Wednesday, May 31, 2006

This is why there is a Second Amendment

There is a reason for the Second Amendment. Here are a few articles on just one incident that really exemplify the necessity of an armed citizenry and the need for a check on abuse of power.

First article
Second article

There is absolutely no excuse for this sort of behavior. The mp3 file of the recording mentioned in the articles can be found here.

All of this reminds me that I need to get back to shopping online for more ammo.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Enough, already! They just don't get it!!!

We have a $2 billion dollar overage in state taxes this year and the state is looking to increase taxes anyway. It is bad enough that the state is even considering a toll plaza on I-95. Now they want to levy a tax on landfill use.

Hey, we already pay the county to run the landfill here. Then if we want to use the landfill that we are already paying for, we have to pay tipping fees for use of the facility. Now the state is trying to get in on the action and levy a $2 tax per ton. That will increase the money we pay for each personal load we take to the landfill and will also raise the price of garbage collection that we pay commercial businesses or towns to contract businesses to perform.

A garbage tax on garbage? ENOUGH ALREADY!!! STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This greed has got to stop.

Here is the article from WMPM

Bill Would Add $2 Per Ton Tax On Garbage Taken To Landfills - Johnston County officials are keeping a close eye on legislation that would add a $2 per ton solid waste tax paid to the state on all items brought into landfills. The proposal, included in Governor Mike Easley’s budget, would tax landfill users across the state. Johnston County Commissioner Wade Stewart said Johnston County had a “great” solid waste disposal system in place. “We don’t need the state’s intervention or taxes – it’s not welcome in Johnston County ,” Stewart told WMPM. Haywood Phthisic, Assistant Director of the Johnston County Public Utility Department said the state was attempting to generate funds to close out old landfills that many towns use to operate. “The funds would make sure they were properly closed, so there were no risks to groundwater or any other contamination.” If the measure is passed, Johnston ’s solid waste garbage fee, which is currently $33, would rise to $35 per ton. A second proposal would place a moratorium on permits for new landfills until 2008. The moratorium, if approved, would allow the state more time to study solid waste disposal issues.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Interesting interview with Ted Nugent

I don't agree with everything Ted Nugent says or does, but we do have many similar viewpoints on national defense, guns, Islam, immigration, homosexuality, and crime, amongst other things. Here is a long but interesting interview/article.

One quote from Ted at the 2005 NRA convention I kind of like is "Remember the Alamo! Shoot 'em! To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em." (Source: "Ted Nugent to Fellow NRAers: Get Hardcore," Associated Press article, April 17, 2005)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

An update to the "family secrets" post

I forgot to post the results of the birth certificate request for my father, Robert Pierre LaPlante. I did get a certified abstract of a birth record from the City of Franklin, NH this week. The record did show that my father's birth mother was indeed Beatrice LaCasse, the woman he knew as his mother.

It makes me sad that my father went the majority of his life not knowing for certain that his mother was in deed his birth mother. Now I know that Beatrice's genes have contributed to my family gene pool, not that this was a real important thing to me one way or the other. I was, however, intrigued with the family rumor. I am not one to let a rumor carry on without resolution, especially when it is a relatively easy mystery to solve. Why my father allowed this mystery to go on for years when all he had to do was go to city hall in the same town where we lived for years and look for himself is beyond my comprehension.

I have already drawn a degree of criticism from my mother for even bothering to find out the truth of the matter. Hey, at least I know the answer, which to me was worth the cost of postage plus the $12 fee. Anyone in the family who is reading this and wants a copy of the certificate, just contact me.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Babies and X-Men

What is it with babies when they are around me? Every time I go to a restaurant and there is a baby anywhere nearby, I will get stared at by the baby. Then, when I see the child and we make eye contact, the baby will smile at me. I smile back and the next thing I know, we are both laughing, smiling, and looking at each other on and off for the rest of the meal. Tonight was no exception. Am I funny looking to a child? Safe or familiar looking? Do I look friendly to an infant or pre-toddler? I don't know, but I often have fun and parents often seem to be glad that someone is amusing their baby for them.

We saw the new X-Men movie today. It is certainly worth seeing. Today was opening day at the theater. We caught an earlier show so there weren't many people in the theater. There were some plot surprises and a lot of action. If I say much more, I will give away some plot details, so I will refrain.

Selma stupidity

I have written before about problems I have with how some things are being conducted in the town of Selma's government. I have also written about the idea that Selma is the only town in the county to still do their own police dispatching. The county can do it more efficiently and cheaply than we can. They already do all of our fire and rescue dispatching. It is stupid to keep our own police dispatch when the town could save $50K a year (40% or so of the cost) of running our own dispatch.

In a time when the town needs to save money because of a budget crunch, I find it unwise to NOT go with county dispatch. They are more professional, have better inter-agency cooperation, and all emergency communications are centralized. I have been a dispatcher and have worked for both a police and a fire department. I am one of the few people in this town who have that perspective, certainly amongst most of the town council (I added the "most of" on 6/13/06, since I was informed that one town council member was a dispatcher eons ago, as well). One town council member used to be a police officer in Selma, and I am a bit surprised that Mayor Hester did not have ANY support of the four council members on this topic.

