Category Archives: Short Shorts

Kaepernick – Whoa

I can’t keep quiet any longer.  I read all these articles on Colin Kaepernick looking for someone to have exposed the glaring truth and I just can’t find it.

I read that he is a fine (not great) quarterback.  I read that there are NFL quarterbacks out there who don’t have his skills who are being signed for big contracts.  Yet, no one wants Kaepernick.  The only conclusion that these commentators can come to is that Kaepernick is being punished for expressing his beliefs.  The owners have gotten together and formed a cabal for the expressed purpose of keeping him from playing.

Some will acknowledge that selecting our flag and the National Anthem wasn’t the smartest move.  Nor was his move when he wore police pig socks to practice.  Our flag is the same one that thousands and thousands of men and women have died fighting for.  These soldiers, sailors and airmen represent every race , creed, color and religion.

Again, the Washington Post interviewed Baltimore Raven fans on their team passing on Kaepernick.  Of the six interviewed, four would gladly take him.  One said the Ravens shouldn’t have passed on him just because he is a “very critical thinker,” and those fans who don’t want him are using “bigotry and racism.”  My word.

The elephant in the room that no one seems to be able to see is what he will do to the cohesion of a team.  Putting Kaepernick into a locker room will be exceedingly divisive.   Last year his team won two games and lost 14.  They finished 4th in the NFC West.  That is because there are only four teams in the NFC West.  There may have been other reasons for the 49ers doing poorly, but I guarantee that having Kaepernick churning the pot was one of them.  Can you blame any NFL team for not wanting to place an incredibly divisive unknown into their locker room?

Now Michael Bennett, a defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks, is going to sit during the National Anthem.  I guess we will be testing my thesis again.  I expect added turmoil in the Seahawk locker room.  I suspect this will hurt the team.  The media will certainly help.  You just don’t need additional distractions.

Written by PJ Rice at

Copyright 2017

You Like That?

Two years ago, I decided that Kirk Cousins was the answer for the Redskins.  I watched him in the preseason and decided he had that very rare skill to find and hit an open receiver in a game that was going at 110 miles per hour.

This is a rare skill that is limited to the likes of Tom Brady, Payton Manning and Kurt Warner.  Hard to believe skills.  But then last year, when Kirk got his chance, it just didn’t work.  He didn’t look like the QB I had seen in preseason.  Hey, I’ve been wrong before.

Then, again, in preseason, I saw the same spark that I saw the previous year.  I know, I know, it’s preseason, but still I saw something.  Of course, Robert Griffin III, who is a great athlete  is not a great pocket quarterback.  He would get back in the pocket and if something didn’t click in the first two seconds it was over.  He would take off or just freeze.  I would hear others say, “His line doesn’t give him any protection.”  Well, if you stand there long enough, no line is going to protect you.  People would say, “You have got to respect his willingness to hang in there and take all that punishment.”  I would prefer he did something smart and avoided the punishment.

I can’t tell you how proud I was when Coach Jay Gruden announced that Kirk Cousins was his quarterback for this season.  What impressed me most was that Gruden made the decision well knowing that if it didn’t work, the owner, Dan Snyder, would fire him.  But what really startled me was Gruden asserting that he had the authority to decide who was to be his QB.  That may sound silly to you, but after watching Snyder run the Redskins for the last 15 years, I wasn’t sure how much authority our coach had.

I predicted the Redskins would go eight and eight.  At the time I made it that was a very optimistic  prediction.  Some commentators had ranked the Skins 32nd out of 32 teams.  But from what I had observed, I thought they would win some games.

Going into week seven, the Redskins had two wins and four losses.  Then they fell behind the Buccaneers 24-0.  But the Skins came back and won the game 31-30.  It was clearly the turning point in the season and after the game, Kirk screamed at the assembled media, “You like that?”  The expression has taken on a life of its own.  I don’t think it will take us to the Super Bowl like “Who Dat!” did for the Saints, but it sure guaranteed my eight and eight prediction and a trip to the playoffs.

The Washington Post sport writers who had been finding fault with Cousins were probably what lead to Cousins’ outburst – “You like that?”   Anyway, they have all acknowledged they were wrong and have done their mea culpas.  Me?  I’m doing fine.  I’m a little smug, but suffering with the Redskins for so long, I think I am entitled to be.  Go Skins!

