December 31, 2015

Last Post

It is New Year's Eve. I can only say good riddance to 2015. While not the worst year of my life, the past 364 days certainly, as a collection, were not among my happiest. We did a cruise in the western Caribbean. The Cubs made a run toward history, only to fall short. We are relatively healthy. There is certainly plenty for which to give thanks to the Good Lord. The negative? Well, I am not going to dwell on it. Besides, who wants to read about someone else's problems? You have your own. I hope 2016 brings happiness and prosperity to us all. 

In 2016 we will still have the same knuckleheads running the country in Washington. More of the same will be vying for the chance to try and tell us what to do. The Colts will be done for the season on Sunday. Despite my best hopes, I'm pretty sure the Cubs will find a way to break my heart. 2016 will bring cold and snow and heat and rain. We will see stunning sunsets and rainbows in the afternoon. We will have have birthdays and anniversaries. This may very well be my last post for this year, but I will be here to document the new year from my perspective. 

Be safe out there tonight. Best wishes for a happy 2016.

December 30, 2015


One of my strengths has always been my ability to deal with multiple tasks. I am usually reading several books at once. I can have layers of paper on  my desk, juggling several customers, quotes, and issues without problem. I can deal with bills or personal problems with all the other stuff going on in the background, devoting attention at the proper time to each topic. I suspect most of you multitask as well with varying success.

Lately, I find myself stressed more. My well-constructed compartmental walls have sprung leaks; worries from work pop into my head at night and personal issues intrude on work. My former single-minded focus made me very good at dealing with multiple issues while keeping my stress levels low. People have always marveled at my ability to solve problems and "get things fixed". I still can solve problems and smooth troubled waters, but my stress over the complex is a new thing for me.

I used to have an Alfred E, Newman "What, me worry?" attitude. I solve problem 'A' then move on to problem 'B' in its time. Now I worry about issues A through Z, then worry that I'm worrying too much. WTH? Is this a by-product of an older, weaker mind or are my problems just bigger and more complex?

I need the on/off switch in my brain replaced.

December 29, 2015


I need to put up three posts, including this one, to reach 400 for the year. That will be my lowest total since we started in March 2005 and well short of the 540+ I dropped in 2006 at the height of the blogging craze. Now, I'm a sad old man plugging away at a blog in a Facebook world.

I can live with that.

Who did write the book of love?

The wife and I got a flu shot yesterday. My arm is sore today. That has never happened before. I have a bruise, I think she hit a vein because the puncture bled a bit.

Normal temperatures have settled in after several days of hard rain. It is still pretty windy, but at least there is no snow.

Otherwise, I have nothing.

Have a good Tuesday.

December 28, 2015

Malicious Musings

Ben Franklin has been perverted around here. It seems I am on an "late to bed, early to rise" schedule these days. That means I want a nap mid-afternoon. I suspect my bosses would not approve. I shall endeavor to soldier on.

After a week of snacking and over-eating I plan to get back to more sensible eating today. The pile of containers with Christmas goodies the wife made keeps calling me though. I confined myself to coffee and 1/2 of a two day old jelly donut for breakfast. I know, not exactly what the nutritionist ordered, but these days I am more about quantity, not quality. I guess my diet is just like my blog.

I'm preparing this entry on the old laptop this morning as opposed to the iPad. Since auto-correct helps out with punctuation and spelling, there may be even more errors than usual. Both programs try to correct my multiple spelling miscues.

After a great long holiday weekend I am back to work today. Experience tells me I will make numerous phone calls and send a bunch of emails all of which will go unanswered in my attempt to set up appointments for next week. Thanksgiving to mid-January are always slow times for those of us who labor in industrial sales.

Life is good my friends, another short work week is on front of us. I am alive and breathing and the good Lord has blessed me with another day. That is enough.

December 26, 2015

Head 'em up, round 'em up

Good morning blog world. I'm glad it is Saturday, I'm going to need a couple of days to recover from the Christmas festivities. Two days of eating, presents, and family have left me content and happy and worn out. As usual, the wife went overboard, but it is only money.

We did two family Christmases on Thursday. We went to my Mom's in the afternoon and to my wife's family in the evening. Christmas Day we went to my daughter's for the immediate family gathering. She prepared a feast. The granddaughter was inundated with presents. Her favorite was the $5 Mickey Mouse microphone that flashes and plays the Hot Dog dance song, gifted by yours truly.

I went and got some fresh donuts for breakfast. Life is good and my usual post-holiday blues remain at bay. I hope your holiday was as fun and joyous as mine.

Have a great Saturday.

December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you and your families

December 23, 2015

Gettin' Warmed Up

Dear Mother Nature

What the heck? I think you may have turned to the wrong page on the calendar. Perhaps Father Time was looking at your date book while watching porn and some of the pages got ..ummm, stuck together? It is December twenty-third, not April twenty-third. The weather man is calling for temperatures in the mid-sixties and rain and thunderstorms. There is even a chance for tornadoes. The only twisters I expect for December are found in the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz on cable TV. My neighborhood was struck by a small tornado a week or two prior to Thanksgiving a couple of decades ago, but this kind of weather in December is crazy. what happened to let it snow, let it snow, let it snow?

I passed the wife on the stairs this morning. I was getting up, she heading to bed after a night of wrapping presents. She said she wants to bake cookies and make fudge and candy this afternoon and evening so she wanted to get the wrapping done. She didn't start until well after midnight. She is a grown up, she can make her own bedtime rules.

I have plans to meet a buddy down at the smoke shop this afternoon for a nice cigar. Don't tell the boss, but I'm knocking off early today. I have had to travel on Sunday a couple of times in the past few months, so I think It will be fine. No customer wants to hear from me today anyway.

I hope you have your shopping done and are ready for Christmas (those of you who celebrate). If you don't, enjoy your days off courtesy of those who do!  I have the very few gifts I bought the wife to wrap and I promised her I would vacuum the house as my only tasks for the day. I think I'll check work emails, grab some fresh coffee and go meet Judy in St Louis.

Have a great day.

December 21, 2015

Non Sequiter Stories

I've she'd about fifteen pounds since mid October. Partial credit goes to a new med I'm taking. The rest is a little more exercise and a lot more control of snacks and mealtime quantity. I did not help the cause much last night though. I fried up some chicken and made the traditional fixings. I ate way too much mashed potatoes and gravy. Three things that I could eat every day include gravy, grits, and cornbread. I'm pretty darn fond of mashed spuds too. All are not so good for me since the body does not know or care if those carb sugars come from cake or pasta or potatoes.

It is a rainy and warm Monday here in Naptown. I'm heading into coasting mode with a short workweek in front of me. My daughter is on Christmas break so my granddaughter won't be coming over today. I keep looking out the window expecting her. I'm going to babysit for a couple of hours tomorrow. I don't know why, the wife just asked of I could.

Christmas is nearly upon us. Not the generic "holidays" since Hanukkah is now behind us. In that spirit I'm going to offer you some bonus Friday Music today. I am certain you are excited enough by that prospect to jump up and down and spit out wooden nickels. ( aside: if you jump up don't you have to come down or be in jeopardy of breaking the laws of gravity? What is the cost of that ticket in court?).  Anyway, here is one of my many favorites. (this is a sidebar, not an aside. There is clearly a difference. I pretty much dig all Christmas music besides Rudolph and Frosty. Both of those bug me for reasons I cannot define). On to the music before I have to put in a footnote.

I also like this alternative version:

Have a great Monday

December 20, 2015


Trust us. "We cannot implement a more conservative, controlled, smaller government approach without control of the House of a Representatives" we were told by the GOP. we gave them a supermajority.  Then they said they could not stop ObamaCare and roll back big government programs without control of the Senate. The Conservative base once again came through.

Our repayment? No reductions in spending, no changes in ObanaCare, no curtailing of EPA power grabs, no reforms at the VA, just more spending, more big government, more Democrat-lite politics. No, that is not fair, the GOP and Democrat parties are just the same lying bitches.

The great lies of mankind: the check is on the mail, I won't come in your mouth, we are going to reduce government spending.

December 19, 2015

Proud Papa

My daughter graduates from college today. she has earned her Masters in Education Administration from Butler University. She also did her undergraduate work at Butler, graduating with honors.

This time she completed the course in the evenings, working all the while. She also had a baby during the course of the study, without taking a semester off. In spite of these challenges she managed to score almost a perfect 4.0.  She clearly got not only her looks, but also her brains from her mom. So, despite my longstanding reluctance to attend any graduation ceremony (including my own), I'm off to Butler University to see my daughter once again don cap and gown to receive her due.

