December 31, 2018

The Year in Review

As 2018 winds down I can only wish it good riddance. I will not look back on the year with the same degree of rancor I viewed 2017, but I won't rank old '18 as one of my favorites.

A quick reflection on the year that was, reminds me I did stuff. Things happened. My favorite teams were more successful than not, but did not win The Big One. I worked, I loved, I lost loved ones. We had a moderate but enjoyable vacation. I spent a couple of weeks in Mexico. My health was pretty good; not great for a man of my age, but I'm alive and kicking.

We made it through 52 weeks and 364 days. Enough said.

We have no big plans for the evening. There will be no champagne. I think we will go for a moderate steak dinner. We might go see a movie, depending on the wait at the restaurant. We will sit on the couch and watch the countdown. I will enjoy a kiss from my wife to welcome the New Year and shortly after the TV confetti and music I will trudge upstairs to bed. Ho hum, ho hum.

If you are going out, don't drink and drive.

December 30, 2018

Didja Notice?

I'm late reporting in today. You might not have noticed. My musings have been a bit spotty of late. Posts are filled with the mundane trivia of my pitiful existence. It could be that after forty-two nearly fourteen years and 6,272 posts I have finally run out of stuff to talk about?

A good friend is torturing me with pictures from the beach in Southern Florida this morning. They are on a mini-vacation this week between holidays. Well, it is 70 here too -- in the house where I am drinking coffee and listening to...Supertramp (at this moment). Outside? A brisk 25 degrees.

In an effort to give the Evil Jeff Bezos access to my entire life, I set up my new Amazon Echo device yesterday. Actually this new full-sized model is replacing a Echo Dot in the bedroom. The old mini speaker was just too quiet in the large room. The bedroom has cathedral ceilings and the sound was lost when I wanted to listen at volume. That means I have one downstairs, one in the bedroom, a Dot in my office and one not hooked up. Maybe I'll put the spare on the patio this spring to listen to baseball games? More likely, Big Brother will let me know where to put it so my whole house is covered. The SJW Democrats will want to make sure I don't sneak into the front bedroom and have wrongthoughts.

Have a great Sunday.

December 29, 2018

Today's secret word is "Beguiled"

Sinatra is crooning softly in the background. The coffee is hot and black and delicious. The furnace is blowing warm air as I peck one-fingered on the little iPad keyboard. I'm sitting on the living room couch typing this morning. My office is still filled with the deterious of Christmas wrapping: boxes, rolls of paper, boxes of gift bags, and boxes of...boxes. Don't ask.

Usually we leave the Christmas decor up and the lights on through New Years. I am ready to get it down now. The house will be gloomy and plain, but I am done with it. The One In Charge will determine if it is time.

I suspect it hinges on if people are coming over on New Years Eve.  We invited another couple over.. I think they are holding out for a better offer. I'm good either way. It is not like we are going to party the night away anyway. We are looking at dinner and cards if we have guests and dinner and maybe a movie if it is just me and the wife. 

Plans for today? More coffee. I will read your blogs. I need to drag my butt out and get a little exercise. I haven't walked for about a month. The Doc ain't gonna be happy with my lab results. I'm sure I can find something on the old TV to watch. Maybe I'll try and fool around with the wife. I have not fulfilled my weekly quota of rejection yet, since my customers and prospects were closed for the Holidays. She is always good for an extra "no" "go away" and "I'm not interested" when my ego needs a firm kick in the pants. 

Have a great Saturday. 

December 28, 2018

This post is rated PG13 for no reason whatsoever

A few thoughts on this final Friday of 2018:

It is payday. Woot.

It is not a long weekend, but next week is a short week. I am not off on Monday.

Work is so boring this week. Yesterday, I tried to read an article titled "Psychoacoustic Methodology for the Noise Reduction of Bevel Gears"  I got about as far as the title before I had to go get more coffee. I never got through the first paragraph.

I'm not the first to point it out, but how did Trump shut down the government? Congress never passed a bill for him to sign or veto. The President can ask for anything, but Congress controls the money. Anyone who states otherwise is ignorant or a liar. There is no third option. You can blame Democrats or Republicans as your politics demands. Congress shut down the Government, not the Executive Branch.

I don't care what the morning radio team thinks, crinkle cut French fries are the best.

I had my busted tooth yanked at the emergency dentist Sunday night. I am still sore. My jaw is still swollen and I have a bruise along my jawline, chin and seeping down my neck. I look like I engaged in a bout of fisticuffs with recalcitrant relatives at a drunken holiday feast.

Maybe I did.

I'm off to the office. It is so strange to actually "go" to work. I'm still not sure I like it.

We are going to have a new grand baby in the spring. The wife suggested we could use what used to be my office for the baby. We could move my desk into the guest bedroom. Surprisingly, I have to agree it makes a great deal of sense.  I will miss "my room" though.

Something will have to be done about those brown walls in the guest room if I'm to move my stuff in there.

December 27, 2018

Post holiday blues

Hello blog world. I hope Santa made every wish come true for you this year. Did you get that Barbie Dream House, a GI Joe with Kung fu grip, perhaps a new bike? Oh well, maybe next year.

After a satisfying long weekend it was back to work for me yesterday. There were about five people in the whole office. Pretty much the rest of the company world-wide was closed, as were my customers, so the phone and email systems were silent.

The good news? While yesterday seemed every bit a Monday, it was really Wednesday. I need to get through today and tomorrow, then another short week next week. Too bad Monday is not a holiday for me though.

So it goes.

December 25, 2018

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. 

December 23, 2018

I have on my Santa Claus socks this morning

I went to bed late and got up early. I'm tired and surly.

That was not an intentional poem.

I have a massive toothache; it started yesterday morning and by evening became a throbbing that reaches into my sinuses. I'm not sure I can tough it out until Wednesday. I'm not even sure if the expensive dentist-in-box emergency place is open this weekend. I have a few prescription pain killers left from my summer bout with the shingles. We shall see.

