General Commentary (May be military related) email: Kudzuacres1@juno.com

Friday, May 30, 2003
A big weekend coming up. First on the agenda is a cleaning of the gutters. Always a fun job since my roof is built on a 12/12 run and the edge is about two ladder rungs above my limit. I am not afraid of heights, but one of my deeply held religious beliefs is that if God had intended us to be high up on ladders, we would have been born there. Next is removal of the rock wall I started a couple of weeks ago. My wife has decided that it doesn't fit well with the house so we are going to install a decorative block wall instead. That will get me up to time to get dressed to attend a friend's daughter's wedding. We served together three times during our careers although the two of us didn't know each other the first tour. Our wives knew each other and our daughters were in the same class at school. Sunday is another trip to my M-in-law's. My wife's sister and her husband are coming up from Florida tomorrow and we will visit Sunday.

The only chance I see for serious bodily damage are the gutters and the rocks unless the B-in-law is cutting trees in which case we are all in danger. He likes to trim limbs with a chainsaw while standing on a ladder. I watch out of morbid curiosity.

I saw Bob Hope on one of his visit the troops tours in SE Asia. The Army ran the fuel and ammunition ports supporting the AF B52s flying from Thailand. Bob Hope brought his entourage ot the AF Base and the Army guys who were not on duty went over to see the the show. I remember it being a bright spot in an otherwise fairly dreary year. The thing that has always stood out in my memeory was not any of the scripted jokes, the dancing girls or any of the entertainers. The Army post was blessed with a couple of obnoxious lieutenants ( no snide remarks about there not being any other kind, please) and one of these fine specimens of American manhood manged to both get rolling drunk but positioned right at the front of the stage. The AF brought a few guys over from the hospital and they were invited up on the stage with the dancing girls. LT Idiot jumped on the stage with them. The AF Security Police started after him but Mr. Hope waved them away, choosing to ignore Idiot and get on with the show. Everything was good until Idiot tried to grab the microphone. At that point Bob Hope said: "Son, Get off the stage!" Idiot yelled that he was a taxpayer and had his rights. Just then a B52 started its takeoff run. Bob Hope looked out at the audience with the look I know you have seen and said: " Son, who the hell do you think bought that B52 that just took off? Now get off the stage before I drive you into the fourth row."

There was a standing ovations as the SPs dragged LT Idiot away.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003
As I breathlessly wait for Mr. Possum's rundown of his weekend, I think I will tell you about one of my adventures in home improvement. I mentioned that I had had old Wally in working on the master bath. Wally works a little slow and and he always takes at least a full day to do any job no matter how small so when it was obvious that he had couple of hours left on the project, I said I would complete it. The undone work was caulking around some newly installed beadboard and stopping a leak under the lavatory. Pretty simple stuff that even I can handle. Wally left the caulk and I proceeded to caulk everything in sight. The next day I went to sand the caulk only to find that it was not sandable. In fact, it had the consistency of half-chewed gum. My wife took one look and banned me from the room until it is painted. She spent a couple of days last week removing the caulk an inch at a time. Once an hour she came in my home office to let me know that this is the type of thing that really tests a marriage.

My 90 year old Mother -in-law is being audited by the Alabama Tax Office. She has to send them a copy of all her receipts. That is no big deal, but they told her to send a printout from the druggist listing all her purchases. She spends the Winter in Florida and buys drugs there also. Due to the recent changes to the privacy laws, we had a little trouble getting the list from Florida. She has been in a panic thinking she may be heavily fined or even go to jail. The CPA says that more than a normal number of people are receiving the letters this year. I wonder if it has anything to do with Alabama's budget problems. I am sure that Alabama's collection enforcement dollars are well spent auditing 90 year olds living on minimum social security and some CD interest. Update: Just talked to my wife who has spent the day getting the info together. The CPA says 11 of his cleints have received the notices. All are people over 65, taxable income under $ 20,000 and high itemized deductions, in other words, older people who didn't take the standard deduction. Is it possible that the State thinks it may be too hard for them to get the info together and that they will end up taking the standard deduction? My M-in-law would owe $200 more with the standard deduction. Sounds a little like the driveway paving scam to me.

Over the weekend, I spoke with a number of people about the Guv's tax plan. From my country music making buddies, to small businessmen, to school teacher, I found not one person who plans to vote for it. The reason: $650 M shortfall, $1.3 Billion remedy. Each and every person I spoke to said it was like sitting a sixpack in front of an alcoholic. All that money in front of our elected representatives would be a temptation they could not resist. This will be an interesting Summer. The Dems have a Republican Guv to take the heat and have the opportunity to get their hands on big bucks with the Guv receiving the voters wrath.

Any takers on who will get the first million for their "people"?

I have been having problems logging into Blogger. I told Mr. Possum that it must be because of my association with him and asked him to quit using terms such as "stupid blogger". I lay odds he can't make it until Friday.

Had and interesting conversation with one of my employees this morning. Seems her children are offended by the treatment the Dixie Chicks have received. Her 12 year old daughter says they have the right to say whatever they want. Donna agrees with her. The Chicks can say whatever they wish, but other people have the right to not buy their product. Donna said she gave her daughter the example that she (Donna) had the right to tell her boss that he was an idiot, and her her boss had the right to fire her. I don't think she thinks I am an idiot (maybe so), but I think that her example is appropriate. The Chicks are in business even if they like to think of themselves as artists. Their business is to sell entertainment and like any other business, if they offend their customer base, they will lose money.

Darn simple if you ask me.