December 31, 2021

Last post


 The year comes to a close. I have great hopes for the next one.

If you go out tonight, don’t drink and drive.

So long ‘21. This is my last post this year. It marks 309 this year. Take that 2019, you slacker of a year.





December 30, 2021

The Big Wrap Up Edition

 Here we are, December 30th. Time for the annual year-end retrospective. (Aside, in my head this paragraph sounds like Howard Cosell is reading it. I don’t know why)

Nope. Things happened. They did to you too. I will leave the analysis to someone for more talented and wise than am I. 

It remains semi-unseasonably warm but cloudy here at the homestead. I can live with temperatures in the forties in January. 

So far we have no big New Years Eve plans. Our normal New Year couple is not an option. He died. She will hang with her family. Our other good friends are in sunny climes enjoying a mini-vacation this week. I guess we will grab some dinner and maybe a movie. Life is sure boring when you are old. Could you imagine me and the wife out at a club grooving to hip hop or whatever they listen to these days? We are many decades removed from the big holiday bashes at the Holidome in Lebanon, replete with live bands and plenty of booze. *

We need to make more friends. Too bad one of us is anti-social and the other is one of the sweetest women you will ever meet. 

That is tomorrow’s worry. Today I have important stuff to do like…or maybe…

Yeah. 

Have a great day.

*of course that reference has no meaning to any of you.


December 29, 2021

The gift that lasts forever

My blood sugars are mostly under control. Eating junk is all that gets in the occasional way. My last A1c was 6.3. It will be higher when I go to the doctor next week: lack of exercise and holiday eating pushing things higher. How high? We shall see.

Already my Type 2 has contributed to the lack of healing in my foot. Now I get to have a couple more eye surgeries! Yay for me! The specialist is going to go in and zap my retinas to stop bleeders in both eyes. You know, those pesky things that can make you blind if you are diabetic. Except he cannot laser the one near my optic nerve that sent me to him in the first place. That one will necessitate a repeated needle in my eyeball if it grows any more. Hooyah. 

My new boss is going to be so pleased I need time off a week after starting a new job. 

I thought I was done with this eye stuff. I thought wrong. The front half of my eyeball was rebuilt. Now we work on the back half. Not a big deal. Just one more small, very worn speed bump in the parking lot of life.

Say, what did I do with that box of chocolate covered cherries I got for Christmas…

December 28, 2021

Still Waiting

 

We’re eight months into this pandemic,” Biden said weeks before the presidential election, “and Donald Trump still doesn’t have a plan to get this virus under control, I do.”

 Well Brandon Joe, it has been almost a year. Do you think it is time to reveal your grand COVID plan?

December 26, 2021

Holiday Hangover

Whew!

Christmas is now in the rear view mirror. What a good one it was. The wife went way overboard, as usual. I think she even realized it this year when the gifts for the grandgirls barely fit in the Escape, even with the seats down. I will through in a caveat, a couple of the presents were in very large boxes, and neither cost a lot. But still.

We went to my daughter’s for dinner. She fixed an incredible beef tenderloin. After we ate we opened presents. It was a great day to celebrate the birth of Christ. I got a T-shirt that reads “bookmarks are for quitters”.

The wife gave me some new ear buds and a nice leather travel case for cigars I have coveted for some time. I gave her a new bracelet and a red and white mixing bowl for her stand mixer. 

I hope your Christmas was as great as mine. If it wasn’t, look at the bright side. I won’t post any more Christmas music until next year. 

December 25, 2021

December 23, 2021

Come to Bethlehem

 



 

Merry Christmas from the Family


 I hope you get everything you want this Christmas 

We interrupt the usual nonsense for something really amusing

Christmas in my hometown 

On a tour of the facilities, the CEO notices a guy leaning on a wall.

He can’t believe this guy would just stand around on the job.

The new CEO walks up to the guy leaning against the wall and asks, “What are you doing here?”

“I’m just waiting to get paid,” responds the man.

Furious, the CEO asks “How much money do you make a week?”

A little surprised, the young fellow replies, “I make about $300 a week. Why?”

The CEO quickly gets out his checkbook, hands the guy a check made out to cash for $1,200 and says, “Here’s four weeks’ pay, now get out and don’t come back.”

The man puts the check in his pocket and promptly walks out.

Feeling pretty good about himself, the CEO looks around the room and asks, “Does anyone want to tell me what just happened here?”

From across the room comes a voice, “Yeah, you just tipped the pizza delivery guy $1,200.”


