July 25, 2014

Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of July 25, 2014.   On Wednesday I watched the Netherlands come to a complete stop, for almost an hour, as the first 40 victims of  MH17 were driven from the airport to the Lab for identification  …  in a 40 Hearst convoy.  An incredible number of people spontaneously lined the roads to pay their respect, some throwing flowers.  Courts took a recess   …  many, many church services,  television commercials pulled from the air.  An incredible sign of respect by a whole nation.  Reminded me of the days following 9/11.  Without a doubt, there are beasts among us   …  like the animals who brought down a civilian airliner   …   or ripped wedding bands from victim’s fingers, as their bodies lay rotting on a Ukrainian field    …   or using credit cards stolen from the murder scene.  There are reports of people answering calls on stolen cell phones.  But I KNOW these beasts are a minority.   All the proof I needed, was to see/watch the folks, on CNN, lining the streets in the Netherlands. Thousands  …  versus  … a few hundred wastes of perfectly good skin.

Course that begs the question:  “Is folks speaking up after the fact enough to thwart the evil perpetrated my the beasts/animals among us?”  NO!!!  Nazis were a minority, in Germany   …   yet, this minority murdered how many million people because the majority remained silent, did nothing?  Stalin murdered, how many millions, while the majority did nothing?   Pol Pot and his minions were a minority, yet they murdered how many Cambodians? Idi Amin murdered how many Ugandans?  You have example after example. And there are how many Billion Muslims in the world with Islamic Fundamentalists  comprising a very small minority   …  and this minority have killed how many?  Where is the overwhelming condemnation?  What have the majority of Muslims done to bring these beasts/animals under control?  Nothing.  (CNN) —  Extremists destroy Jonah’s tomb, officials say. “If you blink during the video, you might miss the moment an explosion destroys what is said to have been the tomb of Jonah, a key figure in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The first few frames show the revered shrine towering over its landscape. Then comes a sudden burst of dust, fire and smoke.  Then, nothing.  Militants with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, planted explosives around the tomb and detonated them remotely Thursday, civil defense officials there told CNN.”   This isn’t a Shia or Sunni issue.  This is a crime against our common human cultural heritage.  Disgusting.  Where is the Muslim outcry?

On a different note.  What is with all these political ads on TV   …  for a “primary” in a week or so  …  in almost every case, Republicans eyeball to eyeball?  Republicans trashing fellow Republicans.  NO infighting among Democrats. Don’t see any Democrat folks running, (at least here in Johnson County, Missouri.) Guess they are having a hard time, (at least in Johnson County, Missouri), getting folks to run.  Makes me wonder  …  why?  On the other hand, Libertarians have their own problems.  Mostly trying to figure out who the person running is   …  where they came from and where are they running.

And in plans run awry:  (BBC NEWS)  — Russia loses control of gecko sex experiment satellite. “A Russian satellite containing geckos, fruit flies and mushrooms could plummet to earth if control is not regained, according to reports. The engine of the Foton-M4 satellite, with several experiments on board, has stopped responding to ground control.  All other systems are intact, the Progress space centre stated, including “one-way” transmission of information. The five geckos are in space for a study of the effect of weightlessness on their sex lives and development.”   The Russians had planned to draw the worlds attention away from the war crimes they are committing in the Ukraine, by broadcasting Gecko Porn from outer space.  What they didn’t count on?  They sent FIVE geckos into space, (five is a really interesting number of participants in sex studies)    …  who promptly ate the fruit flies    …   and perhaps, Psilocybin mushrooms were a poor choice.  After eating the mushrooms, the geckos turned off the engine on the Foton-M4 satellite   …  and remain perched by the satellites window enjoying/tripping on the earth view.

