Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Before I start my morning rant I want to say my thoughts and prayers go out to those effected by hurricane Katrina and I'm happy to hear the friends I have there and their families are all ok.


Earlier this morning at work, I'm listening to Coast to Coast AM with George Noory as usual. He starts his program off with news of Katrina and introduced his guest for the night, Scott Stevens, who is a weatherman for a TV station in Idaho.

Good. Some talk about the hurricane from a meteorological perspective. I've always been fascinated by violent weather so this aught to be good.

The interview starts off good, but then he gets a bit out there. His hypothesis is a good one, but I really can't believe that storm was man-made.

That's what he's saying. Someone formed Katrina and 'steered' it towards New Orleans on purpose to destroy the oil refineries. That someone is those nasty, evil Russians...

Russians? Sounds like a plot from James Bond to me.

Go here to read about it:

It gets better. He goes on to say that an unknown "puff" of dry air from Texas came in at the last moment to nudge Katrina further east, sparing The Big Easy from a direct hit from a Category 5 hurricane. Where this unexpected puff of air came from is baffling the weather guys. He supposes that this air was made by the Good Guys (us). But the Russians creating the hurricane?

So now the Superpowers can change the weather? If that's the case why don't they make every day 80 F, low humidity and sunny?

New Orleans might have been spared the full force of Katrina, but when the levees broke it left the city submerged under up to twenty feet of water, effectively destroying the city as surely as if someone had popped a nuke on Bourbon St.

The conservative estimates this morning are about 50 Billion dollars in damages, and in my opinion it probably won't even be economically viable to rebuild. I wouldn't doubt it will rise into the trillions of dollars after all is said and done.

One thing they did bring up this morning though was that not one word or offer of help came from any other nation, now two days after the storm.

Kofi Annan from his throne in the UN did have this to say:

"I see even rich nations can have disasters."

Gee thanks, asshole.

How come every time there's a natural disaster somewhere in the world, the US is the first one in to help with sleeves rolled up...

But let one thing happen here and where is all of our "friends"?

Last December, twentyfour hours after the Tsunami hit, George Bush pledged 400 million dollars in assistance and was called "Cheap" by other nations. And that 400 million was 300 million more than other European countries offered, combined.

within days of that disaster, US Navy ships were off the coast rendering medical assistance, flying in water and other sundries. Today are there any French or British warships in the Gulf of Mexico helping out?

Nope. And I really don't expect to see them either.

We'll survive this. We always have. But maybe I think that next time a Tsunami hits Japan, or some earthquake devastates some city in Brazil, Or a dam breaks in China killing thousands we should just sit that one out.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

"Had to be there"

I've been doing a lot of communicating with a good friend up in Philadelphia in the last week or so trying to get info on how my brother is doing. I spoke with my brother about two weeks ago, and he said everything is fine, but he didn't sound too good.

He's had a lot of medical problems the last few years, and on top of having two mini-strokes and type-2 diabetes and angina, I found out through my friend he's got a lot of other shit wrong too. The last time I saw my brother was back in March when I went up to Philly for a visit and he looked like shit then. He's 49 and looks like he's 79.

So, needless to say I've been doing a lot of thinking about him lately and found a t-shirt with this picture on it, and I had to laugh. I've ordered on as it's sure to cheer him up a little bit because it's a long-ongoing inside joke with myself and him.

One of those "Had to be there" jokes.

I'll explain.

About a year after I was discharged from the Army, about 1988 my brother and I decided to buy ten acres in Tioga county Pennsylvania and have a hunting cabin built. It was right in the middle of some of what was then the best whitetail deer hunting in the state. Who cared if it was 240 miles away? Gas was only 76 cents a gallon then.

So we bought the place and had the cabin built. We had a huge fire-ring in front of the place, and the first weekend we stayed at the cabin, we decided to have a bonfire, get really and truly well lubricated and sit up til the wee hours of the morning telling stories and generally have a good time.

Well past midnight, when our livers should have been going into shock, my brother looked up at the full moon and said:

"You know Tommy, we should blow up the moon!"

I had no idea where he came up with that, but being what my Aussie 'Mate' Eddie in Adelaide would say "I was far into me drinks" and went along, and the plot just snowballed. As the evening wore on, the ideas grew more outlandish and Rube Goldbergish.

I can't remember what our reasoning was to blow up the moon, but it was pretty deep and meaningful at the time.

So now, every time we talk to one another, the question is "So, what are you doing this week end?"

"Ah, nothing really, do a little food shopping, blow up the moon, see a movie..."

So now we have a reason to blow up the moon!

World Peace!

Maybe not. But hopefully the t-shirt will cheer up my brother...

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Monday, August 29, 2005

It's always sunny...

In Philadelphia!

FX is starting to become my favorite network I don't get. I started watching it last year when the Denis Leary produced "Rescue Me" started it's first season and now I'm hooked on the show. The humor in it is something I'm familiar with, as the guys in Engine 62's house sound a lot like the guys I worked with.

Next comes this season's "Over There", about a group of US Army soldiers in Iraq, but the jury is still out on this one as I'm not really happy with the way they're portraying today's American fighting men and women.

But there's a new half-hour sitcom called "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" and the name alone is an anarchism.

It's about four friends from highschool who own a neighborhood bar in South Philadelphia. I've only seen four episodes of this show, but it looks promising. The producers have the look and feel of south Philly down to a T. The actors, the bar, the outside locations all look "South Philly", and the whole show is apparently filmed on location south of Market Street...


A Big BUT, here...

The actors might look the part, but the don't sound "South Philly"... Which in my humble opinion is very important.

"Yo Tommy, what's the skinny?" Said in a mumbled Sly Stallone sort of way...

It's not only the accents either... It's some of the dialog also. one character was talking about having a party in "Fairmount Park"...

Well, Fairmount Park is in Philadelphia, and it's huge. But it's made up of many different parks throughout the city. Columbus Park in South Philly, Cobb's Creek Park in West Philly, Pennypack Park and Pleasant Hill Park in Northeast Philly to name a few. They're all a part of Fairmount Park.

So if a group of guys getting together wouldn't say, "Yo! Let's get a kegger together at Fairmount Park!" It would be; "Yo! Tommy! Me, Joey an' Jimmy an' sum a da otha' guys are gittin' a kegger togetha at Columbus Park on Friday!"

Ok, I might be splitting hairs here. But it's only a minor flaw in seems to be a promising new show. Although at a half-hour it is a little short. I'd much prefer it to be an hour-long show, but that's just my opinion.

But another word on the locations and "sounding" the part in TV shows. Another fairly decent show allegedly takes place in my hometown, and that's "Cold Case".

In that show at least some of the characters "sound" the part. The right accents and area catchphrases thrown in. But the location director or whatever the out-of-touch Hollywood producers think is some locations in Philly are beyond me.

One episode I saw, the detectives responded to a homicide scene that was allegedly at 5th & Catherine Streets in South Philadelphia. They roll up to the scene, and there's single homes, lawns, trees, bushes...

I laughed my ass off.

Where the fuck were they supposed to be again? I know I haven't been to South Philly in a few years, but I would bet my bottom dollar you wouldn't find a blade of grass let alone single homes, trees and lawns for miles of 5th & Catherine St. Unless they were growing out of cracks in the sidewalk.

But, for a good laugh, check out "It's always Sunny In Philadelphia" on FX. It's a new show that has some promise for a change.

