Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fritz Maytag Cashes In His Chips

I read that Fritz Maytag is selling his San Francisco brewery. He's owned it for 45 years. He was a rich kid that didn't want to go into the family business making washing machines. His Anchor Steam Beer brand always gets a mention in articles documenting the development of the West Coast craft brewing movement and they are usually pretty kind to him.  From what I could tell, he never really wanted to develop a superior beer but to maintain the original taste of what they were producing for blue collar San Franciscans in the 19th Century. I guess he met his goal.

I never could figure out why it got good press. You could taste the malt and the hops alright but it had a lot of nasty wood ester tastes too. It never got easier to drink as you got a buzz on, a highlight of good beer. If you drank too much, too fast, you'd start to feel nauseous and if you didn't back off quick after that, you'd soon be vomiting. Hell of a hangover the next morning. You'd be better off with Miller High Life at half the price, even less if they were running a promo. If you were really strapped for cash, you might be inclined to go with Lucky Lager or Burgermeister, mostly just called Burgie by its hangdog legions of fans. They were never too fastidious about production quality with these brews. If they had cleaned out the feed pipes not long after putting the batch you bought into containers, there could be considerable amounts of caustic in the product. You'd wake up the next day with a really sore throat. It would eat into your guts too and you'd shit out blood and shreds of destroyed intestinal lining for a day or two. Oh, to be young again.

I don't drink much anymore but from what  can tell, all the cheap beers now taste exactly the same. No malt, no hops, sour and thin.  One completely indistinguishable from another.You gotta pay extra to get something decent. Anchor Steam Beer meets the pay extra criteria but not the decent part.

Maybe the new guys will make a better product. It wouldn't be hard.

Light Her Up!

The oil slick from that uncontained well a mile deep and 49 miles South of the Louisiana coast will soon wash ashore, to the detriment of local fisheries and wetlands.

They have a plan to contain it though. They're going to light it up and burn it off. How will they put it out? That well is leaking 45,000 barrels of crude a day. At least that's what they're reporting.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Thailand for Dummies

Do you know what's going on in Thailand?

It's been a couple of years since the military dissolved  the Parliament and exiled the Prime Minister, both of whom they didn't like.

Thailand has a King. The Thais are pretty nationalistic and proud of their history. They all love their King.

Thailand also has a hereditary aristocratic class who are educated and privileged. They run the military, big business, the judiciary and police. They have some support within the greater masses of Thais but only in and around the environs of Bangkok, which has benefited from the modernization of this one Thai metropolis in the last few decades. They are called the Yellow Shirts.

The majority of the provincial Thai populace, who have not benefited and who wish to begin to share in the new found Thai prosperity, mostly supported the government that the military has overthrown. They are called the Red Shirts.

The South of Thailand is Islamic. These people are ethnically and culturally different from everybody else. They are kind of a mixture between piratical sea Dyaks and the wild men of Borneo and are generally some of the most bloodthirsty killers that ever roamed the South China Sea. Open warfare against everybody that is not them is their natural state, unless there is nobody else around, when they war against each other. They want autonomy. At least that's the excuse they use for the current state of mayhem in the South.

The aristos and their minions are not strong enough to suppress majority and maintain even a sham democracy. They have the resources to do it by wholesale slaughter but then the rest of the World would not see Thailand as a good place to do business. That would be like killing the goose that lays the golden egg. The Yellow shirts know this and don't have much to lose except their lives anyway, so they persist in trying to force a reinstatement of a legitimate government and  new elections, which both sides know they will win. Until the country is unified, nobody can control the Dyaks in the South.

The King is trying to make peace. It's worked before but he's just about the oldest man in the country, sick and will die soon. He's been the King since he was a little boy and nobody believes that his successor will command any allegiance from anyone that matters. Neither side is willing to make any concessions.

Things are deteriorating in Thailand. They are our only real ally left in South East Asia.


Cost of Government

You want to talk about uncontrolled government spending, here's the biggest problem. Remember, virtually all of these people retire young, often at nearly full pay and with generous health care benefits.

Will The Government Tackle Immigration?

Are we ready to talk about illegal immigration in this country yet? It will be a bigger issue in California than any place else. It is not only a Latino problem here. There are huge numbers of illegals from Europe here. Irish, Eastern and Southern Europeans in droves, middle Easterners, Asians and Africans. For example, I do a lot of shopping at a huge local Asian superstore. It used to be a Kmart, tells you how big it is. Most of the check out girls are young Vietnamese. Some of them are still growing like weeds, now that they are on an American, high protein diet. They have bad teeth, are thin as rails and speak almost no English. It's obvious they didn't grow up here and if they had, they'd be aceing their SATs and heading for pre med at UCLA.

Immigrants from all over the World come to SoCal because they have established family ties and jobs waiting for them here. The established immigrant communities here subsidize illegal immigration because they need cheap labor and trust those from their own countries of origin more than others.

