Monday, May 28, 2007

Finally, a cure for insomnia

I love watching the old "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" series on "Chiller". And I have always suffered from insomnia in one fashion or another, sometimes bad, sometimes not so bad, so I was glad to find that Alfred Hitchcock offered a new product for those of us who suffer from it, even though it was in 1956

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Remember those who have sacrificed their lives for you

I remember visting my father's grave in Fort Logan cemetery in Denver. It's like most any other graveyard, quiet, well kept, American flags on most of the graves, flowers on others, crosses, star's of David and other symbols of religion for the fallen and plenty of trees.

But walking around after visiting my father's grave is just so humbling. Most, if not all of the graves belong to fallen veterans who died in battle or died serving their country. To read the inscriptions of their history, however brief, reminded me of the sacrifice of our fine military men and women.

I hold no greater respect than for our military. It is the 1% of the 100 that volunteer to go into harm's way to protect our freedom and to serve our country.

The military does not just kill people and break things, they do a lot of other good things for our country, from bring poor children toys, food, clothing and companionship at christmas, to rescuing people in dangerous situations, whether floods, hurricanes and earthquakes, to helping out retired vets who need help. All the time putting their lives at risk to do so, much like our police and firefighters.

Our military have always been the one to say "leave no one behind". They will not leave someone behind if they can and have a fine tradition of rescuing their own when captured. They will work for little pay, bad hours, not-so-good-food to do what is required of them. They live in cold, hot, humid, cramped and dusty conditions to do what they do.

I have a shirt that I wear that says, "Thank a Vet".

It is not the writers or politican's who pontificate about the right or wrongs of a war that keeps us free, it's the soldier.

It's not the teacher who teachs children about the great history of our country that keeps us free, it's the airman,

it's not the businessman who makes money that provides us with such a comfortable lifestyle, it's the marine,

it's not the ballplayer that dazzles crowds that keeps us free, it's the sailor and it's not the protestor that shouts and screams about all the injustices of our government that makes us free, it's the coast guardsman.

It's those men and women who stand guard everyday, doing their duty, enduring the bad with the good, willing to sacrifice their lives if they have to, that keeps all the people mentioned above safe to do the wonderful things they do.

We are by nature, a peaceful nation. We have given more to the rest of the world in so many areas and yet we are hated by more nations. We have liberated millions of people to help them to live their lives, hopefully, in peace and with self determination.

Whatever you say or think about President Bush, you cannot say that he hasn't helped free 50 million people in 2 countries from the grip of oppressive regimes. But this is not about the president.

This is about the brave men and women who are serving to protect us and protect our freedom. I hope that everyone enjoys their holiday weekend and the start of summer, but I also hope that you take the time out to remember the men and women of our United States Armed Forces and in some small way, take the time to thank them and their families for the sacrifice they make in our name.

A little can mean so much. As Churchill said, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

A Story from my hometown

I was born at Fort McClellan, Alabama to a military family. We ended up moving around as military family's often do, ending up in Okinawa for a few years and then finally returned to the States to California.

My parents wanted to stay in California though the Army had other plans for my dad. So we moved to Fort Carson, Colorado.

That was my first experience with real snow. We had seen some when I was a kid in Alabama, it snowed enough that Sears or some store actually sold sleds, though it melted really quick, after a day or 2.

But I remember when we got to Colorado on New Year's day of 1968. It was cold, overcast, and snowy and did I mention cold? I also remember seeing the Rocky Mountains for the first time in my life and Pikes Peak just towering over Ft. Carson & Colorado Springs.

I grew up in Colorado Springs and even though I was born in the great state of Alabama, I consider Colorado Springs and Colorado my home. I also know what it's like being in the mountains there, and it is very dangerous with winter and even in spring time with snow, you just don't fool around in the mountains.

So, the following story is both about 'blowhard smarming' and my familiarity with the snow in springtime in Colorado.

Katherine Lee Bates wrote the first verses while gazing out from the summit of Pikes Peak. And the verse, "for purple mountains majesty" is what you see as the sun in the east is rising and hits the Rockies at around sunrise. I have been in Garden of the Gods many times to see "the purple mountains majesty" and it is awe-inspiring.

So, anyway, the following is from the 'Colorado Springs Gazette' which I used to read all the time when I lived there. It is not uncommon to have snow in the mountains in May or June, so this story about how snowy Pikes Peak is during this time of year just indicates to me that once again, we don't rule mother nature, she rules us.

till the next time,

Climbers get the cold shoulder

May 23, 2007 - 11:45PM
Last May, Teresa Taylor was watching climbers pad up to the summit of Pikes Peak in shorts and sneakers. This year, she’s warning everyone that beyond Barr Camp, you’d better be dressed for the worst.

This is the snowiest spring on Pikes Peak in more than a decade. Barr Camp recorded 231 inches of snow this winter. (It only saw 50 inches in 2006.)

Hikers venturing above treeline will find that the peak is more wintry this May than it usually is in January, and they should be prepared.

“The snow is still waist-deep in places, and we just got more today,” Taylor, the caretaker at Barr Camp, said Wednesday. Every day, she warns people that the trail is buried.

Some climbers listen — she persuaded a dozen Texans in jeans to turn back Sunday. But some climbers don’t. Two Air Force Academy cadets headed up to the summit Tuesday. They became stranded above treeline and had to be rescued by helicopter Wednesday morning.

The cadets, Jesse Mortensen, 21, a junior from Michigan, and Jesse Luschen, 22, a senior from Iowa, were out to enjoy a hike during an idle period at the academy between the end of spring term and graduation.

They hiked seven miles up the snowless bottom part of Barr Trail on Monday and spent the night at Barr Camp. Tuesday, they left camp early, expecting to cover the remaining five miles to the top before noon.

They did not have snowshoes, ice axes or winter gear, but they did carry sleeping bags and a tent.

When Taylor said weather was moving in, they assured her they could beat it to the top.

If you get in trouble or get tired, Taylor told them as they left, the last train leaves from the summit at 4 p.m.

“They said, ‘Four? We’ll be there long before then,’” she said Wednesday.

They never got there.

“We hiked for hours and hours. It was very frustrating and hard,” Mortensen said Wednesday.

The cadets pushed through knee- and waist-deep snow. A storm rolled in, pelting them with snow and hail.

Snow obscured the trail. Clouds obscured the summit.

“We could hear the train whistle. We kept thinking we were at the summit. Obviously, we weren’t,” Mortensen said.

The cadets likely took a wrong turn near 13,000 feet, two miles from the summit, and crossed onto a steep flank of the peak called the Bottomless Pit.

About 5:30 p.m., lost, soaked and shivering uncontrollably, they set up their tent. Inside, they shed their wet clothes and crawled into their sleeping bags. Mortensen called for help on his cellular phone.

El Paso County Search and Rescue drove a snowcat to the top of the closed Pikes Peak Highway, arriving at 10:30 p.m. Rescuers worked their way down the main cirque, searching for the cadets with no luck.

At dawn, searchers crossed into the Bottomless Pit and found them, said Steve Sperry, spokesman for Search and Rescue.

Both were cold and wet, wearing jeans and tennis shoes, but otherwise OK, Sperry said.

A National Guard Blackhawk helicopter flew the cadets and rescuers to town Wednesday morning. Neither cadet was treated for injuries.

Mortensen said he didn’t heed warnings at Barr Camp because he never anticipated how difficult the combination of deep, wet snow, weather and altitude would be.

In the years the cadets have lived in Colorado Springs, tennis shoes and jeans would have been adequate for a May Pikes Peak climb, but this year it’s so snowy that skiers have been riding the train up and skiing down the east face this month.

Temperatures at the summit have hovered around freezing for days. Snow will likely last into June or July.

“It’s been warm in town, and people think, ‘How much snow can there be?’ There’s a lot,” Taylor said. “And it’s wet, deep snow. You’re going to sink in and get soaked through.”

Friday, May 25, 2007

Why it's a good thing to learn English

Ya know, I don't normally like to allow crude language on my blog as I don't want to offend anyone and I don't want kids to read or see anymore than they are already exposed to, but I had to make an exception for this one. It doesn't work without the whole thing. I think this is a good reason why it is important to learn to speak English, even if it's in a foreign country.

