Monday, September 30, 2013

A fish story

Grandson Kyle caught his first fish over the weekend.  His pleasure was dampened somewhat by a rain downpour which shortened the Cub Scout camp out.

I told him I was reminded of my first fish.  We were enjoying a rare family outing on the Fourth of July, spending the day on Bayou Dorcheat. I was guided by an older cousin who was a veteran of many fishing trips. When my cork went under and I felt a tug I yanked, the fish came flying out of the water over my head and into a tree. I don't remember getting it down but obviously we did because I caught more fish.   Over the years, I often fished at that spot, which was occupied by fish who could eat all the bait off  while avoiding the hook.

That particular day when we were called to lunch, I baited a hook with a fish head, stuck the end of the pole in the bank, and left.  I returned  about 30 minutes later to find my pole bent toward the water and the line tight.  I pulled against a heavy weight and landed not a fish but a moccasin snake.

Obamacare -- hell is ahead

As I write this the stock market is dropping and the nation is headed to a shutdown of government.  This is just an early effect of Obamacare, which threatens to cause untold misery as millions lose their jobs or at best work part-time.

Investors Business Daily has a list of more than 300 companies which have either laid off workers or reduced their hours or both.  Millions of people who earned barely enough to live will have the impossible task of living on even less plus paying high costs of health insurance or  a fine.

A poll by Pepperdine has 63 per cent wanting a one-year delay while 27 per cent don't care if a delay does not happen.  Obama and the Democrats are committed against a delay, planning to grant waivers to favored group such as labor unions. For much of the middle class hell is ahead. 

Think what this will do to the economy.   Millions have been out of work for many months and cannot get jobs because jobs are not out there. Obamacare on top of this could be more than the country can stand.

Friday, September 27, 2013

What dishonor Congress has done

Although American people feel disgust, fear and even hatred of much of the evils of Abamacare, they have the most anger at Congress for giving themselves subsidies and protection from the pain of Abamacare.  How in hell could an honorable person do such a thing?  The answer is that Congress is not composed of decent people.

Oh, I'll concede that some members are on the whole good people and want the best for the public they are committed to serve.  Some though become arrogant shortly after taking office.  They lie in the bed with lobbyists; they punish unfairly those who disagree with them, and bribery becomes a way of life.

We need at the least an amendment to the constitution that would subject Congressmen to whatever they vote on the public.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A little about alligators

You most likely know that the catfish you enjoy in a restaurant are farm raised and the same is true of crawfish.  Less common are farm-rasised alligators, but in 2012, alligator farming was a 56 million dollar industry in Louisiana.

For some reason I receive the Louisiana Agriculture magazine, which has a picture of a baby alligator on the front cover.  An article inside reports on research going forward on dietary needs of alligators.

Other reports include articles on blue berries, rice, improving sweet potato production efficiency.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Coach Dietzel and the recruiting of Fred Miller

I seldom write sports on this blog, being more inclined to politics, but the death of former LSU coach Paul
Dietzel stirred a lot of memories.  One that stands out was after a victory by the Homer 1957 Iron Man team. Dietzel grabbed me around the neck and as we walked across the field gave me one of his recruiting speeches.  He emphasized that,  "We want Fred Miller more than any other player we are recruiting."

Fred's mother was a nurse and worked with a doctor who was a Tulane grad, and the principal not only was a graduate of Tulane but had been a star player for the school.   As expected, Tulane won that battle of recruitment.  Wait -- real LSU fans know that's not the end of the story.

Fred met the state's requirement of three years of English; Tulane required four.  Fred wound up at LSU, was an All-American defensive tackle, and played several years in the NFL.

New roof and chest pain

Well, the new roof is on.  The crew got here a few minutes before 7 and completed the job by 2:30.  Quite a difference from the time we had a roof put on, and the roofers would leave to get a beer, planning to return but failing each time.  This crew was larger and worked steadily.

The noise was terrific as they pounded the underlying wood to determine if there were weak spots.

Whether being subjected to seven hours of noise had any part in it I don't know,, but I had one of the worst spells of chest pain ever.  I gave up the bed and sat on the couch, finally being free of pain and returning to bed at a quarter of three.   I feel the effects this morning and my blood pressure is very high.  I hope to get better as the day goes on.

