Saturday, November 29, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
In Alabama's negative campaign. To his credit, I can't think of one negative ad that has the new sound bite-of-the-day stating who he is and that he approves this message (yes, my eyes roll each time I hear that). However, it sure didn't stop his national party (or his opponent's for that matter) from doing just that. These groups are stretching the truth to a point that it is about to snap. For example, one group states that the other guy, labeled a "restaurant multimillionaire" in the ad, did not provide health care to 80% of his employees. Of course the screen has a great deal of small print at the bottom, a disclaimer of some sort I’m sure. But, since I can't afford a television big enough to read the small print I did a little research on my own. I found out that he owns approximately 16 Subway sandwich shops, 80% of his employees are part-time, and part-time employees are not eligible for employer provided health care. While it is completely truthful, it is quite misleading., one of the candidates promised he would not run a
Politicians, and the people who make their ads, rely on the fact that many people take much of what they see on television and the Internet at face value. They won't take the time to learn the stories behind the statements. Instead they just get angry about the information that is fed to them. Which brings me to my next point.
If you don't like the way something tastes, check the ingredients!! There is so much information available, in the form of public records, that there is no excuse for us to be in the dark about who or what we are voting for. Learn what the candidates stand for because they are not likely to tell you directly. Read information from both political views so you understand how they spin the facts to make them appear better or worse than they are.
Remember this; the people who make these advertisements are the same people who try to convince us that we can get rock-hard chiseled abs if we use their exercise machine or diet pills, while putting fine print at the bottom of the screen that explains how you have to modify your diet as well. They try to get us to buy their products, or vote for their candidate, because that is their job; and we all know what happens if we don't do our jobs well.
Bottom line - VOTE!! But vote smartly. Don't vote for the person with the best hair, the most charisma, or because someone tells you to. Do some research and make your own decision.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Aye wonder how many of these people have reached a point where they are thinking of the wrong word as well? Is it possible that they ewes these words when they talk? I wood hate to think that this problem has gone that far. It's know wonder that people who dew knot use English as a first language get so confused. Words that sound the same, but have different meanings make it hard to learn hour language.
Won thing that I can say for these people...at least they are still using hole words. The up and coming generation thinks it is gr8 2 use shortcuts when they write and type...KWIM?
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
I'm sure most of you are wondering, "Why would General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín spin in his grave?" Who cares what Americans have done to the original meaning of yet another holiday. Well, there is one bunch of Americans in particular, the staff of one of Montgomery's radio stations. I only listen to the station for the syndicated morning show, Rick and Bubba, but am still inundated by the stations commercials.
Their idea of celebrating this day is with the "Sink O de Mayo" contest at one of the local Tex-Mex restaurant chains. They fill a giant sink with mayonnaise and put prizes in the bottom. Contestants have to fish for their prizes. Sounds kinda gross to me, but then again I like mayonnaise on my french fries and some people think that is gross.
Feliz cinco de mayo!!
Monday, April 21, 2008
I head off to my favorite mapping site, Google Maps, and enter the address. Only problem is that I entered it as St. Luke Drive. The results it gave me is this map. At first I noticed that the location is on the route that I use when I go to Maxwell AFB from the Gunter Annex. I didn't remember seeing a hospital or doctor office on the drive so I zoomed in. Much to my dismay, it was pointing me to the middle of the cemetery where Hank Williams is buried. Not that I would have any problem visiting a cemetery, especially one with a famous resident, but I don't think that a tear to my mid medial meniscus is fatal.
Anyway, I added an 'S' on the end of Luke and tried again. This time it wants to send me to an area just across from Baptist Medical Center East. I think this is a better place to look for a doctor, don't you?
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Q: What was the last thing the redneck said before he died?
A: Hey y'all, watch this!!
Anyway, I actually found my self in the middle of one of those moments this evening. My neighbor (who doesn't actually live here, but lets his brother live in the house) has a collection of rusting things in his back yard. One of those thing is an old electric golf cart. The people working to repair the damage caused by the tornado decided it was time to clean most of this stuff out; before he came back to town and noticed his stuff was gone.
They backed the truck into the backyard, connected a chain to the golf cart and dragged it (none of the wheels were round anymore) out to the driveway. As we are standing there trying to figure out how to get the cart into the back of the truck, one of them thought that flipping it end over end would be a good idea. Who was I to argue...."Hey y'all, watch this!!" started running over and over in my head. That should have been my first clue. We pushed up the front end of the cart until the four of us had it up high enough to get into the back of the truck. Unfortunately, it was pointed the wrong way. One of the guys said that if the truck were pulled up, we could try to get the front end in first. "HEY Y'ALL, WATCH THIS!!!" It was getting louder, but I still ignored the voice.
The guy who drove the truck let go and headed for the cab. Now I did a little math. If it takes four men to life the front end of this cart, and one lets go...I'll let you finish the equation. The cart started to gain momentum until all of us finally let go and let it drop the last couple of feet. It missed everyone's toes and we all just looked at each other with that, OOPS look.
At least I survived my first, and hopefully last, "Hey y'all, watch this" experience.
I get it cleaned up, get authorization from our insurance to visit the local urgent care clinic and get it all fixed up nice and pretty. While I'm sitting at the clinic I have a sudden realization. . .
That is what I use to mash the 'X' button on my PS2 controller!!! I guess I have to give the video games a rest for a few days. Oh well, at least I will still have a thumb to mash buttons with when the healing is over.
