August 30, 2016

That damn Moby Dick and his White Privilege

I would bang my head on the wall and utter "stupid, stupid, stupid" in a crazed mantra, but I am afraid I would fall asleep. After waking up so early yesterday, I sleepwalked through the afternoon, staring at the same numbers on he same spreadsheet for an inordinate amount of time. After supper I cleaned up the mess and flopped on the couch to relax with a little baseball. I was still there five hours later as the game rolled right on into Tuesday. I didn't need to watch all thirteen innings. I could have read what happened this morning. Instead, I stayed up for twenty hours to watch a sporting event that had virtually no consequences for the Cubs, win or lose. Now here I am trying to peck out a coherent paragraph with less than six hours of sleep. "Stupid, stupid, stupid" is indeed an accurate description for my follies.

In new liberal fashion I will argue that my tiredness is not entirely my fault. I am still restricted to sleeping only on my back. My accustomed stomach position is out of the question says the surgeon. Even the fetal position is banned. More than fifty years of sleep habit is hard to chang in a couple of months. Five or six hours is really all I can stand before the need to turn over becomes unbearable.

My body says I can go back to sleep, but just not lying on my back. The brain says I have to be on my back. The body says it sucks to be me. I lie there until I just get up. One more week and I can start to sleep on my left side. Until then I'm just gonna have to suck it up, buttercup.

This post is a rambling wreck. I did not go to Georgia Tech, but you get the drift. I can tell you are getting that glazed over look my wife gets about a dozen times a day. That one that cries " pretend you are paying attention, but I just don't care Joe" every time I share a fact, anecdote, or trivia with her. That polite non-attention is my cue to stop.

August 29, 2016

The best bread and butter pickle recipe ever

Humph. I woke up at 4:30 this morning. I don't know why. Well, I do, my bladder woke me. What I don't know is why I couldn't go back to sleep.  So, here we are fighting the evil blinking cursor in a vain effort to offer up a little entertainment for you.

The weekend was remarkably unremarkable.  We did a little yard work yesterday. I watched a couple of old movies. We went to the grocery. I watched some baseball and a little football. Yes, it was as boring as it sounds.

I has my most favorite meal in the world for supper last night -- beef and noodles, mashed spuds, and green beans. We met some friends for a little BBQ on Saturday, so I did eat well. There is that.

I did jump on my lying scale before I got in the shower yesterday. I am within a pound of my lowest weight in more than 30 years. I'm talking early freshman year in college-type poundage.  Granted, it was just after mowing the lawn in sweltering heat and humidity, but still...

To put it into perspective, I weigh about 55 pounds less now than when I started this blog. Apparently the 'lie around flat on your back, doing nothing diet' is effective. It is, in that I didn't grab a snack or morsel every time I walked through the kitchen. I should also point out I lost all of that weight, other than a few pounds here and there five or six years ago. My weight has fluctuated within ten pounds since. I suspect I will discover the three or four pounds I sweated off yesterday afternoon were easily replaced by last night's dinner.

These are mundane and uninspiring musings for an early Monday morning. I bet this alphabet vomit makes you say " boy, I am glad I popped in to this blog today". No? I thought not. Try to have a good day anyway. At least you didn't wake up next to Hillary without makeup or the Trumpster without his hair. There is that.

August 28, 2016

The Right to be Wrong

So a black millionaire athlete who was raised by a white couple finds America so oppressive he cannot stand for the National Anthem. He is the very embodiment of "privilege".

My first blush is to tell him and like-minded others they are free to go to that magical country where they will have more freedom. Heck, I will gladly let my tax dollars go toward a one-way ticket straight out of the USA for anyone who hates it here that much.

In truth, the First Amendment trumps all of those knee-jerk reactions.  If Colin Kaepernik really feels that way, then he should obey his conscious. The First Amendment exists to protect the speech we find most offensive. Period.

I think he is wrong. There are no scholarships just for whites. There are no quotas in hiring or in college admissions for whites.

Is there discrimination? Yes. Whites discriminate against blacks. Blacks discriminate against whites. I have seen staunch New England liberals treat very smart guys from the south as idiots because they have an accent or talk slow. I have seen women much smarter than I treated with disdain purely based on sex. We all have biases. Even you MS Liberal. And you Mr. Kaepernik.

If you do not want to stand for the National Anthem, then don't. Just do not cry about it when your endorsements disappear and your jersey sales drop. Consequences come with taking a stand.

August 26, 2016

For those who care

Just got back from the Doc. All is good. He took out the stitches and said come back in a month.

Unless something happens, this is the last you will have to read on his subject.

