Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bar Codes

If you want to know where that piece of junk you just bought was manufactured, take a look at the first few digits of the bar code.  Some countries are no longer placing the words "Made in ....." on their products due to problems inside their country, along with consumer fear of products coming from that location to the US.  You can get that information by looking at the bar code as follows:

00    ~ 13     USA & CANADA  
30    ~ 37     FRANCE  
40    ~ 44     GERMANY  
49    ~          JAPAN  
50    ~          UK  
57    ~          Denmark  
64    ~          Finland  
76    ~          Switzerland  and Liechtenstein  
471  ~         Taiwan
480  ~         Philippines         
628  ~         Saudi-Arabia  
629  ~         United Arab Emirates  
690 ~ 695   China
740 ~ 745   Central  America 

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black or Red?

My daughter and I did a bit of shopping this afternoon, aka Black Friday.  We drove north to Melbourne, Florida, about 25 miles from home.  From the looks of things this may well be a black day in quite another way.  The origin of the name comes from retailers going from the red to the black, from loss to profit.  Though the mall was busy, it didn't appear to be any more so than any other weekend.  We stopped in Circuit City to pick up an item I had ordered on line.  I had expected a huge line, but I walked right up to the register.  We went to Best Buy to get a couple of DS games for her, and again I was surprised by the lack of people in line.  We were fourth.  

Now both CC and BB did have lots of customers in the store, but compared to recent years it was obvious that business was off.  Much to my delight, one very hot item was the eeePC, on sale for $279 with linux os.  Lots of people seemed interested, and smiles were evident when they got there hands on one.  They went quickly, too.

So this recession may be deepening, but not unexpectedly.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Parrot
A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious, and laced with profanity.
John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music, and anything else he could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary.
Finally, John was fed up, and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot, and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird, and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.
Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute. Fearing that he'd hurt t he parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer.
The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arms and said, "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."
John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude. As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird continued, "May I ask what the turkey did?"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Good Ol' Days

HIGH SCHOOL --  1957 vs. 2007
Scenario 1:
Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck's gun rack.
1957 -  Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2007 -  School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.   

Scenario 2:
Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.
1957 -  Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2007 - Police called and SWAT team arrives -- they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged them with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.   
Scenario 3:
Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other students.
1957 -  Jeffrey sent to the Principal's office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2007 -  Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie.. He is then tested for ADD. The school gets extra money from the state because Jeffrey has a disability.  
Scenario 4:
Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.  

Scenario 5:
Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1957 -  Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock.
 2007 - The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug  violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.   

 Scenario 6:
 Pedro fails high school English.
1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.
2007 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro's English teacher.  English is then banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.  

Scenario 7:
Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.
1957 - Ants die.
2007- ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents --and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny's dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fl y again.  

Scenario 8:
Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary.  Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1957 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2007 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison.  Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.  

Scenario 9:
Mary burns the tip of her tongue on a cup of hot soup she buys at the school cafeteria, thus spilling a bit on her new dress which becomes discolored.
1957 - She wipes up the spill and continues eating her breakfast.
2007 - Her parents sue the cafeteria food supplier because the coffee was too hot, thus closing down the lunchroom and depriving others of buying a healthy lunch.  Her parents also sue the dress maker for manufacturing the dress off shore while hiring workers at barely sustainable wages.

Scenario 10:
Janice watches Ralph Cramden threaten Alice with "Bang Zoom!"
1957 - Millions watch and everybody thinks it's very funny.  Ratings soar.  Janice becomes a well known Senator fighting for equal pay for female teachers.
2007 - The Honeymooners is immeditely canceled due to complaints from NOW.

Scenario 11:
Jerry's parents allow him to watch one TV show each evening after he completes his homework.  Commercials advertising cigarettes and liquor are permitted on TV.
1957 - Little Jerry is exposed to cigarette smoking and whiskey commercials.  He later goes on to write situation comedies for TV.
2007 - Jerry's TV show cannot show anyone drinking a beer, but words such as fart, bitch, bastard are permitted, as are commercials featuring models from Victoria's Secret and ads for Viagra.
How stupid we have become!!
Think about it!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Message to Mr. Hank Paulson

Hey Hank, how's it goin' old buddy old pal?  I hear that you got $700 billion from your piggy bank, aka the Treasury Department.  Sweet. Tres sweet.

