Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I'm feeling so much better today. I want those antibiotics at least 4 times a year!!! Then again, I was thinking, it might have been the extra salt on the tomatos on my egg sandwiches last night. Maybe that salt has done the trick. When I said I wanted more salt for my health last night probably Wanda thought I had gone round the bend and not only that, about a salt shaker. But it was the iodine I was thinking of. Thyroid health, better metabolism.

There was some other sandwich occurance that I wanted to blog about but I have forgotten it. Oh, now I remember. It is on my camera but I'll check on line. http://blogs.ajc.com/food-and-more/2011/08/03/hardees-reintroduces-the-fried-bologna-biscuit/   There, someone else has blogged about it. You would expect that because it is so odd, to me anyway. Yes, it is the Hardee's Fried Bologna Biscuit which incidentally has egg and cheese on it but they are not advertised, just in the picture.

I have this fear of cooked bologna. I can't even eat bologna which is not cold. When I was young, the cool thing to do was to put balogna on bread and broil it, or today we would stick them in the toaster oven. The bologna rounds would crisp and bend upwards on the sides. Somehow, when I was very sick once, I decided it was the broiled bologna that had caused it. Never again could I eat my favorite delicacy of the time.

So, two sandwich stories for my blog. I feel absolutely well themed today, and I am feeling oh so good. What a difference a day makes.


Went to the doctor this morning. The doctor confirmed my own diagnosis of "sinus infection." He looked down my throat and said "Oh. yes there's a lot of stuff there." Good! I said. :)  I like to be right. :)  No actually, I like it when it is easy to fix my body feeling bad.  Then he said, "Heard any popping in your ears." I said, "Well, a little I guess." He looked in them and said "Oh yes, there is a lot of fluid there." Good! I said. :)

So he told me he was going to give me antibiotics and said, "You up for a shot that would help quicker?" And I said, "Oh yes, anything that will help."  It was steroids to go with the antibiotics. If I had any doubt about the sinus infection diagnosis, it was gone now. Then of course, he wouldn't be my doctor if he didn't ask if I wanted anything for my headaches. I said "no. nothing helps." He moved on. I like it that my doctor trusts me.

In came the nurse with a needle. I said, "My wife hates needles," not realizing that soon I would be hating them as well. She jabbed it in my hip and it hurt big time. As I was about to cover it with my clothes (I couldn't see it) she said "Oh wait, let me put on a bandaid on that." She swabbed it first and the swab looked like it was a prop from a Dexter expisode. Oh, yes, put a bandaid on that. :)

I still hurt.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Finally it occurred to me this weekend that the reason I have been feeling bad must be a sinus infection. I have all the signs this weekend. Tomorrow morning I will find out if the doctor agrees.

The weekend went great, despite my nose. I bought a wonderful antique piece of furniture that is probably correctly listed as being from the 1920's from Kudzu Antiques in Atlanta. This place was awesome. The piece, resembling what we would today call a nightstand, was reasonably priced and quickly has become my favorite piece of furniture that was not inherited. I begin Wanda's and my legacy here. Our kids better not sell this! :)

I will probably end all of these personal entries with "I am sleepy, good night." So, I'll create an acronym. iasgn

Saturday, August 20, 2011


After a particularly long day of feeling pretty bad, I finally made it home. I began watching "The One Percent" directed by one of the younger Johnsons in the family of Johnson & Johnson. So far it is very entertaining in that it restates what I already know from a unique perspective. I made it as far as Milton Freidman, now a sad old man who is snotty and supports the inequitable system as a matter of course. It is hard to believe that once I thought this man a great thinker.

I need to try to find some books online by Robert Reich and there is one more I wanted, but have forgotten. Perhaps If I really used this blog as a way to keep structure in my life, I wouldn't be so forgetful.

Today I had lunch again at the Hibachi Grill. Their vegetables and rice is fairly inexpensive and healthy and tastes like I could eat it every day. As long as I am honest here, I must remember to describe "cup-o-meal." But not tonight, search for books, then sleep. Thank you for your time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

To Go Where No Man Has Read Before

Torpedo Sandwich of Truth has yet another 10 year mission. Like the U.S. space program, the Torpedo keeps changing and evolving to suit the needs of the public. The public is you and me, though I'm sure there aren't many, if any, of the "you" part of that. But just between you and me, or maybe, me and me, this now becomes the true blog.

The reasons for this are many. For one thing, I'm not comfortable with social networking. Facebook is interesting but it blows my mind about how shallow the world is. That being said, I don't want to go bowling alone. As I syndicated my 2 other blogs to Facebook to allow others to actually read them now and then, I found the same old creepy feelings coming back. What if...

Another reason is really just a personal longing that I have had for a while to not worry about what the heck I was writing. Even here in the blogs, even with the varied subjects, I have been less than forthcoming. Facebook made it really obvious what social influences were doing to my writing. I thought about a personal blog accessed only by me but that really seems like bowling alone in Antartica with the doors locked.

So, here we are. If you have stumbled into my bowling alley and feel like a game, let's bowl. If you still follow me on Facebook and my other blogs...well, yes, that is also a part of me. Facebook looks successful in a number of ways for the grand experiment that it is. But ever since I was a young man I was conflicted with the joy I found in being in the company of great writers versus the need to be out playing football with my friends. I might want to watch William F. Buckley on television, when no one else in my sphere would have even thought of this. I longed for the depth but found that social integration was just as important to a healthy mind.

It is late. I slept most of the day. But I really need to sleep on a regular schedule, so I must go. I will finish this later, no, never. The end of this blog will hopefully be the day I am no longer able to type it in. Welcome, by the way...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


"It's a good thing librarians are lazy because I wouldn't have this job," said the guy who had just turned off his vacuum cleaner to speak. I do think he meant to be funny. I really do have an affinity for people who do hard work for a living like him and there are times of course when I myself feel that some people in America get a better break than the rest of us. Really, sometimes I actually have that thought. :) I do what I can to shape the world politically to hopefully allow us all an equal break, to try to help those who need help moving up the ladder. But... I also respect my government job immensely. While I am working I represent other people and a government organization and wouldn't consider making such a remark or responding bitterly while I was working. I let his stabs at humor and me pass by. But the vacuum cleaner went off again and again to allow more comments, probably aimed at softening the first. They didn't. Next he said "I probably should say government workers are lazy, whew, they get nothing done." At the moment I was engrossed in fixing an error on a web page that seemed critical to me and had been sent up by our automated system as a broken link. I have multiple problems when this happens. 1) I don't see the broken link on my own computer. I have to go to a public computer to test the page. Often I forget that my computer behaves ever so slightly differently from the others when checking a page, so that every once in a while an error crops up 2) I have to run back and forth to another computer to check the page. It's my job. No problem. But.. one man's work is another man's laziness, I guess.

There has been an idea that government does not work. I am first on the list considering the incredulously ridiculous 60 vote rule in the U.S. Senate and the split in the House of Reps between those who vote one way, those who vote another way, and those who refuse to compromise enough to vote "yes" on anything. The laziness remark, when applied to people I know who work around me is simply inordinately silly. I have worked in libraries for most of my career and a more dedicated staff I have never seen. There isn't a time when the public does not come first. Many of us have small disagreements about how this is to be accomplished, but all are focused on doing a good job. This was not my experience at the last job I worked. I have always been a frequent visitor to the great Mickey Mouse's brand of customer (guest) service, always trying to improve my professional behavior, good nature, and the respect for the "guests," which we call "patrons."  In that previous job, this worked only to a small degree because I stuck out like a sore thumb and suffered the consequences of being the black sheep.

When I came to my new job here, this was the main difference that gladdened my heart. Not one behavior of mine that I thought was appropriate was out of place here. I was in a whole new world. I love my world.

I admire the vacuum cleaner worker's job ethic, well except today. Everyone is important. Everyone has good days and bad days. But blind criticism of government honestly must stop in this nation. Like the Greeks, we should be less concerned with the size or type of government than with the quality of government. And I doubt a morning speech from a Sam's Club manager would get very far if he said, "You are lazy because you work at Sam's. You are a bunch of losers." Reward good government, demand good government. Thank a police officer every time you see one, thank a military service person every time you see one. (Wanda taught me this about military personnel and honestly, just saying "Thank you"alone brightens their faces and they always know what you mean and appropriately reply. People who's sacrifice is great know why they are being thanked.)  People who don't know they are appreciated for their sacrifices, and we all make sacrifices, are much less likely to do their jobs with relish. Thank a smooth grocery store clerk for how professional they were at checking your groceries through the line. Say "thank you" to the busy helpful clerk at KFC. When appropriate say "Thank you so very much, this chicken looks great." It will change the world. I guarantee it.

I didn't thank the vacuum cleaning guy today though. My only thank you would have had to be in the form of thank you for opening my eyes to the sheer magnitude of disgust for government employees people must feel. But I don't think he was in the mood for that particular praise.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Republican members of the Super Congress ALL, every one of them, signed the Grover Norquist pact against new taxes. The Republican Party becomes increasingly more aligned with one core constituency and overiding principle. No matter what happens to America... "NO TAXES FOR THE RICH."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

GOP Finally Polling Worse

I listened to CNBC this morning or last night, I can't remember which, only to hear someone mention how consumers would be happy for lower oil prices. Can these people get more callous? Hundreds of thousands may suffer from loss of homes or loss of jobs because of the economy which causes the low oil and commodity prices. Good news for the consumer!

At any rate, the stock market recovered a bit. Don't celebrate yet, though.

Then, I heard the news that the GOP was not polling well. Now.. there's a shocker. It takes events the size of a large asteroid plunging into the Earth but yes, finally...  http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/60952.html   Quick... let's have an election!

You see, I've had this little thought nagging me about direct democracy lately. I'm willing now to throw caution (and my 5th grade civics teacher) to the wind, turn this car around young man, and change this country to a direct democracy. There are many advantages. Think of how hard it would be to consistently come up with election gimmicks and cheat on the voting machines. Eventually, they would run out of tricks. AND we would have the same power as those lobbyists who run around Washington every day. Surely you can guess that we could have voted ourselves into a debt rating downgrade without them. AND it's just possible, if the question came up about taxing everyone earning above 250 thousand dollars while giving out tax cuts to the rest of us, we would mentally examine our paychecks and our bank accounts and say, "You betcha!"

But before we do that, let's vote on whether to put an ATM at the voting machine spitting out tax cuts! Hey, it couldn't get worse, could it?  I doubt we would stand around arguing with each other before casting our vote at the last possible moment. Heck.. those of us with jobs would vote in the morning to get to work on time. The rest would have the whole day to vote and cheap gas to get them there.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Scary Stuff


Second recession probably worse than first.... but heck, number 1, stop calling it a recession and number 2, it's not a second recession its the depression which started in 2008 worsening from the new tight money policy. Does anyone anywhere in financial circles know what happened in the Great Depression?!  It did not matter that we grew a few points when we had dropped to the bottom. Trees-Forest.

Those with Jobs to Pay for It Will Have Cheaper Gas

Oil down to 81 dollars a barrel.

I dare say restaurant coupons, price reductions, etc. will all follow as the economy tanks or...  as I continue saying, the real underlying depression follows its course into it's ugly second half.

Look at the Vix

The volitility index is starting to look familiar. This thing is substantial and will be volitile for a long time.

Expanded to include 2008

Moody's Hangs Tough

Dow down over 300 points but that's not so bad when you consider S&P continues with what amounts to Guerilla warfare by timing the Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac downgrades on this awful day.

Moody's, by not downgrading the U.S., may well be saving the financial ratings sector from catastrophic legal difficulties. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Black Monday?

Brace yourself. The volitility of Friday's stock maket was frightening towards the end of the day. There were apparently very very big orders being tossed around. I heard the guy on CNBC call it crazy how the Dow was jumping in such a whipsaw fashion.

Perhaps this explains some of it:

I'm not really very good at predicting things, so I don't know whether things will go up or down Monday but there is a potential for something very bad to happen. If anything good happens or nothing happens, that will be an amazing story all by itself.
I'm really curious though. It seems that it would be obvious to everyone with problems that this fanatical protection of the taxes of rich people might be part of the reason we cannot raise enough money to pay for our government. Surely, we will get it soon. Surely.

The 1987 Black Monday wasn't all that tough on Reagan.

Wait... It's Not Too Late is It?

Wait! We could use some of that tax money supporting Exxon and corporate jets and just pay the ratings agencies for their AAA rating and all will be well. That's what the investment banks did so they could hawk Collateralized Debt Obligations. It's not too late, is it? Maybe it will just cost more to get them to change it back before Monday, but we can do this people!


Looking Ahead


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Real Job Report

Don't be fooled by the positive monthly job figures. They give no perspective at all but are great for the almost Orwellian news corporations to report on. In perspective, the following aspect of unemployment, the length of time it takes for an average unemployed person to find a job, coupled with expiring unemployment compensation in the 98% Boehner Crisis Bill is the real threat. It continues it's trend straight up for August 2011:

To the rich and the corporations, the recession is over. It is in that grey shaded area.

Here is how an unemployed person views the end of our recession (current as of July):

Don't worry, large corporations are making all time record profits.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Well, I said I would be happy if it was less than 700...   512 is less than 700.  Yet, it was somewhere around 300 down when I was thinking that 700 sounded like full panic mode. Somehow 512 seems pretty panicky. I hope not. Is tomorrow the release of the unemployment data? I thought that is what I heard earlier in the week. But they seemed to pretty much guess what those numbers would be. I hope they were correct, or maybe even wrong on the downside. Also pushing this panic are terrible numbers from the rest of the world and they keep talking about Europe like they are in the past tense. That sounds scary. One commentator said "Germany needs to realize it is married to the rest of Europe, and either needs to pay the wife's bills, or divorce her." I see the analogy, I just don't see why Germany is the only husband in a gaggle of wives. I haven't understood the European problem from the beginning. No one seems to pay attention to it over here long enough to explain things to me. One thing that gives me hope about it is that Europe seems to have done the same kind of irresponsible rosy scenario forecasts for every piece of duct tape they patched things up with, only to be trounced later. At least we aren't alone in our myopia. Bush II always did hate what they thought in the "halls of Europe."  Oh yeah, I also remember, "Need some wood?"

No, just shoot me instead.

Another one?

"Recession Seen Looming as Jobless Benefits End"  http://www.cnbc.com/id/44019660

Really?  Didn't we debate this unemployment thing and decide to dump them into the streets? Did I miss something? This was supposed to be good for America.  The Dow is down 400 points now and it has everything to do with the gun to the head manufactured crises. And while the headline is correct about the government stopping unemployment compensation and what that means when lots of little individuals no longer have any money to spend, those individuals must be wondering why we see a "recession looming." To them, first it's probably not a recession but depression, and second, it hasn't ended and has been going on for years. We couldn't be going into another one, we are in one.

The difference is of course how we measure recession. Does it hurt the rich? No, big business is doing fine, record profits! Oil is doing great, and added to their record profits are the usual government subsidies!

I earlier posted a chart that shows our progress out of the worst dip of the depression, by the measure that matters to, well, the rest of us: unemployment. Progress has been highly overrated in the media. It's just not there in any strength, the downside was very far down, and now we are trending down again. Some of this is Obama's fault for giving in to the rosy scenario all presidents give us to boost our moral. This needs to stop now. Give them what they asked for. A depression that has a weak government to guide us out. But Wall Street, always pushing their product, has probably done a lot more to build expectations of investers and.... well, that's profitable for them. We buy, we sell, we pay a fee.

Now, it could all go up tomorrow but the panic is here now. If it falls less than 700, I'll be happy.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Told You So :) I'm Now Officially Ahead of the Curve!!

Holy mackerel, Batman. I was right! :)

http://www.cnbc.com/id/44000901  "Debt Debate May Have Masked Real Threat: Recession"

No kidding! So will the balanced budget vote be a bit more difficult to win? :)  It would be funny if it were actually funny.

Sandwiches in the News

"A Sugar Coated Satan Sandwich"  http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/08/the-note-the-making-of-a-satan-sandwich.html

Just when I stop with the sandwich puns, the politicians grab my idea. By the way, my recipe for a Satan Sandwich includes Deviled Ham and Hellman's Mayo.

attribution unknown, not my graphic

More bad news


Job layoffs.. but the stock market futures seem to be setting up the Dow for a rebound. Let's hope it lasts till the end of the day.

Dow squeeked by... down over 100 at one point... phew



I was looking for a Dow Jones chart earlier as I was guessing in the middle of the day something historic was happening. Leave it to the good people at Business Insider who need a long overdue plug as I have mercilessly borrowed from them.

It's a little messy but the last six months shows "nowhere's ville, man." And the last days of the debt ceiling hostage crises shown in that markedly downhill trail... "kookie, man." It would all be so darn funny if it were actually...well, funny.

Meanwhile... How The Government WILL Now Be Printing Money

QE3 (Quantiative Easing Three)


Probably effective at the end of a month (decision made in Jackson Hole) we will be lowering interest rates for banks! Hooray! How do you lower interest rates for banks? Why it's QE3 (not part of any debt ceiling nonsense, debt ceilings wouldn't have even effected this Fed power.) The rich investment banks will be able to loan more money to people who have none, like they did before when they got vast infusions of money... *cough*  And will that be tied to any limits on bank executives compensation? *Cough-hellno-cough*

This article is interesting in a number of ways. The idea of keying QE3 to inflation ignores the fact that inflation is now here. But... I"ll guess they are smart enough to make the rules so that they can give money to the banks. :)

Do we need QE3?  Here the answer is unfortunately a resounding yes. Limits are now inevitable on any government programs to help us out of this latest double dip. Perhaps long term the dip is not there but those CNBC folks I listen in on sounded a little worried after today's amazing and totally unpredicted post-debt-ceiling-agreement drop in stocks accompanied by a surge in gold prices. Eight straight days of dropping stocks have not been seen since the deep pit, or Jackson Hole, possibly, of the our recent depression.

Anyway, for those Americans who thought the value of the dollar was what we were protecting by demanding the cuts in government spending in the form of cutting stimulus programs that might have actually helped the common man... the banks present us with our reward: more printing of money distributed with the timeless theory of "trickle down."

Oh, if you see any reductions in your own interest rates on your existing mortgage or credit cards... please, please, let me know.

New Sandwich Structure

I'll be ending the dates at the front of the entries to indicate separate thoughts, because now my headings won't be so odd and disconnected. So...  multiple posts on the same day (which lately has happened on my other blogs as well) will have different titles. Just letting you know. No more "triple deckers" in other words. :)  - all my best, Michael

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dow Has Mirrored Gun to the Head Republican Diplomacy

8/2 Apparently, the stock market guys around the world didn't particularly have a lot of respect for a nation who uses threats of default as a political tool OR the depression deepens. Either way...

Monday, August 1, 2011

An End to the Sandwich Buns.... umm Puns

8/01 This historic day marks the end of sandwich themed titles, well, almost. This thing still has to pass and avert financial catastrophe. I'm still catching up because I stay away from the news until it is absolutely necessary. Did influencing the Congress just get 96 percent cheaper? 16 members to bribe to reap incredible benefits. Does this also indicate that the Mad Tea Party is a non-factor in deficit reduction debate? I mean, how many Mad Tea Party members would you put on such a committee? I'm guessing one, at most. Does this effectively split the Republican Party by having a member that agrees to nothing or will there be a countering left wing curmudgeonly liberal? Heck... it doesn't matter. No left wing liberal would have the stick-to-it-ness of a Mad Tea Party participant. :)

Anyway, I'm catching up on what this historic abdication of responsibility actually means to the rest of us.