September 30, 2021

The more things change…

It seems like yesterday I was telling you how the boy and his dog had to move back in. That was several years ago. Yeah, well guess what? Yup, the boy and his dog have moved back in. He and his long-time girlfriend had a falling out, mostly because she was sleeping with another guy. They have to be out of their apartment by today, so there you have it. His stuff is in storage and he is unhappily ensconced on the twin bed in my office. The dog is happy to run the fenced backyard unfettered. 

I don’t think he’ll be here long. It is an ugly drive downtown where he works. Worse coming home. Besides, he doesn’t want to live with his parents. We are no fun, I assure you. 

He didn’t start things off so well. He threw in a load of laundry last night. When the wife went to put it in the dryer she found coins, a lighter, a chapstick, and a vape [thing?] in the bottom of her brand new washer. 

Anyway, today is his birthday and I don’t think it is the best one he has ever had. 

Another One Bites the Dust

One of my favorites has disappeared. Anyone know what happened to Rotten Chestnuts?

September 27, 2021

Living as a brown recluse

I climbed in the walk-in shower this morning. There I stood in my wrinkled old man birthday suit. For some reason I glanced up and there, in the corner, was a big old spider. I don’t know the breed, I’m no spiderologist, but I’m sure it was related to the tarantula family. If not directly, at least in the mafioso family way. I’m sure he had mischief on his early-morning mind. 

I wondered how I was gonna kill him. He knew he was gonna kill me. The ceiling in our little shower is the same as all of the upstairs, eight foot. I couldn’t reach him. He couldn’t get to me to sink his poisonous fangs without getting wet. We had a standoff.

I kept an eye on him. I assume he kept 4 or 5 on me. The steam and damp from the shower got him moving. He crawled across the ceiling. He headed towards the top of the shower door. As I rinsed the shampoo from my head, he crawled around the corner. I was confident I could get him when I got out and had my boy parts safely tucked into my skivvies. 

I dried off. I wiped down the walls. I exited the shower and started hunting. 

The spider was nowhere to be found. Not above the tub. Not behind the decorative towels. Not behind the door. Not over by the sink. He was gone. 

Now I’m sure he is lying in wait to ambush me when I mosey in that bathroom for my middle of the night old man pee. 

September 25, 2021

The face of COVID

This is my sweet, mischievous, happy youngest granddaughter. She is two. She is in the hospital. She has been fighting COVID for nearly two weeks. We thought she was over it Tuesday, then extremely high fevers struck Wednesday morning. Now she is in the hospital because the fever won’t break. We are told this is common in young children who contract the disease.

This disease is not the sniffles. It is not the nothing many of you claim. It affects real people, often in dangerous ways. Statistics overwhelmingly show the vast majority of the illness is among the unvaccinated. 

You are spreading it. 

I want to put a face to the illness. 

The shot is not the Devils mark. It is not the mysterious “them” injecting you with a tracking device. It is not a secret mind altering serum that will trigger a sleeper drug that will make you a brain-washed liberal. Nor is it altering your DNA so your family will die out. It is not just old people or those with underlying illnesses that get sick. Yes, I’ve heard all of those theories in the past two weeks uttered from what appears to be sentient semi-intelligent people. 

I get resistance to being told what to do. I understand the issues with the jab. Real people, real little babies are getting sick. Are you helping contribute to the spread? Are you willing to make a two-year old sick for the sake of principle?

I’m aware I will lose loyal readers over this. I have relatives who will not speak to me based on my position. I don’t care. My sweet girl is more important. 

I will not entertain, nor argue with you in the comments. 

She got to come home Sunday evening. She is still fighting high temps. But she is home. Not before tearing out her IV and making her room look like a crime scene (according to my daughter). I can’t see her. 

September 22, 2021

Listen, I've traveled every road in this here land!

