Archive for July, 2013

I got a notification yesterday from Alicia that she nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award. She apparently likes a quote that I used once and often, but not very often, comments on my blogs.

If you haven’t checked out her blog, by the way, do it now.

Now, on to the rules of this award:

1. Display the award on your page.

2. Announce your win with a post.  Link back to your nominator as a ‘thank you’ for the nomination.

3. Present 15 awards to other deserving bloggers, and let them know you’ve nominated them.

4. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

Let’s get the 7 things out of the way first:

1. I’d like to spend a year in Iowa, South Dakota, or Nebraska working on a farm. I’d love to drive the Combine from sun up to sun down. Just my iPod in on shuffle and enjoying the scenery.

2. I’d like to own a small orange grove in Florida.

3. I love picking apples in the mountains of North Carolina.

4. One of my favorite places in the South Carolina lowcountry is Boone Hall Farms. I like to go out there on a blistering hot summer day, take off my shirt, turn on my iPod and fill BASKETS! with blueberries, corn, strawberries, blackberries, peppers, tomatoes (which I never eat), and many other things. I can spend days on end picking fruit and vegetables.

5. Fishing is my favorite hobby.

6. There are two things I wish I could do better: 1. throw a perfect cast net and 2. play the piano.

7. Fall is my favorite time of the year. I like when the air turns cooler and crisp. It is the beginning of hunting season. The holidays are approaching. Football is awesome. Baseball playoffs are on tv. School is back in for the kids. Fall also reminds me of my grandparents. They used to take me to the mountains every Fall to pick apples and see the leaves change colors. Fall is about food! Food for football games (tailgating), and Thanksgiving meals and Christmas meals and the in betweens when family comes to visit. Ahhh Fall is right around the corner. I will admit, the kid in me still loves to pile up the leaves all nice and thick and jump in them! I hope to take the family to see this majesty very soon.

And now… here are my 7 nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award.

1. Arden

2. Rarasaur

3. Powcat

4. Mom

5. HP

6. Anna

7. Nate

Congrats to all. Thanks for the award, Ms. Benton.

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Detroit

Detroit (Photo credit: Ann Millspaugh)

 

Installment 1 on a series that affects so many and is quite sad. The PRIDE of our country now stands in shambles. If you are a GenXer or younger, you probably wouldn’t consider Detroit the Pride of America. Installment 2 will show you why this city was so great. I shared a  few bullet points (both good a bead below).

 

It is so sad to watch one of America’s greatest cities die a horrible death.  Once upon a time, the city of Detroit was a teeming metropolis of 1.8 million people and it had the highest per capita income in the United States.  Now it is a rotting, decaying hellhole of about 700,000 people that the rest of the world makes jokes about.  On Thursday, we learned that the decision had been made for the city of Detroit to formally file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.  It was going to be the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the United States by far, but on Friday it was stopped at least temporarily by an Ingham County judge.

She ruled that Detroit’s bankruptcy filing violates the Michigan Constitution because it would result in reduced pension payments for retired workers.  She also stated that Detroit’s bankruptcy filing was “also not honoring the (United States) president, who took (Detroit’s auto companies) out of bankruptcy“, and she ordered that a copy of her judgment be sent to Barack Obama.  How “honoring the president” has anything to do with the bankruptcy of Detroit is a bit of a mystery, but what that judge has done is ensured that there will be months of legal wrangling ahead over Detroit’s money woes.

It will be very interesting to see how all of this plays out.  But one thing is for sure – the city of Detroit is flat broke.  One of the greatest cities in the history of the world is just a shell of its former self.  The following are 25 facts about the fall of Detroit that will leave you shaking your head…

1) At this point, the city of Detroit owes money to more than 100,000 creditors.

2) Detroit is facing $20 billion in debt and unfunded liabilities.  That breaks down to more than $25,000 per resident.

3) Back in 1960, the city of Detroit actually had thehighest per-capita income in the entire nation.

4) In 1950, there were about 296,000 manufacturing jobs in Detroit.  Today, there are less than 27,000.

5) Between December 2000 and December 2010, 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in the state of Michigan were lost.

6) There are lots of houses available for sale in Detroitright now for $500 or less.

7) At this point, there are approximately 78,000 abandoned homes in the city.

8) About one-third of Detroit’s 140 square miles is either vacant or derelict.

9) An astounding 47 percent of the residents of the city of Detroit are functionally illiterate.

10) Less than half of the residents of Detroit over the age of 16 are working at this point.

11) If you can believe it, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.

12) Detroit was once the fourth-largest city in the United States, but over the past 60 years the population of Detroit has fallen by 63 percent.

13) The city of Detroit is now very heavily dependent on the tax revenue it pulls in from the casinos in the city.  Right now, Detroit is bringing in about 11 million dollars a month in tax revenue from the casinos.

