December 31, 2011

If you drink, don't drive

I am not one to do a lot of year end reflecting. I might be an amateur historian, but the past is the past.

Despite the bombast, the sarcasm and the bluster you mostly find around here, I am really truly humbled that anyone takes time from their day to read my drivel. I thank each of you for your support.

I wish you happiness, good health, and success in the coming year.

If you are heading out to celebrate this evening, I will offer you the same advice I gave my kids as they left for college. Never, ever drink the punch at a party.  Trust me on this.

December 30, 2011

Classic music

How about some music for your entertainment today?

Just skip the ad at the beginning.



Your other choice is a detailed account of my ongoing bout of diarrhea this morning.

December 29, 2011

Christmas Again

We went to my daughter's house for "Christmas" last night.  She was at her husband's family this year over the actual Holiday.  She made an unbelievable dinner for us. Braised short ribs were accompanied by roasted butternut squash, green beans and potatoes. My daughter is an excellent cook.  She made a couple of apple pies for dessert along with a red velvet trifle. After stuffing ourselves silly for the third time in a week, we opened our gifts. After dinner the boys all retired to my son-in-law's man cave where we played some pool and watched some hockey on the big screen.  The wife and daughter washed the dishes while all of the men played.

I can live with that. 

December 28, 2011

Days and Weeks

I did not make it to the cigar store yesterday.  I spent the day reading and watching movies. Such is life.

It snowed all morning and much of the afternoon, with just an inch or so of accumulation, most of it is already melted.

I spent this morning filling in my new desk calendar. I have the birthdays and holidays scheduled, so I don't miss either. I would hate to work on a day I had off! Right now I am scheduled to attend the World's Most Boring Trade Show in February over President's Day.  That is supposed to be a company holiday. I hope I do, then I can take the day later as a vacation day.

December 27, 2011

It is not you, it is me

Well, to be honest, it is just that I have some new books to read. I would rather entertain myself than entertain you.  I am selfish that way.

I am going to do my best to remain politics-free around here until after the New Year.  That could be welcome news or not, depending on just what you are looking for at this old blog.  I have no idea.

It is Tuesday and I have no plans, besides some heavy reading and maybe some movie watching.  I might call my buddy, who is also off work all week, and see if he wants to head to the cigar bar this afternoon.  We are supposed to get a little (and I mean LITTLE) snow, so we shall see.

Have a great day.  Check back later.  Who knows, I might find some inspiration that drives me back to the old laptop to create a pithy, well written post. 

Yes, I know, I am laughing too.  My side hurts...

December 26, 2011

Santa has a sore back today

Good morning Blog World, I hope old Saint Nick was one half as kind to you as he was to me.  The wife, as usual, went berserk.  It was a  gift giving frenzy on her part. I received a bunch of new stuff, some I needed some I didn't, but isn't that the point of a gift?  The kids scored like they were six years old again. The only downer was my daughter and son-in-law went to his family in Chicago for the weekend. We will have a get-together with them later this week.

After we opened presents, I whipped up a bacon and eggs breakfast. After which I started in on preparing Christmas dinner. I made all of the boy's favorites to go with the traditional fare and the end result was a carbapalooza. Along with a succulent turkey I made noodles, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls and mac and cheese. Oh, and candied yams, I forgot about them.  I would rather eat fried dog turds than sweet potatoes of any variety, but the wife loves 'em. For dessert, we had a peach pie my mom made me and a collection of cookies and fudge and treats my daughter made and brought over before she headed north. All of this was in addition to eating enough to feed Nigeria on Christmas Eve as we attended two family gatherings!

My blood sugar meter laughed when I checked my blood this morning.  I think the reading was "maple syrup". I am going to have to walk about ten miles a day this week to get things back into shape.

Have a great day.

December 23, 2011

Holy Toledo, what a football game

How about them Colts?  The Houston Texans continued a decade and franchise-long losing streak in Indianapolis last night. Aided by some key penalties that actually occurred and a few that never happened, the Colts led for 19 whole seconds to gain the second victory in the Dan Orlovsky era. Who needs Peyton Manning when Dan the Man is under center?

No, I was not at the game, so I do not get credit.  BUT---my daughter and son-in-law were there, so it is more apparent than ever a member of my family needs to be the guest of honor at all future games.

Holy Toledo, who would have thought the Colts could win again? And more importantly, why do we say Holy Toledo?  Why not Holy Rochester or Holy Evansville? Holy St. Marys has a more reverent sound if we have to use towns from northwest Ohio. I have been to Toledo and there is nothing Holy about it. Maybe Holy Toledo is a euphemism for Holy Hell? In that case wouldn't Holy Detroit be more fitting? Maybe Holy Gary? Those cities are both more representative of the nether regions than of Heaven.

Oh grow up, Detroit. Who makes a list of places they want to live and writes "Detroit" at the top in crisp black Sharpie?  No one, that's who.

If you want your colloquialism to have a degree of alliteration wouldn't Holy Hoboken better fit the bill? Perhaps Holy Billings would be better.  I always thought Billings would be a nice place, in the summer. Some might argue Holy Salt Lake City would be a better saying. I have been told Hawaii is Heavenly, so Holy Hawaii conjures images of an afterlife spent on spotless beaches. Plus it is another example of the double-H thingy.  I  do not think Holy Los Vegas is appropriate, other than I wager more prayers are uttered in Vegas than the Vatican City. See that, Dear Reader, how I mixed "wager" and "Vegas" into one snappy sentence?

After about 64 seconds of reflection, I think Holy Houston is the best phrase to use -- as in Holy Houston, you choked.

December 22, 2011

Perpetual Change

I finished my shopping in almost record time. Friendly salespeople in the women's store will always recognize a lost soul with a list in hand. It is easy commission.  In any case helping a customer find a specific item beats folding the same shirt on the front table for ninth time that hour.My patent 'awe shucks' and 'please help me' attitude never fails.

My approach to my work as a salesman is a related cousin to my Christmas shopping plan. In my dealing with my customers I am just an ordinary guy trying to make a living. There is no trace of the used car/insurance salesman huckster in my approach. I am knowledgeable and friendly. I have no issue being on the shop floor. My ace is self deprecating humor. Despite what you read here, and what alternate opinion you may have formed about me, that is my true persona. I save my pent-up obnoxiousness for you.  And my family.

I had an East Coast boss who hated my approach and constantly lectured me about changing the way I interact with customers, despite my continued success and territory growth. Many of those customers left with me when I went to a new company. That was also the same asshole who actually suggested I read from a script to customers. I laughed at him -- right to his face. He had issues that I did not take notes in meetings, until I recited back the entire conversation by rote to him in the car -- complete with volumes and part numbers. Of course he got the last laugh when he used the economic downturn after 9/11 to fire me. I quote -- "This department is going to make budget this year. The only way we can do it is by cutting salary. You are second in salary behind me, and I am not going anywhere. I have to let you go". One of my previous competitors hired me a week later.

Somehow we have drifted off topic, whatever that topic was.

December 21, 2011

What the Heck?

It is the first day of winter. The temperature was FIFTY-FIVE degrees when I went to fetch the paper at 7:00 in the aye em.

What the fuck is up with that?

I am off in just a bit to finish up my Christmas shopping.  Stay away from the mall today, I do not need you in my way.  Thank you in advance for your help in this difficult matter.

Keep an eye on the place while I am mingling with the common people, OK?

Here is some entertainment for you.  I am a giving person, eh wot?:

Things I know

1. Peanut butter should always be of the smooth variety.  Preferably Jif brand.

2. Honey should come from a bear-shaped bottle.

3. Just about anything makes a good sandwich when the bread is fresh.

4. Reading while eating improves digestion.

5. Had it been invented, all three Kings would have gifted Baby Jesus Chapstick. It is that awesome.

6. Next year I will not wait until the last minute to do my Christmas shopping.

December 20, 2011

It was a Brickhouse

Today is my last day of work for the year.  I am heading into vacation -- use it or lose it mode. I am pretty much caught up with work, so I took a break and fired up a nice cigar out in the garage. I looked at it kind of like a pre-holiday celebration. The cigar was good but the temps were in the low forties. I put on a couple of sweatshirts and my body was warm enough, but my hands got cold. I refuse to smoke a stogie in gloves.  There are limits.

I enjoyed the relaxation, until I got too cold. i probably left a larger stub than I normally would.