And the “Duh!!” news: NEW YORK (CNNMoney)   —  Smart people buy generic brands. “Sudafed or Wal-Phed: Which would you choose?  Nine times out of 10, pharmacists and doctors will buy the generic version of aspirin, rather than a brand-name like Bayer. Likewise, professional chefs prefer store-brand sugar, salt and baking powder instead of brand name ingredients  …  Americans are wasting about $44 billion a year on name brands, when they could be buying the exact same products if they switched to cheaper store brands. Store brand products cost on average about half the price of national brands.  Take that bottle of aspirin for example. A 100-tablet package of 325 mg Bayer Aspirin costs $6.29 on www.CVS.com. The CVS version? Just $2.27 when it’s regularly priced, and $1.14 when it’s on sale.”   Identical ingredients.

Soldiers remain soldiers:  (BBC NEWS)  —  #BBCtrending: Sexy selfies in support of IDF.  “A Facebook campaign has been launched which encourages women to submit sexy selfies to boost the morale of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers. The “Standing with IDF” page was launched on Wednesday and now has more than 12,000 likes. It includes dozens of photos of skimpily-dressed women, with “I love IDF” scrawled across their bodies.”  No different I suppose, from the “Pinups” that become popular in every war.  Interesting collection of WW II pinups on Pinterest.  Wonder what the Pinups from the Civil War looked like?  Brings back memories:  I remember having a revealing picture of Ann-Margret taped to my wall locker. Rumor at the time had it   …  the revealing parts were airbrushed in. They looked real to me. 

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, watching CNN   …  the Editorial Staff crashed on the floor.  Both central air units cooling down Ft Timmerman.  The Russians are upping the ante in the Ukraine by transferring more heavy weapons to the Rebels.  Iraq, Syria, Gaza, Egypt, Libya and Nigeria all in flames.  Where are the peace loving Muslims?  I remain nicotine free, (almost a year and 1/2, 27,906 ciggybutts not smoked,  $4,534.00 saved and 1,860 hours added to my life).  And I still, every once in a while, think   …  “Gee.  Wouldn’t a cigarette taste good now.”   It wouldn’t.  Sunday Lunch and a Movie?  BBQ’d Smoked Ribs, French Fries and a Garden Salad.  The movie?  “The Expendables 3 [2014]“.

Time to post these Ramblings and settle in for a quiet evening at Ft Timmerman.  Later when I say my Thank You’s, I will say a thank you for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with   …  and a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform. Care to join me?  Be and sleep well.  The best we as a nation have, are on watch so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize.  That was not my intent.  As always  …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT  (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …  and the Editorial Staff).

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July 18, 2014

Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of July 18, 2014.   So, I have “Agent Orange” issues to deal with.  Had a neuropathy consult at the VA on Tuesday   …  and an upper “hose job” today.  Still feel goofy.  The results?  I have an inflamed esophagus and should pop a Prilosec 1/2 hour before I eat.  As for my other medical issues? They have absolutely no clue what is causing the neuropathy in my lower legs, since I am not diabetic, (my A1C’s are normal).  They also have no clue why I have macular degeneration in my right eye, a brain tumor, (acoustic neuroma), a stroke and hypertension.  But other than that, I am doing fine!!

Dangerous times we live in:  an Airliner gets shot down over the Ukraine and Israel puts boots on the ground in Gaza. Iraq, Egypt and the Ukraine are spinning into a civil war. Syria is in the middle of a civil war  …  and we are eyeball to eyeball with the Russians.  I remember during the last Presidential Campaign, Obama accusing Romney of having a “cold war” mentality during the 3rd Presidential Debate.  Who was right? [Footnote:  100 of the passengers that perished in the Ukraine atrocity   ...  were world renowned AIDS researchers on their way to present their latest findings at a conference in Australia.  ]

In the obvious news:   (BBC NEWS)  — Same sex dance ban plan sparks row. “A proposal which could prevent same-sex dance partners from competing against mixed-sex couples has caused a row in the world of ballroom dancing.  The British Dance Council (BDC) is to debate a rule change which would define a partnership as being “one man and one lady… unless otherwise stated”.  The BDC denied it was banning same-sex couples from competing, but said it wanted to “regulate the situation”.  Well, why not allow same sex couples to compete?  After all   …  isn’t it called “Ballroom Dancing”, for a reason? 

