Flimsy Sanity: July 2005

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Baby Boomer Hate

I'll admit I am hooked on blogs. I have always found it interesting how different people see, taste or hear the same things so completely differently and I find the common man's opinions more interesting than the media darlings or the politicians. I go to favorite blogs and read comments and check out some of the writers and one thing leads to another and pretty soon I am lost and can't tell you how I got there. So when I ran across this hate filled one I was really stunned about how much this guy hates me and my kind. I subscribe to a lot of the 60's philosophies and I still believe in peaceful coexistence with my neighbor no matter how mean and greedy he is. I do not think I could beat him into thinking my way and the law says I can't kill him.

I believe the Vietnam war was a mistake and caused death not only for our soldiers but for the Vietnamese who supported us and I believe the Iraq war will end the same with more deaths to the natives than if we had never interfered but with an even worse than Vietnam scenerio that will go on for generations - and we won't change their mind on their religion. Religious zealots see all confrontations as persecution and it only makes them more resolute - the longer the war goes on, the larger the number of terrorists. Sure some of the Islamic ways seem cruel and unreasonable to us but as my grandfather used to say, "Don't stir shit if you don't want to smell it."

I do believe my parents generation did some wonderful things but they also perpetuated some injustice against blacks and women. The writer contrasts the greatest generation to the baby boomers. He talks of the bravery and survival skills of the "Greatest Generation" as though they actually had some voice in the depression or World War II. Like today, they were just victims of the times and survival is what all animals do - as we will probably get to do another depression because of the huge deficit and our obligations to other countries carrying our debt and we will survive that one too. As far as World War II went the writer should read more history because we were very not the deciding force in the war. Russia (who the writer hates so) bore the brunt of the fight. " Looking only at Anglo-American forces engaged against German soldiers on our two fronts, northwest Europe and Italy, the United States lost 139,380 soldiers (killed and missing) during the conflict. General Eisenhower had just over 3,000,000 men under his command, with about a third of them safely in England, and faced a German Army of less than 1,500,000 of which our forces killed 834,314. At the same time, Soviet armies in excess of 20,000,000 soldiers were fighting German armies totaling 5,700,000 at their strongest and killed 2,415,690 of them as they fought their way out of Russia and on to Berlin."

The purpose of studying history is to recognize patterns. Human emotions are universal and although labels may change jealousy, greed, religious fanaticism, power drunkenness stay the same whether you call the system communism or capitalism - its corruption that causes the woe, not the idealistic state. As for war to solve problems, Smedley Darlington Butler said of war so long ago, "It (war) is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."

The returning servicemen of World War II created a better world mostly through the benefits of liberal agendas like the GI bill that created a larger middle class and it was a liberal agenda that got us out of the depression.

Finally, I don't defend Clinton. His affair convinces me he was too stupid to be president. Peggy Vaughan, author of The Monogamy Myth, estimates that 60 percent of husbands and 40 percent of wives will have an affair at some point in their marriage and most will lie about it but in this day and times surely the most visible celebrity in the world cannot lead a clandestine life. I hated how Clinton was a Republican in fact while posing as a Democrat. I think Bush is even stupider and more insane as is anyone else who believes God talks to them personally.

Despite the author's descriptions of the characteristics of the "baby boomers" they fall into a wide range and were not all free-loving drug addicts anymore than all current youth are slackers or that draft dodgers and scalawags did not exist during World War II. The baby boomers did keep the world from exploding and hopefully the next generation will be able to make the same claim.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Energy Policy

This talk of extending daylight savings time is so stupid I am almost speechless. What great difference will it make in the energy crises if I put lights on in the morning or in the evening? What a stupid ass token effort to appear to be concerned by renaming time rather than institute any actual measures to conserve energy. The last Democratic president I admired was Jimmy Carter who if you remember was dirty dealt by Reagan with arms for hostages tricks - part of being the "Great Communicator" instead of the epitaph he really deserved as the "Great Criminal". As the current energy crises is ignored by the media, we can only look back to the days of Carter with nostalgia when we had a leader who tried to remedy a situation rather than compound it. He, of course, was laughed at for putting on a sweater and turning down the thermostat and installing solar panels on the White House. Reagan pulled those panels down asap. Now we have a country run by two oil men willing to sacrifice American and Mideast life for his oil interests while showering billions in undeserved tax breaks on the same companies (even as they wallow in the windfall profits produced by $60-a-barrel oil). We are stuck with a leader who refuses to increase fuel-economy standards for cars and trucks, even though higher standards, by common consent, are the easiest, quickest and most technologically feasible way to reduce oil demand and cut foreign imports.

