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Meet “The Duckman”

Posted by on Oct 19, 2012 in Blog, Video 1 | 0 comments

 

Here’s a great feel-good story.  The video clip comes from ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

The short clip shows a Seattle banker named Joel Armstrong who was concerned about a nest of baby ducklings, who were trapped ooutside on the ledge of his building.  I’ll let you watch and enjoy the rest.

 

— Nolan

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My Great Privilege — Meeting a World War II Veteran

Posted by on Oct 19, 2012 in Blog, Travel, What's Left | 0 comments

American Veteran Photo

 

In few more years, they’ll all be gone.

Every one of them.

The millions who marched on foot across a continent and who sailed the high seas some 70 years ago are slowly but surely leaving us.  They pass away at the rate of thousands per year, which will gradually come to a few hundred, and then to a trickle.  In another decade or so, they will be no more.

They are what has been called “the Greatest Generation.”

When times were the toughest, they endured it.  When duty called and the bell of national service rang, they answered it.  When our way of life and liberty was at stake, they defended it.  And when it was all over and some came home, they honored and remembered those who didn’t.

They are our heroes.

Indeed, most aren’t young anymore.  Most have seen and suffered far more than any human should endure.  They don’t play on sports fields.  They aren’t moviestars.  They aren’t rich or famous.  But they are far more special than any of those superficial icons with fleeting illusions of accomplishment.  They are the survivors and the victors of the last century’s most trying test.  They are the champions.  The champions of the world.

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Can the American people bring the spirit of liberty back in its place, or should they allow for it to be castrated by the orange hands of a well-known villain?

Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

 

Can the American people bring the spirit of liberty back in its place, or should they allow for it to be castrated by the orange hands of a well-known villain?

You could say that America is in a very rough place right now, seeing as the president is not only unreasonable as it seems…but that disgusting face of his doesn’t make things easier for all the people who are forced to look at his face on a daily basis. Americans said that no one should talk about the things that the state can do for you, but rather, you should talk about the things that you can do for the state. To be quite honest, not many folks can understand this principle, and while this was obviously supposed to be some sort of libertarian “don’t tread on me” mantra…it puts you off. This is the type of mantra that gets thrown around if you even consider talking about single-payer healthcare that’s supposed to help people not die from preventable diseases, or even if you’re brave enough to talk about raising the minimum wage. It seems that Americans are the only people out there who believe that healthcare should not be something that only some people can afford…after all, literally the entire world has this problem sorted out, but the states just can’t get it right. If we turn the mantra mentioned beforehand upside-down and assume that the state is willing to do something for us…do we even want it to help us out?

In a better scenario, indeed, a push every now and then is a great thing, but from an administration like this…well, you can’t really expect anything, nor should you. The White House is inhabited by a literal lunatic who wants to go to war with Iran and wanted to start some serious beef with North Korea, too. This man wanted to push Americans so far that they would have to accept the fact that some people in their country were being rounded up in cages and separated from their children. This man pulled the American troops out of Syria, and of course, now he abandons the Kurds and allows the Turks to step all over them. There is just so much blood on this dude’s hands, it’s absolutely insane. It’s pretty hard to top the things that Bush did back in the day (let’s just mention him briefly since it seems that he is in the spotlight at the moment because of the entire Ellen situation), but it seems that this Cheetos puff person truly has the potential to cause even more harm than the old crusader did. At this point, it is finally time that Americans start questioning the fuck out of their government. The gun-toting republicans talk about overthrowing the govt if they mess around with we, the people.

So, why do they sit idly and even defend old Donny? Is this not the time for them to step up and turn up the heat? Americans seem to have lost that spirit of liberty that they keep talking about on and on, and that’s insanely demoralizing if you think about it. It is finally time for the USA to wake up and fix itself from the inside out?

First things first, maybe you folks should chill out with live sex cams reviews, and the best Japanese porn sites! Sure thing…there are many ways for a person to relax, but sexual frustration sure as hell isnt making anyone think straight!

 

__________

 

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Binders Full of Women?

Posted by on Oct 17, 2012 in Blog, Politics | 1 comment

Binders Full of Women

 

It was priceless.

A comedian’s dream.

A pundits paradise.

And quite possilby the single four-word phrase that might torpdeo Mitt Romney’s last chance to win the U.S. Presidency.

In case you missed it, in last night’s presidential debate, Romney was asked in a town hall format about how his presumptive adminstration might provide and protect equal opportuities and pay for women.

For veteran politicians, these are pretty standard run-of-the-mill questions that have been asked numerous times by the public and media alike, which are easy to address.  They are political softballs, tailor made to be smacked out to the park by any savvy candidate.

In his rambling two-minute answer, Romney alluded to his first few days as Governor of Massachusetts, when he was eager to staff several key executive vacancies in his new adminstration.  No doubt, Romney intended to demonstrate a commitment to equal opportunity and pay for women.  Instead, he pulled back a symbolic curtain of sorts, unmasking himself to be anything other than an equal opportunity “Oz” in the increasingly bubble-prone Mitt Fantasyland.

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The Terrible Tragedy of Tonight’s Presidential Debate

Posted by on Oct 16, 2012 in Blog, Politics | 2 comments

Debate Photo

 

In a proverbial sense, Rome is burning to the ground.  And, while much of our national economy lays in ashes and the American Dream smolders in flames, all anyone seems to be talking about is the opera.

That’s the terrible tragedy of tonight’s Presidential Debate, which has been covered and discussed more like the buildup to a Super Bowl game rather than any bona fide exchange of real ideas and actual substance that will solve some very serious problems.  At this moment, parading around out in front of the arena where the debate will take place, thousands of “fans” are holding signs cheering for their side.  One would think Ohio State is playing Michigan.  It’s a contest of who can scream the loudest or who can make the cleverest sign.

Indeed, the gravity of our nation’s problems are very real and quite serious.  Yet — while a senseless foreign war continues, while we continue to bleed ourselves dry policing the entire world, while we drown by the trillions in debt, while our inner cities crumble, while affordable health care is more costly and out of reach than ever before, and while millions of Americans remain hopelessly out of work, after tonight’s debate everyone’s going to be asking one utterly baffling question — “who won?”

I’d like to ask my own question — why are we focusing on “who won?”  As long as we focus on such trivialities, then we all lose.

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Stealing John Dillinger’s Pants

Posted by on Oct 15, 2012 in Blog, Travel | 3 comments

 

Northwest Indiana is famous for some things.  Well, on second thought, it’s not really famous for anything.

The mishmash of small working-class suburbs encrusted by lead smelters, railroad tracks, and oil refineries — mostly filled with people with unpronouncable last names that don’t contain a single vowel — is utterly indescript.  Gary and Hammond and East Chicago and Highland and Hessville and Munster and Calumet City and all these places in between are to greater Chicagoland what North Jersey is to New York City — little more than a warehouse and freightyard to a far more vibrant place.  It’s bascially like a giant Self Storage unit the size of a county, with plumbing pipes and electrical wires running along every roadway, railroad track, and field.  That’s the picture I see when now think of Northwest Indiana.

Indeed, Gary and Hammond — where I’m staying and working over the next few weeks — are nestled right across the Illinois-Indiana state line.  These are old industrial cities that pretty much look unchanged since the post-WW2 boom.  Red brick buidings.  Cracked sidewalks.  Old storefronts littered with faded out “For Lease” signs that more symbolize a loss of hope rather than any possible prospects of gaining a tenant.  As the great writer-biographer Robert Caro would more eloquently write of another time and place, this is where “windows, glassless except for the jagged edges around their frames, stared out on the street like sightless eyes.” (Footnote 1)

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Sunday Night in Chicago — Still Starving After Two Terrible Dinners

Posted by on Oct 14, 2012 in Restaurant Reviews, Travel, Uncategorized | 6 comments

Nolan Dalla Blog

 

How do you go out to two seperate dinners at two different restaurants and still end up starving at night’s end?

Well, it happened to me tonight in the industrial garden spot of Hammond, Indiana — which is right cross the Illinois-Indiana border, outside of Chicago.

First, a few words about Chicago — the city I’m visiting over the next nine days.  It’s basically a city of trains, truckers, tolls, and traffic.  Ranks right up there with Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Detroit, only with more people, and apparently far worse food.  What would you expect from a city made up mostly of Eastern Europeans?  World class cuisine?  What’s the only thing worse than spending nine days in Chicago.  Answer — spending ten days in Chicago.  Not a fan.

But I’m here.

Here’s the story.  Last time I was in Chicago, I stayed here two weeks.  During that entire time, I don’t remember having one memorable meal, unless one considered shocking disappointment to be a virtue.  I’m sure there are some great restaurants in this city.  There has to be.  I just haven’t experienced one yet.  I’m zero for 20.  I’m the Chicago Cubs of snob diners.  In all fairness, most of the restauants I’ve tried have been either around O’Hare Airport or over in Gary-Hammond — which is kinda’ like saying you hate New York’s food because you spent most of your time in Flushing or Newark.  I realize Hammond is not the charming neighborhood of the northside.

I do remember one thing.  Last time I was here, I had a horrible meal at some Italian place on Calumet Road.  So, where did I chose to go for dinner tonight?

You guessed it — the same Italian restaurant.  The place couldn’t be that bad twice, could it?

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NFL Plays — Week 6

Posted by on Oct 13, 2012 in Blog, Sports Betting | 0 comments

 

NOLAN DALLA:  2012 POSTED SEASON RECORD

29 WINS – 23 LOSSES – 1 PUSHES —– (+ 8.7 units / 1 unit = $100)

STARTING BANKROLL:  $10,000.

CURRENT BANKROLL:  $10.870.

BEST BETS OF THE WEEK:  2-2-0

Coming off a bitter losing week because of Packers last-second upset loss at Indy……went from being a 5 unit gain to a 6 unit loss due to one play…..Big card coming up in Week 6 with 11 wagers including an unsual situation with two BEST BETS of the week — Wagering $4,990 on 11 bets.  Note:  All wagers are for amusement-purposes only.  I bear no responsibility for those who may decide to follow my plays.

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Gasoline at $6 a Gallon? It’s Here (Almost)

Posted by on Oct 12, 2012 in Blog, What's Left | 5 comments

Death Valley Gas 

In a scene right out of Mad Max, some places are now charging $5.90 a gallon for unleaded.  The premium fuel has actually hit six bucks.

SIX DOLLARS!  A GALLON!

Where is this?  Some remote whaling village in Norway?  No, it’s right here in the USA.

Here’s a snapshot of the sign out in front of the Chevron station in Shoshone, California — which is located close to Death Valley.  Admittedly, this is a tough place to reach.  So, gas is going to cost a little more in out-of-the-way places where it simply costs more money to transport fuel from the producer to the consumer.

But a 50 percent markup from the national average of just under $4 a gallon?  (Note:  This sign and price was not unusual — other stations in the area had similar prices per gallon).

Might this be a conspiracy?

Let’s agree that it costs significantly more to truck gasoline to remote parts of the country, such as Death Valley.  I’m not sure precisely how much more it takes to drive a tanker from a fuel hub such as Los Angeles, which is 200 miles west.  But let’s concede that it costs more.

I wonder — does it cost any more to transport fuel out to the desert than, let’s say, to a small town in the hills of Tennessee, where the same gallon of unleaded gas now costs $3,89 a gallon?

Someone please explain this to me.  $5.90 a gallon in Shoshone….$3.89 a gallon in Gatlinburg.

Roughly the same geography from refineries and tankers, and the same reliance on overland transport.  Shouldn’t the high dessert in California and the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee have roughly the same gas prices?

Again, please educate me.

Moreover, Id like to know that if indeed it’s more difficult to move goods to the consumer to a place like Shoshone, then why aren’t the other products also marked up significantly?  A coke that costs $1 in Los Angeles is not priced at $1.50 in Shoshone.  In fact, it’s the same $1.  A candy bar that costs 60 cents elsewhere is also 60 cents here.  Same with just about everything — except gasoline.

When people in one part of the country are forced to pay a 50 percent markup on a product that is widely available in similar regions at a substantially lower cost, something is very wrong.

I have a solution:  I hope the day comes when this nation nationalizes the oil industry.  Seize them all.  Acquire all their assets.  Take them over in the public interest and damn all the greedy shareholders who are caught holding an empty bag.

But all this pales in comparison to my final inquiry.  Alas, I’ve saved the biggest question for last.  Take a close look at that sign again.  Look carefully.

I wonder — can’t the idiot who runs the Chevron gas station afford some legitimate signage, rather than using black electrician’s tape?  I mean, the criminal oil company and the service station are raping consumers to the tune of $6 a gallon.  And the sign looks like a fucking lemonade stand?

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