Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's Your Ship & BTW, Book Tag You're It! October 15, 2006

As many of you have heard me say it the past, I'm really not into this "internet tag" phenonenom that seems to be impossible to avoid. As a general rule I don't participate, but this week I received a tag that was a bit different and could be cool for all involved if you choose your "victims" properly. LOL That said.....here we go.

I've been Book Tagged by Ditsy Daisy. So here goes...

The "rules"

1. Grab the nearest book. If you are currently reading something, that'll be fine too.

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your Blog along with these instructions.

5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet I know that is what you were thinking!

6. Tag 5 people

"It's Your Ship" by Capt. D. Michael Abrashoff, USN

Actually I didn't consider it rivalry; I didn't have any rivals. I was in competition only with myself, to have the best ship we possibly could. Inevitably, however, other commanders chaffed when the Benfold kept topping them, and whether I wanted it or not, rivalries emerged. To be honest, I enjoyed winning and I wasn't sensitive enough to avoid gloating, but I will return to discuss that further.

I am tagging David, Missy, Jenny, Rich, and Perry

If any of you guys are interested in the book, here's a little more coherent description...

Against the backdrop of today's U.S. Navy, Captain Abrashoff took over command of the USS Benfold, a key player in our Navy's Persian Gulf/Middle East operations. It was a ship armed with every cutting edge system available, but only some of the productivity. Capt Abrashoff realized that responsibility for improving performance rested with him. But first, he had to improve his own leadership skills. Within mere months he created a crew of confident and inspired problem solvers that were eager to take the initiative AND responsibility for their actions. From achieving amazing budgetary cost savings to holding SAT Exams 40 miles off the Iraqi coast to winning the highest gunnery scores in the Pacific Fleet, Capt Abrashoff's extrodinary tenure as CO of the Benfold not only sent shockwaves throughout the Navy, but also changed the business practices of many Fortune 500 companies. If you're a business owner, in management, or contemplating starting a business, this is a book that is not only entertaining, but very educational and well worth reading.

And with that.........I have a football game to go watch. You guys have a great weekend and we'll visit again soon!

TIL NEXT TIME.........

Monday, August 18, 2008

Friends, October 14, 2006

Friends come in all sizes............

Your friends will support you.......

And respect your creativity when you think outside the box........

They'll be there when you need a shoulder to lean on........

Or a great big hug...................

A true friend take takes interest in what you're all about........

They see beyond the black and white to learn your true colors....

And accept you just the way you are, even when you just wake up in the morning.....

So make your own kind of music.........

Follow your heart wherever it takes you....

And when someone reaches out to you, don't be afraid to reach back.....

They just might end up being a friend for life!

And for all my friends......I wish you a good night!
Til Next Time!

originally posted 10/14/06 on Yahoo 360

My Biggest Pet Peeve! , October 11, 2006

PLEASE INDULGE ME FOR A MOMENT.......If you are a used car salesman and you own or work for a lot whose name starts with the word "HONEST" don't even attempt to speak to me. Anytime Bill, Joe, or John feels the need to use the word Honest as part of the name of their business, it is usually means that there is also an underlying need to convince you of their honesty. Most of the time they are anything but honest and the red flags should go up immediately. In my line of work, I've had to deal with these type of people from time to time. Ninety percent of the time, these guys are about as honest as defense lawyers and politicans. Bottom line....If Honest Bill tries to sell you a used car, please... for the love of god and all that is right in this world, run the other way as fast as you can! If you don't, chances are you WILL get ripped off and Honest Bill fire up a stogie as he takes your money and waddles off to the bank or the nearest bar to celebrate another duped consumer.

Ditto for anyone who ends a sentence with the phrase "Honest Injun." It was cute when Tom Sawyer said it and remotely funny when you hear it on Ren & Stimpy reruns, but that's as far as it goes. Today, if anybody uses that phrase in a conversation with you.....it usually means they are blowing smoke up your backside. BE CAREFUL!

Now some of you may be saying, "Good Grief! Where in the world did this rant come from?" Well here in Northern California, there is a television commercial (not one I had anything to do with, thank god!) running for a real estate company that used a female pastor to hawk their services. I'm not sure if it was a paid endorsement or if she was doing a testimonial for the company. Not that it really matters, but the commercial was kinda vauge in that regard. The part that really got me wound up came at the end of the commercial when she said proudly proclaimed...."I'm a pastor and I don't lie!" I just about came unglued!

To me, a pastor hawking services for an industry that has had more than it's fair share of ugly stories is something that should raise eyebrows, especially for those who attend this pastor's church. But more importantly, a real estate agency that resorts to promoting themselves by using a religious person who is overtly flaunting her posistion in an attempt to convince the public of the agency's honesty is just plain working too hard to convince everyone of their honesty and should be looked at with a critical eye.

Like I said earlier, anytime a business has to try that hard to convince you of their honesty, more times than not, there is a reason for it. Be careful! In the case of the pastor using her posistion as a religious leader to sway potential future real estate deals.....well, lets just say, if I were a member of her congregation, her credibility would be taking a huge hit with me.

Maybe that's just the cynic in me coming out. Or maybe it's a result of my years in the advertising and marketing industry and my experience with the b.s. that goes on from time to time. Either way, it's one of my biggest pet peeves that absolutely drives me up a wall.

Now Mark shall climb down off his soapbox and wish you all good night.

Til Next Time..........

How would you approach a business that tries too hard to convince you of their honesty? (closed poll)
No Worries! Shop On!!! 0
Avoid Them Like the Plague!!! 9
Approach with Caution!!! 4

originally posted 10/11/06 on Yahoo 360

Even Extremists Have A Price, October 09, 2006

WE'VE ALL HEARD THE old saying, "Everybody Has A Price." Examples are all around us everyday and come in many different forms. Probably the most visible comes in the form of reality TV shows like Jerry Springer, Fear Factor, Cheaters, and Blind Date. On these shows people are either paid (or agree to participate in hopes of winning ) varying amounts of money to reveal secrets about their lives or perform stunts that much of America will gladly watch in grand voyueristic style.

