Monday, November 30, 2009

Stores and Prices

I do not get it. I am talking about stores and their pricing system. Well, maybe I do get it and just do not want to face it. For one thing, if you have your stuff marked down to the bare minimum already, how can you cut 30-75% and expect to make enough sells to get in the black (as in out of the red on the ledger). It makes me wonder if there is complete honesty in the first place or are they using a little mind/brain manipulation. I will give a little hint here that must be a well kept secret. Most people I know get paid throughout the year, a little here, a little there. Another, must be secret, is that most people do not save all year for the so called Black Friday. Who can save these days anyway with banks and governments 'fee-ing-ing-ing-ing' us to death?

My suggestion is that stores stop trying to take people for all they can get during the year, then maybe they would not have to have stampedes to make a profit.

I do appreciate the folks who run the stores. I'd hate to have to go to South America to pick something for supper or flag a ship to China to find a cheap shirt. We got a pretty good system going here. The problem is the greed should be spread out over the entire year and the savings, if you don't mind, so we can keep some semblance of a budget and maybe we won't notice that things are marked up multiple times before we see them.

While I am on the subject, I have a question. Why is it that when the price of gas goes up, businesses tack on increases to their prices to cover the increase in cost due to that, then when the price of gas goes down, the added increases just keep lingering for ions? What did you say?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Holidays

I hope your holidays are safe and happy. It is not how much we have but how much we appreciate what we do have. The things that I would wish for the world are not mine to give. I do hope that everyone has a good warm meal and a dry and warm place to sleep. Perhaps all we have to give is a smile or kind word. I've seen times when those things would have been today. Happy Thanksgiving and a blessed Christmas Season. I still believe that without Christ it would all be just a mas.......

Monday, November 23, 2009

Worse than Rude

I should not be surprised. It is just a reminder of why I hate going out in public to do anything. Shopping is the worst of the anythings that I hate to do.

With all the hype they have over special sales, it is no wonder people are knocking each other over to get the 'last one' of something. Some guy, with a pocket full of money, probably stays home just to keep from getting hurt. Not me. I just stay home to avoid pushy people. No pocket full of money here. I think they would make more sells if they would just have a pleasant atmosphere to shop in.

BUT the grocery store should be a slow methodical place to shop. You know. Look at the labels. Shop for specials. Turn the meat over and over to see if it has been sprayed with food color. It is not so anymore. People go through the grocery store like it was the last crop that was going to be harvested. You can forget that part about people pulling together if we have a national disaster of some sort. If peoples attitude (some people) is an indication of how they would act in a disaster, it would be the SUV syndrome: "I'm the biggest thing on the road and if any one dies, it won't be me." That attitude spills over into other areas.

My little story. I was at the ham cooler in the grocery store. Clearly there first and trying to take as little space as possible. THIS LADY came over with the meat manager and apparently thought she needed the whole side of the cooler (20 feet long or so). Of course, she had the authority. She had the meat manager with her. I thought I'd look anyway then her husband and three kids spread out along the side where I was. I couldn't even get my buggy past them and had to back out and around. The part that really gripped me was that they did not even know I was there. It was like they were pushing the bushes back while on a hike through the woods. They were dressed nicer than me. I didn't know they were having a special event. While she has the meat man to read the labels and move the hams around for her. Her husband stands close and surveys the crowd to make sure she has her space.

Thirty minutes later while we checked out without a ham, she was still back there having the meat man pick up the hams and then another and another, with her brood around her. Her husband ready with the cell phone in case someone else wanted to buy something. I was looking to buy several hams for gifts.

I saw them as I pulled out of the parking lot. They were rushing out in an SUV ignoring stop signs and turn signals going to their fancy subdivision probably to complain about the ham the meat man pushed off on them.

Being taken as just another obstacle and ignored as a human being is the worst of insults. It is worse than rude.

I visualize people like that being on the school board and raising the mileage rate so our tax bill will be higher. That's a little trick they use. One politician tells us the taxes will not go up, then the school board raises the mileage rate to balance their budget. It is like going in the back door at the bank to rob it.

There. I feel better.



Friday, November 20, 2009

Health Care Bill

The Health Care Bill that is creeping through Congress like the green slime is the most dangerous thing since Japanese subs crept around the Pacific Ocean during World War II. They're good folks now but then they were up to no good.

For one thing, if passed, it will most likely include the public option which gives the government control over health insurance coverage. That is socialism. That is another freedom taken away.

