Friday, December 14, 2012


This is a survival trick we all need to watch:

Sunday, April 1, 2012


There was Nancy Reagan, there was Rosalynn Carter, there was Barbara and Laura Bush, will you permit me, there was even Hillary-- some we liked and some we did not like, but the ALL looked like ladies.

So, what happened?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


When the officer asks you why you ran over the...........
never mind, just watch.

Monday, March 12, 2012



From the Washington Post.....

Three days before the Republican presidential primary in Ohio, Mitt Romney was campaigning in Dayton when a woman stood up to ask a question that pointed to one of the most important missing debates of Campaign 2012, and to a widening division in the GOP over a critical foreign policy issue.

Vicki Chura said her daughter was on her second tour in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division. She said her daughter was increasingly frustrated by the lack of clarity of the U.S. mission there and desperately wanted to come home. What would Romney do as president to expedite the withdrawal of U.S. forces?
The economy is and probably will continue to be the dominant issue in the campaign, but the shooting rampage Sunday by a U.S. soldier that killed 16 Afghan civilians could push the Afghan war into the political debate.

The killings may or may not be a shock to the political system. At a minimum, they are likely to raise uncomfortable questions, particularly for President Obama, the architect of the current policy, but also for the Republican candidates. Even for those out of power, Afghanistan provides no easy answers.
Romney’s response to Chura’s question underscored why. He began by criticizing the president. He said that Obama has not clearly defined the U.S. mission to the American people, and that a president should report regularly on the goals and progress of any such mission.

Romney described the U.S. objective as one of building an Afghan security force capable of protecting the country’s sovereignty — which is not that different from Obama’s stance. Hoping to show empathy with his questioner, he said he wants U.S. troops to come home “as soon as humanly possible.” But he offered a big, broad caveat: They can withdraw, he said, “as soon as that mission is complete.”

So, here is the question: When is the mission complete. If Obama did not answer this, neither did Romney. Why?

Answer: The empire is far from complete? The USA is on a roll, the last roll of every empire in world history. When an empire is about to crash, they go off over the horizon to see if they can justify their existence by grabbing more real estate.

It never works. Alexander the Great ended up in Basra in the Middle East where he died of systosemiasis very likely. Greece promptly collapsed into chaos.

What is the moral of this sorry satire?

If you are about to be fired from your job, go steal all the door knobs from the building and resign.

I trust that these little fireside chats help you understand the issues of life. I try hard to make it all very clear.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Thunder and lightning again......

A solar flare coming tomorrow.

I will work in my greenhouse.

Ta Da

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Well, Saint Lawrence lost heart and fled. That is what I hear from Dublin, Ireland.

You see, some devout thief was having a guilty conscience over all his past life of crime. He found no solace in his collection of brass knuckles and jim jams for breaking and entering the common abode of generic victims about the city. So, the blighter popped in to pray at the local Catholic Church, and he came away blessed with the heart of saint.

Now, the local padre is a bit disconcerted though. You see, the wayward fellow who was so blessed that day really did have the heart of a saint. The heart first belonged to Lawrence O'Toole of Dublin when he was born in County Kildare in 1128 AD. He used the heart to good effect until November 1180 when he went on to his assigned cubbyhole in Purgatory. One would assume he has moved on to heaven, at least if he was as good at applying his heart as the Roman Church claims.

You can see the cage in which Saint Lawrence has hung for centuries without murmur or repine. What patience. Frankly, I suspect old Lawrence must have been relieved to be out and about after residing in that cage since 1180 AD. You can also see a couple of Saint Lawrence's petrified turnips from his garden long ago.

Saint Lawrence was a Murry, as was my grandmother, but I doubt if she knew Saint Lawrence. I don't believe they were that closely connected. I find it sad to inform you that Saint Lawrence O'Toole passed on suddenly some time ago. I am sure many of you did not hear the sad news.

He left no issue because, in his line of fathering the flock of Ireland, he was not permitted to marry a nice Irish girl. That's the way the family tree dies.

So, Taffy came to the thy house and stole, not a leg of beef, but O'Toole's heart. The most shocking thing that seems to rattle the parisheners in Dublin is the fact that they can no longer gaze at the desiccated heart of their patron when they kneel to pray to him. You see, Roman Catholics do not have enough faith to pray to God, or Mary, or their patron saint without a bit of the old bloke hanging about. 

