December 31, 2019

Happy New Year

Out with the old

There is a strong breeze blowing this morning, perhaps Ma Nature’s way of sending off the old year. Since this is the last day of the 2019 calendar and of the decade, I think a little review is in order.

Nope.

You can get all of the review you need by clicking into the archives.

I will venture that 2019 started out well, I would assign a letter grade of “A”. The second half earned an “F”. That averages to a “C” I suppose. It seems worse than that. 2020 is starting as an “F”, so things can only get better. Always optimistic me is sure of it.

I said I’m optimistic. Don’t you snigger at me.

No, SJWers of the world, that isn’t a racist word. Look it up.

Have a Happy and Safe New Year.

If you drink, don’t drive.

See you next year.

December 30, 2019

I don’t think it is dandruff

It appears the Feds have passed legislation upping the age to purchase tobacco products to 21. I guess like booze, tobacco is so bad it’s use cannot be trusted to immature decision makers. I can think of no reason drinking and smoking are not the rights of a legal adult at 18.

At 18 you can choose a mate. Buy a car. Decide to join the military. Get a tattoo or piercing. Yet according to the Nanny state you cannot buy a bag of chew or a Swisher Sweet or a box of Camels. The government prevents 18 year-olds from purchasing a six pack of Natty Light, a pint of Fireball, or a carton of Marlboros, but encourages that same youth to join up and possibly lose life or limb in a shithole like Afghanistan for no reason whatsoever.

What I really cannot fathom is how the same people who argue that a person under 21 cannot be trusted to make a decision regarding a vice, are all in favor of lowering the voting age to 16.

It is massively head-scratching.

December 29, 2019

queue the boredom

It is warm and rainy this morning as I hopscotch through the interwebz. Today marks the end of the local professional football team’s season. After a promising start they have stumbled to the finishing line out of contention for post season play. Now I face a cold winter of boredom. I don’t care for hockey, can’t stand basketball and wouldn’t suffer through a soccer match on a dare. I guess you will find me with my nose stuck in a book, either real or electric until baseball returns in the spring.

December 28, 2019

Oh,Tradition

It is the breakfast of champions; leftover turkey and an orange, washed down with Walmart brand coffee. I can have that for breakfast because I’m an adult and I can do what I want. Both the turkey and the orange are Christmas leftovers.

I always got an orange in my Christmas sock when I was a kid. It was a tradition that continued as my kids were born. I never really thought about it until a few years ago when my son in law asked “What’s up with the oranges every year? “ as he unloaded his Christmas stocking Santa left here at the homestead. My wife says it wasn’t part of her family tradition either. It is my thing she says. Isn’t that what is cool about tradition? Too bad I don’t have a story to reinforce the annual orange in the stocking thing. It just is.

Connor Prairie is a local living history museum. This year they started a giant Christmas extravaganza. My granddaughter went there with her parents. After they attended the event, my SIL was exited. He said he learned that oranges were a popular Christmas treat in the colonial years. The fruit ripened in the late fall and was generally available in the North around Christmas time. There you have it, the source of the orange-in-the-Christmas-stocking thing.

Country Living magazine did a piece on oranges in the stocking tradition a few years ago. I suspect this is more in line with my family’s practice. My Dad was a child of the depression.

Here is another piece on oranges in the Christmas stockings. I guess I’m not so weird after all!



December 27, 2019

A Potpourri of Words

I’m late to the old blog this morning. I was up late. After a dinner of leftovers, we settled in to binge watch the latest season of “This is Us”. We got through seven episodes before I called it quits, choked down my nighttime meds, and trudged off to bed.

What? Who cares, the wife is enjoys it. She suffers through baseball most summer nights for me. Besides it is actually a pretty good show.

I read through yet another article calling out the Hallmark Christmas Movie Marathon as Fascist, Nazi-like because the Jewish faith is under-represented and of course no LGBQRSTUV. Hey, Solon, it is the Christmas  movie marathon, not Kwanza, not Hanukkah, not Pride Week in Key West Marathon. Of course the movies are gonna be about Christmas. The only fascists and authoritarian position is yours by insisting you are the arbiter of content and inclusiveness. Don’t like the content, don’t watch. I do that with about 183 of my 200 channels.