December 22, 2021

Not this year

 


A couple of old ones

 




Thoughts on the current state of things in Washington

I let the winter solstice slip by without comment yesterday. I’m not sure what deep thoughts I could offer beyond “it’s the shortest day of the year, sunlight wise, in the northern hemisphere “.  There. We can be done with that. 

I have nothing more to offer at this point. Sorry. 

Say, why is the burden to keep you entertained around here always on me? 

Oh, it is my blog.

Never mind.

December 21, 2021

We’re going to need a bigger boat

 


Kinda like that, I’m gonna need a bigger desk. My new work computer gear arrived yesterday: laptop, docking station, and two monitors. It is never going to fit on my cheap old WalMart desk. Further, a bigger desk isn’t going to fit in the corner my current one occupies. It looks like a complete changeover is needed for my office. My trusty, well used recliner may have to go. 

I’m going to need my old work truck back to get rid of some of this furniture. You think my old employer would go for that?

Me neither.

The price of change.

Mingo Sings — I don’t know if Dan’l approved


 

December 20, 2021

Boo freaking hoo: the update you didn’t ask for

I have been remiss in complaining about stuff the past few days. Some of you probably thought the old blogeroo had been taken over by a kinder, gentler doppelgänger. Not so! 

I woke this morning pain free. My foot did not hurt at all. There was no minor swelling, I could actually see the bones and veins faintly below the skin. Things were the way they ought to be. How did this miracle happen? It is the consequence of pretty much sitting on my tail all day yesterday. Oh, I did some stuff. I ran the vacuum. Wrapped some presents. Toiled over the crockpot cooking dinner. Mostly I just watched tv, read, and dozed. 

I have the answer. I just need to stay off my foot and eschew shoes for six weeks or so and I will be healed.

Wait, I did that. It didn’t help. 

I know this, the next time I’m at the doctor for a routine check and he asks if there is anything else, I won’t say something stupid like “well, my foot has been bothering me for a month or so”. 

I broke it in April when the stress fracture turned into a real break. You might think some of my continued issues are my own fault. I might think you are right , but don’t ever expect me to admit it. I don’t work that way. 

I  finally talked to the erstwhile doc about it in May. I was on my feet more than I should have, walking 40-50 miles a week during my first 8 weeks or so in the boot. The need to eat and sorta pay bills dictated I keep putting time at the Big Box home improvement store. And yes, they could have helped out by putting my in an area where I was not lifting the heaviest crap in the store all day. They didn’t, because they were short handed and needed me there. Even when I asked.

Then surgery. Then six weeks completely off of the foot. I did very good about that. Since, I have followed the surgeons directions. Unfortunately, the design of my foot, the way I stand and walk, and low blood flow from diabetes has made healing slower than slow. I even question, do I limp from pain or habit at this point?

So it goes. I miss walking the neighborhood. If my foot is gonna hurt anyway, I might as well do the stuff I enjoy. Besides, lack of exercise has caused me to put on ten pounds. I’m still not the fat guy I was when I started this piece o’ rap blog, but I’m not as skinny as I was nine months ago either.

There, how’s that for complaining? 

Why not?


 

December 19, 2021

Easy peanut clusters

 The wife is headed over to bake cookies and make candy with our daughter and her girls today. Great fun, and probably a great mess, will be had. The wife will have to hide a couple of cookies for me because otherwise the girls will douse everything in sprinkles. I don’t do sprinkles because they are nothing more than candy-coated mouse turds. Plus, who wants crunchies on an iced sugar cookie? Not me and not you, unless you want to be wrong. 

I may, if things dry out, make an effort to rake or mow the thick layer of leaves that still cover the backyard. There are a lot of them. The great disadvantage of a privacy fence is that stuff can’t blow away. We shall see. It is not like I can claim I need to watch football. My team played last night. I do think I will wrap up the wife’s Christmas presents while she is gone. She will notice them right away under the tree. Hers all look like they were done by a professional. Mine will look like a four year-old’s holiday art project. I flunked scissors and tape back at Samuel Kyger P. Elementary. 

This post is like a SNL skit. I don’t have an ending. Nor a point. 

Have a great Sunday.

No words necessary


 

December 18, 2021

The Waltz

 



The Waltz by Anders Zorn is in the Biltmore House. I dig this painting. 

Of course I’ve said before if I went back in time it would be the gilded age. 

But only if I was wealthy. It sucked for poor people.

