August 31, 2015

No mas

Is it just me or does anyone else find Flo from Progressive past her usefulness? She has gone from mildly amusing spokesperson to "so annoying I would not buy her insurance if it was free".

Your opinion may vary, but you will be wrong.

English 201Essay-What I did this weekend

Happy Monday, fellow Americans. I have little to report this late summer morning. I had a good and uneventful weekend. I swam in our friends' new pool, drank beer*, smoked stogies**, mowed the lawn, trimmed bushes and shrubs, cleaned up limbs, watered the front lawn, went grocery shopping, ate Mexican food, and watch a gem of a no-hitter.

That about covers it.


* Franziskaner a Munich-based Heffeweizen, Budweiser, Yeungling Lager

** Hoya de Monteray 7x48, El Rey de Mundo Maduro 5x50

August 29, 2015

Someone gave me the bird

I was watering the flowers last evening. As I opened the gate in the privacy fence to go into the backyard I discovered a dead bird on the stepping stones. It was a robin and I swear it looked like he fell out of the tree. Maybe he got drunk on fermenting fruit from a neighbors apple tree. He was not torn up like a cat had played with him, in fact, he looked like a stuffed bird from an antique store or taxidermy shop. He was stiff, but the flies had not gotten to him yet. Very weird. If someone sends me a dead mackerel, I know what that means. I am unsure about a stiff bird.

August 28, 2015

Wherein the Author Rambles On in Order to Avoid Doing the Tasks at Hand

Here we are at the close of another week. It is also the end of the month and that means I have the odious task of compiling my expenses. I started to drag out the receipts and put them in order yesterday when I got a call from the office. Top management-types wanted me to come in and offer sales advice. I jumped in the shower and pulled on clothing suitable for the real office, not my home office. To start, real offices require shoes. I suspect they frown on the wrinkled T-shirt from yesterday and shorts, both perfectly acceptable for the home office dress code. In any case, it was nice to be consulted on sales strategy, especially since I am the new guy. Perhaps I was consulted less for my acumen than my proximity to the plant? In other words, I was handy? No, no; I prefer my delusions.

If I get my work done I will need to mow the yard. We have plans for Saturday and it is slated to rain Sunday.What? My you are a Nosey Nellie. We are going to a pool party if you must know. Sorry, you ain't on the guest list.

My daughter and SIL went to see some guys fight Foos last evening so the granddaughter spent the night. It was no big deal, she goes to bed around 7:30 and sleeps through the night, so it amounts to just a few waking hours she was here extra since the wife babysits her during the day anyway. I cannot believe I wrote that convoluted, twisted sentence. How would you like to put a tree on that one back in grammar class? Do they even do sentence trees any more?

We were all set to grill some burgers last night but the gas expired just as I was set to drop the patties. The spuds were already in the oven and I did not have time to get a propane refill. I pan fried them instead. The fresh 'maters from the garden made the meal passable.

Look there, a whole Friday post without a YouTube video. That may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your particular approbation of these meandering musings. If the combination of letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs was amusing, you won't mind the missing Friday music selection. If your response is more akin to "Geez, I don't care" , then you might have wished for a musical distraction. But what if I had posted something especially heinous like Boy George or Billy Don't be a Hero or Afternoon Delight? In that case, my random bullshit just might not be so bad. It is all relative, dear reader.

Enough

Can we just move on? Hurricane Katrina was a decade ago.

August 27, 2015

Dear Blog

i have not forgotten about you. My plate is full right now, although my coffee cup is empty. The coffee I can handle. New content here will have to wait.

Your Pal,

Joe

August 25, 2015

August 24, 2015

Friken Fraken Bleep

Sometimes you hit a rhythm when you are driving. The miles pass by as you cruise down the highway like [insert race car driver of your choice] is at the wheel. I was in just such a zone on my long trip westward today. That may be why I missed the sign lowering the speed limit to 55. That's why I picked up a ticket for driving 76 in said 55 zone from the polite State Trooper.

Sucks to be me.

