Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Soft Opening

Well, the store is open now. Again my excuse for sloppy blogging, but I don't think anyone reads this thing anyway. I'm sure it is not quite dance-able yet, after all there are no music or vegetables. But it's mine, well ours really. If there are items you would like to see in the store, but do not yet, please let me know and I will try to provide them. Big Thanksgiving sale going on now. Most of the stuff in there are things I think are cool, but it is quite time consuming tracking down suppliers for particular things, so the store is not nearly complete. Check back often for new green gadgets and gizmos.

I used to do the computer weenie thing for a living, but that was nine years ago now, and it is amazing how much I have forgotten, and even more amazing how things have changed. What used to be simple html commands, now require a degree in quantum physics and a scripting language to accomplish, but so it goes. The web looks pretty these days.

I still remember the days of the command line interface, when e-mail was sent via BITNET and Gopher was all the rage. (Unless you are an academician, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about, but it's like the difference between paper and a pencil, and Microsoft Word). I was going to say a slide rule and a calculator, but I didn't think anyone would get that one either.
Anyway, if you want to poke around, my store is called B & B Stuff and can be found at just in case you are interested.

Technology marches on, and here I go along with it.....again. I'm really psyched about alternative energy options, which is what the whole dance-able store thingy is all about. I want people to feel good about their choices. I like to see people smile, and it is hard not to smile when you are dancing among the vegetables. Next time you are in the grocery store, give it a whirl, or give yourself a whirl, see if it doesn't make you smile.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ok, I'm WAAAAYYY behind in my blogging now. It's not funny and I make no apologies. I have been kind of busy. Ok, not that busy, but kind of. I'm working on an on-line store and it is going much more slowly than I would like. I want to have the kind of store you can dance in.

My wife and I do a lot of store dancing. We find the produce aisle in the County Market in Punxsutawney most inviting. The music is good, and when the vegetable mister comes on it is like dancing in the rain forest. It's really nice. Sometimes people look at us funny, and one night some woman suggested that we get a room. I explained we already had a whole house, but it lacked vegetables, so we wanted to do our dancing there, thank you very much!

WalMart, on the other hand, just doesn't have that “Come inside and dance” kind of feel to it. Yes their prices on some things are good, but their vegetables just aren't as perky and the music is lousy. We have danced there, but it's just not the same. Give me County Market any day.

So that's what I'm trying to create, without the produce, or the mister, or any actual aisles at all, but still someplace where when you click yourself inside, you just want to get up and dance.

I'll keep you posted on how it's going

Sunday, September 27, 2009

G-20 Summit or WHAT was THAT?

OK, I can see that if I'm going to get serious about this whole blogging thing, I am going to have to set aside some time every day for the effort. I have been distracted the last several days by a minor medical problem and all the G-20 hubbub. I was riveted to the TV. I watched the news every time it was on, and do you know what? I still don't know anything. I know they had a meeting. I know they shook their collective fist at Iran, and I know there are now twenty of them. Beyond that I know little of the meetings themselves. Maybe that it what they intended, I just don't know.

It was very informative on other matters however. Lots of people protested. What they were protesting, even they don't know, but they were there in droves. OK free Tibet, I can wrap my brain around that one, it's not too ambiguous, Consider however this report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Groggy but not subdued, anarchists hail protest success with little damage
Saturday, September 26, 2009
By Sadie Gurman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
They weren't stockpiling human waste to throw at police.
They didn't set cars ablaze or chain themselves together in "sleeping dragons" with PVC pipe.
The anarchists who police and media had warned for months could wreak havoc on the city during the G-20 summit didn't exactly fulfill that expectation. Instead, they smashed some windows and turned over a few Dumpsters, flooded the streets of Lawrenceville and staged sporadic uprisings for hours elsewhere, met by a large contingent of riot police at almost every turn.
Some were sprayed with OC gas, others pelted with rubber bullets. Still others were arrested in the demonstrations, which they had spent their summers planning.
Then yesterday, groggy but not subdued, the contingent joined thousands of other protesters in a city-sanctioned march that was largely uneventful, beyond some chanting laced with swear words and a little taunting of police. Some had shed their all-black attire for shorts and T-shirts.
So, were the protests everything the anarchists had envisioned during meetings and trainings?
"We tried to do what we wanted to do, and we wanted to take to the streets in a show of resistance against the G-20," one member, Alex Bradley, said. "In that respect, I think it was a success."
As the summit and the protests it spawned wound to a close yesterday, members of one of the more visible -- and vilified -- anarchist groups, the Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project, reflected on their experiences.
"Even though people had to fight to save themselves from the riot police, people continued to re mobilize so many times, we didn't let the police keep us down," said Amanda Zeiders, who tried to snap as many photos as she could during Thursday's actions. "It was great for the movement."
There were scary moments, she said, when she was separated from friends, and painful moments of dehydration. "It was intense," she said. "It was surely a great day."
The group issued a statement during Thursday's unrest declaring the "people's uprising" a success and proof of "people's willingness to resist global capitalism despite the combined forces of state repression."
Mr. Bradley described Thursday's march out of Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville as "people power," whereas yesterday's permitted event was "an appeal to people in power," each with its own merit.
The group said its arrest count -- 17 in four hours, by members' estimates -- was relatively low, and no one was badly hurt.
Mr. Bradley said the downing of Dumpsters might have been protesters' attempts to shield themselves from police, who threw tear gas and blared what he called "a sonic weapon," the long-range acoustic device.
"The Dumpsters people pushed down the road ran into an armored personnel carrier," he said. "I really hope the armored personnel carrier was all right."
The group blamed the mayhem, which left windows broken, on police "overreaction."
The Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project had been holding public meetings since early June, when it launched a Web site and issued a call to action.
"We are asking you to come to Pittsburgh with every ounce of anger and rage that you feel when your local projects refuse to manifest into something larger, fiercer, or broader, or when that anger itself forces you into isolation or alienation," the Web site said.
The anarchists quickly captured the attention of reporters and police, who, group members believe, were always keeping an eye on them.
As the summit approached, the group turned a Greenfield storefront into a "convergence space" for gatherings. Dozens of police officers in vans and a hazardous materials truck watched the headquarters from a nearby parking lot on Wednesday night, during a meeting to coordinate the next day's events. They left -- and returned again -- without incident.
"It's a psychological attack," the group's spokesman Noah Williams said at the time. "They want people to feel threatened constantly."
The anarchists also fought against what they consider media "scare stories" that claimed anarchists were squatting in vacant buildings, collecting human waste to throw during protests.
Fear later brewed over a list, posted to the Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project's Web site, of locations, including Starbucks coffee shops, police stations and banks, and other places with "links to globalism" where possible protests could take place.
Some stores boarded their windows, but there were few, if any, reports of trouble at sites on the list.
Throughout it all, anarchists tried to explain their views as simply as they could to skeptical inquirers. They left fliers at 4,500 homes and went on radio talk shows.
Patrick Young, of the anarchist Pittsburgh Organizing Group, led theoretical and tactical training workshops for demonstrators, including one on "lockboxing" with PVC pipe and chains.
He said the summit protests were an extension of the work anarchists try to do daily.
But now, he said, a break is in store.
"As soon as everyone gets out of jail, I am going to take a long, long, long nap," he said. "And probably have a couple beers."
Sadie Gurman can be reached at or 412-263-1878.
Read more:

HUH? I re-produced the whole story here so you can see I didn't edit it, but I still don't know what the Anarchist's point is. If they were not threatening violence, the massive police presence wouldn't be necessary. Most of the banners shown on TV were about how bad Capitalism is. Now I'm by no means saying we don't have problems with the way we practice capitalism in this country, but what are the alternatives to it. I did a little snooping into anarchist theory (there is very little that I could find quickly) and it seems they offer no alternative. The orderly exchange of goods and services has to be accomplished somehow. Anytime there are more than three people clumped together, we have to figure out some way to provide for each other's needs. So unless we are all going to be camped out in the woods with no hot water or cable TV, eating nuts and berries and whatever tasty animals we can catch, we have to have some form of exchange. We can do that by a Nanny State, which forces everyone to do stuff and make stuff, and give it to the State to re-distribute, or we can have some profit or altruistic motivation. The Nanny State has been tried several times now, and the level of oppression is far worse in those cases than it is here in the good old US of A. If you really want Anarchy, have a look at Somalia, it's the best example I can think of. That is not really an ideal lifestyle if you ask me. I take a more Libertarian view myself, though like Tucker and his Machine, I don't think profit at any cost is good for us. It tends to deny opportunity to some for the benefit of others. Equal OPPORTUNITY for all is what I say, the results are up to you.

The problem is that we don't think anymore. We are not really taught HOW to think either. Our educational system is abysmal in that regard. We are taught to regurgitate information and to conform, but beyond that, original thought and expression are discouraged. We aren't even doing a good job of teaching regurgitation anymore. Just a thought (and not my own I must admit) how about complete and open disclosure of ALL financial transactions. Yes, that's what I said. Everyone could look-up on-line what everyone else spends and for what, and how much they have in the bank. The country as a whole wouldn't really stand for multi-million dollar bonuses for wall street raiders, if they really knew who, where, when and how much. Yes, your expenditure for odor-eaters would also be revealed. Sorry about that, but openness and honesty is really the best policy, if you ask me, I know you didn't, but there you have it anyway. Your contributions to my campaign for congress would also be available to anyone, so think carefully before you write that check!

That is really the point. If everyone could know what everyone was up to financially, we might all think a little more before we did something we might be ashamed of. Public conscience, what a concept!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thoughts from the weekend

You just know it's going to be a good day when you drop your toast on the floor first thing and it lands jelly side up. Good for me!

Sorry I missed the last two days, not off to a good start am I. Oh well, better now than later when someone might actually be reading this. It was a very busy weekend. My lovely bride Beth and I were off to the 14th Annual New Bethlehem Peanut Butter Festival for fun and adventure. If one has never been to a Peanut Butter Festival, and we had not, one is not quite sure what to expect. Fun for sure, and adventure, and the unknown. Venturing out into the far reaches of New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is not that easy a task, though it is easier to find than Timblin.

Pennsylvania has some truly beautiful countryside, and we drove through a portion. We arrived in time for the Peanut Butter Parade. Quite a sight. It lasted a half hour, and was not so well appointed as other parades I have attended in the past, but for all that the citizens seemed to have a good time, and it was a good excuse for the locals to shine up the old tractor. The winner was something like a 1936 Olive, sorry I don't remember the owners name, and a quick Google search reveled no published results.

I can say with assurance, however, that rubber ducks number 48 and 95 did NOT win the duck race, though we went with high hopes for them. To be fair, given the slow current in the Red Bank creek, and the wind blowing the wrong way, it was quite a feat for our little ducks to cross the finish line at all. Oh well the Purina Duck Chow sponsorship wasn't looking good anyway.
On to more poignant things. I am still unemployed. Not much happens on the weekend, so the search continues today. Beth and I have been discussing the merits of Hot Dog Vending and so far the possibilities are promising. We decided that if I am elected to congress, we could move the hot dog cart to DC and sell tasty snacks in between votes on the House Floor. Running a country is a hungry business.

It was actually my political musings that lead us to the Peanut Butter Festival in the first place. The republicans were having an “event” there. Turns out that in Clarion County anyway, an “Event” amounts to a booth with a very friendly fellow pushing the importance of electing the right judges in this fall's election. I agree. Judges are important. They do a lot of judging. I guess Paula Abdul is done with all that now. I think Ellen will be funnier, but that was not the kind of Judge he was talking about. I haven't had time to read the literature yet, but I plan to. I'll let you know.

