Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dream vehicle...

Every year since my divorce, right around this time of year, I try to buy myself something just for me...

A few years ago I went on a trip to Alaska, a the year after I bought myself a nice Ford Bronco and two years ago I bought a really nice mechanical drawing of a steam locomotive that I've got hanging over my fireplace...

Last year I decided to get a vehicle I've always wanted. A Land Rover Type 3... And I found this one on-line for 950 Pounds Sterling (sorry, I can't figure out how to get the little "L" thing on my keyboard) or about $1,500. The one problem, it was in the UK. I contacted the owner as this price was more than acceptable... We talked a few times and I went looking for a shipper.

I found a Import~Export firm in Bristol, UK and we negotiated a price... From Bristol to the Port of Miami the shipping would be around $650... Still way below my $5,000 self-imposed ceiling.
Here's were things began to turn to shit... I contacted the Government here to find out the taxes and tariffs I would incur on importing the said 1978 Land Rover Type 3...

To make a very long story short, to comply with EPA and Federal Highway Regulations, I'd have to spend well over $10,000 to make the vehicle compliant with current standards... Before it even left the fucking dock! Not including the import fees, which were close to $2,000!

Needless to say I didn't spend $14,500 for a $1,500 vehicle...

I may be a bit crazy, but I'm not stupid.

I still want one, but I'm not going to pay out my ass for one.

This year my present to me was going to be a 6 week trip to Australia to visit (get drunk with) some mates, but now with the way the economy is going I'm definately NOT going to be spending $3,000 for just the airfare... Which is the lowest fare I've found so far... For that price the flight attendant better blow me hourly for the 17+ hour flight to Oz...

For a few months now I've been eying the UK... And BritRail has some great deals for a month-long rail pass that will let me get on and off the train, as many times I want anywhere in Britain, Scotland & Ireland.

And maybe I'll finally get to the Imperial War Museum and find the town where my father was billeted in Scotland during World War II prior to D-Day.

Well, wish me luck!

And maybe next time I'll have a new RT~Mobile!

Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Small List...

...Of shit that piss me off.
1) People who are actually upset that they have to go to work right after they punch the time clock.
Excuse me?
God forbid one should actually have to work when they're at work, on the clock! I know it's a stretch, but here's a unique concept: You punch in, you go to work. You punch out, you go home and lounge around. Eight hours' work, eight hours' pay.
These are the same people who work harder at getting out of work that actually doing their job to begin with... Usually pawning it off to someone else.
I say shut the fuck up, do your fucking job and quit your fucking whining.
2) People who work night shift and come into work at say "Boy am I tired!" Shut the fuck up already.
How about getting to sleep when you're at home and not stay up all day. I worked with a guy a few years ago on night shift... He'd go home, stay up all day in an empty house when his wife was at work and his kids were in school. He wouldn't get to bed until after the wife and kids were home and complain almost every night how tired he was.
You fucking dolt.
Did you really believe you were going to get a restful evening of sleep with 3 boys, ages 6, 9 and 12 running around the house?
Sleep when the damn house is empty, dumbass.
3) People who say "Un-Thaw" Now in my mind, "Un" means the opposite. So if you want me to un-thaw something, you want me to freeze it. To thaw something out is to let in "un-freeze"...
So if you ask me to un-thaw that steak, I'll put it back into the freezer.
I was dating a woman a while back in West Virginia. She left a note for me in the kitchen one morning: "Tommy, there's some chicken in the fridge... Un-thaw it for me will you?" So I put it back in the freezer.
Good = Good, Ungood = Bad.
Thaw = Melt, Unthaw = Freeze.
Am I wrong here?
4) People who say "Hamburger meat". There ain't no such thing. I've never met a guy who said he was a Hamburger Rancher.
It's ground beef, moron. Or ground pork or ground turkey. Got it?
5) People who misuse the apostrophe. Like this: (I've actually seen this printed on menus) Hamburger's $5, Cheeseburger's $6, Hot Dog's $2.
What the fuck! It's basic second grade English.
One day while I was still living in Arizona I noticed a hand-painted sign on a power pole on the road to my house. it read:
Puppy's 4 Sale
I couldn't resist. I got my cell phone out and called the number. When the person answered I asked them what the puppies had for sale. They didn't get it.
If you cant distinguish the difference between the use of 's or ies, you've got no damn business writing anything at all, especially on signage people will see.
I expect misspellings on Chinese Restaurant menus, but not people educated here. No wonder everyone else in the world thinks we're all a bunch of morons.
Learn basic English and learn to spell (or at least use spell-check) before you decide to print out a sign and post it somewhere...This is a sign (I shit you not) I saw at a coal mine I worked at briefly in Raven, Virgina:

Am I the only one who gets pissed off at these things?

I haven't had a good rant like this in a while... I needed that! I'll have a drink now.

Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Now if you'll just think "US Army Rangers" every time he says "Marines", everything will be alright.

Because when you Positively, absolutely have to have it destroyed over night...

Don't call a Jarhead.

Call a Ranger!


Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The day before Christmas...

When I got home this morning from work I had all intentions of writing about the bad night my switchman, The Rambling Hillbilly had, because no matter what he did during the shift, it went wrong. Nothing major... Nothing to get anyone hurt... Just a whole bunch off little things happened that I wont go into because it would necessitate a huge description of a bunch of railroad terms... So a long story short, he was having a bad night, and the more frustrated he got, the more me and my conductor laughed, and the more we laughed the angrier he got...

Not that I would ever derive pleasure in an other's discomfort...

We laughed our asses off!

Sorry, Bill, it was just too damn funny! That look on your face was precious!

Now to what I decided to write about. Christmas traditions...

Christmas was always my Mother's favorite holiday of the year (and being that my siblings and my birthdays are all around the end of December I'm leaning towards St. Patrick's Day as my Fathers...) and she would go all out decorating the house and the tree.

I'm of German descent on my mom's side, and I was always told that in Germany, they wouldn't put up the tree and decorate it until Christmas Eve. So that being said, we'd always, as a family, put the tree up and decorate it right before going to bed.

In 1992, few years after I got out of the Army and I was working in Law Enforcement, my father died and now it was up to me to come over the house on Christmas Eve and put the tree up so my mom and sisters could decorate it.

This I did, every year, then one time my sister said something about "The Leaning Tree of Christmas..."

Let me explain a little...

So I'd come over the house and put the tree up...

But I'd always stop off at the local watering hole, Lengehan's Pub, before the requisite tree erection... So I'd usually have half a load on. My sister told me it always would have a 10 degree starboard list when I was finished...

How was I to know?

It looked fine to me!

