Saturday, April 9, 2011

West Virginia Coal Miner AQUITTED for Spitting on Protester from Westboro Baptist Church

April 8, 2011
Hico man acquitted in Westboro Baptist spitting trial
Array Chris Dorst
Billy Spade sits at the defense table during his trial on charges of battery for spitting on a member of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church during a protest last April. The jury acquitted him after deliberating for less than an hour.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Fayette County man was acquitted Friday of battery charges for spitting on a member of the Westboro Baptist Church during a protest outside a Catholic church last year.

Billy Spade of Hico told the jurors that as the son of a deceased coal miner, he was offended by protesters holding signs that said "Thank God for dead coal miners."

But it was the sign that said "Thank God for dead Marines" that sent him over the edge.

A roadside bomb killed a friend whom he looked upon as a little brother while he was serving as a Marine in Afghanistan, Spade said. So he took aim at Shirley Phelps-Roper's sign and spat at it.

Charleston Police Sgt. Nick Null, part of the detail assigned to the April 11, 2010, protest, saw the incident and charged Spade with battery.

During a jury trial Friday in Charleston Municipal Court -- which is so rare as to be virtually unheard of -- Null testified that the protesters from Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas were cordoned off on a section of sidewalk outside Charleston Catholic High School, across from Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral.

Westboro Baptist is a virulently anti-homosexual, anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic congregation that blames permissive attitudes toward homosexuality for many tragedies. The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the church's right under the First Amendment to protest at military funerals.

In the wake of the explosion that killed 29 miners at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County, Westboro members traveled from Kansas to stage protests at various locations in the area, including the April 11 event in downtown Charleston.

During the weekend protests, members of the church -- including children -- carried signs that read, "God is your enemy," "Your Pastor is a lying whore," "Fags are beasts," "God hates America" and "God hates WV." One sign read "Miners in hell" and featured a flaming skull wearing a miner's helmet.

Null testified that he saw Spade spit tobacco juice onto Phelps-Roper's chest. Spade said he spit on one of her signs, which she was holding above her shoulders.

After Spade was led off, Phelps-Roper said to Null, "I'm glad you pigs finally did something," according to the officer.

Spade, who has worked in construction and coal mining, said he had not planned to go to Westboro's protest, but his brother told him about it and he decided to go see "what made them tick."

"I couldn't believe it that people could come in here and thank God for dead coal miners and thank God for dead Marines," he said.

Spade tried to talk to Phelps-Roper, who is the daughter of Westboro pastor and leader Fred Phelps, but she refused to engage him. Instead, she and the others chanted and sang songs, including a version of "Country Roads" with altered lyrics that thanked God for West Virginia coal miners burning in hell, he said.

"I told her, if she wanted to protest coal miners, then she should walk her ass back to Kansas and turn her lights off," Spade said.

Who'd a thunk a squirrel was so smart!

1. When ducks screw in the water the male nearly drowns the female. He even intentionally pushes her head under the water!

2. When squirrels are robbing bird feeders and they can't actually reach the feeder hanging from the tree. They grab the chain holding it and shake the food out onto the ground. Then they climb down the tree and eat it.

Who'd a thunk a squirrel was so smart!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Things I Wonder About

How much energy does it take to produce those reuseable shopping bags anyway

If you forget your reuseable shopping bag at home, do you have to buy another reuseable shopping bag

Can you use a bag from home (an old purse for example) as a reuseable shopping bag or do you have to purchase a special bag to be a reuseable shopping bag

Perhaps the biggest sin of all, do you buy garbage bags and put them in the plastic shopping bags and then when you get home throw away the plastic shopping bag into the garbage bag

Now I'm just giving myself a headache

Last year I figured out that most of my customers didn't even what a bag with their purchase. I did the math and if 50 customers turn down bags (and I have easily that many turn down bags every time I work) then that saves 2 boxes of bags a month. At the end of the year that saves enough bags to manufacture approximately one artificial Christmas Tree -not to mention the money it saves my boss in bags!

I Remember the First Earth Day

I remember reading about it in the 6th. grade in my weekly reader. I remember people making fun of the idea just like they used to make fun of people who ate yogurt and granola and did yoga.

