April 26, 2018

Leftists killed millions in tne last century, what is one more little boy?

Alfie Evans is sick. He is going to die. The British NHS has determined this is so. They have pulled him off the ventilator. Stopped feeding him.

In case you do not know the story, plenty of articles are out there. Read several, I don't want to bias your research. You will have a hard time finding any that make Great Britain look good. In a nutshell doctors cannot identify the brain disorder affecting little Alfie and have stopped treatment. The parents object. The British courts have sided with the doctors, just like they did on the Charlie Gard situation last year.

An Italian hospital thinks they can treat 2year-old Alfie. There is a plane waiting to fly him to Rome. Alfie has been granted Italian citizenship to smooth the paperwork. The treatment will cost the NHS nothing.

The hospital and courts will not let the parents take Alfie for treatment. I don't get it.

I can say this, my grandson lived 21 hours. I would have taken just one more minute, hour, day. I know his parents would too, even knowing the outcome. Every one of those 1,260 minutes Sawyer lived was precious. If another hospital could have given him 60 or 90 or 1,000 more minutes I would have sold my soul to get them.

Read about Alfie then tell me the wonders of single payer healthcare. Tell me about the joys of socialized medicine.  Explain again how death panels are a figment of the fertile imagination of the former governor of Alaska.

Read about Alfie today. Tomorrow read about Venezuela. Then let me know in the comments why anyone would vote for the Berniecrats in the next election. Alfie is what the Democrats want for your kids and grandkids.  Don't fool yourselves. Read their words, listen to their speeches.

April 25, 2018

It's time for lunch

For most of my life I have not dreamed, or I cannot remember them after I wake. For the past few weeks my nights have been filled with rapid-fire vignettes, like a permanent sketch comedy show playing in my skull.

Last night I dreamt I was back in school. I did not dream I was late for class, that I missed the big test, that I was naked and unable to open my locker. No, I dreamed I got mugged and missed lunch.

Psych majors all over the country will scratch their heads over that one.

April 24, 2018

Where have you gone Joe the Blogger-O?

It is clear I have lost what little blogging mojo I ever had.

Like Brenda said...

But the title is pretty clever, eh?  *

Well, at least compared to my usual efforts.

*try singing it

It is Tuesday and I ain't paying for that hamburger

Good morning fellow Earthlings. It looks to be a cool wet day here in Hoosierdom. April showers and such are on tap. I'm feeling better. Thanks for all of your cards and flowers.

In other news...yeah. I'm just burnt out on politics.

It seems those guys may have been loitering around in that Philly Starbucks for as much as 45 minutes without buying anything before being asked to beat it. Keep in mind the guys refused dto leave before the cops were called. They still refused to vacate even when the police asked. I smell a BLM stunt here.

What other restaurant would let people take up a table for 45 minutes and not order anything? It is not race, it is business.

Or maybe the Starbucks manager is a Grand Dragoon of the KKK. We will never know, because like everything in today's America it has to be political and racist and probably somehow Trump's fault.

The Cubs are back in The Mistake by the Lake for a rerun of the '16 Series tonight.

Have a great day.

PS to my Cleveland Indians fans -- I'm wearing my 2016 World Champion T-shirt today, well aware that we were one little rain delay from switching roles.

April 23, 2018

I would skip reading this post if I were you

It is possible this post will be less intelligent than usual.

I spent most of last night crapping my brains out.


12 hours of diarrhea can't be good. I think it is medicine related as opposed to food related. I ate nothing my wife did not also eat, plus there is no abdominal pain, just copious amounts of butt soup.

TMI? I venture the answer is a certain "YES".

Assuming I have not contracted a stray strain of cholera I will probably survive.

I'm afraid to fart though.

April 22, 2018

Gaia Goodness Glorified

Today is Earth Day.

I will celebrate by spraying chemicals on the weeds in my yard. It is an annual tradition.

April 21, 2018

Peeling back the layers of the onion

I write pretty much like I talk. Slowly. Hah! No seriously, my writing and speaking styles are similar. I think that is why I have always written posts and letters and even term papers fairly quickly.

Back in the day I would research term papers, read the sources, make notes of pertinent facts and quotes I wanted to use. Then I sat down and generally wrote the entire effort in one sitting. I could compose a ten or even twenty page paper in this fashion. I could often outpace my typist (my girlfriend / now wife would type for me).

I think this is one reason my pathetic attempts at fiction have been so lame. I can get a good start, but the mental challenge of writing an entire short story or novel in my head is too much. I'm just not that smart.

I'm always fascinated by the creative process. In honesty, most of my blog posts take anywhere from ten minutes to thirty to compose (I know, you can tell). A good chunk of that time  is deciding what to write about. I have discussed this with my musician son. What comes first for him, the melody or he lyrics? For him it is either, or, and both. Sometimes he will get a cord progression, or musical phrase. Other times it may be a lyric. Sometimes a bit of melody is the foundation.

Often my posts work a little better if I read them out loud. Yesterday's musings are a good example. I hear the Animal House cast chanting "Toga, Toga" when I read that. Take a slightly sarcastic tone coupled with a "south of 70" Hoosier accent* and slightly slow and even cadence and you could be me talking in my definitely not radio-ready voice. I guess you could call my style self-deprecating sarcasm covering an under-layer of indignant righteousness.  Long-time critic EOB labeled it as "smug". Yep.

I like to think of my musings as a conversation between us.  I started blogging because I worked alone in an office. There was no one to talk to. My boss and support was in Italy. I needed an outlet for my jokes, anecdotes, and political rants. I still work alone, now from a spare bedroom. I still need an outlet for my stories, jokes, and outraged rants.

I'm glad we have a chance to talk.

*that same accent can be found south of 70 in Ohio and Illinois too. It is strange I have it since I grew up in north central Indiana far from I-70. My brother and parents don't have it. Go figure. Linguists are right, we learn speech from our peers, not our home environment.

April 20, 2018

The conversation in my head

Yesterday was the first time I failed to mark the anniversary of the beginning of the Revolutionary War at the old blog.

OK, that may or not be true, the first time I failed to mention part, not the anniversary part. Frankly, I'm too lazy to go back through 37 years of archives to check the veracity of the statement. Let's just stipulate that it is true -- the first time omission part.

Are you as confused as I am right now?

I will comment that the sole purpose of the British incursion into the Massachusetts hinterlands was to seize a cache of arms. In other words, to confiscate guns. See how that worked out?

What? Look it up. Do you think the Lobsterbacks were just out for a stroll in the countryside? Have I ever led you astray?

That was a rhetorical question. I don't need your long lists of proof for every time I was wrong. Or even your short lists. My wife already keeps tabs. Not of blog wrongs, real wrongs. I admit to none. That is how I roll, to trot out a phrase that certifies me as an old geezer and out of touch. Whassup? Thirty-eight skeedoo. Like, far out, man. Groovy. Toga, toga.

I tell you now, I'm this far into this nonsense post and I have no title, nor any idea what the purpose of the post really is. The truth is I'm bored with the blog. I'm bored with my job. I'm bored with politics. I'm bored with life.

I probably just need some nooky.

This post is example 154 of why subscribing to this blog is worth every cent of the purchase price. No refunds. No exchanges. Do not spindle, fold, or mutilate your receipt. All items must retain original packaging or warranty is void.

Oh well, how about we all have a great Friday anyway?

April 19, 2018

Hangin' with Mr. Mitty

It occurs to me, and not for the first time, that my real life would make a for a great blog. The fiction that is here, well, no one's life is that mundane.

If only you knew...

April 18, 2018

I thought you was dead.

Not hardly. So says the Duke in my favorite western. Me neither. I'm not dead. I haven't abandoned the old blogeroo. I was not on vacation. I just did not post anything. I had nothing to say.

"But Joe", you say, "that never stopped you before".


I made quick business trip to Oh-hi-ya this week. Ah, life on the road. I stayed in a hotel motel straight out of 1978. The office was separate from the buildings that held the rooms. My room was on the second floor up an outside iron staircase and off an open walkway fronting he parking lot. The interior was dark and decorated in 1990s vintage motel furniture. The TV was new. The window heater was loud. The free continental breakfast was pre-packaged sweet rolls from Sam's Club. The room was exceptionally clean.

News has been going on. Weather happened.

I clearly had no blog fodder for today either.

Enjoy your Wednesday.

April 14, 2018

A bunch of words about nothing and I don't mean in a good Seinfeld way

The weather yesterday was glorious, albeit a little windy. I took the granddaughter down to a little park to climb and play. Afterward, we played ball, bubbles, and sidewalk chalk. She had the most fun whacking stuff with a stick she found lying on the ground.

We had two days in a row that topped 70 for the first time since last October. That was just what was needed to finally kickstart spring. Leaves are breaking out on the big willow and the maples. Today's rain will help, especially of it is steady and soaking. I will probably have to mow next week. I noticed a few dandelions popping out in yellow glory. Since my neighbors on both sides refuse to treat their lawns, I fight a summer-long battle against weeds.

Last year I chose to do stuff besides the heavy yard work on the weekends; namely hang out at our friend's pool. That  means the backyard needs serious work this year, including a dump truck of mulch, fence painting, pruning, planting, and general landscaping. All it takes is time, effort, and cash. On the other hand my buddy is probably going to open his heated pool in mid-May...

April 13, 2018


I don't usually subscribe to superstitions, other than always putting on left sock, left shoe, right sock, right shoe (and that is no superstition but rather a prudent policy). That said, the failure of my employer to deposit my pay as scheduled today is par for Friday the 13th and the notion that bad stuff happens on this day.


This post says it all.