In 1977, Jimmy Carter said, "Each American uses the energy equivalent of 60 barrels of oil per person each year. Ours is the most wasteful nation on earth. We waste more energy than we import. With about the same standard of living, we use twice as much energy per person as do other countries like Germany, Japan and Sweden."
How much worse are things with the excessive consumption of the last 30 years. Today you need only look at the majority of homes being built, especially the higher end homes that are obscenely huge users of both utility and construction resources and have a SUV or two sitting in the four stall garage. Gone are the days of energy efficiency, welcome to continuous war for Halliburton and oilbuddies profiteering. Gone are the tax credits for alternative energy.

To tell the truth, I don't see that much difference between the current crop of democrats and the republicans - both lapdogs of big business, especially the oil companies. Clinton was more "big-business" than most republicans. Democrats are so worried they will appear weak, they turn out being as brutal as republicans, i.e. the war on drugs and military solutions to economic problems.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Funeral Expenses

Caveat Emptor, Right to the End
by Dr. R. E. Markin
Did you know that, of all the funerals arranged each year in North America, a woman is the primary arranger in more than 70 percent of them? {source; AARP-funded study by Kansas State Univ. 1996-7} And 25 percent of the time, the woman is under 25 years of age. The funeral industry knows this, and tailors their goods, services, and even their vocabularies to take advantage of it. In the five years since my original research for the book "The Affordable Funeral: Going in Style, Not in Debt", I have had concerned citizens pass along many indicators that the funeral industry is taking a more mercenary approach in dealing with women. Two classic examples of this phenomenon follow.
A major funeral industry corporation held a marketing conference a few years back, and included on their workshop list "Recognizing Women's Accessories and What They Indicate in Economic Potential". Per the anonymous donor of this information (who claims to have attended), this was a seminar on recognizing product lines like Gucci, Aigner, L. Vuitton, etc., so the 'grief counselor' who first met with the woman would know immediately about how much she could afford in the way of goods and services. As part of my research, I trained as a grief counselor (not to be confused with a licensed therapist, who offers grief counseling after the funeral), and it entailed a total of *four hours* of training, and three of those were devoted to wringing more money (and commission for me) from emotionally crippled customers.

Another, far more blatant, example came from another marketing seminar allegedly held in the Midwest two years ago. A workshop entitled (I'm not making this up!) "The Power of Words to Heighten Emotion: If you can get them crying, you can get them buying!" This was a workshop on words and phrases one could use to play on a women's emotions, to bring out guilt, sorrow, etc., in order to convince women to 'trade up' to more expensive goods and services.

The names of caskets, burial vaults, and even urns are the result of testing with female focus groups. Such euphemisms as "protective" caskets-- indicating they have a waterproof rubber seal for which the funeral director pays an average of $12, then jacks the price of the casket by $1,000 or more over its "non-protective" counterpart--have become the common coin of this industry. Casket interiors are now given designer names as well.

In short, women are being systematically targeted and exploited and all under the guise of caring, or "just trying to do what [the deceased] might have wanted." Funeral directors invariably say it's "just marketing." And it is, but where does shrewd marketing bleed over into predatory behavior? For me it was when a widow in Texas wrote to tell me that when her husband had died -- following nearly a decade's decline with Alzheimer's -- she took her husband's papers with her to the funeral home, including his lone insurance policy for $12,000, and walked out of the funeral home with a funeral costing $12,000 to the penny. Think it doesn't happen? Ask around.

The average funeral in the United States is rapidly approaching $10,000, when in fact it can cost several thousands less if one just knows what to say, what to ask, and whom to call at vital points in the arrangement process

First Impressions or Living in the Jungle

People develop an opinion of you within four minutes of your first meeting. And 75% of that impression is based on your body language. If you want to make a powerful impression, show that you mean business in a firm and friendly way. Follow these tips:

Flash a brow. Raising your eyebrows briefly upon meeting someone is subtle, powerful signal that takes all of one-fifth of a second. Not being "flashed" by someone with whom we are on good terms can create hostile feelings.

Make eye contact at regular periods. Eye contact sends the signal to the people with whom you're talking that you're interested in what they're saying. However, be careful not to cross the line and stare, since that makes you seem aggressive.

Return a handshake. Apply the same pressure offered by the other person. Keep in mind that a limp handshake signals a wimpy image, and a crushing grip seems overly aggressive.

