Monosyllabic Pedantry

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Whatever

I've never been a big New Year's Eve guy. Maybe it's because I spent so many years working in bars on New Years. It's not the same when you're working. You get tired. You can't relax. It's no fun.
The first bar I worked in, the bar was going out of business. No one bothered to get the special license required to stay open past midnight. The cops came in about 11:00 pm and asked to see the license. When we couldn't produce it, they said they'd be back after midnight. About 12:30, they came in, picked up the first few beer bottles for evidence, and started arresting the bartenders. My sister was working as a bartender. She jumped over the bar and acted like she was a customer, but it didn't do any good. They arrested her anyway. All the bartenders were lined up at the door, like a greeting line, hands cuffed behind their backs, saying good night to the customers as they left.
I'm going to bed soon. We both still feel under the weather, but better. I haven't stayed up to watch anything drop at midnight, in many years. To me, it's just another day.

So Happy Whatever to those of you who are celebrating. May this year be better than the last.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Home Again Home Again Jiggidy Jig

We're back in Atlanta. We made it home about 9 last night. We're both sick as dogs. Mrs Schwartz took over driving, somewhere in Virginia; Good thing, too. I suddenly started throwing up into Zachary's water dish in the back of the Jeep.
We're on antibiotics. I know a guy who knows a guy.

Some high, and low, points:
  • Widow Schwartz giving her son-in-law a box of receipts for donations to charities, to be used as tax deductions. (This was his
    Christmas present)
  • Mrs Schwartz' aunt getting drunk and announcing that she'd also like to get a Kone for Christmas, to "sit on", since she hasn't gotten laid in so long.
  • Mrs Schwartz' parents running out in the middle of Christmas breakfast at the middle child's house, because a $2 hamster was dying at the favored child's house.
  • Finding out that, after pronouncing the hamster dead, putting it into a zip-loc bag, and taking it for burial, they looked up to see the hamster "walking around" inside the bag.
  • Best quote: He [the hamster] looked up at me with his little eyes and chirped. He knew it was his time.
  • Finding that the bottle of Canadian Whiskey, which has been resurrected every year at the non-drinking inlaws' house, still had the cap seal on it and the seal is stamped with "1979".
  • Finding a second bottle in the cupboard.
  • My sister totalling her Blazer the day after Xmas. She was unhurt.
  • My aunt inviting herself to my sister's for Xmas dinner, and then bringing along her obnoxious friend, whom the family hates.
  • The undisguised, unapologetic favoritism amongst the inlaws' dealings with both their children and their grandchildren.
  • The resultant animosity.
Ahh, the holidays.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Post-Holiday Update

Well it happened again. This fucking valley of pestilence has taken another victim. I am currently suffering under a brutal headcold. The last time I got a cold was...let's see...three years ago; the last time I came to this disease-ridden wonderland.
I went to bed early last night. Widow Schwartz decided that the best way to fight a cold was to "sweat it out", so she insisted on covering me with six comforters (no exaggeration) AND an electric blanket. The good news is that, after she left the room, I opened the window. It was 20 degrees outside, but I had relatively clean air. Mrs Schwartz had gone to meet with a childhood friend. When she came home, she woke me up and bitched at me about the window. It doesn't matter. The air was cleaned out by then.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Holiday Update

Let's see...Currently, I'm at Mrs Schwartz' sister's house. They have left town to visit other relatives. Mrs Schwartz and Zachary are asleep nearby.
She has to work here during the day, but nobody else in the world is doing anything, so it's pretty slow.

Zachary and I are seeking refuge from my mother's house. Old Widow Schwartz is a chain smoker. Being in her house is equivalent to smoking a pack a day. She's also the only one who doesn't mind having Zachary live with her for a week.
Every morning, we wake up with bloodshot eyes, sore throats, and coughing up some sort of nicotine-stained goo. It generally goes away by lunch, but today it's hanging on. Our clothes, including those we haven't unpacked, smell like we've spent the evening in a bar, back when you could smoke in bars. It's nasty.
Widow Schwartz has officially turned into a crazy cat lady. I think she has four, or six. I don't know. She was regaling us with plots and sub-plots of cat-intrigue. Apparently, there's some sort of power struggle, or cat coup going on. I was too desperate for O2 to get all the details.
Mrs Schwartz has been a trooper, but she has informed me that she will be spending the evening here. Zachary is forbidden from entering the building so we're breaking the rules, but we're desperate.

