Friday, January 31, 2014

Tirade - Icons

I don't know about you, but I've really had it with these celebrities and their bad behavior.  The recent bout with young Justin Beiber - firstly he threw eggs on a neighbors property and now he's been caught drunk, with drugs, and drag racing a rented Lamborghini around Miami.  He's a Canadian so he should be deported.  Now imagine if a young underage black man of 19 was caught doing the same thing in South Los Angeles, what would be the result?  Jail of course.  But for some reason the authorities allow these pampered creatures a free pass with a little wrist slap like "community service;" whatever that might be.  I'm sure such punishment does nothing to enforce the type of responsibility that should have been imparted by obviously useless parents.  Can anyone say Lindsey Lohan?  Come on People!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Music Track - What does the Fox say?

Recently for the first time, I put some rap on the music track. As a result, a regular reader, my friend Rosie suggested this.  No, I hadn't heard it before, but for what it's worth have a listen.  The answer to the title's question I think is it barks!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


After the "selphie" of Obama seen around the world it seems that it's not a new phenomenon!
London's Daily Telegraph found this one of an earlier occasion.  Who would have guessed it!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


I took S.W.M.B.O. up to see the Raiders the other day.  We arrived very early - three hours before the  game started - but already the parking lots were full.  Some of the fans had arrived at 5:00 a.m!  The smell of barbeque and cooking was everywhere and many of the fans were dressed to the nines.  S.W.M.B.O. loved it.  We shot this picture of a dedicated fan in full Raiders gear.  The one on the right is dressed up too!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Video - Milton Freidman

This has been around a few times, but I think it is interesting to have a capitalist explain to a devout liberal the facts of life pertaining to altruism.  Naturally he doesn't change Donahue's mind, as like all liberals they have the arrogance to believe that under them socialism would work!  Good luck with that one.  It takes about 3:00 minutes.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday's Column - Tar Pits

This week the column is about the La Brea Tar Pits.  It's a very busy place with tons of children and overseers conjuring up what life would have been like had they lived here several million years ago.  These pits continue to push up remains of the type of creatures you would not want to run into if out for a little stroll around the neighborhood.  You can read the entire article at

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Right Track - Oklahoma Politics

Last week we looked at the politics of Chicago, courtesy of my friend in Pennsylvania, Bob.  This week we compare the situation in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma   is the only state that Obama did not win even one county in the last  election...  While everyone is focusing on  Arizona ’s new law, look what  Oklahoma has been  doing!!!

An  update from  Oklahoma :

Oklahoma   law passed, 37 to 9 an amendment to place the Ten Commandments on the front entrance to the state capitol. The feds in D.C., along  with the ACLU,said it would be a mistake. Hey this is a conservative  state, based on Christian values... HB  1330

Guess  what... Oklahoma did it  anyway.

Oklahoma   recently passed a law in the state to incarcerate all illegal immigrants, and ship them back to where they came from unless they  want to get a green card and become an American citizen. They  all scattered.  HB
1804. This was against the advice of the  Federal Government, and the ACLU, they said it would be a  mistake.

Guess  what... Oklahoma did it  anyway.

Recently  we passed a law to include DNA samples from any and all illegal's to  the Oklahoma database, for criminal  investigative purposes. Pelosi said it was unconstitutional SB  1102

Guess  what... Oklahoma did it  anyway.

Several  weeks ago, we passed a law, declaring  Oklahoma as a Sovereign state, not under  the Federal Government directives. Joining Texas ,  Montana and Utah as the  only states to do so.

More  states are likely to follow: Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Carolina's, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, West Virginia, Mississippi  and Florida. Save your confederate money, it appears the South is  about to rise up once again. HJR  1003

The  federal Government has made bold steps to take away our  guns. Oklahoma , a week ago, passed a law confirming people in  this state have the right to bear arms and transport them in their  vehicles.  I'm sure that was a setback for the criminals The  Liberals didn't like it --  But....

Guess  what... Oklahoma did it  anyway.

Just  this month, the state has voted and passed a law that ALL drivers’ license exams will be printed in English, and only English, and no  other language. They have been called racist for doing this, but the  fact is that ALL of the road signs are in English only. If you  want to drive in Oklahoma , you must read  and write English. Really simple.

By  the way, the Liberals don't like any of this  either

Guess  what... who cares...  Oklahoma is  doing it anyway.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Tirade - Lunch?

