Saturday, March 31, 2012

Down the rabbit hole

Gad I felt like Alice in Wonderland there for a while. Trying to tweak the sizing after some brainiac switched the fonts was no easy task but I think I've managed to get back to were we once belong. They just can't leave well enough alone. Maybe I'll feel confident enough to try and send them another venomous expression of my displeasure. Now which pill did I take was it the blue one?

Now what else to gripe about? We have our 5th straight day of liquid sunshine here. Tried to get out yesterday to get some much needed errands and repairs done. I thought oh good the sun is out I'll pop out and fix the fence on the back 40 (that's feet here). Popped into the bathroom for quick drain the lizard moment only to come out to find it hailing and coming down in buckets. Back to fiddle farting on the web because after all there's only so many times you can clean the kitchen. Nothing's really that important that it can't wait till tomorrow or maybe the next day. But here it could be the day after that or the day after that or infinitum. I did find a new source for my Friday beaver pics. Hope they won't mind if I borrow a few.

Oops did I forget bank fails again this week? Only one in Michigan. This is coming close the the savings and loan debacle of the 1980s. I believe there were a little over 500 S&Ls that bit the dust then and we're around 400 now. It's not over yet either. Back then it was "junk bonds" that tanked things. Today? Just slap another name on the paper and you get the same results. Now it's "hedge funds" or as Warren Buffet calls them financial weapons of mass destruction. And what did I see on the TV just last night?
"Retirees looking for high return for your retirement portfolio?" blathered the announcer. "Municipal bonds are the way to go." he continued. Oh yeah I'm sure Alabama would just love to sell you their bad debt that they'll be defaulting on here soon. I wouldn't touch that with a 39 and a half foot pole. Unless you have superfocus vision and three or four contract lawyers backing you up. And the game goes on only the players and the names are changed to protect the guilty.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Friday extra - no no extra charge just a rant

How I'd really like to bitch slap some young nerd turd who just has to keep messing things up. Just when you get your preferences to that nice and comfy state they just have to come along and pee in your coffee. You know what I'm talking about. Things worked just fine until they had to step in. It worked just fine until they get their grubby paws on the process. So what was once something streamlined and fast turns into an excruciating experience. They think they're doing us a favor and giving added "functionality" to the experience. Far from it Ram head! Let's change things to an ugly font and make sure it's in microscopic size so that only a old watchmaker with high powered loop can read.

Well sparky whatcha gonna do when your customers leave ya in droves because they can't use your product? Didn't think about that when you got that bright idea at 3 am to torture the masses. Sounded so great at the time didn't it? No Bunkey I don't want to try your new and improved updated version because it isn't any better than the last. It's worse. It always makes things more difficult and usually has some bug you haven't quite worked out that will need an update or security fix down the road.

Word verify. Now there's a real waste of time and the most aggravating concept on the planet. What do you get maybe one or two chinese spammers a month posting their latest cure for ED. Don't be lazy hit the trash can button and they will soon disappear. But just try and send some tech head your two cents worth on their latest monkey wrench that they just hit you with and just try and guess the new and improved word verify. Must be the nerds' defense system. "We have no complaints from the customers boss!" (mainly because they can't get to you to verbally wring your neck).

Keep it simple stupid because I don't have the rest of my life trying to learn another software program. I got along quite nicely before you stepped in and screwed things up. Is it a d or a c l? Hell I don't know and I don't have all day to try and figure it out. Then there's what I call the Chinese fire drill torture. That's were when trying to find out a simple answer to a simple question you are taken through the maze of links that somehow magically revert themselves back to each other so the user is left going in circles. If answer A is wrong please see answer B. Answer B.= Please see answer A. You know the routine we've all been there.

Oh you'll get yours nerds. Some day you'll not be able to read the fine mouse print and become as frustrated with the rest of us when the requirement to access a program requires some new puzzle or gimmick. And I'm sure they'll make the keyboards smaller just about the time your arthritis kicks in because it'll save the company a bunch of dough. And the brianiacs that come after you will be your nemesis. But I can laugh now knowing that I'll be long gone.

Friday beaver time

And this lucky beaver gets to paddle across his beaver pond having avoided the trappers cage.

It's lucky beaver time. Which fool will part with their hard earned bucks at a shot at 1/2 billion? Okay well after taxes it'll be half that much but I think I could have a good time. Actually you have better odds of getting hit by lightening and being eaten by both a black and a polar bear in the same day. Don't get me wrong I do play the odds but never for that reason. In fact I'd say I've beaten the odds more than once over the years. Just wonder who gets to take a dirt nap next. My friends are dropping like flies.

Not much in the news of late that hasn't bee hashed and rehashed. You know it's bad when articles like what to do with cumquats to lose weight start appearing in yahoo news. Don't forget to save your Canadian pennies folks they could be collectors' items. Now let me just pump $9.99 worth of gas and demand my penny when I give the clerk a ten spot. I'm like that ya know.

Too much to do and crappy weather. Somebody want to turn off the spigot? Oh well this is Western Washington after all. Can't remember when the last time I used an umbrella. That's what hats were made for. What kills me is seeing people in shorts with socks and sandals. What a fashion statement. And you see that all winter around here even when it snows.

Bank fails later if I think about it.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This is just sick

(And kitty's coverage isn't any cheaper either)

I won't bore you with more details of the Affordable Health Care Act for now but I caught the clip of Mint Raw Money on Jay Leno the other night and had to comment. Here's a guy with over $200 million in cash in the banks and he has the nerve to say if somebody doesn't have insurance they can just drop dead to put it bluntly. What Mittens doesn't seem to realize is that there are a bunch of us out here who would like nothing better than to be covered and would be more than willing to pay for it but as the price of premiums has shot through the roof in just the last few years a person has the choice between food on the table and a roof overhead or medical coverage. Those plans by the way are the cheapest offered covering only catastrophic events. You may be able to pay the premium but you'd better not use the coverage lest you find yourself bankrupt. At 150% or even 200% of minimum wage it would take nearly all the income just to pay for the coverage. That's not even taking into account deductibles and co- pays.
The average basic plan the last time I checked was over $1300 per month for the premiums. Let's see somebody try and live with that when rents for the cheapest apartment around here is $750. Tack on another $400 for food and the math just won't cut it even for a family of 3.

