Thursday, September 27, 2012

That's A BAD Thing?

Our campaign to mute out all political ads on TV is progressing nicely. But some unscrupulous ad exec has undoubtedly caught the strong points are being highlighted by script!  Obviously, they're on to us and our muting campaign. They must have known that if we're going to squelch the audio, we're still going to be looking at the screen so's we know when regular programming resumes and then turn the sound back on. The ad that caught my eye, in an attack on one candidate's alleged plans for Medicare declares both in sound and in big bold script, the twelve person evaluation board consisting of  UNELECTED BUREAUCRATS!  (Although they didn't say it directly, I presume such a board would be the equivalent of Sarah Palin's Death Squad).

So now we've had to master turning our heads away from the TV screen so we can just catch a glimpse of the images but can't read them. Audiovisual muting so to speak. It's not too hard once you get the hang of it. But the unelected bureaucrats phrase has been turning over in my head. On the one hand I'm trying to imagine a twelve person board consisting of elected bureaucrats and then on the other hand I'm trying to visualize a board of twelve unelected bureaucrats.  And with these images in my head I just have to pause and ask, "Unelected, huh? Is that a bad thing?"

Friday, September 21, 2012

Non-Punditically Correct Non-Political Commentary

With the upcoming elections we hear more and more about political pundits. They are supposed to be experts and authorities on political matters. I am anything but a political pundit. As a matter of fact I'm pretty much an authority on nothing. Nothing that matters much anyway. But I do like to make comments now and then and my desire to do so is what motivated me to create JD's Blahs. So what follows is my two cents worth, so to speak, on things that have been on my mind lately.

On my walk today I observed three ducks standing on a concrete pipe that extended from the shore into a lake. One male, obviously a mallard with his greenish/bluish neck and head and the other two feathered with the speckled brown and gray coloring of females. The male and one female had bright orange webbed feet. The other female had brown webbed feet. So does that mean one was a different species? Or was she a mudder? I don't know. Just curious. 

Who thinks Romney stepped in it with his "47 percent" comments? Who doesn't? Now he says he did not speak "elegantly" in his response to a question. I think I know what he was doing. It's easy to picture any politician making his remarks to a $50,000 a plate group of supporters just a little juicier than the banquet mystery meat they were chewing on. People who fork over that much for the chance to rub elbows with a presidential candidate deserve more than a few token stump speeches. Unfortunately for Mitt, it just came out sounding like he was an elitist. Probably got a lot of affirmative nods from the wealthy crowd, too. And speaking of affirmative nods, do you think there were any plate-paying guests in attendance that had not made up their minds who they were going to vote for? (Possible exception being whoever recorded the video). Haven't we all made up our minds already? Who could possibly be on the fence? I don't mean the choice is obvious. We've all got our favorite and yours may not be the same as mine. That's democracy and that's a good thing! But it just seems to me that anybody who is really still on the fence by this time is decision-challenged.  

TV Ads
My wife and I have solved the problem of negative political ads. We just make extensive use of the mute button on the remote. At first we tried switching channels but more often than not we'd end up catching similar ads on the other channels. Now we just mute them out. Either party, makes no difference. Now we're including the lawyer ads too. We don't want to hear who we should call if we're "wrongfully injured" and not really sure but don't care what the difference is between that and "rightfully injured."

Fond Memories
Easter afternoon 1960. Two phrases stand out. Policeman # 1: "Oh really, you're the minister's son? Well, just hop in the back of our squad car and we'll take a little ride to the Reverend's house, OK?"  Older brother upon my squad car arrival at the Reverend's house with the blue and red roof lights flashing: "Oh, brother, you've really gone and done it this time, haven't you?"  This rhetorical question issued with a big xxxx-eating grin. 

Inanimate Objects
Am I the only one that talks to inanimate objects? Like cursing at my glasses when I misplace them?  Blaming the salt shaker if the salt comes out faster than I expected? Kicking the step that obviously jumped out and tripped me? I wonder if they have inanimate object anger management classes? Even if there is such a thing it probably wouldn't cure me of commending the throw away razor for doing a good job as I toss it into the trash. I could go on but I think I'm embarrassing my keyboard.

