Saturday, November 30, 2013

Right Track - Affordable Boat Act

I'm grateful to my friend Jim in Pasadena for this early warning of a new Obamalaw!

The U.S. government has just passed a new law called: "The affordable boat act" declaring that every citizen MUST purchase a new boat, by April 2014. These "affordable" boats will cost an average of $54,000-$155,000 each. This does not include taxes, trailers, towing fees, licensing and registration fees, fuel, docking and storage fees, maintenance or repair costs.

This law has been passed, because until now, typically only wealthy and financially responsible people have been able to purchase boats. This new law ensures that every American can now have an "affordable" boat of their own, because everyone is "entitled" to a new boat. If you purchase your boat before the end of the year, you will receive 4 "free" life jackets; not including monthly usage fees.

In order to make sure everyone purchases an affordable boat, the costs of owning a boat will increase on average of 250-400% per year. This way, wealthy people will pay more for something that other people don't want or can't afford to maintain. But to be fair, people who cant afford to maintain their boat will be regularly fined and children (under the age of 26) can use their parents boats to party on until they turn 27; then must purchase their own boat.

If you already have a boat, you can keep yours (just kidding; no you can't). If you don't want or don't need a boat, you are required to buy one anyhow. If you refuse to buy one or can’t afford one, you will be regularly fined $800 until you purchase one or face imprisonment.

Failure to use the boat will also result in fines. People living in the desert; ghettos; inner cities or areas with no access to lakes are not exempt. Age, motion sickness, experience, knowledge nor lack of desire are not acceptable excuses for not using your boat.

A government review board (that doesn't know the difference between the port, starboard or stern of a boat) will decide everything, including; when, where, how often and for what purposes you can use your boat along with how many people can ride your boat and determine if one is too old or not healthy enough to be able to use their boat.

They will also decide if your boat has out lived its usefulness or if you must purchase specific accessories, (like a $500 compass) or a newer and more expensive boat. Failure to comply with these rules will result in fines and possible imprisonment.

Government officials are exempt from this new law. If they want a boat, they and their families can obtain boats free, at the expense of tax payers. Unions, bankers and mega companies with large political affiliations ($$$) are also exempt.

The Gov't. is also working on an "Affordable Car Act" too, and should be online and available by Christmas....................

Friday, November 29, 2013

Tirade - Resources

Recently I was riding my bike along a side, side street.  A couple of men were digging a trench across the road about four feet deep - no doubt to lay a pipe of some sort.  There were plenty of orange cones on both sides to give warning and also big signs places prominently well before the hazard.  But there were also two flag men with slow/stop hand signs.  Now I know that we have to be aware of safety at all times, but isn't this a little over the top?  I don't suppose more than ten cars an hour go down this very quiet street, and do we really need two men at $50,000 a year plus all the usual benefits and pensions to hold up the little traffic there is?  Come on People!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my American friends, including the Rednecks!  And apologies to the late great Norman Rockwell.
My thanks to Denise down in Florida for this wonderful interpretation.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Human Ingenuity...

...seems to know no bounds!
Michael and I were rather fascinated by this piece of automotive engineering.  Need a trailer?  Just chop the engine and cab part off a Dodge truck!  Outstanding!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I've never quite understood why Americans don't much like lamb.  Granted this fellow is most unlikely to provide good eating as he'd be far too tough.  But lamb is one of the delights of Europe and come spring, it is much sought after.  Sheep need lots of grass and America has this in plenty.  Sheepherders and their flocks were disliked by cattlemen in the old days as sheep, I believe, tend to crop the grass too low for cattle to be able to use it.  But where there are no cattle, sheep can provide wonderful meat and also wool that is hard to beat.  The other day we splurged on a boneless leg of lamb and along with its accompaniment of mint sauce - not that nasty jelly - but the one made with fresh mint, boiling water, sugar and vinegar.  It was expensive but delicious - the lamb not the sauce!
As an aside I also miss the somewhat quaint English expression of "Mutton* dressed up as lamb!"  Meaning a woman of older years dressing like a young girl.  I think it is meaningless out here.
*Mutton is old sheep meat which is rather tough.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Video - Juggler

