Sending troops to Syria

Sending troops to Syria, now there’s a great idear.

I would like to second it with just one loud Bronx cheer.

It seems our nation’s government has got a nose to stick

into every corner of the weary world’s attic.

Special Forces — phooey! Soon Damascus will be crammed

with US boys and girls getting buttocks kicked and slammed.

 I say we send Obama there when he steps down next year,

and let him fight it out with all those towelheads far and near. 

Beware of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning!

With the cold weather here again, it’s time to review the safety rules for carbon monoxide poisoning. This can happen in your home, your garage, your camper, or even at work. urges you to review these basic principals, especially if and when you have to use an emergency heat source.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. It is produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels, including coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas. Products and equipment powered by internal combustion engines such as portable generators, cars, lawn mowers, and power washers also produce CO.

On average, about 170 people in the United States die every year from CO produced by non-automotive consumer products. These products include malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters; engine-powered equipment such as portable generators; fireplaces; and charcoal that is burned in homes and other enclosed areas.

Because CO is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that they are being exposed. The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include:


  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness


High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:


  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ultimately death

If you think you are experiencing any of the symptoms of CO poisoning, get outside to fresh air immediately.

The health effects of CO depend on the CO concentration and length of exposure, as well as each individual’s health condition. CO concentration is measured in parts per million (ppm). Most people will not experience any symptoms from prolonged exposure to CO levels of approximately 1 to 70 ppm but some heart patients might experience an increase in chest pain. As CO levels increase and remain above 70 ppm, symptoms become more noticeable and can include headache, fatigue and nausea. At sustained CO concentrations above 150 to 200 ppm, disorientation, unconsciousness, and death are possible.

CO alarms always have been and still are designed to alarm before potentially life-threatening levels of CO are reached. The safety standards for CO alarms have been continually improved and currently marketed CO alarms are not as susceptible to nuisance alarms as earlier models.

CO alarms should be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) recommends that one CO alarm be installed in the hallway outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area of the home. CO alarms may be installed into a plug-in receptacle or high on the wall. Hard wired or plug-in CO alarms should have battery backup. Avoid locations that are near heating vents or that can be covered by furniture or draperies. The CPSC does not recommend installing CO alarms in kitchens or above fuel-burning appliances.

CO alarms are available for boats and recreational vehicles and should be used. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association requires CO alarms in motor homes and in trailers.

Always remember, if you are using an emergency source for heating in an enclosed space your chances of carbon monoxide poisoning will increase dramatically. Make sure your living space under emergency conditions has ample ventilation.


If Uncle Sam can spend

If Uncle Sam can spend more than he makes, then why can’t I?

If he can raise his debt ceiling, that’s something I must try!

When legislators vote on spending sprees that are insane,

 I’ll follow in their footsteps and more credit cards obtain.

And when the jig is up and the whole country’s lost its booty,

I can proudly say that twas my patriotic duty! 

China Abandons One-Child Policy

An overcrowded country, China tried to take control

of it’s population — but results were rather droll.

First the Revolution urged that fam’lies should acquire

more children than there’s thorns inside a patch of bristling briar.

Then the Party changed its mind, and told the willing masses

to have just one per couple — and thus beat the bourgeois classes.

Now the Party leaders find they’re in a pickle tight,

cuz old folks now are countless like the stars of inky night.

A bunch of Chinese geezers is an awful thought to hold;

they pick their teeth, eat chicken feet, and want their dentures gold.

No baby boom can rescue China from their aging antics,

and gerontocracy will show no mercy to romantics!



The Reign of the Reporters

The reign of the reporters has come crashing to an end.

No longer do they dare to tell us what’s the latest trend!

Their finicky demands for balanced facts and clarity

have justly been exposed as a profound barbarity.

The GOP has bravely tossed these gatekeepers away;

no longer can they nag and hound, and our pretensions flay.

The social network liberates us from all journalists,

and if we need to we will surely slap our own damn wrists!

Choosing the Right Flashlight for Your Emergency Kit

Advances in LED (light-emitting diode) technology and battery efficiency have resulted in flashlights that are smaller, lighter and brighter than they were just a few years ago.

And they are easier and safer to store with your emergency preparedness kit. suggests you choose your emergency flashlight(s) carefully; you may need to depend on them for up to several weeks at a time in a severe emergency.

So what is the best LED flashlight for you? Here are some guidelines:

The key factors to compare when selecting a flashlight:

  • Light output
  • Battery type and run time
  • Size and weight

Flashlights range from under $20 to over $200, yet they may be the same size. What are the differences? Brightness is the biggest one. A pricier light is more powerful due to the use of advanced bulb, battery and circuitry technology. A rechargeable battery can add to the cost, as can features such as strong impact- and water-resistance, effective heat dissipation and multiple lighting modes.

Light output is measured in lumens.  Beam intensity, distance and type all influence the effectiveness of a light in different applications. Light output can range from a modest 20 lumens (great for reading a book) to a terrain-scorching 3500 lumens.

Check the run time of your flashlight. How long does it take the light output to drop to 10% of the rated output on new batteries? Light output may gradually decrease over time, or remain largely constant and then suddenly decrease.

How impact resistant is your flashlight? Flashlights are tested today by dropping them a few times onto a concrete floor from a stated height. Your flashlight rating should include that height. No flashlight is rated impact resistant from being run over or when used as a hammer!

How water resistant is your flashlight? Can it remained submerged for up to a half hour; will it stand up to being used in the rain? Is the casing metal or plastic?

What kind of beam does your flashlight have? The lens reflector that surrounds a bulb influences how the light is dispersed. The 3 common options:

Flood (or fixed): A single beam width. Good for general tasks in camp or while walking.

Spot (or focused): A single beam condensed into a spotlight to penetrate a long distance. This is best for route-finding or other fast-paced activity.

Adjustable: Beam width ranges from wide to focused, or any point in-between. This means, for example, a climber looking for the next pitch would use a spot beam; to study a map, a flood beam.

What type of battery does your flashlight have? The type and availability of replacement batteries is often a factor in selecting a flashlight.

Disposable: The most common battery sizes in use, AAA or AA, are readily available. CR123A is also a common choice, but is more expensive and can be harder to find. Their upside is a higher voltage output for a smaller size and weight, making possible a brighter flashlight in a smaller, lighter package.  Flashlights using D cell batteries are still available if you want a baton-sized tool for security or a light that will not get lost in a pocket.

Rechargeable: Built-in lithium-ion batteries can be recharged through a USB connection from a computer, AC or DC outlet or solar panel. The higher upfront cost is more than made up for by the low ongoing running cost, no need for disposable batteries and reduced waste.

Renewable: Flashlights with a built-in battery energized by a hand crank or solar panel are ideal for emergency kits.

Caution: Do not use lithium or lithium-ion batteries with any flashlight unless recommended by the manufacturer. You risk damaging a light by mismatching it with lithium batteries.


The Oil Game

Down on Skid Row all the bums were once tycoons of oil;

they used to pump Brent crude out of the ever-lovin’ soil.

But now that barrels of the stuff are less than fifty bucks,

they’ve sold their Lamborghinis and pawned their spats and tux.

The oil game ain’t for tender hearts or those who give up quick;

you gotta take your punches and stand up to ev’ry lick.

So when a beggar hassles you for coin with outstretched palm,

just remember he was once the king of Texas balm . . .  

Deutsche Bank posts quarterly loss

I’d like to feel some sympathy for Deutsche Bank, but it’s hard

to sorrow for the pig when it is still full up on lard.

Perhaps I would feel diff’rently if I had stock at stake;

but since I don’t, my tears for them would only be a fake.

Good luck to you, John Cryan; though I doubt that bankers need

kismet when they’re able still depositors to bleed!

There’s certain stocks you should not buy

There’s certain stocks you should not buy, no matter what the price.

Because they’re bound to sink like the Titanic hitting ice.

A company that makes a sugared/salty powdered drink

will take down your portfolio in less than one eye blink.

Any daily newspaper (except the Wall Street Journal)

will pay you meager dividends that some might call infernal.

Don’t invest in phone booths or a bubble gum with snuff;

otherwise your losses will become almighty rough.

Now added to the list is mighty Volkswagen as well;

they’re as cracked as cracked can be, as cracked as Liberty Bell.

They’re talking a brave comeback, but the truth is that the Volk

who keep their stock will not enjoy their dim financial joke!