The thief was kind enough to leave Larry's turnips for the parisheners to pray to, but somehow the effect seems a bit withered compared to having old Larry up there interceding for them.

This is why there are enough bits of wood around in pretty gold boxes in Catholic Churches to make a cross the height of the Empire State Building in NYC. Was the cross of Christ that big? Not at all. You see, any priest who has a flock of believers to whom he ministers, and the flock has no relic to gaze upon as they pray, can cut a chunk from the local oak tree, send it to the Pope, and he can "omni domini, etcetera, et rigibus in sanctorum," and that wee bit of wood instantly becomes a retroactive part of the cross of Christ.

If you believe that, I have a very nice old bridge in Brooklyn, NYC that I would like to sell you for $24.99. You can sit in the middle of the bridge and pray to Saint Bridget.

Do you worry yourself because I jest over this very serious matter? Well, I shall then give you the very real truth that gives me a lack of empathy for these diddle head Irishmen:

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

The pathetic thing is this-- these people in Dublin have been praying to a dead heart while Jesus Christ was said, in THEIR Bible, to be the ONLY object of prayer in the whole universe. So, BAH to the vicar of Dublin. His wringing of the hands is devilish mockery to the God, the Savior, who died for his sins. 

What a sorry state of affairs.

Read more here.

Monday, February 13, 2012


The following is adapted from Bill Nye's Remarks. Bill was postmaster of Laramie, Wyoming in about 1885.


Mr. Webster, no doubt, had the best command of language of any American 
author prior to our day. Those who have read his ponderous but rather disconnected romance known as "Websters Unabridged Dictionary, or How One Word Led on to Another." will agree with me that he was smart. Noah never lacked for a word by which to express himself. He was a brainy man and a good speller.

It would ill become me at this late day to criticise Mr. Webster's great
work--a work that is now in almost every library, school-room and counting
house in the land. It is a great book. I do believe that had Mr. Webster
lived he would have been equally fair in his criticism of my books.

I hate to compare my own works with those of Mr. Webster, because it may
seem egotistical in me to point out the good points in my literary labors;
but I have often heard it said, and so do not state it solely upon my own
responsibility, that Mr. Webster's book does not retain the interest of
the reader all the way through.

He has tried to introduce too many characters, and so we cannot follow
them all the way through. It is a good book to pick up and while away an
idle hour with, perhaps, but no one would cling to it at night till the
fire went out, chained to the thrilling plot and the glowing career of its

Therein consists the great difference between Mr. Webster and myself. A
friend of mine at Leavenworth once wrote me that from the moment he got hold
of my book, he never left his room till he finished it. He seemed chained
to the spot, he said, and if you can't believe a convict, who is entirely
out of politics, who in the name of George Washington can you believe?

Mr. Webster was most assuredly a brilliant writer, and I have discovered
in his later editions 118,000 words, no two of which are alike. This shows
great fluency and versatility, it is true, but we need something else. The
reader waits in vain to be thrilled by the author's wonderful word
painting. There is not a thrill in the whole tome. I had heard so much of
Mr. Webster that when I read his book I confess I was disappointed. It is
cold, methodical and dispassionate in the extreme.

As I said, however, it is a good book to pick up for the purpose of
whiling away an idle moment, and no one should start out on a long journey
without Mr. Webster's tale in his pocket. It has broken the monotony of
many a tedious trip for me.

Mr. Webster's "Speller" was a work of less pretentions, perhaps, and yet
it had an immense sale. Eight years ago this book had reached a sale of
40,000,000, and yet it had the same grave defect. It was disconnected,
cold, prosy and dull. I read it for years, and at last became a close
student of Mr. Webster's style, yet I never found but one thing in this
book, for which there seems to have been such a perfect stampede, that was
even ordinarily interesting, and that was a little gem. It was so
thrilling in its details, and so diametrically different from Mr.
Webster's style, that I have often wondered who he got to write it for
him. It related to the discovery of a boy by an elderly gentleman, in the
crotch of an ancestral apple tree, and the feeling of bitterness and
animosity that sprung up at the time between the boy and the elderly

Though I have been a close student of Mr. Webster for years, I am free to
say, and I do not wish to do an injustice to a great man in doing so, that
his ideas of literature and my own are entirely dissimilar. Possibly his
book has had a little larger sale than mine, but that makes no difference.
When I write a book it must engage the interest of the reader, and show
some plot to it. It must not be jerky in its style and scattering in its

I know it is a great temptation to write a book that will sell, but we
should have a higher object than that.

