May 30, 2018

it was a timebomb from day one

Roseanne is a pig of a human being. She always has been. No one should be surprised she went over the top with a racist tweet. Does gingerbread ring any bells?

Should ABC cancel her show? That is a business decision.

For those outraged beyond measure by her comments, try watching any episode of SNL with an open mind and you will see comments and skits equally as course and disgusting as Roseanne’s tweet directed at President Trump and his supporters.

Today’s politics are anything but civil.

May 29, 2018

making the old new again

I did something last weekend I have not done in years. I read a book.

I’ve read more books than I can count in the past several years, but not real, physical books.

I guess the last “real” book I read might have been in 2012 or so. I had already mostly switched to the Kindle after I got my first one in 2009. I read about 50% paper books and the balance electronic books in those days.

As my vision started going, I needed brighter light to read so newspapers disappeared first from my daily reads. Then magazines. Finally things got to the point where I needed the backlight and larger print the Kindle afforded. I sold and donated a huge collection of books when we moved in 2013, thinking my “book” days were behind me. I kept only a few favorite series: the Sharpe books, the Aubrey/Maturin books, and select rare history tomes. My dad took my WEB Griffin and entire Louis L’Amour collection.

Long time readers may remember I had cornea transplant surgery in 2016. My vision is now a pretty good corrected 20/30.

Habit and convenience kept the Kindle as my sole reader. A few weeks ago I scored an ebook volume of Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe books for free or practically free. I forgot how much I liked the series. Unfortunately, the rest of the books in the series are ridiculously expensive on Amazon for electronic books 15 20 years old. I dug out my box o’books and found the physical copies. Yes! I could read the print without trouble. So I guess I’m going to read some real books in the coming weeks.

It will be hard to forego the convenience and light weight of the e-reader. Who knows, maybe I’ll like it?

May 28, 2018

On this day

It is not all about the BBQ or the beer or even mattress sales. Remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.

May 27, 2018

Vroom, splash, pop

Happy Sunday to you. If you like motor sports , today is your day. F1, NASCAR, and Indy are all revving their engines. It will be hot and humid for the Indy 500. I suspect lots of beer headaches by mid afternoon out at the Speedway. I won’t be there. I’ve been there and done that. The race is fun and the cars are faster than you can imagine if you have only seen the race on TV. The traffic to and fro the track is unbelievable. The start of the Indy race will make your heart flutter and the hair prickle on the back of your neck. The raw power of those cars is almost visceral. The end of the race is almost always thrilling. The rest is just watching the cars whiz by for a couple of hours.

We are heading off to hang with friends. Lounging in the pool, sipping cold beer, and smooth burning stogies are on tap. Yet another reason you wish you were me.

My new Chicago Cubs chapeau arrived yesterday ahead of schedule. This negates my complaints detailed in an earlier post. So it goes. I can’t even get my bitching right.

My son-in-law’s family had a tree planted at Butler University in honor of my grandson. Both my daughter and SIL are graduates of Butler. They met there. It is somehow appropriate that a memorial to their lost son be planted in Holcomb Gardens at the university. We met there yesterday for an unofficial dedication. Both families, his and ours,  then enjoyed a nice luncheon afterwards. It was a nice and bittersweet event.

Enjoy your day.

May 25, 2018

And yet again

Another school shooting this morning. This time a few miles from my abode.

No one reportedly dead.

Details will come out in due time.

The local news needs to really stop interviewing bystanders with no knowledge of the situation. Rumor, innuendo, and supposition, even from a parent, serves no purpose beyond filling the airwaves in a rush to be “first”. It is cheap sensational reporting and at worst, it is irresponsible.

i see leaves of green

Wednesday evening the wife wanted to run by the mall to do whatever she does at the mall. It was a warm and gorgeous night. As we walked up to the main entrance there was a group of six or seven teens talking near the entrance to one of the “outside” stores. They were not blocking the store, nor the sidewalk.  They were not loud nor boisterous. It was just a group of teen boys who happened to be black. I thought nothing of it at all.

Just as we got past the group a security guard came out of the mall and started telling the kids to leave. A second guard came hurrying out the mall doors as we went in; backup to a non-situation.

