Political Irony

Ironical that the warning spoken by the founder of Repubicanism went unheeded.

“If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property, until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

Joe and The Code of the West

Joe was my office field engineer one long and hot summer in the late sixties. We stayed in a motel at Enterprise, OR. However, they told us when we checked in that all rooms were already booked for the big rodeo weekend of Chief Joseph Days. That weekend we stayed in rooms above the restaurant/bar across the highway from our field office in Wallowa, OR. Very rustic quarters; a half dozen rooms much like those shown in old western movies.

Joe borrowed my company truck and went to the big watering hole bar in Enterprise with an invitation to set in with the local band. Among Joe’s many self learned talents while on lonely duty hearding sheep for three years was drumming to tunes from his battery powered radio. All went well until Joe had one too many drinks and started playing too many solos on the drums. One visiting rodeo cowboy challenged Joe to either shut the hell up or get his ass kicted. Joe accepted the later and suggested they settle the disagreement via the Code of the West.

In the alley behind the bar they squared off with a couple of dozen bar patrons standing by expecting to see a good fist fight. There was only one punch thrown. Joe knocked the cowboy out with the first punch, picked him up and put him head first into a large nearby garbage can.

Joe woke me up at 5am when he staggered into my room through the adjoining door that I had forgot to lock. He was looking for the bathroom as I had the only room with a bathroom. All the other rooms shared a bathroom down the hall. His right hand was swollen up like a football from the one-punch knockout. It is a wonder that cowboy lived.

How do I know what happened at the bar in Enterprise that night? Not from Joe as he simply said he, “subdued a unruly cowboy.” A company construction inspector we called Thumper was in the bar that night and told me about the evening. To read the story of how that inspector got the nickname of Thumper look elsewhere in this category.

Dogs and Cats

True Story:
We had a three pound female Chihuahua named Midge for 17 years beginning in January 1961 when we obtained her at about age two. She had a big ego and enjoyed chasing off the next door cat whenever it wandered into our yard. On a sunny and warm Spring day that year Bev and I were standing in our driveway talking to the neighbor couple with Midge near us. She wandered into the neighbors open garage and we heard that angry phssing sound cats make and the yelping of Midge who came running toward us with the cat attached to her back with sharp claws. Seems the cat had newly born kittens stored in the garage. Midge’s ego was crushed and she hung out under the kitchen table shaking for hours and wouldn’t go outside withot being forced out the door.
Three or so years later we got Smokey as a barely weaned kitten whose mother was one-half Lynx. Midge’s ego had recovered and she would not let the tiny kitten drink milk from a saucer near her dog feeding bowl. Midge bullied Smokey and as a consequence the cat grew up fearing the little dog even though it outweighed Midge several times over and could have easily whipped her in a very short fight. However, Smokey had a couple of litters of kittens and Midge would not go near her while she was with the kittens. Even little dogs have big memories!

Avoid Car Repair Ripoffs

The information below is from www.yahoo.com

CarMwD tool ($99; www.carmd.com). Just plug the hand-held device into your car (every model after 1996 has a standard connection port) and it reads the car’s computer codes. You can then plug it into your computer for a full report of what problem the codes indicate, the most likely fix, and what labor and parts for the repair cost in your area. The report also lists recalls for your vehicle and summaries of technical service bulletins (recall notices are also available at www.nhtsa.gov). You can also use the car-care guide at www.carcare.org to learn about typical repairs and questions to ask the mechanic.
www.repairpal.com to find out whether your mechanic is quoting a fair price. Enter your car’s make, model and year, plus your zip code. You’ll see a price range for dozens of fixes at dealerships and shops in your area.

A Baby’s Hug!

~ A Baby’s Hug ~

We were the only family with children in the restaurant.
I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, ‘Hi.’ He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment.
It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes.
His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed.
His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.
We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists.
‘Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,’ the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks, ‘What do we do?’

Erik continued to laugh and answer, ‘Hi.’

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby.
Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, ‘Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a- boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.’

Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.
My husband and I were embarrassed.
We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband we nt to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot.
The old man sat poised between me and the door.
‘Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,’ I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s ‘pick-me-up’ position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed, and I saw t ears hover beneath his lashes.
His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice,
‘You take care of this baby.’

Somehow I managed, ‘I will,’ from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain.
I received my baby, and the man said, ‘God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.’

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks.
With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, ‘My God, my God, forgive me.’

I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul,
and a mother who saw a suit of clothes.

I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, ‘Are you willing to share your son for a moment?’ He shared His for all eternity.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, to enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.’

If this has blessed you, please bless others by sending it on. Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important.

Remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on our back or the car that we drive or the house that we live in does not define us at all;

It is how we treat our fellow man that identifies who we are.

Scamming of Older Men


Women often receive warnings about protecting themselves at the mall and in dark
parking lots, etc. This is the first warning I have seen for men. I wanted to
pass it on in case you haven’t heard about it.

A ‘heads up’ for those men who may be regular customers at Lowe’s, Home Depot,
Costco, and even Wal-Mart. This one caught me totally by surprise. Over the last
month I became a victim of a clever scam while out shopping. Simply going out to
get supplies has turned out to be quite traumatic. Don’t be naive enough to
think it couldn’t happen to you or your friends.

