Inhumane Humanity

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bad Boys, Watchya Gonna Do

For the best effect, play both videos at the same time - too cool

Twenty Five years old and he's facing a possible 16 years in the pen.

This guy is a real bad player!!!

Yep - Al Jazeera reports that Anthony Graber, a sergeant in the Maryland Air National Guard is facing 16 years in prison. They serve our country and get arrested for inadvertently filming a cop arrest him for reckless driving/speeding and posting it on You-tube.

Now what was the U.S. Mainstream Media saying about Al Jazeera when they first appeared in the U.S. market? They're subversive to democracy??

I'm not sure, but it appears that in this case, democracy is subversive unto itself.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Is America Becoming a Third World Country?

A question posed by Cahir O'Doherty in “Irish Central

O'Dohery's question and ensuing article sums it up damned well as far as I'm concerned, a resounding YES.

“The main characteristics common to Third World countries are a high level of debt, an income distribution concentrated to the top 1% of the population, and an economy based on export of raw materials and import of manufactured products.”

"Whilst the conservative right keeps its voters hypnotized with the latest shell game involving God, Guns and Gays, the ordinary citizen has had his wallet pilfered or her purse snatched, over and over.

Of the $1.7 trillion in tax cuts taxpayers received through 2008, high-income households received by far the largest - not only in amount but also as a percentage of income - which dramatically shifted the concentration of after-tax income toward the top.

The income gap is expanding now not because the middle class is losing income, but because the incomes of the wealthiest are skyrocketing.”

The article is disturbing enough, pointing to a very real likelihood that the US is on the fast track to oblivion, but what’s even more disturbing are some of the moronic comments posted related to the article.

Posted by snuffey

“As long ae the Great One and his Neo Communists, are in office things in the USA will continue to grow worse.”

Posted by

"you forget about the illegals that are helping to increase the income gap. not only that, but being illegal and not paying taxes, putting their children into our educational system, hospitals, welfare systems, etc, is a huge hit on our support systems that the middle class must support. lets face it, the illegals dont squat in upper income areas, they make their ghetto in the poorer sections of cities and towns. they do not contribute their fair share to our system. how much do they send home to mexico each year? every dollar sent to mexico is one less spent here"

Posted by “hancock”

“America has got the fattest poor people in the world. 123% fatter than the rest of the world, 1205 % than the "third world" and 58% fatter than 20 years ago. They receive 10000% more in welfare, and you don't have to be a citizen to receive some of these benefits. Some even have cell phones and color television. They receive free education, although many do not use this option do to time constraints”

hancock - Phenomenal solution, complain about fat poor people. That'll turn our country around in a matter of seconds. You make me proud to be an American. Let me guess, you're a member of one of the maniacal tea parties with illiteracy stamped on your forehead like a badge of honor.

But I did find one ray of intelligence in the posts

Posted by CitizenWhy

“Severe differences between rich and poor, and a shrinking, debt-ridden, anxious middle class is an inevitable result of an overextended military empire that ironically reaps no economic gains from its hugely expensive imperial adventures abroad. An anxious middle class is prone to buy into the panic mongering and bigotry of the far right, whose voice in the US is Fox News. In the US a college education is promoted as the way to economic security yet the costs of college education, even at public colleges, have skyrocketed, making college out of reach for the working poor and lower middle class. ... The US could easily reverse course by ending its military operations abroad, shrinking its defense/war budget, raising taxes on the wealthiest, and levying a surtax on corporations headquartered in tax haven countries.”

CitizenWhy - America has been sliding down this path since the end of WWII when the rich elitists and politicians learned they could earn massive profits from war. The Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War I & II, Afghanistan, etc...

Some of the richest companies and people in this country are connected in one way or another to the US war machine and as you so aptly stated, as long as we keep taxing and borrowing to wage war around the world, we're going to follow in the footsteps of the rest of the imperialistic empires in history - relegated to a few pages in a history book, taught by inept history teachers to disinterested children. It is not a coincidence that the gap between the poor and the rich coincide with war-waging elitists in the US.

