October 17, 2017

Words to live by

Thomas Payne’s once wrote:
“You will do me the justice to remember, that I have always strenuously supported the Right of every Man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.”
That pretty much sums it up.

A whole post devoted to stuff you do not care about

Almost all of my children came to dinner last night. My middle one is living in Colorado, so dropping by for some lasagna was not really an option. Other than his vacant chair (figuratively), we had a great time. It was nice to all be together, reminiscent of the great summer crowded house adventure *.

It seems none of my favorite sports teams can manage to play in the second half of a game. The Cubs have choked away opportunity after the fifth inning in the past two games. The Cots presented us with another horrible second half performance, par for the season so far. I'm not sure getting the star QB back will change anything. Tennessee managed to score on every possession but one, that one a lucky pick six by a Colts linebacker. Other than that errant play, the Titans scored on every other possession. I'm not sure if you created a hybrid Manning-Montana-Brady quarterback clone he could overcome a defense that gives up 30+ points a game, mostly in the late 3rd and 4th quarters. Sheesh.

I said at the beginning of he season the Colts would win five games. I am not sure that was correct. They have won two. I don't think there is anyone else on the schedule they can defeat. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

  Go forth and prosper on this beautiful fall Tuesday.




*check the archives, but you really outta be reading every day

October 16, 2017

Conclusions

Here we are on a chilly fall Monday. Naming the weekend unremarkable is an understatement. I mowed the lawn Saturday. Yesterday was wet and gloomy. I think it is clear that my choice in shirts has nothing to do with the performance of my sporting team. Who knew?

Looking in the mirror yesterday while shaving I came to another conclusion; at 35 I looked 25. At 55 I look 65. Stuff always averages out in life. And yes, I was still getting carded at the beer store when I was in my mid-thirties. I always looked young in my youth. I paid kid prices at the movies until I got caught. The same clerk sold me a "child" ticket on Friday and remembered me when I wanted to see an "R" movie on Saturday. I was old enough for the adult movie, but my days of cheap kiddie tickets were over. I bought a senior ticket the last time we went to the cinema, even though it said you had to be 60. I'm not into Senior discounts, except the movie theater is so darn expensive.

Enough empty rambling. Have a good Monday.

October 14, 2017

Dear California

I thought you were going to take your ball and go home in a fit of secession fever? You don't want the evil US of A telling you what to do on immigration and stuff. The very notion the rest of us ignorant flyover country rubes ignored your wishes and elected the Trumpster was just too much.

Now you want Trump to send you money and help because you managed to fall asleep while smoking and set the place on fire?  Isn't it strange how those icky red staters are willing to help? A whole bunch of nasty Republicans control the money spigot.

Keep in mind Uncle Sam will not be sending any "sorry about your big fire" baskets of goodies after you secede.

October 13, 2017

The Chicago Cubs are Trying to Kill Me

Come on, other than last year's Game 7 has there been a crazier elimination game? I have no idea who will pitch Saturday, but the Cubs pulled out a miracle. It looked for a while like neither team wanted to win. It's like the pitchers from both teams said " we carried you this far, now let someone else do it". We saw It all, balls hurled to the backstop like a Little League game. Catchers throwing the ball into right field -- again shades of 9 year-old baseball. Walks, hit batters, dropped fly balls.  It was ugly and exciting and nearly killed me.

Now I'm struggling to get to work. Getting to bed after 1:00 in the aye em does not make for a productive day at work. Thank goodness it is Friday.

How about that post yesterday? It had it all, just like the good old days: pictures, links, the works. Don't get used to it. I'm back hunting and pecking on my crappy, outdated iPad once more this morning. Enjoy your Friday and if you see me slumped at my desk, please wake me up when it is quitting time.

Speaking of quitting time, wouldn't it be cool to slide down a brontosaurus at the end of the day like Fred Flintstone?

October 12, 2017

Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Cynical...

I am an Eagle Scout, a Firecrafter, OA, the works. I was a Boy Scout until I was 18, holding every leadership position possible in the organization. After college I started out helping a local troop as a merit badge counselor. That role quickly morphed into Assistant Scoutmaster. The boys loved a young twenty-something leader that was a bridge between the "dads" and themselves. I was closer in age to the boys and could relate with them better in a lot of ways.

After a couple of years I was approached by the professional Scouting types about becoming one of them. I interviewed at a couple of councils, was offered a couple of jobs. The only problem is I figured it out by the second offer. The Boys Scouts of America didn't really care about the boys, "scouting" was ancillary. They were interested in numbers; sign up more boys, raise more money. The program was a means to an end, not the driver of the organization. I said no thanks.

Suddenly, the move of Boy Scouts in the seventies to a more urban-centric program made sense. The camping, hiking, knot-tying culture of Baden Powell depicted in traditional  scouting (See the Disney flick "Follow Me Boys") appealed to rural boys. The population centers were in the cities, places without fields and campgrounds. The sixties were hard on the Boy Scouts, they needed more members. Thus the change to more urban-themed programs. To get my hiking merit badge I had to do a "city hike" ? I had to march up and down every street in my little town to get in the requisite miles.

I am not astonished the Boy Scouts of America is inviting girls into the ranks. My only surprise is that it didn't happen earlier. They let women become scoutmasters decades ago. The constant pressure from the LGBT community and cut-off from corporate funding and access to public accommodations resulted in changing the rules a few years ago. This new announcement was just another step to remain viable in the modern age where camping, cooking, and hiking in the woods has less appeal to modern teenagers. Why march around when you can play a cool video game?  Heck, neither of my sons joined the Boy Scouts, only one was even a Cub Scout.

To be honest, nerdy perpetually horny 16 year-old me would have loved a couple of chicks in the tent next to me at summer camp. "Let's go for a hike in the woods, Baby". I was taught four ways to start a fire without matches, maybe now they will teach coed scouts three ways to have sex in the woods without getting preggers. Identifying poison ivy is probably still a valuable skill, though.

October 11, 2017

Up on the North Side

The Cubbies were rained out yesterday. They resume their battle with the Nationals late this afternoon. I'm off on a little jaunt to visit a local customer this morning and I scheduled myself for a sales training webinar this afternoon. I do not anticipate either event will interfere with me getting my baseball fix. Yes, I intend to knock off work a little early. Don't tell my boss.

I am so happy to see my favorite team competitive and winning. Just a few years ago I remember watching and listening to the Cubs losing as a regular course 90 and 100 games in a season. Now they win that many!

I can't help myself, I fully expect the worst in every playoff game. Every inning is torture as I anticipate the big breakdown. I drop into despair with every dropped ball, every bloop single by the other team. My wife gets sick of reassuring me all will be fine. A lifetime of disappointment will do that to you. When it comes to the Chicago Cubs one unimaginable wonderful season cannot erase a lifetime of "wait until next year".

Will they repeat as Champs this year? Probably not. Back-to-back World Series is hard and rare. Yet, I know I am a pessimist when it comes to my favorite sports team. Win one more against the Nationals and then we will see how the Northsiders do against the evil Dodgers.

They have to win today first.  Arrieta takes the bump. We know he will have one bad inning. He always does. The question is how much damage is done before he gets his location back. Will it be a few base runners, a lone homer? Will it be a big five or six run inning? We shall see. I know my emotions will bounce from happy to sad like ping pong ball.

October 10, 2017

They way it should be

Reasonable people can disagree. You can have a dialogue. We each present our position. There is no name calling. There are not insults and epithets tossed like hand grenades.

I knew my take on the Pence walkout would not be popular. That is OK. I gave my reasons. Most of you disagreed. We had a good discussion. That is how it should work. There was no mention of "tea baggers", no one was called a fascist.

Look, I disagree 100% with the kneelers. Anyone who does not think the movement is a protest against America did not listen to Kaepernick the day after he started this nonsense.

The NFL has let this tarnish their brand. Those who are angry at Cowboys owner Jerry Jones have it wrong. There is no free speech at work. When you are getting paid by the man, you follow his rules. You are on his time. You don't get to stage a sit-in at work, neither do athletes. Unless the owners let them. It is their company. They make the rules.

Anyway, thank you for he polite discussion. You gave me plenty to think about.

If you disagreed with me, you are wrong. 😎

But that is OK.

October 9, 2017

This position will not go over well

VP Pence's walked out of the Indianapolis Colts game after members of the 49ers knelt during the National Anthem. His actions were pure politics, obviously pre-planned and a waste of taxpayer monies. It was, in plain words, horse crap.

Of course players were going to kneel, the Veep knew it when he came to the game. San Francisco is the team where the protests started. Pence came to make a grandstanding political point. Nothing more. The fans of the Colts paid the price in extra security to get into the game and ultimately for the pane trip and security through taxes. You did too.

I'm no fan of the kneelers. I think they should choose a different venue to make their point. But I'm also not in favor of Pence's publicity stunt. My first take of the event was smug self satisfaction. Then I wondered what I would say if Obama or another lefty wasted my tax money like this? I would bitch and rant.

Pence injected politics into football. What he did was no different than what the kneelers are doing. I'm tired of it. Politics is intruding into every facet of life, is it too much to ask for three hours of entertainment free of political commentary and protest?

Yes, yes, I hear you. If the kneelers have a right to their free speech so do President Trump and Vice President Pence. They do. I just don't want them wasting a bunch of taxpayer money flying their family and crew across the country to make a political point. Pence upstaged a tribute to the Colts greatest player; Peyton Manning's  jersey was retired at halftime, and that upstaging is sad in itself. It demonstrates a level of egotism and assholery not previously exhibited by the VP.

I swear I'm convinced every elected official should get "it is not your money" branded on their forearm as a condition of taking office.

October 8, 2017

In the year 2055

A statue of Peyton Manning was placed outside the Colts stadium in Indianapolis yesterday. If ever there was an athlete that deserved to be honored in his city, number 18 is that guy, and not only for his feats on the gridiron.

I wonder if future us will look back years from now and see something else in that chunk of bronze? By then football will be banned as a brutal, nasty sport loved and viewed by craven right-wingers and Southeners. A sport just removed from gladiatorial contests of ancient Rome, a sport where men bashed their heads to the point of brain damage, where limbs and backs were broken, where injuries left the participants nearly crippled in old age. The statue will harken to a time civilized society would want to forget. The statue will remind many of the suffering of their grandfathers, the glorification of violence. Will future us see the statue as a representation of the corrupt NFL owners who blackmailed the public to finance their coloseums and practice facilities? Will that statue of old number 18 represent the fabulous wealth some players got at the expense of the balance of the roster? Will it be a symbol of the enormous amount of money colleges made from athletes who got little in comparison in return for their pain and sacrifice on the playing fields? Will future us wonder why a predominance of the rosters of this dangerous activity were minorities?

Will there be a movement to rip this statue down, to put it in a museum where "context" can be applied? Will it just be tossed into a park full of old broken statues like the one on Moscow that is littered with pieces of old Lenins and Stalins? Will we be ashamed of that statue of old number 18? Will there be clashes of old clingers in their faded football jerseys fighting modern soccer fans and their enlightened scoreless games, where fans and participants leave with self-esteem intact and bellies full of prepared slices of organic oranges? "Save the statue!". "Tear it down!".

Will future us be able to view history through a cloud of modern bias? Probably not. Don't worry, though. By the time that stadium is fifteen or twenty years old the owners of the Colts franchise will demand a new facility and the statue will be chucked right along with he perfectly good building it stands beside.

October 6, 2017

Bad attitude blogging

It is a crappy day. You don't want details. Let's just agree that it sucks for a Friday and leave it at that.

Mom always told me if I cannot say anything nice then I should not say anything at all.

Anything at all.*

Baseball playoff games that I actually care about start this evening. That is a good thing, so all is not lost.

I ran to the store at lunch. Walking back to my car I passed a woman in the parking lot talking on her phone under a large plaid umbrella.   It was not raining.

I don't feel too bad about this post, you actually got the content of two posts yesterday combined into one omnibus of genius and insightful commentary. You did, I don't care what you say.

I'm not going to post Friday music. You will get over it, if you even notice.

Enjoy your Friday


* there are so many negatives in the sentiment I am unsure if I wrote something smart-assed or not.  I intended to.




October 5, 2017

Is there a translator app for pig Latin?

Did you know Custer won the Medal of Honor? You know, the Custer who died at the Little Big Horn, who fought as a young man in the civil war? The Custer in the 7th Cavalry? Indeed, he won the nation's highest award for valor. Not the Custer you are thinking of, not George Armstrong Custer, but his little brother Tom. Honest, look it up. I would not lie about stuff like this.

Edit: in fact, he was the first to earn the Medal of Honor twice. 

The Senate is moving closer to speeding the process to get driverless cars to the market. Can I get a show of hands? Who wants a self-driving car? Isn't a vehicle where you are along for a ride just a bus? You know this is going to backfire. The auto manufacturers think this will open a whole new market and increase sales. Über and others envision a fleet of cars hovering around just waiting to drive you where you need to go, eliminating the family vehicle. The cost of paying for a ride will be cheaper than owning a car as you dispense with insurance, fuel, and paying for a depreciating chunk of steel and plastic sitting unused for hours at a time in your driveway and parking lots. If you insist on driving, dangerous human you, who makes bad decisions, will pay outrageous insurance rates. GM will scream wait, we did not intend for this to happen, but it will be too late. Unfortunately, I doubt I will be dead before all of this happens, so I can bore my granddaughter with tales of how I used to drive myself to school, in the snow, uphill.

I do not possess the vocabulary to adequately express my loathing of the idea of self-driving cars.

October 4, 2017

Snarking down the Highway

It is raining. I'm pretty sure no one predicted that. Maybe they did. I was in Chicagostan Monday and Tuesday so I might have missed it. I got home late in the evening and went to bed a couple of hours later, before the weather report came on the late night news.

I wish I had some interesting tales of travel to relate. It was an uneventful drive, a standard room in a cookie cutter hotel, an unremarkable burger for supper, a day of meetings at the corporate office and drive home. Ho hum. Ho hum. I did see a woman at the truck stop when I stopped to pay my coffee rental that was testing the stretch limits of her yoga pants. The only stretching she did in those britches was to reach for some more ice cream and Oreos. I could almost hear the nylon and rayon blend fibers screaming in pain like a heretic on the rack in Inquisition-era Spain. The flesh jiggling and bouncing in her rear end resembled a couple of raccoons fighting in a burlap bag.

I just read where a city in Georgia offered to change the name of their burg to "Amazon" if the retail giant agrees to move their headquarters there. I hope, if that comes to pass, the name change will have more relevance 50 years in the future than the morbid gambit Mauch Chunk, PA made when they offered cash and a city name change to the widow of Jim Thorpe if she allowed his remains to be buried in the town cemetery. How's that tourist attraction working out these days? "Kids, would you rather go to Disney World or Jim Thorpe?". Yeah.

Look it up, I wouldn't lead you astray.

I have to get to work. Enjoy your hump day.

October 2, 2017

About last night

Every day I'm reminded that man is an animal, the top predator, and one that kills just to kill. There is evil in this world.

September 30, 2017

A relentless tick, tick, tick

Sunrise occurs later and later. There is nothing new in that statement, if made anytime past late June, but it is an indication that the long cold winter is not so far away. We still have warm days ahead. We will be back into the eighties in just a few days. The night time lows tell a different story. Winter is indeed just around the corner. We are but a few weeks from Halloween and in quick succession we will have Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then we have the interminable months of January and February. I can look forward to complaining about my neighbors still burning their Christmas lights until April. There is that. The relentless calendar flips its pages.

Today is my youngest kid's birthday. He will be 24. That is hard to believe. Heck, he was playing Little League when I started this blog. He grew up too fast or I have been doing this too long. I suspect both are true.

Tomorrow is my middle kid's birthday. He will be 29. In some ways that is even harder to believe. It seems like yesterday that I was 29! Then I look in the mirror. I feel my joints squeak when I get off the couch. I look at the depressing collection of pill bottles in the cabinet. Time, you are an evil bitch.

