Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Tale of the Great Whatsit

Wine and Circuses...

I know I don't need to explain the metaphor. You all know about the fear our founding fathers had of their Republic going the way of Rome. They spoke and wrote often of wine and circuses that would distract the public from the misdeads of the government.

The TV get's the majority of the blame. Even Fred laments its siren song. Yet the TV is not what distracts us my friends. The distraction is the Election Cycle itself.

It doesn't matter who you vote for... Republican... Democrat... as long as you are participating, then you are reinforcing your belief in the system.

Let me explain it as easily as I can... Imagine...

You're angry at the Great Whatsit... now I'm not going to go into any detail about what the Whatsit is, or why you should be angry at it. It just is, and you just are. Standing in front of you are three great machines, each with a crank on it. Each machine has a sign next to it, explaining how turning it's crank will harm the Whatsit, the trouble is, you are only allowed to use one machine... Again... I am not going into how turning a crank on a machine is going to harm the Whatsit. The point is you have to decide.

So... being the intelligent, reasonable, and angry fellow that you are... you busy yourself studying the three machines and investigating their various claims. You invest great time and energy... because you are very angry at the Whatit, and you will make it pay! Stupid Whatsit...

What you don't know... What the Whatsit would never let you know... is there is actually only one machine, and the Whatsit built the damned thing. It only looks like three machines. The machine doesn't actually harm the Whatsit at all. In fact, the cranking of the cranks actually gives the Whatsit quite a buzz. So while you are scurrying about investigating cranks and levers, spending money on Crank Ads, and trying to convince your friend that one crank is far more effective than the others... The Whatsit is happily mocking you, robbing you blind, sleeping with your wife, and generally being an Ass. Which, now that I think of it, is why you are in fact mad at the Whatsit in the first place... so I guess I went into that after all...

Perception and Reality people. The Wine and Circuses were about distraction. They were about finding a way to make the public take its eye off the ball. When you go to the poll, and you pull that R lever... or the D lever... you are saying, "I believe in the system."

Now you folks going to pull the L lever or the C lever... you are perhaps the worst of all. You believe in the system more than anyone else. You aren't just pulling levers out of loyalty or habit. You've actually thought about it, and are making a choice. If die hard republicans are fools for thinking thier party is conservative, the only people more foolish than them, are you who think that your vote for a third party means anything to anyone but you.

As long as you're voting, the ruling class knows it has nothing to fear. Your vote, no matter who its for, is a vote of confidence in the System, and as long confidence in the system is there, the Bi-factional ruling class will be able to use that system to mock you, rob you blind, sleep with your wife, and generally be an ass.
Slow Days

Sorry about the lack of posts. As you can imagine its been pretty busy around here. We've got alot of stuff to figure out. Julie got scanned yesterday, and informally, it looks like she's at least 7 weeks, and more likely 8 or 9 weeks... So early or mid April. We saw the little fella's heartbeat, and we wiggled around a little for us too. Accomodating little bugger!

Julie thinks its a girl... I think it's a boy... but who knows? Either way its another youngin' around and that's always good news.

Jeb's great with babies. You wouldn't believe how gentle the kid is. He pets their head... and he's always trying to bring them his toys or offer them his sippy-cup. Cracks me up.

Good times ahead.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Opening Night

The College Football season kicked off lastnight, and thank God for it. Between the Olympics that no one cares about, and the baseball season that no one cares about, and Dale Jr's slump, its been a rough summer!

So what did we learn last night? The more things change, the more they stay the same. USC came out flatter than UT at the Peach Bowl. They could run the ball, but for some reason they kept forgetting too. Their passing game was ugly, and the coaches didn't seem to have any idea how to fix it.

On the other side, a far inferior Virginia Tech team was busily kicking some USC ass.

Coming out of halftime, the USC offense totally folded. They had a couple plays for a loss, and ended up punting. The Virginia Tech Nuttless Turkeys then took the ball and started ramming it down USC's throat. The key moment of the entire game came with Va Tech on their own 40. Randal heaves the ball down field, and a USC corner totally over-runs the play. The underthrown ball fall right into the reciever's hands at the USC 20 yardline.

No wait... Aren't these SEC officials? Oh yeah... there's the flag I was looking for. You see, as the idiot cornerback over-ran the play, the wideout made the aggregious error of waving him buy with his right hand. Offensive Pass-Interference. Now, instead of 1 and 10 on the Trojan 20, the Nuttless Turkeys are now 2nd and 20 on the va tech 30 or so. Nice. That one call totally changed the game. USC used it as a wake-up call. It wasn't USC's coaches that elevated their play, or the leaders in the huddle. It was the Zebras. Go home proud boys. The number one team in the country. Call me unimpressed.

SEC officials suck. Their blown calls affected the outcomes of at least 4 games last year, and several more the year before. We've been promised time and again that the SEC would handle this officiating issue. Judging by last night's game... nothing has changed at all.

*** As an aside, understand that I am by no means a Va Tech fan. I had no horse in this race. So this is one impartial oppinion that saying the Nuttless Turkeys got robbed.***
Real Estate and the Coming Doom

For some reason our buddies Res Ispa and Bill have assumed that since I believe a future increase in energy demand is going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back, that I am somehow unaware of the 50 tons of stupid monetary policy, and real estate bubble the poor thing's been trying to hold up.

As an unashamed conspiracy buff, I've been keeping an eye on ole Fred (Freddie mac). Yes, I believe there are some huge problems there, and of course, it has potential to be a major blow to the economy.

But people... Fred's problems are nothing compared to a few simple realities...

1) Damned near every house in America has a mortgage on it.
2) The majority of those houses have 2nd mortgages.
3) Of all the houses with mortgages on them, only about 1/4 are actually worth what is owed.

Ya know what that means? We're screwed. This entire recovery have been built on debt taken on by home-owners.

So does this mean it's time to sell your house and find something to rent? It depends on the situation. If you owe a ton of money on the house, and you think you can find a sucker to dig you out of the hole, absolutely! Sell it, and buy something you can afford.

If you own rental property... You can play it different ways. You think the market is gonna go down, you could always short it right? Sell your rentals now, and buy back more for a whole lot less. Either way, I don't think the future for the rental industry is bad at all. Lots of folks are fixing to lose their homes. The demand for rentals is gonna be sky high.

The world's going down the drain boys. Cheers!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Inflation in Plain English

I know... A lot of your eyes glaze over when you see words like 'inflation'. Its understandable. Guys like TZ, Jamie, Res Ispa, and Vox start tossing around acronyms and trader jargon and most us would rather just turn off our brain.

