Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How fish feel around sharks

So I’m sitting here at my desk and the HR Manager comes in my office with a serious look on his face.

I don’t know about you but I’ve always considered HR people sorta like owning an exotic pet like a lion or maybe a Komodo Dragon or something. Nice to chat with and generally pleasant but in the back of your mind you always wonder if they are going to bite you one day.

It’s never a good thing to have the HR manager come to your office looking serious. He comes in and sits down and tells me he’s got something to tell me so I glance around the office to see if I want to take anything with me.

He proceeds to tell me that my boss’s brother has been killed during the weekend. It was a kidnapping gone wrong and the “sequestadores” as they are known killed him. The brother was a “yonkero” or junkman. This title refers to people that own auto junkyards or scrap metal yards and they are high on list of targets for the kidnappers in Mexico as they usually have lots of money and plenty of cash on hand.

I feel a nervous chill come over me. The sort of reality slap you get when your wife leaves you or you get busted by the police when you are a teenager. I realize that I’ve seen far too much of this. This is the second person related to someone in our plant to be killed (earlier it was the nurse’s husband, who was sitting outside a friend’s house drinking beer when a group of hit men showed up for the owner of the house and shot everyone outside). My brother in law tripped over a body in the dark while walking to work a few months back and I’ve personally seen five different shootings. A supervisor at one of the other plants was gunned down (he was apparently involved in the drug business) and a car chase ended in one of the other plant parking lots with gunmen shooting two people in front of everyone. The gruesome bloody Nissan Murano just sat there with the wipers on and blood oozing down the door.

Since the local police have their dirty little hands full with the drug war (and trying not to get shot themselves) gangs of bank robbers and kidnappers have set up shop in Juárez with impunity. The cops never catch anyone (that would require actually looking for them) nor is there ever any justice. Oddly, this activity increased dramatically since the PJF and the Mexican army came to town under the guise of getting things back under control. Makes me wonder.

After a while you start to get immune to this stuff, it just becomes numbers on the nightly news (10 today, over 1,100 year to date). You get sort of this sense like you are a wildebeast in a herd and when someone else gets picked off by lions you just keep running. When it happens to someone you know, it quickly comes back to you that Mexico is a very dangerous place to be.

I would advise all of you to stay away from here unless you can’t avoid it like me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Al Qaeda in the hood

Yesterday the FBI busted into 134 Lakeside Circle in Willow Spring NC and arrested 39 year old Daniel Patrick Boyd, his two sons and four other suburban terrorists with scary sounding Middle Eastern sounding names. Boyd, who looks more like a mullethead than a mullah had been running his own radical prayer sermons out of his house and operating a training camp out of nearby Caswell county.

Now normally, I don’t pay much attention to stuff like this, figuring it’s just another case of mistaken identity by the Dept. of Homeland Security. I usually shrug it off and consider myself lucky that some bumbling flatfoot hasn’t fingered me as the ringleader of some secret plot to blow up all SUV driving cel phone users.

However, this time it was the address that caught my attention as I used to live four doors down from this house. According to Yahoo, it’s 0.18 miles away. I always knew they weren’t right anyway – never offered me any beer…

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Everyone stares at the girl in the red dress"

I got up this morning and was pretty stunned that my email inbox wasn’t full of photoshopped pictures of Obama as Morpheus from the matrix.

Yesterday, during his speech on healthcare reform he made this comment

"If there's a blue pill and a red pill, and the blue pill is half the price of the red pill and works just as well, why not pay half price for the thing that's going to make you well?"

I usually don’t bust out laughing during presidential speeches (well, at least not when George W. Bush isn’t speaking) but that quote had me laughing hard.

Hmm, this and maybe the photo from my June 10th post might explain a lot here. So that’s what all that stuff about “new energy policy” is about.

Lookout coppertop…

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's not the size of your weinermobile but how you use it

Last Friday it seems that the 22 year old chick in charge of driving Oscar Mayer’s “Weinermobile” had a little bit of trouble handing the 27 foot advertising tool she had been put in charge of.

During what I can only guess was a slight unauthorized excursion to try to see Lake Michigan she inadvertently took her rolling sausage down a dead end street.

In a hurried bid to zip up the trip quickly, she gave the gas a quick poke and accidentally rammed the wiener into a tight garage and could not extricate it. Seems like she thrust when she should have stroked (she’s a girl, what did you expect?).

The dog and house remain locked together for hours before it was finally freed leaving the house battered and bruised. The owner of the house had recently dropped her insurance and she hoped that Kraft would pay up but the wiener wreckers didn’t leave a call back number nor did they call back in the morning.

"Oh yea baby, I'll call you in the morning"

This is not the first time the girls have had problems with the big plastic wiener though, back in 2008, they managed to stuff the wiener into a snowbank, which may have led to the the greatest piece of newspaper journalism ever created, read it here

Oddly, after pulling it out they found it had gotten shorter in the cold

Friday, July 17, 2009

Worst comic book cover ever

OK, I freely admit that I stole this from someone else's blog who stole it from, so sue me if you want. Still, I have to warn kids about the "man of steel" (or is that Steely Dan there?) right?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The big empty Slurpie

Years ago when Clinton first got elected there was a guy by the name of Ross Perot who was vehemently opposed to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). His famous line was “that giant sucking sound of American jobs headed south”.

Well, quite a bit of time has passed since then and the sound I hear now is the one you get when the cup finally runs dry. The only thing he seems to have failed to predict was that other kid with the much longer straw getting most of the syrup.

I ran across this giant stamping press today being hauled across the border into Mexico. You don’t see much of this anymore like you used to. At one time trucks were lined up at the border with massive machines from America’s chrome age. You’d see all manner of presses, lathes, machining centers etc. making their last journey to the hydraulic graveyard.

Most Americans of working age today have never stood inside a manufacturing plant listening to the rhythmic cadence of stamping presses. There’s a certain awe you feel when a huge die slams shut with enough force to shake your bones through the earth from 1,000 feet away. Like some Nine Inch Nails concert on “11” these things create music in harmony with each other, banging out the chords of a better life under your feet.

Most of them are gone now, sent away across the ocean to be copied and to bring a better life to billions of other people while our own society stagnates and declines. A nation that produces nothing but paper and ethereal ideas eventually comes to have nothing but paper and dreams left.

How appropriate then that this great machine lies on it’s side like some fallen beast in one of the Lord of Rings movies.

The name on the side says "Bliss"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Finally a president I can relate to!

The photo below appeared in the New York Post today. I have to say, I like the fact that I share something in common with our president for once (although, I think there's a photo of G.W. Bush checking out Queen Elizabeth somewhere).

I'm not sure if "horndog" is a requirement to be a democratic president or Obama's just been hanging out with Bill too much but I say it's not a such a bad thing. Lets the rest of us know that these people really are normal. I just don't want to hear any complaining about how much the lump Michelle puts on his head hurts.

"Barack Obama & Nicolas Sarkozy discover that the US and France really do have common interests"