I still have a problem with the mayor being able to make motions in the council, regardless of the interpretation given to the town attorney by the League of Municipalities of the reading of the town charter. It is an extrapolation of powers and is incorrectly interpreted, in my opinion. This instance is one motion, regarless of its origin, that I support wholeheartedly.

The lack of resolve that I have witnessed and read about on the part of some of the council just really torques my shorts, so to speak. If you can't take the hard decisions, then RESIGN from the town council and let someone with some backbone take your place. The reasons for opposition to Mayor Hester in this case, as cited in the newspaper are merely emotional and are out of touch with reality in the 21st Century. I was so peaved when I read the paper, I almost "popped a blood vessel". I realize that I am a bit more involved than most people in my thought pattern and interest, especially since I ran for town council last fall. I will admit that I get pissed seeing what I wish I could be doing, and that is standing for common sense and responsibility in town government in Selma.

Anyway, here is "The Smithfield Herald" article and "The Selma News" article:
By Kelly Lake, News Editor 23.MAY.06

Selma Police Department’s dispatchers are safe, at least for another week. A motion to allow the county to take provide dispatcher service for the department, made by Mayor Charles Hester, died without a second at Monday’s budget work session.

Town Manager Stan Farmer gave council members a resolution to accept an offer from Johnston County 911 Communications to provide police dispatch services for the town, then explained the savings the town might see if they pass the resolution.

Farmer explained that the Selma police department uses four full-time dispatchers who are paid $125,000 annually in salaries and benefits.

"The county has offered to do it (dispatch service) for $76,000 a year," said Farmer. "We will need to purchase some equipment and work on the telephone system, but those are one time expenses, not annual."

The change could take place beginning on Jan. 1, 2007, if the council approves the resolution. Farmer said it would be best to approve it soon, so that everyone involved has time to prepare. He added that the county already provides dispatch for the town’s fire and rescue squads.

With its own dispatchers, the Selma Police Department is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Without them, the department would be closed to the public virtually all the time.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The video segments of Daisy's story

We managed to get the video files of WRAL's coverage of Daisy's story. Here is the video of the original story and here is the file of the interview with us with Daisy.

Thanks, Rich.

Monday, May 22, 2006

News stories online about Daisy and her pack of Pekes

1. The Rocky Mount Telegram
2. WCTI article
4. WITN and another from WITN
5. News 14

A bit of useless trivia is that the woman who did this to my new dog voted On Nov. 2, 2004 with an out-of-precinct provisional ballot. The state Supreme Court in North Carolina ordered that her vote on November 2 (along with a bunch of others) be cancelled for all state and local races. That tells me a lot about her intelligence, as if what she did to over a dozen dogs didn't already tell me that.

Daisy and us on TV

Mike Charboneau from WRAL did came by today and took a bunch of footage and interview time for a quick "package" that aired on WRAL this evening. The story was originally slated to air at the tail end of the 5:30 PM show but got bumped to the 6PM news cast. We caught it on DVR and have made several VHS copies for friends and family. The story is not currently on the WRAL web site, probably because it is a follow up story. I already got a few phone calls and emails from people who saw the story. Thanks, y'all. I can make a dub of the story for anyone who wants one.

Watch the WRAL news cast at 5:30 tonight

Daisy's story will be on the WRAL news cast tonight.

WRAL wants to do a follow up story on Daisy

All I wanted was to see if I could get a copy of the original story to keep for posterity. I emailed Mike Charboneau at WRAL after we got Daisy just to see about the possibility of getting a copy. He called me today to see if we could hook up to do a follow up story. I didn't plan on this, but why not? If it will assist in stopping animal abuse by bringing attention to the situation and prodding others to "step up to the plate", then perhaps it will be worth it. There is more to the story, I just found out. I will type more as time permits. We are expecting WRAL any moment now, because I was on the phone with Teresa at Dog Days Inn a few minutes ago and paused typing for a while.

There sure are a lot of STUPID people in New Orleans...STILL!!!!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The story of Daisy

My last post was about the new dog. Here is her story. My wife saw the news story on WRAL Thursday night. We then got online and found the info for the Edgecombe County Animal Shelter, where the dogs in the news story were taken. I called first thing Friday morning. I was told that the dogs were all adopted out but to call Dog Days Inn in Tarboro. That is where the Pekes were taken. My wife called there and left a message.

About 6PM, we got a phone call from Dog Days Inn. The owner of the salon/kennel talked to me for a while and we got along fine. She asked if we could come that evening so that the dog would not have to stay in the kennel all alone. All six other Pekingese were adopted out already.

We drove to Tarboro and got to see this beautiful Pekingese girl. I can not believe that the shelter was going to euthenize all seven Pekes until Dog Days Inn stepped in and took all seven.

