Gut Rumbles
 

August 31, 2007

Ignorance

Originally published November 28, 2005

Opinions are like belly buttons-- everybody has one, but most people should keep theirs covered up, lest they display something ugly. That's my advice for this moron, who simply doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.

I know I'm going to piss off many of you, but I have never accepted the disease model of addiction, or addicition itself, which is less a medical than a stigmatizing term.

I believe alcoholism is bad behavior. That's all.

Posted by Brett at November 17, 2005 05:32 PM

Brett, you are full of shit. You probably don't "accept" that idea, either, but you are really, really FULL of shit.

You may not be an alcoholic, but you are more fucked up than anybody I saw in rehab. At least we were TRYING to get well. You seem content to remain an ignorant asswipe. You might try to educate yourself, so you know what the hell you're bleating about, but I don't expect that sort of effort from the likes of you.

Drunks can quit drinking. Dumbasses stay that way all their lives.

Bosses

Originally published June 19, 2002

I found an interesting observation on LYNN UNLEASHED today. She talks about BOSSES.

"I caught part of a discussion on NPR about bosses. I didn't like the way the moderator kept trying to excuse the bad behavior of some bosses, saying that employees needed to be more understanding of the pressures that managers have to deal with. I'm sure there's some truth in that but to me it sounded a little too much like typical victim mentality. Normal rules of behavior don't apply to me because I have to deal with stuff you don't understand."

I AM a boss, and I believe I'm a good one because I've worked for some TERRIBLE ones in my career. I learned a lot about how NOT to handle employees from them. But when Lynn mentioned "victim mentality," she unknowingly touched on the biggest headache a boss ever faces.

Too many employees seem to believe that "normal rules of behavior don't apply to me because I have to deal with stuff you don't understand." And when a boss tells them that normal rules of behavior, standard operating procedures and safety policies apply to EVERYBODY, they immediately decide that they are being singled out and picked on, not because they violate the rules, but because of something personal. How many times have I heard, "What have got against ME?" or "You're only messing with me because I'M BLACK and YOU'RE WHITE" or "If so-and-so did the same thing, you'd leave him alone 'cause he's you're buddy and I'M NOT." That's a self-styled victim talking.

They never say "I didn't do it," (well, some do, even when caught red-handed, but mostly they don't) or "I wasn't aware of that rule" or "Yeah, I know I screwed up, but I won't do it again." They become aggressive or whiny and do their very best to deflect the conversation away from their actions and onto something personal. The only way to deal with these people is to stick strictly to performance. That's what I do.

I once had an operator tell me "YOU don't tell me how to do MY job," as he jabbed an angry finger about 1/2 inch from my nose. I said, "Oh, yes I DO. That's why I am called YOUR SUPERVISOR. I can't MAKE you do what I ask, but I CAN make you wish you did. You've been given an assignment. Now you decide how we're gonna play this game." I turned around and walked off. He probably fretted and fumed the rest of the day and told all his buddies about how he would whip my ass if he ever caught me on the street, but he completed the assignment just the way I asked him to do it. I checked on him about an hour after our confrontation and he was on the right track, so I just said, "looking good," and kept on walking.

Had he not done it, I would have suspended him on the spot and done my level best to fire his sorry, insubordinate ass. But I don't use "insubordination" as a charge warranting disciplinary action against anyone. I use "POOR JOB PERFORMANCE." Cussing me and waving a finger in my face is not a firing offense. That's bad attitude, and I can't change anybody's attitude. Cussing me, waving a finger in my face and then not doing what I told you to do IS a firing offense. That's poor job performance, and I CAN change that, regardless of attitude.

I am not a little Hitler, my-way-or-the-highway dictator on the job. I listen to good advice from experienced operators. If I tell one of my people to do something and they say, "Rob, are you SURE you want to do that?" I stop and listen. If they have a better idea, I'll run with that. And if simply SOUNDS like a better idea and I run with it only to see it blow up in my face, guess what? I take the flack. I have never scapegoated anyone for decisions I made that turned out to be wrong. That's why the good operators still give me good advice.

Here is my philosophy about being a good boss:

1) HANDLE YOUR PEOPLE WITH CARE That doesn't mean "treat everybody the same," because everybody is different. No two people respond alike to supervision, and you're a goddam fool if you believe one size fits all. With some people, just tell 'em what you want and get the hell out of the way. With others, explain it carefully, tell them why the task needs to be performed a certain way, and check regularly to make sure they're doing it correctly. With others, you'd better take them by the hand, walk them through it, then have THEM walk YOU through it, just to make sure they understand. Get to know your people. Every one is different.

2) BE CONSISTENT One of the worst bosses I ever worked for allowed all sorts of safety violations in his area, never enforced the absentee policy and even bought chances in a football pool one of his operators was running on the job. An accident occurred in his area, he got his butt chewed by the Plant Manager, and he became a Born-Again Disciplinarian overnight. He came to work the next day, issued written reprimands to half the crew for stuff they had been doing for months, suspended two people for safety violations he routinely ignored before he got his butt chewed, and confiscated the football pool and had the operator fired for running it. I wanted to puke when I saw that.

I don't treat everybody alike, but I enforce all the rules uniformly. The way I enforce them doesn't change depending on which side of the bed I slept on last night, or whether the Plant Manager chewed my ass the day before. The rules don't change depending on who violated them. We do some things by the book, all the time, and if YOU DON'T, you pay for it. That never changes.

3) KEEP YOUR WORD Never promise what you can't deliver, and never fail to deliver what you promise. That sword cuts both ways and people who work for you need to know and appreciate that fact. If they want improvements on the job, or a new microwave oven for the breakroom or a reward for outstanding performance, such as a free hat from the company store for a record production month, and you say you'll do it, then by God DO IT. Otherwise, don't say that you will. By the same token, if you announce to one and all that "I'm gonna suspend the next person who runs that tank over!" do THAT, too. Never lie and never threaten.

4) NEVER ARGUE WITH A SUBORDINATE You're the boss, so act like it. "SHUT UP AND DO IT" is a last resort and I seldom need to apply that tactic, but even that is better than having every decision you make the subject of debate. A work crew is not a democracy. The supervisor's word is law and that fact should be well understood. A good boss is a benevolent dictator. Behave that way.

5) DON'T MAKE FRIENDS WITH PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR YOU This axiom took me years to figure out, but it's essential. Even if you and your friend know that everything is strictly business inside the plant, the fact that you play golf together and your wives are good friends and you eat dinner at each other's houses muddies the water. That's especially true if your friend is the best operator you've got and you never have to chew his ass about anything. That may be what made him your friend, but other people will see it as favoritism. Don't go there. When people say "it's lonely at the top," sometimes it is.

6) BE LIKED BY THE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR YOU My God! How can I possibly say THAT when I just warned that you shouldn't make friends with people who work for you? I didn't invent that idea on my own. I got it from Gordon Jackson, who is a magnificent motivational speaker from Atlanta and a man of clear thought about such things. A sad fact of human nature is that we will not do our best for someone we find replusive. If we have a boss we find to be disgusting enough, we'll go out of our way to screw HIM up. In doing so, we screw up the whole operation. Gordon's example was Johnny Majors as head football coach at the University of Tennessee. Majors was a God in that state. The top recruits across the nation wanted to play for that legend. But when they got to school, they quickly discovered that they didn't like Johnny Majors, they didn't play well for him, and the Tennessee football team stunk up the SEC while Majors was there. He was fired, they hired Phill Fulmer, who the players LIKE, and Tennessee is a powerhouse again. If people don't like working for you, they won't work for you.

And that's all I have to say about THAT.

August 30, 2007

Monday Mission: Father's Day

Originally published June 18, 2002

Promo Guy has another Monday Mission, and I have accepted it.

1. What does Father's Day mean to you personally?
A lot more than it once did. I took my son for granted, the same way I did my father, when I expected them both to be around forever. Now my father is dead and my son is mine four days per month. I want both of them back, full time. I have an entirely new perspective.

2. Was there a Father, or a Father Figure in your life as you grew up?
A very powerful, influencial Father Figure. MY FATHER. He was a hell of a man.

3. a) If you are a parent, is the father of your child(ren) involved on a daily basis? Is that even important?
Oh hell yes, it's important. But, no, I'm not involved AT ALL, except for four days each month. That "daily basis" privilege was taken from me by a bloodless cunt of an ex-wife, who says I rejected it because I won't play pretty around the unemployed, dope-smoking lover that she checked out fully while we were still married. Can't we all just get along? NO, WE CAN'T!!!

4. With Rosie, Callista, Jodie and Camryn all raising children without Fathers, Hollywood seems to be sending a message that children do not need male role models. Do you agree? Are these "stars" sending a good message to the young adults who admire them?
They're sending the same message my ex-wife believes. She has babysitters, camps, sports teams and occasionally an ex-father to dump the kid on while she claws her way to success. If you succeed at work, and establish a career, why does your child need a father?

5. Do you think the absence of a loving, caring father in the life of a child could have any influence on their sexual preferences when the child grows up?
My son has a loving, caring father. I'm just not around as much as I would like to be. And if he grows up to be gay, I'll love him with all my heart anyway, the same as I do now.

6. Was there ever a time when your father became "uncool." Or maybe embarrassed you?
Not really. I fought with my father, I defied my father and I often did exactly the opposite of what he told me to do, just to show him that I could, but he never embarrassed me. I always have been proud of my father and I remain so today.

7. Are you ever too old to kiss your Dad?
I never kissed my Dad in my life that I can recall. I regret that now.

BONUS: When you coming home, dad?
Unfair, painful question. Because the answer is "never." I should have deleted this part of the questionaire.

For the blog: Cat bombs

Originally published November 21, 2005

I've been hit by small-arms fire in the form of "cute" cat pictures. I've also been carpet-bombed by cat-cards from all over the country. Somebody even hit me with a tactical nuke in the form of a "Cat-O-Poly" board game. I thought I had seen it all. I was mistaken.

Toni Kilpatrick launched a full spread of photon torpedos and scored a crippling hit on the starship Acidman with a stuffed cat complete with battery-powered "meows". The nurses thought it was so adorable that they INSISTED that I keep the damn thing in my room.

There it sits as I write- staring at me from my bedside desk. It has blue eyes and it's nose lights up red when it meows. It radiates pure, unadultrated cat evil. It's just waiting for the right moment when I'm asleep at night to creep onto my chest and suck all the breath out of me. Adorable, my cracker ass.

Toni, thank you for the wonderful gift. One fine day, I will track you down and express my gratitude in person by choking you with my bare hands.

I hate goddamn cats!

(Posted by Acidman in letters from rehab)

August 29, 2007

For The Blog: Rec Therapy

Originally published November 20, 2005

One of the daily activities here that I truly hate is "Recreational Therapy" (or "Romper Room," as I call it.) Where my fellow inmates and I gather in the presence of a perky, young girl to play idiotic games. The games somehow are supposed to teach up lessons about how to stay clean and sober, but I am unable to see the connection between activities that would bore the shit out of a size year-old and my sobriety.

In fact, the very thought of going to Rec Therapy today makes me want to pitch a good, old-fashioned drunk. Besides - I don't trust ANYBODY as perky as our instructor.

The only times I've ever felt THAT perky in my life was when I was taking amphetamines.

On course, I learned early on never to ask "why?" when told to do something here that made no sense to me. I just shut up and do it. I'll shut up and do Rec Therapy again today.

But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

A white-end guy

Originally published June 18, 2002

Today at work, I had to do a PSSR (Pisser, as I call it) on a new operation we will begin test-driving next week. A Pre-Start-up Safety Review is a dry walk-down of a new system that is ALMOST ready to run, where a collection of "subject matter experts" examine everything with a fine-toothed comb and create a punch-list of items that must be corrected before we in Operations actually take charge of our new baby. The "Pissers" involved were the Design Engineer, the Construction Coordinator, the Safety Specialist, the Area Support Chemical Engineer, the Area Trainer and poor old Acidman Mars, who is responsible for making the new creation run whether it's a Golden Child or a Thalidamide Baby. Needless to say, I take these exercises pretty seriously if I see something I really don't like.

Most of the defects we found were minor and easily corrected. Engineers draw P&IDs for a project. P&IDs are basic line drawings that show where pipes go, how many valves are needed and what instruments should be put on those pipes. But P&IDs don't say "put the valve HERE" and drill the instrument tap "THERE." So, you always end up with an important isolation valve or two put where Spiderman couldn't reach them and instrument taps drilled right next to the valves. My big problem with such idiocy is not with the engineer. It's with the allegedly skilled craftsmen who installed that ridiculous crap. If I were a professional pipefitter, before I ever installed a valve on a line, I would ask myself one question: would I ever want to open it, close it or work on it where I am about to install it? If the answer is "HELL NO!" then I wouldn't put the valve there. But these professional craftsmen do it all the time.

They are contractors. They'll never see that valve again in their lives. They KNOW that they'll never have to open it, close it or work on it. They'll install it KNOWING it's screwed up and just hope to get away with it. That's one of the main reasons we conduct "PISSERS."

We started on the third floor and walked the system for seven floors up from there. When you hit the end of this new line, the only thing higher in the air than you are is the 180' and 200' stacks at the back of the plant. We found a few of those "Spiderman" construction defects and noted them (Bwhahaha! The slack bastard that did it will have to come back and do it right the second time. HE SEES THE VALVE AGAIN! Unfortunately, we probably pay extra for the dorkle to undo his mistake.)

We finally walked through the dust and the noise and arrived on the roof next to the new baghouse. While everybody else was checking out the baghouse, the exhaust blower and the pulsaire system, I heard the Safety Specialist say, "THE WHITE END SUCKS." I turned around and said, "What?"

"The White End sucks," he said. "Somebody wrote it right there on that I-beam." Sure enough, one poetic construction worker had penciled his thoughts about the area where I work in bold letters on that beam. I laughed and said, "He got THAT right!"

The Area Trainer said, "It takes a special kind of person to work the White End. Either you like it, or you hate it. There is no in-between. And my opinion is, fuck the ones who don't like it." My Area Trainer is a White End guy. The same as I am.