On the way home from the clinic, my wife said something about never letting me turn on my new power compound mitre saw. Might be a good idea if I want to keep my thumb attached.
Give it a try, you just might like it.
The flight was smooth, plenty of food and watchable movies, but it was the time after the landing that was the icing on the cake. They parked at the gate furthest from the terminal. We got through the first passport check, collected our luggage and got in line for customs. They just put a big A on our customs form (we are carrying cats) and sent us to another line.
We waited there for a while before they realized that we only had cats. We also watched a bunch of kids leave the line when they discovered they had all checked the box for visiting a farm (but never walked through manure) and didn't need to be in that line. We went to a line with no one in it and checked in the cats. Then the agent asked if we had brought any food for them so we showed him the bag of food we brought. Since we didn't have the original bag he wanted to take all of it, but he finally agreed to leave them a few days worth of food. Good thing since it is prescription food that you can't buy at stores.
The next corner we came around had someone telling us that we needed to put our checked luggage through a second screening and they would send it to the domestic baggage claim. Then go through another x-ray screening. This time we had to take the cats out of their bags and carry them through the metal detectors. We finally caught up with our luggage, the second time to find out that the capitalist society we live in doesn't believe in free luggage carts (first thing to miss about Brussels). Walked the half mile to the hotel shuttles in nearly 100 degree temps and finally boarded for the trip to the hotel.
Now it is 6:15 in the morning, the sun has yet to come up over the horizon. It almost feels like winter in Brussels, except for the temp. Anyway, hope you enjoyed my burbling.
In order to get the rent deposit money out of the bank, we had to move out of our house a month before we leave. Still good since we get to move into a furnished apartment. However, in order to clean the house and have a place to sleep we needed to move in with our neighbor Pete, still good, but that is only for one week, then we move to the apartment. Still good, but now we are up to two moves in a week. The final straw was the notice I got yesterday at work. They are moving my office across the hall. I asked them to hold off for a few weeks, then I wouldn't care, but once the NATO wheels get spinning they just can't stop. Granted, that is only three moves in about two weeks, but it can get tiresome after a while.
Thankfully we only have to stay at two different hotels, when we get back to the states, before we move into our new home. There is some comfort in that.
Hope you all have a great week, and remember that moving can be fun; just not this time.
After a couple of weeks I finally contacted the online tech support. The technician told me it was probably the computer overheating from playing high-end games. Last time I checked, Runescape is not a high-end game. I played along by flashing my BIOS, modifying the power settings, yada, yada, yada. The problem continued after only ten minutes of play. This morning, I get an e-mail from tech support with things they forgot to tell me the previous evening. I went through all the steps methodically, repeating some of the steps from the previous night.
I reached step 7...something I never thought of...vacuum the vents for the fans. I turn on the vacuum and started to suck clumps of cat hair out of my computer. No wonder the fans were working so hard. My cat was hiding inside the computer. Based on the color and texture I determined it was our little Belgian driver (see previous entry). Now things are running quietly and coolly again.
Back to the gaming
Each morning when I go upstairs to wake up my daughter, he races from wherever he is, up the stairs (passing me on the way), and to her bedroom door. One time I was about a quarter of the way up before he passed me, but he passed me just the same. That is the basic philosophy for driving here. If I can get ahead of just one more car then I win.
Another strange habit of his is to not walk in a straight line. I can be sitting on my bed with him right next to me, on the edge. If he wants to leave the room he just doesn't jump down to the floor and run out. He will circle around behind me, go across the bedside table, then jump to the floor and leave. That is the second philosophy of driving in Belgium. You cannot drive anywhere directly or in a straight line. This happens all the time since roads are so narrow and people park on the side of the road. You can almost compare it to slalom skiing on some streets. Maybe my cat is training for the 2010 Olympics.
The last habit is when he is going somewhere and I happen to be walking behind him. He may stop for no reason at all. I try to go around him and he changes direction into my path and I almost step on him. Rinse, Lather, Repeat. This brings me to to the last philosophy of driving in Belgium. I own every inch of the road.
For all of you in the states, I hope you appreciate your wide, SUV accommodating streets, it could be worse....much worse.
So, in case you are visiting us sometime, please use the following identification guide for determining if the cat you see is Merlin or not.
- Beady little eyes
- Short, pointy ears
- May come when he is called, but will not purr when you pick him up. He doesn't like to be held.
Anyway, I go to the clinic (run by the Army) and they fill out an animal bite report. It gets forwarded to the nearest base and the vet there call me to talk about my cat. He understood that he is domesticated, has had all his shots, and is most likely not to have rabies (there are no rabies in Brussels). Yet, and here is the kicker, I am told to quaranteen my cat (he suggested in our house) for 10 days then take him to the vet to get an official "your cat doesn't have rabies" for the records. So 25 Euro later, when our vet looks at the cat and declares him free of rabies the Army gets an end to their paper trail.
On the plus side, the cat has a new nickname....."he who must not have rabies"
A friend of mine blogs here, so I thought I would give it a try and determine if I should give up my day job and take up residence here. Chances are that I won't hang up my uniform quite yet. I plan to copy over what I have written there so far. Wouldn't want anyone thinking I was trying to hide anything.
Anyway, hope you enjoy the reading. And as Bill Cosby said a few years ago, "If you're not careful, you might just learn something."