TeeJaw Blog

Five Keys To A Good Nights Sleep — And Three Others That Might Actually Work

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Sunday, January 8, 2012, 11: 10 AM

John Hawkins at PJ Lifestyle offers his prescription for solving your sleep problem.  That’s assuming you have a sleep problem, but just about everyone does (except teenagers).  Consider yourself darn lucky if you don’t.

Here are the five keys Hawkins suggests:

  • Get a good bed;
  • Stay off your bed except when you want to go to sleep;
  • Make the room the way you want it, cold, hot, whatever;
  • If you wake up and can’t go back to sleep, just tough it out;
  • Relax before you go to bed.

OK, at this point you’re either laughing or shaking your head.  I like John Hawkins’ website, The Right Scoop, because it is informative and usually has breaking news of interest to conservatives and sensible libertarians, of both the small “l” and the capital “L” type.  His sleep prescriptions might work for him but probably aren’t of much help to many others, mainly because you’re probably already doing most of those things and you still wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep.

I’d guess that restless period in the middle of what should be a good night’s sleep is the worst sleep problem anyone has.  The only thing to be said for it is that you can get a lot of reading done between midnight and 4:00 AM.  You could even clean the house, or count your socks, or straighten out all the cords on your computer desk.  But the thing you really want to do is go back to sleep.  So here’s my advice on how to do that.  It’s what I do and it works for me.  Well, most of the time.  Nothing works all the time.

My first approach is to avoid the 2:00 or 3:00 AM wakeup altogether.  I’ve found two things that will do that for me.

Advil PM is amazing.   So is Tylenol PM, but your liver won’t like it if you ingest to much acetaminophen, especially if you also drink alcohol.  Advil PM won’t upset your stomach or rot out any other organ in your body.  As a non-steroid, anti-inflammatory pain reliever you get other benefits besides whatever it has in it to put you to sleep.

Costco sells something under it’s Kirkland private label called “Sleep Aid.”  The stuff works like you can’t believe.  Just don’t take it too late or you’ll be late for work the next day even though you’ll feel great.  It gives you about a half hour to read your book before you’re zonked for the next 6 or 8 hours.  If you need to wake up in the night for any reason, such as to answer a phone call from your kid away at college, you’ll be able to go back to sleep afterwards, depending on what the phone call was about of course.  Whatever is in those pills it keeps on working and it lets you interrupt your sleep and then resume.  If there is no Costco where you live, maybe because you live in Wyoming or something, no problem. You can buy everything they sell online.  If there’s no Costco anywhere in your state, such as Wyoming, you’ll even save paying sales tax.

These pills are not controlled substances, they are sold to anyone over the counter because they don’t contain anything that will get you high and they are not addictive or habit forming.  There is one caveat.  If you rely on them too heavily they may cease to work for you.  I’ve got you covered on that too.  Read on.

Don’t take either the Advil PM or the Sleep Aid every night.  Get a couple of good night’s sleep and then wing it for a couple of nights.  You may find that you’ll sleep pretty well without the pills.  If not, there’s melatonin.  You could take melatonin when you go to bed instead of the Advil PM or the Sleep Aid, but I’ve found that if you take it at 10:00 PM you’ll still wake up in the middle of the night.  At least that’s my experience.  So I suggest taking nothing when you first go to bed and take the melatonin at 2:00 or 3:00 AM, or whenever you find yourself awake.  That should give you another 4 hours of restful rapid eye-movement and dream-filled sleep.  Just don’t take it at 5:00 AM if you need to be at work at 8:00 AM.  I’ve found that melatonin takes a little longer to work so you can get some reading done while you’re waiting for it to kick in.

Those are the things that work for me, and they may or may not work for you, but it’s worth a try.  These remedies are a lot better than getting a prescription from your doctor for sleeping pills, in my view.  You can easily become dependent on prescription sleeping pills so that you can’t ever sleep without them.  I think that’s too high a price to pay for a fix to your sleep problem unless you problem is a lot more serious that most people’s.  If you’re a man don’t ever take your wife’s prescription sleeping pills.  Some of them are specific to women and I guarantee you’ll be sorry you took them.  I know.  She forgot to tell me.  It’s illegal as well.

Finally, if none of the above works, here is the sure-fire remedy for sleeplessness.  Go into the living room, turn on the TV, make sure there’s a light on in the room, get into your favorite chair, lean back, makes slits with your eyelids and voila!, you’ll be asleep in no time.


More Grammer — Sorry, This is Required

Posted in Culture, History by TeeJaw on Saturday, January 7, 2012, 8: 06 PM

The post below harangues you for not using the subjunctive mood of the verb to be when the sentence or clause requires it.  So now I may as well go off on another grammatical error that is frequently encountered and that I find particularly annoying.