In manufacturing pigment, we take black sand and turn it into the whitest substance known to man. (Before some overly-scientific perfectionist such as Stephen Den Beste corrects me, I'll confess that the pigment actually IS NOT white. It is a clear crystal that refracts light in such a way that it APPEARS to be white to the human eye. Who cares? I look like a slender version of Frosty the Snowman when I get it all over me.) The guys who work in RAW PIGMENTS handle the stuff when it's still black, and when they put into a gaseous form. They seldom are covered up with it, which is a good thing, because they use a lot of hazardous chemicals to change the ore from black to white.

When the BACK-END guys are done with their magic, they send the product to me as a white liquid. I classify it, grind it, treat it, filter it, dry it and grind it into a very fine dust, then package it for shipment to our customers. Depending on what kind of dust we're making, you consumers find the finished product in paint, paper, plastic, vinyl siding, the white stripe on whitewall tires, the white M&M on M&Ms, the shiny icing on your birthday cake, the abrasive in your toothpaste and the stuff that actually refracts sunlight off your naked flesh when you wear sunscreen. Our pigment goes into all kinds of things.

White End guys are the ones who deal with the finely-milled dust and blow a lot of white boogers from their noses when a day of problems is over. White End guys bathe with Ivory Dishwashing soap, because that's the only detergent that will remove that stuff from their skin. White End guys shower, exit the shower with the water still running so they can check their naked selves in the mirror to find the white spots they missed, then climb back in the shower to remove them. Blacks and whites work well together in the White End, because everybody is Frosty when things go bad.

I am a White End guy, like my Area Trainer, my shift supervisors and their operators. Maybe when you scrub with dishwashing detergent often enough to remove the dust, you squeeze it under your skin and into your bloodstream. I really can't explain it, but I've worked almost everywhere in that plant over the last 22 years, and I've seen what the other areas have to offer. Today, there is nowhere I would rather work than the White End.

It may "suck" to other people, but it's home to me.

August 28, 2007

For the blog- Prick gnats

Originally published November 17, 2005

Every Sunday, we all pack into several mini-vans (called "druggie buggies" by the "inmates") and go off somewhere on a field trip. Today, we went to the Mann Center, which is a Baptist church retreat. We ate hot dogs for lunch and played softball for a couple of hours.

Well, SOME people played softball. The physically disabled in the group, including me, sat under an oak tree and swated gnats for a couple of hours. I think I inhaled about a pound of those buzzing, biting bastards.

"DAMN! I didn't think sand gnats lived this far north", someone observed.

"Those aren't sand gnats," Someone else replied. I agreed. These gnats were just as pestiferous as a genuine no-see-'em, but they were bigger, with dark wings.

"Then what the hell are they?" The first person asked.

"Prick gnats," came the reply.

"Prick gnats? How did they get that name?"

"From where they like to land on dogs. They like rigid tools. That's why they're biting YOU. You remind them of a dog's dick."

Maybe you had to be there, but I thought that reply was hilarious. And it's TRUE about where those gnats land on a dog.

-Acidman

Fathers

Originally published June 16, 2002

Today is Father's Day.

My father died at 7:00 in the morning on October 12, 1992. I was there when it happened, and my brother and I made the funeral arrangements later that morning. I managed to get through the visitation and the burial service without breaking down into a blubbering fool, but that was a rough ride. My father was the most influencial person in my life, and almost ten years later I still think about him every day and sometimes dream about him at night.

He gave me a strong work ethic and he taught me to love reading. He tried to interest me in carpentry, woodworking, plumbing, bricklaying and other mechanical skills he possessed, but none of that stuff ever really inspired me. Those things never took with my brother, either. I can do a half-assed job of most of those things if I really concentrate, but I would rather not. My brother doesn't even try.

My father built model ships, with all the intricate parts and delicately threaded rigging, and I wanted to run screaming from the room when I saw the patience and concentration he put into that work. He was that way about a lot of things. As for me, even with a meticulous, detail-oriented father, I ended up with the attention span of a sand gnat.

I look more like my Mama than I do him, but I have his eyes, and I passed them on to my son. One of my biggest regrets is that my son never met his grandfather. Dad died one year and two months before Quinton was born. That young man will never know what he missed. My Dad would have doted on my son to the point of obnoxiousness, which is a good thing for grandfathers to do. I wish he could have known my boy and given him some of the things he gave to me

My Dad and I didn't always get along ("too much alike," according to Mom) and we had some real head-butting contests, especially during my disgusting teenage years. But I always respected him. He earned that by the way he lived his life, as a hard worker, a good husband, a fine father and one hell of a man.

Happy Father's Day, Pop!

I was hoping to see my son today. I don't believe that's going to happen. I've called several times since Friday, but all I get is the answering machine, and none of my messages have been returned. The ex is off somewhere with my son and her lover.

Happy Father's Day to me, too.

August 27, 2007

For the blog- Freedom!

Originally published November 15, 2005

I got my release date today. I exit the morning of November 28, five weeks and two days after I came reeling in here. I think I'm getting some time off for good behavior. They told me six weeks minimum when I checked in.

This is day 21, and I must admit - I do not look like the same person I was 21 days ago. That's an encouraging sign because I don't want to be that person ever again.

I've gained some weight (I still need to add another 30 pounds or so to fill out my frame decently), I have a good appitite and I'm sleeping well. In another 18 days, I may resemble my old self again.

Of course that's where the difficult part begins. It's easy to be clean and sober, in a rehab facility - I don't have any choice. But the outside world is full of temptation, and I am an alcoholic. Alcoholics don't think the way normal people do. If we ever take that first drink, we cannot stop. And if I ever start drinking again, I'll be dead very shortly.

You'd think that fact would be enough to convince me never to drink again. Hell, it would be for ANY sane, rational person.

But I'm not a sane, rational person. I am an alcoholic. I will be an alcoholic for the rest of my life. No cure exists for this cunning, baffling, powerful disease. The very best I can hope for if to keep the disease in remission by practicing complete abstinence. No drinking. None. Nada. Never.

That's all a tall order - A lot taller than what most "earth people" (non-alcoholics) can ever understand. It ain't like turning off a light switch. It ain't a question of self-disipline. It's a complete change in behavior and thinking.

I'm scared shitless. I don't know if I can do it.

For the blog- Midnight Oil

Originally published November 15, 2002

I fucked up tonight. I went by the nurse's station at 8:00 this evening to get my nightly dose of meds - an antibiotic, a potassium pill and a folic acid pill. The nurse said that it would be better if I waited until later in the evening - I had taken an antibiotic with my 6:00 diuretics, so she suggested that I come back at 10:00 or later.

That's what I meant to do, but I fell asleep in my room. The nurse woke me at midnight.

Now it's 1:00 in the morning and I'm still wide awake. Damn!

(UPDATE: False alarm - I went back to bed at 1:30, fell promptly asleep and had to be awakened by a different burse at 7:30 this morning. I think I like my new room.)

For the blog- from Acidman

Originally published November 15, 2005

Note From The Underground-

* I got my own private room today, complete with my own bathroom. Life is good.

* Quinton sent me a letter. He got babtized in his church last Sunday and then broke his arm playing football later in the day. Explain to me again how God works in mysterious ways.

* The swelling in my feet and legs appears to be subsiding at last. I've got a way to go to get back to normal, but at least I'm seeing some progress now. It's about time, too. I've been in a lot of pain. I've also pissed enough to fill a swimming pool from all the diuretics.

* I received the Ultimate Cat Bomb from Vincent Perriello of Bowling Green, Kentycky. Thanks, Vince, you bastid! He sent a "Cat-O-Poly" Game. Hell, that's not a bomb, that's a fucking nuke.

* Debora Demora sent me two bars of home-made soap that smells wonderful. Unfortunately, the staff put the soap under lock and key. They are suspicious that the soap may contain some mind-altering ingredient, even though Debora included the recipe she used to make it. I'll get the soap back when I check out of here. I told the staff that I wasn't going to eat, smoke, snort or mainline the soap, but they don't take chances around here.

* Needless to say, DO NOT send me any food.

* This is day nineteen. Time sure does fly when you're having fun.

August 26, 2007

For the blog: Day 14

Originally published November 7, 2005

Today makes two weeks in rehab, and it's one of those days when my alcohol-soaked brain rebels against the pangs of sobriety. I believe that I now know what senility feels like. I open my mouth to say something profound and I never know what incoherent babble may come flying out of my neck. It's disconcerting.

I think I pissed away half my brain on these got-damn diuretic pills I'm taking.

I'm hoping to move into a private room next week. In my "transition room" I have a very large roommate who likes to keep the temperature set at Walk-In Freezer, The yankee bastard. I have two extra blankets for my bed and I'm still cold in there. The place is about the size of a decent closet with two beds crammed in there. My roomie can't sleep unless he forms frost on his breath. At least he doesn't snore.

On Tuesday, the day before I lost my brains, I won an engineering contest. The object was to take a raw egg, a handful of plastic coffee stirrers and 3 feet of 1" masking tape and build armor for the egg so that it wouldn't break when dropped on the ground.

Mine wasn't the prettiest egg (it resembled a sea urchin), but it was the only one in the contest to survive an eight foot fall intact. I was still smart that day.

Since then, I've gone completely to shit mentally. I believe that this is a normal part of the rehab process (My body is long accustomed to running on high-octane fuel - It's pinging and knocking on regular now.)

My spirit is high, even though I'm not. If the swelling in my feet and legs goes away, I might even feel pretty good. I've got a long way to go, but it will pass, one day at a time.

I miss the blog world, but it will still be there when I get out. See you soon.

-Acidman

Another letter from Dad

Originally published November 7, 2002

He got the address right on this one!

For The Blog: Recovery? 11/2/05

My feet and legs hurt like hell. They've got me up to 8 diuretic pills per day now and I'm pissing like a racehorse. But the swelling isn't going down. They ran a check on my liver and my enzymes are all fucked up, but I should return to normal function in a couple of weeks with no permanent damage - as long as I don't drink again.

The swollen feet and legs serve one useful purpose - they get me out of Group Recreation, so I can write instead of play volleyball or pitch horseshoes. Working in some free time around here isn't easy. I even have fucking homework at night.

What the hell. This place isn't supposed to be fun. It's supposed to save my life.

I hope it does.

August 25, 2007

One Giant Step- from Acidman

Originally published November 2, 2005

I finished with de-tox and moved from Unit I to Unit II today, at least on paper. They don't have an open bed for me there yet, but that's where I go for all the meetings. I'm still in my old room for now, but I get all the Unit II privileges. More freedom (along with more work) and buffet meals instead of just what somebody else throws on a plate for you.

The food is pretty good here.

I've pretty much recovered from the fall I took last Saturday, and my only problem now is that my feet, ankles and legs are below the knee are so swollen that I can barely wear shoes. I walk like a crab, but at least I'm walking.

Thanks again for all the cards and letters-even the cat-bombs, you assholes-
People are starting to think I'm a celebrity.

-Acidman


~I think the letters are better therapy than what the hospital offers so KEEP SENDING THEM!!! Thank you all for being so supportive of him. You don't know how much you're helping.

Here is the address again:

ROB SMITH
WILLINGWAY HOSPITAL
(no longer in use to contact Rob)
STATESBORO, GEORGIA 30458


The following letter is one that was sent to him that he really enjoyed and wanted me to post...
-Sam ~

A letter to Acidman

Originally published [by Sam] November 2, 2005

Dad received this letter and wanted me to post it.

"Here is a hilarious letter I received from a fellow Georgian"

Rob,

Here's the late night piss-call story for your entertainment.

Many years ago, I was working A-line, (11PM to 7AM). Hours into the shift, the coffee I'd been swilling hit bottom. I drove out to a rural part of town, turned onto a little dirt lane, drove the full length to make sure there were no late-night lovers parked along it and pulled up to some brush preparatory to relieving myself.

At the time I was carrying in the left handed holster, an S&W Model 19 .357 Magnum. Large grip. Huge ass grip. Popped the seat belt and vaulted from the car. Seat belt wrapped itself around the huge asses grip and flung the revolver like a catapult into the deepest most impenetrable growth of brush outside of the equatorial Africa.

I'm hopping from foot to foot to keep from soiling dark blue wool trousers and cussing a mile a minute. Priorities rule so I drag out Mr. Johnson and proceed to empty my over full bladder.

As the first powerful stream begins, radio in patrol car starts squawking my car number. I don't know if you've ever tried to halt this kind of operation in mid stream, but it's a little like trying to slow down Niagara Falls with a three gallon bucket.

Now I'm bent in half, trying to aim away from myself with one hand and answer the dispatch with the other. Needless to say, said stream is now directed tight at bush where sidearm was last seen flying through the air. Dispatcher advises me that I have a burglar alarm going off at a business Route 9W north. I am on dirt lane off Route 17K west. Kinda like being on Tybee Island and getting sent to Southside Savannah.

You have to know that at this time I was in something of a quandary because the only other copper on duty was out of service for his meal break. We didn't have portable radios at this time so he was unreachable except by telephone and, as he was senior man, calling him out of his dining experience would put me in deep shit.

So, I explain to dispatch that I am all the way out on 17K and my response time would be a little long. Now I've finally emptied the bladder and was trying to decide how to tackle retrieving revolver without getting warm saline soltion all over me. Even though it was my own product, if I had to come in contact with the owner of the business or other civilians, I didn't want to smell like Trailways bus station.

I popped the trunk on my patrol car and rummaged around for something to use as a hook to snag and fetch with. We all carried an expandable haligin tool for at that time. The kind of hooked pry bar you used to see on a fire truck. I found it and extended it to it's full length, (about 5 feet) I found my revolver lying in a little hollow in the bush. Yup, a little hollow, just right for holding about a gallon of the aforementioned warm saline solution.

Now I return to the truck for rubber gloves. Found an empty box where rubber gloves used to be. Really turning into a wonderful evening, figured it was about time for a meteor to impact roof of patrol car. Sucked it up, reached into the bush and retrieved weapon with bare hand. Shook excess moisture off, dried as best I could with paper towels from truck, holstered and began long journey to sire of burglar alarm.

On the way, I opened all window and turned heater and fan to highest setting in hope of dispelling any ambient fumes and evaporating any leftover moisture. And of course, upon arrival it was a false alarm accidentally set off by the owner of the business.

-Name Withheld For Privacy

August 24, 2007

My First Week (A [previous] Post From Acidman)

Originally published October 31, 2005

~ A LETTER FROM: ACIDMAN ~TO: THE BLOG

I arrived here on Friday afternoon. Recondo 32 gave me a ride and he carried my luggage inside for me. I barely made it up the ramp into the place. As soon as the people inside saw me, they summoned a wheelchair and sat me down in it, to take me to my room.

