Saturday, July 30, 2011

SNAP, crackle, BOOM

Last Saturday, I stopped for gas at a little store near my home. There was a young woman in line in front of me while I waited to pay for my gas. She had two V-8 Splash drinks and was waiting while her little girl picked out some candy. After what seemed an eternity, the little girl brought her candy to the counter. She had three little boxes of candy and a bag of Reese's Pieces.

When the cashier announced the total, the woman pulled a card out and said,"It's EBT." My head almost exploded!!! I have been waiting while a kid picks out candy and now they are paying for it with food stamps! Are you **##**##@@ me?? I was almost speechless.At that moment, I could have blown a blood pressure cuff right off my arm.

What's my problem with this?? Let's start with an easy one. I think that food stamps should be used to buy groceries at a grocery store, not snacks at a convenience store. Why should my tax dollars be used for someone to buy snacks that I wouldn't even buy for myself? Why can people who can't afford snacks have me provide snacks for them? Do you think that I'm buying juice drinks at $2 a bottle? All I drink is water! Most of that is in a cup from home.

Now, the government has made my treating people to snacks even easier. I see banners at convenience stores "SNAP accepted here". Despite the program name, I'm thinking that Reese's Pieces aren't any kind of supplemental nutrition. Is there any kind of misuse or fraud in this program? Have I suffered some hair loss? Do bears do it in the woods??

I stopped shopping at Food Lion years ago because it seemed that every time that I was there, I was in line behind someone with food stamps. There is nothing more frustrating than watching someone spending your tax dollars buying something that you can't afford to buy because you have to pay taxes. I'm buying the store brand and the person with the EBT card is buying the name brand. What's wrong with that picture?

How can we correct this? First, let's go back to buying groceries at the grocery store. I don't give a rat's behind if it is convenient or not for the person receiving the benefits of the government's largesse with my money. Go to the grocery store!! Buying at a convenience store is not an efficient use of my money. We are getting less for my money than we would get at a grocery store.

Once we have them back at the grocery store, let's limit what they can buy. Why are we letting people with EBT cards buy rib roasts? Almost everything known to man has a UPC number or a PLU (price lookup number) at the grocery store. We could easily limit which items could be purchased with the EBT card. The grocery stores would oppose this because they thrive on the EBT crowd buying the pricier things. Sorry guys, if you want the EBT business, get on the program. The labels on the shelf could indicate EBT items. All grocery store computers could easily handle this task. They track what I buy with my VIC card, why can't they track what the EBT card holders buy??

Last, but certainly not least, we need to train the EBT holders in how to shop for groceries. We will probably need to teach them how to cook. I'm thinking something like "Home Economics for EBT card holders". They should be required to attend classes to receive benefits. We wouldn't give someone a car without knowing that they can drive. Why would we give someone food without knowing if they can cook or if they even know what they should be eating? I don't think that letting them buy Swanson frozen dinners is an efficient use of benefits. If I'm buying your groceries, I don't care if it is easy for you to prepare. Learn to cook, I can. After seeing so many obese EBT people at the grocery store, I think that we need to add  fitness and nutrition classes. Attendance would be required to continue receiving benefits.

By now, many reading this are thinking, "This guy is crazy!" Yes, I can make a case for that. But what is really crazy is to give people money to buy any food that they want and then wonder why the program fails. If we want the Food Stamp program to produce healthy individuals, it needs to be reformed. It MUST include training for recipients and limits on what is provided by the program. Liberals tell us that they are concerned about the health of these individuals.It's time to prove it!! Reform the program and require the training that I have suggested.

Fraud?? This is an easy one to solve. Recipients selling their benefits or committing fraud will be banned for life from the program. Stores failing to comply with all regulations will receive the same lifetime ban. Government officials failing to enforce this will lose their jobs. Let's go shopping!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Guilford County & Political Correctness

I received an e-mail yesterday that brought my blood to a boil and stretched the veins in my head to the breaking point. It seems that at the Guilford County Commissioners Meeting on July 21, the invocation was given by an Imam representing a local mosque.