So that's my last recollection of Christmas in the home I grew up in... A tree askew in the living room... much like the one pictured above, only that's not it.

And as they say on the nightly news, alcohol was a factor...

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden
Photo pinched from the Interweb

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Now I'm really confused...

I went on line last week to renew my vehicle registration since my tags would expire at the end of this month. On the same FL DMV web page I found I could change my address on my Driver's License for a small $25 fee. As I've moved over two years ago from my previous residence, and since it's Florida state law to change your driver's license within 10 days of any relocation, I figured then was as good a time as any to change my address. I needed to anyway for another reason I'll get to in a few minutes.

I was told then after I made my secure credit card transaction that this would be the last time I could do that because new laws that had just taken effect.

Now in Florida, to get a Driver's License or renew a current license, you must now make an appointment at the DMV and show proof of identity...

That being: (all listed... Not just one)
A Current Passport
Birth Certificate
Social Security Card
Voter Registration Card
Another Photo ID

And proof of residence, being at least two utility bills, bank statements, a copy of a lease agreement or mortgage agreement and pay stubs showing current residential address.

Ok. Swell. I understand all about the need to be wary, and how the 9-11 hijackers and terrorists obtained phony ID's...

But this is getting a little too much.

The ironic thing about this is that one's current driver's license is NOT acceptable as a valid ID.

What the fuck, over?

Ok. I need to get a new Passport. I was planning a trip to Australia this summer to visit (get drunk with) a few mates of mine, but the way the economy is going the airfare to Oz are going through the roof, so I might just go to the UK and Ireland this summer. Either way I need a new passport. I was stupid and let mine expire two years ago, so now I've got to go through the whole damn process again... Meaning I've got to get my birth certificate from the City of Philadelphia. My original was misplaced years ago. Now to get that, I've got to send them a certified copy of my current Driver's license, showing my current address.

So I needed to change my address on my license.

OK, that taken care of.

But still...

I can get a copy of my birth certificate, by mail, using my current driver's license.

And use that as an ID?

It has no picture of me on it... The one picture I have of me taken around the time the ink was drying on it you see in my profile picture. While the attitude is still the same, I look a little different.

And I don't think those tiny little footprints are valid either.

And OK, let's look at the other forms of ID the state is requesting.

Social Security Card.

Again, no photo, only this, printed in bold on the very bottom: FOR SOCIAL SECURITY AND TAX PURPOSES - NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION (Form OA-702 Rev.9-61)


Voter Registration Card. Again, no photo.

And "Another Photo ID". Now what the fuck do they want? My Sam's Club card? Or my employee ID card, which I had to show my Social Security Card and my Driver's license in order to be employed?

But my current Driver's License is now not acceptable for ID.

What next?

Irhe Identifizierung Bitte?

I need a damn drink...

Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I guess I've always been a Black Sheep...

Ever since I was a young boy I've always been a bit different. I never excelled at sports. I played Little League baseball, but I wasn't really any good at it, to the dismay of my father. I'd rather read books and play army in the back yard than play sports. To this day I'll rarely watch sports on TV unless it's a playoff game and a team from Philadelphia is playing. I'd much rather watch a documentary on the History Channel or Discovery.

I wasn't popular in school until I began to use humor, and even after I was voted Class Clown, I was still kind of an outcast. The popular kids thought I was weird, the jocks beat me up, and even the "weird" kids thought I was a bit off... I kept clowning around, not really doing well, just coasting along on a joke and a laugh.

By myself.

At around 13 I discovered girls, but they hadn't discovered me. I was just a goofball in the back of the class making fart noises with my armpit.

Oh yeah, I was suave...

I guess I used the humor to get people to like me... If I saw them laugh I was doing good, not realizing at the time they were really laughing at me, not with me. So in ignorance of the disdain my peers felt about me, I coasted along in school... I still find humor a great relief and still love to laugh. But not the way I used to.

The army, years in law enforcement and life in general over the years has sucked off almost all of the humor I have left, leaving me a drunken bitter cynic and the only vestige of that humor anymore is the black gallows humor and sarcasm here in this little corner of the googlenet/interweb. I laugh at myself now, because if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you really laugh at?

So for years I floated along in life... Trying to please other people. My parents, siblings, my lovers, then my wife... My bosses, my friends... Doing what others thought would be best for me, never once considering what I really wanted. To do that would be the ultimate blasphemy. I was raised Irish Catholic, so guilt was a big motivator in everything I did.

From the time I was born until the time I separated from my ex, save for when I enlisted in the Army, I had done what other people thought I should do. The job I had, the clothes I wore, where I lived, everything was decided by someone else. My divorce was the defining moment in my life.

Do not get me wrong. I was by no means a pussy. I didn't take shit off of anyone. Not then and definitely not now. But it was the people who were close to me I'd be afraid to disappoint so instead of creating a confrontation, I just went along with their advice whether in was solicited or not. Looking back it seems that everyone else was thinking of their image, not how I felt... "Oh, if you do that, what will people say?"

I'd always enjoyed writing short stories... But was told by people close to me "I'd never make any money doing it, so I'd just was well stay working where I was..." I always wanted to work on the railroad, maybe a engineer someday... "But you'd always be away from home! You've got a good job now, just stay where you're at!"

So I did.

And it sucked.

And I began to loathe myself.

I moved to Arizona in 1998 because my wife wanted to. I didn't really want to go but told myself a hundred little lies to convince myself it was the right thing to do. I was leaving my family, and really good, close personal friends it had taken years to make. I was alone out there, and the friends I did make I found out after my separation where just fair~weather ones, who left me high and dry when I needed them the most.

Like I said before, my divorce was the most painful thing that had ever happened to me, next to the days my parents died.

It was the lowest time in my life. When I reached out for help... All I got was patronizing and thinly veiled "I-told-you-so's". Everything I'd done in my life up to that point according to some, had been "Stupid" and if I had just listened to them, I'd have been in better shape. Instead of the 38 year old man I was, they spoke to me like I was an errant 13 year old juvenile delinquent and it infuriated me.

Well, I didn't listen to them. Not that time. One day while wallowing in self pity I read a want-ad in the local paper for a job on the railroad. I called the number listed, and even though I was in my late 30's with no railroad experience at all, the interviewer decided to hire me... For the next six months I travelled around the country working on a huge machine doing track work. It's not what I really wanted to do, but it was a foot in the door.

But to some that was stupid too. Bouncing across the country like that.

