent an hour inhaling copious amounts of nitrous oxide in a dentist's chair while horrible things were done to me. The experience was unspeakable; therefore, I will not speak any more about it, except to say that I had some BRILLIANT THOUGHTS while floating on that gas cloud. They were clever, insightful, humorous, entertaining and downright beautiful ideas that would make PERFECT BLOGS. Unfortunately, when the gas wore off, I forgot every one of them.

I need a tank of that stuff for home use, because all I can offer now is this:

The Lone Ranger was ambushed and captured by an Indian war party. The Indian Chief proclaims "So, you are the great Lone Ranger. In honor of the Harvest Festival, you will be executed in three days. But, before I kill you, I will grant you three requests. What is your first request?"

The Lone Ranger responds, "I'd like to speak to my horse." The Chief nods and Silver is brought before the Lone Ranger, who
whispers in Silver's ear, and the horse gallops away. Later that evening, Silver returns with a beautiful blond woman on his back. As the Chief watches, the blond enters the Lone Ranger's tent and spends the night.

The next morning the Indian Chief admits he's impressed. "You have a veryfine and loyal horse, but I will still kill you in two days.
What is your second request?"

The Lone Ranger again asks to speak to his horse. Silver is brought to him and he again whispers in the horse's ear. As before, Silver
takes off across the plains and disappears over the horizon. Later that evening, to the Chief's surprise, Silver again returns, this time with a voluptuous brunette, even more attractive than the blond. She enters the Lone Ranger's tent and spends the night.

The following morning the Indian Chief is again impressed. "You are indeed a man of many talents, but I will still kill you tomorrow.
What is your last request?"

The Lone Ranger responds, "I'd like to speak to my horse, ALONE."

The Chief is curious, but he agrees and Silver is brought to the Lone Ranger's tent. Once they're alone, the Lone Ranger grabs Silver by both ears, looks him square in the eye and says, "Listen carefully, for the last time, I said BRING POSSE!"


Wednesday, June 19, 2002

I found an interesting observation on LYNN UNLEASHED today. She talks about BOSSES.

"I caught part of a discussion on NPR about bosses. I didn't like the way the moderator kept trying to excuse the bad behavior of some bosses, saying that employees needed to be more understanding of the pressures that managers have to deal with. I'm sure there's some truth in that but to me it sounded a little too much like typical victim mentality. Normal rules of behavior don't apply to me because I have to deal with stuff you don't understand."

I AM a boss, and I believe I'm a good one because I've worked for some TERRIBLE ones in my career. I learned a lot about how NOT to handle employees from them. But when Lynn mentioned "victim mentality," she unknowingly touched on the biggest headache a boss ever faces.

Too many employees seem to believe that "normal rules of behavior don't apply to me because I have to deal with stuff you don't understand." And when a boss tells them that normal rules of behavior, standard operating procedures and safety policies apply to EVERYBODY, they immediately decide that they are being singled out and picked on, not because they violate the rules, but because of something personal. How many times have I heard, "What have got against ME?" or "You're only messing with me because I'M BLACK and YOU'RE WHITE" or "If so-and-so did the same thing, you'd leave him alone 'cause he's you're buddy and I'M NOT." That's a self-styled victim talking.

They never say "I didn't do it," (well, some do, even when caught red-handed, but mostly they don't) or "I wasn't aware of that rule" or "Yeah, I know I screwed up, but I won't do it again." They become aggressive or whiny and do their very best to deflect the conversation away from their actions and onto something personal. The only way to deal with these people is to stick strictly to performance. That's what I do.

I once had an operator tell me "YOU don't tell me how to do MY job," as he jabbed an angry finger about 1/2 inch from my nose. I said, "Oh, yes I DO. That's why I am called YOUR SUPERVISOR. I can't MAKE you do what I ask, but I CAN make you wish you did. You've been given an assignment. Now you decide how we're gonna play this game." I turned around and walked off. He probably fretted and fumed the rest of the day and told all his buddies about how he would whip my ass if he ever caught me on the street, but he completed the assignment just the way I asked him to do it. I checked on him about an hour after our confrontation and he was on the right track, so I just said, "looking good," and kept on walking.

