Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Wonder of Rush...

I'm sure you all know by now that the King of Conservative talk radio, Rush Limbaugh was hospitalized with chest pains yesterday. I'm sure he will be ok, but I still had to think about what life would be like without this pioneer.

All these other guys like Hannity, Beck, Savage, O'Reilly and even progressive talkers like Ed Shultz all owe a debt of gratitude to good ol' Rush.

I'm not a Limbaugh fan. Only because I don't follow his philosophy. But you cannot deny his impact, not only on talk radio, but radio in general, as even popular drive time "DJs" mix political commentary with their musical play list. Don't even get me started on his influence on modern politics, whether we want to admit it or not.

As with any living, breathing soul, I wish him a speedy recovery. Maybe this near death experience will give him a fresh perspective on life.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Something to think about before you go out...

A hoard of folks that are casual drinkers at best will hit bars, clubs and house parties tomorrow night and through the weekend, to ring in the new year. Hopefully, most of them will do the right thing and let a non drinker take them home. Of course, it's my goal to see a few of them in my cab. For most hacks, New Years Eve is the equivalent to black Friday in the retail industry.

In recent years, there has been a blossoming business that has provided us a bit of competition for the bar crowd of late. Professional designated drivers. Services that send a team to your bar or house party and drive you home in your car. Sounds like a pretty good idea. At least on the surface.

Of course this is going to be a biased angle, but there is a legitimate concern here. Unlike the taxi industry, this relatively new venture is not regulated by any city or state entity. Are they properly insured? How experienced are the drivers? Is it a really good deal?

I went to the website of one of these services. Their rates are equivilent to a 5 mile round trip cab fare and judging by the website they seem to be fairly reputable. So what's the problem?

The taxi industry has been taking drunks home for decades. These upstart services do not have the abillity to handle the volume of business that events like New Years and St. Patty's Day can bring. There will be over 700 licenced taxis patrolling the streets of Minneapols and St. Paul this weekend.I would quess all these DD services combined will be able to muster will be 200 teams max.

Whatever your New Years' plans are, I hope you plan not to drive if you are going to drink. If you take a cab or use one of these other services, be sure to plan ahead. No taxi service will take reservations to pick you up at a bar, so if you want a cab ride home, I would suggest you also cab it to your party spot and set up an arrangement with that driver. Most drivers will reserve a return ride as long as you provide a deposit for that ride.

Here's wishing you a safe and prosperus new year.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How much more can Vikings' fans take?

It took a few hours to replay last night's Vikings' loss to the Bears in my mind to get a grasp on what happened. I've come to two conclusions... Brett Favre is a MVP caliber quarterback who may be having his best year yet. On the other hand, coach Brad Childress is an unimaginative, out of touch weasel, whose lack of play calling ability will assure the Vikings will be one and done again in this year's playoffs.

I would like nothing better than to see Adrian Peterson run wild for a buck fifty every game, but the offensive line, for whatever reason, is not creating the holes needed to facilitate a power running game. I saw that, every local sports writer sees it, hell, my wife who still wonders why Joe Mauer is not being played could see it. But good ol' Chili Dog can't. It wasn't until Favre said "screw this" and started running a spread offense, did the team start moving down the field.

If this team is to have a prayer, they need to remember why they groveled to get old number 4 and let him do what he does best and run this high powered offense to the best of it's ability.

Like most Vikings fans, I'm not holding my breath.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Protection at any cost?

I'm lucky as in I don't have have to fly much, so on the occasions that I do, I don't mind the extra screening involved in order to attempt to assure some degree of safety. Of course, now that some nut job with promised virgins on the line tried to blow up a plane headed for Detroit, (sorry, any smart ass comment here would just be in bad taste) security measures at our nation’s airports will be ratcheted up.

About 40 airports are using and X-ray device that produces “Whole Body Imaging” in the screening process. Of course, ACLU types are all up in arms about the privacy issues this screener presents.

I got one thing to say to this… SO FUCKING WHAT!! When I’m 39,000 feet in the air, I want to be safe as possible. So if it means some unlucky screener is forced to see my shriveled up lack of manhood in order to prevent some jackass from smuggling explosives in his Fruit of the Looms, so be it.

Just a thought… The al-Qaeda wackos in Yemen who are claiming responsibility for this attempted attack, promised more to come. What worries me is that this lame attempt to blow up a plane might have been nothing more than a diversion and the next attack may be somewhere that we least expect.

I’m beginning to like profiling more and more every day.


Slowly, back to normal...

Well, it won't be quite a normal week, this week. Monday thru Wednesday will be somewhat according to Hoyle, Thursday, New Year's Eve, I expect to be a long day, as the day business should be somewhat normal followed by the anticipated boom that comes with amateur drunk night, will make for a long day. Depending on how the week goes, I may go out Friday and Saturday night for a bit.

While I don't dread the holiday season as much as I used to, I do look forward to getting back to a normal routine that will come the following week.

I remember when a guy could make pretty good money working Christmas day, as there weren't many cabs on the road. These days, Muslim drivers, for whom Christmas is just another day, are out in numbers, making trying to work on the Holy day pointless.

The leftover ice from our little Christmas snowstorm has left some of our secondary streets feeling like driving on a washboard. Now we look forward to single digit highs to greet us by New Year's Day.

All in all, just another day in paradise.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Where all the snow goes...

My wish list for 2010...

Well folks, the last Christmas of the 00's is in the books. We got over a foot of snow. Would have been more, but the last of the storm came as rain.

Looking back, it was a good Christmas, for the most part. My boys and Lori's oldest son joined us. Nobody went hog wild with gifts, which suits this recovering scrooge just fine. I did miss having my daughters with me, but one's in Seattle and the other, well... I'm not going to break the mood explaining my feelings on that situation.

I have my wish list for 2010 done a little earlier than I expected. While some, I know, are plain fantasies, there are a few here I think I have a good shot of seeing come true.

So here they are... (in no particular order)

  • No more monster snowstorms, at least 'til March, when it will have a chance to melt.
  • I want to drop at least 50 pounds. That may not sound like much at my size, but I really felt pretty good around the 250 mark.
  • My 21 year old stepson to find a job and stop spending 20 hours a day in front of the friggin' X-Box.
  • My stepdaughter to stop going to looking for the next boyfriend.
  • My dog to break his addiction to crack. (No PETA, he's not really, just seems that way)
  • My wife to break her addiction to cyber-crack. (FarmTown, Cafe World, Zooville, etc...)
  • I want to find a couple of friends that I haven't heard from in years.
  • I want to make it to opening day in the Twins' new ballpark. (regardless of how cold it gets)
  • I want our country to start treating terrorists as criminals, not enemy soldiers.
  • I want our local government to start treating thugs and gang members as criminals, not misguided youth.
  • I want to see a simple tax code adopted. One that takes away all the shelters and exemptions and collects 20% of all personal income over $20,000 and all net business profits of over $50,000.
  • I want to see more aid money spent in this country and less overseas. Let the Chinese shoulder some of the burden.
  • Let's lift this useless embargo on Cuba.
  • Let's work on legalizing such vices a pot, gaming and yes, prostitution. (With proper regulation, of course)

But my biggest wish for 2010 is a safe and prosperous year for all my friends and family, as well as the complete strangers who take the time to read this blog.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Early Christmas thoughts...

Well... We got another Christmas just a day and a half away. A time of joy for most. Yet, I have some real close friends that this season only brings sorrow and depression. I don't have all the answers on this matter, but I can say I've been there at one time.

It was 35 years ago, Christmas Eve, that my mother died after a nearly month long hospitalization. I was an 11 year old kid at the time. She had relapsed into severe alcoholism after my father died a little over 2 years prior. You'd think I'd be over it by now, but it's really just been in the last couple of years that I haven't been in a severe funk myself.

The worst thing anyone can do, in my opinion, is to get caught up in all this hustle bustle of the season. There is no need to try to keep up with the Jones when it comes to holiday shopping. I have one dear friend that has 3 kids, two of them over 18, who she can't afford presents for. She feels horribly depressed about this. I can't stress this enough... Christmas is not about all the material things, for those who believe, it is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ. For the non believers, it can still be time reflect and begin a fresh start in life.

My friends, I want to take this time to wish all of you the merriest of the Christmas holiday. Take the time to enjoy your family and thank God for all the blessings in your life.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm dreaming of a...

It may not be what you think...

With anywhere up to 14 inches of snow expected over the Christmas holiday, my mind drifts back to our outdoor wedding in Corpus Christi 2 days after Christmas, 3 years ago. It was a chilly 65 degrees with a little breeze by the bayfront.

While the quality of life is a few degrees (bad pun) better up here in Minnesota, You couldn't beat the beautiful year round weather in south Texas, never too cold in the winter and nice breeze off the gulf kept summertime highs in the humid but comfortable 80s.

Corpus, surprisingly, was not a bad place to drive a cab. Many of the locals used the cabs for doctor appointments, shopping and to avoid the tough Texas drunk driving laws. The company I drove for, Green-n-Go, did a great job of staying in the community's forefront, making us the first choice for the area's transportation needs.

There was nothing more relaxing after a 12 hour shift than a stroll on Bob Hall Pier, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. I remember how cool it was watching fishermen haul in a 5 foot long hammerhead shark. Damn, them some ugly sombitches.

They say a wise man never looks back. With all the good things that has happened in my life over the last couple of years, I can't say I'd change a whole lot. But as I get ready to turn my cab into a sled in a couple of days, one can still dream.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Remembering the last decade...

I'm sure you'll see thousands of stories about reflections of the past decade, so what's one more?

I look at the last ten years as one that brought great changes to my life. When 1999 gave way to the year 2000. I was in Las Vegas, mid way through my 5 year experiment of driving cab in the ultimate tourist trap. It would be a little over a year later when I got to experience my dream job of hosting my own talk radio show, albeit on a low powered AM station, the experience was still priceless.

The lustre eventually wore off the Vegas experience, so we packed up our worldly belongings and headed to Orlando to attempt to tame another taxicab market. Friends out in Vegas warned us about the hurricanes, but I blew all of them off, saying that by the time a tropical storm made it to the Orlando area, it would just be a pissed off low pressure system.

Fast forward to September 2004... Things were going fairly well. We'd settled into a somewhat dumpy but functional house in the center of the city. Like most of my prior cab driving experiences to this point, I was making enough to pay the bills and to afford the occasional cold one. Then came Hurricane Charley.... Forecasters were particularly worried about this storm, as it was a cat 5 while out it he open waters of the gulf. We paid close attention, but remained confident that landfall would take quite a bit of the punch out of the storm. Boy was I wrong... Charley lost quite a bit of it's steam from its cat 4 status when it hit the west coast of the Florida peninsula, but it was still a strong cat 1 with 105mph winds when it charged directly over the Orlando area.

We had rode out the storm a my buddy Rod's (who we moved to the area with from Vegas) in Kissimee. It wasn't till south end of the eye passed over the area did he lose power. We went back home the next day to find just a few tree limbs down in the yard, but no damage to the house. As expected, power was out in the entire area. What wasn't expected was the 8 days it took to get the power back on.

With threat of yet another big storm looming, we packed op what we could fit in our old van and headed back to Minnesota.

I really didn't mean to ramble on about the relatively short time we were in Florida...

My wife at the time, Diane, was (and is) a good woman. Unfortunately, our lives were beginning to take different paths and it was obvious that we did not share the same goals in life. She put up with allot of crap from me during this period and didn't get any reward for her trouble.

I started meeting Lori after work on a regular basis. Other than the heart I broke along the way, I have no regrets, as we prepare to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. More on that a little later.

I had been back in Minnesota for less than a year, when in September of '05, Lori and I embarked on our Texas adventure. We moved to Wichita Falls to help a buddy start up a portable X-ray service. I picked up some shifts driving cab to supplement the room and board we were getting paid for our services. After a little over a year of spinning our wheels, we wanted to move on. At the time neither of us wanted to go back to Minnesota, so we decided on Corpus Christi of all places.

We found a nice side by side duplex at a reasonable price that was located less than a half mile from the gulf. The highlight of our time in Corpus was getting married out on the bayfront in late December. (something you could never do on the frozen north tundra) We worked our asses off at (you guessed it) another cab company, but I was really beginning to enjoy life for the first time in many years.

Lori wasn't as happy as I was, however. She felt isolated and was worried about her oldest son, who had just learned he was going to be a father. A close friend of ours out there was planning to move to Little Rock, as her husband received a huge promotion to relocate. This would leave her really without the only real friendship she had established, so we uprooted again.

I enjoyed the simple life of living in Arkansas, but our friend was delayed in moving so it was just the two of us in our little motel room where we spent over a month. Lori was not real happy, so we packed it all up and headed back to Minnesota. By now, it was late March of 2008. Boy how time flies...

So now we're back where we started. Lori and I took jobs in management one of the area's bigger cab companies. I'm not going to beat the dead horse as to what led to our demise there, but I will say that I plan to be a wealthy man in a year or so because of it. Lori's son made her a happy grandma and life was starting to settle in nicely...

Then I got the shock of my life....

I received a message from my oldest son, who I had not seen on over 25 years. Turns out, he's married with two kids of his own. That's right... I'm a grandpa. WOW!!! I also discovered that his brother (both of the boys were taken from my first ex by the county) was openly gay. Quite a bit of information to swallow in a short time.

That leads me to here and now. I've had quite a tumultuous last 10 years and while I could be in better health, I will say that I am better off today than when the decade began.

There are some parts that I have unintentionally glossed over, so I want to take the time to mention some of the people that had a great influence on my life in the past ten years.

  • Diane Shannon: Who put up with allot of grief from me trying to hold our marriage together. While I am happy in life I'm in now, I have to apologize for all I put her through. I am very happy that she is making good with her life and I only want the best for her.
  • JoAnn Kaeder: My oldest daughter from my second marriage. She was adopted, along with her sister, Katelin, after my wife remarried. Sent me an e-mail out of the blue one day and came to live with us for a short time. I wish I would have been a better father to you girls and I'm real happy you've chosen to let me back into your lives.
  • Rod and Paula Johnson. Rod was my runnin' buddy out in Vegas. The move to Orlando was his idea. Rod's family had taken us in when I was fired at the cab company for insubordination. (go figure) I never got a chance to thank him for all he did for us. Thank you, Rod...
  • Cherie Hanscom (Landry): Cherie is a wonderful, good hearted person who I met on-line just before we moved to Florida. While I was going through my self induced problems with Diane, she was there for me. She also boarded my 3 dogs for several months until we settled into our house. I probably made Cherie promises, that I had no business making at the time. To this day, I regret any heartache I caused this blessed soul.
  • Bill and Barbara Fancher and his parents, James and Mary: It was Bill's brainchild that got us to move to Texas to start a new life. While Lori and I did our share of work getting this business up and running, his mom and dad graciously boarded us for over a year.
  • Dan Stiefel and Julie Tandy: Owner and manager, respectively of Green-n-Go cab company, in Corpus. Dan and Julie also were our witnesses when Lori and I got married. They were very patient with a very opinionated grizzly old veteran cab driver that was very critical at every turn on how they ran the company. It should be noted that Green-n-Go is a very successful company, which unlike many cab companies in this country, is very respected in the community.
  • Kim and Frank Isbell: Our friends that inspired us to move to Little Rock. Part of me still wishes that would have worked out.
  • Gary Tournier: Owner, Suburban Taxi. I didn't say all the influences would be positive.
  • John and Richard Rohlik: Having my sons back in my life filled a big gap that, at times, I did not want to admit existed.
  • Lori Shannon: Life hasn't always been easy for us over the last 4 1/2 years, but Lori has stayed with me through this wild ride and has proven to be the true soulmate that I dreamed she'd be. And for that I will always love her.

Thanks for taking this ride through the last decade with me.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Remember the reason for the season

It's the holiday season for folks of many different backgrounds. Hanukkah just ended yesterday and Kwanzaa will follow Christmas on December 26th. In our PC based culture, we have given in to the generic salutation of "Happy Holidays" when when we greet strangers. I don't have a problem with this, but not for the reason you may think.

I think we're become way too uptight. While my greeting of joy will always be Merry Christmas, I don't care if you return the favor with Happy Holidays, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah or have a nice day. This is a season of joy to be shared by all, not a time to get caught up in petty differences.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

This doesn't make sense...

This is the transit hub across from Brookdale Mall. Over the last year that I've been back on the streets here, I've noticed that this has been a popular place for cab drivers, especially those affiliated with companies that don't have much call business, to wait for passengers. Mostly ones who would otherwise walk to their final destination, or don't want to wait for the next bus to come. This trend is also popular at Northtown Mall and Southdale. The latter actually has a posted cab stand available.

I have only sat out here a couple of times. Fortunately, my company has plenty of business on most days. I'm not quite sure why this particular facility has taken this stance, I plan to look into it. When I got here, there was a cab here from another company that got a pick up relatively quick. I see other cabs ignoring the signs as well, but it is a Saturday, enforcement may be a little lacking.

You would think Metro Transit would embrace having taxis available to take what are normally shorter rides to complete a total commuting situation for their riders. But for some reason, taxis never seem to be a part of a city's transportation solution. Hell, we're even getting squeezed out of the "don't drink and drive" market by "designated driver" businesses that are not regulated nearly as tight as the taxis.

I'll have more on this when I follow up wit Metro Transit.

Man Charged In Apple Valley Cab Driver Murder

Photo From WCCO-TV

Click here to read the story

There has been chatter on the Internet as to Abdirahman Abdiwahab Abdikarim's nationality. Some claim he's Somali, others dispute this saying that while it is pretty obvious that he is of African descent, Africa is a huge continent and he could have just as easily been Ugandan. I say who gives a rat's ass about his background? The only thing that matters to me is that a decent, kind man was brutally murdered over what looks to be only a friggin' cell phone, this punk was bragging about it. Was it really worth taking another man's life.

For the sake of closure, I'm glad the police finally found this suspect. I'll be really interested to hear what he has to say about this in court.

Report: Stimulus kept 66,000 Minnesotans out of poverty

Read the complete story here

That's allot of folks...

I don't know if anybody that reads this knows what it's really like to be like to be poor. Shit, I work 60 hours a week and we we're allot closer to that poverty line than we are median income. Yet, we have it better that some.

I understand this smacks in the face of the "personal responsibility" crowd. I get it... Why should my taxes go to pay for some bitch who squeezes out puppies at the rate of one a year just to get a bigger welfare check? Why should I pay for some fat ass's health care when all he does is stuff his face with fried chicken and donuts? (damn... that sounds good... relax... just kidding)

For every person that abuses the entitlement system, there are at least 5 others, who at one time in their life, held a decent job, paid taxes and tried to live a healthy life and just fell on hard times.

Conservatives forget that their Elvis, Ronald Reagan, was once a union leader and a card carrying Democrat. But he, like many that come into wealth, forgot what the working man goes through and championed policies that shrunk the safety net. Maybe if this country would stop trying to be the world's savior and focus within it's borders, maybe the money spent on the stimulus wouldn't have put us so much further in the hole.

It seems to me that you can feed about a hundred families in one month for what it costs to kill one member of the Taliban.

No more videos for now

I was in the process of doing a video yesterday afternoon and it dawned on me... I hate doing these stupid things and they really aint that good. You see, I've always figured I could talk faster than I could type, thus making a video made sense to me.

But there always seems to be something missing. I think my videos miss the bite that my sarcastic ass is able to muster when I'm typing. And if I have something I really need to get off my chest, during the day, I can post directly to this blog from my phone.

So while nothing is forever, (except my marriage, hopefully) at this time, I think I'm going to stick with doing this the old fashioned way.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Random thoughts from a simple mind 12/17/09

A Phoenix teacher gets suspended for taking her class to Hooters for lunch; A St. Paul mother gets a DWI with the kid in her car; Tiger's wife is getting a divorce and The Vikings don't attend a meeting on stadium plans.

Thursday morning jottings...

Good morning...

As I look around this ground covered with half a foot of snow, I realize that we have it pretty good up here. Much of that is because we have year round major league sports to look forward to. Now, not all the teams are world beaters, (ok... The Timberwolves plan suck...) but it's still fun to gather at the water cooler and lament their shortcomings. Yes they're mutts, but they're our mutts. Even though the woofies are only drawing a couple grand per game, I think we'd miss them if they were to leave.

I seem to be part of a growing number of folks that feel that if Governor Tim Pawlenty wants to continue on a national stage, he should follow Sarah Palin's lead and resign.

Someone near and dear to me that lives in the St. Cloud area may have a bit of a problem for a couple of weeks scoring his wacky weed, as 146 pounds were taken off the market by Stearns County sheriff officials.

Well... Time to hit the bricks. Have a great day...


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday's last word...

There's a new study out on teens and "sexting," the act of sending sexually explicit messages and nude photos via a cell phone. This study speaks to the latter. I'll let you follow the link for the specifics, I'm just going to give my opinion.

While no parent wants to know of their teenager or pre-teen receiving or sending nude photos with their phone, thankfully, it seems like the number of kids involved in this action is relatively small. That said, I don't see this as much more than a 21st century version of what many of us adolescents did when we were that age. I remember the whole "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" game when I was a kid and I'm sure it happened long before I came into puberty.

The danger in this activity is when these images are leaked out to classmates or other individuals. Otherwise, it may be better than how we did it in the 70's, which often led to other promiscuous activities.

I don't want to make light of this at all. I just feel with all the issues that face teenagers in this day and age, this may be a non issue, considering that very few youngsters are actually participating.

At least, that's what the study says.


On a somewhat related subject, if you paid any attention to the news over the last couple of days, you'd swear the world was full of perverts. There was the prominent Twin Cities area lawyer that's been accused of having sex with a 15 year old boy; The guy that got caught snapping pics of a woman in an adjacent dressing room, then today, the reports of a Minneapolis homeless man that was arrested for downloading child porn (he says it was only pictures of naked little girls, not engaged in sexual acts) on to his I-Pod. I would offer that we are not a more perverted society, but that (yes, I've beaten this horse before) news outlets seem to give this type of behavior more coverage. What, are robberies and shootings less sexy to cover?


Sleep tight, my pretties...


Wednesday morning jottings...

Good morning...

There has been a ton of controversy surrounding the the upcoming construction of the Central Corridor light rail line that will connect Minneapolis and St. Paul's downtown areas. There are a handful of businesses that could be forced to close because of the disruption this construction could bring.

While I never want to see anyone go out of business, I have to give this paranoia a bit of a reality check.

First, many of the businesses in the "Frogtown" area on University Avenue between Rice and Dale were opened thanks to grants and low interest loans given to Hmong immigrants over 20 years ago, so the precedent of using tax money to fund development in the area in nothing new. Those businesses will not suffer very much, as there is still a strong Hmong population base in the area that will faithfully patronize shops run buy their former countrymen.

Then there are the mini stores along the avenue that do nothing more than sell knockoff fashion and DVDs. I don't think those rundown storefronts would be missed if they somehow went away.

Then there is Midway Book store, at the corner of Snelling and University. I remember going into that store some 25 years ago, because I enjoyed browsing the vintage wrestling magazines and Playboys. I remember never seeing very many other people in the store other than to keep warm while waiting for the bus. To this day, I have no idea how they've stayed open all these years. Understandably, they have been one of the most visible opponents of the light rail line. Any disruption of traffic flow would surely cause that store to go belly up.

I don't think construction would adversely affect many of the businesses in the Midway Shopping Center or any other establishment on the south side of University, between Hamline and Snelling as there is plenty of off street parking.

All in all, I think the light rail will be an asset to the community. Judging by the evolution along the Hiawatha line in Minneapolis, I think we have much to look forward to.


Well... Pretty much shot my load with that post... More later...


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday's last word...

Anybody that's followed this blog for any amount of time, knows that I am a big fan of Prebil and Murphy on KSTP-AM from 9am til 1pm. Last week, Prebil took a week's vacation. (what's that?) In his absence, Murph had a few guest hosts to help fill the void. While the shows were informative and entertaining, especially when Kelly Webb, who has his own hour long show at 1pm, took a couple of turns in Prebil's chair, it just felt like something was missing. These two sconie transplants have a chemistry that I have not seen in over 10 years of listening to talk radio. In my opinion, they may just have the best show in the Twin Cities, including most, if not all, of the drive time shows. I once told Murph that they would be great for morning drive, to which he replied that they were happy right where they were, thank you very much.

Thanks for a year of fun, guys...


There doesn't seem to be a lot of opposition to a proposed high speed rail line between Minneapolis and Duluth. The reported cost of the project is $1 billion. I remember the days when I would love to take an impulse drive to Duluth for no better reason other than it was there. As I've gotten older, the allure of road trips has wained some, but I would still love to make the occasional trip to the harbor city. So any train service would be welcome.


While it's a shame that the city of Minneapolis will be laying off 18 police officers, including 12 academy graduates, I don't expect to see a spike in crime in that city. Minneapolis has boasted a dramatic drop in crime over the last few years and there has been some concern that the layoffs will reverse that trend.


For those who think it would be no big deal to lose the Vikings if a stadium deal isn't done, imagine what we'd have to look forward to in the fall and winter months. Trust me, we'd be looking for a team to replace the purple within 5 years, and it will be a lot more expensive to attract a new team than it will be to keep the one we have. Lets get our heads out of the sand (being nice here) before it's too late.


That's all for now...


Tuesday morning jottings...

Ever since we got this goofy dog, Lori has wanted to buy him a sweater. Much to to my chagrin, she finally did it.


Last night, I wondered out loud whether the number of adults having inappropriate relationships with teenagers was rising at an alarming rate, or were stories of such behavior just making the news more often.

After a little more thought, I believe that news outlets have gone the route of the National Enquirer and put more emphasis on salacious stories. Look how much mileage the Tiger Woods story has got.

We can't blame the media entirely. Us rubes seem to be fascinated by these stories while, at the same time, we hold our nose in disgust.


While I am all for celebrating the diversity of this season, those of us of Christian beliefs should not be shy about celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.


Speaking of Christmas, I actually plan on sending a few cards this year. Not the generic 100 in a box type either. I have several friends that I wish share more than a passing greeting on Facebook.


That's all for now...


Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday's final thoughts...

I'm sorry to say that for the next couple of days, I will not be able to bring you Gennell's "Thought of the Day." I receive her writings via e-mail and I will be a little to busy to go through the process that brings that to this blog. I will say that Gennell has been a big inspiration to me as she goes through her recovery process. Hopefully, I will be able to get her words of wisdom back here by week's end.


I find myself wondering if the number of adults that are having inappropriate relationships with teenagers is on the rise, or is it just making the news more often?


Dennis Miller... Please spare me your political commentary during a friggin' wrestling show!!


That's all for now...


Monday morning jottings

We got a couple of inches of snow to play in. Of course, it was slow going, but I'd rather go slow than get into accident or wind up in a ditch.


All the Vikings' fans are breathing a little easier today. Sunday's 30-10 win over the Bengals looked pretty easy. It's obvious that the NFC is the class of the league this year. Even though the Vikings, more than likely, get a first round bye, the road to the NFC title game won't be a cake walk.


The president meets today with with top banking officials to get them off their ass and start making loans available to qualifying small businesses. It's clear, by recent interviews that President Obama is growing impatient with this group of "fat cats" and expects some huge changes in the behavior in the industry.


That's all for now...


Friday, December 11, 2009

Gennell's Thought of the Day

"Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours." ~Robert Byrne

***Friday!!! Thanks, Eric, for making me laugh first thing today!
God does have a sense of humor and the joke is on us! There was a time..when I was deep into my drunkenness...this bitter cold didn't really bother me

Friday mornng jottings...

Made a new Facebook friend last night. I know, you're saying, ok, that's news why? I'll tell you...

One of the radio personalities I liked down in Corpus was Eric von Wade. Eric is a true Texas conservative, so his politics differ from mine quite a bit. But he was enjoyable to listen to because he never talked down to any of his callers, like me, that didn't share all his views. When I moved back to Minnesota, I added him as a friend on Facebook.

On one of Eric's wall posts on the social network site quoted a Fox News story about the White House sending "holiday" cards as opposed to Christmas cards. One of the people replying to the posting said she was harassed on Facebook for lamenting something similar. She wasn't sure if it was Facebook staff or one of her 140 or so friends that was harassing her.

Suddenly, this was less about Christmas cards and more about free speech.

Now whether or not I agree with the whole PC dumbing down of Christmas does not matter. The fact is that in America, we have the right to express our feelings on the matter, one way or another.

Anyway, after a brief exchange of e-mails with this lady, I invited her to join me as a Facebook friend.

Chances are her and I won't agree on many topics, I sure will defend her right to speak her mind, as I would hope she would do for me.

It just goes to show that rational thinking people can find common ground and may be able to enjoy, well... There's always Farmville...


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday's final thoughts...

I find myself a little overwhelmed and a bit conflicted. Maybe I've been listening to too much talk radio of late. Most talk radio shows (on both sides of the political fence) address an audience that is much more educated and sophisticated than I am. My head's been spinning, of late, with all this talk about the legitimacy of the global climate change issue. I mean, what the hell are carbon credits? What's a carbon footprint?

The problem I have is that the people in Washington who are ramming all this down are throats are the same ones who are supporting making health care more accessible to $22.5k per year slugs like me with a shitload of pre-existing conditions.

I just can't buy into the theory that now, when our air is a hundred times cleaner than it was a hundred years ago during our industrial revolution, we are as little as 10 years away from extinction if we don't go back to living like friggin cavemen.

I would love to get away from gas powered cars. Only because I don't want to contribute on dime more than I have to to the economies of countries that would just as soon see the American way of life go up in flames. But I don't believe that our emissions from these combustion engines have anything to do with the shrinking polar ice cap.

So now you see my dilemma. On one hand, I am all for economic and social justice. But I can't support the ideas that come from this same camp that promote the tearing down of the world's industrial sector under the guise of protecting the Earth from some perceived environmental catastrophe.

I might just have to listen to the oldies station for a while to clear my head.

Gennell's Thought of the Day

Morning all...I hope everyone bundles up and stays warm!  Boss v. leadership, I v. we...unfortunately in the business world there seems to be way too many bosses then leaders.

It am happy that the AA program is a "we" program.  Doesn't that seems to work much better then an "I" program?   I find it comforting when I am going through a life's issues; whether emotional or physical,  that I do not have to go through it alone.

The "we" part of the program means that I will always have support and kindness from someone during this process of recovery.  There will always be times when I forget, and my ego or self-centeredness  will rear  it's ugly head.  When that happens there is always... ok, almost always... someone to remind me or point out that my thinking is off track.  And that is because of the "we" part.

I hope that I can be leader in my everyday life.  I want to inspire enthusiasm,  fix the breakdowns and say "we can do it"!  I pray that for each and everyone one of us.  Because, it can be an awesome feeling!! 

Stay warm and God Bless! 


Thursday morning jottings...

We got a little over 7 inches of snow with this last storm, so of course, both cities and a great number of the 'burbs declared snow emergencies last night. And with that, comes the reactionary boo-hooing about cars being towed to clear the path for plows. People... Anytime we get this much snow, just assume the streets are going to get plowed. The "I didn't hear the snow emergency because I was playing my X-Box all night" excuse just don't cut it. A little common sense here folks.

The president received his Nobel Peace Prize today. While I'm happy for him and proud for our country, I do begin to wonder if he was this best choice. Is he the first US president to win this award while his country was at war? Then again, is this really a war or are we just perusing a large band of outlaws?

I'm already looking forward to baseball season. Usually I'm not craving the pastime 'til after football season ends. May be the anticipation of the Twins' new outdoor ballpark.

Well... Time to get to work.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday night... In closing...

I fell to sleep in the chair once already, so I doubt this will be too inspired.

Driving a 12 hour shift can take a lot out of a guy. Driving a 12 hour shift after a snowstorm is just plain exhausting. Then I had to shovel the sidewalk and the driveway when I got home. Got the walk done, took two swipes at the driveway and said screw it... I paid the neighbor kid to do it. Money well spent.

Haven't done a lick of Christmas shopping yet. I suppose we'll get to that this weekend. If you thought I was gonna get anywhere near the stores on black Friday, you're crazier than my crackhead dog.

It's been 35 years since I lost my mother on Christmas Eve. I still have a hard time getting into the season. Lori did put up the mini tree (dog can't get at it) which helps the mood a bit.

I've noticed that most folks that I pick up at a bar or house party in my cab have had at least one DWI. I don't work nights much any more, but I will be out there New Years Eve, unless the weather's too bad.

Well friends... time to make the journey upstairs.


Wednesday (afternoon) jottings

Well, it's 2pm and so for the day has gone off without a hitch. Sure, the snow has made a slow go of it, but I haven't seen many accidents or cars in the ditch. I got about 2-3 hours to go out here, so I'll keep my fingers crossed. The wind is blowing like a son of a bitch. Thank God it ain't much colder.

Yesterday, I mentioned Senator Harry Reid's comment comparing the resistance to health care reform to the resistance to end slavery. KSTP-AM's Kelly Webb, himself a black man, found the comparison "insulting" and wondered why there wasn't more outcry on the matter from the black community. I have to agree with him. Where are the Al Sharptons and Jessie Jacksons of our country who will play that race card at the drop of a hat over statements much less inflammatory?

Like I said, I want health care reform. I am in favor of a public option. But lets keep the debate real here. Then again, how real was the whole "death panel" claim?

News reports say that some bullshit study claims that the Twin Cities market is not large enough, nor possesses enough capitol to support 4 major league sports teams. The same study says that Los Angeles could support 5 NFL franchises. I smell a bit of an agenda here.

Well, break's over, more later...


Gennell's Thought of the Day

Wow, what a blustery, Winter day!  I have believed in fate all my life.  I now realize that fate equals God's Will.  We have all heard other peoples' belief as there is no such thing as fate, you make your own destiny happen. 
A few months ago, God put situations in my path that only He could have made happen.  I believe that God puts opportunities in our path and our choices are what gives us the chance to "create our own destinies". 

It can be a challenge to be patience for that "fruit tree in winter" to bare its' fruit. I realize that I have to keep my faith...keeping alive faith if it seems that what I am waiting for in my life to happen, is laying dormant!

This is not an easy task, for me it is a DAILY challenge!!  Believe me everyday, I have to remind myself to let go of the self doubt that creeps into my thinking. I thank God everyday for the people in my life that remind me... always have faith that my  "branches will turn green again and blossom" I will hope it, I know it."

Have a great day, stay warm!!! God bless!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday night, in closing...

Well, first afternoon/evening dashing through the snow was slow, but uneventful. I understand that the worst should be there to greet me in the morning. Wish me luck...

I have reached the point of saturation with all the Tiger Woods coverage. I probably won't mention his name again unless there is a major development. I do wonder, however, if Playgirl publishes his alleged risque pic, how many girls will rush to see Tiger's wood. (Can't repeat that on the air, Murph...)

I found it kind of funny listening to KSTP-AM's morning guys trying conduct an informed interview with reformed "gangbanger" (haven't heard that term in a few years) KG Wilson. At least they admitted that this was a little out of their league.

I think I'll look out the window for a while and watch the snow pile up...


Genell's Thought of the Day

"Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society."

-Ben Franklin
****Good Morning Everyone! 
This quote reminds of the what we all have heard many times:  always lead by example.  Children are so influenced by what they see and hear.  My thought is not only does this apply to children, but, to every person you come in contact with.  Do you ever think of how many people you encounter on a daily basis?  Are we capable passing on these things to others:  " to help educate self-control,  to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will"? Ben Franklin was an incredible, accomplished man.  If he said we can ...I myself believe him.  It is a nice thought that we could be part of helping, also "to abolish misery from peoples future and crimes from society."

I guess, leading by example and doing the right may help others to find the right path to happiness and serenity.   

I hope everyone has a great day! 


Tuesday morning thoughts

Good morning...

A good friend of mine posted on her Facebook wall, "Isn't life grand?.... NOT!"

Sorry dear, I still believe that life is what you make of it. In my opinion, life is about choices and understanding when to correct mistakes. As long as you are in control of your own life, you are only one that can control your own level of happiness.

Hey... Senator Reid... I want health care reform as much as the next guy, but comparing this debate to slavery?... Do us a favor and save the melodramatics for the pundits and talking heads.

Last night, I said Tiger Woods was trying to create his own personal back nine. Well, I was mistaken... It seems he also wants to include a putting green.

Well... Time to go to work...


Monday, December 7, 2009

Monday... In closing

So some fruitcake thought it would be funny to hurl tomatoes at Sarah Palin today at her Mall of America book signing. What an idiot!! I have no interest in her book and I sure as hell wouldn't stand in line for hours just to spend 30 seconds in her presence. That doesn't mean I agree with this disgusting act.

It's shit like this that gives talking heads like Limbagh, Hannity and Beck fodder for their shows and only substantiates their claims about the wackos on the left.

Way to go jackass...

Speaking of jackasses...

Ok, I've tried not to comment on this whole Tiger Woods fiasco, but it seems like he's collected his own back 9. Now, word is that his wife has moved out of the house. I want to know what took her so long. I'm sorry.. mistakes happen, but if it's true that he has had this many different women on the side, it goes far beyond being a dog. More like a mongrel. Having said all this, it probably won't mean I'll stop using Gillette razors.

Wish me luck navigating through our first major snow of the season, tomorrow. There will be more than a few crackheads out there that I'm sure Ill have to play dodge-dummy with.

Until the next time...


Gennell's Thought of the Day....

Happy Monday!!! win... there are all kinds of ways and situations that one can be a "winner". I remember what I was like when I lost in the this quote stated, I did not make proper use of any victories I may have achieved. Like when I was kid and playing board games with my family... no matter what, my brother was the winner. Back then I would whine and accuse him of cheating. I had an excuse of why I couldn't be a winner in any aspect of my life....not only with games... just about everything. Of course, throughout the time I was immersed in my addiction, I carried out that attitude.

Now I have found out what it is like to be victorious. Everyday I am sober is a personal victory. I have come to feel that when I humbly accept these little daily victories, I feel worthy of what God has given me and share as much of what he has given me with others in my life. I love that I have been taught to accept life one day at a time. For those of you that live that way too, you know how great it feels to make proper use of the daily victories!

Have a wonderful day and God Bless!


Monday morning jottings...

I guess the Vikings are human after all. Quite a few casualties on the field too, including linebacker, EJ Henderson, who was carted off the field with a severe leg injury.

Today marks the 68th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In my opinion, we are as vulnerable to an attack as we were back then. Only the threat of a nuclear response detours countries from firing the first salvo in our direction Unfortunately, extremists don't represent a country, but an ideology and will be a much harder enemy to defeat.

They say this area will get up to 5 inches of snow by Wednesday. As accustomed as we are to snow, the first round always raises quite a bit of havoc.

I guess it's kind of a slow news day. Oh well, I'll be back here if something catches my attention.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Quote of the Day

Friday has arrived!  While I was deep into my alcoholic addition, I was not capable of caring about anyone's  happiness but my own.  When I would have a few moments of clarity and those thoughts would creep into my thinking; I couldn't/wouldn't deal with those emotions.  I always went right back to drinking to forget them. Now with a clear head, I find happiness in just about everything in my daily life.  I pray for others happiness.  It is now so very important to me, I think about it every day.  I guess exactly like this quote says: it is  necessary to my own happiness to see the people around me finding happiness

Have a great Weekend!!!  God Bless.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

What's happened to the legendary Gagne name?

If you'd asked me this 25 years ago, I would have said it couldn't have happened to a better guy, but as I reflect on what's happened to this man's family this year, I find myself feeling sorry for Greg Gagne.

No, I'm not talking about the Twins' world champion shortstop from 1983 to 1992. I am talking about the American Wrestling Association's mid card marvel through the 70s and 80s.

For those who do not know, I have been a wrestling fan ever since I was old enough to watch something on TV other than Sesame Street. We moved to Minnesota in 1972 at about the same time Greg started his wrestling career.

Through the early 80's I'd become somewhat of a wrestling groupie, attending shows at the old St. Paul Civic Center and going to just about every out of the ring gathering of AWA performers. I remember this as if it happened yesterday. I went to a fan gathering at some hole in the wall 3-2 (beer) joint on St. Paul's east side. The owner of the bar was a huge fan, so the wrestlers would gather there on occasion to mingle with fans. Most of the guys were pretty cool, but Greg was a real dick. From that day, I could not stand Greg Gagne and laughed my ass off when he never got the main event push, despite being the son of the promotion's owner, the legendary Verne Gagne.

Fast forward to February of this year. News reports surface that Verne is a suspect in the death of a fellow dementia patient at a local retirement community. WHAT?!?! When did Verne Gagne go to the old folks home? He did look pretty frail when he was enshrined in the WWE's hall of fame in 2006, but he seemed pretty fluid for a guy in his late 70's. Of course, the media flocked to find Greg who was the best known link to his famous father. Understandably, he did not provide much commentary on the matter. I found myself a little sympathetic for the family and even for Greg.

Now, there are reports that Greg's daughter, Gail had an inappropriate relationship with a student at a St. Paul high school. Once again, the Gagne family name gets dragged through the mud, and poor Greg is right in the middle again.

There is only so much one man can take. Greg Gagne lived in the shadow of his famous father throughout his wrestling career. Once he got out of the business, he tried to live his life like every day Joe Citizen, but a great number of customers at his car dealership want to reminisce on his and his father's days in the ring, making him as much a public figure as he was some 20 plus years ago. I got to hand it to you, Greg, I'd be looking for the whiskey bottle by now.

Quote of the Day

It's snowing...and it is beautiful! This quote is just downright
important to think about in my daily life. Not only am I practicing not to
judge others, I have accepted that if I am judged by others (yes, it happens just about daily) that it defines them and NOT me. There are a lot of assumptions made by people everyday. One lesson learned while going through
treatment for my addiction... is to stop and think before making any
judgements/assumptions/jumping to conclusions. I say to myself and others around me a lot: I am not a mind reader. That actually is a scary
thought.. to read someones mind! Yikes!

Taking a moment to pause and think before reacting. Am I able to accomplish this all the time? No. But, now it seems that I am becoming more quickly aware that I've done it and keep trying.. practicing... to do the right thing
and not to be judgemental.

Have a wonderful snowy day!!!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Random thoughts...

Damn... My fingers are sore from hammering out that earlier post on the Twin Cities' taxi industry on my phone. Thank God for full keyboards. That was a unusually long post by my standards. I guess after 28 years, it's about the only thing I can say I'm an expert at.

Am I the only one that thinks it's a shame that a day after the president announced his plans to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, the most talked about item on talk radio is Tiger Woods' extra marital affairs? Once again, we salivate over celebrity transgressions. At least Entertainment Tonight found a little time in its Wednesday show to report on Subway spokesman, Jared Fogel's apparent weight gain.

Sure as hell didn't take a jury long to convict Minnesota businessman, Tom Petters on 20 counts of fraud. Petters could do life in prison for his Minni Madoff actions.

Well, let me get the hell away from a computer for a couple of hours.


Quote of the Day

Wednesday has arrived, as well as our cold winter weather!! Good Morning!

Courage and Patience. I pray everyday that God will help me to hold on to these two things. While going through recovery, I now realize we need these attributes in order to fully achieve the results we seek.

Isn't it a wonderful thing to have people who can be our to speak. Also, that our peers are our teachers as well. We just have to be open to to hearing the lessons they have already learned. Do you find it hard to really be open to such things & not just say you are??? Sometimes I do, it's hard. It has to be a very done with very conscientious thinking. I had a conversation with my sister last night Once again, when thoughts & feelings I seem to be trying to make sense of..or are trying to process with my new way of thinking.... get jumbled...It all comes back to having faith in what I already have accepted. All I needed was to reach out and talk to someone I know cares.

Have A great day and God Bless!


Twin Cities taxi industry problems deeper than reported

Last week, a local television station (KSTP) did an investigative piece about numerous unlicensed taxis that were tagged and impounded for making illegal pick ups in the city. The highlight of the story was the numerous taxis and or drivers that would not qualify to be permitted to operate in that city.

I see a major problem with completeness of this story which only highlights this problems in the Minneapolis taxi industry and barely brushes over the situation in the other 2/3 of the metro area.

I left the Twin Cities in 1998. At that time, there were around 400 taxis operating legally in Minneapolis and about 130 in St. Paul. The airport had opened the flood gates to a vast array of independent operators which had no other licenses in either city or a dozen or so of suburban municipalities which loosely regulated taxis to obtain a minor revenue stream. The opening of the Mall of America spawned a demand for taxi permits in Bloomington which had no cap on the number of licensed cabs. I felt that the number cabs on the street at that time was sufficient for the demand.

I had come back to the area in 2004 for about a year. During this time, I noticed an alarming trend beginning to unfold. The city of St. Paul had removed the cap which limited the number of taxis operating in that city. An influx of Somali immigrates to the region migrated to the metro taxi industry in a number that could only be compared to the increased numbers of geese that foul up many many of our area parks. These drivers took up unrestricted permits in St. Paul, Bloomington and especially the airport.

The only saving grace in this practice was that the airport, St. Paul and, to a lessor extent, Bloomington had standards in place, similar to Minneapolis, to screen potential drivers for criminal history and taxis for mechanical soundness. It could be argued that taxis operating in these areas would qualify to also work in Minneapolis, if so licensed.

In the period of time that I was was working in this area from 1981 to 1998, there were 2 good sized service companies that took care of a majority of the outlying areas. These companies provided reasonably good service and did a good job of screening drivers that serviced their call business. Each of these companies had fleets of roughly 75 to 100 cabs each.

The aforementioned influx of Somali immigrants that, for what ever reason, did not qualify for permits in Minneapolis or the other regulated communities flocked to these suburban companies in order to attempt to make a living in our strange and wonderful country.

Now, I'm not writing this to pick on the Somali drivers. A good number of them are hard working guys who are attempting to balance a 14 hour work day with a family and the strict demands of their Islamic religion. But the simple fact is that there are now 3 times the number of cabs operating in the metro area than are needed to supply the demand for service. The vast majority of which are Somali immigrants.

The number of taxis and drivers that are operating in this area which have have no permits of any kind number well over 200 to 300. Many of these cabs are affiliated with the larger service companies, that attempt to monitor the quality of the the cabs and drivers that operate under their "colors", but that task can be overwhelming by the sheer numbers involved. Many times, these companies will have no idea who is actually driving the taxi, because approved drivers will sublet their cab to a friend or relative that will operate under the known driver's identification in the company's dispatch system, or will simply cruise the downtown or uptown areas illegally for pick ups.

I can go on and on about the problems in this area pertaining to the taxi industry. Instead, I would offer one viable solution, utilize the Metropolitan Council to regulate the taxi industry in the entire Twin Cities area. The council could set uniform guidelines for vehicle and driver qualifications, as well as set uniform meter rates which now vary by 15 cents or more per mile depending on the community your in or the service company used. This is much more effective than having over a dozen comminutes with populations of over 25,000 attempting to set their own regulations. This practice was attempted more than 15 years ago and has since been abandoned as taxi operators would refuse to service these areas instead of purchasing the required permits. It is just not cost effective to pay each of these communities anywhere from $25 to $100 per driver and or vehicle in order to operate, nor is it cost effective for these small municipalities to fairly enforce these ordinances.

One governing body, one set of standards, a single meter rate. A customer can take a cab from Minneapolis to St. Paul to the Mall of America to Southdale and back to Minneapolis and can expect the same standard of service.

Problem is that while we may have as many taxis per capita in this area as any east coast city, this industry is barely a second thought in the grand scheme of a bigger picture of mass transportation.

An uphill battle at the very least.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Afghanistan... why?

The president has just committed 30,000 new troops to fight al-Qaeda and the Taliban. I'm beginning to become worried that our fate in that region will be much like that of the Soviets, which ended in failure and might have hastened the ultimate demise of that country.

I'm sorry for sounding so bleak, but if this group of rag-tags could hold off arguably the world's mightiest military at that time, what makes us think we'll fare any better in that God forsaken region?

Does the president really think that this "mini surge" will mean we can successfully pull out in 3 years? I have my doubts. This is such a vast area, which has known nothing other than tribal warfare as long as history can remember. I just can't see this escalation making much of a difference.

Now, President Obama did say during his campaign that he would be more focused on Afghanistan, so nobody should be surprised by this move. I just don't think our country has the stomach to see more and more of it's young service men and women returning home in caskets, which will only serve to further divide this nation, which is already split over its perceived path toward socialism under this administration.

I heard some pundit say something that makes allot of sense. He said that it's impossible to win a war against an ideology. I'm more convinced of late that he may be right. Maybe we'd be better served to focus on protecting ourselves at home. That may be a bitter pill for some to swallow, but do you realistically think we will be any more safe 3 years from now?

Happy Tuesday!

The first thing to pop into my brain when I read this was.. that I am hearing this everyday, every time I am in a meeting working my recovery! I there are no half measures if you want to succeed. For me, I am glad that I am finally making some wise choices. Because as this quote says... there are many alternatives, it is up to us as individuals as to what choice will we make. Are we ready to to the right thing, make the right choices? I have made the decision that I want to have a good quality of life. I know I have to work very hard to achieve this and I am now willing to do my whatever it takes.

I hope you have a great day!!

God Bless!


Vikes Super Bowl bound?

After watching the Saints dismantle the Patriots last night, I'm not so sure.

Up until that point, I had figured that the 10-1 Vikings had a more difficult schedule than the undefeated NFC South leaders. I was sure that the perennial powerhouse Patriots would easily cool down one of the league's hottest team.

It's not that I doubt the ability of my beloved Purple, their last 4 wins over Green Bay, Detroit, Seattle and da Bears were very convincing. It's just that I don't remember seeing a game where one team just dominated every aspect of the game against such a quality opponent. I'm telling you, that was just plain scary.

I'm fully confident that the Vikings will make it to the NFC championship game, but after last night, that game, more than likely will be played in the big easy.

More random thoughts...

Good morning....

Man, those Saints are just plain scary. Not only did the Drew Brees led offense ring up more points than the pinball wizard on the once mighty Patriots, their defense and special teams hit with a viciousness that I haven't seen so far this year. This team is for real and very well may run the table.

Weather forecasters in this area are lamenting the fact that we are almost 10 inches below normal in our snowfall totals in the Twin Cities. I myself wouldn't care if we didn't get a flake, with the possible exception of a nice dusting for Christmas.

Is anybody upset that Seattle area cops killed Maurice Clemmons pretty much on sight? Clemmons was the prime suspect in the shooting death of 4 officers in that area. I don't think there will be very many tears shed over this guy.

Time to reload on caffeine.

More later..

Monday, November 30, 2009

Heroic Stripper is Like the Cesar Chavez of Stripping

Original Story

One woman is on a crusade to reform Portland, Oregon's strip club industry by suing evil club owners who put making a profit before paying women fairly to take off their clothes and wiggle around on a pole. Solidarity forever!

Meet Zipporah Foster, profiled by Willamette Week last week. She's a 28 year-old single mother and a stripper who's had enough of skeezy club owners stiffing (ahem!) her and her co-workers. Foster is filing lawsuits against a brace of Portland strip joints in protest of two widespread—but totally lame—practices: 1) not paying strippers an hourly wage by classifying them as "independent contractors" instead of employees (as such, most strippers work for tips only) and 2) charging dancers a "stage fee" for the privilege of working the pole. (In Portland, Willamette Week found fees as high as $50 a night—pretty high when you consider a nightly take of anywhere from $40-$200.)

Now, Foster, AKA "Mocha," is fighting back in the name of naked ladies everywhere:

Foster, who goes by the stage name "Mocha," insists strippers deserve to be paid like any other worker. She and other dancers around the country are beginning to take a stand, and a handful have successfully sued for back wages...

"A lot of dancers, because they [club owners] try to make you feel low about what you're doing, they [dancers] don't have knowledge that this is wrong," says Foster...

So far, Foster is suing Exotica International Club for Men in Northeast Portland, the Safari Showclub in Southeast Portland, and Stars Cabaret & Steakhouse in Beaverton, seeking a total of $165,500 in back wages and lost stage fees. None of the clubs has settled, and the Exotica suit is now set for trial in February.

Could Mocha V. Exotica International Club for Men be our generation's Roe V. Wade? Imagine how bummed Supreme Court justices will be if the case sets some important legal precedent which they'll have to cite in all their decisions from now until infinity. ("As was found in Mocha V. Exotica International Club for Men...") Commenter Exsam points out a similar lawsuit has been filed in Indianapolis—which was certified a class action in January of this year.

Now, lawsuits are all well and good, but real social change requires direct action. Brown V. Board was an important step in the Civil Rights Movement, but all the white folks just dragged their feet until people took to the streets. Mocha needs to form a powerful stripper union which will incite strippers all over the world to come together in a powerful, sexy proletariat to wrest the means of production—the pole, the stage, the fuzzy boa—from strip club owners, raising from the rubble, like some 55 year-old contractor's reluctant hard-on, a new form of egalitarian strip club where lap dances are free and nobody fucking steals other girls' leopard print 5-inch platforms in the dressing room while they're out on the floor. (cf. the Lusty Lady, the world's first worker-owned strip club.) Organize or die!

A few jottings...

First, I wish to thank my friend Gennell for allowing me to publish her "Quote of the Day" on this blog. She is a friend of mine from back in my junior high days who is a recovering addict. While I have not traveled down the same roads as she has, I find her messages very inspiring.

I find it very interesting all the attention and speculation that is going into the Tiger Woods crash incident, last week. Again, most of us assume the worst. I've heard everything from trying to get away from his angry wife over alleged infidelity to being stoned on pain killers. I'm just happy he's ok and hope all this salacious bullshit just goes away.

Yes, it's been a while since I've done a video. I haven't felt real good for about a week and even had to go to the ER last Wednesday night. I thought I was coming down with flu symptoms, turns out that was the least of my problems. My pulse was way out of whack and it was determined that my heart rhythm was out of sync. I underwent what's called a cardiac defibrillation, where they shock your heart back into it's proper rhythm. I was put under for this procedure that lasted about 5 minutes. As far as I know, my heart is beating normal again, but I still have this nagging virus. Thank God it's not the H1N1.

Recently, I commented on the injustice I felt came to my first wife, who allowed her oldest daughter and her two kids to temporarily stay with her in her 1 bedroom, subsidized apartment, only to be evicted for violating her lease. Now I understand all the legalities involved here, but in its simplest form, all she was doing was providing temporary shelter until the kid could get back on her feet. There were no parties, no drug dealing. Just a mother of two kids trying to stay off the streets. Sad part of this is, the daughter has since found her own place, now it's her mom that faces the prospect of being out in the cold. Am I the only one who thinks this is just plain bullshit?

I will go out on a ledge here and predict that the Patriots will end the Saints' perfect season tonight at the Superdome. Much like my beloved Vikings, New Orleans has not had a real tough schedule in route to their 10-0 start. It is still my conviction that the the road to the Super Bowl will go through Minneapolis.

Well that's about all I got for now... Thanks for taking the time to read this mess....


Quote of the Day

Happy Monday everyone!!

I never thought of it this way. It sure makes sense, doesn't it? Last week I had a few things happen in my life that brought about those feelings of unhappiness and being unfulfilled. So, I made sure to go to several meetings this weekend.

While I am in meetings dealing with these feelings, I seem to be *propelled* to further myself by discussing issues that come along everyday, every week... helping me out of each little or big rut I fall into. It amazes me how much faster I can deal with these feelings when I attend meetings. Isn't our dealing with our discomfort head on a part of that humility thing we are supposed to be work on?? Do these feelings bring us upon our finest moments??


Friday, November 27, 2009

Quote of the Day

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has awaken from their food comas!! I learned this lesson several months ago, when I thought I needed a place to be quiet, to be all alone... temple like to pray and meditate. After some whining about not having such a place, someone suggested I look at it a little differently. The meaning of what I was told is exactly what this quote says. "He is within you. " I now know that I can pray and meditate at anytime, anywhere I need or want to....I have totally surrendered to this way of thinking. It is a wonderful freedom rather then an excuse to live in unhappiness.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. God Bless!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Quote of the Day

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!!I am sure all of you knows how it feels when " our own light goes out". I am very grateful for the people in my life who have and do... rekindle sparks within me everyday. They are all around you and I; with words of encouragement & praise, guidance & wisdom to help us make decisions to do the right thing. Sometimes it is just a smile! Remember to smile back!!! I have so much to be grateful for this year!!!

Have a wonderful day!!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life." What more is there to say... I really love this quote. It says everything that gratitude can bring into one's life if you allow it. That is the hard part.. to understand and allow it. I know now that I understand the joys and fulfillment of what gratitude can bring...the how & why & how it effects my life and the people in my life. I could go on & on about exactly what I am grateful for today... but it is a very long list!!! I hope you all have a wonderful day!!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Coming soon...

A dear friend of mine, who is recovering from an addiction, will share an inspirational thought of the day with the followers of this blog.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Apparently, only some people can help homeless family.

Society wants people to turn to family before they turn to the government. Yet, it's OK for apartments to evict tenants who provide temporary shelter to family members.

Looking for love in all the wrong places.

Young ladies who find sugar daddies or boy toys wonder why they can't find romance.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Babies? Whats the hurry?

I implore my children and others to have your life together before you bring children into this world.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I dont know my congressional district

But I do know my zip code. I hade no problem tracking stimulus spending in my region.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

No wi-fi on Northstar Commuter rail line?

Some feel the $317 million price tag should have included such an amenity.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Maybe we're a little rough on Muslims

After 9-11 and especially after the Ft. Hood shooting, it's become very easy to vilify everyone of Islamic faith.

No better place for that pond scum's trial.

Some are up in arms over the president's decision to bring 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheik Muhammad's trail to New York in a civilian court. I think it's a great idea.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

If the drinking age were 18....

Maybe Minneaplois and other cities would not have to look toward new laws to curb "underage" drinking.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hang up and drive?

The all important cell phone is further vilified.

It feels like the country is being torn apart.

Pundits from both ends of the spectrum are getting increasingly vile in their commentary.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another dog park in St. Paul?

I love dogs (sometimes) but is this really practical?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Golden Hydrant Award for October 12th, 2009

Phil Cuzzie is just one of a growing list of Major League umpires who are in line to qualify for seeing eye dogs.

The time for replay challenge in MLB has come

Far too many blown calls this year.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Who cares if Letterman had sex with a CBS employee?

How else did this extortionist figure he could get $2 mil for that information?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

For the victim's sake, let Polanski go.

While this dirtbag doesn't deserve to breathe a free breath, don't you think Samantha would like not to re-live this horror?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I bet Oprah didn't plan this one for her book list.

None the less, Mackenzie Phillips' new book, "High on Arrival," is sure to be a bestseller.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sad, how something so innocent can ruin your life.

An Arizona couple experiences this nightmare for simply taking pictures of their kids in the bathtub.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Show canceled

Until further notice, I an canceling the show on

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Golden Hydrant Award for September 18th, 2009

Segregate school busses? I know this blowhard would get this award before long.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Golden Hydrant Award for September 16th, 2009

What's more disturbing than the race card? When some old white guy plays it.

A woman's right to go topless... Why not?

For years, a small group of women has fought for this right

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Golden Hydrant Award for September 14th, 2009

This jackass gives rap and hip-hop a bad name...

Come on, whats a little noise?

Folks in a St. Paul neighborhood are upset because they can hear the PA announcer from the new UofM stadium... From 2 miles away!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My take on the president's heath care reform speech

Ok... I drink the Kool-Aid... I admit it... But he did answer the questions that needed to be addressed.

9/12/09 - Saturday Night with John Shannon

I'm feeling much better and ready to unload with a barrage of topics, starting with a subject over 40% of the male population will appreciate...


More specifically, if American women were more free to go topless in public, would men, in time, be less likely to ogle?

Also, is it wrong for someone to refuse to date a person solely based on race?

Plus, the latest on the health care reform debate, including a presidential visit to Minneapolis.

All this and any other random thought. Your calls are welcome.

6pm EDT/3pm PDT

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Obama lets the dogs out

In what was possibly the most dramatic and to the point speech the president has made in his short tenure, he made it clear that the era of games and politics in the health care reform debate was over.

"The time for bickering is over," he said. "The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action."

"I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last," he added.

Obama addressed the controversial idea of a public option for coverage, reiterating that it would be a very small part of the overall plan and that "not a dime" of any public plan would be added to the deficit.

The president made it clear that he would "call out" any detractor that continued to use lies and scare tactics to derail reform.

From my perspective, the president nailed this speech. I could have done without the reference to to the late Senator Kennedy that he used toward the end. Other than that, lights out.

I'll have more thoughts on this tomorrow...


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

White House: public health care plan is negotiable

Original AP story here...

Either White House staff are not on the same page as the President, which has happened before, or we are seeing some major waffling on the issue. Either way, I'm sure getting a little tired of all the political wrangling on what should be a no brainer.

I don't see any way to make the insurance companies compete other than bringing some not for profit entity into the mix. Now whether that's a public option or some form of a cooperative, the point is heath insurance needs to be affordable and available to all, or all of this has been a complete waste of time.

A long time ago, I was on the bandwagon for mandatory health insurance. This would bring a huge sector of the population into the pool and thus lowering costs for everybody. I still think this is an option, but without the public plan or a co-op, the insurance companies would still keep rates high, claiming the increased cost of covering high risk patients.

This Wednesday, President Obama will address a joint session of Congress on the heath care issue. There are some that say he has not shown enough leadership on health care reform. This will be his time to shine like never before as this will be the defining moment of his presidency.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

No show tonight.

I'm feeling a little unber the weather this week, so this week's show will be posponend.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Relationships aint easy.

I find myself in the strange position of talking about relationships. You see, with as many failed relationships as I've had, fact is I've actually learned a couple of things about what to do and more importantly, what not to do in order to maintain a healthy, fulfilling relationship.

One thing I strongly believe is that if you're one who likes to keep score in a relationship, you are doomed to failure. I have yet to see a relationship where each partner meets exactly in the middle. It may not seem fair, but since when is life completely fair? In my opinion, if you are truly in love with someone, you will give of yourself until it hurts, then you'll give a little more. And never should there be a time where you say he/she is not giving in return.

With any relationship, there is a reason you decided to go beyond just dating and realized that you wanted to share your life with that person. And if things start going south, you need to look back at what brought you together to begin with.

Lori and I have had our ups and downs. She's moved away from friends and family in order to join me in Texas. She's put up with my impatience in the taxi business. Through it all, she's stood by me, again without keeping score. Because she knows, as do I, that we look forward to spending the rest of our lives as one.