Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My wife would kill me if she knew I told this story!

Good Day World!

I’m feeling mischievous today.

In a funny way.

Here’s a funny story that my wife would kill me for telling you:

Once, years ago when we lived in Humboldt County, we were traveling to Redding via Highway 299. The rainy weather had caused several slides on the torturous twisting road and work crews were stopping traffic because one of the two lanes was buried beneath part of the mountain.

All traffic was funneled into one lane, which meant a line of cars built up as traffic slowly (I mean real slowly) went by until the signal people switched their signs and allowed the built-up traffic on the other side to go.

Small rocks were still slipping onto the roadway. It took about 20 minutes before we could go. Minutes later we hit another line of cars waiting to go. It was at this point that my dear wife became frantic because she couldn’t wait any longer to pee.

The only alternative was to go outside. It was dark. She didn’t want to go in the back of the truck because the people parked behind us would have had a good view.

With mountain on one side, and a ravine on the other, that left her with no choice but to pee in the front of our pick-up truck. She got out quickly (trying to be stealthy but it was hard when the cab light came on and I started laughing helplessly!)

In a final act of desperation, she went to the front of the truck, dropped her drawers and squatted down. At that point the Devil grabbed me…

and I turned the truck’s headlights on!

Her wail of despair carried through the ravines beyond and down the road for miles. The startled couple in front of us looked back in surprise.

Needless to say, that moment of insanity didn’t go unpunished.

But that’s another story.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Reasons why the new Republican Congress won’t be able to repeal the Affordable Care Act

Good Day World!

The new Republican Congress has an old mission.

Repeal the Affordable Care Act.

It’ll be the 51st time the House tried. As most people are aware, the very definition of stupid is when someone keeps doing the same thing and expects a different result each time.

It isn’t going to happen. President Barack Obama still has veto power.

Republicans may have a majority in the Senate, but they don’t have the 60 seats needed to override a Democratic-led filibuster or a presidential veto. And Obama’s not going to allow his signature piece of legislation to be gutted.

Another reason is Republicans are not going to try to repeal a law that has been such a boon to insurers. The five major national health insurers have all seen their stock price at least double — one has almost tripled — since the ACA was enacted.

People like laws that prevent insurance companies from pulling their insurance just as they become really sick and need it. They like provisions that allow young adults to stay on their parents’ plans. And they really like government subsidies.

As many as 10 million people already have health insurance on the exchanges The Congressional Budget Office projects that 26 million people will buy health insurance on the exchanges by 2022 and that 12 million people will become newly eligible for Medicaid in the states that choose to expand their offerings by 2022.

It would be difficult – and really stupid - to take insurance away from that many people.

Despite good reasons why the ACA will largely remain intact, the lemming-like Republicans are still going to try to repeal it.

At some point next year we’ll move to replace Obamacare,” House Speaker John Boehner promised in an interview last week.

The bottom line: “Stupid is, as stupid does!” – Forest Gump

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, December 1, 2014

Moonlighting Before Christmas: Santa’s Reindeers Deputized To Go After Bad Guys

Good Day World!

Santa's crew may soon be presented with a job opportunity during the off-season.

Officials in northwest Siberia said police could soon be deputizing reindeer to help chase down criminals in the region.

Domesticated reindeer in Siberia. (UPI/Shutterstock/Grigorii Pisotsckii)

Irina Pimkina of the Yamalo-Nenets region's Interior Ministry said police in the area, which is located in Russia's Arctic tundra, often find themselves at a disadvantage when chasing down local criminals, who often employ reindeer as getaway rides.

"Of course we have snowmobiles in service, but one should understand that a machine is a machine," Pimkina told the Izvestia newspaper. "A snowmobile can break down or get stuck in the tundra, but the deer will run at all times."

The deer would join the animal ranks of about 150 donkeys and mules employed by the Russian Defense Ministry to serve in mountain brigades. The legislation governing the animals also allows for reindeer to be used for law-enforcement purposes.

Police in neighboring Finland have been using reindeer in recent years to patrol forests in Lapland.(Source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Oregon Report: Bits of news and views

brettjohn.JPG

Good Day World

Because I live in Oregon (Medford to be specific) I like to know what’s happening in my adopted state.

I’ve found that readers from all over enjoy viewing news and views from the Beaver State.

