July 31, 2020

Boy do I hate the new blogger dashboard.

I’m still here, trying to navigate the new Blogger dashboard. Chalk it up to old dog, new tricks syndrome. 

I could rip off a paragraph or two about work and changing schedules at the last minute, but that isn’t fruitful for any of us. Let’s just say I have had the early shift the past few days and that makes blogging tough. 

Except I have the early shift today and I am managing. Shut up already. 

Are Trump’s advisers idiots, or is he? That “let’s postpone the election” balloon he floated was dumb beyond belief. Not only is the election date set Constitutionally, he can’t change it anyway.  If we can manage elections in the midst of Civil Wars and World Wars, we can manage in a pseudo-pandemic. Democrats are already claiming Trump will despotically refuse to leave theWhite House if he loses, and The Donald just dumped gasoline on that fire. It doesn’t matter if he is right in his reasoning, the politics of the proposal are stupid.

It looks like a spate of fall-like weather is about to set in with temperatures in the seventies and rain. I can only say 2020 has been weird in many ways. 

Have a good Friday.

July 29, 2020

‘Cause I dig it

sad trombone

Thunderstorms rolled through yesterday afternoon and evening leaving the grass wet and the air fresh and clean this morning. I need to mow, but that is a task I will likely leave to tomorrow or Thursday.

I threw together a boxed coffee cake mix for breakfast. It was delicious. The girls all liked it.

Boy, this is some riveting stuff.

True confession, this was yesterday’s post. It didn’t rain on Tuesday. In fact it was beautiful.

Another confession, I have no more to offer today than I did yesterday.

It is a sad state of affairs.

July 27, 2020

new week, laced with optimism. As usual.

Keep yer fingers crossed. I had a promising initial interview with a big widget manufacturer this morning. Well, with the recruiter. Since these are the same kind of widgets I have been involved with through manufacturing and sales since 1989, I know the products, or at least how and where they work. The position is for aftermarket rather than OEM sales, which is mostly what I have done, but we shall see.

What that means, is I sold the products by the tens of thousands directly to the factories where the cars, trucks, motors, etc. were made. The aftermarket is selling to the repair shops, warehouses, and distributors for sale to people to fix or replace a worn part. Companies make lots of profit on aftermarket parts. OEM parts keep the factories open and pay the bills.  That $20 Bearing you just bought down at the auto parts store was probably sold to Ford for around $2.  Ford bought 500,000 pieces. The local auto parts store will buy 13.

That’s more info than you wanted. Or need. Or care about.

Have a great Monday.

July 26, 2020

Random Ramblings CXIV

Had a great day yesterday. We hung out with some friends, enjoying their pool. Mucho Garcias. A good time was had by all. There is comfort in being with people you have know for 45 years.

Through most of the 1990s and early 2000s, I spent considerable time in Portland, calling on customers there four to six times a year on average. I have often said it is one of my favorite places to visit. It makes me sick to think about the constant rioting engulfing the city. It is the harbinger of our liberal future. It is not that future us will be incapable of independent thought, rather we will not be allowed to.

There is nothing like millionaire athletes telling us about how awful their life is. The infusion of politics into sports has certainly made me lose interest in the games. I bet I’m not the only one.

Hi ho hi ho today. I’m off to the big box for a full day of fun. One thing you learn working retail, the world is filled with jerks.

What started out as an upbeat entry has taken a turn I did not plan. How about a little music to improve the mood?

OK, not a bright and cheerful tune, but a great song anyway.

Have a great Sunday.

July 25, 2020

What a mess

I was all jazzed up to watch the Cubs on Opening Day last evening. I turned on the TV and got the “no signal” message. Checked the company website and there was an outage in my area. Crap.

I did watch the game on my phone, but that wasn’t the same. At midnight the service was still out.

Got up this morning and still no internet or TV. Called Metronet. The TV came on after pushing this and replugging that. I thought I was good to go. Watched a recording and went to check emails. No internet. Called back. Pushed this and replugged that. I now have WiFi. Sat down and promptly  lost the signal on the TV. I am now rebooting the cable box. I am also quickly losing patience.

