Friday, November 25, 2011

The Road(s) Less Traveled

Riding off into the sunset...

Ladies, Gentlemen, Boys, and Girls!  Today's post is 100% 'factually-based' GREAT NEWS!!!  (Not like that 'made-up' 'Great News' you see on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX, Huffington Post, or find at!)

Yes, the following post is BRIMMING with Optimism!!!

In a post found yesterday at Detroit, I learned the following interesting facts:

  • Americans are using 500,000 fewer barrels of oil a day
  • In September, driving fell by 1.5 percent to 244.2 billion miles
  • The Energy Information Agency said the four-week average demand for gasoline use is 8.58 million barrels a day. Last year at this time, the four-week average was 9.1 million barrels of oil a week
Whoa, looks like all those 'Green Policies' put in place by the Obama Administration are REALLY WORKING!!!


I'm sure that you enjoy driving your New Chevrolet Volts, Nissan Leafs, and Bicycles around town, to the office, and to the unemployment office in your state! 

On behalf of everyone here in the MoosRoom - thank you for NOT driving! 

You have made the positive, life-affirming choice to NOT drive as much as you did previously!

Thank you for helping keep:

  • Our Air Cleaner!
  • Our Roads Safer!
  • Our Dinosaurs resting safely deep underground (in thick puddles of trapped fossil fuels)!
  • Our Childrens' Future Brighter!
Yes, as I work off the remainder of my over-sized Turkey Dinner, the news today is ALL good!!!

Thank you, America, and God Bless President Obama's Economic and Energy policies!!! 
[Somewhere in the distance, the reverb slowly fades as the sound of applause is cut off quickly...]
"Oh yes, I am the man..."


Each of the above items is 'Factually Correct'.

Each item was found in the online post from the Detroit News Online.

No dinosaurs were killed in the generation of today's post

(They all died off Millions of years ago, and as much as I want to, I cannot take responsibility for their passing.  It was, in fact, due to Global Climate Change brought about the dinosaurs' reckless use of...  Fossil Fuels.)

Now, if I were being honest with you, I would have told you the REST of the story. 

The rest of the story is the actual post I began to write before I got side-tracked into the above.  While I was not actually lying to you, I was mis-directing your attention to things which I wanted you to consider as the only facts applicable to this post. 

In fact, the above items, discussed above, are FACTS - from a purely 'Factual perspective'...

But as with most things found online...  I left a lot of the facts out. 

The additional 'omitted' facts may lead you to a different conclusion than the one you found above. 
Continuing from the Detroit News Online article (partially quoted) from above:

November 22, 2011, Washington --  Americans hit the brakes on driving in September. They logged 3.7 billion fewer miles as driving fell for the seventh straight month in the face of high gas prices.

The Federal Highway Administration said Americans have driven 29.8 billion fewer miles in the first nine months of 2011, which remains on pace to be the lowest yearly number of miles driven since 2003.

The Energy Information Agency says gas prices are still about 50 cents a gallon higher than last year. The average recent price nationwide at the pump was $3.39, compared with $2.85 a year ago.

Americans are using 500,000 fewer barrels of oil a day, a sign driving may fall even further.

As Americans log fewer miles, they may hold on to aging vehicles even longer as they drive less. The average age of vehicles on the roads has risen to 10.6 years, the oldest ever.

The federal report is based on continuous hourly traffic count data at 4,000 traffic counting locations nationwide.

The U.S. surpassed 2 trillion annual miles traveled in 1988, and the 3 trillion mile mark in 2006.

But with economic woes and higher gas prices in recent years, the U.S.hasn't topped the 3 trillion mile mark since 2007.

To add insult to injury, my oldest son referred to a site: where you can do interesting things like:

  • Find least-expensive gas locally and nationally!
  • Track gasoline prices long term!
  • Plan your next trip (including gasoline expenses) online!
So I went there. 

I was curious what gasoline prices looked like during President Obama's singular term-to-date. 

Interestingly enough, the most curious part of the chart is what the chart looked like BEFORE the election. 

You'll know it when you see it...

Yes, that's right, the mere presence of 'Candidate Obama'  and 'John McCain' (I'm laughing as I type this last one) in the Presidential Race in 2008 drove the per gallon price of gasoline down from $4.12 per gallon in July, 2008 down to $1.86 per gallon when we went to the polls within a period of FOUR months. 

This represents a decline of 55% in the per gallon price of gasoline at the pump.  It must have been all those 'Hope and Change' forces working busily behind the scenes. 

But What's Happened Since the Inauguration?

  • 'Hope and change' is once again only a bumper sticker slogan (in reality, always was)
  • Gasoline prices have increased steadily since January, 2009
  • We are driving 'older cars' because we can't afford 'newer ones' (but, hey, don't newer cars get better gas mileage???)
  • We, as a Nation, are driving less because, quite frankly, we can't afford to drive 'more'
  • The economy continues to lurch forward more consistently with momentum associated with a re-animated corpse than that of a marathon runner
  • And the President, so far as I can tell, would rather support the OWS folks than the people who used to drive this economy - the people who pay his family's airfare to far-away, exotic places, to see things I can only speculate about seeing
In the end, the President has done a wonderful job of reducing our demand for foreign, and domestic fossil fuels, unfortunately, it's not because we're conserving more fuel-efficient vehicles and living more 'greenly'.  It's because we're holding back on our spending because we don't know which direction our next 'economic blow' is coming from. 

The only thing I do know for sure? 

That next blow? 

It's on its way...

And that does kind of 'blow', doesn't it?

"Why can't we just be more like Germany?"
Because we don't have giant female politicians who...  you know.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Maxie's Second Thanksgiving

Whoa, it must be the holiday season or something - I'm feeling WAY too nostalgic. I was updating the "Turkey and Grave" post recently and memories from an earlier Thanksgiving kept popping into my head. It's a persistent bugger that won't let me sleep - well, for a while, at least.

Well, like they say, "When the Spirit moves you..."

Yeah, okay, okay, I'm moving.

I'm sixteen years old (how do I look?). No, on second thought, don't answer that.

What I mean is that the 'story' takes place when I'm sixteen years old. It happens in a land not too distant from here but many lifetimes ago when measured in 'dog years'. And this story is about a dog. No, not exactly 'a' dog, but rather, 'THE' dog. The dog by which all other dogs will be measured against, by me - for all time.

For my almost sixteen years I wanted a dog to call my own. For a number of reasons, most noticeably really bad asthma, allergies, and, gosh golly, just a whole bunch of stuff which made it hard to breathe, my folks told me "No!" for almost 15.63 years. "If you get a dog it'll have to stay outside and if it has to stay outside... Why bother having a dog?" Man, I HATE logic when it doesn't 'break' my way.

