July 10, 2020

I cannot believe how boring this blog is

It is Friday. That means nothing to me these days. It is but another day. We won’t crack 90 today, according to the weather babe, the first time in a while. It appears the promised rain failed to materialize last night. I wish now I had watered the flowers. There is still a chance for precipitation this morning. We shall see.

The grandgirls are staying overnight for a sleepover this evening. The oldest already has the evening planned: pizza, popcorn and a movie. The one year-old sister will just go with the flow. Since she started walking, she has been a handful. In a good way. She is very busy. I’ll put it that way.

I through some chicken breasts on the grill last night, hitting them with a nice rub about 20 minutes before grilling and finishing with BBQ sauce at the end. I sliced some potatoes thin and wrapped them in foil with onion and chunks of cheddar cheese and grilled that too. Some canned baked beans rounded out a simple and delicious supper.

In other news I have nothing.

Have a great Friday.

July 8, 2020

washing away yesterday’s sweat

I’ve got the early shift at the Big Box this morning. That is no excuse for why I was awake at 4:30. That is on me. And no, I’m not happy about it. So it goes. It’s not like I can blame anyone but my own brain for my issues. I like to call this concept “taking responsibility “. Many Americans should investigate this new idea.

Four years ago this month I had the first of five eye procedures to fix my failing eye sight. I still need glasses, but I can see much better these days. I thank the Lord for this blessing. I am also thankful to the anonymous donors who are me their corneas. If you are not a registered organ donor, you should consider it.

In spite of my best efforts, I am unable to muster any light and fluffy content today. I am likewise determined not to delve into politics. Thus you get this drivel.

I would like to promise better going forward, but you have 15 years of history proving otherwise over there in the archives.


July 7, 2020

Watermelon Dreams

It will be another hot one today. It is summer, the heat seems to arrive around this time every year. The heat and humidity might combine to spur a quick rain shower in the afternoon.

The wife scored a little blow-up pool extra cheap a few weeks ago. I filled the pool with air and then water yesterday. The girls splashed around and had a great time. The little girl who lives next door came over and played in the water. A great time was had by all.

My neighbor imposed on a buddy who is sales manager at a car dealership to give me an interview yesterday. As I looked around I saw at least a dozen salesmen standing around waiting to pounce on any unsuspecting prospect. It was clear staffing was not a problem. Tbe dude in charge pretty much told me so during the interview. I expect nothing to come of it.

In other news, police in Washington have decided it is a bad idea to let protesters out onto the interstate highways to protest. Duh. I knew by the time I was five not to play in the street.

After reading Kaepernick’s hate-filled July 4th screed, two thoughts come to mind. If he really thinks the USA is so damn horrible, why doesn’t he go somewhere he thinks is better? He seems to admire Castro. Maybe life in Cuba would suit him? Second, why would Disney just hire him? Walt is spinning headless turns in his grave. The people running the Disney empire better hope science delays finding how to reanimate the dead, because a reborn Walt Disney would be kicking ass and taking names if he knew what they have done to his company.

July 6, 2020

RIP Charlie


Not PC, but a great tune nonetheless.

Another favorite:


What a sense of humor

We will miss you Mr.Daniels.

Speaking words of wisdom


July 5, 2020

Small town in the city

As dusk neared the neighbors began to gather in the cul-de-sac. Three separate games of corn hole were ongoing. Lawn chairs appeared curbside. An Icee truck parked nearby. Folks from down the street and neighbors’ relatives and friends joined the crowd. Neighbor B’s firework stash was piled under a tent. He had outdone himself this year. He spends thousands of dollars from his own pocket to put on a community fireworks spectacular, asking no more than a donation in the tip jar. The community pot luck was cancelled this year, but the celebration was not. By the time the sun set probably 75-100 people had joined under the few clouds in the warm, humid night sky.

The evening started with THE National Anthem as rockets and bombs exploded in the warm clear evening sky. Whoops, yells, and occasional chants of USA erupted from the college kids and their cohorts across the street. Around us other amateur pyrotechnic masters lit the sky in an explosive competition.The show went on for a good hour or more, ending with a finale that lasted a full two minutes.


Not bad for “just a dude across the street”.

There was no politics. No protest. Just a celebration of all that is good in America.

After the show was over, the neighbors grabbed brooms, shovels and garbage cans and joined together to clean the copious mess. That too speaks of the community.

I hope you had a blessed Independence Day.

July 4, 2020

Go ‘Murica

I thought I’d throw a couple of nice ribeyes on the grill this evening, being Independence Day and all.

I went to the freezer and grabbed a package we have been saving.

Coincidence? Look at the price:



That was the only package of ribeyes in the freezer.

Do dee doo doo....

.


July 3, 2020

I want my own National Anthem too

In a post a week or two ago I swore I would never bow or take a knee. I may have to reconsider that position. If the NFL moves forward with their Race baiting and pandering, I may take a knee during the so-called “Black National Anthem”. Or a piss.

There is... no, let me do that again so you know I am shouting...THERE IS ONLY ONE NATIONAL ANTHEM AND IT IS THE STAR SPANGLED BANNERIt covers us all, every damn American, whether you are black, brown, white, red, purple or all of the hues in between.

Screw who ever thought of this asinine idea, Screw the NFL, and Screw any advertiser who sponsors it. The NFL is afraid of the bad press and economic power of the BLM. It is time they learned the economic power of true Americans.

I am done with the NFL if they move forward with this BS.

This is not bringing the nation together. This is reverse Jim Crow. It also proves that the whole kneeing thing really is about the Anthem and a protest against America in general. Kneel, don’t kneel, I don’t care, but do not expect me to support you.

Football is supposed to be about entertainment, not a political rally and if the billionaire owners and millionaire players cannot understand that basic concept I propose we hurt them where it will get their attention — right in the wallet. Show them the money indeed.


July 2, 2020

checking in

I’m still here. Still breathing. I don’t feel much like ranting on politics. I’ll save that for another day.  I don’t have much else to report.

I hope all is well with you.


June 30, 2020

Reminiscing


This date in 1984 was a Saturday. I know this not through some Rain Man-like knowledge of math and calendars, but rather I can remember.

Come now, you say, who can remember a Saturday 36 years ago? I also remember the day as sunny and warm. Way too warm for a tux.

”Ah”, you say. Yep, thirty-six ...hold on...carry the one...yes, thirty-six years ago today the wife and I were married in the local Methodist church surrounded by family and friends. We had a reception at the country club. Beer was provided, no bar, just finger food and cake. There was no DJ or band.

We spent our honeymoon in Gatlinburg.

Life with her has been grand. Our life in general has had some ups and downs and tough times. Even the worst of times were bearable with her at my side.

I have not made many good decisions in my life. Marrying this woman was certainly one of them.

June 29, 2020

good thing I drink my coffee black

Not much and nothing.

What is going on and what do I have to report?

Life continues here at the homestead. The girls are on vacation this week, so no little kid frolicking to make up the day.

Retail sucks, and I cannot believe how dishonest people are. Even here in the north side ‘burbs - considered wealthy by some* - theft and fraud is rampant at the big box where I work part time. What kind of jerk buys something, uses it, then returns it? Or buys a can of bug spray or cleaner, uses half and then brings it back for a refund? And the dolts in customer service take it all, no questions asked; scan the receipt and refund the cash. They took back store branded items from a competitor the other day, because the customer had a receipt for something.. Was the receipt for the items returned? Who knows. I just get to restock this crap.

But I’m in a good mood and complaining isn’t where I wanted to go today.

Have a great Monday!

Look you know I mean it because I added an exclamation point!

Another one!



