Thursday, December 9, 2010

Goodbye Mom

In place of a MAAS or Blog posting, I am posting the following portrait of my mother that cites her last words spoken to me...and as soon as possible, I will make a picture of the poem I wrote to honor her memory that was read so eloquently  at her funeral by the Reverend Joseph Lee.:

...And here's Mom's poem; how I wish it were better and longer but nothing could do her justice anyway. Oh, and I might add that the translation for the Armenian Name "Areknas" is "Light of the Moon".


Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Attitude Adjustment Story

Bits & Pieces
No time this week for a good, well stretched out story, so you will have to settle for a last minute, short and (hopefully) sweet snippets of comedic narrations that will (again; hopefully) tickle your collective funny bone. I’d dearly love to add a little more padding to this opening paragraph but to be honest I’m not a good enough writer to drag this sh*t out any longer so without further adieu, and mainly since I have run out of clever, witty ways to embellish this short storey into an epic novel, the next writing junctures is my first short morsel of hilarity.

Back in the days where the latest, greatest technological advancement in communications consisted of answering machines and pagers or beepers or (well, I won’t provide you with the term I was most fond of employing to describe the piece of sh*t my company had ordered me to carry, so for the sake of the young and innocent, I will defer to the euphemism:) emergency communications device. As almost everyone in the western hemisphere and India knew at the time, to contact a person assigned to such a device, you had to first know the particular phone number assigned to the pager; second dial it and third, once the tone or “beep” was heard (thus endowing the evil devices with the nomenclature “Beepers”) you were to enter the telephone number you wished the respondent to call, usually but not always your own. Well, my lovely bride, Sylvia, had an aversion with machines in those days and she found communicating with mechanical equipment especially repugnant. Many people we knew used to call me, almost in tears from laughing, and ask why Sylvia hated machines so much, but they would caution me never to let her know they had called because they loved to listen to the messages she left while verbalizing with their answering machines. So it came as no surprise to anyone in my family when Sylvia said she wanted to call Paul and ask him to stop to pick up something at the store on the way home but knew he would get into trouble if she called his work number. I was busy working at home, which I did a lot in those days, and told her to call his pager number, since he was allowed to call out, but not to receive incoming calls. Everyone in the house over the age of 18 months old broke out in guffaws when they saw my wife pull the phone from her ear and then, holding it like a microphone simply stated… “Paul call home” and hung up.

The really funny part of this short story is that Sylvia did not understand what everyone had found so amusing but did not have time to question us as she answered our ringing phone and told Paul that we needed milk and asked home to stop and pick some up on his way home. Later, out of keen sense of hearing her beautiful ears provided her with, I asked Paul, “How did you ever figure out to call home?” His answer was, “Only a wrong number or Mom would call me on the pager and not leave a phone number, so I took a chance and called home”. Not wanting to appear to be verbose, I will end this mini-saga at this point as I am out of time and hope to use the material I could add in another, future MAAS.

Next week's 11-22-2010 (#168) title: TBD

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Attitude Adjustment Story

The Fun Train to Reno – Part II
I believe that last week I left you as we were de-boarding the train and watching the paramedics treating the “The Flying Wallenda’s” for various cuts, bruises and bumps. Now that we were at the train depot, we had to fetch our luggage, which was in the compartment below our traveling seats…that the Lord, and find transportation to our chosen hotel. There were cabs to share so that the cost would not be prohibitive but being the cheap SOB that I am, I chose the cheapest hotel in the package, and there were no other Signetics’ employees to travel with us. However, we did find another cheap couple and eventually got to our assigned hotel.  Now one reason I chose the cheaper hotel was because I knew my wife and only when she would stop gambling (and that was when she ran out money) would she venture into our room; wake me up to “check on me”. At that time, I would give her some nickel rolls (or a few dollars to buy whatever she wanted which would usually be nickels) and off she would a gambling again go. In fact she would gamble as long as the money lasted or until she collapsed…she reasoned there was always time to sleep on the way home.

We started in play quarter machines (since I found about $2.00 credit in one that somebody forgot or just didn’t know about…and boy was I glad I did. I could not lose,; nothing big ($30.00 was the biggest single payout) but it was a constant payout. That slot machine provided me with my one-armed bandit gambling philosophy lasting until today. Find a two coin maximum machine (other than the quarter poker machines which take five) that is close to an area which a lot of non-gambling people can either see, hear or walk by (as potential outside customers) because those machines are set to pay out more often so customers will be drawn into trying their luck. When that “Ding…Ding…Ding” sounds with a flashing light followed by a sire, I know it gets my curiosity up and the old “What the Hell take a chance” juices flowing. I did tell my wife that I didn’t think she would like the weather outside because I had observed the snow on the ground. I reminded her that we were more than 4,000 feet higher than in California so would be cold outside, but still she persisted. Even though I was happy as a pig in sh*t gambling were I was, I deferred to Sylvia’s demands to travel to another gambling facility to try to lose our money. Reluctantly I gathered my bucket of quarters and exchanged it for dollars (about $230.00; not bad for an initial $2.00 Free bet) and proceeded to the casino exit doors. We got about 100 feet from the doors when some customers staggered inside and a blast of Arctic Air followed in with them. That was enough for my honey (who did not bring her winter coat as I suggested) so we attempted to return to the slot machines that had treated us so well. Unfortunately, an old lady had been watching us and had happily staked a claim on both our machines and gleefully kept pumping both arms until the wee hours of the night. Needless to say we lost most of the money I had won on futile attempts to resurrect our luck, so I left my wife at the nickel bank of slots and retired to our room. She interrupted my sleep about three times and by morning, we had lost most of the money we had to gamble with.

The weather at least was bearable in the light of day, so we did manage to visit a couple of other casinos, but I was wondering what we would do for the next day and a half. I didn’t want to use any more of our money and then I saw the booth promoting $50 per couple in casino chips just to take a bus ride to the state line and sit through a time-share skiing vacation promotion at a California Ski resort. Well, neither of us had snow skied before, although having been raised on water skis I was willing to risk life and limb, but Sylvia was not. Anyway, we did not want to sign our life away for $9,000, which we actually could not afford to turn down but we did. It was funny to be driven back down to the casino by an Alabaman Chain Gang escapee instead of the dapper clean shaven drivers flirting with the skimpily clad champagne pouring tour guide who drove us up. Anyway we did get our chips (one $25 chip each that were only good at that casino and could only pay even money) so we bet on the even/odd numbers on the roulette wheel.  We hit both picks and cashed our chips in and then proceeded to take a different time-share skiing vacation promotion for $50 and this time, when it was over, we tried the red/black and hot one of our bets, so we ended up killing a day; getting free drinks and pocketing $75.00. I was ready for bed but Sylvia was ready to gamble so I limited her to the Nickel slots and she only lost $10.00 during the night. We had a great breakfast; bought some beer and booze for the ride home and had enough money to gamble until it was time to go (had to hold back enough to cover the $10.00 cab fee back to the train station).