They were abandoned for about three weeks. Seven of the Pekingese died and the other seven plus one yellow lab were surviving by eating the dead seven. They were only found because of the odor complaints from neighbors. When found, they were malnourished, dehydrated, and had decaying flesh, feces, and fleas all through their fur. Animal control had no intention of adopting them out. They had already started the process for euthenizing them.

The Dog Days Inn owner, Teresa, took all seven Pekes to a local vet near her kennel. She had x-rays and full examinations performed on them all. She also got them all their vaccinations, including rabies, started them all on worming treatments, and eye drops, since some of them had eye abrasions. Our dog had problems walking at first, but the vet found no medical reason for this other than malnutrition. After a day of eating and drinking, she started to improve. By Friday night, she was walking around just fine. Now she trots around the house, jumps on furniture, and down from the bed all on her own.

Teresa at Dog Days did not want a penny for all of her trouble and expense. She did, however, turn down some potential owners, since she did not like the person or their situation. She knew that we had Peke experience and were looking for another, and we got along fine.

We took her to PetSmart in Garner yesterday to get food, shampoos, a colar and leash, and all the other new doggie things. We had some left over from the last dog, but we knew what she ate, liked for toys, and what shampoo was best for her. For the new dog, it was all unknown. She fond some admirers at the store and we got to tell her story a few times.

She is territorial and funny to watch. The cats don't like this concept, though, and have been pretty scarce. She is sitting at my feet right now and barks at the cats if they come close. She is very attached to us right now and gets a bit of anxiety when one of us leaves the house. She does travel well and has started playing some.

For all of Friday night and up until late Saturday night, we did not have a name for her. We usually find a name quickly, since most pets we have name themselves by their situation, actions, or looks. We just didn't know what to call her. Last night, we settled on Daisy.

Friday, May 19, 2006

New addition to the family

Just a few minutes ago, the wife and I got home from picking up a new dog. Ours died two weeks ago of old age. We were debating about waiting a while and maybe looking at getting a shelter dog. The wife loves Pekingese. We saw a story on WRAL's broadcast and web site just last night about some Pekingese that were abandoned for several weeks in Edgecombe County. Last night, I did some research online and came up with the Edgecombe County Animal Control web site and info. I called this morning and found that they were all adopted. Well, not really, as it turned out. I was told that Dog Days Inn, a kennel and salon had taken all the survivors and was trying to place them. The wife called earlier this morning and left a message. This evening about 6:00, we got a phone call from the kennel owner asking us if we were interested. All but one was already adopted out. We drove to Tarboro this evening and got a Pekingese.

I will post more about the whole story later. There is actually a lot to tell. I will also put up a picture as soon as we take some with the digital camera and download them.

Here is a link to the WRAL news story online, video version and text version

Here is the story text.

Tarboro Woman Charged With Animal Cruelty

POSTED: 7:57 am EDT May 17, 2006
UPDATED: 11:01 am EDT May 18, 2006

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. -- An Edgecombe County woman faces felony animal cruelty charges after investigators found more than a dozen dead or dying dogs in her home. Authorities said it appears the woman moved and left the dogs behind.

Eight dogs, mostly Pekingese, were still alive when deputies found them starving to death in a mobile home in Tarboro. They also discovered seven other dead dogs, their bodies already decomposing, inside.

Investigators say complaints of a foul odor lead them to the trailer. Authorities arrested the homeowner, 55-year-old Belinda Haddock, and charged her with seven misdemeanor and seven felony counts of animal cruelty.

The arrest warrants charge Haddock neglected the dogs, causing or permitting unjustifiable pain, suffering and death. Investigators won't say how long ago Haddock abandoned the dogs, or comment on her reason for doing so.

The surviving dogs are at the Edgecombe County animal shelter for now. Officers say they are all in poor condition and none have rabies shots. Workers will continue monitoring the dogs closely to see if they are adoptable. It’s too soon to determine if they'll survive.

Haddock made her first appearance in court Wednesday morning. She's out of jail on a $7,000 bond.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Libs, life, and eternal living

There is this one guy at work who is a big liberal and atheist. He is a nice guy, but is surrounded by people who are much more politically conservative than he is. He puts up liberal posters from, political cartoons, etc. outside his cubicle. On his car is a bumper sticker that says "So can I teach evolution in your church?" Obviously, it is a slam on the idea of teaching creationism in schools. It is amazing that those who oppose God are actually the narrow minded yet those who have convictions that are more in line with traditional values are criticized as being the narrow bigots.

My answer is simply, "YES!" You can teach evolution in the church! After all, we should know our adversary and his ways. 2Cor 2:11 "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices". 1Ti 6:20 "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called" Just remember Eph 6:11 "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil".

New topic: A decent discussion has started about what it is to be a saint.

Two subjects

Well, Pat Robertson has opened his mouth again. He has predicted that the coast will get hit by storms this year. Look, I have lived in "Hurricane Alley" for eighteen years now. NEWSFLASH: We get hit with storms EVERY year! Predicting storms hitting the coast is like predicting that the sun will rise tomorrow.