Written by PJ Rice at

Copyright 2015

The Trumpster

I’m really disappointed in the political posture of this country.  We have two parties and they just seem to want to fight with each other.  I can see why a person like Donald Trump would appeal to a lot of people.  Some of the things he says, I agree with.

The fact that I like some of the things he says doesn’t preclude me from thinking he’s a nut case.  I think he’s a smart guy, so I am convinced that he couldn’t possibly believe what he says.  But he likes to hear himself say those things.  And, he likes the reaction he gets from those people who want to hear him say those things.

I want borders that aren’t porous.  It is a disaster for our country to have drug runners, terrorists and illegal aliens crossing our border whenever they wish.  I believe both Democrats and Republicans want a leak proof border.  So why isn’t it happening?  I think it is because our government isn’t functioning.  And that, my friend, is the type of sorry state of affairs that works to Trump’s advantage.  I am convinced that if he is elected, he will build his wall and every few miles there will be a Trump Tower with resort activities.  He may even figure out how to have the Mexican government pay for it.

I noticed that last month the US withheld $5,000,000 from Mexico in drug war aid because of human rights violations.  The article said that the amount was just a small fraction of the aid the US gives Mexico.  Maybe Trump is just going to keep our aid money to pay for the wall.  Muchas Gracias.

But when The Donald starts talking about gathering up all the illegals in this country and shipping them out, he sounds like a huckster at the carnival.  “They have to go.”  That’s right, over ten million.  We will just gather them up and ship them out.  Really?  We will have to suspend all their rights and I’m not sure our courts will go along with that.  I’m not sure we could process a half a million a year, but if we could it would only take 20 years!  As I said earlier, Trumps a smart guy, so he must know this.  And he complains about politicians misleading us.

Trump thinks it is a good idea to have Putin and Russia clean up the Syrian problem.  I guess geopolitical thinking isn’t required on reality TV shows.  Maybe Putin and Russia could clean up our border crossing problem?  While it logically follows his thinking in Syria, it probably would not help his poll numbers.  So never mind.

About 15years ago, we were on a cruise to Alaska.  We dined each night at the same table for eight.  Six of us were of a conservative ilk.  Then there was the California professor and his wife.  When the subject of illegal immigration came up, the six of us believed illegals should be sent back.  The professor strenuously objected.  He said, “If you send them all back, who will take care of our golf courses?”   There you have it, the liberal mind always looking out for and defending the downtrodden golf course.

About the only thing that brings our country together is a major disaster.  So electing the Trumpster may be the answer.  It took us a while to get over the Vietnam War and it will take us a while to get over President Trump.  But while it may be a disaster, it will certainly be entertaining.

Written by PJ Rice at

Copyright 2015




A Little of This and A Little of That

You know the blogs I have written are divided into categories.  I have “My Military Daze,”  “Poems,”  “Political Thoughts,” and “Golf Daze” and lots of other categories.   But it shouldn’t surprise you that the largest category is “Random Thoughts.”  I spend a lot of time each day on random thoughts.  The problem is remembering them.

A lot of my random thoughts deal with our new apartment.  We now have it in fairly decent shape.  But I am still walking into things.  My arms (and legs) have blue marks documenting each time I hit something.  Just when I think I am getting better – wham!

On the way to the Community Center there is a puzzle table.  If I have time, I stop and put in a few pieces.  One lady who was  working on the puzzle asked me if I had gone over to the assisted living wing.  It appears that they have a puzzle going over there also.  I told her that I hadn’t and asked if she had.  She said that she had, but she spent most of her time there removing pieces that had been misplaced.

Facebook.  Oh yes, I’m on Facebook.  I joined it years back so that I could keep up with my grandchildren.  And I enjoy seeing photos of them.  And now, we have a great grandchild.  Between FaceTime and Facebook we are able to watch her grow.  Her parents are a few thousand miles away so it’s a big deal!   But if you are going to be a Facebook member, don’t upset them.  When we moved, I didn’t get on Facebook for a couple of months.  I kept getting Facebook emails trying to find out why I was not participating.  They said there were people out there poking me.  What did I do?

Then there are the people out there who update their status three times a day.  What is that all about?  It makes status quo look pretty good.  So this is the “social media.”  It doesn’t seem so social if people keep poking each other.