Then something wonderful happened. I grew out of 'sickly kid' mode which dogged me when I was younger. I grew taller, lost about 20 pounds, I hardly wheezed at all, and I began looking (and acting) like a 'normal' kid. Okay, maybe 'normal' is a stretch, but I wasn't quite as 'abnormal' as I had been several years earlier. I grew up and out of... being sick.

Ah, 'medically-un-assisted' breathing - an idea whose time had come! I was never going to be on the basketball team, but at least I could hold down a job at the Diner and make some money by working after school. Yeah, things were looking down-right rosey for the kid here. It was my Junior Year of High School and life (in spite of Jimmy Carter) for me, at least, was pretty good.

Then my Dad came home from the Fire House one fall night. He huddled with my Mom in the kitchen and there was 'muttering' going on. Not BAD muttering (you know THAT when you hear it), but it was a quiet debate about something which was either going to breached or not. My Mom kept peeking at me over Dad's shoulder as they spoke in hushed voices. With some sort of decision being made, they walked into the dining room where I was half-heartedly pretending to be doing my homework.

"Michael?" my Mom asked.

"Did I do something wrong?" I asked. Might as well qualify the storm to come prior to it actually washing you away in the Tsunami, I say.

"No, nothing wrong. There isn't, is there?" Mom asked this while she smiled slightly and looked down at her hands.

"Nope, all good in my world, what's up?" I said.

"Your Father and I were speaking about something that we wanted to talk to you about. Nothing for sure, but we wanted to run something by you."

"Sure, shoot." I said.

"One of the men Dad went to school with has a dog. The dog is a pure-bred Golden Retriever who 'got into trouble' with the neighbor's Black Labrador. Molly, the Mom, has nine puppies that they're trying to find homes for. And we were wondering..." Mom's voice broke off as I jumped up from the table.

"Can we go see them now? Tonight? Where are they? How old are they? Can I pick a boy or a girl? I'm going to name my dog "Max" - it's an EXCELLENT dog's name!" I was out of my chair and gave up any pretense of doing homework now. Plenty of time for homework later in life, my folks were talking 'dogs' and I was ready to listen!

"Well, since it's seven o'clock and Dad hasn't spoken with Mr. Goldsmith yet, we'll need to call him to see if he has any puppies left. And, since he's giving them away for FREE, they might be all gone." My Mom had used my Dad's favorite word in the prior sentence: "FREE" this was a HUGELY powerful word in my house.

"Free?" I asked. "Is there something wrong with the dogs? Too many eyes, an extra (or missing) leg, or some other medical defect that warrants them giving them away for nothing?" Some of the joy left me at this point.

"No, the puppies are healthy, but since his AKC-Registered dog had puppies with a non-registered dog, he can't sell them, and apparently he can't breed her any longer." Mom said.

"So, if you have puppies without being 'married' to the right dog - you're an outcast in the AKC-dog society?" I asked.

"Yes, apparently so." Mom replied.

"Cool! When can we get our dog?" I asked.

"Your Dad's working on it. He'll call Al and see when we can go over to check out the puppies, assuming that there are some left." My Mom said. "But don't get too fired up, they may be all gone when your Dad calls, they are FREE after all." Man, now I wished Mom would stop using that word - FREE stuff around my neighborhood doesn't last long at all, and I want my manly (okay, 'boyly') "MAX" dog.

The abbreviated story is that we went to meet Molly and my 'Max' (who, due to a lack of 'boy dogs' turned out to be 'Maxie') - yeah, she was CUTE. The un-official name given to her by my Dad was: 'Obscene Maxine'. This modified name was given to her for her ability to lay on her back, to play with a toy with her front paws all the while her 'privates' were exposed to Heaven. She was currently too young to bring home so she stayed with her Mom for a few more weeks. It was KILLING me to know that there was a dog in the world with my name on her collar - but I couldn't bring her home yet.

Maxie was worth the wait. She was a beautiful dog with long, soft black fur and a single white 'check mark' on her chest. She was smart, she was lean, and as it turns out, she was a long-legged running machine.

Maxie's Second Thanksgiving, 1.9 years later
Having a Mother who's a Golden Retriever and a Father who's a Black Labrador is a mixed 'thing' for a dog. First, as a dog born of a Golden, you are blessed with good looks, good manners, and a brain a 'little' too big for a normal dog's head. Second, being fathered by a Black Lab you are a sporting dog. You like to keep 'busy'. As it is used here, 'Busy' means that you chase blowing leaves in the back yard, you bark at anything which might appear suspicious behind the hedge, AND you are always alert for your next big break (as in 'Jail Break').

Maxie's 'world' consisted of our back yard and the 75-foot run which tethered her to the manly eye-bolt at the back door of the house. The rope was stout and came equipped with a sliding hook-latch which connected her 'lead' to a steel ring on her collar. Maxie's world was pretty good - but she, like the earliest explorers needed MORE.

Her opportunity came on Thanksgiving Day, 1978. A day which will live in infamy with my Dad, while only illiciting a wry smile from me.

Thanksgiving 1978 begins as any other major fall holiday at the Casa de' Kane:

7AM: Mom gets up early and wrestles the shrink wrap off the 'too-big' turkey only to find that it hasn't 'fully' defrosted during the past four days in the over-stuffed refrigerator. The sink fills up with cold water and the bird begins to 'bob' in the nearly-freezing water as she attempts to 'quick thaw' 22 pounds of turkey by shooting water into every open 'bird orifice'. Low-volume muttering and sporadic 'non-Thanksgiving' verbiage can be heard when passing by the kitchen doorway.

8AM: Dad plans the requisite trips to pick up the Grandmothers to bring them for our 'feast'. My brother and I wish that we could sleep 'later', but it's a family event, so everybody's up whether they like it, or not. The Thanksgiving Day 'Parade of Events' begins its annual ritual in my home.

9:00 AM: Unbeknownst to me, my dog plans her mischief for the day as she lays in the sun on the rug between the dining room and kitchen. More on this at 11:15 AM.

10:15 AM: My brother and I pick up Grandmother #1 and bring her home for Thanksgiving.

11:00 AM: My Dad and I pick up Grandmother #2 and bring her home for Thanksgiving.

11:15 AM: The un-thinkable happens...

Two-year old Maxie-Dog stands at the back door whining thinly. This universal warning indicates that Maxie needs 'OUT' - like, NOW, please...

Happening during the natural chaos of a major holiday, Dad is the first to see that Maxie needs to be let out. He dutifully opens the back door with one hand as he holds onto her collar with the other, leans out over the back porch to pick up her lead, holds the door open with his knee and prepares to clip her 'rope' onto her collar AND...