The other issue Mitt doesn't seem to get is that the system isn't going to somehow magically cure itself if this bill is defeated. In fact, as I pointed out earlier, it will remove many people from the system who had no coverage before. Think about a person who was finally able to get their cancer treatment only to be told "you're on your own now". As Alan Grayson on the floor of the senate so aptly pointed out, the republican plan was: "If you get sick - die quickly!" Then this brings up another issue that I'm sure isn't being reported. What is the insurers response to all this? On the one hand they won't be forced to cover pre existing conditions if the bill goes down but on the other they won't be getting that nice new pool of fresh money from people who never had coverage before because they were healthy. I'm sure they have run the numbers but we're not hearing anything from their side of the issue.

And let me point out the psychotic thinking of Mitt. He'd like nothing better to shut down Planned Parenthood while at the same time telling everyone they can just get their treatment elsewhere. That'll fly well in small town America where the only place to get low income help is from Planned Parenthood. And the free clinics are few and far between. Good luck getting on their waiting list for help.

I repeat, if something isn't stabilized soon the system will melt down by the weight of an aging population and 55 million without coverage. We have seen the extent of the problem that's getting worse with the free clinic expos on 60 minutes and the Ed Shultz show. Hundreds being turned away after a few thousand were treated. And this was last year. This problem is second only to the housing melt down and may be worse if you look closer at the numbers.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

news you can't use and could probably care less about

What's a guy got to do to get some attention around here?
(Okay I know tres sick) This is a Tibetan exile protesting in India when Chinese leader Jin Tao was scheduled to visit. But in todays' uncaring world will it get much attention?

Speaking of which Bashar Assad leader of Syria had just signed an agreement with UN secretary Kofi Anan to bring an end to the fighting in the country. And what did he do after that you might ask? He set about to destroy Homs sending in his troops, 50 tanks and local supporters to try and finish off the town that has been bombed for the last several weeks.

Report: Hundreds of abused Afghan women jailed for 'moral crimes'
Nothing like punishing the victim. They sure have some strange customs over there.

Airline fun and mayhem
Forget the unruly passengers anymore watch out for the pilots. A three martini lunch was bad enough now one wonders which asylum they're getting these recruits. Think I'll take the train.

No winner in the Mega millions jackpot
Curses! there goes my retirement plan. And I had such great plans involving clowns prostitutes and rope.

Japans' nuclear reactor at Fukushima worse than first thought
Well Duh! Reported that the best of the worst is at 10 times the lethal level of radiation. If you thought Hanford nuclear reservation was going to be a difficult clean up you haven't seen anything. It's taken nearly 20 years to try and begin the solution to Hanford and it will take decades more to even contain this newest one. So let me see. We have Hanford, Three Mile Island, Chernoybl, and now Fukushima. (not to mention the lesser accidents that didn't make headline news and oh yes there were a few) You think we'll ever learn?

Madonna doing her MDNA tour
The old lady is now in her 50s. Sorry babe even a rose wilts after a certain time. What author said "you can't go home again"? Pick a period and there's at least one blonde bomb shell in the mix and they've run out of shock value too. I'll leave what they come up with next to your own imagination.

Supreme Court deciding health care act
Let me see. You have a group of highly educated well paid judges who are already covered by a plan that we the taxpayers pay for deciding if the rest of us will be able to afford even the basics. And even if they were not covered they could well afford a plan out of pocket. So what's it going to be "I got mine the hell with you"? Or will they be nice and let us peons have a few scraps?
I know I promised another post on the issue but I've only made it about a third of the way through the bill. No easy task to shake up a system that's been in place for so long. The something for nothing crowd fails to realize that the system has reached critical mass. Much like the housing and financial bubbles, health care will break any year now. Not a matter of if but when. Costs have risen over 30% in just the last three years. If this bill is defeated more will be without coverage just adding to the bubble. There is no free lunch but if we spread the risks the costs will come down to where we could all be covered.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe


Gut reaction. Never heard of him and probably couldn't care less. A genius you say? You'll have to convince me of that. If he's the guy responsible for all the square box glass and steel buildings that now grace our landscape then sorry he ever made it to the architectural forefront. Boxes? We have enough boxes. Just ask the box boy. Do markets still have them? Oops person, must be PC these days. Wouldn't want to offend the ladies. Aren't we supposed to think outside the box? Only greatfull that the style didn't last longer. Who wants to live in the early 60s again. Okay a mere technicality the ideas were earlier but the designs hit a peak in the 60s. Boxed buildings, boxed furniture it was all squaresville man. It was plain bland monochromatic and don't forget the turquoise lampshade. Like disco one of those fades you wish would go away quickly. But it didn't.

So the next time you drive past one of those office strip malls that look exactly like the last office strip mall you can thank or curse this guy. The choice is yours. Give me the 21st century any day. Pete Segar was right when he penned "Little Boxes" but he was referring to houses. Same difference.

And now for something completely diff..... Ta Da!

Now there's some architecture for ya Frank Lloyd.

(And a little inside info. it was a bitch to assemble)

Too lazy to blog.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The affordable health care act

Don't you just love people who spout opinions and try and circulate them without first checking the facts? I admit I had a few when the legislation was finally past but not having read the entire bill kept quiet. The problem with our system is that it leaves a large number of people with no health care. That would be unconscionable in any other industrialized country. What people fail to realize is that there is no easy quick fix. A simple matter of a few thousand dollar voucher and cutting funding to the less fortunate will only make matters worse. I recall when I first started writing about this most nations were spending around $3600 per person per year while the U.S. was spending $6200. At that time there were 45 million without care. Those figure have changed. For no apparent reason costs went up in just the last few years as did the number of uninsured (the latter due to unemployment). Nothing dramatically changed in the last few years other than the fear from insurance companies that their profits would be cut.

What I note in the Affordable Health Care Act is an attempt to fix many problems with the system.

Sec. 101. National high-risk pool program.
Sec. 102. Ensuring value and lower premiums.
Sec. 103. Ending health insurance rescission abuse.
Sec. 104. Sunshine on price gouging by health insurance issuers.
Sec. 105. Requiring the option of extension of dependent coverage for unin-
sured young adults.
Sec. 106. Limitations on preexisting condition exclusions in group health plans
in advance of applicability of new prohibition of preexisting
condition exclusions.
Sec. 107. Prohibiting acts of domestic violence from being treated as pre-
existing conditions.
Sec. 108. Ending health insurance denials and delays of necessary treatment
for children with deformities.
Sec. 109. Elimination of lifetime limits.
Sec. 110. Prohibition against postretirement reductions of retiree health bene-
fits by group health plans.
Sec. 111. Reinsurance program for retirees.
Sec. 112. Wellness program grants.
Sec. 113. Extension of COBRA continuation coverage.
Sec. 114. State Health Access Program grants.
Sec. 115. Administrative simplification.