Copyright Thomas J Wolfenden

Sunday, August 28, 2005

What the fuck, over?

I was going to blog about this a few weeks ago but I got tied up in other stuff...

Two things I found out the other week working up in Nicholas county. First, you can always tell someone who hasn't had to carry a radio for a living for very long.

They never shut the fuck up on in.

And second, the mine security shift supervisor is a 30-year company man/coal miner who's too old to continue to go underground, knows absolutely nothing about security and is too stupid to retire.

Unlike last night where I was at a mine on Virginia where I work alone, the one up in Nicholas county has a whole security staff, headed by a shift security supervisor, who like I said is just a company guy who can't sit at home.

So I'm working up at the mine, I have my own little space to patrol and guard. I'm pretty much by myself even though there's a crew working with me but I never see them throughout the entire shift. Just their incessant voices on the radio...


"Hey Johnny, you shoulda' seen that bass I caught last week!"

"No kiddin! Big huh?"

They won't shut the fuck up. So I turn the radio down real low so I don't have to listen to their shit, but that was a mistake I made I later found out.

Every two hours the supervisor does a radio check to all the units. This is standard procedure in most places where you have a large staff, so I wasn't put off by it. What transpired later that Sunday almost put me over the edge.

So as the day progresses, the radio chatter dies. Good methinks. But I forget all about the radio checks. No big deal. My battery died, and the supervisor will come out later to check on me.

So the day progresses and I never see the supervisor. At 1800 my relief shows up and tells me to head to the prep-plant, the supervisor wanted to talk to me.


So I head on off to the office to see the boss. I get there and he has a Disciplinary Action form for me to sign.

What the fuck?

So I read the paperwork...

"I failed to respond to repeated radio calls in violation with company policy"

I look at him and ask; "You're shitting me, right?"

"You didn't answer the radio!"

"Well dickhead, my battery's been dead since 1300! Why the fuck didn't you come out and check to see if I was ok? I could have been trapped down some mineshaft or something!"

"That's not my job!"

"The FUCK it isn't! You know what you can do with this? Shove it up your fat, lazy ass!"

And with that I turned and left before I knocked him into another time zone. The fucking balls this guy has. I get home and call my area supervisor to tell him the whole story and he promises to smooth things over. He did as it's been three weeks now and I haven't heard anything more about it. But I can guarantee one thing, I won't be working up there again.

Almost the same thing happened to me a long time ago when I first went on the job up in Philly. I was walking a beat from 1600 to 0000. It was a pretty sweet gig, I didn't have to report to the District, I had a handset already and I'd just show up, park my car at the local firehouse, report on to dispatch and start hoofing it.

But I had this lieutenant. (The same one from the Punctuation Pirate post) And he would play these bullshit little games. Along my beat I had several storefronts to check periodically. And he would leave these little notes in the doorways for me...

"P/O Wolfenden, when you receive this note, call me by callbox at the district..."

I'd find several through the shift, and I'd diligently would follow his instructions. Until one night I guess I was just in a shitty mood and was sick of his shit. I didn't want to play his little fucking games anymore, so after the first phone call, I just continued my tour and tossed away the other notes he'd left for me.

Six hours later...

He finally shows up in his RPC... "Why didn't you call me when you got my instructions, officer?" He yelled.

"Why didn't you come check on me earlier? I could have been laying in an alley bleeding to death!" I asked.

He turned white as a sheet and left. I never found any notes after that.

So what's the lesson today, boys and girls?

The Peter Principle is still alive and well and control freaks shouldn't be in charge of a hot dog cart let alone someplace where people's lives are at stake.

But still these morons keep finding me...

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Ranger Tom Cooks!

Not only am I going to break the mold, I'm going to completely shatter it right now. I'm a single (divorced) white male in my late thirties who actually can cook and is not a homosexual.

Not only can I cook, I actually enjoy cooking.

Here's one of my favorites. Not only is it easy, it's very tasty... It brings me back to my old neighborhood in Philadelphia when the aroma of my cooking it wafts through my apartment.

RT's Hot Italian Sausage Melt


5 hot or mild Italian sausages (If you cant get fresh made, Johnsonville makes a good substitute)
2 Small cans of tomato sauce (8 oz, 227g)
Sliced Provalone cheese
Crushed red pepper

Brown sausages in a large skillet over a medium flame to taste & browness, in a separate small saucepan, put the tomato sauce and season to taste (I like it hot, so I use a lot of red pepper) with the above seasonings and simmer over a low flame till hot.

Place cooked sausage on an oven & microwave-safe dish. Pour the hot seasoned sauce over the sausages completely covering them. Cover the whole thing with one layer of sliced provalone cheese. Place the dish on the highest shelf in a oven pre-heated to 300 F (or 30 to 40 seconds in a microwave) just long enough to melt the cheese.


This should serve two bulimia-free adults with a normal appetite.

Another suggestion is try it as a hot sandwich on an Italian hoagie roll. If you are in the Philadelphia/South New Jersey area this should be no problem as Amoroso's brand rolls (the best in the world) are readily available. If you are in the Northeast Philly area, look up and see if DePalma's bakery is still open. They used to make the rolls fresh every morning in coal-fired ovens. They were just off Frankford Avenue in the Mayfair section on the city. If anything else, a decent 8" French roll will do.

Again, I hope you try this tasty little treat. I'll post other recipes from time to time if you like this one!

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Friday, August 26, 2005

I am so Goddamn sick of this tune...

Yesterday I walked over to the Deli Mart to get some staples. Milk, sugar and bread. On coming out of the store I sat down on the "Liars Bench" outside of the store to talk with some of the local color I've grown to know and enjoy conversation with. It really does make me feel good at being accepted as a "local", especially being one of those "Damn Yankees".

One older gentleman pointed to the gas price sign, where one of the Deli's employee's was changing.

Price of a gallon of regular gasoline today: $2.73

Up five cents since yesterday. My friend then began to spout some diatribe about "Those evil, greedy oil companies and how we went to war in Iraq just for the oil!" I just bit my lip and didn't say anything, as I'm just about sick and fucking tired of that tune.

If we went to war to get all that oil, why the hell are we paying this much for gas? And if that's the case, we could have easily have done it back in 1992 in the first place. If we actually went to war in Iraq just for the oil, why aren't we paying the same as I did for a gallon of gas when I first started driving, .56 cents a gallon?

In most things I'm what I consider a libertarian, but I am a Fiscal Conservative. I understand that companies are in business to make money. I respect that. If I owned a company, I pretty much would be doing it to make money.

Not a really hard concept to grasp. Economics 101 shit.

So I really don't begrudge any company making a profit. That's what they do. The provide a product or service, for a fee, and reap a profit.

But I still had to think about this. I've been hearing all this crap from the politicians on how the "Evil, Greedy Oil Companies" are scalping the US citizens. So I did a bit of research and found this out:

Broken down by percentages, where the money goes on what we pay for a gallon of regular gasoline:

39% goes to the oil producers. (That's the folks who actually get it out of the ground, not the oil companies)

35% goes to Federal, State and local taxes.

13% goes to distribution and marketing

7% goes to refining and transportation

6% goes to net profits

Ok, I wasn't an economics major in college, but I do understand this one thing. If I had a company that was only making 6% net profit on a good or service I was selling, I'd be pretty pissed. The ones who are screaming the loudest, also are the ones who levied the damn taxes in the first place. If the damn politicians really want to lower the gas prices, whey the fuck don't they repeal some of the taxes?

