Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Representative Chaffetz, put up a chart that purported to show Planned Parenthood's breast cancer screenings going down over time as the number of its abortions spiked.
Cecelia Richards, Planned Parenthood director, said the chart did not truly reflect what was going on at Planned Parenthood.
"You're going to deny?" Chaffetz incredulously replied.
“I deny them because I’ve never seen them” said Richards.
“I pulled them from your corporate reports” says Chaffetz
"Oh," Richards said, appearing deflated.
Then staff behind Richards leaned over to whisper into her ear. She interrupted Chaffetz.
"Excuse me, my lawyer is informing me that the source of this is actually Americans United for Life, which is an anti-abortion group," she said. "So, I would check your source."
It was Chaffetz's turn to appear deflated. "Then we will get to the bottom of the truth of that," he said.

Yeah right. 

I should point out that while the honest chart shows 1,000,000 cancer screenings vs. 327,000 abortions for 2013, those are not the only services Planned Parenthood provides. Besides cancer screenings and abortions, there are another 7,000,000 visits to their centers each year, providing services ranging from Birth Control to control of STD's.
To his credit Chaffetz did admit today that his chart was "misleading". But then he had to spoil it all by saying he isn't raising hell about abortions, its all about the money.
Its all about 500 million dollars, says Chaffetz, that the taxpayers fund Planned Parenthood with.
Yeah, right.

Around here, in the US of A, you cant even blow your nose on 500 Million.
That's about what they pay for Big Bird too. There has to be some better ways to save some money besides sticking it to Womens Health and Big Bird.

I didnt know that Cecelia Richards is the daughter of  firebrand Ann Richards, feisty former Governor of Texas. She held up pretty good against some intense questioning.
I usually stay out of the abortion debate. I don't have a vagina or womb. Or breasts.  If the Supreme Court were to rescind Roe vs. Wade, I would go along with that simply out of my respect for the Court.

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Whale watching with your daughter who has been crazy about whales her whole life...priceless!
There was a woman on the boat that screamed out "Whoo-hoo" every time a whale breached. Sometimes the whale would breach three times in succession , and she would scream out "Whoo-hoo--Whoo-hoo--Whoo-hoo" right along with them. It didnt take long before I was howling "Aiiiigghheee!" right along with her.
And it wasnt long before the rest of the boat would ROAR after she screamed "Whoo-hoo" and I howled "Aiggghhheee!".
So it was "Whoo-hoo" "Aiiigghheee!" and ROAR! all over Puget Sound.
You could probably hear us all the way to Vancouver.
About halfway through the tour, the Captain came on the speaker.
"I dont know who the screamiing woman is, but I'm sure glad to have her aboard."
Me too. I love my excitable girl!
They ought to PAY HER for going on those boats.
Happy Daughters Day.

Friday, September 25, 2015


"Down from the purple mist of trees on the mountain, lurching through forests
of white spruce and cedar, stumbling through tamarack swamps, came the bull
moose to be stopped at last by a pole-fenced pasture.

Too tired to turn or, perhaps, aware
there was no place left to go, he stood with the cattle.
They, scenting the musk of death, seeing his great head like the ritual mask
of a blood god, moved to the other end of the field, and waited.

The neighbors heard of it, and by afternoon cars lined the road. The children
teased him with alder switches and he gazed at them like an old, tolerant
collie. The women asked if he could have escaped from a Fair.

The oldest man in the parish remembered seeing a gelded moose yoked with an ox
for plowing.
The young men snickered and tried to pour beer down his throat, while their
girl friends took their pictures.

And the bull moose let them stroke his tick-ravaged flanks, let them pry open
his jaws with bottles, let a giggling girl plant a little purple cap of
thistles on his head.

When the wardens came, everyone agreed it was a shame to shoot anything so
shaggy and cuddlesome.
He looked like the kind of pet
women put to bed with their sons.

So they held their fire. But just as the sun dropped in the river the bull
moose gathered his strength like a scaffold king, straightened and lifted his
horns so that even the wardens backed away as they raised their rifles.
When he roared, people ran to their cars. All the young men leaned on their
automobile horns as he toppled."

by Alden Nowlan

Thursday, September 24, 2015


I was thinking of this a few days ago while I noticed all the anti Muslim stuff on FB. 