I am on the Local Emergency Management Planning Committee for our county. Each year, we have the area director for the National Weather Service discuss hurricane preparedness prior to each hurricane season. Last month, we say charts, graphs, storm tracks, videos, slides, etc. on the CYCLE of hurricane activity. Secular sources are showing how hurricanes tend to have a 25 to 30 year cycle. We just came out of a lull in the cycle and are coming into the cycle of increased activity. Some try to blame this on global warming, others on God.

The tsunami warning, now that is a little different. However, all his quote said was "There well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest".

Here is the article.

Another issue I watch in pure puzzlement is the protection of our borders. We can't defend against hurricanes, but we can defend against invasion. Whether it be against terrorist infiltration, illegal immigrants, or a foreign army.

Just yesterday, the US Senate approved a bill to build a wall at the border with Mexico. No, not for the entire 1,951 miles, just 370 miles. That is just 19%, approximately. $3.2 million per mile seems a bit high to me, but then again, it is going to be worth it. $6.2 billion for the entire length still is about double the figure I heard that it would cost earlier, but I still think it is worth it.

I have heard the cries of "show me a 50 foot wall and I will show you a Mexican with a 51 foot ladder". Still, build the damn wall. Patrol with hungry guard dogs. Have tunneling detection devices. Protect the nation. This is a "no brainer".

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Family secrets

In years past, I have heard many things about my grandfather, Raymond LaPlante. I heard that he was a "pool shark", a gambler, and a womanizer. I don't know about all of that, since the family didn't talk much about family affairs and does not maintain close ties. For certain, he was raised in an old world patriarchal system. He totally dominated my grandmother. My grandmother, Beatrice Lacasse was a rather quiet, gracious, hard working woman whom I loved dearly. She raised five children, worked tirelessly for them and the home, kept a garden, fruit trees, blueberry and raspberry patches, and canned fruits and vegetables. She also waited on my grandfather "hand and foot" so to speak.

Even when my grandmother was dying of cancer, she tended to my grandfather's every whim...and I do mean whim. He was an amuptee, having had several amputations further and further up his legs until he had nothing but two stumps by the time he was in his late sixties or early seventies. Both my grandparents were born in 1907, give or take a year. I believe she was older than he was by one year, so I am not sure. They both died when I was in my teen years.

During my trip to visit with my mother, I heard the story that my father, Robert, once told about him doubting that my grandmother was his biological mother. Like I said earlier, it was once said that my grandfather was a womanizer in his younger years. My father claimed that he once saw his birth certificate and that his birth mother was not listed as the mother he had known his whole life. Another clue that fed his doubts was that he had blue eyes, his father had blue eyes; that his mother and four siblings all had brown or hazel eyes. Though it is genetically possible, depending upon the unknown gene pool of my grandmother and the dominant vs. recessive eye color gene, it apparently caused doubt in my father's mind.

This story was relayed to my mother by my father in what must have been the early years of their marriage. My father had a stroke when I was four years old and became an aphasic. I just heard this for the first time this past weekend. It peaked my curiosity and made me ponder more than I thought it would.

Since the family has never been close, never passed along family history or tradition, and certainly never really gave a genealogy, I have always been curious. I can personally only trace that side of the family back to my grandfather on his side and to a short history of "begats" on the side of my grandmother. I actually found this online once, just searched for it, and can't locate it at the moment.

I sent a request to the City of Franklin, where my father was born and where I grew up, for a copy of his birth certificate. According to the web site, it can take four to six weeks for a result. I did call the City Clerk's office and I was told that it is not unusual to retrieve records from the 1930's and that there was already a decent system of recording in place then. Perhaps this mystery will be solved eventually.

This past weekend and speeches

I took a few days off from work and went down to South Carolina on Saturday. I picked up my mother in Columbia at the airport. Then, we went down to Aiken, SC. My mom is spending a week with her friend, Nancy. I went to spend just Saturday through Monday morning. I had a great time making new friends.

I did not see the President's speech last night. I heard about it, though. It sounds like a start, but still not enough. Illegal immigration is one of my pet peaves, as those of you who read regularly already know.

I read about the problem with CNN airing the speech early. No other network did that, so it seems it may have been intentional. Who knows? CNN has a history of having a bias and having "gaffs" that were on purpose. What irritates me is that I work for the parent company and am a stock holder in TIme Warner. For those who did not see the footage, I found a link to it and am including it here so you don't have to go searching for it.

Friday, May 12, 2006

It has not been a horrible day, but been one of "those" days

Today is a vacation day from work. I got to stay up late last night and sleep in today. I have done some updates on the web site and written some. Not bad.

I also got a phone call from a friend of mine to tell me that he has cancer. This is the second friend in a few weeks that I have heard this from. It is also one of several cases amongst people whom I am acquainted with over the past year or so. I hate disease. I understand why in Romans 8:22-23 the Bible says, "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." I am saddened for these people.

I took my truck in for repairs and maintenance yesterday. It was ready today. The garage supposedly fixed an oil leak, stopped some pulley noise, did an inspection, replaced the tailpipe that was rotted out, and replaced some bearings that were shot. I don't know about the bearings, but I do know about the exhaust, the inspection, and the oil leak.