Given my medical issues, I have been thinking about end of life issues, like assisted dying/suicide:   (BBC NEWS)  —  Assisted dying: Desmond Tutu signals support. “Desmond Tutu has said he would support assisted dying for the terminally ill.  Writing in The Observer he said he reveres “the sanctity of life but not at any cost”. He also suggested that prolonging the life of Nelson Mandela had been an “affront” to his dignity. His comments follow a U-turn by former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, who also said he would support assisted dying for the terminally ill. The Church of England (CofE) has called for an inquiry into the issue.”  Stephen Hawking expressed the same view, as did Patrick StewardPhysician-assisted suicide in the United States is legal in the states of Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont, and New Mexico, and is currently under debate in New Jersey.”  I remain of the opinion that this is an issue between a person, their doctor and God.

Our tax dollars at work:  (BBC NEWS)  —  Chelsea Manning to receive military ‘gender treatment’. “The US military will begin treatment for US document leaker Chelsea Manning for her gender-identity condition. Defense secretary Chuck Hagel has approved gender treatment for PFC Manning, who was formerly known as Bradley. The move came after the bureau of prisons rejected the Army’s request to transfer her from a military facility. She is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified files to WikiLeaks“.  So   …  would he/she serve in a male facility or a female facility while in the process of getting a plumbing fluff and buff?

(Ancestry.Com)   …  Using DNA To Trace Michelle Obama’s Past. “First Lady Michelle Obama always suspected that she had white ancestors. But she had no idea who they were   …  I was able to solve that mystery and finally identify the white forbears who had remained hidden in her family tree for more than a century   …   suspected that Mrs. Obama’s white ancestors belonged to the white Shields family that had owned her great-great-great grandmother, Melvinia Shields. So I persuaded several descendants of the black and white Shields to do DNA testing. The results showed that the two families were related. The DNA testing indicated that Melvinia’s owner’s son was the likely father of Melvinia’s biracial child, Dolphus Shields. (Dolphus Shields is the first lady’s great-great grandfather.)  The majority of African Americans  can trace their roots to six tribal or ethnic groups:  Yoruba (63.7%), Mandenka (19.2%), Bantu (13.8%), San (2.0%), Blaka (1.0%) and Mbuti (0.2%).  Meanwhile, the genetic ancestry of the typical African American is 22 percent European with around 10 percent of U.S. Blacks being of more than 50 percent European ancestry.”  So  …  how many White Americans have African blood?

And this is Chicago:  (ARS TECHNICA)  —  Faulty red light cameras produced thousands of bogus traffic tickets.  “At least 13,000 Chicago motorists have been cited with undeserved tickets thanks to malfunctioning red-light cameras, according to a 10-month investigation published Friday by the Chicago Tribune. The report found that the $100 fines were a result of “faulty equipment, human tinkering or both  …  The program has generated nearly $500 million in revenue since it began in 2003.”  Share with me  …   again   …  why red light cameras are for public safety and not a revenue generating mechanism for the city?

Sitting here Editing these Ramblings and watching coverage of the Ukraine plane crash on CNN.  The Editorial Staff at my feet    …  with no interest in what is showing on TV. CNN’s “Talking Heads” opined that the passengers/victims never knew what hit them:  a missile strike at 33,000 feet would have resulted in an explosive decompression, killing all aboard instantly.  One thing is clear:  the surface to air missile used to bring the jet down, (BUK missile system), requires a trained 4 man crew   …  and isn’t something you can pick up at your local Walmartsky.  It has Russian fingerprints all over it.  Whomever brought the aircraft down is lucky it was not an El Al aircraft:  Mossad  never forgets, knows no national boundaries, and would hunt down and kill the perps.