Stand Tall. Same goes for walking tall. Good posture says you're self-assured and trustworthy.

(Pilfered from a site selling industrial products)

Monday, July 25, 2005


The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. ~Voltaire

The National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine's report, To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, estimates that 44,000 to 98,000 Americans die each year not from the medical conditions they checked in with, but from preventable medical errors. The statistics in the IOM report, which were based on two large studies, suggest that medical errors are the eighth leading cause of death among Americans, with error-caused deaths each year in hospitals alone exceeding those from motor vehicle accidents (43,458), breast cancer (42,297), or AIDS (16,516).

Even under the best of conditions and with the finest tests available, going to a doctor is a very risky business. So I am curious why would anyone spend big bucks on something that is known to be nuts. An older couple I know were telling me about the wonders of ear candling (although they then went to conventional medicine) and now they are going to travel several hours to get chelation therapy - 30 IV treatments to eliminate atherosclerosis that insurance will not cover because it has been shown to have no value. They think it will be cheaper than a bypass operation. My brother-in-law used to go to Mexico to get shots of horse liniment unapproved by the FDA and eventually turned to conventional surgeons.

Now I'm not defending the medical profession because although they can do may wonderful things, they are also responsible for many problems and listen too often to drug salesmen, but when most of the information available tells you something is a hoax - why would you persist? Maybe the same reason they vote Republican.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


The majority of Americans are extraverted (about 75%), but the majority of gifted children appear to be introverted (about 60%), and the percentage of introverts seems to increase with IQ. More here

Saturday, July 16, 2005

My stupid neighbor

I have made every attempt to get along with this guy but I give up!!! All dogs bark at other dogs that come into their territory. My neighbor doesn't want his dog's shit in his own yard so he walks his basset hound (notorious for big piles) to the empty lot behind my house where the dog is allowed to stink up the place. My dogs bark at his dog as he passes so my bully neighbor throws rocks at my dogs (and the other neighbor dogs) for barking in their own fences.

I have given this neighbor some really nice presents including chew bones for his dog when he first brought him home and a wonderful Ducks Unlimited Clock, have always spoken nicely to him, and have even allowed him to put the dog inside my fence when the family could not be home. I have come to believe he is just an asshole. What should I do?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


A single B-52 Stratofortress costs more than the entire United Nations budget for a whole year.

History of sanitation

Long article about how civilization and sanitation intertwine. I found it very interesting.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Talk about tension

Found this on the net: In Japan the only other industrialized democracy that practices capital punishment they don't even tell you when they are going to kill you. They just show up at your cell one morning and that is it.
And to make it worse sometimes they don't even come…I mean ever. Some people are on death row in Japan that are as old as 83 and have been on death row since they were 16 years old and they haven't come for them yet.

More Lawyer Jokes

I did a vanity search for my blog and see it is on a lawyer joke reference so I must accomodate them. So here are a few more I found on the net, though I actually admire a good lawyer - who doesn't like someone who uses words.

Q. How do you know when your divorce is getting ugly?
A. When your lawyer doesn't seem like a bloodsucking leech anymore.

Q. What's the difference between a lawyer and a vulture?
A. The lawyer gets frequent flyer miles.
A2. Vultures can't take their wing tips off.

Q. How many corporate attorneys does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Who knows, you need 250 just to lobby for the research grant.

Q. Why did God invent lawyers?
A. So that realtors would have someone to look down on.

If a lawyer and an IRS agent were both drowning, and you could only save one of them, would you go to lunch or read the paper?

Prosecutor asks the defendant, "Did you kill the victim?"
"No, I did not."
"Do you know what the penalty is for perjury?"
Damn right, and it's a hell of a lot better than the one for murder!"

A lawyer walks into his client's cell on death row and says,
"I've got good news and bad news for you."
Client says, "Okay, What's the bad news?"
"The bad news is that the governor won't issue a stay of execution."
"Thats awful. What could possibly be the good news?"
"The good news is that I got your voltage reduced."

Found on the Net

Don't know if you can read it - anyway it says: Stuff this. Goodbye cruel world. This fat bastard is going to kill me when he finds out I'm not really tattooing a big eagle....please feed my cat and

Another lawyer joke

Two physicians boarded a flight out of Seattle. One sat in the window seat, the other sat in the middle seat. Just before takeoff, an attorney got on and took the aisle seat next to the two physicians. The attorney kicked off his shoes, wiggled his toes and was settling in when the physician in the window seat said," I think I'll get up and get a coke."