At the end of the six months I had returned to Arizona with a little more steel in my spine but the town I lived in was a virtual prison to me. My ex was still there and all our friends became her friends so I was again alone. I had spend a good chunk of time that summer in West Virgina and really liked it there so one day, after a particularly bad row with the ex, I decided to head back to West Virgina, no thought except to get the hell away from Arizona before I did something I'd really regret.

I had saved a little money and one day I just packed what I could cram into my car and headed east, no real plan in my head. When I crossed the state line into New Mexico on I-40 it was like a one-ton weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I had no real plan, but I knew there were railroad jobs in WV, and I was going to get one, come hell or high water.

I rolled into West Virgina five days later with no job, no place to live and $39 in my pocket. I was homeless. For two weeks I lived in my car, bathing at a gas station restroom but I did find a job working security. A week after I landed that job I found a little apartment and set up home... And that's when I started this blog. I've always been a survivor. Ranger School taught me to never, ever give up.

It's not what I wanted, but I knew I was going to get it. I'd found a conductor school in Huntington and took the entrance exam. I'd scored high and the school wanted me in the very next class! After the 10 week school, I was guaranteed a job on CSX Railroad's New River Subdivision... Another step closer to reaching my goal.

But I got another kick in the nuts.

The school cost $5,500 and I was turned down for a student loan because my credit had been destroyed in my divorce. They still wanted me in the class, could I get a co-signer?

So with hat in hand, for the first time since I split with my ex, I called family for help. Somehow I knew what the answer would be, no... But I didn't need to hear about the upcoming vacation to Italy in the very next breath.

I wasn't asking for money, just to co-sign the note.

So I didn't get the loan, didn't get into the school and vowed never to ask anyone in my family for help again.

I worked security for the next year, made some friends in WV and was coasting along. What I'd been good at before in my life, but this time my mindset was completely different. I wasn't going to settle for anything. I'd set my goal and I was going to prove all the naysayers wrong. I'd do it myself.

Like I said, I worked security for about a year when I found a job for a railroad way up in the northern part of the state. I moved there and worked the entire summer, making really, really good money, but as I found out after I got the job and was working, it was only a short term job and was going to get laid off the following October. So I scrambled to find another job...

And that's when I found this one I'm working at now. Again I picked up and moved, over 1,200 miles to Florida.

It took me a while, but I finally got to where I wanted to be.

I got here alone. No help what so ever.

Do I have any regrets? Yes. I've burned several bridges and lost a few friends along the way, but at some point in every one's life you've just got to do it... Take that one step...

So here I am... that goofy weird kid making fart noises in the back of the class. The class clown that was beat up by the jocks after school...

The Black Sheep of the family who no one ever calls anymore...

Became an Army Ranger, then a railroad locomotive engineer...

And along the way became a man.

A man I really like.

A man I wasn't, even five years ago. Those who know me before now wouldn't even recognize me as the same Tommy... Well, I look the same, a little grayer maybe and thicker around the middle, but I'm a completely different man.

But to some I'll always be that crazy weird kid. And to those who never had faith in me, they're not laughing now.

Now, after all those miserable years, I really have something to laugh about.

Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Foamy Christmas!

I couldn't have said it any better myself...

Wait a minute!

I'm letting a neurotic squirrel do my talking?

I've really slipped a track at some point...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Get ready to hold your breath!

What I'm about to write about is just another thing in a long procession of things going on in the world today that has me convinced that at some point in my life, probably when I was asleep, I was transported through a gap in the Space~Time Continuum and placed in a world that appeared to be the same, but was completely alien to me.

This is Not the America or the world I grew up in.

Let me explain.

When I was a little kid I'd threaten to hold my breath until I got what I wanted. My dad, ever the stoic he was, would just look at me, smile and tell me:

"Go ahead... You'll only turn blue, pass out from lack of oxygen, and start breathing again. You're NOT getting a (insert toy/book/candy/machine gun I wanted that time)!"

But now it looks like we're all going to have to hold our breath now. To exhale would mean hefty fines for polluting and discharging a "pollutant" into the atmosphere.

Just a few days ago, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA said it would begin regulating several gasses that were considered "Pollutants" that contribute to "Global Climate Change", one of which happens to be Carbon Dioxide.

Now wait just damn minute!

If I remember correctly from my Science classes in school, is that all air-breathing life forms on this planet breathe in oxygen and exhale Carbon Dioxide. Plants on the other hand take in Carbon Dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere. Hence, we give the plants life, and in return, they give us life.

Pretty spiffy thing, I'd think.

But because the Earth is getting warmer by the minute (oh, wasn't it Houston that got it's earliest recorded snowfall this year? and it was 39F/4C when I got home this morning from work here in sunny south-central Florida...) and if we all would just stop breathing, we'd all save the planet.

And on who's authority are they doing this?

Well, they're the Government.



Who needs them! We're from the Government and we're here to help!

And don't forget that pesky little document called the Constitution... Oh wait! They already did!

One Federal Agency, in one fell swoop, completely circumvented the entire checks and balances thing the Constitution was written for.

So I want you all reading this to stop breathing right now! We've got to stop this pollutant from killing the planet!
You'll only be blue for about 4 four minutes... Then you'll die...

But you've saved the planet!

Sometimes I really believe these nutcases won't be happy until we're all wearing loincloths made of hemp, eating tofu and living in yurts.

And I pledge to stop farting.

Farts are a pollutant too. Methane is a "pollutant", so I'm going to refrain from any future flatulence.


Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's Official...

I'm a Dirty Old Man.

Let me explain.

Since the beginning of the Sugar Harvest, I've been working 60+ hours a week and things tend to get left undone at the old Ranger Tom Homestead, so I've hired a woman to come and clean my house once a week... It's nice to come home to a clean house and most of the time I'm just to damn tired to do it.

No, I have not started nailing my cleaning lady.

Since I work nights and get home from work around 8:15 every morning, I use that one morning every week to go out and do some errands and leave her to the cleaning. Most of the time I'll finish up my trip around town down at the Tiki Bar around 11 when they open. I'll have a few ice-cold adult beverages and get a sandwich, getting home around 12:30 or so to a nice clean house and clean sheets to crawl into. (If you've ever had the chance to get real 1000 thread~count Egyptian Cotton sheets, get them! They're HEAVEN!)

Yesterday was no different. I did some running around town and found myself perched on my favorite stool at the Tiki Bar sipping on a ice cold MGD. I'm alone down here in Purgatory, and it gets kind of lonely this time of year. I haven't spoken to anyone in my family really save for my brother since my divorce five years ago and now I'm unsure how that's going to go since he's started sending me Watchtower propaganda...

