Archive for January, 2007

Hello Hillary

January 28, 2007

Hello Hillary,

          It has been a week since we last corresponded, how have you been?

          First let me congratulate you on your Conversation with America effort earlier this week.  It is a thrilling time we live in!  To actually converse with a presidential candidate while in my pjs and in my own study is truly remarkable.  I think the use of the internet is critical in the coming elections and a modern tool that will change how we do things in this new millennium for years to come.

          How was your trip to Iowa?  Being an Iowa native I know how the people there are down to earth and hospitable.  I am also aware that they voted for Bill twice back in the 90’s, which is remarkable since Iowans generally lean towards the Republican side here of late.  But I also know this, Iowans are a no nonsense group.  You have to have a better angle than “It is time for a change” because we know that any “change” is not necessarily a good thing.  For example: if you are tired of rain, snow may not be the change you are looking for…

          I liked the fact that you are a romantic, I know this because you talked about your favorite movies on the first night of your “chat”.  I can also appreciate your love for the outdoors and walks with Bill in the ol’ neighborhood.  You are from the mid-west and share a prospective that we all share of building a better America from the inside out.   I like the fact that you believe we should be leaders by desire and not by force.   Over all, I’d say we have some basic things in common, but…

          I am not running for president.

          One thing you spoke of was America becoming energy self reliant.  How would you proceed along those lines?  For over 30 years we have struggled with the issue of foreign oil and those governments dictating how much we pay for that commodity.  As a consumer who has been disillusioned by the current administrations “open up the spigot” remark during their first campaign, what plan do you have right now to start us towards this lofty goal and keep America independent of foreign oil?   Please don’t try to “snow” us…

          Look forward to hearing from you soon!

           John Q. Public

people in the No

January 27, 2007

Do the people “in the know” really know more than you and I?  You would think that if they are “in the know” that things would be just a little bit better for them.   Take for instance, Donald Trump.  I watched him the other night on David Letterman (way past my bed time) and I was disappointed that Dave didn’t ask him the question that has to be on everyone’s mind.   Of course I’m referring to The Donald’s comb over.  I mean, if you are a gazillionaire couldn’t he afford implants?  Or better still, find a cure for male pattern baldness?  Surely he has enough money to sponsor a hefty grant on the subject.  What a break through that would be and a better legacy than the Trump Towers, the Miss (I wonder what happened behind those closed doors) U.S.A.  pagent or the War of the Rosie.  But no…

Then there is President Bush’s sole veto of the stem cell research bill.  He based his decision on moral principles.  So you gotta wonder… since Californians passed the Proposition 71 bill in their state backing the research, does that mean the state is full of immoral, godless individuals who don’t know better? Are they all ignorant and going to Hell?  “People in the know” are anxiously watching the out come.  And if the research comes to fruitation and cures for diseases are forth coming, will people be compromising their immortal soul just to prolong life here on earth for a few short years?  Bummer.

Recently, shock of all shocks… gas prices started coming down.  They said it was because of a warm winter and people weren’t buying as much heating oil.  Okay, I’ll buy that, supply and demand.  But then the United States announces, “Hey!  Oil being so low right now we are going to double our reserves!”  Then guess what happens?  Oil prices per barrel jumped up to the highest single day total since 9/11 and gas prices are expected to go up!  Now wouldn’t “people in the know” know better?  Why couldn’t we have just snuck a couple of extra barrels in here and there without calling all that attention to ourselves?  Oh, by the way… now that winter has “officially” made its entrance (i.e. it is cold)  they are predicting a fuel oil shortage.  Oh no…

Those rascally Californians are at it again!  There has always been a serious debate on whether parents should “spank” their children but now this Assemblywoman has taken it a step further.  She is introducing a bill that says if you spank a child under 3 you should be fined and possibly go to jail.  “People in the know” say it is out and out abuse, that these parents should be punished whether it is a public or private practice.  They advocate better ways to discipline the child rather then using “violence”.  Of course, violence in any form is unacceptable when it is thrust upon a child.  But according to the Bible whom God loves He disciplines.  Physical punishment has been accorded to the amount of love a parent has for a child.  So it is not the “violence” that is improper but the degree of love that is implied with the punishment.  A 3 year would respond more favorably to a “spanking” then a 13 year old.  According to the Bible a parent could actually be “dispising” their child if the discipline is not administered.  We are also told that if a child is administered a “spanking” tempered with love, he will not die from it.  As many spoiled children that I witness out there in the world it is obvious that parents either don’t “spank” enough or don’t care.  You can’t reason with a 3 year old, they don’t have the experience or education a young adult has.  “People in the know” should know this and I think God knows best.

