Showing posts from June, 2011


Happy end of June, 2011.  Tomorrow begins, of all things, July.  The really big deal for the beginning of July this year is that I get 2 consecutive days off.  Imagine.  Two days in a row.  Friday and Saturday.  Imagine. Tomorrow morning I jog a couple or three miles with my neighbor Chuck--Then head to Rogers, Ohio to the flea mart.  Not like we actually need any more fleas right now, but there might be other things to purchase. Later, I expect to take my bride to the movies and mebbe dive into some ice cream.  I mean, it's July for Pete's sake. Cheers!!


I watched a movie trailer on the Internet this morning--"Cowboys and Aliens".  It's set for release on July 29th, and it covers two great movie types--Betcha can't guess which two-- Right again, Heathcliff--Cowboy Movies and Alien Movies. This one stars James Bond and Indiana Jones battling the invaders in 1873 Arizona.  I simply can't imagine a better start for a story.  This one is based on a book.  OK, not really a book, but what is known as a graphic novel--a comic book if you will.  For the uninformed, a graphic novel is a comic book for adults.  OK, again--not really adults in every sense of the word, but definitely not for little children.  For brevity's sake, we'll just say that a graphic novel is for non-children readers who can't quite handle a whole novel. In any event, I'm looking forward to it. I'm thinking of taking my wife to the movies tomorrow afternoon--she wants to see "Super 8" which is set in Ohio in the l

The Essential Difference Between Men and Women

A man is dr iving down a road. A   woman   is driving down the same road from the opposite direction. As they pass each other… The woman leans out the window and yells ‘ PIG! ’ The man immediately leans out his window and yells, ‘ BITCH!! ’ They each continue on their way and as the man rounds the next bend he crashes into a pig in the middle of the road .


Watching BBC America (and, ain't THAT a conundrum!) today.  The X-Files, one of my all time favorite television adventures.  OK, my favorite.  Bar none. This show features my two favorite FBI Agents--Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. FBI Why are they my favorites?  Thought you'd never ask. It's because I really like Mulder and Scully, and their somehow asexual partnership.  Scratch that--I love these guys. Biggest reason I love them?  Thought you'd never ask! To the best of my knowledge, the actors (Gillian Anderson and David Duchovney) who portray these friends of mine (Mulder and Scully), have never made a stand for or against late term abortion, the Palestinian issue, or ANY OTHER POLITICAL HOT BUTTON ISSUE. The writers kept the stories pure. In other words, I have no idea what their politics are. Or aren't.

The Fanatic

I follow the Giants.   We're talking baseball here, OK?   That means that when I check my Inter-Nets, I always take a peek at the San Francisco Giants web page.   I s’pose that makes me a fan.   Short for fanatic, and that would apply—at least my bride would say so. Not only that, I'm a Barry Zito fan.   His pitching has been suspect at times, but I've always been pretty certain that his pitching is only part of what this grown up man brings to the table.   Zito is coming off his first stint on the DL, and he sounds grateful that he's still in the big league game. Here's a quote from him:   "It just teaches you to really focus on your day-to-day responsibility and not get too caught up in the big picture. When you do that, things take care of themselves." Couldn't have said it better myself.   Take care of the little things, gentlemen—the big things sort of take care of themselves.   I've been preaching that drivel my whole life.   Barry Zito—A

File This Under "O"

For Ohio Oddities So I'm driving through Austintown, Ohio on a Sunday afternoon.  Today, actually.  A perfect Ohio Sunday afternoon.  A little sun, a little clouds, 70's, low humidity.  Just the sort of day I moved to Ohio for. On Mahoning Avenue there's a hole in the wall called the Budapest Inn--Dandy place by all reports.  On the front door of the Budapest Inn is the following sign:  "Try Our Famous Quasadillas". I know that Budapest is in Hungary, OK?  And I know that when you're hungry you want quasadillas. But still.....