Of the stuff I've gleaned from my current Representative's web site, he is pretty much against everything the democrats say, and is pretty much for being against everything the democrats say. Hard to get anything done that way, though often not doing something is a good thing. Ah for the days of Newt and the contract for America. What happened to the party of Lincoln actually having an agenda and trying to do something, even if it's wrong.

My father wonders where he went wrong, I'm sure. I grew up in a Kennedy, Humphrey, McGovern household, and didn't actually become a Republican until Regan's second term. In fact I broke up with a girl because she voted for him the first time. Well that and she lived seven hours away and there were cute girls close by. What can I say, I was young.

Anyway, back to my ranting. If my party is ever going to be anything again, we need to stop simply being against everything and start coming up with some “outside the box” ideas of our own. As for the Jobs program, here is an idea, Legalize and tax marijuana. I don't smoke it anymore, haven't for a very long time, way past the statute of limitations, not for twenty-five years. But as hard as they are making it for me to smoke tobacco, I figure people ought to be able to smoke SOMETHING! If we were to be at all honest with ourselves, something sorely lacking in government, we would realize that Alcohol is far more damaging to our citizens and our society, and you can buy it anywhere. Hemp is easy to grow, grows in almost any climate and is one of the strongest fibers going. It can be used to make paper, clothing, rope almost anything that uses pulp or fiber. It also has medicinal as well as recreational uses, and though drivers often forget where they are going, and drive too slowly, it doesn't pose nearly the hazard texting and driving does. Put the farmers back to work and you boost the farm machinery manufacturing business, boosting the steel business, boosting the economy as a whole. Marijuana for jobs, that's what I say, but then I'm just an Ordinary Joe.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ok, Here goes.

Just who am I and why am I doing this? I have heard all this hype about blogging, and I just saw the movie Julie & Julia, so I thought I would give it a try.

Plus I'm thinking about running for Congress. Who better to have as a Congressman these days than an Ordinary Joe. I don't want to rant here, I do very little ranting, but come on, really. I saw a poll the other day that said 42% of the people polled believe that a random selection of folks from the phone book would do as good a job as the current congress (Rasmussen 9/1/2009) so I think now is as good a time as any for me to run. Besides, I need a job. I got fired from my last one as the result of an accident, but that is a story in itself.

Anyway, here you will find things I think about, hopefully on a regular basis. I've had some experiences I will try to tell you about, I might break out in poetry once in a while, and I hope to be adding some photographs from time to time.

As for my platform, well we will get to that. Mostly I'm about common sense (or in the case of the current political clime, uncommon sense). Energy and education are most important. After all what good is health care if you can't read the instructions on the medicine bottle.

I'm from a small town in nowhere Pennsylvania, and have returned there to live. I have traveled the United States and in my youth the world. That doesn't qualify me for much other than giving good directions, but it has been fun. I am approaching fifty with alarming rapidity, but I am looking forward to my AARP card. Funny thing though, I have a very hard time thinking of myself as much over 23.

What I hope to do most with this blog, however is to entertain, and hopefully to pass on a little of the wisdom which has been so graciously been handed to me by angels who have crossed my path. There have been many. One of those tidbits is that unless you are extremely careful, you learn something every day. I spent many days during my youth being extremely careful. I'm not so cautious anymore, and I am the better for it.

I hope you enjoy this Blog. I plan on doing so and perhaps we will meet often, to discuss the events of the day, or perhaps to simply sit and watch the deer as they graze in the yard, unmindful of the upcoming hunting season in which the may get blasted to kingdom come, or to the dinner table. That reminds me of a tee shirt I saw a while back that said

PETA - People for the eating of tasty animals.

I'll probably get in trouble for that, but I merely report - you make up your own mind.

That's all for now, see you here tomorrow.