Not only that my birthday is coming up... on the 27th I'll be 44 and I'm really starting to feel all the abuse I've done to my body over the years... So with aching knees, Christmas and my 44th right around the corner I was feeling kind of low, even though I have the best job in the world in my humble opinion.

I'm a regular at the Tiki, and know almost all of the bartenders and servers by name, and consider most of them my friends. I'm moping a bit watching ESPN highlights on the muted TV when one of the servers sits down next to me. She does this quite often when the place is empty, like it was yesterday, and we began talking. She is quite the looker, and I have been know to take a look-see (ogle) once in a while but she's a bit younger than me, in her mid-20's. But she's engaged to a really nice guy so I've never put the "moves" on her. Besides, after the last few relationships with women who are Bi-Polar, have Borderline Personality Disorder or a Chronic substance abuse problem, I've put myself into a self-induced celibacy for a while.

But I'm not dead.

I do look, OK?

Anyway, I was lamenting to this very attractive friend of mine how I was feeling old, because my birthday was creeping up on me...

What she said next was harmless, I knew she was trying to cheer me up a little bit...

But she might have well just hauled off and kicked me in the balls with steel-toed boots...

"Oh Tommy! You're not old! My mom is only 41!"


Now I feel really great. I'm ogling girls young enough to be my daughter.

Happy Birthday to me, you dirt old bastard! I might as well be like the guy pictured below.

On second thought....

That's not really all that bad, is it?

Yes it is...

I've just creeped myself out!

Whining lament Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden
Photos pinched from the Interweb

Friday, December 11, 2009

Retro RT

Since I've been so busy and haven't been able to post as often as I'd like, here's a vintage RT post from February, 2005 for your enjoyment!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

I'm A Proud Member of PETA

That's right. I'm a member of PETA. Damn proud of it too. I've been a member of it my entire life. "People Eating Tasty Animals". I like animals. Not only do they taste yummy, they're chock-full of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients. You know why I like eating tasty animals? Well, I was made that way. It's the way nature intended. I'm what they call an Omnivore ( 'Omni' from the Greek meaning don't let your exposed digits near my mouth when I'm really hungry and the 'Vore' from the ancient Celt meaning 'Vore')... All humans are omnivores. It's the way nature intended us to be.

Now I'll let you in on a little biology lesson (not THAT biology, get your mind out of the gutter!) to help you understand more easily what I'm talking about. We (Humans) have diffent teeth (unless you're from the rural part of Yavapai County Arizona, then you have 'Tooth') , four different kinds. All for special purposes. First off, I'll start at the back of the mouth and work my way forward. To the very rear we have "Molars". They're designed to grind up all kinds of tasty morsels into a kind of puree that our stomach can easily digest. Stuff like carrots, chocolate chip cookies and raw or cooked chunks of Tasty Animals.

Next comes the "Bicuspids" these handy-dandy little guys two two jobs in one. The take the large chunks of tasty morsels, and make them into smaller chunks of tasty morsels. Amazing, isn't it?

Now here comes the most fascinating set of chompers. We as a species only have four of these. They're called "Canines"... Know what they're for????? Huh????? Bet you don't know! (This is the squeamish part, so all you Vegans better not read this part.) Well, fair readers, they're for RIPPING AND TEARING RAW FLESH! Yes, as in ANIMALS!!!!! Bears are omnivores. They have the same things we do, only BIGGER and SHARPER!

Lastly, those nice pearly-whites in front and called "Incisors". They're used to bite into Really big chunks of tasty morsels like apples, gingersnaps and the whole hind quarter of a gazelle we've just ran down on the Veld... Well, maybe not that, but you get the picture.

So the lesson today is boys and girls?

It's that were omnivores. We are SUPPOSED to eat meat AND veggies... "Omnivorous" literally "Eats everything/Anything" and we're higher up on the food chain. It's the way its supposed to be! Nature wanted it that way. If I was out on the ocean fishing, and caught a big shark, I'd cook it up and eat it. I've had shark before and it's quite tasty. (No, it does NOT taste like chicken. Only chicken tastes like chicken, It tasted like shark, damnit!!!! I absolutely HATE it when someone compares ANYTHING to chicken! Only chicken tastes like Chicken! Snake tastes like snake! Turtles taste like turtles. Baby seals tastes like.... Who knows? I don't eat them, I only club them to death... But I digress)

In that instance, I'm higher up on the food chain than the shark. But nature is funny sometimes. The food chain is flexible. Ok, not really too flexible. Masses of krill are not going to rise up and eat a baleen whale anytime in the near future. But it is flexible. Ok, just for instance. I'm on the boat and I've had too many ice cold and frosty adult beverages. I slip and fall into the sea. The shark who I didn't catch, but is damn pissed I caught his poker buddy Phil, sees me wallowing around in the water. I'm wallowing because I swim as good as a rock. So this shark, he sees me. He swims over to me. Takes a my left leg off at the knee and swallows it whole. (He's really hungry, so he's forgotten his manners) He thinks; "Hey, this people tastes pretty good!" and then proceeds to devour me.

Well, you'd think I'd be mightily upset at this shark for eating me. I'm not though. Do you know why? Because the very instant I hit the water, that ol' food chain flexed (it's flexible, you know) and at that very instant I became LOWER on the food chain than the shark.

It's nature. It's the way it's supposed to be. I accept that. Hell, I'll eat a salad. I love salads. But give me a giant slab of dead animal with it... Preferably cooked over fire... With lots of Ice-cold frosty adult beverages... And nowhere near any large bodies of water... Now go out and eat everything you see!!!!!!!

Who says science isn't fun and interesting? Now wasn't that more fun that clubbing baby seals?

Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden

Saturday, December 05, 2009

A Word on Goddamn Yardmasters...

Since the beginning of this year's sugar harvest I've been putting up with this goddamn Yardmaster... Every time we turn around this motherfucker has got us doing the dumbest shit... Hence the photograph above... My "BOHICA" T-Shirt from my classic irreverent t-shirt line sold right here on this blog... It stands for Bend Over, Here It Comes Again!" Myself, My Conductor Jay and my Switchman Bill have been getting bent over every night...

Just kidding, Scott!

You're doing one hell of a job up there! Keep on doing what you're doing Brother! I'm really happy you're up there instead of the other alternative. At least you use what's in between your ears!

Keep up the great work, and stop over the house again some morning and we'll have a few frosty~cold adult beverages again! I know you read this from time to time and I remembered that conversation we had at the Tiki Bar that afternoon, so I just couldn't resist breaking your balls!
Now on to other things... A lot of stuff has been happening and every morning when I get home I really haven't felt like doing much of anything except getting some supper, a shower and crawling into bed.