14) There are 70 “Superfund” hazardous waste sites in Detroit.

15) 40 percent of the street lights do not work.

16) Only about a third of the ambulances are running.

17) Some ambulances in the city of Detroit have been used for so long that they have more than 250,000 mileson them.

18) Two-thirds of the parks in the city of Detroit have been permanently closed down since 2008.

19) The size of the police force in Detroit has been cutby about 40 percent over the past decade.

20) When you call the police in Detroit, it takes them an average of 58 minutes to respond.

21) Due to budget cutbacks, most police stations in Detroit are now closed to the public for 16 hours a day.

22) The violent crime rate in Detroit is five times higherthan the national average.

23) The murder rate in Detroit is 11 times higher than it is in New York City.

24) Today, police solve less than 10 percent of the crimes that are committed in Detroit.

25) Crime has gotten so bad in Detroit that even the police are telling people to “enter Detroit at your own risk“.

Next up –  Installment 2: Detroit, The Pride of America circa 1960.

redcross-logo

The American Red Cross through a network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world, through five key service areas:

1. Disaster relief: Hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, and tsunamis. There are 70,000 such events that occur in the US each year. Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental health services to help families and entire communities get back on their feet.

2. Military family support: The Red Cross helps military members, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to the challenges of military service. Emergency communications, training, support to wounded warriors and veterans, and access to community resources help an average of 150,000 military families and veterans annually.

3. Blood bank: Your donations of blood are what make the American Red Cross the largest single supplier of blood and blood products in the U.S. Each year, nearly 4 million people donate blood through the Red Cross, helping to provide more than 40% of America’s blood supply.

4. Health and Safety services: The Red Cross is the nation’s leading provider of health and safety courses, such as CPR, First Aid and Lifeguard training. Each year, more than 9 million Americans participate in our training programs, including first responders, educators, babysitters, and people who want to be prepared to help others in an emergency. (I am CPR and Defib certified!)

5. International Assistance: The American Red Cross is part of the world’s largest humanitarian network with 13 million volunteers in 187 countries. Working together, we help respond to disasters, build safer communities, and educate future humanitarians. Each year, we reach an average of more than 100 million people across the globe.

Today, I will be training to become a certified (I hope) volunteer with the American Red Cross. As we have seen throughout our country’s history, nothing brings us all together like a call for help and those willing to lend a hand. Remember how close we all seemed post 9/11? Remember all of us (my age) as kids and helping cut and tote trees out of neighbors yards following Hurricane Hugo? I encourage everyone to click this link HELP and sign up for a class. No matter how small or large the contribution you are able to make, please know you are helping your fellow man.

English: tire identification diagram showing v...

English: tire identification diagram showing various labeling features, English terms. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That quote single handily made my job easier. Now as I’m pouring through the tread options, warranties, speed ratings, ply ratings, and not to mention judging the appearances. They are going on Princess’ baby! NOW I get to imagine that I’m pouring through …oh I don’t know… boobs and trying to pick out the best ones. Hmmm. Alright, alright. Focus.

Back to the job of finding the perfect replacement tires for Alicia’s car. The current tires are the original ones and they have served a very good life.

Here’s the challenge. I have to get at least 50,000 miles out of them. They have to have an excellent speed rating. They have to have lifetime replacement on defects. They have to look good on the car. That have to have traction as it rains here nearly every dang day and Alicia someone likes to hit the gas and feel the horses run. Oh yeah, and I can’t afford the ones from Italy.

On top of all that is this added subject matter stress. See, in a previous life, I actually worked in litigation involving tire defects which ultimately led to deaths. Ironic, that kind of how I met Alicia. We worked on 2 or 3 cases together. So that’s the stress, we both sifted through the thousands of pages of discovery and know all the dirty little tire tricks.

For now, I have it narrowed down to two brands. But that is likely to change. I mean, unless the Michelin man is going to lift the car and tote them safely to each destination, these babies have to be safe, reliable and attractive.

toys

Anyone ever pause and watch your kids play? I do quite often. I have actually pretended to be playing working on my laptop or iPhone so that they would not know I was watching and listening. The more fascinating kid conversations I have heard are when Jeremy and Ronald are playing Leggos. Apparently, if you switch a head and arms on a guy he becomes a pirate-zombie-police officer-soldier with a very large assault weapon. I always listen to see if there is an logic behind this transformation and what this new super-Leggo man is capable of doing.

As an adult I think we males do something very similar. Like putting so and so’s face on so ans so’s body to create super sexy woman. Sorry, I got distracted and that’s not the point. It is neat to listen and think about what is going on in their little heads.

