Sunday, July 31, 2011

Book Review: the Devil’s in the Cows by Sippican Cottage

Oh, Mr. Sippican, a thousand curses upon you and yours’! Due to the untimely arrival of your book via the USPS, damn their eyes, I have given up eating, sleeping and (if I were still married) sex. (Wait, if I remembered correctly that last one was not dependent upon my marital status so you are off the hook there). But oh, what about the children, yes Mr. Writer/Furniture man! My children, who’ve not bathed since the arrival of this accursed manuscript. And unless there is a morsel or two within their reach, low in the fridge, they are no doubt hungry as well (although I did notice the dog food bowl was empty so you might be off the hook there too).
Ok, to the book. Well done sir. I have had the advantage of following the Author’s blog for a number of years so I expected the book to be good. That being said, good, doesn’t cover it.
Each story is preceded by a picture from the Library of Congress which the author uses to inspire a story. Each story, 37 in all, is less than 1,000 words long (flash fiction is the fancy word for it). What amazes me is how much story Sippican packs into each story. Not one word is wasted, and each packs a punch. Sippican has taken an obscure genre and given it mainstream status. Get this book and you won’t be sorry (although your personal hygiene may suffer in the short term).

Holy Cow George Washington was not Gay

When I heard that Jerry Brown signed a law mandating gay education, I simply shook my head and dismissed it, thinking there goes those dysfunctional juveniles in Sacramento, screaming for attention again, like a spoiled three year old. My guess is that the mentally unstable CA state legislature were feeling that the rest of the country hasn't shown them enough attention lately. So they decided to poop in their pants again to garner our attention. But then I thought it over and decided that if their goal is to demonstrate all the great achievements by gays in history, and force it down the throats of the citizenry, then, I thought, maybe that can work both ways. Below is a short bio of George Washington (ed. Note: lifted shamelessly form Wikipedia) see if you can spot the changes I made (hint: it's the stuff in 'Bold' print).

George Washington (February 22, 1732 [O.S. February 11, 1731] – December 14, 1799) was the dominant heterosexual, God fearing, military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory, with God's help, over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as a heterosexual commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in 1775–1783, and he presided heterosexually over the writing of the Constitution in 1787. The unanimous choice to serve as the first heterosexual President of the United States (1789–1797), Washington, who went to church every Sunday, presided over the creation of a strong, well-financed national government, based on Judeo-Christian values, that stayed neutral in the wars raging in Europe, suppressed rebellion and won acceptance among Americans of all types including heterosexuals of all walks of life. His leadership style established many forms and rituals of government that have been used ever since, such as using a cabinet system and delivering an inaugural address and being heterosexual. Washington is universally regarded as the heterosexual "Father of his country".
My point above is to demonstrate that regardless of GW's sexual orientation, he was a pretty impressive fellow. My guess is that even if he was gay and still did all that stuff he'd still be on the $1 bill. So why in the wide-wide-wide-world-of-sports do the youngster's in California need to know the sexual orientation of the people they study? Next the idiots will pass a law for Islamic Education praising all the great people from history who were Muslim.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

File under - Knock me over with a feather

I know no one saw this coming (Oh wait, maybe she did); but there is an article in the Telegraph that gives the result of an independent study on wait times for Her Majesty's Subjects that says in part (emphasis mine):

Health service trusts are "imposing pain and inconvenience" by making patients wait longer than necessary, in some cases as long as four months, the study found.
Executives believe the delays mean some people will remove themselves from lists "either by dying or by paying for their own treatment" claims the report, by an independent watchdog that advises the NHS.
Now, I know that they didn't call them 'Death Panels' per se, but keep in mind these are the Brits we are talking about here. My guess is that they wouldn't use the same vulgar term we Yanks use. No, theirs would be something dignified like; the Mind the Wait panel or the Bloody Inconvenience Panel or my favorite, Keep a Stiff Upper Lip panel. Regardless, the end result is the same and, of course, will be over here once Obamacare gets into full swing.

I mean let's look at it logically. The current medical capacity in the US will not change. In other words medical facilities are not magically going to expand their capacities beyond where they are right now. Now, add upwards of 40 million more 'patrons' that were previously uninsured to the system. Then add the increased visits from existing insured (because now it's FREE!!). So now you have a situation where visits will go up (Demand) while capacity (Supply) stays the same and may even diminish given the number of physicians who now refuse to take on Medicare patients due to the unfairness of getting paid for their service. To answer this baffling question, let's jump in the wayback-machine, with Mr. Peabody, and return to Mr. Hutchinson's econ 101 class at good ol' Amarillo High -

Wowowowowowowo (ed. Note, this is our high tech sound effects) wowowowowowow:

Wow! It worked, there's Mr. Hutchinson at the head of the class with a supply and demand curve drawn on the chalk board. Perfect timing Mr. Peabody!

Mr. Hutchinson: "What would happen to the price of a product if Demand for the product goes up but the supply goes down? Mr. Spicoli?"

Spicoli: "Dude, like the price would totally have to go up, man."

Mr. Hutchinson: "Correct. Now, for extra credit, what would happen if the agency responsible for the distribution of said product had the ability arbitrarily set price below the market value; what happens then? Anybody? Bueller, Bueller???"

