120 and Counting….

Years ago I was traveling down I-20 coming back from a visit to our sister facility in Columbia.  It was early evening, clear, slightly cool and much to my liking very little traffic.  I was somewhat bored as you can get when you do any amount of travel day after day.  As I traveled I daydreamed.  I looked down the road in front of me and I could not see a car in forever.  I glanced in the read view and found it was also clean and green.  The highway straightened for what seemed miles.  President Eisenhower stipulated when he introduced the Interstate system that one mile in every five had to be straight.  It was thought that in times of war if the interstate was ever closed to civilian traffic they could land planes if needed.  Anyway with all that straight road in front of me I decided it was time to try the old Ford out and see if it really had a Fusion engine, so to speak.  I nailed the accelerator and quickly was up over 100 mph.  I knew the car had guts, but how much?  The lines on the road now seemed like a solid line.  My grip tightened and my palms probably sweated but I didn’t dare to raise my hands to look.  The acceleration slowed but didn’t quit and it steadily climbed to 100, then 120, then as far as I could tell about 131 mph before it topped out.  It seemed like the car was floating.  I was surprised a modest production passenger model could attain that kind of speed.  The road was still clear, I think with the speed I had going if I did see a car ahead I would have backed off.  No cars ahead, but,,,, one was behind, and gaining sort of quickly at that.  I really didn’t have time, although I was slowing down now, to study him but he would be on me in a few seconds, we would pull off and I was sure no amount of talk was getting me out of this.  I pulled the car over and turned it off knowing I’d be there for a while.  I started digging in the glove box for the paperwork.  I really thought it silly digging since this wasn’t a 40 in a 25 situation.  This was going to be major!  I figured he would be pissed but he wasn’t.  More like in disbelief.  “Where you heading in such a manner chief?”  “Quite honestly with a wide open road I thought I’d see what the beast could do.”  “And what did it do” he responded?  Figuring I had nothing to lose I confessed to 131.  “Sounds about right, I had you somewhere around 127.”   “Don’t get many of you guys doing 131.”  We chatted and I was as honest about everything as I could be.  He smiled and told me how long it took him to catch me since he had to start from a dead stop.  I never saw him anywhere, but then again my eyes were glued to the road not the trees in the median.  He gave me options one of which was going to jail for reckless driving, a speeding citation was not going to happen, and careless driving!  I think he had a good vibe and cited me for careless driving.  He told me all the facts would be on citation  but it would be called careless driving, not speeding, and I would have to go before the judge.  He also stated 131 mph on a careless driving citation was stretching it.  No mail in your fine option available.  Not going to jail was good, so I guess I got the lesser of three evils.  I had 3 ½ weeks to get my crap together for the judge.

Court day arrived and I was present and accounted for.  As was the trooper.  My case was called and  I was suddenly on center stage, one man band.  The judge stated I had been cited for careless driving and I had three options; I could plead innocent and go for a court date, plead no contest and receive a substantial fine, or plead guilty, state the facts as I know them, let the judge take those into consideration, and receive a stiff penalty.  I chose guilty with extenuating circumstances.  What did I have to lose.  I stated it was still daylight, the road was clean and dry, there were no cars within sight either in front of behind me, I had both hands on the steering wheel, no radio distraction, and I told him I even shaded the lane position of the car slightly left in the right hand lane so if an animal should dart out I would have a split second more time to react.  “I was speeding.” “ I was cooking pretty good as you can see on the citation our honor.”  “But I assure you and the people of this court I was not being careless about it at all.”  “That was serious business.”  “If anything would have seemed off I would never had done that, or I would have backed off.”  “I may have had a momentary lapse of good judgment but I was not careless, in my opinion.”  During this whole time I did not say the speed I was doing, I don’t think hearing it out loud would have been good, nor did I claim it was stupid, which it may well have been but I didn’t want him to hear me say I was stupid.  For what it was worth he really seemed to be listening intently.  I wanted to say my piece but not drone on and on.  So I left it at that.  The fewer the words the stronger the message.  I continued to stand.  Now silent.

He thought only momentarily and quickly told me the maximum fine for careless driving in the manner I did it was $2500.00 and or 10 days jail time.  Ouch!  That hit home.  He admonished me for doing something stupid, there’s that word I didn’t want to hear out loud, saying the trooped may well have been pulling me out of a wrecked car than just pulling me over.  He said he appreciated my statement, saying it was more facts than excuse.  “Excuses get you no where, admitting fault is the mature thing and having facts with admittance is nice to hear in a court of law.”  “Regardless” he said, “your not going without penalty.”  “Payable within 24 hours the sum of $500.00, or the maximum penalty will be invoked, both monetary and jail time.”  I thanked both the judge and the trooper and was dismissed.  Thankfully I had a $1000.00 cash on me, hell I didn’t know what to take that day, I paid the clerk and bolted feeling like I got off easy.  I probably did.  Heading home I wondered if 131 mph was all the old Ford had in her, someday I’ll find out.