This week however, we found out that even the most extreme among us who profess that nothing will deter them from their ideology or mission have a price. It all happened in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of the young Amish school girls in Lancaster County Pennsylvannia.

While the rest of America was mourning the deaths of these young girls, The Reverend Fred Phelps and his minions were quietly planning a hideous protest at the funerals of these children. Fortunately one national radio talk show host was keeping his eye on the ball. Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher saw news reports about the Phelps clan planning one of their evil hideous military funeral style protests for these slain amish girls. Gallagher interviewed Shirley Phelps-Roper on his show in an attempt to convince them not to protest. This hideous excuse for a human being actually said in that interview that these little girls, some as young as six years old, were nothing more than "whorish little souls" who "deserved to die" and that they were "burning in hell" as she spoke. After hearing this, Gallagher immediately offered to write her a check for 50,000 dollars if she would agree that there would be no protests at the Amish funerals. She promptly and rudely refused.

Gallagher then asked her what it would take to get them not to protest. She refused to answer. You could tell he was getting frustrated.......then he shocked the world (and educated us too) by offering these evil people an hour of free radio air time.......no strings attached. After a brief pause........she accepted. With that we learned that even people who claim to speak for God and that they will not be deterred from their mission have a price. Bought off with a mere hour of radio air time. Yes even extremists have a price and in the end showed themselves for the evil hideous frauds we've always known they were.

Oh.......in case you're wondering about their hour on national radio, I can say listening to that hour of the Mike Gallagher show made me very proud to part of an industry that, when needed, can rise to the occasion and make a difference. As for the broadcast itself, it was the most disgusting piece of broadcasting I have ever heard. But I applaud Mike Gallagher for doing it and for saving that Amish community in Pennsylvannia from the grief and pain known as the "Westboro Baptist Church."

One last footnote: Mike has taken a huge amount criticism over this from people who just don't get it. Read his column about it HERE! If you agree with and appreciate what he did, why not send him an email and let him know? The link is at the top of the article. I'm sure he'd appreciate it.

originally posted 10/9/06 on Yahoo 360

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saying Goodbye to An Old Friend, October 08, 2006

SINCE THE DAYS OF THOMAS PAINE'S famous address of 1791, our old friend known as "Common Sense" has been under almost constant attack. In the beginning those perpetrating said attacks were almost universally considered as "the lunatic fringe." These elements were, for years, easy to pick out in a crowd for their unwillingness to conform to the accepted standards of society at any given time. Today though, those lines of distinction are becoming more and more blurred. This past week gave us two excellent examples of this.

The first example was the page situation in Washington. Seemingly smart politicians are taking an incident that rises way above party lines and politics and trying to turn it into a political issue. Any politician who would take potential abuse of an underage house page and use that potential abuse to further her political career (yes I'm talking about Nancy Pelosi) is an abomination and there is no punishment severe enough for that lack of common sense.

Secondly we saw the senseless slaughter of Ammish children in a Pennsylvania schoolhouse by a seemingly normal run of the mill guy who seemed to think it was ok to kill children as a means of solving his own personal issues that he had been hiding for years. Then on top of that, the daughter and wife of the "so-called Reverend" Fred Phelps (military funeral protesters) came on a national radio program and called those dead little girls, whorish souls that are burning in hell. A lack of common sense is just the tip of the iceberg here. There's so much going on with this one, I don't even where to start. Maybe I'll save it for a later blog.

In the meantime, with everything going on in the world and here in the United States....I thought it might be a good time to pull this one out of my "stack of stuff." Most of you may have seen this, or some version of it before. After recent events though, it seemed appropriate to dust it off and toss it out there for everyone once again!


Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend by the name of Common Sense.

Common Sense lived a long life but died in the United States from heart failure on the brink of the new millennium. No one really knows how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He selflessly devoted his life to service in schools, hospitals, homes, and factories helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness. For decades, petty rules, silly laws, and frivolous lawsuits held no power over Common Sense. He was credited with cultivating such valued lessons as to know when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, and that life isn't always fair.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adults are in charge, not the kids), and it's okay to come in second. A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and the Technological Revolution, Common Sense survived cultural and educational trends including body piercing, whole language, and "new math."

But sadly, his health declined when he became infected with the "if-it-only-helps-one-person-it's-worth-it" virus.

In recent decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of well-intentioned but overbearing regulations. He watched in pain as good people became ruled by self-seeking lawyers. His health rapidly deteriorated when schools endlessly implemented zero-tolerance policies.

Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, a teen suspended for taking a swig of mouthwash after lunch and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student only worsened his condition. It declined even further when schools had to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student but could not inform the parent when a female student was pregnant or wanted an abortion.

Finally, Common Sense lost his will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, criminals received better treatment than victims, and federal judges stuck their noses in everything from the Boy Scouts to professional sports. Finally, when a woman too stupid to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot was awarded a huge settlement, Common Sense threw in the towel.

As the end neared, Common Sense drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments regarding questionable regulations such as those for low flow toilets, rocking chairs, and stepladders.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers: My Rights, and Ima Whiner.

His funeral was poorly attended because so few realized he was gone...

