December 31, 2012

Dear Baltimore

For those of you who follow the NFL you are probably aware the Indianapolis Colts will travel to Baltimore for a playoff game next weekend.

Already we are hearing the stories about how Indianapolis "stole" the Colts in the dark of night ...blah, blah, blah.

In one more year the Colts will have been in Indy as long as they were in Baltimore. It is time to let it go.

Seriously, except for a few idiot fans and mostly the media, this quit being a story back in the 1980's. How many of the jackasses throwing eggs at the Colts team bus, and expressing the angst (while wearing Ravens purple) were even born in 1984 when the team moved? You know, the team FEW in Baltimore supported until they left?  The one the City was trying to take via eminent domain? The one that played in a half-empty crumbling stadium each week.

Baltimore fans it is time to support the team you wooed from Cleveland (irony alert) and get over a slight so old even the Godfather would forget it.

December 30, 2012

2012 -- The year in review

It is fashionable as the New Year rolls around to offer a recap of the previous year. Well you know me, I am a slave to fashion.  This post is my first ever Year in Review analysis. You might want to move back in your chair, you will find yourself increasingly on the edge and I don't want you to fall off.

There were approximately 365 days in 2012. There were 12 months and about 52 weeks. There were, in my part of the country, 4 seasons. It was alternately cold then hot then cold again. Some days were wet with rain and snow, some were dry.  Many were cloudy.  Some were bright and cheery.

I worked the requisite days for my employer. He paid me a fair wage.  At the end of the year it appears we made a bit more than we spent. I stayed in the neighborhood of 45 nights in hotels in various cities. I made about 30 plane landings. I don't think I went anywhere new. I stayed in hotels in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Oregon. There might be more.

Politically we had a Presidential election where the candidates were both less than optimal.  The takers now outnumber the makers and despite one of the worst economic records in history, The Obama breezed to a second term. Congress continues to demonstrate it is about the Power, not the People.

I managed to offer up 497 posts of varying quality -- counting this one. Most were composed with a tongue planted firmly in my left cheek. That brings the post total to 3,900 since March of 2005.

In 2012 sporting events occurred and movies were made. I watched some of both. I read some books. I slept and ate and walked and even ran a few times. I remained breathing and living throughout the year. That fact alone makes 2012 a very good year.

December 28, 2012

Post holiday blues -- treatment and cures

I keep staring at that damn blinking cursor, but through some kind of glitch in the system words will not type themselves. Does your computer write posts for you? Neither will mine. So here I am still vainly trying to follow the Acidman's advice and post something every day. I don't know why.

I could rant and rave about the damn politicians in Washington, but you and I are going to get screwed over, so why bother? I could describe in tedious detail my daily activities, but let us be honest, I'm bored by my life these days. The combined talents of Hemingway, Twain and Dickens could not make my life entertaining. I eat and sleep, work and pay bills, watch TV and read, deal with the weather when I am outside, stare at it through the windows when I'm not. In other words, my life is your life and who wants to read about mundane stuff like that?

It is Friday, and I have plenty to be thankful for.  You do too. After all, once again I managed to get you to read a whole post about nothing.

And you thought I was a no-talent hack.

December 27, 2012

I think Santa is getting old

The fat man in the red suit was either not paying attention or he is getting hard of hearing. It is probably time to change the old batteries in the hearing aids, Mr. Claus. You see, I asked for a snow blower for Christmas..Instead I got blowing snow.  Lots of it -- about 10 inches of the wet heavy stuff. But the jolly old elf gave the same gift to all of my friends and neighbors.  In point of fact he dumped a shit-load of snow all over the mid-west (that is a technical term of measurement).

I got half of my driveway shoveled last evening, so we can get the wife's SUV out if need be. There was not much hurry. The plow did not find my street until sometime in the wee hours of this morning. I am going to head out and tackle the rest of the driveway as soon as I am done sharing these riveting details with you.

The upper part of my drive is actually three cars wide, and only two wide at the bottom. The hard part is the boy's car occupies the far right part of the drive, necessitating a very long throw of snow. This exercise is where my age is starting to show.  I can't toss a shovel of snow as far as I used to. This means I am moving the same snow twice.

The boy wisely trudged off through the drifts to a friend's to spend the night. That boy ain't stupid.

December 26, 2012

Slick and dangerous

That is how the roads are described this morning. We are supposed to get pounded by a strong winter storm today. The snow prediction is for around a foot of the white stuff.  It is snowing and blowing as I type these words. We shall see what Mother Nature delivers for a post Holiday treat.