"No problem," said the attorney, "I'll get it for you." While he was gone, one of the physicians picked up the attorney's shoe and spat in it.

When he returned with the coke, the other physician said, "That looks good, I think I'll have one too."

Again, the attorney obligingly went to fetch it and while he was gone, the other physician picked up the other shoe and spat in it. The attorney returned and they all sat back and enjoyed the flight. As the plane was landing, the attorney slipped his feet into his shoes and knew immediately what had happened. "How long must this go on?" he asked. "This fighting between our professions? This hatred? This animosity? This Spitting in shoes and Pissing in cokes?"

In the Dawn's Early Light

I get up early - usually around 4 o'clock. I think this habit started when I was young and Mom would wake us up to milk cows so we could finish before the school bus came. I still like seeing the dawn and trust me on this - the first bird in the morning sings a unique song.

Anyway this morning I finally got ambitious and dragged my toilet into the house. I live near the intersection of a major street and a highway so I am always in danger of being observed. The neighbor across the street remodeled his bathroom and threw out a great looking toilet so I asked him for it and it has been sitting under a tarp for two weeks. I bought a water-saving one a few years ago and I hate the thing - to save a little water means the bowl is always a mess. Man - that thing was heavy and several years of not much activity leaves your muscles in poor shape. It is hard to look feminine lugging 100 pounds or so of porcelain up your patio steps.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Quote for today

Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week. — George Bernard Shaw
(Get a daily wallpaper and quote from www.paperquote.com)

Friday, July 08, 2005

Cool Geography Game

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Oil Field Patch People

I am so sick of people bitching about oil people. Everyone goes where the money is - that is how we survive. Even if they spend it on booze and gambling, it is their money and their right.

Someone from the railroad was complaining about the caliber of people that come with the oil field and I just nodded and smiled, but I wanted to say that I heard all railroad people were drunks. So it goes - occupation prejudice - how stupid is that.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Kids don't work is a lie

Stopped today at Taco John's and had a taco salad and there were six teenage girls that were really hustling getting the orders out - acting as both cooks and waitresses and getting no tips. Same at all the fast food joints - young folks doing more work, getting less money. I wanted to tip them each a buck at least, but my finances need to be controlled. Left them each a dime for luck, chintzy but I wanted them to know they were appreciated.

Saw two young teenage boys sweeping the street of all the firecracker debris in front of their house- should have given them a dime too.

I was looking for that quote written in Greek or Roman times that disparaged youth as the older generation thinks the young have it so easy for all times. Ran across these interesting quotes.

This strikes me as true

Dame Rebecca West's famous assertion, "I ... have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute."

Look how Heather Havrilesky can write.

Imagine the freedom those courageous patriots (who were traitors back home and religious extremists to boot, but no matter) must have felt, as they chopped through those virgin forests, clearing room for their humble log cabins, the first baby steps down the path to a glimmering world of asphalt and strip malls and McMansions! Imagine the freedom those fine men must've felt as they passed out chicken-pox-infected blankies at the local powwow! How proud they must've been, returning home to their chattel and their children and their womenfolk, how proudly they must've spoken of purposely infecting the savage populace with infectious diseases! "And them that's left, we'll drive 'em West! West to the dusty Badlands where corn don't grow near as well, 'cause that's how we roll, yo!"

From today's Salon article - I Believe I Can Fry

Monday, July 04, 2005


When I say sauerkraut and dumplings is my favorite dish, lots of people assume I am German - nothing could be further from the truth.

Although sauerkraut-- German for sour cabbage -- is thought of as a German invention, Chinese laborers building the Great Wall of China over 2,000 years ago ate it as standard fare. Chinese sauerkraut, made from shredded cabbage fermented in Rice Wine, eventually found its way to Europe, where the Germans and Alsatians adopted it as a favorite. Found on the internet

Visited with a white lady at the nursing home

Who didn't want me to use her name but she talked about how they came here from Walla Walla in cattle cars to work the beets. Remembers vividly how the men could pee off the side of the cars but how far it was to get on and off at the stations for the women and children. Said they wanted to hire only families so they could get the labor of the children and they did hours of stoop labor but still had energy to play when the day was done. Guess hard work doesn't belong to one nationality. The difference between wanting a home and being nomadic.

