Thursday, August 31, 2006

Schwarzenegger won't be getting a dime from this cowboy.

Sometimes you give a guy the benefit of the doubt. When he fired his evangelical ambassador last week, I chalked it up to leading in the polls and not wanting to throw any type of flotation devise to your enemy. I thought that the Liberals inside the war room of the Governors campiagn were just covering bases and not wanting to stir the pot. I was wrong, The firing was the first volley in the campaign race to run as far away from anyone carrying a Bible, until inauguration Day. Then they can bring it out quickly, take the oath and seal it back inside the lead trunk where the liberals keep such things. The Book of which we don't speak, put it away, it draws those people we don't speak of to come inside our capitol.

I know that all the Republicans voted no on SB 1441 and SB 1411, but the Governor signed it. I can take a few policy moves and understand when people are asked to fall on their swords for the sake of the top ticket, but Arnold Schwarzenegger has crossed my Rubicon and he cannot go back.

I will vote for you, but I will not spend an hour at my local republican club phoning voters and stuffing envelopes for the top of the ticket. He can hire the San Francisco chapter of Dykes on Bikes to handle the GOTV effort in Yolo County, I am done with you Arnold. Take me off your mailing list, go make Terminator5 or something, leave politics to the gang of putbulls in the ring, you have gone soft, like the white belly of a catfish.

A very sleepy Cowboy says goodnight now.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford; 1916 -2006

You may know him better as Glenn Ford. He has passed away at age 90 today. He was one of my favorite western actors.

If you ever get a chance to rent or buy 'The Rounders" with Ford and Henry Fonda, do it.
I love that movie.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

New Orleans, a year later, still bickering, still looking for votes.

I have been watching the Katrina anniversary specials this week and wondering if ABC will send someone like John Stossel down there to ask the local officials what the heck they are doing. Here we are year later and the City Council just passed the FEMA elevation guides for rebuilding in low lying areas.
Most homeowners who want to substantially renovate or construct new houses in New Orleans after Sept. 15 will have to build at least 3 feet above the ground, and much higher in some places, under new zoning rules that the City Council adopted unanimously Friday after federal and state officials threatened for months to withhold millions of dollars in recovery money if the standards were not enacted.
No one in office down there wants to make the hard decisions. Someone needs to have the leadership to tell residents that the we are not going to rebuild slums and ghettos. As a taxpayer, why should I have to pay to rebuild a house in an area that is 10 feet below sea level? That is a waste of money. The City needs a smaller footprint, and better leadership.
As the water receded, a smaller, sadder New Orleans looked to Mayor Ray Nagin and the City Council for leadership. They responded with chaos. The symbol of their failure is New Orleans' lack of a citywide plan to rebuild - the first essential step toward renewal. Without a plan, residents don't know whether city services, utilities and other families will return to their old neighborhoods. So decisions about rebuilding are deferred and residents stay away, compounding the failure.
It seems that Mayor Ray Nagin wants as many citizens as he can living in New Orleans. The poorer the better. Those are the people who voted for the Mayor of Chocolate City. Nagin knows his voters, and they want everything back the way it was, only with more money in their pockets. He doesn't want to upset anyone, that is why there are dozens of competing plans to rebuild each separate community.

The Mayor should have told all these community groups that, we need speed and hard work right now, not bickering and endless ideas about how to do the job. He should have hired the best urban planner he could find, one with no ties to political groups and said, this guy is the best in the business and I will look to him for solutions. They will not be popular solutions for some areas and some people, but I have a to find a solution for the whole of the City, not block by block. Instead, the City Council and the Mayor have come up with this;
A unified neighborhood recovery planning process for New Orleans inched forward Monday with the signing of an agreement by city and foundation officials and the assignment of consultant teams to assist residents in different parts of the city. Covering a wide range of infrastructure needs and other projects, from parks to rejuvenated schools, sought by neighborhood leaders, the unified plan is expected to be completed by the year's end. It will be used by the Louisiana Recovery Authority, or LRA, to guide use of many millions of dollars on storm recovery needs in New Orleans.
The plan is expected to be completed by the end of the year? Sounds great, a watered down plan with many factions trying to make everyone happy delivered a year after the flooding. Way to go Ray, way to go.