When I start my computer for the day and launch my web browser, it starts with a "My Google" page—that means that it has all the nonsense that I want to read right there in front of me.   All right, not quite ALL of the stuff I want to read…..the rest of it is on my "My Yahoo" page.   But I’m talking here about an item on my Google start page.   It’s called the "Daily How To". If the HowTo is something of interest, I click on it and it takes me to a user produced site called   What is it with everything being "wiki-something" now anyhow?   Why not just ""? Sometimes, the how-to is funny or useful, and it's always entertaining, but one day last week I was treated to How To Make Ramen Noodles In A Drip Coffee Maker. Just to be clear here, packaged Ramen noodles require hot water.   Nothing else.   A drip coffee maker is essentially a water heater.   Seems sort of self-explanatory to me.   So here’s my quest


I read that Google is being either sued or investigated by the Justice Department for misbehavior and maldeeds, or some such.   Oh, Joy.   Be still my beating heart.   My tax dollars at work again. Not that I don't want the Justice Department to do something once in a great while, but really now.   Look how much better telecommunications are now than before Me Bell was dismantled by the Justice Department—In more recent times, just feel your power as a consumer buying a home computer now that Microsoft has been chastised. Answering my own questions, telecommunications is still in a state of disarray from the Justice Department's actions, and I never did see any difference in prices, availability, or anything else in the computer biz that could be directly linked to the Justice Department's actions. Look—I don't know the ins and outs of this whole business, but this I do know:   Google gives the world free, reliable POP e-mail, the best free searching mechanism that e

Both of Them

They are just SO excited to see me when I get home from work.   Yapping, jumping, running around in circles.   You know the drill. Never quite satisfied with their limits, the two of them.   Never really satisfied with the way things are.   Change is always in the air. Itching, scratching, complaining, playing, dancing.   Always in motion.   Until bedtime, then completely silent.   Dreaming with their little feet running after imaginary prey. Never really content—forever looking for the next big thing. If you're smart, you'll keep the sugar and the caffeine away from them.   Your call, though, and your risk. Two heads of curly dark hair with chestnut highlights.   You can barely tell them apart. My bride and the dog………Terriers.

Sam Elliott

Don't forget to visit the Sam Elliott Mustache Equivelancy page .

I Don't Smoke And I Don't Chew, And I Don't Go With Girls Who Do

Watching the news (always a risky proposition) I see that the federal government is now requiring a new series of graphic photographs be placed on cigarette packages.  And, according to the news report that I watched on my local TV station, the federal government estimates that the new packaging regulations will cause over 200 thousand adult smokers to quit their nasty habit. Really?? What part of the ether do you suppose that figure was snatched from?  I guess there might be 200 thousand adult smokers in these United States who haven't heard that cigarettes are bad for them. But I doubt it.

House Breaking

I see that Phil Keating of Fox News has given up the hair style that screamed "I slept under a bridge last night" for a more mainstream style.  Good move, Phil--you look a little more house-broken now. Nice wardrobe too, and I really mean that.  But if you want me to take you seriously, wear a necktie.  It's sort of the industry standard in your, um, industry. I know that you're a happenin' Florida feller, but really..necktie.

The Candy Man Can

I found myself driving in a "bumpy" part of town a few days ago following a new cream colored Escalade bearing the personalized license plate of "CAN D MAN". I'm not absolutely certain that I'd advertise quite so heavily.

Is It Just Me?

Exactly what is it about red Jeep vehicles and Dodge pick-ups with a Ram hood ornament? Does the simple act of owning and/or driving one of these conveyances mandatorily require the drivers to be inconsiderate tail-gaters? I'm at a loss here.

Pick Pockets

In the recent past, I changed cell phone carriers primarily because of AT&T's policy of charging customers a mandatory fee for data when the customer (me) inadvertently switches to a "smart" phone. Mea Culpa and all that--my bad, etceteras. I switched to Virgin Mobile and couldn't be happier with that decision--so far. Unlimited data and text plus a little bit of talk all for one low monthly pittance.  One just never knows what the future holds though.  The biggest recommendation for Virgin is that they are contract-free.  If I decide their service or fees aren't to my liking I can just not pay them and our deal is done. One of the services that I checked before landing at Virgin was Verizon.  Their fee schedule was a bit more, um, relaxed than AT&T's, but I didn't go with their service because of the contract issue again.   But it was a close call. Which brings me to today.  I read on the web that Verizon is now eliminating their "unl

