January 30, 2019

Gimmes some of that global warming

How cold is it? I just found the Tidy Bowl man ice fishing in my toilet.

That is one of my brother's jokes. Of course you have to be over about 40 too remember the Tidy Bowl Man commercials.

I think I'll crawl into my freezer to get warm. That's how cold it is outside.

For posterity, it is -5. The wind is roaring around the eves giving us a current wind chill of -31. It is cold as tne dickens where you are too. 

Find someone to snuggle with.

Me? I'm off to get ready for work. 1/2 a day in the office and then I'm on the road to Northwest Ohio. Woot. I normally hate driving in my coat. I suspect I'll make an exception today.

Stay warm, my friends.

January 29, 2019

I think a donut is in order

Let's just get it out of the way -- it is cold. It is probably cold at your house too. It is going to be even colder over the next few days. Really cold. I get to travel in it. Customer summons and Joe goes. There is a lot of nothing between here and there, wide open flat windy prairie. I am slightly apprehensive about travelling in -15 temps with wind chills in the -30 range.

I had a pithy post in my mind Sunday evening. By the time yesterday came it fizzled away into the mists of coulda, shoulda land. So you got nothing yesterday and a soporific weather report today.

Ain't blogging grand? Oh well, I did deep thinking over the weekend. A couple of long posts you most likely skipped are followed by this nonsense. I think it is clear I have wrung this dishrag of a hobby for all I can get out of it. It may be time soon to let it die a natural death.

Have a great Tuesday.

January 27, 2019

I admit a strong bias against old unworkable ideas

I have spent a significant part of my life studying history. My love affair with the past started in Mrs. Walters' 3rd grade class with the film and novel Johnny Tremain.  I have since not only earned a degree in history, but immersed myself in various historical subjects in the intervening years. I'm not a historian. I'm a semi-devoted amateur. I'm fascinated by the similarities of the American Revolution and the French Revolution -- right up to the point the French took a sharp left turn in the name of reason and then "equality".

While I have spent far less time on the rise of the Bolsheviks in Russia, their path was similar to the French. Later, Castro and Che followed the inequality = change = "only I can accomplish what we need" dictator model established by leftist revolutionaries throughout history. Kevin Williamson has an article on just this subject in National Review.

That is why I look at the current rhetoric from the left with a jaundiced eye. The soak punish the rich mentality that is currently in vogue has a very French, Russian, Venezuelan feel to it. It is easy to consider billionaires and millionaires and think "they don't need all of that money". Envy is a powerful political tool.

The problem comes when we try to define "need". Who gets to decide? If we went all French Revolution extreme and guillotined the economic "nobles" in the National Mall we might eliminate the One Percenters only to elevate another crop of heads to be harvested as the new One Percent. As long as someone has more than you or me, they are the economic enemy. Where does it stop?

In Revolutionary France that meant you resorted to wearing the filthy rags as the poorest street dweller so as not too appear unequal. In Soviet Russia the newly politically powerful (not all pigs are equal) just covered their hypocrisy by building their Dachas out of town and creating special stores for the elites where there was no need to stand in line for bread and toilet paper with the now "equal" masses. You know, "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" as The Who so aptly described things.

So for those Lefty types touting their enthusiasm for equality and anti-wealth positions I suggest you at least adopt the policies of the original egalitarians, the Levelers. Practice what you preach. Renounce your Government salary. If the median wage in this country is $50,000 annually, you should refuse any income beyond that. There is no earthly reason why a politician should earn three times the average Joe. After all, HE is paying your salary.

Instead, just like most leftists when it comes to money, it is all about someone else's bank account.

January 26, 2019

The fetid swamp water gets a little deeper

Trump caved. The King of Negotiators got nothing for his efforts. As a professional negotiator I can tell you this, once an issue comes off the table, it is not coming back up for discussion. There will be no wall -- Not now, not in three weeks. Oh, and as a byproduct of lousy negotiating, we just elected a far-leftist as our next president.

