Back In The Saddle

Yes Martha, we are back.  Just been hiding out is all.  My stats indicate that I have not been around lately, and I can assure you, that is right.  The last time I posted anything, was about a week ago.  I have been working hard around the old Goat Farm, and trying to learn some new tricks on WordPress.Com (By the way … Do you like the new look?). 

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It Must Be Monday

 

The wind blows hard this morning, it comes roaring across the plains with a vengeance, carrying it with bitter cold.  I don’t know where it is has been, but it has been blowing across snow, it tears at the corner of my eye, and it chills me to the marrow of my bone.  I secretly long to be somewhere else.

This time of the year, it is hard to find that ideal spot in life, that pleasing place, where everything is right.  Back east my friends are still covered in snow, locked down and the first stages of Cabin Fever seem to be rearing its ugly head.  I stop to think about it all, things could be a lot worse for myself.

I count my blessings.

A bad week to be a football fan, at least in Washington state that is.  A Washington state middle schooler was sent home for wearing the wrong NFL jersey.  His school which has an official uniform last week, allowed students to wear Seattle Seahawks jerseys for a team-appreciation day.  Grendon Bailie, who is 13 years old, wore the jersey of his beloved Pittsburg Steelers and was told to change or be suspended.  His only comment was:  “Not everyone is a Seahawks fan.”

It is not easy being a thirteen year old these days.

A Houston Texas couple was told to stop feeding the homeless because they do not have a permit.  The couple had been feeding up to 120 people per night, using donated food prepared by volunteers.  But City officials, in their infinite wisdom, decided to shut down the program because the kitchen isn’t inspected and certified.  Their collective reasoning was that “poor people are the most vulnerable to food-borne illness.”   Which is kind of like saying “Homeless people are lucky, they get to camp out every night.”   Let’s form a committee and pool our ignorance, Houston you have a problem.

I guess it is best to just let them starve too death.

Good news!  Do you desire to have healthy skin?  British researchers found that eating five more portions of fruit and vegetables a day raises carotid levels and gives skin a golden tone, making people look healthier and more attractive.  My skin, is not all that pretty, I don’t normally think in terms of “skin care.”  Does the word “well preserved” readily come to mind here?

At my age I figure I would have to eat a dump-truck load of carrots, just to be considered “good looking.”

It also appears I may have to go back to dressing for success in order to look good.  Believe it or not, it pays off.  Lady Gaga and her ridiculous getups, are projected to make $100 million this year.  In my minds eye, I can still remember my mother standing there and saying to me, “I am NOT going to pay $4.05 for a pair of Levi’s!”

Life moves on.

Former Kalifornia Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger calculated that he lost roughly $200 million in box-office receipts by serving in government instead of making movies.  “It was more than worth it,” Arnold said.  Yeah?  Try taking that to Cracker Barrel for a cup of coffee and an order of Chicken N Dumplings.

Things are warming up down under.  This week it was announced that a group of Austrian undertakers said that they planned to funnel the excess heat generated by the crematorium next door into their new headquarters, so as to not waste energy.

I have saved the boring but important stuff for last.

This past week, President Obama ordered a regulatory review of all Federal departments.  He issued an executive order directing federal departments “to root out those agencies that have rules that conflict, are not worth the cost, or are just plain dumb.”

The main snag or hangup here, would be where do you start?

Our president went on to say (now this one is a hoot), government rules strengthen our country without unduly interfering with the economy.  And he went on further to say that although there are obvious gaps in the regulatory framework, it all seems to be working just peachy, and everything is going just swell.

 

Filled up lately Mr. President?

 

A Massachusetts cat has been summoned for jury duty, after it was listed by its owner on the census form.  The cat received his summons, the cats owner said she contacted the jury commission to request disqualification on the grounds that Sal’s language skills  are limited.  And I suppose that he could be considered racist, as it was rumored that he definitely did not like dogs.  It has to be true, I mean, I read it on the Internet.

Sit back, take a deep breath, and relax … Spring is just around the corner, it will be here before you know it.

OOO

Cartoons courtesy of Center for American Progress

It’s Not Easy Being Rich

The trouble with life is there just isn’t any background music.  Monday’s are always especially difficult, come in, sit down with a cup of Joe and then face an empty screen.  I am so envious of all those talented people who sit down and make this look like child’s play, make it appear simple.

So what do we talk about?

The up’s and down’s of oil, no one cares right now.  Politics’, I am sick of politics and my unguarded opinion is the political Gene-pool in this country, could stand a dose of Chlorine.

