Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Friend-David Mills 1961-2010 RIP

Image of David Mills from FacebookImage of David Mills
Some days, it is easy to think about what you want to blog about and others not so much.  Some times the words come easily and other times you struggle.  Today happens to be one of those days when I have so much I want to say, but am not sure how to say it.  I apologize ahead of time if some of my thoughts become a bit disjointed and rambling.

I was sitting at work when I received a notice on my Blackberry that I had a Facebook message.  Usually, it is junk, but unfortunately today it was not the case.  It was a message from one of my best old friends, Don Valyou.  It was to tell me that another of our dear friends, David Mills, had passed away suddenly.  Needless to say, it has hit me like a ton of bricks.  I have written tributes here for others who have passed away, but none of them have involved folks that have the personal impact as David's death has on me.

There is a lot that can be written and will be written about David's career as a writer for the Washington Post and his Emmy Award winning television career. In fact, David passed away in New Orleans of a brain aneurysm while working on a new HBO Series, Treme set to debut in a couple weeks.  I will let others write about those things.  Instead, I will pay tribute to the David Mills that I have known in my lifetime and share some of my memories of him. 

I met David in high school when we both attended DuVal High School in Lanham MD.  David, Donald, and I were teammates on the local version of It's Academic.  We won the first round and lost in the second round.  Our time together on the team led to a strong and fast friendship between the three of us.  After graduation, we all headed off to the University of Maryland.

The three of us all headed off to Maryland with different goals and different interests.  I went to study business, David to study journalism, and Donald eventually ended up studying philosophy.  The one thing that we all shared was a deep appreciation for philosophical and political debate, music, and like most college students, beer.  In those days, you could drink beer at 18. David was the youngest of the three of us, but on his 18th birthday, the three of us headed out to the Yesterday's Inn, a topless bar near campus for our first legal beers in a bar.  We spent most of the time at a table off to the side of the stage debating issues rather than watching the entertainment.

For the rest of our college careers, we continued to do a lot of things together.  One Christmas, we exchanged joke gifts with one another.  David gave me a deck of hard core porn playing cards.  I played a lot of solitaire with those.  That Christmas, I gave Donald a Buddha incense burner and David gave him a bong.  One weekend, we ended up taking a trip up to a campground and rented a cabin for the weekend.  We took a lot of beer with us that weekend, but it was there that I tried pot using the bong that David gave Donald.  It was the first of two times, both with my boyz.

Like a lot of high school and college friends, our careers and other things took us in other directions.  We got together a few times after graduation, but we eventually lost track of each other.  Over the years, I followed David's career and I have to admit I took a little bit of pride in having been friends with an Emmy Award winning television writer.  I remember working part time at Barnes & Noble a few years ago and seeing his picture in Entertainment Weekly as one of the top 100 young up and coming people in the entertainment industry.

A couple of years ago, I reconnected with David through LinkedIn, a professional social networking site.  It was there that I discovered David's blog, Undercover Black Man.  His blog inspired me to start this humble blog, so you can blame him for this being here. Eventually, I also was able to reconnect with Donald through Facebook.  Thank God for Al Gore's Amazing Internet and Social Media.

Last summer, I was fortunate enough to be able to get together with David and Donald again.  We went to dinner one night at Ledo's and split a pizza.  Another night, the two of them attended a Bowie Baysox game with my family.  It was like we had never been apart.  I had hoped that we would be able to have more of those get togethers whenever David would come back to town.

As I mentioned previously, David's blog inspired me to start my blog.  During the election of 2008, he was a big supporter of Obama, I was not.  When Obama won the election, I wrote a post called Welcome to the USSA.  David commented on my post that he was confident that Obama would govern as a centrist and not hard left.  I had been meaning to email David to see if he still felt that way.  Tragically, I will not know in this lifetime.

Let me close by saying to David that I am so happy were able to reconnect and get together last summer.  I love you and miss you already.  You have been and will always be a very dear friend.  It has been a privilege and an honor to know you and call you my friend.  While it isn't my typical musical fare, I know that you loved you some P-funk, so I send you off with this.  See you on the other side. 

