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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Friday, June 29, 2012

More pictures, but...

First I'll put my two cents in, briefly, about the Health Care Decision.

Point one, I reposted on Facebook a graphic about the hidden ways we'll be paying for abortion costs.  And I got challenged on it.  Did I respond? Not really.  The challenger would have had a cut-and-paste response for even the most well-researched response so I didn't bother.

So why am I against abortion provisions in this bill?  The same reason my challenger is against prayer in school and creches on courthouse lawns.  Because my belief system is against it, and I believe the Constitution-when interpreted PROPERLY- protects me against it. 

Point two- I believe that any law that will cause ANY employer to drop insurance totally in my lap is wrong.  I believe That ANY law that penalizes me for NOT buying a product which should be MY CHOICE is wrong.

Point three- I can envision a scenario where this causes a job divide between employers rich enough to opt out and those that have to skyrocket costs and cut pay to comply.  I'm 50 years old, just had my plant close, and re-enter the job market after 20 years with the worst job market since the 1930's and a President firmly in denial.  Which job do you think I'LL get stuck with?  I cannot afford a job that gives me the whole bill on health care, I sure the hell can't afford COBRA, and I have SERIOUS doubts that my situation won't be worse in the extreme with this law.

Point four- Obama spends all this time telling the public the mandate is not a tax.  The sources are out there, look 'em up.  Then he has his minions argue it AS an indirect tax before SCOTUS, because he knows it will fail otherwise.  If he talked out both sides of his mouth any more, he'd need two heads.

Point five- So the SCOTUS says, yep, if we don't view it as a tax, it is in violation of the commerce clause.  But as a tax, it's legal.  So yes, your Obama-ness, we'll call it a tax.  HOW THE HELL CAN IT BE BOTH?  If it's unconstitutional in ANY PART, it should be unconstitutional PERIOD.

Point six- the SCOTUS went so far as to say, it's not our job to determine if its a bad law.  We just determine if it's constitutional.  Well, guess what? YOU BLEW THAT, TOO!

Okay, I'm done. On with pictures, before that creep in the White House makes them unconstitutional, too.  First, early morning of the hottest day in my lifetime...

Gotta start out early, whilst you can yet survive.

Yeah, you can tell who gets sprayed every morning...

"The war machine springs to life, opens up one eager eye..."
We saw or heard six deer on this trip.  The first ran through the woods quickly, and gathered a buddy off the back trail before I could focus.  Another was well hidden along ong of the inlets near the IPFW main field.  At the top of the second field, we heard one in the brush that, for a moment, I thought would crash out right in front of us, but no such luck.

Add to this Scrappy peeing on a twig that was right against my ankle, and things weren't going well..
But I can always count on this dark doe to pose for some pics, God bless her!

Then we had two baby coons scamper up seperate trees.  Thanks to being aligned with the sun, having trouble focusing, and Big Chief-Piss-On-Shoe jerking around, I had little luck at snapping them.

"Well, hello good neighbor!"

The other deer was holed up in her favorite spot under the old bridge.  She reacted faster than me, so this is all I got.

The we met the fattest ground hog in the area...
I have been trying to get shots of Goldfinches, Cardinals, and Blue Jays (Because when it comes down to it, once you've gotten the Barn Swallows and Mourning doves, everyone else kinda looks the same), but they are actively uninterested in posing.  So combine fast moving bird, finger accidentally on the flash pillar which wants to come up, and doofy dog wanting to move on, and what do you get?


This morning, though, I managed to catch a cardinal unawares.

Ms. Deer wasn't under the bridge, but you can see she had a bed here...

And one golfinch finally decided to pose!

Today we added the fattest squirrel in the forest.

Showdown- two against one...

And our contestants...

Time Machine week 22

Today is June 29th, 1970.  Tomorrow, Cincinatti's Riverfront Stadium plays host to it's first baseball game.  Sadly, the Reds get walloped by the Braves, 8-2.  Future Red Pat Jarvis gets the win, and Rico Carty and Hammerin' Hank Aaron slam home runs off Cincy starter Jim McGlothin in his 2 1/3 innings of work.  Of course, the win only does so much for third place Atlanta, who is still 14 games back.  And the next day, the Reds get 9-2 revenge.  Tommy Helms gets his first- and only- home run of the year, and the first in Stadium history for the home team.

