Monday, May 31, 2010

Music Monday-Trace Adkins "Arlington"

On this Memorial Day, in honor of those who gave all,Trace Adkins with "Arlington" and "'Til the Last Shot's Fired"

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Two Days at the Beach

A view of the Ocean City boardwalk looking south.Image via Wikipedia
We got home today from a couple of days at the beach in Ocean City, MD.  My father in law has a mobile home there that he uses for when he goes deep sea fishing.  If the trailer is available, we have a place to stay without paying for a hotel stay.

Some years, the trailer has cable television available, and some years it doesn't.  This happened to be one of the years it doesn't.  Now, as a general rule, I can do without the boob tube.  The rest of the family, on the other hand, usually has to have it on if there is one in the room.

Fortunately, the two nights we were there, the Delmarva Shorebirds had games scheduled and both nights were great weather to watch a ball game.  Both nights also happened to be fireworks nights.  By the time we got home from the games, everybody was ready for bed, so the lack of television didn't bother us too much.  The lack of internet access did get me a little jittery though.

Whenever we do go to the beach, our activities include a handful of things.  We usually head down to the boardwalk and walk from one end to the other.  We always have to stop at Bull on the Beach to have a pit beef sandwich.  The sandwich on Friday afternoon was perfect, not a bit of fat on it.  Then we hit a few of the shops on the boardwalk.

We used to always go to the arcades on the boardwalk, but for some reason, my son no longer wants to go to the arcades any longer.  In fact, getting him down to the boardwalk at all has become a bit more of a challenge.  There is one thing about walking the boardwalk.  For some reason, every time I get near the water and walk the boardwalk, I always end up wanting to get an earring.  I usually picture either an anchor or a nautical wheel. 

The other thing we end up doing a lot of is miniature golf, and there are plenty of those places around OC.  My son, really likes geography, and he knows most if not all of the islands of Hawaii.  There is one mini golf spot in OC called Maui Golf, so we usually end up playing there.  It isn't the most challenging course, but he likes it and that's all that matters.

All in all, it was a pretty relaxing few days.  However, no matter how nice a time you have getting away, it is always great to get home to sleep in your own bed.
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Warning Labels

the warning label bookImage by Squid! via Flickr
There are entire books that talk about all of the different warning labels out there.  Due to our litigious society, we are increasingly seeing warning labels that would appear to be obvious to anybody with a lick of common sense.  I have come across a few of my own in recent weeks.

As I have said previously, I deliver pizzas as a part time job.  Frequently, while waiting for deliveries, I have to fold bundles of pizza boxes.  On the flap of the pizza box is printed the following warning, "Caution Contents May Be Hot."  I certainly hope so.  When I buy a pizza, I expect it to be hot.
 On a package of peanuts, I recently saw the following warning, "This product is produced on machines that process other nuts."  I understand how hazardous it could be for people with nut allergies to come into contact with nut products, so I fully understand some packaging having that warning.  However, if you are buying a bag of peanuts, wouldn't you expect that the machinery used to package the product processed nuts?

On another package of bite sized candy (the same warning was also on the bag of peanuts) stated that small pieces of hard or soft candy could present a choking hazard.  I think just about anything you put in your mouth can become a choking hazard once you start chewing on it.  Come to think of it, I have had a drink go down the wrong pipe, and it sure caused me to choke.

A lot of the warning labels out there are warranted.  However, we have become so concerned about lawsuits since a woman burnt herself with hot coffee and won in court, that it has started to border on the absurd.  Life is full of risk, and you can't prevent everything or account for every possible accident.  Whatever happened to common sense?
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Friday, May 28, 2010

Dolle's 100th Anniversary

Dolle'sImage by waywuwei via Flickr
Today is the start of the Memorial Day weekend.  As such, it marks the start of the summer season.  Here in the state of Maryland, summer means the beach, and the beach is Ocean City, Maryland. It also happens that we are heading out later today to spend a couple days in OC.