(Rogue's Brett Joyce and brewer John Maier were the grand marshals of the 2014 Oregon Brewers Festival.- FoystonFoto)

Here’s a sampling:

In the world of beer, Oregon is lager than life: Guest opinion

By Jim McGreevy

“In this season of giving thanks for our nation's bounty, it's fitting to acknowledge Oregon's unique contributions to our nation's table, particularly with Oregon's role in beer and brewing.

When the first locomotives lumbered out of the Oregon rail yards in the late 19th century, they carried with them a variety of agriculture offerings indicative of the state's diverse landscape.

Today, Oregon continues to play an important role in feeding, clothing and fueling our nation. And it also helps quench our thirst.

In fact, Oregon is one of four states that account for one-third of all breweries in the nation, most of them small brewers who supply their local communities.”

(read full article here)

Oregon police dog fired for poor performance

CANNON BEACH, Ore. (AP) — A 2-year-old Belgian Malinois was supposed to be the ninth member of the police force in the Oregon coastal town of Cannon Beach, but "Cash" just didn't have what it takes.

The dog was dismissed from the force before seeing any action or gaining any glory.

Cash was skittish, afraid of heights and had a barking problem. Noises would scare him. When he had to jump onto counters in search of drugs, he showed too much resistance.

Crows found dead, ill in downtown Portland

Portland police and firefighters were called Wednesday morning to investigate a mass die-off of crows in parts of downtown.

UPDATE: Audubon Society investigating mysterious crow die-off, fears poisoning

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I’m looking forward to ‘Festivus for the rest of us’

Festivus Pole.jpg

Good Day World!

One of my favorite holidays is approaching fast.

Festivus, a well-celebrated parody, has become a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 that serves as an alternative to participating in the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season.

(photo – Festivus Pole)

Originally a family tradition of scriptwriter Dan O'Keefe (The original holiday dinner in the O'Keefe household featured turkey or ham followed by a Pepperidge Farm cake decorated withM&M's, as described in detail in Dan O'Keefe's The Real Festivus, who worked on the American sitcom Seinfeld, the holiday entered popular culture after it was made the focus of a 1997 episode of the program.

The holiday's celebration, as it was shown on Seinfeld, includes a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum Festivus pole, practices such as the "Airing of Grievances" and "Feats of Strength", and the labeling of easily explainable events as "Festivus miracles".

After the Festivus meal, the "Feats of Strength" are performed, involving wrestling the head of the household to the floor, with the holiday ending only if the head of the household is actually pinned.

This Seinfeld episode refers to the holiday as "a Festivus for the rest of us," referencing its non-commercial aspect. It has also been described both as a "parody holiday festival" and as a form of playful consumer resistance.

Some people, most of them inspired by the Seinfeld episode,subsequently began to celebrate the holiday with varying degrees of seriousness.

Allen Salkin's 2005 book Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us chronicles the early adoption of Festivus. Rabbi Joshua Eli Plaut's book A Kosher Christmas: 'Tis the Season to Be Jewish (Rutgers University Press, 2012) references Festivus, along with hybrid holidays such as Chrismukkah.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Singing the ‘Black Friday Blues’ and the News

                                              Good Day World!

I’d like to start your Black Friday with a great song by Brandon Fulson titled “The Black Friday Blues” It exposes the hypocrisy of our society nicely!

In the News:

A loose network led by African Americans in the film and arts world called for a quiet riot in response to the Ferguson Grand Jury’s decision not to indict a white cop for shooting a black teen. They are asking people to boycott Black Friday shopping today.

Blog Article

Are you feeling blue, even guilty or left out?  You did not participate in the Black Friday madness.

Alternatively, you indeed might have been lucky and perhaps smart as well to have avoided following the crowd of more than 100,000,000 Americans who were stampeding in and out of stores and cyberspace.

In a New York Times article, the research by a University of Washington professor revealed the truth about Black Friday.

“It's not until early December that prices are likely to be lowest for electronics, products that are among the biggest sellers on the Friday after Thanksgiving.”

Also in the News

If you're experiencing déjà vu this Black Friday, there's a reason: Retailers are repeating products and prices from last year.

A whopping 93% of stores surveyed are offering customers year-old products for the same "discount" that was offered last year, according to a recent study from NerdWallet.