I've read a fair amount of this bill. To try and return to our former system would be foolish. First off those that had been denied are now covered. Many, like young adults, who are out of college but haven't found a job with benefits are getting coverage on their parents plans. People who may have retired early and are too young for Medicare but too well off for Medicaid can get affordable coverage. Even people at the poverty level can get subsidized coverage for just $20 per month. And the requirements for basic coverage are good as well. A plan must include medical, dental vision and hearing as well as any other services offered by the medical establishment. There are no lifetime maximum limits as were once imposed. And the plans already in place will have to cover the additional requirements.

If all of this sounds like some evil government take over as some would have you believe then I say bring it on because it's far better than any plan I've ever had. For about the past ten years I've had to fight for the coverage I was due constantly calling writing and many trips in person just to prove what I was entitled to according to their own documents.

More on this later - having blogger posting issues.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

An interesting experiment

Or would this be Dressed to be Killed?
Some years ago in a human relations course we were asked to do a little experiment as an assignment. We were asked to first dress in our most ratty clothes and go out and record the responses of those we met either from a store clerk or other strangers we might happen to meet. The second part was to dress up in our best and note the response. It is true that people judge you by what you wear and how you look. In a suit and tie you will be addressed as sir very often. In a casual restaurant with suit and tie you will be given a better seat near the front for all to see. I know I've experienced it. On other occasions when I wore jeans and an old shirt I was seated as far back as close to the kitchen door as was possible. I've kept that knowledge with me for many years and it's made me a few cents in the process. I learned to treat people decently no matter what they're wearing. Sometimes people for one reason or another don't dress well. We have after all become a very casual society in the last 50 years. There was a time when no man would go out without a suit and tie unless he was mowing the lawn or going to the ball park and even then it was a mixed bag. Even now I have designer clothes in the closet that I haven't worn in years. I used to travel quit a bit in the past and had a job that required jacket and tie or at the least a dress shirt and tie.

I know there are gang colors and gang like clothing along with signs and symbols, but to try and tell who is and who isn't would be impossible without seeing some type of actions. We tend to be intimidated by groups of people just hanging out yet they too have families, mothers and fathers and such. And who in high school didn't want to be part of the "in' crowd the semi tough on the edge of trouble? It was when "bad" was a mark of good. "Cool" as it was called. Don't know the term today.

But we've become a society so diverse that we barely know our neighbors. We're lucky to know anyone farther than two doors down anymore. Oh you may have seen them walking in the neighborhood but nobody stops to talk anymore. Too busy trying to communicate to actually communicate. Which reminds me of a story of the boss who was having communication problems in his firm. He finally sent out a memo. It read "Forget the emails and memos, eliminate the faxes, hang up the phone. Stand up and walk down to their cubicle and actually talk to the person". Problem solved and production increased.

The problem with Mr Zimmerman was that he considered himself a hammer and when you think you're a hammer everything starts to look like a nail. He was looking for trouble and he found it only it was no heroic "save the neighborhood" deed. Leave the policing to the police and the detective work to the detectives. But better still know your neighbors and don't judge a book by it's cover.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Beaver Friday Canadian style

Thought I was slipping when I went looking for beavers for the Friday post. Usually the first thing that comes up on a google search is one of my past images of the fury creature however I soon recalled that I left out the Friday part of it and felt smug in seeing tons of my past beavers on page one. Amazing that out of the billions of net users you can still be number one at anything.
Hey it may be off color and creepy but it worked. And you don't need to experience a head injury in the process.

This is the Canadian beaver. And just how can you tell it from it's southern cousin one might ask? Thought everyone knew that Canadian beavers apologized after damming a creek that flooded your property. How very considerate of them. (wha wha whaa)

And speaking of beavers looks like the first lady of Syria won't be doing any shopping at Harods any time soon. The EU has frozen her bank accounts. Not, I'm sure, that she couldn't just pay with cash or a Swiss credit card. Asma (sounds like one of those Japanese car models) will be able to travel to the UK as she has British citizenship but won't be withdrawing any cash from any banks there. But considering the situation over there it would be hard to travel anywhere. Who wants an army battalion escort when you go out to shop?

Bank fails later.
We have two this week one in Georgia and another in Illinois. I think we're up over 400 now if I'm not mistaken.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

And now for something completely different - Snark

A word coined by Lewis Carroll many years ago only meant for a one time use (ya nonce) it caught on and remains. Snark snarky snarkist, butcher it anyway you like such creatures are fair game these days. Snarken snarka or as the North Frisians say snarke. Sneering snidely sarcastic sanctimonious sayings slashed through simple semantics see. A Godzilla meets Bambi moment. Need to practice my onomona the verbiage doth rust methinks. So much cannon fodder from headline news it almost writes itself.
♬ Get back snarky cat ♬
Fear not no mind altering or powerful of ports here. Just brushing up on some dusty skills of yesteryear. Far more than 16 tons neatly shoveled and bagged for proper disposal. Can only be glad that this wasn't done in long hand or ribboned Underwood of yore lest this never get done with gnarled arthritic digits. Oh chortle chortle I made a funny you thought bagged poop didn't you?
♬ Everybody's doing it doing it doing it ♬
Find your sacred tower and blow it up with your rapier whit. Nobody's stopping you everybody does it. It's the thing to do. Rip a politician. Accost an actress. Punch a poet. They're all fair game. No one escapes the Spanish Inquisition Mr. Python. What do you mean the parrot's dead? He's only pining for the fiords. Watch out for the spam. I don't like spam.
♬ Amazing Grace how ♬
Did somebody die? Okay we wait a week then belittle him in the most unflattering terms. What will the children say? Save the children unless they come with dirty laundry we can use against them. Mom are those your kids? Sure look a lot like the postal carrier to me. Just don't forget to shoot the messenger that corporate owned liiiiberal media.