Had he not done it, I would have suspended him on the spot and done my level best to fire his sorry, insubordinate ass. But I don't use "insubordination" as a charge warranting disciplinary action against anyone. I use "POOR JOB PERFORMANCE." Cussing me and waving a finger in my face is not a firing offense. That's bad attitude, and I can't change anybody's attitude. Cussing me, waving a finger in my face and then not doing what I told you to do IS a firing offense. That's poor job performance, and I CAN change that, regardless of attitude.

I am not a little Hitler, my-way-or-the-highway dictator on the job. I listen to good advice from experienced operators. If I tell one of my people to do something and they say, "Rob, are you SURE you want to do that?" I stop and listen. If they have a better idea, I'll run with that. And if simply SOUNDS like a better idea and I run with it only to see it blow up in my face, guess what? I take the flack. I have never scapegoated anyone for decisions I made that turned out to be wrong. That's why the good operators still give me good advice.

Here is my philosophy about being a good boss:

1) HANDLE YOUR PEOPLE WITH CARE That doesn't mean "treat everybody the same," because everybody is different. No two people respond alike to supervision, and you're a goddam fool if you believe one size fits all. With some people, just tell 'em what you want and get the hell out of the way. With others, explain it carefully, tell them why the task needs to be performed a certain way, and check regularly to make sure they're doing it correctly. With others, you'd better take them by the hand, walk them through it, then have THEM walk YOU through it, just to make sure they understand. Get to know your people. Every one is different.

2) BE CONSISTENT One of the worst bosses I ever worked for allowed all sorts of safety violations in his area, never enforced the absentee policy and even bought chances in a football pool one of his operators was running on the job. An accident occurred in his area, he got his butt chewed by the Plant Manager, and he became a Born-Again Disciplinarian overnight. He came to work the next day, issued written reprimands to half the crew for stuff they had been doing for months, suspended two people for safety violations he routinely ignored before he got his butt chewed, and confiscated the football pool and had the operator fired for running it. I wanted to puke when I saw that.

I don't treat everybody alike, but I enforce all the rules uniformly. The way I enforce them doesn't change depending on which side of the bed I slept on last night, or whether the Plant Manager chewed my ass the day before. The rules don't change depending on who violated them. We do some things by the book, all the time, and if YOU DON'T, you pay for it. That never changes.

3) KEEP YOUR WORD Never promise what you can't deliver, and never fail to deliver what you promise. That sword cuts both ways and people who work for you need to know and appreciate that fact. If they want improvements on the job, or a new microwave oven for the breakroom or a reward for outstanding performance, such as a free hat from the company store for a record production month, and you say you'll do it, then by God DO IT. Otherwise, don't say that you will. By the same token, if you announce to one and all that "I'm gonna suspend the next person who runs that tank over!" do THAT, too. Never lie and never threaten.

4) NEVER ARGUE WITH A SUBORDINATE You're the boss, so act like it. "SHUT UP AND DO IT" is a last resort and I seldom need to apply that tactic, but even that is better than having every decision you make the subject of debate. A work crew is not a democracy. The supervisor's word is law and that fact should be well understood. A good boss is a benevolent dictator. Behave that way.

5) DON'T MAKE FRIENDS WITH PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR YOU This axiom took me years to figure out, but it's essential. Even if you and your friend know that everything is strictly business inside the plant, the fact that you play golf together and your wives are good friends and you eat dinner at each other's houses muddies the water. That's especially true if your friend is the best operator you've got and you never have to chew his ass about anything. That may be what made him your friend, but other people will see it as favoritism. Don't go there. When people say "it's lonely at the top," sometimes it is.

6) BE LIKED BY THE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR YOU My God! How can I possibly say THAT when I just warned that you shouldn't make friends with people who work for you? I didn't invent that idea on my own. I got it from Gordon Jackson, who is a magnificent motivational speaker from Atlanta and a man of clear thought about such things. A sad fact of human nature is that we will not do our best for someone we find replusive. If we have a boss we find to be disgusting enough, we'll go out of our way to screw HIM up. In doing so, we screw up the whole operation. Gordon's example was Johnny Majors as head football coach at the University of Tennessee. Majors was a God in that state. The top recruits across the nation wanted to play for that legend. But when they got to school, they quickly discovered that they didn't like Johnny Majors, they didn't play well for him, and the Tennessee football team stunk up the SEC while Majors was there. He was fired, they hired Phill Fulmer, who the players LIKE, and Tennessee is a powerhouse again. If people don't like working for you, they won't work for you.

