Friday, January 30, 2009

A self destructive idiot (NOT Jim)


This man, who thought he was 'cooler' than everyone else at the bowling alley on Friday night, practically accosted Jim while he was just waiting to bowl his turn. Jim of course, just looks at him, puffs up and asked if he would like to 'keep his jaw'. the idiot faded away.

Man with a mission

Weird peeps at the bowling alley

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

W.T.F. (W., Thanks and Farewell)




This is quite possibly the most ripping spoof of the Bush administration that I have ever seen. Incredibly funny!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barack Obama is President!

The 44th President of the United States


This artwork by Phil Fung.

From the CNN.com website:

(CNN) -- Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and the nation's first African-American president Tuesday. This is a transcript of his prepared speech.

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often, the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land -- a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the fainthearted -- for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path toward prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again, these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act -- not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions -- who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them -- that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account -- to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day -- because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control -- and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort -- even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West: Know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment -- a moment that will define a generation -- it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world; duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence -- the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed -- why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested, we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back, nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Beer sales falling with the economy


As seen at the International Herald Tribune website:
The Associated press published on the 15th of January, 2009, that even the brewing industry is starting to go flat in the worldwide economic slump.

SABMiller PLC, the London-based brewer of Grolsch, Miller Genuine Draft and Peroni Nastro Azzurro lagers, said on Thursday its beer shipments fell unexpectedly in the third quarter as consumers pulled back on their demand.
Carlsberg A/S, the Copenhagen-based maker of Carlsberg beer, said it was cutting 274 jobs to save on costs due to a future "where we face more uncertainties and risks," the company said in a statement.

Beer usually holds up better than other categories during tough economic times, said Benj Steinman, editor of trade publication Beer Marketer's Insights, and that trend had been holding true during this recession for some segments of the industry. But the latest figures show the market is trending downward, perhaps accelerating as global economies continue to sputter, and relief seems uncertain.

Beer is "recession-resistant, not recession-proof," Steinman said.

SABMiller said lager volumes fell 1 percent in the three-month period that ended Dec. 31, compared with the same period a year earlier, because of the economy.

"Consumer demand has been affected by the current global economic slowdown, and has continued to weaken in many of the group's markets," the company said in releasing its quarterly trading update, which does not provide financials.
The company said, however, that its financial performance remained in line with expectations "notwithstanding the relative strength of the U.S. dollar against the group's major currencies."

The rise in the U.S. dollar also has hurt businesses with overseas interests.

SABMiller is the world's second-largest brewer by volume after losing the top spot to Anheuser-Busch Inbev NV after InBev's $52 billion acquisition of Anheuser-Busch last year. In November, SABMiller said it was scaling back investment in the face of continued cost pressures and slowing demand for beer worldwide.
With the latest numbers, it appears demand has been hit hardest in the U.S. and Europe.

In the U.S., SABMiller and rival Molson Coors Brewing Co. saved costs last summer with a domestic joint venture called MillerCoors.

But MillerCoors sales are falling too. Domestic sales to retailers fell 2.3 percent over the third quarter, with flagship Miller Lite's sales falling 7.5 percent. Coors Light continued its momentum, posting a 1 percent sales increase, according to the company. But that was slower than in previous quarters, Steinman noted.

He said the Miller Lite number should be cause for concern about the brand. The fact that Coors Light's 1 percent growth was slower than in previous quarters could signal that the overall beer market is getting weaker, he said.
The U.S. beer market typically grows about 1 percent a year, over a ten-year average. In the past few years it had been growing ahead of that. But in 2008 sales rose about half a percentage point, he said.

MillerCoors said its premium light brand volumes were down 2.4 percent, with particular softness in restaurants and bars, where consumers are cutting back as they try to stretch their budgets. But MGD 64, a 64-calorie version of Miller Genuine Draft, kept growing after its launch last year, SABMiller said, and craft and imports rose 1.6 percent, led by a double-digit performance from Blue Moon.

In Europe, where consumers are also hurting, lager volume fell 1 percent, including a 22 percent drop in Russia. But MillerCoors volume grew 2 percent in Poland, where the company gained market share. In Romania, the volume growth rate slowed to 11 percent, while the Czech Republic's domestic volumes dropped 1 percent.

SABMiller also said volume in developing countries, which produce around 80 percent of its profits, is slowing as the credit crunch deepens.

Third-quarter shipments rose 2 percent in Latin America, stymied by a 6 percent decline in Colombia, the company's biggest market in the region. In Africa and Asia, organic lager volumes increased 2 percent, with growth in China flat.
Carlsberg, citing an uncertain future, said in its news release Thursday that it was accelerating its restructuring plan to improve on efficiencies. In Denmark, the company said it was starting Thursday to negotiate with unions to cut 150 jobs.
Carlsberg Baltic started restructuring its business in late 2008 and will now accelerate that by cutting 124 jobs, in addition to the 80 layoffs announced in November.

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In my humble opinion, I think that the majority of people are simply not interested in beer anymore, since WHISKEY is so much more effective.....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Obama Turtle Gets Elected

Warm Memories

Needing a bit of warm inspiration for a cold day I give you summer at Indiana Beach!
Jacob (left) and Judd (right) circle on the airplane ride at Indiana Beach in Montecello this past summer.
These warm thoughts are much better than the current 6 below zero temps we are having today!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

14 degrees!

Joy! It's 14 degrees!

beautiful photography

In a recent wandering of the web, I cam across a section of the washingtonpost.com that was quite stunning. A photo book by Alberto Korda was posted there and the gripping black and white photographs that he took of the infancy of the Fidel Castro reign of Cuba.

These are what history is made of. I can't help but wonder in today's digital world if there isn't something lost.. something that is intangible that can never be regained as we move away from physical items, and into electronic ones.
I think I'm compelled to have more than 4,000 digital pictures printed of my children, home and family.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dreary day in Indiana

Its just before noon in Indiana on Saturday the 10th. We are experiencing just under/over freezing temps at a steady 31/32 degrees and rain. What a grey, nasty day.
You can see our current radar here:
http://www.accuweather.com/radar-state.asp?partner=apple&traveler=0&zipcode=47933&metric=0&site=IN_

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dark Humor

Good God. Due to overwhelming response (negative) I have caved to peer pressure and removed my JR slamming cartoon graphic.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Grease 7 days a week!

My most recent favorite vintage ad. The fact that they state that it is 'so digestible- you can eat it 7 days a week' just cracks me up!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My working portfolio

I have finally decided to make an online portfolio of some of my most favored works. You can visit it at:
http://picasaweb.google.com/LShillings/PortfolioLauriShillings?feat=directlink

I expect to get some constructive feedback here so Please send me a comment or e-mail.
Thanks!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Sunset in Indiana


This is one of the cool reasons I like this place.
I hope to make a really great painting from all of these using those flaming colors!