Something bad is coming though, and I feel like its as good a time as any to tell you about it, as plainly as possible.

Lets start with energy, one of the few things that everyone has to have. Oil and Gas for heating... Gasonline to run the cars... Electricity to run the pc's, lights, and microwaves. It's the one thing we all buy, all the time.

Now switch gears and think back to high school economics. Remeber the law of supply and demand? Why are diamonds worth more than paper? Exactly... because they are uncommon and everyone wants them.

Time to get to the point. A decade ago only a tiny number of people in China owned cars. As recently as 1999 only 200,000 were sold. This year alone more than 2 million cars will be sold in China. China will have 30 million cars by 2010, just as many as the good ol' US of A. That's an enormous pressure to put on supply.

What's that going to do to the cost of Energy? If you said, it's going to skyrocket, move to the head of the class.

Historically, whenever there has been a sudden massive demand on energy like this... well... Something Wicked This Way Comes.

You think $1.90 per gallon is a high price for gasoline? HA! Just wait.

Now lets look at your pocket. Remeber 1998? How much was gas back then? I don't know about you, but I remember payin' 99 cents for a gallon of the stuff. What about milk? How much was it back then? $1.50? It's almost $3.00 now. How about real estate? If your area is like mine, then you've probly seen the housing market boom over the last 10 years too. I know that a house my parents looked at in 1992 has more than doubled in value, and my house has increased almost %50 in just 3 years.

So prices go up with time... that's ok though, because we all get cost of living raises right? So I'm sure all of you are making double what you were 5 years ago, right?

Welcome to Inflation boys and girls. Prices go up, wages remain stagnant or decrease. You work just as hard, and probably harder than you did before, and you watch helplessly as the money you earn buys you less and less.

It's happening all over America, and all over the world right now. The talking heads are doing their dead level best to spin it away, but in the end, it's futile talk. The die is cast.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Big News

Ok fine... I had no intention of giving this up but with even Bufelda chiming in I guess I'll cave. Julie's knocked up y'all. Originally we had planned on waiting until she was out of residency, but what can I say? I got the job done ahead of schedule.

Julie came and woke me up a few days ago all cryin' and stuff... "I'm pregnant!!!"

"Look.. I'm sorry if I don't act all suprised and stuff... but well... I've known you were pregnant for weeks."

Let's face it, chicks are different when they are pregnant. They're not all different in the same way, but after living with julie through one pregnancy, it was plain as day the second time. She was tired all the time, she was real emotional, her eating habits were changing... It was just obvious. She kept taking tests, and they kept showin' up negative... but all the while I just though... "man that's wierd that all those tests keep getting it wrong."

I was never dumb enough to say that to her of course.

She hasn't been to the Dr yet so we don't know how far along she is... I'm thinking 8-10 weeks. We'll see. As for the boy girl thing... I think we'd rather have a boy... I like he idea of having an additional pair of eyes to watch over my future daughter, and an additional pair of hands to help bury any bodies that should find themselves in need of buryin'.
Tennessee a Swing State?

An article in Slate magazine nails it:

Kerry does need to worry about Tennesseans like Troy Oatsvall—the Troy of Troy's Barbershop. Oatsvall, who's cut hair in Huntingdon for 40 years, never voted for a Republican presidential candidate before George W. Bush. He regrets his Bush vote, just not enough to check the box for Kerry. "I don't like what Bush has done in Iraq. I don't think one American boy is worth that whole country. But I don't like Kerry. Did you ever meet someone and just not like the way he looks? That's the way I feel about Kerry. I just don't like the way he looks."

For three days in Tennessee, that is practically the nicest thing I hear about Kerry from a Democrat. Tennessee Democrats say Kerry wants to take their guns, that he's more liberal than Al Gore, that they don't know anything about him and don't really care to, that the only reason to vote for him is that he isn't Bush.

A swing state? Not hardly.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

SEC Preview: Tennessee

It's football time in Tennessee!

Well folks it's that time of year, so lets get down to it. After going 10-2 last year the mighty Vols look a little vulnerable. Beware. Looks can be decieving.

Two true freshmen are have been named co-starters. Ainge, the architypal white QB has shown rediculous pocket presense. The kid seems unfazed by pressure. He's been solid as a rock. Schaeffer on the other hand is the model black QB. He's flashy. He's got moves that most of us wouldn't believe, but he's also turned the ball over a few times. Look for the Macho Man Randy Sanders (offensive coordinator) to develope different packages for each kid. I'm sure we're going to have a few flashes of brilliance, and I'm also sure that once or twice we're gonna want to wring their damned necks. They are freshmen after all.

UT is loaded here. While Cedric Houston has dreams of replacing Travis Henry as UT's all-time leading rusher, those of us in the real world know that junior Gerald Riggs, jr is the baddest horse in the stable. He's the whole package, a slasher with knock-you-on-your-ass power. Plowing the road for Riggs will probably be Jabari Davis. The Denver Broncos have probably been scouting Davis since he was 10 years old. He's right up their alley. He's a one move, then up the field runner. Look for UT to platoon these guys in up to a 4 man rotation with scatback Larkin. This group is going to have to produce big time to take the pressure of the rookie QBs.

Offensive Line:
Not a lot to say here. The big eaters from last year remain largely intact for 2004. Its true that the Defense pushed them around pretty good in a few early scrimmages but lately they have fought to a draw and have even begun to open some good holes. This is a strong group and the early domination by the defensive line is more of a testomy to it's own strength, than it is a detrement to the offensive line.

Wide Receiver U is back baby! The Vols are as loaded at wideout as they have ever been. Playmakers abound, from proven threats like James Banks (suspended for three games) to the 6-4 rookie who recently ran the 40 in 4.28 seconds. By the way, that performance broke UT's record for the 40-yard dash. When you consider then NFL players who've come from UT (stallworth, wilson, washington) that's pretty freakin' strong. Given the depth at the position, it's unlikely that we'll see a 1000 yard reciever, but without question, we will see some playmakers making plays. If this group can make some tough catches, UT will definately have a deadly offense.

Defensive Line:
This group is lead by a junior-college transfer who stepped up to the plate and benched 565 pounds. He wanted to try 585, but the trainers wouldn't let him. Plates won't be the only thing this group shoves around this year. The O-linemen in the SEC are often between 300 and 330 pounds, but the Vols definately have the guns to get the necessary up-field push. With atheletes inside and out, this group will pressure the quarterback.

The deepest position on a team with an aweful lot of depth. Some big hitters returned last from the unit that was largely responsible for shutting down Miami, in Miami. They will bring the hurt. Nuff Said.

