Xpress Line …

Yesterday, weather was good, so we made a Bacon Run to China-World.  Great deal of traffic on the Super Slab, the low prices on gasoline has started to show up as a plus for the consumer.  They can actually afford to go somewhere now.

I saw this at China-World and thought it would be a good deal, so we bought a package and brought it home, I really cannot remember what the price of the item was. Continue reading

Alam’s Road Trip

Kind of tired the other night, but I wanted to see the end of the NASCAR race, so I set the VCR to record the rest of the race and I went to bed.  I am after all, in my golden years, and I do need my rest, the race was no big thing.  Let technology take care of it, it is touted to “improve our lives and make life much better for the majority of us” so often to dreamland I went.  Next day, I bring it up and start to watch it, everything goes swimmingly until the last ten laps, they break for a commercial and that is that.

No more race, no last ten laps, and I am here to testify … Technology sucks.

Tristin Saghn little sister who is two years old (he is 9) fell into the family pool in Mesa, Arizona this week.  After she was pulled from he water, Tristin started to perform chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth on the little girl while his mother rushed into the house and called 911 for help.  Tristin who said that he learned the lifesaving technique while watching television, said that “he knew what it was that he was doing it right.”  Evidently so, little sister started breathing again, and doctors says that she is going to be just fine due to the smart reaction of her big brother.

“She is really beautiful, and I love her very much.”  Tristin said.

Yesterday we had an outbreak of tornado’s here in the heartland and this morning a lot of folks waking up here in Central Oklahoma to just about nothing.  One of the things that I did before the approaching storm was to check the safe room in the garage (steel enclosure bolted to the floor with 21 – 18” bolts into the concrete) for snakes.  We have found snakes in there, they kind of gravitate to the coolness and darkness of the room.  No snakes incidentally, but finding one during a tornado, would not be the optimum safety plan it seems to me.

A lady in Florida might be considering removing the pet door on her house, it allowed a small alligator access to her home this week.  She walked into the back bedroom of her house and there the alligator was.  Might be time to get rid of the swinging door in the kitchen and start letting Fluffy in and out the old fashioned way.

Japan is now creating suicide hot lines and sending mental-health counselors into the regions affected by the tsunami and nuclear crisis out of fear there will be a surge of self-inflicted deaths in that country.  The Japanese, whose culture romanticizes suicide, already have a suicide rate more than double that of the United States and it is the leading cause of death there among men ages 20 to 44 and women ages 15 to 34.

Now I understand that if you call the Suicide hot line in Pakistan and tell them you are depressed and you can drive a truck, they get all excited.

Yesterday I overheard some guy complaining during lunch that a beer in the Dallas Stadium in Texas costs $12.50.  Who in their right mind would pay $12.50 for a beer, I don’t care how cold it is, that is just too much.  American’s are spending something like $1.2 trillion dollars on nonessential goods and services annually, according to the Commerce Department.  See, we do have government agency that you can actually benefit from, we are paying a LOT of people to keep numbers on what it is that we are buying, your tax dollars at work.

Consumer spending on discretionary luxury items, including jewelry, yachts, sports cars, alcoholic beverages, and candy, has risen to 11.2% of total consumer spending, even in hard times, that is up from 4% in 1959.  Which is kind of stupid, because 1959 was what, 52 years ago?

Give me a break.

Our consumer spending here at our house constitutes mainly of groceries and gasoline.  55% of American drivers say they are changing their driving habits as a result of high gas prices.  Except maybe Kyle Busch, he was recently stopped in North Carolina for driving 128 miles per hour on a public highway.

Everyone has a dream.
A tomorrow.
A Someday …  New York City cabdriver Mohammed Alam got the fare of a lifetime:  $5,0000 to drive two New Jersey residents  from New York to Los Angeles.  The six-day journey was one man’s idea or spur of the moment urge for a birthday adventure.

Alam for his part, was able to live his childhood dream of seeing Universal Studios.  Nothing is impossible in this world,” said Alam.  “We can do everything, whatever we want” and it is quite possible the cabbie might have enjoyed the trip even more than the fare paying passengers.

Make a wish … Now blow out all the candles on your cake!

(Next stop Dollywood)


Ephemeral change

A friend of mine asked me yesterday why I don’t do a piece on the current buy-outs of the investment bankers and the general condition of the U.S. Economy. I just told him that it depresses me too much when I think about it.

I remember a time in my life when I was upside down in all of my credit cards and the wife, well, she was too. No one bailed us out. We had to leverage some stuff (as they like to explain it) and then using a quaint term “we grabbed ourselves by the boot-straps and pulled ourselves out of it.”

No one came around offering us incentives in the form of free money. If this country has one true addiction, it is to money, and not oil.

We are constantly throwing money at a problem, hoping that if we pass enough of it around, the problem will magically disappear. We never seem to figure out that this type of destructive behavior doesn’t seem to get it done at the end of the day.

