Aline Crumb at The Strand and Allison Eighteen!

I am so behind but mainly it's due to many doctor's appointments lately and now the damn flu! However I am heading out to brooklyn to play a gig in about an hour..The show must go on! THOUGH I MAY DIE.

Here are some pics and videos of Aline Crumb when she was here to promote her new book Drawn Together that her and Robert just put out.

The best is Cognac Wellington interviewing her..I am in love with that woman!

Here is the interview that my John did with her and also the Cognac interview..with a few pics thrown in.

Everybody Got Their Fiddle?

It won't be long until we will all get warmed up to start playing the violin as America goes down the tube. I want it to be a beautiful sound. After all, when the greatest country that ever should happen like the Titanic, where the band played on.

Obama wants to tax the rich to the tune of 1.6 trillion dollars over the next ten years. We have a 16 trillion dollar deficit right now that is growing by leaps and bounds. What? You don't believe it? Well, then...start to fiddlin'.

Obama wants to have dictatorial authority for America's debt limit, so he can roll over and fart some night and decide to lift that baby up another notch without having to ask anybody. That means he has no intention of cutting spending now, in the near future, or ever. Don't believe it? Well, then...start to fiddlin'.

Nobody wants to call a Christmas tree a Christmas tree. They want to start calling it a 'holiday' tree. The Democratic Party left God out of the equation. Obama doesn't ever mention God. Hell, Obama never goes to church. (Sorry for the rough language).  Nativity scenes are offensive. Public displays of the Bible are offensive. Public displays of the Ten Commandments are offensive. And, to top it all off, Obama wants Christian businesses to pay for insurance that inludes abortions. Don't believe it? Well, then...start to fiddlin'.

Kim Kardashian is the most searched person/thing on the internet this year. Proof positive that the world is not just GOING to hell in a handbasket...WE'RE ALREADY THERE! WELCOME!!!! Don't believe it? Well, then...start to fiddlin'.

The majority of Americans just voted in a man who wants to raise taxes, print mo' money, get a fifty billion dollar stimulus package ready, and not even think about spending cuts until next year....if ever. California just voted themselves a whole new batch of tax increases and yell bloody murder if any of their entitlements are cut. This is a clear sign the collective intelligence of this country is on the same level as a baboon. Don't believe it? Well, then...start to fiddlin'.

Some of my liberal 'friends' think that what a country did (Iceland) to beat their recession is what OUR country should do. Let's see, they think a population of 319,000 people (Iceland) and a population of more than 315 million people (U.S.) stacks up about the same. They think that a gross domestic product of fourteen billion dollars (Iceland) and a gross domestic product of just over fifteen TRILLION (U.S.) stacks up about the same. What did Iceland do? They bailed out their people's debt and imprisoned the bankers. Hell, yeah! Let's do'er. And, while we're at it, let's send a spaceship to the moon and get us some of that thar green cheese and feed the frikkin' world. There are a lot lot lot of people out there who think we should follow Iceland's example. And they're absolutely ready for the men in the white coats to take them away to a nice, quiet place with lots and lots of meds. Don't believe it? Well, then...start to fiddlin'.

We live in a time where common sense is not only's almost non-existent. Don't show a rebel offends the blacks. Don't serve offends the muslims. Don't say retard or offends the handicapped and the homosexuals. Don't flush your toilet with your left might offend the turds you just dropped. I feel like Charlton Heston in The Planet of the Apes. That's who's running things now...the monkey brains. I just want to shout, "It's a madhouse! A madhouse!!!"

But, the monkeys don't care. They're in control. They have the majority. Don't believe it? Well, then...start to fiddlin'. Rome is burning. And soon, the flames will come to us all.

A serious new player at Bristol Bay

Deckboss was delighted to receive in his inbox yesterday a forwarded email confirming some talk he's been hearing for quite some time.

The email says Silver Bay Seafoods recently purchased eight acres on the Naknek River to construct a high-volume, state-of-the-art freezing and processing facility.

Now wouldn't that be something?

Bristol Bay's processor ranks certainly aren't what they used to be, and the landscape is littered with old, or dead, salmon canneries.

The email says Silver Bay is "optimistic we can provide Bay fishermen the same benefits enjoyed by our member fishermen in Southeast and Prince William Sound."

The company promotes "fishermen ownership" and "a stable rate of return on member investment," the email says.

It appears the email went to potential fishermen investors. It's signed by Rob Zuanich, Silver Bay's managing partner.

Silver Bay is a fairly new, fast-rising processor with plants in Sitka, Craig and Valdez.

Big money for the biggest of salmon

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says his fiscal 2014 budget proposal will include $10 million to kick off a five-year, $30 million research initiative on Chinook salmon, returns of which have been poor in recent years. More details here.

The Most Precious Word I Ever Heard

For all my Christian with it and take what I'm writing in 'context'. Thank you.

I've been thinking a lot about my daughter that passed away in 1999. She's been on my mind lately and I kind of hope it means that maybe I'll get to see her soon. Ever since my heart surgery I've been living on borrowed time, anyway...and even though each day here is a blessing, it isn't the greatest one.

I've been remembering the day I saw her in the hospital. I wasn't allowed to be in the operating room when she was born, but saw her an hour later. It was one of the most ghastly sights I've ever seen. Her little body was wracked and twisted from Spina Bifida. A large hole was in her tiny back, exposing the spine and internal organs. Her head was twice the size of her body due to hydrocephelus. She had club feet and her legs were dislocated at the hip. It's a picture in my mind that I can't get rid of, and I saw this in 1982.