It is a nice room (or at least it was), private, with a good bed and my own bathroom. No television or phone of course, and no internet access. I didn't have to go to any meetings that day or that evening because I was busy being strip-searched and checked for contraband. I passed on all of that stuff (although they did take my belt) and I was told to lie down on the bed.

A nurse gave me some pills to take and then they asked me to pull my pants down again. This time she whipped out a stainless steel hypodermic needle the size of a bicycle pump and popped me in my bony ass with it. Bejus! That shot felt like a got-dam golf ball going into my cheek. They call it "The Silver Bullet" around here because it feels like a got-dam .45 slug. I slept for 12 hours.

I had breakfast in bed the next morning and got dressed to go to the first meeting of the day.

I wobbled a lot, but I got to the meeting okay. After the meeting, however, I had a brownout on the sidewalk and fell, literally face-first on the pavement. I scraped my nose, cut my chin and barked up a few nuckles pretty bad. They knocked me out for two days after that.

Since then, I've had to ride a wheelchair everywhere I go and I have a "shadow" assigned to go with me everywhere I go. Even to the bathroom. He even sits in my room while I sleep at night.

I'm hoping they call off the dogs tomorrow, because my blood pressure is better and I'm eating fairly well.

Thanks for all the cards and letters you people are sending. The help here is starting to believe that I'm some kind of celebrity. I appreciate it.

Letter #2 From Acidman -To The Blog

Originally published November 1, 2005

You people don't know how good you make me feel with the cards and letters you've sent me. I look forward to the mail call every day.

I've had a rough first week and I really haven't had time to send back replies to all you kind people. I'm dashing this off quickly between classes. By the time we're finished at night, I'm too exhausted to write and they give us HOMEWORK too!

I hope to get some time this weekend to write back a lot of you. In the meantime, just take this as a blanket "Thank You" to you all. I hope you enjoy the guest bloggers until I get back in December.

Don't forget about me - I shall return in a new and improved version.

-Acidman

August 23, 2007

Up in smoke

Originally published June 16, 2002

Just now, I lit a cigarette.

I like the way it feels between my fingers and I savor the taste of the smoke as I draw it into my lungs. It tastes good, like a cigarette should. I prefer menthol because I enjoy the slightly eucalyptus tingle it leaves on the tongue. Take a puff, itís springtime. I also prefer cigarettes with white filters, although I will smoke the brown ones if thatís all I can find. I suppose I would rather switch than fight. Regardless of the brand Iím smoking at the time, I find them all outstandingÖ and they are mild. I enjoy cigarettes so much that I wish they were all just one silly millimeter longer.

As I watch the delicate curls of smoke swirl like caressing fingers around this computer monitor, I wonder how anybody can hate my ever-loving guts for enjoying this personal pleasure of mine. If I were a heroin addict, a serial rapist, a pederast, someone who desired to marry a goat, or a liberal democrat, all of whom are people that I believe need serious reprogramming, I could find a support group of some kind to be on my side and protect my civil rights.

But I smoke, and everybody on the anti-smoking bandwagon not only hates me, but is regarded as a righteous citizen for doing so. I donít understand it. The same people who preach tolerence for a lot downright bizarre behavior in society are the first to go absolutely hydrophobic in their persecution of smokers. Isn't that just a tad hypocritical? Oh, it's not? Because they're SAVING THE CHILDREN?

No, they're not. That excuse is the cloaking device they use to disguise their true mission. They just want to bully people, and they know that our tolerant nation tolerates intolerance when it is directed at a demonized minority. Smokers are a good target today. Anti-smokers and Islamist nutballs have more in common than most people realize. Both are motivated by hatred. Both think they know the ONE TRUE WAY everyone should live. Both despise the concept of personal freedom.

Both are flaming assholes.

And most people won't recognize all the advertising blurbs in the first paragraph, from cigarette commercials I saw on television as a child. Yes, youngsters! Many, many years ago, cigarettes were advertised on TV. One of these days, you can tell YOUR children about seeing BILLBOARDS containing cigarette advertisements. Then they can tell THEIR children about LEGAL cigarettes, after they are banned and the government WAR ON DRUGS has a brand new target of opportunity.

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Originally published June 15, 2002

Whether she wants to admit it or not, my daughter has a lot of ME in HER. She found this story and posted it on her blog. I am proud of the girl!
[Ed. Y'all know better, right? *grin* This blog... say it with me... no longer exists. Hiya, Sam! *hugs on ya*]

HONG KONG (June 6) - A Hong Kong woman lost her case for compensation against a hair salon which she claimed made her look like Osama bin Laden when she wanted a hairstyle like Hollywood actress Julia Roberts.

After the judgment was handed down, she refused to leave the Small Claims Tribunal and had to be taken away by ambulance following a standoff of more than an hour with court staff, the South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.

Chu Ieu complained her hair was seriously damaged by two perms she had done at the New Idol Hair Salon last July and August.

''Do you mean you did not get the Julia Roberts look after the perm?'' adjudicator Yuen Chun-kau asked her during the Wednesday hearing.

''Not just that. It was like a broom. Every hair struck out and it looked like an open umbrella which could not be shut. It was horrible. I looked like Osama bin Laden,'' Chu replied.

Yuen dismissed her claim for HK$50,000 (US$6,410) in compensation as she had offered no evidence to prove her hair had been damaged. ''You've only shown the court that the hairstyle did not look good,'' he said.

But Chu said that Yuen was not sympathetic to her claim.

''He's bald. Of course he would not know the pain of having damaged hair,'' Chu fretted, sitting on the floor of the courtroom in protest against the judgement.

I am the lucky one (except for that doggone prostate thing) in the DNA lottery for my family. I come from a long line of men who went bald early in life, but I still have most of my hair. It turned gray early, but it didn't all fall out. It's not as thick as it once was, and I'm showing some scalp around the crown of my head, but I don't have to do a Sam Nunn comb-over, where I part my hair somewhere below the bottom of my ear and grow what amounts to semi-back-hair that I can sculpt over a bald pate. I wouldn't do anything like that in the first place. If I go bald, I go bald.

I haven't cut my hair for almost a year now (except for an occasional front-row trim), and my ponytail is growing like my garden-- long, but in serious need of tending. People who have known me for more than 20 years at work called me "hippie" at first, when I started letting my hair grow long, especially when I added the gunslinger, bottom-lip, pseudo-Zappa growth to go with my moustache, but they've quit doing that now. I don't care what they think or what they say. My bosses at work don't seem to care either, as long as I do my job.

The odd part is that I supervise the area where all new hires are introduced to the plant. I see so many ponytails, body-piercings, tattoos and other strange personal decorations on my new employees that I understand why they don't find a 50 year-old man with a ponytail and a Frank Zappa moustache weird. They're all a lot weirder than I am.

I'm going back outside to pull weeds in my garden. I'll wear a hat, so I don't sunburn that semi-bald spot on the crown of my head.

August 22, 2007

My friend Ed, among other things

Originally published June 8, 2002

My friend Ed once played linebacker for Eastern Kentucky University and won a Division II National Championship ring while he was there. He also injured his neck, and subsequent surgery left him with a weakness in his right hand, which is odd, considering what a hoss he is through the chest and shoulders. Ed is a large fellow. When he needed someone to drive nails on a fence-hanging project, or perform other right-hand tasks around his mini-farm, he called me. When I needed someone to help move a refrigerator, or wrestle a 400-pound pot-bellied pig off my back porch, I called him.

I am not making up the 400-pound pot-bellied pig. My ex-wife (the bloodless cunt) and I bought our mini-farm from a couple who built another house, now known as "The Governor's Mansion" around the old neighborhood, less than a quarter of a mile away. They moved all their animals to the new home, but the animals never forgot where they once lived. They came to visit their old abode frequently. The occasional runaway goat or stray rooster never bothered me. But the pot-bellied pig did.

"Bacon" was a female pot-bellied pig that resembled an overloaded, warped fifty-five gallon drum on four short pegs. One summer day, she went in heat, dug her way out of her pen, and showed up at my house, looking for love in all the wrong places.

I learned that if you point your finger down the road and yell "Go Home!" to a 400-pound pot-bellied pig, the pig pays no attention whatsoever. It lays on your back deck, grunts contentedly and goes to sleep. I tried to poke at her and get her to move, but she only grunted, then farted at me really loudly, so I stopped poking. I thought the giant fat-bag would get hungry and go back home in a day or so, but Bacon seemed happy to be back at her old homestead. After four days of pig-occupation, I set out to evict that squatter from my land.

The neighborhood posse got together and even recruited a guy wearing a shirt with "Roy" over the front pocket to help. "Roy" was a contractor installing a sprinkler system at the Governor's Mansion that day. I don't believe he really knew what he was getting into.

Bacon was asleep on the deck, as usual. Our game plan was to approach the pig, have one person assigned to grab each leg, then drag the grunting lard-bucket over to the rescue truck, where EVERYONE would help lift Bacon into the bed. That plan went to shit when Bacon saw four people grabbing her legs. She didn't like that. She arose on her pegs and took off running, scattering her grabbers in her wake.

You wouldn't think so, but a 400-pound pot-bellied pig has some elusive moves that would put the best broken-field runner in the NFL to shame when the pig really doesn't want to be caught. We chased that bloated bitch around the yard for at least ten minutes before we finally cornered her. That's when she showed us her tusks. And she had some TUSKS.

Sue, Bacon's owner, assured us that Bacon wouldn't hurt a fly. "She's just scared," Sue said. Well, SO WERE WE, looking at 400 pounds of tusk-baring, hostile, PMS-ridden, bitchy pig. We finally decided that Bacon couldn't kill us all if we attacked in a human wave, so we did, and once Bacon was "hog-tied," she simmered down and returned home peacefully. I don't know if "Roy" received any bonus payment for his intrepid extra-curricular work, but he deserved one.

I don't know how that story sprang from my memory banks. It just DID. I was mentioning my friend Ed, then one thing led to another. What I STARTED OUT to do was share this email Ed sent me:

Is Fishing Better Than Sex?

* A big, juicy worm always gets a fish excited.
* You don't have to eat a fish while it's still flopping around.
* You can take a leak in the bush anytime you want.
* Stroking your rod won't piss off a trout.
* Sipping a beer and scratching your balls is all the foreplay expected of you.
* Anything you stick in a fish's face, it eats.
* A fish will never gag, choke, or come up for air.
* A red snapper won't cry if you call it a flounder.
* You wear rubbers on your feet, not on your dick.
* If you want a bigger pole, you can have a bigger pole.
* A smart fish knows when to keep it's mouth shut.
* It's okay to cook a fish to make it taste good.
* Fish bite for a guy of 60, same as they do for a guy of 20.
* You're never called a jerk when you throw back an ugly fish.
* Fish are real happy when you pick up your gear and go home.

Might be worth it

Originally published June 8, 2002

I am thinking seriously about watching the Lennox Lewis vs Mike Tyson boxing match on pay-for-view television tonight. It might be a pretty good fight, but I'm more intrugued by the possibility that Tyson finally will nut-up totally and have to be dragged from the ring, strapped into a straightjacket and deposited in a rubber-walled room for the rest of his demented life.

Mike Tyson is not right in the head. When he had trainers and managers who could control him, he was a savage, effective fighter. He won the World Heavyweight Championship and could have been a boxing immortal, but he dropped the people who brought him to the dance, fell under the thrall of that wild-haired pimp Don King and went quickly down the toilet.

Tyson needs someone holding his leash tightly, because he cannot do it by himself. He's proven that fact over and over, and no punishment, from prison to losing his boxing license, seems to matter to him. This man should be fed with a REALLY long-handled spoon, preferably one that can be inserted through steel bars and withdrawn quickly in case of attack. I honestly believe that he is as crazy as a shithouse rat.

I don't believe he deserves another chance to fight professionally, and he certainly doesn't deserve a shot at the Championship. But nobody asked for my input on those questions; so, the raging sociopath gets back in the ring tonight. The fight will make lots of money, not so much because people love a good fight, but because people always pay to watch a circus geek perform. Mike Tyson may box, or he may bite. Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and see the Wild Troglodyte of Boxing!

It's a sad day for boxing that he is allowed to show up at all. If he wins, it will be sickening.

I think I'll watch. Hell, I've paid to watch a circus geek perform before.

August 21, 2007

Damned good weekend

Originally published May 27, 2002

Acidman had one hell of a weekend. Saturday morning, I took my son over to see his great-grandmother and give her his latest school picture as a belated birthday present. Then, he conned me into taking him to the Super Wal-Mart and forking over $49 for an NHL hockey game for his Play Station II. I also bough a bunch of yellow lantanas, which I planted while my son and Jack checked out the new hockey game.

I had company that night. A fellow I've known since high school was in town, and he came by to visit, along with my partners in crime from the nekkid trip to Key West. I cooked steaks, the White Zin flowed and much music was played. I met my friend's new squeeze, who told me I was "handsome and charismatic." I LIKE THAT WOMAN!


Yesterday, I went to a rib-cook and picking party at Willie's house in my old neighborhood, and my boy got to swim and visit with his friends while I ate ribs and made music. We had THREE MANDOLIN PLAYERS (myself included), which is unusual. We always end up with too many guitars and not enough exotic instruments at those parties, but the reverse was true yesterday. "Mr. Bojangles" got thoroughly worn out.

I had to take my son back to his bloodless cunt mother at 6:00 and the unemployed dope-smoker was not there. I figure the cowardly bastard drove off in his van and hid until I was gone, for fear that I would liver-punch his worthless self and drown him in his own vomit. That thought still crosses my mind from time to time. But I believe I'll be better off remaining "handsome and charismatic" instead of rotting in a jail cell with a roommate named "Bubba."

I went back to the party and played some more, then made it home at 9:30 last night without encountering a single scratch-and-sniff police roadblock. I fell asleep on the couch while watching a movie, then woke up this morning with sore fingers from two day's worth of serious picking. I'm going to saddle up and head to the Super Wal-Mart before long, because I'm on my last pack of cigarettes and the White Zin supply is running low. I probably ought to mow the weeds in my yard today, but I feel a serious case of procrastination decending upon me. We'll see how motivated I am when I return from the store.