I hope you all had as nice a Christmas as I did. If you did, that would mean yours was pretty damn good. We spent Christmas Eve at my Mom and Dad's with my brother and his family then headed over to my wife's family for evening festivities. I have eaten enough food over the past few days to feed every hungry kid in those commercials for a month or two.

Yesterday my kids all came down and we feasted. gifted and gamed the day away. I believe every one was satisfied. The wife gifted me a new winter coat which it looks like I will get to use today and some cigars among other cool stuff. Cigars! Not many wives will provide stinky smoke sticks for their man. I am a lucky guy indeed. Can't smoke 'em in the house though. And she will bitch about how my clothes stink after I have indulged...but still.

Why don't you people tell me when I have a major spelling error in the titles to these exercises in entertainment? This place displays my foolishness on a regular basis, I don't need my stupid typing inadequacies  broadcast as well. You gotta look out for a fellow blogger people.

December 23, 2012

A Christmas card for you



Merry Christmas to all of you.  That you take a minute or two to stop by is a gift beyond measure. Thank you.

December 22, 2012

December 22, 1978

I first published this back in 2007. It is one of my favorite stories. Not because I think it is especially well-written, but because each and every word in it is true. These events took place yesterday, just a lifetime ago in 1978.  I thought about tightening up the tale a little, but instead I give it to you just as originally published. Editing is hard work.  Submitted again for the readers who, for some unknown reason, did not frequent these pages in the bygone glory years. And also because I cannot think of anything else to write today:

A love story

Thursday, the second wrestling meet of the week. I took a beating, yet still won. You remember the old joke about "does your face hurt?", yes it did. On the bus ride home I had time to think. In the dark it all became a stark reality. I just had to get out of going to that dance.

How could I break it to her? She bought a dress, I had ordered the corsage. Dinner reservations were made. I did not even know this girl. I could say I was sick. Think, man, think. If I cancelled I would be a heel, and Teresa would be pissed. That would be bad. She would not like me to cancel a date with her best friend.

Friday, I woke no closer to a resolution. I had a crush on this girl, Teresa. Her best friend asked me out to a Sadie Hawkins dance. It was a big deal, the biggest dance of the year except for the prom: Dresses were bought, suits were worn. I said yes, thinking the girl would talk about how wonderful I was and Teresa would see me as something besides a friend. Sixteen year old boys do not always think logically, especially when it comes to women. Yes, my motive was wrong. I did not care.

Wrestling practice was supposed to be short, most of the team had a date for the dance. I had two black eyes, the result of high cheekbones and sharp elbows. We started wrestling around and my partner Jeff got a bloody nose. He got them all the time and of course, I laughed at him. This really made him mad and he was determined to give me a bloody nose as well. The only problem is I had never had one. EVER. He proceeded to give me several hard cross-faces. He hit me with an elbow, he smashed me with his skull. No bloody nose. I took a quick shower before heading home to get ready for the dance. Shit, my left eye was swollen shut, my right eye and cheek were hues of blue, green and purple. I bet her parents would be real impressed.

I circled the block twice mustering the courage to knock on the door. Her nephew answered. Fortunately she was ready. A few quick pictures and we were on our way. No one asked how I came to look like a prizefighter.

On the way to the restaurant we did not speak much. I gave this girl a quick glance. I barely knew her. Only after she asked me to the dance did I discover her last name. Her short hair was dark, almost black. It fell in soft waves framing her face. Her nose was straight and narrow, freckles covered her cheeks. Her eyes lit up each time she smiled. They were hazel.

We went to the local Moose Lodge for dinner (the oldest in the world), there was not much else in the little town where we lived. I had pork chops. Neither of us spoke much during dinner. Aborted conversations ended with one word answers.

 "Is your steak OK?"

"Yes, It is fine," she muttered. Oh God, what have I gotten myself into? OK, dinner, go to the dance, stay an hour or so and make an excuse to take her home. Maybe I can claim I have wrestling practice in the morning. I noticed her hands. The fingers were long and smooth, a small hint of white fingernail polish graced the long nails. A few freckles dotted her arms. I tried hard not to stare at her chest above the white sleeveless dress. The swell of her breasts was enticing. She was kind of pretty. When she stopped in the ladies room after dinner I briefly thought about just leaving. She was in there a long time, and maybe she was hoping I would.

