September 30, 2006

The Vietnam Era.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 6:53 pm

The Vietnam Era is a fantastic website on which you can hear hundreds of songs from the Vietnam Era. The site is the work of a Marine Sergeant, who is a Vietnam Vet.

Read the “Welcome” then scroll down to the amazing playlists. You won’t be disappointed.

Thanks to my friend Brian, the Air Force Vet.

September 29, 2006

Mr. President, It’s for You.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:21 pm

The Scene: The White House Residence. The President and Mrs. Bush are eating breakfast. The telephone rings. Such calls are carefully pre-screened.

The President: Hello.

Caller: You’re a filthy liar! You lied us into war so your rich oil friends could get richer. Liar, liar, pants on fire!! Blood for oil!!! Halliburton! Halliburton!! You betrayed us, you piece of shit! You and your wing-nut, chickenhawk reTHUGlican, jackbooted swine buddies have trashed the constitution, and you are determined to watch the earth burn to a crisp because of global warming. Everyone hates us because of you, you pile of excrement. You make me want to puke, but I wouldn’t even waste vomit on your sorry ass. We will impeach you for the crimes you and your henchmen have committed! Screw you and your miserable family, including your old man!

The President: Have you finished?

Caller: No, goddammit, I haven’t finished! You’re a swaggering douchebag who couldn’t lead a Cub Scout Pack, let alone the United Goddamned States. You and your buddy Karl Rove are pieces of shit not worth the sweat off Noam Chomsky’s ass! Oh, and did I mention that you are realllllllllly stooooooopid, and you look like a chimp?

The President: Are you finished now?

Caller: Yes I am finished, you fascist bastard.

The President: OK. Have a nice day now, y’hear? (hangs up phone)

Mrs. Bush: Who was that, George?

The President: It was Howard Dean.

Mrs. Bush: Howard Dean? What did he want?

The President: Oh, same ol’, same ol’. He calls whenever he’s constipated.


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:56 pm

In Florida, if you kill a cop making a traffic stop, your shit is seriously weak.

Adios, shitbag.

September 28, 2006

Planes, and Planes, and Planes.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:22 pm

It’s funny how you become accustomed to things.

Where I live, no matter what the time of day, if you look skyward, you’ll see planes, often several at a time. They’re easier to see at night. I never give it much thought, because it always has been that way.

The weekend before last, I was outside reading, and I decided to pay attention to the sky, a portion of which is one of the landing paths for the “smaller” commercial jetliners. One would come cruising by about every four minutes. I noticed that, once I decided to keep an eye on them, I could also hear every one of them. Obviously, I have blocked out the sound of all but the noisiest of aircraft. I decided to look skyward a couple nights with an eye toward seeing how many planes are up there at any given time. One night, there were more planes visible than there were stars.

I was reminded of the eeriness of the evening of September 11, 2001 and a few days and nights thereafter when there were NO planes in the air. Their absence was as obvious to me as a rumbling freight train would be. I got to thinking about how many people live in places in the USA where they can look skyward at any given time and never (or almost never) see a plane.

I’d have to get used to living in places like that, but I think I could.

September 27, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:21 pm

Dover speedway2.jpgI’ve been giving some thought to NASCAR fans. Of course, all sports have their diehard fans. Who hasn’t seen the nutbar football fans, who attend games in sub-zero weather, bare-chested and painted up in Vikings purple or Detroit blue as they pump their frostbitten fists in the air and screams like banshees? Certainly, they are extreme examples of football fans who show up and, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, root for their team.

NASCAR fans, at least what I saw of them, are different. They don’t root for a team; they come to cheer on their chosen paladins – their champions. Their champions dress the part, what with their elaborately adorned twenty-first century suits of Nomex armor and headgear that any Knight of the Round Table would envy. On race day, the champions mount their garishly decorated, high performance steeds to do battle with other NASCAR Knights. And, their fans are positively captivated by it all.

One particular lady comes to mind.

Take a look at the photograph of the Dover International Speedway up there, focusing on the grandstand on the left side of the picture (blurry, I know). I was sitting in the center of the grandstand, way up there — approximately a dozen rows from the top. The lady in question was sitting a mere four rows or so in front of me. She wasn’t exactly the picture of a “fair maiden”, as she was not too far south of middle age and, like many of us mortals, could stand to spend a tad more time at the salad bar.

Her paladin was Tony Stewart.

How do I know this? The tip off was her Tony Stewart hat, Tony Stewart tee shirt, Tony Stewart ticket holder lanyard and her Tony Stewart seat cushion.

Now, take another look at the picture and try to imagine where this lady was sitting. Got it?