Time to post these Ramblings and hunker down for a quiet evening at Ft Timmerman.  Sunday Lunch and a Movie?  Leftovers!  The movie?  “Non Stop [2014]“.  Later when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with, I will also say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform.  Care to join me?  Be and sleep well.  The best we have as a nation are on watch so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize  …  that is not my intent.  As always   …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT  (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …  and the Editorial Staff, Dinker, Carley Floyd and My Little Buddy)

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July 11, 2014

Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of July 11, 2014.   A couple of weeks ago, I filed a “Motion to Set Aside” a contempt order after my client failed to appear in court after a member of his household was served a “Show Cause Order”    …   and that family member neglected to share the ‘Show Cause Order” with my client.   He was in default.  Interesting issue:  Wife was awarded, by QDRO, in February, 2013, 1/2 of husbands retirement, (NOT A SUM CERTAIN, but a percentage).  Husband was already receiving a monthly payment.  The QDRO was filed in October which awarded Wife 1/2 of husbands retirement and Wife started receiving her payment in November.  Wife demanded 1/2 of what husband was paid from March – November, and filed a motion to have him held in contempt when he refused to do so.  Contempt is a legal remedy to compel an individual to abide by a court ‘s order, provided he can do so, and he contumaciously refuses to do so.  How can it be contempt, if Wife got exactly what the court awarded her?  Has her share of the retirement been diminished in any way?  That said, has Husband been unjustly enriched by receiving more than he should have?  The court set the contempt order aside and will set a new “Show Cause” hearing date.

(BBC NEWS)  —  BMW factory workers given 3D-printed ‘super-thumbs’. “Workers at a BMW plant in Germany have been given 3D-printed “super-thumbs” to reduce stress on their joints when they are assembling car parts. Each bespoke thermoplastic polyurethane thumb protector is created individually by measuring the worker’s hand in a mobile scanner. It fits like a second skin over the worker’s thumb, letting it move freely. But it becomes rigid when straightened, allowing the thumb to press down firmly but with less strain put on the joint.”  Rumor has it BMW’s R&D prosthetic device division has developed a 3D-printed female marital aid.

(CNN) — U.S. officials: Terrorist seizure of nuclear materials in Iraq of minimal concern.  “Militants in Iraq have taken hold of nuclear materials at university science facilities near the northern city of Mosul, the Iraqi government has said in a letter to the United Nations. But two U.S. officials told CNN on Wednesday that the small amounts of uranium aren’t enriched or weapons-grade, prompting only minimal concern.”  80 pounds of uranium, is not a “small amount”.  Does the phrase “Dirty Bomb” ring a bell? 

(CNN MONEY)  — Monks start brewing beer to keep abbey open. “Diversification is common advice for investors, but guess what? Monks have to do it too.  For more than 60 years, the Trappist monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey had relied on jams and jellies to support their monastery and community work in Spencer, Mass. But a few years ago, they realized the “expense line was rising at a faster rate than our income,” said Friar Issac.  So in the spirit of their heritage (Trappist monks have been brewing beer in Europe for centuries), the monks at St. Joseph decided to start a brewery. Spencer Brewery opened its doors earlier this year as the first Trappist brewery outside of Europe.”  Trappist monks have started moving to Colorado and Washington State    …  they plan on expanding their beer brewing to include cannabis cultivation.  They have copyrighted/trade marked one brand name in particular.   “Heavenly High“. 

And in the ‘Why Am I not surprised” good news and bad news.  The bad news?:  (BBC NEWS)  — US teens trail global peers in money matters. “A study released Wednesday by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that US 15-year-olds are in the middle of the pack when it comes to basic knowledge of finances and wealth-building  …  Chinese teens finished first, with a score of 602 – well above the mean score of 500 for all participants. Coming in a distant second was Flemish Belgium (541), followed by Estonia, Australia, New Zealand and the Czech Republic. The US was ninth with a score of 492, just ahead of Russia. Italy (466) and Colombia (379) finished at the bottom of the group. According to the survey, 17.8% of US test-takers did not reach a baseline level of proficiency in financial literacy. For China, that number was 1.6%.” The good news?  American 15 year olds lead the world in video game proficiency   …  allowing them to become excellent, world class, predator drone pilots. 

