April 21, 2019

He is Risen

It is not about the bunnies or candy-filled eggs.

Happy Easter

April 20, 2019

Morning Musings, volume XCVII

The Bradford Pears in my backyard are in full bloom. The grass will need cutting soon. Spring is upon us. I have hours and days of yard work to do. Alas, it is raining yet again today.

The Zombies are singing in the background. The boy's dog is snoring in my recliner. The coffee is good. Yes, it is the cheap Walmart brand K-cup; the one in the yellow box, but I buy it because I actually like it.

It appears we will finally start converting my office into a nursery this weekend provided the wife actually chooses some paint.  We need to start soon. My new granddaughter is due any time. Should the baby procrastinate too long, the doctor will induce in early May. Of course, the Wife won't provide day care until my daughter goes back to work, so we really have a couple of months to get things done.

As more sixties rock cycles through my Echo, it is clear Bob Dylan is one of the most over-rated musicians of all time. Should you disagree, feel free to argue your entirely wrong opinion in the comments.

As a student of history I have actually read quite a bit about the Nixon Watergate affair. That bit of spying brought down a Presidency. Other than it was cloaked in semi-official bureaucracy, what is so different about what the Obama administration did to Trump? Seriously, the Obamaites do not look so good in the Meuller report.

I think I am going to try out my new smoker tomorrow. Nothing like a little pork to celebrate the death and rise of a Jewish guy.

And that about wraps up another rambling Saturday post. I hope you have a great day.

April 19, 2019

Now you see me

What the heck, I am up, I have time. I might as well post something. Why am I up at 04 dark thirty? I wish I knew.  I have the day off,  It is the one work day I can sleep in and my old buddy insomnia comes for a visit. So it goes.

I have decided I will expound on my way-too-long travelogue from my recent vacation.  Yes boys and girls, I am going to give you pictures.  I may or may not even be in some of them. If you are new to the site you will be most disappointed to learn I am no Paul Newmanesque character, nor do I resemble Race Bannon in any way. Instead, I am a post-middle-aged, skinny-legged lump with rapidly graying and thinning hair. Get your looks in because the pictures will not be up long.

Surely you know how to embiggen by now?


NOLA in the distance as we sailed down river towards the Gulf
Sunset from the stern  No, I do not know what is up with that green dot

Another Caribbean sunset


looking down the promenade deck

The ship is really, really big

It is impossible to be depressed when there is a palm tree

I am much better at taking pictures of "things" than people.  I especially like photographing sunsets. I think that is enough.  There is nothing as boring as looking at someone's vacation pictures.

April 18, 2019

Still breathing

Sheesh, you might think I could coast into a short work week. Instead, I've worked well past six every night this week. I'm going try and knock off early today. I have tomorrow off.

Of course the weather has been great until today. Now we have rain and a cold front moving in for the weekend.

So it goes.

April 15, 2019

Go ahead and steal it, I did

I've a bunch of stuff on tap on this Monday. The day will be quite taxing.

April 14, 2019

There is no hidden message in the dragons, it is just entertainment

There is a steady cold rain falling this morning. The forecast calls for more of the same all day.

We had dinner and euchre with some friends last night. It was a good time.

Strangely, I can see better without my glasses this morning. I don't know what is going on. I had to take them off to read the menu last night. Paranoid me can only think the worst. I'm just a nervous Nellie. My eye problems developed slowly over years last time.

Sometimes I wonder of the Trumpster secretly reads my rantings. I suggested dumping herds of illegals into Sanctuary Cities years ago. Now the Prez hints he just might take that course of action and the anti-border crowd is going nuts. I say pull up a busload or three of migrants every day to AOC's apartment in NY, hand them a bag lunch, and tell them "welcome home and please show up for court". I suspect the economically illiterate anti-border freshman Congressperson will have a change of attitude in short order. Or not. The stupid runs deep in her.

I really hope the Dems run on open borders and the Green New Deal (they support it until they have to actually vote for it). It is a sure way to get four more years of Trump. On the other hand, since we no longer teach civics, history, or economics in school the concept of "hey free stuff" will appeal to a lot of people. 

The Mamas and Papas are singing about walking in cold and gloomy weather on my Amazon spy device. How appropriate this morning.

GoT starts tonight. My old man butt (you know what I'm talking about) will be parked on a sofa at my Son-in-law's in plenty of time to catch to opening credits.

Have a great day.

April 13, 2019

Powering through the ennui

The big willow is busting out in leaves. I suppose that is an indication spring is upon us.

Should I tell you about my recent vacation? Do you care? Do you get to vote? Since I am Blog King here at FiI, I will answer those questions for you in order: why not, probably not, and absolutely not. You may now genuflect while I refill my coffee mug in perpetration of sharing my adventure. You might want to grab a cup o' Joe yourself. I don't mind.

It was cold and gloomy and damp as we left NOLA on a Sunday afternoon. Originally the wife and I planned to spend time wandering the old city, sipping hurricanes and seeing the sights. Heavy downpours and cold weather nixed that notion before we even started the drive from God's favorite State.

The 40-something temps cooled the party atmosphere and the traditional celebration moved into the lobby of the big ship. I crept out onto the upper deck fantail and snapped a few pics of the wake and the New Orleans skyline in the distance.

Edit. Were I a good travelogue host I would insert relevant pictures here and there throughout this tale. I'm not and won't. Look, I could promise I will provide photographic evidence as soon as I get the images loaded on the laptop...we both know that isn't gonna happen. Heck, I don't know which I find more surprising, you are still reading or that I am still writing. Are you still reading? Let me know in the comments how far you got before deciding this is boring unreadable tripe. Anyway, expecting images in what will be a way too wordy essay is asking too much.

We wandered the ship before heading off to our windowless stateroom to unpack and get ready for the ample, but not extraordinary dinner followed by a night in the comedy club.

Monday dawned cloudy and cool. I sauntered down very early for breakfast, snagged a couple of deck chairs and read in the weak sun. It warmed as the day progressed. We sunned by the pool, sipped a couple of umbrella drinks and life was good. I retired to the smoking section on deck 11 and burned a couple of hand rolled stogies. In the evening we had dinner, variety shows and comedy.

Tuesday was a repeat of Monday. Sun, frozen umbrella drinks, show, comedy. The weather was perfect.

Wednesday found us in Montego Bay. We bussed into the jungle where we rode a series of zip lines followed by a tubing trip down the river where our guide served out paper cups of rum. Lunch was jerked chicken grilled on the spot. Back to the ship for dinner, show, comedy. Awesome day in a third world paradise.

Thursday morning we anchored just off Grand Cayman Island. A transport tender took us to shore where we boarded a smaller boat to Stingray City, a sandbar famous for the number of the flat fishes that hang out there. The sea was rough. The water was waist deep but occasional waves were higher than my head but the stingrays didn't mind. We then went to a beach for lunch and sun.back on the big ship we did the normal routine.

Friday found us in Cozumel. We snorkeled in the warm clear water then sailed on a catamaran to a private beach for sun, burgers and "free" beer and margaritas. Back on the big ship we did what we had done all week.

Saturday was a repeat of Monday and Tuesday. We had an extra frozen umbrella drink or two and the day was enjoyed with a hint of sadness that the wonderful trip was coming to a close. We skipped the early comedy show to pack, caught the late one and set the alarm for an early wake up. back in NOLA we jumped in the SUV and set off for home. Sadly, our early 35th anniversary trip was over.

So is this way-to-long tale.

April 11, 2019

The end is near

My interest in blogging, in fact in all things Internet, has reached the level of zero.

It may be time to wrap this up.

April 8, 2019

No time for a summer rain

I'm back. We rolled in just short of midnight. I need a vacation recover from my vacation!

NOLA, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel. I gained six feakin' pounds!

More later. I've gotta do the three S's and head to work.

March 30, 2019

Jumped in bed, bumped his head

It is raining. It is a steady, ground-soaking event. No thunder or strong winds. It is a classic spring rain.

I came back from a trip to central Michigan earlier in the week. The wife was out and about and called to tell me she would pick me up for dinner. I walked around the house in the moderate spring weather. The leaves are budding on the maple out front. The tulips and daffodils and lillys have poked through the cold soil. Spring has indeed come to Hoosierdom. My backyard is a mess. The big willow has dumped enough wood and twigs to build a mansion for the carpenter little pig. The yard work I didn't do last summer is even more evident after a fairly hard winter.

I just deleted several paragraphs of politics. You are welcome.

It is Saturday. I'm in a mellow mood and don't want the actions of the Levelers to ruin my good karma.

I hope you have a great weekend. The wife and I are headed on a Spring Break road trip. No posts until next week.

You will be OK.

March 29, 2019

Friday Fantasies

Baseball is back and the Cubs won on Opening Day. Woot and whoopee.

I'm on vacation today. Big Things are in the works. I'm taking the car to get an oil change. I may get a haircut this afternoon. I know, you look at my life and wish you were me.

I had 8 hours of "personal time" accrued from last year that had to be used by the end of March. So here we are.

