Friday, April 30, 2010

Sometimes you find someone who gets it

Wonderful explaination

From Cafe Hayek    http://cafehayek.com/
   
To All Team Members:
The schedule for next week has been posted. You may notice that hours have been cut back on your schedule. This is across the board, not just you. I don’t want anyone to think they’ve done something wrong to deserve a cut in hours, so I wanted to explain why it’s happening.
There are a couple of reasons for this:
1) May and September are very slow months for our business. Anyone who has worked Sundays recently has seen the drop off in traffic. Now that we’re entering May, that drop off will continue on to other days as well, and it will get worse.
2) The recent increase in the minimum wage to $7.25/hour. Since we’ve opened, I’ve had a lot of people ask why they can’t get more hours, and it’s a great question.
I would LOVE to give everyone all the hours they want, and then some. Our customers would be happier across the board, we could accomplish much more every day, our business would grow, I could hire even more people, and on and on. However, we operate on a tight budget just like any other business, and in order to survive, we have to make money. That means our labor cost (the total amount you are all paid) must stay below a certain percentage of our total sales. If it doesn’t, we go broke and everyone loses their jobs.
Our brilliant Congressmen in Washington, D.C. decided a couple years ago that it would be a good idea to raise the minimum wage by about 40% to $7.25/hour. It just took effect last year. That probably sounds like great news for everyone – more money in everyone’s pockets can only be good, right?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way in the real world. If I’m forced to pay everyone 40% more, I can’t afford to schedule as many employees for as many hours, since our sales aren’t going up by 40%. Remember, I can only afford to pay you guys a certain percentage of all the money coming in the door. That means hours get cut, and everyone ends up poorer.
In a perfect world, it should work the opposite way: you should be free to choose how much you think your skills and time are worth (since you know best), and I should be free to pay you whatever that amount is if I want to hire you. Everyone wins in that case. I get as many good employees as I want that I can afford to pay, and you get valuable job training, references, and relationships to carry into the future.
To prove how bad of a deal minimum wage is for you guys as hard-working job-seekers, just look at this way:
I’m not being forced to pay $7.25/hour; YOU are being forced to accept $7.25/hour no matter what, even if you’d be willing to take less in order to get (or keep) a job.
You can thank our elected officials in Raleigh and Washington for sticking you with such a raw deal.
If you have any questions about any of this or want to talk more about it, please feel free to come see me, the door is always open.
(Note: A.G.’s reference to a 40-percent increase in the national minimum-wage seems to refer to that wage’s increase since 2006.  The increase since 2008 is 11 percent; the increase since 2007 is 24 percent.  But even an arbitrary 11-percent increase is enough to lead to the effects that A.G. describes.)

What do you think?

Going out in style

I remember when I was very young going with my parents to a Irish wake.  It was held at the home of the person who died. His wife met us all at the door. He was laid out in the "parlor."  My parents paid their respects and at the end of the coffin, which was standing up but laid back about 15 degrees was a Keg of beer tied to a coil box. Cups for the beer were placed next to the coil box and everyone took a drink to Edward. About 4 hours later there was music and laughing galore.  People were saying wonderful things about Edward.
I always remember that.  My father always said he wanted people to celebrate his life, not mourn his death.  I like that sentiment.  I understand the sadness of losing a loved one, but I can quickly grasp the idea to celebrate the life of that individual.
Not that I want to be posed in my Harley in the "parlor".  But I can get this story. I now how the guy feels and I don't find it offensive in any way. 

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2010 Right to Keep and Bear Arms Rally

Well, I made it this year.  I had an incredible time.  Last year I was signed up to go and had a sick kid keep me home.(Rightfully so)  So let me give you all some observations from the day out in Harrisburg.
1) The Speakers were excellent. All of them, but one, had great public speaking ability.
 Of course Wayne LaPierre from the NRA is a Rock Star.  He was mobbed for autographs for an hour after the rally.  Suzanna Huff was excellent, but if you have seen her YouTube video, you saw her speech. Larry Pratt was funny and interesting to listen to. And State Rep Metcalf solidified my vote for Lt. Governor.
Kim Stolfer of FOAC was a calm cool speaker, he was not his loud boisterous defiant presence.  

2) The weather was fabulous. I drove the truck.  It was still raining as I left at 7:00 AM. I truly wanted to ride the bike, but I never LEAVE when it's raining on it. I passed some bikes at the turnpike entrance and I hope they weren't waiting for me. As I headed west on the turnpike ran into a wonderfully sunny and breezy day. 2 hours was all I would have needed to ride the bike.  40 MPG versus 18 in the truck.
 
3) The turnout was good, but not great.  1100 preregistered and 800 people total were there. I guess since I bagged out on last year, I could understand. I was expecting more people though.

4) Harrisburg is a pretty town for the most part, it's a shame it's politicians are looking into bankruptcy to save it from it's debt burden.  Well, it is a Demoncrat stronghold, and they do have a Lost and Stolen gun ordinance.

5) I got to see my cousin, John.  He is a great guy, I really need to see him more.



All this and I got work done too!  The Harrisburg office let me work there so I didn't miss much.  All this and home by 4:30.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happy Day

My #1 son is a new homeowner.  He made settlement at 11:00 AM this morning and borrowed the family air mattress to sleep in his new empty home.  I am very, very proud of him.  He is incredibly smart.  Now I will wait to see how long it takes him to actually move all his stuff out of our home.  His Aunt found a wall piano that her fellow worker was trying to get rid of for free.  He went to look at it last night. I'm thinking my truck will be quite handy right now! 
Not to be outdone, #4 son won his baseball game last night in killer fashion. 17-7 with many 5 run rule inning stoppers. He has another game today at 2.  My wife is making cupcakes for the team, as the coach asked her to to.  One of the boys on the team is having a birthday.  She is a good Team Mom.

I am planning on cutting some grass.  Got to leave by 1:00.  It's 10 now!