December 18, 2015

The stars are brightly shining

Friday at last. It seems like a long week, I guess because of leaving on Sunday and traveling on the west coast. I can't believe Christmas is next week.  We are not even close to ready. The wife has never been this far behind on shopping and I've yet to start. I have no idea what to get her and she has offered nary a hint.

It is the Friday before Christmas so I will drop my favorite Christmas song for the Friday music selection.

I finally got an opportunity to watch the DVR recording of one of my favorite claymation Rankin and Bass productions from the 60s, The Little Drummer Boy last night. It brought back some good childhood memories.

The oldest boy, who has been a Star Wars nut his whole life, went to see the new flick last night. I'm waiting to hear his review later this morning.

Have a great day fellow Americans and earthlings everywhere.

December 17, 2015

Poor baby

The Colts suck this year. Four months until baseball. I don't really care much about basketball at any level. Sigh. Read any good books lately? Neither have I. Are there still 37 people running for President?  Tap tap tap. Hello, is this thing working? Is anyone there? Are you as bored as I am?

Sitting in my hotel room the other evening I watched a heavy downpour slowly flood the parking lot. It was gray and cold and miserable. I was in one of my favorite places on Earth and I was sitting in a f-ing hotel room. It was too cold and wet and miserable to do much else.  I started a blog post listing some of the cool things I have done. The entry sat in the "draft" box for a couple of days before I deleted it. No one wants to read a list of "I have...". There is no way to make it interesting. Besides, most of my " this one time, at band camp" stories have previously been recounted here. There is a decade plus of archives over there in the right if you really want to revisit my adventures and travels.

My life is on cruise control these days. It seems I have no passion for anything. I'm bored and boring. It shows up here. Sorry 'bout that.

December 16, 2015

Political Legacies of the Boxer Rebellion

My sleep cycle is just messed up. I zipped to the west coast Sunday for business meetings on Monday. I did my thing and was back at the airport for a 6:30 AM flight back home Tuesday morning. The meetings went well, the weather was cold and rainy, even for the Pacific Northwest. To cap it off I had the middle seat in both directions. The guy in the window seat coming home was determined to claim every inch of space he could, even if that meant squeezing me even more. His behavior confirmed my long-held impression that sixty-plus year old balding guys with ponytails are all assholes. 

The good news for me is that this trip should pretty much wrap up my travels for the year. 2015 was busy on that front. I drove 43,000 miles and earned about 250,000 hotel points. I crossed and recrossed the Mississippi more times than I can count. 

One of the wreaths from the upstairs windows blew off Monday. I have to drag out the big ladder to stick it back up when it gets light out and about three feet of lights decided to quit on the porch garland. I will leave that to the wife. 

My granddaughter turned one year old today. She just now came in, full of life and ready to play. Im glad my wife is able to babysit. It is going to be a great day.

December 14, 2015

All that counts is good intentions

John Kerry just attended a climate change meeting in Paris. He is trumpeting the "agreement" as historic. Kerry said that there are no penalties in the agreement, otherwise a lot of the nations would not have agreed.

Sorry, Mr. Kerry, that means you have no agreement at all. It is just easier to pretend to go along, then do what you want. India, China, and Russia are not stupid, they will not destroy their economies for feel good measures. Liberals, won't be happy until everyone (except them) is living in a 17th century shithole, hoping solar panels and windmills keep them warm on a winter night.

Food for thought for you climateers. When was the last time Portland, OR saw the sun? Think solar is the answer in the Pacific Northwest?

December 12, 2015

Happy Birthday Frank

I don't know how many Frank Sinatra CDs I have, a dozen at least. I have a couple of movie collections. Dude was a first class entertainer. He was born 100 years ago today.

December 11, 2015

Dude, back off on the man perfume

Blogging will be light for the next several days. I have stuff to do. None of your business stuff. Maybe it is secret international spy stuff. You don't know. If I told you, I would have to kill you, or at least say things that might hurt your feelings. Micro aggression-type things. I might even give you a frowny look. You don't want that. Trust me. It could be I'm just making stuff up. You don't know. Maybe I'll launch a whole bunch of posts. I'm on track for my fewest blog posts in a year ever. I could post like ten times in the next few days. You should probably check back hourly. Set your alarm so you can get up in the night too. You don't want to miss brilliant shit like this. Trust me on that too.

It is Friday and that means I fill up the blank space with the blinking cursor with a music selection you will not watch. That is OK, it amuses me and that is what counts most.

December 10, 2015

You Ninnies

There is a new  public service ad out with celebrities telling us they are against gun violence. Duh. Who is in favor of gun violence? What sane person wants their streets to be a shooting gallery? I am willing to bet most drug dealers and gang bangers are not thrilled with gun violence. They don't want to get shot. What a stupid waste of film. 

Look, you f-ing ninnies, just because a person owns a gun or believes the right to self protection is a fundamental Constitutional right does not mean that person is in favor of mass killing, murder, mayhem, and gun violence. Oh, while we are at it, not one of the actions called for The Obama in his mundane, forgettable Oval Office speech would have stopped the Islamic Terrorists, nor the crazed Planned Parenthood shooter from their evil deeds. Do you really think a determined murderer will stop and think, " wait, I better not kill the infidel today, my guns ate not registered. I might get in trouble?".  Sorry, the ability to emote in public and memorize words written by someone else does not make you a role model, expert, or even smart. 

December 9, 2015

Crap, I forgot to put a title

I'm once again in the wilds of Iowa. I successfully crossed the Mighty Mississippi without incident. In pioneer days that was an accomplishment. These days I just drive across a bridge. I suppose the lefties are correct. I certainly did not build that bridge. I've built a couple of decks. I built a birdhouse in Cub Scouts. Roofed some buildings. But I have not built a bridge. Not even over troubled waters.

Where was I? Hmm, I'm not sure. I know we were crossing the bridge, but I'll be damned if I know where this post was going from there. I shouldn't drive when I'm tired, and I should not blog after driving tired. It is not like anyone reads anyway. Except you. Thanks for stopping by. No doubt I was up for the Nobel Prize in blogging right up until I typed this post. Figures. I make another one incoherent entry and I miss my long overdue accolades. Just to demonstrate the breadth of my inadequacoes, I am tempted to forego editing as well. "What?" you say, "You edit?".  Button yer lip.

Look, most of the folks I used to read don't bother to blog anymore. That is OK, but don't climb all over my back because I throw up an occasional fluff piece. An 'A' for effort and an 'F' for content Still averages out to a 'C',  So there. Since I keep falling asleep while typing I better knock off for now. But you get a post, and not just a short one either.

December 8, 2015

Keep off the grass

I have lambasted Lefties for their failure to call out members of their team for egregious behavior. I was especially appalled when no one on the Democrat side had an issue with the targeted use of the IRS to go after political opponents or the deliberate selling of guns to Mexican cartels.  Those things are wrong no matter which side of the political spectrum you stand.

So I would be remiss if I don't condemn the ridiculous proclamation from Trump that he would bar all Muslims from entering the country. While I am not a Republican,  I'm a conservative.  I suppose the Donald falls on my side of the political world. In any case, barring Muslims, or the followers of any individual religion, is wrong. It is on par with FDR's round-up of Japanese Americans and locking them in concentration camps (the brain child of Earl Warren BTW, a position that should have kept him from the SCOTUS). Trump's position is wrong and sickening.

I'm all for making sure we are safe. And it is true that many terrorists are Muslim, but most Muslims are not shooting up coworkers or flying planes into buildings. Should the immigrants from every nation be thoroughly vetted, investigated and checked? Absolutely, but that falls far short of banning people because they worship a particular deity. It is akin to banning folks who are brown, or who have eyes of a certain shape. Oh wait, we did that with the Chinese exclusion Act of 1882.

Trump is wrong on so many levels with this policy. I suspect if Eastern Elbonia were to ban all Americans from entering their fictional nation, Trump would be in a months-long hissy fit.

Optimist: A Short Story

Late in the night, he finally regained consciousness.
He was in the hospital, in terrible pain.
He found himself in the ICU with tubes in his nose, needles and IV drips in
both arms, a breathing mask, wires monitoring every function, and a nurse
hovering over him. He realized that he was obviously in a life-threatening
The nurse gave him a serious, deep look, straight into his eyes, then spoke
to him slowly and clearly, enunciating each word and syllable, "You may not
feel anything from the waist down."
Somehow he managed to mumble in reply, "Can I feel your boobs, then?"

December 6, 2015

Hanging on

I have three Bradford Pear trees in my backyard. I don't know if any sports a partridge amongst the boughs because I'm not confident I know a partridge from a peregrine. Besides, if there was a partridge in the pear tree it would be camouflaged by all of the leaves.