The pulley noise was supposedly fixed. As I was leaving the garage to come home, it was there. Obviously it was not fixed, and if it was silenced, it was only temporary. I will try something else, too, that may work. The oil leak is an unknown as to its solution. It still smells and smokes a bit, but that may be the residual oil on the engine.

After leaving the garage, I took the truck to a gas station. I went to the Shell station in particular, since I have a Shell account. I put in my card, chose the grade I wanted to pump, and nothing. I retried and nothing except $.03 showed up on the display. The pump would do nothing. I went inside to talk to the counter employee. A young man with a goatee was inventorying the lottery tickets with a pen and clipboard. I was ignored for about three minutes while standing there waiting. An Indian man walked over to the counter (I take him to be the owner) and he stepped behind the counter, looked around, and walked away. Still no attention from anyone.

Finally the young man looked at me and asked in a low voice if he could help me. I inquired as to a malfunction with pump 10. He asked what I was trying to pump. I resisted the temptation to say "gasoline", and said "regular unleaded". I explained that the pump would not do anything but did register $.03, that I had used my card at the pump, and that I did not get anything more than the $.03 worth of gas. He said that they just ran out of unleaded low grade, so that is why the pump will not work.

Somebody got the last tankful and I got the last six drops available, which amounts to $.03? I don't even think that a single drop made it into my tank. I asked the man, "So...let me get this straight. I swipe my card to pay at the pump. You are out of gas, I try to pump some, and three pennies is going to be charged to my Shell account?" I was informed that this was indeed the case.

I went home and took a nap.

The Smithfield Herald mention of my web site

New on the Internet

Troy LaPlante of Selma has launched a Web site focusing on Smithfield, Selma and surrounding communities. The site features classified ads, entertainment calendars, news, chat rooms, photographs, games, stock quotes, cartoons and religious information. Links to newspapers, radio stations and News 14 Carolina are available too. For more details, visit

I believe in cutting costs in government. This is one area I believe that you just don't touch.

From "The Selma News":
The town's 401k contribution for non-law enforcement employees...was reduced from five percent to two percent with a vote of approval by the council.

The town council was working on places to cut the town budget. Two areas that I find to be unacceptable are cutting the paltry sum that the town already contributes to 401(k) plans. 5% is insulting as it is. To cut that to 2% is even more of an insult. If we want employee retention, this is not the way to go about it. I have no problem with people leaving the employ of the town, since that will potentially save salary in the short term, but in the long term it will cost the town if the positions are essential to town business.

I work for an employer that has a phenomenal 401(k) plan. At first, they contributed 100% match up to 10% of income. That gave me a 100% return on investment immediately. They cut that back in recent years, but the match is still in the mid to high 80 percentile. Still a great deal. 5%? Now down to 2%??? That is NOT a place to cut the budget. To cut an insulting benefit to an even more pathetic one is not good for morale or long term planning, in my opinion.

The other area that I disagree with is charging an extra percentage to utility customers who pay with a credit card. First, that is a cost of doing business. To charge extra is purely bad business, in my opinion. The payment form is offered not just for the convenience of the payee. It is also for the convenenience of the town. ALSO, not all cards that are used are credit cards, which have a higher fee, typically, than debit cards. If no differentiation is made at the point of sale (town hall), then people are getting screwed out of extra money.

The town is already punitive in the cut off date for past due utilities and with the late fee for late payments. To charge an extra couple of percent is just bad business. Some costs just should not be passed along to the customer in addition to the cost that already includes these factors. I run several small businesses and take credit card payments. I have a fee associated with each transaction, too. I don't raise my rates by a few percent to accommodate the card fees. I chose to accept such payments as an immediate conveniece to me and to attract more customers. The restaurant that I ate at tonight did not charge me a few percent more on my meal because I used my debit card to pay for the tab. Neither should the town do so for utility payments.

Like I said, I am all for saving money where we can. There are just a few areas that I believe should not be messed with. OK, change the employees' health plan to save money, provided that the coverage is as good or better and cheaper all around. Great. Don't screw them on their retirement plans, too. And don't screw the utility customer because you are a monopoly in town and you can do so to save some bucks. Sure, it is budget money, but it is also a matter of ethics, something lacking in government and business alike.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hey, deadlines are deadlines

I am all for choices in elections. I am also for following the rules that everyone else has to follow and fairness. There is an uncontested election coming up in November, and I hate to see uncontested races. However, a new candidate should not be allowed to enter the race after the primary has already happened and the filing process already closed. Here is part of an article from WMPM.

Candidate Petitions Board Of Elections To Place Name On Ballot For Register Of Deeds - Register of Deeds Craig Olive will have opposition in November. Cathy McCormick changed her party affiliation from democrat to unaffiliated on Wednesday and petitioned the Johnston County Board of Elections to have her name placed on the November ballot. Elections Director Teresa Davis said McCormick must obtain signatures from four percent of the registered voters, about 3,400 names, before August, to have her name on the ballot. Until now, Olive was unopposed for election to his second term as Johnston County Register of Deeds.