Something new

I like to read. I always have. I've read thousands and thousands of books. I read an average of one book a week these days. As a teen, it was probably three or four books a week.  I read every single book in the 900 section at old Samuel P. Kyger elementary. That would be history, geography, and biographies for non-librarian types. I read a whole set of encyclopedias. I have read the Bible and the Koran. I have read all of Louis L'Amour's books and the works of Patrick O'Brian. I've devoured histories of the Zulu Wars, the American Civil War, Napoleon, and both World Wars. But until recently I have read nary a word from William Faulkner.

I picked up for cheap a Kindle collection of his short stories and I am hooked. The man could write a short story. I think I may tackle one of his novels in the near future. It is said some of his novels are similar in style to the unreadable James Joyce. If so, I will be sadly disappointed. Joyce sucks.

August 22, 2015

Dodging the Drivel

Happy Saturday to you. It looks like a beautiful day here at the old homestead. I'm stifling a few yawns after a somewhat restless night. I have been having strange and vivid dreams every night for  a while now. I usually don't dream, so this is a new thing. I can't usually remember the dream and the fragments that remain in my consciousness make no sense at all, like my fraternity house having my grandma's furniture.  The real point is what is up with all of the dreaming? Where are all of those psych majors with the answers?

The weather has settled into an almost fall-like pattern (the ghost of Hemingway just had a stroke). Overnight lows in the upper 50s and daytime highs in the 70s makes for perfect weather, but remarkably chilly for August. It has been another cool summer here in God's country; climate changers can rant about the hottest summer evah ( or at least in the last 150 years or so) all they want.  When future weathermen talk about future weather, not a single day, week, or month from 2015 will be listed as the hottest on record here. The wettest, certainly, but not the hottest. I bet we have topped 90 but a handful of times. Your weather and climate may vary.

I have rambled and wasted enough of your time. Go enjoy your Saturday.

August 21, 2015

Ketchup on a hot dog is just wrong


I probably posted this as a Friday music bit previously. I dig this tune. It was either The Animals or an old Mellencamp song you probably never heard unless you owned the LP. Sorry, no Porter Wagner, Teach. I do remember watching Wagner with his magnificent sparkling coats sing along with Dolly Parton and her magnificent...back when I was a kid and the world was broadcast in black and white.

August 20, 2015

Has this happened to you?

I was sitting on the couch watching the Tigers pound the Cubs pitching when a post wrote itself in my head. It was not about baseball, of that I am certain. What was the content? I haven't a clue this morning. I went to sleep and the dream elves must have wiped the blogging portion of my brain as clean as Hillary Clinton's email server. I don't think the post was about politics. Honestly, I don't know what it was slated to be about (not grammar, based on this sentence).

If you know what I planned on blogging could you remind me?

Getting old sucks.

It is not that hard

i have been posting this for almost a decade. The illegal immigrant problem can be fixed. We don't need mass deportations. We might not need a wall.

1. Fine any employer of illegal workers $100,000 for the first worker, then double it for each worker after. I'm not talking each incident where 4 workers count as one, but each worker doubles the fine. I'm no code writer, but people who are tell me that creating a database of SSNs would not be hard. If a duplicate is found,  the worker has to prove his identity. When I got my new job last November I had to show my ID and Social Security Card.

2. Institute a 20% tax on all money sent to Mexico.

3. The mother must have been a legal resident of the US before an anchor baby gets benefits or can be a citizen. This may take a Constitutional Amendment.

4. No tax refunds, no welfare, no benefits for illegals. Period. No exceptions.

If there are no jobs, into welfare, and it costs a lot of money to send cash home, there is no incentive to stay. Many will head back home or get in line to be here legally.

August 19, 2015

I will take Hump Day for $200, Alex

The company is closed today for a company outing, so I have the day off work.  That does not mean I won't be working. I have some emails to deal with and some travel arrangements to make for next week's excursions into capitalism. Plus, I am sure the wife has a list as long as her arm of stuff I should be doing instead of whatever I am doing.  It is supposed to rain so many outside chores can be dodged under the threat of being washed out. I think I will milk changing the furnace filter and adding salt to the water softener as real work.