In our case, we (the wife and I) were eventually successful and we made it, albeit on our own. To put it another way, “we assumed responsibility for our actions and it did not cost you one thin dime.” Now I am reading that General Motors is the latest hog to come to the federal through and they are trying to wrangle some $25 billion in federal loans to build even more vanilla wafer cars that are lousy on fuel. Who’s next? The Airlines, MasterCard, Visa …the list goes on and on.

Nothing will change.

Wall Street will continue it’s fast ride, technology bringing in the riches for a few and absolutely no gain for bottom rung families in America. And if it doesn’t, then they will be back for more. There is after all, “no sweat equity in tax payer funds” so therefore, it is worthless lucre.

One candidate and a great number of other supporters have been rambling on and on about change in this country and some things are apparently changing. I note now that people who buy gasoline are patient, reserved. In the old days, if you walked in to pay for your purchase and did not move your car, they got hostile about it and quite vocal. Now days, like sheep to the slaughter, they wait on you to go in and pay, then come back.

Six or eight months ago, when I dropped a twenty-dollar bill on the counter, the clerk would fish out a pen to check the authenticity of the thing when I made my purchase. These days they gladly take it and have not marked a single purchase with a twenty in a couple of months, they are just glad to get it.

Even the Michelin Tire character has a menacing and mean look about him now. Has anyone noticed?

Some things are going to stay the same, no matter how fresh the landscape we paint. About forty-five million working poor in this country are still going to lack medical insurance for their families and themselves. Our working congressional leaders, and I use that word (working) loosely, are going to debate the issues until they eventually fade away. Mainly because they are as usual, miles apart on any viable solution to our national malaise.

Their main thrust seem to be “payday’s” not solutions.

This country still has unlicensed guns, lurking in the shadows of the inner city and the suburbs, that will kill American’s at a rate that vastly outshines the other industrialized countries of the world.  Hard to believe, but we are now, leading the world in people locked down in our prisons, some 2 million. In Texas, they not only execute the mentally ill, it appears, they also elect them to the highest office of government.

The majority of these people are locked down on archaic drug laws.  AIDS continues to take victims and remains after an eon of time, a scourge on the face of humanity in countries such as Africa, Asia.Millions are doomed to brief lives, lives that never really had a chance to live, and agonizing death. It is especially crippling in the black segment of our population, on the rise, and just as lethal. $700 billion would have gone a long way to help rid this nation of a scourge upon its citizens such as this.

In the time you spend reading this post, 15 to 20 acres of virgin rain forest will disappear, never to reappear on this planet again. We are now reaching a point in time, where we will actually be able to witness the decline or disappearance of whole species of animals and/or plants. Something that was before this, totally fictional, but now very real.

Bigotry and hate groups will still abound in this newly changed America, inflicting their rancid moral code on the country, inflicting pain and in some cases, even murder on defenseless minorities. Just today, someone sent me an email of Mexican/American students, who ran the Mexican flag up the flagpole, put the U.S. Flag under it, upside down, and then sneered for the cameras. It just made me heartsick, I saw a lot of my buddies come home wrapped up in that flag.

You don’t like it here? You figure you are getting a raw deal? Then take your sorry ass back to the country of origin that you came from, legally or not, I am personally tired of all of it.

National leaders and prominent politicians are going to offer up viable solutions, dreaming of curing the ills of the country using the latest, the best, and whatever happens to be on the agenda for the day. But in the end, we all know that they are going to fail miserably.

We all know that the problems are going to remain, they could not find the solutions in the 19th and 20th centuries and they will be just as lost in the 21st. Our problems cannot and will not be solved by politicians, our problems are moral and spiritual and until we stop to recognize this fact, we will be as lost as a goose.

Our single largest problem? We have too much government and too many do nothing politicians!

Now I am known as a “Baby Boomer.” We were supposed to be “the” generation that was going to fix all of this. “We sadly missed the mark, Jeeze, I would venture so far as to say, we didn’t even get close.” I am the first born of my generation, theoretically to have never gone to war, worked for a solid, good company, every year of my life. And then to reap the benefits of free society and collect my fair share of the bountiful harvest that America has to offer at the end of the day.

It might be worth mentioning that this is not my first rodeo. I have been “promised” change before. And the forgone conclusion is simple. It Didn’t Happen. Nothing has really changed, other than the date on the calendar page, the time and place. Now I am being told, in the twilight of my years, that a new beginning is upon us that things are going to change and they are going to change for the better. So once again, I am cynical and do not believe one word of it and I guess I am like many, part of the problem and not the solution.

In order to change, we should all work harder for reforms, to affect some kind of valid change in this great country we live in. If we cannot find time for that, then perhaps it is time to lower our heads, put our hands together, and just silently pray for a better world.

Sunday afternoon my 4 year old granddaughter climbed up in my lap, and looked at me with those big brown eyes, eyes a guy could literally get lost in, and she said, “Grandpa, I love you.” Man, that is a special thing for a 62 year old angry tax-paying white guy. It just breaks my heart to sit here in this chair and think about her share of the national debt, which the last time I checked was roughly $530,000.00.

That makes me sick … We ought to change that.

It is also one of the main reason’s I hate to write about the economy.