I don't know if it is the mild temperatures or climate change or global warming or global cooling or transfats in popcorn oil, but those trees still have fifty percent of their leaves clinging stubbornly to the branches. The maple out front was trying to hold on in a battle of wills, but finally dropped most of its leaves in the past two weeks. What gives? It is December. We are supposed to have sleigh bells and snowmen in the park who will marry loving couples. Instead I'm out on a Saturday morning raking leaves and depressed in the knowledge I still have three trees full in the backyard.

In the afternoon we motored down to what used to be Glendale mall to Macy's to find an elusive Christmas present. To my surprise, the old mall is gone. Now there is the Macy's and a Target and some smaller shops, but no great big mall. I am probably the only person alive who was unaware of this development, but in my defense I have probably not been to what once was Glendale Mall in 15 years or so.  Later,  we supped down in Broad Ripple before we retreated back north.

My daughter and SIL had a party to attend last night so my granddaughter spent he night. I can hear her playing and jabbering her baby nonsense downstairs. I think I will go play with her. Have a great day.

December 5, 2015

Dear President Obama

If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, has feathers like a duck, wings like a duck, webbed feet like a duck, and a bill like a duck, it really, probably is a Muslim terrorist a duck.

December 4, 2015

I'm an idiot

Coming out of St Louis yesterday I was listening to a Stephen Coonts audiobook. Jake Grafton must have had my attention because the next thing I knew I was almost to Springfield on I-55 instead of cutting east on I-70. Worse, I even stopped at a rest park to remove coffee from my bladder and mentally commented that it was strange this rest park seemed unfamiliar. Then I drove on for another 45 minutes before reality whacked me in the brain with a figurative 2x4 and shouted "WTF are you doing"? Heck, I was contemplating driving cross country on 2 lane highways anyway.  These words are testimony I made it home safe despite running both my VW and my brain on cruise control.

Since we were discussing the movie Meet Me in St Louis yesterday, I thought you might like to listen to Judy sing one of the signature songs from the flick. Enjoy.

  I said enjoy.

December 3, 2015

Meet Me in St Louie

On second thought, don't bother. I will be gone and on my way home before you can get here. I thought about visiting the address from the Judy Garland movie, but the house is gone, and Meet Me in St. Louis was not filmed there anyway. That is not to say I don't dig the film centered around a family and the year leading up to the 1904 St Louis World's Fair. I have often opined that if I had possession of a time machine the turn of the twentieth century would be my premier destination. I don't know why, but it would. Of course I would have to worry about polio, small pox, TB, and a whole host of other diseases and be prepared to deal with horse shit everywhere. I also suspect those big heavy dresses made the chicks somewhat odoriferous and a wool suit on a summer day does nothing to hide that man smell. You were right back in school when you muttered "history stinks". I would like to ruminate further on early twentieth century fashion*, but I have customers to see and stuff to sell.

* not really

December 2, 2015

A common sense approach

How about we actually have some facts before Obama or Hillary or anyone else weighs in on the California shootings? We don't know if the shooters are domestic terrorists, foreign terrorists or even terrorists at all. Common sense says a few facts always makes your position clearer. Knee jerk reactions usually make you look foolish.

Edit. Funny, the " We need more gun control" screamers fail to note that California has some of the most strict gun laws and we won't even discuss Chicago, where gun violence is a a part of daily life despite some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. Sorry, putting your name in a big old database will not stop a person bent on shooting up a bunch of folks. Murder is already a crime. Do you really think adding "failure to register" is going to make anyone stop and reconsider their shooting spree?

I need coffee and I mean right now

What the heck? I was sleeping good. Mexican food-inspired dreams spun weird tales in the depth of my brain. Then, just like that, my eyes popped open and I was wide awake. The clock said 4:43 . I flipped my pillow to the cool side snuggled back down with eyes shut and proceeded to not drift back to sleep at all. Finally, at 5:30, I surrendered to the inevitable and got up. I never could lie around in bed.

I see Chicago protesters are now calling for the ouster of the mayor. Anything that boots that leftist from office is OK by me, but I'm still confused over these protests. What do they want? The cop has been charged with first degree murder. The wheels of justice turn slowly. Do the protesters crave vigilante justice? What we have here is the problem with the left's whole "it takes a village" mentality. You cannot hold society as a whole responsible for the actions of a single individual. To condemn all whites or all cops for that kid getting shot 16 times is as ludicrous as blaming the African-American community as a whole for the murder of a pregnant preacher's wife by a couple of black teens in Indianapolis. We are all responsible for our own actions. White skin no more makes you inherently racist than black skin makes you automatically a gang banger. The BLM movement is sliding into the very position of racial stereotyping they are trying to combat.

It is time to wrap it up. It has taken me an hour to cobble together the post so far between coffee refills, playing with my granddaughter and chomping a bowl of Lucky Charms. I have work to do. Have a great day.

November 30, 2015


John Lennon released his musical vision of liberal utopia in 1971. I can't sing a lick, so I won't even try to duplicate his efforts. But on this Monday I encourage you to imagine a post filled with well-crafted phrases. Imagine a blog filled with humor. Imagine a blog post with insight and political savy. What if you stopped by here and read a post filled with thought -provoking ideas? Imagine letters and words and paragraphs that were so moving you punched your fist skyward with an accompanying audible "yes!".

Imagine that this was that post and you will see these words are as much an unrealistic fantasy as Lennon's hit song.

November 28, 2015

Cuppa Joe and Blackberry Pie

I saw on the news that a group of protesters shut down Chicago's Michigan Avenue shopping district yesterday. Apparently they blocked store entrances over the police shooting of a young black man more than a year ago. The kid was shot 16 times, many in the back. My question is this, the cop has been charged with first degree murder. What are they protesting over? What do the stores have to do with it? What do the shoppers have to do with it? If they did not like the process, gather at the mayor's office or police headquarters. Better yet, perhaps the perpetually outraged should focus on their own Chicago neighborhoods where shooting and killing is reaching war zone levels. I agree that black lives matter, but why is there no outrage when an African-American takes that life?

November 27, 2015

And it does

Maybe we don't have the snow, but the season for celebrating commercialism and profits Jesus' birth has arrived!

Sorry Teach, I had to go with this today.

November 26, 2015

I've Got Plenty to be Thankful For

The title to this post comes from an Irving Berlin song featured in the greatest holiday movie of all time -- Holiday Inn (OK Ed B?). I am certain I will have my DVD copy in the player before the weekend is over.

Amidst the food and football, take a few minutes to reflect on all that you have to be thankful for, and yes, I know that is bad grammar. Remember that if you focus on all the bad stuff in your life you miss out on the good. End of sermon.

I want to offer up a heartfelt and honest thank you to every one of you who stop by here. There is no compelling reason to bother with my blatherings, self-delusions, and nonsense. I'm glad you do.

November 25, 2015

Hello Moon

There is a gorgeous full moon shining in the early morning sky. As I sit in my recliner I can see it out the blog room window as it paints the neighborhood in a soft glow. I woke early this morning. I don't know why. Probably because I have no reason to be up. I took a vacation day today. Don't worry, I still have eight left to burn this year.

We are supposed to have decent weather today, so I plan to get the house decorated for Christmas today. Lights on the house, garland on the porch and around the door, the big wreath on the garage, lights in the bushes and on the trees in the backyard are in the plan. That does not include the massive decorating the wife does inside. Clearly, I'm going to work while on my vacation from work! I intend to work up an appetite before I feast tomorrow.

November 23, 2015

The problem is with The Pill

Blame it on women's lib. Blame it on The Pill. Blame abortion on demand. Blame it on the overpopulation hysteria. Blame  it on the economic necessity of two working parents. Mostly, blame it on medicine and longer life spans. They are all responsible for the push of elected officials to encourage immigration, illegal and otherwise.

Huh?  Yep, they will not admit it, but we must have a steady influx of immigrants or else the great Social Security Ponzi scheme will be exposed. What, you ask, does birth control and immigration have to do with Social Security?

See, when Roosevelt designed Social Security it was designed to supplement, not replace, pensions and savings. At first it limited eligibility. Second, people only lived to be about 65, so most people did not collect Social Security funds for long. But since the program paid a certain amount each month regardless of how much you paid in, it did not take long to see that it took more people paying than collecting. Soon everyone was forced to contribute. Then came the war. We won the Big One and everyone was so happy to be alive they came home got married and reproduced like rabbits. The baby boom generationwas born. This was great for Social Security. There was a ton of money pouring in from worker's wages. Only a fraction was paying out. It was like a lottery. So the government increased benefits, started paying widows and orphans. They sent checks to people who could not work. There was still cash left over, so the Feds just started "borrowing" a few million here, a few million there. Then they wrote IOUs for a few billion to fund a war in SE Asia and to pay for LBJ's Great Society. It was OK, all those baby boomers were working and paying their Social Security taxes.