The following sentence is not correct:  “Tom Horn was found guilty of murder, and he was hung in 1903.”  It is not correct because Tom Horn was a man; he was not a picture.

The following sentence is correct:  “A picture of Tom Horn when he was hanged was later hung on the wall.”

That’s right.  Pictures are hung.  Men are hanged.  The past participle is used when human beings are stretched on a rope as a form of execution, and the past tense hung is used to describe the occurrence after the hanging of all other things, such as pictures on the wall or keys on a hook.

It doesn’t matter whether the hanging of a man by the neck has already occurred, is presently occurring, or is to occur in the future.  Thus, the following are all correct:

“Tom Horn is to be hanged a week from today for his crime.”

“Tom Horn is at this moment being hanged in Cheyenne for the killing of Willie Nickell.”

“Tom Horn was hanged at dawn this morning.”

My neighbor has suggested, quite reasonably I’d have to say,  that I wear the t-shirt with the inscription, “I’m silently correcting your grammar.”  But I’m doing it overtly, not silently.  Here’s hoping that you find it instructive and fun, and that you don’t wish for me to be hanged.

Trivia questions.

Where was it alleged that Tom Horn committed murder?

Answer:  At Iron Mountain, Wyoming which is about 50 miles NW of Cheyenne and about 30 miles NE of Laramie.  He was tried and found guilty in Cheyenne.

Was there anything unusual that occurred in the hanging of Tom Horn?

Answer:  Yes, Tom Horn was hanged by an automated gallows in which the pressure of his body weight released a lever with a counterweight that gradually rose to pull out the support beam under the trap door.  In effect, he hanged himself.

Where is Tom Horn buried?

Answer:  Boulder, Colorado

Why was he buried in Boulder, Colorado?

Answer:  Not because of any family connections, but he had been a Pinkerton detective working out of the Denver office before he went to Wyoming as a “range detective.”

Was Tom Horn really guilty of the crime of killing Willie Nickell?

Answer:  No one will ever know for sure.  It is entirely possible that as a range detective for cattle interests he was caught in the middle of two opposing forces at the tail end of the Johnson County wars in Wyoming between cattle interests wanting free range and homesteaders who fenced their land to keep roaming cattle out.  The boom and bust of the cattle business in the last quarter of the 19th Century made millionaires of cattle ranchers in short order, and sent them to broke just as fast. Laying blame on sheepherders and farmers was all too convenient, and violence was common.

A Lesson in Grammar — Peas Followed By Dessert

Posted in Culture, Uncategorized by TeeJaw on Saturday, January 7, 2012, 12: 47 PM

Almost nobody seems to distinguish between the indicative and subjunctive mood of the verb to be anymore.  Since I speak and write this way my internal alarm goes off when I read or hear the indicative mood of verbs in sentences or clauses that call for the subjunctive mood.

The subjunctive mood of the verb is required when the sentence or clause is conditional, or when a subordinate clause follows certain verbs in the main clause.  A sentence or clause that starts with the word if is the most common form of a conditional sentence.  A sentence or clause expressing a wish is also conditional.

The subjunctive form is also required in a clause following one of these verbs:  ask, demand, determine, insist, move, order, pray, prefer, recommend, regret, request, require, suggest, and wish.

In English the subjunctive and indicative form of a verb are almost always the same, except  for the present tense third person singular form of the that verb, and the verb to be.

The subjunctive form for the present tense third person drops the s or the es.

The subjunctive form of the verb to be is be in the present tense and were in the past tense, regardless of the subject.


Subordinate clause following one of the listed verbs:

Incorrect: My requirement is that everyone is on time.

Correct:  My requirement is that everyone be on time.
(main clause contains a demand, verb in subordinate clause must be in subjunctive mood)

Incorrect:  The captain asks that each officer on the scene files his own report.

Correct:  The captain asks that each officer on the scene file his own report.

Conditional sentences or clauses:

Incorrect:  I wish he was taller.

Correct:  I wish he were taller.

Incorrect:  If I was a rich man, yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dybby dum …

Correct:  If I were a rich man, yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dybby dum …

There I’ve gotten* it off my chest!  Use the subjunctive form of the verb when the sentence of clause requires it.

*[“I’ve gotten” is American English, past participle form; British English is “I’ve got”, present tense; Old English is the same as modern American English and prefers “gotten;” Get it?]

Here is my offering of a little reward for suffering through this grammar lesson.  Teyve uses the correct form of the verb:

Attention Armed Robbers: Circle K Welcomes You, Come On In!