Originally posted 10/8/06 on Yahoo 360

Absolutely Nothing To Say, September 30, 2006

THIS IS ONE OF THOSE RARE days when I have absolutely nothing to say! No politics today, no rant and raves, silly pictures or goofy jokes. Even the chore list around the house was put on hold. The day was reserved for time with Kat, my wonderful better half! This morning we went out to breakfast and then for a nice stroll through the park. They just built a new park here on the river that is really nice. It's still a work in progress, but so far it looks awesome. It has the usual picnic and playground areas. In addition to that is also has a beach, boat launch, 18 "hole" frisbee golf course, and several miles of bike and hiking trails. Yes it was a great morning and we'll probably do it again tomorrow.

We got home just in time to see the second half of the Tennessee game on ESPN. The final count was Tenn 41 Memphis 7. Navy beat UCONN today too 41-17. The Cadets are having a pretty good year so far with a 4-1 record. Florida smacked Alabama today too....awwwww! I'll shed some "Gator Tears" later......pun is intended! LOL Ole Miss is looking pretty good tonight against Georgia. Kinda suprising to say the least. That sets the stage for next weeks "Battle Between the Hedges" as the Vols take on the Dawgs! Sorry Sassy and G-Diddy! I gotta stay true to the "Orange Nation" on this one!

Well, for someone who had absolutely nothing to say, I've managed to find a way to do jus tthe opposite! Go figure! I think I'll answer some of the messages I've received since yesterday and then head back to the Georgia-Ole Miss game on tv. Kat's at work now, so I get to hold the remote! LOL!!! You guys have a great Saturday night and maybe I'll have something useful to write about tomorrow!!!!!

Til Next Time!

Originally posted 9/30/06 on Yahoo 360

Picture Of The Week!, September 29, 2006

OK! BEFORE ANYBODY SENDS ME AN EMAIL...........I know this is photoshop! There's no way commanders from any branch of service would allow this. But it sure would be nice if they would though.....don't you think? JUST FOR THE RECORD....the flags underneath the "Doing the Work Of" patch in descending order are...Russia, Germany, and France. Even though the photo was doctored, the concept alone makes it worthy of being my Picture of the Week!

Originally posted 9/29/06 on Yahoo 360

Legalized Loan Sharking In California, September 28, 2006

ONCE AGAIN MEMBERS OF OUR ARMED FORCES are coming under fire from the enemy. This time though it's not from terrorists or insurgents in a foreign land. This enemy is homegrown and known as the banking industry. In particular, the shady side of the banking industry known as "payday lenders." These thieves are targeting young inexperienced servicemembers around the country and some of our nation's finest are paying a dear price for it. Some "worst case" scenarios have played out here in California with unsuspecting servicemembers paying up to 400% in interest according to the Center for Responsible Lending.

Read the story below and at the end of it, learn how you can help by clicking on the link for the Center for Responsible Lending. These men and women defend us around the world on a daily basis. One way we can help them is by strongly and loudly making our voices heard and helping to put an end to this obscene practice by payday lenders.

Payday Lenders Sabotage Military in CA
PR Newswire
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Predatory payday lenders will continue to gouge soldiers, sailors and aviators in California with more than 400 percent interest on loans thanks to the payday-lending industry's intense lobbying of state legislators.
High-ranking Navy and Marine officers, consumer groups and their allies in the legislature tried to ban this sort of predatory lending, but it looks like they will fall short as the legislative session ends this week.
"We may have missed a chance to keep our service people out of the clutches of predators," said Paul Leonard, director of the California office of the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit that goes after predatory lenders.
"Our legislators could give them some financial body armor, but it doesn't look like that will happen."
Payday lenders make borrowers sign a postdated check for, say, $300 to borrow $255 for two weeks. When borrowers can't repay the principal, they roll the loan over for another two weeks -- and another $45. In California, the average payday borrower winds up paying $660 on a $255 loan.
These predators cluster around the nation's military bases seeking to hook young, cash-strapped, financially inexperienced soldiers and sailors on this expensive kind of debt. Military people are three or four times more likely to be victims of payday lenders, the Pentagon says. And as the industry grows fat on loans to soldiers and sailors, the problem gets worse.
"We're hearing more and more stories from sailors who get themselves in a cycle of debt," says Navy Capt. Mark Patton, who testified for the military at a hearing of the Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee.
Fed up with these predations, the Pentagon issued a report earlier this month saying these predators bankrupt and ruin young soldiers. And that wasn't all. Payday lenders are hurting the military's ability to defend the country.
"Predatory lending," the report said, "undermines military readiness, harms the morale of troops and their families, and adds to the cost of fielding an all volunteer fighting force."
It called for a 36-percent ceiling on interest on payday loans to members of the military -- the same cap many states impose in their usury laws to ban loan sharks.
Assemblyman Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) then added the 36-percent cap to a bill he introduced that had already passed the lower house of the legislature.
The bill was about to go to the floor of the Senate for a vote when the banking committee called it back. At this point the committee had a chance to help the people who protect this country. Instead they went AWOL: They stripped the 36-percent interest-rate cap.
The military, hoping to get at least some protection for service members, is supporting the watered-down bill, but still wants the 36-percent cap.
It may get that, instead, from Congress. U.S. Senators Jim Talent, a Missouri Republican, and Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, got the 36-percent cap passed in an amendment to a defense bill. While the payday lobbyists stalk Capitol Hill, the amendment awaits its fate in a House-Senate conference committee.
"We're hoping Congress will stand up to the payday industry if California legislators will not," said the Center for Responsible Lending's Paul Leonard. "Our service people deserve far better than financial ruin --or trying to survive in a war zone while they're fretting about how they'll pay next month's bills."
For more information: Michael Flagg, (202) 349-1862 or mike.flagg@responsiblelending.org ; or Sharon Reuss, (919) 313-8527, sharon.ruess@responsiblelending.org
About the Center for Responsible Lending
The Center for Responsible Lending www.responsiblelending.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices. CRL is affiliated with Self-Help www.selfhelp.org one of the nation's largest community development financial institutions.
Til Next Time.........
Originally posted 9/28/06 on Yahoo 360

Not A Talent Of Mine, September 27, 2006

THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT I do and do well. I will be the first to admit though, writing poetry is not one of them. Since I've been on 360, I have read a lot of really cool stuff in the realm of poetry. Two people in particular have been really impressive with their writing.