All I could think was those kids were being harassed for being black.

Now I don’t know what went before. Had the boys been up to no good a few minutes before and asked to vacate? Were they the remnants of a fight still discussing the affair? Had one or more opted for a five finger discount in the nearby store? I don’t know and none of it was my business.

This mall has had some issues: shootings, fights, mini riots, mass theft. The owners have every right to make the property safe and attractive to shoppers. It is a retail space, not a rec center for bored teens.

Still, if I came in from the cold with a hood on my head would a security guard tell me it is mall policy that all hoods have to be lowered? I suspect fifty-something white me would get a hoodie pass where 18 year-old African Americans don’t.

I’m disturbed by that. I do not accept that I have been given any “privilege” or special advantages based on my skin color, but I’m not so stupid to believe there is no discrimination faced by others.

May 24, 2018

There is never a test and you don’t have to write a blue book essay

I ordered a new Cubs hat because I wanted to. I have several. All different styles. I was notified that it shipped last night. It is coming from a suburb of Columbus, OH. According to tracking it should arrive at my house on Tuesday by eight PM.  That’s no big deal. I paid for the 3-5 day shipping. I just find it interesting that it will take as much as 6 days* to go 170 miles.

According to my iPad maps app, I can walk from Groveport, OH to my home in 2 days and 13 hours. Theoretically, I could have walked over there, picked up my Cubs hat, and walked back home in the same time frame it will take FedEx to deliver it. I could drive it in 3 hours. I know because I have done it hundreds of times.

The Pony Express bragged they could deliver mail from St. Joseph. MO to Sacramento, CA in ten days, a distance of 1,996 miles. if I use my fingers and toes to calculate I think that comes to about 200 miles a day. My new Cubs chapeau will travel at a rate of about 28 miles per day. Where is Buffalo Bill when you need him?

On the other hand, It cost $1 to ship a 1/2 oz. letter by Pony Express in a time when an average laborer was making about $25 a month. My shipping costs in proportion are significantly less.

I’m sure you do not care about my hat. But look at the cool stuff you learned in this post. We discussed geography, history, economics, and math. Coming here is almost like going to school, only a lot more fun. And it is free!

* I know there is a weekend and holiday involved. If it shipped on Monday and got here Wednesday I wouldn’t have anything to post about and you wouldn’t have a chance to read about the Pony Express. Sheesh. 

May 23, 2018

This post has been done for 13 minutes and is waiting on a good title to come to me...

I sat on the patio last evening. It was warm and nice. I smoked a little cigar and listened to my blog friend Jean’s Indians rout my Cubbies. As one of my coaches used to tell me, there is no defense for a walk. There is none for a three-run homer either.

The wife was at the store getting important stuff like toilet paper. The boy’s dog romped in the grass. I could only see the lawn needs mowed, the flower beds need weeding, the shrubs want trimmed. I need a truckload of mulch.

 I need a gardener.

I also need patio furniture. Mine is pushing 20 years old and looks it. The chairs are shot. We did not pay all that much for it to start with and now it is just worn out. A couple of the sling back chairs are ripping, others are sprung. The cushioned chairs have the supporting rubber slings are broken. The whole thing is an embarrassment. Unfortunately, a new set is just not in the budget right now.

I’m reading a book about the legendary Dakota Apartments in New York. It was published in the late 1970’s, before John Lennon was murdered on the sidewalk in front of the building. The tome is mildly interesting from a historical perspective, but the subtle condescension and racism is a little off-putting.

There is a whole chapter about how the building went down hill after they started letting in “the homosexuals “ and how Roberta Flack, repeatedly noted as “the first black resident”, had no appreciation for the historical architecture of her apartment, looking to gut it and make it modern. That would be the apartment that Flack owned. Apparently, Lauren Bacall and “the John Lennons” were not the highbrow denizens of the past the author so admires either.

The author laments the passing of the days when Central Park was the playground of the rich, and the common people knew their betters and appreciated them. You can tell he just wants to type “damn hippies” every sentence.  Rosemary’s Baby was born at the Dakota. The book was free. It is pretty good for the price.  I’m shocked to find there are at least ten books about Tne Dakota listed on Amazon.

