Too Many To Count

IMG_0352Yesterday was warm, around 68 degrees here in San Jose, not a bad day to be out in shorts and a tee-shirt? Well the days might be warm, but the evenings are certainly winter cool, not cold, just cool. Ideal conditions of you have a home to go to, turning on the heat as you walk in through the front door after a long day at work, ready, willing and able to put the stove on, or perhaps just the microwave, so that you might enjoy your favorite meal in the comfort of your favorite arm-chair in the company of your favorite lover or with your favorite pet by your side.

For those who are homeless however, last night was yet another slog to get in line at the Home First Boccardo center in San Jose to guarantee a bed and a hot meal. And it’s to that very same center that I once again set off around 4 PM to help Chef Diane serve more than 300 starving souls, who, unlike you or I, have absolutely nothing in their lives except the misery and depression that being homeless brings.

The line for beds was out the front door and into the street, and as I parked my car I could see that this was going to be a night unlike any other that I had seen before when volunteering at Boccardo. I’ve been going there for years now, through thick and thin, cold and warm, but never have I seen a line like the one I saw last night. Was it because ‘the jungle’ off CA 87 had been closed? Always a resting place in the past for refugees of this continual homeless crisis we can never seem to fix, now closed due to pressure from council members who wanted them out. Was it because there was spaghetti cooking inside the kitchen run by Miss Diane and word had spread that tonight dinner would be delicious? Or perhaps it was just that we cannot control a situation that is out of control and the sad facts are it won’t get any better soon.

Having gone into the kitchen to assist, Diane informed me that she was short of volunteers and that during the winter months most of those who come to help serve and prepare seem to just vanish. With gloves and apron in place, desert carved and plated, peas and salad and warm bread all ready to be dished out, the spaghetti would not be short of company tonight.

Then the chaos began. One after another, an endless line of deprivation strolled expectantly into the dining hall. Some were pleasant, others ungrateful, the usual mix which I’ve seen many times before. Some wanted no meat, some no tomatoes and some only chocolate for desert. Whatever their poison, Miss Diane controlled the line with her usual dignified authoritarian energy, pushing those who dithered towards a table that bore empty seats, and those who were perhaps more decisive and bold when asking for extra food, towards the exit. She’s a real trooper and still, to this day, I have no idea how she and the rest of her staff cope with this never-ending, depressing situation day in and day out.

When you get home from work tonight, think about that line. It will be there for sure, just like it is every night, 300 souls with their hands out looking for assistance and receiving it courtesy of those who donate their lives to the betterment of others. Give up some of your time if you can and come and help Diane and the rest of this very dedicated team. They will make you welcome and you will make their day.

 

That’s Not Him

While celebrating a birthday this past week, I met a guy I thought I knew. Perhaps I was wrong.

That’s Not Him

I’ve looked, day in day out, following his progress

Years of checking each and every inch

Some good, some bad, all in the same mirror

Looking for change and finding none, then finding too much

Happiness foiled by truth and certainty

Brush strokes from a God that have become very unflattering

I’ve looked and I’ve looked, and I’m sure that’s not him

 

Similarities to the past, seen in pictures alone

Images spread across a mind that craves perfection

Each dent, each spot, each blemish, discarded with the utmost contempt

Arriving at one conclusion supported by undisputable evidence

Yesterday having gone and tomorrow arriving all too soon

Certain that face might one day come back

Looking again and again, convinced that’s not him

 

Double take, triple take, too many takes to count

Each one, just confirmation of time outrunning conceit

And then, just today, the day of all days, submission

Realization that this must be him and him alone

Standing open mouthed with a closed mind and a very mild grin

Seeing only the worst of the best and the rest of the worst

That’s not him, it’s really not him, but truthfully it really is

 

Hershey’s – Get Lost

downloadRead the article below and write to the Queen. Hershey’s-what a bunch of wankers! I am hereby starting a petition to have any and all Hershey product not only banned from my house but from any home in the UK too.

If they think this is going to stop me flying back to London, filling up three suitcases at a time with Cadbury product, then they have another thing coming. Last time I arrived in the USA with 2 full suitcases jammed with Dairy Milk, the customs officer congratulated me for bringing ‘decent’ chocolate into the country. What on earth is Hershey thinking about here? Their chocolate is SHITE, with a capital S.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/24/nyregion/after-a-deal-british-chocolates-wont-cross-the-pond.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=mini-moth&region=top-stories-below&WT.nav=top-stories-below&_r=1

Let’s Pay More Tax- It’s Fun!

Are you middle class? I am supposedly middle class, although sometimes when I look at my bank balance I think I am certainly of the poorer variety. When I turned on the TV Tuesday evening to listen to President Obama give his state of the union address, it had already been leaked by the press that more tax hikes were in the offing. “Well” I thought, “how much more can it possibly go up and why would he even think about doing this when he has lost all control of Congress” Soon enough, my viewing was rewarded with the Presidents outline of his ‘brave new world’ a world in which hand outs are king, hard-working ‘middle class’ people meaningless and where rich people are cast aside as the aliens they deserve to be. What was Obama thinking? Who is advising him and why on earth doesn’t he realize that his moronic antiquated policies are condemning not only his legacy but the legacy of all who side with him.

