Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stormy weather keeps shuttle away

A bit of nasty weather in this little corner of heaven today prevented the space shuttle Endeavour from landing over at Cape Canaveral.

So, it had to put down in the California desert, and Central Florida missed-out on those window-rattling twin sonic booms we've come to know and love so well.

It seems the only thing that went right with this mission was the spectacular night launch I blogged about in this dryer some 16 days ago.

After that, one of the seven astronauts lost a $100,000 toolbag in a spacewalk.

Anyway, if ye socks are interested, you can track the orbit of said toolbag at this website:

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

45-15 mudder at Joke Shambles

It used to get quite tense around this little corner of heaven this time of year, as the Gators and Noles squared-off to earn the annual bragging rights.

The shine has come off the rivalry lately, though, as FSU clings to the outdated gamebook of The Lumbering Dinosaur.

Still, it's always good to serve it up to the formerly-cocky Nole fans, especially on their home turf.

The boys in Orange and Blue certainly did that this afternoon, despite all the rain and the slippery playing field.

The first half was pretty interesting with both teams marching down the field and scoring with just about every possession . . . though the Gators got touchdowns and the Noles only got field goals.

Then, just before halftime, the Noles got foolish and sacrificed a short field goal to attempt a trick play, and the Gator D shut them down.

The second half was all Tim Tebow. He put up 265 yards . . . that's 23 more than the entire Nole offense! 185 of those yards were from passing (12 for 21, 3 TD's and ZERO int's). The rest were rushing yards on 16 carries. He is clearly "the man," and made a serious case for a repeat Heisman.

Meanwhile, the Noles were desperately switching-out QB's. Their starter Ponder apparently got injured. So, they tried to mix things up by alternately substituting their 2nd and 3rd stringers Weatherford and Richardson . . . all to no avail.

The result was a 30-point Gator victory over what was supposedly the #20 team in the nation.

The only cause for concern was Percy Harvin's apparent ankle injury. We'll have to monitor that as UF gears-up for the bigger challenge of Alabama in next week's SEC championship game up in Atlanta.


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Friday, November 28, 2008

Not-so-black Friday

I don't know if ye socks can make out the words on the postcard in this picture, but they proclaim "HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!"

It makes those of us fortunate enough to indeed be home this Thanksgiving weekend remember all those who cannot make the same claim . . . particularly those in uniform who ensure every day that we enjoy liberties like this.

So, I'm really savoring it this year by not leaving the house to participate in the commericalized madness in the malls.

Instead, I've put up ye olde Christmas tree and pulled down all the boxes of ornaments, etc., from the attic.

It's beginning to look like Santa's workshop around here . . . not so much "Black" Friday as it is "Red and Green" Friday!


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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

Actually, in this little corner of heaven, it was HAM and all the trimmings day . . .

The trimmings were stuffing (with some dried cranberries added to make it "pop"), collard greens with onions and grated cheese, a carrot souffle (spelling?!), and smashed potatos.

Dessert was an overstuffed Dutch apple pie with a crumbly golden crust.

As soon as this feast was semi-digested and we were able to waddle to the car, a trip up to Apopka was in order.

We had an invitation from Valda and Howard of Jenks Manor to partake of their turkey. They thought it unacceptable to go the entire day without at least a bite of the bird . . . but, I will admit here it was the deviled eggs and the lemon pound cake that really got me to make the drive up there . . . well, that and the good company of course!

I hope all ye socks enjoyed feasts of your own today. We all have so much to be thankful for, don't we?!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

RIP Princeton Diner

I am sad to report to ye socks that today will be the last time to patronize the venerable Princeton Diner at Edgewater and Par in College Park.

It's not for a lack of business, as any of you who frequent the place will already know.

No, this is a case of a government taking. The Orange County School Board is forcing the owners out of business so they can expand the adjacent Edgewater High School.

I'm not saying it's a good thing or a bad thing, just a foreshadowing of things to come. As The Tragedy in Waiting threatens to usher in a new era of big government, I imagine a lot more than diners are going to be taken out of the hands of the private sector . . .

