Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Snow Plows

Living on the Oregon Coast I don't normally see a snow plow unless I drive over the mountain passes. They are usually attached to big ten-wheel dump trucks, but when I was growing up a lot of people with four wheel drive trucks or Jeeps had snow plows.

First of all there were few pick-up trucks in the suburbs of New Jersey. It was only the hearty, self-reliant, good-ol-boy types that owned them. The hard core had 4 wheel drive trucks and most of them had snow plows. These guys would always keep an eye to the sky hoping for a hint of snow. As soon as four inches hit the ground they brew up a thermos of coffee and hit the road.

They had their regular customers and they'd work all day and night plowing driveways all over town. I don't recall how much they charged, but I somehow recall the average driveway costing about $25. Some customers wanted the snow removed only if it was over a foot deep.

Plowing is hard on trucks, but I think a couple good winters could easily finance a new truck. If you were fortunately able to snag some big clients like a shopping center or any place with a big parking lot you were really in the gravy.

It seems like a job I'd love. If I ever move to a colder climate I'm going to get a snow plow.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dig It

Maybe it a boy thing, but there is something quite mysterious about what is under the ground that boys can't resist. Take a boy to the beach and he'll dig. Boys love sand boxes. I don't think girls are all that into it, but boys are for sure.

I don't know if we think there is something valuable waiting to be found, or if we will discover a lost civilization in caves, or if we were seeking a direct route to China. I don't know what it was for me, I just loved digging.

I recall getting a sand box when I was four years old and it was a disaster. I really enjoyed it for a day or so, but one day I went out and some wasps had dug in a nest and they boiled out and stung the crap out of me. Then the next day my mother saw a cat crapping in the sand box and that was the last time I ever saw it.

I've done a lot of hand digging around here. I've cut trails, leveled ground for out buildings, dug trenches for drainage tiles, cut sod for gardens, dug post holes, shoveled many yards of sand, top soil, crushed stone. I've dug out stumps, Ive dug the silt out of a pond and I even dug the foundation for the last addition I built on the house. I wish I had bought a back hoe when I first moved here, but I still don't see one in my future.

Sadly, I still see a lot of digging in my future. I just wish it was a gratifying as it was when I was a kid.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tell Me A Story

I find it odd that there are venues for music, poetry, theater, comedy and dance, but there are no local venues for story tellers. I've never heard of a story tellers venue anywhere.

If you've ever listened to a good story teller like Gene Shepherd or Garrison Keillor you know that you can be taken and delivered to unimaginable places. I'd love to be able to go out and hear story tellers work their magic.

A good story teller is something precious. The only place to hear stories these days is a church and I'm not all that fond of that sort of story. If anyone wants to host a story telling session I'd even join in to spin a yarn.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I appreciate good chorale pieces. My favorites are usually requiems, but Donna posted this on Facebook recently and it is well worth viewing. Check it out, click Here

Friday, November 26, 2010

How Cold Changes Things

The cold spell has broken leaving behind so far only the death of one chicken. I sure the cold didn't kill it, but it didn't help. The ground is still too frozen for me to bury it.

A cold snap means changing routines around here. I had to turn off all the outdoor water lines. The horses water troughs freeze every night and I have to fill 5 gallon buckets in the house and fill them often. Horsed drink a lot of water and you don't want them to run out, ever. They are wearing their blankets. Every day I check them at feeding times. I reach under their blankets and feel how comfortable they are. They feel warm and comfortable. They could survive without the blankets, but if I can keep them warm they don't have to eat as much.

The chickens water freezes as well. Chickens consume a lot of water, so I bring them a couple gallons every morning and afternoon. I also put heat lamps in their coop.

Our cats normally spend the days outside, but even they strolled out for only moments before wanting to come back in.

I, too have little interest in going outdoors during a cold snap. I'm not doing much inside either. I do some writing and I watch TV and fill the rest of my time with long winter naps.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks That We're # 1

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


My truck is finished. I have a great shop I take it to that gets me right in and right out. There is another shop that people tell me is great, but they are always booked out at least two weeks ahead. Who can put up with that?

