Friday, March 28, 2014

The corruption that is California's Democratic Party

Dear California Democratic lawmakers,

I’ve seen this movie before….Mel Gibson and Danny Glover suffer from hilarity and hijinks along with leaving a few dead bodies scattered across the big screen as they try to stop the Chinese triad from running guns in the state. Wait a second, I think I’m getting Lethal Weapon 3 confused with the fourth installment of the franchise. Whichever way you look at it, the state of California’s Democratic Party resembles a script that was written up by the big money donors from Hollywood that keep them in office. While most of the voting public likes to label all politicians crooks the Democrats in Sacramento have taken it to a whole new level. First there was the corruption charges brought on in June of last year against Sen. Ron Calderon who represents a portion of the greater Los Angeles area. Bribery, fraud and money laundering were his criminal acts of choice. Following in the footsteps of yet another fine example of what’s wrong with politics is Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco. Politicians are always wanting to one up each other so instead of the usual charges suffered at the fate of Mr. Calderon, Leland Yee decided to add drug and gun trafficking along with murder for hire to his resume. Yes, the man who hails from the liberal bastion of San Francisco where corruption is as common place as the homeless who dot its streets has become the new poster boy for the broken legislative system of government in California. The problem with liberals (among many) is they want you to do what they think is right but at no time do they need to abide by these same laws. Mr. Yee was a stanch supporter of gun control laws and authored California Senate Bills 43 and 108 which would have expanded the definition of “assault rifles” and also would have told us the “proper” way on how to store firearms. So you are saying I can’t own a gun that is legal according the federal government but it’s legit for you to connect international arms dealers with Asian gangs in order to fulfill their automatic weapons needs??? How gracious of you. Associating yourself with the likes of the Chee Kung Tong gang and members who go by the handle “Shrimp Boy” and other unsavory characters whose names have me asking for extra soy sauce has all the makings for a short lived political career even by the lose political standards of a liberal California. Democrats, I have a simple lesson to teach you but it’s going to take some commitment on your part to follow through. Ethics is defined as: “moral principles that govern a person's or group's behavior” It is an action that we are taught at a young age and it bodes well to carry it on through the phases of one’s life. Unfortunately this virtue is the first thing that is lost when one is elected into office.  An uneducated public are only sheep for so long. The failed promises and the corruption that you bring will eventually wear thin and you will soon be replaced by a future that the people of this great state can believe in. Democrats your time of controlling California is slowly coming to an end and this future Congressman is all smiles because of it….

PS. Happy Friday peeps on this blustery day in God’s Country, enjoy your weekend and remember….If you have chemistry, the only other thing you need is timing. 

#lelandlee #liberals #California #democrats #empireliving

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Breaking the stereotype that is agriculture

Dear agricultural stereotypes,

If you asked me who my favorite country music artists today were I would rattle off the Dirty River Boys, Reckless Kelly and Cody Canada without skipping a beat. But wait you say with a confused look on your face, “who are they? What about Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Kip Moore?” With my response being…”Who???” Stereotypes happen in all walks of life and some of the most prevalent pertain to the agricultural industry. Just because I farm doesn't mean that I listen to what the public perceives as “country music”.  If you asked someone on the street what their perception of a “farmer” was I’m betting the next round that 100 times out of 100 this would be the description:

1.       White and close to retirement.
2.       Married with kids.
3.       Listens to country music.
4.       Wears plaid (Ok, you got me there)
5.       Drives a tractor all day.