The first is Jenny. Jenny is a Navy Diver currently stationed somewhere in harms way. Despite the kaos that surrounds her every day, she still find the time and the energy to write some of the most amazingly creative stuff. It is sprinkled amongst her other postings, all of which are well worth reading.

Find it here: http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-pKn08oo_erCx0NR7jX1GVr0ZOA8-?cq=1

The other is a young lady that goes by the online name Emerald Dreams. She's a 21 year old attending the University of Toronto with dreams of becoming a lawyer. If there is any emotion in your soul at all, her writing will definitely get your attention. Go here to read Emerald's stuff. http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog- hAe8XlM0dqP_9z_gvyqw2IWdzXb8PKWJgonqLr3lJ7MQR...

As for me, well, like I said before....I have no talent when it comes to the poetry thing. But I did find this while surfing. After I read it, I realized that in many ways it describes most of my 360 friends. So I thought I'd share it with all of you. Enjoy!

How Many Friends?

The old man turned to me and asked
"How many friends have you?"
Why 10 or 20 friends have I,
And named off just a few...

He rose quite slow with effort
And sadly shook his head
"A lucky child you are
To have so many friends," he said

But think of what you're saying
There is so much you do not know
A friend is just not someone
To whom you say "Hello"

A friends a tender shoulder
On which to softly cry
A well to pour your troubles down
And raise your spirits high

A friend is a hand to pull you up
From darkness and despair...
When all your other "so called" friends
Have helped to put you there

A true friend is an ally
Who can't be moved or bought
A voice to keep your name alive
When others have forgot

But most of all a friend is a heart
A strong and sturdy wall
For from the hearts of friends
There comes the greatest love of all!!!

So think of what I've spoken
For every word is true
And answer once again my child
How many friends have you???

And then he stood and faced me
Awaiting my reply
Softly I answered
"If lucky...... one have "I"


Author Unknown

Til Next Time............

Originally posted 9/27/06 on Yahoo 360

Totally Oblivious, September 26, 2006

THIS PAST WEEKEND I along with about five or six other people were eye witnesses to what could have been a horrible accident between an SUV and a bicyclist.

It all started Saturday morning as I was walking to my wife's work. I was about a half block from our house looking toward the first intersection that I had walk through. As I looked past that intersection, I noticed a woman, a few years younger than me, on her bike with walkman headphones on. She had a bag with stuff in it and a soda in one hand and she was steering the bike with the other hand. I remember thinking, that's not very safe and recalled lecturing my young son about safe habits when he rides his bike.

Not more than five seconds after that, she blew through that intersection and was hit by an SUV. A crowd immediately gathered and the police were on the scene in less than 60 seconds. After briefly pausing at the accident scene, it was obvious she was receiving attention from the police officers so I continued my walk.

As I approached the next intersection, I almost saw two automobile accidents involving emergency vehicles responding to the downed cyclist. Both because of motorists trying to beat the emergency vehicles through the intersection. To top it all off, in the one lane of traffic where the motorist actually did yield the right of way, the driver behind was laying on his horn and yelling obscenities out his window at the driver in front of him.

These occurances aren't unique to where I live. They are, however, a great example of how a lot of people today go through life totally oblivious to everything around them. Let's take a look at the woman on the bike. In addition to operating the bike in the unsafe manner I described earlier, she was riding on the wrong side of the street and on the sidewalk (both illegal here). Plus, she blew through the instersection without looking for oncoming traffic. When the other witnesses initially gathered, they began yelling at the driver of the SUV. Everyone was totally oblivious to what had just played out before their eyes and they had no problem telling a story that was not entirely true. Eventually, the police got to the bottom of what really happened. The SUV driver was cleared and except for a few bumps, scrapes, and bruises, the woman on the bike was okay. She is going to have to pay a few fines though for the infractions she committed.

The failure of the drivers to yield for emergency vehicles, along with the man blowing his horn and screaming obscenities are just of a couple more examples of the lack of attention and rudeness that seems to flourish in our society today. Between that and the people who have no regard for the rules or each other, I'm surprised that scenes like the one I witnessed Saturday don't play out more often.

I just thank God everyday that there are men and women out there who serve as police officers, firefighters, and paramedics who are willing to put themselves in the middle of that kind of insanity on a daily basis to protect the rest of us from those among us who are nothing more than totally oblivious.

originally posted 9/26/06 on Yahoo 360

Wallace: Doing America's Bidding, September 25, 2006

DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY HAVE HEARD BILL CLINTON proclaim on this weeks edition of Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace was doing the bidding of the American people not FOX NewsChannel. Chris Wallace simply asked the questions that all Americans have wanted to see asked, ever since the 9/11 Commission Report was released. Those questions needed to be asked. They needed to be asked of Clinton and similar questions will be asked of the current administration as well. That's perfectly acceptable in my view. Acceptable because these people, Clinton, Bush, and the Presidents that came before and follow after them, work for us. We pay their salaries and we have every right to see those questions asked of any president from either party, no matter how unpleasant it might be.

Bill Clinton is not a stupid man. You don't become arguably the most powerful man in the world by being dumb and naive. If he truly believed in his heart the nonsense that FNC was out to do a hatchet job on him, he would have never consented to do the interview to begin with no matter the topic was supposed to be. (Maybe I'm giving the ex prez a little too much credit. History will have to be the judge of that.) Also if it were true the FNC and it's leadership had an axe to grind, Rupert Murdoch would've never given the Clinton Foundation millions of dollars for the foundation's research and work on global warming.