Maxie sees a bunny. (This is NOT the actual bunny - but, isn't he CUTE?)

blog post photo
Maxie hates the bunnies (or perhaps she LOVES them very much). I don't know which scenario is true for sure because she never catches a bunny. But she really wants to chase them - just 'because they're there'. Some nights while dreaming next to my bed, her paws pump furiously and she howls in her sleep (either in joy or sorrow) at the prospect of catching (or losing) Peter de Cottontail.

Due to her hasty 'EXIT', the latch held by my Dad clips onto Maxie's rabies tag hoop instead of the regular solid metal loop on her collar (this, it turns out, is a 'bad thing'). She runs full-throttle after the white-tailed interloper in her yard. She gets to the end of her lead, sees the bunny ignoring her (bunnies will do this to dogs assuming that the dog will NEVER get past the end of their run) and continues to run past the point where she 'normally' stops. The rabies tag gives an audible 'S-Q-U-I-N-K!' as it shears off her collar, the rabies tag becomes airborne, the rope falls harmlessly to the ground like an over-extended deceased snake, and the black fur-covered missile is after the cute wittle 'Wabbit'.

The bunny looks up in time to see that something is very wrong. The dog which 'should be' out of rope by now is getting nearer. BunnyFace turns and bolts for the hedge which runs along the back yard property line. Undeterred by the upcoming bit of topiary 'border', both the Bunny and Maxie crash into (and through) the hedge by going 'low and fast' down where the leaves are sparse. Now freed of any by geographic boundaries, my dog, my friend, my fuzzy buddy, is giving 'thanks' for her freedom as she continues to lunge forward and run 'all crazy' after the bunny.

Oops, I should have told you something earlier. My home (the place I sit and finish this post on the Saturday following Thanksgiving) backs up to a bit of 'green' (check this out)...

blog post photo
The small 'Letter A' over there on the right (in red) is my home. Our home backs up to a 'farm'. Once Maxie left the yard, she had all this fabulous green area to explore, and presumably, to find MORE 'bunnies' in.

The yellow line in the following photo roughly approximates Maxie's route from this long-ago Thanksgiving morning:

blog post photo
My clearest memory of the morning? Watching my favorite family member running, head just above the waving rye grass, at full gallop back and forth through the open field. She KNEW she was being 'bad' but she was SO happy about it, I couldn't be mad at her. You could see the JOY on her face as she ran (several times) away from, and then back by, the rear of the house. She was doing what she was meant to do... Being a dog.

My second clearest memory? My Dad standing at the edge of the property throwing his hands up and down repeatedly yelling to the dog and then turning to me and saying, "That ________ (bad word) dog! That ________ (another bad word) no good, un-trained, miserable dog is RUINING my __________ - __________Thanksgiving! Why can't she be a GOOD dog instead of being a __________, __________, __________ (several bad words) miserably ungrateful dog like she is!?!?"

My third clearest memory? About fifteen minutes after the adventure began, my fur-covered-mischief-machine returned home. She was winded, she was dirty, but beneath it all, she was GLOWING and happily exhausted. She had pulled a scam on her Papa (and me) which prior to, and after this bit of mischief, she never quite equalled again.

So how does the story end? Happily, of course, because Maxie came BACK (of her own accord). I did mention that she was an excellent dog, right?

I adopted Maxie when I was in high school. Then I went to college, and lastly, I moved to Florida. By then, Maxie had become my Dad's dog (Mom was there too, but Maxie was always 'Daddy's little girl'). He took her for walks, he gave her ice cream and apple slices from paper plates while snacking in the living room, and in the end, he helped her get up when she could no longer do it on her own. 

She was almost fifteen when my Dad called me to tell me that she was in a lot of pain and couldn't get around by herself any longer.  He was the one who took her for her final ride in the car and last voyage in this sun.  He stayed with her while she drifted off to a better place, a place without pain, without hurt, without fast-moving bunnies. 

I like to think that where she is now she has a 'better-than-average' chance of catching one of those rabbits.  If she caught it?  She'd do what she did with that baby bird she found once when she was three - she'd lay down with it sheltered between her front paws and look at it for a while.  Keeping it safe until someone she trusted came to care for it.  The thrill for Maxie was always in the 'discovery' of things, not in the 'chewing' of them. 

Maxie had a good life. She was always loved. And what she received, she gave back unconditionally.

Our lives were better because she was there.

While visiting last Thanksgiving I came across a photo. It's not too clear because it's a photo of a photo, but to me, it's pretty much 'perfect'.

The original photo was taken when Maxie was about nine years old. My Dad, well, he was a 'little bit younger' (in people-years) too.
blog post photo
Maxie was my, and my Dad's, best friend. I've adopted other dogs since Maxie, each one good (and yes, sometimes bad) in their own way. But like they say, 'You never forget your first love.'

Maxie wasn't REALLY 'perfect'. But she WAS 'perfect' to me (and to my Dad).

Looking for the 'Perfect' Holiday Gift this Christmas? I'll bet that there are 'perfect dogs' at the local
ASPCA office near you right now who are in need of a good home.

How do I know this?

blog post photo
Because 50% of the dogs in this photo were 'rescued'.

AND 100% of the dogs in this photo bring joy (some days more than others) to my family on a daily basis.

Open your heart. Open your home.

Seriously, how many TVs and game systems does your family need?

Save a furry life this year. Adopt a pet for whom your home will be their (and your) best Christmas (or other 'non-religious-holiday-specific') present.

And, if you're a 'Cat Person', well, I'm sure they've got those guys up for adoption too (although, I don't understand cats at all, but apparently there are folks who do...).

Come on - give your kids something to write about later in life. Otherwise, they might spend all their time writing about how 'unique' growing up with YOU was. This is why we have TWO dogs. Keeps the pressure of me (being 'unique' as I am)...

I hope your Thanksgiving was as good for you as mine was for me. Many things in life change. Some things do not.  Last year my Mom bought a non-frozen turkey for Thanksgiving but we (I) still managed to over-cook the rolls. I'll need to work on this for next year.

Happy Thanksgiving folks. 

Be nice to each other.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dope & Change (The Rest of the Story)

New Tires
Saturday, November 12, 9:20am:  The 'Shove'

It comes from out of nowhere.  One second I'm dreaming of chasing bunnies across an open field, then the next, I'm getting a semi-slap and push from behind towards the brightening day.  "Why are you hitting me?" I'm still not sure if I'm actually awake at this point, but I hear these words coming from my mouth as if from a great distance away.

My wife, the slapper, tells me something I pretty much already knew, "You have to go get the tire fixed today.  Call up the guys at Five Star Auto in JC and let them know you're coming."