I can see better, without glasses, than I have in at least a decade WITH glasses. Once I get glasses to correct my severe astigmatism (in a month or so, after my new corneas have settled down), I will have 20/20 vision.

Do you deny that you are still a communist?

Hillary says Trump has to own the far right KKKers and skinhead-types. Everyone knows that if you are not a liberal Democrat you are a racist asshole. By the same logic, Hillary then has to embrace as part of her campaign the far left, the hard-core communists, the anarchists, the domestic terrorists like Bill Ayres (who wants folks like me put into gulag-like "re-education camps"). She must embrace the ant-Semitic, homophobic, misogynist regimes from the Middle East who have donated millions to her family's slush fund.

Does anyone take the KKK bogeyman seriously any more? Ten guys in their wife's good bed sheets burning a cross out on a farm is not a threat to democracy. They are cartoons of the past, leaving photocopied crap in mailboxes just to get attention, the Blues Brothers Illinois Nazis in real life. Sure they exist. Sure they hate. Sure they are bigots. The KKK no more represents mainstream conservative America than ELF eco-terrorists represents those volunteers picking up trash out on highway 24.

Dimocrits do not like Trump telling people of color to try something new. They don't like that he has called out the emperor's lack of even boxer briefs. He is pointing out that the places with the highest crime and worst economies are controlled by Democrats for fifty years or more. That scares Democrats more than Reagan's Ghost. Hillary's only response is "Don't listen to him, he is a secret member of the KKK".  Is she next gonna warn us about the monster under the bed?

I supposed I am more attuned to politics than your average bear. I have never even heard of the so-called alt right. Is that something she and the press made up? perhaps Hillary should have a press conference so she can answer questions about these accusations.  It has been what, almost a year? Why won't she answer questions?

August 25, 2016

North and South

I don't care what the Beach Boys say, you don't want to go to Kokomo...Indiana that is. That section of the state was hit hard by severe weather last week. Yesterday, four separate storms kicked up tornadoes during he course of the afternoon and evening. Some of the very same neighborhoods were hit that were savaged by a tornado in 2013.

The ugly weather passed just north and south of me. We got thunder and rain. Tornado sirens spunded -- think WWII air raid siren if you don't live in the Midwest -- but we avoided the bad stuff. The storms were strangely slow-moving and did not head off to Ohio until well after dark. StormTeam ScareTeam stayed on the air, and rightly so, until 9:00. They did find time in the reporting to show an occasional commercial though. Gotta sell those cars!

There are no reports of death, and only minor injuries. I make fun of the overwrought weather coverage, but it does help keep people out of harm's way. That is a good thing.

August 24, 2016

Dear Interwebz

I'm alive and doing fine. Spent most of the last two days lying flat on my back staring at the ceiling, yada, yada.

The Doctor says things look good. He is pretty sure I got a good transplant. I'm starting to see a little. I think that is a good thing. The doctor says severe allergy symptoms ate impacting the recovery in both eyes. I could have told him that. Now I have another prescription eye drop to add to my collection. So now I take a steroid eye drop (anti rejection) an antibiotic eye drop, an allergy eye drop, antibiotic pill, Invokana, metformin, glimiperide, a statin, a blood pressure pill, and a vitamin B6. I think it all adds up to around 20 doses of meds a day.  The antibiotics will be done this week.

I hope your week is going well. Forgive any typos, typing one handed upside down on the old iPad isn't easy. I'm dedicated that way.

August 22, 2016

Just like before, only different

 I am off to the surgeon for round two five of eye surgery. This time my right orb will be sliced open.

Here's hoping.

August 20, 2016

Horry Clapp, where did I stash that inflatable raft?

It was sunny and the grass was dry enough so I used my lunch hour to cut the lawn yesterday. It was warm and humid and I needed another shower when I was done. What do you think ladies, does visions of a sweaty old man get your motor running?*

It is a good thing I did, it started in raining around two and didn't let up until almost dinner time. And boy, did it rain hard. I had a mini river flowing out next to the flower beds. The cul-de-sac was an inch or two deep in water at the height of the storm. With more rain on tap today, my mid-day mowing session appears like a move of genius. 

My wife and daughter are headed off to the outlet mall for some shopping today. I promised I would do a little housework in her absence. I might as well, I have nothing else to do.  I can hack away at this and I can watch TV, but reading is still an effort with one eye approximately 20/50 and one approximately 20/200. I can't really wear my glasses since my vision in my good eye is better than my vision in my "bad" eye with glasses.  Confused? The bottom line is I don't mind helping with housework. I always have. And since I will spend all of next week lying flat on my back, the wife will have to do everything, including nurse my crybaby self. 

