Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wow, I Have Not Written Anything Since Friday

I had planned to do a lot of things this weekend, like work on getting the job of laying the floor in my son's room finished, doing some shopping for a new gun (got some spare cash for Christmas), taking care of my critters (they all need a cage cleaning), and writing my blog - among other things. When I woke up yesterday, I think it was already, late morning or early afternoon. I was aching all over, and felt like crap in general. Regardless it was off to Home depot to pick up a Blind Nailer (nail gun for flooring), and then to another Home depot when the first told me all of theirs were broken. Then to yet a third when the second store told me they did not have a tool rental section. Finally got the nail gun, but never used it yesterday, because I felt even worse when I got home. So it was back to bed for me.

Somewhere in there my wife had taken our small Dachshund - Hexi - to the vet. She was having trouble walking on her back legs a bit the night before. From the vet she vet to an emergency veterinary clinic where they do surgeries. Hexi was getting really bad, really fast. They shot her up with cortisone, and by the time they had done so she had apparently lost all sensation in her rear legs. They said if she got sensation back, they would put her out, do an MRI, and do surgery if it was a slipped or exploded disc as they suspected.

Today dawned, and I still felt miserable, but I went to see our vet along with my wife, son and his girlfriend. She explained a lot about what could be ailing Hexi, and she called the emergency clinic for an update. The news was not good. She never got any sensation back. Her back legs are pretty much lifeless. So she is still in the emergency clinic under observation; a Neurosurgeon will see her tomorrow. We visited her today and she looked pitiful. Both our regular vet, and a vet on duty at the clinic told us there is little hope an operation will work regardless of what is the problem now that she has had no feeling for over a day, and because the problem progressed so rapidly. They are almost positive it is a disc but kind of made it clear the surgeon would know better so we left her there until tomorrow. They also agreed that unless Hexi gets some feeling back on her own - there is almost no point in operating on her, and little point in doing an MRI. We are hopeful they can diagnose her tomorrow, or at least rule some things out when the surgeon is on duty. We also are hoping it is not a tumor. If it is a bad disc they said she can use a dog wheelchair/cart to get around. If it is a tumor, well that could/would be much worse than a disc problem.

After that it was off to BJ's Club for some shopping. My wife joined recently, and I can tell you it seems strange to say we went shopping at a place called BJ's club. What can I say! After that, once we were home, I started some work on the flooring. I guess I was up there hammering away for about 4 1/2 or 5 hours. Why so long, well the rented nail gun was a piece of junk and did not work, and the nails for it were paper thin and bent each time I tried to get one out of the gun into the wood. When one did go part way in, it split the floorboard. So it was back to a regular hammer for me. With that, I got a whole 8 rows of floorboards put in. Not very much, but man oh man is that oak hard to hammer nails into even though I am pre-drilling nail holes. I can tell you that in those 4 1/2 or 5 hours my knees went through hell. I am betting I'll be hardly able to walk tomorrow; although I have to admit that when I started doing the work I felt like I was about 80 years old, and by the time I had finished I felt like I was only about 60 or 65 years old. I guess maybe I have a cold or something, and adding that to my having just started to work out again (I ran/walked 5 miles on Wednesday and 5 1/2 on Friday), the aches and pains of a middle aged fat guy overdoing it have had me really out of it. I can hardly wait wait until the morn when I awake stiffer and even more achy because of the work I did on the floor. Thanks to aspirin, I may actually make it to work tomorrow.

Now I don't have it as bad as Hexi, nor as bad as my mom. She also went into the hospital yesterday - some old age problem of one sort or another. She is better now and hopefully will get out tomorrow. I guess when it rains, and it is raining here, it truly pours. As for me, I am sure I will get over my cold soon, or imagine I will. I guess my aches and pains will also go away with time and a load of aspirin, though earlier today nothing worked. I must admit that the work on the floor loosened up some things and got rid of some aches, I am just expecting others to take their place by the morning. Oh well, enough complaining from me; whatever happens, I plan to have a good New Year's Eve at home with my wife, and a bottle of fine red wine, and a bottle of even better champagne; and I am hopeful Hexi will be with us. Hope you are felling better than us and not suffering from the blues or anything worse.

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Season For Giving

The Christmas season is at its very essence just that. If you are a Christian, then you should believe that God the father gave his only to son to mankind on the first Christmas Day. When Christ was born, the story goes that he was visited by three Maggi who presented him with him with three gifts of gold, silver and myrrh. He was also in essence gifted with a birthing place albeit only a stable, and he was granted praise from shepherds and angels alike. Christianity's birth story notwithstanding, the season had long been one of giving in other faiths (those we call Pagan faiths today). I wonder if this was because the harvest was long over, the reality of winter had just set in, and the hope that longer days bring with them had just begun to spread being that the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere is the start of lengthening daylight hours. Whatever the reasons, this season has always been one of spirituality and giving throughout the history of the northern and western hemispheres.

Because it is a season of giving, this is also a season of receiving. In general it seems most people are more likely to tell you what they received as presents rather than to tell you what they gifted to others. I suppose there could be many reasons for this, the "me" factor (basically someones ego) being among the strongest of reasons to do so. It just seems to sit better with most people to tell you they got this or that, and then to show it off, than it is for them to say they gave this or that. Besides ego, I guess one of the reasons for doing so is rather practical - they can show off the item they received but may not necessarily be able to do so for something they gave as a gift to someone else. Another reason for some to say what they received instead of what they gave is that some maybe embarrassed by what they gave, possibly thinking it too little.

Whatever the reason that it is more likely for someone to say what they received instead of what they gave, I have decided this year to tell people mostly about what I gave to others instead of what others gave to me. In the end you will see this is no noble gesture on my part to make myself feel better, but rather just a sort of random act of kindness; yet, you will also see there is a reason for my telling it this way, something you will have to read on to discover.
This year I gave presents to: my wife, my daughter, my son, my mother, my brother and his wife, my sister and her husband, my nephew (my sister's son), a few friends at work, to some soldiers I have never met (with the help of some of you), and to a bum sitting on the sidewalk and begging. (I guess some would call him an indigent or a homeless man, I still call a spade a spade and he was a bum for whatever reason foul or fair.) For my wife (and myself) I arranged a lovely afternoon out in Manhattan to see a Broadway show, and to have dinner together. Somehow my daughter Celina also weaseled her way into coming along (and we enjoyed her company). For my wife I also picked out a really nice, and an extremely soft cashmere scarf and a gift card from Lord & Taylor's (certainly not where I usually shop with their prices). She also got a nice musical Christmas card. My daughter got various gifts as did my son. Same for the rest of the family members mentioned. The folks at work got a bottle of one type or another of liquid libations with which to help bring in the warmth of the season. My family and my friends were all thankful indeed.

As most of my readers are probably aware, I spearheaded an effort to raise donations for a Soldiers' Christmas/Holiday Package. In all it wound up becoming four packages instead of just one, thanks in great part to all of you who were generous enough to donate. The soldiers wound up receiving a good number of things they could use, things they could enjoy, and things and wishes that would make their holiday season so much the nicer while on foreign soil in a hostile land. They sent heartfelt thanks to me and to those of you who helped out.

