January 17, 2017

Four O'clock and All is Well

I don't know why I woke up a smidgen after four this morning. I know I tossed and turned, flipped the pillow, pulled the sheets and blankets on and then off, and then continually repeated the process until I gave up and got up just before five o'clock. The first cup of coffee is down to the dregs and I have read through the political and news sites that make up my Internet day.

We are in the midst of decidedly spring-like weather. No matter, I find myself deep into the I-need-a-vacation mindset. I don't think the vacation day I'm taking in a few weeks to get a colonoscopy will alleviate the longing for a day or two off work. Somehow I do not believe having a tube crammed up the exit-only hole serves as an adequate substitute for warm sun, palm trees, or ocean waves.

Maybe I should change the background on my computer from scenes from Hawaii to one that depicts gray skies, brown grass, leafless trees, and black dirty mounds of old snow in strip mall parking lots. A dose of reality may be what I need.

January 16, 2017

Once again I fail to come up with an attention grabbing title

That was a wasted weekend. I am not sure where it went. We took the granddaughter to a Winnie-the-Pooh event at the local parks department Sunday. I walked three plus miles yesterday morning. We also...and...yeah, I have no idea. It was that kind of a lost weekend.  I do know there was no beer, cigars, or nookie involved in the time wasting. I read some. I watched TV. We didn't even go anywhere. It was a true lost weekend.

I know John Lewis got the shit kicked out of him during the march to Selma. I know he was a friend of MLK. I know he bled for Civil Rights. Those facts do not make him right all of the time. He is not immune to criticism. Disagreeing with him does not make me a racist, hate-filled bigot.

Someone needs to turn off Trump's twitter account. Please? No matter who gets elected president half the country is going to disagree with him or her. Engaging in middle school spats over every criticism is pathetic. Pick your battles, Mr. Trump.

Today is my Dad's birthday. He is 79.

My work phone is signaling I have incoming emails. Work becons. Have a good Monday.

January 15, 2017

Chuck that plan into the trash

It looks like I won't be running away to join the circus. Ringing Brothers is shutting it down. It is not like I was really going to try and join the circus anyway. Shoveling crap is pretty much my only circus-related skill. I have not been to a circus since I was a kid, so I do not have a nostalgic fascination with the big top either. Still, the circus is an iconic entertainment that will soon be gone from  our culture. Oh well, I am not a big fan of clowns anyway. If your skill is performing in a circus, where do you get another job when the circus closes down? There is not a big demand for high wire acts or sticking your head in a lion's mouth in corporate America.

The freezing rain that had the StormTeam/ScareTeam on high alert never materialized. We had rain, not a lot. It was more like a drizzle on and off. The temperatures hovered right around freezing, so the coating of ice mostly melted as soon as it formed. The weather lady is calling for a very warm week this week with temperatures pushing sixty. This is a crazy January. I don't mind telling you I am digging this global warming.

I was clearing away the supper dishes last night when I noticed he biggest yellow cat I have ever seen was looking at me through my patio door. Why he was there I don't know. He must have scaled the privacy fence. When I started towards the door he took off into the night. His presence may explain why I haven't seen the chipmunks running around in a while. I thought they were just hibernating.

I hope you have a great Sunday.

January 14, 2017

Example 5,560 of why this blog needs a better writer at the controls

The freezing rain that was predicted for last night was a no-show. I don't write that with any glee. I do not want to taunt Mother Nature. I could live with people who do not live near me getting iced. I just don't want it. Sorry if it is you. I don't feel too bad, you would wish it on me in your stead. It is OK.

I keep hearing Democrats claim Trump is not a legitimate President. What the Hell does that mean? He won the election. There is no evidence of election vote fraud by the Russians. They released emails from poorly protected server at the DNC. No one has disputed the content of the emails. If the truth cost Hillary the election, I really don't know what to say.

Did you read the Politico story about the info Clinton allegedly got about Trumps campaign manager from the Ukraine? It forced him out. Funny how no one is crying about the Ukrainians trying to subvert the election. Look it up yourself, I don't want homework on a Saturday. Edit: There, now quit complaining

My coffee cup is empty, time for a refill. That is as good a reason to wrap this up as any. Have a great weekend.

Additional edit:  it has started raining. I knew I shoulda kept quiet.

January 13, 2017

What happened to the classic panatela cigar?

How did Friday get here already? It has been another week on the road featuring anonymous hotels, indifferent food, and lousy weather. The Windy City lived up to its nickname. I will not bore you further with details.

The weather is forecasted to be lousy this weekend with doses of freezing rain and ice to hit repeatedly starting this evening and lasting through Sunday. I can live with snow. Ice just sucks. I hope it stays warm enough that we just get rain. The ground is saturated now, but low level flooding beats the heck out of ice-covered roads.