* maybe not, I live there

June 27, 2020

i need to win the lottery

I tried out the new Blogger dashboard for a bit. I hate it and switched back. The new dashboard will be mandatory soon. I’m not sure how a company can continue to push out updates that makes the platform less user-friendly. Earlier this year they got rid of spell check. This new update may push me to finish my participation in this nonsense once and for all.

 I know, old man...lawn...change...blah, blah. When a hobby becomes more aggravation than value it is time to stop.  And no, I’m not going to switch platforms. I had a blog or two on Wordpress for a while and hated their interface too. Yes, I spread my good cheer and words of wisdom in multiple places back in the heydays of blogging. If you didn’t know, you didn’t miss much.

June 26, 2020

A thousand monkeys sitting at a thousand keyboards

I’m off to have some bloodwork done this morning. Nothing critical, just routine after my virtual doctor visit Wednesday.  Since I have to be fasting for some of the tests, it will be a hungry morning. I have to drive over to the really nice suburb just west of me to get the labs done. I couldn’t get in the one down the street.

It looks like a spate of hot weather and rain will move in later and throughout next week. My lawn doesn’t really need mowed, but after a week of rain it will be exceptionally high. Do I cut it or not?  These are the hard decisions I make about life these days.

In other news, it is Friday. I skipped right over the customary news sites this morning. There is no use getting my blood pressure up.

In celebration, how about we depart from my usual classic rock and listen to some classic country for our Friday music selection this morning?

Hearing no dissent, I offer up some Hank Jr.:


Have a great Friday, amigos.

June 25, 2020

Just tear it all down

I’m like a stuck record.

The Jscobins have decided the Emancipation Memorial has to go. Too bad it is a tribute to the end of slavery.



Critics say the subservient ex-slave is demeaning.

Is it? I don’t know.

Maybe we should trust the people who commissioned the statue. That would be former slaves. Frederick Douglass spoke at the dedication.

Former slaves were OK with the Memorial. That ought to be good enough for rioters who don’t even know someone who knew someone who knew an actual slave.

Those of you of a liberal bent who are not speaking out against this kind of destruction are morally culpable. And a coward to boot.

Maybe we should revisit the words of Martin Niemöller

June 24, 2020

Something a little more cheerful


My first “concert”.

intolerance

The Libs have toppled a statue of President Grant in San Francisco because clearly defeating the Confederacy, passing the Fifteenth Amendment, and sending Federal troops into the South to squash the KKK proves he was naught but a racist white dude and needs to go.

A statue of a noted abolitionist was torn down and tossed into a lake in Madison, WI.

Where are the authorities when this willful destruction of public property is occurring?

Sorry, if walking past a statue triggers intense feelings and ruins your life, you need to grow a pair. News Flash: NONE OF YOU WERE EVER SLAVES. Nothing you see can remind you of something you never experienced.

Satanic images and crosses dipped in pee offend me mightily. So what? That Pentagram on your shirt has no effect on my daily life. Kneeling during the Anthem is offensive to me. So what? I won’t do it. You do as you see best. No one has a right not to be offended.

Does racism exist? Yes. Is life hard? Yes. What do you do? Study, get an education. Work hard. Make the most of life.

How far are we from mirroring the Taliban when they destroyed ancient statues in the desert because they offended Muslim sensibilities?

Progressivism is the most intolerant of religions. History tells us so. If we don’t erase it first.

Useful Idiots, indeed.

June 23, 2020

A Second Monday

New day in a new week. Yesterday was semi-wasted. I went under the scope in the AM and slept away much of the afternoon. The kids took me out for a delayed Fathers Day dinner steak in the evening. I went to bed at normal time and slept poorly. That catches us up.

In other news, nothing. The Marxists are moving forward with their purge of history and the ability to  even have a different opinion of their orthodoxy. Look up Mao cultural revolution in Wikipedia if you want a little historical perspective. The leftist playbook has existed for hundreds of years and the average person is somehow always caught off guard.

I’m off to see a different shop about my car’s A/C. I expect the worst.

In the meantime, how about a little music for a Tuesday’s?


June 21, 2020

Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day to all you dads out there.

Wikipedia 
This picture reminds me of my dad.

Love you, Pop

Here’s to my Son-in-law, who is a terrific father.

June 20, 2020

That job really stinks

I hoped I would sleep in a bit this fine Saturday. Instead my eyes popped open at exactly 6:00 according to the ancient digital clock on the nightstand next to my pillow. I call the clock radio ancient because it is old for an electronic device. We got the clock when we got married, or shortly thereafter. That makes it...let’s see, carry the one...36 years old. It still keeps good time. I haven’t used the alarm or radio function for years though. I suppose the alarm still works.

Anyway here we are. I’m up. You may or may not be. For all I know you are reading this in the afternoon. Or evening. Or in 2034. I doubt you will be reading this in 2034. The Committee for Public Safety and Wokeness will have purged both me and my blog long before that point.

It is the summer solstice. Summer will officially begin at 5:43 EST here in Grover’s Corners. I’ll be at work. I’m closing today. I’m working on the morrow as well. I have the midday shift. Then I get to come home and start a colonoscopy prep. Happy Fathers Day! What a pain in the butt.

Yes, I went there.

Anyway, Monday will find me having movies made of my lower innards. I keep thinking that the doctor spent all of those years in med school just to spend all day driving a scope up various rectums. All day. Every day. But I guess he doesn’t go on call in the middle of the night too often. At about $3,000 for the procedure, the Butt Doc is maybe getting a grand per procedure in profit after office and equipment costs. If he does four scopes every morning and golfs each afternoon, that means he is laughing at those idiot OBGYN and general practice docs as he drops his twenty grand into the bank each week. I could do daily poop chute tours for a lot less compensation than that. Heck, even if he gets half of my estimate...

Boy, I bet 2034 you is happy you dropped in for this electronic conversation.

Happy summer. Happy Saturday.


June 18, 2020

Incontrovertible Proof

Ok, I get Aunt Jemima. Even Uncle Ben. I don’t even care about the Cream of Wheat guy.

But no matter what anyone claims, Mrs. Butterworth is “clearly” white:

No disputing the truth


Bonus question. In a year or two will we see outrage when there are no people of color on any packaging? Who wants to buy Suburban Mom brand instant pancake mix?

Humph

I could rant and complain. I had a most unpleasant experience at my local Ford dealership this morning. I thought my a/c was fixed a few weeks ago. Nope. After spending a couple hundred then, I learn a whole new compressor is now required. The new repair cost is more than $700. I don’t have it, we will have to roll down the windows. Those two Franklins are gone, don’t apply, too bad for Joe.

I will take it somewhere else for a second opinion next week. I have never been at this particular Ford dealership for service that my car, and everyone else in the waiting room, did not “need” additional work. It’s too bad they are but a couple of miles down the road, but I think I have gone there for service for the last time.

I guess I ranted and complained anyway.

June 17, 2020

head shakin’ stupidity

And we still have no baseball. MLB is missing a golden opportunity to build a new fan base to replace the older one.

Greed, a terrible thing to waste.

June 16, 2020

Right Now

It is evening here in Grover’s Corners. I’m sitting on the back patio. The little fountain gurgles at my back. Two chipmunks case around the hostas over by the fence. A cardinal issues his stately evening chirp as the robins fuss a cacophony in the Bradford pears.

The wife is pruning her flower pots. The evening is pleasant, warm with uncharacteristic low humidity for mid-June.

Over in the corner, the tiger lilies are going to bloom any day. The oak hydrangea is starting to flower. The big willow rules over the yard like a decrepit king.

I breathe a tired sigh of contentment. I offer a silent prayer of thanks for the many blessings in our lives.

I’ll worry about bills and mortgages another day.

June 15, 2020

Monday Morning Breakfast

We have a cool start to what promises to be a glorious day. The coffee is hot, the patio just a bit too cool to sit and enjoy the sunshine.