I have a hen I'm concerned about. It's a Rhode Island Red that was spry yesterday morning, but last night I she stood by the coop while all the other chickens were already inside. I picked her up, which is somethings my hens don't allow me to do during the day. There were no signs of injury, she just wasn't right. Today she stood in the coop all day facing the wall. I put a heat lamp in the coop to keep her warm, but I don't think she'll be with us much longer. The molting hens are doing well but this fully plumed hen isn't.

I removed the final tomatoes from the greenhouse today. They were cold but not frozen. I will have a couple final tomato sandwiches of the year over the next few days.

When we thaw out this weekend it will be time to transplant some trees. I want to live in a forest again one day where I can't see the road or the houses of neighbors.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Cold

We are going through a cold spell here on the Oregon Coast. When ever it gets cold I can't help but think about the natives that lived here for years before the white man arrived. I know they had long houses and huts, but I wonder how they were able to handle the cold. There were natives living in colder places like North Dakota and their lives must have been miserable.

I like the cool climate here, but I'm no longer used to the cold. When I lived on the east coast I loved the cold. I dressed better for it. now I'm acclimated to wearing jeans and flannel shirts year round. When it gets colder that a flannel shirt can handle I become like a deer in the head lights. I have winter clothing, but I rarely ever fetch it. Instead I keep my outdoor exposure to a minimum.

As my hands get cold working the manure fork every evening. I realize half way through my mission that I should find my gloves or mittens, but I carry on in misery. Cold hands will make one feel chilled to the core. Sometimes the only to rewarm the core is to hop into a hot shower. Hot meals do wonders as well.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Worst Meal, Ever

When I got home from grocery shopping the other day I removed something from the bag that I didn't select. It was a package of four cube steaks. I first suspected I was a victim of "Shopping for Others", which is something I wrote about before. That is where you toss something into someones grocery cart when they aren't looking, usually to freak them out at the check out counter.

I looked at my receipt and there were no cube stakes to be found, so I suspect the person before me left the store without them and the checker put them in my cart.

I cooked them tonight and it was the most dawg awful piece of meat I've ever had. Now I know why they pound the crap out of it.

The other day Papa left a comment about increasing the protein in what I feed my chickens. They will be getting the remaining three cube steaks. I hope they turn them into some tasty eggs.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Click, Click, Varoom!

It's the truck again. I had a problem a while back where on a cold engine the starter would click, I'd turn the ignition off and try again. Usually within two tries the truck would start. My step son advised me that it was probably a loose ground wire, sure enough the cable on the negative battery pole was loose. He suggested I put some foil over the terminal to make the fit tighter. It worked like a charm.

It's happening again so I tried the foil trick and it didn't work this time so I'm sure it's loose on the other end, but this cable sinks out of sight into an abyss of wires, hoses and components under the hood. I've had a leak in the power steering unit and I'm sure it drenched the other end and corroded the cable.

I'm looking forward to getting that other truck next year.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Best of the Wurst

One thing I never see in a big way out here is liverwurst. I’d don’t think I’ve ever seen any at a party and I never hear anyone ever say they had a liverwurst sandwich. Even the delis and markets have only a small wurst selection and I never see people buying it.

Maybe because there was a big German population back where I grew up, but any trip to the delicatessen usually had one walking away with a half pound of wurst. It was a taste I developed early in life and I still buy liverwurst probably once every year. It’s one of those things that tastes so good you know it must be bad for you.

It’s funny how tastes change and I’m not all that sure that the health conscious diet is good for the historic culinary culture. Old school practices are falling by the wayside. I can say that the stuff my grandmother used to eat wouldn’t do at all these days. I didn’t even have a taste for it when I was a child. However my mother’s cooking was more conventional to what I would call the norm. My mother wasn’t a great cook, but when she made a meat loaf there were strips of bacon on the top of the loaf. Also any organ meat (heart, liver and kidneys) that came with a turkey ended up in the stuffing, and it was always interesting to find.

The mindset these days is that the organs are the repository of all the bad things that ever enter and never exit an animal. I can see the point and I do understand, however I will still take a chance with an annual purchase of liverwurst.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's Time

I keep my eye on the weather forecasts diligently at this time of year. It's great when we have a dry spell where I can let the horses out to run around. Even when it's dry the horses still come in muddy at the end of the day. I have to hose off their legs but I don't hose off their bodies because it is too cold and they will chill. It's really important to keep their feet and legs clean because they can develop all sorts of conditions such as thrush and scratches.