 Those "we are all gonna die" because of overpopulation crowd went into hysterics (they layer decided the crisis of the day was drought, a coming ice age, global warming, climate change) and we stopped birthing babies so often. Chicks went on The Pill. Science figured out they could eliminate many of those childhood diseases and found ways to make Americans live longer. Much longer. We started having fewer babies than deaths.

Some smart guy looked at the state of things and did some math. "Holy Shit",  he exclaimed. " By the early 2000s there will be way more people collecting Social Security than ate paying in. We are going to run out of money". You see, in those days economists and politicians thought it was a very, very, bad idea to just print more money to pay the government's bills. 

"We need more people" said the politicians. They also concluded, with the help of business lobbyists, that if those new people would work cheap it would be a very good thing. Who had extra people that could send us some. Easily? Not Europe, they wiped out two generations in the twentieth century.Teddy "swimmer" Kennedy was listening to his family pal Frank Sinatra croon one day and heard the magic lyrics "South of the border, down Mexico way" and ta da, he pushed for new immigration laws that brought in our neighbors from Central and South America to be the new bodies to work and pay those pesky Social Security taxes.

Not enough came north legally, so we encouraged them to come illegally, planning to bestow legality later. Reagan played along. Now we need to do it again. Either we make babies faster than old people die or we bring in workers. That is the choice or the whole Social Security pyramid collapses. That is the choice and not a single politician wants you to know the truth. Because the administration that lets asocial Security fall apart will never hold office again. The political lesson of the Great Depression was not lost on either party. The Republicans were blamed for 40 years for the Wall Street collapse just because Hoover was a Republican and was President.

That is why sooner or later Congress will pass an amnesty bill.

November 22, 2015

There was a traitor at Shaolin

I usually call it the TV room. I suppose it more rightly could be called my granddaughters bedroom, the exercise room, or the blog room. This is the only bedroom that faces the front of the house. It has a large TV, a treadmill, a recliner, and a crib. Multi-purpose room might be a better appellation. I like to sit here in the mornings and drink my coffee while I read the news or perhaps do a bit of blogging. This morning I look out at lawns and roofs covered with a layer of snow. There is not a lot, less than an inch, but enough to cover the old leaves and give the neighborhood a fresh, wintry look. It is cold, eighteen according to my phone.

Yesterday morning I watched perhaps the best Kung Fu movie ever not starring Bruce  Lee: Five Shaolin Masters  from my DVD collection. In the afternoon I went with the wife to Target and Sam's. We got a couple of toys for the granddaughter for her birthday next month and Christmas. We went to the movies last night to see the new Seth Rogan flick. I give it a "meh" rating. Amusing at times, stupid at others. The Seth Rogan character gets wasted in the movie meme is wearing pretty thin. The movie will certainly never make the list of the five, or even ten, best Christmas movies ever.

My coffee mug is empty and that means my allotted blogging time is over. Not really. Like a SNL skit I'm not sure this post has a point or an ending, so I contrived one. Even if it does not make sense, I have a way out. Have a great Sunday.

November 21, 2015

Saturday Cartoon

Grab a bowl of Sugar Pops and watch some cartoons. Mom is going to fry up some bologna for lunch.

November 20, 2015 in my head

The weather is about to change. I can feel it in my bones and in my skull. The weather lady on TV says so too. Today is slated to be another fall day -windy with temperatures in the low fifties. Saturday is another matter. A light dose of winter will stop by with cold, wind, rain, and snow. I had considered dragging out the Christmas lights and stringing them on the house tomorrow. I would not turn them on of course, I would never do that until the day after turkey day. I think I'll wait until more pleasant operating conditions. I thought about putting the lights up last weekend while the weather was so nice, but it was just too early.

I am not sure what the social director here at the house has scheduled for this weekend. I'm sure she has something on tap. It may be a working weekend, or perhaps a movie. I am sure I will be advised at he proper time.

Have a good weekend readers.

Here is some Friday Music. This is the last selection before I start dropping Christmas tunes. I was torn here.  Should I choose the Doobie Brothers or some classic Sinatra?  I went with the rock band from California since I suspect Frank will get some Friday Music love in the coming weeks. And no, it is not any of that Michael McDonald ballad bullshit.

November 19, 2015

Not so distant history

Just ten years ago

So sorry

It just occurs to me that I have not checked the email account that links to this site in about six months. Perhaps even longer. It could have been a year since I logged on. If by some chance you emailed me and I did not respond, sorry. I'm off to check it now. I suspect it will be filled to the brim with spam and little else.

November 18, 2015

Humping along on hump day

It is dark and windy and rainIng hard this morning. The very embodiment of miserable weather. I'm glad I'm not hitting the road in this crap. Today is an office day, catching up on long overdue paperwork and filing. The company is hosting a dinner tonight for the employees and a guest. I am up for free food.

Obama says he is too busy to address his ISIS strategy, he is in disbelief that anyone could question his tactics. The Narcissist-in-Chief says he will focus his last year in office focusing on gun control. Good idea, that way the Democrat candidates will be forced to publicly agree with the nominal head of their party or break ranks, splitting the base. This dude is so self-centered he doesn't get it. 

I just read an article claiming political  correctness increases free speech. It was such twisted logic and nonsense I won't bother to link to it. The author would claim I don't get it because I'm an old white guy therefore filled with misogynistic racist hate. There is nothing like stereotyping a group to show how you have been stereotyped.  

Have a great day. I'm off to put some of the doughboy's orange rolls into the oven. 

November 17, 2015

By any other name

In The wildly popular Harry Potter series there is a character  so evil, so scary, that the people refuse to speak his name. They simply refer to Lord Voldemort as " you know who". In the same way President Obama and the Democrat candidates are crap-their-pants terrified to actually say "radical Islam" out loud. I suppose to name it makes it a reality. Until they actually admit radical Islam exists they can pretend nonexistent monsters in the closet like global warming are the real threat to their fairy tale world.

November 16, 2015

The view from my recliner

My granddaughter is eleven months old today. The year has gone so fast. She brought her mom and dad over yesterday for dinner. My youngest was home from college with his girlfriend. I made a big pan of lasagna and a salad and we had a great Sunday dinner. My daughter brought a three berry cobbler she made for dessert.

I'm off to get the company car serviced this morning. I've put over 40,000 miles on the vehicle since the first of the year. No travels this week, the company dinner is Wednesday evening. Since next week is Thanksgiving I'll likely be home then too. Two whole weeks sleeping in my own bed!

Have a great Monday.

November 14, 2015

Vermin amongst us

The President of France is certain yesterday's horrific terrorist attacks were the work of ISIS. If so, it is time to finally recognize we are at war with radical Islam. It is a time to take sides. If you are a Muslim and think " I like the message, just not the means" then you are part of the problem and morally culpable in every single innocent death in Paris. If we do not actively work against such terror then you have chosen your position and it lies with those who would kill innocent people just for the sake of terror. At least the IRA and PLO had a political cause.

I fear this is the tip of Europe's coming troubles. They have allowed hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East to invade their countries without documentation of who they are, where they are from, and let them loose into the interior of Europe without a means to track or trace them. It is quite possible the leaders of Europe have let tens of thousands of would-be suicide bombers, murders, and terrorists effectively parachute behind their lines of defense. The nations of Europe did not just abandon the guard shacks, they unlocked the gates and invited the enemy in.

Don't worry. The leaders of Europe and President Obama just gave the radical Mullahs who encourage this sort of terrorist killing the means to make a couple of nuclear bombs and several billion dollars to fund just this sort of terror. I'm sure nothing could go wrong with that.

Where is Charles Martel when we need him?

November 13, 2015

Enough of the heavy stuff

I was upgraded to a two bedroom suite when I checked into my hotel yesterday evening. With a kitchen, living room and two full baths this hotel room is bigger than the apartment my wife and I shared when we're first married. This room is a $154 well spent.

Today is Friday the 13th, and while I have several superstitions, trepidation over this day is not one of them. I find it silly. Refusing to wear stripes on the day of a test, now that makes perfect sense.

I am heading home as soon as the St Louis rush hour traffic settles down. Most of the construction that plagued I-70 this year is complete, so a half-day jaunt should see me pulling into the garage by mid-afternoon.

