May 31, 2020

Sigh

I started watching the miniseries “Grant” from the History Channel this morning. I am 2:54 into it and I’m already disappointed. That is two minutes and fifty four seconds into it.

Grant famously wore a private’s sack coat. He eschewed the standard generals’ uniform. The opening scene of the series is supposedly at the Battle of Shiloh and there is Grant all gussied up in a gold looped General Officer uniform. What are the odds they depict the general on crutches at Shiloh? He was.

If the producers cannot get these basic facts right, how can we respect any of the content?

Sigh. I was looking forward to this one.

Edit   “Grant would have been aware of the Abolitionist and pro slavery conflict”  No shit. Anyone breathing in the antebellum United States would have been aware.

More Edit:  WWI type trenches at Fort Donaldson? Seriously?

OMG    Fighting behind Sandbags at Shiloh? Did they even consult with amateur historians?  A sixth grade history buff could have set them straight.


I’m  not sure I can continue with this.  The glaring inaccuracies are making me sick.  There must be something on the Hallmark Channel more worthwhile.

May 29, 2020

Riot is not protest

Looting is not protest either.

Burning stores and mass theft from businesses in your neighborhood is the equivalent of pissing in your own bed.

Target, Walmart, Wendy’s, and AutoZone are not “keeping you on the plantation”, they are providing jobs. Trashing a neighborhood school, that represents the plantation of your own making.

None of this looting, rioting, and arson has anything to do with some murdering cops. If you think it does, then you have morality issues and are unfit for civilized society.

May 28, 2020

Eat Me Aesop

A snake and a rabbit were racing along a pair of intersecting forest pathways one day, when they collided at the point where the pathways meet. They immediately began to argue with one another as to who was at fault for the mishap.

When the snake remarked that he had been blind since birth, and thus should be given additional leeway, the rabbit said that he, too, had been blind since birth. The two animals then forgot about the collision and began commiserating concerning the problems of being blind.

The snake said that his greatest regret was the loss of his identity. He had never been able to see his reflection in water, and for that reason did not know exactly what he looked like, or even what he was.

The rabbit declared that he had the same problem. Seeing a way that they could help each other, the rabbit proposed that one feel the other from head to toe, and then try to describe what the other animal was. The snake agreed, and started by winding himself around the rabbit.

After a few moments, he announced, “You’ve got very soft, fuzzy fur, long ears, big rear feet, and a little fuzzy ball for a tail. I think that you must be a bunny rabbit!”

The rabbit was much relieved to find his identity, and proceeded to return the favor to the snake. After feeling about the snake’s body for a few minutes, he asserted, “Well, you’re scaly, you’re slimy, you’ve got beady little eyes, you squirm and slither all the time, and you’ve got a forked tongue. I think you’re a lawyer!”

May 27, 2020

It counts

Little fishphilly.com

May 26, 2020

a perfect feast

Grab a bag of spuds. Get what you like, pedestrian Russets, maybe red, or Yukon gold potatoes. Peel a half dozen or so. Or don’t. I like it with the skin on. You might need more if you use small potatoes.

I’m not gonna hold your hand through this.

Dice a whole onion. I like sweet onions, but again, your taste may vary.

Cut up into half inch cubes a big block of Colby cheese. Cheddar works too. Don’t do shredded.

Spread a big piece of foil and spray it with cooking spray. Slice those potatoes into nice even 1/4 inch slices. Show off your knife skills. Put half of the chopped onion on the foil. Layer half of the potatoes.  Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Cheese it up. Repeat the potatoes and onion. Sometimes I do it in three layers. You just don’t want the cheese on the outside. Don’t forget to season the top layers.

Wrap the whole package up with more foil. And extra layer or two of foil to keep it all together is a good idea. Throw it on a preheated grill on high heat for 45 minutes or an hour.

Soak some corn, husk and all, in cold water. Grill it with the potatoes for 10-15 minutes. Maybe 20.

Serve it all up with a pork shoulder you smoked for about eight hours.

You have a perfect summer feast.

I had it for dinner last night and I went to bed with a contented smile on my face.

