Friday, February 28, 2014

Spicing things up


I took the advice of Ronni Blanken, an Aussie lover from Florida in the Australian Shepherds Lovers Facebook Group and bought a couple of 16-ounce containers of cayenne pepper from Sam’s Club this afternoon.

I sprinkled a pound of the stuff around the perimeter and in the places where Dora has been digging in the yard, then sent her outside to experience it.

She seemed very interested in it, poked around and licked it, eventually coming back onto the back porch for a big drink of water.

Then I let Jack out and the two of them investigated the new substance thoroughly before retiring to the back porch for an afternoon nap.

Digging seems to have subsided, but only time will tell.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Damn! What next?

crown The headcold that had me so miserable that I spent most of yesterday in bed, fitfully trying to sleep while intermittently sneezing and wiping a perpetually running nose with crappy, useless Sam’s Club bargain tissues, also kept me from getting to the post office  of making coffee yesterday.

Sometime between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., it seemed to abate a little. Still sneezing, but not so much. Nose running, but not so much.

I felt guardedly optimistic.

Then, a few minutes ago, I took my first sip of a cup of hot & sour soup and discovered one of my crowns (#4 on the standard dental diagram) was adrift in my mouth.


I haven’t been to a dentist in a couple of years and, since Maria’s departure from the paper, have no dental coverage, so this won’t be cheap. I called the last dentist’s office that I visited and am booked for 9:20 a.m. Monday, presumably just to re-cement the crown. But we all know it won’t stop there.

Don’t we?

At least I shouldn’t be contagious by then.

The game continues…


Dora tunneled out again late yesterday afternoon.

This time, she dug under the fence on the south end of the yard – the first time for that direction.

Maria opened the garage door and saw her poking around in the neighbor’s yard. Dora came to her immediately, which we hope is a sign that she wanted back in the back yard, but didn’t know how to get there. All three times she’s escaped, she stayed close to home and came when called.

So we closed the hole with a section of tree trunk and lined the adjacent fence sections with big tree branches that littered the yard from the last windstorm.

She was out this morning, surveying her domain and doubtless looking for a new place to dig.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A cold

Fever. Non-stop sneezing. Runny nose.
I feel exactly like crap.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Good news, bad news

I got an email this morning from the home warranty company that covers our Thorntown house against system failures and other such problems, telling me that they have approved my claim for $340.06 worth of furnace repairs, less a $75 deductible.

All they need to complete the process is for me to FAX the paid invoice paperwork – the same paperwork I sent them as a pdf which led to the approval.

Yeah, I know. But if that’s what it takes, I can drive in to town to the FedEx store and FAX the stuff.

In the meantime, my luck has run out when it comes to avoiding the series of colds that have afflicted Maria for weeks. I had the first symptoms of a headcold last night and it was unmistakable by this morning.

The last time I had a cold was January, 2012, and I seem to have cut it short with hemp seed oil and Benadryl. So I’m trying the same remedy this time and hoping for the best.

Grackles are back!

This huge flock of grackles descended upon our neighborhood this morning. The last time I noticed anything like this was Feb. 12, 2012.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The watchers


We continue to fascinate our Aussies.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

We must be very interesting


Ours is a very dog-friendly house insofar as all of the ground floor windows are low enough for a dog to look out. Or in.

The windows in our living room look out onto the screened back porch and the back yard beyond.

Much of the time when we’re watching TV or reading and the dogs are outside, this is what we see.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Good day sunshine


It was sunny and 64 degrees, so I rode the K75S in to town and worked out at St. Bernards Health & Fitness, which consisted of a brisk two-mile stroll on the treadmill.

The FedEx truck brought my computer speaker system this morning and I had everything up and running within 15 minutes.

And dinner was at Qdoba, so I count today as a good day.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Gentleman Jack Flora


Installing a 27” monitor on my hideously cluttered desk this week forced me to sort through the papers piled there.

And that’s how I rediscovered the paperwork we got from Briarbrook Kennels in Carthage, Mo. when we acquired Jack on November 20, 2011.

For various reasons, I never got around to registering him with the American Kennel Club. Chief among the reasons (not counting the paperwork getting lost on my desk) was our inability to settle on an official name for him.

My initial thought was to name him Briarbrook’s Jumpin’ Jack Flash, but Maria pointed out the Satanic vibe to the name and nixed it.

