January 31, 2016

With a tinge of sadness

I was feeling a bit nostalgic and stopped at Acidman's blog this morning. If you have been around blogging for a very long time then you know about "Gut Rumbles".

I read some random entries. I wish I hadn't . Re-reading his posts with the benefit of knowing the future was bittersweet. Today, you can almost see the demons chewing away at his joie d.vivre.  I suppose, had he lived, Rob would have slowly abandoned regular posting at his blog and migrated his wit to the book of face. I imagine that is what has happened to so many of the great ones. That or they just got bored with doing this weird hobby for ten or fifteen years.

January 30, 2016

Goin' on a date

It is supposed to be sunny today with highs in the low fifties. I am almost certain I am going to go for a walk this afternoon with a lovely hand-rolled stogie that immigrated legally from either a Carribean island or small Central American country. I have not yet picked out my date, but I'm sure we will enjoy our afternoon together.

I hope you have a good Saturday too.

January 29, 2016

Her vote counts the same as mine

I went to the grocery store yesterday evening to pick up a few items.  I stopped by the deli and asked the young lady for three quarters of a pound of Sara Lee Honey Ham,  shaved. After a five minute search behind the counter the other deli worker asked her what she was searching for. Worker 2 told my worker that she should just open a new ham since there clearly was not one partially sliced behind the counter.

This search meant she could not remember how much ham I wanted or how I wanted it sliced.  I told he again I wanted 3/4 pound, shaved.

She carried over a slice about 1/8 inch thick and asked if that was OK? I told he no, I want it as thin as possible -- shaved.  She brought over a slice about 1/16 inch thick.  I told her no, I want it shaved, make the slicer barely clear the guard, it is OK if it comes out in small pieces.  I explained I wanted the ham almost see-through.

She placed the meat on the scale and called her co-worker.  "How much is three quarters of a pound?" she asked him. He frowned in disbelief and told her 0.75 on the scale.

She handed me my 1/16 inch thick slices of meat. Apparently she flunked both math and vocabulary in school. 

Pointless Pontificating

It seems to happen on a regular basis any more. The clock metaphorically strikes four and my eyes pop open.  I turn the pillow searching in vain for the cool side. I try not to thrash about too much in consideration of my fair spouse sleeping one-half of a queen-sized mattress away. I try in vain to re-enter the sweet arms of Morpheus. After thirty minutes or so of squeezing my eyes shut I give up. I roll out of bed and strip off the gym shorts and old stretched-out and faded Chicago Cubs T-shirt I wear as pajamas.  I slip on my jeans and yesterday's sweatshirt. I close the bedroom door and sit on the top of the stairs to pull on my socks. It is O'dark thirty and once again I am up for the day. I offer a prayer of thanks for a new day. I pad downstairs and slip my phone into my left front pocket and a trusty Chapstick into the right. I perch my glasses onto my nose. 

In the kitchen I fill the Keurig with water and pop in a pod. In a minute or two I have coffee. While I wait I check and delete the overnight junk mail in my email accounts.  I glance at the digital clock on the microwave oven mounted above the stove and sigh at the blue numbers. I snap the lid onto the ceramic travel mug filled with black coffee and trudge up the stairs.

I sit in the unreclined recliner and pick up my iPad. USA Today is first, then the local news station app. Dilbert, a look at the Kindle daily deals and then I start perusing the political news sites and blogs. Only then do I turn to this little piece of the blogosphere. I have been up an hour. The neighborhood is dark through the window at my right elbow. After I type this entry I will glance at my stats, delete the spam from my comment folder and see if anyone bothered to read yesterday's drivel. I will get more coffee. Then I will check out most of the blogs on the sidebar before I walk across the hall to my office to begin another work day.  Maybe I will spend thirty minutes with the Russians first.

As I type, I realize this entry is a far cry from Lennon's McCartney's understated eloquence when he penned "Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb, across my head...".  Like most of the minutiae spewed in black squiggles on an electronic background at this blog, this post has no value to you. It is no different than most diaries in that sense. I just don't bother to hide my journal under the mattress. 

edit: fixed attribution

January 28, 2016

Dear Donald

If you refuse to be in the same room with Meygan Kelly because she was mean and rude and unfair the last time, then Putin is going to give you a wedgie and steal your lunch money.

Man up. Life is not fair.

January 27, 2016

First published without a title but I put these words in the title space so now I suppose there really is a title now

Humpity humpity, it is hump day. That is Wednesday for those of you who like for me to state the obvious.