Bonus, yesterday was just 81 degrees in Fort Wayne, rather than the 106.7 on 2012's yesterday.  This, despite appearances, is Time Machine, and this week, we get a new top dog, either a crapload (top 40) or a dearth ( hot 100) of debuts, why Sears is better than a music career, a cameo by the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame, who Susan Pesklevits is and what she has to do with little green apples- and how Alex Trebek figures in.  You know it'll be fun with Alex along, so let's play Jeop er, Time Machine!

There are 14 songs debuting in the hot 100 this week, but I know just one (count 'em, one) of them.  And that would be, coming in at 93, Conway Twitty's classic crossover, Hello, Darling.  But, there's 4 debuts in the top 40 this week I didn't know either, so go figure.

Now, there were a buttload of songs that debuted this week in other years (AKA our birthday songs).  Turning 30 this week are Crosby Stills and Nash's Wasted On The Way and Eddie Money's Think I'm In Love.  Turning 35 we have Johnny Rivers' Swayin' To The Music (Slow Dancin'), The Floaters' Float On ("I'm Chris... I'm a Taurus...") , Ronnie Milsap's classic It Was Almost Like A Song- and, in a twist of irony considering last week's story on one-hit wonder  Feather, the Sanford-Townsend Band's Smoke From A Distant Fire.  Hitting 40 this week are Hot Buttered's instrumental Popcorn and Mac Davis' Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me.  Turning 45 is Vanilla Fudge's take on You Keep Me Hanging On; Turning 50 are Little Eva's The Loco-Motion (c'mon, baby!), Sam Cooke's Bring It On Home To Me, and Neil Sedaka's original Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (which is another irony, because the Partridge Family's version turned 40 this week as well).  Finally, Elvis' (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear turns the big double nickel.  Blow out the candles...

Our look back act for this week was the ninth biggest act of the pre-rock era, the Peerless Quartet.  Originally the Columbia (Records) Quartet, they were headed by an even bigger star, one that we've featured here before - Henry Burr.  Henry started out as second tenor, but graduated to lead singer when original leader and manager Frank C. Stanley died from pleuresy in 1910.  From 1904-28, the group registered 97 top 40s, 87 in the top ten, and 5 #1s, including versions of Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1911), Over There (1917), and a forerunner of the oft-mentioned BJ Thomas School, I Don't Knoiw Where I'm Going, But I'm On My Way (1918).  In addition to Burr, who had 15 #1s of his own, they also boasted another featuree, Arthur Collins, who tallied 7 top dogs on his own.  Collins joined in 1909, Burr in '06.

Not surprisingly, considering the timeline, our big mover is Crosby Stills Nash and Young with Ohio, up 21 spots to #55.  Dropping the most is former top dog Cecilia, falling 37 notches to #69.

Our where are they now feature is Smith's What Am I Gonna Do?  Now we mentioned Smith and lead singer Gayle McCormick way back in week 6 when their song Take A Look Around hit the top 40.  Smith only did a couple albums before disappearing, and Gayle herself only did a handful of solo lps before deciding she'd had enough of the musical rat race.  I have it on good authority that she moved to St. Louis several years back and has worked in the retail industry (most recently Sears) ever since.  The only other member I found much about was guitarist Rich Cliburn, who was at last count living in Albany, NY, and more or less also out of the music biz.  (Just as a reminder, their big hit was Baby It's You, a top 5 in 1969.)

Six songs bust into the top 40 this week.  Sly and the Family Stone breach the 40 at the leadoff spot, up 4, with (I Want To Take You) Higher.  Up 2 to 39 is a trio from Tampa (who would go on to greater fame in the disco era) called Faith, Hope, and Charity with a song called So Much Love.  A Michigan band called Flaming Ember comes in at 38, up 4, with Westbound #9.  They would go on to make the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame in 1999 (though Westbound was certainly not Rockabilly).  Norman Greenbaum's follow-up to Spirit In The Sky, called Canned Ham (of all things) moves up 8 spots to #37.  Mark Lindsay's Silver Bird also climbs 8 to #35.  Abd at 32, the Fifth Dimension zooms up 20 spots with Laura Nyro's Save The Country.