I ended up buying a new Lexus SUV right before we moved.  I was never going to own an SUV, but since they came out with the crossovers and put them on a passenger car chassis, I changed my mind.  If my SUV is not a crossover, please don’t tell me.  Anyway, the poor car is like a bastard child.  I have no time for it.  I just drive it.  I owned it for two months before I found out it had a rear windshield wiper.  When I open my door (or any door), no light comes on.  I am sure that can be fixed by pushing the right buttons.  But that would require me to read the manual.

I was pushing buttons the other day trying to put an address in the navigation system.  I had watched the salesman do it.  Finally I got a voice, but it was a real person.  I told her I was trying to reach the mechanical lady so I could put an address in.  She told me she would act like a recording if I wanted her to.  I thought that was sweet, but not necessary.  I gave her the address and she cranked it into the system for me.

Oh yes, I lifted the automatic tailgate while the car was in the garage.  It didn’t clear the automatic door thing-a-ma-jig.  Now, everyone is asking me who keyed my car.  What a mess.  I’ve been telling myself for four months what I am going to get done when things calm down.

I think I’ll go work on the puzzle.

Written by PJ Rice at

Copyright 2015

Is National Security Politically Incorrect?

I read on the front page of Sunday’s Washington Post that the “Pentagon’s plan for overseas spy service curtailed amid concerns.” The article says we are only going to train and deploy half the number of spies we had originally planned (500 rather than 1,000). The question I have is what kind of undercover organization gives out this type of information?

There was a time when this type of information would never see the light of day. If a reporter knew about it, it still would not be printed. But now, you have the intelligence community and the Department of Defense commenting on the cut back. I’m wondering if the CIA has a Facebook and Twitter account?

These new spies will become part of the Defense Clandestine Service. My question is what kind of a clandestine operation calls itself the Defense Clandestine Service? “Hi, I’m Joe Swartz. I’m with the Defense Clandestine Service.” “What do you do Joe?” “Oh, I’m assigned overseas where I do clandestine things.” I’m sure “”Wild Bill” Donavan, who was responsible for forming and running OSS is probably rolling over in his grave.

This reminds me of the spy story that came out of the cold war. Our agent was given elaborate instructions on how to meet a deeply covered reliable informant behind Soviet lines. When he found the informant he was to say the code words “The tulips in Holland are beautiful.” It took him two weeks to find the address of his contact named Bruno. He knocked on the door and a man opened it. Our agent said, “Bruno?” The man said “Yes.” Our agent said, “The tulips in Holland are beautiful.” The man said, “Oh, you want Bruno the spy, he’s on the third floor.”

I don’t know why I am surprised that we are telling our enemies how many agents we have in the Defense Clandestine Service. After all, this Administration has told our enemies in Afghanistan when we are pulling our troops out. Maybe they will throw us a party.

Written by PJ Rice @
Copyright 2014

Bloggedy Blog Blog – Final Part of the Trilogy

Things get old quickly. I remember when Imus was getting started with his ranch. It seemed like the only way a guest could get on his show was to donate three head of cattle and one Mexican ranch hand. I gave up on watching. And yet, here I am talking incessantly about this damn web site.

It’s just that I was blogging away for years, watching my numbers rise and thinking I’m on to something. Then GoDaddy pulled the plug on the program I was using and I began to flounder. To begin with, I had over a thousand new registered users who now I’m told were all spam. Comments were appearing at the bottom of my articles that I hadn’t approved or even seen. Some comments that I had deleted reappeared. But worst of all, Google couldn’t find anything I had written. If Google can’t find you, you are truly in a literary uninhabited wilderness.

Well, I got some professional help, a WordPress wizard, and things are back to “normal.” People can now subscribe again to Ricequips and as of the middle of September, 2014, I am again, receiving statistical data. The numbers are teeny tiny, but that is where I was when I started out last time. AND, that web crawler, Google, has located me again. So enough said about Ricequips.

My next problems is the acorns. The acorns dropping from the Oak trees are extremely heavy this year. I’m sure the Farmer’s Almanac uses such information to predict what type of winter we will have. That and the thickness of the Wooly Bear Caterpillar.

Seven years ago, we added a gazebo to our deck. It is fully enclosed and has eight sides.The neatest thing about the gazebo is the roof which also has eight sides and adds an additional eight feet to the already eight foot gazebo. Can you picture a very steep sloped roof? Well, that’s where the problems come in. Thirty feet above the sloped roof are the oak branches loaded with acorns. As the acorns release, they hit the sloped roof and fire into our bay window. It sounds like we are being shot at. Our poor dog, Nikkie, races out of the family room every time we are under attack.