Monday, September 23, 2013

My sermon for the day

I felt so bad Saturday that I took to the bed at halftime of the LSU-Auburn game, something I've never done before.  Though I was not better Sunday morning I taught the Sunday School lesson and attended church.

It was at church that I began to look at things differently.  Pastor Tom read a long list of people in the hospital with serious problems, including one woman to be checked for a brain aneurysm.

Many times we have a reason to complain but we should look around and feel blessed instead.

That's my sermon for the day.

Egyptians -- why invent algebra -- build more pyramids

Without any effort my thoughts can seem strange at times.  I was regretting that I have never read Pilgrim's Progress or Dante's Inferno when from nowhere came the idea that I do not know algebra well enough to solve quadratic equations.

Actually it is not the first time I've had that thought. When I went to Baton Rouge to help recruit industry,  I had idle time and went to the library, picked up an elementary algebra book, tried to work some problems, gave up and never returned. .How did the Egyptians find time to develop algebra and build all those pyramids?

So I've got you dying to look into algebra -- what kind will you choose?

Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, Islamic, European, modern, or some other?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My best cup of coffee

The months we were on the "Magic Carpet," bringing home troops from the South Pacific, the Pickens would be in San Francisco only long enough between trips to take on supplies and take care of maintenance.That involved moving the ship from its anchorage to Moore's Dry Dock.

I returned from liberty one night and was informed the ship had moved to the dry dock and I was given directions how to reach the ship.  Fog had rolled in and visibility was near zero.  As I walked along I was by myself and began to fear I was lost in the fog and would be unable to find the ship. At this time I saw a glow in the fog, followed it and came to a little cafe.  I went in and ordered a coffee.  Now, keep in mind while the navy runs on coffee, I never drank it, but that coffee was the best thing I had ever put in my mouth.  I found out I was on the right street to reach the ship.  I never drank coffee again while in the navy and didn't become a coffee drinker until editing a newspaper.  That is still the best coffee I ever drank.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Eliminate political correctnes from security

No question that security failures were largely responsible for allowing both the Fort Hood and Washington Navy yard killers to have clearance and the opportunity to commit their murders.  I am convinced that political correctness also had a part.

Malik Hassan, who killed 13 military personnel, had evidenced in his actions and writings that he was a Muslim terrorist in belief, but because he was a Muslim, those above him who could have seen to his discharge overlooked his words and actions.

In the case of Aaron Alexis, he had committed violent acts and was mentally impaired, but because he was black this was overlooked and he was granted clearance.  He was thus able to gain access and kill 12 people.

Political correctness must be eliminated from security.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ford makes world's best engine, but car can't rival Model-T

Ford Motor Co. has received an award for making the best car engine in the world, to the astonishment and unbelief of German citizens. Actually, Ford won the award for best engine two years in a row and the engine got the highest rating ever given.

Congratulations to Ford, but I bet no car will ever be as famous and as important to the nation's economy as the Model-T.

This might be quite a leap but the only memory I have of my mother's home before her family moved to Shreveport was when I was three years old and involved a Model-T.  My memory is that in front of the house was a knoll and between the   knoll and   the road was a deep ditch. Uncle Robert Bigby, who always drove big, heavy cars, backed into our Model-T and knocked it into the deep ditch, leaving our car on its side.  No wrecker was called and none was needed.  Enough people were on hand to turn the car right side up, and the brave little Model-T powered itself our of the ditch. No harm done.

Glory be!  Obama, Kerry, Putin and Assad all agree --Syria ia is fixed.  Each leader can claim victory  and enjoy happiness. The poison gas is no longer a problem.  Saddam Hussein moved the gas to Syria ahead of the allied forces; now Syria can move it on to Libya.

You contend that problems remain -- half of the Rebels are jihadists and torture and murder.  We can choose whom  to support and arm, but we can't find anyone whose hands are not bloody. Americans still want us out of the Mideast problems.

Monday, September 16, 2013

How lovely is Obamacare

Obamacare  -- what a lovely sound.  It is not enough that this highlight of Obama's tenure could be the final blow to our weak economy, the more we learn the sicker we feel.  Obamacare is even going to pry into your sex life or lack thereof, asking such questions as how  often you have sex and with whom.