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

You Picked A Fine Time To Lead Us, Barack

I was checking out some tweets on Twitter the other day.  Greg W. Howard retweeted a tweet from @vawithchildren.  It had a link to the video below.  The lyrics are great and really fit well with the old Kenny Rogers classic. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bob Ehrlich for Governor

Maryland governor Robert Ehrlich at 2nd Nation...Image via Wikipedia
Today is a good day for the state of Maryland.  At the very least, it is a day that gives me some hope for the future of the state that I have called home my entire life.  Former Governor, Bob Ehrlich ended months of speculation by announcing that he will be running to recapture the governorship that he lost to Martin "I never met a tax or spending program I didn't like" O'Malley in 2006.

When Ehrlich was elected governor in 2002, he was the first Republican to be elected in the state since Spiro Agnew held the seat in 1967.  At the time, Ehrlich inherited budget deficits running $4 billion dollars.  He brought fiscal responsibility to the state, created a business friendly environment, and left O'Malley with a $2.3 billion surplus and a healthy "rainy day fund."  O'Malley quickly squandered it all.

Folks have been clamoring for Ehrlich to have a rematch with O'Malley for months.  For his part, Ehrlich had been noncommittal, only stating that he was weighing several options and would only run for office if he thought there was a realistic chance that he could win.  He was also weighing the possibility of running against Barbara Mikulski for the Senate seat she currently holds.  I would have supported him for that as well.

It is interesting.  About a month ago, I received a phone call from a group conducting an opinion poll on local politics.  I do not usually respond to polls, but this particular night, I decided to answer.  They asked several questions about my feelings about the general state of affairs in Maryland, and specific questions regarding O'Malley.  Then they led into questions concerning a potential rematch of Ehrlich and O'Malley.  It makes me think the pollsters were working for Ehrlich, and I hope that my participation in the survey in some small way helped encourage Ehrlich to run again.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, March 29, 2010

Music Monday-Zac Brown Band "Highway 20 Ride"

Sunday afternoon, I was sitting at my laptop when I got an instant message from one of my Facebook friends.  It was an old friend that I haven't seen in years that I recently reconnected with on Facebook.  You gotta love Facebook for that.

Anyway, we chatted online for a bit just catching up.  In the course of the chatting, when I asked where he was living these days, he revealed that he and his wife had recently separated.  Though it has been several years, I remember him as an all around good guy and a devout Christian, not that Christians are immune from marital strife.  

It saddens me to hear the news of his separation, not just because of their marriage, but because they have kids.  That always makes it tough.  I don't know if there is a chance of them working it out or not.  We agreed that we should get together soon for a beverage or two.  I hope we do.

Thinking about our chat, it made me think of the song "Highway 20 Ride" by The Zac Brown Band.  It is a song about the feelings of a divorced father and his relationship with his kids and ex.  It is also my choice this week for 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!
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Henry Waxman Summons Executives

Once again the Democrat party is out to silence dissent.  A few days after the passage of Obamacare, several major US corporations released statements that tax provisions in the new law would make it difficult for companies to continue to provide prescription coverage to retirees.  Under former President George W. Bush's passage of Medicare Prescription Drug coverage, the government gave tax breaks to companies that continued to provide coverage for retirees.  Those tax breaks have been eliminated under the new bill.

So far, AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar, Deere, Valero Energy, AK Steel and 3M have announced that the new tax provision will make it far more expensive to continue providing prescription benefits to retirees.  They have said that in the future they may have to reduce or even cancel the benefit.  AT&T announced that they will be taking a charge of $1 billion (that is billion with a b) against earnings because of the provision.  That does not sit well with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry "Bat Boy" Waxman.

Waxman has sent letters to company executives calling them to Washington to defend their assessment that the legislation will cost them millions.  He is also demanding any internal documents related to health care finances, including their analysis of the new legislation.  The letter states, “The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern...They also appear to conflict with independent analyses.”

So let this be a lesson to you, America.  Release any news that in any way contradicts legislation passed by the politburo and you will be summoned to appear before them. 
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Trip to the Grocery Store

DSC03109.JPGImage by kballard via Flickr
I started working over 30 years ago when I was 15 years old.  My first job was working in a convenience store running a cash register and dipping ice cream cones. I worked there for a year before I got my first job in a grocery store.  When I first started out, I had two primary jobs, bagging groceries and loading groceries into cars.  I would have shifts when all I would do is work outside loading cars and gathering carts.  I even remember helping customers into their cars during a hail storm.