Last I heard they were holding a symposium on the Heartlands’ problems in some place like Chugwater, Wyoming.  Cheney was spitting euphemisms out of the side of his mouth about, I like this guy and that guy, and you should too (If you know what is good for you).

Another group meeting at which there are several speeches, often a group discussion, a collection of opinions on a subject, a short discussion.  Nothing is really resolved, and when the finger food disappears, they sneak outside for a quick smoke, fire up the bus and drive off.

I will bet you even money that the candidates are now glad to be looking at the end of all this.  Think about it … In just a few short hours, it will be over with and they can go back to “telling us the truth.”

So for a refreshing change of pace, no doom and gloom, none of this the earth is rotting like a bad cantaloupe left outside in the mid-day sun, covered in flies. Today we will talk about something different.  Let us take on the plight of those poor, often overlooked unfortunates in America these days that are experiencing hard times.

Let us talk about the rich.

You know who I am talking about here, the poor $435 lunch ticket, share the wealth bunch.  They (the rich) are not doing all that well here lately.  Did you know because of the current financial meltdown, the rich are being forced to cut back just like the rest of us?  It has gotten so dire; that I hear they have temporarily gone back to regular mustard instead of that Gray Poupon stuff.

Yes, it is true.

Affluent brides to be, in Manhattan are swapping out the $1,000 centerpiece of peonies from New Zealand for $300 Netherlands hydrangeas.  The Gordon Gekko’s types of Wall Street are now forced to purchase one $4,000 suit instead of five; things have suddenly gotten austere in the Big Apple.  Women of a certain age, who used to have the option of a complete face lift have now had to resort to Botox Injections instead, which are much, much cheaper.  Cosmetic surgery in this country is now estimated to be down as much as 50%.

America the land of opportunity, I have a degree in Liberal Arts, do you want fries with that?  We have discovered to our dismay that our “Great Spenders are also very Bad Lenders.”  Seemingly over night our philosophy has changed.  Yesterday is a cancelled check.  Today is cash on the line.  Tomorrow is a promissory note which may or may not get paidl.

Pity the poor, poor rich.

The rich have to make choices now, should I continue the lease on the Christmas Villa in the south, or just find a suitable hotel?  Will I be able to afford the subscription to Elite Traveler Magazine for the table on the Lear Jet or the Yacht this year.  Can we still afford a crew of eighteen to have at our beck and call?

They have to make untold sacrifices just like the rest of us, why they cannot even afford the full band anymore, they are resorting to DJ’s (Sorry Radio Girl) at the weddings and bar mistfah’s (sp).  Miniature cupcakes on Lucite tiers instead of the massive wedding cake.

A greatly pared down guest list, dollar pinching is everywhere!  As hard as this is to believe, “some of us might not get invited to attend at all” it has gotten that bad.

Arab and European clients are still buying $25 million yachts, but the share of sales to Americans has dropped from 80% to 50%.  Relegated to searching the boat yards for a good used 60’/80′ skiff is simply not American. The power shoppers are in the Arab Emirates, the Abdul Dubai Malls in the golden sand of the Persian Gulf.  Neiman Marcus is a bargain store in this new age of less money.  No more whole wardrobes, it is a $500 dress and make it last for the corporate executive’s wife in Houston.

Things have gotten so bad, they are more than likely switching over to the cheap Chardonnay, and I imagine we will at some time see these folks somewhere down the line, but for right now things on the other side of the coin will remain the same for us.  All of us good, honorable soldiers in the legions of the less entitled.

We will still be drinking the yucky-green-stuff, sneezy, why-in-the-heck-is-the-room-spinning NyQuil for a cheap buzz purchased at the Dollar General Store on sale.  Doing our level best to get a handle on life, with one broken handle, driving a beat up run-down fourteen year old Hoopie with a half-tank of fuel.

Now altogether …. Let’s hear it one time for the Rich In America …. Ready?

(One big collective sigh)

Now I know I feel better, I can face but one more Monday.  Which is considerably less painful than licking my fingers and searching out an electrical outlet.  I can now focus my energies on the important questions of life.  Such as:  “Is our planet the insane asylum for the Universe?”  That would be a good start for a Monday right there.

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It Cannot Get Any Worse …

There is an old expression in this country, ‘It cannot get any worse.”  But that is not exactly true, it can always get worse.  I was in Las Vegas and having an incredible run of “bad luck” and I muttered to myself, “It cannot get any worse.”  Then I walked across the street to Caesars’’ Palace, and worse followed me right over there.