We have a few administrative things to finish up on the Christmas calendar. We are taking the granddaughter to a movie today. The wife wants to bake cookies. She is going to make some candies to hand to the neighbors. Presents need wrapped. While the wife does her baking thing this evening I will drag a dust rag around the house and vacuum. I cleaned the bathrooms yesterday.

Tomorrow I will make some food to take to family gatherings. We are hosting Christmas diner here. I have a big old turkey thawing in the garage fridge. Mashed spuds, noodles, gravy, candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, and rolls will make up the balance of the carb-heavy feast Tuesday afternoon/evening. My daughter is bringing dessert. Unfortunately my oldest boy cannot make the trip from Colorado. He will be here in spirit.

He confirmed his big box of Christmas presents arrived yesterday while he was at work. His roommate brought it in before it could be swiped by porch thieves. I wager the odds are 98% he opened every present last night. Even as a small boy he bugged to open his presents early.

Things are set. I am going to can my holiday posts just as soon as I wrap this one up. Enjoy your Sunday.

December 22, 2018


Forty years ago today I went on the first date with the girl that became my wife. Pretty much everything that is good in my life stems from that date.

Who finds the love of their life at 16?

December 21, 2018

The never-ending travelogue

The Cholula pyramid is the largest pyramid (by base size) in the world. It rises 180 feet and its base measures 1,480 x 1,480 feet. It is huge. Here is a view of Cholula  from the top of the pyramid. The active volcano Popocat├ępetl (17,802 ft) rises in the background.

 This is the Church of the Virgen de los Remideios on top of the pyramid.

The walk to the top was hard; not only was it steep, but Cholula is over 7,000 feet above sea level. For reference Denver is just over 5,200 feet above sea level. Yeah, I was having a hard time catching my breath walking up the steep walkway and stairs.

Both pictures taken by the author. Ain't cell phones wonderful? I especially like the one of the church.

Fixating on Friday

I'll be home for Christmas was swirling in my brain pan as I trudged across the tarmac to board my little commuter jet to Houston yesterday morning. El Popo was reflecting the early morning sun and the cool wind cut through my fleece jacket. I scored an exit row. That gave me extra leg room I honestly did not need. I exhaled a sigh of relief as the plane leapt off the runway. I had just the hassle of customs and then one more flight to get back home.

I have been on the road 13 days in the month of December. For the record, counting today, there have been 15 working days so far this month. Ten of those days have been on foreign soil. Yes, Virginia, I am ready to be home. Thankfully, I think the heavy travel will slow significantly after the first of the year.

The wife has borne the brunt of Christmas shopping and the associated holiday chores. She is frazzled and worn out. I plan on doing what I can to help out over the weekend, despite my real desire to just relax in my own home. And while I really love Mexican food, I've had enough for a while. I am really looking forward to the turkey and traditional fixings I have planned for Christmas dinner.

I finished Jeff Shaara's novel on the Korean War, started and finished an Archy McNally mystery novel, and started on an anthology of western short stories on this trip.

Anyway, I have a conference call this morning and then I am off until next week. I can live with that.

I think I'm gonna go get some donuts. What kind do you like?

December 20, 2018

Just a thought before I go

I thought the Trumpster was supposed to be a world-class negotiator. Maybe he should go back and read his book again.

I'll admit it is hard to negotiate when your team constantly gives up concessions behind your back.

Maybe someday the Stupid Party will wake up and discover just why Trump was elected in the first place.

About the title:

December 19, 2018

Uppity Update

One more night then I wing my way northward. I'm ready to be home. I have a quick conference call on Friday then I'm done until after Christmas.

I have nothing of interest to report and judging by my recent readership you act like it.

I'm working on a special post for the weekend. I'm not sure I can pull it off.  We shall see.

Have a great evening.

December 18, 2018

Chalupas pablanos

I'm better, thanks for asking. I have decided the issue was my metformin, not the food.

Another long day today. I left for the factory at about 8 am and got back to the hotel around 10 pm. Part of the time was going for a first class Mexican dinner and had time for some quick sight seeing. Look up tne pyramid of  Cholula and Nuestra Senora de los Remidos Church. Yeah, I walked up there. It was the equivalent of 18 flights of stairs.

I think this will be my last trip down here for a few months. That's good. I'm ready to be home.


It has been documented in the past that my meds occasionally give me...issues. I have chronicled my destruction of restrooms on more than one occasion.

This is the first attack on foreign soil. I'm not convinced it is my meds. It could have been that plate of tacos I had for dinner or perhaps the chunk of pork floating in a red sauce I was served for lunch. In any case I have been at it since about 10 last night. Let me tell you Mexican hotel toilet paper is a far cry from Charmin.

I have been abroad probably more than 40 times, if you count Canada. About 20 if not, including China twice and Mexico 3 times now. This is the first time I have been beset with a travelers disease. It is also one of the first times I left the Imodium/Pepto at home.

I can attest that this situation stinks.


December 17, 2018

ba doomp

A retired gentleman went into the social security office to apply for social security. After waiting in line for a long time, he got to the counter. The woman behind the counter asked him for his driver’s license to verify his age.

He looked in his pockets and realized he had left his wallet at home. He told the woman that he was very sorry but he seemed to have left his wallet at home.

“Will I have to go home and come back now?” he asked.

The woman said, “Unbutton your shirt.”

So he opened his shirt, revealing lots of silver, curly hair.

She said, “That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me.” And she processed his social security application.

When he got home, the man excitedly told his wife about his experience at the social security office.

She sniffed at him, “You should have dropped your pants, you might have qualified for disability, too.”