Finally, I guess it was yesterday, or maybe the day before, I walked passed a bum sitting on the sidewalk in midtown Manhattan. He was sitting begging for change. He did not look particularly filthy, was certainly not gaunt and probably had been eating pretty regularly, but was dressed like a vagabond who had traveled down a pretty difficult stretch of road. As I sometimes do, for no particular reason, and probably not even related to the season, I stopped after having passed him bye. I reached into my pocket, took out what cash I had, grabbed all of the singles. Then I turned around and walked back to him; and I put the bills into his hand instead of into his cup. His eyes open wide so much so that the crows feet around the corners of his middle aged eyes almost seemed as if they would burst asunder, and a smile beamed upon his face that lit up an otherwise overcast day and warmed my soul considerably on that chilly day. Then he said to me in one of the most heart wrenching, almost sobbing choked up voices I have ever heard: "Thank you, thank you very much sir, Merry Christmas". I told him he was welcome and turned to go on my way. After a few steps I glanced back and he was gone. Maybe he was off to grab a bite to eat, maybe to buy a bottle or a fix to help drive away the chills, or maybe - just maybe - to share his new found bit of good fortune with his family or friends. I had not asked, and I guess I will never know; but I do know I received one heck of a gift from him, I felt great after that thank you, and that look on his face.

Now don't get me wrong. I am no philanthropist when it comes to street bums. I loathe the fact that people get themselves into that predicament, and then choose to stay in it. I do not condone promoting such behavior, and think they need to be rounded up, cleaned up, and given jobs like street sweeping, painting bridges, filling potholes, and other manual labor suited for dunderheads (no I care not that one may be a goofball, one may be insane, and another a rocket scientist - they all should have to work instead of being allowed to piss, shit, sleep, beg, eat, and generally live on the streets). Still though, one can allow ones self to have compassion for his fellow man now and then, even one whom you think should be making better of his life, so once or three times a year I wind up giving something to a guy in similar conditions. This was just the best, heartfelt thank you I have ever received from any of them over the years.

So why am I telling you this, why am I telling you about what I gave rather than what I received. I guess because when it comes down to it, giving can be better than receiving. I did not give with the intention of receiving thanks. I gave to people because I loved them, or was a friend of theirs, or because I owed them a great debt of gratitude like the soldiers, or because of some momentary feeling of compassion I had for them at the moment - like the guy in the street. There is also another reason though that I am telling you about what I gave, and it is not based upon the old cliche I just gave about giving being better than receiving. That other thing is that when you give to another from your heart, even if only a little, you also receive something from, or give something to yourself. That thing is a feeling of goodness, of having been nice, of some sort of satisfaction that you have done right, of knowing that you have made someones day a bit nicer. When they don't recognize it, it may sting a bit, but deep down inside you still know you did well. When they recognize it as all the others above did this year, well all I can say is 'wow, is it ever a nice feeling'. It sort of makes me want to do something similar again. Wouldn't it be divine if we were all a little nicer one another without fussing as much over ourselves - the world would be a better place. The only way to get that done is to start it yourself, even if only a little bit at a time, and that is something that really hit home when that guy on the street gave me that smile and thank you. Of course I would rather see that guy working than begging, but every now and then I guess it is just okay to fell for someone like him too. Who knows, maybe he used the money to find a job. (Don't laugh at that, while I know it is not probably it can happen. I once gave a guy I knew $5.00 or so when he asked me to help him with money to find a job. I wanted to kick his ass when he immediately bought a beer, and a pack of cigarettes, but that was over 30 years ago and he still had enough for a newspaper, and enough for carfare for the subway the next day. That next day he found a job and had it till the day he died several years later.)


I guess what I am getting at most of al is that you ought to try it sometime if you have not already, the random act of kindness thing. It really can work miracles.

Season's greetings to all.

All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, December 27, 2007

An Email From Bob S in Afghanistan

Here is the complete text of an email I received today from Bob S over in Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan about the three Soldiers' Christmas/Holiday Packages they have received so far (they should receive the last one in the near future):

We have received all 3 boxes. The flashlights were really appreciated. The mornings and nights now having been darker longer and getting darker sooner. We had some military issued ones but they are made by the lowest bidder and last about as long as that too. Some of the guys heard of the lights before and some have used them in there civilian job. They knew the quality and product you sent was definitely sent from the heart. We took some of the things out of the boxes and sent it to the smaller bases that dont have many soldiers or get much of a variety of food or stuff for the local kids.Everything you sent was much appreciated and given out to the guys on Xmas eve. In fact one guy from the admin "weenie" section took a knife when they first came in instead of waiting like I told him. Well about 3 days later at the Post Office he cut himself messing around/showing it off. Amazing how God gets people back for doing the wrong thing. Told him if he would have left the knife alone to begin with it would have never happen. He thought he needed stitches and we all told him to put 2 band aids on it and call a priest who cares. All the stuff you all sent was very much appreciated and brought along of smiles and happiness to all of us here.

We all want to thank you for the support and assistance.

So as you can see, from this email and the previous one from Bob, your donations and the gifts they purchased, were well appreciated by Bob S. and the troops. What was very nice to see is that, in the true spirit of Christmas, Bob and his unit shared some of the items with others units. You can all feel of yourselves that you have done one heck of a good thing.

As for the part about the soldier who got cut with the knife, I guess what goes around comes around, and sometimes it is pretty sharp when it does. Hopefully that guy learned a lesson and really only needed band aides.

All the best,
Glenn B

Fairly Cheap Ammo for Your Mosin Nagant

This ammunition is less expensive than any of it I have seen recently anyhow. It is Yellow Tipped, Bulgarian manufacture, surplus, 7.62x54R, Berdan Primed, Corrosive, Sealed in a Tin, Comes 300 rounds to the Tin, and cost $39.99. With the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, you may not see prices come down on current production 7.62x54R in quite some time.

If you decide to go for more quantity the cost will be: $73.63 for a 440 round tin (7.62x54R, corrosive, Bulgarian also, but not sure if the same type of bullets), or 800 rounds at $69.92 sealed in paper packets, also corrosive and also Bulgarian.

See
J&G Sales for these prices.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Working Out Again

Several months ago I stopped working out. Stopping and starting to workout is nothing new for me. I will often start a new workout program, go at it a few months, then stop for a month or two, then start again for awhile, then stop again. This last time though I stopped back in August; and considering the fact that I had just started back then after taking about 3 months off, I did not get much working out done, maybe a few sessions before I became ill and had to quite. I was sick on and off much of the summer (noting lasting), got better and never got back into working out. That is until today.

I hit the treadmill at work for 5.25 miles today of running and walking. I am sort of hopeful that I can repeat something I did about 7 or 8 years back, and that is lose a bunch of weight. I weighed in at 217 today (not bad considering all the junk I have eaten over the holidays), but I want to get back to a trimmer me and lose about 40 pounds. When I did this several years ago, I kept the weight off for about 1.5 years. This time I'd like to make it permanent, and I think I think I have ore incentive to make it stick than I did last time around. No it is not a New Year's resolution thing, despite the proximity to new Year's Day, but rather it is the fact that in just over one year I plan to retire. When I retire I would like to be around to collect my pension for at least 40 years, which would mean up until I am 93 years old. Yikes the thought of hitting that age ever so scary for me; but not as scary if I think I might be in fairly good shape, and still collecting my pension. I am pretty sure that once I retire I will not have the incentive to trim down if I have not started well on the way toward that goal prior to retirement, therefore I am starting now - more or less one year ahead of time. I hope to burn off about 40 pounds in the next year.