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Meme & Tag

OK, ye socks, I have been tagged by my friend Judith in an online Thanksgiving game started by our mutual friend Julie.

Now that I'm "it," I'm supposed to give two reasons why I'm thankful this year, and then tag another blogger.

So, here goes . . .

1. My family. I'm thankful my Mayflower ancestors had the courage to make that historic voyage to graft our branch of the family tree onto American soil. They and every one of the succeeding generations all the way down to my little niece and nephew have been and are a continuing blessing.

2. My health. I'm thankful not to be burdened with any chronic illness or impairment. I could be in better shape, 'tis true. Maybe, I'll make a New Year's resolution to work on that . . . but for now let's focus on the holiday at hand!

Finally, I do hereby tag my high school classmate Michelle! Ha, ha! You're it! No tags back!!

I can be so childish during the holiday season, no?!

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Mom's birthday dinner

So, a small group of us got together to mark the occasion by checking out this restaurant that I drive by all the time and vow to visit but never have.

Actually, I have a laundry list of such places since moving to the new neighborhood. But, the one in question this evening was PAXIA at 2611 Edgewater Drive.

It was a little too chilly to enjoy the patio, so we went inside and really got a kick out of the over-the-top Mexican decor and the not-so-subtle mariachi music they were piping into the dining room.

The menu was far-too-subtle, no description of the dishes being offered. This handicapped at least one person at our table, who simply wanted a chimichanga or something similar to it. The waitress recommended the flautas with a couple of special modification requests to the chef.

The birthday girl spotted an interesting chicken entree with a cocoa sauce, probably the most exotic dish brought to our table. Yours truly stuck with the enchiladas suizas.

To hold us over til the food arrived, we ordered some queso fundido as an appetizer. It was great. But, they only gave us three tortillas, a definite handicap. And, since the waitress chose that moment to go AWOL, we ended up having to raid the basket of chips she'd left on our table to finish off the queso.

Everyone agreed the entrees were delicious, too . . . if a bit pricey. But, the presentation detracted from the experience. They brought a small bowl of beans and another small bowl of rice to the table, announcing it was being served "family style" and if we wanted more all we had to do was ask. But, this is not a "family style" restaurant, and for the prices they charge they should put everyone's sides on their own plates.

We decided to split a dessert to top off the meal, but were disappointed to discover only two were available: flan or sopapillas. We took the latter, which were served "family style," too. This meant, one big plate of honey-dripping goodness and no smaller individual plates to save the tablecloth. Really turned out to be a mess.

Bottom line: Glad I can scratch this place off my to-do list. But, I don't think I'll be back for dinner until the service and presentation catch up with the prices.

Oh, and happy birthday, Mom!

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Forget the dryer, use the clothesline!

Well, ye socks, we have been enjoying some chamber of commerce type weather in this little corner of heaven over the weekend, which led yours truly to do something I'd vowed never to do again.

Years ago, before I was blessed with a clothes dryer, I had to hang ye olde laundry on a line in the backyard.

The fact that the wind rushing thru the honeysuckle on a nearby fence infused my laundry with some naturally sweet aromas was totally lost on me. I just hated dodging both the bumble bees that frequented the honeysuckle vines and the raindrops that seemed to fall there with greater frequency than any other spot in Central Florida. And, the "bat wings" on my shirts nearly drove me crazy!

Now, however, I have the OPTION of using my handy dandy clothes dryer (in which so many socks have been lost over the years) or the clotheline I discovered in the backyard of my new home. I think it was the lack of options that made using the old clothesline seem like such an onerous burden, not just the bees, rain, and batwings.

The newly discovered clothesline isn't nearly as sophisticated as the old one, as it has just one real pole. The other end of the line is tied to my grapefruit tree!

But, I took a chance this morning and hung a few things on it, to "see if it worked." And, it did! Only, instead of honeysuckle, everything smells faintly citrussy from the grapefruit. (Is citrussy a word?!)

Of course, everything is stiff because clipping fabric softener strips to the line doesn't work. Not that I've tried, of course. That would just be stupid, right?!