I have decided I'm going to once again give War and Peace a chance. I actually read the book more than 30 years ago as part of a college English Lit assignment. At that time I read everything except the First and Second Epilogues. As I relaxed in a hammock drinking gimlets after work the summer after that class, I decided there was no way I could slog through 1,300 plus pages of a book and not finish. So I did. Truth be told, I have read thousands of books in the intervening 30 or 35 years since college. I remember absolutely nothing about the novel beyond the idea that it is long and has a lot of characters. Besides, it is far different to read something because you want to rather than you have to.

We shall see if I can stick with it. Tolstoy is a typical 19th century novelist in that he is wordy; but not in an exhaustive and unreadable way like Melville or Cooper.*  How much of the tome I read will likely depend on if something more interesting appears on my Kindle. Somehow 1,500 pages does not seem so daunting when you consider some of the Harry Potter and Game of Thrones installments went 700 pages and more.  Today, Tolstoy could have milked War and Peace into a two or three book series.

* imagine me calling someone wordy.

January 26, 2016

I will explain it all with a sigh

Well, it is Tuesday and I have nothing for you. The weather is blah. Work is blah. I'm sick of politics. When did the election cycle become four years long? I did my taxes last night. The Government has to give me some of my money back. Not a lot. Of course it will be returned interest free.  At least I don't have to write them a check. I had to do that last year.

Since I have nothing worthy of your attention and it is Tuesday, how about we listen to an appropriate classic tune from The Moody Blues?

January 25, 2016


You may have health problems, crushing debt, a soul-sucking job, hopelessness, no reason to live. But any day the New England Patriots lose is a damn good day. Watching Tom CryBrady get knocked down repeatedly is just like ice cream for dessert.

Queue up Kool and the Gang on your mental soundtrack.

January 24, 2016

News you can use

You may be unaware that the Washington-New York-Boston corridor , in fact much of the east coast, got a large amount of snow this weekend. I tell you this because there has been hardly any mention of it on TV, radio, or Internet news sources.

Just thought you would like to know.

January 23, 2016

I did not kill the deputy either

A good blogger would be spinning words of insight, entertainment, or inspiration this morning. Once again I am faithful to my art and you will get none of those things in this post.  At least I am consistent.

It is Saturday. You know that already. The giant the world-is-gonna-end snowstorm of snowstorms ( no doubt to be blamed on global warming) is far to the east and south of God's favorite state. In fact, it looks like the snow cover will melt like the Wicked Witch of the West in the coming days.

Speaking of the Wizard of Oz, you do know the book is an allegory for the debate over whether the Government should base their currency on the gold or silver standard that dominated politics in the late 19th Century? The yellow (gold) brick road leads to the Emerald (as in green dollars) City? The evil witches are in the west and the east, while the heroes hail from the Midwest and represent farmers, mechanics.  Are your eyes glazing over? Well trust me, the gold standard issue in its day was as big as any political debate we have today, including ObamaCare and immigration.  Politicians in Washington fixed the debate by not having our currency backed by anything at all. 

I know, I know, you didn't come here to learn stuff. I'm not going to start quoting the Cross of Gold speech. * 

I need more coffee and you have actual blogs of entertainment to read. Have a great weekend.

* do your own homework

January 22, 2016

No, no, no, no, please don't do it

Reports say that the Commissioner of  MLB and the players union are pushing to put the designated hitter rule into the National League. I was rather hoping that abomination would be stripped from baseball altogether, not expanded.

January 21, 2016

Follow me, boys

Get out your atlas, it is time to follow along with my travels this week. I'm not giving the roads, you can trace your own route through the Land of Lincoln: Centralia, Belleville and Mount Olive. We hit Lincoln and Galesburg and Rock Island. I even got my kicks on a few miles of old Route 66. I'll be home in a few hours. I'm ready. It has been a long week.

January 20, 2016


Wouldn't you like to know...

January 19, 2016

Say there

Where was my great-great grandfather's white privilege when he volunteered to go fight, at great personal risk, in an effort to free the slaves?


You people do realize that Bernie Sanders is a fucking socialist bastard, right?

Is there a socialist utopia anywhere that does not have high taxes and rough, almost unusable toilet paper (when you can get it)?

So long

RIP Glen Frey, you sure entertained me.

It must have been in 1976 or so when I was gifted a tape recorder/player for my birthday. My cousins gave me copies of The Eagles Greatest Hits and The Captain and Me by the Doobie Brothers. That year the family took a vacation to Kentucky; Mammoth Cave, Lincoln's birthplace, etc.  we listened to those tapes endlessly, probably because there was zilch on the AM radio, and mostly because I'm sure I whined endlessly and it was easier to let me have my way. I'm pretty sure a great deal of the time I had that one earbud that came with it stuck deep in my ear so the rest of the family could avoid hearing those tapes for the umpteenth time.