I’m going to make a batch of sausage gravy for breakfast this morning. Biscuits and gravy always makes the day start off happy. I could cook up a full on perfect breakfast — B&G, eggs over easy, fried potatoes, and bacon — but my waistline and arteries are already a bit tight.

We went and stocked up the pantry yesterday. It is the first giant shopping trip since early in the pandemic. The freezer is restocked with meat, the larder with can goods and necessities. We may be out of money, but we won’t starve.

No politics today. That is good or bad. You decide. I’m always under the impression you don’t care for my soapbox rantings, yet those posts have the highest number of hits. If I knew what people wanted, this blog would be far more popular.

I read in Rolling Stone that Fat in Indiana readers are the best readers in the country.

Thanks Bob Seger for that reference.

You might think that obscure reference to a live album would be a great segue to a musical selection by the Detroit rocker. You would be wrong. Instead, this song has been looping through my brainpan since I woke up:


It is, after all, Monday morning. Have a good one.

June 14, 2020

somebody owes me because...

Reparations.

Taking money from people who never owned slaves and giving it to people who were never slaves.

Where do you stop? Other racial groups had it bad too, by varying degrees. Do you think the Chinese, Native Americans or Hispanics had it easy? What about the Irish or Italian immigrants? What about the decedents of black slave owners? Do they pay themselves? Do the fifth generation progeny of free-born blacks get a partial payment? What if Aunt Betty was in a mixed race marriage?

Do only whites of European ancestry have to be punished pay? What if grandpa arrived after 1865? What if your grandma marched at Selma? Do you get a partial reprieve? Will we all have to take a DNA test, register at Ancestry.com to prove our bonafides or guilt?

Reparations.

What a mind-numbingly stupid idea.

Want another Civil War?

June 13, 2020

We are going to start by changing out that white ceiling fan

I thought I posted something yesterday. Nope. Apparently I only wrote it in my mind.

So it goes.

One of my favorite historical topics is the French Revolution, probably from my reading of The Scarlet Pimpernel as a kid. In a very small way the events of the past few weeks remind me of that time.

Don’t worry, I’m not heading off on a political rant this fine Saturday. No, I am referring to the whole woke/cancel cultural aspect. As the far left political factions took hold in Revolutionary France, each strived to move further than their political rivals. Eventually people were called out for thought crimes. The political elites went so far as to dress in rags to prove their bonafides; they were no better than the poorest Parisian.

Today we see nonsense like calls to cancel cop shows on TV and even a kids’ cartoon about hero dogs because these shows deign to show police in a positive light. Mme. Guillotine shaved necks for  equally frivolous political points. Yes, 9/11 really was a generation ago. Things change fast in the political landscape.

I have the day off. The wife has a list of projects longer than my arm. Most of them are going to suck. That is probably why they aren’t done yet, they involve either hard work, spending money, or both.

A brief rain squall just passed by. That will leave most of the planned landscape projects wet and nasty. But will it be wet enough to strike them from the Honeydo list today?

Since it only rained for about seven minutes I’m gonna guess the answer is a resounding “no”.

Ah well, I hope you have a great Saturday.



PS, only after writing the title did I think it could have a political interpretation* . That is far from the truth. There is a white ceiling fan in the family room. Not only is it ugly, it makes a huge noise when you turn it on. One of my to do projects is to replace that ugly white fan. The new one has been sitting in the garage for a couple of weeks.

* that is a sign of how far we have come, even referring to color in general terms can get you in trouble. See French Revolution above. Remember the cure to all of that craziness was Emperor Napoleon.

June 11, 2020

Spring Break at Sugar Beach

Boy was I surprised upon waking to discover a party going on downstairs. It wasn’t the noise that woke me, I got up because I was awake. What shocked me was the numbers involved.

Ants were having a party on the countertop. It was like spring break at sugar beach. As in the movie, the little black ants went where the boys are. In this case the boys were a Snap, Krackle, and Pop.

The wife made a pan of Rice Krispy treats for the pool party last Saturday. The little insects were after the leftovers. Apparently, each ant called ten friends, who called ten friends...you get the picture.

I don’t like spraying bug spray with the girls around, especially the one-year-old who never found anything that won’t go straight in her mouth. In this case I had to soak the cabinet top.

Ants are a problem in the whole neighborhood. This suburb was built on old farm land and this particular area must be built over a giant colony of ants. Just digging in the flower beds can cause them to boil out of the ground on occasion. I know the neighbors have the yard sprayed professionally. I have in the past. This year I am going with the DYI method. While I was spraying poison on the counter I did around the windows and doors outside. I also hit along the foundation outside the kitchen.

What a way to start the day.

At least we don’t have the scourge of fire ants.


PS  I have tried the non-poisonous to humans variety of insect killers. They haven’t worked for me. Ortho liquid bug killer works on contact, and keeps on killing for days.


June 10, 2020

Medical Issues

After his exam the doctor said to the elderly man: “You appear to be in good health. Do you have any medical concerns you would like to ask me about?

“In fact, I do,” said the old man. “After I have sex with my wife, I am usually cold and chilly, and then, after I have sex with her the second time, I am usually hot and sweaty.”

After examining his elderly wife, the doctor said: “Everything appears to be fine. Do you have any medical concerns that you would like to discuss with me?”

The lady replied that she had no questions or concerns. The doctor then said to her: “Your husband had an unusual concern. He claims that he is usually cold and chilly after having sex with you the first time, and then hot and sweaty after the second time. Do you know why?”

“Oh that crazy old fart,” she replied. “That’s because the first time is usually in January and the second time is in August”



Jokes are a far more pleasant topic, amirite?

no, nope, never

So here’s the thing. I can be more than just a little obstinate. It is true.

I have long said I will bow to no one. Ever. Not a Japanese customer. Not a queen or king. Not a Pope.

I’m sure I have said it here. Check the archives. I will wait.

I won’t bow. Nor will I take a knee to beg forgiveness for melanin crimes.

That is not how things work

Can we at least get one fact correct?

Colin Kaepernick was not fired. He was not cut from the 49ers. HE OPTED OUT OF HIS CONTRACT. You cannot “give him his job back”. You cannot give him “back pay”. He had no contract. He chose to leave the team.

Any activist who states otherwise is ignorant, misinformed, or lying. There is no other choice.

June 9, 2020

Things started fine, now we are heading to full on crazy

I bet Native Americans are sitting around watching current events and muttering. Talk about a race that has been screwed.

Meanwhile craziness is ramped up. Minneapolis is going to dismantle their police force with full admittance they have no idea how they will respond to crime going forward. Guess which community will suffer most under this new woke programming?

The Army is considering changing the name of some of their bases. Some are named after Confederate generals. I have no doubt the nomenclature of helicopters will follow. The Navy is thinking on renaming the USS Chancellorsville because that battle was a Confederate victory. I wish I was kidding. If we are going to continue down that rabbit hole, most public buildings in West Virginia are going to get a facelift after the “Byrd” is removed. After all, the former Senator was a card carrying member of the Klan.

If we are going to erase history, let’s do it right.

Here is a new list of the actual “Legitimate” Presidents of the United States of America:

1. Lincoln, but we must know he wasn’t really a a Republican.
2. FDR because Eleanor
3. Clinton, but he might still get purged
4. Obama

All the others were illegitimate. They should be erased from textbooks, and public memory.

A recent NPR opinion piece recommended we purge our book shelves of old dead white men.

I guess we can use our empty public libraries after that as homeless shelters.