Posted in Culture, Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Friday, December 30, 2011, 10: 52 PM

Based on this story in the news today, I imagine a press release from Circle K convenience stores to go something like this:

Circle K today took action after a clerk in one of our stores over-reacted when an armed robber threatened to shoot him. Our clerk slammed the robber to the ground and took her gun away from her. This was unacceptable and we immediately terminated the clerk’s employment. Our company policy is not to provoke, chase or engage a robber. Circle K understands that you need safe working conditions, so we are not going to allow anyone to interfere with you as you go about your business, that is the business of robbing us even if that includes threatening, beating or even trying to kill our store clerks. In fact, if any store clerk tries to interfere with you in any way just because you threaten to shoot him, just contact management and disciplinary action, i.e., firing the offending clerk, will be taken immediately. Now if you aren’t comfortable calling up and telling us how you were mistreated in one of our stores, maybe because you think the cops are out looking for you, not to worry. When we review the security camera tape and see our store clerk saving his life by slamming you to the ground and taking your gun away from you, we’ll go all proactive and we’ll fire that sucker on the spot. We’re not going to tolerate violence of any kind in our stores done to you in the criminal trade. We understand that your job has enough challenges without having to fight off any heroic store clerks trying to stop you from shooting them.

We don’t want these cowboys working in our stores, and we know you don’t either. Your safety is our concern.

Y’all come back now, ya hear!

Circle K management: I grant you permission to use the above with or without attribution.

The Year the Wheels Fell Off

Posted in Culture, Global Warming Hoax, Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Friday, December 30, 2011, 9: 49 PM

Jed Babbin at the American Spectator recounts the steady stream of political knavery, green graft and governmental stupidity of 2011: The Year The Wheels Fell Off.

I liked them all, especially this one:

“An enterprising BBC reporter — seeking to prove the practicality of electric cars — drove from London to Edinburgh. The journey took four days — longer than a horse-drawn stage would have taken for the trip 150 years ago — including nine stops of up to ten hours.”

There are a lot more, follow the link above.

Santa’s Yelpers

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Friday, December 23, 2011, 7: 49 AM

If you can get to the Battersea Dogs and Cats home in London you can adopt one of these. They are mixed breed mongrels, the best dogs to my mind, seeing as how I hale from a long line of mongrels myself.

These mutts will grow to be big, healthy and devoted to their masters.  Whatever your fate in life’s popularity contest, your dog is always glad to see you.

Photo is from the UK Daily Mail

Today’s quotes:

The art of writing is the discovery of what you believe.

— Gustave Flaubert

How do I know what I think until I see what I say?

— W.H. Auden

Any other Rush fans sick of him hawking his damn tea so much?

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Thursday, December 15, 2011, 1: 59 PM

Just asking. I don’t like sweet tea, so maybe that’s my problem.

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How You Die When You Fall Into Lava

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Friday, December 9, 2011, 2: 16 PM

It’s not like in the movies, where you sort of dissolve into lava yourself.

If you’ve ever swam (swum?) in the Dead Sea (I have) you already have a clue of how you die in lava.  Well, few people actually swim in the Dead Sea.  If any of that water gets into your eyes they will hear your screams in Jerusalem, 40 kilometers (15 miles) away.  You float in the Dead Sea.  That’s because the viscosity of water that salty is so heavy.  Unlike fresh water, or even ordinary sea water, it won’t get out of the way to allow you to sink.

Lava is less viscous than the water in the Dead Sea.  It won’t even let you sink into it enough to float.  You would just lie on top of it and sizzle like bacon.  Movies like Return of the King and Volcano that show a person sinking into oblivion or sort of melting away to nothing have it wrong.  Falling into lava in the real world would be much worse, and death would be much slower.

Full explanation of how this works here.

Magma is what lava is called while beneath the surface of the earth.  Not all lava is the same and its viscosity can vary from so thick so that it won’t flow at all to the thin stuff found in Hawaii where it flows well and fast.  The best lava to fall into would that in Hawaii because it’s more likely to immerse you and kill you quickly instead of slowly turning you into burnt bacon.  But only if it’s deep.  Sometimes it flows across the landscape or a highway in a thin layer only a few inches thick.  Don’t fall onto that stuff.

Volcanoes that explode, such as  Mount St. Helens, do so because the magma is so thick it won’t flow through the fissures in the rock.  Eventually the pressure build up reaches a point where the mountain explodes.  In Hawaii the volcanoes seldom blow up because the magma is more viscous and easily flows out at the surface, sometimes spectacularly.