A tip of the hat to our almost-but-not-quite entrants this week:  freezing at 14 is the Four Tops' remake of It's All In The Game, the hit that Tommy Edwards took to #1 in 1951 and #8 in 1958.
And the Sandpipers drop from 13 to 31 with Come Saturday Morning, which is also this week's grandpa song at 17 weeks on the hot 100.

Two songs join the top ten, two drop out.  The droppers are The Letter (5 to 12) and former top dog Everything Is Beautiful (8 to 21).

Climbing one to #10, Tony Burrows and White Plains with My Baby Loves Loving.
The Temptations climb a fast 8 notches to #9 with Ball Of Confusion.
Blues Image rides up one with Ride Captain Ride.
And that brings us to the return of Six Degrees.

Which Way You Going Billy? by the Poppy Family drops from 2 to 7.  Susan Jacks, nee Pesklevitz, was a featured performer on the Canadian show Music Hop, a kind of Canuck American Bandstand, when she met (and briefly married) Terry Jacks and formed the Family( also briefly; Terry fired the other two members after the first lp, leaving the band basically him and Susan).  Music Hop had debuted in 1963-4, and the first host was none other than a 23 year-old Alex Trebek.   He lasted out the first year, and then went on to bigger and better things, one of which was a guest shot in 1988 on the show Mama's Family.  (Yeah, I'm stre-e-e-etching this one pretty tight!)  Mama's family, of course, starred Vicki Lawrence, who hit the top with The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia.  That song (which was first offered to Cher, but Sonny turned it down WITHOUT telling her- uh-oh!) was written by Vicki's then-husband Bobby Russell.  Bobby is known for his novelty hit Saturday Morning Confusion, but was better finacially compensated for Nights and a couple of his other songs- Honey (which Bobby Goldsboro took to #1) and Little Green Apples (which O.C. Smith took to #2).

Melanie, with the Edwin Hawkins Singers, move up a spot to #6 with Lay Down (Candles In The Rain).
Three Dog Night zaps up 5, from 10 to #5, with Mama Told Me (Not To Come).
Climbing from 6 to #4 is Vanity Faire's Hitchin' A Ride.
The Beatles begin their road to retirement as The Long And Winding Road, dropping from 1 to #3.
Rare Earth climbs a notch to the runner-up spot with Get Ready.
ANNNNND the new number one this week...

The Jackson Five with The Love You Save!!!

(Darn, I wanted to put pic of Susan Jacks or Gayle McCormick up- but I already did both not long ago, and I certainly don't want to be accused of voyeurism...)

That's all for this round.  Be back Saturday (if you haven't melted) for the eighties countdown!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pictures and stuff

This is from our walk through Appleseed and beyond Monday.
IPFW- the "sandy beach" from Riverfest goes bye-bye.

Blue Jays had a nest in the brush, I think.

Wow, a squirrel that poses!

Next came sitting behind the office yesterday.

I'm a happy Scrappy!
And then this morning:

She was munching down the back trail.

And woody was eating the pole just coming out of the woods.

Jeez, can't ya see I'm eating?  Huh-huh-huh-HUH-huh!

Oh, I've actually gotten around to getting a couple of new posts on the cap blog, so click the link at top right and check 'em out!  I do manage to get some halfway neat stories worked in.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"The End Of June"

Push a broom around
don't let it all get you down
You know it's just another day;
In a little while, you'll be free
of this weekday family
Why is it that you feel afraid?

You smell it in the air
but everyone denies it's there
They all await the final word
in all you fantasized
this is not the way things died
funny how a life gets blurred

Tear down the tables, kill the lights
The days will now be like the nights
and if a mouse crawls in and wonders why it ended so soon
it's not the end of your world,
it's just the end of June.