I'm grateful to my friend Kevin in the Marina for this amazing video of juggling.  I've always rather wanted to do this but I know that if I tried it and practiced until the end of time I couldn't succeed.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday's Column - Mono Lake

Sitting along the edge of Mono Lake are some strange shaped obelisks.  They're called Tofas and they are the result of the high alkali content of the water.  Mono Lake is an odd place; it sits on the edge of Route 395 which is usually full of traffic going up to Reno and beyond.  I stopped there recently and you can read the account at

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Right Track - I know nothing!

I do wonder exactly what is going on in the White House.  We've had more than our fair share of problems.  Fast and furious; James Rosen's supposed security risk; the IRS holding up the tax free status of conservative groups; the debacle in Benghazi; the terrible roll out of the program for Obamacare, and the NSA snooping on our allies.  In each case the President has declared that he knew nothing about each one.  Is he so completely out of it that he really didn't know about these things, and is it a valid excuse?  It sounds to me as worthless as a five year old denying he ate the last jam tart. Or Sgt Schultz plea in Hogan's Heros - "I know nussing!"  In fact I believe it to be evidence of what has to be the most incompetent administration I can ever remember.  In case you've forgotten -

Friday, November 22, 2013

R.I.P. - J.F.K.

Fifty years ago today John F. Kennedy was murdered.  Like most people I remember exactly where I was when the news came in. I was newly married for six months with a baby on the way.  I remember hearing the news on our black and white TV and feeling terribly shocked.  JFK was a fresh youthful man and seemed to be perfect for the age.  The fact that he was murdered by a pathetic little communist of doubtful abilities was an even greater shock.  It didn't seem possible that such a large character could be rubbed out so easily by such a non-entity.  (A similar feeling existed with the death of Princess Diana.)
Undoubtedly something else died on that dreadful day in Dallas and perhaps it was innocence as we all came awake to a harsher reality, and things have never been quite the same.
The photo is of the JFK memorial erected at Runnymede overlooking the Thames, where the Magna Carta was signed.  It sits on an acre of ground given in tribute to the American people.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Music Track - The Wrong Piece!

I found this clip the other day.  I don't know the pianist, but there she was about to play a Mozart concerto when the orchestra began playing one completely different.  She is not happy and has to have some words with the conductor while she sits bemused.  Watch the clip to see what happens.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Shoe Shine

On my recent look around the Santa Fe Station in San Bernardino I noticed this relic from the near past.  Here, men and occasionally women, would climb up, grab a newspaper and have their shoes shined.  When I first came to New York in 1969, boys would run around the streets with little boxes to shine shoes.  You don't see that today.  I even knew of services that used to come to offices to perform the shine-up while business was being conducted.  I have no idea if this still happens.
But out in the world it's pretty much over now, although I have seen it done in airports.  Let's face it, so many people wear sneakers even with suits that there is no need for polishing.  I wonder if in another 1000 years one of these turns up in an archaeological dig, what the scientists will make of these strange seats?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Air Show

We have an air show up here in Big Bear.  Unfortunately it's every other year so I never write about it.  If they held it each year then I could go along, write the piece, and sit on it for a year.  But two years is too long for me.  After all I don't even buy green bananas!  I don't know exactly what these planes are, but this one comes from WWII.
I liked this red one immensely.

Also I liked this Studebaker, which thoughtfully had its information posted on it. 1957!
Some type of Russian trainer, I think.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Video - Traffic

From time to time we are all caught in traffic.  Even up here in Big Bear the traffic along the boulevard can be quite high.  But after seeing this video of the end of Ramadan in Bangladesh, there will be no more complaining.  I often wondered why those women always wore pants, now I know as they climb aboard.  My thanks to Kevin in the Marina for this one.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday's Column - Glacier National Park

One of the most beautiful places I've ever been to is the subject of this week's column.  It is the Glacier National Park in Montana, which was the apex of our long ride in the summer.  It is spectacular and it should be on everyone's bucket list in my opinion.  You can read the entire column here at

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Right Track - Apologies?

