Remember disabled veterans this Christmas

This Christmas season, let’s not forget those who have suffered to preserve our freedom.

You can send random gifts to wounded vets at this address:

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC. 20307-5001

Also, don’t forget the Diasbled Veterans of America, a great charity:

And don’t forget to volunteer. Our golf pro, Brad Clayton, is very active in donating his time to teach golf to disabled war veterans, and there are many things that you can do to make a hero’s holiday brighter . . . .

The best Toddler and kids toys

All toddlers like drum sets and it’s one of the best toddler toys around. The audio feedback is great for reinforcing kids motor skills.

Psychologists say that activity toys are the best for kids, and a fart machine brings hours of dignified play.

You cannot go wrong with any of the slime toys.

Everybody loves taxidermy, and this fellow sells the best cuddly, real stuffed animals.

Kids love to paint, and this paint spinner toy is guaranteed to be a best choice.

Silly string is always a best choice for kid’s gifts, and for the young lady, a kids make up kit is a great choice (make sure to get kids lipstick too).

There is nothing like watching your daughter morph herself into Alice cooper on Christmas morning.

Whatever you do, watch out for gifts that might be in bad taste.

My newest MBA!

Congrats go out to our son Andrew Sean Burleson on his acceptance into an AACSB accredited MBA! Andy has distinguished himself both academically and socially, and I’m proud to see that he has evolved into a fine young man. He likes golf too, a big plus!

Andy plays guitar in his own band, and has a part-time job, even though we pay all of his expenses.

Andy has all of the hallmarks of a successful businessman. He is honest, intelligent and compassionate, but he doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and he has the courage of his convictions.

Now, I’m not just saying this because Andy is my son, and he has inherited my studly good looks and intelligence. Mark my words, this boy is going places.

Andy skydiving with his sister Jen

As of now, Andy plans to start law school next fall and after completing his JD/MBA, he plans to open his own practice on the beltway as an IP attorney.

Andy doing underwater photography

Long term, Andy says that he is going to save his pennies and become an entrepreneur, with the long-term goal of retiring to become a gentleman scholar by age 40.

By golly, I’ll bet he makes it . . . .

A little pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving

Meet “Pumpkin Pie”

It’s always fun to have a new baby in the house during the holidays, and this year we got our latest baby, appropriately named for Thanksgiving as “Pumpkin Pie”.

Pumpkin is a 9-week-old Rottweiler puppy, and just like a human toddler, the house is cluttered with dog toys and pizzle chew toys:

Our Thanksgiving baby!

Pumpkin will live in the house with us for the next 10 week, during which she will learn basic obedience, Schutzhund training and most important, never to kill small animals. Our Yorkie Noel is especially excited to have a new playmate, and Pumpkin has already learned to “play gentle”, since she is only four pounds:

Baby Rotties must learn to be gentle

Properly raised, Rotties are very loving, and they love baby animals. They will even nurse kitties! The famous Rottweiler Carl could be trusted with even the youngest children.

The ultimate protection dog!

Pumpkin will soon join the outside pack where her job will be to protect and defend her “family”, which includes her horses and ponies, but they can even be trained to protect chickens and Guinea hens, while ignoring any non-aggressive wild critters like possums and squirrels!

When Pumpkin joins the dog pack, she will quickly learn which vermin are to be destroyed, in our case, foxes and raccoons. The raccoons are frequently rabid, and just yesterday Jen3’s Dad shot one who was foaming at the mouth. Raccoons are nasty, annoying critters, with no respect for dogs:

Raccoons are unkind to dogs

But make no mistake, Pumpkin will viscously attack any critter who threatens her family, and Rotties will draw and quarter any Raccoon who dares attack their poultry. They are usually disemboweled so thoroughly that the only evidence is a raccoon tail lying near the chicken house. They will also make short work of rats and other vermin:

Using Burl Walnut!

I love Walnut!

As a follow-up to my post on processing your own hardwood lumber, I finally harvested the old walnut tree!

To learn more, see my notes on Finishing your own lumber.

I guess I’m a tree hugger at heart, and I could not bear to kill a tree that managed to survive for more than 200 years. It was an almost-dead, ugly, scary ole tree, like the ones in the Tim Burton films and we’ve been waiting for years for this decrepit old tree to die of natural causes.

Well, the old Persimmon tree finally died, and it’s all mine!

200-300 year old log – Persimmon?

While I’m sad to see it die, I’m thrilled because we can finally open-up the fallow meadow. We could never use it because Walnut trees are highly toxic to horses.

The log weights over a ton (about 2,300 pounds) and it’s off to the sawmill for cutting. I chose to cut a 3 x 10 slab from the middle for a fireplace mantle or an impressive bar top, and I’m saving the other lumber for custom trim.

The best part is the stump, about another full ton of burl! I love burl wood, it’s beautiful and rich with amazing grain swirls, and I now have a huge chunk, enough for a massive hand-carved chair.

Once I get into it, I may decide to slice the burl into a half inch veneer, and use it as capstones on our Oak walls. There are many uses for burl wood:

I was surprised to see that the walnut was a cream color, not the natural chocolate brown that we see in the lumber stores. Walnut is aged (and sometimes steamed) to bring-out the natural dark coloration, and after cutting, I’ll be stacking the boards for aging and drying.

Our own pitch and putt?

This summer we vacationed at Oakhurst, the St. Andrews of the USA, America’s oldest golf club. Nestled in the hills of West Virginia, you must play in the true 1800’s style, hacking gutta percha balls with hickory sticks while sheep graze in the fairways:

Oakhurst is great fun, authentic in every detail, right down to the lemonade and ginger snaps in the 19th hole:

That’s our son Andy on the right. Andy is a senior now and hopes to be an MBA and attorney (as long as we pay for five more years of school!).

It’s interesting, Andy is almost as tall as I was at his age, plus it’s great that Andy has inherited my studly good looks.

Fescue Vs. Costal Bermuda

Now that the Walnut tree is gone, we can finally open-up the 15 acre meadow. Here it is, all plowed-up and ready to use:

Pitch & Putt or pasture?

Me, I want to make our own pitch and putt! Our 50+ horses are superb lawnmowers, just look at how tidy they keep the grass in their existing pastures:

Horse are the world’s best natural lawnmowers

Janet and I are honored to have an absolutely amazing instructor, PGA master professional Brad Clayton. Just last week Janet scored her first par-5 birdie, wailing the ball like Tiger himself. I think that Brad’s new book “No Silver Bullets” will be quite popular. If he can make us into good golfers, he can do it for anybody!

I want to turn the meadow into a dual use pasture and grazing and I advocate planting Costal Bermuda grass, which has a low yield but is perfect for fairways and greens. Janet, being more pragmatic, wants to plant fescue with a 4x higher grass yield, but fescue is not so great for greens and aprons, and it’s impossible to carve-out a decent putting surface on fescue.

Brad has hooked us on golf, and even though we have several superb gold links nearly, we have decided to build something just for us, even if it’s just a single par 3 practice hole. . . .

The "Shop Dropping" fad

The new College fad: “Dropping”

Some of my young charges have alerted me to a new College fad called “dropping”.

As I understand it, dropping is the opposite of shoplifting, and the goal is to smuggle goods into a retail store! It’s an honest alternative to the nasty game of extreme shoplifting:

Video on extreme shoplifting

I’m told that dropping requires all of the cunning of shoplifting, but without the stealing, but it sound a tad weird to me:

Shop Dropping for girls

Some sororities are now requiring a dropping initiation, and it works something like this:

1 – The pledge starts at a thrift store, seeking the most repulsive crack whore gown that she can find. They get extra points for blood and semen stains.

2 – The pledge smuggles the gown into a high-end clothing store with the goal of putting the groady gown onto the racks without being seen. They get extra points for dropping in a super high-end store like Gucci or Fendi.

3 – They get extra points for placing the gown on a mannequin, an act that requires a pack of sisters working together.

The payoff happens when a customer pulls the gown from the rack . . .

Shop Dropping for guys

For young men, dropping often involves smuggling a live chicken into the dressing room of a high-end clothier like Brooks Brothers:

1 – The guy buys a live chicken at the farmer’s market or Chinatown (on Delancy St.). If grown chickens are not available, baby chicks or bunny rabbits can be substituted. However, it’s not recommend to use both a chicken and a bunny:

2 – The chicken is smuggled into the store under a coat. (Any farmer knows that it’s easy to carry a live chicken. Chickens have a “darkness reflex”, and they become zombies in the dark, so that part is easier than it sounds). The larger the chicken, the more points . . .

3 – The chicken is dropped in a dressing room.

The payoff is watching a well-dressed clerk chasing the foul around the store.

Ah, those whacky college kids. . . .

Pizzles snacks for dogs

A pizzle by any other name . . .

I was looking at this jar of smokehouse dog treats (snack mix) and noted that the main ingredients were bull and steer “pizzles”:

Penis treats for dogs

WTF is a pizzle? The dictionary says that pizzle is the Olde English word for penis, and I guess pizzle sounds better than other euphemisms for penis. But with the strict truth in advertising laws, I would expect better disclosure, as I’m not sure that I want my dogs eating a penis.

Are pizzles just for animal food? No, evidently you can buy pizzles in the grocery store:

Delicous Pizzles?

Now, my Rottweiler’s have been chowing-down on penis’s for several weeks now, and I’m not sure that I’m comfortable with them developing a taste for clamping down on my manhood. The manufacturer should let people know that what they are really buying is not a “snack mix”, but a jug of dicks. I advocate a more obvious name. maybe:

– Dongs for dogs
– Jug O’ Wangs

Upon further research, I see that pizzles are used in many products. How about this golf putter, the pizzle putter:

The pizzle putter

I love their comments:

“Limited supply. The bulls don’t give these up without a fight.”

Parking rage: Dentist shoves woman

Check-out this shocking video, tempers flying over a parking space:

Violent confrontation over Parking Space

Man, I’m glad I don’t live in the city anymore. . .

The man is a dentist, a job which has one of the highest rates of depression and suicide of any profession.

Personally, I watched the tape, frame-by-frame, and it looks to me like the woman:

1 – Saw that he was a doctor (has money)
2 – Saw the reporter and camera filming
3 – Attacked the dentist and fell backwards suspicously

I’m not condoning what the dentists did, but people play to the cameras.

Tax law encourages murder & suicide in 2010

Congress and the Fed know that they can manipulate taxpayer behavior at-will by changing the tax laws.

But we should not let congress pass tax laws that cause people to die, as-is the case in 2010 when thousands of people will commit suicide or be sent to a premature grave.

Stop the killing now before it’s too late

It’s a long story, but in the year 2010 we see a “golden year” whereby all inheritance will be totally tax free:

2007 – 45% tax on inheritances over $2 million
2008 – 45% tax on inheritances over $2 million
2009 – 45% tax on inheritances over $3.5 million
2010 – NO Taxes!!!!
2011 – 45% tax on inheritances over $1 million

If you accept my argument that Congress controls human behavior, it’s clear that there will be thousands (if not tens of thousands) of people who will either be murdered or commit suicide to save the inheritance tax.

Personally, I find this tax offensive. Taxpayers already paid 40% tax on their money when they earned it, and the government should not re-tax the heirs.

For cheap old folks who want their inheritance to pass in-full tax free, 2010 is a great year to commit suicide. The article offers some suggestions for killing yourself early to avoid having your heirs pay millions in taxes:

“What we’re recommending is a high-quality hunting rifle. It’s dependable, easy to operate and almost certain to be completely undamaged by the incident, so that it can be passed on in mint condition to the heirs–who, of course, would pay absolutely no inheritance tax on it.”

I’m predicting that there will be a measurable spike in the premature deaths of people in December 2010, all directly attributed to these tax laws.

Stop the government-encouraged suicide

It’s not gone unnoticed that congress has given hundreds of thousands of people an incentive to save their heirs millions of dollars by killing themselves in 2010:

“In fact, many practitioners have suggested that in 2010, wealthy clients who are not physically well should consider chartering a plane to the Netherlands or some similar country that permits assisted suicide.”

If somebody was dying of a terminal disease and could screw Uncle Sam out of $20,000,000, I’m sure that they would consider checking-out a few months early. It’s beyond irresponsible to give people an incentive to die.

Murder rates will skyrocket in 2010

I believe that in the last quarter of 2010 we will see a measurable increase in murder, as heirs decide to bump-off Granny rather then loose millions of dollars to inheritance taxes.

While murder for inheritance is nothing new, there can be no doubt that a few people will kill their aging relatives in order to gain millions of dollars.

From Allposters:

So, what can we do? It’s simple, just construct a mortmain per stirpes to ensure that your death in 2010 will result in your fortune going to some ridiculous charity . . .

Sexism and racism in the IT computer profession

I must speak to a man!

Oracle guru Jon Emmons has noted a scary problem in the degradation of the quality of today’s computer professionals.

Once the bastion of professional computer scientists, today we see a horrid influx of open racism and hate speech, even on the web sites of the world’s top vendors.

“If there are any competent Asians, I failed to meet them.”

Asian or Arab origin people are incompetent. My point is proved by the fact that they have always been slaves and will remain in such conditions. The west has always dominated the east.”

The worst part is that this offensive content was not removed from the vendors web site, and Jon notes that it’s not a good idea to tolerate racism:

“More amazing to me is that Oracle doesn’t pursue and remove these posts. After all, for every person who will speak up against this racist crap there are ten who will just leave with a bad taste for the people who host the content.”

In my company I am also seeing sexism, especially from callers with very poor speaking skills.

Enter the Sexists!

Last week we had two calls from people who sounded extremely stupid, and they confirmed this when they refused to speak with Robin, our lead engineer, stating that it was degrading for them to speak to a woman!

Sexism runs rampant in the IT industry

Oh Brother! Robin is a retired Nuclear Engineer and served as the Chief of the North Carolina Radioactive Materials section, and she is one of the most intelligent people I know.

It is astonishing that some ignorant-sounding goofball would have the nerve to tell her that they are superior to her. It’s beyond offensive.

I work for a minority-owned corporation and I detest bigots of all kinds. We don’t want any business from sexist idiots.