Funny thing about the whole trip was the number of people who fell for the same Dan Cone “close the door” trick and the number of “show time” I had to yell. We never did take another “Fun Train Trip” because we discovered the bus turnaround trips that were faster and more fun because we did much better gambling that way…A side note here is that due to personal constraints, I may not be able to post any more MAAS stories for a while. If that is the case, I will post a notice to that affect…From the Main MAAS Managing Moron.

Next week's 11-15-2010 (#167) title: TBD

Monday, November 1, 2010

Could governors be the most important elections in 2010?

As we head into the 2010 mid-term elections, the question to answer is: “Could state Governor Elections actually be more important than Senators or Representatives?” My answer would be…Yes…and my reasoning is this… Details concerning voter fraud have been emerging which underscore the lengths to which the Obama Administration will go to ensure their victory in the upcoming elections. However, to me it is obvious that Obama is really interested his 2012 re-election chances, which currently seem to be slim and none. If you have been paying attention, you will notice that he has put more time and effort into backing Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls than any other political campaigns. Why do you think this is? My guess is based upon these facts:

Governors select the Electoral College electors
There is no penalty for not voting for your state’s winner
Electors have in the past not voted for their state’s selection
Now I must impart the fact that never has an Electoral College member cast an unconventional vote which has altered the outcome of a presidential election. What troubles me is the record number of “Firsts” this administration has accumulated and I would not doubt that the Progressives in charge would not hesitate to ensure that their “democratic” electors will cast their ballots only for Barack Obama no matter what the individual state election has mandated and therefore another “First” will be added to the legacy of the Barack Obama Regime.

Monday Attitude Adjustment Story

The Fun Train to Reno
I know I have written about this excursion before but it never made it into a book of mine and since I lost my hard drive full of MAAS stories, those who remember this saga will just have to suffer through it again. While working at Signetics (a lot my stories seem to originate at that time don’t they?) our director, Dan Cone, suggested that we should get a group together (for better rates) and purchase the Fun Train to Reno weekend package. He had his secretary set everything up and we got about 19 couples together which, based upon the choice of hotel, set our price at $139 each. The kicker was that this trip took place a few months after the infamous event that spawned initiation of the FAAS. The train departed from Oakland and we were again barraged with a host of convoluted travel arrangements, the most intricate being provided by Frank “Wrong Way” [last name omitted; but his ancestor was… Jonathon Corrigan Nagle], who insisted, again, that we would never be able to drive to Oakland in a respectful amount of time. His suggestion was to drive to Fremont and catch the Light Rail (it did not run all the way into San Jose at that time) to Oakland. This leg of the journey was 17 miles out of about 43 of the entire trip’s total miles. However, there was one small irritating detail associated with this schema and that concerned parking. There were parking lots, within walking distance, at the Oakland railway station expressly for extended parking unlike the Light Rail parking lot in Fremont that had to be cleared out by 3 AM every night. Frank lived in Fremont and indicated we could just go to his house and park (for free) and our boss Percy [can’t remember his name but I do have a story about him to tell later in a story that I will call “The Bionic Mom”] would then drive us in his van conversion (he was not going to Reno) and drop us off at the Light Rail Station. An itinerary which didn’t sound too bad until Frank added the small detail about living 11.5 miles away. We had driven to Frank’s apartment before and it took us twice as long to go the 11.5 miles as it did the first 17 since the first leg of the trip was on the freeway, so we declined. I felt I made the correct decision when I learned that no one had taken advantage of Frank’s offer.

Well, needless to say that after listening to all the disgusting details of everyone’s horror stories of traveling to the Oakland Railroad station, Sylvia and I decided to leave two hours earlier than our original plan had indicated. Bad mistake, again, because we had three hours to kill sitting and waiting on hard wooden benches in the dirtiest train station I have ever had the displeasure to visit. Anyway, I did get some degree of satisfaction and enjoyment from the fact that Frank [still unidentified] never made the train on time…he ended up having Percy drive him (at a price) to the next train stop. I must take time here to explain why the train was called the “Fun Train”. It had a dining car, bar car and a dance car plus the seats in all the cars were configured to twist and turn so that two or four people could sit facing each other and the Conductor had lap tables to use to play checkers or chess or cards or almost any game, many of which he also provided. There were also permanent tables (for poker, etc.) available in each car as well. Now the people who made the trip before told us that we should bring our own food and drink because we were allowed and it was extremely costly to purchase anything on the train; so we brought an ice chest packed with sandwiches and beer. The Signetics gang filled up a car but it soon became more than half empty as all the women and the younger, single guys who did not want to play poker, all went to the dancing car. I went with Sylvia but could I soon could not stand the hot, crowded condition and told her I was going back, but she stayed. All during the trip, she came back every so often to check on me, eat and drink a beer, until we were about two hours from Reno, but I’ll get to that later. The trip took about 12 hours because the train’s top speed was 70 mph but it could only reach that amazing pace about one hour total of the trip…when the rails were actually level or on a down slope.

After about three hours of playing cards, those California wimps had enough and most sacked out so they could be fresh and alert when we reached Reno. It was then that I discovered Dan Cone had a Marquis de Sade lineage. You see all the doors leading in and out of each car were open, but even when closed there was a huge sign about waist high that read: “Press Here To Open”. Having made the trip previously, Dan knew most of the passengers traveling through our car were heading to the bar car and if they possessed the ability to read before four or five such trips, they seemed to lose it soon afterward. He told me to sit down and watched and he proceeded to close the door, I couldn’t believe how many people would bump into the closed door and then either muscle the thing open (if they were strong enough they could) or ask for help. One girl in particular must have made over a dozen trips (it was a wonder she could still stand) and forced the doors open every time…except for her last time though. That time Dan stood up and uttered, “Permit me” as he touched the spot indicated by the sigh to open the door and the doors split open with a “whoosh”. This bimbo glared at Dan and said, “You let me open these [censored] doors the hard way you [censored…remember I have grandchildren that read] jerk. It really was funny to watch these budding morons come through again and again and never see read the sign. Some at least had the smarts to ask the conductor to “Fix the doors” and he would lock them open, but as soon as he left, Dan would unlock those demon doors and I would announce “Showtime”. Surprisingly, this nasty deed kept us amused until we were about two hours from Reno when a sh*t-load of people passed through our car and our women also returned. I asked why everyone came back so soon and Sylvia said that the conductor announced they were shutting the dance & bar cars down because they had run out of liquor. He added that this had never happened before; not in all the time the “Fun Train” had been in service. I still had beer left in my cooler and Dan had wine left in his so we became two of the most popular guys in the car, besides one of Dan’s managers, Vic McPherson [the guy who recruited me] who still had a full bottle of Jack Daniels in his possession. When we de-boarded the train in Reno, we noticed the paramedics had been called to the station and they were administering first aide to a couple of guys from a group that I had dubbed “The Flying Wallenda’s” because every time this group of six guys, clad in identical attire, passed by someone would shout for them to “build the pyramid” and they would do so by climbing on each other’s backs. I asked the fellow that looked the healthiest of the five men being treated what happened and he just shrugged and answered, “I guess we fell one time too many”. When I asked where the missing guy was he answered, “At the hospital; two cracked vertebra.” The sad thing was none of the injured felt any pain as long as the booze was flowing, but once it ran out I guess screams could be heard. We were lucky to have been about eight cars away.
I’ll finish my story next week because that way I can stretch one story into two and I don’t have time right now to think up more of this crazy, but basically true crap.