While there is nothing wrong with the small portion of the industry that fits this category, there is more of us out there who don’t. Yes, I am white but I lack a wife and children other than the B-List internet sensation that lives in the studio on my back porch. My IPod is full of Dr. Dre and Too Short rather than “bubble gum” country. I prefer flip flops to boots whenever possible. Wranglers and a starched shirt accompanied by a bolo tie are not my outfit of choice for a night on the town and as much as I love to spend quality time in a tractor it is hard to run an operation that feeds millions of people along with providing vital jobs and much needed business to the community from one. It pains me to see documentaries where the main focus is of the farmer or rancher and there use of a smart phone or other everyday technology in their daily life. Most kids in grade school use this technology so why wouldn't people who run multi-million dollar businesses?! We need to paint the picture that we are as innovative as the Silicon Valley and not the Marlboro Man. The buzzword in agriculture and how we get our message across to society has been deemed “Agvocate” recently. It is in my opinion that a lot of the people we reach out to concerning agriculture are our own. The general public needs to know that the people who keep food on their table and the clothes on their back come in something other than what is seen in a Chevy or Ford commercial. We are family farms and ranches, small to large operations, we grow both conventional and organically. We were raised in small country towns along with large urban communities. Most of us enjoy a great steak as well as a plate of sushi. We are one of the most diversified work forces in America and are proud of what we do. We perpetuate our own identities that the public views. In order to change this we must change the way we market ourselves. Our story to the viewing audience should be that of diversification along with sophistication. Let them know that agriculture is more than just sitting on a tractor or rounding up cattle. In a way we are like California itself, so let’s showcase all we have to offer….

PS. Happy hump day peeps on this extremely wet afternoon. Let’s keep praying for that wet stuff and remember…..If you drive a white truck, I’m going to wave.

#stereotypes #agriculture #agday #empireliving 

Friday, March 21, 2014

The disease that is March Madness

Dear NCAA Tournament,

This week this line has been repeated in the workplace across the nation; “Hello boss…Ya, it’s me. Cough, cough….sneeze, sneeze…ummmm….I won’t be able to make it to work today I think I’ve come down with something.” With the reply of; “Really you seemed fine yesterday, when you were bragging about your alma mater’s seeding in the NCAA Basketball Tournament?” Yes, the time of year is upon us when the productivity of America’s workforce comes to a grinding halt as millions of people across the country come down with the illness that is “March Madness”. For those of you not familiar with this illness it develops between the last two weeks of March and closes in April. It is most contagious the Thursday and Friday during the 3rd week of March as men and women from small businesses to large corporations around the country fall deathly ill and only become a productive member of society at some point the following Monday morning. To help you further understand it, some of the medical terms associated with March Madness are as followed:

1.       Bracket: this is the tree of 64 teams that one must fill out in order to be sickened by March Madness.
2.       Sleepers: This is the next stage of the disease and causes the vision and senses to be a bit hazy. It is at this point that people start choosing teams that made the tourney because they got hot later in the season thus making them a sound choice to win the 5 games needed to lift that national championship trophy.
3.       Bracket Buster:  At this time is when the condition it is at its worse. The affected cry and scream in hysterics along with cussing and throwing random objects at the TV due to their chosen team to win it all being ousted by North South Western Delaware A&M Tech School for the Deaf and Blind, thus costing them any chance of winning the illegal gambling pool at the office that there superior knows nothing about. (I refer to the above school by the name “Mercer”)

March Madness tends to subside the Monday after the 3rd weekend in March but lingering effects of the disease can be seen for a few weeks after. If you see these, which I will describe below and usually take place around the water cooler or in the break room be sure to avoid at all costs.

1.       The male or female coworker letting everyone know they killed it on their bracket and they will be collecting the winnings in crisp $1 bills so they can make their way to the club immediately after. This same person will fail to inform you that the bracket they are bragging about is one of forty they filled out. You will hear no mention of the other thirty-nine brackets.
2.       The school of the person you’re conversing with is in the tourney for the first time and they cannot stop telling you how they knew they would be there and how they will run the table for their region (see Cal Poly grad). Politely smile and pay them for the pizza they’re delivering and this should remedy the situation.

Don’t worry because this is a fast moving pandemic and will soon be out of everyone system until it rolls around again next year. Now excuse me while I get back to the game...cough…cough…

PS. Happy Friday peeps on this beautiful afternoon. Make sure to enjoy the sunshine this weekend and remember….You can drink at 7AM because the Beastie Boys fought for that sort of thing.