Have a great day, mine is set up just right!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

All in a day

#2 son got a ticket for running a red light and not having an updated insurance card.
It was a Penn Cop and it happened on 40th street.  #2 admitted that he ran the light, (idiot)then proceeded to torture the poor cop with not rolling his window all the way down and other stupid crap he incorrectly over heard from me.  I am very astute on my constitutional rights of these stops. #2 tried to assert his rights while doing all the wrong things.  After refusing to lower the window more than 2 inches, he told the officer, "I'm going to reach back into my wallet for my license." Now to a cop, who already suspects something because of the window issue, you might as well scream gun.  So the cop opens the door, which was unlocked and scare the bejesus out of #2. Of course my gregarious #2 starts spouting off rights and crap instead of keeping his mouth shut. So he gets 2 tickets, one he admitted to, and one because his insurance card is still magnetically connected  to our fridge door. He will go to court to get insurance ticket thrown out.  He has it.


Add to this #3 is having some grade issues.  He drops his report card on me as he was leaving this morning. "I need to get you to sign this," he says. He will see me when school is over.  I see UN sanctions coming for him. Already talked to the wife. Her and I agree, no video games until school is over. Reading and Math everyday!! 

#1 is making settlement tomorrow on his first home. It is a nice little row home about 11 miles from here in a small suburban town. The wife is going to join him for the walk through and settlement.  He is in good hands. #1 looks like he will have some furniture for his new home also.  His Aunt and Uncle are giving him stuff that would be considered new in most homes. I will lend him my truck to move his bed and furniture.  I see a bedroom being painted in my future.  #3 will get #1's old room as he leaves. So bedroom 3 of the 4, will become my "Man Cave!" (If luck follows me)

#4 has no baseball tonight.  Friday and Saturday, yes, but not today.  Thank you Jesus!!

We are lucky as a family.  This is happy normal stuff.in the days of a busy Dad (And Mom in these cases)

Over at Wyatts....Support Your Local Gunfighter

OK Corral document

This just boggles the mind to no end.  It was out to be copied in 1960 and no one preserved this? 
Documents like this need to be preserved as they are part of our American history.  I have never been to Tombstone but it's on my bucket list.  I had always wanted to ride my bike out west and visit these tourist areas while riding. 

When seconds count video

Could this be you or your wife?daughter?

Courtesy of PJTV!!!


When seconds count, the police are only moments away!!!
Not a Brinks alarm commercial by any means.  When those guys break in who has time to answer the phone?

More on Brady money

From over at Snowflakesinhell, Sebastian lays it out there.

http://www.snowflakesinhell.com/2010/04/21/brady-fundraising-on-open-carry/

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A win for the Orioles

#4 son plays for the Minor A Orioles team and they won their first game last night. 11-9 was the final.  My wife and I were there cheering him on.  He plays the game pretty well.  He played center, left, right fields, and 3rd base.  I was proud of him, and I am sure my wife was proud and happy that the losing is over. I'm sure my wife doesn't like baseball, but she is interested in learning the game more than ever. Her questions are always good ones now.
We went for ice cream, er, water ice to celebrate.   
I was early for the game, and I got to help set up the field. As a matter of fact I set up the entire field by myself. Hand rake the entire infield and both first and third base line.  Add to that home plate chalking and line chalking and I was pooped carrying all that stuff back and forth. I forgot to tell you laying out the bases, too. 
So you might say, "So what?"  Well, I was kind of mad. I don't mind helping, but I watched 2 to 3 other dads just sitting on the bleachers watching me. Not one asked to help, or if I needed help. Then during the game no one bothered to turn o the lights, so I walked to the snack bar to have them turned on.  I get back to my seat with my wife and after a half an inning I noticed one tower was not turned on in Left Field. So I trudge back to the snack bar to ask for ALL the lights to be turned on.  Poor kid in left was standing in the dark and no one noticed but me? 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Umpiring 102

I umpired my 2d game last night, for free, at our local LL field.  The place has a little room called the Umpires lounge that you and I would call a closet. I will admit they supply top shelf gear for the volunteer umps. I grabbed my chest protector, shin guards and mask and head out to the field.  They also have a balls and strikes hand clicker for the umps to use. I grabbed one quick out of the plastic tub. Later that will mean something important. 
My #4 so joined me at the game and he got to manage the scoreboard.  He was in heaven and sat behind all night. A different kind of father/son bonding.  (But I love it just the same)
Let's get to the game, shall we?  It was a longggggggg one.  It lasted 6 innings, with 8 pitching changes and 31 runs. I had multiple calls at the plate, a couple at third and an interference call I had to make. I will explain the interference in detail, but first the closest play at the plate. It was truly a close play, probably the closest I had in a long while. The good news was I had a great 4 foot view of it.  I can honestly say the runner was safe by a pinky toe.  The throw came in, the catcher caught and started to apply the tag from my left. The runner was sliding in to the plate from my right.  The catcher slid his glove across the plate just as the runner was sliding in. I saw it clear as day. The runners left foot pinky toe touched the front edge of the corner of the plate a microsecond  before the tag.  I made the call, SAFE, and the catchers bench went nuts.
Now to the interference, and I am telling you this because the interference was on the same team as the catcher.  Ball is hit into the gap in right center with a man at first and one out. Man on first runs around the bases and the other teams third baseman interferes with him as he is rounding 3rd. I drop my mask and allow the play to continue.  The runner is tagged out, called out by me, at Home, not even close.  I call time.
I head to the visitors bench and advise them the run counts since I called interference. They are happy.
I head to the interfering teams bench to tell the coach and needless to say he is livid.  Tough day.
So there you have it, a out and run scored on same play. Now I want you to know that the team that seemed to get all the bad calls won the game with a bottom of the 6th walk off double.
It is no surprise to me why they have a hard time getting volunteer umpires. It is great knowing I was being watched by my son though.