And now we find out what “people in the know” did or didn’t know about the events leading up to the war in Iraq.  There is a protest in Washington D. C. over our foreign policy and our involvement in that war.  All kinds of things are coming out now;  how Bush misused the facts, how Cheney fabricated information and manipulated the press, and etc.  “People in the know” are now saying they were duped, misled or just plain lied to and we should have known better.  Well folks, consider this… no one is exempt from blame as long as we allow this stuff to go on.  Before we elect anybody we should ask ourselves “what are “people in the know” saying about this individual?”  If it is too good to be true, it probably is and remember this… they only tell you what they want you to know. 

We should “NO” better.    peace.

   

Hello Hillary

January 21, 2007

Hello Hillary,

          I am intrigued by your comments on your web site and am not opposed to a woman president in the white house.  I know that many a successful president had the backing of a good woman.  Your knowledge and experience makes your candidacy truly unique.  I applaud your decision and wish you the greatest success.

          I would have one question… what would you do about the illegal immigrant situation?  Most Americans polled do not think it is a good idea to grant amnesty to law breakers and then consider them good citizens.  To have paid into Social Security for 40-50 years and then give it to someone who is not entitled to it irks a majority of Americans.  Then to say immigrants are entitled to past benefits while working here illegally seems absurd.  We see it as a ploy to garnish votes at the expense of the American taxpayer.

          What do YOU think?

          Sincerely,

                            John Q. Public

Flowers are better than bullets

January 20, 2007

Oh, the 70’s, …lots of nostalgia there.  Seen a bunch of “new” fashions that hark back to that era, I hear tunes that are some 35 years passed their prime that still have a groovy beat… (read the blog prior to this for more on that thought).  Then there are the golden oldies television programs that cause people to lament “they don’t make ’em like that anymore”.  But  politics seem oddly the same.   How does that old saying go?  You can fool some of the people all the time, all the people some of the time but you can’t fool all the people all the time?  Looks like we DID get fooled again.  (sorry Pete Townshend)

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Where have all the flowers gone,

long time passing?

Where have all the flowers gone,

long time ago?

Where have all the flowers gone?

Gone to young girls, everyone.

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?

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37 years ago this May,  4 students were killed at Kent State.  ( Google this: “the Kent State Massacre” )  I wonder if that could happen again?  Were the times really all that different then compared to now?  Un-armed American citizens shot dead by American soldiers on American soil in broad daylight and you know what?  Nobody was to blame,  nobody was at fault and nobody was charged with a crime, but innocent people lay dead and I wonder if it could happen again.

I’m not so naive as to think that we shouldn’t be defending ourselves as a country.  I know there are factions out there that hate us and want to take what is ours.  But I also know there are politics at work that would make tricky Dick look like a schoolboy and where is the outrage?  I think our empathy for other nations has lessened since 9/11 where as that tragedy could have aided in bonding us.

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Where have all the young girls gone,

long time passing?

Where have all the young girls gone,

long time ago?

Where have all the young girls gone?

Gone to young men, everyone.

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?

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We are pacified as a nation.  We have all the distractions of wealth and influence, we are oblivious because we have pampered ourselves and our children.  The generation of the 70’s was astutely aware of what was going on with the war in Vietnam because it could touch and effect their very lives.  Two words come to mind… selective service.  A forced call to arms that most lower and middle classed men had to face and that was a reality that could not be ignored.

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Where have all the young men gone,

long time passing?

Where have all the young men gone,

long time ago?

Where have all the young men gone?