"Can't I sleep a little while longer?" I ask.  Bringing no response, the answer to this last question is, of course...  No.  "Okay, okay, I'm moving!"  I say this as I roll toward my edge of the bed, rotate my feet toward the floor, sit upright and begin the morning ritual:

  • Trip over the Golden Retriever on the way to the bath room
  • Flip on the light switch, even though it's not really dark in there
  • Use the toilet
  • Walk to the sink
  • Turn on the water
  • Splash water onto my face
  • Wonder when I got so 'old-looking'
  • Brush teeth
  • Open door striking Golden Retriever on the snout once more as she has resettled directly in front of the door again
  • Apologize to the dog (although it's really HER fault)
  • I wonder aloud to no one why I was dreaming about chasing bunnies across an open field
  • Lumber down the hallway to the kitchen to feed the dogs
Yeah, pretty much like every other day of my life with the small exception that I was able to sleep past 9am.  This NEVER happens.  Normally I'm up by six, a left-over from the daily routine of getting my youngest out to the bus stop by 6:55am.  So why the extra three hours of sleep?

Oh, that's right, I went to bed happy...  After those guys changed the tire last night my faith in mankind was reaffirmed - for this night, at least, I sleep like a baby.

Ah, but it's a brand-new day, another day of untold greatness and opportunities - time to get busy and make the drive to the shop where we bought the car. 

I arrive to the store at 10:20 and find Scott, the mechanic extraordinaire, standing in the open garage door, smoking a cigarette and grinning at me.  "I'm so proud of you that you were able to change that tire all by yourself.  You're such a big boy now Mikey..."

I could have let him think that I kicked the dang tire off the car by myself, but I told him the story I posted here the other day.  I found myself leaving out the feel-good 'gushy' parts, and focusing more on the 'manly aspects' of the story (i.e.:  Cursing when my shoulder popped because HE put them lug nuts on WAAAAAY to tightly last time he rotated the tires), how I thought I heard a bear sneaking up behind me when I was down there jacking up the car (turned out it was a man walking a large brown dog on a leash), and how I single-handed put four quarters into an air dispenser and tried to pump up the tire...  Myself!

Scott is so proud of me that he laughs out loud.  I'm not sure why he laughs.  I didn't say anything funny, and I could have really hurt my shoulder trying to get those lug nuts off.  And if the car fell on me, well, I could have been crushed.  Me, left twitching on the ground, in a pool of my own blood as my spleen is mashed, my organs ground to paste, and my life wafting away from me like the smoke from his cigarette's glowing tip. 

"You laugh, but I could have DIED! I could FEEL the Angel of Death looking over my shoulder!  It was a very close thing..." I said.  

"Buddy, that was probably your wife looking over your shoulder."  he said as he took one last drag on his cigarette.  

He is right, of course, my wife was looking over my shoulder the entire time but I am not going to give him the satisfaction of knowing that he is right.  The Angel of Death COULD have been looking over her shoulder AT my shoulder - yeah, it could have happened that way...

"Bring the car in; let's see what you did to that poor Cooper tire." He says.

I skillfully pull into the service area without striking any other vehicles which sit beside me in varying states of disrepair on my left and right.  I pop the trunk, Scott pulls out the tire, looks at it, looks at me, looks back to the tire and says, "Is this the one that's flat?"

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's the one since it doesn't have ANY air pressure in it."  Yes, this is the guy I trust my life to every time he repairs one of our cars...

"I know what's wrong with it," he says.

"Me too, but you got something more for me since I already told you that it is flat?" I ask.

"Well, the first thing is that I can tell that your wife drove on it for a while before she stopped and you showed up..." he says.

"Oh yeah, how?"  I ask.

"This."  He turns the tire around so I can see the back side of the tire.  Apparently tires have an 'outter' side, as well as an 'inner' - I may not be bright, but yes, I can be taught.  "This is not a good thing."

Scott's cigarette droops as his eyebrows raise at the same moment.  "Mikey, a Faith Healer couldn't bring this tire back - it has holes in it.  I wouldn't use this tire for a rope swing.  My kids'll drop through it when the rubber gives way."

"Oh, I knew THAT."  I said.  I actually DID know it, but he laughed at me when I told him about the 'Bear Dog' which almost ate me for dinner - so there...

"I've got an old tire I can put on until your tire comes in on Monday.  The distributor is shut down on the weekend so I can't order it till then." he said. 

"Wow, a 'junker tire' on my wife's car, she'll love you sooooo much!" I said.  

"You know what, I have these snows I ordered for another customer who's bringing his car in Monday afternoon.  Let me check something..."  he says as he walks over to the short-stack of two snow tires.  "They're your size.  You want 'em?"

"Heck yes I do.  Will you mount them, put air in them, balance them, and slap them back on the car for me?" I ask.

"You want to save the good tire that's on the back of the car, right?"

"Yes Scott, I would like to save the 'good tire' so I can buy a mate for it in the spring when we pull the snows back off..." I say.

"Okay, give me about twenty minutes."  he says. 

It's much quicker than this before I see him again.  Worse yet, he's not smiling (and he's almost always smiling).  "What's up Scott?"  I ask him.

"Is someone mad at your wife?" he asks.

"I don't think so, why?" I ask.

"Come out here for a minute."  He turns and begins walking back out into the garage area.  He stands up the 'good tire' he just pulled off the driver's side of the car and points to a section of sidewall.  "Someone has cut it, either with a knife or a box-cutter." he says.  

"No way," I say as I bend down to look at the tire.  I see a slice about three and a half inches long across the sidewall of the tire.  It's not incredibly deep, but it's long and it's almost a straight line.  "Are you serious?"

"Yeah, I checked the two front tires and they're fine, but someone did this on purpose.  I looked to see if I could find anything on the flat tire, but the sidewall's too banged up from all the driving that happened after it went flat."  There's no smile on Scott's face now, he's not kidding.

"Okay, let's rotate the snows to the front of the car and you keep these two tires, once the sidewall's damaged, they're pretty much shot, right?" I ask.

"I wouldn't put my wife on this tire - it will fail.  She'll hit a bump, drop into a pothole, tap a curb at the right angle and this thing'll blow wide open," he says.

"Scott, thanks for finding it." I say.

"No problem.  Sorry...  I'll get the new snows mounted for you and get you out of here." Scott says.

I drive home on our spiffy new snow tires to tell my wife the news that someone, for lack of a better phrase, 'Has it out for her'.  Or it could have been a 'Random act of Meanness', but I'm thinking not. 