The doctor told me that she would be paralyzed for life. She told me that my daughter would always be in a vegetative state and that she would never be able to see anything. I was told, basically, that my baby would never know me...never love me...never know she was loved...wouldn't be there to run into my arms and greet me when I came home from work...nothing that normal parents get to enjoy. Nothing.

After a two and a half month stay in the hospital, they told us they were letting her come home with us to die. They said she wouldn't live another month. Her brain was being rended by seizures, sometimes as many as two dozen a day. Her respiration would cease and she would turn blue and her heart rate would fall to ten beats a minute. We thought she would die every time. Can you understand what it would be like to think your child was going to die at least once an hour during the day. It's nerve wracking and mind numbing and your fingers shake so badly you can't hold a cup of coffee.

Yet, she always came back. And she lived another day. And then another and then another and then another. At seven months she smiled for the first time. A week later, she started to see. We had done nothing, medically, for this to happen.

As if this wasn't enough, I was laid off my job and we had to move close to my parents in a rent free home they had. Lulu, as we called her (real name was Lou Ann), was two years old. I would play a game with her because it made her smile. I would make a buzzing sound and zoom in with my thumb and forefinger and grab her nose. As I grabbed it, I would say, "Got your nose!". And, of course, I would do it again and again until she tired of it. One day, as we were playing this game, I swooped in and grabbed her nose. But, before I could say the phrase, she smiled and said...'Got.'

And, that was her first word. Got. She said a word, and she associated that word with what was happening. It was the first time she exhibited any kind of reasoning skills as well as forming any ability or inclination to speak. It was the most precious word I ever heard.

One day, I truly believe, we shall meet on that beautiful shore. Instead of rolling up to me in a wheelchair to greet me as I come home from work...she will run to greet me, with that beautiful smile on that beautiful face. My dream is that she will embrace me and say only one thing. My dream is that she will hold on to me for dear life...and say 'Got.' What a glorious day...that will be.

I miss her.

State predicts down year for Bristol Bay sockeye

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is forecasting a 2013 sockeye salmon catch of 16.6 million fish.

That would be well below this year's so-so catch of 20.6 million.

I Remember The Time....

I went to interview about a job. The Human Resources dude explained what the company was all about as far as equipment, sales, deliveries, work load and hours. He went on to tell me what position I was being considered for. He told me that I would be expected to work long hours, different shifts and at times I might be expected to take on responsibilities that didn't necessarily fit the job description I was being hired for. At that time, he stood up and took a .45 Smith & Wesson out of the desk drawer and pressed the muzzle against my forehead...right between the eyes.

"You want the job or not?" He asked.

This was an unusual thing to happen in an interview. I had never experienced this before. Several things went through my mind. First, was he bluffing? If I said 'no', was he going to pull the trigger? If I said 'yes', then that would mean committing myself to a job where several small tidbits of information had not yet been supplied to me.

For example, the gentleman with the wicked grin and the gun to my head had yet to tell me how much I would be paid for my services. It seemed somewhat unfair to me that I would be expected to go to work and not have a clue about my wage. He also had not given me any details about medical benefits, savings plans, retirement options or promotional opportunities should I decide to come on board.

As I sat there, sweating profusely as the gun barrel pressed deeper into my forehead, the Human Resources dude cocked the hammer back.

"You got ten seconds to decide, sucker," he whispered in a snake like voice.

Well, at least now I knew the time limit. Ten seconds wasn't really that long, but I felt it was time enough to make a life and death decision. The question for me was twofold. If I take the job, I get to live and go to work without knowing how much I would be making and whether any benefits came with the job. If I turn the man down and say 'Thanks but no thanks', I get to see what it feels like to have a large, lead slug tear through my skin, skull and brain. Certainly, the sensation would only last a split second, but at least I would know. So, I took the full ten seconds to decide. After all, one can't be too hasty when making a choice like this.

"Time's up," the man said, getting ready to pull the trigger.

"I'll take it!" I blurted, wincing with eyelids tightly shut, wondering if I had answered in time.

"Congratulations!" The man beamed, tucking the pistol in his belt and holding out a hand for me to shake. "Welcome to our team!"

Now, as you all know, the above is purely fiction. But to hear the Wal-Mart workers talk, along with others that are demanding higher wages, better benefits, less hours, longer breaks, fewer responsibilities, et would think that the above was exactly what happened to them. They take responsibility for nothing. NOTHING. According to them, it isn't their fault they work for Wal-Mart. Life has thrown them a curve and it is a company's chore to see to it they hit a home run. Not just a base hit, but a freakin' home run.

When I got married in 1978, I was driving a dump truck for Precinct 3 in Hardin County for $4.00 an hour. They told me how much I would be making. They told me there were no benefits. They told me that I would be required to empty a fully loaded dump truck of asphalt, into potholes, for eight hours, with a shovel. When I got back to the County Barn, they expected the dump truck to be empty. I knew going in how much I was going to make, and I never squawked. What I did was got another job as a test technician at an oil field manufacturing facility making $6.00 per hour. I thought I was in the money. I worked 12 to 16 hours a day, six to seven days a week for six months and learned all I could about the equipment I was testing. I then was promoted to Quality Inspector over the same test department, making $7.50 an hour. A year and a half later I was promoted to Supervisor over the test department. Not one piece of equipment left that plant without my signature. Through the years, I learned as much as I could...both through the bad times and the good...and gradually made more money and more money and more money. You see, the difference between me and these Wal-Mart cretins and Union members elsewhere is that I never looked at driving a dump truck as my lifelong career. If anyone, and I mean ANYONE looks at working for Wal-Mart as the way to success and financial independence, I laugh at the absolute stupidity.

