Um, I mean good afternoon of course!

 Sorry for the crankiness right out of the gate but it’s just been one of those days. What kind of day am I referring to? Well, do you ever have one of those days where every single thing in existence seems to bother or irritate you? If not, good for you and go away. For me, there are just some days where from the first moment I crack my eyes open at 12:34am (and again at random intervals over the next five or so hours) that I just want to pull myself into an imaginary turtle shell and shut out all things. And I do mean all things. Continue reading


October 3rd – (Unofficial) National Mean Girls Day

 Don’t know what I’m talking about with the title…Google it. And forgive me. 

In addition to paying homage to one of the greatest teen comedies of all-time (highly subjective judging here), I was cruising along the news feeds on the internet. Obviously dominating the headlines is the senseless tragedy from Las Vegas where a shooter killed nearly five dozen people and injured hundreds more. On an also somber note, the music legend Tom Petty has left the stage. 

In an effort to get away from the death and sadness, I ran across an article warning of an asteroid that will pass ‘near’ the Earth on October 12, 2017. Glad for the distraction, I clicked the link and read some NASA provided details on an asteroid set to ‘pass by’ the Earth on the 12th. Now when I hear ‘asteroid’ and ‘near the Earth’, my mind jumps to the 1998 movie classic Armageddon featuring Bruce Willis, Ben Allfeck, Billy Bob Thornton and Liv Tyler (plus many more!). The plot of that movie was an end of the world scenario where a chuck of space rock, roughly the size of the state of Texas, is on a collision course with Mother Earth! Oh no! The end is nigh! But wait! The scrappy human race puts together a debatable ‘Dream Team’ to try to blast this rock apart and save our existence (at least on this plain). Despite the critical review of the late Roger Ebert (one star out of five rating), may he rest in peace, the film cost $140,000,000 to make but recouped that plus more in a total box office take of $553,700,000. This just goes to show, that artistically speaking (yes I’m talking about you Michael Bay of Transformers fame and considerable fortune), sometimes the people just want a cool story, special effects and a big name to entertain them for two hours even if the logical stuff falls flat.


Getting back to the present: Should we be concerned about this asteroid hurtling through our relative space? According to NASA, not so much. In the movie, the rock chunk was the size of Texas. The one coming in 9 days is the roughly the size of a bloated T-Rex. Also this T-Rex-sized rock mass is not supposed to be coming directly at the Earth, but about 31,100 miles to the side. So the planet, all applicable satellites and assorted space stuff alike should be good to go.

 Below is a link to a Wikipedia site that details the three dozen or so other notable asteroid incidents from 2017 so far.

 Hope your Tuesday is bright, pleasant and filled with adoring pets!



The Total Solar Eclipse vs Y2K Madness

Like the sun is like totally going to be like obscured and such for like two and a half minutes. Oh My Gawd!

So for my peoples in the path of destruction, where will you be on Monday, August 21st at 1:15pm-ish? Will you be hunkered in a bunker? Rooftop to stare at the sun spot?

Me, I will be at work while Kristi’s child will be at home because school has been cancelled to allow for the two plus minute window of darkness in the afternoon (face palm). Here’s a thought: It’s the middle of the friggin afternoon. If it gets too dark while driving you can turn on your headlights! Here’s a second thought: What are you going to do if it is cloudy that afternoon? Maybe try to get a refund for your #$@#@* eclipse glasses?

Why am I so anti-eclipse? Simply because it’s not that big of a deal. I say this as a person who got a C+ in all my science classes because I frankly do not find science all that interesting. Don’t get me wrong, science is great and the basis behind all or most of society’s conveniences. But for me it’s like magic. I know their is some sort of logic on why things occur and how ‘tricks’ unfold but I’ll let them remain a mystery and be accepting of the awe and wonder without getting all geeked up.

Some people may be of an age to remember and appreciate the hysteria from the Y2K malarkey. For those who were of an age to comprehend things back in the year of 1999, there was an unease and shallow panic in the throngs of the populace. The year 2000 was coming. The possible end of the world was coming. Computers as we knew them then were going to turn into smoking balls of fire once December 31st at 11:59pm clunked beyond the next minute. The collective electronic globe held it’s breath and hugged loved ones close as they prepared for the unimaginable. On that last day in December, the seconds raced toward the ‘end’.