There is a reason we used to draft 18 year olds.  They are stupid. (BBC NEWS)  — Teen sexting prosecution prompts outrage. “On Wednesday the Washington Post reported on the case of a 17-year-old from Manassas, Virginia, who is facing felony charges for manufacturing and possessing child pornography after he allegedly texted nude images of himself to his 15-year-old girlfriend. According to the boy’s defense attorney, Jessica Harbeson Foster, prosecutors in the Washington-area Prince William County want to bolster their case by taking photos of the suspect’s aroused penis and comparing it to the texted image using “special software”   …   “We just take him down to the hospital, give him a shot and then take the pictures that we need,” Ms Foster says she was told.  She added that the police had already taken a photo of her client’s flaccid penis, obtained despite his objections.”  So the Manassas, Virginia budget has a bag full of money allocated to prosecute some kid for sharing a penis pic selfie?  And the prosecutor needs some diversion/time off from prosecuting axe murders or serial rapists   …  to spend scarce public funds   …  to prosecute some kid,  overwhelmed by pubescent psychosis/stupidity.  Really?  Your tax dollars at work. And a prosecutor whose Momma must have used his/her head as a basket ball.

To follow up   …  in the “ewww/yuck” news:  (BBC NEWS)  —  Naked selfies extracted from ‘factory reset’ phones. “Thousands of pictures including “naked selfies” have been extracted from factory-wiped phones by a Czech Republic-based security firm.  The firm, called Avast, used publicly available forensic security tools to extract the images from second-hand phones bought on eBay  …  The company claims that of 40,000 stored photos extracted from 20 phones purchased from eBay, more than 750 were of women in various stages of undress, along with 250 selfies of “what appears to be the previous owner’s manhood”.  I don’t understand.  Why in the world would anyone sit around and take pictures like that of themselves?

Sitting here editing these Ramblings.  Although I had the air conditioner serviced last month, the unit in the East side of Ft Timmerman is not blowing cold air.  Fortunately, the unit for the bedrooms is.  Would be a long night otherwise!  I wonder what folks did 100 years ago to make it through hot summer nights??  Time to post these Ramblings and settle in for a quiet night watching TV in the bedroom.  Sunday Lunch and a Movie?  Smoked Turkey Breast, French Fries and Corn on the Cob.  The movie?  “Transcendence [2014]”  Later when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Sudan to share them with, I will say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform.  Care to join me?  Be and sleep well, the best we as a nation have   …  are on watch so you can.  If my post offends, I apologize   …  that is not my intent.  As always  …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri   …  and the Editorial Staff)

 

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July 4, 2014

Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of July 4, 2014.  When I was a young man, I remember  dealing with older lawyers. At the time, saw “age marks” on their hands.  Age spots and raised veins …  and thought to myself  …  these are some really old dudes.  Sitting here   …  I look at the age spots on my hands and the raised veins   …  and think to myself  …  I am an old dude now  …   having celebrated many 4th of Julys!!!

4th of July” is a celebration of the birth of our America.  Triggered by a bunch of folks who felt stepped on because they were being subjected to a bunch of taxes/regulations/laws they had NO say in enacting.  Randomly imposed. They had this strange idea   …  there was a “natural law”:  a law granted by God, (based on free will), which gave each person, (male and female), “God given natural rights”.  Rights!!  A revolutionary idea!!  Each person had worth. All persons were equal in the eyes of God  …  and society   …  (sigh)  … a concept the French explored during the “French Revolution”   …  and totally screwed up.  They had bad players.  They did not have folks like our “founding fathers“.  But we did, (by the Grace of God).   Take a step back to 1776 and look at their world view.   A world dominated by sovereigns. KIngs/Queens.  No rights for peasants, (working folks), even with the Magna Carta.  And here, in our America, you had folks, like you and I, willing to change/challenge  …  the status quo.  Dissent and be willing to die  …  to make that change. They did   …  and now, 238 years later, I fear we are dismantling that great change, one right at a time.  I remember the words of my father:  “Karl-Heinzi  …  no one wakes up one morning with a concentration camp in their back yard.  It is built one brick at a time    …  and always in the name of “national security.”