Not once have I held a picket sign in my hand. Not once have I been a member of a union and I am SO proud of that fact it makes me giddy to think about it. I haven't needed nor wanted a whole bunch of other people deciding where I went in my career or how I got there or speaking for me about how much I was going to make. I kind of like standing on my OWN two feet and being an independent, self reliant man. Have I made millions? No, I haven't. But I'm proud of my accomplishments because they're MINE. There isn't another soul on this planet that can lay any claim to what I've done. Only God can take credit for me because he's the one that has given me breath and strength to persevere.

If you want to make money, then quit your bitching and do something about it yourself. Being an individual isn't so bad. In fact, it improves your self esteem since nobody else is holding you up. And, don't sell yourself short, which is what a lot of people are doing these days. You don't need the government or a union to help you succeed. What you need is motivation, drive, determination and patience. But, if you just say, "Duh..I'm a stocker at Wul-Marts," and that's what you think you're always going to be, then get set to make $6 bucks an hour for the rest of your life. Just don't blame me, fella. It's your fault, and not mine.

Scenes from around the city pre-Thanksgiving.

Damn, I have not posted any of my bullshit for over a week now! I must be getting old. It's all facebook memes and LOL cats from here on out people. I have so many photos on my desktop..and video too from Aline Crumb at the Strand which was fun..just been busy with all kinds of stuff. This coming year everything changes for job as I lost two of albums and projects and stuff coming out  fairly soon which is exciting. Some Crumb artwork arrived today for John and Jerry Zolten and Crumbs Chimpin' the Blues Cd and Lp' looks great!

Change is good and much needed at this point. Cannot even being to get into the bizarre shit, psychotic friends and many crazy nights that 2012 had for me..many more ahead but I am being VERY picky about who I let into my life since I got back from Europe. Got some much needed time to think and some good advice and well..all I can say is I am looking forward to 2013. Unless we die next month but hey..I had a good run!

Here are some random pics of just..stuff going on around the city. Been enjoying the non freezing weather this week. I have a feeling winter may not be a calm one..

Actors wanted..for Christ! My cat is getting dumber by the minute..guy on "Avenue Sea" as he calls it selling photos of the block when it was underwater. Telescope set up on east 3rd again to see the craters of the moon..and someone found a lost doggy! And The Ten Commandments are now posted all over Avenue A. JUST SO YOU KNOW!

 More to come soon..I have a lot to catch up on..AFTER I watch the shit out of some cats jammin' on some casio keyboards. I GOT MAD TWINKIES FOLKS! FIRST ONE FREE!

PETA People Need to Get A Life...Far Away From Me

PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, should NEVER be given ANY press time...EVER. This bunch of yahoos is made up of insane radicals, over the top liberals, idiotic mindless minions of hell, and a few terroristic types who equate the lives of animals with the lives of humans, giving animals all the human qualities that the rest of the normal world knows all too well is a bunch of dithering and ignorant hogwash.

PETA has had its fifteen minutes...Media Hounds!!!! Stop giving them air time. All  you do when they get their stories out is continue to legitimize them and there is no way these cretins should ever be legitimized...maybe lobotomized...but never legitimized.  I had a vegan tell me one day that as a meat eater I should be killed. And you honestly want to propogate this kind of thinking???? Stop giving them air time. Stop giving them publicity. Ignore them...forever.

It seems that PETA has sent a message to Obama to NOT pardon the traditional White House Thanksgiving turkeys as has been done since the Abraham Lincoln days. Ingrid NewQuirk (actually Newkirk, but the one I assigned fits this idiot better) says the turkey pardon has got to go. She says...

"It makes light of the mass slaughter of some 46 million gentle, intelligent birds and portrays the United States' president as being in some sort of business partnership with the turkey-killing industry," NewQuirk wrote in a letter sent to President Obama today. "Turkeys do not need to be 'pardoned'-they are not guilty of anything other than being born into a world of prejudice. They are innocents who should be respected for who they are: good mothers, smart birds, and interesting animals."

Okay. Notice the insanity here. They have been born into a world of prejudice. They are innocents. They should get respect. They are good mothers. They are smart. They are interesting. But wait! It gets crazier. She says further...

"You understand so well that African-Americans, women, and members of the LGBT community have been poorly served throughout history, and now I am asking you to consider other living beings who are ridiculed, belittled, and treated as if their sentience, feelings, and very natures count for nothing," NewQuirk wrote in the letter.

Are we still talking about turkeys and now equating them with minority human beings??? Yes...she is.

When tasked about the comparison, PETA spokesperson Ashley Byrne, an idiot subordinate to the head idiot, said that turkeys feel pain and fear, just like humans. Of course they do said the men in the white suits as they led Ashley away in one of those coats that lets you hug yourself ALLL day long. Before putting her in the padded wagon, she blurted out the following....

"Everyone deserves to be free from suffering, and that includes turkeys," Byrne said.

Yes, everyone. Since her 'everyone' means, well...every living thing.

Last year, PETA took issue with the term 'pardon', asking the White House to say 'spare'. To say they are pardoned means they were guilty of something. They are. They're guilty of tasting great with dressing, gravy and cranberry sauce on the side.

Just as the men in the white coats were closing the door to the padded wagon, Byrne was able to shout out one more thing.

"With more Americans than ever cutting meat out of their diets, we hope that the president could see this as a way to get with the times," Byrne said.

