And in other stupid news…

Is it me?

Obama released his birth certificate. Big deal! It would have been more useful for him to have done this what? 2 years ago? That simple action would have avoided the whole birther stupidity.

Then we have the ongoing Trump fiasco. First he’s claiming victory for forcing Obama to release his Birth Certificate. Now he’s being accused of racism because he made comment about Obamas grades not being high enough to get into Harvard.

So for me, the question is; Were Obamas grades good enough? If we pulled other entrance grades from Obamas sophomore class at Harvard what would we see? Would his grades be at the middle of a bell curve, at the top or at the bottom? It’s a legitimate question.

It’s not a relevant question.

The fact of the matter is that Obama IS THE PRESIDENT! He has been since 2008 and there are a lot of people that need to GET OVER IT!

I’m not saying he’s a good president or a bad one. I’m personally not impressed. But history will judge if he was good for the country or not.

I’ve said all along that it is unrealistic for the American people to expect instant change in our government based solely on the installation of a new president. In his first term Obama cannot be expected to undo decades of bad political decisions.

He’d actually do well just to understand where those decisions were made, their ramifications, and what to do about them.

It will take a very strong president (Not Obama in my opinion) a full two terms in office to even BEGIN to steer the country in any direction. And that is predicated on a President even wanting to change the country’s course.

I am sick and tired of hearing the cry RACIST whenever someone asks a question that folks of color don’t like.

Asking a question don’t make you racist, it makes you curious.

If I were black and asked the same question about Former President Bush would the Racist Label still fit? I think not.

FYI folks. White people don’t have a lock on racism. The color of your skin doesn’t make you racist nor does it make you immune FROM being a racist.

Prejudice, discrimination, and hatred directed against someone of a different race makes you a racist. And you know what? That sword cuts both ways…

So how about we stop all this stupidity, let the President finish out his term and in 2012, We The People will again decide who our leader will be.

A Brief Introduction

Just a quick snapshot of my current state of mind…

You can take the boy out of the country… but cant take the country out of the boy.

I am capable of carrying on a conversation with someone that has a different opinion. That’s the art of conversation. I’ll even concede a well made point.

I don’t adhere to a strict Republican party line and I don’t automatically dismiss all the Democratic party line. I do try to be moderate.

Lets see if I can sum myself up briefly (pardon the run-on sentences).

I’m a constitutionalist.

A Liberal Red Neck, who believes in personal responsibility. I want freedom from overbearing rules and regulations designed to protect me from myself. I’m pretty sure about God, not so sure about Jesus but think either way what the guy tried to teach were very good lessons, I just wish more people worked harder to live by those lessons instead of using them to push agendas.

I’m kind of anti law. I think that the government is way too involved in our daily lives and that they really do need to get the hell out. I’d love to see us reboot all the law in this country and start again with the fundamentals.

I’m not advocating anarchy, or revolution, Im simply saying that we have 250 years of laws on the books, many of which are completely irrelevant and a large body more that are simply incomprehensible.

It shouldn’t require a law degree to read and understand a law. I think that when a law starts getting so complex that you need a lawyer to interpret it then you can’t say things like “ignorance of the law is no excuse”.

Since relatively few of the population do in fact have a law degree. What happens when someone uses “I didn’t know that was illegal” as a defense? Can you legitimately try and convict someone whose educational level precluded them from understanding a law as it was written? Don’t we end up on the slippery slope of mental incompetence at that point?

(I’ve been sitting in traffic too much. Too much time to think…)

I don’t want special laws on the books for gay marriage, or to permit inter-racial marriage. I think that Marriage should be honored, respected and extended to ANY TWO CONSENTING ADULTS, regardless of race, creed, gender, or whatever else, because Marriage (or partnering) is basic and fundamental to humans. If it’s allowed for one group… it by definition MUST be allowed for all. Religion really doesn’t enter into it in my opinion.

