Friday, November 26, 2010

And So It Begins

I just got back from a little birthday shopping on "Black Friday." Nope, have not begun to Xmas shop yet. That expenditure will have to wait a couple of weeks. I sometimes get sick of  holidays. That is the tightwad in me. At any rate, I stopped by one of the umpteen local coffee shops that are based out of Seattle to get my morning going. I found out a couple of interesting things. They have a coffee out now that is called "Christmas Blend" and also one that is named "Holiday Blend." I suspected that they are the same thing of course. I remember drinking some (Xmas) last year finding it a pretty tasty beverage. That is beside the point however. I asked the person behind the counter what is the difference between the two. She said (of course) there was no difference. Just as I thought. One is apparently for those who are not Christians or perhaps just find the whole Xmas thing nonsense. I wondered if I should get a bit annoyed at this but decided to just file it away. You see in this country we, like it or not, are  predominantly Christian. It is a part of our history. Does that bother you? Facts can be a bit bothersome at times I know. There is of course no problem with those that practice any other faith, but do we really need to tailor our marketing to the minority? Is this not an example of PC run amuck? I can't wait for someone to come out (again) with a "holiday tree." Now that really pisses me off. Have a good Christmas no matter what your choice of faith. Oh almost forgot; they have a product out also that they call "Winter Blend." It apparently is not the same as the above two. The person told me it was a bit more "bold" without the spice aftertaste. May have to try that one.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Pleasant Surprise

The multitudes that read this humble blog know that I do a little substitute teaching once in a while. Well lately it has been a full time gig which is good even though a sub is a tad (a huge tad) underpaid. The crap that one has to put up from kids can get a little old but I have been at the same school the whole year and have gained the respect of the kids. Well the other day an Army recruiter was making his rounds at the school and stopped by "my" classroom to chat. Nice kid. He had been to Iraq twice and currently has a soft recruiting job. Probably deserves a break. At any rate he gave me a nice coffee mug before he left and it was much appreciated as I drink a lot of "Joe." I thought no more about it for a while. Yesterday for some reason I decided to see where this mug was made. I figured the country of origin would be Red China. I was pleasantly surprised to see the "Made in USA" stamp on the bottom. It would have been disturbing to find a mug advertising one of our armed forces to have been made by the industry of an enemy nation. I expected it though. I surely did.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

To Much Togetherness

Years ago I moved to the Houston area after taking a job as a 911 operator for the city. I was a communications supervisor for a rather large parish in Louisiana and working in Houston was a step up in pay. The  Houston job was actually a whole lot simpler as all we did was answer the phone and transfer calls. A hell of a lot different than answering 911 calls, dispatching fire and police agencies and actually monitoring some alarms. At any rate I soon moved up to "acting" shift supervisor with the Houston 911 but became bored and wanted more. I was going to get rich you see. Have made some good money along the way and also have been flat broke since that brilliant move. Such is life. That is not what I wanted to talk about though. You see, working a shift on Thanksgiving is pretty interesting. If you get the morning shift it is very very quiet. Almost nothing to do. About 3 or 4pm it seems to crank up. I mean shootings, assaults, brawls, and everything in between. Often this is between neighbors and family members. This old dude I worked with named Sam called this phenomena "to much togetherness." So with that being said, have a happy Thanksgiving and try not to beat the crap out of anyone.

Resisting the Lure of the Cab

As I noted in an earlier post I have given up the Taxi business in the Houston area. My license is now expired and barring a complete personal financial meltdown, I have no intention of renewing it.  I must admit however that I have been feeling the "lure of the cab" this week. This week, barring Thanksgiving Day itself, is one of the most profitable weeks in the biz. People are traveling, kids are at the clubs, and folks are starting to shop for Xmas. There are people to meet, money to make, and adventures to have and I am missing out. Been "Jonesing" a bit for the cab this week as some old dopers like to say. It is like quitting smoking I suppose. Stay away from it and eventually the urge will  subside. I don't think it will ever totally go away though. Funny how things can get in your blood.  I must stay strong. By God!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Have You Been Groped? Thank a Mohammedan