Here’s how the scam works:

Two nice-looking, college-aged girls will come over to your car or truck as you
are packing your purchases into your vehicle. They both start wiping your
windshield with a rag and Windex, with their breasts almost falling out of their
skimpy T-shirts (It’s impossible not to look). When you thank them and offer
them a tip, they say ‘No’ but instead ask for a ride to McDonald’s. You agree
and they climb into the vehicle. On the way, they start undressing. Then one of
them starts crawling all over you, while the other one steals your wallet.

I had my wallet stolen September 4th, 9th, 10th, twice on the 15th, 17th, 20th,
24th, & 29th. Also October 1st & 4th, twice on the 8th, 16th, 23rd, 26th & 27th,
and very likely again this upcoming weekend.

So tell your friends to be careful. What a horrible way to take advantage of us
older men. Warn your friends to be vigilant. Wal-Mart has wallets on sale for
$2.99 each. I found even cheaper ones for $.99 at the dollar store and bought
them out in three of their stores.

Also, you never get to eat at McDonald’s. I’ve already lost 11 pounds just
running back and forth from Lowe’s, to Home Depot, to Costco, Etc.

Yahoo Article on Heart Attack Symptoms

Article is from Health.Yahoo.com

Don’t let that happen to you. Here, 10 heart symptoms you’re likely to ignore — and shouldn’t. 1. Indigestion or nausea

One of the most oft-overlooked signs of a heart attack is nausea and stomach pain. Symptoms can range from mild indigestion to severe nausea, cramping, and vomiting. Others experience a cramping-style ache in the upper belly. Women and adults over age 60 are more likely to experience this symptom and not recognize it as tied to cardiac health.

Most cases of stomach ache and nausea aren’t caused by a heart attack, of course. But watch out for this sign by becoming familiar with your own digestive habits; pay attention when anything seems out of the ordinary, particularly if it comes on suddenly and you haven’t been exposed to stomach flu and haven’t eaten anything out of the ordinary. 2. Jaw, ear, neck, or shoulder pain

A sharp pain and numbness in the chest, shoulder, and arm is an indicator of heart attack, but many people don’t experience heart attack pain this way at all. Instead, they may feel pain in the neck or shoulder area, or it may feel like it’s running along the jaw and up by the ear. Some women specifically report feeling the pain between their shoulder blades.

A telltale sign: The pain comes and goes, rather than persisting unrelieved, as a pulled muscle would. This can make the pain both easy to overlook and difficult to pinpoint. You may notice pain in your neck one day, none the next day, then after that it might have moved to your ear and jaw. If you notice pain that seems to move or radiate upwards and out, this is important to bring to your doctor’s attention. 3. Sexual dysfunction

Having trouble achieving or keeping erections is common in men with coronary artery disease, but they may not make the connection. Just as arteries around the heart can narrow and harden, so can those that supply the penis — and because those arteries are smaller, they may show damage sooner. One survey of European men being treated for cardiovascular disease found that two out of three had suffered from erectile dysfunction before they were ever diagnosed with heart trouble. 4. Exhaustion or fatigue

A sense of crushing fatigue that lasts for several days is another sign of heart trouble that’s all too often overlooked or explained away. Women, in particular, often look back after a heart attack and mention this symptom. More than 70 percent of women in last year’s NIH study, for example, reported extreme fatigue in the weeks or months prior to their heart attack.

The key here is that the fatigue is unusually strong — not the kind of tiredness you can power through but the kind that lays you flat out in bed. If you’re normally a fairly energetic person and suddenly feel sidelined by fatigue, a call to your doctor is in order. 5. Breathlessness and dizziness

When your heart isn’t getting enough blood, it also isn’t getting enough oxygen. And when there’s not enough oxygen circulating in your blood, the result is feeling unable to draw a deep, satisfying breath — the same feeling you get when you’re at high elevation. Additional symptoms can be light-headedness and dizziness. But sadly, people don’t attribute this symptom to heart disease, because they associate breathing with the lungs, not the heart.

In last year’s NIH study, more than 40 percent of women heart attack victims remembered experiencing this symptom. A common description of the feeling: “I couldn’t catch my breath while walking up the driveway.” 6. Leg swelling or pain

When the heart muscle isn’t functioning properly, waste products aren’t carried away from tissues by the blood, and the result can be edema, or swelling caused by fluid retention. Edema usually starts in the feet, ankles, and legs because they’re furthest from the heart, where circulation is poorer. In addition, when tissues don’t get enough blood, it can lead to a painful condition called ischemia. Bring swelling and pain to the attention of your doctor. 7. Sleeplessness, insomnia, and anxiety

This is an odd one doctors can’t yet explain. Those who’ve had heart attacks often remember experiencing a sudden, unexplained inability to fall asleep or stay asleep during the month or weeks before their heart attack. (Note: If you already experience insomnia regularly, this symptom can be hard to distinguish.)