While we are in Ocean City, we will spend a bit of time each day walking up and down the boardwalk.  A fixture on the boardwalk is Dolle's Candyland store.  2010 marks the 100th anniversary of the Dolle's shop selling salt water taffy and other sweet goods on the boardwalk.  The great thing about Dolle's is that after 100 years of being in business, the store is still a family owned and operated business.

A century ago, Rudolph Dolle was a carousel maker who came to Ocean City to operate a carousel.  He added a salt water taffy stand next to his carousel ride, and the rest, as they say, is history.  Four generations later, the family is still making and selling salt water taffy on the boardwalk.

Dolle's will be running special promotions throughout the summer.  They will be displaying copies of some of their vintage advertising.  Hidden in some boxes of taffy, will be a golden ticket, that will result in a prize for the lucky customer that finds it.  Sometime over the weekend, we will definitely be dropping by Dolle's to partake of their sweet goods. 
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Don's Ask, Don't Tell

Don't Ask, Don't TellImage by Umpqua via Flickr
The House and Senate are currently debating the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy of gays serving in the United States military.  When first passed and signed into law by the Clinton administration, it ended the absolute ban of gays in the military.  It was a pretty significant first step for gay rights in the military, though openly gay individuals still could not serve.

Now, I for one, am a big supported of those fine men and women that serve our country through military service.  I greatly admire their discipline and bravery.  At the same time, I like to consider my views to be "gay friendly."  I have said a few times that I don't really an issue with gay couples marrying.  Likewise, I feel if a gay individual wanted to serve our country through military service, then there is no higher calling they could take.

Now the current bills being debated in the House and Senate, are more a less a compromise legislation.  While the legislation would end the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, the implementation of the new legislation would take place at the discretion of the military, pending a current review by military leaders in how to implement the new rules.  Many conservatives are against the legislation because they feel it could be harmful to morale.

I have never served in the military, so I can't say how having an openly gay soldier in a barracks would impact morale.  That is for the military to determine.  I have, however, spent time in locker rooms throughout my life, whether it be gym class or participation in sports.  Unfortunately, I have seen the impact of homosexuals or homosexual activity can have in a locker room.  (No, I didn't see two guys going at it in the shower.)

Years ago, a couple of classmates were discovered participating in homosexual activities while on a Boy Scout camping trip.  I do not recall what they did, nor do I recall if they were gay or a couple young guys experimenting.  Needless to say, word of their extra curricular activities spread through school rather quickly.  One of the individuals happened to be in my gym class.  Also in the class was a member of the school wrestling team.

The wrestler approached the young man and confronted him about the incident.  He pushed him against a locker and basically laid down the law, at least according to him.  He told him he could not be in the locker room while the rest of us were changing or showering.  The poor kid was cowering against the locker.  I kind of felt sorry for him at the time, but I could not bring myself to come to his defense, lest I be labeled "one of them."  No excuse, but I was an insecure teen at the time, and the wrestler was a pretty tough guy.

Granted this incident happened when we were in our early teens.  One would like to think that individuals would take a more mature attitude as they grow older.  I have not found that to be the case.  I have know guys in their 20's who went out of their way to pick fights with gays.  Having openly gay soldiers living in a barracks situation could definitely give rise to tensions.   There is an old military saying that says there are no atheists in foxholes.  I would think in the heat of battle, one wouldn't care whether their soldier fighting by their side was gay so long as they had their back. 
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Brownies and the Government

If you want to know why so many of us want less government in our lives, here is a prime example.  Below is a recipe for scratch brownies that I found here.  If you printed this recipe, it would probably take up about half a page.

