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

August 5, 2017

Mostly I am just waiting on my tomatoes to ripen

The youngest boy* had the early shift this morning. His dog is curled up beside me on the couch. He is snoring. It is a fall-like 57 this morning and temps are forecasted in the 70's. This is not the global warming we were warned about.

My coffee tastes good this morning. The caffeine doesn't seem to inspire my brain to provide entertaining or meaningful content.

I could write about my mysterious case of jock itch. I suspect you are not too interested. I could describe the minutiae of work. I would be bored just writing it. I toyed with penning a rant about free speech and that liberal tyrant Lena What's-her-face. She ratted out two airline employees who had the temerity to have opinions differing from the prescribed progressive orthodoxy. How did we get here so fast? Jackbooted thought police will soon be bursting through my door. 

Heck, no one wants to hear about politics. We are peppered with that every waking moment these days. You sure don't come here for my political opinions. You read here because...well I don't know why. I suppose you have a fondness for the mundane. 

There is a cardinal apparently sitting on the top of my chimney. His early morning chirping is echoing down the fireplace flue. The dog's snores are getting louder. He just ripped out a series of farts. This is not the peaceful early morning alone time I have come to expect. My granddaughter will be up soon. There has never been a happier kid. She can sure bring a smile to my face. 

I hope you have a great Saturday.

*I should quit calling him a boy. He is a young man of 23. Habits are hard to break; he has been "the boy" since I started this piece o'crap blog. He was 11 then  My daughter was just set to graduate high school. The oldest son had just learned to drive. Where did the time go?

August 4, 2017

If it weren't for bad luck...

Back in the early days I had about 19 readers.  Things have not changed much.  In the unlikely event that my  current 19 are a different 19 from 2005, I present the following rerun:

May 14, 2005

The Noble 24th Foot or the South Wales Borderers

You may be unknowingly familiar with this unit if you have ever watched the classic war movie ZULU or ZULU DAWN. If you have not seen these movies go rent them or buy them. Now. This post will still be here, go now.

OK. Awesome right? I planned to talk in detail about Isandlhwana and Rorke's Drift this weekend, but in my research I found that this regiment is not only remarkably heroic, but cursed with hard luck, so what better day to write about bad luck than today?
The 24th foot is an old regiment in HRM Army (hence the number!). The Regiment took part in the ill fate attack on Brest in 1694 where over 300 English soldiers were killed. More than half the regiment died of disease in the West Indies during the War of Jenkins Ear (1739 - 1743). In 1756 the regiment surrendered to the French at Minorca. The entire regiment was captured in the Revolutionary War at Saratoga (Freeman's Farm). Almost half of the second battalion were casualties at Talavera in the peninsula War. Almost half the regiment was captured by the French off a troop ship bound for India in 1810 (before the French became surrender monkeys). Over 500 men were casualties (238 killed) in the idiotic bayonet charge at Chilianwala (India now Pakistan) during the 2nd Sikh war. Most of the 1st battalion was destroyed by the Zulus at Isandlhwana. The unit was at Gallipoli in WWI. The 24th left the lines in France at the end of WWI with 76 men and officers, total. They were captured by the Germans at the disastrous Battle of Tobruk in WWII. The ship carrying the Regiment hit a rock and sank on the way to the Invasion of Norway. 

Bad luck can be found everywhere. This post proves I am still kickin' and it has the added bonus of moving the previous post down a bit.

August 1, 2017

A Post for Me

My daughter is beautiful, smart, and stronger than anyone I know. She lost two babies before giving birth to my wonderful granddaughter. The first was ectopic and she was not even sure she was pregnant. The second died at 12 weeks. This is a pain only a broken-hearted mother can ever know.

Right now she is carrying her fourth baby. She is 20 weeks in. He is a boy. Little Sawyer Timothy isn't going to make it. The angel in charge of putting him together must have been distracted for a moment. The details are not important. The chromosomal anomaly is exceedingly rare. The important organs are not forming as they should. The experts have clinically detailed that Sawyer likely will not survive to term, and for only a few days outside the womb if he does. Yet he kicks and moves clings to life with tenacious spirit.

The little guy might be less than perfect outside, but I know he is all his parents and sister and grandparents could ever hope for on the inside, where it counts. A rare twist of genetic fate will take him from us before we ever get a chance to know him.

I'm heartbroken. My wife is despondent. I have no idea how my daughter and son-in-law can bear it. How will my daughter make it through each day when people ask about her baby, knowing cruel fate has already left its mark? I cannot imagine.

Why? It does not matter why. Random chance, genetic mishap, plain bad luck. I do not question God. I only pray to give everyone strength in the coming days, weeks, and months. If you are so inclined, a prayer to ease the baby's pain and to help his mom and dad would be appreciated.

I have not shared much of my personal life this year. Trust me when I tell you that 2017 sucks.

In the meantime, the usual frivolity, nonsense, braggadocio, and shallowness that make up the bulk of content around here seems a bit pointless and more than a little trite.

July 29, 2017

Who Ray

 It looks like I will be getting more surgery on my left eye. This time it is fairly simple, a laser blast to clear out scar tissue as opposed to scalpels and stitches. No lying on my back for weeks on end. I will probably see a little better afterword. In any case my vision will stop getting worse.

There is always a bright side if you are a positive, upbeat, optimistic person like me.

I don't think the sarcasm font was loaded on this version of the iPad.

July 28, 2017

'Night Pa. 'Night John Boy

If I intended to post a Friday Music selection today -- I'm not -- a good choice might be "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge. Perhaps you don't remember that '70s pop tune. I do. I did not care for it then and I don't want to hear it now. Except that by mentioning it here, it sprang into my head . Darn you blog me.


Back on track. You have to quit getting me diverted. That reminds me of this teacher back in school. All you had to do was ask about WWII and off he would go, regardless of the lesson plan. This one time... *slap*

You might remember my youngest kid moved back home in June. Shortly after that my daughter and her family moved in while their new house is being built. I have to say all is going pretty well. It is crowded, but we seem to be avoiding one another's toes. The new house is slated to close by mid-August. No problem. It is great having my granddaughter here all of the time. And my daughter and SIL too.

My oldest son is in transition. His  apartment lease is up August 1st and he has no place to live while he transitions to a new job in another state. So it looks like he will be moving in for a week or two...

I'm more than glad to have him. I miss him. We don't see him often enough and he is going through a tough time. He broke up with his long-time girlfriend. His band broke up. He is moving far away for a new job. I have no idea where he is going to sleep. I don't know where he will put his clothing or stuff. The wife tells me not to worry. She says it will be fine. I count the bedrooms and I count the mattresses and I count the occupants and I keep getting numbers that don't add up; I don't have to use my toes to calculate that seven people don't fit into four bedrooms.

It will be great to have my whole family back under one roof for the first time since a Bush was in the White House.  I just wish that roof was a little larger. I said when we bought this house I wished it had a finished basement. I get so tired of being right.

Not really.

Do any of you have a spare bedroom? I don't eat much. I will provide my own beer. I do insist on the good toilet paper though.

July 27, 2017

Protect and serve, but mostly protect each other

If you leave your kid in a hot car and he dies, you have committed a crime. I think we all agree on that. The authorities warn about this all of the time.  Hold onto that fact for a bit.

We are told that police  canines are "officers". It is a crime to kill a police dog. Police dog handlers refer to the dogs as their partner.

Why then when A police dog is left in a hot car the cop gets a 30 day suspension and nothing else? He killed his partner through negligence.

July 26, 2017

A Private Post for You

Life 101 is taking up a significant amount of my day. Blogging is a low priority right now.

Sorry about that.

The regularly scheduled nonsense usually broadcast at this hour will continue when it does.

July 24, 2017

Title title title

Hello Readers. We find ourselves once again at the start of the work week. Unless you work different days. Perhaps you are reading this in a different time zone. You might be reading these words Monday evening in which case it is not the cusp of the work week, but rather one fifth or sixth or a different fraction of the week. It is entirely possible that you are reading this at a different time or day or even year into the future. In that case, none of this applies. More importantly, why aren't you reading this blog every day?  Ah, it may be that my genius is finally discovered and these electronic scribblings are the source materials for future historians and society in general. That could explain things.

Or not.

OK, shall we try again?

Hello Readers. I hope it is a good day. It looks like it is going to be a great summer day at the old homestead. I won't know, I'll be stuck at my desk in my temporary office, my back to the window. I will be quoting and spreadsheeting and prospecting and calling and emailing and boring myself silly.

I miss the road. My current employer sees no reason for all of that expensive windshield time, hotels and meals when I can hunt and attack new customers with an electronic pen and phone. He is right. My old school ways are not as effective.

I deleted two paragraphs about my job here. You don't need to read that, more importantly, I don't need to publish that. 

Anyway, I had a good weekend. I hope you did too. Now get to work. Unless you work different days. Perhaps you are reading this in a different time zone. You might be reading these words Monday evening...

July 22, 2017


When I get my time machine, will I be able to go to a very expensive restaurant, eat something outlandish like well-done filet of Kobe beef served with truffle butter and monkey brains then use my time machine to go back to a point before the meal with a full belly and thus skip out on the check? The restaurant isn't out because I have not yet eaten. My belly is full because I have. 

Maybe someone more versed in time travel and ethics can help me out. 

July 21, 2017

Reference point for an earlier post

I gotta be honest, I really don't like this tune. It is typical of early 70's pop. --  just blah. But since I referenced it earlier...

...and the rain isn't gone either

With apologies to Johnny Nash, it is raining cats and dogs and things are fairly blurry.  I can see much better than I could a little over a year ago, but my vision continues to gradually decline. It is hard to believe that one year ago I was in the middle of five procedures on my eyes.

Oh, don't let my gripes get in the way. I can see way, way more clearly. Just not anywhere as well as I could in September of last year. Part of the problem is my severe astigmatism. My eyeball was pulled by the stitches but sprung back to its natural shape over time. Second...well the doctor doesn't know, at least based on my limited exam back in January. I go next week where they will do a much more thorough exam. He thinks scar tissue may be the culprit. We shall see.

In the meantime, my vision is still far inside the legal-to-drive parameters, with glasses. I have plenty to be thankful for.

July 20, 2017

Back in the olden days

My oldest boy  --  taken 134 years ago (1992 maybe?).  The parenthetical is for me, how would you know?

Yes, that snazzy minivan does Come equipped with a sunroof and car phone.

Maybe the photo is from a year or two later.

July 19, 2017

Let it die

ObamaCare is unsustainable. The Democrats own it. They own it double in that they are not on board with trying to cure its obvious issues. Let it die of its own bureaucracy, untenable cost burdens, and unworkable economics. Trump should help it along to the deathbed by excising the odious forced compliance mandate through executive order. If Obama could change the terms, so can Trump.

The GOP again showed their true colors. They are more than happy to be the minority party. America said "Fix this POS" healthcare law. The Republicans had 7 years to come up with a plan. The GOP said if you give us the House we will fix it. Then they said they needed control of the Senate. Finally the GOP demanded the White House. Again the voters handed them the power. What do we get in return? "Oh crap, now what do we do?".

The politicians of both parties are not listening to the People. There was a reason outsiders were key figures in the last election. Voters flocked to Trump and Sanders. We are tired of the same old politics as usual. Neither party has any interest in shrinking government. Both claim a reduction in the planned increase in spending is a "cut". Both parties abrogate their responsibility by passing "Continuing Resolutions" instead of an actual budget.

The press likes to tell us how unpopular the President is. Congress rates even lower. Our representative earn three times the average worker, exempt themselves from the laws they pass, vote themselves junkets and vacations at the taxpayer expense, get pensions for life and complain they need a housing allowance to make ends meet. Yet somehow every one of these guys and gals leaves office a multimillionaire. I don't care how much you save and invest, $160K a year does not turn into tens of millions in a decade unless you get Hillary to teach you about cattle futures.

I am trying to be a better person, comment less on politics, curse a whole lot less, but to Congress and politicians in general, I say piss on you all. Bring on a Trump, a Kid Rock, Dwayne the Rock Johnson. They can't be worse than the assholes we currently have.

I think it should be mandatory that upon taking office every politician gets a tattoo on his right arm that reads "That is someone else's money you are spending". Fuck them all.

I'm going to register as a Whig.

July 18, 2017

Rehashing stuff you learned in school

It is summer. There is nothing on TV but reruns. Who am I to buck convention?  Since I still have a significant case of writer's block, or more appropriately "I don't care enough to blog", I submit the following rerun from 2007 for your amusement, or not:

On July Fourth,1876 the nation was celebrating its centennial. Celebrating citizens were shocked to learn of the defeat of General George Custer just a few days prior. The event has been immortalized in history, movies and popular culture. Custer, Crazy Horse and the Battle of the Little Big Horn remain mythic icons still. But these events were minor in comparison to a defeat laid on the US Army some 85 years previous.

As settlers spread into the Northwest Territory (now Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan), the native inhabitants of the area resisted mightily. Attacks on settlers prompted action. A punitive expedition led by US Brigadier General Josiah Harmar was sent to deal with the Shawnee, Miami and Delaware in the Ohio country. They were soundly defeated by the Indians in October near modern Fort Wayne, Indiana.

President Washington was furious and charged Major General Arthur St. Clair, who was also Governor of the Northwest Territory, to do the job right. Congress agreed to finance the campaign and provided funds to raise a new regiment in the US Army for the purpose (doubling the standing army). St. Clair also called up the Kentucky Militia. The fall of 1891 saw St. Clair on the move. By the time he reached president day Fort Recovery, Ohio on November third, St. Clair's force numbered 52 officers and 868 enlisted men. He also had about 200 camp followers along.

He was opposed by Indians under the leadership of Blue Jacket of the Shawnee, Little Turtle of the Miami and Buckongahelas of the Delaware. The Indian force numbered around 1,100. The Indians attacked at dawn on November Fourth.

The casualty rate was the highest ever suffered by a United States Army. Of the 52 officers engaged, 39 were killed and 7 wounded (an 88% casualty rate).In less than two hours the battle became a rout. "It was, in fact, a flight," St. Clair described a few days later in a letter to the Secretary of War. The American casualty rate, among the soldiers, was 97.4 percent, including 632 of 920 killed (69%), and 264 wounded. Nearly all of the 200 camp followers were slaughtered, for a total of 832 Americans killed. Approximately one-fourth of the entire standing United States Army had been wiped out. Only 24 of the 920 troops engaged came out of it unscathed. Indian casualties were around 61, of which about 21 were killed.

St. Clair traveled to Philadelphia to report on the battle. He blamed the quartermaster as well as the War Department for not providing adequate supplies or soldiers for the task. St. Clair asked for a Court Martial to exonerate him from the defeat, but Washington instead demanded his immediate resignation.

The aftermath of the battle resonates today. Congress began its own investigation into the defeat (someone must be blamed!). These were the first ever Congressional Hearings on the actions of the Executive Branch. As part of the proceedings, the House committee in charge of the investigation asked for documents from the War Department. Secretary of War Knox sought the advise of the President. Washington summoned a meeting of all of his department heads (Knox, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, and Attorney General Edmund Randolph). This was one of the first meetings of these officials, and some scholars consider this the beginning of the Cabinet. This group decided the documents were protected under Executive Privilege. They claimed the documents in question should be kept secret for the public's good. This doctrine continues to divide us today as practiced by all subsequent Presidents including Reagan, Bush and especially Clinton.

In 1794 another army, this time led by General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, defeated the Indians of the Northwest Territory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The Indians ceded much of their land at the Treaty of Greenville. For the most part the Indian Wars were over in Ohio.

At least one bright war chief of the Shawnee recognized the tenacity and power of the US Army. He had participated in Harmer and St. Clair's defeats as well as the loss at Fallen Timbers. This young Indian knew all the Native Americans would have to band together to drive the white man back across the mountains. He began traveling among all the tribes of the Eastern US to form alliances. His name was Tecumseh and he will be the subject of another post.

July 17, 2017

Our sails hang limp in the doldrums

Here we are, staring at the blinking cursor on a bright and sunny Monday morning.

Perhaps more coffee will help move things along.  Hold on a minute or two.

I'm back. Still boring you though. I had a great weekend. You don't need or desire the details.

Today's blog is a waste of time for both of us. Perhaps inspiration will strike later. I want to do some research on the Mexican War and the battle of Buena Vista. Perhaps I will bore you with those details in a future installment. Perhaps not.  Actual work needs doing first and foremost.

July 15, 2017

Almost like finding Nemo, only different

1,219 years ago I started a new job in  a new town. We had to sell our house, pack our crap and move. The company paid for the move. While the wife managed the logistics, all while wrangling a three-year old and an infant, I lived out of a hotel in the new place. A couple of weeks after I was hired, another new employee joined the company. He too moved into the hotel while his family made the move. We were about the same age, had similar interests, and were stuck in a small town with little to do for a few months waiting on our families to arrive. We ate dinner and lunch together most days. We had an occasional beer or six. He was my work friend for the eight years I worked at that company. As is usually the case, over time we lost touch as our career paths diverged.

Imagine my surprise to discover my old pal during a routine prospecting stop yesterday. I asked the receptionist if I could drop off some literature and the name of the widget buyer so I could make an appointment. When she said the name, I knew it had to be my old colleague: the plant was not far from where he lived and the name not that common. I asked the receptionist to ask if the buyer would have a few minutes for Joe Hoosierboy. He did. It was him. We spent a good half hour reminiscing.

Unfortunately, he is not the buyer for widgets, but he promised to give my propaganda to the right individual. Networking, it is how stuff gets done. It was great to see my old friend again.  I hope I get some business so I can talk with him some more.

July 14, 2017

It wasn't Jimmah, he gave away territory

I have always maintained that education is a lifelong process. I try to learn something new every day.yesterday I was astonished learn American history stuff I did not know.

Here is a little quiz for you. Don't cheat, don't t look up the answer. Just go by your instincts or what you thought you learned in school.  Which President added the most territory to the United States?  I give you a hint: it wasn't the Gasden Purchase.  Put your answer in the comments. You are under an honor system. Do not look up the answer.*

It is Friday at last. I have a few travels this morning, but I will be home by early afternoon.

How about a little class in our Friday music? I have posted this one before. It is my favorite from the Chairman:

Have a good Friday

*yes I know that I have likely given it away that what you thought was the answer is not the correct answer. Play along any way. Humor me if nothing else.

July 12, 2017

Shining City on a Hill, Indeed

Now I fully understand why Trump was elected. The liberal outcry over his Warsaw speech leaves me scratching my head.

I suppose it makes me a xenophobic, nationalist, tribal, ignorant redneck to actually believe that America is the greatest nation on the face of the Earth and the penultimate result of Western Civilization and The Enlightenment.  I, for one, do not think it a coincidence that nearly every major power has adopted the free, capitalist, representative government as framed by our Founders -- or at least a facsimile. There are few successful true kingdoms or dictatorships in the world. Again, which Communist dictatorship has made life better for its citizens? Anarchy works where?

For those of you offended by the President's speech, what is wrong with an America-first speech from the Chief Executive of America? Would you expect he CEO of FedEx to tout UPS or DHL? Do you think the Walton family should praise Amazon? I would be more than a little suspicious of a PepsiCo employee who was pushing the Coke brand. Why should I listen to an American who sees a moral equivalent in Cuba, China, or North Korea? How can I take you seriously when you wear a pussy hat but have no issue with the treatment of women in Iran or Saudi Arabia?

I have dismissed commentators who said that a large segment of the country hated America. I see I was wrong. There are many on the left who despise everything the country stands for. There is no other conclusion when so many are outraged that the President invoked god and country in an international speech.

I am certain the Constitution is closest to the most perfect form of government yet designed by man. I defy you to find one better. I have no issue with a President who believes it too.

Fitting end

I suppose I am not really surprised that the game-winning home run in last night's All Star game was surrendered by the lone Chicago Cub on the roster.

July 11, 2017

What the heck, Mabel?

Where is everybody?

An unedited edifying epistle

Storms rolled through over night. Flashes and booms woke me briefly, then I turned over and went right back to sleep. There were reports of tornadoes north of me. It looks like we can expect rain every day for the balance of the work week. I can hear thunder rumbling in the distance as I type.

The politicians are home from Washington. That is not a bad thing.

For you sports fans yesterday, tomorrow , and Thursday are important days. They are the only days in the calendar year that there are no games scheduled in the big four American sports ( MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL). Why a boxing promoter fails to schedule a big bout on one of those days amazes me. I'm no marketing genius, but why not choose your event on a slow news day to get the best coverage? The WNBA may be playing, I don't know, nor care. It isn't a woman thing, I don't watch or follow the NBA either.

In summation, there is not much going on in news or sports. There is not much going on with the old blog either. I could either keep stretching to provide readable, entertaining content or I can go refill my coffee mug. Guess which path I choo...

July 10, 2017

Random Rememberances

My elementary school was big and boxy. Three stories tall, the brown brick structure was old enough that my grandfather went there. It boasted a cafeteria where a team of lunch ladies actually prepared food. There was a full-sized gym with bleachers and a locker room. I think it must be an obscure law that every school in Indiana must have facilities to play basketball. The school educated kids from kindergarten through sixth grade.

The playground consisted of a patch of asphalt with basketball hoops (of course) and the rest was pea gravel. There was no grass. The area was surrounded by a fence. We had none of the modern school playground apparatus you see today-- interconnected tunnels and slides over a hi-tech padding of recycled rubber.  We had monkey bars, slides, swings, a merry-go-round. The far end of the gravel lot was large enough to play whiffle ball or kickball.

I was in fifth grade. I had been in sufficient trouble at the school over the years to receive a strong warning from home that there had better not be another note or phone call about my behavior. I hadn't heard Dalton's Roadhouse philosophy that there are no winners in a fight. I wasn't scrapping with my fellow students that day on the gravel playground though. I was deep in the outfield of a kickball game.

Memory does not tell me if it was spring or fall. I do recall that high booming kick. The red rubber ball arched high. It seemed higher than the school and a hundred yards distant. Both are certainly enhancements of  a foolish brain. Given what adult me knows of the playground's dimensions, the ball probably went maybe 20 feet high and at most 15 or 20  yards distant from the bare spot in the gravel scuffed away to denote "home".  The ball soared straight at me. I didn't even have to move. I held out my hands. I slightly bent my knees. I watched the ball all the way into my chest, where it hit with a rubbery thud and bounced away. "Shit" I exclaimed.

I felt a hand on the back of my neck. "What did you say?". Mr. G, one of the 6th grade teachers, was staring me down, a frown on his face. I never liked him much. He had what we would call today a 70's porn 'stache. I also remember that the backs of his hands and arms were remarkably hairy. He demanded again to know what I had said. I stared with a deer-in-the-headlights look. What to do. My first instinct was to just tell the truth. What was the school gonna do? Lecture me, put me in a corner,  or worse smack my butt with a wooden paddle. No biggie; to 10 year-old me that was nothing. There might have even been some grudging admiration from my fellow students for having the temerity to curse on the playground. But an admission of guilt would surely garner a note to my mother and if that happened, the least I would get was a grounding at home.

"Shoot" I said.

"You did not". What a snappy comeback.

"I said 'shoot'". Ha! Prove it asshole. He tried staring me down. Ever defiant, I stared right back. I was terrified inside, but I wasn't going to give this ape-man the satisfaction.

He told me I couldn't play kickball any more that day. So what, the bell ending recess was going to ring at any moment any way.

I should have looked that teacher in the eye and told the truth.

July 8, 2017

What not to do this morning

I'm in a fantastic mood this bright and sunny Saturday morning.

I'm not in a mood to write.

It is too nice of a day to spend internetting.  Read a book, take a walk, noodle you navel, tickle your lover's fancy, do yard work, watch a ball game, enjoy a cigar, sit in the sun, watch it rain, play with your kids or grandchildren, watch a movie, listen to some music, do anything but hang out on the interwebz today.

July 7, 2017

A few remarks on the Hamburg economic summit

I could get used to a three day work week. Not really. Life continues to be hectic here at the old homestead. I will readily admit the influx of family has really been seamless. I wish I had something to complain about. It would make for good blog fodder. Oh no, we have too much food in our pantry and refrigerator. Oh no, the daughter emptied the dishwasher and put a bowl in the wrong place. We have to eat at the big dining room table instead of the small one in the kitchen. See what I mean? All of the inconvenience is on someone else. Damn it, I like to complain. All I can gripe about is that nothing is causing me inconvenience.

I will show you how sickening sweet things are. I'm going to post the popiest poppiest of pop artists ever as Friday music:

Take that.

Edit: fixed one of what I am certain are many typos

July 6, 2017

What we have here....

I don't have many friends. Not real life friends. I know a lot of unreal internet people. I say unreal in the sense that I only know that part of their life they choose to share. Through thousands of posts I assure you that you see a fraction of my life. Heck, for all you know my name might be Bob, or John, or Phil. I'm not mean, but you don't know me. I don't know you beyond what you choose to share.

In any case, that does not mean I am not concerned when life goes bad for one of my Internet friends. I mourned the passing of Acidman, of Bane, of Yabu. I worry about Dustbury's health. I want to offer encouragement to fellow bloggers facing tough times, poor health, a death in the family, or hard life changes.

The problem is how do you offer compassion or sympathy or a shoulder to lean or cry on to people you don't know and probably couldn't pick out of a two person lineup?  When my best friend suffered his third heart attack I could look at him and offer a heartfelt "Dude, you doing OK?" and he knew the depth of my love and concern. Similar words in a comment section are just lame and pathetic. I have never been very good at expressing my emotions (Some would argue that I am not very good at expressing myself at all). It is areal struggle to let you know in the comments that I feel your pain, I support you, I have sympathy. I usually fall back on my standard mode: I don't comment at all.

To my failure to communicate I can only offer a feeble  "sorry 'bout that". Interpret my silence in the best light possible. I wish it was different, but if you knew me in real life you would know I'm not a hugger, and I usually fail to emote or react well in emotional situations. I don't do personal stuff much with anyone but my wife, only occasionally with friends, and never with strangers. So if I fail to support you in your time of need, rest assured it is me, not you. I am not cold. I am not heartless. I just don't know what to do or say.

July 5, 2017

I could get used to four day weekends

Back to work, you slackers. The Fourth turned out to be gorgeous; not a drop of rain, making the weatherpersons again look foolish. The models can't get accurate forecasts 12 hours out, and we are expected to adhere and believe the gloom and doom climate change hysteria? Yes, I know weather isn't climate.

I spent Monday helping my oldest buy a car. You may remember his POS vehicle died a month or so ago. If you don't recall, that indicates you are not reading here every day. Shame on you. Set aside some time and get clicking on the archives over there on the right. Unless future me messes with the template and moves the archives back to the left side. Read the archives on the left in that case. Look, I shouldn't have to lead you by the hand. Just catch up, OK?

Anyway, I spent the day helping the boy get a new car. It is used, but he did the research, picked the car, did the financing, everything mostly on his own. I helped negotiate a little. He is happy that he now has a decent car that he does not have to worry will need a major repair at any moment, or that he is afraid to drive very far. More importantly, he is so happy that he does not have to beg rides or walk to work. I just hope he takes better care of this car. I suspect he will, since he is making the payments, not me.

The wife and I decided we will stay home the balance of the week. I have work to do, a major quotation has to be finalized. Besides, the weather appears spotty anywhere we considered visiting. Oh, and cash is a little tight. That seems to be a perpetual state of being around here.

Enjoy your hump day/pseudo-Monday. It looks like we may get the rain that was promised yesterday. It doesn't really matter, I will be right here, parked behind my desk.

July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July

Independence Day is my favorite holiday. My hometown used to put on a huge all day celebration ending in fireworks out on the golf course by the big park. My first "date" was a July 4th event. Seventh grade me was so terrified and shy all I could manage was to hold hands. I'm pretty sure my palm was sweaty and disgusting. I don't know how girls put up with young boy's ineptness. Later, as darkness descended on the festivities and the Jaycees launched the fireworks, I didn't even muster the courage to try for a kiss while snuggling on the blanket watching the colorful explosions paint the night sky. Alas, that was my only chance with that particular crush.

Enjoy your holiday and remember what it is all about. Try to catch the first few episodes of the miniseries John Adams to catch the real flavor.

July 3, 2017

As time goes by

I don't know where yesterday went. I did something, I guess. I know I watered the flowers and my tomatoes. I ate lunch. We went for Mexican for supper. I did watch and doze through the baseball game. Other than that, I have no clue. And I got up a little after six in the morning. Insert a shrug of the shoulders here.

Around nine we grabbed some lawn chairs and sauntered out to the curb. The denizens of our cul-de-sac were having a miniature fireworks show. One neighbor bought a ton of explosives and we all gathered to enjoy. It was nice gathering as a mini-community. This is the first place I have lived since I was a kid where I sorta know my neighbors. I actually know their names and speak to them. One neighbor provided popcorn for everyone. It was a nice gathering of 20-25 people. It was a good old fashioned Fourth of July. I helped clean up the mess in the center of the street and it was after 11 when I came in.

It looks like rain is moving in this evening and a soggy Fourth is predicted. I bet your forecast is similar based on my research. We have looked in vain for some decent weather to take a mini vacation. I guess I will save my hotel points and my vacation days. I see no point in sitting in a hotel room watching it rain.

July 1, 2017

Fly the W

I'm a happy boy today. No, not because I got nookie on my 33rd anniversary (I didn't), but because we are off to the 'Nati today to watch my beloved Cubs play the evil Redlegs. It looks to be a warm, yet overcast day. I hope the rain holds off. The Cubbies are not playing well. Their starting pitching is mediocre and several of their stars are out with injuries. It does not matter, it is baseball.

Cincinnati has become almost a Wrigley Field South in the past several years when the Cubs come to town. The Reds have not been very good and they don't often sell out. This gives Cubs fans access to seats they cannot get in Chicago. Ticket prices are lower and getting to the ballpark is much easier. The end result is that anywhere from 30-50% of the spectators are wearing Cubs blue. That must be disappointing to the die-hard Reds and players. I went down to Cincinnati to see the Reds/Cubs in one of the final regular season games last fall and I bet 70% of the spectators were rooting for the boy's in blue.

Go Cubs Go

June 30, 2017

It is a trifecta!

Yes, with an exclamation point! It is Friday of a long weekend, pay day, and my anniversary; all in one rainy day. I have both Monday and Tuesday off, so as soon as the workday is over, I am free until Wednesday. I might just take off the whole week, because I can. The wife wants to go somewhere, but every somewhere, including right here at home, is looking wet and soggy next week. I'm just along to drive and contribute hotel points.

I ran out early this morning to grab the wife some donuts and a dozen red roses -- her favorite flower. I used to get a rose for every year we were married, but when I passed two dozen that idea got a little expensive. This morning I bought a dozen at the grocery and put them in a vase myself. They look just as nice as the ones from the florist and usually last just as long, for a fraction of the price.

We may go out to dinner this evening or catch a movie. The boss will let me know.

Have a great Friday.

June 29, 2017

Phillip Mabry was a lonely man

I'm sitting on the patio drinking my coffee and surfing the interwebz this morning. Life is good. It is mild with a moderate breeze that is mostly blocked by the bulk of the house and the privacy fence. Looking over the grass it appears a cutting will soon by in order. Perhaps this evening if the rain holds off.

In other news...well I have nothing. According to the media Trump and the Republicans are evil Russia lovers who want everyone to die because of...insert outrage du jour...

I think Victor Davis Hanson is correct when he argued the Democrats have to focus on outrage, because they have no agenda to promote that the voters want. People might hate the Republican health care proposal, but they don't like ObamaCare either. Perhaps Democrats can tout the Iran treaty. Their success in Libya. Maybe gun control or their opposition to over-the-counter birth control. Maybe Dems will brag about the crime rates in Chicago, Gary, Detroit, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Indy or Newark; all run by Democrats. The old tax and spend routine lost its appeal a while ago. Perhaps the "abort your baby so we can sell the parts" angle will work? It is your snatch, do what you want. Do you think pushing to let high school boys shower with your daughter is a winner? I know, continue to label everyone in flyover country as ignorant, bigoted, rednecks. Insulting your constituents always gets you votes.

I guess I understand. I would focus on the "Trump helped the Russians defeat the greatest candidate in history" fairy tale too. Were I Obama and my policies had hurt my party so much, I guess I would be off on a six month vacation too.

June 28, 2017

Humpity Hump

Things are getting settled here at the old homestead. I cooked supper Monday. My daughter cooked last night. Everyone has settled into a tentative routine, all trying not to step on his housemate's figurative toes. The granddaughter is just confused.

I'm looking forward to a couple of days off next week. The wife and I are trying to decide if we want to use some valuable hotel points and take a mini vacation at the beach. We are watching the weather before committing. I don't want to use up my points sitting in a hotel room or walking a mall while it pours down rain. I've been there and done that.

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.


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


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.

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