February 17, 2020

I pick myself up and get back in the race

Here we are ready to meet the day; Presidents Day in fact. No mail. I suspect the banks are closed, along with most government offices. No school, so the girls are home with their mommy today: no grandgirls to brighten up the house.

I got the garbage disposal installed with minimal effort and without a single utterance of a swear word. The only issue came when it was time to mount the beast. I didn’t have the strength to compress the rubber seal with one hand and turn the locking ring. I had to ask my son-in-law to stop by and help. Once he arrived it took less than five minutes to finish. When did I become so weak? In  any case there are no leaks so far. The only connection yet to be tested is the one from the dishwasher. Note: I did remember to knock out the dishwasher drain plug.

Boy don’t you feel better reading about that big adventure? Sheesh. I used to write about my travels. Now I bore you to tears with everyday home chores. This blog will hit its fifteen year anniversary in a couple of weeks. That is like 105 in dog years. It jumped the proverbial shark a decade ago. Entertaining content is wheezing along on life support.

We both — the blog and me — take encouragement from this sentiment.

Go forth and have a great Monday.

February 16, 2020

Kung Flu for you

i have been to China twice, spending a couple of weeks in total. Both times I was less than enthusiastic about the trip, especially the second time. Each time I was wrong, it was interesting and an enjoyable experience. The trip is long, and the food situation was different. Sadly, I still haven’t mastered chopsticks.

Anyway, I am offering up a twofer Sunday Pictures today:

Commie Housing on full display

This is the view from my hotel window of Changzhou, China taken on my second trip in November, 2017.

This a view of the Great Wall outside Beijing showing a stretch between guard towers. Right behind me was a place where the Mongols breached the wall. The entry stairs and hand rail are modern additions for safety. Guard duty on the wall would have been less than pleasant. This is from my first trip to China in June 2013.

Next week we shall return closer to home. 

February 15, 2020

Set ‘em up Joe

I can tell you right up front my writing will be interrupted this morning. My morning cup o’coffee is nearly drained and I know a refill is in order. I feel confident my composing skills will allow for a seamless pause you will never                 notice.

A few weeks ago I was complaining (hard to believe, eh wot?) that the Cubs are starting their own broadcasting network. Good news, my tiny little fiber optic cable provider has signed on and will offer the Marquee Network as part of regular programming. Yeah me.

Installation of a new garbage disposal is on tap for this weekend. The old one died some time ago and we have been avoiding that side of the sink for far too long. Luckily, it is not too hard to put in a new one, providing I get the same size unit. I know the plumbing gods are about to punish me for my hubris. If things go as normal, a connection will break, a pipe will be 1/4 inch too short, I will be missing something vital, the Lowe’s just down the street will not carry whatever I have to go back to get. That’s how things usually work.

I have no doubt it is my sunny positive attitude that draws in the readership.

I finished binge-watching the HBO miniseries Rome last weekend. I enjoyed it. It was fairly accurate historically. It has more gratuitous nudity than I can describe. I’m no prude, but some of the nakedness was just unnecessary. I’m not sure what I will start watching this morning. I guess we will both be surprised in a few minutes when I head downstairs to turn on the TV.

I’m not sure I am going to continue the Sunday Pictures feature. Does anyone find it interesting?

Enjoy your Saturday.

February 14, 2020


The band Three Dog Night sang that “One is the loneliest number”. I’m not sure if one is lonely,  but it is cold. One is precisely the Fahrenheit temperature as I write this morning, providing a wind chill “feels like” of minus nine. It is warmer inside my freezer than on my porch. That’s OK, I don’t plan on spending time in either frigid location.

My across the street neighbor texted me around eight o’clock last night to tell me there was a fox on my front porch. While I was out playing in the snow with my granddaughter yesterday I saw fox tracks coming from my porch and rounding to behind the house next door. Mr Fox must be running a regular route. The chipmunks are in some danger. I suspect it is the same red fox I have spotted a few times over the past couple of years.

Suburbia is teeming with wildlife.

Today is the Big Hallmark Holiday. I have a suitable card signed to present the wife. We shall brave the cold to have a modest dinner this evening to mark the occasion.

Since I’m a good host, I won’t bore you with my oft-repeated homage to the first date with my wife in a romantic tribute to St. Valentines Day. There is nothing worse than an old man endlessly repeating his stories.

The band Three Dog Night sang that “One is the loneliest number”. I’m not sure if one is lonely, but it is cold...

February 13, 2020

Help Me Rhonda

I am clearly out of step with the current political climate. I have no doubt I will find myself in a gulag /  re-education camp after the Bernie Bros bring us the joys and wonders of Communism.

Here is just another example of stuff I do not understand. A teacher at an Indiana suburban school has been suspended over a lesson in “this day in history “ because he/she showed a magazine cover marking that Mike Tyson was convicted of rape on that date.

I don’t recognize the problem. It was true, the facts are correct. More importantly, I am concerned any school would comment that stuff in the past isn’t relevant.