Dirt on their bodies can turn into rain rot if they get wet so I try to seize any opportunity to brush them when they are dry. I will get a big hand this weekend. It is supposed to get cold around here on Sunday so I plan to clean them up to the best of my ability and put their blankets on. It keeps them warm, dry and clean. Somehow it even makes them shine. When we get a warm spell I'll take them off and the theirs coats will be soft and shinny, but it won't be long before they find some mud to roll in.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Facebook Game for Astorians

This game will knock the snot out of FarmVille and all the other "Villes" out there. It will be called FlavelVille. It will be a game of sustenance where one inherits property and abandons it, but not totally. You see how long your structures will last in the elements while not paying your property taxes. You borrow money from old family friends to pay the taxes and never pay them back. They place liens on the property and you borrow from other friends and don't pay them back. You pay your bills with stolen motel towels.

Occasionally you get thrown in jail for stabbing someone or going after people with a hatchet, but this only sets you back five-hundred towels which you easily make up by favorable stories in the Astorian and the New Yorker.

FlavelVille is the ultimate on-line game for Facebook users. Rack up those points quickly because you know the tax collector, creditors, family friends, police and supporters are constantly on your heels seeking their due.

Yes, friends you will be in for generations of fun with this new Facebook game. Who needs Mafia Wars when you can play FlavelVille!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Winds Return

My least favorite weather events will take place over the next sixty days or so. Sure we don't have tornadoes here. It rarely snows, but it does freeze on occasion. We don't have hurricanes except for the big storm of December a few years back where we had three days of wind that would make a hurricane welcomed in it place. We have mild dry summers and mild wet winters. However from late November to mid January we can expect high winds right off the Pacific Ocean to hammer us. This is when we have extra fuel on hand and our fingers are ready to pull the rope to start our generators.

The five days we spent without electricity during what is now called the Great December Gale shell shocked us all. I still don't sleep well on windy nights. Though everything I rebuilt after the last storm was built with Simpson hurricane ties and I doubt I'll lose any structures. All of our trees are now gone so nothing will blow down on the house.

It's just weird how I can't get over that storm and the damage it caused. There is a prediction for 70 MPH winds today. I will keep an eye on everything and hope I won't have to make a trip to City Lumber for repair items.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where Have All the Bloggers Gone...

That's what I ask myself when I see all the un-updated links on my Bloglines reader. Out of the 81 blogs I used to follow, 9 are dead, about sixty of them have not posted in six months. There are only about four of them that post daily. Former daily posters now post once a week or month.

There was a lot of good writing out there, The two Carries, Dried Salmon, Beth, Auntie, Dalia, Syd, Trop, Melanie, BPaul, Matt...the list goes on and on. Their writing was something to look forward to every day. They shared their joys and their heart breaks. We were fans of one another.

Most of these people are now on Facebook. It takes a lot less energy to toss out a phrase and call it good, but really people, don't you miss the thrill of the post? Don't you miss the replies of your readers? Have you really run out of things to write or are you just tired of sharing.

I do want to thank the daily bloggers, Darev, Jaggy and Donna (with multiple daily posts. Other new daily posters are Astoria Daily Photos and the Knocked Up Lesbian. Thanks for playing every day.

Monday, November 15, 2010


When my 19 hens were laying full bore last summer I was having trouble selling all those eggs. I was getting roughly eight-dozen eggs a week. As soon as the hens turned one year old in August a few of them fell out and started molting. It happens to chickens every year. They start losing their feathers and they begin to look scruffy. At this point in time most of my hens look this way. A few are coming out of molt but most are in. The hens that looked big and puffy in June and now they look thin. They are still quite healthy and behaved as they did when in full plumage.

Egg production is low. Some days I will get four eggs and the next day I will get none. Sadly I have built up a good reliable customer base, but I now have to make them wait several days before I can fill an order.

Things are rough all over because another local egg producer is going through the same thing and yet another egg producer has lost a lot of his flock to predation.

I think to remedy this next year I'm going to get some spring chickens and some late summer chickens so my egg production will be more reliable for my customers year round.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Sag

Yeah, seeing this drives me crazy, too. That's why I went out a few years ago and got some suspenders. I got tired of yanking up on my belt loops every couple of steps especially while I was building something or hauling a chain saw through the woods.