They won't because they think it's their money, not ours. It's easy money, and it's just not who's sitting in the Whitehouse right now.

I'll give you another example about how fucking greedy the politicians are with our money. Back in 1898 the US went to war with Spain over a ship that was allegedly blown up in Havana Harbor. (Remember The Maine!) so, as a fledgling World Power we went to war, and actually won to the amazement of the rest for the world.

When we went to war with Spain we really didn't have the finances to cover that little foray into world politics. We were still almost bankrupt after the Civil War and The Reconstruction.

So Congress decided to levy a "Luxury Tax" on this newfangled little thing that was just taking hold in America, the telephone. This "Luxury Tax" of 3% was only supposed to be to finance the Spanish~American War. That's it.

That war ended over one hundred years ago.

Did congress repeal that Luxury Tax after the war was over? Fuck no, and it's still levied, every month on your phone bill.

Enough is enough already! I'm not in a really high tax bracket right now, but I feel I'm taxed enough. I'm taxed at 28% Federal, 15% State & Local on my wages every two weeks. I go to the grocery store and I'm taxed on my groceries. I'm taxed when I make a phone call to fiance a war that's been over for a hundred years. I fill up at the pump and I'm gouged again, not by the "Evil, Greedy Oil Companies" but by my own Government.

I am just sick and tired of theses political nabobs telling me they think I don't need a tax cut, when it's my fucking money to begin with!

They want to improve our way of life, stop bleeding us dry!

One more. A pack of cigarettes? You know how much money the "Greedy, Evil Tobacco Companies" are making on each pack we buy? .05 Cents. A stinking five cents a pack. That means that out of the $2.60 I pay per pack of smokes, $2.55 goes to taxes!

Oh, well Tom! That's a "Sin Tax"!

Oh really, asshole? Last I heard it was still a legal substance. Stop jamming you morality down my throat too! You bastards did that in the 20's and 30's with Prohibition and you see how well that worked, didn't you, you bunch of damn Smoke Nazis!

So stop blaming these high gas prices on George Bush, because what we pay and how the money is allotted was decided long before he took office. Don't blame the oil companies. Don't blame the war in Iraq.

Look to your own representatives. You voted for them. It's up to you now to let them know how you feel, and if they won't listen, let them know on election day in the ballot booth but I seriously doubt that will happen anytime soon.

Ted Nugent was right. We are a nation of "Sheeple" (Sheep/people... I love that phraze)

Whew... I'm glad I got that off my chest.

I'll get off my soapbox now.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Thursday, August 25, 2005

A rare glimpse into the unknown

I was treated to a rare treat last night.

Again I couldn't sleep, so getting up several hours before I had to, I got dressed and walked next door to the diner to get some coffee.

I was sitting at the counter having my coffee and reading the paper when two college students came in and sat next to me. I didn't think anything of it until that began to talk and it was obvious that I was witness to a rare and splendorus event.

The rarely seen mating ritual of the North American Algorithniacomputeris Americanus, or the common college freshman geek.

The male was wearing Bermuda shorts, sandals, a checked button-down short sleeve shirt and the female, unlike other species, was as plain as her erstwhile suitor wearing as Joan Baez t-shirt and baggy jeans, her long mousy and un-washed hair was pulled back in the ever-present severe ponytail.

Algorithniacomputeris Americanus isn't known for it's hygiene either.

And so the mating ritual begins...

Male: "So, are you a freshman too?"

Female: "Yes."

Male: "What's your major?"

Female: "Literature."

Male: "Cool. I like Isaac Asimov too. I'm going to be an entomologist!"

And so it went on... After the ritualistic feast was consumed, the intricate dance was resumed and I listened with wonder.

Male: "So, if you were an insect, what kind would you be?"

Female: "I don't know, that's kind of hard to think of."

Male: "Ok. I hear there's a Star Trek convention coming to Charleston in November. Want to go with me?"

I could just imagine Marlin Perkins from that old TV show "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" doing a running voice-over commentary.

As fascinating as it was, it was also extremely painful too. I paid for my coffee an walked home and thought, "School only started Monday..."

The fascinating things one sees and hears living in a tiny college town in Southern West Virginia.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Eight hours

Of un-interrupted sleep.

That's all I'm asking.

The last week or so I've been sleeping shitty and I don't know why. I'm not sick and I'm feeling pretty good for the most part.

It's these damn dreams I've been having.

The latest one is me reliving a time in my life I'd soon forget. It happened on July 17th, 1987, four months before I was to be discharged.

I was standing in the door of a C-130 flying at 1900 feet. Static line was hooked, and the green light came on.

I stepped out the door into nothing, going instinctively into a perfect PLF... Chin in my chest, legs together, knees slightly bent, toes together pointed at the ground.

I count...

One-thousand one, one-thousand two, one-thousand three, then...


I should have felt the jerk and heard the pop of the canopy deploying... But nothing happened.

1900 feet is not a lot of altitude when you have to deploy the reserve and cut away the streamer...

The unexpected happens. Bladders release, bowels turn fluid...

I was able to deploy my reserve canopy for real when it happened, but it made this ex-paratrooper an avowed acrophobe. I get vertigo standing on a damn step-stool now.

But in my dream I keep falling, faster and faster...

And wake in a cold sweat hours before I need to wake, and unable to get back to sleep.

I wonder if it's my subconscious telling me something in some sort of sick metaphor?

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Criminal Genius?

I've spent a lot of time here over the last few months bitching about stupid people and stupid criminals.

I'm going to go off on a different angle today. I was talking to a deputy sheriff last night about the usual cop talk, then the conversation turned to the current gas prices and what some folks are doing, like driving off without paying, siphoning gas out of people's gas tanks stuff like that, and it reminded me of a big case back in PA that I had a part in solving.

(Note: If any of you dumb enough to try to recreate these crimes, then get your dumb ass caught, do not blame me because I will not be held responsible for your dumb ass actions)

This guy was smart. What he was doing was taking an unloaded tanker truck and going to closed gas stations at night and just sucking the gas out to the station holding tanks, then selling the gas at pennies on the dollar to anyone with cash.

How did he do that? Well, how many of us have seen tanker trucks at closed gas stations, especially at night? What's the first thing we thing of? "Oh, that station is getting a delivery" and not giving it a second thought.

That's exactly what this guy gambled on, and he did it with great success for almost six months.

How he got caught was my partner and I were driving down a street in the district one night and I saw the tanker truck at a Texaco station that was closed.

I wouldn't have given it a second thought until I realized that station had gotten a fuel delivery the night before...

The second 'smart' criminal was something of what can only be described as pure genius. This guy never got caught as far as I can remember, but it's legend in and around Philadelphia.

We've all seen those huge night deposit boxes on the outside of banks, right? Where owners of businesses can deposit their night's receipts after hours?

Some guy got it into his head to do this, and to be honest, to know that so many people fell for it makes me hope he gets away with it. He donned a security guard's uniform, gun and everything, had a large leather bag. He posts a neatly written sign on the night deposit box saying:

"Deposit box is broken, please leave deposit with guard..."


And ballsy. He stood there from later police reports the better part of seven hours, collecting well over $150,000 in cash and checks.

If my memory serves me correctly, that was about 1990 and he was never found.

Who's the idiot now?

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Monday, August 22, 2005

Caption Contest!


I was going to come up with a little diatribe about this little number, but I thought I'd let my loyal readers come up with something.

The possibilities are endless!

The person who comes up with the best caption will win a BIG PRIZE to be announced at the end of the contest.

I have no idea what the BIG PRIZE will be, but it will NOT have anything to do with oral sex or rabbits...

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Stop! Look & Listen!

That's what the old railroad crossing signs used to say. The warning is no longer present on the crossbucks, but the danger is still there.

Two different stories in the past few days hit home to me as I have a very dear friend who works in EMS and is behind the wheel of an ambulance every day. Even though I know my friend is too smart to stop on a grade crossing, it still happens more frequently than you'd imagine. But EMS personnel should be especially aware of the dangers.

A freight train, moving at 35 MPH, will take approximately one and a half MILES to stop, so even if the engineer sees you, he can't stop his train in time.

Thursday, in Falkville, Alabama an ambulance was struck by a freight train while the ambulance was at a grade-crossing. Both ambulance personnel were killed in that accident. It was reported that they were responding to a non-emergency call. While I was looking up more information on this accident I learned that another ambulance was struck by a train in Littlerock, Arkansas Friday, killing all three paramedics on board.

In an ironic twist, the only person to survive that crash in the ambulance was the patient.

So, what ever you do, DO NOT try to go around the lowered barricades at grade crossings, and when crossing at one that has no warning lights and barricades, STOP, LOOK and LISTEN!

Don't think you can beat the train, you will most definitely lose. Last year when I was still working along the New River for CSX, I spoke with an engineer about this very subject. He said that it's not a matter of if you'll hit a vehicle with your train, it's a matter of when.

A pretty sobering thought.

To learn more about this, go to Operation Lifesaver:

It has plenty of information for EMS, police, fire personnel and also businesses and teachers.

It may save your life one day.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Someone else who gets it!

Far from having the absolutely thrilling, facinating and breathtaking hobby of checking out blogs, my hobbies are sleeping and my toenail collection.

But I was doing a little surfing of Blogdom before work last night and found someone who GETS IT...

And it's someone purdy darn famous as they say here in West Virginia.

And he GETS IT!

Who is this famous person you're thinking?

Well, it's none other than Pat Sajak, of TV's Wheel of Fortune fame. For over twenty years he and the equally famous and sultry Vanna White have been entertaining us and giving us that wonderful catch phrase "I'd like to buy a Vowel, Pat!"

A kindred spirit!

Go here:

And here:

My eyes nearly dropped out of my head when I read that. Read those essays and you'll see what I'm talking about.


Well dip me in dogshit!

Who'd a thunk it?

Maybe I'm not nuts...

Well, maybe a little.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Friday, August 19, 2005

It finally got me too

I had been feeling a little down the last few days and I couldn't understand why. I even started to get just a tad bit paranoid starting yesterday morning. I even sent one of those e-cards to a dear friend asking if I had done anything wrong.

Shit, I was getting as bad as Henry Kissenger.

I just couldn't explain it.

Then I get to work last night and it just got weirder from there. I got my patrol vehicle and my first stop on my rounds is the little diner. I get there and the girl behind the counter told me I had just missed all the fun. They had to forcibly remove a patron, the sister of another friend of mine, who was shit-faced drunk and became belligerent...

Wonderful. My night is already starting out great. I had already stepped in a puddle and now I was squishing at every step.

I got down next to the Deli Mart to see what's going on there. I walk in the place and everyone is crowded down one of the aisles, and I can hear a strange whining...

I walk over to see the largest woman I'd ever seen wearing the largest orange Mumu I'd also ever seen splayed out on the floor surrounded by twinkies.

Apparently she had fallen and knocked over a display and now everyone was standing around waiting on the rescue squad. Evidently the kid working at the store was smart enough not to chance a hernia in trying to help her up and had instead called 911.

Great. And it's not even 10:30 yet.

Not much else happened after that because it was raining so hard.

Around 3 am though, I witness something I thought I'd never see in Athens, WV. Walking southbound right on the double-yellow of Rt. 20 was a man wearing nothing but a smile.

I called the Sheriff's Office to report this... They asked for a description. I told the dispatcher: "White male, approximately 20 to 25 years old, brown hair walking south bound on State Street."

"What is he wearing sir?"

"Eh, nothing. He's got his birthday suit on and a smile. Shouldn't be to hard to miss."

Around 4 am the rains stopped and the sky cleared. I looked up and should have known...

Smiling down on me was the full moon...

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Thursday, August 18, 2005

All Aboard!

I have a very good friend in Australia who is a train controller (dispatcher) for a major railroad in the state of Western Australia. He knows of my love of the railroad and is keenly aware of my desire to become an engineer.

As with most Aussies I know, he has about the same warped sense of humor I have.

So what does he do? He's forever emailing me pics of train derailments... Like the BNSF GE Dash-9 pictured above... (unfortunately both the engineer and conductor lost their lives)

I'm not sure if it's just some morbid fascination with train crashes, like Gomez Addams had on the old TV Show or he's telling me in some subtle way that my life is one huge, tragic train wreck, or maybe he's just letting me know that my career change is wrought with danger...

Either way, I love the pics! Thanks HH, keep em' coming!

My life is sort of on the bipolar express at the moment... I never know when this train will change tracks!

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Old Enough

My father told me many years ago not to sell out my principles, no matter what. He said I might find myself one day with an unpopular belief, but if I truly believed I was right, not to cave in to what the opposition wants just to fit in.

He said I'd make enemies, but at least I'd know I believed in myself and my beliefs and never gave in to the status quo.

So, now I stand ready to make some enemies... Especially with the MADD crowd.

Well, my motto is to piss off people...

Yesterday afternoon I was shopping at the local Kroger's supermarket and after finding everything I needed, I was in the checkout line. A few people ahead of me was a young man with a very short haircut and a dark 'farmer' tan. I could tell right away by the way he was carrying himself that he was in the military even though he was wearing street clothes.

When the checkout chick asked for his ID for the six-pack of beer he was trying to buy and he pulled out his military ID card.

I knew it.

Well, it appeared that this young soldier was only 19, and therefore couldn't buy beer in West Virginia. He walked away dejected.

It wouldn't have been so bad, but the checkout chick made a joke about the "Little Kid" trying to buy beer with the next customer in line. I didn't see the humor in it, and it only pissed me off. She tried the same joke with me but I didn't bite.

I paid for my groceries and was walking to my truck when I saw the young soldier outside talking on his cell phone. I walked up to him and asked him what unit he was with.

"25th ID, sir." He told me.

"You just get back from the 'Sandbox?" I asked.

"Yes sir. Got home yesterday. First time home in two years."

"Do me a favor. Wait here for me. I'll be right back."

"Eh, ok sir."

I put my groceries in my truck and went back into the store and went directly to the beer and spirits aisle, grabbing a 30-pack of Budweiser. I made sure I went to the same checkout lane I was in before and made it a point of inferring what I was doing, daring her to say anything to me. She didn't and was strangely silent as I paid for the brew and walked out of the store.

I walked back over to where the soldier was standing and handed over the illicitly bought booze.

"Ah shit sir, you didn't have to do that!" He said smiling. "How much do I owe you?"

"Yes I did have to do it soldier. And you don't owe me anything. It's the least I could do. Just do me a favor, ok? Don't go getting yourself all shitfaced and get behind the wheel, ok?"

"Yes sir!"
He beamed at me and took the beer to his car, waving back at me.

Let me tell you this. If a man, and yes he is a man, can go over to Iraq, carry an M-16, get shot at and possibly be killed for this country, he should be able to buy a damn beer whether he's 21 or not. He deserves it, by God.

How can we ask our young men and women to go over seas to fight our battles for us and not give them some leeway? Let them have a damn beer.

My father told me of the very same thing happening to him when he came home from Europe in 1945. He had just help defeat the entire Wermach astride his M-10 Tank Destroyer attached to the 3rd Armored division, steamrolled across France, Belgium and Germany, came home to be told he wasn't old enough to sit with his older brother and have a beer in the neighborhood bar.

On top of that, at 20, my father wasn't even old enough to vote!

It's why they changed the voting age back in the 60's... A country that was drafting it's young men to go off to a foreign land and wouldn't allow them to vote was morally wrong.

And I equate the same thing with the drinking age and soldiers.

I'm not saying we should lower the drinking age, far from it. I'm saying there should be exceptions.

If you're in the Armed Services of the United States, you should be allowed to have a beer or two. If you aren't, tough shit. Wait until you're 21.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Little things

This past weekend I worked up in Nicholas County at another mine again. Seems like this is going to be an every week thing.

That's not what I'm writing about though. Sunday morning around 8:30 I decided to sit out on the stairs to the mine office and have a cup of coffee and catch up on the book I'm reading. It was a nice morning and I decided I'd enjoy it before it got too hot.

There was still plenty of dew on things and was a lot of drops still on the handrail of the stairs I was sitting on. I was on the steps for about an hour when I noticed a fluttering out of the corner of my eye.

I slowly turned my head to the left and saw a Monarch butterfly had alighted on the railing. As I watched it unfurled it's proboscis and began drinking one of the dewdrops until it was gone. It then fluttered away as if I wasn't there.

Sometimes the small things that go unnoticed in life that mean the most. The simple act of a butterfly drinking a dewdrop filled me with wonder in this little rock we call home.

It reminded me me of a time deer hunting about fifteen years ago. I was with my best friend at his ex father-in-law's place in Potter County, Pennsylvania. It was opening day of deer season and I was in my favorite stand where I'd been successful in the past. Around noon as I was eating lunch I noticed something in the crook of a small branch in the tree.

I looked closer and saw it was a tiny hummingbird's nest left from the previous summer. It was so intricate and small. About the size of a Half-Dollar and I could imagine the care that went into it's construction. I left it were it was when I left my stand for the camp that evening knowing if I attempted to take it with me it would be destroyed and I thought if I left it there, next summer maybe another hummingbird would find it and make it home. I shouldered my rifle and started back to where I had parked my truck and half way there I was eye to eye with the biggest whitetail buck I had ever seen. It was the buck that deer hunters dream of. Two hundred fifty pounds if it was an ounce and the biggest rack of antlers I'd ever seen outside of photos in hunting magazines.

We stood there for almost a minute watching each other as my heart was about to explode from my chest. It was standing about fifty yards in front of me, giving me the perfect heart-lung shot that I knew if I made, my 30.06 would drop it were it stood. The deer then ambled off into the woods as I stood there in wonder doing nothing but watch it dissapear into the briars.

I got back to my truck, drove the logging road back to the cabin to meet with the rest of the guys. A fire was going in the stove and they guys were well on the way to being very well lubricated. Old and new stories were bandied about, but I was off somewhere else.

That was the last time I seriously hunted. Since then I had gone through the motions with my friends every year, doing the yearly male-bonding every fall after that. But I never seriously hunted after that. I never even told my best friend that every year since me finding the nest and seeing the buck I never even loaded my rifle when we went out...

Now I have the image of the Monarch to add to all those little things stored away in my memory.

And I'm glad I'm alive...

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Monday, August 15, 2005

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Irish Folklore

The Irish have a lot of sayings and beliefs. Most come from the pre-Christian era when they were just pagan heathens, and these beliefs are steeped in Celtic superstitions.

Now they're Christian heathens. (I, like Denis Leary, pissed myself laughing when I saw a book titled "Irish Cuisine"...)

My dear-departed Irish grandmother was full of them. The Irish have a long tradition with this stuff.

Like if your nose itches you're going to be in a fight, your palm itches you're coming into money, you have a ringing in your ears somebody is talking about you...

You get a sudden chill and someone just walked over your grave. Things like that.

Well, this morning I woke up and my left heel is killing me. I wonder what that would mean to Mrs. Wiley?

I'm going to kick someone's ass soon?

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Saturday, August 13, 2005

All in a name

This is one of those marketing ideas I wish I had come up with. Very rarely do I see a product name that actually fits it.

because if you're anything like me and have owned a lot of older cars in my younger days you've had said the same things I have...

Usually in the middle of winter...

And you're late for work...

It's -15 F and snowing...

4:30 in the morning...

"C'mon, ya' bastard! Start!!!!"

As an aside, I just thought I'd let everyone know today is National Left-Hander's Day. Me being a southpaw I'm glad they finally have a day for all of us who are actually in their right minds.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Friday, August 12, 2005

Another case of "Y" ask "Y"

That pesky little extra "Y" chromosome is rearing it's ugly little head again, making me wonder what the hell is wrong with us.

On Tuesday in Roane County Tennessee, George Hyatte, 34 was being escorted back to the county jail after a court hearing on an armed robbery charge. Outside the courthouse gunfire erupted when Hyatte's wife shot and killed a corrections officer escorting the cuffed and shackled the prisoner, making it possible for Hyatte to escape.

The couple was apprehended yesterday in Ohio. But what strikes me as another one of those things that just make me shake my head is this.

His wife, Jennifer Hyatte is a 31-year-old nurse who had been fired from her job at a prison in Tiptonville because of suspicions that she was having a relationship with Hyatte. Prior to this she had no criminal record. She then marries this known violent offender.

What the fuck makes these women do shit like this? You hear about it all the time. Violent criminals in jail are swarmed with women wanting to marry them... Have there children. And it seems that the more heinous the crime, the more "groupies" these pieces of shit attract.

Richard Ramirez, John Wayne Gacy, Robert Chambers, David Berkowitz, Charlie Manson and now Scott Peterson all have one thing in common besides their crimes. They have the women crawling out of the woodwork after them.


What the hell is wrong with these women that makes them so attracted to these freaks? I've know far too many women in my life that have gone back time and time again to men who treat them like garbage, beat them, use them like a hunk of meat, but this goes way beyond that.

It's way beyond the "Bad Boy" attraction.

One study reported that They especially like wife-killers, It adds to the thrill.


I used to see it all the time on the job. Women beaten to a bloody pulp by a husband of a boyfriend, and as I'm taking out the garbage so to speak, she's crying and yelling at me to "Not to take her husband away! I love him!"

They go back, if not the same man, the same type of man, over and over again... Now they're digging on these pieces of shit on death row for God's sake.

What the fuck is wrong with this picture? Nice guys finish last, as always. But this is too damn much.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Thmink Tanque

As far back as I can remember I've been hearing about these so-called "Think Tanks".

These faceless corporations who's sole purpose is to make studies and write reports on all sorts of things. Some are extremely important, like Global Warming, Nuclear proliferation and Global Terrorism. Others are trivial like the methane production of the American dairy cow or the fact that you really can fry an egg on the sidewalk at noon in the middle of August in Biloxi, Mississippi.

And they charge millions of dollars to give what amounts to nothing more than their opinion on any given subject they're asked to study.

Who the fuck are these people?

"In a recent report released by the Rand Corporation, a Washington, DC based think tank..."

I'm talking millions and millions of dollars. That's a shitload of cabbage, all for an opinion.

That got me thinking...


Well, let's see. I have an opinion on just about anything. Albeit a fucked up and warped opinion but I do have opinions. Why don't I start my own "Think Tank" and capitalize on them?

I'll even charge half-price. Nation States and heads of multinational corporations will ask me all their burning questions. Stuff that keeps CEO's, Presidents, Kings and Queens awake at night and the makers of Mylanta filthy rich.

At least I'd be frank with them.

"You want to do WHAT? What are you, fucking insane?"

"This just in from the AP... The much awaited and eagerly anticipated report from the ToFuCo Corporation, a West Virginia based think tank, was quoted "what kind and how much dope have you been smoking?' on the studies that the XYZ Company of Caracas, Venezuela on the possibilities of extracting core minerals from..."

There. An honest answer on something, and it only cost half of what the other think tanks would have charged.

ToFuCo Corporation would have three standard answers.

"Good to go!"


"Fuck no!"

"ToFuCo Corporation gave Halliburton a big "Fuck No!' on the current proposal which sent the NYSE and the NASDAQ soaring for the first time in..."

Can't you just picture it?

I Know I can. I'd have a small staff, maybe four or five people. We'd sit in my living room with a case of Schlitz...

"Ok Tommy, the currier just dropped of the proposal..."

"What do they want?"

"Seems Georgia Pacific wants to log some, hey, Phil, toss me another cold one, would ya'? National Forest lands in the Pacific Northwest and the Sierra Club wants to know what the impact of the logging would have on the habitat of the Nocturnal Pink-Bellied Toad Sucker..."

"They like the Spotted Owl?"

"Dunno, I think so. Why?"

"I like Spotted Owls... I'll take another brewski too by the way..."

"Really? You like Spotted Owls?"

"Sure do. They taste just like chicken!" The word 'chicken' said in one huge belch...

Would I save the world or change it for the better? Probably not. Would I make shitloads of money? Sure I would.

Think about it...

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Fan mail

Got an email this morning from a guy saying how much he loved my blog because I'm such a loser.

From The Nightman:

My hobby is checking out blogs....I came to yours and liked your way with words, but I stayed because you are such a textbook example of a loser. One sure sign of a loser is that they think that everybody else is a loser, stuff that happens to them is always somebody else's fault, other people are dumb, etc.etc.etc.......yet the real problem is themselves. Let's see, you work a dumbass minimum wage type job in one of the most backward states in the Union. You don't have any money, but you smoke cigarettes and drink beer even while you are losing your belongings because you "can't" pay for the storage. Everybody seems to conspire to cause you trouble, you blame somebody else for all your troubles, yet your biggest trouble is yourself.

Why am I such a loser? Apparently he's only reading what he wants to read into what I've written. Sure I bitch about my plight, and it's a position I'm in all by myself and I really have no one else to blame for it. But I'm not putting blame on anyone else for my position, only myself, and if you'd have had read deeper you'd have realized I'm actually laughing at myself most of the time. (ok, maybe I blame it slightly on my ex... But that's my prerogative, you live with her for as long as I did and tell me different!)

Hell, I'm laughing at myself all the time.

Maybe I'm in a depressed area in the country but it's nowhere near 'backwards', I do make a lot more than minimum wage and what business is it of yours if I smoke cigarettes and have a beer now and then? I never let any of my vices get in the way of my bills unlike a lot of folks I've known throughout the years. I didn't realize your were my self-appointed conscience.

I moved to West Virginia for a lot of reasons. The main reason is to get on full-time with the railroad, which believe it or not, there's a lot of opportunities for just that in this whole area. I'm not looking to get rich, never have. I have a bachelor's degree from a major university and could move back to Philadelphia tomorrow and get a really well paying job. But I choose to live here. Sitting in a little cubicle working 9 to 5 Monday through Friday would destroy me. So I'm not bitching about where I live.

Just because it's a depressed area doesn't mean it's not a very nice place to live and the people are the nicest people I've ever met. Another reason I moved here is to get away from my ex-wife... And compared to what life was like living with her my life is a million times better.

I don't want to live in Philadelphia or any other large population center because most of those areas are full of people just like you who go through life passing judgment on others because they smoke cigarettes or drink a beer or two once in a while or don't have what one thinks is a well paying job or live in an alleged "good area".

Another reason I left the church, hypocrisy. Those that live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

I may very well be a loser in your frame of mind. But I still have my self respect and haven't lost the ability to laugh really long and hard at myself, which I do daily here. Life is too Goddamn short NOT to laugh and take things so seriously.

Yes, I've had a pretty screwed up time the last few years, but I'm surviving. I don't beleive anyone is conspiring or 'out to get me'. My bitching about things is my way of stepping a little outside of things, taking a very hard look around and laughing about it. It's all a joke because my life is just one big joke. If I can make one person smile or laugh along with me every day, maybe I'm doing some good out there in my life because laughter is the best medicine and a lot of my readers get it, but apparently you don't.

And that's all that really matters to me. Isn't it making someone's life just a little bit better, however brief?

So what if I smoke, or drink and don't have what you'd call a good job or live in what you think is a nice area. And if you chose to only read what you want to read into what I've written and overlook all the good things I've said I guess you'd be right in calling me a loser.

But if I make only one person smile once a day, make their day just a little bit brighter by laughing at little screwed up things that happen to me...

"Shit... That's fucked up! I'm glad I'm not Tom!"

I guess I'm really a winner, aren't I?

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

All I can say is

What the fuck!!!!!!!

All I want to say is First Community Bank is the most fucked-up bank I've ever done business with. Because of them I may be living in my car shortly. I've done that before, January and February 04' come to mind... At least this time it won't be in the middle of winter.

Let me explain.

Last month I wrote my rent check and put it in the mail. A few weeks ago I get a call from my landlord saying he's never received my rent for the month of July. Ok sez I, and I check with my bank. The check I wrote never cleared it seems but oddly enough, the money to cover the check is no longer in my account.


So I let my landlord know this, I'm not trying to gaff him for the rent. I get paid Friday the 5th I tell him. I'll get his rent then. He's in Wisconsin hunting, so his building manager takes the check I've written for the proper amount plus late fees. I let him know I will be behind now a few weeks for the August rent. Ok sez he, just as long as I'm making the effort to get the cash to him. I tell him I get paid again on the 19th and I'll get him another $200 then. I'll be playing catch-up for a month or so, but I'll make good. I should also mention at this point I haven't paid my phone or internet yet because I just don't have the money.

Right after I give the manager the check, I head to the bank with my paycheck which I promptly deposit into my checking account to cover the rent. I know I'm going to be a little short for the next few weeks. I'm used to that now with the slave wages my boss pays me on my McJob.

Before I deposited my paycheck I had exactly $3.29 in my checking account. After my deposit Friday, the check for the back rent and another check I wrote at the Deli Mart for $9.61, and the less-cash I received when I deposited my check, I should have $44.92 in the balance.

Then comes Sunday night. I go to the ATM at my bank while I was at work to check my balance.

Guess what the balance reads?

-$ 89.72

How the fuck can I be $89 overdrawn?

I write three lousy checks a month. I don't have that much activity in my account because I deposit so little money into it. But I always make sure my deposits will cover the checks I write, and I sure as shit don't write over $400 in checks in bars each month like someone who shall remain nameless did in Arizona.

I field a phone call from the building manager Monday morning when he calls to tell me my check isn't any good, and if I don't have last months' and this months' rent by Friday he's going to the County Magistrate to file a complaint. So I head to the bank. They tell me any deposits made after 2 PM go in the next business day. Fine. That still doesn't explain the negative balance. They have no answer... The branch manager is out at meetings I'm told.

Fucking wonderful.

So last night I'm at work, I have a bile-filled throb in my stomach that I haven't felt in a long time knowing my landlord is just a big enough dickhead to evict me for this. I go to the ATM at my branch three times to check the balance and all three times I get a different balance, all still in the red, but different enough to tell the difference.

How the fuck could my whole fucking paycheck disappear from Friday afternoon and Monday afternoon, with me not touching a red-cent of it besides the two checks I've written? Nobody seems to know or care at my bank, and my landlord has a giant eight-foot hardon for me for some reason unexplained to me as since the past nine months I've lived here I've never been late with the rent before.

Every Goddamn time I fell like I'm getting ahead, or just breaking even something happens to kick my in the balls. Not a damn thing has gone right for me in the last few months (well, not every thing, dinner was nice Thursday, by the way...) and I just feel like I'm sinking lower and lower some days. I've rolled my last $3 in pennies to get myself a pack of cigarettes last night and even they didn't last the entire shift. I was chain-smoking in a frantic worry the whole shift.

No good deed goes unpunished. I try to live my life good... And see what happens? Contrary to popular belief, I am a pretty nice guy. I always believe in taking responsibility for one's own actions. I've made plenty of mistakes before and I readily admit to them. If this was my fault I'd cop to it. Why the fuck does this shit always happen to me?

If I disappear for a while I'm living in a 1989 Ford Taurus somewhere in the woods... That I have no title for because someone who shall remain nameless still refuses to put the title into the mail from Arizona giving me more grief. Maybe the Mothman will come and take me some night then and put me out of my misery.

What the FUCK!!!!!!!!!!

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Monday, August 08, 2005

Day trip

I had off yesterday from work so I decided to take a little day trip. I drove up to Hinton where they have a very small but nice railroad museum, hit a few flea markets and had lunch overlooking the New River at the Bobcat Lounge.

Even though it's actually just a bar, it has excellent food and a really nice deck out back that overlooks the river.

I heartily recommend the Reuben!

The weather threatened rain all day but I still had a very nice time and it is a pleasure to drive through southern West Virginia.

If you ever get to the area I recommend stopping by for a while, you wont be disappointed! In October they have a weekend festival called "Railroad Days" that celebrates the town's railroad heritage.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Sunday, August 07, 2005

There are NO stupid questions

Only stupid people.

I just can't get over how Goddamn stupid people are.

For the last damn time, what I write here is HUMOR...

Not to be taken seriously.


Have I made myself perfectly crystal-clear on that, you fucking dolts?

Far too many of you out there in Cyberland take me seriously.


I know my brand of humor isn't for everyone, and if you don't get it you probably never will, so stop emailing me trying to right some wrong or mistake I've made. I deal with irony, with a dash of absurdity, despair and hopelessness thrown in.

But I'm constantly getting emails from people who JUST DON'T GET IT...

"Tom, in your post about the extra "Y" chromosome you were wrong..." And "Sir, I'm taking offence to your put-down of PETA..." Or "You don't know what you're talking about, the army was never..." And several like "Tom. You really should re-consider the plight of the dolphin by consuming only dolphin-friendly tuna..." Blah, blah, blah.

It's a joke, ok?

I will find humor in ANYTHING. (I'm the guy who joked about a watch on a severed arm I was holding, remember?)

If I have to explain it, it isn't funny. If you don't like my blog, great. Don't fucking read it. No one is holding a gun to your head. Gallows humor isn't for everyone and I shouldn't have to explain myself about every damn post I make. I DON'T make anything up here, but a lot of times I do change places, times and events and I NEVER will mention names or specifics, unless those said names or events are already in the public domain, and only then to protect the guilty.

This isn't a serious blog. It's humor. I'm not talking about things of great social import here. If that's what you're looking for, look elsewhere. I talk about farts, people that piss me off, farts, things that piss me off, farts, stupid folks, funny things I observe during my day and farts.

Shit like that.

If you find offence in my blog, good. You're probably one of those prigs that would piss me off in person anyway and I'm glad I offended you.

For the last time, I'm not going to explain my humor. If you don't get it, you're a moron who should be dragged out into the street and shot and were most probably a waste of sperm when you were conceived. You are an oxygen thief who is sucking up air that I could be breathing.

I really don't want to sound ungrateful because I do get many positive messages, which does keep me plugging away day in, day out. But I have to say, if you read my blog, and get it, enjoy... If you don't get it, move on. Please don't try to right my alleged wrongs. You're wasting your time.

I'm glad I got that off my chest.

I'll put my rifle and explosives away now...

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Saturday, August 06, 2005

A return of MAD?

I really try to stay with a lighthearted slant here, and even my bitching about some things are written with tongue firmly planted in my cheek but this scares the living shit out of me. I was saving this for an appropriate time but this being the 60th anniversary of the first use of an atomic bomb during wartime I thought this was a good a day as any to post it.

For those of you who don't remember the Cold War, let me tell you it was a scary time. But it was a lot simpler to live in and understand. It was easy to figure out who the bad guys were. It was "Us" and "Them" the 'Them' being the Soviet Union.

Thousands of thermonuclear warheads pointed at each other, on a hair-trigger with the only thing stopping the total annihilation of the planet was MAD, or "Mutually Assured Destruction", where if one country attacked the other, a complete and total retaliation with the full force of the other country's full nuclear arsenal was ensured.

In school we did the "Duck & Cover" drills, and we even had a huge air-raid siren on the roof of the school that went off every Wednesday at noon for the drill. I always did wonder though, "What if the Russians bombed at 12 o'clock?"

"We bomb at noon, Ivan! The Americans will think it's lunch!"

Now we don't know exactly who is the enemy, but there's one there and they're bound and determined to destroy our very way of life, and then I hear of this report on the radio a few nights ago. (No, it wasn't on Coast to Coast AM, but on a top-of-the-hour ABC news broadcast around 1 AM )

Apparently, Al Qaida has secreted several nuclear weapons in several major cities here in the US.

Go here for full report:

But apparently only one politician has spoken out on this, and for the life of me I can't remember his name, but in an interview about this subject, he suggested that we nuke some of the Muslim holy sites like Mecca and Medina in response if Al Qaida detonates any devices here in the country. If anyone knows who this guy is, let me know. I couldn't find anything on Google this morning.

I'd have to agree with that sentiment. It's another Cold War all over again, but rapidly heating up to a what appears to me to be WWIII...

Not in the biblical sense, but it is a World War, and one that's beginning to spiral out of control. One where only one side will survive.

I've got to say this though. As far as I'm concerned we didn't start this war. But if anyone pops a nuke here, someone should pay. I really couldn't give a rat's ass if we turn half the Middle East into a giant sheet of glass.

Maybe MAD worked the last time, but would it work now? To be honest, I doubt it. Throughout the entire Cold War, we were dealing with rational and sane men on both sides for the most part. Now it's a lot different.

Would you call a sane man one who would strap explosives on himself and blow up a bunch of children riding a school bus? Or how about flying a airliner into a building filled with thousands of innocent people?