I still remember clearly the events before the dance. What I ate. The back of my neck burning with embarrassment. The feeling everyone in the dining room knew I was a lousy date, a failure, a hoodlum. The rest of the evening remains a blur. We found our table at the dance. We were sitting with her friends. I knew some of the other guys. The lights were low and suddenly this strange girl looked lovely. The band was playing and we sat and tried again to talk. Finally a slow dance was played and I summoned the courage to escort her to the floor. She fit perfectly in my arms. The top of her hair came to my eyes. Her waist was the perfect size for my skinny arms. She smelled faintly of flowers. After the song we walked to the punchbowl holding hands.

As we sat back at the table I moved my chair closer, we began to find things to talk about. My hand was on her thigh. I forgot my mother's admonition to not try to be funny. Mom told me that often others just did not get my dry sarcastic sense of humor. The girl had the most melodious laugh. We danced some fast songs. She had rhythm, I could only jerk around like a spastic monkey with a lobotomy. I was having a good time in spite of my efforts not to.

Another slow song began and we moved to the floor hand in hand. I put my arms around her, her hands locked around my neck. I looked into her eyes and saw my soul. She leaned to me, and I to her. Our lips met and electricity shot through my body. My hair stood on end. As our tongues met, I never felt like this before! Wow, I said as our lips parted. I was out of breath. I was not sure if we had kept dancing or not. The room spun. I kissed her again.

The night lasted forever and ended too soon. As we made out in the front seat of my parent's Monte Carlo, hurried plans were made for another date the next day. I drove home with her taste on my lips. Pizza, a movie and more electric kisses followed on Saturday.

Monday came and Teresa did not look quite so hot. She asked me how the dance went, a knowing leer on her face. I know now girls talk about that stuff*. Teresa told me she just knew the girl and I would get along. She suggested a double date the next week. Why not?

I found an old picture taken at that dance back in December of 1978. I see a skinny boy, his left eye shut, his right black. I see a couple of kids, unsure of life, of themselves. The pretty girl is standing next to that boy. I know the picture was taken as we arrived, before the slow dances, before the kiss. I know this because in the picture I am just a shy boy, smirking at the world.

I dated the girl for several years. I left for college. I got engaged. I got married.

The girl is now my wife. Her kisses are still electric.


* My buddy Jeff just asked me if I got 'any'.

December 21, 2012

Friday Christmas Music



Ask and you shall receive

And who does not remember this classic?:




Just think, I almost dropped some Chipmunk's Christmas Song here.

I'm Alive

The wind is howling still this morning. We got an inch or so of snow on top of an inch or so of rain yesterday. Slick conditions are the word of the day. School has been delayed by 2 hours.  When I went outside to get the paper I noticed the boy parked next to the curb.  I suppose the driveway was too icy for him to make it up the slight incline when he came home in the wee hours.

I woke around 4:00 this morning.  I don't know why.  I tossed and turned until about 5:00 and finally just got up. I will need a nap later, I suspect. Since I am on vacation, it will fit into my empty schedule.

We finally finished our shopping last night.  Now we have to get stuff wrapped and under the big tree in the living room. I wrapped the wife's gifts last week.  I am the man! Said the boy yesterday: "I was snooping under the tree.  All the gifts are for Mom.  What the hell is up with that?" If he wanted to snoop at his gifts all he has to do is come into my office.  The goods are stacked next to my desk.

I don't want to catch you rummaging around in here either!

If I can get motivated I might do some baking later today. In the meantime I am off to waste some time on the interwebz. I have canned some first rate holiday music for your enjoyment later this morning, so check back often.

Hello?

Are we still here?

Fucking Mayans anyway.

December 20, 2012

I am so excited it is all I can do to keep from peeing my pants

I watched a couple of Christmas movies yesterday. In the afternoon I went to the 1904 World's Fair with Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis.



Have I ever mentioned the turn of the 20th century is the first stop I make after I get my time machine?

Last night I finished up my shopping and then caught White Christmas on TV.



Speaking of snow, the StormTeam/ScareTeam is in full panic mode.  We are supposed to get a tiny bit of snow tonight. I expect the populace to react as normal -- to rush out and buy up all of the bread, milk, and eggs at the grocery. This is essential because we might get snowed in, even though the history of incapacitating blizzards is limited in our area. After all, central Indiana was inconvenienced for a day or so back in '78. Snow must make the genpop have an overwhelming need to make French Toast or something.

December 19, 2012

Father knows best

Spy on your neighbor.  Turn them in to the government. The State knows what is best.  These sentiments have long been the mantra of progressives, socialists, communists, and lefties in general. Since every problem in New York is now solved -- crime is gone, Sandy is cleaned up, unicorns are farting rainbows in Central Park, Big Sodas are banned -- Nanny Bloomberg can once again turn his attention to the scourge of society -- smoking in your own home.

Get together, rat out your neighbor.  It is the New American Way.