Yesterday was spring-like. Very warm and breezy. Climateers will claim a December day in the low sixties is proof of Global Warming Climate Change We Are All Gonna Die Greta is Right. I will point out the temperatures were warm, but not a record. That distinction for December 26 dates to 1875. Say, isn’t that long before the widespread use of fossil fuels and cars and plastic bags at groceries and drinking straws? Maybe it is just weather after all.

I have ranted enough today. Have a great Friday.

December 26, 2019

the big recap episode

Christmas came and went here at the old homestead. I cooked up the traditional fare around here: turkey, noodles, rolls,  mac and cheese, nasty* sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows. My daughter brought over mashed spuds and corn casserole. It was a veritable carbopalloza. We have plenty of leftovers to keep us in turkey sandwiches for a few days.

There were lots of presents for the grandgirls, and a little something for the kids. It was a gathering of family and that is never a bad thing.

On Christmas Eve we travelled to the land of my birth to celebrate with my dad and my brother and his wife in the afternoon and then went to my wife’s niece’s house for a pitch-in dinner. The wife has a big extended family and when all of them get together it is fun and loud and crazy. I always enjoy going there. The evening is topped off with a gift exchange among the kids and a white elephant gift exchange among the adults. I originally scored a scented candle and woman’s knit stocking cap. That was stolen and exchanged for a car wash set. After things wrapped up the wife made a side trade with one of her nieces to get a battery powered work light for the car chamois. The wife got a role of toilet paper printed with “here’s your crappy gift”. Not surprisingly, no one wanted to steal that one.

I hope you had a great Christmas and Hanukkah. May your Kwanza be fruitful or happy or gratifying. If you don’t celebrate those holidays I hope you have a good Thursday.



*one of the few foods in the world I refuse to eat, but the wife loves them, so I make them for her. Frankly, even the smell of sweet potatoes makes me want to gag.

Merry Christmas you filthy animal

There we were Monday, scrambling to get the right gifts with our meager funds. We found ourselves driving down Keystone Ave, heading to the Butler campus to grab a gift from the bookstore.  Traffic was bumper to bumper and all three lanes southbound were filled with commuters, shoppers, errand-runners and ne’er-do-wells. We were stopped on the edge of South Broadripple, not far from the boy’s apartment (we weren’t visiting, he was at work).

We were minding our business when a car slammed right into the back of our little Escape. Hard. Even the wife cursed. I looked in the rear view and saw a silver four door, likely a GM product, maybe a Korean job. I could see the front quarter panel was hanging loose. The driver was pointing out the window to a parking lot just beside me. I turned in to exchange info, just to see him gas it and flee down the street as fast as he could. I was boxed in by the heavy traffic and the little bastard was long gone.

I climbed out and checked the wreckage. Some whiteish scrapes of paint where his front end went under my bumper appears to be the only damage. Lights, cameras and the rest appear to be in good shape. There is no apparent buckling anywhere. I suspect the trailer hitch mount gave a modicum of protection. I have uninsured motorist coverage but it is subject to a deductible, which I certainly don’t have. I will take the car into a body shop today for an estimate before I file a claim, just to see if there is any internal damage.

So if you see a jerkoff driving around the greater Broadripple area with a loose bumper sporting a square hole dead center from my trailer hitch mount get his license plate will ya?

Every time I think life cannot suck any more Fate tosses another curveball my way.

December 25, 2019

December 22, 2019

The days are getting longer.

We cleaned house yesterday since some friends were coming over. A good evening was had by all. Hopefully things will remain in good order until Wednesday and the Holiday festivities. I just need to remember to trudge upstairs to the bathroom instead of using the half bath in the downstairs hall.