#Marchmadness #NCAA #bracketbuster #empireliving

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Embrace agriculture and do the right thing Jerry Brown

Dear Governor Brown,

What do all these things have in common?

1.       What you eat every day.
2.       The clothes you wear.
3.       Creates jobs for over 350,000 people.
4.       Generates billions of dollars for the state’s economy.

Drum roll please….They are all brought to you by California Agriculture.

Today as we as a state celebrate agriculture on the steps of the Capitol and the bounty of all the things it brings to the “table” let’s remember where a lot of the awareness towards agriculture in California comes from both past and present….FFA, Ag. In the Classroom, and first and foremost the agriculture teachers at numerous public schools across the state. They volunteer their time for the aforementioned programs that allows kids who were raised on a farm or ranch to further their passion in the subject but also more importantly allows the ones who do not come from an agricultural background to be introduced to the industry and see exactly how the food we eat goes from the field to their dinner plates every day. The Ag. Incentive Grant that you removed from the state budget helps funds Ag. Education and programs like the FFA. Is it really worth it to have programs that have such a huge impact on students across the state be lost because the roughly $4 million dollars that it encompasses would be better suited towards another use? Jerry, as you gaze out your office window today at the tractors and sea of blue jackets know that you are looking at the future of agriculture in this state. They are going to be the ones who are on the forefront of producing the food we eat and the clothes we wear on our back along with finding ways to sustain an ever growing population so the choice is up to you….I trust you will do the right thing….

PS. Happy hump day peeps and continue to visit, write and email Jerry Brown and let him know there is more to this state than liberals, movie stars and beaches and remember……Have heart, have money and most importantly have hustle.

#SaveFFA #uglyblues #jerrybrown #californiaagriculture #empireliving

Friday, March 14, 2014

Roundhouse...Chuck Norris's B-day celebration

Dear Chuck Norris,

In all the haste of reporting about disappearing aircraft, Russia’s buildup of troops along the Ukrainian border and the constant state of drought gripping California, main stream media failed to report on the news that really matters….Chuck Norris’s birthday. Yes, allegedly 74 years ago this week the man that has no known natural enemies was born to mere mortals in the village of Ryan, Oklahoma. First arriving in the world and christened with the name Carlos, he knew he was destined for greatness at a young age. The boy lived a simple life until the age of two when he decided over beers with his parents that it was his fate to become the hero that until then was only seen in movies and comic books. Upon graduating valedictorian of his high school at the tender age of five he chose to pass on the athletic and academic scholarship he received from Harvard in order to serve his country as a policeman in the United States Air Force. This is where the phrase “Merica” was first coined. Based in South Korea this is where he honed his fighting skills and perfected the famed “Roundhouse” kick of legend. During this time in his life is when he was deemed “Chuck” by his sensei’s which means “I will kill you if you cross me” in their ancient dialect. Once discharged from the Air Force due to the string of lives he had taking in hand to hand combat training and not being able to reveal his true identity to the world he found himself in Hollywood, CA training numerous A-list celebrities such as the Osmond twins and Bob Barker (You now know why he whooped Happy Gilmore’s ass) as a way to blend in with the mortals of our world. It was around the age of 18 when he found his true calling in movies and television. He could use all of his powers and if people questioned it, the answer was always; “It’s special effects”. Oscar inspired performances in classics such as: Delta Force, Delta Force II and Delta Force III only solidified his place among the greats in the entertainment industry. The next phase in his life is still referred to as “The age of Enlightenment” and this is where he let the rest of us know on how we should all live. His motivational speeches are stuff of legend as is his creed on life. This declaration which rivals the US Constitution is developed around 10 simple principles on how we should live our life and goes by the name Chun Kuk Do: Which translates to:” Do this or I will wipe all living creatures off the face of the planet”  For the first time they have been translated and here they are…

1.       I will develop myself to my maximum potential every day.
2.       God and Family are king.
3.       Don’t mess with Texas.
4.       If you’re a liberal you will suffer from a roundhouse kick.
5.       Buy the Total Gym fitness system.
6.       Merica.
7.       Merica. (this is #8-#10 also)

The myth that is Chuck Norris I’ve been told currently resides in the community of Lake Almanor and although I frequent the area often I have yet to see the legend. If you are really out there know that I along with the rest of the 9 billion people who call earth home thank you for offering your protection and making our world a better place….Happy Birthday Walker. Wink, wink.