We can handle that.  If we want to we can lie like hell.  What is much worse is that our dishonorable Congress continues to try to exempt themselves from Obamacare and vote themselves subsidies to pay the costs.  We sure elect some wonderful people, don't we?

I would like a constitutional provision that any Congressman who votes to exempt himself (or herself) from laws levied on us the citizens should be taken to a tree and hanged.  I'm only halfway serious, but we should vote them out of office.

Friday, September 13, 2013

"They didn't draw blood, but it was still painfull."

I was referring to pictures being taken for a directory for Christ United Methodist Church.   Most people do not enjoy having their portrait made.  We know ahead of time that we will look worse than we wish we did.

Of course, we see ourselves in the mirror but each image is fleeting, lasting only a second or so before it changes as we change our expression.   The portrait reminds us that we are growing older, as if our aches and pains didn't keep us informed.

Spending time at the doctor's.

I had a 10 a.m. appointment with the pain doctor Wednesday.  I arrived early, at least by 9:40, and at 11 I was still waiting to be called. You know what happened after I was called; I waited in a small room for someone to take my blood pressure.  Several minutes later a medical staffer came in; we conversed and she said wait and she would have renewals for my medicine.  That was the entire purpose of the appointment,.

I've been thinking of the millions of hours that are wasted in doctor's waiting rooms.  People could be occupied with something worthwhile such as knitting  sweaters, or better yet staying home when all that's needed  is a renewal of a prescription.  When an appointment is actually needed  give the patient
a time he will be seen.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"a day which will live in infamy"

President Roosevelt used those words to describe the attack on Pearl Harbor; they apply just as well to the attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and what would have  hit the capitol had not brave passengers forced the plane down.

So today we mark the l2th anniversary of the day radical Islamists  captured planes and flew them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  America responded, as it did to Pearl Harbor, and we will respond to the threat from  Al Qaeda and other radical Islamists.

Or will we, with the lying, cowardly leadership we have?   One year ago today terrorists attacked the consulate in Benghazi, murdered our ambassador and three other Americans.  Twelve months have passed not one terrorists has been arrested.  Truly the lack of action by our government lives in infamy.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Americans oppose killing of innocents even if the United States is guilty

Obama and Kerry are misunderstanding Americans opposition to air strikes on Syria. Kerry was so wrong when he said those opposed to the strike do not care about children. Listen Mr. Detox, Americans  don't want children murdered no matter who is responsible.

Drone attacks on Pakistan and Yemen, all ordered by Obama, have killed some 800 innocent people while killing some 24 Al Qaeda members, a ratio of about 30 to one.  Americans are uncomfortable with that to say the least.

Rebels we are supporting are executing people, especially Christians, who are given a choice of converting to Islam or having their head chopped off, a practice in Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood.  Some of the most dear Christian sites are being destroyed.  Why are not the pope and the United States taking a strong stand against this? They are silent on this tragedy.

Again, we are opposed to killing of innocents no matter who is responsible.  That especially applies to the rebels we support.

Monday, September 9, 2013

What an insult -- Susan Rice again

Remember Susie?  Obama and Hillary sent her to five Sunday news programs to lie to Americans and the world that the attack on Benghazi was a spontaneous protest to a video about Islam.  Of course, we soon learned that terrorists attacked and killed our ambassador and three more, but the administration still refuses to give answers to our questions.

Now what has to be a deliberate insult Susan Rice is sent to the Sunday news programs yesterday to call for attacking Syria.  Americans can only hope that their wishes will be followed and the president will listen to them and refuse to attack.  Like you, I am beyond tired of hearing about Syria. Damage  already done is to bring about more attacks on Christians in the Mideast.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A year later -- still no answer on Benghazi

Four Americans were killed by Libyan terrorists a year ago and  Obama and Clinton have seen to it that we have no answers to our questions, including why relief was not sent.  At first, the administration told us nothing but lies, then they sulked when questioned and refused to answer, shouting "What difference does it make?"

This was just one post on my blog last September; otherwise, several items were interesting to me, leading me to review everything posted that month. If you have time and can do so easily,  check the entries for that month a year ago.

That month in 1945 the Pickens delivered troops to San Pedro where they and the ship were given a warm welcome.  The Pickens served on the "Magic Carpet," making fast trips to the South Pacific and back to San Francisco with a full load of weary troops.