We are hosting Christmas dinner. The turkey is purchased, the rest of the carbs and veggies I will get Monday. The bird is sitting in the garage fridge thawing slowly. I will probably have to give it the water treatment starting Monday night or early Tuesday to ensure it is ready to bake early Wednesday morning. I toyed with the idea of smoking it, but I think I will stick to a traditional oven roast.

The wife is off later this morning to our daughter’s to start of frenzy of holiday baking. Cookies, candy, fudge, and other treats are on the agenda. I will contribute by staying home and watching football, napping, and scratching my crotch whenever the need arises. In other words, I will spend the day like a typical Sunday.

Happy Hanukkah to those of you of the faith.

When my oldest son was home last week my granddaughter was asking him about his Christmas decorations back in Colorado. He allowed he had none, not even a tree. “Oh”, she said, “Do you celebrate ‘Hanamakanah instead?”. We all cracked up. Five year olds.

Remember, be nice, no matter how much the a-holes get you down this Holiday Season.

Have a great Sunday readers.

December 21, 2019

Winter solstice soliloquy.

With a heavy heart we dropped the oldest boy at the airport last night. I wish he could stay for Christmas, but I am happy he was able to come “home” at all. It must be strange for him to visit us in a house and city he never lived, even though it is home to us.

Southerly winds arrive today and portend to melt away the snow on the ground. By tomorrow the snowman in the front yard will be but a wet spot on the ground and a pile of once noses, arms, scarf,  mittens, hat. The chances for a white Christmas are zero according to the weather lady on the local news.

After we dropped off the boy at the airport we motored down to the big shopping mall on the south side of the big city. I don’t know why. I drive where I am told. Apparently there was something at that mall unavailable at any of the three shopping malls within 15 minutes of the homestead. The wife had a couple of bags in her hand when she found me waiting patiently watching the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season.

We may eat pancakes or beans next week for every meal but everyone will get a little something under the tree. Do you have any gift ideas for the long-suffering wife? Granted, she has me, so every day is like Christmas for her, but a little cherry on top of the sundae that is her life would be nice. I have no ideas at all.

Enjoy your Saturday, it is going to be a short one.

December 20, 2019

Head scratching and light saber waving

Let me get this straight. Trump was such a bad boy, punishment could not wait for the process to play out:witnesses compelled to testify, all of the evidence gathered. The Fate of The Nation demanded immediate impeachment.

Now the partisan Dems don’t want a trial in the Senate because they cannot call the witnesses there wasn’t time for. And they are afraid the process will be tainted by partisan politics. It will. How many Democrat Presidential contenders will gain a political advantage if their sure opponent is disqualified?

I confess I am not smart enough to see the end game here.

Impeachment is like the movie Cats. Our betters think it is a good thing. The rest of us don’t give a damn. Both will be a flop.

Speaking of movies, I watched the new Star Wars flick last night. I rate it as satisfactory. Not great, better than the previous two installments of the triple trilogy. The entire Skywalker saga of the last forty plus years is completed with almost every loose end neatly tied into a bow, even though the effort was achieved through massive plot holes and stretches of the already thin “Force” ideology. But I was entertained. Isn’t that the real point of a movie?

December 18, 2019

Toldja

I said it was going to be a good day. I had no idea. We went to pick up a gift the wife had ordered from WalMart. When we pulled in the drive back home a car followed us in. It was my youngest son. Surprise of surprises, he had been to the airport to pick up my oldest son who flew in from Denver to surprise me for Christmas. He is taking me to see Star Wars tomorrow. I nearly cried.

The oldest boy and I have always shared a love for the space franchise and have seen almost every movie together. He bought the tickets when they went on sale back in early November and has planned this trip since then.

He can only stay until Friday, but I will take it.

Apparently everyone in the family knew but me. I am speechless with joy. The boy said he knows how tough things have been and wanted to do something nice for me.

