Monday, April 30, 2007

We Were Wrong...

Those were the words in the Maine Sunday Telegram's editorial yesterday describing their opinion on the Bush Administration's ability to execute the war in Iraq.

I told you so.

Like many American's, I personally have had, and continue to have, no confidence in George W. Bush's ability to do just about anything. He is at best, not very bright and he has surrounded himself with people with dangerous ideas and distorted views of reality. Some of the have left his administration - thankfully - but not before creating the largest political and global blunders in the history of this fine country. This may take decades to repair.

It looks like the Maine Sunday Telegram editor's have finally come around to my way of thinking. It gives me no comfort.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

You got it, Toyota!

Sorry, I have been missing for a while. It was a busy week or two at work and I was blogging stuff on two of my other blogs:

Work 1:
Work 2:

So, I have been collecting news clippings and notes on stuff to write about and finally had the time this afternoon to comment.

The news that Toyota has now surpassed General Motors in selling more cars elates me. I helped to contribute to this news by purchasing a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid last summer. I traded in my 2004 Mercury Sable which on a good day was getting 27 mpg and on a bad day was getting 23 mpg. The Camry on a good day gets 38-39 mpg and the worse was 25 mpg during the depths of winter. I'm not sure why, but others are also experiencing this.

But that's not my message, my message is the American automobile industry has their heads up know whats. I mean, they are bleeding red ink all over the place and all of the research is showing them that people was fuel efficient cars. So, what does Ford do? It ramps up the advertising for their gas-guzzlers. What a bunch of boobs.

They did this in the 1980s too. When the price of gas skyrocketed, they were still pushing the big guzzlers and when they finally responded, all they did was put crappy small, underpowered engines in their cars. I had a 1982 Mercury LN-7 which was a "sporty," two-seat version of the Ford Escort/Mercury Tracer. What a piece of crap.

So, good for Toyota.


Thursday, April 19, 2007


I just found this on a link from Dave Barry's blog. You gotta watch this:

Sorry the embedding version does not want to work on Blogger


I Don't Recall

I am certainly not the world's biggest Jon Stewart fan, but I do enjoy his Daily Show on Comedy Central, and I particularly enjoy his "moment of Zen" at the end of each show.

But when the NBC Nightly News starts to provide fodder for what will inevitably be Stewart's Daily Show Moment of Zen for April 19, 2007, I think we have achieved a new level of absurdity.

Tonight on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, the program included a segment on the US Senate hearings with US Attorney General Aberto Gonzales in which they mentioned, and then demonstrated visually, Gonzales excessive use of the phrase "I Don't Recall." In fact they reported that Gonzales used the phrase 70 times during the testimony, and then showed a clip of a "protester" in the audience who was actually keeping a scorecard of the number of times the phrase was used. Quite amazing.

I can hardly wait until 11:00 pm to see Stewart's spin.

I guess Alberto may want to get his resume in order.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Surviving the Storm

The news people have been busy this week with the horrible news of the tragedy at Virginia Tech, but here in Maine the news was just the latest storm to hit us this spring.

As I have featured, ad nauseum, in this blog over the past few months we have had a series of crazy winter and spring storms that have brought large amounts of snow, sleet and frozen garbage.

This last storm, which was more wind and rain than snow, has taken quite a toll on much of the coastal areas of Maine and the southern most counties in the state. We lucked out here, relatively speaking, with only about 3 inches of rain and wind gusts only in the 30-40 mph range. Along the coast the winds were near or just above hurricane levels and took down trees, eroded beaches, and even took a few lives. There were lots of road flooded and most people in southern Maine are confronting soggy basements.

We saw the sun today for the first time since Saturday and they are telling us it will be almost like spring this weekend. We'll see!


Saturday, April 14, 2007

My Home Town

Ebbets Field, Brooklyn NY
I must admit to some fondness for my "home town" of Brooklyn, New York.

It has been a long time since I lived there - 35 years to be exact - but as they say, "you can take the boy out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the boy," or something like that.

