Hell of a Guy
We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time. - Vince Lombardi

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Manifesto, of sorts…


I am a Republican, and proud of it.

I am not a homophobe, I am a Republican.  I believe in traditional marriage but will not condemn any loving couple that chooses to unite in a religious ceremony, nor will I vote against same-sex marriage rights.  I am not a misogynist, I am a Republican.  I abhor abortion, but am not about to interfere with what a woman decides to do with her body, but I do think it is ridiculous any company or organization should be required to supply anyone with birth control, when abstinence seems to work just as well.  It’s a personal choice.  I am for less government in my life, and I am for a fiscally conservative government.  I am a Republican.  And I am not a member of the NRA, but totally support some restrictions on some types of gun sales, especially semi-automatic weapons.  I am a Republican, and I do not watch NASCAR events and have no favorite NASCAR driver.  I am a proud Republican.  I am not a racist, I am a Republican.  I have never discriminated against anyone because of race, color, creed, or sexual preference or political persuasion.  I recognize we are all connected.  I am not of the religious right, I am a Republican.  I do not attend a church and probably won’t.  I am, however, a spiritual person.  I believe in the God of All Things, and that all things are God.  I am a Republican.

I voted for Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain and I will vote for Mitt Romney.  I am a Republican.
I, as a senior citizen living on a fixed income, fully recognize and realize Social Security and Medicare as we now know it will not survive, and may very well go away in my lifetime leaving me totally dependent on my liberal children for support, especially as our elected officials continue to kick these cans down the road because none of them have the gonads to tell the truth to the American people that these entitlements are in imminent danger of insolvency…save Paul Ryan.  The rest know it but are too much into saving their own jobs, benefits and pensions rather than facing the reality that confronts them and ultimately us.

I believe each and every one of us should pay his/her fair share.  I do not believe the top 1% should pay more than the 20% of the tax burden they now pay.  I do not believe the top 10% should pay more than the 45% of what the US Treasury takes in each year, and I sure as hell don’t think the top 25% should pay more than the 79% it now contributes as long as 45 million Americans pay no income tax at all and some get money back just for breathing.  The current administration can say everyone should pay they “fair share” but their actions don’t support it.  And then there is the supposed 99%, an assemblage of “ne’er do wells” wishing to live off the government dole while vilifying those who are willing to work and be successful. 

With this I will beg off Facebook for a while, at least until after the election.  I am a Republican and want to see our current president voted out.  If that makes me a racist, homophobe, bigot, religious fanatic then so be it, but I beg to differ.  I don’t wish to offend my Liberal friends, relatives or anyone else, but I am a Republican and so very proud of it.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Old MacDonald…


Today at 9am The Nancy and I will do something new, a new adventure.  We are going to a farm auction to bid on a tractor.  A tractor?  Yes, a tractor, a big Kubota tractor, no less.

The summer weather here on The Farm this year has been weird.  We have suffered numerous thunder storms with torrential downpours, these downpours have torn up our half-mile long driveway leaving deep ruts in many places along it.  So Mr. Hee Haw here has decided a tractor might be good to have on hand.  This one is a front-end loader and to this novice is more than a tad intimidating.

I am a city boy, so this farm equipment stuff is completely foreign to me.  I have written before how I never in my wildest dreams never thought my name and “chainsaw” would ever be used in the same sentence. That was five or six years ago.  These days I am the proud owner of not only a chainsaw, my second one because I screwed up the first one, but also a tiller and a commercial grade Zero-Turn mower, which has been in the repair shop so often they have a stall reserved for it.  As I have mentioned in the past, I have no natural mechanical ability and this was proven many years ago when I was given a series of tests prior to enlisting in the Air Force and is further proven with the stack of repair receipts in a special file labeled “Stupidity in Action.”

The Nancy mentioned to the maintenance supervisor at her office that we might be looking for a used tractor, and he mentioned one to be auctioned today at a farm not far from us.  We visited this farm earlier this week to take a look at this gigantic Kubota tractor.  We are talking big, like humongous, as in large.  The daggone thing is covered with levers and buttons and peddles and all kinds of controls seemingly connected to one another for what purpose I have not a clue.  It is large enough to scare the crap out of me, but more than big enough to do the job.

