Sunday, November 25, 2012

I Like Jokes

We are bombarded with images and news stories telling us how evil the white man is. How much he beats down the black man, how prejudiced we all are.

Several years ago a production line manager in the factory I worked cautioned our factory manager that she shouldn't use the 'master/slave' term common in lighting. (When a light fixture with a ballast, the master, is wired to another light fixture without a ballast, the slave.)  See,the funny part was that the line manager was a white guy and the factory manager was a black woman. She actually said that she never made the connection.

Yesterday while shopping with my wife in Durham, North Carolina (a predominantly black community) we saw a young light skinned black man wearing a NASCAR Oreo jacket...  I don't know what the wife and I were talking about before that but we both went silent. I had my mouth open in a gasp. I broke the silence by pointing the young mans attire out to my wife. She broke out laughing and said she was thinking the same thing.

Ok, I'm evil and wicked for thinking that but come on, it was funny, right? Yes, I think racist jokes are funny. Black, Irish, Polish, doesn't matter. Some of them are damn funny.

Anyway, it is awesome that words can go back to being just words.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I wrote this in August of 2010.  It's self explanatory.



My name is Duke.  I’d like to take a minute and re-introduce myself.

See, I’m a HSHC puppy.  I was adopted from you guys (the Humane Society for Hamilton County) on
February 14, 2000.  I’m having a fantastic and wonderful life.  Since I've recently joined Face Book (with mom’s help) and found you, I thought I’d reconnect with the place and organization that has made everything I am, possible.

Growing up in Hamilton County has been great.  I helped mom and dad raise the kids, got them lots of exercise and occasionally told on them for coming home late.  We lived in a nice neighborhood and I got to go on walks often.  Mom and dad also got me a membership to Eagle Creek Dog Park. It was a long drive but it was great fun and I got to meet a bunch of new canine friends.  Although occasionally I had to bark at some of the people that were around.  The reason, everyone finally figured out goes back to when I was about 2-1/2.  During a visit from grandma and grandpa I had to bark at grandpa, several times.  Boy was mom and dad mad.  I didn't stop even when they told me too.  The third time I went barking crazy at grandpa, finally, mom and grandma figured out I was trying to tell them there was an issue.  See, grandpa is a diabetic and every time he had an insulin reaction, I could tell and was trying desperately to tell someone.

They all finally came to find out, all dogs can smell chemical changes in people and even the difference between two individuals.  See that’s how we can track you through the woods or track a rabbit though thick brush.  The profoundly sensitive and discrete sense of smell all canines have has been passed down form our wolf ancestors.  For survival, they had to learn to ‘smell’ the wounded or sick individuals in a heard of thousands.  The gift, mom found that I have, is the desire to tell someone when there is a change.

That was the beginning of mine and mom’s training. Over the past 9 or so years I have been training and certifying in blood evidence detection.  I have been to Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina and the Ames NASA Research facility near San Francisco California for specialized training.

I can find a single 10 year old tooth in a gravel parking lot.  I can find a single drop of blood on a red carpet that has been set on fire.  I have worked with the FBI, Indiana State Police and fire and police departments in Indianapolis, Shelbyville and Wabash among others.

I am certified with NASAR (National Association for Search and Rescue), IPWDA (International Police Working Dogs Association), LETS (Law Enforcement Training Specialists), IDHS (Indiana Department of Homeland Security), ICF (Institute for Canine Forensics) and NASA (North American Space Administration).  I have worked missing persons, cold cases, fire cases, and natural disasters like tornadoes and flash floods.

Although I imagine he doesn't remember I even go to meet Governor Daniels once.  That’s when I learned, when he was a young man, he had a dog name Duke too.  What an honor that was.

So… what am I getting at or trying to say here.  Just that as I approach my 11th birthday, (that’s over 77 in people years) I want you to know that some of the pups you adopt out, go on to do great things and that everyone that adopts a pup should know that they have a treasure and a friend for life and a life that will treasure their friendship.

I am proud to have had my start at the HSHC and hope that you are proud to have been my adoption agency.


Duke “Nuke’m” Randolph

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Gebhart Effect

The problem with posting great writing works on Facebook is that once it is past a little time, it falls off everyone's timeline and no one ever sees it again.  On a blog, writing is saved, searchable and out there for anyone to see, read and appreciate.

A friend of mine... (that's an odd statement, but that's a whole 'nother post) wrote this on FB.  I have stolen it and posted it here for posterity.  He is (i think) 29. Very wise for his young years. I hope you find it as inspirational as I.


So here it is as i see it in terms of the 2012 Rumble in the jungle election:

winning is winning no matter if its by an inch or a mile and it appear that Obama did just that. As a fan of facts and numbers and how the relate to life it is interesting to note that Obama carried 7 MILLION less votves than in 2008 while Romney carried nearly 2t million less than McCain. What that tells me is that Obama is no longer the immaculate black Jesus here to bring about a new Golden Age but rather that of the people who voted, more are of the persuasion that personal liberty (which i have heard some call selfishness) trumps any national issue. I can understand and respect that position. There are things that I will go all in for and sacrifice my personal beliefs for a singular goal and do so on regular occasion (every two years when I vote Republican as all others seem to have forgotten what a budget is). so i hold no ill will to those who thought they were casting a vote for a small measure of freedom. I am willing to die for freedom, so voting for it is a small matter.

What can we learn from the electorate? That it is not so white or so "rich" (250k is hardly walking around money in the grand scheme of things) or so conservative as we believe and far more gullible and willing to swallow any lie to make itself feel better about the dire straights it finds itself in than we give it credit for. We have flip flopper vs flip flopper. It just so happens that one's flip is more popular than the other's flop. The people who are willing to take an hour out of their day to perform the most sacred of civic duties are also the people who think that if an individual passionately and ravenously loves another person of the same sex and has a commitment to them as equal or more so than any heterosexual couple then they should be afforded the same rights, titles and privileges as those heterosexual couples. These are people who believe that if someone was taken here as a child by parents who were willing to become criminals to get to a place that is unlike ANY other country on earth then they should be given some path to citizenship (but no one said it should be easy, as it shouldn't...either immigrant or natural born) and that if you have been here and paying into the system and living or dying by it, you too should be offered the same chance. These voters said that while Obamacare isnt perfect, they believe that it is a better situation than what existed before and that some safety net, no matter how flawed and marred, was better than none. They said that these and so many other issues that effect the individual are more important than the financial well being and success of the nation. That they were willing to be taken down a few pegs in terms of military might and international leader ship in order to gain these freedoms.

How does modern Conservatism adapt to this? As i no longer identify as a Conservative but as an Independent i can only tell you the course i feel is most appropriate. Milton Friedman once wrote something to the effect that as much as he hated the Fed, we should talk about how to mitigate it instead of living in a fairy tale where it doesn't exist. Whether Conservatives think that people should be responsible for the actions or not, children are born out of wed lock. Men flee their duty to raise children as do women. There are incredibly lazy people who would rather live as leaches than to rise to greatness. Welfare and food stamps and medicare and medicaid and subsidies for the most foolish and wise ventures exist and instead of spending time talking about how it ought to be it is imperative to take action based on the realities of the world. For conservatism to survive it must accept the equality of all people to live their lives as they choose. It must realize that not all march to their religious and social drum beat and what is morally reprehensible to them isn't the same for others that would flock to their cause but for their unwillingness to become a socially conservative Christians. That equality and freedom are not something that you can inflict upon a person but are rather the natural state of humanity and the only thing that impedes upon that are governments and religion.

I look ahead to the future with a hopeful eye. Rand Paul in particular seems to be a shining light of what modern conservatism can be. As much as i speak about living in the world as it is, i often wonder what could have been and would be had that been. On election night i confided in a dear friend of the liberal persuasion that if Obama wasn't such a Socialist, id vote for him. That is true. What a man he would be had he fallen under the influence of Milton Friedman while at the University of Chicago. What would our world look like. A new JFK that balanced fiscal conservatism with a liberal society. Perhaps then he would be black Jesus.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

U S Airways

I find myself sitting on the floor next to a very busy restroom entrance at Minneapolis airport in order to charge my phones. (Yes, I have 2)
When does/will US airways get their collective heads out of their collective asses and install charging stations at their gates? Is it really that hard?
Delta did it...