Gone to soldiers, everyone.

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?

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As long as we have conditioned ourselves to be dis-interested or preoccupied, the world may be taking a spin that we cannot correct …right under our very noses.  But the propaganda of the day is slanted, we remain in the status quo… everything is under control.  I wonder if anyone else has noticed…

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Where have all the soldiers gone,

long time passing?

Where have all the soldiers gone,

long time ago?

Where have all the soldiers gone?

Gone to graveyards, everyone.

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn? 

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Allison Krause was one of the 4 students killed that May day 37 years ago.  She was shot in the back as she attempted to flee the bullets fired by National Guardsmen over 300 feet away.  The only reason I singled her out from the rest of the victims dead and the 9 wounded was because of what she reportedly said to one of the Guardsmen the day before. 

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Where have all the graveyards gone,

long time passing?

Where have all the graveyards gone,

long time ago?

Where have all the graveyards gone?

Gone to flowers, everyone.

When will they ever learn?

When will they ever learn?

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Where Have All the Flowers Gone?  words and music by  Pete Seeger

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Movement requires force which begets motion that builds momentum requiring direction and control.  In 1970 a movement that had been set into motion began to build momentum.  In the later part of April in that year President Nixon had authorized the invasion of Cambodia.  The war in Vietnam wasn’t winding down, but gearing up for more bloodshed.  People began to question authority and the validity of the war. Those that did so were deemed traitors, much the way people that didn’t originally jump on the war wagon were being labelled over the war in Iraq in our day and more recently because of the troop “surge”. 

I wonder if we would have been so quick to jump into that war if there had been a draft like the one instigated back in the sixties? If young people today were cognisant that decisions being made for war were going to directly effect them, would they be more interested in the world around them?  and would parents show more of an interest because of the possibility of their children going to war?   Would they allow this?

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Allison Krause

4-23-51 / 5-4-70

“Flowers are better than bullets”

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the good ol’ days

January 13, 2007

I got my first real six string

bought it at the five and dime,

played it ’til my fingers bled

was the summer of ’69.

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Summer of ’69,  Bryan Adams

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Oh, the good ol’ days!  Remember them?  The past treads lightly during our moments of blissful reminiscence and soulful reflection  …the winning was bigger, grander   … the love was deeper, more meaningful  …the mistakes less significant, easier to understand.  Maybe with the passage of enough time we can forgive ourselves for past sins, perhaps they loom larger and forgiveness never comes.  One thing is for certain… we cannot change one iota.  The past has indeed …passed.

It’s funny how one generation can look back with fondness at a time when there was political turmoil and an uncertain future.  Days that are etched with violent history recalled with whimsical affection.  Wars and economic crisis not withstanding, for those served as a backdrop to one finding love, truth or purpose in life.  Those problems were real yet with all that was known or unknown at the time that generation persevered in the basic fundamentals of the pursuit of happiness.

We can’t live in the past, but many have difficulty with the here and now.  Some even fear the future.  Me?  I try to be an optimist but it is not always easy.  To say there have always been wars,  financial collapse or love’s ruination would be turning a blind eye to the lessons we could have learned from such history.  Sometimes those past experiences can aid us, sometimes we foolishly blunder into the same consequences as our predecessors or worse… and sometimes we are hell bent to repeat the past come what may…  weird.

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There once was a man named Finnegan

who boasted no jail cell could keep him in.

He broke out in time

then committed a crime,

now the jail cell he was out of he’s in again!

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I wish I knew what makes people do the things they do, but then it wouldn’t change the fact that they are going to do them regardless.  I don’t know if that is human nature or just stubbornness, but we all have to stumble over the same stones as those that went before us.   Then as time goes on we look back in fondness to our own ineptness and lament, “The path was clearer then”… even  more weird.

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Sometimes I get to thinkin’ that we’re almost done

and there ain’t nothin’ left that we can figure out,

and I guess it must have seemed alot more like that

back in the good ol’ days…

we’s in love with people that we hadn’t even met

out for anythin’ that we could get,

oh, we did it then and we’ll do it yet

back in the good ‘ol days.