There are 5 million Muslims here in the USA. 
If 1% want to kill us that makes 50,000 out to get us. 
If 1% of those are actually going to do something, that makes 5000 of them out there working up a plan. 
Some of them have been here a long time, since before 9/11/2001. 
If 1 of 100 of those (that would be 50, or .00001%) that are completely radicalized (insane), seems like that should register as an attack from a crazed Muslim attack team of 4 at least once a month. 
So where the hell are all these Muslims I am supposed to be so worried about?

The last attack I remember was two males that drove to Garland from Phoenix only to get blown away in the parking lot at an anti-Muslim Art Show. That was five months ago, right?** 
I’m more worried about the guy that lives next door. He probably wont attack. I just hope he doesn’t get any uglier. 
I’m more worried about the disenfranchised, never-squeezed-a-titty-kid with bad acne and a blister on his thumb from all the video games he plays. 
I’m not naive. One of these days they may get one right. 
One day, God forbid and despite our best efforts, we may see another 9/11. But we’ve been saying that ever since 9/11, right? I think we are past the “I told you so” point. 
So I have to ask again…where are all these Muslims I am supposed to be so worried about?

Last night I was shopping at Dillards. There were three women in Burkas. Real pretty Burkas too, all blue, yellow, white and purple. One had multi-colored tights. I couldn't see their faces, just their eyes. I made eye contact with one, and smiled, and even though I couldn't see her mouth, by her eyes I could tell she was smiling back. Imagine my relief when none of them blew up. 

I did a post earlier this year about the Boston Marathon bombers, and what Phillip Mudd had to say about them with a link to a Charlie Rose interview... I hear a lot of people all worried about this next batch of refugees coming in from war torn Syria. I say let them in. We have plenty of room.

Last year it was reports of ISIL coming across the border with Central American refugees. They were finding prayer rugs and Qurans behind every bush all along the Rio Grande. I even saw a video Allen West put out that purportedly showed a dozen ISIS Jihadist's coming ashore in a landing craft somewhere near San Diego.
What has come of all that?
I tell you what has come of all that.
They arrested a dark skinned Muslim kid unlucky enough to be named Mohammed last week in Irving Texas for bringing in a homemade clock project of some sort, thinking it might be a bomb. After determining it wasn’t a real bomb, they arrested him for bringing a “hoax bomb” to school.
Get a grip, Irving.
Now he is leaving America, going somewhere he thinks he wont be judged by his name or the color of his skin. I’m embarrassed by that, and I’m embarrassed by folks that say “Good riddance”. 
Anyway, good luck with that kid. 
And get a grip, assholes.

Two months later, random thought:
*I'm all for the new legislation. I hope the president doesn’t veto it. Maybe then the FBI director will get off his ass, get a team together, and stop whining about how impossible it is.

Monday, September 14, 2015


"For me, it’s never necessarily been a choice, so I think the thing is, it’s really just kind of a breath, like you just kind of have to. And then there is something really exciting about being able to grab what the world gives you and turn it into something. And Fort Worth is a little bit one of those places that’s still starry-eyed, a little magical. Art is still magical around here. You can kind of do things you’re not supposed to. I kind of come from a slightly underground, slightly criminal version of art, with not a lot of money and [an interest] in making big things. A lot of times, instead of being met with apprehension, it’s usually met with a lot of appreciation, so that’s a really nice reason to be here."
Jay Wilkinson

You may recall a friend of mine, Jay Wilkinson, a thriving (starving) young artist here in Fort Worth. I posted about an Art Exhibition, "Bobby on Drums" a while back where he had several pieces. Lets take a look shall we?

This piece is recessed into the wall about two feet and nicely backlit from above. It is about five feet in diameter. I felt lighter just looking at it.

This one is really cool. Jay likes to work with salvaged materials, and I believe it is a satelite dish of some sort. Its big, about eight feet in diameter, and from the picture, you cant quite get the wonderful texture of the white "clouds".