I will get to that, but as a quick aside, if The Wall was all so important why didn't the Stupid Party fund it when they had control of both Houses of Congress? That  was as recently as 27 days ago...

The Democrats are all struggling to see who can out-commie the economically illiterate chick from the Bronx. Trust me, the lefties will run someone who thinks we should be the next Venezuela or Cuba. They might even choose someone who thinks all Whites are the Anti-Christ, except they don't believe in the religion thing, and that Men (well white men anyway) are the root of all evil. We Americans survived Woodrow Wilson and his co-President wife, we can survive Kamela. *

The Repubs will run Trump, because why rock the boat? Since they have the worst PR apparatus in the free world and have no idea how to tout the good stuff Trump has done, The People will be pissed because Trump couldn't pass legislation (not his job) and stay home.

Those who think they are owed something, you know, anyone under 35 and most people who are not fair-skinned, will vote the Lefty into office because he/she will promise something for nothing. We will one again be back to the Alvin Lee/Ten Years After political platform. **

Don't worry, the new lefty will not deliver on his/her promises and the voters will put the other guys back in charge of the purse strings two years later. The Levelers always overreach. The Invisible Hand always trumps Marxism, even in Mao's China and Stalin's USSR or Fidel's Worker's Paradise.

Nothing will change. The Swamp Monsters will tax a little more, spend a lot more and the corruption train will chug chug chug right on.

* at least the next President will not be Hillary, that you can take to the bank.
** iTunes or YouTube, can explain this just by listening to a righteous tune

January 25, 2019

Fry Day

At the risk of offending the hashtag me two brigade and possibly revealing my toxic masculinity (whatever that means), I have to tell you that Baby, it's cold outside. A brisk three (3) Fahrenheit coupled with a biting winds results in a -14 wind chill. I repeat: Baby it's cold outside.

It is winter. We see this kind of weather very year.

I took the afternoon off yesterday. I could have blogged. I had some free time. I didn't surf the Internet at all. I read, I watched some TV, I played Barbies with my granddaughter. It was a good afternoon and evening.

Thanks for the reminder Ed. I took care of it.

I went to the doctor Wednesday. Blood pressure was good. Heart rate good. Cholesterol was good. Had a hepatitis C screen -- negative. I took a flu shot. My A1C was high, just as I suspected, but not as high as I thought it would be. I avoided going on the needle for at least another three months. I can get my blood sugar down to acceptable levels through diet, if I can get my mind right.

I was going to rant about an editorial I read yesterday. I decided not to bother. I trust you are good with that.

Have a great Friday. Stay warm.

January 22, 2019

Tuesday grab bag

Blah, blah, blah. Now you are caught up on my life. I got early cause I had to...go to the bathroom. I suspect you do not want nor care for details.

I notice the plant on the cabinet here in my office still needs water. Remind me, will you?

I need a haircut.

I need a vacation.

I hate the Patriots.

Bill Belichek is a football genius.

I have to go to the doctor tomorrow.  He isn't gonna be pleased with my blood sugars. I'm not either. But it is my fault. I eat too much stuff I shouldn't, I have not been exercising. He is going to want to put me back on the needle. Mostly I have to get my mind right. I have to be firm in my "no" to the bad stuff.

 I really like potatoes.

I need to do the other two "esses" and get to work.

Have a great Tuesday.

January 20, 2019

Even in the quietest moments

The bare branches of the big willow outside my office window hang in frozen stillness. The outside world has a soft blue-gray tint as the snow reflects the pale orange of the soon-to-rise sun in the eastern distance. I can feel just the smallest of drafts through the window glass. I'm not surprised, it is a frigid 7 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale outside. My weather app says it feels like -5. The coffee is hot and Steely Dan is playing in the background. My little wooden cigar store Indian stares with a stern expression, perhaps because the plant on the cabinet clearly needs some water.

It is a good Sunday morning.  Praise God for his blessings.