I sure as shit don't call that sane. Killing for God is sort of like fucking for virginity.

I miss the Soviet Union sometimes.

Ok, enough of this. I'll return to my silliness tomorrow, I promise, and do I have a bitch-and-a-half for tomorrow!

Copyright Thomas J Wolfenden

Friday, August 05, 2005

Online blog stalker?

To the person reading my blog from Florida on the BellSouth Network...

I'm glad you like reading my blog and you've raised my hitrate enormously, but don't you think you're being obsessive?

37 times in the last three days...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Customer service?

Apparently the people in charge of the Indiana DMV listen...

After numerous complaints about extremely long wait times at many Indiana DMV offices, the Department of Motor Vehicles decided to take action to stop these complaints.

Did they ad more service personnel or extend the hours to evenings and Saturday?

Fuck no.

They removed all the clocks from the DMV offices, citing:

"If the citizens don't realize what time it is, they won't realize they've been standing in line so long and we'll have fewer complaints."

Kind of gives you that warm fuzzy feeling that your Government really does listen and care, doesn't it?

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Man, how I attract them...

A few weeks ago I blogged about this guy who is making "Anti-alien Abduction Helmets" and in shortly after I did, he found my blog as if some extraterrestrial guidance led him to me.

Aliens using mind control to find me, maybe?????

Now it seems he not only is trying to convince the world that aliens are using mind control to take over earth, he want me to be convinced of this 'fact' also.

I get at least one email a week from this guy, and it's as if he is pleading with me to accept his point of view. Well, I don't and unless I suffer severe brain trauma I most likely will never believe aliens are taking over the planet.

Here's his latest email to me: (Cut & pasted from the actual, authentic email, spelling is his)

From: "Mike Menkin" <>
To: "T Wolfenden"<>
Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 16:39:05 +0000 is an authentic web site. The case histories are
real and the testimonials are real. The videos are real. The person making
the videos is sending me 4 more tapes. I will edit all of the 8 video
tapes, about 20 hours worth, and release them to the media later this year.
I still make and send thought screen helmets to abductees to try for
free.It takes me almost 4 hours to make a helmet and costs me about $35 per
leather helmet.I have made about 50 in the last 6 years so it is for

I am getting more proof of the existance of aliens on the earth.
All of the drawings in are authentic. Aliens and
Children will be featured on a UFO documentary produced by WAG-TV in
England in September and by KINGTV in Seattle in September.
The 21st century will be a hard century for the human race. We will
soon confront proof of the existance of aliens on our planet.

Michael Menkin

Notice all of the 'drawings' of the aliens are authentic?

As opposed to 'un-authentic' drawings. I could draw a picture with crayon of an alien, whether I've seen one or not and wouldn't that drawing be 'authentic'?

And also, he makes these helmets, so it's GOT to be real, right?

Shit... They're following me!

Ok, I've really got to admit, I do believe in extra-terrestrial life in the universe. It would be pretty damn arrogant to assume that we are the only ones in the huge vastness of space.

But to also assume that those other beings in the universe are trying to take over the world through mind-control is a little over the top, don't you think?

Or maybe, just maybe, the aliens have already arrived and they've found me...

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The most dangerous thing in the world

...Is a Second Lieutenant with a map.

received a few emails asking "Tom, you said you were in the service. Do you have any funny military stories?"

I'm glad you asked.

Unfortunately, I can't tell a lot of them, but I can do this:

Once upon a time there was a group of US Army soldiers in Central America. It was around 1987. These brave soldiers were there on orders to train the Contra guerrillas fighting the Sandanistas.

One day they were sent out on patrol from one country into another country they really shouldn't have been in in the first place, and this country bordered on yet another country that they REALLY shouldn't be in.

This patrol was led by a brand-new Second Lieutenant fresh out of OCS, and being new, thought he knew everything there was about leading a patrol through the jungle. Second in command was a sergeant from Philadelphia who was twenty years old and was growing a little tired of the bullshit, but knew his job.

At noon on this beautiful day in the tropical paradise of Central America, they stopped for a break. An overwatch was sent out but the sergeant was feeling a little uneasy. Something just didn't feel right. He walked over to where the Lieutenant was studying the map.

"How's it going LT?" The sergeant asked.

"Ok sergeant. I think we're about five clicks from this town here." He said, pointing to a spot on the map.

"Really? Hey, you over there. Bring me the GPS..." He called to another soldier carrying the new toy the Army was just starting to issue the troops.

The sergeant didn't really trust the new device and relied more on his instincts, map and compass, but had even less faith in this new Lieutenant's sense of direction.

The sergeant turned on the device and checked the numbers. His face grew pale. He asked to see the map the lieutenant had clutched in his sweaty paws. He checked the numbers again, checking and double checking the map. He looked around for some landmarks, but could see none since that particular area of jungle was quite thick.

He looked ashen-faced to the lieutenant... "International Incident" flashed through his mind.

"Eh, LT, you and General 'Black Jack' Pershing have something in common now..."

"What are you talking about sergeant?"

"We've just invaded Mexico."

"That can't be, sergeant!"

"Sir, you have just led the first armed foray into Mexico since 1916. I for one do not want to spend any time in a Mexican jail and I don't think the men would think that would be a really good idea either."

"That just can't be!"

"Well it is sir, take a look for yourself." Handing over the GPS. "We're ten kilometers inside Mexico."

The Lieutenant's face grew paper thin as he checked the numbers with the map.

"We've got to get out of here, sergeant!" Stating the obvious.

"No shit, dickead..." The sargeant thought.

The sergeant pulled in the overwatch, issued new orders and let the men and the baffled Lieutenant south out of Mexico, avoiding an embarrassing situation for the United States.

shortly after this the sergeant was honorably discharged.

The Lieutenant stayed in, and I believe he's a senior advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon now.

The moral of the story?

There is no moral. Lieutenants are fucking stupid.

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Monday, August 01, 2005


Since I've been on a musical theme that last few days I thought I'd bring up this little conundrum that's been baffling me for some time.

Back in the 70's George Carlin brought up "The Seven Words You Can't Say On TV"... And he spelled them out. Since the FCC is in charge of the radio waves also, this also applies to the music we hear, and a lot of the new songs are getting edited to hell...

But one song, or rather two, have me baffled. This has been going on for years with these songs too. The Who's "Who Are You?" and Steve Miller's "Jet Airliner".

The sensors definitely block the word 'shit' in this line: "And I don't want to get caught up in any of that funky SHIT going down in the city..." in 'Airliner' But leave in 'fuck' in one chorus: "Tell me just who the FUCK are you?" in that classic Who song.

They will bleep out 'shit' but not 'fuck'. I find that curious.

Shortly after 9/11, I was listening to a talk radio program on KFI out of LA. This was when I still lived in Arizona and could pull in that station. Anyway, the over night host, I forget his name took a caller and he definitely sounded middle eastern. The caller began spewing evil shit about how we're all going to die, Allah is great, shit like that.

The host, getting tired of his garbage, hung up on him, but before he did he distinctly said; "Hey pal, FUCK YOU!"

Nothing was ever said to this guy. Why can he get away with that and they censor ol' Steve Miller for not wanting to deal with funky shit going down in the city?

My whole theory on this is, if it offends you, turn the channel. You don't have to listen to it but maybe someone else wants to. Don't ram your moral beliefs down my throat.

Who the FUCK are you to tell me what I can or cant hear?

George Carlin's words? Here they are: Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits...

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden