Archive for February, 2009

28
Feb
09

New Short Story–Part 1

The Welder

 

I been thinkin bout this thing for a while now. I gots to tell someone bout it.

I been thinkin bout what makes people go. Well, what makes them do good in life. How come some people’s so sad and others strut around all giddy and happy.

 So what came to me was Jake Stephens. Ol Jake lived in a trailer down my driveway right next to the garage. Skinny? You aint seen a man skinny as Jake, but he’d work as a horse every day. Every damn day. Never had friends ova. Don’t know he had any cept maybe the guys he worked with.

“Beer?” Jake’d ask me anytime I went to check on him. He’d hold out a cold can. Kept nudgin it at me. “Beer?” Now I don’t drink much. Can admit there’s a day or two when a sip of Single Barrel does me some good, but not too often.

See, here’s what was strange about Jake. He was the only man I ever met seemed happy without connections.

“That’s life,” he’d say before taking another sip of beer. “You wake up, go to work, come back home, have a little somethin’, get up do it again.”

He had eyes brighter’n a light house. But like an icy color–blue. Arms like taut ropes, always movin, doin somthing. Always got a project.

“I’m a mechanic, John. That’s what I  do, jus like my father did.” He’d pull out a smoke  after he’d said something like that. “That’s alls I got to offer anyone. What a man does is what he is. ” His eyes would sparkle like you wouldn’t believe when he start talkin and drinkin a few. Still be in green Dickys, holes burned through all over like someone’d poured holes out a shaker. His hands had cracks on em, an his fingers were knotted up. Looked like driftwood.

Then he’d say this after he kept drinkin: “Yep, a man is what he does. That’s what Dad use a say.” A man jus layin there don’t mount to much. Some people likes ta think a man’s worth somethin even when he’s layin round. I say he’s worth less than nothin. He’s takin, not makin.”  He’d take a few more sips.  ” An a man either has a family or’s tryin ta get one.”By then Jake’d have a sheen coverin his eyeballs. A glow bout his face, too. He’d fall asleep for two minutes at a time. Think he’d be sleepin anyway, then his eyes’d pop open an he’d start jabberin away again s’if he’d been pretendin ta sleep. Maybe he’d jus been thinkin.

“You know I love ma boy, John. Evey day I get up an go and do my thing so I can be a man worth bein, jus hopin ma boy’ll see me an be proud for the first time. Proud a his papa.”

Now Jake never said a word bout his boy till he’d made a twelve pack disappear. But the beer washed away all Jake’s surface thoughts so that the thoughts he’d been thinkin without even knowin it came out.

I guess I’d known Jake then for at least fifteen years. Knew him from when we used to have breakfast at Jill’s Diner. Heard he was a drinker, but just sos you know, I never known him ta miss a day’s work on account of it. When he’d start talkin about the work he’d do on the cars and some weldin job he had comin up–I knew he was the real deal. I’m a welder myself.

When Jake got his divorce, only thing he had left was his camper–trailer. I had plenty of place to put him on my lot, so I let him settle down by my garage. He was down there, I’d say, bout three years. Didn’t change his schedule much. Sometimes he sucked up some overtime at work on Saturdays. Generally, we’d have breakfast most everyday at Jill’s, and most nights Jake’d pull down another twelve-pack.

Then, bout four months ago, somethin clicked in im. Jus somethin I could see was different. Despite everything, divorce from his wife an the beer an not havin his house, Jake was such a happy guy. Least he seemed it.

Right before Christmas I think it was, yeah I remember cause it was about twenty below with the wind that night–I went down to make sure Jake didn’t need anything.

“Common in, John”, Jake said. He stepped away from the door and fell back into his chair, which should have hit the dump about ten years prior. The way he fell back looked as if he’d given up on somthin. Normally, Jake’s a wiry lookin fellow. All stringy an jumpy. But that night he was kinda swishin around all loosy–goosy. His eyes told the rest of it, cause even when Jake was three sheets to the wind, his eyes normally sparkled.

He started in on me.

“John,” He looked like he’d start bawlin. “You know a man’s either got a family or’s tryin ta get one?” He chucked an empty can he’d been holdin, right over his shoulder. It bounced off the bathroom door an settled back by his foot.

“Yeah, you said that before an I guess you’re right.”

“An I’m glad for a lot of things, you know. Got a good job. That’s more’n my father had most a the time. Prolly worse a man not have a good job than no family. Wanna hand me anotha?” He flicked his hand at the beer case, which was torn open an layin by the front door. Bout six left in it. Guess maybe a draft was keepin the beer cool cause there was a pile of snow hedged along the bottom of that door an I could see flakes flyin up from the wind gettin in. I did what he wanted.

“Mind?” I said. I held another beer in my paw after he’d grabbed his.

“Plenty more where tha came from, John.”

So I popped it open and took a draw.

“This is it, I think.” Jake took me by surprise when he said that.

There was a long time before I said anythin. Just sat there waitin for him to finish.

“What’s it?”

“This is the last Christmas, I think.” He cleared his throat, settled down a little further in his chair. But then the old Jake showed up, a little grin on his face. “Sent Bobby, ma boy, Bobby, a letter. Told im how good I’d done. Told im how sorry I was for all the stupid shit I’d done long time ago.” His grin went down. “Sent the letter last week an told his mother ta tell im to look for it. Ain’t heard back yet.”

“He’ll  get it, Jake. Just take it easy. Why not come up to the house an have some pumpin pie? Vanessa made it today. She puts extra cinnemon in it. It’d win a ribbon somewhere.”

“Naw. That’s alright. Think I’m settled in for the night. Jus thinkin.”

“Don’t think too much,” I said. “it’ll get you in trouble, is all. All the thinkers out there, seems ta me ain’t done much but get us in trouble. Don’t get much done, an others seem a take their ideas places they weren’t meant ta go.”

26
Feb
09

Obama’s Strawmen

This article by Karl Rove shines some light on one of Obama’s bad habits: Attributing arguments to his opponents; one’s they don’t really have.

Obama’s recent speeches have lacked their usual polish.

He’s in over his head.

26
Feb
09

My biscuits are burning.

I saw this on Lou Dobbs while watching the news this morning.

The UN wants to criminalize negative speech about religion.

Of course, you know what religion they mean. Too many foxes are in the hen house at the UN.

I’m going to test this bill to its limits if its passed. Really. I’m going to make a movie.

22
Feb
09

Time Off or: Thinking is overrated

I’m taking some time off from blogging.

My head hurts.

I stopped reading last week and I felt better–my memory came back. I guess my brain didn’t have to deal with anymore info-dumps.

To be sure, America won’t collapse while I’m gone. Liberals will be searching incessantly for someone to surrender to, but America remains the Land of Milk and Honey. The milk may be souring a bit, but we’ve got more where that came from.

This is the message of this entire blog, the reason I started the thing almost two years ago: America IS a force for good. Malcontents misplace their unhappiness onto the “system”. In many places in the world, the system is to blame. If we are unhappy here–we’re to blame. I really believe that. I also believe that in the coming years, the world will come to lean on America even more than it does now. We will continue to lead. We’ll continue to fight where others won’t.

The weak are not to be scorned, but they are to be encouraged and prodded. And we may as well start chewing on our own souls if we despise strength and those who have “made it.” They did something right.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.“~Thomas Jefferson

Honestly, when I look at history, I see that good usually won out, even if that good were only relative. The cultures that dominated the longest were the “best”.  Inexorably man clawed his way from the pits of despotism. Actually he was driven out of the pits. Thank God (With a capital G) for the wisdom of our forefathers. I’m astounded time and again when I read their words. There could have been nothing but Providence behind their utterances.

Like I said–I’m tired of thinking, for now. The desire will come back; it always has. Now, no thought. Only living. See you in a couple of weeks.

Zen and the Art of Beer Drinking and TV watching.

Peace.

22
Feb
09

California and Marx

California government has tried virtually everything to mold itself into a Marxist regime.

The Golden State is what Obama wants America to be.  

The article makes the point that Arnold tried, back in 2005 to get things done, including reducing union power and capping state spending. He got blasted. Now, he just wants to be friends with everyone. His state now lies is shambles, unable to even pay for the paper for tax receipts.

The legislature in Cali spent its way to doom. The government sector grew out of control. Expect more of this for our whole country. The stimulus bill is only the beginning.

In the late 1840s, Karl Marx sat in the dusty library basement working on his manifesto. Charged with the electric writings of another Young Hegelian, Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach , who like Marx wanted to provide mankind with a framework for existance in a godless universe, Marx saw economy as a zero-sum game. The rich could only be rich if the poor were poor.

Lenin, Stalin,  and Mau would not have come to power without Marx.

Indeed though, Marx was a man of his times. What Charles Dickens said to children, Marx said to revolutionaries, and those acolytes commenced to wage war on capitalism, which is the economic default of freedom. Now, California legistators have taken the mantle of populist revolutionaries.

We’re spending our way to oblivion.

21
Feb
09

America’s doing better than the rest of the world

Other economies are doing much worse than ours, so stop the hating, Libs.

21
Feb
09

China’s a fraud

The vogue statement by the intelligencia these days, is that America is not the world#s leader anymore.

Even conservatives have fallen for this clap-trap,  yet another lie from the Left, whose internal unhappiness bleeds into their political views.

I ask these people when I talk to them, ”Who, if not America, is the world’s leader?”

The easy answer for them, since they’ve read in Newsweek or seen on CNN so much about the country, is China.

Wrong.

I’m here to tell you, that China’s a fraud. It doesn’t create( the best indicator of the strength of a nation) it steals. They employ armies of cyberhackers who constantly attempt to breach our military’s databases, and lots of spies, who especially in the lax Clinton years, did manage to get lots of classified material from us, not the least of which was ballistic missile information. They copy and pilfer, but are incacable of running with America in creativity, freedom and rule of law.

China lags in almost every measurable area and not just behind the US, but Europe and Japan. And, they are still a corrupt society, something that holds back any nation in this era. The CIA World Fact Book lists countries by their 2008 GDP.  Even Japan is beating China. We have them beat by nearly a factor or four. And yet I keep hearing this garbage.




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