I have grown into a huge wussy..

A touching tale of Christmas

 
A couple was Christmas shopping at the mall on Christmas Eve and the mall was packed.
Walking through the mall the surprised wife looked up and noticed her husband was no where
around and she was very upset because they had a lot to do.
She used her cell phone to call her husband because she was so upset, to ask him where he was.
The husband in a calm voice said, "honey remember the jewelry store we went into 5 years ago
where you fell in love with that diamond necklace that we could not afford and I told you that I
would get it for you one day".
His wife said crying, "yes I remember that jewelry store".
He said, "well I'm in the bar next to it."

December 19, 2011

Dear Indidanapolis Colts

At this point it is clear it was my very presence in Lucas Oil Stadium that led to your first victory of the season yesterday. there can be no doubt upon this question.

I suggest you immediately provide me with a couple of tickets to all future home games in order to secure the guarantee of football victory going forward.

I do not expect expensive owners or corporate box privileges. Nor do I require 50 yard line views. Ninth row goal line seats similar to what I enjoyed yesterday will ensure your continued success and the blessings of the football gods for the remainder of this season and those to come.

Let me know if you need my mailing address to send the ducats.

Your Pal,

Joe

PS If you watched the game on TV, I was the one in the Colts jersey.


I want cupcakes

My friend's daughter is in the third grade. My friend is a good mother and volunteered to be a room mother. She planned a Christmas Holiday party for the kids.  My friend planned to bake cookies for the children and their party on the last day of class before Christmas Winter Break.

She got a call from the teacher the other day.  My friend was told she could not bring cookies and not to plan anything for the party. The school principal sent a memo to all of the teachers that he will provide the treats for the various parties and the school will show an appropriate movie to all classes. His memo stated that it is "unfair" for some classes to have "better" treats and parties than other classrooms. The teacher said the principal explained to the teachers he does not want one class to have homemade cupcakes while another classroom merely gets a bag of Chips Ahoy. He claimed that was not "right" and he could not allow it.

This, my friends, is example 1,618 why the Nation is lost. We are raising generations of Americans with the idea they are promised not equal opportunity, but equal outcome. We see it in the youth soccer "no keeping score" mentality. We see it in the socialist bent to today's OWS "you owe me" attitude.

It does not matter who wins the next election. A Conservative wave could sweep the halls of Congress, The ghosts of Goldwater, Reagan, Jefferson and Madison could combine to inhabit the body of the next Republican President. The makeup of the Supreme Court could lurch to the political right of John Birch. The youth of America are growing up believing they are entitled. There is no understanding that life, liberty and happiness are earned, not given.Any roll back from creeping socialism is temporary at best. Mao and Lennin, and Hitler, and even John Dewey were right -- win the kids and win the political argument for all time.

Today Republicans and Democrats no longer argue if the Government should poke its filthy greasy fingers into the pie, but how many fingers are acceptable. They all agree we should tax the "rich" at a higher rate, the only argument is what that higher rate should be. Somehow we no longer debate if Progressive policies are viable or wise, only the degree of progressiveness.

Too many Americans believe that fair means taking from the have's and passing it to the have not as much. There is no understanding that any act of leveling means something has to be reduced and knocked down. As long as it is the other guy we don't care.

I have not ranted much about politics around here of late. I am resolved I will never hold my nose and vote for "Not As Bad As The Other Choice" ever again.  Good people and not so good people are elected,  head to the corruption of Washington and become the problem.  There is no solution. Re-election is the only consideration. And why not? Does a pig back away from the trough when food remains? There is no political will to fix the immigration problem, the debt problem, the crush of an overwhelming bureaucracy. There will never be term-limits, it would mean the end of the power and money for too many career politicians.

Too is too much money and power at stake. We all know it. Only about 8 of every 100 Americans think our Congress does a good job. But fixing the problem means lost elections and an end to the gravy. Gotta keep gettin' the gravy.

But we do not demand better of our Nation.  We look down at our plate of Oreos and are just pissed 'cause the other guy got  homemade oatmeal scotchies.


p.s. My friend sent the cookies in the day before the party as a "treat" for the kids.  Fuck you Mr. Commie Bastard Principal.

December 17, 2011

Weekend Funny

A priest and a rabbi were sitting next to each other on an airplane.
After a while, the priest turned to the rabbi and asked,
'Is it still a requirement of your faith that you not eat pork?'
The rabbi responded,
'Yes, that is still one of our laws.'
The priest then asked,
'Have you ever eaten pork?'
To which the rabbi replied,
'Yes, on one occasion I did succumb to temptation and tasted a bacon sandwich.'
The priest nodded in understanding and went on with his reading.
A while later, the rabbi spoke up and asked the priest,
'Father, is it still a requirement of your church that you remain celibate?'
The priest replied,
'Yes, that is still very much a part of our faith.'
The rabbi then asked him,
'Father, have you ever fallen to the temptations of the flesh?'
The priest replied,
'Yes, rabbi, on one occasion I was weak and broke with my faith.'
The rabbi nodded understandingly and remained silent, thinking, for about five minutes.
Finally, the rabbi said,
'Beats the shit out of a bacon sandwich, doesn't it?

--got it from Otter

December 16, 2011

Going the full circle

I was trying to decide on what brilliance I was going to share with you today. I read through my blogroll and the few other sites I visit every morning. I signed into the old Blogger dashboard to make sure I read all of my comments on various posts. I had no spam comments, a curious and unusual occurrence to be sure.

I wiggled my fingers over the keyboard. No letters or words poured forth onto the laptop screen.

I decided to put  a load of towels into the washer. Harmless, impossible-to-screw-up-type laundry is all I am allowed to do. You know from which I speak -- towels, sheets, my tightie whities, the wife's unmentionables, the boy's stinky socks.

My work phone rang. Questions were followed by answers and goodbyes. I skipped over to the work email account to send follow ups to engineering.

I sipped my coffee. It was in a red spotted earthenware mug this morning. My Cubs coffee mug and my Superbowl XLIV mug were both in the dishwasher. The dishes were clean, but we have a hard and fast rule, if you open up the clean dishwasher you put away all of the dishes.  No picking out a clean fork and leaving the dishes for someone else to put away. Don't worry, I will empty it later, probably at lunch time. The coffee was not tepid, it was cold.

I took a deep breath and began to type. "I was trying to decide what brilliance I was going to share with your today..."

December 15, 2011

Shotgun Blues

Flying has never bothered me.  Airports are a different matter. I guess when you have spent as many hours as I have in various airports you just think of them as the modern equivalent of you grandpa's bus stations.

Yesterday I trudged down the ramp at Charlotte to my gate in the C Concourse. I was a little early to the gate and passengers were just starting to board a flight to Charleston. As the gate area cleared I picked a spot to sit. The air around me stunk.  It was bad body odor and it hung in the air like fog over London. I moved to another area and the odor lingered.  It covered the entire boarding area and lingered for the hour and a half  I waited to board my flight back to the Hoosier state. I am glad I was not next to that stinky passenger on the plane.  I bet they had to fumigate the aircraft after landing. WTH, is the concept of bathing so foreign these days?

I love flying at night. From 39,000 feet  you can see whole cities and counties at a glance. The lights look like splotches of orange and yellow paint splattered on black velvet. As we started our descent into Indy last night the scene was breathtaking.  As I looked out the scratched and greasy window I wished I had the skills to describe what I saw.

The plane was flying just above a solid cloud bank. The rain filled clouds looked like a gray sea against the night sky.  The plane seemed as if it were a ship sailing above a fluffy ocean. The clouds were literally right below our belly. We were skimming just above the upper surface of the clouds. .The plane banked left and the tip of the wing sliced into the clouds and disappeared from view, but the body of the plane remained just above the opaqueness.

As we started to descend into the clouds the plane seemed to speed up. I do not know why I always get that sensation when flying into clouds, there is no reference in the sky to help me sense speed, but it always feels as if we are accelerating.

We dropped from the low clouds just above the city. The tall buildings of downtown were to the south and east, just beyond my window, crouched in a huddled group around the hidden Soldiers and Sailors Monument.They seemed fewer and smaller from my vantage point in the winter sky.

The lights of the city spread below me.  I marveled again that the city may lack in a lot of respects, but it is sure beautiful from the air. The grid of streets is bisected by the avenues running at angles from the Circle downtown.  Orange lights line the streets.