Here, this will give you some sense of scale.

A random portrait, and a mural.

In the middle of the floor was a huge sandworm or whale or something. Made out of scrap lumber.

 There were several of these doorstops, and other various hardware scattered about the skin of the creature.

More of Jay's surrealistic portraits. 

As he said in an earlier interview, he is sometimes commissioned to do portraits like these. I'd like to be able to afford one of me someday.

Jay is an inaugural recipient of ArtSouth, a residency program by Fort Worth South Inc. Here is a link for an interview, and more information about Jay and the Fort Worth Art scene.
Be sure to follow this link to "Bobby On Drums", my previous post with more info about Jay and his art.
Here is the Facebook page for ArtSouth's "Meet Jay Wilkinson".

Wednesday, September 09, 2015


I don’t exactly remember when the glass top to moms table broke. It left a beautiful base, antiqued gold leaf on plaster of Paris, shaped like scrolls or waves; I always figured to replace the glass. It sat in the living room a few years, a piece of plywood and a cloth replacing the glass with a lamp on top. A newer table arrived, and moms old gold table  was demoted to the den. A year later, further reduced to a third bedroom.

The plywood warped and the cloth got dirty, and somewhere along the way it wound up in the garage.
A move later, and no garage, it went to the back porch. I guess it has been on back porches now for eleven years of its forty-seven year life.
Mom bought it for the house on Hillview, the first house we lived in after moving to Hurst from Detroit in 1968.


I just cleaned off the porch today. It was warped beyond belief; cracked too, from the weather, and there really wasn’t much antique gold leaf left on it. It was more like green.
I slung it over my shoulder and trucked it out to the dumpster.
There was an old grey man by the dumpster, loading Miller Lite into an ice chest.
I walked past him, lifted the table over the edge of the dumpster and unceremoniously let it fall.
Inside of ten seconds, standing there, I reviewed the life of the table, much as I just narrated it for you in the post. I thought of the house on Hillview, Levitz Furnishings out on Camp Bowie, the home decorator that mom had hired, all the places the table had been, all the times I nearly bought a glass for it, and two years ago when I last still held some hope that I might salvage the forgotten table.
And of course I thought about mom. It’s really amazing how far your mind can race in ten seconds.
I turned from the dumpster to walk back to my apartment.
There is the old man with the beer.
“How you doing?” he says.
“I’m Ok.” I says.
I kept walking, then I stopped and turned back around.
“I’ve had that table quite some time. About 30 years I figure. It’s beyond repair, but I just hung on to it”
“He looked up from icing his beer.
I continued, “I always figured to fix that table. But it’s hopeless. It’s time to let it go.”
I laughed, and he laughed too. I could see a sense of identification on his face.
I turned and started back to my apartment. I got three steps and turned around.
“It was my mom’s table, you know?”
He smiled and nodded.
I turned again, got three steps, and turned around.
“Every year that goes by, there is one thing less that I have that was hers”
He looked at me closer, with kindly eyes, and nodded his head.
I turned again, got three steps, and turned around.
“I can’t help but think I let her down on that table.”

I could see his mind racing; the way mine had just a moment before. I wish I could tell you what he was thinking, or that this story has some nice neat end to it, but I can’t and it doesn’t.
“No son” he said “Don’t you be thinking that at all.”
“Thank you sir” and I turned and went back inside my apartment while he went back to icing his beer.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015


One of the more devastating experiences of my life was the time I trapped a mouse in a glue trap. We had lots of mice, and the plan was to trap them, and let them go in the field next door. It was a good plan, until I tried to get the mouse off the glue trap. It was horrible. It can be done, but not without effectively skinning the mouse. He will come screaming off the trap, but his skin will stay on. However, the screaming isn’t the worst part. The worst part are his terrified little black eyes looking up at you, begging you to stop and to just hit him with a sledge hammer and get it over with.

But I’ve just read the most interesting thing! It seems that the makers of these traps warn against using peanut butter as bait for the trap, because peanut butter negates the sticking effect of the glue. Further research reveals that if your pet gets caught in a glue trap, the application of peanut butter will dissolve the glue, leaving a peanut buttery pet, but one that can be groomed.

