Thursday, February 01, 2018

THE TRUMP CEMETERY

A MAUSOLEUM FOR FAKE NEWS
“The truth suffers from analysis” and that’s why I like to go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics to look at the data without all the commentary of Piers Morgan, Sean Hannity, Chris Cuomo, Donald Trump or Nancy “Whats wrong with my mouth?” Pelosi.
When you hear someone say ‘Donald Trump created 2.4 million jobs since he was elected”, its at the BLS that they got that data. When they say “President Obama lowered the unemployment rate from 10% to 4.8 %”, or that “Trump lowered unemployment to a 17 year low”, they got that data from the BLS.

Lucky for you that I saved* some of the data from the BLS site, which included ways to import data from charts to Excel tables. For semi-nerds like me, thats a wonderful thing, and I put together this chart for you of jobs created since 2012.
I offer it without analysis, because ““The truth suffers from analysis” and tomorrow we can look at a chart of manufacturing jobs lost and gained since 1981. 





*I went to the BLS today, because they always come out with new data the first Thursday of the month. I'm sad to say they have revamped their tables and charts, and it may take me a while to figure the website out. Dont you hate it when they do that? My bank does that and it really pisses me off. Just stop.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

I GOT A WHOLE LOT OF KARMA TO BURN

Its amazing sometimes how fast your brain can go. Shoot, it can flat out get away from you.
She was standing there on the median, shivering.  She had on some sweats, a cap, some gloves, and a parka that didn’t look like it would break the wind so good.
I rolled to a stop and the brain kicked in. She was about 30 I guess, or a young 40, brunette hair and a little cardboard sign. Should I look directly at her long enough to read the sign? My tendency is to look away, remain anonymous, then when the light changes, I’ll be gone and she will melt away like an early snow in my rear view. I look at my dash, I look at the light. Still red. If I look, she’ll see me and think I have something for her. But I don’t. Theress never any money in my billfold, I don’t keep money. I look in the cup holder. Seventeen cents. Not enough for her to blow her nose on. Not enough `to roll the window down.
I look at the light. Still red. Of course its still red, its only been about 8 seconds since I pulled up and my brain is at full gallop.
There is the door for the CD holder. There might be a dollar in there. And just below it is the little drawer. There might be some change in there.  I pause. If I do find a bill and give her some money, am I really doing me harm than good? Am I condoning panhandling? Maybe God wants her cold and shivering penniless out here on Westpark Way to teach her a lesson.  Who am I to interfere.  I’ve been here 11 seconds and that’s how far I’ve come.
I open the little CD door. Nothing, nada.  No tenga nada.  
Its 20 degrees out, the wind blowing 30, in an hour it will be dark. You know what? It aint like she’s out here in flip flops and a halter on a nice sunny day, trying to scrounge up enough for a dime bag. The only way she is out here is because she fucking hasn’t got anywhere else to be. This is it.
Now its een 20 seconds. It took my brain 16 seconds to get here, and that light is still red, but it wiont stay red for long. I open the little drawer.
JACKPOT!
There must be $4.00 in change down there. It takes another 2 seconds to process the idea that I have to honk the horn roll the window down and get her to come over, and that damn light is going to be turning green pretty darn quick. I scoop the change, honk the horn, roll the window down, notice the light turn green and that her sign says “ANYTHING IS SOMETHING”, and that’s when I hear it. The person behind me is honking. Would you give me one break? Its taken me 20 seconds since stopping to get to here, and this is me now, avoiding eye contact as I drop the change into the outstretched hand, and then there it is, they honk again.
“Gobless You” I hear the poor woman say, but it doesn’t really register.  I’m looking in my rear view now. The driver is a lady, smoking a cigarette, talking on her cell, looking like daggers and honking at me.
I ease forward. She guns it and changes lanes, comes up beside me.
A Lexus, go figure.
She’s in a hurry, but guess what? We only go 100 feet and have to stop at another red light.
She’s beside me now, smoking and talking. I roll my window down and honk my horn.
She sees me and I motion for her to roll hers down. It lowers, smoke pouring out and I say:
“Hey Lady, why don’t you go fuck yourself.”