Later on, we’ll conspire


 

December 17, 2021

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king

 


Ch-ch-changes

 From 1993 to 2014  I sold widgets to large OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). My customers were big companies you have heard of in the industrial, agricultural, automotive, and commercial vehicle industries. I worked for salary, not commission. In 2014 my territory was more than $35 million dollars. I loved my job. 

The company I worked for was sold and I found myself out of work. Since then, I have had several jobs and even more bad luck. Each succeeding position a was little less responsibility and a lot less money than the one I had before, until I thought I would never get a sales job again after the last layoff. 

In September, a good company offered me a job, back on the road, selling aftermarket parts for a low salary and a lot of commission. I am more grateful for that job than you can imagine. Today is my last day there. I offered to stay to the end of the year. They weren’t interested. 

I start a new job with the New Year. I will be calling on very large OEMs selling widgets. My territory will be more than $20 million dollars. I will travel around the US and have some international travel. I am more excited than you can imagine. For seven years I’ve been looking for this job. I finally found it!

A lot of this year has been lousy. The last quarter has been pretty good. 

I am truly blessed. 

December 16, 2021

Events

Today marks the eldest granddaughter’s seventh birthday. How time flies! It seems but yesterday I was bragging on her birth in these pages. 

In other news, nothing! Well I have news, but I’m not at liberty to divulge yet. 

That is not true. I could tell you, but I won’t. Not yet anyway. Maybe tomorrow. Keep checking. Feel free to speculate. 

No, I’m not having a baby. I’m not having a sex change. I’m not running for political office. 

Cat Woman Sings

 


December 14, 2021

Deathbed confessions

 My wife was dying. I was by her bedside. She said in a tired voice, “There’s something I must confess.”

“Shhh” I said, “there’s nothing to confess. Everything is alright.”

“No I must die in peace. I never really loved you and I had sex with your brother, your best friend, his best friend and your father!”


I took a deep breath, looked her in the eyes and whispered, “I know, that’s why I poisoned you, now close your eyes and die already!!”

December 13, 2021

Rey just killed Chewy. Or did she?

I fried up some chicken for supper last night. Half the chicken I burnt black on one side. The gravy was too thick. I failed to season the mashed spuds. In all it was a subpar effort and lousy dinner. Waddya do? We ate it anyway. 

We went to the eldest granddaughter’s Holiday dance recital in the afternoon and to get some ice cream with her after. It was a great time. The little kids dancing is a hoot. 

A GFCI outlet blew apart yesterday. It was near the stove. The plastic “set” button cracked and the spring blew it apart. I guess 25 years of heat from the stove weakened the plastic. I am going to try and replace the plug outlet myself tomorrow. If my house burns down in an electric fire you will know who is responsible. 

Have a great Monday. I think mine is going to be unpleasant at work. I’m certain it will. 

Christmas Memories

 


I can still hear it from my youth, straight from my Dad’s giant console turntable. 

December 12, 2021

December 11, 2021

‘cause it is awesome

 


One of my favorites

There will be no product placement in this post Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup

Harsh spring-like thunderstorms lashed the old homestead in the overnight hours. No tornadoes were sighted, but we were placed under a watch advisory. The rain and thunder was hard enough to wake me and I slept fitfully after the front moved quickly by. 

Today marks the eldest granddaughter’s birthday party. She turns seven next Thursday. She has elected to have a bunch of her friends to a bowling party. I’m not sure she has ever bowled, but it will still be a hoot. Tomorrow is her dance recital, so a busy weekend is on tap.

Yesterday was inventory day at work. Woot. Not really. It is more just a thing every business has to do. I’m no stranger to counting stuff. I might have related the story of my first manufacturing job. I was a management trainee by title. That meant I did whatever job needed doing. My only assigned task was to be in charge of the inventory count. The big difference is the company did a complete inventory count every month. I mean we counted everything from bolts to rags to raw material to finished goods. Yes, I think someone at corporate was a little obsessive. 

Shortly after yesterday’s count was complete I got a phone call on my private phone. It was some great news. That is two Friday’s in a row that God has chosen to bless me, far more than I deserve. Details will follow in the coming days, but the day could not have been better. 

Well it could have, but the wife just didn’t know what “that” had to do with anything…

Have a great Saturday.

December 10, 2021

A seasick crocodile


 

The World Turned Upside Down

 I really do not understand the world I live in. The news had a story last night about some safe injection sites the have opened in New York City. Officials were bragging that drug users could come there and shoot up in a safe space using needles provided by the city. 

One “patron” (read addict) said it was great, he could shoot up with a fresh needle and have no fear of over-dosing since medical help was on hand! 