George Floyd was murdered. He did not deserve his fate. Before we elevate him to sainthood or start naming ships or military bases or schools or streets after him can we at least recognize that Floyd was a serial criminal? He wasn’t a great guy. He held a gun to a pregnant woman’s stomach during a robbery. He victimized plenty of people before he died. Besides, The whole reason for his encounter with the cops in Minneapolis was he was attempting to pass counterfeit twenties.

I know, the woke leftists are going to castigate me for this one. Will it help if I vow it was written while taking a knee?

Still no baseball.

June 8, 2020

Celebrate

Today is the wife’s xx birthday. I won’t offer her best wishes on these pages since this here blog is sooper  sekrit and she doesn’t read it.

I went and fetched donuts from her favorite donut place already this morning. See what a wonderful person am I? It is true, no matter what Anonymous Commenter might think.

The weather is warm and sunny, just as we should expect this time of year. The grass is green, the flowers are blooming ,and chipmunks are running rampant everywhere in suburbia. We and all of our neighbors are overrun. Multiple customers were asking how to rid their property of the miniature tree rats at work yesterday.

The wife wants them gone from the property. They dig in her flower pots. I have a hard time with exterminating them. I might have mentioned we had a pet chipmunk when I was a kid. He lived in his hamster cage from grade school until I was away at college. He lived 8 or 10 years, eating peanuts and sunflower seeds. Maybe I haven’t mentioned it? There are many facets to my life you know nothing about.

That’s is probably why you find this blog so fascinating. That or my humility. Either/or. Both. Whatever.



June 7, 2020

The big round up

So.

We can discuss my great day yesterday. We can delve into the politics of the day. I can relate a funny story from my part time gig at the big box store.

Which do you choose?

You don’t get a vote in real time so I guess it is up to me to choose a topic I think best will entertain you. That is, after all, the whole point nes pas?

I suppose I could offer up a short overview summary of each proposed topic; a bloggity Cliff Notes, if you will.

Here goes:

We gathered with friends yesterday to hang out, swim, eat pizza, and play some euchre. They are our oldest and best friends and we haven’t seen them since late February or early March - before the Chinese Crud closed the country. It was great to actually socialize. Sure, I got a mild sunburn, but it was a glorious and gorgeous summer day here in God’s country.

I took a phone call at work Friday. Karen wanted to know if we had a certain bird suet in stock. I told I would check. Standing in front of the bird seed section I asked which one. She said there are two in a yellow package. She wants the darker yellow.

There is but one yellow package on hand. I tell her that. She demands to know if it is the light one or dark yellow one. I can’t compare THERE IS ONLY ONE YELLOW PACKAGE. She insisted I tell her if it is dark or light. IT IS YELLOW. After a few rounds of this Abbott and Costello routine she insisted she talk to the manager to complain about how unhelpful I was.

Somehow I accidentally hung up on her while transferring the call. Whoops.

Protesters have defaced historical monuments worldwide in anti fascist/BLM/anti police demonstrations. These marchers are historically ignorant, willful destroyers of public property, or just plain assholes. Who is more anti-fascist in history than Churchill? Why is Lincoln’s statue or the Soldiers and Sailors monument in Indianapolis being defaced? Lincoln emancipated the slaves. The Indy monument honors the men who went to war to end slavery. WTH? *

Indianapolis’ Democrat mayor has bowed to pressure and will dismantle a marker listing those Confederate soldiers who died at the Civil War POW prison Camp Morton in Indianapolis.

The purge of unpleasant history continues.



* with acknowledgment to LSP. You outta read him every day.

June 6, 2020

D Day


Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force:You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.But this is the year 1944. Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations1 have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory.I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory.Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
Eisenhower’s Pre-invasion Order of the Day.

June 5, 2020

Semi-appropriate musical interlude


I wrote a final paper in college on the Chicago Seven.

Innocent protesters they weren’t.they certainly were not there just to sing.  They got the violence they were looking for.

I got an A anyway, even though my 1968 Berkeley grad Professor hated my paper.

He got even later with a horrid letter of recommendation when I was contemplating grad school.

F-ing hippie.

June 4, 2020

a post I am sure I will regret

I will not fall to my knees and confess to racial sins I may or may not have committed knowingly or unknowingly. 

I have already and continually confessed my sins to God. That’s enough for me. 

I refuse to mea culpa to a purity test of other’s design. 

Condemning my birth melanin is wrong no matter if my skin tone is dark or light.

I am aware this post will be exhibit #1 at my upcoming show trial.

June 3, 2020

June 2, 2020

Singin’ Songs and Carrying Signs

Believe it or not Dear Reader I was once a young radical. Back in the halcyon days of the late seventies I led a sit-in at our little semi-rural high school. Tbe object of our protests’ ire was the evil Iranians and the American hostages they held as weak-kneed Jimmah Carter wrung his wrinkly hands and hoped for a change in the Mullah’s hearts.

The Government and Social Studies Teacher moseyed  down on his lunch hour to witness our little protest. “OK”, he said, “You have our attention. Now what do you propose as a solution?”. At the time it ticked me off, but he was right.

And there lies the crux of protest. Today’s protests have a distinct air of Biker Johnny as his gang descended on Carbondale in the flick The Wild Ones. When asked what he was protesting, Johnny replied “Whaddya Got?”.

That is certainly not to say there are not plenty of grievances for today’s marchers. There are. There truly are. Protesting racism, sure, I’m with you 100%. Police brutality? OK. Let us recognize there are lots of good cops. Inequality. Maybe, but we need to stipulate equivalent outcome is far different from equal opportunity. Holding police and politicians to the same legal standard as the rest of us? Absolutely. Reparations for slavery? Nope and never. Protesting that the Wuhan Flu disproportionately affects the black community (yes, I heard that gripe mentioned on the news)? WTH are supposed to do with that?

But to harken back to my teacher critic on my little protest, “Now what do you propose”? What is your solution? Marching, anger, violence, riots, looting all garner attention. Now what do we do about it? And don’t tell me forcing the Vikings to hire Colin Kaepernick is an answer. That proposal is so asinine it barely warrants the time it took for me to hunt and peck the letters to make up that sentence. What is the goal? What is the end game? What do we want?

The murdering cop in Minneapolis has been charged. The rest of the cops who aided and abetted the crime should get their due soon, I hope. We cannot March and stage die-ins indefinitely. At some point there will be no more windows to break.

What change do we want and how do we fix it?

May 31, 2020

Sigh

I started watching the miniseries “Grant” from the History Channel this morning. I am 2:54 into it and I’m already disappointed. That is two minutes and fifty four seconds into it.

Grant famously wore a private’s sack coat. He eschewed the standard generals’ uniform. The opening scene of the series is supposedly at the Battle of Shiloh and there is Grant all gussied up in a gold looped General Officer uniform. What are the odds they depict the general on crutches at Shiloh? He was.

If the producers cannot get these basic facts right, how can we respect any of the content?

Sigh. I was looking forward to this one.

Edit   “Grant would have been aware of the Abolitionist and pro slavery conflict”  No shit. Anyone breathing in the antebellum United States would have been aware.

More Edit:  WWI type trenches at Fort Donaldson? Seriously?

OMG    Fighting behind Sandbags at Shiloh? Did they even consult with amateur historians?  A sixth grade history buff could have set them straight.


I’m  not sure I can continue with this.  The glaring inaccuracies are making me sick.  There must be something on the Hallmark Channel more worthwhile.

May 29, 2020

Riot is not protest

Looting is not protest either.

Burning stores and mass theft from businesses in your neighborhood is the equivalent of pissing in your own bed.

Target, Walmart, Wendy’s, and AutoZone are not “keeping you on the plantation”, they are providing jobs. Trashing a neighborhood school, that represents the plantation of your own making.

None of this looting, rioting, and arson has anything to do with some murdering cops. If you think it does, then you have morality issues and are unfit for civilized society.