We must do something

Cancelling gun shows on TV in the wake of a horrendous murder makes no sense. What next?  Should we expect TBS to cancel the annual A Christmas Story marathon? After all, the holiday tale is centered on a boy's desire to get a gun. Perhaps we could just digitally edit out the references to the BB gun and replace "Red Ryder Air Rifle" with "Higher taxes on the rich" or "solar powered  light up peace sign". . We have the technology. We can make it better.

While we are at it, to make the progressive-types happy, can we change the name of the movie to something less Christian-centric?

December 18, 2012

I am ready to go back to work now.

I have decided to eschew shaving this week. I am growing a beard for no other reason than I want to. I am on vacation.

"Eschew" is a great word, but I am not sure I have ever actually heard it during a conversation.  It is one of those words that crops up in written communication, but I do remember ever speaking it out loud. Apparently we eschew using the word eschew in conversation.

I am not sure how long I will last with the beard.  I last grew one in college, when I went for the Amish/Abraham Lincoln look.  That is to say beard, but no mustache. Right now on day three it is at the scratchy stage, it rubbed weird against the sheets and feels strange when I rub my granite-like jaw.  Historically it is around day three when I give in and shave.

I am sure you are riveted by this tale of facial hair.

On a completely different front I managed to make something this morning for the wife to take for her pitch-in at work.  There is that.

This blog jumped the shark so long ago I am now leaping orcas.

December 17, 2012

Pat, I would like to buy a period please

Sometimesa book will draw you in and you race through it, regardless of sleep, work, or  life. You can't wait to finish and are saddened when the book is done. Sometimes a book is so bad you toss it aside like a used diaper.  Most books fall somewhere in the middle.

I am in the midst of James Jones' acclaimed novel "From Here to Eternity".  It is one of those books with a compelling story. Unfortunately it is easy to put down.  I put it aside at every chance. I am like a kitten when I see a shiny object. Down goes the book. While I am reading I like the story very much. I just find it hard to pick back up.

Jones is amazingly wordy. His prose is more akin to a 19th century novelist than Hemingway. The man never met a period he liked. Yet his descriptions are so good you can only admire his language skills. Here is a paragraph that epitimizes both of these positions -- amazingly wordy and descriptive:

That afternoon that Mazziolli brought the transfer letter over from Regiment, Milt Warden had been sitting at his desk, puzzling over a snapshot Karen Holmes had given him of herself that was before him lying on the papers he had been working on, his cheek sumk on the knuckles of one big fist like a small boy watching a grownup's movie he could not figure out. 
One paragraph. One sentence. I suspect Hemingway blew his brains partly in protest over the overwhelming prose in this novel. I assure you this parpagraph is not unusual. This is the flavor and style of the entire novel so far. I find myself reading each sentence in breathless anticipation of a period. One sentence I just finished was 164 words long!  Often I have to go back and re-read a pssage to get a sense of what the author was trying to impart. Frankly, it is hard work. The story is compelling, but the 12 chapters I have managed so far could have been written in half the words. Would it be the same story? I don't know.  I once read a rule of thumb said good novels make bad movies. The Burt Lancaster film version of the book is first rate.

I have lots of books waiting to be read on my handy-dandy e-reader. I determined some time ago life is too short to spend on lousy books.  Jones' novel is not there yet, but more interesting stories await. I supose if I could make it through War and Peace I can get through anything. Tolstoy took me four months in fits and strts. I have been consuming Jones for less than a week.

We need more laws

The politicos and media whores are jerking their knees like a frog hooked to a battery in biology class. Laws! Rules! More!

Laws against murder did not stop the nut job in Connecticut, nor did prohibitions against firearms in a school.  More of the same will not stop the next guy. Some frantic woman on TV talk yesterday was foaming at the mouth about limiting egress points into schools. Why yes, why don't we get rid of the windows, doors and put up a fence? School feels like a prison for many students anyway.  Oh yeah, the killer came in through the front door.

Look, all of the metal detectors in the world will not stop a guy hell-bent on murder.  An armed cop is no guarantee.  Police officers are killed every day by criminals with quicker triggers and single-minded intent.

This time, by all accounts, evil visited our children not with an scary "assault weapon", but with a pair of ordinary handguns. He could have accomplished his task just as easily with a shotgun or a mixture of household chemicals. Guns are no more to blame than the gas in a Molotov Cocktail.