11:59:59…turned into 12:00:00 and there were innumerable explosions! Ok Ok it was just locals shooting off fireworks and discharging firearms like any other new year’s celebration. But the hype, fear and pandemonium leading up to that point were unfounded. Yes I’m sure there were some programs that saved the files at the bottom of the list instead of the top where the newest stuff should get saved but for the most part nothing of note happened.

My point here is that for the most part I don’t anticipate anything of significance occurring on Monday either. The oceans will not rise and turn the all continents into a modern Atlantis. Gravity will not be suspended; thus sending everything not rooted to the Earth’s crust hurtling into the farthest reaches of oxygen-less space.

Monday morning will arrive. Monday afternoon will happen. It will become some shade of darkness. (Note: As a general rule you should not stare at the sun but if you have these ‘special’ glasses then go for it.) The eclipse will commence and then wane and everything will more or less be the same as before. A billion pictures will be uploaded onto social media. A trillion social media statuses will be something related to the solar event. This will go on for days until something else moderately interesting comes along and then it will cease to be noteworthy topic until those end of the year recap shows for TV and radio.

If you are hosting an eclipse party and I’ve offended you, I quasi-apologize. By which I mean to say: sorry-not sorry. I implore you to have your fun but for me, I put the eclipse on par with my appreciation for the sport of soccer. If it’s your cup of tea, more power to you but I’m viciously bored with both.

Have a great weekend and make sure to protect yourself on Monday from the marauding hordes of Big Bang Gangs crisscrossing the country!


The Struggle is Real

I was sitting in on a virtual webinar today at work. Naturally I locked onto something completely out of context to the material being presented. A thought occurred to me and laughed out loud at my desk. The presenter was talking about his daughter and how she ‘struggles’ with math.

In today’s society, we tend to substitute words for things to be a little gentler and politically correct. Things in our jobs can be challenging is a nice way of saying something is “A big pain in the arse”. So when you hear someone say that someone struggles at something…it’s a nice way of saying “they suck at it”.

Oh it’s true, it’s darn true!

Right now I am struggling at playing nice with certain people.  🙂

Hope you are NOT struggling at enjoying your Friday. Have a greeeeeaaaaaat Friday and subsequent weekend.



Cadaver Dogs

Did you know there is a website called I had not a clue until about 12 seconds ago. I was thinking to myself:

“What are the biggest sellers for the Cadbury company during the months after Easter?”

I start typing Cadbury in the search engine and auto-fill suggests cadaver…from there my mind starts sing-songing: Cadaver Dogs, down in the swamp! (To the tune of Bob Evans…down on the farm!) Why did my mind go there? I honestly have no clue. Sometimes the track switches without warning and the train rolls on.

In scanning through some material on cadaver dogs, I was surprised to learn a few things. For me, I kind of get the doggie stereo-type of German Shepherds as the police dogs with all the detection tools. But come to find out, there are several breeds that are utilized especially when trying to locate human remains. Goldens, blood hounds, collies, beagles, pit bulls and more! So don’t be like me. Let your mind be open and receptive to the opportunities available to many dog breeds regardless of size, color or gender.

Today’s random Google search has taught me a valuable lesson in embracing the possibilities (for doggie workers). And here’s to hoping I am never in need of the cadaver dogs’ services to locate my remains somewhere down the road.

To everyone who breathes in the air on this Earth while reading my posts, keep fighting the good ‘eat healthy’ battle. If nothing else, at least try to speak the names of healthy vegetables in the hopes that invoking their names to the universe will lead to good health.




Disappointment Party of One…Your Table is Ready

I have worked for many companies and bosses over the last 25 plus years. Some companies were good but had bad bosses and some companies were bad but had good bosses and some were just bad all-around. Pushing aside the salary and benefits and actually liking your job, I feel having a boss that has your back is huge. I cannot tell you how many times working under Jayne, Sarah and Jon at those respective places of business that hairy situations came up. But I knew in each situation what was appropriate and that if push came to shove, those people had my back as long as I stayed on the correct side of the line of right and wrong. So it’s a very frustrating and a lost at sea feeling when you do your job as it should be done and that alleged line of support takes a step back and just watches as the bus roll over you. It’s a feeling like a kid getting socks and underwear for Christmas but not just new plain white socks and underwear; more like second-hand socks and underwear with some holes and brown-ish stains.