Arizona is a big white flight State. A lot of the kids I went to high school with 40+ years ago live there now. They are going to try and choke down illegal immigrants there. Given the kind of White people that live there, I'm sure they will do their best. Multiply the kind of problems they have by about ten and that's what it will be like in California and nobody here really gives a shit about immigrants. Without them, the economy would really tank. Well established White families have been moving out of California for a long time. Along with Arizona, a lot have gone to other Western States, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The thing that makes California different from places in the rust belt, is that the Whites have been replaced by foreign immigrants and the economy has kept chugging along. It has also become an even lower crime area than before and is a very nice place to live. You can't say that about Detroit or Cleveland. Did you know that Beverly Hills is now mostly Iranian? Not a suicide bomber among them. All their children want to keep up with the Kardashians.

I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago and I guarantee you, the immigrant numbers are even greater there, especially in the Chinese community.

You're not going to be able to bus all these people back to Tijuana and consider the job done, nor are their countries of origin going to passively accept them back.

Advice For Dim Witted Tomato Growers

Today it is three weeks since I got my two tomato plants, re potted them and put them out on my little back patio. Mostly they only get indirect sunlight back there but it doesn't seem to be a big problem. They are about three times as tall now, are blooming profusely and have put on a lot of foliage. About a week ago I gave them a little shot of plant food. I have been watering them every other day

Yesterday, they were looking good but the potting soil was a little dryish, so I drenched them down. A couple hours later, I was out there and looked at them and something seemed wrong. All of the foliage was drooping badly. It took me a few minutes to figure out what the problem was. The plants had pumped so much water up into the leaves, so quickly, that the weight of them was making it hard for the still thin and pliable, green stems to hold them up.

I had been worrying about over watering, when I had been under watering them.

I guess I will water them every day from now on. Once they really get going, I probably will have to water morning and evening. I can do that.

Photosynthesis is a wonderful thing.

General Motors Is Back

GM says it has paid back all of the government bailout money, with interest and is now profitable. It's a lie. Maybe the big drug cartels are laundering their money through GMs credit arm.

I don't know a single person that has bought a GM vehicle in years, do you? We have an auto dealership strip on the main highway that goes through our town. All the GM lots except Chevy are closed and Chevy doesn't look all that profitable. I expect Hyundai and Subaru to snap up a couple of those lots now derelict. The spaces they currently hold are woefully inadequate.

I didn't buy bank stocks a year and a half ago and I should have. I'm not going to buy GM stock now. Chrysler either. My father owns some Ford. I think maybe he's senile but I'm often wrong. You can buy GM stock cheap. Buy a block and if the company comes back you'll be set for life, maybe in only a few months time. Are you tempted?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Getting Paid By The State To Download Porn. Duh.

I worked at a large, state run health care facility several years ago.  It was part of a large system that ran several facilities throughout the State. Most of the patient documentation, supply functions, inter departmental and inter facility communication functions were computerized. Previous to that, computers were used for an even more broad spectrum of functions but the system had been modified to block Internet access. The reason this was done was because it was discovered that a huge amount of total computer time was devoted to accessing and down loading hard core pornography. A large portion of this computer usage was identified as originating within the facility police department. A lot of people were disciplined. Too many were involved and at too high a level, for dismissal to be an option.

I don't know why anyone is surprised that people spend a lot of time at work accessing pornography if the ability to do so exists. It's human nature. I'm not saying it should be allowed. I'm not saying steps shouldn't be taken to stop it. I'm just saying what is.

The Pope in Rome downloads porn.

Prince Charles in England is totally addicted to it.

I'm sure Barry O takes an occasional peek at the bookmarked sites left behind by W, now and then, before moving on to heterosexual sites.

My favorite quote on the subject was by the Who's Peter Townsend. When questioned by the authorities about a hard drive he possessed full of Kiddie Porn, he stated that he needed to familiarize himself with it before stepping up to lead the fight against this evil, which he was totally committed to. Hey, I believe him. Don't you?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Drill Baby Drill

You've read about the big deep water oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that exploded, burned and then sank with considerable loss of life last week. Bad accident. Nobody knows exactly how it happened.

The Coast Guard assures us that the deep water well, beneath the rig, is not leaking oil, at least not much,  not now.

Whew, what a relief. I feel so much better. Don't you?

What's New With You? I'm Fine.

It's an unusual April here in SoCal. Still cool, with periodic rain, some snow in the local mountains. Hard to argue with, the hills are green, everything is blossoming.

Usually it's a lot warmer by now although warm is a relative thing. My tomato plants are growing like topsy. I have high hopes for a pleasant Summer.

Next Fall, my old Submarine crew is having a reunion in Branson, Missouri. It will be over the Columbus Day weekend. They have been having them on the West Coast. I went to one in Reno maybe seven years ago.  That's not a bad drive for me. I went the back way through Victorville up 395. That was a mistake. I got a cheap gambler's special room, $12 promo rate through the Cal-Neva casino downtown and that was over the weekend. Great deal. The last couple were in the Seattle area. Too expensive there in the Summer. Maybe this will attract some from areas that haven't been previously so easily accessible to them.

