Monday, October 26, 2009

Please press four

I had heard the flack about a certain bank giving free ATM cards to illegal aliens back a year or so ago, but didn't think much about it until this morning.
I had to call their customer service for a debit card problem, and got the usual phone menus. You know -- "Press One for English" etc etc. All seemed pretty straightforward and common until I got to a sub-menu that rattled off a few more choices, including: "Press Four to send money to Mexico"

I kid you not!

At least the message was in English ...

But then again, If I pressed one for English at the beginning, why ask me later on if I want to send money to Mexico? Besides, I don't even know anyone in Mexico that would be asking me to send them money, so who the heck? There is a retired psychotherapist I went to school with, who moved down there after retirement, but he wouldn't be needing my help. I mean, the exchange rate still favors him, doesn't it? Gee -- I hope whoever it was is okay. Maybe NAFTA would help ...

Oh well, if it was all that critical they would have put it higher up on the menu -- maybe a two or three.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Have we let him go too far?

This is an alarming speech, whatever your position on the global warming debate.

More at

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Been Busy!

It's coooold here! Got the woodstove going, but it's not helping upstairs, where we have no heat at all. I've always enjoyed it, but the last few years it's been a bit much.

We've been putting up applesauce this past week, and finished up with 36 pints today. Still have a bushel of apples left, so I may make another batch of apple butter, with a new recipe I've been wanting to try. Dorie does most of the sauce, and I help turn the food mill and help her fill the jars, but she does most of the work on it. Now we've got (24) 3/4 quart, and (40) pint jars of good homemade applesauce on the shelves down cellar, along with tomatoes, peaches, beets, pickles, jellies, etc etc. A friend wants me to post a picture of it all here -- maybe I will, after I get it straightened out.

I saw a very interesting (and welcome) sight the night before last. I got home aroung 930, and pulled in the upper driveway to go around the barn, and saw a pair of gray foxes! We have red foxes all the time, but the grays have been really scarce, and I haven't seen one in probably 20 years. But there they were -- two really pretty ones. They froze for a few seconds in the headlights, long enough for me to get a good look at them. They appeared to be healthy enough, with nice thick coats and bright eyes. Looked fat and ready for winter.
I hope they stay out of sight of the hunters. I hunt, but there's no reason to shoot one of those beauties!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bamalympics! (a Monday extra)

Presenting – the ‘BHOlympics!

Our Commander-in-grie ... er .. chief has ignited games fever all around the world, and we ought to take advantage of it before the iron cools.

I know he has more important things to contemplate right now, so lets assume a full standing position for a while, and come up with a few suggestions – and appropriate venues – for a round of games that will put our sorry shambles of a country back on the international map.

We need to use every possible means to make these games as non-confrontational as possible, so that extremely sensitive persons need not fear. For example, those nations with a nasty capitalistic philosophy, or a disagreeable attitude toward global warming will be handicapped accordingly, and taxed where applicable, in order to enable less fortunate nations/states/cities/’hoods to compete on an even playing field.

Furthermore, insensitive words such as ‘accountability’, ‘morality’, ‘work’, ‘responsibility’, or ‘integrity’, along with any other words or expressions deemed politically unacceptable by a yet-to-be-appointed Games Czar,(Jimmy Carter is on the short list) must not be used. Nor will expressions of patriotism be acceptable, as we do not want to be seen as creating a hostile environment for those rogue nations who will be invited and encouraged to attend.

Additional rules and penalties will be inserted in the final draft of this proposal – after it is voted on and passed – as deemed necessary and advisable by said Games Czar, with advice and counsel from Rev Wright, E. Emmanuel, B. Ayers, et al.

As to format of the games, the “Yes We Can!” logo will be displayed prominently, supported on pillars constructed from the blocks of crushed and twisted metal which are the remains of the Cash for Clunkers program.

Instead of polluting the environment and wasting precious natural resources by lighting an extremely inefficient torch, a single Compact Flourescent Bulb, powered by solar panels during the day, and a bicycle-powered generator at night will be used to open the ceremonies. China has agreed to provide this light (and the bicycle and rider) in honor of their promise to look into alleged human rights violations “real soon now.”

Flags used in the processionals during the opening and closing ceremonies must all be the same size and color, in order to avoid discrimination and embarrassment.

Medals will be identical for all contestants, and the awards podium will be at one level for all. Again, this will foster harmony, and engender a spirit of unity overall. Instead of a national flag and anthem, a 12 meter by 15 meter picture of the games’ founder – Barack Hussein Obama – will be permanently displayed, and “We Are The World” or “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” will be played.

And to especially honor the games’ founder, extra points will be awarded in every event for those who devise a new way to apologize for his or her country.
[insert appropriate deity here] knows we all could stand to apologize more!

Suggested Games:

A preliminary list of games is in place, but additional suggestions will be considered, based on their adherence to the established rules. The list follows:

1) Visually Challenged leading the Visually Challenged. – persons with extreme tunnel vision (or with blinders to simulate tunnel vision) will attempt to negotiate a straight line route from dumpster to mansion, symbolizing the promised fulfillment of unrealized hopes, dreams, and promises made to millions during the Great Campaign of 2008. To lend more reality to the symbolism, able-bodied people who have, and are already demonstrating that they can carry their own loads will be dragged onto the course and forced to pick up and carry bodily all contestants to the finish line (and to wherever else they demand to be carried).
2) The great resource-waster demolition event, where contestants will use sledgehammers to crush and destroy any vehicles or appliances that escaped the Cash for Clunkers program. A second phase will award extra points to those who can wrest enough cash from those who have it only because they earned it, and use it to smother the emissions from the smokestacks of factories in this country where those despised “M*de in Am*r*ca” items are still being manufactured. (Asterisks used here to avoid offending sensitive persons.)
3) Race to the Provider – Formerly illegal immigrants, now made citizens by executive order, will race against the elderly to see who can get to the doctor’s office and pharmacy first. In deference to age and disability, there will be 3 and 5 minute head-starts for those in wheelchairs and on crutches. Points will be deducted for tripping anyone with a cane. *** The latter is still open to interpretation as to whether it means “tripping someone by use of a cane”, or “tripping someone who is using a cane.” This case is expected to come up before our Supreme Court during our leader’s third term.
4) The “Cross the River and Over the Fence” race, in which contestants will make a dash across a simulated Rio Grande, climb over a simulated fence (which may or may not be in place at any given time or place) and lose themselves in the vast, free-for-all paradise which is Am*r*ca. (Again – asterisks used to avoid offence) Additional points will be awarded for previous deportees, those carrying AK-47s, and those who make it straight to an Emergency Room or Maternity Ward.
5) The “Throw Money at it Until it Goes Away” event, in which unlimited stacks of money will be procured at government printing houses, and piled on top of other moneys that are slowly sinking into giant sink holes on Wall Street, and Washington DC, as well as various state capitols (mainly blue states) and left-leaning non-profit organizations around the world. Extra points are awarded here, for anyone who can manage to throw a compatriot under the bus while doing so.
6) Finally, the Accelerated Vote race, in which points are awarded based on the speed with which one casts a vote in the affirmative for any of the administration’s proposals. Points will be awarded in several categories, with the most points going to those who vote “Yea” for anything connected with health care reform. Extra points are awarded for those who show the most enthusiasm!

And remember – 1000 extra points will be awarded in every event to anyone who can score while making someone – especially GW Bush, Ronald Reagan, or Hilary Clinton – in a previous administration look extremely bad.

We are sure that there are more games that could be added to this proposal. Feel free to do so.

(c) howard tuckey
October, 2009

Fall chores

Well, I got the garlic planted yesterday afternoon -- 250+ sets, mostly hardneck. May put more in this week, if it stays dry. I do want to put up a few jars of pickled (with hot peppers) garlic, and that takes a lot more.

My fall radishes are coming along nicely, but the broccoli didn't come to the party -- not a sprout! I was never much of a fan for direct seeding broccoli anyway.

I got 24 half-pints of apple butter canned on Saturday, but it's not a thick as I like it -- should have cooked it down another few hours or so. Good flavour though.

Today I need to cut some more firewood. Our stove is 16" wide, and the stack of seasoned red oak is mostly cut to 18-19" so it doesn't fit. No way I'm complaining, though -- the stove was given to me, as was the load of firewood. It really warms the house nicely on these chilly evenings. We do have a larger stove, that my son-in-law is going to refurbish with new gasket, paint, etc. It takes 18-20" wood, and should hold a fire overnight. Also has a flat top, good for a kettle on top to keep the stew hot.

Sun's up, and things are starting to dry off, so I'm outta here!