What about those levees, I bet the local governments are willing to do whatever they need to get the upgrades completed right? Wrong.
After several weeks of negotiations, amendments to existing cooperative agreements have now been signed between the corps and local governments that will let contractors begin lifting subsiding levees, do pump station work, and shore up some flimsy floodwall in East Jefferson, as well as finish building 11 miles of levees on the east bank of St. Charles Parish.

But none of the new work can begin in Orleans, St. Bernard Parish or on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish, and no new Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control, or SELA, projects in Jefferson or Orleans parishes can be let until local, state and federal authorities resolve remaining disputes and amend their Cooperative Project Agreements as well.

What the fight Jefferson parish comes down to is the feds want the local government to acquire any needed land to do repairs, and the locals want to do their 'best efforts' to acquire the land. What part of flooding don't the locals get? If the Corp of engineers needs the State or County to acquire a 100 strip of land to widen a levee or upgrade a pump station, make it happen. The Feds (you and I) are the ones spending the BILLIONS of dollars to strengthen the levees, can you folks down there at least pull your weight?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The City of New Orleans leadership caught sleeping again?

I used to be in sales and project management. I was the road for days and weeks at a time. When I had a meeting in a strange town, I would get up early enough to be at my appointment an hour early if possible. If I had to find a Starbucks or wait in the parking garage going over my material, that was fine, I hate being late. Besides, I can't sleep in hotel rooms so I am up anyway.

Which brings me to this morning Fox News Sunday. With the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on Tuesday, this week will be filled with stories of how the Bush administration is botching the rebuilding process and the truly sad stories of people who will be living with the effects of the hurricane for years. Scheduled to be on FNS today was Oliver Thomas, the President of the New Orleans City Council. Chris Wallace said after the first segment with Don Powell, the head of the Federal clean up effort, that Mr. Thomas was running late. Later in the show, after listening to Joe Biden pimp himself for his presidential run 2008, Wallace said that Oliver Thomas had overslept and would not appear on the show that day and that he had missed an official briefing of the current hurricane Ernesto, now downgraded to a tropical storm.

Way to go Oliver, you make a wonderful case for the efficiency and effectiveness of the local government in New Orleans. The public must have an immeasurable amount of confidence in the City Council and the Mayor's office.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The perils of alcohol and amphibians.

As many readers and friends know, I don't drink much anymore. One of my friends always hits me with the comeback, yea I don't drink any more, but I don't drink any less either.

This guy
should defiantly never touch another drop. He isn't very good at it.
Cambodian Buddhist monk who stripped naked and raced through suburban streets after a heavy night of drinking rice wine laced with toads has been asked to leave the monkhood.
While I never streaked through town hammered on toad-spiked wine, I did do some stupid things. There was never an event that forced me to quit, I didn't get busted for DUI or get drunk and scream at my wife one night, I think it was my children. The thought of my children seeing me in a drunken state terrifies me. If I do have a drink now, it might be a Corona at a Mexican food restaurant, or one beer at the Junction on a Friday night. I should give that up as well.

I don't tell you this to get an 'ata boy' from you or to think of myself as somehow superior, it's just I have seen first hand how much damage alcohol can do to people who drink and those around them. I try to tell anyone who will listen that it's the people at the party that make it fun, not the alcohol, I can have just as much fun as they do drinking water or soda. The benefits are many. I don't feel like hammered dog poop the next morning, I still have that 50 dollar bill in my wallet, and I didn't make an ass out of myself. Well, in my case I still can make a fool out of myself sober, so maybe that one is a push.

It may be hard at first, the peer pressure is tremendous, even as an adult. C'mon man, have a drink, I'm buying. C'mon just one more. C'mon man, what are you, a wuss? I have heard it all. I just smile and, nope, I'm just fine. Usually I say, hey let me drive you home. If I do go to a party or to the Junction, I am the designated driver.

I have friends who don't drink, and at times that is an easier crowd to be around, but I have all kinds of friends. I try not to beat them over the head with my moderation-abstinence speeches. I try to lead by example. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail.

Give one word to describe Katie Couric

If I were asked by the Pew Research Center, I would describe Katie as 'Fatuous'.

That word did not make the list, although they did limit the responses to those who had 5 or people give the same answer.

Here is the list of the evening news anchors.

