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Archive for March, 2009

Over the weekend our U.S. government showed one of it’s hole cards in the high stakes game it’s been playing with the automotive manufactures. Unfortunately for Rick Wagoner his hole cards were a pair of eights and came up short when aces appeared on the table.

Never Sit With Your Back To The Door.

Never Sit With Your Back To The Door.

 To require the resignation of Rick Wagoner CEO of  GM and suggest that Chrysler has to merge with Fiat before either receives any additional funding, is dragging this government closer to some type of fascist/interventionism; neither of which bodes well for a free market economy. We never saw any CEOs  from AIG or Goldman Sachs resign as a condition of their bailout, what’s up with that? I thought crap like that only happened in The Godfather or The Sopranos! I wonder how the bank CEOs that received TARP monies are sleeping now that they have a new “business” partner. Apparently the market didn’t think too highly of the actions taken by the Obama Administration either, taking a little 250 point dip in the Dow Jones Industrial Toxic Cesspool.

Does anybody have any confidence in our administration? With the bait and switch mentality we’ve seen coming out of congress, I can understand the jitters that many businesses are feeling. The old line  “I’ll make ’em a deal they can’t refuse”, would have me looking under the satin sheet too!  Khartoum!

Talk to you later.

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Tomorrow dinner is going be with Alice and Lenny, it’s been a while since our last visit, I think  we are past due. A couple of months ago I promised to make a French Onion Soup for them and the much anticipated date has arrived. I’m not trying to turn this into a Rachel Ray, Paula Deen greatest hits but, this soup is really good. It takes about four pounds of onions and 4 hours to make, but well worth the effort.

My mother was a very good cook, the food was always good tasting, but not necessarily good for you. Her family tree had a bit of a French flair to it. This meant plenty of butter in the pie crusts and why use 1% when half and half would make it taste that much better. I have memories of when I was young, going to large holiday dinners at my Grandmother’s house. The amount of food was like something from a Norman Rockwell, Saturday Evening Post illustration. It was not unusual to see three or four Nesco Roasters parked end to end; like white steaming box cars, from a derailed train. Each lid was set slightly eschew to accomidate a serving spoon. Under the lids you could find baked beans with chunks of salted pork, lasagna, roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, these were considered the main dishes.

Then came the salads, in my family a salad did not require anything leafy, to qualify a dish for a “salad rating” it only need contain a fruit or a carrot in it or on it. The closest thing to greens at those dinners was the lime green Jello with the julienned carrots mixed in.

Lime Jello with carrots.

Lime Jello with carrots.

Dishes like;  Raspberries In Snow, Pistachio Whip, and some kind of  Macaroni Salad with tuna, peas and  Miracle Whip Salad dressing in it, cherished family recipes: (found under the label of any tub of Cool Whip or jar of Miracle Whip Salad Dressing.) were the norm. The dinner was always served with plastic spoons and paper plates, doubled up mind you, but not Chinet it was too expensive. One of the greatest challenges for this paper plate banquet was keeping the Raspberries In Snow from melting into the baked beans, a real dilemma. 

The desserts were the showcase of the meal, this is were the Aunts, my Mother and Grandmother pulled out all the stops. Seven or eight pies, with two or three different cakes, to avoid the tainting of the desserts you were allowed the use a clean paper plate. If you walked out of Grandma’s house, without feeling pain there was something seriously wrong. A true heart attack on a plate event.

 When I first met my wife and sampled the “Jewish” cuisine I was taken back a bit. I knew it was edible, I saw people eating it! Understand that the taste buds of the French non-Jew and the European Jew are very different. Onions fried in chicken fat, matzo meal dumplings in a diluted chicken broth, pureed chicken livers with boiled eggs and onions, and the well known bagel with cream cheese and lox. Dessert they did okay, cheesecake. Over the years, I have developed a taste for my wife’s ethnic crockery and I look forward to matzo brei for breakfast during Passover, and Break The Fast at Yom Kippur is a time when I can count on some honest to goodness chopped liver, (made from lentils because G-d forbid the real thing could clog your arteries! )

Two of these should do it!

Two of these should do it!

I miss my mother, and her arteries be damned style of cooking. I see it as a lost art among today’s younger population. All too worried about whether the cholesterol in that cream puff, or a deep dished Peanut Butter Cream Pie, is going to cause a clogging of the pipes. Let your hair down young people whatever the food, a little indulgence is good for the soul.

