June 27, 2017

Sheer Punditry

I have tried to stay away from politics of late, primarily because I am just tired of it all. Sometimes I read something that leaves me amused. In the run up to the vote on the GOP ObamaCare Lite bill, the CBO claims that 22 million could be uninsured if the bill passes. In the details we learn that a majority of those uninsured will be primarily a result of getting rid of the onerous individual mandate. In other words -- voluntarily. People will be uninsured because they want to be uninsured. The media wants us to believe the law somehow picks and chooses through nefarious means who gets insurance and who does not. This is the kind of crap that I am sick of.

BTW there is a distinct difference between health care and insurance.

Passing a bill that is slightly different is not a repeal. As voters we can tell the difference.

I find it hilarious that for the past month or two the local airwaves have been filled with ads for Indiana's lone Democrat senator. Old Joe is realizing he just might be vulnerable. The election is more than a year away and already Donnelly is touting the good he has done in an effort to make Hoosiers forget that he has been a straight-line Democrat voter his entire political career.

That is your Tuesday digest.

June 25, 2017

Harmlessly passing your time in the grassland away

It is a cool Sunday morning. Music is playing softly in the background. I am blogging from the couch. My office is now in the master bedroom and the wife is asleep. The other three bedrooms are now occupied by others, so I can't use the comfy chairs and recliners in those rooms. The early morning hours when I get to be alone are going to be the biggest casualty in the great summer move-in. I feel selfish just typing that. My daughter is excited they will close on the new house in six weeks. The house was originally slated to be finished by late August. I'm am sure they will be glad to get out of here as soon as possible.

We managed to combine the contents of two rooms into one and emptied three closets into one. The wife did a great job. After every one moves back out we are going to have a bunch of space. I bet it will take the wife about a week to fill it up!

We went to hear the oldest boy's band play last night. It may be the last time. One of the band members is moving away. They are all great musicians. Singing may not be their forte, but they are adequate.  Success has eluded them. That is often the case when one chooses the arts.

I listen to some of the crap on the radio and wonder how the artist found success. I watch The Voice or American Idol and see people with more talent than you can imagine and for the life of me I can't understand why those people go unsigned.  Dumb luck plays a huge role. It is the same if you write or paint.

There you have my "Joe, nobody cares about this crap" entry for today. My coffee mug is empty and so is my creative bag. Enjoy your Sunday.

June 23, 2017

Someone stole the witty title of this post

Happy Friday. The remains of TS Cindy is bringing rain in a steady drizzle this morning. Thunder boomed earlier as harder rain watered the grass and flowers. Best of all, the front brought cooler temperatures and lowered the soul-sucking humidity a few points.

The boy's dog is curled next to me. He has no interest to in going out into the rain.

I screwed up yesterday. We bought new blinds for the granddaughter's room. I got them put up with no trouble. When I went to cut off the inevitable and multiple safety tags I cut the string holding the slats in place. The blind is ruined. I have to head off to Lowes to get another during my lunch break. At least the brackets can be reused. Thank goodness they were not the real expensive blinds. I can only blame myself, and the damn lawyers that want to idiot proof everything.

Speaking of which, did you see that some law firm is suing the big box lumber yards because a 4x4 and 2x4 are not really 4x4 or 2x4? Isn't that one of the first things you learn when doing your first home improvement project? The chains will just settle and spend thousands of dollars to change labels. The cost will be passed to the consumer while the lawyers get a cash payout. No one wins but the lawyers.

June 22, 2017

Geez Annette, just take off yer top already

Nothing says summer like a little beach music. Here is the greatest surf tune of all time:


And if you Beach Boys fans and Jan and Deaners don't like the truth -- tough.


Ch-ch-changes

I got my "office" moved last night when I returned from my business trip. I have to find a place for my file cabinets yet. This evening we will move the boy from the slightly larger guest bedroom to my old office. My daughter and her husband will move into the vacated bedroom this weekend. It is going to be crowded for a couple of months. I'm sure none of them are looking forward to moving in with their parents either.

I had a noteworthy post composed in my head on the drive back from Kentucky yesterday. Alas, it is gone, stored in some inaccessible place in my brain today. So it goes. Instead you get...this.

I hope you have a great day.

June 21, 2017

Head Scratchin' Here, Boss

According to this story, a local convenience store clerk is being charged with a crime for trying to stop a thief. WTH? Stealing is stealing. It does not matter what is being stolen. If the criminal in question was stealing a Lexus would the situation be different?

Is there something magic about taking a five-finger discount on cigars? Michael Brown swiped stogies, and according to some, the Ferguson cop had no right to arrest Brown.

What is our society coming to when you cannot protect yourself or your property? Just as disturbing are the number of people interviewed on the evening news who think the clerk was out of bounds. I suspect their attitude would change in a hurry if folks helped themselves to their property.

I may start buying my gas at this station from now on.

June 20, 2017

breaded tenderloin is a Hoosier tradition, keep yer grubby hands off

Re: Yesterday's Post topic
The committee is pushing for three pieces of international law to put sanctions place. This will expand international property regulations to protect indigenous property ranging from designs to language. The UN should "obligate states to create effective criminal and civil enforcement procedures to recognize and prevent the non-consensual taking and illegitimate possession, sale and export of traditional cultural expressions," *
I guess we better shut America down. We are a mutt culture and a mutt race. Oh wait, unless you are a member of an isolated tribe in the interior of New Guinea or the Amazon, you are too. The world is made of the movement and inter-mixture of peoples. If you don't understand this let me know and I will give a basic history lesson. The last time a group of folks started looking for racial and cultural purity 80 million people died. You may remember this deadly experiment in cultural sovereignty as World War II. I should point out that those guys were socialists too.

This is nonsense and like it or not these ideas are being pushed by the liberal side of the political aisle. If facts offend you then I don't know what to say.


* emphasis mine

June 19, 2017

Dear Liberals

i keep reading that we must stop cultural approbation. This where one group of people use another group's symbols, style, dress, language, cuisine, or culture. An example is white chicks and dudes in dreadlocks.

How does this square with the idea of multiculturalism?

If we do not strive for a true "melting pot" culture do we not risk increasing tribalism, nationalism, and xenophobia -- you know, all the stuff Trump is accused of formenting,  encouraging, and promoting?

I am just a dumb old white guy with right-leaning political ideas so every progressive liberal in the world is smarter than I am. Could someone explain this paradox to me?

Lazy day

Plans change. I did not park my bony old man butt on the couch and watch baseball yesterday. In its wisdom, the Cubs game was blacked out locally on the MLB network. I am still trying to understand how I can be "local" to a location 187 miles from my house, but that is just the way it is. I listened to the game on the radio. I was good with that. The wife took me out for some afternoon ice cream and we went to dinner with 2/3 of the family. The oldest boy had to work. I pretty much did nothing all day. I blogged, watched Bruce Lee movies, listened to baseball, and channel surfed until bedtime. I did run the sweeper. I read a little. In all, my Father's Day was lazy, boring, uneventful, wonderful, and terrific; A perfect day.

June 18, 2017

Stuff I wish I had written, Volume XXXVIII

one last thing , an article on the upcoming eclipse says that temperatures will drop during the eclipse, I guess that big shiny thing in the sky might impact climate.  I need to read the Paris accord to see what we can do about making the Sun get its act together. JOG

a little bit of everything

Good morning. Happy Father's Day to all of you dads out there. Storms rolled through during the wee hours last night. There were lots of flashes and booms. I turned over and went right back to sleep.

I helped my Son-in-Law carry out some heavy furniture for a big yard sale yesterday. One of the items was a huge desk and credenza from when I rented an outside office. It is an executive sized desk made of genuine imitation oak. It is heavy as heck. For you sentimentalists in the blog world, that desk is where the first couple years of my blog posts were composed. Just think, some anonymous stranger owns a piece of furniture that will likely be worth millions to museums and collectors once my true genius is recognized.

After we got the sale set up I helped move boxes from the basement. They are starting to get stuff packed. The family will be temporarily moving in here next weekend. Did I mention I am a little sore this morning? When did I become such a weak old man?

Despite such a busy morning, we moseyed up to the greater Lafayette area to attend a high school graduation open house. We spent quality time with my wife's family, which is something we don't do enough. I genuinely like almost all of her relatives.

And that, my friends, is how I spent my Saturday. I do not expect Sunday to be any more exciting. Mostly, I plan on spending my Father's Day parked on the couch watching a little baseball. Come on over if you want. Bring some Cheetos (the puffy kind) and some beer. If the weather cooperates we will sit on the patio and burn some fine tobacco lovingly rolled between the thighs of a beautiful Caribbean maiden. Hey, let me have my fantasies. I know my stogies were likely rolled by the fat fingers of a sweaty crone or a haggard old man. I choose to believe otherwise.

Enjoy your day.

June 16, 2017

You asked


Not a lesser known song from Bono and the boys, but the one I like the best.