December 16, 2018

Today's Secret Word is Mundane

One of the good things about my new gig is that I can wear jeans for everyday wear. Just not to visit customers (duh). The downside is that my collection of jeans is pretty ragged. I had a pair that was decent and one good pair. That won't cut it. We bought a pair last week and two more last night. I hate to drop $40 bucks each on Levi's right before Christmas, but I knew I was going to have to get some new clothes when I took the job. Cubs T-shirts and ripped jeans or shorts were fine when I spent the days barefoot in my home office; in corporate America, not so much. Even if the office was business casual my two or three pairs of Dockers was insufficient. I needed new clothes in a bad way. I just wish the timing was better.

I stopped by the foreign currency exchange place yesterday. She only had $3 worth of Pesos. I didn't bother. I guess the bell boy at the Marriott is screwed again this week. For some reason the hotel will only convert Euros. Indianapolis International Airport doesn't have currency exchange, nor does the tiny Puebla aerodrome. If it don't go on the corporate expense account credit card, it won't get bought.

We got a little Christmas shopping done last evening, but we have a long way to go. Unfortunately, the wife is going to have to bear the burden this week. I will try get her something Friday when I'm back. A hint or two would sure be nice though.

I'm off to refill my coffee cup. Have a great Sunday.

December 15, 2018

Easy Cherry Compote

I finally picked up my new glasses yesterday. They have been ready for a good while, but travel. They are sure different.  I have had wire rims for as long as I have worn, or was supposed to wear, glasses. That is to say about 40 years. The new plastic frames are gonna take a bit to get used to. The eye-wear lady was right, they make me look younger. The wife was right too when she said while the glasses make my face look less that of an old man, it emphasizes my gray hair. I am not dying my hair, I can assure you of that.

I could take a picture and show you. I won't because I am lazy. One of the downsides of keeping a sooper sekrit blog life is that none of my email addresses actually works on the old blogeroo. I would have to take a selfie on the phone. I am not good at it and I come out distorted and looking askew, I could then email said bad picture to myself. I would then have to save it to my hard drive. Then I must sign out of my gmail account and sign into my blog account. Then I could download the picture to the blog. Frankly, you do not care and I am not going through the trouble to post a picture I will erase in a day because I am paranoid about my real life.

The wife and I attended the company Christmas party last night. A good time was had by all. We failed to win any prizes or giveaways, but such is life.

It is going to be a short weekend. We have my granddaughter's birthday party today and then tomorrow I am off once again to the land of sombreros and tacos. I opted to travel on Sunday to avoid returning on the Friday before Christmas.

Remember when I was complaining about never getting to travel? I started on the 12th of November.When this week ends I will have traveled 19 days for work in just over a month. That is why I have been pretty much absent from these pages. Things should get better after the first of the year.

Anyway, you now have my typical long Saturday post full of stuff you do not care about, but isn't that the whole point of blogging?

December 14, 2018


I don't have any.

What say I revert to the timeless and unloved Friday Music today?

You probably have not heard this one

December 12, 2018

Dear Guy the big Silverado quad cab, your truck just looks stupid with the lift kit and luggage rack on the roof.

Yes, I said luggage rack, on a pickup.

Only in Toledo.

December 11, 2018

Going with the party line

It is another busy week in corporate America. I'm off to do my Willie Loman thing this afternoon accompanied by my boss. We have stops scheduled in Ohio and the greater Detroit area over the next few days. We will hit the road after the office Christmas pitch-in lunch.

I'm not a big fan of pitch-in meals because that means other people have touched my food in kitchens of dubious cleanliness. I am not reassured by the request from last month's office suggestion box that signs need to be posted in the restrooms advising employees to wash their hands. That means someone witnessed a piss n' go at some point. That miscreant will bring food. I don't want to eat it.

Friday night marks the Office Christmas Party. That is an event I would gladly skip, but my wife is looking forward to it.

Saturday is my granddaughter's fourth birthday party. At some point Christmas gifts need to be bought and wrapped.

The boss wants me back in Mexico next week. I am going to resist as much as I can. The prospect of flying back into the US on the Friday of Christmas weekend seems a rotten idea, if you ask me. I bet I do not get my way.

December 9, 2018

Ou est Phillipe?

Some scientists believe everything we ever learned is stored away in our brain waiting on the synapses to fire in the correct sequence to recover  them. Nothing is "forgotten", it is just buried in dusty, unused files down in the basement.

Some scientist believe in global warming, the Earth is flat, and the sun revolves around our planet. Do I need to discuss phrenology, leeching, the certain belief that applying horse dung would heal cuts? Scientist are wrong all of the time.

I studied French in high school and the first years of college. At one point I could speak it on about a fourth grade level. I could read it at about a high school level. When I was on France about 15 years ago I could speak at about a kindergarten level and read at about fourth grade. Now? Forty years removed from my French education I can speak a few phrases, understand none and read only a few words.

If I run across French in ordinary circumstances -- a foreign film or a passage in a book, I have little to no comprehension. It might as well be Hungarian or Cherokee. Strangely, every time I go to a foreign country my French comes back a little. I'm in China and I think of French phrases. In Mexico it was the same. In fact, I think my few phrases and words of Spanish were mumbled with a French accent.  Why is that?

It is weird because anyone who has read any of my musings will readily attest I can barely communicate in coherent English.

December 8, 2018

I Have Returned

I am back in the beautiful Hoosier heartland. I don't want any Mexican food for a while. Well at least for another week or ten days. I'll be back in Mexico then. Sigh.

I wanted to get back to travelling again. I really said that, didn't I? Clearing customs back in the US is a pain. It always has been. Now there are kiosks where you answer questions about stuff you need to declare. This was a form you filled out and handed to the customs agent in the old days. Now you wait in a very long line to use the kiosk. It scans your passport and prints your answers. Then you get to wait in line to give your paper to the agent. So you have added a queue to the already too-long process.

They had two agents working the American Citizen line at the Houston Airport yesterday morning. There were probably a thousand people in the various queues. In addition to my little jet from Puebla there were three big 747 s puking passengers at the International Gates.