Even Roger Simon of CNN's RELIBLE SOURCES said: SIMON: "Well, a couple of things. One, I think we've seen, as if we ever doubted, that making yourself available to the media is not the same thing as liking the media. And Bill Clinton still does not like the media, number one.
And number two, I think what his answer shows is that he believes, as his wife once famously said, there is a vast right wing conspiracy out to get the Clinton. That may be true. I'm not sure Chris Wallace is part of it, however. I think Chris Wallace was simply acting like a newsman."

There have been others who have come to Wallace's defense since the interview hit the air. However, that is all really irrelavent. The bottom line is this.....President Clinton does not like being asked uncomfortable questions about his presidency. He throws little temper tantrums when he is. If he had his way all eight years would off limits unless he is able pre-approve the questions first. That is unacceptable. If you are an elected official, we as the American voting public have the right to ask any question we please as long as it doesn't violate national security.

So no matter what Bill or Hillary or the libs from Martiniville might think, yesterdays Fox News Sunday was not a right wing hatchet job. That's not to say that there might not be some ultra conservatives that would love to the the political careers of the Clinton Family go down in flames. Yesterday, though, all we saw was Chris Wallace Doing America's Bidding.

Originally posted 9/25/06 on Yahoo 360

Weekend Funnies, September 24, 2006

I'm pretty much braindead today. That's usually a good sign that it's time for some weekend funnies.....so......here we go! ENJOY!


1. Your house plants are alive, and you can't smoke any of them.
3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
5. You hear your favorite song in an elevator.
6. You watch the Weather Channel.
7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of "hook up" and "break up."
8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.
9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up."
10. You're the one calling the police because those kids next door won't turn down the
11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.
13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.
14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald's leftovers.
15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
16. You take naps.
17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.
18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset,rather than settle, your
19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.
20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good stuff."
21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.
22. "I just can't drink the way I used to" replaces "I'm never going to drink that much again. "
23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.
24. You don't drink at home to save money before going out to a bar.
25. When you find out your friend is pregnant you congratulate them instead of asking "Oh
S*$# what the hell happened?"


Getting Older

Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, "How old was your husband?" "98," she replied. "Two years older than me." "So you're 96," the undertaker commented. She responded, "Hardly worth going home, is it?

Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman: "And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?" the reporter asked. She simply replied, "No peer pressure."

The nice thing about being senile is you can hide your own Easter eggs.

I've sure gotten old! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees Fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands a nd feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends But, thank God, I still have my driver's license.

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.

An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart. "Wal-Mart?" the preacher exclaimed. "Why Wal-Mart?" "Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week "

My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.

It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffeemaker.

These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, "For fast relief."

Remember: You don't stop laughing because you grow old, You grow old because you stop laughing.

--- THE SENILITY PRAYER : Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.



When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

DESPERATION: When you rearrange the letters:

THE EYES When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:


When you rearrange the letters:

Yep! Someone with waaaaaaaaaaay too much time on their hands! (Probably a son-in-law).



Subject: Husband store

A store that sells new husbands has just opened. As
you enter the store there is a list of instructions of how the store
operates. A big sign says, Please Note: You may enter this store ONLY ONCE!!! There are 6 floors and the attributes of the men increase as you ascend the levels. You can choose any man from a particular floor, but once you choose to go up to the next floor you can't go back down except to exit the building.

So a woman goes into the husband store to find a husband and this is what
she sees.

On the 1st floor a sign reads: Floor 1 --- these men have jobs.

She ascends to the 2nd floor where a sign reads: Floor 2 --- these men
have jobs and love kids.

She goes up to the 3rd floor where a sign reads: Floor 3 --- these men
have jobs, love kids and are extremely good looking.

"Wow" she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

On the 4th floor a sign reads: Floor 4 --- these men have jobs, love kids,
are extremely good looking and help with the housework.

"Oh mercy me!" she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!"

Still she goes to the 5th floor and a sign reads: Floor 5 --- these men
have jobs, love kids, are drop dead gorgeous, help with the housework, and
have a strong romantic streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but goes on the the 6th floor and a sign reads:

You are visitor number 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this
floor. It exists only to prove that women are impossible to please.
Thank you for shopping at the husband store.


The 1st floor has wives who enjoy sex.

The 2nd floor has wives who enjoy sex and have money.

The 3rd thru 6th floors have never been visited.



Several men are in the locker room of a golf club. A cell phone on a bench rings and a man engages the hands free speaker-function and begins to talk.
Everyone else in the room stops to listen.

MAN: "Hello?"
WOMAN: "Honey, it's me. Are you at the club?"
MAN: "Yes."
WOMAN: "I am at the mall now and found this beautiful leather coat.
It's only $1,000.Is it OK if I buy it?"
MAN: "Sure, ... Go ahead if you like it that much."
WOMAN: "Great, thank you. I also stopped by the Mercedes dealership and
Saw the new 2006 models. I saw one I really liked."
MAN: "How much?"
WOMAN: "$90,000."
MAN: "OK, but for that price I want it with all the options."
WOMAN: "Great! Oh, and one more thing ... The house I wanted last year
Is back on the market. They're asking $950,000."
MAN: "Well, then go ahead and give them an offer of $900,000.They will Probably take it. If not, we can go the extra 50 thousand. If it's Really a pretty good price."
WOMAN: "OK. I'll see you later. I love you so much!"
MAN: "Bye, honey, I love you, too."

The man hangs up. The other men in the locker room are staring at him
In astonishment, mouths agape. He smiles and asks: "Anyone know who this
Phone belongs to?"


Til Next Time!

