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.
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