by Ron Rowe
Now that sunny days are here again in Ojai, it proves once again sunshine always follows the rain, one can forget winter. Coleridge wrote (1825), "All nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair - The bees are stirring - birds are on the wing - And Winter, slumbering in the open air, Wears on his smiling face a dream of spring !” William Morris wrote the following. "Late February days; and now, at last, Might you have thought that Winter's woe was past; So fair the sky was and so soft the air ."
One thing I didn't receive as a Christmas present.... an umbrella pot. It's a round pot; at the base sits a small lip with a potted plant. The plant feeds off the excess water left behind by the umbrella; the more it rains the more the plant grows. If interested check with, www.kyouei-ltd.co.jp/
Now for some bad news. I am becoming increasingly worried about our country, yes, I'm disappointed with Pres. Obama. With the failure of seven more banks, the number of bank seized by the FDIC last year reached 106. Despite leading their companies into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, 95 percent of senior officers and directors of the top 17 recipients of the federal finance bailouts are still in their posts.
Our National Debt is 13 trillion. We have borrowed over $1 trillion from China to wage war in Afghanistan and Iraq. We are now told we must borrow more money to prevent Yemen from becoming a terrorist stronghold. The Iraqi blunder cost us 3 trillion and counting, with over 4,050 Americans killed and 30,000 wounded, plus the untold millions of Iraqis killed. We have spent $23 billion on contract workers since 2002 and now we are repeating the same stupid tactics in Afghanistan.
Iraq has a massive budget surplus, but it is spending less than 1 percent to maintain and rebuild their infra- structure, according to The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA). They claim Iraq has built an $80 billion surplus since 2005. The war in Afghanistan has cost $243 billion since 2001, and rising... and will cost $1 billion more for every additional U.S. soldier.
As we waste away billions of dollars on senseless wars, other countries are remodeling their infrastructure. Japan has modern airports and the world's fastest, safest bullet train. China also has efficient modern airports and they have just contracted with the U.S. firm, ESo- lar (of Pasadena) to build a 92-megawatt solar power plant. Bill Gross, ESolar chairman said China will build solar power plants which would generate over 2000 megawatts of electricity, equivalent to a large nuclear plant. Gross claims China is moving very fast, much faster than the U.S. in Solar technology toward a renewable energy goal.
China is now also the world's largest auto market ending the United States reign. Its 2009 sales jumped to over 46 percent, while U.S. auto sales fell 21 percent, our lowest since 1982. China is now becoming the center stage for development of the 21st century global auto industry.
Meanwhile, many of our states are broke and they are cutting back on education, health, etc. Many members of our government are paid off by lobbyists for drug, and bank business. When will the people cry out enough? It will be too late soon; Bin laden will soon achieve his goal of America spending itself bankrupt, fighting impossible-to-win-wars. People will always unite to fight an invader, maybe I'm being too pessimistic, any other thoughtful comments?
Just read that Goldman Sachs' profit in the fourth quarter was $4.8 billion, $16.2 billion went to salaries and bonuses, and J.P. Morgan profits rose to $3.3 billion; it makes you think. Compared to Europeans, Americans spend more time in the bathroom each year than on vacation. Italians spend 42 days a year, on vacation, Germans 35 days, the French 37 days and Americans just 13 days a year, according to the Family and Work Institute (FWI).
On a lighter side, lawyers don't always win their cases; a New York lawyer failed in his attempt to deduct $350,000 he spent on prostitutes, pornography and sex toys. William Hulbert, age 77, told a federal judge he used sex therapy to battle his depression and erectile dysfunction and his deductions were legitimate medical deductions. The judge disagreed, saying New York does not recognize prostitutes as a medical necessity, plus it's a violation of penal code.... Guilty, pay up.
Lawyer Halby and inmate Scott Gomez, who injured himself breaking out of a Colorado prison, is suing the state on the grounds that the guards should have done more to stop him from escaping. He fell 40 feet while trying to scale a 40 foot wall. Texan Leroy Greer is suing a 1-800 flower service for $2 million. He claims he sent roses to his mistress and asked to keep the transaction secret. Alas, shortly after the transaction, a Thank you for your business note arrived at his house. His wife saw it and is now suing him for divorce, demanding an extra $400,000 based on the evidence of her husbands adultery.
If you are married and live in France, don’t insult each other. A new law prohibits married couples from psychological violence, which is insulting each other. The law will result in jailtime for offenders, plus fines. Police say it will be difficult to enforce. Good news for users of Viagra; inventor Pep Torres of Spain has created bedsheets with pre-infused Viagra in the fabric. Pep, claims his Viagra laced bedsheets allow the drug to seep into a man's pores leaving him and her unable to concentrate on anything except, well you know what. I doubt if Rains will carry them..... I know that true love can last forever, but there are limits.
A 55-year-old Vietnamese man truly loved his wife. When she died he was grief stricken with his loss. He spent two years sleeping on her grave, but when the rain and cold affected his health he gave up. He dug up his wife up and used clay to restore some of her womanly form, he then took her home to his bed. He admitted that he was a person who does things differently.
And in Venezuela , a man, Carlos Camejo woke up screaming during his autopsy. Paramedics thought he was dead when he was in a car accident and they took him to the morgue. Carlos said the pain of the autopsy woke him up. If you drink wine and have no place to store it, don’t despair; buy a self-contained, walk-in wine vault. It has stainless steel walls and doors, a touch screen console, label, scanner, inventory software, plus being temperature controlled, holds and catalogs over 1,000 bottles of wine. If interested check www.monogram.com Oh the cost, $25,000.
Sancerre is one of the world’s greatest Sauvignon Blanc Wines; the mere mention of its name evokes a world of beautiful, luscious white wine. Three of the top rated superb wines are: Lucian Croches Sancerre, 2007, at $22 it’s a steal, great depth and texture. Jean Paul Picard Sancerre, 2007, cost $22, crisp clean complex. Domain Vacheron Sancerre, 2007, wonderful floral citrus and mint flavors, only $32.
Time to be away and to contemplate life’s mysteries over a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Peace to all living beings on earth.
Your comments are welcome,