Young group, with a ton of talent and speed. If there is a weekspot on the Vol D, it's right here. These kids have been burnt a few times in the scrimmages. Of course, going up against those WR's, you expect that. The safteys are as fast as any in the SEC though, so run support is good. They come hard, and they have bad intentions.

This is the big question mark. Two years in a row now UT has phoned in their bowl games. It's hard to blame a team that went 10-2 and beat Miami on the road though, for being down about going to the **AHEM** Peach Bowl. Whatever. They got bitchslapped by Clemson, and that's just not acceptable. The Macho Man Randy Sanders is on the hot seat, but there are those in Vol country who are looking a little more skeptically at Fulmer than they ever have before. Chavis is seen as a golden boy around Rocky Top, but no one has forgotten how many games his pathetic prevent defense has cost the Vols over the years.

The Outlook:
You heard it here first: The Reports of the Death of the Vols have been exajurated. Neyland Stadium is the toughest place to play in the SEC. There are well over 100,000 fans, and Rocky Top blares over 40 times per game. While the faithful sailors in the Volunteer Navy wring their hands and fret over the possibility of an unthinkable 3 loss season, the Vols are quietly putting together a 10-2 monster. The Vols have to get over their Georgia plague. Even if they don't though, a BCS birth is still realistic for this team. Despite the hand-wringing down at the docks.

Black Water in Knoxville

Back in I guess... 1999, Julie and I moved to Knoxville. She had just finished the first two years of medical school and she had the option of doing her 3rd and 4th years at UT Knoxville instead of UT Memphis. We had friends in Knoxville, and well... it wasn't Memphis... which, if you're white, and you've ever been to Memphis, you know is a good thing.

The upside of moving to Knoxville was pretty simple. Julie wanted to do her residency at the UT Medical Center there, and we had friends there. Not to mention that Knoxville is just a great town. It's a college town that has managed to maintain an identy of its own, beyond just the college.

There was a catch of course... I had just been offered a job to basicly run the entire mortgage wing of a large regional bank based in Memphis. It was a dream job for me. I would write the underwriting guidlines for the whole bank, and see them followed. I would get to select the processing software and streamline the processing system to my liking. Imagine... an offer to take control of a multi-million dollar institution... And that offer came with the pledge of all the monitary support I would need.

But... it was in Memphis... and we really didn't want to be in Memphis. As tempting as it was, it was a death sentence. If I had taken it, I would still be in Memphis today, and I certainly would not be as happy as I am now.

So we moved to Knoxville. Now part of the upside to moving to knoxville was the fact that the Medical school provided us with an apartment for free. The downside, however, was that same apartment.

This is the same apartment that I described in the story about the fact chick in the world's slowest elevator. Misery people! Misery!

Anyway, we knew we were gonna be there for at least 2 years, so we settled in. We broke every rule you can think of. You're not allowed to paint... we painted the whole apartment. No Wallpaper. We wallpapered the bathroom. No Pets. We had two cats. We also had a contraband dishwasher... and oh yeah... we cartpeted the whole think too!

The other, not so minor catch, was this was part of campus. So no firearms. Of course... we had an apartment full of them...

Well.. time went along and everything was pretty cool. I got a job at Client Logic doing tech support for DSL, and we were pretty much on cruise control.

Now finally... we get to the meat of the tale. This is the story... of one of the worst days of my life... and how I came to know that Shane Smith, Esquire (VRWC), was indeed my friend, and always would be.

It was our last winter in Knoxville. Julie was in Memphis finishing up a rotation that wasn't offered at UT Med Center, so I was on my own. I was plannin' on meetin' julie in Murfreesboro that weekend though.

Friday afternoon I set about getting everything packed up to head out. I had snuck the guns out... thank God... and I was making my last trip to the car...

Halfway to the elevator I realized I'd forgotten something... so I went back. I walked down my hall... stuck the key in the lock... and well... I seem to remember hearing something...

I opened the door and the world went black.

I was blasted with something foul... at incredibly high pressure. I fell back against the wall in the hallway, opened my eyes, and found that the sprinkler system in my apartment was spewing black filth everywhere.

I was soaked, and the fire alarms were going off. Fuck!

I walked down the 12 flights of stairs... amonst countless angry, yet dry people, who were bitching in 15 different languages. I made my way to the office were a bunch of college kids were trying to figure out what the hell just happened.

So I'm standing there... soaking wet with black soot infected water.... and one of these snot-nosed kids says, "Can I help you?"

"The spinkler in my apartment just broke."

"You have to go outside."

"It's 25 degrees outside. I am soaking wet, and there is no fire. I'm not going outside."

"You have to go outside."

"Are you blind? Can you even spell hypothermia you idiot? The system broke. There is no fire."

"You will go outside or I'll call security."

"Call them."

15 minutes later I'm standing outside along side two UT security guards, with my bluejeans literally freezing to my legs, while my apartment, and everything I own is being flooded...

They finally allow us to go back in... and at this point, I've been outside so long that my clothes are practically dry. I would've been blue, were I not already black, from the filth ridden 20 year old stagnat water that had just erupted all over me.

I get up to my floor, and find the whole thing flooded in black discusting water... about 4 inches deep. There are firemen all around, and there was this old gruff inspector who looked pissed. They had finally got the system turned off, and were in the process of sucking up some of the water.

Now... if you've never experienced losing everything you own... you wouldn't understand the shape I was in. Let's just say... I was... out of it. I was bug-eyed... a bad combination of pissed off and scared...

Well... the inspector starts giving me shit. Aparently he didn't like my explaination. He held out his hand, and it had several pieces of the sprinker in it.

"You know what that is?"

"No sir, I don't, but I reckon it's probly off that sprinkler in my apartment."

"See how it's broken like that? You know how that happened?"

"Nope. I wasn't in there when it broke."

"So you think it just broke on it's own."

"I ain't got any idea how it broke. I don't know how those things work, but it wouldn't be the first mechanical device to fail after 20 years would it?"

"They usually don't fail like this."

"I've got a lot of stuff to do... so are you telling me usually means never?"

At that point he lead me to the front door of my apartment. He pointed out the splatter pattern on the door. Apartently the door was dirty on both sides and that seemed strange to him.

"I opened the door sir."

"But it's dirty on the backside."

"Great. Was the door open or closed when you got here?"

"Well... it was closed."

"Guess that's how it got dirty then huh?" I knew I was bein' a smartass to someone I had no business being a smartass to, but for some reason I couldn't make myself act normal. At that point, I wasn't screaming and cussing everyone in sight, and that's about the best I could do.

He let me go back down the hall to find a dry spot to sit. I found a towell to dry my hair and one of the firemen gave me a blanket. Shame he didn't offer a shot o' Jack. God knows that's what I needed.