While Muslims account for less than one per cent of the population in North Carolina, politicians go out of their way to cater to these folks. Why are we so worried about offending these people? I mean, other than their goal of destroying all those who do not believe as they do, why are we worried?

I believe that the Commission Chairman is responsible for the choice of the person giving the invocation. If he doesn't choose the person, he is responsible for the conduct of the meeting. That makes it his responsibility. That person would be Skip Alston, the famous racist. I have previously mentioned Skip, but he's worthy of another couple of shots. If Skip is merely trying to give all religions a chance to be represented at the meetings, let's examine his record. How many other religions has he invited? Is he as concerned about Mormons as he is Muslims? When was a Mormon last invited to deliver the invocation? Guilford County has a pretty strong Quaker community, when did a Quaker last lead the prayer?

How about other groups? Skip, tell us about the representation of these religions at meetings. Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Christian Scientists, Anglicans, Amish, Moravians, Mennonites, and let's not forget the atheists. I'm serious, there is a local atheist group that meets at the restaurant every two weeks. Has Skip reached out to all of these groups?? Or does political correctness apply only to groups who have vowed to wipe the rest of us from the face of the earth?

Skip does not grasp the concept of the Internet and e-mails. A local minister e-mailed Skip about the Imam and the invocation. Skip responded with a rambling (even more than my writing) response. What politician would be so stupid as to send this response to a constituent? The great news is that it is an e-mail and easy to distribute. I didn't see the minister's original message, but it doesn't matter. If were Skippy, I would have responded with a simple "Thanks for sharing your opinions. I will consider them.". Not Skip, here's his response.

Your comments really do not deserve a response at all. However, since you said you are a minister, I only hope that you are not serving the same God that I am serving, because the God that I serve says to love all people. And you my dear sister are preaching hate for people, even though they might only be 2% of the population. It is not my place to tell people how to worship and who to worship. Neither is it your place. I respect all people of all races and religion and as a preacher or minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, you should also. In other words, you should practice what you preach. Or what you should be preaching, which is to love thy neighbor as thy self. A true messenger of God does not hate anyone and do not pass judgment on anyone. I suggest that you go and read your bible and then feel free to respond back to me.

May God shine his blessing upon you and allow you to see the good that is in all people.
Thanks for clearing that up, Skip!! The "dear sister" part was interesting as the minister is a man.

There are those among you reading this who are thinking, why is Gilbert worried about Muslims? Born and raised in the South, I am reluctant to quote Abraham Lincoln, but I will in this case. This is from his address before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois on January 27, 1838.

"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years."

"At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide."

Our present actions or inactions are a prelude to suicide!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Stupid Parents

On Thursday night as I drove home from work, I found US 29 closed due to an accident. I detoured and took the long way. I had an e-mail from a friend the next morning about an 8 year old girl being hit by a car on US 29. I checked into it and learned that was the accident that had caused my detour.

This story is one of incredible stupidity. The short version is that the parents left two small children at home after 9:00 P.M. while they walked to a nearby store to get a beer. The father was apparently  grieving over a slain coworker. He said, "I was mourning for him and having me a beer. I just had to have another one."  The parents said that the girl wanted to go with them, but they told her to remain at home with her brother (age unknown).

The girl followed them on her brother's bicycle and at about 9:30 P.M. she was hit by at least two cars. The Highway Patrol called the scene "gruesome". The bicycle was found about 1/2 mile past the scene. The driver had to stop and dislodge the bicycle from his vehicle. That person is unknown at this time. We will explore stupid drivers in another post.

In an interview the mother said, "We understand it was an accident and it was dark, but I just want justice for my daughter's death. She didn't need to die at 8." You want justice??  Let's start with those people responsible for the child being left alone after dark. Wouldn't that be the parents??