Patients often report the feeling as one of being “keyed up” and wound tight; they remember lying in bed with racing thoughts and sometimes a racing heart. In the NIH report, many of the women surveyed reported feeling a sense of “impending doom,” as if a disaster were about to occur. If you don’t normally have trouble sleeping and begin to experience acute insomnia and anxiety for unexplained reasons, speak with your doctor. 8. Flu-like symptoms

Clammy, sweaty skin, along with feeling light-headed, fatigued, and weak, leads some people to believe they’re coming down with the flu when, in fact, they’re having a heart attack. Even the feeling of heaviness or pressure in the chest — typical of some people’s experience in a heart attack — may be confused with having a chest cold or the flu.

If you experience severe flu-like symptoms that don’t quite add up to the flu (no high temperature, for example), call your doctor or advice nurse to talk it over. Watch out also for persistent wheezing or chronic coughing that doesn’t resolve itself; that can be a sign of heart disease, experts say. Patients sometimes attribute these symptoms to a cold or flu, asthma, or lung disease when what’s happening is that poor circulation is causing fluid to accumulate in the lungs. 9. Rapid-fire pulse or heart rate

One little-known symptom that sometimes predates a heart attack is known as ventricular tachycardia, more commonly described as rapid and irregular pulse and heart rate. During these episodes, which come on suddenly, you feel as if your heart is beating very fast and hard, like you just ran up a hill — except you didn’t. “I’d look down and I could actually see my heart pounding,” one person recalled. It can last just a few seconds or longer; if longer, you may also notice dizziness and weakness.

Some patients confuse these episodes with panic attacks. Rapid pulse and heartbeat that aren’t brought on by exertion always signal an issue to bring to your doctor’s attention. 10. You just don’t feel like yourself

Heart attacks in older adults (especially those in their 80s and beyond, or in those who have dementia or multiple health conditions), can mimic many other conditions. But an overall theme heard from those whose loved ones suffered heart attacks is that in the days leading up to and after a cardiac event, they “just didn’t seem like themselves.”

A good rule of thumb, experts say, is to watch for clusters of symptoms that come on all at once and aren’t typical of your normal experience. For example, a normally alert, energetic person suddenly begins to have muddled thinking, memory loss, deep fatigue, and a sense of being “out of it.” The underlying cause could be something as simple as a urinary tract infection, but it could also be a heart attack. If your body is doing unusual things and you just don’t feel “right,” don’t wait. See a doctor and ask for a thorough work-up.

And if you have any risk factors for cardiac disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, or family history of heart disease, make sure the doctor knows about those issues, too.

How to Tell if Someone Is Having a Heart AttackHeart attacks don’t always strike out of the blue — there are many symptoms we can watch for in the days and weeks leading up to an attack. But the symptoms may not be the ones we expect. And they can be different in men and women, and different still in older adults. Last year, for example, a landmark study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Institute found that 95 percent of women who’d had heart attacks reported experiencing symptoms in the weeks and months before the attack — but the symptoms weren’t the expected chest pain, so they went unrecognized.

Threat Levels in Europe

Thanks to fellow Army Veteran, Dennis, for sending me the following piece. …..John

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats, and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved”. Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross”. The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940, when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance”. The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards”. They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide”. The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender”. The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing”. Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides”.

The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs”. They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbor” and “Lose”.

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

New Zealand has raised its security levels – from “baaa” to “BAAAA”. Due to continuing defense cutbacks, New Zealand has only one more level of escalation, which is “I hope Australia will come and rescue us”.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be alright, mate”. Three more escalation levels remain: “Crikey!”,
“I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend” and “The barbie is cancelled”. So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level

Old Fogie! Who? Me!

$5.37! That’s what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bell said to me.

I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher. Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid with the Elmo hairdo said the harshest thing anyone has ever said to me. He said, “It’s OK. I’ll just give you the senior citizen discount.”
I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me.
“Only $4.68” he said cheerfully.

I stood there stupefied. I am 56 , not even 60 yet? A mere child! Senior citizen?

I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with Elmo. Was he blind? As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil. Old? Me?

I’ll show him, I thought. I opened the door and headed back inside. I strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile.

Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted!

What am I now? A toddler?

“Dude! Can’t get too far without your car keys, eh?”

I stared with utter disdain at the keys.

I began to rationalize in my mind.

“Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly!

It could happen to anyone!”

I turned and headed back to the truck.

I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn’t turn.

What now?

I checked my keys and tried another.

Still nothing.

That’s when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror.

I had no purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror.

Then, a few other objects came into focus. The car seat in the back seat. Happy Meal toys spread over the floorboard. A partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard.

Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle.

Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: hunger! My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found.

I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time.

There Elmo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish. All I could think was, “What is the world coming to?”

All I could say was, “Did I leave my food and drink in here?” At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits.

Elmo had no clue. I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention. He was holding up a drink and a bag. His mother explained, “I think you left this in my truck by mistake.” I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized.

She offered these kind words: “It’s OK. My grandfather does stuff like this all the time.”

All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40. Yes, I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius.

And no, I told the officer, I’m not too old to be driving this fast.

As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket. I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blankey.

The good news was I had successfully found my way home.