Holding Em Hostage….

I walk a mile for a Camel.

We’re definitely in the age of political correctness, that tune could go on and on and I don’t know if this goes in that category, I think not, but then again it kind of does.  Or it goes in the category of silliness.  Here it is, you decide: people who smoke but won’t smoke in their car, even if there is no one with them.  They drive along then when they have to stop for lunch or gas or whatever they light one up and smoke away standing outside their car with the cigarette holding them hostage until it’s burned out.  They knowingly pull smoke into their lungs playing cat and mouse with about 87 different diseases but don’t want to get that smoke smell in their car.  Makes sense to me?!?  Unless their some 15 year old kid I’m pretty sure everyone who knows them knows they smoke, they’re not hiding it.  Maybe the concern is with passengers later on.  So considerate.  What a good parent watching out for the kiddies.  Well unless you’re blowing it directly in their faces I doubt the cigarette you puffed an hour ago is going to effect them much.  I smoke cigars.  I smoke inside my truck.  It’s my vehicle.  If you get in you’re going to smell smoke.  Deal with it.  I won’t smoke if a non-smoker is riding with me, but the aroma from cigars past you’ll probably need to get used to.  I love the used car ads that say it was driven by a non-smoker.  That’s nice, but my concern is the car may be more a smoker than the previous driver.  How about the driver who holds the cigarette up to the open window so the smoke goes out as they drive?  Some are damn near holding their head outside the window to puff it.  Man up people.  When I sell my truck and they ask if I smoked in it I’ll say, “yes, and outside it too”.

T Minus Two Days and Counting…..

Well we’re two days out from Inauguration Day.  The world wonders what will happen?  I bet the sun rises same as always.  Some folks see it as D Day.  Hell maybe so.  Maybe were entering the Twilight Zone….. a dimension of sight and sound!  Who knows?  Did I vote for the man?  Damn straight!  I honestly haven’t run into anyone who voted otherwise, or anyone who would admit it anyway.  You see I have no idea what this cat is going to do once he’s actually in office, none what’s so ever!  I just know I was so exhausted with our current President disrespecting this country it was hard to even watch and listen to him speak anymore.  Really I couldn’t and didn’t.  To keep going down the same path and thinking things will get better is madness.  I actually think Einstein called that the definition of insanity.  Race relations are at an all time low, Muslim terrorists were radical terrorists in his Muslim eyes, and he was ready to welcome Syrian refugees with open arms.  No harm there right?  He never seemed to get pissed midst all the chaos.  I know a President has to keep his composure, however there comes a time when the vibe they emit has to say enough is enough.  Trump at least calls it like he sees it.  If your trouble he’ll tell you.  If he doesn’t like you he’ll tell you.  You see he’s a business man not a politician, and business man, a serious one, will not hold his tongue.  It’s business, suck it up buttercup.  As of late when attacked by a congressman, he responded by telling this 16 TIME elected congressman that his district is a poor crime ridden area and he needed to spend more time cleaning up his own act before challenging him.  You’d think a 16 time elected official would have better sense to think first.  By the way he’s not attending the inauguration.  Elected 16 times?!?  Wow!  Fear not doomsayers, the President does have a lot of power but it’s not a dictatorship and policies and procedures are in place in case a President starts to go bonkers.  The only thing that irks me about the Inauguration is, I’ll be working and won’t be able to see it live.  I will see the sun rise however.

Tacky Situation….

thI remember a few years back, oh probably 50 or so anyway, I was in grade school at the time.  Catholic School to boot.  A no-non sense Catholic School.  Anyway one day we came to class  and unbeknownst to anyone a school mate came a few minutes early and put tacks on everyone seats.  How he got in the class room is a matter of speculation because no one got in until everyone got in.  You lined up outside and marched in as a group.  Well after the prayer and pledge, did you hear what I said, the Prayer and Pledge we sat down.  It’s hard to believe I said the Prayer and Pledge for eight years and lived to tell about it.  Now a days it cannot even be discussed in school.  Anyway after sitting down and then shooting right back up rubbing our butts guess what the teacher said upon finding out the reason for our uprising?  Guess??  She said words to the effect “oh, brush them away and let’s get started”.  Do you have any idea what would happen in todays school world?  First everyone would be rushed to a first aid station to have their buttocks examined, ointments applied and bandaged.  But not before every parent and relative on their family tree was notified and the ok and three releases were received.  Secondly there would be a Warren Commission type inquiry and investigation as to who the culprit or culprits were.  Thirdly classes would be cancelled for the rest of the day due to the philological harm inflicted.  Fourthly the next day grievance counselors would be on site for those that needed to talk it out and get past the experience.  And there possibly could be some protesting.  Yes they would probably do all this in exchange for, brushing them away and getting started.

