Thursday, April 30, 2009

Up Jumped the Devil

My grandmother used to warn us that we should never mention the devil’s name aloud as he would take it as an invitation to show up. Not that I've been talking about the devil, but it often happens that when we discuss something that hasn’t happened in a long time, it happens almost immediately.

Two days ago, Judy commented on the fact that VP Biden hadn’t been seen or heard in several weeks. I opined that he was probably locked up someplace with no microphones around to tempt him, but then he quickly pops up to make an idiotic statement about Swine Flu.

Yesterday, we were discussing all the birds we have around here and I mentioned that I had yet to see a Redheaded Woodpecker, though they are in this area. This morning, I looked out the window and a male Redhead landed on the dead tree where the Titmouse made her nest. He looked into the hole, decided there was nothing in there for him and flew off to find something more interesting.

I was also talking about the recent absence of scorpions. Last year, they were all over the place and then they suddenly disappeared. Well, I mentioned that fact over coffee last week, and today I saw a scorpion on the driveway.

With all those recent coincidences, I’m not going to say anything about…Well, I just won’t mention it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fantasy or Prophesy?

From a couple of recent e-mails...sources unknown.

And it came to pass in the Age of Insanity that the people of the land called America , having lost their morals, their initiative, and their will to defend their liberties, chose as their Supreme Leader that person known as The One.

He emerged from the vapors with a message that had no meaning; but He hypnotized the people telling them, "I am sent to save you. My lack of experience, my questionable ethics, my monstrous ego, and my association with evil doers are of no consequence. For I shall save you with Hope and Change. Go, therefore, and proclaim throughout the land that he who preceded me is evil, that he has defiled the nation, and that all he has built must be destroyed."

And the people rejoiced. For even though they knew not what The One would do, He had promised that it was good; and they believed..

And The One said "We live in the greatest country in the world. Help me change everything about it!"

And the people said, "Hallelujah!! Change is good!"

Then He said, "We are going to tax the rich fat cats,"----

And the people said "Sock it to them!"

Then He said "---- and redistribute their wealth."

And the people said, "Show us the money!"

And then He said, "Redistribution of wealth is good for everybody."

And Joe the plumber asked, "Are you kidding me? You're going to steal my money and give it to the deadbeats??"

And The One ridiculed and taunted him, and Joe's personal records were hacked and publicized.

One lone reporter asked, "Isn't that Marxist policy?"

And she was banished from the kingdom!

Then a citizen asked, "With no foreign relations experience and having zero military experience or knowledge, how will you deal with radical terrorists?"

And The One said, "Simple. I shall sit with them and talk with them and show them how nice we really are; and they will forget that they ever wanted to kill us all!"

And the people said, "Hallelujah!! We are safe at last, and we can beat our weapons into free cars for the people!"

Then The One said, "I shall give 95% of you lower taxes."

And one, lone voice said, "But 40% of us don't pay ANY taxes."

So The One said, "Then I shall give you some of the taxes the fat-cats pay!"

And the people said, "Hallelujah!! Show us the money!"

Then The One said, "I shall tax your Capital Gains when you sell your homes!"

And the people yawned and the slumping housing market collapsed.

And He said, "I shall mandate employer- funded health care for EVERY worker and raise the minimum wage. And I shall give every person unlimited healthcare and medicine and transportation to the clinics."

And the people said, "Gim'me some of that!"

Then he said, "I shall penalize employers who ship jobs overseas."

And the people said, "Where's my rebate check?"

Then The One said, "I shall bankrupt the coal industry and electricity rates will skyrocket!"

And the people said, "Coal is dirty, coal is evil, no more coal! But we don't care for that part about higher electric rates."

So The One said, "Not to worry. If your rebate isn't enough to cover your expenses, we shall bail you out. Just sign up with ACORN and your troubles are over!"

Then He said, "Illegal immigrants feel scorned and slighted. Let's grant them amnesty, Social Security, free education, free lunches, free medical care, bi-lingual signs and guaranteed housing..."

And the people said, "Hallelujah!!" And they made him King!

And so it came to pass that employers, facing spiraling costs and ever-higher taxes, raised their prices and laid off workers. Others simply gave up and went out of business and the economy sank like unto a rock dropped from a cliff. The banking industry was destroyed. Manufacturing slowed to a crawl. And more of the people were without a means of support.

Then The One said, "I am the The One - The Messiah - and I'm here to save you! We shall just print more money so everyone will have enough!"