Have a great day.

November 12, 2015

Just me?

Is anyone getting redirected when they try to go here?

I don't want to be a robot

Hate is a terrible thing. I wish it did not exist. The problem is we are imperfect humans. God, or nature, or evolution, or chance made our brains all a little different from each other. The same random genetics or combination of cells that made Einstein, or Richard Pryor, or Frank Sinatra, or Mother Teresa have special talents also caused Hitler, or Ghengis Khan, or the guy who slips on a white hood to terrorize those who have different colored skin. I don't really want to live in a world where we are all identical. Existing as a mind-numbed robot has no appeal. It is good that we have different notions of art. You might like sweet potatoes, I don't. It is our differences that makes the world interesting. It is learning a new perspective, a new interpretation, a different viewpoint that gives us intellectual growth. I may not agree with your politics, but a civil discussion helps me better define my own position. It is these same differences that makes some humans hold positions we find offensive or even hurtful. We cannot eliminate the unattractive aspects of our differences without eliminating the good. Groupthink; I can envision nothing worse.

I do not claim to know everything that has happened at Mizzou. Perhaps the racial culture on campus is hateful. The student body president is a gay black guy, so at least the student body seems unprejudiced. Reports say a student was called a racist epithet off campus. I'm not sure what the University President was supposed to do about that. I'm not sure what he was supposed to do if it occurred on campus. It should not happen, but we cannot legislate morals. Assholes abound. Free speech exists to protect those who say the things we find most offensive. There is no right to never be offended.

A scarlet 'A'comes in many forms. It is not a big leap from forcing Jews to sport a Star of David on their chest to putting anyone who disagrees with you in a re-education camp. When we start deciding what is "proper" thought or words it becomes hard to draw a line. Most of are appalled at the reports of forced groupthink in North Korea where failure to mourn the death of the Great Leader properly resulted in death. Where saying anything but the party line gets you lined up before a firing squad.

Who decides what is offensive and what is not? A committee? What if you are atheist and the panel is made up of Christians or Muslims? What if the arbiters of taste and offensiveness  hate rap music or video games? We can't protect ourselves from the unpleasantness of life. We are not robots.

Just to be clear, I am in no way saying that if you are person of color and are called the N-word you should not be offended or that you should shrug it off. Rather my criticism is for the childish wish that it is the responsibility of a college president to create an environment where your feelings will never be hurt, where you never have to see or hear or experience the real offensive unpleasant aspects of life. I could have saved a lot of time and words if I just wrote "grow up".

Better yet, read the words of a real writer Here

November 11, 2015

It is just a cup

Relax. It is a paper coffee cup. Starbucks is under no obligation to print a Christmas greeting on their cup. That is not a "war on Christmas". The cups are red, the logo green. Last year the paper cups from the coffee giant had snowflakes, not exactly a Christmas message either. This is a business. If you have objections to a plain red cup, and I cannot really imagine why you would, then buy your morning brew down at the gas station. I bet they won't have "Christmas" cups either.

I further posit the very people who are up in arms over this manufactured controversy would throw an even bigger fit over anyone who printed Hanukkah or a Ramadan message on their cup, claiming they don't want Islam shoved down their throat. And no, I don't know what a Ramadan message would look like, you are missing the point.

On the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Thank you to every veteran who did their duty in order that I can live free.

November 10, 2015

The slant of everything these days

I am pretty sure I am not going to articulate this in the best way. I suspect it will take a writer smarter. And more talented than I to express these thoughts clearly. Please bear with me as I try.

My identity, my sense of self, has absolutely nothing to do with the color of my hair, my eyes, or my skin. When I look at my mug in the mirror I don't see a white guy, I see me. I don't think of other people in that context either. I met a dozen people yesterday. I cannot tell you the color of any eye I looked in to. I'm not positive I could tell you the color of customer two or three's hair -- dark. I will not lie and tell you I am color-blind to skin tone, but I saw various shades and hues from pasty white to tan to mocha. So what? Some had on white shirts, some blue.

I am not defined by being white. If asked to describe myself I would say American, father, husband. My skin pigmentation is far down on the list. I suppose that is why I find the intense focus on race in every political and social discussion so distasteful. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Similarly, not everything has a racial component. Little Billy's cowboy costume on Halloween does not mean he secretly desires to wipe out Native Americans. Maybe, just maybe, criticism of President Obama could be rooted in his policies not the color of his skin.

People say we need to have a discussion on race. I think that is all we talk about. I maintain that if melanin is the basis of every thought, interaction, and discussion you have, then you have the race problem, not me.

I'm sickened by those who claim to revere MLK, yet do everything in their power to keep his dream of a colorblind society from coming true. Tell me how hiring a person just because she is black-skinned is any different than giving that job to someone because they are not.

November 9, 2015

I kissed a cop down on 34th and Vine

Another Monday and once again I have nothing to write. I have filled the blank space on the template with nonsense and blather plenty of times in the past. I'm doing it now. The air is cold, the sky is blue, the leaves are gold, I learned French from Pepe le Pew. See? Words. I do know this, life is better when your favorite team wins.

I'm off to earn my pay. Have a great Monday.

November 7, 2015

Saturday Cartoon

Time to sit down with your bowl of Quisp or Sugar Smacks and watch some cartoons.

November 6, 2015

It is like Popeye said

To paraphrase, I am what I am. That would be a hick boy from a hick town in flyover country. I like the simpler things. I prefer a Bud over a microbrew. I like hamburger. I'll take a steak over a gourmet whatever. That does not make me completely ignorant of art or culture, I just like the simpler things. We could go to the symphony this evening to listen to Brahms' Piano Concerto Number 1. I would probably like it well enough, even though Brahms is not one of my favorites. Instead, we are going to see Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy in Indy. I'll take that brand of humor over highbrow any time.

We can discuss the histories of Tacitus, the differences between 1080p and 4K TVs, the role of the Julio-Claudian women in the early Empire, the Zulu War, the Enlightenment, or MGM musicals. I would rather laugh at redneck jokes.

Here is some Friday music

November 5, 2015

lies like a rug

I'm tired as heck this morning. I was working with our service department at a plant in Custer's boyhood haunts. The day started around 6:30 in the morning. I got home just before 10:00 pm. I suppose I was over-tired, because I did not sleep well. I woke about three and could not get back to sleep. I think I dozed in short stretches the rest of the night.

Remember how the press went bizerk over reports Reagan armed rebels in Central America? Do yourself a favor and do a web search on Hillary and her illegal transfer of arms to Libyan rebels, including the very groups that whacked our ambassador to Libya in a deliberate planned attack that had nothing to do with a video, another Clinton lie.  Oh, and how does none of this stick to Obama? If a Republican was running things in a similar manner so-called journalists would be in hysterical self-righteous indignant hissy-fits.

As soon as I finish my current mug o' Joe, I am going to jump in the shower and head to the home office to pick up my repaired laptop.

Have a great day.

November 3, 2015

Life is not like a bowl of cherries

I live in a cheaper neighborhood in an affluent suburb. Just down the street is an imaginary line that denotes an even more affluent suburb.  There are million dollar homes within walking distance. It is worth noting that a million dollars buys a lot of house here in low housing priced Indianapolis. A million dollar home here would be worth several millions in blue states.

So here is my question for you "Income Inequality" warriors. How does that homeowner who has a million dollar house and three cars in the garage affect my lifestyle or income? How is the fact that he relatively rich in comparison affect my ability to pay my electric bill? He did not get his wealth from robbing my checking account. His wife does not run up my credit card balance. It is not like there is a pile of limited cash down at the bank and he is rich because he had bigger fists than me.

Economics is not like a bowl of Halloween candy where you and I get a Smartie or mini Kit Kats because my neighbor got there first and grabbed up all of the full sized Milky Way and Snickers bars. That rich guy made choices that led to his wealth. He went to school. He had the brains or skill or luck to accumulate his wealth, but he did not earn that house, car, or boat at my expense.

The Democrats who are always moaning about income inequality seem to think that at some point we all lined up like grade school kids picking a kickball team where all of those on Suzy's team get to be wealthy and those on Tommy's will live in an inner-city crack house. I will not deny that some are born with more advantages, but we all have equal opportunity. Billy may have a silver spoon and mine may be plastic, but we both have a spoon. There are infinite spoons in the drawer and factories are making more every minute.

If my neighbor is grilling steak does that mean I have to cook chicken? If Trump, or Gates, or Buffett have more wealth than a small Central American country does that change my life at all? Does the fact my neighbor has a Land Rover mean I must have a a Ford?