Rosie’s Leaving….

"You may need this!"
“You may need this!”

Rosie’s gone.  Too bad, so sad!  Earlier this week I saw a list of all the folks who were leaving if Donald Trump were elected President.  Breaking news; Rosie’s had a change of heart.  Of course she did, where else is she going to be able sit her ass in a chair and give her view, of which no one with a smidge of sense is wowed by, of current issues.  Oprah said she’s decided to stay as well since Donald and Barack have spoken. That and she racks in several million dollars a day in royalties.  This list, who I don’t know compiled it, is like someone said, “Steve make us a list of all the folks we need to deport.  It’s the dream list.  C’mon, Al Sharpton, Whoopie Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, Miley Cyrus, Chelsea Handler, Cher, and about 20 others.  What’s not to like?  Chelsea Handler???  Who the heck is that?  Other than Samuel L. Jackson and maybe Oprah, almost all, regardless of their talent, really garner no respect from anyone with working grey matter.  Sidebar notes here; IMHO Oprah took part in starting the last eight years this country had to hold its collective breath through.  Anyway we need to let other countries know about the mass exodus these loyal Americans plan on taking.  My only hope is they burn their pass ports once they get where they’re going.  If even half leave I’ll hoist a beer to their departure.  Ta ta.

Rioting in the streets over an election?  Rioting!  It’s hard to fathom people with such rage within them over an election that didn’t go their way.  I’ve voted in every election since Jimmy Carters win and only voted for the winner about half the time and I didn’t feel the need to burn and loot.  So be it, let’s move on.  I can’t imagine anything I feel so strongly about that it would cause me to protest.  But I was raised to respect the law and expect life to get in the way every now and then.  The millennials who fear the destruction of the country are now destroying it because they don’t like our new leader.  Chanting “no justice no peace” is pitiful, almost embarrassing.  Their civil rights weren’t violated.  They simply didn’t get their way!  If I marched every time I didn’t get my way I’d burn up a lot of shoe leather.  The footage of these self-entitled young people is priceless; most of them are holding a sign in one hand and videoing with a cell phone in the other?  So stupid.  These same young people who were told by mommy and daddy yes at every turn, who got a trophy for showing up, who were spared the rod, who don’t know the difference between entitlement and privilege, who were given a hand out rather than an allowance, who were told they could be anything they wanted to be but probably have no aptitude for anything other than the ability to push buttons on an Xbox or a smart phone, don’t know what to do now that someone has said no to them.  How they fit all that rioting and looting into their work schedule is beyond me.  They must be using vacation time.  Not!  Millions of dollars in damage and now its confirmed most arrested are not even from the areas of the disturbance and didn’t vote in the election.  Just proves the old adage that a dog doesn’t crap where he eats.  To boot, our current President and the soundly defeated Mrs. Clinton have not had the self-respect to ask them to stop this foolishness.  NOT ONE WORD!!!  They sit in stunned silence while Rome burns.

Colleges and teachers actually canceled classes, postponed mid-terms, so students could mourn the loss.  Reasoning the students wouldn’t be able to concentrate.  HOLY SHIT!  Are you kidding me?  What does that say about the administrations of these schools, much less the coddled students who are mourning?  Boohoo kiddies.  Get mommy and daddy to wipe your tears too.

Adventures in Pizza Land…. Part II

Many years ago I worked in a pizza parlor, mainly as a delivery person, but when deliveries were slow I also did what I could behind the counter. Whether that was waiting on customers, cutting up stock, cleaning or what have you. That being said this is a stream of adventures and or mis-adventures in that said land.

One time I was on a delivery and it was one of the first ones the evening. One thing that always pissed me off was the first or second delivery the customer would have a large bill and either it took all your change or you didn’t have enough money to even make change. Well this time I didn’t have enough. The man and his wife were pretty regular customers, older folks who he made a living as a painter, or a drunk, as that was the way I always saw him. And he told some of the filthiest jokes one can imagine. He used to stand in the store in front of customers and employees, drunk as all hell, and tell some of the most off color stuff you ever heard. Anyway this time I was at his house with no change for the bill he had. He always had tons of cash, at least from what I saw. No problem he exclaimed and off to the corner store he went, leaving me standing there with his wife. I glanced around the house, which had a funny dirty smell but everything looked pretty clean and new?!? All I remember of her was she was an older lady, in a house coat and didn’t say two words to me the whole time. I had the feeling she pretty much stayed in that house coat. Funny thing was we were standing in the doorway and she was kind of in my space if you know what I mean. I stood there my eyes darting around when for whatever reason I looked down and holy cow! She had toe nails that must have been six inches long. No joke. Six inches! She could probably sit on the limb of a tree and her grip with them would keep her there all day. It was a sight for sure but I think I did a good job of containing the momentary shock of seeing them.  Six inches…

Adventures in Pizza Land…. Part I

Many years ago I worked in a pizza parlor, mainly as a delivery person, but when deliveries were slow I also did what I could behind the counter. Whether that was waiting on customers, cutting up stock, cleaning or what have you. With that today begins a stream of adventures and or mis-adventures in that said land.

One time the cook was pulling a pizza from the oven while I was at the ready with a box open on the counter, slicer in hand waiting to do the inevitable carving of the pie. About the time I finished this task I saw the perfectly cooked pepperoni laying there a top the pie looking up at me, begging me to finish him off, which I did with delight. Being so much wrapped up in this momentary lapse of good judgment I did not notice the customer coming through the door heading toward the counter. The cook did and was ready to greet him. For whatever reason the cook asked him if that was his pizza, to which he replied as there was no one else in the store “it’s either mine or his, he’s eating off it”.

It Must Come Down….

100_3406.jpg thCAH6G1EAThis past week traveling I happened upon and heard a fellow in North Carolina say that “he didn’t care if it was outlawed, that flag was going to fly at his house”. Of course the flag he was talking about the Confederate Flag. I looked at him rather confused and had to think for a moment if I had missed something. He just stared blankly at me waiting to see what I would say at his perceived defiance to the law. I thought do I tell him or let him go on believing. I figured if I told him he may get offended, but ignorance like that may be worth the expression on his face upon hearing the truth. I said “it’s not against the law to fly the flag, the only place it cannot be put up was at the State House, fly it all you want”. He shifted his weight to his other leg and when he went to speak nothing came out. I’ve heard quite a number of speeches as to why the flag must come down and those speeches always centered on symbolism. Not one person I ever heard gave the history of the flag, just what it had come to represent. Lack of education was why the flag came down. I don’t really have a dog in this fight and whether it fly’s proudly in the South Carolina sky over the State House I cannot comment strongly on either way. I do feel though that the reason was hate. The flag as we all know was turned into a symbol of hatred, on both black and white sides, and that was the real reason it was taken down. I do believe the only flags that should fly over the State House in any state are that state’s flag and the American Flag. After the Charleston shooting the people there acted in a manner that we all should be proud of. That incident could have gone bad in so many ways. The aftermath resulted in the flag being removed. If the people who removed it think for a moment that removing it is going to stop the violence going forward they should be removed from office. You see the shooter had a picture of himself posing with the Confederate Flag so I guess the logic is you remove the flag you remove violent people like him from society?!? Really? Let’s say I’m a lunatic and that flag was the symbol of my hatred or beliefs, now you removed it. Do you think that’s going to make me happier or more prone to a violent outburst? As of today the flag has been down for about six weeks and the number of shootings, whether individual incidents or in mass has not let up that I can tell. I don’t have the numbers but I’d say there’s been no drop off. After all the fuss and muss about its removal, including the woman who climbed the pole to get it down, the removal itself was pretty much said and done quickly, really anticlimactic when you think about it.

Helmets….

Protect the Noggin!
Protect the Noggin!

Everyone seems to be hearing a helmet when riding anything now! From the smallest child riding a tricycle to grown adults. What’s up with that? I saw a guy pulling his child in a wagon and that kid was wearing a helmet!!! Really? The only time I ever put a helmet on riding a bike was when I was a kid and I took the face guard off an old football helmet and pretended I was riding a motorcycle. We did more bicycle stunts, wheelies, ramp jumps (sometimes over others lying down to see how many we could clear and none of them wore anything more than a worried look on their face), racing in the streets, fields or alleys and it never occurred to any of us to put on a helmet. During the summer we lived on our bikes and hell I crashed as much as anyone and it still never occurred to anyone to put on a helmet. Recalling some of things we did on bikes makes me wonder how no one ever got killed, but still!!! The only serious injury I ever incurred outside scrapes and bruises was a handlebar to the mouth from a runaway bike and no helmet was going to stop that. Oh oh, I suppose now everyone will now go out and buy junior a face shield. Of course junior can use it when he goes to the teeter totter. I heard a guy not long ago say we are turning into a bubble wrapped society. Pretty accurate observation, sad, but true.