And that's all I have to say about THAT.

FREE AT LAST! FREE AT LAST! Thank God Almighty, he's FREE AT LAST!

SPEEDY GONZALES has been released from politically-correct prison and is scampering over the airwaves again. It is a good day for us all.

"Arriba! Arriba! Andele, andele! Arriba!"
On August 17, "millions" of angry blacks are supposed to descend on Washington DC to attend the "Millions For Reparations" rally. Their battle cry will be, (you guessed it) "YOU OWE US!" Well, those "millions" need to take a ticket and stand in line with all the rest of the aggrieved, whimpering, no-account, conniving, scam-artist parasites who glommed on THAT particular whine long before THEY did.

Besides, do the silly bastards organizing this charade really believe they would be better off today in Rwanda? In Zimbabwe? In Nigeria? In South Africa? If the American taxpayer owes these squalling malcontents anything, it is a one-way ticket back to the African nation of their choice, along with some quinine pills to stave off malaria and a box of condoms to forestall AIDS. The tse-tse flies and the River Blindness they'll just have to handle on their own.

Blithering idiots. The United States may not be totally devoid of racism, but black citizens here enjoy the highest standard of living they'll find anywhere in the world. And we don't have a murderous despot running the country, which is the case throughout Africa.

I agree with this man. Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, founder and president of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND), and a critic of the rally, said, "If that many people have enough money to go to D.C. to march, then they don't need reparations... As long as you give into these people, there is no stopping them. There is no end to their destruction if we don't stand up to them with truth."

You go, Rev!

Until I get my pump, I want AN ORGASMATRON that I can keep in a fanny-pack and carry wherever I go. If I turn it ON in the fanny-pack and like what I feel, I just may quit looking for a woman.

I probably should purchase a Shiver Me Timbers, too, so I can be a double-threat. I'll wear that one under my hat and give a whole new meaning to the term, "good head."
The ice caps are melting! Glaciers are retreating! The permafrost is no longer perma! Global Warming is coming and WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!

Then why is THIS SHIP stuck in "solid ice about 25 to 30 centimetres (10 to 12 inches) deep in the Muskegbukta Bay of Antarctica?

Yep, global warming is afoot here, and those scorching temperatures are slowing the rescue effort. " a South African defence forces spokesman has said rescue operations could be made difficult by the fact that it was dark in the area 24 hours a day, and temperatures drop to minus 50 degrees Celsius (minus 122 degrees Fahrenheit)."

Sign Koyoto! Sign it NOW, before it's too late! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

If you're a TREKKER, you should check THIS SITE. We star-gazers need to stick together.
PROMO GUY has another Monday Mission, and I have accepted it.

1. What does Father's Day mean to you personally?
A lot more than it once did. I took my son for granted, the same way I did my father, when I expected them both to be around forever. Now my father is dead and my son is mine four days per month. I want both of them back, full time. I have an entirely new perspective.

2. Was there a Father, or a Father Figure in your life as you grew up?
A very powerful, influencial Father Figure. MY FATHER. He was a hell of a man.

3. a) If you are a parent, is the father of your child(ren) involved on a daily basis? Is that even important?
Oh hell yes, it's important. But, no, I'm not involved AT ALL, except for four days each month. That "daily basis" privilege was taken from me by a bloodless cunt of an ex-wife, who says I rejected it because I won't play pretty around the unemployed, dope-smoking lover that she checked out fully while we were still married. Can't we all just get along? NO, WE CAN'T!!!

4. With Rosie, Callista, Jodie and Camryn all raising children without Fathers, Hollywood seems to be sending a message that children do not need male role models. Do you agree? Are these "stars" sending a good message to the young adults who admire them?
They're sending the same message my ex-wife believes. She has babysitters, camps, sports teams and occasionally an ex-father to dump the kid on while she claws her way to success. If you succeed at work, and establish a career, why does your child need a father?