I am one who has a lot of good intentions but little or no staying power when it comes to plans like this, but I am kind of betting I can do it. I will be asking some friends and coworkers to harass my behind into gear to make sure I am hitting the gym on a regular basis, and am pretty sure that will be a big help. Most of all though, I have to get my mind into the right state to keep it going. That will be, after all, up to me. Wish me luck - please.

All the best,
Glenn B

Off To Work...

...after a ice 4 day weekend - and all I can imagine is that work will suck. Someone has to work though, and my guess is a lot of you will be working today too. Think of it this way, New Year's Eve is just around the corner. As for me, starting on New year's day my retirement countdown of 1 year, 1 day and a wake up begins. I plan to go out on January 2, 2009.

Have fun at work today. I know I'll be doing my best to do likewise.

All the best,
Glenn B

A Merry Christmas Indeed...

...was had by my family. Linda, Brendan, Julia (Brenda's girlfriend), out three dogs Sprocket, Hexi and Pepe all went to my sisters house to visits her, my brother-in-law, their son and my mom. We had a swell Christmas day together, a great meal, some tasty deserts, and some good laughs, and a nice birthday party for my mom (a Christmas baby).

My daughter Celina, and her beau Kevin, spent the day in CT at the house of Kevin's parents. They all had a great time too.

I hope all of you had a truly Merry Christmas, and that you enjoyed your day as we did ours.


No posting yesterday since there was no time, and I figured why bother anyone on Christmas day. Regular posting will probably continues this evening.

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, December 24, 2007

Today In History - Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!

In 1818, on Christmas Eve, the words to Silent Night, Holy Night were put to music for guitar. The words had been written in 1816 by Josef Mohr. Then in 1818 Mohr, who was then an assistant pastor at St. Nicholas Church, asked fellow church member, and organist and choirmaster, Franz Xaver Gruber to put it to music for guitar. The next day, Christmas 1818, the song was sung in St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Austria for the very first time. It was sung by Mohr and Gruber to the music of a guitar, and they were accompanied by the church choir. Can you imagine that, a Christmas Song sung to the music of guitar back in 1818! All this supposedly because the two men had been struggling with a broken church organ on Christmas Eve in preparation for Christmas Mass; or so the story goes - and I like the story. Actually, the fact of its authorship, and of its musical score have been fairly well documented, and so have the date(s) of its creation (words/music thus dates), and so to was the date it was first sung in church. The part about the broken organ is possibly a stretch, but I guess we can make allowances for it being the Christmas season.

See:

http://www.visit-salzburg.net/surroundings/silentnightchapel.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Joseph_Gruber

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Night_%28song%29

Enjoy the song when you hear it or sing it; and Merry Christmas to all.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wow, that was really very quick...

...almost as quick as old Saint Nick.
My shopping is over at long last
I cannot believe it went so fast
Especially being it's Christmas Eve
I thought the stores I'd never leave.
Yet in and out I went like a flash
and I bought my wife two gifts with cash,
And I found the perfect gift for my dear
Something soft, and warm to hold near.
Now don't get me wrong I don't mean me,
But then again I could be present three.

All the best,
Glenn B

Shopping, Flooring, More Shopping...

...those are the plans for my day, and I woke up late this morning. I am just getting into the swing of things right now so this will need be brief. I am off to Home Depot to pick up a nail gun (has to go faster than drilling pilot holes in oak floorboards then hammering in each nail one at a time with multiple hammer blows, then setting each nail with a nail set.

Then off to buy my wife a nice Christmas present.Yes as usual, I have again waited until the last minute, well at least the last day to get my Christmas shopping finished. No panic though, I know where to go, and what to buy, to make her smile. No it will not be diamonds, nor a cute muscular male slave (both on her wish list - really that is what she wrote down).

Oh well - no more time to write until maybe tonight. Have a joyous Christmas Eve.

All the best,
Glenn B

Belated Wishes Are In Order To You All...

...for a Happy Festivus, or at least to you of the rest of us! Had I the time I thought I would have had, I would have wished you this whilst still the 23rd of December. Alas events took a turn or three in a different direction than that for which I had planned, and I am arrived here - already on the eve of Christmas - and only at this moment have I found the opportunity to wish you Happy Festivus. I can only wish that it had been otherwise, but as fate would have its often found joy in rambunctious dishevelment of ones plans, my plans for a wonderful Festivus were tossed aside as if a leaf in a tempest.

My day had been planned so that I would finish laying the new oak floor in my son's room, but unexpectedly, as oft will be the case, my attentions were diverted. My daughter, who recently bought her first car, a brand new one at that, called to say the car had broken down. My wife and I helped her survive the panic stricken moments of her first breakdown (not her first nervous breakdown mind you, but her car's first mechanical breakdown) and we successfully got triple A to give her a tow. Then we picked her up and tried to cheer her up, which was especially difficult once she had realized that the car had broken down because of a rather silly mistake on her part, which I will not explain further here as she has been embarrassed enough by it for one day. After that it was back to work for me on the flooring job, but I soon broke all of my properly sized drill bits and had to quit for the day.

Once having finished with that task for the day, I decided it would be the nice thing to do to drive my daughter to the home of her beau's parents in CT where she had planned to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Well it may have been the nice thing to do, but it took up almost all of the remaining time within the day. We left home at about 1900 hours (7PM), and I drove through a terrible windy rain storm. All in all, 193 miles and about 4 hours later, I was back in the neighborhood. By then I was much in need of a libation, so I stopped at a local establishment to imbibe just two. My arrival there was at about 2310 (11:10 PM), and I arrived home at about 0005 (1205 AM) of the 24th. Yes I was too late, by just minutes, to wish you all a Happy Festivus in a timely manner; for that I offer my apologies. Of course, not all of you will be offended, nor will many of you even know of what I write when I refer to Festivus; but for those of you who are offended or are at east aware, you know it is for the rest of us. HAPPY BELATED FESTIVUS!

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Arguments Against The 2nd Amendment...

...have in recent decades have quite often, among other things, pointed out the so called fact that the people no longer have anything to fear from their government, therefore the idea of a well regulated militia, made up of armed citizens, to combat a tyrannical government is preposterous. Charles Schumer is one of the big proponents of this type of thinking, or should I call it anti-gun propaganda. There are many other examples of gun-control advocates who have used the same type of reasoning to try to take away the guns of the American citizen. The truth of the matter is though that their reasoning is quite faulty. Time and time again, the left, yes I mean the liberals (even those who wear Republican garb, such as GWB, and have no doubt he is mostly quite liberal in his policies) want to take away the rights of the American people, or shave them down to make it less prickly for themselves to remain in power while bamboozling the rest of us. The right to celebrate your religious beliefs is one right they have whittled away, the right to freedom of speech is another they are attempting to cut back as witnessed by them trying to limit conservative radio talk shows, the right to be protected from searches without probable cause is another (Patriot Act), and the list goes on. Most importantly though they have tried to destroy our Right To Keep And bear Arms, and as I said they use, among others, the reasoning that we need not fear our government.