Obviously, Ashley hasn't been to the South very much. We're a bunch of meat raisin', meat killing, meat butcherin', meat smokin', meat cookin' and meat eatenest crowd you ever did see. There hasn't been much of a decline among us carnivores down he'ah.

Let's all hope that Ashley gets the loooonnnngggg rest she so richly deserves. Plus, to all you vegans and PETA nutjobs out there, here's a clue for ya. It's a fact that our teeth were either created or 'evolved' as carnivorous teeth. In other words, we don't have teeth like a cow or a horse or any other vegetarian type animal. We have teeth like a dog, wolf, lion, cat, you name it. Our type of teeth are meant for the ripping, cutting and tearing of meat. Now, if you want to go vegan or vegetarian, go ahead, I'm fine with it. But when you come into my kitchen to take my fried chicken, rib eye steaks, jalapeno sausage and shrimp??? Get ready for a butt full of 12 gauge .00 buckshot. I don't mess around in your kitchen, so stay the hell out of mine.

And, as I have asked of the media I shall now do the same. Never again will I mention the brainless communistic and fascist idiots that are PETA. Have a great Thanksgiving everybody.




EPA fines three fishing companies

Three fishing companies have agreed to pay fines to settle federal pollution violations involving vessels operating off Alaska.

The three companies are Aleutian Spray Fisheries, Ocean Peace and United States Seafoods.

Here's the press release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Pollock pointing up

We could well see an increase in the catch limit for Bering Sea pollock next season.

Pollock is the largest U.S. fishery by volume — the feedstock for making zillions of kid-pleasing fish sticks, not to mention that oh-so-versatile protein paste known as surimi.

For the 2013 season, scientists are recommending an "acceptable biological catch" of 1,375,000 metric tons.

That's a nearly 13 percent increase over the 2012 ABC of 1,220,000 tons.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council will adopt a harvest limit at its Dec. 3-11 meeting in Anchorage.

Passing the gavel

State Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer, will chair the House Special Committee on Fisheries when the Alaska Legislature convenes on Jan. 15.

Seaton takes over for Rep. Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks, who chaired the committee the past two years.

It's a post Seaton has held previously in his legislative career.

Israel Needs to Start Acting Like Who They Are

I am not anti-Palestinian or anti-Arab. Just wanted to get that straight before you read any further. What I am is a student of history and of the Bible and of other religions. I have been a student of these things for the better part of my life and still study something along those lines every day.

I also have my own opinions about life, the world, the past, the present, and the future. My future opinions are based on my firm belief that the Bible is THE word of the only God. His name is many. I AM, Yahweh, Jehovah, The Lion of Judah, Emmanuel and Jesus to name a few. The Bible records the history of the Jews and God's plan for mankind. If you don't believe the Bible in part or in whole, that's fine. I'm not writing this to convince anyone. I'm writing to reveal my opinions and what I believe. Right or wrong, whether you like it or not, and whether you think it's politically correct or not.

When God led the Jews to the Promised Land, it was inhabited by a people known as the Canaanites. We know them today as the Palestinians. Now, Jews weren't chosen to be God's people because they were better than everyone else. They were chosen because that's who God chose. It's as simple as that. To be frank, and from a world view, this was more of a curse to them than a blessing. They were chosen to do three things. One, record God's word. Two, be the lineage whereby the Messiah would come. Three, evangelize the world. They've already nailed one and two. Three is yet to come. But, I digress.

God told the Jews to enter the Promised Land and kill every man, woman and child of the Canaanites. Many people claim by this that God is a genocidal maniac. Even today they claim this. My question is how can anyone look at the Palestinians of our time and say that these are a peaceful, intelligent, rational, sane group of people? They hate the Jews more than they love their own. They would rather see themselves all killed than live in harmony with their cousins. Yet, it is God that's crazy. But, those that believe such a harsh thing of God needn't worry. It's obvious the Jews disobeyed him since we still have this group of people making trouble that affects the whole friggin' planet. But, before God allowed the Jews to go into Palestine, he told them that if they didn't kill all of them, that they would be a thorn in their side forever. Imagine that...God knew what he was talking about. Isn't that what they are?

In 1948, thanks to Hitler and the Nazi attempt to kill all the Jews, Israel came back to Palestine and became a nation in that land once again. God told them he would do this...bring them back...and that when he did they would never be driven out again.

So, here we are...after the 1967 Six Day War, the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and many other skirmishes, engagements, infiltrations, invasions and sniping and rocket firing...once again massing to go in and waylay the Palestinians. Why don't they go ahead? Why do they sit there with their tanks and their planes and their armed soldiers...doing nothing?

The Palestinians only have one goal. Only one. That goal is to drive the Israelis out of Palestine. As I said, they will die to the last child to see this goal achieved. They are blinded by hate and a blood lust that has no end to its thirst.

The Israelis have a goal that was firmly set after World War II ended. That goal was to survive by being an independent people again in their own land. My main problem with them is they refuse to act like who they are. They refuse to act like God's chosen people who will never be defeated or driven out of their land again. The world hates them already. The Arabs vehemently hate them. America has a president who will not truly defend them. Even a NATO ally, Turkey, has branded Israel a nation of terrorists. They are beset by enemies on all sides. Why do they care if anyone hates them more? God's hand is upon them. His protection is guaranteed, written in granite. Not even the United States and all their technological marvels in military hardware could defeat Israel. If every nation on earth came down upon they will at the Valley of Megiddo...they cannot be defeated. If God Himself has to come down from the clouds to wipe away those who would destroy them...he would and he will.