I contend that marriage is in reality nothing more that a contract between consenting adults that delineates ownership. No, not of the parties involved but of their possessions.

As I see it if I’m married to someone then the STATE prevents my relatives from taking my stuff away from my spouse when I die. This right of possession does not exist for a gay couple.

We’ve seen time and again where one of a gay couple dies and the other is fighting greedy relatives and the STATE to keep his or her home. This doesn’t happen often in the case of a male /female couple married or not. But it’s all too common in the case of gay couples.

Even if gay couples spent the money with lawyers to attempt to secure their rights, the legal battles often drain the estate to the point that the surviving spouse has to bear the burden of the loss and financial hardship. This is simply not fair and shouldn’t be allowed to continue.

I think since we’re in wars in the middle East we should fight them to win and establish prefectures in those countries, we should be honest about our intentions and admit we’re after the oil if in fact thats what we’re after and simply own it.

I don’t think we should give a damn about being “liked” globally, I hate the fact that we’ve been throwing money and food at broken governments and feeding people who ultimately will (or do) hate and attack us when our own people go wanting.

I think the UN should be asked to remove themselves to Geneva. The UN, like the League of Nations before it is a failure. The UN has the added attraction of being in my opinion horribly corrupt.

I’d like to see us CHARGE the UN and other Nations for our military intervention. If the world wants us to be cops… they should be willing to pay for our services. I don’t think the American Tax payer should have to bear the burden of cleaning up someone else’s mess.

I don’t want us to become more involved in Libya. I’m a bit annoyed that we’ve spent 100 million dollars on cruise missiles and that we will in all likelihood end up fighting a ground war there too.

I’d like to see our country STOP trying to impose morality and our form of government on the rest of the world. It’s none of our business if some tin pan dictator is abusing his citizens. In due time they’ll revolt and when they do they’ll be ready for a new form of government of their own design. It may be better, it may be worse but the people of any country should be the ones deciding their own fates… NOT US.

I don’t believe in gun laws. I can purchase an illegal weapon in about 1 hour in LA. Often the price is less than I would pay retail.

The big difference is, illegally there is no check on my fitness to own or operate the weapon and the illegal sellers will throw in ammo and extra magazines.

Legally, I’m subject to a 21 day waiting period, a background check, huge state and federal involvement and I have to prove I know what I’m doing with the gun.

Lets face it, the genie is already out of the bottle regarding guns. Draconian laws & excessive rules will not put the genie back in the bottle.

When I was growing up there were guns around the house, all us kids knew where they were, the guns weren’t locked up and nobody got shot by accident. I think that says something about there being no mystery about what a gun was or what it could … and could not do. As always education and training trump silly regulations.

Sexually, I’m not terribly sure what I am any more. I’ve lived the straight life, I’ve lived in the gay life, I’m not ashamed of either.

I honestly don’t think my sexuality is necessarily anybody else’s business except my close friends and the man or woman I’m sleeping with.

There was a time when I was exclusively straight and I enjoyed the heck out of being with women, but they rarely touched me in a deep emotional way. Men, on the other hand have touched me in a deeply emotional way, but it’s been somewhat transient.

I suppose that I’m happiest when I’m not being defined, contained, or labeled. At this stage in my life I’m more interested in getting back in touch with myself and not worrying about where I fit.

All of which is to say… I’m probably more conservative than liberal, More Republican, than Democrat. More about personal responsibility and common sense than laws, rules and regulations, but I’m willing to consider and listen to the other side. I’ll revise my opinions as I get more information.

Opening Volley

First of all let me get a couple of things straight right up front.

I’m not necessarily a racist.(I could be one but try very hard not to be.) Yes I’m a white male… in some circles that pretty much means that I’m a racist by default.

I’m an adult, this is an adult oriented blog. I consider human sexuality a continuum, not necessarily black or white and as such will discuss sexuality and sexual concepts from time to time. This can include activities between two consenting adults regardless of their genders.