And that ladies and germs is my à l'intérieur blague for the day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Syrian mystery solved

As reported yesterday Russian anti terror combat troops were said to be entering the country to assist Assad. After some research come to find out that this was a bit of a propaganda ploy by Russia to boost the leaders morale. The story that ABC news had reported was only broadcast from Russia and seen only on Arabic stations in that area. When confronted with the story Russian diplomats quickly dismissed the report or were at best elusive. The real story only came out today when on further investigation it turns out that the Russians have an anti piracy team of marines on the tanker to escort and fight piracy in the Aden Sea. Their arrival in Syria where they have a port at Tartus was a troop rotation. It was the perfect opportunity to use a routine procedure as propaganda. A rough translation of the original Russian response below:

"No Russian warships, performing tasks from the shores of Syria, no. In the Syrian port of Tartus 10 days of the ship auxiliary fleet tanker" Iman "which performs the tasks logistics - the replenishment of fuel and food - of the Black Sea and Northern Fleets, which provides security shipping in the Gulf of Aden anti-piracy ", - told RIA Novosti representative of management information and the Defense Ministry.

So nothing to see here continue on about your day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Syria - the war spreads

After bombing the tar out of most of the cities of Syria and two reported car bomb attacks by the opposition over the weekend reports that fighting in Damascus has increased dramatically.

Armed Syrian defectors took their uprising into the heart of a heavily guarded and wealthy district of Damascus on Monday, clashing with security forces in what activists and residents called the most intense fighting in such a strategic area since the protests against President Bashar al-Assad began a year ago

I was hoping to find some indication of the Russian ship the Iman tanker said to carry a Russian force of anti terror fighters sent to back up Assad's army as reported by ABC news but, unless anyone out there has a copy of Google Earth Pro with it's live satellite photos I can't verify. I did however find what appears to be three military ships in the harbor (note the three ships in the upper left of the photo). The screen grab was dated sometime in 2011.
If it's true that the Russians have sent such a force then this is not good news either for the middle east or the civilians in Syria especially Damascus. You can be sure that Assad will do everything to protect his own hide.

All of this going on while the headline news is reporting that Russia is wanting a halt in the fighting as some type of humanitarian gesture. Only time will tell how this will play out but by the looks of it so far it's not looking good. Enough proposals have been signed to wallpaper an office yet nothing has been done and civilians continue to die.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Health care or lack there of

Having no health insurance is like waiting for a time bomb to go off. Unlike the movies where the audience sees the clock tick down to a climatic end, having no coverage makes the process blindfolded. I can't think of anyone on the planet who hasn't had need of a doctor at some point in their life. Even the remotest tribes have developed some type of folk medicine. Some quite good discoveries have come the far reaches of our planet but then some not so good. A man shaking a rattle and throwing dust in the air isn't going to do it when you need your appendix out.

How did the current mess of our health care system here in the U.S. evolve to such a state? Crank back the hands on the clock and we'll find out. Many factors were involved. Hospitals for one back in the days of Beaver Clever were mostly non profit and public. Even private hospitals had to rely on fund raising and donations to build a new wing. Insurance companies as well had no shareholders to answer to. Most doctors back then had a private office outside the hospital where they saw patients. There were no set rates for medical procedures back then and no bean counters to answer. The poor were looked after by donations and grants and something unheard of today. A doctor would tack on some extra on to Mrs. Gotrocks gall bladder surgery in order to cover Peter Poor's bicycle accident.

How well did the system work you may ask. Imagine if you will having a slight accident and in need of stitches. It's late and after doctors hours so you head to the local emergency room. They stitch you up and send you on your way after you pay them $50. Even factoring in inflation that's a pittance compared to today's prices. Such an event today would run in the thousands. And why? Because now every aspect of medicine from the fancy sheepskin on the wall in the doctor's office to the cotton balls at the hospital must generate a profit, no exceptions! And with everything requiring an accounting more bean counters were necessary and then more administrators to watch over the bean counters which in turn meant more administrators in the insurance companies and since they too had a bottom line to protect required entire boards to deny coverage.

Automation hasn't really helped the situation either. I have in the last few years had to fight for even the coverage I was due because some computer spit out a denial form as it was programed to do. And we all know computers never lie right? Ever look at an itemized hospital bill? You'll always catch errors for services and items never provided because they send a boiler plate bill. Sorry guys I wasn't in for a circumcision even though you slipped that one in just before the phone calls I never made. Does anyone get charged with fraud? Oh pardon us it was a billing error. We'll fix it as soon as we can figure out how to send you another incomprehensible bill with our techno medical talk. And don't get me started on dental bills. You need an advanced degree in Latin to understand them.

Our medical establishment has been reduced to something akin to a Quick Lube joint. Assembly line "doc in the boxes" that have one purpose and that's a walletectomy. That strikingly new procedure thought up in the 70s with the incorporation of HMOs (health maintenance organizations). They should be called YMOs (yacht maintenance organizations) because the only ones to benefit are the ones making all the profits.

Don't get me wrong I'm not against a doctor making a decent living it's just that now they can't even do that. They didn't do too bad in the era of Ozzie and Harriet as I recall. But the problems here are far more complex than that involving our educational system, our banking and our tax structure. So I'll save that for another day, wouldn't want to make you too sick with all this.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ireland -an Gorta Mór

No cats were harmed in the making of this post

(It's pronounced arrlend ya potato head)

On this festive of days when the last of the green beer is spilled and the holiday is but a memory, time to reflect back to a bygone era when conditions were as harsh as fate would permit. History revolves in it's circular path and what may seem new is nothing more than a repetition of days past. Names may be changed but the game is the same. Nothing new to see here if you study your history.

St. Patrick aside the other event of Irish history creeps it's ugly head the potato famine of the 19th century. Nothing less than tragic by today's standards or any standards for that matter. But in digging into the bleak past one finds many similarities to today's events. Unable to produce and thereby pay their rent the less fortunate were thrown off their land and had their hovels burned behind them. Now you might think that nothing crueler could exist in our modern day world but history as was mentioned has a way of repeating itself. Try as we might to cast all manner of law to prevent such an event history like nature has other plans.

Back then the order of the day was to somehow bring a relief to such suffering yet as we all know greed and politics have a way of spoiling such plans. The Poor Act was implemented but not before a Tory amendment was added to basically poison the effort. No tenant on more than a quarter acre could be entitled to any relief either through assistance or by workhouse. You recall the workhouses of the time of Dickens a debtors prison conveniently structured so the less fortunate could never get out of debt.