Add to all this my knees aching and you can imagine why I like to get paid.  Advil.......Lots and lots.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Umpiring 101

I was at my #4 sons baseball game on Saturday.  The 2 umpires were also assistant coaches from other teams. They were really bad.  Since I am a certified umpire I see a lot of things that other people do not.
Let me set up for you the bad call of the game. Runners on 1st and 2nd, 1 out.  Batter pops up into the  infield on the right side.  The first baseman makes the catch and sees that the runner on first has left the bag. He tags first.  Simple call, right?  Double play. 
Nope, not with these dopes.


Home plate umpire never called or signaled Infield Fly rule. So batter was not automatically out. BUT, when the first baseman, caught the ball the batter was out, and the runner being off first was out also.  The home plate umpire said the batter was out via infield fly, but the field ump called that the runner was safe at first.

Now you say to me why should I care?  Those 2 outs would have ended the inning.  Next kid comes up and hits a triple.  Game over.

This league goes with volunteer umps and they get what they pay for.   I umpire tonight for free.  (I hate that)

Sunday celebration

Waking up Sunday morning I had big plans.  Break out the tractor, oil change her and clean up the yard. Put summerization plan on the 2 snow blowers was also in that plan.  What did I get done?  Nothing.  I layed around all day exhausted from the previous weeks schedule.  I got all caught up on TV shows.  I watched VOD all day.  From 12:30 until 11:30 PM I trotted through the various menus seeking out shows I have been missing.

How great is Comcast On Demand?     Spectacufabulous!!

I now know that Shannon Tweed does not have breast cancer.
I now know that Gene Simmons is 60 years old. 
I am all caught up with the new show, Justified.  If you haven't seen it watch it.  ("Take one more step and I will shoot you")
In Plain Sight is not bad, but the woman star got bad lip botox job since last year.(But has a great stomach) 
I am all caught up on Fringe.

I will cut the grass after work on Tuesday!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekends come and go.

Saturday started early. Baseball parade, we were early, but we forgot sunglasses at home, so we made 2 trips. The baseball parade was less than spectacular.  1 cop car, 6 fire engines and 300 kids walking in an organized chaos down the road.  1 mile to the fields. 
Once on the field, each team was announced by Comcast SportsNets own Michael Barkan. Some awards and plaques were handed out and the kids were introduced to Milt Thompson and Ryan Madsen of the Phillies.  This was a exciting nice touch.  A batting clinic and photos were taken and games that were to start at 10 moved closer to noon.  A 2 hour delay.  (Can you say bad planning?)
Our number 4 son's game was moved back far enough for us to run home and relax a bit.  But the game must go on.  So our boy plays Center field, First base and pitches a couple innings. Nice game, but they lose their third game.  2 games in a row they stage a late comeback and come up short.  Our son handles this pretty good. It was a cold day and we had more to do.
The number 4 son also had to be at the Wilmington Blue Rocks game by 5:00 PM.  So we head home add more layers and scoot to Frawley Stadium in Wilmington Dibelaware. We get there early and find that last nights game was rain delayed. So the kids playing band instruments were cold and now waiting an additional 2 hours.  The Star Spangled Banner lasts 2 minutes and 18 seconds, but I have never heard it played better.
Did I mention it was cold?  And windy?  My wife didn't make the first inning. She hopped into my truck to turn on heat.  The 2 boys, #3 and Trombone player #4 and I stayed for 3 innings.  In that 3 innings I saw 3 errors.  I guess that is why it is Carolina League baseball.

We made it home about 9 PM and felt we all had a long day.  Sleep was much needed.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Crazy days

My 10 year old has his band practice for his big public event on late Saturday.  He will arrive home today at 5:10ish.  My wife is picking him up in my truck on her way home. He has 30 minutes to eat and change into his baseball uniform for a game he has that needs him at the ballpark at 5:45. So his game will happen and he will come home, eat some more and off to bed.  It's starting to get to him.  He likes down time and won't get any until Sunday. He kinda complains, but he is very resilient and we help by always talking positive about his schedule.   

All this and we need to get out and get my wife's car that is now done at the dealer from getting some paint on it. Some big lug scratched  with the snow blower. So the 24 year old will bring his Mom to get her car and mom will meet us at the game.  Another crazy day at our house.


I won't even go into the fact that we somehow need to get to Acme and get our free pots.  We have been saving for months and we will get more than a full set.  My oldest son just bought a  house and he will get the new collection of pots and pans.  He don't know it yet.  Little housewarming gift.

Happy Tax Day.  Cheers for the Tea Party folks.  Thanks for Representing me as I am far to busy. But I am there with you all in spirit!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What the heck hit me?

Last night I was catching up on some DVRd programs and I fell asleep in the love seat. No surprise there as I do that often. I woke up at 1:00 AM and had quite a headache.  I must have been sleeping cramped up, so I just needed a couple Advil and I would awake refreshed in the morning.  So I took 2 Advil and swallowed 3-8 ounce cups of water and off to bed I went. I woke at 6:30 to the sound of my radio alarm running.  I was surprised since it had been set for 5:59.  I never do that, sleep through the alarm, WTF?  I open my eyes and start to raise my head and BOOM the throbbing starts.  Pounding like someone is in there trying to get out.  My equilibrium was also off I felt like I was back on board a 44 foot motor life boat from my Coast Guard days. I mosey on down the steps and reach for 3 Advil, it was truly a 3 Advil head splitter.  I take them and head over to the couch in the living room.  Down goes Danny....  I am laying there for about 30 minutes and my wife reminds me she is taking the truck and I pulled it into the garage. She says she can back it out, but her voice has that sound of nervousness. So I pop up to get the truck turned around in the driveway and I see spots, big spots, little spots, circling spots.  My head pounding, seeing spots and my belly starts to churn.  My mouth gets wet quickly and I know that feeling. I head to the powder room in a sprint, 13year old is in upstairs bathroom.  I make the room fine, now I am waiting.  Like an earthquake flowing lava I finally erupt. What is that vile stuff spewing out of me. Head still pounding, arms and legs trembling I kneel.  I'm going to be there a while.  Hitting empty when you are wrenching is the worst. I finish.  I'm wiped out, but the cold water from the sink helps cool my forehead and my neck.  I soak my hair and push it back.  My wife is at the door with some paper towels, just in case.  I don't need them, I am an unfortunate expert at throwing up, all my mess is flushed away.  So I head out the back door to get the truck out of the garage, body trembling, head pounding but mudding it through.  I say goodbye to my wife, and head upstairs to see my son off to school.
Then back on the couch until I have to start work.  No more Advil until 10.  Ugghhhh.
So the morale of the story?
Don't expect blog posts from me when the shit has hit the fan.