I’m not really political. Well I wasn’t… As time has gone on I’m finding that I disagree more and more with the establishment. This means that I may well skewer a scared cow or two. I mean no overt offense but it’s possible you’re going to be offended.

If you don’t like what you read here, then sorry. I’m not going away but YOU CAN. As in all other things in life if you don’t like the message… change the channel, or turn off the computer and go outside. Play with your kids. Those are YOUR options and your rights exercise them!

South Park

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I’m pretty angry about a lot of things in general, but today I want to talk about South Park.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2010/04/20/comedy-central-censors-south-park-episode-muslim-threats/?test=latestnews

Ya know I really enjoy the show. I’ve enjoyed ALL and I mean ALL of the episodes lampooning the various silliness of religion.

Most recently I enjoyed the episodes where silly famous people were trying to harvest Muhammeds’ “Anti-ridicule” force.

I applaud comedy central for airing the second episode albeit censored. 

That an AMERICAN radical islamic website essentially threatened  the creators of South Park veiled though the threat was is completely unbelievable.

Let me explain something to you muslim morons!

  1. This is a free country, not some woman hating theocracy! 
  2. The same rights that allow you to speak your mind APPLY to everyone NOT JUST YOU!
  3. You threaten someone in this country and you better pray that nothing and I mean nothing happens to the person or persons that you threatened. Because you’ll be at the top of the suspect list if those you’ve threatened come to harm.
  4. MY RIGHTS are just as important as yours
  5. NOBODY forced you to watch South Park… or for that matter look at the cartoons of Muhammad. GET OVER IT! In the case of South Park… they made no attempt to capture or caricature Muhammads likeness AND THEY ADDRESSED that the RADICAL Islamic and apparently the NOT so radical islamic groups would have a problem with the mere mention of your prophet. 

Presumably you people came to this country because you WANTED to enjoy the freedoms that we as a people enjoy in America. 

If you don’t like that I’m free to make fun of Muhammad then I suggest that you go the HELL back to whatever third world cesspit you came from. 

I also feel it my duty to point out a couple of other things that you people clearly don’t get about being in America.

  1. I as a citizen am DUTY BOUND to protect your right to say anything you want to say. EVEN IF I disagree with you with every fibre of my being. BY THE WAY you’re under the same obligation to me if you’re a Citizen.
  2. If you feel it’s necessary to try to harm me or my kin because you disagree with what we say or think… You should be prepared for US to defend ourselves in the most vigorous way. I sincerely hope that you are smart enough to realize that this is not a threat… THIS IS A PROMISE! A World war II Japanese military man is credited with saying something like ” were we to invade America the weapons arrayed against us would be more numerous than blades of grass.” You should probably bear that in mind before you decide to attack America again.

I don’t particularly like religious nut jobs in general. I really don’t like religious nut jobs that offer ultimatums like “convert or we will kill you”. 

You should probably be aware that most Americans take a very dim view of people that attack Civilians or civilian targets. We Americans remember 911 and the brutally slow beheading of 26 year old Nick Berg vividly. 

I’ve personally got no pity in my heart for folks who were Waterboarded or embarrassed at Abu Ghriab.

Bottom line, Don’t you DARE try to force your beliefs down my throat… I’ll afford you people the same courtesy. 

Cross that line at your own peril.

Something you may not know about me

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A couple of years ago I was with a friend in a mall and ran across this place called The Art of Shaving.


They were selling OLD School shaving implements. I was quite taken with the Nickel razor and brush set in the upper left of the photo.


I bought the set and the soap and several other products.


I get all this home and found that I really enjoyed shaving with a brush. Surprisingly it doesn’t take any more time than shaving with the stuff out of the can.


In the last year… I became increasingly interested in going REALLY old school! So that led to the purchase of my first straight razor.