I am increasingly lost in this world where apparently no one is allowed to ever be offended, uncomfortable, or face actual truth. Can anyone tell me what the problem is and why is the teacher suspended, but some are calling for the teacher to be fired? I really am that clueless.

There is no marijuana in a pot pie

It appears we have a couple inches of snow on the ground. My neighbor cleaned my drive with his snow blower. I have great neighbors. Bitter cold will move in tonight with temperatures in the single digits. The cold and snow will pass quickly with normal to above normal temperatures by the weekend.

At some point in the coming days weeks I am going to clean up the sidebar links. Names will be deleted, a few added. I might even mess with the old template. Too many links are to old blogs that moved to other platforms long ago. Too bad, I miss most of those blog friends. It is change that has been coming for a while.

I hope you have that gift picked out for your sweetheart. The Big Hallmark Holiday for lovers is upon us Friday. We will be low-key this year. I will get a card for the wife and maybe a cheap bouquet.

I have always possessed a good vocabulary, even if I rarely demonstrate it around here, but for some reason I suck at Scrabble. It is the strategy part I guess. Thus it is no surprise the wife has trounced me in the online version of the game. She has defeated me probably fifty straight games. Only her stats don’t say so because I surrendered a game earlier in the week when I had nowhere to play and there were no letters left. I was down 150 points. Anyway, it seems she doesn’t get the win when I resign the game. Officially she did not defeat me. Bwahaha.

February 12, 2020

i opted out of coffee this morning and this is the result.

Winter is slated to finally arrive starting this afternoon. Rain, sleet, accumulating snow and single digit temperatures are all in the forecast. Until now we have had a remarkably mild winter. The only “shovel” snow was back in December. Since then we have had a dusting on a few occasions. Temperatures have hovered in the upper thirties on average. I am not complaining.

I have lots of other stuff I could complain about. I won’t. You are welcome.

So let’s see, we covered the weather. Complaints were covered. That leaves politics. Nah, I’m in a good mood.

Have a great hump day.

February 11, 2020

I see dumb people

In the wake of the Senate rejection of the impeachment charges against The Trumpster, some liberal pundits again brought up the old tripe about how the electoral college and the Senate in particular are “undemocratic”.

Let us cover this yet again: we do not have a democracy in the US Federal government, we have a representative republic. Write it 50 times until you understand basic political fact. In cursive on ruled paper.

One talking head went so far as to research the population of various states and proclaimed a majority really wanted the President booted based on the population of each state and senator’s vote. Of course the assumption was that every voter in say California or New York voted Democrat. We know that isn’t true. In fact, the whole so-called analysis was such a waste of time I feel cheated of those minutes of life I spent in reading the article.

Today I read an Article in The Atlantic spreading a similar nonsense. Simon Barnicle goes further, proving his education is sorely lacking and he should have taken high school civics instead of playing dungeons and dragons, because he surely lives in a fantasy world.

The author readily admits the Democrats are losing elections. His solution is to rig the system so Democrats can win. He wants to carve up Blue States so they get more representatives, more Senators, and more electoral votes. Problem solved. Until Republicans declare every county in Texas a new State. I’m surprised Barnicle Bill didn’t also advocate adding six or seven new judges to the SCOTUS, another liberal plan to get what they cannot pass legislatively.

His rational is that again, the Senate is not apportioned according to population, but rather each state gets two votes. Poor California has the same votes as Montana. All I can say is - Yes. That is how things were designed - exactly to prevent mob rule and despotic control by the larger States.

Apparently Mr. Barnicle Bill never learned that the country is called “ The United States, as in a group of independent  states joined together as a nation. The  US is not, and was not, intended to be a nation with a group of provincial  or administrative districts. The Senate was designed to represent the interest of the individual states, not the people. Unfortunately, that distinction was blurred by the idiotic and lamentable 17th Amendment.

I don’t know what passes for education among the journalist class, but history and civics is clearly not part of the curriculum. Maybe some of those folks who learned of the Federalist Papers for the first time during the impeachment fiasco should actually spend some time reading them.

Worse, the author of the Atlantic piece claims to be an attorney. I guess whatever law school he attended must not require a course in a Constitutional law. It is a good thing he writes, I wouldn’t want that hack representing me in court when he knows so very little about the foundation of our very Law of the Land.

Because you asked II

Cappy asks “Why is there cat?”.

Why is there air? Why do people vote Democrat? Why does the Commissioner want to keep screwing with the rules of Baseball? Why is Rap considered part of Rock and Roll? How does Kieth Richards look younger at 70 than he did at 40? Why does anyone give a fig about Britain’s Royal Family? Why is there such a thing as “meatless hamburgers”. Why hasn’t Lacy Chabert won an Oscar? 

In other words, there are a great many mysteries in this life. Cats are one of them.

Uncompliant asks “My question is: what are your thoughts on de-atomizing ourselves? Partly, that is a fancy way of asking how to find local clubs, meet-up groups, social/political events that we can attend/join to meet like-minided folks. ”.

Me, I started a blog. The rest, not so much. I practice politics as a spectator sport. 

If anyone has more questions, let me know in the comments
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