5. Do you think the absence of a loving, caring father in the life of a child could have any influence on their sexual preferences when the child grows up?
My son has a loving, caring father. I'm just not around as much as I would like to be. And if he grows up to be gay, I'll love him with all my heart anyway, the same as I do now.

6. Was there ever a time when your father became "uncool." Or maybe embarrassed you?
Not really. I fought with my father, I defied my father and I often did exactly the opposite of what he told me to do, just to show him that I could, but he never embarrassed me. I always have been proud of my father and I remain so today.

7. Are you ever too old to kiss your Dad?
I never kissed my Dad in my life that I can recall. I regret that now.

BONUS: When you coming home, dad?
Unfair, painful question. Because the answer is "never." I should have deleted this part of the questionaire.

Today at work, I had to do a PSSR (Pisser, as I call it) on a new operation we will begin test-driving next week. A Pre-Start-up Safety Review is a dry walk-down of a new system that is ALMOST ready to run, where a collection of "subject matter experts" examine everything with a fine-toothed comb and create a punch-list of items that must be corrected before we in Operations actually take charge of our new baby. The "Pissers" involved were the Design Engineer, the Construction Coordinator, the Safety Specialist, the Area Support Chemical Engineer, the Area Trainer and poor old Acidman Mars, who is responsible for making the new creation run whether it's a Golden Child or a Thalidamide Baby. Needless to say, I take these exercises pretty seriously if I see something I really don't like.

Most of the defects we found were minor and easily corrected. Engineers draw P&IDs for a project. P&IDs are basic line drawings that show where pipes go, how many valves are needed and what instruments should be put on those pipes. But P&IDs don't say "put the valve HERE" and drill the instrument tap "THERE." So, you always end up with an important isolation valve or two put where Spiderman couldn't reach them and instrument taps drilled right next to the valves. My big problem with such idiocy is not with the engineer. It's with the allegedly skilled craftsmen who installed that ridiculous crap. If I were a professional pipefitter, before I ever installed a valve on a line, I would ask myself one question: would I ever want to open it, close it or work on it where I am about to install it? If the answer is "HELL NO!" then I wouldn't put the valve there. But these professional craftsmen do it all the time.

They are contractors. They'll never see that valve again in their lives. They KNOW that they'll never have to open it, close it or work on it. They'll install it KNOWING it's screwed up and just hope to get away with it. That's one of the main reasons we conduct "PISSERS."

We started on the third floor and walked the system for seven floors up from there. When you hit the end of this new line, the only thing higher in the air than you are is the 180' and 200' stacks at the back of the plant. We found a few of those "Spiderman" construction defects and noted them (Bwhahaha! The slack bastard that did it will have to come back and do it right the second time. HE SEES THE VALVE AGAIN! Unfortunately, we probably pay extra for the dorkle to undo his mistake.)

We finally walked through the dust and the noise and arrived on the roof next to the new baghouse. While everybody else was checking out the baghouse, the exhaust blower and the pulsaire system, I heard the Safety Specialist say, "THE WHITE END SUCKS." I turned around and said, "What?"

"The White End sucks," he said. "Somebody wrote it right there on that I-beam." Sure enough, one poetic construction worker had penciled his thoughts about the area where I work in bold letters on that beam. I laughed and said, "He got THAT right!"

The Area Trainer said, "It takes a special kind of person to work the White End. Either you like it, or you hate it. There is no in-between. And my opinion is, fuck the ones who don't like it." My Area Trainer is a White End guy. The same as I am.

In manufacturing pigment, we take black sand and turn it into the whitest substance known to man. (Before some overly-scientific perfectionist such as Stephen Den Beste corrects me, I'll confess that the pigment actually IS NOT white. It is a clear crystal that refracts light in such a way that it APPEARS to be white to the human eye. Who cares? I look like a slender version of Frosty the Snowman when I get it all over me.) The guys who work in RAW PIGMENTS handle the stuff when it's still black, and when they put into a gaseous form. They seldom are covered up with it, which is a good thing, because they use a lot of hazardous chemicals to change the ore from black to white.

