Friday, November 27, 2009

Are Vampires Draining You?

I'll admit that I watched Dark Shadows (when I was able) as a teenager. There was no t-vo then and television couldn't be recorded for convenient viewing. For those of you who are old enough to recall, Dark Shadows was an afternoon soap opera about vampires and such.

I watched the HBO Series True Blood, a more contemporary view of vampires living among us in the Southern United States. So I'm not uninformed as to vampire genre.

However, the current flood of vampire television and movies exceeds both my interest and my attention span, should I find myself interested in blood-suckers. Notwithstanding there are allusions to "sparkling vampires" and other versions of vampires in contemporary literature that I can't keep up with.

I personally prefer female vampires because they do have their own sex appeal. Could I (a mere mortal) overcome a fanged female in a fight? Would she have her way with me, or the other way round? These questions underpin the sexuality of fangs.

However the flood of vampire diaries, vampire drama, vampire feature films, vampire television, and vampire HBO (it's not television, its HBO) leave me somewhat drained.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The First Thanksgiving

While American settlers may have shared meals with Indians on or about this date, the holiday we in the US celebrate today began during the War of Northern Aggression/Civil War/War Between the States (pick your term).

This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national day of Thanksgiving.

According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln's secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member Gideon Welles recorded in his diary that he complimented Seward on his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Monday, November 16, 2009

Funny Pics

Opus #6 here.  I have been asked to guest-shepherd LL's blogs for the few days he is out of town on business this week.  In honor of the occasion, I found a few pics that made me laugh.  Gotta love Fail Blog.
epic fail pictures
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epic fail pictures
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epic fail pictures
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Stimulus and Failure

The American People, usually complacent, are slowly waking up to what's happening in Washington and it's not a pretty picture.

The near facist $2 trillion healthcare plan looming combined with a failed program to deal with the economy and Barack Hussein Obama's "Hope & Change" that translates to "Collectivize and Nationalize" is depressing not only for us, but for our posterity as well.

The sad truth is that creating government jobs merely puts a burden on those with non-government jobs who will be taxed more. The $800 billion stimulus package was not designed to stimulate anything. It was a political pay off to the hacks who contributed to Barack Hussein Obama's political victory. Typical Chicago politics...

For independent consultants, like me, it has meant a complete restructuring of the way I do business, how I find and service clients, etc. If I loose work, I am not counted by the bureau of labor statistics toward the official unemployment rate. I simply have to go it alone, uncounted and unmourned by the economy.

The solution to the problem is for the government to shrink in size, put less burden on the people, and allow the marketplace to create jobs. Thus, a victory is a victory without allowing the Federal government to take a bow. And the Washington Bureaucrats won't let that happen.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


A friend of mine over-dosed today in a successful suicide. My daughters (who read this blog) will remember Jim M. who SCUBA'd with me off my boat, Defiant (SeaRay 28) many times.

I can't get into Jim's mind any more than I can to other friends I've lost to suicide over the years. The instant thought is always, why didn't they come to me? They met their end alone. Then again, had I been there, they wouldn't have met their end at all.

I have worked in bainful professions over the years that are barbed and thorned by problems that plague those who pursue them. Sometimes problems press people to the breaking point and nobody knows where that is until they reach it.  Jim M. was different. He wasn't in the goat-rope government and never served in the military. He was almost like a son to me who I watched grow into respectable adulthood. He married, had three children and a successful job. The economic collapse hit him hard and I know there was stress in the marriage because of it. There was family money - quite a bit of it - and I don't know why he didn't turn to his parents. They were always very generous with their kids.

Maybe it wasn't one of the usual things.

Tonight I'm hurting because he's gone, he never said goodbye, and if he would have, I'd have run to where he was and helped him in any way under the Sun. In the last photo he sent me, he was riding on his ATC with his son in his lap.

RIP Jim M.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Weapons of Peace?

Language being what it is, becomes a political tool as national leaders mask one intention with honeyed words. On November 1, 2009, General Xu Qiliang announced (Source: Xinhua News Agency) in conjunction with the People's Liberation Army Air Force's 60th Birthday, that China intended to militarize Space (Earth Orbit) and attain military superiority in Space for the purpose of peace.

"As the air force of a peace-loving country, we must forge our swords and shields in order to protect peace," he said, explaining further that when China achieved military supremacy in Space, they would enforce peace. "The Chinese people is a peace-loving people, and China is a responsible developing country which upholds a national defense policy that is defensive in nature," he said.

It does make sense - Military supremacy in outer space would mean that the Chinese would be able to defend their nation better. Then again, there is a flip side.

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