May 25, 2020

In Requium

ABC News
Today we honor those who gave to the last full measure to protect our freedom.

May 24, 2020

arbitrarily capricious

You would never know the Wuhan Flu ((rasssissst alert) was a thing here, at least by people’s actions. Sure a significant percentage of people are still masked up and restaurants and business still have wonky hours. Crowds at the big box stores are heavy. The neighbor kids are hosting a party nearly every weekend.

The remaining restrictions make no sense. If some science was involved I could maybe understand it, but it is arbitrary. Public pools can open but no concerts. If any place in life is a Petri dish of germs it is a pool. Restaurant dining rooms can open at partial capacity, unless you are a handful of miles away across a county line, then you can only dine outside. But parks are closed. You know, wide open green spaces. The CDC says it is unlikely to get the Kung Flu virus from surfaces, so why are playgrounds closed? Five hundred people can congregate at the home improvement store or Target, but churches remain shuttered or restricted.

At least I finally got a haircut. I couldn’t do that in the next county south. Literally (and I’m literally using “literally “ correctly) less than six miles away, the rules are completely different. Does the Bat Soup Virus know about political boundaries?

It’s time to move on from this nonsense.


May 23, 2020

Bad news always is accompanied by good

I made a coffee cake yesterday. After, I got into an argument with the cling wrap. One of us was being stubborn. Some harsh words were muttered. Eventually the whole remaining roll went into the trash, mangled beyond use. It was almost gone anyway. Mr. Press and Seal might have won the skirmish, but I won the war. Good luck at the landfill jerk.

A new and much improved HVAC dude came by. The furnace is shot. He made the AC work. He put on band-aids, baling wire, and chewing gum. The wife can sleep easy as temps this weekend are forecasted to hit the upper eighties. The total cost was a fifth of the other guy’s AC repair quote and his cost for a complete furnace and AC replacement as about half. I guess I have a new HVAC guy. Now I just need to scrounge up five grand before it gets cold.

It may or may not rain. It doesn’t matter, I have to put in my time at the big box retail joint all afternoon and evening. In the meantime, the coffee is warm, I have leftover coffee cake and it is a great day.

Go forth and prosper.

May 22, 2020

Amazon delivered twice yesterday

The grandgirls returned this week to stay during the day. They will be coming occasionally going forward depending on mom and dad’s work schedules. The oldest has had great fun playing with her Barbies , dolls, and other toys that are deliberately different from those she has at home. The baby is crawling and getting into everything with an abiding sense of humor and infectious smile. I bet she threw me 100 kisses yesterday.

I have a phone call with my doctor this morning, a requisite for him to call in refills on my meds. Im not sure what the call will accomplish, but I’m sure it allows him to bill the insurance company. Whatever.



I have posted this many times, but Frank always brings a smile to your day, and this is The Chairman at his best.

Have a great Friday.

May 21, 2020

injustice and tyranny

What he said

And he stated it better than I ever could.

What would the press and liberals (redundant) say if the Trump administration spied on the “next guy” and brought the full weight of the Government against the incumbent?

Indeed.

i guess he went to used car sales school

HVAC Dude came to check out the broken AC. Says our furnace is shot too. Gave us a ridiculous quote. I’m seeking a second opinion. I’m a little ticked off because the guy said he disabled our furnace because the cracks in the heat exchanger make it unsafe. I don’t need heat right now, but he had no right to mess with my stuff. He told me too bad. The guy coming Friday comes highly recommended by my neighbor who always “has a guy”. Neighbor says this recommended HVAC guy is very good and cheap. The last guy left me with the impression all he wanted was to upsale me on a new system, despite my telling him we had to do it economically. It took more than 30 minutes to get a straight answer on “what has to be done TODAY to get AC and what is it going to cost, and I’m still not convinced I got a straight answer. Guy must have told us a dozen times he was an ex-Marine. I guess that means we should trust him implicitly. Sorry, It doesn’t work that way. I wasted $99, but I won’t have that company fix it under any circumstances.