Well there certainly is an uproar about TSA employees allegedly groping and grabbing members of the flying public. Combine a little goober grabbing along with updated scanners that reveal what God gave you and you have the prescription for controversy. Controversy that the "media" is sure to exploit and blow (no pun intended) out of proportion. I have mixed feelings. I don't like to fly myself. Way more than enough of that in service to the nation. I will never get on another helicopter unless it is a medical emergency and I would rather drive three days to a destination than fly for two hours. I guess I don't really have a dog in this particular hunt. You see, this is  just a sideshow issue anyway. The real issue here is the freedoms that we have lost due to a horrendous act of war perpetrated by Mohammedans on this country. Of course there have been other terrorist incidents that have luckily been unsuccessful or thwarted involving Muslims in the air. What then is the solution?  How do you balance personal freedom and personal dignity with the very real need for security? I don't know. I do know that if another Mohammedan or other group uses an airplane to cause carnage then this little controversy will look rather silly. I think I will get back to the football game now. We are a nation of pussies.  

Opiate of the Masses

This is Great White, one of the few hair bands of the "hair band" era that really had talent to play Rock as God intended. At the time these guys were popular I was more into skinny tie, punk and good old Southern Rock. I very seldom paid any attention to this genre of music but these guys were an exception. Still are. They never got their due and that is a shame. There are some days that I would rather concentrate on college football and good old Rock music than the craziness that has befallen our nation. It is my "opiate."

I Will Play Do Gooder and Offer a Bit of Advice

I generally do not like a do gooder. Do gooders tend to do their small part in further eroding freedoms that should be taken for granted in this great nation. Yesterday I spoke briefly about some do gooders who have found some fault with a brilliant advertising campaign for a video game. These things are all too common. I myself find some issue with some of these cooking shows that have sprouted in recent years,  especially the "chef" competitions. You see these programs have the advantage of being quite interesting and entertaining. I actually enjoy watching some of them. Here lies the problem though. These type of shows portray the restaurant industry as being glamorous with a chance for fame and fortune. For a select few individuals this is the case. In reality the vast majority of "chefs" in commercial kitchens make just above subsistence level income. These shows encourage young people to go to so called "chef" schools that can cost a small fortune to attend. After graduation the student is then qualified for an entry level position in any restaurant in the country. The pay will be miserable and the hours can be brutal. Not only that, but a whole lot of so called "chefs" in charge of commercial kitchens are touchy little pricks who can make some one's life miserable at work. I have seen this first hand in my career as a barman in the industry. I felt sorry for these bright eyed newbie "chefs" who are in debt up to their keester, making next to nothing, being brutalized by some old cooking fag. A friend of mine used to own a major catering outfit and I would occasionally help him out a bit. We discussed this very issue. He told me these kids come to him asking for 20 to 25 dollars hourly and he would just laugh and offer them no more than ten bucks. He was not impressed by some "cooking degree" and would tell me that these young chefs "look like a cook to me." In other words, an expendable, easily replaced cog in the machine. Plus he also noticed that these "highly trained" kids were usually slow; something that is not tolerated in the real world of food service. Now if someone feels the need to spend a bunch of bucks for high end "chef" training that is fine. I, as a quasi do gooder, would not try to deny them the right to pursue their dream. I would not try to shut down "cooking schools" and such for profit establishments. That kind of thing is what a true "do gooder" would attempt. I am only warning those that would be interested in pursuing a career as a chef to investigate further and get the real score before investing or borrowing thousands of dollars to train for a just above minimum wage job. They will be disappointed and still be out or owe a lot of green.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Do Gooders Strike Again

The multitudes that read my blog know that I am a fan of and enjoy advertising; television commercials in particular. One recently released video game commercial is apparently drawing the ire of some self appointed cultural watchdog types. The recent Call of Duty; Black Ops spot is causing some controversy. This is the one that features Kobe Bryant and Jimmy K along with numerous other unknown actors. It shows people from all walks of life engaged in the game as if they were actually on the "field of battle." The very last scene is hilarious as it features a guy in some sort of chef outfit walking through the carnage with a pistol in each hand. He looks like some wild ass Mexican drug lord in cook's garb. It is great. It is hilarious. It is brilliant advertising. The whole point of the spot is to show that all kinds of people are engaged in playing a harmless game. The two celebs involved in the commercial is apparently the problem. You see the game is rated "Mature" and this spot apparently sends some sort of "wrong message." Jimmy and Kobe are therefore supposedly being irresponsible. That is ridiculous. I certainly hope it is not "pulled" from rotation. I certainly get sick of "do gooders" trying to save everyone from themselves. I don't like that vato. I don't like that.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bad Television