After you get through customs you get to go through airport security again, even though you have never left the airport! My carry-on never left my hands, but that doesn't matter. Those with checked bags took their bags from a carousel then walked 20 feet to put them on a different one. I think it is a baggage handler union plot.

I had more than 1-3/4 hours budgeted to clear customs and make my connecting flight. I made it on with six minutes to spare. I was last on the plane and they slammed the door shut behind me. Almost an hour and a half just to clear customs.

The company provided a driver to and from the airport. The driver who picked me up at the hotel was the same who delivered me Monday evening. It is not like we are old friends. He spoke broken English at best. My Spanish is a few words. Yet he felt compelled to hug me and wish me a Feliz Navidad. Yes, I said he hugged me.

Long-time readers might know I really hate to be touched by strangers. Hugs are high on the list of  stuff I don't want to encounter from the random public. At my Mom's funeral one of my oldest and closest friends even asked before she hugged me. I've known her for more than 45 years. 

For some reason my December 7 post failed to publish yesterday. This post content was not what I intended to scribble (electronically) this morning either. Oh well, you get a long post complaining about minor stuff. I suppose that is what I do best. 

Have a great Saturday.

December 6, 2018

Are you there?

Where did everybody go?

I guess you don't care for my running travelogue.

December 5, 2018

Situation Critical

Hola Amigos. There a little Spanish for you. What? Oh, por nada.

Today was a long day. I left the hotel at 6:15 am and got back right at 9:00 pm. The next person who says "I wish I had your job Joe" I'm gonna kick in the crotch. Let me tell you something. Real Mexico is waayy different from tourist Mexico. There is a definite 3rd world squalor to the place, albeit some areas are quite nice. The people have been as kind as can be.

I don't think I'll go out for Mexican food this weekend though.

One terrible awful thing has happened. I am out of Chapstick. I'm not sure how I left home without a spare. I'm out of travel practice I guess. Is it a big enough issue to alert my International SOS app?

Midweek Musical Interlude

I've always found this tune a little sad,  I guess because the point Judy sings this in the movie is poignant and sad. The original lyrics were "for next year we'll be dead". Garland refused to sing those lines, so they were changed. True story.


I'm doing fine here in Mexico. I'm certainly not at the resort areas, that is for sure.


I wrote this on Sunday. For all I know I have been kidnapped and murdered for the 153 pesos in my pocket. If by Saturday I don't post the secret safe word we all agreed upon you will know an impostor has taken over the old blogeroo.*

*Except the for occasional joke I have canned for you to ignore in the future. -- that was/is the real fake internet me you have grown to love.

December 4, 2018

International Man of Mystery

Waddaya know, there is interwebz here at the redacted hotel in nope Mexico. I'm not surprised, it is a global chain -- rhymes with Hariott. I dug out the old iPad to do a little blogging. Strangely, most of he TV channels are in Spanish, outside of Fox, CNN, and the NFL Network. I'm watching a rerun of Sunday Night Football while pecking out this riveting tale one fingered.

So far the food has been pretty good. Nothing too strange. I like Mexican food in general. Unlike China, forks and spoons are plentiful. I am glad I don't have to worry about chopsticks any more.

The trip down was uneventful. I connected through Houston and arrived at the hotel around 9:30 last night. I had no issues with customs and my driver was waiting when I came out of immigration. I have a new stamp in my passport opposite my Chinese Visa*. I have a way to go before I can match my old expired passport. It had a good two dozen entry stamps.

Anyway, I don't think any sightseeing is on tap this trip. It will be work-hotel-work-hotel. Oh well. I did get a good picture of the nearby volcano. I will try to post it when I get home.

I have got to learn some Spanish if I am going to spend a lot of time here. Oh, just ignore those parts of tommorrow's post that are not relevant.

* Actually I have two Chinese entry visas. One was good for one year and it expired, the other is a ten year entry visa and will outlast this passport.

December 3, 2018

Quick hit

Late one night at the insane asylum one inmate shouted,
“I am Napoleon!”
Another one said, “How do you know?”
The first inmate said, “God told me!”
Just then, a voice from another room shouted, “I did not!”

December 2, 2018

Do Dictators Dictate with Diligent Diction?

One side effect of working in an office with other people is fewer opportunities for me to check out political blogs or news sites. That means you get very little in the way of politics from me these days. Depending on your point of view that might be a good thing.

I gave up on political talk radio a long time ago, so I don't miss that at all. I do miss my sports talk radio though. I have been so busy learning stuff I wouldn't have time to listen to anything anyway, no matter where my desk was parked.

My little Echo Dot just played some Booker T and the MGs. It is impossible not to smile when the boys from Muscle Shoals are jamming.


Although the audience seems to be dead. Maybe they spliced in an audience from a lecture on ancient Greek Pottery onto a performance of the MGs. Watch Duck Dunn and Steve Cropper jam. How can you sit on your hands like that?

Look Ma, it ain't Christmas music!

There you have it, a stream of consciousness Seinfeldian post about nothing. I'm not sure why you bother with this old blog any more but I'm glad you do.

Enjoy your Sunday.

December 1, 2018

RIP George

President Bush the First has passed away. A war hero, tycoon, politician, CIA Spook, President, class act; George HW Bush will be eulogized far more eloquently and detailed elsewhere.

It is raining cats and dogs this morning. At least it is slated to be warm. I have classic Christmas music playing in the background as I type. I'm trying to decide if I want to mess around on the interwebz or go get some donuts.

It is really raining hard...

The new job is going well. I'm a little less overwhelmed. It seems there has been a lot of turnover in personnel in my tiny division of Really Huge Company. We do stuff a certain way , no one knows why, but there is a certain German exactness that we adhere to the procedures. Whatever. You take the Man's dollar and you do what the man says. 

You should brace yourself to endure a continued lack of posting next week. I'm off to the land of tortillas and sombreros for the week. My Spanish is only slightly better than my Chinese. At least I can mumble a few words in Espanol. I might read it a little. I certainly cannot understand words spoken to me at all. That's me, the Ugly American. I'll type this same paragraph this spring, substituting "German" for "Spanish" when I head to the corporate HQ. 