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Back in the Good Ol’ Days, from the album “Aeroplane” by John Hartford

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Ofcourse there are precious memories galore and I don’t mean to sound like all those need be forgotten but really, we shouldn’t long for the past because it is like being “in love with people that we hadn’t even met”.  And like Billy Joel said, “you know the good ol’ days weren’t always good, tomorrow’s not as bad as it seems.” We make the future.  seriously.  Maybe we don’t make ourselves richer or better looking, but if we prepare for betterment it is bound to follow.  It is like waking up and thinking, “This is going to be a rotten day!” guess what? you are already primed to make it so,  #1.  But if you wake up, stretch, breathe deeply and say, “It is great to be alive!”  … you get the idea.  Not to say you won’t have problems because…  let’s face it, life is full of them.  But you are better suited to meet them with a more positive outlook than a negative one.

You know that song by Bryan Adams was released back in ’85 …  yet it was voted the best song to go cruisin’ with by young Canadians in 2006.  Totally weird…  a song about the past from the past being made current only to pass again!  Recycled rock anthems unite!

Who knows what the future holds?  Lets look forward with grit and gusto , shall we?  Maybe if the past does come around again we’ll be better suited for it.  

Like this old saying that I just made up goes,   “When I dream of the future my past is never present.” 

peace.

let me call you sweetheart

January 6, 2007

Let me call you sweetheart I’m in love with you,

let me hear you whisper that you love me, too.

Keep the love-light glowing in your eyes so true,

let me call you sweetheart I’m in love with you.

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words by Beth Slater Whitson, music by Leo Friedman

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Part of the joy of blogging is the random hits I sometimes get involved with while surfin’ when I am bored or just want to see what other people are writing about.  Did you know that there are more blogs out there about knitting than you can shake a stick at?  If we aren’t careful the internet is going to be slowed down by yarn.  Ofcourse there are the ones that are based in silliness or their ability to use the “F” word with impunity.  Some are looking for friendship or just want to vent their frustrations.  Others pose some profound insight or questions that intrigue me, like the one I read recently about a woman complaining because she was being called “sweetheart”.

Apparently this woman wondered if it was acceptable in society that a younger girl called her “sweetheart” while taking her order at a restaurant.  I’m not sure if she felt it was too familiar,  taking liberties by questioning her sexuality  or just flat out improper etiquette.  Being an “aw shucks buffoon” from the mid-west I have called men “Sir” and women “Ma’am” as far back as I can remember. Recently I have been told by girls not to call them “ma’am” with great disdain.  Like I was labelling them old schoolmarms or virginal spinsters or something equally mortifying.

I have to admit I used to find this practice offensive until I started doing it.  I don’t think I compromised my integrity or anything, I just realized that perhaps the world needed more sentimentality and the usage of these terms of endearment weren’t meant to be offensive, but rather an offering of goodwill from the speaker to the recipient.  Maybe we have succumbed to a more relaxed approach when greeting strangers but I wonder if that is all bad.  To be stiff and compliant to a set of rules in most instances seems pompous to me, but again it would depend on where I was and the circumstances involved. 

If I were in a greasy diner and the proprietor chomped a stubby cigar while growling, “What’ll it be, mac?”  I wouldn’t retort, “Don’t call me ‘mac’ ” and march off in a huff, I’d just place my order.  But if I were in the crystal and lace surroundings of the grand promenade dining hall aboard the S.S. Titanic, I might question the brand of the cigar.  No seriously, the manner of the approach would be conducive to the environment.  If there were a grey area between the diner and the dining hall, my instincts would be less refined and more user friendly.  But that is just me.  I understand that there are boundaries that should not be crossed but I don’t think the precept should be so rigid.  Being called, “hon”, “babe”, “darlin’ ” or “sweetheart” doesn’t offend me as much as cold, calloused or indifferent service does.

My friend Perry had a ’68 Chrysler that when it started on cold, wintery mornings used to get a pat on the dash and a “that’s my girl” as a way of bestowing gratitude or approval.  It didn’t mean he was infatuated with the car or had it confused with a human being, he was using it as an affectionate expression.  And I am reasonably sure that the car knew it.  