The first time I shaved with a straight razor I was shaking pretty badly toward the end but I could see the potential. Theory and reality are Ummmm not exactly in alignment and I had the cuts to prove it!


You guys out there know, most of the time we shower, dry off, and shave without bothering to dress between one thing and another. So I’m half way through my first shave (drawing blood in a couple of places) when it dawns on me “If I drop this razor… I’m gonna really hurt myself”. If ever there was an incentive to really think about what you’re doing that was it! Talk about FOCUS!

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My first razor is a Dovo (German make). It’s got a personality all it’s own and gives a good shave.  I didn’t even think about the possibility of different razors having different characteristics when I started down this particular rabbit hole.


From the various reading I’d done on the subject of straight razors. I’d learned that you probably wanted more than one razor. The reasoning behind this is you want to be able to switch off and let the blade rest.


If you choose not to have a few razors then you’re going to be sharpening the one you own a lot more frequently depending on your beard and other factors.  


Those other factors hit me bright and early one Sunday morning. I was happily shaving with my Dovo when I caught the edge of the blade on the faucet of the sink. I was rinsing the blade and got too close to the faucet taking a chunk out of the blade. %&*^$$&&!!!! 


I called around and found out that sharpening the blade could repair the damage but that there were darn few people that had the skills to sharpen a straight razor. 


Additionally, these guys are BUSY! in recent years theres been a bit of a renaissance in straight razor shaving. Which has led to a bunch of guys just like me. 


Guys who are trying to rediscover for whatever reason the lost art of straight razors and who have absolutely no clue about how to put an edge on a knife… much less the finer edge required on a razor.


I turned to the internet and stumbled across a place in Palm Springs that was pretty much full service. I went to their web site and while I was arranging for the repair of my razor, I took a look at their “new razor” store. BIG Mistake!

 

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…My next razor acquisition was a French blade made by Theirs-Issard. It’s a completely different feel against your throat. It’s light and agile and flickable. 


This a a beautiful razor. It’s got some detail work along the spine that sets it apart from many of the other razors I’ve looked at. 


OK at this point I’m hopelessly hooked.  I’m shaving with the straight razors on the weekends. Kind of as a nice ritual for myself. Long shower, quiet time and a slow meticulous shave. (Slow at this point because I’m still learning and don’t want to “Sweeney Todd” myself!). 


My Dovo came back a week or two later and is good as new. Now I had a razor for Saturday and Sunday and I’m happy.


What I find though is that I’m beginning to PREFER the straight razors over the standard safety razor. And I’m putting off shaving for days just so I can enjoy the weekend shave.


I hear that the place in Palm Springs has opened a retail store, prior to this they were mail order only. So I make a point of going to Palm Springs for a day and I visit the store. MISTAKE!!!!! (Well not really…)


I needed some supplies. I’d been using items from The Art of Shavings line. Occasionally, I’d picked up things from the Anthony mens line.


I walked into the store and was a very happy man. The store has soaps in all varieties and flavors. They’ve collected a bunch of different manufacturers products together and provide samples. It was great and they also had my downfall… A case full of razors.

 

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…. The next razor I bought,  is an American blade made by Hart Steel. This puppy has a completely different feel from the first two razors. This is a slightly larger blade and it’s got a point on it that the two European designs don’t have.

 


It’s a great shave too. But you really have to be mindful of the point… I dang near did a Van Gogh on myself the second time I shaved with this bad boy. We’ve since learned to respect each other and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


At this point… I’m shaving more often with the Straight razors than with the safety razor. I’m no longer reserving the straight razor experience for just the weekend. I’m getting experience and nicking myself far less often than I did in the beginning. 


There’s a Zen like quality to using these blades and I enjoy that they enforce a quietness and focus that you don’t get with the safety razors or electrics. You really have to be present in the here and now while you’re shaving with one of these.


If you’ve ever considered going old school, I say take the plunge! 


I’ll grant you that the start up is pricy. But the overall cost drops significantly once you get set up.


