Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Killer Shark Attacks Family In Living Room

No, the Oracle isn't turning into an on-line incarnation of the National Enquirer. The following video is real and unphuqued with. Be afraid! Be very afraid, because this could happen to you.

Holy fish poop! Fergit my upcoming birfday dinner of bone-in filet mignon at Flemings. I want a couple of these mutha-suckers. I ain't never got a fricken decent toy for my birfday in over sixty years. I wants one and I best be gittin' one o' them sombitches or I will hold my breath until I fart - and pitch a fit AND FART SOME MORE.

The Oracle apologizes for the preceding tantrum. As the Belle of Ballast Point has mentioned on numerous occasions, "Your editor is older than dirt and rational thought and behavior seem to be things of the past." 

At least we don't have to worry about him wandering out in the street butt-nekkid.

Aw, shit!

"JR, GET YOUR FLABBY ASS BACK IN THE HOUSE THIS MINUTE!" -  and put some clothes on, dammit. 

We don't get paid enough for this shit.

Product Review: The Slice-O-Matic

The SOG City Oracle is just pleased as punch to present its very first ever (and maybe last) Product Review.

Ever since I first saw the commercial for the Slice-O-Matic on TV I have been intrigued. After the sixth or seventh viewing of that commercial I screamed out, "I got to have me one of them there devices!" I ordered one on-line. Six months later I was still waiting for it. I finally called and was able to speak with someone who said the damn thing was on back order and my original order had been cancelled.

I ordered another one, dammit!

They (I received two) arrived a couple of weeks ago. Oh, be still my beating heart and get me to the kitchen post haste. I will toss out my sharp knives and that expensive mandolin because I now have a Slice-O-Matic.

The slicer with two julienne/dicing blades and a slicing blade.

The first thing I discovered after unpacking the slicer was the instruction booklet was a useless piece of crap. It gave nothing more than the basic instructions that were shown on TV. The booklet stated that I should go on-line to the Slice-O-Matic instruction web site for complete details. I did that.

What came up was the friggin' TV commercial.

I played with this frustrating contraption for awhile and was finally able to figure out how to use it. Here is what I came up with:

To slice, use this one blade - slide it in and lock it down.
To dice or julienne, release the side locks and take the unit apart.
Insert one of the julienne/dicing blades.
Lock this blade down with the two gray slide locks, one on each side.

Put the unit back together and dice or julienne away like those two idiots in the commercial.

Looking goofy is optional.

Nothing to it - right? Just plan your slicing, dicing, and julienne-ing in advance to keep from having to open up the unit to change functions.

Remember, to slice use just the top blade. To dice or julienne: use top blade and one internal blade. I should probably mention right here that unless you are working with an onion then dicing requires some pre-chopping.


To clean the unit, take it apart. Look at the underside of the top unit. Food particles lodge in many of the crevices. Once you have pried out the particles, then hand wash the unit.

The unit is not dishwasher safe.

After experiencing the Slice-O-Matic, which do I prefer, it or my trusty mandolin?

 Actually, neither one.

While the mandolin is easier to use than the Slice-O-Matic and can be washed in the dishwasher, I prefer my old standby devices.

I can slice, dice and julienne in a fraction of the time it takes to use either the Slice-O-Matic or the mandolin, and cleanup is a breeze.

The Slice-O-Matic is a gimmick device that in our kitchen proved to be more trouble than it is worth, and unless you are prohibited from using sharp objects I would suggest saving your money.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Republican Governors Refuse Federal Aid

Did that headline grab your attention? Well, it should; especially in light of the Republican mantra that government is evil.

From Politicususa, "Will debt-obsessed, we-have-a-spending-problem, and keep-the-federal-government-out-of-state-business conservative Republican governors, such as Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia, refuse the federal aid headed their way?"

Let me answer this question by asking another question, do pigs fly? 

I have never seen a flying pig and I doubt that I will see a Republican governor turn down federal disaster relief funds until a hurricane hits Florida. When another devastating storm hits the state, I would not be surprised to see pigs from the Panhandle to the Keys sprouting wings. 

The CEO who bought the state, Rick Scott (R - a prick with ears), has already turned down billions of federal dollars just so he could give Obama "the finger". It is frightening to think of what Scott would do in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Scott and his spin-meisters have been unusually quiet of late. I would like to hear before hand what we might expect if our worst fears come to fruition.

