“You Didn’t Build That” – Oh, Yes I Did!!!

You didn’t build that. Barack Obama

The “you didn’t build that” statement just chaps my grits. The more I think about it the more pissed off I get. The whole premise is high way robbery of intellectual and tangible property at the most insidious level. Pure Sophistry at it’s best or in this case worst. There are those who argue that the statement was taken out of context and that he didn’t really mean that literally. Well after reading the statement in context and thinking about more I am certain that is exactly what he meant. And I am outraged and don’t like it one bit!

It is a direct attack against the entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to put ones ideas and hard work, life savings, blood sweat and tears to make an idea come to life. The very back bone of what made our country great. Our ancestors came over to the New World and started doing exactly what Obama said that we didn’t do – building things. We built homes, farms, villages, trading posts, roads, factories, ferries, foundries, hospitals, golf courses, restaurants, department stores, automobiles, home appliances, bridges, railroads, airports and all the wonderful things that we enjoy every day of our lives. All of it started by an individual with an idea.

These accomplishments did not just spring out of the ground unbidden by some mysterious shared cosmic belch. One minute there is nothing and the next minute iron ore leaped out the ground, fired itself into steel and then sprang into the air to form a bridge. These things first came into being in a human mind, a man or woman, thought of these things, planned them out, assembled the raw materials and man power and brought them to life.

When our country came into being there was no “government funded or supervised” anything. Nothing, zilch, nada. Individual efforts, not a collective think tank of men out of touch with reality, brought into being whatever people thought needed to come into reality. Everything that existed in pre-America was privately owned. Things were brutally simple then. You work or you die. You plant crops to feed your family or you starve. Individual effort, work and accountability were the order of the day.

Want shoes for the horses and you know how to work iron? Open a black smith shop. If Obama or Elizabeth Warren went back in time and walked up to the owner of the blacksmith shop, or the grocery store, or a farmer and said “You didn’t build that,” the most likely result would be a punch in the nose, followed by a firm statement of “get out of town” or “go back Europe and live under a king’s rule. Go live under a feudal or socialist system where you cannot own the ground under your feet. Go live where you don’t even own the clothes on your back. Give everything you have earned to your lord and master. Let him decide who to reaps the benefits of the fruit of your labor. It won’t be you, that’s pretty much a guarantee. It will go to whoever whines the loudest.”

Involuntary Juice Fast

May you live in interesting times. Ancient Chinese curse

This past Tuesday my body decided that it wanted a total break from food and drink.  The day started innocently enough. The sun shone, the birds sang and I went to my weekly art class. I started to feel a bit puny and gave up 30 minutes early to go home. Was feeling a bit crampy and gassy so I took what seemed to be appropriate meds. That didn’t help at all.

Hubby had a nice dinner planned. Pork chops, marinated tomatoes, and green beans. I ate this big dinner mainly because I was hungry and I thought that eating would sort of help push things on through, so to speak.

Well dammit if I wasn’t wrong, way wrong. The crampy feeling in my guts turned into shooting pains, then to agonizing pains. Then the party morphed into me hugging the commode and projectile vomiting. Things went downhill from there, if that’s even possible, and I progressed to lying in the bathroom floor perspiring and groaning. Then I completely lost it and was moaning and crying. At this point I decided that I needed professional help and asked Mr. Husband to call an ambulance.

He did and then also called his mother and the next door neighbor who is a retired nurse to come over. Now I have an audience. Yee Hah! I don’t blame him though. It must have been a terrifying sight to have his wife writhing around in the floor screeching like a banshee.

The ambulance came and took me away at what I thought was a rather leisurely pace. Things picked up bit when the pain got even worse. I started screaming bloody murder and begged Jesus to come and take me home. They turned on the siren and started to drive really fast, probably to drown out all the noise I was making.

At the hospital they had to use the old “Ma’am, you need to calm down so we can examine you” line. It didn’t go over well. It took 4 people to pry me out of the fetal position I was in to poke around on my belly. I wasn’t fighting them really, I just couldn’t straighten out on my own. They finally decided that it was safe to give me something for the pain and shot me full of happy juice. Things got a little better after that but I was in a complete fog when they shot me through a CT scanner, complete with dye and the whole nine yards.