Come together, try to laugh
think of the good, forget the chaff
wish that you were gone, know that you can't go
Wait for a call on the p.a.
rehearse the things you'd like to say
tell a story, tell a joke

You cannot sweep this doom away
you can't count until they say
it's a bad dream, gone to the light
every hand's a clock that's counting down
every moment trembles on the sound
so walk away before the tears begin to bite

Tear down the walls, burn down the doors
No one will see it any more
And if it stands until the dimming of the moon
it's not the end of your world,
it's just the end of June.

Come let us draw together
hold each other like we never did
Come cry upon my shoulder
o'er what we should have said and never did
Come take a moment
tell me how you really feel
Come walk with me outside
tell me how you really feel....


Today was the last day.  We three cutters were given 2 assignments that took us a total of an hour at the very best.  We stood around.  We made messes so we could clean them up if anyone who cared came around.  A couple people had races balancing a mop in the palm of their hands. 

We discussed all the rumours floating around.  Told stories and jokes.  Took our last break.

Somewhere around 10:30, we got called to one last meeting, anticlimactical as it was.  Got our big settlement checks and a pamphlet from Workone (Indiana unemployment).  Then we got told, gather your stuff and leave as soon as possible.  I don't know if it was as much the bum's rush as it was, "This is what you're supposed to do.  Do what you need to."

My first move was to my supervisor.  I sat real close and said, "I wouldn't say this to just any supervisor (My attempt at keeping it light)... You're the best supervisor I think I've had..."
"Same here, Chris, " she replied.  "I'll miss you."
"Me too."

The rest of the time morphed into handshakes, then hugs, then tears.  Lots of tears.  One girl I'd banged heads with as much as anyone in the place cried on my shoulder.

Fort Wayne will come in to to a final inventory, I guess.  And to ship what's left out.  Including two sections of cutting table and the inside of a file cabinet drawer which now have "BOOOGAR!" written on them in marker.

And what is left now is a voice that keeps crying out, "It shouldn't have died like this!  It shouldn't have died like this!"  to nobody listening...

Monday, June 25, 2012

The immigration ruling

No, I'm not going to tear the whole thing down bit ( though I could).  I'm not going to pontificate onwhy illegal aliens should be made to comply with the law, since conservatives already know that and liberals will choose to ignore it as they do all laws they don't like.  The ruling itself had little to do with the morality of the subject, or the wrongs or rights.  The case was about one thing- state's rights.

The majority threw out 3 of the four causes on the concept that they "interfered with existing federal laws".  Never mind that the whole thing has come up because most administrations in the 20th and 21st centuries have FAILED TO ENFORCE said laws.   The fourth only survived because the Court felt that enforcement was so far ambiguous and needed to force a state case before they could rule whether it "interfered" or not.

When you read the Court's majority opinion (which basically goes, " We feel your pain, Arizona, but you can't supercede federal law"), it sounds pretty ironclad and logical.  The Federal Government has taken up the mantle of immigration supremacy, and despite the fact that the rules are written so the DOJ only has to enforce them when or if they feel like it, the states are out of the game.

But are they?  Let me give you some quotes from Justice Scalia's EXCELLENT dissent:

Today’s opinion, approving virtually all of the Ninth Circuit’s injunction against enforcement of the four challenged provisions of Arizona’s law, deprives States of what most would con- sider the defining characteristic of sovereignty: the power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there. Neither the Constitution itself nor even any law passed by Congress supports this result. I dissent.

One would conclude from the foregoing that after theadoption of the Constitution there was some doubt about the power of the Federal Government to control immigration, but no doubt about the power of the States to do so.Since the founding era (though not immediately), doubt about the Federal Government’s power has disappeared. Indeed, primary responsibility for immigration policy hasshifted from the States to the Federal Government .

Even in its international relations, the Federal Government must live with the inconvenient fact that it is a Union of independent States, who have their own sovereign powers. This is not the first time it has found that a nuisance and a bother in the conduct of foreign policy.

