Showing posts from March, 2012


Today is the annual anniversary of the date of my birth.  I happen to share this date with, among others, Angus Young (AC/DC), Gabe Kaplan (Welcome Back), Christopher Walken (Cow Bell), Herb Alpert (Tijuana Taxi), and, of all the revolting developments, Al Friggin’ Gore. And a happy birthday to us all.......... Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes.

Possum and Taters

When it all comes apart--and it just might--you'll thank me for this: Possum and Taters  Ingredients:  1 young, fat possum  8 sweet potatoes  2 tablespoons butter  1 tablespoon sugar  salt  Directions: First, catch a possum. This in itself is excellent entertainment on a moonlight night. Skin the possum and remove the head and feet. Be sure to wash it thoroughly. Freeze overnight either outside or in a refrigerator. When ready to cook, peel the potatoes and boil them tender in lightly salted water along with the butter and sugar. At the same time, stew the possum tender in a tightly covered pan with a little water. Arrange the taters around the possum, strip with bacon, sprinkle with thyme or marjoram, or pepper, and brown in the oven. Baste often with the drippings. 

Dave Barry on Roger and Elaine (from Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys)

Let's say a guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named Elaine. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.  And then, one evening when they're driving home, a thought occurs to Elaine, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: ''Do you realize that, as of tonight, we've been seeing each other for exactly six months?'' And then there is silence in the car. To Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: "I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he's been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I'm trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn't want, or isn't sure of.” And Roger is thinking: “Gosh. Six months”. And Elaine is thinking: “But, hey,

Hollow Promises

I originally wrote this in 2007, but it is as relevant today as it was then, if only for a few of us. After working in public service as a law enforcement officer for over 30 years, I retired from  County of  Sonoma   employment in 2003.  In the ensuing 4 years, I’ve not received a cost of living increase in my pension despite the fact that my cost of living has gone up a tad.  You know, gasoline costs more, groceries cost more, clothing costs more……Cost of living.  Like I said, though, no increase for me.  The  County of  Sonoma   uses what is called an “ad hoc” system of granting COLA increases to their retirees—“ad hoc” being defined as “if we feel the urge”.  I can only surmise that the urge has not been felt.  I recall reading in a separate mailing to not expect a COLA increase for five years, but I digress.  What I have received each and every year was an increase in my cost for medical benefits.  So, the cost of living goes up and my actual income (after the increase in

Sonoma County Bastards

If I haven’t said so before, I’m a County of Sonoma (California) law enforcement retiree.  I spent 21 years with them, and an additional 10 years with the City of Santa Rosa (California), also as a law enforcement officer.  That’s a lot of years.  One of the things that my retirement included, and was promised by those public entities, was medical coverage throughout my retirement days.   There are lies, my friends, and then there are damn lies.  I am a member of what is called the “County Health Plan” because I live outside the boundaries of California, and as such, qualify for nothing else offered by the County of Sonoma.   I’ll call it the CHP because that’s what the County of Sonoma calls it.  It comes in two varieties--an expensive plan and a cheap plan.  The word “cheap”, however, is relative. On Wednesday, 3-28-2012, I received in the mail the annual Health and Welfare Benefits Booklet from the county--the name of the booklet is the high-minded “Pathway to Informed Decision

Year of the Bible

The State House in Pennsylvania should just go ahead and pass some more resolutions.  I suggest: 1)  Year of the Ass-Holes 2)  Year of the Idiotic Lawsuit Reprinted from Fox News: HARRISBURG, Pa. –  A national atheist and agnostic group is suing Pennsylvania lawmakers for passing a resolution that declares 2012 as "The Year of the Bible." MyFOXphilly reports the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed a federal lawsuit on Monday arguing that the Pennsylvania House's declaration is unconstitutional. The resolution, which was authored by State Rep. Rick Saccone, passed unanimously in January. The lawsuit names Saccone as one of three plaintiffs, and claims the resolution is tantamount to the state endorsing "state-sponsored religion." They also claim to take issue with content in the Bible, including "violent, sexist and racist models of behavior that FFRF members find personally repugnant." "(This content) potentially could e

Cadillac Jukebox

As a police officer, you accept the fact that, in all probability, you will become the instrument that delivers irreparable harm to a variety of individuals.  Granted, they design their own destinies, are intractable in their attitudes, and live with asp at their breasts; but the fact remains that it is you who will appear at some point in their lives, like the headsman with his broad ax on the medieval scaffold, and serve up a fate to them that has the same degree of mercy as that dealt out by your historical predecessor. Quoted from the novel “Cadillac Jukebox” by James Lee Burke (Hyperion Books), by the fictional Detective Dave Robicheaux.

