Saturday, June 30, 2007


If you've done any hiring (or been hired) since the 1986 amnesty given to illegal aliens, you're probably familiar with the form known as an I-9. If not . . .

Part of the law required that an I-9 had to be completed on all new hires to prove that they were in the United States legally, and therefore allowed to work.

Initially it was a big deal. If the Feds ever questioned the legal status of one of the people we hired (they never did) I figured I'd end up in the slammer since it was my signature on the form saying I'd examined the specific, original documents it required, if they turned out to be bogus.

Not that long after, though, it just became another bothersome piece of paper that had to be stuck in the person's personnel file when Human Resources, facing the threat of a lawsuit, said although I was still required to view specific documents all new hires were required to submit, they didn't have to be the originals. The law, it seems, said photocopies of the documents could also be accepted which, in my humble opinion, made the requirement completely worthless.

Not that I liked the requirement to start with. First off, I'm not a trained document examiner. How would I possibly know if the document handed to me was authentic? Counterfeit documents of that nature weren't as prevalent as they are now, but still. It was my butt on the line.

But more than that I just resented the whole damned thing.

Thanks to this new requirement, now I -- a citizen of the United States -- would have to prove that I was every single time I went for a job. And every other person legally in the United States would have to do the same thing.

I felt like we were being punished, instead of those who'd broken the law. And, we were and still are.


Fast forward 21 years to the No-Illegal-Alien-Left-Behind bill and some of its provisions:

All an illegal alien had to do was prove that they'd gotten into the United States before January 1, and they were eligible to file an application for amnesty. The Feds would have 24 hours to complete a background check and, if sufficient reason was found, deny the application, or, the applicant would receive "legal status."

Whut.ever that is.

Anyway, many of we "racist-nativists" who opposed the bill thought this provision was particularly funny.

Having also done eligibility determinations for social service programs (I have a checkered past), I know it can take hours (and sometimes days) to track down verifications on just one application. And now thousands (perhaps millions) had to be completed in one day?

Even better, or worse, the applicant could prove that they were in the United States before January 1 simply by providing "bank records, records from a day-labor center and sworn affidavits from known relatives."

Talk about stringent, fraud-proof, requirements!


Anticipating passage of the No-Illegal-Alien-Left-Behind bill, Julio Leija-Sanchez, a Mexican national in the United States (illegally, of course) expanded his already-lucrative business to meet a new demand:

Julio Leija-Sanchez, who ran a $3 million-a-year forgery operation before he was arrested in April, was expecting Congress to pass a legalization program, which he called "amnesty," and said he could forge documents to fool the U.S. government into thinking illegal aliens were in the country in time to qualify for amnesty, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent said in the affidavit.
Quite obviously, Mr. Leija-Sanchez was not alone in identifying this new market, but not particularly pleased with his competition:

He also was accused of paying $3,000 and conspiring with others to kill two fledgling competitors for stealing computers used to make the phony documents.
Not to worry, though. While the franchise Mr. Leija-Sanchez ran might have experienced a difficulty or two recently, the <polite cough> parent company located IN Mexico has not been affected.

"It's clear that the most capable fraud document cartel in Mexico has been gearing up for comprehensive immigration reform at the same time we have been here on Capitol Hill — only they're ahead of the game," said Michael Maxwell, senior policy analyst for homeland security for Rep. John Culberson, Texas Republican. "They're already making money and will continue to do so." -- Washington Times

h/t Corruption Chronicles

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Friday, June 29, 2007

You don't say . . .

The Houston Chronicle reports that President Felipe Calderon of Mexico isn't happy with the Senate vote yesterday that stopped -- for now, anyway -- the No-Illegal-Alien-Left-Behind bill.

"It's a mistake," Calderon said. "First, because it's a problem that's not being confronted. And with this evasive action the U.S. Senate is making it worse.

"Secondly, by closing the door on legal immigration, the only thing the Senate does is open the door to illegal immigration."
Isn't this the same joker who said previously that Mexico has absolutely no responsiblity for stopping the illegal drugs being smuggled across the border from Mexico into the United States?

The responsiblity, I'm sure you'll agree with President Calderon, for stopping the drugs being smuggled into the United States by the Mexican drug cartels rests solely on the United States, in the form of stopping the DEMAND for their drugs within our borders.

More than a tenth of Mexico's 103 million people now live in the United States, many of them illegally.
And . . .