I threw a couple of burgers on the grill for supper last night. Grilled sweet corn, baked beans and tomatoes fresh from my tomato patch rounded out the feast. It was better than a fancy meal from a Michelin-starred eatery in my opinion. We should have eaten out on the patio instead of inside, but that is a minor detail.

My coffee mug needs refilled and I can hear my granddaughter downstairs. If you are looking for a political rant you won't find it in this post.

August 18, 2015

You pick up the check

When the leftists are not making up a fake war on women they are spend their time fretting about income disparity. What that means is they want to take money from you and give it to those they deem less fortunate, or as Obama termed it, "spreading the wealth". But just like in all communist regimes and socialist Utopias, that means the rulers live in mansions and have special privileges while everyone else waits in line for toilet paper and potted meat product.

The next time Hillary starts ranting about income inequality and one per enters I'd like to see an intrepid reporter ask why doesn't she reduce her income to 110% of the average American income and give the rest to the poor. I'm sure there are shelters and food banks that would love the millions in income.

Instead of yet another vacation on the taxpayers maybe the Obamas could sell the Magnum PI house in Hawaii and give the proceeds to the poor.

Democrats are always good at spending my money and your money. They just like to keep their own. On second thought, I need to change that sentiment. The Washington Republicans are no different. Politicians like to spend your money. Politicians are always claiming they just want to serve the people. Let's make Congress pay $63,000 per year. That is 20% more than the average American family makes ($52k). No lifetime pension. That way we would get representatives who really want to help the people, who will stay a term or two and move back to their real jobs. No more lifers running Washington who don't even live in their State or District anymore.

August 17, 2015

Where I'd Rather be today

Cozumel, Mexico 2015

Heigh Ho

It is Monday and I have much work piled on my desk. It looks to be nice out, hot and humid already. The air conditioning is steaming the windows as it fights the hot air outside. We had a good weekend and I hope you did too. Perhaps more later.


August 16, 2015

Do not eat the brown acid


Three days of peace, love, and music. Woodstock was 46 years ago.

I wasn't there, I was only 7 for cripe's sake. Neither were half the people who claimed they were. I bet it was a lot of fun, though.

I would watch my Woodstock DVD this morning but the boy took it to school. I guess it is good he appreciates classic rock. When I was in high school WLS played "oldies". Since my car only had an AM radio, this was one of about four stations worth listening to. This old songs were only 20 or 25 years old in the 1970s. Most of what today is called classic rock is twice as old.

PS: Yes, I know this song was not played at the festival. Yes, CSN's version is better than Joni Mitchell's.


August 15, 2015

Mindless musings

We are babysitting for the granddaughter this weekend. It is amazing how quickly life's problems -- bills, health, money, work -- disappear when she smiles at me. I was sitting on the patio last night sipping a beer and smoking a cigar as the setting sun painted a few high clouds in pinks and reds and orange. Smoke hung above me in a faint cloud while the little fountain gurgled nearby. The big willow shadowed the back yard with regal flair. I am indeed blessed.

I am sitting in my office recliner this morning typing away at this entry. In the opposite corner, Charlie, my two-foot tall wooden cigar store Indian, stares at me with a stern expression, dreaming and straining with every wooden fibre to chop me to pieces with his little wooden tomahawk. Or perhaps he is naught but a piece of old tree cut and carved and painted for my artistic amusement.

A fake potted plant sits atop my desk, flanked on either side by my humidor and a model of the HMS Victory in full sail. The walls are hung with pictures of Johnny Cash, Wrigley Field, my true lamb skin college diploma, and Lucas Oil Stadium. Three stoneware beer mugs from Germany sit atop the computer cabinet next to the twin of the fake plant from my desk and one of those electronic picture frames loaded with pictures from our trip to Hawaii but turned off.

It is Saturday morning. The coffee is nearly gone. The day is just starting.