See, my wife is a Nurse Practitioner, she has patients coming into her doctor's office looking for cures to the common cold, Diabetes, Gout, Scurvy, and the normal selection of modern medical maladies. 

However, there are also others who visit her doctor's practice. 

These are the most interesting group of health care patients no one speaks of:  Drug-seekers

They can be rich, middle-class, or poor, it doesn't matter, they're from all socio-economic backgrounds.  Apparently the desire to get prescription drugs offers an all-inclusive allure to them.  They might be 'using' themselves, or 're-selling' prescription drugs on the street in order to supplement their incomes (it's the 'Economy' you know...). 

To make a long story short, there is an entire economy out there of which I was blissfully unaware until my wife began her new job as a Family Nurse Practitioner.  Graduate programs do not teach FNP's how to address the situation, but it is widely known in the practice of medicine by those folks who experience it daily.  

Several weeks ago my wife had a patient from out of the area who was a state employee.  An employee who works with children.  The patient had driven almost an hour to seek medical treatment at my wife's office.  Why?  Because when you're drug-seeking, you don't mind driving a few miles to find your next provider of narcotics.  Additionally, all your regional providers know who you are and stop writing prescriptions for you since they know what you're up to.  It's that whole pesky "Supply and Demand" thing we learned in Economics 101.  Someone stops supplying, you need to demand elsewhere...

The patient arrives at my wife's place of business with a shopping list of medications she needs prescriptions for.  Each prescription is for what is commonly deemed to be a 'Controlled Substance'.

I wasn't there, I don't know the conversation (because my wife cannot tell me details of anything due to HIPAA privacy legislation) but what I do know is this, she really ticked off this person who works with children in a town within sixty minutes of my wife's office in a non-descript town which I cannot tell you about (because I don't want to go to jail). 

In the end, the patient received no drugs, there were threats of murder and mayhem made by the patient, screaming in the office as well as the waiting room, Security called, and the DEA notified that the patient was drug-seeking and placed their name on a database for future 'watch' alerts.   

Four days later my wife's tire goes kerbluey on I-81 while driving home, with its twin sporting a nasty sidewall cut.  While I'm saying to two issues are related, please notice that I'm also NOT saying that they are unrelated.  

Sunday, November 13, 5:55am: The Chase
In the end, it all comes down to pretty much the same as the last post:  My wife is okay, I'm okay, our kids are okay and now we have two new snow tires on the front of the car for the upcoming winter season.  Yeah, you could say it's all good...

The only difference is that when I attempt to find sleep the night following the 'cut tire' revelation I do not sleep as easily or as long as the night before. 

As I was inspired by the kindness of two unknown men in a green Subaru, I am also rocked by the revelation that there may be an un-named patient armed with a box-cutter and empty syringe re-visiting my wife's place of work. 

This particular evening I dream not of chasing bunnies, but rather of being chased by a howling woman in an open hospital gown.  She runs behind me across the field screaming obscenities.  When I wake Sunday morning at 5:55am, I still felt pretty good, but upon waking the dream follows me. 

It follows me right up until the moment I trip over my Golden Retriever for the six-thousandth time.  Instead of reaching for the door handle which leads to the bathroom, I get down on my knees, then lay flat on my belly as I pet my ten year-old fuzzy friend awake for another day of bunny-chasing. 

Turns out that I am home after all. 

All is well.  Another day begins.  

However, questions remain:  Why am I sharing my dog's dreams?  And, will we ever catch that bunny?

I hope we do not. 

If we did, what would we have to look forward to tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hope & 'Change'

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Friday, November 11, 2011, 5:40pm...
I leave work as I normally do, 30+ minutes after everyone else has left the building.  Is it because I'm more dedicated than everyone else I work with?  No.  It's just my normal wind-down to the week, spending a few minutes to see if any one's read what I've posted here, check my e-mail one last time, shut down the laptop, and lastly, meander out to the parking lot wondering where the preceding week went.

I arrive to find that the parking lot the same as always. The split and crumbling black top provides a welcome refuge to hundreds of dark puddles.  They lie well-concealed in the anemic haze thrown down by those yellowish street lights.  Halogen lights?  No, those lights are at least 'white'.  These lights are the color of burning straw and cast off about the same amount of light as eleven matches lit simultaneously while held 20 feet in the air.  I find the car, scratch the paint trying to find the hidden spot which houses the keyslot, open the door, and voila' I'm 'mobile' once again... 

Next stop?  WalMart!  I can be there by 5:50, get my groceries by 6:10, swipe the debit card, jump back onto 17W and be home by 6:30 - sweet, there's nothing like having a plan.  A guy told me once, "If you fail to plan - you plan to fail."  So me?  Yes, Siree Bob, I ALWAYS have a plan.    

Then?  What was it 6:15?  Yeah, I was out of WalMart walking to the car when my cell phone gave that little buzz that lets me know that I have a call.  The call, it turns out is from my wife.  She's stopped in the parking lot at Lowe's reporting unnatural noises from the rear of the car.  "Could it be a flat tire?" she asks. 

"I don't know, you're in the car, I'm walking out of WalMart...  Perhaps if we (a.k.a.:  'you') actually 'looked' at a tire, we'd know for sure?", the words came out by their own volition.  I wanted to take them back, but, there they were, unleashed, and through the phone as the wind picked up and the rain began to fall.  "Okay, I'll be there in ten minutes."

I arrive ten minutes later to find my wife sitting in the car and the passenger-side rear tire a bit 'shorter' than the driver's side twin.  Since they used to be identical twins (neither being pancake-ish on the bottom) I can only assume that something 'bad' has happened to Mr. Cooper's offspring.  I do what every guy does at 6:30 on a Friday night while looking at something he doesn't want to do while wearing a suit:  I stalled.  "Yeah, it looks a little bit 'low' compared to the other tire," I called to my wife as she sat in the car.  "There's a gas station across the street, let's go see if we can pump this bad boy up and get it home so I don't have to change the tire (in my suit) in the rain."

"Okay, but why don't you drive the car over there for me?" my wife asked.

"Just out of curiousity, how long was the tire making noise before you got here?" I asked.

"A while, but I didn't want to stop on I-81, it's dark, it's starting to rain, and everyone drives about 75MPH.  I didn't want you to have to change the tire there - it'd be dangerous." she said.

She was right, of course.  Changing a tire on the side of I-81 in the rain, in the dark, on a Friday night is like daring God to 'take you out' (no, I'm not talking about 'to dinner', I'm talking about 'for eternity', i.e.: angels, harps, the whole nine yards).  "Okay, hop out, I'll take our friend here across the street and see if we can pump some air into him."