Maybe that is one of the reasons I enjoy Jesse Winchester’s music so much.  It has such a southern charm, tenderness of expression and down hominess about it that I feel relaxed and atoned for.  If one of the greatest songwriters that ever lived can convey such humility in his words and actions,  why can’t I?  Let those little things remain minuscule, render a benefit of the doubt when torn between two assumptions.  Like the Bible says, “As far as it depends upon you, be peaceable with all men.”  In my mind Jesse conveys that thought through his music.

I don’t know if being called “sweetheart” by a stranger offering me service is necessarily an inappropriate thing.  But having been on the receiving end of far worse labels and/or expressions, I choose to accept them for what they are, an attempt at setting a relaxed tone and a friendly,  non-evasive exchange of words.  It is not a proposal of marriage, just a simple greeting that can be met with like tone and manner.  If it is rejected for a more dignified address or met with a condescending response, the exchange would be awkward and the setting strained.  There is no substitute for good manners on behalf of both parties.  But take it from someone who generally eats out at least once a day.  With all its ceremony and etiquette,  the experience of dining ain’t much more than the tying on of a feedbag. 

  You can call me “Sir” or “Mister” or “babe” or “sweetheart”.  Just don’t call me late for dinner…   all I really want is to be fed.

pass the biscuits,  please.

It’s New Years Day! (scroll back, ya varmints!)

January 1, 2007

Well, by now the eggnog is gone, the ripped wrapping and tinsel has been towed.   ‘Nam 67 is a video game that remains in your grandfather’s distant memory.    Bondage Barbie isn’t such a shock in the stocking as some might have thought.  Credit card debt has reached yultide proportions, the return lines are staggering and the sales make you wonder why you didn’t wait until AFTER the holidays to shop.   This blog has had 68 entries since its inception last May and what have we learned? 

AMRFP started out as a whim as most blogs do.  The first hurdle to over come was the title and what it would be about.  I have always been a believer of Karma, of what goes around comes around.   I root for the underdog and believe everyone should have the chance to be who they are unhindered.  In my mind a levelling of the playing field should never be an option, but a standard.  The advantages of mutual respect and fair play would be a clear conscience and a purpose without vendetta or selfish motive.  The reward would be finding like minded readers who have a sense of humor, share in the simple pleasures of life and don’t take themselves too seriously. 

Perhaps that is even one of you.

So without further ado… in reverse order, from the latest to the first… spanning the past 7 months.  Let us do a scroll down memory lane…

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1)  the day before Christmas Eve. 

this is my most recent post and has garnished the most comments.  there has been an unconfirmed report that the young man lived.  We are still trying to find out for sure.  I’ll let you know.

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2)  2006… more space idiocy

a recap of memorable events in 2006: the good, the bad, the ridiculous.

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3)  nude clothiers

do clothes really make the man?  someone must have skipped a stitch.

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4)  When I’m 64  (more or less)

a retrospective on the “new 40” market.

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5)  the illegal immigration solution, part 2

scroll back to part 1 before reading.

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6)  social insecurity

re-inventing the social system and it’s securities.

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7)  sacred words sung to Beatles music

a sacrilege

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8)  60 second sextillion

in the grand scheme of things you are more than a number

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9)  Who should play OSU for the National title?

beat out by popular opinion, this time the computer had it right.

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10)  twinkies

food for thought.

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11)  new and improved is getting old

but where would we be without those catchy slogans?

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12)  Michael Richards… and the hits just keep coming

still in the tabloids, you can’t buy that kind of publicity.

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13)  get to know “The Road to Escondido”

a great release in 2006, thanks in part to my endorsement (thank you very much)

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14)  prime time ugly and hidden camera chic

programming in the 21st century meets the age old problem of beauty and the obese.

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15)  ’53 Studebaker goin’ for broke…

ready for that road trip.

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16)  I don’t know where that came from…

and I still don’t, but it was fun gettin’ it.

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17)  51%

a majority isn’t always a better majority.