When the BACK-END guys are done with their magic, they send the product to me as a white liquid. I classify it, grind it, treat it, filter it, dry it and grind it into a very fine dust, then package it for shipment to our customers. Depending on what kind of dust we're making, you consumers find the finished product in paint, paper, plastic, vinyl siding, the white stripe on whitewall tires, the white M&M on M&Ms, the shiny icing on your birthday cake, the abrasive in your toothpaste and the stuff that actually refracts sunlight off your naked flesh when you wear sunscreen. Our pigment goes into all kinds of things.

White End guys are the ones who deal with the finely-milled dust and blow a lot of white boogers from their noses when a day of problems is over. White End guys bathe with Ivory Dishwashing soap, because that's the only detergent that will remove that stuff from their skin. White End guys shower, exit the shower with the water still running so they can check their naked selves in the mirror to find the white spots they missed, then climb back in the shower to remove them. Blacks and whites work well together in the White End, because everybody is Frosty when things go bad.

I am a White End guy, like my Area Trainer, my shift supervisors and their operators. Maybe when you scrub with dishwashing detergent often enough to remove the dust, you squeeze it under your skin and into your bloodstream. I really can't explain it, but I've worked almost everywhere in that plant over the last 22 years, and I've seen what the other areas have to offer. Today, there is nowhere I would rather work than the White End.

It may "suck" to other people, but it's home to me.
Well, JB threw down the gauntlet and my Southern pride insists that I respond honorably:

"Dude, 'cause we is buds and of a southern tradition and all, which once used to distrust DC, and since we like to argue without getting pissed at one another personally, I'll just make ya a bet, okay?
If Jr. gets back in office in 2004, I come to your joint, buy steaks and white Zin, and pick fiddle witchoo at your joint while you tell me what a political jerk I am. But if Mrs. Bill is Prez come January of 2005, I want a full page ad in the NY Times extolling my virtues as an unprecedented political genius.

Which will mean press conferences, and I will let you sit next to Ole Blue Tick. Now ain't that one o' them thar real good, good ole boy bets? You on, Bubba?"

You bet your last Budweiser I'm on! Unfortunately, I won't live to see the full-page ad in The NY Times, nor will I sit with you and Ole Blue Tick while you bask in celebrity if you win. I'll pay for the ad and hope that you wangle your own talk show out of the subsequent publicity. I hate to lose any bet I make, but I simply could not stand to lose this one. You see, I have this thing about Hillary. It's not a good thing, either.

If Hillary Clinton EVER is elected President of the United States, I will drown myself in my goddam bathtub. Just as soon as I light a candle on my coffee table and open the discharge valve on a full five-gallon tank of propane strategically placed on the living room floor. AFTER I eat every pill in my medicine cabinet, drink every drop of liquor in my crackerbox house and slit both wrists. And AFTER I use Super Glue to stick the handle of every Ginsu Knife I own solidly against the bathroom wall so I may throw my naked body into a wall of blades and puncture at least three vital organs before I slide bleeding into the tub. And AFTER I steer my self-propelled Toro tiller into the bathroom and shut the door with the engine running.

Did mention that I would DROWN MYSELF IN MY GODDAM BATHTUB, too?

Needless to say, I hope I win this bet.

Monday, June 17, 2002

After I attempted to throw a wet blanket on his fires of outrage about US policy in the Middle East, THE BLUE TICK GUY discovered the name of that spinless jellyfish school administrator I ranted about a few days ago, who folded like a bad poker hand when the parents of a failing student threatened to SUE THE TEACHER unless the dipstick student was allowed to pass. I thought the administrator was a cowardly ass.

Guess what? I WAS RIGHT! Even his name fits. "Assistant Superintendent Dudley Butts of the Peoria Unified School District" was the educator who made that call. A BUTT and a DUD, besides.

Our children are our future.... and we have DUD BUTTS in charge of their education. The future is bleak.
I was pretty sure how I would score before I took THIS TEST and I was right on the money. I racked up 26 POINTS, which means that I am not only TOTALLY CORRUPT, but also a MENACE TO SOCIETY.