Next week's 11-08-2010 (#166) title: The Reno Fun Train Part II

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Attitude Adjustment Story

Al “Boris” Morris
As I mentioned in my previous MAAS’s, I need to take time to pay homage to a truly great, late comic genius…Al Morris. I met Al my first day working at Signetics [a wholly subsidiary of NV Philips which has since been re-named to Philips Signetics division] in California. You see Al was in charge of communications and on my first day, that meant that he had to install my telephone service. Of course the telephones required their own training session as well as handbooks…ah those were the days. You see back then, Al was a one-man division and I really think he liked it that way. This week will be a short MAAS as I will confine this story to how Al received the “Boris” nickname. Back in those days, 1984, Sylvia and I both liked to party and Signetics was, if nothing else, the most partying company I had ever worked for [and to this day, it retains the partying king title]. Before I became a manager and held my “Staff Meetings” at the Moria Inn on Friday afternoons, we had Friday gatherings always centered around happy hours at rotating bars in the area. The only qualifications were that the joint had to have a dance floor; free food; cheap drinks and could not be the same watering hole we had visited the previous Friday.

Our first occasion to attend one of these functions [Sylvia would always go with me] was in the Double Tree lounge located at the hotel of the same name in San Jose. I was sitting with Al waiting for a slow song to play because I knew no matter what was playing; Sylvia would never leave the dance floor. She had a habit, in those days, of wearing out dancing partners and the guys I worked with were no exception. After about six straight fast songs, the idiot who was playing the music played another blistering, allegro composition and Al asked why I didn’t go out on the floor and dance with my wife. I replied because I was too fond of living and she was a woman who only knew one phrase when it came to dancing and sex…”Do ‘gain daddy?” He laughed and asked if I would sanction his gyrating with my spouse. I shrugged and told him to be my guest but don’t come crying to me when she wears you out. If they play a slow one [I made a mental notation to myself at this point, “Self…never attend a Happy Hour at the Double Tree again”] I will have to cut in on you. He eagerly agreed and quickly bounced out to the dance floor and offered to cut a rug with Dancezilla, much to the relief of all the other potential partners who were sheepishly attempting to escape the gaze of this Dancing Queen.

After a couple of long dances I could see the sweat flowing freely from AL’s furrowed brow as he shot a pleading glance towards me. I laughingly replied “no way Jose” by merely shaking my head. After the next frenzied dance had begun, a shapely, buxom beauty sat down at my table and asked if I would care for a drink. Thinking it must be California’s version of Sadie Hawkins day, I didn’t pay much attention to her and [due to the loud strains of the next piece of music] I just pointed to my nearly full bottle of beer and shook my head no. Turning my attention back to the dance floor believing the issue had been resolved, I felt something lightly caress my arm and turned to see her mouth almost touching me utter “Hi I’m Amber, would you like to F**k?” as she leaned over the table spilling her ample, non-confined breasts all over its slick, shiny surface. Thinking fast I conjured up my best Russian accent and said, “Sadly I not can because Natasha, spouse to me…” and at this juncture I paused, pointed to my wedding ring and then continued “operative number two is upon floor dance now with Boris, operative number one. If even she suspect talking with me, your life I would be afraid for.” This Bimbo was not too discerning as after she recoiled back from my warning and removed her clutching claws, she stared at the dance floor and asked, “Which one is Boris?” Thank my lucky stars the next record was a slow song as I hopped up and muttered “You excuse please, I must now go to dance”, and as the shepherd was known for saying, “I got the flock out of there”.

Al was already returning to the table when he spotted the wench and as I began dancing with my wife I answered his quizzical, head-cocked non-verbal question with, “Her name is Amber; Sylvia is Natasha and you are Boris. And if she should ask my name tell her I’m Ican Snatchyourtitisoff. We are all Soviet operatives so speak accordingly in accent.” Al broke out in a big, shit-eating grin, sauntered over to the table and whispered something into her ear. She leaned back shaking her head “no” and then, leaning forward again, whispered something into his ear. I thought he was going to dump our table over; glasses, ashtrays, bottles and all when he flew to his feet. The two locked arms and as they were exiting the bar he looked back at me and winked. The rest of the night went uneventful for an hour or so when Al returned in a huff, plopped down and admonishingly stated, “You set me up with a hooker!” I replied that I was pretty sure she was, didn’t he see it? Ignoring my question he continued, “She wanted to charge me $50.00 after I paid for the damn room too!” Laughing, I asked if he paid the $50.00 and he answered, “Boris could do nothing else!” We both laughed and then he added, “My only complaint is now I can’t afford lunch for the next week!” Slipping into character I told him, “Is not for you to worry my friend, Natasha make extra big pot borscht for you for to eat with us …” Naturally, my next FAAS was about this incident and Al “Boris” Morris and the name stuck.

Next week's 11-01-2010 (#164) title: TBD

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The answer is not term limits

The problem with our government today is the money involved; Congressional salaries, pensions, perks, health care etc. are all benefits that are greedily desired. Money is also amassed and dispensed in massive amounts in attempts to win elections and once “Pot of Gold” offices are secured, no amount of money, time or effort expended in retaining them is considered too great…And there lies the problem. Not only is corruption practically mandated, due to the accumulated power and potential wealth involved, but political coalitions are cobbled together without consideration of the harm these alliances might do to our country. Although term limits would keep greedy people from establishing congressional dynasties, the corrupting influences of power and monetary gains eventually perverts even the most chaste, idealistic candidate into a grasping, morally bankrupt monster. It has been suggested that junior members of the House and Senate spend most of their time raising campaign funds for their parties…that is their primary duty and if they do not perform, they do not receive monetary backing from their party when it’s their re-election time. How many times have you heard “He/she does not have enough funds to seriously contend for a congressional seat”? This is not the qualification standards our founding fathers had in mind…degree of wealth.

Another strand of this unscrupulous web of political depravity is lobbying firms. These organizations offer money; the promise of future employment and/or special privileges for legislation configured to suit their client’s best interests. Frequently, in order to pay off these “considerations” [besides composing “special interest” bills from scratch], politicians will insert “earmarks” [also known as “pork”] into popular, practically sure to pass, bills which have no logical connection to the proposed legislation, but merely serve as the Quid pro quo remittance to the lobbyists who “bribed” the politicos. Notice I used the term bribed…I know of no other term that can describe the activities defined by lobbying. Senator Obama promised he would put an end to earmarks but when his first major piece of legislation, the Stimulus Package or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 or the Jobs Bill or whatever the name it is going by now, was passed it contained a whopping 9000 earmarks!