Secondly, it will most likely end up making abortion a part of the legal code instead of merely a supreme court ruling.

Thirdly, it will tax the American people into bankruptcy. Every dollar the government takes from private citizens to build programs, that they obviously cannot police, will take dollars they would other wise spend in stores, malls, car name it. When the price of gas went up, because the government let speculators run free, the economy stumbled because those were dollars that would have been spent at businesses which are now closed. People not having those dollars to spend leads to closings, layoffs and the mess we have been in for sometime.

Fourthly, the system is not broke, it just needs looking after. Doctors and hospitals raise their prices to cover law suits from people who just got sick and are looking for someone to blame. The government could fix things better by eliminating fraud in such organizations as Medicare, not punishing those who are helped by Medicare.

Fifthly and in the same vein. Our biggest problem in this nation is government involvement. Almost without exception, if the government is involved, it cost too much and money is filtered off for some idiotic program or individual wealth. Even if they came up with a perfect bill, it would be polluted by little paragraphs and pork spending just to get a vote from some congressman. In the end, all the tax I pay in my life would go to some playground for polar bears that will melt when spring comes.

The communist tried this universal stuff and it was a failure. Failure was the only thing universal about it.

Our Congress needs to shred this idea and go fix something that needs fixing.

Oasis of the Seas

They had the story of ABC today. The cruise ship with room for 6300 people (best I can remember). It is an amazing ship. I wonder why it was not big news before now. The Oasis of the Seas is almost as long as the Empire State Building is tall. It looks like one should have to have a visa to visit it. Maybe they do. Perhaps it is a precursor to cities on the sea like Atlantis in Stargate.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Notes from the Past

When cheese gets its picture taken, what dos it say?

I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older, then it dawned on me..they're cramming for their final exam.

Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?

Why is the man who invest all your money called a broker?

Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it did not zigzag?

Last night I played a blank tape at full blast, the mime next door went nuts.

Authors unknown

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin has burst onto the national scene in her own right now and instead of her strings being pulled by the Republican Party, she can and I think will emerge as the leader of the party or some party that will trump the Republicans. If that happens, I think the new party will embrace the values that all of us hoped would be that of the Republicans.

The Democrats have a problem too. Her is a woman who impresses other women. She stood up well to ABC 's hard questions and pretty much controlled the interview. I didn't see the others.

I liked the part where someone said that she was more qualified than Obama. I think after another year or so, the nation will agree. It will become apparent that he is all speech and travel and has no real plan for the nation except maybe to defeat it.

Go ahead Sarah. You are on the right track.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Skunk or a Rose

I suppose it is possible to like a skunk. They look pretty good if you can forget the smell when you passed near them on the road. A rose is beautiful and has a sweet smell but you got to watch out for the thorns. I got nothing against either but I have to say I'd rather be around a rose, if I have a choice.

A skunk should never dress up like a rose and go around saying "I'm a rose." It will just cause trouble later when people find out the truth. Just as a rose should never leave the impression that they don't have some sticking points.

I think the key is for the skunk and the rose to just be what they are and let us love (like) them for what(who) they are.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Snow Globe Feeling

My daughter and her husband happened to be in Florida for a wedding and while they are there get to see the space shuttle take off. They're not rich, they just plan well. Anyway, my subject is the snow globe feeling.

Do you ever think about it? The world seems vast and traveling can be exhausting but how far have we really gone relative to the universe. The earth is quite a spectacle when viewed from space but when you point the Hubble the other way, the earth seems about like the golf ball those guys are looking for in the funny movies. I'm not downplaying the significance of our home at all. I find it very satisfying that the Maker of all the magnificence out there would concentrate so much effort on our little planet. I reckon we need the attention the most.

Just suppose you were out there someplace and got lost. You couldn't just dig out your compass and follow it north or south or east or west. You got a lot of north and south poles to consider. Even if you used the sun as a focal point, once you leave our solar system there are a lot of bright heavenly bodies to compete for your navigational attention.

So sometimes, I feel like one of those little flakes after a good shake. I can enjoy the ride but as far as knowing a lot about everything outside of my little space, it's beyond me. Then, if I did learn all there is to know about the little world I inhabit, what about the next shake that changes everything and what about the rest of it. You know, the stores, the homes, the ride to and fro. Where do I sit, on a store shelf or in a loving home?