Its amazing sometimes how fast your brain can go. Shoot, it can flat out get away from you.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

SHITHOLE PEOPLE

Many of you have seen the image of the tearful Haitian immigrant Second Lieutenant Alix Idrache (left) graduating West Point in 2016.
Standing next to him and graduating also is fellow Haitian 1st Lietenant Pascal Brun. Pascal did not immigrate to the US, but was accepted at West Point as an International Student. Up to 60 students a year from other countries are accepted at West Point.
Alix and Pascal may have come from a disadvantaged third world country, but there is nothing shithole about them.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

STILL SNOTTY-NOSED KIDS

“The thought should have comforted Bobby but it didn’t. He found himself thinking of what William Golding had said, that the boys on the island were rescued by the crew of a battle-cruiser and good for them . . . but who would rescue the crew? Suppose the whole idea of grownups was an illusion? What if their money was really just playground marbles, their business deals no more than baseball-card trades, That was stupid... but the words still haunted Bobby. What if there were no grownups? Their wars only games of guns in the park? What if they were all still snotty-nosed kids inside their suits and dresses? Christ, that couldn’t be, could it? It was too horrible to think about.”
~~~Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis.

Image~
 Jay Wilkinson

Monday, December 11, 2017

FAR TOO EASILY PLEASED

"If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."
- C. S. Lewis

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Mercury in Retrograde.

Last week I turned the TV on and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was on. The old claymation one with Burl Ives. It was the part where Rudolph meets the adorable pretty-eyed doe with the little red polka dot bow, who flutters her huge eyelashes and tells Rudolph she thinks he's cute, and I cried and cried. It was just so sweet, and even funny looking bashful reindeer like Rudolph deserve to have someone that thinks they are cute to flirt and prance around with them. Then Rudolph tries to join in the reindeer games, and his fake nose falls off, exposing the big red one, and all the other little boy reindeer started to tease him about his nose, and I cried some more, Then the coach of the reindeer’s, in a very Trump-like fashion, starts to bully Rudolph too, and declares Rudolph unfit to play in the reindeer games, and I cried and cried and cried. I was a sopping wet mess. So I figured what the hell, we may as well get this over with and put on "Its A Wonderful Life" and cried pretty much from start to finish. Because Hey, its Gosh Darn Christmas. Mercury in Retrograde. Let it bleed.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

TRICKLE DOWN?

“The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellows hands.”
Will Rogers
Thanks to Joe Boyd for such a great quote.

Back in March a friend of mine had paid a guy to remodel their rent house. They paid them up front, and were surprised to find a certain disinterest by the contractor to finish the project.
In short, he screwed her.
So I stepped in and did some tilework, and a few other things that I am not qualified to do, and we got the remodel completed.
Never ever pay the contractor before he does the job.

Here at Renfro’s FB page, we have been up all night working on our tax plan. We have decided to allow the tax cuts to corporations on two conditions:
First, the Tax cuts don’t kick in until AFTER a corporation has brought jobs back to American soil. Not before.
Second, AFTER the workers have been given an increase in wages, which is what the tax cuts were for, the corporation can get another tax cut, the size of which is commensurate with the size of the workers increase. Not before, no sir.

That pic up at the top? If you shake it really really hard no money will fall out of those guys pockets.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH



In the sexually repressed era of 1960-1966, with Rob and Laura Petrie safely sleeping in separate beds, I was quite aware of Marilyn Monroe. I was quite aware of Ginger, a castaway on the desert island. I was quite aware of Stella Stevens in The nutty Professor, and hoped someday to have a love potion that would turn me into a chick magnet, just like Jerry Lewis was transformed into Buddy Love. I didn't really know why, but the power of suggestion was pretty strong, and one did not need to know anything about the mechanics of sex to feel its undercurrent.
In the first grade, I didn’t know what sex was, but I knew there was something there that I was SUPPOSED to like. It went on between men and women, and I was supposed to like it a lot. By the age of eight I had some awareness of what "The Seven Year Itch" was about. There were several movie titles that set my imagination running wild. I remember "Mans Favorite Sport" being one, and I knew it was probably not a movie about fishing.