Still, I imagine I saved at least a few pennies off next month's utility bill with this little experiment. If the weather holds, I might try it again . . .

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

It ain't over yet, Tech fans.

As the Gators romped over The Citadel today, there was very little left for yours truly to watch in terms of college football than the big match-up between my alma mater and the Oklahoma Sooners.

Unfortunately, things got ugly in Norman tonight. Real ugly. And, real fast.

They whooped us. There's no other way to say it. 65-21. Ouch!

But, hope is still alive, despite the ruination of a perfect season.

Tech's loss leaves a three-way tie in the Big 12 South, and the Sooners still have to face their in-state rival Oklahoma State next weekend. Should they lose there, Tech will still be going to the Big 12 Championship game to face Missouri.

And, if they can beat Mizzou . . . the sky's the limit. I mean, they'd be the 12-1 champs of the conference that has dominated the sports page headlines all season . . . even in this little corner of heaven where the SEC usually reigns supreme.

So, be not faint of heart, my fellow Red Raiders. Keep them guns up, and get ready for some more great football games over the next few weeks.

Oh, and Go Cowboys!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

The End of Prosperity

That's the title of economist Stephen Moore's most recent book on how higher taxes will doom the economy . . . if we let it happen.

Yours truly had the pleasure of spending his lunch hour with Moore here in Orlando today. Thanks to Doug Doudney, the unofficial head of the breakfast bunch, for inviting him to join us as the keynote speaker at the Coalition for Property Rights' fall forum.

Ye socks may have read Moore's frequent columns in The Wall Street Journal or seen him on various talking head shows.

He's really a brilliant guy, and had a lot of interesting anecdotes. But, it was his charts that impressed me most. He had more of them than Ross Perot had on the campaign trail back in 1992. All of which reinforced what I already knew, that the increase in the size of government and the level of taxation soon to be instituted by The Disaster in Waiting will lead to even more economic suffering for all Americans.

Almost couldn't finish my lunch.


But, that's not Moore's fault. I encourage you to check out his book, and get prepared!

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

For the love of Ireland

The 10th edition of the Carnival of Irish History and Culture encouraged bloggers to post on some aspect of Ireland that they particularly love.

I chose Irish literature because the emerald isle has produced so many great writers over so many generations, whose works both transcend time and push the boundaries of the written word as an artform.

Consider a few of these geniuses.

You can look all the way back to Jonathan Swift, who introduced us to Lemuel Gulliver and his travels to Lilliput and beyond.

James Joyce can put your brain thru a wringer with his stream of consciousness and multi-level puns. If you don't believe me, check out Finnegan's Wake.

Or, if you're really looking for a mind-bender, try anything by Samuel Beckett.

Roddy Doyle, a modern playwright, has had his works translated to the big screen. Remember "The Commitments," about the bunch of Irish soul singers?

He's not nearly as controversial as John Millington Synge was "back in the day," though. His work "The Playboy of the Western World" actually sparked riots in Ireland!

I love the moxy of Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, who so objected to being included in an anthology of British writers that he composed this couplet: "Be advised, my passport's green. No glass of ours was ever raised to toast the Queen!"

Of course, everyone on this side of the Atlantic has heard of Frank McCourt, the living legend whose work Angela's Ashes is rightfully taught in our public schools.

And, don't forget Lady Gregory, whose motto should be the vow of all writers: "To think like a wise man, but to express oneself like the common people."

I'm not much one for poetry, but even I have to salute William Butler Yeats for his collection "The Tower."

Most recently, I enjoyed watching the film adaptation of Brian Friel's play "Dancing at Lughnasa." Check it out for yourselves. They carry it at Blockbuster!

Finally, look for one of Edna O'Brien's books. Her writings finally convinced me that women struggle to understand men as much as we struggle to understand them!

Everyone can understand why Irish literature is such a sorce of pride and object of affection, though. Don't you agree?

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

There's no such thing as a free lunch

But, you can get one pretty cheap from Papa John's between now and December 1st.

Our local news outlets told us they would give you a free medium pizza if you became a fan via facebook.

