Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wordzzle 48 and the World teeters

Ten Word Challenge: snow and ice, vegetarian chili, pampered kitty, anthropology, do you own a home, coronation, you can change the world, hideous curtains, stammering, premonitions

Mini Challenge: Is there a doctor in the house, blowing in the breeze, shadows, comedian, sleeping disorder

If you still have it in you to participate or read the stories this week, then click on the link to the Raven's Nest. There you will find what it's all about and links to the other stories. Like I said; if you're up for it? Stay here and read this week's episode.

Oh, this weeks offering is: Chances

Laughlin's main street was Casino Drive. If you followed it south out of town along the river towards Needles it provided a very scenic ride and some awesome driving for the sports car enthusiast. Benny Alondro Carpetia, BA to his buddies, Benito to his Mom and Dad, and Mr. Carpetia to his employees at the Riverside Casino, was enjoying all the road had to offer and then some.

As he hit 120 mph in his Aston Martin V8 Vantage, his current pampered kitty, Eloise, was applying her talented lips to his engorged member. Thankfully he had opted for the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. This allowed him to continue the smooth shifting, hear the throttle rise and fall, as his companion du jour was literally blowing in the breeze. (Yes, some pun intended)

Even in winter the climate here assured him there would be no snow and ice to catch him out as he exited a turn, up-shifted and applied more throttle. He had made a left at the Needles Highway and was on the way to 160 when he came. Eloise, gagging and then swallowing, stammering a bit as well, sputtered out "Is there a doctor in the house?" "Cause I think I've been drowned." "Now you're a comedian too?" he laughed as she zipped him up.

BA backed off the accelerator as they neared Needles’ town limits. It would be safe for them to grab some late breakfast at the Dennys, which was not the normal hangout for the moneyed crowd of Laughlin. At 3:30 in the morning the place wouldn't be that busy anyway. Benny's sleeping disorder had made him a natural for night shift casino manager, he did fine on 3-4 hours a day. Though he was semi-connected, it wouldn't do to rub his infidelities in his wife's face. Her dad was totally connected and the general manager of the casino. So Dennys in Needles was about as fancy a place to which he could take his booty calls.

Usually he just nailed them in one of the outlying rooms, but tonight he wanted to drive. He parked the Aston Martin in the shadows. Eloise straightened her top, making sure her fine natural breasts were fully encased in her scanty top. The couple walked to the front door of the eatery without premonitions of any impending disaster. Benny thought about the only other woman he'd brought here. When he'd first hit town before he married Angelica, he had dated a local gal he'd met while house hunting. She'd been a great lay and a decent companion. He had been sorry to hear about her murder.

Benny and Eloise were led to booth with what Eloise told Benny was the most hideous curtains she'd ever seen. "What are you a frigging designer now?" he asked. "Do you own a home?" he continued. "Naw, I rent an apartment in Bullhead" she answered. "Well, when you do you can change the world you create and have anything you want on your windows, but right now, let's just order, OK?" he finished. "Sure BA, I hear ya, you got your rocks off and now you're hungry." "At least you just don't roll over and go to sleep" Eloise countered. "Pretty frigging stupid to nod off at 160 baby; that ain't gonna happen" BA added.

The waitress took their orders. Eloise had asked for vegetarian chili, but Dennys didn't offer it. Eloise explained to BA that it made her toot less. She went on to explain that she'd had a very bad experience in anthropology class in college. She had eaten Chile for lunch and had contracted the walking farts as she entered the classroom. The worst part was that she had been late and everyone had been watching here as she tooted her way to her seat. The experience had made her literally fartophobic.

Benny did the best to keep a straight face while she earnestly told him this intimate detail. That was probably why he didn't notice the 18 wheeler that had missed the corner and entered the parking lot at high speed. The driver did his best to miss any cars and steered toward the most deserted part of the parking lot as he attempted to slow the mechanical leviathan down. Unfortunately he didn't see the dark metallic shape till too late. Like an expert pool player he banked the Aston Martin off a Mustang right into the restaurant. The sleek British sports car shot straight into the booth occupied by BA and Eloise.

There would be no eventual coronation of Benito Alondro Carpetia as head of his family or even as general manager of the Riverside. His sleeping disorder had proved fatal after all.