Gotta love the French, or in this case, the French Canadians

The latest in the French weaponry, check this out. This is awesome! Good thing the French are on our side, eh? God Bless 'em, at least they are trying!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

And now for for something completely different

I received this comment from Marsha regarding me posting the story below about Pope Leo DiCraprio defending Al Bore and his energy use.
Marsha wrote;

"And of course you automatically believe the lawsuit, because it suits you to do so.

Whether or not DiCaprio is guilty is not the issue. Our destruction of the environment IS. You can harp about global warming being a myth all you want, but to deny the reality of environmental destruction is, quite frankly, imbecilic."

Mom, is that you? c'mon. No seriously my mother doesn't buy into this nonsense to begin with and well, as they say, mother knows best, right? and besides, her name ain't Marsha.

And, that statement is a bit nebulus isn't it?

"but to deny the reality of environmental destruction is, quite frankly, imbecilic."

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, (sorry, I had to do that)

First off, it doesn't "suit" me either way concerning the lawsuit by Mr DiCrapio's neighbor. There was obviously a reason why it was filed in a court of law, and must have some merit, otherwise it wouldn't have been done so in the first place. The outcome is to be determined by a court of law, not me, the MSM or any other enitity than the legal system. Now, I would not be surprised if the allegations are true against Mr DiCrapio, as many of these 'celebrities' have no compunction about running roughshod over people, using the tried and true line (and ego) of "don't you know who I am?". It goes back to the old TV saying of "we tried to get a wide shot, but his ego got in the way." Trust me, I have met and worked with quite a few. But what I think about the lawsuit has no bearing on DiCrapio defending, with the usual sheer hypocrisy, the Rev Al and his "Church of Blowhard Smarming & Chicken Little's" and ...

1) I only posted a story that was on the wires and yes, the quote's from Mr DiCrapio are indeed his words. Again, the lawsuit mention was a sidebar to the story and no relevance on the fact that DiCrapio is defending the high priest of "the church of blowhard smarming and chicken littles", the Rev. Al Bore, for his energy excesses. Charity begins at home, isn't that what they say? hmm, Al, why do you need a 30 room mansion for you and Tipper to live in and fuel if you are so worried about "blowhard smarming"? However, I think it shows the hypocrisy of the disciples of the blowhard smarming gang. What's good for them is not good for the rest of us and we had better do and believe what they say, otherwise, well, they haven't said and whatever it is won't happen until about 50 to 100 years anyway when they're (and us) are all dead. The whole 'blowhard smarming' craze is more a part of a political agenda and crisis-du-jour for the looney left and the "just-enough-knowledge-to be-dangerous" crowd.

2) Ther
e is no doubt that there is and has been for centuries "environmental destruction" on the earth. I certainly don't consider the eruptions of umpteen volcanoes over the life of this earth to be 'spring cleaning for mother nature' even though it is. The earth and it's eco system is much bigger than we are, and all one has to do to see the proof is to remember the earthquakes, eruptions, flooding and other environmental happenings that have killed millions throughout history. I think it's safe to say that even with all our technological advances, we are still at the mercy of Mother Nature. If you remember the old, old spot for Chiffon butter commercial, "it's not nice to fool mother nature, cos she's can have a bad case of PMS and open a can of whoop-ass on your butt."

The earth's environment is dynamic, say that again, dynamic. It is not static as if it were, we wouldn't be debating this whole sham cos we wouldn't be here!. Centuries ago, in the north of England, they had vineyards, Greenland was lush and the Sahara was a tropical paradise. Am I making this up? nope, you just have to read what the geologists and archaeologists have found digging down layers upon layers of earth to have discovered. Ice ages have occurred for centuries, global heating has also occurred for centuries. The beauty of the earth's eco- system, is that it regulates itself, with no help from us. We are the proverbial mosquitoes on the elephants, nay, the Humpback whales back. What the models that these people are working from can't do, for all it's sophistication, is adjust and count for wind and cloud conditions. They can't predict cloud coverage to a degree of any certainty and the 02 levels in the atmosphere are TA-DA! dynamic! there's that word again Marsha.

3) People or 'Man' as a species, has the ability to change his surroundings. That's why we have houses, cities, countries and all the rest of our modern and necessary works, so it goes without saying that indeed, destruction in some form or fashion is going to happen. You cannot build a road without cutting down trees or moving earth. Houses are primarily made of wood, even still after all the years our technology has advanced. You cannot change one thing without causing change to the other. Now, that last statement is where the disciples of the "church of blowhard smarming" point their finger and say "see, you just admitted that we can change our environment". Well, no I just said that yes, as the old prof said, "you can't destroy matter, you can only rearrange it's molecules."

So, the house that Marsha is in, the very room and the very chair that she is sitting in while typing on the computer to type the comment and the very digital or analog delivery system that allows her to send her comment and post it on my blog came about how? by environmental destruction! someone had to chop down a tree, clear the land, build the house, and her to furnish it, et. al, caused some form of environmental destruction, right?

4) Science, as it well known, does not work on concensus. I go back to my analogy of "4 out of 5 dentists prefer Crest." Well, they prefer Crest, that doesn't mean that Crest is the best or offer any proof it is the best does it? And has anyone bothered to ask the one Dentist why he doesn't prefer Crest? could it be he has just a valid reason not to? inquiring minds want to know.

There are too many variables to consider when you are trying to predict weather patterns. As I have noted before, many a meteorologist has been caught with his pants down predicting weather a week out, so how could scientists accurately predict what the environment will be like 40, 50 or even a hundred years from now? And, the church of blowhard smarming was once known as the church of blowhard cooling and predicted that we would be in a little ice age (in the 1970's using their models then) in the year 2000. Funny, it seems to be hotter today...and dang it, we just went through one of the coldest winters in recent history.

5) Reid A. Bryson holds the 30th PhD in Meteorology granted in the history of American education. Emeritus Professor and founding chairman of the University of Wisconsin Department of Meteorology—now the Department of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences—in the 1970s he became the first director of what’s now the UW’s Gaylord Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies. He’s a member of the United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honor—created, the U.N. says, to recognize “outstanding achievements in the protection and improvement of the environment.” He has authored five books and more than 230 other publications and was identified by the British Institute of Geographers as the most frequently cited climatologist in the world.

So, what does Reid say?

“Climate’s always been changing and it’s been changing rapidly at various times, and so something was making it change in the past,” he told us in an interview this past winter. “Before there were enough people to make any difference at all, two million years ago, nobody was changing the climate, yet the climate was changing, okay?”

“All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it’s absurd,” Bryson continues. “Of course it’s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we’re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we’re putting more carbon dioxide into the air.” you can find the rest of the article about Reid here.

Ahem, dude, watch out, I think they might label you a heretic for such blasphemy. You might want to put on a grass skirt, hitch up the oxen, make sure you have some granola to eat while you go get mud to build your house. Oh, by the way, you only get one square for your toilet use according to Saint Sheryl, so the granola might be too much of a colon blow if you know what I mean...

Or for a little more light reading, how about a piece by Prof. Richard S. Lindzer, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, certainly no greeter at Wal-Mart, here

Oh, and if you notice, both men mentioned above are professors in climatology studies, the last time I looked, the Rev Al flunked out of divinity school, so where does he get the juice to claim that blowhard smarming is indeed a fact? And has anyone found out what degree exactly that Pope Leo has? I bet it's not in climatology, probably more in the line of 'mime'.

Notice how "Marsha" attacks me first over the lawsuit against Decrapio. Again, that was a sidebar to the story about defending the "high priest of the church of blowhard smarming & chicken littles". Then she says;
"You can harp about global warming being a myth all you want, but to deny the reality of environmental destruction is, quite frankly, imbecilic."

I don't doubt that Global Warming can and may be occurring. I mean, there is this huge ball of Hydrogen Gas sitting out there over yonder that just dwarfs our planet, and I am more of the belief that if the earth is heating up, it might because of 2 reasons, 1) the sun has a bit of indigestion and keeps firing cosmic solar emissions our way. 2) and, as Prof Reid has said, we are coming out of a little Ice Age. Considering how powerful the sun is and the enormity of a solar flare, yeah, one good burp and we're all toast. I mean, even NASA says that the surface of Mars is heating up, and the last time we checked, there ain't no humans up there driving around in SUV's causing all the traffic jams. So, if the surface of Mars is heating up and there ain't people up there, what could be the answer? Well, see above.