Now, two years later, we’ve had time to observe Jack and appreciate his finer qualities, many of which were brought out by bringing Dora into our home at a puppy last June.

While Jack still can’t be trusted off the leash in the house because of his penchant for stealing clothing items and kitchen counter-surfing, we have been impressed with his loving and nurturing nature when it comes to Dora. He plays with her with infinite patience, gently corrects her when necessary and makes it clear that he is her champion and protector.

As dogs go, Jack has become the consummate gentleman.

So henceforth, his official AKC moniker is Briarbrook’s Gentleman Jack Flora.

Mending fences

fence damage

We had some rain and high winds late yesterday and this is what I found when I surveyed the back yard this morning.

Happily, the fence is not breached, so our dogs are secure, but it will have to be fixed. And the best news is that it missed our roof by about 20 feet.

This is only the second tree limb fence damage we’ve had in the 6½ years we’ve lived here. The first was during the epic ice storm of January, 2009.

Considering how many trees we have, I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often. Now I’m off to call the fence repair guys.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Happy 20th birthday, K75S

k75s left side72

This month marks the 20th birthday of our beautiful, one-of-a-kind 1994 BMW K75S.

According to information stamped onto the frame, this bike was born sometime in February, 1994.

k75 birthday01I have no idea what the original color was. That year’s K75 was offered in Mystic Red, Astial Blue, Classic Black, and Silk Blue with a list price of $9,590.

The original owner had other ideas, thought. He took it to Holt BMW in Athens, Ohio and had their paint shop wizards transform it with an Acid Green paint scheme. He was apparently too delicate for a stock windscreen, so he put a funny looking tall windscreen on it.

Sometime in 2000, he decided to sell it on consignment at Revard BMW in Indianapolis, which is where I discovered it. I saw it as a logical step up for Maria, who had several hundred miles in her mirrors on an aging 500cc Honda Shadow.

The K75S had only 2,417 miles on the odometer as it sat on the Revard showroom floor. I don’t recall exactly how much I paid, but I think it was around $7,000 when I bought it in late October, 2000.

I put a stock windscreen back on it and had the bike lowered for Maria with a new shock, fork adjustment, low profile tires and scooping some foam out of the Sargent seat.

Unfortunately, Maria never really bonded with the bike, although she did ride it from our home in Thorntown to an Indianapolis BMW Club meeting at Lieber State Recreation Area near Cloverdale, a round trip of more than 100 miles.

A car crash caused by a woman with macular degeneration, coupled with a hectic work schedule blunted her enthusiasm for riding to the point where she hasn’t ridden the bike in about seven years.

So it fell to me to keep the battery up and maintain the bike, which I have done with considerable pleasure. The K75S is a sweet little motorcycle that handles like a dream and is more fun to ride than my 2003 K1200GT.

The bike now has about 15,150 miles on the odometer, which works out to an average of 757 miles per year, making it a supremely low-mileage machine with many many many miles left in her.

BMW produced the K75 model from 1985 to 1995, so ours was built near the end of the series production.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Post-war fantasy





This rather beat-up stein may look impressive to some folks, but those of us who know our World War II militaria recognize it for what it is – a post-war fantasy piece, complete with fake RZM and other marks on the base.

The most highly decorated German serviceman of World War II, Hans Ulrich Rudel was a highly successful Stuka dive-bomber pilot who flew 2,530 millions, claiming 2,000 targets destroyed including 800 vehicles, 519 tanks, 150 artillery pieces, 70 landing craft, nine aircraft, four armored trains, several bridges, a destroyer, two cruisers, and the Soviet battleship Marat.

He was one of only 27 military men to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, and the only person to be awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, Germany's highest military decoration at the time.

A large series of these steins, named to prominent soldiers, sailors, airmen and SS troops, was produced in the 1970s. I remember seeing several of them offered for sale in the catalogs of Collector’s Armory along with reproduction Third Reich daggers and other stuff. I bought this one at an Ohio Valley Military Society show at Fort Mitchell, Ky. in the 1980s.

I can see again!


The FedEx truck just brought my new 27” ViewSonic LED monitor and it’s gorgeous.

Visiting Charlie in the new NEA Baptist Hospital yesterday afternoon, I noticed all of the computer stations use ViewSonic monitors too.