I think there is something in both eyes, they keep watering.

omitting sarcastic remarks for once

I have a busy day scheduled. I have a couple of interviews on tap, both are repeat performances, so that is a good thing. I know one will represent either a 35% pay cut or a 300% raise, depending on where you stand and look at things. In the short term I can only look at it as a raise. Thursday brings another opportunity to sell myself to a company and position that better fits my skill set and interests. Of course at this date it is clear nothing will happen until January.

100 days until Opening Day! ⚾️

It is gonna be a good day. I hope it is for you too.

December 17, 2019

Filler

We got a few more inches of snow yesterday evening and night leaving us with about seven inches on the ground. My neighbor cleaned my drive for me. I have good neighbors.

I thought we could use my wealth of hotel points to get some Christmas gifts. After a week of back and forth Amazon told me they have a system issue with Hilton and no one can shop with points right now. Foiled by fate once again.

Here is the snowman constructed by my wife and granddaughter yesterday:



Of course it is my duty to confess to white privilege since the snowman has gloves and a scarf and hat and I’m really sorry he is white.

December 16, 2019

Monday

I was wrong about the weather. A smidge over four inches of snow fell last night leaving the outside looking a winter wonderland. Another three inches is expected starting this afternoon.


Indeed.

Today is my oldest granddaughter’s birthday. She is five. She makes me smile every day.

She is going to explode if she doesn’t get to go play in the snow soon.

December 15, 2019

Conspiring by the fire

Life continues apace with the drama and heartache we have all come to expect.

The weather nerds have offered up a winter storm watch and I suspect the SnowTeamScareTeam is prepared to go into all-out coverage in the next 24 hours. When did a couple inches of snow become a winter storm? I am ready to see intrepid looking reporters bundled into station-branded parkas standing next to just barely damp roads watching for the first flakes to fall in weather that may hover around freezing.

The local football team plays on Monday, so no games for me today. Decorating is done and there are no funds for Christmas gift shopping. I guess I’ll sit and read, nap, and watch movies today. A real lazy Sunday. Perhaps I will muster the gumption to take a walk.

I see our favorite angry girl Greta has gone full on liberal and threatened to line up those who oppose her against a wall. I’m not surprised. The left has used murder to further their ambitions since before the French Revolution. Should she carry out her idealistic urges, she will just be another in a long line of progressives like Robespierre, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Polpot, Castro,  and the rest. Communism: so popular they had to build a wall to keep the capitalists out. It must be exhausting to be so angry all of the time. How do you lefties do it?

And there you have it, another soporific entry into the archives. Enjoy your a Sunday.

December 14, 2019

Partee! 🎂

Saturday. Party day. My oldest granddaughter is celebrating her 5th birthday today (her actual birthday is Monday). My daughter will have a house full of kids; neighbors, school chums, and friends along with their parents. It will be loud and crazy. Fifteen or twenty 4,5, and 6 year-olds will be like a kid tsunami.


December 13, 2019

Dear Greta

I hear you are so sad Trump criticized you in a tweet. Everyone is rushing to your support. "You are just a child" they exclaim. You feel bullied.

I tell you what, don't presume to lecture adults and they won't treat you in kind. Don't pretend to enter into a grown-up arena and no one will bully you.

If you want to be a big fish, then there are consequences.

When you presume to bully the world, do not be surprised when someone pushes back.

Or you can just shut up, go home and cry into an eco-friendly blankie.

December 12, 2019

The moon shines bright

A bright full moon shines white through the bare branches of the maple tree in the front yard. It is cold. Not January cold, but chilly nonetheless. The grandgirls will arrive shortly. I'm groggy this morning because I stayed up late reading last night. Somehow I still managed to wake up before the wife's alarm chirps her awake.

The moon and the neighbor's Christmas lights inspire me to throw up a holiday tune; one of my favorites. I hope you don't mind.


December 10, 2019

Impeachment reconsidered

After listening to the Democrat news conference this morning I have decided to re-examine my position on the matter of impeachment.

Clearly, the Republican Party needs to reconsider their opposition and failure to act in the face of what has been described as malfeasance and high crimes and misdemeanors.