May 28, 2020

Eat Me Aesop

A snake and a rabbit were racing along a pair of intersecting forest pathways one day, when they collided at the point where the pathways meet. They immediately began to argue with one another as to who was at fault for the mishap.

When the snake remarked that he had been blind since birth, and thus should be given additional leeway, the rabbit said that he, too, had been blind since birth. The two animals then forgot about the collision and began commiserating concerning the problems of being blind.

The snake said that his greatest regret was the loss of his identity. He had never been able to see his reflection in water, and for that reason did not know exactly what he looked like, or even what he was.

The rabbit declared that he had the same problem. Seeing a way that they could help each other, the rabbit proposed that one feel the other from head to toe, and then try to describe what the other animal was. The snake agreed, and started by winding himself around the rabbit.

After a few moments, he announced, “You’ve got very soft, fuzzy fur, long ears, big rear feet, and a little fuzzy ball for a tail. I think that you must be a bunny rabbit!”

The rabbit was much relieved to find his identity, and proceeded to return the favor to the snake. After feeling about the snake’s body for a few minutes, he asserted, “Well, you’re scaly, you’re slimy, you’ve got beady little eyes, you squirm and slither all the time, and you’ve got a forked tongue. I think you’re a lawyer!”

May 27, 2020

It counts

Little fishphilly.com

May 26, 2020

a perfect feast

Grab a bag of spuds. Get what you like, pedestrian Russets, maybe red, or Yukon gold potatoes. Peel a half dozen or so. Or don’t. I like it with the skin on. You might need more if you use small potatoes.

I’m not gonna hold your hand through this.

Dice a whole onion. I like sweet onions, but again, your taste may vary.

Cut up into half inch cubes a big block of Colby cheese. Cheddar works too. Don’t do shredded.

Spread a big piece of foil and spray it with cooking spray. Slice those potatoes into nice even 1/4 inch slices. Show off your knife skills. Put half of the chopped onion on the foil. Layer half of the potatoes.  Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Cheese it up. Repeat the potatoes and onion. Sometimes I do it in three layers. You just don’t want the cheese on the outside. Don’t forget to season the top layers.

Wrap the whole package up with more foil. And extra layer or two of foil to keep it all together is a good idea. Throw it on a preheated grill on high heat for 45 minutes or an hour.

Soak some corn, husk and all, in cold water. Grill it with the potatoes for 10-15 minutes. Maybe 20.

Serve it all up with a pork shoulder you smoked for about eight hours.

You have a perfect summer feast.

I had it for dinner last night and I went to bed with a contented smile on my face.

May 25, 2020

In Requium

ABC News
Today we honor those who gave to the last full measure to protect our freedom.

May 24, 2020

arbitrarily capricious

You would never know the Wuhan Flu ((rasssissst alert) was a thing here, at least by people’s actions. Sure a significant percentage of people are still masked up and restaurants and business still have wonky hours. Crowds at the big box stores are heavy. The neighbor kids are hosting a party nearly every weekend.

The remaining restrictions make no sense. If some science was involved I could maybe understand it, but it is arbitrary. Public pools can open but no concerts. If any place in life is a Petri dish of germs it is a pool. Restaurant dining rooms can open at partial capacity, unless you are a handful of miles away across a county line, then you can only dine outside. But parks are closed. You know, wide open green spaces. The CDC says it is unlikely to get the Kung Flu virus from surfaces, so why are playgrounds closed? Five hundred people can congregate at the home improvement store or Target, but churches remain shuttered or restricted.

At least I finally got a haircut. I couldn’t do that in the next county south. Literally (and I’m literally using “literally “ correctly) less than six miles away, the rules are completely different. Does the Bat Soup Virus know about political boundaries?

It’s time to move on from this nonsense.


May 23, 2020

Bad news always is accompanied by good

I made a coffee cake yesterday. After, I got into an argument with the cling wrap. One of us was being stubborn. Some harsh words were muttered. Eventually the whole remaining roll went into the trash, mangled beyond use. It was almost gone anyway. Mr. Press and Seal might have won the skirmish, but I won the war. Good luck at the landfill jerk.

A new and much improved HVAC dude came by. The furnace is shot. He made the AC work. He put on band-aids, baling wire, and chewing gum. The wife can sleep easy as temps this weekend are forecasted to hit the upper eighties. The total cost was a fifth of the other guy’s AC repair quote and his cost for a complete furnace and AC replacement as about half. I guess I have a new HVAC guy. Now I just need to scrounge up five grand before it gets cold.

It may or may not rain. It doesn’t matter, I have to put in my time at the big box retail joint all afternoon and evening. In the meantime, the coffee is warm, I have leftover coffee cake and it is a great day.

Go forth and prosper.

May 22, 2020

Amazon delivered twice yesterday

The grandgirls returned this week to stay during the day. They will be coming occasionally going forward depending on mom and dad’s work schedules. The oldest has had great fun playing with her Barbies , dolls, and other toys that are deliberately different from those she has at home. The baby is crawling and getting into everything with an abiding sense of humor and infectious smile. I bet she threw me 100 kisses yesterday.

I have a phone call with my doctor this morning, a requisite for him to call in refills on my meds. Im not sure what the call will accomplish, but I’m sure it allows him to bill the insurance company. Whatever.



I have posted this many times, but Frank always brings a smile to your day, and this is The Chairman at his best.

Have a great Friday.

May 21, 2020

injustice and tyranny

What he said

And he stated it better than I ever could.

What would the press and liberals (redundant) say if the Trump administration spied on the “next guy” and brought the full weight of the Government against the incumbent?

Indeed.

i guess he went to used car sales school

HVAC Dude came to check out the broken AC. Says our furnace is shot too. Gave us a ridiculous quote. I’m seeking a second opinion. I’m a little ticked off because the guy said he disabled our furnace because the cracks in the heat exchanger make it unsafe. I don’t need heat right now, but he had no right to mess with my stuff. He told me too bad. The guy coming Friday comes highly recommended by my neighbor who always “has a guy”. Neighbor says this recommended HVAC guy is very good and cheap. The last guy left me with the impression all he wanted was to upsale me on a new system, despite my telling him we had to do it economically. It took more than 30 minutes to get a straight answer on “what has to be done TODAY to get AC and what is it going to cost, and I’m still not convinced I got a straight answer. Guy must have told us a dozen times he was an ex-Marine. I guess that means we should trust him implicitly. Sorry, It doesn’t work that way. I wasted $99, but I won’t have that company fix it under any circumstances.

I like to think I’m an honest salesman. The last of a dying breed. I guess that is why I’m unemployed.

In other news it is cloudy and cool and rain is in the forecast for the next 20 days. I might exaggerate. It is May. It rains here in May. Often. It probably does at your house too, unless you live in the southwest.

I mowed last evening to make sure the grass wasn’t ankle high by the end of the weekend.

Life is good. I’m alive. There is that.

Have a great Thursday.

May 19, 2020

That is how it is done

The boss told me to have a good day, so I went home.



On a completely unrelated note, my man Fuzzy wrote a book. I bought it. You should too. 

I’ll offer a review in a week or so.

May 18, 2020

Rainy days and Mondays

I pulled out the ice cream maker and whipped up a batch of homemade ice cream after dinner. It certainly isn’t on my diet, but what the heck? It was good. Very good. I topped it with both chocolate and caramel syrup. You are just mad you didn’t get any.

It is Monday and I hope yours is great.

May 17, 2020

Chasing Rabbits

Music from the 1960s plays softly as I hunt and peck letters and words this morning. It is cloudy but promises a warm day. I hope not too warm.

I dreamed about smoked meat last night. I am contemplating dragging out the smoker. Is there still a pork shortage? Ribs sound good.

