November 30, 2015

Imagine

John Lennon released his musical vision of liberal utopia in 1971. I can't sing a lick, so I won't even try to duplicate his efforts. But on this Monday I encourage you to imagine a post filled with well-crafted phrases. Imagine a blog filled with humor. Imagine a blog post with insight and political savy. What if you stopped by here and read a post filled with thought -provoking ideas? Imagine letters and words and paragraphs that were so moving you punched your fist skyward with an accompanying audible "yes!".

Imagine that this was that post and you will see these words are as much an unrealistic fantasy as Lennon's hit song.

November 28, 2015

Cuppa Joe and Blackberry Pie

I saw on the news that a group of protesters shut down Chicago's Michigan Avenue shopping district yesterday. Apparently they blocked store entrances over the police shooting of a young black man more than a year ago. The kid was shot 16 times, many in the back. My question is this, the cop has been charged with first degree murder. What are they protesting over? What do the stores have to do with it? What do the shoppers have to do with it? If they did not like the process, gather at the mayor's office or police headquarters. Better yet, perhaps the perpetually outraged should focus on their own Chicago neighborhoods where shooting and killing is reaching war zone levels. I agree that black lives matter, but why is there no outrage when an African-American takes that life?

November 27, 2015

And it does


Maybe we don't have the snow, but the season for celebrating commercialism and profits Jesus' birth has arrived!

Sorry Teach, I had to go with this today.

November 26, 2015

I've Got Plenty to be Thankful For

The title to this post comes from an Irving Berlin song featured in the greatest holiday movie of all time -- Holiday Inn (OK Ed B?). I am certain I will have my DVD copy in the player before the weekend is over.

Amidst the food and football, take a few minutes to reflect on all that you have to be thankful for, and yes, I know that is bad grammar. Remember that if you focus on all the bad stuff in your life you miss out on the good. End of sermon.

I want to offer up a heartfelt and honest thank you to every one of you who stop by here. There is no compelling reason to bother with my blatherings, self-delusions, and nonsense. I'm glad you do.

November 25, 2015

Hello Moon

There is a gorgeous full moon shining in the early morning sky. As I sit in my recliner I can see it out the blog room window as it paints the neighborhood in a soft glow. I woke early this morning. I don't know why. Probably because I have no reason to be up. I took a vacation day today. Don't worry, I still have eight left to burn this year.

We are supposed to have decent weather today, so I plan to get the house decorated for Christmas today. Lights on the house, garland on the porch and around the door, the big wreath on the garage, lights in the bushes and on the trees in the backyard are in the plan. That does not include the massive decorating the wife does inside. Clearly, I'm going to work while on my vacation from work! I intend to work up an appetite before I feast tomorrow.


November 23, 2015

The problem is with The Pill

Blame it on women's lib. Blame it on The Pill. Blame abortion on demand. Blame it on the overpopulation hysteria. Blame  it on the economic necessity of two working parents. Mostly, blame it on medicine and longer life spans. They are all responsible for the push of elected officials to encourage immigration, illegal and otherwise.

Huh?  Yep, they will not admit it, but we must have a steady influx of immigrants or else the great Social Security Ponzi scheme will be exposed. What, you ask, does birth control and immigration have to do with Social Security?

See, when Roosevelt designed Social Security it was designed to supplement, not replace, pensions and savings. At first it limited eligibility. Second, people only lived to be about 65, so most people did not collect Social Security funds for long. But since the program paid a certain amount each month regardless of how much you paid in, it did not take long to see that it took more people paying than collecting. Soon everyone was forced to contribute. Then came the war. We won the Big One and everyone was so happy to be alive they came home got married and reproduced like rabbits. The baby boom generationwas born. This was great for Social Security. There was a ton of money pouring in from worker's wages. Only a fraction was paying out. It was like a lottery. So the government increased benefits, started paying widows and orphans. They sent checks to people who could not work. There was still cash left over, so the Feds just started "borrowing" a few million here, a few million there. Then they wrote IOUs for a few billion to fund a war in SE Asia and to pay for LBJ's Great Society. It was OK, all those baby boomers were working and paying their Social Security taxes.

 Those "we are all gonna die" because of overpopulation crowd went into hysterics (they layer decided the crisis of the day was drought, a coming ice age, global warming, climate change) and we stopped birthing babies so often. Chicks went on The Pill. Science figured out they could eliminate many of those childhood diseases and found ways to make Americans live longer. Much longer. We started having fewer babies than deaths.

Some smart guy looked at the state of things and did some math. "Holy Shit",  he exclaimed. " By the early 2000s there will be way more people collecting Social Security than ate paying in. We are going to run out of money". You see, in those days economists and politicians thought it was a very, very, bad idea to just print more money to pay the government's bills. 

"We need more people" said the politicians. They also concluded, with the help of business lobbyists, that if those new people would work cheap it would be a very good thing. Who had extra people that could send us some. Easily? Not Europe, they wiped out two generations in the twentieth century.Teddy "swimmer" Kennedy was listening to his family pal Frank Sinatra croon one day and heard the magic lyrics "South of the border, down Mexico way" and ta da, he pushed for new immigration laws that brought in our neighbors from Central and South America to be the new bodies to work and pay those pesky Social Security taxes.

Not enough came north legally, so we encouraged them to come illegally, planning to bestow legality later. Reagan played along. Now we need to do it again. Either we make babies faster than old people die or we bring in workers. That is the choice or the whole Social Security pyramid collapses. That is the choice and not a single politician wants you to know the truth. Because the administration that lets asocial Security fall apart will never hold office again. The political lesson of the Great Depression was not lost on either party. The Republicans were blamed for 40 years for the Wall Street collapse just because Hoover was a Republican and was President.

That is why sooner or later Congress will pass an amnesty bill.

November 22, 2015

There was a traitor at Shaolin

I usually call it the TV room. I suppose it more rightly could be called my granddaughters bedroom, the exercise room, or the blog room. This is the only bedroom that faces the front of the house. It has a large TV, a treadmill, a recliner, and a crib. Multi-purpose room might be a better appellation. I like to sit here in the mornings and drink my coffee while I read the news or perhaps do a bit of blogging. This morning I look out at lawns and roofs covered with a layer of snow. There is not a lot, less than an inch, but enough to cover the old leaves and give the neighborhood a fresh, wintry look. It is cold, eighteen according to my phone.

Yesterday morning I watched perhaps the best Kung Fu movie ever not starring Bruce  Lee: Five Shaolin Masters  from my DVD collection. In the afternoon I went with the wife to Target and Sam's. We got a couple of toys for the granddaughter for her birthday next month and Christmas. We went to the movies last night to see the new Seth Rogan flick. I give it a "meh" rating. Amusing at times, stupid at others. The Seth Rogan character gets wasted in the movie meme is wearing pretty thin. The movie will certainly never make the list of the five, or even ten, best Christmas movies ever.

My coffee mug is empty and that means my allotted blogging time is over. Not really. Like a SNL skit I'm not sure this post has a point or an ending, so I contrived one. Even if it does not make sense, I have a way out. Have a great Sunday.

November 21, 2015

Saturday Cartoon

Grab a bowl of Sugar Pops and watch some cartoons. Mom is going to fry up some bologna for lunch.



November 20, 2015

It.is in my head

The weather is about to change. I can feel it in my bones and in my skull. The weather lady on TV says so too. Today is slated to be another fall day -windy with temperatures in the low fifties. Saturday is another matter. A light dose of winter will stop by with cold, wind, rain, and snow. I had considered dragging out the Christmas lights and stringing them on the house tomorrow. I would not turn them on of course, I would never do that until the day after turkey day. I think I'll wait until more pleasant operating conditions. I thought about putting the lights up last weekend while the weather was so nice, but it was just too early.

I am not sure what the social director here at the house has scheduled for this weekend. I'm sure she has something on tap. It may be a working weekend, or perhaps a movie. I am sure I will be advised at he proper time.

Have a good weekend readers.

Here is some Friday Music. This is the last selection before I start dropping Christmas tunes. I was torn here.  Should I choose the Doobie Brothers or some classic Sinatra?  I went with the rock band from California since I suspect Frank will get some Friday Music love in the coming weeks. And no, it is not any of that Michael McDonald ballad bullshit.


November 19, 2015

Not so distant history

Just ten years ago

So sorry

It just occurs to me that I have not checked the email account that links to this site in about six months. Perhaps even longer. It could have been a year since I logged on. If by some chance you emailed me and I did not respond, sorry. I'm off to check it now. I suspect it will be filled to the brim with spam and little else.

November 18, 2015

Humping along on hump day

It is dark and windy and rainIng hard this morning. The very embodiment of miserable weather. I'm glad I'm not hitting the road in this crap. Today is an office day, catching up on long overdue paperwork and filing. The company is hosting a dinner tonight for the employees and a guest. I am up for free food.

Obama says he is too busy to address his ISIS strategy, he is in disbelief that anyone could question his tactics. The Narcissist-in-Chief says he will focus his last year in office focusing on gun control. Good idea, that way the Democrat candidates will be forced to publicly agree with the nominal head of their party or break ranks, splitting the base. This dude is so self-centered he doesn't get it. 

I just read an article claiming political  correctness increases free speech. It was such twisted logic and nonsense I won't bother to link to it. The author would claim I don't get it because I'm an old white guy therefore filled with misogynistic racist hate. There is nothing like stereotyping a group to show how you have been stereotyped.  

Have a great day. I'm off to put some of the doughboy's orange rolls into the oven. 


November 17, 2015

By any other name

In The wildly popular Harry Potter series there is a character  so evil, so scary, that the people refuse to speak his name. They simply refer to Lord Voldemort as " you know who". In the same way President Obama and the Democrat candidates are crap-their-pants terrified to actually say "radical Islam" out loud. I suppose to name it makes it a reality. Until they actually admit radical Islam exists they can pretend nonexistent monsters in the closet like global warming are the real threat to their fairy tale world.

November 16, 2015

The view from my recliner

My granddaughter is eleven months old today. The year has gone so fast. She brought her mom and dad over yesterday for dinner. My youngest was home from college with his girlfriend. I made a big pan of lasagna and a salad and we had a great Sunday dinner. My daughter brought a three berry cobbler she made for dessert.

I'm off to get the company car serviced this morning. I've put over 40,000 miles on the vehicle since the first of the year. No travels this week, the company dinner is Wednesday evening. Since next week is Thanksgiving I'll likely be home then too. Two whole weeks sleeping in my own bed!

Have a great Monday.

November 14, 2015

Vermin amongst us

The President of France is certain yesterday's horrific terrorist attacks were the work of ISIS. If so, it is time to finally recognize we are at war with radical Islam. It is a time to take sides. If you are a Muslim and think " I like the message, just not the means" then you are part of the problem and morally culpable in every single innocent death in Paris. If we do not actively work against such terror then you have chosen your position and it lies with those who would kill innocent people just for the sake of terror. At least the IRA and PLO had a political cause.

I fear this is the tip of Europe's coming troubles. They have allowed hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East to invade their countries without documentation of who they are, where they are from, and let them loose into the interior of Europe without a means to track or trace them. It is quite possible the leaders of Europe have let tens of thousands of would-be suicide bombers, murders, and terrorists effectively parachute behind their lines of defense. The nations of Europe did not just abandon the guard shacks, they unlocked the gates and invited the enemy in.

Don't worry. The leaders of Europe and President Obama just gave the radical Mullahs who encourage this sort of terrorist killing the means to make a couple of nuclear bombs and several billion dollars to fund just this sort of terror. I'm sure nothing could go wrong with that.

Where is Charles Martel when we need him?

November 13, 2015

Enough of the heavy stuff

I was upgraded to a two bedroom suite when I checked into my hotel yesterday evening. With a kitchen, living room and two full baths this hotel room is bigger than the apartment my wife and I shared when we're first married. This room is a $154 well spent.

Today is Friday the 13th, and while I have several superstitions, trepidation over this day is not one of them. I find it silly. Refusing to wear stripes on the day of a test, now that makes perfect sense.

I am heading home as soon as the St Louis rush hour traffic settles down. Most of the construction that plagued I-70 this year is complete, so a half-day jaunt should see me pulling into the garage by mid-afternoon.

Have a great day.

November 12, 2015

Just me?

Is anyone getting redirected when they try to go here?

I don't want to be a robot

Hate is a terrible thing. I wish it did not exist. The problem is we are imperfect humans. God, or nature, or evolution, or chance made our brains all a little different from each other. The same random genetics or combination of cells that made Einstein, or Richard Pryor, or Frank Sinatra, or Mother Teresa have special talents also caused Hitler, or Ghengis Khan, or the guy who slips on a white hood to terrorize those who have different colored skin. I don't really want to live in a world where we are all identical. Existing as a mind-numbed robot has no appeal. It is good that we have different notions of art. You might like sweet potatoes, I don't. It is our differences that makes the world interesting. It is learning a new perspective, a new interpretation, a different viewpoint that gives us intellectual growth. I may not agree with your politics, but a civil discussion helps me better define my own position. It is these same differences that makes some humans hold positions we find offensive or even hurtful. We cannot eliminate the unattractive aspects of our differences without eliminating the good. Groupthink; I can envision nothing worse.

I do not claim to know everything that has happened at Mizzou. Perhaps the racial culture on campus is hateful. The student body president is a gay black guy, so at least the student body seems unprejudiced. Reports say a student was called a racist epithet off campus. I'm not sure what the University President was supposed to do about that. I'm not sure what he was supposed to do if it occurred on campus. It should not happen, but we cannot legislate morals. Assholes abound. Free speech exists to protect those who say the things we find most offensive. There is no right to never be offended.

A scarlet 'A'comes in many forms. It is not a big leap from forcing Jews to sport a Star of David on their chest to putting anyone who disagrees with you in a re-education camp. When we start deciding what is "proper" thought or words it becomes hard to draw a line. Most of are appalled at the reports of forced groupthink in North Korea where failure to mourn the death of the Great Leader properly resulted in death. Where saying anything but the party line gets you lined up before a firing squad.

Who decides what is offensive and what is not? A committee? What if you are atheist and the panel is made up of Christians or Muslims? What if the arbiters of taste and offensiveness  hate rap music or video games? We can't protect ourselves from the unpleasantness of life. We are not robots.

Just to be clear, I am in no way saying that if you are person of color and are called the N-word you should not be offended or that you should shrug it off. Rather my criticism is for the childish wish that it is the responsibility of a college president to create an environment where your feelings will never be hurt, where you never have to see or hear or experience the real offensive unpleasant aspects of life. I could have saved a lot of time and words if I just wrote "grow up".

Better yet, read the words of a real writer Here

November 11, 2015

It is just a cup

Relax. It is a paper coffee cup. Starbucks is under no obligation to print a Christmas greeting on their cup. That is not a "war on Christmas". The cups are red, the logo green. Last year the paper cups from the coffee giant had snowflakes, not exactly a Christmas message either. This is a business. If you have objections to a plain red cup, and I cannot really imagine why you would, then buy your morning brew down at the gas station. I bet they won't have "Christmas" cups either.

I further posit the very people who are up in arms over this manufactured controversy would throw an even bigger fit over anyone who printed Hanukkah or a Ramadan message on their cup, claiming they don't want Islam shoved down their throat. And no, I don't know what a Ramadan message would look like, you are missing the point.

On the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Thank you to every veteran who did their duty in order that I can live free.

November 10, 2015

The slant of everything these days

I am pretty sure I am not going to articulate this in the best way. I suspect it will take a writer smarter. And more talented than I to express these thoughts clearly. Please bear with me as I try.

