Saturday, September 12, 2009


Every year I expect it to get easier. Every year I expect to wake up and not want to hunt down the scum sucking vermin that felt it appropriate to take away our innocence. Every year I hope some idiot politician isn't going to tell me that we no longer need a military and we can just go forth and sprinkle sugar and honey on the rest of the world and they will love us.

Guess what....8 years have passed and it hasn't happened. My friends and colleagues are still dead. Many of those that went to help the dead and dying are now dying themselves, a very real and brutal by-product of the rescue and recovery process. I still want to personally string Osama bin Laden up by his scraggly beard, hook a set of jumper cables to his testicles and give him a little jolt every so often. I'd like every single American to have a remote control button they could press whenever they give him a thrill too. I'd like to personally slap some sense into Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and every other bleeding heart that thinks you can make friends with terrorists or that they deserve the same rights and freedoms as Americans. They deserve nothing more than what they would get in their own country. They deserve no protection under the Geneva Accords...they represent no country, no government or state. They deserve to be treated by the same rules their victims and intended victims were treated to by them. They waged war on civilians, as civilians....time to pay the piper.

We need to draw the line with rogue nations. You are either on our team or you aren't. Pakistan....don't expect another cent in US aid until you turn over the people hiding within your borders. The same needs to apply for all these other places that don't want to help, but want our want us to support you, then damn it, get off your asses and start supporting us. How long can your people eat sticks, weeds and dirt before they revolt? You want something from us...then give us something in return. Americans need to overcome their collective naïveté and understand that these people don't like us and never matter how many times we kiss their asses, no matter how much money, food and medicine we give them or how many times we save them from being bombed back to the stone ages by other nations that are sick of their attitudes.

We can't even take care of Americans. We need a viable health care solution for this country and instead we have idiots dreaming up ways to complicate the process. Medicare and Medicaid have gotten so complex that doctors routinely spend a portion of nearly every day trying to get an opinion from some lawyer in Washington on how to treat their patients. Doctors should decide medical care, not lawyers. Just another example of how messed up this country has gotten. When it comes time to vote, people need to wake up and elect officials that are going to represent the interests of Joe Average citizen, not just the wealthy and arrogant.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Snake

As some of you know, I recently completed a cross country safari, that was a mix of both business and pleasure. During the journey home from Mesa, AZ, I experienced one of the funniest episodes of real life that I can recall. The experience was probably heightened a bit by the fact that my good friend Dan Campbell features a beleaguered rattlesnake in his comics, but there is also a good chance that the absurdity of the moment played a pretty big role as well.

To set the stage a bit, I am not a big fan of snakes. This wasn't helped any by a stop at a New Mexico rest area where the first thing that greeted you was a very large sign warning you to be aware of the crawling reptiles. I hopped out of the car with a fairly strong urge to use the facilities. A truck driver exiting them casually said, "Don't worry about the one over in the corner, he's just a little guy and won't bother you." A quick peek around the corner and suddenly I no longer had either the need or the desire to use the restroom. What looked to me to be a very large rattlesnake was lounging in the far corner under the sinks. I managed to wait another hour until I arrived at my hotel before I even had any thought of needing a bathroom.

The following morning, I set out from Clayton, NM enroute to Dallas to meet up with some friends and fellow photographers. The first leg of the trip took me from Clayton to Amarillo. While traveling south along US 287, I couldn't help marvel at the beautiful day and the scenery that was so foreign to me. Vast tracts of flat, interspersed with an occasional rolling hill or a carved out river was interesting and had my eyes constantly scanning for a photo opportunity. I could only wish to have filmed what happened next.

Ahead of me were a tractor trailer and a large 15 passenger van towing a trailer. I pulled out to pass and had just cleared the semi when I noticed something ahead of the van that looked like a large stick lying in the road. The driver of the van was unable to avoid it and the wheels on the driver's side ran over the object very close to one end. At this point, it became crystal clear that the object was a fair sized rattler...maybe a bit less than 4 feet long. Instead of balling up like most snakes do, this one did something a wee bit different. It stiffened and went straight as an arrow. The trailer wheels struck it and the snake was thrown into the air...still stiff as a board! The snake passed me in mid-air in somewhat of a heads up vertical position, only to meet the radiator shroud of the tractor trailer. Splat! The truck now had a hood ornament with the head of the snake looking back at the driver. Now, if I didn't know better, I could have sworn that that snake looked at me as he went by, with that whole "help me" look plastered on his face. I suspect that I can give Dan the credit for that vision.

The driver immediately slowed his rig and pulled to the doubt to remove his passenger. I, on the other hand, stepped on the gas and headed to Amarillo, chuckling at the absurdity of the moment and thanking my lucky stars that the snake hadn't come to visit my car.