And really, don't our kids have something more to worry about than some pointy headed chicken little in his vestment garbs doing a buzzkill telling them that the polar bears are dying and the earth is in peril? I mean, isn't that the same as the liberals telling the children of my generation that the evil United States was going to nuke the friendly Soviet Union and we were all going to die in a nuclear war because we wanted all the Faberge eggs and vodka they had?

And, though I know this has been a bit of a long post, I had plenty of time to work on it, I still have this great quote from someone who left a comment over at the "Puffington Boast" site in response to Saint Sheryl's comments about "blowhard smarming";

"Let me see if I have this right. If I'm a Global Warming Alarmist Disciple, I have to believe:

If it is too hot, it's Global Warming; If it is too cold, it's Global Warming

If it is a drought, it's Global Warming; If there are torrential rains, it's Global Warming

If there are no hurricanes, it's Global Warming; If there are too many hurricanes, it's Global Warming

If there is an abundance of tornadoes, it's Global Warming; If there are no tornadoes, it's Global Warming

If it's unusually cold or snowy in April, it's Global Warming; If it's unusually warm in October, it's Global Warming. No matter what the weather event, it's Global Warming. Period."

I don't worship at the altar of the "Church of blowhard smarming and chicken littles" led by their Messiah Al Bore with Pope Leo the Crapio, Saint Laurie the confused and Saint Sheryl of Charmin 2-ply. The earth has been around a lot longer than we have and it has survived a lot more than we can do to it. We could detonate all the nuclear weapons in the world and after all is said and done, we would be gone, but in a few thousand or so years, the earth will come right back to doing what it does best, being the earth and the cockroaches will be crawling all over looking to find it's next meal while life begins anew. There is no, I repeat NO, absolute proof that anything mankind is doing is causing blowhard smarming, otherwise it would be over 120 degrees in Washington DC and Hollyweird & Nashville right now from all the gas that is emitting from those places, and trust me, you don't want to strike a match with all the methane floating around there.

Till the next time,

And the Twits keep on Rolling...

Yep, another "Twit of the Day" Award. More hypocrisy from the loony left. So, this guy has what? millions? and he spends how much, $400 bucks a haircut? and flys in a private plane, most of the time, has 2 homes that have made the news lately and God knows what else. So, The Breck Girl goes to UC Davis to give a speech on "Poverty". How funny and ironic. Do they and he, not understand how idiotic this kind of stuff makes them look? or could it be once again, they simply don't care.

Edwards charges $55,000 to speak to UC Davis students about "poverty"

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who recently proposed an educational policy that urged "every financial barrier" be removed for American kids who want to go to college, has been going to college himself -- as a high paid speaker, his financial records show.

The candidate charged a whopping $55,000 to speak at to a crowd of 1,787 the taxpayer-funded University of California at Davis on Jan. 9, 2006 last year, Joe Martin, the public relations officer for the campus' Mondavi Center confirmed Monday.

That amount -- which comes to about $31 a person in the audience -- included Edwards' travel and airfare, and was the highest speaking fee in the nine appearances he made before colleges and universities last year, according to his financial records.

The earnings -- though made before Edwards was a declared Democratic presidential candidate -- could hand ammunition to his competition for the Democratic presidential nomination. The candidate -- who was then the head of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina -- chose to speak on "Poverty, the great moral issue facing America," as his $55,000 topic at UC Davis.

That could cause both parents and students to note some irony here: UC Davis -- like the rest of the public University of California system -- will get hit this year by a 7 percent tuition increase that likely hits many of the kids his speeches are aimed at helping.

We wondered if this is Edwards' going speaking rate, and how come he didn't offer to do it gratis for a college, particularly a public institution.

But Martin of the Mondavi Center said that "as with any other performer, (the speaking fee) has to be negotiated, and there are a long list of considerations ... some of our speakers get more, and some get less."

He said UC Davis' Mondavi Center paid Edwards because at the time "he wasn't a (presidential) candidate and from our point of view, he was a speaker of interest that people in the community were clearly interested in ... we feel it's our mission to present those speakers."

Edwards spoke to at least two other California universities and colleges, both private.

He appeared at Stanford University, where he spoke on April 26, 2006; the Palo Alto institution paid him $40,000 to deliver his talks, according to financial records. And Edwards also headlined at the former University of Judaism -- today the American Jewish University -- in Los Angeles on Jan. 30, 2006, where he debated former Speaker Newt Gingrich before about 5,000 people. According to financial documents, the candidate received a fee of $40,000 at that appearance.

And the college and university gigs apparently added up on the bottom line for Edwards.

In 2006, records show Edwards made more than $285,000 speaking to nine colleges and universities, charging between $16,000 and Davis' $55,000 for his talks. They ranged from the $12,000 he got on Jan. 10, 2006 from Gonzaga University Law School in Seattle to the $40,000 he banked from the University of Texas Pan American Foundation on May 22, 2006. Other schools that have paid Edwards to speak before he was a declared presidential candidate: Hunter College in New York ($35,000), Mount Union College in Ohio ($16,00) and Vanderbilt University in Nashville ($40,000).

The "Twit of the Day" Award, DeCaprio sinks like the Titanic

Once again, we have the "Twit of the Day" award for another 'blowhard smarming' story. This falls under the heading of "I am a celebrity and we celebrities know much more than you average people, and you should do and believe what we tell you." The hypocrisy is astounding here. I found this on the "Left Coast Report" by James Hirsen. Leonardo DeCaprio defends Al Bore over his use of private jets and his mansion that uses so much energy. On top of the fact that they are being the 'chicken littles' with their smug assertions that 'blowhard smarming' is fact, they also have the attitude that it's okay for them to use more energy and do what they do because they 'know more and care more than the rest of us.

Leo DiCaprio Defends Al Gore’s Energy Excess

Leonardo DiCaprio has been busy pitching his self-narrated global warming documentary called “The 11th Hour” at the Cannes Film Festival.

While at a press conference, the actor took the opportunity to come to the defense of his Big Green idol, Al Gore.

DiCaprio shared that he tries to live his life in a “green manner.” In addition to installing solar panels on his house and driving a hybrid car, he said that he flew to the press conference on a commercial plane rather than taking a private jet.

He then went on to defend Gore’s excessive energy consumption. The former veep has a massive carbon footprint thanks to, among other things, his jet setting around the globe to deliver hot air speeches.

“Don't shoot the messenger,” DiCaprio said. “This person is trying to relay a message to the public and the way that he travels should not be splayed out like that.”

According to DiCaprio, Gore should get a hypocrisy pass. And so should he. A lawsuit claims DiCaprio excavated his neighbor's property without permission and damaged plants and hedges so that a basketball court could be installed in his L.A. pad.

The suit also alleges that the actor’s construction activities weakened a hillside and left the neighbor’s deck and pool in danger of collapse.

Monday, May 21, 2007

a good video for our military

I was reading at Hugh Hewitt's site and he had a link to this video on YouTube. I think it's a great video for our military men and women. So I decided to post it here.

"Shammi", the carwash kitty cat

I was talking to my daughter Melissa yesterday, and the subject of "Shammi" came up. Now, for those of you that read this that don't know, when my sister Pam was visiting from Colorado a couple of weeks ago, she had gone to the car wash up the street to get her car detailed before she left for Colorado. While she was there, the attendants had stopped all activity as they had found a 3 week old kitten in the water grates of the car wash and had got it out of there. They approached my sister with the kitten and she decided to take it. She brought it back to the house and my mom instantly fell in love with it. As we like to say, it was a "God shot", a gift from God. After losing Buddy, that threw my mom, and me somewhat, into a depression, so this was almost serendipitous. For all my friends in Fountain, Colorado, sorry about the big words. But anyway, I decided that the kitty was destined to be here.