Boiled peanuts

Originally published May 27, 2002

I was a six year-old hillbilly boy uprooted from the mountains of Harlan County, Kentucky and transplanted in Savannah, Georgia in 1959. I had been in this strange new place less than a month when my Georgia grandmother (91 year-old Mommie is my Kentucky grandmother) took my brother and me to the beach one day. We had a grand time playing in the surf and building castles in the sand, and there's just something about being around salt water that makes you REALLY HUNGRY. When a vendor in a big straw hat came walking down the beach selling small bags of peanuts for five cents, I wanted some. My grandmother bought two bags.

I eagerly ripped open the bag and plunged my hand inside, expecting to find the nice, dry, rough-shelled roasted peanuts I ate in Kentucky. Instead, I felt these wet, soft YUCKY THINGS in the bag. I didn't know what they were, but I knew damned well that they WERE NOT PEANUTS! I refused to eat them. They gave me the creeps.

That was my very first exposure to boiled peanuts. I eventually overcame the creeps, and since that day I probably have eaten several tons of boiled peanuts. Once you acquire the taste, you'll never want peanuts cooked any other way.

The best ones are made from fresh, newly-harvested green peanuts. (Some people dry the peanuts and boil them later, but those taste like blackeyed peas. For the best taste, cook them right away and then freeze them.) I buy them by the bushel (usually about $30, depending on the size of the crop that year), wash all the sand off them and throw them into a huge pot I have that will hold an entire bushel. I fill the pot with water, add a box of salt (one pound, ten ounces) and bring the pot to a slow boil on my propane cooker. I cook them for about an hour and a half, then turn the heat off and let them soak in the salty water until the peanuts sink. Then, I put them in quart zip-lock bags and throw them in the freezer. They're good for over a year that way. I always save some to eat on Super Bowl Sunday. Just let them thaw on the kitchen counter overnight or put them in the microwave. Yum, yum!

Boiled peanuts are soft, salty and delicious. Nothing is better with a cold beer, and they are the perfect snack for a day at the beach or a boat trip on the river. Or for watching the Super Bowl. Or FOR BREAKFAST. Boiled peanuts are a true Southern delight and I live in the #1 peanut-growing state in the nation.

Try 'em. You'll like 'em.

August 20, 2007

Intentions vs. conditions. Conditions win

Originally published May 19, 2002

Global warming has declared a cease-fire around Rincon, Georgia. The rain that started yesterday afternoon lasted all night and into the morning. It was great sleeping weather. A certain 76% worshipable person took full advantage of it while I was up at my usual 5:00 AM. I made coffee and walked out onto my back patio, then almost FROZE MY ASS OFF in less then ten seconds. It was COLD outside.

I intended to change the oil in my truck and cut the weeds, triffids and body-snatcher pods in my yard today, but I believe I'll pass on that stuff. The sky looks like a dingy, low-hanging gray blanket and the wind has that nipple-stiffening chill that I don't enjoy in south Georgia in mid-May. I have a pot of boiled peanuts on the stove and plenty of laundry to do. My kitchen resembles the aftermath of a raid by Sherman's scallywags in their March Through Georgia. The BATHROOM I NEVER ENTER at the end of the hallway has been befouled by my son and Young Jack, and I probably should make that place presentable, just in case Sherry drops over again tonight. I may perform INDOOR domestic duties today.

Or, I may not. As the FAIR ONE says, WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE! So, why worry about it?

Discrimination

Originally published May 19, 2002

I may be stepping into quicksand here, but I'll say it anyway. The Feminist movement has outlived its usefulness the same way unions and black activists have. Fighting tooth and nail to justify the absolutely worst among their ranks, feminists have become the grand excusers and supporters of the perpetually outraged, while the world, unnoticed by the Feminists, made itself an oyster for women who wish to achieve.
[Ed. Link goes to archive search page. I tried, but I can't find the article Rob linked to.]

Unions still preach the lowest common denominator for job performance. They spend 95% of their time protecting the 5% of worthless assholes who constantly screw up on the job, stay in trouble and should be fired. Unions, by fighting tooth and nail to save the absolutely worst among their ranks, state that the standard of work acceptable today should be equal to, but no better than that of the most incompetent, brain-dead card holder in their ranks. That's one hell of a standard, guaranteed to carry unions far in the future, as the competitive marketplace evolves into a place where these people do not fit. That's why non-union workers are building cars, forging steel and operating a lot of businesses today, while the unions are trolling for service workers, government employees and teachers. Union standards work for lazy janitors, do-nothing bureaucrats and incompetent teachers. Those standards don't work in the real world.

Academics may make a living preaching how women (who OUTNUMBER MEN, by the way, which makes me wonder how in the hell they ever became a MINORITY) and blacks are discriminated against in the workplace, but they work in academia and I work in the WORKPLACE. The academics are full of shit. Businesses troll incessantly for a woman or a black that they can display proudly in a high management position. Businesses are BEATING THE BUSHES trying to find such people! Businesses will take a so-so minority and fire a competent white male because the government requires such absurd behavior. Yes, the US government counts jelly beans by color and sex, if you do business with the federal government. And EVERYBODY does business with the federal government, whether you think you do or not.

I am tired of the whining. I am tired of seeing "equality" meaning that some people are more equal than others, and I damned sure don't like holding the short end of that stick for being a white, heterosexual (well, 47% GAY) Southern male.

Just put everybody on a level field, then let everybody go wrestle for it. May the best man, or woman, win.

I wish I were back in college. I wish I were a black, lesbian female. I could skate to a low-C average, get my degree and have head-hunters swarming all over my front door to offer me great jobs, high pay and very few expectations other than my contribution to the jelly-bean jar.

August 19, 2007

Monday Mission on a Sunday

Originally published May 21, 2002

I am going to bed early tonight (that means BEFORE 9:30, which is my usual bedtime) because I've had a rough two days at work. All sorts of powerful eyes are focused on the run of new pigment we started yesterday, and I have a large responsibility for seeing that all goes smoothly. Some of those powerful people would love nothing better than to see us fall flat on our asses and fail miserably. I don't intend for that to happen. I believe I can fly.

I've had this Monday Mission stuff since I saw it on Dave Tepper's site [Ed. Site no longer exists.], but I didn't really want to go there. The Monday Mission requires that some highly personal stuff be laid out on the table for anyone to read.

Well, I'm in that kind of mood tonight.


1) When was the last time you went out with a true love of yours? What did the two of you do that made it special?

I have experienced only one true love in my life. I have known many women, but only one true love, and I misplaced that emotion. The last time my true love and I "went out" together, we met in the Effingham County Courthouse to sign divorce papers. She seemed gleeful at the time. I left the courthouse and stopped in the parking lot of a seed-and-feed store in Springfield and cried my eyes out for about ten minutes in my truck. Then, I went back to work. I don't believe I'll ever fully recover from that experience, thanks to a true love who turned out to be a bloodless cunt.

2) Which far-away friend would you most like to see again?

I would like to see Dr. Ken Tenore, head of the Marine Biology Department at the University of Maryland, the last I heard from him. Oh, the stories we could tell after 20 years.

3) Any high or low points about this weekend? What went on?

As a Southern Gentlemen, I will not provide details, but a certain 76% worshipable woman did spend Saturday night with me, after being wined and dined most royally. You don't need to know what went on.

4)I've been thinking about getting a buzz-cut for the summer, a big change for me. Have you ever made any drastic changes to your appearance?

I grew my hair long in college (really LONG!) and kept it fairly long during my semi-professional musician days. Yes, I wore pony-tails. When I went to work in the chemical plant, I started keeping my hair much shorter, but I wasn't really religious about haircuts. It grew long from time to time because I was to sorry to go to a barber. In April of last year, I had a hot, sweaty day at work and got a buzz-cut the next weekend. I wore it that way on our vacation to St. Martin's and really LIKED it. The bloodless cunt didn't. I have not cut the back of my head since, and I have a respectable (some call it "ratty") pony tail again. So, I believe I can say I have made many drastic changes to my appearance over the years. But I'm the same, sweet 41% worshipable guy on the inside.

5) How long do you think a couple should date before they get married? Or if you are married, do you think you should have waited longer to get hitched?

I am a fine one to answer that question. Therefore, I won't.

I ain't sayin' a word

Originally published may 22, 2002

I came home from work today, checked my mailbox and discovered an envelope containing something from the Internal Revenue Service. I felt it and knew immediately that it wasn't my refund check, because it was too thick. It was a LETTER! I immediately flew into a black rage. Those greedy vultures were not satisfied with all the meat they already pecked from my skinny ass. Oh, no. They wanted MORE! I knew they were going to keep my refund and tell me I owed THEM money instead.

I went inside, sat on the couch and opened the envelope with trembling fingers. By God, I thought, there had better be a fooking phone number in here to call when I find out how bad they're screwing me! I will not sit still for this kind of harassment from a government that wastes my money the way this one does. I'll call Jack Kingston, my representative in Congress. I'll call Zell Miller, MY FAVORITE SENATOR! Hell, I'll call GEORGE W. BUSH HIS OWN SELF if they really piss me off!

Then, I read that I overstated my taxable income by $1,000 on my return, and by IRS calculations, I was due an extra $275 dollars on my refund check. If I disagreed with their figures, I could call a Customer Service number to bitch about it. If I agreed, I was told (in italics) do not contact us.

Well, shut my mouth.

As I have stated repeatedly on this blog, I am an English Major and I DON'T DO MATH. Obviously, I don't do it well, if I was about to screw myself out of $275 on my tax return. I believe I'll opt for the do not contact us option in this deal, and check the batteries in my solar-powered calculator.

August 18, 2007

ALL MEN ARE SWINE

Originally published May 24, 2002

The following ad in "The Atlanta Journal" is reported to have gotten numerous calls.....

SINGLE BLACK FEMALE... Seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a very good looking girl who LOVES to play. I love
long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping, and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. Rub me the right way and watch me respond. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Kiss me and I'm yours.
Call xxx-xxxx and ask for Daisy."
Over 150 men found themselves talking to the Local Humane Society about an eight-week-old black LABRADOR retriever......

Tryin' to tell me something?

Originally published May 24, 2002

The 76% worshipable woman who sometimes spends the night at my house sent me this message today:

One day a farmer's donkey fell into an abandoned well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, so it just wasn't worth it to him to try to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They each grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. Realizing what was happening, the donkey at first cried and wailed horribly. Then, a few shovelfuls later, he quieted down completely. The farmer peered down into the well, and was astounded by what he saw. With every shovelful of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up on the new layer of dirt. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off, to the shock and astonishment of all the neighbors!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt.
The trick to getting out of the well is to not let it bury you, but to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping-stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up!
Shake it off and take a step up!
Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
Free your heart from hatred.
Free your mind from worries.
Live simply.
Give more.
Expect less.

Also, the donkey kicked the shit out of the guy that tried to bury him. Which brings me to another moral for this story: When you try to cover your ass, it always comes back and gets you.

I believe she is trying to tell me something in the form of a parable. I don't get it. I believe I will call her tonight and ask her to come over to my house and explain it to me.

August 17, 2007

Just damn

Originally published May 12, 2002

Whew! The last two posts drip with bitter venom. Did I write those? Yes, I did.

I hate Sunday nights.

Nuh-uh, no way

Originally published May 12, 2002

I finally got around to opening my weekend mail. I have a notice from my urologist reminding me that I blew off my six-month checkup in April and I need to reschedule IMMEDIATELY. I am not going to do that. I am content to let the chips fall where they may now. If I am cured of prostate cancer, I don't need to go see that butcher again. If I am NOT cured of prostate cancer, I STILL don't need to go see that butcher again, because I will not submit to the kind of treatment he offers. The medical community has enjoyed the last shot they will ever take at this Cracker's ass.

If I had it all to do over again, I would never let them take a knife to me in the first place.

(stuck in a) rut grumbles

Originally published May 12, 2002

The bloodless cunt ex-wife picked up my son at 11:30 this morning. She was supposed to pick him up at 9:00, so THEY COULD GO TO CHURCH TOGETHER, but my son called and asked for more time with me. She granted the request, then drove up in her really cool sports car at 11:30, picked up my son, his bicycle and all his other stuff, then went back "home" to her dope-smoking, unemployed lover.

I really appreciate the fact that my ex-wife has a streak of religion running through her now. After giving her pussy away through both pants legs while we were married, she has seen the light. After throwing me out of the house and moving her dope-smoking, unemployed lover into our bed the next day, she has found Jesus. You GO TO CHURCH, GIRL!. That way, you can project the image you want people to see instead of the rotten actuality of your true, sickening, slutty self.

Then come to my home, pick up my son and his bicycle and go back to your unemployed, dope-smoking lover. Yeah, you have been washed in the blood of the lamb.

You've been dipped in shit, is more like it. Whatta cunt.

August 16, 2007

You ask, I answer

Originally published May 15, 2002

Just a quick note to "GEN, THE FAIREST OF THE FAIR," who actually left a comment for me. You asked certain questions about the name of my site. Maybe other people are curious, too. I'll explain. GUT RUMBLES is what I call a fire in the belly that makes me want to write. I like the title. I also always wanted to play lead guitar in a rock and roll band by that name. "Monsterman" is the position I played on my high school football team. It's a combination strongside linebacker and strong safety that some college teams still use today. "Acidman" has nothing to do with illegal drugs. I once supervised the operation of a 900-ton per day sulfuric acid plant and that was my password when computers first hit the manufacturing scene. I liked "Acidman" then, and I like it now. My absolute. real, non-made-up name is Rob Smith. Yes, Rob Smith. I started this blog under a pseudonym (carefully selected from my life experiences) because I have worked for 22 years for a pretty straight-laced chemical manufacturer and I wasn't sure at first that I wanted anybody at work reading it. Some of what I write is pretty whiny and self-pitiful. I didn't want to advertise that shit. I was pretty down and out when I started this site. I still get that way sometimes, but it's not as bad as it once was.

Plus. when your name is "Rob Smith," you really need something a little more imaginative to stand out in the crowd, and the blogosphere is crowded nowadays. Where I live, there are 23 Robert Smiths in the phone book, and I'M NOT LISTED. I really ought to write about some of the interesting phone calls I receive from people looking for somebody else.