Pull out your trusty old atlas and follow along. Today I did Seymour, Scottsburg, Hanover, Madison, North Vernon, Hope, Shelbyville and home. All in very heavy rain. I was soaked going in and out of customers. Many refused to let me even enter the lobby because of the creeping COVID. Cold calls were a bust. A few places on my list were closed for good, probably from the economic downturn last year. I did listen to a couple of history podcasts, a little radio, and some silence as I toured the hills and curves of Southern Indiana. The Ohio was fast and muddy at Madison. 

I’m always struck about place names. Madison is not in Madison county, but in Jefferson county. Jeffersonville is in Clark county. Jefferson, the town, is in Clinton County. Clinton, the town, is in Vermillion county. Clarksburg is not in Clark county, but rather in Decatur county. And of course Decatur, the city, is not in Decatur county, but in Adams county. Adams, the town, is in Decatur county. Confused? At least Scottsburg is in Scott county. There is that. 

I do it all again tomorrow, heading south and west towards the Territorial Capital. I suspect the Wabash will be fast and muddy too. I’ll report. You won’t care.

That’s how it works. 

September 21, 2021

Easy chicken and noodles

It looks as if fall is setting in for the next few days with cool temps and rainy weather. Just in time. I finally have tomatoes getting ripe in my garden! We had some sliced with dinner tonight and they were awesome. Small, but I’ll take what I can get. I hope to get more before a freeze.

I’ll be on the road the next two days, returning by dinner. Southern Hoosierdom is my target this week. I made a mistake today though. I was in the office this morning when I realized I was supposed to travel today, be in the office tomorrow, and back out on Thursday. Whoops. Now I’m out for two days. I think I’ll have some over-nights next week. I’m cool with that. I’m really enjoying driving my F-150. It’s been a long time since I had a truck. 

We got the shutters and front door painted Sunday. I replaced all of the hardware too. We also power washed the porch and spread some mulch in the front flower bed. *

These arrived Monday. The wife is happy. Our old (13 years old) dryer hasn’t worked for a couple of months. I should thank my dad. The settlement of his estate got us those. I would rather have him with us though. 

Wow, this post is boring.

*The finished product:

That upper left window, behind the tree, is my office. Much of the genius in this blog occurs there. You will know where to go when they make this place into a museum in my honor.

September 19, 2021

…and boy are my arms tired

The problem with not doing anything all summer is nothing got done. In my defense you can’t do many projects with crutches tucked in your arm pits. That said, yesterday found me hard at work on one of the wife’s “we need to…” lists. The shrubs in front of the house were ugly, had a lot of dead, and needed trimmed. She wanted them gone. The lady at the nursery assured her fall was a good time to plant shrubs, so I headed out with saw, shovel, axe, clippers, and maul. Despite the heat and humidity I managed to cut, hack, and dig up all three uglies. The biggest challenge was trying to dig without pushing the shovel with my right foot. 

I replaced the dug-up bushes with new uniform boxwood. Of course, since we replaced three shrubs with four, that meant four brand new holes had to be dug in that nasty Indiana clay. 

I’m feeling it today. But there is no rest for the wicked. She has moved to the next item on her list of things to be done. Today we will paint the front door and shutters. So no, I guess I won’t be watching the football game. 

I can’t wait to go to work Monday so I can rest up.

September 18, 2021

Hedge Hopping Hodge Podge

The boy’s dog is spending the weekend with us. Reasons. OK. The Boy is at a bachelor party. I don’t know why I felt the need for mystery. Anyway, the dog is whining and snuffy-barking through little corgi dreams here on the couch next to me. I’m sipping coffee and wandering through the blogosphere. As usual I end up here staring at the blinking cursor wondering what I have to offer these days. 

Work is going OK. I’m lost technically. The sales part is no problem. For a guy who continues to reassure me he is no micromanager, my boss seems to do a lot of micromanaging. I’d like to think it is because I’m a new guy, but I’m not convinced. 

I finished watching the Mad Men series last weekend. I’m sorry to see it end. So it goes. I’ve been reading a lot in the evenings. Lately I have been re-reading some old Louis L’Amour westerns. I can knock one off in an evening or two if I work hard. I have forgotten how much I like his work. Some of the later books got a little preachy. They are certainly formulaic, but he could write. 