I've decided to go.  Who wouldn't want to spend a long weekend drinking with broken down old Lifers at America's favorite family vacation venue? Maybe, once I'm tanked up, the Donny and Marie Show will seem like fun. I don't drink anymore but I'm not one of those white knuckler, Ray Milland type guys either. I like that AA motto, "One Day at a Time". If you skip a few days every once in awhile, no harm done.

I got a cheap rate on a nice motel room a mile from the reunion facility, on Priceline, I could hoof it easy in 15-20 minutes, unless it turns out to be uphill both ways. Only $20 bucks a night, double occupancy, two queen beds. Free breakfast featuring fresh fruit, hot waffles, biscuits and gravy. Pretty good, huh? The cheapest rack rate I could find for anything comparable is $59. It has good reviews on Trip Adviser. I couldn't believe they accepted my first bid. I should probably have bid even cheaper but I can live with $20 bucks a night for four nights. When was the last time you got a nice room in a big tourist trap, that didn't have gambling, for $20 bucks? You wanna go to Branson in October? That's the high season there. They thaw Andy Williams out of his cryogenic chamber for a few weeks, he sings a few old chestnuts for the crowds and then he and Claudine Longet give complimentary blowjobs to all comers. Free Viagra in the lobby before the show. Who wouldn't want to be there for that? I always wanted to meet Claudine. I'll split the room with ya. Probably could even get you into the reunion, it's only 20 bucks registration fee. Nobody will know you're not a submarine sailor. We'll tell them you were a Yeoman. We could tell them you were the wardroom steward but then they'd want sex. It's OK if you don't want to go. There will be a least one other old sailor there stag, that doesn't want to spend $100 a night on a convention center room. A sawbuck a night, with free biscuits and gravy will surely be a deal he can't refuse.

Now I have to find a cheap way to get there. Branson is about 1600 miles from my house. Long, expensive drive, at least 100 gallons of gas and a couple of motel stays long, there and back. I was thinking of taking a little motorcycle ride there on the side roads but I'm not going to do it alone and I've got no one to go with me. I'm hoping to snag a cheap flight booking over the Summer. The cheapest place to fly into is KC and it's 200 miles away. Springfield is more expensive and it's still 60 miles. I'm an easy rider, I wouldn't rule out the 'Hound if I can get a cheap promo rate and they often offer them late in the Summer.  I could ride right into Branson. Take two days, maybe three each way given that they are always behind schedule and then you miss connections and have to wait. I don't mind, what else do I have to do? You always meet some memorable characters ridin' the 'Hound. Short dog and a serape, you're all set.

I'd hitch but nobody has picked up hitch hikers much since the mid '70s, especially old guys like I am now. The only times I ever hopped freights was on the Great Northern Line. You had to dress warm going over the Divide, even in the Summer but it was easy and a straight shot across the continent, both ways. I think I'm too old and fat for that anymore and the Great Northern isn't anywhere near my house or Branson. Anybody got any good advice how to get from LA to Missouri cheap? I could afford to fly, even to stay at the convention center where they are holding the reunion but that's not my way.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

The Tea Party is a Fraud

Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Glen Beck and many other leaders of America's new Tea Party movement, say that America is a "Christian" nation. They scoff at the idea that church and state should be separated. They believe that Islam is an evil religion because it fosters aggression and violence against the Christian West. Never mind that the real opposition to the "Christian" West by Islam is unrelated to it's Christianity and centers on the West's support for the creation of the Zionist state of Israel, on land historically controlled and legally owned by Islamic peoples. They point to terrorist activity by Islamic fundamentalist extremists as examples of aggression that we in the West, although in practice almost exclusively America, must punish.  They are happy with the American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as the instrument of this punishment. It doesn't matter to them that these wars bankrupt our country. It doesn't matter that they are seen in the Islamic World as continuations of the Crusades and will cause hatred between us for another thousand years. It doesn't matter to them that the degree of death, displacement and destruction caused by these wars, in these countries, is far out of proportion to any of the same caused by the Islamic fundamentalist terrorism that these wars are supposedly in response to. It doesn't even matter that the government or people of Iraq did not, strictly speaking, qualify as supporters of the kind of Wahhabi inspired fundamentalist terrorism that we were responding to and that neither did the Afghans, mostly poor ignorant devils who have never had a functioning indigenous government at any time in their long, scantily recorded history. Just kill some sand niggers, that should be a good enough reason to go to war, is the extent of their reasoning.

I don't recognize any difference between fundamentalist Islam and fundamentalist Christianity. Neither are up to any good.

On the home front, the Tea Partiers want Christianity recognized as the sanctioned American religion of past and present. They see liberals as ancient adversaries, servants of Satan out to destroy America and its true Christian citizens. Liberals include welfare recipients, homos, unions, atheists, Planned Parenthood, the liberal, intellectual elite that supposedly control America's educational establishment and scientists of every stripe, all of whom work tirelessly to destroy our Christian nation and heritage. It's probably not more than a few percent of the population. They turn a blind eye to the bloated, governmental bureaucracy, that we could never afford in the first place, that grants generous salaries and out sized lifetime benefits to it's uncountable millions of denizens, resulting in military, political and so called public safety employees that garner fat pensions, often after only a few years of employment and all the others after not much longer.  They applaud the wholesale giveaway of our national resources to corporate interests and beat the drum endlessly for lower taxes, not control of the entitlements or cushy jobs that they themselves are eager to partake of.

When somebody does stand up, Ron Paul and his followers for example and agitates actively against the real threat of excessive government spending and the unrestricted printing of money that debases the hard earned savings of frugal, hard working Americans, they are ignored and dismissed as lunatics.

The Tea Party will never accomplish anything good. Unfortunately, we will probably just have to wait until the whole shebang collapses under its own weight of fiscal impossibility. Then it will be really bad for awhile. The smart money is busy looking for ways to survive that. The smart money may not include many that are categorized as liberals but surely even fewer Tea Partiers.

Buy guns. Grow a garden. Keep chickens, goats and pigs. Build a still. Make good friends. Keep your head down.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quayle Season in Arizona

What did you think of Dan Quayle. I was damn glad he was never President. I always liked his wife Marilyn. She was a hard core holy roller but seemed smart, sensible and willing to get along with everybody. That may not be true. I may have just thought she was sexy. Men project things on pretty girls.

Dan and Marilyn have a son, Ben who is going to run for Congress in Arizona. He was the youngest of their two sons. I remember the oldest one. His name was Tucker. He always seemed like a pretty nice kid. I don't have any clear memories of Ben. He's a lawyer and a venture capitalist like his father. I went on his campaign website. He's real wiry and tousled, like a young Kennedy and he's got an equally slim, tanned, attractive wife. Other than that, it's hard to tell anything about him except he's not a fan of the present government.

I think they should have run Tucker. He speaks Chinese, lived there for a few years and married a girl from Shanghai. A kid like that could run the tables for the GOP.

Kids are the same as always or are they?

I've noticed something about kids today. Some things remain the same. It's the loudmouthed, dimwitted, dickwads who want to be bigshots and run things when they grow up. You know what, they probably will be. That's the way it's always been.

The really smart kids. The ones who get straight As and ace their SATs, you know what they want? It's funny, they want to be things like pharmacists, veterinarians, science teachers, things where the paycheck is steady and you are your own boss. Low key, low stress, low maintenance. Maybe it's always been that way too.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why Make Fun Of Earth Day?

I'm not that big of an Earth day celebrant but I don't belittle those that are or begrudge their efforts. Everybody thinks that Californians are big ecology and nature nuts, Nothing could be further from the truth. The rape of the environment is one of the main pastimes of Californians  and of our local commercial and industrial communities. We fished the Sardines and salmon out in the 1920s, the tuna after that and everything else after that. It's only been the last decade or so that commercial fishing has been somewhat curtailed and that's only because there isn't anything much left to catch. Squid is very popular right now because they thrive in warm, oxygen starved, polluted, marine environments and we have plenty of that.

Agribusiness operates most of the farming and ranching in the State. They over fertilize and over irrigate, washing large amounts of heavy metal salts into the ground water and wetlands. They don't allow habitat or freedom of movement for native wildlife. As soon as the land they own becomes profitable to develop by builders, they sell it. Most of our forests have been clear cut at least once. Those that have not only survived because the technology didn't exist to get the lumber out. We don't have enough big rivers in this State to float all the logs down to mills. They can take the old growth out with helicopters now. They're working on it. Ronald Reagan's famous quote about the redwoods was that you only needed to preserve a couple of hundred yards on either side of the main roads, that's all anybody cares about, proved to be correct.

There hasn't been a grizzly bear or wolf in this State in over a hundred years. The giant condors are all hatched from eggs laid in captivity. They try to get them to survive in protected habitats but they all die. Monarch butterflies used to migrate up and down the California Coast. It wasn't uncommon to see hundreds of thousands of them settle en mass on a grove of trees in the late afternoon. You see a few around now, here and there. There just isn't any habitat left for a lot of the species of plants and animals that used to live here.

California's a funny place. A lot of people get the wrong idea about it. There's not a lot of old hippies lounging about here, unless they already have a lot of money. You want to live decent here, you need to be making $150,000 a year at least and you won't be saving anything for your retirement or to pass along to your grandchildren. There's not much welfare here. I guess some people still get food stamps. You want to live here you gotta work. Nobody minds if the environment gets degraded. They never did and if you look around that's pretty obvious.

I don't mind if people want to celebrate Earth day. What harm does it do?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Presidential or Too Fat?

Do you think that Haley Barbour could be the leader that the Republicans are looking for in 2012? I think he could be. He's believable, unpretentious and comes across as a modest, self effacing guy but you can tell he's pretty smart and well informed. That's pretty much the opposite of all the current Republican bright lights. It's hard to believe he has any worse skeletons in his closet that the others do. Good old boys from the South send all kinds of subliminal messages to the Republican base. You just can't get any more subliminal than Mississippi.