Well, case in point, let me point you to this:
FBI planned mass arrests in 1950, and to this: Report: Former FBI Director Hoover Planned to Arrest 12,000 Americans Suspected of Disloyalty. Yes that threat may seem old to some of the youngsters out there, but it is not that long ago, nor was it all that long ago that Ruby Ridge took place, nor that the Branch Dividian compound was stormed by federal agencies and troops. Now I do not agree with Communism, I find it an abhorrent form of government. I do not believe that cultism such as the Branch Davidian wackos are a good thing, I think they were nuts and criminals. I do not believe that Randy Weaver was innocent of all crimes of which he was suspected. However, I do believe in rule of law (good, moral laws); and I do believe that in essence our Constitution, and our Bill of Rights, are good and moral laws. I believe that the rights expressed within those documents are in effect sacred. I believe they are worth fighting for and dying for. I also vehemently do not agree with anyone who would violently attempt to overthrow the government of the USA as it now stands (a republic practicing democratic principals), and I believe in upholding the constitution and protecting our nation. Therefore I think that guys like Schumer have it all wrong regarding the 2nd Amendment.

We still need, and always will need, to have the right to keep and bear arms whether for hunting, self defense, or to overthrow tyrants. No, those tyrants, or they who would choose to be tyrants, have not gone away. They are forever lurking just under the radar behind the smiles of of the phony politicians, behind the badges of the corrupt lawmen, in the guise of your next door neighbor (no I am not calling every politician, every lawman or every neighbor a tyrant, I am saying this is how tyrants disguise themselves before trying to overcome us). Tyrants or they who would be tyrants are just waiting to put the knife between our shoulder blades should the opportunity arise. We need to be forever vigilant, but not just that. We also need to be forever ready to fight back against tyranny, and the best way (in my opinion) to be ready is to remain forever armed.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, December 22, 2007

An Email From Bob S

Here is the full text of an email I just received, minutes ago, from Bob S. about the Holiday packages we sent to him.

"We all wanted to express our deepest and sicerest Thank You for the the wounderful things you have sent us. We have tried the crockpot several times already. It has made chicken, ramen noodle, and vegetable stew and today it made ham, steak, mushrooms, rice and jalepeno pepper stew. The weather has been in the high 20s in the morning and maybe mid 40s during the day. It smells really good coming into the office during the day for lunch and smell the "homemade bachelor away from home smell what is cooking today?" We have others that tend to come to our office just to see what good stuff we have cooking or available to put in their pocket for snacks. Many soldiers come by our office to see if we have anything good to eat instead of going to the mess hall. We have a bread maker that has made many loaves of various types of bread.The many things you all sent has made many people happy and has reinforced many friendships. We all appreciate your support to all of us here and THNAK YOU.Wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year."

It sounds to me as if our contributions and the items we sent have made a smash for Bob, his unit, and apparently some soldiers from other units. Folks you did a nice and good thing. I sent Bob a reply email today with the names of each and everyone of you who contributed and made this possible. He already knew it was a group effort, but I wanted to make sure he had your names to make it more personal for the holidays.

I also asked him to make sure to tell me if he received the boxes with the knives, and the flashlights, just want to make sure they received everything. When I hear more from him on this, I'll let you know.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year,
Glenn B

Friday, December 21, 2007

Soldiers' Christmas/Holiday Package - Fire 4 (or is it 5)

Whatever the number, I sent out the last Soldiers' Holiday package today. No it will not make it there for Christmas, but maybe by New Year's Day. If not, as Bob S. told me, whenever they receive it will be a holiday. This one included 12 pairs of Merino Wool Socks, 3 Bobble Heads (Pro-Wrestling), some wrestling magazines, a bag of dried fruit, 2 boxes of Crystal Lite drinks (one lemonade and one iced tea), a box of Quaker Oats snack bars, a large box of Tootsie Roll Pops, 5 tins of Husky smokeless tobacco, and a National Geographic magazine. The wrestling mags and bobble heads were donated by someone on my job (thanks Carmin). All the rest came from the remainder of the donations that you gave. Just for the record, I used $20 of the donations to mail this package. All the other postage on the other packages were paid for by me, but I am tapped right now, and had to resort to using $20 of the donation money for postage. Since I donated $70 cash to the donation fund (exclusive of the prior postage I paid), that $20 came from my cash donation, and not from any money any of you sent to me for this effort. I hope that is acceptable, but if I get any complaints, I'll buy another $20 worth of stuff and send it to Bob and his unit.

I have not heard anything from Bob yet on the other packages, I guess he has not received them yet; but I guess he should get them soon. As soon as he lets me know what he and his unit thought of them, I'll let you know.

All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Another email of merit:

Now and then, I receive emails from friends and co-workers as I guess all of us do. Some are funny, some are sexual in nature (guys will be guys), some are about current events, and so on. Today I received on about the events leading up to today, ever since 9/11. As the email points out the author of the email does not know who wrote the piece he shared with me. I don't know the author either, but I figured the author would probably not mind sharing her thoughts. Yes the author is supposedly a lady, and possibly from New Jersey; but whether it be a woman, a man, an Alaskan or New Jersyite does not matter. This was written by a practical person who cares about the good old USA. Here it is for you to read:

“Letter from one "Angry Woman" I don't know who wrote it but they should have signed it. Some powerful words. This woman should run for president. Written by a housewife from New Jersey and sounds like it! This is one ticked off lady.

"”Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11, 2001? Were people from all over the world, mostly Americans, not brutally murdered that day, in downtown Manhattan, across the Potomac from our nation's capitol and in a field in Pennsylvania? Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they?

And I'm supposed to care that a copy of the Koran was "desecrated" when an overworked American soldier kicked it or got it wet? Well, I don't. I don't care at all.

I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11.

I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere possession of which is a crime in Saudi Arabia.

I'll care when these thugs tell the world they are sorry for chopping off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed through his gurgling slashed throat.

I'll care when the cowardly so-called "insurgents" in Iraq come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques.

I'll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide.

I'll care when the American media stops pretending that their First Amendment liberties are somehow derived from international law instead of the United States Constitution's Bill of Rights.

In the meantime, when I hear a story about a brave marine roughing up an Iraqi terrorist to obtain information, know this: I don't care.

When I see a fuzzy photo of a pile of naked Iraqi prisoners who have been humiliated in what amounts to a college-hazing incident, rest assured: I don't care.

When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take it to the bank: I don't care.

When I hear that a prisoner, who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and fed "special" food that is paid for by my tax dollars, is complaining that this holy book is being "mishandled," you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts: I don't care.

And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes it's spelled "Koran" and other times "Quran." Well, Jimmy Crack Corn and-you guessed it-I don't care!! “”

If you agree with this viewpoint, pass this on to all your E-mail friends. Sooner or later, it'll get to the people responsible for this ridiculous behavior! If you don't agree, then by all means hit the delete button. Should you choose the latter, then please don't complain when more atrocities committed by radical Muslims happen here in our great Country! And may I add:

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem" -- Ronald Reagan

I have another quote that I would like to add AND.......I hope you forward all this. "If we ever forget that we're One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under." Also by.. Ronald Reagan.

One last thought for the day: In case we find ourselves starting to believe all the Anti-American sentiment and negativity, we should remember England's Prime Minister Tony Blair's words during a recent interview. When asked by one of his Parliament members why he believes so much in America , he said: "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out."

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you:

1. Jesus Christ

2. The American G. I.

One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

YOU MIGHT WANT TO PASS THIS ON,AS MANY SEEM TO FORGET BOTH OF THEM. AMEN! “

Okay that was the end of the email. I am not very religious but I left in the religious references for those of you who are. I think many of my readers would say, that to some great extent, they agree with the sentiments found in this letter. It sure made a lot of sense to me. Maybe you folks can pass it on to others.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Latest Soldier's Holiday Pakage

After the theater tonight, I went shopping for the contents for the last Soldiers' Holiday package from the fund donated to me for that cause. I'll post more once I get it packed up and shipped, but for now just wanted to let all of you know I did not forget this one.