I have watched a couple of episodes of a "reality" show called Jerseylicious (I think) which has to be some of the most ridiculous and trashy nonsense I have seen in a long long time. The program features some strange looking women with annoying accents who appear to be dyed orange. I guess they think it a tan. Their gigantic breasts poke out a great deal also but even that is strangely unappealing. They look like Oompa Loompa's with boobs. It is pure trash broadcast to the masses. No wonder the Mohammedans are pissed.

Monday, November 15, 2010

An Economist Speaks Out

The other day I was taking my child and her "brother" to the local recreation center for an afternoon of swimming. Out of the blue my daughter asks "What is up with the economy anyway?" I wondered where that came from. Her friend says "You don't want to know." Mind you this child is all of eleven years old. My daughter indicated that she did indeed want to know. I asked the young man to fill us in. He then proceeded to tell us that "People have been quitting their jobs and businesses because of Obama." Sounds about as logical as anything that the so called highly educated "economists" are saying now. The boy may have a future.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Have Been Informed That the Televisions are "Taken"

There are some football games on but the televisions are being controlled by the masters of the house. My wife is watching KSU/Mizzou and I am just not all that interested in that contest. Perhaps in a bit. The other tv has some cartoon thingy on and I dare not interfere. So it goes. I have spoken before concerning good rock music from all eras. Despite all the commercial nonsense that one finds on radio there are always innovative bands and genres to see/hear if one looks a bit . A lot of great music originates out of Europe. Check out Eluveitie a Swiss "Folk" metal band. Quite good.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

This is a day to honor and respect all Veterans of all eras. Without them this country would be nothing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Iran's Right to Nuclear Capability is "Non Negotiable"

Reuters is reporting that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated that "Iran's right to nuclear capabilities is non negotiable." He is right. It is non negotiable. He will likely find that out soon enough.

An Airplane? Gimme a Break

The apparent missile launch off the coast of SoCal is being touted officially now as an aircraft contrail. Of course that has got to be nonsense. I have seen numerous rockets "fired" while stationed in Cape Canaveral and this looks very familiar. It was probably a sub launched missile. I can think of no other explanation. I don't think the Red Chinese Navy could get this close to  U.S. shores without being spotted long before it reached the area. Nor the Soviet err Russian Navy. At least let us hope not. My money is on a submarine launched missile from a U.S. submarine. Unless of course it was the Taliban Navy.  Hadn't thought of that.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Security Breach at BASF Freeport

Apparently an SUV crashed through a security gate at the BASF chemical plant in Freeport, TX. The driver then allegedly eluded security and finally crashed into an 18 wheeler with an overseas tank in tow. The SUV driver was taken to the hospital and the "big truck" driver sustained minor injuries. Wonder what all this is about? Probably just a regular old nut cutting loose and terrorism has not been implied at this point. Never know though. Could be a wild Mohammedan. Stranger things have happened. Now there is a problem here of which I have spoken before. These chemical facilities have on site some extremely lethal products. There are the standard fire hazards of course, but more importantly for the surrounding communities are the inhalation hazards. The security at most chemical plants is borderline ridiculous. The chemical companies likely just do not want to pay for what would be considered a professional security force. That is a crime. Nothing against the security people in place. They are doing their job to the best of their ability, but very few are qualified to be a "security professional." At some of these plants the security should be as stringent as at a nuclear power facility. Any thing less is posing a danger to the community.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Olbermann Incident Part Two

Well it looks like K.O. is going to be reinstated. It does not really matter. To the vast number of Americans he is a radical nutball. He is our nutball though. Glad you are back Keith. Can't wait to hear more of your half baked "wisdom" and borderline insane commentary. You are truly unhinged. I like that vato. I like that!!