While the US wages war around the world, the elitist media continues to tell the poor that they are "the heartbeat of America," the "working middle-class," all the while those "working middle class" are working two and three jobs to pay their mortgages on their double-wide mobile homes on rented land (you guessed it, owned by the upper class) (pay attention here hancock, this is for you) and eating junk food because they don't have the time to prepare meals with healthy food and they surely don't have the time to get proper exercise, they barely even have time to sleep between jobs.

AND of course they are the ones who send their children off to war, because the education system has failed them and typically there’s NO option but military. Look at the statistics of military population and you’ll see a very large gap between the lower income class and the upper income class with the lower income class comprising most of our military personnel.

Look around the world; it’s not a coincidence that countries that spend extraordinary amounts of their budgets on war become relegated to a smaller role in history. England prior to WWI was a massive worldwide power. Post WWII, the US has taken on that role as England shrank its empire. In his writings, “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000” Paul Kennedy aptly points out that “military spending by hegemonic states eventually becomes excessive and a burden on its economy, finally leading to economic ruin.”

Nope, there is no coincidence here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Twaddle, Tripe, Drivel and Other Preaching

The anti-Muslim fervor has stretched across America. Shamefully we have become more like the hate-mongers of Nazi Germany with each passing day.

When we can read a news article from traditionally conservative organization The Christian Sicence Monitor defending President Obama's lack of religious conviction, we have to wonder just what the hell is going on in the U.S. today to prompt such wide-spread hatred for another's religious preference, their secularism, their sexual preference, their preference for oatmeal in the morning rather than Grape Nuts.  WTF!!!

Hell, the one-time heartland of the socially liberal, California has become another hotbed of hatred against Muslims.  Time Magazine couldn't have caught the bigoted, predictably hypocritical attitude in the U.S. today better when they printed the words of Pastor Bill Rench:

Pastor Bill Rench, whose Calvary Baptist Church sits just across the cul de sac from the mosque site, says Islam and Christianity are like "oil and water" and that Islam is "intolerant at its core". He argues that when Islam becomes dominant in a society, "you also see a repression of freedom of speech and religious expression. In my view, building a mosque in Temecula would act as a magnet. It would embolden the more aggressive acting on the beliefs." In an interview with TIME, Rench accused the Imam of refusing to disavow Islamic terrorism. Harmoush says this is patently untrue. "Unconditionally, I have explained to him (Rench) and others, that I disagree and condemn all sorts of violence by the mentioned organizations," Harmoush explained. On Tuesday, Rench and Harmoush squared off on CNN in an interview conducted by John King. They did not bridge their differences.

Intolerant at its core??? Jesus H Christ!!! What religion could possibly be more intolerant than the Baptist Church??? Maybe the Mormons, but even they seem like Sunday morning liberals when compared to the Baptists who loudly and lewdly proclaim their hate for gays, other religions and simply put, ANYONE who doesn’t believe exactly as they do.   Does Westboro Baptist Church ring any hate bells???

Again from Time Magazine

"At a local shopping center, Disa Dearie, a 39-year-old mother of four and born-again Christian was not hostile to the local project, although opposed the New York City one. "I don't have a problem with the mosque down the street," she said. "[But] I have a problem with the mosque in New York at Ground Zero. The mosque in New York is an aggressive affront to our nation. I believe in religious freedom, but a landing gear fell on that site..."

So does this mean that the U.S. Navy should never be allowed to sail its vessels in the Strait of Hormuz after we shot down Iranian Air 655 killing 290 passsengers?

Surely a wheel or two fell there as well.

Personally, I would rather see an end to ALL religions. They are the blight of humanity and are the single most prominent reason for murder and mayhem in the world today, but if one, such as the Baptists, is allowed to live in peace and harmony in Temecula (and of course New York City), then they need to do as they preach, the Godly/Christian/Love and Peace thing and shut their fucking mouths. Maybe then we'll see an end to the disparagement and embarrassment they bring to the U.S. They need to stick with the meaningless twaddle they espouse every Sunday morning and keep their moronic babble out of our faces.

Contradiction is a seriously unbecoming trait of the perfect.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thank You! Thank You! Oh Shining Light of Democracy

My Rant for Today!

“The United States is the best place in the world.” “The United States is THE example of democracy.” “The United States has the best health care in the world;” “I would never want to have a health care system like Canada, England, Australia.”

American arrogance at its best!

