Thursday, September 21, 2023

Solution To End Our National Debt? (Repost From 2021)

"The Onion" came up with this in 2009. It shouldn't be giving people any more screwy ideas then they already have. There's almost a blur between the crazy ideas politicians are coming up with and satirical comedy. So much so it is almost putting The Onion out of business :-)

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

How Congress Works


Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, "Someone may steal from it at night." So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress said, "How does the watchman do his job without instruction?" So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.

Then Congress said, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?" So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One to do the studies and one to write the reports.

Then Congress said, "How are these people going to get paid?" So they created the following positions, a time keeper, and a payroll officer, then hired two people.

Then Congress said, "Who will be accountable for all of these people?" So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, "We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $18,000 over budget, we must cutback overall cost."

So they laid off the night watchman.

Monday, September 18, 2023

I Received A Settlement Offer From Nigeria In My Email


From: "Western Union Department"
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2012 03:50:28 -0300
Reply-To: **********

Attention Beneficiary:

This is to officially inform you that the United Nations Organization compensation payment committee, has mapped out funds running into Millions of United States Dollars for the settlement of all funds that have been lost to Nigerian/UK Scams via Lottery Winnings, Contract payments, Fake Bank Transfer scams, Inheritance Funds payments, fake money orders, fraudulent online shopping, dating scams, charity scams, check transfer and ATM scams etc.

This compensation is been sponsored and done by the Nigerian Government in collaboration with the World Bank, United Nations Organization and Western Union Money Transfer.

We have been directed by the United Nations Security Council to make a compensation payment of US$100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) to you being one of the listed beneficiaries. Be informed that a first part payment of sum of US$2,000 (Two Thousand U.S Dollars) shall be sent to you on a daily basis for 50 days.


Immediately confirming your information, we shall give you more information on what you need to do to activate the MTCN(987-651-****) to start up your transfer.

Mrs. Helen White
Western Union Department Head office®s
Tel: +************
Email: 1557125209@**.com
Send Money Worldwide®

OH BOY. It looks like I hit the jackpot!

I have to admit this fraudster is finally thinking outside-the-box. It sure beats the same old repetitive line of crock they've been sending my way over the last decade.

As Larry the Cable Guy would say...
"Now that's funny right there, I don't care who ya are".

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Who's Left To Do The Work (HUMOR)


Population of the USA-300 million.
160 million are retired.
That leaves 140 million to work.
There are 85 million in school.
Which leaves 55 million to work.
Of this there are 35 million employed by the federal government.
Leaving 15 million to do the work.
2.8 million are in the armed forces.
Which leaves 12.2 million to do the work.
10.8 million people who work for state and city governments.
And that leaves 1.4 million to do the work.
At any given time there are 188, 000 people in hospitals.
Leaving 1,212,000 to do the work.
Now, there are 1,211,998 people in prisons.
That leaves just two people to do the work.

You & me.
Well it ain't going to be me... I just decided to retire.

And here you are, sitting on your ass,
at your computer, reading jokes.

Better Get Busy!

Friday, September 15, 2023

Where Our Expressions Came From


They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery.If you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor"

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot. They "didnt have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of the low.

Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell . .. . brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat.

They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old..

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.

When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive.

So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.

Even if only 1/2 of this is true, makes for good reading

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Speaking Of "Urban Sprawl"...


Some theorists would have you believe this is a new phenomena. One that has just been around for the last few decades. Not true!

The Truth About "Urban Sprawl"
Let's begin right in our own backyard with Allentown. William Allen way back in the early 1700's was credited with the development of Allentown. You might even say he was the town's first outside developer.

William Allen was both the former mayor of Philadelphia and a one of the powerful & richest men from Philadelphia. To make a long story short, Allentown's very existence came about as a result of Philadelphia's urban sprawl.

Now let's take a look at the nation as a whole. From the very beginning of the United States people began leaving Eastern cities heading West. Cities started being born everywhere to the West. Small towns grew into ever expanding cities. As railroads began connecting Eastern cities together in the early 1800's. They too then began to expand ever Westward. By 1869 the first transcontinental links were made. Talk about urban sprawl!

Railroads were the modern means of transportation at the time. Railroads allowed people living in the outskirts to receive supplies and transportation to and from the bigger cities. You might even say they were forerunners to what this nation's modern high speed highways are to us today.

As some urban theorists get all bent out of shape complaining about today's ever expanding highway network and the cars on them, the railroads had their own nimby's detractors. I'm sure the Wells Fargo Stagecoach aficionados were just as nimby with the encroaching railroads as today's mass transit enthusiasts are with the cars and highways of today. Therefore, those who opine for urban density and mass transit have been losing the battle for over 300 years.

Hess's isn't coming back. The railroads aren't coming back and neither are the urban economic centers the way they once were. I may be accused of being old fashioned and stubborn, but even I can see the nose in front of my face. No one can change historical facts.

Proponents who argue for urban density and mass transit should reevaluate their positions given the history of the United States. Americans love urban sprawl since the early 1700's. No amount of subsidies or grants are ever going to change the historically based behavior of Americans.

These philosophers tell us that we've been wrongly subsidizing the suburban areas. Could it just be the other way around?

If you took every one of the surrounding townships and small municipalities. Added up every dime of state and federal grants and subsidies. Combine them all together, they still wouldn't equal what just any one of the three major cities alone received in Lehigh County last year.

We've built taxpayer subsidized arts centers, offices, gambling casinos, sports complexes, transit systems, restaurants and dozens of other ventures in attempt to lure suburbanites back into town. When is it time to review the outcome of these many failed attempts over the last decade?

Like it or not, cities everywhere in the U.S. are withering on the vine. If it were not for the heavy burden of tax supported subsides, would cities even exist?