I absolutely love being an engineer but with it comes a lot of responsibility. I'm handling a lot of horsepower, and literally thousands of tons of railroad rolling stock every night... A lot of times with my friends and co-workers riding on the outside of the said equipment. Shoving 30, 40, 50 even 100 cars at a time into tracks. A lot of things can go dreadfully wrong and I've always got that on my mind. It's no wonder that I'm mentally drained at the end of my shift and have let a lot of things slip by the wayside...

Like finally opening my email and finding well over 350 unanswered emails, many from dear and close friends who were wondering if I'd died or not...

Sorry guys, I'll try to be a little better at answering those emails!

And I'll blog a little more!
And speaking of friends... My great friend Bill who's now working with me here is really turning into a real railroader.

I was deeply troubled and worried there for a while, but after he got his shit together he's turned into a real asset on my crew.

I'm really proud of you Bill... Even though you still crack on me about being old.

I'll still kick your ass, you young snot-nosed punk!
And again, speaking of really bad things happening while one is handling really heavy equipment...

The photos above and below are what happened to us around 1 AM on Thanksgiving night.

Happy fucking Thanksgiving!

We had just pulled 31 cars off "C" Dump, where they dump the loaded cane cars into the mill and "kick" them out the other side. Bill had counted me down past the "C" switch, and getting on the point of the shove, he gave me the "Ahead" order on the radio. He was around 1,200 feet way at the point of the shove as I steadily eased the throttle back and gained speed. At around 5 or 6 miles an hour my train felt like it was starting to bog down and it just didn't feel right. It's hard to explain.

Anyway, I immediately knocked off the throttle and instead of rolling to a stop, my train stopped dead.


I got on my radio and asked Bill if anything was wrong and he told me to stand by, he'd look back.

My conductor was way up the track getting us lined into a storage track and came on the radio...

"Bill, are there cars on the ground...?"

"Eh, yeah... Several..."

Oh Shit!

I heard Jay call our Yardmaster and tell him what was happening as I centered the reverser, cut out the generator field and tied a handbrake on the locomotive and walked down to see what mess I had made.
After an investigation it was determined that about mid-way though the cut a thin flange had "picked" a switch, sending about 9 out of the 31 I was shoving over a frog and putting them on the ground.

No one's fault, but I'm really glad no one was hurt. Just a freak accident. I'll tell you one thing though, Bill's face was white as a ghost and I know it scared the living shit out of him... If anthing can be brought out of this on a postive note it all reenforced a really healthy respect for the equipment we use and a better respect for all of us on why it's very important to always be 100% aware of your surroundings when working on the railroad!

Photographs and rambling diatribe Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden

Friday, October 02, 2009

First Day as an Engineer!

The first day went off without a hitch and went pretty smoothly. I'm really enjoying being an engineer! Actually, it was the first night, or early morning as I'm now working the Midnight to 8 AM shift and after being on days and evening shifts for so many years here it's a little hard getting back into the night shift swing of things. I'm pictured here above, at around 3 AM this morning during a lull in switching moves, seated quite nicely in my new office, a EMD SW 800 switching engine.
Another new thing is my buddy Bill (Pictured above, AKA The Rambling Hillbilly, some of you might read his blog also) from West Virginia and the Athens Volunteer Fire Department finally took my advice and moved his happy ass here and is now working with me as the Midnight Switchman on my crew... Those paychecks aren't hard to take, are they Bill?
My happy crew, Jay, my conductor and Bill again... Sweaty and dirty... Funny, in my new job I don't get dirty anymore... It's kind of a novelty to me now that I'm not covered in sweaty filth when I got home this morning!

And here I sit... Photo taken just mere moments ago... I'm going to be taking one of these self portraits every day throughout the entire sugar crop and I have plans on those that I'll reveal later... It's pretty funny if not entirely original...

Like I said, I'm trying to get my body-clock reset and it'll take a few days with the help of some melatonin so my postings will be erratic... Also I've got a ton of emails from dear friends I've still yet to respond and I feel bad for that, to but for now my bed is calling out it's Siren Song to me, so I'm off to the Land Of Nod...

Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month...

I know what you're all thinking. Why is a guy worried about breast cancer?

In 2003 I lost the most wonderful woman in my life, my mother, to breast cancer.

Please, I know times are tough and the money is tight... If you only donate to one charity this year, please donate to the Susan G Komen foundation and together we can find a cure.


Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'm either a really huge nut magnet

Or a really huge asshole...

I'm leaning towards the latter.

Let me do a little splainin'... A while ago I met a woman at the Tiki Bar here in town. Contrary to popular belief I do not got to the pub after work to "pick up" women, I go to unwind for a while and bullshit with friends. So it was unusual for me to "chat up" a woman in the first place considering I had met my ex-wife in a bar and swore I'd never do that again.

So against my better judgment, I bought this, ehem, lady a drink and we started talking. A short while later we'd exchanged numbers and agreed to a date the following Friday.

During this conversation I had made it perfectly clear I wasn't looking for a new wife, nor did I need anyone to "take care of me" in any way, shape or form, and the most important thing I expressed was if I say I'll call you at a certain time, I'll call you. I do NOT need someone calling me every day, several times a day. My cell phone had been an electronic leash in the past and I never, EVER wanted that again.

Sure! I agree with you! Sez she...

So we get together the following Friday and for once I did have a great time... I even danced if you believe that... But red flags began to show there ugly little faces throughout the course of the evening... She doesn't work... Hasn't for a while... Been on "disability" for over ten years but she looks to be in pretty good shape to me... The she whispers in my ear during on of our dances if I could score her any coke...


There's a lot more, but I'll leave most of that out... But needless to say by the end of the night I had the distinct impression that she was looking for a meal ticket and the last thing I need is another woman who's got a chemical dependency problem who doesn't work and wants me to pay for all her shit.

Then the phone calls start coming... First it was two calls the following day. I talked to her on both occasions and while I still liked her, I was backpedaling and playing it very cool. I wanted to learn more about her, but I was also sure at this point I didn't want to have a relationship with this woman. I explained to her over and over I had to work the following day and wouldn't be available (Remember the earlier talk about the electronic leash?) and she agreed that I'd call her later in the week... I get off work and check my cell phone for messages... She called six fucking times!

I didn't return her calls that day, because if I did it would set a precedence that it was ok to call even though I had said earlier I'd call later in the week... By Wednesday, I had a total of 27 calls from her and 15 text messages.

I was livid.

I called her then and told her to just stop calling me. The bullshit was already starting. She text messaged a few more times and called again a time or two, but in the end I had assumed (wrongly) that she had finally gotten the message when the calls and texts stopped coming.