Never mind, it looks like it will rain this afternoon.

Yes I know the smoker works in the rain. Why are you pestering me? Truth is I need to go get some ribs. I just checked and I need some more wood chunks. It all just seems like a lot of work for a Sunday morning.  Yes, I’m feeling lazy.

I walked seven plus miles at work yesterday. Friday too. Moving around grills and mowers all day is building my long-lost upper body strength. I have today off. Perhaps I will smoke a cigar before the rains come instead of ribs or pork shoulder. I have to finish conversing with you first.

You are enjoying this right? Do I not entertain you?


Man, how can you not dig Grace and the boys? That’ll entertain you. Yes, I posted that video because it just played on my magic Bezos spy speaker.

No Sunday picture. You don’t care.

Imagine sitting on the patio sharing a cold beverage with me. Go ahead, it is not hard if you try. Imagine.  Our conversations would be just like reading this blog, but with my decidedly not good for radio voice mumbling my part with that strange south of 70 Hoosier drawl. *

Feed your head.

Have a great and blessed Sunday.



*weirdly, I grew up far north of 70. Not really so weird, social scientists posit we learn our accent and speech patterns from our peers as much as our parents. My brother and I have distinctly different accents. Yes, I can make my accent go away if I choose. Added note (without the extra**), one can find that same not quite Southern drawl south of 70 in Ohio and Illinois too.

May 16, 2020

My life in four short paragraphs

In Indiana you have to file a voucher each week to collect unemployment. You have exactly one week file for the previous week.  My “regular “ unemployment ran out at the end of March. The Covid relief bill provided an additional 13 weeks of benefits.

The State did not have the new extended benefit program in place until early May, but said it was retroactive to the week ending April 4th. They allowed that vouchers were not available, but would be in time.

I was finally able to file vouchers last weekend.

The ones older than one week have been rejected because I filed them late.


May 15, 2020

Just make an effort

There has been a partial relaxing of Bat Flu restrictions here. Restaurants can open at 50% capacity with spacing between tables etc.

Wednesday the wife and I ventured to our new favorite ice cream dispensary. Only she went in, masked up for safety. We sat in the car and ate our frozen goodness. As we left, we drove around the backside of the strip mall.

At the far end away from the ice cream shop is a bar. It was just reopened this week. There, hidden from view, was the patio. The tables were removed. I guess that was a “good” thing, since so many people were crammed into the outside dining space there was no room for a table anywhere! I bet there more than 50 people crammed together laughing and drinking. Social distancing indeed.

If infection rates skyrocket and the political powers again infringe on our freedoms, it is jerkwads like this who will be responsible.

May 14, 2020

This ain’t teapot dome

I had a long political post half composed about the railroading of a General Flynn when it occurred to me you don’t care, I don’t care. Corruption, hyper-politics, and nefarious government action has become such a part of life since the days of the Obamerate that I am no longer surprised.

The clear attempt to stage a coup d’etat against an elected President leaves me sickened and disgusted. Every day it becomes increasingly clear this attack was initiated at the highest levels of the Obama administration, including the President himself and Joe Biden.

No matter what you think of Trump, his policies, or his twitter feed, it is clear he has been subjected to a political hit job and a witch hunt of unprecedented proportions.

I guess Trump really, really pissed Barry off when he questioned his birth certificate. Payback indeed.

May 13, 2020

starting early

My granddaughter has longed for a backyard play set for a while. Since last summer to be exact. Her parents told her she needed to “pay” for it if she wanted it. She saved her pennies, did chores, and skipped purchasing candy and stuff at the checkout to save up for a swing set.

Meanwhile, a nice multi-level playset was ordered and everyone was just waiting on the bat flu restrictions to ease a little so it could get built. This week was the big week.

The granddaughter counted her coins and cash. She had saved $13.98. Not bad for a five year old. Since her mom “knew” a new swing set was $14, the granddaughter agreed to pick up her toys to earn the needed two cents.

Yesterday when the men came to put up the play set, she proudly handed them a baggie of cash, convinced she bought the playhouse.

Good for her. She learned to save for what she wants. I wish I had been firmer in this lesson with my kids as the were growing up.

I wish I was firmer with this lesson on myself.


May 12, 2020

Voice from the past

I wasn't sure if I should share this. About a year ago I was cleaning up my phone and getting rid of old voice mail messages. One caught my attention. It was from July of 2018. It was my mom. The message was banal. I must have mentioned I was coming through town because she said she had some tomatoes for me. That’s all. The message was left a few months before she died. I saved it. I listened to it again Sunday.

I understand why Dad hasn’t changed his answering machine message (and why he won’t get rid of the landline).

Strangely, I miss my mom more today than I did on Mother’s Day.

The past five years have put a strain on me.  My Mom’s passing is just another of those unfortunate happenings since 2014. Some days I struggle to get through the day. Today is one of those times.

I know The Lord has good things planned for me. I just have to keep the faith.  Certainly the last half decade has taught me humility.

May 11, 2020

catching up

The girls are here today. We are excited about that. It is a one day only appearance though. They will be back a few days next week.

I put in more than 25 miles since Thursday while working at the big box store. I have a welcome day off today. I would like to tell you I enjoy the work. That would be a lie. So it goes. It beats the alternative.

We are still having early March-like weather, but it is expected to warm up by the weekend.

There, you are caught up.

My life is as boring as this blog. Sorry ‘bout that.

BTW, the Lilly in yesterday’s post is from my backyard last year.

Have a great Monday.

May 10, 2020

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mom’s Day to all you mothers out there.




I miss you Mom.

May 9, 2020

Where the Earth stops, dogs and cats live in peace and AOC is right

For what is likely the first and only time, I agree with AOC. My reasoning is different, but I agree with the liberalist of liberal New York politicians.

JetBlue recently painted up some airplanes in New York police, fire, and “I love New York “ liveries and flew low around Manhattan. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized the move for “green” reasons. I decry the move for different notions, but I do agree with her criticism. 


The airline industry is suffering. JetBlue took taxpayer money to help with operating costs to help survive th economics of the pandemic. Spending money they supposedly do not have to paint up jets and flying them empty at fuel-guzzling altitude makes no sense. 
Sure, it is a nice gesture, but should the nation’s taxpayers pony up for a thank you note in the sky to make New Yorkers feel good? You, me, and many future generations will have hard-earned money taken from our paychecks to fund this feel good moment. Wouldn’t a billboard in Manhattan accomplished the same thing at a fraction of the cost?


May 8, 2020

Even more satisfaction

When will the corrupt FBI agents and prosecutors in he General Flynn case be booted and or prosecuted  for their role in this political banana republic persecution sham?

Who is going to reimburse the good general for the hundreds of thousands in legal fees fighting the bogus charges?

Today’s FBI makes the years under J Edgar seem like the height of respectability.

It sure looks like the Obama stocked the system with political hacks.

The O isn’t clean in any of this. We all know it.

May 7, 2020

Satisfaction

I fired up the grill last evening and BBQed some chicken breasts. A dozen deviled eggs, baked beans, and homemade macaroni salad rounded out the feast as a sunny day came to a scrumptious end. The wife and I jointly cleaned up the mess.

I streamed an old version of Treasure Island while the wife did laundry.

Ho hum. Life goes on.

May 6, 2020

my inner Miss Emily

I didn’t post yesterday because I didn’t feel like it. I’m not much up for it today either.

Let me pile on here and say I don’t like all this pressure you are putting on me to blog every day. I have no moral obligation to entertain you like an organ grinder monkey. And I may have mentioned before that I don’t like to be told what to do.

You in the back with your hand up, what do you want?

What?

You don’t care if I post or not?

Huh?