How did people like this become parents? Don't bother with the biological explanation, I understand that part. The problem is that these people are engaging in procreation instead of recreation. Why do people unable to manage their own lives decide to have children?

A better question is why does society allow this problem to grow?? Our children are our future, everyone agrees on that. Then we allow crackheads, alcoholics and idiots to father children or give birth to children.  We wouldn't let animals do this, but we let people do it. The result is what anyone with half a brain would expect.

I know people who have drug and alcohol problems and have children. Unable to control their own lives, they choose to have children. How do you think that will work out?? Why not give those children to a relative or give them up for adoption?

I have a friend who has a niece being raised by a mother and father with a history of drug issues. She worries constantly about that little girl and her future. Life would be easier for everyone involved if the parents let someone else raise that child. As a parent, don't you want your child to at least have a chance in life? Remember, your children are going to learn from your example.

There has been a lot of controversy lately in North Carolina about the state having sterilized a group of people years ago. Instead of reparations, we should be considering bringing that program back. I'm sorry and I realize that many will disagree, but not everyone should be parents.

How do I really feel about this little girl dying in an accident? Yesterday I passed the scene of the little girl's death. There is a memorial of flowers and balloons already there. I am in favor of adding a couple of poles with her parents' heads on them to complete the memorial. Yes, I know that I am an extremist. What would your feelings be on hanging them? The reality is simple. If the parents had been doing their jobs, that child would not have been on that highway at 9:30. There's the justice that the mother seeks.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Deep Fried Friday

First, it's hotter than (insert profane word of choice here) in North Carolina this week.

I just finished a bottle of water. I hate the new eco-friendly water bottles. They claim to use 50% less plastic. I believe it. It's like trying to water out of a plastic bag. It's tough enough to just hold it in your hand, much less to drink from it.

In three weeks, the members of the Leto High School Class of 1971 will gather for their reunion. They will do it without me. Why? Most of my friends in high school are not attending. Why go 700 miles and spend a bunch of money to hang out with people that you don't know? I have been to other class reunions so it isn't that I am anti-social. This year's reunion has a focus on music.There is a jam session on Friday. Unless that involves putting raspberry preserves on freshly baked scones, I'm not interested.

There are a few people that I would enjoy seeing, but I'm still not going. I am going to visit my mother instead. The number of reunion chances with Mom are limited.  Just for the record, if you are Teri Rubio, Pam Carpenter, Cindy Burel, John Paul Jones, Gerald Kaylor, David Riley, Jim Looker, Joe Hoffman, Joe Clark, Dennis Barry or Tim Bellinger, I'm sorry if you were there and I missed. I'll catch you next time!

E-mails: There are times that I want to remove the "Send" button from my e-mail program. I have been told that is above my skill level. My computer consultant suggested that I count to ten before hitting the "send" button. That's a lot for a guy with my focus skills to do. 

The pipe organ at Buffalo sounded like someone doing duck calls during one hymn last Sunday. The good news is that it drowned out my voice.

Sunday is Christmas in July at the restaurant. I have to go pick up a couple of gifts today. I know that this will stun most people, but I already have a couple of cards for those who rate a Christmas in July card.

On Wednesday evenings, we put Chef Bobby out on the curb to drum up a little business. I had a phone call from a woman on Wednesday who complained that she had been by there twice and had seen him "holding a humongous sign" (20" X 30").She complained that he was distracting. In other words, it's working. Thanks for the feedback, lady!

An acquaintance who reads this stuff was in the restaurant last night and told me that I had not mentioned The Queen in a while. The Queen has a bunch of projects working this summer, including helping us at the restaurant with a few things. She's great!! I'm sure that she will turn up in here again soon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Citizen???

I received a brief e-mail from my most conservative friend this morning. Here it is:
Quote of the Day


"Fathom the hypocrisy of a Government

that requires every citizen to prove

they are insured...but not everyone

must prove they are a citizen."