Serious housecleaning is on tap today. Some friends are coming over this evening to play some euchre and hang out. It seems like I'm gonna have a good Saturday. I hope you do too.

November 30, 2018

Think about that Christmas Gift

A man enters a sexy lingerie store to purchase a sheer negligee for his wife.

He is shown several possibilities that range from $250 to $500 in price — the more sheer, the higher the price. Naturally, he opts for the sheerest item, pays the $500, and takes it home.

He presents it to his wife and asks her to go upstairs, put it on, and model it for him. Upstairs the wife thinks (she’s no dummy): “I have an idea. It’s so sheer that it might as well be nothing. I won’t put it on, I’ll do the modeling naked, return it tomorrow, and keep the $500 refund for myself.” She appears naked on the balcony and strikes a pose.

The husband says, “Good Grief! You’d think for $500, they’d at least iron it!”

November 28, 2018


I'm still here. Are you?

I've worked late every night this week. Blogging time has become as scarce as palm trees in an Indiana winter.

How about a musical interlude to keep your toes tappin'

November 26, 2018

Why Youth Wins

A young boy enters a barber shop and the barber whispers to his customer: “This is the dumbest kid in the world. Watch while I prove it to you.”

The barber puts a dollar bill in one hand and two quarters in the other, then calls the boy over and asks, “Which do you want, son?” The boy takes the quarters and leaves. “What did I tell you?” said the barber. “That kid never learns!”

Later, when the customer leaves, he sees the same young boy coming out of the ice cream store. “Hey, son! May I ask you a question? Why did you take the quarters instead of the dollar bill?” The boy licked his cone and replied, “Because the day I take the dollar, the game is over!”

November 24, 2018

Up and down the ladder

I was busy as a bee yesterday. No, not shopping. You make me laugh. I dragged the Christmas stuff out of the attic. I swear every year I am going to put the lights away properly. That is, not thrown in a tangle in a box. Then January comes. So I untangled them and made sure they worked. Only one set failed to work and I had a replacement set new in the box.

We got the lights on the roof line, wreaths on the windows, the bushes and shrubs lit. It is a veritable Christmas wonderland. I also raked the leaves from the front yard yet again. I also cleaned the gutters while i was putting up the lights. We will start on the inside of the house decorations and trees today.

It is a good thing I got that exercise.  I ate way too much Thursday. As usual, we had two feasts -- one for each side of the family. It was great to see everyone. The best part was none of the dinners were at my house! I made noodles and dinner rolls to take to my daughter's and Deluxe Reese's Brownies and corn salad to take to my wife's family gathering. I got kudos all around. Everyone digs the corn salad. It sounds gross but is very good:

2 cans corn drained( I use Southwest/Mexicali corn   Small onion diced.  Green bell pepper diced   Package of sharp cheddar cheese shredded    1 C mayo (use the real stuff)
Stir and chill. Right before serving crush up a whole bag of Chili Cheese Fritos and stir them in.

Enjoy your Saturday.

November 23, 2018

Being Thankful

James is walking on a downtown street one day, and he happens to see his old high school friend, Harry, a little way up ahead.

“Harry, Harry, how are you?” he greets his old buddy after getting his attention.
“Not so good,” says Harry.

“Why, what happened?” James queries.

“Well,” Harry says, “I just went bankrupt and I’ve still got to feed my family. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

“Could have been worse,” James replies calmly. “Could have been worse.”

A month or so later, James again encounters Harry, in a restaurant. “And how are things now?” he asks.

“Terrible!” says Harry. “Our house burned down last night.”

“Could have been worse,” says James, again with total aplomb, and goes about his business.

A month later, James runs into Harry a third time. “Well, how goes it?” he inquires.
“Oh!” says Harry. “Things just get worse and worse. It’s one tragedy after another! Now my wife has left me!”

Harry nods his head and gives his usual optimistic-seeming little smile, accompanied by his usual words: “Could’ve been worse.”

This time, Harry grabs James by the shoulders.

“Wait a minute!” he says. “I’m not gonna let you off so easy this time. Three times in the past few months we’ve run into one another, and every time I’ve told you the latest disaster in my life. Every time you say the same thing: ‘Could have been worse.’ This time, for God’s sake, Harry, I want you to tell me: how in Heaven’s name could it have been any worse?”

James smiles at him: “Could have happened to me.”

November 22, 2018

Further thoughts on Thanksgiving

Here is a rerun from 2006:

As is my wont, I have been doing a little research into the Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving. The feast for giving thanks was a great success. After the meal Miles Standish stood to give the after dinner toast:

"Thanks to everyone for a great meal, especially the women. Can we get a hand for the chicks, Guys? Just a word to Felicity and Sarah Hankins, though; next year we would like something more substantial from your larder than turkey hot dogs and that nearly empty bottle of Wild Turkey."

"On a quick programing note, some of the athletic contests will not be seen unless you have a direct communication with the heavens this year. I suggest hanging a dish from the thatch of your roof"

Finally, a word to my Native American friends. Thanks for making this feast such a success. I know we will make this a yearly tradition. I forsee such popularity that in the future you will probably need reservations."

"Thank you and good night."

 Live today: I certainly find myself amusing.

Happy Thanksgiving

Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Now get off the computer and go watch a parade or football or eat or something.

November 21, 2018

Humpity Humpity

Good morning. One more work day before a very long weekend. I'm ready. My boss scheduled a conference call to begin at 4:30 to last until 6:00. On the day before a holiday.

I know.

In his defense the boss is working in CST, so he will get out at 5. Besides, he is in Mexico, so it is just another Wednesday for him. Still, it gives me an excuse to complain. I'm good at that. I am still trying to rehydrate my long dried-up sense of corporate identity. I have been spoiled in the intervening years since I last worked for a MegaCorp.

