June 30, 2013


I have been married 29 years as of today.

I consider myself a lucky man, except on those days I want to kill her.

I am more than certain I am far harder to live with. Imagine living with the personality you see on display around here every day. All day.

My wife is a saint.

June 29, 2013

What I really need is a good cartoon or joke for this Saturday post.

The Cubs were on late last night, a result of a west coast swing. I fell asleep watching the game. This morning I see the bullpen blew another game.

The rains of last night have moved on leaving a bright sky this morning. I slept pretty well last night -- only waking a few times, but I feel refreshed this morning. I know you are all worried and stuff.

The coffee is black and hot and Layla is playing softly on my wireless Bose speaker. In other words life is good for a Saturday morning.

It looks like another blogger has disappeared into the ethernet. When I looked up Rita this morning her site was gone.  Maybe it is a glitch in the interwebz? I hope so. MTS has cleaned out the content of his site. What is going on?  Blogging is dead. I just clearly have not accepted the facts of life.

I am off for a walk.  I have not exercised since before I left for China. Bad Joe.

June 28, 2013

Surfing memory waves

Insomnia continues to rule my sleep patterns. I fall asleep, go into deep REM, have weird dreams and wake, only to find I have been asleep for perhaps two hours.  I then lie awake for a couple of hours and then rinse and repeat. Since I am getting about four hours of sleep a night,  I take quick catnaps throughout the day from sheer exhaustion.

It will all work out at some point.

In the meantime what say we rock out our Friday with some Outlaws music?

Go ahead and listen.  You will thank me for putting good tunes into your head. This takes me back to warm summer nights cruising around town, windows down, music blaring into the night...

June 26, 2013

Thinking inside the box

There is a slide show on my Comcast Homepage this morning listing the ten dirtiest cities in America.

Guess what each of these cities has in common? They are run by Democrats. In some cases, like Philadelphia, for decades. Is this a coincidence or a pattern?

I read yesterday that eight of the top ten states for job growth are run by Republican governors; coincidence or pattern?

June 25, 2013

Home improvement question

I have this fountain in my back yard. It has a large crack in it. I pump in the water and it runs out the side. I clean up the water, but it runs all over the patio anyway.  I have installed a very expensive collection and recycling system that puts the water back onto the fountain, yet the water keeps running through the crack.  In fact, the crack gets larger every year, despite my efforts to keep the water from pooling on the patio.

What do I do?

June 24, 2013

True Confessions

I have used the "N-word" in the past.  I have also told and heard black jokes, Polish jokes, Italian jokes, German jokes, French jokes, geek jokes, Chinese jokes, old people jokes, Japanese jokes, redneck jokes, Indian jokes, cracker jokes, blond jokes, female jokes, retard jokes, man jokes, Mexican jokes, and gay jokes,and laughed at them all.

Just an insensitive stereotype
I have made fun of rival colleges and poked fun at certain universities and sports teams  I have had impure thoughts of untold varieties. I have denigrated Depauw University at every opportunity and will continue to do so. I have made fun of liberals and Democrats.

I have laughed at guys getting racked and cracked wise about female drivers. I have made fun of ED, big feet and bad skin. I find Porky Pig's stutter amusing. I laugh at Speedy Gonzoles cartoons.

I expect a visit from the thought police any day now.

I find it amusing, the political correctness crowd is all about diversity, while demanding we all think alike.

June 22, 2013

It ain't no Obamaphone, but I'll take it anyway

Since my body is still somewhat time-zone confused, I took yesterday afternoon off from work. In truth, I have always adjusted pretty well to international travel. I usually do not have much jet lag.  I learned a long time ago the best option is to sleep/stay awake on the plane so you can get on the local time zone ASAP. While this trip was my first international trip in a decade, old lessons stick with you. In other words, the fact I was up and working at 0400 probably had more to do with my on-going weird sleep issues than my globe trotting.

But I digress.

Any way, the wife and I headed off to the big city to take advantage of the Best Buy iPhone 4 trade-in program.special. We were both able to trade in our old iPhones for a new iPhone 5 at no cost beyond sales tax.  It looks to be a sweet ride.

June 21, 2013

I got this far in my head while riding to the airport

The rising sun was an orange ball low in the sickly yellow polluted sky. The distant trees bordering the highway were obscured by the haze in the warm early-morning light.  The taxi driver ignored me as he turned up the radio.  It was OK, he did not speak English, I not a word of Mandarin, or any dialect of Chinese for that matter. I was the quintessential ugly American dropping my dollars in the most modern of Third World Countries.

China, where BMW's and Audi's and big American designed SUVs  crowd smooth modern highways.  China, where sky scrapers touch the sky. Where construction cranes fill the air in every city. Where factories provide the world with goods. China, where the water is unsafe to drink. Where factories paint the Beijing sky yellow with chemicals. China where farmers in remote areas use oxen in the rice paddies.  Where workers toil for a few dollars a day. Where corruption is the rule. China, where whole shopping centers are dedicated to selling counterfeit merchandise. China, where having more than one child means fines, and a loss of your job or worse.