Scratch Brownies
* 1 cup butter or margarine (melted)
* 2 cups white sugar
* 1 tsp vanilla flavoring
* 2 eggs
* ½ cup cocoa
* 2 cups plain flour
* optional - nuts, raisins, chocolate chunks, caramel pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream margarine and sugar. This works well with a mixer, but you can do it by hand.
3. After the creaming stage, do switch to a spoon for mixing. Brownies tend to get tough if worked too much.
4. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix just until smooth.
5. Pour in cocoa and flour. Again, mix until smooth and lumps are broken up. But, don't go to wild on the mixing.
6. If you want to add extras, just fold those in easily.
7. Bake for 18-20 minutes in 2 pans size 8 inches by 8 inches. You can use a larger pan like the 9 x 9 and cook for a little longer-25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. If you use a single pan, then the Scratch Brownies are thicker.

However, when the government and their massive bureaucracies get involved, a simple one page recipe takes on new dimensions.  The regulations issued by the Pentagon for brownies comes to a whopping 26 pages.   

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Music Monday-Montgomery Gentry "What Do Ya Think About That?"

Too many people worry too much about the image they project to those around them.  I find it so much easier to just be yourself.  In other words, "I don't give a damn what other people think.  What Do Ya Think About That?"  Happy Music Monday!

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Come to the USA

For those of us who support the recently passed Arizona immigration are not anti-immigration or racist as the left would have you believe.  We are against illegal immigration and support the enforcement of our existing federal immigration laws and securing our borders.  This is what the Arizona law hopes to accomplish, the enforcement of current federal immigration laws.

The left likes to throw the racist label out there as often as they can towards anybody that disagrees with them these days.  They like to claim that when somebody says "some of my best friends are black," then that is a sure sign the person is racist.  So I hesitate a bit to go down the road I am about to go down.

As I said, I am not against immigration, but against illegal immigration.  I am proud to have had friendships through my life with folks who were immigrants. One of my best friends in elementary school was from Trinidad.  Among my friends today are Gary, Grace, and Bambi from the Grace's Fortune restaurant where I worked for a few years as a delivery driver.  Then there is Akintunde (Ak for short) from Nigeria who I worked with at Barnes & Noble, and there are others.

Those friends and others have done it the right way, by obeying our laws, not by sneaking across the border illegally.  It is those that do not obey our laws that do not deserve to be here, nor do they deserve amnesty and a fast track to citizenship.  So, yes, I was offended when the Mexican president proceeded to trash Arizona on the floor of Congress.  I was even more offended at the asshole libs that gave him standing ovations for his comments.

For those immigrants who have done it the right way, welcome to America.  For those who have no respect for our laws, go home.  For a little more lighthearted view of the subject, here is a little Ray Stevens for you.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

So Richard Blumenthal is a Liar as Well as a Putz

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has been considered the front runner to take the place of retiring Senator Chris Dodd. For thirty years, Blumenthal has touted his service in Viet Nam during the war. Only problem is he never actually served in Nam. Just a small detail.

Blumenthal claims that he "misspoke" or used some "misplaced words." Hmmm. Misspoke makes it sound like an innocent mistake. I prefer to call a spade a spade. To deliberately make statements that you know are not true sounds more like a lie to me than a misstatement, but that's just me.

Watching Blumenthal make his little comments about how he "misspoke" brought to mind this classic moment when Blumenthal appeared on the Glenn Beck Show last year. He pretty much looked like a putz then too.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

So Long, Arlen!

Arlen Specter is emblematic of the problems in Washington these days, and the reason so many of us want to throw most of the bums out on their collective asses.  It is not because he is a Democrat, though that in and of itself should be cause for concern.  It isn't even because he decided to switch from the Republican Party to the Democrats.  Had he simply said last year that he now found himself more in agreement with the Democrats than the Republicans and stopped there, it probably would not have bothered me that much.  The truth is, it is what he said after that they is where the real problem with Arlen Specter begins.  To refresh your memory, here in all his glory is Specter explaining his reason for switching parties.