Though it may upset foreign powers—and even when the Federal Government desperately wants to avoid upsetting foreign powers—the States have the right to protect their borders against foreign nationals, just as they have the right to execute foreign nationals for murder.

What this case comes down to, then, is whether the Arizona law conflicts with federal immigration law—whether it excludes those whom federal law would admit, or admits those whom federal law would exclude. It does not purport to do so. It applies only to aliens who neither possess a privilege to be present under federal law nor have been removed pursuant to the Federal Government’s inherent authority.

The Court points out, however, ante, at 11, that in some respects the state law exceeds the punishments prescribed by federal law: It rules out probation and pardon, which are available under federal law. The answer is that it makes no difference. Illegal immigrants who violate §3 violate Arizona law. It is one thing to say that the Supremacy Clause prevents Arizona law from excluding those whom federal law admits. It is quite something else to say that a violation of Arizona law cannot be punished more severely than a violation of federal law. Especially where (as here) the State is defending its own sovereign interests, there is no precedent for such a limitation. The sale of illegal drugs, for example, ordinarily violates state law as well as federal law, and no one thinks that the state penalties cannot exceed the federal.

It holds no fear for me, as it does for the Court, that "[w]ere §3 to come into force, the State would have the power to bring criminal charges against individuals for violating a federal law even in circumstances where federal officials in charge of the comprehensive scheme determine that prosecution would frustrate federal policies." Ante, at 11. That seems to me entirely appropriate when the State uses the federal law (as it must) as the criterion for the exercise of its own power, and the implementation of its own policies of excluding those who do not belong there. What I do fear—and what Arizona and the States that support it fear—is that "federal policies" of nonenforcement will leave the States helpless before those evil effects of illegal immigration that the Court’s opinion dutifully recites in its prologue (ante, at 6) but leavesunremedied in its disposition.

The brief for the Government in this case asserted that "the Executive Branch’s ability to exercise discretion and set priorities is particularly important because of the need to allocate scarce enforcement resources wisely." Brief for United States 21. Of course there is no reason why theFederal Executive’s need to allocateits scarce enforcement resources should disable Arizona from devoting its resources to illegal immigration in Arizona that in its view the Federal Executive has given short shrift.

Must Arizona’s ability to protect its borders yield to the reality that Congress has provided inadequate funding for federal enforcement—or, even worse, to the Executive’s unwise targeting of that funding?
The President said at a news conference that the new program is "the right thing to do" in light of Congress’s failure to pass the Administration’s proposed revision of the Immigration Act. Perhaps it is, though Arizona may not think so. But to say, as the Court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of the Immigration Act that the President declines to enforce boggles the mind.

But there has come to pass, and is with us today, the specter that Arizona and the States that support it predicted: A Federal Government that does not want to enforce the immigration laws as written, and leaves the States’ borders unprotected against immigrants whom those laws would exclude. So the issue is a stark one. Are the sovereign States at the mercy of the Federal Executive’s refusal to enforce the Nation’s immigration laws?

A good way of answering that question is to ask: Would the States conceivably have entered into the Union if the Constitution itself contained the Court’s holding? Today’s judgment surely fails that test .

Arizona has moved to protect its sovereignty—not incontradiction of federal law, but in complete compliance with it. The laws under challenge here do not extend or revise federal immigration restrictions, but merely enforce those restrictions more effectively. If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State.

So you see, we spent 100 years of this counrty's history wisely constricting state's rights- the Nullification battle, the Civil War.  Then we let things swing the other way.  Now every battle we need to fight with the Federal government- education, health care, immigration- is fought to preserve the dwindling rights of the states.  It's not the constitution that's flawed- it's those that interpret it.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday message and pictures

So this morning I strapped on my little radio, my camera, and my dog and went out for a walk.  Chuck Swindoll was asking if I was an "active" or "passive" listener- whether I listened with the intent to apply what I heard, or just getting my heavenly S&H green stamps.  At first, I said, "Well, I wouldn't have took the radio with me unless..."

And then it came to me- I'm a Scrappy listener.