Humans must instinctively know the properties of lava.  I’ve never heard of anyone committing suicide by jumping into lava, although it would work.

Creative Imagery in Advertising

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 1: 29 PM

I wonder what the Madmen would think of this? They’d like it because it’s so cool.  Well, at least if you think men are your market.  I used to have a couple of ad agencies as clients.  I know for sure those guys would have loved this, not only for the money it would have made them.

BMW Germany’s campaign for its premium selection used cars, sheer driving pleasure:

Louis CK On Conan O’Brien in Early 2009

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Sunday, December 4, 2011, 10: 34 AM

Stand up comedian Louis CK (Louis Szekely) on Conan O’Brien in early 2009 says “everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy.”  This is hilarious and confirms that the best humor is funny because it has a good ring of truth and in presented in a fashion that makes the truth easy to face.  I wonder how he would update this routine to today?  Since this video has been viewed almost 5 million times on youtube, you may have seen it, but if not you’ll enjoy it.


Imagine It, Do It

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 7: 56 AM

There are many skills that can be developed in life if you are able to see yourself doing whatever it is.  Ansel Adams (1902-1984) wrote about the process of prevision or “pre-visualization” as the first step in making a fine art photograph.  The photo he called, “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico” is an example of Adams working extensively with a difficult negative to finally get a print that matched the image he had in his mind when he looked at the scene and made the photograph.  As he looked at the scene that evening in 1942, the light on the crosses was fading fast and he couldn’t find his light meter.  He had to calculate the exposure as best he could from what he knew of the luminance of the moon.  The foreground was underexposed and the highlights in the clouds were overexposed making the negative difficult to print.  He worked with the negative over several years before he finally got the image that he wanted, the one that captured what he saw in his minds’ eye at the moment he released the shutter on his camera.

“Moonrise” became Ansel Adams’ most famous photograph.  There are about 1,600 original prints in existence, all made by Ansel in his darkroom.  One sold at Sotheby’s in 2006 for over $600,000.

The same sort of pre-visualization process is applicable to all sorts of endeavors that one might seek to accomplish.  As Bill Whittle says in the following video, it starts with imagination.


Quote of the Day

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Friday, November 11, 2011, 8: 53 AM

Crowds always, and individuals as a rule, stand in need of ready-made opinions on all subjects. The popularity of these opinions is independent of the measure of truth or error they contain, and is solely regulated by their prestige.

— Gustave Le Bon in his 1895 classic The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind

For decades the media establishment has had the prestige and that has made it easy for them to shape popular opinion.  As their prestige declines it will become harder for them to push their liberal-socialist agenda.  They know it, they hate it, and they are helpless to do anything about it because they are stuck in the muck of their liberalism.

There Are Good People Everywhere — Here’s the Evidence

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Wednesday, November 9, 2011, 12: 10 PM

From MSNBC, of all places:

Muslim cab drivers save Jewish Bagel Shop

They promise to keep it kosher.

More at the Jewish Daily Forward

Food…I just couldn’t stop thinking about it….yeah, yeah

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Saturday, November 5, 2011, 9: 53 PM

Started Out As a Leisurely Bike Ride But Didn’t End Well

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Monday, October 31, 2011, 2: 01 PM

Cell Phone Manners In A Coffee Shop

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Saturday, October 29, 2011, 9: 51 AM

For a little Saturday morning diversion take a look at the interesting cell phone incident you’ll see by clicking on the image below (nothing will infect your computer):

Assuming this is authentic, it’s funny. Is it ethical? Is it a nice thing to do? You have to be as old as I am to remember Alan Funt and Candid Camera. That was very funny television, but the victims were paid later for their trouble and inconvenience and they gave their permission for the broadcast of the video. I assume the people in this video were contacted and their permission obtained before this was shown on CMT.

Surprise, Surprise: Women Would Rather Work For A Man Than Another Woman Because — Women Are Too Emotional

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Tuesday, October 25, 2011, 8: 53 AM

So says, or found, Chicago-Kent Law Professor Felice Batlan who surveyed 142 legal secretaries at larger law firms in 2009, and not one expressed a preference for working for a female attorney. This accords with what I saw those many years ago when I was a partner in a law firm. Conflicts between secretaries (who were all women) and women lawyers in the firm were much more prevalent than conflicts with male lawyers. Complaints by attorneys in the firm about their secretaries were higher among the women as well. The firm never officially took notice of this fact, it was just there for everyone to see but no one talked about it.

Forty-seven percent of legal secretary’s in Batlan’s survey expressed no opinion on way or another. But not one of the entire survey preferring to work for another woman is striking. So much for the sisterhood.

