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Author Archives: thekingoftexas

A dad and his son, a president and his wife . . .

Have you heard the one about the son who decided his aged father would have to be sent to the “poor house”? Yep, that’s what we Alabamians and Mississippians called such institutions back in the olden days.

One morning the son told his father, “Pa, you need to get dressed.” The old man said, “Whut fer”? His son said, “I’m taking you to the poor house.” The old fellow shouted with joy and jumped up, raced to the bedroom alternating between smiling, laughing, singing, humming and whistling. He soon returned dressed in his best suit and said, “Hey, boy, whut air yew a-waitin’ fer? Let’s go!”

Thoroughly perplexed, the young man said, “Pa, I’m taking you to the poor house because I can’t take care of you at home anymore. Why are you so happy about having to go to the poor house?” The old man’s smile was replaced with a scowl and he said, “Pore house? Pore house? Hell, I thought you said whore house!

You, the reader, have probably noticed that the son and the father obviously speak differently. That’s because the son speaks English and the father speaks Alabamish—’nuf said? That silly joke provides a segue for me concerning something our president’s wife said as she ascended to the speaker’s platform to stand beside her husband after he was elected to the White House in 2008.

She said, “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.” Apparently her pride in her country was generated by her husband having been elected to the presidency of the United States. I can understand her being proud of the country for having voted him into office, but for the first time in her adult life? 

Evidently she was not proud of the country that gave him the opportunity to live free, that provided him the opportunity to live freely in a country that educated him, voted him into the Illinois state Senate, the United States Senate and vaulted him into the highest office in the land, a position considered to be the most powerful in the world.

Her statement made me realize that I was with the same emotion, but mine was in the reverse. I was ashamed of my country for submitting to the lure of the siren’s singing and allowing my country to go aground. We had no Orpheus and our country is foundering on the rocky islands. Her husband won the election and his wife expressed pride in her country for the first time in her adult life. For the enlightenment of those perhaps unfamiliar with Orpheus and the song of the sirens, I offer the following explanation provided by Wikipedia:

Sirens

Chiron had told Jason that without the aid of Orpheus, the Argonauts would never be able to pass the Sirens — the same Sirens encountered by Odysseus in Homer‘s epic poem the Odyssey. The Sirens lived on three small rocky islands called Sirenum scopuli and sang beautiful songs that enticed sailors to come to them, which resulted in the crashing of their ship into the islands. When Orpheus heard their voices, he drew his lyre and played music that was more beautiful and louder, drowning out the Sirens’ bewitching songs.

Our ship is still on the rocks, but there is hope. Not the hope and change chanted in the last presidential election, nor the hope and change that would doom our nation to remain grounded, but the hope and change that will reverse our path and take us off the rocks and return us to deep water.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

A house divided against itself cannot stand . . .

I’ve had this document, an anonymous email, for several months. I don’t remember the date I received it or who sent it. Regardless of its authenticity and its accuracy in projecting the future of the United States, the work is well written and if true, should give us pause to contemplate our future and to perhaps consider possible solutions to avoid following the problems that are destroying some European nations. Recent events have altered the e-mail’s message, specifically the 2012 presidential election, but its message still rings true.

In addition to passing this writing on, I will quote Abraham Lincoln. In 1858 he was nominated by the Illinois Republican Party to the United States Senate, and later was elected to the presidency of the United States. In his acceptance speech to the Senate nomination, he said in reference to slavery that, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” He lost the election to the Senate but two years later he became the president of the United States, and following his election President Lincoln guided the nation through four brutal years of civil war to bring the two factions together.

Today our nation is again divided against its self. How many years will we need to reunite ourselves and become a whole nation again?

The following dissertation is the anonymous email I received:

Let’s take a stand

If you read ancient history you will find that every nation since Christ’s day has died of old age in about 250 years. Rome was the exception, because they were a warring nation from Christ’s birth until 500 years later, when Rome dominated the European/Asian/African continents. Not a pretty picture.

I think this is the best email ever, but you decide on November 6, 2012. This is the best explanation of what is happening in America that I have heard. Please pass it on. It may actually make folks think.

CAN THE USA SURVIVE GIVEN THE FOLLOWING?

The folks who are getting free stuff, don’t like the folks who are paying for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff.

The folks who are paying for the free stuff want the free stuff to stop, and the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more free stuff on top of the free stuff they are already getting.

The people who are forcing the people to pay for the free stuff have told the people who are RECEIVING the free stuff that the people who are PAYING for the free stuff are being mean, prejudiced and racist.