There seems to be some confusion over the President's recent apology over lying to everyone about being able to keep our insurance policies if we liked them - our doctors too.  Well, let's review what happened.  The Affordable (That's a joke if ever there was one!) Care Act was rammed through Congress with not one Republican vote in favor and not one Democratic vote against.  In order to ensure that the voting went as planned with majorities in both houses, the authorities had to bribe, cajole and force the members to comply.  They could not have done this if members' constituents were up in arms.  Therefore it was necessary to calm the troubled waters by offering lies that people would not have their plans taken away.  The latest argument that it was the insurance companies who welshed on the deal is totally spurious as it was the the authorities who made them change their conditions so they could not comply with grandfathering.  Some of us have quite good memories.  Apology indeed!

Tirade - Web site?

I'm grateful to several people for sending me this time line for comparison of efforts. 
March 21st 2010 to October 1 2013 is 3 years, 6 months, 10 days. 
December 7, 1941 to May 8, 1945 is 3 years, 5 months, 1 day. 
What this means is that in the time we were attacked at Pearl Harbor to the day Germany surrendered is not enough time for this federal government to build a working webpage. 
Mobilization of millions, building tens of thousands of tanks, planes, jeeps, subs, cruisers, destroyers, torpedoes, millions upon millions of guns, bombs, ammo, etc. Turning the tide in North Africa, Invading Italy, D-Day, Battle of the Bulge, Race to Berlin - all while we were also fighting the Japanese in the Pacific!!
And they can't build a webpage. Come on People!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Music Track - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

When I was growing up, my father didn't approve of this type of music, and with few methods of reproduction around, it wasn't that easy to hear; especially as it came from AMERICA!!!!!!  However, I must have heard it a little.  These days I put it on the system and She Who Must Be Obeyed and I often execute many of the moves shown here!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I've always been impressed with Dr. Charles Krauthammer.  He is a politial commentator whose opinions are always right on the mark. I recently watched a biography on him and he has had an amazing life.  Not the least of which has been coping with life in a wheelchair.  He fractured his spine in a diving accident and hasn't walked since his early 20's.  Nonetheless he has become a voice of reason in a mad world and his thoughts are always stimulating.  He has recently published a new book "Things that Matter," and it is already on my Kindle's wish list.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wildlife Dependency - A Warning

I'm grateful to my friend Denise for this touching warning about dependency.
Animals that formerly were self-sufficient are now showing signs of belonging to the Democrat Party.  They have apparently learned to just sit and wait for the government to step in and provide for their care and sustenance.  This photo is of a black bear in Montana turned Democrat.  He's nicknamed Bearack Obearma.  It is believed that he has become a campground organizer.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Video - Roads

Sometimes I think we take some basic things for granted, like roads.  This video sent to me by my friend Kevin in the Marina shows you just how things could be if we hadn't advanced in the last 100 years.  I don't fancy it, do you?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday's Column - The Cave

We lost one of our two movie theaters earlier this year, and it stood empty for some time.  I was sorry to see it go as we'd seen some pretty good films there over the years.  But local businessman Dave Stone bought the property, and opened it up as an entertainment place for rock concerts.  Big Bear has never had anything like it before.  You can read the entire article at

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Right Track - Immigration

We now have a new problem to add to the many others concerning illegal immigration.  We now have people turning up at the border claiming asylum, as they are political refugees.  They are using the legal term of having "credible fear" of drug cartels in Mexico, and we, the USA, are bound to allow them in.  No more need for coyotes and tunnels or climbing the fence; just turn up and claim credible fear and you're in.  As many of the facilities are already overcrowded, the solution is now to put these "refugees" in hotels at taxpayers expense.  Nice!  I wish when I came here in 1982, I had tried this dodge.  After all I was in credible fear of two things - soccer and socialism.  But wait, they've followed me here.  Where to now?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Tirade - Pregancy

