How will the Feds cut health care costs?

I just had to share this. And no, it’s not funny. Not when you consider I’ve been eligible for AARP for four years and am a year away from various senior citizens’ discounts everywhere.

My mom, who is older than I am (obviously!) sent this along via one of those Fw: emails, which I usually don’t mess with. But here it is.

Thanks, Mom. I think.

* * *

Just saying goodbye…

To help save the economy, the Government will announce
month that the Immigration Department will start
deporting seniors (instead of illegal’s) in order to lower
Social Security and Medicare costs.
Older people are easier to catch and will not
remember how to get back home.
I started to cry when I thought of you.
Then it dawned on me … oh, crap …
I’ll see you on the bus!

Some wonderful truths to ponder late at night

As if I don’t have enough distraction in my life, Mom sent this email of questions for me to ponder. And since I’m always trying to stimulate good thought and to open people’s minds (sometimes with a wrecking bar), I thought I’d pass this along to y’all.

So, if you’re lying awake at night for no reason, grab one or two of these questions and turn them over in your mind for a while. It may not help you get to sleep, but at least you’ll have a reason for this insomnia.

Thank me later.

1. Is it good if a vacuum really sucks?

2. Why is the third hand on the watch called the second hand?

3. If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we ever know?

4. If Webster wrote the first dictionary, where did he find the words?

5. Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?

6. Why do “slow down” and “slow up” mean the same thing?

7. Why do “fat chance” and “slim chance” mean the same thing?

8. Why do “tug” boats push their barges?

9. Why do we sing “Take me out to the ball game” when we are already there?

10. Why are they called “stands” when they are made for sitting?

11. Why is it called “after dark” when it really is “after light”?

12. Doesn’t “expecting the unexpected” make the unexpected expected?

13. Why are a “wise man” and a “wise guy” opposites?

14. Why do “overlook” and “oversee” mean opposite things?

15. Why is “phonics” not spelled the way it sounds?

16. If work is so terrific, why do they have to pay you to do it?

17. If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

18. If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

19. If you are cross-eyed and have dyslexia, can you read all right?

20. Why is bra singular and panties plural?

21.. Why do you press harder on the buttons of a remote control when you know the batteries are dead?

22. Why do we put suits in garment bags and garments in a suitcase?

23. How come abbreviated is such a long word?

24. Why do we wash bath towels? Aren’t we clean when we use them?

25. Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

26. Why do they call it a TV set when you only have one?

27. Christmas — What other time of the year do you sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of your socks?

28. Why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway ?  (This last one was something the late George Carlin wondered about, too.)


Bucket List can get revealing: What have you done?

I got this by email from my brother Rick, and this is making the rounds among the family unit. It’s revealing. Give it a shot, and have some fun!

Here are the rules of this Bucket List:

Hit forward and place an X by all the things you’ve done and remove the X from the ones you have not, and send it to your friends (including me), or post it to your blog.

This is for your Entire Life!

OK. Have you ever …

(X) Shot a gun

(X) Gone on a blind date

(X) Skipped school

() Watched someone die

() Been to Canada

() Been to Alaska

() Been to Cuba

() Been to Europe

(X) Been to Las Vegas

(X) Been to Mexico

() Been to Florida

(X) Been on a plane

() Been on a Cruise Ship

() Served on a Jury

(X) Been lost

(X) Been on the opposite side of the country

(X) Gone to Washington, DC

(X) Swam in the Ocean

(Do I get bonus points for more than one ocean?)

(X) Cried yourself to sleep

(x) Played Cops and Robbers

(X) Played Cowboys and Indians

() Recently colored with crayons

(X) Sang Karaoke

(X) Paid for a meal with coins, only coins

(X) Made a prank phone call as a kid

(X) Laughed until some beverage came out of your nose

(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue

(X) Danced in the rain

(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus

(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe

(X) Watched the sunrise with someone

(X) Blown bubbles

(X) Gone ice skating

(X) Gone skiing

(X) Camped out under the stars

(X) Seen something so beautiful that it took your breath away

(X) Are or have been married

() Have children

(Wrong plumbing. If I have, call the Weekly World News!)

(X) Have a pet

(X) Been skinny dipping outdoors

(X) Been fishing

(X) Been boating

(X) Been water skiing

(X) Been hiking

(X) Been camping in a trailer/RV

(X) Flown in a small 4-seater airplane

() Flown in a glider

() Been flying in a helicopter

() Been flying in a hot air balloon –

() Been bungee jumping –

(X) Gone to a drive-in movie

(X) Done something that should have killed you

(X) Done something that you will regret for the rest of your life

() Been to Africa

() Been to China

() Been to India

() Been to Korea

() Ever ride an elephant

() Ever ride a camel

(X) Ever eaten just cookies for dinner

(X) Ever been on T.V.