Captain Jenkins got the call at 4:25 in the morning. One of his city’s bigwigs was killed with a woman in the Dennys in Needles and the lady wasn’t his wife. It was going to be a long day.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Funnies

Perhaps you've had the pleasure of seeing our politicians on TV this week. Many have said some pretty nice things about the new president and administration and many have said things not so nice.

A radio blowhard has announced he wants Obama to fail. Mighty white of him, wouldn't you say?

Bi-partisanship is being bashed from both sides and rightly so in my view.

The republicans lost big in this last election and there is a reason for that. Their policies and programs, their ideology and practices were a total failure and a disaster for our nation on many levels.They have been repudiated. If I can get over it, let bygones be bygones, then they damn sure ought to be able to do the same; instead it sounds like so much sour grapes from them at this early stage.

If not, then maybe they should be ignored or maybe they should be looked at in the light of day. If that happens we will end up going down the road of congressional hearings, criminal and political trials for malfeasance in office and a bunch of other things they will definitely not like.

One wonders if they get it. We are on the brink of a potentially ugly time in our history if they believe we've forgotten who got us here. Let's hope it doesn't go that way.

I'm all for open debate on what should be done to help our economy, our international status and our national moral; it just needs to be productive. Do you suppose we can make that happen?


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wordzzle 47

Swing by the Raven’s Nest for her story and links to all the other stories.

Then, if you have it in ya, read my offering for this week.

10 Word Challenge: air tight seal, bitter cold, draft card, diner, paragon of virtue, broken computer monitor, CPR, a love of folk music, scatter-brained, can of worms

mini challenge: California here I come, Springtime in Alberta, panorama, etchings, miracle foot repair

This week’s episode: Questions

Captain Jenkins made it to the old Indian cemetery site in record time. While he knew Cpl Eugene Bradley Stoddard could at times be somewhat scatter-brained, he could tell from the shaky voiced transmission that he had discovered something unnerving. It had saved him from the task of replacing his broken computer monitor. The duty clerk would handle it in good fashion and relieve him from opening up the literal can of worms that was the nest of cables and wires in back of his desk. He swept past the old wooden sign at the base of the dirt road that forlornly stated “California here I come”. The joke was that the trail lead into the Mojave National preserve without a gas station for hundreds of miles. The Nevada DOT had never bothered to put up a sign telling travelers that small detail.

The consequence was that once or twice a year someone got stuck in the preserve and had to be rescued by the California authorities. The excuse always seemed to be that the stranded folks were searching for ancient Indian rock etchings and artifacts and lost track of how much gas they had left. If the Californians had been smart, they would have made a sign and donated it to Nevada. On the same sign post was placed some old time advertisements, including ironically “Doc Johnson’s Miracle Foot Repair”.

Stoddard had regained his equilibrium by the time the Captain made it to the scene. “What appears to be one victim Sir, though without the clothes it would be hard to tell it was ever a human” he explained as the Captain exited his cruiser. “ID in the victim’s purse indicates it’s Connie Liplin” he added. “I didn’t touch anything else in the vehicle to maintain the forensics” he finished.

“Ok, let’s have a look.” “I’ve got the state forensic team coming down from Reno” Jenkins said as he opened the driver’s door. The odor and heat coming from the interior was oppressive and vile. The cab of the Tahoe had close to an airtight seal when the heater controls were adjusted properly and that seemed to be what had happened here. He reached in and turned the key off and the engine died. While it had been bitter cold during the last few days, the victim’s vehicle had stayed very warm indeed with the heat turned up full and the cab closed up. He took note that the gas gauge was almost on empty. The amount of corruption, decay and deterioration of the victim’s body was both astounding and revolting.

Jenkins pulled back out of the Tahoe and looked out over the panorama of the strip below. Why would someone do something like this? And more importantly who did this and when? “Let’s get the crime scene stabilized and roped off” he told Stoddard. “I’ll call in and get some more bodies up here” he added. Jenkins made the call and had the clerk pull the info on Connie Liplin. By the time the extra officers showed up to secure the scene, he had her address in Bullhead city.

Because Bullhead was across the river in Arizona he called his counterpart, Captain Bud Mellinger and asked him to meet him at the victim’s condo. He gave his friend, Bud, the details of the case on the way to the condos.