Right now I have no illusions that Scott would even know how to deal with a natural disaster much less the cleanup and rebuilding afterwards. We Floridians may be on our own.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Internet Sales Tax Debate

A topic that keeps popping up in the news and editorial commentaries is the unfair advantage the Internet stores have over the brick and mortar (B & M) stores. A recent piece in the local paper written by a B & M store owner whined that she was losing business because of this unfair advantage.

As a regular on-line shopper, I can't find fault with the assertion that many Internet stores do not collect sales tax. Of course, as a totally honest and above board shopper, whenever I buy something on-line that doesn't get assessed a sales tax, like all Florida shoppers I always report that purchase along with a check in the amount of sales tax to the Florida Department of Revenue as is required by law. Don't you?

The above mentioned B & M owner, in her newspaper rant, accused her fellow Floridians of being a bunch of low down, scum-sucking crooks (or words to that effect) for not abiding by state law and paying the required sales tax. For shame on those scofflaws! Many in our legislature agree with Ms. B & M that the state is inhabited by a bunch of crooks. This is somewhat akin to the pot calling the kettle black, though, but I certainly can't find fault with that assertion. Florida CEO Rick (with a P) Scott is a prime example.

Just for the sake of argument, let's assume that the collection of sales tax by the Internet stores becomes law. Does that level the playing field for the B & M-ers? Not necessarily, because most of the on-line stores add shipping and handling to the purchase. That could make on-line shopping more costly than shopping locally.

Notice I stated that it "could" be more costly, but consider this: Let's say that you are in the market for a new pair of blue jeans (I prefer Levi's - just plain Levi's), so you go to the mall at Britton Plaza as an example. There you will find two clothing stores. Do either of them carry just plain Levi's?


You then hop back into your vehicle and brave the traffic on the way to the West Shore Mall. The first store you wander into has jeans, but only the ones designed by Omar the Tent Maker that seem to be in vogue these days. The next stop is that $300 a pop designer store. If I plop down that much money for a pair of jeans there better be a BJ included in that price. Since that is not allowed by my bride, the Belle of Ballast Point, I would have continue on my jeans odyssey.

Your next stop might be at Jacque Pennaise's where you find a plethora of jeans that appear to have been rejected by Goodwill. I took a look at these garments, some of which were in worse shape than the ones I wanted to replace, and I muttered an obscenity. These jeans were faded, torn, and had questionable stains, but a hellacious price. I thought to myself, "Holy shit, I've got a small fortune hanging in my closet back home."

Speaking of "back home", that is where I ended my shopping expedition. I still was in need of some new jeans - and a cold beer. The latter I retrieved from the fridge, and the former I ordered on-line. With just a few clicks on the keyboard I found the exact pair of never-worn-before jeans that I had spent several frustrating hours trying to find earlier. The price was competitive, even with sales tax and shipping, and I had my new jeans within ten days. I didn't need instant jeans gratification.

Since that disastrous jeans jaunt I have looked locally for a cable to connect a laptop to a TV. I called four stores in the area. No luck! Five minutes on the Internet and I found and ordered the necessary cable. Over the last year I purchased a new FAX machine, heat pump air filters, concealed carry holster, MP3 player, and a portable Waterpik that I couldn't find locally.

These are some exasperating examples of trying to shop locally. Toss in grumpy sales people and high gas prices, and I think it becomes obvious why many people, like me, prefer to shop on-line. Forcing people to obey the law while increasing state revenue may come to fruition, but it won't necessarily drive customers into the brick and mortar stores.

Chew on that brick, and may it serve you well.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A George Bush Nightmare

No thanks to Mighty Moe of the blog Whatever Works for this nightmare inducing video:

It's as if King George the Bush died and went to Hell and after stewing in Hell's juices for awhile he was regurgitated with a new hairdo.

Mon Dieu, that's just what the country needs - a Bush clone in the White House.

Hasn't the country suffered enough?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bachmann Dazzles The Faithful

United States presidential candidate Michele Bachmann on the campaign trail dazzling the faithful with her political...uh, credentials:

Photographer unknown
Somebody's god will probably smite the Oracle for this, but as a former law professor once said, "Oh, well!"