Here are some of responses Batlan found:

• “Females are harder on their female assistants, more detail oriented, and they have to try harder to prove themselves, so they put that on you. And they are passive aggressive where a guy will just tell you the task and not get emotionally involved and make it personal.”

• “I just feel that men are a little more flexible and less emotional than women. This could be because the female partners feel more pressure to perform.”

• “Female attorneys have a tendency to downgrade a legal secretary.”

• “I am a female legal secretary, but I avoid working for women because [they are] such a pain in the ass! They are too emotional and demeaning.”

• “Female attorneys are either mean because they’re trying to be like their male counterparts or too nice/too emotional because they can’t handle the stress. Either way, their attitude/lack of maturity somehow involves you being a punching bag.”

• Women lawyers have “an air about them.”

The mother instinct might explain some of the secretaries preference for a male attorney. If so, Men are easier to mother than other women, especially fiercely independent women lawyers. Here is what one of Batlan’s respondents said:

“My partner in particular tends to forget the little things. I often find myself tailing him as he’s walking out the door to a meeting going down a list of things he may need. Oddly, I don’t feel like my female attorneys need that kind of attention.”

Maybe this is just a phenomenon of the self-selected personality types that go to law school and become lawyers. But notice that the number one reason women secretaries prefer a male boss is that women are said to be too emotional. That’s not a trait just of women lawyers. If it were not true that women’s emotions are more complex the “male and female control panel” wouldn’t be as funny:







The male part of the control panel is just an on/off switch.

I have two cats, brother and sister.  The female fusses about everything all the time.  The male just eats, sleeps and stares out the window.

37% of Americans Support Occupy Movement

Posted in Culture by TeeJaw on Saturday, October 22, 2011, 10: 41 PM

Media spin reports this as “more than a third of Americans…” Yeah, that makes it sound bigger than 37% doesn’t it. In addition to photos of bums defecating on cop cars, which I didn’t have the nerve to post here (no sense in grossing out my readers), here is what that 37% supports (will gross you out only a little bit):

Well, if you use your freedom to totally screw up your body maybe wasting freedom in such a grotesque manner isn’t much different than being a slave.

Open Anti-Semitism in the “Occupy” Movement — UPDATED

Posted in Culture, Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Sunday, October 16, 2011, 9: 14 AM

Democrats love to call the Tea Party movement racist which is a little weird since there are lots of Black people in the Tea Party movement and the Tea Party supports Herman Cain. Congressional Democrats staged a walk through of a Tea Party rally at the Capitol protesting the controversial procedures they were using to pass Obamacare, and later lied about hearing racial epithets. Video of the incident revealed no such racial epithets, and Andrew Breitbart offered $100,000 to anyone who would come forth with proof that any such thing occurred. To date, there have been no takers.

Democrats are now embracing another very different sort of movement whose bigotry is on display for all to see. Democrats have only favorable things to say of the “occupy” movement, The DNC is circulating a petition in support, and Obama sees the Occupy Movement as powerful support for his presidential reelection.  The Democrats and Obama are clearly aligned with this radical and colossally ignorant group of hooligans leaving trash and wreckage in their wake wherever they go. They aren’t just trashy and dumb, they’re virulently and openly anti-semitic, making no attempt to hide their bigotry.

Here’s one of the protesters Reason.tv spoke to at Occupy Wall Street in Los Angeles on October 12, 2011. She identifies herself as Patricia McAllister and as an employee of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

I doubt Ms. McAllister would be so casual with her anti-semitism if she were not comfortable that most of her fellow protesters agree with her. She clearly lives and works among other people, at the Los Angeles Unified School District and wherever she finds solace among friends and family, where such views appear to her to be normal and accepted.

Maybe it’s not entirely fair to point out that the Democrat party whole-heartedly supports the bigotry of the “occupy” movement. After all, The Democrat party isn’t the only group that supports this stuff. The American Nazi Party and the Communist Party have both thrown their support behind the Occupy Wall Street Movement also.

UPDATE: More endorsements of the “Occupy” movement by Democrats occurred today. In Portland, Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi endorsed the “Occupy the World” movement. That group featured some “music” for their new supporters:

Also this: Oregon AFSCME, the unionized public workers in city, county, health care, and social service gave their endorsement in support of Occupy Portland. Nice way to thank the taxpayers who finance their generous salaries, pensions, health benefits, substantial vacations and ample sick leave.

Perfect Timing — Ann Coulter’s Book With the #Occupy Wall Street Liberal Mob

Posted in Culture, Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Thursday, October 13, 2011, 12: 12 PM

Is the release of Ann Coulter’s book the best timing ever?

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