Glen Frey passed away yesterday and the world st another musical genius.

January 18, 2016

You are as cold as ice

Actually, I have It wrong in referencing the Foreigner hit from 1977. It is colder than ice outside. Right now it is a frigid 1 degree outside with a windchill factor of -17.  The greedy bastids at the gas and electric companies must be rubbing their hands with glee. If we were depending on solar panels for our electricity we would be screwed like a ten dollar hooker though -- the skies have been cloudy for days. That happens around here in the winter.

I hope you had a great weekend. We didn't do much. Some friends came over Saturday night. We played some euchre and ate way too many sweets and junk. We matched up like always, dudes versus chicks and this time the heroes were soundly defeated by the womenfolk. It happens on occasion.

On Sunday I ... Uh...well...accomplished nothing. I pushed the 1/2 inch of snow off the drive and sidewalks. I watched some football. I napped. I finished a mediocre autobiography by a guy who served in Vietnam in the Central Highlands in 1968/1969. I watched some TV. I was a lazy. It was a good day.

Now it is Monday and I am back to the grind doing my tiny part help keep the wheels and cogs of commerce in motion. I'm just a tiny component in the mighty economic engine. Chug, chug.

Have a great Monday.

January 17, 2016

Hear Ye Hear Ye

As official Arbiter of Taste, I hereby decree the following:

It is time to turn off your damn Christmas Lights.


That Arizona-Packers game last night had to be one of the wildest, craziest football games I have ever watched. Unbelievable finish in great plays as opposed to last week's Steelers-Bengals fiasco. The former saw great plays by Rodgers and Fitgerald while the latter game was marked by boneheaded and stupid penalties. Wow. Even the wife was going crazy watching that game.

Earlier in the day the evil Patriots won. That one I didn't watch.

January 14, 2016

How to give your hamster a haircut

Once again I am up way earlier than I need to be or want to be. By 10:00 this morning I will be fighting to stay awake.

I did not win a share of the big lottery prize.  I purchased two tickets yesterday and did not match a single number. I should have used those four George Washingtons to light a cigar or something useful. Oh, I don't mind really. Four bucks to become a billionaire is a small price. I feel sorry for the guy in front of me at the grocery who dropped a C-note on his dreams.  I guess that is why I don't gamble often or spend much when I do; money is too hard to come by to throw it away on bad odds. On the other hand, some would argue spending precious cash on rolled up leaves of tobacco and then burning it up is a waste of money. They could be right. I guess lottery guy's dream of riches was worth $100 while mine was was worth $4. Far be it for me to judge, I can't even get my own shit in one sock.

Do you remember the guy who used to come on TV and spin plates on the end of sticks? You don't see that much any more. Is it a lost art? Well, that juggling act is a metaphor for my life these days. I have so many plates spinning that I am struggling to keep up. I worry that at any moment any, each, or all of those plates are gonna come crashing down at my feet with disastrous results. I suspect that is why I cannot sleep these days. I have everlasting and unshakable faith in God. Things always work out like they are supposed to.

I'm heading downstairs to fill up my coffee mug. Have a great day.

January 13, 2016

Obama's SOTU Speech: A Review

There was a Bruce Lee movie on one if the cable channels. I will choose Bruce over The Obama any time. That means I did not watch the President move from TelePrompTer to TelePrompTer like a slow motion tennis match. I did not see Democrats leap to their feet clapping over the smallest pronouncements. "Today is Tuesday", proclaims the President. All of the Democrats leap to their feet clapping like they just saw Larry Olivier do Hamlet from beyond the grave. Sorry, watching Enter the Dragon for the thirty-seventh time is far more interesting.

I'm up early this morning. I don't  know why, I think I got hot in the night. The house is warm even though it is colder than heck outside. We are talking single digits with subzero wind chills cold. The wife turned up the thermostat because my granddaughter spent the night. She won't keep a blanket on and we were worried about her getting cold.

I'm blogging from my office this morning. Usually I read and blog from the "TV room", the front bedroom that doubles as a sort of den-slash-nursery-slash exercise room. That means there is a TV, a recliner, a treadmill, and a crib in there. I like to sit in that recliner in the morning and drink my coffee and do my internet surfing thing. I'm pretty certain you are as interested in that life minutiae as I was in Obama' speech last night. 

Get your lottery tickets, that way one of us can have a great Wednesday. I have to be honest here, I hope it is me. 