But, as usual, the media left out a couple of important elements of the story:

1. The "free" pizza is cheese only, no other toppings.

2. They will charge you for delivery, but it's only two bucks.

3. You have to spend a minimum of $6.99 (including the above-mentioned delivery fee) before the website will accept your order, so you've got to find something that costs $4.99 or more to get the "free" pizza . . . I recommend the breadsticks.

4. If you've got a conscience, and yes I have one, you'll also have to tip the driver, so you're looking at closer to $10 by the time all is said and done. Still not a bad deal, but definitely not free.

5. You don't have to use the facebook angle at all. Just go to and enter this promo code: PJMEDIUM.

And, now you know the rest of the story!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Magic 103, Raptors 90

For the first time in a long time, yours truly stepped foot inside the Amway Arena in downtown Orlando.

Thanks to the generosity of a member of the breakfast bunch, a group of us had lower bowl seats to watch the home team whoop the guys from Toronto.

Dwight Howard was, as usual, a physical presence. The trio of Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, and Jameer Nelson were also impressive with 22 points a piece.

But, the "feel good story" of the evening was guard J.J. Redick, the former Duke star who has been buried on the bench since joining the team. With the recent injury of Michael Pietrus, he was given his first NBA start and hustled every minute he was on the court . . . much more impressive than his 10 points reflect.

Of course, there were notables off the court, too. That's one of the unadvertized attractions at each Magic game. You can always spot Patrick Ewing on the sidelines with the rest of the Orlando coaching staff, though he hardly resembles the star we all remember from the Knicks' heydays. Owner Rich DeVos was clearly visible in one of the floor level seats. But, try as we might, we couldn't find Tiger Woods across the arena. He may have been there, but our collective eyesight was too poor to spot him.

The most humorous part of the evening was actually a celebrity impersonator. Some guy a couple rows behind us was dressed-up like Will Farrell's character in the recent basketball parody "Semi-Pro." He ended up on the Jumbo Tron almost as much as Stan Van Gundy. Just hillarious.

After a night like this, I may just have to start following the Magic again . . . after college football season, of course.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Awakening a Sleeping Giant

I know.

We have almost a month to go until Pearl Harbor Day.

But, yours truly just started reading a book about that day that will live in infamy.

A more complete review will no doubt appear here in a subsequent post.

I have read far enough, however, to be impressed by how incredibly stupid it was to launch this sneak attack. I'm sure the perpetrators thought they were being oh so crafty, and relished every minute of that day.

It wasn't long, however, before they realized their suckerpunch had done no long term damage. Rather, it had merely served as a wake-up call for a sleeping giant, one that would overwhelm them and force an unconditional surrender on the decks of the Missouri.

This is better than the recent movie!

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

CPNA Historic Homes Tour

Hats off to Jodi Rubin today.

Once again, she organized a very successful Historic Homes Tour in this little corner of heaven.

A lot of interesting people were on hand to make this a memorable event, especially the artists they posted outside each home on the tour.

But, the thing I guess I like most about this annual event is the proceeds are used to sponsor history-related activities in local schools.

Too often we overlook our community heritage in this very busy and very mobile society. So, I thought I'd take some time and space here to salute folks like Jodi and everyone else who participated in today's tour. And, I'm already looking forward to next year's!

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

A launch for the history books

Well, ye socks, today we lucky residents of this little corner of heaven were witness to some space program history: the last scheduled night-time launch of the Space Shuttle.

The shuttle is being scrapped so NASA can move on to bigger and better things, I guess.

I, for one, will miss these night time launches, though.

Even as far away as my front porch here in Orlando, we can see the night time sky take on the glow from the launch pad and watch what looks like a big ball of fire shoot above the tree line as it pushes the shuttle into the stratosphere.

Truly awe inspiring.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Antiques as an economic barometer

Renninger's Antique Mall up in Mount Dora will hold their annual extravaganza this weekend.

And, things aren't looking good.

It seems folks aren't interested in Duncan Phyfe sofas like the one that graces my sleeping porch.

Who can blame 'em?!