June 15, 2017

Long time listener, first time caller

I thought I wrote a post yesterday. It must have been in my dreams. I think it had to do with sugar cream pie. There is no entry in the blogger dashboard -- neither draft nor published. I guess I am losing my mind. Or perhaps I wrote in another dimension, or I gained a grainy black and white glimpse of life in an alternate universe. Maybe it was a blip in The Matrix. It doesn't matter to the here and now, where my coffee mug is lukewarm and nearly empty, where there was no post yesterday after all.

Thank goodness you nor I fell victim to the 93 million gun deaths that occur in this country every day. Since only around 300 million 200 million (now) people live in the gun crazed violent US of A, it is unlikely we will make it to the weekend. Folks in all 57 states need to hunker down. Just think, Dan Quayle was run out of office for a spelling mistake.

We got some rain yesterday and over night. We needed it, even of it does mean I will probably now have to mow the lawn over the weekend. My 'mater plants have blooms. I can get some homegrown deliciousness sometime in July. Hurry up.

Look, I would like to keep on writing this fascinating commentary, but I must address this coffee situation. Once again I put my needs ahead of yours. That is life as a special snowflake.

June 13, 2017

Now we are interested in record retention

Really? Isn't there More important stuff for Congress to ponder?  Maybe Congress could look at taxes, the deficit, spending, immigration, roads, welfare, or Social Security.

I find the hysteria over Trump deleting obvious typos in his tweets amusing. Somehow these same people had no issue with Hillary deleting tens of thousands of emails generated as Secretary of State. Did Quigley castigate Comey for removing and leaking Government documents?

It is no wonder the approval rating for Congress is just slightly higher than the odor from your local sewage plant.

Maybe if this nonsense gets Trump to delete his Twitter account it will be worth it.

Oh, and some grits also

Good morning, fellow Earthlings. I had every intention of writing yesterday. It is not like I didn't have the opportunity. I got up at 5:00 AM. Then I got busy on work stuff and I don't know what else.  

So here we are this morning. I woke up a little after five again. The boy has to be at work by 5:30. I hear him banging around . I am sure I will get used to his stirring over the next few days and sleep just a bit longer.

Summer has arrived. We had the heat last week. The humidity finally showed up starting Sunday. I guess her flight was delayed. You know when the low is 75 you are in for some sweaty days. I sat out on the patio and listened to a few innings of baseball last evening after supper. There was just enough breeze to make it warm but pleasant. If I ever fall into a pile of money I would sure like to expand my patio. If I can get a few lucky breaks maybe I can score a good bonus this year. We shall see what is left after the bills are paid.

Ate you still awake?  I don't know about you, but I need some more coffee. I would like some ham and eggs (over easy) too. Unless you are going to bring me over some breakfast I will have to be satisfied with a cup of Joe.

Enjoy your day. I won't, because you selfishly refuse to fry me some ham. I'll take bacon. Sausage parties will work too. No? Did I ever mention that the title is the last thing I write when composing a post?

June 11, 2017

One lump or two?

There is a big willow tree in my backyard. To answer your question, pretty big. It is way taller than my two story house; maybe 50-60 feet high? The trunk is probably more than eight feet in circumference. It is a big tree, OK? It doesn't matter. Why are you obsessed with the big willow in my backyard? The story is about the squirrel who lives in this big willow. This rodent makes my son's corgi-Jack Russell mix crazy. He hates tree rats with a passion. The squirrel teases and torments the dog like they are characters in a Looney Tunes cartoon.

The other night we were sitting at the kitchen table eating supper. The pup was lying patiently by the table waiting on crumbs to fall to the floor (but not begging). The squirrel came right up to the patio door, stood up on his hind legs, and rested his paws on the glass as if to say "come and get me dog".  The dog about went through the glass. You know that darned rodent was laughing.

The dog keeps the rabbits from eating the lillies and the chipmunks have vacated the atea but I think he has met his match in that squirrel.  It reminds me of this:


June 10, 2017

The days are longer, stronger than moonshine

I watched highlights of the Comey hearings. This public theater reminded me of a fact I learned decades ago watching the Sunday News shows -- namely, that it is evident our best and brightest don't usually choose politics as their career. I think politics is filled with a whole bunch of Frank Burns of M*A*S*H fame. In addition to being not that bright, I think a vast majority of politicians are egotistic corrupt power-hungry asswipes. At every level of government. Yes, that is a sentence fragment. You may fix the syntax on your own. Diagram the corrected passage and send it to me in order get your final grade.

My passport came back with a fresh "you can go to China as often as you want need to for the next ten years" visa in it. I can stay for 60 days at a time. I don't  think there is any danger I will overstay my visa. My previous China visa was for a one year entry. That was from my 2013 trip. The good news is my trip that was scheduled for Monday has been postponed. The change does not sadden me. I now get to wait until it is really hot to go. Hey Joe, it is 110F. Whatever you do, do not drink the water. I am fairly certain there will be no side trips to the Great Wall this time.

I am a bit jaded, and a lot sarcastic, but I am lucky that I have been all over the US and the world on someone else's dime. I've been places and seen things that most people could only dream about. Short of the military, or part of a flight crew, my experiences are rare and exceptional. It just one more reason you wish you were me.

You do know I'm not really that egotistic right? I am just channelling my inner politician. See how I brought it all back full circle? I hope you have a great Saturday.

June 9, 2017

A post equivalent to bologna on white bread

Friday at last. This has seemed a very long week. I had a couple of day trips Monday and Tuesday and spent the balance of the week stuck at my desk, researching new customers and contacts. I remember why I don't want a desk job.

We went out for Italian to celebrate the wife's birthday last night. My oldest son had to work. We had cake afterward.

I woke up a bit before 5:00 this morning. I was hot. I think my wife turned up (down, whatever) the air conditioning before she came to bed. I have never understood why the builder put ceiling fans in every bedroom except the master bedroom. It has a cathedral ceiling and no overhead fixture to add a fan. Yes, I could have it wired, but that is far down on the list of home improvements we want to do.

Music by Chicago is bouncing in my head this morning. Feel free to provide your own soundtrack in lieu of Friday music.

June 8, 2017

Our house it has a crowd There's always something happening And it's usually quite loud

Let us play an imagine game. You make an investment. You continue to contribute over the years into this investment. After 100 years or so (83 to be exact) and you find you have a net return of between 0.02% and 0.05%. Would you consider this a good use of your money? Me neither.

Now shut up about the Paris Accords already.

Comey says the President did not encourage him to shut down any investigation, but asked him to speed them up.  I think this is pretty much the opposite of obstruction. Get over it. You lost. Maybe the Democrat Party should focus on winning the next election as opposed to re-fighting the last one. Wait, don't listen to me. Keep living in the past, you liberals.

Today is the wife's redacted birthday. I bought her some donuts to start the day off right. My efforts were completely overshadowed when the granddaughter ran up the front walk carrying a card shouting "Happy Burday" moments later. I lose out to the two year-old every time. I can live with that.

We have finally settled into a spate of nice weather. It is supposed to be warm and sunny for the next week or so. I can live with that too. Our friends have invited us up Saturday to hang out in and around their pool. It is good to have friends with nice stuff.

The boy's dog is curled up in my office recliner watching me work.  He is snoring. The boy has mostly moved back home. He has a job here,. He still needs to get the rest of his stuff out of his apartment. He does not have much.  Our household has increased from two to three. In a couple of weeks my daughter and her family will be moving in until their new house is complete -- sometime in late August. Then there will be six people living here. Plus a dog. We are all going to have to make adjustments. For starters, my office will be moved into the master bedroom to open up a bedroom. It is just for a couple of months. Luckily, the master bedroom is pretty large.

I noticed my beer and booze is already disappearing at a much more rapid rate. The good stuff is anyway. The boy likes good booze. I guess he will drink the cheap stuff when the more expensive bottle is empty. I used to do the same thing to my dad. You probably did too.

Have a great Thursday.

June 6, 2017

Taco Tuesday

Roy Orbison sang background to my dreams last night. He is still bouncing around in my head this morning. For much of my life music has payed in my head. All of the time. Real songs. Rock, standards, classical; you name it. My life had a soundtrack. I don't know if this is normal or not. I doubt it or others would have mentioned it. Early posts here at he blog reference my head music. Then, a few years ago, I found that my inner music supervisor was on sabbatical. I realized my head was filled with...thoughts. Just worries and...stuff.  No background singers. Now for he past few weeks my brain is back to playing tunes. Right now it is an endless loop of Roy Orbison. I sometimes wonder if this is a benign mental illness? Why are you looking at me like that? Just kidding. I hear nothing. Cry-eye-eying over youuuu...

Today marks the anniversary of the D-Day landings. Usually I would post images and a tribute. The crappy old iPad does not lend itself to posting pictures and at this point WWII is as far in the past for us today as the Civil War was to the military men who seized the beaches of Normandy.

I have to get ready for a meeting later this morning. Have a great day.

June 3, 2017

There are letters and words and punctuation -- it counts as a post

I wasn't going to post anything today. I'm just not feeling it. What do you care about my weather for the weekend (gorgeous)? I know you don't care that I'm off to a graduation reception this evening. In fact, I'm not sure why you care about anything I scribble around here. Heck, it is increasingly obvious I don't care what I write. Or that I write. I'm on pace to cobble together 300 posts this year. That is way down from my normal pace. I acknowledge the quantity and quality are both reduced. Not that quality writing was ever a key component of the efforts here anyway.

Blogging died years ago. I am just riding the zombie corpse.

June 2, 2017

Blamestorming

As near as I can tell Hillary has now blamed just about everyone in the world, other than herself, for her failed Presidential bid.

I think the only conspirators she has left out are the Masons, the Illuminati, and that secret cabal that squashed the 150-mile carburetor back in he '70s.

I guess she will get around to them next week. She just needs a little more Chardonnay.

We are all gonna die

Trump pulled out of the Paris Accords -- which is a treaty to the rest of the world, but not here because Obama and the Constitution -- so now the world is on the brink of going all Krypton 'splody or something. I'm not still sure how agreeing to pay hard-earned confiscated money from Americans to third world countries helps solve climate issues. What nation would agree to hurting their economy to help another nation's?

 Taking wealth from rich countries and passing it out to poor ones is merely global socialism. It does not matter if it is for a good cause or not. I will take a cynical, self-serving view. Why should the U S hurt our economy when India or China or Slovenia are going to keep pumping out carbon dioxides? The Paris Accords have no enforcement provisions so that is akin to a voluntary speed limit. In other words, a joke.

Global hysteria over this move is like a neighbor complaining about your overflowing trash bins while he pours used motor oil out by the back fence.

If the Paris agreement is so important then the American people should get a say, through the vote of the Senate. That is how treaties are done in this country. By the way, Congress can impose restrictions that match the Paris accords on their own, should they deem it important, without the requirement to send American dollars to non-conforming shitholes. Any Representative or Senator that believes the end of he world is upon us for not abiding by the carbon caps or whatever can introduce legislation to remedy the situation TODAY. He or she can save the world for our grandchildren.

Chirp. Chirp. That's what I thought.

I suspect Trump could propose the strictest carbon caps in the world and the environmentalists would not be content. It is about global socialism, not the environment. 

We should use as much solar or wind or alternative energy as possible. More Nukes! Frack away for that natural gas. We should eliminate pollutants. Fewer chemicals in our water and land is a good thing. We do not need to be a part of the Do-Gooder club where we pay the dues and get no benefits.

As soon as the Climate models prove accurate I will listen. As long as the whole "Climate Change" movement remains a Ponzi scheme to extract dollars from our treasury, I remain skeptical.

As always, I encourage dissenting opinions.

May 31, 2017

Groovy Baby

This was bouncing around in my head this Morning. Maybe that is why I have a migraine. I thought you might enjoy a trip back to the Sixties too.


Grilling secrets

I was all set to write a political post this morning. I even wrote a few paragraphs before I realized I just don't have it in me. I erased my words. You don't care. Frankly, I don't care. I read where the Mayor of Portland wants to ban speech HE deems "hateful" and I want to weep for my country. Of course the Constitution protects hate speech. Such words are exactly why the First Amendment exists. I don't know why he ACLU isn't camped outside the mayor's office. OK, I do know why, but they should be. See, you got a dose of politics anyway.

Please, someone argue in the comments that hate speech isn't protected.

I grilled some burgers last night. Some baked beans and home-made macaroni salad rounded out the meal. I managed to cook the meat perfectly.

I have to get to work. Enjoy your day.

May 30, 2017

Not Monday Musings

Here we are starting the second Monday this week. We had a good weekend. I don't know where the time went. Three days passed in a flash. I know I did some yard work yesterday. I listened to the race Sunday.

My daughter listed her house Friday. They sold it Sunday. They got more than asking price. It looks like they will be moving in with us before the end of June.

In other news, it appears I'm heading back to China in a few weeks; if I can get a visa in time. I'm not excited about it. I don't dread it. It is just another business trip, albeit a long one. Admittedly, I enjoyed my last visit to China more than I thought I would. If I could actually eat with chopsticks it would help. I lack that gene, I guess. My ancestors have been using spoons for centuries. I am not complaining. I have been all over the world. Still, life would be more fun if customers and factories see located on Caribbean beaches.

My best friend suffered a heart attack last night. We just hung out with them Saturday night. This is not his first, nor his second. He has been my best friend since seventh grade. Yeah, I'm worried. He is in good hands at the hospital.

Enjoy your Monday.

May 28, 2017

So long


Another great has played his last show

May 27, 2017

Woot

A long holiday weekend is upon us. Rain is slated for much of the weekend though.

I'm too lazy to link to the story, but I finally disposed of the oldest boy's car yesterday evening on my way home from the corporate digs. I did not get as much as I wanted for it but more than I expected for a trashed 2005 Malibu with a blown engine. Completing the transaction put me on the highways right at 5:00 on a Friday evening of a holiday weekend.  Did I mention it was raining? That's OK, visibility is not an issue when you are driving 10 mph on an interstate. The traffic remained heavy all the way to Indy. Well at least to the northern edges of Boone County where I cut off on 47 and took the back way home. I finally got home just after 8:30.

Say it again "Joe, I wish I had your job, getting to travel all around all of the time". Hah!

Things are going to change here at the old homestead. It looks like the youngest is going to move back home for a few months to save some money before starting back to school in the fall. And his little dog too.

My daughter is building a new house. It will be done in late August, says the builder. That really means maybe in September. I know that and you know that. They listed their current house yesterday. There were three showings yesterday afternoon. Five more are scheduled for today. They got an offer for above list price last night! Yes, housing is tight in this area.

So, it looks like my daughter's family will be moving in here too until their house is ready. It will be crowded, but it will be nice to have family around.

Enjoy your day.

May 26, 2017

I have used an entire tablet taking notes

I'm ready to get home. It has been a long week learning the new gig. I have a grasp of the basics, but learning a whole new portfolio of products is no easy task. A new company, new competitors, new applications I don't understand combine to make me feel foolish and overwhelmed. The realization I will have to find new applications for widgets I barely comprehend leaves me down and drained. It will come to me, of that I have no doubt. Still, I have to keep pushing the adage about old dogs from my mind. Every night I go back to my hotel and study power point presentations, videos, catalogues and websites. I get trained on systems and products and part numbers during the day.

Sometime late today I will head back home through the lousy Chicago traffic. I will get home when I do. It looks like the long weekend will be a wet one. So it goes.

Here is some appropriate music for your Friday:


May 25, 2017

Reason 419 you wish you were me

I stubbed my foot on the edge of the big dresser/TV stand thing in he hotel last night. I managed to rip the toenail off the middle toe on my right foot. I am going to guess that you do not want pictures.

Thanks diabetes for making my feet numb to pain.

May 23, 2017

Just suppose...

...We find out that people in Trump's inner circle or even the President coordinated with the Russians to release the hacked DNC emails via Wikileaks. So what? What crime has been committed? That would be no different than NBC calling up Hillary and telling her about the Billy Bush video and asking her if she cares if they release it. Dirty politics is not illegal. How is it different than the NY Times publishing the Pentagon Papers or any of the dozens of leaks about Trump?

I'm not a lawyer, but I really am spending this week in a Holiday Inn Express and I call bullshit on the whole thing.

May 22, 2017

How about that?

I will be darned, I can iron a wrinkled shirt.

I can cook. I can clean. I can do minor carpentry, or simple plumbing repairs. I do windows. I can sew. But today, for the first time in 55 years, I ironed a shirt.

It does not look too bad either.

I am now the perfect man.

In my mind, anyway.

Number 41

It is always so strange and sad when I look at my stats and see a visitor came here from Gut Rumbles.
Sadly, I suspect the Acidman would have migrated to Facehole long ago.

May 21, 2017

An incursion in the Ardennes

The wife and I were heading out last evening to meet some friends for dinner. We were running late because one of us couldn't get ready on time. You guess. Here is a hint: it was not the one named Joe.

As I was about to get into the SUV something dark and furry scurried into he garage and hid under the granddaughter's tricycle. It was a juvenile raccoon. I yelled "Get him, Jim", but alas, I am not Marlon Perkins and this wasn't Wild Kingdom. I would have to do my own critter wrangling.

We were going to be really late.

I used the trike to block his efforts to move deeper into the garage. I managed to block him with a combination of footwork and oaths until I got a hold of a broom. I then did my best-ever hockey goalie impersonation. Until the little hissing growling bastard ran under the car.

I asked  the wife if he came out the other side. She answered from the bottom of the driveway. Thanks for your help, Honey. But she did exhort me to close the car door on her side so that he "wouldn't climb inside" . If you cannot tell, my wife  has never been around animals. I told her to tell me of she sees the momma heading towards my back. She did not answer, but retreated into the street.

I spotted the 'coon over by some shelving looking to hide behind the boxes. I beat him to the spot. That animal was starting to really hate my broom. I pushed him back. He arched and hissed and growled. He wanted deeper into the garage. I wanted him out. Stubborn met determination. I don't know which trait was most representative of me, but I know I shoved the little bandit into a five gallon bucket. I win!

I covered the bucket with the broom. What does one do with a bucket of raccoon? I thought about dumping him under the neighbor's shed, but that wouldn't be too neighborly. If the jerk who used to live there still occupied the place I would not have hesitated, but now? Nah...But if I let him out near the shed, it is not my problem if he runs under there, is it?

The yard was wet and soggy and muddy from the almost two inches of rain we got earlier in the afternoon. Did I mention we were already running late? I dumped my bucket of raccoon in the side yard and gave the critter a push in the general direction of the big hole beneath the neighbor's shed. Little Rocky Raccoon gave a final deep growl, snapped at the broom one more time and headed in the opposite direction, towards my backyard. Seriously? He climbed halfway up the fence post closest to the house and hung there, staring at  me with malevolent eyes. I tried pushing him down with the broom, but the little growling fiend wedged himself into the boards and hung on tight.

I grabbed the bottle of rodent spray we put on the flowers to discourage the rabbits and coated the top of the fence above him. I was late to dinner and he was out of my garage.

I called a truce. I suspect this was just the opening battle. I imagine the next front will be in the backyard. I hope he does not form a coalition with the rabbits and chipmunks. 

May 19, 2017

May 18, 2017

The cynic within me

As populists throughout history have found (just Google the Gracchi if you want a two thousand year old example) fighting the established political powers is a perilous task. Far from draining the swamp, Trump is slowly sinking in the mire. Eventually he will be spit out covered in muck and mud and slime. Both political parties and the press want him to fail. His own insiders are stabbing him in tne back with the intensity of Brutus on Caeser. I doubt he has the brains or political savy to survive the daily death by a thousand cuts.

The politicos may fight among themselves. They may squabble over who gets to divide the pie, but no one in Washington is interested in making the pie smaller. Politicians fight too hard, kiss too many asses, debase themselves in their quest for power and money. They will not give it up to an outsider, an interloper, a businessman. Spit.

An outsider and populist never has a chance. When one does, like Hughey Long, he is eliminated. A flawed, shallow, megalomaniac such as Trump is easy pickings. He will destroy himself. He will build his own noose with ill-advised words and 40 character ravings. The press will hoist him on the scaffold and the political parties will nod in assent. Don't fool yourself, Bernie Sanders would have suffered the same fate. The bureaucracy -- the modern Preatorian Guard -- is too entrenched, too corrupt to let anyone endanger the flow of money. I assure you more than one elected official lamented that voters get to, well actually vote, on election day. Many in the press and political class secretly believe they are far more equipped to select the leadership of the country.

Trump is not a danger to The Republic. He is dangerous to the Republic as practiced by the powers in Washington. He will be cowed or destroyed. The socialist Democrats and the socialist-lite Republicans do not really care which path he chooses.

He won't be impeached. That will make the Republicans look bad and hurt heir chances of being in charge of cutting te pie in tne future. But they will work behind the scenes to make sure he does not last more than four years.

May 17, 2017

How I spent my evening

This post is a prime example of the turdpool that is the life of everyone in my family. My oldest boy has a POS car. It is a 2005 Malibu and was not a great car when we bought it used 6 or 7 years ago. It was what we could afford. The car had electronics issues starting almost on day one, with the electric locks, windows and right brake light not working for years now. The headliner has started to fall, the stereo works intermittently. The boy has not taken good care of the car. I doubt it has been washed in a half dozen years. But it always ran fairly well, other than going through batteries every couple of years. This also could be a function of always replacing the battery with the cheapest possible option.

Yesterday, he had to drive his girlfriend to Chicago to catch a plane at the World's Worst Airport. On Monday he had the oil changed in his car. He bought a couple of new tires to replace the badly worn used ones he got last year. I'm am sure this took every penny he managed to earn over the weekend in his job as bartender. The tires were needed, so he did not mind.

The wife and I discussed letting him take our car. Since I left my old job I am out one company car, so her vehicle is all we have. In a selfish move we decided that letting him take our only vehicle was a risk we were not willing to make.

On the way home, his car broke down. I suspect a thrown rod or worse. Luckily, it happened right at an Oasis* so he was able to coast off the highway. In another minor stroke of good luck I added roadside assistance and towing to our insurance a couple of months ago. He told the car repair place to give him an estimate. I tell you that any repair over $500 is too much to spend on that car. Even though the car is a junker, it beats a car payment. I fear the worst.

So he wife and I drove to Chicago last night to fetch the boy. Then we drove home. 6-1/2 hours in round trip. We got home shortly after 1:00AM. I can look forward to making the trip again at he end of he week to either pick up the repaired car, or more likely to find a way to dispose of it. He doesn't have the money to fix it and neither do I. If we have to junk it, he won't even recoup the cost of the tires. They have less than 300 miles on them. That is the kind of luck we have. 

Still, we are blessed in so many ways. I told him if he focuses on all that is bad in his life, he misses the good. It is a mantra I repeat to myself many times a day. Some days it is pretty hard to see the microscopic good beneath the ocean of sewage. 



*The oasis rest stop is a unique Chicago institution. Look them up. He was at the South Holland establishment, almost at the state line.

May 16, 2017

Choices

Trump colluded with the Russians to cheat Hillary out of the Presidency

Alternate story: Seth Rich

Do some homework. Draw your own conclusions.

Which seems more plausible?

There were dozens of things I should have done instead

Yesterday was an unremarkable day in every way. Despite the turdstorm of life that usually swirls about me, it was nonetheless a great day. It was sunny and very warm, a midsummer-like day minus the suffocating humidity that we usually get in July or August. I took my granddaughter out to play in the late morning. We played ball, we blew bubbles. She made art on the drive with her chalk. She picked dandelions from the neighbor's yard and tried to plant her "flowers" in my still-empty flower beds.

I dragged her water table from the shed and filled it up. She was having so much fun I filled up her little plastic pool. She did not mind the water was cold. My wife fixed her a little picnic to eat outside. She played to near-exhaustion and fell into a deep sleep at nap time. We all had a ball. Who can be in a bad mood when a two-year-old is laughing and having a great time?

While she napped I sat on the porch swing reading, enjoying the bright sun and mild breeze.

It was just another day, but I went to bed satisfied. I will worry about bills and the ugly side of life today.

May 15, 2017

Will Xanex cure Trump Derangement Syndrome?

Trump will not be impeached in the next two years unless something new and drastic comes out. Look, someone leaked an incriminating tape of Trump making sexist remarks. That is no different than a hacker releasing Podesta emails. Politics is dirty. More importantly, Republicans control BOTH houses of Congress. Clinton committed perjury for goodness sake. Obama used the IRS to go after his political opponents. Not only was Obama not impeached for this abuse of power,  no one even lost their job over it. A Republican Congress is not going to impeach and remove from office a Republican President, no matter how much they hate him. An indictment won't even get out of committee.

The ghost of Nixon is laughing. Democrats are now seeking to know if Trump taped his White House discussions. Probably he did. I bet Obama did too. Maybe Republicans will ask for those tapes from the hundreds of visits from the IRS chief to the Obama White House? Or for those during the negotiations on the Iran non-treaty treaty. Certainly there are no "tapes". There might be digital recordings, but those are easily edited.  We are watching a hysterical political witch hunt. You lost. Get over it.

Certainly no one is getting booted from office for firing a guy the Democrats wanted fired. Not even if the President in question demands two scoops of ice cream.

Working' on a chain gang

Ants work. They work their lives away. No vacation, no fooling around. Work, work, work.

I just wish they would get out of my kitchen and go play with he grasshoppers for a few weeks.

A vacation wouldn't kill you, fellas.

If it did, I could live with that.

May 14, 2017

E.T. Phone...your mom.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there. I want to especially say to the three mothers in my life -- my mom, my wife, and my daughter -- I love you.

May 13, 2017

I don't need no stinkin' images

I spent an hour yesterday on a post about Edward Hopper's painting Summer Evening. That is about four times longer than I spend on a typical post.* After all of the effort, I could not get the image of the picture to appear. I even tried on my crappy laptop. I gave it about five minutes of effort again this morning. The heck with it. You can look it up at the link above, if you are so inclined.

In a nutshell, I like this artwork way more than Hopper's more famous diner painting (Nighthawks) which you have seen and will say, "oh that guy".

It looks to be a gorgeous day here at the old homestead. While it is in the forties as I peck on the keyboard, temperatures should top out in the low seventies today with sunshine. I can live with that. I have some yard work to do.

We moseyed down to Shelbytucky last evening to visit with some old friends. We haven't seen them much since we moved away a few years ago. I do not miss the old town where we lived for 24 years a single bit. I drove past the house where my kids grew up without a single nostalgic twinge. It is weird, I spent more than half of my adult life in that burg, but I harbor no fondness for the city. I guess it is because I never really worked there, I worked from a solitary office or from home and spent a lot of time on the road. Sure, I coached kid's sports, and knew some people; but I never put down roots in the community. My wife and kids certainly view the place as their hometown. Sadly, for me it was always just a place where I lived.

Well, enjoy your Saturday.

* you can tell, right?

May 11, 2017

More stuff I wonder about

If soda is so terrible that it needs to be taxed to reduce consumption why not tax coffee and lates with sweetener? How about sweet tea? Why stop there? Liberals looking to protect me from myself should go after cake, pies, Twinkies, and candy bars. Philadelphia should tax Hershey bars. That will go over well with the folks in Hershey, PA.

The same goes with Tobacco. If it is so dangerous, why not ban it altogether?

The Nanny State is not looking out for you, it is looking for more ways to take away your money.

Hold on while I adjust my tinfoil hat. The Government wants to manage your health care so they can manage YOU. Sorry, Joe, you are overweight and diabetic. Here is a list of approved foods. We recommend Soilent Green.

Of course there will be death panels. If I am paying for your doctor bills I don't want you munching on Snickers bars and swilling Dr Pepper if you are already so fat you need the motorized cart to get around WalMart.

Socialist Utopias cannot even manage to get toilet paper to the non-elites, do you want to trust those same autocrats with your heart meds?

I wonder

If talking on cell phones while driving is a dangerous distraction -- and it is -- then why do we allow dogs to jump around in the front seat and climb on and off tne driver's lap in a moving car?

May 10, 2017

Well Played

I moseyed off to bed around 11:30 last night. The wife came up a few minutes later. She was doing whatever she does on her iPad. I buried my head under my pillow and snuggled down on my stomach as I like to do. I fell asleep in a minute or two. This is usual.

The wife shook me. She said my phone was ringing. It was my 'family member' ringtone. I tumbled out of bed, blinking myself awake. I stumbled down the stairs. I checked my phone. I had a missed call at 12:12 AM.

It was from my wife. You know, the one in bed next to me. The one who woke me up. The one who said my phone was ringing. "What the heck? It was you" I said as I crawled back into bed. She gave a sheepish laugh and explained she was falling asleep as she checked her phone and must have accidentally dialed me.  

I buried my head under my pillow and snuggled down on my stomach as I like to do. I fell asleep in a minute or two. Good natured revenge is a dish best served cold. I get up way earlier than she does on the weekends.

May 9, 2017

I'm not snoring


It is once again raining. Despite a few days of sun, the soil is still waterlogged and small puddles are forming in the yard already. I am glad I mowed yesterday. My Son-in-Law had to go to a business conference this week, so I cut his grass yesterday as well. According to my trusty and probably not too accurate iPhone, I walked over five miles yesterday. Since pretty much all of that exercise was from pushing a mower, I can posit that walking was in 20 or 21 inch wide strips across two lawns. Mowing 13,000 steps is not as boring as slogging on a treadmill, but pretty close.

In other news...nothing comes to mind. My coffee cup is empty. That seems like a good place to wrap it up.

May 8, 2017

Hey Joe, Where you going with that remote in your hand?

It should have been to bed. I don't know what I was thinking. I stayed up until almost 2:30 watching all 18 innings of the Cubs -Yankees game last night. I was tired when the contest started. I dozed off more than once in the early innings. This morning I am running on fumes.

I spent Sunday at my daughter's  helping paint trim and shutters; most of the time perched high up on a ladder doing the second story. In addition to tired, I'm also a bit sore. But it looks to be a good day. I hope the weather remains clear, I have mowing to do.

Have a great Monday.

May 7, 2017

A little classic rock


If this tune doesn't float your boat on this Sunday morning feel free to choose your own adventure.  I'm good with that.

May 6, 2017

Remember when you were young?

Happy Saturday, Blog World. Everyone is in a tizzy since the House passed a slightly different version of ObamaCare. Republicans claim they fixed things. Democrats heave a sigh of relief and are gleeful that someone else now owns the piece of crap. The rest of us just wonder what happened to "repeal"? In any case the Senate will change stuff around. In the end, we will still have a big government version of healthcare that is expensive, hated by everyone except the lobbyists and big hospital chains. You and me, we will have high deductibles and coverage we don't want. We can be secure in the knowledge that in 10 years the system will be so broken, so expensive, so...crappy, that we will all clamor for single-payer (read Government healthcare). I can hardly wait until going to the doctor is like a trip to the BMV. Think otherwise? Just google 'VA hospital'.

Other than the military, and perhaps building roads, is there anything the government does better than the private sector?

May 5, 2017

Work on the Ark continues as the rains fall in torrents

It is another wet, dreary, windy, soggy day. There is water standing in various parts of the yard. The soil is a soggy sponge, completely waterlogged. And still it rains. Flooding has become a widespread problem as fields, parking lots, streams, and ponds overflow. The problem with flat land is that excess water is not funneled, but just spreads. That means fewer flash floods, but more areal flooding.   I wish I had tried to mow the grass during the brief dry spell Tuesday. The rain is supposed to finally end sometime Saturday afternoon. It will remain chilly through next week.

Enough of the weather report. Today is the big Mexican holiday we celebrate in America. I have a couple of brands of Mexican beer in the garage 'fridge. I may crack one when I watch the ball game this afternoon.

What?

Nope. I have the day off. Next week too. And the next one. I accepted a new job this past Monday. I start on the 22nd. My current former employer was a bit miffed and decided he would rather pay me to sit at home rather than get what he imagined would be a half-hearted, lame-duck effort. That was his choice. The crazy part is I will not be a competitor in my new gig. I'm going into a new (old for me) industry. I'm going back into the widget business, calling on the same customer base I enjoyed for the first half of my career. I am excited and happy. More importantly, I'm going to an employer that seems to value its employees, not a penny-pinching-screw-the-worker company that cares little for anything but money. And yes, I know that business only exist to make money, but constant employee turnover does effect the bottom line and customer satisfaction. As proof I offer that twice in the past two years I have found my base and commissions cut to ensure my annual compensation remains steady, despite increasing sales by double digits and exceeding my sales plan. I was told in January that my latest "rate adjustment" reflected what they wanted to pay me all along, but knew I wouldn't have taken the job on those terms. The boss was shocked I quit.

Did I mention it is raining like it is monsoon season?

May 3, 2017

Spineless

I guess we know why we never saw Lisa Loopner's father. Even though he was born without a spine, he found meaningful work as a Republican Congressman.




May 2, 2017

Dear Republicans

I am pretty sure the voters sent a message last November. We elected a buffoon, an outsider in a deliberate attempt to make you understand we are tired of politics as usual. We gave you control of The House, The Senate, and the Presidency. In return get a budget that any Democrat would be proud of. No ObamaCare repeal, no spending cuts (but plenty of increases), Planned Parenthood still gets money, no funding for increased border protection, no wall. What the heck?

We, the voters, gave you everything you asked for. In return we get a kick in the balls. For years you insider Republicans have told us that shutting down the government is so bad that by doing so it would hurt the Party in subsequent elections. Now, you refuse to let the Democrats shut down the government because...? Going back to the Dark Ages I opined that there is no reason to vote for a Democrat-lite when I could vote for the real thing. America proved that in 2008 when they gave control to the Democrats. In 2012 we stayed home rather than vote for a Democrat-lite in Mitt Romney. I guess you learned nothing. Enjoy your committee chairmanships while you can. 2018 is just around he corner.

At least the Democrats are upfront. You GOPers just stab us in the back. I'm sick of it.

April 30, 2017

You Turn Me On

I woke early this morning again. That is what happens when you take a Saturday afternoon nap. The sky is a blend of pinks and purples through the foliage of he big willow tree outside my office window. Music is playing softly in the background as Pandora Radio shuffles through progressive and classic rock artists. At this exact moment it is Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. My coffee is luke warm and the mug is nearly empty.

It is a good day. I count my blessings.

It is supposed to be much warmer today, back to near 80, but more rain is on tap. Yesterday evening my neighbor was mowing her lawn. The mower was struggling in the wet grass. It is no wonder -- we got a couple of inches of rain yesterday. Sometimes I wonder about people. Me, I had a lazy Saturday.  I binged watch some episodes of the History Channel series Vikings. I am almost through Season 1. The series isn't much on history*,  authenticity, genealogy, costumes, or actual chronology, but it is entertaining. I hung some curtains for the wife with no quibbles about the curtain rod being level. I watched and dozed through the Cubs game. I can feel you nodding off just trying to get through this paragraph. That was my Saturday. It doesn't look like anything more exciting is on tap for today. So it goes. No one ever promised entries would be consistently interesting around here.

I hope you have a great Sunday.


* For instance "England" as a place name or even concept did not exist in the Eighth Century

April 29, 2017

Looks like a three coffee morning

Storms have moved through the old neighborhood in waves this early morning. Lots of thunder, flashes of lightning and rain falling in moderate to heavy downpours. I have been awake since 3:30 or so and up since about 4:30. So it goes. The thunder has nothing to do with my insomnia, I usually sleep great when it storms.

My wife and I went to the movies last night. We saw the movie Gifted. It was pretty good. I don't usually like dramas, but this one gets a strong thumbs up.


Go on over and tell my man Ed congrats. He became a Grandpa again yesterday. Life is good.

The wet and soggy weather is supposed to continue right through the weekend. I am glad I got those gutters cleaned out. Thanks to my SIL's good friend Drew for letting me use his big extension ladder so I could reach the second story roofline on the back of the house. Also thanks to my SIL, I had forgotten (1) how heavy a 30' extension ladder can be and (2) how weak I have become in the past few decades. I used to be a lot stronger. What happened? That is rhetorical, I know what happened; not enough upper body exercise. I will go further, not enough exercise in general.

Enjoy your Saturday.

April 28, 2017

my aching back

I took the day off yesterday to help my son-in-law with some landscaping. We chopped / dug out a couple of shrub stumps. Then we spread a dump truck load of mulch. I then cleaned out the gutters on my house. Needless to say, or maybe I do need to say, I am sore this morning. I mowed and trimmed at my house Wednesday afternoon, so that is a lot of activity for a semi-old man couch potato.

It is Friday, so we have that going anyway.

My granddaughter is two. For the past couple of months she has been "fixing" various toys. She uses her spatula or spoons to "work" on her cars, baby stroller, doll bed, etc. Wednesday evening I bought her a toy tool kit. She was ecstatic. She opened it and grabbed the hammer, then the screwdriver, calling each by name. How does she know what a screwdriver is? In any case, her tool set is the only toy she played with yesterday and was the first thing she grabbed when she came in the door this morning. Maybe she will be an engineer. Whatever makes her happy.

I'm hoping for some good news today. Your prayers, if you are so inclined, would be appreciated.

I hope you have a great Friday.

April 26, 2017

Queso Blanco

I'm late getting to the old blogeroo today. None of your business, that is why.

It looks to be a beautiful day today, weather-wise. It will be real Chamber of Commerce weather, low eighties, low humidity. Rain is supposed to move in tonight and stick around until next week.

On a completely unrelated travel note, when did it become acceptable for the people at the back of the plane to run up the aisle as soon as the plane reaches the gate? It appears most of these rude, self-important jerkwads are under 30. It also may be that in my dotage I think everyone looks young. It is still rude. If you are guilty, stop. The plane empties quicker if we proceed in an ordered fashion - front to back. Yeah, yeah, I hear you. Guess what? Most of us have a connection. Some of us were smart enough to schedule ample time between flights.

April 25, 2017

Historical Ostriches

History is an ugly thing. Burying it will not make it go away. Tearing down Confederate monuments does not mean slavery never happened. Those half a million deaths from the Civil War are real. That bloody affair defined who we are as Americans; our government, our regional cultures, our unity as a people.

There is a reason Germany preserved Auschwitz. Not as a memorial, but so the future could never forget. It may be that the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy had a different motive when they erected the statues to the Lost Cause. So what? To me they are an object lesson in history. I once made a road trip just to piss on the Jefferson Davis memorial. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a brilliant general and a horrible man who held racist beliefs for most of his life. Does that mean we should desecrate his grave?

If we erase from history every despicable, power-hungry, hateful, despotic megalomaniac who ended up in power then our text books are going to be pretty thin.

Getting rid of a few statues won't make life in the inner city change one iota. Anyone who thinks it will is shallow and certainly bound to be disappointed.

April 24, 2017

Why not?

How about some music today?


April 23, 2017

I Married an X-Man

My fair and lovely wife possesses super mutant powers. She cannot bend metal to her will nor cause mini rainstorms. She cannot fly or spontaneously heal a paper cut on her thumb, but she can tell at a glance that a picture or shelf is even slightly off from level.

This rare and unique power has caused countless disagreements and lots of frustration over the course of our almost thirty-three years of marriage. You see, since I lack her amazing powers I have to rely on inaccurate tools like levels and tape measures to hang stuff on the wall. Unfortunately, my primitively tools are usually not up to her standards of eyeball perfection.

As a case in point I undertook the minor project of putting up new curtain rods in the granddaughter's play room Friday. I measured twice. I marked my spots. I used a level to ensure the marks were accurate. I drilled pilot holes for the screws and checked the level yet again. I mounted the brackets to the wall and again ensured they were level. I told my beautiful wife she could hang the curtains.

I was told the left bracket was lower than the one on the right. I climbed the stool and checked the level. It informed me otherwise. She informed me my level was wrong. I measured from the ceiling. The tops of both brackets were exactly the same distance from the top of the wall. I measured from the window. Again the measurements matched. Ditto from the floor.

"Your level is wrong, it is like a hundred years old." Apparently, the laws of gravity diminish if a tool is not brand new. I never knew gravity could fade over time, like that new car smell does.  I got my other level. I was betrayed yet again by an old tool. The mutant eye overcomes all Earthly measurements. My lack of faith in her powers was starting to cause some friction.

I told her she could make a fortune by renting her magic eyes out to contractors. Just think how much time they could save if they never had to measure anything.

It is a good thing her mutant eyes don't shoot laser beams, based on the look she gave me.

I fetched the ultimate adjustment tool and I made a delicate adjustment of the right bracket by hitting it with a hammer. She thought it looked better, but was still off. She allowed it was close enough.

Are blood stains hard to get out of carpet?

The damn thing isn't level anymore. I don't care. She is happy.


April 22, 2017

I call Bull s*%t

If what She says is true then Chelsea was the most self-aware and politically active six year-old in history. Then, after this historical stand by this gifted politically astute kindergartner she eschewed politics for the next thirty years.

I am sick of her already. The Clinton progeny has done nothing in her life, was far from active in politics until her mother offered up the biggest election choke job since Thomas Dewey. Now the liberal media is shoving her down our collective throats like a plate full of liver and onions -- We will like it no matter what. Our liberal overlords bow to the Clinton machine.

What six year-old takes a stand on abortion and decides the tenets of the family's church are not up to moral snuff?  Seriously, who buys into this hogwash?

Why can't the Clintons just go away?

I fart in your general direction Earth Day

It is Earth Day according to my calendar. I am pretty sure we don't have any festivities or special activities planned to mark the occasion here at the old homestead. Some of you may think I am an anti-Earth, landfill loving, frack and drill, toss my trash out of the car window, pollute the waters, climate change denier Neanderthal. You point at my nearly eighty years of accumulated writings over there in the archives section on the right as object proof of my hatred of Mother Nature and real butter.

You could not be more wrong. Not only did I earn my Environmental Science merit badge, but my very first patch I earned as a young Boy Scout in 1973 was the newly created "SOAR" (Save our American Resources) award*


Besides, I threw my empty water bottle into the recycle bin at the rest park this week, so there.

 I have presented unimpeachable evidence of a lifelong commitment to Earth. As a matter of fact, I have spent every single day of my life fully in the embrace of Earth and nature. I breath her air, I tread upon her terra firma, I have swam in her lakes, rivers, and oceans.

I will say this in conclusion: I do believe in climate change. I know the climate has changed every day since the Earth was formed. I just don't think driving my Ford SUV or using a good old incandescent light bulb or any other activity has anything to do with it.

We should try to conserve. Toss your trash into a bin instead of a ditch. Plant a tree. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Do your part.

* and why was the BSA only concerned about American resources anyway?

April 21, 2017

Campaigning Season

Happy Friday everybody. I am done with the poor me pity party, at least for today. Well, at least for this moment in time. The weather has taken a chilly turn, but I can live with that. It is not like I really have a choice.

Spring has brought back to life the years-long war with Sylvilagus floridanus after the unofficial winter truce. I could fight him with conventional weapons, but that would take years and cost millions of lives. In previous years, given my eye issues, that was not an option. Besides, with my suburban proximity to my neighbors I would have to rely on a pellet rifle and I'm not sure I am a good enough marksman for a sure kill-shot. Hitting a bunny when hunting with a shotgun is hard enough. A slow, small caliber single round is beyond my skill set. Plus, I don't want to leave Hazel or Fiver wounded in pain. Rabbits cry. As an added complication, the little bastards launch their attacks on my lilies and flowering plants in the dark of night. As an aside, why won't they chomp on the Hostas? 

The past couple of years I have resorted to chemical warfare. After the failure of moth balls and homemade pepper water spray, I found some specially made animal repellent at the big box hardware store that works pretty well. It stinks to Heaven when you first spray it, but I can't smell it after a few minutes. I guess Peter Cottontail can sniff it out for a couple of weeks. I imagine for rabbits and tree rats the stuff stinks like a combination of old eggs, fat chick underboob sweat, smegma, and Strohs beer farts. Or Chanel No. 7, if you prefer.


I have to reapply if it rains hard, and the little chewing bastards got one of my emerging plants in the night after it rained. The rabbit army snuck through the fence like Gooks in the wire at Hue during Tet. Or maybe like Guthrum through Wessex, if Late Dark Ages / Early Middle Ages is more your historical thing. 


Sorry General, I fell asleep on guard duty. 

April 20, 2017

I ain't dead

i left home Monday at 3:30 Am. Flew to Atlanta, flew to Baltimore, flew to Atlanta, flew to Indy. I met some people in the middle of all that airport and airplane funliness. I pulled into the garage just after 10:30 PM.

Wednesday I jumped in the car just after 6:00 AM. I negotiated the highway construction and jerk drivers and ended up in the greater Chicago area. Talked business with some folks. Got back in the car in time for Northwest suburbs rush hour fun and repeated the road construction mambo towards home; albeit at greatly reduced speeds for the first couple of hours. I stopped for fuel for the car and my belly and returned to home around 9:30 PM.

People say to me "Joe, I wish I had your job. It must be fun to travel around to different places." I think about how next week I will fly to the West coast, have a dinner meeting, then get up early to fly back home. I will spend somewhere north of twenty hours traveling for a two hour meeting.

Yeah, it is good to be me.

It beats being dead by a long shot. It also explains why bloggity goodness has been lacking of late. I suspect we will both survive.

April 18, 2017

How it all began

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive 
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch
Of the North-Church-tower, as a signal-light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm.”
---Longfellow
If you have never seen it you should watch the first few episodes of the terrific HBO miniseries Adams to get a real understanding of the events surrounding the Birth of the United States. Or just re-read Johnny Tremain
Here is a version of the events I wrote in 2010

April 15, 2017

Come fly with me

There has been a lot of electronic ink and angst over the airline industry and United Republic Airlines  this week. Let me tell you, bad customer service is nothing new to the airlines. We are far away from the times where air travel was a glitzy wonderful experience as depicted in song and film.


I have flown less than many and more than most. I did a rough calculation and I guess I have been a passenger on more than one thousand commercial flights. I have been to hundreds of different airports around the world. At one point in my career I was flying every week. I was a Platinum/Chairman level frequent flyer for six years straight. In one year I was Platinum on one airline, gold on.another and Silver on a third - simultaneously. I flew so much the airline gave me free access to the sooper sekrit clubs they maintained in the airports. There I got  comfy couches, free drinks, salty snacks, and personal reminders on when it was time to board my flight. I think I have the credibility to discuss the miserable experience flying has become.

There was always security at the airport. Some airports were better at it than others. In the pre-TSA days the airlines ran security. Usually the small airports were tougher than the big airports. In the wake of the Unibomber (remember him?) threats things started getting ridiculous. Security screeners would actually ask you if you were carrying a gun or anything hazardous. Seriously. If you said "no" they passed you through. In the wake of 9/11 we entered Kabuki Theater of security and turned the whole process from aggravating to insulting and intrusive.

Perhaps even more than most businesses, the airlines suffered greatly during the 2008-2010 recession. Several airlines did not survive. Gone were the days of flying with an empty seat in the middle, of late night flights half full and meals on your flight. Routes were consolidated, amenities were dropped, and space for each seat was reduced so that the airline could cram more folks onto the plane. Baggage fees and charges to board early were instituted.

Flying went from a luxury to an airborne bus to a cattle car in the skies. I'm not sure I could tolerate 100-150 flights a year anymore. Airlines have fought the battle between customer service and profit for a good while now. Profit wins. Gone are the airport clubs, free bags, meals, and seats big enough to accommodate more than an average 12 year old. During the sailing ship days of the British Navy a sailor was allotted 14 inches of space to hang his hammock. We read that and wonder how they managed. Your average economy class seat width on a regional carrier is 17 inches. How wide are your shoulders?

Airlines know they have a captive customer base. They don't have to do better. For the next month or so, bumped passengers will be treated better. Harried gate people will try to smile more. But in no time flying will be back to treating the passengers like Third Class passengers on the Titanic.  But we will keep flying; usually we don't have a choice.

I will be mooing and bleating and oinking like the rest of the cattle as I am herded on board a flying tube Monday morning. Like the rest of the passengers I will hope my name is t called to be booted off the flight because the airline oversold the plane or just needed the seat to move a flight crew.

April 14, 2017

that did not last long

I know you do not read links. I don't either. You really, really need to read This. No, seriously click here and read it.

At first I thought the article was a satire, but the author is serious. This, my friends, is the state of modern liberalism. This is the ideological battlefield worldwide. The political stance almost makes communism seem reasonable. There are a bunch of Democrats in this country who would find nothing in the article to quibble about.
This will not only make the world a more equitable place, but will also go some way to paying the debt that white males owe the world. Over the past 500 years colonialism, slavery, and various aggressive wars and genocides, have been due to the actions of white men. Redistributing some of their assets will go some way to paying the historical debt that they owe society. Source of this moonbattery
Humans of all races have done a pretty good job of killing, enslaving, and making life pretty miserable for their fellows since the beginning of time. Placing all of the blame on male Northern Europeans for the ills of the world displays an astounding ignorance of history and demonstrates a degree of prejudice, racism, and hate that would make a KKKer blush.

As always, I welcome and encourage counter arguments in the comment section.

April 13, 2017

That is What She Said


I'm sorry. I don't know what is going on. I have never had such a long period of...un-inspiration, disinterest, "I got nuthins"  before on the old blog. Writing ennui is the state of affairs.

It is not just the blog. I'm bored with reading, TV, work, and even my meals are meh. Sorry. Such is life these days. I will post when I have something to say.

April 11, 2017

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Stuff cracks me up. I read an article in the Washington Post today (via Hot Air)* about the Trumpster's bombing of a Syria airfield. The article's sole claim was that Obama's planned attack in 2013 was way bigger than Trump's response to a chemical weapons attack. The whole joke is that Obama never actually ordered his attack. No bias here, Washington Post?  "So you ate 50 boiled eggs? I could have eaten 100 if I tried". Sheesh.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. I had some conference calls in the morning and afternoon. In between I snuck outside to play with the granddaughter. She played basketball, ran in and out of her playhouse and picked dozens of "pretty flowers" -- dandelions -- from the neighbor's yard. She ran her little two year old legs ragged. I noticed she brought a package of sidewalk chalk with her this morning.

Some heavy rain moved in during the evening hours. They have sinced moved East and today looks bright and sunny.

Enjoy your Tuesday.

The easiest way to make chicken pot pie is to buy one of those cheap frozen Banquet ones at the grocery.   You can't say I don't deliver on my titles. Today anyway.

* No links. I'm too lazy and linking on the iPad is a pain. Bad blogger.

April 10, 2017

good soft toilet paper is worth the money

...but this post is not worth your time.

Monday is upon us. I trust you had a good weekend. I did.

The weather was great. Saturday some friends came over. We went to a cheap dinner and spent the evening playing  Euchre and laughing. Sunday the wife helped me clean up the yard. We collected a trash can of sticks and debris plus three bags of old leaves I raked out of the flower beds. I pulled some weeds and fertilized the spring flowers. This morning I am a bit sore from the bending.

Have a great Monday.

April 8, 2017

Random Ramblings Volume 137

When driving the interstates you notice numerous cars are passing you on the right then you are driving like an ass and need to move over into the right lane.  A Missouri DOT sign had it right last year when it read "the right lane is for cruising the left is for passing".  I'm looking at you Ohio drivers.

Tne filibuster is not in the Constitution. In fact, it was not even part of the Senate rules until the early 1800s. Even then it was rarely used until the early twentieth century.  Judge Gorsuch is the first nominee to the Supreme Court to be filibustered. *

Filling the vacancy on the court was pretty much the sole reason I voted for the Trumpster. Also he was not Hillary Clinton.

It is supposed to be decent, weather-wise, this weekend. I may try to get some much-needed yard work done.

I received a call the other day that cracked me up. The caller asked if I was Joe. He had a thick Indian (subcontinent, not teepee) accent. He asked if I would be interested in an accounting job they had open., I told him I knew nothing about accounting. He replied that he saw my resume on-line and that it said I was a National Account Manager. I had to explain that was 'account' as in sales, not numbers. I wanted to tell him I was a history major. Balancing a checkbook challenges my math skills. But I do know how to use a calculator.

I have noticed a couple of doves skulking about near the back fence. I hope they aren't contemplating constructing a nest in one of the trees. I loathe doves. That constant cooing and moaning annoys the heck out of me. Plus, I am sure they stick their nests together with their own shit. They are dumber than a liberal snowflake college kid or even an Irish Setter. a pair tried to nest in one of my wife's hanging basket of flowers a few years ago. I tossed the nest every day. It took most of the summer before they gave up and moved on.

I hope you have a great weekend.

*Abe Fortas was filibustered for his nomination as Chief Justice. He was already on the court.

April 7, 2017

March Hare Mode

I'm running late. I have to be on the road in ten minutes.

Maybe more later.

Maybe not.

But this is a post.

April 5, 2017

I scored some cheap cigars

In the time I have written this blog under various pseudonyms I do not believe I have ever had a stretch of writer's block like the one I am enduring. Perhaps disinterest is a more appropriate term. I do not feel like ranting on the politics of the day. I am almost to the point where I do not care. There is nothing of interest to anyone outside of my household in my personal life. I can't think of any noteworthy travel adventures to spice up the old blogeroo. The weather is typical springtime fare. I am breathing. I have the same worries and concerns as you: bills, health, happiness. I am blessed in many ways, but it seems the only topic I can muster to blog about is an inability to find a topic to blog about.

The Cubs won. There is that.

April 3, 2017

Blueberry pear tart

Hello fellow Earthlings. Monday is upon us and I greet the work week filled with optimism. That does not mean that I have anything of note to write about, though. I have three meetings today. You don't care. I am sick of politics. The arseholes in charge are going to do what they are gonna do. Our 'representatives' are only there for themselves first, and the Democratic or Republican Party second, then comes the lobbyists, big donors, foreign interests, and bribe payers. You and me -- the voters -- do not even figure into the equation.

I am not so naive to think that the situation is any different than it has always been. Those who think the partisanship and rancor is the worst it has ever been are ignorant of the history of most of the 1800's. But wouldn't it be nice if both sides sat down and actually tried to fix the obvious issues with ObamaCare or maybe looked at a SCOTUS nominee and noted that he has been in the majority opinion 97% of he time and acknowledged he probably is pretty mainstream? Yeah, I know.

April 2, 2017

It is here

My legs are bouncing up and down in anticipation. I am doing a grown-up version of the pee pee dance. I have checked and rechecked the time and station. Baseball's Opening Day is upon us. I feel like a five year-old crowded in the bow of the big boat crossing the lagoon to Disney World.  "Oh, oh, oh, almost there".

Will the Cubs repeat? History says probably not, but I know the despair of 90 and 100 loss seasons is behind me for a while. The Boys in Blue will be competitive and win far more than they lose. That is a good thing.

I know where I will be this evening, perched on the couch filled with youthful hope and exuberance as the the Cubs take on the evil Cardinals. Boyish dreams will fill my nose with the smell of well-used leather and dirt and sweat. I will hear the crack of the bat and remember that wonderful jarring sting as you make contact with a well thrown ball. I will hear the chatter on the field.  I still recall the dreams of a small boy imagining his name on the PA as he steps to the plate on opening day. Dreams from a time before he realized he just wasn't good enough by a long shot to play ball at almost any level; too small, too slow, too unathletic.

Tonight I will remember that moment last fall when a lifetime of dreams was fulfilled. When my beloved Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series. The joy, the exuberance, the sheer happiness I felt. I can't wait to go there again. If not, the seasonal  journey will be good enough. I wanted just one before I died. I even have a T-shirt with that sentiment printed on it. I got it.

Go Cubs.

March 31, 2017

I finally realized I need a title three days later

It is Friday. You already know that. The social chairwoman has yet to inform me of any weekend plans.

Congress continues along in a dysfunctional way. Both parties are to blame. I wonder if things would be different had the XVII Amendment not passed. Originally, the House was to represent the people while the Senate represented the States. That is why the Senate was not chosen through popular vote. If Senators were voting the will of their State lawmakers instead of individual voters I bet things would move a bit more smoothly. Now the senate is just filled with guys from big Congressional districts who worry about getting re-elected so they can feed at the lobbyist pig trough instead of making sure they are voting the wishes of Indiana, Texas, or Ohio. Note, I did not use the phrase 'the people of...'  in any case I bet there are at least 25 Senators who could not cite a single case and decision that disqualifies Gorsuch from serving on the Supreme Court. There are none that are so egregious that they represent an unsound legal mind.

Ah, that is too much political crap for a Friday.

Have a great weekend.

March 30, 2017

Wherein I declare your ideas as remarkably stupid and moronic

English is a bastard language rooted in Saxon and French and ancient Briton, Gaelic and a smattering of Latin roots. American English swipes words from Spanish and the Romance languages reflecting the true melting pot dynamic of our nation. English is a real pain to learn. Spelling is inconsistent, pronunciation is very regional. The dialect spoken in Scotland is a world away from the version spoken in tidewater Virginia.

In English we have the same word mean many things; consider sight and cite, to, too, and two for example. It is all complicated enough, but at least we don't have feminine and masculine verbs. In English he walks, she walks, we walk, they walk. The verb is the same regardless of the pronoun or article. This is not so in languages like French or Spanish. They have a different verb and article depending on the word being masculine or feminine. It is why most English speakers hate learning languages --the conjugating of verbs. Bah.

There is a movement underfoot where the Perpetually Aggrieved want to eliminate masculine and feminine pronouns. Instead of he or she they want to be called "ze" or "zir". I want to be "His royal bigness and arbiter of taste". I also demand you utter " Bippity Boppity Boo" at the end of every sentence when addressing me. 

"Joe, Your Royal Highness and Arbiter of Taste, will you tell me more? Bippity Boppity, Boo".

Yes, that is just as silly as the whole made up pronoun thing. If Bruce Jenner wants to slap on a dress and be called she, well, OK. If Darla wants to wear a flannel shirt and be called Dave then so what? As far as i am concerned if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck. But i tell you here I will not refer to fellow humans by any old pronoun they care to make up. Ever. Sorry, I'm an old fart. I will not purposely change centuries of English grammar so that instead of 'she went to the store' we write 'them went to the store'. 

I bet crazed Social Justice Warriors are going nuts over the masculine and feminine verbs in the Romance Languages or is the silliness confined to our college campii?

In any case it is just dumb and I will not play along. Bippity, Boppity, Boo.

March 29, 2017

I'm sorry

I'm just not feeling it. I really just have nothing to offer.

I bought donuts this morning.  There is that.

Have a good day.

March 27, 2017

I got a haircut last Friday

Monday. 'Nuff said on that subject.

I see Joe Biden laments he did not run for President. He thinks he could have won. I think so too. I suspect a significant number of Trump votes were anti Clinton votes. Mine was.

One more week until real baseball. I am ready.

Feel free to create the balance of tne content in your mind. It will likely be more interesting than anything I can come up with.

Have a great day.

March 26, 2017

Just like that

Birds are chirping. The weather is fine. My coffee is hot and black, as God intended. I am breathing. I am sure my wife loves me, a little anyway. Life is good.

I hope you enjoy your Sunday.



March 24, 2017

You are welcome

I was on my way to the grocery store late yesterday afternoon. As I turned out of my cul-de-sac onto the street that leads out of the subdivision I noticed smoke coming out of a neighbor's garage. It looked like they were grilling or something. These are the same people who chain their dog to the tree in front of their house even though their backyard is fenced and use their truck bed to shoot off fireworks so the idea that they are grilling deep in the garage is not a far-fetched notion.

As I got to the corner I noticed the smoke was black and heavy and swirling out of the open garage door. This was no charcoal grill! I threw the Escape into reverse and sped back towards the house. As I jumped out of the car I could see the red and orange tongues of flame in the front corner of the garage. I knew they had small kids so I ran to the door. I hit the doorbell repeatedly. All three kids ran to the door and stared at me through the glass panels next to the door. They ranged in age from about seven to three or four. None made an effort to open the door. I shouted that they should get their mom, the garage was on fire. She burst out he door a few seconds later.

The kids ran across the street crying in panic and hysteria. The mother tried to kick the flames, but the fire was three or four feet high by then, the garage was filled with thick black smoke. I asked her if she had a rake or shovel I could use to drag whatever was on fire out into the drive to spread it out. She just stared at me and ran out the side door of the garage. Of course opening that door caused a draft that fed the flames further. At this point the fire was about three feet in diameter and three or four feet high and the boxes and packaging that fueled the flames were burning fast and hot. You could not see the back of the garage for the smoke.

She dragged in a hose and started spraying the flames. After a minute or so the fire was a smoldering mass, but the danger of burning down the house seemed to have passed. I asked her if she had it under control. She again just stared at me and shouted to the kids that it was OK. Two came back up the drive. One curled into a hysterical crying ball. I suppose, without evidence, he was the one who set the fire. His reaction was far beyond fear.

I asked the woman again if she was OK now. Again she just looked at me. I shrugged and got back in my car and headed to the store. I would say that I wasn't really looking for a thank you, except that I was. If I had not driven by when I did the wall of the garage would have caught. A minute or two later and who knows?

When I came back from the grocery the garage door was closed. I would have thought they would want to air out the smoke odor.

I don't guess this qualifies me for the Boy's Life "True Scouts in Action" feature.
Consider everything here that is of original content copyrighted as of March 2005