Hold a sec, my coffee cup is empty...

My blogoversary was sometime last week. I'm somewhat surprised it passed without comment. I guess you are saving your congrats for the big party with the cake and dancing girls and sparklers and confetti. Party hats are optional. But hey, do not let me dictate the details of my own surprise party.*

This collection of ....words began in the heady days of 2005 when blogging was at the peak and already becoming not cool. Those were the days before Facebook and blogging was just a rung on the ladder of what has become "social media". I suspect the day is not far off when blogging is as passé and caput as My Space. I remain one of the last 6,734 people on Earth who does not have and never has had a Facebook account. Ditto twitter, instagram, or whatever the cool kids are doing these days.

I guess you say I went from being somewhat on the forefront of social media to a dinosaur.

In my normal long-winded way I'm saying I'm still sort of participating and I thank you for your patronage. I don't know why you stop by, but I appreciate every one of you for reading and commenting; even, nay especially, those who disagree with me.

Diagram that sentence bitches.

Have a great Friday.


* or dancing guys if that satisfies your need to be inclusive. Damn the patriarchy anyway.


March 26, 2019

A Required Reckoning

I guess rolling around in the slime that is politics just erases any sense of morality. Perhaps it is that people who go into politics lack a basic lack of decency to start with. I don't know: chicken meet egg. Most people faced with incontrovertible facts would mutter an inaudible mea culpa and move on. The Anti-Trumpers intend on doubling down. Investigate More! is the modern political playbook. Schiff and a couple of others have claimed to see incontrovertible evidence of Trump wrongdoing. Now is the time to show the cards or shut the hell up and get on with spending the People's money with frivolous "shovel ready"  infrastructure projects.

In any case, many of us learn that the Trump collusion narrative was akin to aliens in Roswell and ponder just how it got that far? We seriously wonder why no one has taken Clapper and Brennan and applied a dose of hot tar and a bag of feathers before plopping them naked on a rail and bouncing them in an ass-tearing ball smashing ride out of Washington, never to pander their lies on TV again?

Why isn't there a used Amazon box waiting on the desks of a dozen reporters at various media outlets so they can pack their personal shit on the way out the door, fired for lying, incompetence, and general hackery? Why is Rachel Maddow still getting a paycheck? She should be off interviewing old rock stars like Dan Rather, never trusted to even accurately report on the deliberations of the city council.

Mostly, why isn't the HR group at the Justice Department burning the midnight oil printing pink slips and severance packages for the plethora of people who instigated a bogus investigation in the name of getting their preferred candidate elected?

Let me help. Who initiated the warrant on Carter Page and who authorized it?

March 25, 2019

We just need to dig a little deeper

Man, I love being right. We are already hearing it from the sore losers Democrats, "Sure, Mueller found diddly squat, but he was leading a very narrow investigation". Plus I suspect most Lefties conclusion is not "there is just no evidence", but rather "We have to look harder".

This isn't going to end, the hysteria from the lefties will only increase. You saw it here: it is going to get worse.

I threw together a lasagna and salad for Sunday dinner last night. The kids, minus the one who
lives a thousand miles away, all came for dinner. After we ate I dragged out the ice cream maker and froze up a batch of homemade ice cream. It was a nice evening.

A seemingly short weekend is done. It is a back to work. I think I'll buy into the lottery Wednesday. I could find something to do with all that cash that would keep me out of trouble. And yeah, I certainly would quit my job. I actually like my job, mind you, but seriously, I would quit. I would probably
give them some notice though.

Maybe.

Have a great Monday.

March 24, 2019

Decisions, decisions

Decisions abound. Do I brew another cup of coffee? Do I write a blog post or go get some donuts?

What do you think I shou...

March 23, 2019

Paranoia Strikes Deep

Rotten Chestnuts is what this blog aspires to be when it grows up. It would be too, if I possessed the intelligence, ability, and time.

The transformation of my office into a bedroom for the new grandkid will occur in the next few weeks. My desk and stuff will move into the front/guest bedroom. We will paint the walls and put up the baby bed in here before the new granddaughter shows up around early May. Of course there is no hurry. The wife will not assume day care duties until my daughter returns to work from maternity leave. The room sits here empty except for my weekend blogging, so why not?

Oh, I forgot to mention we moved on to a new topic.

I was gifted a new smoker for my birthday. I'm excited. I loves me some BBQ. (Aside: there are so many grammatical errors in those preceding sentences that I am left astounded). I read a couple of the on-line reviews of my model and it looks good. There is always that one guy who hates everything about it and the one person so dumb you wonder how they even breath without directions:

"This item is worthless. I would give it no stars if I could. I tried to cook a steak on this grill and after 20 minutes it was still raw. Do not buy" 
I have no words.

In other news the big Russia, Russia, Russia report is in he hands of the important people. The Dems are crying for a full release. I say why not? It could be they will be sorry if they get what they want. Of course leading Donks will claim Mueller just didn't look hard enough and keep right on with their agenda of investigating Trump to death anyway.

Hey Dems you are so butt hurt that the Trumpster is President, how bad must have been your candidate if she lost to him?  I know, you blame it on the evil Electoral College. If the rules keep you from winning, we must change the rules. Funny how Leftists since time immemorial have this attitude.

BTW, I'm not going to dive into it, but if you are stupid enough to believe that getting rid of the Electoral College will "make your vote count" I suspect you are frustrated your new smoker will not cook a steak properly..

March 22, 2019

Friday Payday, can it get any better?

Happy Friday. The coffee is hot, the outside temp is seasonably cold. It's early and I'm posting live. No canned posts for you today.

In fact, I have posted nothing but fresh garbage since the New Year. That explains the paucity of content. I once maintained that you at least got quantity when it came to my musings, as if that in a way helped bolster the quality of content. Now you get a few posts a week, each of dubious merit. So it goes.

My birthday passed without incident. Once you have so many they lose their luster.

Basketball is going on. I do not care at all. Baseball starts in a week. That interests me a bit.

I work. I come home. I occasionally go to see customers. I work with and create a lot of spreadsheets. The Germans like their documentation. Put them in charge of a mega-conglomerate and the process is on steroids. I slightly changed the form for submitting customer visit reports. Consider my knuckles slapped sharply with a metal ruler. I am using the original form again. I was not only told to use the correct form, I had to verify I read the procedures for using the correct form and the procedures for submitting for approval of a proper form and an acknowledgement that I did not have the authority to change the form according to the procedure on just who CAN change a form.


March 20, 2019

Boing

It's spring.

Now how about some spring-like weather?

March 18, 2019

Monday Memories

The wife took me to see John Wayne in "The Quiet Man" last night at a local movie theater. It marks, as far as I can remember, the first time I have seen The Duke on the big screen. I enjoyed every minute of it. I have seen the movie countless times. It remains, outside of "Big Jake", my favorite John Wayne movie. I think he was far better in this John Ford classic than in "True Grit".

The theater shows a classic film every Sunday and Wednesday. The wife does not share my love for old movies (she loves movies though, just not old ones). In a couple of weeks they will screen the tale of Jake and Elwood Blues. She will go with me to that one.

In other news one of the greatest guitarist died over the weekend:



RIP Dick Dale

March 17, 2019

I'm deliberately not wearing green today. Get over it.

As I shrugged into my winter coat yesterday to go meet some friends for dinner I realized that brief glimpse of spring we had a few days ago was just a tease. Mother Nature showed a bit of thigh, a little navel, a smidgen of cleavage just to keep our interest. Then she brings back the cold winds and snow. We had a term for that behavior back in my day. 

Now I feel the need to apologize to women everywhere for my misogynist approach to weather. We are androgynous meat machines now. Joe you silly fool. No doubt it is my burning of carbons and using plastic straws that has caused this cold spell. 

If only I could support the concept of universal basic income, then our climate change worries could be erased. We would never have these temperature swings again. I'm a little fuzzy on the cause and effect here,  but my betters in the Democrat Party understand it, so shut up already.

The cardinal chirping out my window in the big willow is certainly active this morning. He is waiting for sunrise too. I bet he is just as tired of winter as you and I. There is no doubt he probably wishes the neighbors would unplug their Christmas lights too. Come on, it would take five minutes to pluck that line of giant candy canes lining your sidewalk. It takes but seconds to pull a plug. OK, the bird doesn't care about Christmas decorations. You probably don't either.

Have a great Sunday.

* edit. Before Anonymous freaks out,  please note that there is just a smidgen of sarcasm in this post. I do that on occasion. 

March 16, 2019

Aunt Becky, How Could You?

Ah, time for the TL/DR Saturday post. Let's get the basics out of the way: coffee, music playing, weather, got up early, so on and so forth. You have read that intro every Saturday and most Sundays for going on 37 years now.

Now..... Oh. I guess I got nuthin'. 

I really am having a hard time getting all outraged that Aunt Becky paid off people to get her kids into a good college. Seriously, my first reaction was a hearty "so what"? I mean who is surprised rich people are twisting the system to their advantage? I don't want to sound all AOC/Bernie Bro here, but duh. 

Did we really spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars investigating this? Has the FBI run out of real stuff to investigate? Maybe they should have put this kind of effort into digging into the Clinton Family slush fund charity, or looking for the next wave of terrorists hijacking planes to fly into buildings, or perhaps just who told Trump that hairstyle looks good? 

When did cheating on college entrance exams warrant a gunpoint arrest? Dumb rich people have a history of getting into elite colleges. Does anyone really think Al Gore got into Harvard because he was smart? How many other kids who were not even in the top 50% of their graduating class in high school get into an Ivy League school unless their pop is a Senator? Those actors and actresses who end up at Yale or Brown or Columbia? Please. 

And if we are going to get outraged by academically unqualified people getting passed through admissions in place of more deserving candidates we can start by counting the members of most division I football teams. 

And when did USC become an "elite" school? Are the admissions standards that academically rigorous? How dumb do you have to be that it takes a cool half mil to get you into a state school? 

On the other hand, who doesn't want to think about Aunt Becky in that nekkid girls' prison shower scene? Seriously, does this whitest of white collar crimes really require a one million dollar bond? Accused rapists and murders get less bail than that. 

On the bright side, this non-story has pushed the anti-Semitic and economically illiterate positions of leading Democrats off the news, so there is that. 

Now that the FBI has cracked the big rich people get their kids into college scandal they can now focus on how rich people and actors get the good concert seats and reservations at restaurants that are booked solid for you and me. 

Next we are going to discover hot chicks sometimes get out of speeding tickets and score free drinks at bars. The outrage!

March 14, 2019

Pi Day

I was unable to get to the farm buildings when I was at the Homestead National Monument last week. I did take some pictures of the wheat fields.

They were grainy.

March 11, 2019

Once more into the breach

Here we are. It is Monday yet again. I have a full slate of work stuff to do. That is good. It is dangerous to not have work.

We had a good but uneventful weekend. We didn't do anything of interest. We went shopping for some new work clothes Saturday. 20 years of T-shirts and jeans or shorts is great until one has to go into an office every day. I had to get a bunch of winter stuff, now I need to look at polo shirts and such. I don't think my employer overlords want to see me in a faded and stretched Cubs shirt and stained cargo shorts.

I fried up some chicken with gravy and biscuits and spuds for our Sunday dinner. I had something else in mind, but the wife wanted fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Since I double as Mr. Wonderful I fried up some chicken.

The youngest boy has been in Colorado visiting his brother since Wednesday. He gets back this afternoon. Boy is his dog going to be happy to see him. The pup likes it here well enough. We have a fenced backyard so he can run free, but he sure misses his owner. With the snow melt and the inch plus of rain Saturday the backyard is a muddy mess. I had to take the dog on a leash a couple of times  to pee on the neighbor's mailbox.

There you have have your Monday minutiae. I'm sure you are riveted. You might have purchased a nice chair to read this blog, but you only need the edge when you read exciting stuff like this.

Sheesh. Have a great Monday.

March 10, 2019

In truth the little house on the prairie was a brutal life

I'm a bit sluggish this morning. I got up late. Not really , but according to the clock it was later than normal.

No, I'm not going to launch into a rant on the uselessness of DST. The stupidity of the concept is there to see for everyone. But the golf industry is happy.

For some reason I am not my normal ebullient self this Sunday morning. I braved the winds to get some donuts, but even a donut has failed to buoy my flagging spirits.

We had thunder and lightning last night. Perhaps this is a sign the long awaited spring is around the corner. Snow is in the long range forecast, so maybe not. One thing is clear -- never again will I put my faith in the prognostications of a groundhog.

I made a quick stop to the National Homestead Memorial/Monument during my trip to Nebraska this week. It was interesting, but I wouldn't go out of my way to return. Perhaps if the weather had favored visiting the actual homestead and farm buildings it would have been more meaningful. Of course many of the displays were about the plight of the poor indigenous peoples. I agree what our government did to the American Indian was terrible, but this National Park was to be dedicated to the Homestead Act. I didn't go there to see "Who really owned the land?". I'm only a bit surprised I didn't see reference to "white privilege" in some of the displays.

On the whole I give the interpretive center/museum a grade of C-. I have been to local history museums with more informative displays and a better sense of "what life was like". In fairness, the whole National Park is dedicated to a pretty narrow subject. The museum failed to adequately explain what life was really like in a homestead in the late 19th Century, it failed to discuss the history of prairie farming. They had displays of old farm tools and some sales models, but not much in the way of the real thing. In trying to be everything it really captured nothing beyond a basic primer on the Homestead Act itself. Again, maybe some of these shortcomings were addressed better if I could have made the hike to be actual homestead buildings.

March 9, 2019

Scratching 'til it bleeds

Tick, tick, tick...

Maybe plop, plop, plop...

What sound does a grain of sand make as it falls through the metaphoric hourglass of life? Heck if I know. In any case, the big allegory relating how another week of my life has passed is useless now. It was likely beyond my power and writing skill anyway. Besides, that soap opera did the whole "Like sands through the hourglass" thing already, so why compound things with an obvious lack of originality?

Once upon a time I was a better-than-average writer. That in no way suggests I was a good writer, just not horrifically bad, if you get my drift. Business writing, emails, and lack of practice eroded my limited abilities further.

One of the reasons I started this here blog o'rama was to work on my writing craft. Hah! I have come to accept that no matter how hard I try I can no more write the Great American Novel than I can carve a credible likeness of General George H. Thomas from a giant block of butter. I am good with that. And no, this is not some thinly-disguised plea for applause and laudatory comments. As Clint said so succinctly, "a man's gotta know his limitations".

I remain a just above average wordsmith. I give myself that C+ because I have read stuff composed by other people. I have colleagues who cannot pen a coherent email about a quality reject for a dimension out of tolerance.

On an occasional narcissistic bender I go back and read a few of the 6,000 plus posts I have thrown into the Ethernet. A few are quality efforts. Some are incoherent gobbledygook. Most are mediocre haphazard collections of bad syntax and poor proof reading. Many are mere navel-gazing self-aggrandizing word turds like this post. Consider this just another in a very long list of wordy, pointless, shallow Saturday essays.

That's me: Joe Average. I'm smarter than the average bear, but I lack true intellectual / genius brainpower. I write better than your typical teen twitter addict, but I'm no "insert your favorite writer/ blogger". I'm occasionally amusing but not funny. I cook basic comfort foods with skill, but I am no chef or even gourmand. My parents were quite accurate when they named me Joe. And you know what? I am quite comfortable with my decided lack of exceptional talents. I know, you too.

I have quipped before that I would have been voted Most Forgettable in school had anyone remembered who I was. I can comfortably say not much has changed.

I think I'll go fry up a couple of eggs. Happy Saturday.

March 7, 2019

Echoes of the two Willies -- Loman and Nelson

I come to you live this morning from the land of Lincoln. No not Illinoisstan, rather the land surrounding Lincoln, Nebraska. I have been in the Cornhusker state a number of times, but this is my first trip to Lincoln and its airport. Since I arrived at my hotel near said airport around 11:00 CST, I have no comments on the city or it's environs beyond a sincere, albeit futile, hope that some kind soul would clean the couple of inches of snow that fell overnight from my rental car.

---Aside: that was a whole lot of sentence. My inner Hemingway is cringing.

I have a customer visit later this morning then I will wing my way back to the equally scenic area of central Indiana. The unhighlight of both trips will be a layover at dreadful O'Hare. I lucked out last night in that my arrival and departure gates were next to each other. In all, the outbound flights were uneventful.

By chance, my youngest boy was flying at the same time to go visit his brother in Colorado. Since this was his first solo airplane trip (not his first, just first unaccompanied), I helped him navigate security and showed him his gate. He was a bit worried and nervous.

I often forget that to those who rarely travel the whole process can be a little intimidating. I'm a bit jaded and should have more patience. I've flown in the neighborhood of 900 flights to close to 100 different airports (add another to the list) and spent more nights than I can count in hotel rooms. Travel lost its excitement a long time ago. That doesn't mean I dislike it, it just isn't as exciting as it may be for someone who vacations rarely and flies a few times in their life.

I have finished my delightful hotel breakfast of bacon and powdered eggs. I washed it down with a couple cups of Joe. Now it is time to pack and hit be road. I have about an hour drive to m customer location and I do not want to be late -- first impressions and all.

March 5, 2019

It is too cold for that

Happy Tuesday, and Fat Tuesday at that. I won't be celebrating, mostly because it is not a tradition in my family or community. Besides, it way too cold for a parade. The only way a nubile young lady could show off her nekkid breasties for a handful of beads around here today is if we waited while she took off her layers of winter clothing. Who has time to wait for that?

Well I do.

Still, the current windchill is -3 and at my age I'm not standing in the cold to see anyone naked, not even Flashdance era Jennifer Beals or Raquel Welch in her KC Bomber glory. Heck, I would even forgo a nekkid Ester Williams in this kind of frigid weather.

Yes, it is that cold.

Have a great Tuesday.

March 3, 2019

The coming hottest ever ice age or something

I was metaphorically scratching my head last week after I visited the Indianapolis Children's Museum. I was wandering around the dinosaur area, looking at the fossils when I ran across a display detailing where some of the specimens were found. There was a map describing how much of the Midwest was a shallow sea and the east coast and parts of Florida were also submerged. It was interesting stuff that I had previously learned when I was a young impressionable mush brained child at Samuel P. Kyger Elementary. In other words, this inland sea stuff is pretty much accepted as fact.

Imagine my surprise when the very next day I read an article warning of the dire consequences of climate change and discussing the current "unprecedented" rise in sea levels.

Forgive me, but once again hearkening back to my education at Samuel P. Kyger, "unprecedented" means "never happened before". Somebody is lying. I do not think we need to grab our pitchforks and torches and march down Illinois Street to force the museum to fix an inaccurate display. No, I think it is the fear mongering climateeers who prevaricate.

These same pants-on-fire chicken littles also try to tell us it is hotter than ever while in the same breath the daily weather records for "warmest days" show it was hotter in the 1930s and colder in the 19th century. If the last decade or so was "the warmest evah" wouldn't some of those records be of more recent vintage? I will not even get into the temperatures during the middle ages when historical and archaeological evidence points to a climate significantly warmer than current temperatures.

The problem is these "inconvenient truths" get in the way of the climateer's real agenda -- Marxism for all. What, don't believe me? If you can explain how universal health care and a guaranteed income help save the planet from climate change, I will post an apology every day for a year accompanied by a picture of naked me in thigh high stockings and a corset. Lest you think I'm making up stuff, both of those topics are featured in the Democrat Party's Green New Deal to fight Climate Change.

I think we should do all we can to protect the environment. Let's just not pretend some of this stuff is workable or even desirable. Wake up, the coffee smells delicious.

March 2, 2019

A common sense approach to pretty much every political issue you can imagine

Here we are on yet another Saturday morning. I have been up for a while, since around 5:30. I don't know why. You probably do not know either. I'm on my second mug of coffee.

In my opinion, I have offered up my best blog posts on Saturday mornings. Yes, I know that statement is relative. This effort will not be of that category. It's OK. I am well aware I'm in a blogging funk.

I'm also cognizant that I often resort to self-deprecating humor. I once had a boss who was offended by this tendency. He didn't get it. Sarcasm also went over his head. Of course this is the same guy who advised me to read from a script for sales calls. Not because I wasn't very good in front of customers, but because that is what he needed to do by us own admission. He was the living embodiment of the Peter Principle.

I'm no political scientist. (note: we are on to a new topic. You have to keep up. Note for the note: this blog is pretty much a conversation between us, a one-sided affair to be sure, but what you get here is just like hanging out with me. Note for the note for the other note: you might now understand why I have so few friends). What were we talking about?

I'm no political scientist, but it seems in the last election Democrats claimed Hillary lost because "racist" white people crawled out of their crappy meth lab mobile homes and voted for Trump in an opioid-addicted haze. I'm still not sure how voting for one white skinned person over another white skinned person is racist, but let's go along with the theory for a moment. Can anyone explain why several leading Democrat Presidential hopefuls are calling for reparations for slavery? I would think singling out one race for special treatment at the expense of another would cause a whole lot of resentment. Isn't the Reparations thing just an invitation for more racist KKKers to get out the vote for Trump yet again?

I won't even get into the idiocy of paying people for a harm visited on their great-great-great grandfathers a century and a half ago. If you have a good argument in favor, please by all means offer it up in the comments. I promise to be respectful of your obviously wrong and poorly reasoned opinion.

My great-great grandfather became sick while in the Union Army during the War to Free the Slaves and was reportedly never the same afterward. Perhaps my family should sue all of the former slaves for harm he received serving on their behalf?

In all seriousness, I have written here before that I am in favor of offering ten million US dollars to every single ex-slave held in bondage within what was part of the Confederacy before the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865. That ex-slave must present his claim in person.

I think we can all agree on that proposal.

March 1, 2019

Lying groundhog

The weather lady says we are going to have crappy weather again this weekend followed by very cold temps early next week. Sigh. I'm ready for spring. It is coming. It won't arrive today, not even "officially" as the news anchor declared last night. Official "calendar" spring begins March 20. Real spring with flowers and stuff will arrive in mid -April. I know this; that dang groundhog is no more accurate than the weather lady on the TV.

I meant to talk about something besides the weather. Heck if I can remember. This blog would probably be far more interesting and successful if I actually planned what to write. This sit in the recliner and just start typing method isn't working. And an editor, I need an editor. I also need a proofreader. A hot one in a low cut top. Female too. A sweaty dude showing off his hairy pecs in a V-neck is not what I envision. You have to be specific when you are throwing idle wishes out there. Haven't you watched TV? Oh, and to stop typing "tne" in place of "the".

Yes, all I need is an editor, proofreader, and content and I would have a blog you would want to read. And money. I would like to have a fat bank account. It has nothing to do with blogging, but it would be nice.

Re-reading this tripe, I note that what I really need is a few more sentence fragments. And less sarcasm. See my thoughts on an editor.

You get this instead. The blogging budget is stretched as far as possible already at "free". I don't charge you for this collection of words. I'd say you are getting what you paid for around here. Whaddya want for nothing? Rubber Biscuit.

February 27, 2019

For Patriots Fans

A tribute to owner Robert Kraft:


February 26, 2019

Four O'Clock and all is well

All is well, outside of the fact that I'm awake. So it goes. Here I am talking with you and half-listening to music when I could be doing...something else. I watered the plant on the cabinet in my office Sunday, so that task is done. I am "washing" dishes at this very moment. The machine is washing them. I am supervising in abstentia. I might be missing re-runs of Rat Patrol or Flipper.

I'm starting to suspect I made an error on my State taxes. It has been almost a month and I still don't have my $160 refund. I did The Boy's taxes on the same day and he got his money two weeks ago. I could use $160. You probably could also. You won't get it from me though. I love you, just not that much. I love the mail order cigar company that much though. Unfortunately, the wife loves the clothing store at the mall more than either of us. Hah, I bet my "love" for the gas or phone company trumps all. 

Regarding the Oscars: don't care, didn't watch. I don't recall ever watching that self-congratulatory waste of time. I am pretty sure the theme of the evening was "Trump bad. Look at me in my dress that costs thousands of dollars". You will not get any of that "I, I, me, me" stuff around here. 

Oh, except for pretty much this whole post. 

Never mind. 

February 25, 2019

Sunset too

Sunrise is my favorite time of day. I look out my window and the orange hues highlight the black limbs of the trees. I lack the vocabulary to describe the simple beauty.

The Boy's dog is a little less thrilled about my early morning rising. He is trying to sleep in my recliner. He keeps looking at me and sighing. If he could talk he would admonish me to shut off that overhead light. I would remind him it is my room.

I was supposed to make a quick day trip to visit a customer today. I received a request to reschedule late last night, so I guess I will be in he office instead. Time to do at least two of the morning three S.

              Esses, Ses, I don't know. Shit shower shave, how 'bout that?

Have a great Monday.

February 24, 2019

Way back when things were different

I know history makes your eyes glaze and you are tempted to scratch your initials into your desk or decorate your notebook with hearts surrounding your celebrity crush in a fit of pure boredom. Stick with me anyway, I'll be brief. Honest.

A very long time ago we as a society were faced with a dilemma. Commenters here castigated me in certain terms for my position on the matter. A nominee for the Supreme Court was accused of committing sex crimes thirty years ago. The accuser could not remember where, or when, or any detail of the attack beyond the "who". Of that she was certain. Despite a lack of even the fuzziest of details, we were told we should believe her. Protest and outrage poured forth from the Levelers. We were told that even the hint of such an attack was enough to disqualify the judge for higher office.

What happened to that moral position? What changed? I know it was such a long time ago. I mean really, the Lt. Governor of Virginia has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault. Where are you hashtag harridans? Where is your outrage? Where is your anger? What happened to your MeToo moment? The skeptic in me might wonder if the Kavenaugh Affair was mere politics....

February 23, 2019

It is OK, my Nikes didn't blow out and ruin my knee

The house is dark and quiet. My coffee is hot and black and really hits the spot this morning. Classic rock plays quietly in the background as I sit in the recliner in my home office. The sun has yet to peek above the horizon beyond the big willow in my backyard. A day of rain is in the forecast. I can just hear the cardinal that nests in the tree sing morning greetings to the new day.

We went to the Indianapolis Children's Museum with my granddaughter yesterday. We all had fun. The little one wore herself out. I don't think anything special is on tap for today.

I read this morning where a gay advocacy magazine is condemning Trump for speaking out against countries with anti-homosexual policies like Iran, calling his position racist. Yes, we have come to the point where liberals support regimes that execute gay people over the current President.  I'm starting to believe liberalism really is a mental disease.

The Venezuelan military opened fire on protesters during a food riot. Will Bernie and AOC finally admit that the dream socialist state is a failure?

The Cubs start their first spring training games today. I may watch if it is on television. I don't know, spring training baseball is nearly as bad as pre-season football. I will let you know. Except I won't. You don't care and I'm good with that.

My coffee mug needs a refill. That seems a good point to end this non-engrossing essay. You are getting that vacant look in your eyes my wife gets when I start telling her an "interesting" historical fact.

I think I last owned a pair of Nike shoes in the 1990s. Alleged manufacturing defects likely will not derail my playing career.

Enjoy your Saturday.

February 22, 2019

Coffee, hot and black

Happy Friday. I'm on vacation today, except for a conference call in a little while. I'm a good employee, working on my day off.

Mom and Dad are off to the great West of America for a wedding, so the granddaughter is spending a few days with us. I took the day off to hang out with her and do something fun. Unfortunately the wife came up sick last night. I think it may be the flu. She feels miserable.


I was going to offer up a political rant this morning, but I'm just not that interested. I suspect you are not either.

Have a great Friday.

February 20, 2019

Dear Neighbor

It is well past time to unplug your Christmas lights.

February 19, 2019

Tuesday Topics

Late to bed and early to rise does nothing to make me wise. It just leaves me tired.

We had Mexican food for supper last night. It has been four days, I was jonesing. Maybe the wife was. It doesn't matter. Guacamole. Queso. Mmm.

I had a most productive day of work yesterday. I keep that up and I'll be twiddling my thumbs by Friday. Oh wait, I'm taking Friday off!

The overnight to Wednesday is supposed to bring snow, sleet, freezing rain, and rain. It will be a soggy ugly commute in the morning. Those are the days I wish I still worked from home.

Hurry up baseball. Not in a hurry up the game sense, just the season. Pitch clocks...spit. Hey, if you want the games to speed up, get rid of the DH. Less offense equals faster games. Raise the mound to pre-Bob Gibson height.

Get off my lawn.

Humph, I think the plant on the cabinet needs some water.

How long until all those presidential candidates who accused MAGA nation for a modern lynching in the Jussie caper apologize? I know, even if it did not happen we are all morally culpable. Jussie should have hired some writers for his plot. He should stick to acting, he cannot concoct a believable script at all. Will the prosecutors charge him with false reporting, lying to police? It seems a bunch of Trump people have been indicted, not for actual crimes, but for lying to investigators.

By the way, "colluding" with the Russians to get elected still is not a crime. Attempting a coup to overthrow the elected President could be though. I think the word we are searching for is sedition. I'm looking at you McCabe. Firing you certainly seems justified at this point. I think you got off easy.

Is it spring yet?

February 18, 2019

Explain Yourself

As a semi-old guy I guess I don't get technology. I readily admit I am one of the last 1,000 people on Earth without a FB page. I've never twittered even once, nor have I ever snapped during a chat. I have never been on the receiving end of a telegram, forget instagram.  I did jump into blogging when it was near the apex of popularity. I do have gadgets and use them.

What I really do not get is the spam comments on old posts from 2010 or even older. And these comments aren't even not-so-sneaky link hunters. There is no embedded link at all. No one is selling penis enhancers or Chinese Viagra. It is just a series of inane comments clearly written by someone whose native language is probably not English. What is the point?

One old throw-away post has garnered probably close to 100 comments in the past month, none of them selling or linking to anything.

Is there something going on in the interwebz I do not understand? What is going on? Why leave a comment on a post no one will read?

I need to know, my commenters' brother could really use this information.

February 17, 2019

Hardtack and salt pork

I have been reading Glory Road by Bruce Catton. I should more accurately write "re-reading it. I last picked up the Civil War history of the Army of the Potomac back in the mid to late 1980s. I had forgotten how readable a historian Catton was. His narrative style is the way I like history presented best. Catton paints a picture of the prime players and events that reads like a novel without straying from the facts. Like David McCollough, Bruce Catton proved writing and reading  history did not have to be boring

Even back in the 1860s the media had a decidedly east coast bias. The reporters covered the Army of the Potomac and ignored as much as possible the small and large battles fought on the other side of the mountains. Even today anyone who has rudimentary knowledge of the Civil knows about Pickett's Charge, few know about equally devastating advances at Franklin and Nashville later in the war. Six Confederate generals died at Franklin. An additional seven general officers were wounded. One was captured. Outside of the Napoleonic mega-battles, when last did fourteen generals become casualties at one battle?

One thing Catton emphasizes is the perplexing stupidity and politics that pervaded the Eastern Army. More than one campaign was ruined by backbiting, politicking, and leaks. It seems nearly every officer was scheming for his next promotion. The politicians in Washington participated fully using officers and the press to advance their own drive for political power. Catton describes a couple of officers who went straight to Lincoln to complain about their commander.

Underlings schemed with Cabinet officials, governors, and Congressmen to advance their careers (I'm looking at you Joe Hooker -- to name but one) only to prove at the expense of the common soldier that what the War needed was not political generals and leaders, but fighting men.

Foreshadowing an ugly war a century later, the Administration sometimes micromanaged the strategic plans with less-than-effective results.

Proving the more things change the more they are the same, we saw the Democrats do everything in their power to oppose the Lincoln Administration. They carved out a political position that everything Lincoln did was wrong and evil and defied him at every turn until they backed themselves into actually trying to subvert the war effort. I guess you might have said the Democrats were "for it before they were against it" when it came to ending the rebellion.

I once had a pretty impressive library of Civil War histories. Over time I donated, lost, and sold all of the books, including several rare personal accounts. I purged hundreds of books when we made the big move a few years ago. At that point my eyesight had deteriorated to where I could no longer read printed text.

Now that I can see again thanks to a couple of anonymous donors, I wish I had some of those books back.

February 16, 2019

This is not what I wanted to write about today

I cannot believe anyone could actually celebrate driving an employer and 25,000 jobs from your community. Every one of those 25,000 workers will buy food, go to movies, and patronize restaurants and bars.  The ancillary benefits to a community are remarkable. Sure, the cost to woo Amazon to Gotham were high: deferred taxes and incentives that did not take actual money from public coffers; it just kept some from going in. 

For the leftists, that is the real crime. As hard as it is to fathom, there are people who believe that wealth belongs to the state and that they, those in charge, let you keep a portion. Their position is clear when they utter phrases like "they have more than they need" and "you did not build that". I saw this phenomenon described recently as neofeudalism  and that characterization fits rather neatly.

Levellers claim it wrong that someone is hungry while another is wealthy beyond comprehension. I say by what moral right is the State entitled to 70% of anyone's income? I am confounded why anyone would oppose a flat tax? 10 or 15% of anyone's income hurts the same. Under that scenario the wealthy still pay more. You may owe $150. Your neighbor might owe $15,000 in taxes. In the same way I contribute more in road funding through gasoline taxes when I drive 40,000 miles a year than my neighbor who commutes a few miles each day.

Should Jeff Bezos pay more for a loaf of bread? Forget I suggested that, AOC will think that a good idea.

None of this was supposed to work this way. The Founders insistence that taxes were to be proportioned equally was on purpose.

By the same token, Trump's so-called emergency funding for The Wall is equally egregious. Whether needed or not, funding in this manner is not how it is supposed to work. Congress, specifically the House, controls the purse. Period.

It was wrong when Indiana Governor Oliver Morton used emergency powers to garner war funding over the objections of a Democrat Statehouse during the Civil War, and it is wrong for the President to pay for pet projects in the same fashion. Both executives may be correct in principle, but wrong in the method.

February 15, 2019

Huh?

Could someone, anyone, especially you of a liberal bent, explain how providing a "living wage" helps reduce emissions and promotes a "green" agenda? Even more, how does the so-called Green New Deal even help the environment? *

Maybe we should quit crouching communism as environmentalism. Who doesn't want a vibrant environment or clean water?

Lots of us do not want to live in a Marxist world.

The Levellers are counting on the mass ignorance of the average voter to sneak through their collectivist agenda. 


* Just how is it we are going to ditch air travel in a country this size? That railroad bridge to Hawaii is really gonna be an engineering marvel.

It is more than Avocados

I never cease to be amazed at the number of American (and European) companies that operate in Mexico*. As our road trip wound through some of the industrial centers of he country I saw corporate brands you would deem exclusively "American", each taking advantage of the cheaper labor and costs in order to remain competitive domestically.

Much angst was generated locally and nationally when United Technologies planned to close its unionized Carrier factory in Indianapolis. The Trumpster even got involved. Lots of folks vowed to never buy a Carrier again. Of course they will forget this notion in fifteen or twenty years when they finally need a new furnace or air conditioner. More to the point, I read nothing about boycotts of Lennox, who, by the way, has a factory in...Mexico.

The big car companies are there and so are the tier one and tier two suppliers. The big trucks are made there too. Thus so are the suppliers for those plants.

Often these factories are supplemental to facilities in the States, offering components or sub assemblies. Sometimes the end products are sold within Mexico, or most often both.

And the US presence isn't limited to industrial products. Consumer goods can be found too. Your favorite Bic pen? I went past a factory wearing their brand. That recliner you are sitting in? They are there too.

The point is we are in an international business world. No amount of isolation rhetoric is going to change that.


* and China.

February 14, 2019

That's (almost) a Wrap

Here I am enjoying free airport wifi while waiting on my plane. You cannot beat $0.75 beer at the airport. I have nothing of interest to report. The whole point of the post was to gloat about the cheap beer.

Mission accomplished.

I will be home late. I eschewed grabbing some Cuban Cigars at the duty free store. At $75 for a five pack of Montecristos, it was far more than I was willing to spend.After all, I would just set them on fire at some point...

I kid you not

Adventures in travel continued today. This evening we enjoyed cabritos for dinner. We ate at the regionally famous El Rey del Cabritos  restaurant in Monterrey. if you do not know cabritos I will leave it to you to search your favorite Spanish to English dictionary.

Yes it translates to kid. As in baby goat. It was good. Better than ant eggs.

We are in our third city in three days. Moving from the south central part to the northern part of Mexico. Monterrey is in tne mountains, more than 6,000 feet above sea level, so the scenery is a little different than the flatlands of central Hoosierdom. I wing my way back to the good old US of A tomorrow.

I think I cannot wait to grab a hamburger.

February 12, 2019

I have pictures to prove it

Here we are, day 2 of the second leg of the Great Travel with the Bosses road trip. This week we are in beautiful Mexico. I ain't complaining about daytime temps in the upper 70s. You wouldn't either.  Humidity is low. The food is good.

Tonight I tried Mexican caviar. It was ant eggs. Yes, you read that right. Huevos de hormigas. I've eaten worse stuff.

I'm ensconced on the fifth floor of my no name hotel in Santiago de Queretaro, north of Mexico City.  We will visit customers in the morning before zipping off to Monterrey in the afternoon. Another customer visit and I wing home via Houston. Thursday.

I will offer further reports Wednesday provided the hotel has a good Internet connection.

Buenas noches, amigos.

February 11, 2019

A mountain of words.

In March I will have been involved in this strange blogging hobby for -- count the fingers, take off the shoes, add back the one -- 14 years (2019 minus 2005). Math is hard for history majors.

Saturday's post marked post 6,301. That means in the approximately 5,100 days I have been writing, I have gifted you with with my wit, humor, and insight an average of 1.2 posts a day.

If you consider there are probably a few hundred words in every post, that equals...lots of words. Maybe more than a million. I don't know.  Remember -- history major. I only have ten fingers and ten toes for cripe's sake.

You are welcome.


February 10, 2019

A pox on the DH

I went and got some donuts this morning. I'm drinking donut shop coffee -- the real kind. It was supposed to snow today, but so far it is just cloudy. I should go out and walk around the neighborhood before it starts snowing. I do need the exercise.

It is your fault I'm sitting in my recliner, drinking coffee, and belching donuts instead of burning calories. You clamor for more, more, more.

Oh wait, that is me and nookie.

Neither of us gets what we want.

I finished the older boy's taxes yesterday. He got whacked by the ObamaCare penalty. He says he can afford $600 from his tax refund than $200-300 a month for insurance. He just missed the exemption cut off.

Teams head to Spring Training this week. I'm ready. Now if we could just get the league to quit screwing with the rules. We don't need a pitch clock and we certainly have no desire to expand the Designated Hitter into the National League. If AL teams are at a disadvantage when it comes to playing under the real rules of baseball then they can scrap the DH.  Why is the discussion always that the NL must change? The DH is a plague. Anyone can manage a team with the DH in the lineup. It takes all strategy and planning from the game.

Help me off this soapbox, will you?

Enjoy your Sunday. I'm off to read your blogs and then maybe, just maybe, I'll take a walk.

February 9, 2019

It is in the bag

Happy Saturday, Amigos. I'm practicing my six word Spanish vocabulary in advance of another trip to the land of tacos and sombreros. Dos cervases por favor. Gracias. I think I have it covered. This will be my third trip to Mexico since the start of December. Unfortunately, it is work, not vacation. On the bright side it will be near 80 degrees as opposed to 18. There is that. Warm sunny weather always helps brighten my attitude.

I had to get a new suitcase. The airline broke one "spinner" wheel when I went to China a couple of years ago. A second wheel was damaged coming home from Mexico in the days before Christmas. The trip last week demonstrated the bag just won't roll well with two broken wheels.

If I have learned anything in more than 25 years of travel it is that decent luggage is worth it. The last suitcase was not the cheap WalMart stuff, but it was the low-end model from a reputable company. The bracket that holds the wheels is plastic; thus the breakage. The new bag has the "skateboard" spinner wheels mounted in a metal bracket, a far more robust design.

I cannot really complain much about the last bag. It took me to China twice, Mexico twice, two cruises, a trip to Hawaii, and a couple of times to Florida on vacation in addition to countless miles throughout the country on ordinary business trips. In and out of trunks, backseats, overhead bins and bellies of airliners is rough. Trust me, those pavers in hotel entryways and the transition from floor to carpet and up and down curbs is hard on the little bearings in the wheels. It is amazing the suitcase lasted as long as it did.

Geez, just thinking about where that suitcase has been makes me reflect that I have travelled a lot more than your average bear. I cannot remember exactly when the wife bought it for me, but that bag has been to at least six countries and maybe 16 or 18 different states. I guess I shouldn't be surprised it is starting to fall apart.

The wife is not thrilled I will be travelling on the upcoming Hallmark Holiday. I better go get something nice this morning to have ready when I get back. I don't think a chocolate sampler is going to cut the mustard this year, especially since my Christmas gifts were a little lame*. Heck, I might even get a card.

Ah Joe, you romantic devil.



* see above, I travelled basically the whole of December for work. My shopping time was limited to pretty much the weekend before Christmas.

February 7, 2019

Do I not Entertain You?

Looking at my blogger dashboard I can only wonder what I have done to drive off the readership. It cannot be that my content is boring, my politics politically incorrect, my writing style soporific, my humor lame, my syntax trying, my editing nonexistent, or that blogging is on life support as an influential medium -- all of that has been true for years.

Seriously, where did everybody go?

You are still reading, but what about everyone else?

February 6, 2019

Humpin' through hump day

I'm ensconced here in my hotel. I'm not telling you where, but it is in the Mitten State. I think the Greeks are building a big ol' wooden horse across the street.

True confession time: I skipped watching the Trumpster's big speech last night. I opted to read a little Jack Reacher instead. I suspect my choice was more entertaining. My colleagues mostly watched the SOTU. They were amused. None hail from the US of A.

Don't tell anyone, but I'm becoming weary of the Big Road Show. Luckily I got out of the second leg today. The meetings were with Not My Account. There was no reason for me to go so I was dropped at the hotel with a couple of the not-needed others and the Very Big Boss took over driving duties. It's OK, it is the company van. It even has our logo emblazoned on the side.

We have one last meeting tomorrow in the afternoon. I will have the morning to kill. A little work will be on tap, I suppose. I will drop the gang at a hotel near the airport tomorrow evening then motor my way back to the Hoosierland.

I may make Friday a short work day. The bosses won't know, they will be on airplanes...

Don't rat me out.

February 5, 2019

I think Helen came from somewhere near here

I am ensconced for the night in my 9th floor suite room in a hotel in the greater Detoilet metro area. Day 2 of my great Travelling with my Bosses road trip is nearly in the bag. Dinner tonight, then I'm on my own until...tomorrow, when we do it all again.

Freezing rain and ice is on tap for the morrow. I only hope the roads are salted and clear by the time I have to chauffeur the gang around town.

Rinse and repeat for Thursday. I'm sure I will cry about it in these pages tomorrow.

In the meantime it is good to get e dress shoes off for an hour or so. I think I heard the boss say we were having steak, so I am good for that.

Your Pal,

Joe

February 4, 2019

And it is yet another punt

The latest Big Game was somewhat less than exciting. I half-watched while doing other stuff, like washing the pans from supper and running the vacuum during commercials. Yes, I skipped the commercials. Blasphemy. The wife sat raptured in mild lust as Maroon 5 star Adam Levine sang the half-time show. We munched on brownies and barbecued meatballs as a mid-game snack.

Quick aside: the Sweet Baby Rays Sweet and Spicy sauce is my new favorite.

I can't help but think that while he deserved the MVP award, we should not reward cheaters. It was just a few months ago that the star receiver Julian Edelman was banned for part of the season for taking PEDs.

I admittedly have a lot of biases. I'm OK with the Chicago "Black Sox" ban from the HOF, including Shoeless Joe. I'm OK with Pete Rose's ban, at least until after he is dead and gone.

My bias doesn't end with sports. I distrust people with hyphenated last names. It strikes me as pretentious. Likewise folks who insist on using first middle and last names in everyday business dealings. I don't like face piercings from my waiter. I don't really like them at all. Even my son's nose piercing I find a little disturbing.

Get off my lawn. 

I'm not sure how we got to this point. This blog post I mean.  Not society. OK, that too, but not for the purposes of this essay.

I'm always interested in the creative process. For me, I just start to type and the post flows. I rarely edit for content (I know, it shows). What you get 99% of the time is free form writing. I don't know if that is the normal way or not. Perhaps a little planning and outlining might do a little  good around here. This sit and write method may explain why I have never been able to finish a work of fiction beyond a short story. It is too hard to maintain that method over tens of thousands of words.

Well, that and a lack of storytelling writing ability.

I wrote research papers the same way in college. I would research, take notes, think of the opening, and then just go. Once started, I usually wrote until the end. It worked. I nearly always got As on term papers. Here? You judge.

Maybe this is how everyone writes. I don't know.

Oh well, have a good Monday. I'm off to Detoilet later today to pick up my colleagues at the airport. Then it is off to a week of customer visits. I get to play driving Miss Daisy this week.

Didn't that story take place in Atlanta? That is where the most boring of Super Bowls was held. Lookie, lookie, we have come a full circle.

February 3, 2019

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold

The view out my window is an ugly one this morning. The sky is a cloudy blue-gray, the ground a muddy, slushy mess. We got five inches of snow Thursday night and today's warm temperature has it all melting. it might, just maybe, perhaps, be warm enough for a small stogie on the soggy patio this afternoon.

It is Superbowl Sunday and I have little interest in the game. I hate the Patriots. I'm honest enough to admit my dislike is a result of the Pats keeping my local team from being a similar dynasty through the first decade of this century. Cheatin' bastards. Go Rams.

We went up and visited my dad last night. He is trying to hide it, but I think he is still struggling with the passing of my mom. Her birthday is in a couple of weeks and I know it will be hard. They were married 61 years. After Dad's we went to our friend's house for pizza and euchre.

It seems the plant on the cabinet needs some water. Needy bastard, I just gave some last week.

There you have another entry documenting the triviality of my life.

Have a great Sunday.

February 2, 2019

Insight to the Big Game, your best bets for Sunday

Another week has slipped by. Nothing remarkable impacted my life. I lived. I worked. I had minor travels.

Weather-wise, welcome to the Midwest. The bone-chilling cold of this week will be replaced with spring-like breezes next week. The lows midweek this week were in the environs of -15. Highs next will push 60: that is a 75 degree temperature change. At least the snow will melt.

All my bosses will be here next week. We will be making the rounds to customers. I get back home Friday. After a weeks' worth of laundry is done I get to pack and join the road show in Mexico the following week as the same merry group visits our customer's production plants South of the Border. Sombreros and serapes are optional.

I have no doubt I will be sick of all of them long before the second week ends. We will be quite the international contingent. There will be Germans and Austrians and Mexicans. I will be the lone American.

Long history demonstrates that most Germans don't get sarcasm, my stock in trade. I have spent a good chunk of my career working with and for Germans. I have heard a quizicle "Vy vould you say that, Joe?" on more than one occasion. I explain it is a joke. "Ah, ya".  A slight nod and puzzled expression follows. * I will have to be on my best linguistic behavior. Using proper English and diction and avoiding a lapse into my south-of-70 Hoosier dialect will also make me tired. Since I speak slowly and do not have that ear-assaulting New York /New England patois, I am easily understood. There is that. To be fair, all of my colleagues speak great English.

Still, I don't want to spend two weeks (8 days actually, spread over 2 weeks) with anyone from work.

*Don't fret, Snowflake Brigade, Germanic blood flows deep in my veins. Even my surname is from the Fatherland. I can criticize. It's like a guy from The Hood using the "N" word.

January 30, 2019

Gimmes some of that global warming

How cold is it? I just found the Tidy Bowl man ice fishing in my toilet.

That is one of my brother's jokes. Of course you have to be over about 40 too remember the Tidy Bowl Man commercials.


I think I'll crawl into my freezer to get warm. That's how cold it is outside.

For posterity, it is -5. The wind is roaring around the eves giving us a current wind chill of -31. It is cold as tne dickens where you are too. 

Find someone to snuggle with.

Me? I'm off to get ready for work. 1/2 a day in the office and then I'm on the road to Northwest Ohio. Woot. I normally hate driving in my coat. I suspect I'll make an exception today.

Stay warm, my friends.

January 29, 2019

I think a donut is in order

Let's just get it out of the way -- it is cold. It is probably cold at your house too. It is going to be even colder over the next few days. Really cold. I get to travel in it. Customer summons and Joe goes. There is a lot of nothing between here and there, wide open flat windy prairie. I am slightly apprehensive about travelling in -15 temps with wind chills in the -30 range.

I had a pithy post in my mind Sunday evening. By the time yesterday came it fizzled away into the mists of coulda, shoulda land. So you got nothing yesterday and a soporific weather report today.

Ain't blogging grand? Oh well, I did deep thinking over the weekend. A couple of long posts you most likely skipped are followed by this nonsense. I think it is clear I have wrung this dishrag of a hobby for all I can get out of it. It may be time soon to let it die a natural death.

Have a great Tuesday.

January 27, 2019

I admit a strong bias against old unworkable ideas

I have spent a significant part of my life studying history. My love affair with the past started in Mrs. Walters' 3rd grade class with the film and novel Johnny Tremain.  I have since not only earned a degree in history, but immersed myself in various historical subjects in the intervening years. I'm not a historian. I'm a semi-devoted amateur. I'm fascinated by the similarities of the American Revolution and the French Revolution -- right up to the point the French took a sharp left turn in the name of reason and then "equality".

While I have spent far less time on the rise of the Bolsheviks in Russia, their path was similar to the French. Later, Castro and Che followed the inequality = change = "only I can accomplish what we need" dictator model established by leftist revolutionaries throughout history. Kevin Williamson has an article on just this subject in National Review.

That is why I look at the current rhetoric from the left with a jaundiced eye. The soak punish the rich mentality that is currently in vogue has a very French, Russian, Venezuelan feel to it. It is easy to consider billionaires and millionaires and think "they don't need all of that money". Envy is a powerful political tool.

The problem comes when we try to define "need". Who gets to decide? If we went all French Revolution extreme and guillotined the economic "nobles" in the National Mall we might eliminate the One Percenters only to elevate another crop of heads to be harvested as the new One Percent. As long as someone has more than you or me, they are the economic enemy. Where does it stop?

In Revolutionary France that meant you resorted to wearing the filthy rags as the poorest street dweller so as not too appear unequal. In Soviet Russia the newly politically powerful (not all pigs are equal) just covered their hypocrisy by building their Dachas out of town and creating special stores for the elites where there was no need to stand in line for bread and toilet paper with the now "equal" masses. You know, "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" as The Who so aptly described things.

So for those Lefty types touting their enthusiasm for equality and anti-wealth positions I suggest you at least adopt the policies of the original egalitarians, the Levelers. Practice what you preach. Renounce your Government salary. If the median wage in this country is $50,000 annually, you should refuse any income beyond that. There is no earthly reason why a politician should earn three times the average Joe. After all, HE is paying your salary.

Instead, just like most leftists when it comes to money, it is all about someone else's bank account.

January 26, 2019

The fetid swamp water gets a little deeper

Trump caved. The King of Negotiators got nothing for his efforts. As a professional negotiator I can tell you this, once an issue comes off the table, it is not coming back up for discussion. There will be no wall -- Not now, not in three weeks. Oh, and as a byproduct of lousy negotiating, we just elected a far-leftist as our next president.

I will get to that, but as a quick aside, if The Wall was all so important why didn't the Stupid Party fund it when they had control of both Houses of Congress? That  was as recently as 27 days ago...

The Democrats are all struggling to see who can out-commie the economically illiterate chick from the Bronx. Trust me, the lefties will run someone who thinks we should be the next Venezuela or Cuba. They might even choose someone who thinks all Whites are the Anti-Christ, except they don't believe in the religion thing, and that Men (well white men anyway) are the root of all evil. We Americans survived Woodrow Wilson and his co-President wife, we can survive Kamela. *

The Repubs will run Trump, because why rock the boat? Since they have the worst PR apparatus in the free world and have no idea how to tout the good stuff Trump has done, The People will be pissed because Trump couldn't pass legislation (not his job) and stay home.

Those who think they are owed something, you know, anyone under 35 and most people who are not fair-skinned, will vote the Lefty into office because he/she will promise something for nothing. We will one again be back to the Alvin Lee/Ten Years After political platform. **

Don't worry, the new lefty will not deliver on his/her promises and the voters will put the other guys back in charge of the purse strings two years later. The Levelers always overreach. The Invisible Hand always trumps Marxism, even in Mao's China and Stalin's USSR or Fidel's Worker's Paradise.

Nothing will change. The Swamp Monsters will tax a little more, spend a lot more and the corruption train will chug chug chug right on.

* at least the next President will not be Hillary, that you can take to the bank.
** iTunes or YouTube, can explain this just by listening to a righteous tune

January 25, 2019

Fry Day

At the risk of offending the hashtag me two brigade and possibly revealing my toxic masculinity (whatever that means), I have to tell you that Baby, it's cold outside. A brisk three (3) Fahrenheit coupled with a biting winds results in a -14 wind chill. I repeat: Baby it's cold outside.

It is winter. We see this kind of weather very year.

I took the afternoon off yesterday. I could have blogged. I had some free time. I didn't surf the Internet at all. I read, I watched some TV, I played Barbies with my granddaughter. It was a good afternoon and evening.

Thanks for the reminder Ed. I took care of it.

I went to the doctor Wednesday. Blood pressure was good. Heart rate good. Cholesterol was good. Had a hepatitis C screen -- negative. I took a flu shot. My A1C was high, just as I suspected, but not as high as I thought it would be. I avoided going on the needle for at least another three months. I can get my blood sugar down to acceptable levels through diet, if I can get my mind right.

I was going to rant about an editorial I read yesterday. I decided not to bother. I trust you are good with that.

Have a great Friday. Stay warm.

January 22, 2019

Tuesday grab bag

Blah, blah, blah. Now you are caught up on my life. I got early cause I had to...go to the bathroom. I suspect you do not want nor care for details.

I notice the plant on the cabinet here in my office still needs water. Remind me, will you?

I need a haircut.

I need a vacation.

I hate the Patriots.

Bill Belichek is a football genius.

I have to go to the doctor tomorrow.  He isn't gonna be pleased with my blood sugars. I'm not either. But it is my fault. I eat too much stuff I shouldn't, I have not been exercising. He is going to want to put me back on the needle. Mostly I have to get my mind right. I have to be firm in my "no" to the bad stuff.

 I really like potatoes.

I need to do the other two "esses" and get to work.

Have a great Tuesday.

January 20, 2019

Even in the quietest moments

The bare branches of the big willow outside my office window hang in frozen stillness. The outside world has a soft blue-gray tint as the snow reflects the pale orange of the soon-to-rise sun in the eastern distance. I can feel just the smallest of drafts through the window glass. I'm not surprised, it is a frigid 7 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale outside. My weather app says it feels like -5. The coffee is hot and Steely Dan is playing in the background. My little wooden cigar store Indian stares with a stern expression, perhaps because the plant on the cabinet clearly needs some water.

It is a good Sunday morning.  Praise God for his blessings.

Later this morning I will have to shovel the drive and sidewalks. I see the plow already made its rounds, the leavings pushed into my drive. We lucked out in the winter storm yesterday. More rain and sleet fell than snow. We got a few inches as opposed to the forecasted half a foot. I shall not complain -- not even about the temperature. It is winter, it is always cold this time of year.

I have to be in High Ground City for trainings early in the morning. I'm leaving after dinner to make sure I'm on time. I have no doubt I will wake fresh and ready for the day on the morrow, despite not staying in a Holiday Inn Express. No, my reservations are for the chain's namesake brand.

I plan on having potato soup and BLT sandwiches before I hit the road tonight. Look at me, saving the company on eating money.

I hope you have a great Sunday.

January 19, 2019

Reagan left office three decades ago

I don't have the time or ability to read the blogs and delve into politics as I did in the days I worked from home. It is not that I goofed off so much more, but I had more access to the interwebz, I had no commute, I had far fewer meetings and conference calls. An extra fifteen minutes here and there spread through the day and you have an hour or two of spare time.

My interest in politics was flagging a bit anyway. I quit listening to political talk radio years ago, instead tuning in to sports talk when I toiled in my little bedroom office and history-based podcasts when on the road.*

I think my political philosophy is an anachronism in today's world. Who represents me? Certainly no Presidential candidate in the past couple of decades. I cast my vote far more often against as opposed to for. I don't think that is the way it is supposed to work.

I look at the current shutdown fiasco and I cannot help but think that the government workers still on the job should be paid. They are doing the work. Certainly it is hyperbole to view the situation as slavery as one of the government employee unions has argued, but one should get paid for his labors.

On the other hand, the government is doing right now during the shutdown the stuff I think a government should: protecting the borders**, keeping planes from flying into each other, making sure the foods we eat are food, not Soylent Green, keeping the military at ready. Frankly, things are running pretty well without those hundreds of thousands of idled government employees. Maybe we ought to take a hard look at stuff and not recall a significant portion of the furloughed workers. You know, get a little more lean as we say in the private sector.

Businesses have cut and automated their workforce, especially the indirect labor force over the past few decades. The job filled by three or four people in 1990 is now done by a single person. We read about how automation is, and has, decimated the factory floor. Let me tell you, that scythe cut through the front office with terrible effect starting in the late eighties. It struck the white collar community like the bubonic plague in the Great Recession of 2008-2010. Those jobs are gone, and they are not coming back. And no, they didn't move to China or Mexico, or anywhere else.

Maybe it is time we cut the fat from the public payroll. Maybe politicians should start looking at the bottom line like shareholders and management-types do their private businesses. The boss at your work has a financial stake in the company running well. Your elected pol doesn't care, he is spending your money.

And those kind of thoughts are what makes me the political anachronism I described at the outset of this way-too-long post. And I'll be damned if I can find very many office-seekers who understand they are spending money taken forcibly from their fellow citizens, at any level of politics - local, state or federal. I'm starting to give up trying.

And that attitude just may be what our elected officials hope for.


* Hardcore History, Revolutions, The British History podcast, History on Fire, to name a few.
** in general terms

January 18, 2019

Not so deep thoughts

In all of our discussions of immigration and the Democrats push to abolish ICE and promote Sanctuary City policies we should never forget that illegal immigrants flew planes into buildings killing thousands of Americans.

You might say that was an isolated event and not all "undocumented aliens" or people with expired visas are terrorists.

But then why would we push for gun laws in response to a lone crazy shooting up a school?

The hypocracy is so easy when parsing lefties.

January 16, 2019

Yet another high quality effort

Lookee, lookee, another day, another post. I'm blogging from the familiar and friendly confines of my home office this morning. Not from an untoward event at the regular office, rather because I'm going to do my road warrior thing today.

It is a quick day trip to the Land of Klinger, or if you are not fans of old sitcoms, call it Detroit South. Call it NW Ohio if you prefer. In any case driving there and back in the course of a work day is no problem. Sure, the day might be 10 hours or so, but that is fine with me.

My immediate concern is the icy drizzle and frozen fog that left a gift of black ice on the roadways and bridges this morning. I hope traffic will leave the interstates melted by the time I venture out onto  highway 69.

Hah, he said "69". Yes, mentally I'm still 13.

I have a little work correspondence to attend and a call to my pop to wish him the happiest of birthdays before I shave and shower and hit the road.

Live well, dear readers.

January 15, 2019

Toos Day

With more snow and sub-zero temps headed this way over the weekend, I take comfort in the very idea that pitchers and catchers report in less than a month.

January 13, 2019

A sad day

Everything else I have to say today pales in significance as I learn we have lost yet another of the good ones

Ellison was one of the first blogs I read on a regular basis.

Rest in peace, my Internet friend.

Snow, sports, and a movie review

The prognosticators were dead on with the snow forecasts. My ruler says we have just at seven inches. My neighbor came over with his new snow blower just after noon yesterday and cleaned my driveway. He did everyone on the cul-de-sac. Right neighborly I would say. I went out and cleaned the drive again around four. I have another inch or so to clean off later this morning along with the big chunks and heavy ridge left by the plow when the street was cleaned late last night.

Just a few miles south the city of Indianapolis measured 6 plus inches of snow. Normally that would mean private contractors would be hired to clean side streets. The DPW said that measurement on grass is greater than on streets and they say only five inches fell on the streets so they will not call out the private plows.

We have smart phones, smart bulbs,smart devices, smart appliances, smart homes. I was not aware we had smart snowflakes that only fall on grass. There must still be a few bugs since some snow fell on the streets in Indy.

The football game was ugly. Less said the better.

On occasion I do the heavy lifting around here so you don't have to. I suffered through the 2017 bio-pick Churchill yesterday. You are welcome. What a piece of claptrap. One would think if a film was about a historical figure the writers would do a little research. The crux of the film is Churchill was dead set against D-Day and did all he could in the days before the launch of the WWII Normandy landings to stop the invasion. In between, he suffered fits of depression, rage, self-pity, and general petulance.

There is no historical record to support this at all. Did Churchill have doubts? Did the pressure of war weigh on him? Probably. Were these doubts debilitating as depicted in the film? I think not. The producers did a great job of casting though. Churchill looked like the Prime Minister. General Jan Smuts was especially well cast in appearance.

Review: do not bother. One half star out of five.

Here is a little trivia to round out this wintry Sunday: The Boer General Jan Smuts served in the Boer Wars, WWI and WWII and is the only signer of the peace documents with Germany ending both World Wars.
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