I guess I have to call again.  Grrr.

Edit.  All fixed

July 24, 2020

twisted logic

The world is crazy. A NY Times music critic has argued that blind auditions for orchestras are unfair because not enough blacks and Latinos are hired if the best musicians get the job. He says the orchestra should reflect the community.  OK, I guess that also holds true for the NBA and NFL? It seems to me choosing anything based on skin color is just wrong.

Opening day for the Cubs. My enthusiasm for Tbe season will be colored by the number of players  who kneel for the National Anthem. At least the MLB isn’t painting the names of criminals or Marxist organizations all over the field. Yet.

So much for no politics Friday.

How about some music to mellow the mood?

One of my all-time favorites.

Have a great Friday.

July 22, 2020

Failure to communicate

A mother-in-law arrives home from the shops to find her son-in-law Pete in a steaming rage and hurriedly packing his suitcase.

“What happened Paddy ?” she asks anxiously.

“What happened!! I’ll tell you what happened. I sent an email to my wife telling her I was coming home today from my fishing trip. I get home… and guess what I found??

“Yes, your daughter, my wife Jean, naked with Tim McDurmt in our marital bed! This is unforgivable, the end of our marriage. I’m done. I’m leaving forever!”

“Come now, calm down, calm down Paddy!” says his mother-in-law. “There is something very odd going on here. Jean would never do such a thing! There must be a simple explanation. ‘ll go speak to her immediately and find out what happened.”

Moments later, the mother-in-law comes back with a big smile. “There now Pete, you see? I told you there must be a simple explanation!

“Well, WHAT is it?” Fumed Pete.

“She never got your E-mail!”

July 21, 2020

The best way to recap is with a new hat

I worked all day at the big box, a full eight on my feet. Twenty-seven plus miles logged since Friday, the doctor will be pleased. I came home and made a pan of homemade mac and cheese and grilled up some smoked sausage. I ate too much which is probably why I am up at five ayem; all of that grease oozing through my veins.

I see the prosecutor in St. Louis has charged pink shirt guy and his wife for waving guns at the trespassers who invaded their neighborhood. This is where we are, criminals are celebrated and folks are prosecuted for wrong-think.

We went to graduation party Saturday to mark the non-ceremony held a few weeks back. We were headed home in the late twilight. Cruising the country roads and state highways with the windows down, the sultry air reminded me of my youth. The sweet smell of corn filled my nose. Lightning bugs made comet streaks as I wizzed by at 60 mph, occasionally leaving a glow-green splat on the windshield. I was, for a while at least, perfectly content.

That’s not true. I am pretty content much of the time.

July 20, 2020


In the days of the Wild West, there was a young cowboy who wanted more than anything to be the greatest gunfighter in the world.

He practiced every minute of his spare time, but he knew that he wasn’t yet first-rate and that there must be something he was doing wrong.

Sitting in a saloon one Saturday night, he recognized an elderly man standing at the bar who in his day had the reputation of being the fastest gun in the West. The young cowboy took a place next to the old-timer, bought him a drink and told him the story of his great ambition. “Do you think you could give me some tips?” he asked.

The old man looked him up and down and said, “Well, for one thing, you’re wearing your gun too high. Tie the holster a little lower down on your leg.”

“Will that make me a better gunfighter?” asked the young man.

“Sure will,” replied the old-timer. The young man did as he was told, stood up, whipped out his 44 and shot the bow tie off the piano player.

“That’s terrific!” said the hot shot. “Got any more tips for me?”

“Yep,” said the old man. “Cut a notch out of your holster where the hammer hits it. That’ll give you a smoother draw.”

“Will that make me a better gunfighter?” asked the younger man. “You bet it will,” said the old-timer.
The young man took out his knife, cut the notch, stood up, drew his gun in a blur, then shot a cufflink off the piano player.

“Wow!” exclaimed the cowboy. “I’m learnin’ somethin’ here.. Got any more tips?”
The old man pointed to a large can in a corner of the saloon. “See that axle grease over there? Coat your gun with it.”