Somehow, the official in charge said this program would eliminate illegal drug use. Yup, and free wine will cure alcoholism and defunding police will eliminate crime. 

In a world where I’m told that sex is an artificial construct and that we should elect a female President in the same breath, I’m not surprised by any of this. Confused, sure. 

December 9, 2021

It is like you were in the truck with me

My visits in southern Indiana finished earlier than expected yesterday, so I decided to take the long way home.  I headed east from Evansville right past a customer in Booneville I visited on my way south Monday, and then on into rural, hilly Hoosierdom. 

Anyone who has read here for any amount of time knows I dig historical sites. Lincoln’s boyhood home was my destination (I said an audible hola to reader Hey Teacher as I cruised the general area). The country was heavily wooded and the National Site was pretty much empty on this chilly December morning. 

I have to admit, I’ve grown skeptical in my old age. Maybe this was the site of the Lincoln cabin. I will not dispute it. Maybe that is the burial site of his mother. It is acknowledged her grave was unmarked until long after Old Abe met his fate in Ford’s Theater. In any case, you get a sense of how small pioneer cabins were in the old Northwest Territory of the early 1800s.the Lincoln cabin was maybe 12x12.

Mostly, I will state that of all the many historical sites, battlefields, homes, and parks I have visited in my life, I would rank this one pretty much last. Maybe if you are staying in Santa Claus and hanging out after a day or two at Holiday World amusement park you could drive over and force the kids to absorb a little history. Not if you have to drive more than twenty minutes out of your way, though. 

Bronzed mudsill and fireplace of Lincoln cabin

Abe’s Mother’s grave 100 yards or so from the cabin


That is why I look like I do

 A woman walked up to a little old man rocking in a chair on his porch.

“I couldn’t help noticing how happy you look,” she said.

“What’s your secret for a long happy life?”

“I smoke three packs of cigarettes a day,” he said.

“I also drink a case of whiskey a week, eat fatty foods, and never exercise.”

“That’s amazing,” the woman said. “How old are you?”

“Thirty-six!” he said.

Dancin’


 

December 8, 2021

Evansville was a major war effort producer in WWII

 I stayed at this Hampton Inn last month and found the breakfast offering a bit inadequate. It was this morning too. I will survive. I’m now in the toe of Indiana’s boot doing my job this morning before heading home. The big question is do I take a scenic route or head straight up the interstate? These are the decisions that weigh on my mind this morning. 

Many, many years ago I stayed in a hotel and when I came out in the winter morning the employees had scraped my windows, and everyone else’s in the parking lot. That is service. I’m not sure why I just remembered that. I guess because I wish someone would go scrape my truck windows this morning. I wish I could remember where the great customer service happened? Maybe it was a HoJo in or near Franklin, PA? It doesn’t really matter. 

For you young readers, Howard Johnson was an iconic restaurant and hotel chain back in the day. I think they are all gone now. 

I’m off to do my Willie Loman  thing. Have a great Hump Day.

In the morning

 








December 6, 2021

A Monday chock full of information

I find myself once again in Western Kentucky on the far side of both big lakes. I saw a couple of customers on the way before holing up in my hotel for the night. I will venture out for some dinner later.

I went to the foot doctor this morning prior to hitting the road. There is not much change. The break is still not completely healed. Short of another surgery there is not much to be done. I am going to have to live with the mild pain. He said given my slow healing and the way I walk on the outside of my foot there is no guarantee another surgery will heal either. The real question is can I live with it, the pain and occasional limping, or not? We will re-examine things in three months.

I broke the foot in April. Got a boot in May. Had surgery in July. Was completely off the foot in a boot and on crutches until September. My foot still hurts akin to a cramp in the arch of my foot. Sigh. I know, there are a great many people far worse off than I am. Here I go complaining  about a little ache in my foot.

I have been re-reading Arthur Haley’s “Hotel”. A book I last read in about 1974 or 1975 maybe. I don’t remember all of the details, but as I read along I remember what is about to happen in the plot right before I get to that point. It is strange. For instance when they go to a guest’s room I know generally what is going to happen, just not the details of the scene. In my memory’s defense, the mid-seventies were a very long time ago, and I was just a kid. I probably had no business reading the novel anyway. 

I usually stayed up most of the night reading and would grab whatever book Mom was reading and go through it. She probably wouldn’t have been pleased to know her 10 or 12 year old was reading novels written for adults.

Boy, I’m in a Chatty Cathy mood. That is enough of this nonsense today.