The other day I took my grandson, Evan, out on an assignment.  We finished up at about 12 and so lunch loomed hard on the agenda.  We drove for many miles through unknown but densely populated areas and really struggled to find a suitable place.  Where have all the well filled restaurants gone?  In their place are little holes in the wall selling styrofoam containers of noodles and other questionable items.  No doubt for the overeachieving hoards dashing back to their cubicles to impress their colleagues, and hopefully their management, as to how busy and therefore important they are.  Fortunately we found a large Japanese place with excellent food and service, and it was full of management enjoying themselves.  Come on People!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Music Track - Schubert

One of Schubert's recurring themes is the one known as Rosamunde.  Here is a 2:54 extract which is quite lovely.  I sometimes wonder what the world of music would be like today if he had lived beyond his 32 years.  What a loss.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sunday's Column - Route 66

Traveling 2400 miles back in the old days must have been a harrowing experience.  But that's what it was when Route 66 was opened in 1926.  In the 30's when people flocked out west to escape the effects of the dust bowl, mechanics used to have to make repairs the old fashioned way.  Out of bare metal and ingenuity.  This article looks at the Route 66 museum in Barstow, which is an interesting place.  You can read the entire piece at


On Sunday last Chris Chataway died at the age of 82.  He was quite a famous Englishman, having made his name in politics and also in TV for many years.  But it was as a runner that I most remember him.  On May 6, 1954 he and Chris Brasher paced Roger Bannister in the first sub four-minute mile.  I remember listening to the race, which was held in Oxford, with my father, who was very interested in athletics.  Later on the race was shown on TV and I still can see the tremendous finish of the race with Bannister coming through to burst the tape at 3:59.4.  Here is a shortened commentary - very stylized with the music in the background -

Monday, January 20, 2014

Audio Track - Paul Harvey

I'm grateful to my friend Dave down in Palm Springs for this piece of prediction from back in 1965.

This was 47 years ago. April 3, 1965. An amazing prediction. How many remember the famous ABC radio commentator Paul Harvey?
Millions of Americans listened to his programs which were broadcast over 1,200 radio stations nationwide.
When you listen to this, remember the commentary was broadcast 47 years ago on April 3, 1965.
It's short...less than three minutes. You will be amazed.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Right Track - Chicago Politics

My friend Bob sent me this interesting data abaout Chicago.  It was coupled with the affairs in Oklahoma, but we'll look at that next week.
Some interesting data on the 'state' of  Illinois ... There are more people on welfare in  Illinois than there are people  working.  Chicago pays the highest wages to  teachers than anywhere else in the U.S.   averaging $110,000/year.  Their pensions average 80-90% of  their income.  Wow, are Illinois and  Chicago great or what?  Be sure to  read till the end.  I've never heard it explained better.   Perhaps the U.S. should pull out of Chicago ?  Body count: In the last  six months, 292 killed (murdered) in Chicago .  221 killed in  Iraq ; AND Chicago has one  of the strictest gun laws in the entire US.

Here's the Chicago chain of command: President: Barack  Hussein Obama · Senator: Dick Durbin · House Representative: Jesse  Jackson Jr. · Governor: Pat Quinn · House leader: Mike Madigan ·  Atty. Gen.: Lisa Madigan (daughter of Mike) ·  Mayor: Rahm  Emanuel ·  The leadership in Illinois - all Democrats. · Thank you for the  combat zone in Chicago . · Of course, they're all blaming each other. · Can't blame Republicans; there  aren't any! ·
Let us get ALL the facts out while we are at it:
Chicago school system  rated one of the worst in the  country.  Can't blame Republicans; there aren't any!

State pension fund $78 Billion  in debt, worst in country.  Can't blame Republicans; there  aren't any!

Cook   County ( Chicago ) sales tax  10.25% highest in country.  Can't blame Republicans; there  aren't any!

This is the  political culture that Obama comes from in  Illinois .  And he is going to 'fix'  Washington politics for  us?

George Ryan is no longer Governor, he is in  prison.

He was replaced by  Rob Blagojevich who is,  that's right, also in prison.

And Representative Jesse  Jackson Jr. resigned, .. and that's right, he and his  wife both are in prison also.

The  Land of Lincoln , where our  Governors and Representatives make our license plates.  What?

As long as they keep providing  entitlements to the population of  Chicago , nothing is going to change,  except the state will go broke before the country  does.

"Anybody who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by  letting the Government take care of him better take a closer look at  the American Indian."

Don’t forget Detroit , another  great example of a Democratic empire…

Friday, January 17, 2014

Tirade - Full Responsibility!