Selma politics

I am doing my cursory scan of today's "The Selma News" and I am reading with a bit of bewilderment. If you read my Tuesday entry, you know what I said about town committees. I see that a new proposed committee for the town is just as I figured it would be. Forty names have been proposed as possible committee members. I have volunteered several times, but my name is not one of the forty. Whatever.

The town council has met this week in closed session regarding the fire department and budget issues. I was the only candidate and would have been the only council member who would at least have fire department experience had I been elected. Since it was a closed session and I was not there, I can only hope that the issues were handled appropriately. I have also submitted my name in the past for consideration on any citizen committee that needs to work on fire service issues.

I heard rumors about the political play that Charles Hester tried to pull to remove a planning board member. It was confirmed in the paper that he had a disagreement with Donnie Parker, a planning board member, that turned into an argument that was a bit heated. Hester decided to retaliate by attempting to remove him from the planning board at the council meeting. That is petty...a small minded political maneuver. Jackie Lacy was quoted as saying in the council meeting discussion, "If I disagree with you are you going to put me off?" This has been the mindset that I have witnessed so far, Jackie. You have too, unfortunately.

From what I have read, Charles Hester said that Donnie Parker is not appropriate for the planning board. Well, from what I have heard from others, Hester would have been opposed to himself being on the planning board. I have heard of some rude, obnoxious behavior by Mr. Hester while he served on the planning board prior to running for mayor. I have heard him speak glowingly as mayor about topics he once opposed and businesses he ticked off as a planning board member.

Politics is a dirty game. That is why I love it and hate it at the same time in that I despise it and want to be a reformer of it. I am not a politician, just a citizen who loves to serve my fellow citizens.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Problems at a local park

This is not an indictment of the Selma Police Department at all. I like Chief Bowen, personally. I do, however, find a few areas for improvement. One is that Brack Wilson Park here in Selma seems to be poorly patrolled. I have a good friend that lived right at the entrance to that park, would see drug deals go down, call the police department, and nobody would show up from the police department. I ran across a similar problem with a parking violation that was causing a huge safety problem right in front of our house. Two vehicles almost collided with the illegally parked car. Nobody from the police ever came by to check it out. I was working in the yard for hours, so I know that nobody came.

Though police presence is a deterrent, I know that it is impossible for that park to be under constant surveillance and patrol. I do know that with three full time officers on duty in a town that is only 3.5 square miles, that the area should get sufficient attention. Police presence is never the ultimate solution, I know. I don't blame the police department for any issues like this, but I do believe that they could improve response in known trouble spots like this. Even if we need civilians to help patrol with a citizen's watch, I will gladly volunteer some time.

I would love to see Brack Wilson park used to its fullest potential. Unfortunately, it is a hang out for gang members, drug dealers, and prostitutes. Perhaps after hours, the park needs to have a closed and locked gate at the entrance way. It would not take a lot of money or much in the way of effort to make this happen.

Here is a news story about more problems at the park.

Gang Graffitti Found At Selma Park, Businesses, Apartment Complex - Selma Police are looking for vandals who spray painted gang graffiti at Brack Wilson Park. Latin Union and SelTown gang symbols were found on the basketball court. Similar gang-style graffiti, including Mexican Mafia symbols, was found painted on three businesses and an apartment complex. Officers aren’t sure if there is any connection.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

So it is Tuesday

We just ate at a new Greek restaurant tonight, Greeko's on Venture Drive in Smithfield. I tend to like Greek food. Teresa has never really had it before, so today was an experience. I will write a restaurant review on them shortly. Apparently, they were having their grand opening at about the time we were finishing up. A priest, some Chamber of Commerce representatives, and elected officials were there with a big ribbon and the big fake scissors. Our vehicle was parked out front the restaurant and I was asked if it was mine. I guess that since they noticed that we were finishing up our meal, they did not ask us to move the car so they could have space for guests and photographers.

I have a close friend who recently got a big, old station wagon. It is Chevy light blue with wood applique. He took off the wood, has painted white stripes on the hood and sides, put a bunch of antennae on it, and painted slogans on the back. One day, I was talking to him about the car while he was telling me his plans. I was reminded of another old car in a movie, so I did my best Elwood Blues immitation and said, "So, is it the new Blues Mobile, or what?" I created a monster in that one. Now, he painted the Blues Brothers on the tailgate and has word balloons that say, "We're on a mission from God". He also has his ministry web site lettered across the back. I guess that I need to be more careful when joking around. You never know who will take that comment and run with it.

I usually try to go to Selma Town Council meetings. There is one just now starting as I type this. I decided against going since I have not gotten a quiet evening at home for a while, I have a few things I want to do here, and I looked at the council agenda online. The only thing that interests me is the appointments to a town committee. I have offered my name several times for service and have never heard anything from any town official about serving. Ergo, I can only assume that I am not a consideration for this round of appointments. I don't EVER want to hear ANY town official whine about not having citizen participation in town affairs again. If they ever complain that nobody is willing to serve, they are lying.