No further editorial comment from me is needed.

April 12, 2018

Boy was 13 year-old me disappointed to discover that a pussy willow was just a tree

Real spring-like weather is xpected for the next day or two -- 70s and windy. Don't worry snow is back in the forecast for early next week.

I read a great line this morning. I can't remember which article, but it sums it up pretty well. I will paraphrase: the average progressive just cannot accept that half of America so hates progressive politics and policies that they were willing to vote for Donald Trump.


I think the left has finally found a President they hate more than Nixon. And like Nixon, Trump will probably provide not only tne ammunition to his downfall, but the weapon too; cocked and loaded. Trump is of the philosophy that any publicity is good publicity. He doesn't understand the concept of death by a thousand cuts.

And I clearly love mixed metaphors. But you get the point.

April 11, 2018

Sorry Dear

Not right now, I have a headache. A massive headache.

You will have to get your jollies elsewhere.

April 9, 2018

Reality sucks

Once again the grass and trees are covered in postcard-worthy snow. It is both beautiful and disgusting. It is April, for goodness sake. We have had more snow since spring officially arrived than all the months of winter combined.

Another boring weekend is past us and it is back to the grind.

News-wise I read the same old crap. The Trumpster has to go because he did something maybe that is probably worse than anything anyone could have done... evah. That is the Democrat/media position. Me, I think all this trade war talk and proposal is a sure way to put the brakes to a steaming economy.

Look, some of that overseas manufacturing left here a long time ago. There is not enough capacity here for many of those products. Tariffs mean steep price increases for you and me. Second, in some cases there isn't capacity at all.  For instance a TV hasn't been made in the States for years. One doesn't just open a new plant. You need experts: tool makers, engineers, maintenance guys. It would take three or four years to start up production form scratch.

Look, China doesn't need most of our manufactured goods. They can build it cheaper, and sorry to say it, as well or almost as well as we can do it ourselves. My last visit to a Chinese widget maker showed me a highly automated, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant more modern than anything I have visited here in the States. Yes, I know anecdote is not data.

We can make T-shirts in the US. Are you prepared to drop $30 or $40 for that cheap cotton polyester blend shirt at WalMart? As consumers we cannot have it both ways.

There is a significant and powerful manufacturing sector on this country. Ask anyone involved in manufacturing and they will tell you getting good and reliable workers is the challenge. Employers want employees who show up for work, who work hard, and can pass a drug test. Far too often those three attributes are difficult to find.

Trump claims we cannot loose in a trade war. We can lose if China dumps their massive load of T-bills onto the market.

April 8, 2018

At least the coffee is hot

All things considered, I would rather be someplace tropical, cold beer or Mai tai in hand, gazing at a pool or beach.

April 6, 2018

Your Governmental Overlords Know Best

So,  Deerfield, IL has decided to ban so-called assault rifles. They have demanded owners turn them in for confiscation or face a $1,000 per day fine.

Leaving the Second Amendment issues aside for now, how does the village plan to take private property from citizens without due compensation? Is this not a.violation of the Takings Clause? It appears the lawyers for the village are ignorant of both the Second and Fifth Amendments.

How will the jackbooted thugs tasked with carrying out the law know which citizen has these scary plastic guns anyway? Are the authorities planning house to house searches? That brings up a Fourth Amendment issue.

The Village might as well go all in. Why not station a policeman in every private house and then forbid citizens from speaking out in protest? Then they can violate five amendments in one fell swoop.

I remember reading about an April day in our past when the civil authorities set out to confiscate some guns. It was April 18, 1775. That event was the key catalyst for including he Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

No matter where you stand on the issue of guns you have to see this as a vast governmental overreach.  I am glad Deerfield Village is a fairly affluent suburb, I have driven through it many times, because the taxpayers are going to wrack up some serious legal bills as this is fought all the way to the Supreme Court over the next several years.

April 5, 2018

My WTH Wednesday

My wife looked at my rapidly graying hair last night and told me that I'm sure looking old. How is that for a confidence booster?

I lost at Candyland to a 3 year old yesterday.

Later, an old lady yelled at me at Kroger. Really. I walked in the front doors to the little " lobby" or vestibule area where they keep carts, small displays, gum machines, and the like. There was an abandoned cart sitting here that someone had left as they exited the store. I started to push it in the doors when an old lady grabbed me from behind and shouted that was her cart. Ok. I bit my tongue and walked two feet to where the carts were pushed together and grabbed another one.  It is bad enough she freaked out, but she actually...touched me. I'm getting old. A decade ago if someone grabbed me from behind, I would have turned with a flying elbow and asked questions later. I'm glad I didn't take out a seventy year old lady over a shopping cart. I'm shocked anyone would grab you because you touched the cart they wanted.

I did have beef and noodles with mashed spuds for supper. That is my favorite meal, so the day wasn't a total loss.

Did I mention I lost at Candyland to a three year old? Sigh.

April 4, 2018

Snide and Sarcastic Snark for beginners

Monday's heavy snow and Tuesday's heavy rain have been replaced by strong gusty winds. I guess these weather extremes indicate we are all going to die due to Weather! Climate Change! Even though it has been warmer and colder before.

The "unprecedented" melting of the Arctic last summer uncovered an old fishing settlement hundreds of years old. The huts were built centuries before Karl Benz or Elwood Haynes slapped a gas engine into a carriage. Humans were drying fish on racks near the ice-free Arctic Circle more than a half a millenia before the Industrial Revolution. Draw your own conclusion.

In other news a crazed shooter shot up YouTube. It is imperative we ban something and restrict access to more stuff in the name of safety. This murderous woman broke eleventy-seven laws, both state and federal, so only by adding more laws could she have been stopped.

My coffee mug is nearly empty. My reservoir of snark is not. For both our sake, I think I will address the coffee situation and save the snide opinion for another day.

You are welcome.

April 3, 2018

I think the intern over at Ma Nature, Inc. is running stuff this week

Yesterday morning we woke to 3 inches or so of snow. The granddaughter and my wife went out and built a snowman.

In the wee hours of this morning either a pervert was taking flash photos through my blinds or else thunderstorms and lightning rumbled through the neighborhood.  There is a threat of tornado activity this afternoon.

Don't worry, more snow is in the forecast for Wednesday.

My blog may be boring and my life devoid of thrills, but there is always the weather to provide something to write about. Aren't you thrilled?

April 2, 2018

Entertaining the troops for twenty-seven years

Several inches of heavy wet snow covers the ground. The trees look like something out of a winter postcard; a Hollywood version of snow covered trees. The bright spot is that the drive and sidewalk remain snow-free. Still, it is April. Come on Ma Nature!

Easter dinner came out pretty good. The boy had to cut the ham, I did not want to touch any food with my nasty hands. We have a bunch of ham left. I kept some in te fridge and froze two other packages. I don't know what I will do with it, but I have it when I need it. If I was nice, I would make the wife ham and beans,

I loathe ham and beans. I won't eat them. I dislike beans in general.

I have a week of work to get to. Enjoy your Monday.

April 1, 2018

And not one canned post the whole time

So last week I spent a bunch of hotel points and took my wife to a nice Hilton resort down in the Sunshine State. I used up some gas points too, so we got a week's vacation for a few hundred bucks. We did nothing beyond relax in the sun poolside. We ate out for dinner. I finished one book that I started before we left and finished two more. I am halfway through yet another. So, yeah, sitting poolside, in the sun, sipping beer, surreptitiously looking at the young moms in bikinis, while reading a good book, made for a perfect relaxing vacation.

I managed to get a decent tan base without a sunburn.

I also got...something. About Tuesday I noticed a few bumps popping up on the back of my hand. By Wednesday the hives were on both hands. Thursday saw both hands and my lower arms covered in itchy hives. If I didn't know better, I would swear I was rubbed by poison oak or something. The back of my hands look like one of those nasty bumpy gourds you see in the fall. I've always been prone to allergic reactions. Hives are nothing new, but I have never been afflicted for so long and that makes me think I have some kind of rash instead of an allergic reaction. I just don't know where I got it or why the wife wasn't afflicted too.

At this point I don't think it is an allergic reaction.  Hives do not last this long.

If it is not better by tomorrow, and I have no reason to think it will be since the bumps are not going down and the itching has not ceased or abated even a little (despite generous amounts of cortisone cream), I will have to saunter off to the doctor.

He has Risen

Happy Easter. Take a minute, if you are the Christian faith, to remember the day is not just about egg hunts or bunnies.

Two thirds of the kids and their families ( the oldest lives in Colorado) are coming over for dinner. Nothing says celebration for the world's most famous Jew than cooking a ham.

As an April Fools prank we are expecting snow this evening. Touché, Mother Nature.

March 29, 2018

Just like Christmas, only without presents, or Santa, or ...

It is opening day! The long winter between football and baseball is finally over!

I must use exclamation points! It is a law!

It is time to get the greatest tune into your skull:

March 28, 2018

I guess he really did vault those lazy dogs

The boy reports he was sitting on the patio last night smoking his cancer sticks and minding his business. He looked up and there stood a large red fox staring at him, about 10 feet away. The boy jumped and the fox did too, both thinking "What is he doing here?".

You might not think this so very strange, the 'burbs are populated by wildlife -- coyotes, coons, opossums, deer, chipmunks, and such. The neighbors reported a fox a few times last fall. What is unusual is that my backyard is surrounded by a 6' tall privacy fence. The boy said he wondered how the beast got in, only to get his question answered. He watched the fox turn and with a quick burst of speed the fox jumped the fence easily.

Now the boy is worried about letting his little corgi out in the night.