Bueller: "Mr. Hutchinson, there is like no way that could happen. I mean, who would be stupid enough to try that? Cuz if someone was dumb enough to do that there wouldn't be enough of the stuff to go around and you'd like have to have some kind'a, I don't know, panel. And that panel would have to decide who got what, kind'a like a death panel or something. But there's no way anybody'd be that stupid."

Well that's enough for today let's get back in the wayback machine. Wowowowowowowowowowow.



Nobody saw this coming?. Again - knock me over with a feather

Friday, July 29, 2011

How the hell did we get here?

Ok, I was watching The Five on fox yesterday. The lone liberal on the show is Bob Beckel. Nice enough guy. Makes me laugh and generally has a good sense of humor, given that he is surrounded by four conservatives/libertarians. But he let the mask slip yesterday and I thought I would point it out. He said that his problem with the Tea Party is that they are not career politicians. (ed. Note, I am paraphrasing here because the writer is too lazy to find the actual quote). The broader point is that this is exactly the issue that Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Bill Maher etc. have with the Tea Partiers as well. They, the Tea Partiers, are not, in Beckel's opinion, educated career politicians and therefore they are not qualified to, ahem, lead the uneducated masses. The liberal media’s abject distain for the Partiers is not policy based at all, it's more fundamental than that. The politicians have had no one in Washington to call Bull-Sh&# for so long, that they are truly affronted when a bunch of rubes (who don’t even have a poly-sci degree for Christ’s sake) come to their ivory tower and say, “Um, excuse me madams and sirs, but what the hell are you people doing?” While Beckel did qualify his condescension again and again by excluding present company, I, Oddly enough, I took offense to him. But then I started to think about the wonderful things that we (the plebes) have gotten in return from all those politically educated people. Let’s see we are over 14 trillion dollars in debt and have virtually nothing to show for it (unless of course we count well funded union pensions and a brand new automobile company that makes cars that nobody wants). So, sitting in my underwear trying to decide which flavor of Pop-Tart I was going to have for dinner, I pondered, What if I ran my household like those Ivy School geniuses. Oh, wait, when I was married, my wife did run the household like that. Every month I would get a credit card bill that totaled more than I made. And what did I have to show for it? Upgrades on the house? New tires for the car? Or even an ‘investment’ in education? No, none of these pedestrian things, only new shiny purses and shoes (of the high-heeled variety so no help there either). When I brought this imbalance to my now ex-wife's attention she said, "Oh don't worry, we still have $5,000 on our credit limit." I guess suggesting to me we won't have to call the credit card company to raise our limit for another month or so. (and she doesn’t even have a poly-sci degree!) So now these geniuses in Washington have run up an enormous level of debt and we have virtually nothing to show for it (education - near the bottom of the list of industrial nations. Crumbling infrastructure. And of course Cowboy Poetry!). So, these insaneTea Partiers come to Washington and simply point out these failings to the educated elite and in response the Tea Partiers get - a calm reasoned debate? No, instead they get a full-throated tempy-tantrum because somebody wants to take away the elites’ check-book. Unbelievable..

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Does she even listen to what she says?

In preparation for today’s vote to raise the debt ceiling in the House, the most powerful democrat in congress, Nancy Pelosi, had this to say. (Emphasis mine).
“What we’re trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget….we’re trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.”
Hmmm, life on this planet as we know it today. Golly, our government spends $1.7 trillion more than it takes in every year and will for the foreseeable future if nothing is done...  Sounds good to me! Sign me up for the new world order (you know, that insanely radical one where you expect your government to live within its means?).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Signing

Exciting news! I will be in my backyard this weekend where I will be signing any Kindle reader I find with  my new book Death at the Downs on it. You can 't miss me. I'll be right next to my daughter's lemonade stand ($0.25 US. What a steal!). Anyway, if I'm not around when you get there, just wait a bit. I'll be right back after I finish mowing the lawn and cleaning out the gutters. So just sit back and enjoy a glass of store bought lemonade while you wait! If you can't make it to Louisville, or you don't want me defacing your Kindle, you can always go to Amazon ( and buy it there.

Shameless! Shameless! Shameless! BAD Derek BAD, BAD BAD. Anybody got a wet newspaper?

About Me..

I generally write something every day, I'll not pretend that it's always good, but sometimes it's not bad. I have just published my first book on Kindle ( and would appreciate it if you would take a look at it (it's a steal at only 99 cents). Frankly I'd give it away if I could, but after talking it over with my creditors we mutually decided that I should charge something.
I guess I should say something about me, although I can't imagine why anyone would care, but my agent says that it's the "right and proper" thing to do, so here it goes.
I spent most of my life determining exactly what I didn't want to do for the rest of my life. Some would say that's a waste of time, but I like to think I learned a lot when I moved on if I wasn't happy. Examples include taking a job as a cowhand at ranches in both Texas and Wyoming. I've also worked on underground nuclear missiles aimed at the Soviet Union for a few years. Strange bed fellows, I know, but it gave me stuff to talk about at job interviews besides the job I'd be doing. Anyway, along the way I got a bunch of college degrees that helped me get a job - traveled the world doing that job, and learned a bit more along the way. Even found out some more stuff I didn't want to do for the rest of my life. I'll probably get there in the end, but honestly, I hope not.