Back then we used to celebrate Arbor Day.

Every year they would take us to the park and show us the proper way to plant a tree. The trees they planted when I was in grade school (which were 18 inch saplings then) are now about 40 foot tall pine trees. They would also give each of us a sapling to take home and plant. We would rush home to plant our trees and they would be dead a month or so later.

Every year we got 3 trees because there were 3 of us kids. Every year they died - kinda like the easter chicks or bunnies that we got every year too.


A few years ago I was shopping in a thrift store when I observed a cute little girl of about 6 years of age in the toy section. She was a little dirty and her clothes were shabby and she was looking wistfully at the run down toy selection.

I walked over and handed her a dollar and told her she could use that to buy some toys and then I started to walk away. Her eyes brightened excitedly and she started to SCREAM, "MOMMY! MOMMY! THE LADY GAVE ME A DOLLAR, A WHOLE DOLLAR! MOMMY! MOMMY!" Of course everybody in the stored heard this screaming child and flew to her side.

I slinked out the door praying that nobody would tackl me because they thought I was a child molester or something.

When a child screams in that particular tone, nobody actually listens to what they are saying, they just rush to help. In her excitement that little girl almost got me arrested!

I Can Remember When Being a "HYBRID" Was a Bad Thing

People who have mutts drive me crazy. If you have a dog and you have no idea what kind of dog it is (and most people don't) there is no shame is saying, "It's just a dog".

I have had pureblooded dogs. I have had mutts. They are both great. Just accept them for what they are and love them.

Breeders are getting rich breeding dogs that just a few years ago would have been referred to as "mutts". They are laughing all the way to the bank while Joe Public smiles and says, "I have a pic-a-poo or a labradoodle." These aren't breeds they are accidents that are just another good dog.

Mrs. Morningbird

When I was in grade school my mom would wake us up with Mrs. Morningbird. She come through the house whistling the whole way and calling "Mrs. Morningbird time to get up" over and over as we woke up.

At the time I hated Mrs. Morningbird but I didn't know how well I had it until I went into the 7th. grade. Then my mom gave me an old fashioned bell alarm clock and told me to get myself up.

God! What a rude awakening that was! I HATE alarm clocks to this day. I guess I loved Mrs. Morningbird so much that one time I was in Spencer's Gift's in the Mall. I saw an alarm clock called The Rock n Roll Chicken. For a couple of years I woke up to this chicken singing...

Hey Baby Wake Up...Come and Dance With Me! over and over.

I paid $58.00 for that stupid alarm clock but I loved it. Unfortunately one morning I accidentally knocked it in the floor when I was waking up and the Rock n Roll Chicken was no more.

It was a fun clock though. My nieces and nephews used to run around singing Hey Baby Wake Up...Come and Dance With Me! all the time too.

Well Now I've Really Gone and Done It

I was feeling really good today for the first time in weeks. So, for the first time in weeks I went for what for me was a very brisk walk. (I have been doing my best to give this heart monitor a workout so the doctor can see what goes on with me) Usually after some exercise I would go and lay around for most of the rest of the day or night. Today I was feeling so good that I decided to take a shower.


I fell. I don't really know what happened I was just sitting in the tub all of a sudden. I am hoping the only thing that is hurt is my pride. We'll see. I have learned that these minor tings and dings are not so minor any longer.


I have been watching that stupid Nationwide commercial for 6 months where they tell the woman that her premium will shrink $100.00 per year with no violations. I have had Nationwide for 5 years now.

At one time my premium was down to $85 per month. They gradually raised it to $99 per month over the last couple of years and I have had no violations of any kind since 2002 and even those were not moving violations.

Now that my truck is paid off I dropped to liability only and it is still $62 with no violations from me. Everytime they raise it my insurance lady tells me "they had another increase." I am tired of paying for some executive to get $100,000,000 bonuses. I am shopping for cheaper insurance because they all do the same thing.

If you wreck they want you to keep your mouth shut so that they can weazel out of paying the claim and raise your rates for the trouble of not paying out anything. I even had my rates raised once because a woman hit ME! I was not at fault. My insurance company did not have to do a thing but I was told that it was raised because I was in an accident!