I like to think I’m an honest salesman. The last of a dying breed. I guess that is why I’m unemployed.

In other news it is cloudy and cool and rain is in the forecast for the next 20 days. I might exaggerate. It is May. It rains here in May. Often. It probably does at your house too, unless you live in the southwest.

I mowed last evening to make sure the grass wasn’t ankle high by the end of the weekend.

Life is good. I’m alive. There is that.

Have a great Thursday.

May 19, 2020

That is how it is done

The boss told me to have a good day, so I went home.



On a completely unrelated note, my man Fuzzy wrote a book. I bought it. You should too. 

I’ll offer a review in a week or so.

May 18, 2020

Rainy days and Mondays

I pulled out the ice cream maker and whipped up a batch of homemade ice cream after dinner. It certainly isn’t on my diet, but what the heck? It was good. Very good. I topped it with both chocolate and caramel syrup. You are just mad you didn’t get any.

It is Monday and I hope yours is great.

May 17, 2020

Chasing Rabbits

Music from the 1960s plays softly as I hunt and peck letters and words this morning. It is cloudy but promises a warm day. I hope not too warm.

I dreamed about smoked meat last night. I am contemplating dragging out the smoker. Is there still a pork shortage? Ribs sound good.

Never mind, it looks like it will rain this afternoon.

Yes I know the smoker works in the rain. Why are you pestering me? Truth is I need to go get some ribs. I just checked and I need some more wood chunks. It all just seems like a lot of work for a Sunday morning.  Yes, I’m feeling lazy.

I walked seven plus miles at work yesterday. Friday too. Moving around grills and mowers all day is building my long-lost upper body strength. I have today off. Perhaps I will smoke a cigar before the rains come instead of ribs or pork shoulder. I have to finish conversing with you first.

You are enjoying this right? Do I not entertain you?


Man, how can you not dig Grace and the boys? That’ll entertain you. Yes, I posted that video because it just played on my magic Bezos spy speaker.

No Sunday picture. You don’t care.

Imagine sitting on the patio sharing a cold beverage with me. Go ahead, it is not hard if you try. Imagine.  Our conversations would be just like reading this blog, but with my decidedly not good for radio voice mumbling my part with that strange south of 70 Hoosier drawl. *

Feed your head.

Have a great and blessed Sunday.



*weirdly, I grew up far north of 70. Not really so weird, social scientists posit we learn our accent and speech patterns from our peers as much as our parents. My brother and I have distinctly different accents. Yes, I can make my accent go away if I choose. Added note (without the extra**), one can find that same not quite Southern drawl south of 70 in Ohio and Illinois too.

May 16, 2020

My life in four short paragraphs

In Indiana you have to file a voucher each week to collect unemployment. You have exactly one week file for the previous week.  My “regular “ unemployment ran out at the end of March. The Covid relief bill provided an additional 13 weeks of benefits.

The State did not have the new extended benefit program in place until early May, but said it was retroactive to the week ending April 4th. They allowed that vouchers were not available, but would be in time.

I was finally able to file vouchers last weekend.

The ones older than one week have been rejected because I filed them late.


May 15, 2020

Just make an effort

There has been a partial relaxing of Bat Flu restrictions here. Restaurants can open at 50% capacity with spacing between tables etc.

Wednesday the wife and I ventured to our new favorite ice cream dispensary. Only she went in, masked up for safety. We sat in the car and ate our frozen goodness. As we left, we drove around the backside of the strip mall.

At the far end away from the ice cream shop is a bar. It was just reopened this week. There, hidden from view, was the patio. The tables were removed. I guess that was a “good” thing, since so many people were crammed into the outside dining space there was no room for a table anywhere! I bet there more than 50 people crammed together laughing and drinking. Social distancing indeed.

If infection rates skyrocket and the political powers again infringe on our freedoms, it is jerkwads like this who will be responsible.

May 14, 2020

This ain’t teapot dome

I had a long political post half composed about the railroading of a General Flynn when it occurred to me you don’t care, I don’t care. Corruption, hyper-politics, and nefarious government action has become such a part of life since the days of the Obamerate that I am no longer surprised.