Talk to you later

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Five inches, that was Denver’s blizzard of the year! Arguably there were parts of town that received larger snow totals, but in my neighborhood that was about it. This afternoon the sun was out, the streets were dry, and the snow was doing some major melting.

I want to talk about the free trade market, primarily the Asian Market.

The Chinese import market will never have to worry about their foreign revenue , this based largely on the crap I see coming into my house. The other night while gazing, and aiming into the toilet bowl, lid raised, I spotted it. On the back of the water closet was a box for The Disposable  Razor Blade Sharpener, made in China clearly printed on the box. First of all why on earth would you want to sharpen dull disposable razor blades, these are designed to be disposed of when they get dull! Hell, I’m going to spend more on batteries for this damn thing, than I would for a new set of blades. The box was empty nothing but the operating instructions in it, the device likely hidden away in the lower drawer of the vanity. While I’m looking for this new miracle money saver, I noticed an old set of disposables in the trash basket. I query, “If we have a new Disposable Razor Blade Sharpener then why is this set of old blades in the dust bin?” After I’ve finished dropping the lid on the toilet bowl, I remove the operating instructions from the cardboard box that housed this marvel of Chinese gadgetry, batteries not included. The instructions in both English and Spanish, Spanish? describe the procedures to sharpen your very own disposable razor blades, allowing you to save money. On the second page yes there were two pages not counting the Spanish instructions, the manufacturer noted that for best results the razor blades should not be allowed to get dull! Now I understand why the old blades were in the dust bin! I rifle through the lower drawer of the vanity and find the razor blade sharpener that is going to save me all this money, as long as I don’t use it on dull blades. I push a button that activates the rotating abrasive roller. The sound echoes off the walls of the bathroom like a cicadia in July, or maybe some kind of industrial sized vibrator. The buzzing noise startled me so badly that I dropped the sharpener. Thank God I had closed the lid on the toilet, after ricocheting off the lid it ends up in the trash bin. I should have probably left it there.

If you spot this in the bathroom, run!

If you spot this in the bathroom, run!

No, being the good supportive spouse I stashed the Disposable Razor Blade Sharpener, batteries not included, back where I had found it. I exited the bathroom felt my way through the darkness of the bedroom and crawled into bed, I couldn’t resist making one comment, “So it only works if you use it on sharp blades?” a quite little giggle makes its way over to my side of the bed. “Yeah, but.”

So to the collection of what the hell was she thinking  “The Disposable Razor Blade Sharpener” will join, “The Doggy Toe Nail Grinder”. “Your dog will love it!”…”Yeah, only if he’s been hit by a truck first”, and “The Space Saving Closet Hanger and Organizer” … “You can hang 10 men size shirts in the space that it would take to hang 15 men size shirts!” My only regret is that I probably don’t get to see the really stupid gadgets, those that my wife returns before I get a chance to see the true ingenuity and genuis put into something that cost .25 cents to produce and billed out for $14.95 plus shipping and handling. God I love that woman.

Talk to you later.

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The weather has taken this opportunity to reminded the people of Denver that although it may be spring, winter can still strike the Rockies well into May. The ranchers and farmers welcome  the moisture and I enjoyed the early out from work, the two hour drive home I could have done without. Right now the dogs are driving me crazy running in and out of the house, reminding me of little children with a winters worth of pent up energy.  

Lily, enjoying the snow.

Lily, enjoying the snow.

Lily and Hazel, seem to get recharged when ever we get any kind of snow. They ask to be let out side every three minutes, attempting to chase down the squirrels. It appears to be some sort of elaborate game they play, which would come to a tragic end if either of those two dogs managed to catch one of those rats with fluffy tails.

 Hazel the smaller of the two, has a killer instinct and on more than one occasion has sampled birds, mice, and a young squirrel for lunch. Served with a nice Chianti I hear they are quite delicious.   Lily the larger of the two out weighs Hazel by about 60 pounds but is about as timid as a mouse, afraid of her own shadow. She is also a bit neurotic, for about three months straight she chewed on one of her toes. We tried about everything known to man and dog to treat it but she would not stop. It  got so bad that eventually we had to have the toe surgically removed. I know it sounds a bit rough but  the chewing has stopped and she seems much happier.

The schools are closed, the city seems to be in lock down and I think we got a total of 5 inches. The winds are what were causing the most concern blowing at about 15-20 miles per hour. That and the fact they never got the plows out! I still think they have overreacted. Denverites have several different names describing the weather phenomena responsible for our snow storms. The larger the snow fall the better the name. Buffalo, New York has their “Lake Affect Snow”. But try to top names like  “The Artic Express” and “Up Slope” with my favorite  “An Albuquerque Low.” Denver traditionally has never been very good with large amounts of snow fall. When the snow fall starts hitting 8 – 10 inches the city goes into panic mode. Natives blame it on too many people from Southern California or Texas, who don’t know how to drive in the snow. In part that is true, but the bigger problem is a city government that never gets the snow plows out in time to get ahead of the deepening  accumulations. Denver mayoral races have been won and lost over how well the incumbent handled the “blizzard of the century.” The year my wife and I were married December 1982,  Denver was hit by a truely large snow storm. The day before we were to be married Denver received about 26 inches of snow. The mayor’s solution to this crisis was to use garbage trucks to pack down the snow on the side streets. For weeks people were trying to navigate through 12 inch deep ice ruts, destroying wheel alignments and tie rods, even riping out the occasional oil pan. The joke around Denver was that mayor later became transportation secretary for the Clinton administration and the country.

So tomorrow maybe a bust depending what the snow depth is heading north. If the plows get out tonight it won’t be too bad. Be safe.

Talk to you later.

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What a lazy day, my wife wants me to go to the gym, I want to lay around and do well….nothing. I think I’ll end up doing neither. Paint chips appear to be on the itinerary today, the house needs to be repainted this year, and so the process begins. There is nothing simple about selecting a paint color for a house, at least not when women are involved. For a man, brown is brown, white is white, and who ever heard of Sun Ripened Straw!

Today, we’re given too many choices. The food we eat, the music we listen to. When was the last time you tried to find the phone number of a restaurant in a Yellow Pages Phone Book? First you will need to locate the correct phone book; is it A through K, or L through Z?Restaurant,  M-Z … got it. Is it in Northwest or Southeast Metro?… Southeast…got it! Next, what type of food does this restaurant serve?  Mexican, Italian, Ethiopian, Vegetarian…. once you figure out that steak is in the American Food Section you find the number and dial. 

I just want the number!

I just want the number!

To make sure your service experience is complete, you hear the following voice recording “Please press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish”,… ” I press 1. …”Press 1 for our business hours, or 2 for our business location, or you may stay on the line to speak directly to the hostess.” I choose the third option, and wait… and wait.. When I do hear a voice, I think I’ve misdialed and I’ve  reached Mitzi’s Gum Emporium and Juvenile Lock Up. I’m now trying to talk  to a 15 year old, the Gum Emporium’s product tester. She has a vocabulary of 58 words, none of them more than two syllables long, and the two syllable word is a hyphenated,  uh-huh!  I give up, restaurant food is too expensive, and with the heart burn I’ve got by now, who could eat!

My son has called and it sounds like he will be coming over a little later. Maybe I can choose what’s behind curtain number three, and go for a walk around the wet lands. Those paint chips will be there next weekend, and the gym, I will hit that at 5:30 tomorrow morning. That’s him at the door.

I have returned from the days activities. My son and I got a short walk in, during the walk we saw 6 mud turtles sunning themselves on some rocks out in the middle of a small pond. These guys have the right idea. “Paint chips, we don’t need no stinking paint chips!” Oh.. to have a brain the size of a walnut, and no opposable thumbs! The life of men could be made much easier if they lacked that damn thumb. Hammers, paint brushes, and trimming shears would be out of the question. Equip us with a detachable one for the important things in life like; fishing, hunting, and giving our buddy the big thumbs up! When we returned from the walk I use my opposable digit to change a flat tire on my service truck, my day of doing nothing is turning into a bust. I help myself to two adult beverages after changing the flat tire and I enjoy a nice late lunch.

The paint chips are now a distant memory. As the late afternoon winds down I feel as if I’m home free. Like lightning striking a tree, the words Lowes, and paint department, jolt me back to the moment. The numbing blur of the two micro brews for lunch are clearing from my head. I am  unable escape the charms of this flirtatious enchantress. “The castle needs painting honey, we need to pick colors.”  I attempt a valiant rebuttal. “But”… is my feeble attempt at a response.  Her lower lip protrudes ever so slightly. I’m dead meat. “Okay.. lets go.” I think a mocha base color, with a chocolate cream for the trim is in fashion this year.  

 Talk to you later.

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“Round up your pitch forks and rakes, some body get me a rope and don’t forget to light those torches guys, we’re gonna storm the Banks and git us some CEO’s!”

"Let's storm the Castle!"

"Let's storm the Castle!"

 With Senator Charles Schumer (D – New York) leading the charge we can take our political system back to, oh…how about Europe 1938. Have these idiots lost their minds? These morons are the clowns that put the Bailout Bill together. Remember October 2008?   “If this bill isn’t passed we will see the total collapse of our economic system.” Buried in this bill was the language that gave AIG the power to offer up these “retainer bonuses”. Didn’t you guys read the bill? Apparently 74 of you didn’t. And who was, it that put those little perks in there? “Not I.” said Chris Dodd,… “Not me.” said Tim Geithner,…””It wasn’t me.” sputtered Barney Frank. They’re doing more story spinning  up  there, than a bunch of drunken laureates at a  Borders Book Signing Party.  

 

Then there’s those famous words from the right side of the isle. “Do the right thing,…  like in Japan, bow low, ask for forgiveness, resign, and fall on the sword” “Are you frickin kidding me?” 

I'd say the pile was adout that big!

I'd say the pile was about that big!

Apparently not only do they grow corn in Iowa, they also breed their share of Elmer Fudds too! Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). Managed to insert both of his size 12’s into his mouth, then marched around like a rooster for a while, only to discover that he had been following the elephants in the parade…very tasty. If it wasn’t so frightening it would be funny. The scary part is the house has now voted 328-93 to impose a 90% tax on the “retainer bonuses” of the CEOs.  So…how many  politicians does it take to destroy a government?  Only 278… the other 50 couldn’t find the “Nay” button!!  Do I applaud the bonuses that the AIG CEO’s received?…”Hell no.”  Am I pissed off about the money that seemly went into individuals pockets?… “Yeah, who wouldn’t be.” 

All the same, a contract, is a contract, and you damn well better read the fine print before you sign on the dotted line. Taxation to cover up government ignorance, or punish corporate arrogance is wrong. The greater fear I have is that these two buffoons have stoked up enough  anger and rage to incite some nut job, to seek out justice against these CEOs, or worse their families. At that point our country will have surely lost it’s way.

Talk to you later.

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I knew it!… I knew it!…I knew it!

 The minute I stopped the contribution to my 401-K, the market would rebound. If it wasn’t for my momentary blink, that hard swallow signifying the loss of nerve, the United States would continue it’s slide into that abyss of economic ruin. Nope, I’ve been excommunicated from the pews of the no guts, no glory house of worship. I’ll be forever wallowing in the muck and mire of the should’a, could’a, would’a, with the rest of the gutless Janes and Joes, who just couldn’t hack it. I guess the rest of you glory hounds can thank me later.

The Colorado State Senate has picked up the SB-170 bill again. I thought that thing was going to die in some  fiscal study committee…no way! Guess again, Rep Joe Miklosi is now sponsoring the bill that would give in-state tuition to illegal aliens. Some of his rhetoric was almost laughable, provided I could have overcome the pain from the broken crown in my mouth; caused by the the tightening of my jaw while I listened to his bovine waste fill the air waves.

You've got to be kidding me!

You've got to be kidding me!

 “It will create new jobs,” …”It will bring in new tax revenue.”… “The burden on the state will be far less than the taxes it brings in.” The excrement was so deep in the cab of my truck, my foot nearly slipped off the brake as I was waiting for the light to turn green! It’s maddening at the very least, as they attempt to rewrite the state legislation to circumvent federal laws all ready in place. These clowns don’t get it! Using the term undocumented, rather than illegal does not change the fact, this person broke our federal laws and is here illegally. They are lowering the average wages of the American blue collar worker, and overwhelming the safety net put in place for American citizens who don’t have the means to get health care.  My only hope is that these jokers will come to their senses. They need to realize what a disaster this  legislation could bring to our state, as well as  making  it harder for Colorado children of American citizens who do apply for in-state college tuition. If this passes it will be a crime.

Talk to you later.

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