Ohh, I am feeling slightly better, head is good, body is shaky. These 24 hour bugs that the kids bring home are killers.  See you all tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thanks to my Nephew

I have a nephew who is 38 years old.  He was born when I was 15 years old.  I have watched him grow up from diapers to being a successful business man. It is quite a site watching a baby become a boy and then the boy becomes a man. I was around him quite a lot when he was young. He had the greatest attitude.  His mom, my sister, was far from rich but she worked hard to give him a normal childhood. His dad left when he was very young, never far away, but not a daily influence. So my nephew had interesting role models as he matured.   I learned many things from my nephew along my life's journey, he will probably laugh when he reads that. He was in a great Rock band.  They went after it.  They traveled to a location where they had the best chance of discovery, but it was not to happen. The story goes that he made his mom a promise that if he didn't make it by his 30th birthday he would "get a normal" job.  As his Uncle, I couldn't believe he didn't make it. They had skills, talent, words and music. What he couldn't know was it was all about who you knew. The last successful Rock band that made it on their own was U2.  NONE of the current groups, no matter what you think, have made it without someone.  Now, with American Idol and bad one hit wonder bands happening every day, I still can't believe the music industry did not see my Nephews struggles and talent. The entire band was GREAT.  True to his word he came home, but not defeated, energized to make the next leg in his personal journey better.  He was married now, he was planning on his family, he had to over into the next level.  I remember me going through that.  Life changing decisions.
He is now a business man, and with his integrity and grit he has clawed his way into a piece of the main stream pie. He has found peace in that I think.  He will always have the memories of the past, but as he ages they get better each time the stories are told. The weeks of living on one can of Spam are over.  I remember too..
Now he has a wife and daughter to manage for.  Maybe another on the way, a son I hope. His life has changed, but I think he is happy.  That is all I ever wanted for him.  
He sparks me to compose more of my family day to day discussions, and I promise him I will.  But before I did that I wanted him to know how much I have, and always will love him.  He has positively influenced my life more than most, he has always made me happy.  We have a special handshake, so special that only he, me and my sons know it.  It will remain ours and ours alone.  I love you Michael Jason!!

Keep up the good work!! You are such a fashion GOD!!



Monday, April 12, 2010

Cut in half, protect yourself.

If you have ever heard me talk about gun rights, you have heard me say that the police have no duty to protect you.  The gun on a policeman's belt, open carried, is to protect him, not you. So a judge comes up with a common sense ruling. I bet crime goes down in this area.  Anyone want to bet?

Judge Alfred Mackey of Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court advised residents Friday to be vigilant and arm themselves because the number of deputies has been cut about in half because of a tight budget. He also urged neighbors to organize anti-crime block watch groups.
"They have to be law-abiding, and if they are not familiar with firearms they need to take a safety course so they are not a threat to their family and friends and themselves," Mackey said Friday.
Mackey, whose comments were first broadcast Thursday by WKYC-TV in Cleveland, was expressing concerns with budget cuts that have trimmed the sheriff's department from 112 to 49 deputies in the county, which is Ohio's largest by land area.

Total Story Here!

My truck is gone....

My 2007 Chevy Silverado with only 21,000 miles on it is gone.  It was in the garage and then it was gone.  I am forced to ride the bike for the short term.  Stolen?  No, my wife's car is getting painted and she has my truck. I scratched the side of here car while snow blowing our driveway this winter.  I really don't remember what storm it was.  But I must have done it.  So she will have my truck for the next 3 days.  Working from home gives me a ton of flexibility and I rarely go out for lunch. 
Tonight the 10 and 3/4 year old has a baseball game, so our day full again.  Tomorrow I have a day long issue as well.  Wednesday night my motorcycle riding clubs meeting is at 8:00, so full day, and I have to get my wife to her dealer to get her car in there.  Thursday is another baseball game, and I attempting to help all day on Friday with a Harley dealers Demo Day.  Saturday?  Baseball..  Game and umpiring...

I need a vacation at a spa! Daily massage and food served to me every 5.5 hours.    

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Phil Mickelson Wins!!!

Nice guys can finish first.  The Masters is over and Phil wins his 3rd Masters.  While Tiger was the news story, Phil got the huge 7 figure check. A better family story of a man whose wife and mother are suffering through some serious breast cancer issues.  His wife was bed ridden all week, but was helped to greet him off the 18th hole. I had a wet eye issue.  Allergies...  uhhhhhhhhmmmmm...

Tiger did OK if you think about it though.  He takes off 5 months and finishes 4th.  Phil has been having major head issues also of another kind.  The better MAN won!!  The true blue better MAN.

So you think you are busy?

The alarm clock today was once again set for 6:00 AM. I had to lead my motorcycle group up to their day of ERC training. But at 5:32 my eyes opened and I decided to just get as to not disturb my sleeping wife.  So off I go down to make the coffee.  I told some of the guys I'd be at the diner at 6:30 and I got there at 6:20.  I really do enjoy being early for things.

So the diner food was good, and I lead the 7 men on to the ERC (Experienced Riders Course). We take pretty back road with some twisties in them to get there.  But we get there early, and as always I had some people not show.  I signed up 12, and one guy doesn't show.  He doesn't call me, e mail me or nothing, he just doesn't show!  I hate that.  So if you are reading this STEVE you owe me a compliment for not telling everybody that you blew me off.  I actually got to do some demo riding this morning, and I loved that, although I didn't do to well.  I was nervous performing some basic skills in front of people.(Hard to believe me nervous, I know) But now I am back home and depending on my wife and how she is feeling, I might even head back!