It infuriates me when this becomes a topic of campaigns wherein the political candidates spew this utter nonsense. It's beyond infuriating that their foolish pundits and moronic supporters parrot the shameless garbage to the point it’s embarrassing to anyone with enough brain power to perform even the most rudimentary research into the facts of the state of health care, the state of democracy, in the United States.

I wish I could be amused, but I cannot find amusement in the sheer stupidity of those who refuse to see the facts; those who choose to ignore the poor, uninsured people walking and sleeping in the streets in the U.S., the greatest representation of democracy in the world; turn their backs on those with no choice but to live a short, unhealthy life; accept as the way it is that others are faced with no choice but to settle for substandard education filled with elitist propaganda instilling blind acceptance of “The American Way of Life;” allow our puppet government to force Americans to live in abject poverty all the while convincing them that they are “ the working middle-class of America,” “the heartbeat of the nation.”

With unemployment at astounding rates and a redistribution of wealth reversed to pre-WWII standards, we’re far from the shining light that the talking heads on Fox News, the fundamentalist Christians, the skinheads and neo-Nazis espouse. In fact, when you compare some of the statistics related to health care, civil liberties and democracy, our light is a dim (perhaps even dim-witted), world-wide bully which demands conformity from the rest of the world neighborhood, others who are advancing beyond the self-righteousness of self admiration.

Many of us were hoping, perhaps beyond hope, that President Obama would usher into the U.S. real and meaningful health care reform, bring peaceful resolution to the wars and political hot spots around the world, return the U.S. to the compassionate, giving neighbor it once was. But, unfortunately, we were sold out once again by the political machine in favor of the massive corporations. Obama is but the President, he is not the savior of democracy and he cannot change the tide of ruthless, heartless elitists with world-wide domination as their life’s determination. Not by himself.

Now, rather than universal health care, we have “universal health care insurance premiums” mandated by the insanely powerful insurance corporations with their strings firmly attached to our political puppets. Premiums demanded of those who cannot afford annual health care checks much less monthly premiums.
Massive corporations are defying legislation designed to defend America and the world against monopolistic business practices, yet Wal-Mart, the largest corporation in the world, has successfully depleted this country of small enterprises. No longer can you find a mom and pop grocery store, butcher shop, vegetable stand, fish market. They’re all consumed by the gargantuan “one-stop sells all.”

Five of the ten largest corporations in the world - oil companies, freely pollute our world beyond recoverable limits in the name of free, unregulated enterprise.

Thank You! Thank You! Oh shining light of democracy!

The puppet master’s controlling our world strings have become a twisted rope far too strong to break and we, at the mercy of their whims, their desire for destruction, their detestable, war mongering, imperialistic global domination goals, seem utterly helpless to do anything.

Vote you say?? When was the last time your vote mattered? When was the last time the men/women you elected made a difference? When was the last time our elected officials defied the corporations with their boards of directors and CEOs receiving multi-million dollar salaries and bonuses despite failure or success? When was the last time you heard about a politician successfully running for office without the support of hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign funds from deep pockets behind the scenes? And most of all; when was the last time you actually heard honesty come from the mouth of a politician?

We live in a world of demagoguery and boundless corporate greed joining hands to usher into this world the destruction of humanity. Like ebola, our “democracy” will devour its host until that host hemorrhages every ounce of life’s blood and dies. And like the host, the virus will die alongside its victim.

Once again, back to the drawing board to design a true democracy.

For those of you who like to see truth –

The ten largest corporations of the world.

The health care system in the U.S. ranks 37th in the world, well behind those evil socialized countries - UK, Canada and Australia, the countries most often compared to the U.S. as a measurement of successful nations.

The United States ranks 24th in life expectancy, again well behind UK, Canada and Australia

The United States ranks 72nd among member countries in total health care performance

But you know what?  We Americans spend the 2nd highest amount as a % of GDP on health care, behind only the Marshall Islands.  WHOAHHH!

According to "The Economist" the United States ranks 17th out of 25 in 6 measures of democracy.  Civil liberties - 8.53 out of a possible 10, political culture 8.75, political participation 7.22, functional government 7.86, electoral process 8.75.