The real reason, as Specter revealed, is that he realized that he faced a challenge in Pat Toomey who decided to challenge Specter in the Pennsylvania Republican primary.  He knew he was behind, and he knew he would most likely lose.  To Specter and his ilk (ie Charlie Crist), it isn't about serving his constituents and letting the electorate decide who they want to represent them.  No, to them it is all about maintaining their power and getting reelected no matter what it takes.  It has been that way for Specter's entire political career.  After all, he started as a Democrat and switched to the Republicans when it became apparent that it was the best way for him to achieve his first elected office.

Specter thought that he would have an easier time getting reelected by becoming a Democrat as opposed to a Republican.  How appropriate and ironic that instead of facing Toomey in the Republican primary that he would still end up facing a challenge from Joe Sestak in the Democratic primary.  How wonderfully delicious that he would lose to a challenger that the Democrat establishment did not want in the race.  It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
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Monday, May 17, 2010

Bark in the Park Day

Yesterday was "Bark in the Park Day" at the Bowie Baysox game.  It is a promotion they run a couple times a year where fans can bring their dogs out to the stadium to enjoy the game.  On the concourse, they have vendors and organizations for folks to pick up info and samples for their dogs.

As much as a dog person as I am, it is not my favorite promotion of the year.  There are a couple reasons why I am not a big fan of the promotion.  First, there is the barking.  Not that I expect quiet in a ball park, but you don't expect to hear barking.  Another reason is that the dogs end up blocking the aisles.  Last year, I had to deal with a dog who kept coming up and sniffing my ankles.  The last reason is that my son is very wary of dogs ever since an overly friendly black lab pup frightened him years ago.

Having said all that, though, we usually end up attending at least one game a year where they are running the "Bark in the Park" promotion.  Yesterday happened to be one of those days.  There are a couple reasons why we attended yesterday's game.  One of the reasons was that we had received a coupon good for half price tickets.  You can't pass up a bargain like that.

The other reason has to do with my son.  As I have said numerous times on this blog, my son is autistic.  Even though he is now 16 years old, and physically a man, mentally he is very much on an elementary school level in a lot of ways.  So, he likes a lot of things that are geared towards much younger kids.  Also, making an appearance yesterday was Clifford, the Big Red Dog.  It was one of his favorite books that we used to read together.  He really wanted to see Clifford.  Just look at his face when he got to meet Clifford yesterday.  How could I possibly deny him that?

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Music Monday-Lynyrd Skynyrd "Simple Life"

It seems everyday we get busier and busier. Most of us, myself included, probably don't even know our neighbor's names, much less anything about them. I wouldn't even thing of going to a neighbor's house to borrow a cup of sugar. Instead, I would put on my clothes and head out to the store. It is kind of sad really.  It makes me long for a "Simple Life."

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Day at the Mechanic

In this view of an automobile disc brake, the ...Image via Wikipedia
I hate taking my car in for service.  Going to a place like Jiffy Lube isn't too bad because you can usually be in and out in half an hour or so.  No, I am talking about going to the mechanic to have something checked out like the exhaust system, or as in my case this morning, the brakes.

One of our cars recently started having the brakes squeak when you step on the peddle. I called the shop earlier in the week to find out how much they charge to inspect the brakes.  Fortunately, there was no charge for a brake inspection.  The shop opened at 7am this morning, and I arrived about 10 minutes before they opened.

I was first in line.  The guy took my info and keys and I proceeded to the waiting area.  They had a few cars left over from the night before.  As those cars cleared out they started bringing new cars in.  Mine was not one of them.  In fact, the two people who arrived shortly after I did had their cars in before mine.  I was starting to get pissed.  Finally, after an hour, my vehicle was pulled into a service bay.

Periodically, I would venture from my chair in the waiting room to look through the window of the service department.  I kept noticing my car on the lift with the tires off, but nobody working on it.  After about an hour of this, I headed back out to the cashier area to check on the status.  They were pretty busy, so after another half hour, the clerk finally came over to tell me what the mechanic found.