My recommendation for the youth of today, find a way to be your own boss or just be independently wealthy (is there an app for this yet?). You will get let down less often but don’t worry, other people will still find ways to disappoint you: the maid, the gardeners, your personal trainer, quasi-psychiatrists, the attendant at your personal sports complex, etc.

Today feels like an I’m going to stop at the gas station to buy a Powerball ticket kind of day. Three Mondays in this week so far is darn crappy odds but maybe the universe is saying the odds will be good somewhere else. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed that it (the Powerball grand prize win) comes to fruition.

To the smiling haters and spineless wannabes, I hope a flood of steaming vomit appears on your desk and you can clearly distinguish bits of salad, maybe some strawberries, a few ounces of root beer and bunch of the ‘weird’ varieties of Doritos – partially digested are all there.


*** Legal Disclaimer: The above blog post does not describe a real-time incident or scenario. Any similarities to people and businesses, dead or alive or dormant, is strictly coincidental. Remember sarcasm is as vital as water, food and sunlight (not the dish washing detergent).

Rabies and Bobcat Babies

Baby Bobcat Rescued, Euthanized

OK this is my last rant-like post for the week and a bit of a bummer to start June with but this topic is seriously bugging me and in order to try to purge it from brain, here we go…

Some of you may have seen an article pertaining to Lamia the three week old female bobcat kitten ‘rescued’ in Springfield, Missouri. I’ve included the post mortem article up above.

Someone please remind me, what year is it again 1817? In this day and age where we can remotely start our cars, turn off appliances from hundreds of miles away using a phone app and science can (and did) make an exact copy of a sheep from a collection of cells: why isn’t rabies treatment more or less along the lines of a flu shot? Hmmm?

Now take my mental distress and outrage into context. I am a cat owner and have enjoyed having multiple cats in my household for the better part of 25 years. Yes I know the ‘cat’ from the article is a wild animal, not a housecat but a baby bobcat. In truth many wild animals are hunted and killed or perish trying to cross various roadways every day. Life and subsequent death is hard and unpleasant to contemplate. But human intervention killed this wild animal on the heels of ‘saving’ it. The dude that this controversy spins outward from, apparently had some sort of heart procedure within recent months. This did not stop him from going out and bulldozing or whatever to his property. And so he came across this bobcat kitten. How it unfolded next; the kitten was ‘rescued’ and put into a cage. While the kitten was inside the cage, this guy’s hand came into proximity to the bobcat baby. Acting on instinct, the kitten bit him…and broke the skin with its four baby teeth. The wildlife advocate lady involved advised him to have a medical professional look at the bite and thus started us on this sad and un-necessary Green-Mile-like procession.

Since the bobcat is not a domestic animal, it cannot be quarantined to see if the three stages of rabies present themselves.
Stage one: Prodromal – behavior changes – personality along with eating and drinking radically change
Stage two: Excitative – excitable by outside stimuli causing violent reactions, including lashing out and biting
Stage three: Paralytic – hindquarters ‘freeze’, muscles become rigid, excessively drooling, difficulty breathing (Note: Death is usually caused by respiratory arrest)

One trait shared by the rabies carrier and the infected victim is hydrophobia, which is the historic name for rabies. Because in the throes of stage two, it becomes hard to swallow for the infected and they develop an irrational fear of water. Don’t ask me why, they just do.

So I’m guessing rabies has only been around for like 5-10 years or they would’ve already found a cure right? Nope. Rabies has been around since at least 2000 B.C. according to ancient records in Europe. So fast forward 4000 years…and rabies still exists. I guess this shouldn’t be that surprising because not everyone can live in a controlled upscale community. Just like polio and small pox et al, there are always going to be versions of disease, such as the viral rabies, that exist in corners of the world where medical care consists of wrapping leaves and mud around a cut or bite. But in these United States, where your President is Donald Trump and Kathy Griffin can post a social media picture depicting a ‘joke’ of a decapitated President, how do we not have a laser device on our keychains that can wipe out rabies or a snake bite just by zapping the infected area for 10 seconds? Get Scooby on this mystery ASAP! Dr. Gregory House would’ve figured out how to cure rabies with a banana and an ice cube.

Alright I will move the notches back on the lawn mower deck to cut a little closer. Yes there are cures for snake bites and rabies. You can even Google the specific options for protocols (see the Milwaukee Protocol). You might even be able to run by Walgreens on the way home to have their clinic do it for you depending upon where you live (yeah, I’m talking to you North Dakota).