Even so, I'm very glad not to have mice anymore.

Monday, September 07, 2015


I do "The Bulletholes Ten". Its a ten minute walk around my apartment. If I'm feeling frisky, I'll do two laps.
I always think about my nephew Dave, and what it takes to do one of these ultras he runs. An Ultra is an 80 mile jog over mountains and rivers and stuff, and you have like 24 hours to do it. I wonder how long it will take me to achieve the mindset of the ultra runner.
I had told Dave about "The Bulletholes Ten" last month. I said "The great thing about "The Ten" is that if I decide I need to bail, I'm never more than 10 minutes from home".
Dave looked at me, pitifully.
"You mean five. You are never more than five minutes from home" he said.
I paused a moment, quickly reviewed my calculations, rocked back on my heels a bit and grinned.
"Right, Dave my boy! Only five minutes from home!"
Dave is not just a great Ultra runner. He's a damn fine mathematician as well.
He will be pleased to know I did two full "Tens" tonight.

Friday, September 04, 2015


Back in 1992 there was a candidate with a completely different message, and a completely different way of delivering it.
Ross Perot said:
"I don't have any experience in running up a $4 trillion debt. I don't have any experience in gridlock government, where nobody takes responsibility for anything and everybody blames everybody else.”

Yes. We had a debt of 4.4 Trillion dollars in 1992. And gridlock government.  Its nothing new.
We also had high earners that complained about taxes.
What did Ross say?
“When you have been as fortunate as I have been you certainly can contribute more than people who are just trying to make ends meet. You bet.”  

Of course, we were sending jobs overseas, even in 1992.

“We have got to stop sending jobs overseas. It's pretty simple: If you're paying $12, $13, $14 an hour for factory workers and you can move your factory South of the border, pay a dollar an hour for labor,...have no health care—that's the most expensive single element in making a car— have no environmental controls, no pollution controls and no retirement, and you don't care about anything but making money, there will be a giant sucking soundgoing south.”

He also said:  “I’m not going to rest until we’re shipping cars to Japan.” 

In 1992 I was a chef, and a pretty good little manager. I enjoyed his take on management.
“In many of our huge corporations we treat people like commodities. And people cannot be managed. Inventories can be managed, but people must be led.”

“Money is the most overrated thing in the world.”

“Build an environment where the first guy who sees the snake kills it.”

But this post isn’t about pointing out Mr. Perot’s people oriented, sleeves up,  no bones style of management.
It’s about how I came to have 4000 “Ross Perot For President”  yard signs in my garage.
Perot had announced that he would run for president if all 50 states put him on the ballot as a third party candidate. His popularity began to surge and he led in the polls with 39% of the vote.
I liked Perot. And so did my buddy Larry who worked for a printing company.
Larry managed to contract with the Perot people, United We Stand America, and had yard signs for Mr. Perot printed up. There were 4000 of them in my garage, and one in my yard, and in my next door neighbors yard, and in Larry’s yard too, and anyone else we could talk into voting for Ross Perot. And Larry stood to make a nice chunk of change as soon as the Perot people took delivery of the signs Larry had printed up.

But then a funny thing happened. Perot dropped out of the race. He had received altered pictures of his daughter that were going to be released by an unknown party to the press. “You all know what`s going on, so let`s not pretend we don`t,” Perot said, and dropped out of the race.

Larry was freaking out. All thos esigns in my garage. The bill at the print shop was going to come due, and now Perot had left the race. No one was manning the phone down at “United We Stand” and Larry was out whatever the cost of printing those signs might be.

Then something even funnier happened.
The fiftieth state managed to get Perot onto the ballot, and dirty tricks crowd or not, he decided to get back in the race.
And then Larry’s phone rang. It was “United We Stand”.
“Do you still have those yard signs” they asked.
Larry was cool.
“I might.” Larry said. “I’ll have to check the warehouse.”
“Well, Mr. Perot is back in the race. We sure could use them”

Later that day, the only thing you could hear was the “giant sucking sound” of 4000 yard signs being removed from my garage and into Larry's truck.