Income Inequality is mere code for communism. It is the unfulfilled promise to the ignorant that you can have what that guy has if you just put me in charge. Income redistribution never makes us all rich, it just means we all live in misery. Envy should not be the basis of a political platform.


I always wonder what is on those wrist things quarterbacks wear. I always assumed it was a list of plays. When I coached elementary football I wrote the plays on the wrist thing and numbered them. Then I just called in a number through baseball-type signs.

For the Colts I think the wrist thing should have a simpler function. Take a picture of the Colts uniform and simply tell Andrew Luck to only throw passes to guys in uniforms that match the picture on his wrist.

November 2, 2015

Easy guide to growing radishes for fun and profit

Quick thoughts:

It is going to be a fantastic fall day here in God's favorite State. Temps will be in the mid 70s and the sun will shine bright.

The refs were caught up in the excitement of the moment in that Duke 8 laterals-to-win finish Saturday. They blew at least four penalties, downed knees, and out of bounds steps.

If The Denver Broncos defense can do that to a very good Packers offense, they will hit, knock down, and sack the Colts quarterback two dozen times next week when Denver comes to Indy.

All politicians are born liars, but Hillary Clinton seems to be a compulsive liar. She has to sit down and laugh every night in total disbelief the press lets her get away with it. I almost expect her to utter "Yeah, that's the ticket" at the end of a speech.

I was sitting on the couch with the wife last evening -- each of on our respective end -- and commented that I could not believe I was so tired at 10:30. Then it occurred to me; stupid time change. That is also why I was up at 5:30 this morning. The switch to and from Daylight SAVING Time is a pointless exercise and should be abolished. I have yet to see a cogent argument for changing the clocks twice a year.

Have a great Monday

November 1, 2015

reporting in as ordered

Some friends came over last night to hang out. I brought the fire pit around to the driveway and burned some logs as we handed out goodies to the neighborhood kids. We smoked a couple of cigars and drank a few beers. The wives fetched some Pizza King pizza. The swirling winds made sure we all smelled like woodsmoke by the evening's end. We had maybe a dozen trick or treaters. When it started to drizzle we went in and played some cards while eating caramel corn, pretzels with bacon dip, and cupcakes.  It was a good evening.

This morning I have already adjusted all of the clocks except in the cars. Later I'll have to move the chairs back to the patio table and clean up the fire pit mess, making sure the coals are indeed out. Just ask Smokey the Bear, fire can linger far longer than you think. 

A red-headed woodpecker was pounding away on the tree out front this morning. This is the first I have seen him around here. I'm not sure if he was passing through or has taken up residence in the neighborhood. Are woodpeckers migrating birds? 

Have a great Sunday.

October 31, 2015

Throwing corn, soaping windows, smashing pumpkins

I'm up late this morning.  Do you have your costume ready? Me, I'm dressing up as a middle aged asshole who does not care about Halloween. I don't really hate Halloween, just the teenagers who don't bother to dress up, or the kids who won't even thank you for giving them a handful of candy. I actually get a kick out of some of the little kids and their cute costumes. You never see the old bed sheet ghost or hobo anymore, booth staples of my youth.

The weather is supposed to be be miserable this evening, so I expect turnout to be low here in the cul-du-sac. The first year we lived here we had just a handful of neighborhood kids who braved the sleet and snow. Last year the wife and I were working at our retail jobs. We shall see if we have a bunch of candy or not enough. At our old shack, we averaged two to three hundred trick or treaters on Halloween. I don't think we will reach that level. In the old city we had extra visitors because the Hispanics all came to our neighborhood from the low income apartment complex. Do not read anything into that sentence; facts have no hidden meanings, SJWers.

Be safe.

October 30, 2015

Way to go, Stupid Party

The geniuses at the Republican Party just eliminated one of their most powerful arguments against the Democrats in the Presidential race: spending and national debt. Since the Republicans in Congress are complicit in burdening your kids and grandkids with crippling debt, it is hard to argue against tax and spend policy.


Too bad this post does not have a really good title

Last night's tacos are gurgling deep in my guts this morning. They were tasty at supper, not so much with my morning coffee.

Two things about the CNBC debates that surprise me: the Stupid Party let an admitted left-wing channel host a debate and that the moderator did not ask each candidate what kind of tree they would be if they were a tree. Seriously, why CNBC? That station gets slightly more viewers than I get in a given day. All 50 of their viewers are bat-shit crazy leftists mired deep in Blame Bush Derangement Syndrome and convinced that the One Percenters set the World Trade Centers on fire or something. Most of their anchors and analysts could have been hired without qualm by Pravda had they been "journalists" back in Soviet Russia. CNBC  thinks Obama is so perfect that he craps cellophane wrapped cubes. And this is the medium the dumbasses at the Republican National Headquarters thought should hold a GOP debate? That is like holding an Ohio State pep rally in Ann Arbor. After the fact, the morons in charge complain about the moderators? Well duh. No wonder the GOP is called the stupid party. What next, have the Westboro Church host a gay rights debate? Will they suggest the next Overeaters Anonymous meeting be held down at the bakery? Where the idiots in charge brain damaged by intense games of red rover and dodge ball as children?

In other news it is the season of my least favorite holiday. Halloween is a leftist dream. Kids go out and extort free stuff from hard working neighbors. You either provide the hand out or they damage your property. Looting and begging; just the values we need to teach our youth. I hope none of the little bastards show up at my house this year. That way I can have all of the Snickers and Milk Duds we bought. Bwah ha ha!

Oh, and here is some sorta appropriate Friday music:

Have a great Friday.

October 29, 2015

Satisfaction Guaranteed

I have no idea why anyone bothers to click here any more. There is no argument the content has been "meh" at best. I'm tired of politics and the presidential field is certainly less than inspiring. On the Democrat side we have a serial liar and criminal, a commie, or a guy we never heard of. On the Republican side we have a blow hard, another Bush, a doctor, and a whole passel of unelectables. I'm forced to repeat my mantra regarding those who desire public office: is this really the best we can find?

So, when it comes to content, politics are out for now. Boring monologues like yesterday's offering are just WTF? fodder. I have not heard a good joke in ages. Why should you read this tripe? I'll tell you. Yesterday I was given some interesting pictures dating back to the Spanish-American War.. Photos of the Maine in Havana Harbor. Pictures of the caskets of those who died in the explosion. I have not had a chance to look at them beyond a cursory examination. In the coming weeks I'll scan the images and post them for you to see. I don't think there is anything new here, I suspect they are reprints, but still interesting. They are for me anyway. Your mileage will vary.

It doesn't matter. I wrote five or six years ago that this place had jumped the shark. Blogging is as relevant today as AOL Instant  Messaging or MySpace. The cool kids have moved on to the book of faces and tweets and Instagram.

October 28, 2015

The calming influence of rain

My old buddy insomnia stopped by again tonight. He thought it would be a good idea to do a little blogging. Always an instigator, he got me started but provided absolutely no inspiration. So here we sit, watching the little cursor blink and wink at us.  I'm pretty sure the cursor and insomnia are involved in a conspiracy to make me look even more foolish than usual.

A worn out Patricia has been dumping rain on us since yesterday. The blog room is on the second floor here at the homestead. It is the corner bedroom that faces the front of the house and the roof over the porch is right outside the window. I cannot see the wet shingles here in the dark of night, but I can hear the rain gurgling in the downspout. Watch out itsy-bitsy spider!

I have always liked being up in the early predawn hours. It makes a productive workday a bit difficult. By early afternoon I will want a nap. As a teen, I spent many late, late nights watching old movies or reading. Twenty-five years ago as a supervisor on third shift I usually took my "lunch break" around 4;30, then I took a turn around the production floor before starting the paperwork and preparing for the 7:00 am shift change.

How many times have I wandered around a darkened house or sat by a window listening to the sounds of silence while my wife and kids breathed gently in their sleep? On nights like this I live the Simon and Garfunkel hit. That song speaks to the insomniac.

I love listening to the crickets and tree frogs sing their lover's plea into night air or watch the snow fall gently in the soft light reflected from distant streetlights. Or, like tonight, I revel in the sound of raindrops tapping at the windows.

A pair of yawns pops my jaw. It is a signal to my unwelcome house guest to leave. Insomnia does not visit like he did in the distant past. I'm glad. Some old friends are better forgotten. Nostalgia aside, I have seen enough old movies. I know the creaks and sighs of the sleeping house well enough. I'm ready to go back to bed and the steady gentle snores of my sleeping wife. I need one more hour of sleep.

October 27, 2015

When you can print your own money...

Why bother to have a debt ceiling or a long term budget when Congress takes every opportunity to trash it?