But this is the 21st century and not some dusty antiquated novel we now see. Oh contrare, the bubble of housing which by the way still continues is no less tragic than the days of yore. To add insult to injury someone cast from their home today faces a default clause neatly tucked into the fine print. Run away if you will from submerged house debt only to discover that's not the end of your economic troubles. Like a lustful stalker the bank will follow and they know where you work. No problem for them to find out. It's austerity heaped on austerity and don't forget the tax and fee increases on the least of us. Like making a rape victim pay for the privilege.

As sad as all this may sound here in the home of the brave and the land of the free it's playing out world wide. So it seems the farther we try and run from a tragic past the closer we run to tragedy. Maybe it's time to open that vintage bottle of scotch because the beer is all gone now. Now tell me again what this holiday was all about.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Poor Pussy

Poor Mittens. Looks like Obama has got his eyes on your Swiss accounts and all that cool cat cash sitting there. While rummaging through the usual bad film star hair day blurbs and latest sports hero gaffe a touch of serious news.

On March 4, the Swiss parliament approved an amendment to the country's existing tax accord with the U.S., which, when ratified by the U.S. Senate, will give the American government unprecedented access to accounts held by its citizens in Switzerland.

Of course those in the know were on to the latest years ago and moved their money to Luxembourg or other money grubbing nation on the planet. Rich people got to stick together you know. Now if the super sleuths would just take a peek in the largely empty office building in the Caymans that accommodates over 2000 companies... Humm? Just how would they squeeze that many receptionists into a building so small.

The financial news is on it psychotic roller coaster ride touting buy one day and sell the next. The sky will fall unless everything is coming up roses or maybe roses falling from the sky I just don't know.

Darn now I lost my train of thought. It must have left the station without me so on that note I'll catch you later with the latest of bank fails.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Will Goldman get Sached?

Greg Smith just revealed that the king has no clothes in his lambasting of Goldman Sachs. But these boys are so arrogant they won't let the truth get in the way of their lust for money. Exactly who came up with the idea of selling basically worthless sub prime mortgages in the first place at this point is anyone's guess but Goldman sure took it to another level. I have no proof but I'd bet 10 to 1 they'd sell a hedge on their dying grandmother if they had the chance. It's obvious from Smith's description that they are both immoral and amoral. "She'll be fine I tell you we just wheeled her around the block only yesterday and she's not having coughing fits like last week". A sick lot this. Didn't we see this same scenario on an episode of the Sopranos?

How did our financial house get in such a mess one might ask? It was by a mere stroke of a pen. Actually it was several when the common sense legislation was cast to the wayside and it was full steam ahead for the shenanigans were now experiencing. A snippet from a current article gives insight into the situation:

May be the most serious public lashing Goldman got came from in 2010 when the firm was accused by U.S. securities regulators and a Senate subcommittee of selling faulty subprime-mortgage linked securities to investors.
Goldman paid a $500 million fine to settle a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission over its marketing of collateralized debt obligations. And endured a public tongue lashing from Sen. Carl Levin over another CDO deal.
Goldman's strategy so far has been to keep a low profile and hope the uproar blows over. Indeed, some Goldman customers are saying Smith's critique isn't a big deal for them.
One longtime customer of Goldman's wealth management business said just about everything in Smith's letter was true. But he said you could say the same thing about any other big Wall Street investment firm.
This customer, who didn't want to be named, said Wall Street firms like Goldman long ago stopped being client centric after they went from private partnerships to publicly traded companies, which forces executives to focus ever more on the bottom line.

All of this financial skullduggery might seem new to a novice but looking back nearly a century the very same schemes were devised in the very heart of Wall Street. Only back then they were called "bucket shops". Do a search of that term and you'll find that history repeats itself. So bad and so toxic a game was being played back then that it was the reason for the tight financial laws that remained on the books until the 1990s when Glass - Steagall was repealed. Back then however entire countries didn't fall from playing the game as we're seeing today. Could be wrong but a look into Greek debt might reveal an intimate tie in to Goldman. This is a similar game that was played in the 1980s with junk bonds only on a larger scale. So easy to do when the rules are cast aside.

But the real kicker in all this is that to date nothing has been done to remedy the problem. Yes legislation was passed to put an end to financial wrong doing yet in four years not one perp walk not one indictment have we witnessed. And what of the talking heads of the financial news? They act as if a mosquito just flew in and out of the room. Nothing to see here just go about your business and don't let it be known that we're part of the con game too. They too touted the fine wardrobe of the emperor until it was too late. Probably busy buying hedges against the meltdown.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

China - The syndrome

There is a malady of present day society that permeates the very fabric of humanity. It may not have been obvious in the past but as social mores continue to erode this illness has come to the surface. No more verbal decorum present in day to day politics or even in everyday life for that matter. It's as if we've shed our civil cloaks and resorted to a caveman mentality. "Do as I say not as I do" is the order of they day. We have China that curious and little known society struggling to shed it's ancient past to be a player in the modern world. How truly ironic that their position should be to encourage democracies in other lands while suppressing the least of dissent in their own country. They mention the follies of other nations in a quest for democracy yet over look their own iron grip on Tibet and people so desperate they'd set themselves ablaze to make a graphic point. Their leaders speak of gradual change and it's obvious a country of that size like an oil tanker could not make a quick turn in any direction. And maybe that's the problem. Being the world's largest country it would be impossible to be governed by anything less than in an authoritarian manner. We in the west see the mere window dressing of democracy or more aptly put the results of their new market economy. Their leaders of today and those of the near future can speak of reforms but it would be impossible to institute any major changes to the base structure of the system without tearing the entire country apart or carving it up into new nations. They will also not stand for any dissent for to allow that would result in a loss of control. Not that authoritarianism is a good thing but for them it is a necessary evil.
It will be interesting going forward to see exactly how China evolves as a once forbidden world is allowed to creep into their culture and politics. Are we now seeing the cracks beginning to appear? Never before would one of their leaders even mention a change or shift in ideology yet today we have seen that mention however guarded the statements may have been.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

News you can't use and could probably care less about

British women sue after crucifix necklaces cost them their jobs
Should have read the company dress code before signing maybe

Missing NJ toddler found dead in septic tank
Always the last place you look. Wonder how he got the cover off?