How do we prevent such tragedy in the future?  I don't know. Human history is replete with examples of man's inherit cruelty. Ask the citizens of a medieval village about the loss of their children after a visit from the local warlord or the Mongol Horde. Ask a frontier family about loss after a raiding party of Comanche destroyed everything, or the Cheyenne after Sand Creek. Ask the citizens of a Mexican border town about gun violence. As I said Saturday, there is evil in this world.

Tens of millions of us own guns and never resort to mayhem and murder. The old adage is true; when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns. Every home in Switzerland has an assault rifle, yet that nation has a remarkably low crime rate. It is not the guns, it is the culture. Chicago, Washington DC and New York have some of the strictest gun control laws, yet the equivalent of a Sandy Hook takes place every weekend in those cities.

I do not have answers, but panic and knee-jerking is not a solution.


December 16, 2012

News

When it comes to sporting events the networks have adopted a policy of not showing the idiots who jump from the stands and run onto the field of play. Producers have found a reduction in incidents when the "Hey look Ma, I'm on TV" factor is removed.

Perhaps we need a similar moratorium on the breathless reporting that accompanies mass shootings. Not only will we eliminate the attention whore copy cat actions of the mentally disturbed among us, but we can temper some of the worst behaviors of the news reporters themselves.

The innuendo, suppositions, rumors and outright fabrications on display Friday leave me baffled and angry. Perhaps there is a news organization who finds it more important to be accurate than first, but it is not to be found on my television.

I could fill a blog post with a listing of "facts" reported Friday afternoon that were more fabrication than fact. It is one thing for me to sit on the edge of my recliner and posit theories.  It is simply dangerous when the anchorman and woman do it.

December 15, 2012

Saturday

Yesterday serves as a stark reminder that evil occupies this Earth.

December 14, 2012

Cruisin'

This post is evidence in abundance of my love for you. Here it is Friday, December 14, 2012, an ordinary day for most of you.  For me it is day one of vacation. I am off work until after Christmas, yet here I am doing my best to entertain you.

I could be trying to slog my way through From Here to Eternity on my Kindle or watching any of dozens of movies right now. I could be doing household chores or just kicking back drinking coffee and listening to music. I could repair to the garage and light up a fine hand-rolled stogie from a Caribbean nation. Instead  I am wasting filling your morning with my own particular brand of sunshine and lollipops.

You are welcome.

No, no thank you.

Friday Holiday Music




December 13, 2012

Relax, it is only tax money

What is it about politicians? Elect a conservative to office in no time at all he turns into a Big Government type. Does the SEIU cleaning crew put something in the coffee water?

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard started off well, cutting spending and doing the right things to get Indianapolis' fiscal house in order. Then he got the liberal disease. First it was bike paths down main arteries. Then it was a push for light rail and expanded public transit no one will ride. Now he is pushing electric vehicles on the taxpayers via  executive fiat.

I am willing to bet if the voters knew this was the agenda for a second term we might have seen a Democrat in office today. I have long maintained if the choice is pure Democrat or Democrat-Lite, voters will go for the real thing every time. After all, why buy an RC Cola when their is a can of Coca-Cola in the same vending machine?

It is bad enough valuable parking places go unused at area malls -- they are reserved as  "charging stations".for electric and hybrid vehicles. I don't see the City offering up free gas stations to fill up my car at taxpayer expense. Now taxpayer monies will be used to fund green boondoggles at the local level. Nothing epitomizes "Government" more than paying extra money for vehicles that don't perform to standard.

Asshats like Ballard somehow forget that every penny they spend is taken under penalty of law from the labors of individual citizens. The treasuries of Cities and Towns and States and the Federal Government are filled not with nebulous "tax money", but with my money, your money and your neighbors money. 

Pro Choice

Isn't interesting how the Democrats and progressive-types are all pro-choice, right up until it is a choice to belong to a union or not?

December 12, 2012

Wait a minute

Democrats are calling for a halt on Obama-Care-mandated taxes on businesses, claiming they are "job killing".

Hmm, raising taxes on business hurts jobs?. That is crazy talk. I wonder why we never heard that argument in the past?

The next thing you know, someone, somewhere, will offer up a crackpot notion that taxing the small business owners who provide more than 50% of the jobs in this country at a higher rate will also hurt employment.

"And so it goes" ...I always quote that asshole Vonnegut at funerals

An old friend died over the weekend. Mike was a man's man. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, sports and life in general.  He supported and followed his kids through Boy Scouts, college sports and life. Mike was an all around great guy. I did not spend much time with him in the past decade or so, I moved away and life continues at a fast pace. But  I will say the world is a less happy place today. Mike was a Vet, a teacher, a community leader, and one of those people who truly made a difference.