Deleted two paragraphs of additional complaint here. You are welcome.

I hope your turkey is thawed and the groceries are bought. You are running out of time. we are heading to my daughter's for dinner tomorrow. My dad is bringing the last of the pies mom had frozen. My mother was an award-winning pie maker (really). She won at the fair a couple of times. Sometimes people helped her with stuff, handymen, etc. in exchange for a pie. I will eat a slice with sadness beyond measure.

Why Old Guys Win

A strong young man at the construction site was bragging that he could outdo anyone in a feat of strength. He made a special case of making fun of Morris, one of the older workmen.

After several minutes, Morris had enough. “Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is?” he said. “I will bet a week’s wages that I can haul something in a wheelbarrow over to that outbuilding that you won’t be able to wheel back.”

“You’re on, old man,” the braggart replied. “It’s a bet! Let’s see what you got.”

Morris reached out and grabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles. Then, nodding to the young man, he said, “All right. Get in.”

November 20, 2018

I can see for miles

I knocked off work a little early today. I had to see the eye doctor. All is good. My vision was a little worse. My astigmatism is still horrible. New glasses ordered. Blah blah blah. More importantly, the pressure in my eyes is good and my corneas look great. The new specs are gonna be very different. I'm going from the same old boring metal frames I have head since 1937 and going to a more modern plastic frame. The eye glasses lady picked them out and said they look great. WTH, I don't have to look at them, just see through 'em, so I suppose I do not really care.

Other than that, I got nothin'. Still in a steep learning curve at work. I'm looking forward to a big ole' Thanksgiving feast and a long weekend.

November 19, 2018

Hunting Season

Two hunters were dragging their recently slain deer through the snow back to their truck. Each one had a grip on a rear leg.

As they passed by an old Indian, he commented that the deer would pull a lot easier if they pulled it by the front legs because of the direction that the deer’s hair lays.
So the hunters each began pulling by the front legs.

About 20 minutes later, one of them says, “Boy! This is a lot easier.”
The other one replies, “Yes, but we sure are getting a lot farther from the truck!”

November 18, 2018

Workin' the weekend

Ah, Sunday. I'm relaxing here in the office blogging room sipping coffee and listening to music.  Don't tell anybody, but I am listening to Christmas music. I know, I am jumping the gun. It is not yet Thanksgiving, but the stores have been in full holiday mode since Halloween. Besides, I really dig Christmas music.

I raked leaves yesterday morning. This is the second go at the front yard. I got about five garbage bags full. The maple still has a lot of leaves, so I will be at it again later in the week.  As my wife frequently reminds me, I wanted all of these trees. I have made no effort to rake the back yard. The three Bradford Pears have not started dumping leaves at all.  The backyard got cleaned up from last fall's leaves when I mowed in the spring. I suspect that will be the case again.

The original plan was to start dragging the Christmas decorations from the attic yesterday. In case you do not remember, the wife goes all-out on Christmas decorations. She decided to wait until Friday to start decorating. The granddaughter will not be here this week after Monday, so maybe the wife will start decorating early? If she helps I will drag the trees and stuff out Monday evening after work.mi can do he outside on Friday then. Whatever. My role in it all is to be a pack mule and follow directions. 

Have a great Sunday.

November 17, 2018

Upside down you're turning me

My head is spinning. Starting a new job is always hard. My boss spent every minute of the week cramming stuff to overflowing into my brain. In addition, we made a trip to visit a customer. In the coming month I have two trips to Mexico and a week of introductory customer visits planned, all between Thanksgiving and Christmas! Sometime in Q1 I will be off to Europe. My life is the very definition of "hitting the ground running".

New products, new customers, new systems, new office, new procedures. I had forgotten the bureauacracy that comes with giant multi-national companies. Everything has to be documented, formatted, written, and stored just as described in the procedures. And then there are the meetings -- lots of meetings; internal and external.  This is a by-product of working in the light vehicle automotive industry. The commercial vehicle sector (big trucks and trailers) was not so heavily bureaucratized. All said, I am going to like it.

The bad news is the old blog is gonna suffer, at least until I can get a handle on things. Leaving home at 7:30 and getting back at 5:30 doesn't leave a lot of time for my hobbies. In the old days when I worked from home I could spend a ten minute break throwing up a post or adding a comment. Now I am subject to very restricted Internet access at work. Besides, I never have blogged the company computer, even when working from a spare bedroom.

I still have a bunch of canned posts to throw up. I think I will reserve the jokes so I do not give a double entry on the weekends.

Have patience. I will find a new routine over time. Hopefully you will still be here.

weekend funny

There was a bit of confusion at the Bass Pro Sporting Goods store this morning. 

When I was ready to pay for my purchases of gun powder and bullets,
the cashier said: “strip down, facing me.”

Making a mental note to complain to the NRA about the gun control whackos
running amok, I did just as she had instructed.

When the hysterical shrieking and alarms finally subsided, I found out that
she was referring to how I should place my credit card in the card-reader. 

I have been asked to shop elsewhere in the future.

November 14, 2018

Head scratchin'

I'm not sure why they bother with elections in Broward and Palm Beach Counties, Florida. It would just be easier if election officials just announce who they think should have, could have, would have won and go ahead and declare that particular Democrat the winner.

You know, run the election the way Democrats progressives  and rat bastard Commies always run elections.

Try chewing gum

Greetings conversationalists, bloggers, readers, and critics from across the interwebz.  I'm alive and well. This real-job going to work stuff has put a serious crimp into my blogging time. Frankly, I don't know how you do it. Apparently I screwed off more than I thought.

No, I just had access to the Internet to do personal stuff on my breaks. Plus I usually blogged before work. Now that time is spent getting ready to go to work, commuting, etc.

I'm sorry you are missing out on me. Such is life. But once I get into the routine things might get better. Hold on to that faith. It will get you through the days as you suffer Hoosierboy withdrawal symptoms.