The man in the picture seems to be enjoying the moment, though.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jon Stewart On Rick "The Crotch" Perry

Fans of The Daily Show are aware that we have entered the Black Hole of Late Summer. Jon Stewart is on a two week hiatus.

To help fill in this vast void, the Oracle is pleased to present a film clip featuring Stewart's spot-on impersonation of Texas Goobernator Rick Perry (R-the righteous Rick).

Warning! Perry's love for America is hot. A cold shower after viewing may be required.

And, God bless the Holy hay bale as Perry airs out his George Bush balls.

Gimme an Amen, y'all.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Lisa Casalino's CD Release Party (Update)

Last night at the Don Vicente de Ybor, the Belle of Ballast Point and I were thrilled to attend the celebration of the long awaited CD release from local jazz great Lisa Casalino. Lisa is a very talented and charming vocalist who has thrilled audiences around the Tampa Bay area and beyond for a number of years.

Lisa's CD release party featured a terrific live performance from Lisa and her superb quintet. Afterward, there was a CD signing and a meet and greet. The crowd was huge, but I did manage to get a few pictures.

I just discovered the following slide show on You Tube produced by Jim Webb of Webbworks (all previous photos by Jon R. of the Oracle) and consider that it is worth including in this article if for no other reason than it has a cut from Lisa's new CD for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Winner: Tar And Feather The Prick

Here are the results from the latest SOG City Oracle Reader Poll:

Florida tax dollars subsidize Rick Scott's heath care insurance. How does that make you feel?

There were four choices and respondents were allowed to make more than one choice.

I tingle at the thought - got no votes.
You are kidding? - got 8% of the votes.
Pisses me off - 58% of the voters were pissed off.
And, 100% of those responding chose - Tar and feather the prick!

Thanks to all who voted.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Glory Of War

As we prepare to enjoy another glorious weekend here in the land of the free and the home of the brave, my thoughts keep drifting to our service men and women who are still bogged down in the quagmire of the Bush wars.

I keep wondering, what do they think of us here at home with our faded ribbons and decals, and tattered flags? Do they feel abandoned?

Here is a beautiful song about days gone by reminding us of the glory of war:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Casalino's CD Release - Finally!

Tampa jazz stylist Lisa Casalino is having a CD release party this Sunday, August 21 from 6:00pm - 9:00pm at the Don Vicente De Ybor, 1915 Republica de Cuba · Ybor City.

The Oracle has enjoyed Lisa's performances on many occasions at Love's Artifacts Bar and Grill in SOG City. We have waited impatiently for her promised CD. It appears to have finally arrived. We are ecstatic! It should be some good stuff.

The Belle of Ballast Point, Lisa, and some old guy at Love's

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tighter Restrictions On Cubans

It should come as no surprise that another Republican, Florida House Representative David Rivera, has weighed in with yet another proposal to make a hard life even harder for members of his community - the Cuban community.

According to a recent Associated Press article, Rivera says that, "Cubans who travel home to see their families should not qualify for the Cuban Adjustment Act." This act was created to provide political asylum.

I just look at this as "old news" generated by another one of the hardliners who cannot accept the fact that the half century old Cuban embargo has not worked, is not working, and was doomed to failure from the beginning. What did garner my attention was the Rivera statement that many Cubans who arrive in the United States travel home to not only visit family, but for tourism and even for medical procedures.

Medical procedures? How can this even be possible; leaving a country with supposedly the best health care system in the world to seek treatment in a third world country? Wikipedia has reported, "Like the rest of the Cuban economy, numerous reports have shown that Cuban medical care has long suffered from severe material shortages caused by the US embargo. The ending of Soviet subsidies in the early 1990s has also affected it."

And yet, "Cuba has been serving health tourists from around the world for more than 20 years. The country operates a special division of hospitals specifically for the treatment of foreigners and diplomats. Foreign patients travel to Cuba for a wide range of treatments including eye-surgery, neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinsons disease, cosmetic surgery, addictions treatment, retinitis pigmentosa and orthopaedics. Most patients are from Latin America, Europe and Canada, and a growing number of Americans also are coming."