Driving on a Sunday afternoon along a modern 6 lane highway, my friend and colleague, a Chinese national and member of The Party, asked a hard question. "Chinese culture is thousands of years old", he said. "America is but a few hundred years old.  How is it you have so much and we have so little?"

How do you explain to a person whose culture is 4,000 years of oppression about freedom?

Westerners have tried to solve the enigma of China since Marco Polo. I won't begin to try based on a mere glimpse of the country.

June 20, 2013

Feet dry

You might have noticed the old blog has been unattended for a while.

I dropped you hints. When I explain you will look back at the last few posts and smack your head in classic "I coulda had a V-8" fashion.

I spent the past 8 days in China -- Communist China. I have money with Chairman Mao's picture frowning in that classic dour pose utilized by Commie dictators throughout history.

So, Joe, you ask, what did you do in big old China? I visited a bunch of places including Shanghai, the Buddhist temples at Hangzhou and the Great Wall near Beijing.  Oh, and I also visited some manufacturing plants and worked. Life is not all fun and games, readers. I ate a lot of food you will not find on the typical Applebee's menu. I would like to say I became an expert with chopsticks, but that would be a lie. But I did manage to get the food in mouth -- occasionally.

I left Beijing at the equivalent of 4:30 pm EST on Tuesday. I traveled home via Shanghai, Detroit and Indy and finally arrived home a few minutes after 10:00 pm last evening. That is 29 plus hours of travel. I am not complaining, just letting you know my state of mind this morning.

June 19, 2013

True stuff

I have yet to see anyone Kung Fu fighting in real life.

June 17, 2013

Breaking News

As far as  I can tell, I am still alive.

Blogging is not my priority at this time.

Pretend you care

Or not.

June 14, 2013

June 11, 2013

Refresh your memory

Article [IV]

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

June 10, 2013

Cynicism cuts deep and always leaves a scar

I am appalled.

Not really, saddened would be a better word. That so many politicians and people who pay attention are responding with a mere yawn when we learn about the abuses our government has heaped upon our freedoms leaves me depressed and angry.

In less than a decade, Americans have allowed a combination of political correctness and fear to creep into their lives. In return for the mere illusion of safety we have surrendered the personal freedom won so hard by the men of Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, Belleau Wood,Normandy, the Frozen Chosin, and Dak To.

The Obama Administration has taken the egregious actions of the Bush years and put them on steroids. Far worse, the media is complicit in the nefarious actions and far too many people are willing to turn their gaze as long as the perpetrator sports a '(D)' behind their elected office title.

It is too easy to blame the current political crisis on the willfully ignorant. There has always been a significant segment of our society that is apolitical, attuned only to the gossip columns and popular culture. Read the letters and diaries of the antebellum period and you will soon discover that outside of a few activists, not many Americans cared about the role of slavery in America. That so many shrug the abuses of the IRS, Fast and Furious,, and data mining of phone and email records should not be a shock in this time of nearly unlimited entertainment options. Hell, nearly two thousand years ago the Roman Emperor Nero knew a few Christians burned as torches and a month of games in the Colosseum  would divert the populace from his incompetent and abusive rule.

The real culprits, the real criminals, the real thieves of freedom are the men and women elected to Congress who allow these actions to occur and continue.  Those who willingly take on the role of the three monkeys (no see, no hear, no speak) in order to stay in power.

This is how the weed of tyranny grows unfettered in the garden of freedom.

June 8, 2013

The Government targets those with different political views, peeks at your phone calls, credit card usage and internet info. Just another Obamariffic day

Why are you surprised? Orwell knew it in 1949 when he wrote about the penultimate progressive society. Face it, 1984 was dead on, just titled 30 years too early. I suspect that Orwell is no longer required reading in your average high school English Lit class.

The Government is spying on you. You should not be thinking sedition anyway. We are already raising a whole generation of rat-finks.  Kids are encouraged to turn in their friends and family for the most minor social lapses. Call the cops if mommy spanks you. Tell the teacher is little Bobby calls you a runt. We are not even a hop skip and jump from spying on our neighbors.  Better the secret police collect them than me.

Are ObamaCare death panels so far-fetched today?

I am not surprised when left-leaning folks act like leftists. I am surprised so many Americans are so willing to give up their freedom in return for a cell phone or EBIT card.

June 7, 2013

Tears in my eyes

The flag is floating at half-mast here at the old blog.  Long time readers will understand why when I relate the great and lovely Esther Williams has gone to the great swimming pool in the sky.

Esther was my first Hollywood crush as a teenager. I know, I always a was a bit behind the times, given the bathing beauty was well past her prime by the time I hit the age of lusting.