I wish I could just blow my budget on a whim.

Fuck 'em all, including the defense hawks. They lose all credibility when they refuse to cut a fighter that will not outperform a 30 year-old platform.

October 26, 2015

silly and stupid

Your touchdown dance or sack dance is stupid. It is really ridiculous when you are down twenty-five or thirty points. Hand the ball to the ref and get back to the game.

October 24, 2015

Easy to make Milk Dud muffins, with pictures

I need a longer cord for my iPad charger. I am listing to the right typing this because my cord is just a tad too short. There are options other than sitting crammed into the arm of the recliner. I could let the device charge a while then post my drivel. I could fire up the laptop and compose a worthy effort. I could just skip an entry altogether this morning.

I spent nearly all of last week in Loo-a-vul. The weather was fine. I was sure glad to be home, though. Leaving on Sunday made the trip seem longer. It is hard to Be happy in a hotel for four nights when I could have been home in a short drive of a couple of hours.

I mowed the lawn yesterday afternoon. If the rain holds off I'm going to pull the tomato plants today. Last weekend's frost did its work. Beyond that, I don't think I have any plans for the weekend. I suspect our resident social director has something in mind. She is always ready to do something after I've been gone 4 or 5 days.

The DOJ, in a complete surprise*, concluded the deliberate targeting of conservative organizations by the IRS was merely poor management. I guess we are to pay no attention to the corrupt bureaucrats behind that curtain. I wonder if the press will be so complacent when a future regime targets liberal groups like Black Lives Matter or NOW? I can only watch in horror as the last three presidents have moved us towards a banana republic. Sometimes I think it was better when the whole bureaucracy was cleaned and restocked with each administration through the patronage system. At least then we knew the government was corrupt, there was no pretense.

The sun is finally trying to burn away the gloom of night. The sky is a light gray from my window. The trees are heading into full color. I hope you have a great Saturday. I think I'm going to slap in an old Dean and Jerry DVD .

Oh yeah, I've never heard of Milk Dud muffins, but I bet they would be delicious.

* did the sarcasm font work?

October 23, 2015

Why not?

This cartoon is not politically correct in the "everything is offensive" days when a watermelon in a fruit basket is racist and a statue of Thomas Jefferson represents a "nonverbal code" of intolerance and is offensive to blacks and women.

That does not make my man Speedy less entertaining.

October 21, 2015

I hate you Chicago Cubs

Well, I suppose I still love you, but I don't like you very much right now.

October 20, 2015

The face beneath the mask

I caught the new Star Wars trailer last night. My son sent a link this morning. He is jazzed. I'm jazzed.

I'm not being a team player this morning. I spent Sunday night with my work colleagues. I was with them all day and until 10:00 last night. This morning I ducked out the side door of the hotel and grabbed a donut and some coffee from the Dunkin Donuts across the street instead of joining the gang for breakfast. I can only be charming so long. I will be with them all afternoon and through another late dinner tonight. Rinse and repeat tomorrow. I think they can get by without my presence at breakfast. I know, as the FNG I should jump in with a smile, but in the normal course of a work week I spend significant hours alone. All of this people time is wearing me down.

A lot of salesmen I know are loners. You might think they are garrulous by nature, but the long hours of travel requires an innate ability to spend time with yourself. As much as I complain about the endless miles passed in the car and the nights spent in a succession of mundane hotel rooms, this alone time lets me recharge the "good Joe" that makes me very good at my job.

I have to shower and "suit up". I'm on again in about two hours...

October 19, 2015

happy Monday

Has anyone noticed the price of meat lately?

That is what happens when you burn your food and feed for fuel instead of drilling for oil, or piping it down from Canada.

October 18, 2015

Repairing the potholes in memory lane

When the kids were little we had a video camera. It was one of the first Sony Handicams and it recorded on 8mm tape. Sometime in the late 1990s I spent hours editing these tapes into just one VHS tape for My wife for Christmas, or Mother's Day or her birthday. I cannot remember, but I made the tape, Okay? Anyway, the camera died years time ago, but the original tapes remain. Recently the VHS greatest hits tape resurfaced. I will now digress.

My wife is a pack rat, but is in remission. When we moved to this not so top secret location she threw away, gave away and sold a huge amount of stuff. I took the opportunity to rid us of things I felt we no longer needed that she had previously insisted we keep. One of the items I decided was unworthy of going to the new home was our no longer used VHS player. With the exception of the Disney titles, we had rid ourselves of our large VHS collection and replaced the movies with DVDs and Blueray discs. So, to summarize, we have these home movies of the kids, but we cannot play them. When I was at the oldest boy's house a few weeks ago he mentioned he still had his VHS player. He let me borrow it.

Back to yesterday. After running the head cleaner tape through a half dozen times I was able to make the old VHS greatest hits tape play. I intended to just watch a few minutes, but the sight of my children transported back in time more than twenty years mesmerized me. I called in the wife and we watched the whole thing. While the tape focused primarily on the kids, there were glimpses of my long-dead grandpa, mother-in-law and grandma. I laughed, I cried, I was reminded of stuff I had long forgotten. I saw my youngest the day he was born, saw him crawl and walk. I saw my two oldest grow up again right before my eyes.

We have to get all of those tapes copied over to disc or digital.

October 17, 2015

A collection of words

I suppose when  future you reads the archives of this blog you will come to the conclusion I am obsessed with weather. Discussion of the temperature and the existence of precipitation are often the opening salvo on a given day. Future you will be wrong assuming I am overly concerned with the daily climate. I do not really care beyond the need for a jacket or raincoat. I like it warm, cold or anywhere in between. Weather is an easy entryway into a conversation. So is sports. That said, it is cold this morning. Like in the 30s cold. I may have to break down and turn on the furnace. The inside temperature has dropped to a chilly 62.

I am late getting to the old blog this morning. I woke about five coughing. I thought I was over that. I finally moved into the recliner. After a while I drifted off, sleeping until almost nine. I cannot tell you the last time I slept so late in the morning.

We finally got the garage done yesterday. It looks great: clean, organized and uncluttered. I can even get my car in now, right next to the wife's Escape. How cool is that? Whether my fat rear can get in and out of the car door is a separate, and as yet, untried proposition.

I made salmon patties and fried potatoes for supper last night and a faint lingering odor of fishy grease still permeates the house. The wife lit a candle last night to freshen things up, but I can still detect a faint smell. I suppose the air is not moving much without the air conditioner or furnace running.

I don't think we have anything of interest on tap today, at least until this evening. Go Cubs.

I hope you have a great Saturday.

October 16, 2015

If I throw water on her will she melt away or propagate like a gremlin?

Mom always told me that if I have nothing to say I should keep my mouth shut. She did not really tell me that. I think it was some garbage about if I can't say something nice I should keep my mouth shut, but all I heard was blah, blah, blah.

I say mean things occasionally. I write mean things frequently. I think them constantly. For instance every time I see Hillary Clinton I think of Miss Almira Gulch.

I bet some of you do too, even if you are a Democrat. Don't worry, you do not have to admit it to anyone but yourself.

October 15, 2015

It is Thursday and I'm already irritated about next week

I've been home all week. No travels for me. No powdered eggs in the hotel lobby. No dining alone. No ass time in the car. No crossing and recrossing of the Mississippi River. I have been preparing for the sales meeting and trade show extravaganza next week. I'm just about ready. I have also been helping the wife clean and organize the garage. We got some new shelving a few weeks ago and are trying to get some things trashed, repacked, stored, or up to the attic.

As I said we have a big trade show and a sales meeting next week. I have to arrive Sunday. I already know I'm going to be a bit peeved. I hate trade shows. Time crawls to 1/4 speed when you are standing at a booth in a convention center. The Colts play on Sunday night this week. They will get slaughtered, of that I have no doubt. I predict the Patriots will win 63-7.  But still, I'd like to watch. At the same time the Cubbies will be battling the evil other team, yet to be determined. That I really, really want to see. Instead I will be eating dinner with colleagues I barely know, and really do not want to hang with.  Ditto missing all or parts of the baseball games on Tuesday and Wednesday.  I know what you are saying; it is just a ball game. You are wrong. I have been waiting for this a long, long time. Since I'll be stuck in a hotel room, I can't even record it and watch it later. Boo f-ing hoo for me.

Look, if I have to be honest, my first love is my family. Then comes the Chicago Cubs. Then you, of course. That is the way it is. Missing the Cubs play in a rare post season appearance because of a stupid trade show pisses me off. I can't blow off company dinners for a baseball game and that pisses me off even more.