The car, once rolling, made a 'Squish, squish, thump' noise as it limped it through the intersection and into the Hess Station parking lot.  As I rolled tentatively up to the air pump, I feared that I had lost a friend - this tire had seen its last mile.  I opened the door into the wind-driven rain and found that at this particular gas station 'Air' was not free.  I walked into the store, handed the lady a $1 and received four shiny quarters which I dutifully fed into the machine for the next three minutes of air-pumping excitement.  The tire did not go up.  It sat there, rim low to the ground, taunting me.  "Okay, you're outta there..." I said as I hung up the air hose.

Here's the thing about tires, jacks, and spares:  You should really check all these 'piece parts' out before you need to use them.  Oh, everything was there, but in a dark parking lot (did I mention it was raining?) staring at the overall 'flatness' of the tire, makes you wish you had done a dry run on this BEFORE the tire actually went flat.  I suppose that I could have referred to the Owner's Manual in the glove box, but, hey, I'm a man - I never read directions on Christmas Eve, so I'm not going to start now...  Especially with my wife watching.

I found a 'likely looking' spot for the jack under the frame, I work to loosen the lug nuts on the tire prior to lifting the tire off the ground as something in my right arm 'popped' a little as I curse quietly to myself and the pneumatically-tightened lug nuts resist my best efforts to remove them and then...  All five lug nuts are loosened and ready for removal!  I jack the car up high enough to put air between the tire and the ground, spin the tire, realize that, of course, the tire needs to be higher off the ground than it is, since the spare is NOT flat, and seconds later...

All five lug nuts are off the tire.  My broken tire hangs lifelessly a full four inches above the black top, I grab the tire to pull the tire away from the brake housing and then...

And then...

And then...

The unthinkable.

Nothing happens.

The rim, the tire, is magically 'stuck' on the studs somehow and is physically unwilling to LEAVE the car.  Okay, I've change a LOT of tires in my life, but this is a new concept to me.  I check to make sure there's not a locking 'thing-a-ma-bob' securing the rim to the car and there isn't. 

I then do the thing I did not want to do:  I call the guys who normally take care of my car hoping that someone is there and...

At 7:20pm on a Friday night someone is.  

"Kick it!" Scott tells me over the phone.

"Kick what?" I ask, thinking I didn't hear him properly.

"Turn around, and kick that tire as hard as you can, it'll come off.  Sometimes they corrode and 'stick'.  If you can't get it off, call my cell phone and I'll stop by on the way home and help you with it.  I'm leaving here in about fifteen minutes and I'll be driving right by there."

"No, that's okay, I'll do it, I'm a MAN, I'll kick that tire myself!  Thanks Scott..." I said.

I turn around and begin kicking at my 'stuck' wheel.  

NOTE TO SELF:  If I must kick a tire in the future, keep a pair of waffle-stomper boots in the car.  The black wing-tips don't work so well.

In the rain, in the wind, in the suit, the mostly insane man continues to attack the stuck tire with his foot...

Meanwhile:   A green Subaru Outback pulls up with two guys in it.  The first man gets out and asks the question any normal person would ask, "What did that tire ever do to you?"

"Oh, it's stuck, it won't come off the car.  It's possessed by demons." I say as my right foot pistons repeatedly into the tire.

"Oh yeah, I've had that happen before.  Let me help you.  I've got these big ol' boots on, I can get it off for you - I've done it before." he says as he walks up to where I'm standing. 

"So you're a professional tire-kicker?"

"Yes sir, I am." he responds.

"Okay, if it's not too much trouble...  Apparently, I'm not so good at this."  I say.

"No problem, I'll have it off for you PDQ." he says. 

The nice man from the Subaru leans back and delivers a kick to this tire that would have sent a Space Shuttle to the moon.  The tire and rim remain stubbornly in place (I believe I heard it 'chuckle' at him but this is probably just my imagination).

"Oh, so that's how it's going to be, huh?" says the nice man who has made kicking my car's tire his personal vision quest.

He turns around and kicks the top of the rim 'backward' and the rim tilts, falls, then bounces lifelessly to the ground.

"Man, that thing was s-t-u-c-k on there!" he says as he reaches for the spare.

"No, I've got it, you guys go enjoy your Friday night.  I'm good."  I say as he ignores me.

"Nah, listen, I'm here, you're wearing a suit and all, and I'm already filthy from my job, I'll finish this up for you." He says this as I figure out that he's already gotten three of the lug nuts back on the tire. 

"No, really, it's okay, I can do it..."  I say as he spins the final two lug nuts onto the studs and begins to lower the car with a fluidity which is unnerving. 

"Nothing to do, it's all done...  Just put the jack and stuff back in the trunk and you're all set to go."  he says.  

I reach into my back pocket, pull my wallet out and offer him a $20 bill.  "Go get a pizza or something, thanks for your help."

"No, don't worry about it, I'm just glad that we were here to help you.  That tire was really stuck..." he said this as he opened the door to get back into his car.

"I really wish you'd take this..."  I said, once again holding out the bill to him.

"You keep that for your tire, you're going to need a new one from the looks of it." he said.  

"Thanks a lot guys, I really appreciate the help!" I call out as they drive away.

Just a wave through the glass is all I see as they cross the parking lot and head out back on their way

Friday, November 11, 2011, 7:50pm...

I am happy.  Not happy about the tire, but you know, the tire is just a 'thing'.  Things don't matter that much - they can always be replaced.

I'm happy because my wife is okay, I'm okay, and I was lucky enough to get smacked between the eyes with a stark reminder of how decent almost all people are.  Writing about stuff which 'makes news' sometimes blots out the things which should get coverage in our lives. 

Strangers coming to my, and my wife's, aid in changing a tire?  No, it's not newsworthy for CBS, NBC, ABC, or FOX, but, honestly, it was the best news I got all week. 

Because in the end, it's not about the things you 'have' - it's about what you leave behind when you cross the curb and head down the road to your next destination.  

Thanks to the two nameless guys who taught me that 'Hope' does in fact, come from 'Change'. 

Sometimes, even when it comes from the simple changing of a stubborn tire...

Next time you have the chance to make a difference for someone?  Put your waffle-stompers on and get busy.  I've got mine in the trunk of my car right now.

Have a nice day folks...

Let's leave this place better than we found it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Two Birds : One Stone

Two Birds & One Fast-Moving Stone
"Ewwwww, Moos, that's disgusting!!!"

"Come on, it's not like they were REAL birds...  The digital editing isn't even that impressive.  Sheesh!"

Moo-ve along, nothing more to see here.

It has just occurred to me that:  I have the answer. 

Of course, this depends upon what the question is... 

Jump inside my head for a little bit (you might want to bring a flashlight with you - it's dark and scary in here AND I think I saw a spider a moment ago). 