The young man went over to the can and smeared some of the grease on the barrel of his gun. “No,” said the old-timer, “I mean smear it all over the gun, handle and all.”

“Will that make me a better gunfighter?” asked the young man.

The Old Timer said , “No, but when Wyatt gets done playing the piano, he’s gonna shove that gun up your behind, and it won’t hurt as much if it’s all greased up.”

July 18, 2020

A post chock full of nutrition

I woke early this morning. I wish otherwise, but so it goes.

It’s been an interesting week. I say that as in weird, strange, different. We had to attend a funeral Thursday for my wife’s last remaining uncle. One of the wife’s cousins, whom I have never met, hugged me. In case you don’t know, I really hate to be touched. I don’t like hugs from anyone except my wife and granddaughters. I really hate to be hugged by strangers at any time, especially in theses days of the Chinese flu. Heck, I had a mask on, that should have been a sign I didn’t want any cooties. More to the point, who hugs perfect strangers?

My best friend suffered a mild heart attack Thursday morning. This is not his first. He is recovering at home.

I don’t know if it is a full moon, but customers were a strange lot at work yesterday. I’ll leave it at that.

We are off today to a high school graduation party for a skipped-over graduation due to the Covid. It will be a hot one.

You know what we need? Some music to tame the beast of a week. I was thinking some classic country might be in order, but instead I am going to present the same tune that is playing in the background as I hunt and peck this drivel:

Nuthin’ wring with that tune.

Have a great Saturday.

July 16, 2020

Ah, the timeless classics

An old man lived alone in Tasmania.

He wanted to dig his potato garden, but it was very hard work.

His only son, Jase, who used to help him, was in prison.

The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament.

Dear Jase,
I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my potato garden this year; I’m just getting to old to be digging up a garden plot.
If you were here, all my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me. Love Dad.

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Dad,
For heaven’s sake, don’t dig up that garden, that’s where I buried the BODIES. 
Love Jase.

At 4A.M. the next morning, the Federal Police and local police showed up and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologised to the old man and left. The same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Dad. 
Go ahead and plant the potatoes now. It’s the best I could do under the circumstances.
Love Jase.

July 15, 2020

crop dusting memories

In those days the high school marked the eastern edge of town. That was before they built the new football field or the Applebee’s or the Walmart and strip mall. Back then, past the high school was flat farmland; green corn forever to the horizon.

You could hear him in the sky, the flat drone changing to a high pitched howl as he dove his biplane low over the field, swooping up and up at the end of the run. He turned sharply, standing the little yellow machine on its wing as he completed the turn and started the next dive in one motion, hitting the spray as soon as he leveled out over the field.

I jumped on my red stingray bike and pedaled the block or so to the high school. I skidded my fat tires to a stop in the gravel lot behind the enormous gym. Now it seemed the dirty yellow plane was turning just above my head.

Climb, swoop, dive, spray, climb. Repeat and repeat. I watched in fascination as the pilot smoothly guided his machine.  At the end of one run, the engine made a cough. I looked up to see the pilot give me a little wave. I was ecstatic. I waved my skinny arm vigorously as he rose into the sky and headed towards the airport west of town beside the factories.

I would like to tell you that brief non-encounter engendered a love of flying, a romantic notion that inspired me to take to the skies as I grew older. It didn’t. The truth be known, all nine year-old mini Walter Middy me could see was a biplane flying over a field. In my imagination it was not a cornfield in rural Indiana, but the shelled and pockmarked destruction over the Western Front no-mans land in WWI France.  Our hero crop duster pilot had just fought the Hun to a stalemate.

Yes, I was even a history nerd as a child.

July 14, 2020

You can do it


I have declared this “Write Your Own Post Day”.

You can publish it in the comments, on your blog, in a diary, write it longhand on a legal pad, or just in your head. I’m good with whatever you want to do.

Hey, you don’t need my permission for anything, even to cross the street.

July 13, 2020

This one is going to get me sent to camp

Ah, Monday. Another week starts off in the same old way.

