Thursday, September 28, 2006

Red Letter Day

September 27 was a milestone in my life. I retired. I started my first job in 1956 working construction on a bridge over the Savannah River at the princely rate of $1.25 per hour. For this rate, I scrambled around on 8 inch wide I beams 118 feet above the river. In those days there was no OSHA and safety was in your hands. No one tied off as is now required and the rule was "one hand for me, the other for the man".

At 16 years old the $50.00 per week seemed like a million. I bought a 1951 Ford Victoria, shaved the hood and trunk lid, put in rolled and pleated naugahyde seat covers and installed a center mounted rear antenna for the AM radio. I was in hog heaven. For $4.60 I could fill the gas tank and since there were no Interstates the gas would last all week. I loved that car. In due course, I put a Chrysler 300 Hemi engine in it and the added horsepower promptly destroyed the sickly 3 speed Ford standard transmission so I put in a 1948 Packard 3 speed with overdrive.

In those days we didn't have car parts stores on every corner and you had to make your own adapter plates, motor mounts and do your own wiring. If you wanted a cool car, you had to learn to be a mechanic, to weld, and to fabricate. There were no computer chips that controlled the ignition timing and no fuel injection so you had to learn how to do a tune up.

I feel sorry for the kids today. They can't go to a junkyard and browse around looking for something they can use. They can't adjust the timing by the way the engine feels or adjust a carburetor like we did. Cars aren't all metal anymore and dents are repaired with Bondo not lead. They can't pull up behind a friend and give him a push when his battery is dead, the bumpers on today's cars are made of plastic.

today's kids have different interests than we did. They have computers, video games, cell phones and a whole plethora of high tech gadgets that didn't exist when I was a kid. But, I don't think they have the fun we had and that is a shame.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Clinton's Tirade

Yesterday on Fox, Chris Wallace was on the receiving end of an outburst of anger from Bill Clinton. Wallace asked Clinton if he could have done more to stop Bin Laden. Clinton went ballistic. I won't go into what he said because he was running his comments together and was almost incoherent.

What made Clinton blow up? I think it because of a huge infereority complex. Clinton knows he is weak and a coward and he feels inferior because of it. He is one of those people we have all known who will taunt someone as long as he has a teacher, or parent or his buddies close by and the other person is alone but when he is alone with someone he is meek as a lamb.

I've always disliked a blowhard and have on many occasions called their bluffs. I wish Chris Wallace had done that yesterday but he let Clinton babble. In the long run Wallace's way is probably better than mine because the whole TV viewing world got to see Clinton make an ass of himself.

I think Clinton actually hurt his hopes of being remembered as a statesman and at the same time caused a great deal of harm to Democratic candidates. Clinton's outburst refocused the public's attention of what he didn't do while in office and it showed that he could not control his cabinet. It revealed how the directors of the FBI and CIA ignored his direction to get Bin Laden and it showed he had no control of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It revealed a totally disfunctional administration.

I think after the dust settles you will see Democratic candidates putting some distance between Clinton and themselves. No politician wants to be associated with a loser. In the long term, Hillary will be the biggest loser.

Lets see how it all plays out. I should be interesting.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Venezuelan Foriegn Minister Detained

Jeez: How could we be so callous? Detaining the Venezuelan Foriegn Minister at the airport because he showed up for his flight home late and without a ticket. This slight oversight on his part seems to have caused airport security to become suspicious and they apparently wanted to strip search him. What a travesty.

What would happen if any of us had shown up at the airport under the same circumstances? Of course, we would have breezed right through security and even without a ticket or boarding pass been allowed to board the flight. Fat chance.

This imbicile is now complaining that racism was why he was stopped and plans to have the UN investigate. What is worse is that our State Department apologized for his being detained for 90 minutes. Can anyone believe that? We apologize because a idiot from Venezuela, a country whose president had just called our president el diablo tries to board a plane with no ticket?

Airport security should have ripped his clothes off, searched him, tied a pink ribbon around his pee- pee, strapped him into a seat next to Chavez and sent him on his merry way.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Bin Laden Dead- So What?

I just read at Kuru Lounge there was a report in France that Bin Laden has died of a water borne disease. Considering the area he is supposed to be in that isn't surprising.

For the past 3- 4 years, Bin Laden has only a symbolic figure. People he trained an Afghanistan, Sudan and Iraq have been carrying the load while Bin Laden has had to lay low in the mountains. His occasional videos were more for boosting jihadist moral than anything else. I don't really care if he is dead or not.

If Bin Laden is in fact dead, my regret is that he cheated us of the satisfaction of capturing or killing him. The islamofascists will continue their killing spree, Muslims around the world will continue pushing non Muslims as far as they can, the UN will continue turning a blind eye to terrorism and our politicians will continue treating terrorism as a political football. In other words, nothing will change.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I find it amazing that we can communicate to millions of peoplewith nothing more than a computer and I find it even more amazing how many people are willing to read what someone they don't even know writes.

I was born in 1940 and our means of communication was primative. No we didn't beat drums or send smoke signals but we weren't much better. We had the party line which consisted of 6 families sharing one common phone line. Each household had a special ring that told the others on the line that the call was for Ms. Jones. Naturally everyone on the party line picked up and listened to Ms. Jones converation.

Party lines still exist in some of the sparsely populated areas and they still listen to their neighbor's conversations. I wonder why our Senators and Congresspersons aren't outraged at this illegal wiretapping. Many times in the really small telephone exchanges there is a operator in the loop listening to a private conversation.

What I learnrd as a young boy first beginning to use the phone (our number was 39178) not to say anything on the phone that could get you in hot water with an eavesdropping neighbor. To this day, I am very careful of what I say on the phone and so far have never had an embarrassing moment about something I said.

That might change with this blog. I will be writing stuff on various subjects and a reader (if I attract any) might get upset and start blasting me. Thats OK, if it makes you feel better cut loose. There is nothing any of you can say that I haven't heard before in several languages.

My name is Chuck and I think I have some interesting thoughts. Try me out it doesn't cost a thing.
I've had a couple of people ask me "what is a Piney Woods Rooter and why did you pick that name"?

A Piney Woods Rooter is a wild hog that inhabits the coastal pine scrublands of the southeasten US. It is a very sinewey animal that adapts easily to harsh environments. The Piney Woods Rooter is a survivor that when backed into a corner will fight visciously and has been known to defeat Black Bears twice their size. Because of their diet which consists of almost anything includung pine roots and bark they sometimes have a flavor somewhat like turpentine and therefore aren't a choice meal.

What I like about the Piney Woods Rooter is that it quietly goes about, minding it's own business, generally not bothering those around him, but woe unto he who threatens him or his family. He lives as I think most people should live, serene, quiet and ready for anything.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Our Politicians Have Gone Nuts

I've been keeping an eye on the issue of defining what techniques can be used in questioning captured terrorists and terror suspects. I am flabergasted that things like belly slapping and sleep deprivation are even being discussed. We got much worse than that when I went through Escape and Evasion training in the Navy.

To me, torture is pulling out finger nails, gouging eyes, cutting off fingers one joint at a time. None of this namby pamby stuff.

I don't condone the use of those techniques I named but in this terrorism environment a situation could arise that would justify their use. I wouldn't hesitate for a nanosecond to detach a finger joint if I was sure it would get information that would stop a terrorist attack.