I'm getting awfully tired of people "accepting responsibility."  I remember the British Home Secretary, William Whitelaw coming on TV after Argentina invaded the Falklands and accepting responsibility for bad advice to Margaret Thatcher on the matter.  He immediately handed in his resignation.  She sensibly did not accept it.  However he was not to know that at the time.  Today, politicians trot out this tired phrase as if it means anything, which it seems not to.  Kathleen Sibelieus accepted full responsibility for the debacle of the Obamacare roll out.  She's still there being paid by the taxpayers, of course.  Recently there was a chemical spill into a reservoir in West Virginia.  I was passing by the living room and caught the CEO on TV doing the usual thing of accepting responsibility.  And he was a Brit no less.  I've about had it with the wretched phrase.  Come on People!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Music Track - Foo Fighters

I heard this other day while in the gym.  It rather caused everyone there to put a little extra oomph into their reps!  I've never heard of them before but they certainly drew a big crowd in Wembley.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


During our partying at the Raiders game, UC Davis' marching band turned up very early too.  They were booked to perform at halftime, but not to let the occasion pass, they entertained the crowds with some good old Yankee rousing music.  It was quite an ad hoc show and they were great.
I've never been a great fan of brass bands, but school marching bands have a totally different sound to that of the Black Dike Hills Band and also the Grenadier Guards!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


My son Michael has recently enjoyed a vacation in Ecuador with a side trip to the Galapagos.  He recently posted on Facebook this creature - and they've got some odd ones.  It was in pursuit of Michael's beer at the time.  Pretty nasty all around!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Video - Snow Dog

My thanks to Denise for this great video of a dog really enjoying himself.  Our two dogs like the snow too, but Johnny is especially fond of turning himself into a snow plough with it.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday's Column - Harvey House, Barstow

Like many Brits before and after, Fred Harvey left his native England and came to America to seek his fortune.  That was back in 1853 and having worked as a bus boy and waiter in New York he found himself working for the railroad in New Orleans.  He founded the chain of Harvey Houses which became at the time the America's first restaurant chain.  This Harvey House in Barstow is one of the last to be built and can be visited, although it's original  function closed in 1971.  You can read the entire article at

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Right Track - Robertson

I don't know about you, but I've become very tired of the so called furore over the Duck Dynasty guy, who gave an interview to the press where he made a number of questionable remarks about gays and other groups.  I'm sure if he had been on the other side with his views, nothing would have been heard about him.  But the TV program was lobbied by the various groups on the receiving end of his remarks and the management consequently made a number or foolish decisions including banning him from the airwaves.  For what?  Having views that were distasteful?  Surely the First Amendment allows free speech, or has that now been banned from the Constitution?  I've never watched the program but obviously seen a few trailers for it.  It's not my cup of tea, but I do think we are in pretty poor shape if unpleasant views given to one medium are to be punished in another because they don't fit the template of modern thinking.  As I heard one pundit say some time ago about our schools and colleges: "They encourage complete diversity in everything apart from thought!"

Friday, January 10, 2014

Tirade - Hating!

The other day I was in a small gathering and we were discussing some groups of people known to us.  One fellow said to me: "Oh, you're a hater!"  He said this in jest, I might point out.  I told him that this was not the case as in fact I couldn't think of anyone or any group that I had ever or currently hated.  It's not in my range of feelings.  However, I pointed out that I am a serial "disliker," as there are many things and human traits that I do in fact dislike.  I know that our vocabularies have been shrunk over the years with poor usage, but it does seem to me that we need to have more grades between love (obligatory, it seems for everyone and everything in these liberal, halcyon days) and hate.  Otherwise what is the point of building one's decision making ability over the years.  Come on People!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Music Track - Blondie

At a live concert Debbie Harry belts out her hit Sunday Girl - not too bad for close to 70!
Now if you want make the comparison here is the original version from 1979.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Christmas Presents

There is no doubt that as one ages the idea of Christmas presents becomes less important.  We gave up trying to buy each other stuff some years ago and now we try and buy something for both of us.  This year it was a set of DVD's of a TV series we wanted to watch and it's been a great success.  This year also we received a gift from my daughter Sue up in Reno, which was rather lovely.  It's this little statue of a horse and it has some unique art work on it.  It's about eight inches high and we like it very much.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I was sent an email the other day from my friend Kevin down in the Marina.  It was about cork.  No, not the city in Ireland but the stuff that caps wine bottles.  It seems this easily taken for granted material is harvested in Spain and Portugal from oak like trees.  Furthermore it is only harvested from the trees every nine years.
It is only the bark that is gently removed and it takes nine years to grow back.  So this is not a product for those in a hurry.  Most of the people in the business have been in it for many generations.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sunday Columns

She Who Arranges My Sunday Columns on line (SWAMSC!) has returned from a long vacation.  The Yanks seem to be getting the same as the Europeans for taking time off.  Next they'll be playing soccer...but wait!!  So here is the link to a column from this past Sunday.  There are others on the same page.

