We Prevented Cable Company F..kery

Yes we win. We won!  We, the common folk, have our internet the way we want it.

Here’s the deal, folks. This is not a political corner.
Until today.

I can’t believe my close friends, some of my best friends are so ignorant. They mimic Fox News talking points about how horrible it is that the FCC has now guaranteed (for a few years at least) we have our internet unencumbered by those bastard cable companies.

These close friends of mine don’t have a clue what has been going on. I know it hasn’t been reported much over these last 12 years, but that’s how long this fight has been going on. One of my friends even mimicked the complete idiot, Senator Ted Cruz, and said that this internet thing (Obamanet) is worse than Obamacare.

NET NEUTRALITY is about the last freedom we had left.
Corporatists already control our Agriculture, Pharmaceuticals, Energy, Transportation, Media, and everything we buy.

Since 2003, hundreds of millions of dollars have poured into lobbyist hands, politicians (98% Republicans) coffers, and lawyers bank accounts…all from the cable companies…you know, the guys who want to control the speed of the internet. They have almost won these legal battles and nine months ago it looked as if indeed they would win. Win what?

They would be able to “decide” at what speed programming I choose comes to my computer. Think about Comcast, the largest cable and broadcasting company in the world, just think about them. They own NBC Universal, Telemundo, E-entertainment, Golf Channel, Universal Pictures and hundreds of entertainment venues all over the world.

Comcast is rated LAST in customer service. Why do you think I called them bastards? They are. They also have the 7th largest lobbying budget of all companies in the USA. They feel all their money gives them the right to decide how fast programming is streamed to my computer and our Televisions which will be our computers in a couple years. If I want to build a company that provides a service to you folks out there. Let’s say I have a company called Netflix and I want to send movies to you for a subscription price. But, golly gee whiz, Comcast has movies too. So they want me to pay extra to send my movies over the internet. If I don’t pay extra they might take an awful long time to load and my subscribers will grow bored and turn to Universal movies which are streaming at breakneck speed.

We’ve always had “net neutrality” but since 2003, these cable providers have been battling in courts and in congress to give them these rights. Nine months ago it looked bad. But the only strategy to STOP them was to have the FCC declare the internet a public utility. Therefore it can be regulated (oh people hate that word). We need it regulated people. Just like we need the banks and Wall Street regulated.

That’s what happened yesterday. It’s not Obamacare. It’s not the end of the world. It’s the best thing we got to keep the internet the way we have always had it. And like it.

If any of my friends really think we operate in a “Free Market” democracy I need to have a serious talk with them.

Last June, John Oliver tackled the Net Neutrality business. He explains it much better than me and a lot funnier, too.



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When the Red Red Robin Comes

When the red red robin comes bob bob bobbing along……..along
There’ll be no more sobbin’ when he starts throbbing… his old… sweet song
Wake up– wake up you sleepy head….get up– get up get out of bed
Cheer up– cheer up– the sun is red…live, love, laugh and be happy

Yes, some songwriter made money writing those words. (actually it was a guy named Harry Woods) {no relation to Tiger}
A few days ago I wrote about Twitter and Tweets. A comment from a wise friend of my blog made a comment about robins. I made a smart-ass comment back about robins being the state bird of Indiana. I believe I might have said another smart-ass comment but you’ll have to look that one up.

Actually I forgot…the state bird of Indiana is the Cardinal, a much prettier bird than the robin. Michigan, Wisconsin and Connecticut all claim the Robin as their State Bird.

My post today is about robins. My friend in Ohio said she has had a big fat robin visiting her patio every day this month. Do you know how frigging cold it has been in Ohio this month? What the hell is the matter with that bird?  He’d like it better out here in LaLa Land.

Since the Indiana state bird was another ridiculous fact we had to memorize in elementary school; besides our multiplication tables and stations of the cross, I’m surprised I forgot already what the state bird was.

What I do remember is writing an essay on the robin. I don’t know which psycho-nun made me do that, but I remember a few interesting facts. I have a feeling these are facts you didn’t want to know and don’t want me to tell you. Sorry, I’m on a roll.

A few species of birds, and the robin is one, can only lay ONE egg each day. Yet, you’ll see a nest of little baby robins all with open beaks begging for their morning worms.
baby robins

And they are all born close to the same time. How, you may ask. Some of you still don’t care to learn this most interesting fact. I feel sorry for you.