All the best,
Glenn B

CURTAINS it was...

...and let me tell you, if you have the chance, Curtains it should be. The wife and I, accompanied by our daughter Celina who was bored to tears on her day off and just had to interrupt our romantic interlude, went to see Curtains at the Abe Hirschfeld theater on Broadway (actually on W 45th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues). Despite some reviews that said the second act was the saving grace, this was a laugh a minute throughout, and the rest of the audience thought likewise. MY wife loved it, my daughter loved it, and I would definitely see it again, and again.

David Hyde Pierce (Niles from Fraser) was very good; and his supporting cast, were great. I am not sure if it was Megan Sikor as Bambi, or Debra Monk as Carmen (the producer and Bambi's mom), or Jason Danieley as Aaron (the composer), or Jill Pace as Nicki (the Ingenue), or Edward Hibbert (the director) who stole the show for the others who saw it; but I can say that the character of Bambi was one hot lady, and she could have stolen my heart except for the red headed chorus girl; and of course except for my wife sitting next to me.

The play is a musical/love story/comedy/satire/mystery. It covered all those bases more than well. Without giving away any of the story line, I have to recommend it to anyone. The musical numbers were grand, the sets were spectacular, the dancing was vavavaroom (nice dancers), the story line good enough to keep you guessing, and as I said there were a lot of laughs.

If you are going to be in NYC sometime in the near future, I highly recommend you see this one.



All the best,
Glenn B

It's Curtains...

...for me and the wife, and our daughter too. At 2:00 PM, that is it, Curtains for all of us. Only our son will miss out because he will be in school.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Flooring...

...can be fun, I guess, maybe if you know what you are doing. For some reason, well I guess there was a reason, I decided to rip out the old oak floor in my son's room to be, and put in a new one. I was going to refinish the old one, but some of the floor boards near the radiator were very stained (as in black instead of a nice medium stained oak), and some of it seemed rotten where the boards joined one another. Of course I had already rented a floor sander, and bought all the refinishing needs before I decided to go and look at flooring costs. When I saw the price of Bruce (brand name) 3/4" thick solid oak, with laminated finish already applied, I almost said whoopee. It was only $2.99 a square foot.

I went home with the sander in the trunk, but I told the wife about the cost of the new wood. Cost to refinish the old wood floor would have been about: $225; cost to put in a whole new wood floor, about $415 to $475. I went back ton the store, this time with Brendan in tow as helper, and dropped off the sander. I got a refund (actually cancellation of the charge for it which Brendan handled); and I bought 160 square feet of the Bruce floor boards. I actually only need about 120 square feet of it, but the extra is good to have in case of bad cuts by me, or imperfect boards in some of the boxes. What I do not use gets returned, and refunded. I will measure three times, so as to only have to cut once for each piece. Yes I know the saying is "Measure Twice, Cut Once", but I can be a spaz when it comes to things like manual labor.

I have already torn out the old floor; did that this morning into this afternoon. Now for a good clean up of the old building cloth (which was under the boards) and dust and nails (which are now all over the room) and old wood (which needs to be cut and tied into bundles for the trash). Then I'll nail down the subfloor where it creaks or has come a bit loose over the years; and after that I'll put down new Asphalt/Felt Building Cloth over the sub floor. Tomorrow, after the new floorboards have acclimated to the temperature and humidity in my house, I'll start to put in the floor boards. I imagine this would be easier with a nail gun, but alas I am old fashioned and I will use a regular hammer and casing (finishing) nails, and I will pre-drill mail holes into the oak. (Yes I have some experience nailing down oak floorboards, only on a small landing before, but I do know oak does crack easily if the nails are not dulled, or nail holes are not pre-driled, and pre-drilling is better). This maybe a few more hours of work for me, but I kind of like doing it this way. Hopefully I will not regret it it because I smash my thumb once or thrice.

Now getting back to one of my earlier points - there must have been some reason as to why I decided to do this spending more money and effort to lay a new floor instead of refinishing the old. Oh yeah, I thought some of the floor boards had rotted. Well guess what, they were only badly discolored, and somewhat separated from the adjoining ones, but not rotted. I am pretty certain though they were well on their way to rotting. I think the black stains were from cat pee, from the previous owner's cats many years ago. More money, more work, but at least now the floor will look really nice - and hopefully not squeak any more.


All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Correction To An Earlier Post

Yes the sign did include the word PLEASE. Now that I have seen a picture of the sign from a different angle, I can make it out. I had said I did not see it in the pics I saw, not that it mattered much to me, but it should matter to the politicians who are considering screwing this guy, and making him remove the sign from his business. The word "please" in the sign clearly indicates that this is a request that people speak English when ordering, it is not a mandate, and therefore it could not possibly be discriminatory in as much as being a violation of someones civil rights. As Mr. Vento has said over and over again, if someone does not or cannot speak English, they still get served, but this is the USA and he prefers they speak English. Good Man.
By the way, this pic was found at: FoxNews.com at: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,316939,00.html.
All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Pretty Good Bier

I just had a couple of Warsteiner Premium Verum biers, and for a run of the mill German Pilsner style bier, they are pretty darned good. Certainly much better than most run of the mill American beers, in my opinion, like Budweiser, Coors and so on. They have more taste but are not overpowering as can be some of the imports.

If I have any left on Christmas Eve, I may just have to leave a couple in the fridge for Santa.

All the best,
Glenn B

Dear Santa...

I know I have not been the best boy all year long, but I have tried to be pretty good; and I think you know I have gotten better than I have been in recent years. I have not written you a letter in at least about 45 years or so, I guess mostly because I always figured others who needed or wanted things more than me should write to you. This year though, I am writing to ask you for something I would like, and I would like it just for me. I know I likely am not going to get it, but I figured it wouldn't hurt just to ask you for it anyhow.

What I would like is a brand new Beretta Over/Under 12 gauge shotgun. I am particularly fond of the Ultra Light Deluxe, but if there is any chance you could swing something like this for me any of their models would be fine by me.

Of course I'll be leaving you some goodies, as I always do each and every year, I just hope you like Irish Whiskey, German Bier, and a good wurst sandwich.


All the best,
Glenn B

PS: Here are the specs, just in case your elf's need to whip one up in a hurry; or just in case any of the firearms enthusiasts out there are interested:

Model: Ultralight Deluxe, Cat Code: J687575, Gauge: 12, Barrel Length(in): 28, Choke: Modified Choke, Chamber(in): 2 3/4", Rib: 6X6, Weight(lbs): 6.3, Carry Case: Yes, MSRP: $2,350 (yikes). I can only wish Santa could do his magic for me and I find one under the tree (and I do mean only wish) because I surely would have to save my pennies for a long time to be able to buy one.

GB



Today In History - The Bill of Rights...

...was ratified and adopted by the United States of America on December 12, 1791 when the state of Virginia approved them. The actual ratification process had begun in November 1789 when New Jersey voted to ratify these rights. Originally there were 12 Articles enumerated with the Bill of Rights, but only Articles 3 through 12 were ratified at the time. The second article, not ratified in the 1700's, was actually later ratified in 1992 and became the 27th Amendment. Three states of the original 13 States: Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts did not ratify any of the actual first 10 Amendments until 1939 (can you imagine that, the state of John Kerry and Ted Kennedy, the state of Christopher Dodd and Joseph Liberman, and the state of Jimmy Carter not ratifying it until 1939).