There seems to be yet another problem brewing that I hadn't realized existed.  It stems from some strange overwhelming urge on the part of people, and I believe it's largely men, to touch a pregnant woman's belly.  I hadn't known about this before, but I do recognise that there is an odd urge to do so.  Before I became the retiring, sensitive person that I am today, I have to admit that I have been known to do it, not realising the revulsion that I had caused.  So it seems that yet another pretty harmless activity is to be labelled as an invasion of privacy.  What's next, call it a sexual assault followed by registration as a sex criminal? And yet it's OK to grab an unsuspecting person (of either sex) and enfold them in an unwelcome hug!  Come on People!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Music Track - Elton John

I think that if a popular song can last nearly 40 years and still work - particularly when the performance is minimalist - then it has to be good.  See what you think of this 1976 Elton John video - long before he adopted the wigs!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


We seem to have changed from summer to winter in about 48 hours this year.  And it's come rather early too.  It's not just us humans that have felt it but the trees.  I was told some time back by a naturalist that it's the combination of lower temperatures and less sunlight that makes an enzyme in the trees (and flowers) begin to change color and eventually lose their leaves.  Up here in Alpine country we have mostly  pine trees but if you keep your eyes open there are a lot of other deciduous trees with wonderful colors.
How about these two beauties side by side

This was tucked away in someone's backyard, too bad they were not there to enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Gun Debate Continues

In the constant argument about guns and whether to ban/control them here is one aspect that many might have overlooked.  I'm grateful to my friend Don in Orange County for sending me this touching account.

"While out walking along the edge of a bayou just below Houma, Louisiana with my soon to be ex-husband discussing property settlement and other divorce issues, we were surprised by a huge 12-ft. alligator suddenly emerging from the murky water and charging us with its large jaws wide open. She must have been protecting her nest because she was extremely aggressive. If I had not had my little Beretta Jetfire .25 caliber pistol with me I would not be here today! Just one shot to my estranged husband's knee cap was all it took. The gator got him easily and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace. It's one of the best pistols in my collection! Plus ... the amount I saved in lawyer's fees was more than worth the purchase price of the gun."

Monday, November 4, 2013

Video - Brick Top

A relative recently ran into the Cockney actor Alan Ford.  He played Brick Top in the Guy Ritchie movie "Snatch."  He has a way of playing bad people like nobody else.  Here he is explaining the finer points of body removal.  If you're easily offended then you may want to miss this 2:20 minutes clip.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Camping - Sunday's Column

With the day's shortening and the nights growing colder, it's the end of the camping season.  This Sunday's column is devoted to the activity with some thoughts about it.  You can read the article at

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Right Track - Obamacare

I have not weighed in on the Obamacare business much here.  Having come from a country that has enforced socialized medicine, naturally I'm aware of all the horrors, and like most people while I lived there, I bought private health insurance.  Yes, most people do if they can afford it as the National Health Service is so bad.  But if Americans want a foretaste then just look at the roll-out of the on-line program.  If a Web site is causing this much difficulty I dread to think what it's going to be like when the government is running it all, which is truly their ambition. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tirade - Recess

A Washington state school district has recently made the decision to ban all hard balls from the playground during recess.  This includes footballs, baseballs, lacrosse balls and I assume soccer balls.  The reason given by the woman superintendent was that there were too many injuries caused by these items.  Now one has to ask how much risk can you take out of life for these types of individuals.  Do they imagine that out in the real world there is no risk at all?  One of the people involved with the decision said to a reporter that as far as she was concerned one skinned knee was one skinned knee too many.  Later in the day I heard a man interviewed who had a gym a block away from one of these schools and he said his kids' class was jammed.  They liked to climb ropes, throw balls - even dodge ball, the new horror of school life - and other fun things.  Is it any wonder he's doing well?  Come On People!