I need to take a video camera or digital camera with me the next time I go to the Durham site where I go often to perform work duties. There are several families of geese that have had some goslings. They are still tiny, yellow, and fluffy. The waddle right behing momma goose. It is so cute to see as I drive by that pond.

How can the government claim that the only way to pay for improvements on an interstate is another tax? We just had an announcement of a huge (TWO BILLION DOLLAR) revenue surplus! This is just an insult to any thinking person and taxpayer. It is bad enough that motorists that use I-95 will fuel up in Virginia or South Carolina because we have higher gas prices as the result of higher taxes. Now they and we are going to pay more taxes to drive the roads of this state in the form of tolls.

I drive up the Northeast Corridor every so often and have to shell out a lot in tolls in Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and even New Hampshire. We have sales tax, a high gas tax, property tax, state income tax, and now toll roads, too? This is just plain nuts!

This is from's news page:
I-95 A Toll Road? - Department of Transportation (DOT) representatives said Monday the only way to pay for needed improvements on Interstate 95 is to make the major north-south highway a toll road. Only a 25-mile section of I-95 from Benson to Fayetteville is scheduled for resurfacing and widening, however the project isn’t set for construction for another six years. The information was released during a forum held in Smithfield to discuss the condition of I-95. DOT officials expect the interstate traffic volume to double by 2030, and by 2010 traffic will be so congested between Johnston and Cumberland County that drivers may not be able to travel the posted speed limits during rush hour. Tolls on Interstate 95 would pay for a $4 billion upgrade from the Virginia to the South Carolina state line. However, a number of local elected officials and chamber directors are opposed to the plan. Currently, state law prohibits toll roads, but a recently passed bill would allow tolls in North Carolina if approval is granted by the federal government.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Various subjects

Teresa is still mourning the death of Sugarbaby. I miss her, too. She was such a normal part of every day life, I keep expecting to see her sitting on the floor when I walk into a room, I catch myself thinking that I have to take her outside to do her business on my lawn, etc. It is amazing how habits and lifestyle still linger. I do miss my pup.

I am also amazed at the infantile ramblings that I see on messageboards by those who are intellectually challenged. By challenged, I don't necessarily mean that they are mentally retarded (but if the shoe fits...) but rather that when someone else actually shows some acumen and challenges their positions, they become intellectually lazy and dismiss issues and information as being "made up". Others just get bitter and ramble on, impugning others.

I wrote the FCC about the establishment of an LPFM. Here is the reply that I got:
Troy, we have not had any windows since the intial filing peirods in 2000 and 2001. Unfortunately, at this time no new filing windows are anticipated. There is a pending rule making outastanidng that will impact on the future of the LPFM service and until the issues assocated with that service are resolved, there is no reason to accept addtional applicaitons. Also, there are several hundred pending translator applications that will have to addressed before we can consider accepting applications for additional LPFM applications which use the same frequencies. My best advice is to bookmark our web page and check that periodically. Any new developments will be posted on that web page long in advance of any actual filing windows time frames. The web site is
It is not looking good for establishing an LPFM any time soon.

Things at work are going to get real interesting soon. There are some major projects coming down the pike that are going to keep me busy beyond my comprehension, most likely. One good thing is that it is a bit more job security for me.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Still not a great evening.

Teresa is sitting in the living room holding a pet carrier that contains a dead dog. It is already weird not having her around. I am sure that I will grow used to not having her here. I am sure that Teresa will get used to it, as well. Right now, she is mourning, as it has only been a few hours.

A piece of equipment locked up at work. I rebooted the computer remotely, but it yielded the same results that we were having before on reboot. Our tech support was convinced as to the problem's solution earlier this week. I told him that his proposed solution would not work. Tonight, I was proven right. He is working on a computer over the network. I can see everything that he is doing through the network and video streaming. I was watching for issues and found one. Hey, that is what I get paid to do. I don't want to say, "I told you so", but this guy was pretty insistant that his proposed solution would work. I knew better. He has been working on the issue for nearly 45 minutes and not solved it yet.

I am trying out a new keyboard and mouse on the computer. At work, there was a surplus ergonomic keyboard and mouse. We got new equipment recently with new keyboards and mice, so these were just sitting around. Since my home is my office, a manager handed them to me after I expressed an interest in them. I have never had an ergonomic keyboard before. It takes a little getting used to. For the first minute or so, I made a lot of typos, not being used to the layout differential. I still make a few (just as I always have). Overall, so far, so good. The mouse does not move, but uses a track ball and scroll ring on the top with buttons on the sides. It is not as responsive going sideways as the optical mouse I just took out, but I will get used to its operation as time goes by.

I already miss Sugarbaby. She was a great dog.

Sometimes, I really hate death

June 7, 1996 to May 5, 2006

Just within the last hour or so, our dog, Sugarbaby, passed away. She was just short of ten years old.

She has been getting weak the past few days, has not been eating much, has no energy, refuses her favorite foods, and earlier tonight was just laying like a rag doll. She was barely breathing. She had bad allergies in years past, but knew a lot of love.