JonBenet Ramsey's father regrets pageants, hits TV show
Now it dawns on you not to dress your daughter like an 8 year old hooker.

Study: Contamination of California drinking water spreading
About what you'd expect in concentrated farm country. As I recall one cattle ranch you can smell for miles before you get there.

Treatment may have finally stopped world's tallest man from…
He should have started smoking sooner

Rebekah Brooks arrested in News International phone-tapping sweep
That'll teach you to keep your mouth shut.

Red meat can be unhealthy, study suggests
Yeah when you stuff your pie hole with a couple of ultimate burgers every day. What'd ya expect?

Youth basketball coach allegedly bites off other coach's ear
Ears are a highly treasured delicacy in sports. Holyfields must have been tastey.

Spaceflight bad for astronauts' vision, study suggests
So I guess they can only do it until they need glasses

The lead off story in the web of Duh was...
Massacre suspect from troubled U.S. base
Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state has a bloody history at home and overseas.
Hum? And what exactly do they do at a military base? They sure don't teach knitting.

To lazy to blog. Thought this would be easier. I need a power nap. Maybe later.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Syria - The rape and murder

People would love nothing more than to define the situation in Syria in black and white terms. Nothing could be farther from the truth. A brief search on the topic shows that Syria is made up of many factions and groups, most are tied to neighboring countries. This is no simple matter of Shia against Sunni like Iraq and I believe the solution will be far more complicated. A general idea of the population break down is as follows:
The population of Syria is 74% Sunni, 12% Alawi, 10% Christian and 3% Druze.
Add to this an influx of 1.3 million people from Iraq in the last few years due to the war most of whom are Sunni but about 25% Shia. And this is what makes up the Free Syrian Army (the rebels). I guess nothing brings people together like the hate of an oppressive dictator. But a brief side note: The Alawis are a group mainly in the northern part of the country from whom Assad was born and is aligned with much like Sadr city where Saddam Hussein was born in Iraq.

A full breakdown of Syrian demographics

For us to try and go in and take over would be near to if not impossible. Current reports are that more Iranian fighters are in the country doing Assads' dirty work. It seems to be a standing order to shoot anything that moves when taking over a town and I do mean anything including dogs and cats. The tactics of the FSA have been what you'd expect from a group that's trying but is out manned and out gunned. Just how they have been able to maintain a cohesive force against such odds is nothing short of a miracle. But they aren't really winning. On an average day over 100 citizens are slaughtered by tank and rocket attacks that is if they aren't dropped by a snipers' bullet first. And for what? For peaceful protests? I've seen more rowdy protests after a football match in the UK.

Exactly how Assad thinks he can win this situation is anyones' guess because even if he were successful in crushing this rebellion the evidence of his atrocities are the many many videos and groups documenting his actions. And then there are the defectors who were once ordered to shoot innocent civilians including women and children. Any of these groups would be more than happy to testify at a trial at the Haig but I know it will never get that far. Just how long it will take to pressure Russia into doing the right thing from a humanitarian standpoint we'll have to wait and see. In the mean time as this slaughter continues world opinion and pressure will mount.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Primary madness

I was going to do a post about the voter turn out of the republican primaries after the Super Dooper Tuesday scramble for delegates. But in trying to research the matter I found it impossible to get even scraps of info about the number of registered republicans in any given state much less total registered voters. But given the percentages from the first several primaries it would be easy to assume that not a lot of folks showed up. As blue as my state is I know that there are a few more than 50,000 republicans that actually showed up for the Saturday caucus. I know this to be true because our own governor won her first term by a mere 136 votes over her republican opponent. So I'll save any future analysis for the major races like NY or California. I did discover that (and don't quote me on it) Maine came in with the worst turn out so far (no exact figures though) with a paltry 1.1% turn out. Is it me then or has this clown bus become truly odoriferous as it set about the country? Has this like a game of pick up football come down to the last picks that nobody really wants but must choose from? You know the ones. Come on pick one. Who's it going to be, Skinny, Stinky or Tubby?

And then there's the platforms the candidates are trying to run on. Well not exactly some firm ideas that you could hang your hat on but some vague concepts akin to Mom, apple pie and the "real" American way of life whatever that is. Sorry guys the 1950s are long gone. The republican party is stuck with the mess they made and now can't tout solutions that everybody knows will not work. Lowering taxes for the top 1% doesn't create more jobs as we saw with Bush. Eliminating regulations only causes corporations to make a bigger mess of our system. So what's left for them to run with? God guns and gays is not going to get them in the white house this time. Yet they hold on to those concepts because it's all they have left. They go on about not wanting government in their religion but fail to see that nobody wants religion in their government. And I see no shortage of guns on the street since Obama took office. In fact maybe too many getting into the hands of those less responsible. As for gays the states seem to have opposing views than what they are preaching.

Little is being said about the economy. It isn't in great shape but I must give Obama credit for being able to get anything passed this stalemated congress. When their number one goal is to remove him from office it appears that they'll do nothing short of wrecking the economy to do it. Isn't that what the terrorists are trying to do? Wreck our country.

Okay I'll be crude for just a sec and post a photo, but be forewarned you may find it offensive. And hey don't try and sue me I put the discalimer out there and this is not in sincerity but a joke.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pussy is late this morning

For some reason I always forget when Friday comes creeping up on me until the last moment and like being late for an appointment have to rush with the latest incarnation of casa Demeur. All is going and that's about all I can say about life of late. The sun comes up and sets in the evening and another artery hardens. The weather gets warm the weather gets cold, one thing leads to another and life goes on. Starting to understand how a cat feels although kitty can't browse the web or build a shed but there must be more to life than scanning news sites and watching reruns on TV. If all work and no play make Jack a dull boy then what does too much idle time do to a soul. Idle hands may be the Devils' workshop but I did the Devils bidding years ago so he's got nothing new for me. Should I take up a foreign language? Or maybe learn to play the violin? Better think again, never could get past basic phrases and with these arthritic hands the tunes would come out like cat scratch. But hey maybe that would be the new rage. What to do? What to do? No jobs yet. Sunk to the bottom of the barrel, but it's okay I carry on life's not over just yet. Not to the point where you can just wheel me over to the window and sit me on the sill so like kitty I can watch the cars go by or be fascinated with insects moving about. No don't get the obit ready yet I'm not finished with this mortal coil although sometimes I feel like it died but I'm still here trapped in it's aged structure. Live fast and die young they said, Ha! that sure worked out great. Guess I didn't live fast enough cause the train left without me.