As the years went by, I stayed in the grocery industry for about 26 years.  I worked in the stores through my college years and eventually worked in the corporate offices in a buying capacity.  During those years, I have seen a lot of changes in the industry, from manual cash registers, to scanners, to self checkout lanes.  As labor costs continued to rise, I saw services like loading groceries into cars practically disappear.  You can't find a grocery store parking lot that did not have a cart corral to put your cart into after you rolled it out to your car.

The reason I bring this up, is that I had to make a stop at my local grocery store this evening on the way home from work.  This particular store had been undergoing a major remodel of the store.  (I hate when they do that, I can never find anything after a remodel.)  The first thing I noticed when I got out of the car was that the parking lot spaces had been freshly painted, and all the cart corrals were gone.  My first thought was, "Great, now I have to walk the cart back to the store after loading my car," and my second was that the parking lot would be littered with carts.

I stopped by customer service to ask about the missing cart corrals.  They informed that in fact they were gone permanently.  She must have detected the look of agitation on my face, because she followed me and offered to explain the reason.  The store was now going to have a clerk walk customers to their cars and help them load their groceries.  I went through the  self checkout because I only had a few items.  Immediately, I had a young man offer to help me to my car.  I politely told him it wasn't necessary as I only had two bags.

Personally, I like the idea.  I am all for adding actually adding customer service to the shopping experience, but I wonder about the practicality of it.  That will require a lot of extra labor costs. I also wonder how they will handle it during their busiest hours or during a snow scare.  It would be hard to keep up with all those customers.  I also wonder how many folks will be like my wife.  I told her about it, and she did not like the idea.  I get the feeling that she would feel uncomfortable having somebody walk out to her car with her, even if it was an employee.  
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Century Turns-William Bennett

A Century TurnsImage by vincentchow* via Flickr
A few weeks ago, I was visiting various blogs, and I came upon one blog that had a banner on it for  I enjoy a good book as much as the next guy, so I decided to check them out.  I am glad I did.  Book Sneeze provides books to bloggers to read and to review.

The first book that I have the pleasure to review for Book Sneeze is "A Century Turns-New Hopes, New Fears" by William J. Bennett.  The book covers the time period from 1988 to 2008.  Bennett gives a unique perspective on this era in our very recent past, because as part of the George H.W. Bush administration, he was right in the middle of a lot of it.

By studying our past, we can learn an awful lot about our current situation and our future.  Bennett does a nice job of showing how the events of the past twenty years have led us to our current situation. Although a well know conservative, Bennett gives criticism and praise to both sides of the aisle.  In addition to covering politics and foreign affairs, Bennett delves into cultural events that helped shape events of the day. All in all, it was an enjoyable and entertaining read.  I highly recommend it if you have any interest in our history.  

In order to comply with Federal Trade Commission requirements of 16CFR Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising," I disclose that Thomas Nelson Publishing provided me with a free copy of this book as part of their blogger book review program.  All opinions expressed regarding this book are entirely my own.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

November is Coming

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 14:  A protestor holds ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
This morning, like most mornings, I was headed into work listening to the radio during my commute. The Grandy and Andy show on WMAL630 here in DC featured a guest from Americans for Prosperity. The guest was speaking about the passage of the health care reform bill on Sunday. His group, has a website, November is Coming.

The original purpose of the site was to be a petition to inform Congress that if they voted for the bill, then the intention of those that signed the petition would be to vote those members out of Congress.  Now that the bill has passed, their goal is to keep reminding folks of those who voted and that our goal is to vote them out of office.