October 14, 2015

Auntie Jen, I love you

I woke up a little after five ayem this morning. I don't know why. Maybe I was cold. After the ball game last night I started to think there was actually some good in this world. Then I read This story. Sadly, this is nor a fake news article from The Onion. It does reaffirm why I decided I could never be a lawyer though. Most attorneys are money grubbing assholes. Not you, Mr. Attorney looking to sue for defamation of character, but lots of your colleagues fit that label.

Through the comments on the news site that ran the article I found a short documentary about the old lady who sued McDonald's after she spilled coffee in her crotch. Yes, she was burned badly. My opinion did not change. The verdict was horse crap. The old lady claimed in an interview that "it was not about the money" and all she wanted was for the fast food chain to lower the temperature of the coffee they served. If that was true, then that is what she would have demanded in her lawsuit.

Anyway, suing an eight year-old orphan because he was too exuberant in hugging you is just pretty much the definition of a real witch. One commenter was right; in this case the "A" in aunt should be replaced with a "C".

October 13, 2015


Cub win  Cubs win.

For the first time in the 53 years I have ridden this Earth I actually think it might happen... 1908 was a very long time ago.

I do beIeve.  I do believe.

no excuses, just fact

No time to blog. I have to get my work done so I can knock off early. The Cubs-Cards go at it late this afternoon and I intend to be perched on the couch watching every pitch. I love you, but I love the Cubs more.

edit:  Listen to the radio calls for all six home runs in last night's game:

Cubs win

October 12, 2015

as time goes by

The weekend slipped by quickly. It seems like it was Friday and now It is Monday. I'm trying think of what I did for two days. We went to dinner with some friends Saturday night. I did just a little yard work Saturday morning: I pulled flowers and picked up sticks. Mostly I napped, read, and watched TV, I guess. The heck if I know where the weekend went.

In any case, we find ourselves at the start of yet another Monday. I'm off the road this week. We have a big sales meeting next week and I've got numbers to crunch, crystal balls to consult, PowerPoint slides to create. If you drive past the house and see smoke seeping out the window of the back corner bedroom I use as my office, do not worry, it will just be my brain burning up.

On the far side of the cul-de-sac the top of the neighbor's maple looks like it was dipped in gold, while the bottom 4/5 looks as verdant as summer. I noticed a twinge of color on my sugar maple out back. Fall is upon us. I have a feeling we are in store for a long cold winter.

October 10, 2015

A Modest Proposal

There were two more high publicity shootings on college campuses (campii?) yesterday. Were they copycats or publicized with heightened awareness? Clearly something should be done. There is an element of society, primarily those of the progressive bent, who think banning guns altogether is the answer. That proposal is politically impossible. It is also impossible in reality. A confiscation movement could likely trigger a civil war. Even if the government could find a way to peacefully disarm the citizenry, the old canard that states "when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns"  will be manifestly true. It is an inarguable fact that those cities with the highest murder rate and gun violence are among those places with strictest gun laws. Those severe laws have done nothing to reduce crime, but rather exacerbated it. Strict gun laws and confiscation would only punish those who are already law abiding gun owners.

What to do? I say anyone who commits a felony using a firearm gets a mandatory death sentence. I'm not talking those fifteen or twenty year on death row sentences while the taxpayers fight endless appeal systems either. We should set up special fast-track courts who hear quick appeals. Was he found guilty? Check. Did he have a gun. Check and mate. If you are a previously convicted felon caught in possession of a gun, you get the death penalty. That whole process should take about a week. Are you John Doe, is there proof you were sporting a gat? So long and give my regards to Beelzebub. Harsh? I bet the gun crime rate drops.

We shall see what bothers a typical bleeding heart liberal more, the death penalty or the notion a citizen can exercise his God-given Second Amendment right.

October 9, 2015

Thursday's Child

Thursday recap, let's see, I got up, checked emails, surfed the interwebz for ten or fifteen minutes. I shaved and showered. I packed my suitcase. I got in the car and drove. Stopped and bought a sausage and egg McMuffin since you all let me down Sunday. Drove. Filled the car with gas. Drove. I listened to the radio, then an audiobook, then music from my iPhone then the radio again. Drove. Arrived home just before Thursday Night Football kickoff. Hurriedly unpacked (I can pack and unpack in about five minutes: I have lots of practice). Watched the football game. Shared some popcorn with the wife during the game since I failed to eat supper on the road.  Slept in the recliner upstairs because I am still hacking up my lungs.

Drove past Malcolm X's childhood home in Omaha Wednesday. I did not stop. I was never able to find General George Crook's house. I probably wouldn't have stopped there either, had I found it.

October 8, 2015

Scarlet Memories

He sat on the terrace behind the hotel. The sun was warm and the breeze had a hint of fall. The man was sipping coffee and reading a book. At the top of every page he would lift his head and scan the area. The river slid by silently a few yards away. Its current seemed laconic, yet was probably stronger than it looked at a glance. He was perched on an iron chair at a dirty patio table. Cigarette butts lay scattered under the table. They were not his. A large cloud cast its shadow and the man put the book on the table and glanced right and left. Something caught his eye and he squinted, peering into the distance. A large blue heron lifted from the wooded opposite bank. The river was perhaps sixty or seventy-five yards wide at this point.. He watched as the bird flew upstream then stole another look around and turned back to the book.

A thin elderly woman in tight jeans and high heels came around the corner of the hotel walking a fluffy white dog along the asphalt walkway. Her long wispy white hair was tussled by the light breeze.Neither she nor the dog paid him any attention as he followed them with his eyes over the brim of the pages. A small black beetle landed on his shirt and he flicked it away. He took a sip of the lukewarm coffee. He reached into his left front pocket and pulled out a phone. A quick look at the screen and he replaced it in the pocket of his jeans.

He laid the book on the table and watched the river. Here, squeezed between Iowa and Nebraska, the Missouri River flowed mostly southward. It turned east to loop and separate the two Kansas Cities then snaked across The Show Me State to mate with the Mississippi in an orgy of Great Plains runoff and Northwoods mud. Just a little further downstream the river was T-boned by the turbulent and reckless Ohio River. All three waters then joined in a winding, jostling hurry south to the warm Gulf of Mexico. The man reflected on this as he stared at the placid river before him.

He stood up, placed the book into the back pocket of his jeans, and walked to the trash can next to the wall beside the door. He dropped the paper coffee cup into the receptacle. He opened the door and disappeared into the hotel.

October 7, 2015

Like a kid

I have not been this excited for a baseball game in a very long time.

I'm as giddy as a school girl.

If that offends you, don't read here any more. You are a humerless douchebag.


Updated update:

Cubs win.  Cubs win.  Cubs win.

Wild Card Wednesday

The miles slipped past yesterday while I listened to a Stephen Coonts audiobook. When that one ended, I switched to a Patrick O'Brien tale. Ain't life grand? I tried sleeping in the king bed here in my run-down hotel room, but every time I got comfortable I'd have a coughing jag. In the end I spent the night semi-sleeping in a sitting position on the couch with a pillow wedged behind my neck. Good thing I opted to pay the extra ten bucks for a room with a sofa. It did not help matters that the Hot Dog Dance song from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was running in an endless loop in my head. My granddaughter loves that show. It is like audio/visual crack for babies

I read where some religious group has calculated the world will end today. Will it be before or after the Cubs game? I think they forgot to carry a one or something. I suspect, if the End Times arrive in my lifetime, Armegeddon will launch either right after (or right before, either would be poignant enough) the Cubs play game seven in a World Series. Since, given my luck, I will keel over from some malady in the eighth inning of that game I won't be around to see either a Cubs championship or the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword.

The Mighty Missouri is rolling by right underneath my window. The far bank is lined with trees and you can almost imagine you are on a boat with Lewis or Clark or even Debbie Reynolds back when she was showing us how the west was won.

I'm off to earn some money for the company. Hot Dog.

October 6, 2015

Starting with a bad attitude

Last Thursday evening my nose started running and I developed a scratchy throat. Friday this mild inconvenience had turned into a cold. By late Sunday it had all drained into my chest. I have been hacking up my lungs since. I finally got up last night and slept in the recliner. That, along with various over-the-counter meds helped me sleep a little. Tired and irritable is not the way to start a long drive to Peyton Manning's favorite place. I think I will fill the thermos with coffee for this jaunt. I don't know what is up these days. I have been sick more in the past year with minor colds than the entire previous decade.

The bleeping Hampton Inn better have THE baseball game tomorrow. I don't want to try and watch from a bar stool surrounded by jerks spewing fantasy football, cornhusker football, and work drama from their pie holes.
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