It seems Katie has some pretty high negatives. Her second description is liberal.

No way, not Katie!

What word do you associate with her?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Schwarzenegger campaign cuts ties to evangelicals

Let me know if this sounds familiar. Who are the folks that man the phone banks at election time, walk the precincts to get out the vote and write the checks to the GOP?
A lot of them are evangelical Christians. Does the Schwarzenegger campaign feel that they have the Christian vote all locked up? Maybe they have already tallied our votes and are going after the independents. I guess I know how the African American democrats feel, taken for granted and pushed to the side as the candidate romances a new group of voters. The Schwarzenegger campaign may have miscalculated, the church going soccer mom may just stay home this election cycle, with her checkbook and dayplanner.
The abrupt decision of the state Republican Party to cut ties with an evangelical advocate hired to reach out to voters on behalf of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's re-election has disappointed conservatives and fueled their concern about the governor's principles.

Ben Lopez, the chief lobbyist of the Traditional Values Coalition, a group founded by the Rev. Lou Sheldon, said he was surprised when his job as a GOP outreach worker to churches ended at the conclusion of last weekend's state Republican Party convention.
I also see this for what it is. Since the democrats can't hang the war in Iraq around the Governors neck, the next best thing is to trot out the evangelical bogeyman. We can't have those hate filled Christians just begging the Governor to reconvene the Salem witch trials right here at the capitol. If you re-elect the Governor, there will be Bibles in all the schools, internment camps for homosexuals and Jerry Falwell will be named to the California supreme court. The Schwarzenegger oligarchy must be stopped!

As ridiculous as these sound there are some in the democratic party who feel that evangelical Christians are larger threat to America that Al-Qaida. Just read some if the fever swamp blogs on the left, talk about hate, those folks are filled to overflowing with hatred for Christians.

So why has Schwarzenegger canned his evangelical ambassador? Look who is running his campaign, Democratic campaign strategists. They know the Democratic playbook, they wrote it. Close ties to any semi-controversial Christian group will be turned into the most outrageous attack adds.

I hope that Governor Schwarzenegger has the courage to stand up for his faith, and those in his base. What I need to hear and see is the Governor attending church and meeting with evangelical groups who do great work in their communities. Homeless outreach, food banks, battered women's centers and substance abuse recovery ministries are a fantastic ways to keep the connection to his base strong.

I don't need to have an evangelical ambassador, I need to have a candidate who is not ashamed of his supporters.

Europe is a hollow tree waiting for the right windstorm

How many times have you heard the left in America decry the lack of unity with Europe in the war on terror. If John F'ing Kerry had been elected President, the US would have valuable allies to confront this menace. Yea, right.

If there were ever a time for Europe, and France especially, to step up to the plate and take bold military action under the flag of a multilateral force for a humanitarian cause, Lebanon is the perfect opportunity. France, who once agreed to lead the 15,000 man UN peace keeping force has once again proven their complete and total irrelevance to the world. They have now reduced their commitment to 200 soldiers. The French have just declared surrender to the what is left of civilization. Why should anyone, anywhere bother to discuss anything with the French again?

France is the guy back in high school who tells his friends, I've got your back, lets go kick those guy's asses. Only to run away when it looks like this fightin' stuff could get dangerous. I would rather have two or three good friends to back me up against a dozen thugs than have a dozen Frenchmen with me to fight one thug.

Remember that guy in school who always complained about the way you were doing something. I don't care if it was tuning up a carburetor or picking up girls, that guy was always telling you how you were doing it all wrong. Until you handed him the screwdriver or told him to go talk to that pretty girl over there, then he would make up some lame excuse why he couldn't do it. That guy is France too.

I will leave you with a few of my favorite quotes regarding France;

Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. (Jed Babbin)

France, they are always there when they need you. (Me, although I forget where I heard it first)

Their Latinate voluptuousness combines with their Gallic laziness and the result is: they would rather make love with their faces than fight. (General Webb, although he did get his butt kicked by the French at Fort William Henry)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Davis high school students can 'Opt out'

For those of you outside our little slice of earth known as Yolo County, you may not know about the City of Davis. To help you understand the quirkiness, craziness and the downright bizarre nature of Davis, close your eyes and imagine downtown Berkeley, with less homeless people, more bicycles than Beijing, surrounded by farmland and 'normal people'.

