Monday, August 31, 2009

A happy life

How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armor is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!

Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Not tied unto the world with care
Of public fame or private breath;

Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Or vice; who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good;

Who hath his life from rumors freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make accusers great;

Who God doth late and early pray
More of his grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a well-chosen book or friend, -

This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And, having nothing, yet hath all.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Update on life

Well, I am counting the days now. In one weeks time, God willing, I will be en route to the wonderful city of Dollars (formerly Dallas), Texas to pick up my humble new vehicle. The vehicle in question is a 1989 Chevy S-10 Blazer SUV 4x4 which is kinda what I want. I have desired a vehicle more appropriate to my Ham Radio and Weather Spotting. The Blazer makes sense. While is an 89, it only has 106,000 miles on it, which isn't bad for a 20 year old vehicle. I hope I don't give the thing too bad a workout, but I have to have a better vehicle. Even though the Blazer is 20 years old and sort of anathema to what I have wanted to stand for I am still getting it. The best part is I don't have to pay for it till Tax refund time and even then, its probably going to be half price. Can't pass up a deal like that.

The fate of the Victor/Victoria is still in limbo at the moment. Donation for cancer research seems to be the best prospect since if I sell it to someone, they face a considerable sum for repairs. Another prospect popped up the other day. My sister-in-law's brother repairs cars and is presently unemployed and I thought that in exchange for my car and other considerations, they might fix my sister-in-law's Taurus which has sat out in front of my brother's house without a fan belt or an AC compressor for the better part of two or three months. If my brother can get in contact with Steve and he wants to go through with the exchange, I think it would be a good thing. The in-law's get a car that he can part out for work on his Mustangs (the CV and the Mustangs share the same motor) and/or he can fix the thing up for sale to help him out in his drought of unemployment. Brother dear gets his car fixed and can drive himself to work and not have to ride the bus anymore. We'll see what happens.

Anyway, I have been on a kick of late on YouTube. I have nostalgia for my misspent youth watching endless hours of bad sci-fi television. Among these was the Gerry Anderson series "UFO." Not to be confused with the Jack Webb series "Project: UFO" which came much later, the 1972 series concerned a fictional organization existing in 1980 called "S.H.A.D.O." whose primary mission was to shoot down invading UFO's. It was fanciful at times, but all in all was a fairly good show and it was fun, but only lasted one season. While a planned second season was killed, the pre-production work for that later came to be used for the follow on series "Space: 1999" which was even more interesting, if not for its bizarre premise of the moon as a drifting planet through the universe.

UFO had all the elements of earlier Anderson fare such as "Thunderbirds" or "Captain Scarlet"; secret organizations battling evil or some other such things, but it represented a leap by Anderson into live action. However, a drawback with UFO was that since Anderson's earlier fare was primarily for children, many expected UFO to be that as well. Since many in the UK considered Sci-Fi to be children's fare anyway, it wasn't shown correctly. It was very dark, much like the US "Land of the Lost" and many of the episodes dealt with such adult fare as adultery, interracial romance, the breakup of marriage and the like. That, coupled with erratic schedules which resulted with syndication, spelled the demise of the series. The effects were first rate for the era, conducted by Derek Meddings who later went on to do several of the Roger Moore 1970's James Bond films (Live and Let Die, Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker (nominated for an Academy Award for Special Effects) as well as Superman and the 1989 Tim Burton Batman movie.

Here's a montage posted on YouTube of one of the more typical scenes:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dr Feelbad

We had a doctor locally here who we noticed was acting a little strangely at the mall one day a couple years ago. He was walking through the mall and was decked out in a wedding dress on and makeup. That's nothing, we have "shemales" who shoplift at the stores all the time. When he started harassing customers, then we had to take him in for disorderly conduct. The local alternative weekly, The Riverfront Times, had an article on him which I found interesting it turns out that the doctor in question was in the process of a nervous breakdown. In spite of police investigations, labor relations investigations, and medical board investigations he continued to practice even while exhibiting bizarre behavior like the above. The last straw was earlier this year when polic found thousands of medical records, containing Social Security Numbers, vital medical data, credit card numbers and the like were found unceremoniously dumped into a dumpster behind his closed office. He later surrendered his medical license because he couldn't keep keep track his medications he gave out as prescriptions. His whole staff quit on him and now he lives in Texas with his sister after his wife divorced him. The sad fact of the matter is that he is allowed to still practice medicine in Illinois because he surrendered his Missouri license and since that didn't trigger an investigation by Illinois, he can still practice medicine in that state. The process for each state varies, but since the licensing boards are made up of doctors and are likely to be sympathetic to them, they are geared towards giving the doctors a break. He is trying to get a license in Texas (Austin metro areas if you are interested) and if his legal troubles keep him from getting put in prison, he will be successful because there is no national licensing procedures. Isn't that lovely?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bring up the Holy Hand Grenade

It seems a joke was carried a bit too far earlier this year. I was researching Anarcho-syndicalism when I came across the reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, that led to the Holy Hand Grenade and then to this:

Pub is closed by Monty Python grenade

Tony Bassett

BUILDINGS were evacuated, a street was cordoned off and a bomb disposal team called in after workmen spotted a suspicious object.

But the dangerous-looking weapon turned out to be the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, made famous in the 1975 film Monty Python And The Holy Grail.

Police and a fire crew were first on the scene in Shoreditch, east London, when water company workers found a copy of the film prop under a fire hydrant cover.

They evacuated a pub and another building in Tabernacle Street, while office staff in another building were stopped from leaving.

But when the bomb squad arrived, they quickly established there was no danger and the street was declared safe. In the film, the grenade was used to slaughter a killer rabbit. Python actor Eric Idle had filmgoers in stitches as he said: "Oh Lord. Bless this hand grenade, that with it thou mayest blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy."

Alberto Romanelli, who owns the Windmill pub nearby, said the police action in ordering his pub to be evacuated had been as ridiculous as the film scene. "They evacuated the pub while they were doing X-rays and stuff," he said.

"It all lasted about 45 minutes before they decided it was nothing - which I thought was pretty obvious from the start. I lost a good hour's worth of business."

Emma Eve, a training centre receptionist, said: "It was scary. They wouldn't let us out of the building." Office worker Graham White said: "The situation was nearly as crazy as the film."

Former Python Michael Palin, who appeared in the film, said: "Our Holy Hand Grenade was fictional and there were no plans for creating one. We don't want to add to the armaments of the world."

An Islington police spokeswoman said: "There was no danger to the public. The device is believed to be an object known as a Holy Hand Grenade." Copies of the prop can be bought on the internet for �14 or you can make your own by following the instructions in a five-minute video on YouTube.

In the film, before the grenade is used, Idle says: "And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out.

"'Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. Amen.'"

Friday, August 21, 2009

The "Mainstream" media!

I have said it before and I will say it again. The Mainstream media in this country is not "liberal." It took John Stewart to prove my point recently.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Fox News: The New Liberals
Daily Show
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Political HumorHealthcare Protests

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Kryten on the British NHS

I love what Robert Llewellen (AKA Kryten from my favorite British Sci-Fi Comedy Red Dwarf) has to say about the British NHS.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Devil Car!

I think its time to get rid of my car!

Friday, August 7, 2009

ABC's of Steve.

A - Age: 45 and still alive....

B - Bed size: Full

C - Chore you hate: Winding myself up in the morning.

D - Dog's name: What dog?

E - Essential start your day item: Food.

F - Favorite colors: Blue... No RED! AHHHHHHHHH

G - Gold or Silver: Silver ( so when do I get it?)

H - Height: 5' 8"

I - Instruments you play(ed): Trumpet, recorder

J - Jungles through which you've traveled: The jungles of Missouri.... :-)

K - Kid(s): None (thank God).

L - Least favorite food-item: Asparagus

M - Most favorite food-item: Chicken

N - Nicknames: Steve, Steveo

O - Overnight hospital stay: none

P - Pet Peeve: Conservatives

Q - Quote from a movie:

R - Right or left handed: Right

S - Siblings: 4

T - Time you wake up: 5:30 PM Work nights

U- Underwear: Yes

V - Vegetable you dislike: asparagus

W - Ways you run late: computer

X - X-rays you've had: Foot

Y - Yummy food you make: I used to cook in a Chinese restaurant, but its been so long ago.

Z - Zoo favorite: Seals

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The last days of my Victor/Victoria

Well, I know I have said things about my Victor/Victoria. My car is a Ford Crown Victoria, which is also used as a police car. Mine is the civilian luxury version, without the police coolers and power hookups for the equipment. However, its a gas guzzler because of its size and the fact that it's an 8 cylinder 4.6 liter engine. The US DOT says its gets a combined 18 MPG with a 20 gallon (76 liters to my English friends) gas tank. I am not sure how to convert the MPG to kilometers per liter so I won't try. Anyway, I was able to get it to pass last year with a little fudging by the mechanic because I had invested almost a $1000 to get the front end rebuilt as the ball joints and front suspension needed to be repaired. I suspect the work was not done because it is now making a whole host of noises that it wouldn't make if it was fixed. It also needs a new catalytic converter to pass the emissions inspection since I live in a city area that is under pollution control. If I lived another country over, I wouldn't need it. Still, if I wanted to replace that its between $400 and $1000 depending upon the type of exhaust system. I am not going to put another dime into this idiotic thing since it is literally eating me alive financially. I love the car, the power in getting around and so forth, but I just cannot afford it.

I have received a offer from a friend in Texas who has a Blazer 4x4 SUV that he can sell me cheap. The guy is an ADHD type who is very meticulous when it comes to his vehicles. He works at the GM plant in Arlington, TX, so he knows his vehicles. He has had it since he owned it, puts it under a car cover at night etc, so I am getting a good car. Two things, How to get there to pick up the car and getting the time off work to fly there and still drive it back from Texas to Missouri, about a 10 hour drive. I hope I can get it all worked out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Rams in St. Louis

In 1990, St. Louis decided it was time to have a football team back. Bill Bidwell had packed up his team and moved to the sunny climes of Phoenix many years earlier, where they continue to loose to this day still. The sports nuts decided that we needed a football franchise. So, they got together and convinced the voters of the City and County of St. Louis, and the State of Missouri to fork over $280 million dollars for a "state of the art" football stadium and "Convention Center." The new stadium would be attached to the new convention center just completed a few months earlier. In order to sell it to the public, the Stadium would be a "Multi-Purpose" facility in that it could be used for other events other than football. Unforunately the football season coencides with most of the major conventions in the year, a fact that was apparently lost on many of the supporters. That however, did not stop the steamroller.

A business man with no money came up with the idea. The rich elite of the city decided that the public coffers would be raided again for a project of dubious need to the public. Ignorant of the fact that the city of St. Louis has some of the most underfuned schools in the nation, one of the oldest sewer systems in the nation and a whole host of other problems, they decided that funding a stadium would bring business to a city that needed it. Why the rich elite could not come up with the money of their own was ignored in the best interest of scaming the NFL out of a new franchise for the fair city that apparently need football more then it needed education.

So, the project was steamrollered throught he various public entities and coucils and the stadium was built and ready for occupancy by the expected team, tentatively named the "St. Louis Stallions." When the NFL owners met in Chicago to award a franchise, in their infinate wisdom to Charlotte, North Carolina a city that did not have a stadium even ready for such a venture. St. Louis backers told their supporters to patiently wait as another expected franshise was to be awarded It was then awarded to Jacksonville, Florida. St. Louis fans who had spent millions of dollars on so-called "Permanant Seat Licences" for the ownership group lost all their money to the either.

So, St. Louis fans, angered by the betrayal by the NFL then looked for a team to steal from another city. Then came the New England Patriots. James Orthwein purchased the team with the intention of moving the team to St. Louis. However, the Patriots were eventually sold to another owner and nothing came of the idea. Again the fans were betrayed. Then they found the Rams.

Georgia Frontiere had inherited ownership of the team when her husband died. She had grew up in St. Louis and found time to visit from time to time. A golden opprotunity presented itself. The Rams were known to be disatified with their stadium in Aniheim. Through a complex contract thery were lured to St. Louis.

The sports nuts finally had a team and it started winning games and eventually went to the Super Bowl.

Enter the present day. A clause in the contract which lured the team here apparently gives them the right to leave if "the stadium is not among the top 5% in the league." The team came to the Stadium owners, (the aforementioned City of St. Louis) and asked that $300 million be invested in the stadium in renovations. The best the cash strapped city could come up with was $30 million after being raped by the owners of the baseball Cardinals to build their $365 million stadium.

So, now there is talk of the Rams packing up and leaving. I say good riddance. The ammount of money invested in this dubious enterprise, when there are more pressing concerns in the world and in the city is idiotic to say the least. Now we are in an economic recession and it costs the better part of $100 for a single person to attend a game after spending all the money for tickets, concession and parking. I am all for spending a nice afternoon watching a game, but its starting to become like gladitorial games where the pampered atheletes (who can seem to get away with murder whenever they commit a crime) play before crowds of equally pampered rich sychophants. The underclass either has to sit in a seat high in the statosphere, or cannot afford a seat at all on his salary which seems to get even more megar every year. The idiocy of public support for this has got to stop and soon. Our priorities in this country are more mesed up than ever. if we can find money for this rather than money to solve the problems that directly affect millions of people across our city.

My LIfe according to Loudon Wainwright III

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to 15 (or whatever...) people you like and include me. You can't use the band I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think! Repost as "my life according to (band name)"

Pick your Artist:
Loudon Wainwright III

Are you a male or female:

Describe yourself:

How do you feel?

Describe where you currently live:

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?:

Your favorite form of transportation:

Your best friend[s] is[are]:

You and your best friends are:

What's the weather like?:

Favorite time of day:

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called?:

What is life to you:

Your current relationship:

Your fear:

What is the best advice you have to give?

Thought for the Day:

How I would like to die:

My soul's present condition:

My motto:

About Me

My photo
I am interested in CNG vehicles because they are good for the environment and aren't powered by dead Marines. I still have a little hope for the world. Read the musings and enjoy.