He gave me an estimate of the repairs, and it was WAY more than I could pay at this time.  I was prepared to pay about $200-300, but the estimate came in at over $600.  I told him that I could not pay that at this time so just put the tires back on and pull it around front. I watched the mechanic put the tires back on and lower the car from the lift.  For some reason, it then took them over half an hour to move the car from the bay to the front of the store.

All told, I spent over 3.5 hours at the mechanic this morning.  My brother in law knows a mechanic who has saved him a bunch of money on his car repairs.  He thinks he can probably do the job for significantly less.  This mechanic doesn't jack up the price of parts, and charges cash for his labor. We will be giving him a call on Monday.  Still, I am not above a little begging.  If anyone is so inclined and would like to donate towards my auto repair, please click the donate button.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Our Schools are Totally Messed Up

There is something seriously wrong with the school systems in this country.

First, you had an assistant principal in California who told five kids they had to remove clothing that displayed the American flag or go home.  He was concerned that it might offend kids of Mexican heritage on Cinco de Mayo.

A couple days later, also in California, a 13 year old was told during art class to choose another art project because the teacher deemed her project "offensive."  She drew the American flag and was just starting to write "God Bless America" when the teacher confronted her.  The teacher praised another student's drawing of Barack Obama.  When asked point blank in a meeting with the child's parents whether it was the flag that was offensive or the phrase "God Bless America," the teacher would not answer.  The lesson, Obama is good, the flag is bad.

Now, there is a 10 year old girl in Texas is facing a week of detention because of the school's "zero tolerance" policy.  Her offense was accepting a Jolly Rancher candy from one of her classmates at lunch.  The state has a law that bans so called "minimally nutritious" foods.  Each school district is given their own discretion on how to enforce the rule, but one week detention for something as trivial as having a piece of candy seems a bit asinine to me.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where to Put Obama's Picture

I received the following in an email this morning.  In light of the news that there are a record 40 million Americans now receiving Food Stamps, I felt it appropriate share this.

Where to put Obama's picture
George Washington, our nation's first president and leader of the American Revolution!
Abe Lincoln, honorable leader pulled our nation through its darkest time!

Alexander Hamilton, founding father, first secretary of the treasure and leader of the constitutional convention!

Andrew Jackson, "Old   Hickory  " fought the British in   New Orleans  !

Ulysses Grant, Union army general, lead the North through the Civil War!

Ben Franklin, Genius inventor, political theorist and leading author of the constitution.

Finally, we have someone to put on the food stamp!!!!!!!

Obama’s policies will put more people on welfare than any president before him so this placement is most appropriate. Unlike the Nobel Peace Prize, for which he did nothing, this is an “honor” he richly deserves.
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Monday, May 10, 2010

Music Monday-Gary Puckett and the Union Gap "Young Girl"

Since yesterday was Mother's Day, I decided to choose a song my mother used to listen to all the time when we were growing up.  Gary Puckett and the Union Gap with "Young Girl."

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sent Home for Wearing the American Flag

Flag of the United States War flagImage via Wikipedia
Five high school students were told to either remove shirts and bandanas that they were wearing, or to go home.  The offending clothing was not anything obscene like the young lady who was found in contempt of court for wearing a shirt that said "I have the pussy so I make the rules."  They weren't even wearing gang colors.  Nope, nothing like that.  These young men were told to remove clothing that displayed the American Flag.

The scoundrels.  I supposed that we should not be surprised that this story comes from the People's Republic of California.  The incident occurred on May 5th (Cinco de Mayo) and assistant principal Miguel Rodriguez asked five teenagers to remove their flag clothing or go home because he was concerned it would offend students of Mexican heritage who were celebrating Cinco de Mayo.  The teenagers each said they were not intending to offend anybody but wanted to show their patriotism.  Two of them said they were also of hispanic descent.