So take off space shuttle, like a dragon buffing fire and smoke, you are a beautiful sight to behold. But know in the big scheme of things, you are but a firefly in the night and I can but float here in awe of the hand that holds me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Where is the War?

We all focus on Iraq and Afganistan and those are real issues. Terrorist cannot be allowed to win whereever we play the game. Bobby Fisher knew that when he played chess during the cold war.

Unfortunately, much of our country is in a war zone. Just up the road the tally is up to 67 in one city for deaths, mostly among young people. It is turf war, over property they do not even own most likely.

Strangely, we are protecting a nation that is the biggest producer of heroin which probably has a direct relation to the 67 deaths in the city ... right up there.

You cannot defeat the terrorist when the policy changes after each election. The least one president could do is support his predecessor in things concerning terrorist. There needs to be consistence. The terrorist certainly are. I'm sure they appreciate the pause in our decision making.

So, Where is the war? It is all around us. You cannot put borders on it. My personal belief is that if drugs did not pay so well and the United States was not the biggest market for drugs, that much of the world's violence would stop.

I wish they would lace the dope with red food dye so we could see who all was using. They are promoting all this killing by using. Yep. Drug users are part of the conspiracy and have some responsibility for the killings back down the line to where it is transported and produced.

Drug users need to 'man-up' and get some help. Celebs need to donate the money they make off their tell-all books to programs to help children get off drugs or not write them at all. Make a million using enhancing drugs then make another million with a book about it, ought to be ashamed.

The war is all around us. The reason for these attacks is not some noble cause or religion. It is about money and keeping the drug routes open.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In His Own Words

I admit, I feel a little guilty for picking on the president but he just makes me so doggone mad with the way he is doing things. Oh well, three more long is eternity anyway?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Peace and Quiet

Peace and quiet, some people just cannot stand it. I think the teens call it being bored. I do not know what the older people's excuse is for disturbing it. If disturbing the peace is against the law, why are so many people still running free.

I'm not kiddin' (much), people just can't stand for it to be quiet. I'm sitting here typing this and the dumpster man next door slams down a big metal box. Reckon it's got to be done with all the trash and stuff. We sure have a lot of trash but that is another story.

I never heard the like. If anything bigger than a lawnmower backs up, you hear this irritating beeping sound. There again, it's a good thing, keeps people who are not paying attention from getting run over and it saves the driver from having to care what is behind him. I almost always walk around my vehicle before I back up. You know, kids play in the most unlikely places. Now, they better learn to duck and roll when they hear a beep.

Then, there are those folks who have a love affair with their car horn. They will pull into a yard and honk that thing like it was the fourth of July. Then everybody in the house comes pouring out, the neighbors come out to see where the fire is. The driver is oblivious to all the attention though. Their motto is 'if they put it there I'll honk it'. Then, folks going by on the road, honk, honk, honk. They honk at the neighbors on one side, then on the other side, then at the dog, at the car meeting them. Yet, these same people couldn't find a blinker if it was in their shirt pocket. 'Man, I blowed the horn, what else do you want.'

Sitting there after all the beeping, honking watching this really peaceful story on television. You hold back the tears and all the tension goes away, BAM! somebody wants to sell you something for $29.95 plus shipping and handling and they decline to tell you how much that is going to be 'Just give us your credit card and we will figure out how much to charge'. The volume in commercials is always twice that of the program. And I hate that cat on the Vlassic commercial. It cost me a good many years jumping from behind that curtain.

I haven't even left the house yet and it's a noise jungle. My guess is that all the fish that are caught around here are deaf. You remember being told to be quiet so the fish would bite. You'd have to yell these days to tell someone to be quiet. That don't make much sense if your effort to get peace and quiet is louder than the noise to start with. (Now say that backwards).

I heard a clock ticking the other night and couldn't get to sleep. We just are not accustomed to the quiet.

Now peace is another matter entirely. "Hey man, let's write us down some beliefs that tell us we can go blow up people and stuff." Really! Did half the world have traumatic childhoods? Did their mother make them wait until after supper for a sweet snack? The attitude (in reality) is if I can't have all the cake for myself, I'll just spit on it so no one can have any. We really should educate people more, there was a time when pirates were sort of looked at like good-bad guys now they are just bad guys. There was a time when killers and robbers hid in the woods and came out to rob hardworking caravan people. Maybe they called it tribute. You can't do that no more unless you build you a big building and wear a suit. This cloak and dagger stuff is out of date now. Get real.