I find it interesting that most liberals are opposed to asking people to prove that they are citizens to exercise certain rights and receive certain benefits. How crazy is that?

We have to show ID to buy cigarettes, show ID to buy liquor, show ID to get on a plane, but you don't have to show any identification to vote. How stupid is that??

There is an ongoing controversy about requiring identification before allowing people to vote. By law, only citizens can vote. So to require someone to prove that they are a citizen is simply enforcing the law. You would think that this is a simple concept, even for a Democrat. Apparently not!!

Some liberals claim that the ID requirement discriminates against the poor. They claim that they are too poor to go get an ID. Simple answer, don't vote. If you are too lazy to drag your butt out of the bed or off of the porch to go get an ID, then you are too lazy to do anything but vote a straight Democratic ticket anyway. You shouldn't be allowed to vote.

We need to return to the days when citizenship was a privilege. There are responsibilities associated with citizenship. Things like paying taxes, jury duty and having an ID. GET OVER IT!!!

The danger in a democracy is that persons A and B can conspire to cheat person C. This is what's happening in America today. Politicians who seek to keep their positions are willing to do anything for votes. They are taking money that I earn and giving it to people who won't work in exchange for their votes. Why would I vote for some moron who wants me to pay more taxes so that some deadbeat won't have to work?

While I am not as nearly profound as my most conservative friend, here's my quote for the day:
The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money.

I will close simply, it's time to vote the ##**##@@ out!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Why shave??

Yesterday I went to Target to buy shaving supplies. No, not for the top of my head, they were for my face. My first complaint is about the cost of razor blades. I use a Gillette Fusion razor. A four pack of blades is $13.99. That's the cheap ones.Those aren't the Pro Glide or the Power Fusion blades, I use the low budget blades. That is $3.50 per blade. What are they making these things out of, meat?? And before anyone from Gillette writes, they don't last any longer than the old Sensor/Excel blades.

Why bother shaving?? Like most other normal men my age, I'm trying to please a woman. But I'm beating my head against the wall. Women are working on the negative reinforcement concept. You only hear from them when you don't shave. When did your wife last walk up and kiss you on the cheek and say those three words that we all long to hear, "Thanks for shaving!"

 I once dated a woman with skin so tender that I had to shave twice a day to keep from giving her beard burn. When we broke up, I gained three hours a week in free time because I didn't have to shave so much. Do you think that she ever thanked me for all that extra work? Of course not.

I have been shaving at least 6 days a week for the last 42 years. In all that time, no women has ever walked up to me, patted my face, and said "WOW! Great shave." Compare this to the number who walk up and ask, "Did you shave today?" I have had strangers do that.

Let's talk about aftershave. It burns, it stings, it gets in all of my cuts, and if it smells good, it is expensive. Years ago, I gradually reduced my usage of after shave until I had stopped using it. If I'm the only one who notices whether or not I am using it, I'm wasting  both my time and money. I have considered using after shave again, but after the pink shirt debacle, I don't know if after shave is worth the trouble. Besides that, I would probably get the wrong kind. I think that women mark their territory by buying men after shave and cologne.

So why do I keep shaving?? Last year I went FIVE days without shaving. It looked like it had snowed on my face. A fat, old white guy with a beard is in huge demand at Christmas. I don't want to keep getting those offers to play Santa. Thanks anyway!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dolly- Part 2

The Dolly the Dog video resulted in more visitors to this blog than anything else that I have published. There's an ego builder. To make it easy to publish something today I am posting another Dolly video. A friend suggested that I post an entire line of Dolly videos. Examples of that would be Dolly digging, Dolly jumping, Dolly eating mashed potatoes out of the kitchen garbage can. The mashed potatoes would have been a great video except that I didn't have my camera handy. Gotta work on keeping that camera nearby!! Anyway, here's another video of her reacting when I tried to unhook her and take her inside.