PS. Happy Friday peeps and I hope you find yourself in the sun with a cocktail in hand this weekend and remember….If you think she’s the marrying type, keep looking.

#Chucknorris #roundhouse #walkertexasranger #empireliving

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Has anyone seen a jumbo jet?

Dear Malaysian Airlines,

Things that disappear:
1.       Socks in the dryer.
2.       Your keys just before you are late for work.
3.       Credit cards scattered throughout numerous bars any given weekend.
4.       My memory when indulging in Fireball. (The last two could go hand in hand)

Things that don’t disappear:
1.       Jumbo passenger jets with 200 plus people on them.

Wait, what’s that???...That last one actually just happened? How is it in a day and age that a satellite can decipher the facial expression of a monkey deep in an uncharted corner of a jungle from hundreds of miles away can this occur? The quick answer to this question would be a mechanical failure, pilot error or an act of terrorism that may or may not have brought down the Boeing 777 carrying 239 passengers somewhere between Malaysia and Vietnam. If any of these three plausible explanations that are still being investigated by multiple governments happened, wouldn't there be some trace of debris scattered across land or water or an explosion picked up by radar or the aforementioned satellite imagining? The not so plausible explanations that are being tossed around by conspiracy theorists range from the plane has been hijacked by North Korea, it was swallowed by a wormhole to the always shady Illuminati. Since North Korea’s air force that consists of crop dusters and hang gliders lacks the technology to intercept a modern jet we can rule that out as the final destination of the flight and considering Fox and The SyFy Channel have yet to air a commercial for a special concerning the later I’m just going to assume that the plane’s final destination did not suffer either of those fates. The evidence that we do know is that the flight changed course right before its communications went black and the last words from the pilots in the cockpit to the air traffic controllers were; “All right, good night” which I never ever want to hear from a person flying a plane or operating any other moving device when my life is in their hands. These same Malaysian Airline pilots have been accused of letting people hangout in the cockpit during flights along with smoking one heater after the other which makes Southwest look like a first class operation. I along with everyone out there who enjoys traveling have followed this story with great interest and have thought of our own scenarios that forced the mysterious disappearance of this jet, its crew and passengers. For the sake of the families of all involved let’s hope that they find it or evidence of the final fate of it soon and if not I’m going to go with my own theory and assume Bush did it….

PS. Happy Hump day peeps on this beautiful afternoon in March. As much as this is my ideal weather keep praying for rain and remember…..Capitalism will save us all. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Vladimir Putin vs. The Free World