Originally posted 9/24/06 on Yahoo 360

A Sleeper Hit This Fall TV Season, September 22, 2006

EVERY NEW TELEVISION SEASON THERE'S ALWAYS ONE great new show that everyone hears lots of great things about, but for some reason, no one is watching. This season, that show appears to be "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." This new drama about late night sketch comedy, ala Saturday Night Live, is actually as funny as it is dramatic while focusing on the backstage romance, politics, and dynamic personalities of a live late night comedy show.

The Pilot Espisode starts as the fictional Studio 60 begins its 20th Anniversary episode. We see show producer Judd Hirsch have a verbal sparing match with someone from the networks "Standards and Practices" division over a scheduled skit. A few minutes later, after the show has started and live on a nationwide feed, Hirsch has an on-air meltdown in a scene that can only be described as a modern day version of the vintage Howard Beal (William Holden) "I'm Mad as Hell and I'm Not Going to Take It Anymore" speech from the 1976 classic movie "Network."

From there, you're off and running with a show that has the real potential to be the next big hit for NBC. The same people responsible entirely or in part for tv hits like The West Wing, Mad About You, Spin City, Boston Public, Ally McBeal, Friends, and movies like A Few Good Men, Malice, and The American President, has brought together an ensemble cast that has a resume that is as impressive as it is entertaining.

Some of the familiar faces on Studio 60 include : Amanda Peet "Syriana", Matthew Perry "Friends", Bradley Whitford "The West Wing", D.L. Hughley "The Hughleys", Nathan Corddry "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart", Timothy Busfield "Thirtysomething", Steven Weber "Wings". In the Pilot Episode, we saw cameos from Judd Hirsch, Felicity Huffman, and Ed Asner.

If you missed the pilot episode NBC has made it available to view for free on their website. http://www.nbc.com/Studio_60_on_the_Sunset_Strip/ There are also trailers, behind the scenes video, interviews with the key players and a live blog that is active every Monday night. More show content is scheduled to be added soon as well.

If the writing, acting, and concept execution of the pilot is any indication, Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip should be good to go for a long and successful run. Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip, Monday nights on NBC, it's a cool new show worth checking out............


Originally posted 9/22/06 on Yahoo 360

Unity, But Only For A Moment!, September 21, 2006

SPEECHLESS DAYS FOR CHASE DON'T COME ALONG VERY OFTEN. So when they do, you gotta know that something really unusual and unexpected has happened and probably something that isn't likely to happen again anytime soon.

Over the past six years the political landscape in general has been a very contentious one littered with verbal jabs and barbs that would even make Hulk Hogan blush with shame. Today though, we saw something occur that hasn't since the days immediately following 9/11. What we saw today, if only for a brief moment, was UNITY. Unity between the Democratic leadership of this country, President Bush, and the American people. All it took was two days of ugly, saber rattling rhetoric from a third world tinpot dictator named Hugo Chavez.

While Chavez may have received enthusiastic applause during his vile speech at the United Nations, President Bush's most ardent and vocal opponents in Washington were not amused. Nancy Pelosi and Bill Clinton as well as others in the House and Senate were quick to condem Chavez's remarks.

However, some of the most pointed reaction came from Charles Rangel (D) NY who said the following:

"You don't come into my country, you don't come into my congressional district, and you don't condemn my president. If there's any criticism of President Bush, it should be restricted to Americans - whether we voted for him or not." He also said, "I just want to make it abundantly clear to Hugo Chavez or any other president - don't come to the United States and think because we have problems with our president that any foreigner can come to our country and not think that Americans do not feel offended when you offend our Chief of State. Any demeaning public attack against him is viewed by Republicans and Democrats, and all Americans, as an attack on all of us."

A jaw dropping quote to say the least from one of President Bush's most vocal opponents. It is even more dramatic when you see the video and it's a reason for hope too. Even though we may have extremely heated and vocal disagreements about issues we face as a nation, today we learned that even the most diverse among us can still come together and stand as one when the need arises.

More reaction the Chavez remarks: http://www.topix.net/content/cbs/2091527590412076825024386039723427840723 http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060921/pl_nm/venezuela_usa_spat_dc_1 http://newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/9/21/135053.shtml?s=ic http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,215042,00.html http://www.crosswalk.com/news/1427352.html

Tomorrow things will most likely go back to politics as usual. Today though, for the briefest of moments, we got to once again experience some semblence of national pride and unity without having to endure a terrorist attack or natural disaster. Considering the past six years, it was almost enough leave one speechless, don't you think?

John Rocker: At It Again! , September 20, 2006

SOME SIX OR SO YEARS AGO, AMERICANS who weren't baseball fans were introduced to a young man named John Rocker. The young Braves closing pitcher garnered the national spotlight after making what many considered racist remarks about foreigners in New York City who, among others things, refused to speak english. I even cringed when I heard the remarks. I remember saying, "Wow! The guy really stepped in it by saying that!" I imagined he would pay for those remarks. In some ways he did. But in other ways, it set the stage for what was to come a few years later.

Back then, the brash young athlete said what many Americans were thinking but were afraid to say. Fast forward to 2006 and John Rocker is at it again. There's a big difference this time though. A few years the wiser, more polished and refined and complete with a public relations advisor, Rocker has begun his "Speak English" 2006 media tour. Today he was on FNC, presenting his message and explaining why he feels that it is important that the message be heard.

Rocker's main assertion is that one of the reasons many immigrants (both legal and illegal) have the problems they do here in America is that they refuse to speak english. He also says that he believes that angers many Americans, especially when the government spends so much money on programs to try and teach english to immigrants who refuse to learn.

During the course of his interview, he told of learning spanish so he could function better in society while he played ball in Central and South America. Rocker said that by making that effort, he was received as someone welcome in the countries he visited and lived in despite his well known verbal gaffes earlier in his career. He went on to say the purpose of his media tour and related merchandise sales is to try to encourage civil discussion on this topic which has come to the forefront in the last few years.