I’m alone in the manse today, the wife went to the grandgirls’ house to babysit. I’m trying decide if I want a full-on eggs and sausage breakfast or opt for yogurt and an oatmeal creme pie. Decisions, decisions.

This is where we are. I know you don’t click links, but this is worth it. Surely this is the peak of the “everything is racist “ hysteria.
I realize that White people like to exert control over nearly everything everyone does, I thought, but since when did this literally include trying to cross the street?
Seriously, guy freaks out because the walk/don’t walk signal appears to be a white guy.  Once upon a time this would have been an Onion spoof. Now it passes for real commentary.

Please make it stop.  What next, complaints that “white” lines in the road give permission to pass and no whitey is gonna tell me what I can and can’t do. How do these people manage to get out of bed in the morning? Honestly, I think people are just hunting crap to whine about. No one is this fragile, right?

July 12, 2020

A 16 x 16 paver is heavy

It appears I neglected to blog yesterday. I hope you are OK. Were the withdrawal DTs bearable?

I spent the day hard at work around the house. I mowed and trimmed. I dug out earth and laid some pavers for the deck box. And then I trimmed up some wayward bushes and trees. I was pooped. While temperatures did not hit 90, 89 and humid was close enough.

I retired over to the swing to cool down and rest. I decided I would reward my hard work with a giant cup of ice water and a nice hand-rolled cigar. I’ve not had a smoke in more than a month. I was enjoying the serenity of the backyard, listening to the birds, relaxing in the gentle breeze as sweet smoke drifted away. I saw some movement near the privacy fence gate. It was just a squirrel scurrying across the patio to climb the big willow.

It was the western sky that really caught my attention. Dark and ominous clouds were heading my way. I grabbed the cushions from the patio furniture and stashed them in the aforementioned deck box. I gathered sundry tools and put them away. I rolled up the hose. I tossed my half-smoked stogie into the dormant garden and lowered the garage door just minutes before a steady rain started to fall.

Had the tree rat not shot across my vision,I might not have noticed the incoming rain until I was wet.

Oh, and the tip of my left index finger is bruised purple where I smashed it with a paver. Slovenly Soldier.

Have a great Sunday.

July 10, 2020

I cannot believe how boring this blog is

It is Friday. That means nothing to me these days. It is but another day. We won’t crack 90 today, according to the weather babe, the first time in a while. It appears the promised rain failed to materialize last night. I wish now I had watered the flowers. There is still a chance for precipitation this morning. We shall see.

The grandgirls are staying overnight for a sleepover this evening. The oldest already has the evening planned: pizza, popcorn and a movie. The one year-old sister will just go with the flow. Since she started walking, she has been a handful. In a good way. She is very busy. I’ll put it that way.

I through some chicken breasts on the grill last night, hitting them with a nice rub about 20 minutes before grilling and finishing with BBQ sauce at the end. I sliced some potatoes thin and wrapped them in foil with onion and chunks of cheddar cheese and grilled that too. Some canned baked beans rounded out a simple and delicious supper.

In other news I have nothing.

Have a great Friday.

July 8, 2020

washing away yesterday’s sweat

I’ve got the early shift at the Big Box this morning. That is no excuse for why I was awake at 4:30. That is on me. And no, I’m not happy about it. So it goes. It’s not like I can blame anyone but my own brain for my issues. I like to call this concept “taking responsibility “. Many Americans should investigate this new idea.

Four years ago this month I had the first of five eye procedures to fix my failing eye sight. I still need glasses, but I can see much better these days. I thank the Lord for this blessing. I am also thankful to the anonymous donors who are me their corneas. If you are not a registered organ donor, you should consider it.

In spite of my best efforts, I am unable to muster any light and fluffy content today. I am likewise determined not to delve into politics. Thus you get this drivel.

I would like to promise better going forward, but you have 15 years of history proving otherwise over there in the archives.

July 7, 2020

Watermelon Dreams

It will be another hot one today. It is summer, the heat seems to arrive around this time every year. The heat and humidity might combine to spur a quick rain shower in the afternoon.