At about 11 pm they were starting to pack it all up... and a fella told me the inspector had another question. He did his little hand thing again... This time there was a wet black Q-tip in it.

"You know what that is?"

"yessir. That's a Q-Tip."

"You use these?"

"Well... at the risk of giving away my secrets to personal hygene... no. I don't."

"You live alone in there?"

"No sir. I'm married. Wife lives there too."

"She use these?"

"I have no idea. Girls may use them for make-up and such."

"You know why we would've found this inside your front door?"

"Well.. Wife coulda dropped it there... I don't know..." Looking back, I shoulda stopped right there... but now I was really pissed and what short fuse I had left was quickly been lit-up by the way this old bastard was talking down to me. I decided to make my attitude a little more clear...

"I'll tell ya what I do know though... I know you're a pretty smart guy, and you've got some smart guys workin' for ya down a lab. It don't matter what I say to you about that Q-tip. Either way, you're gonna have them test it to see if it's ever been on fire. So why don't ya just get to it?"

He smiled for the first time that night... then he leaned a little closer and said,

"I will."


Away... at this point... all the way across town.. Shane Smith, Esquire (VRWC) is just gettin' home from work. He's been bustin' his butt all day, and all he wants to do crawl in the bed. He's peeling his socks off his feet when his half-asleep, yet adorable wife Brook mumbles...

"Julie called, Nate's havin' some trouble over at the apartment."

Lots of people have lots of friends y'all. But how many of 'em can really count on their friends?

I ain't got a lot of friends by no means... but I've got a few friends I can count on... and while Hell is unproven... I can damn sure count on them come high water.

Shane pulled into the parkin' lot as the Fire Engines were leaving. hehehe... a little trouble.. that's what his wife said... a little trouble... right...

Shane and I spent the rest of the night moving ruined furniture out of the apartment... cutting up ruined carpet with dull razors, and dragging 700 pound trash cans to elevators...

The boy even went so far as to guard my personal affects from the prying eyes of the janitors who were helpin'. Though no doubt he still has questions about the pink fuzzy hand-cuffs that were hangin' in the closet.

We finished... as much as one can finish such a thing, around 3:30am, and made it to bed around 4:00.

Lastnight Shane called... and we were talkin' about all this... he said, "I can still smell that nasty black water"

"yeah I know... and I can still taste it."

Thanks for your help buddy.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Thought of the Day

Bold was the man who first ate a lobster.

Friday, August 20, 2004

God Likes "Regressive" Taxes

ok... I really don't know what God likes or not... but I do know that a flat 10% tithe fits the bill of what liberals describe as a regressive tax.

Few things irritate me like hearing a Christian rant on about how God wants the rich to pay high taxes, and how support of tax cuts for the wealthy is somehow anti-Christian.

Listen up people! Just because I don't think the government has any business in Charity, doesn't mean that I don't like poor people!

In short, I don't think the government should be helping poor people. I think you and I should. Using the Government to help the poor is forcing people into charity. That may sound good, but Robin Hood was still a damned thief, and they should've strung him up.

Did it ever occur to anyone that the money that Robin Hood stole was being sent to a blacksmith, who had toiled all year working for the King? Or to the Baker? or to the men who built the new Mill that was now going to employ the poor?


Iranians and Office Tyrants

So we have the moron Ayatollas over in Iran talking big now. This is what I love about arabs. They act like power obsessed women. They talk big and when not involved in a real confrontation, they have all the courage in the world. However, like women, as soon as someone gets in their face, they piss themselves. See Saddam for details.

Now this may be unfair to women, because its certainly a trait found in modern men as well, but its far more common with Super-Power Carreer Girls. They've got more bravado than a 12 year-old mexican street urchin. I can't tell you how many women I've worked for that fit this mold, and how many times I've seen these same women, who strive so hard to earn the "she takes no crap" award, piss themselves when confronted.

In general, when you meet a manager that frequently talks about people behind their backs, this description will apply.

My advice? When one of these cowards comes around and starts talking crap, challenge them. Women in power do not know how to handle a confrontation. 90% will do one of two things; they will either panic, and give you the deer-in-the-headlights look, completely unable to respond to anything you say, or, they'll totally lose control and throw a screaming mad fit.

In either case, you've exposed them for the idiot that they are. You accomplish a couple things this way... One, Captain Takes-No-Crap will suddenly be your buddy, and two, Captain Takes-No-Crap will have learned a valuable management lesson: Know with whom you can f**k, and with whom you cannot.

By the way... This is exactly how I would handle the idiots in Iran. What's that? you say you're considering a pre-emptive strike against US forces? Oh? OK! That's good enough for me. Let the Carpet Bombing commence!!!

I had a blow hard of a boss in Memphis. What a moron this guy was... Management by fear and intimidation... anyway... He would sometimes run though the office cussing everyone. He would pick out someone, almost at random, and ream them a new one for what ever miniscule mistake he was able to find or imagine. He would dog cuss these people, and they'd let him by with it.

Interestingly... the whole time I worked for the guy though, he never once tried it with me. Why? Because he knew damned well I wouldn't take it, and he couldn't afford to get called out in front of all the others in the office. He would occasionally rant at a group of us, but when he did, I would always make a point to stare him down. I would make eye-contact, and dare him to say something to me. In two years... he never did. In fact, he would almost always ask me to come outside with him afterwards, so he could bitch about how stupid everyone else was, and to ask my advice on fixing it.

That's the way you treat a bully who never grew up. That's the way Bush should treat these moron Iranians.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Bad Day

Do us a favor... If you've got a kid, go give 'em a hug.

In Julie's line of work, you sometimes have days like this.

I had thought about going into some detail, and telling y'all about it... but there's no point. Lets just say that there was a little girl who was doing fine... then totally without warning... the kid coded. They tried like hell, but they couldn't save her.

It's a lot worse than that... but there's no reason to go into more detail. Prayers welcome.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Exorcist: The Beginning

I watched the trailer tonight... and then I started drinking. It's creepy. Very Very Creepy. Now, don't take this as an endorsement of the film. I have conserns about the movie. I understand that the movie was completed, then the studio abruptly fired the director, and hired another to do some re-shoots. In typical arrogant director fashion, he re-shot the whole damned thing.

A good creepy trailer is one thing... a creepy movie is something entirely different. We'll see though. It would certainly be a welcome change.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Where is GnR?

I'm 30 years old. I'm not an old fart... So why am I forced to listen to old fart music?

Lets have a history lesson though... Through-out rock n' roll's past, as far back as Elvis, there has always been a guy, or a band, that ruled the day. More often than not, these bands would be hardcore rebels. They have an edge. Elvis in the 50's... Hendrix in the 60's... Led Zeplin in the 70's. Then came the 80's. We were left without. Music was largely dominated by pretenders like Poison and Cinderella, which... as bad as they were, were infinitly better than the prepackaged wanna-be's like Winger and Kixx. Motley Crue stepped up to the plate to try to be the Rock Gods... but they folded like school-girls. Home Sweet Home? Are you kidding me? You pussies.

We were left to languish, but little did we know... in the ratty bars of Hollywood, a band was forming that would simply rule the world.

When Guns and Roses released Appetite for Destruction, and instantly filled that void. I can honestly say that I've never heard anything like that album before or since.

GnR ruled rock until the Rock Gods saw fit to bestow the Crown on some boys from Seattle. They were to busy self-destructing to see it though.

Curt Cobaine couldn't handle Rock God status... or courtney love couldn't... and one of the two of them blew his head off.

The crown then fell to Pearl Jam. Though, you can certainly argue that they were the rightfull owners anyway. Nirvana never did measure up to PJ when it came to Arena Rock.

But as fate would have it, Pearl Jam wasn't any more interested in leading the Rock World than Nirvana was. They just walked away.

Since 1994 we've been without. As long a dry spell as I can find in Rock History. You could argue that Creed tried to take up the Crown, but if they did, they failed. Do Gooders need not apply.

Where is Guns and Roses? Where is Van Halen? Hell, I'd settle for Sound Garden at this point.
Another reason to hate Morgantown

Several years ago, the city decided it was going to require permits to park on certain neighbood streets. In other words, you have to go down and pay the city, for the privilage of parking in front of your own damned house.

They got around the public outrage by saying that if a neighborhood didn't want to be "protected" they could collect ten signatures and the street would then be re-classified.

Well a few years back they started requiring folks on my street to buy permits. The folks didn't take it to well, and collected their signatures and put a stop to it. All was well until last year, when the city comes in, and once again, starts requiring permits.

The folks who live on my street have now given up. Why bother? The city is just gonna come back in a couple years and try it again.

But this is not the end of my gripe.. no no... this is just the begining. You see, I'm not allowed to park in front of my house at all, and do to zoneing laws, I am also not allowed to build a driveway. It is also illegal in the city of Morgantown to park your car in your yard.

See where I'm going here?

So last year, my wife got permits so we could at least legally park down the street from our house. As you can imagine, I was against this, but I had already had it out with a cop over the matter, and apparently Julie figured 5 bucks was worth the peace of mind.

Well.. yesterday I have to go renew the permits. I walk into the office, introduce myself, and explain why I'm there, and I am promptly told that I will have to produce a utility bill, and proof of registration of my vehicle.

"Ma'am, I'm just renewing. I'm sure all of this information is on your records."

"Sir, I have to see proof of residence."

"Fine. Here's a utility bill. Is that good enough?"

"I have to see your registration."

"I'm just renewing. Can't you just copy the numbers down from our paperwork?"

"No. I have to see proof."

This sort of thing drives me out of my mind. We're not talking about citizenship here. We're talking about a bullshit 5 dollar parking tag, that I shouldn't have to have anyway! Typical yankee mindset.

I hate the Northeast. I hate West Virginia. I hate Morgantown. I hate my neighborhood. I hate all things Urban. I hate people who get their jollies by making rules and regulations based on their own pet-peeves.

15 months. I have to stay here for 15 more months. Then this nest of whores and vipers can kiss my ass. Its population survives only because Robert C. Byrd is such an effective thief. He pilfers enough money from the national coffers to insure that there are enough bullshit handouts to support this lazy, pathetic, loathesome little population.

May they all rot.

Monday, August 16, 2004

I ain't Catholic: Part II

I hadn't really planned on doing this, but the spirited discussion that was spurred by the other topic was certainly thought provokin'. Things got pretty murky there at the end, with about 4 distinctly different topics all being discussed at once. It's my blog dammit, and I don't want anyone reading all that mess and wondering where I stand. What's the point of having one of these things if ya don't speak your mind plainly anyway?

So here goes. In a general sense, I want my religion to be scripturally based. The smaller the deal, the less I am going to scrutinize it. The bigger the deal, the more so. In other words, if we're talking about a salvation issue, then I am going to expect the Bible to spend a lot of time on it, and to be very clear on it. If we're talking about an intergral part of the Christian Lifestyle... Like giving for example, I am also going to expect to see some serious Biblical backing.

In the case of giving, the point is hammered home again and again.

In the case of various miracles performed by Christ and others, the Bible is also very explicit. I don't doubt for example that Christ walked on water. The tradition of the Church, and scripture both agree.

So what's my point?

In the Catholic doctrine, confession is a big deal. Yet I see not one example of anything like this in the scripture, and the explanation of the practice... Well... Just seems totally hollow to me. Sure, I can follow the logic, but if that's what was intended, then why was it not communicated as clearly as say... Our instruction on giving?

The Last Supper to me is pure symbolism. "Is" in that case means "Think of it as". This is as clear as day to me. It makes no sense to see it any other way. It's amazing to me that I can speak to priests who argue that the resurrection is actually a metaphor, but the Last Supper is not. Are you kidding me? Now clearly this is not the Catholic doctrine, and I've had protestants also claim that the resurrection didn't really happen. Still... it all strikes me as silliness.

I guess what I'm saying is... Christ may have built his Church on The Rock. But the rock then chose to relocate the thing to a beach. The justifications for the institutions of the Church are by no means concrete or easily reached.

After reading the explanations given by TZ, and the checking the references he kindly provided, I can honestly say I understand why simple people would reject all this. I can't blame them for saying, "To heck with all this nonsense. I'm just doing what the Book says."

I see Biblical minutiae exploded into global bureaucracy.

The Church, and I mean the whole Church, faces some serious issues. Seminaries are losing credibility. Harvard Seminary... Once home to John Calvin himself, has now slunk into the pit of humanism. Priests and Ministers are no longer prepared to serve the Lord, as much as they are prepared to forward some agenda of the World of another.

Why... at mass on Saturday... We were asked to pray for world peace. World Peace? Christ himself advised us not to consern ourselves with such things. War is just a natural state of the world. What are we doing being led to such a prayer? Bizarre.

To sum up... The Catholics have a communication problem, or a dogma problem, or both.

But the Church... The Church has a much bigger problem to deal with.

God Bless.

The Curse

A few people have openly wondered what makes me think I know so much about women. After all, I'm only 30, and I've basicly been in two long term relationships since I was about 13. So how can a guy who's only dated 2 chicks in 20 years claim to understand women?