When Cops Retire

When a good cop leaves the 'job' and retires to a better life, many are jealous, some are pleased and yet others, who may have already retired, wonder. We wonder if he knows what he is leaving behind, because we already know. We know, for example, that after a lifetime of camaraderie that few experience, it will remain as a longing for those past times. We know in the law enforcement life there is a fellowship which lasts long after the uniforms are hung up in the back of the closet . We know even if he throws them away, they will be on him with every step and breath that remains in his life. We also know how the very bearing of the man speaks of what he was and in his heart still is. These are the burdens of the job. You will still look at people suspiciously, still see what others do not see or choose to ignore and always will look at the rest of the law enforcement world with a respect for what they do; only grown in a lifetime of knowing. Never think for one moment yo

Dear Jack

Dear Jack-- It’s been a while.   Should have written earlier, but, well, you know....the duties of life seem to get in the way of writing sometimes.  Doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about you from time to time. Drew and Katie made it legal a while back, and you now have a grandson named August.  He’s a handsome little fart, and Glenda tells me that he’s the spitting image of Drew.  They’re living in Long Fargin’ Beach of all places, but seem fine.  Like you expected anything else. Paige has what appears to be a long-term solution to the “guy” issue in her life.  His name is Will and he looks like he’s following your career path.  Nice guy, and his family lives in Akron.  Glenda and I met them this last Christmas season.  If Will doesn’t treat Paige well, I’ll be happy to track him down and beat all his teeth out with a rock. Cale found a mate.  He and Alice were married in Portland recently.  He’s going to be step-dad to Alice’s Hawk.  He seems to be up to the challenge.


Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain Seems the Obama administration read Twain.  And paid attention.


.....We're having meat.

The Stuff You Need To Know

You know who you are.  You’re a skinny white punk, clean shaven with short hair somewhere between 17 and 23 years old, I think.  I can’t be more certain because I only got a glimpse of you briefly.  You drive a large red pick up truck with a Fox Racing emblem on the back window. Day before yesterday, you violated my right-of-way in Columbiana, Ohio at the traffic circle.  I entered the circle from the North and began, well, circling.  You entered behind me and PASSED ME ON THE LEFT!!  I can only surmise that I wasn’t going fast enough to suit you.  I came to a complete stop to avoid getting hit, and you had the gall to slow down and glare at me as you passed. You son-of-a-bitch. Here’s the stuff you need to know, you little shit: -I have very little tolerance for your brand of aggressive driving. -If you would have stopped your car and gotten out, we would have tangled on the spot.  I won’t lose a fight with the likes of you.  I’ve been in my share.  I doubt that you have.


Can someone--anyone--explain Hillary Clinton’s appearance?   Please?


I don't really watch many television programs the first time around--I need to wait until they have "matured" a little.  Stood the test of time, maybe.  There are exceptions, of course, but in general..... I always liked Wings, a 90s ensemble sit-com about a tiny airport and a tiny airline in Nantucket.  Caught an episode now and again, and always laughed out loud. But when I got a Netflix account, I found the entire series available--it had gone on longer than I realized--so I watched episode 1 of season 1, the pilot.  Now, with Netflix, you get these without commercial interruption, so a half hour program is only 22 minutes or so--an hour program runs anywhere from 42 to 50 minutes--so there's not much of a time investment. So, I find myself in love with the characters of Wings.  Joe and Brian and Helen and Faye and Roy and Lowell and all the rest.  The occasional visit from a name-brand actor.  I've invited them all into my home and found them to be my f

Blonde Ice at PubDHub

I recently added a new channel (PubDHub) to my ROKU line-up.  PubDHub is can be found at That should clear up that. Lots of old public domain movies and old commercials and such.  Much fun.  So I watched Blonde Ice.  From 1948.  I recommend it.  Don't let another day go by without adding this experience.