Here we go...

Cranial Insertion Begins in 3, 2, 1...

Moos:  "Hello?  Are you there"

You:  "Yeah, yeah, I'm here, what's up?"

Moos:  "I need to show you two things.  They are not scary.  Well,  at least not as scary as that HUGE hairy spider drifting down on a web to suck the marrow from your bones..."

You:  "There's really a spider in here?!?!"

Moos:  "P-s-y-c-h!!!

You:  "Okay, so what did you want to tell me?  It'd better be good."

Moos:  "I figured out how to stimulate the economy utilizing money which we've already spent."

You:  "Okay, I'm listening."

Moos:  "Here's the deal - remember when the Feds spent all that money to bail out General Motors and Chrysler?"

You:  "Yeah, it was $67 BILLION, right?"

Moos:  "Nah, it was closer to $80 BILLION, but why quibble over pennies on the dollar?  But here's the big news, are you ready for it?"

You:  "Yes, it would be nice if you'd get to some kind of 'point' by tomorrow afternoon - I've got an appointment to get my back waxed..."

Moos:  "Oh, thanks so much for sharing.  Get out of my cranium - I thought that spider was a freak of nature."

You:  "Can't leave, I'm here now, what'cha got for me?  What's the big revelation?"

Moos:  "Not one revelation - t-w-o revelations!  Follow with me now..."

REVELATION ONE:  The Obama Administration encouraged General Motors to develop the Chevrolet Volt with your tax dollars, consistent with the Administration's 'Green Energy' theme.  By all accounts, sales of this $46,000 Electric Car / Hybrid have been 'unbelievable'!  (Please keep in mind that 'Unbelievable' is NOT always a good thing.)

According to the National Legal and Policy Center: 

The Toyota Pius, which had supply hampered by a massive earthquake and tsunami, managed to outsell the Volt by a margin of 10 to 1. Curiously, the numbers looked somewhat similar, with the exception of a missing 0 from the Volt numbers. Prius sold 11,008 compared to the Volts 1,108. Sales for the year stand at 104,251 for the Prius and 5,003 for the Volt. And the Prius does not benefit from a $7,500 tax credit for buyers like the Volt does.

The actual supply of Volts is also a source for debate. GM claims a 72 day supply of inventory for the Volt. shows 3,537 Volts available for sale. VIN numbers are listed for these vehicles. Either GM is not telling the truth about Volt supply, or Chevy dealerships are (perhaps illegally) advertising vehicles that are not truly for sale. The most likely scenario, in my opinion, is that GM is not counting any vehicles that have been used as demos as inventory, even though these vehicles are now available for sale.

If the number is a more accurate number for inventory, the Volt would have over a three month supply available. Compare this to the 11,677, or one month supply, of Toyota Prius vehicles listed on and the low supply defense for poor Volt sales further erodes.

Revelation One Summary:  In spite of a $7,500 tax credit, consumers don't want a $46,000 vehicle which can go 35 miles per charge.  And in gasoline mode, well, the 37 MPG (Premium Fuel Required) combined mileage only a 'bit' better than the Chevrolet Cruze - which sports a respectable combined MPG of 31 running on Regular Grade Gasoline. 

The main difference between buying a Volt and a Cruze Eco is, of course, that the Cruze Eco costs about $19,500 with 'desired options' (MSRP:  $16,500).  I'm assuming that this $26,500 cost savings when you buy a Cruze as opposed to the Volt would buy a LOT of gasoline over the lifetime of the vehicle...   But hey, that's just me.  I don't want to over-think this.  

Bottom-line here is that the Federal Government has already placed your investment 'bet' for you regarding what type of automobile they believe you ought to be driving.  Got it?  

In conclusion, we ALL need to purchase a $46,000 Chevrolet Volt because it's the right thing to do, we'll save the planet, AND it will help General Motors continue to be a profitable company, to hire and to keep more union employees, etc.  

This is Part 1 of my plan to fix the US Economy.  

Oddly enough, it also ties in very nicely with...  Part Two!

REVELATION TWOAs everyone knows, the economy continues to be sluggish due to a real 'lull' within the Construction segment.  There are other 'lulls' out there of course, but I'd like to keep this post down to two revelations, lest I risk this post going on clear through your 'back-waxing' appointment - and neither of us want to be here to see that...

The second cure for the ailing US economy?  You're going to like this one a LOT!
That's right, it's a Chevy Volt parked in a garage in which a fire started!

You:  "Huh?"

Moos:  "I told you that you'd have to follow along - keep up or get left behind."

You:  "Huh?"

Ah, never mind.  Okay, so here's the deal:  There have been 'at least' two instances where garages have caught fire and burned down around... 

The All-New Chevrolet Volt!!!

Could this be right?

Once again excerpting an article found on the National Legal and Policy Center online

Cars in Depth reports that the Chevy Volt and it's charging station are suspected as possible causes for a house fire that started in the garage of a Mooresville, NC home. According to the report, investigators found a Volt plugged into a charging station located in the burned out garage. The Iredell County Fire Marshal's office investigating the fire states, "The charging station was in the known area of origin, but the cause of the fire has not been officially determined."


The first fire  that occurred in a Connecticut garage where a Chevy Volt was being charged (in photo above) was quickly glossed over with a dismissal of anyone who mentioned that the Volt may have been the cause, even after the vehicle ignited for a second time after the fire was out. While there may not have been conclusive evidence that the Volt started the fire, the speed in which the fire department investigating the incident stepped away from the investigation and allowed GM to take over raises concerns.

There have also been reports of defective Volt charging cords overheating, as reported in this piece, that have gotten little publicity. The question arises, just how far will GM, the Obama Administration and green ideologues go to prove that the Chevy Volt (as well as electric cars in general) is the future of the American auto industry?

Fluffing up the perception of huge demand for the Volt is one thing, but there should be no compromises when it comes to the safety of Americans who buy into the hype of the Chevy Volt and purchase the vehicles.

All taxpayers are paying to subsidize purchases of the Volt and plug-in charging stations; it would be a shame to see that the money usurped is putting people at risk. And I'm sure those burning garages leave a bit of a carbon footprint on our environment...

Revelation Two Summary:  In addition to being GREAT for GM, Union Workers, and the 'Green Team' in the White House, just think what financial impact selling TENS of THOUSANDS of these vehicles to citizens across the United States will have on the Construction Industry! 

Who needs 'New Construction' when out-of-work carpenters, drywallers, and other craftsman can be put to work 24x7 rebuilding homes damaged by the Federally-Subsidized Chevrolet Volt?!?!

Just think of it, smoke billowing in all directions, as far as the eye can see...
"Honey, where'd you park the car???
Never mind, I think we found it..."

