Saturday, November 09, 2013


During the last month of our trip to Eurpoe this summer, we rented a small SUV to get around Brittany and Normandy. It came with a GPS which was new for me but I adapted well enough to use it all the time. We generally stayed in a village for about a week,then moved on. I would program the GPS (which came with a British womans' voice) in the morning, and just follow her directions for the rest of the day. Of course, at the same time it showed a map on the screen of exactly where we were. However, every once in a while, for no apparent reason, it would blast out a starting trumpet for the horse race at Churchill Downs. No way to discover why as the directions in the glove compartment were in French. About our last day, going into Nantes, it blasted out and we wondered if it had anything to do with a speed trap, except we rarely ever saw a Gendemerie car of the French State Policia. It was surely the great wonders of the world, that this thing could track us almost to the foot anywhere in the world. I guess we have NASA and the space race to thank for that. She was pretty good most of the time, but occasionally she would drop the ball and tell us to take the third turn-off on a roundabout instead of the second one. This really screwed us up for a while until we could get it all sorted out. I have to give her her due on one of the faue pauxs as we finally determined that the turn-off, an on-ramp to a free way, had been closed and was patched up pretty good. Anyway, everything was good until a month after we returned to the States, we received a four page letter from the Ministry of Finance. In French of course. The envelope had our address scratched out and California written in. It was originally addressed to Sebastopol, CA and it had gone to Canada first. At least it got here eventually. However, it had taken a month to get to us and it appeared that there was a deadline in which to pay our ticket, as we deducted that this is what we were dealing with. Asking around to our friends to see if anyone spoke French, we found that our neighbor, Dan, was fluent. He told us to go to a online place where the whole thing was in English, showing us how to pay the damn thing. We sent them about 60 Euros and it seemed to be the end of that as we were still within the timeframe before it increased 20 Euros.

Heres' another case where the Catholic Church needs to get its miracles in order. We spent a week in a village in France, Puy de Notre Dame, with a pretty large 12th century church, built due to the fact they had the girdle of the Virgin. I don't know what miracle is associate with a girdle, but I just came across an article about the Italian revolution about 1500, that the church of Prato (Northern Italy) was built because they had the girdle if Mary. This is the first time I heard of an article of clothing being a sacred object, unlike all the foreskins of Jesus that are spread throughout the world. What happened, did they run out of body parts? There must be a back story here somewhere. Was Mary really that fat? Jeez. A girdle!
Am I to assume that the war with Iraq is over? Did we win? Golly, I hope we got ahold of some of that oil.
Here's a bit of news. The Japs bombed Pearl Harbor because they were of the opinion that we were making a land grab on the area in Indonesia that had the only oil wells of the Japanese. Whoa! That sounds like one of our current scenarios, doesn't it?
How did we do in Vietnam? Did we win? I really never heard much about that. Other than the 50,000 deaths of our young men.
How about Korea? We sure beat the pants off them North Koreans and Chinese, and Russians, didn't we. That only killed about 40,000 of our young men (and a few young women)..
And what is in Afghanistan that we want so badly? They don't have any oil do they? Or is this a continuation of the Jihad Crusades that we (The Christians) lost in the 12th century. Never too late for vengeance, eh King Bush?

'The Untold History of the United States" by Oliver Stone & P. Kuznick
Lots of depressing stuff here. Pretty much takes you on a trip of our claim of Empire by crushing weaker countries, Islands. From the Philippines “Remember the Main!" to our current interest in Iraq & Afghanistan, see how we have become a warrior nation of "Gunboat Diplomacy".
Lots of wonderful quotes like;
Secrets: - “If Manning had committed war crimes instead of exposing them, he would be a free man" and "Charging Julian Assange with conspiracy to commit espionage would be setting a precedent with a charge that more accurately could be characterized as 'Conspiracy to commit journalism'".
They give a unbiased view of most of our recent presidents. Pointing out how Obama is actually perpetuating Bush's policies. He is tightening Security/Surveillance apparatus. Although he turned down public campaign financing (the first) he went to Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Big Pharm for his money.
Health Reform; He deleted Drug importation and bulk negotiating, also, no single payer issue, even though it works in most industrial countries. We got expanded coverage but the insurance Companies reaped a windfall. Can you believe 3,300 lobbyists spent 263 million dollars on the Health Bill. Like I said "We have a government by the Lobbyists for the people",

I guess it all began during prohibition, with moonshiners hopping up their old jalopies to outrun the Federales. Now, they use special constructed cars that mimic current auto designs but cost $150,00 each. + an engine = $230,000. But wait, there's more. Each team needs about 10 cars to be able to be a contender. In essence, it costs about 20 million to sponsor a team (per year?). Now can you tell me why the US Army and the Navy each spend all this money to field a racing team to attract young men to die in our quest for dominance of the world? (Called 'Helping countries gain freedom').

One of the negative aspects of a small business is that one has to be a one man band. In other words, an architect, a drafter, a bookkeeper, a secretary, a salesman and last but not least, the janitor. I have mastered all the above except the last part, “cleaning man”. My wife is always ragging on me about the toilet in my office and recently she took it into her own hands and gave me a package of "Cleaning Bubbles". I have watched micro-seconds of TV ads about these, and it looks wonderful. My problems are over! these little suckers just get in your toilet bowl and whiz around on their little brushes and presto! Bowl is sparkling clean, clean enough to eat off, I'll bet. However, in reality, it comes with a kind of a fat hypodermic needle without the needle, and you just puff it on in small globs to the side of the bowl. According to the M&%@#$ F^&%^# directions, this miserable little glob of shit will automatically clean you toilet in... it really doesn't say how long.....but let me tell you how long it won't clean it. I've been flushing religiously for days now and believe me when I report that my bowl is still just as disgusting as it was before my magic treatment. How do they get away with this? Isn't there any "Truth in Advertising" code somewhere? Or maybe this is some obscure section of the U.S. government, and has no responsibilities to it's constituents. I have a solution, I'll just ban my wife from the office, or at least make her use the public toilet nearby.