The people who are GETTING the free stuff have been convinced they need to hate the people who are paying for the free stuff by the people who are forcing some people to pay for their free stuff, and giving them the free stuff in the first place.

We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are now more people getting free stuff than there are people paying for the free stuff.

Now understand this: All great democracies have committed financial suicide somewhere between 200 and 250 years after being founded. The reason? The voters figured out they could vote themselves money from the treasury by electing people who promised to give them money from the treasury in exchange for electing them.

Thomas Jefferson said it best: “The democracy (Republic) will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who are not willing to work.”

The United States officially became a Republic in 1776, 235 years ago. The number of people now getting free stuff outnumbers the people paying for the free stuff. We have one chance to change that on Nov 6th, 2012. Failure to change that spells the end of the United States as we know it.

ELECTION 2012 IS COMING

A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves.

I’M 100% for PASSING THIS ON

Let’s take a stand:

Obama: Gone

Borders: Closed

Language: English only

Culture: Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Drug Free: Mandatory Drug Screening before Welfare

NO freebies to: Non-Citizens

Only 86% will send this on. Should be 100%. What will you do?

The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money—Margaret Thatcher

Note: I realize that certain changes have come about since I received this email, but the basic points are the same. The election of 2012 is over and at the time of this posting none of the points of the message have changed. Perhaps our nation will somehow manage to close the divide and become as one again, if not in the coming four years then perhaps in future elections. I have serious doubts that either will occur.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2012 in Obama administration, politics

 

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In response to “From Vimeo: Human + Ice Skates = the Perfect Camera Dolly”

My daughter, the one in the middle (in age) of my group of three daughters lives, loves, laughs, labors and languishes in Northern Virginia, and plagues her father daily to find out where he is and what he’s doing and why he’s doing it, and if I’m not doing anything she wants to know why I’m not doing something.

She sent me this video in a posting on her blog. Click here for her original blog post. The video is well-worth watching, particularly because of the beautiful music. Turn up the sound, lean back and relax and enjoy the music but don’t fall asleep—you’ll miss the ending and that’s the best part.

Following the video you can enjoy the privilege of reading my comment on her posting. As of the moment, mine is the only comment. Her adventure on the ice should have attracted legions of viewers and garnered loads of comments. My comment should have attracted the same legions and comments. It has not, however, so I’m adding the comment verbatim to this post. The answer to your question is yes—WordPress will allow you to comment on comments as well as on the post, but be nice!

My comment follows, up from the Stygian darkness, away from the River Styx and up to the bright light of day.

A nice video and great sound, especially at the end when the music reached a stirring crescendo—really made me want to strap on some skates. I’m a semi-expert (read harf-arsed) and I have held on to a pair of skates from my early years. However, I have lost that little key one uses to tighten the clamps that fit on the soles of one’s shoes to hold the skates on. Also I’m unsure whether my skates would work on today’s sneakers and besides, one wheel is missing—I might manage to stay upright with just three wheels on one skate by putting most of my weight on the four-wheel skate but without that key I’m out of luck.

Speaking of traversing—defined as traveling or crossing over—and your thoughts of staying on the snowmobile rather than getting out on the ice. Seems to me that the weight of the snowmobile teamed with the latent heat of the snowmobile’s engine would increase the possibility of the ice cracking underneath. Sooooo, given that scenario, since you did venture out onto the ice, however slowly, you were probably smart to vacate the vehicle, but who knows, right?

On further reflection, the latent heat from the engine combined with your weight with you all bundled up from the cold, plus the weight of whatever equipment remained on the snowmobile, could have caused the ice to crack, so possibly by stepping out onto the ice you saved your own life and in certain societies, maybe not Montana but in certain other locales, you would have been obligated to take care of yourself for the rest of your life. It’s really neat how some things work out, ain’t it!

I recently saw a cartoon that showed a guy ice fishing and he was having good luck, had a big mound of different sized ice cubes beside him that he had caught.

That’s my comment and I’m sticking to it.

Oh, just one other thing—about that stirring crescendo—it won’t startle you and interrupt your slumber. it remains soothing throughout.

Oops, just one more correction: I said I had kept a pair of the clamp-on roller skates, but that I had lost the key and one wheel was missing. That was a great big whopper. I intended it to perhaps elicit a chuckle from the viewer, perhaps not a chortle but at least a chuckle. Hey, I’ll settle for a slight smile.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Humor

 

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My response to “Cheese haiku” . . .