The rest of the day is mine.  I will watch some of the Masters and maybe a Phillies game if on TV.  I will get to the lawn and yard during the week.  No fertilizer yet and its mid April.  Maybe I will call Lawn Doctor.  Feeling lazy now!

I will add some pictures as I unload them off the camera.  IF you ride a motorcycle, this training really could be YOUR life saver.  I kid you not.  Let me know if you have questions about it and I will help as best I can.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another 99 on a test.

So I am going to vent and make a short story long.  I hope you enjoy the frustration I am about to spout. My day started at 6:00 AM, and nothing good ever starts for me when I am up that early.  There are early birds and there are people like me who love to sleep in on weekends. The alarm did it's job, and I remembered to set the automatic coffee pot.  So drifting down to the kitchen was wonderful in that the coffee was already waiting for me.  I sucked a quick cup down.  My eyes slowly opened.  I sucked another cup down, and my legs started having feeling in them.  6:30 appears on the kitchen clock, and I am off to the shower.  Shit, Shower, Shave and scrub my teeth.  Get dressed and back to the kitchen.  I remembered I had to have a lunch, so I pack. I fill a thermos with the rest of the coffee from the pot.  Now to check the temperature.  40 degrees, brrrr.  I am off to the hall closet to gather some layers.  Out comes the leather jacket, out comes the chaps. Time to gear up.  Now I am off to the garage.  I remember the lunch bag and the thermos.  I dig out a helmet from a bag hanging on a hook.  Do you know where I am going now??   Have a clue?  Want one?

I am off for my Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Experienced Riders Course, how did you miss the fact that I was reaching for my helmet? I rarely USED to wear one. But I have to lead by example, and now I have to find a great light Kevlar half helmet. I have an old 3/4 helmet and it is HOT as hell.

Yup, not only am I taking the 8th Experienced Riders Course, but I am now a Candidate member for being a PA Motorcycle Safety Foundation  Rider Coach.(Someone who teaches people to ride) I need to give you more history than you really want.  I take this course every year. Each year I am shooting for passing the final test with a perfect score. My first year it was a 96, then 98 followed by a series of 99's and last year with a 98.  If I have to find a silver lining, I have never done the same mistake twice. This year I braked to slow and went 1 foot, yup 1 friggin foot, over the line for my Speed and Stop.  I am pissed.....  Angry..... Disappointed and sullen. Did I mention I missed it by 1 foot??  12 inches...    O  U  C  H  !!

OK, I feel better, NOT.  BUT a good part of the story is I scored highest of all the other 17 people. These were 17 really good riders all able and wanting to be Rider Coaches. The Coached I tested with don't look at it as a score of "99."  They look and see a "1."  Normal folks taking this class get to have a score of 20 and you pass, Rider Coaches get to only have 11.  All the 17 passed with better than 11. (1 of them I have to wonder how, but that's what was said)

So my whole day was tied up with this, and I have more to go to become a Riders Coach. I will give you status updates as I dance through their candidate vetting. For more info see the link below!  Feel free to post questions if you have them.

PA MSP 

Friday, April 9, 2010

Please check this out...

Sebastian gets it right on!

Gun Control is about Control, not the guns.....

422 in Oaks, PA road rage shooting.

Story here

"A woman was shot twice early Friday morning in an apparent road rage incident on Route 422 near the Oaks exit in Montgomery County."  The guy drove right to his attorneys office and turned himself in. What was he thinking?  Guys like this tend to make all the serious law abiding gun carriers look awful.
I already got this story forwarded to me 4 times today from friends who know my feelings.
This man will now be forever a criminal, he will lose much more than his gun rights.  He will probably do jail time, and I think he should do some serious time line, like 25-30 years. Road Rage?  My God we all have had it at one time or another. I know I have snapped as a person caused me to ride my motorcycle up an embankment. But NEVER did I ever contemplate shooting the offender.  My wildest rage on the road has me possibly flipping off the offender.  NOW, if ever there was a need for cell phones, this is it.  Have you noticed that when you are talking on the cell you are far more forgiving, since you can vent to the person you are chatting with?  I know when I was always on the mobile Ham Radio setup in my car/truck I was preoccupied with chatting and never let the traffic flow bother me.
There is ZERO excuse for this monster to do what he did.  I will be interested to see if he had a License to Carry Firearm for PA/FL/Utah.  I'm sure more will come out on this story.  I will follow it and update the blog with facts I can gather.
 

Arizona gets it!!!

So off to the Arizona Governors desk for signature.  Arizona becomes another State who get's the 2nd amendment and understands its own State Constitution.(Along with Alaska and Vermont)  I am a huge proponent for carrying a firearm.  Any law abiding citizen should always have the choice. I'm not forcing anyone to do it, and I highly recommend safety training from a NRA instructor. I especially think woman need to carry more. They are often the victims of crimes that I find mentally disturbing.  Sure you can show me a woman or 2 that kick some guys butt.  But most men are stronger than most woman.  A good quality firearm can easily level the playing field. What I teach is to not just train to fire the gun, but train to have shoot someone.  That is a tough issue for many.  So you have to train the body and the mind.  Professional criminals know that law abiding folks might delay or be talked out of using a gun.  But believe me they are afraid, they are very afraid.  Most criminals are cowards that feed of people fears. 

Add into this story that Iowa just became the 41st State to allow concealed carry and we have a winning gun friendly week.