The Olbermann Incident

Well I guess by now everyone has heard of the Olbermann Incident. The reasons for his firing err suspension seem a bit lame to me. Could it be that he is history because he is an idiot? I think that is the real reason Keith is gone. K.O was a loon and no mistake. I for one will miss him. I enjoy good comedy any time and besides some of my best friends have been crazy as Hell. It makes things interesting. Bye Kieth. I will miss seeing your crazy mug on the tube.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sheila Jackson Lee for Minority Leader? I Would Support That.

This afternoon I briefly listened to Houston talk show great Michael Berry and he suggested that Lee campaign for the position of minority leader. That would be great. The nation would then all have a chance to be entertained with continual dumbass statements while attempting to understand her dialect. I would certainly be in favor of that. I enjoy comedy as much as the next guy. Forget Pelosi, she may not want the job anyway. - I want Lee. Lee makes Pelosi sound downright sane. Go for it Sheila. You know your ego demands it. It is unfortunate that the Democratic party would probably not go for it. On second thought maybe they will.  After all they chose Obama.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Retiring" from the Taxi Business

Well my City of Houston taxi license expires in a few days and I do not think I will renew it. I have been driving off and on both full and part time for the better part of five or six years. The last year has been "very part time" and I just don't think I will continue. I have owned my own cab, leased by the week, and the day. I have for the most part enjoyed my time as a Houston "hack". Still it just is not really worth it for me to drive anymore. My weekends are often filled with bartending jobs which usually profit about the same with a lot less hours, danger and headache. So it is. I admit I may at some time "come out of retirement" but at this point I just don't see it happening. One never knows though. One never knows. I would like to thank some folks and give a big old F.U to a few more.

I would like to thank:
1. The Houston Police Department, (with the probable exception of one "cop." I will get to that in a minute), for being there if needed.
2. Other police agencies in the area for the same reason.
3. The lady who warned me to give her a plastic bag before hurling in my car and ruining my evening. All cabbies learn, often the hard way, to have plastic bags within reach.
4. Those who were thoughtful enough to tip.
5. Those who were so drunk they dropped money in the back seat. I always checked after people got out. Note: This is for bills and coins only. If someone left a wallet or other property it was returned with all contents intact. Some cabbies are thieves but I certainly was not one of them.
6. The few couples who had "relations" in the back of the cab. Thanks for the show.
7. The interesting conversation from intelligent customers.
8. The two customers who found a "crack pot" in the backseat and gave it to me to throw out. Not all crack heads look like crack heads.
9. Those who were on "welfare" taxi ride program for allowing me to explain that somebody paid for the cab ride, just not them. This was usually after I was told how cool it was to get a free cab ride. Of course this did not apply to those who were in legitimate need, only those that scam the system.
10. Those who were on one of the above programs for taking a long long ride across county to the doctor or whatever. Never had to worry about getting paid for those trips. Plus the customers were always safe.
11. Those females who for whatever reason found it necessary to "flash the cabbie."
12. Veterans for their long cab rides to the VA. Same reason as number 9.
13. The employees at the city "cab office" for at least being decent and helping me out when navigating the ridiculous bureaucratic nonsense to get and keep a license.They have a hard job. Many cabbies are jerks.
14. The ladies at Yellow Cab and Liberty Cab who process paperwork for being friendly and competent.
15. The training dept. at Yellow Cab and Liberty Cab.
16. Numerous illegal aliens and crack heads who inadvertently found their way into my cab for not attempting to rob me. These folk found their way into my car despite my best efforts to screen customers.
17. The college girl who was stranded and paid me around 300 bucks to take her from Houston to SFA University in Nacadoches. She was a pretty cool kid.
18. The girl who for whatever reason gave me a Bob Marley CD.
19. The old crazy dude who gave me a dollar and a lighter for taking him around. He told me to come back later and he would "pay me in gold." I lost on this deal but it was a fun thing to do for an hour or so. This happens when one is a student of human nature. Plus I dropped him off in front of a hoity toity River Oaks establishment in the front as he requested.  He then entered said establishment.The office gave me a call about that one. I almost forgot. He told me he was John Wesley Hardin.
20. The City of Houston cab inspector that chose to let me slide with a book and newspaper on the passenger seat. Yes that is a rule.
21. The "gentleman's" establishments that paid me a nice fee for bringing customers to their reputable places of business.
22. The gay community. They like to have fun and know about tipping. They are generally safe also.
23. The mechanics at Yellow and Liberty Cab. Those guys do wonders with a fleet of vehicles that definitely are rode hard and put away wet as they say.

