Drivel Over Coffee #272 8/4/2015

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” Patrick Henry

Hey, gals and guys. How is it going this morning? August finally. We got past July without sweltering too much. Oh sure there were a few days here and there. I thought I would start out with the top contenders for “Idiot of the Year” awards. If any of you are in the list, I am sorry, I must remain unbiased. Sit back and check these out.

1. AT&T fired President John Walter after nine months, saying he lacked intellectual leadership. He received a $26 million severance package. Perhaps it’s not Walter who’s lacking intelligence.

2. Police in Oakland, CA spent two hours attempting to subdue a gunman who had barricaded himself inside his home. After firing ten tear gas canisters, officers discovered that the man was standing beside them in the police line, shouting, ‘Please come out and give yourself up.’

3. An Illinois man, pretending to have a gun, kidnapped a motorist and forced him to drive to two different automated teller machines, wherein the kidnapper proceeded to withdraw money from his own bank accounts.

4. A man walked into a Topeka, Kansas, Kwik-Stop and asked for all the money in the cash drawer. Apparently, the take was too small, so he tied up the store clerk and worked the counter himself for three hours until police showed up and grabbed him.

5. Police in Los Angeles had good luck with a robbery suspect who just couldn’t control himself during a lineup. When detectives asked each man in the lineup to repeat the words: ‘Give me all your money or I’ll shoot’, the man shouted, ‘that’s not what I said!’

6. A man spoke frantically into the phone: ‘My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart’. ‘Is this her first child?’ the doctor asked. ‘No!’ the man shouted, ‘This is her husband!’

7. In Modesto, CA, Steven Richard King was arrested for trying to hold up a Bank of America branch without a weapon. King used a thumb and a finger to simulate a gun. Unfortunately, he failed to keep his hand in his pocket. (hellooooooo)!

8. Last summer, down on Lake Isabella, located in the high desert, an hour east of Bakersfield, CA, some folks, new to boating, were having a problem. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t get their brand new 22 foot boat, going. It was very sluggish in almost every maneuver, no matter how much power they applied. After about an hour of trying to make it go, they putted into a nearby marina, thinking someone there may be able to tell them what was wrong. A thorough topside check revealed everything in perfect working condition. The engine ran fine, the out-drive went up and down, and the propeller was the correct size and pitch. So, one of the marina guys jumped in the water to check underneath. He came up choking on water, he was laughing so hard. Under the boat, still strapped securely in place, was the trailer!

It is really nice that stores are required to have a certain number of parking places reserved for the handicap. It really makes shopping easier for those of us who are impaired one way or another. What does defy logic, however, is why you rarely see a cart corral among or near the handicap parking places. A person often will have to push the cart further to store it in a corral than they did to reach their car from the store. Would it not make some modicum of sense for the handicap to have a place to store their carts? I think there should be a grass-roots movement to correct this discriminatory practice. Come on people let’s get with it.

Amongst things that I ponder daily is the ordinary and often overlooked saltine cracker. I haven’t done the research yet but I want to know how it got its size. Was it just a random act or what? What is the significance of the 17 pinholes? Why do the edges have a serrated like profile?

My current wife, Sue, and her family have been DAR members forever. They have researched their family tree extensively. In fact, I think they are back to 1050 ad. Yes, that was a long time ago. I have performed considerably research on my family tree. Something like trying to keep up with the Jones, I suppose. The last few years I have spent a significant amount on software, research tools and trips here and there. I have gone back in time a considerable amount of time myself. The thing I always seem to be seeking are those day to day life stories. I am not so hung up in the dates and hard data so much as the way the people lived. That has been the most frustrating part of my research. In a moment of what I assume was clarity, it came to me that I need only wait until I die and arrive in heaven. Everyone I want to see and talk to should be right there, well, most of them anyway. Don’t know why I hadn’t thought of that before. I could have saved so much time.

I received a call from Charles, not his real name, Friday asking me to help run a chop saw Sunday morning at the home of one of our men’s breakfast members who is ailing. I was pleased to be asked and showed up at 8:30 Sunday morning as directed. There were 7 of us. They were building a wheel chair ramp out the back door. I did not know that it was happening prior to that. We worked for about 4 hours and got good and sweaty and tired. I enjoyed the activity especially one that is helping friends. I went to bed Sunday night feeling tired but good physically. Sometime during the night paralysis took over my body. I was able to get out of bed Monday morning just fine. It did take me 20 minutes to get off the floor though.

Yes, it’s that magical time of year when the Darwin Awards are bestowed, honoring the least evolved among us.

Here is the glorious WINNER:

1. When his .38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, CA would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.

Mr. Elliot narrowly beat out the chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine. He submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company, expecting negligence, sent one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and also lost a finger. The chef’s claim was approved.

“It’s not that I can and others can’t, it’s I did and others didn’t.” If I can make at least one person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. Now, until we meet again. -TA!