Thursday, March 28, 2013

And it continues

More depressing news today.  The state police released details of what they found as a result of search warrants of the Lanza home.

Among those things found were thousands of rounds of ammunition, weapons, unlocked gun safes including one in the deranged shooter's bedroom, a gift certificate from Lanza's mother to him for the purchase of yet another firearm, tons of computer stuff, and the list goes on and on.

Was this psycopath's mother paying any attention at all?  How could you live in the same house with someone--your child no less--and not have an inkling that there just might be something a tad wrong?  Did she care?  Was she too preoccupied with her own problems?

Like all of the other victims, she met a terrible fate but one has to wonder: had she been just a little more cognizant of what was going on in her son's head, perhaps things could have turned out differently.

And, finally, what if the ban on assault weapons had been renewed during the Bush administration?  What then?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What a way to run a company

For the past two weeks I've been attempting to resolve a problem with my daily newspaper--The News-Times.

It all started when I missed several deliveries because of bad weather and an incompetent deliverer.

The procedure is that whenever a delivery is missed or late for whatever reason, you call the paper, they note the complaint and supposedly extend your subscription.

Will on February 25th I got a new bill.  Naturally the subscription had not been extended.  I called and after a long wait, finally got to speak to someone who said they'd adjust the invoice to reflect the new subscription dates.

Two weeks later, no invoice.  I called twice today and got an automated menu saying leave your number and they'd call back.  Nothing.

I've never spent so much time trying to give someone my business.  Well today it ends.  No wonder the print media is slowly dying.  It has nothing to do with the internet.  It's because of incompetence-pure and simple.

Friday, March 22, 2013


Recently there have been a number of birthdays of the victims of 12/14 serving as constant reminders of that awful day.

This is something a friend of mine left in my mailbox.  Feel free to drag it to your desktop and print one out for yourself if you'd like.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pope Francis I

Much is being made of how much the new Pope resembles his namesake St. Francis of Assisi in his love of animals and his devotion to the poor. 

Wouldn't it be nice--and kind of funny--if the Pope were to sell all of the church's assets and distribute them to the poor. 

That would cause quite a stir in the church, wouldn't it?  But I'll bet it would  restore some of its credibility too.

Let's see what happens.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

Children, toys....and guns.

 It's an age-old problem that's been addressed here before.  The boy in the above picture could easily by either of my grandsons (interestingly, this phenomena is not apparent with my grand daughters. Maybe it's a boy thing). Within the very recent past they've literally made guns out of Legos, connect blocks, hockey sticks and straws.

My older grandson who is 5 is so interested in them that he asked me to show him pictures of the kind of gun I used in the army.  I showed him two--my personal rifle and a picture of the typical canon used in our artillery unit.

At first I was very reluctant to feed into this interest but then upon further reflection I knew that if I didn't he'd just become more and more curious and ask someone else. 

Now when we have play time after I pick him up from school he insists on playing soldier.  I'm usually the bad guy and he and Nicholas are the good guys. 

The game is simple.  They shoot me until I'm dead at which time I fall on my back, feet in the air and my tongue sticking out.  When that happens the two boys laugh hysterically.

The first time we played this I tried to discourage it by pointing out that there's nothing funny about guns, they're very dangerous and maybe we should do something more peaceful.

Almost-four Nicholas looked at me very puzzled and said, "but it's just make-believe, grampy.  Don't you know that?" 

Just make believe.  Just like when I used to play cowboys and Indians and cops and robbers when I was their age.  In fact I didn't have to pretend sticks were guns.  I actually had a toy six shooter (with realistic sounding caps, no less) and a holster--just like my TV heroes Gene Autry,  Roy Rogers, The Loan Ranger and many, many others had.

Soon enough I tired of the games and turned my attention to other things.  And so too will Cole & Nicholas. 

With recent events still fresh in the minds of Newtowners it's hard to remember that it's 'just make believe.'  We have to remind ourselves that playing these games doesn't mean our kids are going to turn into mass murderers. 

Normal, well adjusted kids will move on.  The ones we have to worry about are the ones who have something terribly wrong going on inside. 

The key is vigilance.  Constant vigilance. 

New stuff on Odds and Ends

Check out new stuff on Odds & Ends link on

New video on left and great joke on right.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Child's Imagination

    Kids are amazing, aren't they?  Just think about their imaginations.  For example the rules they make up or bend when playing games is beyond anything any adult would dream of.  I guess it's the Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Oprah Winfreys of the world who got as far as they did because they refused to let rules stop them when they grew up.

Take for example the game Nicholas and I played today.  Nicholas is almost 4 and he likes to play floor hockey.  We use actual hockey sticks, a little red ball and play in the carpet (ice) in the playroom he shares with his brother Cole.

So here are the rules for today's game:
1. When he says hut, hut, hut, I get one strike.
2. If I cheer (which I do just as an automatic reflex) when I score, I go to timeout.  Only he's allowed to cheer.
3.  When he says 'zamboni time' that means he gets the vacuum cleaner and smooths out the carpet (ice) while I go to his room with my coach.
4.  My coach and I are not allowed to talk to each other.  If we do, I go to timeout.
5.  When taking shots, I have to put it in from the front but  Nicholas can go around the back if he wants to.
6.  If the puck (ball) goes onto their letters and numbers matt, it's out of bounds in which case he gets a free shot no matter who hit it out of bounds.

There are a couple of more 'rules' which I don't remember because I spent so much time in timeout, we didn't actually get to them.

And so it went.  Hockey according to Nicholas. 

Oh, on top of  all of that we had to play in the space created by both boys so there'd be room.  Check it out.  It took the rest of the morning to clean up the mess.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Good news...but there are those who still don't get it

Here's the latest:
Stock market reaching record highs
Unemployment rate finally below 8%
Home construction, sales and prices on the rise
Corporations stepping up their hiring plans

All good news, right?  Then why are there still those on conservative media sites like Fox News still bashing Obama?  And why do I continue to receive Obama-bashing email forwards from several friends and why do I continue to see anti Obama posts from so many people on Facebook?

What could be their motivation?  I'm afraid it comes down to one thing...and it's ugly, very ugly.

We have a long way to go in this country.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Neat video

Don't forget to check out the 'odds and ends' link on my website

My latest post is a video of birds performing various rituals (left side of page all the way down).  Very cool.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

How do you feel?

Well, do you feel anything happening yet?  Why do I ask?  Well beginning today there will be massive budget cuts. Why?  Because the Federal budget is being 'sequestered', a process I used to think meant locking a jury away until a trial was over.

A great deal of money is at stake and it likely will not affect the majority of us but there are others who will experience cuts in pay or possibly even lose their jobs. 

The cuts don't actually begin to take place for a while yet so who knows, congress may come up with something. 

I'll revisit this topic as it develops.