Give me some peace and quiet or I will start slamming the door instead of turning the knob and pulling it shut gently. I'm warning you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

East Tenessee Almost

I could have been from East Tennessee...almost. I got hung up in the cotton fields down south of there. I can fish and squirrel hunt but I can't sing. If I had been from East Tennessee, I think I might even have been able to play the guitar. I got one and sometimes I do a few chords but getting a song out of that guitar and my mouth at the same time is a miracle I do not expect to see in my lifetime. I can change the oil in my car and a tire too if my breathing holds up but you try to put me out there square dancing and there will be a wreck. If I was from East Tennessee, I probably could high step it. I ain't jealous. Georgia ain't bad. We do say 'ain't' a lot even though we know better. We use to eat squirrel brains too, Kentucky ain't got nothing on us.

It must have something to do with the water in East Tennessee. I mean, when it comes to gospel singing...there they come...right out of the mountains. Are they cloning them up there? You know all the names so I won't mention them. We even got good looks in our neck of the woods. Even at my age, I can tell good looks when I see 'em. I can tell the others too but I don't have to hurt their feelings. But up there in East Tennessee, they must cull out the ugly ones and just let the purty ones off the mountain. Well, ain't none of my business. You know if they ain't got no song to sing, they'll just write one. Folks relate to their songs too. I don't mean they are kin to 'em. I mean they sort of understand what they are singing about.

Don't reckon everyone can be from up there. We do alright here in the foothills. We can jump over a ditch if it ain't too wide and do it with grace (or whoever we are running with). Most of the boys know where all the back roads are iffin' the law takes out after them. I stay on the big road these days...more room to wobble.

Just wanted you folks up there to be good to your neighbors, they'll probably be famous next week if they ain't already. Us flat-landers will buy us up some records and just be glad for the water in East Tennessee. Oh yeah, they are funny too when they get to talking or writin' stuff down. They got some stories to tell. Suppose they got some quiet places to do some thinking in. Sort of noisy around here.

That's all I got to say about you folks. I was braggin' on yu in case you didn't pick up on it. Next time you are down this way, bring your musical things, spoons, rub boards, you know, the usual and play us a tune. Don't do no modern dancin' though, we are particular about what parts of your person you wiggle. Lots of church people around here and some others you don't want to be showing off in front keep it simple and try to ugly up some for your own sakes.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Painting, A Book

The darker picture is of a painting I did, trying to show an open book. The story is of the Indian
and the cowboy. The brighter picture is of the same painting run through a filter to add more light. The real painting is someplace between the two. You will notice the Indians are standing outside the book. I think I had some idea for doing that but I will leave it to history.
PS: It's Leeuna 's fault I posted these, she said something nice about the other one. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

First Oil

I had been using acrylic paint for sometime and decided to switch to oil. It is a much different paint. I like it because it stays wet longer and is easier to work with in that respect. You really have to be careful so far as making a mess. Oil paint will just keep spreading out as long as you rub it around.
Well, that is not why I put the painting up. It was my first painting with oil. A strange thing happened when I took a picture of it. I always take pictures because I am prone to give my paintings away on a moments notice which often makes me wish I hadn't later but if they bring someone joy, that's okay.
In this picture of my painting, you can see two figures standing under the tree. They appear to be holding hands. Those images were not in the original painting and only showed up in this one photo of it. It could be me and my wife, the dimensions are compatible. We would have been holding hands in such a peaceful place. I just thought I'd show it. A mystery. Did we wish ourselves into the painting? Are we really there and all this is just a dream? Did the lens have dirt on it? Do I have people in my house?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

THE Holidays

We are coming up on a season that brings joy and sadness, work and play, hope for the future and reflection on the past. Some people get into the mood of the holidays and just smile and smile right through the New Year. Thank God for those people. They give us smiles and we sure need them. Others face depression this time of year for reasons they may not understand themselves. Some depression comes for valid reasons such as a loved one that will not be at the table this year, a terrible loss during the previous months, the list is endless.

My heart goes out to those who battle depression, my hope for them is that they will find a measure of peace to carry them through. There are a lot of cool sayings that could fit here but I will refrain from using them. They don't help. I often experience a feeling of gloom during this time of year. I can't give you a reason. It just happens.