So it’s just like Rosanne Rosannadanna used to say, “If it ain’t one thing, it another.” “Never mind.”

Written by PJ Rice at

Copyright 2014

Gillette’s Latest and Greatest Razor, Until Next Month

Oh man.  What in the world is going on?  Gillette has just come out with a new razor.  I guess I have always used Gillette razors.  I’ve written about them before.  But now, I cans hardly keep up with their new models.

Last year at this time, I had winnowed it down to two razors.  One was my old reliable Mach 3 Turbo that I had had forever.  You know it is a winner when Gillette just keeps making replacement blades for it.  Newer models have gone by the wayside, but the old Mach 3 just keeps chugging along.  Then, of course, I have the Fusion ProGlide Power.  Five blades and smooth as could be.  While the blades are expensive, they last a long, long time.  I was really comfortable with my shaving situation.

Then about eight months ago, Gillette announced that they have a new razor for sensitive skin.  It’s called the Gillette Mach 3 Sensitive Power Razor.  My old Mach 3, which I love, has no power and it wasn’t specifically made for sensitive skin.  They also made the razor green so it would be environmentally friendly.  This was a product they were marketing to jerks like me.  “Oh, it’s for sensitive skin.  I have sensitive skin.”  Dah.  So, I bought it and, of course, I needed to buy extra blades because Gillette is too smart to make their old Mach 3 blades interchangeable.  Bottom line is forget about the sensitive skin, I got sensitive every time I used the green razor.  I feel like I was gimmicked (I just made a new word).

So when I run out of the environmentally friendly green blades, I thought I would be back to the two razors I am happy with.  But no!  Gillette won’t leave me alone.  They are now coming out with the “Fusion ProGlide Power Razor with FlexBall Technology.”  Holy cow.  My present Fusion ProGlide flexes up and down to smoothly stay in contact with my skin over my jaw bone and chin.  Now, with the FlexBall, the blade will toggle sideways and if necessary do somersaults to get that last elusive hair.  After my last experience with the environmentally friendly Mach 3 “S” (S is for sensitive and stupid), I had half a mind not to buy the somersaulting  FlexBall technology.  But what if I am wrong.  I didn’t need the Fusion ProGlide Power razor, but now that I have it, I’m convinced that it is the best.  Whose to say that there isn’t a need for a somersault once in a while.

I will probably buy it, but I won’t promise that I will report on it.  That’s the kind of threat that will drive people away from my blog site.  My next blog will be on something more exciting, like tooth paste.

Written by PJ Rice at

Copyright 2014


Don’t Get Comfortable, Life Gets Tricky

Life is really tricky.  Just when you think things are under control, along comes the trickiness.  Maybe you have figured out how not to get junk mail on your computer, but I haven’t.  But I have found the delete button.  I probably get 40 to 50 junk emails a day.  The Jockey Store sends me a sale notice everyday.  Really, how much underwear can you own?

So when I bring up my emails, I go down the list: Groupon, Retail-Me-Not, tickets for the St. Louis Cardinals (even though I am in DC), GoDaddy, Double Take Offers, AAA and Dick’s Sporting Goods and many more.  I generally don’t even look at them.  With my finger on the delete button, I go ping, ping, ping, ping.

Well, life got tricky.  Even though GoDaddy had sent me hundreds of sale notifications, this time, since the first of the year, they have been trying to notify me that all of my blogs were about to disappear.  They were shutting down GoDaddy’s Quick Blogcast, which is the platform I use to support  On June 19, I was sitting in an outlet parking lot in Lancaster, PA, while Carole and our two grown daughters, Becky and Missy were shopping.  I was deleting stuff from my IPhone.  When I got to GoDaddy, the first two words got my attention.  It said, “Important Notice.”  That is how I found out that they were shutting me down on June 25!

I called GoDaddy on the 21st and they sold me a new platform (WordPress) for all my blogs.  Then with the help of JW Kimbro, a GoDaddy consultant, we transferred all 244 existing blogs from Quick Blogcast to WordPress.  If you are having difficulty understanding this, don’t feel bad.  I have no idea what I am talking about.  I am just repeating what they told me.  However, if you are reading this, you can see the style is different and that is because it was published on WordPress.  So there.

