Is Something Coming?

On the heels of watching American Blackout last night and my commentary about it, I must share with you that I DO get a feeling something is getting ready to happen to our country in the coming weeks and months.

Just my gut talking, my “Spider Sense” tingling, if you will.

Apparently, I am not the only one thinking this way.

I’m not a big fan of Glenn Beck’s, and when I hear him I usually find another station on the radio dial to listen to, but he has the same gut feelings right now.

Again, I have no idea what exactly is about to bite us all on our collective rumps. Could be a few things, I suppose.

The economy, Fukushima, China… could be one of these things, or a combination of some kind.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

When Excrement Hits The Oscillator

A scene from "American Blackout" that debuted on the National Geographic channel Sunday past.
A scene from “American Blackout” that debuted on the National Geographic channel Sunday past.

So, with the help of one of the scores of YouTube posters out there, I spent the last couple of hours watching American Blackout that originally aired a couple of nights ago.

I don’t enjoy thinking about scenarios like this. Probably because I see how everyone recently panicked in a few states when the food stamp system went down. How I panic when the DSL Internet I have goes down.

Watching the simulated series of events this show presents, well, I think it paints too rosy of a picture as to what would happen if the power went out that long nationwide.

Knowing what happened in New Orleans during Katrina back in 2005 makes me seriously wonder if FEMA could handle a national catastrophe or just tell everybody the hell with you, you’re all on your own. And it doesn’t matter if the President is black, white, a woman, a man, a Democrat, or a Republican. As evidenced during Sandy last year, the system may be too big to work efficiently for those in need.

Preparing is an excellent idea, if you have the kind of money it would take to commit to such an endeavour. How many of us live paycheck to paycheck, that is if you’re working?

A power outage is just one of many possibilities. Look at the events over the past two and a half years in Fukushima, and how the Japanese government is overwhelmed by the weight of the events that they bury their heads in the sand at the sight of it.

Think that can’t happen here? Think again. If someone like that actually happened, we would all be in for a VERY rude awakening. Too many facts support this.

Boycotting The Buccaneers

The current coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Greg Schiano.  He still has a job, for now.
The current coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Greg Schiano. He still has a job, for now.

The NFL franchise here in the Tampa Bay area has seen better days. The Bucs are currently 0-7 under Greg Schiano, and have lost 12 of their last 13 games.

For some odd reason, the Glazer family that owns the Bucs has not fired Schiano yet, despite the open clamoring and imploring from fans to do so.

I’ve been a Bucs fan all of my 42 years plus of life, going back to when they went 0-26 to begin their franchise in the 1976 and 1977 seasons. Even when they were terrible in the 1980’s and 1990’s, there has never been this high of disapproval of the team and the coach.

I am going to do something Sunday I’ve never done on purpose when they take the field in Seattle. I’m not going to watch them until Greg Schiano is fired. I hope Bucs fans across the area join me in this.

I remember a protest by Oakland Raiders fans during a Monday night game back in 1980 against Denver. Looking it up on Google, the plan was called “Save Our Raiders” to protest the impending move of the Oakland franchise (they won the Super Bowl that season, and would do so again in Los Angeles three years later) to the City of Angels.

Maybe the fans need to do something like that to get the word out about how Mr. Schiano is kryptonite to the Bucs franchise. It would just be a matter of organization, I suppose.

Flashback Friday: “Every Breath You Take” by The Police

I always thought pop music peaked around 1983, or at least it did for international pop artists here in the United States. MTV brought on a mini-invasion of British artists, all having their best year in this particular year.

One of the biggest hits of ’83 was this little ditty by Sting and The Police, which was their biggest hit. Another one of those songs that has a more interesting meaning three decades later than it did then.

Death Of A Congressman

Congressman C.W. "Bill" Young, 1930-2013.
Congressman C.W. “Bill” Young, 1930-2013.

I would be remiss in my duties as a Tampa Bay area blogger not to mention the passing of C.W. “Bill” Young on Friday night.

To say that Mr. Young was my congressman would not do the man justice. He was my congressman longer than I’ve been alive at the time of his death Friday night past.

He served the distict I lived in (save the times I live in Charlotte, Marietta, and Las Vegas which total 22 months of my 42 years plus) from January of 1971 onwards. I was born nine months into his first term. He ran for Congress 22 times, and won 22 times, seven times winning without opposition, eight times without Democratic opposition. Only twice did a candidate running against him get 40 percent or more of the vote. Only twelve congressmen in the history of the United States House of Representatives (and only three currently in office) have served longer than he did.

(In an odd twist of fate, the man whom Young succeeded as congressman, William C. Cramer, died ten years to the day before Young did. Spooky.)

To say he had an impact on the Pinellas County community is another gross understatement, as he appropriated legislation that kept our area growing and thriving. Hoping they will name the a portion of US 19 and the expressway it has become after him, or the next school. He deserves at least that.

Most of Congress will be in our area these next two days to pay their respects to Mr. Young. It is respect well deserved.

Chief Montezuma Sends His Regards

So that chili I had on Saturday…

Just remember, what goes in must come out.

And last night, while watching a heck of a Colts-Broncos game, the rumblings began.

I’ll spare you the gory details.

Ever see that commercial of flushing noises, seeing feet going down the stairs, then quickly turning around to head back to the bathroom again?

That was me.

I woke up extra slowly this morning, had some orange juice, and my body feels like its normal self again.

So…where were we?

Other People’s Noise

I felt wide awake when the Cardinals won the National League championship Friday. I had to go to Walmart the following morning for a grocery run, so why not do it right there and then?

Funny how grocery shopping can quickly tire you. I walked through the aisles as workers were restocking, and it felt like I was sleepwalking. Go here, get cat food, check. Go here, get milk, check.

I pay up and take the cart to the car. Then I realize I forgot ground beef for the chili I was going to make next day. So I go back in, get the only ground beef they had before restocking, and go check out again. I had lucked out.

The middle-aged woman doing the checking out was talking to a much younger man about everything under the sun despite the fact they barely knew each other. Bap-bap-bap-bap, bap-bap-bap. It really didn’t seem to matter that I’m in the “21 items or less” aisle, they were going to have their conversation, period.

Now I’m a nice guy in situations like this. Perhaps I shouldn’t be. I fix a solid gaze on this woman, trying to say “I’d like you to do your job so I can get out of here” with my eyes.

She obliges.

“You know, they don’t pay me enough here. We work long hours just to make ends meet.” I wanted to say that I used to work at one, but I figure I’d be stuck there until 7AM if I did, and it was just past 1AM.

I nod my head, trying to figure out if she’s attempting to shame me for being so impatient. Then I figure out this is how she normally seems to be.

I take the ground beef and move out of the store with purpose. I can tolerate when my fellow shoppers slow me down, but when employees do that, it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

A Rare Moment Of Televised Veritas

The date was August 10, 2011. The anchor was Dylan Ratigan on the MSNBC network. What he said was the following:

“We’ve got a real problem! This is a mathematical fact! Tens of trillions of dollars are being extracted from the United States of America. Democrats aren’t doing it, Republicans aren’t doing it. An entire integrated system, financial system, trading system, taxing system, that was created by both parties over a period of two decades is at work on our entire country right now. And we’re sitting here arguing about whether we should do the $4 trillion plan that kicks the can down the road for the president for 2017, or burn the place to the ground, both of which are reckless, irresponsible, and stupid.”

Not too long after that rant, Ratigan and MSNBC parted ways. Mainly because if an MSNBC anchor didn’t tow the Democratic line at all times, they got introduced to the door and they walked through it. I have always theorized that Keith Olbermann got removed from the network because he dared to hold Democrats to the fire the way he usually went after the madness of the George W. Bush administration.

With the high stakes (hypothetically) that today brings, I thought it was a good idea to bring this rant up.

Playing With Live Grenades

As I type this, the American government is less than 72 hours away from defaulting on its debt. The politicians seem hopelessly deadlocked, and the people are noticing. There was a protest at the White House yesterday by war veterans that the media seemed very interested in not covering. Coincidence or otherwise, the EBT system that controls the food stamps process for the poor went down in at least 17 states Saturday, causing panic at plenty of the local supermarkets across the land.

Also coincidentally or otherwise, the government’s health care program launched at the start of October, and the website has had a much ballyhooed series of problems.

Our country is at a crossroads. Both sides pointing guns not at each other, but at all of us.

I will not sit here and beg our lawmakers to go to this hypothetical bargaining table and cut a deal. Both sides seem determined not to do this, and they are aware of the stakes of failure.

When playing with live grenades becomes an acceptable game, it’s time to change the rules of the game.

Those of you who read this blog, I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t think there will be a deal come Thursday. Our politicians and lawmakers have chosen division over cooperation. Doesn’t really matter if you think the Democrats or the Republicans (as Charlie McGrath often calls them on his videos, the “red team” and the “blue team”) are right. Everybody loses here, except those pesky lawmakers.

Sideboob Hour At Walmart

In line at Walmart, Pinellas Park, Fla. on October 4, 2013.
In line at Walmart, Pinellas Park, Fla. on October 4, 2013.

So this is the day of the week I usually trek to the Walmart Supercenter megaplex. Along with getting groceries, I went and got a cooling fan for the notebook computer I currently work on along with the usual menagerie of groceries.

Some of you have no doubt visited websites that goof on the people who visit Walmart and the lack of sense they seem to collectively have. Going to Walmart is fun for me, but it also tests my patience to the point where I could easily get road rage driving a grocery cart without practicing self-restraint.

I notice this woman in the cleaning and detergent section on the grocery half of the store. She’s kind of a mix between a redhead and a brunette, between 30 and 35 and wearing a white T-shirt a size or two too large for her.

There’s something else I notice as I pass by her: she’s not wearing a bra, and showing off the side-boob of her petite frame. With a shirt that large around her arms, it’s hard NOT to notice. No, I didn’t look in any farther, just wasn’t a polite thing to do.

Now back when I went to elementary and middle school in the 1980’s, I would look every now and then. Some of the girls wouldn’t wear bras and would wear shirts too large and unintentionally nip slip the boys. And yes, I would have to strategically place books at a certain location to hide an expanding body part. It happens, I suppose.

Or think about baseball or football…

Now watch me get a spam comment regarding impotence or Viagra. Calling that right now.