HEATHER scored a mere 17 points and probably posted the test (knowing that I would take it) just to prove how much sweeter she is that I am. Well, she's a lot younger, too, so there's still time for her to gain a few of the unique life experiences I've enjoyed that really inflated my score. But that was all a long time ago. I'm too old for all of that wild stuff now.

Unless, of course, I see the window of opportunity...
The truth is out. DAX MONTANA doesn't exist. That's just a fantasy character created by fevered minds during raw, sweaty sex, which probably involved the misuse of old wine bottles and rosary beads.

I am disappointed.
That guy who drinks beer in a lawn chair and scratches behind OL' BLUE TICK'S EARS is ventilating a lot of steam lately over US policy in the Middle East. Well, the weather is hot where he lives, and a certain amount of steaming is expected. But I respectfully disagree with some of his thinking.

"The US likes weak little nations it can crush in a week or so. Europe or China would be a real pain, and even North Korea and Castro would embarrass us if we tried. The EU will live, and Turkey, one of the most consistent western allies (remember the Jupiter missles, Kruschev, the Cuban Missle Crisis)(unlike Greece and its perpetual flirtation with communism), yeah, Turkey will get shat upon by the flipping EU bureaucrats getting paid way too many bucks to screw up an entire continent."

I don't believe the US makes a habit of running all over the globe looking for weak little nations to crush. That's the main reason we don't go after the Big Boys. We're just not actively engaged in the nation-crushing business. In Grenada, Cubans were up to no good and holding American citizens hostage. I've got no problem with what we did there. We ran the Cubans off, rescued our people, and got the hell out of there. The Noreiga affair in Panama wasn't my favorite action ever taken by my government, because the asinine WAR ON DRUGS was used as a partial excuse, but old Pineapple Face was a corrupt thug who stood astride the Panama Canal (even if we DO own both ends of it) and both America and the people he ruled are better off without him. The Gulf War is a no-brainer. That was the right thing to do. The only mistake was stopping before the job was finished. We have no need to set our sights on China, Europe or North Korea, because we are not a belligerant nation and they pose no immediate threat to our well-being (although I would keep a close eye on North Korea).

"Hey, I have an idea to solve the whole problem. Let's bomb Iraq! I am sure it is Hussein's fault somehow . . . aren't you?
He is at fault for everything else in the world. Add this to the list! Ever wonder why Arabs and Muslims just might hate us?
F**k them! Kill their ass! Yep. Makes sense to me. Imagine if another country stuck its nose into our business like we do into every other country of the world. Well, actually, we don't. We won't dare tell the EU or China or Russia what to do, because they might be able to kick our ass. And our ego is so flipping fragile that we would rather beat up on the little shits of the world. Challenge the big boys? Hell, Reagan was the last to do that! And the Dem Congress reacted as if they had overdosed on Ex-Lax!"

Arabs and Muslims hate us because they are fevered religious fanatics who see America as a threat to their primitive, misogynistic, repressive 12th-century culture, and they are altogether correct. We are a terrible threat. Not because we have the military might to crush them, but because our concepts of personal freedom, technological progress and free-market capitalism offer hope to a hopeless people, and if their repressed citizens ever get a good whiff of it, they'll bolt for the good life and leave the mullas behind. The Islamofascists believe they can prevent that from happening by declaring jihad against us. They can't win, but they can kill a lot of Americans in their foolish efforts. We cannot and SHOULD NOT allow them to live their fantasy war. They are the rattlesnake in the back yard. The only smart play is to kill it before it bites. And Saddam is the biggest, most dangerous snake of them all. He has lots of money, he is a complete amoral brute, and he is crazy as a shithouse rat. We should rid the world of him.
And don't forget, Congress may have shat itself when Reagan challenged the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union, but we won that fight without a shot being fired.

"The United States of America, since 1898, has made 40 armed incursions into other sovereign nations without the first declaration of war.
Thank God we are a peace-loving people!"

Yes, forty armed incursions and our Empire consists of how many conquered territories today? None? You mean we bloodthirsty bullies invaded 40 TIMES and we don't have a single slave-nation to show for it? I don't believe that's ever been done before in the history of the world. We conquered Germany and Japan and rebuilt both countries. We brought the Soviet Union to its knees and now have become their ally. We are the only legitimate superpower on the globe, but we fight only when provoked. JB, you are exactly right: "Thank God we are a peace-loving people!"