Those guys love Leggos and the Leggos of today aren’t what we had. Today they have moving parts, glow-in-the-dark, and the themes of the sets are all over the map. Also funny is when they get a set of Leggos for birthday or Christmas and Alicia spends hours putting the set together. I tried the first time to tell her to let the kids do it and that it was part of the experience, but she wasn’t having that. Deep down, who doesn’t like playing with them?

My favorite toys when I was their age was not Leggos. I was completely enthralled with GI Joe action figures and He-Man. My favorite Joe was Tunnel Rat. He had the huge backpack. I also like the Bridge layer. My favorite He-Man was He-Man himself, except I had the one where the shield on the front dented twice before being resent. It showed his wounds in battle. I also had Castle Greyskull. Since my birthday was so close to Christmas, I had to ask my grandmother for it, as compensation for both occasions. It was well worth it. I loved that thing and all was great until I took it outside. I mean, you cant have a castle without a moat. So i dug a moat and filled it with water. later when it was time to come in, my mom wouldn’t allow this muddle castle back in. So, I left it outside. It seemed as if my room was empty that night.

Life lesson I learned here was that I just tell the kids to wash their toys  off and dry them, but that they can bring them back in the house because the experience of having to leave mine outside sucked.

“Now you know. And knowing is half the battle – GI JOE!”

toy3

toy2

Updated

E's Blog

images (1)

And now to take on a hot button issue. I have only voiced my my opinions on this in private. I want to cause my readers to think about what I want to share. I want you to set aside your preconceived feelings and thoughts and start anew. Lets wipe the board clean and lay out some facts and see where we end up. Lets use LOGIC rather than emotion. Keep in mind – emotions are liars. They convince you to feel things you don’t normally feel.

The topic: The George Zimmerman trial. Before I go further, let me just say I have sat NEXT to defendants in trials. Some on trial for their life. No, I was never a defendant. Whether they felt they were innocent or not, they admittedly were scared as to what the 12 folks in the box thought of the case. I imagine Mr. Zimmerman…

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heart 3 heart 2heart

These are some of the more amusing quotes I found. I can agree with two out of the three.

I was reading back through some older blogs and one in particular inspired me to share the same information about myself.

The 7 way(s) (not named “sex”) to Eugene’s heart:

1. Food. My two favorite things are: chicken bog prepared by this chef. Here’s the yummy concoction:

chicken bog

Also, there is this food source. Without it, I’d be very sad. steak

2. Slow dance with me – as shown here. slow dance with me

And don’t make fun of me if I try and ultimately fail to dance any other way.

3. Share a whole Saturday watching, tailgating and/or attending a SEC football game. Only the best plays here:

sec places

4. Go fishing with me.

fishing fishing2

5. Go hunting with me.

duck hunting

6. Spend my favorite holiday with me – New Years.

New Years

7. Get a tattoo of my “E”: tattoo

Did anyone catch Sharknado last night? I’m not even sure why this SyFy movie would even register on my radar. I’m not a SyFy fan, per se. I enjoy the Paranormal films, but I have never been a Trekkie, or zombie fan. Here are a few shots from the movie:

sharkado1 sharknado2

 

I gave it two maybe three minutes. Ok, honestly, I turned it on to catch a glimpse of Tara Reid. Here is a shot of here IN THE MOVIE. Stressed “In the Movie” because, well, Tara is just not what she was 10 years ago and that disappoints me. But hell, neither am I. Tara:

tara

 

 

 

Sticking with the shark theme, I’m not having a great day and the anger sharks are circling in my head. Going to put on my t-shit today. Fair warning – haha.

anger sharks

 

Hey its not like I’m this guy. This guy is so pissed he’s wielding a cactus! That’s bad ass. “Dude, I’m going to beat your ass with a cactus.” Here is angry cactus man.

cactus

 

Yes, WOOOOSA angry cactus man.

Happy Friday, everyone. Be on the lookout for sharknados and angry cactus wielding protesters.

 

tinman

 

Interesting side note on the song. Kenny Chesney and his crew were set to film a video to this song (which was originally released in 1994) in the afternoon of September 11, 2001, at the WTC site. There was an equipment malfunction that delayed the production of the video and ultimately led to the shoot being rescheduled. Thankfully, that delay caused Kenny and the crew to not be at the site that day.

I love this song. Boy, there is some pain in those lyrics. A long long long time ago I threatened to get a tin man tattoo. I just listened to those lyrics and felt a connection and quite possibly envy of the tin man – never to feel a broken heart or any pain that is non-physical. I assume by giving up the ability to feel pain, one would sacrifice the ability to feel all the few good emotions. That wouldn’t be ideal.

While its impossible that I could simply not feel love or any emotions, I still find the tattoo idea very fascinating.

 

“Human beings lose their logic in their vindictiveness.” ~ Elizabeth Stanton.