Shoes Talk

I am sure that the democrats and the media (possibly the same thing) looked high and low for something to make Pres. Trump look bad during his recent visit to Texas.  Really, a pair of shoes.  I don’t think a choice of shoes can be called a deadly sin.  Really???  For that matter, considering where she went, I don’t think it was a horrible choice.

My main complaint about the woman is that she ages one year for every two of mine.

As a side note, Pres. Trump wrote a one million check for the the storm victims.  Considering he has four-billion, it might not have been that painful.  However, I would sure like to know what kind of checks the democrats and media have donated.  I am sure many of them could write a $100,000 check without it causing too much pain on them.

Then again, I guess they are too busy looking for faults in others.

http://www.amazon.com/author/story_teller

A Few Words About North Korea

Nowadays, we have big long runways.  Commercial jets usually have about 10,000 feet for takeoffs and landings, generally twice what they need.  Yet, every now and then planes do run off the end of the end runway.  Most of the time, this results in disaster, maybe even the loss of lives.

One of the first things a pilot learns is that every foot of runway behind him is useless.  No pilot wants to see that he just might run out of runway.

So, what does this have to do with North Korea?  We keep putting things off and we are quickly running out of runway.  One day we will come to the end of the runway and it will cause destruction and the loss of life.  We will realize that when Los Angeles is vaporized.  Indeed, it might put the US economy into an economic spiral that we just might not be able to come out of.

Worse yet, we will become sitting ducks for China and Russia.  Personally, I don’t like the idea of having to learn how to speak Chinese.  It would take me years just to learn the characters.  I’m not too keen on learning Russian either.  They use the Greek alphabet.  It too is confusing.  There is a real reason for the adage, “It’s Greek to me.”

Putting a stop to North Korea efforts is not an option.  If we don’t stop them,  we will reach a point where all options are taken from us.  If you enjoy your first amendment, you might want to consider that.  Those who part the press will enjoy your first amendment rights right up to the point when you lose it, and it will be greatly your fault.  You certainly can’t blame me.  I spent 9 years protecting your rights while you were busy frittering them away.

Remember this little fact.  Those who do not stand behind President Trump decrease the possibilities of a peaceful settlement.  To put it more bluntly, they help to ensure that millions will die.  Throughout history, appeasement has never successfully stopped a warmonger.

The idea is to provide the best bluff possible.  If the bluff fails, then the peaceful approach fails.   If the peace fails, it ensures war.  That crazy nut over there can start a war all by himself.  Less than a half hour after he makes the decision to start shooting, millions will die, especially if we do nothing.

It Doesn’t Take a PhD

To get rid of Obama Care they need to vote to repeal it.  Should take one day, maybe two.  A simple provision should be made for those who have learned to depend on the law.  It would continue the law for two years.  Those that don’t want to depend on the law should be able to leave it any time.

That gives us two years to do it right.  One bill for pre-existing conditions; one vote in each house; up or down.  The second bill; one vote: include 26 year-olds on the policies.  The third bill….  …and so forth and so on.  It actually does not take someone with a doctor’s degree to figure it out.  I suspect even a high school graduate could do it.

They keep telling us it’s complicated.  Sorry.  I don’t believe that.  What I do believe is that it would be resolved tomorrow if the senators and representatives had to go through all we do.  (Note:  They should be required to do their own paperwork, no cheating by paying someone else.)

While they are piddling around, I am paying $940 a month for my wife.  Thankfully, I am on Medicare or it would be double that.

Oh yes.  By the way, I need to find another insurance company.  Humana is canceling my wife’s policy at the end of the year.  I guess the premiums are still too small.

What I think is that no one within the confines of the D.C. city limits cares one iota.   While they argue, I go broke.  What I think is that I am not alone.  I might have to get another job just to pay her insurance.  The problem is that I don’t think I can find one that will pay be enough.

Maybe it is about time to start sending letters to our congressmen.  I’m not sure it will do any good, but let’s just try it and see.

Sleep Walking

I spent nine years in the Marine Corps.  There are many stories I could tell about my enlistment, but I suspect something would get lost in the translation, as they like to say.

I reported to MCRD San Diego in late 1968.  I have been told there are two things worse than boot camp, but for the next eight weeks, I just had a hard time figuring out what they might be.