Her deal was that about every five or ten laps of the four hundred lap race, she would stand and wave at Tony Stewart’s car as it zoomed through the turn. I would love to have asked her, “Yo, lady. Do you think Tony Stewart can pick you out in the grandstand as he drives around the turn at something like 100 miles per hour, three inches behind the car in front of him, and both his car and the car in front of him are in a pack of 43 similarly speeding cars? Do you expect him to wave back?”

Of course, had I asked such a snot-nosey question, she would have instantly recognized me to be a rookie NASCAR fan. I figure she also might have strangled me with her Tony Stewart ticket holder lanyard.

Mr. Excitement, Not.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 3:26 am

About seven hours ago, I decided to sit in Mr. Recliner “for a couple minutes”.

Damn you, Mr. Recliner!

September 26, 2006

Site Trubs.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:34 am

If you are having trouble accessing this site, so am I from time to time. In addition, I’m not receiving e-mail notifications of comments. Naturally, I have no idea what the heck is going on, but I am hoping that it is one of those sefl-correcting hiccups in cyberspace.

Time will tell, I suppose.

September 25, 2006

Truck Tires, Da Party, and the Usual Suspects do NASCAR.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:06 pm

As noted below, it was a helluva weekend. Some highlights:

Truck Driving Competition
On Saturday, I had to get out of bed earlier than I would have preferred in order to head off with Usual Suspect Artie to the A. Duie Pyle truck terminal in New Jersey where we were to serve as judges for the truck driving competition. My friend and bodyguard Ken would meet us at the place.

We had judged the competition for several years, two of which I have written about. As such, we were basically familiar with the drill, even though the course that has to be navigated by the contestants changes slightly each year.

On the way, I had stressed to Artie that we couldn’t hang around after the competition because I had to attend my son-in-law’s birthday party, which was to be held a couple towns away. He had no problem with that, and reminded me that, in years past, we were finished in the afternoon, which would leave me plenty of time to make it to the birthday party.

As it happens, Artie and I were assigned to the same part of the course. The contestants had to make a left turn around a traffic cone, with the goal of having the left rear tire hit the spot between 6 inches and ten inches from the cone. Artie was the left rear tire guy.

After the driver executed the left, he had to make a sharp turn to the right around another traffic cone, with the goal being to have the right rear tire come as close to the cone as possible without hitting the cone. I was the right rear tire guy.

The weather in the morning was “iffy”, and we thought that the competition might have to be called off because of rain. After about a half hour of walking behind trucks and eyeballing our respective tires, the farookin’ skies opened. It was a regular monsoon. Much to our surprise, we didn’t get the word that the competition would be held up, or possibly even canceled because of rain. Instead we each got a spiffy blue poncho.

So, there we were, literally in the middle of the huge expanse of asphalt that on a business day would be covered with tractor-trailers, walking behind trucks in a goddamned rainsquall. At one point, I looked up and there was my pal Ken standing dry as a bone in one of the hundred plus doorways in the terminal looking at us and laughing his ass off. Of course, I made a few vulgar gestures and vowed to get even some day.

Eventually the rain stopped, we finished up our judging duties and picked up our complimentary A Duie Pyle baseball caps — our pay for doing a heroic job. Fortunately, we finished in plenty of time for me to go home and get ready for the party – maybe even take a snooze. Both Ken and Artie remarked how they didn’t envy my having to go out that night, and each reported that their plans were to go home and just take it easy. I must admit; that prospect sounded pretty good to me, particularly since I knew that the following morning I would be getting up with the chickens to make it to the bus that was taking a few of the Usual Suspects to Dover, Delaware to watch a NASCAR race (see below).

Da Party
When I arrived home from the truck driving competition, I changed into dry clothes and decided to sit in a comfortable and read for an hour or so before having to take a shower and get dressed for the party. I don’t think I got past the first page before I was out like a light.

I awakened at the appointed hour and dutifully took a shower and dressed for Son-in-Law’s birthday party. Mrs. Parkway had prepared party favor bags, and I volunteered to carry the box o’ bags. We located the restaurant with the help of good directions and Mr. Tom-Tom. We even got lucky and found a parking space about a block away.

As we were walking to the restaurant, Mrs. Parkway kept trying to take the box o’ bags from me. Seeing as how she was already carrying a purse and another bag of stuff she wanted to give to our daughter (TJ), I told her, “No, I can carry these”. She kept insisting, to the point of annoyance, that she would carry the box as well. I finally, lost my patience and said, “Jeez, what the hell is the matter with you. I can carry these.”

We walked into the restaurant and were led to a room in the back. When I walked into the room, carrying the box o’ bags, ”SURPRISE!!”. It was the gang of Usual Suspects, and the party was not for my Son-in-Law, but rather it was for me. (Artie and Ken were there too, the rat bastards.)