Under Arizona law it is generally legal to carry a firearm openly as long as you are 18 years of age and not prohibited from possessing a firearm.  However, if the firearm becomes covered, say with a coat, or if you are a woman and prefer to carry your firearm in your purse, you need to possess a concealed carry permit.  The intent of this legislation is to give people the greatest possible freedom to choose the best method of carry for them.  SB 1108 would generally allow law-abiding persons to carry a firearm for self-defense without a permit. 
Arizona’s constitution, Article 2, Section 26 clearly states that “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state shall not be impaired…”  The intention of this language could not be clearer.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Funny people !!!

I have no comment on Tigers dalliances.  Personally I do not care.  But funny is funny!!

The wonders of a DVR

DVR, as in Digital Video Recorder, how did we ever live without them?


There are two types of DVR people, the ones that want a night or two of delay, versus the people that want what they can not have.  I set the DVR for various shows I happen to love.  Other shows I know are on the Comcast On Demand System and I watch it there. I try not to take up space on the DVR if I will watch On Demand.  The On Demand shows though are next day options.  Take the show "Lost," for instance. It comes on at 9:00PM ESDT and it is an hour. If I miss it that evening, I can watch the next evening as it will be on demand by 8:00 AM the next day.BUT if I want to watch it at 10:00 PM that night, I DVR it.  The additional benefits of the DVR are the increase Rewind and Fast Forwarding speeds.(I love the 5 minute jump with Page up and Down buttons)
Now someone in my house has a show assigned to record every day of the week for an hour.  There are currently 36 hours of show there for that viewer to catch up on.  The complication comes on the availability of that TV for viewing at a fair time for that viewer.  Less access to the TV, less chance to ever catch up. But the memory of the DVR gets used just the same.  The DVR has a setting that allows priority settings to be listed, and this 1 hour a day show is listed last.  So when Memory gets to being a minimum, the DVR starts to delete these shows first.  It can be an unkind week, when "House, 24, Lost, NCIS, American Idol, Ghost Hunters and seasonally Burn Notice and/or Son of Anarchy, we have times when the erasing occurs daily.  Even if the viewer finds the time to watch 3 hours of the daily show, there is still 2 more on there and after a month those 8 add up.
So as a good person, I opted to let that individual have their own DVR.

So what do I tell you is on my DVR list.  I mentioned some above.  I also watch Spartacus on Starz.  But I watch it On Demand. I have to make sure the kiddies are in bed are out for the hour. Now that 24 and Lost are final, I guess we will have more space. Maybe I will find some other shows as these leave.

What do you record?  Let me know.  What is your favorite part of the DVR experience?

A great day

Yesterday was warm.  I loved it.  I was pretty busy with work and helping finish some outstanding projects, but the bright sun and warmth of the day kept me in great spirits.  As the day ended about 5:30 PM for work, my 10 and 3/4 year old son wanted to throw the ball around for a bit.  I had to attend my motorcycle associations officers meeting at 8:00 so I had time to burn.  My young son and I stood in the front yard and talked and threw, and talked and threw, and talked some more. My oldest boy came home and he joined in as we tossed the ball and he spoke of his work day issues and concerns.  These moments are like little pieces of Heaven right here on earth.  So we stood throwing until 7:10 when I had to run in the house and shower to smell nice for my meeting. It was still nice and warm when I broke the bike out of the garage at 7:30.  I took the long way to my meeting taking in all the sights, sounds and smells as I worked the bike through it's gears. The meeting was the anti climatic part of the day. 1 hour and over.   But there was more.
My buddy, who I rarely get to see anymore, had ridden his 2nd bike to the meeting.  As we were heading the same direction, we left together to ride home. As we turned onto the exit road his bike died.  I mean it was running and then it wasn't.  It had plenty of battery, plenty of spark, it just was dead.  Could not get it running. So lucky for him, and me, another fellow member, in his truck, noticed us on the side of the road. He ran and got us some tools.  While we waited, my buddy and I chatted like we used to.  Guys can not see each other for months and when together it's like you were never away. Anyway, he had to remove a lot of stuff from the the breather side of the bike. I was great at holding the flashlight. We opened everything up, and tried the bike again, full choke and she fired back up.  Crazy huh?  Dirt in the carb?  Maybe...   But we kept it running and we put all the parts back on, returned the borrowed tools, and said our goodbyes.  Off he goes, like a bat out of hell.  I start to tear out after him, but remember I have my reading glasses hanging from my shirt, and I don't have on my riding glasses.  OMG.... I have to make some fast adjustments as my buddy is pulling away faster that a locomotive.  Remember now, it's dark I have to only use my left hand.  Stuff the glasses in my pocket and drop the riding glasses onto my nose. I then slam the throttle to catch up, of course.
So instead of getting home early like 9:15, I walked in the back door at 10:45ish.
Part of that was stopping for milk at our Wawa.  (Dad thing)  When I got home, i noticed as I opened the fridge that my wife had also picked up milk. So now we will have 2 days worth.  (Gallon a day here.)
No harm and no foul!!
I sit and watch the DVRd last 3 minutes of American Idol, watch last nights Lost episode and then head off to bed at 12:50AM.  Did I mention the 6 glasses of Iced Tea I had at the meeting? Kinda kept me up.

I will post more on the wonders of the DVR in another post, maybe at lunch!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Can we drop the age of alcohol from 21 to 18?

Video

It was 18 to drink in NJ when I was in High School.  It was 18 for beer and wine in Delaware.

I have always wondered how legally 21 could hold up?  You are a legal adult at 18.  You can sign contracts and do time in an adult prison.  Men over 18 must sign up for Selective Service and can be drafted if ever needed.(Yes ladies the military draft is still men only, the equal rights amendment has never been passed by enough States)

This video makes some great points.   Let me know your thoughts!

Nerd Appeal

Ham radio Comeback

Great story on the comeback of Ham radio.  I have been a Ham a long time. I still get a kick of knowing I can stretch out some speaker wire from 2 trees and vibrate it to talk anywhere around the world.

It is truly a Nerd Paradise.

My Miyagi moment!

Here is a picture of my 10 and 3/4s year old son Ryan. Yesterday was his first Little League game.  He wanted to play and we helped.  So he never played T ball, he never played before in a organized fashion.
So we were surprised at Sundays practice when he was announced as the starting pitcher for the first game against the Pirates.
What was surprising was that he didn't start. One of the coaches sons started the game. Ryan started in Center field. OK, so things change, no big deal, really. But there is always more to the story!!!
In the 4th inning with his team down 8-3 and the bases loaded with Pirates and Ryan playing center field, a huge kid from the pirates sends a shot out to right center. Ryan was off at it in a flash, and was running flat out tracking the bullet. At a full run and with little effort he reached up and snagged the ball out of the air.  End of inning. WOWOWOWOOWOWWOWOWOW!!   I only screamed for like 5 minutes. What made it better was Ryan's Grandfather was there to see it.

So guess who gets to come in as the closer the next inning?  Ryan on the mound, bottom of the 5th. First pitch?  STRIKE..  2nd pitch, Strike!!  3rd pitch STRIKE!!  One down...  Next batter, count goes to 2 and 2.  5th pitch, called strike.  2 down.  My belly is aching...  3rd batter.  Count goes full...  2 balls in strike zone are fouled off..   My belly is killing me....   Another pitch, SWING and a miss.  Strike 3..   He strikes out the side!!   Wooooohhhhooooooooooo!!!    I am giddy as a school girl..

His team loses, his coach has the talk after the game, moral booster speech.  Ryan gets the TEAM BALL!!
Ryans coach explains that the inning could have turned into a Chinese fire drill, and that his catch was incredible, and then to go on and strike out the side? All this without ever playing in a league.  He is a star!

So I am incredibly proud of my 4th son, he done good!!  He will always be my star, but now others see what I see every day!

More Freedom

So my last blog post was talking about freedom, and right after that I happen to catch this story in the news from Maine. 
About two dozen women drew a crowd of onlookers when they shed their shirts and marched downtown in Maine’s largest city to promote what they call equal-opportunity public toplessness.
Organizer Ty MacDowell said the point of Saturday’s march in Portland was that a topless woman out in public shouldn’t attract any more attention than a man who walks around without a shirt.
The Portland Press Herald reports that by the end of the march, more than 500 people had amassed — a mix of marchers, young men snapping photos, oglers and people just out enjoying a sunny, warm day.
It’s not illegal for a woman to be topless in public in Maine, and police said there were no incidents or arrests.

So this is what I was talking about. Who says what is freedom and what is offensive?  I respect a woman's right to bare her breasts if she chooses.  But as you can see from the picture, there are many men snapping pictures and offensively ogling.  I occasionally take of my shirt when I am cutting the grass on a hot day.  I always try to get sun at the pool.  So why shouldn't a woman?  This great country was founded by Puritans seeking religious freedoms. Back then woman were property.  So as woman progressed and were equally recognized as citizens the laws holding them hostage were never changed. AND what is their worse enemy?  Other woman.   We make nursing mothers hide their breast as they feed their baby. We make woman cover these breast because MEN see them as sexual objects.  They are not genitalia, so they do not need to be covered.  I have seen woman with very small breasts, and I have seen men with rather large breasts.  One can uncover at will, the other hide in shame.
Now don't get me wrong.  I don't think men should be walking down the street with no shirt on, or going to work in no shirt.  But anywhere a MAN can be routinely seen without a shirt, a woman should have the same FREEDOM.  Her choice, not societies.  Freedom ain't free. 
Last thing on this subject.  I am predicting that if woman's breast were more viewable, in a couple of years it wouldn't be any big deal.  No one will die, no one would ever be hurt, and it would become the normal day in the life.

Freedom?

I was in the reading room when "freedom" popped into my mind.  What is freedom? Who has it? As a military Vet, I fought for freedom, right?  But what did we get?

I can't burn burn wood outside in my township. Fire ordinance.
I can not add an addition on the garage or house without a $ permit.Permission.
I can not drive without a license. I can not own a car/bike without insurance.
I can not drive my bike, with a firearm, from PA to Florida without knowing the State laws of each State. Yes in PA, Yes in De. No in MD, Yes again in VA, Yes in NC, no in SC, Yes in Ga but not in a restaurant, and yes in Fl.  Crazy, huh?  Free, no.

I offer to you all a quote from a very smart man...
Political power means capacity to regulate national life through national representatives. If national life becomes so perfect as to become self-regulated, no representation becomes necessary. There is then a state of enlightened anarchy. In such a state every one is his own ruler. He rules himself in such a manner that he is never a hindrance to his neighbor. In the ideal State, therefore, there is no political power because their is no State.
Mohandes Gandhi
November 17, 1921.





 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Welcome to my nightmare!!

Welcome friends and family.  I finally got the gumption up to start a blog.  I have been a huge poster on other blogs and as most of you know I am very opinionated.

So I will speak here about my life, family and many outside interests.

This weekend I am taking another, my 8th, Experienced Motorcycle course. I take this course every year. I truly believe these courses have kept me alive on my motorcycle.  I ride many miles, and I have very few close calls.  BUT, this year my training has me taking it in a new direction.  I have decided to get certified to teach the course.  I will get to be an official "Riders Coach" for the PA Motorcycle Safety Association. I will be taking this on Saturday as part of my training.  On Sunday, many of my brother and sister riders will be taking their annual class.  I will meet them early for breakfast and lead them to the Valley Forge training facility.

That leads to part 2.  I am also a PIAA certified Umpire for baseball/softball. (Did that 20 years ago) My son Ryan is playing ball this year and his league needs help so I volunteered.  I sed to get 30 to 45 bucks a game, now I will get ZERO.  But they need the help and I love the game.

Part 3 you ask, is there one?  Of course there is.  I have been asked to get back involved in Emergency Communications for Delaware County. (Yes, another Certification I hold from Homeland Security and FEMA/PEMA) They miss me.  Years ago I managed the EmComm for Delco through Y2K and some 9/11 and some less obvious disasters.(Verizon phone line being cut, etc.) 