I believe I have related the tale of my first western here. It was a L’Amour book, Tucker. My grandpa had just finished it and gave it to me to read. That must have been around 1975 or 1976. It wasn’t long before he died that he gave it to me. Thirteen year-old me was hooked. At one point I owned every book L’Amour ever wrote. I got rid of them back in the moving/can’t see to read/pre-cornea transplant book sell off. Except Tucker. That worn and frayed paperback I still own. 

Released in 1971 (changing subjects now) Led Zeppelin IV was the band’s most successful album. Featuring the epic Stairway to Heaven, it was a commercial success. Critics finally came to love it too. It has sold over 37 million copies worldwide. 

I’ve said it repeatedly, 1971 was a great year for music.

September 17, 2021

The post Labor Day holiday roll out

Remember when we used to complain about Christmas creep, when the decorations and hype started before Thanksgiving? Then things rolled to the day after Halloween. Boy, did we whine.

Christmas displays are going up at my local Lowe’s. I snapped this photo yesterday evening. 

I don’t know why I care. I can purchase holiday stuff in mid-September or not, it is up to me. If you want to, go ahead. It is a sorta free country. 

Hey, here is a completely unrelated parting question. If it is so important to get everybody the jab, why didn’t Joe* insist that postal workers and everyone on government assistance be injected. Why go after working people? 

I’m asking for a friend.

September 14, 2021

Not a good day

 The little one, my two year old granddaughter just was diagnosed with COVID. So far she is moderately sick. The wife, her parents, and sister so far have tested negative. Keep your fingers crossed. 

A little prayer for her rapid recovery would be nice, if you are so inclined. 

If This is true, General Miley should be fired and brought up on charges. Period. 

This is what treason looks like. 

Seriously, this is not materially different than what Benedict Arnold did and he is America’s most famous traitor. This is just sickening.

September 13, 2021

The post was done for six minutes before I came up with a title that isn’t a title at all

The Colts looked like a team that had not played their starters in preseason yesterday. They were not the only team to fail to toe the mark yesterday. A couple of Super Bowl favorites also fell on opening weekend. Ah, sportsball, the little things that make us happy and sad. My other team, the Cubs, lost all weekend. Of course they did.

I BBQed some chicken breasts on the grill for Sunday supper. I made some macaroni salad, deviled eggs, and baked beans to round out the meal. My iced tea was unsweetened. The wife made up for it by adding lots of sugar to hers. I made sure my blood sugar levels were elevated by having a slice of store bought raspberry pie for desert/snack.

The eldest granddaughter came over in the afternoon to “help” the wife bake a birthday cake for our daughter/her mother. The put together a four layer multi-colored extravaganza. Now we have to keep it together until the Tuesday birthday. 

I’m off to work. Office time in the morning, on the road with the boss this afternoon. 

Look at that, a boring post for a boring Monday.

Have a good one, amigos.

September 12, 2021

We all know Quake was crap

I was standing in the kitchen this morning staring at the Keurig, waiting on my coffee. My brain was on full auto. Things were zipping around my cranium like shaking marbles in a can. But I wasn’t really thinking. I don’t know how long I stood there in a haze before I realized coffee wasn’t coming. I looked at the machine. That little blue light was screaming silently for water. I shook off that far-away look and feeling and put the reservoir under the tap. Ah, now there was coffee. 

I absentmindedly chewed a piece of red licorice. Yeah, probably not the breakfast my doctor envisioned. 

Darkness is lingering a little longer each morning. Despite today’s expected 90 degree weather, fall is nearly upon us. Football starts in earnest today. A few leaves on the trees are quitting early and dropping. The summer flowers on the porch are losing their luster. Except for that one day lily out back that inexplicably keeps pumping out solitary blooms. Soon the wife will be dragging out her fall decorations and talking about pumpkins and mums replacing the pots of geraniums. 

I think I’ll grab some milk and cereal and have a real breakfast.

I wish it was Quisp. I’ll settle for some frosted Mini Wheats instead. 