While that may not be a huge issue for things like furniture and cookware, it does matter when it comes to tech and electronics that can be outdated or of poorer quality.

"It's probably not worth waking up very early for," said Matthew Ong, an analyst at NerdWallet.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Three Thanksgiving Day Thoughts and Wishes

Good Day World!

It’s Thanksgiving in America.

My first thought: families flocking to dinner tables to devour turkeys from coast to coast. Baked and mashed potatoes. Stuffing and gravy. Carrots and string beans. Salads and Deviled eggs. Cranberry sauce and apple juice. Apple and Pumpkin pies with a side of vanilla ice cream.

My second thought: How many people are taking the time to be thankful for what they have in life today? More important, how many people are thankful for what they have everyday – no matter how humble or simple?

My third thought: Kids today don’t buy the same thanksgiving Pilgrim/Indian story that I grew up with in the 50’s. For example; kids today know the white man took advantage of Native Americans – essentially ruining their way of life forever.

Wish #1- That the world would someday come together in peace and understanding, so everyone could be thankful for their life.

Wish #2 – Never forget how blessed I’ve been in my life. The Good, Bad, and the Ugly things that happened were necessary to fully appreciate that.

Wish #3 – the will power not to gorge myself today with all the good food my beautiful bride of 40 years has prepared!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Marilyn Monroe Memorabilia Auction Today & Next Month

Rare photos of Marilyn Monroe to be auctioned off.

(This composite image shows what is believed to be the earliest image of Marilyn Monroe. Left –1946 when she was 15 years-old. Right -the last photo she ever posed for in 1962.)

                                                     Good Day World!

A rare photo collection of Hollywood’s iconic blond bombshell, Marilyn Monroe, including never-before-seen-prints, are being auctioned off in England today. For sale - 32 rare prints from 1946 to 1962, which are expected to bring in about $125,000 dollars.

Monroe’s popularity has transcended the generations – from the 20th to the 21st century. Her star will never dim. Fans, young and old, view her images and fall in love with her.

More Marilyn memorabilia is going to be auctioned off next month.

Rare photos of Marilyn Monroe to be auctioned off.

It’s no secret Joe DiMaggio loved Marilyn Monroe. The baseball great cried at her funeral and for 20 years had flowers placed at her crypt several times a week.

The public displays were unusual for the famously stoic and private DiMaggio.

Now, his heartbreak over the breakup of their marriage will get a rare public airing when “Marilyn Monroe’s Lost Archives” goes up for bid at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills next month.

“I love you and want to be with you,” DiMaggio said in one pained letter to Monroe from the collection, written when she announced she was filing for divorce after a matter of months in 1954. “There is nothing I would like better than to restore your confidence in me.”

The 300 items also include love letters from Monroe’s third and final husband, playwright Arthur Miller. There’s also a handwritten letter from Monroe to Miller in which the woman who was arguably Hollywood’s greatest sex symbol muses about her many insecurities.

Auction owner Darren Julien estimates the pieces could fetch $1 million or more, noting a watercolor Monroe painted and planned to give to President John Kennedy went for $80,000 at an estate auction nine years ago.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Marking time: yesterday and today

Good Day World!

Today is the 329th day of the year (330th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 36 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in history:

Last year - Guinness World Records stated that the Richards family in Canberra, Australia set the world record for having the most Christmas lights with over 500,000 lights around their home.

2009 - Wikileaks published 9/11 pager messages: The unfolding story of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon is being given to the public with more than 500,000 intercepted pager messages (many from US officials) published online in the order in which they were sent.

1980 - “No more!” -Sugar Ray Leonard regains the welterweight championship when he defeats Roberto Duran in the eighth round. Duran just stopped fighting and turned his back as the ref asked him if he could still fight. His reply has become infamous, “No maus!”

1963 - Assassinated President John F Kennedy funeral takes place in Washington DC with over 800,000 mourners lining the streets standing in silence. The funeral was attended by statesmen representing counties around the globe. The service was held in St Matthew's Cathedral and the president was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery with a 21 gun salute.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Boomer’s reflections on legal and corporate pot

Good Day World!

For better, or worse, I’m a product of the 60’s revolution.

During those Cheech & Chong days of long-haired young men, free love, flower power, hippies, black light posters, lava lamps, and the discovery of marijuana, I dreamed of a time when weed would become legal.