(X) Ever steal any traffic signs

(X) Ever been in a car accident

(X) Have a nickname? Wingnut, among others

There’s more:

Favorite Drink: Sweet tea

How much do you love your job? Enough to keep doing it.

Is your car a 2 door or a 4 door? No doors

Favorite number? Google(.com!)

Favorite movie? Most recently seen again? Round Midnight

Favorite holiday? National Procrastination Week

Favorite dessert? Anything involving the use of chocolate.

Furthest place you will send this message? Worldwide, via blog

Who will respond to this the fastest: Whoever sees it first and has a civil service job.

SCORING: No rules here. Let your conscience be your guide. Too few checked off probably means you need to turn the computer off and get out more.

(Personal note: A few friends and I regularly get together, and one of the group pastimes is a game called Three Truths And A Lie. That’s where you come up with four statements about yourself and have the rest of the group pick out the BS. Scoring is, well, it’s like pants on a toll booth collector in that no one knows or really cares. The trick to winning Three Truths And A Lie is in the degree of separation between true and false statements; either all outlandish or none outlandish.)

South and North, explained

I love this … my older brother sent this along, and it does explain a lot — especially for those of you who, through accident of birth or lack of travel opportunities, never made it to the South.
(Rick, by the way, was raised in southern California like I was, but except for a few years in Florida — which is NOT the South no matter what anyone tells you — he’s settled in upstate New York. Beautiful country, but there’s lots of snow and the folks there, well, they talk different.)
The difference between the north and south.

The difference between the North and the South – at last, clearly explained….

The North has Bloomingdale’s , the South has Dollar General.

The North has coffee houses, the South has Waffle Houses.

The North has dating services, the South has family reunions.

The North has switchblade knives; the South has .45’s

The North has double last names; the South has double first names.

The North has Indy car races; The South has stock car races.

North has Cream of Wheat , the South has grits.

The North has green salads, the South has collard greens.

The North has lobsters, the South has crawfish.

The North has the rust belt; the South has the Bible Belt.


In the South : –If you run your car into a ditch, don’t panic. Four men in a four-wheel drive pickup truck with a tow chain will be along shortly. Don’t try to help them, just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.

Don’t be surprised to find movie rentals and bait in the same store… Do not buy food at this store.

Remember, ‘Y’all’ is singular, ‘all y’all’ is plural, and ‘all y’all’s’ is plural possessive.

Get used to hearing ‘You ain’t from round here, are ya?’

Save all manner of bacon grease. You will be instructed later on how to use it.

Don’t be worried at not understanding what people are saying. They can’t understand you either. The first Southern statement to creep into a transplanted Northerner’s vocabulary is the adjective ‘big’ol,’ truck or ‘big’ol’ boy. Most Northerners begin their Southern-influenced dialect this way. All of them are in denial about it.

The proper pronunciation you learned in school is no longer proper.

Be advised that ‘He needed killin..’ is a valid defense here.

If you hear a Southerner exclaim, ‘Hey, y’all watch this,’ you should stay out of the way. These are likely to be the last words he’ll ever say.

If there is the prediction of the slightest chance of even the smallest accumulation of snow, your presence is required at the local grocery store. It doesn’t matter whether you need anything or not. You just have to go there.

Do not be surprised to find that 10-year olds own their own shotguns, they are proficient marksmen, and their mammas taught them how to aim.

In the South, we have found that the best way to grow a lush green lawn is to pour gravel on it and call it a driveway.

AND REMEMBER: If you do settle in the South and bear children, don’t think we will accept them as Southerners. After all, if the cat had kittens in the oven, we ain’t gonna call ’em biscuits.

Disclaimer: In the headline, I called it “South and North,” which is the correct way of putting it.

Obama song video pulled: Is it censorship?