Some Gems Culled From The Lawyerly Archives

Q.  Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods? A.  No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region. Q.  And who is this person you are speaking of? A.  My ex-widow said it.     Q.  Officer, what led you to believe the defendant was under the influence? A.  Because he was argumentary and he couldn’t pronunciate his words.   Q.  Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people? A. All my autopsies have been performed on dead people.    Q.  When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station? MR. BROOKS: Objection:  That question should be taken out and shot.   Q.  What is the meaning of sperm being present? A.  It indicates intercourse. Q.  Male sperm? A. That is the only kind I know.    Q.  (Showing man picture.) That's you? A.  Yes, sir. Q.  And

Ding, Dong

There's a witch living in the neighborhood. A real one. The sort that, when the wind is just right, you can smell the sulfur. The sort that steals little children and cooks them in a cauldron that she keeps in the basement.   Then eats them. The sort that the Brothers Grimm wrote about. The witch is pure evil, through and through.   She's mean and lives in a cottage painted a hideous shade of green.   To match her skin. She's reported to have had children, so I know for a fact that she can cast an evil spell on men. I've never heard her say a kind word about anyone.   She accuses anyone who ever showed her the most minuscule kindness of all sort of misdeeds. What she doesn't know is that everyone know she's a witch.   She can't hide it. Everyone knows. You can tell just by looking at her. She might as well wear a sign. When she dies, we'll have a party in the street with a bonfire. And sing “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” until the sun rises

Burma Shave is Alive

I stand corrected--Correspondent Phil Snodgrass from California informs me that Burma Shave signage has re-appeared on River Road near Guerneville, California, and on U.S 101 in Kings County and San Luis County also in California. Now, if he'll just send me some pictures.....

Burma Shave, Likely To Became A Repetative Fixture

Burma Shave signs were roadside companions for generations of Americans before the superhighways and massive billboards took away the charm of driving.  Always entertaining and clever, they existed from the 1920s until the 1960s, and are now gone forever from the roadways, but living forever on the web and in our memories. SHE PUT A BULLET THROUGH HIS HAT BUT HE'S HAD CLOSER SHAVES THAN THAT WITH BURMA-SHAVE     Need more info?


Where lipstick is concerned, the important thing is not color, but to accept God's final word on where your lips end.-Jerry Seinfeld


We're running out of oil.   That's not news.   We use a massive amount of electricity.   That's not news. Of the 104 nuclear reactors now operational in the United States, ground was broken for all of them in 1974 or earlier. China has 27 new nuclear power plants under construction. France’s nuclear electrical plants provide France with over 78 percent of it's total electrical needs, and it is the largest exporter of nuclear energy in the world.   Oh, and France's electrical rates are among the lowest in Europe.   They generate so much electricity that some of the plants shut down on weekends due to lack of electrical need. The point here is this:   “The China Syndrome” was a second rate thriller movie released in 1979, not a fargin’ documentary. Criminy.


I see that the Marlin's Scott Cousins has been placed on the 15 day disabled list with a "lower back strain", and has been replaced on their active roster by Hanley Ramirez.  And that the Marlins are 3-18 since leaving San Francisco. Karma's a bitch.

The Essential Difference Between Men And Women

If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there is a man on base.-Dave Barry

A Very Simple Request

In the late 1970s (that would be during the Carter administration and THAT gas crisis), I drove a Datsun 1200 for a while.   It was a good, small, simple car, and I could afford it even though I had virtually no money. As I recall, it had 12 or 13 inch wheels, no power anything, a four cylinder engine, and a four speed manual transmission.   It was light weight with no amenities.   None.   It had an AM only radio and a tinny little speaker.   No air conditioning either—can you imagine?   No AIR??   On the freeway, when larger cars would pass, the jet wash would buffet the car slightly after the larger car passed.   It was orange, and it routinely got 35 to 50 MPG.   40 to 50 on the freeway and 35 to 45 around town.   When the tires wore out, it was about as expensive as putting new tires on your bicycle.   If it needed brakes, it was about as expensive as putting brakes on your bicycle.   Did I just repeat myself? Here's what the car did.   It provided reliable transportation