Here is an example of his sense of humor. A bunch of us were at his house one Saturday afternoon. Mike's living room window looked over his back yard and hunting dog kennel. Suddenly Mike started swearing.  "Watch that front right corner of the dog house" he said.  Sure enough after a minute or two a rat snuck* from under the dog house, ran to the dog's food bowl and snatched a bit of food before retreating back under the dog house. "Stay here" Mike said. He went out the front door.

A short time later he appeared on the far side of the dog house. Soon the rat again made its way to the bowl. Mike reached to his hip, drew his pistol and shot the rat dead. Seriously, the damn thing just fell over.  I nearly did too.  Who does a fast draw and hits a rat on the run? We went out and sure enough, there was a hole in the rodent's head. Mike flung it by the tail into the bean field beyond his property.

A few hours later the other guys left. Mike looked at me and laughed. "Don't tell anyone", he said, "But the gun was loaded with bird shot.  I couldn't miss". I believe to this day I am the only one who knows Mike was no Deadeye Dick/Wyatt Earp reincarnated. But for Mike, if no one knew the truth the whole joke was pointless. No one loved life like Mike. It is a fitting tribute the line extended out the Funeral Home door for the calling. Everyone liked Mike.

One weird thing happened at the Funeral Home. As I entered the building one of the employees looked at me and said "Hey Joe, how are you?". This might not be remarkable other than the last time I saw this girl was in May of 1980 when we graduated high school. I guess I have not changed as much as I imagine. But then I recognized her right away. The difference was in high school she was Class President and I would have been voted most forgettable in the class, if anyone could have remembered my name.



*sneaked?


December 11, 2012

Friday Holiday Music -- Tuesday Edition




My mind is a blank, so enjoy some fine Christmas music from Frank.  Go ahead and listen, I know you will dig it.

December 10, 2012

Belly Up Komrade

H/T Doug Ross




















Everyone knows the Berlin Wall was built to keep out the pesky capitalists trying to enter the Worker's Paradise.

Half the population scratches their head and asks "Berlin Wall?"

December 9, 2012

Deep Thoughts for a Sunday

Since a drunk Dallas Cowboy wrecked yesterday and killed another Dallas Cowboy  I suspect we will get a diatribe today from Bob Costas seeking to bring back prohibition.

Because I know you are losing sleep with all of the worrying

Background here and here

I bought a new halogen bulb for my desk lamp. The package says the bulb has a one year guarantee.  So did the one I replaced during the hot days of summer. I had to tear the heck out of the package to get it open. Nuclear waste is not sealed this well.

The lamp is what is dead, not the bulb. I don't know why,  I am not an electrician. I plugged it in a different outlet. No workee. Damn thing cost me like $10 at WalMart 6 years ago. I have already spent too many minutes of my precious time fiddling with it.

I am off to buy a new $10 lamp at WalMart.  It will likely cost $13 now.


Disclaimer: It is really Thursday afternoon when I am writing this post. I have already put up two posts today, I don't want you spoiled by too much exposure to mind-blowing analysis, intelligent postulation, and riveting tales such as you are reading now. I have a holiday music post and a Pearl Harbor post set for Friday already, I don't want the brilliance and edge-of-your-seat adventure of my desk lamp to obscure the importance of the December 7 anniversary.  I think I will put this story of woe and excitement into the queue for Sunday.

I have my reasons. 


What we say we pretend it is live and unfiltered by time and calendar?

 Further Disclaimers: On Friday  I just now (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) edited this post to add right here, in this very spot, a note that the wife had a spare desk lamp!  I know, who keeps a spare desk lamp handy?  It turns out she bought it for the boy to take to school and he did not want it. She had discarded the receipt, so I win. Is is wrong for me to say I liked the old one better?

If my wife were to ever read this piece o'crap blog I know what she would say. I hear it a dozen times a day. "You are so weird".

December 8, 2012

Greatest Inventions in the History of Man

I once wrote a popular post about the greatest events in the history of man. You can look it up, there is a search box around here somewhere. (I think. You can check that out for yourself too.  Do I have to do everything?) or just search Google, Bing, etc.

Today I thought I would tackle a list of the greatest inventions.  Several inventions come right to mind.  Advances in medicine, the airplane, the auto, the computer all are strong contenders for the list.  My liberal readers would find it amiss if I left off the invention of The Pill and abortion on demand. The light bulb and the printing press have to be in the running. Perhaps we should even consider such mundane products as plastic clothes hangers. Had they been around a few years earlier Joan Crawford's daughter could have avoided a beating or two.

See, this is harder than you thought.