Perhaps it is because it is the season for giving and we always have so little to give. Perhaps it is my acute awareness of the troubles in the world: of children suffering, of broken homes, lost jobs, lost homes and the ever present DUI's and family feuds. Every ray of hope seems to be dashed by such things as these. It is almost like I am afraid to be happy for a moment, afraid that it is my joy that brings on the opposite reaction of sadness for another. But I know that I'm not so important that I could cause such things.

In the midst of these feelings, I usually reach out and grasp a few moments of goodness. Where there is little to eat, we often invite someone to share what there is. Don't take that as bragging, we should do it more during the year. Where our home seems inadequate at times, give thanks that it is dry and warm where we sleep. Try to treasure the phone call even more when a visit does not happen. Rejoice that family is happy and going on with their life even if they are not able or are to busy to visit those who are growing old and cannot travel well.

Most of all and I think what brings me peace during these days is the fact that we are 'wonderfully made' and that being the case, we are not forsaken but rather watched over as a mother hen watches over her chicks.

Yea, it's a tough time sometimes but it's a tough time for other people too. We have to stop looking in the mirror and look to those others. We have to stop reaching out empty hands to receive and reach out a hand with something in it to give.

So hang in there this season, you are important. Someone needs you.

A Win is a Win - We'll Take It

In the cases of New Jersey and Virginia, a win is a win or two. We will not underplay them as the other folks are doing. If the win had gone the other way, you can be assured that the liberals would be up before daylight boasting of how Obama had turned things around in the election. Instead, it was said, that the president was not watching the election results. And of course, no one will watch football this weekend or NASCAR and a pig will fly.

I really hope this is the alarm clock going off for those who were asleep last November. Hot air comes to mind. Folks who work in factories around here in the summer time will tell you that those big fans don't do much to cool them down when they are bringing in 100 degree air from outside. It's just more hot air. We have had a whirlwind of hot air for a couple of years now. People cried 'change' but change for the sake of change is not always good. People may not have agreed with all of the previous eight years but one thing for sure, we knew who was in charge. We knew someone was in charge.

The frightening part of this administration is not just the bad policy making that is going on but that he and they are not capable of doing the job. It is not going to work, for four years, to sit up there basking in the glory and not make decisions that need to be made while they wait to see which way the political wind will blow. It is dangerous for our country and for our troops. While the world waits for Obama's decision on the troop level and support, the bad guys are regrouping and killing more people. When terrorist kill innocent people, they need to be punished. Their life should be made miserable every time they blow up a city block. How? Drop a few bombs on them. Confiscate a few of their ship loads of arms. Something is better than nothing!

Yes, this election was about Obama and the Democrats who are in charge, not leading, but in charge for now. It was just a matter of time before people saw through the masquerade party.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Come Out and Play

It is early. A voice says 'Come out and Play'. Through sleepy eyes I look around me. No one is there. I shut my eyes. That voice again 'Come out. Let's do something.'

I look out the window. A child is there. A very young child. 'Let's do something constructive.' 'You are only a child. How do you know such big words?'

I turn over and shut my eyes. 'We can get a lot of stuff done if we start early enough.' 'Later'. I say.

'I won't be back again. This is a one time opportunity. I am a blessing to you.' I turn over and drop off to sleep.

A voice somewhat deeper and more mature calls to me. 'We still have time to make things a little better or do something that will cheer our hearts.'

'You sure grew older fast.' I said.

'That's my nature. All my relatives grow older fast or so I've heard. I never actually see them.'

I was curious now and so staggered out of bed. The troubles of my life laid heavy on my shoulders. The cares of many yesterdays made me sad. I went outside, still dragging my feet.

'Think of all the things that could be done. The sun is shining. The temperature is cooler. The leaves are beautiful. The grass has stopped growing so fast. It is all so wonderful. And see, you are able to get out of bed and walk around.' The new friend was tall now and much more mature. I listened.

'Who are you anyway?' I said not so friendly.

'I'll give you a hint. I am one of a kind although I favor my family. I am liked more than some of my cousins that will come along later in your life. I have a short lifespan. I only have this one time to make you happy.'

'You certainly are persistent.' I said.

'I have to be.' The now fully mature voice said.

'I give up. Who are you?' I said.

'I am a day. This day. I started very early before you were awake. While you slumbered, I grew to maturity. While we talked, I grew older. Soon, I will fade away into the night, never to return again. More importantly, I am a day of your life that will never come again.'

"I see." I said.

'Well, it is not too late. We can still make the best of the time we have left. Together.'

'Good idea.' I said to my friend, a new day.