I had good drill instructors and they did a lot to help to prepare me for the ordeals to come.  I thought I was done with the hard stuff when I left MCRD, but I had a rude awakening when I reported to Infantry Training Regiment (ITR) at Camp Pendleton.

They have magical mountains there and I became very familiar with them.  The troop handlers claimed that our destinations in the morning would be all up hill.  Then, in the evening, it would be all up hill on the way back.  Never could figure out how they did that.

At any rate, everyday was too little sleep and too much marching.  When I went into boot camp, I weighed 140 pounds and was six-one.  When I finished ITR, I weighed 160 pounds.  Most of the weight gain was in my legs.  It was from carrying backpacks all over those mountains.

At any rate, when that was over, they sent us to something called casual company.  I have no idea where it got that name.  There was nothing casual about it.  They kept me there until I received my orders to school.  Well, at least they gave us some freedom at night and I did recover some of my sleep.

From time to time, they needed people for various details, one of which was guard duty.  If I remember right, there were about eleven posts.  Two guards walked the fence around the armory, one on the inside of the fence, one on the outside.  I’m sure there was a reason for that, but they didn’t tell us.

Once every half hour, we called out to the next closest post, something about the post being secure.  This was relayed from post to post until it reached the sergeant of the guard.

Everything went well through the night until early morning.  The post that was supposed to report to me, didn’t.  At fifteen minutes late, we decided to report his absence, when he called out to us.  Once we made the relay, I asked him why he was so late.

“Fell asleep,” said he.

“You’re not supposed to lie down,” said I.

“I didn’t,” said he.

“How did you fall asleep?” asked I.

“I just kept walking,” said he.

“While you were asleep?”

“Yep,” said he.  “Walked right into a building.  It made a lot of noise and a gunnery sergeant came out and asked what all the noise was about.  I told him I tripped.”

To this day, I find it somewhat unusual.  I have heard of sleepwalking, but I don’t think that’s normally how it’s done.

 

If you like stories on the unbelievable side, you might like to visit my authors page.  The above story is true.  My books aren’t.  More than that, some are very unbelievable.  They are written for enjoyment and occasionally provoke a thought or two.  Some of them even have things floating around in them.

http://www.amazon.com/author/story_teller

If you would rather, you can simply do a search on my name, Ben Rhodes within Amazon.com.  Be careful to ignore all the books by the other authors.  I promise.  They aren’t as good.

My most purchased book is “The Prepper.”  I don’t know why.  When I started writing the book, it was more-or-less as a lark.  It’s not about prepping.  As the title implies, it is about a person, a prepper.

Thank you for visiting my blog site.

Equal Justice?

As I listened to the news lately, I heard that President Obama did some spying on some people that was illegally.  It prompted a question in my mind, one that I wonder if any others have considered.

If he, or any former president is convicted of a crime and is sentenced to prison, would that mean that the Secret Service agents would have to continue to guard him while he is within the prison walls?

As I pondered the thought, I realized that it would be impractical, if not impossible.  A prison cell is too small for an ex-president and four secret service men.  Moreover, they would not be able to take weapons into the prison as there is too much chance of another prisoner getting his hands on one.

I would guess that the most practical way would be a house arrest arrangement.  He would have to stay in his house with all phone calls monitored.  I would suggest that he Should have to eat the same food as the other prisoners, but I don’t think that would happen.  My suspicion is that he would eat far better than most of us.  He would probably also have maid and laundry service, maybe even a butler.  Mostly he would be able to live about like he does now, except he’d have to stay in the house.

Somehow, I don’t think that would be equal justice.  Oh well.  Who am I kidding.  No matter the crime, Obama would never be convicted of anything.  Even if someone charged him with anything, there is no way that they would be able to assemble a jury to convict him.

So the question will never be more than a mental exercise.  The question will never have any more than a theoretical answer.

 

For those that would like reading things that are a little outside the believable, I have over thirty stories for you to select on my authors page.  It will likely just take a few minutes to look at them my clicking on the below URL .

http://www.amazon.com/author/story_teller

If you enter it manually, take note that there is an underscore between story and teller.

Indefinite Pronouns

I’m hardly an expert in English.  Over the years; however, I have learned a thing or two.  One of the things I learned was to avoid over using a word.  Things get annoying if a word, such as “thing”, gets used too much.  “Thing,” is an especially bad word to overuse for a number of reasons.  So, instead of using thing, it is better to use a word more specific.