So, my other sister Pepita took the kitty back to her place where her roommate, who works in animal rescue, had a cat that had recently given birth to a litter. Shammi as she became to be called, was put into the litter and mama kitty instantly took to her. She was named Shammi since she was found in the carwash and it's a variation of the word, "Chamois", the cloth used to dry and wax a car. I had taken a couple of pictures of her though they are not the best and I will get better ones when I can. Anyway, I wanted to post the pic I do have of her, she is a little doll and she is now starting to get her 'sea legs'. The best part of it is, it takes my mom's mind off her health problems when she has to take care of her and she really brightens up when she has Shammi here. That is the main reason why I decided we needed to keep her. Shammi is grey with 4 white boots, a white chin and she has white ringing her ears. You can't tell from the pic I took with my phone, but she has great color and her meow is reminiscent of a siamese, big and boomy when she does. She has also exhibited the curious tail thing that Buddy used to do when quizzed. Her tail crooks into a "question mark" when you are talking to her. Now all I need to do is get me a male siamese to continue the tradition in our family.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Really Mr Carter?

So after posting the pic of Paris, I went to Drudge and saw the lead story;

"Bush is the Worst"

yeah, right.

So, I took a screen grab of this. Hmmm, is that because he did something you failed to do in the 70's Mr Carter? could it be that it's because he is not taking any crap from these terrorists that you let run roughshod over the US and the world in general? and from doing nothing, during your presidency, allowed the terrorist movement to proliferate and grow to the extent it is now? including you giving some kind of legitimacy to good 'ole (and dead now, thank God) Yassar Arafat? Yeah, he really is the worst isn't he? It's easy to forget how bad your presidency was when you were in there isn't it?

Ya know what Jimmy? I didn't like you then and I like you even less now, go away and build houses or something, at least you're useful when you do and save yourself from embarrassing yourself all the time.

Just a good picture of a good looking woman...

Forget that it's Paris Hilton. I am not infatuated with her nor do I really care about her. I was tooling around the net reading and found a story about her and her tribulations with the law and they had this picture. Forget that it's Paris Hilton, this is the best picture I have seen of her and she can be beautiful when she's not being an ass or a whiny, spoiled rich brat and no, I haven't seen her "sex tape", I don't want to, that would ruin this picture for me then. Even I can appreciate beautiful women, after all, I have 4 daughters.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Some Reflections on my stay at the 'Hanoi Hilton' & the "Justice" System

Well, having been out a whole 2 days now, I have been thinking about my stay at the 'Hanoi Hilton.' I had read an article in the Local Whacko Rag, the "Phoenix New Times", (this is a magazine that is published in most major cities, but under different names, just localized for your city. Usually the writers are your basic "KOS kids" who regularly blast Republicans & conservatives and glorify whacko lefty conspiracy theories and candidates. Hell, for all I know, George Soros has a hand in funding that paper too, anyway...) The title of the article was "Belle of the Ball Gag" about some chick, a dominatrix, that was in there for 4 months on an extreme DUI and reckless endangerment charge (a felony, a boyfriend was injured in a car crash they were in when she was drunk.) The name of the chick is Amber Dawn Landin, that was at one time married to guitar-god, Yngwie Malmsteen. She has since changed her name to "Seven".


I wouldn't be surprised if she records a CD now or writes a book to cash in on her notoriety.

That's one of the pics of her from the story. I guess most guys would be salivating at the idea of meeting her, but not me, women like that are just weird to me and I don't find her attractive, more scary than anything else. I used to see women like that when I played in a band, and I always steered clear of them, they are nothin
g but trouble.

She has supposedly as a client, an active-duty cop that she 'services.' If you really want to read the article (or look at her pictures), you can at read it here, if you dare.
As I said, personally, I don't find anything attractive about her, but I was intrigued by her story as far as the 'Hanoi Hilton'. She didn't really elaborate about her stay that much, except to keep a low profile and get along in there. She also said, like me, that she avoided the food in there, which is something we can agree on. But it got me thinking about this whole thing.

My point is, it's really amazing the stories you hear coming out of the Hanoi Hilton. There are all kinds of people in there whom you would never expect, some you wouldn't expect to ever leave and other's that are inexplicable. I met a younger guy who got his first DUI and had to serve 4 months for his first offense. No wreck, no mitigating circumstances. I also befriended a guy in there I will call "J" who was the nicest guy I met. He seemed to be from somewhere in the South, as I recognized the twang, and he also was in there, albeit 9 months in work furlough, for a DUI he got in Scottsdale that did involve a wreck, thankfully nothing serious. Now, I don't condone anyone, including me, with drinking and driving, but after talking to many of the guys in there, I have come to the conclusion that it really is a money game for the state of Arizona. Arizona has a hard time raising taxes on the folks here, witness all the transplants moving here from California, New York and all places in between because of property rates and housing costs.

I understand that drunk driving is a serious problem, but yet, I find it interesting that the state refuses to do anything serious about illegal immigrants, child molesters or rapists. They are more concerned with bringing in the money from the cash cow that is a DUI.

Where I find issue is, the state wants to make you seek alcohol counseling and then make you pay for it. I find that on the border of legislating 'behavior'. How long, and it isn't far off, until they decide to put you into 're-education seminars' if you happen to utter something that isn't politically correct. There is no law in the US or Arizona that says you can't be a drunk. I don't think the state should be able to make you take any kind of alcohol class or counseling, without your consent. If you want your license back, then make a good faith effort to seek help and present proof that you did. If you don't, then, you don't get your license back.

They funnel you into a BS service called "Justice Services" which is a state run agency to do home detention, drug testing, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, anger management, etc. Somehow I find it ludicrous that the state tries to legislate behavior. If you want to sit at home and drink or drug yourself into a stupor, ruin your health, your life and not drive while doing it, that's your business and your families. As long as you are not behind the wheel of an automobile while drinking or drugging, which is in essence the same thing, that's your gig, deal with the consequences. Sure, they make you pay a hefty price for a DUI to punish
you, but is it punishment, repentance and rehabilitation they are seeking or is it the cash? to me it's the cash.

I talked with guys in there that had in some instances 12 DUI's. Some were old charges from over 20 years ago and the state reached back, across state lines and the '7 year' period they instituted, to hit them with another DUI. That doesn't excuse what they did. Certainly, in one case where the guy did have a total of 12 DUI's, it indicates a serious problem. But then again, it comes down to, he decided to keep drinking. Taking his license away, putting him through 'treatment', fining him out the yin-yang and incarcerating him did not stop him from continuing his behavior. Yet the idiotic pointy headed politicians who coddle up to the Mother's against Drunk Driving for Photo Op's, don't understand basic human nature. The guy wanted to or wants to keep drinking. Short of just locking him up for good is evidently not going to change his behavior. I don't think even if a doctor told him he was going to die from drinking, he would stop. There are those that just want to keep doing the same thing, however destructive to their life, in spite of the dangers and consequences involved. But again, where does the state think they are going to change someone's behavior. It has to come from a heartfelt experience. In a weird sort of way, the state uses people like this as prostitutes so they can fund their pet projects since they can't just raise taxes when they feel like. Thank God the democrats (and some republicans) haven't gotten rid of the voting system, yet.

It's the same with cigarettes or tobacco in general. They want to discourage smoking, in bars, restaurants, public places, 50 feet from entrances, yet, tobacco has not been made illegal. Why? the money. The taxes, predominantly laid upon 'big tobacco' by the liberals (and some RINO republicans) fund so much of their budgets. It would be very interesting if almost every smoker in America stopped smoking for one day and didn't buy a pack of cigarettes. Talk about a huge drop in the stock market and a big hit in the economy. Yet, they haven't made it illegal. I know that a big reason is, that as new generations of children grow up, they hope that education about smoking will dissuade them from smoking and that "guv'ment" programs to assist you in stopping smoking are out there, but really, it's almost like a slow motion prohibition. If alcohol causes so many problems in our society in terms of deaths, disease, health costs and other factors, why don't they do something to regulate if not outlaw it again? simple, money. It's the fuel that drives the legislative machine. They let people consume alcohol, many of them become dependent on it if not to the point of becoming alcoholic, and then punish them when it becomes a problem. Then they impose all kinds of fines, classes, therapy, what have you, to fulfill "their requirements" when really, they have done nothing more than taken more money from people for indulging in a practice that they themselves allow.