As we came closer to the waiting arms of Mother Earth I began to see the signs and lights of stores and factories and shopping centers. Though I could not see them from the air, I noted again that Indianapolis has a remarkable number of trees within the city.  In a winter night the trees are just voids in the winking lights below. Soon I could discern the cars on the roads and highways.  I could just catch the twinkle of Christmas lights on a few decorated houses.

We sunk lower over the flat terrain and I could identify the Airport Expressway, or whatever it is called now. 465 was swept below as we crossed over the old terminal and parking lots and settled to a smooth landing. The FedEx  building loomed bright and busy on the left.

The plane rolled  westward toward the "new" terminal. I was home again, my last trip of the year.

December 14, 2011

Food as Art






















This is a shitty cell phone picture of the dessert I made yesterday morning for the wife to take to work for a pitch-in lunch. The pectin has not yet completely dissolved, by lunch it will be perfect.

December 13, 2011

They say life is a song

If that is so, then today I am living a Peter, Paul, and Mary tune. Or maybe really a John Denver song

Question Number Nine

Why is Eric Holder still in office?

December 12, 2011

Sadly, this is not a joke story from The Onion

And right here, Ladies and Gentleman, in the center ring, we have example 1,694 of why the American people have no faith in the Government.

The United States has proposed opening an UNMANNED border crossing with Mexico.  Mexican residents would scan an ID card before crossing.  They will be able to communicate with a customs officer via speaker.  The officer will be about 100 miles away. Here is the money quote:

"I think it's actually going to end up making security better," CBP spokesman William Brooks said.

Or perhaps it is this quote:

"We think we can do this without doing any damage to national security and possibly enhance security along the border by having better intelligence, better communication with people in Mexico." 
Some Americans wonder why the cities and towns of the nation are plagued by Illegal Immigrants, undocumented workers, fucking leaching criminals. The answer is simple.  They are aided and abetted by the Federal Government.

Only a Federal bureaucrat, or probably any Democrat, would believe no security is better security.

I think I fell through the looking glass sometime in the last four years.


h/t Doug Ross

December 11, 2011

Divining rods: science or sorcery?

Good morning Blog World.

I took the day off from the interwebz yesterday. Look at my hands -- no shakes.  I am not sick to my stomach, I did not have the creeping terrors.  I slept like a baby. I remain secure that this endeavor remains a hobby, not a habit.

We hit the mall yesterday, rather the wife hit the mall, I scored a comfy seat and watched the packages and sacks as she dropped them by.  I think we are nearly done with the gift-shopping. I know the old bank account agrees. I am certain there are scorch marks on her debit card. I have to get a couple of things for the wife yet. Now a wrapping party seems to be in order so we can get this stuff out of my office and under the tree.

Wow, I have just read my efforts so far this morning. There is not a lot of substance.  But it does cover up the last post. I have that going for me.

Friday I met a buddy at the cigar store. I bought a few smokes for my humidor and then sat in the lounge area and enjoyed a fine smoke. I had an H. Uppman Reserve Maduro (6 x 54). It was a big, long smoke.  I don't usually smoke cigars that big around, but since it is getting too cold to sit outside and enjoy fine hand made cigars, it was all good.  It was nice to sit and shoot the shit with a pal amid a whole store of aromatic burning leaves of tobacco. We failed to solve the world's problems, neither of us came up with a plan to make the Colts not suck. We discussed the realities of life on the road. Mostly we sat in the old barber chairs, and enjoyed the afternoon.

December 9, 2011

DO NOT read this post

I think I just shit a garter snake.

A sticky black one that stinks like a sulfurous mix of old cabbage and rotten eggs.

Get over it already, Baltimore

Dear Baltimore,

Get over it.

There was a football team in Baltimore called the "Colts" for 32 years.  The franchise moved to Indianapolis in 1984. The circumstances of the move left many in Baltimore angry. The owner packed up the team and shipped it in moving vans in the dark of night.

Baltimore seems to forget that the city made it clear the Colts were not welcome. fans did not come to the games.  If 50% of the supposed "die-hard" fans who "will never get over it" actually went to the games, the Colts would likely still be in Baltimore.

The city was making efforts to take the team from the owner through eminent domain. If a government entity was trying to take your business away, what would you do?

The Colts were in Baltimore for 32 years. They have now been in Indianapolis for 27. Maybe in six years the people of Baltimore will quit crying about the move.  After all, they do currently have a very successful NFL franchise. Maybe they should support it?

December 8, 2011

Friday Covers -- Thursday Edition

How about some gettin' in the mood music?



Judy Garland from "Meet me in St. Louis



Frank takes it for a spin



That is a more modern rendition from Christina Aguilera



And finally a cool new version from She and Him -- the 'she' being the hot and quirky Zoey Deschanel

December 7, 2011

A Date That Will Live in Infamy


70 years ago today the Japanese launched their sneak attack upon Pearl Harbor in the US Territory of Hawaii. This action forced the United States into WWII.

There are entire forests of trees turned to paper written about Pearl Harbor.  I have nothing to add. If you want to learn more I recommend you head to the library or your favorite bookstore and get a copy of Gordon Prange's epic history At Dawn We Slept.

I intend to watch Tora,Tora, Tora this evening.

Seventy years. For the youth of today WWII and Pearl Harbor are as remote as The Spanish American War was to my brother and I or the Civil War to our Grandparents. History stands still, time marches on.

My great-grandfather was a veteran of the Spanish-American War. He died before I was born, but my Grandmother was active in the Spanish-American War Auxiliary.  She always wanted my brother and I to go with her to the National Conventions.  I met some Span-Am Veterans, including some of the last ones alive. She wanted us to read at Veteran's Day Ceremonies. For a young me it was just a bunch of old people. I was too young to understand history is not in books, but rather people.

The people of WWII are dying fast.  In a few years we will be reading stories of the last veteran passing away, just like the men of WWI or the Civil War. We are thirty-five years removed from Vietnam.

More died at Pearl Harbor than on 9/11. The national shock was just as severe, perhaps more so. The news of the day was print and radio, there were no live shots from CNNABCNBCCBS to keep the public informed. The horror arrived in pictures and newsreels.

Today will come and go, its passing just another mile marker on history's highway.  The importance of the date dimmed by time. In another generation, WWII will be just more battles, another war, fodder for movies and stories. Pearl Harbor will just be a place mentioned in a history book like Waterloo or Trafalgar.

Pearl Harbor was the defining memory for an entire generation of Americans. Over the time of history it will become just like the speed bump in the grocery store parking lot.  It will slowly shrink from memory until we barely notice it.

But for today, we will remember and honor those who gave their lives for Freedom. December 7, 1941. A date that will live in infamy.

December 6, 2011

Heavy digestion

Heavy, ponderous stuff around here today.. I can hear you mumbling "Lighten up, Francis".

And since you asked, I had a fried Spam sammich -- with a bit of yellow mustard -- and some pickled beets.  I washed it down with a Chery Coke Zero.

How about you?

Negotiating 101 -- the myth of the win-win

I wrote a post earlier today that did not go the way I planned. Many of my posts are pre-written and scheduled to appear in the future. I know...it is like discovering the Great and Powerful Oz is just some pathetic little man behind the curtain...damn you Toto...

Anyway, I wrote a post earlier today that did not go the way I planned.  I usually write free-form, letting the words flow from my fingers in a steady stream.  I edit for spelling and the damn premature space bar thing after I am done. You may or may not be surprised to learn I rarely edit for content. I have written this way for 40 years. I let my brain compose and construct in the background and it just flows out in a steady, gurgling stream of raw sewage: untreated, unfiltered, sometimes unintelligible. You will have to judge the success of this method yourself.

I digress again.  I wrote a post earlier today that did not go the way I planned.  My thoughts took a different turn from my intentions. It was my plan to pen a piece that was upbeat, but the words took on a more somber and perhaps even maudlin tone as if by their own accord. It may be best to leave the post in "draft" form.  I don't know. I am not sure I was able to convey the sense I was seeking.  I confess I am not even sure what I was driving at myself.

Clio is a temperamental Muse. You would think otherwise. Music or Art are endeavors of creativity. But the ancients knew the recording of history was also an art. It is impossible to record everything, to know what happens today may be important later. What if that unrecorded random act later becomes a key milestone in the history of man? What if some rich sponsor took a shine to the immature art of a young painter named Adolph Hitler and young Adolph spent his days painting instead of talking politics in the beer hall?