It's a good question, with a simple answer. I'm cursed.

Women who I barely know... or in some cases, don't know at all, will talk to me. They'll bare their soul to me. I don't ask them to do this, nor do I seek it out in anyway. but for as long as I can remember, they've been doing it. My girlfriend's friends... My friends' girlfriends... girls I've never seen before, or since.

And we're not talking about typical gossip here either. Chicks have told me things that they won't talk to their own sister about, or even their best friends.

Now.. when you spend 20 years listening to girls' problems, hopes, dreams, fears, and lusts, you eventually start to notice commonalities.

I've listened to happily married women talk about cheating on their husbands. I've listened to christian girls talk about experimenting with other girls. I know about friends who betrayed friends, family who betrayed family, and everything in between.

For reasons I find inexplicable, women confide in me. White, black, young, old, Christian and atheist... apparently even the wiccan ones.

So how do I know so much about chicks? Because I'm cursed. That's why.
I ain't Catholic

This doesn't mean I have anything against the church mind you. I just don't believe a lot of things that they do believe. It's not so much what they believe that bothers me, its the rediculous reasoning that they use to back up those beliefs.

Some of you are aware that I will be watching the infant son of a friend. The little fella's mom's Catholic, and she was kind enough to invite us to his Christoning. Sorry guys, I don't know how to spell that. Anyway.... We were honored to attent, and happily did so. Of all days for us to be visiting a Catholic Church though... Its the day when they celebrate Marys assention into Heaven.

The priest clearly has a sense of humor. He began his sermon by saying, "The arguement against the assention is a simple one; its not in the Bible. The Catholic response to this is usually... yeah... and?"

He then went on to make the case for the assention. In all seriousness, the whole point boiled down to; Christ was human. Humans love their mommy. therefore, Jesus took his mommy with him, because... wouldn't you?

Are you kidding? So its no longer, we do what jesus would do, its Jesus did what we would do?
This type of reasoning does not lead to the proverbial slippery slope. Its far more like jumping off the cliff.

So many of the traditions of the Catholic Church are based on reasoning just as silly and fallible as this.

I believe in honoring, and valuing the traditions of the Church, but we have to have some standards here people. The logic used to support the traditions of Confession, the Assention, and Intervention are all similar, and they all sound like something a 3rd grader would come up with to support his belief in Santa Claus.

"I want to believe in Santa Claus. Therefore Santa Claus is real."

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Joy's Leavin'

Despite my efforts, my hot little sister-in-law is flyin' out to Columbia tomarrow. She'll still have internet access down there Hell. So we'll still be hearin' from her from time to time. I appreciate all of you tried to talk some sense to this girl. Shame we weren't successful. Prayers are clearly welcome.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Stay at home Dad Advice

OK... There are a few things in this world that I can honestly say I know about. I know women. I know motorcycles. I know firearms. I know drums. I know God, and dammit, I know about being a stay at home Dad.

So... to all you guys out there who are having a hard time... this is for you. The best way to handle this is to list some common problems guys have with this, and offer my responses and advice on them.

1) I'm the male. I'm the provider: Get over yourself dude. Your wife makes more money than you. So what? Making money is not the measure of a man. Grow the hell up. You're still the head of the house. I suggest you realize that there are other ways to provide. For example:
A) Your kids aren't in daycare. What would it cost you per month, to get the kind of quality care you give for them? We're talking about 35 to 40 thousand dollars a year here dude.
B) Change your own damned oil. I'm not just talking about changing oil here mind you. Whenever you do something like this to save money, that you normally woudn't have time to do, you are providing for your family. And lets not forget that you'll do a better job than the grease monkeys down at jiffy-lube anyway.
C) Hunt, and grow a garden. You know they called a stay-at-home dad in 1850? A Farmer. You're puttin' meat and vegetables on the table. If that ain't providing, I don't know what is.

2) I can't handle all this: Niether can I. That's why we hired a maid. You're not the mommy. You're still the daddy. That relationship doesn't change. Forget that bullshit Mr Mom crap. We don't multi-task like women do. Focus on your strengths, and don't try to be what you aren't. Wait till nap time, and then try to get something done. I always unload, and load the dishwasher in the morning while Jeb is eatin' breakfast, then I try to do some laundry during naptime. Dude. You get some laundry done, the dishes done, and the kid is fed and happy... you will have one very happy, and very impressed wife. That's no shit. You don't even have to do the laundry every day. Twice a week man. This aint that hard.

3) I just cannot handle these fricken kids: You clearly have no understanding of what an honor it is to be a father, and what a compliment the good Lord has paid to you by making you one. Please pay me a visit so I can kick your ingrate ass. Or better yet, give your wife my number. The Harem is always accepting applications.

4) What will the guys think?: You know what they'll think? Monday morning they're thinking "God I don't want to get up and go to work." while you are thinking, "ZZZZZZ" cause you're still in the bed! It's not you're fault that they were to stupid to figure this out for themselves. Most guys never realize that being a stay-at-home Dad is an option. When they tease you, remember that most of them are pretty miserable. They hate their jobs, and they don't make nearly enough money, considering the time they put in, and the torments they suffer. You can still work. You can go out tomarrow and get a job you hate just as much as they hate thiers. You choose not to. You love your kid to much to put them in daycare. That's hardly something to be ashamed of.

Above remember this; you're still the daddy, and she's still the mommy.

Oh, and when she gets home from work, try hard, and I mean hard, to make sure that she has a few minutes of protected, un-interupted "kids" time. You have no idea how important that is to workin' moms.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Girl's Jobs

Some time ago we had a lively little discussion on boy's jobs. It sort-of evolved into Keeping Your Wife Happy 101. I promised at some point to talk about girl jobs. Well, after much antici... pation, here ya go.

Remember the original premise though. There exists a great list of "Things that must be done". The benefit to being married is that the list gets divided. When you're single you must accomplish everything on your own. We refer to those who are incapable of doing this co-dependent.

1) Cleaning. I'm not talking about picking up clutter here. I mean real honest to God scrubbing. Men are not capable of doing this to the high standards women set. So ya have to options girls. Either lower your standards, or do it yourself... wait... three options... there is always the Nate plan: Hire a maid.

2) Social Coordination: Men have no more business making these decisions than girls have underneath the hood of the truck. What parties, get togethers and what-not that you want to attend or host are stictly your affair. We'd rather not be involved at all. We'll only step in we absolutely have to. Logisticals of who we see on what day of our family visit, or who we'll eat dinner with on what night, are totally up to you.