A fellow female blogger sent me a (an?) haiku and I considered it a challenge for me to respond with a (an?) haiku of my own. The challenger is one of my three daughters, the one that lives, laughs, loves and labors in the hinterlands of Northern Virginia along with her husband and three—count ‘em—cats. Click here for her blog—it’s well worth a visit. Her many passions and photography skills present an astounding variety
of landscapes plus parties, places and people from all
over the US and several foreign countries.

Cheese Haiku (hers)
Aged cheddar cheese Mike?
hmmm it smells like stinky feet
want another piece?

Okay, let’s take a look at that—three lines
obviously, with five syllables in the first and third
lines and seven in the second line. Nope, this won’t be
much of a problem for a stepper such as I (am).

Cheese haiku (mine)
First piece not et yet,
Second piece I will not get.
Stinky feet? You bet!

Please note that my haiku meets the requirements of three lines with five, seven and five syllables respectively—and it rhymes—your haiku didn’t even come close to rhyming—nanny, nanny, boo boo! And before you chastise me because I did not meet the requirement of a season, look again. Spring, summer, fall or winter, right? Right! Any reader will immediately connect stinky feet with summer, like, you know, really hot, and stinky sweaty socks on stinky feet shod in stinky sour sneakers will definitely qualify as stinky (note the alliterative phrases—I do love alliteration).

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in cats, Humor, pets, Uncategorized, Writing

 

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A shaggy dog story . . .

A special note: I beg forgiveness for making the image so large, but it was so inviting I couldn’t resist it.

These almost naked hot dogs, cleverly draped with lines of mustard covering strategic areas, await apprehensively but longingly to be smothered—no, slathered—okay, both smothered and slathered with the condiments pictured above. I suggest adding the chili first, then add the onions and several spoons full of melted cheese—globs, really—randomly placed so the meat and onions and chili can still be seen. One should always attempt to keep the palette of colors visible until the last bite disappears. This enables the sense of sight to join with the other senses of smell, taste, touch and hearing while one is indulging in a feast fit for kings.

Click here to meet the blogger who prepared this visual gustatory delight. With that one click you’ll meet a lovely lady with a beautiful smile, great hair and a knack for preparing, decorating and presenting gorgeous spreads that feature an incredible variety of foods, up to and including edible flowers.

With another click here you’ll meet the blogger who made the layout and the photograph, another lovely lady with too many lovely features and too many irons in the fire for me to list all of them, so I’m steering you to her STUFF ABOUT ME. Please do yourself, the ladies and me a favor and check out both blogs. I promise that your learning curve will go up and out of sight. I also promise that both bloggers will respond to any comment you may make, immediately or perhaps even sooner, and if they lag behind in their responses just let me know, and I promise you I’ll build a fire under them.

I have some very personal and selfish reasons for steering the legions of readers that frequent my blog to check out these bloggers—well, okay, maybe not legions but I do get a fair number of hits. I made my usual erudite comment on her hot dog layout, a sparkling comment sprinkled with a delicate blend of humor, truth and fiction, and I was so enamored of my writing that I decided to share it with my readers—to share the wealth, so to speak. That phrase seems very familiar, but I can’t imagine why.

What follows is my comment on Barbara’s posting. Yep, I asked and received her permission to use her photograph in order to bring my comment up and out of the Stygian darkness of comments and into the bright light, blah, blah, blah.

Hi, Barbara,

I love them ‘air hot dogs (‘air is south Georgia-speak for there, as in “I love them there hot dogs.” A few years ago–okay, it was quite a few years ago— I was en route to Detroit and changed planes at O’Hare in Chicago and I had the hungries (that’s right, right? Change the y to I and add es?). I went to the terminal SlopJar and ordered two dogs with chili. I was the sole customer, so it was reasonable for me to anticipate fast service.

I was served promptly. The two hot dogs were served on a paper plate, but hidden by a mountain of chili comparable to the fire, brimstone and ashes that covered Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius erupted and interrupted the lives of everyone in town—yep, sent almost the entire population to another realm. Judging from some of the frescoes that were painted on the walls of the numerous bathhouses, a considerable number of the population may have descended (as opposed to ascended). There is a slight chance that I could be wrong, of course.

But I digress—back to the dogs. There were no utensils visible—no knives, forks or spoons, no solid silver, silver-plated, steel or tin and not even any of those flimsy plastic forks that reduce themselves to only one tine (prong), rendering it useful only as a toothpick. The attendant denied having any utensils under the counter, in the storeroom or in his pockets.