Let’s establish some facts. 95% of the world’s rabies problem is contained in Africa and Asia. Of the 17,400 cases reported worldwide in 2015, 40% of them were contracted by children under the age of 15. Rabies is transmitted, in general, via scratch or bite from an infected animal. The usual suspects carrying the rabies virus are: dogs, bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes. But the virus is not limited to these animals. The virus can be carried by and transmitted to any warm blooded mammal and it attacks the Central Nervous System. 99% of the world’s rabies transmissions come from dogs but 95% of the Americas rabies cases are attributed to bats. If that is confusing, just refer back to the first sentence in this paragraph where Africa and Asia predominantly hold the world’s rabies problem.

On the home front, home being North America, there were 49 confirmed cases of rabies from 1995 through 2011 and almost all of those were attributed to bats. A fun little bit of information, birds can be infected with rabies, as scientists intentionally did in the middle 1900’s. But they produce antibodies that fight off the virus. If not can you imagine the worldwide epidemic that could be spread by the trillions of birds? As if millions of people didn’t already suffer from Ornithophobia.

Today is June the first or June 1, 2017. There are 120 days until World Rabies Day (September 28th). What does that ribbon look like?

Besides the information contained above, what is my point here? Well for one that yes I can be a bit informative in addition to entertaining. And two, this baby bobcat was put to death for virtually no reason. I am going to tell you right now in writing that the test on this beheaded baby bobcat is going to come back negative for rabies. Do the math, 49 cases of rabies in North America from 1995 to 2011 – that equates out on average to 3 legit occurrences per year. The guy who got bit doesn’t have rabies. This baby bobcat who was earmarked to live in captivity for the rest of its life, got three weeks on the books and extinguished by a virtual form somewhere. The guy who got bit while ‘clearing his land’ after a heart procedure was not a candidate for the vaccine. He was offered the (if necessary) cure at zero cost by interest groups who lobbied to save this tiny creature’s life. The number one option taken to check for rabies in a suspected (apparently not innocent until proven guilty here) animal is to kill it, behead it and extract brain cells to check for (and the majority of the time not find) rabies virus. How many thousands of animals a year are destroyed for fear of this often not present virus? Granted full blown rabies is painful and deadly to humans and animals alike but guess what…you can get an immediate treatment and be OK most of the time. Something that is also neglected to be acknowledged…you can test for rabies with saliva, urine and cerebrospinal fluid. I’m not sure what that third option is but the other two do not require decapitation. Duly noted that the other options are not 100% accurate all the time, but heck condoms are on the market and they are not 100% effective either.

It just goes to show that we are a blood thirsty society and wrong place, wrong time examples like Lamia pay the price. What would Harambe say if he were alive today?

Thursday. Handful of Skittles.



Epilogue: I was right and all the people involved should be punched in the face 100 times for being stupid. Read the story below.

Friday the 26th!

So today has been like two Friday the 13th’s minus the appearance of a large, hulking figure dressed in rags wearing a classic style hockey mask wielding a machete…but the day isn’t over yet.

Anywhozit, I hope your Friday has been more pleasant than a proctological exam performed by an agitated man with over-sized hands who can only calm down by singing songs from the Lion King soundtrack, starting with Can You Feel The Love Tonight.

For the American audience, most of you are probably on the threshold of a three day weekend in white collar job circles or looking to sling some beers in other vocations. For the rest of the world who does not celebrate Memorial Day, there are some other holidays being celebrated. In Turkmenistan, on Sunday the 28th they will observe Carpet Day. On that day China celebrates Dragon Boat Festival holiday which could be interesting. Over the next several days Poland, France, Sweden, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Nicaragua will celebrate Mother’s Day. With this multi-cultural look around the globe, there are some other holidays and celebrations to be noted and perhaps adopted.

If you live in a home that contains some species of bird held in a cage, make sure to feed them. Otherwise, you will just have a bird carcass in a cage. Just saying.

With no more advice or insights to pass along today, I bid you fond farewell for just awhile.


City softball into the Twillight Zone

Greeting, good day and all that funky jazz.