Oh, what a beautiful morning!

There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep, the promise of another spring-like warm day, and knowing an eagerly awaited package is “out for delivery” by FedEx to brighten my morning.

And the sound of crop dusting aircraft fills the air. In the north, the advent of spring is heralded by the sighting of the first robin or the distinctive song of the cardinal. Here in the mid-South, it’s the sound of crop dusters buzzing to and fro over the cotton fields.

Our friend Charlie is back in the hospital with a mystery fever and mild cough that may or may not be pneumonia. I was going to brighten his day with a carry-out Mexican lunch, but he texted that he has tests and may not be in his room at lunchtime, so we’ll reschedule his break from hospital food.

My short motorcycle ride yesterday has me jonesing for more, but I’m torn between wanting to ride, needing to work out and wanting to watch for the FedEx truck. What to do?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I love it


I rode about 25 soul-satisfying miles this afternoon, just to remind myself how much I love riding and that spring is, indeed, on the way.

I knew the temperature was headed for the upper 60s today, so I dragged out the tire gauge and compressor and aired up the tires on the K75S last evening in anticipation of today’s ride – 32 psi in the front and 36 psi in the back. The bike handles like a dream and I’m hankering for a real road trip soon. Maybe Daytona, if any of my Indianapolis friends will be there.

Monday, February 17, 2014

More stamping


Maria is sending some quilting materials to a Facebook friend in New Jersey, so I stamped a box for her this evening.

Monday stuff

I had thoughts of buying a semi-automatic rifle at the gun show here last weekened, but the need to pony up $250 for a new computer monitor reordered my priorities and I never made it to the show. says the monitor has shipped and should be on my doorstep before 8 p.m. Wednesday, so I have until then to clean the crap off of my desk and create an orderly space for it.

The furnace repair folks had to make two trips to our rental house in Indiana before they finally got the downstairs furnace repaired and working reliably. I’m having them email me all of the paperwork so I can submit a claim to the home warranty insurance company and hopefully recover my expenses, less the $75 deductible. The service tech said the filters in both furnaces were filthy, the downstairs one completely blocked, despite the tenant’s claim that he replaced the filters in November. Unless I can get him to reliably change the filters every three months, I’ll live in constant worry that he will destroy the furnaces and air conditioning units.

The temperature is in the low 60s with bright sunshine this afternoon – the warmest weather we’ve seen in more than a month. I may actually be able to go for a motorcycle ride tomorrow when it’s supposed to be even warmer.

To paraphrase Col. Kilgore in Apocalypse Now!, “Someday this winter’s gonna end.”

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dead monitor

The fabulous workhorse 24” Dell flatscreen monitor that I put into service on Dec. 20, 2006, died yesterday.

The screen was dark when I sat down to use my desktop computer yesterday afternoon. I hit the power button repeatedly, checked all of the connections, moved the power cord to another powerstrip, and finally did a manual reboot, all to no avail.

deaddellmonitorI guess seven years of constant service – I leave it on most of the time – is all I can reasonably expect from a piece of computer equipment.

Since I have the netbook and my iPhone, I can limp along for a few days and don’t have to panic and run down to Best Buy and overpay for a quick fix, plus the usurious Arkansas sales tax. Consequently, I have been shopping on for a replacement.

That said, I’m having a hard time finding a replacement with the same added features – memory card reader, sound bar, USB ports – that I liked so much on my old monitor, but I shall persevere. If I order today, I can have it on Tuesday.


viewsonic27 I just pulled the trigger on this 27” View Sonic monitor from - $249.99 with free delivery. Should be here on Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Furnace crisis in Thorntown

I got a text message yesterday afternoon from our renter in Thorntown informing me that the blower motor on the furnace that serves the main floor of our big old Victorian house is failing.

I got on the phone to the home warranty firm we contract with for such emergencies and called the heating and cooling company in Lafayette that worked on the AC last summer. A technician named Todd called me a few minutes later and we worked out that he would go to Thorntown at 8:30 a.m., diagnose the problem and then call the home warranty hotline to clear the repairs with them.

I texted the tenant and considered the matter handled. For the moment, anyway.

Then I got a call at 6:45 a.m. today from a woman who apparently dispatches the technicians and who was unaware of the arrangement I had with Todd.