As I've written before on m any occasions, my problem is that I have no ass. I'm an aging white guy with declining testosterone and as you know that sucks ass, literally.

When I posted the article about buying a belt yesterday, my wife who is away right now emailed me to ask if I bought a belt for my underwear as well. I know this may be TMI for y'all, but having suspenders and/or a belt is mandatory for guys with out an ass, but there is a whole other range of problems you don't see when it comes to underwear. There are certain brands that can stay in place, but there are brands out there that will roll or just slide off you. I'm glad I don't wear skirts or I'd be walking around like a hobbled horse.

OK, now resume eating your breakfast, but I beg someone out there to invent underwear suspenders.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Belt

I bought a new belt yesterday. I always think of my father when ever I buy a belt. He was a kind man and never critical. Any time he pointed out something wrong he did it without malice.

He was in the hospital the last time I was in New Jersey. Back then my presentation wasn't as casual as it is today. I used to actually dress up. On one visit he got me aside and kindly told me that I needed a new belt. I looked down and I immediately agreed; my belt looked like shit. I was wearing nice clothing and the absolute center of my attire was a disaster. I think I left the hospital visit and went directly to Macy's.

A belt is often like so many other things that degrade and you don't notice it until there is a failure. That belt was in tatters and I wonder how long I would have continued wearing it.

Since then I am more conscious about my belts. I replace them long before a replacement is needed. I thank my father for that final installation into making me a real adult.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Bird and The Bee

When I get tired of what I've been listening to I spend some time at the college radio station of Texas A&M, KANM and you can hear it too via itunes radio stations. Within an hour I usually pick up a new sound that needs further exploration. This week I found The Bird and The Bee. Inara George ("the bird") and Greg Kurstin ("the bee") and their music is considered as Indie/Synthpop/Alternative music.

I was able to sample three albums in their collection. Reliant K wasn't worth the listen, but they got more interesting Interpreting the Masters Volume 1 where they put their impressions on the hit songs of Hall and Oats. It's kind of funny considering how bad those songs were, but they actually were able to make them sound better. Finally their album, Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future is very very good.

The more you listen you will begin to realize that they are sincere about their sense of humor even if the listeners don't get it. They seem to spoof not only Hall and Oats, but their sound is a lot like a spoof on the Carpenters, but spoofs aside they are not just noodling around like Weird Al; they have some serious sound ability like Nellie McKay.

The first video looks like the 60s, but it is really entertaining.
My Love

This second video is a spoof on a girl's crush on David Lee Roth Diamond Dave

It's some fun for a rainy fall day.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Another One Gone

I drove through Jeffers Gardens this afternoon and was surprised to see the clean-up going on around the Junk Yard. Being of little mechanical ability it wasn't a place I frequented, though I had been in the dirty little office once with I can't recall whom; either it was my brother or my father-in-law.

There were three junk yard around my home town, though every service station mucked about in small time junkery behind their shops, real junk yards always seemed to have eight foot wooden or metal fences around them. I suppose the fences were meant to make things a little more sightly, but it was still easy to seemthrough ot over them.

I remember the one in Suffern, NY, the town to our North. It was on a back street in a quasi residential neighborhood. I remember they had a wooden cart and they used draft horses to make their rounds picking up scrap. There was a row of tin cans strung together over the cart and the cans would ring out as the cart came down the road. I'm suret that junk yard is now long gone and is now a housing development.

Then in Ramsey, the town to the South the was a guy named Sam Edwards. He and his wife, Connie lived in a small building that was attached to his junk yard office and shop. There was a tall wooden fence surrounding the two acres of heaped cars in their yard. Sam sold the land when I was in my early teens. A bank was built where his junk yard was.

The final junker I remember was always know as John the Tramp. He had a small junk yard behind his service station. It too had a big fence around it. I recall seeing all the oil stained dirt everywhere in his yard. As I recall the town make him get rid of the junk yard and he did and sold his business as well and started another junk yard about 20 miles to the North. The last I heard his son had taken over the business and I don't know the status at present.

