Monday, October 31, 2005

Book him, Danno!!

The news the other day about Lewis "Scooter" Libby being indicted hardly comes as a surprise. I am fascinated by the way that justice is administered our legal system. If Libby identified Plame as a covert agent why wasn't he charged with that? Instead Libby is charged with lying to the grand jury. Clinton lied to a grand jury, all he got was a pension, a library, and lifetime Secret Service protection. Hopefully, the taxpayers will get off cheaper in the Libby case. Of course, Bill has to sleep with Hillary, so the argument can be made that he has been punished enough.

This brings to mind the Martha Stewart case. Why didn't they charge Martha with insider trading? Simple, it's too hard to prove. This is a favorite tactic of inept, cowardly prosecutors. Charge someone with the easiest crime with which to secure a conviction. Wouldn't life have been different if prosecutors had charged OJ Simpson with impeding traffic during his now famous chase on the Interstate? They could have charged him with littering for dropping a glove at the scene, maybe the jury would have supported that. Had they tried Charles Manson with this practice, they would have charged him with speeding as he left the scene. Hopefully by now, even the slowest among you is getting the idea.

What's the big deal about lying to the government anyway? Before any of you self righteous types get your panties in a wad, two words, FORM 1040. Actually that is one word and four numbers, but you get the idea. The government lies to us constantly, has anybody indicted Congress lately? Gilbert, what do you mean "The government lies to us constantly"? How do I count the ways? Let's start with the grand daddy of all lies, The Social Security Trust Fund. From there let's consider, in no particular order, weapons of mass destruction, the Warren Report (that's for all you conspiracy theorists), the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, the Pueblo, the Shah, free trade, the Turner Joy, the USS Liberty, Oklahoma City, the term "balanced budget", "I did not have sex with that woman", Mary Jo Kopechne, and global warming(take either side on that one).

What is Libby guilty of doing?? Simple, going by "Scooter" should be a felony for any real man and any male over the age of fifteen. "Scooter" may be cute at age five, but by high school it's time to use a real name. At age 23, I encountered a guy named "Killer". I probably offended him by suggesting that I wasn't Beetle Bailey or Sergeant Snorkel and life wasn't a cartoon strip. I told him that I wanted to know his real name. He wouldn't tell me, I figured it was Rheinold or worse. For someone Libby's age to go by "Scooter" is a travesty. It may not be as stupid as "Danno" in "Book him, Danno", but's it's real close.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

City Workers= Urban Legends

Everyone has heard stories about the incompetence of government employees, today I had the opportunity to experience it first hand. How bad was my experience?? There is a postal worker somewhere who will read this and laugh. Somewhere a telephone company employee will read this and ask "What does he mean?"

We needed to have a pressure valve installed on our water line at the restaurant requiring that the water be shut off so the plunbers could do the job. A representative of Greensboro Water Resources showed up at 2:30 to cut off the water. I had him wait until the plumbers arrived and were ready to start work. At 2:45 all the pieces fell into place, the water was shut off and the plumbers started work. The city rep told them that he had to head back to the shop because he was going to be getting off work soon. He told the plumbers to call when they were finished so they could get the water turned back on.

At around 3:35 the plumbers finished work. I went in and called the Water Resources Department. They told me that they would send someone out to turn the water on. I left the restaurant and headed home. At about 4:20 Josh (Manager) called just to make sure that I had called Water Resources. I assured him that I had called them and someone was on the way. Around 4:50 he called me to let me know that Water Resources had arrived, BUT the serviceman did not have the correct wrench to turn on the water. It seems that in all of Greensboro, there is but one wrench that will turn our water off and on. And that wrench was on another truck several miles away. So the Water Resources rep headed off to get the wrench from the other truck. Around 5:30 I called to see if the water was back on at the restaurant. Bad move! It was not on and the Water Resources truck was not back yet. I called the folks at Water Resources, waited while they consulted a supervisor, and was informed that the serviceman had just arrived at the restaurant. I called the restaurant to verify this and waited on the phone to make sure that the water was actually running.

What lessons have I learned from this experience? Why pay the water bill? What are the chances that they can both find the wrench and a serviceman to cut off the water for nonpayment? Is there really only ONE wrench in a city this size that can cut off the water? What happens if they lose it? What if it breaks? How fast do city workers drive? Let's see now, 3:45, leave city yard for restaurant, drive 7 miles, arrive at restaurant 50 minutes later. Leave restaurant at 4:45, drive 5 miles to other truck, get wrench, drive 5 miles back to restaurant, arrive at 5:40. Travel 17 miles in 2 hours, there are joggers that could do that! The Water Resources folks were smart enough to send someone out with the correct wrench to turn the water off, but couldn't hit for the cycle by sending someone out with the correct wrench to turn it back on. Next time, we will just close the restaurant at 2:30 for the evening and not worry about it.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

McThoughts for the Day

Today at work, Jeff(Manager) started to tell me about something that he had heard Rush Limbaugh say. I cut him off and told him that contrary to what most believe, I never listen to Limbaugh. I explained that I think that Limbaugh says things because he is an entertainer, I say things because I actually believe them. With that in mind, a few nuggets (McThoughts) from the week.