I Dreamed I Caught The World Series With My Wilson Catcher's Mitt



My Bride and I went to Pennsylvania a couple of days ago for a Costco run.   Yes, the closest Costco to us is in a completely different state.   Worth the drive, though.   Here in Youngstown, you just can’t find a beef rib to compare to the ones in the Costco meat locker. As long as my thoughts are drifting, I wonder why Costco isn't in the Youngstown area?   I know that this part of Ohio is known as an “economically depressed area”, but I really don't see it.   Plenty of jobs, if you're willing to work, and lots of expensive houses, farms, cars, traffic jams……You name it.   Just like anywhere else.   My message to Costco goes something like this—It doesn't have to actually be Youngstown.   Our local retail is actually in Boardman and Canfield, so put one there.   You'll drive Sam's Club out of business in a heartbeat. Same thing applies to Trader Joe's, which is in Chagrin Falls.   They would drive Rulli Brothers out of business so fast……Man, I tell you.

What They Missed

There was an article in the AARP newsletter about underemployment in the “over 50” age group. That sentence may have said much more than I intended.   Hmmmmmmm….. I was an investigator for law enforcement agencies for most of my working life, I have a private investigator’s license and have performed plenty of that work, I’ve worked as a security specialist for the Bohemian Club of San Francisco, I work as a contract employee for a bail bond company, I’ve done retail security…………….The best job I can find right now is as a driving instructor.   I guess that’s classic underemployment.   I didn’t really need the AARP to tell me that, though.   And I really like my job so far.   Good boss and a good company.   They seem to be glad to have me, and that’s a big part of any job.   I now have a State of Ohio license as a driving instructor, and I signed a non-competition agreement that covers me for the next three years.   So, if I really like it and decide to start my own company, I’ll hav

Do You Remember?

My bride and I are taking in a concert in Pennsylvania this evening.  Oh, since you ask, it's the Beach Boys. The first time I saw them live was in Santa Rosa, California in the summer of '64.  Yes, I'm a fan.  Always have been, and always will be. Do You Remember? Little Richard sang it and Dick Clark brought it to life Danny and the Juniors hit a groove, stuck as sharp as a knife Well now do you remember all the guys that gave us rock and roll Chuck Berry's gotta be the greatest thing that's come along (Hum diddy waddy, hum diddy wadda) He made the guitar beats and wrote the all-time greatest song (Hum diddy waddy, hum diddy wadda) Well now do you remember all the guys that gave us rock and roll (Hum diddy waddy doo) Elvis Presley is the king He's the giant of the day Paved the way for the rock and roll stars Yeah the critics kept a knockin' But the stars kept a rockin' And the chopin didn't get very far Goodness gracious great b

Your Real Horoscope

 Aquarius - January 20 to February 18 You have an inventive mind and are inclined to be progressive. You lie a great deal. You make the same mistakes repeatedly because you are stupid. Everyone thinks you're a jerk.   Pisces - February 19 to March 20 You have a vivid imagination and often think you are being followed by the FBI or the CIA. You have minor influence on your friends and people resent you for flaunting your power. You lack confidence and are a general dipshit.   Aries - March 21 to April 19 You are the pioneer type and think most people are dickheads. You are quick tempered, impatient, and scornful of advice. You are a prick.   Taurus - April 20 to May 20 You are practical and persistent. You have dogged determination and work like hell. Most people think you are stubborn and bullheaded. You are nothing but a goddamn Communist.   Gemini - May 21 to June 20 You are a quick and intelligent thinker. People like you because you are bisexual. You are inclined to ex