Let me get this straight, none of you care?

Never mind.




May 4, 2020

F-bombs aplenty

Home improvement sucks. Not the TV show, real life projects. The kitchen faucet has been leaking for weeks. It was getting to where I had to change towels every couple of hours to contain the leak and clearly time for a replacement.

Stimulus funds in hand, we descended on the big box hardware store to find a faucet the wife liked. It was supposed to rain all day yesterday (it didn’t), I decided Sunday was the day. Things started out bad and got worse. The hot water valve was stuck and I couldn’t get he water shut off. Finally, after 45 minutes and a call to my home improvement guru, I could move to the next step.

Why is it real spaces under a sink never look like the wide open spacious areas depicted in home improvement shows and YouTube videos? Real life plumbing is dank, dark, and cramped. Stuff is corroded and there is little opportunity to get leverage because of space.

Our faucet was the single spindle design, all the water lines going into a central pillar. I got the plate undone with the expected amount of effort, frustration, and minimal muttering. The central nut, the one holding the faucet to the sink, was another matter.

I mentioned there was a leak right? Guess where that water was going? Guess who bought the cheapest model of faucet seven years ago when we moved in here? Guess what is clearly just a brass plated nut? Guess what was corroded in place? More effort, more, frustration. Muttering moved to outright cursing. More calls to my home improvement guru. I even enlisted the wife’s help. The thing would not budge.  I went and bought a heavy duty basin wrench to see if that would help. I was afraid my old one, likely Chinese made, would snap with the torque my old-man body was putting on the tool.

I started eyeing the sink mounts. I am not yet prepared to take out the sink.  I went to the neighbors’ to see if they had a piece of pipe to use as a pry bar to garner more leverage. Nope.  I sprayed the evil connection with PB Blaster. It still wouldn’t budge. More cursing. I am getting sick of things at this point, almost four hours into the project. Faced with admitting failure and having to call a plumber on Monday, I called my son-in-law to see if his younger, 6’2” frame could budge the recalcitrant nut.

Still Nope. In frustration, he said why not,  and we clamped a big old pipe wrench onto the faucet itself and gave it a twist. It moved. I crawled back underneath the sink and put the wrench on the frozen nut. We twisted from the top and bottom and finally freed the piece o’crap faucet. Hooray, it only took four hours to do a 40 minute job.

The wife cleaned the sink back under the old faucet while I prepared the new one. I took about 35 minutes to put in the new faucet, mostly because I mixed the hot and cold lines and had to switch them. I didn’t even curse over that mistake.  It didn’t even irritate me, I was too close to finishing.

We have a new faucet and it doesn’t leak and most importantly, the wife is happy. On the other hand, every time I get one project done, she adds three more to the list.

Oh, and not only is today Star Wars Day, it is my youngest granddaughter’s birthday. New relaxed rules means we can see her on her big day. Life is good.

May 3, 2020

Roll Alabama

Hull number 290 was launched from Birkenhead England in July 1862. Masquerading as a merchant ship the vessel had a magazine and reinforced decks to support cannon, but still was legal under Britain’s neutrality laws. The steam sloop was purchased through a couple of shell companies by James Bullock, an agent for the Confederacy.

The ship was sailed to the Azores and there it was fitted with six 32 pound smoothbores, one seven inch rifled muzzle loading gun, and one eight inch smoothbore. The latter two weapons were mounted amidship and could pivot to either side.

The ship was christened the CSS Alabama. The 220 foot long sloop was steam powered and had three square rigged masts. She was commanded by Captain Raphael Semmes.

The Alabama was one of the most successful “commerce raiders” or privateers of the Confederacy. She burned sank an estimated 65 Union ships, mostly merchantmen. She never visited a Confederate port, but raided through most of the Atlantic and Caribbean.

In June of 1864 The Alabama cruised into Cherbourg harbor for a much needed retrofit. There she was located by the USS Kearsage. Faced with this blockade, Semmes decided he would rather fight his way out rather than see his ship rot in dry dock.

The two ships battled on June 19, 1864 barely in international waters off Cherbourg, France. Several civilian ships sailed out to watch the battle, including the British yacht Deerhound. Early in the encounter the Alamama’s stern and rudder were damaged and after just an hour, the Confederate cruiser was hulled near the waterline. The Union vessel rescued most of the crew. Captain Semmes, threw his sword overboard rather than surrendering it to the kearsage’s Captain John Winslow. Semmes and other officers were taken aboard the British yacht Deerhound and taken to England to keep them from US captivity, sparking a minor international incident.

The Alabama sank 65 ships and did an estimated $6 million of damage to US shipping. After the war, Britain was sued by the US government in international court for her role in building Confederate commerce raiders. The US was awarded over $15 MUSD in damages.

The wreck of the Alabama was located just inside French territorial waters off Cherbourg in 1984. She lies under nearly 200 feet of water.


This song popped up on my iPhone while was walking through the neighborhood last evening.

May 2, 2020

Far out, man

How about a little time travel to the seventies this morning and a little Midwest fueled rock and roll?


Gotta dig the walking bass.

May 1, 2020

Five-O

It is said* that each day Napoleon scratched a line into the wall of his modest home on St. Helens to mark another day in exile. I have taken up the same practice. The wife isn’t crazy about the two score and ten gouges in the drywall of my office, but so it goes in these days of pandemic.**

I started a part time gig at one of the big box retailers this week. Neither the wife nor I are crazy about interacting with the generally germy public***, but so it goes. The great State of Indiana has yet to fulfill their promise of extending unemployment benefits to 39 weeks****, therefore, since the ability to buy groceries is essential, it is hi ho, hi ho, off to work I go.

The weather person has indicated we should have a couple of rain free days ahead, so I plan on killing some weeds this afternoon. The neighbor had a truck load of mulch dumped in his drive this morning. He faces a lot more work than I. Good for him.

I need a truck load of mulch. That will have to wait until another day.

So, we are fifty days into this stay st home unless you think you need to go somewhere pandemic. I’m getting a little tired of things. I bet you are too. Monday marks the youngest grandgirl’s first birthday. It appears we will celebrate with a virtual party. That sucks. I didn’t mind skipping my big day. But a first birthday should be celebrated.

I sincerely hope you have a great Friday.

Edit: the Governor has issued a partial freedom starting next week!



* No one said that. There is zero evidence the Emperor nor I carved date markers into the wall.

** this is roughly day 50, depending on how you count and where you live

***I am high risk — diabetes, multiple cases of pneumonia. I will wear a mask and hope for the best.

**** They keep promising it will be implemented some day. I took the unprecedented approach of actually contacting my State Representative for help. The office was more than helpful. They called back right away and followed up twice with additional questions. It was the way we like to imagine government works. He got no better answers than I have from the DWD, but he didn’t have to wait on hold for 4.5 hours to be told “Have patience”. Let me tell you, the Department of Workforce Development could take lessons from the BMV in how to have good customer service. Ponder that. And yes, their attitude and service was abysmal long before they were slammed by bye current economic situation.

Not a pirate in sight

April 2019
Somewhere in the Caribbean 

April 30, 2020

The human touch

I don’t like to be touched. Outside of my wife, hugging makes me uncomfortable. My wife’s family likes to hug, so I just bear it, but I don’t like it. Professionally I have to do handshakes. I prefer them short and firm with no extraneous elbow grasping.

I don’t even like a friendly pat on the arm. Simply, I prefer to have no physical contact with my fellow human beings.

The bat soup flu likely has put an end to these hands-on gestures.

I’m good with that.

April 29, 2020

Sunday Paper

A very drunk gent checked into a hotel late one Saturday night. He awoke very ill and summoned a bellboy to fetch him a bottle of whiskey and a Sunday newspaper.