Not being the breeding type, I'm not always quick to the uptake. No sooner had we arrived at the inlaws on Christmas morning, then I said for all to hear, "Oh yeah, I remember you said you got Johnny a case of root beer for christmas. That's funny; a kid wanting a case of..."
Steely glares from all the adults, accompanied by 7-year-old Johnny saying, "No, Santa brought me root beer."

We went to my sister's house in the country for the big feast. We saw all the relatives, including some inlaws I hadn't previous met. No fights. Good times.

I am reminded that everyone here survives on beer, coffee, and cigarettes.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

No Joy for You

I had to mow my lawn today. It's been SO warm and my lawn is now re-taken over by plants and weeds and such, that's it becoming quite a pasture.
So I mow it, and sure as Santa hates jews, I run over the extension cord for the Christmas lights. The mower tore the string loose from the bushes and mangled it.


Monday, December 18, 2006

I have new respect for Bonaduce

Danny Bonaduce meets John Conner

Is Hillary a child?

I know the answer to that is no. She's not a child; she's a soul-less, politically-driven chameleon with no genuine beliefs, other than the peachiness of Marxism.

She went on the stupid housewives version of Pravda The Today Show, to announce that, gee golly, if she knew then what she knows now, she wouldn't have voted for the Iraq war.

Swell. What other useless facts do you have for us, Hill?

Ya know what? If I was Monday-mornin'-quarterbackin', I wouldn't have invaded Iraq then either. But here in the grown-up world, you don't get to take Mulligans. You make the best decision you can, based on the information you have.

My own reason for wishing for a different path has nothing to do with Saddam or Iran. I still think Iraq needed to be dealt with. In fact, I still wish that pussy, Clinton, would have been a real president and dealt with it as soon as Saddam violated the ceasefire.
What I didn't know then, was that there are 28 million Pashtun tribesmen living along the Paki border, in Pakistan. 12.5 million in Afghanistan.
The Taliban has a limitless supply of men, who can attack Afghanistan and run back across the border, where we can't touch them. Musharref has a threadbare hold on power, so we can't count on any support from him.
If I lived in Hillary's take-backs-fantasy-land, I would have held off on the Iraq invasion for at least a year, maybe more, and I would have put enough troops along the border to hold hands.
The Indians have secured the Indian-Paki border, and they hate each other pretty well. We should have done the same. After the border was locked down, and manned by people from the other end of Afghanistan, THEN we could have dealt with Iraq.

But then again, I'm not running for office, dependent on America-hating communists for the nomination.

Being Thankful

On the way into work today, traffic was stopped. There was an accident. There were two ambulances. A car was upside down on the shoulder of the road.
Someone will be in the hospital, or dead, come christmas.

That happens every day around Atlanta. It's mind-boggling.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Mens' Club

It's all boys around chez Schwartz. I dropped off the Mrs at the airport this afternoon. She doesn't have any vacation days, so she can't spend a day driving to NY. She will work at her sister's house instead of here. I will drive up on Thursday.
I have to do all my Christmas shopping this week. I also have to clean and prepare the house for upcoming guests.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Season's Greetings, Punk


The way we handle healthcare in this country...well, it sucks. The current system evolved from one where everyone basically paid for the services of a physician, as you needed them.
People say that this is unworkable today, because the costs of healthcare are so high, they can only be tackled with a giant infrastructure. I have a hard time buying that one. It seems like circular reasoning to me. Costs are high because there's no competition. There's no competition because costs are so high. For example, I'm sure that your average X-ray machine doesn't cost more than the hydraulic lift that your local mechanic has installed to lift your car. He got a loan for it, which he is recouping over years of business. Why can't doctors do the same? If the MRI machine is too expensive, why can't a small group of doctors buy one, sharing the investment and the profits? It would give them an advantage if patients had to come to them to make use of it.
Wouldn't the competition bring down healthcare costs?