Todd, she said, was going out on another call and she would send someone else. And it is not their policy to deal with insurance companies, so I would have to pay up front and recover what I can from the home warranty folks later.

Not what our cash flow needs at the moment, but there it is.

It’s now 12:15 p.m. Indiana time and I have heard nothing from the tenant or the technician.

This gets a little more worrisome when you consider it’s crazy cold up there and there is a high probability that the pipes serving the kitchen could freeze and rupture. And the tenant’s daughter has a very young baby in the house. The good news is that the furnace that serves the second floor is apparently working fine, so they have someplace they can be warm.

Yes, I hate being a landlord with residential property. Our commercial property is so much easier to deal with.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Your mother doesn’t work here. Pick it up.


I worked out this morning at the St. Bernards Health & Wellness Center.

I found this disturbing sight when I hit the showers – some self-absorbed twit left a water-soaked towel on a shower stall floor.

Someone needs to explain to him that grownups pick up after themselves.

In the good news department, the Safelight Glass Replacement guy showed up about 9:15 a.m. to make a resin repair of the chip in my Lexus’s windshield. He was quite pleasant and got it done in under 30 minutes at a cost of $50 plus tax.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Just another brick in the Wall


Longtime friend Joe Repp sent me a package last week to return a long-forgotten VHS movie I lent him and he included some magazine clippings and this chunk of the Berlin Wall.

This concrete was poured in the autumn of my junior year in high school and I remember quite vividly the Wall going up. I remember even more vividly the joy of seeing the Wall come down.

The Cold War was ending and we thought life would be free of global tension from then on. We hadn’t counted on the extent to which the Soviet Union had kept old tribal hatreds in check and how much hatred there was in the Muslim world.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

A smaller canvas this time

stamped box 01

stamped box 02

Turns out there were more items to send to my son Sean than would fit in the envelope I mailed yesterday, so I decorated a small Priority Mail box this afternoon.

And I had the foresight to use a pair of the Nitrile gloves I got from the Amazon Vine Program, so my fingers came away from the stamping ink-free.

The assistant postmistress seemed a bit bemused yesterday when I presented the heavily stamped envelope.

In other matters, we got about an inch of snow overnight, but it’s melting fast and the ice that turned our neighborhood into a crystalline fairy land has vanished from the trees and shrubs and fences.

The forecast for tomorrow calls for a high of 38, so the snow most likely will be gone by tomorrow night.

The Arkansas Sports Show is this weekend in the Arkansas State University Convocation Center. It hasn’t changed or improved noticeably in the six years we’ve been here and I see no reason to waste my time and money on it.

The last I heard, at least one of the organizers thought it was too classy an event to involve the Robertson clan and their Duck Commander folks. He’s too much of a dullard to realize that Duck Commander involvement would generate unheard of excitement and double attendance at his otherwise mundane show.

I love my dogs too

love dogs

Maria has been working as a substitute teacher in some nearby school districts this semester. She subbed for an art teacher one day last week and one of the boys in the class made this charming work of art honoring his three dogs, one of which has gone to the Rainbow Bridge.
I think it's brilliant.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Still stamping after all these years

stamped to sean 04

Thirty years or so ago, Indianapolis News colleague Jane Judkins and I amassed a rather spectacular collection of rubber stamps which rotated between her house and mine until she married Matt Stegemiller, D.D.S., and we divided the collection.

Mine haven’t been used much in the last 20 years. The ink pads have dried out and some of the ink bottles have gone gooey and useless. And, alas, some of the rubber stamps have aged and dried to the point of uselessness.

But that didn’t stop me from dragging the stamp suitcase down from its closet stamped to sean 03shelf this morning and creating a one-of-a-kind piece of mail art to send a gift to my son Sean on Sauvie Island, Oregon.

Rubber stamping can be messy work and it wasn’t until after I scrubbed most of the ink from my fingers that I remembered the Medline VEN6045 Venom Steel Premium Industrial Nitrile Gloves, 50-Pack I got the other day from the Amazon Vine Program. I could have donned a pair of those gloves and kept my fingers ink-free. Something to think about next time.