I no longer care who reads this blog or who knows I write it. I have friends I may never meet in person that I know through this blog (yeah, JEFF AND HEATHER) and I wouldn't trade 'em for anything. I can truthfully say that doing this probably saved my life. I was REALLY down and out not long ago.

But I like the conversations I have on the net every day. I like being "Acidman," the blogger.

Now, maybe you know a little more than before about why. Hmmm... one other question... are you REALLY the fairest? Wanna go to Lake Tahoe this winter? I'm single. I have money. I'm really a charming, chivalrous Southern Gentleman. I even grow my own food in my back yard.

But I'm only 41% worshipable....and I binge-drink white zinfandel... naw, never mind.

The vegetables of my labors

Originally published May 16, 2002

HA! I harvested the first bounty from my garden today. I picked three very lovely squash, and have about a dozen more that will be ripe within a day or two. Most of the okra survived the tree-rat assaults. I have blooming flowers and small okra-buds on most of the plants, even though they won't REALLY start to produce until the hottest part of the summer. The tomatoes went from yellow blossoms to ping-pong ball sized green fruit almost overnight. The cucumbers are covered with blossoms and sending out runners to all points of the compass. The corn is dark green and growing faster than the nasty bahaia grass that suddenly appeared a few days ago.

I also have a lot of wild blackberry vines growing all around my house, and they enjoy the fertilizer and water I provide for the garden. They are sending runners from all over to investigate the natives, and I believe some of the hornier envoys are trying to mate with my cucumbers. The end result of THAT may be something I want to parade before Congress as they debate cloning.

August 15, 2007

Quinton, Jack and the Beav... all fine young men

Originally published May 7, 2002

I received a phone call about 8:00 last night from one of my neighbors informing me that my son's playmate and my adopted nephew, Jack, had tumbled backward from the bleachers at the Effingham County Recreation Center during a baseball game and landed from a height of six feet right on his little head on a concrete sidewalk. Jack was being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. I worried about the little sucker all night. When I went to work this morning, I saw all the proper cars in his driveway, so I knew the family was not holding a death-watch-vigil at his bedside, which relieved me somewhat. But I wasn't certain until I came home today and Jack came running across the street to show me his war-wound and tell me his story. His face appears to have been attacked by a belt sander armed with a coarse grade of paper, and he was KNOCKED OUT by the fall. He woke up in the "ambalant" and enjoyed the ride to the hospital because the "ambalant" had its lights flashing and the siren wailing. It was all a big hoot to him. He's six years-old and all boy. He remains obvilious to the fact that he scared the living crap out of his entire family.

Jack is a tough kid and I like him a lot. I once threw him a football from about 25 yards away and watched it go right through his hands to hit him square in the forehead. I saw the bottoms of his shoes as he did a semi-backflip into the dirt. I thought I had killed him. I ran up to see him blinking furiously. "Are you all right, Jack?" I asked, wondering how in the world I would explain to his mama how I MURDERED HER SON with a football. "I'm fine, Uncle Rob," he responded. He got up from the dirt. "Throw me another one. I'll CATCH IT this time," and off he ran, looking for another pass.

I am happy that Jack was not hurt badly last night. I am delighted that little Jacks exist in this world, just as I am delighted that he and my son play so well together. Jack's mama remains amazed that he minds me better than he minds her. I guess she's never bonged him into semi-consciousness with a football before. He has felt my wrath from a distance.

My boy will be here tomorrow to spend the next four days with me while his mutha goes off on another business trip. I suppose taking up my offer to allow him to stay with me while she travels makes her feel all warm and fuzzy about the divorce. I get to keep a realtionship with my son, so her conscience is assuaged about treating me like absolute shit for the first weeks when I was laid up after surgery. That would be true if she had a conscience, which she doesn't. She will climb far up the corporate ladder, because she is unencumbered by any emotions besides personal self-worship.

If that's the key to success, I don't want it. Call me old-fashioned. Call me a trusting, naive Beaver Cleaver, the way my ex-wife does. Call me anything you want, but I remain convinced that some things are more important than money and power. I spent fifty years learning the rules I play by, and I am content with them. I am far from perfect, but the world would be a much better place if EVERYBODY thought the way I do. Everybody would want play musical instruments, nobody would have to lock their doors and this world would be Merlefest every day, with lots of three-part harmony.

I'll take that over the way it is, any day.

Good luck, son. You're gonna need it

Originally published May 10, 2002

Oh, no! My son is wandering astray and I should go outside and resolve this situation immediately. He has discovered Jack's SISTER, Haley. Haley is a tomboy, and she's more fun to play with than little Jack is. She is eight years-old, runs like a deer, and she can play baseball, too. They are having a blast outside.

She's also a future heartbreaker. Blonde hair, blue eyes, beautiful smile and a very bubbly personality. She calls me "Uncle Rob," too, and enjoys listening to me play guitar when I sit on my truck tailgate and serenade the neighborhood. I sometimes feel like the Pied Piper when I do that, because I once entertained at elementary school gatherings, and I know a lot of good kiddie songs.

I suppose the last seven months of my life have made me so cynical that I watch those two playing in the yard, dirt all over their faces (there goes my hope for grass!), dirt all over their bare feet and I listen to all the giggles, laughter and arguments that come from kid-games, and my heart breaks to see it. Innocence is a beautiful thing. But it is so temporary in this world. I don't want to go where my thoughts are taking me now, so I won't.

I have to cook supper. May everyone who reads this have a good day.

August 14, 2007

Give me strength

Originally published May 2, 2002

Monday morning, a fellow I worked with for a long time and once supervised was found dead in his car, in his garage, with the roll-down door shut and the car's motor still running. He was having marital problems and evidently found the emotional load too heavy to carry. We were not friends. In fact, before I was transferred to another department, I was working up the paperwork to fire him for poor job performance. But I hate to see that happen to anybody.

Because it damned nearly happened to me.

I always told people that I KNEW the two happiest days in my life. The first was when I married my partner, my lover and my best friend, and the second was when my son was born. I believed that with all my heart and I was convinced that it would never change. "We make a great team," I said often, just enjoying being around her, "and we make GREAT babies, too." That was reality as I saw it, and it was good. I remember sitting on my back porch many a night thinking what a lucky man I was. I had a big house, lots of land, the perfect wife, a perfect son, chickens, goats, a half-acre garden and no bill collectors bugging me about money I owed them. My life had played out MUCH better that I ever believed it would.

Then, it all fell apart, and it took me by complete surprise when it did. She's a good planner, so she had everything set when she made her move. The unemployed, dope-smoking lover was poised and ready to move into my house as quickly as she threw me out. She cancelled all the credit cards, cleaned out the bank accounts and said, "Go. I haven't loved you in a long time." Like a complete dumbass, I went. I had $60 to my name.

That was a Saturday. The following Monday, the biopsy results came in and I discovered I had prostate cancer. She had dope-head living in my house by then and told all the neighbors he was there to do "handyman" work. Yeah, some plumbing and pipefitting and reaming. She lied to everybody.

Let's just call it a one-month time-lapse. My radical prostatectomy was scheduled for Tuesday, October 9. I went to work Monday, October 8, and she called me about money I owed her for half of a credit card bill. I took her a check, she gave me a bright smile and said, "Thanks!" That was it. No "good luck" or anything. And that's the way it's been ever since. She is a living Magic Slate. Just lift the flap and everything on the page disappears. That's why I frequently refer to her as a bloodless cunt in this blog. Because she is.

I spent many a sleepless night over this unbelievable betrayal of trust, friendship and what I was silly enough to believe was love. When I moved into this house, I spent about a month with a pistol on one side of the bed and an alarm clock on the other, and I SERIOUSLY debated about which one I would use that night. It was the worst experience I've ever had in my life, and I'm not fully over it yet. But so far, I've managed to keep setting the alarm clock, and the pistol is in a drawer instead of on the nightstand. I suppose that's progress.

I went into this funk because I have to attend a four-hour meeting tomorrow at work and she will be the facilitator. I don't know how I'm going to handle that. I don't want to see her, talk to her or even THINK about her if I can help it, which I can't, because I still do it all the time. But this is business, and it's what I do for a living. I'll just have to manage.

I just hope I can.

Just damn. That didn't turn out exactly as I intended

Originally published April 14, 2002

According to this article I found on the Professor's site, my beloved state of Georgia, like Texas, has a law banning dildo sales. That revelation is a complete surprise to me. A few years ago, I went to a Savannah establishment called "Joker's Novelties" to buy a filthy birthday card for one of my friends. Joker's specalizes in filthy birthday cards, edible underwear, bondage equipment, drinking games and a vast assortment of personal pleasure devices, including a giant, two-pronged "condom demonstration device" with a handle on the end that resembles a huge, obscene dowsing rod. That double-dose of vulcanized love is prominently displayed in a glass case right next to the cash register.

I selected the appropriate filthy birthday card and approached the register. A cute, young blonde about twenty years-old was running the show that day, and I decided to embarrass her. "You sell many of those?" I asked, pointing at the two-pronged wonder-wand.

I wish I had not done that.

"Oh, no," she replied, very LOUDLY. "We keep that thing there pretty much as a conversation piece. But we sell a lot of THESE," and she reached into the glass case and dragged out a twelve-inch, blue-veined artificial penis and waved it in my face. "I wouldn't like one like this, but a lot of people do," she said, still waving the dildo in my face. "If you want to buy one, I recommend this." She reached back into the case and produced a mere eight-inch, blue-veined rubber replica (that reminded me a lot of ME, before my prostate operation) and tossed it on the counter. "You get a lot more dick for the dollar with that one."

I paid for my filthy birthday card and got the hell out of there. A crowd was forming around the register by then.

DO NOT think you're going to embarrass a young woman who works all day behind a glass case featuring a giant, two-pronged dildo. She will embarrass YOU. Or, you can BUY THAT THING. They sell them in Georgia.

August 13, 2007

So worth it

Originally published April 19, 2002

It's almost dark, but another football game is raging in my front yard.

Two weeks ago, I carefully seeded and fertilized that sandbar yard of mine. Monday, the little grass seedlings were poking their green leaves out of the soil and sprouting everywhere. This evening, my yard appears to have hosted a rodeo, complete with bull riding and calf roping contests. I believe that the majority of my grass crop has been destroyed by young terrorists who plow up my yard with their games and then track dirt all over my carpet when they come inside for something to drink.

I wouldn't have it any other way. I can plant more grass. They will be kids only once, and I enjoy watching.

I'm not always right, but this is always wrong

Originally published April 20, 2002

My ex-wife showed up unannounced at 9:30 this morning to collect my son. I was cooking bacon and eggs for the boys, because my son had his friend, Jack, spend the night with him. They slept on the inflatable bed I have, but they conked out before I could inflate it, so they slept on the floor last night, on top of the uninflated bed. They slept like a pair of rocks, too. They were hungry this morning, but I never got the chance to feed them. Bacon was still sizzling in the frying pan and biscuits were in the oven when Jack ran home and the bloodless cunt tooled away in her really cool sports car with my son on board.

I went into the usual fit of depression I experience when my son is taken from me. But this has been a well-used and well-enjoyed home for a week. I have the wall-smudges and dirty handprints to prove it, too. God, I miss that boy already.

My son left his bicycle in the garage and a pile of dirty clothes in the bathroom. I suppose I'll have to return those things eventually. But the cunt will come to retrieve them, because she doesn't want me around her house, where the unemployed, dope-smoking lover stays. She's afraid that I'll shoot the bastard if I have a gun, or simply liver-punch the diseased piece of shit and drown him in his own vomit if I am unarmed.

She's right to keep me away from there.

August 12, 2007

FRIDAY FIVE on a Sunday morning.

Originally published April 7, 20002

1) What are the first things you do in the morning to start your day?
I roll over, look at the alarm clock and groan. The alarm is set for 4:30, but I usually wake up before it goes off. I light a cigarette, turn off the alarm and smoke in bed. I contemplate using some of the 1,200 hours of sick leave I have at work. Then I get up and take a shower.

2) What are the last things you do at night before going to bed?
I set my alarm clock and say goodnight to a picture of my son, and I miss him so badly that I ache.

3) What daily routine have you recently added to your day?
Nothing. It's the same old shit every day.

4) What routine do you wish you could get rid of?
All of them. I want to shoot my alarm clock, move to Key West and play guitar for a living.

5) What's the one thing that makes you feel like something is missing if you don't do it at some point in your day?
I...MUST...BLOG! I have become a weblog junkie and I need my fix, every day. Mark Twain once observed that almost everyone starts a journal but few people keep it for more than a month. I started this blog on December 26, 2001. I'm going on my fourth month now, and I'm not tired yet. I believe it has become an obsession.

dad gum guv'ment

Originally published April 7, 2002

When I was in Florida, I saw a lot of people riding motorcycles. Nobody wore a helmet. That's a strange sight for me, because my beloved state of Georgia cares so much about its citizens that it REQUIRES motorcycle riders to wear helmets. We have mandatory seat belt laws, too. See how compassionate and caring MY government is? MY bureaucrats and nannies aren't like those could-give-a-shits in Florida. If they catch me riding a motorcycle without wearing a helmet or driving without wearing a seat belt, they'll give me an expensive ticket or even ARREST ME because they care so much about me. It is wonderful to be so loved by the government.

I wear a seat belt, not because it's the law, but because I experienced a very dramatic lesson in physics several years ago on Highway 278 near Bluffton, South Carolina. I was in the passenger seat of a brand new Chrysler LeBaron that was travelling 55 miles per hour when it came to an abrupt stop by crashing into the side of another vehicle. I saw the wreck coming and locked my feet on the floor and grabbed the dashboard with both hands. The car stopped, but my ass kept going at 55 miles per hour. I held on to the dashboard, which peeled neatly away in my death-grip as my head went into the windshield and my right knee wiped out all the hardware on the passenger door. I ricocheted off the windshield and ended up face-down on the floorboard with my hat and sunglasses in the back seat. The car was totalled and I was about two inches shorter than I was before compaction. The driver and I both walked away from the wreck, which was amazing if you looked at the car. Front-wheel drive probably saved our lives.

I learned my lesson that day and I have worn a seat belt ever since. But I still believe that the government has no business REQUIRING me to do so. I had a momma and daddy to raise me and enforce certain rules when I was a child. I am a grown man now, and I don't need some pinhead in Atlanta treating me as if I were still six years old. And I damned sure don't need those bloviating toads in Washington, DC to take care of me. I have a college degree, a good job and I pay more than my fair share of taxes (involuntarily, of course). I believe I am capable of making my own decisions without some do-gooder in government telling me how I must live my life.

