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    Quote of the day…

    August 31st, 2007

    How to stay young:
    1. Avoid fried foods which angry up the blood
    2. If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.
    3. Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.
    4. Go very light on the vices such as carrying on in society.  The social ramble ain’t restful.
    5. Avoid running at all times.
    6. Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you.
    LeRoy ‘Satchel’ Paige


    My eyes are now opened

    August 25th, 2007

    I want to thank Grandad over at Headrambles Manor, Country Estate, Gun Range, Tech Center, Reading Room, Private Lounge and Bed and Breakfast for setting me straight.
    You see for years now I thought we were fighting a war that was pitting the ideals of freedom against the radicalism of a fundamentalist sect of Islam and its adherents.
    It’s not a war on terrorism! It’s a war on tourism!!! Had I only known!
    All these years I have railed against the Taliban and the blind sheik and even Ramsey Yousef. Now I know it had nothing to do with the horrible deeds these folks perpetrated but the fact they were here from another country, visiting. I am now looking back on the past 6 years and all the folks from other countries I could have taken out and helped in the fight. There were the two girls I met from Belfast last year and the baseball team from the Netherlands last month to name but a few. Had I realized that they are in fact the greatest threat to national security I would have taken them out post haste.
    My God I just realized that the company I am contracted to employs hundreds of foreigners. I wonder if the Department of Defense knows about them. I really need to contact them and advise them of this potentially dangerous situation.
    Many years ago I knifed a guy from West Acton in London while he was visiting here but he deserved it. Does that count? Now that my eyes have opened to the threat of tourism I have been keeping my eyes and ears open. Why just yesterday I dispatched a family from Japan who made themselves obvious by asking for directions from a Japanese to English translation book.
    This past week I took out a couple of New Yorkers who were here on vacation but I know that is just practice.
    I can only hope that all of you are on alert for this, the greatest threat to our way of life, Tourism!
    tourist.jpg


    Birthday, Happy Happy

    August 23rd, 2007

    Today is the 20th anniversary of my 29th birthday.


    When Insults Had Class

    August 20th, 2007

    “He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”  Winston Churchill
    “I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.”  — Clarence Darrow
    “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” —  William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
    “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.” — Groucho Marx
    “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” – MarkTwain
    “He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.” —-Oscar Wilde
    “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend… If you have one.” — George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill…followed by Churchill’s response: “Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second… if there is one.” — Winston Churchill
    “I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.”– Stephen Bishop
    “He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” — John Bright
    “I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.” — Irvin S. Cobb
    “He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others.” — Samuel Johnson
    “He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.”– Paul Keating
    “He had delusions of adequacy.” — Walter Kerr
    “Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?” — Mark Twain
    “His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.”– Mae West
    “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.” –Oscar Wilde
    Lady Astor once remarked to Winston Churchill at a Dinner Party, “Winston, if you were my husband, I would poison your coffee!”
    Winston replied, “Madam if I were your husband I would drink it!”


    I’ve been Schmoozed

    August 19th, 2007

    JD has tagged me as a Schmoozer.  This is a good thing.

    schmoozeaward.jpg

    “As it goes, Good schmoozers effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello – all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.”

    Now I am suppose to tag some others.

    Nah, I don’t think so!
    All this tagging is making me itch.


    Drakes Well and Standard Oil

    August 11th, 2007

    drakes-well-001.jpg

    The above photo is of the Drake Well just outside of Titusville, PA. On August 27, 1859 Edwin Drake along with “Uncle Billy”, William Smith drilled the first oil well and launched the Petroleum industry.
    I am working in Oil City, PA 15 miles south of the Drake well and the town where Standard Oil and the Rockefellers started. Oil City is at the confluence of Oil Creek and the Allegheny river. All of the big oil companies have long since moved on but it is obvious that this little town was once a big deal. The archetcture here is unbelieveable. In the downtown area there are marble buildings!
    This morning I drove up to the Drake Well museum. The PA State Historical and Museum commission has reconstructed the original well and buildings. I was very impressed. Once the oil boom got started in the 1860’s the folks around here found a way to capture the natual gas that is part of the oil drilling process to run the engines that did the drilling and pumping so the steam engines of the time were quickly replaced.

    drakes-well-006.jpgdrakes-well-015.jpgdrakes-well-010.jpg

    The three photos above are of the McClintock Well #1. This is the oldest continusely producing oil well on the planet. Apparently I am a history geek because this impressed me to no end. This well is just outside of the city limits of Oil City. It’s not much to look at but there are signs all over the entrance stating that the State of PA is going to fix it up. I have been very impressed at all this history in this area. I’m amazed that they don’t market this area better.
    I had a very fun day exploring the historical places in this area. I tried to go to the National Transit Building in downtown Oil City today but it was closed. I’ll do that on Monday after work. The National Transit Building was Standard Oils first headquarters.

    On a different note, last night there was a concert on the bank of the Allegheny river. The band was GREAT!!! They are called Big Leg Emma. Check them out.

    oilcity2-001.jpg
    Big Leg Emma on the banks of the Allegheny
    oilcity2-026.jpg
    Natalie the merchant

    oilcity2-012.jpg
    They had everyone dancing and smiling.


    Hi, my name is Brianf and I’m a Thrunk!

    August 3rd, 2007

    It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then — just to loosen up.
    Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.
    I began to think alone — “to relax,” I told myself — but I knew it wasn’t true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.
    That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother’s.
    I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don’t mix, but I couldn’t help myself.
    I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau, Muir, Confucius and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, “What is it exactly we are doing here?”
    One day the boss called me in. He said, “Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don’t stop thinking on the job, you’ll have to find another job.”
    This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my conversation with the boss. “Honey,” I confessed, “I’ve been thinking…”
    “I know you’ve been thinking,” she said, “and I want a divorce!”
    “But Honey, surely it’s not that serious.” “It is serious,” she said, lower lip aquiver.
    “You think as much as college professors and college professors don’t make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won’t have any money!”
    “That’s a faulty syllogism,” I said impatiently.
    She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.
    “I’m going to the library,” I snarled as I stomped out the door.  I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors.  They didn’t open. The library was closed.
    To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye, “Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?” it asked.
    You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster.
    This is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker.
    I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was “Porky’s.” Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.  I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking. I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

    Today I took the final step . . . In a last final desparate measure, I joined the Democrat Party.