Actually, I love Davis, it's a great little town if you can look past the 'BusHitler' bumper stickers and the Che Guevara t-shirts. The Davis City council has declared Davis a 'nuclear free zone' and built a toad tunnel to keep frogs from becoming street pizza. I am not sure how the city council can stop nuclear fission reaction inside the city limits but, hey they are smart people, they must have a way. The toad tunnel was a bust also, the toads found that the critters that like to snack on frogs found the end of the tunnel like a buffet table.

Does Davis have peace activists?
Boy howdy. Davis must have one of the largest peace activist to normal people ratios in the US. Cindy Sheehan is welcomed with open arms and unshaven legs at peace rallies, and if you listen real close, I bet you can hear a drum circle down at the park as I type this post.

So in summation, Davis is very liberal, kind of kooky, and a nice place to have lunch after church.

Which brings me to The Culture of Peace Working Group.
After discussions with the Davis school district, an 'opt out' form is developed for inclusion in the annual information packet that is mailed to families with high school students, which allows students to withhold their names and phone numbers from military recruiters. Over time, the group also develops an 'Alternatives To Military' information packet, which is placed in the Davis High School Career Center....

'There's a huge budget put into military recruiting, that's obvious,' Wormeli said. 'We could just imagine students going in there, seeing all this material from the military, saying 'We can give you money (to go to college), if you sign up.'

"But a packet about alternatives to military service was not there," Wormeli said. "And there are Davis students who are not going straight to college, for one reason or another."

I am not sure what message the group is trying to send to the high schoolers. The military is bad and should be avoided at all costs? Young adults are stupid, they don't watch the news and can't figure out what the military does? What ever happened to open discussions and looking at all points of view? Not when it comes to the military, at least for these folks.

What about the countless success stories, kids who were going nowhere and who are now thriving in the military. Many have become tremendously sucessful men and women while serving and once they get out. Would they rather have these kids working at the car wash for minimum wage or living in their parents basement going to peace rallies?

I met a Marine Corp seargent this summer, he is completing his degree this year and will ship off for officers training next spring. He knows where he is going, he is going to Iraq, and he wants to go. He wants to lead men and do what he was trained to do. God Bless him.

I don't think this peace group is doing anything un-American or un-patriotic, they are just foolish. They want to live in their make-believe world where everything can be solved by talking. That's a nice place to live, until you are sitting blindfolded, starring in a poorly lit beheading video shown on Al-Jazeera.

Wake up, your world does not exist, it never has and it never will. The more you try to hide the real world from the next generation the larger head start you will give the terrorists. America cannot 'Opt out' of this war, we can bring the troops home, like the Democrats want, but the terrorist will bring the war to our doorsteps, and shopping malls, and schools, and sushi bars, and even to Davis California.

I wonder if the city council will have the imbecility to proclaim Davis a 'terror free zone'.
It wouldn't surprise me.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Bayside Woodland - Church for people who don't like church.

On Friday my wife took our children to the Yolo County Fair, the last free admission fair in the state by the way, to see the sights and ride a few rides. At one of the many booths, my wife found Bayside of Woodland and brought a pamphlet home. I was excited when I heard the news.

When we lived in the Sacramento area we attended Bayside Church back before they had a church building. We met in the gym at Granite Bay High School. Even then, sitting in folding chairs or in the bleachers, you couldn't help but feel that something special was happening. Pastor Ray Johnston is as real as it gets. A really funny guy, a real biblical teacher, a real communicator, and most importantly a real man of God. The staff of people who make up the Bayside family are some of the most positive people I have ever met. The music is great. Lincoln Brewster is a talented musician and a humble servant of Jesus. I remember the first time seeing Lincoln, I though who is the skinny guy with the funny hair and the soul patch? His CD 'All to you' is filled with uplifting worship music. But back to this morning in Woodland.

As I parked my car at Pioneer High School and made my way to the cafeteria, I was greeted by no more than seven or eight smiling people. I filled out my name tag and made my way inside. The congregation is still small, under 100, although the last few weeks of August are low periods for most churches with families taking vacations and such. The music was led by Peter Neumann. It is definitely upbeat and the band is made up of quite a few people who look like they just received their drivers license. Scott, if I remember the name right, was playing for the first time with the band and this guy can make a Fender guitar sing, I hope he stays. He looks more like me, a little thicker around the middle and a little thinner up top. But he can play.