For those people with employer-provided healthcare, there is no accountability and little or no competition. It's because of these facts that we get $15 Tylenol. This will only get worse as the competition and accountability is reduced. Oh, you won't see it in a bill, but you will be paying it, or I should say, we will all be paying it.

Continuing with the car analogy, imagine if you didn't have to pay to have your car repaired. You'd bring it in for every little dink and dent. If you had to bring it in for some repair, wouldn't you say, "As long as you have it, you might as well repaint it." This is what socialized medicine brings. This is why we have people going to the ER for a cough or cold.

Fundemental to this problem, is "WHAT is healthcare?" There are many who feel that healthcare is driven as socialism. The idea is that we spread the burden of healthcare over everybody. "We are all in it together".

I don't share that view. I feel that Health insurance is just like other insurance. You are paying to be covered against the possibility of something happening to YOU.
Should people with no children be forced to either choose "individual coverage" or "family coverage"? Should gays be forced to pay for birth control?

The socialized medicine folks say "yes". If we are allowed to choose our coverage, like a buffet, then those that require more from the system will end up paying more for coverage.

That is how it should be.

You do not have a fundemental right to healthcare. The short reason is that you don't have the right to make someone your slave. If you had the right to healthcare, that Doctor would be your slave. But that doctor is well paid, you say. Then the people who are forced to work, to pay taxes, to pay the doctor, have become your slave. I guess that does spread the servitude around, but it's still there.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Land of the Free

A member of the Durham Police Department Selective Enforcement Team escorts a child to use the bathroom after serving a search warrant at a suspected drug house. Working closely with the police department's Gang Units, SET is responsible for making high-risk entries into dwellings to serve search warrants. Gang Unit Two made two controlled buys, or drug purchases, from the home with the help of an informant, giving them probable cause for a search warrant. Even if a raid doesn't turn up anything, presence and show of force sends a hard message to the neighborhood that gang and drug activity will not be tolerated.

Think on that last sentence a minute.

Hat tip:College Photographer of the year

Some Folks Shouldn't Have Guns

Since some people have decided to re-open the can of worms that is "people vs militia" in the second amendment, I bring you this story from North Georgia.

Anderson woman shoots self after mistaking pistol for cigarette lighter

LAVONIA, Ga. - A woman staying at a northeast Georgia motel this week shot herself while trying to light a cigarette with a pistol she mistook for a cigarette lighter, police said.
Police said Olivia Hutcherson, 21, of Anderson, S.C., had been arrested for fighting at a Waffle House shortly before she shot herself in the hand with a .22-caliber pistol she had tried to use to light a cigarette.
Lavonia Police Chief Randy Shirley said Hutcherson was staying with two other people at a Best Western motel at about 6 a.m. on Sunday.
When she reached onto a nightstand for what she thought was a lighter, she instead grabbed a pistol owned by Bobby Brown, 56, of Royston, Shirley said.
About 90 minutes earlier, Hutcherson had slapped a man in the face three times after she said he touched her inappropriately, according to police reports.
Five witnesses told police they never saw the man touch her.
"She stated that someone had grabbed her from behind and she turned and struck the first person she saw," an officer wrote in the report.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Billion MINUTES ago, Jesus was alive.

Audit says FEMA squandering Katrina aid

WASHINGTON - One year after Katrina, the government is still squandering tens of millions of dollars in wasted disaster aid, including $17 million in bogus rental payments to people who had already received free trailers and apartments, federal investigators said Wednesday.

At the same time, FEMA has recovered less than 1 percent of the $1 Billion it wasted on fraudulent hurricane assistance after the August 2005 storm, highlighting a need for stronger controls the next time a major hurricane strikes. {Gee, ya think?}

Last week, a federal judge in Washington ordered the Bush administration to resume housing payments for thousands of people displaced by Katrina, criticizing FEMA for a convoluted application process. {Why are we still paying for these deadbeats' rent?}

The GAO audit found that numerous aid applicants received duplicate rental aid, with FEMA in one case providing free apartments to 10 people in Plano, Texas, while sending them $46,000 to cover out-of-pocket housing expenses.