So it was interesting that two Brooklyn related "events" affected me this week. The first was an article in the local Kennebec Journal, Augusta's city newspaper. The article in the Sports section - a section I rarely read - was entitled "No media circus greeted Jackie Robinson" and written by Jim Becker, a retired sports writer for the AP. Here is a link to the article on MSNBC (it's not on the KJ site). The article marks the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's arrival in the major leagues. The historic event of the first African-American major league player took place at Ebbets Field, the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The article goes on to describe some of the backstory which has been obscured by 60 years of history. It's a good read.

Jackie Robinson Regretfully, by the time I was "of age" to know and follow baseball, the Dodgers had moved to California and Ebbets Field had been raised and turned into an apartment complex. I actually know more about that than Ebbets Field. I do remember when they held a big auction at the stadium and pictures on the news of people walking off with memorabilia including tracts of stadium seats. I remember my parents were depressed of the loss of the Dodgers AND the Giants who had also run away from the city. Indeed I remember the prejudice at the time towards "Negros" with some blaming them for the loss of these two National League treasures. That was in the day when there wasn't much money to spend on stadiums and teams would simply change cities when they wore out their stadium.

I remember that they kept the flag pole from Ebbets Field and installed it in front of the Ebbets Field apartments...I think it is still there. But apparently the apartment complex has been renamed for Jackie Robinson. You can visit a memorial to Ebbets Field here. And there is another tribute site here which includes the memorable sound clip of James Earl Jones talking about the "the one constant through all the years" from the film Field of Dreams. Very fitting. I'll tell you about my encounter with James Earl some other time.

The other Brooklyn connection came last night when I visited Johnson Hall in beautiful downtown Gardiner, Maine and heard a three-piece band from Brooklyn called The Wiyos. Hard to describe, their website calls their music a mix of "Vaudevillian Ragtime Blues, Hillbilly Swing and Old Time Country." I call it fun. Great little band.

Although only one of the band members is actually FROM Brooklyn, they apparently all live there and Joebass, the guy I talked to after the concert lives on Classon and Bergen Sts. which is even closer to the old Ebbets Field site than where I lived in Clinton Hill.

And so it goes, Brooklyn has been on my mind. I wonder what that means?


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Mud Season

Sorry I have not had anything to add to this blog in about a week. I have been busy updating my three or four other blogs - all of which are job-related - so you know how that goes.

It seems all I ever do on this blog is talk about the forgive me if I note that we are expecting another large snowstorm tomorrow and then another one possible on Sunday night into Monday. As I think I pointed out in the previous entry, Mother Nature has a bad way of paying us back for early winter nice weather, and is she ever.

The other thing I've noticed is that the enthusiasm for foul weather, which is a trademark of just about all TV weathermen, has been ebbing away as they have to forecast winter storms in the middle of spring. Joe Cupo, the weatherman of the NBC affiliate in Portland has been apologizing for this pattern and almost playing down the storms. This compared to December and January when they announce such events with great fanfare, donning their striped sweaters with the STORM CENTER - Channel 6 logos and matching coffee cups. They chitter like little birds as they announce school closings.

I always tell friends and family back home that March and April are known as "mud season" in this part of New England. Apart from the obvious mud that tends to be ubiquitous, mud season is also very bland - brown, in fact. Everything is brown this time of the year, the trees, the grass, the mud, your shoes...even some of the people. So, having the occasional blizzard this month is actually making things a bit more "colorful" - that is if you consider white a color!

We resign ourselves that this is a crappy time of the year weather wise in New England. April showers in Maine can bring April Floods, so keeping it white can have some benefits. At least we are getting water into the ground in a slower and more efficient manner. But if this pattern of stormy weather continues into May - when I really hope it is not still snowing - we may have May Floods this year.

Oh, well...I gotta get off this subject or I'll get depressed.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

More White Stuff

Yes, it is April, it is Spring, it is almost Easter, Baseball season has already started and yet Mother Nature is making up for lost time.

Sometimes when we have a late-start to winter like we did this year, the big lady treats us to a late spring, or more often, NO spring. This looks like it could be that kind of year.

Fourteen inches of white stuff last night into this morning. Ugh!