In essence the Bill of Rights was penned to assure that certain rights were not overlooked or forgotten because they had not specifically been mentioned within the U.S. Constitution. I should not need to say a whole lot about the Bill of Rights, every American citizen should know about what I am speaking, as should every legal immigrant to this country. If you are not familiar with, or wish to become more knowledgeable about it, please go to:

http://www.pbs.org/ktca/liberty/chronicle_philadelphia1791.html

http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/billofrights.html

http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=001/llsl001.db&recNum=144

http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/constitution_history.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Bill_of_Rights

http://www.ratical.org/co-globalize/BillOfRights.html#2 (a surprisingly informative page, when you see each right spelled out, click on its link above the wording to see some truly interesting annotations).

All the best,
Glenn B

On Speakng English In America...

Do you remember the case of the restaurant owner in Philadelphia who posted a sign by his service window that said: "This is America, when ordering speak English". (Some say it says Please before the words speak English, but when I look at the pics I have seen I do not see that word - not that it matters to me).

Well, as I just discovered over at Michelle Malkin's site here, the case is coming to a head and Mr. Vento is being tried by the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission. I am aghast at the prospect that the unifying force within our borders, the English language, also seems to be on trial as being discriminatory against people and their civil rights. How can the city which houses the Declaration of Independence (our founding document written in English), and from whose towers rang the Liberty Bell, and wherein whose halls were many meetings of the Continental Congress (all held in English mind you), how can said city be against one of our citizens requesting, even demanding, that his customers speak English?

I decided to put finger to keypad, and I wrote a letter to the above mentioned commission voicing my displeasure that they would even consider this case let alone bring it against Mr. Vento. My letter follows, and after reading it I urge you to do likewise. Should Mr. Vento be found guilty of violating any one's civil rights, should he be required to remove that sign, should the English language in this country be diminished by the city of Philadelphia, then I would urge you to boycott Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania.

"Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations
34 South 11th Street, 6th Floor
Philadelphia PA 19107

Dear Sirs and Madams,

As a United States citizen by birth, but with ancestors on both sides of my family who were immigrants, and with my wife being an immigrant and naturalized citizen of this great nation, I am incensed that you are seriously considering the case against Mr. Vento regarding the speak English sign posted at Geno’s Steaks (restaurant). To say that asking customers to speak English when ordering is discriminatory is reprehensible. It is not discriminatory, but rather it is unifying with regard to our culture. When Mr. Vento or anyone else asks an immigrant to speak English, it is in fact asking that person to assimilate into the culture of the United States of America which has been, and remains, a primarily English speaking republic. For people to complain about being asked to, or being required to, learn how to speak English in this country is unpatriotically outrageous and it is racist and discriminatory on their behalf, and not on the part of Mr. Vento. When my great-grandparents told me of how they immigrated to the USA, they also told me how they learned English once they arrived. They said it was tough, but they were extremely proud of the fact that they learned how to do so, and that they then went on to pass the citizenship test and become United States citizens. For any immigrant to this country to do otherwise would show them to be divisive, and prejudice against our culture here in America. It would also be disgraceful because it would be counter-productive to assimilation, and simply un-American.

Any decision by you saying that Mr. Vento’s request to have his customers speak English was wrong, or was discriminatory in violation of the law, would be blatantly un-American. It would also show that you are promoting separation/division of the cultures in what was once the melting pot of the world. The one great unifying force within a country is not its politics, is not its laws, is not is religions, is not it citizens, is not its immigrants, but is definitively its language. Note I did not say its languages, as multiple languages only cause and lend to divisiveness among a nations peoples.

The government of the United States of America requires it workers to speak English, the government of the state of Pennsylvania requires likewise, and the government of the city of Philadelphia requires the same; yet somehow you seriously consider whether or not Mr. Vento asking his customers to do the same is a violation of people’s civil rights. It is his civil right to free speech at stake here. It is the right of a nation to expect its immigrants to assimilate that is at stake here, it is the language, the culture, and the borders of the United States of America that are all at stake here should you decide against Mr. Vento.

I can assure you that should you decide against Mr. Vento, I will express myself by way of my first amendment right to free speech and I will discourage anyone from visiting your city and your state. I have visited Philadelphia and other parts of Pennsylvania many times throughout my lifetime (and spent lots of money there), and had planned on doing so in the future. However, if your city becomes one that is geared at ignoring the duty of each and every immigrant to learn that language, and therefore if your city is geared at destroying the unifying force within our borders, I will rally myself and as many others as will heed the call against you, your city, and your state with all I can muster under the laws of our great nation.

With all due respect,


Glenn R. Bartley"


You too can contact the commission at the following:

The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations
The Philadelphia Fair Housing Commission
The Curtis Center
601 Walnut Street, Suite 300 South
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Tel: 215-686-4670

TTY: 215-686-3238

Fax: 215-686-4684

E-mail: faqpchr@phila.gov


All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, December 14, 2007

I Received The Following In Email Today...

...and while it contained pictures, I will not include them here just because it is a pain to save them all, then repost them here. If you have half a brain, you do not need to see still shots of General Patton, of 9/11, or of a beheading to get the drift of this message. This was too good to just pass along to those on my email list, and since it was not copyrighted, i figured I would pass it along on my blog:


"Ghost of Patton!! PERHAPS this is how General George S. Patton would sum things up.... and then catch holy hell from Ike. He sure had a FOLKSY way of expressing his thoughts. Ghost of General Patton A Message from the Ghost of General Patton.... "

"ATTENTION! To ALL those whining, panty-waisted, pathetic Maggots, it's time for a little refresher course on exactly why we Americans occasionally have to fight wars. See if you can tear yourself away from your 'reality' TV and Starbucks for a minute, pull your head out of your flabby ass -- and LISTEN UP!!

Abu Ghraib is not 'torture' or an 'atrocity.' This is the kind of thing frat boys, sorority girls, and academy cadets do to newcomers. A little fun at someone else's expense. Certainly no reason to wring your hands or get your panties in a wad. Got that?

THIS IS an atrocity! (picture of a beheading)
So Was This!!! (picture of WTC burning on 9/11)

WHICH PART DON'T YOU GET?

Islam a peaceful religion??? My Ass! Millions of these sons-of-bitches are plotting, as we speak, to destroy our country and our way of life any way they can. Some of them are here among us now.

They don't want to convert you and don't want to rule you. You are a vile infestation of Allah's paradise. They don't give a shit how 'progressive' you are, how peace-loving you are, or how much you sympathize with their cause. They want your ass dead , and they think it is God's will for them to do it. Some think if we give them a hug or listen to them, then they'll like us... and if you agree? Then you are a pathetic dumb ass! If they manage to get their hands on a nuke, chemical agents, or even some anthrax -- you will wish to God we had hunted them down and killed THEM while we had the chance.

How many more Americans must be beheaded ?? You've fallen asleep AGAIN, maggots! And you may not get another chance! NOW GET OFF YOUR SORRY ASS - and pass this on to any and every person you give a damn about.. if you ever gave a damn about anything

DISMISSED!
George S. Patton"

I would tend to think that someone like Patton would say something very much like that above, but also think if he were here to say it, it would come out much harsher. He would have a damned good idea of how to whip the sorry asses of the ultra leftist politicians and generals into gear to get the job done.