Do you think anyone will write a book about life at the Catalpa Apartments on Green Street? I was one of the original renters.

I don’t think so either.

May 21, 2018

Easy apple turnovers

Yesterday passed with sunny skies and warm and humid temperatures. The forecasted rain never materialized. I got the Barbie Jeep assembled with no issues and the wife did the decal work. It is ready for a test drive today if the weather cooperates.

I got the bathroom sink fixed. It took less than a half an hour.

Amazingly, I assembled the car and fixed the sink without uttering a single curse word! Oh, I was tempted. I came close. I growled a “ come on you mother” at a fitting that did not want to thread on the drainpipe, but left the universal adjective off the end of the sentence.

I made a grilled chicken salad for our dinner. Light fare for a warm day. I should have cut the grass and worked on the yard. Oh well, that chore will still be there today or tomorrow or whenever I have time. The work that actually pays the bills comes first on this Monday morning.

Here is a recap of the weekend political news: because Trump. Oh, and there was a wedding. I’m surprised the media did not find a way to claim the nuptials went off without a hitch because a Trump wasn’t involved. Maybe they did. I didn’t watch even one second of the coverage.

Here is a recap of SNL: Trump bad. We have to say a Trump bad in every skit, even if that means foregoing humor.

Enjoy your Monday. I’m sure Trump will do something that will make Watergate, the Teapot Dome scandal and the entire Grant administration look good in comparison, at least according to the media.

May 20, 2018

How I spent my Saturday

Hold on...

OK, I’m back. My coffee mug was empty. Let us see, yesterday was a busy day. I watched some TV in the morning. I got a haircut. I went and bought the supplies to do a minor plumbing repair that needs doing (duh, I wouldn’t by supplies for a job that isn’t needed). I didn’t actually do the work, mind you, but I bought the stuff.

After thinking about it for a week and significant vacillation, we splurged and bought the granddaughter a Power Wheels Barbie Jeep. We didn’t really have the money, but what the heck. I can get me a new grill another day. It was on sale at Target. I will have to assemble it today. If I drag it out long enough I might avoid fixing the sink.

We went to see my parents. Mom is doing OK, considering. She looked tired. She sent a box of stuff home. Again. Every time I go there she gives me another box of stuff. But she gave me a couple of pies. My mom makes incredible pies. She has won awards at the fair for her pies.

We went to hang with some friends. We all went for a catfish dinner. I ate entirely too much. We played cards afterward.

That was my Saturday. To summarize: I got a haircut.

I’m not sure why you would care about any of this. There is no life lesson to glean from the minutiae of my day. There is no inherent political message. No moral underpinnings to exploit. What you get here is a boring recitation of a boring Saturday. If you thought there was something of interest or import here you are sadly mistaken. The title actually represented the content, though. That doesn’t happen all of the time.

I did skip describing the weather. So there.

May 19, 2018

Is it over yet?

What is the fascination with so-called royalty and their activities? We fought two wars to rid ourselves of the plague of British monarchy. Now they have been sucking air time from news reports at a prodigious rate. Time that could be devoted to Russia, Russia, Russia. For some reason I cannot fathom, the local news has even sent a team to London to cover the “wedding”. The Saxe-Coburgs serve no purpose beyond sucking the wealth from the British taxpayers. I sure do not care about the wedding of number five or six in line for the throne. It s clear Elizabeth intends to live long enough to make sure Chuck never becomes king.

May 18, 2018

This one is for you Big Dick, wherever you are

The other night we went to a pizza joint*.  Long bench seats are on one side of tables and chairs the other. I was seated so I had a perfect view of an older woman. She was probably in her fifties and she was...well, it is hard to be charitable...she was fat. She was also ugly. And the swath of tattoos did not help. My opinion was also affected by her posture. She sat with one pudgy leg propped sideways on the bench seat, the other limb on the floor. Did I mention she was wearing a short dress? She had on pink undies. It is not like I was looking. It was just...there, right in my view. Her pink wrapped snatch area was staring right at me. Very large and in charge. There it was, a thick cellulite hambone of thigh and bulging pink...shudder.  I spent my meal staring down at my plate, afraid to even look up to take a drink. It was the exact opposite of sexy. It was the kind of sight that would turn a young man gay; turn him off women forever. The “What not to Wear” folks would have had a stroke on the spot. It almost put me off my feed. I told my wife when we got home she should throw away any pink panties she owned. I never want to see pink undies again.