I decided at that time to sign up at the site.  Then I sent a tweet from my Twitter account: "November is Coming.  I signed up. Join Me." and posted a link to the site.  Recently, my mother got a Twitter account set up that she monitors through her FIOS TV.  She replied to my tweet.  The conversation went like this:
  • Mom- What did you sign up for?
  • Me-To vote against anybody that voted for the health bill
  • Mom-Why don't you want health care?
  • Me-Not enough space in Twitter to explain
Thank goodness for 140 character limits.  It is not that I and others did not want health care reform.  It is just that we did not want the bill that was forced down our throats on Sunday and signed by Barack Obama today.  I am sure there are a few things in there that are worthwhile, but so much of it is bad.  I will be brief in listing some of them here, in no particular order.
  1. The majority of Americans were opposed to the legislation.  They overwhelmingly wanted the Democrats to start over and work with Republicans on a bipartisan bill in those areas where there was agreement.  They refused to listen to the American people.
  2. The New England Journal of Medicine released a study showing that nearly half of doctor's would consider leaving the medical field if the bill passed.  
  3. The strong arm tactics and out and out bribery used by the White House, and the Congressional leaders to get the bill passed, including the Cornhusker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase.
  4. Immediate tax increases, but benefits don't start for four years.
  5. $1 trillion cost.
  6. Fine and possible jail time for anybody who does not purchase the kind and amount of health insurance approved by the government and enforced by the IRS.
I suppose I could go on, but that is enough for now.  Except for one a couple words regarding Bart Stupak.  Though I primarily disagree with most of his politics, I was glad to see him standing up for his principles in regards to the abortion language of the bill.  Except he caved.  Sure Obama said he would sign an executive order prohibiting federal funding of abortion. But he hasn't yet.  And really, what good would that executive order be?  After all, Obama signed an executive order on January 22, 2009 ordering that GITMO be closed in no less than a year.  We are two months pass the anniversary of that order, and it is still open.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, March 22, 2010

Music Monday-Damn Yankees "Don't Tread On Me"

There is a foul odor coming from the District of Columbia. It smells like tyranny. In light of Congress and the White House passing legislation directly in opposition to the will of the people, I decided for something a little different for my Music Monday choice. Somehow, Damn Yankees and "Don't Tread On Me" seems appropriate today.

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!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ledo's White Crab Caprese Pizza

Without a doubt, Maryland is known for crabs.  For a lot of us in Maryland, especially those who attended the University of Maryland College Park campus, the best place to grab a pizza is Ledo's Pizza.  So big a favorite is Ledo's that last summer when I got together with two old high school/college friends, we met at Ledo's for dinner. 

As fond as I am for Ledo's pizza, and crab, I don't believe that I ever thought about combining the two of them into one dish.  Well, last week I received an email from Ledo's and to kick off spring, they were running a special "Spring for Crab" promotion featuring Crab Ravioli, Crab and Artichoke Dip, and yes, Crab Pizza.  To be precise, the crab pizza is Ledo's Whte Crab Caprese Pizza featuring Ledo's four cheese white pizza, crab, fresh basil, sliced tomatoes and Old Bay seasoning.

I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I was curious.  Mrs. Dickster thought it sounded interesting as well, so we decided to take the plunge and order one for dinner.  The pizza itself had a bit of a fishy smell, so I was a little concerned that the crab might overpower the taste of the pizza.  Fortunately, it did not.  In fact, all of the flavors blended well and none overpowered the other.  About the only complaint that Mrs. Dickster had was that it could have used a bit more Old Bay Seasoning.  Since she doesn't usually care for a lot of seasoning, I guess that says something. 

All in all, it was a pleasant experience, one that I would be willing to have again.  I think I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had a nice Pinot Grigio or other light white wine to go with it.  Then again, you can never go wrong with a cold beer since both pizza and crabs go well with a frosty brew.  I am not sure how long Ledo's will be running this special pizza, but I hope to be able to take advantage of it again in the near future.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, March 19, 2010

Does This Sound Familiar?

I happened to catch part of the Chris Plante Show this morning on WMAL radio here in the DC area.  He played an audio clip of a speech by Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch Society.  As with a lot of groups, I can find fault with a lot of their past actions and beliefs.  However, the JBS states as their core principles that they stand for Preserving Individual Rights & Independence and Restoring the Constitution.  Both of these are things that I stand fully behind, and both of these are things that seem to be under constant attack these days from folks who have taken an oath to uphold our Constitution.