The momma robin lets the early eggs “cool” in the nest, and she’ll sit on the brand new ones to get them to catch up. She remembers the early eggs from the late ones and moves her butt around them in unequal amounts and “presto” they all hatch very close together.

The American Robin was named after the European Robin because they both have red breasts. Weird reason. The American Robin is part of the Thrush bird family and the European Robin is part of the Flycatcher bird family.

Now, go to work and feel better about yourself. Just don’t tell the people at work about this. They really don’t want to know.

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Birds Can’t Tweet

I can…but don’t. There is no bigger time-suck than Twitter. Facebook is like a cool glass of lemonade compared to the waterboarding of Twitter. Yet, it is so big, so enormously big it’s hard to comprehend.
A few years ago everyone was, and many still are, wrapped up in Angry Birds.
Angry twitter bird
But then came the TWITTER BIRD.

Somehow, hundreds of millions of folks follow other folks who “tweet” not-too-often brilliant 140 characters or less, usually containing a link to a video, blog, picture or pages of pontification. Then one clicks on the link and spends another chunk of time following the stuff that the one you’re following wants you to see or listen to.

Twitter is one of the many social media sites I use to connect this blog to the world outside of Bakersfield. I post this blog on Facebook, Tumblr, Bloglovin, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, email addresses of followers and good old Twitter.

I don’t understand Twitter, but it can create amazing ping-ponging of one’s words all over the damn globe.

I have to confess, I have never posted a “tweet” other than my 3x per week posts on this blog. It’s an automatic posting so I do nothing. It somehow shows up on Twitter and thousands sometimes click on it.

I looked into the statistics and Twitter is mind-blowing. Let me pass on some numbers and see if they also blow your mind like they do mine.

First some odds and ends: Bill Cosby has 4, 054, 702 followers. Whole Food Markets has about the same.
Bill Clinton has 3, 022, 616 followers, just a few hundred thousand more than Donald Trump.

If I may borrow from Letterman, I would like to feature the top 10 most followed Twitters.  Some you’ll understand because of the “pop culture” of music and the young. Many are following the same group. Others may shock you. Starting with #10:

10         Ellen DeGeneris                     39, 738. 765
9          Britney Spears                         40,904, 041 (she just won’t go away)
8          Rihanna                                   41, 247, 169
7          Justin Timberlake                    42, 126, 070
6          Lady Gaga                              44, 455, 297
5          YouTube                                 49, 078, 608
4          Taylor Swift                            53, 084, 445
3          Barack Obama                      55, 355, 154 (check that out)
2          Justin Bieber                           60, 679, 203
1          Katy Perry                               65, 654, 090
This digital age is astounding. To be able to reach the tweet-decks of 50-60 million people around the world every day is mind-boggling.

So it’s okay if you follow me @bakoheat on Twitter. Just have a few hours free.
twitter bird

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Think About It

When a person writes stuff three times a week, like I do, one sometimes runs out of ideas and things to say (like three times a week.)

I read four or five books at once…well, not at once, but they are all situated in places that give me reading opportunity. (bedside, car, john, favorite chair in den, office)…I just listed five places and there is a book waiting at each now.
books stackedI forgot the three or four magazines I also have started. They are kept with the books and in other places. There are usually two magazines and the daily fishwrap at my small kitchen table. I’m the only one that eats there…usually breakfast and maybe some tea and cookies in the afternoon.

Many things I read give me ideas to write about in this space.

Then there are dozens of online links that are stocked with so-called writing prompts. WordPress, the host for this website, has a couple writers that are always sending out writing prompts. They are usually two or three strange sentences that are supposed to get me excited about a particular topic. I’ve never used one of their writing prompts…until today.

In fact I’m going to steal two or three today and not write about them but just throw them YOUR way and let you think about them. Maybe you want to write about them. Maybe you can write about them in the comments section below.

Whatever…don’t hurt yourself or take too much time out of your busy day, but here are a few things I could write about but don’t want too. Instead I encourage you to  THINK ABOUT IT and make up your own answers. I bet they will be great!

  • You have been exiled to a private island. Your captors will only supply you with FIVE foods. What do you pick?
    Private Island


  • You wake up tomorrow morning and find all your plans and/or work has been cancelled for the next week. You find $10,000 cash lying on your dresser. Tell us about your next seven days!
  • Take one coin out of your pocket (or chair cushion or jar) and look at the year printed on the coin. What were you doing that year?
  • Vanilla, Chocolate…or something else entirely?


HEY!  Have a great weekend. I’m going to.

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Why Bako Heat?