November 12, 2018

My life

I cannot remember from where I stole this.

November 11, 2018

The War to End All Wars

One hundred years ago today at 11:11 AM French local time WWI ended. The slaughter was so horrific it almost wiped out a generation of young Europeans. There remains to this day areas of France that are blocked off to public access because of the vast number of unexploded ordinance.

In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
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.

Take That Dannies

The mighty Wabash Little Giants captured the Monon Bell once again yesterday. That marks 9 out of the past ten years.

These two tiny schools have met on the football field for 125 years. That is a rivalry.

November 10, 2018

weekend funny

A joke so stupid it is funny

Glenn took his dog to the veterinary clinic, and laid its limp body on the table. The doctor pulled out his stethoscope, listened to the dog’s chest for a moment, then shook his head sadly. “I’m sorry, but your dog has passed away.”

“What?” Glenn screamed. “You haven’t even done any tests! I want another opinion.”
The vet left the room and returned in a few moments with a Labrador Retriever. The Retriever sniffed the dog on the table carefully from head to toe. Finally, the Retriever shook it’s head and barked once (meaning “dead and gone”).

The vet took the Labrador away and returned a few minutes later with a cat, which also sniffed carefully over the dog on the table before shaking its head and saying, “Meow” (meaning “he’s gone”).

After the cat jumped off the table, the vet handed Glenn a bill for $600. The man shook the bill at the vet. “$600!!!! Just to tell me my dog is dead?!!! That’s outrageous!”
The vet explained. “If you had taken my word for it, the charge would have been $50, but with the Lab work and the cat scan….”

November 9, 2018

Easy blackberry pie

Friday! Don't worry, no music videos today.  It is not like the day is any specific harbinger of the weekend for me. I've been off work for a couple of weeks. When I gave notice at the old employer he told me not to bother working for him any more. I have to be honest, I could get used to not working. Except the not making any money part. I have a strange need for food and shelter.

A house down the street has their Christmas lights up and burning. They lit the house November 1. I dig Christmas and the attendant decorations, but that is too much. Christmas ads started on the TV and Christmas trees are in the stores, so I guess I'm just being a little curmudgeonly. Get off my lawn.

Take an armful of leaves when you go. 

Enjoy your day. I intend to.

November 8, 2018

I used to think Idiocracy was just a funny movie...

Wow, it is cold this morning. Not January cold, but mid-fall cold. There is a slight  chance for snow flurries on the morrow. Yes, I could have typed "tomorrow", but I am in a wordy mood today.

That does not bode well for you, dear reader.

I'm kidding. I really don't have much to discuss this morning. The rabid Democrats are determined to turn back the clock somehow to a Time Before Trump. The incoming House Judiciary Chairman is talking impeachment for Kavenaugh, for Trump, for anyone who dares to not toe the progressive party line. I am not sure how he will find a magic number of Senators to actually vote to remove the hated Trumpster and his minions. Details, details. Do the Democrats think if they remove Kavenaugh the replacement will be less conservative? The new Republican majority can no longer be held hostage by Susan Collins. Should they somehow get rid of Trump before Kavenaugh do they think Pence will appoint a liberal justice? If so, the Dem leadership is getting a jump on that recreational pot smoking in Michigan.

It is with incredulous head scratching that I read of the various liberal morons decrying the "loss of the Senate popular vote". HUH? Yes, they are confused why the total number of votes tallied by Democrat winners of Senate seats are higher than those of winners for Republican seats, yet the Republicans gained seats overall.

I wish I was kidding about that.

First, this confusion demonstrates an astounding lack of Constitutional understanding. First only 1/3 of the Senate is elected every two years, so the overall makeup can only be changed by a limited extent. More importantly, that is not how the Senate works.  Every state gets two senators. Period. So states with large populations will by design cast more votes for their TWO senators. California is more populous than Montana, so any senator running in California must get more votes than one running in Montana. And no, there has been no secret, vote-suppressing gerrymandering going on in smoke-filled Republican back rooms* that causes California to get only two senators. (yes that has been argued). If you believe that you are so stupid you must need written instructions to take a crap.

I am bordering on TLDR, so I will not even get into the ridiculous argument that white women voted against their interest when they failed to elect the Democrats. One leader of the Only Liberal Woman's March actually said these women might need re-education. Calling Chairman Mao, your inheritors are calling. And am I the only one who thinks calling out white women is racist?

What if a conservative singled out a person of color?  That is what I thought.

In other news, I'm gonna be a grandpa again**. My daughter is with child. So far they have had a battery of tests and all is well. A little prayer on her behalf wouldn't hurt if you are so inclined. In case you don't know why go back and read last November's entries.

*funny how there was no complaints about gerrymandering when the Democrats controlled most state houses until the early 1990s.  Why do Democrats always assume there is cheating or nefarious forces at work when the American people reject their message?

**it is a girl

November 7, 2018

Wave bye bye

When we were in Hawaii a few years ago we visited the North Shore to see the big waves at the famed Bonzai Pipeline. The ocean was as placid as the retention pond out by the Interstate. I have seen ski boat wakes make bigger waves. It seems the big waves only smash into the shore in the winter.

Pundits promised a big blue Democrat Bonzai Pipeline-like wave in yesterday's election. Instead we got the North Shore in May. The party out of power always picks up seats in the midterm election. Rarely is it so few. What  we saw yesterday was no mandate. Rather it was a meh, whatever. In fact, one might argue it was a continuation of anti-incumbent voting we saw in 2016.

I don't see waves of "me too" outrage or "impeach Trump now" hysteria. I see a little ripple on the political water. If anything, the anti-Kavenaugh votes might have lost the Femocrats a couple of seats.

What do you think?

At last

That is done. Maybe we can avoid any political ads until at least January? It will mean more car commercials, but it beats political advertising.