I pay 50% in tax, now, if the President has his way, I will pay 53%. Why should I work? What’s the point? The 53% that I have to give up to our government will only be used to fund project for those who don’t work, don’t want to work or can’t work. While my heart goes out to anyone in that situation, truly it does, why is it me and the rest of the populace in my tax bracket who are always the one’s to fund them? Why do I need to contribute more than half of what I earn to people I don’t know, people who may or may not be genuine and to people with whom I will have no say on how they spend my money? It’s ridiculous to think that every $100,000 I earn, $53,000 goes into a never ending drain. Did you know that in California alone, only 23% of the population pay tax? 23%!!! What are all the rest doing? That’s why the Democrats rule this State and that’s why this state is in a complete mess, as are many other sates and that’s why I am pissed off. Run your affairs properly. Run the government efficiently, run the state in a way that makes Fiscal sense, but don’t come begging for my money or anyone else’s money and don’t keep begging until my well is completely dry and I then find myself with that very same begging bowl in an outstretched arm pleading for a reprieve!

I have a good friend who wants to make a will. We discussed it this morning. She wants to leave money to her mother, God only hopes that her mother doesn’t outlive her, but she has an issue. Her exact words, “if I leave money to my mother and she inherits, then all her benefits will be cut off, and she is very sick so I am not going to leave her anything!” Isn’t that the most ridiculous scenario you ever heard? How have we become this nation of takers and how do we get out of it? The answer is very simple. The more that Obama gives, the more votes the Democrats will receive, so we will end up in a downwards spiral towards socialism and poverty, poverty that will be so wide-spread that the richest 1% everyone talks about, will be out of sight from a financial standpoint, for all eternity. And it’s not just here in America, it’s all over the world. They announced this week that by 2020, 1% of the world’s population will own more than the rest of the 7 billion who also inhabit the planet, combined! Now there’s a scary thought.

I have no choice but to sit and watch as all my hard work goes down the drain as my cash surplus goes to feed a government that’s out of control, fed by a frenzied President with nothing to lose. He’ll soon be on the dinner circuit earning $250,000 a speech but the question remains, will he pay his own 53% tax rate or will you and I still be funding his poet presidential antics?

Samantha Gets A New Chair

Samantha is 8. She has Spina Bifida. She’s had numerous surgeries, had plates inserted in her spine and yet, as you can see, she’s ready and able to participate in sports. Thanks to her new sport wheelchair, which was presented to her today, Samantha now has access to a whole new world, made possible by the generosity of those who donate to this wonderful program. It costs over $3000 for a sport wheelchair, an absolute fortune for those who have limited funds and a continual battle just to keep up with the medical bills that afflict families like Samantha’s. It’s a blessing when ever an athlete like Samantha can get into a chair custom-made for her height and weight and participate alongside those athletes to whom she aspires. Her courage is can be seen in the generosity of those more fortunate, and with this in mind I urge you to please take even the simplest of steps to assist in making the lives of others who have to spend their lives in wheelchairs, more bearable.

Just by going to http://www.smile.amazon.com, and yes, we all use Amazon at some point, nominating Far West Wheelchair Sports as your charity, every time you make a purchase, not matter how small, some of your money will go towards helping athletes like Samantha. Every penny is put to great use and no amount is too small.

You can also donate a chair, or part of a chair to a worthy candidate by contacting me through this blog or by going to http://www.fwwaa.org and donating there.

Samantha had a great day today. Please help her and her friends have an even better day tomorrow.
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What Happened To Humor?

imagesA Muslim called Mohammad who owns a watermelon stall in a Paris suburb is sick and tired of Chaim, a little Jewish boy from the same neighborhood, coming past his stand every day and stealing a watermelon. Mohammad decides he’s going to put an end to this and sticks a sign outside his store which read “One Of These Watermelons Is Infused With Cyanide!” Undeterred, Chaim comes past the store on that very same afternoon and while Mohammad isn’t looking, he sticks another sign up stating, “AND NOW THERE ARE 2!”

Why would that joke upset anyone? I can give you a hundred reasons I suppose, but then again, I can’t give you any!

I heard a program on the BBC World Service last night. It was broadcast with the intention of trying to explain this Muslim uprising around our planet. Seemingly they all believe, (by saying ALL, I am of course generalizing), that the end of days is about to happen, as prophesied in the Koran, an end of days that would begin in Syria, Yemen and one or two other hot spots around the world. It tried to suggest that the reasons for all this violence we are witnessing, most of which isn’t even mentioned in our news bulletins, is completely justified in the eyes of the Jihadist factions that we see taking over our headlines every day. They all believe that the end of days is a significant event that they can help accelerate with their violent disruptions of our daily lives in order that they can be with the prophet Mohammad for all eternity. They will do their very best to bring about a nuclear Armageddon or any other kind of final solution to bring this planet to its final conclusion as soon as possible.