UPDATE, OCT. 2: Holy crap! That didn’t last long either! As of this morning, this above video has also been pulled, same reason. Try some of the other links and see if you hit paydirt.
Well, ain’t this interesting?
I’m not sure who is responsible for it, but the video I showed in a recent posting has been removed.
Now, when you click on it, instead of these darling little brainwashed kiddies singing praises to our clay-footed leader, there’s a little message from YouTube:
“This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.”
It appears censorship is alive and well in the good ol’ U. S. of A.
Much as I despised most of the Constitution-shredding aspects of the USA Patriot Act, the writers of that piece of legislation have nothing on ObamaNation. At least the Patriot Act was cooked up in the halls of Congress, under public scrutiny (hysterical as it was in those days immediately after 9/11). Here, it’s become policy to not say anything bad about ObamaNation, though there’s no real legislation to track this turn of events. It just … happened.
I’m not sure what the violation was that YouTube claims. A piece by the Contra Costa Times, dated Sept. 25, said the video was under intense scrutiny from several angles:
… news about the song brought a quick response from New Jersey’s Department of Education. Spokeswoman Beth Auerswald said the department wants “to ensure students can celebrate the achievements of African Americans during Black History Month without inappropriate partisan politics in the classroom.” Auerswald said the state would also look into whether posting the video online violated the privacy of students. Superintendent Christopher Manno defended the performance in Friday’s editions of the Burlington County Times. “There was no intention to indoctrinate children,” he said. “The teacher’s intention was to engage the children in an activity to recognize famous and accomplished African Americans.”
OK. One of the issues was whether the video violated the privacy of the youngsters.
Which is valid, but I think it’s a crock. Check out YouTube sometime, and you’ll see all kinds of videos for all kinds of things. You know in many of these videos, someone’s privacy rights were violated.
I don’t know if this has anything to do with anything, but Google owns YouTube, and has since November 2006. Google has been criticized for (among other things) left-of-center leanings. Here are a couple of links, some fairly dated, that point to this:
For those who missed the video, there are some YouTube sites that still have it, as I guess Google isn’t that quick or that thorough. Yet. But you can click on any of these in the link. As of today, at least two still worked.
And since the Lord High Censor saw fit to excise some perfectly good news and really ticked me off in doing so, I’m rerunning this video from another link — one that was still good Oct. 1. But go ahead to the site where I ran the original video — the lyrics are intact.
If you haven’t seen that video yet, check it out. While you still can.
(Special thanks to Darlene, my sister-in-law, for calling this development to my attention.)

The government couldn’t run a … ?

(Note: This from an email my Dad sent. “This does warrant serious thought,” he added. And yes, I remember when this all happened, and I laughed my butt off then, too. –ericsomething)

Back in 1990, the Government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed and it closed.

Now we are trusting the economy of our country to a pack of nit-wits who couldn’t make money running a whorehouse and selling booze???

Just something to think about….

From the slush pile: Investment tips for 2008

(Disclaimer: this came in a forwarded email from my older brother, who likes really bad jokes as much as he likes topical humor. Obviously this was up his alley. Since I’m running it here, apparently it’s up mine, too.)

Investment tips for 2008
For all of you with any money left, be aware of the next expected mergers so that you can get in on the ground floor and make some BIG bucks.

Watch for these consolidations in 2008:

1. Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W R. Grace Co. Will merge and become: Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace.

2. PolygramRecords, Warner Bros., and ZestaCrackers join forces and become: Poly, Warner Cracker.

3. 3M will merge with Goodyear and become: MMMGood.

4. ZippoManufacturing, AudiMotors, Dofasco, and Dakota Mining will merge and become: ZipAudiDoDa.

5. FedEx is expected to join its competitor, UPS, and become: FedUP.

6. Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will become: Fairwell Honeychild

7. Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become: PouponPants.

8. Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women will become: Knott NOW!

And finally…

9. Victoria ‘s Secret and Smith & Wesson will merge under the new name: TittyTittyBangBang


Just a century ago …

My mom sent this as a “fw:” email, and I found it real interesting. A bit of perspective here: All of my grandparents were around at this time (though my maternal grandmother was one year old then). Anyway, enjoy this side trip down Memory Lane:

This will boggle your mind, I know it did mine!
The year is 1908. one hundred years ago.
What a difference a century makes!

Here are some statistics for the year 1908

************ ********* ********* ******

The average life expectancy was 47 years.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!

The average wage in 1908 was 22 cents per hour.

The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year .

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME .

Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as ‘substandard. ‘

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars.

The population of Las Vegas was only 30!!!!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.

There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write.

Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, ‘Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.’ (Shocking? DUH! )

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.A. !

Editorial comment: Anybody want to try to guess how things will be in 2108? Kind of blows my mind when I think about it.

These tools better than a tinfoil beanie

(Disclaimer: I just love these mailbag requests. It indicates someone’s reading, paying attention, and maybe doing something. Or making suggestions. This one came from Kelly Sonora, who has a tech blog, “All Things Internet/Web World Wide.” The article she sent me was interesting — especially ’cause I’m interested in Internet security and I like free stuff.)

In the past I’d written about how public the Internet really is. In cop-show parlance, every time you surf, your business is hung out on the street.

This is indeed true. To illustrate, scroll down to the bottom of this site and check out the box called “About You.” (For those who are reading this in RSS-land, hop over to the blog site and scroll to the bottom.) You’ll probably see your approximate location,your IP address, and your operating system and browser staring right at you.