Calderon . . . continues to oppose a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border which was approved by Congress last year.
Of course he does. Although the American people -- you know, the ordinary folk who inhabit this country legally -- disagree. Besides, where the heck do you, President Calderon, get off telling US what we should or should not do? Who the HELL do you think you are, Ted Kennedy?

"The American economy could not prosper or advance without the labor of both Mexican and Central American migrants," Calderon said.
If the "labor of both Mexican and Central American migrants" is so valuable to our economy, why are you, President Calderon -- considering the sad state of Mexico's economy -- so intent on us taking them?

(Blogger's acting up again today. Can't edit a damned thing, so here it flies.)

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007


(It's a lousy shot, I know.)

As I was getting ready to head home, I asked Da Kid the next time he takes a class that's going to include a graduation ceremony to maybe, just maybe, choose one close by. Not that I really had that much to complain about since I only had to make the 250-mile round trip once.

On top of his regular shift, for the last four months Da Kid's been making the same trip two or three times a week. And that doesn't include the required clinicals.

Instead of taking Emergency Medical Technician B(eginning) and then whut.ever the subsequent class is called OR the eight-month program that smooshed the two together, Da Kid chose the most intensive one in Savannah, that combined both classes but in a four-month time frame.

Although he graduated yesterday, Da Kid's not quite through yet. Saturday is the practical examination, and he's waiting to find out on what date the written portion of his National Certification Boards will be held.

Then, except for as-yet-undetermined short classes here and there, after over two years Da Kid's taking a much-needed break before quite possibly (probably?) going on to paramedic training.

The Deadly Duo have been see-sawing back and forth, forth and back, like this for five years. Both working, but one working extra hours so that the other one could go to school. And now it's Herself's turn to go back.

Da Kid was a vet tech in an animal hospital. Now he's a firefighter, with certifications in several specialities.

She was a receptionist in the animal hospital. Now she's a Registered Nurse, and wants to be a Nurse Practitioner.

How far they've already come.

How far they'll go is anyone's guess but neither Mama, Herself's mother, nor I are satisfied any longer with their promise that they will pay for our room and care at Shady Pines Nursing Home.

With as much as they'll be earning, we both want our own wings.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Quotable Quotes

"I wouldn't presume to speak for the millions of Americans who oppose this bill, but it's because I'm an immigrant myself that I object to the most patent absurdity peddled by the pro-amnesty crowd. The bill is fundamentally a fraud. Its ''comprehensive solution'' to illegal immigration is simply to flip all the illegals overnight into the legal category. Voila! Problem solved! There can be no more illegal immigrants because the Senate has simply abolished the category. Ingenious! For their next bipartisan trick, Congress will reduce the murder rate by recategorizing murderers as jaywalkers." -- Mark Steyn

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fathers Day

Sis, Herself's older sister, promised me today that in the future either she or Mama will let me know when something's going on rather than ask Herself and / or Da Kid to tell me, because once again they didn't remember to until the last minute.

Da Kid called at 7:45 this morning to tell me Herself's family was having a "thing" today for Fathers Day. Oh, and when they asked him to let me know he'd said I'd bring a dish. Oh! And it's a breakfast at 9 o'clock.

Then I heard Herself bellow in the background, "DON'T YOU DO THAT TO YOUR MOTHER!" and Da Kid yelp in pain.

Yes, they'd forgotten to tell me about it but it was Sunday dinner, be there around noon. And no, I didn't have to bring anything with me.

But I hate going over empty handed, not that I knew what they were having. With them there are only two things known: it will be delicious and there will be plenty of it.

I decided I'd take a dessert.

Just making that decision was an incredibly amazing thing for me to accomplish at that point because I am most definitely NOT a morning person. I might have been up and already moving when Da Kid called, but that didn't mean I was awake. Still in my bathrobe, on my first cup of coffee and walking into walls, I began thumbing through index cards trying to figure out what to fix, based primarily on whether I thought I'd actually be able to . . .

I reached for the coffee pot to refill my cup, but the pot wasn't there. The coffee maker was in its same place, but the pot was gone. I finally found it in the refrigerator which, I guess, is where I put it.

Like I said, I don't function well in the morning.

Peach Cobbler? I'd never tried to fix one but I had all the ingredients. I thought I did but knowing the way I am in the morning, I decided to put all of them all out on the counter to just make sure. If I didn't I'd figure out something else because I really didn't have time to go to the grocery store, with all the usual morning obligations yet to be met.