I SO wish this was a post of fiction.

*This one

May 17, 2018

Participating in the Lightning Round

i made a quick trip to the Windy City yesterday. Up and back with a visit to the Home Office for my annual review sandwiched between the drives. I should rephrase. I made a quick trip up to the Northwest ‘burbs. It was a much slower return. That happens when you hit the road in the Greater Chicago area a little after 4 in the afternoon. The total trip north took me right at four hours in the morning. It took 2-1/2 hours just to reach Indiana in the afternoon.

I listened to the History on Fire podcast for much of the trip. I’m still way behind, I’m just getting through the Aztec episodes. I switched over to the Cubs -Braves game when it came on.

Nothing interesting happened unless you count the evil rental car trying to kill me. I stopped for a quick pee break at the middle-of-nowhere rest stop near Remington. As I climbed back into the car a gust of wind pushed the door shut on my arm, leaving ripped skin and a bloody gash on my left forearm. What is up with my old man paper skin these days?

Yesterday was a 13 plus hour day. Not so hard when you consider more than nine hours was windshield time. I was glad to get some minor on the road hours. Still, I can’t help but think a conference call or Skype review would have been a better use of everyone’s time and money.

May 16, 2018

A break from my normal fare

Last night the wife and I went to a decent restaurant to celebrate Tuesday. Plus, I know the executive chef. The food was great. I had cedar planked salmon, the wife had a steak. The decor was nice and cozy. The food is scratch-made, so if you are looking to dine and dash, you probably should choose a chain eatery. It wasn’t cheap, but it was delicious.

If you live on the Indy north side I would recommend Stompin’ Barley located at the corner of Carmel, Fishers, and  Noblesville at 146th and River Road.

May 15, 2018

It just takes time

The wife and I stopped by the cemetery Saturday evening. It was beautiful and warm. The jerks that run the place finally got grandson Sawyer's headstone set (sorta). It still needs the concrete foundation. My SIL had to get nasty to even get it out there. We could understand the issues with pouring concrete and setting the stone during the winter, but it has been warm for a while now. Anyway, it is finally up.

The setting is nice, as far as a grave goes. Right on the edge of a tree line, a small stream or ditch is in the distance. There are birds and squirrels and even deer. I saw tracks all winter and one ate the buds off some flowers on the grave. It was exactly the kind of spot I would choose to spend eternity. I can't help thinking that is fine for an old guy, heartbreaking for the resting place of a little baby.

I still have a tough time when I visit him. I don't know how his mom and dad manage.

In other news, MRIs indicate my mom has no permanent damage from her Sunday morning stroke. She passed cognition, memory, and balance tests yesterday afternoon and is scheduled to be released today. That is good news.

The next several paragraphs of complaints and general whining has been eliminated.

You are welcome.

Everyone has problems.  You don't need to suffer through a recitation of mine.

May 14, 2018

Mother's Day recap

The weather was beautiful yesterday for Mother's Day. We went to a nice Italian place with my daughter and her family.

The rest of tne day was not so great. My mother had a stroke yesterday morning. Happy Mother's Day indeed. She was admitted into the hospital over her objections Saturday with issues breathing, tiredness, and extremely high blood pressure. Apparently she suffered a minor stroke in the morning Sunday. Currently she has no paralysis, that passed, but is struggling to get the right words out. That pisses her off. Her frustration was evident.

My mom is 78. She is tough. She just retired one year ago this month. Seriously.

In the past year both my parents' health has deteriated. Dad is just recovering from having a large tumor removed from his neck in January and subsequent radiation treatments. For the first time ever he looks his eighty years. Before, you would have sworn he was 20 years younger. Mom has worried so much about dad, I think it has sapped her health. 

It is bright and sunny this morning. It just doesn't seem so to me.

May 13, 2018

A post for you

I wish the happiest of Mother's Day to all of you moms out there.