January 12, 2016

The Snows of Kilimanjaro

is a real book by a real writer. You get a crappy blog post about small amounts of snow. 

I went out at about 6:30 am to shovel away he couple inches of snow. It was light and fluffy and still coming down pretty hard. Normally, unless I have someplace to go, I will wait until it stops to clean the drive. Since her parents are bringing my granddaughter over I pushed the drive and sidewalks clear. By the time I was done, another 1/2 inch had fallen. I has a cup of coffee and did another quick cleanup. 

Boy, wasn't that riveting?

January 11, 2016

Now that is entertainment

OK, it is not entertaining, but it is finally the January we have come to expect. It is cold this morning. Wind chills are sub-zero. More snow (but not much) is expected tomorrow. It is a cold dark morning to have to go out to the barn and milk the cows. Good thing I have no cows to milk or barn to go to. If I did have a barn I would turn it into a most awesome man cave though. There would be a pool table in the loft. There would be soft leather chairs and a bar down on the floor. Old barber chairs would provide a relaxing place to smoke a fine cigar. A quality music system would provide the tunes. It would be a real-life He Man Woman Haters Club showpiece. You would want to come over and hang out. I know you would.

January 10, 2016

That was interesting

That was a wild wild card game in the NFL last night. The final minute and a half saw two turnovers and a complete breakdown in discipline by the hapless Cincinnati Bungles. After once again proving the "prevent" defense only prevents the defense from stopping anyone, two separate Bengals players lost control, received personal fouls and moved the hated Steelers into position to kick a field goal most high school kickers could make. You never want to point fingers, but if I was ownership of the Bengals, I would be in meetings this morning trying to decide if two players should be out on the street. Fumbles happen, but there is no reason to lose your head and cost your team precious yards. Not that I care, I don't root for either team.

A couple of inches of snow are on the ground. The wind is blowing hard. The windchill is 11. Was it me complaining about the recent spate of warm weather? No, I mentioned it, but I did not complain. I'm not sure if there is enough snow to pull out my new to me snow blower (my excellent son-in-law gave me his old model when he got a new one for Christmas). We shall see what happens as the morning progresses. Heck, I have nowhere to go today. The wind is creaking the siding and making a steady and subdued roar around the eaves. I can hear my neighbor scraping away with a shovel in the dark. He must have somewhere to go. Do you think he would stop and fetch me some donuts while he is out? No, me neither.

I didn't win the big Powerball drawing. You did not either. I didn't because I am likely the only person in America who did not buy a ticket. I might drop two bucks for Wednesday though. I could use part of a billion plus dollar prize. Yes, I would quit my job. I probably would buy myself a new truck. I would also change my name and go into hiding because charities, family i never knew, hucksters, and thieves would be at my front door like wolves on a crippled sheep before the last syllable of my name was announced by the lottery commission.

Have a great Sunday readers.

January 9, 2016

Fire Burns Hot

When 008 walked into the party, more than just female heads turned to look at his handsome face. His broad shoulders and narrow hips were accented by the white dinner jacket and dark trousers. He was tall and had dark wavy hair. A pale scar accentuated his jaw line. He walked over to the bar and leaned next to his target, Viktor Kamchovski. The plump Russian was the chief financier of SMERSH. 008 stared Kamchovski in the eyes and introduced himself, "Bend, John Bend". The bartender wandered over and Bend pointed a strong finger at Kamchovski's glass. "I'll have what he is drinking...shaken, not stirred".

The bartender looked confused for a moment and gave a slight shrug as he poured champagne into a glass and set it along with a bowl of pretzels next to Bend. 008 grabbed a handful of the thin pretzel sticks and leaned nonchalantly on the bar. A beautiful woman in a very low cut dress was walking towards him. Bend tossed a pretzel into his mouth with cool athletic grace.

The pretzel stuck sideways in the back of his throat. Bend started making hacking and small retching sounds. Viktor Kamchovski turned and stared. Bend was thrashing his tongue in a frantic effort to dislodge the pretzel. His mouth was opening and closing like a fish on a river bank. Bend stuck a finger down his throat and finally broke the pretzel. He also dislodged and broke open the tiny cyanide capsule cemented behind his molar.

He fell to the floor, writhing in agony. Kamchovski leaned over the gasping agent and tore open Bend's immaculate dinner jacket and tie. "Do...you...expect...me...to...talk" John Bend struggled to whisper the words.

"No", intoned the Russian. "I expect you to die". He stated as Bend's face turned purple. " Unless the paramedics get here very soon". Kamchovski started chest compressions, but it was too late; 008 was dead.