Connie Liplin had done well in the Colorado River Market. She had maintained licenses as both a realtor and broker in both states and had known the local market as well as any. So it was no surprise that she had purchased the biggest condo at Riverside Heights in Bullhead City. The sprawling complex overlooked the Colorado River from cliffs above the highway. Connie’s condo was in the top row at the end with the best view.

“Hey Bud, thanks for meeting me” Jenkins said. “Come on Ned, you know I wouldn’t miss out on a case like this, and procedure says an Arizona law enforcement officer is to be present” answered Mellinger. “Besides, you will probably need some crime scene help from our guys on the condo, won’t you?” “If your budget can stand it, I’ll take all the help I can get on this one” Jenkins responded.

The secretary at Liplin Realtors had provided Captain Mellinger with a key to the condo and they used this to enter the front door. Inside they found a richly and well decorated home. On the entry wall hung an original Ansell Adams photograph entitled “Springtime in Alberta.” Both men donned latex gloves and split up to search the rest of the home. Captain Mellinger took the kitchen and public rooms while Jenkins took the bedrooms and the home office. From what Mellinger could tell from the victim’s music collection, she had had a love of folk music as well as gospel.

Nothing out of the ordinary was apparent in the rest of the public rooms though some of the art on the walls was definitely unusual. The most striking piece was a montage on the living room wall behind the upscale stereo system. It consisted of brochures and memorabilia from her father’s life. This included her fathers torn up draft card, a menu from a now closed diner in Kingman and an outdated card with CPR instructions with the date of her Dad’s death written in pencil on it. Included with this was a receipt from the Mustang Ranch (a legal brothel outside of Vegas). It seemed she knew her father was no paragon of virtue, but had loved him anyway.

“Hey Bud, come on back to the office” Jenkins called out. “Did you find something” Mellinger asked when he came in the office door. “Yes and No” Ned replied. “How many times have you ever seen a computer with nothing on it?” he asked as he looked towards Bud. “Maybe it’s new or just for show” Mellinger offered. “Maybe, but look around this office” Jenkins replied. Both men looked at the desk with notes and scribblings on the desktop calendar. Next to it was a file cabinet with files of sales, commissions and expenses. There was a couch and chairs with a conference table. Each knew this office had been well used, yet the computer was totally empty. Both wondered why and what that had to do with her death.

Jenkins bagged the laptop; he would take it back to his office. The state tech guys would find out if there had ever been information on the thing. Neither man found another computer as they continued their search. The Arizona team would finish checking the condo in detail. Now it was up to Captain Jenkins to pull what evidence there was together and consider suspects.

This was the ugliest murder in the town’s history. The movers and shakers in Laughlin, the owners and managers of the Casinos, would want this kept low profile and solved quickly. Both of those outcomes looked to be unlikely. His world was going to be very busy for some time to come.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Finally Friday!

Well, well, well. We've completed another week in which the stock market surprised many and disappointed more.

I am one of the lucky ones that was both surprised and disappointed. Ouch!

My small trading account started the week at a 4% surplus. (Yes Martha, some stocks I bought went up in price and showed the potential for profit) Alas the week ends with a 15.5% deficit and I'm stuck waiting on the next rally to come close to breaking even.

I will not bore you with the gory details, but just say this much: If you are actively investing right now as I am, isn't this a pisser?

I watched a very solid stock make great gains one day to lose them all the next. There was no industry related news or any significant story about the company to drive this move. It followed the S & P index and rose and fell with market sentiment. One can only ask, what the fuck are these people thinking.

It's a thrill ride with potential profit as one destination and financial ruin as the other. (If you're totally invested in the market, that is)

I am learning lessons each day and attempting to not make the same mistakes twice, though I admit to feeling as if I have done that. I remain hopeful I will catch on soon.

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In with the new and out with the old

If you've ever looked at my sidebar and visited any of the blogs listed there, then you know there are some new names on the list. That's because I finally deleted my old political blog, The Foothills Opinion Post. I kept it up just to have the links for sites I visit each day for news and commentary. The most read ones were moved over to the Bloggerhood.

With the swearing in of Obama, I've moved on. The old blog was so full of recrimination and vitriol that I felt it better to just wipe it clean. I'm willing to give the last administration a pass if things can be turned around. I'm sick to death of hating my country's leadership, policies and actions. I'm just as tired of bitching about it.