That said, here’s what’s going into the mail to Sean this morning:

stamped to sean 01blur

stamped to sean 02

I have a stamp that says “The microfilm is hidden under the stamp” with an arrow pointing to the postage stamp, but I decided there’s too much suspicion and paranoia abroad in the land to trust the postal workers to get the joke.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Thawing out the Subaru

thawing subaru

The ice storm still has two of the three school districts where Maria subs shut down, but she did get a half-day of subbing this afternoon at the third.

I drove her to work because I wasn’t sure whether there was still ice on the Subaru windshield. Turns out having parked it facing south resulted in a melted clear windshield after a couple of sunny, but sub-freezing days.

Even so, I want her to have a reasonable comfortable drive to work tomorrow, so I pulled it into the garage to warm up a bit.

The Safelite folks called yesterday morning to reschedule the repair of the windshield chip on the Lexus and are now expected next Tuesday morning.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

21 years ago today

Indiana State Trooper Mike Greene was patrolling I-65 between Lebanon and Indianapolis on the afternoon of Feb. 5, 1993, when he noticed two men – Tommy Lee McElroy, 35, and Norman Timberlake, 45 – standing by a car just off the southbound lanes of the interstate. McElroy was urinating on the ground. Greene stopped to investigate and, after checking with his dispatcher, discovered one of the men was wanted. As the trooper approached them again, Timberlake drew a pistol and fired, hitting Greene in the chest.
After they fled, a passing motorist used Greene's patrol car radio to call for help. The following story appeared in The Indianapolis News the day after the shooting.

The Indianapolis News

I watched Indiana State Police trooper Michael E. Greene die Friday.
He lay there on the cold asphalt berm of I-65 in front of his patrol car as his friend, Boone County Sheriff Ern Hudson, pumped his chest  and a group of paramedics worked over him, laboring feverishly to restart his heart.
They tried the defibrillator to no avail, and Hudson – sweating and working in his shirtsleeves in the unseasonably warm afternoon air – knelt again at Mike's left side and continued his CPR.
Boone County Detective Stan Large, his face a grim mask, walked past me and said, “He's dead.”
Minutes earlier, I was sitting in Hudson's office at the Boone County Jail. We were talking about prisoner visitation policies at the new facility when Chief Deputy Dennis Brannon broke in to say there was a report of a police officer shot along I-65 south of Lebanon.
“You want to ride with us?” Hudson asked, heading for the door.
“Sure,” I replied.
Hurtling down the fast lane of I-65, we passed other traffic like a greeneblur.
Just south of the access ramp to eastbound I-465, we saw the flash of police brake lights as the stream of speeding patrol cars overtook traffic backed up from the place where Greene lay on the ground.
As we ran toward the knot of paramedics kneeling in front of the white state police car, someone shouted to Hudson, “It's Mike Greene.”
“I noticed right away,” Hudson said later, “that his skin was dark blue. When you've been in this business as long as I have, you can tell when they're not going to make it. I had a sense that it would be a miracle if we could save him.”
Peering over the shoulder of a paramedic, I could see the bullet wound in Mike's upper chest. It wasn't bleeding.
Hours later, Hudson was still choked with emotion as he remembered working over Greene.
“When I was a young trooper, I remember how Mike was a kid and he always wanted to be a state trooper. I did his background check when he joined the department. His dad, Tommy Greene, was the county Democratic chairman, and he was proud as a peacock when that boy got on the state police.”
As Hudson worked with the paramedics over Mike Greene, he said later, “I was saying a lot of prayers. I was just trying to do something to breathe some more life into him. I wasn't doing anything special. I was just trying to help the medics. I was just trying to take my turn with everybody else.
“You're holding onto the guy. Your skin is on his skin, and you're hoping and praying you can get him going.”
Someone announced the Life Line Helicopter was on its way and I looked up to see Boone County Prosecutor Rebecca McClure approaching, her jaw set with anger and determination.
“Let me at 'em,” she said, referring to the two suspects who were the objects of a massive police search in Marion County.
“I hate to be the one to tell you this, Becky,” I said, “but we're not in Boone County here.”
McClure swore. “I didn't realize I'd crossed the line,” she said.
Paramedics continued to pump Greene's chest as they wheeled his gurney to the helicopter and he was flown to Methodist Hospital where he was officially pronounced dead a short time later.
Timberlake died in November, 2007, of natural causes in his cell on death row at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, Ind. McElroy entered a guilty plea to charges of assisting a criminal and received a four-year sentence. He was released after serving two years.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The sky is falling. Again.

flexibleflyerSchools are closed again today because of a second winter storm, possibly an ice storm, that began about 9:30 a.m.

Maria and I made a dash to Dollar General and the ACE Hardware store just before the sleet began to buy provisions and a half-dozen mousetraps.

The mousetraps are our effort to cure our dogs of kitchen counter surfing.

The idea is to set the traps and place them upside down, so they make a loud and startling snapping noise without actually snapping a pup’s nose.

So far, Jack was the only dog to trip one of them and he didn’t even seem to notice.

At least we’re ready for an onslaught of mice.

Heading for the mousetrap aisle at ACE, I was surprised to find this toboggan and deluxe Flexible Flyer sled. (The price on the sled is $94 and change.)

I still have my old Flexible Flyer sled in the garage, but it needs to be refinished and repainted to be presentable.

I really didn’t expect to see any such winter fun stuff here in Arkansas, since snow is such a rarity in these parts. I’m willing to bet the hardware guys didn’t invest heavily in them.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Another reason I love Arkansas


Here are the 50 states and the District of Columbia ranked by the percentage of inhabitants calling themselves conservatives:

1. Wyoming, 51.4%

2. Mississippi, 47.9%

3. Idaho, 47.5%

4. Utah, 46.9%

5. Arkansas, 45.2%

5. Montana, 45.2%

7. South Carolina, 45.1%

8. Oklahoma, 45.0%

9. Tennessee, 44.9%

10. Alabama, 44.7%

11. Louisiana, 44.1%

12. Alaska, 43.1%

13. Missouri, 42.9%

14. North Dakota, 42.9%

15. South Dakota, 42.7%

16. Georgia, 41.8%

17. Kansas, 41.7%

17. Nebraska, 41.7%

19. West Virginia, 41.6%

20. Indiana, 41.1%

21. Kentucky, 41.1%

22. Texas, 40.5%

23. Iowa, 40.1%

24. North Carolina, 40.0%

25. Wisconsin, 40.0%

_______Nationwide percentage: 38%_______

26. Ohio, 37.9%

27. Pennsylvania, 37.1%

27. New Mexico, 37.1%

29. Virginia, 37.1%

30. Colorado, 36.9%

30. New Hampshire, 36.9%

32. Florida, 36.8%

33. Minnesota, 36.2%

34. Arizona, 36.0%

35. Nevada, 35.7%

36. Michigan, 34.6%

37. Washington, 34.3%

38. Rhode Island, 33.8%

39. Oregon, 33.6%

40. Maine, 32.6%

41. Illinois, 32.4%

42. Delaware, 32.3%

43. Maryland, 31.8%

44. California, 30.8%

45. New Jersey, 29.6%

46. New York, 29.3%

47. Massachusetts, 27.4%

47. Connecticut, 27.4%

49. Hawaii, 27.2%

50. Vermont, 26.8%

51. Washington, D.C. 21.6%

- See more at:

Coke chokes

A lot of people watching the Super Bowl last night were shocked and outraged by the Coca-Cola commercial that featured “America the Beautiful” being sung in several different languages, instead of entirely in English.

Col. Allen West, a former Congressman and an exemplary American, found the commercial disturbing, as did I.

He Facebooked comments, including this quote from Teddy Roosevelt:

Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.

In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American.

There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile.

We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, and American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.

The commercial would have been much more powerful and considerably less incendiary if the song had been sung entirely in English, but by people of various regional and ethnic accents, eschewing multiculturalism for American unity with a common language.

As one Facebook member opined, Coca-Cola’s allegiance is to the U.N. and not the U.S.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Safelite to the rescue


I was driving in to town yesterday – 12:20 p.m. to be precise – when a rock hit the windshield of my ‘04 Lexus RX330, chipping it in the upper passenger side corner.

After the profanity subsided, I grabbed my iPhone and directed Siri to call Safelite Auto Glass for me. She found the number and seconds later I was chatting with a pleasant young woman about my problem.

Within 10 minutes, she had me set up with an appointment between 8 a.m. and noon Monday at my house where a Safelite technician will patch the chip with their magic resin for a mere $50 plus tax.