I remembered and wrote about some humorous events of my past, including the discussion between two ministers of how they used scripture in giving a sermon. Mr, Matthews,  a former preacher, said he would go to the pulpit, open the bible, and preach on whatever scripture appeared.  The Presbyterian minister answered, "Maybe that's why I'm still preaching and you are not."

 I told how when in Chicago arranging a luncheon for industrial prospects,  I turned down an invitation to have dinner with Sophia Loren but slept with her  ( that is, in the same hotel.)

Why should I work?

Value of welfare payments  in 40 states are greater than a job paying eight dollars an hour, according to the Cato Institute and other sources.  In some states a worker would have to earn l5 dollars an hour to match the welfare payment.

What is the situation in Louisiana?  Welfare benefits are valued at over $22,000, while a job paying eight dollars an hour would bring in $16,500 a year.  That's not the complete story.  The worker would pay payroll taxes plus possibly  other taxes and deductions for health insurance.  The welfare  recipient, on the other hand, would not be required to pay any taxes.

I was surprised to learn that the value of welfare in neighboring states of Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas was $l0,000 a year less than that of Louisiana.

Obviously, welfare is a disincentive to work.  At the present with Obama's policies, not many jobs are available for those who want to work.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Time for serious discussion -- concerning the laying hen

Enough prattle and bombast from D.C. -- let's spend some time on serious matters -- such as the life and times of the laying hen. Yes, I mean that bird that provides the eggs for your breakfast.

First, the hen is a bird and like all birds responds  to  light, from the sun directly and artificially.  That's why birds build nests and lay eggs as days get longer in the spring.  For laying hens to produce at capacity they need 14 -- preferably 17 -- hours of light. Obviously, in winter and fall several hours must come from light bulbs or other artificial sources.

Hens are sociable creatures and, yes, they have a pecking order and soon learn who rules whom. However, a hen can recognize only about 50 other hens.  Therefore, no matter how many hens are in a house they should be provided with food, water, nests and roosting area in clusters so that each hen can avail herself of all her needs without meeting a stranger.

Now, I ask you, wasn't that more inspiring than the babble in Washington?

I oppose attacking Syria without clear goals

I do not support the proposed attack on Syria.  Several days ago I asked several questions that I wanted answered.  They have not been answered or at least not satisfactorily.  Has it been established without question that Assad used the poison gas on his people?  If he is guilty what good can we do by an attack at this late date?  Do we know what the consequences of an attack will be, and are we prepared for those consequences? What about Israel?  I am worried that Al Qaeda will take over Syria, or even worse, in my  opinion, Muslim Brotherhood could move in.

President Obama offers as justification that an attack by the United States will be "a shot across the bow" warning all nations that use of a poison gas will result in punishment.  Several of his Democrat supporters oppose the strike but say it is required to give Obama some credibility. Nothing he does now will make Obama into a president who can manage foreign diplomacy,  He is a failure there as he is with the economy.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Johnny Cash sings When the Roll is Called

Tia and Kyle with Brighton

Brighton at five months

Many jobless this Labor Day

According to the Department of Labor, Labor Day   "constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

Nice sounding words but they are meaningless to the millions of want-to-be workers who are being short-changed by our sick economy -- workers who cannot find a job of any kind, much less a job that pays enough for a family to live well enough without becoming wards of the government.

Manufacturing jobs have been lost by the millions and we do not know how to bring some back to our shores.  Governmental policies are largely responsible, and Obama's policies are making conditions worse instead of helping.

We need to form an elite organization to advise on actions we can take to improve our ability to compete with the world. Just for a beginning we could lower our corporate income tax and work toward producing all the energy this country needs.  If there is a way to repeal Obamacare, that would be a good start.

What a Sunday!

Our Sunday school class is responsible for providing the coffee and donuts each Sunday in September, beginning September 1.  The crowd was at its most numerous when I poured myself a cup of coffee. For no reason I spilled the coffee on my shirt and the floor.  Before I could wipe up the spill, AnnaKate, who is the preacher for contemporary services, was on the floor cleaning up the spill.

Embarrassing enough but that was just the beginning.  As I knelt and attempted to get some money from my pocket to put on the altar, the cushion slipped and I hit on my knee. I was up with help and went on with nothing hurt but my pride.  One lady had to say, "you don't like using your walker, do you?"