I should tell you all also this woman lives in Naples, about a two-hour drive from here, so at this point I thought I was safe...

Wrong again.

Fast-forward to yesterday. It had been a long week at work. I was tired and sweaty and just wanted a few ice-cold adult beverages before I went to the house, got a shower and went to bed. Me and a buddy from work had bellied up to the bar and we were talking shop, sipping on a cold one when who should walk in...

What the FUCK, over?

My buddy bails on me (thanks a lot pal!) and leaves me alone with her... It was then she tells me she's fallen hard for me (puleeze!) and can't stop thinking about me... Again, what the fuck! Can't this woman get the message? Now she's just following me... She's begging me at this point to change my mind and the more she begs the more and more I'm turned off. She then tells me she's found an apartment here in Clewiston and will be moving here to be close to me... Destroying whatever good mood I had left. Then I tell her I'm going home to take a shower and go to bed... She wanted to follow me home to "visit" with me for a while.

Of course I say no... Nope, I'm going home alone, you CAN NOT come with me.

"Are you going to come back to listen to the band?" she asks...

"Most definitely not." I reply...

"Then who am I going to dance with?"

"Frankly, I don't give a fuck WHO you dance with. I'm going home." With that I paid my bar tab and left for home. A while later, after I had a shower and got some supper, I get a phone call from another buddy of mine, explaining to me that there's some drunk woman at the Tiki Bar creating a scene and some people have have been trying to get in touch with me to do something with her...

What the FUCK, again...

Call the fucking police and leave me the fuck alone. I am not her husband, boyfriend or keeper.

I told my ex-wife years ago I'd rather be alone than put up with bullshit like that, and I meant it then, and I sure as shit mean it now.

I've got my own problems to deal with. I do not need another emotionally crippled, chemically dependent psychic vampire sucking the life out of me again. It seems to me that that's all I attract anymore.

If that's all there is out here anymore I'll just stay alone.

And be an asshole.
Seething rant Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden

Friday, September 18, 2009

Final exams are over...

Took the last two exams this morning... I think I did well on both. The first one was easy, but the second one I was having a hard time with a handful of questions... Not that I didn't know the answers, I was having a hard time coming up with the wording of what I wanted to put down... That and I hate essay questions.

Half~ day of work today and our instructor took us all out to luck to boot!

All-round pretty good day if I don't say so myself!

Next up is working every day on getting more practice at operating the locomotives until the crop starts in a few weeks.

Dad, I'm finally there. My only regret is you're not around to see it.

Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden

Friday, September 11, 2009

Have you fogotten?

Eight years ago today it happened...

I know I'll never forget.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Government Can!

This would be even more funny if it weren't so Goddamn true!

Tip O' the Hat to Doberman!

Been quite busy the last few days and haven't really had a chance to compose my own rants, but I am thinking of my own prose later on in the week!

Monday, August 31, 2009

My favorite Mormon says it again!

Wake up America before it's too late!

Let's all stand together to take it back!

Fuck, this shit gets me so Goddamn angry it's not even funny.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Is this the America I grew up in?

Can anyone say "Police State"?

1st Amendment is going down the toilet along with the rest of the Bill of Rights, and nobody seems to care.

Why isn't this officer being charged with violating this guy's 1st Amendment Right to Free Speech?

What the FUCK, over!

Hat Tip to Doberman at http://iluvsa.blogspot.com/

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Another busy week

Week two of my locomotive engineer's training was another busy one. Practicing using the air brakes, train handling and troubleshooting problems with the locomotive. I'm having a blast! It's a huge boost to my confidence that my instructor trusts me and one other guy to run a locomotive by ourselves for the Switchman trainees learn to mount and dismount moving equipment and making cuts and couplings on trains. He just sends us out on the locomotive now, knowing we're not going to tear up shit...

I'm still trying to get my sleep pattern regulated... I've been going to bed early and not spending any time reading my favorite blogs or doing any posting myself. I think I may have screwed that all up yesterday though... I went to the Tiki Bar after work yesterday afternoon with all good intentions of only staying for Happy Hour... Got there around 4:15 PM... And at 9:30 I was still there... I staggered home and feeling no pain I was able to stay up just long enough to watch the Space Shuttle launch at midnight. Crawling out of bed today at the crack of noon with a pounding head I had to remember I'm not 25 anymore and can't hang out and drink all night like I used to! I also vaguely remember being rude to one guy at the bar last night, but that's not going to worry me. The guy in question has pretty thin skin and likes to be a smartass to people, but doesn't like to get the same thing back, so a little tit-for-tat was warranted.

Next week I'm going to try to post more... There's a lot happening in the world that's been pissing me off and I haven't had a chance to vent about it lately.

I'm doing well on my other goal though... I've been able to drop 10 pounds in the last two weeks and have been eating a lot better. More fruits and greens... Less red meat. It's also helped that its been in the mid 90's all week with 100% humidity so I've been able to sweat a lot of it off.

I can now get into my work trousers without having to suck it in and hold my breath to button the fly!

Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Been busy...

The last week found me really busy. By the time I got home in the evening, I had just enough reserve energy to get some dinner, get a shower and crawl into bed. No time to blog. I did get several nice emails from friends wondering where I disappeared to. Thanks guys!

For the next several weeks I'll be working on the locomotives, running in the yard and the main line. This is going to be weekdays, on day work. Once the crop starts though, I don't know what shift I'll be working. Since I'll be going from the the highest~seniority conductor to the 6th lowest seniority engineer, I'll most probably be working nights throughout the sugar harvesting season.

Also, it seems like my idea for "Music Monday" wasn't all that popular, so starting Monday I won't be doing it anymore. I'll still be doing "Funny Foto Friday", so keep an eye out for that! You never know what my warped mind will come up with!

All in all, I'm just really glad to get back to work, as I was starting to go stir-crazy, with really nothing to do every day except play on the interweb and drink beer... Wait, that's not really a bad thing, is it?

I do have a few goals set for myself over the next winter... 1st is the lose about 20 lbs... I'm 210 lbs right now, and being 6'2", that not really a bad weight, mine is all in the middle. I've been getting my balls broken by some of the guys I haven't seen since the end of the crop in April, asking what my Due Date is... So my 1st goal is to lose my gut.

2nd is I'm finally getting some much needed dental work done. I've put it off for too long, and I'm sick of people asking me why I never smile. So in about 6 months, I'm going to have one of those fabulous Robert Redford smiles. My dental plan covers it, so why not? I'll blind the ladies with my pearly whites!

Anyway, not much else going on at the moment...

Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to work today!!!!!!!

