Showing posts from 2019

The Homeless "Crisis"

Ever try to offer a job raking leaves or yard clean-up to a guy holding a “Will Work For Food” sign at an off-ramp? Time was, it was a shameful existence—this “homeless” crap. The “campers” were ashamed of themselves, and polite society didn’t tolerate such behavior. Ran ‘em out of town if necessary. Ought to be that way again, and I’m not really interested in any alternative opinion. Just not interested. The homeless problem, or crisis if you like that better, has been misdiagnosed. This isn’t a problem of a larger homeless population than we have had in the past. There were just as many of these drugged, alcoholic, lazy, incompetent, criminal, thieving panhandlers in the past. But, like I said, they’re no longer ashamed of themselves, and we forgot how to run them out of town. You almost never see a homeless encampment on private property. In this country, we still have control over the use of our privately held property (mostly……….mostly). Homeless guy pops u

Social Media Postings

No disrespect or antagonism intended here—But I’ve had enough of a few things here on what is interestingly referred to as “Social Media”-----Here’s the current list: 1. Habitual, repetitive Biblical scripture 2. Pictures of abused dogs and warnings to not abuse my pets 3. Hateful left-wing political diatribes I’d really like to keep up with your adventures, and see your kids and grand-kids as they grow, but I’m not going to become a democrat, or a christian, because of Facebook postings. The abused dog pictures are awful, but no one in your group of friends is abusing their animals anyhow. I already know that you’re a Christian. If you’re a Trump-hater I already know that too. I already know. I still consider you my friend, and maybe you consider me one as well. And if you should decide to re-post some bizarre thing that seems to uphold your personal world view, do me a favor and fact-check it first. Make absolutely certain that it isn’t just more

The Postal "Service"

A couple of days ago I ranted on Facebook a bit about the United States Postal Service—Frankly, they’re worthless when it comes to package delivery—But I had no idea how many of us have been dealt with in a capricious, inaccurate, and insulting manner by USPS employees. Seems like everyone in my “friends” group has had a similar experience with the USPS. They appear to be just about as respected and loved as the KKK. You see, in order to deliver packages to my house, they would be required to make a three point turn in my drive, which they have decided they can no longer do. I was told at the Post Office that this was due to “anti-backing up” regulations, but when I researched it myself, I discovered that there is no such USPS regulation. The USPS has a section of their safety manual devoted to instructions on how to back up, but it’s not prohibited. In other words, the USPS employees are lying about it. The logical explanation is that the USPS doesn’t want to

Menthol Smokes

Just saw on the local news that one of the local jurisdictions up here in the greater Northwest (read:Portland) is considering banning menthol cigarettes because, and I couldn’t possibly make this up…..Because the advertising for menthol cigarettes targets “people of color”--Their words, I swear. Evil fargin’ tobacco companies anyhow…..Killing off non-whites. Seems to be just more of the old white guy syndrome here in these United States, no? I quit smoking a really long time ago, but when I did smoke, I was a Kool guy. And no, I’m not anybody’s description of a person of color. I’m really weary of this nonsense. Really.

The Sunday Paper

I miss having the daily newspaper delivered to the house. One of the problems these days is that the newspaper doesn’t really have as much to do with my life as it once did. I live in a place I didn’t grow up in, and the people who are in charge of things (like the newspaper, f’rinstance) aren’t known quantities to me. I bet it’s different when you live in the same town all your life. I grew up reading the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and the San Francisco Chronicle when they were actual newspapers rather than sounding boards for democrat party politics. I guess it’s indicative that there’s no Santa Rosa Press Republican. Far as I know, there never was, but at one time the “PD” was just a local paper. I don’t know what it is now, but whatever the contents are, it has little to do with my life. The paper here in Cowlitz County, Washington emanates from Longview, Washington—just up the road a piece—We call it the “Big City” when we go there. It’s about 35,000 popul

Pay for Play, NCAA Style

I see that college athletes can now sign endorsement deals for payment. Well, shit. This sort of crap originates from the Great State of California, you know. The California state legislature and their Supreme Leader, Gavin Newsom, passed legislation allowing such behavior at that state’s colleges. The NCAA followed suit, otherwise all the quality athletes would automatically go to California, because they can get paid there. Can a college athlete with a giant endorsement deal now even be removed from the student body for, oh, I dunno, refusing to go to classes or failing to pass? Or will that athlete be entitled to continue to represent that college because that’s his income source and he has a RIGHT to it? If he gets expelled does he have a cause of action to retain his endorsement? Is this athlete a student or an employee? If he gets hurt on the field of competition is he entitled to disability payments? After all, he WORKS FOR THE GODDAM STATE!! Probably be r

Evil Capitalists

I no longer live in, nor anywhere near, California, but even so, am beginning to get weary of the droning of blaming PG&E for the fire issues in that state. Good plan folks—Blame the evil capitalist. Make sure that the power grid is absorbed by the Great State of California. Let them run it with the same fine degree of ability that they use at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Good plan. Keep it up. Yeah, that’s most likely the only possible answer—Evil Capitalists. No way it could possibly be the crushing environmental regulations and lawsuits. No way.

WalMart Gluten-Free Cream Soup

I write the occasional product review on Amazon—Normally it’s because I really liked something that I bought for some reason. There are ALWAYS plenty of critical reviews out there, but precious few honest reviews of praise. I use my real name, and if my name is attached to an Amazon review, it’s an honest review. A couple of days ago, I reviewed a group of “Amazon Partner” retailers. I’d never done that before, but here’s the upshot of the whole thing: My bride has decided to try to go gluten-free. That’s fine by me. Turns out, gluten-free products are expensive and sometimes hard to find. She wanted to make a casserole (or something) that called for a can of cream-of-something soup. We discovered that there’s a WalMart branded selection of cream soup available for about a buck and a half a can. was sold out. Figures. Checked Amazon. Sure enough, it’s available in quantity from a handful of Amazon “Partners”. For about 9 dollars American

Xfi Advantage!!!!!

As a follow-up to the Xfinity wifi hot-spot issue, I went back to the Comcast corporate web site and read, I think, pretty much every word there, and believe-you-me, that’s a bunch of words. The upshot of that review of information is that I failed to find any mention AT ALL of Comcast deleting or disabling a wifi hot-spot due to overuse (at least I think that’s what happened here). When I say “over use” I’m sort of making that up, because there’s no mention or documentation that over-use has any sort of definition or advance warning. Or that it’s even a thing. The fact remains, however, that when I actually used this wifi hot-spot, it disappeared. Why do I sort of have the feeling that I’m the subject of an episode of the X-Files? It’s still interesting to me that Comcast touts this “benefit”, but when it’s actually used and accessed, it gets disabled. As above, I can only surmise that’s what happened, because no one at Comcast seems to know, or will admit, that thi

Xfinity WiFi "Hot Spots"

Here’s the way it started—I have an Internet-Centric house. I stream EVERYTHING. Comcast/Xfinity is my source for a signal because the actual signal that comes through the coax cable is massive when compared to the only alternative here which happens to be Centurylink DSL, and not the fiber-optic stuff. I think you might be able to see where this is going. Comcast has a 1 TB data limit. OK, not really a limit. It’s a cap. Yeah, that’s it…..a cap. I have the minimum cable TV package that’s available, and I access it via the ROKU streaming application. When I got that app, I was specifically informed by a Comcast employee on the phone that streaming through that app did not count against my data cap. They were specific. Mostly, when I watch TV, I access it through HULU anyhow, not Comcast. Had a Comcast Tech at the house today who told me exactly the opposite regarding the Comcast streaming app—he said that anything that was streaming through the modem/

Food Equity

Yep, it’s a Diversity pie. Thought you’d NEVER ask……….It’s got both green and red tomatoes in it and both orange and white cheese on it. I’m all for diversity in my pies. It’s also got a gluten-free crust, but I only mention that for the hipsters from Portland. Later on I’m hoping for Equity cookies. They’ll have both white and dark chocolate chips, but you can’t point out the difference. And remember, they’re cookies, not crackers.


Honestly, I’m not interested in hearing the biblical lesson that you want to teach. I understand that you have a need to teach, but please…..Honestly, I don’t need another view of mistreated animals. I already don’t mistreat them, and chances are, you’re not actually reaching the audience that would learn not to leave their dog out in the snow by dint of your meme…..Honestly, I already know your politics and religious affiliation. You probably don’t know mine, but that’s because….. What I want out of this “Social Media” mess is the same sort of relationship we had before social media existed. I’d like to hear about your grandkids and your vacations. You’d never in a million years accuse me, face to face, of being a coward to not scream my politics out loud, would you? Of course not. I never much participated in uncomfortable or unfriendly conversations with anyone (other than criminals) and I don’t want to now. We’re friends in a real sense, and I like that. Hones

“You’re Under Arrest for Foul Play”

While watching the local morning “news” program today—from Portland, Oregon—there was a story about a guy who was found dead at the Portland Zoo. Very sad. As the story unfolded, the news reporter in the field said that the police did not suspect “foul play”. For the record, I’ve never heard the words “foul play” come from the lips of a law enforcement spokes-being. News-people, however, seem to be in love with it. On a related note, I wonder if all TV news reporters are now women. Or is that just in Portland? In the interest of clarity, I don't live in Portland, and despise the town. But what passes for local programming here in Castle Rock emanates from either Portland or Seattle. It’s a coin toss for content, but I usually go with Portland TV. No, I don't really know why.


