Thursday, December 22, 2005

Speak Out Loud NA (anonymously of course)

It appears that SOLNA has changed the purpose of their site. I could have sworn that I read somewhere in the About description the stated format was for the citizens of New Albany to exchange information, ideas, and openly express their views & opinions about life in the city and it's government.

So tonite I check in to see what's happen'n and in the comments section I find that some of us that do in fact openly identify ourselves, namely one Roger Baylor, have apparently been banned from expressing our views in this forum.

To be fair I will acquiesce that it is their adminstrative right to choose which comments get posted. After all, we are posting in prime time and children may very well be reading what we write. However, does not censorship of a citizens opinion that may not be agreeable to us go counter to the stated purpose?

Damn! Ain't this freedom of speech and equal rights thing a bitch? Just a thought.

Oh, by the way, comments are welcome as long as you claim them as your own!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Merry.....? Happy......? or Bring on the $$$$$$?

In this age of being politically correct on the one hand and desiring to become a truly global community on the other I am becoming ever more confused. I could have sworn that the '60's were all about integration as opposed to segregation and that America was the great melting pot of any and all social, political, economic, educational, and religious backgrounds. I was further taught that out of all that diversity had come a nation of people that shared the common goal of freedom while being secure in their right to retain their individuality. In other words I grew up with the belief that I could eat well done steak while my neighbor ate baked fish and after we could share bowl of homemade ice cream without the steak or fish becoming an issue. I suppose growing up in a rural area I was more isolated from reality than I realized.

As we enter this (I'm afraid to try to name it) season I am once again amazed and appalled at the manner in which we deal with it. Originated as a pagan ritual, cloned as a religous one, and ultimately to be bastardized into commercial capital venture we have arrived at a point where none can be true to themselves for fear of being offensive to the others.

So the commercial capitalists placate the Christians by allowing them to collect goodies and change outside their entrance so long as it is done quietly.

The megamember Christians have elected to forgo a (dare I say it?) Christmas Day service this year in leau of the volunter church staff being home with their families on that day. But wait a minute, I'm sorely confused! Isn't the congregation their family? Did I not hear or read somewhere that sacrifice was considered Godly? What of those in the pew that have considered the birthday of their saviour one of the holiest of the calender year? Oh, I forgot about Easter didn't I. Jesus' death was held in higher regard than his life anyway and the people can just put their Christmas offering on interest until then and drop it in the plate can't they?

Just in case this is not enough hypocrisy to go around I noted in the paper today that our evangelical President chose to omit any referance to Christ in the White House greeting card this year because they were sent to "people of all faiths"! But all is not lost for the capitol tree is once more a Christmas Tree!

I spoke in error earlier when I stated that none were true to themselves. The pagans among us are indeed true to our contrarian selves. We will hoist a pint with all who desire to do so and will debate the hours away with any who are willing to be honest enough to claim their position!

And with that at the risk of being hypocritcal myself, Safe Journeys, Happy Holidays, and (what the hell) Merry Christmas to one and all!!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Great White Death

The better part of the past week was spent living in mortal fear of the seasons inagural snow event. It was billed by the local weather gurus as possibly being Katrina's evil twin in terms of pending catastrophe. Bread and milk sales reached pre depression proportions while state and local officials assured us that all was under control.

Wednesday afternoon was spent spraying green slime on the highways, bridges,overpasses, and exit ramps. We were told that if this magic solution was applied prior to the storm it would prevent the roadway from icing over. This with the added proviso that it must dry before the pavement temperature dropped to below freezing.

Thursday morning I deliverd & reloaded in Frankfort and returned to Louisville. The drive over was uneventful but the return trip resembled something akin to novice ice skaters on rollerblades. I never was able to ascertain whether or not the slime kept the ice away but it had some healthy fertilizer components in it. Within the borders of the grassy median of I64 there had sprung up vechicles of all colors, shapes and models imaginable. The seed planters however did a lousy job for there was not a straight row to be found anywhere. You just can't get good help these days!

I managed to arrive back to the yard safely without incident and went directly to Richo's for my final beer before the real storm hit. If die I must I wanted one more pint of Guinness before passing on.

Friday came and once again the snow god's had granted us a reprieve. How do we get so lucky?
Oh well, the season has just begun.

This morning I sat down with a cup of java and the Sunday CJ. In the Notes From Washington article on page B5 I came across a blurb saying that our 9th District Representative Mike Sodrel and several of his colleagues were hobknobbing with Rudolph Giuliani at The Grand Havana Room on 5th Avenue to receive a big pat on the back for a job well done. What job that was I can't say but at $2500 to $25,000 per plate it must have been one hell of a good job indeed!

Well me being me, the article raised my ire and I spent most of the afternoon collecting my own statistical research which I hope to send to congressman Sodrel in a letter soon. When I get it done I'll post a copy on this site for your reading pleasure or disgust.

Since I had to forego that project while awaiting information forthcoming I ventured forth to train my computer to recoginize my voice and installed a webcam. Alas both of those events ended at about the same stage as Sodrel's communique but at least it gave me something to post this evening. Gotta keep the fans reading or they will abandon me for sure!

Speaking of fans, rest up you all. Saturnalia begins in five short days! There is a god afterall!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

My How the Mighty Have Fallen!

In the church of my grandfather most folks could still not read so it was a generally accepted act of faith that what the preacher spoke from behind the pulpit had to be gospel. Drinkin', womanizin', gamblin' and other forms of debauchery were frowned upon but pretty much
overlooked so long as one didn't get caught with the preachers wife and showed up to pass (and help fill) the offering plate come Sunday mornin'! As I said most of 'em could not read so reading material was not much of an issue.