The diagnosis was that I had a partial obstruction in my small intestine. For whatever reason the cosmos decided that my life was too dull and decided to tie my guts in a knot. The decision was that I be admitted to the hospital and have no food or drink for 2 days as a conservative treatment and an alternative to surgery. It’s amazing how much a one fantasizes about food and drink when not allowed to have any. Even the big sign on my hospital room door was a mockery. It was a big picture of a cheese burger with a red circle and a line through it. Every time the door opened so someone could stick pins in me and ask me how I felt, I saw that damned sign.

I got to imbibe liquid food after 2 days. Let me tell you, after an enforced fast, chicken broth, apple juice, and ginger ale tasted like nectar of Gods. It turns out that I was on poop watch. This means that I could not go home until they had tangible proof that my digestive track was functioning according to specs.

They evidently grew tired of waiting for nature to take its course and gave me some industrial strength laxative. It worked and sent me into another wild and crazy adventure in the bathroom that lasted the better part of 2 hours. I’ll spare you the details.

An unexpected result of this enforced purge was that my complexion took a turn for the better. My skin looked as smooth and unsullied as a baby’s bottom. I don’t recommend this approach though.

On Friday they let me go home. I must eat a soft, low fiber diet, for 2 weeks. Oh well, at least I look good. That’s got to count for something…right?

 

I’m Getting Really Tired of Getting Told What to Do

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. American Declaration of Independence

Yes, I am getting tired of getting damned sick and tired of being told what to do. I’m getting even more tired of being told what I can’t do. It seems like every time I turn around there’s a new law governing my every day behavior, even in the privacy of my own home. I am labelled politically incorrect, out of touch with “reality”, antiquated, and an old grump by those who seek to tell me how wrong I am for believing what I believe.

Here all this time I’ve been living under the assumption that I lived in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Here I thought that I have a right to have my own opinions, and to speak freely about them, even in public. Well silly me.

Maybe because I’ve lived almost 60 years in our America I have to ability to look back and see how much things have changed. Some things have changed for the better, other things, not so much, some even worse. The rights of women to equal treatment under the law, and freedom of our own bodies took an enormous leap forward and then we looked away to other issues thinking that was a done deal. Now as a nation we women are backsliding.

One rather silly example of how times are changing is the example of cigarettes vs. marijuana. When I was a wild and woolly 20 something smoking pot was highly illegal and smoking a cigarette was not any different from having a cold beer on a hot summer day. Well damn, now that I’m older and don’t really care much about smoking the funny stuff, it’s becoming legal and cigarettes are now the evil villain that many think should be legislated by law out of my life. If I want to smoke a cigarette with my morning coffee the only place I can legally do so is in my own back yard. Quite frankly I would be less nervous about firing up a joint in the local Starbucks than I would be lighting up a cigarette.

Every time I turn around there’s a new law about some ridiculous thing that should be no one’s business but my own. There are many silly stupid laws that I’m outraged that our tax dollars pay for the lengthy contemplation and passing of. Things like what size soda pop I can buy, what I feed a child for lunch, how many times I mow my lawn, when I can water it. What kind I medicine I can take or not take, even the decision to stop taking medicine if I so choose to do.

The medicine example has me riled up because I got a call from a nurse working for my insurance company. She explained that they monitor my prescription usage and noticed that I stopped taking blood pressure medicine. She went so far as to say that if I continued down this slippery slope of not taking medicine I might lose my coverage. Highly indignant I explained that I lost 20 pounds and that took care of the blood pressure issue. I also told her to note in my file that I did not want to receive any more calls from a “concerned” nurse and what medicine I consume or do not consume is between me and my doctor. That statement right there is a political hot potato.

Another thing that is bugging me under the surface and just came to the front of my consciousness lately is; what is the real reason my blog is sitting dark and neglected? I told myself and you readers that I’ve been busy with other things. Personal issues, family issues, etc, etc. blah, blah, blah. I did a pretty good job of pretending that was it until it dawned on me that I was lying to myself and making excuses. I did some serious soul-searching and finally admitted to myself and now to you, dear reader, that I had become afraid to speak my mind.