But government has mutated from what the founding fathers envisioned into a giant octopus that inserts its slimy tentacles into every nook and cranny of life today. Somehow "promote the general welfare" became "micromanage every atom of existence," and we're getting to the point where the government wants to split those atoms and micromanage the pieces, too. And it's not because they're GOOD at it. Hell, the government would fuck up a one-float parade.

They do it because THEY CAN. And we allow it, like the docile sheep we have become.

August 11, 2007

ATTACK OF THE KILLER HAMBURGER PATTIES!

Originally published April 7, 2002

Yesterday, I did about half of what I intended to do. I went to the Super Wal-Mart and bought a riding lawn mower, then drove to Springfield and purchased five pounds of centipede grass seed, a 50-pound bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer and a whirly-bird spreader. I tilled my front yard, raked all the suspicious triffids and body-snatcher pods into a couple of garbage bags and had my "lawn" ready for seeding.

That's when the Meat Man came by. I checked his wares and found them acceptable, so I bought $138 worth of dead cow meat from him. I stored the T-bones, filets and strips in my freezer in the garage, but I put two four-packs of frozen hamburger patties on the top shelf of the freezer in the kitchen refrigerator. I had three racks of baby-back ribs cooking at the time, so I didn't expect to eat any hamburger that evening. I just wanted to keep them handy.

That mercenary little shit Scott, along with his dad and sister, Kristin (a future heartbreaker if I ever saw one-- she's 17 and a lovely young blossom of a woman) arrived around 5:00 and RECONDO23 and his darling wife showed up shortly thereafter. The aroma of slow-cooking baby backs attracts people from all over to my house.

As I was preparing supper, I opened the freezer door to get some ice and one of those packs of frozen hamburger patties fell out. It landed squarely on the second toe of my right foot like a one-pound hockey puck and hurt like hell. This morning, I know why. My poor toe is purple and swollen to twice its normal size. I can barely stand. I believe I fractured something.

Although it's painful as can be, I still see the humor: in my freezer, I have the body parts of a martyr cow, a suicide toe-bomber, a dedicated terrorist and something evil beyond the grave. I'm just glad I didn't put one of those T-bones in the freezer door.

"Code of the hills" vs. "cut the shit"

Originally published April 9. 2002

I was born and raised for a number of my formative years in a coal mining camp in Harlan County, Kentucky, deep in the absolute armpit of the Appalachian Mountains. I know "The Code of the Hills" and in many ways it reminds me of what the Palestenians are attempting to do against Israel.

Everybody knows about the famous Hatfield-McCoy feud fought nearby in those mountains, but nobody ever heard of the Philpot-Benge feud fought right there in my neck of the woods. Philpot-Benge was bloodier, lasted longer and involved a lot more people than Hatfield-McCoy, but Philpot versus Benge just doesn't roll off the tongue as poetically as Hatfield versus McCoy, so MY family feud is relegated to the dustbin of history while those mere pretenders reap all the glory.

The truth is, nothing about a senseless, bloody feud is glorious. The story really is about a bunch of stubborn, prideful people who started something that their idea of "honor" would not allow them to stop. They killed one of US, so we'll kill two of THEM! The bullets flew and people died, and in the end, the entire affair didn't prove a damned thing except the fact that I come from a long line of hard-headed, violent people. That's the Code of the Hills. Payback and revenge are important. Pride rules, and trumps good sense every time.

I believe the Palestinians are a lot like feuding Kentucky hillbillies who have more pride than good sense. They have a fire of resentment burning in their souls, because they don't want to face the fact that THEY ARE A BUNCH OF LOSERS. Israel is not the only country ever to kick their asses. MOST OF THEIR NEIGHBORS DID, TOO! They channel their resentment toward the Jews, because to do otherwise would require a long, hard look in the mirror and admitting that they've been a pretty fucked-up people for a long time and EVERYBODY screws them over whenever they feel like it because THEY CAN. Their solution to this problem is to allow a disgusting maggot such as Yasser Arafat to claim leadership of a very confused segment of the world and then strap bombs on their children to demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt just how crazy they are. I have news for the Palestinians: YOU CAN'T WIN THAT WAY, and I don't care what the idiot sympathizers you manage to gather to support your doomed cause have to say.

Grow up. Don't teach your children to be suicide bombers. Make them doctors, lawyers and teachers. End your losing streak by deciding that WE HAVE TO OUTWORK the opposition and beat them at their own game. Forget the resentment and use your intelligence, if you have any that you've saved up by not displaying it before. Become civilized and demonstrate that YOU DESERVE A HOMELAND, not just because you found your insane asses parked upon that ground once upon a time, but because you have the wherewithall to make a viable country of your own if given a chance. Behaving like a vast pack of rabid dogs doesn't engender a lot of sympathy from me. If you're going to continue to behave the way you do now, I DON'T WANT YOU IN MY WORLD. Go to hell, you crazy bastards.

Palestinians need to forget the feud and find a statesman, not a terrorist, to lead them. Arafat has had forty years to improve the condition of his people, and he has "lead" them to their current state. Throw the bum out, if you have a lick of sense, or embrace your suicidal captain and go down with the ship. Either way, stop the whining. Make your choice now, or somebody more powerful than you will make it for you.

Palestinans seem to believe that the more inhuman they act, the more sympathy they gain from the civilized world. I disagree. Show me you belong here, in the world I want my eight year-old son to grow up in. Otherwise, I want you gone, for the good of us all.

Sometimes, even the most stubborn among us must forget The Code of the Hills and get a real life.

August 10, 2007

RANDOM RAMBLINGS

Originally published April 9, 2002

1) A dog makes a better friend than any woman I've ever known. A dog is loyal and loves you no matter what you do. It's always happy to see you come home. And it does what you want it to do most of the time.

2) A good guitar is a better friend than a dog. It won't eventually up and die on you, and break your heart. And it never shits on the floor, no matter how long you're gone.

3) A good friend is somebody who knows all your faults better than anyone else and still likes you anyway.

4) Kids are a joy to be around because they believe in magic. They love ghost stories and stupid card tricks. Life will beat that innocence out of them eventually, but it's fun while it lasts.

5) If you don't know what the "'zacklys" are, you never came over to my house to play guitar and passed out on the floor to spend the night. You wake up in the morning feeling 'zackly like a herd of buffalo walked across your tongue while you were asleep. That's the "'zacklys."

6) God had no logical reason to create fire ants or sand gnats.

7) No matter how old I grow or how much crap life throws my way, I still feel 23 years old in my mind.

8) I just saw a picture of Julia Roberts in her Academy Award outfit. She has an incredibly large mouth and ugly feet.

9) A broken toe HURTS LIKE HELL and there's nothing you can do about it.

10) I consider myself to be an honest man, but I sometimes stretch the truth. Why would anybody ever trust a politician?

Meetings (and people screwin' with the a/c) make me sick

Originally published April 10, 2002

I believe Acidman may be getting sick.

No, I don't mean SICK IN THE HEAD, because if you read this blog, you know that I crossed that threshold a long time ago. I think I am coming down with some sort of medical malady, such as the flu, the grunge or the effects of an alien space-pod that burrowed in behind my neck to take over my central nervous system and control my body. I feel poorly.

It all started during a THREE HOUR MEETING at work today. The drone quotient was running near maximum and I was having trouble staying awake, when all of a sudden, IT HIT ME. My spine, right between my shoulder blades, started to ache like a rotten tooth, and I realized that I was running a fever. I began to chill and shake right there in my seat, and I developed an incredible case of the cotton-mouth. I told myself, "Self, this is not good," but I hung in there like grim death until the meeting finally concluded. Then, I staggered back to my office to find frost on my breath when I walked through the door. I checked the air conditioner and, sure enough, whatever crazed Eskimo terrorist I have working for me had struck again, turning the thermostat down to 20 degrees. I saw about half my crew having lunch in the break room.

Remember how Charleton Heston appeared in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS when he came down from the mountain after talking to the burning bush? Kinda wild-haired, feverish, red-faced and crazed? Well, I looked A LOT LIKE THAT when I entered the breakroom and announced in no uncertain terms that if I EVER SAW ANYBODY turn the office air conditioner down to 20 degrees, I PERSONALLY would give them three days off to go home and do the same thing to their household air conditioners to their Eskimo heart's content. Without pay. And if you bunch of sorry layabouts don't like the 70-degree climate control in the office, GET OUT IN THE PLANT AND CHECK YOUR FRIGGIN' JOBS! I bowed up like a cat at a dogfight and beamed laser-eyed hostility at everyone in the room. The silence was golden.

When I left, they probably looked at each other and asked, "Jesus! What got into him?"

I don't usually behave that way. I'm a pretty firm but fair boss, and I believe that most of the operators and supervisors like to work for me. I don't blow my top very often (although I have DONE IT ON PURPOSE when I thought the situation called for it. Being a good supervisor involves some method acting sometimes). I just didn't like having fever and chills, sitting through a three-hour meeting and returning to my office to discover that some idiot had set the thermostat at 20 degrees. I was pissed and I wanted to make an effective statement. The fever helped the presentation, but I was serious in what I said. If I find the asshole who puts the air conditioner on 20 degrees, I'll generate the necessary paperwork to eventually run him off. He can get a job at McDonald's and stay in the god-damned walk-in freezer all day, if that's what his personal thermostat requires. But he won't do it on MY WATCH, in MY AREA, in MY PLANT. Not on MY air conditioner.

Jesus! The nerve of some people!

August 09, 2007

Random ramblings

Originally published April 10, 2002

I have a TV dinner in the mircowave and I just took the last vicodin remaining from my prostate surgery. I feel THAT POORLY, and the wine isn't helping very much. If the blog gets a little wobbly about thirty minutes from now, it's the codeine kicking in. Bedtime will be shortly thereafter.

1) The best day and the worst day of my life both involved dealing with the same person. Go figure.

2) I have sat on top of a mountain and watched a spectacular meteor shower. If that doesn't make you feel small, you are.

3) Grits are good with breakfast if you know how to cook them and how to serve them. If you don't, they suck.

4) My idea of a fine fishing trip is to sit in a boat and drink beer. I really don't care if I catch anything or not.

5) Some people live to work. I work to live. I give it my all, but if I hit the lottery tomorrow, I won't work any more.

6) I STILL have no use for fire ants, sand gnats or kamakazi hamburger patties. But I love going barefoot.

7) You can have sex with a woman and still be her friend, without the sex, years later. I KNOW that's true.

8) Happiness is no tan lines. That was the motto of the nude resort I visited in Key West. UNHAPPINESS is a burnt butt and a henna tattoo that makes your arm swell and leaves a permanent scar. A true adventure, nonetheless.

9) The older you grow, the more you become JUST LIKE YOUR FATHER, no matter how ridiculous that concept may have seemed years ago.

10) Young men who die in war always cry out for "Mama" as their lives fade away. Mama gave you life and took care of you every time you were sick. Mama loves you when nobody else does. You always will be her baby, and she will always be your Mama. That's a good thing, and you can't screw it up if you try. I tried, and it didn't work. Trust me on this one.

Okay, I'm buzzing now. Time for a quick supper and bed. God, I hope I feel better in the morning.

I can do it for myself, thanks

Originally published April 11, 2002

Acidman feels a lot better today. I probably gave myself a mild case of food poisoning, ebola viris or foot and mouth disease from the deplorable housekeeping I do here by myself. But I think I'm gonna live.

I received two interesting e-mails today. One was that well-publicized offer to help move $41 million out of Africa in return for a 25% cut of the loot. I deleted that one without reading it because too many bloggers already wrote about that scam, but I feel privileged to be included on the crook's mailing list. I just wonder how I got there.

The second was really clever. Some woman named Virginia said that she read my blog and noticed that I was not registered on "certain search engines." A little picture of my home page was right there in the letter, and even the www.monsterman.blogspot.com URL in bright blue in the text. I was impressed. I clicked on the "LEARN MORE" link and discovered that for a mere $14.95 per month, my site can be listed at over 500,000 locations every month. If I happen to be the cheapskate type, a one-time payment of $59.95 guarantees me a one-time listing on 500,000 sites. I pay the money, sit back and watch the hits come rolling in!

How could I pass up such a wonderful offer?

It was easy. I hit the "delete" key and it was gone. I have no idea what this "seekandserve" (or whatever it was called) does, and I don't care. I believe that piece of spam was a lot like those "Publish your Novel or your Poetry" ads vanity press houses run in every magazine in the country. I learned long ago that if you have to PAY SOMEBODY to publish your work, your work probably doesn't deserve publication. That's why I like BLOGGER. It's free.

About this time one week ago, I wrote a vitriolic screed about Captain Den Beste complaining because he received too many hits on his page. I mentioned that I still waited for my counter to hit 1,900. Today, I notice that I have a chance to pass the 2,200 mark either tonight or tomorrow. You do the math, and that's... well, I TOLD YOU BEFORE that I'm an English major and I DON'T DO MATH. But I believe I'm getting more than 200 visits per week now, which is a vast improvement over the 50 per month I started with. And I know that my Mama is not doing all of them. I am happy.

I throw this stuff out there hoping someone will read it, and I am delighted when they do. But if the hit counter freezes tomorrow, I'll keep doing it anyway. This blog's for ME!

August 08, 2007

"Y" not "U"? It fits

Originally published April 12, 2002

When that bizzare congressional representative from my beloved state of Georgia suggested that Bush may have known about the 9/11 attacks in advance and did nothing, I really began to wonder if I was the ONLY person who thought long before now that Cynthia McKinney was a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal. But I performed a very brief "Google" and learned that I am not alone. Other takes on Cynthia McKinney:

"Asking if McKinney is an embarrassment is like asking if the sky is blue or if Atlanta traffic stinks. The answer is not in doubt. The question, given the volume of evidence, is where to start." --Luke Boggs

"McKinney is of the opinion that the United States is one of the worst human rights abusers in the world. She went so far as to say, "An African-American newborn has less chance of reaching 65 than does a baby born in Bangladesh." She finds it is no wonder that we have been excluded from this committee cofounded by Eleanor Roosevelt more than 55 years ago.
Giving proof that we are a great country of human rights molesters, she said, "Minorities have filed discrimination lawsuits against six federal agencies." Well that sums it all up. I mean, if someone files a lawsuit, then that can only mean the accused is guilty, right?" --Debbie Shussel

"I have a confession: It's very difficult for me to be honest about how stupid I think some black politicians are without either sounding racist or being accused of racism. This is one of the reasons I don't spend much time on the speeches of Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr. I honestly believe he's not sharp enough to slice baloney. But, if I were to write about him as I would about any white politician (or, say, Alec Baldwin) who said equally dumb things, I would no doubt be called a racist.