In the church of my father, the automobile was viewed as a sure sign of the devil incarnate but if properly used was allowed on a limited basis. That basis for proper use being mostly that if you had one the preacher had first dibs on its use should he decide to go evangelizn' for a day or week or two. It could not however be equipped with a radio for that was surely a tool of the evil one. More folks had learned their abc's by now and reading material was restricted to the King James Version of the bible and the Sears Roebuck catalog. The catalog was on the allowed list for it served a dual purposes.

In the church I grew up in most everone had cars and the majority could read. Radio was still suspect but allowed with proper supervision from ones elders. TV was now the devil incarnate and the restricted reading list had grown to be very specific. The classics were ok as long as one did not incorporate them too deeply into one's daily activities but anything that smacked of pagan, supernatural, or mystic would yeild you the task of reciting New Testament verses morning, noon, and night. I still can see clearly in my minds eye the 8th grade dance when someone sneaked in a copy of IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA and somehow managed to set it on the turntable and crank up the volume without getting caught. We did not however get to hear the selection in it's entirety. The dance ended shortly thereafter and you can guess what the rest of that quarters sunday school lessons revolved around.

A few short years later the christian owned downtown movie theater was sold to a non-christian and he promptly began to show more progressive selections including Jesus Christ Superstar.
The annual revival had to be moved up two weeks early to counter the onslaught.

So this morning I get a cup of coffee, pickup the Courier Journal and find this article staring me in the face:
The lion, the witch and the box officeThe marketing of 'Narnia' Christian market eager for Friday's opening
By Judith Egertonjegerton@courier-journal.comThe Courier-Journal

It would be facetious of me to say that I am shocked or confused. I am however angered. Not angered at my parents for they followed in good faith that which they believed to be true given the resources and education they had. Angry at myself because this nonsense still gets my goat. But mostly angered by those who keep the lie afloat and profit from it as well as those who go like lambs to the slaughter without question.

The Jesus that I learned about as a child was one whose primary care on this planet was for the poor and downtrodden. The fact that it was a tax writeoff concerned him not. For his efforts he was viciously murdered because the threatened the status quo. Not only of the oppresors but also of his own people.

Whether or not the story is fact or fiction I honestly do not know. What I do know is this. First, I have yet to see a better example of human interaction than that illustrated in the account of his life. The purpose of his death is a whole other debate. Second, his death has been the excuse used ever since to obliterate, inialate, subjugate, and otherwise destroy anything that was misunderstood or got in the way of profit. If he did exist as we have been told for centuries, I don't think this is what he had in mind! If it is then I am the chump!

This brings me back to the article in question where the statement is made that "Alsan, the supernatural lion in Narnia is symbolic of Jesus Christ." Sorry folks but that coupled with the fact that our good friends at Southest Christian Church across the river are geared up to sell trinkets in competition with McDonald's is more hypocrisy than I can bear.

Let the lie die and let's get on with solving the homeless, hungry, destitute problems in our own country. Seems to me that an outfit that takes in a quarter of a million a week could go far in solving that issue. Ooops! I forgot that profit thing again.

Damn! I need a beer!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Same Person Different Signature

Often when I am trying to formulate a simple thought my mind gets so busy with ways to say it better that I overlook the obvious. I can't see the forest for the trees!

This happened when I created this blogsite in trying to name it. As luck would have it my original title choice was already in use by someone else. I guess it wasn't so original huh?

At this point I started asking for ideas of catchy phrases from friends but alas they too were stuck looking at trees. So I went back to the drawing board, rearranged the wording and came up "View From the Highway". Okay, this'll work.

Now I had to come up with a signature name and again the mind rebelled. Get over it! I'm tired of looking at these damned trees!! So out of frustration and a desire to post Viewer was born. Not really what I was looking for but it'll do.

And so it goes, time passes, an epiphany occurs and the heretofore elusive obvious answer is revealed. A few days ago I was at my favorite pub drinking beer and listening to Johnny Cash in the background. My bartender turned around and said " Highwayman! That's what we were looking for!"

So now it is official; Viewer is now Highwayman ! Now if I can just find my way around those pesky html's and learn how to add links to my template without disfiguring it beyond all comprehension I'll be in business. Thanks Roger!!

Damn! I'm glad that's over! Hey!! There really is a forest here! Good thing 'cause those trees were starting to worry me!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Bad Excuse is Better Than None!

These were the first words I heard from my father when I tried to explain why chores were not finished. They came back to me as I fired up the blog to write. When I started this I promised myself that I would post on a regular basis but as with most good intentions it has not been so. Oh well, on to the excuses.

I spent the weekend flat on my back under the wife's car. I started out to replace the radiator and ended up doing water pump, thermostat, hoses, belts, and transmission cooler lines. I stopped short of the heater core. Anyone for taking bets on how long that will last?

I twisted wrenches for a living years ago but once I finally got my fingernails clean it seems I now have developed an aversion to grease. It also never fails that once I start on an older vechicle, there seems to be no place to stop! I suppose however that I should be grateful for having the ability to do it myself. As it is I spent a little over $400 on the project. In a repair shop I have no doubt that figure would have near doubled. Best of all, the lady of the house now has heat in her car! Fingers crossed on the heater core of course.

Monday morning started the post Turkey Day pre Xmas crazies at work which has left me no time to post until now.

My email campaign to Congressmen and Senators netted me a response from each so I fired off another batch on different issues. It will be interesting to see if they keep up the dialouge. Who knows? Maybe some of them do listen if spoken to.

On the local scene there was a viewing of potential downtown bridge designs at Jeffersonville that I missed tonite. Funny; I thought that debate was over or has it just begun?

I also heard that Senator Clinton is going to be in Louisville on Friday. It would appear that an election is drawing nie!

Politics anyone?