Let me state my position boldly and in all capitals; IT IS NEVER INAPPROPRIATE FOR AN AMERICAN CITIZEN TO PROUDLY DISPLAY THE AMERICAN FLAG.  I will probably be labeled insensitive or possibly racist by the liberal elite.  I could care less, I have already been called racist for disagreeing with Obama.  If you are offended by US citizens displaying the US flag in the US, then I say to you TOO FUCKING BAD.
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Alexandria Recycling Bins

Do you remember the Audi "Green Police" Super Bowl commercial?

The city of Alexandria VA has taken a step towards the reality of a "Green Police."  It sounds innocuous enough.  They are going to be sending new, larger recycling bins to the city residents to encourage greater participation in the recycling program.  They say that more people would participate if the bins were larger.  I recycle here in Bowie, MD and my bin is usually 80% full when I put it out on pick up day.

But these are no ordinary recycling bins.  No sirree, Bob.  These recycling bins come equipped with a microchip to allow the city to ascertain who is and is not recycling, or at least using the new bins.  The city claims that their aim is not to target individuals, but to identify neighborhoods within the city that they can "target their educational efforts."  Yeah, right, and if your aunt had balls she'd be your uncle.

As I said, I do recycle, maybe not as fastidiously as I could, but I do recycle.  Being an ornery SOB, I would most likely continue to recycle, but would continued to use the old, smaller, not tracking bin.  Just the way I am.  The new bins just seem a little too Big Brother is watching for my taste.  Oh, and lest I forget, the Alexandria city residents will all be charged $9 for the new bins, whether they want them or not.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Reconsidering Vegetarianism

I like my meat.  Seriously.  Beef, chicken, pork, then I am on it.  Especially if it is grilled.  To be fair, I do think that we would probably be healthier on a vegetarian diet.  Several years ago, I read the book "Diet for a Small Planet."  It did get me thinking about all the meat I was eating.

I recall shortly after reading that book, that we were at a meeting to launch a new line of steaks that the grocery chain I was working for was getting ready to begin selling.  This new line of beef, was not considered "prime" grade or angus beef, but it was guaranteed to be extremely tender.  As our CEO described the techniques that were used to guarantee the tenderness of the beef, I became sick to my stomach.  They brought out some sort of beef dish for lunch, and I could not eat it.

That marked a time when I actually gave up meat.  I tried the veggie burgers and hot dogs.  I found a line of veggie brats that even gave you that same burping aftertaste as the real stuff.  My wife even tried making a variety of vegetarian meals for me using things like polenta.  The grand experiment ended up lasting about a month.  Now, had there been a restaurant like Casa Diablo featured in the video below, I might have been able to convert.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

DC Soda Tax Proposal

American sodaImage by poolie via Flickr
It is no secret that I am no fan of taxes.  It seems more and more, they find ways to tax us or add fees to things.  More and more states and municipalities are looking at adding taxes on sodas as a way to "fight the growing epidemic of obesity."  In reality, most of the time they are little more than ploys to line the government coffers were more revenue, as if they are spending their existing funds wisely.

The DC City Council is the latest to propose a tax on sodas in order to raise money for a "healthier school lunches program."  Here is an idea, buy healthier food for the school lunches and hire people who can prepare the food so that it is edible, but I digress. Most soda taxes nationally average in the 5-7% on the dollar range.  A bit of an inconvenience, but not overly onerous or punitive.  The DC proposal is to have a penny tax on every ounce of soda. 

To put a penny per ounce into perspective, I normally buy a 12 pack of 12 ounce cans.  (I should add that I usually only buy diet sodas, which I believe would not be part of the tax)  The most I will pay for a 12 pack of soda, is around $4.  A penny an ounce tax would amount to $1.44 per 12 pack or a tax of 36%.  Now we are talking a highly punitive, not to mention, highly regressive tax.