In Guatemala

They terrace the mountains to farm - takes your breath away when you see people willing to work that hard.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

My brothers gunpowder rockets

My brothers were in their thirties when they came up with this idea. They took gunpowder and put it in tin cans and then lit firecrackers to it to see which cans went the highest. My brother, the most educated of the bunch and a chemical engineer, had one explode in his face. It singed his eyebrows and gave his face a rosy glow. When the smoke cleared, Rodney cried, "I can't see" "I can't see" but Delbert told him to clean his smoke-blackened glasses. My injured brother waited to get emotional comfort but not even the other two stooges would sympathize.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I've seen and appreciated rosemaled works before, but I have to admit I have not seen any as detailed and excellent as this is. It is signed by Cynthia Willgard in 1984. The composition is interesting in that the patterns are not duplicated but reversed. The shading and color choices are subdued except for pretty flashes of red. Lots of fancy tendrils. Got it at Good Sense Store and told them I would try and get something for it on eBay, but changed my mind and gave it to Astrid for a late 85th Birthday Gift.

Dog fence

Kip who was buying fish at the pet store told me to slope some wire inward and that would keep the dog in. Should probably shorten the posts and slant existing wire in for less mess, since the fence should be restretched anyway. A project that needs doing cause this is all crucial to my mental health.

Competiton vs cooperation

I think we should compete with neighboring towns but cooperate here. Three furniture stores don't work, but if one sold only living room sets, one dining sets etc. they could have the same amt. of money tied up in inventory but people from everywhere would come for the variety.

My neighbor thinks competition is the only way to live - that people get lazy if they don't compete continually.


I have a couple of plaques made by Trinity Pottery in Wisconsin. They are pretty ovals hung with a leather loop and are just so cute.

In my bookstore I will have this one by the front door:

If Children Live With
Praise - they learn to appreciate
Criticism - they learn to condemn

Approval - they learn to like themselves
Shame - they learn to feel guilty

Encouragement - they learn confidence
Ridicule - they learn to be shy

Security - they learn to have faith
Fairness - they learn justice

Acceptance and Friendship - they learn to find love in the world.

You Know Your from a small Town

Great list of Small Town jokes i.e. You know you are from a small town when the New Year's Baby is born in October.

Went for coffee with my brother at the Trapper's Kettle in my hometown Belfield. Very interesting restaurant that used to flourish but seems to be struggling since it went to buffet style. Thought he went buffet so he wouldn't have to hire as much help but talked to the owner and he says he changed because he couldn't get any good help.

I read a little about wedding buffets and how people make such pigs of themselves and this one contributor to the discussion said they always serve the first round and let people come back for as much as they want in the second round. Seems most people fill up first go and don't come back. Right now the Trapper's Kettle is just too pricey, but I have been in other places too where buffets failed. I think people like to be waited on and go for that as much or more than the food itself. You would think tips alone would be enough to attract help, but America is so rich and easy even money is no incentive. If I were to have the restaurant, I would serve the food they served in the trapper's era days and make it a real tourist joint - and probably be a cheap menu also - lots of Indian foods and see if I could hire some young kids off the reservation. Whitey might feel so guilty that he would tip great.

Bought some really interesting books

When I went home I went to some of my usual haunts in Dickinson and bought some books. Met a cousin at the Friends Bookstore run by the Friends of the public library. Also got many great ones at the ArcAid run to help mentally challenged people.

Probably shouldn't put some of them on Amazon as they would be excellent additions to my bookstore - but as that is still in the dream stage and one needs money to fulfill dreams I will sell them.

Stopped on the way home in Wibaux. Darling little town and so interesting - packs more punch for its size than you would believe. Has a pewter artist, antique store with an ice cream shop, a nice nursing home (I heard from the musician that played at our nursing home and at other homes) and this great library run by Shirley Nunberg and assisted by her husband Fred. They have discards to sell in the basement but I suggested they go through them and sell what they can on Amazon as little town libraries struggle a lot to survive. Going to ask Ramona if she wants to make a little trip with me to do some book selection. The town has two night clubs and my nieces say the one is absolutely wonderful and I know my dad always liked the other one.

ADHD kids

If I had my bookstore/coffee shop I would also homeschool ADHD kids there as I think they could concentrate on one thing better than the hodgepodge that is school. No sense drugging them because they think a little different....I would help them find the area they want to concentrate on. Einstein was probably ADHD. They could browse around till they found their bliss. Talk to other people about life and teach themselves by doing things rather than being instructed.

If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time insight into and understanding of many things. - Vincent Van Gogh