September 11, 2021

Never Forget

It is mind boggling to think there are kids in college today that do not remember the tragic, horrific events of 9/11. For most Americans it seems like yesterday. 

You don’t need me to go into a long discourse on the events of that sunny morning. Evil descended upon our nation. Our lives have never been the same.

Pray for the families who lost loved ones. Pray for the responders who risked all. 

Never forget.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

September 10, 2021

On the Road Again

It’s been a long week, yet satisfying. I was on the road again. It has been a long time. Granted, I was traveling with my boss, but I still was on the highways and byways of southern Indiana and northern Kentucky. 

I travel some with my boss and some by myself next week. 

I’m not crazy about the office days, but that’s life. I have plenty to learn and plenty to do in the office preparing for upcoming visits etc. 

Traffic to and from the office sucks, but it isn’t my gas. 

In other news, my foot still hurts some and is plenty swollen by evening. I’m not sure what is going on with that. I go back to the doctor in a few weeks, we will monitor the situation until then. In the meantime I have received the arch supports he recommended. I’ll get those in my shoes this weekend. I suspect I won’t care much for them. 

Sorry about the lack of posting.  Life happens.

On the political front. Biden says everyone must get a shot. What happened to my body my choice, the Democrat mantra?  I guess that only applies to killing babies but not other stuff.

Before you go off, I have the shot. I’m comfortable with my decision, 

September 7, 2021

You have a dirty mind

An American rich man had bad luck with women and finally decided to find a mail order bride from Russia. She arrived a few weeks after they scheduled his order online, they got married and lived happily in a rich town in Connecticut.

Though the poor lady was not very proficient in English, she did manage to communicate with her husband with gestures mostly. The real problem arose whenever she had to shop for groceries.

One day, she went to the butcher and wanted to buy chicken legs. She didn’t know how to put forward her request and in desperation, clucked like a chicken and lifted up her skirt to show her thighs. The butcher got the message, and gave her the chicken legs.

The next day, she needed to get chicken breasts. Again, she didn’t know how to say it, and so she clucked like a chicken and unbuttoned her blouse to show the butcher her breasts! The butcher understood again, and gave her some chicken breasts.

The third day, the poor lady needed to buy sausages. Unable to find a way to communicate this, she brought her husband to the store…

Now get your head out of the gutter. Her husband speaks English.

September 6, 2021

I just want to celebrate

Here we are on Labor Day, that union-inspired holiday where we celebrate our hard work by taking the day off. I can live with it. We are off today to celebrate at an end of summer pool party and cookout. A fine pork shoulder will be thrown on the smoker while we laugh and swim and have a beer or three to enjoy life, summer, and God’s glory. 

To make time for the festivities this afternoon, I mowed the yard yesterday. I trimmed the bushes out front.  I repaired the broken shelving in the wife’s closet. I watched several episodes of Mad Men. I even went to the store with the wife to stock up on groceries. 

You can get a lot done when you get up at 4:30 AM. 

September 5, 2021

You outta be truthin’

I have, on occasion, resorted to hyperbole. Yes, Dear Readers, you have said at least 1,137,000 times that I occasionally exaggerate. I know it is true. But believe me, the picture I shared of my foot yesterday was true and unadulterated. No photoshop. No trick angles like the one with the urban rattlesnake. The only thing modified from the X-Ray was I cropped it to remove my  personal information. I really have the equivalent of a deck screw in my foot. 

Yesterday was a damp and gloomy day. We occupied ourselves by buying some needed stuff, including a trip to Walmart. As far as projects, make that score Joe 1, projects 0. So it goes. I did watch some episodes of Mad Men. There is that. I was unsuccessful at getting the wife to do naked wrestling. I wasn’t surprised. It is supposed to be sunny today. I will get the lawn cut. 

Since the theme of the weekend is my ability to walk, let’s use that as an excuse to play some Boots.

You may have your own opinion, but I vote for the brunette in the olive green top. I have no evidence, but I always felt like after take 16, the director told Nancy to forget trying to dance with the other chicks and to just sway. But you have to dig the tune. Timeless.