The thing that makes thing especially bad is that it is weak, or so I’m told.  However, I’ve noticed it competes with something, nothing and everything, for example.  Therefore, I bend over backward to avoid the word thing, or for that matter, too many words ending in “ing.”

Sometimes, when proofreading my stories, I get tired of it.  I’ve found passages where words ending “ing” occur two or three times in each paragraph.  Sometimes, it seems unavoidable, but I do make an effort at it.

There is another thing us storytellers need to avoid.  It is what I call the indefinite pronoun.  Okay, my definition of indefinite pronouns is not the same you find in the books, but I feel it is still just as important.  This story in a somewhat humorous way illustrates my point.

My son, Josh wanted to cook something.  In his way, on the stove was a hot pan.  To the left of the stove was a sink full of dishwater.

Well, with the pan being hot, he didn’t know what to do with it, so he called out, “Mom, what should I do with this pan?”

“What pan?”

“This hot skillet.”

“Get a potholder and put it in the water.”

“Okay.”

All right.  I guess I don’t need to tell you what happened after that.

“Josh!  What did you do that for?”

“It’s what you told me to do.”

“You knew what I meant!”

“You told me to put it in the water.”

“The pan, Josh!  The Pan!”

“That’s not what you told me.”

Okay.  He knew what she meant.  He knew to put the pan in the water.  He was just having a little fun.  As storytellers though, we have to be careful about such possibilities (aren’t you glad I used possibilities instead of things?)

By proper definition, this was not an indefinite pronoun, but I still like to think of it as one.  Though the pronoun was supposed to refer to the pan, Josh – though he knew better – he assumed it referred to the potholder.  After all, how was Josh supposed to refer to the word, ‘pan’, which was not even in the instruction.

Maybe I go to extremes sometimes avoiding a misunderstanding.  I certainly have been accused of it enough times, but I don’t like it when someone reads my stories and has problems with matching the right pronoun (such as he or she) with the right character.  If you come across such a reference, maybe you can tell me.  Also, if you find me overusing words, especially thing, I’d consider it a good thing if you’d let me know.

 

This story is a true one.  As a writer, my novels are fiction, in some cases, even fantasies.  If I am given the choice of believable or interesting, I try to choose interesting.  When I choose between realistic and romantic, I choose romantic.  If I must choose between plausible or humorous, I try to choose humorous.

In addition, there are a few stories that are really tall tales.  I made no attempt to make them believable.  Sometimes, it is just so the reader can have fun following me in my imagination, such as “The Prepper.”  On the other hand, some have a little basis in reality.

If you go to my author’s page at:

 

http://www.amazon.com/author/story_teller

 

You will find more than 30 stories from which to choose.  Hopefully, you will find one or two there you might like.  (By the way, there is an underscore between story and teller.  I know it may not be easy to see.)

Also you can just log onto Amazon.com and enter my name.  This, however, is less desirable.  You will need to avoid looking at any other books listed there.  They are no more distractions.

Chevrolets, HHR’s, and Sunroofs that have pop-up cloth farings

When my sunroof broke on my HHR, I tried to get it repaired.  It would seem Chevrolet doesn’t do things that way.  Instead of replacing a piece of metal that would cost a nickel, they wanted me to by a new sunroof for over three-hundred dollars.

I didn’t like their idea, so I decided to go to the Web.  When I started, I could see five possible solutions.  To keep things short, I decided to remove the broken part, the piece of cloth that popped up when the door opened along with the metal that supported it.  Then I had a $50 faring installed in front of the window.

Now it is better than before.  It’s quieter and operates better.  Also, if Disney will forgive me, it’s less Mickey Mouse looking.  The faring is needed for two reasons, noise and wind at speed.  The noise is similar to the one you get by lowering the rear windows while the front ones remain closed.

While I was at it, I added side window farings.  The total costs for me, approximately $150.  Biggest advantage, I fixed the problem without paying twice for the substandard sunroof.

A couple of side notes: I noticed that the same sunroof is used by many different cars.  So if you own other models of GM vehicles, you might come upon the same problem.  Also, you might want to keep this in mind when you buy your car.  You might want to think twice about having a sun roof if it has a popup cloth faring.