August 14, 2015

To the Batcave!

Yeah, yeah Friday music, no one cares. It is bumped down. I have better, more exciting news. A new donut emporium just opened in the strip mall over on the other side of the highway. The donuts are light and airy and soft and sweet and I want to eat several every day for every meal and get your hands outta that box they are mine, precious...

New people have moved in next door. So far they seem nice. I am somewhat concerned they are planning nefarious activities though. Other than needing a quick escape in the event of a SWAT raid, or sudden early morning attack from rogue Apaches, why would it be necessary to back your mini vans into the driveway? Maybe they are superheroes, poised to save suburbia from rogue student athletes selling discount shopping cards good at local businesses in order to help pay for new football equipment or volleyball knee pads. I don't know. Perhaps they need to get to the donut shop post haste and do not wish to be slowed by all of that tedious backing all the way down their one-car length driveway.

For that matter, what is up with the recent trend of backing into parking places? Back in, back out, you still have to drive in reverse. Assholes driving the wrong way down the aisles in parking lots so they can back in the open space are just a step above left lane lallygaggers in the hierarchy of jerk drivers. What is the point?

Groovy


The music is good, but the lyrics? Stitch, witch, ditch -- not exactly brilliant rhymes.

I confess, beyond three or four songs aI am not much of a Donovan fan. I did write about his music previously, in a roundabout fashion.l. I suppose it is the "head back to college" season that made me think of that old post from back in 2010.

In any case this lessor-known Donovan tune is your Friday music.

August 13, 2015

Dear GOP

...your strategy of positioning as Democrat-lite and turning your back on conservatism has won the popular vote in exactly one Presidential election in the past 24 years. Reagan's conservative platform won two landslide elections.

Facts are indeed stubborn things.

4985

Is it just me or has this place become stale? I think I need to change the template or something. Perhaps a new name? What? A new writer you say. Har har. This is my 4,985th post. I have been at this strange compulsion for ten years and 4 months. If my history-major math holds true that is right at 40 posts a month. Oh,I know some of you have been at it longer, a few post more often, most write better content. 5,000 seems like a nice round number. Maybe that is the change I need.

August 12, 2015

Humpity Hump

It looks to be a bright and sunny summer morning outside. I can only base my assessment on visuals since I have yet to venture outside. I am about to jump into the shower and head down to the hotel lobby for my powdered eggs or oatmeal or whatever offering looks the most appetizing.

I have a couple of customers to see this morning and afternoon then a long boring drive home. That is not a complaint, merely a statement of facts.

On Fox News they are talking about a convicted murderer in California who is about to get a sex change operation at taxpayer expense. Doctors say the prisoner will kill him/herself without the surgery. Part of me thinks society might be better off without this individual adding to carbon dioxide levels and causing global warming. Certainly the taxpayers will. I suspect the family of the person he murdered would agree.

August 11, 2015

I'm offended you find everything so offensive

A woman ran the London Marathon in April while on her period. I bet many did. But Kiran Gandhi did it sans tampon or pad. Why? Because tampons are misogynistic or something. She is tired of period shaming. Whatever that is. She is mad you won't sit around at work and share feelings with her about her period. I'm not making this up. I wish I was.
Gandhi told Cosmopolitan she thinks the social constructs around periods are based on misogyny. 
"I have this vision that if men had their period, because we are in a male-privileging society, that rules would be written into the workplace, rules would be written into the social fabric that enable men to take a moment when they need to or enable people to talk about their periods openly," she said  Link
Seriously, wearing a tampon is a sign of female oppression? I'm trying hard these days to reduce the amount I swear, but what the fuck? Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and a body function is just biology. I don't sit around and talk about my latest dump, or the scab I picked off my knee when I meet a customer. I do not want to hear about his chunky vomit or her monthly flow. I know it is modern culture, but we don't have to share everything. "Say, Jim, I shat a turd so big last night I thought it would rip apart my butthole."  Even Joan Rivers would have refused a talk about your period.

In other news, Target will no longer label departments as "boys" or "women" and will no longer separate stock based on gender because...well for reasons I don't understand. If little Jenny asks why the Legos are stocked over by the toy cars I would just say that is where the store keeps them and that answer would serve 999,999 kids out of 1,000,000. Once again we see a segment of society actively searching for reasons to be offended.

Guess what, men and women are different. Why don't we all just dress in a Mao uniform and be done with it? I find pinto beans, rap music, the Toyota Prius, and wearing pajamas bottoms to WalMart offensive. I don't insist these things be banned from society.

August 10, 2015

Under Pressure

Here we are on a bright and inviting Monday morning. The start of a new week. Our prospects are inviting. Optimism is high.

And I have nothing to offer you. I paid the gas bill this morning. Ooh ahhh. I'm going into the office for a while later today. Wow. The sheer excitement that makes up my life is overwhelming.

I'm alive and relatively  healthy. The coffee is hot and strong. The chocolate chip cookies the wife baked last night are sweet and chewy. Bumble bees are buzzing about the rose of Sharon outside the front door while a hummingbird hovers nearby. Lack of blog content isn't high on my list of worries. After all, I have managed to string letters in to words and words into semi-coherent sentences, and like a magician yanking a kicking bunny from a beaver hat, I have indeed conjured a meager post. This effort may not be witty, full of meaningful political content, or riveting prose, but it is a fair example of what a conversation with me would be Like this morning.

I hope you have a great day.

August 9, 2015

Liar, Liar

Yesterday I cut down a cedar tree and trimmed the branches and cut the trunk into manageable hunks.  Then I cut, chopped, hoed, and hand tilled about half the ground cover. No one asked, cajoled, or guilted me into working. It just needed done. No cigar, no book, no cold brew on the patio, just a lot of darn hard toil in the summer sun. But today...

August 8, 2015

Lazy

For the first time in months we have nothing scheduled for this weekend, as far as I know. Better yet, the yard is mowed and the house is reasonably clean. I'm sure the wife will conjure some project. The idea of sitting around with nothing to do is foreign to her. But I intend to resist her efforts to budge me out of the recliner or off the patio. I may take a walk or water the flowers, but I am not going to get into cutting down more trees or digging out the pernicious ground cover the previous owners planted under the big willow. I don't want to clean out the garage, or power wash the shutters and siding. I intend on smoking a cigar and reading a good book in the afternoon sun. I might take a nap.  Perhaps I will watch an old movie or two. Call me a no good lazy bum, for that is my goal today.


August 7, 2015

My take on the GOP debates



Bugs remains my favorite cartoon character and this episode in particular is a classic. There are so many funny things flashing by I still see new gags every time I watch it. I offer up some Looney Tunes in lieu of Friday Music. If you are really jonesing for some Foghat you can skip over to YouTube.

I did not watch the debates. Absurd and pointless theater has no attraction for me.

August 6, 2015

Thursday Liner Notes

I was set to pen a long post about Planned Parenthood last evening as I stared at the walls of this week's Hampton Inn. I even started research and writing. I ended up deleting it. You either understand the selling of baby parts is wrong or you don't. Nothing I write that no one reads is going to change the situation.  Can anyone explain why Democrats are against making birth control an over-the-counter medication?

I have had the weirdest dreams for the past several nights, unbelievably detailed and vivid. When I wake the substance of the dream fades as quickly as the hole a pebble makes when you toss it into a pond, but the idea that the dream was there is as tangible as the ripples on the water. Strange, I rarely dream and doing so multiple nights in a row is unusual.

Windshield time is not conducive to a positive outlook on life. I-70 in particular seems to wear me down and over the decades I have found this true of the roadway no matter what part of the country it traverses, perhaps because it is mostly a straight slash across the center of the nation. The highway seems to be a weird dividing line for weather; above gets snow, below does not or below sees rain, above the road none. It also seems to be an almost modern Mason-Dixon Line dividing cultures and dialects. I know this to be somewhat true in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. I am not sure if the pattern holds sway in other parts of the country. It is also quite likely the whole idea is a figment of my imagination. Anyway, from Harrisburg to Kansas City and beyond the road is boring unattractive and dull. How US 40, which covers pretty much the same exact ground can be so much more interesting is beyond me. Of course the old National Road will take you twice as long to get you where you are going.