video
 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dolly the Dog

Here's a short video of my wife's dog, Dolly. I "get" to take the dog out in the evening before going to bed. With summer and Daylight Savings Time, it is still light when we go outside. I don't have the patience with the dog that my wife has, so I don't walk her on the leash. I just tie her out and wait a few minutes. This gives me time to read or call a friend or Mom while I'm waiting on Dolly. One evening, I was talking to a friend and describing what the dog was doing while we spoke. My friend suggested that I needed to video Dumb Dolly in action. So the other day, I took this video as I tried to unhook her from the line to go back inside. Here it is!!

video

Saturday, July 09, 2011

What I learned this week

On Thursday afternoon I went to Harris Teeter to buy cupcakes for an employee's birthday. I picked up two packs of cupcakes priced at $4.79. There was a VIC price of $3.99 per pack, a savings of $.80 per pack. In addition, there was a $1.00 off coupon on each pack. Yes, I'm a little frugal. When I got to the register, the cashier rang it up and announced the total. The total sounded a little high, but I was in a hurry so I paid and got my change and receipt. As I walked away from the register, I realized that the price was not the VIC price. I walked over to the customer service counter. I pointed out the error and asked that they correct their error. To my surprise, they gave me all of my money back. It seems that their policy is that if an item does not ring up correctly, you get that item free. What a deal!! I walked in, bought two packs of cupcakes and got them free.

When I got home from work this afternoon, my wife gave me my mail. She asked what was in the small envelope. I opened it and told her that it was a "Thank You" note from Wayne at Buffalo Church. She responded that men don't write "Thank You" notes. She said that if he did it must have been because his wife stood over him and made him write it. When I showed her the note, she conceded that an old, Southern gentleman might have written a "Thank You" note. Sorry Wayne, that was the best that I could do for you.

She then asked if I had ever written a "Thank You" note. Having just recently learned to both walk upright without dragging my knuckles and not to scratch private parts in public, I didn't know what to say. I just mumbled and walked away. I will have to consult The Queen, my expert on etiquette, about this whole "Thank You" note thing. Thanks for the note, Wayne.

One of my employees returned to work after a week at Boy Scout Camp. One of the waitresses was giving him a hard time about going to camp and asked if he had made anything while he was there. He told her that he had made a tie-dyed "wifebeater" tee shirt. He brought it in the next day to show us. What happened to making something for your mother??

I am watching a show about Hitler on The History Channel while I write this. Based on the commercials running on this network, one might surmise that their viewers are mostly bald, impotent men looking for a new car. I just switched over to The Speed Channel.

The other day at the surplus store, I was trying to watch a movie. I had been trying for a couple of weeks and just couldn't find time. On the days that I had the time, I didn't have the focus. So I decided that on Wednesday I would watch the entire movie while at the store. After a couple of interruptions from people asking stupid questions and not buying anything, I locked the door. I turned the sign to "Closed" and sat down to watch my movie. Yes, I know that isn't a good business practice, but my goal was to watch the movie. What did I learn? I learned how to watch a movie.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Weekly Wrapup

It's been a tough week! It's time to vent a little and drop the old blood pressure a few points.

Casey Anthony was acquitted of killing her child. Her defense was that the child accidentally drowned and someone tried to cover it up. Who covers up an accident by making it look like a murder?? If Casey didn't kill her child, who did?? As long as I'm throwing questions, where did they find 12 jurors this ##@@**## stupid?? As long as we are talking stupid, where did they get that judge?

My cell phone got laundered on Saturday afternoon. Just for the record, a Samsung Gusto cannot survive the wash, rinse, and spin cycles on a GE washer.

My favorite CD had been missing for a couple of weeks so I went online and bought a replacement on Monday evening. The CD reappeared on Tuesday morning.