3) Birthin'. Sorry girls. Can't help ya there. I'll be smokin', drinkin', and pacing nervously in the waiting room. Which is were men belong. Dammit.

4) Hydration. A man hard at any form of physical labor developes a powerful thirst, and few things in this world will endear a woman to him like a well timed class of sweet iced tea. A woman who will take care of you like that, is worth killing for. That's a fact.

5) Tend to your appearence. yes. This is shallow. I won't apologies for it though. You want a resentful, angry husband? Put on 40 pounds and stop shaving your legs. He'll either make your life miserable with his bitching, pretend to be happy while he cheats on you, or simply leave with no explaination.

Now that's not a long list. What is important is how she makes her husband feel. All day long its him against the world. He needs to know that someone is on his side. He needs someplace to go to get out of the storm. Her job is to take care of him.

When Jim and I got to the hotel after the Iron Butt ride... man I don't know that I've ever missed Julie more. I was wiped out. All I wanted was someone to bring me something to eat and a fresh pair of clothes. Just to say, "Take it easy for a while big guy, I'll handle it from here."

I hear these girls complaining all the time about how they don't have time to do all there work. Like the life of the stay-at-home wife is so terrible and demanding. Hell... when their husbands get home from work, they basicly drop the kid in his lap and leave. Taking care of the kid is their job, and when he gets home, it's quittin' time. These women talk about how they get so frustrated with thier kids... how they have to just get away from them. They demand that they get a mom's day out every week.

I can't even begin to relate to that. When the guys get home, these chicks flip out if he doesn't load the dishwasher or help with laundry. Funny... I didn't see your lazy asses helping him out at work today. The amazing thing is, that these chicks forget that julie and I are the opposite of them. So they will complain to Julie about all this stuff... and Julie will be thinking... "I wish to God I could have your life, and you are bitchin?"

In short, these women are the exact opposite of what a good wife should be.

Here's my advice to you stay at home moms:

1) Hire a maid, or lower your standards on clean. This frees up time.
2) Feed your husband. He doesn't care if it's take-out or home cooked. Just have something for him to eat.
3) Find something that the guy does and learn to enjoy it. You have to have something that you can do together for fun. Horses. Shotguns. Football. Hockey. It can be anything, but this alone can save a marriage on the rocks. I've seen it.
4) Screw him like a pornstar. Do ya love the guy? This is how ya show him. Sex is how man guages the stability and quality of the relationship. If you're a sex-kitten, then he's the king baby, and everything is right with the world.

Thats all for now.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

A New Project

So while I was on the bike I had a lot of time to think. In all those endless hours I worked pretty hard at refining an idea for a novel. I've always thought I had one in me, so I figure it's as good a time as any to go for it. I have the spare time to devote an hour or more everyday to it. At that rate it may take a long time...

Anyway... I will tell you this... It's a military novel, about a realistic invasion of the continental US, and the citizen reaction to it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The KGB and the Snake

It's now solidly planted in the Historical Record that the counter-culture protests of the 60's were the direct result of the KGB . Indeed, the KGB itself claimed the action as one of its greatest successes. It's hard to agrue with the results.

But I want to focus on the method. The KGB focused on the emotionaly impressionable young women of America. The mixed the messages of Free Love and Peace. Their thinking was clear. We cannot attack the young men directly, but we can get the women... and they can get the men for us.

Something about a Snake and a Garden?

As young women embraced the peace movement, and young men clamoured to embrace them and just like the the afair in the Garden, it was all down hill from there.

What do we learn from this?

It's simple really. Conventional wisdom says that women are the protectors of morality and civiliation here on Earth. Well conventional wisdom is wrong.

A woman with any type of moral compass at all is almost as rare as a man who can consistantly find his keys.

Duty and Honor are uniquely male concepts, and these bind us into a civilized society. Oh sure, you will find women who understand and emulate both. You can find such examples right here reading this blog. But in the general populace they are rare... straight softball player rare.

Women's promiscuity is far more related to their own security than any moral guide. If she is happy and likes herself, then she's probably not a tramp. If she's insecure, invariably she's out looking for a hard pecker to prove that she's pretty, and the more the better.

"I'm not fat. If I was fat, why would all these guys screw me?"

A woman will sacrifice morals, duty, honor, and about anything else for peace and security. They worship at the alter of pleasantness.

The Snake didn't make his offer to Adam... For the Snake is wise. He knew that Adam would've made boots from his sorry carcass.

Who says commies don't read the Bible?

Quality Police Work

A year ago at this time, Charleston, WV was suffering it's own DC Sniper affair. Over the course of a week or so, 3 people were killed. Now this wasn't some idiot with an AK. Whoever this was, did it right. He used a high caliber weapon, probably from a few hundred yards away. After the three were shot, the murders abruptly stopped.

As the anniversary passed the media asked a few questions of the police department. The Chief responded in typical blue line tradition.

"We've got over 4000 leads. We're working hard on this case. We're just a phone call away from solving this."

Ya catch that last bit? Just a phone call away? Let me paraphrase that for you...

"We have no idea who did this, and we've stuck this away in the We Hope Someone Calls and Tells us Who Did It File."

When a police department actually does get lucky enough to solve a crime, it's almost always the direct result of someone either confessing, accidentally telling on themselves, or a third party snitch. Modern detective work is a sham. Science has caused the slueth to atrophy.

Science consentrates on 20 to 40 feet around the body, because most of the time the killer was there, and therefore left clues. But a sniper? He wasn't 30 feet away. He could've been 1000 yards away, in any direction. There is simply no way to do a forensic sweep of an area that large.

File it away alright. Under "How to kill someone and get away with it".

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Book of the Month: August

Prisoners of the Japanese by Gavan Daws

I don't know how many of you are into history. But if you so choose, I promise this to be a well written, eye-opening book. Remember as you read... Only bad ole Americans are racists. The evil bad ole Americans put the poor Japanese people in camps! Against their wishes!

Listen kids... if you've ever felt the slightest twinge of guilt for Fat-man, or Little-boy... This book is for you.

You think the prisoners in Nam had it bad? HA! Read on my friends. Read on.
That's My Bike!

Any of you seen Kill Bill Vol. 1? If ya have I'm sure you remember the cool yellow bike Uma zipped around Tokyo on? Yeah. That was a CBR1000f... a few years older than mine though. I know... it only interests me... but I think it's cool. Dammit.
Ignorance and Bliss

Wes axes: How would you counter someone that is arguing that he will vote simply because of the lives lost for the right to vote?

We I would start by pointing out to the poor ignorant bastard that there is no individual, or collective right to vote enumered anywhere in the Constitution. States appoint electors. How the individual states choose to pick said electors is totally up to them. If Texas wants to have monkeys pull names from a hat, they can do that.