They need to start acting like who they are. They should delay no longer and march into Gaza to rid the area of rockets, launchers, tunnels and militants. They should go house to house, building to building, street to street, hut to hut and they should do so boldly. God watches over all they do. And by his hand they can, and will prevail. With or without the world's help. Who needs it, when you have the one who created it at your back?


Arguably the best holiday in the United States. It's a time for family, food, football, fun thanks for some. There are so few people in the U.S. now who look at Christian religious holidays as 'Christian'. Christmas is for presents. Easter is for egg hunts. Thanksgiving is for eating. That's what it is for most people. Now, Easter is something a little different. I have known several families that never darken a door to a church except on Easter. The parents and the little kiddies show up dressed in their finery and sit on the pew as if they have always been there; never to be seen again until next Easter. After church, they go back home and pig out.

The traditional version of Thanksgiving and how it got started here in America is up for heated debate. It is believed the first religious service for Thanksgiving in the Americas was performed by Spanish explorers in Texas at San Elizario, 1598. Others believe it was on September 8, 1565 in San Augustine, Florida. In 1619, a day for Thanksgiving services was put in the founding charter of Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia. It is believed by historians that should know, the true origin was the New England Calvinist Thanksgiving. It was never a part of a sabbath day. I say...who cares who started it first?

For those who don't believe in God or have no time for God or who hate / dislike God, it is a day for not working and hanging out doing whatever it is they do. I hope they have fun. I hope they do whatever makes them happy. For those who do believe in God and have time for him and who love him or even just like him,  I hope for you it is a day of reflection, prayer, repentance, and of course, thanks.

We live in the greatest country the world has ever known. How long it will remain that way is anybody's guess. Some, erroneously, believe it will always be the way it is...never to change and never to go down in flames. I find that strange as every great nation throughout history has fallen at one time or another. Few have ever risen again to the glory they once knew...if ever. In fact, I can't think of one.

So, let us be thankful for the the life we have had and the life we will have. Rough times are in store for some before the next Thanksgiving comes around. Some will not see another one. For others, they will have a good year and the good fortune to see the next Thanksgiving. Maybe they will be more thoughtful. Maybe they will be more cynical. Perhaps they will truly reflect on where they have been, and where they are going and that they might just need a little providential help in getting there. Now, that would be progress by any measure.

Happy Thanksgiving.

More on that beached barge

According to the state's latest situation report, vessels are transiting to the Cold Bay area to offload the refrigerated shipping containers on a barge that ran aground Tuesday.

Offloading is scheduled to begin the middle of next week.

Deckboss has seen the cargo manifest, which confirms that Trident Seafoods was the shipper of nearly 1.5 million pounds of frozen seafood goods inside the containers.

The manifest lists mostly pollock surimi, but also cod, sablefish, halibut and other fish, plus octopus, fish meal and fish oil. Some other byproducts also are listed, such as cod heads and stomachs.

Seattle-based Northland Services was operating the grounded tug and barge.

If You Believe the Bible...Don't Worry About Israel

The Palestinian hatred for the Jews is so intense they can't see the forest for the trees. Actually, I feel sorry for them. I also feel sorry for any other country, State, sect, ethnic group or individual who have the same mind set that the Palestinians do. Here's why.....

God told the the Bible...that when he brought them back into the Promised Land ( which happened in 1948), that they would never be dispelled from it (as happened in 70 A.D. when Titus of Rome decimated the country and rid it of Jews) again. The Palestinians tried to dislodge them in 1948, along with help from other Arabs, and failed. The Arabs tried again in 1967, and it only took six days for the Jews to pummel them all into the dirt, taking the Sinai Peninsula, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights in the process. The Arabs tried again in 1973 and the Jews won again. I think it was around 1982 when the Jews and the Syrians had a massive dogfight. The Syrians lost 80+ Russian Migs and the Jews lost an American made A4 Phantom to ground fire. That's right, 80+ to 1. Saddam Hussein was building some bad stuff a little later and the Jews flew over and bombed his bad stuff to oblivion. They didn't lose a plane. Several Jews were kidnapped by terrorists and flown to Uganda where the dictator Idi Amin gave the terrorists refuge. A bunch of Israeli commandos flew over there and rescued them, killing all the terrorists, more than 20 Ugandan soldiers, and lost one man. Do you see a pattern here? Those that hate the Jews sure don't. I guess they view it as a terrible string of bad luck that's gotta change some day. Eh?

Hate is a terrible thing. It consumes you, possesses you and twists your mind to such a blind rage that nothing else matters but the destruction of the object of your hatred. It doesn't matter that your people live in poverty. It doesn't matter that your people die in greater numbers than those you hate. It doesn't matter that your infrastructure is of such a nature that the poorest peasants in other countries have better living conditions. No, all that matters is the death and destruction of what you hate.

The Palestinians are considered half breeds by the Arab world. The are cousins to the Jews, and have hated each other for millenia. The Arabs don't want them, and they, in turn, don't want to live in harmony with their relatives. They are a thorn in the side of every Arab country. If only the Jews were gone, then the Palestinians could have the land back and stop their incessant whining to their Arab cousins. So, in their mind, the best option is the total annihilation of the least from Palestine.

I have bad news for them. It ain't gonna happen. The Jews are a miracle. In no other case of recorded history has a people been totally dispersed from their country and spread to the four corners of the world, living among other cultures, other religions, other languages and NOT been assimilated into that least not a people who had been dispersed for 2000 years. The Jews kept their language intact, their culture intact, their religion intact and their national identity intact; even while learning the language of those they lived with, prospered among them, and even fought beside them when called on to do so. No others have been able to accomplish this, and there are others that lived, prospered, were conquered and disappeared among their conquerors.