When the President works with a foreign nation to aid in his re-election bid, that is impeachable..

When a President claims Executive Privilege and refuses to release documents or allow administration officials to testify before Congress, that is obstruction of justice and an impeachable offense.

Yes, I am talking about Congress' failure to impeach Obama for promising "more flexibility in negotiations" with Russia if they do nothing to thwart his re-election bid (also known as quid pro quo). And the claims of executive privilege and refusal to hand over documents in the Fast and Furious and IRS targeting scandals.

Clearly the GOP should have used their power to impeach President Obama based on the logic and reasoning behind the Articles leveled at President Trump.

Of course that is ridiculous. Presidents do politics. No sane person tries to abet his own political lynching, and no matter how hard they spin, Nancy and company have nothing except a serious case of butthurt they lost to a crass political outsider. Are we really to take seriously people like Maxipad Waters who insisted she would get Trump impeached before he was even sworn in? sure, that is an unbiased committee chair.

Be careful, at some point the situation is going to be reversed and boy are the Democrats gonna hate, hate, hate the new standards.

And the beat goes on

Happy Tuesday blog friends. Yesterday's seasonable temps and wet weather has given way to a cold front. I don't care, it is comfortably warm here in my blog room/office/spare bedroom recliner.

The fun continues here at the old homestead as my SIL just learned he is jobless in a massive bankruptcy of one of the nation's largest truck carriers. You might have read about it. Too bad the actions of a couple of individuals have cost more than 3,000 workers their jobs. The news focuses on the drivers, but 500 administrative people are on the street with no severance, no vacation pay, nothing. Merry Christmas, indeed.

If you could keep him and my daughter's family in your prayers, I would appreciate it. .

December 9, 2019

Its beginning to look...

You asked.  You have no idea what a pain it is to post pictures for me.

It shows how much I love you.



December 8, 2019

Infamy, a bonus post

To go with yesterday's post, here is a picture of me and the wife taken in 2014 at Pearl Harbor.

Bleach will clean out your eyes.

Missed it -- You should be reading every day

I am about 15 pounds lighter now.

We were there to celebrate our 30th anniversary.

What is and what never should be

A soft blue sky hints at a promising day. Outside temps hover just at freezing while inside it is comfortably warm. Music plays softly as I hunt and peck these letters to form words. Coffee steams in a Yeti cup next to my recliner. I am ready to offer up insight, information, humor, or pithy commentary on this Sunday morning.

...

Yeah, I got nuthin'.

,,,

Nope. Still nothing.

...

I guess you will have to choose your own adventure today.

I have not earned the pay and benefits you so generously contribute to this site today. Sorry 'bout that. Let me know and I will refund your subscription fee. I'm benevolent like that. It is just good business.

Have a great Sunday.

December 6, 2019

King Trump I

The Dems are gonna impeach come Hell or High Water. Even if they have to create the "there". The theory at play is that where there is smoke there is fire, and there will be smoke even if Nancy and Schiff have to chuck smoke bombs into the room.

Does anyone take the proceedings seriously when they bring in partisan hacks to say sure he's guilty who have not seen the proof beyond the same hearsay evidence we all were subjected to previously? The same so-called "Constitutional Scholars" who would admit that hearsay evidence is worthless as any law student learned in first year classes? Hell, I know that and was only pre-law in college and learned most of my legal knowledge from Judge Judy.

I bet the GOPers could call up a round half dozen "experts" in about 30 minutes to argue the actions did not rise to the level of impeachment. What a joke.

Politicians really do think we are all stupid.

Sheesh, Nancy couldn't muster the courage to vote against Clinton, who admitted he lied under oath, a real crime called perjury*. Yet somehow we are to believe Trump is the greatest threat Evah. King George reincarnate, according to Nancy.

As I read somewhere, Trump did commit obstruction. He obstructed Hillary from moving into the White House.


*depending on your definition of "is".

December 4, 2019

Nostalgically Speaking

See how I am? I tell you I am going to work hard and post more. Then nothing, nada, zip, crickets chirping. I've started December with zero posts. Three hundred posts for the year is starting to seem a difficult target.