This Kubota is about 10-years old, and it has been used and used a lot.  I am told it functions well, though cosmetically it just ain’t pretty.  In this case function will win out over form…but there is an issue to consider and that issue is yours truly. 

In the very simple operation of mowing I have managed to position the mower in the lake, over an embankment, had to drag it out of mud more times than I can count, hit trees and caused various damages to it requiring about $2000 worth of repairs making the mower about a $10,000 investment.  God did not intend for me to be operating any machinery other than a blender, I am convinced of it.

Having never attended an auction, but having seen them on TV, I will keep my hands in my pockets, will make no sudden moves or twitchy facials expressions, I will remain a stoic as humanly possible.  Lord knows, with my luck I will end up bidding thousands of dollars with a giggle, a burp, a sneeze or a fart.  Should we end up buying this thing we have some studying to do, and fortunately there is an operator’s manual that comes with the Kubota for The Nancy to read.  I just hope it is not in Japanese.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Meatless in West Virginia…


On this day 16 years ago I decided to go meatless.  Today at about 6pm I will begin my 17th year as an almost vegetarian.

I remember that day back in 1996 very clearly.  I had left Nancy’s house in Grafton, West Virginia about 4:30 to begin my drive to my home in Richmond, Virginia.  I had a five-hour, 311 mile drive in front of me and I wanted to get it done before dark.  A while later I was traveling along I-68 in Maryland when the gas gauge showing near empty and a rumbling stomach caught my attention.  I got off at Exit 22 to fill the tank at a BP station and a get bite to eat at a Burger King next door to it.

Once back on the road with a Whopper in hand I sailed on down the highway listening to and singing along with Bonnie Raitt while chomping on the sandwich just happy as a clam.  About an hour later I began to have a few stomach cramps, and I knew what lay ahead.  There was prior to this a period of approximately four years where something was causing me get this crampy, nauseous condition about once a month: I called it my period.  It would come on slowly and the severity of the abdominal cramps increased for about ten to twelve hours, then I would throw up and that would end it. 

Less than a month prior to this I had had a bout of food poisoning.  At an educators conference in Lexington, Kentucky I ate something that really threw a wrench in my intestinal tract.  I was sick for three days in a hotel room, lost 17 pounds and thought I had done irreparable damage to my colon.  I had never been that sick while traveling and I thought the end was near.

With the Whopper incident I decided it was meat.

August the 11th, 1996 I had my last meal with animal flesh as part of it.  At first I started to say “enjoyed” but I am not sure I ever really enjoyed a Whopper or a Quarter Pounder or any fast food sandwich.  They were just cheap and convenient.  The bottom line is on this day I became an Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian, and as strange as this may sound to you carnivores, I have not had a stomach virus or thrown up since that day – that’s 16 years.

I have never figured out exactly what made me sick so many times back in the mid-90s.  I can, however, without reservation tell you I have not missed critter consumption at all.  I can also tell you one does not lose weight when one shuns animal flesh, especially when the replacement for meat in the diet is beer.

And that is all I have to say about that…   

Monday, August 06, 2012

It’s Back to Work Time…


The title says it all; I am going back to work.  The company from which I recently retired has sought me out and asked to you return to work as a sales rep until a replacement can be hired, so last Monday I boarded a flight to Raleigh, North Carolina to begin a second, albeit limited, career and have taken over a sales territory.  I feel like singing “Back in the Saddle Again” (by Gene Autry). 

I will be working for a guy I hired back in 1988 and the company’s Director of Sales who worked for me from 1989 to 1992.  What goes around comes around!  I don’t mind saying it, so here it is; I am a tad anxious and a little nervous.  And, it’s all about doing a good job.

For the last two years of my working life I struggled with my relevancy.  I was afraid I was too old school.  The business had changed, the products had changed, the markets had changed and I, too, had changed.  Frankly speaking, I got lazy.

It’s has really been over eight months since I really did any kind of sustained work.  These days I do what when I want to do it (as long as The Nancy says it is okay).  You see, I wear the pants in this family (when she lets me).  All seriousness aside (old Steve Allen joke), I worry about keeping up and living up to expectations.  That is my anxiety and my dilemma. 

Wish me luck!

And that is all I have to say about that…