One Adolph Hitler did his best to eradicate the Jews and instead opened the door for their return to Israel. God surely raised up the power of the United States to be their protector on Earth, for our country is the only TRUE ally they have. America's advanced technology over all other nations has supplied Israel with the best planes, the best tanks, the best missiles, the best ships, the best radar and yes, possibly even the best nuclear weapons...they just don't crow about it. What do the Palestinians have? They have AK-47's, RPG's, suicide bombers, unguided rockets, some anti-tank missiles and....hate. Who's side do YOU think God is on?

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Palestinians are ignorant in the way they approach Israel. The one thing they need more than money, more than weapons, more than resolve, and especially more than hate is....patience. Think what would happen if the Palestinian leadership offered Israel an olive branch of peace. Signed a peace treaty. Declared Israel's right to exist. They wouldn't have to mean any of it. But, by laying down their weapons and acquiescing to the West's demands, money would flow to them in unprecedented amounts. For the next twenty years they could rebuild, enhance their economy, be admitted to the UN, become prosperous the Nazis did after WWI, quietly build up their offensive military capability. They would have the money and the wherewithal to build and build and build until they had the actual power to take Israel on and, at least on paper, have an odds on chance of winning. But, it will never happen. Their hatred blinds them with a blood lust that cannot be put on hold. Like a child having a temper tantrum, they want their candy now, now, now and will not stop screaming...regardless of the cost or consequences...until they get it. Well, they've been screaming since 1948 and they still don't have their candy. They have tried to get it by way of the gun, the bomb and the blood of their own and any who might stand in their way. The oft quoted definition of 'insanity' truly applies with the Palestinians.

So, don't worry about Israel. Even though the whole world comes against them...which one day it will...God's word will not fall nor fail. Therefore, neither shall Israel.

High Tea at Fortnum and Mason

High tea at Fortnum and Mason was such a fun experience. It was possibly one of the classiest meals that I have had in my life.

The lobster omelette that they served was amazing, and so were all the scones and cookies. The tea was definitely the best tea that I've had in England. I would highly suggest going to high tea while in London!

Here's a video with some information on how to have proper etiquette at Tea.

Hostess Tells Union to Bug Out

20,000 people will soon be out of work because....

1. The Unions in this country think they can hold business owners hostage and call their bluff. In most cases this is true, but not in this one. Workers were told to be at work yesterday or Hostess was closing their doors. They didn't show, and the doors shut. You see, 'rich' folk can take their money and run, leaving the 'unrich' folk left holding the empty paycheck bag. The more socialist minded in this country think that's a bad thing. The more capitalist minded in this country think extortion is a bad thing. That's really what unions have become over the last thirty to forty years...organized extortion. Yes, ALL unions.

2. The union representing the Hostess workers failed to recognize during their negotiations that Hostess management was more than willing to oust the union than to continue doing business. I would really like to hear from someone who accepted a job offer without being told how much they would be paid, what kind of benefits they would receive, what position they would be assuming, and how many hours they would be expected to work. It always chaps my ass when someone takes a job at a company I work at and two weeks later starts bitching about the pay. You see, I don't know of that happening anywhere in the country where a legitimate business, like Hostess, is concerned. During negotiations, if union representatives REALLY have the best interests of their members at heart, they should be able to realize when they have squeezed as much blood out of the turnip as they are going to get and end the strike. But, union bosses don't care about their members. What they care about is the same thing that insurance companies care about. Insurance companies don't believe in paying out claims. They only believe in receiving premiums. Union bosses don't care about whether their people have a job, they only care about collecting dues. They never believed for one nanosecond that Hostess would close down. It goes against capitalist logic. I applaud them with all my soul for having the guts to do it. So, while the Fat Cat union muckety-mucks sit up in their ivory towers looking down on their ignorant peasants, the peasants are shown the door by the evil old capitalist businessmen.

No matter how you slice it, 20,000 people are out of work because they refused an order from their employer to return to their jobs at a specified time. They were free not to. The company was free to close down. What will now happen is that the company will reorganize, move to another location with their assets, open up under a different name, tweak their recipes just enough so they can't be sued, and keep on making money with non-union workers who will be more than happy to have a job. The 20,000 that are out of work will look toward Washington with their hands out. And, Washington will be glad. They just picked up 20,000 more votes.

The rest of us will just have to live without Twinkies for a while.

Gather Round and Let Me Inform You of.....

A couple of facts.

Fact One: A movie came out a while back that I thought was very well done. Even though I don't care much for Cher, the movie was Moonstruck, and I think she did a great job. Olympia Dukakis was also very good in that movie, and in my opinion had the greatest line. Her husband, Cosmo, came in late from being out with his mistress. Dukakis (as Rose, Cosmo's wife) was waiting for him in the living room and with no expression on her face she said, "Cosmo, I just want you to know no matter what you do, you're gonna die, just like everybody else." In other words, we can do whatever we wish to do in order to regain some form of lost youth, but it's all vanity. We're all gonna die...just like everybody else. According to the Bible, there have only been two men who haven't died. That's a pretty exclusive club and I think our chances of getting in are quite slim. So, stop living like you always have a tomorrow. Carpe diem, and live like it's your last. Live with decency, honor, integrity, kindness and most of all....compassion. It might just make the difference in somebody's life. Not to mention your own.