So in that vein, I thought the old political commentary (at least mine) should be put to rest. There will be more posts on current events on this site than before, along with commentary on the economy and markets. (I am slowly becoming involved in the stock market) (Yes, I know it's not such a great time, but I need an opportunity to make a living) But it will have a more positive tone and I will do my best to keep the faith (Naive though I may be) that the new guy will do the best he can with the situation given him.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Goodbye George; Hello Barack

If you're waiting for me to wax sentimental at the departure of G. W. Bush as I watch the helicopter leave the capitol: stop it. I will not be saying anything close to forgiving or sweet about the man and his presidency. Indeed, he has been my least favorite person since September 11, 2001.

The man and president lost my respect (what little there was after the conclusion of the 2000 election with the supreme court appointing him) when he stayed in the air and let Cheney handle things in Washington. It was apparent then and all through his 2 terms that Cheney was pulling the strings and more in charge than you would want a VP to be. I felt then and still do today that he acted as a coward and brought on an era of fear and fascism not seen since the McCarthy hearings and witch hunts.

So, as he flew over Washington one last time with his Mom and Dad in the helicopter with him, my only thought was how damn glad I was to see the Bushes getting out of government. Both father and son were terrible for our economy. At least the senior Bush knew a little something about foreign policy, but just awful on the domestic front. The son was crappy on both. Good riddance and goodbye.

I was pleased to hear our new president repudiate the policies of Bush/Cheney in his inaugural speech. He reached out to the world and to just plain folks; which was the right thing to do. We are going to need all the help we can get. In addition, he highlighted the global linkage now in effect both politically and economically. He gets it. I like that very much.

Now if people will find it in themselves to get positive and pitch in, we just might make it through this thing.

Welcome to power Mr. President, I am rooting for you.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Wordzzle 46 again

This all comes from the Raven's Nest. Stop by and she'll fill you in. You can get links to all the other stories too.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge: tuna on rye, ghost hunters, I'm as corny as Kansas in August, sympathetic ear, science fiction, muffler, cavernous, giraffes, prospecting, paraphernalia

Mini Challenge: Key Lime Pie, porcupine, Library of Congress, fingernails, spell-bound

Again I find myself without a proper entry for this week's Wordzzle. Instead, I've spent my week watching the stock market tumble, eating tuna on rye for lunch and catching the occasional science fiction movie on cable. While not exactly spellbound by the cable fare I was at least entertained. I don't expect a sympathetic ear for my laziness and sloth; I know that would make me as corny as Kansas in August. You'd think I was a purveyor of key lime pie or porcupine casserole or filet des' Giraffes or something.

Anywho........ Things just didn't happen for me this week in the writing department. So I will not have an offering worthy of the Library of Congress (and remember even cheesy porn novels end up there) nor will you be spellbound by the plot of this entry. No ghost hunters, no fingernails scratching on the blackboard of your mind and no killers prospecting for their next victim. Sorry!

Instead, only this simple missive, in lieu of my sometimes cavernous offerings. There will be no paraphernalia, no getaway car with a bad muffler and no forensic evidence this week.

See ya next week


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wordzzle 46 or 45 or 47 or something like that

It seems that during the holiday season I became confused about the wordzzle count and when I was expected to be wordzzling.

Along with this we had our anniversary, a road trip, Christmas and New Years. So..... It will be necessary for you to go here to read the first of my new series.

Then if you like what you read come on back for the next episode.

While you're at it, why not swing on over to the Raven's Nest. There you'll get the lowdown on the stories and the scoop on the wordzzle.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge: We were born on the same day in the same hospital, Weeping willow, Two for one sale, Highway robbery, Burial ground, roll of paper towels, gospel singer, gallows, weirdo, volcano

Mini Challenge: Symbiosis, Sagging breasts, Navajo blanket, Frogmen, Who says I got no heart?

This weeks Episode: Suspicion

Cpl Stoddard had grown up in Kingman, Arizona and worked in the town's police department before taking the higher paying job in Laughlin. Since the city didn't have the standard residence requirement that most communities did, he was able to keep his house in Kingman and make the commute from 3300 feet on the Arizona side of the Colorado River to the basin on the Nevada side.