Now, by posting this particular video, I am not necessarily endorsing or promoting the John Birch Society.  I do not know enough about their organization and Robert Welch to take that stand at this time.  This speech took place over 50 years ago.  In it, Welch outlines his thoughts on how the "Elite Class" plan to destroy the American society as we know it.  Listen carefully to his predictions of their strategy and think about where we are today.  Sound familiar?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Letter to My Congressman Steny Hoyer

Not that I expect it to do any good, since my Congressman is one of the leaders pushing this monstrosity, but I thought I would at least let him know how I feel.

March 18, 2010

Congressman Steny Hoyer
1705 Longworth House Office Building
Washington DC 20515

Dear Congressman Hoyer:

I am writing to you today regarding the subject of Health Care Reform, though for the life of me I am not sure what good it will do. I realize that as House Majority Leader, you walk lock step with Speaker Pelosi, President Obama, and other Democratic Party leaders. However, as a resident of your Congressional District, I feel obligated to share my views with you regarding health care reform.

It amazes me that when the majority of Americans, who you and the rest of Congress supposedly represent, are against the bill under consideration that you and your ilk will do anything and everything to try to pass it. It is not that we want to maintain the status quo. We all believe that there are aspects of the current system need changed. However, we do not want a complete overhaul of the health care system.

Contrary to what you and the rest of the Democratic leadership seem to think, most of us who oppose the bill DO understand what is in it, and we don’t want it. Likewise, we DO care about the procedures that are being discussed such as reconciliation and the “Slaughter Solution,” especially on a bill of this magnitude. We are angry, not because we are uninformed, but because you refuse to listen to us.

It is ironic, and quite sad, when I watched the YouTube video that surfaced recently that showed you railing against the Republicans in 2003 for using a procedural rule for passing legislation that added $84 billion to the deficit. Rightfully so. Too bad you no longer have the same compunction as you willingly add trillions to the deficit. It is apparent that you have been in Washington far too long.

I definitely do not expect the words of one small constituent, especially one in opposition, will have any impact on your actions. That is why between now and November, I will be doing everything I possibly can to try to get you defeated in November.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What Price Fame?

What price are you willing to pay for fame, or maybe for infamy?  Would you be willing to put your health and well being into serious jeopardy, especially if you have a young child?  Would you be willing to open yourself up for ridicule and criticism from the majority of folks?

Sure, when I was younger, I dreamed of becoming rich and famous.  Of course, most of those dreams revolved around becoming a rock star or a pro athlete.  Neither of those things would necessarily involve jeopardizing ones health or reputation.  Well, at least not too much.

A woman in New Jersey has set a goal for herself.  Her goal is to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records.  In and of itself, that is not so bad, but this woman has as her goal to be the fattest woman who ever lived.  She currently weighs in at 600 pounds and would like to weigh 1000 pounds.

She already holds one record by being the heaviest woman to give birth to a child.  Her weekly food bill amounts $750 per week, and she eats 12000 calories per day. I think my food bill for my family of three is only $750 per month.  Or at least not much more than that. To help pay her food bills, she has a website where people can pay to watch her eat or sit around the house.

I frequently wonder these days about the general state of our society.  I have never understood the fascination of reality television or the people that put themselves on those shows.  How does somebody get to the point where their goal is to be the fattest woman to ever live?  The fact that  people would want to essentially be a voyeur into her world, and pay to watch it, just strikes me as incredibly sad. 

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, March 15, 2010

Music Monday-Robert Cray "Smoking Gun"

It has been a while since I have posted any Blues on Music Monday. I have been a fan of Robert Cray for a long time now. Lyrically, he tells a great story. This song is one of my favorites of Cray's. It tells a story of a man who suspects his woman is cheating on him. As his suspicions rise and jealousy grows, he is concerned about finding that "Smoking Gun" of catching her in the act. His jealousy grows into rage and they catch him with the literal "Smoking Gun."

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!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, March 14, 2010

World's Best Chocolate Eclairs

Anybody who has spent anytime traveling through Waldorf MD on route 301 has probably seen the giant wigwam there.  I discovered the wigwam several years ago when my parents lived in Waldorf.  The wigwam was home to Wall's Bakery where they sold a variety of baked goods and Native American artwork and souvenirs.  They were most famous for their huge chocolate eclairs. 