A universal smoke out.

I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times my friends and I longed for legality during those hazy, lazy days – even though it was kind of fun getting stoned, knowing we were doing something illegal!

The 60’s was about change above all.

Now, another time of change is leading us out of the dark ages of the “demonic killer weed era” and into the age of medicinal and legal marijuana.  

With more states getting on the legal weed train you’d think Boomers – like myself – would be throwing our canes aside and dancing in the streets with uninhibited glee.

Not necessarily.

There’s still a 60’s stigma – a cultural thing - when it comes to talking about corporations. The idea of the Marlboro-ization of marijuana worries pot advocates for good reason.

“They hoped the market would remain a cottage industry of small-scale growers, collectives and dispensaries. Just a few years ago the threat of corporate pot was a distant concern. At the first marijuana business conferences, for example, organizers saw poor turn-out at panels that conflicted with 4:20 pm, the daily happy hour of weed.

By contrast Las Vegas hosted two massive pot gathering this month, the Marijuana Business Conference & Expo and a “pitch forum” run by The ArcView Group, one of the field’s new investment firms. At both events men and women wore suits and sipped San Pellegrino.” (source)

What a difference a few years can make.

The hope that there wouldn’t be corporate cannabis has been forever dashed, trashed, and thrashed. The rush is on to capitalize and corner the market on marijuana sales.

The poster-child for corporate pot is – ironically – Bob Marley. His family recently signed a world-wide deal to distribute pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes.

The family has partnered up with a private equity firm that focuses on the cannabis industry called Privateer Holdings. The two have struck a 30-year licensing deal, reports Fast Company, to create Marley Natural (what, not Marleyjuana?!), a pot brand that will have a slew of products on the market at dispensaries around late 2015.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, November 23, 2014

FBI arrests 2 would-be bombers while anxious protestors & agititators wait for decision

                              Good Day World!

Some people live for chaos.

Motivated by stirring up trouble and taking advantage of legitimate protests, these dregs of society revel in violence. They give others a bad name by mingling among them, like time bombs ready to go off.

By now the country – and the rest of the world – know about a little city called Ferguson, in Missouri. A white cop shot a black teenager dead, setting off a firestorm that looks like a holocaust in waiting for a grand jury decision.

It’s common knowledge that there’s going to be riots if the grand jury doesn’t indict the cop. It’s also understood – among the waiting protestors and devious trouble-makers – that regardless of the decision there’s still going to be nationwide protests.

A “Justice for Mike Brown Map” identifies dozens of buildings, which could become targets for demonstrators, both those planning peaceful protests and those authorities fear could become violent. Downtown Clayton ranks high because it’s home to St. Louis County’s justice system.

Two troublemakers – members of the New Black Panther Party – have been arrested and charged with federal firearms offenses, according to a law enforcement official’s report to Reuters.

The men planned on setting off pipe bombs during the protests in Ferguson that they knew would follow the grand jury’s decision – regardless of the outcome.

Against this backdrop of heightened tensions, an FBI sting operation exposed Brandon Orlando Baldwin, and Olajuwon Davis’s, plan to set off the pipe bombs. The same pair was named in a newly unsealed federal indictment returned on Nov. 19, for purchasing two pistols from a firearms dealer under false pretenses.

They are more than just agitators. They are would-be murderers. They represent an extremism that has filtered into legitimate protests in this country today. There’s plenty of plain troublemakers – bored individuals who have nothing better to do than to stage endless protests.

At least they’re not would-be murderers like Baldwin and Davis who give a black eye to anyone protesting anything. Unfortunately, the few get a lot of attention. The nation is holding it’s breath.

Fact. Americans are polarized in politics and race relations. It’s a sad comment on our 21st century society. We’ve turned the clock back on these two issues, and are paying the price now.

There will be no winners after a decision is made. The only thing we know for sure is that chaos will reign for an undetermined amount of time.

Related: 

St. Louis County fortifies police headquarters before Ferguson grand jury ruling

Shopkeeper: ‘If they break my window, they’ll put me out of business’

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Back In The Public Eye: Ben Carson Pushes Hydroxychloroquine

The man who once said the Pyramids were built to store grain is back in the limelight with another ridiculous  claim: Hydroxychloroquine s...