But our foreign trading partners said unto Him, "Wait a minute. Your dollar is not worth a pile of camel dung! You will have to pay more..."

And the people said, "Wait a minute. That is unfair!!"

And the world said, "Neither are these other idiotic programs you have embraced. Lo, you have become a Socialist state and a second-rate power. Now you shall play by our rules!"

And the people cried out, "Alas, alas!! What have we done?"

But yea verily, it was too late. The people set upon The One and spat upon him and stoned him, and his name was dung. And the once mighty nation was no more; and the once proud people were without sustenance or shelter or hope. And the Change The One had given them was as like unto a poison that had destroyed them and like a whirlwind that consumed all that they had built.

And the people beat their chests in despair and cried out in anguish, "Give us back our nation and our pride and our hope!!"

But it was too late, and their homeland was no more.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Something Different

I've been complaining for years about the lack of good music from the current crop of singers and musicians, but this young guy has a pleasant voice and the music is decidedly different. He can carry a tune and you can even understand what he's saying...which puts him light years ahead of the hip-hoppers and rap stars.

Thanks to a post by Donnette on Glenda's The Writer's Haven.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jury Duty Action Report

I dodged another bullet and managed to avoid being picked for a jury again. Roughly one-third of those reporting that day were selected, and one bailiff asked for 42 people to pick from. It must have been a controversial trial to request that many for the pool, so I’m really glad I missed that one.

Of the two-hundred plus jurors in the room, there were only two people that looked Hispanic and maybe another two or three that might have been. Since the Hispanic population of Smith County is about 20-25%, there should have been at least forty in the pool, and since you theoretically need to read and write English to become a citizen, that shouldn’t have been an issue. The other answer I see is that most of the Spanish speaking population of Smith County is here illegally. No surprise, but very irritating.

It always amazed me the way some folks dress when they appear for court. One guy was in flip-flops, shorts and tee shirt. One young woman had hip huggers that didn't hug high enough, and a top that also failed to cover what her pants revealed. Her face was full of studs and a she sported a big tattoo. If I was the judge, I'd find them in contempt...but then I'm getting awfully crotchety.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jury Duty

It's getting to the point where I despise having to appear for jury duty, but tomorrow I have to do it again. I doubt I'll be selected to sit on a jury since any questioning by the lawyers will certainly bring out my bad attitude.

The Tufted Titmouse eggs must have hatched. I saw mama bird entering the hollow tree with a mouth full of bugs. The backyard Bluebirds are still feeding, but the front yard family must have fledged. If things go as usual, they should be sitting on eggs again within a couple of weeks.

It was a busy day yesterday. I got the lawn mowed and trimmed, sprayed some weeds and poison ivy, and treated a bunch of fire ant hills. I hate using poisons of any kind, but some things just won't respond to organic treatment...especially fire ants.

Judy bought a bunch of flowers and shrubs this week. I put them all on the patio until I get a chance to plant them, and that sure made the chameleons happy. They were having a difficult time hiding when there were very few plants, but now the little critters are crawling all over the place, changing colors and showing off their red throats.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Yes, I'm a Bird Brain

I never tire of watching wildlife and we’re fortunate to have an abundance of bird species in this part of Texas, so there’s never a shortage of birds to observe and enjoy.

This morning, just as the sun was rising, I was sitting on the patio with a cup of coffee while listening to the sounds of hundreds of birds greeting the day. Although they don’t sing as one, and their songs are quite different, the morning symphony beats anything humans can create, or even imagine. The intense singing lasts about a half-hour after sunrise and then the voices become fewer as the birds begin their daily chores.

A pair of Eastern Bluebirds decided to build a nest in our unoccupied Purple Martin house this year. I had seen them sitting on the top perch, but didn’t realize they had built a nest until I saw them arrive with beak’s full of bugs this morning. They were hesitant to go inside while I was sitting so close, but eventually the calls of hungry babies overcame their fear of me.

We now have two pairs of Bluebirds busy raising their broods. I hope they both raise multiple broods so we have a yard full of them spending the winter.

The Tufted Titmouse nesting in our hollow tree must still be sitting on eggs. Now and then I see her fly in, but she’s not carrying food or making frequent trips yet.