Today is Thursday. The day that follows Wednesday or at least has for the last few thousand years. Last night at Wilmore Park (in St Louis) my softball team played some ball under the league sanction of ASA. Two games were played. Thanks to the evil and literally heartless beast that is I-270, I was seven minutes late arriving for our first game. Our collective opponent was a decently competitively team on par with our team. In the first game, mental and physical errors cost us the game from a win and loss standpoint. In the second game, more miscues and lack of hitting doomed us again. The differences in the scorebook were underscored by the two teams differing approaches.  The other team was taking the games very seriously and treating them like a televised national tournament. My team (including myself), however, was just not all there. I know what my problem was as it relates to how I performed on the field: I do not like arriving late. For me it throws off everything: hitting, pitching, mental assignments et al. So we lost both games and potentially we could have at least split the two games.

As you are reading along I can hear you thinking: well this doesn’t sound too out there. The games themselves were just a typical night of recreational league softball. Somebody wins, somebody loses. Where the weirdness comes into play is here. Coaching third base for the other team was an elderly-ish gentleman not dressed for softball but more business casual attire but a harmless enough looking fellow. In between innings and between the two games, I crossed paths with him a few times and he would make mundane enough comments: Nice inning, not your guys night, good pitching, the team has really been gearing up to play you guys, couple of plays here and there and you guys win, and on and on.

For whatever reason, after the two games were over and the teams were dispersing, this elderly guy and some of his entourage moved over to our side of the field and placed their belongings on our bench. This is the point where things, for me, got weird.

Now keep in mind, I don’t really know this guy. I gave you a vague description of a semi-elderly, tall, thin Caucasian man casually dressed but not casually dressed for a softball game. I do not know his name. During the night we exchanged some benign small talk in passing and I mostly just nodded or gave a non-committal laugh or just answered ‘yep’. As I stated above, part of his group migrated to our bench and he made eye contact with me and said: “How about sitting right there on the bench next to me?”

Odd request stranger man, so I said, no thanks. He cocked his head to one side and said again: “How about sitting right there on the bench next to me?” All I could do was make a befuddled face and before I could decline again, he said, “You know, from Alice’s restaurant?” Seeing as I was born in 1972 and the only reference I could come up with was the TV show Alice, where Alice the waitress worked at Mel’s Diner, I asked do you mean Alice from Mel’s Diner?

He laughed. A goofy, crazy old man laugh of someone who cannot believe how stupid the person he is talking to is.

Sensing I was ready to back away slowly, he proceeded to tell me the story of the album and song from Arlo Guthrie from the late 1960’s. Apparently the song was 15-20 minutes long and was a protest song about the Vietnam War. Again, pointing to the bench, he said there is a passage about sitting on a bench with the mean, nasty, ugly people who are mother rapers and father stabbers or mother stabbers and father rapers.

OK timeout. Correct me if I’m wrong but there has to be some reasonable social etiquette involved with trotting out controversial 50 year old war protest lyrics? Even figuratively offering me a seat on the ‘mean and nasty and ugly bench’ seems a bit rude. I play softball, I write blogs, I record a sports podcast and I try to be a decent person to my family, friends and loved ones.

With enough rudimentary information of whatever this guy was trying to figuratively push across the table, I once again respectfully declined a seat on the bench and made my way to the parking lot area. The whole walk through the overgrown grasses I just kept shaking my head. No offense to Arlo Guthrie and his family, but I could’ve gone the entire rest of my existence without knowing about Alice’s Restaurant.

For you curiosity (if you have such), I have Googled and pasted the song in its entirety below. I’m sure there is some sort of YouTube video of the song but I don’t care. In a way Google and YouTube are like Alice’s Restaurant (hopefully with less Mother Raping and Father Stabbing) in as much that “You can get anything you want”.

Peace. (Highly appropriate considering the reference timeframe of the song)
(Song of protest against the Vietnam War draft)
(The Vietnam War lasted 19 years, 5 months, 4 weeks and 1 day – From November 1, 1955 until April 30, 1975)
Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant Massacree (album) – Alice’s Restaurant (1967)

This song is called Alice’s Restaurant, and it’s about Alice, and the
Restaurant, but Alice’s Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant,
That’s just the name of the song, and that’s why I called the song Alice’s

You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on – two years ago on
Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the
Restaurant, but Alice doesn’t live in the restaurant, she lives in the
Church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and
Fasha the dog. And livin’ in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of
Room downstairs where the pews used to be in. Havin’ all that room,
Seein’ as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn’t
Have to take out their garbage for a long time.

We got up there, we found all the garbage in there, and we decided it’d be
A friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump. So
We took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW
Microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed
On toward the city dump.