After the jump you can see the complete list.  You can argue my ranking, but the choices are beyond debate.  I know you will agree.

December 7, 2012

A Friday triple header -- lucky you

I do not believe I have ever heard a foghorn outside of TV or movies. It would be appropriate if one were sounding its lonesome warning in my neighborhood this morning. A thick layer of fog blankets the area. I can barely make out the porch light on the neighbor's house across the cul-de-sac, and the lights on the street behind me are completely obscured. Visibility can be measured in yards, not fractions of a mile. School has been delayed by two hours to allow the fog to burn away in the morning sun. I fully expected a Boy Scout holding a lantern to light my way to the mailbox to get my paper this morning. You will understand that reference if you were a Boy Scout before the current urban version of the Boy Scout Handbook was published.

Forgive me if my ramblings seem a bit punch drunk this morning. I have been up since shortly after three in the ayem.  My old buddy insomnia came for a visit and stayed for breakfast. I will offer a hearty "You are welcome" for your unspoken thank you for not publishing the rambling nonsensical post my sleep deprived mind composed around four dark thirty. What started as a rambling apology to Jean for a snide comment I left on an earlier post became a rambling exhibit of my true schizophrenic self. TMI on display, Dear Readers. That post is safely tucked away in draft status where it belongs.

I better stop this effort before it descends down the same dark pathway.

December 7, 1941


Friday Holiday Music



..or a more traditional version if you prefer:




One of my favorite carols. I think I like the choir version better.


December 6, 2012

It is a good thing I was not on TV

I woke in a strange room in a strange bed in the middle of the night. I stumbled toward the bathroom and promptly banged my left foot on a sturdy piece of furniture. I said words that you cannot say on TV.

After correcting for my wrong turn, I limped into the bathroom. In the fuzzy light I noticed the toenail on my fourth toe was half torn away; vertically, not horizontally.  That is to say it was torn lose from the end to the nail bed. Blood was involved. More words you cannot say on TV were uttered. Stupid hotel room. Such an event surely was not my fault.

I turned on the lights and rummaged through my briefcase and found a band-aid.  I used a washcloth to blot away the blood. I used the band-aid to tape the thing down. Just for good measure I mumbled a few more words you cannot say on TV.

I replaced the band aid last night, the nail appears to be sticking back into place. It is black.  I suspect that despite my heroic efforts, and accompanying words you cannot say on TV, the nail will still fall off in the distant future.

Mumble Mumble

My desk lamp is still out.  The light bulb did not magically replace itself while I spent part of the week in the Windy City. I would like to use the shadow cast by my giant head over the keyboard as an excuse for my numerous typos, but such an argument would be naught but excuse-making.

Today is payday, a bi-weekly event that always brings a smile to my face. I enjoy seeing numbers to the left of the decimal point in my bank account. Many years ago (1,413 to be exact), I worked for a small plastics company.  I was up in the office wasting time and told the lady doing payroll to see if she could add a couple of extra zeroes to my paycheck that week.  She laughed at my poor joke.  Friday came and there to the right of the decimal were two perfectly penned zeroes in the third and fourth decimal places. There is something to take away from that boring story.  Be careful for what you you ask.

I am not a perfect writer by any means. In point of fact, my writing ability has diminished since starting this time-waster. The Indy Star is running a series of radio ads featuring their writers. I am sure an ad agency has written the script, because every spot has the writer using the tag line "...its not just what I report on".  I could be wrong, but shouldn't a professional writer know not to end a sentence with a preposition? Doesn't there need to be an object of the preposition? Isn't the "on" completely extraneous? I know, pot/kettle from someone who always uses too many words.


December 4, 2012

Nothin'

Seven years is a long time. I think you and I have conversed about everything I have to opine upon. I keep thinking about trying to quit this here time-wastin' hobby.

I guess I can make it another couple of weeks until the end of the world. . Live blogging the Mayan Meltdown would give me something to write about.

Say, is it bad policy to not buy the wife any Christmas presents?  I recon there is no point buying gifts she'll never open, what with the end of the world and all.

December 3, 2012

We need to put some Kenny Rodgers on every GOP iPod

The GOPhers are laughingly bad at public relations. They are at times so politically inept I can not believe it.

Look, Obama is perfectly willing to let the economy go head first off the old cliff  like those crazy Mexican divers at Acapulco we used to watch on Wide World of Sports. The propaganda arm of the Democrat Party (the press) will point a bony finger right at the Republicans and the ignorant masses will believe the GOP is to blame. Fer chrissake the electorate blindly still believes the current economic situation can be blamed on Bush. Conservatives are just going to have to accept a sprinkle of reality on their scrambled eggs.

