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May 20, 2009

From My Cold, Dead Hands

You know, I have tried to be fair.

I have bent over backwards to give this administration a chance. But some things are just intolerable in a civilized society:

Joe Six-Pack may have to hand over nearly $2 more for a case of beer to help provide health insurance for all.

Details of the proposed beer tax are described in a Senate Finance Committee document distributed to lawmakers before a closed-door meeting Wednesday. Senators are focusing on how to pay for expanding health insurance for an estimated 50 million uninsured Americans, a cost that could range to some $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

And will someone please alert the irony police here?

The idea behind the proposed increases is to tax lifestyle choices that contribute to rising medical costs. Obesity puts people at risk for diabetes and heart problems. Alcohol abuse is a risk factor in several types of cancer, liver disease and psychological problems.

This country is going down the tubes. Read my lips: I'm not asking for national health coverage. I don't want it. So don't tax my "risky lifestyle choices" to pay for something that's going to break the federal piggy bank as a back door means of giving the Nanny State carte blanche to tell me how to run my life.

I stopped smoking when I was 14. Idiocy like this just makes me want to start up again.

Posted by Cassandra at May 20, 2009 03:57 PM

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*sounds of clinking bottles*
Aha! I knew there was one bottle of pomegranate martini mixer stashed back here.

*pours ice-chilled gin into martini glass, makes showy production of waving bottle of mixer at glass, tosses bottle over shoulder, [CRASH] hands glass to Princess while laying a tiny pink umbrella against the inside rim*


Posted by: DL Sly at May 20, 2009 04:23 PM

S'wat I was yammering on about the other day...

Most of us, when faced with an upheaval in our lives or financial situation, look for ways to minimize expenditures. Not our Uncle Sam, or is it now Uncle Joe? And I don't mean the fellow from Petticoat Junction.

From local governments and school boards right on through the Feds, the solution always seems to be to increase the tax burden on anyone and everyone that they can for the benefit of someone else. But mostly government widgets and those who follow them too closely.

There is hope in change. That change being term limits and massive cuts in government. For the children®. Salute!

Posted by: The-Manchurian-bubba_hun at May 20, 2009 04:27 PM

I recall years ago I asked an insurance representative how it was fair that I paid the same premium as the booze hound smoker sitting next to me. He replied with a straight face that it was unfair to single out the overweight, those who suffered from the disease of alcoholism and nicotine addiction and/or a distaste for exercise.

The obvious remedy to a beer tax is to start making your own micro-brew in the tub. Smoke medical marijuana instead of cigarettes, hook up your "Sauna Shorts" and harness the generated electricity, and drive twice as much in the new government auto at 40 mpg instead of the current 20 mpg.

On the other hand, so many people will get killed or maimed in the all-new GM death car, where steel is replaced by plastic, the proposed health plan will become unnecessary. In my demographic I am looking at health care denied and a quick trip to the Grindhouse where I will become protein for dog or cat food or Organic Soylent Green style hamburger helper depending on my body mass index.

The advertising will justify the higher BIER price by presenting it as Private Reserve.

Posted by: vet66 at May 20, 2009 05:21 PM

See, this type of crap is why I bought a magazine that had recipes for twinkies, hohos, and a few other necessary snack foods (and OOOHHHH they were even better home-made!)

Sure, tax the stuff at the store. I'll make my own. My maternal grandfather ran liquor during Prohibition and my paternal great grandfather made his own beer and wine to last those years. It's in my genes to react this way.

And if they go anywhere near my bacon I'll buy my own darn pigs, too. You Don't. Touch. The Bacon.

Posted by: airforcewife at May 20, 2009 05:32 PM

Uh, oh. They just broke the Al Bundy rule of politics -- "Read my lips: Don't tax beer."

Posted by: Grim at May 20, 2009 05:36 PM


Posted by: Cassandra at May 20, 2009 05:38 PM

The California voters just "Bundified" Schwarzenegger.

Posted by: vet66 at May 20, 2009 06:37 PM

Start makin' yer own. Villainous Company's Private Reserve.

Posted by: Cricket at May 20, 2009 06:56 PM

Damn. Tax on wine would double..Need a larger wine cellar so I can stock up.

Posted by: Marvin at May 20, 2009 06:56 PM

AFW, I saw that magazine and covet a copy. I just don't remember if it was Martha Stewart or Woman's Day...could you tell me which one it was so I can get a back issue?

We make some seriously good eats here at Chez Engineer...whoopie pies being one of them. We also do the square pretzels and a peanut butter filling, dipped in chocolate.

Posted by: Cricket at May 20, 2009 07:03 PM

I already grow my own grapes and make wine, Sangiovese. You're allowed to make 100 gallons per year for your own use. I get about 400 bottles per year (80 gallons.)

Have you ever tried to consume that much wine annually? I end up giving a lot of it out as gifts to friends and neighbors. Did I mention I have really mellow and polite neighbors?

No taxes, good wine, and friendly neighbors. What more could you want? :)

Posted by: Allen at May 20, 2009 07:38 PM

Canada already taxes beer heavily. Most Canadian beer brands are at least 4 times more expensive in Canada than in the US because of taxes to support (drum roll)...National Health Insurance.

Coming soon everywhere. Hope you have some spare change handy.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at May 20, 2009 08:07 PM

Ooh! I love Sangiovese! :)

Posted by: Cassandra at May 20, 2009 08:55 PM

2010 and 2012 can't get here fast enough...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at May 20, 2009 09:43 PM

Have you ever tried to consume that much wine annually?

Are you asking for volunteers? Because, you know, I could so do that.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 20, 2009 09:58 PM

I'm too close to all this to be objective, so I'll just be statesmanlike and call it a tax levied by fools upon fools who will be taxed by fools.


Posted by: spd rdr at May 20, 2009 10:18 PM

spd hit the nail on the head.

Posted by: Sly's Wardrobe Mistress at May 20, 2009 10:39 PM

I'll just say to those who wish I'd stop smoking and drinking that I do for the health of the children and the nation.

Though I should stop smoking...

Posted by: Donna B. at May 20, 2009 10:51 PM

Beer?! Beer is good for you! In moderation, of course...

Posted by: camojack at May 21, 2009 01:01 AM

Beer?? Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
Thankyewverymuch, Ben Franklin.

Posted by: DL Sly at May 21, 2009 03:04 AM

Well, back to brewing and time to make some wine. I would, however, really like to know where to get good (this word included on purpose) recipes for unwholesome snack foods that kids (and dentists) love so much. There will be serious barter potential with those.........
Just planning ahead.

William sends
"I like to think of beer as liquid bread with some extra vitamins and minerals added in....." - William

Posted by: William at May 21, 2009 07:19 AM

Just ran across this quote attributed to a man I read about once....

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” - Thomas Jefferson

*Disclaimer - I have not cross referenced this*

William sends

Posted by: William at May 21, 2009 07:24 AM

It's not going to stop there.

We'll tax your beer so you don't get obese and need medical treatment. But that won't raise enough money - there's never enough money. So we'll deny medical treatment because you're obese from drinking too much beer. It's your own fault, a lifestyle choice you made.

Yes, you paid for it in higher taxes, but it would be cheaper to let you die than to treat you. And considering that you're more than half-way through your productive (read: tax-paying) years, we'd rather you died now than after you start collecting Social Security or Medicare.

By the way, have you considered assisted suicide? We cover that 100%.

Posted by: joe doakes at May 21, 2009 08:53 AM

When enough beer imbibers decide to go the home-brew route, commercial sales will decline, resulting in a -- surprise! -- decline in beer-tax revenue. The fuzzymuggers' response to recoup the lost revenue will be -- *no* surprise -- to increase the beer-tax.

Eventually, the beer-tax will be higher than the product itself, and even *more* beer imbibers will become brew-it-yourselfers, which will cause commercial sales to drop through the floor of the Third Ring of Hell. Commercial brewers will then appeal to the Congers for billion-dollar bailouts.

The bailouts will be funded by yet *another* tax increase on something -- oh, say, underwear.

And by 2014, we'll all be weaving our own U-trou from hops stems...

Posted by: BillT at May 21, 2009 09:17 AM

Where is Pile On when we need him?

The country demands Cassandrale, and I suspect the answer to ferociously tout the medicinal qualities of our favorite brews in a manner reminiscent of the medical marijuana lobby :p

Posted by: Cassandra at May 21, 2009 09:22 AM

"is" to tout...

Beer. It's not just a breakfast drink anymore.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 21, 2009 09:23 AM

See, this type of crap is why I bought a magazine...

Is it wrong that in a discussion on the ever encroaching nanny state that when I first read this I wasn't thinking about the kind of magazine that you read, but rather the kind you store ammo in?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 21, 2009 09:40 AM

William, I have recipes for seriously good snacks, and AFW has the rest.

BillT, there will be Prohibition all over again. The home brewers and shiners will be doing a land office bidness just so's people don't have to pay the tax. Then there will be a tax levied on brewing equipment and supplies so you will have to grow your own hops and barley.

I have made amazake...


Posted by: Cricket at May 21, 2009 10:02 AM

After much research I can conclude that beer has a tendency to make one myopic, unaware and in some cases wholly unconcerned with long term issues. At least temporarily.

Given the ability to cause apathy, poor vision and a general lackadaisical attitude towards all things politic in direct proportion to an above average consumption rate of beer, you'd think BO and his staff at Capitol Hill would subsidize breweries large and small in their own self-interest. Particularly those breweries serving high risk areas such as Napa Valley and the Hamptons, to name but a couple.

IMHO, we need to enact a Brewery Reinvestment Act. Then we need to mandate that Fanny and Freddy underwrite and back a Beer Drinkers Bill of Rights. A BDBOR which will allow BATFE administrators to arbitrate and impose a Beer-Tab Cram-Down on behalf of besotted individuals and small, impoverished beer drinking contingents with the Package Store proprietors should they be left holding illiquid assets.

I propose that this can be funded by levying a new revenue stream on bottle water drinkers.

Brew Here, Brew NOW!

Posted by: W.C. Fields_hun at May 21, 2009 10:08 AM

Someone emailed me a PDF version of fast-food and junk-food home recipes once. It has everything from Girl Scout cookies to Grape Nuts cereal to KFC chicken to Hostess Twinkies. I can't find a copy of the whole cookbook PDF on the net, but here are the Twinkies:

2 cups flour
1-1/2 cup sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup cold water
2 t vanilla
7 eggs, separated
1/2 t cream of tartar

6 T flour (heaping)
1-1/2 cup butter and/or Crisco
1-1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold milk (scant)
2 t vanilla

Cake: mix the flour, sugar, BP, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the oil, water, vanilla, and egg yolks; beat until smooth and set aside. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form, then pour over egg yolk batter and fold in until well beaten. Pour in an ungreased 10x14 pan. Bake 45-50 minutes in a 350-degree preheated oven. Cool in pan. Invert in pan with cups under each corner. Cool completely and run a knife around the edge. Remove and cut in half (layers).

Filling: Combine the flour, butter/Crisco, and sugar and beat on high for 5 minutes, gradually adding the milk and vanilla. Beat 5 more minutes on high. Spread between 2 layers. Cut into rectangles 1x3 inches and wrap separately.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 21, 2009 10:41 AM

Cricket - the magazine is with my cook-books, and I will most certainly get you the information!

Posted by: airforcewife at May 21, 2009 10:46 AM

Did I mention fools?

50% of Americans Favor Raising Bev/Al Taxes for Health Care, 40% Oppose: Survey

Beverage News Daily
May 21, 2009

Fifty percent (50%) of Americans favor increasing taxes on beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages to help provide healthcare for every one in the country, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Forty percent (40%) are against such tax increases, and 10% are not sure.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of women support more taxes on alcohol, compared to 42% of men. Both men and women under the age of 40 are more supportive of higher taxes on alcoholic beverages than their elders.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Democrats think an increase in so-called “sin taxes” on alcohol is a good idea, but 54% of Republicans disagree. Adults not affiliated with either major party are closely divided on the question.

Rasmussen finds better news for nonalcohol beverage manufacturers: While half the nation supports higher taxes on alcohol products, just 34% support higher taxes on non-diet soft drinks.

Fools Rule.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 21, 2009 11:04 AM

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Democrats think an increase in so-called “sin taxes” on alcohol is a good idea...

Thereby confirming that sixty-two percent (62%) of Democrats are unaware that "white wine" is an actual alcoholic beverage.

Posted by: BillT at May 21, 2009 11:38 AM

Dems by 62%: Tax only the tacky alcohol! And urban sprawl! Tax that!

Posted by: Texan99 at May 21, 2009 11:50 AM

"I already grow my own grapes and make wine, Sangiovese. You're allowed to make 100 gallons per year for your own use. I get about 400 bottles per year (80 gallons.)"

Allen: Good onya! Would love to try your Sangiovese. I lived in northern Italy for four years (courtesy of the USAF). I rented a house next door from an old retired gent that had a vineyard. He and his wife made their own wine (Merlot, Fragola, Refrosco, and another make I cannot recall). The vino was great! The fam and I would help them harvest their grapes every year. You couldn’t buy this talented vintner a bottle of wine. He had too much pride in his own and he was very generous in sharing it. La Vita!

As fun as it was living in Italy, I was blest that Uncle Sam took care of the bills. Their socialist system truly taxed the citizenry to death. My landlord was always complaining about it. Everything is taxed. Even if you drilled your own well to obviate paying a water tax (which he did), they “taxed” the pump. Sheesh! I don’t want the USA to become Europe-west, except for making wine. :)

Posted by: ziobuck at May 21, 2009 12:29 PM

I have the .pdf for that cookbook.
If you want it and have my addy, email me. Cricket yours is *in the mail*.
Texan if that is your email, I'll send you a copy, too.

Posted by: DL Sly at May 21, 2009 12:58 PM

Cassandra, I'd be happy to send you a bottle or two. I still have some of my 2007 around (one of my best years.)

I asked John Cox to do a new label for me and he came up with a wonderful painting. It can be found here:


I also sent him some of the wine which he seemed to enjoy. His comments:


Posted by: Allen at May 21, 2009 02:25 PM

You guys, I hate to say this, but as a non-drinker, I will not be affected by this tax, but as a taxpayer, I will. If we don't stop NOW, we will be paying a Kool-Aid tax and whatever other drink tax they can levy for when the sales and revenue fall off.

It is circular, dizzying intellect akin to the tobacco tax. The vice has to be encouraged to ensure revenue. What will they do when the booze hounds and smokers die off or quit buying product?

I will support your opposition on those grounds. Heaven help me, I got irritated at smokers but I also fought the tobacco tax just because it did NOT discourage smoking and the money the tobacco companies paid out got p*ssed away, and not used for the discouragement of smoking.

Posted by: Cricket at May 21, 2009 03:27 PM

Wine Label Art

There ya go...all html'd and everything. I like wine labels and Frank Frazetta so when I went to John Cox's website and saw his work, I was hooked.

As if I wasn't already full of vice...


Posted by: Cricket at May 21, 2009 03:39 PM

What bothers me is the colossal hypocrisy of imposing "sin taxes" on beer when there are so many other so-called lifestyle choices out there that we could be profitably taxing (and which impose far larger costs).

How about an unprotected sex tax?

Or an overeating tax?

Helk, we could even 'excessive' tax computer use. It has a lot of negative health effects associated with it. Whilst The Won is going "line by line" through the federal budget looking for programs that waste money and don't work, he might try starting here.

Posted by: Ah...Sweet Mystery of Life! (at last I've found thee) at May 21, 2009 03:48 PM

How about an unprotected sex tax?

Dude... That's called children.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 21, 2009 04:14 PM


Posted by: Sister Mary Ita at May 21, 2009 04:17 PM

I like wine labels and Frank Frazetta so when I went to John Cox's website and saw his work, I was hooked.

Psssst -- Cox does *comic* barbarians...

Posted by: BillT at May 21, 2009 04:25 PM

"...he might try starting here."

*looks up startled, mid-crunch into a guacamole-laden chip*


Ummm....*starts pushing back unseen items on floor*....uhhh,....*lifts rug briefly*....Oh. Ok.

Posted by: DL Sly at May 21, 2009 04:25 PM

Again with the WHAP WHAP WHAP-ing.

I stand by my statement that I was never briefed that raising children might, or might not, constitute torture.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 21, 2009 04:30 PM

Actually, it's more akin to nailing jello to a tree.

Posted by: DL Sly at May 21, 2009 04:39 PM

Again with the WHAP WHAP WHAP-ing.

You expected something different? :p

Posted by: Sister Mary Ita at May 21, 2009 04:49 PM

*sets watch and clocks to Newfoundland time zone and opens beer bottle* Hey look, it's past five o'clock!

"I stand by my statement that I was never briefed that raising children might, or might not, constitute torture."
Yet when you see the last child spread their wings and fly from the nest, sure in your heart that you and the spouse have given your all so that they might succeed... The very first thing that will cross your mind is




YEEEE HAAAAAA! < Insert memories of life before children along with wild and crazy... ah heck, just insert OINK here > =8^}

Posted by: W.C. Fields_hun at May 21, 2009 04:52 PM

Not really. After more than a half-century of Catholic indoctrination, the inevitable WHAP WHAP WHAP eventually becomes simply the cost of doing business.

I'm probably going to hell for that one, but I hear that the Judge is a Compassionate Conservative.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 21, 2009 04:58 PM

...the inevitable WHAP WHAP WHAP eventually becomes simply the cost of doing business.

It might seem like more of a punishment if one didn't suspect you enjoy the whole process far more than you ought to, mr rdr :p

Posted by: Sister Mary Ita at May 21, 2009 05:06 PM

Mr. Fields:
Should my bright and capable children succeed in life will certainly be an enormous relief to mrs. rdr and me. But right now I just want them to get their mountains of %&^$# crap out of my garage.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 21, 2009 05:07 PM

Good luck with that one.

My sons have both been married for years and their (*&^^ crap is still in my basement.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 21, 2009 05:12 PM

True joy is the result of replacing one's pain with the image of one's conquest of pain.

True pain is the result of replacing the intended landing area of a nail head with that of your thumb. There is no redemption to follow.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 21, 2009 05:16 PM

True pain is wading into the abyss that is your basement and attempting to deal with 90000000000 boxes, almost none of which contain anything that belongs to you.

We have slide rule thingies for calculating artillery fire. We have my son's college icebox. We have two (!) -- count 'em -- two sets of boxes related to my spouse living in Japan for a year. We just got rid of a whole lot of armor and crap from the year in Iraq, mostly b/c I went down there and went through it.


I'm about ready to just have it all hauled off, sight unseen.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 21, 2009 05:42 PM

Cass, in the interest of being truly sentimental, you need to go through your sons' stuff and keep that which you must share with your grandchildren: "See what Daddy did when he was 12?" and that which should be consigned to Mother Gaia.

It should reduce the gogulplex to federal deficit size.

Posted by: Cricket at May 21, 2009 06:03 PM

I have a thing about going through other people's stuff, Cricket. It's one thing when they're kids, but when they get older I have a bit of an aversion to wading through their personal things.

To me, it seems like an invasion of their privacy. I have been going through what I can. I don't want to see letters or photos, so I'm putting that stuff into a box for them. The rest is going. I get rid of a load about every two weeks.

I used to think I should save things in case someone needed them. But I think those days are long gone. Everyone just buys new.

That seems kind of sad to me, but I suppose if they don't need these things it makes more sense to let someone who needs them have the opportunity.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 21, 2009 06:15 PM

Heh. I know what you mean about invading privacy...I was thinking more along the lines of schoolwork or artwork they might have done.

Kind of along the lines of 'Daddy was a kid too?'

Posted by: Cricket at May 21, 2009 07:02 PM

Artwork :p

Wow. Well there's the 'Chip vs. The Goat' comic my oldest drew in 8th grade. Some poor kid got butted in the nuts when the school was on a field trip and my son turned the incident into this film noir strip with the goat dressed in a trenchcoat and fedora leaning against a lampost and smoking a cigarette, waiting for the boy to show up.

Don't want to show that one to the police psychologists... nossir :p

My other son drew this cat that looks like it's on crack cocaine. He was 4.

I should have it framed.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 21, 2009 07:13 PM

Har! In this case, heh is too subtle.

Seeing the world through the eyes of a child, well, as they say, priceless.

Posted by: W.C. Fields_hun at May 21, 2009 07:26 PM

He was waiting for deGoat?

Posted by: bad punster at May 21, 2009 09:39 PM

Actually, it's more akin to nailing jello to a tree.

When we were at Mother Rucker, there was a COL's wife there - she was a HOOT - and she had a plaque in her kitchen that read "Raising children is like being pecked to death by chickens."

So, so true.

Posted by: Sly's Wardrobe Mistress at May 22, 2009 03:57 AM

The goat reminded me...

T'was a couple of years after the Hun's had given up the bright lights of the big city of D.C. to once again embrace the quiet, peaceful life found at Green Acres. Meanwhile, just a couple of hills and a deer trail away this story unfolded.

You'd think a country boy would have known not to butt heads, as it were, with a goat.

Oh yeah, Vet66,

"On the other hand, so many people will get killed or maimed in the all-new GM death car, where steel is replaced by plastic, the proposed health plan will become unnecessary."
I suppose you've heard the latest on GM/GMAC. And I've heard that once in bankruptcy, GM will be given another 30 billion dollars in loans.

Meanwhile Al Gore and the Chinese are tag-teaming us on the Anthropogenic Global Warming front. China is demanding that rich nations cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 in upcoming global climate change negotiations.

And the U.S. State Department said Iran "keeps going in the wrong direction" and urged it to "halt" its development of nuclear and missile programs after the country launched a long-range missile Wednesday -- capable of hitting Israel and other targets in the Middle East. And as I understand it, parts of Europe.

But let's tax beer.

Thank goodness the adults are in charge of our nation.

Posted by: The-Manchurian-bubba_hun at May 22, 2009 07:46 AM

Oh, sure, you guys can yuck it up and go brew beer in your bathtub and wine in your washing machine. What about those of us who are addicted to Coke? Er, that's Coca-Cola. I don't know anyone who can brew that at home and once they slap that soda tax on, I'm going to be reduced to drinking - ugh - water.

Posted by: Elise at May 22, 2009 09:03 AM

"I'm going to be reduced to drinking - ugh - water"
Surely you do not think you will escape additional taxes simply by drinking water do ya?

By the time my kids are my age, the water bills will probably resemble the phone bill. I predict that here will be a 3.5% infrastructure charge, a 5% emergency hydration availability surcharge, a 12% water supply medication program charge, a 7% locale tax, a 29% Federal Commerce Clause charge, a 46% returned water purification charge, etc., etc., etc.

Posted by: Mr. Peabody at May 22, 2009 09:28 AM

Manchu BubbaHun,
That is why the Precious is needed. I am looking around for safer vehicles to gift to my kids simply because once they start families, there won't BE any safe vehicles, not even a Volvo...if it has to conform to US specs driven by fuel economy and greenhouse emissions.

China is demanding this? Of course...they are the biggest polluters on the planet and hold our notes. That makes them a player in getting some concessions.

Posted by: Cricket at May 22, 2009 11:48 AM

"That is why the Precious is needed. I am looking around for safer vehicles to gift to my kids..."
You're spot on Cricket. Auto Trader is a pretty good place to start if you know what you're doing when evaluating used vehicles, or CarMax if you're not so comfortable.

I like my older vehicles for many reasons. Among some of the more therapeutic excuses I could cite would be the making of an old, worn out vehicle new again. It is right thrilling, at least to one as easily amused as your humble hun.

And when you whip out your abacus and do the math on the cost/mile of new vehicles against the savings to be realized in fuel cost differentials, you often find that you would need to keep the vehicle for a decade or more just to break even.

Yup, there are many places to throw your money but motor vehicles are the ones guaranteed to depreciate from the moment you turn the key.

My oldest and her hubby sprang for a Lexus RX400h against my advice, shortly after they tied the knot. Within a year they had a huge battery cell replacement cost to cover on the vehicle. How they managed to kill the battery pack is beyond me but as they say, anything is possible, if you put your mind to it...

Walkin' Boss and I recently gave our youngest a medium sized, but substantial by todays standards, '93 ford sedan that only had 40k family miles on it. Safe, economical, and replacement parts are plentiful and relatively cheap. She wanted a Lexus... HA!

Speaking of substantial, have I ever mentioned that our big old honking Ford SUV probably saved our lives when a equally large and very overloaded truck went from ≈50 mph to 0 using our SUV as arresting gear?

Yeah baby, MASS! Accept no substitute.

Now I will make a feeble attempt to atone to the Blog Princess and attending villains for this tangent by offering a little Friday afternoon (I like this Newfoundland time zone) mood music. Black tie... Pencil thin mustache optional.

Posted by: The-Manchurian-bubba_hun at May 22, 2009 01:28 PM

We have a '93 Jeep Cherokee that has survived 16 years of raising a family and has been hit by a garbage truck. The Precious is beamy, deep and able.

You preach it, bubba hun. I would love to get a genuine Army jeep; I saw a '69 for sale at the Swiss Army website. Their depot is in Arkansas, but they want purt dang near luxury prices for gently used but old equipment.

You drive a Bronco?


Posted by: Cricket at May 22, 2009 09:04 PM

Had a full sized Blazer, way back when... But the SUV that gave its life to save ours was an Expedition. Right now my precious is a restored 79 Chevy Silverado Big 10...

I'm currently having a 40 days in the desert struggle with myself over possessing a UNIMOG or a Pinzgauer. Just because...

Posted by: The-Manchurian-bubba_hun at May 23, 2009 10:38 AM

I like the MOGs. Can you imagine the retrofit you could do? I have loved the MOGs since Germany. I guess what I like about a large frame that is responsive (I do like Chevy's ability to turn on a dime, a trait which Fords lack) is what you can do with it.

The troop transports used by the Swiss are the best. I would get one and turn it into an RV with solar power for some things...


Posted by: Cricket at May 23, 2009 12:10 PM

When they start taxing underwear, it's time to .....go commando.

Posted by: Leslie at May 25, 2009 11:59 AM

Elise said:"...I'm going to be reduced to drinking - ugh - water."

OMG - do you know what fish do in water? They make little fish and they poop!!!! There are much better things to drink.

Posted by: kbob in Katy at May 25, 2009 09:43 PM

For Pete's sake, Elise - listen to Kbob. The hazards of Dihydrogen monoxide are well documented.

Never touch the stuff myself.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 25, 2009 09:53 PM

Good helk! We go from indolently grazing bovines to DHMO in same. Where can I find rest? Is there no end to the insanity? All I want is a cup of clean, thrice filtered water. Nothing with ich in it.

Posted by: Cricket at May 26, 2009 08:36 AM


*turns and walks towards the bar mumbling aloud at how someone can voluntarily introduce said parasite infested fluids into themselves without first attempting to neutralize the little vagabonds by mixing in some alcohol*


"The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."

-Norman Thomas

Leading American socialist, pacifist, and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America.

No doubt the inspiration at the heart of the modern Democratic Party.

Posted by: W.C Fields at May 27, 2009 09:49 PM

Cassandra, thanks so much for the link. I guess it just proves one can never be too careful around chemicals.

Kbob, the only Katy I know of is in Texas so I can certainly understand why you would be concerned about inappropriate fish activity in your drinking water what with y'all dipping it right out of the bayous and all. Up here in NJ, though, we drink water made by pipes not by nature and I have never seen fish of any size nor fish droppings in my sink. I do thank you for your concern.

Mr. Fields, I'm absolutely convinced there's a perfectly relevant joke lurking somewhere in your first two initials but I'm darned if I can find it.

Posted by: Elise at May 28, 2009 07:31 AM

"Mr. Fields, I'm absolutely convinced there's a perfectly relevant joke lurking somewhere in your first two initials but I'm darned if I can find it."
Ahhh yes, I see. Kick a man when he's down, fretting over the prospects of drinking water, straight... Stuff rusts pipes ya know!

*tips hat, bows even thought dejected and with empty pint in hand, shuffles off to close the bar and find a place to take his repose*

Posted by: W.C. Fields at May 28, 2009 08:21 AM

*pushes stool to far side of corner*

Here, stand over here.

Posted by: DL Sly at May 28, 2009 10:39 AM

The W.C. in the Fields? 'Splains lotsa thins, Loosey.

I miss him and Mae West. I wonder if I could find a decent copy of 'My Little Chickadee.'

Diluting Socialism with alcohol?

Interesting analogy.

Posted by: Cricket at May 28, 2009 11:11 AM

*wakes up to honky tonkin' Joe Diffie... rubs eyes while wondering just how much dihydrogen monoxide must have been slipped into his drink. My my, slipped a mickey... thinks to remember to thank the kind Sly for the offer of the stool and then mumbles*

The socialist analogy is tightly coupled to the parasitic infestation remark...

*begins to searching around bar for medicinal agent to aid in a return to blissful sleep. Considers a little fresh air to enhance the 80 proof sleeping aid*

Posted by: W.C. Fields at May 28, 2009 11:32 AM

Luckily, hops rhizomes are easy to obtain, from a current hops grower, and then you can learn to propagate your own.

Barley is a food grain, so I doubt they'll try to restrict it anytime soon.

Yeast is necessary for food production, so I doubt they'll try to restrict it anytime soon.

Buy your beermaking equipment now, or be prepared to construct same from innocuous components after they start taxing the commercial breweries.

Dumb people -- they just don't get it. Tax it too much and we'll get all innovative on 'em...

Posted by: MAJ Arkay at May 29, 2009 12:45 PM