Saturday, May 23, 2015

Quote for the day

"If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month."

- Theodore Roosevelt


* * * * * * * * * *

Byter Charles D sent me an email with comments from Ronald Kessler’s new book In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect.

By way of background, Ronald Kessler is a 72 year old American journalist and author of 20 non-fiction books about the U.S. Secret Service, FBI, and CIA. Seven of his books have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list. Depending on your outlook, he is a sloppy journalist who doesn’t check his facts enough; a lazy writer who recycles parts of his other books word for word; an outstanding journalist with considerable access to security personnel for behind the scenes scoops and intel, or just an entertaining read.

Here from Kessler’s new book are some of the comments about the Presidents served by the Secret Service.

* * * * * * * * * *

“A philanderer of the highest order.”
“She ordered the kitchen help to save all the left-over wine from State dinners, mixed it with fresh wine and served again during the next White House occasion.”

* * * * * * * * * *

“Another philanderer of the highest order. In addition, LBJ was as crude as the day is long. Both JFK and LBJ kept a lot of women in the White House for extramarital affairs and both had set up early warning systems to alert them if/when their wives were nearby. Both were promiscuous and oversexed men.”
“She was either naive or just pretended to not know about her husband's many liaisons.”

* * * * * * * * * *

“A ‘moral’ man but very odd, weird, paranoid. He had a horrible relationship with his family and was almost a recluse.”
“She was quiet most of the time.”

* * * * * * * * * *

“Nice, decent man. Everyone in the Secret Service was surprised by his downfall.”

* * * * * * * * * *

“A true gentlemen who treated the Secret Service with respect and dignity. He had a great sense of humor.”
“She drank a lot and went into Rehab!”

* * * * * * * * * *

“A complete phony who would portray one picture of himself to public and very different in private e.g. would be shown carrying his own luggage but the suitcases were always empty. He kept empty ones just for photo ops. He wanted people to see him as pious and a non-drinker but he and his family drank alcohol a lot! He had disdain for the Secret Service and was very irresponsible with the 'football' with nuclear codes. He didn't think it was a big deal and would keep military aides at a great distance. Often did not acknowledge the presence of Secret Service personnel assigned to serve him.”
“She mostly did her own thing.”

* * * * * * * * * *

“The real deal, moral, honest, respectful and dignified. They treated Secret Service and everyone else with respect and honor, thanked everyone all the time. He took the time to know everyone on a personal level. One favorite story was early in his Presidency when he came out of his room with a pistol tucked on his hip. The agent in charge asked: ‘Why the pistol, Mr. President?’ He replied, ‘In case you boys can't get the job done, I can help.’ It was common for him to carry a pistol. When he met with Gorbachev, he had a pistol in his briefcase.
“She was very nice but very protective of the President and the Secret Service was often caught in the middle. She tried hard to control what he ate. He would say to the agent, ‘Come on, you gotta help me out.’ The Reagan's drank wine during State dinners and special occasions only otherwise they shunned alcohol. The Secret Service could count on one hand the times they were served wine during family dinner. For all the fake bluster of the Carters, the [Reagans] were the ones who lived life as genuinely moral people.”

* * * * * * * * * *

“Extremely kind and considerate, always respectful. Took great care in making sure the agents' comforts were taken care of. They even brought them meals. One time she brought warm clothes to agents standing outside at Kennebunkport. One was given a warm hat and, when he tried to say ‘no thanks’ even though he was obviously freezing, the President said ‘Son, don't argue with the First Lady. Put the hat on.’ He was the most prompt of the Presidents. He ran the White House like a well-oiled machine.”
“She ruled the house and spoke her mind.”

* * * * * * * * * *

“Presidency was one giant party. Not trustworthy. He was nice mainly because he wanted everyone to like him but to him life is just one big game and party. Everyone knows about his sexuality.”
“She is another phony. Her personality would change the instant cameras were near. She hated, with open disdain the military and Secret Service. She was another who felt people were there to serve her. She was always trying to keep tabs on Bill Clinton.”

* * * * * * * * * *

“An egotistical ass who was once overheard by his Secret Service detail lecturing his son that he needed to do better in school or he would end up like these guys, pointing to the agents.”

* * * * * * * * * *

“The Secret Service loved him and Laura Bush. He was also the most physically in shape who had a very strict workout regimen. The Bushes made sure their entire administrative and household staff understood that they were to respect and be considerate of the Secret Service.”
“She was one of the nicest First Ladies, if not the nicest. She never had any harsh word to say about anyone.”

* * * * * * * * * *

“Clinton all over again - hates the military and looks down on the Secret Service. He is egotistical and cunning. He looks you in the eye and appears to agree with you but turns around and does the opposite. He has temper tantrums.”
“She is a complete bitch who basically hates anybody who is not black, hates the military and looks at the Secret Service as servants.”

A TRUE STORY ABOUT General McChrystal's resignation in Obama's office from General McChrystal's book NEVER STAND IN LINE AGAIN”:

Some men carry and handle their diplomacy better than others. When former U.S. Military commander in Afghanistan, General McChrystal, was called into the Oval Office by Barack Obama, he knew things weren't going to go well when the President accused him of not supporting him in his political role as President.
"It's not my job to support you as a politician, Mr. President, it's my job to support you as Commander-in-Chief," McChrystal replied, and he handed Obama his resignation.

Not satisfied with accepting McChrystal's resignation, the President made a cheap parting shot. "I bet when I die you'll be happy to pee on my grave."

The General saluted and said, "Mr. President, I always told myself after leaving the Army I'd never stand in line again."

Friday, May 22, 2015

Quote for the day

Funny Friday

Today's Funny Friday theme: confession, good for the soul and for dispelling any Friday blues . . .

* * * * * * * * * 
The new priest is nervous about hearing confessions, so he asks an older priest to sit in on his sessions. The new priest hears a couple confessions, then the old priest asks him to step out of the confessional for a few suggestions.

The old priest suggests, "Cross you arms over your chest, and rub your chin with one hand."

The new priest tries this.

The old priest suggests, "Try saying things like, 'I see, yes, go on, and I understand. How did you feel about that?'"

The new priest says those things.

The old priest says, "Now, don't you think that's a little better than slapping your knee and saying 'No kiddin'?!? What happened next?'"

* * * * * * * * * 

* * * * * * * * *  
Ducking into confession with a turkey in his arms, Brian said "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. I stole this turkey to feed my family. Would you take it and assuage my guilt?"

"Certainly not," said the Priest. "As penance, you must return it to the one from whom you stole it."

"I tried," Brian sobbed, "but he refused. Oh, Father, what should I do?"

"If what you say is true, then it is all right for you to keep it for your family."

Thanking the Priest, Brian hurried off.

When confession was over, the Priest returned to his residence. When he walked into the kitchen, he found that someone had stolen his Christmas turkey.

* * * * * * * * * 
A new convert to Catholicism decided to go to confession to deal with his transgression. In the confessional, he told the priest that he had sinned.

"What was your sin, my son?" asked the priest.

"I stole some lumber, Father," replied the man.

"How much lumber did you steal?" asked the priest.

"Father, I built my German Shepherd dog a nice new doghouse."

The priest replied, "Well, that's not so bad."

The man continued, "Father, I also built myself a 4-car garage."

"Well, now, that's a little more serious."
                                                                                                                    "Father, there's more. In addition to the doghouse, the 4-car garage, I also built a 5 bedroom, 4 bath house!"

With a pause, the priest finally spoke. "That is a little more serious. I'm afraid you'll have to make a novena."

"Father, I'm not sure what a 'novena' is, but if you've got the blueprints, I've got the lumber!"

* * * * * * * * * 
A guy goes into the confessional box after years being away from the Church. 

He pulls aside the curtain, enters and sits himself down. 

There's a fully equipped bar with crystal glasses, the best vestry wine, Miller High Life on tap, cigars and liqueur chocolates nearby, and on the wall a fine photographic display of buxom ladies who appear to have mislaid their garments. 

He hears a priest come in:"Father, forgive me for it's been a very long time since I've been to confession and I must admit that the confessional box is much more inviting than it used to be".

The priest replies "Get out, you idiot. You're on my side".

* * * * * * * * * 

* * * * * * * * * 
A drunken man staggers into a Catholic Church, sits down in the confession box and says nothing. After a few minutes the priest coughs to attract the man's attention, but still the man says nothing. The priest then knocks on the wall three times in an attempt to get the man to speak.

Finally, the drunk replies, "No use knocking mate, there's no paper in this one either".

* * * * * * * * * 
A man attends confession and tells the priest that he used profane language while playing golf.

The priest asks him to explain the situation so he can decide on his punishment.

The man says “I sliced my drive badly into the trees”.

The priest says “And that’s when you swore.”

The man: “No, a rabbit picked up my ball and bounded away with it.”

Priest: “And that’s when you swore?”

Man: “No. An eagle swooped down, caught the rabbit and started flying away.”

Priest: “And that’s when you swore?”

Man: “No, Father, because the rabbit dropped the ball, it landed on the green and finished six inches from the hole."


* * * * * * * * * 
Cold Hard Fact

- Charlee Marshall

“Move closer to the wall, my son, and speak into the grille
Confession is the saviour of the soul
If there’s something on your conscience, if you’re feeling weak or ill
Confess... and ye shall once again be whole!
Ask the lord for his salvation, he is waiting for your call”
“I’m afraid I’ve sinned too greatly” said the voice behind the wall.

“Let’s see if I have got it straight - your wife... her name is Liza
She’s inclined to wear her dresses rather short
She was bending over looking for an ice cream in the freezer
When you, behind her, had this lustful thought
She had to lean way over, for she isn’t very tall...”
“And I wanted chocolate brickle” said the voice behind the wall.

“Now, I know you’re newly-married (since you made your vows before us)
But married people often act up thus
It sometimes spoils the pleasure if the sex is too decorous
So I see no reason why to make a fuss
Perhaps your wife objected... did she try to start a brawl?”
“No... I think she rather liked it” said the voice behind the wall.

“Then go, my son, I find no blame... your actions may be kinky
Tell Liza to be careful with her dress
Next time she looks for ice cream to wear something long and slinky
Then her husband will have nothing to confess
We will not throw you out of church... I find no sin at all...”
“Well they threw us out of Woolworths!” said the voice behind the wall.

Corn Corner:

My favourite band of the 1980s made classic records such as "Jeeno", "Come on I lean" and "Jockey Willsen Sez".

That's right. Dyslexy's Midnight Runners.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Quote for the day

"Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven."

- John Milton (1608-1674)
Satan's declaration in Paradise Lost
The poem concerns the Christian story of the fall of Satan and his brethren and the rise of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. 

. . .   Here at least
we shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
to reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven

The Girl and the Moneylender

Many hundreds of years ago in a small Italian town, a merchant had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to the moneylender. The moneylender, who was old and ugly, fancied the merchant's beautiful daughter so he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the merchant's debt if he could marry the daughter. Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified by the proposal.

The moneylender told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl would then have to pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble, she would become the moneylender's wife and her father's debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the merchant's garden. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick her pebble from the bag.

The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked." 

Since the remaining pebble was black, it had to be assumed that she had picked the white one, the moneylender not wanting to admit his dishonesty.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Most complex problems do have a solution, sometimes we have to think about them in a different way.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Quote for the day

If A is success in life, then A equals X plus Y plus Z.
Work is X;
Y is Play;
and Z is keeping your mouth shut.

– attributed to Albert Einstein

Plumber of the Year Awards

Byter Charles D sent me some pics with the title Plumber of the Year.  On looking up the pics on the net I came across additional ones that also qualify for the title, so here is Part 1 of Charles' photographs plus the additonal.  Thanks Charles.

Plumber of the Year bonus pic:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Quote for the day

"I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death. What's that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you're too young, you get a gold watch and you go to work. You work forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities. You become a little baby, you go back into the womb, spend your last nine months floating... and you finish off as an orgasm."

- George Carlin

Some thoughts on funerals

* * * * * * * * * *

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea
And the hunter home from the hill.

- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894)
Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

* * * * * * * * * *
"Some people hate funerals. I find them comforting. They hit the pause button on life and remind us that it has an end. Every eulogy reminds me to deepen my dash, that place on the tombstone between our birth and our death."

- Regina Brett
American author and newspaper columnist, who has written a number of motivational books and holds degrees in religious studies and journalism.

* * * * * * * * * *
"I hate funerals, and would not attend my own if it could be avoided, but it is well for every man to stop once in a while to think of what sort of a collection of mourners he is training for his final event."

- Robert T. Morris (1965 - )
 American computer scientist and entrepreneur. He is best known for creating the Morris Worm in 1988, considered the first computer worm on the Internet (for which he was prosecuted), and for companies he has founded.

* * * * * * * * * *
"So many of us have loved ones and people we really care about, and the only time we show affection is when they are gone. I have preached at funerals and you see loved ones who didnt even say hello to dear ones when they were alive. Give them hugs kisses while they are alive and need it."

- George Foreman (1949 - )
Retired American professional boxer, two-time World Heavyweight Champion, Olympic gold medalist,ordained minister, author, and entrepreneur. He won the World Heavyweight title with a second-round knockout of then-undefeated Joe Frazier in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1973 but lost the title Muhammad Ali in "The Rumble in the Jungle" in 1974. Foreman retired in 1977 and became an ordained Christian minister. Ten years later, he announced a comeback and, in November 1994, at age 45, he regained the Heavyweight Championship by knocking out 27-year-old Michael Moorer. Foreman is the oldest Heavyweight Champion in history, and second oldest in any weight class after Bernard Hopkins He retired in 1997 at the age of 48, with a final record of 76–5, including 68 knockouts.

* * * * * * * * * *
"I can't admit things; that's why I can't go to funerals and stuff like that. I find it very, very difficult to deal with that kind of reality. I shut myself off totally because it affects me so badly."

- Simon Cowell (1959 - )
English television talent judge and mentor, music and television producer, and music talent scout. He is most recognised as a judge on the English TV talent competition series Pop Idol, The X Factor, and Britain's Got Talent, and the American TV singing competition shows American Idol and The X Factor.

* * * * * * * * * *
Not, How Did He Die, But How Did He Live

Not how did he die, but how did he live?
Not what did he gain, but what did he give?
These are the units to measure the worth
of a man as a man, regardless of birth.

Not, what was his church, nor what was his creed?
But had he befriended those really in need?
Was he ever ready, with word of good cheer,
to bring back a smile, to banish a tear?

Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,
but how many were sorry when he passed away

- Author unknown