September 4, 2021

These boots were made for walkin’, so I walk the line

Actual screenshot of my post-surgery X-Ray
Actual screenshot of my post-surgery x-ray
I’m free. 

I went to the surgeon Tuesday. My foot is well on the way to healed. Hooray. No boot. No crutches, no scooter! I can put my weight on the foot, I can walk!

I can walk slowly. I have a slight limp. By the end of the day I have swelling. But…who cares? That will get better in time.

Now I just have to get after the projects that have gone untended over the past 12 weeks of the air cast and crutches. My wife is thrilled I can now cut the grass. 

This new-found freedom means I have a busy weekend in front of me. I can live with that.

But I can walk again!

I can’t believe I forgot to tell you this big news.

September 2, 2021

Big old learning curve

I’m staggeringly ignorant about my new job. In no way can I be trusted to visit customers on my own. That notion leaves me more than a little overwhelmed. 

I’ve been to visit several customers with my boss the past few days. That is great. My lack of knowledge isn’t. 

When I took a job in the corrugated industry (read cardboard) a few years ago I picked that up fast. When I sold cold forgings, I learned that easily too. Of course, I sold widgets (OK, bearings) for more than 20 years before that for several different companies. That was a breeze. Here, there are so many products I’m just lost. Plus I’m now working distribution as opposed to selling OEM parts. That’s different too.

But it still beats working at the big box home improvement store.

September 1, 2021

An inspiring story

 Every morning, the CEO of a major bank in Manhattan went to the corner where a shoeshine man was always there. He used to sit on the chair, read the Wall Street Journal, and the humble shoeshine man gave his shoes a shiny, great look.

One morning, the shoeshine man asks the CEO: What do you think of the stock market situation?

The Director arrogantly asks him: Why are you so interested in this subject?

The shoeshine man replies: I have a million dollars invested in your bank and I am thinking about investing part of the money in the stock market.

The CEO of the bank asks: What is your name?

He replies: John Smith H.

The Director arrives at the bank and asks the Manager of the Major Accounts Department: Do we have a customer named John Smith H.?

The Customer Service Manager for Major Accounts replies: We certainly do, Sir! He is an extremely esteemed customer! He has a million dollars in his account.

The CEO leaves the bank, approaches the shoeshine boy, and says: Mr. Smith, I would like to invite you to be our guest of honor at our board meeting next Monday and tell us your life story. I’m sure we will have a lot to learn from you.

At the board meeting, the CEO introduces him to the board members:

We all know Mr. Smith, who makes our shoes shine like no one else. But Mr. Smith is also our valued customer, with a million dollars in his account. I invited him to tell us the story of his life. I’m sure we can learn a lot from him. Please, Mr. Smith, tell us your life story.

Then, Mr. Smith began to narrate his story:
I came to this country fifty years ago as a young immigrant from Europe and with a weird and unpronounceable name. I left the ship penniless in my pocket. The first thing I did was to change my name to Smith. I was hungry and exhausted. I started to wander in search for a job, but without success. Suddenly, I found a coin on the sidewalk. I bought some apples. Eat the apples and quench my hunger or start a business.

I sold the apples for 50 cents and bought more apples with the money. When I started accumulating dollars, I managed to buy a set of used brushes and shoe polishes and started cleaning shoes. I didn’t spend a dime on fun or clothes. I only bought bread and cheese to survive. I saved penny by penny and after a while I bought a new set of brushes and shoe polishes in different shades and colors and increased my clientele.

I lived like a monk and saved a penny after penny.

After a while, I managed to buy a chair so that my customers could sit comfortably while I cleaned their shoes, which brought me more customers.

I didn’t spend a dime on the pleasures of life. I kept saving every penny. A few years ago, when the corner shoeshine colleague decided to retire, I had already saved enough money to buy his point, which was a better place than mine.

Finally, three months ago, my sister, who was a whore in Chicago, passed away and left me a million dollars….

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