May 11, 2018

Unimaginative insipid tedium

It is a glorious Friday here at the old homestead. The sun is bright, but there is a chance for rain later. That is spring in these parts. A bunny was hopping around the flower beds out by the fence when I limped down to make my coffee and swallow my morning handful of meds. That dang rabbit is probably going to chew my lillies off at the ground.  I need to get some rabbit repellent at the big box hardware store.

I'm back. I bet you didn't even know I stepped away. I'm sneaky like that. I threw some Doughboy orange rolls into the oven for the girls (wife and granddaughter) and me. I have about 15 minutes to wrap this up, unless you don't mind another interruption while I feed my face.

I stayed up way too long reading last night. I'm sorta dragging this morning. Sugary pastries should perk me up.

Enjoy your Friday.

May 10, 2018

Yadda yadda

I imagine (imagine being the operative word) you are concerned about my sporadic postings of late. After nearly six thousand posts I may have finally talked myself out.

I'm sick of politics. My daily life is more boring than you can imagine. You don't care about my weather. Sports are not compelling. Do you really want to read about the dog shedding all over the house or the chipmunk on the front porch? Do you care what I ate for supper? I'm bored with those topics before I even type the thought.

My life is so boring right now, I cannot stand it. My efforts here are a reflection of that.

I did manage to sneak in a post though. Take that judgementalists.

May 8, 2018

Just like a slave, only not at all like it

I read where the mother of a Duke basketball player claims her son was just like a slave because he did not get paid for his basketball skills. She starred at Ole Miss and thinks she was enslaved by the NCAA too.

Both went to college for free, including tuition, room, board, and books. I suspect my three kids, each of which has monthly student loan payments equal to a mortgage payment would like to argue with her. Carter was paid sixty thousand dollars a year in kind for his efforts on the court. In addition, he got a college education. Slave? I think not. What slave gets $60K a year in compensation, including room and board, and can cease his labor at will? No one is forced to play ball. No one is forced to stay in school. You cannot be bought or sold to a school n Iowa or Utah. It is all voluntary. Slave? No, it is called a job, an opportunity to learn your craft and get compensated for it.

How about this, a prospective college athlete can choose an atheletic scholorship to pay for his education or get paid for playing. Players can choose minimum wage for official practice time, $15 or $20 an hour for game time and pay their own room and board. If they want the education, they take out loans like the rest of the student body to pay the tuition. The players who choose to get paid are just like the rest of us, if you do not work you do not get paid. I hope that knee holds up. You better get you some insurance.

Sorry student athletes, many students have commitments outside of class. All three of my kids worked while attending school.



Quit crying. All of us who work for the man make money for others. Do you think I was paid even 1% of the sales when I had a $35 million dollar territory? No. Not even close. Grow up students.

May 7, 2018

I will take collusion for $1000, Alex

For those desperately seeking evidence of collusion with a foreign government against the US*, look no further than reports that John Kerry has been meeting with foreign governments to find a way to keep Trump from dumping the Iran Nuclear agreement. Kerry has no official position. This is like you or I trying to negotiate outside of the government. This is a clear violation of the oft-cited but never enforced Logan Act.

This is not the first time citizen Kerry has deigned to negotiate on behalf of America. He tried to intervene in the negotiations surrounding he Vietnam War back in the seventies. Yes, he is a self-important jackanapes.

I wonder at the level of outrage had Trump tried to negotiate with say, the NOKs, had Hillary won the Oval Office. I suspect liberal heads would explode live on CNN.

I would give up beer and cigars for a month if Trump had Kerry arrested and perp walked. He doesn't even have to follow through with arraignment, just let me see on thelevision the figurative "knock it off, jerk" slap upside the head Kerry so richly deserves.

* there is no law against "collusion". Trump could have consulted Putin every single day during the 2016 campaign and broken nary a law.

May 6, 2018

I'm not sure I have ever seen a huckleberry

It seems I'm far more interested in reading, watching TV, diddling my navel, staring out the window, listening to music, or taking a nap than writing today.

That is either a good thing or disappointing news, depending on your point of view in this moment in time.

