Saturday, July 25, 2009
According to the German-American Journal (vol 57, no 3) our American flags aren't truly red, white and blue all American. We imported $5.2 million of U.S. flags from communist China. Hopefully, you'll appreciate the irony the next time you're cut off by a jerk-face driving a pick up or SUV with an American flag waving proudly. You could catch up and yell "Buy American!" to get an affirming, "You bet!"
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Stuck in a box not of our own choosing seems to describe most of us in America. We didn’t ask mortgage lenders to make risky loans. We didn’t ask credit card companies to hike the rates up to 24% or higher. We didn’t ask health insurers to deny claims until we verify each time that we do not have duplicate coverage. We didn’t ask the Big 3 automakers to make gas guzzling SUVs and trucks. We didn’t ask oil companies to make historic profits while jerking us around with historic high fuel prices. We didn’t ask for all of our investments and savings to take a dive. We didn’t ask for forced unpaid time off, salary cuts, and layoffs. We didn’t ask that bailout money be heaped on privileged corporate and financial investor criminals. We didn’t ask for any of it. No we did not.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Money is our god, but why has it forsaken us? We revere it. Pray for it. Flaunt it. Money buys us pretty things and pretty people that we play with in our pretty homes. We own it. We use our pretty things until something prettier catches our eye. And why not, our American culture asks? We worked hard for our money, we justify... If our money comes at the expense of others that’s fine, since they are obviously too stupid or lazy to earn the money that we have, right? We attend fundraiser galas for the poor, where we complain about the stupid, lazy waitress who has the audacity to bring a martini made with cheap-ass Grey Goose vodka. It’s difficult to find good help these days, because they expect everything for nothing – don’t they know it takes money? The prophet, Daniel Suelo writes: “When I lived with money, I was always lacking. Money represents lack. Money represents things in the past (debt) and things in the future (credit), but money never represents what is present.”
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Toss it on the nostalgia heap and douse it with a gallon of gas and flame it…flame it good. I’m talking about the idea that any kid today has interest in collecting or playing with marbles. Even children growing up in TV-free, no-Wii, I believe, sequestered, rural, cult encampments have no interest in marbles. It would be a genuine Twilight Zone moment if a 10-year-old boy ran up to his apron-wearing mom with his leather pouch of marbles and said: “I’m going outside to shoot marbles with Billy and Bobby, I’ll be home in time to wash up before dinner!” Now, if you’re a 75-year-old man caught in a time warp, you probably send prized marbles to your now teen-aged grandchildren with cautions to not let them get too scratched up. And, if you are the recipient and aren’t too drug-addled or distracted updating your Facebook, you may want to ask grandpa how many in his collection are:
• Toothpaste - wavy streaks usually with red, blue, black, white, orange
• Turtle - wavy streaks containing green and yellow
• Oxblood - a streaky patch resembling blood
• Lutz - a type of swirl, taken from the skating term
• Onionskin - swirled and layered like an onion
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Did I get through your tightly monitored spam filtering brain with my subject line? If so, I plan to use this clever header to sneak through the screens of hundreds of email boxes throughout the world. Once in like flynn, I'll give 'em my best chain-letter pitch: Immediately send me a dollar and pass this on to twenty friends within 49 minutes or suffer from severe pancreatic hernia spasms of pain. Each of their 20 friends and in turn their 20 and 20 x 20, etc., etc. will each send me a buck. I just wish to make a quick, clean $100,000. This is a minor relatively painless scheme. No animals will be tested and hurt. If anyone over the age of 80 responds, I'll return their dollar with a piece of Bazooka bubble gum to show I'm being a good sport. My question to you: should I rent a P.O. box to shield my identity, just in case some whack case takes offense OR doesn't comply and actually experiences the severe, gut-wrenching pain?
Monday, July 6, 2009
As economic implosion continues, and savings, value and security shrink to the miniscule, it gets one thinking about the basics: food, water, and shelter. Let’s assume the worse – with the worse, quite frankly, appearing to be inevitable. The repo man (or woman) has knocked down the front door more than once and you’ve dumped nearly everything of value on Craig’s List, eBay, and the neighborhood rummage sale. And it’s clear that the 24% interest rate credit card company is sending a crowbar wielding Louie to “teach youse a lesson.” You gotta run. Airlines and staying at the Motel 6 will leave a trail too visible for comfort. Hitch hiking is too dangerous. It’s clear. The only option is to hop into a mobile home and flea to a remote corner of civilization (until the cops push you off to another hidden spot). Thankfully, Steve (no last name provided – hmmmmm, I wonder why) at WebUrbanist has expertly assembled a round up of escape-minded futuristic mobile homes. My favorites include the Slovakian-created eco-capsule, the Tumbleweed tiny log home, and the oversized M&M-shaped Capsule Caravan.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I was once asked what the difference is between a patron saint and a regular ol' saint. “Patron saints have jobs, regular saints don’t,” was my response. Look, you’ve got patron saints for nearly everything, so if you’re a slacker saint without an illness, cause, profession, or small town somewhere, you’re clearly the Jeff Lebowski of saintliness. There is a patron saint for arrowsmiths, the Italian town of Trent , sexual temptation, roller skaters, innocence, Florida, stiff necks........
and my current favorite: Saint Cajetan, the patron saint of the unemployed. With the U.S. unemployment rate expected to continue its rise through the end of 2009, it’s likely he’ll be a busy saint.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Today’s as good a day as any to celebrate the speed record for ice boats. The record of 155.84 mph was set in 2003 on Lake Monona in Madison, Wis. How do I know this? It’s mentioned in one of the journal entries of Richard Purinton’s book, Words on Water: A Ferryman’s Journal. This well-written book spells out the thoughts and experience of a ferryman who runs a car ferry between the tip of the Door County peninsula and Washington Island, which floats above the Door finger in Lake Michigan. I’m barely into the smidge more than 300-page book and am enjoying the read. Purinton recounts his impressions throughout the year, while painting a nostalgic scene of the residents, businesses, and lives of those who live or visit the island and Door County. Contact publisher / editor Norb Blei for purchasing WOW, before the limited press run edition is gone.