What is history? That a young man crossed a shallow but swift river in Northern Italy one morning in 33 B.C. is not important. That another man crossed the same stream at the same place some fifteen minutes later changed the course of history. When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon it had a profound effect.  Europe's geo-political boundaries, language and culture today are a result. That splash in the ocean of history sent waves through time that affect every part of the globe yet today.

On the other hand, some of us stick our finger into that same ocean and leave not even a ripple behind. It is left to each of us to remember, to pass on the stories of life, of family, of our own little history to future generations.

It is said that history is written by the victor. I say it written by those who remember.

December 5, 2011

Too bad it is a year too late

Ron Santo finally elected to the baseball Hall of Fame.

Random Ramblings

It is raining. Again. Still. Whatever. Flood watches warnings are out.

I made a pot of chili last night. Midwestern chili; soupy with macaroni in it. I picked out all of the beans.  I hate beans. Except green beans, I will eat those. But not in my chili.

Artist rendering
I just put a load of towels in the washer.

My turds look just like chunks of anthracite coal this morning. I don't think that is natural, especially since it is my first dump in a week.

Too much information on a Monday?

Breaking News -- The Colts Suck.

Is it really possible there is not one single viable conservative candidate for President?

You have to get Governmental approval to drive a car or own a handgun.  I am told the local animal shelter has to approve you before you can take a dog or cat home. But we allow any two people who decide to procreate to have a kid, even if the two of them could not spell GED with a dictionary in hand.

I guess I would not want it any other way.

Those parents who refuse to have their kids vaccinated -- you are beyond stupid.  We should bring back quarantine for those families who get chicken pox or mumps or such if they refuse vaccinations. Not only does your idiotic refusal endanger your own kid, but society as a whole.  For Chrissake Oprah is just a talk show host and actors and actresses are just people good at play acting and pretending.  Being famous or infamous does not indicate intelligence. Playing a scientist in a movie does not make you a chemist.

December 4, 2011

A study of premarital sex frequency among public, private, and private-religeous educated high school students

I have completed my daily wrestling match with the coffee filters. It went the distance and after a couple of escapes. a reversal, and one near-fall, I declare my self victor. I maintain I like my coffee double-filtered so you can just shut up about it.

There was a weird vibe in the air as I took my constitutional yesterday. I have a couple of routes I walk through the subdivision and I took the shortest. It is about 3-1/2 miles. It has been several days since I was able to walk due to travel and rain and explosive diarrhea and other issues we can't discuss because of a binding non-disclosure agreement.

Anyway I had my Christmas tunes playing in my earbuds as the bright sun made the low 40's temperature seem warmer than it was. I counted three houses being roofed and one crew replacing siding. You would have thought it was early summer, not just days before Christmas. I guess folks are spending their Holiday Cash on home improvements this year. Maybe the very heavy amounts of rain and wind we have experienced over the past month have exacerbated the situation and those old roofs need to be replaced.  Much of the neighborhood is comprised of houses built in the1980s and early 1990s, so it is close to that time for roof replacements.

I guess I will sally forth into the interwebz this early Sunday morning to see what you have to say. It seems most people are posting a lot less frequently these days in this rapidly dying medium

December 3, 2011

A discussion of modern media and its effects upon an educated society

I am in the middle of the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy.  The books are very good.  I am not usually much of a science fiction-type guy, but these have been very enjoyable. I am also in the midst of re-reading In God We Trust by Jean Shepherd. The iconic Holiday movie A Christmas Story (you know -- Ralphie) was based on a chapter in this collection of stories about growing up in Da Region (NW Indiana) in the Depression.

The Wife and I went to the dollar theater last night (it really costs $2.25) and saw The Help. I give it a hearty two thumbs up, even though it lacked all of the elements that make for a good movie -- no cars, no horses, no guns. There was not even any nekkid women breasties. In any case it was well worth the price of admission.  Plus the popcorn was fresh!

December 2, 2011

Proof Positive

There are letters and words right there on the computer screen.  You can see them. I can see them. The letters and words have now turned into sentences and perhaps even a paragraph.

That makes this a post.

December 1, 2011

Of course he was from Ohio

Dear jerk-off in the white Buick,

It is bad enough you were cruising in the left lane as trucks lined the right lane at the ridiculous lower speed limit.  You drove on oblivious to the line of cars stretching behind you like a freight train. But it is not necessary to slam on your brakes because a policeman had a car pulled over on the OTHER side of I-65.

It is highly unlikely the policeman, who was standing next to the car he was ticketing, would catch you in the corner of his eye, determine you were going 1/8 of a mph over the speed limit, jump in his car, drive to the nearest crossover (there are barrier fences in this section) chase you down at a very high rate of speed -- remember you are going away from him at 70 and 1/8 mph - and cite you for speeding. Moreover, it was not necessary to brake to a hard FORTY-FIVE mph until the cop was out of sight. Since we were in North Central Indiana that means about three or four miles.

Moron.

November 29, 2011

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It is currently snowing giant, ground covering flakes. It is a veritable blizzard  -- the first significant snow of the season.

I can live with that.

So long

Barney. The end cannot come soon enough.  Mr. Frank you are a piece o'crap and your actions and votes are as responsible as any single persons for our current economic trouble.

Too bad you are sticking around even one more fucking day.

November 28, 2011

H20 No!

This is where we are headed. The bureaucrats know everything. The Nanny State will decide, even if it defies common sense. It is people like this who want to control your healthcare. That idea sure makes me sleep better.

EU says drinking water does not prevent dehydration.

Come Sail Away With Me...

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)























This could possibly be the bright spot in a dismal Colts season.

November 27, 2011

Wadda ya want fer nuthin'?

So sue me, I took a day off. The larger issue is did you even notice? Do you even care?

My first thought when I woke this morning was that it is Sunday.  The long Holiday weekend is drawing to a close. I have lots of stuff to do yet before returning to work on the morrow. "On the morrow", have you ever heard a person outside of a costume drama actually use that phrase? I am not even sure why that particular combination of words sprang forth in my brain and through my fingers to the keyboard right out into the interwebz. But there it is clear in black pixels upon my white background.

Sports ain't life, but I watched a game yesterday where a coach sported a pair of balls the size of King Kong. Even through the fuzzy, jerky video on the website I was amazed.  Little Wabash College in Central Indiana was playing the Cardinals of North Central in round 2 of the Division III football playoffs (imagine that a playoff system in college football). Wabash was down 21-0 at the half. The score was 28-7 midway through the third quarter. The season was on the brink. The school motto is 'Wabash always fights" and the team demonstrated it yesterday.

The little Giants (I know dumb nickname) battled back to score a touchdown with just under a minute to go in the game. the score was 28-27. Instead of playing for the tie and overtime, the Wabash coach went for two! Convert and win, fail and the season is over. Wabash went with a hard snap count, the Cardinals of North Central jumped offside.  The ball moved closer to the end zone.

Even over the internet you could almost feel the tension in tiny Hollett Stadium. The ball was snapped, the pass sent to the far side of the end zone.  The Wabash receiver leaped for the high pass, it tipped from his fingers, over the defender into the waiting arms of another Wabash receiver.  He got two feet down and the men of Wabash had staged an unforgettable comeback.

It may be Division III and few of these young men will ever play football in the NFL, but there is still some fine football being played at small colleges and universities across the nation. Read more about the game here.



See it for yourself!



November 25, 2011

I am a living breathing Alka Seltzer commercial

I had a great Thanksgiving and I am in a miserable happy place  Yesterday I consumed two Thanksgiving dinners; way too much dessert and excessive carbs. Now the kitchen counter is filled with pie and the 'fridge with leftovers.

Wednesday was a long day. I woke early (5:30). I worked most of the day. I did a load of laundry.  I put up the Christmas lights on the house. This involves several ladders and crawling around on the roof for a spell. The wife and I went out for a quick bite to eat. I came home and made Overnight Salad (some call it seven layer salad). I then made a pumpkin torte. While this is not hard, it requires several steps.  I forgot the ingredients have to cool in between steps, so I did not finish until about 2:30 in the ay em. Part of the delay is my own fault.  I forgot to get milk when I bought all of my ingredients.  Lucky for me I had just enough left in the jug for my recipe. Until a little after midnight when the boy came out to the kitchen for a snack of cookies and milk. He finished what I had reserved for my torte! So off to the store I went to get a gallon of milk.I was not the only shopper grabbing Thanksgiving meal ingredients at 1:00 am.

Thursday morning I finished off the cooking by preparing Oreo Delight.  Then we packed the car and headed off to the north central part of the Hoosier State to spend Thanksgiving with my family and later in the evening the Wife's family. We returned home just before midnight.

Today I have to finish the outside decorating -- put up the wreaths and string some lights in the cherry tree. Then I can begin to put up the trees in the house.  Yes, I said trees.  The wife loves her Christmas decorating.

On the bright side, I won't be anywhere near the shopping malls!

Have a great Friday.

November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving



One of my favorite songs from one of my favorite movies.

Here is the scene from the movie. Embedding was disabled.

Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.

November 23, 2011

Here we are

Career politicians from both parties are more interested in winning the next election, or positioning their party to win the next election, than in really trying to solve our Nation's financial issues. The Debt Commission was the joke we all feared it would be.

Fuck the Democrats.  Fuck the Republicans.

The truck is screaming down the mountain, the brakes are out, the tires are smoking.  Our politicians are bitching the cigarette lighter won't work.

Right to Work

Read This.

As Indiana again considers the "right to Work" issue, I think this article says all that is necessary.

November 22, 2011

Right versus Left



There you have it.  The entire political debate of our nation summed in one clip.

I have avoided politics for the past few weeks, much to either your delight, chagrin or indifference. But this clip demonstrates the divide between the Democrats and Republicans, Liberal and Conservative, whatever label you like, better than any I have seen in a while. Either you hear Newt and say "hell, yeah", or you listen to the blond and applaud. There is no way you can find a middle ground.

Me, there is no doubt where I stand. I am not much of a protester. I have said it before, assembling to complain and bitch without a solution is a waste of time. You can't get a job camping in a park. If you cannot find work, then volunteer. That experience will lead you to work. That one year gap on your resume where you list as experience "Occupying Wall Street" will not enhance your job prospects. Time spent working at the local soup kitchen or Habitat for Humanity will.

Look, the economy and job situation was not a lot better in the early 1980's when I graduated college. I spent a ton of money, had a mountain of student loans and a worthless Liberal Arts degree. Those were choices I made. My job prospects were few.

I took two part time jobs making $12,000 year -- combined.. I put in my time until I found a better job. That job required me to work 70-80 hours a week. I made about $20,000 per year for all of those hours. That was not much money even in 1988. I worked my ass off and learned valuable skills that have served me today. I parlayed that experience into a management position. I learned, adapted and took that experience into a better paying job.

Life is not fair. We all make bad decisions.  I have made more than you cam imagine.  You can whine and complain about the bad cards life has dealt you.  That works for about a month.  Then you suck it up and make the best of it. Camping out and bitching because the producers are not giving you the fruits of their work is not the answer.

Is there corruption in business, in Wall Street, in politics?  Yes. Defecating in the streets, destroying public property, carrying signs, demanding free stuff does not bring about change.

Meditating could not raise the Pentagon during the Vietnam War and chanting won't pay off your student loans. 

Take a walk on the mild side

November 21, 2011

Monday

I did not get my Christmas decorating done Saturday. All I planned on doing was the lights and when I pulled them out it was the usual tale. I need seven strings of 300 lights to do the house and an additional two strings for the cherry tree. Of the nine strings, only TWO worked. Some had just a few feet unlit, other more. Experience has taught me that even if I can get the shorted-out strings working, they will not last the season. I do not want to find myself on the roof in mid-December replacing a sting of lights here and there. The cheap Chinese electronics have become almost disposable after one season.

Since the Wife only likes the icicle lights from Target -- they are "shorter" than the ones from WalMart, we had to make a trip to the big city to get lights. That meant additional Christmas shopping as well. So Saturday was shot for decorating. It rained all day yesterday. According to the weather guy, Wednesday looks alright and Friday as well to do the decorating.

Since I refuse to go anywhere near the mall on Black Friday, it looks like I will be doing the decorating on Friday.

I find myself remarkably energetic and enthused about work today. Unfortunately the spirit is wasted.  Thanksgiving week is the deadest of dead weeks, except maybe the week after Christmas, for those of us who toil in industrial sales. Customers are either on vacation or coasting through the week. I do have a conference call this afternoon, and I have some filing to do. I could always do my expenses.  I think October is still unfinished...

November 20, 2011

Sinday

Cool Stuff to peruse on a Sunday morning.

Here is an example:

U.S. General George S. Patton acknowledges the cheers of thousands during a parade through downtown Los Angeles, California, on June 9, 1945. Shortly thereafter, Patton returned to Germany and controversy, as he advocated the employment of ex-Nazis in administrative positions in Bavaria; he was relieved of command of the 3rd Army and died of injuries from a traffic accident in December, after his return home. Joe Rosenthal's famous Iwo Jima flag-raising photograph is visible on the war bonds billboard. (AP Photo)


November 19, 2011

3341

The coffee is warm, not hot in my Superbowl XLIV mug. Bob Marley is crooning softly in the background as my iPod plays on the portable speakers. I just skimmed the paper this morning, and I have not spent a lot of time perusing your blogs.

It is supposed to be a tad warmer this afternoon, albeit windy.  I think I will try to get the Christmas lights up on the house today.  They will not be turned on until Friday, though. I could wait until next weekend, but who knows what Mother Nature has in store.  It could be freezing cold or raining.  I would rather work in fifty degree temps and a little wind than hope for the best next Friday.

Monte Hall would hate me as a contestant on Let's Make a Deal.



November 18, 2011

Friday Five

I love movies. New movies, old movies, I don't care. I love to get lost for an hour or two in a fantasy world of celluloid. I love Technicolor or black and white films. I spend most of my TV time watching movies. The wife and I have really one one thing in common -- we both like going to the movies.

As such, I am pretty sure I can identify five elements that make a good and enjoyable movie.  I am not talking about the stuff the critics like, but rather the elements that make you want to watch and enjoy a film. Inclusion of one or more of these elements does not necessarily make the movie good, but the absence of these elements virtually guarantees the movie will suck. In no particular order:

1.  Cars.  A film needs cars -- fast cars or car crashes, or  car chases. The Blues Brothers mall scene is worth the price of admission (or to buy the DVD). Bullitt was a so-so movie except for the car chase. Hell, Rat Patrol is a TV show that was worth viewing just for the Jeeps in the opening credits.

2. Horses Horses make for good movies.  Seabiscuit and Secretariat had horses.  So do most John Wayne and Clint Eastwood westerns.. Red Dawn had horses for a couple of scenes. Just because a horse is present does not mean the movie is good -- see National Velvet (no, don't and take my word for it).

3. Guns Sergent York, Dirty Harry, Outlaw Josey Wales, True Grit, High Noon, Full Metal Jacket, Big Jake, any gangster movie, Bonnie and Clyde, The Godfather, Master and Commander, Zulu Dawn, James Bond...'nuf said.

4. Karate/fights/chicks in swimsuits/sports. Bruce Lee, Esther Williams, Frankie and Annette films, James Bond, Blood Sport, Hoosiers, Rudy, Field of Dreams, Billy Jack are all examples.

5. Starring Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Fred Astaire, Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams, Audry Hepburn, Sean Connery, John Belushi, Paul Newman, Jimmy Stewart,  or Kevin Costner (but only if it is a sports movie).

Your opinion may vary, but is likely wrong if you disagree.


November 16, 2011

A little bit of nothing

I went for a walk at lunch time. The north wind was blowing a cold breeze. One could almost feel the temperature drop while treading the sidewalkless streets of my neighborhood. I click my iPhone over to the Pandora app and listened to some Christmas music to get me into the mood.

It looks like we may have an OK weekend, weather-wise. If so, I will endeavor to get the Christmas decorations and lights up.  They will not be turned on until after Thanksgiving. Some rules are inviolate.

I cooked a turkey and dressing TV Dinner in the microwave upon my return.

We are getting to the slow time of the year.  Orders are steady, but the purchasing and engineering contacts I call upon are busy winding down for the holidays.  I have a hard time making appointments between Thanksgiving and the early part of January. That means more office time and less windshield and hotel time.

It is hump day, I hope your day is going well.

Friday Covers -- Wednesday edition

Here is a song you probably do not know:



That cover is by Yes from their Time and a Word LP.