And, the whole idea of them telling you, ".08 is the limit of alcohol that a person can be charged with DUI" is really a lie. This is a no tolerance state. Read that again, a NO-TOLERANCE state. That means, if you get pulled over and test with .03 or .05, the law CAN charge you with DUI, and they will. Why? because, they have a vested interest in getting as many people with DUI in order to fund the various agencies across the valley. They cloak it under the "DPS fund" which to most Arizonan's means, "The department of public safety" i.e., the Highway Patrol. But it means "Department of Public Safety" as an umbrella for all emergency services. So, the local police, fire & first responders not only get money provided in the state budget, they are almost pushed into looking for DUI offenders in order to bolster their coffers. Now, I am not begrudging the police, fire or anyone in that business. I know it's a tough job, but my issue is encroachment. The insidious way that the state finds to take more and more of your money by practicing a weird sort of "Schadenfreude" or "the satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune."

When you break down the money & fines that the state imposes on you for "classes" and other such things, you realize that they are basically robbing you since they can't just raise your taxes. They use the money to then fund various projects when they can't find the money somewhere else. But, at the cost of, they have now taken your license, so you have to resort to public transportation, or you have to use the local taxi service. If you get the misfortune of getting one of the interlock devices, you have to wait until after you get your license back to get one, pay the agency for the device and maintenance and at that point, in most cases, is 2 years from the date of 'conviction'. Now, you increase the chance of someone driving with no license or insurance, because they don't have the means to get to work and back, or take their kids to school or whatever they need to do, partly because they don't have the money to pay for the very 'services' the state requires you to participate in and then with the new laws in place, they get pulled over, arrested for no license or insurance, their car is usually impounded, and they're back in court, if not jail again, with more fines & jail time. So, they just keep sucking more money out of you, often times putting a person in an almost impossible situation (unless you're Glenn Campbell, Paris Hilton or Mel Gibson, i.e., have a lot of money to throw at yet another state cashcow, a lawyer) and you just keep going round and round. All this time, some idiot is saying, "you should have obeyed the law, you put yourself here." To me, in essence, at that point you have become an "indentured servant" or "state sponsored slave", paying money to the state in order for the state to continue to punish you for a mistake you made. Not to mention the the emotional cost to you and your family and friends because the state can now label you an "alcoholic or a drug addict or mentally ill" possibly causing you your job, or the chance to get a better job, your home, your relationship, your emotional well-being or your family's and not to mention the stress put upon you by the game you have to play in order to complete their required compliance. Is it any wonder that many people, just up and take off and head to another state or in some cases, another country, even with the knowledge that they won't get their license back or have a warrant out for their arrest, simply to get out from the crushing pressure of trying to survive and live their life? Surely, there has to be a better way for those pointy headed politicians to deal with such a gross injustice. Yes, there should be consequences for doing a stupid thing, but not at the expense of ruining a person's life. Why good does that serve?

We have politicians that are elected to do their jobs who hire people to sit around and come up with this stuff, never realizing the impact it has on an individual, families or society in general. Most of these politicians never even read the entire bill they vote on and then sign into law.I am sure there are those who would argue with me claiming that I am 'wrong' about it but I am not. I am looking at how this system perpetuates itself and how these 'people' have come up with a clever way to get around raising taxes. I am inside that very system now, looking out. I see from my own experience and from talking with others, how these people get away with seriously injuring people without really accomplishing their 'intended' goal of rehabilitation. If anything, they increase the animosity toward the legal system and the politicians. Perhaps it really comes down to, people would be better served to pay more attention to what these elected politicians are really doing in their name instead of complaining about them all the time, I mean really, they are supposed to work for us, right?

Till the next time,

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Oh Please, Spare me...

This from SkyNews. The English sister network of Fox News Channel. More scare mongering with blowhard smarming. Nice of them to think about all the kids that are right now freaking out with this BS.

'Five Years Left To Save The Planet'

Our planet is just five years away from climate change catastrophe - but can still be saved, according to a new report.

Planet is five years from disaster
Planet is five years from disaster

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) warns governments have until 2012 to "plant the seeds of change" and make positive moves to limit carbon emissions.

If they fail to do so, the WWF's Vision For 2050 warns "generations to come will have to live with the compromises and hardships caused by their inability to act".

"We have a small window of time in which we can plant the seeds of change, and that is the next five years," James Leape, from the WWF, said.

"We cannot afford to waste them. This is not something that governments can put off until the future."

Between now and 2050, the world's energy needs are expected to double.

But the Climate Solutions document says technologies already available could be harnessed to produce enough sustainable energy to power the planet while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 60-80%.

The WWF report also states that nuclear power is not necessary to cut carbon emissions.

The finding is in stark contrast to the UK Government's insistence upon the need to go nuclear.

Keith Allott, head of WWF-UK's climate change programmes, said: "This report shows that although the scale of the climate change challenge can seem daunting, it can be tackled provided we act with real urgency.

"We can slash carbon emissions and meet global energy demand without resorting to the red herring of nuclear power.

"The big question is whether the world's statesmen will have the strength and vision to make this happen - and Britain will be key to that."

Wheels Up at 1:30am, Feet wet at 3:30 am, A strange day Tuesday and finally home, Thank God

My stomach hurts. After Lee picked me up this morning, we went to MacDonald's to get something for me to eat and then to Dunkin Donuts to get my mom some muffins. I ate the egg mcmuffin and hash browns I bought and fell asleep on the couch with the military channel on and the fan going. It felt good. I woke up at various times just feeling waxed and fell back asleep again. I think my stomach must have shrunk from my self-imposed 'diet' of not eating any of the food in the 'Hanoi Hilton'. I know my weight has dropped from 160 lbs down to 149 which is closer to my standard weight of 145 lbs. The seroquel that I take at night makes me hungry after I take it even when I have eaten a full meal. I certainly don't look like Chris Farley, but I can definitely feel the weight gain. So, I am hoping that as the night and the days go on, I can get back to my nominal weight.

Phase one is over, thank God. I went "wheels up", meaning I was released, at 1:30am, finally going "feet wet", which means Lee picked me up at 4:15 am, God Bless him. He had my cell phone laying next to him and I wasn't going to wake him up at first. The local taxis there make money by waiting outside of Lower Buckeye Jail or LBJ as it's called, to take released inmates home. I inquired about a taxi to my home in Mesa and was told, $50.00. I told the guy he was nuts and went and called Lee. He finally arrived at 4:15 with some really good coffee and some cigarettes, which tasted really good. I was planning on flying the one-finger salute as we left the parking lot, but I was just too happy to leave that place behind like a bad biker bar.

I had gotten back at 1:30am Mon night/Tues morning after Lee dropped me off. I pretty much expected to stay in there all day Tuesday, which I did. I slept most of the day, knowing that any
time they would come to get me to "kick me out". I read a novel that was abandoned by someone who got kicked out and slept off and on Tuesday until around 1pm when "SRT", the Special Response Team for the Maricopa Sheriff's office, a SWAT Team if you will, came in with full assault gear and one cowboy with a shotgun. Seems that one of the workers who was helping to change the tents over to the new framing had misplaced or lost, or maybe they were even stolen, a pair of Tin Snips.

So, SRT or as I called them the "Stooge Response Tackleberry's" decided to roust everyone out of their tents and do a thorough search to find the errant tool. They proceeded to take all the 'inmates' and after searching them, make us sit face to the wall of the main building complex while they tore all the tents up looking for contraband, of which they found some, and the missing tin snips, which I don't think they ever did find. What many of us couldn't understand was, why since we were voluntary surrenders, who showed up to do our sentence, voluntarily, want to take something that would absolutely do us no good and would end up causing whomever, to go into stripes if not charged with a new offense? Either way, your stay at the Hanoi Hilton would be extended and you certainly wouldn't be doing work release. Did they think that one of us would take the offending tool? I mean, really, to a man in there, I
don't think I heard one of them ever say they would try and 'escape' if they could. We were by far the most benign members of the inmates in the "Hanoi Hilton". The SR Tackleberry's also liked taunting the inmates, telling them at various times to shut up and one time when I turned around to see what the source of the banging and clanging was in one tent, Mr Shotgun Tackleberry said, "Hey Hippie, keep your eyes to the wall." I both got a laugh out of that and was a bit annoyed as I am not a hippie. He probably assumed since I had long hair and was wearing jeans & my black suede boots, that I was some kind of throwback to the 60's and 70's or something. The guys in the picture above are not the actual SRT, but that's what they look like. This is actually the Flagstaff SRT. Swat Teams all look alike, except the MCSO guys are by and large, overweight and look like a ragtag bunch. I guess Mr Shotgun Tackleberry figured he needed to have a shotgun to protect them from all the inmates laughing at them in the whole ludicrous affair. He probably figured should one insult get too close, he might have to shoot someone, jeez.

