July 22, 2017

Conundrum

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
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