The clear attempt to stage a coup d’etat against an elected President leaves me sickened and disgusted. Every day it becomes increasingly clear this attack was initiated at the highest levels of the Obama administration, including the President himself and Joe Biden.

No matter what you think of Trump, his policies, or his twitter feed, it is clear he has been subjected to a political hit job and a witch hunt of unprecedented proportions.

I guess Trump really, really pissed Barry off when he questioned his birth certificate. Payback indeed.

May 13, 2020

starting early

My granddaughter has longed for a backyard play set for a while. Since last summer to be exact. Her parents told her she needed to “pay” for it if she wanted it. She saved her pennies, did chores, and skipped purchasing candy and stuff at the checkout to save up for a swing set.

Meanwhile, a nice multi-level playset was ordered and everyone was just waiting on the bat flu restrictions to ease a little so it could get built. This week was the big week.

The granddaughter counted her coins and cash. She had saved $13.98. Not bad for a five year old. Since her mom “knew” a new swing set was $14, the granddaughter agreed to pick up her toys to earn the needed two cents.

Yesterday when the men came to put up the play set, she proudly handed them a baggie of cash, convinced she bought the playhouse.

Good for her. She learned to save for what she wants. I wish I had been firmer in this lesson with my kids as the were growing up.

I wish I was firmer with this lesson on myself.


May 12, 2020

Voice from the past

I wasn't sure if I should share this. About a year ago I was cleaning up my phone and getting rid of old voice mail messages. One caught my attention. It was from July of 2018. It was my mom. The message was banal. I must have mentioned I was coming through town because she said she had some tomatoes for me. That’s all. The message was left a few months before she died. I saved it. I listened to it again Sunday.

I understand why Dad hasn’t changed his answering machine message (and why he won’t get rid of the landline).

Strangely, I miss my mom more today than I did on Mother’s Day.

The past five years have put a strain on me.  My Mom’s passing is just another of those unfortunate happenings since 2014. Some days I struggle to get through the day. Today is one of those times.

I know The Lord has good things planned for me. I just have to keep the faith.  Certainly the last half decade has taught me humility.

May 11, 2020

catching up

The girls are here today. We are excited about that. It is a one day only appearance though. They will be back a few days next week.

I put in more than 25 miles since Thursday while working at the big box store. I have a welcome day off today. I would like to tell you I enjoy the work. That would be a lie. So it goes. It beats the alternative.

We are still having early March-like weather, but it is expected to warm up by the weekend.

There, you are caught up.

My life is as boring as this blog. Sorry ‘bout that.

BTW, the Lilly in yesterday’s post is from my backyard last year.

Have a great Monday.

May 10, 2020

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mom’s Day to all you mothers out there.




I miss you Mom.

May 9, 2020

Where the Earth stops, dogs and cats live in peace and AOC is right

For what is likely the first and only time, I agree with AOC. My reasoning is different, but I agree with the liberalist of liberal New York politicians.

JetBlue recently painted up some airplanes in New York police, fire, and “I love New York “ liveries and flew low around Manhattan. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized the move for “green” reasons. I decry the move for different notions, but I do agree with her criticism. 


The airline industry is suffering. JetBlue took taxpayer money to help with operating costs to help survive th economics of the pandemic. Spending money they supposedly do not have to paint up jets and flying them empty at fuel-guzzling altitude makes no sense. 
Sure, it is a nice gesture, but should the nation’s taxpayers pony up for a thank you note in the sky to make New Yorkers feel good? You, me, and many future generations will have hard-earned money taken from our paychecks to fund this feel good moment. Wouldn’t a billboard in Manhattan accomplished the same thing at a fraction of the cost?


May 8, 2020

Even more satisfaction

When will the corrupt FBI agents and prosecutors in he General Flynn case be booted and or prosecuted  for their role in this political banana republic persecution sham?

Who is going to reimburse the good general for the hundreds of thousands in legal fees fighting the bogus charges?

Today’s FBI makes the years under J Edgar seem like the height of respectability.