1. On my way to pick up my son at school, I passed a few Habitat for Humanity homes. Habitat does good work, but the sight of a new Dodge Magnum with the Hemi engine parked in one of those driveways was more than I could stand. Why I should subsidize your home so that you can own a car that I can't afford is another program that I don't understand.

2. A dishwasher told me on Wednesday night that he couldn't work Saturday because the people at his other job wanted him to work there on Saturday. I guess our wanting him to work on Saturday wasn't as convincing. Wait! There is "the rest of the story". On Friday, he asked me for a salary advance. I asked him why he needed the money. "I need the money so that I can get to my other job on Saturday" was his reply. See "I love stupid people" elsewhere on this blog.

3. On Friday, a customer complained because we were going to charge him to substitute French Fries for potato chips. As I tried to explain the situation, he snapped " It's not the money!" My response was a simple " Then why did you ask to speak to me??". See "I love stupid people" elsewhere on this blog. I must be getting soft because I passed up the urge to ask the effeminate little fellow if he and his wife had to hire a sperm donor to have children.

4. In the restaurant business there is no phrase less understood by the public than " NO SUBSTITUTIONS". See "I love stupid people" elsewhere on this blog. Several years ago, a customer told Maggie, one of our waitresses, "I want to see your manager!" Maggie's response was an incredulous "You want to see OUR manager??" I walked over, explained what "No substitutions" meant and a legend was born. And to think they called Reagan "The Great Communicator".

5. Bush's pick of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court position seems to have upset a lot of alleged conservatives. I don't understand the fuss. All I want in a judge is a person who can tell right from wrong without taking a poll, a person who grasps that the law has become so complicated that one must seek legal advice before farting in a public place, and a person who has read the Constitution and understands that those words aren't negotiable. Last, but certainly not least, I want a person who understands "NO SUBSTITUTIONS"!! I think Harriet will do.

6. On a serious note, I have to get back on the Diet bandwagon tomorrow. I know, diet is the past tense of die. When I was diagnosed with diabetes 5 years ago, I weighed 262 pounds. I was 5'8" when I had hair, today 5'7" is a stretch. That 262 pounds was a lot to carry. Hey! Maybe there is a link between obesity and diabetes. Anyway, I weigh about 215 today, still more than I need to tote. If I am successful in this, I will keep you posted. If not, don't ask.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Calling Judge Larry Joe Doherty!!!

Tom Delay was indicted again yesterday by a Texas Grand Jury. This after his lawyers asked for a dismissal based on what media sources refer to as "technical reasons". Yes, after months of investigation and testimony, the grand jury had indicted Delay for 2002 violations of a law that did not take effect until 2003. It's kind of like getting a ticket today for seat belt violations in 1985. That Ronnie Earle (prosecutor) must be some kind of lawyer! All that time and money to indict someone for breaking a law that did not exist at the time.

Ronnie had to cover his ass quickly on this one. Sooooo, he swore in a new grand jury. In just a few hours, they evidently heard enough testimony to indict Delay again. This time they added money laundering. What took the first grand jury so long?? They met for months hearing testimony before indicting Delay on the non-existent law during their last week. How did the new grand jury get all this done so quickly??

There is a solution to all of this. Let's get Larry Joe Walker (I think that is his name) from the "Texas Justice" TV show. I watched his TV show a couple of times. He may even be a Democrat. But Larry Joe sounds like he knows bullshit when he hears it and Ronnie Earle appears to be a fountain of BS. Let's agree to have Tom "The Hammer" Delay take on Ronnie " I gotta get me a law book" Earle on television. Finally a government function that could generate some positive cash flow for a change.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Diabetes 1, Gilbert 0

On September 20, I spoke to the Chapman Society. This is a historical group started by myself and some friends after we left the SCV. I like to describe us as "SCV refugees", but I'm the only one who thinks that is funny. Check us out at I had volunteered to speak on the topic of "The Battle of Kings Mountain, turning point of the American Revolution?".

I got up early on that morning and went to the restaurant for a couple of hours. I had a few things to take care of there before taking the day off. Before I left, I ate breakfast, I can't pass up a free meal. I went home and spent the day working around the yard. Trying to finish up, I skipped lunch and kept working. Finally around 4:30, I went inside and started to get ready to go to my meeting. I left the house around 5:45 and headed to Greensboro. Somewhere along the way I realized that I had not eaten and was feeling a little light-headed. That is usually a sign that my blood sugar is dropping. I stopped at Chick-Fil-A and picked up a sandwich and fries. Also bought a small ice cream to get some quick sugar into my system. Too little, too late. I sat waiting for the meeting to start and ate my sandwich.