Junk yards are full of memories of vehicles that people would probably prefer to forget. There is a vast hopelessness in Junk yards, yet if you are looking for that special part that is no longer produced, a junk yard simply becomes a destination of hope.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Sea Change

I went for a beer with a friend last night. We went the the Fort George. I was amazed that I wasn't carded at the door for my membership card for the Democratic Party at the door. I was afraid they wouldn't let an Independent in the establishment.

We settled down for a beer as the worst Jazz Fusion music played loudly for our entire visit. We were still able to converse and we talked about horses and and other things. One bit of conversation we had was about how I have totally changed my beliefs on just about everything over the years. How I used to be a dog person and now I don't like them. How I never liked cats and now I do. Hoe I used to believe in God and now I am an Atheist. How I used to love Folk and Jazz and now I cant stand it, and so on.

She asked me if I felt as though I was now a different person. I pondered and answered by saying, "Lets say you were sailing from England to America in a wooden boat and during the voyage you replaced ever board on the boat with a new board. When you reach America is it still the same boat that you started the journey in?"

What do you readers have to say?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Going Postal

It has been 22 or 23 years since I worked for the Postal Service. It was a terrible place to work. Though I did have a lot of fun I still have bitter memories. It seems that when I worked in smaller offices, ten routes or fewer, everyone got along just fine, but in larger offices there was always fighting between the management and the workers.

There was also internal fighting between the workers. There were "Lifers" and "Runners." Runners were the workers that worked as fast as possible and wasted time elsewhere. The Lifers were the people that did everything as slowly as possible because they figured if they showed they had more time on their hands they would be assigned more work. All the work got done when you average the out-put from the two groups to the median speed.

The worst part was the route inspections. Every year the regional or sectional center would send a team of people to follow and watch every move each carrier made for a week. The end result dictated how much additional work the carrier could be assigned. The funny thing was that mail volume was generally high with lots of junk mail to weigh the carriers down every day, but during the inspection week the junk mail was all being warehoused somewhere and the mail volume was much less.

Every tray of mail was measured for each route every day, so there was statistics showing what the real volume should be for any given day of the year. All data was compiled with SPLY (Same Period Last Year)statistics.

I saw this happen for nearly ten years; heavy junk mail volume for 51 weeks and nothing on inspection week. I was recently talking with a carrier and he told me it still goes on.

It is a wonder more workers don't snap with the unfair tactics that have become tradition with the management of an agency we are all supposed to trust.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Samurai Letter Carrier

I was talking with some people the other day. They were surprised to learn that I once worked for the Postal Service and that I left before shooting up the place. I shared a few stories with them.

One story in particular was when I learned self defense the hard way. I had a walking route for a couple years and the neighborhood I delivered to was a working class neighborhood where its inhabitants all seemed to have the need to own big dogs;, many of them vicious. After several close calls I purchased a big, (and I mean big) fillet knife that I attached to the strap of my mail bag. At the first sign of trouble I’d have that knife out like a samurai. All the dog owners on that route with problem dogs quickly became aware of my resolve to defend myself. One by one the home owners learned to restrain their animals after seeing a crazed letter carrier with a big knife shouting, “Bring it on Rover, Bring it on!!!”

During several years on the routes I was only bitten once and that was on a motor route. I had to deliver a package to the door of one house. I stopped carrying the knife after I gave up my walking route. It was a German Shepherd. It came out of no where and took a swatch of material out of my right trouser leg. It was fast. It bit me and ran. Even if I had a knife I wouldn’t even have had enough time to react.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Silence of the Cat (An Update)

I attempted to trap the kitten in my Have-A Heart and that was the last I heard from the kitten. Any time I spent outdoors during the last two days I paused often to listen for it's meow. Previously it was so vocal that I could hear it from hundreds of feet away. Now there isn't a peep.

I couldn't get any closer than ten feet from it. It more than likely had a reason to distrust humans. Had it trusted me for a moment it would have lived a charmed life. Instead, it's weakened state from lack of food made it easy prey.

I wasn't looking for another cat, but I would have happily welcomed it into our home. Sadly, I'm sure there will be other opportunities of other dumped kittens out here in the country side.

Saturday, November 06, 2010


One of the by-products of honey bees is wax. I've written about wax rendering recently and the photo above is the end product. In this photo there is about 25 pounds of wax. I rendered ten pounds this year and the other fifteen pounds is wax left over from previous years. The small octagonal ones in the foreground are generally one ounce ingots which I use to make balms and creams.