We take 24th place in nations with the most murders per capita, right between Bulgaria and Armenia.  This is one place where we again beat our Canada, UK and Australia.

Doug Thompson - Capital Hill Blue

"Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.

Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.

GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

"I don't give a goddamn," Bush retorted. "I'm the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way."

"Mr. President," one aide in the meeting said. "There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution."

"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

And in that statement, you have it all

Saturday, August 07, 2010

California: State Officials Seek Resumption of Same-Sex Marriages

It still baffles me that one of the most progressive states in the country, California, actually approved prop 8. Having lived in California for 20+ years, even conservative Orange County had enough progressive-thinking people to get the law through easily. Stupefying at the least, but it appears that the thinking people of California didn't just give up.

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown filed motions on Friday calling for resumption of same-sex weddings in the state. Judge Vaughn R. Walker of Federal District Court this week overturned Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved same-sex marriage ban. Judge Walker ruled the ban violates federal equal protections and due process laws. But he agreed to block same-sex marriages from immediately resuming until he can consider arguments on whether to keep the ban in effect while its supporters take their appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Resuming same-sex marriages “is consistent with California’s long history of treating all people and their relationships with equal dignity and respect,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said in his legal filing."

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is a bastion of liberal thinkers, so I have high hopes that they'll tell the conservative jackasses that even slavery ended many years ago and the ultra-right should get a life. Perhaps the Catholic and Mormon churches (likely the cause for the original ballot failure to begin with) should simply butt out of politics or start paying taxes.

I'd had enough of pulpit politics when I was involved with the Mormon Church. Even as a child, although I was too young to understand the implications, I felt that something was amiss when church officials frequently made attempts to direct their members to vote "the Church way." I can recall when my parents boasted that they'd voted for President Kennedy, other church members actually shamed them and some even shunned them.

I contributed my all but mandatory 2 years of my life to that organization and I'll never forget the day I was in what they euphemistically referred to as the "mission home" where missionaries received training on how and how not to proselytize. Now, I grew up in Oklahoma in the 50s and 60s so I was no stranger to bigotry, it was as much a part of the culture in Oklahoma as was mustard greens. But! When I heard a church official, an official that one could equate to a Catholic Cardinal in the Vatican, speak to us newbies and tell us "when we encounter blacks, we're to change our routine and say that we're conducting a survey. Of course, they never told us what the survey was supposed to be, it was simply left to our own devices.

I knew the church didn't allow blacks (or women for that matter) to participate in the priesthood and as a youngster, I could never understand the reason - "the blacks aren't ready for the responsibilities of the priesthood." Responsibilities??? What responsibilities?? It's not rocket science to preach, so what responsibilities exactly are they referring to for christ sake?

Well fortunately for me, that was the turning point at which I began questioning religion and even the concept of an all powerful "god."

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.

"A federal judge’s forceful opinion Wednesday in favor of same-sex marriage is only the beginning of a process that is likely to go all the way to the United States Supreme Court."

"The decision, which ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional, has complicated the political tasks before President Obama, whose aides had to explain in the wake of the decision that the president supported equal gay rights but opposed marriage rights for gay men and lesbians."

Is Obama fence-sitting again?? He sold us out to the insurance companies during the national health care debates, denying a single-payer insurance plan that would provide insurance for all (in the name of ending partisanship in the government - pffft). He's speaking out both sides of his mouth yet again. The two statements are incongruent, in fact completely contradictory. It's stating that gays have rights, but they can't express those rights. In other words, keep it quiet and you can be gay if that's what you so choose.

"Meanwhile, Republicans said that dwelling on the issue could become a distraction in the effort to win back the House or Senate from Democrats this fall. At a meeting of the Republican National Committee in Kansas City, Mo., several party leaders and strategists said it would be a mistake for the midterm election campaign to suddenly become focused on gay marriage, immigration or other hot-button issues. The only path to winning control of Congress, they said, rested on making an economic argument. "

In my eyes, this issue showcases what is wrong with government in the US today. We have political parties who are completely disconnected and disinterested in the rights and liberties of the citizenship, focusing only on what will earn them continued positions and party power in future elections.

Term limits will resolve much of this bullshit, or perhaps a parliamentary style government wherein an elected official may be removed by their party if they fail to meet the goals and ideals of that party.