I was positively dumbstruck. I had absolutely no clue that this was in the making for a month or so. I had been had. I suppose it was particularly easy to pull it off, because my birthday is not until the middle of next month. They knew that I will be out of town on the weekend nearest my birthday (and it’s one of those “new decade” birthdays), so they decided to have a party early.

Spending the evening at an excellent restaurant with the Usual Suspects was a wonderful way to celebrate. After the dinner everyone returned to the House by the Parkway for drinks (the ice, champagne and extra booze had been cleverly hidden). The Original Bill served as the most excellent bartender, and we proceeded to throw back chocolate vodkas in great quantities.

A couple times, as the evening wore on, I thought about having to get up in just a few hours to do NASCAR, but I figured, “Hell, it’s party. I’ll worry about that tomorrow.” I don’t even know what time in the morning I finally got around to collapsing in the bed.

It was a helluva party, indeed.

At 5 a.m. the next morning, the clock radio went off, and I couldn’t believe that I had to get up and actually function at some level. I felt like shit and looked like Fido’s ass. I knew that the hangover wouldn’t even kick in for a few hours. I don’t know how I did it, but I managed to be in front of the house to be picked up by Ken and Usual Suspect Jeff (da Chef of da Future) and Jeff’s son.

We drove to the bus (the trip was being run by the Elks Lodge in a nearby town), where I guzzled two cups of black coffee and wolfed down a sugary donut – strictly for medicinal reasons. I tried to sleep on the bus, but that didn’t work out all that well. They played a movie on the bus (“Cannonball Something-or-Other”) that was full of squealing tires and car crashes and about a dozen words of dialogue.

When we arrived at the Dover International Speedway, I was positively astounded with the sea of RV’s and farookin house trailers that apparently had already been there for a couple days. They were packed in next to one another and went as far as I could see.

NASCAR. Holy crap! I had read about how many people show up for these things, but I had no idea just how many there are and how fanatic they are.

Ours was but one of hundreds of buses parked in huge open fields, and every one of them (including ours) broke out tables, food and beer – lots of beer. I started out with a soda, not being quite ready for a beer.

We then did the souvenir walk, which took about 45 minutes, each step of which was torture for my aching ass. I cannot imagine how much money is spent on souvenirs. Hats, jackets, shirts, bibs, model cars, and seat cushions, all emblazoned with your NASCAR racer’s names and car number. We were already wearing “our guy’s” hat, and I really didn’t want a shirt, jacket, or bib, but I was to learn that a seat cushion might have been a good idea.

We then did the long trek back to the bus for some more pre-race refreshments. My ass was getting closer to the ground with each step. I did, however, manage to choke down a beer. About two hours before the start time, the hoards of people (140,000!!) began the walk to the track. Of course, my exhausted and hung over ass was among them.

You can imagine how much I wanted to shoot myself happy I was to learn that our seats were way on the other side of the track AND that they were in the uppermost section. This meant that I could either wait on a line that ran forever to take an elevator, or I could walk up the ten or so (maybe more – I lost count) flights of stairs to get to our seats. Somehow, I made it. I figure I was too embarrassed to die right there on the goddamned stairs.

After much pre-race hoopla, including a beauty lap around the track with the drivers standing in the back of pickup trucks and waiving at their adoring fans, the race got underway.

I’m sure that many of you have been to NASCAR events and you know how they sound. I’m also sure that you have sat in seats that are not exactly comfy seats, but rather more like bleachers with backs. Can you imagine falling asleep during all that?

I can.

After about forty laps, it all became somewhat hypnotizing, and I nodded off.

I probably missed a few dozen laps, but I was snapped awake when a driver spun out. No one was hurt, but it was quite dramatic.

Anyway, the race turned out to be a real squeaker, with the guy who had been in the lead, but then lost it, but was coming back for the lead when he ran out of gas on the last lap. Our guy came in fifth.

Ken and I did the death march back to the bus, managing to avoid the rainstorm that erupted a few minutes after the race ended by walking under the grandstand. Others on the bus made the run for it and were soaked down to the underwear.

I so wanted to sleep on the way home, but try to imagine a busload of guys who had worked their way through 400+ cans of beer. And, of course, my seat on the bus was near the shithouse, so every single one of the beer guys slammed into me on the way to and from the crapper. Oh, and they played yet another tire squealing movie (“The Vanishing Point”), just in case we hadn’t heard enough car sounds that day.

When we finally arrived home, I was tired beyond words, but it sure was a helluva weekend.

September 24, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:13 pm

This was one busy weekend — literally from morning till night, Saturday and today. One of the activities literally surprised the dogshit out of me.

Problem is, I’m completely spent. I’ll write about it tomorrow.

I’m off to spend time with Mr. Recliner.

September 23, 2006

Here Come Da Judge.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:55 am

I’m outta here for a bit, as I have judicial duties to attend to, but I won’t be needing a gavel.

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