The next piece to this progressively expanding puzzle is the “Campaign Reform” legislation that had been composed in an effort to bestow an aura of legitimacy to current day election financial gathering [no, not “gathering”…amassing] activities. Laws have been written defining “Hard” and “Soft” campaign monies and regulations covering donations of these kinds of finances. Rules have been established concerning amounts for each type of resource that can be donated by a company, individual or entity; how these funds can be distributed and which contributions must be identified, etc. It has also been confirmed that no “Foreign” money, via any kind of contribution, be allowed to be donated to a candidate’s election fund, but this particular regulation is often hard to uphold because of the “Identifying Contribution Ruleswhich allow donations of under $200 to remain anonymous. Additionally, there are too many political money gathering/disbursing entities to successfully monitor, so instead of regulating them (which only causes government expansion) just remove the reason the rules were established…money.

Finally, I’d like to offer my own observations concerning the temptations that are in place that attract undesirable people into government employment today. For my entire childhood and throughout my adult life until now, I kept hearing how little our government employees were being paid and this caused the government to lose quality people to the Business World. The talk was always about how governmental salaries had to be increased to attract and retain qualified personnel. Well, that was all just smoke and mirrors to cover up progressive increases to federal paychecks and congressional perks [free parking, free airplane transportation (and in Nancy Pelosi’s case, even her choice of planes), free gasoline, etc.]. The idea has always been that “don’t worry…congress cannot vote itself a pay increase” but that is not true when you consider the shit-load of career representatives and senators who will be retaining their jobs when these new rates become effective. Let’s not forget to mention the number of administrators required to fill the needs of an ever expanding federal government. Today, as reported in the USA Today March 8, 2010 edition, that the typical government worker is paid 20% more than his counterpart private industry worker. Of course when you add in perks and retirement benefits, the gap is much higher making government work more attractive to a job seeker than any employment in the private sector.

Some questions to be answered before I propose my fixes for this total degradation in our Republic are:
• Why did President Obama, on December 23, 2009, issue an executive order increasing federal civilian employees’ salaries by 2% when SSA recipients were denied a cost of living increase in their payments for 2010 due to no inflation?
• Why are the same salaries being increased in 2011 by 1.4% by the Senate Appropriations Committee when again, SSA recipients, for the same period, are being denied a COLA because there was no inflation?
• Why are former congressmen allowed to work for lobbying firms in any capacity?
• Why are congressmen allowed to work for any organization that profited from their oversight?
• Why are the Congressional, Executive and Judicial branches of our government exempt from so many statutes covering the rest of America?
• How can legal immigrants and illegal aliens who have not made any Social Security payments, ever, collect money from this fund?
• How can non-citizens who have not made any Medicare/Medicaid payments receive free Medical Treatment?
• How can people, who have sworn to uphold the Constitution, blatantly ignore it and go unpunished?
• How can a US city declare itself a “Sanctuary City”, which is not constitutional, and not have the US Attorney General prosecute them but the same Governmental Authorities will sue a state for attempting to ensure its sovereignty from foreign invaders which is its constitutional right?
• Why are groups that demand fiscal responsibility and a return to the Constitution in peaceful demonstrations described as Terrorists while real terrorists are identified merely as criminals?
• How can the same groups that claim peaceful Tea Party members to be radical activists describe Left-wing protesters, who burn cars, buildings and otherwise destroy personal property while violently confronting police, as merely “demonstrating their frustrations”?
• How can the US Government describe 2nd amendment right groups and former military as “Potential Terrorists to watch” when they ignore the real terrorists encroaching on our borders and teaching in our schools?
• How can anyone who ever declared their intent to overthrow our government be allowed to serve in that government?
• How can anyone be named to the post that oversees payment of taxes when they didn’t pay their own taxes for any reason?
• How can anyone in the post that writes tax code not be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law when they don’t pay their own taxes?
• How can Congressional members commit illegal acts, which would result in non-government workers being immediately jailed, get away with no punishment for years or even ever?
I have many more questions but this Blog entry is getting too large so I’ll stop here. Although it looks like I may have strayed off subject, I can point to the “love of money” as the cause for all these problems as well as, but not limited to, totaling dismantling our Constitution by establishing a “World Order”; “saving” our planet by “Going Green” and destroying the United States of America by redistributing our wealth to everyone else. I firmly believe that if we elect people that will attempt to fix the money problem, then term limits will be easy to pass...who would want to fight an attempt to limit the chance to make a career out of a crappy paying job? Okay, here’s the start of my plan to take the “Money” out of our government:
#1 – Reduce all pay scales for all branches of our Federal government (Legislative, Judicial & Executive) to the level of the Social Security Administration’s highest wage. Administer these wages under SSA rules (including COLA). Also apply to all retiree’s.
#2 – Place all Federal jobs under the auspices of the Social Security Administration and dump all undistributed former pension monies into the Social Security fund. Also apply to all retiree’s.
#3 – Replace all government employees’ medical benefits (except for the Military) with Medicare coverage and distribute any monies into the Medicare account. Also apply to all retiree’s.
#4– Eliminate free gasoline, free parking, free transportation and all monetary compensation from any unused allowances pertaining to all Congressional and Executive office employees.
#5– Remove all political contributions of any kind. Political expenditures must be allocated and tracked to the penny. Every major, political party (that is registered and meets rigid qualifications) must be provided the same amount of money per candidate for a position from Federal or State General Political Funds that contain only voluntary, private contributions. After all, who cares where the money comes from if everyone gets an equal share?
#6– Eliminate all earmarks. If a need is so great to consider an earmark, write a bill.
#7– Outlaw all Lobbying functions. Treat any lobbying activities as felony bribery crimes.
If we can elect honorable candidates into the Federal Government, we may be able to implement at least some of my proposed changes and then we will be served by a government that would be interested in making America whole again. Someone would surely suggest term limits, balanced budgets, reduced taxes, reduced expenditures, restoring the Constitution and reducing the immense size of our bloated government.
Remember this Ronald Regan Quote, which is even more valid today:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Attitude Adjustment Story

The beginnings of the MAAS – The trip
Last week I left you at the point of this story where Dan and I had just decided to go with our originally planned route for the journey but changed our start time to one hour earlier at 4:00 AM. That Friday morning, I was in the parking lot by 3:25AM (no one wants to be late for a date with the Director of their organization). Dan and his girlfriend arrived at 4:23 AM; the Director of your organization doesn’t care about being late…for anything with the possible exception of a tee time However, it did make the trip to the airport extremely interesting as I never knew Dan Cone was actually Richard Petty [now I am showing my age…this was the first NASCAR name I thought of and I am not too sure that any of my younger readers will understand the comedic value of this comparison; oh well]. I also discovered that I did have a cast iron stomach as I did not vomit one time, unlike Dan’s poor weak-bellied female companion.