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18)  more pet peeves

no need to scroll back to the first “pet peeves” the list will never be complete.

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19)  I don’t buy 49 bye byes

and I still don’t.

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20)  stuck in Iraq with no clue  (with apologies to Stealers Wheel)

gosh I had fun with this one, but the timing wasn’t right…

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21)  vacation in the mid-west and Iowa in particular

there is no place like home, each visit proves it.

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22)  the illegal immigration solution, part 1

I really thought I’d get more hits on this one, maybe it is a mute point.

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23)  this just in from way out there

synthetic foods are not for organic people, or is it synthetic people are not for organic foods?

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24)  irrefutably 44th ave south

a fictional place where rebellion, ideals and music mesh, the result is mesmerizin’

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25)  casting the first stone (… in defense of Mark Foley)

I don’t agree with his “politics” but then who is immune? we all need rehab…

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26)  42

meet my friend Keith Woerner and imagine you are inquisitive.

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27)  I was born a Ramblin’ Man  (where’s the Citgo?)

adding “fuel” to the fire.

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28)  Life begins at WD40

a marquee that almost was.

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29)  Lower Gas Prices is a Republican Ploy to Win in November?

just an assertion, but did you notice…  they didn’t win and gas prices are going back up?

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30)  job approval

if only every evaluation was as easily thwarted.

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31)  Sen. Ted Stevens verses the free and open Internet

didn’t get as many hits on this one as I thought I would, perhaps a tired subject but a worthwhile one.

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32)  macaca caca

yep, I still think it is caca.

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33)  Life Lesson #35… Common Courtesy

not as common as you would hope.

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34)  Katherine Harris is my kind of man

this was tongue in cheek writing, I really have nothing against her.  you have to admire someone who knows she is right no matter what the polls say.

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35)  I still miss George

George Harrison remembered.

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36)  32 caliber docudrama

some things are just not acceptable.

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37)  reality T.V. bit(e)s

but it seems I am in the minority here…

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38)  death and taxes

a cold eventuality we all must share.

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39)  February

who else writes about the coldest month of the year in August?

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40)  the rock and roll conspiracy

I did more research on this subject than on any other, a formidable task indeed.

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41)  you, me and the Man upstairs  (grandfathering Pluto)

Pluto is a dog, not a planet.

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42)  surfin’ U.S.A. (an internet sing-a-long)

c’mon, you know the melody…

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43)  a quarters worth of free advice

on best of lists and those who create them.

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44)  the suave shower stall singer

an expose’ of yours truly, literally.

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45)  the 23rd Blog

profound, 23 inserts along the “what if?” etc. doctrine

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46)  catch 22

politics, pun intended.

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47)  21 gun salute

insurance premiums and those that love ’em.

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48)  blinded by foresight

government instigated morality is a sham.

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49)  pet peeves

never enough, always added to…

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50)  Repeal the Fuel Tax

I really thought this entry would have instigated a riot…

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51)  God needs an hour with Dr. Phil

and twenty minutes with his wife, Robin.

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52)  sweet 16

first love of my life.

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53)  5-5-5

the good things in life.

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54)  2 weeks

more pay for less work and more time to do it in.

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55)  Baker’s Dozen

fossil rock lives on.

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56)  Midnight

a sentimental favorite that is out of this world.

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57)  Eleven Lords a-leaping

how to make Christmas a man’s holiday.

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58)  a perfect 10

romance in the virtual world.

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59)  #9

what would John Lennon do?

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60)  pieces of eight

call me an unlucky creature.

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61)  7-up

7 is the number of coincidence.

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62)  six pack abs

exercising my right to criticize ala Dave Barry.

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63)  cinco de juno

if it were up to me to set the holiday calendar.

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64)  for play

work and play go hand and hand.

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65)  3 times a lady

love is all you need.

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66)  apart, too

making sense out of it all.

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67)  in the begining

I believed every word that you said.  (still love that song!)

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68)  Hello World!

and goodnight, Mrs Calabash… wherever you are!

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***P. S.  I hope you have a great year in 2007.     peace.

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