I used the term wither on the vine" as a metaphor for what I'm about to say. Had cities been left on their own, they would have withered. No matter how much fertilizer or water is applied, once a plant has come to the end of it's cycle they're usefulness has come to an end. Much the same with large cities no matter how disagreeable that may sound to some. Crumbling pipes, buildings and infrastructure should be heeded as a sure sign that they too have come to the end of their useful life.

Not All Is Doom & Gloom
We see examples all around us of vacated properties where manufacturing and empty homes now stand. Had the land been cleared, planted with grass, trees and left empty, we'd not only have a greener environment, but one less dense. The very thing that draws more affluent suburban dwellers throughout America's history. Instead we heavily subsidize these to re-urbanize them once again. This is the very thing that caused problems in the first place. Had we instead exercised patience through time to allow the natural order of things, these urban areas would eventually become suburbanized much like the sought after areas by the middle and wealthy.

We can continue to channel mass amounts of taxpayers' money into bus and train transportation. Funnel unspeakable amounts of taxpayers' money chasing after some social urban idealistic venture. Or we can acknowledge historically Americans always had preferences that run counter to this.

Allentown's citizens, who lived here all their lives, lament subsidized housing has led to this city's woes. How much more so the problem has now been compounded when we do the very same thing yet again. This time with millions taxpayer dollars used to subsidize wealthy commercial developers instead. Have we learned nothing from history?

Everyone needs to step back and take a deep breath. The time is long overdue to revaluate what works and what doesn't?

Tuesday, September 12, 2023



If you get an email titled "Nude photo of Nancy Pelosi,"
don't open it...

It contains a nude photo of Nancy Pelosi.

Monday, September 11, 2023

The Universe Drives Me Crazy


Whenever I indulge myself on scientific reasoning when it comes to the universe three thoughts comes to mind. (1) Whatever the craziest thing is you can imagine, it is possible. (2) No human is capable of visualizing just how large or how old the universe is scientifically or otherwise. (3) When it comes to the universe, science can be a faux game of math.

My Mental Masturbations On this Subject
Let's start with number (3). Mathematical formulas can be fudged to make them work out. Take for example 'dark matter'. No one has ever physically been able to find it. Quantum physicists have made this math expression up and used it in their mathematical formulas to make their final results work.

It's sort of like incorrectly stating 2x3 equals 5. So someone (in error) rewrites the formula to (2x3)+1= 6 to make things come out right based on their limited math skills.

Moving on to number (2), the age of the universe. I believe that science has incorrectly dated the age of the universe. Today's present scientists have pretty much agreed that the universe is 14 billion years old. Here's my problem with that. That number has constantly evolved over the years as optical instruments have improved. To date our instruments are capable of seeing nearly all there is to see going back 14 billion light years. Emphasis on 'light years'.

This number may be correct in-so-much as dating "our" universe because of our own solar system's current location. To my way of reasoning this is not an absolute regarding the actual age of the universe. Here's why. This age was derived by the farthest observable light reaching us. In this case, 14 billion light years. Just suppose for a moment that we lived elsewhere in another planetary system. One that was older then 14 billion years.

Logic dictates that if that planetary system was around longer then 14 billion years, they'd observe things differently. Suppose they existed 40 billion years before us. That would mean light would have 40 billion more light years to reach their location. Hence they'd be convinced the universe was 54 billion years old. Why not 100 billion or even 1 trillion depending on their point of reference ? Who's to say there is even a limit on how old the universe is!

Now, speaking to number (1). When it comes to the universe and our understanding of it. I relate to it to Carlos Castaneda words in his series of books, 'Sorcerer's Apprentice'. In one of his books he described the 'tonal' world as one in which everything is known. On the other side of the coin there is the 'Nagal'. Defined as all things unknown. The 'Tonal' being a infinitesimally small fraction of all that is possible. In short the manifested and what has yet to be manifested (the unlimited infinite possibilities).

Friday, September 8, 2023

U.S. Attempt At Interdiction Of Fentanyl

Despite what you might have heard the United States is working hard at the border.

As I see it the problem isn't with government. Rather the users themselves who create a demand almost impossible to contain. While politicians from both sides toss the blame back and forth like a football the problem is getting worse. If there is a solution I sure as hell don't know what it would be. One thing I do know, whatever solutions might come about it won't come from finger pointing politicos nor any amount of policing.

Kensington Ave Philadelphia -Sept 08, 2023

Uploaded 01/23/2023
This is absolutely real.
Seriously scary stuff !

Good Idea To Invest In Lawsuits?


Just a quick post about something I came across. Ever notice all those advertisements on TV looking for victims so they can sue some company?

Ever wonder who pays for all those expensive advertisements?

Seems there's a new burgeoning investment industry growing. Investors put money into an investment group along with other investors who's sole purpose it is to recruit victims of some disease or another.

When they get enough people to sign up, a lawyer's group then can begin a class action lawsuit.

Sometimes the victims receive as little as 10% of the settlement if the legal action is successful.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Entitlement Propaganda


I wasn't sure how to title this post nor how in depth I should go. For those with a short attention span I will begin by summarizing.

Currently there is an enormous effort being made to confuse the difference between what citizens are entitled to versus what could be considered discretionary spending. First of all entitlements are just that. It means you pay into something, therefore your entitled to it.

I will highlight this discussion to Social Security versus defense spending since they are the largest two budget items although the two are separate. Defense spending comes from a completely different budget. The budget for the defense department is not entitlement spending. While there is still an argument for spending on our defense needs being necessary, it still doesn't make it an entitlement. No one has a separate tax deduction on their paycheck to pay for it. Therefore I consider the Defense Department budget something entirely separate and consider it discretionary spending.

