Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Worst Father's Day Eveh

Well, naming you "Beaver" just seemed funny at the time

Got lost - that's not supposed to happen. Especially not on Father's day. Especially not when I had to admit it and most especially not since I looked it up, wrote it down and somehow missed the turn anyway. My navigator was busy blabbing away on the phone and I didn't give her enough "time" to find Rt. 32. Stupid iphone. And I didn't even get to yell at her since I "knew" where I was going. Stupid Expedia. But I didn't say anything, although I wanted to and she knew I wanted to. Bad things happen when I do. To me.  One of our first major arguments was over the correct method of barbecuing, which ended with several pounds of raw chicken being flung into the dirt during our tug of war over the platter. (She laughed - I knew at that moment that this was the woman for me). So I'm pissed and fucking stewing over having to backtrack. Then this:
Why the silent treatment - I didn't yell at you.
Well, I tried to make conversation - you didn't seem  interested.
What I thought - Oh Jesus, It's Father's Day - do I have to talk, too?
What I said - Shit, I'm sorry.
Of course, we have to take 3/5's of the grandkids with us which means 87 stops everytime one of the little whiners needs fed, watered or bathroomed. If it was just me I'd never stop - I once drove from Pittsburgh to Fort Collins in 28 hours straight thru - gas and coffee only. That's how a real man rolls.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rep. Barton Chokes on Misconstrudel

Barton couldn't have been more clear if he had published his apology as an Op-Ed in the Times.

"I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure that is - again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown," Barton said. "So I apologize."
OK, bye. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. I'm sure Barton would rather live in a country where compensation claims have to wind through decades of litigation, enriching generations of lawyers, before the injured party is made whole. Get the original apology and watch the cutaway to BP exec Hayward during Barton's apology for Obama being a meanie - Hayward's got that what the fuck is this guy talking about? look on his face. Our congress is making BP look like the model of competency.

And still smoking something that can't be good for you - Rep. Michele Bachman (R-wacko), proprietor and client of the Watch Out Behind You, Jesus Is Coming Therapy and Homosexual Rehabilitation Center. Look into her eyes - the crazy is strong in this one:

“They have to lift the liability cap. But if I was the head of BP, I would let the signal get out there — ‘We’re not going to be chumps, and we’re not going to be fleeced.’ And they shouldn’t be. They shouldn’t have to be fleeced and make chumps to have to pay for perpetual unemployment and all the rest — they’ve got to be legitimate claims.”
Sorry, Michele, to be head of a multinational corporation you have to be a ruthless sociopath, not a retarded one. I think the chumps are the people who voted for her. Poor BP - ponying up 20 billion out of a yearly profit of 24 billion. That's profit, mind you. The delicate dance the Obama Administration is doing is to get BP to pay up before they go belly up. It's in no one's interest to kill the company. It is also in no one's interest to ever, ever listen to Michelle Bachman.
Michelle and Joe sittin' in a tree
K-I-S-S on BP
First comes love
Then comes marriage
Then comes an oil spill massive enough to wipe out an entire ecosystem for generations to come
In a baby carriage

And here is Sarah Palin, fresh from using her mad momma-grizzly skills to confuse herself further and quite possibly the only person on the planet who could make Bill O'Reilly look smart, taking a little friendly fire. Check out this clip on the Dumbotron:

OK. She's not even pretending to make any sense. I think even Sarah realizes that she is tagged with the Drill, Baby, Drill mantra forevermore. In the interview with O'Reilly she has that uncomfortable look of someone who's not sure whether they just shit their pants. Sorry, Sarah, something smells.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Why I'll Hide a Mexican in My Basement

For one thing, it's an unfinished basement. For another, I owe the Mexican people a debt of gratitude, or at least one Mexican people a debt of gratitude. As I pointed out in my previous post, on occasion I would use the boxcar as an alternative means of transportation between San Louis Obispo and Seattle. It was while sitting in a boxcar that I had my one and only contact with la migra which amounted to an accent and skin tone check. Guess they weren't looking for Lithuanian/Irish hippies from Philadelphia. The guy I was with was an Aussie on a cross country American adventure. Guess he didn't count as one of them either. At one point in the trip, somewhere around San Francisco, the slow freight stopped next to the BART line and about 5000 Mexicans got on. Men, women, children, all chattering away. So odd, like something you would see in a travelogue about the Calcutta Express, except that no one was actually sitting on the roof. We sat there as the airconditioned streamlined BART train whizzed past no more than 10' from us, carrying all of 4 paying customers. The freight chugged along for about 10 miles and everyone besides me and my buddy got off. In the middle of a bunch of fields. I don't know where they were going. Work, I suppose.

On my way back I rolled back into San Luis around 2 in the morning, hungry, tired with my poor long suffering dog Fred trailing along behind me. I walk by this restaurant and the dishwasher standing beside the back door smoking a cigarette. He motions for me to wait, walks back in the restaurant and brings me out a plate of food, a beer and a dish of water for my dog. We didn't have much to say, since I know no Spanish and he knew little or no English so I finished the meal, smoked a cigarette with him, thanked him and left. To this day I think it's the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me. That's why I'll hide a Mexican in my basement.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Riding the Rails 101

You can get from San Luis Obispo to Seattle on a dollar. I did, with change left over. Of course it was 30 some years ago and I spent the dollar on a pack of cigarettes so these days you better make it 5 bucks. Particularly if you want to smoke. Bear in mind these travel tips are from back in the day and may not hold true today. Southern (or was it Northern?) Pacific may well have beefed up their security procedures after those towers got knocked down. They always had the rep as being a hobo friendly railroad back then.

Woo University Rules of the Rails:
  1. Don't ever jump on a moving train - there are no one- legged hoboes - fall under the train and, if you survive it, you will end up an ordinary bum on a mechanic's crawler, panhandling for sterno in a big city somewhere. I only violated this rule once and that was to avoid arrest. A cop was sitting at a crossing with his lights flashing pointing at me as I walked alongside a freight that was slowly picking up speed. I tossed my dog Fred in the boxcar and jumped in after him, successfully making my escape.
  2. Don't step in the track switch area - the switches are remotely operated. If your foot gets caught you are royally screwed because there's a train coming and you're not going anywhere.
  3. Look for a boxcar with a wooden floor - corrugated steel floors are cold and uncomfortable but a wood floor was rare then and I imagine they may be non-existent now.
  4. Find a large cardboard packing box and roll yourself up in it forming a tube open at the ends. Warm and toasty all night long.
  5. Stay out of the transient camps if you're traveling alone. Bad things can happen.
  6. You can always get food - hop off at any town and hit the mission or Salvation Army. It's a great country, full of Christians.
  7. Stick to the slow freights or you may get hassled by the yard detectives. I rode a fast freight carrying piggyback trailers out of San Francisco once. Best ride of my life. Straight through, stopping for nothing, they even moved passenger trains to the side. When we hit the mountain passes they would bring up 3 locomotives behind to push it up the mountain. Mail train - we was flyin'. Bumped off in Medford. The yard detective asked me what I was thinking riding under a trailer clearly marked "explosives".  "I dunno - just trying to get home." "Well, stick to the slow freights and we won't bother you."
  8. Oh, and ladies. I don't care if you've seen Boxcar Bertha - this mode of travel ain't for you.
Hat tip to Sweet (an old black guy who carried all his worldly possessions in a blue plastic dish tub) and Phil from Wilkes-Barre (nice guy but quite possibly had a bit of a drinking problem) who kept me from being dumber than I was. I imagine you guys are on the slow freight to eternity about now. Hope the floor is wood and the weather is warm.