Bank fails later maybe
Update: One bank fail this week in Illinois bringing the grand total to nearly 400 since this economic storm began.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What's good for the goose...

Never did I think that somebody would take my ideas on the contraception legislation seriously but here we have the proof. Lest you forgot in one of my prior posts I suggested that since women would be required to undergo an invasive and unnecessary medical procedure that it was only fitting that the men should experience a similar fate. Little did I know that some of our female legislators were working on just such an idea. Several states and multiple bills are being presented to state house and senate legislatures concerning men's health. How wonderfully thoughtful these ladies are in their considering. I haven't looked at all of their ideas yet but got a brief sampling of their ideas. One calls for all men to endure a rectal probe (humm wonder where they got that idea? Gee aint I a stinker as Buggs Bunny would say.) along with a psych evaluation. Another bill (see video) requires men to watch a video about the horrors of priapism before being prescribed Viagra.

Fair warning no animals or men were harmed in the making of this video. It may be mature but it isn't graphic:

Hopefully this vid will work I'm not that tech savvy with the innernuts. Oops I said nuts snicker snicker.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Inspirational goo

I thought I had reported on this last year but I guess I was either busy or thought it wasn't important enough to mention. Seems a strange orange goo was floating in the waters of northern Alaska last fall and nobody knew what it was. I let you make your own jokes here about what it was. However, after much analysis the mystery has been solved. Turns out it wasn't toxic as everyone thought and wasn't something normally found in the ocean. Well not usually anyway. There was a fungus among us normally found in trees called "rust". Now if you every have trouble sleeping I have just the pill for you. Go to your favorite search engine and look up molds and fungus. On most university web sites specializing in that sort of thing you will find rather large data bases of the species, familia, kingdom, phyla, and sub cultures and under the sub cultures are more sub cultures and under them are yet more and on and on and on infinitum. Okay it isn't exactly in those terms so sue me I'm no scientist. You could spend days and go blind if you were looking for a specific variety. So when in doubt it's sound advice not to get any on ya and wash your hands frequently because ya never know where the stuff has been.

I will be doing my post-mortem on the Super Douper Primary elections at a later time and I think you might be surprised at the results or not. Until then "don't touch that or put it in your mouth you don't know where it's been!" Hope you found this inspirational because it was the only inspiring thing I could find that wasn't beaten to death with the channel changer plus just too lazy to blog today.

Oops forgot the link Goo baby Goo

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bye bye Rush and other news you can't use

It appears the rotund former oxycodone addict is losing his shine with fellow conservatives along with his advertisers. Notice how I'm careful not to use anything that might have the faintest tinge of slander unlike the soon to be former talk show host. With not a whole lot of options I see his future relegated to the far right lecture circuit and maybe an internet podcast or two.

Speaking of money seems Mrs. Mittens doesn't think that she is rich. If that's the case dear then you wouldn't mind dropping me a spare million your hubby has collecting dust in that Swiss bank account. I'm sure the other millions won't be too lonely.

Then we have Mr. Sweatervest, I'd call him the new American Talaban. Hang up the vest Ricky, Ossie Nelson died years ago and the 50s aren't coming back. And I'd bet Ricky and David both fooled around in the back of the 57 Chevy with their high school sweeties no matter what you might think. Maybe you're not old enough to remember a post coital Coke Cola wash. Any gals out there know if that actually worked? As I see it it either made for some sticky babies or one heck of a yeast infection.

And to the illustrious high ranking folk of our military who almost on que set about to try once again to scare us to death with the latest boogyman. So it's Syria and bio weapons that we should be worried about is it? Last I checked Mr. Assad is a bit busy killing his own populace to be worried about inflicting his wrath on the rest of the world. But you know facing budget cuts our military top brass has to do something to keep the bullet factories going.

This being "Super Tuesday" I can't forget the two trailing candidates Newt and Ron. Just what they have left in their bag of trick to amuse the masses is anyones' guess. Is there anyone left they haven't insulted on their magical election tour? Blacks? check, Hispanics? check, immigrants? check, the elderly? check, the unemployed? check, the poor? check, disabled? check, women? check, homosexuals? check, anybody left on the list? Not one word about the people who caused the mess in the first place because it's always easier to blame the victim or even the messenger whichever is handy at the time.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ahhhhhh I couldn't believe this until I read it

An Ohio nursing home resident was killed from a fire started when he was cooking Meth. Several comments on this one. You know the population is aging when the old folk are cooking up drugs. Just wonder if he wasn't supplementing his income or was he just an aging hippy trying to relive the past. Hey dude those days are long gone if you're in a nursing home. Can only wonder how the other people in the place didn't notice some unusual smells but then again most nursing homes I've been in smell pretty funky to begin with.

Gramps looking for a good time?

I've done a few clean ups of such places but never this bad. Looks like they'll have to tear out the sheet rock and floor covering. Grandpa here wasn't too bright. You need to wear one of those fireproof suits when you cook flammables.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Just isn't right

(Educational toy circa 1950s. Note no sexual organs. Wouldn't want the kiddies getting any ideas now.)

Too much going on in the world that isn't right. It almost appears that we took a wrong turn on the time space continuum and landed up in some alternate universe or time. Think Back to The Future when events were slightly altered or It's a Wonderful Life also comes to mind. Seems today right is wrong and wrong is right but then Orwell predicted as much. Some people can have a perfectly good reason or position only to have it turned into something vile and nasty. Recalling "death panels" comes to mind for one. There was the rally cry around childerens' health only to witness funding cuts later in the game. But this is no game even though it feels like the fourth quarter and the home team is down by two touchdowns.
We seem to be watching world events like witnesses of a car crash. Hands tied as the villain assaults a girlfriend only now there's an opposing crowd cheering for the villain. Have we gone mad? Is there not one shred of dignity left in the world? Rude has become the new norm. I remember a time when the least outburst in school would result in a student being pulled by the ear down to the principals' office. The fear for the student was not with the principal but what his old man would do to him when he got home.

Those were the days of Yesteryear (What an antiquated term that's become) but a segue into another started and never finished post. We seem to think in incomplete sentences and ideas. Too much fracking of the gray matter I guess. So I cut and paste. How lazy of me but this is Sunday so who cares about being lazy. Lazy is a god given right.

Just how did parents raise large families way back when? Did I miss some magical formula or secret nobody's telling us? I realize we didn't have as much "stuff" as we do now but was no cheaper back then than it is today. Let me dig through the old brain cells and compare. Life 50 plus years ago was a bit simpler. It's always simpler in the olden days. Let me think what we didn't have. Television wasn't really common place until the mid to late 1950s as I recall. For kids it was not uncommon to all run down to the neighbors' house who were lucky to be the first on the block to own one. That must have been a surprise to the mom who found a half dozen strange kids sitting on her living room floor after school but then times were quite different back then. The gracious host mom would serve Kool Aid and maybe some cookies to the glassy eyed rug rats as they stared at cartoons or the latest Mickey Mouse Club.

Air conditioning was relegated to the corner drugstore or local movie theater. Screens and fans were the order of the day in summer along with pitchers of iced lemonade. Kids only had two pairs of shoes. When new ones wore out they became play shoes for after school street football and baseball. Yes you could actually play games in the street and rarely see a car drive past. And cars were another luxury especially for a big family. Buses were cheap to ride back then ten cents one way with stops usually within a few blocks of home. But then again back then kids actually walked nearly everywhere unless they had a bike. Going to school didn't require hundreds of dollars of supplies either. Pens pencils and paper were all provided. Backpacks? We carried our books under one arm. But exactly how we managed to avoid food poisoning with a brown bag lunch still has me wondering.

I can't remember how Mom fed us all. I came from a somewhat large family. Not huge but larger than most. The fridge was always empty by Friday night so Saturday was grocery shopping day. Just how seven or eight bags fed us all for a week is still a mystery. Although most things were made from scratch. That works with a large family, not so much for a family of three.

A few things come to mind that were very cheap back then that aren't now. Gas and electricity were very cheap back then. It took only a few dollars a month to heat a home. Water and sewer were so cheap the bill was only sent out every six months.
Need to see a doctor or hospital visit? That was covered by company insurance all non profit back then.

So what happened between then and now that changed everything. For one thing the U.S. spent the better part of twenty five years rebuilding Europe and Japan. That involved massive production on our part and included massive demand on theirs. Taxes on the wealthy were 90% back in the 50s and that paid for things like our interstate highways, power grid and much more. So to all the republicans who long for the "good old days" when people could make something of themselves I say " bring it on" but just remember who paid the bill and who did the work.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Beaver Friday almost

Ladies and gentlemen I'm here to announce that we'll not be coming out just yet. The weather has been a bit snowy of late so we decided to remain at the lodge for a few more weeks. We beavers appreciate your understanding in this matter. In the mean time we hope you'll enjoy the rest of this post.

And in the news starting from casa demeur we have the customer no service run around with the phone company. As I won't name names (formerly Verizon) the sheer excruciating torture of having to call several times and land up in automated purgatory which is double hell if you don't have a speaker phone took up much of the day. The router to the multiple set up was either on it's last legs or decided to go to war with the microwave oven. Anytime coffee was heated the signal dropped out completely. It was then a matter of unplugging the modem for a minute and wait a few more for a restored signal. A new wireless router was ordered and as promised arrived as promised, however, upon inspection turns out to be the very same model and not the updated version. Back to telephone hell. Ah but there's a few flies in the ointment down at telecom central. There's the billing department and the tech department and never the twain do meet or know what the other is doing for that matter. Okay we give the new arrival a try until the next incarnation shows up sometime in a week or two. Call tech and get the thing running in about 1/2 hour. Fine and dandy, well while I'm on the line can I order the newer modem that I wanted in the first place? Of course not. Tech help has nothing to do with that part of the business so you'll have to call back and talk to billing. Self emulate extinguish and repeat.

In other local news watched the aftermath of a four car pile up on a nearby road. No injuries but I'd bet the damage with today's tinfoil cars was in the thousands. I can just imagine what they'll be like when the mandatory 50 mpg requirements kick in. We'll have to resort to japanese origami and rice paper to achieve that. Mr. Crum and his bike shop will be in fat city then. (see Lost in the Bozone blog link at right ).

In national news what can I say. Insanity is rampant. They sure want to put limits on a woman's uterus. I have an idea for that. Let's make all politicians have a brain scan, a psych evaluation and for good measure let them all take the same test immigrants have to take to get citizenship. I'd bet none of them could pass it. You think Jaywalking on Jay Leno is funny you haven't seen anything. Sorry senator you left out a couple of the amendments of the constitution and no we don't live by the Code of Hammourabi.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

News from around the globe

Syria - Had thought the Syrian army was finished with the city of Homs it is after all in ruins. How wrong I'd be as a second attack was set to occur. The president has called for more bloodshed by having an estimated 17,000 troops sent to surround the city. All of the tanks and equipment reached the town early this morning and were poised to finish the city off. Exactly how much resolve the locals have is a big question. There's no water, no electricity and food is running out. No medical supplies have reached that area unless someone has managed to smuggle them in undetected. Reports did come in that arms managed to make it to the FSA - Free Syrian Army.

Andrew Breitbart is dead. This radical right wing smear monger was nothing but a hateful piece of work who with some selective editing of videos got innocent people fired. May he rot in hell. Satin move over your replacement is on the way. Only good thing to come of this is that he didn't live very long, dead at just 43.

Yet more stupid raises it's ugly head. A ship off the coast of Kenya drops anchor cutting internet to a half dozen african nations. There's somebody who doesn't know how to park a boat. The ship not identified in reports dropped anchor in a restricted area of under sea cables cutting access to much of east africa. Repairs are said to take six weeks.

Don't google it anymore - Not until they give us an opt out option. Seems they'll be tracking your every move so they can target ads. Looking at how they've progressed over the years, this is a bad thing. I was looking for an answer to a question not wanting to be sold a product ya blockheads.

Greece is looking slippery these days (okay okay bad pun) but with their current weather conditions and some technical problems, wasn't able to hear from them yesterday. But it's obvious that life goes on for them. Wonder if they'll make the mortgage this month?

Speaking of technical problems and the internet, I'm waiting for the arrival of my third replacement router. Always need a replacement with software and hardware advancements. But is newer always better? The current little black box cuts out more times than the commercials of my favorite programs. I could just drive down and pick one up but why waste the gas if you don't have to. Have you seen the price of gas? Damn speculators!