Stoddard had seen little violent crime since the motorcycle gang shootings back in 93. Most crime here was cheating, mugging and the domestic disputes between husbands and wives after losing too much money at the Casinos. He'd spent many nights breaking up fights between aging wives with sagging breasts and elderly husbands. Usually a roll of paper towels to help clean up the blood and puke before he put them in his car was his most needed tool.

Now he had to be on the lookout for an actual murder, no, not just a murderer, a predator. He thought these things to himself as he drove his squad car up the hill towards the outskirts of town. He'd gotten a call to check out a suspicious vehicle out by the extinct volcano. (Just a molehill now)

Back in town, the captain who had been told by Stoddard "We were born on the same day in the same hospital" more times than he cared to hear, was reviewing the file on the "Jane Doe" homicide. It would be a few more days till he could expect a report back from the FBI with an identity and then only if the victim had a federal file. He wondered if his department would be able to find the killer, if the killer was still in the area. Even with Casino business way down, there were still thousands of visitors a week and any one of them could be the killer.

Captain Jenkins had his clerk contacting all the Casinos and motels for their guest lists, but the chances were just as good the killer had come to town to find a victim and then left. The only real clue was a Navajo blanket the team had found downstream. There was a chance the body had been wrapped in it and would produce some forensic evidence. The State Police Frogmen had been unable to find anything else in the section of the river where the body and blanket were found. The extreme current next to the piers would have washed any smaller items far downstream.

Dan was working the day shift at the Pioneer today. His shift started at 9:00, though he always came early to hear about any previous incidents or worse yet, ongoing incidents, that he would be handling. This Tuesday morning was uneventful. The night crew had dealt with a fist fight; a guy caught stealing a bucket of quarters. (Yes, the Pioneer still used coins in their slots) and a young couple attempting to consummate their relationship in full view of the hotel guests.

As a sort of two for one sale, they had found the couple's friends in the parking lot already in flagrant delecto. Both couples were escorted to their rooms and nothing more was said. The security guards made it clear that if it happened again they would be removed from the property and blackballed with the rest of the Casinos. No reason to involve the police in these types of occurrences. It had been a personal call for the guard on duty, George Hofner. "Who says I got no heart" he explained to Dan. "Those kids were just doing what comes natural." "And in a real big hurry to do it" laughed Dan.

Dan felt a natural symbiosis with George, they were both ex-cops and both knew not to sweat the small stuff. He headed over to the cafe for coffee before checking in at the security station. "How much is the coffee today?" He joked with the counter girl. "Just a buck Dan" she laughed. "Anything over 50 cents is highway robbery" he shot back, "this ain't Starbucks, ya know" he finished. The truth was that the coffee had been free till the slowdown and it still bugged Dan a bit to pay for it. At least the refills were free.

Stoddard pulled the cruiser up next to the Weeping Willow tree and got out. He knew the Indians thought there was once an ancient burial ground here. The cowboys had not cared and once a put a gallows where the entrance to the sacred site would have been. The site certainly had some historical significance but from his perspective it was just another place to pick up some weirdo smoking pot or crack or digging up things that belonged to the state. He approached the Suburban idling by the side of the road. It was marked with a decal on the driver's door. It read, "Connie Liplin your Real Estate expert". He knew Connie; she'd been a part time gospel singer in a group that performed in his church in Kingman. Stoddard opened the driver's and door and immediately shut it. He bent down and vomited. Then he vomited some more. It was some time before he made it back to his car to call it in.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Who Knows?

Unless you've been in a cave or on the moon, you know that the state of Israel and the Palestinian people are at each other again.

Like most Americans, I've bought in to the spin we hear through our Media on who's right and who is wrong. Or who started it, or who the terrorists are and so forth.

Recently I've asked myself: why are the Palestinians shooting rockets in to Israel.

My wife thinks that both peoples are doomed to eternal strife. She may be right.

I came across this video on an open thread at Crooks and Liars. It is long, so bring some popcorn and a drink, then sit back and just listen. You will come away with a better understanding of what's going on. In addition you'll begin to understand why the fanatical Muslims hate us. We give billions to Israel each year for their military. This video shows what that military spends its time doing. It ain't pretty.

View this if you want to make a start at understanding what is driving the craziness we see coming from this region each day.

There's always two sides to every struggle. We need to see both sides if we're ever going to help bring peace or even just stop the killing.

This seems to me a conflict with no good guys and lots of blame to go around. What do you think?