Time was, I worked as a police officer for the city of Santa Rosa, California. I’ve been retired for a long time now and no longer live in or anywhere near Santa Rosa (or California, for that matter), but I still pay attention to what the good guys are doing down there. For an extended time I was a swing shift patrolman, and I liked the work, the action, and the equipment. I always thought I was pretty good at it too--It was more than a job to me. I told you that so I could tell you this: I saw a video of a domestic violence/kidnapping in Santa Rosa where the police department deployed, among other fancy gadgets (I’m sure), a drone. A fargin’ drone. With that piece of equipment, they located the bad guy hiding in a tree and took him into custody. That’s what I call a good job by all concerned. A goddamn drone. My God. In 1977 (or maybe 1978) I was working as a patrolman in Santa Rosa on a weekend night—5th street at that time was a one-way affair (and, for

Metered Service

Metered service is always a bad deal for the end user. It’s always a bad deal for consumers to have a meter and get charged based on use. When I lived in Bakersfield, California, we had the option of a flat rate for water. Which I opted for. It meant that if I needed to flush the crapper, I didn’t have to worry about my water bill while I was straining. Plus, of course, metered service always annoys the end user. AOL learned the hard way that metered service has a limited life span, and customers will flee as soon as a viable alternative is available. AT&T’s long distance service was the same. Cell phone service was recently prohibitively expensive, but is now ubiquitous and cheap.  When customers feel squeezed by a monopoly, it creates hard feelings. And here’s the current incarnation of this repetitive little drama: Television viewers are leaving traditional (cable) service in favor of streaming services. HULU, Sling, Netflix, Amazon Prime--I’m in that

The Radio Broadcast

I really do wish that the Giants broadcast team would disassociate their collective selves from David Fleming. I’m certain that I want him gone because I’m from a different generation, and view baseball radio announcers as something other than whining, nit-picking, depressing, overly-critical, children who don’t appear to have a decent grip of the game. Or maybe it’s because he peppers his diatribes with the word “literally”. Irritating. Literally irritating. I’m also certain that the radio broadcast managers are happy with him. I don’t know why that is, but I’m sure that they are. I catch the games on Sirius Radio, so I’m stuck with him unless I re-subscribe to MLB.TV, which won’t likely happen. The problem with MLB.TV is their insistence in abandoning fans like me in favor of younger fans. Problem being that the younger fans aren’t really baseball fans. They’re highlight fans. Home Runs. Spectacular Catches. Facebook TV. YouTube broadcasts. Basebal

The Ravine

Right next to our driveway is what I call “The Ravine”--It’s a small gorge filled to the brim with what the state calls invasive species—Japanese Knotweed (a sort of bamboo) and wild blackberries (a sort of cobbler-on-the-hoof). Parts of The Ravine are owned by the property owners here, and parts of it are city property…..I think. None of it is actually my problem. The Ravine also hosts a wide variety of critters, birds, and dead or dying trees. I figure the trees to fall at the worst possible time and hit cars, houses, power lines, or some other necessary thing during a snowstorm this winter. The critters are legion. Squirrels, raccoons, possums, and rabbits by the tubful. Birds, you ask? Jays, doves, pigeons, the occasional trespassing crow, and small birds of a wide variety. Yes, I feed them. If I don’t, they go after the blueberries. I hook up Lil (the Terrier) on our little hill where the vegetables and berries are located to keep the critters at b

Protect Your Kids

I’ve been reading, like most of the rest of us, about the repetitive tragedies of children being injured at MLB parks by foul balls. And the eternal subsequent hand-wringing about how to properly protect everyone from possible injury. Oh, My. 1-Protect your children. Not just at ballparks. 2-Teach those kids to pay attention when they are in a possibly dangerous place. Not JUST MLB parks. 3-If you can’t manage that, sit in the bleachers where it’s safer, or….. 4-Watch the game on TV. This isn’t a baseball problem, it's a lack of parental supervision. Here’s another solution: Quit having games at the existing ballparks. MLB has plenty of cash, so they could buy up a shit-load of South Dakota property (or Nebraska—you get the idea, I’m sure), build a dozen or so ball fields where all MLB games would be played, then video-streamed to the big screen TVs that already exist at the ball parks. Easy-Peasy. You could have picnics on what was