Fact Two: Opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got one. Differing opinions should not make enemies. During the course of the last election many things were said, written, painted, and sign languaged (you know what I mean) by the factions of both parties. For several days after the election...up to even now...sour grapes and angst and joy and elation have been the recipe for some. It's now time to sit back and return to our normal, lovely, and dispassionate selves. We all should take the step I am about to take. Here it is. If I said anything up to November 14, 2012 that offended, saddened, hurt, disquieted, infuriated, or turned you into a demon beast of hatred from the hottest and most fiery pit of hell....I apologize. I have come to the realization that those on the 'other' side of the fence did not vote solely to ruin my life and stick a hot poker of despair up me arse. They voted their conscience, their beliefs, and their values. As did I. Those on the liberal side of things who are my my mind...are still my friends. I can only hope and pray they feel the same way. I sincerely and unequivocally apologize if I offended any of you.

That's all.

Good salvage plan needed

A tug and barge have run aground on Ukolnoi Island, east of Cold Bay. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued the crew. The barge is laden with 90 refrigerated containers, 60 of which are empty with the other 30 holding nearly 1.5 million pounds of frozen seafood product. Deckboss hears unofficially that the product belongs to Trident Seafoods. The tug and barge were transiting from Sand Point to Dutch Harbor when they grounded at 9 p.m. Tuesday. Salvage plans are in the works. USCG photo

Nonresidents to pay a bit more to fish in Alaska

The state is bumping up the surcharge nonresidents must pay for commercial fishing permits.

The new surcharge will be $190, an increase of $50 from the current amount.

The increase will take effect for the 2013 fishing season.

The Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, the state agency that issues permits, adjusts the nonresident surcharge every three years according to a court-approved formula.

The surcharge applies only to the first permit a nonresident obtains or renews each year. So, if he or she pays the annual base fee for permits in multiple fisheries, the surcharge is paid only once.

The surcharge is meant to help defray the cost of fisheries management.

The Public Transportation Ordeal

 This story has to do with the day Rachel and I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour, but seeing as it took us 2 full hours to get there, taking all modes of public transportation (save for the ferry) to get there, I feel it deserves it's own post.
As earlier stated the studio is in Leavesden, which is ideally about an hour out of central london. We began our journey immediately after Speech class by hopping on the Central line to Oxford circus, then switching to the Bakerloo to Baker street, and then getting on the Metropolitan line all the way to Moor Park- which we were so sure was the right station to alight at for the studio.
After asking for help at the local post office (the station had been basically deserted) and coming to no conclusion, we went into a cafe next door to ask if they knew how to get there. Turns out, one of them lived in Leavesden and was thankfully able to give us directions. We then got back on the Metropolitan line to Watford where we had to call a cab to take us to the studio.
Insert HP studio blog entry.
Coming back from the studio, we took the free bus back to Watford Junction and got on a non-stop above ground train to Euston, where we connected with the Northern line back to Tottenham Court Road.
here is a map of the tube system:
and here is a video of the tube:
and here is a photo of Rachel and me:
Ten points from Gryffindor if you can figure out which station this is at.

-Autumn Dudney

Are people born Wicked? Or do they have Wickedness thrust upon them?

Wicked! I never thought I would enjoy a silly musical as much as I did Wicked.
Wicked is based on the Wizard of Oz, but from a different perspective all together. In the musical version, the Wicked Witch of the West (Elphaba) is actually the protagonist, and the Good Witch (Glinda) is her school time friend.

 The production was beautifully done, a huge dragon hovering over the stage, and tall spiral staircases on both sides of the stage added an interesting dept to the set.

The actors were amazing, and I found myself giggling almost the entire performance. I'm so glad I got to experience this iconic musical for the first time in London!

Tori Sheets


Tonight, I went to see Wicked with Rachel, Megan, Chloe, and Tori. I'd already seen it once in New York, but I really love the show and every production is different. I enjoyed the play thoroughly, and I have to admit, everything does sound better in a British accent.
 - Autumn Dudney

Pre-Raphaelites Exhibit

For a limited time, the Tate is featuring the first British art Avant-Garde movement; the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition.
The Pre-Raphaelites formed in the late 1800 as a rebellion art movement against the present day boring art and stiff postures. The Pre-Raph's wanted to restore art to the old conventions used before Raphael redefined how people looked at art. The Pre-Raph's combined vivid colors, odd postures, and complex scenery to create artwork like the world had never seen.
At the Tate, I was fortunate enough to see almost all the most famous paintings by all the big names in the movement. The collection included works by Hunt, Millais, and Rossetti.
A computer screen cannot to justice to the vivid colors and amazing scenery in all the paintings.
My favorite piece was this one entitled "The Scapegoat" by William Hunt. The plaque by the painting said that Hunt actually used a dying goat as his model for this painting. It symbolizes Jesus's forty days of fasting in the wilderness. In person, the goat looked real, and the pain in it's eyes was so real I couldn't stop looking at it.
These are some more of my favorite paintings also featured in the exhibit. Since I obviously wasn't allowed to take pictures in the actual exhibit, here's a picture of me holding the information booklet I received.
And here's a dramatic video on the Pre-Raphaelites!

Tori Sheets

Remember, Remember, the 5th of November; Bonfires, Fire Jugglers, and Fireworks!

This November 5th, a group of us journeyed out to Chelsea and Kensington to view a bonfire in honor of Guy Fawkes Day, remembering the day he almost blew up Parliament. It was a crazy, fun, loud affair, filled with screaming children and adults calling for the effigy of Guy Fawkes to go up in flames on the top of a pyre, formed by panels painted with the 5th of November-esque things. Sounds, exciting, right? Well, it was!