In an economic downturn like the one we are experiencing in this little corner of heaven, you have to focus on food, shelter, and clothing.

Antiques are the luxury items of the little guy. They may never be able to buy a yacht, or a mansion, or a fancy foreign sports car. But, those interesting old trinkets at flea markets and swap meets are within reach of just about everybody.

Renninger's admits the number of dealers showing up for this year's extravaganza is down ten-percent.

The attendance and sales numbers will be interesting to see. The event usually draws about 40,000 folks, even if many are "just looking."

If that number is down, as I suspect it might be, it will only confirm standard barometers like the DJIA, NYSE, and NASDAQ.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month

Ye socks who have followed posts in this dryer for any length of time know how Alzheimer's has affected yours truly on a personal level.

My dad died of an early-onset case of this horrible disease last year.

He was only 58 years old.

And, he and we suffered thru three of the most trying years anyone could imagine.

Frighteningly, the incidence of the disease are on the rise--thus the need for an entire month to promote awareness.

Two of the many lessons I learned from my family's battle with the disease:

1. It is not necessarily an inherited illness, though it is hard to identify cases in your family tree because the disease wasn't identified--much less understood--until fairly recent times. In Dad's case, I found two ancestors who probably had it but were assumed to merely be "senile." One was his maternal great-grandfather who died the year Dad was born but, according to contemporary newspaper accounts, "didn't know who he was anymore." The other was a Civil War widow whose children had to fill out her pension application because she "didn't recognize her own family, friends, or neighbors."

2. It is much more than forgetfullness, which is why I hate when AD is classified as a "memory disorder." In truth, it is a COGNITIVE disorder. Far more than a person's memory is affected by the disease. In Dad's case, it started with his vision. He saw things, but couldn't interpret what they meant. Then his verbal skills were impaired. Then, too many other things to mention here.

Be aware of this insidious disease, ye socks. And, if you recognize the symptoms in yourself or someone you know, seek treatment as quickly as possible. There are medications and other treatments available today that weren't around for Civil War widows--or even my dad.

For more info on AD, please visit

(This post made as part of the 60th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.)

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Decline and Fall

Ye socks may not recall Edward Gibbon's famous treatise on why the Roman Empire collapsed, but I've been thinking about it a lot over the last week or so.

Ironically, he wrote it back in 1776, when our grand experiment in democracy began.

Now, as things seem to be unraveling, I wondered if there were any parallels.

Gibbons did a lot of research, and his work is very interesting to read if you're a history buff like yours truly. But, I disagree with his overall thesis, because he points to the rise of Christianity as the trigger for an overall "loss of civic virtue."

According to him, the Romans stopped focusing on building-up the material world around them and started focusing on their individual eternities.


I am much more inclined to accept the explanation put forth by Ludwig von Mises, who believes the Romans collapsed due to bad economic policies:

* They allowed their currency to drop in value, much like we have debased the dollar in recent years.

* They instituted price controls that led to a shortages in consumer goods, kinda like what we've experienced with fuel.

* The shortages caused people to worry about mere subsistence instead of expanding markets, just like a lot of ye socks have reduced the number of miles you add to the odometer of your SUV's.

* And, finally they instituted an arbitrary system of taxation that punished trade and discouraged innovators, frighteningly similar to what The Disaster in Waiting has promised to do after January 20th.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Armistice Day came too late for Ben Brown

As today is Veteran's Day, a trip to nearby Greenwod Cemetery was in order to pay my respects to my dad and the many other service men and women who rest there.

While Dad is buried in an old private family plot, the American Legion maintains an entire section for military personnel whose graves are marked by simple government-issued stones.

I'd like to introduce ye socks to one of those servicemen: Private Ben B. Brown (1896-1918), who gave his life for this country in the Aisne-Marne offensive in France during the First World War.

Brown's file tells us that he was a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina. He enlisted 8 August 1917 in Orlando to serve in Company C of the 2nd Infantry, Florida National Guard. That unit was sent for training at Camp Wheeler, then shipped to France on 20 June 1918.

Poor Ben was killed in action just one month, one week, and one day later.