Another $20 million was wasted on thousands of individuals who claimed the same property damage from both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. FEMA also paid at least $3 million to more than 500 ineligible foreign students in the stricken Gulf Coast, the report said.

"The additional examples of potentially fraudulent and improper payments in our testimony today show that our estimate of $1 billion in improper and/or fraudulent payments is likely understated."

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Rev Al is on the job

Well, Thank God! Al Sharpton is in town to look at the house of Kathryn Johnston, preach, and to call for a congressional investigation into the shooting.
I guess he hadn't heard that the investigation had already been voluntarily turned over to the FBI.
"We need the federal government to protect us", I heard him say on the 10 o'clock news.
Good luck with that one, Al. If you're counting on the feds to protect you, kiss your ass goodbye now.

Idiots like this piss me off. It goes beyond Al's usual stupidity. What irritates me is this mindset, ingrained in the 'old-school' civil rights whores, that everything is federal.
I know, I know. It stems from the fact that they are stuck in 1965. They believe that they can't get justice from state authorities. Yadda yadda yadda. That doesn't make it right. It doesn't justify their stupidity, or the outcome, which is to add to the already ridiculously bloated federal government.
There's an awful lot of progress in this country, that is waiting on these fossils finally dying off. (Include social security reform in that category.)

Office Xmas Party

Last night was the annual office Christmas party. Not only did we not embarrass ourselves, but there was a drawing held and I won an Ipod Nano with 4GB of memory.
I already have a 1GB mp3 player, and I've only been able to partially fill it.

Send me music!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Mrs Schwartz' Eyes

Mrs Schwartz has freaky-beautiful eyes. They are the first thing anyone notices, because they grab you from across the room. Of course, they were the first thing that initially attracted me to her (that, and her ass, which is phenomenal, but you don't get a picture of that.).

Charlie Brown in 3D

Last night, we went to see A Charlie Brown Christmas. It was put on by a local theatre company, The LionHeart Theatre. Of course, the whole cast was made up of kids. I think the oldest was 12. Snoopy was played by a little girl. There were two Woodstocks. I'm guessing there was no where else to put one of the girls, so they just had two.
It was great. When all the kids did the opening song, it sounded exactly like the tv version.
There was no curtain, so they just dimmed the lights for scene changes.
The kids did their homework. When they all had to dance on the stage at once, they each did it in the different, goofy manner that the cartoon character had danced.
Linus was played by an indian kid. As I recall, there was a point in the cartoon where Lucy chides him for carrying his blanket on stage. Linus whips the blanket around his head into a turban. They skipped that part for the live version.
We were seated next to Snoopy's mom. She told us that the parents were not allowed to see the rehearsals, so this was the first she'd seen it too.
Mrs Schwartz cried from the cuteness, and gushed all over Snoopy's mom.
Afterwards, we were all invited backstage for cookies and punch, but Mrs S was convinced she would embarrass herself, so we declined. We went for a walk instead.
Historic Norcross had their Christmas tree lighting last night too. The christmas tree is a big, old Magnolia tree. We went over to it and discovered that there was a little opening, that led to a sheltered little room underneath, perfect for smooching.

Mrs Schwartz in her native Habitat

Friday, December 01, 2006

PMS is driving me nuts

Obviously, I'm not experiencing personally, but I am forced to live with someone who is. Whatcha gonna do? Give sheep the vote?
It's the psycho mood swings that I can't deal with. Sorry, I have no empathy. I have no way of identifying with that crazy.
I also continually fail to appreciate how the smallest comment suddenly becomes a HUGE issue, resulting in cursing, pouting, yelling, followed by an angry "fuck me", all in the span of 45 seconds.
I'm sorry, THAT is something I can't deal with.

Hopefully, last night was the worst of it.

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