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Dear City Planners

Does the way you have laid out your roads in Louisville make any sense to you?  Do you just randomly put in roads and their layouts, or do you do it with a sinister grin?  There are scores of things in the layout of this little burg that make me want to tear my hair out.

Today’s example:

Irish Woman and I were trying to take Boo to an educational evaluation this morning.  We looked at the address given, and decided to give ourselves an hour to get there, which should have given us a 10 to 15 minute cushion.  Somewhere along the way, our cars got separated, but hey, no problem, I know where the street is, and I’ll just go down the street to the school indicated on the appointment.  I got off the freeway, made two right turns, drove for a moment, then took a left turn onto the road in question.  So far, so good.

After driving around suburban Louisville for 30 minutes, having not one, but two arguments with my wife over the cell phone, three turn-arounds, and one stress headache later, I realized that I was no longer on the road in question.  I had driven in a straight line, but somewhere along the way, the road had changed names.  It hadn’t stopped, it just changed its title.  Looking at a map after pulling over, I found that the road changes names at an intersection with another major road, moves over two blocks, and starts again.  It’s not a T stop, it’s two four-way stops.

We found the place, and had a good appointment, but not before I realized that I had gotten pissed off at my wife for something someone probably did before she was born.

Basically, I got lost because I assumed that roads a) keep their names consistently and b) don’t just up and move two blocks to the west.

I am going to have to do a lot of groveling with Irish Woman over the way I acted while trying to find an address that’s not connected with the rest of the road it’s on, and I probably deserve a couple of nights on the couch.

But I will be sending the bill for the roses to the city planning department.  I expect payment promptly.

Sincerely,

Daddy J. Bear
Pissed Off Taxpayer

An Open Letter

To all producers, traffickers, and users of methamphetamine,

I’ve been feeling a bit crummy these past few days.  The medicines I have around the house just haven’t been cutting it, and Irish Woman is growing tired of listening to me cough through the night.  On the way home with Boo tonight, I decided to visit my local pharmacy to get something to help the situation.  I looked through the shelves of ‘alternatives’ to pseudoephedrine, and eventually found the card for the medicine I wanted.  Like a good sheep, I took one of them, grabbed some cough drops, and headed over to the pharmacists service window.

After presenting the young man behind the counter with the card, my driver’s license, birth certificate (not Hawaiian), blood and hair sample, fingerprint, and retinal eye scan, I then signed a pledge to not turn my cold medicine into your intoxicant of choice, paid for my purchase, and headed out of the store.  I noticed that the item I bought was on sale, and would have stocked up for the upcoming cold and flu season, but didn’t because I didn’t know if doing so was going to bring black clad men with guns to my door at inopportune times.

Basically, what should have been a 30 second transaction turned into a 10 minute exercise in “spot the methhead” for the pharmacist and an exercise in being suspected of being a criminal for me.

So to all of you tweaking bastards out there, let me say this:

If I ever get my hands on any of you snivelling pieces of dirt, I am going to lock you in a running cement mixer filled with thumb tacks and rubbing alcohol.  Then I’m going to smother you to death in a bag full of my used tissues and throw your body in the septic tank of the local chili restaurant.  I would consider feeding your worthless carcass to some pigs, but I have too much respect for the swine and their sty to do that.

I’ve been using pseudoephedrine responsibly as a cold medicine since I was a teenager, and you all have ruined that for me.  Now, I have to be treated like a suspect in order to not have a runny nose and a nagging cough. I hope you’re happy, you worthless, in-bred, bucktoothed wastes of good gametes.  I hope that your lives and deaths are nasty, brutish, and protracted.  I hope that as you die, the last thing your hear in this world is the sound of your mother coughing and sneezing because you had to get high and she can’t get good medicine over the counter anymore.

Respectfully and congestedly yours,

DaddyBear

Blood is Boiling

OK, two rants in two days.

The local news is on, or at least it was until I shut it off in disgust.  Over the past two half hour cycles, they have spent about 20 minutes of reporting time talking about a study they’ve ‘found’ that shows that over the past few decades, the ‘rich’ have gotten richer, while the ‘poor’ haven’t had quite as much income growth*.  They then drag in one of the local ‘Occupy Something’ people, complete with carefully sculpted fauxhawk, expensive raingear, and a somewhat cultured Bluegrass accent to tell us how unfair it is that those who work are getting a vast amount more than those who don’t.

Look, life’s not fair.  Never was, at least since our ancestors figured out that the biggest ape got most of the bananas and the cutest mate.  You might as well complain that the small, agriculturally unproductive area of  downtown Louisville is getting rain when the vast majority of the area is not as wet but has much more acreage.  The mark of a good person is that you don’t accept that unfairness as an excuse, and try to find a way to overcome it.

The ‘rich’, few of whom inherited the bulk of their wealth, have gotten off of their butts and created that wealth that the hipster on the TV is whining about.  Maybe they started a business and through hard work, ingenuity, and a good dose of luck were able to get rich doing it.  Maybe they gave someone else money to do that, and now they are enjoying the fruits of that investment.  Either way, because they invested a chunk of their lives in trying to do something, they’re wealthier than they were before, and more people are not among the ‘poor’ due to their efforts.

Yeah, the rich are getting richer faster than the poor are.  Anyone want to admit that it’s not because of their race, or their family tree, or their political connections that they got that way?  My guess is that most of them got that way because they got up every day, worked themselves to death, and got to bed late after putting everything they had into their job or their business.