Social Security expenses in 2012 were $773.247 Billion . Social Security took in $837.827 Billion. In other words S.S. took in $64.58 Billion more then it spent. S.S. assets for 2011 were $ 2.653336 trillion. In 2012 it's assets were $2.717916 Trillion. In short S.S. currently has almost $3 trillion more it took in from taxpayers then what is has spent thus far. I do realize this scenario will change in the coming years, but let's confine this discussion to the current moment.


In short, people are making payments to Social Security which has a current surplus of nearly $3 trillion. The defense department on the other hand is draining the general budget of the United States nearly $600 billion this year. Why are we even talking about two separate budget items? One which Social Security produced a multi trillion dollar surplus. The other, the general budget which has nearly a trillion dollar deficit for 2013?

If one is looking to make cuts shouldn't it be on the budget that's dragging taxpayers down and not the one that pays for itself and even generates a surplus? How on God's green Earth can anyone call entitlements such as Social Security something that folks should feel guilt about receiving? Hence why I named this post 'Entitlement Propaganda'.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now for the unabridged details....

How much do we spend on defense?
It depends who you ask. The annual budget requests for defense was:US$530.1 billion (2010)
US$549.1 billion (2011)
US$553.0 billion (2012)
However there were additional funding requests made to Congress that totaled a near $672 billion after all was said and done. Granted sequestration will require cutting $50 billion a year from the Pentagon budget for the next 10 years. However Congress can enacted special funding requests that could offset that for many years to come.

Here are a few items to consider. We currently have 10 Nimitz class aircraft carriers. We're supposed to have 11. In 2015 a new class of carriers, the Gerald R. Ford class will be added to bring the fleet up to the level of 11. It and each of the Nimitz class cost about $13.5 billion each. It costs about $6.5 million per day to operate each carrier strike group. Which consists of five surface combatants, and one fast-attack submarine, plus the nearly 6,700 men and women to crew them.

Each carrier has about 90 aircraft which consist of helicopters and primarily F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and F/A-18C Hornets. Introduced in 1999 the F/A-18E/F Super Hornets cost $66.9 million apiece (about 500 were built). Introduced in 1983 the F/A-18C Hornets: cost $29–57 million (2006 figures). About 1,480 of them were built.

Each carrier is expected to be in service for 50 years. However they need to dock in port for maintenance every 6 to 11 months. They also require a complex overhaul about every 25 years which can last up to 44 months. This cost between $750 to $900 million. Recently some Congressional members have questioned, considering today's satellite and missile technology, that they may vulnerable.

Lest you think I'm singling out carriers alone when it comes to defense spending...* At Least $8 Billion in Iraq Rehab Funds Lost To Waste, Fraud

* Pentagon Watchdog Doubts Army Needs New M4 Carbine that comes with price tag of $1.8 billion

* Department of Defense Plans to Order 650,000 iOS Devices.. According to the DOD, it will have 8 million smartphones in service over the next three years.. Department of Defense for classified data handling are modified for enhanced security with components that can quadruple their final cost.

* $1.5 million on a new type of beef jerky

25 More Things The Government Waste Money On

Everyone should clearly see, before we even consider cuts to entitlements (things we already paid for with a surplus in advance), there are a ton of other things that could be reduced. I find it unconscionable that these items should not be considered long before we even think about reductions to our 'paid for' safety net to spend on what I consider discretionary items. While Social Security will need to be adjusted to make it work, it shouldn't be slashed to pay for things it was never intended. If someone can't see that, there's little else that can be said.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

The Rich Live In We$t End Allentown

Reposted From: August 25, 2011

It's one of my hot-buttons that gets tweaked every once and awhile. I've long endured a heaping helping of these bull patties for years. Even at work they constantly talked about the rich in Allentown's West End.

Define "rich", compared to what?
Yeah West End Allentown is better off then downtown, but compared to what?

Many suburbs surrounding this Allentown neighborhood have greater household incomes.

This nonsense has gone on for long enough. TIME TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT!

Here's the Breakdown. Those that are in red are the ones that have greater income then Allentown's folks living in the West End.18104 (The West End)
Per Capita Income- $33,820
Median Household Income- $65,542

18069 Orefield, Pa.
Per Capita Income- $36,074
Median Household Income- $72,142

18051 Fogelsville, Pa.
Per Capita Income- $41,374
Median Household Income- $82,490

18078 Schnecksville, Pa.
Per Capita Income- $35,317
Median Household Income- $80,389

18020 Bethlehem, Pa.
Per Capita Income- $32,336
Median Household Income- $74,939

18034 Center Valley, Pa.
Per Capita Income- $37,119
Median Household Income- $81,330

18951 Quakertown, Pa.
Per Capita Income- $28,245
Median Household Income- $67,737

18045 Easton, Pa.
Per Capita Income- $34,851
Median Household Income- $71,164

18064 Nazareth, Pa.
Per Capita Income- $29,905
Median Household Income- $67,936

18066 New Tripoli, Pa.
Per Capita Income- $31,456
Median Household Income- $70,672

West End's Median Value- $185,214
Orefield- $356,502
Fogelsville- $292,801
Schnecksville- $261,276
Bethlehem- $194,813
Center Valley- $370,563
Quakertown- $204,593

Easton- $184,227
Nazareth- $208,269
New Tripoli- $227,151

Monday, September 4, 2023

Historical Video: Regulation Will Destroy Capitalism


Richard Whitney, President of the N.Y Stock Exchange, warns the risks to capitalism by government regulators because of the the National Securities Exchange Act.

Almost 4 years before he was sent to Sing Sing for embezzlement.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Phrases You Don't Hear Anymore


Be sure to refill the ice trays, we're going to have company.

Watch for the postman, I want to get this letter in the mail today.

Quit slamming the screen door when you go out !

Don't forget to wind your clock before bed.

Don't you go outside with your school clothes on.

Take that empty bottle to the store so you won't have to pay deposit.

Quit jumping on the floor, I have a cake in the oven.

Let me know when the Fuller Brush man comes by.

Don't lose that button; I won't be able to sew it back on.

Soak your foot in this pan of kerosene so it doesn't get infected.

Hurry up and finish drying the dishes.

I'm going out and compression start the car.

I have to take the wash off the line before we leave.

I'm running out of fresh boiled diapers.

Why would I need a phone in my bedroom?

Don't forget to leave a note for the milkman.

The car needs to get it's points adjusted.

Isn't a skateboard nothing more then a scooter with a broken handle?

I just met the cutest 'soda jerk'.

Got to go and boil some baby bottles.

Socks need darning.

TV's acting up. I'm going down to the store's tube tester.

The coal bin is almost empty.

The record player needs a new needle.

I ran out of carbon paper.

The 8 track mangled the tape.. AGAIN !

I got that information on my 'rolodex'.

The Mimeograph needs more stencils

The handle is broke on the office adding machine.

Encyclopedia salesman is at the door.

Insurance man is here for this month's payment.

Check the oil. Give me $2 worth of gas.

I'm taking the toaster down to the fix-it shop.

What's 'revolving credit'?

Hospital says there's no smoking near the oxygen tent.

When cigarettes go to 35¢ I'm quitting!

Try pumping it & pull the choke out.

Use the electric plug in the floor.

Where's the # key on my rotary?

Beer delivery man is here !

Did you hear, the soda's machine is going up to 25¢?

With cable TV you can now get 12 channels !

HiFi Stereo.. wow !

Which should I buy.. VHS or Betamax?

Why should I put 'siding' on my house?

Triple track windows are the way to go !

The push mower needs sharpening

The ash man comes on Tuesdays.

The wringers are shot on my washing machine.

My dungarees need patching.

Doctor says we can pay him next time he comes to the house.

Robot Sophia: Talks To Al Jazeera

Sophia For Congress!!
Why Not?
She makes more sense then most of them down there.

Friday, September 1, 2023

My Very First Computer


The very first computer I ever owned was a Radio Shack TRS-80 MC-10. I was quite pleased someone (not me) posted the video that follows about it.

I even bought the extra 16k ram module you see sticking up in the back of this picture.

I self taught myself to work with what was called "Microsoft Level III BASIC". A computer language to create small programs. I even managed to create for myself a small ledger program. It took days and days to define arrays, create counters, correctly call out multiple nested loops, etc.

The computer used a standard TV for a monitor. Unlike today's hard drives, a audio cassette tape recorder was used to store your own unique original program commands.

I quickly learned the FREAKIN' hard way to ALWAYS backup four or five copies. That was because 9 out of 10 times at least two of them would never load back into the computer. The reason being, tape speeds were not always reliable enough to reproduce the precise pitch of the audio signals. Believe me, there's nothing greater for testing one's patience then to experience a couple hundred hours of work going poof !

Talk about tedious.. Here's an example; 10 INPUT "ENTER TWO NUMBERS SEPARATED BY A COMMA:
20 LET S = N1 + N2
30 LET D = N1 - N2
40 LET P = N1 * N2
50 LET Q = N1 / N2
100 END
Here's what a run of that program looked like on the screen... ENTER TWO NUMBERS SEPARATED BY A COMMA:
You wanted something fancier on the screen you could spend hours defining colors, positions on the screen, drawing lines, etc.

After that I did a bit of self taught C+ & C++ compiling, COBOL and Visual Basic before I decided to bag the idea that I'm not a programmer by any means. These were just four of around 50 major languages with about 2,500 sub language categories throughout history of computers.

By the way, I didn't buy a 'dot matrix' printer till a few years later

While I go for a aspirin for my headache, in just thinking back on this endeavor, have a look at the video that got me started down this 'Hobbit Hole' in the first place.

Radio Shack TRS-80 MC-10 Micro Color Computer review

I couldn't wait for Windows 1 to finally come out in 1985.
What an UPGRADE!

We've Come A Long Way Since Then...
For you young guppies, here's a video from the 'land down under' :-)

Thursday, August 31, 2023

LV Environment Bad Now.. You think?


The good ole' days!

I've been reading the local negative concerns regarding the quality of our parks, air and water. In my mind the glass is much more full then empty.

I certainly am aware with the huge growth in our neighboring suburbs there are environmental concerns that need be addressed. However, let use take a look back into just 62 years or so (over my lifetime) and see if we are less or more environmental sound.

Back when I was growing up, Allentown had a central city coal fired steam heat plant installed which heated many buildings downtown. As far as efficiency, well efficiency wasn't exactly something high on the scale of priorities. In the winter many streets didn't need plowing. The heat emanating from those steam pipes beneath melted a great number of blocks around Hamilton Street.

The way a city heating customer adjusted their heat was by raising or lowering a window. What's a thermostat?

The central steam plant was installed in 1888 and was in use till 1968. It was located at 23 South Hall Street. It was "coal" fired and had no pollution equipment what-so-ever.

Those who were not served by city heat mainly relied on coal. Trains delivering coal from up North would arrive at various coal storage yards throughout the city to unload. From there coal trucks plied the streets delivering coal down the chutes into 1,000's of basement coal bins.

The remaining cinders (coal ash) after the city burnt them were stored to later be spread on city streets in the winter. Just about every homeowner as well saved buckets of coal to put on their sidewalks. Before the snow throwers, shovelers used coal ash to finish the job on driveways.

I grew up on SW 27th street at the foot of S. Mtn. What we had out in front of our house was a dirt road. All of them were over there were at one time. In the winter coal cinders (ash) was used on them.

In the summer the city would come once or twice and spray oil on the roadways to keep the dust down. That's right, good old black petroleum muck with a good dose of used crankcase oil mixed in.

We open burned the trash and the leaves too!

Let's talk about water & sewer. We had a cistern where rainwater from the roof would flow into it from our downspouts. Now we chose to boil all our drinking water and were just fine. The neighbor in back didn't. As a result they wound up with a case of worms and on another occasion boils on their skin. Rather then boil water their solution was bleach. Gallons and gallons monthly they added to their water.

Then there's the sewer side. What sewer? Before septic tanks many of these homes just dug a big hole. In it they would throw rocks and then trench it out at the top as an overflow. You knew when it was full when the overflow trench leached up and emerged from below. Some would call honeydippers to come scoop them out. Others just hand dug a new hole somewhere else on their property. Few had concrete septic tanks.

In some other outlying areas those fortunate enough to live closer to the creeks and streams just ran a waste pipe from their toilets into them. Never mind farmer Joe downstream probably tapped into this same creek for his family's water supply. Still there were others who had wells were not too far down from someone else's septic field.

Oh by the way we too had a coal furnace.

Allentown, just like many other communities used to own the city garbage trucks. Allentown's trucks ended up on Allentown's Basin Street where the city incinerator would then burn the garbage they collected. Many cities around here had them as well. These trucks would back up to a hole in the second floor and dump into the flames below. As a kid, when I looked into the roaring fire below I thought it was hell. Nope, no chimney pollution equipment here either.

Now let's focus on the burgs. Just North of Allentown in areas like Bath, Whitehall, Cementon, etc. we had lots and lots of cement plants. You knew where they were because entire towns were coated in cement dust. Further North Coal dust was the order of the day.

Lest we forget good old New Jersey zinc down in Center Valley or it's smelting operations up in Palmerton. All of the above which either blew in the wind or were washed downstream.

The steel plant in Bethlehem used 100,000's gallons a water a day. Think about the three or four thousand workers that used the toilet facilities etc. Then perhaps one of you local historians out there may be able to find where Bethlehem's Steels' water treatment facility was located.

I say this in jest because I don't think they had one. But one thing I am certain, if you ask anyone who lived in Hellertown down by the old coke plant, the air wasn't sweet!

Also in the burgs at one time we had tons of farms. As a kid we'd swim in a creek in Macungie. It didn't even occur to us just upstream there was a cow pasture until our feet sank in cow poop two feet deep at the bottom. Talk about your nitrogen levels, but the sunnies (fish) just seemed to thrive in it.

Art (my friend) doubted that it was poop. He insisted rather optimistically that it was mud. It took Dave to scoop up a couple of handfuls from the bottom and heave them at us to make us conclude.. yep that's poop alright!

The area also had a number of pig farms as well that sold to the former A&B meats. Things weren't too sweet down wind from the numerous chicken & turkey farms either! Especially in Spring when farmers used to "spread" their fields.

Then there were the many area orchards that were spraying DDT into the air. Thusly the runoff from them into area creeks.

The state highway department for years used "agent orange" to kill the weeds alongside the local highways. Hey who knew!

Fortunately for us we had far fewer people then today. If we hadn't made the environmental progress we did, one can only imagine. Because of water lines and sewers, pollution equipment and the de-industrialization we fare much better then just 60 short years ago.

Can we use some more tweaking? Absolutely.

But if today's generation thinks this area was pristine and needs to be restored to what it once was, they are quite misinformed. While all is not perfect, it's certainly not an immediate crises.

Sometimes this valley just needs us old farts around to explain things.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Mitch McConnell Freezes Again Today (08/30/2023) During Kentucky Press Conference

This is his second time.

Several congress members have stayed around beyond their expiration dates.
90 year old confused Sen. Feinstein also comes to mind. She and Biden as well.

A longer less edited version

Kid Shows I Watched Growing Up


I was in my single digit years old when some of these shows aired. I was weaned on the likes of these.

It was called quality programming. Something we no longer see on Saturday mornings for today's kids. They weren't juiced up cartoons featuring cartoon characters doing amazing feats of unrealistic fantasy. Unbeknownst to us, at the time, they we not only entertaining but educating us at the same time.

Like Gene London

Wee Willie Webber

Sally Starr

My Uncle used to play in Sally's band when she did personal appearances

Chief Halftown

One of my favorites on Saturday afternoons was Dr. Shock Theatre

Happy The Clown
June 1955

Pinky Lee

Soupy Sales

And so, so many more. There was Rin Tin Tin, Fury, Sky King, Howdy Doody Time, Kukla, Fran, and Ollie and others.

I suppose the point to made here is that kids today have unrealistic expectations because of the current crop of Saturday mornings shows. Shows which feature super heroes doing fantastic out-of-this-world unrealistic things. Whereas these programs back then featured real people. Real kids. Doing simplistic real things in the real world in which they live.

Corny as they were, there's just something about them.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Immigration: Yesterday-Today


It seems no matter what we are taught, history is constantly being rewritten.

We've been told in history class how the "lady in NY harbor" stood as a welcoming beacon for the poor, tired, hungry and those oppressed in their home country. We are told of how these were embraced by Americans when they arrived on our shores. We are lead to believe God blessed this country because of our high ideals and values for all humanity.

Overlooking and disregarding the American Indian and the African slaves thing for the moment... According to an Associated Press article published on August 16, 2010: "A Mass grave in Pa., unearthed bones that show the murder of Irish immigrant rail workers.

57 Irish immigrants began grueling work in the summer of 1832 on the Philadelphia and Columbia railroad. Within weeks, all were dead of cholera.

Or were they murdered?"
I already understood how well the railroad building to the West worked out for black slaves and the Asians, but now we apparently have this thing right in our own backyard.

Many of us already knew the Irish didn't make out too well in the coal mines. It now appears, laboring to build the railroads wasn't a hoot either!
(Left click on pix to enlarge)

I already knew the Italians and the Jewish didn't make out so hot when they got off the boat either.

Say.. who the hell do we like!

What's the point of all this?
History is supposed to teach us something.

By reviewing what has gone before, we should be able to deal with today's problems more effectively. This concerning both how we treat people and those peoples who provide their labors to this country.

We should be able to build our nation on a stronger more solid foundation. Become a nation more compassionate. More united, stronger. To evolve as a race of human beings, who you would think be, steeped in knowledge acquired by failed transgressions from earlier periods in our American history.

Now here we are in 2013 holding the same animosity against Muslims, Mexicans and other Hispanics as we once did with the Irish, Jews & Italians. Satirically speaking, it's nice to see America's made so much progress.

(video courtesy duhong831)

Monday, August 28, 2023

Ernest Hemmingway


Pulitzer Prize winning author, Ernest Hemmingway was quite a character. He had four wives. He was an avid fisherman and went on a safari in Africa which nearly killed him when his plane crashed. He had permanent residences in Cuba and Key West, Florida.

My interest in Hemmingway was aroused when we toured his home in Key West. The tour guides weren't stuffy and seemed to share pretty much the ironic stories that made this man unique.

As you tour his house in Key West you will come across a garden with a beautiful china basin filled with water in which many dozens of cats drink from. Well it turns out it actually is the urinal from the first 'Sloppy Joe's Bar'. He took it home for his garden.

The other story involves the pool. His second wife Pauline, whom he married in 1927, had it built as a surprise for him when he returned home. None the too pleased he admonished her spending habits. He declared that she might as well take every cent he has. Supposedly Ernest took a penny from his pocket and handed to her.

If you tour the home today you will see that very penny now embedded in the concrete around the pool. Pauline had put it there as a bit of spiteful humor for his lack of gratefulness.

If you ever get down to Key West, a tour of his home is a must.

Video Courtesy mkayreagan

In 1959 he moved to Ketchum, Idaho where he committed suicide less then two years later in 1961.

Taking note of this date Marty Beckerman, author of "The Heming Way", wrote a piece for entitled, "What Hemingway Would Think of the Internet?"

It's a satirical short read you might enjoy.

Annualy in July Key West holds their Hemmingway look-alike contest


Sunday, August 27, 2023

Doctor Legends (Humor)


1. A man comes into the ER and yells, "My wife's going to have her baby in the cab." I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady's dress and began to take off her underwear. Suddenly I noticed that there were several cabs and I was in the wrong one.

2. At the beginning of my shift I placed a stethoscope on an elderly and slightly deaf female patient's anterior chest wall. 'Big breaths, I instructed. "Yes, they used to be", replied the patient.

3. One day I had to be the bearer of bad news when I told a wife that her husband had died of a massive myocardial infarct. Not more than five minutes later, I heard her reporting to the rest of the family that he had died of a "massive internal fart."

4. During a patient's two week follow-up appointment with his cardiologist, he informed me, his doctor, that he was having trouble with one of his medications. Which one I asked. "The patch?" The Nurse told me to put on a new one every six hours and now I'm running out of places to put it. I had him quickly undress and discovered what I hoped I wouldn't see. Yes, the man had over fifty patches on his body! Now, the instructions include removal of the old patch before applying a new one.

5. While acquainting myself with a new elderly patient I asked, "How long have you been bedridden?" After a look of complete confusion she answered, "Why, not for about twenty years - when my husband was still alive."

6. I was performing rounds at the hospital one morning and while checking up on a man I asked, "So how's your breakfast this morning?" “It's very good except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can't seem to get used to the taste,” Bob replied. I then asked to see the jelly and Bob produced a foil packet labeled 'KY Jelly.'

7. A nurse was on duty in the Emergency Room when a young woman with purple hair styled into a punk rocker Mohawk, sporting a variety of tattoos, and wearing strange clothing, entered. It was quickly determined that the patient had acute appendicitis, so she was scheduled for immediate surgery. When she was completely disrobed on the operating table, the staff noticed that her pubic hair had been dyed green and above it there was a tattoo that read, "Keep off the grass." Once the surgery was completed, the surgeon wrote a short note on the patient's dressing, which said, "Sorry had to mow the lawn."

8. As a new, young MD doing his residency in OB. I was quite embarrassed when performing female pelvic exams. To cover my embarrassment I had unconsciously formed a habit of whistling softly. The middle-aged lady upon whom I was performing this exam suddenly burst out laughing and further embarrassing me. I looked up from my work and sheepishly said, "I'm sorry. Was I tickling you?" She replied with tears running down her cheeks from laughing so hard, " No doctor but the song you were whistling was "I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener."


Baby's First Doctor Visit
A woman and a baby were in the doctor's examining room, waiting for the doctor to come in for the baby's first exam. The doctor arrived, and examined the baby, checked his weight, and being a little concerned, asked if the baby was breast-fed or bottle-fed. "Breast-fed", she replied. "Well, strip down to your waist", the doctor ordered. She did. He pinched her nipples, pressed, kneaded, and rubbed both breasts for a while in a very professional and detailed examination. Motioning to her to get dressed, the doctor said, "No wonder this baby is underweight. You don't have any milk. "I know",' she said, "I'm his Grandma, But I'm glad I came."

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Bethlehem: Steel A Look Back


Anyone ever experience the blast furnace at the Bethlehem Steel?

The tapping of blast furnace 'C' at Bethlehem Steel taken in the 1990s

Notice in the video, what little protection men wore?

While I never worked the blast furnace, my brother used to for a short while. He took part in the tapping of it. He hated it. However during the best month he ever had, he received a $1,000 bonus one month. Even though he wore an asbestos-like suit he still had burn marks from time to time. HOT AS HELL ITSELF!

Later my brother considered it to be both a blessing and relief when he was able to transfer down to the coke fields in Hellertown. It paid less, but the job conditions better suited him.

A PBNE switcher takes slag cars to the slag dump where they are dumped by a crane

Interesting story is if the guys took a cup of water and dumped it into a ingot before steel was pouring into it.. that water would explode! So they had to make sure ingot cars were completely dry after a rain.

Taken in 1992, it shows the filling of hot metal cars with iron at the blast furnace at Bethlehem Steel

As for my days at shop #413 (alloy roller mills & soaking pit) at the steel.. I only lasted 30 days and I quit. I'm such a PUSSY !!

All videos courtesy "Steel Man Jules"

* Bethlehem Steel, with its fleet of 26 ships, was the Panama Canal's second-best customer in 1940, having paid more than $1 million in tolls.

* The company was employing more than 100,000 and earning profits of more than $100 million annually

* The company had a police force larger than the city of Bethlehem's.

* Up until the 1940s wages and working conditions in the plant had been oppressive. When workers walked out, the company would call in billy-club-swinging mounted state police troopers to quash picketers. There were brutal working hours, bribery and favoritism in the 1930s. Work was six days a week, double shifts and they had no vacations

* During WWII as much as 70% of all airplane cylinder forgings, one-quarter of the armor plate for warships, and one-third of the big cannon forgings for the U.S armed forces were turned out by Bethlehem Steel. The company built nearly one-fifth of the U.S. Navy's two-ocean fleet.
Source For The Information Above: Bethlehem Pa Online

Thursday, August 24, 2023

A Silly Intelligence Test


There are 4 questions.

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?
Stop and think about it and decide on your answer before you scroll down.

The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door.
This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2 How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator?
Wrong Answer.
Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant, and close the door.
This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals
Attend .... Except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct Answer: The Elephant.
The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there.
This tests your memory.
Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly,
you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and
You do not have a boat. How do you manage it?

Correct Answer: You jump into the river and swim across.
Have you not been listening?
All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting.
This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

If all this weren't frustrating enough !

Talk About Making A Monkey Out Of Oneself..

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Past, Present And Future Allentown


Excerpts from the book "Past, Present And Future of the City of Allentown" published under the Auspices of the "Board Of Trade" in 1886. The book is housed at 'Columbia University's School of Business NY, NY.

Drawing some parallels from history
In Chapter 1, on the very first page, I found it interesting to note that in 1886, "All new industries are exempted from taxation for ten years." About all I can say the more things change, the more the stay the same. Today's city planners aren't doing anything more orginal then what Allentown was doing 125 years ago. Not exactly cutting edge is it?

Difference is, Allentown wasn't cutting NIZ checks to them !

Chapter 2 began with addressing urban sprawl. Course they were seeking farms back then rather then McMansions. "Every human tide, since the first human wave, began flowing westward, has followed the course of streams in search of fertile acres."

Originally in 1761 James Allen (son of William Allen) laid out plans for the town, "He laid it out from Fourth to Tenth streets, but concentrated nearly all his architectural efforts around the present Lehigh Street."

Chapter 3 discusses, amongst other things, the naming of the streets. "Hamilton Street was called after Governor Andrew Hamilton whose daughter you will remember, was James Allen's mother."

"The road from Easton to Reading.. Union and Jackson streets"

"The other ran from Bake-Oven Knob out through the present Seventh street past Helfrich's Springs."
The rest of the chapter describes the calamities that befell Allentown, devastating fires and floods around 1848. The fires woke Allentown up for a need for a fire department as contributions poured in from as far a way as New Orleans to help Allentown rebuild.

Chapter 4 Begins by talking about Allentown's 'inns" (bars).. "the father crowding in a tavern in every nook and corner where one would fit. Indeed , in the morning of our civic existence tavern-keeping was the chief local industry.... six taverns of the early village with it's 350 inhabitants in 1776..."

The book spoke nothing of 'nuisance bars'. :-)

~~ At this point I'm going to just skip a whole lot ~~.

The first store traded in "miscellaneous wares" in 1794. By trade, I mean "trade". "It wasn't considered the correct thing to pay cash... The transaction usually was a ridged exchange."

The first Mayor of Allentown was elected May 1, 1867, a Republican candidate Samuel McHose. Chapter 6 goes into detail describing each of the first several Mayors.

Chapter 8 goes into length discussing the ethic makeup of Allentown in the 1800's.

"Prior to 1802 we used to be obliged to journey to Bethlehem for our mail." It turns out an enterprising tavern owner saw an opportunity. People would then come to his tavern (bar) to pick up their mail

It can be argued that Allentown's first newspaper was the "Unabhaengiger Republikaner" ("Adjudicator Republican") published July 1810. Chapter 14 details Allentown numerous early press journalists and other papers.

Chapter 16 says The city of Allentown owed on it's debt $385,990.04 on Jan. 1, 1886. In 1886 Lehigh County was 100% debt free. Allentown's tax rates on homes was 6.5 mills. Today Allentown's is 50.38 on the land your house sits on and 10.72 mills on your house.

The richest ward in 1886 was the 5th ward and the poorest was the 8th ward. Kind of like a flip flop over what it is today.

Today's 5th ward is around the 6th street area between Hamilton and Liberty streets. Today's 8th ward is one of the biggest. It's in the area to the West of Mauch Chunk Road to 17th street. Downward past Highland Cemetery to Gordon Street. Then East to 7th Street bordered by Sumner Ave.

Rent was about $7.50 a month for a two story 5 room house. Most residents paid rent no higher then $18 a month.Good for today's landlords that Allentown, unlike today's New York, didn't put rent control in at that time. :-)The homes themselves were worth between $2,000 and $4,000.