I have enough wax at this point where I need to consider getting some candle molds just to use it up.

One benefit to bees wax is the smell. It is remarkably beautiful and nearly as wonderful as the smell of a hive in August.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Dumping Kittens

To the slack jawed, knuckle dragging, mouth breathing rat bastard who though it was a good option to dump your kitten out in the country... you suck. A responsible person would have set aside some money to have your cat fixed rather than spending it on alcohol, tobacco and fire arms, and lets not forget the gas guzzling piece of crap you are driving.

The black kitten you dropped off out here has been living in a swamp and it has been crying for it's mother for the last two days. I can't get close to it because it now distrusts people because of the shitty way you obviously treated it. I give it another day before it is eaten by a raccoon or a weasel, or even dashes out into traffic to end it's own misery.

If any readers know anyone that was trying to get rid of a eight week old black kitten recently, please let them know that they are a big ass hole.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Old Horses and New Tricks

I was talking with someone today when my cell phone made this weird noise. I figured my battery had died, but then I realized that it had a full charge because I just charged it this morning. The noise was worth investigation. The screen showed I had several voice messages and and a couple of text messages.

One thing you need to know about me is that I use my cell phone to make calls only. I don't transfer data, take photos, text or obviously check for messages. I use none of the many features on my phone except for making or receiving calls.

The voice mails were from August and September. The text that I had just arrived was from a number I didn't recognize. It was a message relevant to an organization I'm involved with and it was important news. Being I couldn't figure who had sent it I figured I needed to reply so I stumbled around for about ten minutes trying to figure out how to do a reply. It was a thoughtful reply, but half way through I got a message the I exceeded the allowable characters. I erased it and started from scratch and was fortunate that the person who texted me called me on a real phone. I was saved from sending my first text.

I do realize that I have now left myself vulnerable for a lot of phone hi-jinx from those of you that know my cell number, but the joke will be on you because I never check for messages. Consider that you may be leaving a time capsule.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Commerce Without Words

Though we are constantly assaulted with advertising and logos with every product trying to stand out in the crowd, I find fewer examples of the drawing point today.

We are all familiar with a barber pole. It is a symbol that even people who can't read know what goes on inside the door. I guess now that most people can read it isn't so important to have the display, but it is a tradition that keeps it going.

The symbol of the mortar and pestle is the symbol for the druggist. A balance is the symbol of law offices. The wooden Indian is the symbol for tobacco shops. The brass balls are the symbols of a pawn shop. Some Italian restaurants or pizza parlors had the symbol of a short man with a mustache dressed in white with a chef's hat.

My favorite is the giant six-foot ice cream cone that would sit atop custard shops. These symbols were meant to be seen from a great distance. They weren't just signs. They went beyond signs and entered the realm of a beacon. Even a kid in the back seat of a car could spot the giant ice cream cone from enough distance that they had time to start begging a couple miles in advance. They were a perfect eye catcher for kids that were too young to read. Kids knew fully what to expect in the business that was under this symbol.

It would be nice if modern businesses could focus on their symbols and gather around a standard rather than each having copyright protected logos.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Tommy Emmanuel

From time to time I feature musicians here that are above and beyond the norm. Tommy Emmanuel is well worth this notoriety.
Tommy Emmanuel Video
After viewing this video, check out his other videos.

Monday, November 01, 2010


I’m sick of the election. Though the election will be over tomorrow I feel as though I’ve been thoroughly assaulted. I am seriously considering removing my name from the voting register all together. There was a point where I could count on getting at least five calls every evening from polls, push polls, candidates, political parties, robo calls, measure advocates and detractors. When asked who I was voting for my simple answer was, “I’m voting for who ever doesn’t call me.” It came to the point where if the number on my caller ID wasn’t one I knew I just let it ring.

I have never been convinced to vote for or against a candidate or issue because of a phone call, a lawn sign, political mailing, TV or radio spot. I do read my voters guide thoroughly. If you want to convince me of the reason I should vote one particular way; that is where your money is best spent.

In a way elections are like Christmas. It is an economic feeding frenzy of vast proportions where money is spent on all sorts of crap that people don’t want and most of it ends up in land fill. The only ones who benefits are the printers and the media that sells ad time.