It sure looks like the Obama stocked the system with political hacks.

The O isn’t clean in any of this. We all know it.

May 7, 2020

Satisfaction

I fired up the grill last evening and BBQed some chicken breasts. A dozen deviled eggs, baked beans, and homemade macaroni salad rounded out the feast as a sunny day came to a scrumptious end. The wife and I jointly cleaned up the mess.

I streamed an old version of Treasure Island while the wife did laundry.

Ho hum. Life goes on.

May 6, 2020

my inner Miss Emily

I didn’t post yesterday because I didn’t feel like it. I’m not much up for it today either.

Let me pile on here and say I don’t like all this pressure you are putting on me to blog every day. I have no moral obligation to entertain you like an organ grinder monkey. And I may have mentioned before that I don’t like to be told what to do.

You in the back with your hand up, what do you want?

What?

You don’t care if I post or not?

Huh?

Let me get this straight, none of you care?

Never mind.




May 4, 2020

F-bombs aplenty

Home improvement sucks. Not the TV show, real life projects. The kitchen faucet has been leaking for weeks. It was getting to where I had to change towels every couple of hours to contain the leak and clearly time for a replacement.

Stimulus funds in hand, we descended on the big box hardware store to find a faucet the wife liked. It was supposed to rain all day yesterday (it didn’t), I decided Sunday was the day. Things started out bad and got worse. The hot water valve was stuck and I couldn’t get he water shut off. Finally, after 45 minutes and a call to my home improvement guru, I could move to the next step.

Why is it real spaces under a sink never look like the wide open spacious areas depicted in home improvement shows and YouTube videos? Real life plumbing is dank, dark, and cramped. Stuff is corroded and there is little opportunity to get leverage because of space.

Our faucet was the single spindle design, all the water lines going into a central pillar. I got the plate undone with the expected amount of effort, frustration, and minimal muttering. The central nut, the one holding the faucet to the sink, was another matter.

I mentioned there was a leak right? Guess where that water was going? Guess who bought the cheapest model of faucet seven years ago when we moved in here? Guess what is clearly just a brass plated nut? Guess what was corroded in place? More effort, more, frustration. Muttering moved to outright cursing. More calls to my home improvement guru. I even enlisted the wife’s help. The thing would not budge.  I went and bought a heavy duty basin wrench to see if that would help. I was afraid my old one, likely Chinese made, would snap with the torque my old-man body was putting on the tool.

I started eyeing the sink mounts. I am not yet prepared to take out the sink.  I went to the neighbors’ to see if they had a piece of pipe to use as a pry bar to garner more leverage. Nope.  I sprayed the evil connection with PB Blaster. It still wouldn’t budge. More cursing. I am getting sick of things at this point, almost four hours into the project. Faced with admitting failure and having to call a plumber on Monday, I called my son-in-law to see if his younger, 6’2” frame could budge the recalcitrant nut.

Still Nope. In frustration, he said why not,  and we clamped a big old pipe wrench onto the faucet itself and gave it a twist. It moved. I crawled back underneath the sink and put the wrench on the frozen nut. We twisted from the top and bottom and finally freed the piece o’crap faucet. Hooray, it only took four hours to do a 40 minute job.

The wife cleaned the sink back under the old faucet while I prepared the new one. I took about 35 minutes to put in the new faucet, mostly because I mixed the hot and cold lines and had to switch them. I didn’t even curse over that mistake.  It didn’t even irritate me, I was too close to finishing.

We have a new faucet and it doesn’t leak and most importantly, the wife is happy. On the other hand, every time I get one project done, she adds three more to the list.

Oh, and not only is today Star Wars Day, it is my youngest granddaughter’s birthday. New relaxed rules means we can see her on her big day. Life is good.

May 3, 2020

Roll Alabama

Hull number 290 was launched from Birkenhead England in July 1862. Masquerading as a merchant ship the vessel had a magazine and reinforced decks to support cannon, but still was legal under Britain’s neutrality laws. The steam sloop was purchased through a couple of shell companies by James Bullock, an agent for the Confederacy.