I do not wish to do an injustice to a man who has done so much for the
world, and one who could spell the longest word without hesitation, but I
speak of these things just as I would expect people to criticise my work.
If we aspire to monkey with the literati of our day we must expect to be
criticised. That's the way I look at it.

P.S.--I might also state that Noah Webster was a member of the
Legislature of Massachusetts at one time, and though I ought not to throw
it up to him at this date, I think it is nothing more than right that the
public should know the truth.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Well, it is an option. 

I pastored a small church in the California High Desert, in the town of Yermo, half way between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. There were two churches in town, and the other one's pastor lived far away. We lived in a parsonage attached to the church a short walk away from the Union Pacific railway station.

The train station also had a small classification yard where trains were broken up and sent in two directions, Los Angeles and Bakersfield. The Yermo station was also the point of the end of a train engineer's shift from L.A. or Las Vegas. Shift changes happened all through the day. Because of this all the ho-bos that rode the rails dropped off for a while, and most had to find another train. The yard bulls (rail yard police) were almost non-existent, and the ho-bo was pretty much free to come and go.

When they dropped off the train, there were ho-bo signs somewhere, we never found them, that told them there was a church and soft hearted preacher there who was good for a lunch. That was me :-) We would make them a sandwich and fill their water jug. I never gave them money because they would usually buy booze with it, and that was why a lot of them ended up riding the rails.

There were several catagories of ho-bo out there.

There were the losers: They had lost a marriage, employment, family relations, or were simply a loser at submitting to social order. These fellows were almost never a threat to anyone. I would ask them if they were running away from something while suggesting they not tell me the details. If they were, I would talk about how Christ could turn that around for them. Most of them wanted to hear more, though I did not ask them to stay to pray right then. More about that later.

There were the happy wanderers: These were usually younger men who simply wanted the feel of being free with no bills to pay while they saw the world. They too were good natured men, and they had some curious stories to tell. Most of them got tired of the boredom and hazards and went home one day.

There were the genuine ho-bo types: They were ususlly very old back in the 1970s because they were left overs from the late 1940s and eartly 50s-- men who had still not escaped the Great Depression and hit the rails to survive. They were real gentleman and often insisted on working before they would eat. I would usually honor their standard for themselves by telling them some small job around the church property that needed doing. I often sent these fellows to a local cafe where I had a standing arrangement with the owner to feed them the special of the day, and I would go around and pay the bill later. Some were old and did not know there was a pass about 5000 feet high before they dropped down into Las Vegas, and in winter it could get cold. I would ask the cafe owner to see if he could find them a semi truck driver who would give them a ride to Las Vegas, which he always seemed to be able to do.

There were the criminals: They were running away from the law. I never knew for sure who they were, and I did not ask. That kept us both on good terms. They were never a danger to us, though a couple of urban Blacks tried to mess with my father-in-law one day. They are mostly bluff, and I walked up and thrashed them verbally and told them to do their crime elsewhere. They shuffled off grumpy. They did not need another count against them to add to the one in south Chicago or west L.A.

There were the druggies from the Vietnam era: They were a sad lot, and there were not a lot of them. Their minds were shot and just useful enough to hop a freight and beg for food. The guy who stands out was "Famous Amos". That is what he called himself, and I suspect he was known by that name from California to Boston because he had to be very famous. He was a Black fellow, very likable at first, loud, and carefree. But, suddenly he would get loud, jerky, and ominous, after which he would settle down, get a bit weepy, and tell a short pathetic story about drugs in Vietnam during the war there. Being a Veitnam Era Veteran, my heart went out to him. Drugs were cheap in Vietnam, and the US Commanders did nothing to control it, as well as actually providing the soldiers with whores to amuse them. The drugs and the STDs left these soldiers mentally destroyed. I got Famous Amos a lunch and gave him some pointers about the "road" ahead.

There were the young adults who simply messed up: They had migrated from one end of the USA to the other in an old car looking for work which was not there. That left them only the option of hopping a freight to get home, or thumbing a ride on the interstates. The railroad was the safer choice, but it took some nerve if they had never done it before. These young adults got to me, and I usually went to more trouble to make sure they got through. They could easily be identified because they had a lot baggage. Ho-bos never carry baggage. These young adults were the only ones that included ladies in the 1970s, and they always were accompanied by a young man. The rails are no place for a real lady because they are such sex images. That applies to the young boys for the same reason.