Us oldsters remember when things were a lot more private. Plus, the world has changed since 9/11, Homeland Security, and all these other events that changed our world. Civil liberties just ain’t what they used to be. Even if you’re a normal Joe, not any more paranoia than the next fella, one quick dip through the news may make you think a tinfoil beanie is a pretty good idea.

Paranoia or not, it’s just good sense to surf defensively when you go on line. A lot of valuable information — credit card and bank account numbers float around in cyberspace all the time. Weirdos lurk all over the place, and that nice fella on myspace could well be a 55-year-old Michael Moore lookalike, sitting buck naked at his terminal (for the visually minded, “buck naked” means he’s not wearing any socks, either). People work overtime to put together worms, viruses, Trojan horses, and spyware to either cripple your computer, mine it for information, or just scare the spit out of you. Every time you surf, you leave little bits of code on the hard drive telling exactly where you’ve been, and those pieces of code are as good as a fingerprint.

But you get the point. It’s a jungle out there. But there are tools to hide you, to cover your tracks, and to protect your information. And if you’re feeling paranoid without reason, there are tools and sites guaranteed to give you something to be paranoid about. Whether you’re normal (whatever that is) or a screaming nut job, there’s probably a tool for you, too.

Here are some of my favorites from “50 Free Internet Tools for Tin-Foil Hat Wearers”, written by Alisa Miller:

Portable Firefox: I love this one. I used it quite a bit when reduced to library computers, which ordinarily means being stuck with the porous Internet Explorer. Portable Firefox comes with a suite of open-source applications which I use a lot anyway — the AbiWord word processor, Audacity sound editor, and a handful of others. I carry them on a thumb drive with some of the documents I’m working on, which basically gives me a computer in my pocket. Ad I leave no trace on the host computer. My bookmarks and cookies — those little bits of code that can tell you where I’ve been — also stay on the thumb drive. And surprisingly, I’ve been able to download stuff using a library computer. Good luck doing that with the as-is system. I highly recommend this one. Of course I resent the idea of having to register (and get on a mailing list) just to read a few news articles, so of course I swear by this one. I use it via a Firefox extension, and I can’t think of the last time I’ve registered for anything.

GrandCentral: It’s by Google, and supposedly it consolidates all of your phone numbers into one that’s untraceable. Sounds intriguing, but it is by Google, so take that any way you want.

Clusty and Scroogle: Search engines. Clusty is supposedly highly secure. To my experience it’s also slow. Scroogle is a front-end for Google, which uses encryption and a few other things that supposedly mask your existence while you use Google.

ShieldsUp! and Junkbusters: Both will let you know how secure your computer really is. The more information your computer puts out, the more vulnerable you are to attacks and attempts by nefarious types to sip into your information. ShieldsUp! tells me my computer is practically invisible.

AVG Anti-Virus: It’s virus protection. They update regularly — more often when some real baddie comes down the pike. And it’s free. That was my guardian during my Windows days (viruses are not an issue with Linux). The on-the-fly virus protection is, last I looked, somewhat lacking, but the program picks ’em off the hard drive with ease. Virus protection is big business, and it’s a cash cow for some large software companies that play on people’s fears, so if a free one does the job for you, go for it. I understand they’ve added spyware protection since I last used it; a good thing.

Avast! Another free virus protection program. I tried it years ago, and found it to be slow but thorough. For ease of operation — based on my tests then — I’d give the nod to AVG. But unlike spyware programs, you can only run one virus checker at a time.

Ad-Aware: By Lavasoft. One of only about two spyware-sniffing programs that is worth anything. The other one, which is not mentioned in the article, is Spybot Search & Destroy. And unlike virus scanners, you can have several spyware checkers on your system. In fact it’s recommended, because each of these two will occasionally miss something. Whatever you do, DON’T order spyware protection from any Internet source that plugs its product through a pop-up box on your browser. Not only will those not work, they’re probably not free and they’re usually spyware themselves. I told you it’s a jungle out there.

SiteAdvisor: Haven’t used this, but heard good things about it. Supposedly lets you know that you’re going to a site that is loaded with spyware or harvests your information. Worth a look.

This isn’t on the list, but if you really want to play it stealthy, you can try one of the small Linux systems loaded via QEMU, an emulator. I have one (with the ultra-small Puppy Linux) on a USB thumb drive. Plug it in to a USB port, click on the icon, and you’re running Linux on top of Windows. it’s so secret even the host computer doesn’t know what you’re doing. There are some real drawbacks — it’s extremely slow, and you really need to be fluent in Linux to use it well. And it can’t print or play music, but I can surf on a library computer and leave absolutely no traces.


Anyway, that’s my own list. Some things worth checking out there.

In fact, I recommend the whole blog. It’s full of good security information.