The ship was sailed to the Azores and there it was fitted with six 32 pound smoothbores, one seven inch rifled muzzle loading gun, and one eight inch smoothbore. The latter two weapons were mounted amidship and could pivot to either side.

The ship was christened the CSS Alabama. The 220 foot long sloop was steam powered and had three square rigged masts. She was commanded by Captain Raphael Semmes.

The Alabama was one of the most successful “commerce raiders” or privateers of the Confederacy. She burned sank an estimated 65 Union ships, mostly merchantmen. She never visited a Confederate port, but raided through most of the Atlantic and Caribbean.

In June of 1864 The Alabama cruised into Cherbourg harbor for a much needed retrofit. There she was located by the USS Kearsage. Faced with this blockade, Semmes decided he would rather fight his way out rather than see his ship rot in dry dock.

The two ships battled on June 19, 1864 barely in international waters off Cherbourg, France. Several civilian ships sailed out to watch the battle, including the British yacht Deerhound. Early in the encounter the Alamama’s stern and rudder were damaged and after just an hour, the Confederate cruiser was hulled near the waterline. The Union vessel rescued most of the crew. Captain Semmes, threw his sword overboard rather than surrendering it to the kearsage’s Captain John Winslow. Semmes and other officers were taken aboard the British yacht Deerhound and taken to England to keep them from US captivity, sparking a minor international incident.

The Alabama sank 65 ships and did an estimated $6 million of damage to US shipping. After the war, Britain was sued by the US government in international court for her role in building Confederate commerce raiders. The US was awarded over $15 MUSD in damages.

The wreck of the Alabama was located just inside French territorial waters off Cherbourg in 1984. She lies under nearly 200 feet of water.


This song popped up on my iPhone while was walking through the neighborhood last evening.

May 2, 2020

Far out, man

How about a little time travel to the seventies this morning and a little Midwest fueled rock and roll?


Gotta dig the walking bass.

May 1, 2020

Five-O

It is said* that each day Napoleon scratched a line into the wall of his modest home on St. Helens to mark another day in exile. I have taken up the same practice. The wife isn’t crazy about the two score and ten gouges in the drywall of my office, but so it goes in these days of pandemic.**

I started a part time gig at one of the big box retailers this week. Neither the wife nor I are crazy about interacting with the generally germy public***, but so it goes. The great State of Indiana has yet to fulfill their promise of extending unemployment benefits to 39 weeks****, therefore, since the ability to buy groceries is essential, it is hi ho, hi ho, off to work I go.

The weather person has indicated we should have a couple of rain free days ahead, so I plan on killing some weeds this afternoon. The neighbor had a truck load of mulch dumped in his drive this morning. He faces a lot more work than I. Good for him.

I need a truck load of mulch. That will have to wait until another day.

So, we are fifty days into this stay st home unless you think you need to go somewhere pandemic. I’m getting a little tired of things. I bet you are too. Monday marks the youngest grandgirl’s first birthday. It appears we will celebrate with a virtual party. That sucks. I didn’t mind skipping my big day. But a first birthday should be celebrated.

I sincerely hope you have a great Friday.

Edit: the Governor has issued a partial freedom starting next week!



* No one said that. There is zero evidence the Emperor nor I carved date markers into the wall.

** this is roughly day 50, depending on how you count and where you live

***I am high risk — diabetes, multiple cases of pneumonia. I will wear a mask and hope for the best.

**** They keep promising it will be implemented some day. I took the unprecedented approach of actually contacting my State Representative for help. The office was more than helpful. They called back right away and followed up twice with additional questions. It was the way we like to imagine government works. He got no better answers than I have from the DWD, but he didn’t have to wait on hold for 4.5 hours to be told “Have patience”. Let me tell you, the Department of Workforce Development could take lessons from the BMV in how to have good customer service. Ponder that. And yes, their attitude and service was abysmal long before they were slammed by bye current economic situation.

Not a pirate in sight

April 2019
Somewhere in the Caribbean 

Consider everything here that is of original content copyrighted as of March 2005