Well we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across across the
Dump saying, “Closed on Thanksgiving.” And we had never heard of a dump
Closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes we drove off
Into the sunset looking for another place to put the garbage.

We didn’t find one. Until we came to a side road, and off the side of the
Side road there was another fifteen foot cliff and at the bottom of the
Cliff there was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile
Is better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we
Decided to throw our’s down.

That’s what we did, and drove back to the church, had a thanksgiving
Dinner that couldn’t be beat, went to sleep and didn’t get up until the
Next morning, when we got a phone call from officer Obie. He said, “Kid,
We found your name on an envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of
Garbage, and just wanted to know if you had any information about it. ” And
I said, “Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope
Under that garbage. ”

After speaking to Obie for about forty-five minutes on the telephone we
Finally arrived at the truth of the matter and said that we had to go down
And pick up the garbage, and also had to go down and speak to him at the
Police officer’s station. So we got in the red VW microbus with the
Shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the
Police officer’s station.

Now friends, there was only one or two things that Obie coulda done at
The police station, and the first was he could have given us a medal for
Being so brave and honest on the telephone, which wasn’t very likely, and
We didn’t expect it, and the other thing was he could have bawled us out
And told us never to be seen driving garbage around the vicinity again,
Which is what we expected, but when we got to the police officer’s station
There was a third possibility that we hadn’t even counted upon, and we was
Both immediately arrested. Handcuffed. And I said “Obie, I don’t think I
Can pick up the garbage with these handcuffs on. ” He said, “Shut up, kid.
Get in the back of the patrol car. ”

And that’s what we did, sat in the back of the patrol car and drove to the
Quote Scene of the Crime unquote. I want tell you about the town of
Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where this happened here, they got three stop
Signs, two police officers, and one police car, but when we got to the
Scene of the Crime there was five police officers and three police cars,
Being the biggest crime of the last fifty years, and everybody wanted to
Get in the newspaper story about it. And they was using up all kinds of
Cop equipment that they had hanging around the police officer’s station.
They was taking plaster tire tracks, foot prints, dog smelling prints, and
They took twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles
And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each
One was to be used as evidence against us. Took pictures of the approach,
The getaway, the northwest corner the southwest corner and that’s not to
Mention the aerial photography.

After the ordeal, we went back to the jail. Obie said he was going to put
Us in the cell. Said, “Kid, I’m going to put you in the cell, I want your
Wallet and your belt. ” And I said, “Obie, I can understand you wanting my
Wallet so I don’t have any money to spend in the cell, but what do you
Want my belt for? ” And he said, “Kid, we don’t want any hangings. ” I
Said, “Obie, did you think I was going to hang myself for littering?”
Obie said he was making sure, and friends Obie was, cause he took out the
Toilet seat so I couldn’t hit myself over the head and drown, and he took
Out the toilet paper so I couldn’t bend the bars roll out the – roll the
Toilet paper out the window, slide down the roll and have an escape. Obie
Was making sure, and it was about four or five hours later that Alice
(remember Alice? It’s a song about Alice), Alice came by and with a few
Nasty words to Obie on the side, bailed us out of jail, and we went back
To the church, had a another thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat,
And didn’t get up until the next morning, when we all had to go to court.

We walked in, sat down, Obie came in with the twenty seven eight-by-ten
Colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back
Of each one, sat down. Man came in said, “All rise.” We all stood up,
And Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
Pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he
Sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the
Twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows
And a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog.
And then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles
And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry,
’cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American
Blind justice, and there wasn’t nothing he could do about it, and the
Judge wasn’t going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
Pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each
One explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. And
We was fined $50 and had to pick up the garbage in the snow, but that’s not
What I came to tell you about.

Came to talk about the draft.

They got a building down New York City, it’s called Whitehall Street,
Where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected,
Neglected and selected. I went down to get my physical examination one
Day, and I walked in, I sat down, got good and drunk the night before, so
I looked and felt my best when I went in that morning. ‘Cause I wanted to
Look like the all-American kid from New York City, man I wanted, I wanted
To feel like the all-, I wanted to be the all American kid from New York,
And I walked in, sat down, I was hung down, brung down, hung up, and all
Kinds o’ mean nasty ugly things. And I waked in and sat down and they gave
Me a piece of paper, said, “Kid, see the phsychiatrist, room 604.”