Eons ago, when I was in grade school, we found an injured Meadowlark on the playground. Its wing was broken so it couldn’t fly, but being a bird species that spends much of it’s time on the ground, it got around very well on its legs. Being typical kids, we took it in and let it roam our one-room schoolhouse during the day. The teacher was very understanding, so our little feathered guest was no problem. He just hopped around checking things out while we were having classes and stayed in a grass-lined box at night. Feeding it was simple since wheat is a favorite Meadowlark food and there is lots of wheat in North Dakota. He knew when it was feeding time and would perch on our knees and eat from our hands. He became very tame when he realized we fed and protected him.

One day I was sitting on the floor when the bird hopped up on my shoulder, threw its head back and began to sing. Wow! To hear that beautiful song only inches from my ear was something I’ll never forget.

I wish birds and animals could better sense the intent of humans as I would love to study them at close range. Hummingbirds are nearly fearless, but most bird species do their best to avoid people in the wild.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tyler Tea Party

The Tyler, Texas Courthouse Square tea party is history and it was enjoyable being a small part of it. I arrived about an hour early and there were already several hundred people on the square. By the time noon rolled around, there were perhaps 2,000 in attendance, with more rolling in as others had to go back to work. That was pretty impressive for a small town in East Texas on a week day, especially when Chicago could only muster 300.

I never did hear what the guest speakers had to say, as the sound system was totally inadequate for that big a crowd, but that wasn’t a problem for me as I had no interest in hearing politicians anyway. It was far more interesting talking to people and reading the wonderfully creative signs they were carrying. One little girl, about three-years-old, wore a sandwich sign that said “I’m too little to owe $36,000.”

The fiscal irresponsibility of Congress was the main theme of the signs, though the mad dash toward Socialism was another favorite subject.

The crowd held a lot of conservatives, but I was amazed at how many were just as mad at the Republicans as they were at the Democrats. They were simply fed up with the whole bunch in Washington. If there was any recognizable political sympathy, I believe it leaned toward the Libertarians, at least fiscally. That should strike fear in the hearts of the Republican Party leaders…or is Republican leader an oxymoron?

When I got home, I watched reports of the tea parties from around the country. I sampled ABC, CNN, NBC and Fox News. Some had almost nothing to report and none of them accurately captured the mood of the people I saw today. Fox came closest, but even they were too hung up on the tax aspect of the protest. It would be nice if the media came to these events with the desire to learn and report the facts instead of taking yet another opportunity to spin their own agenda.

I guess the next thing to watch is when the Oathkeepers renew their vows on Lexington Green next Sunday. That crowd might not be as gentle and well behaved as the ones today.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tea Party Eve

Here I sit on the eve of the biggest nationwide political protests since the sixties, pondering what it means to me personally, but more importantly what it means to the future of our country. Some critics are making snide jokes about the futility of such an event as a modern day tea party, while others fear it’s the beginning of the breakup of the union of states. I don’t know what it will be, but I think it will at last make the evening news in the leftist controlled media.

I’m amazed when I realize I’m going to be a tiny part of such an event and I wonder if the movement will fizzle, or if it will actually be the spark to light the fire that pushes a return to constitutional government.

I’ve attended political rallies before, but they were always pro-candidate and pro-policy, not anti-government, or anti-anything. My life has always consisted of being the quiet person sitting in the back of the room…never seeking attention, but now I’m expected to be a voice of discontent in a choir demanding freedom from federal despotism. I have a lot to learn about political protest and not much time to learn it, so I suspect that once again I’ll be the quiet one standing in the back of crowd, adding to the headcount, but not the protest’s volume.

I’m glad to see that Governor Rick Perry has finally joined the fray, but I wish he had been out front leading instead of waiting to see which way the wind was blowing before committing. He has become a poster boy of Republican inability to express the party’s core principles and to fight for them publicly…but he has great hair!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Got both my federal and state taxes sent off, and yesterday I mowed and trimmed the lawn for the first time this year. Since I'm mostly caught up with the pressing demands, I decided to relax for a day and take the convertible to a car show in the neighboring town of Canton.

It was a fairly big show, but the ride was chilly and the show didn't last very long, so it wasn't really worth the trip...especially since I got lost twice trying to take a shortcut on the back roads.

I was hoping to see lots of spring flowers on the way, but for some reason they are in short supply this year. There were only a few Bluebonnets...a few more Indian Paintbrush, and quite a bit of Red Clover.

I did see several birds that are recently arrived. Saw the season's first Snowy Egret, as well as a bunch of Purple Martins and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers.

Speaking of birds, our Bluebirds are busy feeding their first brood and a Tufted Titmouse is sitting on eggs in the hollow tree the wind broke off a few weeks ago. I had planned on cutting it down, but now I'll have to leave it up until the babies fledge.

The forecast is for showers tomorrow and with the new sod in need of another watering, I hope the weatherman is correct.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Looks like it's going to be a busy month for those who belive the country is going to hell. Tea parties around the country on the 15th, and then on April 17th the Oathkeepers will hold their first meeting in a rather appropriate place...Lexington Square. Let's hope the gathering is recognized by the federal government as a similar act to that which took place in 1775, but without the same results.

The link to Oathkeepers is over in the right column. Give it a look.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Catching Up Again

Winter took its last dying stab at us last night. The forecast was for temps in the low twenties just a few miles to the north of us, so I gathered all the plants from the patio, put them in one place and covered them with a tarp. The hanging ferns were carryovers from last year and I didn't want to lose them, so they went back into the garage to spend the night.

When I got up just before daylight, it was 36F on the patio, but when I drove into town for coffee, the low meadows were white with frost. It looked odd to see all that fresh, green grass and spring flowers covered in white. According to the morning weather report, we set new low temperature records again. I hope they told Al Gore, so the moron can add that info to his computer models.

I e-filed my income tax last night so today was a day to relax and work in the yard. I fertilized all the shrubs, pulled weeds and cleaned up some of the dead branches that were knocked down by several days of gusty winds.

One of my coffee buddies has been putting in a solar power generating system this week. It will produce enough power to supply his needs all day, plus sell some back to the power company. If our power company would buy back the excess power, I'd think about installing a system, but they are a Co-op and have operating rules that won't allow them to do that yet.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Jury Duty Again

I wonder how many people have been summoned to jury duty nine times? I got my ninth summons last week and have to report on April 22. The last time I was called was last fall, but I didn't sit on a jury that time. I've been either a juror or an alternate on 10 or 12 cases, so my curiosity has been satisfied and I'm beginning to resent being called so many times.

Unlike Washington, where you are required to serve for two weeks at a time, Texas calls you for one day, unless you are picked for a jury and then you are required to serve on only that one trial. Because the pay is the princely sum of $5 a day, not many people could afford to stay away from work for long. Everyone dreads being picked for a long trial, since the pay doesn't even cover transportation costs. At least they provide a juror's parking lot.

I noticed one interesting fact the last time I was called. Though the Hispanic population of Smith County is about 25%, there were less than a half-dozen people with Hispanic surnames among the 150-200 people called. I guess that's a clue to how many illegals there are in the county.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I Despise Tax Time!

I spent most of the day working on taxes again, and it looks like I'll have to call the IRS to explain something next week. Maybe I can get Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner to help me figure out how to enter information from Schedule K-1 on a 1040. He should be an expert by now.

H&R Block TaxCut software can't figure it out and it tells me I should contact a tax expert if I have a problem. I thought that's what I paid for when I bought their software, but it appears that's not the case.

After tiring of the tax battle, I decided to go out and cut down the oak tree that died in the back yard. I've been waiting for a calm day and this was the first such day in a couple of weeks. The tree was located in an area that didn't give me much room to fell it and if things weren't perfect, it would hit the fence or another nearby tree. I managed to drop it exactly where I wanted it and only damaged one small branch on an adjacent tree. At least something went right today.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool

I’d like to nominate Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) for the April Fool Award, which would automatically put him in contention for Moron of the Month and Dunce of the Decade.

He introduced a bill that would give the Secretary of the Treasury blanket power to set the compensation for anyone who works for any company that takes/took federal bailout funds.

He was interviewed by Neil Cavuto and said his reasoning is that any executive receiving obscene bonuses could be told by Treasury that the money had to be returned. The problem was that he had no idea what amount of money should be considered obscene, nor does his bill specify who in a company is included. His answer was that the Treasury secretary would have the common sense, and should have the latitude to make that decision. Let me see…isn’t that the infamous tax evader, Tim Geitner?...the guy who is supposed to be so smart that his crime was overlooked because he was the only person who could resolve the financial mess?...the guy who can’t operate TurboTax, but will run the IRS?

Sounds to me like it’s just one more way of pandering to the lowest common denominator and potentially coercing anyone who receives a bonus to do your bidding. “Contribute to my campaign and I’ll let you keep your bonus.”

Welcome wage and price controls.