A few of the reasons that people travel to Cuba for health care is that, unlike the United States, it is affordable, there is an abundance of doctors, and even with a shortage of medical equipment and supplies caused by the embargo, the Cuban health care system has been lauded for its high quality. Truth be told, that high quality is often denied to the Cuban citizens, even though their health care services are free.

It is encouraging to note that some of the "health tourist" dollars are in turn transferred to health care for ordinary Cubans. Hard currency payments by foreigners have financed the construction of new hospital facilities; anecdotal evidence suggests that this pattern is common in Cuban hospitals.

None of this is meant to suggest that Cuban health care is perfect. There are still serious problems that need to be addressed, but is the continued embargo going to enable the Cuban people to address these issues? If tourist dollars are already helping the Cuban people, would it not make sense for this country to end a losing policy?

The answer is a resounding, YES! Will we end the embargo? Not with people like Rivera holding public office.

Benefit For Boys And Girls Clubs Of Tampa Bay

Your vote benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay.

Click HERE for details.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lovers Of Poetry: Let's Help A Fellow Blogger

One of the blogs that the Oracle follows is Castles Made Of Sand by Keair Snyder. Keair is the hardworking and talented young author of a book also entitled Castles Made Of Sand - available on

Keair is contemplating next publishing a book of poetry and is seeking the advice of poetry lovers the world over. Keair has catagorized her poems but is stressing a bit as to how to arrange them for a book.

Wrote Keair, "...for those of you who are into poetry, do you prefer a book of poems that all have one running theme or do you like it better when you're not sure what subject will appear in rhyme next? Do you think the best poetry books are short or longer? Does any of this even matter to you or do you only look at the quality of poems?"

Instead of bemoaning the nightmarish thought of Rick (with a P) Perry, R-Texas Taliban, coming to Florida - for anything, I thought it would be a great change of pace to give this young writer a helping hand. For Oracle readers who are poetry aficianados, how would you respond to Keair's concerns about a book of poetry?

You may post your comments below and I will forward them to Keair, or you may respond on her web site listed at the top of this article. Let's help her out. It's hard enough just to get anything published. Your support would put a big "Happy Face" on her day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Do Nothing For Two Minutes

So, how are you doing today? Stressed about work, overloaded with politics, worried sick about your sinking 401(K)? Maybe it is time for a break.

Here is a stress reliever that is free and may be repeated as many times as you like, especially while at work:

Click HERE for a two minute mental health break.

Advise your boss that if your break is interrupted you will have to start all over again. And again. And again.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mistress Bachmann The Submissive

John Lambert's recent article on America's Voice entitled, Women Should Be Submissive, brought to my mind an old John Lennon song. I should first mention that Mr. Lambert was weighing in on Michele Bachmann's lame-brained and totally erroneous definition of "submissive."

Wrote Mr. Lambert about Bachmann, "...after the hard work by many women, that a person who is in Congress and wants to be President, would utter something so ridiculous is beyond [belief] to me."

I agree that there have been positive strides taken for women's rights, but there are some - no dammit, I mean there are the Tea Bagger Republicans who want strip women of their hard earned rights and they should be ashamed of themselves.

Is this really what they envision for women?

I am happy that my relationship with my female partner is a lot like this...

Beside which, like John and his bride Pat, if I suggested to the Belle of Ballast Point that she should bow down before me, the air would turn blue around the homestead. My bride knew only two cuss words, hell and damn, when we first met at GTE. Over the last thirty or so years she has managed to learn all of the ones I picked up in the Army, the phone company, and then some.

I can't decide if I was a good instructor or a bad influence but, bless her heart, she knows how to use them when the occasion arises.

I tremble at the thought!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Mandatory Health Care Provision

I read in the paper this morning that Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is sporting a super-sized woodie over the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to strike down a major provision in the 2010 health care law. The Atlanta court ruled that Congress over-stepped its authority by requiring most all Americans to buy health care insurance.

Well, let me say this about that. I resent having to subsidize those who are too lazy or cheap to buy insurance and who use the hospital emergency room as their own personal free clinic. I resent being forced to buy health insurance - as I am doing right now. And, I am talking to you Pam Bondi, and that prick with ears who bought Florida. I resent having to subsidize your health care insurance.

If Bondi is so dead set against this mandatory health care provision then why the hell isn't she fighting against mandatory tax payer subsidized health care for herself, Scott, and other high ranking Florida government officials? Don't bother answering. The reason is typical Republican hypocrisy. Remember, this is the party of "I've got mine, so f**k you."

Since it is such a bad idea, the mandatory health care rule needs to be removed and replaced with an opt-out provision that states, emphatically, that the person opting out understands that if they get sick or are injured they have three choices: show up for treatment with a big, scratch that, a huge wad of cash; proof of insurance; or just shut up and suffer in silence.

To Bondi and Scott, "Please, kiss my ass!"

Exposé On Colbert's Super PAC

In this exposé the Oracle reveals the name of one of the contributors to Colbert's Super PAC:

Then, where the money went:

The Oracle is proud to endorse Rick Parry. That's Parry with an A. The one with an E is a dork.

Happy weekend, y'all.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Peachy Plan: Impeach Obama

Impeaching President Barack Obama “needs to happen,” Rep. Michael Burgess (R- Texas Douchebag) told a local tea party group recently. The premise posited by Burgess is that impeachment proceedings would slow down the Obama agenda.

Slow it down? You mean more than the GOP obstructionists have already done?

One of the bottom feeders of the legal profession, Bruce Fein, has drafted the articles for Obama's impeachment that have been gaining the attention of some of the Constitutionally clueless Republican members of Congress. Fein, if you recall, was the small-government conservative who worked on the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and also called for the impeachment of President George the Dubya and the Darth Vader of the beltway, Lord Cheney the Dick.

According to Fein's draft, Obama is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors by violating the war powers act and having the effrontery to be a Kenyan born Muslim, America hating, socialist negro living in the Lily White House.

I may have embellished a bit on the draft articles, but the main point is that Obama declared war on Libya without first getting Congressional approval as defined in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. What is not mentioned is that according to Article II, Section 2 the President is the Commander in Chief of the Army, Navy, and presumably, the Marines and Air Force.

It could be argued that Obama, after consulting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has the right to command the troops, short of declaring war. It could be argued that involving U.S. forces in Libya in support of  the U.N. Security Council resolution constitutes a humanitarian mission.

My point in all of this impeachment mierda del toro is that this is just one more way of "getting" Obama.

Speaking of impeachment on the grounds of high crimes and misdemeanors: maybe these impeachment bozos should read a little farther down in Article I, Section 8 where one of the Congressional duties is "To promote the progress of Science and the Arts."

I sure as hell haven't seen any of that emanating from the Tea Bagger controlled Republican party. Is that an impeachable offense? Who cares! One frivolous legal action brought on Capital Hill is as good as the next.

Let me leave you with a few parting thoughts:

Bruce Fein can take his articles of impeachment and shove them up his ass. To my knowledge, he has no standing in this matter. It is up to the House Judiciary Committee to decide whether to proceed with an impeachment:

First, there is an inquiry, then a resolution stating whether impeachment is called for or not. If impeachment is called for, the full House debates the issues. If any of the articles are approved, the President will be impeached.

Now Obama is toast. Right? Not so fast. The trial comes next, and that is conducted by the Senate.

A two thirds guilty vote by the Senate will result in a conviction. The Senate will then vote on whether to remove the President from office, spank his bottom, or just give him the Congressional stink-eye. And, for the record, no American President has ever been forced from office due to impeachment. In fact, only four times in our history, has Congress held serious discussions of impeachment:

Andrew Johnson was actually impeached when Congress got their tighty-whities in a wad over the way he was dealing with some post-Civil War matters, but Johnson was acquitted in the Senate by one vote and remained in office.

Congress introduced a resolution to impeach John Tyler over state's rights issues, but the resolution failed.

Congress was debating his impeachment over the Watergate break-in when President Richard Nixon resigned.

Bill Clinton was impeached by the House on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in relationship to his stress relief activities in the oval office. Clinton was eventually acquitted by the Senate.

Texas douchebag Burgess is more than right, though. This sort of legal action will bring the wheels of government to a screeching halt. And, our tax dollars are paying these bastards to do this. To paraphrase an old saying, "If these damn Republicans would work as hard for the betterment of America as they do trying to fuck over Obama, this country would be in much better shape."

So, impeach that, y'all.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

$400 A Year Health Insurance? Sign Me Up!

Oh, wait. I don't qualify for this health care plan that I am helping to pay for because I am not a multi-million dollar crook. I did not use my fortune to buy the state of Florida. I am not Rick Scott (R - I've got mine so f--k you).

Ain't it grand? This sleaze bag wants to derail the federal health care overhaul for no other reason than to "stick it" to President Obama. At the same time, though, Scott " paying less than $400 a year for health insurance for himself and his wife [...] the multimillionaire and former hospital chain executive chose to enroll in the taxpayer-subsidized health insurance plan (my emphasis) offered by the state." (From St. Petersburg Times, August 11, 2011)

How's that for a disgusting display of Republican hypocrisy? Scott "chose" to enroll in an affordable health care plan that he would deny to everyone else. For this, and many other reasons, Scott should be made to stand on the steps of the state capital and be publicly castrated. Or is that castigated? I forget, but whatever works to get his attention.

Since there are around 32,000 state workers who qualify for this group health care plan, I have to wonder why it can't be extended to all Floridians. If several million Floridians chose to participate in this group plan, wouldn't that keep costs down while still generating increased revenue for the insurance carrier?

Well, wouldn't it?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Investing During Trying Times

My bride, who is a belle fontaine (Fr. beautiful fountain) of knowledge, sent me the following investment plan:

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, you would have $49.00 today. If you purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG, you would have $33.00. If you purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers, you would have $0.00 today. 

But, if you purchased $1,000 worth of beer, drank all the beer, turned in the aluminum cans for recycling, you would have $214.00. Therefore the best current investment plan is to drink heavily & recycle. It is called the 401-Keg Plan.

I had seen this "plan" several years ago and thought, "Ha, ha, that's cute." Now with the Tea Bagger Republican agenda to destroy the American economy achieving some degree of success, this Keg Plan doesn't seem as humorous. It actually appears to have a great deal of merit. I will have to run it by my broker to see what he thinks.

But first, a brewski!

Tchin, tchin (Fr. drinking toast) y'all.

Food: A Texas Roadhouse Amongst The Corn And Beans

My lovely bride, the Belle of Ballast Point, who is also the custodian of, shall we say, the key to my marital bliss, mentioned that it would be in my best interests to accompany her this past week on a trip to her place of birth in Ohio for a family picnic reunion.

Before embarking on this journey I visited Urbanspoon to see what dining options were available in this hamlet of Limanites. Alas, my taste buds threatened mutiny when they discovered that the number one dining experience in Lima was the local burger doodle. For seafood, Captain D's was the winner.

Oh well, said I, a few pounds will probably be shed on this trip. But, holdeth thy horses! Near the hotel I spied a sign with an arrow pointing to the Texas Roadhouse. Texas inspires thoughts of beef and roadhouse inspires thoughts of a Patrick Swayze ass-whooping. I decided to give it a try, hoping for more of the former than the latter.

Texas Roadhouse on Urbanspoon
Texas Roadhouse on Urbanspoon
The Texas Roadhouse has a rustic western look with peanut shells scattered about the floor. The menu, on the other hand, brought on a massive drool as I spied choices for steak after steak, plus prime rib. My taste buds awaken from their slumber.

On my first visit to the Texas Roadhouse I chose the 20 oz. Bone-in Ribeye. This steak was seasoned and cooked to mouth-watering perfection. It was tender and juicy from the first bite to the last. This was almost worth the trip to this alien land way north of SOG City.

On a subsequent visit to the Roadhouse I ordered the 16 oz. prime rib. Again, prime beef perfection. My fellow diners raved about the Dallas Filet, the New York Strip, and the Ft. Worth Ribeye (no bone).

The steak dinners come with two sides and warm rolls appear as soon as you are seated. The margaritas are decent and there is an very adequate selection of beers, both bottled and draft.

But wait! There is more. You don't have to go all the way to the land of the Limas to enjoy the offerings at the Texas Roadhouse. I was pleased to discover that there is one much closer to home in Wesley Chapel. Even if this location was only half as good as the one up in the big O, then it would still be worth a drive to the pasture lands north of Tampa.

Besides, you didn't want to go all the way to Lima anyway, did you?

Bon appétit, y'all.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

While Obama Fiddles, The Country Burns

I was flying home from Ohio yesterday when Obama gave his awe inspiring speech to the nation. I saw the re-run. What a piss-poor-performance!

To paraphrase, "The stock market goes up and the stock market goes down." Well, no shit Sherlock! And, that is supposed to calm the fears that my life savings and retirement may be headed for the drain?

What we are enjoying now isn't a simple market adjustment with stocks going down a bit. The market went down in flames. This is a crash and burn scenario.

I'd like to see a plan emanating from the oval office on how to dowse the flames and repair the damage done by this so-called debt crisis. Or is Obama just fiddling with himself while the country burns?

That's a rhetorical question. There is no need to reply.

The Afghan War Revisited

The loss of thirty more of our warriors in the hell-hole of a country that is Afghanistan reminded me of Lord Tennyson's poem The Charge of the Light Brigade:

"Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred..."

Two hundred forty seven out of six hundred thirty seven British cavalrymen died in this suicidal charge. I can't help but wonder how many more of our brave men and women will be sent to the slaughter in Afghanistan. And, for what?

Karsai's government and security forces seem more than slightly apathetic about protecting their country and countrymen from the Taliban. Karsai and company appear more than happy to let Americans spill their blood. I have stated before that this is an unwinnable war. Many have tried and many have died trying to conquer this inhospitable pile of rocks.

Some time ago I wrote an opinion piece for the Oracle suggesting that America's involvement in Afghanistan was a history lesson ignored by this country. The thrust of that article was that throughout history, invaders of Afghanistan have been getting their asses kicked (Alexander the Great and the British) or their asses kicked and their country forced into bankruptcy and flushed down the toilet (Soviet Union).

For the last ten years it has been the turn of the United States of Arrogance to give it a go. So, how's this war thing workin' out? It would appear that the Afghans are pretty much doing to us what they did to the Soviets. Of course, we are way smarter than those damned Commies. We would never allow the Afghans to chip away at our troops for years and years while we drain billions of dollars from an economy that is already a disaster. No, we are way too smart for that.

Can this country learn nothing from history? Certainly not everyone is as delusional or obtuse as Palin, Bachmann, and their fellow Tea Baggers? Of course, ending this war and bringing home the troops would cut into the profits of the mega-corporations that are already raping the country, and who feel that the loss of many thousands of American lives is the acceptable cost of doing business.

Bin Laden is dead!

It is past time for Obama and Congress to end this obscene war and bring our troops home - TODAY!

"When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!"

Honor our fallen by bringing the rest of our troops home.

A final thought.

About Bachmann pictured on the cover of Newsweek:

I think she looks kinda awestruck in a maniacal sort of way. It's as if God just spoke to President of the United States Bachmann and said that it is just hunky-dory to press that little red button unleashing a nuclear holocaust on the world ridding it of the nonbelievers.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

They're Number One In Lima

The Oracle is going to take a break for a few days. The Belle of Ballast Point is insistent that I accompany her on a trip to Lima, Ohio, a hamlet that I believe is quite possibly the gastronomic armpit of America.

I was curious about the local dining establishments, so I looked to Urbanspoon for answers. Here are Lima's top five eateries:
  1. Kewpee Hamburgers
  2. Thai Jasmine
  3. Bangkok Bay
  4. Kewpee Hamburgers
  5. Fat Jack's Pizza
This has got to be payback for some horrible transgression on my part in a former life. Kewpee burgers? The local burger doodle is the best that Lima has to offer? I am doomed!

I hope to be back on Monday.

Bon appétit, y'all!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happy Freakin' Birthday Mister President

I just received this invitation via email. After Obama's piss poor performance in the debt ceiling debacle my first thought was to tell these people to do to themselves what Obama did to his fellow countrymen. I am really feeling like I just got fucked and didn't get a kiss after.

Maybe the timing of this email is a little too soon after Obama's cave in, but I don't feel particularly supportive at this moment. I don't think I have any alternative but to vote for Obama in 2012. Right now though I would like that kiss.

And, personally I could give a shit less what kind of birthday he has, not after that "gift" he gave to middle class America.

There maybe some who are not feeling as cranky as I am and may want to attend this function, so here is your RSVP:

Friend --

Tomorrow -- Wednesday, August 3rd -- volunteers will gather at campaign house meetings across the country to continue laying the groundwork for the 2012 campaign.

This kind of organizing work matters more than ever. Now that President Obama has reached a compromise with congressional leaders to meet our financial obligations and reduce our debt, it's up to us to get the word out about how important this agreement is and why it's crucial to have a leader like President Obama in office.

Tomorrow, volunteers will talk about how to build this campaign at the local level -- can you attend the meeting in Tampa?

Here are the details:

What: House meeting

Where: 2310 N Blvd
Tampa, FL 33602

When: Wednesday, August 3rd
6:00 pm

RSVP now

At this week's house meetings, we'll discuss the best way to keep bringing new folks into the political process in our own communities and neighborhoods. It's important that folks hear about the President's accomplishments from their own friends and neighbors -- from forging this new bipartisan debt compromise to reforming Wall Street, repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and passing the historic Affordable Care Act.

Wednesday also happens to be the day before the President's 50th birthday -- and our work to build this campaign through this kind of solid grassroots organizing is the sort of gift he'll appreciate most.

It's Over & America Loses

From U.S. News & World Report POLITICS:

To say I am disappointed in Obama would be a gross understatement. I feel as though I have been sold out and have been left with no recourse.

I can't scream that I won't vote for him in 2012. That would be ludicrous. There is no way I could vote for a Republican.

With a Republican president right now our country would be farther along on its way to being ruled by a single party system, a totalitarian government, with the likes of the Koch brothers pulling the strings (like now, but worse).

America took a beating on this clusterfuck, but the Tea Baggers and their Republican scrotum suckers need to pause and reflect before the celebratory champagne starts flowing. They need to ask themselves what they have accomplished that benefits the country?

In a word, NOTHING, except making us look like a bunch of backwoods hillbillies in the eyes of the world.

To paraphrase a line from a movie, "I've seen monkey shit fights at the zoo that were more productive than anything coming from Washington."

Is this country going to allow itself to be controlled by a minority group of Tea Bagger psychopathic morons? Right now it appears so.

Food: Oktopodi In Tarpon Springs

Ever since our trip to Greece a few years back, I have acquired a taste - nay, a craving - for octopus from time to time. It was time this past Sunday.

After our hike for physical fitness, the Belle of Ballast Point and I headed for Tarpon Springs, the renowned Greek enclave here in Florida. Our target was Paul's Shrimp House since we hadn't been there recently. Actually, only once since they moved from their original location. No reason, just lazy, I guess.

I remember Paul's shrimp as being some of the best steamed shrimp in shells that I have ever had. I am ecstatic to report that it still is - perfectly prepared and swimming in a delightful lemon butter sauce. Two tubs of cocktail sauce were served with the shrimp, but the shrimp neither needed nor benefited from that sauce. Save it for the tourists!

The moment of orgasmic gastronomy arrived when our somewhat dour server presented the LARGE platter of broiled oktopodi. The octopus was tender and tasty in the lemon infused olive oil. This was a huge serving - one of the reasons I chose Paul's. Other establishments in Tarpon Springs have great octopus, but the servings are usually rather small.

The only thing that would have made the octopus awesome would have been a little crunch that you get with grilling.

My bride, who is not an aficianado of seafood, had the Greek salad which was very pleasing to her discerning palate and dainty taste buds. This was not THE Greek salad, horiatiki, but the one with potato salad.

Following our trip to Paul's, I felt just a little guilty after stumbling upon this video:

Notice I said "just a little guilty." I still love octopus!

Paul's Shrimp House on Urbanspoon  Our meal with three beers came to just under $39.00. Good food, cold beer, and reasonable prices.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Oracle Reports: Edjukashun In America

Our skools are pooping out students who are so illiterate they couldn't spell "dumbass" even if they were looking at one in the mirror. Now, the brilliant minds in Washington have come together to forge a deal on the debt ceiling that includes massive cuts to edjukashun over the next ten years. Cuts to education (yes, that is the correct spelling), you gasp?

Can this country really afford to cut education funding and remain a world leader?

The United States was once the world leader in secondary education, according to the rankings of an international organization. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development places the United States 18th among the 36 industrialized nations examined. We are now ranked as merely average.

What are we going to be like in ten years?