I think that is enough mundane, incoherent, soporific scribbling for today. Who in the heck writes whole paragraphs and posts about highways? It's a road.

August 5, 2015

I'm Full of It

Recently the wife scored some big T-bone steaks on sale. These babies would have tempted a vegetarian. They were an inch thick and weighed in at about a pound each. I soaked some fresh sweet corn in water then threw it on the grill in the husk beside the steaks. I baked a couple of spuds and sliced a red and a yellow tomato straight out of my tiny garden.  I managed to cook the beef perfectly. It was a gut busting feast fit for a king. Were I a poet, I would pen an ode to that summer supper. I ate until I thought I would explode like Mr. Creosote.

After dinner the wife and I sat on the patio enjoying the mild evening. I came in and cleaned the mess while she pruned some flowers. Then I watered the tomatoes and flowers behind her. Since I had over-eaten at supper there was only one remedy: dessert. I cut up some strawberries and served them over slices of pound cake. The wife had whipped cream. I opted to soak the mess in milk. Shut up I like it that way. 

I fell asleep on the couch in a gluttonous haze.  Yes, this is reason 1,411 you wish you were me.

What's for breakfast?

August 4, 2015

Enough about the stupid dead lion already.

August 3, 2015

Learn something, damn it

I get it. Long summer breaks lead to retention issues in the schools. Teachers have to spend weeks teaching what the kids learned the previous spring. School grades and administrator and teacher evaluations depend on the students getting up to speed. I don't care. August 1 is too early to head back to school.

When I reflect on my youth almost every happy memory is from the summer: vacations, bike rides, cruising, swimming, summer camp, baseball, drive-in movies. Many years we did not go to summer camp until August. The Little League World Series and the State Fair haven't even happened yet.This year we have had such a wet and cool summer I bet the kids feel like they never even had a break.

It is important our kids get an education. They also need time to be kids.

Dear Politicians

If that rule, regulation, or law you propose really was "just common sense" then we really would not need legislation to force us to comply.

August 2, 2015

It will be just like floating the Amazon, only different

It looks to be a fine day here in the Hoosier Heartland. This afternoon we will sally forth to attend the company picnic. The festivities will begin with a canoe trip followed by a catered affair. It looks like it will be in the mid 80s and low humidity for the event. I can live with that.

I'm no stranger to a canoe. We owned one when I was a kid. As a young Boy Scout I earned the canoeing merit badge. One year the troop took a week-long canoe trip down the Wabash a River in lieu of going to a sanctioned summer camp. We had great fun. I used to be able to pilot an 18 foot canoe solo with ease. I imagine the old skills remain, I have not been in a canoe for a couple of decades at this point. We shall see. Unless one of my fellow employees rams us or my wife leans us over, I am confident I can make the trip without soaking more than my shoes. That is my intent anyway.

Rain is forecast this week so I will probably try to get the yard mowed after the picnic. That is unless I am too tired or just do not want to. I hope you have a good Sunday.


August 1, 2015

Stale donuts suck

Good morning blog world. I ventured forth this morning to procure some donuts for breakfast. I was somewhat disappointed and just a little miffed to find my first cinnamon twist more than a bit stale. One would think that the donuts at 6:30 in the morning should be fresh and soft. I went to the higher priced local joint instead of the big chain. My Dunkin' Donuts are always fresh. i tossed that donut, but the second choice (old fashioned cake) was only marginally better. I guess the donut chef came in late today, so I got yesterday's creations. That's what I get for going early.

Stale donuts are but an inconvenience on this otherwise beautiful day.

Ps confidential to Fuzzy: it is impossible to comment at your site. You are in my prayers during these tough times.


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