The Daily Dose/Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Daily Dose/May 30, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Recently in this space we discussed how we had read some actual US Government legislation. It concerned how some who served in Vietnam are getting the same presumption of Agent Orange exposure that others receive. At its most readable it was confusing and demoralizing, leaving you wanting to bathe with a hairdryer. After reading it, there was no doubt as to why nothing of substance gets done in this country.

We had another example of this sort Wednesday and you should know we make ourselves useful by masquerading as our county’s veteran service officer. I help veterans deal with the VA. Insert your own jokes about me having a generous budget for booze or an open line to the VA crisis center here.   

We were looking for information on getting a vet’s incompetency ruling taken off government databases. The vet has since been ruled competent and the incompetency entry is preventing him from getting his concealed weapons permit renewed by the county.

One number we had rustled up was no help, so we did some research and came up with an outfit called the Office of the Special Assistant to the Secretary for Veteran Service Organizations. That sounded like it has potential, but the listing on the official VA website did not include a phone number of all things, though it did have an address, useful if we wanted to mail them something, but not much use here in the 21st-century…So I called the new White House VA line and asked the nice guy there for the number to this office and a couple of minutes later I had one.

It was out of service. So were three other VA numbers that had a 202 area code I had uncovered. I didn’t know what the deal was. I mean, I know how to make long-distance calls from a landline. Heck, there was a time when we’d do this regularly, back in the old days. Some more research, which we’re pretty good at, yielded the number to VA Secretary’s office. This was out of service, too.   

(Anytime you call a VA number you get a recording advising what to do if you are thinking of suicide. Well, I wasn’t thinking those thoughts, but as I continued to wade through this mess it started to look like an attractive option.)

So, in a burst of inspiration,  I called Washington, DC directory assistance. I asked for the number for the VA Special Assistant to the Secretary for Veteran Service Organizations and based on everything you’ve read here it should not be the biggest surprise that the number was actually for the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The gent who took my call though did have two VA numbers laying around. One was about as useful as the number to a brothel, but the other actually yielded a solution. It occurred to me that an incompetency judgment is actually a fiduciary matter, so I pressed a couple of buttons and was hooked up with a fiduciary office in Salt Lake City. I endured two minutes on hold, and then a gentleman told me the VA informs the FBI of these things as a matter of course. Now, it wasn’t immediately run across the street by messenger, it will take time, but the vet should be packing heat again in a couple of months. 

A whole day’s imbroglio to yield the tidbit that I didn’t actually have to do anything. And this from the outfit that is control of nuclear weapons. How our government gets anything done will always remain a mystery: they can’t even produce working phone numbers. I’m surprised an Apollo mission wasn’t stranded on the moon or sent to Jupiter by mistake. Heck, how a national park gets opened in the morning is now one mankind’s great riddles.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody: Sparrow has fun dealing with the VA. Today’s Diary.

The only problem was the listing on the VA website did not include a phone number…I am not making that up, it only had an address, marvelous if it’s the 1820s and I want to send a card, but not too useful here at the ass end of the second decade of the 21st-century…

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

The drivel simply does not stop: please click on the button to read The Diary of a Nobody. $5.99 includes all entries, past, present, and future.

On This Date
In 1948 – Vanport, Oregon is washed away when a dike in the Columbia River breaks, putting the entire town underwater. The town had been built in 1942 for workers in nearby shipyards and at its peak had a population of around 40,000, though at the time of the flood the population was about half that. The fact it was a holiday weekend and various natural obstacles delayed the flood’s arrival kept the death toll down to a relatively low 15 though, of course, everyone else was left homeless. Most of the area is now home to Portland International Raceway and a golf course.

In 1894 – Bob Lowe of the Boston Beaneaters – now the Atlanta Braves – becomes the first major leaguer to hit four home runs in a game as the Beaneaters defeat the Cincinnati Reds 20-11 in the second game of a doubleheader. He added a single and his 17 total bases also established a new major league record. The total base record is now held by Shawn Greene with 19, but Lowe’s home run record still stands, equaled on 17 other occasions, most recently by J.D. Martinez, then of the Arizona Diamondbacks, in 2017.

In 1953 – Percy Faith is at #1 on Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart – a predecessor of the Hot 100 – for the third of ten consecutive weeks with The Song From Moulin Rouge (Where is Your Heart). The song is also known as It’s April Again and the vocals on the song were provided by Felicia Sanders. In 1960 Faith would spend nine weeks at #1 with Theme From a Summer Place and while the feat is rather common now, for many years Faith was the few acts to spend at least nine weeks at #1 with two songs.

…by taking so much for the state, you reduce everyone’s ability to create more wealth. Even the bandit in the forest never takes more than two-thirds of the merchant’s caravan…so that there will always be something for him to steal.
Gore Vidal

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
The Rolling Stones have had eight #1 songs in Great Britain.

Today’s Stumper
Who were the acts before Percy Faith to spend at least nine weeks at #1 on a Billboard pop chart with more than one song? – Answer next time!

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