I think I will pull out my boxed set of Esther Williams flicks this weekend and do my own movie marathon.

June 6, 2013

Every one in America should watch this testimony.

h/t Nathan

June 5, 2013

Things I think about

So, will Eric Holder get a subpoena for the reporters' phone records and go after the New York Times? After all, here is a report based on a leak from a Government employee.  The list of people in Homeland Security who have access to the report must be pretty small.
 The report, scheduled for release this week, was provided to The New York Times by a senior government official. The official did so on the condition of anonymity because it had not yet been made public.
It should not be that hard to crack down on leaks of this sort. But then the NYT is not Fox News.

And if Holder is really concerned about leaks from senior Obama officials, maybe he should look into this.

You have to get little victories over "the man" whenever you can

The battery on my digital hygrometer has died. A hygrometer measures the amount of humidity in your humidor. One needs to monitor the humidity in the humidor to make sure the expensive cigars you are storing stay fresh and ready to smoke. I have an analog hygrometer in the humidor also, so all is not lost. I also have a nice humidor, so I rarely have to adjust the moisture levels.

That long preamble means I have to make a trip to Radio Shack today to get a new battery. I also need a plug adaptor to make sure my electronics work in China.

Radio Shack always asks for my phone number. It is not like they are planning on calling me for a date later. It is not that I am against a dinner and nice action movie. I would even consider coffee or ice cream. They always ask for my number and never call.

Perhaps they do not call because I take the time to memorize the number of a different Radio Shack and that is what I give them. Once I gave the local Radio Shack their own number as my own.  The clerk was not amused.  Now I give the local store the number of the Greenwood, Indiana store when I buy my weird sized batteries and such. It amuses me.

I am an asshole like that.

June 4, 2013


Do you think I make this stuff up?

Everything you read here is the pure, unvarnished truth.

The Goldfinch Conspiracy.

I am in the midst of a minor Tippi Hedren flashback.  I am no fan pf scary movies and The Birds bothered me to no end after catching a late night showing in my youth. In any case, two mornings in a row have found a tiny goldfinch* perched haphazardly on the screen of my office window pecking away at the fine mesh. Are there tiny bugs infesting the screen? Is there lint mixed with the dirt on the panes? Is he attacking his reflection?  I don't know. Dr. Doolittle did not deign to teach me to talk with the goldfinch. I do know the cute little bastard has torn holes in my screen.

I have no doubt this attack  is a minor distraction in an avian conspiracy towards me. Red-breasted robins have managed shit a white sheen on the top of my mailbox. The cardinals eat dinner at the local Mexican dive then spew chulupa inspired diarrhea all over the black paint of my car. The doves coo the strategy as set down by crows in from the fields to the west.   Sparrows are spying on my actions, looking for a way inside the house. Starlings sit mustered in silent rows high up in the neighbor's Bradford Pear waiting a chance to peck my eyes out. A red-tailed hawk silently circling on gliding wings high in the sky coordinates the whole campaign. So far, no seagulls have ventured into the vast interior of the nation to threaten my person.

Or the finch on my screen might be a coincidence. I think his nest is in the Japanese maple right outside my office window.

*a little yellow bird the size of a sparrow. It may be a female. Ornithology is not among my areas of expertise.

June 2, 2013

When did I wake up a weak old man?

I am getting old. I actually went to bed at 9:45 last night. There was still light lingering yellow and orange in the western sky! I was dozing in the recliner while trying to watch a recorded episode of "Modern Family" with the wife before giving it up and staggering to bed.

In my defense, it has been a long week. I came straight out of the Holiday and onto an airplane for the Carolinas.  I spent a couple of days figuratively boxing with my customers and did not get back home until the last flight into Indy on Wednesday night. I had a project due Thursday that took up a good portion of the day.  I then picked up some tables and helped the wife get ready for her garage sale on Saturday.

Friday was spent lifting and cleaning and hauling old furniture and bikes and stuff from storage. We did not get done until late Friday night setting up displays of our junk high quality merchandise. Early Saturday I was finishing up arranging the products as the potential customers waited outside in the chilly 6:30 drizzle. The sale was slated for 8:00, but the multitudes were waiting to hand over their hard-earned quarters and dollars well before the start time. I guess when it comes to rummage sales the early bird does get the worm.

The wife and daughter both made a sizable chunk of money and a bunch of my stuff is now living in other people's houses and garages today.*  We had the garage cleaned up, boxes hauled to Goodwill, and the cars back in their accustomed stalls by 3:00.

In all the week left me tired out and in bed by barely dark. But really -- 9:45 PM -- it is a shameful thing. The next thing you know I'll be hitting the 4:00 buffet circuit and demanding my quarter coffee at McDonald's.

* Have you ever heard of a garage sale customer demanding to try on a dress before she shells out $2.00? I never expected my office to double as a woman's changing room.

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