The Allentown Bank came into existence on August 27, 1855. It had $100,000 of capital on hand. By 1886 it had $500,000 with a contingency fund of $100,000. The 'Lehigh Valley Trust And Safe Deposit Company' opened for business on Sept. 20, 1886. It started out with a capital of $250,000.

It was from that point forward, because of these banks, that Allentown headed into it's glory years of manufacturing. This was a departure from depending entirely on farming and mining up until that time.

Chapter 14 begins the many manufacturing companies that followed after 1855 (establishment of the Allentown Bank) till Chapter 56 (the end of the book ). It extensively names them with a great many details up until 1886 (the date of the book's publication).

All 168 pages can be read here on Google books
(The book itself was published by the "Daily Chronicle And News", 638 Hamilton Street.

Trump Is Skipping GOP Debate For Good Reason

Why is it no one seems to see the obvious?

It's very obvious to me the debate would be a setup. Any one of his opponents under wise legal council would throw Trump a legal jeopardizing curve ball. Thus placing him in further legal jeopardy with his upcoming trials. One slip of the tongue and POW, another legal charge against him from prosecutors. Well that's one way of them trying to eliminate their political opponent

In short the others running would serve as several prosecutors grilling him as if on a witness stand. Each trying to get him to incriminate himself.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Feb. 07, 2013- Mississippi Officially Abolishes Slavery


Official State Flag Until 2020

Mississippi finally got around to "officially" filing their state's ratification of the 13th Amendment.

The 13th Amendment took effect on December 6th 1865 (148 years ago) for most everyone else. Mississippi claimed there was some sort of legal snafu since 1995 when the Mississippi legislators first approved the measure.

The question is why did it take Mississippi 130 years to first pass this measure in 1995?

This is also comes 205 years after Thomas Jefferson signed a law against the importation of slaves on March 2, 1807.

(Two other late comers were the states of Delaware in 1901 and Kentucky in 1976)

Sunday, August 20, 2023

The U.S. Was First In Technological Advancement: FALSE!


American pride leads us to believe we have become the most scientifically advanced nation solely in every way via our superior educational system and intellectual prowess. Really?

Here's a few things to ponder. While our space program is bar none the tops, it didn't come out of thin air. After the war many German rocket scientist fled/recruited/forced to join The United States space program. Giving us a leg up over the Russians.

Wernher von Braun although best known, was not the only one who became part of what became known as 'Operation Paperclip'. So without the boost by German scientists we would not be where we are today.

Many of us are aware of this. However, few are aware that our current "stealth fighters" came about as a direct result of 1944 German ingenuity. The picture you see above is actually a 1944 Horten Ho 2-29 designed by the Nazis some 30+ years before we Americans developed flying wing type of radar-invisible stealth technology!

Fortunately for us the carbon fiber composites, required by today's F-117A Nighthawk stealth aircraft, were not yet invented. However it was able to fly almost undetected by radar from Berlin to NYC and back without refueling. The Ho 2-29 was to be powered by BMW 003 jet engines invented by Hans Von Ohain of Germany.

Hey if it makes you feel better Sir Frank Whittle was an English aviation engineer who was credited with co-inventing the jet engine even though he wasn't aware of Hans's work. Course on the other hand neither of those were Americans either!

So it's quite apparent today's stealth evolved as a result of German engineering. Here's a brief video excerpt from National Geographic's Special- "Hitler's Stealth Fighter"

A few more technological items we may have perfected but did not invent..
The Steam Engine- Thomas Savery was an English military engineer and inventor who in 1698, patented the first crude steam engine. Thomas Newcomen was an English blacksmith who made an improvement over Thomas Slavery's.

In 1765 James Watt,
Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer, improved the steam engine.(A unit of power called the Watt was named after James Watt. The Watt symbol is W, and it is equal to 1/746 of a horsepower, or one Volt times one Amp.)

Electricity- English scientist William Gilbert in 1600.

Nuclear Energy- Enrico Fermi is considered a major figure in the discovery of nuclear energy. Born in Rome, he was the first scientist to split the atom and his research later led to nuclear power generation. Leo Szilard & Fermi discovered the first nuclear reactor that caused nuclear chain reactions.

Then there was Einstein .. enough said!

You get the idea. We Americans have many wonders based on great minds from all over the globe, but we certainly don't have a monopoly on superior technology. The challenge going forward is, will we remain on top of the scientific technology game? He who has the most toys wins.

Kind of knocks ya down a couple of blocks doesn't it?

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Neil DeGrasse Tyson on Bad American Engineering

I've often felt recently the United States is falling behind in many areas. Neil explains just one more. Quite alarming I'd say. We better get with it!

More about this historically speaking in tomorrow's post.

How 2 Build A Time Machine


Stephen Hawking On time Travel- "How To Build A Time Machine"

This is the kind of stuff that blows my mind.

Paradoxes: One point in the article mentions if you were able to go back in time from your own present time and shoot yourself. Then who shot you?

Since you would have not existed in this present time (because of the shooting) how could you have been around to go back into that time prior to do so?

Quantum Physics comes along and blows even these theories to shreds. One fellow I was acquainted with explained it this way. You spend four years learning all about physics. When one pursues a higher level of education in quantum physics, it will undo all the prior knowledge you've learned to be as fact.

MATTER DOES NOT EXIST. Matter is nothing more then compressed energy controlled by the conscious thought/observance of it.

So in essence all we are is energy and our awareness of it. All else is of our own perceptions and judgments.

I won't even get into the "TONAL" - "NAGAL" precepts of Carlos Castaneda's books OR Baird T. Spalding's- Masters of the Far East both of which have become more creditable as one digs deeper into quantum theory.<