I'm back to work today, so I'll leave you with this song for Music Monday!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wake Up America!

And the last word... I want to know why this photo above is racist, hurtful and mean~spirited,

And this one from a few years ago isn't?

Wake Up America!
This might be our last chance!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Very Long Road...

Several times I've been asked why I changed careers and what inspired me to take the job I'm in now. I did write about it before, but I'll reiterate my story again for those of you who are newcomers to my little slice of Cyberspace.

Pictured above is the Torresdale, PA railroad station. It sits about 3 miles from the house where I grew up, along the Northeast Corridor between Washington DC and New York City. Four tracks of electrified 140 lb. rail linking Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia & New York, it sees the heaviest passenger and freight traffic in the country.

Once the main line for the Pennsylvania Railroad, then when the New Your Central and Pennsy merged, the Penn~Central railroad. By the early 1970's it was then Amtrak passenger service and ConRail for freight.

When I was about five or six, the big thing for me and my dad to do was on Sunday afternoons after Church (if you've ever been subjected to a 2~hour Latin mass at a Catholic church you'd need an outing to recover...) was to head off for a few hours of train watching. My dad would listen to the Phillies on the radio and I'd sit on the hood of our car, a 1963 Ford Falcon station wagon, and watch the trains go by.

Sometimes I'd even get the engineer to blow his whistle at me!

What a rush for a five year old!
Then one day, I can't tell you exactly when it happened, a HUGE GG-1, (pictured above) still sporting it's old Pennsylvania Railroad colors, pulling a cut of shiny new Budd Company Am coaches, came through the station at a crawling speed. I know now that the train was under a "Slow Order" and was just doing a slow pass through the station obeying the rules, but to this five-year-old, he was slowing down to show off his great machine just for me!

When that huge locomotive came even to where I sat in awe, the engineer leaned out of his open window in the cab, gave me a huge toothy grin and tooted his whistle just for me!

As the train passed, I sat in awe... As the last passenger car slid out of sight heading south to 30th Street Station I said to myself, "Someday, I'm going to do that!"

The dream really never did fade in me, no matter what I did in life. I always had that urge, no matter what I did in life. No matter where I was, I'd find an excuse to go somewhere and watch at least one train go by, that little boy in me still wishing to be up in that cab. I know my father always wanted to be an engineer, and I'm pretty sure, wherever he is, he's proud of me right now.

It took a long time, I'm knocking on 44 this coming December, and an even longer circuitous road to get here, but I'm finally here. A long road for that little five year~old boy sitting on the hood of an old Ford Falcon to the man who is, starting next Monday, after five years of working track gangs, operating ballast regulators, working as a conductor, is finally going to Locomotive Engineer's School.
Dad, I know what you were feeling when you witnessed those K4 Pacific's highball it through Frankford Junction when you were a boy back in the 1930's. I only wish you were around now to see me with my hand on the throttle!

Photos pinched from the Interweb, Melancholy reminiscing Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A few words on Gun Control

Almost everyone her in the US can tell you what was to be the first battle in our War of Independence. The Battle of Lexington Green in Massachusetts in April, 1775. Paul Revere, riding his horse throughout the night spreading the word that the “The British are coming, the British are coming!”

But what’s now conveniently left out of the US History textbooks today is why the British were coming.

And why was that?

Here’s what they’re leaving out: General Thomas Gage, military governor of Massachusetts, under direct orders of King George, decided to counter these moves by sending a force out of Boston to confiscate weapons stored in the village of Concord.

Confiscate the weapons…

And why did the British was the weapons confiscated? Well, to be able to properly control one’s subjects, first you must be able to take away their ability to resist. It’s the main reason our founding Fathers put the Second Amendment into the Bill of Rights, or collectively, the First 10 Amendments to the Constitution. They, of all people knew that any Government could grow to distrust its people, and in time, subjugate them. The only way to really insure that this would never happen is to give the citizens the tools in which to defend themselves from tyranny.

Take away the guns, you have slaves.

Here in the US there’s one insurance policy on “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” And along with the First Amendment, the freedom of speech, is the right to keep and bear arms.

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

The use of the word “Militia” is that every man, from the age of 17 to 60 is the Militia. It doesn’t mean the National Guard.

“A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves...and include all men capable of bearing arms." (Richard Henry Lee, Additional Letters from the Federal Farmer (1788)

"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment, I Annals of Congress at 750 August 17, 1789

“...to disarm the people - that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them." (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380)

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." (James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244)

"the ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone," (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper #46.)

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States" (Noah Webster in `An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution', 1787, a pamphlet aimed at swaying Pennsylvania toward ratification, in Paul Ford, ed., Pamphlets on the Constitution of the United States, at 56(New York, 1888))

"...if raised, whether they could subdue a Nation of freemen, who know how to prize liberty, and who have arms in their hands?" (Delegate Sedgwick, during the Massachusetts Convention, rhetorically asking if an oppressive standing army could prevail, Johnathan Elliot, ed., Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, Vol.2 at 97 (2d ed., 1888))

"...but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights..." (Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist 29.)

"Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." (James Madison, author of the Bill of Rights, in Federalist Paper No. 46.)

"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms." (Tench Coxe in `Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution' under the Pseudonym `A Pennsylvanian' in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789 at 2 col. 1)

"Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people" (Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788)

"The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to Congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretense by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both." [William Rawle, A View of the Constitution 125-6 (2nd ed. 1829)

But the powers that be are right now, and have been for quite some time, slowly taking that one thing, the very key to our Republic and our voice. Because once you’ve taken the tools away to defend ourselves, to rise up against tyranny, all the other Amendments in the Bill of Rights will topple one after the other like a house of cards.

Adolph Hitler disarmed the countries he invaded, even his own people. So did Stalin.

The one freedom I hold the dearest is the ability here in the States to defend my home and family from intruders. While each of the 50 State’s laws vary on the subject, for the most part (for now) if someone is breaking into your home at 3 AM, you can defend your home and family by whatever means is at your disposal. No laws saying you have to see if he’s armed or predetermine what his intentions are.

At 3 AM, or at any time for that matter, if someone is in my home without my permission, I’d have to conclude his reasons are nefarious and he’s not trying to sell me a subscription to the Weekly Standard. He’s getting “X” Ringed in short order.

Like I said before, the Government is slowly taking every last freedom away from us, but to be completely successful they first have to take away our guns.

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8)

“The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." (Thomas Jefferson)

And now where does that leave us?

But I hear the argument all the time. “But Tommy, the criminals are getting the guns! We have to stop that!”