After watching his appearance today on FOX News, I have to say I was suprisingly impressed. At first I thought it was going to be an anti illegal immigration message. While he did dance around the edges of that issue, his message was mostly about foreigners in America learning or at least making an effort to learn English. I think his message this time around is one that will strike a chord with a large segment of Americans if they have the opportunity to hear it. As I listened, I was reminded of the time I spent overseas in Portugal, Japan, and the Middle East and my attempts to learn the local languages. In some cases, I wasn't very successful but the effort was noticed and appreciated by those whose country I was a guest in. I, like John Rocker, see no reason why that same standard couldn't and shouldn't be applied here. It's expected of Americans overseas, so why should Americans be ridiculed and chastised for expecting the same from foreigners in America? First we have to get past the talking points and venom of the politically correct extremists posing as illegal immigration advocates. Only then will we as a nation be able to hold a civil disscussion on this issue.

Rocker's next media appearance will be on Thursday 9/21/06 live on the Mike Gallagher Show at approximately 10:35 am EST. Some stations tape delay the show though. So to check for a station near you that carries the show and the air time, just go to www.mikeonline.com . If you get the chance to listen, I think you'll be pleasantly suprised. I know I was. You can also learn more about other John Rocker activities at www.johnrocker.net .

Til next time........

Originally posted 9/20/06 on Yahoo 360

Sunday, August 10, 2008

What Would You Do?, September 19, 2006

Just before the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, John Lyons, Jr. filed a lawsuit against Mark Morice who admits to taking Lyons' 18 ft pleasure boat immediately following the landfall of Katrina. Morice reportedly used the boat to save around 200 stranded people, including a 92 year old man on dialysis, in the aftermath of the storm.

Morice acknowledges the fact that he didn't have permission to use the boat and also admits that instead of returning the boat to Lyons, he gave it to other rescuers attempting to save people from the floodwaters. Lyons' insurance carrier would only pay half of the value of the boat so Lyons chose to file suit against Morice for the remaining 12,000 dollars.

What would you have done? Would you have taken the boat to save the stranded people, even if you didn't have permission? Would you have sued for your losses if it were your boat that was taken? Tell us what you would do...............Then check out the story update here.Hurrican

Originally posted 9/19/06 on Yahoo 360

Is It Ever Ok To Lie?, September 18, 2006

IN PAST WRITINGS, I HAVE MADE IT perfectly clear where I stand on the topic of lying. If your words hold no truth or honor, then you're worthless as a human being. A bit harsh? Yes. But then again, I put a lot of stock in honesty. As I often tell friends and relatives, there are two things in this world that I can't stand and won't tolerate......liars and thieves.

Then along come the results of a poll on lying in America recently conducted by the Associated Press. This poll is a really interesting snapshot into how far off the wagon America has fallen when it comes to being honest. On the very first question of the poll, 50 percent of the respondents said that under no circumstances would it ever be ok to tell a lie. A few questions later 2/3 of the respondents said that it was ok to lie in order to spare someone's feelings. Whoa!!! Now hold on just a second. I know I'm not a rocket scientist, but let do the math on this one. 50 percent said it is never acceptable to lie, then later, approximately 66.6 percent said it is okay to lie to spare someone's feelings.

Now as I said, I realize I'm not a rocket scientist or brain surgeon, but my math says that, at a minimum, approximately 16.6 percent of the respondents lied about their attitudes on lying. At this point , I had to stop reading the article about the poll. The AP went out, got a bunch of liars to take a poll on lying who turned around got themselves caught lying on the poll about lying. LOL I see a SERIOUS credibility problem here. I'm still trying to figure out who is sadder...the AP or the liars.

But seriously though, it did get me to thinking about how much society has changed over just the last couple of generations. There are some things that are tolerated and accepted today that would have never been considered socially acceptable in decades past. Lying is one of those things. Then again, what do you expect when you have a sitting president of the United States who gets caught lying, is impeached by Congress, suffers no reprecussions, and watches his popularity soar. I'll bet Gary Hart is really kicking himself now.

Now with all that said, and for the record, I will make one exception to my previous statements about lying. That lone exception being in the case of someone's life being in danger. For example, you are the victim of a home invasion robbery and your teenage child is asleep in his basement bedroom or mini apartment above the garage. When the invader asks if there is anyone else in the house.......the answer everytime without fail will be no. A lie? Yes! But a lie to save a life. In my world, that is the only time a lie is acceptable.

Now it's your turn to sound off by commenting or taking the poll below. How do you feel about lying? What are some of your experiences with liars?

Til next time.............
Other than the exception above, when is it acceptable to tell a lie?(closed poll)
never 5
to spare someones feelings 3
to cover previous misdeeds 0
to advance your career 0
to get a huge tax refund 1
about your age 1
Originally posted 9/18/06 on Yahoo 360

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I Wish Them Luck, September 16, 2006

YESTERDAY WE LEARNED THAT THE Ford Motor Company is moving forward with it's restructing plans via 10,000 job cuts and two plant closures. Everyone in a posistion to know agrees, the Ford Family cash faucet is about to run dry if it hasn't already. In this case, it's obvious that this move was the only option if there is to be any hope of saving the company from extinction. Simply put, the Ford Family realizes that it can no longer operate it's business in the same manner that has brought it much success for the better part of a century. If it is to survive and again become one of the worlds premiere car makers, it has to change the way it handles it's employees and produces its product. A sad but unfortunate reality.

However, there are other companies out there who care about nothing other than the bottom line and how fat they can grow their pockets. Cutting for the sake of making shareholders rich is the primary reason for America's dislike for and mistrust of corporate America. Over the past year, we've heard a lot of stories about companies cutting for the sake of cutting because some pocket protector wearing bean-counting nerd thinks the shareholders aren't getting enough of a return on their investment.