It all happened like this--5 or 6 years ago, we moved into a two-plus story house with a full basement.  Truth be told, the basement is bigger than most of the houses and apartments I've lived in most of my life.  This place is HUGE.  Old, but huge.  Needed some, um, upgrades due to deferred maintenence and such, but that's a story for a different day.  Made of brick, like the smart little pig might have built.  5000 square feet or something like that. So we moved in.  Needed a phone, some TV, and some Internet.  I'd had a wireless network in my old place, and wanted it again, but, like I said this place is HUGE.  The house we had left behind was less than half this size, and all on one level.  The wireless network here needed to cover three floors (when you count the basement, and I do) as well as part of the grounds.  I already had some wifi networking gear that I arrived with, so I called the local cable company (Time Warner) and got set up with high speed Internet, a

One More Thing I Could Have Gone All Day Without Knowing About

Coconut Crab No, my friend, that's a normal sized trash can, and this thing is a Coconut Crab.  Common land based crab found in tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans.  Nope, I didn't believe it either.  Snopes believes it, though. Oh, and then there's this--they can attain sizes up to 3 feet in length and 40 pounds. No, I have no idea what that is in meters and kilograms .

The Price of Gasoline

What with the price of gasoline, I may yet be forced to give up the Caddy in favor of a bicycle, but until that day.......... One Man, One Car As God Intended

Lawyers and the IRS

Have we all had just about enough of lawyers now?  Bad enough that they advertise on cable TV to get you some disability, or sue your doctor or some company or another.  Seems that lawyers and the legal profession are pretty much in charge of everything.  After all, they make all the rules.  What with judges and politicians all being lawyers, and protecting their own with rulings and regulations.  You know what I'm getting at here: Lawyers have no sense of humor when it comes to lawyer jokes.  No, that's no really it.....true, but not the point. I read that the IRS (via their lawyers) has enacted a new set of rules to require anyone who prepares tax returns to be certified, pass a test, have regular training, be capable of filing e-returns, and etceteras into the night.  There's a lawsuit that's been filed to prohibit these new rules from taking effect.  The lawsuit alleges that this will drive the "little guy" out of business (too much red tape, too many

The United States Postal Service

I buy and sell stuff on eBay.  It's fun, and there are still bargains to be found there.  Not like in days gone by, but they can be found.  I ship stuff using FedEx, UPS, and as you might guess by the title of this entry, the United States Postal Service.  When little gems are delivered to me, they come by the same nice variety of shipping services.  All is well. Or maybe not. UPS and FedEx can be counted on to make timely deliveries.  So can the USPS.  UPS and FedEx can be counted on to deliver undamaged packages.  Here's what you get with USPS: At least that's what I got today.  What do you think the chances are that this damage was accidental?

The Adventures of Ted and Norman, Chapter 1

When I was just a pup, my family decided to call me by my middle name--Norman.  That's not all that unusual really.  At least it wasn't in MY life.  I had a same generation cousin who was a little older than me, and was named for the same ancestors I was--so his name was also James Norman, and everybody called him Jimmy.  So, they called me Norman.  I stayed Norman until I joined the Army in 1968.  It was at that point of my life that I found out that there was little tolerance for being called by your middle name.  So, I became Jim Young at that point, and have remained so.  Never had an identity problem, always sort of knew where I stood in life and have pretty much always had self confidence, so whatever name I was called by was OK by me.  I've had a number of nick names in my life including Worms and Ol' Forearm, and I was always OK with them (and others), but that's a story for another day.  If I'd been called Jim to begin with, this would have been called

Baseball Wild Cards

OK, Bud Selig decides in his infinite wisdom to add two more "Wild Card" teams to the baseball post-season.  And he decides to move the Houston Astros from the National League to the American league (effective next year). As it now stands, fully one third of the baseball teams will qualify for post-season play, and that's ridiculous.  I didn't like the addition so-called "wild card" teams to begin with, and before that, I didn't like expanding the number of divisions from two to three, and before that I didn't care for having divisions at all.  Carried to it's logical conclusion, Selig (or someone) will erase the concept of the National League and the American League altogether (after all, they've already erased the existance of American League and National League umpires) and subsequently create a crap-load of four team divisions of Major League Baseball.  This will ensure that one quarter of the teams can claim to be "champions"


My Bride wore out her old stand mixer, so I ran down to Sam's Club and bought her a new Kitchen Aid mixer.  She's delighted.  She calls it "Cassius", because, well, it's black, it's beautiful, and it can beat the hell out of Sonny Liston.