More tragically, he fell less than four months before Armistice Day.

While I hope everyone out there in the blogosphere will take a moment today to honor all veterans of all our nation's wars, please remember the holiday was originally declared to commemorate the end of the First World War--the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918--an important moment that far too many young men like Ben Brown did not live to see.

And, find a veteran to thank.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

A rude awakening

No, I'm not referring to what a lot of people are going to get when The Tragedy in Waiting assumes control over our national tax policy.

I'm talking about an old wall clock that hangs in my bedroom.

It hasn't worked in years. But, I hung it up on the wall anyway, because it looks cool.

Well, for some reason, it decided to chime at 4:45 this morning!!

And, it continues to chime every hour on the hour!

Could this be a sign of something?!

Freaking out a little . . .

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Going Old Testament this Sunday

I am really enjoying a re-read of the Book of Esther today.

Refresher for ye socks who haven't read this text in a while: King Artaxerxes II of Persia marries a Jewish woman named Esther. She helps topple the king's chief adviser Haman, who is bent on persecuting her people.

These Old Testament stories are so much better than the pulp fiction that is generally available in this corner of heaven.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Football - the new opiate of the masses

Karl Marx, a favorite economic theorist of the junior senator from Illinois (henceforth to be known here as The Tragedy in Waiting), once said that religion was the opiate of the masses.

Well, maybe back in the 19th cenutry it was.

Now, though, I'd have to say it's sports.

And, in this little corner of heaven, there is no more powerful opiate than college football.

It certainly helped yours truly forget about the peril we all face in the not so distant future. At least for a little while.

I am getting as tingly as Chris Matthews at a Democratic debate thinking about the possibility of a Gators and Raiders national championship game . . .

Orange and Blue . . . and Red and Black!

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Friday, November 07, 2008


This image of stunned Michigan fans suddenly realizing they aren't making it to a bowl game this year will serve as a helpful illustration as I try to explain my new favorite word: Schadenfreude.

Like so many concepts of German origin (i.e. Marxism) it's kinda hard to explain.

There is no good English translation for the word.

But, a picture says a thousand words, no?

Basically, from what I understand, its the feeling of satisfaction (or outright pleasure) one derives from someone else's pain.

You know the feeling I'm talking about, when you find out someone who thinks they're getting away with something ends up getting their just due?

Well, if you still don't know what I'm talking about, I'll quote the old Gator mantra: "Wait til next year!"

Because, in 2009, I expect a lot of folks are going to be experiencing mass Schadenfreude at the expense of the fools who elected the junior senator from Illinois to the highest office in the land.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Going to hell in a handbasket

Recent events have seen that phrase bandied about quite a lot, and it got me wondering about its origins.

No one disagrees on its description of a situation easily and speedily bound for disaster.

But, where did it come from?

The best explanation I've found is that it goes back to the French Revolution, when the heads of guillotine vicitims fell into lined baskets for quick disposal.

Certainly, unlucky souls were beheaded for centuries prior to 1789.

Can any of ye socks find a reference prior to that date?

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Our grand experiment may well be over

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship." [Edinburgh, 1787.]

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The ballot is cast

Well, ye socks, I took an unnecessarily early lunch break to run up to my polling location to vote this fine Election Day.

I say "unnecessarily," because I was trying to avoid a crowd that wasn't there.

I did have to park quite a distance away from the poll, but that's just because it has such a miniscule parking lot. But, that was okay. I can always use the exercise, and the weather in this little corner of heaven is the type our Chamber of Commerce should crow about.

Anyway, when I did get inside the little community center that houses my precinct's poll, I found a bunch of black-shirted rowing moms manning the tables. They seemed more than a little disinterested in the process, but there was one pro from the supervisor of elections office who kept them in line.

After waiting for the 7-foot-tall biker dude clad in leather who was ahead of me in line to find his ID, I was handed my ballot with only a cursory glance at my license.

I turned around to find all the booths occupied, but the aforementioned pro told me I could sit at one of the tables in the room and fill-out my ballot with one of the black pens she had available.