And I went up there, I said, “Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I
Wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and
Guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,
Kill, kill. ” And I started jumpin up and down yelling, “kill, kill, ” and
He started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down
Yelling, “KILL, KILL.” And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me,
Sent me down the hall, said, “You’re our boy.”

Didn’t feel too good about it.

Proceeded on down the hall gettin more injections, inspections,
Detections, neglections and all kinds of stuff that they was doin’ to me
At the thing there, and I was there for two hours, three hours, four
Hours, I was there for a long time going through all kinds of mean nasty
Ugly things and I was just having a tough time there, and they was
Inspecting, injecting every single part of me, and they was leaving no
Part untouched. Proceeded through, and when I finally came to the see the
Last man, I walked in, walked in sat down after a whole big thing there,
And I walked up and said, “What do you want?” He said, “Kid, we only got
One question. Have you ever been arrested? ”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the Alice’s Restaurant Massacre,
With full orchestration and five part harmony and stuff like that and all
The phenome… – and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, did you ever
Go to court? ”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty seven eight-by-ten
Colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on
The back of each one, and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, I want
You to go and sit down on that bench that says Group W…. Now kid!! ”

And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W’s
Where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after
Committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly
Looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father
Rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And
They was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the
Bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest
Father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean ‘n’ ugly
‘n’ nasty ‘n’ horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me
And said, “Kid, whad’ya get?” I said, “I didn’t get nothing, I had to pay
$50 and pick up the garbage. ” He said, “What were you arrested for, kid? ”
And I said, “Littering.” And they all moved away from me on the bench
There, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I
Said, “And creating a nuisance.” And they all came back, shook my hand,
And we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing,
Father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the
Bench. And everything was fine, we was smoking cigarettes and all kinds of
Things, until the Sargeant came over, had some paper in his hand, held it
Up and said.

“Kids, this-piece-of-paper’s-got-47-words-37-sentences-58-words-we-wanna-
Officer’s-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say”, and talked for
Forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said, but we had
Fun filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the bench there,
And I filled out the massacre with the four part harmony, and wrote it
Down there, just like it was, and everything was fine and I put down the
Pencil, and I turned over the piece of paper, and there, there on the
Other side, in the middle of the other side, away from everything else on
The other side, in parentheses, capital letters, quotated, read the
Following words:


I went over to the sargent, said, “Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to
Ask me if I’ve rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I’m
Sittin’ here on the bench, I mean I’m sittin here on the Group W bench
’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women,
Kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug. ” He looked at me and
Said, “Kid, we don’t like your kind, and we’re gonna send you fingerprints
Off to Washington. ”

And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a
Study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I’m
Singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar
Situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a
Situation like that there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into
The shrink wherever you are, just walk in say “Shrink, You can get
Anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant. “. And walk out. You know, if
One person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and
They won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,
They may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.
And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
Singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an
Organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said
Fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and
Walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.

And that’s what it is, the Alice’s Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement, and
All you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come’s around on the

With feeling. So we’ll wait for it to come around on the guitar, here and
Sing it when it does. Here it comes.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

That was horrible. If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.
I’ve been singing this song now for twenty five minutes. I could sing it
For another twenty five minutes. I’m not proud… Or tired.

So we’ll wait till it comes around again, and this time with four part
Harmony and feeling.

We’re just waitin’ for it to come around is what we’re doing.

All right now.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Excepting Alice
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

Da da da da da da da dum
At Alice’s Restaurant

The Lowest Bidder

Good Morning and Happy Hump Day!

It is amusing for me to reflect on ‘water cooler’ conversations amongst friends or co-workers. A co-worker, who has a military service background, was discussing a recent plane crash with another co-worker. He was recalling that for some air drills the pilots would remind their human cargo that the planes they were traveling in were built by the lowest bidder. That simultaneously struck my funny bone and also sent a shiver down my spine. I laughed because somewhere along the line I remember some forgotten movie where a character spoke these exact words. But then the gravity of the truth of that statement was like a bucket of cold water against my unsuspecting back.