John Withem is the senior Pastor at Bayside Woodland, and his message today was meant for first timers to the church. It was inviting and energetic and it made me feel right at home. I spoke with John after the service and told him I would be back, I also signed up for a father-son baseball game were we will take the ferry to PacBell park to see a Giants game in September.

If you live in the Woodland area, I would suggest stopping by and checking out a church for anyone who doesn't like church. It's not boring, it isn't negative and you find that you do have a purpose. And take you kids, even the 'coolest' teenager will have a good time, and who knows, he may end up in the band.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Landscaping, for lack of a better word, sucks.

Saturday is my semi-lazy day, I do projects around the place, but if a really good movie or sporting event is on TV, and its over 90 degrees, don't be surprised to find me in my favorite chair with my feet up. This delightful thought came crashing down around me this morning when I heard my wife fire up the tractor. Good heavens, I thought, what is she up to now. What she was doing was dumping horse manure compost into the planting bed in front of the house.

"Hun, whatcha doing?"
I want to plant some foundation shrubs and the soil is so hard that they keep dying.
"How are you going to mix the manure in with the soil?"
I don't know, how about the roto-tiller?
"I need to change the blades on it, if you want to use it."
Well, lets do it. Is it easy?
"No, that's why the new blades have been in the shipping box for two weeks"
"I'll help you" she said cheerfully.

So I hooked up a chain to the tiller and brought it in front of the shop.
I set it up on two work benches to get the blades high enough to change them without getting on the ground to do it. There are 32 blades, 16 right handed and 16 left handed. Each blade has two bolts holding it on, rusted bolts and nuts with damaged threads from spinning around in the dirt all their life.
Did I mention that this was not going to be easy?

Two hours, a half a can of WD-40 later and using a 2 foot breaker bar to break the nuts loose enough to use my air-ratchet, I had the old blades off.
My wife did help by cleaning up the threads on the bolts and she likes using the air-ratchet. I think its the sound it makes. ( Just kidding Hun )
New blades, check. Grease all the zerts, check. Fill the gear box with oil, check. Lets till some horse poop.

The tiller worked great, and after we finished we put down the weed barrier and put the rail road ties back around the edge.

Now we (my wife) will go to Home Depot to buy her shrubs as well as fountain grass and some perennials to plant on the mounds we made.

I am now sunburned, dirty, somewhat pungent, and tired.
My buddy called and wanted me to drive my Jeep up to deer camp with some of our friends tonight, but I am bushed.

When I get out of the shower, I am heading to my chair, for some quiet time with the History channel or SportCenter, or maybe nothing at all.

Man and beast beware, don't disturb fat guys when there are in their chairs, bad things can happen.

PS, I saw a t-shirt at the fair that made me smile it said;
"Fat people are harder to kidnap"

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Deranged pedophile or Murdering pedophile?

Something is not right with this story. This guy is a scumbag of the first order, but is he just a demented pedophile who wants his 15 minutes of fame or is he the real killer of JonBenet?

Either way, a tall tree and a short rope would take this guy off the streets for good.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

How much more 'victory' can Lebanon handle?

This just in, Jeff Davis has declared victory in the battle for Richmond. Locals could not be found for comment.....

You have to hand it to the terrorists, they run a great PR campaign. Not being familiar with war up close and personal, I have little experience with what real victory in war looks like. Maybe I need a guided tour of Lebanon by one of Hezbollah's press secretaries. Maybe he can explain why the Hezbollah flag isn't flying over any Israeli cities but there are a few dozen Israeli tanks and thousands of their troops sitting inside southern Lebanon waiting for the Lebanese army to take over their positions.

Now wait, before you give me the Israel lost, the terrorists won speech, I want to look at the facts as I see them.