It is morally indefensible to let 100% of Americans take a tax increase to protect the top earners.  Yes, I understand the economics.  I know that upping the taxes on the job creators will not help reduce debts and deficits.  I know it will stifle job creation. I also know 60% plus of the electorate has bought into the soak the rich class warfare nonsense. The economic consequences of punishing a few is far less than punishing the whole. Those are really the only two choices. Obama is not going to give, he will win the PR battle.

Give the 'Bamster the tax increase but insist on spending cuts NOW. Perhaps the GOP should offer to up the lower limit from $250K to $750K?  Obama will go along,  It is a pride thing on the taxes. He is going to kick and scream and hold his breath. He is a child willing to ruin the family night out to get his way. Sometimes you just have to let the kid have the ice cream, even if it does make him sick; if only to prove a point.

The place to dig in is on spending and the debt ceiling. When you negotiate you get what you can.  Obama is not going to give on tax increases. He must get a win.  He will get a win, damn the consequences.  The President won't pay those consequences if a compromise is not met. The Republican Party will  Make the pain as small as possible, and accept reality. The alternative is the political wilderness.

December 2, 2012

Blue plastic, 10 gallon galvonized, yellow mop...

I have stated numerous times I know how lucky I am.  I have been all over the world and these United States and seen amazing things.  Mostly the trip was financed by the company. For instance if I am in a given city and spending the night, it costs the company nothing if I go to a museum or historic site in the evening.

That said, there are few things I have missed I would like to see before I settle down for my long dirt nap. I have been through Buffalo at least a half dozen times but have yet to so much as glimpse Niagara Falls. I used to travel to Greenville, SC every month or so, but never took the time to search out Shoeless Joe's grave, nor travel the few extra miles to see the burial site of Ty Cobb.

I spent a day in Paris. I got to see the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, The Arc, but did not make it to Versailles, Sacre Cour nor Jim Morrison's resting spot. I toured the castles of the Loir Valley, but did not get to Normandy. I skirted the edge of the Ardennes, but had to get to Frankfurt. Most disappointingly for me, I was within 50 or 60 miles of Waterloo but my traveling companion refused to go.

I have not been to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone or Mt. Rushmore. I was in the area of Mt. Rushmore a few times.  Once the flight schedule left me time to drive there and back -- it would have been 4 hours each way, but I could have made it if I left early enough. I set the alarm and decided not to make the drive. I should have.

I have been to many Civil War battlefields, but never Chickamauga. I used to drive to the Atlanta area often and never had time to make the side trip.  I glance longingly every time we drive to Florida for Spring Break, but we pass the exits to the battlefield in the wee hours of the morning.

In all, I can say I have had it pretty good. I could check a bunch of items off almost anyone's bucket list.

December 1, 2012

Saturday randomness.

It is a little after eight in the morning on a cloudy Saturday.  I am on my second cup of coffee. Jim Morrison is droning in the background, getting ready to kill his Daddy. The End. It is a live version.

I muddled my way through the morning fishwrap and the attendant Saturday advertisement circulars. The local basketball team lost. They do that a lot -- lose. For a fairly large school by State classification standards (4A) they historically are bad at nearly every sport. You can have a losing culture..

I type in my own shadow, my desk lamp has burned out.  It seems like I just replaced that bulb. Enough of The Doors, I push next on the old iPod and the Boxtops are singing about a love letter. Better on the ears on an early Saturday morning.

It was warm when I went outside to fetch the paper. I will lace up my walking shoes in a bit for some outside exercise. I try to get in three to four miles on the weekends. Steely Dan is never going back to his old school. I compose and type slowly, too many typos.

My sinuses are doing the every morning drip, drip. My passport renewal came yesterday. I can now escape.

The wife and I were discussing work Christmas parties last evening. I realized I have not worked in a formal office or in a group setting for fifteen years. I cannot believe it is a decade and half since I last habited a cubicle. Midnight Rider. It will be twenty years next fall since I took a temporary assignment into OEM sales. I thought I would be back on the plant management track after a few years of outside experience. Here I am, still at it. I'm not sure if I could work in an office environment anymore.

Can't Find My Way Home.  I am composing slowly this morning.  Usually it takes me about three to five minutes to write a post. " I can usually tell" you mutter at the screen. "Taking time certainly does not equate to valuable content" I mutter back. I am not sure these imaginary conversations between you and I are healthy,  I think to myself.

Let it Be.

Good advice, Paul. Whisper words of wisdom, indeed. The End was playing when I started blogging today. We have finally reached that point

weekend funny


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