When my parents moved from Waldorf to Annapolis, there were few reasons to make the 25 mile trek to Waldorf.  However, the eclairs from Wall's bakery were well worth the drive.  So every couple of months, my wife or I would drive down there to get a couple of their famous eclairs.  Sadly, about five years ago the owner decided to retire and shut the doors.

A couple weeks ago, the BJ's in Bowie was out of stock on one of the main food items that my son eats.  So, on a Saturday, we decided to head down to the BJ's in Waldorf to pick up the items we needed.  For some reason, Mrs. Dickster decided to do an internet search on Wall's bakery.  To our surprise and delight, she discovered that Wall's Bakery had reopened in Waldorf. 

They are no longer located in the wigwam, but the eclairs are still the best there is.  By the way, the eclair you see pictured here is sitting on a dinner plate.  I don't even want to think about how many calories this sucker had in it, but it was worth it.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Customs and ATF Officials Seize BB Guns

Airsoft gun Classic Army M15A4 SPC w/ Aimpoint...Image via Wikipedia
I do not envy the job that our Customs and Border Patrol agents have to perform day in and day out in their quest to keep our country safe.  They have to be diligent in their pursuit of discovering the new ways that smugglers attempt to bring in drugs and weapons into the country.  Then there is the pursuit of those who try to enter the country illegally.  It is a tough job to be sure.

One would think that with the multitude of items coming through customs, that occasionally legal items could be stopped at the border.  You would also think that once it was determined that said product was allowed to be brought into the country that any product that was delayed or confiscated would be returned to the rightful owners of that property.

Bob Owens of has an interesting three part series about a company, Airsoft Outlet Northwest, has been having difficulty getting their goods through customs.  Airsoft Outlet sells air rifles designed to shoot plastic BBs.  These rifles are designed for those who are looking for a less messy alternative to paint ball.  Several of the rifles are very realistic looking, but are not made with the same quality metals used to manufacture a real weapon. 

Airsoft Outlet Northwest had a recent shipment of 30 of these rifles seized by custom officials.  The owners of the company thought that it would be a temporary delay since they believed that a close examination of the guns would reveal that the guns were not real weapons.  Plus they had received similar shipments in the past.  Customs officers turned the guns over the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  Here is where the story starts to border on absurd.  The ATF officials determined that seized guns were, in fact, designed to shoot plastic BBs.  However, they also determined that they could be retrofit to become actual machine guns. 

In his article, Owens quotes numerous experts who claim the items could not be converted to actual weapons.  He also sites other products seized from Airsoft Outlet that can easily be purchased at sites like  In other parts of the country, similar items can be purchased from other Airsoft dealers.  Owens even sites a customs regulation stating that these types of goods are perfectly legal. 

Pajamas media has tried to contact both the ATF and the CBP regarding the matter and to clarify how their decision in the Northwest will impact the rest of the country and future shipments.  They have not responded to those requests.  Unfortunately, right now, the guns are set to be destroyed by the ATF.  The actions of the ATF and CBP could best be described as being overzealous, and at worse incompetence. Sadly, a small business owner is set to be out of several thousand dollars through no fault of their own because of these events.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Our Government in Action

I was checking a few sites checking looking for anything that I might want to blog about this evening.  I stumbled upon a few things on Neal Boortz's website in Nealz Nuze.  Boortz had a link to a post at Axis of Right on more wasteful census spending.  Axis of Right received a letter from the Census Bureau announcing that in the next week they would receive a census form, and they should fill it out and return it. 
OK.  Is there anybody out there that doesn't know that the census is coming out?  The government spent $2.5 million to advertise it on the Super Bowl.  I keep hearing radio commercials during my drive to and from work each day.  It has been all over the news.  Talk radio has been talking about all the temporary census workers that will be hired that will cause a decline in the unemployment numbers. 

Is there really a need to send everyone a letter announcing they would receive another piece of mail in a week?  Sal from Axis of Right proceeded to give an estimate of how much it must have cost to send the letter.  Conservatively, the price came in at over $42 million dollars.  Granted, that isn't a whole lot of dough when billions are tossed around like carrying around money, but it is indicative of the waste involved in our federal bureaucracy.  
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, March 8, 2010

Music Monday-Peter Frampton "Do You Feel Like We Do"

Frampton Comes Alive! (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)Frampton Comes Alive!
Peter Frampton performing at Gulfstream Park i...Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes it's fun to look back at the musical icons of your youth and see how they look 30 years later.  When I was in high school, one of the biggest selling albums of all time was Peter Frampton's "Frampton Comes Alive" album.  The cover pictured a very long haired Frampton.  Years later, Frampton, picture in this post is a balding, bespectacled middle aged man that looks more like an accountant than a rock star. 