Later this morning I will have to shovel the drive and sidewalks. I see the plow already made its rounds, the leavings pushed into my drive. We lucked out in the winter storm yesterday. More rain and sleet fell than snow. We got a few inches as opposed to the forecasted half a foot. I shall not complain -- not even about the temperature. It is winter, it is always cold this time of year.

I have to be in High Ground City for trainings early in the morning. I'm leaving after dinner to make sure I'm on time. I have no doubt I will wake fresh and ready for the day on the morrow, despite not staying in a Holiday Inn Express. No, my reservations are for the chain's namesake brand.

I plan on having potato soup and BLT sandwiches before I hit the road tonight. Look at me, saving the company on eating money.

I hope you have a great Sunday.

January 19, 2019

Reagan left office three decades ago

I don't have the time or ability to read the blogs and delve into politics as I did in the days I worked from home. It is not that I goofed off so much more, but I had more access to the interwebz, I had no commute, I had far fewer meetings and conference calls. An extra fifteen minutes here and there spread through the day and you have an hour or two of spare time.

My interest in politics was flagging a bit anyway. I quit listening to political talk radio years ago, instead tuning in to sports talk when I toiled in my little bedroom office and history-based podcasts when on the road.*

I think my political philosophy is an anachronism in today's world. Who represents me? Certainly no Presidential candidate in the past couple of decades. I cast my vote far more often against as opposed to for. I don't think that is the way it is supposed to work.

I look at the current shutdown fiasco and I cannot help but think that the government workers still on the job should be paid. They are doing the work. Certainly it is hyperbole to view the situation as slavery as one of the government employee unions has argued, but one should get paid for his labors.

On the other hand, the government is doing right now during the shutdown the stuff I think a government should: protecting the borders**, keeping planes from flying into each other, making sure the foods we eat are food, not Soylent Green, keeping the military at ready. Frankly, things are running pretty well without those hundreds of thousands of idled government employees. Maybe we ought to take a hard look at stuff and not recall a significant portion of the furloughed workers. You know, get a little more lean as we say in the private sector.

Businesses have cut and automated their workforce, especially the indirect labor force over the past few decades. The job filled by three or four people in 1990 is now done by a single person. We read about how automation is, and has, decimated the factory floor. Let me tell you, that scythe cut through the front office with terrible effect starting in the late eighties. It struck the white collar community like the bubonic plague in the Great Recession of 2008-2010. Those jobs are gone, and they are not coming back. And no, they didn't move to China or Mexico, or anywhere else.

Maybe it is time we cut the fat from the public payroll. Maybe politicians should start looking at the bottom line like shareholders and management-types do their private businesses. The boss at your work has a financial stake in the company running well. Your elected pol doesn't care, he is spending your money.

And those kind of thoughts are what makes me the political anachronism I described at the outset of this way-too-long post. And I'll be damned if I can find very many office-seekers who understand they are spending money taken forcibly from their fellow citizens, at any level of politics - local, state or federal. I'm starting to give up trying.

And that attitude just may be what our elected officials hope for.

* Hardcore History, Revolutions, The British History podcast, History on Fire, to name a few.
** in general terms

January 18, 2019

Not so deep thoughts

In all of our discussions of immigration and the Democrats push to abolish ICE and promote Sanctuary City policies we should never forget that illegal immigrants flew planes into buildings killing thousands of Americans.

You might say that was an isolated event and not all "undocumented aliens" or people with expired visas are terrorists.

But then why would we push for gun laws in response to a lone crazy shooting up a school?

The hypocracy is so easy when parsing lefties.

January 16, 2019

Yet another high quality effort

Lookee, lookee, another day, another post. I'm blogging from the familiar and friendly confines of my home office this morning. Not from an untoward event at the regular office, rather because I'm going to do my road warrior thing today.

It is a quick day trip to the Land of Klinger, or if you are not fans of old sitcoms, call it Detroit South. Call it NW Ohio if you prefer. In any case driving there and back in the course of a work day is no problem. Sure, the day might be 10 hours or so, but that is fine with me.

My immediate concern is the icy drizzle and frozen fog that left a gift of black ice on the roadways and bridges this morning. I hope traffic will leave the interstates melted by the time I venture out onto  highway 69.

Hah, he said "69". Yes, mentally I'm still 13.

I have a little work correspondence to attend and a call to my pop to wish him the happiest of birthdays before I shave and shower and hit the road.

Live well, dear readers.

January 15, 2019

Toos Day

With more snow and sub-zero temps headed this way over the weekend, I take comfort in the very idea that pitchers and catchers report in less than a month.

January 13, 2019

A sad day

Everything else I have to say today pales in significance as I learn we have lost yet another of the good ones

Ellison was one of the first blogs I read on a regular basis.

Rest in peace, my Internet friend.

Snow, sports, and a movie review

The prognosticators were dead on with the snow forecasts. My ruler says we have just at seven inches. My neighbor came over with his new snow blower just after noon yesterday and cleaned my driveway. He did everyone on the cul-de-sac. Right neighborly I would say. I went out and cleaned the drive again around four. I have another inch or so to clean off later this morning along with the big chunks and heavy ridge left by the plow when the street was cleaned late last night.

Just a few miles south the city of Indianapolis measured 6 plus inches of snow. Normally that would mean private contractors would be hired to clean side streets. The DPW said that measurement on grass is greater than on streets and they say only five inches fell on the streets so they will not call out the private plows.

We have smart phones, smart bulbs,smart devices, smart appliances, smart homes. I was not aware we had smart snowflakes that only fall on grass. There must still be a few bugs since some snow fell on the streets in Indy.

The football game was ugly. Less said the better.

On occasion I do the heavy lifting around here so you don't have to. I suffered through the 2017 bio-pick Churchill yesterday. You are welcome. What a piece of claptrap. One would think if a film was about a historical figure the writers would do a little research. The crux of the film is Churchill was dead set against D-Day and did all he could in the days before the launch of the WWII Normandy landings to stop the invasion. In between, he suffered fits of depression, rage, self-pity, and general petulance.

There is no historical record to support this at all. Did Churchill have doubts? Did the pressure of war weigh on him? Probably. Were these doubts debilitating as depicted in the film? I think not. The producers did a great job of casting though. Churchill looked like the Prime Minister. General Jan Smuts was especially well cast in appearance.

Review: do not bother. One half star out of five.

Here is a little trivia to round out this wintry Sunday: The Boer General Jan Smuts served in the Boer Wars, WWI and WWII and is the only signer of the peace documents with Germany ending both World Wars.

January 12, 2019

A Desperate Need for French Toast

SnowTeam ScareTeam is in total "we all gotta panic" mode. They gleefully predict 4-7 inches of snow through Sunday, albeit with grave countenance for the cameras. Grocery stores were packed yesterday evening. Why? Because in 1978 the area was snowed in for a couple of days. This storm, even if we were to get the maximum, would not cripple the area. Plows are already salting slick roads and will plow as necessary. If anyone just must have the ingredients for an emergency batch of French Toast, they will be able to get to the store.

Here at the old homestead we had plenty of bread and eggs. We didn't have any milk. More importantly, I'm not sure I had enough beer to get through the football games. We stopped by the grocery to grab the essentials, and some milk on the way home from dinner. In the cart: beer, little chocolate donuts, Danish pastries, grape jelly, and chili sauce to make BBQ little wienies in the crock-pot. I said the purchases were essentials.

I did mention there was a football game on TV, right? We already had the stuff for pretzel dip and some frozen potato skins. Yes we're are having a tailgate party right in the living room. No, no one is invited. It will be just me and the wife snacking away while watching the local team in the playoffs. Yes, she will watch.

I intend to have a great Saturday. I hope you have one too.

January 10, 2019

"G" marks the "X" spot, or something like that.