Anyway, it looks to be a good Saturday. I hope you enjoy your day.

* image of that hotness below the fold

August 19, 2016

Free massage coupons

Thank goodness it is Friday. This has been a long week. I think someone in the matrix snuck in an extra Tuesday without us knowing. If it was payday, then it would be a great day. alas, that only rolls around every other week.

It finally stopped raining for the first time in a week yesterday. I was all set to mow the lawn after work. Then the lawn treatment guy showed up. My grass really needs cut, but I'm not going to chop off all of the fertilizer I just paid for. Hopefully the predicted rain will hold off today long enough for me to get the yard done. I have to get it finished by Sunday, I go back on medical restrictions next week.

We have not had any Friday music for a while. I know that has left you sad and disappointed to no end. Well buck up little buddies, I am here to make you smile. Have a good Friday.

August 18, 2016

Same tune, different chorus

Louisiana is under water. Thousands are without homes. People have died. An uncaring President pays no attention. It has been days and FEMA is nowhere to be found. The press covers this massive governmental neglect non-stop. The President is held personally responsible.

Does this sound familiar?  With the exception of the last two sentences, all of the above is happening under the watch of President Obama. Of course he is a Democrat, so we have to assume he cares, even if the only example of his concern is scheduling yet another round of golf and partying with his one percenter buddies on Martha's Vinyard.

Do you think we will get the flood of '16 stories every damn time The Saints play a national game ten years from now like we are constantly reminded of Katrina?

August 17, 2016

Just another straw on my camel's back

I returned from a quick trip to Kalamazoo late yesterday afternoon. The customer visit went well. It was good to be traveling again.

The wife wanted me to make fried chicken for dinner. She need a couple of things from Target, so while I started supper she went to do whatever it was she needed to accomplish. I made some iced tea. I sliced up som tomatoes from the garden. I peeled and put potatoes on to boil for the mashed spuds. I dredged the chicken and let it sit to get a good coating.

The wife called to say she was leaving Target. I dropped the chicken into the hot oil in the skillet. The store is about ten minutes from the house and by he time she got home I should be getting ready to make pan gravy. She called back. Her car won't start. The battery was completely dead.

I took the skillet off the burner, turned off the potatoes and pulled on my shoes. The keys to my car were gone. The wife had them in her purse. We have gone from " oh crud" to " ah crap".  Luckily, my SIL was available to drive me to the Target.. We tried jumping be battery, but it would not turn the engine over. We have moved to "shit" status.

SIL brings us home. I grab some tools. We go to the parts store and drop $140 that I don't  have on a new battery and head back to the dead Ford Escape. I am not a mechanical genius, but I can change a battery in about ten minutes. I losen the battery with no trouble. The red terminal comes right off. The black side won't budge. I send the wife home for better wrenches than he piece o'crap adjustable wrench I was using. I get the nut lose finally, but the clamp still won't come off the terminal.

Did I mention it was raining? It is getting dark. I pry. I twist. I curse a little. I pried and twisted more. I cursed a lot. I called AutoZone to see if there was something special about the negative terminal on a Ford Escape that I couldn't see. They suggested I pry and twist until the clamp breaks free. Duh.

It is 9:20. I've spent more than two hours trying to do a ten minute job. I'm tired. I'm hungry, it's dark. I need a bigger screwdriver and maybe a hammer to try and pry the clamp apart. The store says they won't have the car towed if we leave it over night.

We grabbed a fast food burger. I came home and threw away the oil-soaked chicken. I threw out the potatoes. I put the clean dinner plates away and washed up the pans. The whole supper went straight to the garbage.

I'm up early. I'm waiting for sunup so I can head down to try again. I wonder if I will have hubcaps or window glass in my car when I get there. I hope a new day finds the clamp magically unfused by corrosion and that I finally break it free this morning.  I sure don't want to pay to have a car towed over a stupid battery terminal.

On the scale of problems this is small, but why can't things ever be easy?

August 15, 2016

Random thoughts that explain Trump, chipmunks, and the alien megastructures

Gymnasts have remarkable self control. I would fall off the beam because I had to stop and pull that leotard out of my crack.

It is International Left Handers Day. My oldest boy is a lefty.

It is raining. We need it, even though we got a couple of inches over the weekend.

I'm traveling for work this week. It seems like forever since I have hit the road. Don't worry, a colleague is driving. I'm sick of working he phones and email. I'm ready to get out of the house and see some customers.

I get the cornea transplant in the right eye next week. Hopefully after a week recovery I will have significantly improved vision. I can order new, weaker glasses and resume life as normal. I'm sick of being driven everywhere.