Anyway, we reached the airport and checked in their luggage and got boarding passes. He was the first passenger to check-in and we had to wait 20 minutes for the agents to open the ticket station. I will not detail any more of the activities at the airport because I wouldn’t want to be the cause of teaching anyone new profanity, so suffice it to say I was back in the Signetics parking lot by 5:53 AM. What made me mad was that I had done a lot of work that was required on Friday from home on Thursday evening and could actually not even get to the online system until 7:30 AM, so I had a lot of time to think about…no make that stew over this fiasco…so I wrote a letter thanking each of my co-workers who suggested their particular trip itineraries for their thoughtfulness.

First was Frank “Wrong Way” [last name omitted] who I mentioned was a direct descendant of that old pioneering pathfinder Jonathon Corrigan Nagle(I didn’t say I wouldn’t name their ancestors) who was hired to lead the “Donner Party” into their land of “Milk and Honey”; Oregon. Jonathon was the guide who explained that the more traveled direct route to Oregon, which bypassed the Sierra Madre Mountains, was just too crowded with travelers trekking to California that they would never get to their promised land in time to plant their crops for a good harvest next fall. He suggested the wagon train divert through the Northern Sierra Mountains, which contained the Donner Lake. He insisted that was the only way he had ever gotten to Oregon on time for planting crops and “…besides, Donner Lake provided a wonderful water park-like diversion for weary travelers”. Over the objections of everyone in the traveling party he declared, “I can guarantee that the pass will be clear because the snow won’t fall for three months yet”. He also added that there was no need to carry all the heavy, extra provisions stored in their wagons, in case of a winter stoppage of the Pass, “Dump all that unnecessary, heavy food stuffs you have in your Conestogas so that we will be able to travel faster and re-supply at the “Last Chance [name withheld] Store” located at the other side of the Pass. Of course, all the beasts of burdens glorified this man and raised a statue in his honor even though they were all slaughtered for food because of his bogus promises.

My next message was directed at Todd “The Hunk” [last name omitted] by implying that it was his ancestor, Captain Falkenburg Miller, master of the Famous ship known as “The Flying Dutchman” who had told his crew “Don’t worry about the waters around the Cape of Good Hope; I have an alternate, safer path plotted to get us home” and then, of course, guided his ill-fated frigate across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans into the nether regions beyond [although being Dutch himself, his grasp of the Dutch language was not too firm and he confusingly assumed “the nether regions” and “The Netherlands” were the same]; never to be seen again except, of course, in low-budget, poorly acted “made for TV” movies. Maybe Captain Miller would not have been retained as Captain of his vessel if the ship’s owners had known that he was also the infamous owner of the “Lost Dutchman’s” gold mine.

Last I thanked Al “Boris” Morris, whose cousin Igor “The Red” Morris had been the navigator for Amelia Earhart on her tragic flight in 1937 when she became a lost legend. A little known unpublicized fact was that Igor was a last minute replacement for regular navigator, Fred Noonan, who was fired after Amelia was duped into believing that Igor Morris had plotted a faster, safer route through the Pacific by way of the Arctic Ocean through the Suez Canal. If she had been aware that his navigational training had been limited to finding his apartment’s bathroom door in the dark [he never paid his electric bills] and his tool kit consisted of a used pad of unlined paper, a metal protractor and a broken, gummy “Peter Rabbit” eraser, I doubt if she would ever have replaced Noonan with him.

I then attached this letter to another memo describing each of the noted luminary’s suggested route to the San Francisco airport; the actual route we took, along with the times involved and then emailed the entire mess to everyone in the CIS department at Signetics…with the post script that I wrote this note because I had so time to kill since, due to the scare these “experts” gave us, we left so F***ing early. Since it was Friday, Al Morris answered my email with the following response: “Enjoyed very much reading your inaugural edition of the Friday Attitude Adjustment Story (FAAS) and am looking forward to next week’s equally exciting edition.” Because Al also copied everyone in MIS on his reply to my email, and almost all seconded his idea, the FAAS was born. Then, when Dan returned from Hawaii and became informed of all the facts, he actually created a new project that I was responsible for which sealed my fate as the official author of the weekly “FAAS”. I even had to select replacement “FAAS” authors whenever I took vacation.

Next week's 10-25-2010 (#164) title: Al “Boris” Morris

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday Attitude Adjustment Story

The beginnings of the MAAS
Maybe I should pick on myself for a while. I hurt too much from all the abuse I had to take from relatives just because I made them immortal in print…there is no gratitude in the world, ouch, anymore. Damn, I have to be careful typing with my two broken arms. You know, I would never have believed that I could scratch the inside of my left ear with my right hand being leveraged up my back, but I did, once. Anyway, I have to share a story about some of my time in California…why? Well, the certain event I am about o relate to you is considered the official beginning of the Friday Attitude Adjustment Story [FAAS] at Signetics which, as some of you are well aware, lead directly to the current format, the MAAS (which makes more sense to me since more people need their attitudes adjust on Mondays than Fridays). Anyway the incident started with The Director of MIS at Signetics in California, Dan Cone, going to Hawaii with his girlfriend and leaving my family to babysit his house [there is another story there but I won’t go into that part until maybe later in this narration]. Anyway, the plan was for me to meet them at the company parking lot; park my car and then accompany those two lovebirds to San Francisco airport and then drive his car [truck actually] back to work where I would leave it until their return.  I would then be able to use my car to drive home.

We thought this was a good plan and only had to agree upon the time to meet. This was long before the current Terrorist procedures, so getting to the airport one hour before the flight was way more than required. Since their flight was set for 7:20 AM and it took about an hour to drive from Sunnyvale to the San Francisco airport, we decided to meet at 5:00 AM to make sure that the traffic heading north on a workday would hopefully ensure our on-time arrival. The flight was set for Friday morning so all day Thursday, co-workers who had been in California longer than I had kept stopping by to give me (and then Dan) their suggestions about our planned agenda. Since I do not know where most of the Signetics’ employees that comprise this story are these days, I will not name them (other than their first name). I do know that one of my friends from that time, in fact the guy who named the FAAS, Al “Boris” Morris, is now deceased and those of you who knew him realize what a comedic talent the world is missing now due to his passing. Al became known as “Boris” while long before the FAAS was established, but that particular dubbing is a story into itself and I will not divulge those details in this MAAS.