Yes, the rails can be cruel. 

Every ho-bo out there has been rolled at least once. It is almost taken philosophically. But, the rails are made safe to savvy men as they learn where you hop the freight and whom you keep company with. A lot of the man on the rails also look out for each other, and doing harm to an older ho-bo can get you a thump on the head from some young buck.

So, what do I think of this life on the rails? I have a lot more experience with these folks than you do, so control your attitude please. I happen to like these fellows quite a lot. If I were to go riding out yonder (only if I had no family), and having seen other parts of the world, I would choose to be a worker on a ocean freighter or oil tanker, and I would wander the whole world. You need no visa or passport. When you get caught, they simply throw you back on a freighter, and off you go to the next port.

But, I reserve a reality check on this life. It IS irresponsible, for it is a life of free loading off of humanity. Having said that, I always felt a lot better about helping a ho-bo then sending my tax payment to the IRS to support some loser in the south side of Chicago. He does not even have the self-respect and initiative to hop a freight, come to knock on my door in person, and ask me for a hand out face to face. If you do not understand that, then you simply have no experience with humanity down there in the lower echelon.

Now, this post is getting pretty busy, and I need to go see if I can spot my wife for a little breakfast, so I will just drop some videos in here to let you try to figure it all out:


There is a blank period of dark screen that the video maker used to give the sensation of going through a tunnel. Don't give up on the video, it comes back.

Did you catch the sense of freedom, or did you get claustrophobia?

How would you like to have lunch with one of these characters?
Been there, done that :-) -- that is, had lunch with them, NOT dance on the wheels !!

The cop knew he was looking at a novice I suppose. Many law men do not take a very serious view of the illegal occupation of riding the rails. These people just do not feel like criminals.

Who is Bozo Texino?

Here is the truth. CAVEAT: Bad language.
Responsibility and authority are the ultimate bane of bums, welfare junkies, and ho-bos. From my experience with men of the road, I would say this old self-proclaimed bum is right on the money.

Here is a story of how the Great Depression changed the lives of teen agers during that era. It is not a pretty story. This is the trailer:

Here is the movie available online.

This is sad and pathetic, but I think it is pretty accurate. Now, tell me, did Jesus have these losers in mind when he was dying on the cross? Huh? What do you think?

The day may be all to close in the USA when hard working men may be forced to the rails again. But, the next time, I figure there will be a lot who head out over the whole world. It is a small world, and there are a lot more options open to the man of the road. 

How you treat the down and out today may come back to haunt you one day.

Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

To the young man who got off the rails one day, the one I talked to about his being a sodomite, the one who repented in tears, I hope you made it all the way back to Moody Church in Chicago. 

If a Bible believer runs away from his Bethel, as Abraham did long ago, he will never have victory until he is back at Bethel again worshiping the God who saved him in the first place.

Oh yes, about not asking them to "get saved".... Every ho-bo on the rails has been "borned again" a thousand times. He will bow his head in tears and pray the prayer for salvation to please any "soul winner" if you are sucker enough to believe it. I would usually tease them a bit and ask them how many times they had been "borned again". They would chuckle and admit it up front.

Then I would tell them that salvation would only come to them if they got saved alone on a flat car with no one to con nearby. I told them to talk to God in their own words, not repeating the words of a preacher of priest, and God would hear them and send Jesus to save them.

I gave them a Gospel of John and a jug of water and told them where I thought a safe place was to hop the outgoing freight.

By the grace of God I hope to see some of those fellows again in heaven. There will be no more wandering over there. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012


The somber thoughts are important, but they often make us enemies just as fast as they make us friends. When they make us friends, these friends then invariably ask us to lead them to battle, whether with guns of ideas.

So, in the end, when the flesh is weak and betraying us, what really lasts?

WATCH THIS MAN AND HIS TAKE ON IT. Keep the last line-- you may need it.

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

I added the verse from Solomon because some pious soul will defy me and say that making people laugh is somehow inferior of profane.


Thursday, February 2, 2012


I once stood on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and looked at the water cascading over the edge. What a mighty scene. We went down into some sort of cave under the falls, put on rain coats provided, and we gasped in unison as millions of tons of water went down in front of us. It was not so awesome, but we gasped as water ran down our necks, COLD water.

People standing around were talking about how heroic some idiot was who went over the falls in a wooden barrel long ago. If I went over the falls in a bucket, I would make that guy look like small stuff. No one present had a spare bucket, so I had to postpone my great moment.