Now on to those who deserve a huge F.U.
1. The lady "cop" who hassled me for fifteen minutes about running a stop sign somewhere near Broadway. I did not run it but was polite and respectful. She obviously had penis envy and was a tad nuts. It made me wonder why she was out in public armed with weaponry. I guess all agencies let a few nuts slip through. Sista was crazy. As Hell. I would have rather gotten a ticket than listen to her mouth.
2.  The City of Houston cab inspector who gave me a ticket for not wearing a collared shirt. I was dropping off passengers at the Hyatt Downtown and she was there ready for action. Cost me a bit of money.
3. The city judge who took the above charge seriously and fined me 150 bucks. I always had a collared shirt on after that I can assure you.
4. The illegal alien punk that gave me a bunch of threatening crap armed with nothing more than his mouth. He is lucky I did not pistol whip him. Oh wait I did not have a pistol. That would have been "illegal" lol. Or perhaps I did. Not telling for sure.
5. The punk who jumped out an ran to avoid paying a ten dollar fare.
6. The dispatch office at Yellow Cab. Staffed by dumb asses.
7. People who don't know how to drive.
8. Limo drivers who try to play taxi and steal customers. They are usually Mohammedans.
9. Red light cameras. In your lens!!! They are supposed to be removed after a public referendum but watch the city weasel out of it.
10. People who always think you are out to cheat them. Kiss my ass.
11. Any loud obnoxious drunk.
12. People who stank. It did not happen often thankfully.
14. The guy who shat his pants. I almost called it quits after that little episode.
15. Mike in Clear Lake. You sir are more trouble than you are worth.
16. The guys on two different occasions who paid me and then gave me extra to "wait here I will be back in a minute." Of course they were on a drug buy. I left the scene and them stranded at the crack house. The extra they gave me to wait was my fee for them putting me in a potential dangerous situation. Hope they got home safely. Or not.

That's about it I suppose. I enjoyed my cab driving and will always leave the door open to do it again but I just think I will leave it alone. Don't think I will pull a Brett Favre on you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

John Faulk loses to Sheila Jackson Lee: Racism in Action

Well as expected John Faulk has lost the race for the 18th Congressional District of Texas to the incumbent Dumbass Sheila Jackson Lee. There is really no reason for this other than Faulk is a white male. The  district is composed of minority voters who, for the most part, are some of the poorest people in the region. Dumbass Sheila Jackson Lee still apparently appeals to those folks for some reason or other. Do they not realize that Lee is an embarrassment to the region, the state and more importantly, to those people in her district? The woman can not even speak English. She communicates in some way out near unintelligible dialect. Faulk would have been a much better person in the position. At least he would be taken seriously and not be the butt of jokes for idiotic ineptitude. Perhaps  another reputable candidate, who happens to be black, may be able to defeat her at some point. Lee is a dumbass and no mistake. Maybe someday someone will beat her. It will take a black person to do the job no doubt. Many (most?) voters in the district are so conditioned to be racist that no other skin color will do. There is a bright side however. We will continue to be entertained by the stupid things the woman says and does. Wonder what will be next. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

I have never seen Satan on Halloween.

Well another Halloween has come and gone and I for one am glad. When one has a young one the Halloween thing can get a little out of hand. How the hell does one carve a pumpkin to look like some character called "Vegeta?" I don't know and we did not try. Now I tend to think of Halloween as a harmless little demi holiday that is enjoyed mostly by children but there are those among us who read way too much into the whole thing and will be happy to tell you that it is a evening devoted to the worship of darkness. That sort of annoys me. I don't care what anyone believes in the religious context, (if one wants to handle snakes well knock yourself out), but I certainly have a problem when people get in your face with their various religious views.  I have noticed on more than one occasion that the more "way out" (and frankly ridiculous) some one's views are, the more likely they are to talk to you about them. I have a real problem with a little church broadcasting that Halloween is "evil" and "of the devil." It serves no purpose than to scare and confuse small children. I don't like that vato. I don't like that.