Here is te original penned by Stephen Stills as performed by Buffalo Springfield



November 15, 2011

The Douchebag in the Dairy Aisle

A few weeks ago I changed the alert sound my phone makes when I receive a text message. The previous tone was the same as my wife and ten million other people, so I was often confused. The wife would get a text and I would get up from my recliner and look at my phone.  I changed the sound to a little whistle. Not a wolf whistle, but a "hey" kind of  whistle.

I don't know why. The "why". is not important to this story.  It just is the tone I am using. Pay attention.

So, I am at my friendly Kroger Sunday afternoon buying groceries (what a concept). I stood behind a woman at the dairy section blocking up the cheese selection. I waited politely and even sighed to let her know she could move her fat ass and cart -- to no avail. It was about then my daughter sent me a text: whooo-weet. That little whistle got me a dirty look. Offended, she made her selection and moved out of my way.

I got her attention, even if it was unintentional.

Living below average

Last week at our annual sales meeting we went bowling.  It was a "team building" exercise. There was food and beer and bowling. I have always sucked at bowling. I realized by the fifth frame of the first game I still suck at it.

I bet it has been at least five years since I was last in a bowling alley. I am reasonably sure I have not bowled without "bumpers" for at least 20 years. The final score -- 106/109/91. I was not the worst player at the alley that night, but I was no way shape or form one of the better bowlers.

I guess it is my lot in life the round out the bottom half of any statistic.

November 14, 2011

On the road to self-improvement

I have developed a bad attitude recently. Too much negativity is squashing my natural sense of humor and moral superiority.

I am pretty sure I just need to find an abandoned warehouse and dance out my anger and frustration.

November 13, 2011

Little Giants win -- Dannies swallow

I had another post written for this morning.  After reading it again, I realized it was not as funny as I thought it was yesterday morning. I will let it stew over in the draft category a few days and see if the post is like wine -- it get better with time. I do not have high hopes.

We went to see the oldest boy and his band play Friday night. The show was pretty good.  If I can determine how to move video from my iPhone to the 'puter, I will post some examples.

Yesterday after walking the neighborhood I raked the leaves in the front yard. I need a new rake.  The one we have is more than 25 years old.  I think I paid a few bucks for it from Big Lots. The head is held on by a finishing nail. It is missing more than one tine. On the plus side, if I was to purchase another rake -- we would have two and certain people could help rake the damn leaves.

November 12, 2011

Livin' Large

I was on the 10:15 out of White Plains (Westchestah County) with a 1:55 connection home from Philly. I got to the airport about 6:45 in the ay em, 'cause that is when my ride had to be there. The bank of fog obscuring the runway was a bad omen.

Shortly after 7:00 the airline called and told me my flight was cancelled. Not delayed.  It just was not going to happen at all. I went to the counter for new flights. The nice lady rebooked me on an earlier flight for Philly slated to leave at 8:00. These new arrangements would help me make an earlier connection home. I would be back to God's country by mid afternoon instead of supper time. The whole situation was a good deal for this frequent traveller.

The flight was delayed until 8:30. then 9:00. I had missed my connection. The line at the counter stretched about 20 people deep now. It was not moving. I had my travel agent rebook me back on the 1:55 from Philly to Indy. A new departure was announced for  10:15. They hoped to have an update by 10:30. They finally boarded us at 11:10..

We pulled from the gate. There was a ground hold in Philly. We sat on our little Dash-8 waiting for the clearance that came around noon. My 1:55 connection was going to be tight. Except I knew that if the flights into Philly were running that late, the odds were good those flights leaving the City of Brotherly Love were off schedule too.

I love being right except when being right causes me to spend even more time in an airport. My 1:55 was delayed to 3:41. Then the 3:41 was moved to 4:41. This was followed by additional delays to 5:39. We finally boarded about ten minutes late to the revised schedule.

We then sat in the plane waiting on a crew that needed to deadhead to Indy. This means they were not working the flight, the crew just needed a ride. The Pilot said this errant crew was scheduled to LAND in a few minutes.  An hour later we finally pushed back from the gate.

When I turned my phone on after landing in Indy I had a message from the airline.  It informed me my 1:55 flight was delayed.

I got home around 10:00 in the pee em.

People are always telling me they think I have a great job.  They tell me it must be fun to travel all over, staying in hotels, flying the friendly skies.

November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

















It was at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 that the most horrific war in history to that point came to a halt. It was but a precursor to the horrors that would follow.

Thank you to all of you who have served our country. It is your efforts that guarantee my freedoms.

I think I will see if I can find the Fighting 69th and The Paths of Glory for some movie viewing this weekend.

November 9, 2011

I am...

Not here.
Not where I want to be.
At a sales meeting.
Not in an exotic locale.
In need short declarative sentences to keep my sanity. 
Sick of too many words spoken at me for too many days.
Not homesick. 
Just bored.

November 7, 2011

Pimpin'

One of the blogs I read is the Erin O'Brien Owner's Manual for Human Beings. I may not agree with Erin's politics, but her other stuff is often quirky, fun, and entertaining.

But her politics, oy.

Anyway, I was surfing around on Amazon looking for stuff to read on my Kindle and I found this short story by the loverly MS O'Brien. The wife keeps a tight control on my book money, but I promised to do extra chores for the $0.99 it took to move this book wirelessly to my electronic reading device.

I am not going to spoil the plot, but what book can be bad that has major elements of guns and money and hunting? The whole thing is a bitter clinger's wet dream.

Buy the book.  Read the book.  It will only take an hour or two, and the price is far cheaper than going to or renting a movie.  Plus-- you own it.

Consider it your own personal crusade to share the benefits of capitalism with Erin.  When she gets that big royalty check from Amazon she might become one of the rich Republicans she denigrates! That prospect is worth a buck in my world.

Besides, People Who Need People is a good read.

If you do not have a Kindle, you can get a free Kindle app for your computer.

November 6, 2011

I woke an hour earlier than usual -- or did I?

I am not going to offer my semi-annual bitch about the time change. It is what it is.

The wife has decreed we are going to have a family portrait taken today. She has made the arrangements. All three kids and my son-in-all are going to participate too. We are all going to smile and like it.

I was told I need a new shirt for this occasion. The boy needed something new to wear too. As such, we found ourselves at the Mall yesterday. Santa Clause was there. WTH? It is just the first week of November. The trees still have leaves.  Some of the trees in my neighborhood have barely changed color to a sickly green-yellow.

I love Christmas.  I listen to Christmas songs with gusto. I decorate the house at great risk to life and limb. We have three Christmas trees. But it is way, way too early to start in with the Christmas and the Santa. This whole situation is a perfect example of why the various peoples of the Earth need someone with my superior outlook and world view to be Supreme Arbiter of Taste and Ruler Plenipotentiary. And not just someone -- the people of the world need ME in charge. I think we can all agree on that point.

When I am King of the World, on day one, late in the afternoon just before beer and cigar time, we will be done dispensing justice, and taking decisions on when we can start decorating the mall for Christmas. At that time I will issue an important decree that will demonstrate to all mortals walking terra firma my fairness and wisdom.I am talking about dispensing the kind of superior judgement that puts me right on par with Solomon..To whit; effective immediately, all young men shall pull up their fucking pants above their ass.

That fixed, we will deal with this change-the-clocks-twice-a-year nonsense.

November 4, 2011

My life is a giant non sequitur

I was out traveling in the rain yesterday. That sentence sounds like the opening line of a Country song. I was in meetings all day.  I finally got home around 9:30 o'dark.

I noticed when I ran the dishwasher this morning we are out of those little dishwasher detergent things that look like they could double as poisonous Barbie pillows.

Either I am getting an ear infection, or there are tiny insects flapping their wings in my left ear. I hope it is inner ear problems: that will make flying next week a very special treat.

I "washed" dishes after breakfast. I am on my second load of laundry this morning.  Are you hot and moist now ladies? What if I told you I could touch my nose with my tongue?

Damn. Spit fire and save the matches, as my MIL used to say.  Now I can never run for President. Some reporter will trot this post out as an example of sexual harassment and claim anonymous sources were offended.

It is a Friday morning. I am screwing around on the interwebz.  i really do have better things to do.  It is just that I don't wanna.

Did you know you cannot trust everything you read or see on the Internets?  Except for here.  You can rely on me.

November 3, 2011

Today's earworm



I venture this is one of those songs that you either really like or really, really hate. I do not think anyone can be indifferent.