Well, here the news for you nimrods who don’t get it. The criminals will Always have guns. Do you really think the criminals are going to obey the laws? Look at Great Britain. Has their gun bans stopped the criminals? You can not own a firearm in Britain and yet the shooting have skyrocketed. And if you are one of the veery lucky few to actually own a legal firearm in Britain, use it to defend yourself and see what happens to you. British police are now arming themselves for the first time. Hmm. Bobbies arming themselves?

Those gun laws are really working out for, aren’t they?


Every place here in the States where the gun laws are the most stringent, the crime rates have gone through the roof. Where I lived in Arizona, almost everyone had at least one firearm and carried one regularly and there was almost no violent crime.

And what about Kennesaw, Georgia?


That’s a story the Left doesn’t like to talk about. But then on the other side of the coin, Washington DC has the most restrictive gun laws in the country, yet the homicide rates are though the roof.

The only thing taking away the people rights to own guns achieves is effectively enslaving them.
"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let's not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country." --Adolf Hitler, dinner talk on April 11, 1942

Kind of gives you the Warm & Fuzzies, doesn’t it?

Did you know that the Gun Control Act of 1968, the most restrictive legislation on gun ownership to date, is almost verbatim of Nazi Germany’s “Weapons Control Law” of 1938?

It’s far too large to reproduce here, but you can look it up if you don’t believe me.

“But Tommy! What’s wrong with banning machineguns and other military weapons?”

It’s not about the type of weapons. It’s just the slow chipping away of freedoms. They did it with this type of gun today, and they’ll use that rationale in every instance. It was the type, then the magazines, next it’ll be the type or how much ammunition you can buy, then how many guns you can own… Like a single drop of water on a granite boulder. Enough drops of seemingly harmless water over the years will completely erode the rock.

As for machineguns. Did you know it’s still legal to own a fully automatic firearm here in the States? They’re regulated to all hell and expensive, but you can legally own a machinegun here. I have several friends that own them. They’re called “Title III” or “Class III” weapons. You’ll pay as much as the cost of a brand new car for a legally transferable M-16, but you can still legally own one. And not once, ONCE mind you, has one of those legal automatic weapons ever been used in the commission of a crime.
My final words are this;

Gun ownership is not about duck hunting or target shooting.

It’s about your personal freedom.

Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden

Monday, August 10, 2009

Let's go back to the 80's!

This song brings me back to High School...

Have a great Music Monday!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Photography Lesson #1

When taking snapshots of the kids, be sure to check the background!

Happy Funny Foto Friday!

See you all on Monday!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A New Genocide

The fifteenth anniversary of the "Rwandan Genocide" was this year, and some predict yet another African genocide is about to unfold soon in Sudan. In South Africa, however, where the evil white supremacy of Apartheid was dismantled and black majority rule established, all is happiness, a veritable cakewalk to utopia, a socialist's dream come true...If you believe what's being told by the media here in the US, if South Africa is mentioned at all in the nightly news, which it hardly ever is.

The African National Congress, the terrorist organization run by the Communist Party that took over the country in 1994, is the main political party and shows no sign of losing power. For the foreseeable future, South Africa seems destined to be a one-party democracy run by ANC Party Apparatchiks and crony's to the ANC. I'm not going to sit here and explain it all, because I really don't know it all. I'm still learning about South Africa. What I do know is the ANC is run by a bunch of communists, and back in the early 90's when I was still in Philadelphia I was physically ill when Nelson Mandela came to my city to receive the Freedom Medal from President Clinton. I know then what he really stood for... Something I've fought against my entire life. Communism/socialism that would enslave me.

Of course, here in the US, where we actually have a democracy that (at least in theory) has two whole political parties or more, “democracy” is not quite the term for political systems dominated forever by a single party. For now.

The one thing one ever hears about South Africa is in terms of AIDS and crime. As for the former, it has more HIV-positive people than any other country in the world, and AIDS is expected to reduce life expectancy to the age of 36 by 2015. That's all you here on Fox, CNN, ABC, NBC & CBS, if South Africa gets a short 45-second mention at all.

What one never, ever hears is the truth about the systematic campaign of murder and torture carried out since 1994 against South Africa’s white farmers. Some 1,600 have already been murdered, and while the government claims it’s simply uncontrollable crime, the indications are that it’s a deliberate effort to exterminate whites and drive them off the land.

A White Genocide.

But that’s only farmers. Some estimates put the number of white Afrikaners killed by blacks since 1994 at 30,000 or more.

30,000 murders? Of white south Africans? Why isn't this on the news? Oh, that's right.

They're white.

Silly me for asking.

I beg to ask this. If this was 30,000 black farmers tortured, raped and murdered, what would the media coverage be like here in the good old US of A? And would the ObamaGod be sending Marines in like Bubba Clinton did in Sierra Leone a few years ago?

You all know the answer to that question.

Form my digging around and a little research, I've found that whites in South Africa are becoming economic slaves. They pay 80 % of personal taxes, despite earning only 50 percent of total salaries. Afrikaners as a group pay the highest portion of overall tax in South Africa, 36%, while white English~speakers pay 32 %. When he was in exile in Britain, Thibo Mbeki, South Africa President from 1999 to 2008, is reputed to have said, "We will suck the whites dry" and that is more or less what is happening. South Africa is like a small, First World economy like that of Denmark or Norway, still run by whites, but which must support a welfare state for 40 million blacks.

What is happening in South Africa is simply the deliberate transformation of a Western society, economy and political culture into a Third World Shithole. The transformation is taking place because the dominant race of white Westerners has been pushed out of power by the majority non~white, non~Western race. But as I look at it, what’s happening there is not unique.It's starting to look like it's happening here, in the Good Old US of A.

But getting back to the Genocide... I may not be the smartest man in the world. But I do see what's happening. The trillions of dollars spent in the last six months scare me. The Cap and Trade bill scares me. The Heathcare bill scares me.

But what's really scaring me is the new Socialism coming to us, the genocide of not only the white South Africans, who just want to be left alone, farm their lands and live in the only country they've known... But to us, the every~day Americans who, right under our very noses, our every thread of identity being stripped from us until one day, in the very near future, we may be next for the "Reparations" and "Taking Back" of what's "Owed" to the perceived oppressed.

You, my friends are witnessing the slow Genocide of the United Sates of America.

And the really sad part about this, and I do truly grieve for the slain South Africans, is that even now, even though there's now the slight beginnings of rumblings in the hinterlands...

No one seems to care. About the murdered farmers on the Veld, or the demise of what I really believe is the Greatest Nation on earth.

And that's truly sad.

This is the first time in my life, since their deaths, I'm glad my parents are gone.

They won't have to see this.

Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden