Monthly Archives: August 2012

Cartoon of the Day

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Quote of the Day

“He’s going to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N.  Then what happens?  I’m thinking worst-case scenario – civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe.”

Judge Tom Head of Lubbock County, Texas, speaking to a local Fox News affiliate about the possible repercussions if President Obama wins another term in office.

He was actually trying to justify a sale tax increase, which would go towards funding local law enforcement, in the event a bunch of renegade Negroes, Indians and Mexicans should forget their place in society and launch an assault.  I would support such an insurrection if assholes like Head and the entire Texas GOP could be banished to an island in the Arctic.

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In Memoriam – Neil Armstrong, 1930 – 2012

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on Earth’s moon, has died.  Armstrong, who had turned 82 on August 5, passed away following complications from a cardiovascular procedure he had done earlier this month.

Born Neil Alden Armstrong in Wapakoneta, Ohio, Armstrong developed a passion for aviation as a child.  Upon graduating from high school, Armstrong earned a scholarship from the U.S. Navy.  He enrolled at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where he studied aeronautical engineering.  In 1949, he accepted a commission into the Navy.  He served as a Naval pilot during the Korean War; receiving the Air Medal and two Gold Stars for his service.  After his sting in the Navy, Armstrong resumed his studies as Purdue and earned a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering.

In 1955, Armstrong joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA); later renamed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  He was eventually selected to join a small group of astronauts to train for a voyage to the moon.

Armstrong was a test pilot on the X-15 rocket plane and commander of Gemini 8 and Apollo 11 missions.  He and fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins piloted Apollo 11 to the moon; arriving on July 20, 1969 after a four-day flight.  Armstrong uttered two of the most famous statements made by well-known figures: “Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed,” when Apollo 11 landed, and “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” when he set foot on the moon’s surface about six and a half hours later.

After his historic mission to the moon, Armstrong worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), coordinating and managing the administration’s research and technology work.  In 1971, he resigned from NASA and taught engineering at the University of Cincinnati for nearly a decade.

Unlike many these days, Armstrong never tried to cash in on his fame.  When he learned that his autographs were being sold at auctions, he stopped singing things for people.  He was humble and relatively shy.

“Looking back,” Armstrong once said, “we were really very privileged to live in that thin slice of history where we changed how man looks at himself and what he might become and where he might go.”

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August 20, 2012 – 122 Days Until Baktun 12

In light of recent comments made by elected officials here in the United States, I want to remind everyone to stockpile as many weapons as you can – guns, rifles, knives, meat cleavers, etc. – in preparation for the apocalypse.  This is in case any politicians should survive the upheaval.  Of course, don’t do anything now!  Wait until after December 21, 2012.  Considering that most political figures are too arrogant to prepare for such a catastrophe, there’s not a good chance many of them will make it, especially here in the U.S.  But, you can never be too sure.         

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Picture of the Day

World’s Edge, South Coast of England, in the county of East Sussex.  The cliff is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain.

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Second Quote of the Day

“This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club.  We are fortunate to consider many qualified candidates for membership at Augusta National.  Consideration with regard to any candidate is deliberate, held in strict confidence and always takes place over an extended period of time.  The process for Condoleezza and Darla was no different.”

– Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, in a statement announcing the club will end its 80-year male-only policy.

Just a decade ago, Payne’s predecessor, William Johnson, said the club would only admit women at “the point of bayonet.”  Preparations are now underway to install push-button phones and color TV monitors in the club house.

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First Quote of the Day

“From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare.  If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.  But, let’s assume maybe that didn’t work or something.  I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist.”

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), when asked August 19 if he supported abortion in the case of rape.

Akin as since apologized, but refuses to drop out of a congressional race, stating, “I don’t know that I’m the only person in public office who suffered from foot in mouth disease here.”  No, but he should be suffering foot up the ass disease come this November.

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In Memoriam – Scott McKenzie, 1939 – 2012

Singer – songwriter Scott McKenzie, whose 1967 ballad San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) was one of the most peaceful of the era’s anti-war songs, died August 18 at his home in Los Angeles.  He was 73.

Born Philip Blondheim on January 10, 1939, in Jacksonville, Florida, McKenzie grew up under difficult circumstances.  His father died before he was 2, and his mother was forced to travel for work, so he was raised by his grandmother.  San Francisco actually was written by John Phillips, a founder of the Mamas and the Papas, and who had been a close friend of McKenzie’s since they were in high school.  The two started a band called the Journeyman, which recorded several songs in the 1960’s.  McKenzie eventually set off on his own, but never had another hit song.

He leaves no survivors.

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In Memoriam – Phyllis Diller, 1917 – 2012

Comedy icon Phyllis Diller – who paved the road for generations of female entertainers with tacky dresses and a loud cackle – died early Monday morning at her home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles.  She was 95.  Her son, Perry, “found her with a smile on her face,” said Diller’s manager, Milt Suchin.  That’s more than appropriate, since Diller lived a life of self-deprecation.

She got started late.  In March of 1955, at age 37, Diller took the stage at San Francisco’s Purple Onion Club for her first stand-up performance.  It seemed an unlikely venture for a Phyllis Ada Driver who was born on July 17, 1917 in Lima, Ohio.  She trained as a classical pianist, but never pursued a music career.  She was working as a copywriter for the San Leandro News-Leader, when she arrived at the Purple Onion.

Diller began a long, distinguished career with Bob Hope after the two met at a Washington, D.C. nightclub in 1959.  She became a prominent fixture in his United Service Organization (USO) show tours.

Diller was the last in an era of female comics where funny women had to look funny.  But, her impact on the American entertainment realm can never be underestimated.  Diller remained busy into her later years, retiring from stand-up in 2002.  She always had a way with words, so here are some of her best lines.

“Never go to bed mad.  Stay up and fight.”

“A bachelor is a guy who never made the same mistake once.”

“Burt Reynolds once asked me out.  I was in his room.”

“I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford.  Then, I want to move in with them.”

“My mother-in-law had a pain beneath her left breast.  Turned out to be a trick knee.”

“My photographs don’t do me justice.  They just look like me.”

“We spend the first twelve months of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.”

“The reason women don’t play football is because eleven of them would never wear the same outfit in public.”

“My recipe for dealing with anger and frustration: set the kitchen timer for twenty minutes, cry, rant and rave, at the sound of the bell, simmer down and go about business as usual.”

“Health – what my friends are always drinking to before they fall down.”

“Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?”

“There’s a new medical crisis.  Doctors are reporting that many men are having allergic reactions to latex condoms.  They say they cause severe swelling.  So what’s the problem?”

“Old age is when the liver spots show through your gloves.”

“You know you’re old if they have discontinued your blood type.”

“Whatever you may look like, marry a man your own age.  As your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.”

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Just Bend Over and Pretend It Doesn’t Hurt

On Friday, the 17th, I lost my contract job with an IT firm.  Friday also marked one month since I started.  It was supposed to be a 6-month gig.  Now, it’s gone.

They hired me to be a technical writer and editor.  But, it turns out they wanted someone with a strong software development background.  Actually, they’d prefer to get an individual who is both a software developer and a technical writer.  They’d have better luck finding a black unicorn.

At least this job lasted one whole month.  In July of 2011, I landed a 90-day contract technical writing job that lasted all of 3 weeks.  The client pulled it because they weren’t getting the anticipated work from their vendor.  And, I never again heard from the recruiter who got me that job in the first place.  They just dropped me; the way a vulture abandons a cow carcass once they’re through picking over it.  This is starting to give me a complex.

I sort of saw this coming; the way people on Japan’s northeastern coastline saw that tsunami coming after the devastating earthquake struck the region in March of last year.  I know that’s a bit dramatic – almost an unfair and disrespectful comparison – but that’s how I felt.  It was a slow-moving disaster; gradually creeping towards me with no way to stop it.

It had taken me almost a year to find this job.  So, here I am – in the job market again.  As I’ve stated before, contract work seems to be the popular trend in business these days.  Most of the people at that IT firm were contract.  Less than a third, I believe, were full-time employees.  There were a lot of foreigners, too; people mostly from India, but also Asia.  Wait a minute!  Aren’t companies shipping these jobs over there?  There was even one man from México who earned his U.S. citizenship on the 13th, a woman from Romania and another woman from France.  I feel I should reinvent myself as a refugee from Nicaragua and somehow get an H1 Visa.  I might stand a better chance.

I’m just not used to this contract stuff.  A contract worker is a glorified temporary the way a hair dresser is a glorified barber.  But, that’s all there is in the early 21st century working world.  People bounce around from place to place.  My parents – who each worked for the same company for decades – just can’t fathom that kind of lifestyle.  I think my generation is the last accustomed to going to work for a company and staying there long enough to earn a reserved parking spot.

What can I say?  Well, I say to hell with corporate America, which I mention in my biography on this blog.  I used to play well with others in business; now, I just demand to be left alone.  What can I do?  Jump start my writing career of course!  I consider myself a professional writer anyway – although I haven’t gotten anything published yet.  I’m determined, though, to change that once and for all and get my book published before year’s end – hopefully before the Mayan Apocalypse.  Yea, yea, I know.  Believe it when you see it.

My father and a few friends have already told me things will “work out for the better.”  I suppose I could be that optimistic.  But, I’ll be more cynical and state emphatically that things never just “work out.”  Someone has to make it work.  You can rely upon other people to help shape your future, or you can grab the shit by the throat and shape it the way you damn well please.  Ultimately, every able-bodied, able-minded person has to fend for themselves.  Damn!  I’m starting to sound like a Republican!   I knew nightly doses of Bacardi and Coke would eventually have an impact on me.


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