The wife scored a little blow-up pool extra cheap a few weeks ago. I filled the pool with air and then water yesterday. The girls splashed around and had a great time. The little girl who lives next door came over and played in the water. A great time was had by all.

My neighbor imposed on a buddy who is sales manager at a car dealership to give me an interview yesterday. As I looked around I saw at least a dozen salesmen standing around waiting to pounce on any unsuspecting prospect. It was clear staffing was not a problem. Tbe dude in charge pretty much told me so during the interview. I expect nothing to come of it.

In other news, police in Washington have decided it is a bad idea to let protesters out onto the interstate highways to protest. Duh. I knew by the time I was five not to play in the street.

After reading Kaepernick’s hate-filled July 4th screed, two thoughts come to mind. If he really thinks the USA is so damn horrible, why doesn’t he go somewhere he thinks is better? He seems to admire Castro. Maybe life in Cuba would suit him? Second, why would Disney just hire him? Walt is spinning headless turns in his grave. The people running the Disney empire better hope science delays finding how to reanimate the dead, because a reborn Walt Disney would be kicking ass and taking names if he knew what they have done to his company.

July 6, 2020

RIP Charlie

Not PC, but a great tune nonetheless.

Another favorite:

What a sense of humor

We will miss you Mr.Daniels.

Speaking words of wisdom

July 5, 2020

Small town in the city

As dusk neared the neighbors began to gather in the cul-de-sac. Three separate games of corn hole were ongoing. Lawn chairs appeared curbside. An Icee truck parked nearby. Folks from down the street and neighbors’ relatives and friends joined the crowd. Neighbor B’s firework stash was piled under a tent. He had outdone himself this year. He spends thousands of dollars from his own pocket to put on a community fireworks spectacular, asking no more than a donation in the tip jar. The community pot luck was cancelled this year, but the celebration was not. By the time the sun set probably 75-100 people had joined under the few clouds in the warm, humid night sky.

The evening started with THE National Anthem as rockets and bombs exploded in the warm clear evening sky. Whoops, yells, and occasional chants of USA erupted from the college kids and their cohorts across the street. Around us other amateur pyrotechnic masters lit the sky in an explosive competition.The show went on for a good hour or more, ending with a finale that lasted a full two minutes.

Not bad for “just a dude across the street”.

There was no politics. No protest. Just a celebration of all that is good in America.

After the show was over, the neighbors grabbed brooms, shovels and garbage cans and joined together to clean the copious mess. That too speaks of the community.

I hope you had a blessed Independence Day.

July 4, 2020

Go ‘Murica

I thought I’d throw a couple of nice ribeyes on the grill this evening, being Independence Day and all.

I went to the freezer and grabbed a package we have been saving.

Coincidence? Look at the price:

That was the only package of ribeyes in the freezer.

Do dee doo doo....


July 3, 2020

I want my own National Anthem too

In a post a week or two ago I swore I would never bow or take a knee. I may have to reconsider that position. If the NFL moves forward with their Race baiting and pandering, I may take a knee during the so-called “Black National Anthem”. Or a piss.

There is... no, let me do that again so you know I am shouting...THERE IS ONLY ONE NATIONAL ANTHEM AND IT IS THE STAR SPANGLED BANNERIt covers us all, every damn American, whether you are black, brown, white, red, purple or all of the hues in between.

Screw who ever thought of this asinine idea, Screw the NFL, and Screw any advertiser who sponsors it. The NFL is afraid of the bad press and economic power of the BLM. It is time they learned the economic power of true Americans.

I am done with the NFL if they move forward with this BS.

This is not bringing the nation together. This is reverse Jim Crow. It also proves that the whole kneeing thing really is about the Anthem and a protest against America in general. Kneel, don’t kneel, I don’t care, but do not expect me to support you.

Football is supposed to be about entertainment, not a political rally and if the billionaire owners and millionaire players cannot understand that basic concept I propose we hurt them where it will get their attention — right in the wallet. Show them the money indeed.

July 2, 2020

checking in

I’m still here. Still breathing. I don’t feel much like ranting on politics. I’ll save that for another day.  I don’t have much else to report.

I hope all is well with you.

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