Dear Ukraine,

It has finally happened. He has gone and invaded his first country. I’ve been telling you for some time that Vladimir Putin was one vodka shot away from and attempt at world domination and the $50 billion dollar debacle that passed for the Winter Olympics recently has finally pushed him over the edge. I mean how could no one else have predicted this??? He soars with the birds. He catches fish with his bare hands in the frigid water of his homeland. He rides around topless on a horse for reasons other than a photo shoot. He wrestles bears for Christ sake!!! It was the obvious next step in his plan to eventually take over the world. As we have sat back and worried ourselves with the likes of the Taliban and North Korea the biggest threat to our wellbeing has laid silently grumbling and wondering why no one will pay any attention to the country formally referred to as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. You know the one that now goes by “Russia” and has a nuclear deterrent that matches ours? Now the current administration in Washington that not long ago laughed at the thought of a threat from Russia and said, “The Cold War is over” is taking this man a little bit more seriously. But how can you really hurt a country that has resources both militarily and naturally that rival our own? Sanctions as the President and his advisors have proposed??? Please, they need no oil, protection, water or food. The people that live there survive in -40 degree blizzards on a daily basis. It can’t even snow here in December without it being must watch TV across the country. Ok so that’s not going to work. Let’s see what about a phone call to Mr. Putin to denounce his actions of invading one of his neighbors. I can tell you how that call went last night between the leaders of the two reigning super powers. President Obama; “Hey Vlad this is Barry, what’s up homie? Why do you have to go and change my focus from vacation, golf and my NCAA bracket picks to foreign affairs??” To which Vladimir Putin’s response was; “I must break you.” Before hanging up the phone faster than Apollo Creed hitting the canvas in a quiver from an Ivan Drago uppercut. Well, cross that off the list. The man is ex-KGB and a two time winner in the presidential sweepstakes, he doesn’t care about sanctions or outcry’s for peace from the rest of the world he wants respect. You know R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Leaders of the world need to stroke his ego a little and let him know that he is kind of a big deal. Acknowledge that the former Soviet Union is still a major player in this game we call life. If the region of Crimea in Northern Ukraine thinks they will be better suited as a Russian state let them be, why go to war with your own people that are a majority Russian already in a country that was for so long a part of it. The rest of Ukraine can then align itself with the European Union thus giving everyone what they want. If he continues to harness his inner Hitler we along with our allies do what we do best…Dominate and remind him why we still hold the title of back to back world war champs….Merica.

PS. Happy Friday peeps on this sunny day in March. Enjoy your weekend and remember….The reason I drink American vodka is because I don’t need an interpreter to understand it when it speaks to me.

#Ukraine #Putin #vodka #empireliving

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Oscars....I get older but the girls stay the same age

Dear Matthew McConaughey,

Hollywood finally got it right. 21 years after Matthew McConaughey was slighted for his performance as David Wooderson in the movie “Dazed and Confused” which launched the career of the talent that uttered the immortal words; “I get older, but the girls stay the same age” the elite in the world of movies decided it was time to fill the empty spot in his trophy case with that gold statue. In his acceptance speech which lasted just over 4 minutes he mentioned the three things he needs each day in his life. They were as followed:
1.       Something to look up to….God
2.       Something to look forward to….Family
3.       Someone to chase….His Hero (himself)
These things are so simple in principle and functionally that we all can use them both personally and professionally every day to make our lives better. Let me expound on this a little bit deeper. Some people scoff and claim there is no “God”. Being a person who does not attend church other than weddings (these places tend to burn upon my entrance) or come from a family with any religious affiliation I do know there is a “God” out there for all of us. He may not be the dude pictured in books or films with the long white beard sitting in the clouds but he or she is the person that we turn to when things are bad and pray for better days along with when things are going good and you count your blessings. They give us both hope and inspiration. He spoke about how his father, mother, wife and kids are the people in his life that he constantly strives to make proud of his accomplishments. Family like God can have many meanings. I’ve been blessed in my life to have quite the extended family other than my biological parents and siblings. They are people who I call mom and dad and who I always look forward to spending time with. They’re friends who I can’t call if I ever go to jail because they will be sitting next to me in the cell saying; “Now that was one hell of a night”. They are the ones that make you smile when they utter the words; “We are proud of you” and make you reassess your life when they state “We’re disappointed”. Like the previous two analogies a hero comes in many forms. He or she is the one we chase everyday trying to better ourselves so we can eventually accomplish and attain what they have in their lives. That hero should continue to evolve as you progress through life. The person who you want to be at 21 shouldn’t be the person you look forward to being at 50. It makes us work harder and know that satisfaction is always evolving. Mmmmmm….Look up to God, Make your family proud and always chase your dreams. How elementary and brilliant is that??? Matthew McConaughey thank you for not forgetting where you came from and the steps you’ve taken to get to where you are today. You’re always going to be the man that’s just got to keep on livin… L-I-V-I-N…Just now you’ve got that coveted gold statue…..Alright…Alright…..Alright

PS. Happy Thursday peeps and just one more day to the weekend and remember…..There’s a part of me that says I shouldn’t party, then it realizes it’s drunk and just talking gibberish.

#matthewmcconaughey #oscar #empireliving