The Ugly American: April 2005 Locations of visitors to this page
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The Ugly American
Friday, April 22, 2005
  A good place to work!
I work for a pretty good company. Much of the time, I work independently. I travel around the country, do my thing and then head back to the office here in Virginia Beach.

Last week, while I was out of town on the left coast, I received an e-mail from the office manager about some fire alarm testing that would be conducted in the building the following day. We get these emails occasionally and this one was no different than any other e-mail. What was different was my response to said e-mail.

For some reason (tequilla), I decided that this email needed a response and my response was to send a scathing e-mail company wide about smoking outside the building in the rain. It had absolutely nothing to do with anything other than tequilla and late night and me being in a mood. One of the addressees on the e-mail I responded to was everyone in the VB office. Everyone means the president, the VP all the bosses and everyone else that works here. After that, I crawled into my hotel room bed and fell quickly and quietly to sleep.

I woke early the next morning like I always do and proceeded to check my e-mail. I open up my webmail and there are about a dozen responses to my tirade. Some pro, but most of them telling me I was wrong, that I shouldn't be smoking, you name it, I got it in a response.

The kicker was when I walked into the office this week and saw how my "friends" had redecorated my desk.

I have been sent to the dog house, who knows for how long. I just wonder how this might have been handled at some of the other places I've worked since I retired from the USN. Probably not nearly as "nice" as it has been here. Remember, VA is a right to work state!

Please, don't send me any dog biscuits!
Thursday, April 21, 2005
  Apparently, I speak regular American?
Another test. I like this one. I think they could have narrowed it down a little more. I never saw a question asking me about you'se or you'se guys.

Lemme know what you get!

Your Linguistic Profile:

60% General American English

20% Yankee

15% Dixie

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?
  My mom's got a hemi!
That's right, my mom's got a hemi! Last weekend my mom fell and broke her hip. The operation that was performed on her is called a Hip hemiarthroplasty, they call it a hemi for short. She's up and moving now, not ready for an ass kicking contest, but moving just the same. They moved her to a rehab center day before yesterday. Don't think she'll be there very long.

Can't wait till the next time I see her and I get to ask as she's walking away from me, "Hey lady, got a hemi in that thing?!"
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
  Back in the OR
I'm back in Astoria, OR this week and the sun came out for a little while yesterday so I went out and took some more pictures. These pictures were taken at Fort Stephens State Park.

An awesomely beautiful place that was actually attacked by the Japanese in 1942. According to a plaque I saw at Russel Battery On June 29, 1942 a Japanese submarine fired on the battery. This makes yesterday a good day. Any day I learn something new is a very good day.

Just riding around the park caused me to pull over a few times and take pictures.
The last 2 pictures were taken at the mouth of the Columbia River where it meets the Pacific Ocean. According to the Coast Guard folks I've been working with, these pictures show a mild day here.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
  An Idea worth my time and yours!
I was reading the commentary section of my local paper this morning and came upon an opinion piece written by George Will. Mr. Will pointed out a new program that really peaked my interest. It's called the 65% plan and it makes just way to much sense!

There's a group called First Class Education that wants states to force local school districts to use at least 65% of it's funding directly in the classroom. How can this NOT be a good idea.

On their FAQ page I found this:

How much more money in the classroom will this mean?

If all 50 states and the District of Columbia had spent 65% in the classroom during the 2001-2002 school year, an additional $14 BILLION would have been available for teachers and kids.
That's enough to buy every K-12 student in America a Dell desktop computer or hire 325,000 more teachers at $40,000 a year. Most states would add hundreds of millions of dollars each year to the classroom. All without a tax increase!

So, who gets hurt if we take OUR money and shift it around in the school districts. Mostly administrators, who've been voting themselves pay raises for too long anyway. It would surely piss off the NEA and if that's the case it MUST be a good thing!

Another question and answer from the FAQ page:

What's the national average being spent in the classroom?

According to the June 2004 report of the National Center for Educational Statistics, the national average being spent in the classroom is 61.5%, down from 61.7% in its previous report. Four states achieve 65% or better, down from seven. We're clearly heading in the wrong direction, which is why the 1st Class Education proposal is vital.