I had to assume that the buns and the dogs were under the chili because there were two distinct oblong shapes visible, and I gave no thought to using my finger to confirm what was below the chili because steam was rising from the mixture and that’s how Mount Vesuvius started, and added to that was the fact that no paper napkins were in sight.

I detest this phrase but I’ll use it anyway. To make a long story short, I sold the paper plate and its burden back to the attendant. I did not complain, and I made my request for reimbursement in words of one syllable (I hate that phrase also). I said, “I want my cash back.” He apparently had not been trained to offer an apology to a disgruntled customer, but he complied with the utmost alacrity in completing the refund transaction.

Oh, I almost forgot—your dog posting is nicely presented with literary precision and superb graphics. Only one item is a slight turn-off for me in the posting, and that’s in the photo. I don’t hate mustard, but I avoid it whenever possible. I like mayonnaise on my hot dogs, and I refuse to dilute the mayo with even a smidgen of chili.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in cooking, fast food, flowers, Humor, Uncategorized

 

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DUI—the final solution—tough love, zero tolerance

From Wikipedia:

What is the legal drinking limit for drivers in Texas?

The blood alcohol limit in Texas is a 0.08 BAC ( Blood Alcohol Content), unless you are under the age of 21. If you are under the age of 21 and your BAC is 0.02 or higher then you are legally intoxicated. Additionally, the legal limit for commercial drivers is a BAC of 0.04 or more.

What are the terms used for drunk driving offenses in Texas?

A person arrested for drunk driving in Texas will be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”). Moreover, the definition of Intoxication, under Texas DWI law, includes both drugs and alcohol. However the term used for a drunk driving offense for a driver under age 21 Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol By A Minor (“DUI by a Minor”).

What happens if I refuse to consent to a Chemical Blood or Breath Test when pulled over for DWI in Texas?

According to Texas’ implied consent law, once you receive your driver’s license you automatically consent to a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine to determine blood alcohol content or the presence of drugs. If you refuse the test, your driver’s license will be taken away immediately and you will be issued a temporary drivers license until your court hearing. During your hearing the refusal may be used as evidence against you and the court may rule to suspend your driver’s license.

Those are the rules, and what follows is my analysis and my recommendations—tough love and zero tolerance.

If one is driving on San Antonio’s freeways, whether day or night, one needs to be ready to dodge some damn fool coming towards one against traffic, sometimes weaving across lanes at a slow speed and sometimes at high speeds. Alcohol is the cause of most of our wrong-way drivers—they have entered the off-ramp thinking it was the on-ramp to the freeway.

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Our city is one of the worst in the nation for such violations, and our police officers do everything they can to prevent accidents and save lives by controlling and stopping the wrong-way idiot before someone dies because of stupidity. The police often resort to placing spike mats across the lanes, a dangerous action for the patrol officers and for regular traffic and dangerous even for the traffic offender. Some times the spikes work and sometimes not.

In virtually every incidence, the wrong-way driver is DUI—driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances. Our daily paper, the Express-News, faithfully reports such violations, the police faithfully arrest the offender and the judge faithfully sentences the driver to prison and orders probation along with community service.

If the DUI results in the death of another driver and/or passengers, the offender is given the option of having a jury decide the punishment or places his fate in the hands of a judge. The judge almost always orders prison time and the juries almost always punish with probation and community service. In San Antonio we have drivers with as many as a dozen DUIs and still driving.

When drivers are stopped and are suspected of DUI, the routine  tests are administered, including having the suspected offenders walk a straight line or at least make the attempt, close their eyes and touch the tip of their nose, take the breathalyzer test and/or submit to having blood drawn to determine blood alcohol content. If the alcohol content meets a predetermined level, the driver is charged with DUI and the court process begins.

Our local paper tracks the offenses, and sometimes the story is that a particular citizen has been charged multiple times with DUI and is still on the loose, on probation. I believe that if adopted, my suggestions will change that.

I recommend two processes to be made law. The first is to implement zero tolerance. If tests show the presence of alcohol, regardless of the amount, fine the offender and strip the driver’s license to drive for six months and impose a financial penalty. Subsequent offenses should escalate in severity to include longer periods of loss of license including loss of driving privileges for life, higher financial penalties and extended terms of incarceration. Community service should never be a sentence for violation of DUI, whether it be the only punishment or an addition to other options—community service is a farce.