November 2, 2011

Done With Jury Dooty

I finally completed jury duty last night. At $40 per day, I cleared a nice $3.37 per hour.  We had two long days of court stuff.  Deliberations took longer than they should have, but such is life. Sometimes there are people in life who choose not to listen to absolute truth and wisdom as espoused by your humble author. Some people over-think stuff. Some people lack the brain power to do deep thought and are unaware of their inadequacies. Some people are just stupid fucks. I will leave it at that.

I have a major presentation due next week, so my next few days will be spent graphing and Power Pointing. There is nothing that makes one feel so productive as spending hours preparing graphs and charts and slides full of information the audience already knows. That, my friends, is what it is like to attend a sales meeting: a waste of time and effort. On the bright side, my presentation will be as slick as snot on a brass doorknob. My slides are just like this blog -- a case of quantity over quality.

November 1, 2011

Dear OWS and anti-capitalists the world over

Let me see if I have this right.  Capitalism = bad. We need to go to a pure form of socialism, or something that is not capitalist in nature.  Perhaps collectivism, communism, or some other -ism.

Behold! That place exists.  I invite you to compare and contrast. Where would you really rather live:
This is the Koreas, in case you failed Geography























'Nuff said. Now clean up your mess. Go home. Find something productive to do.  If you cannot find work then volunteer somewhere. E-mail me if you need a list of organizations that need help.

October 30, 2011

All we need is some Donovan in the background

I am in one of those moods today. As I stood in the kitchen I sipped my coffee.  I looked out the window on the door to the deck. The eastern sky was painted in shades of lemon and orange as the rising sun crouched below the horizon. Above, shades of blue deepened as I looked further heavenward. I thought it would be nice to sit on the deck and drink my morning brew. The thermometer on the old iPhone told me it was a brisk 29 F out there.  I decided to drink my morning coffee at my desk.

Mom did not raise two idiots.  (haha take that Otter).

October 29, 2011

A rip in the fabric of the space/time continuum.

The old iPod is on shuffle and Bob Marley is playing quietly in the background over the speakers. My coffee is hot and steamy in my Chicago Cubs mug. I drink it black. I deviated from the norm and ate an apple danish with a cup of milk for breakfast instead of oatmeal or cereal. My blood sugar tested good this morning.  That has not been true most morning for the past few weeks.

The air outside is crisp and cool, a mere 37 F. The sky is cloudy. To the best of my knowledge there are no antelopes playing in the yard. The music has switched to Stranglehold.

We do not have much on tap for today.  I think we might meet up with some friends to play some Euchre. Maybe I will drink a beer. Perhaps not. If the day warms up a bit, my buddy and i might herf a cigar. Maybe not. I like it when my life is uncomplicated.

I have been called for jury duty Monday.  I have to check in Sunday evening to see if the litigants have reached a settlement. I have been to this rodeo before. I have been part of the jury pool at least a dozen times.  I have had to go sit to be chosen a couple of times. I served on a petit jury in a drug case. The dude was growing pot in his garage.  Lots of pot. I also served on a Federal Grand Jury. for 18 months. We met three to four days at a time, every other week. Although after the first six months it slowed to about three days a month. My employer was not pleased. Grand Juries are a strange thing.  You only decide if there is enough evidence to charge the person with a crime.  Often the accused does not get to testify.  There are no defense witnesses.  A judge can compel a witness to testify.  hearsay is allowed. The State presents its case and you decide.  It does not have to be unanimous. We heard dozens of cases and needless to say, with the deck stacked the decisions were easy.

We all have to do our part. I feel I have served my time. But I will do what I have to do. Passing judgement on another human is harder than you think, even when they are clearly guilty. It is a heavy burden to send a man to prison.  Sometimes, like this morning, I still see the pictures of those pot plants growing in the garage next to a pink bike with training wheels, tassels in the handlebars.  A plastic Big Wheel sat nearby.  Oh, I know the old adage,  "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime".  Still, I sometimes wonder what became of those two kids with their daddy in prison.

Sinatra is crooning now, I guess he is bringing out my soft side.

I have put myself into a somber mood. My coffee cup needs refilled. Have a great Saturday.

October 28, 2011

A blog full of Spammy goodness

I love Spam -- the ham-like meat product, not the internet kind. The former I just might fry up for lunch today. Lots of the latter arrived in my comments yesterday. The food Spam comes in convenient cans.  The comment spam came by the bucket loads.  Seriously, yesterday brought a veritable flood of comment spam to my site. Luckily, the filter caught it, and it was a mere click or two to make it go away, but WTH? It was not all attracted by one single post, but a blanket covering recent entries and those from the murky distant past.

Usually I get three or four comment spams in a 24 hour period.  Yesterday saw ten times the number show up in my comment spam filter.

What good can it do to drop spam comments on a post four or five years old, that gets no traffic? Will some of you interwebz experts enlighten me?  I really do not understand the marketing concept. I see the potential of dumping an internet advertisement on a post others might read.  I think the return at this old blog is pretty low, advertising-wise. I understand it is quantity versus quality. If you can get your ad to six people, so be it. Putting your ad (or spam, if you will) on a blog that gets maybe 80 hits on a good day, on a post five years old is the equivalent of investing in a billboard on a untraveled gravel road in the hinterlands of Sheridan County, Nebraska.

Call me perplexed. Call me confused. Call me for lunch -- if you are having Spam.

October 27, 2011

Peeking in through a slit in the curtains at my exciting life

I went through the drive-thru at McDonald's for lunch today. I rarely eat out for lunch when I am not travelling. I had a Big Mac.

I ate all of the french fries before I got home.

Mumbling rants directred at the stray marmots in the neighborhood

I spent some time this morning writing a post. This is not it.

After proof reading and fixing the typos and correcting the spelling, I realized the damn thing had no point and made no sense.

I had my usual two cups of coffee, so it was not that. I guess I have some sort of interwebz Turret's this morning. How can it be possible to spend 15 minutes writing a hundred words of complete incomprehensible garbage?

The beginning and end were good though. There is that. I think I will blame my inability to form a coherent thought on complete despondency over a certain frog princess closing up her blog. Yeah, that is the answer.

Yesterday was seasonably warm, albeit a tad windy.  I considered spending my lunch hour burning a quality hand-rolled stogie. Instead I took the opportunity to walk and exercise. Now today is cold and rainy. I suppose I will give myself a couple of credit points for doing the right thing.

Gotta go, the work phone is ringing...

October 26, 2011

Karma Chamelion

I believe I  have been suitably chastised for my bitching and complaining in yesterday's post.  Perhaps with good reason. Whining about the old blog is reason enough to strap on a maxi pad.


Anyway...

Let me tell you about my Monday. I swear on a stack of whatever religious tomes you choose the following is true.

My cable/internet was out much of Sunday night. I was not able to print out my boarding pass for my Monday airplane trip until early Monday morning. Imagine my surprise to discover I was upgraded to First Class.

I have traveled First Class and Business Class a bunch in my career.  Back when I was flying 125 plus trips a year I had top tier status and was automatically put in First Class every time I bought a ticket.  These days I am a lowly Silver Status guy and just get to board slightly before the couple heading to Cancun for their honeymoon.

I arrived at the rental car place and my name was not on the preassigned tote board directing to my car. Crap. I went to the counter and after a short wait was sent to slot number 99. There, was an upgraded car -- full size, leather, sunroof -- the works.  All for the price of my reserved midsize!

I arrived at my hotel.  The Hilton Garden I usually stay is nice and I anticipated no issues checking in.  Get this, when I checked in the Desk Clerk told me I had been upgraded to the President's Suite.  No shit!

I do not know what Karmic forces were swirling about my person Monday, but it was nice to have everything go right for once. Now I am sitting here waiting on the other shoe to drop. No good deed goes unpunished and the Karma backlash is coming.

October 25, 2011

It is that time of the month

It seems to occur with alarming frequency these days. I think it is my personal blogging menstrual period; the four five days each month were I am bored by this piece o'crap blog. The old ennui sets in and nothing springs forth from mind to virtual paper.

In those days I look at the damn blinking cursor and seriously consider shutting down the whole enterprise.

This is one of those days.

October 24, 2011

Thank goodness my cable was out for the whole first half

I have seen some god-awful football teams in my day. Last night was the worst effort by any team in my life.  The Colts could not have beaten a mid-major college football team with their effort last night.