The bellboy was gone a long time. When he returned, the man remarked, “It must be hard to buy a bottle in this town on Sunday.”

“There was no trouble with the liquor,” replied the bellboy, “but it’s tough finding a Sunday paper on Tuesday."

April 28, 2020

Speeding

It was the last 10 minutes of his shift on the highway, and this cop had yet to catch a real speeder and score a huge ticket. Just as he was about to give up and drive away, a car appeared on the horizon, moving extremely fast.

The cop pulled up his radar and, score, the driver was going 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. He jumped in his car and turned his siren on, motioning the driver to pull over.  However, the driver just sped up and kept going for a few more miles before finally pulling over.

The cop got out of his car and the driver rolled down his window.

“Oh, I’ve been waiting for you all day”, the cop said with a wide smile to the driver who happened to be a young girl.

The girl replied with a wink, “Yeah, well I got here as fast as I could.”

The cop laughed and said, “Oh yeah? So why didn’t you pull over right away?” 

“Well, daddy told me to always play hard to get.”

When he stopped laughing, the cop let her go with a warning.


April 27, 2020

that is the way you do it

A sentence or two about the weather: current and future.

Discuss what I did yesterday.

Talk about plans for today.

Optional: discuss politics.

Mandatory: Complain.

Occasional: throw up a video, picture, cartoon, or joke.

Wish readers a safe/good/prosperous day


April 26, 2020

cheap coffee pods are no substitute for quality

Yesterday’s rain held off until early evening and the day turned out pretty nice. I went for a long walk on the beach through the neighborhoods,  listening to a history podcast the while. As I have often stated, education is a lifelong process.

In the afternoon I cleaned out my humidor. I put my stogie collection into my backup humidor while I wiped down the cedar lining of the bigger cherrywood box. What, you don’t have a backup humidor?  The smaller unit is one I got as part of a cigar deal a few years ago. As soon as I’m done virtually chatting with you I will get my fine smokes transferred back to the rehumidified big box. I can take an inventory at that time too.

In other news, nothing. Life in lockdown continues.

Have a great Sunday and stay safe.

April 25, 2020

Middle Aged Selfies

I think it is Saturday. No, I’m sure it is. I expected rain and gloomy skies when I woke up, instead it is sunny. I guess I shouldn’t believe everything the weather girl tells me. I also suspect  I shouldn’t call her the weather girl either. Somehow “weather woman” doesn’t flow as neatly in the narrative. Your opinion my vary and if it differs from mine it is likely ill-formed and wrong. Anyway, rain should move in this afternoon.

So, does anyone enjoy the Sunday Pictures feature? It occurs to me those posts elicit an ennui even greater than my usual soporific efforts. Why do I suspect this is true? You don’t read my Sunday posts. It could be the low readership of my Sunday efforts is just a byproduct of a calendar page. It could be those posts are just boring. Who wants to look at someone else's vacation photos?

Who knows?

Similarly, why is an Old post from 2005 generating hundreds of visits this week?

I don’t know the answer to that either.

Boy, I was angry in those days.

Enjoy your Saturday.


April 24, 2020

And I live by the river

Not feeling it today. Yesterday’s facetious effort fried my creativity apparently. How about some music for your Friday?



Has it really been 40 years?

I feel old.

April 23, 2020

Clarification

It occurs to me that casual readers may have a skewed impression of my wife. She actually is one of the kindest, helpful, and good natured individuals in this world. In truth, our disagreements are few and far between.

As related below, she did not point to a spot to hang a picture and say “here” , she asked me if I would hang that picture sometime. I asked where and she pointed.

In truth, she has been my best friend since I was 17.







I think I copied that right.

Did I forget anything, Dear?

Domestic Bliss

It is overcast. I would not be surprised if it started raining at any time. The weather lady predicted it would.

I hung a new picture for the wife. She hints more decorative changes are in the works. Whatever. If and when my stimulus check arrives a few walls will get painted, I am informed.

I didn’t come here to complain.

For once.

Anyway, the walls in most rooms were last painted when we moved in back in 2013. It is time. The living room and kitchen are really in need. My question to the Decorator in Chief was why am I putting holes in the walls if we are going to paint those very walls in the next weeks? I suppose I was speaking in Charlie Brown adult voice (whawha whaaa wha) because she did not respond. She just held the new picture up and said “here”.  Done.

Go along to get along in these quarantined together times. There really isn’t another option.

April 22, 2020

I’ve been missing you

Earth Day is off to a cool start. It is supposed to warm to nearly seventy this afternoon. The stiff breeze from yesterday seems to have dissipated. I may celebrate the pseudo holiday by spraying the lawn for weeds. I have to check the label on the weed killer. Rain is scheduled to move in tonight and I don’t want Mother Nature to dilute my poison in a stealth counteroffensive.

Is it weird that after being stuck under almost house arrest conditions for a month I feel I need a vacation? I just want to get out of here. I see the crowds on the newly reopened Florida beaches and wish I was there. I have spent a significant amount of my working life traveling and I am itching to get on the road; personally, professionally, randomly. I could, I have beaucoup hotel points. I am only stopped by bat soup flu restrictions, and lack of money. Mostly lack of money. The wife would go.  Just a fake threat to twist her arm and the suitcase would be on the bed and packing would be underway.

So it goes.

April 21, 2020

Losing the popularity contest

The Second Civil War in the US will be nothing like the first. It won’t be great armies and semi-defined battle lines. It will be neighbor vs. neighbor, city against suburb. It will be vicious, and bloody, and mean. Think Kosovo, think Rwanda. Think Kansas and Missouri in the years of and leading to our first Civil War. Think of the western Carolinas in the Revolution. Think of the Vendee uprising during the French Revolution.

There will be one difference. It will be short. Sure guerrilla war will rage on, but unless the military joins in, the government wins. Some of you will not like that position.

Face facts. The police WILL side with the government. They always have. Sure some sheriffs and isolated cops will throw in with the dissidents, but most will cleave to the law and order position. Police have always been on the side of authoritarian regimes. It wasn’t the army sniffing out counterrevolutionaries in Revolutionary France, nor Soviet Russia, nor Germany, China, or Southeast Asia. It was politicians and their police henchmen.

Look no further than the police and their willingness to exercise authority in this pandemic. The police showed up in Wisconsin to force a girl to take down an Instagram post. Cops were taking down license plate numbers at a non-governmental approved church service in Mississippi. How many in those departments stood up to remind their brothers in the thin blue line our rights are not provided by the Constitution, but God-given.

When the next Civil War erupts, the police will be better armed. Every small city and upwards has armored vehicles. They have automatic weapons. They have communications and unit cohesion. The dissidents will have little of that. I don’t care if you served in a Vietnam, or the Gulf, or Iraq. There you were part of a team, and that experience should reinforce the fact that a loose network of snipers, bombers, and surprise attacks can cause havoc and death, but cannot win.

The real wild card is what role the military will take. The National Guard will be key. Do the citizen soldiers side with the Government or with their neighbors? My guess it will vary by armory and by individual soldier. Some rural units will break into the armory and fight against the Government. Others will join the other side. The Regular Army will likely stay out of it.

The bottom line is you may be well armed. You might have a large stockpile of munitions. You do not have drones, or fighter jets or communications or small unit tactics and cohesion. Do you have body armor? Artillery, explosives?  Have you studied small unit tactics? Do you have a network of surveillance cameras already in place in the cities and towns? Do you control the water and electricity? Do you have oil reserves?

Without organization, without support, you are just fantasizing. You are no different than the nut jobs who think California could be a viable separate country. When violence erupts, a majority of Americans will want no part of it. Fight the battles in Congress and the Statehouse.
Consider everything here that is of original content copyrighted as of March 2005