Let me bore you with a couple more points.


This is as green as you can get! 


You don’t throw anything away, the soaps are usually all natural and organic. 


The shaving oil is all organic and often comes in glass bottles.

 

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The razors are resharpened not disposed of.

With proper care and handling the razors also can be handed down because they’re built to last.

As a side benefit to all of this… I’ve gotten to a point where I want to know how to sharpen my own razors rather than sending them out to professionals. 

Learning to sharpen my razors will also mean that I’ll be able to sharpen the kitchen knives and many other things that have an edge. So in future, I won’t be replacing knives as much.

OH and to my Family….

If I mysteriously die in a Sweeney Todd type accident. If the cut is on my right, I was murdered. If the cut is on my left it’s a accident! I am notoriously hard on the left side of my throat, I haven’t a clue about why… but if i’m gonna cut myself it’s always on the left!

 






Arrogant medical “Professionals?”

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I recently was in a doctors office reading the paperwork that doctors offices have you fill out when you’re either a new patient or you’re seeing the doctor for the first time in a calendar year.
There was an innocuous line that read “Emergency Contact” I thought oh that makes sense… then I noticed some fine print at the bottom of this “Emergency Contact” section of the form. The fine print said “We may contact this person if you fail to pay your bill, or we are unable to contact you and they will be held financially responsible if you are unable to provide payment for services rendered.”
WHAT?!?!?!?
So I left the contact blank. I’d rather end up alone and unconscious in a hospital somewhere than risk some BS accounting mistake (and they’ve happened to me) exposing my friends, or family to a collection agent.
The little front desk girl told me I had to fill out that box. I told her no. She told me that I couldn’t see the doctor if I didn’t fill it out. I told her fine and She’d be hearing from the American Medical Association,  the newspapers, ACLU, and my Attorney and if she really wanted to push the issue. Yes yes I realize that none of those people would give a rats you know what about it. The obvious solution was to find another physician but I was in a mood… So what? She let me pass and guided me into an exam room… I suppose it helped that there was a waiting room full of patients and she really didn’t need the conflict.
So now I’m in an exam room and this nurse? Administrative person? comes in and takes my BP and starts asking me questions of any medications that I’m taking. Apparently she had some difficulty with one of the meds and in heavily accented English asks me something that sounded like “Jawotuwtpil” my translation system strained, couldn’t find a match and I said, “what? “
Now she’s exasperated and she says something like “ifutakcloruhavatakwtpil!”
In my head this is going on. Translation running….. Parsing….. possible meanings in this context based on drug interaction ….
“If you’re taking potassium you have to take a water pill” further, “water pill” in this instance is the term for diuretic and if often used by people that are uneducated (ie your grandmother) and/or can’t say the word diuretic.
To which I say no I’m not taking a diuretic except for the light dose contained in one of the other medications listed there on the paper that I filled out 10 minutes ago.
Then she calls me a liar because I must be taking something else.
Ok now I’m really getting annoyed. I tell her that my GP is down the hall in the same building on the same floor and she can go have a chat with him if she would like to alter my prescriptions. Then I asked her “And you’re Doctor who????” She snaps that she doesn’t have time to go talk to my doctor down the hall and storms out.
An hour and a half later….
I get up off the little exam table having become throughly bored and by this time fairly pissed off. I’m looking up the number to the insurance company and dialing it as I open the exam room door and walk smack into the Doctor that I was supposed to see. I tell him that we’re done, I don’t have time to have 3 hours of my day shot to hell because he’s too busy to keep his appointment schedule.
Then it occurs to me that the office staff may have been playing games and since I’m here and he’s here we should discuss what I was there to discuss anyway.
So we have a nice discussion and he seems competent and he recommends that I have another diagnostic screening that will answer the questions definitively. Then he orders the staff to set up the screening and they all snap to work.
He and I will be having a conversation about his staff the first visit.