I am a big believer in personal responsibility.  I believe in education and making an informed decision, whether it be drinking sugared soft drinks, alcohol, or smoking cigarettes.  If after all of that, you choose to part take in an activity that can shorten your lifespan whether through getting fat or cancer, then you have reaped what you have sown.  It is not the place of the government to make those decisions for me.
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Monday, May 3, 2010

Music Monday-Chris Young "The Man I Want to Be"

I love young country artists that can sing in a traditional country style. Chris Young is one of those guys. This particular song is about a man in search of forgiveness and redemption from his woman, and his God.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the actual post link here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Electron Boy

By day, Erik Martin of the Seattle area is your typical 13 year old boy living with liver cancer.  OK, there is nothing typical about a kid with cancer.  But Erik also has an alter-ego;  Electron Boy, a Superhero who fights the powers of evil with light.

Last Thursday, he was preparing for just another day at school, when his morning was interrupted by a phone call from fellow Superhero Spider-man.  Spider-man needed help from Electron Boy to save the day from the evil doings of Dr. Dark and Blackout Boy.

I won't recap all of his exploits here, but let you read about them here at the Seattle Times article.  I dare you to read it and not at least wipe one tear from your eye. Through the local chapter of the Make a Wish Foundation, Electron Boy participated in not one, but two daring rescues before taking down Dr. Dark and Blackout Boy.  A full day for any Superhero, much less one suffering from liver cancer.

This is typical of the type of efforts the good, no great, folks at Make a Wish Foundation perform across our country.  Their goal is to grant a life changing wish to kids with life threatening medical conditions.  I know  the importance of their work because I had a nephew who was a Make a Wish recipient.  It was a special moment in his life.  But don't take my word for it, but take the work of  Electron Boy who called his experience, "This is the best day of my life."

Well done, Electron Boy.
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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Will the World End in 2012?

You probably would have to be living under rock not to have heard the predictions of planetary destruction that the planet faces in 2012.  For years, I have been fascinated with Biblical prophecies of the end times, starting with Hal Lindsay's "Late Great Planet Earth" and others.  So I was very excited when I saw that I could have the opportunity to review Raymond C. Hundley's newest book "Will the World End in 2012" for

Dr. Hundley is a former pastor and seminary professor, so his treatise of the subject matter is from an evangelical Christian viewpoint.  He tackles ten possible scenarios for the end of the world in the year 2012.  Among these are the predictions of the Mayan calendar, possible solar storms, the eruption of a super volcano, the predictions of Nostradamus, and prophecies of the end of the world from a number of different religions.

Given Hundley's background, not surprisingly, the longest chapter in the book is the chapter on the religious predictions of the end of the earth.  The Old and New Testament prophesies get the most ink.  However, Hundley does an adequate job of including prophesies from the Muslim faith, the I Ching, the Hindu faith, and the Hopi Indian tribe.  In the chapter on the Mayan calendar, he does a great job of quoting multiple sources, several of which conclude that 12/21/12 is an end of the world event, and several that quote it as a "changing point" in the world order.

Hundley also addresses some of the predictions of world doom from scientific possibilities.  In these areas, I felt a little shortchanged as a reader.  It would be the one complaint I would have against the book.  For instance, the chapter on possible solar storms in 2012, a subject I am very interested in, contained a mere 3 pages.  Other chapters that harbor potential peril for the fate of the planet  based on scientific fact are not quite as short as the solar storms, but are among the shorter chapters in the book.

All in all though, I enjoyed reading "Will the World End in 2012?"  The subtitle to the book is "A Christian Guide to the Question Everyone's Asking," and as such has the expected evangelical call to acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior.  The epilogue calls for Christians that have read the book to live their lives as if the world would end in 2012 or tomorrow and live a life in honor of Christ.  Even if you are not a religious person, or interested in Christianity, this book does have a lot of information about the possible "end of the world" in 2012.  The author reaches his conclusion.  It could, but you will have to read the book for the details.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their's book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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