From "Green Gabbro"

"This morning, the California Supreme Court will announce its decision on whether or not a slim 50% majority can amend the state constitution in order to specifically deny a previously-recognized constitutional right. It will also determine the fate of the 18,000 same-sex marriages performed last year, between the state Supreme Court's decision that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right in California, and the passage of Proposition 8. The New York Times quotes one man whose marriage is currently in legal limbo:

“The 18,000 marriages will be evidence that California is not going to fall apart if gay people get married,” Mr. Lok said. “It’s not like there’s not going to be an earthquake.”

Oh ho ho, won't Mr. Lok and his husband be chuckling at that one when San Francisco falls into the ocean! In fact, the potential link between same-sex marriage and earthquakes is one of the strongest arguments I've ever seen in favor of preserving the traditional-except-for-all-the-ways-we've-changed-it-in-the-past institution of opposite-sex-only marriage.

While the observation that same-sex marriage might be followed by earthquakes has been made before - notably by Israeli parliamentarian Shlomo Benizri and American preacher Pat Robertson - science has advanced beyond the simple "God does it" explanations most commonly proposed by nutcase conservative public figures. Below the fold, I will tell you how we actually think this process works.

The Castro district in San Francisco is constantly emitting small pulses of gay energy, called Love waves. These Love waves usually pass harmlessly through the crust, causing only occasional dirty thoughts in sensitive individuals.

Each time that a committed same-sex couple's family bond is recognized and supported by the government, another pulse of gay energy is emitted from the relevant bureau. If this recognition occurs in the form of marriage, the pulse is strengthened, by a factor of approximately 31, through a complicated resonance of the couple's wedding rings with their official marriage license (the exact multiplier varies depending on the font chosen by each county registrar, but it's usually Helvetica).

Under normal conditions, these Love waves would also dissipate harmlessly in the crust. However, due to California's unique geographic and geological conditions, the pulses emitted from state offices in Sacramento combine with the Love waves coming from the Castro in a phenomenon known as constructive interference. This interaction creates a pattern of standing Love waves in the soft sediments of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta:

At the constructively interfering nodes between San Francisco and Sacramento, gay energy is strong enough to penetrate the crust all the way to the seismogenic zone. The effects of this penetration on the seismogenic zone are governed by lubrication theory. Suffice it to say, when enough gay energy lubricates the underlying faults, California will be doomed - maybe not immediately after same-sex marriage is finally legalized for good, but definitely on or after April 15 the following year. Nothing emits pulses of pure gay energy more efficiently than a joint tax return.

(NB: Small numbers of same-sex marriages, typically involving a transgendered spouse whose legal gender is or was different from his/her preferred or identified gender, have been legally recognized even when same-sex marriage generally has not been. These marriages still cause Love waves to be emitted from Sacramento, but their effects have thus far been lost in the noise of ordinary tectonic and heterosexual seismicity. However, the effects of sub-seismogenic quantities of gay energy on the water in the delta - which is an important source of drinking water for Southern California - have not been studied.)"

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Things I've Made

In response to an "open call" on Open Salon

To the Rex, wherever he may be.

As a youngster in rural Oklahoma, I learned many "things." I learned to rope a calf, tie it to the saddle horn until it was completely helpless, hop off the horse, tag its ear, brand and castrate him with heavy-duty rubber bands wrapped around its testicles. Then with what had to be the most painful ordeal perpetrated by a human being against a hapless animal, use an auger to remove its budding horns by simply digging into the recession where the buds were to dig them out like a rock in the dirt.

I asked the rancher "does this shit hurt them?" "No, he said. They don't feel a thing." Hmm, I suppose they're kicking and screaming like banshees because they're elated about it all! I wonder! Just how does the rancher know this doesn't hurt? Has he been in their place??? I thought he walked a little funny.

Anyway, I soon found that ranching wasn't for those who valued the lives of nature, of the animals to which we assigned the responsibility of dying for our food. So! I moved on to something more creative, more fulfilling. I moved on to framing houses.

l discovered architectural drafting, the fine art of matching angles, the art of geometry, of understanding how they applied to the sturdiness of buildings and for several years, all I equated to this industry was the pride associated with contemplating opposing forces of gravity and angles; of how angles worked in opposition to one another to strengthen homes and other buildings.