That’s what someone asked me the other day. Why do you call your blog “Bako Heat.”

If you’ve ever lived in Bako you understand about “heat.” The summers can stay above 100 for weeks, months. But it’s dry, damn it, it’s dry.  You know, like an oven is dry, too.

The other reason I was asked is because this lady is one of the “protectors” of the proud dignity of Bakersfield. Really?. She and some other “protectors” think we should not refer to it with such a stupid name as “Bako.”   I don’t care. I like Bako and I’ll call it Bako forever. I even like living in Bako. Couldn’t ask for better friends, more fun or greater food…anywhere.
Welcome to Bako
I wrote a song (yes, it’s registered) called “Bako Heat.” I wrote it in 2002, about a year after I moved here from the 55 degree summers of Half Moon Bay.  Another reason I liked the name Bako Heat. It’s my song, damn it.

As for the dignity of the name Bakersfield, I don’t feel it. I know that “locals” in other town across American are also outraged at nicknames for their cities.

The locals in Las Vegas HATE to hear it called “Vegas.”  The locals in San Francisco will shoot you if you say, “Frisco.” The locals in Sacramento don’t like “SacTown.” And the people in Indianapolis hate “NapTown.” (Of course I prefer Indian No Place). My home town of Lafayette has two choices.  “Lay Flat” or “Laff Alot” Both equally fine with me.
I know the locals in Philadelphia don’t like “Philly.” (They don’t have to worry…I always refer to it as “shit-ugly” anyway)

The secondary reason I call it Bako Heat is I like to bring down the heat on Bako sometimes. I like to talk about the people who throw dirty diapers out their car windows. I might mention the filthy air causing 27% of our kids to have asthma. I might speak unkindly about the President of the High School Board who doesn’t believe in Evolution. I might bring up the fact we are tied with Mississippi in most teen-pregnancies in the USA and most of the folks here do NOT believe in sex education in our schools.

Other than that I have no other reason for this blog’s name. I almost named it “Bako Ice” but that would really be stupid.
Bako Ice

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Nostalgic but not yet Neuralgic

Even though I loved the “good-old-days” I don’t miss them. Looking back and listening back are always a treat. The ‘50s era was one of the most unique generations in American history. We invented paranoia(a communist behind every light-pole). We invented transcontinental television and color TV and that decade was known as the Golden Age of TV. We invented Rock & Roll. We invented Elvis. We popularized Brylcreem and we made the first car out of fiberglass. We invented the Cold War. We were pretty damn cool.

It seems the things the younger generation of today likes best about the ‘50s was our music and our cars.

Thanks to my buddy, Bill, I will let you celebrate this President’s Day with some nostalgia (If you’re an old fart) or some cool cars and cool music if you’re not.

A note about the music and the dancing: First of all, critical people, we didn’t know what the hell to do with rock and roll on the dance floor…at first. It made us move but we had to invent the right moves. Notice the early horrible dancing in the earlier videos. Then we combined our parents jitterbug skills with new moves and it started looking better.

This is a 11 minute YouTube Video called The Best Of Times. Enjoy!

And Happy Holiday to all of you!


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For Men Only

I hope you’re reading this early enough. We have a huge chance to show some “double-love” to our mates today and tomorrow. A double-dipper.

For those of you still using the old fashioned “point system” you can be rewarded with “double points.” Think of this as a Doublemint Double Your Pleasure Week-end.

Our ladies love to have flowers delivered to their workplace. It’s important. If you can’t figure out why you need to look for the blog titled “for ladies only.”

Make this a weekend of love, guys. Flowers today at work. Cards, gifts and maybe dinner tomorrow.

If you need to add a romantic quote to your card or gift, I’m here to help. Feel free to copy and paste.

Famous folks have said famous things about love. Here are a few.

Happy Valentine’s Double Day.

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.Ann Landers

Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Love is a friendship set to music.--Joseph Campbell

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.Aristotle

 Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.– Lao Tzu

My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite.– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.– Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep-burning, unquenchable.– Henry Ward Beecher

 Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.– Anais Nin

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward in the same direction.– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires; To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully.– Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

 The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.--Helen Keller

Love does not dominate; it cultivates.– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.-- Zora Neale Hurston

Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love.– Leo Tolstoy

Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it, and it darts away.-- Dorothy Parker

 I have learned not to worry about love; but to honor its coming with all my heart.– Alice Walker

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this: where I does not exist nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.– Pablo Neruda, “Love Sonnet XVII”


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