The fire is slowly dying

 


December 5, 2021

This is not customer service

So the wife and I ventured out late Friday evening to grab a burger. We went to the chain Red Robin. It was around 8:00 or so. When we went in there were a few people sitting in the lobby. The hostess said it would be a 45 minute wait. 

Let me diverge here.  My wife is one of the nicest, sweetest people you could ever meet. She doesn’t ever say an unkind word. Yes, opposites do attract. She is never snarky. Sarcasm is lost on her.

Back to the lobby of  Red Robin. The wife looks around and sees that at least 75% of the tables are empty. She said simply “There are a lot of empty tables”. 

The hostess replied “Unfortunately, like a lot of places we are short on wait staff”. All was fine if she left it there. It is a common occurrence these days. Sometimes we wait it out, Friday we were both hungry.

The wife said nicely “OK we will go somewhere else”. No problem, just a business deal that didn’t happen. No one was angry. My belly was a bit disappointed, but that was a First World problem that I would not have a cheeseburger with a fried egg on top for dinner. 

A I turned to leave the hostess said “Feel free to fill out an application for server if you don’t want to wait next time”. If life was a cartoon you would have heard screeching brakes from my shoes as I came to a stop. The wife pushed me out the door before I could respond. Maybe it was a joke. Maybe it was a frustration from turning away patrons. Maybe it was the smart ass comment it sounded. 

What it really was, as the wife said to me as we walked to the car, a “guarantee we will never, ever go there again”. When you anger the wife, it is forever.

A favorite

 


December 4, 2021

I woke early, but I’m not woke enough

 Yeah, yeah, there will be more music posted later as the Christmas juke box continues in an effort to get above 2019’s low post total of 302. Will I make it? Does anyone care? After all, it is only my white privilege that entitles me to author this blog anyway. 

I’m up early again. Statement, not complaint. I’ll nap later, I presume. I am not sure what is on the agenda today. At some point later this morning the Social Director will let me know the day’s activities. Should it involve shopping I just might opt to rake the leaves again instead. Of course I was at work as temperatures hit near sixty the past couple of days. Now that it is the weekend, we are looking at the forties. So it goes, it is December after all. 

 Before I do yard work or whatever, I have some time to kill. It is a dark, foggy five aye-em after all. I have last week’s episode of Yellowstone queued up on the DVR. Then I may dig out some of my holiday classics. I haven’t watched Holiday Inn yet this year. On the other hand, I’ve been listening to some Sharpe audiobooks in the truck lately on my business travels, so I’m in a bit of a Napoleonic War mood. I might drag out my version of Waterloo on DVD. 

We will just wait to see how it goes. I’m not sure I should watch either movie. The Bing Crosby classic that launched the tune White Christmas has a cringe-worthy blackface number in it. The historically accurate Waterloo is notably missing any people of color in the cast. For goodness sake both lead characters, Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington are portrayed by white men. Can you imagine? Even the bit players, the soldiers who die at la Haye Sainte or in the cavalry charges on the British squares are all white men. There are no POC actors, no women soldiers, not even a trans artilleryman. The movie should rightly just be banned altogether. Perhaps there is a trans person waltzing in an Empire dress at the party scene early in the movie, but I have missed it. Certainly that character would have been highlighted? 

The problem is I don’t spend sufficient time looking to be outraged. Re-education and my diversity training  probably need to be updated. Instead, I have been focusing on working hard trying to make a better life for my family.

Silly me.

By gosh by golly

 


December 3, 2021

I should have made steak instead of spaghetti for supper last night

It is Friday. It is a very, very good day. I’ll tell you why later. 

No, it has nothing to do with nekkid wrestling. Unfortunately. 

For now, I’m off to a machine run-off.

Enjoy your day. 

We’ve Travelled Afar


 

December 2, 2021

December 1, 2021

Fighting ice, rocks, and the elements at ten thousand feet

Life is a mountain we all have to climb. Not all of us summit, yet endeavor we must. Some people have a smooth and easier path to the top. Some have a steep treacherous rocky trail. Life isn’t easy. But we all have an opportunity to reach success. Some just have to work harder than others. Life isn’t fair.

When people are told every day at home, at school, on TV, from our politicians, that they fail solely because of their skin color, that creates an attitude of why bother? It creates envy. It generates hatred for those that are further up the mountain. 

It does everyone a disservice, it cheats them. It ensures they remain in the shadowed valley. 

I find that sad.

City Sidewalks




 

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