March 27, 2018

Whatever he says -- do the opposite

Is there anything more hilarious than Jimmah Carter giving out foreign policy advice? For those of you too young to remember look up 1979 and Iran.

Carter giving recommendations is akin to the guy who built that bridge that collapsed down in Miami telling you how to go about assembling a shed in your backyard.

March 26, 2018

Wake up Thalia, I've got blogging to do

Here we are on a cloudy Monday morning. The coffee is hot, my muse is still snuggled under the covers, snoring gently.  Clio, Thalia? Are you awake?

Oh well.

There was a big anti-Constitution march over the weekend. I guess it as good thing the Second Children's Crusade was targeting the Second Amendment instead of the First one.

Basketball happened. I guess hockey too. There was weather. Ive been waching old reruns of Miami Vice. I do not think that drama was too realistic.

Muses, wake up! Sigh. Sorry, maybe later.

Have a good Monday anyway.

March 25, 2018

Not everyone was a hippie in the 60s

Here is a rerun from 2012. memories of summer days can help hide my disgust over this early spring spate of winter? Besides, I'm feeling a bit nostalgic:

Saturday morning musings

He woke with a sneeze, quickly followed by two more. He blew his nose on the soggy, snotty handkerchief from under his pillow. His eyes were stuck shut with snot and gunk. Joe managed to pry open the right one as he stumbled down the hall to the bathroom. Warm water unstuck the left as well as a few eye lashes.

He padded to the kitchen. His pajama top was snapped crooked.  "Good morning sunshine" his Mom happily intoned.  She was sitting at the breakfast bar drinking coffee and smoking a cigarette. He got a bowl and the box of Quisp cereal from the cabinet. His Mom poured the milk. He could hear the washing machine running. He scratched his thick dark hair. He sniffed.  His Mom handed him a Kleenex, without saying a word.

After breakfast he brushed his teeth and pulled on cutoff jeans, the legs fringed. He remembered he forgot to take off his pajama shorts first and had to start over. He searched through the drawer looking for his favorite red tank top. Joe would wear it every day if he could.  He settled on a blue one. Snot was running down his nose.

"Mom, can I go over to the park?"  Yes to the park, no to the dime for the concession stand. He knew it was a long shot first thing in the morning. The spring on the wooden screen door stretched and the door banged closed as he went into the garage.

As he mounted his red stingray bike he heard his Mother yell at him from the laundry room "Joe, put on shoes if you are riding your bike". He pretended he did not hear.

He jumped the bike over the curb and tried to pull a "wheelie" as he pedaled faster. The sissy bar was too far back on the banana seat to help. No one was out playing as he rode the three blocks to the park. The park was likewise empty. He looked back across the wide open grass toward the railroad tracks and the drainage ditch. He rode towards the culvert that went under the tracks.

Dismounting, he crushed a few crawdad holes and poked a stick in another. None came crawling out. He squished his bare feet into the mud and soggy grass at the edge of the shallow water. No fish were to be seen.  There never were. He rinsed his feet in the thin stream. As always, he peered up into the murky depths of the large sycamore near the ditch. Billy McKenzie said he caught a bat there. Joe had seen the bat, wrapped in netting. Having a bat would be cool. None was to be spied.  The boy absentmindedly pulled up the tail of his shirt and blew his nose.  Only then did it occur to him he had a handkerchief in his back pocket. He used it to smear the snot on his shirt.

The boy picked up a thin stick and swished it through the air like a whip. He mounted his red bike and pedaled around the neighborhood, whipping imaginary horses. Mostly he liked the sound it made whistling through the air.. Bored, he threw the stick into old man Vice's yard because he knew the old man would freak out about it.  The old man yelled at any kid who came close to his grass. Old man Vice mowed every day and was a fanatic about his yard.

Joe noticed some empty Coke bottles tossed out from a car, near the stop sign. He skidded to a stop and studied them. Three bottles, that was nine cents in returnable deposit at the supermarket.. He tried wedging one of the bottles into the bike frame without success. He could not think of a way to carry three empty bottles on his bike. He left them beside the street and peddled on.

As he neared the Redmond house he instinctively stood up and pumped the pedals as fast as possible. As he zoomed past, their collie-dalmatian mix came tearing around the corner barking furiously at the bike rider. Joe was past before the dog got a good run at him.  The dog stopped, panting. The mutt gave a last bark, acknowledging today's winner.

It was just another summer day.

March 24, 2018

The answer is blowing' in the wind

SnowTeam ScareTeam is on RedAlert as a big snow storm bears down on the environs. As of now we may or may not get 2-5 inches of snow. Yesterday they were predicting as much as 8". By the time the storm arrives -- it is already late -- we may be down to a dusting. We also might get the hammering they expect. Who knows? In any case, I have bread, milk, and eggs. We are set.

March 23, 2018

Vroom, vroom

I had a 2018 Camaro for my rental car yesterday.  It was a pleasure to drive. It handled well and drove great in the city and on the highway. Gas milage was good. The car was remarkably comfortable and roomy inside. It sat low, so mounting and dismounting was not like jumping into the Wife's Escape. It had more than just a little bit of get-up-and-go.


Here I am, up at 4:30 in the aye em yet again.  You don't care about that.

The GOPe just went on yet another spending spree. I guess we're living in the Bush years again. It seems every time the Stupid Party gets in charge they try to outspend the Democrats. It is working, if that was your strategy. We might as well vote for the Democrats in the mid-terms, at least they are honest about their intention to spend my money and your money and our great-grandkid's money. I suspect you don't care about that either. I'm tired of ranting about it.

Let's discuss even less interesting stuff. I forgot to point out that yesterday marked  13 years of blogging here at Fat in Indiana. I wrote my first mediocre post on March 22, 2005 and 5982 posts later we have this mediocre one. Some things do not change. That comes out to an average of...I don't know, probably pretty close to one a day.  I'm not a math whiz.  More to the point, it doesn't matter. I write the drivel. You read the drivel. We have our roles to play.

It seems I have an attitude problem today. Sorry 'bout that.

Seriously, thank you to all of you for stopping by. You have no idea what it means to me.

March 22, 2018

I’ve been missing you

One of my big customers has a new buyer, so I’m off to introduce myself to him this afternoon. Ho hum, but I am looking forward to getting out of the office. When I took this gig I had no idea I would be driving a desk 99% of the time.  I miss the road. 

I don’t miss being gone from my family, but I do miss the highways, the small towns, the old favorite restaurants in my frequent stopping places. I miss going into a new town and finding the best place to get a burger. I even miss the crappy hotel breakfasts. That last sentence was a lie. I miss picking up snippets of local radio, only to have them fade in a half hour as I drive away from the tower. I miss the audiobooks and podcasts over Bluetooth to the radio. I miss listening to ball games as I motor through the Midwest and southeast. 

Mostly, I miss the hotel and airline points. 

March 21, 2018


I’m a liar, or at least someone is. I reported the start of spring yesterday. I woke up to light seeping in through the closed blinds this morning. At first I thought I might have overslept. Alas, the brightness was light reflecting from snow covering the ground. Beautiful thick layers of snow blankets trees, shrubs, streets, grass — everywhere. It would be a perfect Christmas postcard. Too bad it is March. A couple of inches of ugly nasty snow. There is probably even snow on that sentence fragment. What the heck, Mother Nature? It is supposed to keep snowing until mid-morning and then it will warm into the 40s this afternoon. I have nowhere to go this morning, the granddaughter is not coming today, so I think I will skip the shoveling of the drive and walks and let Ma Nature melt it off.  She caused the mess, she can clean it up.

March 20, 2018


We have been waiting for months. It is here.

Rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow are in today’s local forecast. I guess Mother Nature forgot to check her calendar.

March 19, 2018

gears a-turning in my head

I should have kept one of the posts I combined yesterday and canned it for today. Here we are on a Monday morning and I should be cramming instead of blogging.  I have just a few hours to learn all I can about shaft couplers. I’m off to do some homework.

March 18, 2018

Sunday Morning deserves a really good title. I hope someone uses one on their blog

I pre-wrote a Sunday post Saturday. It will go up in a bit, at a completely arbitrary time I pre-entered. That is unless I stop it and post this instead. Or I might can this one. Confused? Me too (and not in the hashtag* way).

I woke up around 3 AM and catnapped until 5:00 or so when I got up. I’ve been surfing the web since then, drinking coffee and listening to music quietly. I am enjoying the Amazon Prime 60s rock station this morning. There is a little too much Hendrix for my taste, but he goes away with a simple “Alexa, skip”.

Here is a heresy for you: I think Jimmy Hendrix is remarkably overrated. There, I said it. I will admit his version of  All Along The Watchtower is far superior to Robert Allen Zimmerman’s. You know — Bob Dylan. Who, by the way, is another overrated icon from the sixties. Yep, I just wrote that. I expect the Rock and Roll god will strike me down with a bolt of lightning shot from the tip of that ugly-assed pyramid in Cleveland. I don’t hate either musician. I have select tunes from both on my iPhone. They are nowhere near the top of my list of loathed artists such as Steve Miller. I will turn off The Joker as soon as the first notes sear my eardrums.

It is OK if you want to be wrong and disagree with me. I have eclectic taste in music. What I like probably isn’t your cup of tea.  My wife and son both really hate The Doors.

Here is a tune I can dig:

From the original 60’s lineup of Fleetwood Mac, long before Lindsey and Stevie turned them into a pop powerhouse.

I like both iterations of the band: the blues driven, and the rock pop version.

Just to update you on the status of things, I took the canned Sunday post and merged it with the fresh one to give you a semi-fresh version. Think of it as the equivalent of making homemade salsa with canned ‘maters.