Video - Speed Painter

My friend Paul - currently warming his toes in Florida - sent me this terrific video.  It takes about two minutes and you won't know what he's painting until the last second.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Twelfth Night

Tomorrow is Twelfth Night - the last of the twelve days of Christmas.  This means that it is unlucky to leave your decorations up after that day.  Unfortunately one of neighbors doesn't know this and the decorations from four years ago are still hanging up outside her house - she lives off the hill.  There is one ball left.  Perhaps it will fall this year.  We hope!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Right Track - Global Warming

There is something deliciously ironic about the ship, Akademic Shokalsky, being stuck in the ice of Antarctica.  The 52 passengers are there to confirm their theories of global warming, and Hey Presto, they seem to have been hoisted on their own petard.  I'm highly sceptical of the doom and gloom forecasts of the global warming crowd, as like abortion and racism we seem to be forbidden to seriously debate it for fear of being called denyers, racists, bigots, homophobes and all the other adjectives so beloved of the left.  I believe the globe does change its temperature and its proximity to the sun and its flare ups must cause some alterations.  But mostly the global doomsayers want us to revert to primitive life and also to pay more taxes to assuage their guilt.  As long as they are being funded by climate change promoting bodies, I'll remain sceptical.  One thing I'm prepared to bet on is that the scientists and journalists on board the fated ship, once back in their warm labs and offices, will not change their positions one whit!  Otherwise where will they earn their money?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Tirade - Two Ironies

I'm grateful to my friend Kevin for this week's double tirade.  Both points have annoyed me greatly.
Irony 1. We are told NOT TO judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics." BUT on the other hand. "We are also encouraged TO judge ALL Gun Owners by the actions of a few lunatics." How is  that  supposed to work???
Irony 2. The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 47.5 million people (most recent figures available April 2013).
Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior, asks us "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." Their stated reason for the policy is because "The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."  Come on People!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

I'm grateful to my friend Don in Orange County for sending me this timely poem.

Another year has passed
And we're all a little older.
Last summer felt hotter
And winter seems much colder. 
There was a time not long ago
When life was quite a blast.
Now I fully understand
About 'Living in the Past' 
We used to go to weddings, 
Football games and lunches.. 
Now we go to funeral homes 
And after-funeral brunches. 
We used to have hangovers,
From parties that were gay.
Now we suffer body aches 
And wile the night away. 
We used to go out dining,
And couldn't get our fill.
Now we ask for doggie bags, 
Come home and take a pill. 
We used to often travel
To places near and far.
Now we get sore asses 
From riding in the car. 
We used to go to nightclubs
And drink a little booze.
Now we stay home at night
And watch the evening news. 
That, my friend is how life is,
And now my tale is told. 
So, enjoy each day and live it up...
Before you're too damned old!

Music Track - The Requiem

This is quite long at 7:10, but it's one of the staples of the classic repertoire - Mozart's Requiem.  However you feel about this type of music you have to accept it's pretty strong stuff and not easily dismissed.  I can never resist the comments on these YouTube tracks and one on this said: It makes me want to kick my cat!  Of all the comments this has to be the most original.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Safety Precautions

I was sent his email by my friend Jim in Pasadena.  It makes a lot of sense and the email suggested I send it on to help the cause so I'm posting it here.

WRITTEN BY A COP: Everyone should take 5 minutes to read this. It may save your life or a loved one's life. In daylight hours, refresh yourself of these things to do in an emergency situation... This is for you, and for you to share with your wife, your children, & everyone you know. After reading these 9 crucial tips, forward them to someone you care about. It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do :The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

2. Learned this from a tourist guide. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse,
DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you... Chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse.

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy.. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.
DON'T DO THIS!) The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head,
and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR ,

If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, Repeat:
DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
A.) Be aware:look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor ,
and in the back seat.
B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door.
Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women
are attempting to get into their cars. C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side.. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN!
The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then,
it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, Preferably in a zig -zag pattern!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked 'for help' into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

9. Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late
and she thought it was weird.. The police told her 'Whatever you do, DO NOT
open the door..' The lady then said that it sounded like the baby
had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, 'We already have a unit on the way,
whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.' He told her that they think a serial killer
has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby.. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.

10. Water scam! If you wake up in the middle of the night to hear all your taps outside running or what you think is a burst pipe, DO NOT GO OUT TO INVESTIGATE! These people turn on all your outside taps full blast so that you will go out to investigate and then attack.

Stay alert, keep safe, and look out for your neighbors! Please pass this on
This e-mail should probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby Theory was mentioned on America 's Most Wanted when they profiled
the serial killer in Louisiana