May 5, 2018

The electronic graveyard

I found my old Palm Tungsten E yesterday. I plugged it in and it surprisingly came back to life. The old data was gone. It has sat dormant for close to 15 years. I'm not surprised the memory is cleared.

This model was in a long list of Palm products I owned and used all of the time. I started with the venerable Palm Pilot sometime in the late 1990's. I grabbed the Palm IIIC when it came out with a color version and internal rechargeable battery. Then came the Tungsten. I bought a Palm Treo smart phone when it hit the market, combining my PDA and my mobile phone. My employer was pushing Blackberries, but I showed how all of my data and contacts was already on the Palm platform and how my phone had features the Blackberry could not match.  The computer guy eventually ditched his Blackberry for a Treo too.

Then the iPhone hit the market. I did not get the first generation model, the company was not that advanced. I did buy an iPod touch, though. Based on my Treo recommendation the boss was ready to let me experiment with the iPhone 3G. I have never looked back. I'm on my fourth or fifth iPhone. I could upgrade from my 6S, but it still works great. More importantly, it is paid for. My old iPhone 3G still works. I, or rather my Granddaughter, uses it as an iPod touch, playing music and taking pictures.

The old Palm Tungsten was pretty cool to find. They are going for $5 to $100 on EBay. I see several for sale. I'm not sure there are buyers.

It is amazing where tech has gone over the years.

May 4, 2018

I see trees of green...

I cannot believe how green it has gotten in the past week. Last Sunday when I was working in the yard most of the trees were still bare, just budding. Since temperatures have finally reached normal May levels the trees are in full leaf, the hostas are four inches tall,  and the lilies have grown remarkably. Everything is a deep emerald green. Tulips are blooming. What a difference a week makes! Best yet, I'm sporting shorts and a T-shirt instead of jeans and a fleece.

Don't worry, it won't be long before I'm complaining about the heat. Complaining is what I do best. And sarcasm. But rest assured, neither attribute makes an appearance in today's bloggity effort.

So far.

No, I think I will stop here before the snark rears its ugly head.

I hope you have a great Friday.

May 3, 2018

Nerd Alert

I was a semi-nerd in high school. I thought I was cool, but the fact I was not included in the parties and gatherings of the in-crowd was probably a hint. I wasn't picked on or bullied either. I wasn't part of the hoodlum crowd either. I was a kid who played sports and did band ( it was an easy "A"). I got good grades. In short, if such a vote had been held I would have been voted "most forgettable" of my high school class -- except no one would have remembered to vote for me. Instoner words,I was just like a lot of high school kids.

One thing pushed me to the nerd category: I was a Boy Scout. The local paper featured me a couple of times in the United Way write ups. Even in the Seventies being Joey Boy Scout wasn't a ticket to nekkid co-ed swim parties with the hot popular chicks. An Eagle Scout badge never made a teen girl swoon. Ever.

I enjoyed Scouts, especially the camping. After college I started out merit badge counseling for a local troop and eventually serving as a very young Ass't Scoutmaster. Kids and new jobs and a move ended that and I did not don a uniform again until my oldest boy jumped into Cub Scouts. I helped out and ended up being Weblos leader and finally Cub Master until he moved on and decided to be a Scout no more, eschewing Boy Scouts altogether. The youngest had no interest at all. He was into sports and I was OK with both boys' decisions.

Still, it pains me to see The Scouts succumb to pressure and go co-ed. Changing the name from Boy Scouts is even more pathetic. I get it. We talked about political pressure and declining Scout enrollment here when the decision was made to accept girls into the Boy Scouts. I suppose now critics cannot ridicule girls in the ranks by muttering "it is the BOY Scouts, fer cripes sake". Now the organization will just be "Scouts BSA".

Still, it just seems a little like combining the army and marines and calling that branch "military".

Oh well, I've been done with the BSA for a long time. No one asked me, and I'm sure they don't care for my opinion.

May 2, 2018

Tap, tap...tap,tap


Is this thing on...on...on?

May 1, 2018

Flogging my brain with a dozen lashes of the cat

It just occurred to me I failed to post anything today.

Oh well.

Remedied through strict interpretation of blogging rules 13.7.42c.
Consider everything here that is of original content copyrighted as of March 2005
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