And last but not least, I hold a couple volunteer positions with the NRA and FOAC dealing with local gun issues. election issues and gathering data on politicians.  I also attend local township meetings as these towns attempt to pass illegal ordinances like the Lost and Stolen one that has been in the press.  We beat Radnor, Swathmore, Hatboro and others. 

So I will share all these stories in my daily life while attempting to stay married and be the best father to my 4 sons.

Conflicts

I guess everyone has conflicts in their lives, but I always seem to have more than the average Joe.  If I plan on doing anything on a weekend, even if I plan it for 8 months, something will come along later and make me have a tough decision.  Like say I was planning on going to the NRA convention in Charlotte, NC in May, I was reviewing options and looking for best costs and best way I could maximize my work time off and not impact the family to much.  So I get myself excited by making it a camping motorcycle trip combined with the NRA convention.  Then it happens. BOOM, a letter comes in the mail and my wife and I are invited to her bests friends daughters wedding on the Saturday I would have been in NC.  Worse yet, the Little League baseball team association parade that my 10 and 3/4 old son was changed to that same day in the morning!
The weekend before?  Nothing, The weekend after?  Nothing.  All on the same weekend.
Now many of you might say to take the trip.  You don't know me well.  I will not miss my sons parade nor would I let me wife go unescorted to her friends daughters wedding.  Priorities.  Not to say I won't bitch about it.  Not to say I will be ecstatically happy.  But I will do it because it has to be done.  That is what a good Dad and husband does.

Monday, April 5, 2010

What a day..

Did you ever have one of those days where everyone needs you?

My oldest son woke late and needed me to take him to drop his car off at the dealer.
My oldest son needed to then borrow my truck for the day.
My youngest needed extra help on his homework, while my oldest wanted to go pick up his car.
Got home from dropping oldest son off and neighbor needed help starting his power washer.
Youngest son needed me to get in his 100 pitches for his baseball game tomorrow night. 
Wife needed me to review something she was writing for my sons baseball team, she is Team Mom.
All this and I was happy with the great weather.  I got in a full days work and the sun will come up tomorrow!

VPC soon to exit?

Over at SnowFlakesinHell, Bitter goes to great length to show everyoneViolence Policy Center (VPC) 
is suffering from a serious lack of funds and fiscal responsibility.
Makes me happy to send in my money for the NRA and know we have a good lobby structure.

McNabb leaving

People have been all over me today with comments on the Eagles QB McNabb leaving and going to Washington.  They know I was never a McNabb fan.  There were many reasons for my disliking him. But I want to say I wish him well. 
Reasons for ME disliking him?
  1. That beautiful smile he often showed after making a bonehead play.
  2. Throwing up in the playoff game, I never will forget that.
  3. In 11 years, never getting the timing down on a crossing pattern
  4. Never becoming a true Philly Icon with the fans.
  5. His Mom. Enough said.  
People would always argue he was going to the hall of fame.  I don't see it.  I actually will give Andy Reid a ton of credit for getting this guy the stats he has.  YES, he is the all time Eagles QB leader statistically. But I love Ron Jaworski, I love Randal Cunningham, I love Roman Gabriel.  If any of these QBs had the talent that this team put together in the last 10 years, they would already be in the HOF.

I will be looking forward to the Philadelphia Eagles line up with the Washington Redskins next year.  Not more than Dallas, but maybe equal next year!!

I also hope Kevin Kobb can hit the crossing route.

Little Towns with Unconstitutional Laws

Marcus Hook, PA is joining the growing list of towns passing illegal curfew ordinances. Kids under 18 will be fined 25 dollars if found outside after 8 PM. So what's the big deal? How about that kids have the same constitutional protection from the law that adults have. If their parents let them out until 9 or 10 it is the parents responsibility. Nanny towns like Marcus Hook and Lower Chichester have illegal ordinances that I often called nuisance ordinances. The elected official, or cops know it is illegal, but they do it to get parents attention. They fine the child, parent pays, or has to take day off to go to District Court and get it dropped. 25 bucks, versus days pay? That is your choice.
There are laws like this all over. You want to fight a parking ticket, day off. you want to fight a speeding ticket? Day off. The meter person, the officer gets paid to be in court. Sometimes they get overtime. Hmmm, day in air conditioned courtroom, versus chasing bad guys, they take court every time.
One of my sons was at a party in West Chester, PA. The mayor there decided he had had enough of underage drinking. He had cops out roaming and LOOKING in windows to catch kids drinking in Apartments or student housing. So my son, who doesn't drink, was in an apartment when a LEO pushed his way in the apartment and said they had looked into a window and saw a bottle of booze. 7 cops took out all 7 of the kids. Big day in court, wife and I pay a lawyer 500 bucks to defend my kid who doesn't drink. Case was dropped, illegal search. Mayor made headlines. Do this enough, anger enough parents and they will tell the kids to STOP it, versus training them their constitutional rights. Illegal search, not invited in, no warrant.
I teach my kids to respect the law, but know it. They never talk to a LEO. The 5th amendment is truly a good thing.
So when you worry about Obama and healthcare imposing on you, look closer. The biggest imposition on your own life might be the elected officials closest to your front door.
I guess I should start by mentioning this is my first post. I will try to mention things from my personal life and my share my thoughts and opinions on various news items.

First, and foremost, I am a Father. I job I take very seriously. I have 4 sons and I love them more than life itself.
I am an avid Motorcyclist, I ride a Harley and am the Safety Officer for my Motorcycle riding group.
I am knowledgable in Emergency Communications via my Ham Radio history and experience. I took Electronics in a Vo-Tech school for 2 years back in the 70's. I love technology.
I am a 2nd Amendment advocate. I actual donate my time to educate and assist others to my knowledge of gun safety and gun facts. I worked in a gun shop as a young man.
I am a late learner. I love music of all kinds. I strum a guitar and sing often. All of my sons play instruments, so it's a family affair.