Ah...  Breath-taking, simply breath-taking...

Just think of the Spirit of Renewal our country will experience once these 'Insta-Light' vehicles are placed into the unsuspecting citizen's home! 

Oh, sure, some people might DIE, but hey, it's all for the 'Greater Good', right?

Just think of the Long-Term Financial Benefits to our Nation!

  • We'll no longer have to find, kill, and squeeze dinosaurs for their filthy 'fossil fuels'!
  • Thousands of additional skilled union craftsman will be hired to produce these new reliable, green, and potentially flammable new vehicles!
  • We'll hire MORE unionized Police Officers to patrol neighborhoods to be alert to 'smoking garages' and put in place thousands of additional card-carrying unionized Fire Fighters to put out the flames!
  • The Federal Government will outlaw ANY vehicle which is UL (Underwriter's Laboratories Listed) Tested to assure 'Maximum Sustainability' of the Economy's New Growth Engine - the Chevrolet Volt!
I'm sorry, do you have a Kleenex?  I find my vision is blurred from the joy I have found here...

You want to FIX the economy long-term?  We don't need tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans!  We don't need Spending Cuts!  We need wealthy, patriotic, fire-proof Americans purchasing Federally-Subsidized Chevrolet Volts!!!

Yeah, that's the ticket. 

AND if this isn't enough to convince you to purchase a new Chevrolet Volt...

Check this out:  A Rate Ate My Chevy Volt

Feel the joy...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Yakety Yak (a.k.a.: "Up-ton Yours America!!!")

Take out the papers and the trash,
Or you don't get no spending cash.
If you don't scrub that kitchen floor,
You ain't gonna rock and roll no more.

Yakety yak (don't talk back)

Don't talk back!

The Coasters, "Yakety Yak", 1958

I came across something yesterday which may, or may not, be news to anyone.  Discussing it here is kind of like hearing that a well-known neighborhood alcoholic was involved in an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident.  It's news, but it's really not.  

But maybe if your alcoholic neighbor were piloting a SPACE SHIP (while drunk) at the time of the accident?  Okay, THIS would be news.
"Marvin" One Very Angry Martian

Unfortunately, no Martians, no space ships, and no alcoholics piloting alien craft events occur in today's post.   

Today's post is about your run-of-the-mill-after-5pm-on-a-Friday-Obama-Administration action which everyone in the White House hopes no one in Your House sees, reads, or talks about.  Yeah, THIS is one of THOSE posts.

As reported in the Huffington Post
WASHINGTON -- The White House Counsel's Office has formally rejected a congressional subpoena of documents relating to the $535 million loan guarantee that the administration shepherded for Solyndra, the now-defunct solar energy company.

In a letter to the chairs of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, Kathryn H. Ruemmler, counsel to the president, calls the request for documents made by House Republicans a "vast fishing expedition" and a "significant intrusion on Executive Branch interests."


In rejecting the subpoena, the White House has taken one of its sharpest stands to date against the House GOP's oversight capacity. When Republicans gained control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections, many predicted that these types of standoffs would become routine. Only recently, however, have investigations into administration actions or programs, such as the loan program in which Solyndra participated and the gunrunning initiative known as Operation Fast and Furious, gained real national attention

Yes, it's certainly nice to know that the Three Branches of Government all begin, and end, with the Executive Branch.  I found the following graphic on a site called 'Congress for Kids', I'm including it here in case anyone from the Senate stops by to read this post (we must keep all these LARGE hard-to-follow concepts understandable to the average Harvard-educated Lawyer in Congress - you know, in case they nodded off during US Government Studies 101):

"To avoid the risk of dictatorship or tyranny, the group divided the new government into three parts, or branches: the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch."

Re-reading this last statement again, I'm trying to find the part that says, "Unless the Executive Branch doesn't WANT to..."

Hold on a moment, nope, I'm still not seeing it. 

So what's going on here?

Evil Republicans in the House want to find out why the Obama Administration loaned $535 MILLION of your money to Solyndra, a company, which, if you believe the US Treasury Department: 

The Department of Energy was not following re-finance guidelines AND the loan itself was a, "Really Bad Idea". 

  • Was it because of something they read in Solyndra's "Green Technology" brochure? 
  • Was it because the President thought it would be cool to take over another company / industry, as he did with Automotive Manufacturing, Finance, and Banking? 
  • Was it because he felt like he 'owed' it to someone to do his 'Fair Share' (with your money) to help out some nice folks who helped him get elected? 
Shoot, I don't know, and apparently, the President doesn't want anyone else to know, either. 

Not because he has anything to hide, but rather, because this request would be such a burdensome undertaking on the part of his Administration.  His team doesn't have the time required to respond to the request 'as is'. 

They're too busy taking Victory Laps after having driven unemployment all the way down to an unbelievable 9%! 

(Yes, I know it was 5.4 % when the President was elected, but why pile on now?  That's news from YEARS ago, and I'm trying to discuss YESTERDAY's news...)

Yes, the Administration will agree to produce 'several' of the items requested in the "Legally Prepared and Delivered Subpoena", but no, that other branch of the US Government is just asking for 'Too Much'...

Okay, this Administration is WAY too busy to answer questions, but House Committee Chairman, Fred Upton, R-MI, has a few questions of his own (if it's not too much trouble)...

The following quote was found on The Washington Examiner:

“We have been reasonable every step of the way in this investigation, and it is a shame that the Obama Administration and House Democrats continue to put up partisan roadblocks to hide the truth from taxpayers. Solyndra was a jobs program gone bad, and we must learn the lessons of Solyndra as we work to turn our economy around and put folks back to work.

Our judicious and methodical work over the last eight months has garnered tens of thousands of pages of documents from DOE and OMB that have proven we are on the right track. Now, we need to know the White House’s role in the Solyndra debacle in order to learn the full truth about why taxpayers now find themselves a half billion dollars in the hole.

The White House could have avoided the need for subpoena authorizations if they had simply chosen to cooperate. That would have been the route we preferred, and frankly, it would have been better for the White House to get the information out now, rather than continue to drag this out.

Our request for documents is reasonable - we are not demanding the President’s blackberry messages as we are respectful of Executive Privilege. What is the West Wing trying to hide? We owe it to American taxpayers to find out.”

Oh Rep. Upton, you some kind of crazy man, aren't you???  Aren't YOU!!!???!!!

No, but if you believe the reporting seen and read in other news outlets, you'd think that he were... 

I end this post in the manner in which I began it:

Yakety yak (don't talk back)

Keep your mouth shut, America.  They'll tell you what you need to know. 

Well, maybe.

Have a nice weekend folks...