My 40th High School Class reunion is next month. I am still trying to decide whether or not to go. There have been hundreds of Facebook posts and e-mails coming my way. Last night a Facebook post from a classmate appeared that made sense. Here it is:
Ok, this may sound stupid, but would it make any difference to anyone if I came or not? I don't want to come if no one really cared if I did or not. I really didn't have many friends in high school...
After reading that,I may just stay home. It's a long trip to see people that you barely know. Most of the other nerds don't attend. I'll think about it.

Last week, I wrote about the Post Office taking a long weekend while losing money hand over fist. I was reminded this week by a friend that we do stupid stuff in private business too. We don't do it on the same scale as the Postal Service, but we try.

I have some sort of infection in my left eye and my right eye is starting to bother me. I'm headed to the eye doctor in a few minutes. If I can't see, this will have to become an audio blog. Imagine listening to the sound of my sweet, melodious voice instead of reading this swill.

We had a great Independence Day celebration at Buffalo Church on Sunday. After the service, we had a picnic on the front lawn. One of our members has posted 105 photos of the event online. Incredibly enough, my face isn't in any of them. Yes, you can view them without fear.

On a positive note, July 4th is Chicken Wings and Watermelon Day at the restaurant. This is for employees only. It is always a popular event. I cooked 30 pounds of wings on Monday afternoon. Then on Tuesday I cooked another 10 pounds of wings for those who had missed it on Monday. That included a few cooks and waitstaff members who left early Monday, my fashion consultant, and our Marketing Advisor. Before you ask, there have never been any leftovers.

My wife's dog continues to like me. That's because I am the one who has the"opportunity" to take her outside. She is good entertainment. I found out yesterday that she knows when we are headed outside. I always put her out while I go run in the morning or walk in the evening. Yesterday, I was sitting down putting on my shoes and she was calm. When I took my reflective running vest from the coat hook, she went crazy. She was jumping up and down, then ran to the door to wait for me. I guess she's smarter than I thought. She would have to be.

There was good news this week!! On Tuesday, I fit into a size 16 1/2 shirt. That is the first time in 26 years. I peaked at a size 18-18 1/2 about 10 years ago. It's been a long road back.

Today has to get better! I had hit the Publish button and headed to the door when the phone rang. My eye doctor had car trouble on his way to work this morning. I have been rescheduled for tomorrow morning. More later.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Really??

This will probably stun a few of you who read this, but I am currently maintaining the blog for Buffalo Presbyterian Church. So if you are looking for something a little more uplifting than the swill that you read here, http://buffalopresbyteriantoday.blogspot.com/

There's a big celebration planned for July 3. More details on the Buffalo Blog.

Freaky Friday

Mark Halperin of Time magazine and MSNBC has been suspended indefinitely for answering a question about President Obama. Asked about Obama's performance recently, he responded "I think that he was a dick yesterday."  That's just crude!  Coming from me, that is an indictment. All that Oblamer has done and failed to do and that was Halperin's best shot?? How about a little creativity, Mark? That's probably about number 87 on the list of names that I would have called him. There are so many more derogatory names that he could have used and he didn't try any. I would have suspended him for poor performance. Mark, next time that you get this opportunity on national television, take full advantage of it.

Upon further reflection, this happened on MSNBC, I can't believe that anyone actually heard it.

Elaine and Dick (Not Obama) were in for dinner last night. Elaine said that they are rarely in two nights in a row, but she wanted to make sure that I knew that they had not been here on Saturday. They had been at a birthday party, so those were not her underwear in the sewer. Thanks for clearing that up Elaine!!

The Post Office is losing billions of dollars a year. So to celebrate this year, they are closing today at 2:00 PM, Friday, July 1 and will be closed July 2, 3, and 4. Then they will have to work overtime on Tuesday to sort and deliver all of the mail that piled up over the long weekend. What a plan!! Look for the billions in losses to grow.

I stopped at Wendy's the other day and decided to get a hamburger. The burgers all come with cheese. If you aren't a cheese eater, you're paying for it anyway. I realize that a lot of places are doing this, but can't you just order a hamburger?  Memo to myself: Don't stop at Wendy's again.