In the old days superstitious building owners refused to have a 13th floor, skipping from 12 to 14. Perhaps the Chicago Cubs should look at skipping he 8th inning when they play the cardinals. The Cubs gave up 11 runs combined in the 8th inning on Saturday and Sunday. They were leading both games through seven and ended up losing both.

Happy Monday.

August 13, 2016

Can you win gold for jumping out of swings?

Trampoline is a real sport; who knew? I knocked of work early yesterday afternoon and went downstairs to catch the last few innings of the Cubs. They weren't on my TV, 'cause I don't get the MLB channel, but the Olympics were. Lo and behold there were svelte young ladies jumping on a trampoline. If my kids had taken their trampoline seriously back in the day I could have been down in Rio yesterday watching them compete for medals and living the high life on the polluted beaches by night.  Instead, my kids were content to jump up and down, turn an occasional flip or lie under it for shade --lazy farts.

August 12, 2016

Hanging on by my fingertips

The internet is a lonely place when your mouse dies.

Blue skies, yellow tomatoes

We just about wore out the buttons on the TV remote last night jumping from the Cubs to the Olympics and back. The wife wanted to see gymnastics. Switching back and forth worked out fine since NBC has a LOT of commercials in their Olympic coverage. I wanted to see the evil Cardinals lose. The good guys won all around.

The 'Mericans took gold and silver in women's gymnastics. Little Simone won by more than two points which is the equivalent of winning by 96 in basketball.  Michael Phelps won more gold in swimming.

The Cubbies wrapped up their game just after midnight Eastern time when the Cards walked Anthony Rizzo with bases loaded. That was the easiest RBI in the world. As an ardent Cubs fan I will say that ball was a strike. The Cards got screwed by the umpire. 11 innings in the sweltering heat were just too much, I guess. The ump called a ball that sliced down the inner quarter of the plate and called a free pass, ending he game. I will take it, things happen. Ten in a row for the Northsiders.

Happy Friday to you. You can listen to the music of your choice today. No Friday Music.

Here is a bonus for those of you in the Hoosier State: how is Evan Bayh claiming with a straight face he is for not putting party first when he had one of the most partisan voting records when he was in the Senate last time? I suppose he is counting on name recognition and the ignorance of the voters. His optimism is probably justified. By January, I suspect the reliably red Hoosier State will have two Democrat Senators and a Democrat governor. 

I'm feeling a bit blue.

August 11, 2016

The Post You Have Been Waiting For

Isn't this one

No inspiration this morning.

That may change. It may not.

August 10, 2016


What does it say about you as a candidate when you feature at one of your rallies the father of a homophobic mass murderer who has been outspoken in his derision of America?

What does it say about the bias of the media when they ignore it?

Every Four Years

We watch sports like swimming or beach volleyball, or curling in the Olympics and act like we care. If you came upon a swim meet on the television while channel surfing on a rainy Saturday afternoon you would pause just long enough to put down the remote to take a sip of your beer. Then you would move on to a rerun of CSI or yet another showing of Cool Hand Luke.  I would and you would.

But be Olympics has a special flavor. It is an us vs. the world show of athleticism. For those of us of a certain age the Olympics calls back a subtle front in be Cold War, when the evil doped up Soviet Bloc nations were competing against the free world. Every time we saw a loss by someone in a CCCP uniform, you could cheer. What happened to the dominance of he East German women swimmers and Bulgarian weight lifters?

The Olympics also gives us a much needed break from the mind-numbing politics of a seemingly endless election year.

Many sports in the Olympics are boring as heck to watch. And I am free to admit that I derive no pleasure watching the best of other nations battle for victory when Americans are not in the running for a medal. Nationalist?, Heck yeah. Go 'Merica! Still, it is compelling in a sense to watch greatness. Has there ever been an athlete more dominant in his sport, in any sport, as Michael Phelps?  That, my friends, is true greatness. I am pleased to see that any time.

August 9, 2016

Things I know and things I don't know

My belly is growling. I don't know why. I had a cranberry muffin for breakfast. I'm up early this morning. I don't know why about that either. There is a lot I don't know. Why was "Seasons in the Sun" a hit record? Why don't the flowers on my wife's hibiscus turn to dollar bills when the fall off? Why are there snakes? I'm sure I do not know.

Ha, you thought that was going to be "Seasons in the Sun" didn't you? We had joy, we had fun... Put that in your skull for the rest of today. Jake and Elwood make a good brain palate cleanser.