One of the things that I loved about "Frampton Comes Alive" was his heavy use of the talk box. It was not something that I had heard a lot of back in those days.  The use of the talk box is featured in one of his biggest hit "Do You Feel Like We Do," which Frampton performs below on the old Midnight Special.  Thank God for YouTube.

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!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Shake Weight

This afternoon, my son wanted to go to Hooter's for lunch.  I can always go for some wings, so we headed on out.  If you have never been to Hooter's, like a lot of sports bars they have multiple televisions on showing sports.  On one of the screens, I saw the following infomercial playing.

Now, my son loves watching infomercials, so I have seen a lot of exercise infomercials, the P90X, the Bowflex, the Total Gym, and others. The Shake Weight was one that I had not seen before. I could not hear the actual commercial, but suffice to say that the thoughts I had while watching it were more in line with the parody below.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pillsbury Orange Sweet Roll Giveaway

Most days, breakfast for me consists of taking a travel mug of coffee and a couple granola bars in the car when I make my morning commute.  It is a rare opportunity for me to have a nice, leisurely hot breakfast.  It is exceedingly rare for us to do it together as a family.  Pillsbury products make it easy for you to have a good breakfast with the family.

The Pillsbury Company and MyBlogSpark recently sent me a special VIP gift pack to try Pillsbury's Orange Sweet Rolls.  The gift pack included a coupon for a free package of Pillsbury Orange Sweet Rolls and a photo album for keeping all those sweet family memories in one place.  This morning, I was able to take advantage of that free coupon and cook up a batch of Pillsbury Orange Sweet Rolls.

It brought back a lot of childhood memories for me.  Most days, breakfast for us growing up was a quick bowl of cereal.  On special occasions, or some Sunday mornings, we would get a special hot breakfast.  Sometimes it consisted of pancakes and often times, it consisted of hot Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls. For some reason, I always thought they must be hard to make, but Pillsbury makes it simple.  It only takes about 15 minutes to serve some hot gooey sweet rolls.

There is no reason not to be able to start making special memories with your family, even as hectic as things get these days.  In fact, Pillsbury and MyBlogSpark are giving me the opportunity to let one of my readers get started by providing a VIP gift pack for me to giveaway.  Just post about your favorite breakfast memories, along with an email address that I can contact the winner to get their shipping information.  I will select the winner randomly on Sunday, March 14th.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Harry Reid and Jobs

I know what Harry Reid was trying to say, but my goodness, what an idiot.  The job report came out today, and was a bit better than expected.  Unfortunately, the country still lost jobs; 36000 of them.  But in Harry Reid's world that is a "big day in America," and is "really good."  Reid's comments reminded me of an event that occurred several years ago in one of my positions.

Several years ago, I worked in the division office of a grocery store chain here in the DC area.  We had all heard rumors about impending layoffs, and centralizing several positions to the corporate office. The big day came when the company held a meeting.  In the meeting, one of the company VP's announced that most of the people in the room would be losing their jobs.  Then, as everyone sat there in a bit of shock, the VP went on to talk about how much stronger the company was going to be in the long run.

The last thing anybody in that meeting room wanted to hear after being told they were losing their jobs was how much better off the company was going to be without them.  They wanted to know how they were going to pay their bills.  If you were one of the 36000 who lost your job, the last thing you want to hear is what great news it is that only 36000 people lost their jobs.  My reaction to Harry Reid's comments are pretty much the same as my reaction to our VP during that meeting.  "What an ass!"

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ardyss Body Shaping Products

I don't know of anybody who wouldn't want to look or feel better.  Whenever I have managed to work out and control my weight, I feel that I project a different image.  If you feel good, you appear more vibrant and confident. In these hectic days, it is often difficult to achieve the desired results on your own.  Sometimes, you just need a little help.