Did your candidate win? it looks like a split, Donks in the House, Repubs in the Senate. That means not much will happen legislatively. That is not necessarily a bad thing. The House will likely go into to a Get Trump frenzy with no path for anything to happen since the Rs gained more power in the Senate.

Go ahead Democrats, spend the days in a Marcia, Marcia, Marcia obsession with Trump and let's see how that works out in 2 years. Or you Dems could just ask Newt and the boys how it worked out in the 1990s.

November 6, 2018

I pulled the lever by pushing a red button

I couldn't believe the turnout when I moseyed over to the elementary school to cast my vote. Parking was at a premium, even street side parking was full. We waited about 15-20 minutes to vote. Considering we usually walk right up to the voting machine at mid-morning, that was crazy. It was not as busy as last year's general election though. 

I did my civic duty. I declined the stupid "I voted" sticker because I did not want one.

Per the normal way of things in this part of the state, lots of "R"s on the ballot; few Dems. Many local races were uncontested. Not as bad as a few years ago when I lived down in Shelby County and there was not a single Democrat running for office at the city or county level. Just a few miles south of my 'burb you would be hard pressed to find Republicans running for many of the offices. That is how stuff works when there are urban, suburban, and rural voters. 

Whether my guy or gal wins, life will go on. You won't find me crying or rioting in a fit of pique. And in truth, I doubt your life changes by much either. 

November 4, 2018

Does anybody know what time it is?

I don't care what it reads on the clock, my bladder knows what time it is.

If the politicians really want to make things better they could stop this non-sensical biannual changing of the clocks. It wouldn't cost any tax money either.

Since there is no money involved there is no one to pay for the vote so you and I are stuck with stupid time changes that serve no purpose.

November 3, 2018

Morning Memories

I made a pot of coffee this morning instead of a single cup from the Keurig. It just felt like it was going to be that kind of day. I trudged up the stairs and plopped down in the recliner in my office. I was engulfed in a chaff cloud of dog hair. The boy's dog stayed with us for the past couple of days. I know where he has been sleeping.

One more week and I start my new gig. I look around my home office fondly. A little nostalgia is already forming. Actually going to an office to work is going to be strange. This room is my little place. I spend more than forty hours a week in this converted bedroom. It is where I read the news and blogs each morning. It is where I type the mediocre content you consume. I work here and relax here on the long weekend mornings. It is the one room in the house decorated the way I want it.

Aside, I do not advocate framed copies of the Chicago Tribune from November 3, 2016 on the walls or humidors on the family room mantle or little wooden cigar store Indians on the end table. All are fine in my office. Not for the rest of the house.

I think this upstairs corner room has the best view in the house. I can look out over my triangular-shaped backyard. The big willow is just outside, the rest of the small lawn stretches away to the right. The early morning sunlight breaks first through my window. If I am on a long conference call I can prop my feet on the desk and look out the window by turning slightly right. I don't expect such views from a cubicle in an office park building.

Not working from home is the only downside I can find to the new job, at least before starting. I think I'm going to like it in every other way. But I'm going to really miss working from home. The wife is gonna miss me being here too.

It crosses my mind that a desk and filing cabinets are no longer going to be needed in here. Maybe I should get a TV and a small couch ? I could make it into a little man cave. Decisions, decisions.

weekend funny

A woman meets with her lover who also happens to be her husband’s best friend. They make love for hours.

Afterwards, as they lie in bed, the phone suddenly rings. Since it’s the woman’s house, she picks up the receiver.

The best friend listens, only hearing her side of the conversation:
“Hello? Oh, hi… I’m so glad that you called…”
“Really? That’s wonderful…”
“Well, I’m happy to hear you’re having such a great time…”
“Oh, that sounds terrific… Love you too.”
“OK. Bye-bye.”
She hangs up the telephone and her lover asks: “Who was THAT?”

“Oh,” she replies, “That was just my husband telling me about the wonderful time he’s having on his fishing trip with you.”

November 2, 2018

I hate the end of DST because that means an extra hour of political ads

It is Friday and in a long-standing tradition I could throw up a music selection. I am tempted to post The Moody Blues Tuesday Afternoon or maybe the Stones'  Ruby Tuesday in a tangential homage to the upcoming Election Day. I won't, because I just want Tuesday to come and go away.

We in the Hoosier State are plagued by political ads just like you are. Since our Senate battle is pivotal to political control, we see ad after ad after ad. One candidate had three ads in a row last night followed by two for the other guy! If you don't think politicians are corrupt explain why anyone would spend millions to get a job that pays $160K?

Strangely, both the Democrat and the Republican are bragging about how they back Trump's policies.

If one believes the advertisements, both are liars, human garbage intent on ruining America as you know it, handing out hundred dollar bills from your taxes to murdering, raping immigrants, conspiring to take away your access to doctors while sending jackbooted thugs to confiscate your guns so you have no protection from the Bolsheviks. Both want to send your job to Mexico or China, while protecting the jobs here in Indiana.  And both hate the Washington elite.

That is why they are spending millions to become part of it, I guess.

November 1, 2018

All of that candy


That is how many Trick or Treaters showed up at the door last night. That is just below the average of...three...we have enjoyed since moving here. We have lived in this house since 2013. It is clear kids do not come to our cul-de-sac to collect Halloween candy, yet the wife insists on buying a couple of bags of candy bars every year. I suggested grabbing a six pack of big candy bars and that is it. I was clearly speaking in Charlie Brown teacher voice. We now have a big Halloween bowl of candy on the table.

This is a far cry from the hordes we had at our previous house. The streets were filled with kids running from house to house collecting goodies. The neighborhood really looked like the Halloween depicted on TV shows. We would go through three or four of those giant bags of goodies like you get at WalMart and Target. One year I had to confiscate stuff from my kids' stash to redistribute!

It is done for another year.  We will finally get rid of the candy by Easter.  Next year I will lose the argument yet another time as the wife convinces herself that this year the kids will ring the doorbell on Halloween.
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