Now, our peace-loving military needs to topple Saddam, engineer a regime-change in Iran, get rid of the thugs who run Syria and bring that idiotic jihad stuff to an immediate halt. They started it. Now, we finish it.

If you haven't already tried THIS REALLY COOL SEARCH ENGINE, try it now. Plug in your URL and see what a tangled web you weave.
Yasser Arafat doesn't like THE FENCE Israel is building to make it a little more difficult for suicide bombers to stroll into the country and detonate themselves. Arafat calls it "a sinful assault on our land, an act of racism and apartheid which we totally reject."

And I call him a murderer, a terrorist, a liar and a THIEF who cares more about his power and self-aggrandizement than he ever did the Palestinian people. And who is that bearded jerkwad to "totally reject" anything? His days are numbered, his power is fading rapidly, and even his own people that he's not important anymore. Yeah, puff and bluster, you bloated toad, but nobody's paying any attention.

Arafat has been a festering boil on the buttocks of this planet far too long. Lance him, and get it over with.
When a black man "carrying three loaded guns, 153 rounds of ammunition and a samurai sword," along with "a police baton, a bottle of kerosene, a fireplace lighter and more than 100 plastic handcuffs" shoots three people, holds forty bar patrons hostage, rants about "white people" and appears intent upon killing every honkie in the joint, is it a HATE CRIME?

Of course not! Blacks can't commit hate crimes. They can only be victims of hate crimes. That's why Hate Crime legislation is a cretinous idea.

""Political liberals allow that the State may use its power to make us act in ways that are right; but they generally insist that the State may not use its power to impose a particular conception of the good life on its citizens. It may not legislate virtue or suppress vice. It may not invade the realm of private beliefs, desires, hatreds, biases, hopes, ambitions, etc. In short, it may make our actions good, but it may not make us good actors.

"Those who favor hate crime legislation, and its implicit license to use the power of the state to suppress vice and encourage virtue, have to admit that they are not liberals. They are, rather, 'political perfectionists,' who view the legitimate power of the state as extending to legislation that will nurture in us charitable, kind, courageous dispositions, and eliminate selfish, cowardly, cruel dispositions. Political perfectionism is not without impressive defenders. But the power that it bequeaths to the State is breathtaking....such legislation suggests that the state has abandoned the constraints of liberalism and extended its power to affect not only what we do, but who we are."

Heidi M. Hurd, Professor of Law and Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania

I've always believed that a person has to be crazy to play rugby. A person has to be a stark, raving lunatic to play NUDE TOUCH RUGBY, but evidently some folks do. I'm a pretty kinky guy, but I think I'll pass on that one.

I don't want to get in ANY naked scrum that's part of something called "The New Zealand Backpacker Festival."

Sunday, June 16, 2002

I believe LYNN has the right idea here:

What to do with a Peace Activist...

1. Listen politely while this person explains their views. Strike up a conversation if necessary and look very interested in their ideas. They will tell you how revenge is immoral, and that by attacking the people who did this to us; we will only bring on more violence. They will probably use many arguments, ranging from political to religious to humanitarian.

2. In the middle of their remarks, without any warning, punch them in the nose.

3. When the person gets up off the ground, they will be very angry and they may try to hit you so be careful.

4. Very quickly and calmly remind the person that violence only brings about more violence and remind them of their stand on this matter. Tell them if they are committed to a nonviolent approach to undeserved attacks, they will turn the other cheek and negotiate a solution. Tell them they must lead by example if they really believe what they are saying.

5. Most of them will think for a moment and then agree that you are correct.

6. As soon as they do that, hit them again. Only this time hit them much harder. Square in the nose.

7. Repeat steps 2 - 5 until the desired results are obtained and the idiot realizes how stupid of an argument he/she is making
Today is Father's Day.

My father died at 7:00 in the morning on October 12, 1992. I was there when it happened, and my brother and I made the funeral arrangements later that morning. I managed to get through the visitation and the burial service without breaking down into a blubbering fool, but that was a rough ride. My father was the most influencial person in my life, and almost ten years later I still think about him every day and sometimes dream about him at night.