I don't think they ever found the tin snips and they kept us sitting out in the sun for almost 3 hours while they tore apart the yard, tents and trash cans, looking for the dangerous tool. They also confiscated some contraband, mostly cigarettes, including one Rocket Scientist's stash of "Rollies", hand rolled cigarettes that numbered about 100 which to them and us I guess, indicated that the person responsible was planning on selling them for profit. He was not present in the yard as he was out on work release and well, he probably had quite the surprise when he
got back and was confronted with the evidence. Chances are, he was 'rolled up' and thrown into stripes and frog-marched over to the "N" yard, where the striped prisoners are held. It's one thing to get busted smoking or possessing cigarettes, they usually make you do trash detail and other work related stuff but it's quite another when it's obvious that you are planning on making a little cash while serving your time. They don't like that at all. If you bought anything out of the canteen and then tried to resell it to fellow inmates at a profit and the tackleberry's found out, you were as good as 'rolled up'. It was more prevalent on the female side of the yard, as they don't have 24 hour access to the canteen. Normally, during the headcount, especially at 1pm, they would let the women come over to get whatever was left in the vending machines, locking down the males for obvious reasons.

They ended up closing down the women's work release & work furlough after the women's bathrooms & shower room were condemned. When I was going back in Monday night at 1:30am, they had all the women, with their stuff, lined up and waiting as the buses' came up to
transfer them to Estrella jail from what I heard. And then Tuesday, when the "Stooge Response Tackleberry's" showed up, I noticed that the jail had 5 port a potties sitting on the inside of the fence in the men's area, the buzz being that they were condemning the men's bathroom (thank God) and shower room. That place was disgusting. As I mentioned in the previous post, the men's latrine was one of the most disgusting places to go into. Urinals overflowing or not working, toilets overflowing and not working, the acrid stench of human waste just burning in your nostrils as you went about your business, whether using the facilities or shaving. It was just so bad. I was glad that I didn't eat anything in there that would have required me to use the toilet as it was horrible, preferring instead to wait until I was out. They needed to condemn that place anyway, there are 7 urinals if I remember right and only 3 worked. The flushing valve usually didn't work on any of them so you had the constant flow of urine that sometimes would flow over the floor and into the drain. All you had to do was walk by the men's latrine and the stench was overpowering. I tried to think of what it must have been like in a WWII concentration camp for the poor people that were there. I am sure what we had to contend with was nothing like that, but I tell you what, they really don't care for the welfare and safety of anyone in the 'Hanoi Hilton' preferring instead to treat all inmates the same, as law-breaking, worthless human beings. Between the Tackleberry's use of intimidation and threats, the horrible 'food' they serve and the living conditions, it was not very fun. Some of the guys made a game out of setting cheese traps to catch the mice that were everywhere and then having some fun with them. Other's would find projectiles and fashion catapult-like devices to shoot at the pigeons that would come diving in like german stuka bombers around feeding times. The top of the tents would have pigeon feces on top of them and some of the floors of the tents had them as well.

I tried to just read the novel that I had found and sleep as much as I could, expecting that at some point, a tackleberry doing head count would tell me I was getting kicked out. That happened at the 1:30am headcount. I was awakened by a female tackleberry doing headcount as she slapped my mattress a couple of times to wake me up and then tell me to give her my i.d., which I did. She then told me that I was a 'kick out' and to grab my bedroll and personal items and head over to the gate and wait with the other kick-outs. I gladly walked over and waited with about 40 other guys that were going. A big MCSO bus had pulled up and they marched us out into the space between the 2 fences and handcuffed us. Thank God, there were no shackles. Usually they march you over to the "N" yard and then put you in the holding tank until you are driven over to LBJ. They didn't do that this time and for reasons unknown, they drove us straight over to LBJ and outprocessed there. 40 of us were put in this holding tank with at least 15 "stripes" that were going to be released. This room was all concrete, with 3 sides of bench, also concrete and a toilet near the back with a half concrete wall for privacy. So, we had at one point around 55 people in a 30 by 10 room, with inmates sitting scrunched up together on the concrete benches and the rest standing up and some sitting down where they could find the space. The heat was overpowering mixed with the smells of guys who hadn't taken a shower and others with body odors. They gave the "stripes" their street clothes and then pulled them out giving the remainder some room to move around only to have the 15 return about 15 minutes later for whatever reason. Finally, a tackleberry with files opened the door and said to step forward when she called the name. I was one of the lucky ones, leaving at least 20 people in the holding tank. Some of the guys they called out were sent back into the tank for whatever reasons and I heard a couple responding with either shouts of 'they wanted out', 'I am supposed to be out' or something. I saw one guy start crying when they put him back in. I think he thought he was out with us and they put him back in for whatever reason. It was sad. We had to line up along the wall and they proceeded to finish the paperwork and ask questions of the outgoing inmates to confirm their identity and check your underwear to make sure that everyone was legit and that they didn't have someone trying to pull a fast one.

Finally it was my turn to be quizzed and processed. I had taken the last bit of seroquel I had at 8pm Tuesday night, so I was groggy somewhat and I just wanted to get it over with. I was quizzed by a female 1st Sergeant as to my full name, my place of residence, my zip code, the last 4 digits of my SS number, etc. I responded to each with the answer she wanted, with no thought of how I said it. She looked at me and said, "you didn't enjoy your stay here then?" I responded "no, I didn't" and I guess the look on my face indicated that I was asking why she would ask such a thing. Of course I didn't like staying there. I don't know too many people who like spending 2 weeks in such deplorable conditions and then say, 'Well gee, the waiters were great, the sleeping facilites were marvelous, par excellance! and the service was to die for!". She said, "your answers have been curt and snotty and short." I said, "What?" and she launched into me saying, "Don't what me." at which at that point, her assistant, a private I think said, " Don't get snotty with her, don't say what to her in that tone of voice, you say, 'pardon me, ma'am'. We can always throw you back in the tank for a few more hours to teach you some manners." I was dumbfounded. I replied matter-of-factly to the questions asked, with no attitude. I was tired, I was hungry and I just wanted out of there. I told both of them, "I meant no offense, I was just trying to answer your questions and I didn't understand that last question." The sergeant replied that "I am trying to get you out of here as fast as possible and I don't need an attitude." To which I said, "yes ma'am" and now I was getting a little annoyed. Finally, they lined me and about 7 other guys up against the wall after I signed a paper absolving the jail of any liability I think, for my stay there, and then the tackleberry called to let the automated door open and we were inside an 'airlock' room where we went outside . Thank God, I walked out and knew I was free for the first time in a little over 2 weeks. I was extremely tired and my body hurt from having to alternately stand and sit in the 'tank' even for the 2 hours. I just was so glad when Lee showed up with his famous blend of 'military' coffee and cigarettes. I didn't even look back, I just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible and get home.