I have to wear a hard plastic shield over my eye when I sleep, to keep from rubbing the eye ans scraping loose the transplant for the next several months. That is fine, but when I do the other eye I will have to wear two "pirate patches" taped to my face. Getting up to pee in the night is going to be a challenge. At least I'll then have an excuse for peeing on the floor. Not that I do, mind you, but the wife accuses me of it all the time.  I don't know why.

Monica Lewinsky says she will not vote for Hillary. She claims the last time she was around a Clinton it left a bad taste in her mouth.

August 8, 2016

About that

If my life is an example of the extraordinary privlege I garner by benefit of my skin color, then those with a differing amount of melanin must lead a desperate existence.

I thought I put a title here. Now I have

Happy Monday. The granddaughter is downstairs watching Mickey the Mouse, snuggling with my wife.  It looks to be a great day.

There was not much excitement over the weekend. We went to our friend's house Saturday. They swam, I dangled my feet in the water. I am banned from pools and hot tubs for two months.  Sunday I watched the Cubs. I was all set to watch the Colts first preseason effort, for as long as I could stand to watch putrid per-season football, but the game was cancelled due to the poor condition of the field. WTH? How is that possible? How embarrassing for the football Hall of Fame and the NFL. Someone is going to be out some money. Fans paid for tickets, hotels, etc. to see that game, not to mention the lost revenue on ESPN. You just know some money-grubbing attorney is already on he case.

I'm off to do some work, hot dog hot dignity dog.  The Olympics continue. Hillary Clinton is a liar.

August 7, 2016

News you can use

The Olympics are underway. You might not have noticed, there has been nothing in the news about it.

August 6, 2016

Saturday Situational Summary

The doc says my surgery was a success this time. I can see out of my left eye better than at any time in recent memory.  I can read my phone, IPad and see the TV without glasses. The eye is still a little swollen and thus "itchy", but woot! It will just get better with time. Two more nights on my back. Next up; the other eye. I will keep you posted.

August 5, 2016


If you can't imagine pulling the lever for Trump I get it. I'm not sure I can do it either. If you are an elected GOPer and say the same, I can live with that.

If you are an elected Republican office holder and claim you will not only not vote for Trump but will vote for Hillary then you have betrayed the voters, the donors, and the party. You should return any re-election funding you got from the GOP. You should be booted from committees. You are no longer part of the Party. In fact you are proven to be untrustworthy, a liar, and opportunist.

You fit in well with Hillary Clinton.

No wonder people rank politicians right up there with dog shit in popularity.

August 4, 2016

Typed in Popeye mode

I have the MLB app for my phone. This allows me to hear the radio broadcasts of my beloved Cubs.  It also gives me access to the radio broadcast of every major league game.

I confess I would rather listen to a baseball broadcast than watch it on TV. It is easy to see why baseball reached its peak popularity in the radio age. The subtle shifts, the movement of the fielders based on the count and the pitch sign create a tiny ballet that cannot be captured on the tiny screen. The real action is in the pitch-hit and that is where the cameras focus. On the radio the slow pace allows a good announcer to describe the scene in detail. The non-action moments cry to be filled with stats and averages, creating and full filling baseball's insatiable desire for minutiae.

It is no wonder football is king in the television age. The concentrated action and frequent stoppages in play coupled with a time clock makes the game perfect for the television. commercials can be aired regularly, pretty much on schedule. An inning may last two minutes or twenty. We know exactly how long a quarter will last.

Perhaps I love baseball because I played  it a lot in my youth. I was never any good at it, but e still played endless games in the summer heat. two people can play a game of Whiffle ball in the backyard, tracking ghost runners and score. You can't do that with a football.

I have listened to a lot of baseball in the dark over the past few weeks. I fell asleep listening to the late innings of a west coast game last night. The crack of the bat, the pop of leather, the roar of the crowd was a timeless image of an America I never knew. I could have been my grandpa listening the crackle of WGN in 1925' or my Dad listening to a game in 1950,

That gives me comfort.

August 3, 2016

Back Blogging

As in "from my back". My left eyeball was back under the knife bright and early Monday morning. Yesterday the doc said all looks good. I go back today, but Friday is when we really know if the transplant takes this time. In the interim I'm spending much of my time lying flat on my back, no pillow, staring at the ceiling. You have heard it before.

I was up for a bit last evening, walked around with he wife while she watered the flowers. It is OK, I can be up increasing hours each day. It was nice to be outside.

Otherwise life is boring. I have avoided the news and talk radio. My attention has been taken up by music, audiobooks and baseball.

Sorry, boring life leads to boring posts.  My vision should start to clear tonight and tomorrow as the air bubble injected into my eye to hold the cornea transplant in place starts to dissipate. Maybe I will have something worthwhile for you by then.

Excuse any typos and have a great day.
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