He stands out in the crowd.

A Truly Horrifying Prospect.

I have recently come to a personal peace with religion. I can't even remember a time when I harbored any serious religious beliefs. Because of that I have always wondered if I suffered from some serious deficit in lieu of the fact that so many others, many of whom seem thoughtful and intelligent did.

I think that most people don't believe. They either pretend to, for some kind of personal benefit or are so desperate to believe that they lie to themselves. In any case I believe that religion is all based on lies, from top to bottom.

So, here is what may well be my last blog post about religion. No great loss. My religious posts have never been wildly popular anyway. You may just want to quit reading now, because this is pretty terrible.

One of the most popular and well publicized religious tenants of recent times is that God rewards faithful warriors of Islam with a large number of virgins when they arrive in Paradise after dying in the cause of the Faith. I can never remember how many but it is an ample number although who can say what an ample number is, given the length of eternity.

Where does God get all these virgins? I mean really, how many people, male or female could possibly have ever made it to Heaven while still in the virginal state? I'm not saying that virgins wouldn't make it to Heaven. I'm sure they could, maybe even most of them but really how many could there be. Based on my knowledge and experience, past a certain age, there just aren't that many virgins. Even if a person is more than normally repellent to prospective sexual partners and doesn't hardly ever get laid, that doesn't make them a virgin.

Then it dawned on me. What about all the preborn souls of the millions of aborted fetuses that we have been churning out? They would certainly go a long way to solving God's virgin shortage. Could this be part of God's great plan?

What do it all mean, Mr Natural?

I warned you not to read this.

Supreme Roulette

The Supreme Court is going to hear a case that will decide whether a school sanctioned group can discriminate against granting membership to homosexuals. I don't care how they rule. If they rule against, then it is a blow to conservatives who believe they have a coalition on the Court. If they rule for, then other student groups could also discriminate against admitting fundamentalist Christians and that could be fun.

I just want to see how they will rule. I don't think Roberts was to smart taking this one.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Who Speaks?

I just have one question about the Tea Party movement. There are no official leaders . The events themselves seem to have no agendas other than that brought by the participants although sometimes there are speakers contracted.

There are three people who have been allowed to act as spokespeople for the Tea Party movement. Nobody ever appointed or elected them but nobody is contradicting their right to do it either.

Sarah Palin, Glen Beck and Michelle Bachman. How does that work?

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I woke up this morning to a cold shower. Bad thermocouple on the water heater. Got it from Home Depot. In the long run, you pay extra for the cheap shit they sell, in cold showers and short circuits.

We're back in business now. I didn't mind not having hot water when I was young. Different story now. Being old is definitely more tolerable with hot water.

He's like the Joey Buttafuoco of Movie Stars

This is the best entertainment sex story since Richard Gere's gerbils. There may prove to be several exciting installments. I can hardly wait.

Man oh Man. Who doesn't like a good Steven Seagal action adventure story, with an exciting climax or maybe even more than one.

Jindal Staffer and Boyfriend Beaten Savagely.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's campaign fundraiser and her boyfriend, were severely beaten about a week ago after exiting a swank restaurant in New Orleans. This lady's leg was broken in four places and the boyfriend suffered a concussion, a broken jaw and nose.

I'm not making light of the injuries that this young couple suffered. They are terrible and will take many months and substantial therapy to recover from.  They will bear the scars and perhaps residual deficits for life.

I hope that the NOPD are able to identify the attackers, arrest and put them away. It won't help if they spend their time looking for violent Left Wing fanatics. That is the word that swept across the Wing Nut Web. They are either ultra violent Gay commandos, you know, the real butch ones or SEIU thugs laying in wait  to do the Union's dirty business. They may be the same guys that torched Sarah's Church last year in Wasilla. Everyone knows that those Lefties are blood thirsty killers intent on targeting heterosexual, Christian, White people and setting off an internal war of racial/religious/sexual preference, that will end up with all the straight, Christian, White people in relocation centers bound for the Obama's gas chambers.

How do they know that the attack on these two fine young people was politically motivated? It's obvious, they were wearing their Palin buttons.

After you finish reading the Freeper post that the link at the top of this post will take you to, don't forget to hit the link on that page to the Hayride. Those folks have a slightly different take on the  origins of the violence. They believe that it was perpetrated by a violent radical group that runs a collective lending library. When you're talking murderous Lefties, everyone knows it's the readers who are the most dangerous. These Hayride guys are not wrapped up in blind Obama hate though, they explore all the possibilities of possible origins of the evil doers, including the possibility that they were just a pack of rogue anarcho-commies left over from another era, who were just passing by and sent into an uncontrollable rage at the sight of Young Republicans in love.

Friday, April 16, 2010

What about Mad Men?

Who watches Mad Men on AMC? I liked it the first season. The Don Draper character was enigmatic and mysterious. The melodrama was laced with black comedy.  The aspects of the culture at that time that we now consider politically or culturally incorrect were emphasized in a manner arch and mundane at the same time.

I don't like it so well now but I still watch it or will, whenever the next season of seven or eight episodes appear.

I am sorry that the Drapers are apparently getting a divorce but only because it may mean that there won't be as much screen time for their daughter Sally. I think that she has turned out for me, to be the most interesting character on the show.  She would have been 3 or 4 years younger than me at the time that the series depicts. Close enough. Her circumstances and experiences weren't so similar to mine but I knew a lot of kids like her and there are enough similarities to my own life to make it interesting.

Sally isn't  a little match girl growing up with any kind of material want. She doesn't even have any other children to be envious of in terms of familial affluence but her life seems sterile and lacking in expression of genuine affection or concern, especially from her Mother, Betts. It is obvious to her from early on, the values that her parents try to teach her have nothing to do with what is really right, fair or  likely to bring any real satisfaction into her life. She struggles through life, trying to make up her own rules and goals by trial and error. She does bad things but not out of any kind of evil intent. Sometimes it's to get attention and sometimes it's just existential experiment. You can almost see the lessons she is learning and the implications they will have on her development. She's turning into a much different person than her parents expect. Isn't that the way it was for all of us that passed through the late Fifties and early Sixties, on the excruciatingly long road to puberty?

There are a lot of girls like Sally today, women too but it's different now that they are a common part of the culture. Now the little girls teach each other to be that way. It's not the same as working it out yourself, even if you end up at the same place.

Pope Blocks Mothers From Conceiving Healthy, Happy Children

When an egg is fertilized by a sperm, the genetic material of each combine to form an embryo, which becomes a new, genetically complete organism.

The egg also contains mitochondrial DNA, which is passed on intact to the embryo. Mitochondrial DNA is responsible for facilitating cellular "housekeeping" activities that keep the individual cells functioning and healthy. If the mitochondrial DNA sequence becomes broken, the cells may not be able to function satisfactorily and females passing on defective mitochondrial DNA will not be able to conceive viable children. Scientists have now been able to replace damaged mitochondrial DNA with healthy DNA from another woman's egg, so that women who previously were unable to conceive a healthy child are now able to do so.

This is a good thing, right?

Wrong. The Catholic Church believes that this procedure constitutes an abomination against God and has proscribed it.

The Church used to be a repository for human knowledge and the cradle of science. Man, what happened with that?

I think maybe the Catholic Church could use a little new mitochondrial DNA of its own, don't you?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I feel so used

This is going to be a stupid post. I don't care. About 40 years ago this TV show came on called Family. It was a very appealing show and so were the characters. The two daughters on the show were played by Meredith Baxter and Kristy McNichol. I thought they were both very cute. Kristy McNichol was maybe 5 years younger than I was and Meredith Baxter was maybe 5 years older. I didn't consider Kristy age appropriate at that time so I didn't lust after her but I went ahead and lusted after Meredith Baxter. Since then, she has always been one of my favorite actresses and I've always thought she was very sexy.

Now, there was never really much chance that I would even ever be in the same County as Miss Baxter, much less get a chance to fuck her but lust is lust. A boy has to have something to fill his empty hours.

So several months ago Meredith Baxter announces she's a lesbian. Since then, whenever I think of her I feel ashamed and unclean, like I did something wrong. You know, lusting after a lesbian. I feel like I should have known, somehow. Kristy McNichol announced she was a lesbian many years ago. That has never bothered me, because even though I found her, if anything, even more attractive than Meredith, I had chosen never to lust after her.

Man, we really fuck ourselves up over the stupidest things, don't we. At least I do. I guess I can get over it.

I wonder if Sada Thompson was Gay?

Update: I received a comment challenging whether Kristy McNichol had ever come out as a lesbian. I could find no documentation that she had. I was wrong. Sorry. It's not the first time for me on that count. I honestly thought I remembered her doing it. I won't blame it on getting old. I've never been one of those eidetic memory guys. My brain paints with a pretty broad brush and always has.

If Kristy ever reads this blog, I would like to take this opportunity to beg her forgiveness, even though I doubt it will ever be required. She's not a regular visitor.

The National Pastime

At ball parks all over America it's opening day. When I was a kid, baseball was the national pastime. Everybody played baseball, whether they were any good or not. Geeks and feebs played, even if it meant they were jeered and catcalled. I know this from personal experience. One armed guys played. Old men that smoked 5 packs a day played, until they had to be carried off the field. When we weren't playing, we went to watch others play. Little League, Pony League, Legion ball, neighborhood men formed sand lot teams, every town that could support one had a minor league team of some kind. Kids chewed bubble gum just so they could collect and trade baseball cards. Baseball cards were like money for little boys. We used to gamble with them. You could trade them for stuff you wanted that another kid had. Baseball cards had the players stats on them and we memorized the stats, as well as the players names and who they played for. Some places football was popular, some places basketball, even hockey if it got cold enough where you lived. If your dad dressed up in a white shirt and tie and drove a nice car to work, maybe you watched some golf or tennis.  We even had time to watch phony sports on TV, like roller derby and wrestling but baseball was the main game. The World Series was the most sacred week in America. The games were tuned in on the radio at every place of employment. I had teachers that would tune in while we were in class, of course, they were men teachers. Nobody questioned the rightness of this.