Today, the political climate is like a bell shaped curve, with the 10%ers on the left and the 10%ers on the right running this country. Ideologue nut jobs representing the interests of 20% of us, while there is no one representing the remaining 80% in the middle:  you and I.  I remain a Republocrat:  frankly, I really have no patience/understanding of the leftwing nut jobs nor the rightwing nut jobs.  Further, within both of these 10%er groups, you also have a subgroup of nut jobs: “wing nuts”, the 1%ers!  “Wing nuts” are different from “nut jobs”.  “Wing nuts” are so far to the left, or right, they probably need some form of political antipsychotic medication  …  perhaps  …  a benefit they will now have with Obamacare?

And speaking of the political climate?  (CNN)  –  Who is the worst president since WWII.  “President Barack Obama tops the list of the worst presidents since World War Two, according to a new national poll. And the survey, released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University, also indicates that a plurality of voters nationwide say in hindsight that the country would be better off if Mitt Romney had won the 2012 presidential election.”  Perhaps so    …   but I believe it is way too early to tell. “Thirty-three percent of people questioned in the poll say that Obama is the worst president since the Second World War, with 28% saying George W. Bush was the worst. Thirteen percent picked Richard Nixon, with 8% naming Jimmy Carter.”  Spanning 69 years and 12 presidents, Ronald Reagan (at 35%) tops the list of the best president since WWII, with 18% saying Bill Clinton was best, followed by John F. Kennedy at 15% and Obama at 8%.”

In the science news?  (BBC NEWS)  —  Chimpanzee language: Communication gestures translated.  “Researchers say they have translated the meaning of gestures that wild chimpanzees use to communicate.  They say wild chimps communicate 19 specific messages to one another with a “lexicon” of 66 gestures. The scientists discovered this by following and filming communities of chimps in Uganda, and examining more than 5,000 incidents of these meaningful exchanges.”   The most prominent gesture?  A clenched fist with a raised middle finger.  Apparently this is a cross species gesture, since it is extremely popular with humans as well, (the single finger salute).

Legal news?  (BBC NEWS)  —  Katy Perry sued by Christian rappers over Dark Horse. “Singer Katy Perry is being sued by Christian hip-hop stars including Flame, who claim her hit Dark Horse ripped off their track Joyful Noise. They accused Perry of using the 2008 track – which features Lecrae – without permission, tarnishing its “devoutly religious message” with images of “witchcraft” and “black magic.” It comes from Flame’s Grammy-nominated album Our World: Redeemed.  Dark Horse topped the US Billboard chart for several weeks in January. The group of rappers – Flame aka Marcus Gray, Lecrae Moore, Emanuel Lambert and Chike Ojukwu – are seeking damages from Perry, guest artist Juicy J, Capitol Records and songwriters Dr Luke and Max Martin for copyright infringement.”   The Dark Horse videoFlame performing Joyful Noise video. Maybe it’s just me   …  but can not hear or see any similarities.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings and getting ready to head over to the City Park for Holden’s fireworks display.  After a day of picnics with family and friends, Holden, like many small towns has a modest fireworks display   …  with folks sitting in family groups on lawn chairs, sipping lemonade or ice tea   …   children wide eyed, while being held by their parents.  There is a profound sense of community, because this is a community.  This is MY home.

Later when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with, I will say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?)  Be and sleep well knowing that for the past 238 years, there have been fellow Americans willing to sacrifice their lives for rights their family, neighbors and friends have/enjoy.  Many HAVE paid with their lives because  … freedom never has been nor will it ever be free.  Be vigilant and aware.  Remember, the first sign of impending tyranny is the selective enforcement of the laws enacted by our elected representatives. Once that happens, we are no longer a nation of laws   …  but a nation of men/women who stand above the law.  If my post offends, I apologize  …   that is not my intent. As always  …

A Warm Brotherly Hug

KarlT  (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri  …  and the Editorial staff!)