My family isn’t rich when compared to the truly wealthy, but I know how I got to where I am.  I’ve worked hard every day since I can remember, I’ve gotten an education in something that can pay to feed my children, and I’ve never taken a thin dime from the government that I didn’t earn.  I may not be wealthy by our standards, but I’ve seen both obscene, ill-gotten wealth and crushing poverty, and this isn’t either of those.

This is a case of those who are not very well off when compared to their fellow Americans whining because they’re only 1000 times richer than the truly poor around the world.  No American goes hungry because there is no food for those who cannot afford to buy it.  Maybe you’re not eating steak and potatoes every night, but you’re not having to sit and watch your children slowly starve to death.  No American goes without better health care than the middle class in most of the rest of the industrial world gets because they can’t afford health insurance.  Maybe you don’t get the latest treatments or fanciest procedures, but they’ll keep your butt alive.  No American child goes without at least a rudimentary education so long as their parents give a damn and make sure they study.

My point is that I’m tired of hearing people whine.  If I had the power, I’d take each and every one of these class-baiting twits to the real world and let them see what poverty really looks like.  I’d show them people who come from huts made out of garbage who are working their tails off to get out of that hut.  I’d show them women who have to carry weapons every day, not so they don’t have their purse stolen, but so that they’re not kidnapped and raped.  I’d show them graveyards full of the people who tried to make things better, but were rewarded with a bullet in the head for their trouble.

Then I’d show them the poorest of the poor here in America, a place that gives away free food, shelter, clothing, education, medical help, and just about anything else a person needs in order to not only stay alive, but to thrive and become a producing member of society if they would only care enough to do it.

Then, I would dare them to try to say that even the ‘poor’ in America aren’t doing pretty good.  I’d dare them to show me the thousands of children who are dieing of diseases that can be cured with a dollar’s worth of medicine.  I’d dare them to show me the millions of children who aren’t going to school because they have to work as hard as an adult to stay alive.  I’d dare them to show me the graves of the people who die from mal-nourishment in America.

Then I’d laugh in their face as they try to come up with examples, because there aren’t any.  Generations of Americans have bled into our soil so that these problems stayed away, and we continue to do so now.

If we don’t wake up, we are going to lose the ethics of hard work, self-reliance, and ingenuity that have been all that has kept us from sliding back into the morasse that our fore-fathers sailed across oceans to get away from.  Our ancestors didn’t come over in steerage or worse so that their grandchildren could demand that others take care of them, and they would be ashamed if they saw how this movement is acting.

As a nation, we are soft.  Hard work, ingenuity, and making your own way have fallen out of fashion with not only our young people, but also with their parents, and that scares me.  The thought that the world owes you anything is a dangerous honey trap to fall into, and what I see when I see these Occupy people chanting, drumming, begging, and speaking is nothing more than a fly that’s fallen into the pitcher plant.

Now y’all excuse me while I get cleaned up and get to my job.  There are thousands of protesters in the streets who are depending on me to provide for them.

*Here’s a hint:  if your income is growing, then you’re not really poor.  At worst, you’re only being swept along in the wake of the truly prosperous, but your income is getting bigger nonetheless.

No Sympathy Part II

Three people died the other day when they went over the 317 foot Vernal Falls at Yosemite National Park.  Witnesses report that two of them crossed safety barriers and waded out into the water above the falls to take a picture.  One of them slipped, the other slipped trying to help the first one, and a third person crossed barriers to get to the first two.  The rest of their group, including several children, watched all three go over the falls, apparently to their death.

In the same vein, a 50 year old hiker in south-eastern Arizona was rescued after being lost in the Cochise Stronghold for seven hours.  She apparently was on a hike with family and got lost.  Since she was able to walk out, I’m going to assume she had at least a little water.  7 hours in the open in Cochise County during high summer without water is a good way to die. I’ve hiked that area, and this lady is lucky to have been found alive.

Every year someone decides to try to climb Mount Hood a little too late or a little early in the year, which causes huge search and rescue efforts, sometimes leading to the injury or death of rescuers.   Do people not look at weather predictions and the news before heading out?

The Coast Guard regularly rescues people who try to take a little boat in bad repair or improperly equipped out onto the big ocean.  These dedicated people take their lives in their own hands to save the lives of people who shouldn’t have gotten off the dock.

Every summer you hear about people who get mauled and killed by bears who attack after being fed or are startled while raiding coolers and food boxes in camping areas.  Apparently people never learn to tie their food up in trees while in bear country.  I know people who are shocked when I tell them they shouldn’t be storing food in the same tent they sleep in.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea.  People regularly do stupid things when leaving civilization and don’t realize how quickly Mother Nature can kill you.

For those who die because of their own stupidity, I feel nothing.  They put their own lives and the lives of everyone who tries to rescue themselves at risk by being morons.  If there is a guardrail and signs telling you to not get any closer to the waterfall, don’t cross it.  If you’re going to go for a hike in anywhere more rugged than the local golf course, you need to go prepared.  That means taking food, water, a first aid kit, a knife, and a way to make fire.  If you think the world is going to take pity on you because you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re dead wrong.  And if you’re taking your family with you when you take your dumbass act on the trail, you’re killing your children while you commit slow suicide.

In the Yosemite incident, I feel for the people who watched the hikers die, and I feel for the person who sacrificed herself trying to save two other human beings.  The other two were dead as soon as they left the parking area.

People, don’t assume that anything is safe.  Enjoy the world that doesn’t include hotels and paved parking lots, but be aware of how quickly things can go bad.  Know what you’re walking into, know the expected weather, follow posted safety notices, and have what you need to keep you and yours alive when things go to hell.  I won’t feel bad for you when you die because of stupidity, but I will feel horrible for those who love you and those who are injured or die trying to find and rescue you.

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