Baseball has fallen far. A lot of neighborhoods, soccer is more important than baseball. We had heard of soccer but we didn't know the rules or positions. We never played it. Nobody did. Jesus Christ.

I don't know why baseball isn't big any more but things have sure changed.

Prop 8 will stand in in 2010

It's official, an initiative to overturn Proposition 8, will not be on the ballot in California next Fall. It's OK with me. It can wait until 2012. The homophobe club is one of the last really good ones that we have left to beat on the conservatives with. I'd hate to lose it before we absolutely have to.

It's kind of like amnesty for illegal aliens. As soon as it happens, you know that most of them will immediately become Republicans. They are about the only ones left in this country that realize the value of hard work, at whatever kind of shitty job you can get, in pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and making a better life for yourself. I wouldn't mind seeing it happen but I'm not in any great rush for that either.

If conservatives were smart they would embrace the cause of groups like Gays and illegal aliens but it's fine with me if they don't. I may have to send a little money to Sarah Palin to make sure they stay on that straight and narrow path.

Nah, Sarah has plenty of dough. Twelve million bucks and counting, from what I hear.

Cilantro? That's the least of it

Here's an article about cilantro. The gist of it is that it tastes rank to some people. I agree that it tastes a little foul but I love the stuff. It's in a lot of Latin, South Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes, so I guess I'm blessed by the God of foul tasting food.

When you think about it, a lot of foods have what might be characterized as off or rotten smells and tastes. I like a lot of those too. Ripe cheeses and other dairy products like buttermilk and yogurt qualify. How about salted anchovies and other various pickled seafood? Kalamata olives fit right in there. Do you like kim che? Nobody can deny it's pretty foul. Have you ever tried durian fruit from South East Asia? Wow! Can't forget to mention balut, from the Philippines. How about beer. Remember the first time you tried beer? Most people don't like it. I was hooked from the first quaff. I like all that stuff. I probably would like foul tasting foods I haven't even had yet. Bring on the Mongolian fermented mare's milk. Perhaps people like me have an extra set of taste buds that let us enjoy these types of foods. Shit eating dogs probably have the same thing.

I guess I'm just a lucky guy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So Far So Good

I didn't get any responses when I wrote about my tomato plants last week. That's OK. I'm going to write more about them anyway. I really like my tomato plants.

Both of them are doing well. The Celebrity is growing more vigorously than the Better Boy but both look good.  It's too early for worms and bugs yet but the snails got right on the job, so I'm vigorously baiting them and so far, have them at bay.

Both are already blooming. A lot of the advice literature recommends pinching off the early blossoms, until a lush foliage is achieved but I'm not. I want the fruit to set as soon as possible. I'm too old for any more delayed gratification.

If they don't get generous watering every other day, they start to get droopy. I'm right on it. I'm sure as the plants get bigger,  the weather gets warmer and the fruit sets on, it will be required every day. I can do that.

I'm beginning to think that if I meet with success in my initial tomato growing efforts, I will get a few more plants in late May or early June, then when the first plants taper off at the end of the Summer, I'll have two more to continue fruiting into the Fall months, maybe through November.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Here's an article that reports on a deposition filed in a US Court, by the Chief of Staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a man holding the rank of Colonel in the US Army, that President Bush and many of his top Cabinet members knew, from the start, that most of those held at Guantanamo were guilty of nothing,  had no valuable intelligence worth gathering and posed no more danger to US national security than any other random citizen of their respective countries of origin.

What do you think about that? Doesn't surprise me at all. What, did you think it would?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ape Man Loses Job

Here's an interesting article about a well respected Old Testament Biblical scholar who lost his job teaching at an established non denominational Reformed Christian seminary in Florida because he endorsed the theory of evolution.

I've always thought of Reformed Protestants as fairly prickly but never thought of them as particularly wing nut creationists or Young Earthers. I guess I was wrong.

So far, I think the theory of evolution has held up pretty well. I'm willing to go along with it, at least until something more believable comes along.

Do you believe that God created the Earth and every living thing on it in six days, four thousand years ago? Let me know because I've always had a pretty hard time with it.

Home Grown Tomaters?

I've never been a big gardener. I'm not the type. Still, who doesn't like home grown tomatoes? The local nursery had a real good deal on some tomato plants that were getting too big for their starter pots. I picked up a Celebrity and a Better Boy for only a few bucks apiece. They are green, bushy and beautiful. I put them in five gallon pots with a good vegetable potting soil mix. It's been a week now and they are doing really well.

I am committed to keeping them watered, fertilized and picking off the worms daily. From what I read, I could easily get twenty or thirty pounds of tomatoes from each one, maybe even more than that.

Hope springs eternal.

If I was smart, I'd have planted a few good quality marijuana seeds. Probably make a few thousand bucks, off the books. The way things are in California now, the Cops wouldn't even probably care.