I thought that everything was OK and started my alleged presentation. A little back ground info here. I have been to Kings Mountain more than a hundred times. I could find Ferguson's grave blindfolded. I have spoken to school groups several times about the battle. But on Tuesday night, I couldn't put anything together, couldn't find anything in the printouts that I had with me. The only thing that saved us was that Hollis "Skeets" Cahoon was at the meeting. Skeets is the Top Scot in Greensboro and a member of the Scottish American Military Society. So we ended up with more of a panel discussion on the battle. Skeets, thanks for your help!

What's the lesson here? Don't be an idiot, it only takes a few hours for diabetes to turn you into a dumbass. I have experienced this a couple of times before but I guess I just needed a reminder. It actually took until Thursday for me to get back to normal?

If you have diabetes, watch your sugar level better than I did that day!

Flea Market Musings

Saturday morning I took a van load of my finest military surplus clothing to the Starlite Drive-In Theater Flea Market in Durham. It was a little slow early, so I had time to scrawl out a few thoughts on a piece of a cardboard box. I had left the house without a notepad, but cardboard works well for this crap. There is no coherency to this string of thoughts, so don't look for one.

1. Forget AIDS and cancer, obesity is the epidemic in this country. When I was a kid, we made fun of the fat kid. Today they are making fun of the skinny kid.
2. Why do fat, lower class, white women wear stretch clothing? I have nightmares about being killed in a spandex explosion at the flea market.
3. Among Hispanic and black women, obesity is rampant. I think that the burden of birthing multiple, illegitimate children must be what turns skinny teen-aged girls into obese women.
4. Stupid questions abound at the flea market, not unlike at a press conference. A young girl pointed to a pair of camo pants and asked "Are these pants that I can wear to school?". I told her that it was OK with me but she might want another opinion from her parent(s) or school. Her response was "What do you mean?". I sold her the pants.
A young man stood in front of four tables of camo clothing with his mother and asked "Do you have any Army coats?" My defense is that it was early and my medication obviously hadn't kicked in yet. My response was "OPEN your Damn eyes!". I guess I could have been a little more polite but he was standing there with his hand on a stack of Gortex field jackets. He walked away with his mother still laughing at him.
5. Was Tom Thumb Mexican? I had watched "Barnum" the night before and at 5'8", I towered over the crowd. If you are still confused, check the name of this blog.
6. A few hours at the flea market and your only thought can be that the national average IQ is dropping faster than Clinton's pants at the sight of a big breasted intern. But this is only a small sampling of the National Intellect, we still have a chance. Go to the living room and shoot your TV.

Tom Delay Indicted!!

I know those of you who regard me as some kind of right wing extremist (thanks) , have been waiting for my thoughts on this.
My wife called me to tell me that she had received a CNN breaking news report that Delay had been indicted. I asked if the story had also mentioned that the sun would rise in the east the next morning.
Let's see, a Democratic prosecutor in Texas has spent more than two years chasing Delay and this conspiracy charge is his best shot?? What happened? The loitering charges didn't pan out?
Give me a break!! You charge people with conspiracy when nothing else is there. The threshold for proving conspiracy is so low that Tom Thumb looks down on it.
Basically, if I say "Hey! Let's knock over a liquor store" and you say "OK", we have engaged in a conspiracy. Makes no difference if anything actually happens. We will just have to wait and see what happens. The notion that members of Congress are saints is on par with the Tooth Fairy thing. I guess Delay just warranted special attention.
Where was this grand jury and prosecutor during LBJ's prime? There are stories of people who brought money to LBJ at the White House. For Democrats, the White House is that building that you occupy so rarely lately. My favorite LBJ story is that when he was in Congress he used to tell people to drop the money through the transom window (above the door). That way no one could actually say that they had seen him take a bribe. That is the 1950's version of " I did not have sex with that woman!". Believe what you want. Frankly, Washington, DC is the return address on most lies being circulated.

About time you updated this crap!!!

I spoke to someone today who actually reads this stuff. Don't laugh, there may be two who read it. Anyway, I had to explain that I have been a little busier than usual the last ten days and haven't had the time to type any entries. I have scratched out a few entries longhand, but my keyboarding skills are pretty weak and I haven't had the time needed to peck those out. In any case, cutting to the chase, I will post a few things over the next couple of days.

By the way, I turned 52 last week. Wasn't much of a turn, just a slow glide. I know that those of you who have seen me in person are thinking, " I thought he was older than that!". I will admit that I am one of the older looking 52 year olds. That is because I have been a restaurant manager for 31 years, which translates into 62 years in Human years. So I have actually lived 82 years. And for an 82 year old, I am in pretty good shape! Keep an eye out for updates. Thanks.