Trashy Business
We have a community dumpster. We put our neatly bagged trash into the community dumpster. The device serves the dual purpose of not only a dumpster but also as a compactor. So when you open the 4' x 4' sliding metal door to put your trash bags inside, you slide it closed and the compactor does it's thing with grinding and squealing sounds ending with a thud that signals it has completed the cycle of swallowing the trash and scrunching it all up together in a much smaller (ie. compacted) blob from the individual deposits of you and your neighbors. It's really an amazing technological wonder! So why don't all of our neighbors put their freakin' trash INSIDE this wondrous machine? And who are the lazy dopes that stack mattresses and furniture outside the dumpster instead of taking them to the dump? Every time I see these offenses to our posted community guidelines I ask myself, "Ok, I wonder who this jerk is voting for? Can't be the same one I'm voting for!!"

We did not renew our season tickets for the Bucs this year. We were season ticket holders for twenty years with seats in the North end zone, both at the old "Sombrero" and at Raymond James stadium. It took some getting used to but after a while we really enjoyed the end zone perspective. And we liked being close to the field, about 15 rows up. Admittedly, the Bucs have been pretty stingy with their success over most of those twenty years but they gave us one Super Bowl and a few playoffs ten years ago. But the biggest disappointment is the change in the crowd demeanor. I like standing in order to see an exciting play. But I don't like having to stand after every play because the nimrod in front of me thinks it's cool to stand up for every down. I enjoy a beer or two, especially on a hot sunny game day but I don't much care for keeping company with sloppy drunks. And it was always fun to swap polite barbs with opposing fans sitting in the vicinity but always with courtesy and a smile. The last few years that's changed to scathing and hateful taunts and threats.I'm talking about the Bucs fans, not the visitors. I bet these morons don't put their trash inside the dumpster either.

Great invention. Chap stick, lip balm, Chap aid, whatever you want to call it. Like a tube of lipstick with the little twisty nob at the bottom to push the balm gunk or whatever you call it out of the tube. Not as sophisticated as the dumpster/compactor, but a pretty neat little device just the same. I use it more for my nostrils than my lips. Maybe because I like the camphor aroma. Smells clean. And keeps my nostrils from chapping. I'm just saying. 

Politics II
And another thing. I don't like it when politicians say, "the American people want... or...the American people don't want...or...the American people need..."  I don't like statements that begin this way because I am an American people. I never told xyz politician what I did or didn't want and I certainly never told him or her what I needed.  What I want and don't want and what I need these presumptive blockheads to do is just do their job and represent their constituents the best they can with their own decisions. They can't please every last one of us with whatever they legislate so just do the damn job and stop hiding behind the blanket claim that they are doing what the American people want them to do. If they guess right, we American people will vote for them. Guess wrong and hop on the bus, Gus. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

1957 As I Recall

"Now, quit that chirping" was a frequent and urgent demand issued by one of my junior high school teachers. I don't remember for sure what class it was. It could have been any one of them, perhaps even a homeroom class. I've just got a vague recollection of the class itself but the words are clear as a bell in my memory. The teacher was female and my mind pictures her as a heavy set older lady. But, of course, to a junior high school student, most teachers were perceived as "older" and maybe heavy set too. Nevertheless, the command to stop "chirping" was issued on more than one occasion and it's purpose was clear and to the was a command to shut up. It was directed more or less to a group of students as opposed to just one. And as I recall this demand for action, or to be accurate, cessation of action, was always aimed at a group of chatting students behind me and towards the back of the classroom.  (Geez!. If that's right it would mean I was at the front of the class so what's that make me, a brown nose)? No, that can't be right because I don't remember being a brown nose with any teacher unless you count Miss Magoon for whom I would have had to jockey for position amongst the other boys in her class trying to situate themselves to the best vantage point from which to observe her bending over and giving any male pubescent observer an exhilarating look at her 44-D's swaying behind her low cut sweaters. All of us competing for her attention just meant we always had a lot of questions and maybe even a few silent bird whistles but I don't think there was any chirping coming out of us.  But back to the point it definitely wasn't Miss Magoon issuing the demand to stop chirping, I'm positive of that. And I don't recall any instances where I would have felt that I was being targeted to shut up. Maybe, maybe not. For the most part I was a quiet and well behaved kid except for the incident a few years prior in grade school where me and a kid named Danny got kicked off the safety patrol for conduct unbecoming our positions as co-captains of the patrol. But for this recollection of a junior high memory I just recall the command to "quit that chirping!" I also recall it as being a rather effective tool for controlling the class. I've no idea how today's junior high kids (oh, excuse me, now they are middle school, not junior high) would react to such a command. They'd probably think the volume on their smart phones was too loud. But back then, and we're talking mucho years ago,long before middle schools and smart phones appeared,  it seemed to work quite nicely in getting the chirping offenders to shut their beaks.