Soon, I found myself in the field, working with the gritty men of construction – the job-site supervisors. My first encounter with one of these gentlemen was with “Rex.” He was tougher than a case of 16d nails and loved to boast that if he needed dessert for breakfast - just hand him some more of those nails.

Rex would ridicule, berate, and castigate anyone simply for fun, whether you deserved it or not and that lucky soul would wish death to be rapid and painless when he was after your ass, but death never came. Every day when my girlfriend brought me lunch, he would ride my ass for hours, laughing at his own jokes that weren’t funny while throwing pieces of 2x4, rocks or anything else within his reach.

But! He was the best damned teacher I'd ever encountered and he wasn't even a teacher, but a construction company owner - Grider Construction. He was the coolest man I’d ever met. He was my friend - Rex Grider of Grider Construction in the small town of Shawnee, Oklahoma.

I loved going to work every morning just to watch this man put together gables on homes that were composed of a collection of impossible angels. Framing pencil behind his ear, he’d simply grab his power saw, framing square, nail pouch filled with 16d nails and the 32 oz framing hammer, climb the framed walls like a chimpanzee and go to work.

After a year or so of watching this man assemble houses like a whirling dervish, I began to learn both admiration and desire for his skills and we began working together on projects – he the teacher, I the student, although he wasn't all that happy about me implanting myself into his day.

We eventually became friends, I was always invited to his house for holiday dinners with his family where we had one hell of a time relishing our work over ice cold beer. I loved the fact that a master carpenter would take me under his wings to teach me, to show me the way it was truly done.

Rex taught me far more than craftsmanship, he was a stickler for detail and with the smallest of mistakes I would frequently encounter an expression of utter horror and devastation in his face. “Get that corner tighter you dumbshit!” “Set that 16d nail and drive it with one hit - we don’t have the time for you to play with your hammer like your grandmother does.”

I was never sure if there was a double meaning to that comment or not, but to this day, I can still drive a 16d nail with one strike of the hammer.

I soon learned to love building homes for people in which to live. To see houses come together during a July or August week was both hot as hell and amazingly beautiful. To see the once red clay mud transform into a massive house was awe-inspiring to me.

We could completely frame three houses every week. And then to stand on the unfinished roof of the last one framed to see row upon row of others we'd just completed was beyond satisfying, it was as though I could breathe into my lungs, the accomplishment of a team of good men and to know I was part of that team. I could see every nail driven by my hammer, every angle cut by my saw.

As the rows of houses took shape, the smell of fresh pine and redwood wafted through the air; the sound of hammers setting and driving the nails in an action of high-speed, perfect choreography - “tu THUMP, tu Thump, tu Thump – a rhythm that could literally put one to sleep on a humid Oklahoma summer day and should be exploited by the Blue Man Group.

The power saws and drills joined in, screaming like a female soprano opera singer, the table saw, the tenor of the chorus line, eating 4x12s like toothpicks. The men yelling instructions and placing walls into place like a set being moved around to the change of the play line.

A symphony of smells – sweet redwood, pungent plywood braces, fresh pine bringing mountains and streams closer to the worksite and the hot saw blades adding to the mixture completely overwhelmed the senses.

The buzzing and squawking by an occasional cicada or crow, their out of tune voices punctuating the chorus. Oh, and the lazy summer clouds, drifting by like billows of gray and white cotton creating a cool breeze chilling the sweaty bodies; all of us hoping for the shower or a downpour to relieve the sticky sweat that irritated the skin.

There is nothing like the feeling of building a house and standing on the very top of the gabled roof, walking the stud caps like a high-wire walker in a circus, breathing in the sight of accomplishment.

I jumped off of those high-wires and onto my fair share of nails, one puncturing my foot from bottom through the top. I could see the nail sticking through the top of my work boots, but oh what a charge the entire chorus was, so those nails were a minor annoyance.

Then the girlfriend would bring homemade sandwiches and two one quart jars filled with super cold iced tea. A picnic amongst 2x4 studs, 2x4 blocks, red mud, electric cords, saws hammers, nails and the occasional lizard. It just didn't get any better.

This is my story and I’m forever ssssticking to it.