All the best,
Glenn B

Speaking of: INANE STATEMENTS.

Listen to the audio in the attached video/audio clip. Listen closely because the very brief argument you are about to hear is apparently the same one as the foundation of all of gun control advocates in the USA. So is the technique used to state it, which in my opinion is: whiny, adolescent like, negative, repetitive, blathering. It is sort of like the teen aged (or younger) child who has to have it his or her way, and when the wisdom of the parent is spoken, the child goes into the no, no, no, no, no, no mode as if that will make everything the parent said and is thinking wrong, and everything the child is saying and thinking correct. It is as if the news caster must also be the center of attention, and no one else with a point of view contrary to her's can be shown; just listen to what she directs the camera person to do. Also listen to how she says the security guard who brought down the Colorado church shooter only wounded him, and the shooter took his own life - sort of in defense of her point, but failing miserably because the armed security guard did make a big difference and save lives. This is truly, at least in my eyes, behavior not befitting an adult who is trying to make a point to thousands if not hundreds of thousands of viewers. This clip first appeared, as far as I am aware, on MSNBC televised news on December 11, 2007. I found this particular clip at:
http://newsbusters.org/static/2007/12/2007-12-11MSNBCMJMika.wmv

It should not be surprising to anyone that her ideas are typical of people who are fervently anti-gun, and pro gun control; and her way of expressing herself is typical of people who have no or little rational argument to make. The man who is speaking is making RATHER BALANCED STATEMENT. Note he says that one person with a gun can make a big difference for good or for bad; yet the woman says this is "the most inane statement". I wonder does she understand the meaning of inane, because if she truly had understood the word when she used it, she would quite possibly have pointed the barb at herself.

By the way did you figure out what was the 'foundation of the anti-gun argument' that I believe she stated. It is simply the: No, no, no, no to guns, and to people having them and using them for good. It is a shame that the gun control crowd wants to control guns, and keep law abiding people from possessing them; while at the same time failing to truly curb violent criminals.

All the best,

Glenn B

GUNS...

Now here is a subject, both near and dear to me, about which I have not written in all too long. Sorry to say but I will not write a whole heck of a lot about it in this post either, but I did want to let you all know I have not abandoned the subject. In fact far from abandoning it I am enjoying guns and shooting as much as ever. I just wanted to promise you that sometime, in the not too distant future, I will sit down to write some posts about firearms and shooting.

All the best,
Glenn B

Started Christmas Shopping Tonight...

Yes folks, I honestly started my Christmas shopping tonight (well since it is almost 0100Am as I write, I guess I really started last night) Wow that is kind of early for me to start my shopping; but I guess it is a good thing. of course I have been thinking about what to get everyone, but as usual I have no clue. At least this is true with regard to my family. I have been trying to figure out for weeks now just what to give to my wife for Christmas. I have no clue. Of course she would like to go on a cruise to somewhere nice, but I think that will be out of the picture until after I retire next year. Who knows though, maybe we can swing one of those 5 day cruises to the Caribbean or something like that. If I do that though, we may not have any cash for a month or two. Oh well,m such is life in the big time. Really though, beyond a cruise, I have no idea as to what to pick out for her. Time will tell whatever I decide upon.

As to the kids, they should be easier. I got the birthday presents for both Brendan and Celina this year (Brendan just turned 18, and Celina is about to turn 23). So I probably can get away with dumping giving the task of Christmas shopping for them onto my wife. Linda is good like that, but I will hold off giving her the chore for a while yet as I look here and there for a good idea of what to get the young ones. I guess half the fun is trying to figure out what to get them and then tracking it down.

The shopping I started tonight was of a different nature than for the family. First I bought a couple of small but nice gifts for one of my doctors and his receptionist Ashley. Then, I stopped at a liquor store and picked up a few bottles of spirits. I got two Irish Cream Liquor sets, a bottle of Irish Cream Liquor with 2 glasses; and I also got a couple of bottles of wine, and an Amaretto set (a bottle of Amaretto and a couple of fancy glasses) as Christmas presents for co-workers. I like to spread the Holiday Spirit by giving out spirits; and what better way to do so that to give something that allows the receiver to enjoy a warm glow to the cheeks and some relaxation to boot all while enjoying something rather tasty. (Drink responsibly.) Now that I think of it, I forgot to get myself a bottle of something; and maybe that was because I was busy talking to the young lady behind the counter and just forgot everything else once I started ogling her curves and pretty face we started having a nice conservation. Somehow the conversation got to guns, she thinks they are cool, and would like to learn how to shoot. It seems I may have a new student shooter on my hands after the holidays when time allows.

Maybe all that was a portent, and I should wait for mine own bottle(s) of spirits until I get to go to the beer distributor and just pick up some fine ale for myself and the jolly old elf who will be visiting. I hear Santa and his helpers have an affinity for finer ales. Of course I also happen to know for a fact, based upon past experience, that they also just love Irish Cream Liquor, Irish Whiskey, Scotch, Gin, Vodka, Jaegermeister, and quite a few others - so I may have to head back to the liquor store too.

By the way, I was not kidding above when I wrote: Drink Responsibly. Drinking can be a pleasant experience but not if you get smashed and then screw up. Jail and a guilty conscience are not worth the few drinks you had to get there. So don't drink to excess, don't combine drink and drugs (I am talking legal prescription and over the counter stuff - don't even consider taking illegal stuff), never drink to excess if you have to drive, handle machinery, watch kids, be responsible for something important, or do any other task in which someone could be injured (and so on...); and don't drink if it is not legal for you to do so. If under 21, have a coke or a root beer.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Global Warming Slamming Us This Winter

I suppose that is what the warming theorists, and the politicos like Al Gore, would have us believe. Then again, just the other day I heard the head of Green Peace (I think that is who they had on a FoxNews video), saying that global warming was quite possibly responsible for the ice storm in the Midwest of the USA. Tomorrow here in western Long Island we are expected to get some bad weather. Now according to whom it is that you listen, such as 1010 WINS Radio, we are going to get 'from 1 to 5 inches of snow between 0900 (9AM) and about 18900 (7PM), frozen, rain and snow' - or, if you read MSN's weather report we are going to have: "Day: Definite light rain with snow and ice pellets (sleet) and patchy fog. High 35F, humidity 65%. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 mph. Night: Chance of light freezing rain with snow and ice pellets (sleet). Low 31F. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 mph. Boy that sounds pretty much alike. Two different media outlets are saying we will have a crappy day, and they both say that a bit further north will be worse. Even the National Weather Service (see: http://www.weather.com/maps/news/forecastsummary/36hrfloaterqpf_large.html?from=wxcenter_maps) predicts at least 1-3 inches of snow on the ground in NYC and western Long Island (and up to about 6 inches in some places on Western LI), and from 6 up to 12 inches of white stuff on the ground just north of NYC; and guess what - the date of this winter storm (as they are calling it) is predicted to be December 13, 2007.