It was sad to see her in such a weakened condition. It seemed to hit suddenly. It seems like it was just recently that we brought home this tiny puff ball of fur from the breeder. She died in Teresa's lap with both of us petting and praising her. It is raining outside right now, so I won't get to bury her tonight. Hopefully, it will be clear enough weather tomorrow for burial.

I hate that we live in a corrupted world where people and animals have to die. I am so looking forward to the day when the Lord restores all things.

She was a good dog. I shall miss her. Though she was a lot older than this picture and she had a lot of gray around her muzzle, I will always remember as she is in this picture.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

New membership

My membership in the NRA expired at the end of March. I had a few problems with how they ran things, so I decided to let my membership lapse. Several people I know of think that this is a great heresy deserving of death, but I don't really care. I decided to join a different organization to see how it works out.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Some random thoughts

A good friend of mine just had surgery for skin cancer. The doctors cut out a bunch of flesh from her lip to below her chin. I hate that for her. I have been praying for her along with an email list full of people. I hate cancer. I hate the law of sin and death that we contend with in this corrupted world.

The primary election was yesterday. NO candidate that I voted for came in first place. Most of the judges I voted for came in second, which means that they will still be in the November election. Only ONE candidate that I supported for in the school board race finished in the top six. I did not vote for six candidates. I studied the information I could find on each candidate, spoke with one, and got return emails from three. I did vote for the first place finisher, as well, knowing that he was going to get the top place, anyway. Though not my top choice, I did cast one more vote in favor of Larry Strickland at the last moment and still did not fill out votes for all six allowed choices. I am not going to tell you how many of the candidates I did vote for, but as I did say, it was less than six all together.

At work, we have been testing some technologies that I am not supposed to talk about. It is "Super Secret, Secret Squirrel" sort of stuff. I have had to learn a new thought process and how to operate some of the equipment that I don't normally touch, since it is located in Charlotte. Thankfully, we do have a decent computer network so that I can perform functions remotely. This was a skill set of our work processes that I was lacking, and now I have picked up something new. I enjoy learning a few new things.

Thankfully, Thursday is payday. What a long two weeks this was!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I need to "accessorize" the new toy

There is a gun show in Raleigh this weekend. Maybe I will find some stuff I can use such as magazines, a sling, ammo, a tactical rail system, maybe even a red dot sight. I can buy a lot of this stuff online, too. Anyway, time for bed.

Monday, May 01, 2006

UPDATE to "Day Without Immigrants"

We are no longer regulars at El Sombrero as of TODAY. Today is the "Day Without Immigrants" protest that is going on across the country. El Sombrero decided to join this protest/boycott and shut their doors today, I will henceforth boycott their business. Since they are making a political statement, I shall do the same. I shall also let them know why they will not get my business from this day forward. They are the only local Mexican restaurant I drove by to inspect their business status and saw them closed. The restaurants that have chosen to remain open will henceforth get my business.

If this also shows up in the original post, it is because Blogger is having a problem with publishing the edit. It shows up in the post editing menu, but does not publish. The web page just hangs and when I check on the post by looking at the refreshed blog, no changes happen (even after flushing the cache).

ALSO up for consideration:

Here is an article posted on WMPM's web site:
Protesters Block Traffic, Shout Obscenities - About 200 Hispanics marched along US70 and US301 in Smithfield on Monday, one of hundreds of planned rallies and work boycotts to show the importance of illegal immigrants. This was the fifth march in Smithfield in recent weeks by undocumented workers, and some people are growing tired of the protests. One person followed the immigrants in a van displaying a sign in support of tougher laws for those who enter the United States illegally. Other motorists honked their horns in apparent opposition of the march. Smithfield Police had difficulty with the protesters blocking traffic and also shouting obscenities at bystanders.

Yeah, that is going to gain my sympathy to their cause...sure it is.

"A Day Without Illegals...ah...immigrants"

Today, thousands of illegal aliens and their supporters are demonstrating in the streets, skipping work, refusing to spend money, and demand special treatment while denying that they are law breakers and leaches to this nation.

I have long stated that I have absolutely no problem with immigration. All of us are here because of it. The problem I have is with sneaking into this country, breaking the law, draining resources from our welfare, school, food stamp, hospital, and transportation systems. We give them special treatment in the form of bilingual police officers, DMV workers, manuals, documents, education, and the like. All of this for those who flaunt the laws of this nation, all the while crying that they are no "illegal", even though they broke the law the first time they put just one toe on American soil. It is not an immigration issue. These people are not immigrants, they are invaders, since that is the manner in which they have chosen to act.

If I see any businesses closed today in observance of the protests, I will make it a point to boycott them, just as they are boycotting the nation. I will take special note today and purposely drive by certain restaurants to see if they are closed today or remain open. My wife and I frequent a few Mexican restaurants. If they are closed today, we will just find different restaurants at which to dine.

I did see one possible solution on the internet to some of the illegal immigration. Have fun and click HERE.