Home Depot recently cut 300 jobs at it's Atlanta Headquarters. Office Depot dumped over 1400 employees at a number of locations world wide. And less than a month ago, we learned of Radio Shack using email to fire over 400 employees. In the case of Radio Shack, I think that's a pretty cowardly way of handling an undoubtedly unpleasant situation. You have to admit that's a pretty crappy way to treat employees, some of whom have been loyal workers for the company for a long time.

Then there's the Tribune Co. and subsidiary Tribune Publishing based out of Chicago. Tribune is primarily a media company, that like most of its competition, has seen a decline in revenue over the last few years. Despite that decline, Tribune and most all of its subsidiaries are still posting a healthy profit margin.

Enter the Los Angeles Times, one of Tribune's premeire newspaper properties. Over the last three years, the Times has cut over 200 staffers from it's newsroom alone. That's not counting cuts in advertising, sales, production, and distribution.

This week, Tribune decision makers again instructed local Times management to prepare to cut a yet to be announced number of additional jobs from the newsroom in Los Angeles. In response to the corporate request, Times Editor Dean Baquet and Publisher Jeffery Johnson made the rare move of defying corporate bosses and denying the "request." Johnson was quoted as saying "newspapers can't cut their way into the future." Baquet also added, " I'm not adverse to making cuts when warranted, but that you can go too far. I have no plans to do that." Also on the paper's side are a number of local civic and political leaders who wrote a two page letter to senior officials at Tribune, urging them to reconsider the cuts.

This Times/Tribune showdown in the City of Angels is the latest headache for the Tribune Company which is under almost constant pressure from it's richest, most influential shareholders to fatten up the bottom line by making unreasonable numbers of job cuts and selling off assets.

At this point, I'll say that I am in no way of a fan of the L.A. Times. It is one of the most liberal papers in the nation that usually ends up on the wrong side of almost every important issue facing America today. However, I do have an immense respect for men like Baquet and Johnson who have the courage to make a stand against corporate leadership when it comes to protecting the workers and the product from the kind of greed that is becoming more and more common in today's corporate world. I'm not quite sure how this whole thing is going to work out for the folks at the L.A. Times. They're not getting much help from the unions that supposedly represent workers at the paper. It's no big surprise that union officials have been deafenly quite on this one. However it ends for those at the Times, it nice to see that there are a few people in leadership positions that still have the courage to be leaders. For that, I give them a tip of the hat and wish them all the luck in the world....for they will most likely need it and then some.

Originally posted 9/16/06 on Yahoo 360

Is the Shine Fading From Google?, September 12, 2006

In the beginning you never saw stuff like this from Google. But it's happening these days with more regularity. I wonder what those stockholders who spent around 400 dollars a share during the IPO (initial public offering) think about the computer nerd sarcasm.

Then there's this one.......I think Katrina survivors might debate this one with Google.

Check out the text inside the red circle in the upper right hand of the pic below.


What About the Positives? September 11, 2006

THE WORLD WE LIVE IN MAKES NO concessions to common sense, is oblivious to morals, and blind to justice. Without any forewarning our lives were turned upside down. In the blink of an eye and the beat of a heart, priorities changed, loyalties divided, and the insignificant became more important than ever before. Now, two once random and meaningless numbers are forever linked together in a way that will never be forgotten.

This 9-11 we spend time in deep reflection. Remembering those we lost and honoring those who gave their all.......all in the blink of an eye and beat of a heart. While we mourn and honor those lost, it's also important to keep in mind that, despite all the negativity of the liberal left and the give peace a chance crowd, there have been several positives that have occured since that horrible day.

During the days that immediately followed 9-11-01, we found that, as diverse a country of individuals as we are here in America, we still possess the ability to come together as one when our backs are against the wall. It may not have lasted as long as many of us would've liked. But at least we know that we're still capable of being united against a common enemy.

In the five years following the attacks of 9-11........there haven't been any more attacks on American soil. Not One! Many previously unknown terrorist cells have been broken up all over the country. There was one out here in California, just a couple of hours from my home. Trust me when I tell you, I feel much safer now that people at the state and national levels are once again paying attention to whats going on.

Al Qaeda's power and influence have been greatly diminished over the past five years as well. They have much poorer communications capabilities today than before. Those capabilities are being diminished more and more everyday. Their financial network is almost non-existant compared to six or seven years ago.

Since many of our traditional allies don't seem to have the stomach for an extended war on terror, the United States has teamed up with many countries that we previously had minimal or no connection to. Countries like Poland, The Czech Republic, Romania, New Zealand, Estonia, Mongolia, Netherlands, Finland, Hungary, Sweden, and Kazakhstan are just a few of America's allies in this war on terror. They may not be major military or political powerhouses, but collectively, these and all the rest of the coalition partners are making great strides against those who wish ill upon freedom loving people around the world.

And finally, the longstanding reputation of the American Military has been restored after enduring 8 years of neglect, misuse, and disdain during the Clinton Administration. And even with some of the restraints placed upon them during execution of the current War or Terror, our Armed Forces are once again viewed by most of the world as the premeire fighting force today. Even those who fight against us have begrudingly acknowledged that we are much stronger and more willing to fight than they expected based on previous experience over the ten years preceding the 9-11 attacks. Gone are the days of looking weak after leaving unfinished business in places like Beruit, multiple locations in Africa, Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, and Yemen.

These are all positives that many people across the country can't or won't acknowledge. Once the tributes pass on this five year anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, the debates will continue. And when it seems like all your hear are the negative diatribes coming from Martiniville, just remember.....there are many positive things happening in this War on Terror.....even if the media or the liberal politicians don't want to talk about it!

originally posted 9/11/06 on Yahoo 360