Cans of peaches, CHECK! Bisquick, CHECK! Ground Cinnamon, CHECK! And so on.

I showered, took care of Dingbat and Starbuck's needs, and then went to work.

You know, I'm sure, what it feels like when you're fixing something you've never fixed before, especially for people who are damned cooks. Damned good.

Herself's mother and sister fix cobbler all the time and while I knew mine would never measure up to theirs, it's something I've wanted to try. If mine comes out even edible, I'd be thrilled. With me, too, there was the additional terror nervousness in knowing that since we seldom ate sweets, I have little experience fixing desserts of any kind.

In other words, I didn't know what the hell I'm doing.

But then sometimes, comes that wonderful feeling when everything seems to be working right. It's going your way. This may actually be good. It looks good and it's surprisingly easy.

Okay, I did have a problem shaking the cinnamon out of the container into the filling, but with a couple whaps of my palm on the jar's bottom . . . the recipe said "some" and I could only guess that that was enough. (I added another "whap" just to be on the safe side.)

There was just right amount of dough for the top. The oven is preheated to 350 degrees and the only thing I have to do before covering the dish and popping it in for 45 minutes, is sprinkle it with sugar and more cinnamon.

And the cinnamon got stuck again.

When whapping it with my palm repeatedly only shook at little out each time, instead of wasting more time (which I was running out of) I pried the plastic lid off the container to reach inside with two fingers and "sprinkle" the crust that way.

The cinnamon didn't look right. The color was off and so was the texture. I sniffed.

It didn't smell anything like cinnamon. It smelled like . . .

That's when something caught my eye. It's known as the label.

I stood there and must have read the damned thing five times, willing it to say cinnamon. The last time I even spelled the word aloud, letter by letter.

I began chanting a certain four-letter word to encourage it to change. But the label wouldn't.

Instead of Ground Cinnamon, it still read Ground Cumin.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

I hate these things!

Which of Henry VIII's wives are you?

this quiz was made by Lori Fury

Spotted at Jenna's.


Friday, June 15, 2007


If those of us who oppose the Senate's plan to provide amnesty for illegal aliens and want a fence between the United States and Mexico are racists because there are supposedly so many illegals coming from other countries, why does Dubya keep trotting out Hispanic-surnamed folk at each of his show and tells in its support?

If immigrants are required to prove their grasp of English before they become citizens and only citizens can vote, then why is not providing them with ballots in another language a violation of their civil rights?

If those of us who oppose the Senate's plan to provide amnesty for illegal aliens and want a fence between the United States and Mexico are racists because there are supposedly so many illegals coming from other countries, then why did Dubya make a point of expressing his support for it today at a National Hispanic Caucus Prayer Breakfast?

If Ted Kennedy says the fines and penalties illegals will be required to pay under the Senate's bill will fund the bureauracy processing them will require as well as all the tax-payer funded services they consume, but Dubya says the same fines and penalties will be used to secure our borders, which one is lying?

If the Reid and Company does the exact same thing this year as it did last year, does that indicate that they think we're stupid?

If some pollsters say Obama will be the Dem's nominee in '08 cause he'll carry the black vote 'cause he's black, but others say Hilliary will win 'cause women will vote for her 'cause she's a woman, are they profiling?

If . . .

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

$3.89 a gallon

Gasoline? No. That's what I paid for a gallon of milk today. Expect it to get worse. Much worse.

Fox News is airing a piece right now about how much more groceries are costing and are GOING to cost in the future. The reason, they are explaining, is that the price of corn is going up because it is being diverted to the production of fuels.

Far be it for me to argue with their "experts," but all they're doing is selling advertising time.


Although I've mentioned him numerous times, let me finally introduce you to Dingbat (The Aged Quarter Horse). I've had him since he was a four-year-old and he's now closing in on 25. In equine terms that's very roughly . . . 75.

For his age Dingbat is in good health, but like we'd expect for ourselves IF we get to that age -- may we look as good if we do -- things don't work as well as they used to. Not that horses have a digestive tract that makes sense to start with.

Cattle can eat just about any ol' hay, but horse hay has to be of a particular kind and quality or it (among so many other things) can cause colic. I'm not going to waste your time going into it because this is only background.

I'm down to my last three bales of hay. Horse hay. By the time that's gone, I'll have Dingbat fully swapped over to soaked beet pulp (Doesn't it look just so yummy!) as a substitute.