Anyway, the first to put the fear of traffic into both Dan and I was Frank "Wrong Way" [last name omitted]. I must pause for a second here to explain that due this particular, convoluted route of his, Frank was dubbed, by yours truly, with the moniker “Wrong Way”. Frank told us that our plan was so full of holes we would probably arrive at least an hour after the plane’s departure. He professed to be a maven of the US-101 Expressway North route we planned to take [mainly because the airport was right on 101 about 10 miles south of the city of San Francisco] and his unique knowledge told him we could not travel by car via that route and make it on time. First he said we needed to meet an hour earlier and then we should travel only as far north as Fremont using US-880 Expressway North where I should then drop Dan and his honey [name withheld due to personal reasons] at the Amtrak station where they could take the train right into the airport. “Only the train will get you there on time”. Dan and I dismissed this idea as adding too much mileage to the trip since US-880 took us on the wrong side of the bay and Amtrak itself did not offer the most reliable mode of transportation since the Government, thanks to “Tricky” Dick Nixon and Congress, established it in 1971.

The next person who offered us travel advice was Todd “The Hunk” [last name omitted]. He was given the nickname “The Hunk” because he was a dead ringer for Christopher Reeve’s “Clark Kent” persona in the move “Superman”. Now Todd agreed with Frank that we could never reach the San Francisco airport on a Friday morning, but he also agreed that taking Amtrak was a bad idea. His suggestion was to take US-880 North but his idea was to go as far north as CA-92 west and there cross the San Francisco Bay to US-101 North. “The Hunk” said he always avoided traveling on the “101 Parking Lot” as much as possible. Dan and I considered his suggestion but again felt that the added mileage would only extend the length of the trip and we also dismissed this suggestion because of that and the fact that we had heard that sometimes US-880 could also be dubbed the “Parking Lot”

The last suggestion was donated by good old Al “Boris” Morris. He also denounced the ability of US-101 as well as US-880 “♪To get us to the Church on time♫” and promised us our only alternative was to take I-280 North to San Carlos and then CA-92 East to US-101 North and then up to the airport. He told us he had often taken this route and had never been late to the airport. Of course, when pressed, he admitted he had only taken that trip once, but insisted it was our only viable choice. Again, Dan and I discussed this seemingly ridiculous path and decided that it too added needless, extra mileage and Dan stated the CA-92 east and west were many times shut down for hours as a time due to various reasons.

That day after work, Sylvia, Dan and I met at the Moria Inn, the local, nearby watering hole, to discuss the next morning’s trek. After a pitcher of beer, we decided that out original plan was the bet. It was a straight shot and the shortest route. Besides, I had traveled it many times and had fewer problems with the way than traveling on 880 or 280. The only alteration we made to our plans was to set our departure time an hour earlier, so we decided to meet in the Signetics’ parking lot at the ridiculously early time of 4:00 AM. This was the same time we had met to travel to the Oakland train station (via I-880) when we had taken the fun train to Reno and at that time we had two hours to kill in the train station before the 6:00 AM departure time; and another hour and a half it took the wonderful scheduling Amtrak organization to get the outbound trains ready to roll out to by 7:30 AM. This was one reason why we did not trust Amtrak. More on this Fun Train trip in another MAAS and the conclusion of this story next week.

Next week's 10-18-2010 (#163) title: The trip and the story itself

Monday, October 4, 2010

Progressives go too far ***CORRECTED

Somehow I showed a picture of a woman who was horrified at what the Agony Aunt was saying instead of the actual perpetrator of the disgusting verbiage. I will replace the incorrect picture with an actual video so you can hear her for yourself. I apologize for the error

Here's a video that caused all kinds of  horror and revolution in the UK(and now here as well) that is supposed to be promoting "Cap and Trade" [or as I identify it "Crap & Tax "or nothing but "Smoke & Mirrors" without the mirrors]. Caution, this video contains extremely disgusting and disturbing images:

Another repugnant, repulsive and totally obscene piece of propaganda being vomited out of the extreme far left can be viewed by visiting this link or you can see and hear for yourself as this woman, Virginia Ironside one of Britain's "Agony Aunts", spews her disgusting venom.

I thank Glenn Beck for showing this to me and as a follower of his TV/Radio shows, I am attempting to provide this data to everyone I possibly can. Together we can make a difference and hopefully put an end to this blatant propaganda to support murder of children, as the Agony Aunt, and the lie of president Obama's push for Crap & Tax so that his supporters of Carbon Trade (as Al Gore, the Clinton's & George Soros, etc.) can make billions of dollars selling smoke.

Monday Attitude Adjustment Story

Paul’s Trips to Mass
I think it is time to give poor Sylvia a break and pick on some other family members. Why do I think that my MAAS stories need a new, fresh outlook? Well, for one thing it is getting very chilly in my bedroom and for the second, my arm is almost twisted up to the top of my ear and it’s beginning to hurt Ssssweet HEART! Therefore, I will be relating some recent events surrounding my son Paul and my Brother-in-law Julian. Forgive me guys but the pain is just too unbearable not to pick on someone else and you two are it for this week. Now you need to understand that Julian attends the Mass Service held 4:00 PM on Saturdays at St Anthony’s Catholic Church. He used to attend services at Sacred Heart Catholic Church for years until they closed it down not too long ago. Sacred Heart was attended regularly by the entire Bank family for years (with the possible exception of Joe Bank, the Patriarch). Joe did attend the high-lights of the church year, like Christmas and Easter and many believe that if he had attended on some non-significant Sunday, for example, it would probably have been shut down earlier due to the lightning bolt strikes on its roof.

When Julian first picked up Paul for a trip to church, I thought it was extremely thoughtful and kind of him to drive his nephew to church. However, the more this “heart-felt’ activity occurred, the more I came to believe that this was not so much an act of kindness but more like a case of kidnapping. Why do I make this claim? It is easy…you see services, as I motioned earlier, are held at 4:00 PM Saturday afternoons and Julian always arrives sometime around…3:00 AM…Thursday morning to pick Paul up. Oh, to digress for a moment, Julian, where did you buy those chains, handcuffs and leg irons and how much did they cost? I have a Son and Grandson that need to be shackled together and I was hoping to get a discount. Call me when you get a chance, okay? Anyway, getting back to my narration, I could understand Julian wanting to get to church early to either secure a front or back row pew, but when I questioned Paul on this subject, he answered “No, we sit somewhere in the middle”. Now this only confirms my abduction theory; you see, once enough people start filling up the church from the rear, normal church primo pew selection, Julian can safely release Paul’s bonds without fear of his escape because too many worshippers could see him fleeing from the day’s sermon and that would be too embarrassing to bear.

By the time that the service is over, there can be no question of escape since my son’s only thought is to get out of those hard, uncomfortable seats and home in time for lunch. Julian and Paul must not have the same luck as I did attending church, before my college days, since I was never in a hurry to go home. In fact I can’t tell you how many times I informed my parents that I had a ride home with either Chief Tatum, whose jurisdiction covered the entire Everglades was also a parent to a frisky, well endowed daughter; or the Music Director, who lived in Broward country and was the proud father of beautiful, agile twin daughters; or any of the myriad Deacons of the church, but only the ones who had good looking, lonely daughters (Mom never caught on but I think Dad did); ostensibly to help them out with some task or church related function. Actually, on second thought, I could tell you but I think I’ll save these stories for future MAAS’s. Or maybe it was just that the Southern Baptist bred hotter, more pliable women than Northeast Ohio Catholics did.