I'm waiting to hear from the NEA lovers why this is a bad idea. I'm personally going to print up some petitions and get some signatures and some help. Virginia Beach can use this program for sure!
Saturday, April 09, 2005
  A remote I could REALLY use!
I was surfing around this morning looking for something interesting that might have happened in the world lately and I came across this; a story in the Science section of about Yale University creating remote controlled fruitflies by pointing lasers at their brains. Why? Who comes up with these ideas and where do they get their drugs?! Shouldn't PETA be raising hell about this?

It could come in handy though. Bug season is here again. Can you imagine the havoc you could wreak with remote controlled bugs? My dogs chase flies. They also chase the light from a laser pointer. Laser guided flies? I could have a blast with my dogs! Think I'll go check the "As Seen On TV" store, maybe they have one in stock.
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
  A couple of observations
While I was at the post office yesterday I made a couple of observations.

The first observation I made I shared with a couple of people in line with me at the time. There was a sign on the counter that listed methods of payment at the post office. They showed three different methods, check, debit card or credit card. I made a passing mention to the lady in front of me in line, “look at that, the post office doesn’t take cash!”
She looked at me and said, “Really?” I informed her that I wasn’t sure, but I thought they might take cash. You couldn’t tell it from the sign. It is my understanding that the post office prefers anything but cash.

The second observation I made was when I heard an older gentleman ask one of the postal workers if they could get his keys from the mail slot. Apparently, he had dropped his keys down the slot along with the letter he was posting. I learned at an early age that you MUST be careful with the stuff you don’t wanna lose. It became even more evident while underway in the middle of the ocean on a navy destroyer.

I watched too many guys waiving keys or radios or whatever else around in the air, only to see them fly, in slow motion it seemed, over the side. The really cool thing about the middle of the ocean on a nice sunny day is you can watch things sink into the deep blue for quite a long time! Of course, it’s only really cool if it’s not your stuff doing the sinking.

Anyway, when I heard this guy explaining himself to the postal worker, I started to think, where would be the worst place you might be holding something like your keys when they inadvertently slipped out of your hands.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the one place you would never want to be holding your keys while you were busy doing something else would be a nice (or maybe not so nice) public restroom. Now ladies, you have to try to comprehend this one. I understand that it might be tough, beings that you don’t stand to pee. Can you imagine, dropping your keys in a urinal, or worse, a full blown toilet, only to discover that you left that armpit length rubber glove back home in your own bathroom from the last time you dropped your keys. You can’t flush, the keys will go bye-bye! You’re left glaring at your keys through that nice yellow haze that you just put there.

What would you do? I have pictures in my mind of someone looking around to make sure no one was watching and then slowly putting his arm in and retrieving the keys. There’s also the picture of someone moving to fast and splashing that golden liquid all over himself and the rest of the stall. Personally, I think I’d go find a stick or a coat hanger or ANYTHING other than my hand. With my luck, when I left to go find said instrument someone else would show up. Someone that ate bad Taco Hell the day before! And guess which stall he picked?

Now that I’ve completely screwed up your appetite for whatever meal of the day it is while you’re reading this, remember; keep your stuff in your pocket!
Sunday, April 03, 2005
I was supposed to play golf this morning. My friends and I had a 7:30AM tee time. I woke up early like I usually do, 20 years in the military has a tendency to ingrain that morning clock into your soul. Looked at my watch, it was 6:30, good deal I thought, plenty of time.

I jumped in the shower. After I finished up in the bathroom I started to get dressed. I was filling my pockets with the assortment of BS I carry around with me when I grabbed my cell phone. This little miracle of modern science showed me the truth this morning. I looked at it, just to make sure there were none of those phantom voice mails that show up, you know the ones, your phone never rings and somebody ends up getting sent right to voice mail and the next time you talk to them they ask, "why didn't you answer your phone?" Anyway, when I looked at the phone, it said it was ALREADY 7:30! That's when DST smacked me in the head with the board!