Why? Because there is no hay.

I don't mean just in my hay shed or even horse hay. Because of the drought, there isn't any hay to be had.


There's bales here and there of timothy or alfalfa at $20 per square bale, but Dingbat's aged digestive tract couldn't handle it. It would kill him.

Cattle farmers, whether beef or dairy, couldn't afford to pay that even if they could somehow find the quantities each cow would require daily. Cattle do very well with (what I think of as) crap hay. Except, there is no hay of any kind. So, months ago cattle farmers started culling their herds.

There are usually three cuttings of hay each season with the first coming in in April or May. The second, June . . . July. The third and final cut for the season (to get everyone through the winter 'til the next year's first cut) occurs some time in the Fall.

But first cut never occured this year. It didn't exist. Second cut, even with the recent rain, is a month to six weeks away and who knows how much of that there will be. Third cut . . .who knows.

Don't expect a reprieve any time soon. With nothing to fall back on 'cause what was normally stored from the year before already long gone, the lack of hay this year is already affecting next year's supply.

Since there will be nothing socked away from last year, it will be used as soon as it grows.

If next Spring, there's even enough rain for hay to grow.

The first impact (demand / supply) is dairy. We're seeing that now. Next will be the price of beef in the grocery store stores, so if the price of beef looks damned good right now, the market's flooded.

Buy, and sock it away in your freezer.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I know we need the rain, but . . .

. . . if it's not too much trouble could we pa-LEEZE skip the weird stuff?

Thank you!

Not that I was sure we would when my weather alert radio began warbeling at 8:30 this morning. Instead of the old one going off every time somebody (anybody!) in an 8-county area even farted, the new one has allowed me to fine tune the area (my county and the one I'm not that far from) and the type of alert.

After listening to the details of the notification, I fed both Dingbat (The Aged Quarter Horse) and Starbuck a bit earlier than usual. Neither one, of course, minded.

At nine, when I snapped this pic, with deep thunder beginning to roll I was STILL outside with Starbuck, telling him if he didn't want to get wet, it was time for him to stop playing games and get serious about cranking his tail. Not that he, of course, paid any attention to what I was telling him.

What he did pay attention to was a gust of wind.

He stuck his nose up in the air and smelling the coming rain said, "THIT!" And wasted no more time in doing exactly that.

Minutes later -- as it was getting really dark -- we were already back in the house when the wind and downpour began.

By two the sun was out again.

The weatherjerks are prognosticating more severe thunderstorms tomorrow.

We need the rain, I know. But if we could avoid the weird stuff, again -- like the hail and twisters that hit elsewhere -- I'd really appreciate it.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Are you ready?

Unlike last year I didn't have to buy anything big. Still, the start of Florida's sales tax holiday on hurricane supplies on June 1 was a perfect time for me to pick up a few extra tarps, and since I don't have a clue how old the ones I have are, a big package of fresh D batteries. Oh, and a new weather alert radio -- one with S.A.M.E. technology -- because the one I have doesn't and it drives me nuts, and has done so for years.

Big spender that I am, I bought one for Herself and Da Kid, too. I figure they're worth the $25.

The sales tax holiday ends in a few days. I thought I was set, except this morning I suddenly remembered something I'd wanted to check out that I'd spotted in a Home Depot circular when the holiday started. I didn't think I really needed it because there's already something similar that Hubby bought several years ago, that's still in a box sitting on a shelf in the garage. The only difference, I remembered thinking when I'd looked at the circular, was that this new one had the ability to recharge cell phones, too.

The bottom line is I went over to Home Depot just to look at it, and ended up buying the damned thing. At $45, it made absolutely no sense to me not to.

Smaller than a two-slice toaster (it's similar to this) it's an all-in-one AM/FM radio, black and white television, NOAA weather alert radio (but with no S.A.M.E., I won't be using that function), LED flashlight, AND cell phone charger. It is powered by regular house current, or nine C batteries, or its own built-in NIMH (rechargeable) battery. The latter is charged (and recharged) by using regular house current, or by plugging it into the cigarette lighter in your car (adaptor included) or the hand-crank.

There's only one problem, and I didn't realize there even was one until I got home.

This is the only thing in the entire house that requires C batteries. And I don't have any.



Friday, June 08, 2007

Go baby, GO!

Atlantis launched a little bit ago and as always, I was out in the front yard hoping to see something. All I can still say about it even now is, WOW!"