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June 27, 2014

Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of June 27, 2014.   The first paragraph of the Ramblings are always   …  issues I am thinking about.  Seems I have been focused on how to deal with two drugs, (I have been using and at times abusing for YEARS!!!):  tobacco and alcohol.  I have quit smoking.  I am done.  Now 488 days, 26,374 ciggybutts not smoked and $4,285.00 saved.  Alcohol is my drug of choice, a self medicating sleep aid.  For me, a shot of Bourbon, (I used to prefer Leroux Polish Style Black Berry Brandy   …  but started enjoying it TOO MUCH!!)   .. just before bed time  works better than Ambien.  In the latest CDC Study“  …  One in 10 deaths among adults between the ages of 20 and 64 are due to excessive alcohol consumption, the CDC says in a report released Wednesday. That means some 88,000 people die a year as a result of drinking too much. The majority of those are men — about 70%  …  Women are considered “heavy drinkers” if they have eight or more drinks a week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Men can have 14. At 15, you, my friend, are a “heavy drinker” in the eyes of the CDC. That said,  I have a theory:   when you hit puberty, you have access to all of the world’s greatest, most enjoyable vices   …  and you are an absolute fool, if you don’t avail yourself of each one   …  because   …    thereafter, as you age and mature, every 10 years you have to give one up   …  until you get to a point in life where you have none left to enjoy   …  making it easier to check out.  Ever wonder why there are so few 100 year old folks?

And who would have thought our Neanderthal ancestors were vegan??  (BBC NEWS)  —  Oldest human feces show Neanderthals ate vegetables. “Analysis of the oldest reported trace of human feces has added weight to the view that Neanderthals ate vegetables.  Found at a dig in Spain, the ancient excrement showed chemical traces of both meat and plant digestion.  An earlier view of these early humans as purely meat-eating has already been partially discredited by plant remains found in their caves and teeth.”  Added proof they were Vegan?  The petrified yoga mats found in their caves. 

And the “I didn’t know that news!”:   (BBC NEWS)   —  Pablo Escobar’s hippos: A growing problem.  “A herd of hippopotamuses once owned by the late Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar has been taking over the countryside near his former ranch – and no-one quite knows what to do with them  …  How much the hippos like Colombia can be judged from how much sex they are having. In Africa they usually become sexually active between the ages of seven and nine for males, and nine and 11 for females, but Pablo Escobar’s hippos are becoming sexually active as young as three. All the fertile females are reported to be giving birth to a calf every year.”   Hippos have a bizarre mating ritual:   “… the hippo positions himself where his potential mate can see him. Then he sh*ts himself. To be fair, he also p*sses at the same time. Obviously that alone is hardly going to impress the discerning lady hippo (any jackass can sh*t himself), so to prove he’s got the goods, the male will spin his tail like a sh*t-flinging propeller at the same time, spraying about stink and filth which will be, apparently, irresistible to some of the local women folk.”  I have a suspicion; hippos would not make cute family pets.

In the “Karma is a bitch news”:   (BBC NEWS)  —  Snakes and bees ‘flush out’ Boko Haram fighters.  “The Nigerian Army is struggling to flush Boko Haram Islamist fighters out of their forest fastness, but it seems snakes may be doing the job for them. Two suspected Boko Haram gunmen captured by local volunteers in Maiduguri, northeastern Nigeria, said they had fled the Sambisa Forest because of “incessant snake bites”, the Vanguard newspaper reports. One of the suspects, Kolo Mustapha, said bees have also been known to join in the attacks, often leaving their victims fatally injured. Some of his fellow-fighters think there is a supernatural aspect to the attacks, fearing that Boko Haram’s victims are wreaking vengeance on their killers.”   Couldn’t happen to better pilgrims.  Who am I to suggest that “divine intervention” doesn’t happen?     …   and news sharing the mindset in this part of the world?  (UK MAIL-ONLINE)   —  Nigerian singer offers her virginity to Boko Haram in exchange for kidnapped schoolgirls.  “ …  she would sleep with 10 – 12 men a night if she had to  …  Adokiye, 23, made the proposal to Boko Haram members to help free the 276 Nigerian girls which they snatched in April from the largely Christian north-eastern town of Chibok.”  So   …  you can lose your virginity 10 – 12 times per night?  Really?  Makes me wonder if the person offering, has had a “Birds and Bees” discussion with her momma?