Yeah, as the famous soap opera intones "like sands through the hourglass", the days go by at an an inexorable  pace. Did it feel that way to our ancient ancestors before clocks and watches and even sundials instilled authoritarian rule over time? Did caveman us drag himself from the cave, check his bare wrist and wonder when the ball game was supposed to start? Did he wake in the middle of the night glance at the empty shelf next to his bed and think about whether he had time for a quick snooze before work? Did he avoid a running series of arguments with his wife because without time, they were never actually late getting places?  Or did our ancient us look at the still waters of a pond and wander just who heck is that old guy in the reflection and when did my little boys grow up?

September 29, 2017

Adventures in Playboy Land

Hefner has gone over to the other side. 

Here is a truth: I have never purchased a Playboy magazine.  Don't get me wrong, I have looked at a lot of them. 

I even read a few. 

My room back at the fraternity had a huge collection of Playboys and similar ilk. The box came with the room. Of course I perused, I was a 19 year-old guy attending an all-male college. Duh.

Back in those salad days of my youth my fraternity pledge brothers and I embarked on a long weekend road trip. We ended up at The Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. One of the guys' father had a membership key, so we headed over in small groups. The rest of us settled down in a local bar. Since one had to dress in decent clothing to go to the Club, we took turns showering in the single motel room we rented for thirteen guys. 

The Playboy Club was opulent. The women were beautiful beyond imagination. The bouncers were huge, ex NFL-types ready to break a miscreant college boy in half for even thinking about pulling on that cute little bunny tail. I remember an old guy doing magic tricks at our table. I remember our waitress was remarkably flat-chested for a Playboy Bunny. Mostly I remember that a beer cost five bucks. That does not seem so outrageous now, but in 1980 you could buy an entire case of beer for not much more than that. Individually and collectively we poor college kids decided the scenery wasn't worth the cost and sauntered back to the cheap roadhouse down the road to get uproariously drunk.  

The Playboy Club adventure was just part of a crazy road trip that included peeing on the shoulder of the Dan Ryan, getting tossed from a hotel, punching a dog, and evacuating a fraternity house on fire in the middle of the night. 

Ah, youth.

Hola

Greetings and happy Friday. I slipped out and grabbed some donuts this morning. The wife and granddaughter are happy. So is my belly. In my new efforts to be a good boy, I had but one.

I was going to skip the weather report, but I readily admit that covering the conditions outside is about all I have content-wise. It is sunny and chilly. I slipped on jeans to go to the donut shop. It was 47 and my shorts had to go until I got back home. We are looking at the mid-seventies today. It can stay there until he end of time as far as I'm concerned. That is a lie. I enjoy the change of seasons.

The old employer finally came through and admitted they owe me money. I should get a check in the next week or two. I still got screwed out of pay for a couple of vacation days, but it is not worth pursuing further. Earlier in the week we came down to disagreeing over a $855 commission payment. I was digging in hard. They were fighting harder. I had not made the threat, but I was going to small claims court on Monday. It is the principle of the thing. Out of the blue last evening I got an email apologizing for the misunderstanding and promising payment on the next payroll. I'm glad. I don't want to be "that guy". I am combative around here on occasion, but I try to get along with everyone. Old confrontations from years ago still bother me.

The world would be so much better if I was appointed Emperor and Universal Arbiter of Taste. You know this to be true.

Did you read the latest crime stats from the FBI? A cop is 18 times more likely to be shot by a young black guy than a young black guy is to be shot by a cop. The vast majority of shootings is black on black crime. You Kneelers want a conversation, let's start there.

Besides, I like this protest sentiment better:

I sure wouldn't genuflect to anyone in protest.

Did you notice the way I sneaked in some Friday Music there? Enjoy your day.

September 28, 2017

Hoo-ray again

The Cubs now have an official shot at a repeat.

September 27, 2017

September 26, 2017

Whatever it is, I'm against it

It is Tuesday here in God's favorite state. It is still forecasted to be very warm today, but a cool front will arrive tomorrow bringing more seasonable temperatures. No or very little rain is in the forecast until next week. I am afraid to even fart outside for fear of igniting the neighborhood.

The kneel for the Anthem kerfluffel continues. I think the Cowboys reached the right compromise last night, taking a knee  before the Anthem but rising in respect during the song itself. If there has to be a protest that is better.

I suppose I could better understand what the athletes want if they could articulate it better. Kneeling in a temper tantrum because your candidate lost the election is not acceptable.  If it is something else then it needs to be spelled out for dumb crackers like me. What is the point? What is your solution? Right now you just sound like Johnny Strabler in the Wild One:
"What are you rebelling against? Whadda you got?"
 If you are looking to bring about something as esoteric as "equality" then you need to define it. Just what are you protesters trying to accomplish? What is the goal?

September 24, 2017

Marketing 101

Dear President Trump

What is wrong with you? I thought you got that sports and politics don't go together.  Do you not understand the concept of free speech? Is there not a grown-up in the White House monitoring your Twitter account?

How about we look at things from a marketing aspect, as a businessman you should get that. A vast number of Americans already think you are a racist pig. Targeting black athletes with your Tweets and speeches only exacerbates that image.  What are you thinking?

More to the point, the Anthem protests had died down significantly in the past two NFL weeks. I suspect your rants will motivate a whole new wave of protest. Rescinding the invite to the Warriors is just petty. I think we elected a seven year-old as President.  If little Billy said he wasn't coming to your birthday party did you cancel the cake and bounce house?

It isn't your politics that will see you out of the White House after four years, it is stupid crap like this.


September 22, 2017

Falling for you. Get it, I said "fall"

Happy Friday. We are set to enjoy mid-summer weather here on the first day of fall. Temps are slated for the nineties today, yes nineties!

Fun fact. Today is the first day of fall. It is also my brother's birthday. My birthday is on the first day of spring.  How weird is that?

You care. Don't pretend you don't.

I have a desk full of work to get after. I will do my usual work thing; buckle down on the pile until all of my projects are done, 12 hours a day if necessary. Then by mid-week I will have nothing to do. That is just how I roll. I know my procrastinator tendencies and I learned long ago how to defeat them.

I started watching Ken Burns' new Vietnam War documentary. I got through episode 1 and the beginning of episode 2. So far it appears to be an even-handed presentation of the facts, with fairly accurate historical context.  We shall see as things move into the protest years how the series holds up.


September 21, 2017

Head Scratchin'

TV host Jimmy Kimmel has become outspoken in his support for ObamaCare and ridicules anyone who disagrees.

One of his reasons is his son has a heart defect. Kimmel claims he has heard of other kids in the same situation who don't have insurance for the surgeries.

????

ObamaCare provides insurance to everyone, even those with pre-existing conditions. In fact, it is against the law to not have medical insurance. How is this possible? Kimmel must be mistaken. The only answer is he is wrong or merely a liberal shill. There is no option 3.

Reason 6,219 you wish you were me

My mouth is already watering in anticipation. The wife is having a girl's night out with one of her...buddies?....I don't know the right term here, and I already know what I'm having for supper: brats and kraut and a sliced 'mater fresh from the vine. I might even crack a Yeungling if the mood suits me. It is supposed to be a gorgeous day, so it is possible I might burn a stogie for dessert. We shall see. But the brats and kraut are definitely on the menu.

In other news, there is no other news. My old employer continues to find reasons not to pay me commissions and vacation pay I have due. I am on the verge of threatening lawyers and courts. I don't make idle threats. Before I say the words, the attorney will already be hired. I'm a greedy SOB, and I don't want to share my hard earned money with someone else. Part of a payment is better than no payment, I guess. I going to give them a few more weeks then I'm done arguing. I will let a professional handle it.

But I have bratwurst. Life is good.


September 20, 2017

On the high side

I moseyed down to my doctor's office this morning to have some lab work done in anticipation of my checkup Friday. They drew a couple of vials of blood. Easy Peasy. I already know the results, if not the exact numbers. My blood sugar will be high. Too high. Cake before bed will do that to you. My A-1C will also be too high. Ditto my bad cholesterol, even though it will be within normal guidelines. My good cholesterol will be too low, a direct reflection of my level of exercise lately. I take direct responsibility for my failures in diet and exercise.

I'm also going to chow on leftover beef and noodles over mashed spuds for lunch. Bad, bad, bad. It is also my favorite meal in the world. I will do better tomorrow. Honest.

September 19, 2017

Gimme a break

Maybe, finally the crazy "I'm offended by everything" movement has jumped the shark with the hysteria over Trump letting an 11 year-old mow the Rose Garden and the crazy bitch practically fainting over a display of cotton branches at a Texas Hobby Lobby.

The mowing incident is not child labor. Come on, I know you hate Trump, but that is over the top.

If just looking at cotton triggers you, then you have issues way beyond textile fibers.


Envy looks good on you

I live in the best place in America. You may think you do, but I literally do. Money Mag says so. All of you New Yawkers, San Franciscans, and Portlanders can suck an egg. Just think how we would be rated if there was actually beaches, mountains, or scenery!

It is raining. We are set to get a thorough drenching today. I'm not complaining, we need it desperately. All of this moisture will make my pathetic 'maters split. Oh well. We have had a steady, if unspectacular crop this summer. Not enough hot days and too little rain.

Did you watch the Emmy Awards? Me neither. I would rather stab a fork in my thigh than watch an awards show. It is silly, only the narcissists in the entertainment industry vote themselves awards. Could you imagine that in another industry? And the General of the year is....congratulate Jim, the most outstanding urinal scrubber....this year's winner of best sales pitch to a unreceptive prospect goes to...

Have a great day


September 17, 2017

To quote my granddaughter's favorite song, "Let it Go"

I start most days in the same way. I make coffee. I take my meds. I skim the web versions of USA Today and the local TV news. I then read various political/news blogs/commentary. I then either write a post or run through my blog roll. Sometimes I reverse the last two, depending on my level of inspiration on a given day.

For nine months I have been told my vote for Trump is rooted in misogyny and/or white supremacy. Period. Clinton was the most qualified candidate in a generation...blah, blah and I must hate women to not vote for her. Or maybe I wanted to repudiate Obama's legacy because he was a black man. I read articles claiming both notions just this morning.

Funny, when Democrats took over the government after W, it was just a change in direction. When Republicans take over it is about our secret KKK affiliation. The pundits seem to ignore the idea that politics in America has been a see-saw for 25 years. The very notion that a large swath of Americans may not think the role of government is to redistribute, nanny, and invent "rights" is a foreign concept. That some of us want a limited government is so ridiculous that there must be another reason. How could the ignorant rubes not ascribe to liberalism? There must be an underlying cause.

Hillary could not have been defeated because we wanted to step back from liberal policies. It is not possible that we looked at her burgeoning bank account and saw corruption. There is no way that a generation of lies, prevarication, and deceit played a factor. Certainly we should have ignored  her secret server designed to get around public access laws. Her position on our Second Amendment rights could not have played a factor.  No, no we voted against her because we hate women. 

We voted for Trump because we are white supremacists. Sure many of us voted for Obama, but...well now we are Nazi skinheads. The idea that we think the Constitution is the law, not something to be changed by executive fiat, that we support legal immigration but not open borders, that ObamaCare made healthcare worse for many of us -- that is just crazy. Trump voters hate the notion of a powerful woman (despite our support for Sarah Palin) and we clearly want to chuck the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments so we can again have slaves toiling away in cotton fields. Yeah, that must be it.

The low approval rating for all of Congress, no matter the party, is just a coincidence. No sane person could decide to vote for an outsider, the only guy who vowed to drain the swamp. No, no, it must have been something else...

Maybe people voted for Trump because he vowed to put jurists on the Supreme Court who would hold to the Constitution, not "international law", one who thinks the phrase "Congress shall pass no law" means exactly that. That we know forcing us to buy a consumer product is not a "tax" and want a Justice that recognizes that fact. I know, that is crazy talk. We hate women and dark-skinned people. Plus, my wife likes it when I tear up her good sheets to wear to the cross burning. I bring the marshmallows, but only white ones. That is the only reasonable explanation. 

I'm sick of it. Reasonable people can disagree. Just because I don't ascribe to your particular brand of politics does not make me deplorable. It certainly does not make me a Nazi or mean I hate women. It does not indicate that I am stupid. It could mean I don't agree with your politics. Nothing more. Sometimes we cast our vote for a candidate, sometimes against another. Most often, we look at the people running for office, ponder if this is really the best we can do, cast our vote, and go home and vomit. 

The election is over. Move on. Find a better candidate next time. 


September 16, 2017

Live blogging my morning brain

People always ask me "Joe, what is it like to be you?". Currently, I live my life as if I am getting checked for a hernia approximately every four minutes: cough, cough. Albeit I am not dropping my cargo shorts so a stranger can feel me up. I guess the good news is I have moved past the coughing jags that last until I am winded and near gagging. The elephant sitting on my chest has been replaced by a large sow, perhaps a buffalo. I am sure there is not a black bear on my chest, and certainly not a giraffe.  My chest tightness rises above the feeling I would get if a hedgehog were perched atop my lungs. I hope that adequately describes the situation?

My head congestion has reverted back to the normal "I hate fall" allergy level snot production.

OK, I admit you did not ask for that update. I suppose, if I have to be honest (and mind you, I don't), no one has ever asked me what it is like to be me. I have been asked "What were you thinking?", or "What is wrong with you"; both queries are often muttered by my wife, usually accompanied by "that look" and a subtle shake of he head. I have no doubt long-time readers of this collection of writings have occasionally wondered what the heck is going on in my brain.

Or not.

In self-defense, in the almost 74 years I have been writing this blog a few crazy thoughts are bound to find their way into electronic print.  Don't even try to tell me you don't have a occasional "moments".

I digress. From what, I am not sure. I have no intention of re-reading this claptrap to figure it out. That is your job as consumer. I throw the stuff onto the wall. You determine what sticks.

You think this entry is weird? You should see/hear/read the other thousand bits of stuff swirling around in my brain. I am only typing out the most coherent ideas. And I might note that all of the cranial chaos is playing out with Led Zeppelin's "Fool in the Rain" playing as a soundtrack in the background.

Welcome to my Saturday morning.

September 15, 2017

Sometimes I worry my little wooden cigar store Indian is going to come to life and kill me

Good morning, Amigos. Joy, joy, it is Friday at last. I'm not sure how good a day it will be, however. I woke a little after 4:00 in the morning and was never able to get back to sleep. I finally gave in and got up a little before five. That means I will fight falling asleep at my desk this afternoon. Tuning in to the ball game on internet radio may or may not help. What? Come on, what other team plays its Friday home games in the afternoon, when baseball is supposed to be played, under the sun like God intended?

Speaking of baseball, Hey Jean, 22!

 I don't think we have any plans for the weekend. I suspect the wife will think of something. She is not one to just sit around. Chock it up to example 4,659 of stuff we do not have in common. I could think of nothing better than watching an old movie or reading as a way to relax. She has to be doing something all of the time. I can't sit around and watch her do housework, I wasn't built that way. So if she decides to start cleaning on a Saturday, I feel compelled to pitch in -- even if I would rather watch Zulu Dawn or an Esther Williams movie for the 34th time.

My coffee cup is empty and so is my reservoir of bloggity words. Enjoy your day.



September 14, 2017

What Happened?

Dear Hillary,

I think you are missing the forest for the trees. It isn't Comey's fault. It isn't the media covering your emails. It is simpler than that. If YOU did not set up a secure server to get around the law, if you didn't erase a bunch of those messages once you were caught, if you don't try to cover it all up, then there would have been no investigation to help sink your Presidential hopes. So that issue is on you.

You, the media, and the Democratic Party pushed the Trump as a candidate during the primaries because you thought you could defeat him, he would be easier than Jeb! or Rubio. Blame yourself. You didn't have to insult 50% of America by calling them deplorable.  Similarly when your party spends most of the election putting down white guys, Christians, and to a lesser extent white women, you shouldn't be surmised they don't support you. That is on you.

When you don't even bother to campaign in a given state, it is on you when that state votes for the other guy. Again, it is on you.

I think we all know the Russian thing has always been a joke.

I could go on, but in a nutshell your new book explains everything many Americans dislike about you. You do anything to make a buck. Even writing a book that blames everyone but Hillary Clinton. You prevaricate, twist the truth, change your story, and blame everyone else for your shortcomings. You have a history of this. A vast right wing conspracy did not get a blow job from Monica, your husband did. A video did not get people killed in Libya, your policies did. The FBI did not cause you to lose to Trump, you did. 

I do not want nor need your "absolution". I did nothing wrong in voting against you. Your hubris knows no bounds, you egomaniac.

Please, just go away. 

There, readers, no need to buy her book. I have covered it in 511 less pages and saved you a cool $18.00.  You are welcome.




September 12, 2017

There ain't no participation trophy here

It may rain today as the outer bands of what was once Irma continue to slide north and west. It may not rain. If it does rain, we won't get much. We need it. I don't think it has rained in the past month. I might be wrong about that.

I could look it up. I won't because I don't care. You don't either. It is dry. There is no dispute about that fact. My little tomatoes are a testament to the fact.

I have a complicated post milling around in my head about the causes of the Civil War. I want to help people understand that we cannot impose modern values on 19th century people. Understanding the times will help us understand why there are statues. That understanding helps us discuss rationally why tearing down our history is counter-productive. Like I said, it is complicated. People way smarter, more erudite, more educated have written books on the subject. I am not sure I can give a reasonable summary in a blog post. We shall see.

Imagine if Congress took the craziest law in California and imposed it on your state. Or if you live in a blue state and Indiana's stupid Sunday Blue Laws* were imposed on you. Imagine that taxes designed to benefit a few states were imposed on the whole nation, hurting the economy of your state. What if the Congress allowed several new states into the country ensuring the Red States will hold a permanent majority in the Legislature? If the situation resulted in succession (I'm looking at you California), would both sides argue they were trying to preserve the Constitution as they understood it?

There was more than slavery at play in the Civil War.

* can't sell cars on Sunday, can't buy carry out beer wine or booze on Sunday...


September 11, 2017

Wherein I offend my readers

Tradition and the calendar dictate I pen a post of remembrance today. I don't have it in me. Not because the emotions are too painful, or the toppling of The Towers represents a milestone in American history, or anything else. Just blame it on time. Honestly, I don't know anyone who lost a loved one on 9/11. I did not know a single victim. I can coldly recount the events of the day, but I don't have a personal loss that ferments in raw emotion. Oh I remember where I was, but my tale is no more and a lot less important than many.

By the mid-1950's Americans were in an economic boom. Pearl Harbor, arguably a more significant, defining, and world-changing event, was two hot wars and one cold war in the past. Did our Dads and Granddads stop to reflect?

The events of 9/11 were the beginning of the great modern politicization of America. The toxic stew that pervades America is a result of religious fanatics crashing airplanes in a desperate act of terrorism designed to destroy our country. Guess what? They partially succeeded. The leftists, and totalitarians on the right, never content to waste a crisis, have succeeded in redefining our society.

Government spies on us with Orwellian intensity. Our freedoms are under assault in the name of security. Christians are prosecuted and persecuted for their beliefs while Islam is taught in the elementary schools. Our young adults huddle in fear from ideas and politics they don't like.

And still Americans are dying for undefined reasons in the high deserts of Afghanistan.

I would say the masterminds of 9/11 succeeded far beyond their wildest imaginations.

It was my intention to let the day pass unnoticed. Instead you get more worthless words than I have penned in a long time. I don't want to go back to September 10th. Life wasn't innocent then either. I'm not that naive. But I wouldn't mind a time where politics didn't pervade every damn second of life. Where football is about sport, not race. Where you could disagree with the President, but that didn't make him the anti-Christ. A time where a statue was a place for pigeons to crap. A time where the notion that we let six year-olds have sex change hormones was unthinkable.

I'm not in the mood to reflect, remember, or reminisce. It is just another September day. I'm good with that.

September 10, 2017

I have questions

I managed to sleep in my bed last night for the first time in about two weeks. I was sick of dozing/sleeping in the recliner.  I think I managed to go most of the night without coughing. Snores that would drown out a grizzly bear did not wake me. Only the wife knows for sure. I'll ask her if I kept her awake when she gets up.

What is wrong with people that they cannot shut their pie hole at the movie theater? We don't need constant commentary, or a recap of what we just saw on the big screen. I know he kissed her. I just watched it happen. For the most part it is not the youth of today being rude, it is middle-aged women who should know better. Maybe it is all of that perfume eating away the brain cells that makes them forget they are not at home.

If hurricane winds can knock down buildings, uproot trees and hurl coconuts like cannon balls, how do small animals and rodents survive? Why isn't there footage of rats or squirrels hurling through the air? I want to see footage of an Everglades python whipping in the wind like an old piece of rope. Where do the tiny chickadees, sparrows, or hummingbirds hide out to escape nature's fury? How do they survive without batteries and bottled water? Where do mosquitoes and bees and spiders hide out? There is so much stuff I do not know.

What the heck, Chicago Cubs?

September 9, 2017

September 8, 2017

It was a cool September morning

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. That screen shot of a pouting Tom Brady on the bench a few minutes before the end of that football game was worthy of Tolstoy. Bwahahaha, suck it pundits, your dream of an undefeated Patriots season was crushed by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Sometimes I think the brutal tar and feathers practice of our forebears should be brought back into fashion. If anyone needed a ride on a rail it is the top executives of Equifax. Not for the massive security breach, but that they took the time to sell off some stock before they announced the breach, knowing the value of the company would take a deserving hit.  These executives make capitalists everywhere look bad. I'm not advocating brutal mob violence, but I would give a small cheer of approbation in this case.

Why does Congress bother with a debt ceiling anyway? We all know they are just going to vote to allow more spending. I can tell you now there will be additional grandstanding in December before the politicians of both parties agree that they need to keep on spending more of your money.  When was the last time a spending "ceiling" was ever a limit? The day before never, maybe? What a joke.

The good thing about a short week is that it is a short week. In the case of this particular section of the calendar I cannot think of anything else good about it.  It has been a sucky week. You don't need, nor care about details. I'm still sick for starters, the rest, I won't bother to bore you with.

Football is back, baseball is heading into postseason form and it is a Friday. I can live with that. Keep up the faith, readers.


September 5, 2017

5787

Here we are on the second Monday this week. It was a terrific long weekend and I hope yours was too.

Now I'm back to work. It is lunchtime and my first break.

The granddaughter started preschool today.  When did she get so grown up? I know spending time with someone besides her immediate family, and the wife and I is a good thing. She does pretty well for a kid not 3 until December. She knows every letter sound, can mostly count to 7 and knows her basic colors. She can identify all of the shapes --  including hard ones like diamond and oval. She is learning stuff here and at home. She just needs to hang out with rugrats her own age.

The strong front that promised rain fizzled before it reached here last night. Harvey's worn out remains did not make it far enough north Friday either.  It remains dry as a popcorn fart.

Enjoy your Monday Tuesday.

September 4, 2017

Deep thoughts

Spellcheck may be my friend, but I am sure getting sick of him correcting me all of the time.

September 3, 2017

I'm doing a great Doc Holliday Impersonation

We went to a wonderful outdoor wedding yesterday. The weather was perfect. We got to spend time with my wife's family, something we do too little of. I managed to not hack and cough through the ceremony. I made up for it when I tried to sleep later in the evening. It was a rough night in the old recliner. Flat in bed would have been worse.

I think the wife has work scheduled for me today. The garage is a mess of junk from when the kids moved back home. We have enough musical gear to start a decent band: amps, speakers, mic stands, guitars, drums, keyboards. All items the oldest boy could not get into his car when he headed west. We have the youngest boy's extra TV, stand, lamps, sweeper, and boxes of "stuff".  All needs to be rearranged a stacked neatly to one side so the wife can put her car back in me garage. If I may coin a phrase; "Winter is coming" (It is catchy and might just become the basis for a cultural phenomenon, I think). She wants her car back inside.

Monday is a day off work. We are invited to a BBQ. I've got to shed this darned cold. Cigars and beer are on the menu with smoked chicken and other fare. It is supposed to be in the mid-eighties. I might even jump into the pool.

In case you did not notice the natural fresh scent of this post, it is live. No canned goods for you today. That means I obviously did not have to jet off to the Orient last Thursday for a week or so in China as was originally planned. My trip has been postponed for a bit. I can live with that.

Have a great Sunday.

September 2, 2017

Bold NFL Predictions

It is a chilly start to the long weekend. Yesterday was decidedly fall-like with daytime temperatures in the mid-sixties. Harvey ripped some rain south of here but we saw nary a drop. It was cloudy. I was stuck at my desk anyway. Temperatures are supposed to rebound back into the 80s for the balance of the long weekend,

I still have a cold. It has settled in my chest. I hacked all night long again and for the third night in a row slept semi-upright in the recliner in my office. I have had this coughing thing several times in the past several years and it seems to take forever to go away. I never got sick back when I was fat. I went more than twenty years without seeing a doctor or missing a day of work. I drop 55 pounds and I feel like I'm sick all of the time. I still don't miss work, but it is a little easier to suck it up when you work from home.

So it goes. You didn't stop by to hear me complain. I hope not anyway. If so, you have some real issues.  Unfortunately, complaints are about all I have to offer you today.

I think I will saunter through my blog roll and then try to find some old movie to watch. Maybe I will go for a walk. Oh, who am I fooling?

Enjoy your Saturday.

September 1, 2017

Not so deep observation of the day

It is clear that The Trumpster could rush into a burning house, rescue two orphans, a puppy, and a trio of kittens and the media and a significant quantity of tne population would find something wrong in the way he did it.

It has moved way beyond politics as normal.

August 31, 2017

Crying at my desk

I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am to discover that today is not Friday after all.

August 30, 2017

What is the big deal about a 6 foot rabbit in Texas?

Am I the only one who thinks that if the reporters and news support staff would get the heck out of the shelters in the Houston area there would be a whole lot more resources to give to people who actually need them?

Sheesh

August 29, 2017

Bacterial time bomb

Yesterday evening I came down from work. I sat on the couch and without warning I suddenly felt a cold coming on. My head started to throb. My sinuses filled and my throat got scratchy --all at once. The wife sneezed a couple of times and grabbed a tissue. She looked at me and said "I think I'm getting a cold. It hit all of a sudden" .

Do do doo do 

How weird is that?

She said she feels lousy this morning. Me too. I'm probably much sicker though. It is a man thing. Most folks would probably be at the ER if they felt as bad as I do today. Fact.

I got out of bed around 2:30 AM. I could only sleep if I was half-propped on the couch. I think I slept in ten minute snatches all night. I'm sitting here snotting in copious quantities. Someone rubbed my tonsil-free throat with sandpaper. I'm mouth breathing like your typical KKKer.

I'll try not to breathe on you.

I'm pretty sick, but I suppose there's one or two people in Texas worse off than I am. send your prayers their way. I'll survive.

August 28, 2017

Things that keep you awake at night

I know you have been worried. Fret no more. The Boy has moved back into the larger front bedroom. I have moved my office back into the small back corner room. This was the location of my office since we moved here.

My model of the HMS Victory and my humidor are back on my credenza. My little wooden cigar store Indian is back staring with solemn menace from atop the file cabinet. Frank and the Rat Pat watch me work from the picture on he wall. The view out the window shows my back yard and branches of the big willow. All is it should be.

No more working from the master bedroom. No more shuttling the laptop from the bedroom to the dining room table and back.

Now if I could just muster up some decent blog fodder...

August 26, 2017

And that is the way it was...

I am not compelled to opine, inform, entertain, or titillate today.

August 25, 2017

Mitigating factors

I don't think I have featured The Eagles here at the old blogeroo.

I might be wrong. I cannot remember every post. What do you think I am, a radio?


Things continue to be dry here in God's favorite State. The grass is brown. Only the weeds are growing. I am pulling in tomatoes like crazy, but the blooms are pretty sparse so the harvest is going to be short, I fear.

Heading out to Jeff and Larry's Backyard BBQ tomorrow evening. I am excited about that. I have no doubt that the Perpetually Offended are offended about the whole idea of the show. Why? I don't know. The things that offend the Perpetually Offended often mystify me. That fact, I am sure, makes my very existence offensive.

Are micoagressions a big deal to Little People?

Oh, and for those of you who believe my entire "wealth" is based on stealing the work of slaves, I can only opine that my ancestors were obviously bad at stealing. My bank account is pretty close to empty.

Dang it. I swore there was not going to be any politics today.

Bad Joe.

Enjoy your day.

August 24, 2017

Joe, you are a loser

Well, I did not win tne giant Powerball jackpot. I didn't even score one of the lesser prizes.

Perhaps my failure to actually purchase said lottery ticket might have something to do with my losing out on the winnings. It is funny how that works, right?

August 23, 2017

This makes the Fonze skiing in his leather jacket actually believable

Perhaps this is the moment the hysteria and idiocy finally jumps the shark. ESPN has removed an announcer for an upcoming football game at UVA simply because his name is Robert Lee. The network admitted the decision was made solely on the similarity of the broadcaster's name to the Civil War general.

You may ask what kind of Nazi, redneck, KKKer white supremacist Republican clan would name their kid after the most hated man in American history? Oh wait, Mr. Lee is an Asian-American. You know one of tne tens of million Lees throughout the world and no relation to old Robert E at all.

But hey, don't hold the "do not judge people by outward appearance" crowd to their own standard. After all, there are probably more that 100,000,000 people with the surname Lee in the world. I'm pretty sure they are all guilty by association with a general who died about a century and a half ago.

I am really starting to believe I really am living in a computer program. Some pimply kid down in the basement is trying to see how absurd he can make things.  This story is too astoundingly stupid otherwise.

August 21, 2017

Big fat nothing sandwhich

The over-hyped Big Eclipse was a giant non-event here at my Sooper Sekrit location as heavy clouds obscured the sky.  Your results might have been different.

The media acted much like our ancestors would have a hundred or five hundred years ago, all panic and hysteria. I thought we were in the age of Science!.

I got upgraded in my rental car again, I do have that going for me. As an added plus, I am spending the night in a Holiday Inn Express, so I should be set to do emergency surgery, attorney work, and general contracting should the occasion arise tomorrow. Unfortunately, I suspect my blogging skills will not be magically enhanced by the experience.

Give your significant other a cheap thrill today. It don't cost nuthin'.

August 20, 2017

Me too

My ancestor had to leave his home in Germany after the Hundred Years War.  There was no tolerance for his Protestant Theology in that part of the Rhineland.

Every single Catholic Church, statue of Mary, and picture of a saint reminds me of those terrible years. I want them all destroyed. St. Louis, you need to change your name. These are symbols of hate and oppression, they bring to mind the terrible witch burnings of Wurtzburg and the oppression, hatred, and scorn felt by my family. What about the thousands tortured by the Inquisition? Or the countless "godless heathens" forced to convert by the Catholic Spanish throughout South America?  I am certain that millions of Jews and Protestants whose ancestors fled Catholic Europe feel the same sense of oppressive hatred every time the see Notre Dame football or the Pope on TV.

Tear them all down.

I'm getting too old for this stuff

My daughter and her family have left the premises.. I spent a good chunk of Friday evening and yesterday helping move. When did I become so weak? I used to be fairly strong. I could work at physical stuff all day. Now, after a few hours I can barely move. Frankly, I hurt all over. I'm sure there are more boxes and stuff to be moved today. I will suck it up and do what I can.

It just seems that is not as much as it was just a few years ago.

How the hell did this happen? I think my wife lifted and carried as much as I did yesterday.

August 19, 2017

Lighten Up, Francis. Volume XLII

Here Is a nice story about a guy who just wanted to make his community better. Jim was also a very nice guy.  He lived next door to me in the early 1990's.

Where does it stop?

General George Thomas is one of my historical heroes. My oldest son is named after him. Often overlooked in modern history of the Civil War, Thomas was admired by his peers and enemies alike. One could make the argument that "The Rock of Chicamauga" saved the Western Army.

Thomas grew up on a slave-owning plantation. He won his appointment to West Point in part for his aid in putting down the Nat Turner slave uprising.

George Thomas was a Union general. His sisters were reportedly so distraught he chose to remain in the Federal Army rather than fight for his native Virginia the turned his portrait to face the wall.

There is a statue to General Thomas in Washington DC. Do we tear it down?

August 18, 2017

And now for something you will really hate

Be not like the sun
For it is blind
And sees only darkness

Today is Bad Poetry Day. I'm not just making stuff up. My Amazon Echo told me it is Bad Poetry Day. The Echo is connected to the Internet, and EVERYTHING on the Internet is true. Trust me on this.

Above is my entry, first penned back in the early 1980s when I was a pretentious schmuck.  I think this effort has really withstood the test of time. It was bad poetry then and it is bad poetry now.

August 17, 2017

One last post

Forget anything I have attempted to pen in recent days.

Read THIS : it says it better, more succinctly and eloquently than I could ever manage.

August 16, 2017

The King is gone. That Burger King in Michigan probably has an opening.*

Elvis gave his last concert in Indianapolis Indiana. He died in ignominious circumstances on this date in 1977.  Elvis has provided me with countless hours of entertainment in my life.

I dig some Elvis movies. He is quite good in most of the films because he pretty much played the same character in all of the movies.. He got good at it.


How can you NOT enjoy this?

I guess this tune sums it up:



* for those of you way too young, rumors floated for years that The King was still alive and working various anonymous jobs.

I'm off to see the Wizard

...Not really a wizard, but a highly skilled surgeon. One year later and I am slated for another eye operation today. The procedure is not nearly so complicated nor invasive as those I had one year ago. This time it is a quick zap by a laser to remove scar tissue from the last surgeries. No lying on my back for weeks at a time I hope!

Do you know what we need? We need some good music to break up the tension. Not only is this one of my favorite tunes, I think it sums up the events of the past week pretty well:


Enjoy your Wednesday.

August 15, 2017

Asked and answered

I think many live in your America. The critical question is what does that America do in response to Charlottesville? Stay quiet? Stand up? Or it doesn't matter as long as it doesn't touch you?
Those are real questions. Not judging - honestly asking.
I was asked this question in a comment to a previous post.

That is the rub. What do we do about unpleasant thoughts in a free society. You see, I do not believe in the concept of "Hate Speech". As I have written repeatedly, the First Amendment exists to protect the speech we find most objectionable. There is no Right to Never Be Offended embedded in the Constitution.

There are some in this country who believe Donald Trump is the greatest threat to freedom in the history of the nation.  Curiously, many of those who hold that tenet are demanding the Government "do something" to regulate "Hate Speech". Do you people realize that it would be the Executive Branch -- in other words, The Donald -- who gets to enforce those regulations? The guy you claim is a closet bigot, a Nazi, a Fascist gets to decide who to jail for failing to think the right group-think. Be careful of what you wish for.

There is nothing you and I can argue that will change the mind of bigoted assholes. There are just some people who think skin color or religion is a reason to marginalize a person. I have never spend a nanosecond as a minority in this country. I have no doubt you see racism every day. That does not mean all white folks are racist bigots any more than all blacks are gangster rappers.

A vote against Clinton as a person, or the Democrat Party platform does not mean I want to don my wife's best bed sheet and demand a return to the good old days of the antebellum South. You know -- when the Democrats controlled the government and Supreme Court. See how easy it is to cast aspersions upon an entire group of people?

We are told that the actions of a tiny percentage of fanatics does not mean every follower of Islam is looking to blow us up. We were cautioned that one Bernie Bro shooting a bunch of Republicans does not mean all of Bernie Sanders socialist followers are set on murdering right-wingers. But somehow, according to Black Lives Matter leaders, the press and Mr. Any Mouse commentor, I have to answer for the actions of a tiny minority of racist, bigoted, misbegotten, white trash hate-filled asshole losers?

No thanks. I refuse to accept that responsibility. The concept of the "White Man's Burden" was an evil philosophy 150 years ago. Nothing has changed, no matter how you flip that coin. 


August 14, 2017

Not in my America

It may be that I live in a fantasy world. Perhaps I am truly blinded by my life and experience and my "privilege", whatever that really means. The hate and violence of the weekend in Virginia is not the America I know.

In my life there are bad black people, bad white people and bad Hispanics. There are even more black and brown and white people who worry about bills, love their kids and root for their favorite sports team. We wake up and get on with the business of living without focusing on race or religion or politics every minute of the day. We work. We live.

I will not pretend I am color blind. I do notice if a person has darker skin than I do. I also notice hair color and tattoos and how you are dressed. And yes, I occasionally make judgments. Sorry, if you are sporting a Hell's Angels vest I am going to steer clear. The same goes for tear drops inked on your face.  I will also form an opinion if you have a burned cross and rebel flag on your farm or are sporting a Black Lives Matter T-Shirt. 

In my America you go to your church or synagogue or not. It is none of my business. You vote how you do. Maybe we agree and maybe we don't. You are probably wrong, but that doesn't mean we can't sit together and enjoy our kids' Little League game. Amazingly, politics rarely is a topic of discussion in my America. I have never talked religion, or Trump, or how I vote with a single one of my neighbors. 

In my world the number of folks who actually "March" and protest and riot are, well, frankly non-existent; they are the fringe. 

Of course bigots live and breathe. They are our neighbors and co-workers.They take your money at he store, the bank, the restaurant. They manage to get through the day without letting hate consume them. I am not dragged into their petty world. 

Most of us just don't care what color your skin is. If you are surrounded by people who think of that aspect first, I suggest you find new friends.  

On the other hand, I just might not live in the real America.  

It is gonna be OK

Last evening I sat alone on the patio. Cicadas sang their lonely song, rising in crescendo before fading out in exhaustion only to again cry out their lust a few minutes later. Beneath the waves of insects chirping in the trees the eh-eh, eh-eh of tree frogs heralded the deepening twilight. The boy's dog scampered and rolled in the grass. I sat in silence. I thought I might cry.

My oldest boy had just crammed the last items into his over-stuffed car and pulled away from the curb headed west to a new life. He is not the first person to move from home and family. He won't be the last. But he is the first of my family to head far out into the wide world. He has not lived at home for more than a decade, but he has always been just an hour or so drive away; close enough we could have lunch or dinner whenever our work schedules permitted. We could always count on him for birthdays and holidays. He will be fine. That doesn't mean his leaving isn't sad. He will always be my little boy. On top of the impending death of my yet-unborn grandson it is a lot on my plate emotionally right now.

I sit here wondering why I cannot sleep at night.

This too shall pass. People have been moving "west" since the beginning of time. The old drive for manifest destiny, the pioneer spirit, still lives in the breast of the hardy. Horace Greeley's exhortation to "Go West young man" was not a new concept when he printed it in the New York Tribune. The spirit of seeking a better life is what brought my forefathers to this continent and led a branch of my family to this part of the heartland we now call home. I live a few dozen miles from where my ancestors ripped the trees from the soil to plant a farm some two hundred years ago. If anything, it is I who has failed to live up to the pioneer spirit.

The boy is off in his modern Conestoga wagon. Instead of oxen, his goods and person will be pulled by a hopefully dependable Ford engine. He will cross the Great Plains not in weeks and months, but in hours. The trip will be just as exciting. He will be filled with just as much trepidation. His mom will worry just as much as I am certain the early settlers' mothers worried.

It is gonna be OK.


August 13, 2017

The world is full of jerks

KKKers, Nazis, Skinheads, White Supremicists -- piss on you all, you bigoted assholes. Skin color is just like hair color, a result of genetics. You are ignorant dickheads.

Those who want to erase history, I fart in your general direction. Take a lesson from Germany. They preserved the Concentration Camps as museums for a reason.

And most of all, those who would use this disgusting rally in Virginia to paint all white people as fascist and racist and haters: you are bigoted assholes too.

Learn some damn history. The Fascists and the Nazis were left-leaning socialists.

Do you know what mostly killed off the KKK? Lack of attention. Nothing hurts a fringe movement like a lack of attention. Instead of the local TV news showing up to spotlight 16 bigoted assholes in dressed in their wife's good bed sheets , no one came to view their idiocy. That is the ultimate ridicule. When counter-protesters show up with mace and pepper spray, that is the best recruitment effort ever. Don't resort to violence, point and laugh. It is way more effective.


August 12, 2017

Dear Keith Ellison

Why do you hate America so much?

As always, counter arguments are welcome in the comment section.

Roy Orbison was a musical genius

Here I sit, pecking away with one finger on my electronic keyboard at 5:00 AM on a Saturday morning. I would rather be snoozing, huddled down in my cozy bed. It is not to be. I woke at 4:30 and couldn't get back to sleep. It is not like I went to bed early either. It was pushing midnight when I headed up to bed.  I dunno either.

The coffee is good this morning. I spied some bacon in the 'fridge yesterday. I may fry some of that up later. I don't need it. I do want it. Maybe I will wait until my granddaughter gets up and make some pancakes. She loves pancakes.

I really wish I had some better content for you. I have read some of my old scribblings. I will not claim they are great columns, but I have lost my blog mojo somewhere along the way. What started as a journal of my times has become a shell. I think that happens when our hobbies become habits.

Part of it is our times. I'm sick of politics. It has become impossible to have a reasoned discussion or even a polite argument. Perhaps there is no middle ground any more. Like the song says, "battle lines are being drawn. Nobody's right if everybody's wrong". We go through this political polarization every couple of generations: the Jacksonian years, the antebellum period, the 1890's, the 1930's, the Sixties. Maybe that nut in North Korea will bring us together. It is a sad fact that war can heal political wounds.

It is way too early for so much seriousness. Enjoy your day.

August 11, 2017

Life advice

I'm late posting to the old blog today. I would like to proudly proclaim that the wait was worthwhile; alas, I cannot lie to you. Not about content anyway.

Well, not in this case.I have little of value to write about today.

My customer visit earlier in the week has partially paid off. I received a decent-sized RFQ from that customer. In case you don't know "RFQ" stands for "request for quotation". I hate acronyms and I am sorry I used one here. If we get the business that would be great. It is out of my hands. The production cost is what it is.

You don't care about the mundane aspects of my work. Heck, you don't care about my work at all.

I would like to tell you my job is hard. Tens of thousands are spent every year on Sales Seminars and training. Pshah, I say. If you want to sell something or convince someone of something one only needs a three step process: Need Plan Benefit.

Discover the other guys needs. Offer a plan to meet those needs and describe the benefits of going with your plan. Need. Plan. Benefit. This will work for sales, for politicians, for convincing your husband to buy that new dining room set, for getting a little nookie.

Of course, the other party may not agree with your plan, or ascribe to the benefits you offer. That is the rub. Such is life. That is why sales is often no more than learning how to handle rejection.

I have become good at it.  My wife gives me plenty of opportunities for practice.

Enjoy your Friday.

August 10, 2017

Wedding Cake and Gym Membership

I read a story yesterday (I'm too lazy to find it again to link) about a gym in Atlanta. The business has a sign saying memberships are not for "F-ing Cops". The owner says he will not allow cops or military in his establishment because they make his minority members uncomfortable.

So can you lawyers, folks who played a lawyer on TV, or maybe those of you stayed last night in a Holiday Inn Express explain tne difference in that small business owners' policies and those of someone who refuses to bake a wedding cake or cater pizza to a gay wedding? Why is one deserving of ridicule, protest, criminal and civil action and the other perfectly reasonable?

Remember when

BJ Clinton sent Jimmah Carter over to North Korea to negotiate an agreement where we gave them aid and reduced sanctions and in return promised that North Korea would never get nukes?

They didn't quite call the agreement "Peace in our time", but almost.

August 9, 2017

Rooms to let, fifty cents

The imaginary neon  "No Vacancy" sign hums and flickers in the warm August night as fireflies flash their "come hither" Morse code in the darkness and moths beat a relentless tattoo against the porch light. The rooms are full for the first time in years. Hotel Hoosierboy is sold out.

The summer has passed quickly and uneventfully. The return of all my children and their families has been marked by the lack of issues. I really have nothing to complain about. The past month or two has passed with a lot of tears (see below) and even more laughs.

Things are about to change. The oldest boy leaves this weekend for Denver, where he will start a new job and a new life far from home. He is scared and excited. I confess I don't want him to go. He is a grown up. It is he who makes his life choices, not me. It is a great opportunity to start over and escape a dead end job. Does it have to be so far away?

My daughter closes on her new home next week. They will move in (and out of here) one week from Saturday. Yes, they will take my granddaughter with them, despite my arguments to the contrary. There was never any doubt. My granddaughter will think it is Christmas when she rediscovers all of her old toys that have been packed away in storage for so long.

That will leave my youngest. He has finally turned the corner economically and can start saving to get his own place. I'm sure he is counting the days until he can move out again. Since he works evenings, we don't see him much anyway.

Very shortly my wife and I can again sit and stare at each other over dinner. The house will be so quiet and empty, I'm not sure what we will do. I'll get my office and closet back. There is that. Perhaps we could take in a boarder. Surely there are no serial killers on Craig's List looking for a couple of old people to torture, rob, and chop into bite-sized bits to serve with A-1 sauce?

I need to flick the neon sign back to "vacancy".

August 7, 2017

The Dragon Battle on GOT last night was pretty darn awesome

I have not spent much time on the road in my new gig. I think tonight is my first overnight trip since May. For a guy who averaged two nights a week in a hotel in my previous job and three or four nights a week in the distant past, this extended home time has been a tad unusual. I have spent 24 years on the road. Driving a desk all the time is hard. As proof I'm out of travel practice, I left home without my meds. Not a good situation, but it is just a day. I have never forgotten my meds. A belt once. Dress socks another time. The ability to write sentences that are not sentence fragments I clearly forgot this time too.

I will be off to China again this fall. Been there and done that. I confess I am not exactly chomping at the bit to go back. It's the job. I ain't crying. I'm not jumping up and down a spitting wooden nickels either.

Anyway, here I am in Holland. Trust me, it is nothing like the real one. I have been to The Netherlands 8 or 9 times. Admittedly, I'm not here on a tourist trip either. I don't want to bad mouth the left edge of the Big Mitten, so I will allow that I might have missed the good parts while navigating to my hotel.

Benevolent of me isn't it?

Buh Doomp

Cinderella is now 95 years old. After a fulfilling life with the now dead prince, she happily sits upon her rocking chair, watching the world go by from her front porch, with a cat named Bob for companionship.


One sunny afternoon out of nowhere, appeared the fairy godmother. Cinderella said, "Fairy Godmother, what are you doing here after all these years"? The fairy godmother replied, "Cinderella, you have lived an exemplary life since I last saw you. Is there anything for which your heart still yearns?" Cinderella was taken aback, overjoyed, and after some thoughtful consideration, she uttered her first wish: "The prince was wonderful, but not much of an investor. I'm living hand to mouth on my disability checks, and I wish I were wealthy beyond comprehension. Instantly her rocking chair turned into solid gold Cinderella said, "Ooh, thank you, Fairy Godmother".

The fairy godmother replied "it is the least that I can do. What do you want for your second wish?"

Cinderella looked down at her frail body, and said, "I wish I were young and full of the beauty and youth I once had."

At once, her wish became reality, and her beautiful young visage returned. Cinderella felt stirrings inside of her that had been dormant for years.

And then the fairy godmother spoke once more: "You have one more wish; what shall it be?"

Cinderella looks over to the frightened cat in the corner and says, "I wish for you to transform Bob, my old cat, into a kind and handsome young man."

Magically, Bob suddenly underwent so fundamental a change in his biological make-up that, when he stood before her, he was a man so beautiful the likes of him neither she nor the world had ever seen.

The fairy godmother said, "Congratulations, Cinderella, enjoy your new life. With a blazing shock of bright blue electricity, the fairy godmother was gone as suddenly as she appeared. For a few eerie moments, Bob and Cinderella looked into each other's eyes. Cinderella sat, breathless, gazing at the most beautiful, stunningly perfect man she had ever seen.


Then Bob walked over to Cinderella, who sat transfixed in her rocking chair, & held her close in his young muscular arms. He leaned in close, blowing her golden hair with his warm breath as he whispered.......... 


"Bet you are sorry you had me neutered".




Yes, this too is a rerun from 2005
Consider everything here that is of original content copyrighted as of March 2005