 

Just when you thought it was over and it could not get any worse, it does.  How much do you weigh?  I ran across a Airlines article this morning and it informs me that the airlines are now going to treat you like common freight.  They are not only going to weigh your bags, but YOU are going to get weighed too.  This should be interesting, your ticket to Cleveland will cost $800 and some change, Richard Simmons will fly for free. 

 

Check it out.

 

Because of my weight issues, I am no longer able to fly.  You see, every time I yawn those little air delivery masks automatically drop down out the cabin ceiling for all the other passengers.  It is no wonder the lines are so long, for a flight these days, look at where 14 of the worlds’ 20 busiest airports are located, in the United States.

 

Personally I stopped flyin’ years ago, they’re rude, they’re demanding, hateful and mean, and that is just the guy that checks your luggage at the curb, the rest of them are …. I am sorry …… Much worse.

 

A woman scorned.  I see this week that a girl in Trenton, N.J., a teenager set fire to the home of a boy who didn’t ask her to the senior prom.  Now that is taking it kind of personal wouldn’t you say?  The home burned to the ground, with the boy’s family escaping by climbing out of the windows.

 

Last week I am swinging by the 7-11 to make my weekly contribution to the “oil executives retirement fund” and I see this young thing, standing there, all decked out in her prom dress pumping gas into her old hoopie.  And I thought to myself, gee look, I see the gas fairy! 

 

And yes, it just got worse after that.

 

GM continues to hemorrhage and announces the closing of three truck plants in North America and one in Mexico.  At the same time, they have announced the possible demise of the Hummer.  You remember the Hummer don’tcha, The Governator In Caliy-forn-yuh drives one.  A major testosterone rush of steel and chrome at about 5 mpg.  We are talking Major League Interstate Boulevard Slurpy here … The American Dream. They have the aerodynamics of a brick and are not selling well at this time. 

 

Ford is going to build their most popular vehicle in Mexico, instead of using a U.S. Plant to do the work.  The company announced more numbers that were in the dumper this week, and said that even after closing 11 plants since 2005, they still cannot cut a profit.  And that deeper cuts will now be needed, I suppose all the way to the bone this time.

 

God Bless Alabama! 

 

The politicians in that state this week announced that they have hurriedly put together a measure that will allow the citizens of that state to KEEP ALL OF THEIR ECONOMIC STIMULUS CHECKS.  Up and until now, they were planning on taking taxes out of the stipend.  Isn’t anything sacred in this country anymore?  This will save the taxpayers $30/$60 depending on the size of the check.

 

Times are tight, Warren Buffet says that we are in a “recession” and it is going to be long and hard.  Bush & Company are currently doing damage control on the new book that came out that categorically says “he was out to lunch on most of this” and it is a nice house, but nobody’s home.  I sure hope my stimulus check doesn’t bounce. 

 

Most American’s are really starting to feel the pressure from poor monetary decisions on both sides of the coin.  I used to worry abut paying my bills until I read about Chapter 11.  You don’t have to pay anyone off, and you don’t go to jail.  Then there is Chapter 12 … That is where you load up and run like hell!  Things have gotten so bad, that we are desperately trying to just “get back to zero.”  A point where we have absolutely nothing … So that when I do die, I can look my kids in the eye and say …. See this?  None of this is yours!

 

Local Malcontent has a good post on it, go over there and check it out.  People are starting to rummage thru the old change drawer, under the couch cushions for coinage.  Strange things happen when you find yourself mired deeply in debt.  Two weeks ago, my car broke down, and my telephone got disconnected and I was one electric bill away from being Amish.  Just remember, no matter how bad it gets, you are always going to be rich at the Dollar Store.

 

Tioga, North Dakota having discovered a significant oil field that the major oil companies cannot deny has declared a trademarked “Oil Capital of North Dakota name for their town.  Elk Point, South Dakota has a Texas company on line to build the first oil refinery in the U.S. in more than thirty years (which I don’t believe is exactly true, I understand Arizona permitted a refinery last year). 

 

It is supposed to cost in the neighborhood of $10 billion to construct.  Which is ironically about the same amount of money that American Oil Companies and refiners cheat the Government out of each year on taxes owed.

 

Meanwhile, back in Houston, orders for new bumper stickers are up. 

 

They read, “Lord give us another Oil Boom … We promise we won’t blow it this time.”

 

Get your order in early, most major credit cards accepted.

 

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