Monday, October 24, 2011

When you hit Sixty you start to think about those things you have wanted to do but have never gotten around to. At least in my case that's true. I've seen hang-gliders and para-sailers for years and always wondered what that might be like. Donna has pictures of her up several hundred feet, from years ago and I'd always envied her being brave enough to do it. Finally, when we were on our latest cruise I decided that this was my chance.

The Carnival Splendor (yeah, the one that caught fire last year!) was in Cabo San Lucas for two days, so I signed up for a two hour shore excursion that would take you out to para-sail. We were picked up at the dock and the ten of us donned our life-jackets for the trip out to the 'launch area'. There were three couples, and a married couple with their son, besides myself. I let the the other four pairs go up before me (the father took photos while the mother & son took flight) and then my turn finally came. Even though I had watched the others go up and down with no problems I was still a bit nervous. At least the others had someone to calm them down if they freaked, in my case I was literally on my own.

You don't realise how slim that line is or how small the knot that attaches you to the boat hundreds of feet below you. At the highest point you are close to six hundred feet above the blue waters and tiny boats. Ten minutes never seemed to last so long or seem so amazing at the same time.

The photos can only begin to show you how it was. It really is something I recommend that you try if you haven't already. As Donna always says, life is too short.

I also have to recommend, for anyone who goes to Cabo, that you check out Cabo Wabo Cantina, Sammy Hager's bar & restaurant in town. Go for the tequila shots, especially the 'doubles' and do it the right way. Woof!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I don't often wish that I was back East, since I really do love it here in California. However, from all I have seen, heard and read I do think that I would like taking part in the "Occupy Wall Street" movement. This is what those folks deceived into buying the Tea Party agenda should be doing. They are being led by the very, folks who are doing their best to bring about the destruction of democracy in the United States.

I find it interesting that I am moving back into the Leftist positions I held when I was in my twenties. The funniest part is that I'm living in one of the most conservative areas in all of California. It's anti-union, racist and homophobic.

So, what have you been up to lately?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Been going through and deleting some spam comments that slipped through. Most were to blog posts from years ago, but I will try to keep more current. I'll also try to do the same over on Shot's Shack when I get a chance later.

Probably a good time, while I have a few minutes to check some of the links I have up, as I have discovered a few that don't work any longer. I some cases the links still work but the sites & blogs haven't been updated since they were originally set up. Not that I am the best at updating my own blogs, of course. :-)

A few personal things, while I have your attention.

Donna and I just renewed our passports. Man, it is hard to believe that it has been ten years since I first applied for one. It was actually issued just about a week before 9/11. In fact, our applications were still in the mail during the weeks leading up to and we received them about a week or so after the incident.

Quickly, political: Is it time to change my registration from Democrat to Independent? The past few weeks have me wondering if I can still identify with that Party, but changing now will limit what I can do next year during the primaries. Might take the opportunity to vote against any incumbent and then change before the November election. I've swallowed about all I can at this point and know that no matter who the Teabaggers nominate I'm not voting for Obama. Third Party is the way to go in 2012. I know that I'm going to hear from Joe on this, and I don't blame him.

Monday, August 01, 2011

I highly recommend that you check out this website, "The War You Won't See" by film-maker/journalist John Pilger. An amazing film that via leaked video (some of which you may have previously seen) and interviews you'll learn about actual events taking place in "our name" in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Disturbing but important.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's difficult to believe that I began blogging at the beginning of 2003. When I go through the archive it is about as close to a diary as I have come in years. Elayne was the big one for diaries, but I never had the attention span. Probably why I do so well with Twitter and Facebook where I'm limited and my mind doesn't wander in the middle of a tweet. Why not unless the TV or radio is on and I hear something else I want to rant about.

If you aren't Following or Friending me I thought I would take a few minutes to fill you in a bit on what has been happening at Chez Chaput and at work.

My attempt to set up a couple of bird feeders for all the finches, sparrows and smaller birds in the neighborhood backfired. It started with the pair of ducks (Ozzie & Harriet, as Donna dubbed them) and quickly expanded to close to a dozen geese visiting our patio everyday for the feed dropped from the feeders. If that was the extent of it I wouldn't have minded and initially we loved watching the parents and goslings coming by each morning. Unfortunately, we discovered that goose poop does tend to accumulate pretty rapidly and I was out cleaning the driveway, patio and sidewalk at least twice a week, if not more often. Now the feeders sit in our shed in hopes that when the flock flies off in a few weeks (according to our neighbors who have lived here for years) I can put them back up, at least until late in the year when the bigger birds return.