I think I have wasted enough of both of our time (times?)** on this Sunday. Have a great day.

* when did “#” quit being called a pound sign or more accurately, the octothorp?

** I don’t think either is correct — the sentence is just awkward but you probably get the general meaning and I would rather waste time writing a pointless post script that rewriting the sentence. I’m stubborn like that.

March 17, 2018

A minute here, a minute there, and you have a whole different sport

I’m trying hard not to curse these days, but what the hell, baseball? This is perhaps the stupidest idea in sports. I do not understand this obsession with shaving minutes from the game of baseball. MLB could save that same two or four minutes by cutting a couple of commercial breaks*. If they want to shorten the game, get rid of the odious designated hitter rule. Pitchers strike out more often than position players and hitting specialists. Starting extra innings with a runner on second is an abomination.

Baseball’s charm has always been its idiosyncrasies. The defense possesses the ball. There is no time clock. There is no sudden death overtime. Why do we need to change it? How about, in the name of speed, we just make the game into home run derby. Every guy gets two pitches to hit the ball, fail and you are out. Use a pitching machine to guarantee strikes. We could blow through nine innings in about an hour.

We have all been stuck working late. There is nothing more disappointing than to have the boss show up and tell you you have to put in some extra hours. Too bad baseball. Extra inning games are memorable. Imagine the 2016 World Series with this idiotic “ start the extra innings with a runner on second” rule. Why not start the 10th and subsequent innings with bases loaded and two outs? The next hit wins. Poof extra inning games are over in a flash.

Spit. I did not possess the vocabulary to adequately express my disdain.

* extra innings mean more commercial breaks, thus more money, so why cut the length of games?

H/t Dustbury

March 16, 2018

You have four days to get it together Mother Nature

Yesterday looked great: bright sun in a cloudless sky, little wind. Temperatures creeped into the low 50s. I made some macaroni salad, microwaved a can of baked beans and threw some burgers on my decrepit grill for supper.  I doubled down later in the evening by pulling out the freezer and made some homemade ice cream. Even if spring is slow to arrive I’m going to act like it is here.

There is snow in the forecast for next week. Sigh.

March 15, 2018

And that is how you do it

Good morn...wait, I just realized my coffee cup is empty...


Good Morning. It is yet another chilly start to the day here in flyover country. It is probably no less than we deserve as backward, despicable, hate-filled rubes. I did score a pizza for $3.14 for supper last night, so all is not beyond hope around here.

If you stopped by for meaningful commentary I’m am sorry to tell you that you are going to be a bit disappointed this morning.

But I did post something. There is that.

March 14, 2018

living In the past

I’m sure you have already read about it, but isn’t it ironic that Hillary blames her whole election loss to people who are always looking backwards and living in the past.  Her comments were rehashing an election she lost two years ago.

Who is living in the past?  Who refuses to look forward?

When is Clinton going away? She was measured and weighed by the American people and she was found wanting. Seriously, I think we would be better off if she spent more time studying the bottom of her Chardonnay glass and less time trashing the American people while overseas.  Maybe Mrs. Clinton should look to her own words when reflecting on the last election — “What does it matter now?”.

Oh, we won't give in, we'll keep living in the past

Oh, we won't give in, let's go living in the past

Oh no, no, we won't give in, let's go living in the past 

it has something to do with the circumference and the diameter, I think

I have to go with apricot first, with peach a close second. I’m pretty fond of sugar cream. Apple ranks high on the list too. Key lime rounds out the top five. Pecan gets honorable mention.

I like any kind of pie, especially on pi day.

March 13, 2018

It is all about number 10

I have to be honest, I don’t really have my panties all in a wad because Florida decided to insist you have to be 21 to buy a gun. Mostly because it is Florida and I don’t live there. If the voters in Florida don’t like the new law they can simply elect different people to vote differently. It is really that simple.

I could be wrong on this position and maybe you will tell me why in the comments.

Contrary to popular misconception, the thing was not set up to be fifty (or 13) administrative districts carrying out the Big Government policies. It really was supposed to be the other way around; you know — a group of States united together. That was the plan. There was never any intention every State had to be the same.  Too bad they do not teach civics in school anymore. If I could go back in time and suggest a change, it would be that Amendment Ten would have been listed as number One.

Annual Boot to the Crotch Day

I woke up at 4:00 this morning. The wife must have been sleeping mouth agape: her CPAP sounded like a wind tunnel. I shouldn’t blame her though. I woke up because that is what I do. I read this morning that getting sleepy during the day may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. It may also be a sign I’m only getting four or five hours of sleep at night and I need more. Take that science. What was I talking about?

I cooked up some smoked sausage in the grill pan and made a batch of homemade mac and cheese for supper last night. Since I was up early I thought a little of that leftover sausage would be good with a biscuit left from Sunday’s fried chicken dinner. Alas, it appears the boy ate the rest of the sausage sometime after I went to bed [insert sigh]. My loverly wife isn’t too fond of smoked sausage, so I only get it once or twice a year. I was kinda looking forward to the leftovers. Oh well, such circumstances are not major problems. Plus, I told him the leftovers were there. He also ate the rest of Sunday’s chicken. That boy has always liked his protein.

Here is my summary of the politics of the day. Republicans in the House say the evil Russkies probably tried to screw with the election but the Trumpster had nothing to do with it. The Democrats say that is because we didn’t find a way to force anyone to admit to it. I suspect both Hillary and the Trumpster looked for dirt on the other candidate no matter the source, whether that was the Commies or the Brits or anyone else. It is politics.

I suspect the Russians took delight in trying to screw with our election. Do you think we don’t do the same all over the world? Do you really think the good old white-hatted US of A would not do everything possible to help a candidate that ran against Putin? Some of you hand-wringing about mythical KGB agents working the polls are the very people saying the Government should help those poor souls protesting in Tehran a few months ago. The Obama actively campaigned in the last Israeli elections. Grow up.

I think there should be one day a year where every elected official receives a kick in the crotch from an NFL punter wearing steel-toed boots, just to remind them they are public servants. Maybe if occasional pain is involved some of the more asshole-types would forgo inflicting themselves on the  public. Ah hell, forget that idea, too many of the bastards would enjoy it.

March 12, 2018

i don’t know who you are

Anonymous said...I don't even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don't know who you are but definitely you're going to a famous blogger if you aren't already ;) Cheers!
I received this comment Sunday on a post from December of 2014.  Since all of 23 people read my Sunday effort, I suspect my fame has not spread far and wide.

Maybe tomorrow.

The spam was innocuous enough that I let it pass and hit publish. When I famous that guy or gal will be able to point to that post and exclaim “I called it!”.

How to win the office basketball pool

Back when I worked with real people in a real office today would be a real time-waster. Even though I have little interest in college basketball it would dominate conversation. The big office pool would be starting up. Everyone would be filling in brackets instead of entering orders, creating production plans, placing purchase orders, or reviewing engineering drawings. The morning coffee break would stretch past the allotted ten minutes and cross-cubicle kibitzing would increase. This is all before the first game is played.

It is no wonder I was surprised at my work output when I first moved into a solo office. I did more in four hours than I used to do in eight. Conversations with yourself tend to be short and to the point. There are no guys to meet down at the break room at 10:00. I confess I do miss vending machine coffee. There is no sarcasm there, I like vending machine coffee. Sometimes I miss the camaraderie of working in an office, of being part of the whole.

So get after those basketball brackets this morning. I feel for you. I threw my buck into the pot and I feel pretty confident I will recoup my investment when the tournament is done. After all, when you are the only guy in the office pool your chances of winning are pretty good.

March 11, 2018

A miracle drug

Oft times I have utilized exaggeration and hyperbole for entertainment purposes.


Yes, reader, it is true.

Say it ain’t so, Joe.

Today it is not the case. Today, I am going to tell you about a miracle. I have ugly feet. My heels are narrow and have spurs that make breaking in new shoes painful. The arches are high, the toes very flat. I’m missing a couple of toenails. The skin is dry and heavily callused and often cracked, rough, and sometimes bleeding from dryness.

Ummm, sexy

Many diabetics have dry skin. My heels are so rough I have occasionally torn holes into the heels of socks. No lie. I have tried a variety of creams and lotions with limited success. Today, my friends, I’m going to tell you about a cure that has provided dry skin relief in just a couple of days. I’m not healed, but my footsies are no longer ripping holes in the wife’s good sheets.

Tell us already

I switched doctors a year or so ago and this guy is competent and efficient. If your appointment is for 8:30, you are in the exam room by 8:33. I never have to play iPhone euchre in the waiting room. In the course of a foot exam he tells me that he could prescribe some expensive meds that would help with the rhino-like skin on my heels. He said they are expensive but that Crisco works just as well.

Did you just say Crisco?

That was my reaction too! Crisco? Yep, it seems vegetable shortening is close to your own natural oils. So far, it seems to work as well as the stuff from the drug store. BTW, I bought a different can of shortening to use for cooking.  No one wants foot-flavored pie crust. I just slather some on before bed and pull on some socks.

Anyway, my feet are not healed, but they are softer and less cracked after just a couple of days.

I just can’t figure out why I keep craving fried chicken.

That time again

A 1,319 word rant on the idiocy know as “Daylight Savings Time” was elinated.

March 10, 2018

Hey You Guys...

Like every other blogger,  my readership has dropped significantly. Blogging is an old dinosaur, the cool kids are on instagram and Facebook and Twitter and whatever platform the kids have moved to in order to hide their quest for fame from their parents. I also take a significant share of responsibility.  To paraphrase the movie line, if you write it they will come. One has to have interesting and compelling content. Still, my daily hits are down by about half over the past week or so. Is it me? Are you on spring break? Have I offended you?