My question is, how fucking stupid are these idiots? Brainwashed and misinformed, they continue to create chaos in the lives of those who couldn’t give a rat’s arse about their beliefs. I really don’t care who you are or what you believe in, honestly, I really don’t, just don’t ram it down my fucking throat and don’t think that because you believe, I should too. I respect you for the views you have, as long as you respect that not everyone else wants to share those same views. Get a sense of humor for goodness sake. Who cares that there are cartoons depicting Mohammad in unfortunate poses, and if not Mohammad, Jesus, Buddha or even the Chief Rabbi. It’s only humor! It isn’t insulting to anyone unless you have a preconceived conviction of causing violence for any reason whatsoever, and this ‘trigger point’, a simple piece of satire, gives you the excuse you are looking for to go out and kill, which it obviously does. Get a life! We all want a life, so let us live it our way, and you live yours your way. If you don’t like the way we live ours then fuck off to a place where you won’t every see us or hear us. We want peace, we want laughter, we want love. What we don’t want are antagonistic self-centered idiots who think their way is the only way. That includes America, the UK and all the other countries around the globe who feel that invading other cultures in order to ‘improve’ them, is right. It’s not, it’s all terribly wrong.

No one ever died off this planet, and quite possibly no one ever will, so pack up your guns and get out your pens, your smiles and your ability to compromise. We all need one another now, more than ever so wouldn’t it be great if we could all just get along?

Chaim opened a store opposite his great foe, Vikram, in London’s Nottinghill Gate. Vikram put up a sign that read ‘Bacon, $4.99/lb” so that very same day Chaim put up a sign that read ‘Bacon, $3.99/lb’ Vikram was pissed and when he arrived at his shop on the next morning he changed his sign to read ‘Bacon$2.99/lb’ only to be trumped once again by Chaim on the same morning, when he changed his sign to read,’Bacon $1.99/lb’

Vikram was pissed, so with venom in his brain, he sprinted across the street to Chaim’s store and confronted him , face to face. “Why is it when I put out a sign for bacon at $4.99/lb, you change your sign to $3.99, then I go to $2.99 and you go to $1.99? You are killing my business” he spat. Chaim looked at him straight in the face and said, “Vikram I don’t give a hoot about your business, I don’t sell bacon!”

Happy New Year – There Must Be An Ad For That

Who writes that crap? the nonsense we watch every night on our TV sets. Advertisements for everything from Viagra to Toyota to Cheerios, most of which seem to be written by 2 year olds.

Happy new year everyone. Nice to be back again. Another year, another challenge and yet another damming blog on how our society seems to be in an unstoppable reverse evolutionary mode. We just don’t seem to learn. We can’t dig ourselves out of this huge hole called gullibility, seen every morning noon and night on every television screen across the country and heard on every radio station we choose to tune in to. Christmas is long gone, but that moronic and insatiable appetite we have to keep it going still exists. And if it’s not Christmas it’s Valentines, Mothers day, Fathers day, secretaries day or some other BS that Hall mark have decided to make a card for. But I digress.

Commercialism is not in its extreme. We are bombarded nightly with farcical commercials, most of which are for drugs or cars, ALL of which have a song, written for the sole purpose of making aware that it’s not the product we crave but the ability to mimic Peyton Manning or Usher or some other icon, singing or dancing to the beat of desire. Let’s face it, we don’t need 99% of what we see advertised, but being honest, how many of us see Peyton singing ‘Nationwide is on your side’ without words of course, and then go out and ask that company to quote for our insurance needs? How many boxes of Cheerios do you think Usher and that annoying cartoon Bee actually sell? Do you think the deep-throated cowboy on the Dodge Ram commercial actually persuades all wannabe cowboys to go out and buy a truck? Then there’s the couple in the photo booth for Cialis. Do you think he’s getting a boner while he acts that out? And AT and T, what the fuck do you think you are doing? It’s not even remotely funny when you have a guy tapping the wall every time that dumb sales girls says the word ‘win’. Like I said before, who writes this shit?

I once told my son, “if you want to make a million, go into advertising in the USA’. True story. I told him that no one could do any worse than the morons who put together a smorgasbord of crap each and every day of every year of every decade. It’s outright shite! You know it, I know it, and they better know it too. Most of what I see is so child-like, it sad. Perhaps the reason is that the average reading age in this country is 9. Yes, Google it, it’s true. So just maybe they have a brief from up top that they need to cater to that very same mentality, it appears that way anyway.

My very favorite piece of advertising crap is definitely the ad for Tamiflu. Just quite what a large man and woman in a small house has to do with the flu is totally beyond me. I get the gist, large problem when you get that bug, but come on, having a man walk round like a giant to make your point?? I don’t think so.

So take note, sit up and make way for more crap as 2015 unfolds before your very eyes. Advertising is now everywhere, you can’t escape it. I was watching a game from the UK, Chelsea v Tottenham and even the injury time, the time the ref ads on for stoppages at the end of the game, is sponsored by Progressive. Do you think Flo could referee a soccer game or insure football hooligans?