Ram wearing spectacles.

Happy (Traditional) Tax Day!  So… Stick with me on this.

Last week, in news you probably missed, some engineering experts sounded a major alarm to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The subject: Self-driving cars.

The concern:  We’re not ready yet.

The evidence:  Unresolved technical issues, including some accidents.

The request:  Please, Dear Government Agency slow down your aggressive approach to issuing guidance for technology that is not ready for guidance yet.

That seems reasonable. Safe.  Wise for someone whose name has the word “Safety” in it.

That creates some tension for the agency, however. After all, they have a job to do – a service to the American people.  So Mark Rosekind, Director of the NHTSA, commented:

“Everybody asks, ‘When are they (self-driving cars) going to be ready?’ I keep saying they’re not coming; they are here now.”

Then he added this little revealing gem: [click to continue…]

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Daily News Headline

Back in the late sixties and early 70s we gathered around our TV sets with the three available channels on Monday nights for Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in on NBC.

One of the repeated gags on the lightning-fast show was the old joke from the diner, “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup.” I remember in one episode, the waiter is behind the counter and seven or eight people sitting at the bar say, one right after another, “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup.” Whoever was playing the waiter went down the counter, spewing out one punch line after another. Sorry, can’t find the YouTube clip for that, but it went something like this:

There’s a fly in your soup? Keep it down sir, or they’ll all be wanting one.

There’s a fly in your soup? Sorry sir, guess I forgot it when I removed the other three.

There’s a fly in your soup? Then we’ve served you too much soup, the fly should be wading.

There’s a fly in your soup? Couldn’t be, sir. The cook used them all in the raisin bread.

There’s a fly in your soup? It’s OK, Sir, there’s no extra charge!

There’s a fly in your soup? No sir, that’s a cockroach, the fly is on your steak.

There’s a fly in your soup? What do you expect? It’s fly soup.

Call me weird, but that’s one of the first things I thought of when I read the headline of the New York Daily News in the immediate wake of the devastating shootings in San Bernadino – yet another American city whose name has become synonymous with mass murder.

GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS, the headline blasted, riffing on and ripping the condolence statements of Republican presidential candidates. [click to continue…]

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Help! I’ve Been Blindsided by Obamacar!

by Andy Wood on November 6, 2013

in Conversations, Spoofs

Cuban CarThank you for calling the Affordable Car Administration.  This is Brenda, how may I direct your call?

Hi Brenda, this is An… Hey, you sound familiar.  Didn’t I talk to you about needing an attorney because I left my keys in the car?

Why yes, I believe you did!  Mr. Wood, is it?

Yeah, that’s me.  And then you were at that firm looking for heroes or something?

Quite correct, sir.  Unfortunately that didn’t work out so well.

Why’s that?

The recession. All our heroes were unemployed, so they signed up for government work.

And the attorneys?

The same.  You know that they say… “The best place for an out-of-work lawyer is in making more laws for all of us to enjoy!”

Well I’m glad to hear a familiar voice there, Brenda.  I’m in a world of hurt. I just got this notice in the mail that says, “Your current vehicle is being discontinued as of January 1.” Then I’m supposed to purchase a new one that meets the minimum requirements of the ACA?

Well congratulations are certainly in order, sir! I know you’re going to enjoy driving your new automobile. [click to continue…]

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Hanukkah Hams: Game Warden Edition

by Andy Wood on November 20, 2009

in Gamblers, LV Alter-egos

HuntingTomorrow gun season begins for deer hunters in my home state.  And what better way to celebrate than with another round of Hanukkah Hams!  In case you’ve missed previous editions, allow me to explain.  Hanukkah Hams are glorious acts of intelligence-gone-south.  Ideas that seemed to make perfectly good sense at the time, but leave you asking, “Huh?  What was I thinking?

In honor of my shotgun-totin’ four wheelin’ Bambi-chaser friends in Alabama and beyond, this edition of Hanukkah Hams takes to the woods or the marshes, the fields and even the lakes to remind you – the Second Amendment protects your right to bear arms.  But thousands of other laws exist to protect the deer, the antelope, and apparently every other known species known to man.

And frankly, all of this gets confusing.  I mean, really, did you actually read all those regulations when you got your license?  I just look for the dates when the shells and fur can start flying.

What’s more, everything varies from state to state, and even region to region.  So we here at the Hanukkah Hams Research Institute sought the help of a recognized expert.

Couldn’t find one of those.

So we checked with local Game Warden Burney Fife, who seemed to have a surprising amount of knowledge on the subject.  Here’s an excerpt from our interview: [click to continue…]

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Crime“Thank you for calling Killinger, Meeks, and Nowlin.  This is Brenda.  How may I direct your call?”

“Hi, Brenda, this is Andy.  I need an attorney.  I’ve been busted.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, sir, but I’m sure we can help.  KillMeNow specializes in not being picky at all in who we represent.”

“Uh, thanks, I think.”

“So I can assist you further, can you tell me why you’re behind bars?”

“Well, it’s sort of embarrassing. [click to continue…]

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Barney Fife is Alive and Well

by Andy Wood on October 9, 2009

in 100 Words, Photos

sidewalkThis is what government does.

The distant sidewalk:  built to code when the dentists built their exquisite office next door.

The near sidewalk: also built to code two years later on our site.

I’m sure to somebody in an office somewhere, the changes made sense at the time.

I’m also sure that somebody in that office will decide that one of us (probably us) has to fix the problem. 

At our expense, of course.

Multiply this times trillions, and you’ll understand why some people are wary of the Federal government.

Not sure that’s what they meant by “promoting domestic tranquility.”

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Imagine the looks and the laughs.  You’re a servant – socially, a nobody.  You own no property, have little-to-no money.  On a busy city sidewalk, you are nameless and faceless.

And yet here you are, in the local real estate office, looking for investment properties.

Or maybe sitting around the local JerusaBucks, sipping on a latte and asking some of the locals about business opportunities or stock market preferences.

You’re a legend in your own mind.  But if anyone knew you, they’d laugh you out the door.

Version 2.0

Imagine the awkwardness and anguish.  You’re a servant – socially a nobody.  You own no property, have little-to-no money.  On a busy city sidewalk… well, you get it.

And yet here you are, being asked by the most powerful man you know, to look out for part of his money – more money than you’ve ever seen, much less ever held in your hand.

Echoes of your parents’ proverbs still ring in your ear – stuff like, “A fool and his money are soon parted.

Can’t he find someone else for the job?  This is risky business, and you’re no risk taker.

Isn’t there some hole somewhere…?

Above Your Pay Grade?

How do you handle assignments that are, in the words of the president-elect, “above your pay grade?” [click to continue…]

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CrownIt was one of the most significant turning points in Israel’s history.  A day when elders behaved like spoiled children – deciding what they wanted, then fitting the problem to their solution.  A day that set their course for hundreds of years.  An event that, prompted by fear and ambition, abandoned the character and calling of a nation.  And yet, compared to other great events in the family-nation’s remarkable history, this day is seldom remembered.

In a time when influence was wielded by men and women who knew and walked with God, Israel’s leaders wanted more.

They wanted to be like everybody else.

“Give us a king,” they said.

Samuel didn’t like it, and took it personally.  “Relax,” God says.  “They’re rejecting Me, not you.  But now you know how I feel.”

Human nature tends to swing between two extremes:

[click to continue…]

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