Anyway, what I wanted to discuss with my readers..... all of you with surging intellects and infinite curiosity..... is the way the falls wear away all the time from hydrological erosion. (That sounds contagious, don't it?)

You see, in the past before some bright engineer found a way to slow it, the falls eroded away at the rate of 10 feet a year. Now, it occurred to me to go back in time, back past the Bushian Age, the Rooseveltian age, the Neolithic Age, and the Neoprene Age, all the way back to the beginning of  the present evolutionary era. I did the math, based on 500,000,000 years, which is modest and quite generous to the effulgent intellects on high.

Rounded off, I show that Niagara Falls was 947,000 miles east of its present location when the whole globe done bust wide open and started flowing. Now, you must admit, that is quite a distance and a lot of rocks to wash away into the Atlantic Ocean. 

I would like to give full credit to Isaac Azimov, Stephen Hocking, and Richard Dawkins for their wise and reliable estimations of the time lapsed for evolution to make this hydrolic event possible. I must say, in great awe, "How in the name of creation did you men find the time to do this for us all?"

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Postoffice Divan, Laramie City, W. T.,
October 1, 1883.
To the President of the United States:


I beg leave at this time to officially tender my resignation as postmaster at this place, and in due form to deliver the great seal and the key to the front door of the office. The safe combination is set on the numbers 33, 66 and 99, though I do not remember at this moment which comes first, or how many times you revolve the knob, or which direction you should turn it first in order to make it operate.

There is some mining stock in my private drawer in the safe, which I have not yet removed. This stock you may have, if you desire it. It is a luxury, but you may have it. I have decided to keep a horse instead of this mining stock. 

The horse may not be so pretty, but it will cost less to keep him.

You will find the postal cards that have not been used under the distributing table, and the coal down in the cellar. If the stove draws too hard, close the damper in the pipe and shut the general delivery window.

* * * *
Acting under the advice of Gen. Hatton, a year ago, I removed the feather bed with which my predecessor, Deacon Hayford, had bolstered up his administration by stuffing the window and substituted glass. Finding nothing in the book of instructions to postmasters which made the feather bed a part of my offical duties, I filed it away in an obscure place and burned it in effigy, also in the gloaming. This act maddened my predecssor to such a degree that he then and there became a candidate for justice of the peace on the Democratic ticket. The Democratic party was able, however with what aid it secured from the Republicans, to plow the old man under to a great degree.

* * * *
You will find the key under the door-mat and you had better turn the cat out at night when you close the office. If she does not go readily, you can make it clearer to her mind by throwing the cancelling stamp at her.
If Deacon Hayford does not pay up his box rent, you might as well put his mail in the general delivery, and when Bob Head gets drunk and insists on a letter from one of his wives every day in the week, you can salute him through the box delivery with an old Queen Anne tomahawk; which you will find near the Etruscan water pail. This will not in any manner surprise either of these parties.

* * * *
Mr. President, as an official of this Government I now retire. My term of office would not expire until 1886. I must, therefore, beg pardon for my eccentricity in resigning. It will be best, perhaps, to keep the heart-breaking news from the ears of European powers until the dangers of a financial panic are fully past. Then hurl it broadcast with a sickening thud.


Thursday, January 26, 2012


Try this to see if you are the flaming ecologistic genius you think you are:

The Green Thing

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she
should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the

The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in 
my earlier days."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care
enough to save our environment for future generations."

She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store.
The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled,
so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and
office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a
300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was
right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, way back when some us really older geezers lived, we did not have inside
toilets. We walked out back, rain or shine, and sat on a cold wood seat and took care
of business. We thought that sort of stinky stuff needed to be kept out of the house so it
 not require loads of water and polluting chemicals and sprays to be able to tolerate it.But, of course, we primitives back then did not do the green thing.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away
kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning
up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early
days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always
brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing
back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the
TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a
screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred
by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us.
When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old
newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back  then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We
used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we
didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she's right; we didn't have the green thing

Back then, we drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a
plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with
ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor
instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But
we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school
or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had
one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen
appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal
beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest
pizza joint.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were
just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Don't make old People mad!

We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't
take much to tick us off.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


BALED HAY is a satire from long ago in the style of Bill Nye of Laramie, Wyoming, Art Buchwald, and Harry Golden.

When I get back from Mars, where I have a cottage on the orange lake, I will be serving up the hay in generous portions.

Steve Van Nattan