Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Once again, sharing a little Christmas Cheer!

Merry Christmas to you and yours, from all of us on the "Banana Winds!"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Hottest Woman Ever???

The news media were all in a tizzy last week with the announcement that “Men’s Health” magazine has declared Jennifer Anniston to be “The Sexiest Woman Ever!”


As usual, it was much ado about nothing.

First of all, "Men’s Health" named Anniston “The Hottest Woman Ever”. That’s not the same as “sexiest”.

Furthermore, Men’s Health magazine made this declaration based on a survey of its subscription base – a total of 30,000 25-35 year old (mostly) Singaporean males. In fact, the mag is called the “lifestyle guide” for Singaporean males!

So who do 25-35 year old Singaporean males like most?
#1 – Jennifer Anniston
#2 – Rachel Welch
#3 – Marilyn Monroe
#4 – Britney Spears
#5 – Madonna

For the full list, go here.

I can’t say that I agree with the survey. I mean, Madonna? Hot? Not!

Bettie Page #7? Seriously?

For those who don’t know who Bettie Page is, she was a famous 1950’s pin-up and fetish model.

I was disappointed to see that the gorgeous Halle Berry only ranked #35, and I chuckled when I saw burlesque star Lili St. Cyr listed at #83.

Remember the line from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”?

“…God bless Lili St. Cyr…”

And how did the beautiful Mila Kunis end up at #96?

I was also disappointed by who was left off the list – beauties like Marlene Dietrich, Katherine Hepburn, and Ingrid Bergman.

Here’s the problem with surveys like this. When it comes to actresses, how one sees them is always affected by the role they play. Truth is, I have fallen in love hundreds of times with actresses in films and on television – everyone from Farrah Fawcett to Zooey Deschanel. Who didn’t momentarily lust after Catherine Bach in her “Daisy Dukes”, or Catherine Zeta-Jones in “Chicago”?

Now THAT is HOT!

Sometimes “hotness” is related to a particular situation – like the waitress who brings me beer and wings at Hooters.

Or the girl on the other side of the beer mug!

Sometimes "hotness" is determined by clothing... or a group thing... or both.

And sometimes “hotness” is fleeting. Does anyone else think the girl on “How I Met Your Mother” is hot?

No, not Robyn. Lily.

No, I haven’t seen “American Pie”. Why do you ask?

And i'm guessing - despite the magazine's argument that "funny is sexy" - Jennifer Anniston topped the list because of her latest role in "Horrible Bosses", in which she gives us this lasting image:

So why do magazines like “Men’s Health” publish headlines like “Hottest Woman Ever”?

For the same reasons the news media cover it, and the same reasons I’m blogging about it now. It sells magazines, and it gives us a legitimate opportunity to run photos of hot, sexy women!

Hey, I’m just commenting on current events!

So, who is my pick as the #1 “Hottest Woman Ever”?

Without hesitation, my pick is Lauren Bacall, who at 19-years-old co-starred with Humphrey Bogart in “To Have and Have Not”, and later in “Key Largo”. She never disrobed for a movie, but her sultry looks and deep, husky voice make her my pick for “The Hottest Woman Ever.”


Monday, December 12, 2011

I Finally Did It!

Yep, I bought a Jeep!

Back in march of 2009, I wrote here that I was planning to buy a Jeep when my 2000 Ford Ranger turned 10. No real reason; it just seemed right.

At the time, I was living in Memphis just a couple blocks from a Jeep dealership, and I drove past it a couple times every day, coveting the iconic vehicles parked there.

But suddenly, the car lot was gone. Like so many businesses in that once-thriving neighborhood, the dealership closed up shop on Mt. Moriah and moved farther east.

And I realized that even though 10 years old, my little Ranger was stil running fine, didn't require a lot of maintenance, and was just the right size for me.

Then came my birthday, February 2011. I decided to drive out to Hooters for lunch, about 20 minutes away. What else says Happy Birthday like a beautiful waitress in short shorts and a tight top!

Yes, I knew a winter storm was headed our way, but it wasn't expected to arrive until that afternoon.

Darned weathermen!

As I was finishing lunch, I noticed snowflakes starting to fall. I skipped the second margarita, paid my waitress, and headed for home.

The snow seemed to be dry as it lightly swirled across the highway in front of me. "Piece of cake," I thought, remiding myself it was my birthday.

But suddenly, traffic came to a skidding halt. The road had suddenly iced over. Farther ahead, a transition ramp with a steep incline was too slippery for cars to reach the top.

I bailed out onto surface streets. All the way home, my little Ranger - being light in the rear end - slipped and slid. I stayed in the right lane so I would slide into the curb rather than into other cars, and after two tense hours, I finally arrived home with permanent indentations left in my steering wheel.

I tell that story as a huge rationalization for buying the Jeep.

We live in Paducah now. Two years ago, Paducah experienced an ice storm that shut down the city for more than two weeks. The church I now serve rose to the occasion and prepared hot meals for utilities crews and people in the community who lost power as a result of the storm. I was impressed by their outreach then, and am proud to be their pastor now.

Word is that this winter is going to be a record-breaker in the category of ice and snow. I am hoping to not be the pastor trapped in his own neighborhood because his car can't get up the hill.

And unlike her previous employment in the public schools, my First Mate now has a job at a local hospital that won't be closed because of snow. I've got to be able to get her to work on time, regardless of the weather.

Thus, a 4 X 4 seemed to be the answer. And a Jeep was definitely the preference.

To be honest, I had hoped for a hard-shell, but the rag-top is going to be so cool this summer!

As for my little Ranger, there were twinges of emotion last night as I gave her a thorough wash and shine, knowing it was likely to be a farewell. But it's just a pick-up truck, nothing to get emotional about.

And, unlike my previous Ranger (1990 - traded in 2000), I didn't have to push this one onto the car lot.  In fact, I got $3,500 on the trade-in! Not bad for an 11-year-old pick-up with 100,000 miles on it! Woot!

By the way, the official color of my (new-to-me) Jeep is "Detonator Yellow".

Naturally, I'll be calling her "Banana Winds"!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bah! Humbug!!!

Oh no! The annual "Bah! Humbug!" blog has arrived.

I honestly didn't think it was going to come around this year. We've moved to a new church and a new parsonage, and we've already started decorating for the holidays. Things were going so well.

We found an artificial tree at Lowe's that we liked, but the display model was all that was left. So we bought it (at a 10% discount!), threw it in the back of my truck already assembled, carried it home, plugged it in and... Voila! Instant Christmas!

We've attended two Christmas parties already, and we're having the church's Youth Group over tomorrow night, so I've hung extra decorations outside to make the parsonage appear more festive.

I even thought about hanging lights on the gutters, but it's just too darn cold for that!

Why can't Christmas be in July?!?

I've even done most of my Christmas shopping!

Thank God for the Internet!

But what has harshed my buzz is the way others are carrying on about the holidays this year. Christmas has come to represent the very worst of our entitlement culture.

For example, each year my church contributes toys to one of our denominational agencies for distribution to underprivileged children. It's the same families year after year (a discussion for another time), but still a worthy cause. This year, however, a week before the deadline, we received a "desperate" plea for more toys. According to the letter, the agency had already "approved" 750 families for the toy give-away, and it was afraid of running short. The letter said the agency would have to take money from its already tight budget to "buy" extra toys at WalMart.

Or they could limit the number of toys each family can take.

And again, tonight on the nightly news a local agency made an appeal for help to "provide Christmas" to needy children.

You see, it's not "Christmas" unless the children receive free toys!

A representative explained that they had received requests from 50 more children than planned, and since they had budgeted $150 per child, they were short on funds!

Really? $150 per child??? They could reduce the gift amount to $100 per child - still pretty generous, I think - and still have $2,500 left over for egg nog!

Or Bakon and Egg Nog!

And while I'm ranting, could someone explain to me why everyone is expected to support the Salvation Army at Christmas-time? Members of my church stood in the cold for two days ringing bells in front of WalMart, soliciting donations for the SA. But isn't the Salvation Army a separate denomination? (Point of fact, Salvation Army split away from the Methodist denomination years ago.) Would the Baptists help raise money for one of our missions?

But I digress...

It's time we accept the reality that there are two separate events happening on December 25th. One of them involves the ancient folklore about a fat man in a red suit (with hot chicks dressed as elves) who miraculously delivers hundreds of dollars of free toys to good little boys and girls around the world.

The other is about the birth of a Savior, Jesus the Christ, who only offers eternal salvation to those who believe.

See why we're losing the war over Christmas?

While we're at it, it's time to stop all the fighting over "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays" - both are legitimate wishes for the season - and retire the "Keep Christ in Christmas" bumper stickers.

By the way, saying "Merry Xmas" is not some devious plot to take Christ out of Christmas. The letter "X" is an historic shorthand (in Greek) for "Christ" that predates all of our Christmas celebrations. Get over it!

We don't have to make Christmas an either/or proposition. Christians can celebrate both. And we do. But we should know the difference, know why we do what we do, and stop trying to merge the two.

No, Virignia, Santa never knelt at the manger in homage to the newborn Savior. Sorry.

And being a Christian doesn't mean I have to provide Christmas presents to all the children of the world.

Seriously, while extremist - but well-meaning - Christians are spoiling children and fighting to protect "Christmas" Trees in the name of Jesus, what are they doing about:
-the young widow spending her first Christmas alone?
-the unwed, teenage mother unsure of her future and that of her baby?
-the family about to receive a foreclosure notice on their dream-house?

What would Santa do?

 What would Jesus do?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mmmmm... Bacon...

The Banana Wind's First Mate recently returned from a trip ashore - that usually means to the local liquore store - reporting that she found a new adult beverage called "Bacon Vodka".

Sorry. I just vomited a little bit in my mouth.

Now, there's nothing the Captain likes better than the smell of bacon frying in the galley early in the morning. But Bacon in my Vodka?

"Vodka - it's what's for breakfast!"

The makers of this travesty insist that "carnivorous cocktails" - that is, "meat-infused drinks" - have been around for decades.They claim that one of Ernest Hemingway's favorite bars served meat-infused cocktails as far back as the 1940s.

Although there is no evidence that Papa ever drank that shit!

And he drank most everything!

And according to their web site, they've won awards.

Does that logo on the right look like a frying pan to you? Hmmmm... Suspicious!

Infused liquor hit the market several years ago. I remember attending a tasting of infused Vodka in 2005, at which the sales rep poured me a shot of pineapple-infused Vodka mixed with a shot of coconut-infused Vodka. Viola! Instant Pina Colada!

For those not paying attention, that Pina Colada was 3 oz. of 70-proof Vodka.

It was a very short tasting experience that day.

Sadly, this craze is not limited to liquor. A couple nights ago I sampled a bottle of red wine mixed with Dutch chocolate, because, you know, chocolate and red wine go together.

But not in the same bottle, you guys!

With the latest move to infuse every bottle of liquor with some other flavor - everything from lime to Tabasco (Yes, I'm talking to you, Southern Comfort!) - why not meat flavored?

But what does one do with Bacon Vodka? What recipes do you have to offer us?

The First Mate suggested "Bacon and Egg Nog". Cute.

The distillers are pushing their concoction as ideal for Bloody Marys.

Or, apparently, just drink it straight!

Then there's the inexplicably-named "Elvis Presley":

You'd think that one would call for a fried bologna-infused Vodka.

Or Demerol.

Well the Captain is a simple man. I believe Rum should taste like Rum.

And Vodka should taste like... well, nothing.

And Southern Comfort should taste like Southern Comfort.

Did you hear me, Southern Comfort?!? Leave my booze the hell alone!

And if I ever want my liquor to taste like something else, I'll add it myself.

Thank you. That is all.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Here We Go Again!

It's almost here!

But are you ready?

Yes, as has been reported here in previous years, tomorrow is the third Thursday of November.

Which can only mean one thing: It's "Beaujolais Nouveau Day"!

For an excellent account of the history of this historic day, you can read my previous post from 2009.

If you're too lazy to go there, the short answer is, a long time ago Georges Duboeuf created a world market for the newly bottled wine, which by law cannot be sold until the third Thursday of November. The hype drives the sale of millions of bottles each year.

Yes, I fell for it in 2009. I bought a bottle of Georges Duboeuf. "Wine Spectator" said it was "one of the best vintages on record".

"Fool me once, shame on you."

In 2010, I tripled my error. I bought three bottles of Duboeuf's Nouveau.

I don't know what possessed me.

"Fool me twice, shame on me!"

Truth is, what was once an international sensation has become the butt of wine-blog jokes. Check out this great post at The Ironic Catholic.

Okay, not technically a wine blog, but funny nonetheless.

In 2005, wine-blogger "Vino Joe" of Wine Weekly wrote about this wine sensation.

Captain's note: One should probably not take advice from a so-called wine expert who calls himself, "Vino Joe"!

In describing its taste, Joe noted, "It’s hard to say, because it tastes different every year. Typically, it’s a lot like a kicked-up grape juice. Nouveau will have very bright, fresh, red fruit flavors, such as cherry, strawberry, and raspberry, and will be delivered to your palate with a distinct zing. Because of the lack of tannins, it should be very soft in the mouth, and easy to drink. Beaujolais Nouveau is not a wine to sniff, swirl, and contemplate; it’s a wine to pour and party with. Consider it a beverage accessory."

As I spit out a mouthful of the 2010 Nouveau, I could have sworn I tasted bananas.

In recommending "how" to drink it - [Really? We need to know "how" to drink it?] - "Vino Joe" wrote, "Chilled. Unlike most red wines, you will want to put a Nouveau bottle in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes before drinking, as a slight chill will bring out the fresh flavors. Don’t have the time for that? Pour it over ice cubes!"

Ah, how I long for the good old days of pouring wine over ice and drinking it with a lemon twist!

It gets better, as Joe wrote: "One of the fantastic things about drinking Beaujolais Nouveau is that wine snobs won’t come within 50 feet of it. So, you have the pleasure of performing all sorts of wine sacrilege on it. Drink it on the rocks, out of a plastic cup, with a straw, straight out of the bottle if you want. There’s a whole website devoted to drinking the “wine without rules”, including tips on throwing a Beaujolais Nouveau arrival party."

Um, yeah. No thanks.

So this year, unless I can confirm that the 2011 is truly "a wine to pour and party with", i'm going to resist the urge to try again.

After all, for twice the price, I can get a really good Zin.

One final note:

"For Sale: Vintage bottle of 2010 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. Like new. Never been opened. Great deal if you like bananas. Best offer. Call the Captain!"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen!

All I can say is, “Wow!”

And not in a good sense.

Last night, the Penn State Board of Trustees fired head football coach Joe Paterno.

Frankly, I didn’t think they had it in them!

Paterno is a legend at Penn State. After graduating from Brown University in 1950, he took a job as assistant football coach at Penn State. He held that position until 1965, when he was elevated to head coach.

Over his distinguished career, Paterno recorded 409 wins (a record for most Div-1A wins), 136 losses, and 3 ties. He led the Nittany Lions to 24 bowl wins (another record), 2 national championships, and three Big-10 championships. In 2007, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He has a long list of other honors.

Paterno and his wife have donated more than $4 million to the university, and he has helped raise millions more.

But none of that meant anything this week when, after a two-year investigation, police arrested his former Defensive Coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, on 40 counts of child sexual assault ranging over a period of 15 years.

Guilty by association? Hardly.

In 2002, a graduate assistant reported to Paterno that he witnessed Sandusky performing a sex act on a 10-year-old boy in the team’s shower room. The next day, Paterno reported this to the school’s athletic director.

But not to the Police!

The punishment: Sandusky was formally forbidden to bring children into the team locker room ever again. The university president even signed off on the “punishment”.

“This will go on your permanent record, young man!”

In 2009, Sandusky retired, retaining full emeritus status.

Here’s the really sad part: Sandusky has six adopted children and has fostered many others. And he was a major participant and contributor to a children’s charity called “Second Mile”. Although eight to ten boys have been identified, who knows how many others have been assaulted by this man!

It is a shame Paterno has been fired. He was a good coach.

It is a shame he has to end a life-long career in disgrace. Others, including the University President, have also lost their jobs and credibility due to this scandal.

But none of this would have happened if Paterno had done what he should have back in 2002.

And what should he have done, you ask?

This is where the real Pyrat in me comes out.

He should have cut off Sandusky’s balls and shoved them down his F*****G throat!

“No mercy, no quarter!”

News reports show Penn State students staging protests around Paterno’s firing.

When they have children of their own, they will understand… he got off easy.

UPDATE: Although still claiming innocence, Sandusky has admitted to taking showers with children, "horse-play", and "touching their legs in a non-sexual way".

Frankly, I think he's angling for a "diminished capacity" defense.

How else could an adult justify taking showers with a 10-year-old child?

If he gets off on a "boys will be boys" defense, I'm packing up and leaving!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thar Be Treasure to Plunder!

It has come around again.

A movement is once again afoot to replace the paper dollar with a dollar coin.

This has been tried at least three times since the 1979 issue of the Susan B. Anthony, a silver-colored coin that failed because it was too easily confused with the quarter.

In 2000, the gold-colored Sacagawea coin was issued. Doing my part to promote the new coin, I purchased two rolls to make change with at my annual Fat Tuesday party that year. At the end of the evening, I still had two rolls of the new coin.

To make matters worse, later when I tried to spend the “suspect” currency, the low-paid clerks would usually have to call a manager to ask what to do with the coin. There wasn’t a pocket in the cash drawer for a dollar coin.

In 2007, the mint began an issue of U.S. Presidents, 300 million per president. I had collected the states quarters series, so why not the presidential dollars? But when I asked for the new coin at my bank, they hadn’t heard of it.

I gave up.

So why do we keep doing this?

The arguments in favor include the fact that a paper dollar lasts only three years and at the end of its life is shredded and buried in a landfill. A dollar coin lasts 30 years or more and can be recycled at the end of its life.

The General Accounting Office says a dollar coin would save $5.5 billion over the next 30 years. The GAO admits, however, that for the first 10 years it would lose money, and the actual savings (averaging $184 million per year) would be but a drop in the bucket.

Plus, more and more vending machine choices cost a dollar. And who among us hasn’t grown frustrated when the machine won’t take our paper dollar because a corner is bent!

Those opposed don’t like the idea because… well… it’s something different. And in America, we don’t really like things to be different.

I kind of like the idea of a dollar coin. Being a Pyrat at heart, I like the image of piles of gold coins spilling out of treasure chests.

Paper dollars just don’t have the same romance.

I still have a small stack of Ikes that my great-grandfather would give us every year at Christmas. There was something special about the big silver coin that made me not want to spend it.

I don’t have that problem with paper dollars!

And because of their potential longevity, holding an old coin is like holding a piece of history. Think about it: what treasure hunter would search the ocean floor knowing that a ship laden with paper dollars sank in a storm some 200 years ago?

And remember your first Penny Loafers? I do. I was in seminary. Karen had dug through piles of pennies to find two lucky coins with my birth year on them to put in my shoes. Then a thief broke into our home and stole them (along with almost everything else we owned at the time) right after I had finally broken in the stiff leather soles.

Okay, maybe they were not-so-lucky coins!

The down-side of dollar coins is that I hate carrying coins in my pockets. Right now I am sitting on a wallet containing eight paper bills. I wouldn’t want to carry the equivalent in coins in my pocket. We’d have to go back to the leather pouch tied to our belts, and that would probably be awkward.

Congress keeps approving new issues, and the Mint keeps producing them, but until the government actually stops printing the paper dollars, I don’t see dollar coins catching on. Collectors will collect them, but the rest of the issue will join the billion or more dollar coins from the recent past locked away in the Federal Reserve vaults.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Captain is NOT happy!

The Captain is NOT happy!

On Tuesday, Terry Thompson, owner of a wild/exotic animal rescue farm, opened the cages of some 50 of his wards, releasing them on the unsuspecting town of Zanesville, Ohio, then killed himself.

At the end of the day today, only a macaque -that's a monkey- is still unaccounted for, and some suggest it may have been eaten by one of the big cats.

Sing with me: "The circle of life..."

But seriously...

For the safety of the human population, the police ordered "shoot to kill".

Among the dead:
     -18 Bengal Tigers (of which there are only 1,400 remaining in the world)
     -17 lions
     -six black bears
     -one baboon
     -two grizzly bears
     -three mountain lions
     -two wolves

Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, said the carnage looked like "Noah's Ark wrecking right here in Zanesville, Ohio."

Of course we blame the imbalanced Terry Thompson, who released the animals.

But he's dead now. God rest his soul.

So we must find someone else to be angry at.

Consider this: in Ohio, one must hold a license to own a dog or cat, but apparently anyone can own a Bengal Tiger!

Go figure!


It's a sad day on the Banana Winds.

The Captain is not happy!

Monday, October 10, 2011


On Friday, matador Juan Jose Padilla was gored during a bullfight in Spain’s northeastern city of Zaragoza. At a key moment, the senior matador slipped in the sand. The 1,120-pound bull, Marques, was quickly on top of Padilla, forcing his massive horn through the matador’s jaw and out the eye socket.

You can see the graphic video on YouTube (here),

Padilla suffered eye, bone, muscle and skin damage, is now blind in one eye and paralyzed down the left side of his face – but vows to fight again.

Crazy? Or courageous?

Hmmm... a 150-lb. man armed with a cape and a sword vs. a 1,200-lb. enraged bull armed with two horns and four hooves.

Goring is fairly common in the sport of bullfighting. See my blog (here) from last year about the goring of matador Julio Arpicio, another dramatic goring from which the matador survived.

The last goring-related death was in 1985. In fact, because of the sport, Spain has a cadre of leading surgeons who specialize in goring.

Some say the sport is cruel and sadistic. Others insist it is a national tradition that should be cherished. The argument has been going on for centuries.

--In November 1567, Pope Pius V issued a Papal Bull (ironic, isn’t it?) condemning the sport.

--Eight years later, Pope Gregory XIII rescinded that edict.

--In 1991 the Canary Islands banned bullfights, and in July of last year Catalonia imposed a ban, to go into effect in January 2012.

Ernest Hemingway, a bullfight aficionado, wrote, "Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter's honour." (Death in the Afternoon, 1932)

Unlike the “Running of the Bulls” in Pamplona – in which drunk tourists run ahead of the bulls to the bullfight ring – these matadors are professionals. They are not drunk, and they are not coerced. In fact, they have trained since childhood for the privilege of entering the ring.

They know the danger. It’s not just a “possibility” – they look it in the eye.

The slightest mistake can cost you your life...

...or worse!

Opponents (taking the side of the bull) claim it is barbaric and cruel. The protests are growing.

Okay, the public staging of hundreds of beautiful, naked women pretending to be dead bulls is probably not the best way to make your point though.

True, the bull is taunted and tortured for 20 minutes before being put to a swift death. The beef is later shared with the community.

But is that any worse than what happens at your local slaughterhouse?

This future steak has been transported in a cramped tractor trailer over hundreds of miles and is about to be “stunned”. Then it is strung up by its hooves, gutted and skinned. Activists insist that some of these cows are still alive when this is done to them.

Still want that hamburger?

It seems the divide on the bullfight issue today falls mainly along generational lines. Older Spaniards are in favor of keeping the ancient traditions alive; younger Spaniards are opposed.

Count me with the traditionalists.

No, you probably will never find me at a bullfight. Then again, you won’t find me at a boxing bout… or UFC… or NASCAR...

Yes, some go just hoping for a collision! 

But I won’t interfere with those who want to participate in these sports or those who want to watch.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Finally! Someone has taken a comprehensive look at Marriage in the Bible and explains it in a way I think we can all understand!

(click here to enlarge)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Crazy News!

Have you been reading the news this week?

If so, I ask you, has the whole world gone crazy, or just the Captain?

Did you see these reports in the news?

1) A woman in New Mexico was accused "by a reliable informant" of being a "drug mule". (Look it up if you don't know what that means.) She was detained and forced to undergo a court-ordered body-cavity search, which produced nothing. Later, the hospital at which she was searched sent her a bill for $1,122! She is protesting the bill.

I'm guessing her HMO has rejected the claim as an unnecessary procedure?

2) Indiana State Police picked up a man marching along the highway carrying a samurai sword. When asked to identify himself, he proclaimed, "I'm cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!"

Do they still make Cocoa Puffs?

3) A man in Northern Ireland is suing facebook because his 12-year-old daughter posted sexually provocative photos on her page. The man says Facebook is "guilty of negligence" because they weren't monitoring her posts. And besides that, Facebook policy says that users must be 13 or older.

Seems to me the dad is the negligent one here.

4) A man in Ohio is suing his co-workers because they won a $99 million lottery jackpot while he was out for three months with a back injury. In his claim, he insists that he always previously put in his $5 each month, and that others had always covered for those who were sick or on vacation. His would-be share of the pot is more than $2 million.

I think the lottery rules are clear: you can't win if you don't play!

And finally, the one that really takes the cake:

5) members of the Tea Party are angry because Teamster President James Hoffa called them "SOB"s in a recent Labor Day speech.

Your humble Captain blushes at the thought!

 Hoffa also said the Tea Party should be "taken out"!

Wink, Wink! Nudge, Nudge! Say no more!

Now, some TP'ers are arguing that Hoffa is calling for violence against Tea Party members, which I will not say has never happened. But at the same time, TP'ers seem to have forgotten Michelle Bachmann's speech from April 2010 when she told a Tea Party crowd that "this gangster government" should be "taken out!"

Of course, speaking to Tea Party members, Bachmann obviously meant that they should each personally take members of the government out for brunch!

To make this story all the more ludicrous, many TP'ers are calling upon President Obama to apologize for Hoffa's remarks. Seems the President was in the general vicinity when the remarks were made and - well, y'know - since "the buck stops here", it was all the President's fault!

The first four stories are just craziness that some judge somewhere will have to sort out. I imagine he will then adjourn to a dimly-lit bar downtown where he will gaze introspectively into a tumbler of 12-year-old Scotch and examine once again why he pursued a career in law. He could have chosen a career that would have made a difference to someone. His mother wanted a doctor... he would have been a great architect... or interior decorator... the world needs more interior decorators... And at closing time, the bartender will once again call a taxi which will deliver His Honor safely home. 

But this fifth and final story of communal madness brings me to call to mind three standing rules aboard the Banana Winds:

Rule #1 - Respect the First Amendment. My father taught me, "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." That doesn't mean you have to say everything that you think, but you have the right.

Rule #2 - Never apologize. I'm tired of all the "apologies" being tossed back and forth around Washington these days! (I've written other blogs on this. Go see for yourself!) If you've got the nerve to say it out loud, you should have the cajones to stand by what you said. If you don't mean it, don't say it! Simple as that.

Rule #3 - Never - ever! - apologize for what someone else says. Refer back to rules number one and two.

And Rule #4 - When your life goes all to hell, when you feel like the whole world is against you, when you even lose the ability to count to three, blame it on the Margaritas!