There were no rockets fired into Israel today.
Israel did not get their captured soldiers back.
90% of Hezbollah's long range rockets were destroyed.
4,000 or so rockets were launched into Israel.
The Israeli death toll was 157, including 118 soldiers, according to its military and government.
The Lebanese death toll, 842, who knows you can count Hezbollah fighters from innocent civilians, but lets say two thirds were fighters.
Tehran and Damascus are seen as heroes to the Arabs who 'defeated' the Zionists.
Hassan Nasrallah is the news Terrorist Elvis. (I would not buy any green bananas Hassan, you just became number one on the Mossad hit list.)
The UN forces will not disarm Hezbollah, a dollar to a donut says that the Lebanese army will not find of the 'hidden' Hezbollah weapons either.
Hezbollah sends in Iranian money to bribe the Lebanese into thinking that a flattened house and dead relatives equal victory.

The bottom line, a squandered opportunity for Israel to crush a terrorist organization.

I'm sure I could go on and on, but you get the point.
No matter what Israel did, short of nuking Tehran and Damascus, the Arabs would claim victory, that is how they have framed every war they ever fought, no matter how badly they were beaten. We won, they lost, aint we great.

So lets get down to brass tacks, Hezbollah wants to kill every Jew in Israel and wipe them off the map. Did they? No, just a bloody nose, Israel will be back to its usual daily life in two weeks if the cease fire holds.

Israel wanted its soldiers back and to stop Hezbollah from firing rockets into its territory.
Did they get what they wanted? No, but they did diminish Hezbollah's fighting forces by a large factor, but they don't have the captured soldiers.

Who is real winner? Iran and Syria send money, weapons and military advisors into Lebanon and get a cease fire. Anything that makes Israel look weak is a big win for them, plus they are now the official "First National Islamic Bank of Terrorism". Anyone who wants to kill Jews or Americans knows who where to go and who they need to please in order to get weapons and training. But that has been the case for some time, now there is just no hiding it.

The real looser. The US State department, President Bush and Ehud Olmert. Bush can claim this is a victory for Israel, but it when this is examined a few months or years from now, it will be seen for what it was, a chance for Israel to crush a terrorist organization that they let slip by through incompetent leadership.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Give liberals enough rope....

Here is a great post by Miller's Time where he interviews the Sacramento/Berkeley couple who just seem to hate the Jews almost as much as the President. Digger has a great photo of Mr. Pearcy's car (warning - sailor language). It must be terrible to be so filled with rage and hate. I thought that the right were the hate mongers?

Mr. Pearcy admits, with very little hesitation, that Israel does not have the right to exist. But remember boys and girls, Bush=Hitler!
Read the comments as well.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Cindy Sheehan goes to the hospital.

Damn that Bush and his global warming! Doesn't he know that you need a cool climate to protest in?
Anti-war demonstrator Cindy Sheehan was hospitalized Friday evening for dehydration and exhaustion after fasting for more than a month and protesting earlier this week in 100-degree weather, friends and relatives said.

What Cindy needs is a protest-drink, kind a like a sports drink only made for hunger striking anti-war protesters. I am going after the trademark right now.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Songs, stuck in your head - updated

I sat down at my laptop tonight to write about the events of the day, my day not yours, how would I know what happened in your day anyway? But I found my mind was playing and endless loop of "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John. You may be thinking to yourself, Cowboy, what are you doing singing an Elton John song, I thought you were a manly man? I am that, however I have been known to enjoy sappy pop songs, and while I am bearing my cultural soul, I also enjoy Jane Austen books and love Le Mis'.

One of the things that makes up who I am is the ability to enjoy diverse and even odd things. I have, at one time or another, owned vinyl records of everyone from Black Sabbath to Jonny Cash to KC and the Sunshine Band. Living in the country, we had two radio stations, one country and I mean real country, Marty Robbins and Merle Haggard, the other station was pop. In the late 70s that meant disco. Thankfully my cousin came to spend a summer with our family when I was in seventh or eighth grade and introduced me to real rock n roll. Thanks John, I owe you one.

Entering high school I found out that just about anyone could look cool in an AC/DC T shirt and blue jeans, so the cowboy hat went back into the closet and the ball cap and 501s came out. Spent some time in a few bands, as high schoolers do, and tried my hand living the rock n roll lifestyle to the detriment of my grades and my liver. It took meeting my wife to bring me back to the ranch and country music. This was the late 80s and country had changed, Clint Black, Garth Brooks and Randy Travis were made for radio and I found myself listening to it more and more. I never lost my rocker roots and still enjoy blasting "Where ever I may roam" by Metallica when ever I see it on my playlist. But when I am sitting by a fire on a winter evening I also enjoy listening to Mahler's Symphony No. 9.
Strange huh?