Sometimes, though, a politician is so aggressively stupid it simply becomes a moral obligation to point it out, for fear the contagion will spread. Now is such a moment. I am referring, of course, to one of America's most pugnaciously ignorant politicians ó Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia." Jonah Goldberg

There's a LOT MORE where that came from.

Also on 4/12/02

I was about to write a scathing rant about Cynthia McKinney and what a complete, blithering idiot she is, but I made a slight typo and BARELY MISSED the "y" on the keyboard and hit the "u" instead when I first typed her name. When I saw the result, I chuckled, then laughed, then guffawed, and then hit something on the keyboard that erased my post. It's probably just as well, because her real name IS NOT Cunthia McKinny, even if it does fit.

In case you've forgotten, here's her slavering letter [Ed. Linked borked.] to "Your Royal Highness" of Saudia Arabia that she wrote while whoring for dollars as a true war profiteer after 9/11. The woman is a maniac, a true nutjob, and she'll probably win reelection in a landslide. How she manages to stay in office really reeks of conspiracy to me.

All hail Arnold

Originally published April 12, 2002

If I were a Viking in the mead hall right now, I would wobble to my feet, pound the table for attention and wave my cup in the air. Once I had the attention of my raucous fellows, even if it meant drawing my sword and threatening violence, I would propose a toast to a mighty warrior and a man of legend who will fight no more on the field where he won his glory. This is a somber day and it should be remembered.

Arnold Palmer will play his last round in the Master's today.

Arnie is old enough to shoot his age in Senior's tournaments, he's bending more to gravity now, and he looks tired and whipped when he walks off the 18th green at Augusta National. Hell, he's had HIS prostate ripped out, too, and I KNOW that changes a lot of things about your physical wherewithall. He has not made the cut in the tournament since 1983, and I WAS THERE to see him shoot 68 in the opening round that year. (No, I didn't have the most coveted ticket in golf. I conned my way into manning the scoreboard on the 14th tee from 0800 until 1200, when I was relieved by a Boy Scout and allowed to roam the course the rest of the day.)

I WAS THERE again, in 1992, this time with a ticket, to watch him put his tee shot in the right greenside bunker on #16, whiff it twice, then blast out and hole the shot for a bogey four. He received a louder, longer and grander standing ovation than whoever won the tournament that year (I believe it was Fred Couples. I don't remember for sure, but I remember ARNIE'S SHOT)

Palmer had that effect on his fans, and he remains beloved by those of us old and gray enough to remember him in his prime. I have only a few sports heroes whom I truly worship, and Arnold Palmer is one. (The others are Johnny Unitas, Willie Mosconi and Hershel Walker, even if Hershel never panned out as a pro. I am a Georgia boy, after all.) I want them all to be as great forever as they were on their greatest day. Life will not grant them that privilege, but my memories will.

So, I propose a toast to one of the greatest golfers who ever stuck a tee in the ground: Arnold Palmer, may you have nothing but fairways and greens the rest of your life. If you stray from that path, may you always have a good lie in the rough. And when you really need the putt, may the ball find the bottom of the cup every time. Amen, and let's find the bottom of OUR CUPS now!

UPDATE: Arnie's last round at Augusta was rained out before he finished. He'll be back today to play six holes. V.J. Singh is leading the tournament at 9-under par. Arnie is 28-over.

August 07, 2007

Some good, solid Southern advice

Originally published April 13, 2002

My coonass friend in Louisiana sent me this e-mail:

Subject: Southern advice to all visiting Northerners
Refresher course,
issued by the Southern Tourism Bureau to ALL visiting Northerners And
Northeastern Urbanites:

1) Don't order filet mignon or pasta primavera at Waffle House. It's
just a diner. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day. Let them cook something
they know. If you confuse them, they'll kick your ass.

2) Don't laugh at our Southern names (Merleen, Bodie, Ovine, Luther
Ray,Tammy Lynn, Darla Beth, Inez, Billy Joe, Sissy, Clovis, Bubba Jean,
etc.). Or we will just HAVE to kick your ass.

3) Don't order a bottle of pop or a can of soda down here. Down here
it's called Coke. Nobody gives a flying damn whether it's Pepsi, RC, Dr.
Pepper, 7-Up or whatever -- it's still a Coke. Accept it. Doing otherwise can
lead to an ass kicking.

4) We know our heritage. Most of us are more literate than you
(e.g.,Welty, Williams, Faulkner). We are also better educated and generally a lot
nicer. Don't refer to us as a bunch of hillbillies, or we'll kick your ass.

5) We have plenty of business sense (e.g., Fred Smith of Fed Ex, Turner
Broadcasting, MCI WorldCom, MTV, Netscape, Dell, EDS). Naturally, we do
sometimes have small lapses in judgment (e.g. Bill Clinton). We don't
care if you think we are dumb. We are not dumb enough to let someone move to
our state in order to run for the Senate. If someone tried to do that, we
would kick their ass.

6) Don't laugh at our Civil War monuments. If Lee had listened to
Longstreet and flanked Meade at Gettysburg instead of sending Pickett
up the middle, you'd be paying taxes to Richmond instead of Washington.
If you visit Stone Mountain and complain about the carving, we'll kick
your ass.

7) We are fully aware of how high the humidity is, so shut the hell up.
Just spend your money and get the hell out of here, or we'll, you
guessed it, kick your ass.

8) Don't order wheat toast at Cracker Barrel. Everyone will instantly
know that you're a Yankee. Eat your biscuits like God intended -- with
gravy. And don't put sugar on your grits, or we'll kick your ass.

9) Don't fake a Southern accent. This will incite a riot, and you will
get your ass kicked.

10) Don't talk about how much better things are at home because we know
better. Many of us have visited Northern dives like Detroit and
Newark, and we have the scars to prove it. If you don't like it here, Delta is
ready when you are. Move your ass on home before it gets kicked.

11) Yes, we know how to speak proper English. We talk this way because
we don't want to sound like you. We don't care if you don't understand
what we are saying. All other Southerners understand what we are saying, and
that's all that matters. Now, go away and leave us alone, or we'll kick your
ass.

12) Don't complain that the South is dirty and polluted. None of OUR
lakes or rivers have caught fire recently. If you whine about OUR scenic
beauty, we'll kick your ass all the way back to Boston Harbor.

13) Don't ridicule our Southern manners. We say sir and ma'am. We hold
doors open for others. We offer our seats to old folks because such
things are expected of civilized people. Behave yourselves around our sweet
little grey-haired grandmothers or they'll kick some manners into your ass
just like they did ours.

14) So you think we're quaint or losers because some of us live in the
countryside? That's because we have enough sense to not live in filthy,
smelly, crime-infested cesspools like New York or Baltimore. Make fun
of our fresh air, and we'll kick your ass.

15) Last, but not least, DO NOT DARE to come down here and tell us how
to barbecue. This will get your ass shot (right after it is kicked).
You're lucky we let you come down here at all. Criticize our barbeque, and you
will go home in a pine box --- minus your ass.

When I read this, I realized that God DID HAVE A REASON for creating fire ants and sand gnats. Without those pests, we would be up to OUR ASSES in Yankees.

Averting potential disasters, or trying to

Originally published April 13, 2002

I have been busy today. I did some laundry, fed my son and his friend, Jack, a lumberjack breakfast, cranked up the riding lawn mower and made exactly one pass over the horrible weeds sprouting in that sand-spit front yard of mine before I almost ruined the mower. I hit a 5/8" piece of rebar that was cleverly hidden among the weeds so that the three-inches protruding above ground could not be seen. It was a surveyor's stake, probably driven there since before construction started on the house. It was there while all those boys were playing all those games of tackle football on all those weekends when my son was here. I suppose I was lucky to find it with the mower. That thing could put out an eye or puncture a skull if someone fell on it. After I physically lifted the lawn mower off, I worked three feet of it out before it came free of the ground. It was a solid steel bar, slightly bent at the top from violent contact with a rapidly spinning object. I shudder to think what my brand-new lawn mower blades must look like.

I took the boys to the Super Wal-Mart and bought a "Triple Play" baseball game for the Playstation II. My plan worked, because they stayed absorbed with that amusement while I did my income taxes. I GET A REFUND! YAY,YAY,YAY! My government is SOOOO good to me. Of course, I started over-withholding as soon as the divorce loomed on the horizon, which didn't give me a lot of time to prepare. From Get Out Of Here to court took a little over a month. Zap, zowie and swoosh. But I weathered the income tax storm in one piece by paying those vultures ahead of time. It's really less painful that way.

But I look at what I DIDN'T get back, and it's still painful.

August 06, 2007

Spare me. Spare us all.

Originally published April 2, 2002

I hate going to meetings at work, because usually they take too much time, they don't accomplish a damned thing and if ever a decision is made, you have to call ANOTHER MEETING to make sure the decision is carried out. I went to one of those today that lasted an hour and a half.

We assembled to discuss an engineering project that is nearing completion, and it is an obvious thalidimide baby. It won't do what we require it to do if engineering stays on the current path, and engineering is nearly out of money for the project. Engineering wants desperately to ditch that deformed baby in a production dumpster to see if WE can dig it out, resusitate it and give it a good life.

No one involved has passed the point of no return on this project, and if we actually utilized all the teamwork, problem-solving and root cause analysis training we all received in the past, success remains a possibility. It STILL CAN BE DONE, even after that meeting. But here's what went wrong:

Character #1: Already engaged in a pissing contest with the project engineer, he wishes to pillory his enemy rather than solve the problem. Lot's of hidden agendas here that had nothing to do with the problem.

Character #2: A combination of three people from project engineering, there to protect their baliwick and outnumber Character #1 in a sustained pissing contest. More hidden agendas and an empire to protect, too.

Character #3: There to present every grievance he has against "the system" instead of dealing with the subject at hand. Constantly beating his personal drum whether it has anything to do with this project or not, and since it's not HIS project, he doesn't want to talk about it in the first place. He would rather beat HIS drum.

Character #4: My boss. He must make a decision that WE have to live with, and it damned sure ain't the one engineering wants to lay in our lap, and he does not want to referee the obvious pissing contest occurring before his eyes. He probably is the only one at the meeting who has a clue about what we can accept and how to go about getting it. He spoke less than charcters #1 through #3. But he laid out the correct, firm but polite demands, and got his way, God bless him.

Character #5: The Training Department (two poor unfortunates). They kept their mouths shut and took copious notes during the proceedings. As an ex-trainer, I know the helpless feeling that creeps over you in a meeting such as this. WHATEVER THEY DECIDE, I'm going to have to teach this shit. I belong to a service organization. They command, I serve. I'll do the best job I can, but IF THESE ASSHOLES CAN'T MAKE UP THEIR MINDS WHAT THEY WANT, then how can I provide it for them? You start to notice an itching, burning sensation in your seat when the meeting goes really off-track. They were rooting hard for Character #4.

Character #5: Me. Silent most of the time. I discussed the issue with Character #4 this morning, long before the meeting. He knows what we need and I totally agree. I was extraneous to the proceedings and mainly there to watch the show, which resembled a three-ring circus, complete with juggling clowns and dancing bears. My presence was not required, except for professional courtesy, which I could do without most of the time.

We formed an action plan, after focusing all our energy for about five minutes straight on the problem we came to solve, while wasting the other hour and a half. If we do what we decided to do, we can keep this deformed baby out of the dumpster. I just hope SOMEBODY remembers the decision we made amid all that noise.

If we end up with a deformed baby from this project, I'VE GOT TO RAISE IT, and I don't want that. Enough of my life is deformed already.

The ADA vs. "rights"

Originally published April 5, 2002

I have ranted before about the fact that the most neurotic, anal-retentive, overly-sensitive, ungracious, discourteous and downright hostile mutants in our society today are making THEIR RULES the ones WE ALL have to live by. In overlawyered today is the story of a woman who was evicted from her apartment in Denver because she screams at lot, and "FIRE!" at the top of her lungs, at all kinds of odd hours is her favorite thing to scream. Her neighbors thought her behavior disrupted the peace and tranquility they expected in their homes, especially when trying to sleep at night, and they complained. The landlord attempted to toss the screamer, and the lawyers moved in for the kill.

The woman has Tourette's Syndrome and therefore cannot control these screaming outbursts. She has special rights under The Americans With Disabilities Act, which means she is very likely to win her lawsuit and stay in her apartment. The neighbors, just common, everyday working stiffs, who want only a quiet home and a good night's sleep, probably will be told to put up with it or get out themselves. Her special rights trump everyone else's. If all the tenants move away and the landlord loses his property, all because of a screaming banshee that nobody can stand to live around, that's just tough. That's the way the Law of the Lowest Uncommon Denominator works.

People have sued under the ADA because they had horribly stenchful flatulence and the boss had the unmitigated gall to mention it to them. The basic reasoning behind the suit was, "Yeah. I SMELL LIKE SHIT! But you and everybody I work around better get used to it, buy some nose-plugs or find other employment, because I have the RIGHT to smell like shit and YOU DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT to complain about it. So there!"

Guess what? Under the ADA, they have the right to smell like shit and you don't have the right to complain about it, any more than the neighbors of the woman who screams "FIRE!" all the time. This recent explosion of special rights created for twisted people may reward them, but it punishes everyone else. The more rights we grant, the less free we become.

Philip Howard, author of (I know this should be italics, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet) "The Death of Common Sense" puts it succinctly: "Intending to check the abuse of authority, we transferred power to every angry person to bully society." And bully they do.

If I had horrible flatulence and someone mentioned it to me, I would not hire a lawyer. I would go see a doctor and attempt to cure the problem. But I suppose I'm a crusty old troglodyte. I was raised to have manners and a modicum of consideration for the feelings of those around me. That's a very passe attitude today.