Anyway, the trips “home” always end up the same way…with a long layover at the lair of Julian’s Mother, or as I like to refer to her “the Best Mother-in-law I have”, Rosa B, the human cooking, baking and dessert offering machine. Seems like all those old-country style mothers & grandmothers are the same (mine too except Rosa B never tells me that I am “Too Fat” before plying me with a quarter ton of vittles like my mother does). Considering that Paul was taken to church by his Uncle he has no way to get home until Julian is ready to take him home, but since Rose always fills him up with culinary delights, he is never in any hurry to go home anyway. As I write this MAAS, I just figured out why Sylvia never offers to pick him up either…he always comes back with a sh*t-load of food. Paul must get his smart genes from Sylvia.

Next week's 10-11-2010 (#162) title: TBD

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

There is Hope with God

I received the following story and wanted to share it with everyone. It is very appropriate especially in these times of stress on our beloved country. Please accept this as the gift it is intended to be...

The fern and the bamboo
One day I decided to quit...I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality. I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.

"God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"

His answer surprised me; "Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"

"Yes", I replied.

"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the Earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed...But I did not quit on the bamboo.

In the second year the fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.

In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit and the same in year four. Then in the fifth year, a tiny sprout emerged from the earth.

Compared to the fern, it was seemingly small and insignificant. But just six months later, the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.

It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.

Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots? I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you.

Don't compare yourself to others. The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful. Your time will come…You will rise high"

"How high should I rise?" I asked.

"How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return.

"As high as it can?" I questioned

"Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."

I left the forest, realizing that God will never give up on me. And He will never give up on you.
Never regret a day in your life.

Good days give you happiness; bad days give you experiences; both are essential to life.
Author ~ Unknown

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Attitude Adjustment Story

Trip to the Orthopedic Surgeon
I don’t think I have related the ordeal to you that I fondly refer to as “Our trek to the doctor’s office” or “Driving Mr. Crazy”…and by that I mean the missus was driving the mister nuts! Here are all the gory details, with the exception of the actual date of our journey. That’s because I will be using real names (no innocents to protect in this story) and I don’t want to tip off the property owners, who may have felt their “right to privacy” was violated, to our location on the fateful date…that may punch holes in our alibis. Anyway, I admit that this was the first time we were going to Dr. Bear’s office and neither of us had any idea where it was located…except of course that we had the actual address. So I availed myself of the use of and it mapped the route in its usual, indomitable fashion clearly marking each directional twist and turn. One thing we forgot, having been away from Akron for so long, was that after Portage Path turned into Portage trail, the street numbers do not reset until you travel a few more blocks and cross State Road in the Falls, so we were looking for the number on Portage Trail in the wrong place. As we were cruising nicely along, with me announcing each turn at each street when I directed her to, “turn left here dear” and then, as we were approaching the end of a cul-de-sac, I corrected myself and told my chauffeur, “I’m sorry, darling I meant your other left…you know in the direction of the hand you write with.” At this point my wife did the sensible thing; pulled into a driveway and turned the car around. She explained that she only became confused because she was talking, so I planned to ease the burden she endured of providing me with transportation by looking for the turns as well as announcing them so she would not again become overwhelmed with an inordinate amount of tasks to perform, like unnecessarily conversing with me.

At this point I must pause to digress from my narration in order to explain, in advance, that the cul-de-sac we erroneously entered was entirely paved, driveways included. Why does this matter? Well let’s just say that the next two boo boos that occurred, through no fault of the driver nor the navigator, caused us to drive into two more dead ends…the last of which was not paved. When I reach that part of this epic you will understand the significance of this bit of data. I will now proceed with my story telling. After we transitioned from Portage Path to Portage Trail, I was looking for the address number of Doctor Bear’s Portage Trail office by viewing the address numbers on the left side of the road. We passed what was a hidden drive that had no address posted we could see and a place that looked like it was another hidden drive but was actually a dead-end street with its sign hidden from view. The next address we could see was higher than the address we were looking for so we agreed that one of the two areas we had passed must be the address we were seeking. Sylvia pulled the car into a playground parking lot so we could reverse our direction and turned right at the street with the hidden sign (which was also paved like the cul-de-sac had been). Again my wife very sensibly reversed our direction, by steering the car into a driveway, and then turned right again to explore the street address of the hidden drive. Now comes the fun part and the reason I will try real hard to obtain a drivers’ license again. This driveway was not paved and it branched two ways; one dead-ended into the homeowner’s barn (could have been a garage but I swear it looked more like a barn). The other branch circled in front of the house and then back to the driveway for exiting but there was a large truck parked right on the loop, close to the front door.

I have never seen Sylvia so shaken in all my life…not even when she laid in the hospital with a shattered femur…not even during Ryan’s childbirth when the staff forget to turn on the vacuum cleaner hose they use to suck the crap out of the kid’s lungs (they don’t slap the babies anymore…too many kids are extremely large and started slapping back…hard!) She was actually shaking so badly she could hardly put the car in reverse and with tears welling up in her eyes she stammered, “Oh no…I have to back up!” I was thinking that I was going to have to turn the car around for her and, reflecting back now, maybe I should have for both our stomach’s sake. You must understand, our car has a proximity sensor in the rear and Sylvia was terrified of backing into one of the three tees that stood about ¼ of a mile away from the driveway. She was trying to back up using just the mirrors and was freaking out about “…hitting one of the trees!” Me, well, I was concerned more about her running into the ditch that ran along the driveway because she was weaving all over the place...the reason I will not give the date or we might be sued for ruining the farmer’s lawn. Anyway, she didn’t get back onto the gravel until I told her that I was only worried about her hitting the mailbox. There wasn’t any but I thought that it would get her back on track…and it did. I was laughing so hard by the time we got back on the road that Sylvia was ready to kill me and if looks could do it I would not be telling you this story now. The rest of the trip was boring and uneventful with only the occasional glaring dagger shooting my way and the small ice age forming only in our car, so I’ll stop this story now while I have enough time to make a clean getaway.

Oh, by the way, Sylvia took me to the dentist Friday, September 24, and I mapped out the route (a lot of good it did me on the Orthopedic trek) but this time I told her to mark an “L” on her left hand and an “R” on her right. Maybe I should have supervised her in that but I did remind her that the “L” went on her writing hand as she is left-handed. I sure hope I didn’t make a mistake by letting her mark her hands unsupervised. Oh well, if it was a mistake I’ll just have more fodder for the MAAS mill.

Next week's 10-04-2010 (#161) title: TBD

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How's that Obamacare working for you?

Now that Obamacare is the “Law of the Land”, I need to ask all of you who supported this boondoggle, how’s it working out for you? Have you benefited from the reduced premium payments from your current insurance carrier…No? Well at least none of you have seen any increase in your premiums have you? After all, under Obamacare the insurance industry cannot raise premiums due to increased costs because they will recoup any of those costs with their increase of customers, right? What do you mean your insurance premiums went up, they can’t…oh wait…I forgot; that benefit does not kick in for another three years yet.