My second suggestion is to require that any person, whether male, female, adult or juvenile that intends to imbibe alcohol beverages or indulge in using substances that affect driving skills, whether legal or illegal substances, must utilize a designated driver. With that protection, the drinker will be able to ride in comfort to the various venues that feature alcoholic beverages and have no fear of being charged with DUI violations. That person may be a drunken passenger, but in the absence of other violations such as mooning people, for instance, or riding while naked or barfing out of the window and splattering the windshield of the vehicle behind thus obscuring the driver’s vision and causing an accident, that person should be safe from our dedicated police officers. I have no recollection of anyone having been charged with RWD—Riding While Drunk.

What follows now is a not-so-brief bio of my mother’s youngest son in respect to liquor consumption. I hasten to say that having driven various motor vehicles over more than six decades—almost seven decades—I have never been cited for driving under the influence of alcohol. I lost count over the years for citations I have earned for minor traffic offenses, but none for DUI. Yes, luck was on my side many times, and I take no pride in that. I will, however, take pride in being truthful, at least in this instance.

In my teenage years I was a confirmed introvert—an introvert, however, only until I consumed my first alcoholic beverage, whether straight shots with or without a chaser, a mixed drink or wine or beer. Immediately after that first drink I became a confirmed extrovert, and I hit on everything that even remotely resembled a female, homo sapiens of course. I never desired nor was I ever involved in an intimate sexual relationship with non-homo sapiens whether large or small and whether animal, vegetable or mineral—well, there was just one time I was briefly involved with a sun-warmed watermelon (hey, lighten up—that’s a joke, damn it).

My hit lines were delivered regardless of the target’s race, political affiliation, religious beliefs, education or lack thereof and physical features whether heavy or slim, tall or short, whether brunette, blond, red-haired, streaked, short hair, long hair, curly hair, dreadlocks, bangs or bald. I was not one of those for whom “all the girls get prettier at closing time,” a claim made in a song by country singer Mickey Gilley. The girls went from drab to pretty immediately after I took that first drink and kept getting prettier as the hour neared closing time.

In my teenage years and extending to today’s tender accumulation of years, I have never seen nor do I ever expect to see an ugly woman. In my estimation every member of the female gender is attractive—it’s just that some are prettier than others, and in many instances much, much prettier—I mean, like you know, a lot prettier, like, you know, drop-dead gorgeous. Of course, I must remind the reader of a hoary adage which tells us that  “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Yeah, right!

PeeEss:

I—meaning the author of this posting—am a teetotaler and have been for a significant number of years. The only downside to being a teetotaler is that I can’t respond to wine-tasting parties, many of which are free. I eschew alcohol in all its forms except one. I do not subscribe to the statement that “Lips that touch whiskey will never touch mine.” In this one exception I embrace the saying that “There are exceptions to every rule.”

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Old joke—A guy in a bar approaches a tall female, one with unusually striking facial features, and says, “Ubangi?”

She replies, “You betcha!”

Click here for photos of Ubangi women, and please remember the premise that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, a truism to which I subscribe with very few exceptions.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 
 

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If I’m gone tomorrow . . .

I received this heart-wrenching but charming e-mail from a family member. After reading it and digesting its message I made myself a promise to do my best to follow the path this article laid out for me. Some of the items will be difficult for me to adhere to but others are, as they say, no-brainers, one particularly. In the poet’s words, when the path I travel diverges in two different directions I’ll choose the one least traveled, rather than follow the crowd.

This is the article I received:

One evening a long-married couple retired for the night, but only one awakened the next morning. On that cold clear morning in the warmth of their bedroom, the survivor was struck with the realization and the pain of knowing that sometimes there are “no mores.”

No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more “just one minute.”

Sometimes someone we care for the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return, before we could say good-bye or say “I love you.”

So while we have it, it’s best to love it, care for it, fix it when it’s broken and heal it when it’s sick.

This is true for marriage and old cars, and children with bad report cards, and dogs with bad hips, and aging parents and grandparents.

We keep them because they are worth it and because we are worth it.

Some things we keep, like a best friend who moved away or a sister-in-law after divorce. There are just some things that make us happy, no matter what.

Life is important, like people we know who are special, and so we keep them close.

Suppose one morning we never wake up? Do all our family members and our friends know we love them?

The important thing is to let every one of them know we love them, even if we think they don’t love us back.

And just in case I’m gone tomorrow,

Please vote against Obama.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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