A view of the bonfire before it went up.....

And after. Burn, baby burn!

There were fire jugglers there, too, which was really exciting. I got a video of one performing:
and some pictures of us at the magnificent celebration:

Basically, it was one of the funnest nights we've had, and if you ever get the chance to go to a Guy Fawkes bonfire in England on November 5, you really need to do it. It's awesome.

Rachel Talaber

London Shopping

Over the past few weeks, I've done a lot of shopping throughout London. I've been to Camden Town, Portabello Road, Oxford Circus, and Rachel and I even took a traumatizing trip to Harrods. I've bought the most at Camden Town and Primark though honestly. Shopping here is a bit more aggressive than what I'm used to, though not unpleasant.
here is a picture of Rachel and me in Camden. We bought sweaters that day. I like my sweater.
and here's a video of the street view.
-Autumn Dudney

Our Boys

Last Thursday, Rachel, Tayler and I went to see a production of Our Boys by Jonathan Lewis. It's a play about six young soldiers and their struggles as they recover from injuries incurred in the line of duty. It's a show filled with amusement and the antics of the young soldiers, mixed with the severity and impact of war that they try to forget about. It was an excellent play, that I highly recommend if you have a chance to see it before December 15.
Oh, and did I mention Matthew Lewis and Arthur Darvill are in it?

-Autumn Dudney

Hyde Park

A few days ago I was slightly bored so I decided that since it was nice out I might as well check out Hyde Park since I had not been there yet. It was a great decision. I took my journal with me and just sat down for a while and absorbed the calmness not a typical part of my London life. It's an odd feeling of tranquility found simply in the heart of such a crazy, yet wonderful, city.

I sat down on a bench for a while and some girls about my age came and sat down on the other side. I did not pay them much attention since I was busy writing and listening to music but eventually realized that they were not speaking with a British accent, in fact their accents were American. We started chatting and I found out that they were from a school in N. Carolina and one of them was from Dallas and the other Tennessee. We talked for a bit about our programs and school and it was all around a pretty interesting experience. 

I also thought it was very interesting that people let their dogs just wander off ahead of them in the middle of the park. The dogs socialize with each other and seem to be very nice to other animals and people. I'm not sure if this would happen in the states especially if children were around due to the threat of things such as law suits. But who knows?

A Walk Among Movie Stars.... Or their Clothes, Anyway

I took a trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum a couple days ago, to have a look around. When I got there, I found that there was a Hollywood Costume exhibit being put on, and was instantly intrigued. I bought my self a ticket and was completely enthralled with all the costumes I saw, from so many movies!
Indiana Jones
Star Wars
The Dark Knight Rises
Sweeny Todd
Pirates of the Caribbean
Fight Club
The Matrix
Just to name a few. It was an amazing exhibit! Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed in the exhibit, so some from the internet of those famous costumes will have to do here:

Indiana Jones

The Dark Knight Rises

Even Dorothy's dress, complete with the Ruby Slippers.
And, here's me with my ticket, outside the exhibit:
And a video about the museum:

Rachel Talaber

Because "No One Mourns the Wicked"

Tonight Megan, Tori, Rachel, Autumn and I decided to see Wicked! A few of us had been talking about seeing it for a while now and an hour before we left it was decided that we would just show up an hour early and see if they had tickets...and they did! We got to sit all together too which was surprising as well.
The first time I saw Wicked was about four years ago and I feel like I was able to get more of the hidden humor this time around. The Wizard of Oz sand this song and the words just seemed to make so much sense. Here is a snip it of the lyrics:

[Wizard:] Oh, my dear child...
I never asked for this or planned it in advance
I was merely blown here by the winds of chance
I never saw myself as a Solomon or Socrates
I knew who I was, one of your dime a dozen mediocrities
Then suddenly I’m here, respected, worshiped even
Just because the folks in Oz needed someone to believe in
Does it surprise you I got hooked and all too soon
What can I say? I got carried away

And not just by balloon...
Wonderful, they called me wonderful
So I said, wonderful, if you insist
I will be wonderful and they said wonderful
Believe me it's hard to resist
'Cuz it feels wonderful
They think I’m wonderful
Hey look who's wonderful
This corn-fed hick!
Who said it might be keen
To build a town of green
And a wonderful road of yellow brick!
See, I never had a family of my own since I was always traveling, and I guess I just wanted to give the citizens of Oz everything.
[Elphaba:] So you lied to them?
[Wizard:] Only verbally. Besides, they were the lies they wanted to hear. Elphaba, where I come from we believe all sorts of things that aren't true... We call it history!
A man's called a traitor or liberator
A rich man's a thief or philanthropist
Is one a crusader or ruthless invader
It's all in the label which is able to persist

There are precious few at ease
With moral ambiguities
So we act as though they don't exist...
They call me wonderful, so I am
In fact, it's so much who I am it's part of my name!
And with my help you can be the same... 

The first time I listened to this song I just did not get the meaning of the song. But something about this song just clicked this time around and it is probably one of my favorites from the show.
Seeing Wicked in the UK was also an interesting experience. Elphaba spoke with an American accent but Glinda did not but she was still as wonderful and glamorous as ever! I am very glad we went and saw it here in London because it is probably my favorite musical. I got the same feeling when Glinda and Elphaba sang Defying Gravity and they did a beautiful job during that song. I am posting that song below because even though I really like the above song, Defying Gravity will always be the best song in the musical.