This is the world we live in today. Your plane, your car, your phone, you shoes, your pooper-scooper – nearly everything you use or come into contact with is produced by a company that is operating on the cheapest principal. Based on the minimum specifications and the materials needed, everything is factored on lowest cost to be profitable on the back end the quickest. According to the Google machine, the average cost of a 737 commercial airplane is somewhere between $51.5 – $87 million dollars. That is for a single plane. Doing a little rough math, if you figure a plane has 300 seats and you charge $100 per seat (or 100 seats @ $300 each works too), it would take 1,717 trips (using single flight, non-stop for simplicity) at full capacity to pay just for that one airplane at the low end of that cost spectrum. This of course is not taking into consideration: fuel, staff, maintenance on the mechanical parts, wear and tear on the interior, unforeseen damage repair (interior/exterior), inventory, safety accessories, cleaning and inspections et al. Now obviously some airlines charge more and that would factor in the number of trips needed to ‘break even’ on the cost of the plane but you can, in a narrow view, see how the economics play out and the need to minimize costs.

Take a look at your own daily life. If you own a vehicle, chances are you financed it and pushed for the best deal (cheapest in most cases) based on your available finances. In addition to the down payment (if any) and sales tax (if applicable), you now have to contend with a monthly payment, the periodic fuel needed, oil changes, scheduled maintenance (if following the recommended schedule set forth by the vehicle manufacturer), unscheduled maintenance and a plethora of other associated expenses with owning a vehicle (registration, emissions, parking/city permits, etc.). Whether you are looking at a product expense from the viewpoint of a CEO or just as an individual, the cost is just one piece of your financial puzzle. Usually people in an average income position are skewing toward the less expensive bottom line so that it leaves more dollars (or enter your host country’s currency here) for other facets of daily life and/or operating expenses.

Moving from the topic of flying in an airplane that was made by the lowest bidder, the co-workers veered into politics and Trump bashing. I’m not going to validate or rebut any of their arguments about Donald Trump’s alleged sanity but I will take some umbrage with their generalization that ‘people who voted for Trump are ignorant and racist’. Are some of the people who voted for Donald Trump ignorant and racist? Sure. Statistically speaking it’s almost a certainty. But for that measure so are some of the people who voted for Hillary Clinton. These co-workers missed the irony of their statement. In saying what they said about those voters (that they are ignorant and racist), it in turn showed that they were also guilty of at least being ignorant.

How many people in this country, or any country for that matter, have had grandparents or great grandparents? Now of those who have had grandparents and/or great grandparents, how many of you have heard them speak or convey something along racial lines that is just a stereo-type or vulgar with no valid reason? I’m raising my hand. I had grandparents and more than one of them spoke about people of a darker skin tone. They threw out generalizations and used racially derogatory names to describe the darker skinned people. That was them, not me. Were they a bit racist? Honestly I would say so but that doesn’t make me a racist because I have their blood inside me. But these people who call Donald Trump a racist (he may or may not be one) and also say the same about all of his supporters because they support him, pardon me but that is bull hockey. I like baseball and support the product on the field by watching streamed games and going to stadiums but that does not make me a professional baseball player. Heck there are people inside baseball stadiums who do not even like baseball (parents who brought their kids, stadium workers, engineers, security, etc.) but someone somewhere would say that baseball stadiums are full of nothing but baseball fans. If I haven’t mentioned before I hate speaking in absolutes!

Obviously I am using some liberal examples to make my point here but society likes to bully public opinion to win their cause. No one wants to use good old common sense anymore. If you’re not first, you’re last and no one wants to be last. Everyone, no matter how big a loser they are, wants to be a winner. Everything seems to have devolved from having multiple opinions and ideas seen as a good thing, to now there has to be a clear cut right (answer) and everything else is wrong no matter how close it may be to the ‘right’ answer or idea or solution.

Sorry about that. Got up on Ye Old Soapbox and started rabbling to the messes, er…masses. Just a little virtual tap on the shoulder to remind you; whether you are traveling on a train, subway, airplane, taxi/Uber, rickshaw, ski lift or what-have-you…someone probably fashioned it as cheaply as they could afford. And chances are it is in need of or overdue for maintenance. So good luck and may today not be the day that the buck stops with you.

As a side note from your favorite blogger (making a bit of an assumption here), it goes to show that even smart people can be ignorant. Do not pigeon hole people just because they do not think exactly like you do. There was a world leader for Germany in the 1940’s who wanted everyone to think alike and look alike. Aside from being a moustache icon…not too many people speak highly of him today. Keep thinking outside the box and for the love of Pete (Rose I’m assuming) please stop bemoaning the Trump/Clinton election outcome.