Now, my biggest problem is that Google can’t find me.  If you go to Google and type in Schilling Manor, Ricequips will pop up on the first page.  But, since switching to WordPress, when you click on the article, Google will tell you it is “Not Found.”  And I thought Google was keeping track of all of us.  I called GoDaddy to see if they could help me.  After two lengthy pauses to get help, I was informed by the consultant that Google is a web crawler and it will eventually find me.  I kept having flashbacks to the movie Matrix.  But I am somewhat relieved.  It just hasn’t happened yet.  I hope the posting of this blog does the trick.

I don’t think you can call Google.  They are too busy putting together a cute Google logo for the next day.  But hopefully, when I post this blog on WordPress a light will come on at Google and Bing.  Please keep your fingers crossed.

Written by PJ Rice at

Copyright 2014


The Judge Says – Help! I’ve Been Burgled!

I continue to go back and pick up articles I wrote when I was the Staff Judge Advocate at Fort Riley.  Even though they are over thirty years old, they still have some relevance (sometimes very little).

Help! I’ve Been Burgled
March 5, 1982

I’m going to give you a very quick course in Criminal Law 101. People are always saying they were robbed, when, in fact, they had something stolen from them when they weren’t even present.  Or, even worse, they will tell someone they have been robbed, when, in fact, they have been burgled (Help, Help, I’ve been burgled!).  On second thought, tell them you have been robbed.

The difference will become clear shortly.  The barracks thief who takes someone’s stereo and sells it is guilty of larceny (he wrongfully took someone’s property with an intent never to return it).  Now the thief who hocks the stereo and holds on to the pawn ticket will tell the court that he was going to get the stereo back on pay day and return it (Hee hee).  Thus, no intent to permanently deprive.  If he can convince the court, then he is only guilty of wrongful appropriation.

The rat who picks up a GI walking down JC Blvd. and takes his wallet at knife point is a robber.  A robber is someone who commits larceny by the threat of or use of force or violence.  The victim who is walking down JC Blvd. late at night is called a dummy, pigeon or mark (or all of the above).  “A fool and his money” – I forgot how it goes, but you get the picture.

The crook who breaks into someone’s home at night to commit certain crimes (such as larceny) is a burglar.  He burgles. (“Help, Help …”)  If it is not at night, or, no one lives in the building, then it is not burglary.  We call it housebreaking.

The only test to be given on the above material involves JC Blvd.  If anyone is walking alone at night on that road, they fail the course.

Written be PJ Rice at

US and the Middle East

When I was in the sixth or seventh grade, I was asked to write a paper on the political parties in the United States.  No, that’s not right.  I was probably asked to write a paper about our country and I chose the topic. This may have been an early sign that some day I would major in political science.  This would have been around 1949.  I explained in cryptic details how when the Republican Party was in power, we had depressions; and when the Democratic Party was in power, we had wars.  My conclusion was that in order to decide whether you wanted to be a Republican or a Democrat, you had to decide whether you would prefer a depression or a war.  It’s a good thing I didn’t mention the Communist Party or my teacher might have turned me over to Senator McCarthy.

I thought you needed to know the above before you started reading my thought on the Middle East.  It shouldn’t surprise you that I am confused about the Middle East.  One thing for sure, I quit worrying a long time ago about whether people liked us.  Yep, I’m the ugly American.

One thing I do worry about is our national security and what is in the interest of our nation.  I think our leaders, in developing our foreign policy, should concentrate on what is in the best interest of the United States. Other countries understand that because that is exactly what they are doing.  Charles De Gaulle’s decision for France to have a French nuclear defense against Russia was based upon what he believed was in the best interest of France.  He didn’t care that the United States was unhappy with the decision.

It doesn’t seem to matter who is in power in many Middle Eastern countries when it comes to suppressing the views and right of their opposition.  Some regimes may be harsher that others, but they all treat their opposition harshly and it doesn’t pay to be too vocal.  This doesn’t seem to me to be a critical factor in deciding our country’s national interest.  Gassing the opposition changes the playing field.  But, otherwise, I ask, is it in our national interest to see governments favorable to us overthrown and the installation of a fundamental Islamic government? Then when such a ruling party as the Muslim Brotherhood is overthrown, should we wring our hands?

When is a coup not a coup?  I would say when it is in the national interest of the United States.  OK, I’m not only the ugly American, I’m a hypocrite. But with all my faults, I would not lose sight of our national security.

I also have some thought on free elections in tribal countries like Afghanistan.  But I think I will stop and cut my losses.  Life was a lot simpler when all I had to do was choose between war and depression.

Written by PJ Rice at