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Sunday, January 28, 2007


Bear goes to the river II

I made a little video about our trip to the river on Friday. I hope you like it.

Until the next time
John Strain


Friday, January 26, 2007


No work today

smileI'm taking the day off to install a new toilet. After that, John, Bear, and I are going to the river to give his boat a little exercise. This is a big treat for all of us; especially Bear. He loves to ride in the boat and to chase his ball in the water.

Stay tuned for pictures.

UPDATE: We had fun.
A nice day at the river

Until the next time
John Strain


Wednesday, January 24, 2007



OK, I liked the idea President Bush had about tax cuts to help out with health insurance costs. Of course, the Democrats say the proposal is dead on arrival because it does not help the poorest Americans. That is BS. If you pay taxes, then a tax cut will help you.

The so called poorest Americans don't pay taxes and therefore do not benefit simply because you cannot make them pay less than zero.

What about those of us who do pay taxes? Are we lepers because we have jobs? Are we somehow bad people if we are levied lower taxes?

There are government entitlements to help out the elderly, the disabled, and the children of the poor. If you are not in one of those categories, you are able bodied and should be working. In the New Orleans area, you can make $10 an hour and get a bonus on top of that to flip burgers.

Forget all of that. If a tax credit does not help everyone, say only 90% of the people, why not do it and something else to help the others? Politics has to sink a good idea to make a lousy point.

I am way tired of hearing about the poor and the rich. There are politicians who must want to see class warfare.

I have an Amazon Visa credit card. I get a 1% reward. So every $2500.00 I spend, I get a $25.00 reward certificate in the mail. I got one yesterday thanks to Christmas spending. It was nice getting something back. I wish the government did that.

Wouldn't it be nice to get a reward certificate from the US Government. Maybe put it in one of those brown envelopes on a check with the Statue of Liberty on it. It could have a letter with it that said something like this:

Uncle Sam wants to thank you for being a taxpayer and helping out so many people at home and abroad. Thank you for working and giving 40% of your income to help out. Enjoy this $10, we mean $6, to make things more convenient for you, we already took out the tax.

That would be something. So I say, the government should start a rewards program for those of us who do pay taxes. Who is with me?

Email me. In the meantime, I will be assembling torches for our march through the streets to Washington DC.

Until the next time
John Strain


Monday, January 22, 2007



Jimi Hendrix
All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix

I have had this thought many times and it usually happens when I am listening to "All Along the Watchtower." I feel angry because Jimi Hendrix died so young. I feel cheated in a way. I wonder what other music he could have made. I enjoy the music he left, but I know he took a lot of good stuff with him.

I know; he killed himself with drugs and alcohol. My thought has nothing to do with judgment, just the music. There was certainly passion in his voice and in his hands. He had "IT," and that doesn't come around very often.

I was looking for a photo for this post and found an article about someone who met Jimi Hendrix by sneaking into a venue in New York where he was playing. It happened on my birthday in 1968 when I was 11 and barely aware of Jimi.

Just a thought generated by the stimulus of a song that reaches down and moves my soul.

Until the next time
John Strain


Thursday, January 18, 2007


I.M. Nuts

I.M. NutsHi folks, my name is I.M. Nuts. John lives in my yard and he asked me to do a post for him on his blog.

He asked me a while back, but due to the subject matter he requested I cover, I had to consult with my attorney and I wanted to read through his blog to decide if I wanted to associate myself with it in any way.

My attorney assured me that I could write about the misunderstanding of going into the shed and helping myself to the bucket of corn without fear of prosecution, both criminal and civil. I have a good lawyer, if there is such a thing. His name is Ake Orn.

I found some of John's posts amusing. I also liked the fact he has other members of the animal kingdom as guest bloggers at times. His dog Bear is pretty nice. He never once chased me or my family. If Bear is in the yard, we just keep eating corn and seeds without fear of harrassment. He is OK.

I will get into more of this later. John mentioned a video. We are collaborating on the video, so it is taking a little more time than we had hoped, but that's show biz.

We hope to have it up sometime this weekend. Then you can hear about my whole family. I will tell you about my brother U.R. Nuts, my little sister P.E. Nuts, and more.

I hope you have a nice day doing whatever it is you do. People seem so busy. I will leave you with a quote from one of my favorite writers R.U. Nuts, my great grandfather - he was born a year and a half ago. He said, "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again."

I thought that would be especially inspiring for John.

Well, I better get back to work on that video.

Don't fall out of your tree
I.M. Nuts


Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Nothing going on but the rent

Work really interferes with my life. Things could be worse; I could be unemployed. At any rate, I am still working on the squirrel guest blogger bit. It is coming, but I have a little piece of video I need first.

I am handling the no running directive from the doctor OK. Not really, it is driving me crazy. I have to use the orbital trainer at the gym and do all kinds of other exercises instead. That’s the breaks.

We are at a football fever pitch down here. The Saints are only one game away from their first Super Bowl appearance. All they have to do is beat the Chicago Bears on the road this weekend. I sure hope they do it. What a story that would be – to be 3 and 13 one year and go to the Super Bowl the next – unimaginable.

It’s getting late, so I need to get the coffee ready for the AM, let Bear out for his final pee, turn out the lights, and lock the door. I have a 4:30 am wakeup call to go to the gym. Yippee (said with all the sarcasm he could muster.)

Until the next time
John Strain


Friday, January 12, 2007


Guest Bloggers

John’s Online Journal is going to feature a new guest blogger in a day or so. Bear isn’t the only animal who can write. My squirrels have a go at the keyboard too.

I have a squirrel feeder nailed to one of my live oak trees. Each day I put a new ear of corn on it so they can have their breakfast. This takes some of the squirrel traffic away from the bird feeder.

The Boys

Squirrels are really pig rats with bushy tails. It isn’t enough for them to eat that corn and the occasional bread, apple cores, and pancakes I throw out in the yard to boot. They found a way into the shed (corn crib) and feasted.

I have video and still photos to supplement the little bugger’s story, but I thought it would better if they told it first hand.

So stay tuned fans of typing animals. This weekend I hope to have a little video and post up for your edutainment.

Until the next time
John Strain


Thursday, January 11, 2007



I have to let the groin / adductor heal and that means no running for a while. This is the first injury that has stopped me from running for a couple of years. That is a pretty long run - pun intended.

I will layoff running for two weeks, but do strengthening exercises and stationary bike or orbital trainer instead.

I probably jinxed myself by signing up for 4 marathons. That is one marathon this weekend and 3 in February. That's a donation of about $200. I also have to cancel some hotel reservations.

On top of that, I am probably out for the 44 miler in Kansas City in April.

I think I will wear pink to work today.

Until the next time
John Strain


Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Turn your head and cough

I am going to a sports medicine doctor today due to the groin pain. The purpose of the visit is to rule out anything serious such as a stress fracture or a sports hernia. If the pain is only from a groin pull / strain, the Rx will be rest and strengthening exercises.

On a brighter note, my Apple Computer Stock, now known as Apple Inc. went up 7% yesterday after CEO Steve Jobs announced the upcoming iPhone. That company comes up with the most cool stuff. If you are interested in getting wowed, go to the Apple website and watch the keynote address from Tuesday's MacWorld conference. Jobs demonstrates the iPhone and Apple TV.

Buy as many Apple products as you can. Those sales are making me money, ha.

I am in no way rich, but I have learned that a regular person can make some money in the stock market. My 401K is being managed by professionals, but I started an account with Sharebuilder. Each month, I buy $200 worth of stock. I have been doing this since May of 2005 and it has added up nicely.

I watch Jim Cramer's Mad Money every night and have learned a lot about the market and individual stocks from him. I wish I had started out younger. Oh well, the story of my life.

Regarding education, I just finished the book iWoz: How I invented the personal computer, co-founded Apple, and had fun doing it. by Steve Wozniac. My next reads are Jim Cramer's books: Real Money: Sane investing in an insane world> and Mad Money: Watch TV, get rich.

Now, let's say you do become rich. You may wind up with a spoiled daughter like this one:

I'll leave you with that little piece of family heaven.

Until the next time
John Strain


Sunday, January 07, 2007


Marathon Therapy

My team may be out of the playoffs, but I can still run. Today calls for a 15 miler and it is raining. Lace'em up boys we're going anyway. What's a little rain?

I am not completely through with football season. The Saints are in the divisional playoffs next week. I hope they fare better than the Chiefs.

My heart goes out to Romo of Dallas. I hope he isn't beating himself up too much, but I would be if I were him.

I pulled a groin, but it was mine. That has me cutting back on intensity. I have decided not to run the Mississippi Marathon next week, because I don't want to miss my three in a row in February.

I am concerned about the Brew to Brew 44 mile run from Kansas City to Lawrence, Kansas. It is April 1, no foolin'. With this injury, I am not sure if I can be ready for it.

Stay tuned. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Until the next time
John Strain


Saturday, January 06, 2007



Do you remember Jim Mora's rant?

My CHIEFS play the Colts today in a wild card game. The Colts with Peyton Manning are of course the favorites, but they still play the games just to make sure.

So, at 3:30 CT I will be plastered in front of the TV with an adult beverage. It may be the end of the CHIEFS season, but maybe; just maybe they will earn one more week.

I love it and I hate it.

Update: Colts 23 Chiefs 8

Keeee-rappp! Well, maybe next year.

Until the next time
John Strain


Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Poor Saddam

Poor Saddam Hussein; his dignity and human rights were violated. All because someone taunted him prior to his death and videotaped his execution. Boo Hoo! How can we as a civilized people live with ourselves after such an atrocity?

While I am thinking about it, those poor prisoners at Abu Ghraib were similarly treated. Here’s a boo hoo for them too. Those embarrassing pictures taken of them were so humiliating; they would have been better off had they been shot on the battlefield.

It seems like the so-called good guys are violating rights left and right. If it isn’t George Bush trying to listen to the phone calls of terrorists, then it’s folks trying to keep non-US citizens from over running the country.

Have things become so ideological that common sense is dead? How in the world can someone ponder the life and death of Saddam Hussein and think the main point is someone telling him to “Go to hell,” just before he dances at the end of a well deserved rope?

He is damn lucky he wasn’t in the hands of someone like himself. Hussein killed, maimed, and tortured for fun. His acts of violence are in the same category of the world’s most notorious bad people. Yet there are morons who are willing to ignore all of that and give their voices to the defense of his “rights.”

Some say that Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek. Was Jesus turning the other cheek, when he ran the money changers out of the temple with a whip? Was he turning the other cheek when he railed against the Pharisees and the religious hypocrites?

It is God’s task to judge, but I doubt the fact that Saddam was taunted or videoed will have much impact on his final judgment when compared to his life’s actions.

Why do folks want to make excuses for the guilty and the bad? When the dirty bastards flew planes into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the dust hadn’t settled before idiots were asking questions like: “What can we do to make them like us?” and “How can we change to show them that we are nice?”

Even when we decide to go to war, we want to do it in a nice way. We can’t fight on the Holy Days of our enemy, we can’t shoot them if they are in a Holy Place, and if we catch them, we are supposed to grant them rights their peace time government would not grant even its own citizens.

It all comes down to our basic point of view. I am an American. I am proud of that fact. I love my country and I want to see it succeed. I want America to be the best it can be.

It is not unlike being a parent. I am a father. I love my son. I spent time with him as he grew. I pulled for him in everything. I was proud of his achievements and I helped him learn from his failures. My love for him has done nothing but grow.

Does America make mistakes? Yes. Does the government sometimes let its citizens down? Yes. Do you throw your kids out of the house if they do something wrong? Do you disown them if they fail? I hope not.

America is you and me; not them. The them are the folks who want to do us harm. The them are the folks at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. I don’t care about their cause. They lost their right to talk about causes when they started killing innocent Americans.

So if I don’t get all teary eyed when a dictator gets razzed on his way to meet the devil, forgive my harshness. If I don’t go picket the White House because scum bags who want to be called soldiers in captivity, but dress like citizens and hide behind women and children on the battlefield aren’t getting the rights an American citizen is getting; forgive me of that too.

I am not neutral in this fight. I want America to win. I watched the video of Saddam hang and it made me feel good.

I do not advocate wrong treatment, but neither do I feel bad when certain folk’s rights are violated. You reap what you sew eventually. Even so, Saddam got off easy.

Do you think the Kurds are worried about Saddam’s rights? His life was the cause of so many deaths and so much suffering. He lived in luxury, but he died despised. Before that trap door opened and he fell to his death, he heard exactly what he deserved and that video is the only image of Saddam Hussein that will bring anyone joy.

Victims of Saddam Hussein
Kurdish victims of Saddam's gas attack

Until the next time
John Strain


Monday, January 01, 2007


A New Year and I got me some writing to do

Ha, I'll bet this headline has English teachers cringing all over the world.

It is a New Year and I need to get busy. I have some post ideas floating around in my noggin.

I am really happy about my CHIEFS. I know there are some Bronco fans that read this blog so my heart goes out to them. They had a tough loss.

My son was at the CHIEFS game Sunday and I saw him on television. I heard Barbara yell from the other room, "That's John! That's John!" Leave it to a mother to find her baby in a crowd of 80,000 people all dressed the same. It is like that penguin photo, but what may look the same to everyone else, isn't for a mama.

Here is the video I snatched from the Tivo. John, his girlfriend Mandy, and her family are the ones on the top row toward the end of the video. John is on the far right in the CHIEFS jacket. They look cold.

Have a Happy NYD and maybe I will get busy writing.

Until the next time
John Strain