Monday, January 17, 2011


Sometimes when I see a jet fly over, or watch the space shuttle on TV I think “I wonder what it would be like if Orville and Wilbur could be brought back to life to witness this.” What would they think? Surely they’d be thrilled beyond belief.

And I wonder what it would be like to take Leonardo da Vinci to the Smithsonian for an afternoon to show him how far we’ve come? Would he be impressed? Would he be surprised and pleased that we remembered to credit him with inventing the delta wing, the hydraulic pump, and so many other things that we use in modern engineering today?

Similarly on the night that Barack Obama was elected I remember thinking what millions of others must have been thinking, “I wish Martin Luther King Jr. could witness this moment.” I thought of how proud and happy he would have been. Of course looking back on it now, it would have been merciful to have returned him to the grave soon after, because I’m sure that after the high of that night the amount of bigotry and racism that arose so quickly after the election from communities all around this country would have saddened Martin greatly. I know it has saddened me.

I hope that someday before I die I can once again think “I wish Martin Luther King Jr. could witness this moment.” Until then, rest in peace Martin. You’re work is finished. America’s work ineptly continues.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Gun Owner's Rant

Regarding the viral facebook message that begins with “To everyone who is calling for stricter gun laws in light of the tragedy in Tuscon,” and ends with “if guns are outlawed - only outlaws will have guns!!!”

Folks, “regulating” does not equal “outlawing.” Conflating these two things is an overused NRA tactic that works very well on weak and paranoid minds, but it has no basis in reality. When is the last time our government regulated something as a first step toward outlawing it? That's okay, I’ll wait…........ Well? Considering the fact that unwarranted wiretaps, and secret searches of American citizens by former President what’s-his-name didn’t bother the NRA crowd you wouldn’t think the mere thought of regulating little things like 30 round clips for semi-automatic handguns would upset them, but it does, and how! Just try using your first amendment rights to quiz them about their second amendment rights and you’ll find out how. Yep, they’ll be in your face as fast, loud, and dumb as Billy the Kid’s six-shooter (Believe me. I’ve had that conversation a couple of times now.)

Remember all you Palinite’s, the Second Amendment wasn't written with semiautomatic handguns, and 30 round clips in mind. That’s right, read it yourself. It was written so that “well regulated” militias when needed could show up with flintlock rifles instead of pitchforks to defend us against the British, or French, or whoever else might be pissed off at us. This was important at the time because we didn’t (nor did our founding fathers intend us to have) a standing army.

So why are we so against regulating, and especially against licensing guns when we regulate and license cars, trailers, boats, pets, etc? I’d gladly license my guns if I could get out of permitting my damn carport! For crying out loud, I need a license to wield a clam gun in this state …but not a Glock (unless of course I want to shoot a clam with it.) How ‘bout we consider the possibility that regulations and guns can coexist ...You know like cars and speed limits, or parachutes and ripcords, or are we against preventing senseless deaths?

And by the way, nobody’s even seriously talking about licensing guns in this recent discussion of common sense gun regulations. They’re just talking about possibly reinstating the assault weapons ban. You know, the Bush supported ban that may have saved half the people gunned down in Arizona last week if we hadn't let it expire. That ban is kind of like the ban on driving monster trucks on the freeway (it won’t outlaw “normal” hunting and sporting weapons.) There’s also talk of asking people not to bring guns to political rallies, or places deemed dangerous by local municipalities (like inside taverns for example.) That ban is kind of like saying you can’t drive your car INSIDE the mall. Again it doesn’t take away your weapons. It just says park them outside.

For the record, I’m a gun owner. I like being able to legally have my guns, but I don't feel a need to keep an arsenal. Nor do I have any desire to tote them around in public for the illusion (or delusion) of safety, or worse intimidation. I feel that owning guns is a responsibility as well as a right, and having them without having to show up for militia duty is a privilege …one that I don’t take lightly.

Oh, and one more thing: Maybe we should consider not selling guns to psychotics. I know it won’t stop all the Jared Laughner’s out there from acquiring a gun somehow but shouldn’t we at least make it harder for guys like Hinckley, Chapman, and now Laughner to purchase a gun? We don’t want drunks on our roads, or pedophiles on our playgrounds, so why do we accept heavily armed psychotics on our sidewalks? Just wondering?

Okay, I’m done yammering (for now.) Have a safe day everyone :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fabric Softener

You live with someone for over twenty years, and then all of a sudden they change on you. That’s right, my wife recently started adding fabric softener to the towel loads! Do you have any idea what fabric softener does to a perfectly good functional towel? Well if you’ve never experienced the horror of it, I’ll tell you. It turns what was once a useful drying cloth into a plush piece of material as soft as a baby’s butt, and just as absorbent. Think about it …if baby’s butts were absorbent they wouldn’t need diapers would they? So here I am, soaking wet in front of the shower trying to dry myself off with the cotton equivalent of an infant’s behind when my wife says “Aren’t those towels soft?” “What the... what did you do, spray them with Scotchgard?” I asked “All I’m doin’ is pushing water around over here!” “...But aren’t they soft?” she continued. “Yeah, soft as a butterfly’s wing” I said “But they’re ruined!! …er, I mean yes dear, they’re very soft.”

Then the next day we’re at the grocery store, so I sneak over to the cleaning section and ask the guy stocking the shelves “Hey, do you have any fabric unsoftener?” He said “Aren’t you the guy who was looking for a stud finder finder a few weeks ago?” “Yeah, that was me …hey, you used to work over at Home Depot, right?” “Yeah, used to” he said, then he started looking real edgy “I got fired for calling a customer a moron!” “Oh, sorry to hear that” I said “but about the fabric unsoftener…” Then he started turning bright red, so I said ”Never mind, I’ll go look for it myself.” Just then my wife came around the corner, and tossed a jug of fabric softener into the cart.

As it turns out, a lot of things I need haven’t been invented yet, so until technology catches up with my lifestyle, I’m keeping a small pile of scratchy absorbent towels separate from the rest of the laundry.