The kitchen is cleaned. Dishes are washing in the machine. I made a salad for supper. I cut some chicken breasts into chunks and then browned them in olive oil to put on top. It was normal salad fare: lettuce, onion, bacon, cheese, tomatoes, croutons.. Some blueberry muffins from a Jiffy mix rounded out the meal.  Of course it is not as healthy as it seems.

Right now I'm blasting music from the upstairs Echo while I hunt and peck. I just put away some toys. The wife ran to the store. I'm ready to park my rear on the couch and relax. I didn't leave work until six. I ate lunch at the office, only taking a bit over half of an hour. I headed to the break room late and had a 1:00 meeting. I'm not complaining, just telling you how it is.

But this is a post. You have to admit that. There may not be much thought behind it, but it is words arranged in a certain fashion.

January 9, 2019

Was Hadrian on to Something?

I have always been a strong believer that a Nation has a duty to protect its borders. I am a proponent of controlled immigration and opposed to uncontrolled illegal immigration. To whit, my boss is Mexican and he is moving here and I am fine with that. He is doing it legally.

I remain a bit queasy with the concept of a wall on our southern border. I am of the Cold War era. The image of that monstrosity in Berlin invokes the very concept of anti-freedom. Yes, I understand one was constructed to keep people in, while the other is supposed to keep people out, but isn't that semantic difference dependent upon which side of the barrier you are standing?

Where I become confused is when Democrats claim the wall is immoral. What is immoral about securing he border? If indeed a barrier to entry is immoral, doesn't that imply that any barrier to entry into the country is immoral? What is acceptable? If not a cement wall how about fencing, landmines, crocodiles, barbed wire, roving gangs in Yankees uniforms and nail-studded baseball bats, dogs, angry badgers, ditches, a tacit pinkie swear that caravans of desperate would-be immigrants promise not to enter, snake pits, miles of yellow crime tape embossed "do not cross", pungee sticks? You tell me what would constitute a "moral" border control.

And don't tell me that protecting the border is racist. Otherwise, you would be arguing to scrap Border Control at bridges, ports, and airports. Why should would-be immigrants from India, Pakistan, China, Nigeria, Lebanon, or Poland have to follow the rules while a blind eye is turned to our southern border? That, my liberal friends, is racist.

I don't have the perfect answer. I have seen the squalor of third world countries. I understand the desperation to find a better life for your family. It should not take years to immigrate legally. Fix that. We need to disincentivize illegal entry. Go after the black market employers. Get rid of any welfare for illegals. Tax out of country money transfers. Hell, go to a national sales tax instead of income taxes so an illegal pays his fair share.

I know I am not alone in hoping Congress will actually address the issue. I have studied the late Roman Empire. I know what uncontrolled "immigration" can wreak upon a nation.

Trump was elected in part because he vowed to address illegal immigration. Polls still support border control. Maybe for once politics will not trump policy?

Fat chance.

January 7, 2019

Ya Think?

It may be a character defect, or at least a glimpse into my level of impatience with life, when I think the sixty seconds or so it takes the Keurig to spit coffee into my mug is just entirely too long a wait.

January 6, 2019

They are all out to get me

I'm a happy boy this morning. The Colts stomped all over the Texans in playoff football yesterday.

My bathroom scale has designs on running for public office. It practises by lying to me every day before I climb into the shower. The mirror might be an accomplice: every day when I look into it it doesn't show me, it reflects an old man. And to dig deeper into the conspiracy theory that is my life, why does the barber lady scatter gray hair all over my lap and the floor when she cuts my hair?

I have to drag the rest of the Christmas stuff up into the attic this afternoon. It is supposed to be seasonally warm and I want it out of the garage. Unfortunately this load includes the two trees. The one box is very large and very heavy. The rest of he stuff I can manage, but I need help with that one. 

I off to get more coffee. Then I might try to go for a walk. Or I could sit my rear on the couch and finish binging on The Last Kingdom on Netflix.  

I'll take Uhtred for $1000, Alex. 

January 5, 2019

Red Vines and Coffee

I slept in again this morning. I didn't get up until just before eight. On New Years Day I slept past 9:00. I normally wake up on my own between 6-6:30. I guess I have been tired or something. 

I hate car shopping and looking for furniture. We have limped by with one car for too long. You have no idea what a benefit a company car is until it goes away after more than 20 years. I'm off to look for a cheap used car this morning to get me back and forth to work. It is a ten minute commute, so I just need a vehicle that will start and not need tons of repairs.  I'd like a pickup, but used truck prices are ridiculous. I don't want a payment, but I also don't have piles of cash and coin in my basement vault where I slide and ski down money mountains like Scrooge McDuck. 

Like everyone, I want a great car with practically no cash down and very low monthly payments. Face it, I just want my employer to buy me a car. 

I hate the high pressure "What do we need to get you into this car today" spiel. I can handle that, sales is my profession too. But more, I despise the hours waiting on financing to do their thing then come out with a whole different deal than what you agreed with the salesman. If I find something today, I will wait a little for them to work up the numbers then I'm leaving. They can call me Monday with a final deal. I'm not sitting around the dealership for hours on a Saturday. Mostly I loathe the idea that I'm going to get cheated. I am. I just don't like it. 

Have a great Saturday. I won't. 

January 4, 2019

Random Ramblings Friday Edition

Happy Friday. I managed to make it through another day alive. There is something to be said for that.

The bruising on my jaw from my tooth extraction before Christmas has mostly subsided. I look a little less like I have been brawling in back alleys.

Before I forget, I am going to try and do a little blog housekeeping over the weekend. I'm going to do additions to the blog roll. If you are missing or got accidentally deleted let me know and I will get you added.  If you haven't posted in a year or more, I just might purge you. You can never gauge my mood.

The Colts open the playoffs tomorrow against the evil Houstons.  Go horseshoes.  In any case we are only six weeks out from Spring Training. That very thought makes me smile.

The government remains shut down. The media is in near vapors. Funny, when the government was closed during the Obama years it was just "tough negotiating" by the god-like Chief Executive. Now a shut down is just further evidence the Apocolypse is at hand and Bezelbub is in the White House. Don't worry, you and I are going to pay those workers for sitting at home. Any unemployment they claim should be deducted from the back pay. Will it?

Have a great evening.

January 1, 2019

Twenty Nineteen

Best wishes for the happiest of New Years. I'm late getting to the old blog this morning. I slept in very late. I'm not sure why, I had nary a drop of booze to mark the flipping of calendar pages. Not a beer, nothing, but I still slept like a hungover sailor on shore leave.

The wife and I went out for a steak then came home to watch a movie on Netflix. The wind howled around the eves and shook the siding. The rain had subsided. We switched over to network coverage and watched the ball drop in Times Square. I grabbed a willing kiss from my spouse and the old year was gone. Ho hum, another boring New Year celebration.

I'm glad to be healthy to start 2019. It was almost otherwise. Sunday I was putting boxes of outdoor decorations back into the attic. I have 10' ceilings in my garage. The stepladder is an eight-footer. I was on the next to top step of the ladder, shoving some boxes back to make room to climb into the opening. I must have twisted because I felt the ladder slip from beneath my feet as it fell sideways. I dropped through the hole like a cartoon character. Somehow I managed to reach out and catch myself on the attic entrance coping. I caught my full weight on my hands, hung for a second, slowing my fall, and dropped to the concrete floor. Like a cat, I managed to land on my feet.

My hand was scraped up. I managed to land square without twisting an ankle, but my right foot is very sore, bruised or sprained slightly.

I limped into the house and told the wife she was going to have to hold the ladder while I finished. Yes, shutting the proverbial barn door after the plow horse had absconded to eat oats and cozy up to the neighbor's in-heat mare. I told her what happened.

"Lucky you didn't tear up the drywall" was her comment.

"Lucky I didn't tear up me" was my my snarky reply.

She was irritated I snapped at her. I was irritated I did not get some sympathy.

So it goes.

Happy New Year.
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