If the woman screaming "FIRE!" is cured tomorrow, moves to California and starts smoking cigarettes, she may find herself staring down the other end of the gun she pulled in this case. She can scream "FIRE!" all the time and live anywhere she wants. But if she adds a little smoke to offend a delicate bully's nostrils, SHE'S OUTTA THERE!

Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

August 05, 2007

My achin' ass

Originally published March 17, 2002

*Oh, this is rich. What do you get when the zoology department at the University of California-San Diego teams up with the Women's Studies department? You get a study finding that female wild animals "routinely fall victim to everything from stereotyping to exclusion from pack activities to sexual harassment." Obviously, lions and tigers and bears (Oh, My!) need diversity training and a heavy dose of political correctness.

This study proves once again that all men are swine, even in the animal kingdom, where they might actually be... well, swine.

[Ed. *Link goes to archive list for the site Rob got the article from. I looked, I can't find it. Y'all can go look, too. There are some other interesting articles there, even if you don't find this one, either...]

Football cards

Originally published March 18, 2002

I started collecting football cards when I was six years old. I lost a lot of my worldly possessions through tumultuous life upheavals in subsequent years, but somehow I managed to hang onto those cards. I have a 1959 Johnny Unitas, crew-cut and on top of the world at age 26, after the famous sudden-death championship victory over the Giants. I have Frank Gifford, Bobby Layne, Pat Summerall, Y.A. Tittle, Bart Starr, "Big Daddy" Lipscomb, "Night Train" Lane, Raymond Berry, Alex Karras, Jim Brown and Gale Sayers. I also have Brian Piccolo, which is the most valuable card I own, according to a catalogue I checked recently.

Old football cards aren't worth the kind of money old baseball cards are, but that's okay with me. I'll never sell any of them. Those players were my heroes when I was a boy. I enjoy looking at my cards and remembering when I still believed in magic, and those men were gods. Incredible waves of nostalgia wash over me.

Some of the cards still smell of bubble gum, too.

August 04, 2007

Sick bastards

Originally published March 19, 2002

As if Catholic priests weren't already hip-deep in sex scandals, a couple more make the news in a child porno ring busted by the FBI. The Pope cannot be happy.
{Ed. Article no lnger exists.]

When I was in college, my roommate and I somehow got our names and address enshrined on a porno mailing list and received a plain brown envelope stamped "Adults Only!" about once a month. We couldn't wait to open it and peruse the literature inside, which usually featured a lot of interesting photographs of filthy people doing filthy things to each other. It sure beat reading the electric bill.

In those days, I argued that obscenity laws were for the self-righteous Puritans of society who spent sleepless nights worrying that somebody might be somewhere doing something of which the Puritans disapproved. I thought they were a bunch of fuddy-duddies who should butt out of my business. If filthy people chose to do filthy things to each other, have photographs taken while they were doing it, and then send those pictures to me, I saw nothing wrong with that arrangement. This is a free country and both exhibitionists and voyeurs have rights.

Then my roommate and I opened a plain brown envelope one day and discovered something revolting. It was child pornography, the first and last time I saw that stuff in my life. At last, I finally understood the concept of obscenity, because the pictures made my skin crawl. My roommate felt the same way. We didn't just throw that shit away; we burned it first.

If adults want to engage in group sex, play with whips and chains, commit homosexual acts, masturbate in front of a camera or screw like wild dogs while swinging on a trapeze, that's fine with me. Hell, I might like to watch. But I am the father of two children and I cannot understand the sexual fascination some people harbor for youngsters. Anyone who can look into the innocent eyes of a child and become aroused is one sick puppy. I hope they throw every one of those perverts UNDER the jail.

Now adults with whips, chains and a swinging trapeze is a different matter...

Cliffhangers

Originally published March 19, 2002

I spent about three hours yesterday watching "Gunsmoke" reruns on television. I had forgotten how good that show was. Now, however, I have a problem. The string of episodes ended with the first half of a two-parter, where Doc Adams and a lady friend are captured by Comancheros and Matt, Festus and Newly pose as outlaw gun runners to ride to their rescue. They encounter a mangy bunch on the trail, engage in a fearsome gunfight and kill all but three of the bad guys, who then go French and attempt to negotiate to save their cowardly asses. They say, "There's more of us than there are of you," and Newly replies, "Not anymore!" while brandishing his rifle. Matt points his hogleg .45 at the spokeman and says, "Enough talk! You were gonna kill us, now we're gonna KILL YOU!" Festus, smoking pistol in hand, sits astride his mule and stares gimlet-eyed and hostile at the bad guys.

I won't see the second half of that episode, because I will be in Key West when it plays, and I doubt I will be watching much television while I am there. I will be soaking up rays in the crystal clear tropical waters or slouched in a bar sucking up Bloody Marys. But I know one thing for sure. We need to fight the war on terrorism exactly the way Matt, Festus and Newly handled the Comancheros.

You were gonna kill us, now we're gonna kill you. Amen.

August 03, 2007

Typical political bullshit

Originally published March 15, 2002

I really didn't believe President Bush would pursue this idiotic idea because it was so perfectly Clintonian, but Bush appears eager to throw the full might of the federal government behind it. The nanny state is alive and well in the Bush White House.

I smoke cigarettes. I know my nasty habit does terrible harm to my health, probably trims years from my life, and makes the last breath from my lungs when I die smell like Marlboro Menthol Light 100s to a non-smoker, which is worse than me killing myself slowly. I may irritate delicate nostrils when I expire and offend somebody.

Well, SCREW THEM, and I hope I offend a lot of people by writing that statement. I LIKE cigarettes. I am fully aware of all the risks to my health, and I accept them. If I am diagnosed with lung cancer tomorrow, I will throw rocks at any lawyer who shows up at my door to sue a tobacco company on my behalf and make me a quadzillionaire if I only will say how those evil merchants of death fooled me, lied to me and made me ignorant as a dirt clod for thirty years. Nobody fooled me. Nobody lied to me. I am not ignorant. I am a free man and I made a choice. It may be a choice others disagree with, but it's not THEIR choice. It's MINE. And I will live (or die) with it. And I AM OFFENDED when any self-appointed nanny wants to take that natural right away from me.

Because I believe that way, my government feels compelled to treat me, and everyone like me, as a child in need of a strong Uncle Sam to steer him right. We have mullahs in this country. Some work for special-interest groups, but a lot of them are attorneys, politicians and regulators who OBEY the special interest groups. If this obnoxious lawsuit succeeds, tobacco companies will cave and do whatever the government dictates and smokers such as myself will pay the price. The world immediately will become a better place because there will be less smoke-- and less freedom, too.

The idea of discouraging youth smoking by making half a cigarette pack contain a health alert has to be a brain-fart cut by someone who never raised a teenager. Put a skull and crossbones on one side of the pack and a color picture of a cancerous lung on the other, and teenagers who DON'T SMOKE will want to carry that full-fledged, flip-the-bird token of defiance in their shirt pockets for all their friends to see.

Besides, the original states' Attorney's General extortion racket, excuse me..."lawsuit," against Big Tobacco reaped billions of dollars that were supposed to be used to pay for all those increased healthcare costs smokers inflict on society (we never speak of the non-smoker with Alzheimer's who lives to be 95 and all the costs THAT person generates while smokers have the good grace to die young and leave the "Social Security Trust Fund" richer for the contributions they made and never collected) and to discourage teenage smokers. That was the moral high ground from which a bunch a crafty crooks cold-bloodedly fleeced a legitimate business. Once they had the money, they abandoned the high ground and went straight to the gutter. A few attorneys became overnight billionaires for very little work. States took their windfalls and spent it like kids in a candy store. Healthcare costs and anti-smoking programs, the justifications for the suits to begin with, went right out the window when the money arrived.

Now we discover that some of the states so devestated by Big Tobacco took their extortion money and invested in tobacco companies. All the better to discourage teenage smoking, no doubt.

This entire affair is obscene and it's not over yet.

"Scare 'em, then save 'em."

Originally published March 15, 2002

That was a successful sales formula for a friend of mine in the water treatment business and he did very well at it. The process is simple, and it works. You approach your chump, er... I mean the client, and you convince him that he has VERY SERIOUS PROBLEMS, and without immediate action, he's gonna die, or kill someone else, or at least be liable for ruinous lawsuits because of his neglegence. Then, you offer a miracle cure for all of his problems. He pays money, you take it, and both parties are delighted with the deal. Then you invent another problem and sell another cure.

Environmentalists have worked this scam for years. It has been lucrative, so they discourage anyone saying we're getting better. Like government agencies, environmental activists have a vested interest in ensuring that problems are never solved. They only get worse. Otherwise, the funding dries up and you have to find a REAL job to earn a living.

Clueless people who listen to the environmental mau-maus are convinced that the world is in the worst shape it's ever been and it's going quickly downhill. I realize that the propaganda spewed by environmentalists is pervasive and effective, but I simply have to wonder what happened to the memory banks of those who swallow it.

I am fifty years old. I remember leaded gasoline, raw sewage being "treated" by pouring it into the Savannah River on the outgoing tide, the rotten-egg stench of sulphur dioxide belching from the stacks of the Union Camp paper mill (smells like money!) and watching a tidal wave of soap suds rise forty feet high, wash over the road and stop traffic over the Hayner's Creek bridge when I was a boy. I don't see or smell crap like that anymore. Shad fishermen string their nets in the Savannah River where once it was toxic, dead and liable to catch fire at any minute. I remember when a nimble person could run across the river from bank to bank without getting wet feet, just by treading on the God-Knows-What that floated there at the time. Anybody who says the environment is worse now than it used to be is out of his mind.

But we have a lot of stupid people in this world. It's good for environmentalists.

August 02, 2007

Writing songs in the bathroom

Originally published September 21, 2003

Is is just me, or did a lot of musicians like the way an acoustic guitar sounded in the bathroom? I wrote and performed some of my best stuff while sitting on the toilet with the lid down. The notes just bounced off the tile walls very nicely. I enjoyed that sound.

I still like to play guitar in the bathroom. The bathroom I have now is not nearly as good as the one I had ten years ago, but it still has enough tile to make the guiitar sound better than it does in the living room. So, I sometimes sit on the commode and play.

A cigarette and a glass of wine
Makes me remember that woman of mine
And just how good she made me feel
I've been drunk and I've been burned
Seen my whole world being overturned
Looking back, it seems unreal.

Chorus:

Love can make you happy
Love can damn near kill you, too
I remember that woman of mine
Our days together it were a very good time
But that's all gone, sad, but true.

That song sounds really good in the bathroom.

Miserable Monday

Originally published September 22, 2003

I never should have blogged about feeling a touch of fall in the air. Today was as hot and muggy as any day in August. I was cursed at work with one MAJOR problem, quickly followed by the Death of 1,000 Tiny Cuts. One a scale of one to ten, this was an 8.7 fucked-up day.

The A-line micronizer baghouses are about six stories off the ground and that is where my MAJOR problem was. I don't remember how many times I climbed those stairs today, with sweat pouring off me and running down the lenses of my safety glasses, but after the last time, I swore that if I had to do it again, I was going hop over the handrail on the roof and do a swan-dive onto the pavement below. My legs are tired from all those trips up and down the stairs.

Of course, days like this one are what keep my 51 year-old backside looking a lot younger than it is. My legs aren't bad, either.

But DAMN if those stairs don't get steeper every year.

August 01, 2007

Lord, help us both

Originally published March 15, 2002

My son is with me tonight. He told me a few really silly jokes over supper, causing me to worry about the boy. He says, "Daddy, spell EYE-CUP." I see the punch line coming, but I dutifully respond, "I C U P." Of course, it SOUNDS like "I see you pee," and he says "Stay out of the bathroom!" Bwhahaha! He blows pizza out of his nose, snickers into his milk glass and basks in the glory of making a fool out of his old man. Damn, but he reminds me of me sometimes. I'll teach him to juggle before he's ten. He'll not only learn; he'll LIKE IT, too. A guitar can't be far behind.

I just hope he handles all of his vast talent, inherited from me, better than I did.

Money

Originally published March 16, 2002

How much money is enough?

I wonder about this a lot, because I buy a lottery ticket every week and if my numbers ever hit, I believe I am finished with work. I live modestly, I pay my bills on time and I have some money in the bank. But I still need my job to maintain the status quo. I like what I do and I believe I am fairly good at it, but if I had my druthers, I wouldn't work. I would lay around the house, diddle on the computer, listen to CDs and play golf every now and then, pretty much the way I do on days off now. If I were rich and every day were a day off, I probably would live the way I do now, except for a hot tub on the back porch and a personal masseuse to rub my back at least twice a week.

That's why people who make more money than they ever could spend and still strive for more puzzle me. Dan Rather earns (well...IS PAID) millions of dollars for being the chief talking head on CBS. He still feels compelled to whore on the side to gather extra income through some really unnecessary speaking engagements. Why does he do that? If you can't make it on $10 million a year, a few extra thousands aren't going to make a lot of difference. Plus, he compromises his position as moral arbitor of the news when he takes his show on the partisan road. Is this unbiased, impartial newsperson addicted to his own fame? I am DAN, hear me speak. Then PAY ME. I don't get it.

I can understand Bill Clinton, because he owes tremendous legal fees and would rather talk before an adoring crowd than grope a horny woman, even though he likes groping A LOT. That malformed bastard has a terminal case of unbridled ego and may be excused for what he does, they way we excuse chronic bed-wetters and masturbaters. I really don't believe money matters to Clinton as long as he gets laid regularly and has crowds of people go all doe-eyed when he steps before a microphone. But that's Bill.

Money doesn't matter a lot to me, either, as long as I don't have creditors hounding my ass over delinquent debts. Paying the bills with something left over is good enough. I don't need or want twenty antique sports cars in my three-story garage. If my job paid $20 million a year, I would not leave it because someone else offered $22 million. What does a guy making $20 million do with that extra $2 million other than brag about it? I don't understand.

I'll tell you why, too. I am at the point in my career where I have reached the plateau of diminishing returns. I received a nice raise last year and saw about 1/4 of it on my paycheck, and the IRS had a field day with me. I am single now, which means the gaping jaw of government takes an even larger tax bite out of anything I earn. If I get a $10,000 per year raise tomorrow, the government will take half and the leftovers won't change my lifestyle at all.

I suppose salary is a good scorecard, but the money doesn't matter after a while, at least not to me. My check is bigger than yours? So what?

I have enough. And enough is as good as a feast.