So, that ended my stay at the 'Hanoi Hilton'. You might ask, if I am done. Well, no, I have some more stories and observations that I will post. Some of the more detailed things and a few names. But for now, I just want to get away from the "Hanoi Hilton" and concentrate on the next phase and get back into a normal routine. First off, I am going to take a long hot shower and shave and wash off the last remnants of the "Hanoi Hilton" and start working on some long overdue projects that have been put on hold. And tonight, it will be nice to watch "Alfred Hitchcock presents" and listen to Mark Levin & Hugh Hewitt and maybe eat something light. But for now, I will close. Till the next time.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day, Hot, and a bit of sad news

I woke up today feeling a little bit irritated. Perhaps it was the heat, it was 105 degrees in the tent, 111.6 in the top bunks. And I was a little irritated at the "inmates" at the Hanoi Hilton. It looked like something out of ancient Egypt as there were all these guys walking around with pink towels that had been soaked with water on their heads. Maybe the Egyptians did the same thing, I don't know. But there are 2 big blue water containers that the inmates use to fill up their water bottles and they were using the water to soak their towels down and fill up their water bottles. The interesting thing is, today was supposedly cooler than the last couple of days, so I don't know why they seem to think it was hotter. It might have to do with the fact that on the weekends there are more people in the tents due to their work schedule. Also, last night a whole new bunch of newbies joined the 'family'. New guys, obviously, don't know the routine in the Hanoi Hilton, so they are always doing something to tick off the 'Tackleberry's' as the D.O.'s have come to be called. That from the old "Police Academy" movie.

I also had a strange dream about stealing a car, which I never have done, and after thinking about it later, I think I was hearing in my sleep one of the guys in my tent that had done it. I woke up and watched the beehive of activity around the yard and watched all the newbies wandering around like turkeys. They called lockdown at noon today, partly because due to the heat, many of the guys were either not wearing a shirt or muscle shirts and they are constantly telling the inmates to cover up in either case. So, when they saw guys walking around barechested or with a muscle shirt exposed, they got on the PA and threatened and did lock down the yard for 10 minutes at a time until people covered themselves up. Many of the seasoned guys were constantly yelling at them to stay in their tents during lockdown as the new guys kept trying to wander up to fill their bottles or soak their towels or go to the canteen. What one person does wrong, the tackleberry's punish everyone. Some of the newbies copped an attitude at the warnings and ended up causing a lockdown and the older guys got upset.

My friend Lee could tell when he picked me up that I was a little bit irritated today for getting out late and the tackleberry's locking down the yard, I didn't get out until almost 2:15 pm when I am supposed to get out at 1:30. The tackleberry's don't care if you are late for work always falling on the old standby, "well, it's jail and you shouldn't have done what you did to get here." Nice people. I also heard a sheriff's sergeant was upset as he came over and saw all the inmates that weren't wearing a shirt in the yard and I guess nailed his subordinates for it, so naturally, they took it out on the inmates. It doesn't surprise me when there is trouble in there as the combination of the BS and the heat does not make a conducive environment and getting a bunch of new guys who don't know the routine doesn't help either. God bless Lee, he had brought a great cup of coffee for me and he has become the Maceo to my James Brown, LOL. He has jokingly started calling himself my "Personal Assistant" which we both find amusing. He is also helping a mutal friend of ours and I think there is a budding romance in the works with her. That would be good for both of them as she is just a wonderful woman herself, he a really good man. Now, I just got to find myself a good woman, LOL. NOT! kind of like the old Todd Rundgren song, "We got to get you a woman". The closing line; "and when we're through with you, we're gonna get me one too." LOL

Then to make matters worse, a bunch of the new guys in one of the newly framed tents, near the building, started cat-calling the female inmates who get certain periods of the day to go to the canteen and get some of the stuff in there. Usually the guys have already demolished the machines for 'food' and soft drinks and I feel bad for the women. But the new guys, being new guys started whistling at the women and yelling at them and that made the tackleberry's upset and they locked down the yard once again announcing on the PA to stop it or the yard would stay locked down. I mean really, how desperate can you be when you are looking for a woman in a damned jail facility, go figure. The last place I would ever look to find a woman would be a jail, god, what losers.

I can tell you there were quite a few guys a bit upset over both the newbies actions and the tackleberry's stuff too. I am just glad that I am probably 2 days out from going wheels up from the Hanoi Hilton. I listen to any number of conversations in there at any given time and I am surprised at how dumb and uninformed some of those guys are. Many are convinced that they don't deserve to be there or that their sentence is unjust. Yeah, right.

As time goes by, I just get more antsy, that might be why I was a bit irritated also, about wanting to just get it over with and get out. I just find the men's room disgusting. Several of the urinals aren't functioning and some have overflowed from constant use. They really need to take a couple of bottles of bleach and rinse that floor out. The stench from human excrement in there is overpowering and disgusting. I also get tired of watching the mice scurry around the yard and the tents and watching inmates cleaning mice feces out of their 'private' belongings. Most bunks have 2 metal drawers to store their things in, but the mice get in there when they store snacks and stuff and once you open a drawer, don't be surprised to see a mouse come flying out. The laundry room is also part of the men's room, divided by a concrete wall, and inmates constantly leave old towels and discarded clothing there and the mice hide in those. There is nothing worse when you first wake up and have to use the restroom to have your nose assaulted by the smell of human excretment from overflowing urinals and toilets. I have managed not to eat anything in the Hanoi Hilton that would require me to use the toilet, so I wait until I am at work or at home as I can't stand even taking a leak in there. It would be interesting to see health inspectors and OSHA do a tour in there to see what the living conditions are really like. And I have heard the women's side is even worse. God, what I wouldn't give to be able to take a video camera in there and shoot what it's like. I bet if people saw what it was really like in there, they would be screaming to close down the "Hanoi Hilton." I would be willing to be that Club Gitmo inmates, terrorist suspects, Taliban & Al Qaeda, have it better there than US citizens at the "Hanoi Hilton." Sheriff Joe says that "our boys in Iraq & Afghanistan have to live in the same conditions, so why shouldn't inmates." Sheriff Joe tends to dramatize things and I seriously doubt he has spent more than an hour inside that facility to see what it's really like. But then again, why would he? He's good ole' Sheriff Joe. The toughest sheriff in the country.

Then I called my mom for mother's day to wish her a happy mother's day and got the news. I found out that the little siamese kitten in the last post had already been spoken for and that my sister didn't know about it. I was a bit crushed by that news also. I think after the day I had had already, that didn't sit well with me as I was so looking forward to seeing the little guy and when both him and Chamois (Shammy) were weaned, looking forward to watching the 2 of them playing when they were finally brought over. Oh well, at least my mom had a good mother's day and we still will get Chamois. I guess I will have to keep looking for another siamese kitty and my mom said that the little siamese kitten didn't have the long tail that most siamese have. I think that their tails grow as they do, but hey, I wasn't going to debate that with my mom. It's too bad since he is such a good looking little guy. I hope I can find one as cute as him.

But, I am getting short now, maybe 2 days out or I am hoping that I will be out Tuesday morning or afternoon at the latest. I have had quite the experience in there and I have yet to post some of the things I have held back until I go wheels up. But yeah, I am just waiting until I can get out and get on to my next phase where I will be on house arrest for 47 days. That should be a breeze since I never really go anywhere except to work or meetings and helping my mom out. I am glad that I have one more day to get out and hope that Monday night when I go back at 1:30 am that the tackleberrys will call me for "kick out" as they call it and I can finally leave the Hanoi Hilton behind like a bad biker bar in my rear view mirror. Till the next time.

Friday, May 11, 2007

A new member of the family & part 3 of "Inside the Hanoi Hilton" and my youngest, "the Spitfire" turns 16 today

Once again I am out. I have 4 more days to go till "wheels up" & "Feet Wet" as the military says. The last couple of days inside the Hanoi Hilton have been hot, as evidenced by the number of people who have suffered heat exhaustion and the guys that have used the cold drinking water to soak their towels to wear over their heads. So far, I haven't found the experience that unbearable, although not desirable. I will be glad to go wheels up on Tuesday I am hoping and that part of my penance for my indiscretion will have passed.