Now, old chum, I see lots of folks like your old buddies at Goldman Sachs have gotten lots of cash to play with.  Good deal.  Tres tres sweet.

Now, you and I go way back (I think).  So here's the gig...

I'm not asking for like say a billion or twenty.  I'm not even asking for like a million, though that would be sweet.

No, just like a half million would be so kewel.  Tres kewel.

Just enough to clear up a couple of bills, ya dig?  And I'd even be willing to go to DC to beg my case in front of the Senator dudes and that lady with the funny accent from NYC.

So are we on the same page Hank?


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New TV show reviewed

There's a brand new TV show, have you seen it?  It's the Four Stooges!!!  Yay!  Starring Larry G. EM, Moe Ford, Curly Chrysler, and Shemp Uaw.  Funny guys.  In Tuesday's episode, they go to a farmer disguised as poor little starving wolves.  

"Oh Mr. Farmer, we are so hungry and we know you have lots of little chickens.  If we don't get some chickens we will die and our little cute wolfie kids will die too."

"But you guys just gobble up all the chickens yourselves and don't know how to save some chickens for tomorrow.  You mismanage your chickens."

"Oh, we promise we won't do that any more. Hey Mo, quit poking me in the eye."

"I didn't poke you, nuck, nuck."

"Now settle down boys. I'll tell you what.  Give me some idea how many chickens you will need."

"Hmmm, how does 25 billion sound?"

After the Farmer is revived...

"OK, I'll tell you what.  You can have some chickens, but...
1) Mo, Larry and Curly, you are fired and replaced with Tin Man because he has a brain.
2) Shemp, you and all your little starving babies are fired.  I've seen your starving little babies and they look very plump to me.   So even though they are fired they can re-apply for their jobs as non-union and at minimum chickens per hour.  You, Shemp, will be replaced by Lion, who is brave enough to not be a suck up to the other three wolves.
3) And last, you Mr. Henry Paulson, hiding in the forest.  You started this mess.  You got 700 billion chickens.  Those were my family's chickens.  You promised that those chickens would keep the wolves away from my farm.  Now all the animal creatures are looking for a handout.  So you will be replaced by Scarecrow because he has a heart.

Now all of you get out of my sight and off my farm before I get Sarah Palin in here to shoot every one of you wolves from her helicopter!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Big Three Bailout? Or More Mischief?

This morning the CEO of Ford Motors came on CNN to enlightne us about the need for the company to get billions of dollars cash from the Treasury (we the people).  His plea was so heart warming I wanted to hurl.  Ford is losing money because they are so committed to the consumer and the environment.  Hurl.  They are losing money because they are working to hard on electric cars.  Hurl.  Blah blah blah.  

Now since they have lost billions in the last few months, it made me wonder where all that money went from car sales.  

But one important question wasn't asked, so I'll ask it.  "Mr. _______ (fill in the name of any CEO from a Forune 500 company), can you tell us exactly what your salary was, how much money you personally made, what your 1040 income was, for 2007?  And 2008, how much? Because if your company and shareholders are sorely hurting for cash, and your company is bleeding money, I would think that your poorly run cash leaking company would be paying an executive like yourself, oh, maybe $8.  an hour."

Hey, if the Big Three are that hard up for cash, how about this...oversight!!!  Avery informative senator, Mr. Inhofe, also appeared this morning on the same program.  He stated that he, a United States Senator, had no idea where the first installment of the $700 billion bailout, $350 billion, went.  That's right, a US Senator HAD NO IDEA WHERE THE MONEY WAS GOING.  So perhaps Senator Inhofe and the one or two other honest Senators would like to oversee the remaining $350 billion, and the possible bailout of the Big Three auto makers.  I would be happy to volunteer, but I owe American Express a few dollars so this might disqualify me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bogus Bigots

I was the unwilling recipient of some hate mail today, one that speaks of the "mistake" America made in electing it's new president.  The "mistake" implies that Mr. Obama, and all Muslims, seek the end of Western civilization and the destruction of our way of life.  I was thinking about putting the email directly on my blog, but that would only be giving credit to the small minded bigots who spread this trash.  

First of all, Mr. Obama is not a Muslim.  If he indeed was a Muslim I would not be bothered by that one bit.  This is America, and religion should not be considered for anyone running for office.If you don't know, it is specifically written in the Constitution that there shall be no test of religion for political office. And I do believe that if he was a Muslim he would be forbidden to attend a church of another faith.  And he is about to be sworn in as President, using a Bible.  Or so I would think.  

Second, these hate mongers need to read the Constitution.  They speak of Obama as if he were king.  Our government has three branches and we conduct our government through a system of checks and balances.  If any of these hate mongers could read, or would take the time to read, they might actually learn something about a Democracy and a Republic and how we are a country of laws.  

Third, this nonsense reminds me of the filth that Hitler and his hooligans spread about the Jews in Nazi Germany.  The Jews are trying to take over the world!!!  They aren't like us.  They live a strange and exotic way of life!!!  They kill babies for their sacrificial rituals!!!

And finally, our outgoing president made a major issue of his being a born again Christian.  I don't know much about his faith, but I do know that Jesus preached "turn the other cheek." I don't think Jesus ever said, "You're either with us or against us."  He probably just left that to the Romans.  

I also wonder how much of this hatred is directed at Mr. Obama because he is half black?  Hey, people, remember that he is also half white.  So when you burn a cross on the White House lawn, only let it burn half way.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rahm Emanuel

President-elect Obama has chosen for his chief of staff Mr. Rahm Emanuel.  This is an interesting choice.  Mr. Emanuel is a native of Chicago and is the fourth ranking member of the House of Representatives.  His selection by Obama was expected by those in the know. However, it stands in stark contrast to some of the remarks that I read prior to the election as to Mr. Obama and his possible thinking about Israel. Many of the statements coming out of the Jewish community were anti-Obama.  Many believed him to be a secret Muslim, or at least favoring the Muslim viewpoint of Israel.  Of course he would be pro-Arab in any negotiations with the Arab world, and anti-Israel and anti-Semetic.  This can now be seen for what it was, hate mongering.  

Mr. Emanuel is not just a figurehead.  He will be Chief of Staff.  And he is very pro-Israel.  His father was a member of Irgun.  Mr. Emauel is by all accounts a practicing Jew and respected member of his synagogue.

So, here is the hope that being a Jew, Muslim, born again Christian, or whatever, is put aside and we can get down to bringing America back to a position of respect around the world.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Randomness of Life

Just the other day I heard about this incident.  A hearse was driving a casket to the cemetary with the wife of the deceased sitting in the front seat next to the driver.  According to police reports, the hearse was struck in the rear, causing the unsecured casket to lurch forward.  The wife was struck in the head by the casket and was killed.  

This got me to thinking about one of my favorite pieces of literature, Samuel Beckett's stage work Waiting for Godot.  Beckett also directed a brilliant presentation of the play which I have viewed many times.  Both the written work and the staged presentation offer the reader/viewer an opportunity to decipher the meaning in many ways.  For me, the work represents the randomness of life.  We try to connect the incidents of every moment to bring meaning to the whole.  I suppose the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, or so we all would like to think.  Each moment is so random that to think of the parts as a whole with no connection to anything other than that moment is enough to make one crazy.  Surely we are all a bit of Estragon and Vladamir, the two main characters in the play.  They are connected to nothing, own nothing, and can only relate to what is right in front of them.  Their only purpose seems to be to wait for Godot.  Everything else is random.  But we do not really know who or what Godot is, but only that he is coming and has been there before.  Isn't that what every day is like?  

Imagine this woman disconsolate over the death of her husband.  Imagine the mourners waiting the arrival of the casket and the bereaved wife.  What meaning can one possibly attach to this event in order to understand it, other than randomness?  Perhaps, like Vladamir and Estragon, they simply sat down and waited for Godot.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Two Bees

Two bees met in a field. 
One said to the other, 'How are things going?'

'Really bad,' said the second bee. 'The weather has been cold, wet and damp, and there aren't any flowers, so I can't make honey.

'No problem,' said the first bee, 'Just fly down five blocks and turn left. Keep going until you see all the cars. There's a Bar Mitzvah going on and there are all kinds of fresh flowers and fresh fruit.'

'Thanks for the tip,' said the second bee, and flew away.

A few hours later the two bees ran into each other again.  The first bee asked, 'How'd it go?'

'Great!' said the second bee. 'It was everything you said it would be. There was plenty of fruit and, oh, such huge floral arrangements on every table.

'Uh, what's that thing on your head?' asked the first bee.

'That's my yarmulke,' said the second bee.  
'I didn't want them to think I was a wasp.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fresh Air

The thought that went through my mind last night was how President-elect Obama came across during his press conference.  He was PRESIDENTIAL!  No guffaws, no malapropisms, no stumbles or bumbles.  He exudes confidence and intelligence, something we have sorely been lacking for eight years now, longer if you include the Republican attempt to impeach Clinton.  This comes at a time that we need to buckle down and get America back on track.  I don't belive that any miracle will happen.  He needs time and support.  I do think his leadership will be a welcome breath of fresh air, and that he will be a role model for many Americans.  And perhaps once again the rest of the world will look at America not as an aggressor, but as a land of opportunity.  

Friday, November 7, 2008

One state Two states

One state 
Two states
Red states
Blue states

Barack Obama
Road a llama
To the White House door
He heard a loud snore

Then he knocked twice
And heard some mice
Then he heard someone say
Go away! Go away!

Obama thought 
"How will I get in?"
"Hey Bushie it's me!
Sarah Palin!

Sarah Palin Sarah Palin
Did we win?  Did we win?
Can I stay Can I stay
Laura and I can we play?

Bushie please open
Cause McCain and I were hopin
To breakfast on green eggs
and ham

But I hate green eggs and 
ham-uh almost
As much as I hate
Barack Obam-uh

But Bushie Bushie
We did win win win
Just by the hair
On Sarah's chin chin chin

But I watched the TV
And what did I see
Lots too much blue
Nobody voted for you!

No Bushie I think
You had too much to drink
You had a bad dream
So that's what it seems

OK come on in
I'm so happy we did win
The TV was wrong 
The neo-cons are strong!!!

Come in come in
McCain and Palin
Here's ham and a green egg
But one question I beg

Sarah what did you do
To your hair
A second look at you
And I would swear

Oh no!  It's Obama
And his llama
Laura put down that cup
Go pack up

So Bush rode that llama
Right through Alabama
All the way home
To Texas he did roam

And here comes Michelle
She sure looks swell
Oh what happened to Palin
I'm not sure but I'll-aska

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Big Lies

The Big Lies will not go away.  I have heard from friends and neighbors whoi belive the election of Barack Obama spells doom for America.  I still hear that he is a terrorist in disguise.  I hear that he is part of a scheme to take over the world.  I hear that his friends blew up the Pentagon. I read signs that say he kills babies.  If you tell a big enough lie there are many people who will not only believe it, but stick with the lie even when it is proven to be a lie.

I am reminded of Donald Rumsfeld saying, "The lack of evidence does not prove the absence of evidence, it only proves that evidence is not evident."  Back when the powers that be decided to go after Al Quida, Powell and the rest of the insiders planned to bomb Afghanistan by air. Rumsfeld stated that Iraq should be the target.  He was asked why we should bomb Iraq.  His answer was that Iraq had better targets.  Huh?  A friend of mine dropped his car keys.  I asked if I could help him find the keys near where he was looking.  He said, "Oh, I dropped them in the bushes over there but I'm looking here because the light is better."  

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


How many of us ever believed that an African-American would be President within our lifetime?  If nothing else, the election of Barack Obama shows the world that America is the land of opportunity. Mr. Obama represents much more than the sume of his parts, it is the culmination of a long struggle for justice for all minorities in this country.  And that is a sruggle that many of us are familiar with, whether it is the color of your skin, the church you attend, or even the size of your waist.  Bravo America!

Monday, November 3, 2008


As I drove to work this morning I saw the following two signs:



So if you have nothing positive top say about yourself, throw everything aginst the wall and see what sticks.  Obviously these lame brains have nothing positive to say about McCain and Palin so they attack Obama.  