I don’t expect an answer. If you aren’t reading this you won’t know I asked you a question. If you are reading, then it doesn’t apply. I don’t want you readers to tell me I boring, can’t spell, lack coherent arguments, and that my grammar is awful, my writing atrocious.

It is very likely you are as bored with my efforts as I am.

I could tell you about the light bulb that blew apart in my office ceiling fan this morning. I have to figure out how to get the carcass out of the socket later. I suspect that is not riveting content.

Oh well. I am coming up on my 197th  blogversary later this month. I’ll likely keep at it until I am back where every hit was me checking to see if anyone read my crap, or I die from boredom. Either scenario could play out in the next months.

Boo boo poor me.

March 9, 2018

News you can use

No, relax. Once more the title of the post has nothing to do with content. You should know that by now.

I went to the doctor this morning. He was happy. My blood sugars have continued to drop. My A1C is back below 7. I will yet again avoid insulin. Yay for me. Of course, I was left with the admonition to “do better”.  While I was there I got an updated tetanus shot, the first since I was probably in my teens. I feel like I was punched in the shoulder. I also had blood drawn for various labs. My cholesterol has been good so I don’t expect any change there.

My drivers license is due for renewal this month. I don’t anticipate any issues with the vision test since my surgeries, but I’m going in early just to be safe.

I’m not sure what the cruise director has planned for our weekend social activities. I’m sure she will tell me when it is time to get in the car.

That’s it for now.

I bet you are glad you checked in for this post.

Have a great Friday.

March 8, 2018

Let’s all go to the lobby...

I’m doing stuff today.

How about a musical interlude? Ron Wood again proves he is the best guitarist in the band.

March 7, 2018

Strange Brew

it is snowing. The ground is covered with a thin layer. The streets are just wet. Oh Spring, you are bi-polar indeed. The snow is supposed to taper off at any time. We will be left with wind, cold, and clouds. At least the neighbor’s Christmas lights will look festive in the snow.

I am staring at the danged cursor. It is mocking me with its steady pulse. When I started this post I had a list of stuff to write about in my head. I made the comment about the inconsequential snowfall and now the rest of my thoughts have melted away like March snowflakes on the potholed pavement.  WTH brain?

Perhaps it will come back to me later. There is no rule limiting me to one post a day.  You may think there should be, but so far I can spread my nonsense with impunity.

Enjoy your Wednesday.

March 6, 2018

Episode 137, Joe is right yet again

I called it yesterday.  A 20 year old sues WalMart  and Dick’s for discrimination because they denied him the right to buy a rifle. I can spot lawyer-bait a mile away. I predict a class action suit by the end of the week as the grab a buck bandwagon fills up.

March 5, 2018

Random Rantings

So, WalMart has decided they won’t sell you a gun if you are under 21, despite your Constitutional right to have one and the fact you have met every legal requirement of your State. What is the difference between that situation and a person who refuses to bake your wedding cake? Is it not a different form of discrimination? Of course I think that if WalMart wants to have an age-limited gun policy that is their right. Similarly, I think if a bakery wants a no-gay wedding cake policy, that is acceptable too. Let the invisible hand deal with it, not the government’s iron fist.

One of the main secondary roads into the suburb where I live narrows down to two lanes and for a mile or so traverses a tree-lined area. One side is old and second growth forest. The other shows a bare glimpse of houses cut into the trees. I’m talking real estate that can only be purchased by people making six figure incomes and where the first number in those six figures isn’t a one.

Traffic in this area can be brutal and major expansion of the main arteries is in the works. That means the alternative routes have to be prepared for the upcoming increase in traffic. Bulldozers are out ripping up the trees to widen the road and install yet more traffic circles in an effort to reduce rush hour traffic. I know the road needs widening. It still makes me sick to see the trees torn out.

I also hate sitting through three cycles of the traffic light just to get through the intersection. Sigh.

The streak is intact. I still have never watched an Oscars broadcast. In no way do I feel like my life is incomplete because of it.

It is Monday, work beckons.

Have a great day.

March 3, 2018

have you ever heard a whippoorwill?

The past couple of weeks have been a hodgepodge, weather-wise, in these parts. Mostly it has been typical early spring, warm and cold, often on the same day. Thursday saw temperatures drop nearly 30 degrees during the day. Last week’s warm weather brought a couple of inches of rain and more fell Wednesday. Suddenly, the spring flowers; the tulips and daffodils, are poking some tentative green shoots from the flower beds. The brown grass is taking on a definite greenish tint. We are not in a full-blown spring, but it is just around the corner. Mother Nature works diligently to her calendar, heedless of the everyday feeble activities of man. I would not be surprised to see snow again in the coming weeks, nor temperatures pushing into the mid-seventies. It is the way things are around here.

I hope you didn’t come by looking for meaningful Saturday content. I fear you will click away sadly disappointed. I’m sure you will get over it.

Try to have a good Saturday anyway.

March 2, 2018

Sarcasm, lots of sarcasm

WTH Trump? The economy is going great, so let’s slam on the brakes with a huge tariff on steel?

Couple that with a proposal to ignore the Constitution by taking away someone’s guns and letting the courts “sort it out later”, and you have the makings of a true autocrat. Maybe we should just round up folks we deem a threat because of race or religion and let the courts settle it later? Whoops we did that, that great man of the people FDR did it to Japanese Americans. How did that work out? Maybe those who think this is a good idea won’t mind if Trump daily rounds up the protesters outside of the White House, tosses them in jail, and waits until the “courts sort it out later”?

In other news, the White House Communications  Director says she sometimes tells “white lies”. No, you are kidding me? A press agent spins the truth? I’m shocked and appalled. She was forced to resign. Trump better hope the next person in the job also has no qualms about fibbing. He won’t like the unvarnished truth being spread.  No politician would. Remember Obama’s “blame it on the video” prevarication?

I see teens have moved on from eating Tide pods. Now they are seeing how long they can leave their arm on a hot stove burner. Yes, we should listen to this generation when it comes to our Constitutional rights; they are the future.

Young people are tired of being afraid of guns, tired of seeing their classmates shot. I can understand that. Sixty-four percent of road accidents in this country involve a cell phone. Maybe we should focus on that as a threat to society instead of one particular brand of rifle that is used less often in murders than common hand tools or knives?

March 1, 2018

It is a new world

Starting Sunday Hoosiers will be able to buy carry-out beer, wine, and liquor at grocery, convenience, and liquor stores on a Sunday for the first time in 202 years. You read that right, Sunday alcohol sales had been banned as long as Indiana has been a state. You can only get cold beer at a liquor store though. I’m not sure why we still regulate by temperature. One thing at a time.

I would have cared a lot more about this change a few decades ago. Since I drink about six beers a month now, it really won’t change my life.

You still cannot buy a car on Sunday.

In one aspect, we have modernized anyway.

February 27, 2018

It’s about the gold

The Olympics are finally over. I don’t mind admitting that I am glad. I found this biannual event less than entertaining. Perhaps it was the glee the NBCers found in finding any athlete who wanted airtime to vent against the current politicians-in-charge back in the States. Frankly, I don’t care what a mediocre 15th place finisher thinks about the Veep. Nor do I care what a gold medal winner might think. I want personal politics left out.

That is not to say I want the politics ignored completely. I am xenophobic as heck when it comes to the Olympics. Go America! In fact, I was disgusted when NBC skipped showing true ‘mericans to show foreigners winning medals. I’m sure they cheated.

More importantly, I miss the Cold War Olympics. It is not nearly as fun if you can’t root against the evil Empire — the USSR, the East Germans, the Romanians, and Bulgarians. I want to see the commie bastards lose to apple pie and hot dog eating red white and blue blooded freedom- loving Americans.

It isn’t about the mythical Olympic spirit, it is about winning.

A Common Sense Proposal to Save Lives

There was a hit and run over the weekend. A local teen was killed. Police are looking for a late model Chevy Cruze.

This has to stop. This is at least the third or fourth hit and run locally since the beginning of the year that involved a Chevrolet. I propose an immediate ban on Chevy brand cars.

Did you know you can sell a Chevy to anyone with cash? There is no process in place to ensure the buyer is licensed or has insurance? There is no way to trace if the car was used in a previous hit and run? This loophole must be closed. Did you know you can purchase an old Chevy at a car show? You don’t have to go through a dealer. You can even buy cars over the internet.

Over 3,000 people die in car crashes every day on average in this country.  As many as 50 million more are injured in car crashes every year, many of which are teens. This has to stop.

I propose we ban the Chevy brand immediately. I call on the major car rental companies to cease renting Chevys and purge their fleet. They should eliminate the GM employee corporate discount.

Enough is enough.

February 26, 2018

Itsy bitsy parlez-vous

I studied French in high school. I had four years of it. I took advanced French in college, stupidly testing into higher levels to get credits. I barely passed. I have forgotten nearly all of that knowledge. I remember words, a few basic phrases. I can ask if Phillipe is at the pool. I can say “my name is Joe”. I can count to ten. I can do the same in Spanish. So what?

Even in my visit to France back in...I don’t know...around the turn of the century, my command of the language was poor at best. I could read a few signs, ask if anyone could speak English. In fact, my German, which I never studied, was about as good as my French. A skill or knowledge not used in decades is lost.

Last week I had the need to cold call a couple of companies in Quebec. Now the French speaking people of that part of Canada are famously reluctant to deign to communicate in English. I listened to the French language phone menu and determined that I should press “2” for “Anglais”. That just led me to another menu in French. Ugh. Another 15 years removed from hearing or speaking French has done nothing but degrade further my limited vocabulary. Even when I was studying the language I could read and and translate OK, speak it a little (with a horrid accent) and understand the spoken words barely. Now, I got maybe every fifth word or so of the phone message.

I kept pushing random phone buttons until I finally got a real person. I asked him, in my best Kindergarten French, if he spoke English. He offered a reluctant “yes”. I asked for someone in the purchasing department.

We had what the famous movie described as “a failure to communicate”. After I tried to be understood in pidgin French and he pretended not to understand (hatred of cold-calling salesmen is universal), the bon homme suggested I try the parts department in their New York warehouse.

I tried the second company on my list. I understood not one word of their phone menu. I hung up before speaking to anyone. Even if I got to the right person, how do you conduct business with folks you cannot understand?

The boss won’t be happy, but I’m marking these companies off my prospect sheet.

February 25, 2018

a movie review 47 years in the making

After messing around on the interwebz yesterday morning I parked my old-man butt on the couch and hit the power on the universal remote. For probably the third or fourth time I slogged through”The Last Picture Show” and for probably the third or fourth time my immediate reaction was “meh”.  I just don’t get it. There are far better coming of age flicks out there. Larry McMurtry certainly penned better in his long career. That is the great thing about opinions, we all have one and you just might like the movie.

For once, I won’t be obnoxious and tell you that you are wrong. I will just say I don’t hate it, I just think it is a mediocre film at best.

February 24, 2018

Red Vines or Twizzlers? The debate rages on

Heavy rains are falling on the already water-logged soil this morning. The forecast calls for it to continue raining most of the day.

In this society of knee-jerk reactions, I see several companies are pulling support of the NRA. That is their choice. A (semi) free economy works like that. I wonder how long they will stick to it after several million NRA members boycott those same companies? Sometimes I think we forget that organizations are made up of people, they are not a faceless lobbying bogeyman. I’m not a member, it is no skin off my nose. I just find it interesting, as an observer of life in these times.

There, after almost 13 years of blogging, I have finally hit on the title I should have used for this blog O’crap — The Life and Times of an Average Joe. The next time I start a blog I will go with that. Maybe. That is an even better title than The Race Bannon Chronicles or The Shawnee Supper Club. On second, or third, or nineteenth thought, I ought to have gone with Bag O’Crap Blog. I could have gone old-school and used Musings of a Mudsill.*

As far as I know, we have nothing scheduled for the weekend. I need to change the furnace filter, there is that. I bought a couple of bags of salt for the water softener. I could pour those in. How does that sound for excitement on a big Saturday night? The softener is not just a luxury. The water is so hard here you can almost hear it clink into the glass straight from the tap.

The enchiladas I had for supper last night didn’t sit too well. I feel better this morning. I guess I will forgo the details. You’re welcome.

My coffee cup is empty and so is my very shallow well of content. The coffee cup situation I can remedy. Getting meaningful content is a whole ’nother matter.

I hope you have a great Saturday.

* I’m not doing your homework for you today.

February 23, 2018

Not even remotely deep thoughts

A crazed terrorist uses a car or truck to mow down innocent people. Dozens are killed and wounded. It has happened many times worldwide. Yet not once has anyone called for a ban on trucks, not even ones with automatic transmissions.

Yeah, and I slogged through a foot of snow to get to school - uphill both directions

It looks to be another soggy early spring/late winter day here in the heartland. It is Friday, and that is never a bad thing.

Today marks the first spring training game for the Cubbies and the start of a new season. I usually find spring training games unwatchable, but I may give this one a try. Well, I may listen to it, if it is on the MLB app, since I will still be on the work clock. There is no TV in my office.

I had an interesting conversation with my wife and son at supper last night. They are firm in conviction that no one under 21 should be able to buy a gun. They were incredulous that I shot my first rifle at 11 years old. They could not believe I shot rifles and shotguns at Boy Scout camp all through my teens. I did not even tell them that I had a B.B. gun before that or that I was hunting at 16 and 17 and started long after some of my friends.

You would be proud, I didn’t argue with them, my default when anyone disagrees with my obviously correct positions; rather, I shrugged and said we would have to disagree and changed the subject.  The thing is, it never occurred to me to shoot at, or even point a gun at anyone — even at eleven years old. How old were you when you shot your first gun?

Perhaps that is the difference, I first learned to shoot under very strict, safety-first conditions. I learned a gun is a dangerous tool. I no more would have played with one than a saw or axe. I also carried a knife for most of my youth, I never once pulled it out to show off or use as a weapon. Not even in one of my many fights on the playground or backyard. It just never occurred to me.

It seems for today’s America personal responsibility is lost. We somehow have to regulate stupid, evil, and irresponsibility out of society. A kid shoots up a school and it is the fault of the gun. Somehow an evil individual uses a tool wrong and as a society we are at fault for making that tool available. Then we exacerbate the nonsense by blaming a range of social and perhaps mental problems. We limit the rights of the good and law-abiding to try and stop it from happening. In truth, an evil person did an evil thing and a whole library of laws wouldn’t have prevented it.

Ah, I didn’t want to go there today. Have a great Friday.

February 21, 2018

With apologies to King Crimson

Mother Nature has been schizo here in the 21st Century. Sure, blame it on climate change, I don’t care. Yesterday we saw record-breaking temperatures in the mid-seventies. Today, we can expect highs in the upper thirties and snow flurries in the afternoon. What the Heck?

I whipped up a batch of baked pasta for supper last night. The house still slightly smells of garlic and tomatoes. I sometimes wonder why I am cooking when the boy has his day off. He is a sous chef. I don’t think I have ever eaten his food, unless you count back when he was a cook. He has never cooked at home, that I can recall. I suppose expecting him to cook on his day off is like expecting your doctor cousin to diagnose at the Thanksgiving get-together. He never criticizes my efforts. I’m not sure if that is an endorsement of my skills or apathy. Maybe he likes anything he doesn’t have to prepare.

We have hit hump day. We can start to look forward to the weekend. I’m not sure if even the weekend can cure what ails me. I simply need a vacation.

Have a great day.

February 20, 2018

today I shall be called El Supremo

Good morning blog readers. It is a wet warm day here at the old blogstead. Temperatures are slated to broach 70 today. Too bad it is raining.

Locally some high school kids who “ identify” as someone different than who they used to be are throwing a fit because the school insists on putting their legal name on their diploma as opposed to the name they are currently using. Government entities are funny that way. Your driver’s license, social security card, tax documents, etc. have the same policy. Good luck getting a credit card or bank account using a non-legal name.

The real truth it all about disrupting, about trying to be famous, about forcing your mindset on the rest of us. Call yourself Mars Venus Zapata for all I care. You are still Bob Jones as far as the real world says until you change your legal name. Bob Jones is who you are on your diploma, license, and legal documents. Sorry if you don’t like it. Life ain’t fair.

February 19, 2018

Get back copycat

OMG, we have to do something, so we should ban the scary-looking plastic semi-auto rifle used by the latest madman killer.  I don’t own one, such a ban would not personally affect me. But let us not fool ourselves, the AR-15 is not significantly different than a semi-automatic .22 I used to shoot in the general direction of squirrels in my youth.

But these guns are used in mass murders. Well, the grandfather of school shootings, Charles Whitman, used a bolt action Remington 700 from atop the tower at the University of Texas in 1966.  The deadliest school shooting of all time in the US was carried out by a murderer toting a pair of handguns at Virginia Tech. The largest murder of school children was in 1927 at the Bath Township school in Michigan. A bomb was used. I guess there is nothing inherently evil in a black plastic gun that might make young adult males go on killing sprees.

It could be that the AR-15 is used because it is one of the best-selling guns in the US. Most criminals use a a Chevy, Ford, or Toyota as a getaway vehicle. I wonder why? It might be that some of these guys just want to be copycats and the AR-15 is what the last guy used.

We have to do something. This only happens in the US. According to Wikipedia, five of the top ten deadliest school killings occurred outside of the US, including the top 3. In fact, these killings happen all over the world, even in places with very strict gun laws like China.

We should make it hard to own a gun, really restrict who can have one. You mean like opioids? Well then let’s make guns totally illegal, get them off the streets and out of the hands of children. Just like we do pot, booze, heroin, and meth?  Every state should have the same gun laws. Murder is already a crime in every state and locality.

Instead of restricting law-abiding gun owners, we should target criminals. How about this:  If you use a gun in the commission of a crime, even if you do not shoot anyone, like in armed robbery, you get the death penalty. I am not talking in 15 years down the road, but in a reasonably short time. If a jury finds you guilty and an appeals court finds no error in the trial, then zip, zap, bang you are dead. Preferably, we do it it on the courthouse lawn, pour le encouragement au l’autres. I suspect gun crime will decrease quickly. Harsh? You bet. You wanted a solution didn’t you?

February 18, 2018

A crisis averted

I bought a new belt.

It is brown leather. It was on sale for 50% off. I got it at Macy’s.

The loop thingy that holds the extra belt length came off a month or so ago on my old  belt.

Problem solved.

Bookmark this post, you will want to read it again and again.

February 17, 2018

What a guy

Considerate. That is just one of many adjectives that have been used to describe me. Mostly used by me, but that is getting off topic. Apparently, the boy spent the night elsewhere. His dog usually sleeps in his room. As I shuffled upstairs to the office blog room the dog was curled in my recliner. He rolled his eyes at me as I turned on the light. Instead of booting his sleepy carcass from my chair, I grabbed my iPad and came downstairs to surf the web and blog from the couch. Let sleeping dogs lie is the old saying and who am I to go against convention? See, I am so considerate I even make sure my kid’s dog is comfortable.

We are heading to visit our oldest friends this evening. Yesterday was my buddies’ birthday so an evening of eating and hanging out is in the plans. Yesterday was also my Mommy’s birthday, so we will stop by to wish her belated best wishes too.

Speaking of birthdays, mine is coming up soon. It is probably time to start making that list o’stuff and  placing orders if you are buying my gifts from the interwebz. Please limit your gifts to no more than five this year. Let me know if you need ideas. Beer and cigars are always good places to start. I wouldn’t turn up my nose to a free week on the beach. Please remember, when it comes to getting me gifts, money should be no object.

Players are in warm climes starting spring training! Unmeaningful and nearly-unwatchable games start next week. Still, spring training baseball is better than no baseball.

In a maybe intentional ironic twist, the Cubs are giving away umbrellas as a premium for one of their games against the Cleveland Indians this season. You might remember it was a fortunate rain delay that allowed the Cubs to regroup and win the World Series in 2016. My blog buddy Jean may not find this umbrella idea as funny as I do.

Have a great Saturday.

February 16, 2018

Midwest Living

It was in the mid-sixties temperature-wise yesterday, with intermittent rain. A typical spring day. Today, why highs in the thirties with snow flurries. Life in this part of the country is interesting. I suppose Mother Nature decided that in lieu of scenery we would have extreme fluctuations in weather. Generally, we suffer the whims of a northwest wind or a southwest wind, thus warm one day, cold the next. An absence of terrain features lets Canadian cold air and warm Gulf breezes determine whether we wear a jacket or heavy coat.

Knock on wood, I think the worst of my cold is behind me.

How much longer do the Olympics last? What is the difference in the ski events? It looks like they race down the same slope every night. When did they start painting the course in blue lines? How many different times do the ice skaters perform? Why won’t other channels show alternative programming that is not reruns? I have so many questions.

How about we combine some of the Olympic events to speed stuff up? For instance see if the people who ski and shoot could use the ice skaters for targets. See how high the skaters jump and twist then. I bet more than a few would get rid of some sparkles on their costumes. That would be worth watching. I suspect gun jokes are hard today. If you are offended disregard this paragraph. I am really surprised the shooting sports haven’t been banned from the Olympics anyway.

Have a great Friday.

February 15, 2018

I’m tired of writing this post

Another stupid senseless school shooting. It was a gun-free zone, so let us not fool ourselves into believing more laws will change things.

I have no answers. I wish I did.

The guy who pulled the trigger is the murderer. Just as an axe cannot fell a tree on its own, the gun was a tool in the hands of a madman.

I offer prayers to the families of the victims. Too bad the killer surrendered before he could be eliminated from this Earth. I’ll say what you are all thinking. Now some scum lawyer will go beyond ensuring his client gets a fair trial, he will try to get this piece of human garbage his freedom. Most likely the taxpayers of a Florida will foot the hefty legal bills.

I have no answers. I wish I did.

February 14, 2018

John has a long moustache, The chair is against the wall...

The other night I was surfing through my TV channels looking for something to watch. I have 2,194 channels and nearly 19 of them are not home shopping related. Still, I couldn't find anything worthwhile except the Olympics. Tired of old Miami Vice reruns I reluctantly watched ice skaters do their thing.

At one point I opined to the wife that I am surprised that no one has tried to do the same-sex couple thing in pairs skating. We both laughed.

The Big Brother listening devices in my living room are working. My Echo spy machine has reported my conversation, because lo and behold there is an editorial in USA Today calling for same-sex couples in figure skating. Hah! You can look it up yourself, I am too lazy.

I will admit I did not know Will Farrell made a movie about that some years ago. I suspect it was not funny. 

February 13, 2018

Go ask Alice

Let me understand this. Graffiti artists spray paint on property they do not own. The guy who actually owns the property -- you know, the one who pays taxes, maintains the property --  he paints over the so-called art and then tears down the buildings to put up new high rises. Somehow the owner has to pay out nearly $7 million to the people who defaced HIS property? WTH?

I think I am living in Wonderland some days.

February 12, 2018

My bathroom scale is a Democrat

If I can believe my bathroom scale, I weighed yesterday pretty much what I weighed in 1980 when I graduated high school. My bathroom scale is a notorious liar. At one point in time it tried to tell me I was way fatter than I am now. That prevaricating device has a future in politics. Yesterday, at least, it told me what I wanted to believe. I can live with that.

February 11, 2018

Who decides what is important?

Let me get it out of the way. I may well be an uncouth, uncultured, redneck from a backwater, flyover state. Guilty, guilty, maybe, and yes. Despite these serious cultural deficiencies I am not necessarily uneducated. My Alma Matter is consistently ranked fairly high in the various rankings published every year of colleges and universities. In addition, I have always read -- a lot. If you take the various lists of 100 books you should read, I have read most of them, including War and Peace.

To the meat of the matter: Catch-22 is drivel; unreadable schmaltz. So is From Here to Eternity. In fact, many of the so-called classics are crap, Moby Dick first and foremost. Joyce, Cervantes, and Milton all are impossible to read. Hawthorne I can manage, but why would I want to? Bunyan, blah. I will take bawdy Moll Flanders over The Vicar of Wakefield any day.

I just finished reading Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth. I read an abbreviated version in a compendium of Readers Digest condensed books as a kid. I liked it better forty-five years ago. I suppose the story is mildly compelling, but the writing is so-so. Certainly not Pulitzer-Prize worthy. But what do I know? I will take The Sand Pebbles if I want a picture of China in the early 20th Century.

In honesty, I want to be entertained in my books, my movies, and my art. Do you want to teach creative writing? See how Louis L'Amour or Heinlein structured a book. It may be pulp, but those guys could write and tell a story. Are you looking for dark humor? Twain was a master. Patrick O'Brien painted in words. You shouldn't have to slog through a book or movie before it can be "art". Forcing a kid to suffer through The Scarlet Letter is a sure way to make any teenager hate reading. Is that really the point of English Lit? Don't even get me started on how they teach history.

I don't want to go to a museum and study blotches on canvass, wondering if there was intent or an accidental spill. I'll take Hopper over Picasso any day. My writing is not good. If you were to read my notebook of efforts, you will see I strive to capture a moment in time. I like my art the same way. I want to say "What happened next?" or "What just happened?". "Leave 'em wanting more" should be the goal of any book, movie, photograph, or painting.

Art can best be defined by the Popeye Proviso: the Sailorman claimed "I yam what I yam", I know what I like, and that is art to me. L'Amour westerns and Elvis movies are not deep. They don't make you think. But they add amusement and color to our lives. Isn't that the point of art after all?

Some art museum in England took down a painting so that we could think about women in art in a non-binary way, or something. I don't want you to tell me how to think about art. I just want to enjoy it or not.

If I wonder why I should care about Why the Caged Bird Sings, it is OK. Some prefer Faulkner over Hemmingway or Fitzgerald over Forrester.

I wonder how many people who tout Proust as a genius ever tried to read his work? How many finished it? That my friends, is the point of this post. Do not let anyone tell you what to like or what is good.

I know, TLDR

February 10, 2018

Everything I know about China I learned from watching 1970s Kung Fu movies

In a reoccurring theme I woke up early again this morning. It becomes a cycle. I wake up around four or so, then by 10:30 at night I am exhausted, so I wake up the next morning at four or so. Rinse and repeat. There is no point in further complaining, it is what it is.

This morning I woke with a headache. I can feel my sinuses filling. I hope I'm not getting a cold. The granddaughter had the sniffles earlier in the week and probably spread the germs. If it came from her I don't mind. Yesterday she was my buddy. She wanted to play with me all day. She even dragged her dollhouse into my office to be near her "Paw" while I worked.

It hit near fifty yesterday melting the snow we had. It is back into the 20s today. At least we will miss the big winter storm crossing northern Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and southern Michigan this weekend. We are slated to get some freezing rain, but not the snow. Personally, I prefer snow to ice any day. Mother Nature did not ask my opinion. It is probably for the best. I am often reluctant to opine on stuff.

I tried to watch the Olympics last night. After about 15 minutes I was bored out of my mind. I flipped over and watched "A Chef's Life" then channel surfed until I dozed off on the couch. I shuffled up to bed a little before 10:30 (see above). The wife was folding clothes in the bedroom. I crawled into bed anyway and fell asleep with the lights on.

Geez, I have bored us both enough with this drivel. Have a great Saturday.

February 9, 2018

I really do not care about the Olympics

I woke a little earlier than usual this morning. So it goes.

Since I had some time, I perused the usual news sites. Man, this is going to be a weird Friday.

Some guy spanked someone else's kid at a Kroger in Georgia. Even if the kid had it coming that is just wrong. If someone had spanked my recalcitrant kid I would have likely intervened in a most uncivilized way.

Some college girl claims she was told to flush her "emotional support gerbil" by an airline employee. She did it. My first thought -- a comfort gerbil? Give me a break. This is getting out of hand. If you cannot bear to part with your gerbil, peacock, snake, cat, prairie dog, wolverine,or even dog, then drive. In your own car. Maybe my trusty handgun provides me with emotional support. How about that?

My second thought? I doubt anyone from the airline told her to flush the gerbil. I think the girl was stuck with a small rodent and had nothing else to do with it after the gerbil was denied on the plane, so she flushed it.

Here is a quick aside, did you know that it is now thought that the Bubonic Plague started from flea-bitten infected gerbils? Maybe it was hamsters?

This "support animal" trend is a joke. I was at the mall a couple of weeks ago. I was settled into the comfy chairs waiting on the wife and heard a dog snarling and growling and barking in one of the stores. After a while a lady came out, pulling a dog in one of those rolling dog carriers. The dog barked and growled at every person in the hallway.  That is not a trained service dog. That is someone who cannot leave their pet at home.

I am glad airlines are starting to crack down on this stuff.  Assholes always ruin it for everyone.  If only that nut-job in Georgia had instead spanked the gerbil girl at the Philly airport for being a sniveling jerk, then we would have a solution.

February 8, 2018

Won't you be my neighbor?

This post could be a rerun from any late winter since 2013. It is time to turn off your Christmas lights. You don't have to take them down, but you can unplug them. It is closer to spring than Christmas. Turn off the lights. Seriously, there are two houses in my neighborhood sporting their Christmas lights. Last year one of them burned them until April.

I bought the wife a wireless charger for her phone as a Christmas gift. She loves it because she can put her phone on it at night and not worry about yanking the power cord when her alarm goes off in the morning. The charger quit working last week. I called tech support and they provided a return authorization to send it back. I had to pay to ship it. It was $13 to send it back to California. The darn thing only cost $35 since it was the Amazon deal of the day. If the thing had broken a week earlier I could have shipped to Amazon for free. Still, it does not seem right that I have to pay to replace a defective product, especially when it is not even two months old.

Such is life. Have a great Thursday.

February 7, 2018

A brief list of non-sequiturs

I made a quick plane trip to southern climes for business this week. I have no interesting travel stories to report. It was nearly 70 in Alabama yesterday afternoon. It somewhere below "colder than heck" when I arrived back in Indy last night.

I drove across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. I ate some good BBQ. Not at the bridge. The two are not related beyond both occurred while I was in Alabama.

I have not been to Alabama for a long time.  We vacationed at the Redneck Riviera a few years ago. I used to go there on business a couple of times a year back in the 90's. Like most places in the South, the people were nice and friendly.

There was another dusting of snow on the drive when I got up this morning.  I am ready for spring.

February 5, 2018


A previously twice-deported illegal immigrant drunk driver killed two people in Indianapolis Saturday night. One of the victims was a member of the Indianapolis Colts. 

Will any of the open borders/amnesty crowd show up at the funerals to explain to us bigots that controlling the borders is not necessary? Will they talk to the families about Dreamers when two people had their own dreams cut short by multi-time criminal with no license, no insurance, no right to be here at all.

I say if we find out he was actually employed we charge the business owner as an accessory. That makes more sense than charging a bartender when a drunk wrecks or a filling suit against a gun manufacturer when someone goes on a killing spree. If we stop giving illegals jobs and welfare there is no reason for them to come here.

Exclamation Point

What a football game! I had no dog in that hunt, but it was sure fun to watch, especially given the outcome.

Maybe the cameras didn't show it, but it sure appeared that Brady refused to shake the opposition's hands, instead opting to leave the field immediately after the game. I hope not. That is a totally classless act.  Someone correct me if I am wrong.

Could announcer Cris Collinsworth be any more of a cheerleader for the Pats? I expected him to be wearing a short skirt and Minuteman sweater, waving red, white, and blue pompoms, instead of sporting a suit when they cut away to the booth. I would not be surprised to learn Collinsworth has a picture of Tom Brady next to his bed that he kisses every night like a love-sick teenager.

We snacked away the game after eating a late lunch in mid-afternoon. No Soup-er Bowl Sunday after all. I threw some cocktail weenies in homemade BBQ sauce in the Crock Pot*. Nachos, hot wings and a pan of brownies completed the feast. I cannot call it a party, when it was just the wife and I. It certainly wasn't a gathering. Calling it a social event is not accurate. It was just a couple of people having too many snacks. No beer or alcohol was involved. There was no nudity. No sex. No loud music. I guess you would call it "two old people sitting on the couch eating stuff off paper plates while watching football and sad dramas on TV".

Oh well, have a great Monday. The Patriots are losers and that is a good start.

*this is a pretty new slow cooker -- less than a year old. No chance of fire.  I might add, that we just tossed an old slow cooker last year that was more than 35 years old. Yes, people have old small appliances and use them.

February 4, 2018

Super Sunday

It is weird how life works. In the past election I voted against a candidate. In tonight's Big Football Game I will be rooting against the New England Patriots, because duh. In no other circumstances would I cheer on the Eagles, but today they will get my feeble and grudging support.

Since I am a loser from way back, I have to support the underdog. I am happy the Cubs are contenders these days in baseball. I'm ecstatic they won a World Series, but secretly I miss the lovable losers a tiny bit. Only a tiny bit.

I'm sure my future commitment hearings will feature this commentary.

Anyway, today is he Superbowl. I have seen many area businesses post closings for this evening. I guess this football game has become bigger than Christmas eve. Even pizza places have listed closings and I would think Superbowl night for a pizza joint would be like black Friday to a retailer. Shows what I know.

I've seen some push for Superbowl Monday to be a holiday. Let me get down on a knee and ponder that.


Have a great Sunday, whether you watch the game or not. This year we are staying home to watch tne game. We are having potato soup for supper. Because it is Soup-er Bowl Sunday. Honest. Just one more reason you wish you were me.

February 3, 2018

Abrupt reversal

The post I wrote for today (not this one, the other one) was saved as a draft, never to see the light of day. No one wants or needs to read about my crappy outlook on life.

Instead I offer wishes that you have a great weekend.

February 2, 2018

Come On Cloud Cover

Today a random rodent will determine the course of our weather for the next month and a half. Since it is unbelievably cold again this morning -- we are talking single digits and subzero windchill -- I think I  can speak for all of my neighbors when I hope for an early spring.

Unfortunately, a quick glance out my office window shows a light blue sky with nary an early morning cloud in sight. It now comes to mind why I shot groundhogs as a youth.

Do you know what you call a dead groundhog in a hole? Phil.

How did a groundhog get to determine our weather anyway?  Why not a chipmunk? Maybe a starling would be a better weather prognosticator. If a goldfish freezes in the birdbath it is still winter. I'm not sure how that predicts spring though. How does global warming climate change "all weather is the fault of anything we hate" (except actual weather patterns) affect groundhogs and shadows? If there is more carbon, plants thrive; thus there is a chance there is more shade; thus an early spring. Is it a self-fulfilling prophesy?

Is it possible a rodent has no effect on the weather? After all, official spring arrives in about a month and a half regardless of what a buck-toothed mammal predicts.

I know this about groundhogs; they make a passable, but greasy and gamey stew. Cooked low and slow the meat is pretty tender. That is what I think of the groundhog today.

February 1, 2018

This too, shall pass

I'm still alive. My compelling interest in entertaining you, complaining, reporting the weather, or soporific musings is, however, on life support.

January 30, 2018

About the speech

I haven't watched a State of tne Union speech for years.

I'm pretty sure I won't end my streak this evening.

January 29, 2018

Sometimes life in suburbia is just dull

And thus passes a pretty unremarkable weekend here in the great Midwest. Saturday some friends came to visit. We hit a new BBQ dive for an excellent, but cheap dinner, then retired back to the house for an evening of euchre and laughs.

Yesterday I...I dunno. I touched up the paint in the kitchen where the wife used the wrong paint to touch up the paint in the kitchen. I helped her rearrange the shelves in the laundry room. I took the dog for a walk. I may or may not have taken a nap. Yeah, it was like that. I read a little. The TV was on. 

It was as boring to live it as it is for you to read about it. 

January 28, 2018

That is how I do it

The coffee is hot and black. Sinatra croons softly in the background. Charlie, my wooden cigar store Indian, stares at me from the corner, an inscrutable expression carved upon his face. Dawn is breaking in pale pinks and blues behind the bare limbs of the big willow out the window at my right shoulder. The gas bill lies folded on my desk waiting payment. At my left shoulder Chicago Cubs players leap and hug in celebration, frozen in time in a framed newspaper front page. I lean back in the recliner and stare at the iPad cursor blinking a steady beat out of time with the music, I sip the coffee, take a deep breath and begin to type my Sunday blog post.

The coffee is hot and black...

January 26, 2018

I've never been accused of being a liberal but...

I would vote for a reborn combo Woodrow Wilson, Hillary Clinton, and Eugene Debbs over This troglodyte. Actually, I would just stay home. I am glad I don't live in Missouri.

Seriously, are there still jerks like this in the world? If this is the choice I guess Old Claire will be back in Washington.

Which works better, worms or lures, for click bait?

It is Friday at last. Too bad it is not also pay day. It is clear and bright. Jet contrails streak the pinkish-blue morning sky. We are expected to break 50 degrees today. That is a far cry from the weather that wracked the area forty years ago. Thirty inches of snow followed by extreme cold and high winds left the area nearly paralyzed. Drifts fifteen feet high piled up around buildings and houses.

It was during this Blizzard of '78 that my wife's father died. She recounts how she had to brave the weather to get to her sister's, who had no phone, to break the news. How the relatives were unable to get to the funeral. Sometimes I fail to fully appreciate how hard that must have been for her to lose her father at 16 years old. This all happened before we started dating.

Part of the ongoing story of the hit series "This is Us" centers on the loss of the father when the three kids were teenagers. I asked my wife, who loves the show, if it dredged up painful memories. We have never talked in detail about her loss. It is strange how you can know someone for forty years and still not really know them. Neither of us are the type to sit around talking about "feelings".

As far as I know, we have no big plans for the weekend. On the other hand, I do not function as the social chairman at the old homestead. I am sure I will be informed when I have the "need to know".

Have a great Friday. Don't worry, no Friday Music video for you not to watch.
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