Now from 52 years of experience, most of which I have had a grasp of after 4 or 5 years of age, I can say without a doubt that snow this early in the season, in these amounts, is pretty unusual for our area. So on what can we blame this phenomenon - I would imagine we can blame it on Global Warming, but then again I am no junk scientist, I am not a failed politician, I am not the head of an ultra kooky green group - but I'd bet that would be their explanation. Heck, I am just a regular guy who is surprised that it is going to snow before Christmas; and one who hopes it does snow just about an inch on Christmas. That would be nice; and if such is what we can expect due to Global Warming, then I am all for climate change. Bear in mind - snow over the winter is good. In the spring it melts, the melted water runs off to streams, and into lakes and reservoirs, and into the oceans. Full lakes are good for fish, and for human fun. Full reservoirs are good places to get drinking water. A full ocean is good for fishing, swimming, surfing, and boating, and plenty of other fun things. It seems we cannot go wrong if Global Warming is causing all this snow and ice, let's hope it keeps it up all winter (well not so much so that it screws people over in the Midwest, but enough so there is plenty of melting water in the spring to feed our reservoirs).

Now Global Warming may be for real, and its causing snow may be the result, but if such is the case, there is something very strange about all of this for which I as a rational sort of a guy just do not understand when I re-listen to the Global Warming theories of a year ago, even 6 months ago, or 3 months ago - and then compare those to the ones of very recent days that try to explain away this white cold stuff. Go figure, I guess I should have paid better attention in science class in my school days.

All the best,
Glenn B

Does: PETA Membership = ASININE?

Well that is certainly how I see it. This so called animal rights group that so vehemently opposes people wearing fur, and that is so against animals used in medical and scientific research, in my opinion, just acts like a bunch of spoiled brats who have no better way to spend there time than to harass other people. Yet it has been brought out over and over again in the media and elsewhere) that they: reportedly kill animals in their own, or in their sponsored, shelters; that the head of PETA regularly uses a medicine made through animal experimentation; that many of their members wear leather shoes and accessories while at anti-fur protests; and that in my opinion they are hypocrites beyond the wildest hypocrisies of my imagination. So I wonder, how is it that they apparently keep getting support to get away with crap like what is explained here: Report: Olsen Twins in Hairy Mess With PETA. I am no fan of these Olsen twins, I do not really know who they are, or what they do, except that I have heard them mentioned before over the years; this despite the article calling them Hollywood stars (I guess I am just out of touch with Hollywood these days), but I still think it ridiculous that they be allowed to keep up , what seems to me like, harassing people like this.

There are other groups, much like, or even worse than PETA. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is one just as bad in my opinion. ELF and ALF amount to terrorists as I see them. I truly believe that anyone who supports PETA, HSUS (note this is not your local humane society nor is it part of the U.S. Government), ELF, or ALF are out of their minds. If you truly want to support animals, then giving support to appropriate organizations like local animal shelters who are not affiliated with these groups, or to the ASPCA, or to conservation groups that truly work toward conservation as their main goals, or to state agencies that run conservation programs, seem the way to go as far as I can see. Heck, if you want to hunt and fish to do your part, and you do it legally, you probably do much more for animal and natural habitat conservation within the USA than does someone who joins PETA. The great majority of money going into wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation programs in the USA come from excise taxes, and license fees, paid by sportsman - specifically by hunters and fishermen. (You can check with the U.S. government, or your state's conservation department, on this last statement.)

Do I need to go on; no I guess not. You get the picture, I am absolutely opposed to the efforts of groups such as PETA, HSUS, ELF and ALF. As I see them they are little more, if anything more, than groups of lunatics who want to control other people - and they do so through what I believe are mostly false claims of truly giving a hoot about animals.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Animes...

Can someone out there explain to me why Animes are so popular, not only among children (which I would suspect would be the correct audience, if not the intended audience for these animations), but also among adults? I just don't get it, but then I guess I don't usually watch a lot of cartoons, and Animes to me seem to be little more than a poorly made cartoon. While some Animes have decent illustrations as in still shots, they are poorly animated and thereby do not live up to their own names: Animes (and one would hypothesize that the name is a play on the word 'animation'). They simply lack almost any animation. A cartoon character apparently standing there with its mouth moving hardly amounts to much of an animation, now does it. Yet, that scene is repeated over and over again in Animes - characters standing there with the main part of the so called action being their mouths moving one movement per three to ten words or so. As for the some of the subject matter, I find many of them I have quickly perused, for I must admit I have never watched more than a couple of minutes of one at most, to be quite disturbing. This is especially so since many of them are shown during prime time for children to be watching television, such as just after school in the afternoons. The sexually suggestive animations seem rather perverse. Can you think of any other reason that a so called artist,or cartoonist, would make an animated figure apparently look sexy or sexual? I sure cannot not think of even one idea, except of course that there is some sort of perversion involved.

It seems to me that many children, and even many adults (which I find hard to fathom) take great pleasure in watching these cartoons, and take greater pleasure in fantasizing that they themselves are Anime characters. It has come so far as to have 'Which Anime Are You' questionnaires on the Internet, wherein you answer several questions, and then are told which Anime character your persona matches best. When I think back to my younger years, I fondly remember animated series, and plain old cartoons, such as Popeye, Mighty Mouse, Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Colonel Bleep, all those Ben & Gerry cartoons, those two little Chipmunks (don't recall the name of that cartoon), and so on. cartoons that were meant to be just that - cartoons. They were meant to be funny, they were meant to amusing, they were meant to be colorful, they were meant to actually appear animated, they were aimed mostly at children, and they were meant to be seen as fantastic as in unreal. Then the cartoons became less animated, and they seemed to bottom out. Newer cartoons like Speed Racer, Gigantor came out but they were no longer funny but rather something toward which one would suspect the animator wanted children to emulate themselves (much like Animes in my estimation). Some years after that, cartoons seemed more geared toward adults with 'shows' like The Simspsons, Family Guy, and South Park. At least in the Simpsons there seemed to be some resurrection of funniness, that a child could enjoy, but some of the subject matter was way over the top for young children. Then in the most recent years, Animes seem to have become king, and they seem to be geared toward adult watchers, though I still cannot imagine how an adult who claims to have a working brain could routinely enjoy them - but then as they say there is no accounting for taste.

Just about every night, on several cable channels, there are Animes during hours in which only adults would normally be awake to watch television. They are action cartoons, one sin which good Animes versus bad Animes are prominently featured. There are also scantily clad Animes in many of them (as if you can clothe an animated figure but you know what I mean). There are also ones that have what is apparently supposed to amount to intelligent discussions with one another, even debates. Yet as I see them, they are all crap, and what I do not get is that adults flock to watch this stuff. Not only are adults drawn to the televisions to watch these animations as if mesmerized, but they also are drawn into emulating the animated characters. That not only bewilders me, but scares me. In all my life I never saw anyone emulate: Homer Simpson, Popeye, Krazy Kat, Pluto, Minnie Mouse, Road Runner - in fact these characters emulated humans! Now humans are emulating Animes. Yes indeed that is frightening, and incomprehensible in my limited reason capabilities. Yes folks I just don't get it, not one iota.

Oh well, I don't have to watch them; but yet it is certainly somewhat annoying when my cable channel lineup is inundated with these less than animated Animes. I wish someone who programs the night time lineup on television would gear things so that some truly adult level entertainment (and no I do not mean x-rated stuff, I can go to pay per view for that, or rent a video if I had the mind to) would be shown rather than this grammar school dropout drivel. I also wish that someone would make an intelligent attempt to explain to me why these shows are so popular. Hopefully you will be able to enlighten me, though I sincerely hope you will not change my mind about me wanting not to watch them!

All the best,
Glenn B