But Cowboy,what about Elton John? I place the entire blame on my mother. As a kid, we bought and sold quite a few ranches across the West, my father was a Rancher and Real Estate broker. We never really took vacations, but some times we would travel the western US looking at ranches and cattle. My sister and I sat in the back of the family Cadillac and Mom would keep stuffing in those 8 track tapes as the miles flew by. I swear the back seat of that Cadillac was as big as a sofa. The leather was soft but somewhat slick and when turning corners we would slide from one side to the other, my sister punching me when I crossed the line to her side of the car. My mom would play Elton John, Jim Croce and Patsy Cline, or the soundtrack to 'The Big Country'. Ah the memories.

It is getting late so tonight's rant will have to be about my diverse musical proclivities and my diverse, if not somewhat odd taste in entertainment.

(I am not feeling well today so I am home. I though a bit of editing was needed on this post.)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Only in Yolo County

If you drive down Main Street in Woodland, you have seen this guy. Who is he, what is he doing, is he 2,000 years old? Inside Woodland asks the man who stares at the sun.

Okay, here's the hard part- I don't know this man. I don't know anything about him. I don't know if he's a nice guy, or what. In this situation starting the conversation is never easy. So I walked up to him while he was looking at the sun. I stood a few seconds, not wanting to interrupt him. I waited for him to acknowledge me.

I waited a little while longer. A minute passed. Then five minutes. Then possibly ten minutes. The man I wanted to talk to was standing, looking into the sun. He was talking- but not to me.

I decided that I should either try to initiate a conversation, or I should just go home. Standing here next to him wasn't doing anyone any good. Finally he took a break in his talking, and I figured it was my chance to initiate a conversation.

InsideWoodland- Good morning.
Man Staring at the Sun (Turns to me) Good morning sir!

Well so far, so good.
So I figure it is okay to move on with the important question.

InsideWoodland- What are you doing out here?
Man Staring at the Sun -Just getting warm
InsideWoodland -How long have you been doing this?
Man Staring at the Sun- Two thousand years

Friday, August 04, 2006

Jerry Brown calls for a ceasefire in Oakland

Jerry Brown's message to the worst killers in his city; you better stop it, or else. I'm sooper serious you guys, knock it off.

Remind me again what state office is he running for? Oh yea, Attorney General, the top cop in the Golden State. Someone should check his urine sample, he may be hitting the hippie lettuce a little too much.

Brown promised this plan, dubbed "Operation Ceasefire," will succeed where others have failed because of its "relentless" focus on the top 100 offenders, especially teens and young adults.

Eighty percent of this year's murder victims were younger than 28, as were many of the suspects, said Lt. Ersie Joyner, commander of the department's homicide section. In addition to a growing Latino gang problem, many of the murders stemmed from arguments over other criminal activity, including drug dealing and gambling, Joyner said.

Police commanders have already identified Oakland's 100 worst criminals with help from officers who patrol the city's neighborhoods and from community members, Joyner said. Those removed from the list will constantly be replaced by new names, he added.

In the second phase of the plan, those on the list will be brought in for a discussion about the consequences of their criminal activity, and offered a chance to start over, officials said.

Hey I have an idea, if you know who they are, and what they have done to get on the list, PUT THEM IN JAIL JERRY!

Sorry, deep breath, I'm better now.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wal-Mart finally gets unionized, in China

The perverse idea of the communist Chinese sponsoring unions has me scratching my head. The unions are not private, they are controlled by the government, the government is communist, the communists are supposed to be the party of the people. I don't get it.

Why would workers need a union in a workers paradise? If the Chinese don't like working for Wal-Mart, they can go back to the 'people's factory' and get paid in fish heads or something.

Wal-Mart, stop selling goods made in prison factories....... Sorry, never mind.
Wal-Mart, stop selling goods that violate trademark laws.....Sorry, never mind.
Wal-Mart, stop selling goods made in polluting factories.....Sorry, never mind.

Um, Wal-Mart we want to be paid in cash, not fish heads, is that ok?