And why am I afraid to speak my mind? There are a many reasons, but a few come to the front. The main one is that I see on the news everyday people in this country with our alleged freedom of speech who speak their mind and get slapped down…hard. Often I think “well that was indeed a rather asinine thing to say, but really? Should they lose their job or even get tossed in jail on some trumped-up charge, or audited by the IRS, for saying what they said?” This well and truly frightens me.

Oh God – Please Don’t Pick Me Up From the Airport

I have found out there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them. (Mark Twain)

Picking up someone up at the airport is a complex social endeavor, fraught with pit falls and cul de sacs. Some people think it is a huge favor, especially if it saves them money. The trade-off is that you are obligated to make small talk with your ride even if you’re mentally and physically exhausted.

Then there are those who view the pick up as just another item on their to-do list and run all kinds of errands on the way to taking you to your destination. Once I was even dragged along on a run to pick up some drugs. I waited in the car and prayed that it would be over soon. So far the record for the longest ride from the airport is 9 hours. The last 2 hours of the journey I had to drive through dark, foggy, and unfamiliar territory because my ride got too drunk to drive from all the stop offs on the way home.

“We don’t have any food in the house so we’re going to stop at the grocery store on the way home.” Oh goody, just what I was dying to do right after a long tedious journey – slog through a supermarket. Frankly I don’t care if there is food in the house. All I really want is a cold beer, a shower, and maybe a brief lie down. I’m perfectly fine with arranging to provide these items for myself. If it’s an issue of wanting me to pay for groceries, I’m also fine with that. Please just don’t make me do it on the way from the airport.

I’m one of those odd people who would much prefer to take a cab. No offense, but seriously? I truly enjoy the freedom to go to my destination directly and with the minimum of fuss and bother. No, I don’t want to meet your friends, drinking buddies, and entire extended family, go shopping, wash the car, tour a factory, pick up some smoke, or any of the other bizarre things I’ve been dragged along to on a ride from the airport. For crying out loud, give me a chance to freshen up first and then I’m game for just about anything.

Hmm, maybe I should re-brand myself as the crabby traveler?

 

Airlines are Big Fat Lying Liars!

large passengerI didn’t really like to fly, but I’m not afraid of it and it’s the best way to get from point A to point B, in my opinion. I like the train, but don’t always want to spend 3 – 6 days of my travel time on the train especially if said travel time is limited. Yea, I know they say getting there is part of the journey, but sometimes I want to get there in hurry and then begin my journey.

All the major American airlines have been sputtering and beating around the bush for years, claiming they are not shrinking the seats. I beg to differ, I may have put on a few pounds over the years, but my bones are the same size and my hip bones are getting closer to the arm rests. The last couple of times I flew I noticed that I could not get my elbows down by my side without getting squished by the arm rests. I refuse to believe that I have packed on enough armpit fat to cause this!

And now on to my backpack. It’s made out of inorganic rip stop nylon. It does not stretch or gain weight. I’ve been using the same pack for 10 years. It looks exactly the same as the day I bought it. I could stick it back on the shelf and call it new. A few days ago I boarded the plane to come home from New Orleans. I went to slip my backpack under the seat and chunk, it didn’t fit. I’m looking at it thinking “what the hell?” I finally managed to cram it up under there using my feet, but pulling it back out to remove any content during the flight was probably not an option. And I was left with basically no place to put my feet, which are attached to my body and cannot be placed in the overhead bin. “Hello? Airline People, are you listening?”

There are many theories as to why there is an increase in flight rage and unruly passengers on air planes. My theory is that if the airlines keep working their sleight of hand and cramming passengers into smaller and smaller spaces until it is physically painful to remain twisted like contortionists, the situation is only going to get worse. I hope to God that some idiot doesn’t manage to ban alcohol on airplanes. Sometimes having a good stiff drink is the only way I can tolerate spending hours upon hours with one leg wrapped around my head and the other crammed in between my carry on and the hairy bare-legged shorts wearing dude in the seat next to me. If anything they should ban shorts on planes. I really do not appreciate rubbing bare thighs with people with whom I have not been introduced.

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