The New Neighbors

At the end of our very tiny street in our very tiny town, there’s a house that sat vacant and for sale for a couple of years. It was recently purchased by a young(ish) couple—Lotsa tattoos, plenty-o-cars and trucks...Both smokers. None of that is any of my business. I introduced myself when they moved in, but they don’t seem interested, which is probably a good thing, but you never know. They have, on occasion, a small boy who seems friendless. He’s significantly overweight, maybe 6 or 7 years old. Their lot ends at the corner where the mail-box cluster for our tiny street is located. Since we moved in, the mail-box corner was nicely shaded by a cluster of plum trees. The added advantage to the shade was the presence of plums. Tasty little plums. Made for a fine plum buckle on occasion. My suspicion is that the plum trees somehow offended the new neighbors, because those trees have been decimated. Interestingly, after they were cut down, they were simply left wh

Target Demographics

What follows is a fine example of how my mind will let one thing lead to another………. Just watched Reign of Fire, that post apocalyptic dragon-fest of 2002, and found that it is set in the far-off distant future world of 2020. I love that part. To me, 2002 is yesterday. I still have socks that were purchased in 2002. Which made me think about…..Something that happened last week: As it turns out, I am a security guy at the local community college (part-time) and, as such, occasionally write a parking ticket or do some other minor-league interfacing with the local police department. Last week, one of the instructors reported a theft of some college property, so I took down all the info for the on-line police report (the police department doesn’t actually take reports in the field for cold cases anymore, but that’s a story for another day). I needed the instructor’s birth date to complete the report, and he told me he was born in 1990. 1990. Music that was popula

Getting Old

I hadn’t really thought too much about getting old. My Dad was 40 when I was born, so, in retrospect, he was always sort of old. But he never really acted like it, and he didn’t actually start looking old until I was in my 30s. Plus, we lived in different towns and I didn’t see him more than once a month or so. Thing was, he kept working at a job (in a lumber mill) until he was 76 years old. What with him working like that, it never occurred to me that he was wearing out. Or getting tired of the grind. Or that the way he had lived (and, brother, he lived) might just perhaps have caused his bones and joints to hurt. I just never thought about it. My Dad, I think, was blessed with the same sort of genealogical heritage that he passed along to me. Or cursed with it, if you know what I mean, and I think you just might. One of his favorite lines was this: “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I woulda taken better care of myself”. Now that I’m 70, I ag

Portland News

I may or may not have mentioned that I live in Castle Rock, Washington. It’s a small town about an hour or two North of Portland, Oregon (depending on traffic), and about the same distance South of Seattle, Washington. Castle Rock is right on Interstate 5. Castle Rock is not Portland or Seattle. In the last election, we voted Trump, but historically, it’s been mixed—Lots of union guys here, and they tend to vote Democrat even when it leaves a foul taste in their mouth. I told you that so I could tell you this: We don’t have any local news. When I turn on the morning news, I get to pick Seattle or Portland. It’s like being pecked to death by ducks. This morning, the Portland stations (which I go to almost all the time) were all a-flutter with the women’s gold cup USA championship. Whoopee. Portland wants to be Europe, and Soccer is Europe in a nutshell. A perfect fit. They ran baseball outta town decades ago—too American, and too pedestrian. The big i

Summer Rain

I become a bit more disillusioned with what passes for Summer in Castle Rock every year. Not that I don’t like it here—I do, but….. It’s July the 7 th , and I started to cut the grass (some people might say they mowed the lawn, but for that you need an actual LAWN), only to have it start raining. Raining on July 7 th . When we moved here, the standing joke was that we have two seasons—Winter and August. At least I thought it was a joke when I was a newcomer. Then, I figured that we were just having an odd Summer season. Or two. I only need to know if global warming (OOPS—I mean climate change) might include an actual Summer up here in the greater Pacific Northwest. If so, I’m all for it. Go ahead and change, O Climate Gods. It’s funny to watch lifetime residents change to flip-flops, shorts, and tank tops whenever the temperature reaches 65. Or watch local news and have a special on drought, sunscreen, and hydration whenever it fails to rai

Dave Barry Quotes

“The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above-average drivers.”  ―  Dave Barry,  Dave Barry Turns Fifty “It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.”  ―  Dave Barry Lots more (an endless supply) at: