Thursday, May 24, 2007

Archive from May 24, 2007

Entry for May 24, 2007

Seems all elected local, state, and federal officials are jumping on the steamrolling bandwagon to snuff out smoking. Politicians have traditionally had a herd mentality; if it feels good, they all want to scratch the same itch. They have discovered there are a substantial number of potential voters who believe the only form of human lower than a politician is a non-voting smoker. It is no surprise that the anti-smoking politicians mimic hyenas circling a road kill.
All of the lowlife tobacconists hiding in the shadows will soon find law enforcement waiting there in ambush. I am sure the police are looking forward to enforcing all of the new smoking laws, since the politicians have made police work boring by eliminating all gang crime, domestic violence, and hard drug trafficking. After all, second hand smoke is responsible for global-warming.


We need our politicians to go further. We need them to refuse all revenue from the sale of tobacco products. We need them to set an example for the entire world and ban the sale of tobacco nationally. Please help save us from Demon Tobacco. Forsake all of that tobacco stained tax money. Do it now. Otherwise, people may think politicians are hypocrites, and we sure cannot have that.

Thanks for listening.


James A. Zachary Jr.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Archive from May 23, 2007

Entry for May 23, 2007

Last Memorial Day I was called out to my workplace due to a major power outage. At work things get very-bad very-fast if there is no juice to run all of the pumps and compressors. Since everyone wants holiday-weekends off, it was hard to find someone working for the utility company that could troubleshoot the outage. Further, our department had only a skeleton crew available so it took some time to transport and set up the diesel powered emergency generators.

Other that the fact that I was burned out from being called out on emergencies on holidays and weekends for over 30-years, this episode was just plain stressful. I took solace in demon tobacco. I had quit cigarettes 10-years earlier, but saw no harm in choking down a cigar during this over-nighter.


One year later I am still hacking down a cigar a day. May not sound like much, but I had beaten my lungs and other vital organs for over 35-years with cigarettes.

My goal is to quit cigars by this Memorial Day. There is plenty of nicotine gum in my pockets and the will is strong. Wish me luck. I wish good luck to you.

Thanks for listening.


James A. Zachary Jr.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Archive from May 22, 2007

Entry for May 22, 2007

It is getting late. It has been a long day, probably for you as well. Sometimes I feel the need to write even when I really do not have much to say. Some folks like to talk when they have no reason to. All day long I had ideas for what I would blog, but they all vaporized by evening. How would you like the listen to me groan about gasoline prices? No?

So, what are you doing for the Memorial Day Holiday weekend?

It’s hard to find an American Flag that was actually made in the USA. I found an outfit and I will post a link to their site from mine. Trouble is that they do not sell direct to the public, so the flags are available only from retailers. Many outlets have NON-USA-MADE American Flags and they are not clearly marked. For some reason, I just do not feel comfortable flying an American Flag that was made in China. Your mileage may vary.

Be safe and thanks for listening.


James A. Zachary Jr.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Archive from May 21, 2007

Entry for May 21, 2007

Today I read where a 24 year old man was stabbed to death yesterday (Sunday) with a most unusual weapon. Autopsy showed he died after being stabbed in the back of the neck with a house key. A 40 year old woman is being held by the Chicago Police as a "person of interest" in the killing.

Late last week three senior citizen males (age late 60s, early 70s) were walking in a forest preserve near here. There was an altercation of some sort with a younger male, who subsequently attacked all three seniors with a rock. One senior was killed, the other two seriously (but not critically) injured. Attacker has not been caught, described as a younger, thin male between 5'8'' and 6'0'' tall.

Gun control in Illinois is indeed working.

Thanks for listening,


James A. Zachary Jr.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Archive from May 20, 2007

Entry for May 20, 2007

USA needs sharpen its competitive mind set in this global economy. It broke my heart when I heard Levi brand jeans would no longer be American made. What could have possibly been more American that Levis? For a while, American made jeans were priced much higher than the foreign made jeans. That is no longer the case. Visit a site called http://www.texasjean.com/ and compare prices, style, and quality. Buying Made in American may just soon be a way to save some money.

The way our country has changed over the past 50 years has been a sad study in economics. Blame needs to be shouldered by each one of us, from the top of the corporate ladder to the entry-level worker. How can workers and consumers respect CEOs who receive multi-million dollar bonuses from corporations with record losses?


Unions helped make this county great, improving work safety, benefits, and pay. Unions and management never evolved beyond those years of negotiations over life and death issues. Product prices and arrogance rose to a level where the American consumer lost faith and loyalty. Why should they buy American Made when their wages were not where near the level of Corporate Executives or Union Employees? Many bought foreign cars simply because it was all they could afford. Foreign carmakers held prices down, and moved quality up. Foreign carmakers gave the American consumers what they asked for. GM, Ford, and Chrysler gave us what the corporations wanted us to have.

I have a 1999 GMC Safari Van in the driveway, along with a 2006 Chevy Cobalt, and a 1997 GEO Metro made with Japanese parts in Canada. With gasoline at $3.50 a gallon, the GEO gets most of the use today.
What do we need to do? For starters, it would not hurt for GM, Ford, and Chrysler to ASK the American Consumers what we want, and then brainstorm with the unions a way to give it to us.

Thanks for listening.


James A. Zachary Jr.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Archive from May 19, 2007

Entry for May 19, 2007

So it will soon begin, yet another chapter. July will capture my 55th birthday, and an "early" retirement shortly thereafter. It would seem that with 34 years in the same business, with 30 consecutive years with the same employer, the word "early" would not apply. Since retirement age is usually thought of as "60 something,” most would consider my situation a true early retirement. I often felt it would not be early enough. My Social Security records have me paying benefits since I was 15; 40 years in the work force. I had been working since age 12 but paid nothing to Social Security before age 15. Not a bad sum, 43 working years out of 55.

Financially retirement should work out. I have always felt credit card debt to be one of the great obstacles to financial security. To me a credit card is a tool, a free loan that must be paid in full at the end of each month. Instead of me paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to card companies, they pay me at least a few hundred dollars each year in rebates. My pension should be adequate. Hopefully the savings and investments will not be needed for living expenses.

The official moment I leave my employer will be August 3, 2007. The last page of this chapter will turn at the end of that day. Hoping for many crisp new empty pages to fill. The website is up; the horizon holds enough freelance work to keep me sane, my health is not too bad. Life is what it is, and the time to move on is near.

Thanks for listening.

James A. Zachary Jr.