He gave me a strong work ethic and he taught me to love reading. He tried to interest me in carpentry, woodworking, plumbing, bricklaying and other mechanical skills he possessed, but none of that stuff ever really inspired me. Those things never took with my brother, either. I can do a half-assed job of most of those things if I really concentrate, but I would rather not. My brother doesn't even try.

My father built model ships, with all the intricate parts and delicately threaded rigging, and I wanted to run screaming from the room when I saw the patience and concentration he put into that work. He was that way about a lot of things. As for me, even with a meticulous, detail-oriented father, I ended up with the attention span of a sand gnat.

I look more like my Mama than I do him, but I have his eyes, and I passed them on to my son. One of my biggest regrets is that my son never met his grandfather. Dad died one year and two months before Quinton was born. That young man will never know what he missed. My Dad would have doted on my son to the point of obnoxiousness, which is a good thing for grandfathers to do. I wish he could have known my boy and given him some of the things he gave to me

My Dad and I didn't always get along ("too much alike," according to Mom) and we had some real head-butting contests, especially during my disgusting teenage years. But I always respected him. He earned that by the way he lived his life, as a hard worker, a good husband, a fine father and one hell of a man.

Happy Father's Day, Pop!

I was hoping to see my son today. I don't believe that's going to happen. I've called several times since Friday, but all I get is the answering machine, and none of my messages have been returned. The ex is off somewhere with my son and her lover.

Happy Father's Day to me, too.
My MOM sent me this e-mail. You'll notice that it contains NO PROFANITY:

An unemployed man is desperate to support his family. His wife watches TV all day and his three teenage kids have dropped out of high school to hang around with the local toughs. He applies for a janitor's job at a large firm and easily passes an aptitude test.

The human resources manager tells him, "You will be hired at minimum wage of $5.15 an hour. Let me have your e-mail address so that we can get you in the loop. Our system will automatically e-mail you all the forms and advise you when to start and where to report on your first day."

Taken back, the man protests that he is poor and has neither a computer nor an e-mail address. To this the manager replies, "You must understand that to a company like ours that means that you virtually do not exist. Without an e-mail address you can hardly expect to be employed by a high-tech firm. Good day."

Stunned, the man leaves. Not knowing where to turn and having $10 in his wallet, he walks past a farmers' market and sees a stand selling 25lb crates of beautiful red tomatoes. He buys a crate, carries it to a busy corner and displays the tomatoes. In less than 2 hours he sells all the tomatoes and makes 100% profit. Repeating the process several times more that day, he ends up with almost $100 and arrives home that night with several bags of groceries for his family.

During the night he decides to repeat the tomato business the next day. By the end of the week he is getting up early every day and
working into the night. He multiplies his profits quickly. Early in the second week he acquires a cart to transport several boxes of
tomatoes at a time, but before a month is up he sells the cart to buy a broken-down pickup truck. At the end of a year he owns three old trucks. His two sons have left their neighborhood gangs to help him with the tomato business, his wife is buying the tomatoes, and his daughter is taking night courses at the community college so she can keep books for him.

By the end of the second year he has a dozen very nice used trucks and employs fifteen previously unemployed people, all selling tomatoes. He continues to work hard. Time passes and at the end of the fifth year he owns a fleet of nice trucks and a warehouse which his wife supervises, plus two tomato farms that the boys manage. The tomato company's payroll has put hundreds of homeless and jobless people to work. His daughter reports that the business grossed a million dollars.

Planning for the future, he decides to buy some life insurance. Consulting with an insurance adviser, he picks an insurance plan to
fit his new circumstances. Then the adviser asks him for his e-mail address in order to send the final documents electronically. When the man replies that he doesn't have time to mess with a computer and has no e-mail address, the insurance man is stunned,

"What, you don't have e-mail? No computer? No Internet? Just think where you would be today if you'd had all of that five years ago!"

"Ha!" snorts the man. "If I'd had e-mail five years ago I would be sweeping floors at Microsoft and making $5.15 an hour."

Which brings us to the moral: ..........................

Since you got this story by e-mail, you're probably closer to being a janitor than a millionaire.

Sadly, I received it also.