I managed to get out a Ladmo bag, intact and took some pictures. That wasn't such a big deal, I simply opened it and took the contents and filled the pocket of my sports "work coat" that I always wear to the station and
walked out. Contrary to what some malcontents will say, the bread is not moldy, it is sealed in a plastic container. The meat in this particular package was turkey, though I didn't have the stomach to try it out. I spent the last 3 days subsisting on candy bars and sunkist soda, and then water for the most part. The last 3 days were the toughest as I went in at 1:30 am Monday night and didn't get out until 1:30 pm on Thursday. I am about 15 lbs overweight going in and now I have lost about 10 lbs, so I am down 150 which is 5 lbs from my normal weight. I was going to sneak out a 'dinner' but it was so rank and I kept it for 2 days and then decided that after sitting in the heat for a couple of days, it would start smelling even worse than it did when it was fresh. In the ladmo bag, you also get some 'cheese nips' and an orange, which didn't seem too happy. I refused to partake of the "Hanoi Hilton" cuisine as I figured, I could wait until I got out. As for the 'dinner', you know the pigeons there know when it's feeding time for the inmates. They swoop down like WWII german stuka bombers and plant themselves on the top of the tents, waiting for the scraps and leftover that many of the 'inmates' throw out for them. I have seen rats, or rather mice, darting through the tents, though many of the 'old timers' say that they don't really bother humans.

The guards, once they get used to knowing what your M.O. is, get friendlier. Some of them still exhibit the 'Barney Fife' syndrome and try to intimidate you. I have been refused my medication at least 5 times, being told at various times that I was too late, or we were on lockdown and to come back later only to be told that again, I was too late. There was one female D.O. who actually apologised all over herself for me not getting my medication and allowed me to get it at 2am. There is also a couple of nightside D.O.'s that if you are square with them and show them respect, they are nice guys. I have actually talked to them about what is going on in the news and tried to treat them as I would anyone, with respect. I do have to remember, the amount of people they see in any given time, the responsibility they have and what people that are contentious to them are like. They are just trying to do their job.

All things being equal, I am willing to bet, they don't want to see the worst of what humanity has to offer. Luckily, the work release and for the most part, work furlough guys are all just normal people that made a mistake. I have talked to a few that seem to think it's somehow glamorous to be in "the tents". I think however, they are really wracked with fear and don't know another life other than breaking the law and have contempt for any kind of authority and 'normal people' that are doing their sentences and then are released. Obviously, since the male and female populations are separated, I haven't got any stories from any of the women in there, though some I have seen, seem to make a life of bouncing in and out of jail for various offenses.

I am thankful however, that God has allowed me this experience with the patience and humility he has bestowed on me. I am just a simple guy that enjoys my life and truly am wanting to make amends for my mistake. I refuse however, to accept that it makes me a bad person. I do those judgmental comments and looks from people and just accept what they say and drive on. I am also thankful that I wasn't involved in a more serious incident which caused me to end up there. Without the support of my friends and family, I know it could be harder, and I feel empathy for the ones in there that have no one on the outside to support them as I have. I try to respect and be nice to everyone and there are some in there that regard me with suspicion as many have said, "I shouldn't be there" or "I don't look like the kind of guy that did anything wrong." Well, what does one have to look like to get charged with a DUI anyway.

I have tried to reach out to a few in there, trying to steer them or entice them to seek help after they leave for drug and alcohol problems as I usually make my way to the TV tent before I go sleep at night. I find some of the guys there that have regarded AA or NA or whatever as some kind of 'cult' and I have to explain that so far, AA and it's affiliates have done more to turn people's lives around. Addiction is not a good thing and it's often fatal in whatever form it takes. I talked to one young guy, about 25, who has his 3rd DUI and because it wasn't in the amount of time to amount to a felony, he has 90 days to do. I told him that he's lucky as normally 3 gets you prison time and is a felony. He said that he didn't think he had a 'drinking problem' and gave me all the usual excuses for drinking, i.e., his job was tough, he broke up with his girlfriend, he got evicted, etc. I told him, "did you ever think that maybe drinking might have caused these problems? and maybe you do have a problem?" he seemed to take what I said and recognize it but then again told me in the next breath that once he got out, him and a new girl he knew, were going to Vegas and that the first thing he was going to do was drink a cold beer. Well, I guess, once he ends up in Clark County jail in Vegas, God Forbid, maybe what we talked about might come to light. I am hoping that he will think about what we talked about and he will have a change of heart. But I nor anyone else can get a person sober or clean and my years in TV, radio and playing rock n roll have shown me how prevalent addiction is and how easy it is to stay trapped. Rock n Roll is a vicious game baby, rock n roll is a vicious game. Once I go wheels up, I will relate some of the things I saw and heard in the Hanoi Hilton from the journal I have been keeping in there. I am looking so forward to getting out and being able to start working on the new CD and moving on.

On somewhat of a lighter note. I know I can never replace Buddy. For those of you who haven't read much of this, Buddy was my Siamese kitty cat that my son dropped on me about 8 years ago and died of liver disease in March. Tonight, my sister Pepita came over with a gift. I was elated. The picture here is him hiding under a blanket on my mom's bed. Speaking of which, she just fell in love with him as did I. We have a long standing tradition in our family of having a chow dog and a Siamese cat. He is just adorable. So after I am released, we have 2 new additons to the family. We have a little grey kitty, female, named "Shammy" or Chamois, since my other sister Pam, visiting from Colorado, rescued her from a car wash where she was abandoned. She went over to an animal rescue person and has been nursing from a mother whom also is the mother of the new Siamese. So, Molly and Takai and Tessie the dog, are going to have to get used to 2 kittens once they are weaned. When I saw the little Siamese, I just fell in love with him and he does have the "Buddy" voice that Siamese' are noted for. But he just had that aura around him, so I decided that I am going to adopt him and once he reveals the name he wants, I will let you know. I sure am not going to call him Buddy, but he will answer to a name he loves. So, if anything, as bad a health as my mom is in, I bought her a new violin, which she just loves and started playing when I gave it to her and she now has 2 kittens to keep her mind of the health problems. She just lit up when she saw the siamese and she was playing the violin. My mom gave me the gift of music and since she lost her violin some years ago, she really wanted another. And I told her not to hog it as I may need it when I start working on "An Act of Bob" for Bobslayur. I am hoping that this second CD will be more focused that "A clean mind is the sign of a sick car." My friend Lee says I should write for Weird Al Yankovich with some of the crazy ideas I come up with, LOL. Touche!

So, at this point, I am justing in a holding pattern and waiting for the time to go Wheels up. I am just glad that the next couple of days, I will be out working and it's going to be a busy weekend programming wise at the station. Also, I received an email from Claire Massey. She is the songwriter that I love that was part of the 80's band "The Tami Show" and has "Suncat Muse", one of my favorite albums out. She said that she will be sending me her 3 song EP real soon and I am anxious to hear it, as I love her and her band's work. I promise to let you know how it is and if Claire doesn't mind, I might post partial takes on the songs. I also am waiting to get hold of her new album when she has it competed. You can find her site at
She has a newly designed website and some of her music there and ordering information. As I have said, if you want some good old fashion rock n roll that really kicks and is good, give her a listen. I just love her music and maybe one of these days I might get to meet her and maybe do some work with her, LOL.

Anyway, a big thank you to my friends, family and most certainly God, for helping me endure what I have endured so far. It's starting to heat up here in Phoenix and another summer is upon us. I will get back to my assault on the pinheads about "Blowhard Smarming" though a good friend of mine wants to have a discussion, LOL. And I love her, we have been friends for about 3 years and she now lives in Washington and her brother is some kind of pointy headed biologist. But we can argue and still be friends. Anyway, I close with the best thoughts and thanks to everyone and I will be back with another installment from the "Hanoi Hilton" as time permits.

And finally, my youngest daughter, Kayleigh Marie, ( I love that name, always have) turns 16 today. I tried calling her but she must be busy tearing up the streets of Greeley, Colorado with her new license and I suppose my other wonderful and brilliant daughter Megan, who is 18 and graduating with honors from high school, is busy keeping the "Spitfire" as I call her in line. My daughters are my love and their mom is really a very good mother, as is their stepfather, they have done a great job with them. In fact all my kids make me realize just how precious life is. My kids are the most wonderful thing in the world. I have often said that there are only 3 real works of Art in the world and that's my kids, a good guitar and a good woman. Happy Birthday, Kayleigh Marie. Kayleigh's band, Sin!Clair has a link on the right side of the page and I am going to try and see if I can get hold of some of their tracks and mix them for them and maybe even do some producing. My kids are all so talented, they are all wonderful human beings, God bless them. So, Kayleigh, I love you and stay out of trouble please and keep on rocking, cos I am listening!

Til we meet again,