This is just one more reason that I liked living in AZ. No Daylight Saving Time! Who thought up this stupid shit anyway? Where is my saved daylight? The day doesn't get any longer, it's still only 24 hours and no matter what the powers that be try to do, the earth will not revolve around the sun any faster than it did before we changed the clocks. It should be called LST for Lose Sleep TIme! I just wonder if normal people ever thought this was a good idea. Let's think about this, wouldn't it be easier to just set your alarm an hour earlier instead of inconviencing an entire continent or the world for that matter? Isn't this a good place to use that old saying "rob Peter to pay Paul"? That's all we're doing, robbing an hour from one part of the day to move it to another part of the day. One of the Dumbest freaking ideas ever thought up.

Yeah that's right, I missed my tee time and boy am I pissed! Shut up and make me some coffee!
Friday, April 01, 2005
  The MSM does it again!
I turned on the TV today sometime around 2PM. I was flipping the channels and I got to channel 8 (CNN) and I saw scrolled across the bottom of the screen, "Pope John Paul II is dead". Being the non-liberal that I am (I can never take CNN at their word) I decided that this required further investigation. I flipped to FoxNews, channel 64, scrolled across the bottom of FoxNews I read, "the pope is still alive".

I figured, wait a minute, this requires a little further investigation. I punched in channel 23, MSNBC, scrolled across the bottom, "The pope is alive, his condition is deteriorating fast". Ok I thought, so far, it's a 50/50 shot the pope is still alive. So next, I flip over to channel 25, CNBC, "the pope is alive, his condition is worsening."

Well hell, I'm thinking to myself, is he alive or dead? So, I flip back to channel 8. Now I read across the bottom of the screen, "Vatican denies pope is dead".

Did CNN jump the gun a bit here? You know, it's one thing to report that another earthquake hit and a tsunami is expected, it's a whole different thing to report that a historical figure like the pope is dead! Why is it so important to get the scoop, instead of getting the story straight? When will we get back to the point where the truth is as important as the story?

If you can answer that one, you win the CupieKewpie Doll!

(hat tip to Dave Nalle for the Cupie/Kewpie correction)
  Who burned the Berger?
Sandy Berger, President Bill Clintons’ National Security Advisor is expected to plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. today to charges of removing classified material from a National Archives.

According to the NY Times Mr. Berger will pay a $10,000 fine as part of the agreement. He will also relinquish his security clearance for 3 years. Of course the negotiations for this extremely lenient sentence have been going on for months behind closed doors, in "secret" so to speak. says that old Sandy said it was “an honest mistake”, that he insisted he had removed the classified material inadvertently. Drinking to much tequila and pissing on your buddy’s stereo is an honest mistake, stuffing classified material in your jockey shorts is not! Not returning all the documents you stole in the first place is not an “honest mistake” either. Changing the channel when Oprah is on is inadvertent, stuffing your socks full of classified material is not.

I personally hold a security clearance. I have for well over 20 years. I’d bet the farm that if I tried something like this I’d get locked up for the rest of my freaking life and I wouldn't lose my security clearance for a measly 3 years, I'd lose it for the rest of my natural life or longer! I’d also bet that if I failed to return all the stuff I stole, the government would ransack my house, rip apart my car and strip search me and every person I ever met to find what I stole.

According to the Clintons’, this is all part of the vast right wing conspiracy. They must have hypnotized Mr. Berger and put that evil thought in his mind to go the National Archives and remove documents specific to the Clinton administrations handling of anti-terror efforts which were virtually non-existent before 9/11.

Why do high ranking government officials get special treatment? This is not a republican or democrat issue, this is a national security issue. I could show you plenty of examples where “regular” people got royally screwed by the government for doing less than Samuel Berger did, but for some reason this guy gets away with it!
Not sure if I am THE ugly American, but I must be AN ugly American, because some Canadian told me so!!!

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Location: Virginia Beach, United States

20 year Navy vet, originally from NJ now living in Virginia Beach and yeah, Life Is Good!

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