(Of all times for my camera not to be working . . . and I forgot to take my cell phone with me. Sorry)

If it's a daytime liftoff and the weather conditions are right I can usually see the contrail and if the trajectory is good, follow it for a few minutes as it appears from between but just over the trees and then heads east. Maybe, every once in a while, a quick glimpse of a bit of silver dot from which the contrail seems to be forming.

At night and if the weather conditions are right (which has happened exactly twice) I can see . . . well, it looks something like a teeny-tiny flame from a candle, but it's upside down . . . moving across the sky.

I have never, ever, seen one like this one before. Or for a long.

I spotted the contrail, but it wasn't a long one. Maybe, I thought, if I stayed out there for a while longer it would pick up again. It didn't.

As I was about to go back in the dot of a chase plane -- what I had assumed was a chase plane -- changed color becoming a tiny, shimmering, gold sliver against the blue sky.

The sun's going down. The sun's light is reflecting off the plane . . . holy shit. That's not a plane! That's the Shuttle!!! And it kept getting bigger until . . .

Think of an embroidery needle, the smallest one and fanciest, too, with the eye-end coated of gold. Now, think of just the golden part, moving across the sky.

A northeast trajectory, I guess, because it seemed like I watched it for hours. In reality, it was only minutes but as it finally disappeared and I turned to go back inside . . . I noticed another "chase plane."

Then, boy did I feel stupid. I can't begin to describe how stupid I felt. Maybe what I'd been watching for so long really WASN'T the Shuttle after all. This one looked a lot like the other one had, but a tiny bit bigger, and THIS one HAD a contrail . . .

Then it hit.

THIS golden sliver wasn't the Shuttle. This one was the booster the Shuttle had separated from earlier, arching its way to its own splashdown in the Atlantic.

So, I stayed outside watching until I lost sight of that, too.


Good journey, Atlantis. And may God speed you safely home.

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Quotable Quotes

"By a nearly 5-to-1 margin, voters believe that Members of Congress are more interested in their own careers and agenda rather than the public good." -- Scott Rasmussen


Yep, that Rasmussen. Not that you'd really need to read his editorial (although you really should) to realize how accurate the quote I pulled is. All you'd need to do, if you could stomach it, is watch (as I did via C-SPAN) our wonderful Senate in action. The utter disconnect between its members and the public over the immigration reform boondoggle Reid and Company tried to ram through is just one example.

Although Harry Reid whined repeatedly after the second cloture vote followed the first in failure and he pulled the bill, that "the other side" should have tried to amend the bill rather than from the start work solely to sink it. That makes great sound bites but it's just not the truth. Not that the truth is of any importance in the Senate.

Tuesday through Thursday, a constant complaint was . . .

I don't understand the inner workings on the Senate but as best I can tell ALL amendments to bills have to be filed . . . somewhere or with somebody. Somebody (in the case of the immigration bill it was Reid and Company) goes through them and picks out which ones they want to be "brought to the floor" for debate and vote.

. . . a constant complaint was that senators had either been told not to file amendments, to wait and file them later (at some never-specified and still unknown time), and that only a few of those that had been filed were being brought to the floor.

One amendment that somehow escaped limbo and was debated (and subsequently voted down) had been filed by Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina). DeMint's amendment would have required all those receiving a Z Visa under the guest worker program to have and maintain at least a high-deductible health insurance policy. The average cost for a high-deductible policy, he said, was $116 monthly and in fact, he'd just purchased one for his daughter for $64 a month.

The rationale behind the amendment, DeMint explained, was quite simple. With hospital emergency rooms being required to treat everyone who comes in whether they can pay for their care or not and with so many people who lack insurance for whatever reason using emergency rooms as their primary physician, it makes sense not to add to the deficits they are already experiencing, especially when it comes to the high-cost care and procedures that states and local communities are now having to pay for.

Next up was good ol' Ted Kennedy who blusters, stumbles and babbles in opposition to the amendment. Guest workers won't be paid enough to afford insurance health, he sez, and besides, they won't need individual policies once they've enacted Universal Health Care.

DeMint restates his case.

Teddy, once again approaching hysteria, counters that some would be denied coverage because of preexisting conditions.

DeMint replies that if someone is so unhealthy as to be uninsurable, they shouldn't be in a guest worker program to start with.

And as I mentioned above, this amendment was voted down.