January 8, 2016

blame game

Suing WalMart over selling bullets used by a murdering thug is akin to selling the local car dealer or GM when a criminal uses the car for a hit and run.

Is there no concept of personal responsibility left in this country?

A murdering piece of shit pulled the trigger and killed three innocent people.  No one else is responsible for his actions. Not WalMart, not the gun, not the schools, or lack of hugs from his mommy. Find him guilty and execute him. EOS.

I wish I was judge for a day. I would castigate castrate the scum-sucking lawyers that bring these kind of ridiculous lawsuits. Shakespeare was right.

In old Vincennes

It is a rainy Friday here at the old homestead. I'm not complaining, it should be snow at this time of year. All hail Global Warming! One does not have to shovel rain.

As far as I know we have no plans for the weekend. I got the last boxes of Christmas stuff poked back up in the attic yesterday afternoon when I got home, so I can once again park in the garage. I started moving my tools into the toolbox my wife gifted me for Christmas. It is much larger and far nicer than my old one. Maybe now I can get all of my tools in one tool box as opposed to storing them in various places all over the garage.

What say we enjoy some classic Beatles music today?

Here is a Buddy Rich cover of the same:

January 7, 2016

Reason #19 you wish you were me

There is snow on the ground on the west coast of Michigan. Thee is some in northern Indiana too. The roads are clear. Travel this week has been a major pain. It seems some nefarious character skimmed my company credit card numbers and tried to run up charges.  The bank caught it, but now I have to get my card replaced. Since I was on the road, the bank put a hold on the card until I get home. I have to call them before I charge anything and they open the account for just long enough for my charge to go through. What a pain. Not the bank, the asshole criminals are to blame. My road trip for next week looks to be cancelled or curtailed until a replacement card arrives. I suspect I can survive without a Hampton Inn breakfast.

January 5, 2016

And they are off...

I am once again heading off to do my Willie Loman thing. New customers await in my new expanded territories. You gotta love a gig that sends you northward in January. But I complain for no valid reason. I'm ready to get back on the road. I have a couple of fresh audiobooks loaded and the new David Gilmore CD from my oldest son ready to help occupy the windshield time. I get to visit some new places I have never been, so that is exciting.

A strange day in Colts land yesterday. We started the day expecting the coach to be fired. Instead he was re-upped for another four year hitch. Boy, do most of the sports pundits look a little stupid this morning.

I need to accomplish the three 'S's and pack. That is not getting done while I prattle on. Have a good Tuesday.

January 3, 2016

Politically speaking

Numerous reports indicate King Obama is going to pass decrees in the form of Executive Orders to implement gun restrictions that cannot pass Congress. I guess he missed that part of civics class that explains how a representative democracy should function. In any democracy the minority view gets its say and the majority gets its way. More specifically, Congress makes law while the Executive branch carries them out. But since Boehner and the Republicans let Obama get away with his personal lawmaking previously, there is no reason for Obama to think he cannot do just as he pleases when it comes to implementing his own gun control laws.

I say go ahead. I'm not even going to argue the efficacy of the measures nor even the legality. Viewed through a purely political lens, Obama's proposed EOs show the depths of his narcissism. He has put every Democrat in the position of agreeing with his policies or repudiating the head of the party. Gun control is not popular and outside of the bluest parts of the big cities a sure way to sour the enthusiasm of millions of blue collar Democrats. Think I'm wrong? Ask Al Gore. I can think of no reason Obama is doing this in the heat of an election year unless he does not give a hoot about his party, just his so-called legacy.

Historians look back at FDRs attempt to stack the bench of the Supreme Court with extra justices as a lawless gesture. I can only hope the Roberts Court can grow some balls and look at the President's attempts to gain power in the same light.

January 1, 2016

Happy New Year

It is a brand new year, but I must say it feels a heck of a lot like the old one. I slept in today, thus I'm late getting a post up on the old blog. Both of you probably found something worthwhile to do while you waited for me to pen brilliance like this.

Hey Teacher* asked me to post something good for the Friday music selection. I briefly considered New Years Day by U2. But rejected that idea because, well it is by U2. I thought about the Stone's Start Me Up, since it is the start of a new year, but I was not feeling it. I could post any of countless songs about waking drunk and hungover. Some Johnny Cash certainly comes to mind. I am either drunk nor hungover this morning so I can't get excited about drinking songs.

I'm going with none of those ideas. I'm going with a classic rock take on a classic. I have posted this before, and it seems like the perfect mix of mellow and progressive rock to start the new year right:

Have a great day

* belated best wishes for the happiest of birthdays
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