My identity, my sense of self, has absolutely nothing to do with the color of my hair, my eyes, or my skin. When I look at my mug in the mirror I don't see a white guy, I see me. I don't think of other people in that context either. I met a dozen people yesterday. I cannot tell you the color of any eye I looked in to. I'm not positive I could tell you the color of customer two or three's hair -- dark. I will not lie and tell you I am color-blind to skin tone, but I saw various shades and hues from pasty white to tan to mocha. So what? Some had on white shirts, some blue.

I am not defined by being white. If asked to describe myself I would say American, father, husband. My skin pigmentation is far down on the list. I suppose that is why I find the intense focus on race in every political and social discussion so distasteful. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Similarly, not everything has a racial component. Little Billy's cowboy costume on Halloween does not mean he secretly desires to wipe out Native Americans. Maybe, just maybe, criticism of President Obama could be rooted in his policies not the color of his skin.

People say we need to have a discussion on race. I think that is all we talk about. I maintain that if melanin is the basis of every thought, interaction, and discussion you have, then you have the race problem, not me.

I'm sickened by those who claim to revere MLK, yet do everything in their power to keep his dream of a colorblind society from coming true. Tell me how hiring a person just because she is black-skinned is any different than giving that job to someone because they are not.

November 9, 2015

I kissed a cop down on 34th and Vine

Another Monday and once again I have nothing to write. I have filled the blank space on the template with nonsense and blather plenty of times in the past. I'm doing it now. The air is cold, the sky is blue, the leaves are gold, I learned French from Pepe le Pew. See? Words. I do know this, life is better when your favorite team wins.

I'm off to earn my pay. Have a great Monday.

November 7, 2015

Saturday Cartoon

Time to sit down with your bowl of Quisp or Sugar Smacks and watch some cartoons.




November 6, 2015

It is like Popeye said

To paraphrase, I am what I am. That would be a hick boy from a hick town in flyover country. I like the simpler things. I prefer a Bud over a microbrew. I like hamburger. I'll take a steak over a gourmet whatever. That does not make me completely ignorant of art or culture, I just like the simpler things. We could go to the symphony this evening to listen to Brahms' Piano Concerto Number 1. I would probably like it well enough, even though Brahms is not one of my favorites. Instead, we are going to see Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy in Indy. I'll take that brand of humor over highbrow any time.

We can discuss the histories of Tacitus, the differences between 1080p and 4K TVs, the role of the Julio-Claudian women in the early Empire, the Zulu War, the Enlightenment, or MGM musicals. I would rather laugh at redneck jokes.

Here is some Friday music




November 5, 2015

lies like a rug

I'm tired as heck this morning. I was working with our service department at a plant in Custer's boyhood haunts. The day started around 6:30 in the morning. I got home just before 10:00 pm. I suppose I was over-tired, because I did not sleep well. I woke about three and could not get back to sleep. I think I dozed in short stretches the rest of the night.

Remember how the press went bizerk over reports Reagan armed rebels in Central America? Do yourself a favor and do a web search on Hillary and her illegal transfer of arms to Libyan rebels, including the very groups that whacked our ambassador to Libya in a deliberate planned attack that had nothing to do with a video, another Clinton lie.  Oh, and how does none of this stick to Obama? If a Republican was running things in a similar manner so-called journalists would be in hysterical self-righteous indignant hissy-fits.

As soon as I finish my current mug o' Joe, I am going to jump in the shower and head to the home office to pick up my repaired laptop.

Have a great day.

November 3, 2015

Life is not like a bowl of cherries

I live in a cheaper neighborhood in an affluent suburb. Just down the street is an imaginary line that denotes an even more affluent suburb.  There are million dollar homes within walking distance. It is worth noting that a million dollars buys a lot of house here in low housing priced Indianapolis. A million dollar home here would be worth several millions in blue states.

So here is my question for you "Income Inequality" warriors. How does that homeowner who has a million dollar house and three cars in the garage affect my lifestyle or income? How is the fact that he relatively rich in comparison affect my ability to pay my electric bill? He did not get his wealth from robbing my checking account. His wife does not run up my credit card balance. It is not like there is a pile of limited cash down at the bank and he is rich because he had bigger fists than me.

Economics is not like a bowl of Halloween candy where you and I get a Smartie or mini Kit Kats because my neighbor got there first and grabbed up all of the full sized Milky Way and Snickers bars. That rich guy made choices that led to his wealth. He went to school. He had the brains or skill or luck to accumulate his wealth, but he did not earn that house, car, or boat at my expense.

The Democrats who are always moaning about income inequality seem to think that at some point we all lined up like grade school kids picking a kickball team where all of those on Suzy's team get to be wealthy and those on Tommy's will live in an inner-city crack house. I will not deny that some are born with more advantages, but we all have equal opportunity. Billy may have a silver spoon and mine may be plastic, but we both have a spoon. There are infinite spoons in the drawer and factories are making more every minute.

If my neighbor is grilling steak does that mean I have to cook chicken? If Trump, or Gates, or Buffett have more wealth than a small Central American country does that change my life at all? Does the fact my neighbor has a Land Rover mean I must have a a Ford?

Income Inequality is mere code for communism. It is the unfulfilled promise to the ignorant that you can have what that guy has if you just put me in charge. Income redistribution never makes us all rich, it just means we all live in misery. Envy should not be the basis of a political platform.

K.I.S.S

I always wonder what is on those wrist things quarterbacks wear. I always assumed it was a list of plays. When I coached elementary football I wrote the plays on the wrist thing and numbered them. Then I just called in a number through baseball-type signs.

For the Colts I think the wrist thing should have a simpler function. Take a picture of the Colts uniform and simply tell Andrew Luck to only throw passes to guys in uniforms that match the picture on his wrist.

November 2, 2015

Easy guide to growing radishes for fun and profit

Quick thoughts:

It is going to be a fantastic fall day here in God's favorite State. Temps will be in the mid 70s and the sun will shine bright.

The refs were caught up in the excitement of the moment in that Duke 8 laterals-to-win finish Saturday. They blew at least four penalties, downed knees, and out of bounds steps.

If The Denver Broncos defense can do that to a very good Packers offense, they will hit, knock down, and sack the Colts quarterback two dozen times next week when Denver comes to Indy.

All politicians are born liars, but Hillary Clinton seems to be a compulsive liar. She has to sit down and laugh every night in total disbelief the press lets her get away with it. I almost expect her to utter "Yeah, that's the ticket" at the end of a speech.



I was sitting on the couch with the wife last evening -- each of on our respective end -- and commented that I could not believe I was so tired at 10:30. Then it occurred to me; stupid time change. That is also why I was up at 5:30 this morning. The switch to and from Daylight SAVING Time is a pointless exercise and should be abolished. I have yet to see a cogent argument for changing the clocks twice a year.

Have a great Monday

November 1, 2015

reporting in as ordered

Some friends came over last night to hang out. I brought the fire pit around to the driveway and burned some logs as we handed out goodies to the neighborhood kids. We smoked a couple of cigars and drank a few beers. The wives fetched some Pizza King pizza. The swirling winds made sure we all smelled like woodsmoke by the evening's end. We had maybe a dozen trick or treaters. When it started to drizzle we went in and played some cards while eating caramel corn, pretzels with bacon dip, and cupcakes.  It was a good evening.

This morning I have already adjusted all of the clocks except in the cars. Later I'll have to move the chairs back to the patio table and clean up the fire pit mess, making sure the coals are indeed out. Just ask Smokey the Bear, fire can linger far longer than you think. 

A red-headed woodpecker was pounding away on the tree out front this morning. This is the first I have seen him around here. I'm not sure if he was passing through or has taken up residence in the neighborhood. Are woodpeckers migrating birds? 

Have a great Sunday.

Consider everything here that is of original content copyrighted as of March 2005