I can remember my dad (he was an insurance man when I was a kid) and visiting executives from the insurance company laughing in the living room as they plotted to figure out how to get everybody in America to pay a penny a person. (this was in the seventies) Well look how much we are REQUIRED to pay now - it is nothing but a giant SCAM!

When the medical industry saw how well the car insurance industry went they said to themselves - "hey, we want a piece of that pie! Now we are all screwed.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

more good news from my doctors

He stopped another one of my heart meds. I have another week on the heart monitor.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

power out at my place last night

It is only the second time since I moved in that it has happened so I can't complain. There is emergency lighting in the hallways and the elevators still work although I forgot that little detail as I was driving home and saw there was no power in the building. Power was out all over the area surrounding Charleston but the only block with no power in town was mine.

I pulled up and I was devastated because I was completely worn out from work and I needed to get on my O2 and go to bed + I had to pee!!! I decided to find a restaurant or somewhere and take care of business and I was pleasantly surprised to find the little Chinese place around the corner still open.

I placed an order for chicken lo mein and an eggroll and they told me they closed at 10 so I made it to go since it was about 20 til'. I made use of the facilities and my lo mein was ready when I came out so I drove back home. I ate the lo mein in my truck and the lights came on right when I was finished. It was still pouring rain.

I went up stairs and took my meds and as soon as I sat back and sucked in a few breaths of oxygen the power went out again. I lay there an hour or so with no power. I couldn't sleep because I have sleep apnea and I was worried about sleeping without my machines. Then I remembered that the elevator still worked in a power failure so I went back to my truck and hooked up my portable oxygen. I went right to sleep.

I woke up when the power came on again. (the street lights started working) I finished the night in my own apartment and I am still trying to catch up on my rest.

Have a great day!!!

The Day My Stepdaughters Got Their Hearing Aids

I had a set of twin stepdaughters who could not hear. The problem was inherited and they had to have hearing aids. When you have kids that can't hear you have to cut them a little slack. They THINK they are whispering secrets and they are actually talking at a full voice and you can hear everything they are saying (even about their evil stepmother). They THINK they are sneaking a cookie from the cookie jar but they sound like a heard of elephants because they can't hear all the noise they are making, so you cut them some slack. (every kid needs to sneak a cookie every now and then)

Kandi was first to get her new hearing aids. I took her home that evening and we were watching television in the living room. All of a sudden she jumped up and turned the tv off and asked me what that noise was. She was hearing rain on the roof for the first time in her life. A few minutes later she was sitting at my feet. She was busy trying to sneak and unwrap a piece of candy. She started to giggle and when I asked what she was laughing at, she said," I never knew the paper was so loud."

When her sister Kate got her hearing aids she spent the night with Bobby and I. I woke up to find her terrified and sitting on the foot of our bed. The sound of the crickets and the treefrogs were scaring her to death. She thought monsters were after her! She had no idea what the sounds of the night were in the woods in West Virginia even though we had lived their for almost a year. I had to make her take her hearing aids off until the next morning. (she wasn't supposed to sleep in them anyway)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster - one year later

Everyone knows about the 29 miners who died last year in the explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia.

Here is what you may not realize...

1. We were all so happy that 2 of the miners escaped from the mine. There injuries were so extensive that one of them has returned to work in the last 3 weeks (back in a mine). He will have life long repercussions from this explosion.

The other miner will never return to work and is not doing well at all. My prayers are with him.

2. Mine inspections have been stepped up and ENFORCED since the explosion. There have actually been a couple of mines shut down for repeat violations and a number of miners and foreman have been fired for non compliance with regulations.

3. Massey has settled with a few of the families out of court. They didn't want to go through the pain of a long drawn out legal process. The rest of the settlements are in litigation.

4. Massey Coal is in the process of selling out to another coal company. They have had too numerous violations to name here and this will get them out of paying fines and the government will have to step in and clean up the messes they leave behind. The new company will claim that what Massey left behind is not their responsibility. That is life in the coalfields.