Okay, but don’t you feel so much better knowing that your child will be medically covered until age 26? What do you mean your offspring is still not covered? I see…Didn’t you know about the loop hole in that benefit which denies coverage to anyone not already on the policy? Well, that’s just too bad for you; you should keep current about information such as this. Well, that’s okay, at least you can start new policies for your younger dependents and they will be covered for any conditions, pre-existing or otherwise until they are 26 years old! Oh, that’s not right either…why not? I see, your insurance company is so afraid of raising costs, since they only have a 4% profit margin, that they stopped issuing any children only policies…period. You can’t blame them for that quite gripping.

The best part about Obamacare is if the insurance companies incur any more costs, you know the “hidden” kind [since there might be some in the bill because as Nancy Pelosi said “we have to pass the bill to find out what is in it”], those companies will just go out of business as they should [no bailouts here]. But not to worry, you will have Medicare/Medicaid to fall back upon and take my word as a user of these two, fine programs, they well, sort of SUCK!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Attitude Adjustment Story

Road trip to Jacksonville Part II
I left this story at the point in my narrative where Benny and I had just figured out that his car keys were missing and we didn’t have a clue where the Motel room we occupied was located and that Freddy was missing. Even before we ran outside to see if his car was parked in the lot we both knew we would not find it. “Where the Hell is that Mother- F**ker Freddy and what the F**k is he doing with my F**king car?” [Author’s note: Sorry to employ such foul language but we kind of talked that way all the time in college, especially those of us in ROTC. In fact I got so used to it that at my first sit down dinner back home with my family on spring break I blurted out, “Could someone please pass me the F**king potatoes?” By some miracle of God, I am still alive to relate this saga to you, so I will, without further adieu, get back on message.] Anyway, we walked to the diner next door to eat brunch noticing on the menu that we were in Jacksonville, Florida. I did not know anyone (at that time) who lived in Jacksonville and neither did Benny. We wracked our brains over the reason for being in Jacksonville but for the life of us, we came up empty. After we finished eating, Benny remembered we had enough booze for one small drink apiece left, so we returned to our motel room, stopping to buy a newspaper on the way. We poured our meager beverages (this time with some ice) and slowly sipped them while checking the paper for something we could do that night in Jacksonville since we did not, as Benny so eloquently put it, “We don’t have enough F**king time to get the F**k to Tampa and still return to F**king Tallahassee in time not to miss more F**king classes than usual.” Hell, without Benny’s car or any information concerning Freddy’s whereabouts or schedule or anything, we had no idea when we could even leave “F**king” Jacksonville.

It was some time after 1:00 PM when we noticed that the message light was on the phone…it had been Freddy. He said he would meet us at the Motel around 3:00 PM. That was it…no phone number…no explanation…no F**king nothing. Benny was furious and frantically started leafing through the phone book looking for bars in our area but could find nothing within walking distance. Oh, we could have taken a bus but not being familiar with the schedules or routes we didn’t want to take the chance of returning late and missing Freddy, although I would not have minded…at least I would have been spared the sight of Freddy’s blood spattering everywhere. Taking a cab was out of the question; we didn’t have a lot of money and Benny insisted that, since he owned a car, he’d be [expletive deleted; I am tired of writing various derivatives of that stupid word F**k] if we would spend a dime on cab fare. I did not want to state the obvious, such as “Are you sure that you still have a car Benny?” but there’s no need to smack the hornet’s nest after it’s been knocked to the ground, so I didn’t. We passed the time watching TV because although Jacksonville is a fairly large city, it seems that if you are not familiar with the good, secret spots, about all there was to do even on a Saturday (unless you owned a boat), was to go out to eat, visit a Redneck bar or watch the Submarine races down by the St John’s river which at that time made Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River (remember the one that caught fire?) seem like a clear mountain stream of pure running water. Neither of us were really in the mood for a hillbilly bar and since we were not the right kind of couple to be viewing submarine races (besides who knew what lurked beneath the brown, muddy river, awaiting its chance to arise to life from the water like some horrible Roger Corman monster B-movie “Attack of the [fill in the blank] Monster!!”. We had found and noted the seemingly best Italian restaurant that was on the road back to the relative raucous life of our rowdy Campus. We figured we could stop there on the way home, providing of course that we could clean Freddy’s blood out of Benny’s car in time to make it there before closing time; 10:00 PM, so we settled into the Motel room and watched TV (Gator City Tractor Pull on all three stations); killing time until 3:00 PM.

At 10 minutes past 3:00 (Benny was fit to be tied and stalking the parking lot like some large, demented Grizzly bear) we spotted his car driving along the road and then into the motel parking lot. As it pulled into the parking space in front of our room, Benny ran to it like the father greeting his prodigal son and started running his fingers over the entire car checking for any new dings or dents. Finding none (…and boy was I glad) he finally turned his attention to Freddy and the rather attractive, buxom blond in the skimpy, shape revealing attire who had driven a cute, red Ford Mustang convertible into the slot beside Benny’s car. Freddy smiled; Benny Scowled; the Blond froze like a deer transfixed in a set of headlights and I cringed awaiting the explosion I knew would erupt in the very near future. And then Freddy put his arm around the Blond, pulling her stiffening torso close as he announced, “Benny, Paul this is my girlfriend [you pick the name I honestly don’t remember] and Blondie [why not?] these are my friends Benny and Paul”. Benny’s visage softened a tad; almost smiling at the terrified sex object as he gruffly hissed, “Pleased to meet ya” and then, ignoring my own, meek “hi”, turned to confront Freddy only to be stopped in his tracks by the words, “Sorry guys, but I can’t go back to FSU with you. I promised Blondie that I would transfer to Jacksonville University since she is going to pay for it, so here’s your keys Benny; drop in and see us if you ever come back to Jacksonville again” after flipping the car keys to Benny the two of them jumped into the Mustang and burned rubber out of the parking lot. I’ll never forget the sight of that squealing car with the smoking tires rapidly disappearing into the horizon as Benny growled, “Mustang my ass; that lucky SOB gets the use of a Ford Cobra GT!”

I’ll close this tome by mentioning the fact that we did stop at the map-marked Italian Restaurant and the meal was excellent. We had wanted to order Chianti to go with dinner but didn’t think we’d pass the acid test here…you know about being 21, but we did order Spumoni with wine sauce for desert and it was delicious…so we ordered a second round. We discovered our waitress had a sister who also worked there and they lived together...alone. Both were getting off work about the time we ran out of money and asked if we wanted to…uh…um visit with them. Good timing because we had ordered another five helpings of the Spumoni with wine sauce except “forget the Spumoni” and were in need of a place to rest for the night. Needless to say, we still did not get back to FSU in time for Monday classes…or Tuesday’s… or…

Next week's 09-27-2010 (#160) title: TBD