It never ceases to amaze me, how much, we as American’s, take for granted:  (BBC NEWS)   —  India’s long, dark and dangerous walk to the toilet. “Less than 50 miles from India’s capital Delhi, in a village called Kurmaali the women walk out to the fields twice a day – at the crack of dawn and the onset of dusk.  The fields are the only toilet most of them have ever known. Only 30 of the 300 homes in the village have their own private facilities, and none have drainage. They walk out together, in groups, for safety. It takes about 15 minutes. Then they separate and space out for a little privacy. Kailash, aged 38, wakes her three daughters up at 04:00 every morning. Each takes a bottle of water, and they set off.”  I have no doubt there are still some folks in our America that have an “Outhouse” rather than indoor plumbing   …  but I seriously doubt there are still folks that have to walk out to the back 40 to relieve themselves.  I wonder?  Are there areas of our America, where it is safe for a man to walk around, and not a woman   …  or are most equally risky for both?

In the science news:  (BBC NEWS)  —  Mobile phones carry owners’ bacterial ‘fingerprint’. “Smartphones reflect the personal microbial world of their owners, say US scientists. More than 80% of the common bacteria that make up our personal bacterial “fingerprints” end up on their screens, a study suggests. Personal possessions, such as phones, might be useful for tracking the spread of bacteria, they report in PeerJ. They reflect our microbiome – the trillions of different micro-organisms that live in and on our bodies  …  A total of 7,000 different types of bacteria were found in 51 samples.”   Of course this study was funded by NSA as part of making our America safer by cataloguing and setting up a database of suspect individuals “microbiomes.

The latest tech news?  (CNN MONEY)  —  Secret message app Wickr moves to Wall Street. “In the post-Snowden world, encryption is cool. Lots of personal messaging apps want to cash in on privacy.  Wickr is one of them. It’s a free app that offers self-destructing, encrypted messages.” WICKR, (Click for a download link),  may be a messaging tool lawyers can use with their clients: “Send and receive text, photos, videos and voice messages that are:

– CONTROLLED – sender decides who sees what, where and for how long – SECURE – military-grade encryption (AES256,ECDH521,RSA4096 TLS), we do not have the keys

- PRIVATE – not shared with strangers, deletes metadata (location, time, identification and edits)

– ANONYMOUS – we require no personal info from you, we collect nothing about you or what you do

- SHREDDED – Secure File Shredder forensically erases unwanted files you deleted from your device 

- COMPLIANT – FIPS 140-2, HIPAA, exceeds NSA Suite B Compliancy (Compliance for Top Secret communication)

– TRUSTED – featured in BusinessWeek, CNET, Economist, Forbes, MacWorld and New York Times

- EASY – takes less than a minute to get started, easier than email

- FREE – save money on texting – CROSS PLATFORM: Message with Android and iDevice users

Wickr was founded in San Francisco, California by a team of security and privacy experts that believe private communications is a universal human right that is extremely important to a free society. Today, that right is almost nonexistent.” 

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, watching CNN.  The Editorial Staff is crashed at my feet.  On the news?  Predator drones patrolling the skies over Baghdad and this Administration has decided to supply weapons, (to the tune of $500 Million dollars), to “Vetted” dissidents in Syria   …   and an American exchange student, in Germany, was trapped in a giant stone vagina sculpture. Go figure.  I wonder how many giant stone vagina sculptures there are in the world?  BTW:  it took 2 hours and 5 rescuers to get him out.  Time to post these Ramblings and settle in for a quiet evening at Timmerman.  Sunday Lunch and a Movie?  Smoked Meat Loaf, Baked Potato and a Garden Salad.  The movie?  “Rio 2 [2014]”.  Later when I say my Thank You’s for the many blessings in my life and Susan to share them with, I will say a prayer for the safe and soon return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?)  Be and sleep well, the best we as a nation have are on watch   …  so you can.  If my post offends   …  I apologize  …  that is not my intent,  As always  …

A Warm Brotherly Hug.

KarlT  (the dumb old country lawyer from Holden, Missouri  …  and the Editorial Staff).

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