You see, if Scrappy was well-trained and well-behaved, walks would look like this:
The dog would patiently wait for me to be ready to go.
The dog would use just the leash I give him, not pulling.
The dog would follow my line, not turning left or right.
The dog would wait until an appropriate time to do his duty.
The dog would not be distracted by things to sniff, or people or dogs or ground hogs going by.
The dog would remember places we've been, and how I like to negotiate them.
And when I said it was time for a break, he'd patiently sit at my feet until I was ready to move on.

And a disciplined Christian should be much the same:
He should wait until God led him to move.
He should stay within the bounds God set up for him.
He should walk Christ's walk, not turning to the left or right.
He should strive to not cause situations that God needs to clean up.
He should be able, with God's help, to fend off the world's distractions.
He should learn from the past how God wants things done.
And when God says, "Chill", he should back off.

Now, Scrappy, while a very good boy, is not a very disciplined boy:
If you wonder how patient Scrappy is at walk time, Youtube a clip of Cheetah the Chimp from the old Tarzan show. 
While Scrappy's pulling varies, it's a general rule that the first ten minutes of any walk is a jerk-fest.
Most of that pulling being to one side or the other, sometimes dropping behind, and wrapping me up when he returns.
Scrappy's pretty good at waiting when he can for an out-of-the-way area to do his thing; but he ain't perfect.  Thus, there's always a "doggie bag" in my pocket.
Scrappy gives new meaning to the term "easily distracted".  His favorite being scents that were left an hour or so back, with him following in the opposite direction the animal went.
Scrappy is really good at knowing where to turn on a certain path.  But he's also pretty good at ignoring that when he has a mind (or nose) to.
And when I stop to take a break, even if it's 95 degrees and he's exhausted, he whines about stopping.

Which of course brings you to me:
My brain is in constant motion.  Listening takes more concentration than it should.
Pushing the limit?  Yeah, mainly in the realm of temper, though far from exclusively.
Veering left or right? Yep, until the leash of conscience brings me back.
Scrappy probably has me beat where "mess-making" is concerned.  I'm a veteran rationalizer, and can slip through the smallest crack in "the blame game".
Easily distracted?  Poster-child material.
Chris  is really good at knowing where to turn on a certain path. But he's also pretty good at ignoring that when he has a mind (or nose) to.
And slamming on the brakes is anethema to someone whose formative years were spent with a father whose family elevated the art of senseless argument to a spectator sport, complete with gambling lines.

So does that make me an "active" or a "passive"?  Only God knows for sure.  All I know is, while Scrappy is my bestest bosom buddy, there are times that I want to (and do) root him right in the butt.  I'm pretty sure God feels the same way about me.


This morning's walk was all about the stuff we just missed.  A deer running around for no apparent reason on the west soccer field.  #1 fox casually walking down the new trail and into the undergrowth right in front of us (Scrappy was off to the right, sniffing something else).  His mate at the other end of the back trail, standing so straight-still- not even moving when a mouse ran twenty feet in front of it- that I was convinced it was just a stick until she scampered into the woods.  What does that leave for today?



And the pond at the IPFW Alumni Center, which we hadn't visited since it was a glorified mudhole a couple years back.

That is not a heron.  That is a "scare-heron", meant I assume to keep the real things from eating all their fish and frogs.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Riverfest 2012

Riverfest just down the road at IPFW.

Scrap art- George Washington on a motorcycle!

AAAAGGGH!  They took perfectly good beer caps and turned them into magnets!

This guy had a lot of these- photos of Egypt past superimposed over today's Egypt.  Easily the coolest art in the show.

Candy dishes made out of old lps!  We bought Wings' London Town.

Cool stained glass- I believe they wanted $600 for this.

My firstborn had to leave early to sign on his new apartment.

Sitting in line for the pontoon ride.

There's our ship now!

They did a great job of setting up stuff for the little kids.  Here's a hula-hooper.

Walking the "high wire"...

...and the human hamster balls!

And here's Laurie with the nearly-famous News15 WANE weather specialist Nicholas Ferreri.

River debris and other junk, become river waves.