So much for privacy, but I did it anyway because I really don't care who knows how I vote. My life is pretty much an open book.

There I sat, quietly bubbling in the four legal-sized pages of candidates, constitutional ammendments, charter revisions, and other ballot initiatives. Before too long, though, I was joined by more people who didn't want to wait on the slow pokes in their fancy private booths. And, then we were joined by some more, all of us very congenially making room for one another.

On leaving, a mop-headed teenager in oversized cargo pants was mumbling instructions on how to feed the ballots into the counting machine. Fortunately, I've done this a time or two and didn't need much help. I did appreciate the little "I voted" sticker he handed me, though. I understand I can use it to pick up some freebies from Starbucks, Chik-fil-A, Ben & Jerry's, and Krispy Kreme . . .

I'm making myself hungry now.

Anyway, now it's your turn, ye socks! Get out there and do your civic duty and VOTE! (Unless, of course, you're a Democrat. In which case, consider this a day off and go to the beach or something . . . )

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Stupid early voters

I heard this morning that 45% of the electorate in Orange County has already voted.

And, they had to wait in long, long lines to do it.

That's just stupid.

Early voting was only available at a handful of locations, thus the lines.

All the better for us intelligent people, though.

There will be 262 polling places tomorrow, and we should be able to stroll right up to a booth in our precinct to cast our ballots with little or no waiting involved.

Now, I know there are some people who legitimately needed to go vote early, because they will be out of town on Election Day or else had to vote by absentee due to illness, etc.

But, it seems to me the vast majority of the people loitering around our local libraries last week had no legitimate reason for being there, except that they're a bunch of lemmings who've gotten drunk on the Kool-Aid of a false prophet.

I wonder, drunk as they were and are, how they would feel if something transpired in the days after they cast their early ballot that would make them change their minds about a candidate or initiative. By then, of course, it would be too late.

That's just one of the many reasons why we have an election DAY, not an election WEEK.

But, the lemmings will never understand that, I suppose.

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Visions of a National Championship Dance in my Head

Christmas came early around here yesterday.

First, the Gators whooped the Dawgs at the largest outdoor cocktail party in the world.

Then, just past my bed time, Texas Tech used the last 1:29 remaining on the clock to score a winning touchdown over the #1 (over-rated) Longhorns in Lubbock.

Now, if Florida and the Red Raiders can win out the rest of their seasons . . . my two favorite college football teams could end up playing in the national championship game down in Miami in January!

Talk about your divided loyalties . . .

Don't put the cart before the horse, though. Alabama still looms large as the likely opponent for the Gators in the SEC title game. And, Tech, well, you know the Big 12 . . .

Still, it could happen . . .

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

A little lesson in manners

So, I survived my first Hallowe'en in the new neighborhood. But, here are a few suggestions for you trick or treaters who are already looking forward to next year:

1. You should be accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult. If this cramps your style too much, then you're probably too old to be participating.

2. Ring the doorbell once, only once. (Or, knock politely, do not bang on doors until the window panes shudder throughout the structure of the house.)

3. You are expected to say "Trick or Treat," "Happy Hallowe'en," or "Thank you." Pick at least one.

4. You should be wearing a costume, even if you have to make it yourself like yours truly had to do. Walking around in the clothes you plan to wear clubbing later in the evening is just not in the spirit of the holiday, nor is your failure to interrupt your cell phone conversation long enought to acknowledge those who answer their doors to you with the customary greetings enumerated in #3 above.

5. If offered your choice from a bowl of candy, take two or three pieces. Grabbing handful after handful is extremely bad form, especially if you're wearing an Obama mask. It's just a bad example of all the money-grabbing in the guise of taxation and redistribution of wealth promises that are looming on our collective horizon.

6. The holiday ends promptly at 8:59pm. (Or, sooner, if Mr. Barack Grabby Hands has already walked off with all the candy.) This moment should be readily apparent to even the most casual observer, but let the lack of a front porch light being on serve as the rule of thumb.

Emily Post must've been rolling in her grave last night . . . which is appropriate, I guess . . .

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