It is still cold for this time of year, but not frigid January-like weather. I wouldn't mind spending a few days at the beach. Technically I could. I still have more than a half million hotel points. Yes, you read that right. And that is just with one chain. I probably have anywhere from three to five nights at two other chains. I say I could technically go on vacation. The gas and food money is a different matter. Besides, the wife has to babysit for the grandgirls. And there is no way the wife would go anywhere at Christmastime.

It is strange to think that one year ago I was in Mexico visiting the plant after starting a new job. It is remarkable how things change so fast.

I love being home with my wife and family, but a little bit of me really misses life on the road. I spent 25 years traveling for work. Sure, sometimes the hours of highway miles and monotonous meals and anonymous hotel rooms became tiring. The week-long trips especially to China or Mexico or Europe were a burden. The routine visits to places like Naperville, Rockford, or Charlotte every month became boring. But driving to new places and seeing the odd tourist sight and roadside attraction has left me with memories to last a lifetime.

The Buddy Holly crash site, the Spam Museum, Hoover homestead? Been there. Duesenburg Cord Museum: Check. Battlefields large and small throughout the land -- of course. Waterfalls, roadside markers, the Field of Dreams, heck yes. I have seen spectacular sunsets, mountain flowers, lakes, rivers, fields, and hills. I have spent more hours driving the mind-numbing monotony that defines I-70 than I can count. I have spent thousands of hours squirming in discomfort on the thinly padded seats of crowded airports and dined alone in restaurants in hundreds of cities and towns.

I have probably flown close to one thousand flights, driven well over a million miles, and spent more than 3,000 nights on a hotel mattress. For all of the discomfort, aggravation, and pure boredom that defines the life of a road warrior, I miss it far more than I could ever believe.

December 2, 2019

I blame the dog

We are dog sitting for the youngest son. I like the dog. He is a good boy, well behaved and fun. Around 3:30 or so This morning I woke to him running from the front door to the back, his nails clicking on the wood floor as he slid around the corner from the kitchen and around the stairs. Back and forth. Back and forth. I stumbled down he steps and let him out back. I guess he had to pee. He shot out the patio door like a little Corgi rocket. When he came back in he flew up the stairs to the office recliner and curled into a ball. 

Me, I headed back to bed. Unfortunately, worries and thoughts climbed under the blankets with me. I tossed and turned until it was clear sleep had left the building. So here I am, sitting on the couch, hunting and pecking at the old iPad keyboard. I sometimes blame the dog when I pass gas, and I am blaming him for my insomnia too. 

December 1, 2019

A matter of perspective

I have knocked out 266 posts as of the end of November. If I work at it I will end the year writing just over 300 entries. I make no promises as to quality, we are talking quantity. My lowest post total for any year since 2005 was 349. I won't get close to that this year, let alone the 544 entries I posted in 2006. It's not like I don't have time. I've been out of work since July.

Worse, my recent entries are just a little flat, lacking the depth of past year's efforts. I won't even address the quality of writing. While generally not ever erudite, recent efforts have been of even lower standard. Sorry about that.

Reading back trough the archives, I focused more heavily on politics in the old days. While I certainly do not ignore the foibles and policies of our elected officials recently, I tend to pay a lot less attention than I did in the past. This is mostly because I loathe the politicians of every stripe and party. Name one who isn't a self-serving egomaniac who values his own opinion far more than your freedom.

My kids have all left home, so their activities are no longer blog fodder. I don't think you really care about the mundane detritus of my daily life. "I had pizza for supper last night". Yawn (I did have pizza). Since I'm no longer on the road several days of the week traipsing the country, I don't even have travel stories to relate, expound, and expand.

In other words, I am terribly afraid the old blog has become as boring as my life. If you prefer it stated differently; my life sucks and so does the blog.

So it goes. Still, I am thankful you allow me to be part of your day.

Have a great Sunday.


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