Monday, October 22, 2012

Whether you are PROBAMA or NOBAMA, do not expect the other side to stay home during this election.


Today was the first day of early voting in these parts and all I can say is “WOW!”  Today’s turnout was awesome despite a cold rain.  It was so exciting that I went to the polls TWICE today.  Well, actually my first trip went flat when, after standing in line for a half-hour, I discovered that I had forgotten my reading glasses and had to return home to get them.

In all of the years since my first vote, I have never seen such an army of citizens charging to a polling place as I witnessed today; the wealthy, the middle class, and the penury were there in a blend of the young, the old, every skin shade, and every ethnicity you could think of.  Most touching were the folks arriving in wheelchairs or hobbling around with the assistance of canes or walkers.  Today I saw the USA that I have always believed in.  I beheld a multitude of Americans declaring their diverse views with one phrase in a brash voice, “We have skin in this game!”  Today was as all elections should be.  Welcome home, America.  I’ve missed you.  Please stay for a while.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Obama is no longer on the Down Low




When it comes to the Second Amendment, voting is the only time your opinion matters.  You can stomp your feet, you can make threats, you can get Molon Labe tattooed on your face and ass so people see it when you are coming or going, but none of these theatrics amount to a durned thing unless you vote.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

The right to vote for 18-year-old U.S. citizens


The 26th Amendment was a success due to American grassroots hope-and-change politics at its finest.  I lived that ancient history.   I was there.  Things back then were certainly no less contentious than they are today; “politics” does not come from the word “polite.” 

I was older than 18 but younger than 21 during the 1972 Presidential election.  For me, that first vote was a serious obligation; it was also sweet and exciting.  Since then, I continue to feel that voting is an awesome responsibility but, like the thrill of a first kiss, the blush has faded to sepia over the years.  Still, I go in with the attitude that my vote may be the decision maker in a tight election.  Call me delusional, but I feel that our elected federal, state, and local officials are the EMPLOYEES of the citizens and WE control their hiring and removal; they are not the brains for the people, they are the voice of the people.  Voter apathy is the confederate of the corrupt and inept in government; look no further than Illinois for evidence.  If you are looking for a revolution, head on over to the polling place and plant the seed.

At least in this area, early voting starts in about a week and you can count on me being there.  My eyes have glazed over from so many years of reading the pro and con; I have put in my due diligence and I am ready and qualified.  For me, this campaign is over.


Friday, October 5, 2012

First autumn 2012 Chicago area freeze may be tonight



32 F predicted for tonight and again for Sunday night.  The bugs in the yard are already lethargic; yesterday I took this photo of a praying mantis hugging an iron table leg.  The critter was still there today so I took it over to a potted plant and blended it in.  Later I was pulling out some of the spent petunia plants from the front garden and came across a hummingbird moth.  It appreciated the warmth of my hand and did not want to let go.  I nested it into a healthy plant (far away from the mantis).  Later I saw the moth go airborne only to attract the attention of a late season robin.  Even as cold and lethargic as it was, the moth easily looped the determined robin and took sanctuary in a fully leafed scarlet dogwood bush.  In the back yard, blue jays were flitting from bush to tree and back again, feasting on the sluggish insects while rabbits ventured about, unconcerned with the yearling red-tailed hawk screaming from the nearby woods.

Without a doubt, I am still that little kid from so many years gone by, adventuring in the wonderful world of nature that exists in the tiny yard where I play. 

The iPhone 5 may be my next purchase


Jeez, I can be such a durned cheapskate.  The purchase of an iPhone is a major financial decision for me.  Then again, my retirement income and savings inspires frugality; I never buy anything unless I can afford to pay the credit card in full each month AND keep all the items in my budget on target.  Sometimes eating something from the McDonald’s dollar menu is a major decision.  On the rare occasion that I find the budget carrying a significant surplus, I send extra money to pay down the mortgage, which is my sole debt.  In six years or so, I hope to be free of that obligation.  

Perhaps by the end of this year or shortly thereafter I will make the leap of faith and get that iPhone.  Of all the functions possessed by the new breed of smart-phones, most of all I need a new digital camera.  The old behemoth digital camera I used for most of the gun-photos on this site long ago bit the dust and I have been trying to live with the poorer photos from the camera on my cheap cell phone.  The photo abilities of the iPhone look to be quite an improvement and I expect it to be everything that my lack of talent can use.

Until then, the photo quality at this blog will continue to be equal to or below the quality of the photo below.  It is supposed to show the brick sidewalk I have been working on that will connect the front patio to the rear patio.  I cannot afford to pay professionals to do the hardscape that I want to grace my postage-stamp size yard so I have been hauling in and installing the rocks, gravel, and bricks myself, a few tons each year.  No completion date is within view.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My physical exam yesterday went rather well.


In hindsight, it all seems somewhat spooky.  It had been over 2.5-years (January 2009) since my last physical and the doctor did not chew me out for waiting so long.  I also had long quit taking the blood pressure and cholesterol pills (since when the prescriptions expired), and he did not even mention it. 

It might have helped that yesterday I weighed in at 195 with my boots off and clothes on, which was 25-lbs. less than what I tipped his official scale at during my last visit.  Further, my un-medicated blood pressure was now 110 over 82, which is not bad for any wheezy 60-year-old geezer.  He also seemed pleased that I had abstained from smoking for 4-years; he was genuinely unconcerned that I was still addicted to nicotine gum.  I had him check a lump on my left side (between the skin and ribcage near where I earlier suffered broken ribs), which he pronounced as a lipoma and not something to be concerned about. He asked about my level of physical activity and was pleased with my answers.  He did the requisite prostate and junk exam and then had the nurse draw blood and jab me with tetanus, flu, and pneumonia vaccines.

This morning I got the call from his office about my blood test; everything is normal and no follow-up visit or medications are required.

Well, so far so good.  Maybe those health pundits are right about weight loss and habitual exercise.    There are a limited number of pages left on my life’s calendar so I guess I better keep working on making the best of them.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Bernanke is now channeling famous dead economists for support.



President Bush (the second) appointed him in 2006, which IMHO was a dumb move.  President Obama reappointed him in 2010, which IMHO was an even dumber move; I was HOPING for a CHANGE.  Presidential contender Mittens Romney says he would not reappoint Bernanke in 2014, which I find rather endearing (Obama has not offered his stance on Bernanke’s future).