Robert Parker, Revisited

As it turns out, two of Parker’s characters are going to live on.   It’s sad that Cole and Hitch are not among them.   I’ll never know how Everett Cole resolved his relationship with his love interest—One Allie French, adeptly portrayed on the silver screen by Renee Zellweger. New Spenser novels will be written by Ace Atkins, and new Jesse Stone stories will be written by Parker’s long time collaborator, Michael Brandman, both with the full blessing of Mr. Parker’s widow, Joan.   Or so I read.   A new Jesse Stone story titled Killing The Blues is set for release in September of 2011. I’ll get to see what Jesse’s been up to recently in Paradise, and see what sort of woman troubles he can get into.   I’m rooting for Jesse to have some sort of on going relationship with Sunni Randall (another of Parker’s Novel series’), who has, um, interfaced with Jesse in the past.   But his ex-wife, Jen, will probably muck things up for him.   She’s like that, you know. OK, then—that’s that.   Than

Robert B. Parker

I was a fan.  Truth be told, I still am. Mr. Parker became famous as a writer behind his Spenser private investigator stories.  Novels are what they were called, but they were stories.  He wrote in a conversational manner that I found comforting, easy to read, and engaging. I really didn’t like the Spenser stories all that much, but Mr. Parker came up with a couple of other characters and story lines that really hooked me, right from the beginning. Jesse Stone (later portrayed on the small screen by Tom Selleck) is a disgraced LAPD homicide detective who has an ex-wife problem and a drinking problem, and ended up being the Chief of Police of the town of Paradise on the Eastern Seaboard.  He's a smart and capable cop and I like him.  I consider him a friend.  He’s a baseball fan and a former player who got physically banged up, which ultimately led to his entry into law enforcement as a vocation. Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch (portrayed on the big screen by Ed Harris and Viggo M

Jackie's Crayons

The Friday flea market at Rogers, Ohio is a destination for us.   True, it’s only a short drive, but the pickings are pretty magnificent from time to time.   We usually have something to eat, a Gyro or an Italian sausage.   Do some people watching.   Buy some plants.   There are other places we frequent for such scavenger hunts, but Rogers is the best. We usually buy some produce and some homemade bread.   Maybe a cookie if we’re feeling a bit naughty.   I bought the sledgehammer that I use for splitting firewood there.   We bought our dog there too.   We bought lots of doo-dads and incidentals there. I draw the line at military memorabilia, old military uniforms, and used police gear.   I figure that some family member ought to honor those things.   They are not for me.   Other personal items, especially personally signed ephemera, have a hold on me. I found an old box of crayons, probably dating from the 50’s or early 60’s, on a table for sale, but no price was on the box.   Cr


I’ve written on occasion here about the various and sundry odd jobs I’ve had since my retirement from public service.   A question that might arise is this:   Why would a retired peace officer with over 30 years of service need any job at all?   After all, bloated public pensions and benefits are in the news all the time now, right?   Well, let me dispel your fears of me personally bankrupting the fragile economic system.   I retired from Sonoma County, California 8 years ago.   I have yet to see a cost of living increase, yet the cost of living has risen (if you haven’t noticed, then you don’t buy very much gasoline), and all things being equal, my purchasing power has declined.   But all things weren’t equal. My actual monthly pension has dwindled because Sonoma County takes an ever-burgeoning amount of the pension to cover my piece of medical coverage.   This year, the medical coverage premium that covers medical and dental for Mrs. Young and myself was increased to something Nort

Middle School

After completion of my studies at Windsor Union Elementary School (Union wasn't necessarily a bad idea back then), I attended Healdsburg Junior High School.   After that little endeavor, I went to Healdsburg High school.   Pretty simple and easy to understand.   Sometime between then and when my first daughter completed her studies at Wilson Elementary School, she attended Cook Middle School.   Cook was decidedly NOT a Junior High School.   It was a Middle School.   Nonsense like that happened all over in the 70's and 80's.   I'm pretty certain that there's a government Office of Renaming Institutions so as to Disguise Their Actual Purpose.   I'd like to work there.   Pay is probably pretty good and I'll just bet that have a dandy dental plan. While some of the renaming has just gotten truly bizarre, some of it has regained sanity.   In the bizarre list I'll include The Department Of Human Services.   Which is, of course, the Welfare Department, but is