Hey numbskulls, go read a book!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Future Phillies

One of the major things that stood out for me during the World Series was the confidence that Charlie Manuel displayed in his players.  He ran the same group out game after game, and it paid off in a big way.  There was no single hitter that consistently showed up for the Phillies.  In fact you could say that from top to bottom everyone had good days but mostly bad days.  And yet they won.  It was the pitching.  Other than a couple of bad outings from Jamie Moyer versus the Brewers and the Dodgers, and one from Brett Myers, the pitching was awesome.  Cole Hamels elevated himself from number one to NUMBER ONE!  He just may be the second coming of Steve Carlton.  Myers and Joe Blanton pitched well enough to win, and six innings of good pitching is all it takes these days.  And don't forget Moyer.  He was terrible against the Brewers and worse against the Dodgers.  But Manuel stuck with Jamie and he came through in game three against the Rays. And the bullpen!  Romero, Madsen, and Lidge.  What a fantastic performance.  And hats off to Eyre and Durbin, too.

Now for the lineup.  Two players came through in the clutch before the final out, Carlos Ruiz and Shane Victorino.  Both had some terrific at bats and clutch hits.  And lets not forget that Manuel went with Pedro Feliz in the last game and Feliz came through big.  But more important was that Manuel never wavered when Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, and Jayson Werth were all terrible with men on base.  But each came through at important times, both offensively and defensively.  What a great play Utley made in the last game when he threw that Ray out trying to score from second on a ball hit in the hole.  Great play.

I look forward to more great things from this team.  The infield it set.  Ruiz will catch.  Victorino is set in center.  I don't think Burrell will be back, especially at $14 million a year.  Hoepfully the GM will bring in a big bat to replace Burrell.  And the pitching looks good.  Hopefully Moyer will again be back, Kyle Kendrick will return to his rookie form, and Myers will be consistent once again.  Add Blanton and that's five starters of quality.  

Last, had the Phillies not been in the series I would have rooted for the Rays.  They have a bright future ahead of them.  They played well throughout the playoffs, and Maddon is an excellent manager.  They, too, have much to keep them on top.

This off season should see the Mets, Yankees, and Red Sox spending lots of cash.  Each has some holes that need to be filled.  The Yankees need pitching, pitching, and more pitching.  The Mets need a bullpen.  The Red Sox, well they will spend money like they are printing it.  They need Lowell 100% and perhaps replace Veratek.  

Seed you next spring!

Your Bailout $ at Work

The Mail, a British/London newspaper, reports that Goldman-Sachs has set aside approximately $10 billion of bailout funds for salary and bonuses to its 443 "partners."  That will amount to about $4.5 million EACH for Christmas.  This comes as no surprise to me, since the author and main thrust behind the bailout is non other than Hank Paulson, ex CEO of...Goldman-Sachs.  So people of America, how do you like where your US Treasury funds have gone?  And remember that Paulson was appointed by our fearless leader, Mr. George W. Bush.  And remember that Mr. John McCain has proudly claimed that he has backed Mr. Bush almost 100% of the time.  Haven't the Republicans, Bush-Cheney-Rove, done enough to destroy the USA as we once knew it?  Isn't it time for the Republicans to pack up and leave Washington?  Oh, and take Dem. Pelosi with you.

BTW, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has warned Wall Street that using bailout funds to pay salary and bonuses will be in violation of the law.  We'll see.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I am so lucky!

I wonder how many of you have been as lucky as I am.  Just read this list and you'll be astounded at my luck...

1) I have won the British lottery at least ten times
2) My name has been drawn from millions of emails sent and I've won!
3) My long lost Nigerian uncle has left me millions of dollars
4) I have been selected to receive millions from a Hong Kong account in my name
5) The Liberian government had awarded me ten million dollars
6) A CEO job is just waiting for me, and it pays millions
7) Wal-Mart wants to give me thousands of dollars
8) I get to keep a lap top for free
9) Eat this, not that
10) Vote for Obama

But, on the other hand...
1) I need male enlargement
2) But my breasts are too small
3) My wrinkles are too big
4) But my IQ is too small
5) My bank account has to be updated
6) But my bank account has been suspended
7) My bank account has been closed
8) But someone wants to meet me
9) My ebay auction winner wants their money back
10) But I should vote for McCain

I wonder what all of these people did before there was an Internet?

Chase Utley Drops An F Bomb!

In the excitement of the celebration, Chase Utley, the Phillies spectacular second baseman, let fly with an expletive which we all know and love! The greatest second baseman in Phillie history is hereby excused and will not get a reprimand from the teacher!  The only problem is that Chase did his thing in front of perhaps several million adoring baseball fans.  But hey, this is only the second World Series victory for the Phillies in their century and a quarter of existence, so Chase, we love you!  And drop another one next year, too.