Voting is a privilege. It is something that can be regulated and controlled. Rights are granted by God, and cannot be regulated.

Its a statement designed to facilitate an emotional response, not a reasoned one. When you feel the statement, "Men died for your right to vote!" it tugs at the heart. However, when you think about the statement, instead of feel it, you realize that its bunk.

Its a catch phrase for those to dim to see through it. Sick him Wes.

Not Enough Yet?

Sean masochisticly comments: Could the sheep not have voted to eat somewhere else?

Of course he could vote to eat somewhere else. That's my point! He can vote anyway he likes, but the wolves are still going to out-vote him, then eat him.

We in the South have been electing conservative officials, and sending them to congress for 200 years. Congressional voting records show a clear geographic distinction between southern congressmen, and everyone else. Geography is a better predictor of the voting record of a congressman than his party affiliation.

So each year we send more congressmen to vote for lower taxes and smaller government. And each year they are out-voted by the yankee and left-coast liberals. Does it matter then if we sent liberal congressmen? no. It would matter not one bit. 75 to 25, or 90 to 10, the outcome is the exact same.

You think electing someone from the libertarian party, or the constitution party will change things? Please. The bureacracy would chew them up and spit them out, just like it did old Ronnie. He had big ideas about changing things too didn't he? What did we get? Not a damned thing.

You're pissing into a stiff wind boy.

Without control of congress, a 3rd party president would get nothing done, and even if he somehow managed to accomplish some meager progress, the corrupt judiciary would strike it down.

Now as for this "lazy" label... Where did this come from? How long have you been here? My brother and I were practicly founding members of the Southern Party. When they wanted to expand to Virginia, and West Virginia this year, they look me up personally. That sound like doing nothing to you?

That's the difference Sean. You are voting, to make yourself feel better. I have no guilty conscience. I know that if we get Southern Party governors, and Southern Party local officials elected, that something will happen. It happened before. It can happen again.

Class dismissed.

Monday, August 09, 2004


What exactly do you say about someone who so willingly and enthusiasticly supports their own duping? Sean is once again starting his voting campaign. A few times he has claimed to take me to task here, and each time I've seen fit to ignore it. I guess I'm in a ornery mood today though... come lookin' for a fight? Ya just found it.

So far not one shread of evidence has been produced to show that the outcome of elections effects the political climate of America. When last I posted about this, Sean and others waxed eloquent about it, however, none of them gave any sound reasoning to back up their claims. In fact, they pretty much said the same thing over and over again.

"If you don't vote, don't complain."

Why? My whole point is that I am subjected to your stupidity if I participate or not. When the two wolves and the sheep sit down to vote on what's for dinner, if the sheep refuses to vote... he's eaten. What you refuse to acknowledge, if he does chose to vote, he's also eaten.

The sheep would be better off if he never showed up to vote at all, and instead prepared to fight off the wolves.

Now one more time, I will challenge you Sean. Explain the logic behind that idiotic statement about who votes and who complains. Until then, I'll just go back to ignoring you.

Great Government Stupid

So... you want to go work in another country for a year eh? Listen to the stupidity people... you'll love it...

My hot little sister Joy must get an official transcript from her university, and it must be notorized. Now this is no easy task. Apparently transcripts are only official if they are in stamped, sealed envelope. As if all this wasn't bad enough, she has to take this notorized official transcript to a county clerk to verify that it is in fact notorized.

Of course... the notorized transcript is inside the sealed envelope. So if the county clerk opens it and breaks the seal, it's no longer an Official Transcript. Sadly, the county clerk is not blessed with Superman vision, and she cannot see through the envelope.

Our country is not run by elected officials my friends. Its run by idiot bureacrats, against whom there is no repreive.

Your vote will not change that.

Tales From the Trip: Saddle Sore 1000

What can I tell you about a trip like this? 1000 miles in 24 hours doesn't sound as hard as it is. Every seems to think they either have done it, or could easily do it. In fact, very few can, and even fewer have.

To prove they could do it, people will talk about some trip they made where they woke up at 5:00am and rode 750 miles before they went to bed the next night.

That's all good and well, but what they are forgetting is that they went to bed to tired to ride any further, and it was probably midnight. So great job buddy... now go to sleep for a couple hours, get up, and try to ride another 250 miles in 180 minutes.

Every trip like this is gonna give you a gut check at least once along the way. We had several though. In Arkansas, the bugs were so thick we were stopping every 20 minutes or so to clean our shields. Then, worn out and almost ready for bed, just past Little Rock we hit construction. It was hot, the bikes were heavy, and we were sitting behind a semi belching stink into our face. We pushed on to exit 115 or so, and crashed at the Comfort Inn.

The next big gut check came the next morning in Oklahoma. We were kicking ass. I mean, we were in the process of stomping across Oklahoma in a little over 4 hours. About the 45 mile marker I saw a long straight stretch and decided to check out. I opened her up and let my girl stretch her legs. After a few miles I backed her down and let Jim catch up. I'm just rollin' along at steady Iron Butt pace when I see him fly up beside me. He's pointing at the hind end of my bike. What the hell is he pissin' and moanin' about now? I reach back to check and make sure my saddle bags are closed. Unfortunately... they weren't there.

We pulled over and stared at the now empty rear end of my bike. A month's worth of planning and preparations... Gone... I sat there for a second taking inventory of everything I had just lost. I had lost a pair of 100 dollar saddlebags... all my clothes... As far as I could tell at that point... I had lost everything but what I was wearing.

I over at Jim and said, "Screw it. I'll buy more."

A trucker pulled over and told us he'd seen them back up the road, so we decided to spin around and check, but we never found them. Dammit.

If all this wasn't enough, time was apparently speeding up, and the road between Vega,TX and us was growing.

We blasted through Amarillo like we were shot from a rifle. We had them cruising at 130. Even still we found ourselves 19 miles away, with 12 minutes to go. One last time we pegged them. The reciept I got at the Exxon in Vega, TX is marked with the time. 3:50cst.

We left Sunday, at 3:50cst.

There are ride reports by guys who talk about taking a week to recover from a ride like this. Jim and I layed around the hotel for a could hours, then climbed back on the bikes and rode back to Amarillo for steaks.

Our trip was just gettin' started.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

God Bless Texas!!!

We have returned! After logging quite nearly 3000 miles I should add. Rest assured my friends there are many tales to tell... Insane pigeons filled with blood lust, vultures eating their still living comrades (who knew vultures were commies?), queers in parks... not to mention several cops out there who happily watched up blow by.

More later kids...