All you really had to do to know everything you needed to know was watch one Elvis movie.

Like these famous guys getting caught these days, there are probably a few girls, even dating back to about the fifth grade, that would tell you stories about me that I would find embarrassing. 
What stories? Well, lets see.

In the fifth grade there was  playground game we played for a day or two.  A bunch of us guys chased a couple of the girls and eventually cornered two by the fence. Everyone was pawing at them. Somehow I managed to get my hand up a skirt, if only briefly. After recess, I was invited to the principals office and quizzed about this episode. Like President Trump I denied any wrong doing and it was my word against hers. maybe all the guys got invited, I don't quite remember. It seemed like harmless fun back then. 
How terrifying this must have been for those girls.

I was 23 and had just broke up with a girl I went with for two years.
One summer night I was standing in my driveway, smoking a cigarette, forlorn over my lost love. Two young girls wearing skinny little halters, and them cut off britches came walking by the house. They stopped and talked a bit.
The next night they came by again. 
About the third for fourth night (like clockwork I was hanging out hoping they would) just one came by. Next thing I knew we were in my bed and I was just about to stick her. Another half inch would have been past the point of no return. I stopped. Got her dressed and out of there. I quit hanging out in the driveway after dark for a good while. You don’t have to be a predator to get your ass in a sling. 
I pretty well have that episode blocked from my memory mostly. Fact is I very nearly fucked a 16 year old when I was 23.  
It takes a lot to shake it loose.
Judge Roy Moore, he shakes it loose.
His accuser says he had her down to bra and panties. I believe her. Its not that hard to do. And just like me, I bet he got to just about there and thought "What the fuck are you doing, Steve" and let her pass. Someone has to be the adult, right?

I guess if I was running for senator, I'd have a hard time admitting to it if this young lady were to suddenly surface.
Shit, would I even consider putting this on Facebook?
I think probably not.
Not at this time.


Growing up in 1964 I didn’t know much about the mechanics of sex, but I knew this movie probably wasn’t about fishing.


Friday, November 17, 2017

THE FITBIT



My doctor threatened me last month with some kind of diet.
All I really heard was “Protein Bars”.
I said “Give me a month Doc, I’ll lose some weight. I’ll get the amount of my diabetes medicine I take down some”.
I bought $100 pair of shoes. I was invested.
But I hate walking.
After a month I’d lost two pounds. That’s not much on a 280 pound guy.

“How’d you do?” he asked.
“Two pounds Doc, but I reduced my medicine by 15%”
He laughed.
“You need to get a Fitbit”
“Will that help?”
“Yes, 10,000 steps a day” he says.

What we are doing is avoiding the elephant in the room. The protein bars, the diet.

I break the ice.
“What about that diet thing with the candy bars?” I say.
“Protein bars.” He laughs and looks at me. “If you aren’t into it, it won’t work”
I say “Doc, I like good food. I cook a lot and eat real well. No junk food, REAL food and lots of it”
He says “If you like to cook, this diets for you. Its real food, with the protein bars supplement. No junk food”
I think about it a minute.
“I just have one question Doc. Will I be able to still have my pancakes with real maple syrup on Saturday and Sunday? Its kind of a tradition.”
You should have seen his face.
“Steve, I want you to go get a Fit bit and start waking 10,000 steps a day”



Next time I go in I'll have to tell him about "The Bulletholes Ten". Its a ten minute loop around my apartment. If I'm feeling frisky, I'll do two laps.
I always think about my nephew Dave, and what it takes to do one of these ultras he runs. An Ultra is an 80 mile jog over mountains and rivers and stuff, and you have like 24 hours to do it. I wonder how long it will take me to achieve the mindset of the ultra runner.
I had told Dave about "The Bulletholes Ten" last month. I said "The great thing about "The Ten" is that if I decide I need to bail, I'm never more than 10 minutes from home".
Dave looked at me, pitifully.
"You mean five. You are never more than five minutes from home" he said.
I paused a moment, quickly reviewed my calculations, rocked back on my heels a bit and grinned.
"Right, Dave my boy! Only five minutes from home!"
Dave is not just a great Ultra runner. He's a damn fine mathematician as well.

Monday, November 13, 2017

I MIGHT NOT SAY NO



I’ve had girls make unwanted sexual advances to me. Some fairly flagrant, even after being told no. Like maybe I’ll change my mind. I’ve used the same tactic. Its very uncomfortable, especially when they look like Harvey Weinstein.
Why can’t it ever be Scarlett Johansson?