At the half, the coach said the players were not executing, could not do the "little things" right.  I say the coaches did not prepare the team. Despite being down 34-7 at half, the coaches made no adjustments, they stuck to the anemic offense and inept defense that has kept them winless this season.

If the Team does not ax the Defensive Coordinator TODAY, then it is clear they are not serious. The players have about 20 combined Pro Bowl appearances among them, these guys know how to do the little things.

Changes have to be made, if only for changes' sake.

October 23, 2011

I probably shouldn't write this post

Those of you who do not have the good fortune to reside in the great state of Indiana may not be aware the entire state is NOT farms and flatland.  There are things to do here that do not involve a giant oval raceway and fast cars. The southern third of the state is hilly and often covered in forest.  In fact, the terrain is very similar to what you would find in much of Kentucky. One of the centers of the tourist area in these hills is Brown County.  There is a large State Park there and the community of Nashville is known for its arts and craft boutiques. I think it is safe to opine that the place attracts middle aged women like ants to a picnic.Especially in the fall.

So yesterday I found myself wandering around the streets and alleyways of Nashville with my wife. I did not really mind.  It was pleasant sweatshirt weather and the sky was a brilliant Prussian Blue for those of you who were fortunate to have the giant 64 count box of Crayolas as a kid. As the wife perused the various shops and stores I stood or sat if a place was available.  I watched the people. Apparently boots are the fashion this year.  I saw boots of all kinds. Short ones, high ones, leather and fur, some with heels others flat like moccasins. A significant portion of the female sex sported boots of some kind -- both the young in age and young at heart.

Ladies, here is some advice from the other side of the aisle. If you stand before a mirror and notice the mound of your boobs swells somewhere south of the bottom of your ribcage you probably definitely need to invest in a good brassiere. Purple hair is not natural. If you have traveled the Earth for anywhere close to a half of a century, it does not matter how tight your jeans are, how firm your breasties, how much you work out, how high you wear your heels, dressing like an 18 year old makes you look silly and you are not fooling anyone.

I am not the most handsome guy to enter the room -- ever. I doubt another human has  had a wet moaning fantasy about me, including my wife. In days past I toted a spare tire about my middle. I have faults, OK?

That said, I saw this woman she had short blond hair. I imagine her dark roots were courtesy a trained cosmetologist. She had new white running shoes branded Nike. Her jogging suit matched the trim on the shoes. The only problem was her rear end resembled a pair of bowling balls coming up the return chute at the same time. I thought a pair of raccoons were wrestling under that navy blue nylon every time she took a step. Her girth strained the zipper of the jacket which she could only zip a few inches. Further zipped  and I am confident her upper body would rip the strained fabric like an angry Incredible Hulk. If you are going to wear exercise clothes you should look like you saw a gym in the past few years. I don't care what someone weighs, it is none of my business. But even my practically non-existent fashion sense was offended by this female's attire.

As we were driving home the wife and I were discussing the various things we saw. She described a lamp she liked, I talked about various people I observed. I mentioned one guy walking by talking on his phone. "...every store is the same. I go in and it is crafts. The next one is the same crafts.  I don't get it..."

I said to my wife, I saw this one blond lady..."

She interrupted to say "The one in the track suit?"

I guess sometimes we do have some things in common after all.


PS -- If any of the people I described above was you.  Sorry, but someone had to tell you.

October 22, 2011

Gurgle phlaaat splash moan

I have been up since about four in the ay-em crapping my brains out.  I know what you are thinking. Given the material, it should not take that long.  Hardy har har.

Have you ever been making rock candy and burnt the sugar? Do you know that smell?  Now imagine you are burring that sugar syrup and add in some garlic. Toss in a healthy dose of burnt rubber and Naphtha gas. Now imagine those odors all mixed together. My butt explosions smelled like that, only if you added ingredient 'X' that magically intensified the worst of the smells tenfold. Ponder that for a moment and then picture yourself in the hall bathroom with me,  my stomach gurgling, bowls rumbling, and my anus spewing repeated explosions of gas and semi-solid fecal matter. My fetid butt gravy is not so funny now, is it Laughing Boy?

Between trips to the can I watched some infomercial selling knives. The pitchmen were horrible, the production values worse.  It was like a bunch of swap meet neighbors got together and filmed the deal in their garage. Yet somehow I found myself tempted to pick up the phone and order some. How does that happen?  I have never ordered anything off the TV. I did not this morning, but it was close.  I guess I really did nearly crap my brains out.

There is a heavy coating of frost on the pumpkin this morning -- the grass and windows of the car too. I moved the wife's giant potted mums up to the porch last night, I hope that was enough protection as the nighttime temperatures dropped to freezing. The leaves on the oaks and maples will really start to turn and fall now.

We have no plans for the day.  At least none the Boss has sen fit to share. I suspect a long nap in the recliner is in order. I suspect just reading about this puts you on the edge of your seat in excitement.  Just one more entry in a long list of reasons you wish you were me.

October 21, 2011

A Musical Interlude

It is Friday, I need some music to soothe my soul. Here are The Outlaws, inspired by my internet pal Yabu::



And how about an encore:



Take the rest of the day off. Start the weekend early. 

Gadhafi cracked corn and I don't care

 I do not care if Gadhafi is dead either..

The evil Mohamar is sleeping with the fishes. Or the deserty equivalent of sleeping with the fishes.

So what?

America is no more dangerous or safer than it was before Gadhafi assumed room temperature. Gadhafi quit being a thorn in our side after Reagan bombed him.  Gadhafi became an old junk yard dog, growling in the corner after we kicked his buddy Saddam's ass. Even a dictator can read writing on the wall.

So why are we involved in Libya anyway? What is it to us?  Why are we not hearing the Cindy Sheehans and the Democrats in general shrieking and moaning about our little illegal war? If Bush had violated the War Powers Act like The Obama has,  we would already be deep in impeachment hearings, the Evening Anchors purple with apoplexy over the administration. What is the vital American interest at stake?

Anyone?

I fully expect to see protests in Washington, mourning the death of Gadhafi, just as we saw when Hussein reached ambient temperature. I am waiting, breath held in anticipation for the outcry.  I expect Dick the Turban Durban will have a few words to say. I am sure we will see some saggy naked boobies from  the Code Pinkers.

Any minute now...

You cannot say hypocrite without invoking a filthy hippy, so I am not surprised we hear nought but crickets chirping.

October 20, 2011

Excuse for an Alibi

I should use the voice memo function on my phone. I seem to always come up with brilliant, pithy posts while staring out my windshield. My writing is remarkably mediocre, my typing skills are poor at best, and I am among the most inept texters (is that the word?) ever, so trying to compose while driving is a non-idea. Besides, I will not even talk on my phone without my bluetooth while driving, so really there is no other option. I could pull over, but I would never get from here to there and back if I stopped every time an idea popped into my head.

I-70 has to be the most boring highway in all of the miles of the nation's interstate system.  It travels straight and smooth like a belt around the country's midsection.  It crosses some of the flattest, most fertile farmland in the world. Other than its eastern and western ends, scenic it is not, unless you love the subtle breaks of farms and fields interlaced with the occasional small copse of wood or ravine. I do. Unless you find the hidden beauty in the way the sunlight plays on the clouds dotting the distant horizon, you will not find I-70 endearing or lovable. I fear future singers and poets will never pen stirring odes to old number 70 as they have her curvaceous cousin Route 66.  The I-70 roadway cuts through the cities of the heartland: Pittsburgh, Columbus, Indianapolis, Terre Haute, St Louis, Kansas City, and Denver to come to an inglorious end in the mountains of central Utah. Its path is as straight and unimaginative and as devoid of character as the cities it cuts on its journey westward.  She is a perfect thinking man's highway.

I-70 is the road to dream of your future, to ponder the past, to compose blog posts to your heart's content. Her multi-lanes of concrete and blacktop are the perfect medium to play mental gymnastics with syntax and humor and political truths. Then you arrive home, weary from the day. You hustle to the store, make supper, watch TV and sleep.

This morning I am awake once more. I stare at the keyboard, trying in vain to remember the brilliant words that spun in my mind yesterday as I raced homeward on the back of Interstate number seven-oh. Instead of wondrous stories and biting commentary, I have naught but a flat nothingness in my head reminiscent of I-70 and a very long excuse for lack of content.
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