Big Polish Plane Crash

The President of Poland, his predecessor and much of the country's military leadership died yesterday in a plane crash in Russia.

A terrible tragedy, to be sure. The truth is, though, there are no slavering wolves at Poland's door. Maybe they can get a fresh start. That wouldn't be a bad thing.

It wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if it happened in a lot of countries. I wonder how many of our top political and military leaders would fit into one plane? Not enough. There are a lot of the fuckers.

Electile Dysfunction?

A couple of Bill Clinton's smart boys have suggested that the Republicans have peaked too early and won't make the big gains they are counting on in the Fall elections.

I'm not sure that's true. You can always build on a successful strategy. There's no "too early" in politics.

The Republicans have done two things. They have focused on eliminating big government and have allowed the social conservatives free reign to expand their themes of super patriotism, coupled with fundamentalist religion and a return to what they see as the comforting, strict traditional moral codes of the past.

Eliminating big government is a winner, the problem is that they do not identify where they want to cut. They do not say they want to curb the tremendously expensive Medicare and Social Security entitlements. They do not say they want to scale back excessive government pension benefits. They do not want to target the black hole of military spending. They certainly do not suggest increasing taxes to balance the already huge government deficits that accumulated in the Bush administration after the balanced budgets of the Clinton years. Any future Republican administration would just be more of the same that we already have, not less.

The social conservative stuff does not expand their base, it simply panders in an effort to keep the wing nuts that they already have by default. These people are certainly vocal and politically active but they in no way constitute a viable majority of the voters. The population is becoming more liberal socially, not less. People are becoming more accepting of openly Gay relationships, of people adopting non traditional lifestyles, of those who do not affiliate with an organized religious group. Most people may feel that abortion is not a choice that is right for them but that is a different stance than denying others to make that choice for themselves. In the end, social conservatism is seen as oppressive and un American.

I wouldn't want to prognosticate the electoral outcomes of 2010 but I don't think the Republicans will be big winners any more than the Democrats. I also do not yet see a strong move to support any third party, although I think independents may do very well regionally and that may be a very healthy trend.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Mitt For Justice

John Paul Stevens gave his retirement notice today. There will be a Senate fight over the next nominee before the November elections.

Republicans hated Stevens. Like the also hated Earl Warren, Stevens is a life long Republican from a Republican Family. He is probably the smartest guy to ever sit on the Supreme Court. He was one of FDR's boy genius code breakers in World War II.

Nobody wants a Supreme Court, Senate confirmation fight before the elections but we're going to have one anyway. I think Barry should nominate somebody who would drive the Republicans crazy. Mitt Romney would be a good choice. There has never been a Mormon Justice. If he was nominated the Republicans would climb the walls, chew the carpets, rend their garments and foam at the mouth.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Real Meaning Of Easter Is That Jesus Isn't Convincing Enough And Never Was

Jesus' disciples hung around him all the time. Some of them had been hanging around him for years before he got crucified. They heard him speak his wisdom. They saw him perform miracles. They were witness to his selfless and sinless life. Then, after they saw him crucified they saw him rise from the dead and walk among them before ascending bodily to Heaven. They stuck their fingers in his wounds and wiggled them around in there.

You would think that experiencing all of these things as the close companion and confident of the one and only begotten son of God would have impressed upon them the nature of Jesus' Godhead. It did not. Instead they lost their faith and sank into despair.

It was sometime later that all the disciples were together and the Holy Spirit descended upon them and entered into each of them. They experienced fiery tongues of flame all around them but were not consumed by it. When the Spirit entered into them they writhed around on the floor and spoke and understood all of the different languages of mankind. When this experience was over, each of them were forever changed and only then did they go out into the World to spread the word of God. This entering of the Spirit of the Lord into all of the disciples at the same time, after the death of Jesus, was completely involuntary on their part and is known as the Pentecost.

If actually living with Jesus and being a witness to his life and times was not enough to make believers out of his own disciples, why would anyone today want to become a Christian based on the ministerial efforts of the pathetic charlatans that pass for Christian leaders. Charismatic Christians believe that in order to become a Christian, you must experience a Pentecost of your very own. This makes perfect sense to me. There is no other way that a rational person could believe in God.

I haven't ever had an experience even remotely like this although I have been with others when they claimed that they did. It's not the same as having it yourself.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

No abortion for raped 10 year old Mayan girl

This is the first I've seen of this case but we'll probably be seeing more as it unravels in public scrutiny. The Catholic Church has done it's best to restrict access to abortion in Mexico although there is little popular support for the prohibition. Mexico is not a popular democracy and that's exactly the way the Catholic Church likes it.

The biggest mistake the Mexicans made with the filthy black robed scum was not killing them all when they had the chance because now they're back and worse than ever. The Legionaries of Christ are especially strong in Mexico. The priests that make up this order are every one, degenerates, perverts and rapists, preying on the poorest and weakest members of society and aiding the wealthy to do likewise..