A friend of mine has become an independent distributor for a company called Ardyss.  She became involved in with the company because she was interested in their reshaping garments.  She has worn the garments to work, and it does make a difference.  It does provide a slimmer appearance and helps you with your posture.  When you stand straighter, you look a lot better than when you are slumped over.

Ardyss makes body shaping products for both men and women.  They make a number of different types of products, so they do have something for everybody.  In addition to all the body shaping products, they also sell a number of nutritional supplements and cosmetic items.  So not only can you look good with Ardyss products, but you can look good as well. 
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

More Dirty Obamacare Deals?

{{w|Jim Matheson}}, Congressman from Utah (D-U...Image via Wikipedia
So, I am driving home from work this evening listening to talk radio.  I caught the last half hour of the Sean Hannity show, and the first half hour of the Mark Levin show.  Levin started his program off by announcing that Barack Obama would be meeting tonight with ten Democrat members of Congress who had previously voted against the health care bill.  Levin was announcing that he would have the names and numbers of those ten members of Congress posted on his website. 

He encouraged listeners to participate in a "Levin Surge" and to call those members to encourage them to vote against health care.  During his announcement of the "Levin Surge," he interrupted his opening statements by discussing an article on the website announcing that the White House had nominated Scott Matheson of Utah to be a judge in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit Court.

So, who is Scott Matheson and what does he have to do with Obama meeting with ten Democrat members of Congress to try to persuade them to change their vote on Obamacare?  It just so happens that one of those ten members of Congress is Jim Matheson (D-UT.)  Matheson previously voted against the bill in committee and against the bill when it came to a vote before the entire House.  Now, Matheson is reportedly undecided.
It would appear that Scott Matheson is well qualified to be a judge.  It could just be a coincidence, however, given the nature of all of the special deals that have been made to procure votes to get passage of the bill thus far, the timing of his nomination is curious.  In politics, I don't believe in coincidences.  The majority of people oppose this bill because of all the shady deals, but the powers that be just don't care what we think.

Oh, and speaking of the health care bill.  Obama announced today that he was going to incorporate a couple ideas that the Republicans had put forth in the health care summit last week.  I don't know if he actually thinks that will help it any or not.  I mean, if you serve somebody a bowl of shit, and then sprinkle some sugar on it, you are still pretty much left with a bowl of shit.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Collins Bailey for Congress

It is never too early to start thinking about November. I live in the 5th Congressional District of the state of Maryland which has sent Steny Hoyer to the House of Representatives for the past 30 years.  Needless to say, I am not a big fan of House Leader Hoyer.

On Saturday, as I was heading to work my part time job, I saw a sign at a gas station for Collins Bailey for Congress.  I decided to check out Mr. Bailey's website, and I have decided to throw my support completely behind him.  According to his site, the items listed below are the things that Collins Bailey believes in.  I am in complete agreement with him on all of these points.

... these truths are self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
... the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person's dignity, freedom, ability, opportunity and responsibility must be honored and protected.

... in equal rights, justice, and opportunity for all.

... free enterprise and individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth, and prosperity.

... government must practice fiscal responsibility and individuals should keep more of the money they earn.

... in individual responsibility.

... in economic and personal liberty.

... that the federal deficit is caused by government spending too much, not by Americans being taxed too little.

... the proper, Constitutional, role of government is to provide those functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations and that government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.

... that the role of the federal government is to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.

... the most effective, responsible, and responsive government is government closest to the people.

... in the idea of individualism and reject collectivism.

... Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong and protect our national sovereignty.

... that spending in Congress is out of control. Americans are having to work too many hours just to support the wasteful habits of our federal government. That Congress is not representing traditional American values and Constitutional principles that reflect who we really are as a people. And that those who created the current mess in Washington are not the best candidates to translate these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, March 1, 2010

Music Monday-George Strait "Living for the Night"

Every time I hear this song, I have the following thoughts. First, I absolutely love the song. I really tend to gravitate to these mellow, broken heart songs. I especially love the line "Whiskey kills the man you've turned me into." Second, I am amazed by the consistency and quality of the music put out by George Strait. After nearly 30 years, and 57 #1 songs, like a fine wine, George Strait just gets better with age.

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!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Related Posts with Thumbnails