On the work front, the City is in negotiations with the bargaining units for all City departments. We might not know what a new contract will contain until August at this rate, so we are all working minus a contract. If you have followed the news you probably know that California finances aren't in the best of shape, thanks in no small part to the ex-Governator and the Republicans in the legislature. Not that the Dems, who have a majority in both houses are blameless, nor current Governor Brown. A lot of this goes all the way back to Prop 13 and the refusal of any in the GOP to allow any hikes in taxes for the wealthiest. Pretty much the same crap we are seeing on a Federal level. Better to cut funding for education, fire, police, parks & recreation than get another few thousand from some banker making millions in bonuses this year.

That's my rant on that for the moment, but you can expect more I'm sure as we get closer to the 2012 election and that whole circus.

I expect to post something tonight, if possible over on Shot's Shack, about my recent reading (comics & prose novels, plus things on movies). That does it for me here, but expect me to be changing some of my links, adding and deleting stuff I no longer find useful or entertaining.

Hope you are all doing well and gearing up for the Independence Day weekend. Hard to believe that almost half of 2011 has passed and The Rapture didn't hit yet, huh?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Book of Mormon - Hasa Diga Eebowai

"When God fucks you in the butt (Hasa Diga Eebowai), fuck God right back in his cunt. (Hasa Diga Eebowai)."

I really would love to see this play!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

From George Washington's Farewell Address (1796):

"All obstructions to the execution of the Laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They [political parties] serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and modified by mutual interests.

"However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterwards the very engines, which have lifted them to unjust dominion."

Obviously, this George W. would not have been welcome in the GOP.

It was bad enough when the Republican Party was simply a tool (as are a number of Democratic politicians, let's be honest here) of the Corporations and the wealthy in this country. Now however it is obvious, from the actions of a number of Republican governors and their wholly-owned congressional houses that the idea of democracy (small "d") does not fit into their plans for the American future they envision. The idea of a permanent Republican majority, put forth by Carl Rove, is still their ideal despite the momentary bump in the road caused by the 2008 elections.

Following two years of 'birthers', Teabaggers, and ranting about the "Socialist/Muslim" President the 2010 elections put the Republicans in position to undermine the Constitution they claim to hold sacred. Momentarily blinded by what many of us thought was a change for the better, progressives now find themselves treading water with the riptide pulling us further into dangerous waters.

Sorry, to be so heavy but things are not looking good.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Is anybody still reading this? To be honest, I forget I have the damn thing unless I post a video via YouTube. As I mentioned earlier on SHOT'S SHACK, I am spending all my time over on Facebook & Twitter so my ranting is down to under a 140 characters most of the time. To be honest, I'm reTweeting more than anything, since many of the folks I Follow are much more clever than I could ever hope to be. Hell, when you can read stuff from Steve Martin, Wil Wheaton, Neil Gaiman and Keith Olbermann, among others, why bother trying to come up with something clever on my own. Steal theirs!

Frankly, I don't even know what to make of what has been happening the past few weeks. I listen to the news and all I can do is shake my head. There is nothing I can say about the tragedy in Japan and the on-going aftermath that others aren't already filling bandwidth and the airwaves saying. I'm certainly not smart enough to add to the conversation on what is happening in the Mid-East. Yeah, Qadaffi (or however you want to spell it) has to go, but are we doing the right thing? Did we take too long or go in too soon. If best-selling author and multiple adulterer Newt Gingrich is puzzled then I am out of my league.

Are you like me? Have you finally decided that any faith you had in Obama was ill-placed? If not, than I admire your conviction since mine was lost a while ago. Every so often he will say something or do something that makes me remember why I voted for him in the first place. Not in the primaries, but in the general election. I've decided that I'm going to remain registered in the Democratic Party until the primaries next year, just to see if anyone will be running against the President. Then I'm changing to Independent. My dad was right that Parties really don't mean anything, then again, my dad voted for Nixon three times.

Not even going to say that I'll try to post more often, since I'd be lying to myself as well as you. Seek me out at Facebook or Twitter, where you can generally find me at least 4-5 days a week.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

George Takei Calls Out Anti-Gay Arkansas School Board Member

There is nothing I can add to this other than: "You go, George!"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wow! Has it really been twelve years since Donna and I went out on our first date? We were introduced by my co-worker Barbra D., who knew Donna from the softball team for which both their daughters played. We had actually met several weeks before, when Donna came in to use the Library and I helped her find some information. Neither of us knew at the time that it was part of Barbra's plan to hook us up.

Sometimes it seems that it hasn't been that long and other times it seems that it has been much longer. It certainly has been a pretty hectic time for both of us, with a great many high points and also some low. We have moved four times since we were married, five if you count moving down the hall from a one-bedroom apartment in Ladera Ranch to a two-bedroom. We're both hoping that the move to Lake Forest and buying our own place will be the final move. Until she puts me in a nursing home in a few years. :-)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Star Trek KFC

Thanks to Mark Evanier for letting us know about this! I'll take the extra crispy.