Later, speaking in support of a different amendment, good ol' Teddy sez the guest worker program will elevate salaries paid to Americans doing the same job, because the bill requires that its participants be paid the prevailing wage.

(Silly me. I thought the prevailing wage was the hourly equivalent to what union members were paid as determined by the Department of Labor, and guest workers were needed to do the jobs Americans wouldn't do.)

Meanwhile, Senator Salazar (R-Colorado) insisted that we try to imagine what OUR lives would be like without the "undocumented immigrants" we take for granted. Without them who, he wants to know, would maintain our lawns, care for our children, or change the bedding at the resorts we go to.


The 17th amendment needs to be repealed.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

It's dead, Jim

I have a confession to make: I've been watching C-SPAN these last few days, and now I think it safe to say that the Senate's COMPREHENSIVE Immigration Bill -- while still wiggling -- is gasping its last few breaths.

Harry Reid said from the start that the bill was perfect as written and any attempts to amend it would kill it. Lo and behold, Tuesday it became obvious to me that any amendments submitted that would tighten up or close the dozens of loopholes in this boondoggle would be ignored. One that was voted on Tuesday (and as I recall approved) was submitted by Russ Feingold, to authorize the creation of a commission to study how badly the U.S. had treated Japanese-Americans and German-Americans during World War II, and the reasons why the U.S. didn't accept more Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis.

Reid and the bill's "managers" have been selecting what amendments would be voted on and which ones would be buried. As you might expect this hasn't gone over too well, and Senators who've had their amendments stalled in this manner have been quite vocal about it. As the dam began to break and certain amendments debated, it became painfully clear just how bad this bill -- that Reid and Company had tried to force through -- was.

Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) said several times when he was pointing out a few of the loopholes that he'd voted against last year's immigration bill because it was so bad. "This one is even worse."

C-SPAN is still showing Senators milling around the Senate floor. There is no audio, however, except for music that sounds quite appropriate for a funeral home.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Pleath make it thtop!

It rained all night and it'th thtill raining.

I don't wanna get wet. I hate getting wet. Pleath don't make me get wet!

I gotta pee tho bad, but I don't wanna get wet.

Pleath make it thtop raining.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Tropical Storm Barry

Hi, Barry! Happy June First!

You're not much, just a tropical storm. If you weren't aware of it before, let me be the first to tell you that according to a poll conducted by Mason Dixon, when one of your big brothers or sisters smacks into the U.S. this year everyone in the affected area is gonna die.

Or something.

That's what this article says the poll results indicate, and what numerous news sources have been echoing all day.

I'm gonna be one of the dead, I guess, 'cause if we're flooded I don't have any axes handy to chop through my roof.

I mean, I do have one but it's in the garage. Not that I'd be able to chop through the roof with it because it's so damned big and heavy. How I'd manage to swing it around in the attic much less haul it up there remains a mystery. A hatchet , I think, would be far more sensible. If I did somehow manage to climb on top of the refrigerator and clammer up . . .

Not that I'm in a flood-prone zone or live on the coast, but if the media reports the poll results as if they apply to everyone, who am I to disagree.

If the flood waters don't get me, Barry, I'm gonna burn to death.

Like 82 percent of those the survey says have made preparations, I have a "fire hazard" -- candles and and kerosene lamps -- in my "survival kit." But I'll probably bleed to death before the flames get me, if I drop any of the containers the candles are in and the glass breaks. All I can say is thank gawd the poll didn't ask about big-assed flashlights. If it had, it would be scaring people with the possibility of broken bones if they dropped one on their foot.

I haven't fortified my home, either, Barry. I'm not even sure what "fortified" means. If fortified means "boarding up" windows and such . . . I really don't want to hurt your feelings by making you feel inadequate, but you're only a tropical storm. We don't "fortify" here until there's actually a reason to do so.

Then again, we don't live on the coast.

Come to think of it, I don't think anybody I know even knows anybody rich or dumb enough to live on the coast, which just might be the population Mason Dixon surveyed. Not that you can tell from the media reports that nobody is ready for anything, so everybody's gonna die.

It's June 1. The official beginning of this year's Atlantic Hurricane Season. Let the media's annual hysteria begin, right?.

Anyway, thanks for the bit of rain a little while ago. It's been so long since we've had any, when I went out to feed Dingbat, the old Quarter Horse, he almost ran me over because the strange sound spooked him.

Send more.

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