I am trying to decide of a donut run is in order this morning, or if I should just be a good boy. I know my coffee mug needs refilled.

I bet this outstanding post has you on the edge of your chair, your hands gripping your laptop, mouse, or tablet in excitement, anticipation, and bladder-clinching trepidation. Or not.

Enjoy your Friday.

January 11, 2017

Shrimp gumbo, shrimp soup, shrimp cocktail, shrimp showers

I'm not a tall man.

No, I am not channeling my inner Forrest Gump,

OK, maybe I am. I rewatched the movie the other night. In my head I wrote that line in a Gumpian voice.

But I am not tall. I am just a shade over 5'9". That makes me considerably shorter than your typical NBA star, and just a bit shorter than the average height of American males, which is 5'10".

All of this makes me wonder who designed the shower in my hotel room? I had to bend down to wash my hair this morning. The shower head was at my shoulder height. I cannot imagine how a tall person would manage. I got the king bed. Apparently that package comes with a prince-sized shower.

January 10, 2017

Are you laughing?

This is an example of tolerance we have come to expect from the left. You know, those who call anyone who disagrees with them racists hate filled bigots.

What the hell is wrong with people?

Knee deep in swamp water

Way back in history, not even a decade ago, the Democrats swept the Republicans out of office capturing the White House , the Senate and the House. This electoral landslide should remind us all that political power is fleeting. This particular election of 2008 should be a reminder to the current GOPers in control of what took them from power eight years ago. There was the wars in Iran and Iraq. There was W's maddening failure to defend himself. And there was mass defections of voters in the Republican Party, mostly over the profligate spending in Congress. I opined at the time that the Republicans spent like drunken sailors, only their excess was an insult to inebriated mariners. Remember the famous "bridge to nowhere"? I wrote at the time that if Republicans were going to spend like Democrats, the voters might as well elect the real thing.

It is with concern that I read that Congressional Republicans are fighting to remove the ban on earmarks. These are little spending projects politicians throw into the budget to get funding for special projects back home; a library here, a new highway there. It all sounds great, but the process was abused and used to pay back bribes, buy votes, get political donations. Half of the roads, bridges, and public buildings in West Virginia bear the Byrd name from his earmarks.  The problem is that a million here, a billion there, and the next thing you know we are spending some real money.

If the GOP is draining the swamp they must be sending all of that fetid water and stinky mud into a larger swamp more to their liking.

This is not what we voted for.

January 9, 2017

Jacobinian Jaberwocky

I failed to post yesterday. I doubt anyone noticed. We are in the winter doldrums. The days are short. Football is for all practical purposes done. Meaningful baseball is months in the future. I really don't care about basketball at any level...you get the idea. The boring bloggity weather report is mostly unchanged. It is going to be cold. Politics are on semi-hold waiting on the Trumpocalypse to unfold, or not, depending on where you perch on the political high wire.

That reminds me, do you know where the idea of political "right" and "left" come from? During the French Revolution politically aligned persons sat together in the General Assembly. Those who leaned towards bat-shit crazy, cut off their heads, kill anyone who disagrees with us gang sat on the left side of the chamber. Those who tended to be more royalist sat to the right. Yes, a little bias crept in to my definition. That is how liberals ended up on the "left". That concept and the metric system are the gifts of the French Revolution. Oh, and example 1A of what happens to society when the Progressives gain complete control.

Political correctness is not a new concept. The notion of "equality" got so bad during the French Revolution that if you dared to dress better than the average street beggar, you could be sent on your way to the executioner. You were viewed as trying to be "better" when the mood of the day was "equality". Neighbors denounced neighbors for failure to have enough revolutionary zeal. Imagine the "Occupy Wall Street" gang on steroids. And way more hate. And the ability to kill anyone who disagrees with them. Think 1919 Russia, only with some serious killing, informing, executions, and paranoid political attacks. Imagine life in these United States if Bill Ayres and the Weathermen were in charge circa 1972. Only far worse. If you don't know what I'm talking about look up the Weather Underground and their ilk. Imagine the college campus snowflakes with the ability to extend their safe zones to include everywhere, and if you triggered them in any way you found yourself staring into a bloody wicker head-catching basket while a guillotine blade slid down toward the back of your neck.  That is why you don't hear anyone wish they had a time machine so they could go back to the time of the French Revolution.

It is Monday, and I have a ton of work to do. The kind of work that pays the bills. Mostly.

Have a great day, Citizen.

January 7, 2017

Make the white queen run so fast

My coffee is fresh and hot. It is black, as coffee should be served. Sinatra is crooning softly in the background as I type. The room is warm, but I can feel a chill from the window beside my chair. I am not surprised, it is currently -1 and the wind chill is -11. That is cold. It also is a reminder that replacement windows need to be on the list of "someday" home improvements. I'm pretty sure it will come after a new front door, granite countertops, new cabinets, an expanded patio/deck, and updated landscaping. Heck, all it takes is money.

A nut job murdered people in a Florida airport.  My heart breaks. Worse, I bet there will be pundits on CNN who will somehow blame Trump. They perversely found a way to blame him for the torture of that poor guy in Chicago.

The South is slated for nasty weather. Here it is just going to be cold. Winter storms and cold weather; seems a lot like January. Be safe and have a great Saturday.

January 5, 2017

Is that good or bad

I just don't have it in me to rant and complain today. There is some snow on the ground here in southwest Lincolnlandistan, but not a lot. It is cold, but it is January.

My hotel breakfast was mediocre, not really very good, yet not inedible. It was free, I got what I paid for.

I didn't even run into any examples of dumb drivers on my road trip yesterday.

I am not sure if this ambivalence is a new me or a temporary blip on the radar. It probably does not make for good blogging.  Don't fret, I can probably generate a mild outrage about something soon.

January 4, 2017

There was this traveling salesman and his car breaks down near a farm

I'm heading back on the road today. I have plenty of auditory stimuli to hopefully keep my attention engaged while miles of pavement pass underneath my tires. I have podcasts and audiobooks and music loaded on my trusty phone. There is always the radio to listen to. Yes, I ended that sentence with a preposition. This trip will prove fruitless in the short term. Most of my visits will be to non-customers. It is unlikely I will get to talk with the decision makers. In fact, I probably won't even get to talk with a receptionist since that job has been mostly eliminated. I will leave messages on voice mail and literature and business cards. This is all part of the effort to grow one's business. Fifty percent of sales is showing up. Opportunity eventually knocks. One new order easily pays for the gas to swing by a prospective customer a couple of times a year. It is not rejection if a prospect buys from the other guy, it is business. It is never personal.

January 3, 2017

Today's swamp news

So much for learning a lesson from the last election. Republicans have gutted the independent ethics commission, moving all ethics charges to the politician controlled Ethics Committee. This is the fox guarding the hen house. No wonder Congress' approval rating is equal to those in favor of Limburger cheese flavored ice cream. I am pretty sure this is exactly the opposite of what voters had in mind when they elected Trump to drain the swamp.

In pot/kettle irony, Dan Rather criticized the WSJ for not calling out Trump. Rather said it is a journalist's job to always tell the truth. I suppose as long as it is "fake but accurate" the reporting can meet that high standard.

The Who had it right. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

We had weird weather yesterday. It was warm for January. In fact, we had thunder and lightning last night. It is supposed to turn cold overnight and snow by Thursday. Mother Nature is messing with us.

Have a good Monday Tuesday.

January 2, 2017

Mundane Monday Musings

All of the inside Christmas decorations are down and boxed up for storage. I will get the outside lights and wreaths down today if it does not rain. I finished cleaning the carpets. Now we have to wait for them to dry so we can put the furniture back. In other words, I worked my ass off this weekend. Today is a work holiday. Only from the paying job. 

The weather is slated to be warm, in the 50s, today. Cold and snow are forecasted for later in the week. Welcome to January. I'm certain we will see significant cold and some snow before the month is out.

My coffee mug needs refilled. Have a great day.

January 1, 2017

Day One

Happy New Year everybody. Goodbye to 2016. At first blush I would venture it was a crappy year, but upon reflection I venture it was a year like most others -- filled with good and bad. I was blind, now I can see. Not just a hymn, but real life for me in 2016. While I was not blind in the "everything is black" sense, I was what is classified as legally blind (just barely). My corrected vision after cornea transplants is 20/25 in one eye and 20/30 in the other. In June it was 20/300. With glasses. I would say that is a good thing.

The Cubs won a World Series. 'Nuff said.

Both my wife and I are healthy, wealthy, and wise. We are healthy anyway. One out of three ain't bad. All of our kids are healthy and so is the grandkid. Both of my parents had a tough year health-wise. But they are doing relatively well.

I tried really hard in 2016 to be a whole lot less negative. While I was not always as successful around here (one has to vent somewhere), I think I did pretty well keeping the bad attitude out of my daily life.

I have areas where I need to improve. I like my job, but I don't love it. Since I am reflecting here, I think I have viewed this job as a stopgap until something better comes along. I work hard, but I haven't embraced it fully. It is time to change things.  If I am bored with my work that is my problem.

2017 is upon us. There will be big changes ahead for all of us. Politics will piss me off. One personal crisis or another will bring challenges to life. There will be good and bad. In other words, it will be a year like any other. I started the new year just like I have the last 38, with a kiss from the woman I love. How can it be a bad year when it starts like that?
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