December 31, 2022

The Big Year in Review Post

So long 2022, I’ve had far worse years, many better. 

If you go out tonight, let someone else drive if you are drinking. 

Happy New Year, friends.

December 30, 2022

He drink whiskey, Poncho drink the wine

It appears I am getting my blog funk early this year. I stare at the blank screen and realize I have nothing to say to you. My creativity is at an ebb. I suspect it is an ancient DNA trait urging me to hibernate. 

How about an oldie to entertain you? For some reason this funky tune was in my head this morning.

December 29, 2022

Sad Face Warning

i know you will be disappointed, but there will be no Theme Song Thursday this week. It’s not that I’m too busy, it’s that I don’t feel like putting in even the minimum work it takes to create the post. 

You are lucky you are getting letters and words at all.

Apparently there were lay-off at corporate yesterday. It appears I am safe. Keep your fingers crossed. Many of the other new employees are gone. Trust me, the economy is not as strong as they want you to believe. 

Temperatures continue to rise. We stayed above freezing last night and may get close to 60F by the NewYear. Last Friday the windchill was -40. Monday it will be 60, that is a 100 degree swing in the feel of the outside air.  Weather is crazy, and anyone who claims they can accurately forecast it more than a few days out is wrong. 

Anyone who claims they can predict it decades out is a fraud. 

I know, you are still sad about the theme song thing. You will be OK.

December 27, 2022

Boy, the Colts Suck

 It is the second “Monday” this week. I’m at my desk, ostensibly working, but my motivation level is pretty low. I have handled the emails from the extra long weekend, but other than that, I don’t have much. 

I need to put in some more work on my contract proposal for Really Big Customer before I present it to my boss. I would also like his input before I devote any more time and effort if he disagrees with my approach. So right now I am just staring at the spreadsheet. 

We are looking for a big warm up by the weekend. I can live with that. 

Have a great Tuesday.

December 26, 2022

Holiday hangover

What a glorious Christmas. 2/3 of my kids, their family and girlfriends as the case may be, came for gift exchange and dinner. We got to FaceTime the oldest boy in Colorado. I wish he could’ve been here. 

I started in cooking dinner early. We had turkey, noodles, mashed spuds, candied sweet potatoes (yuck), green bean casserole, deviled eggs, rolls, and I made a peanut butter pie. The daughter brought over appetizers and cranberry salad. What a feast! 

We dragged out the Christmas dishes and when all was done I had a mountain of dishes, pans, and serving bowls to wash since the holiday plates aren’t dishwasher safe. Despite my dishpan hands, it was worth it. For the first time in a while my foot was sore and swollen when I finally went to bed. I was on my feet all day and I probably should have put on shoes for a little support. So it goes.

I think everyone liked their gifts and the wife didn’t go overboard for once. 

It was a great holiday. 

 Hope yours was too. 

December 25, 2022

December 23, 2022

Like Bing says

The weather prognosticators were only partially right on the big winter storm here in the middle of God’s favorite state. We only got a couple inches of snow and less rain than expected, so while I’m sure the streets are slick, it could be worse. They got the hard wind and freezing temperatures right. Currently the actual air temperatures is -10F and the windchill is -36. Yikes. I have no reason to go out anyway. 

Ponder this, you could climb into your freezer and it would probably be warmer than it is outside. 

I don’t even want to think about my gas or electric bill next month. 

The wife spent the evening  wrapping the last presents, so we are set. One thing she ordered the youngest son didn’t arrive, and won’t until next week. She is stressed over that. I told her it is OK, he is 29 years old, he will understand. She is upset about it anyway. 

The wife has been hoping for a white Christmas. It looks like she will get it. Too bad she didn’t wish to win a lottery jackpot instead. So it goes.

Stay warm and safe out there.

From the greatest holiday movie ever.

December 22, 2022

The weather outside is frightful

 Like a good chunk of the country we are all set to get hammered by what can only be described as really crappy weather. Rain will fall this afternoon only to be interrupted by a tearing cold front bringing extreme temperature change. The rain will turn to snow and winds will whip the snow into blizzard conditions. Temperatures will go to near zero with windchills around -25 or so. We will look at a layer of ice covered with snow. It will be too cold for ice melt to work. I suspect most of you are looking at a similar  scenario if you are east of the Rockies. Even the Deep South is looking at frigid temperatures. 

We will have to look at conditions long and hard before we head north to the wife’s family gathering for Christmas Eve festivities Saturday. Depending on the severity of the drifting snow, I may have to go fetch the boy from Indy’s south side if he wants to come for Christmas Day. His tiny little car does not handle winter weather well. 

I have a half-day of work today and then I am off until a Tuesday. I need to wrap a couple of presents and help the wife clean before everyone comes over Sunday. In all, we are ready for everything the weekend promises. 

I guess the opening lines of this song might be appropriate for today:

December 21, 2022

‘Cause it is awesome

Edit:  I just noticed this is the 7,500th post I have published. 

I always have gone for quantity over quality. Like I often say, you get what you pay for around here. 

But you have to admit the stop action movie is awesome*. If you disagree then I’m afraid we will never be able to hang out, drink beer and smoke cigars. Sorry, I do have standards.

*except the little boy with a thirty-year old’s voice, or the blond Mary...

Further edit: I did some research. The voice of Aaron is actually performed by a kid, not an adult. Go figure.

December 20, 2022


Between Christmas and a predicted storm, the stores will be stripped bare by Thursday. Not only will the  genpop be panic stricken of the prospect of snow and cold, grabbing every loaf of bread and carton of eggs in sight, but the late shoppers will be scrounging for the fixins’ for a Christmas dinner. It I’ll be a perfect storm of desperation. I hope I have all I need. Cool Whip will be worth its weight in gold by Saturday morning. 

I think I have all the stuff I need, but you never know.

December 19, 2022

Once again as in olden days

It is a cold start to the week. Whatever, it is winter. The thermometer does this. I think we are about ready for Christmas. Yesterday I bought the rest of the groceries I need to fix Christmas dinner. I have to grab a few things to make a couple of dishes to take to the wife’s family potluck on Christmas Eve. 

I’m finding it hard to get motivated for work today. I have a bunch of data entry to do, and I just don’t want to. Oh well, they pay me to do the stuff I don’t want to do. That is how it works.

Happy Hanukkah for those who follow the Old Testament. 

For the Christmasy among you, how about a clip from Meet Me in St. Louis

Yeah, it is not really up for a vote.

December 18, 2022

Ding, dong ding, dong

A light dusting of snow covers the ground this chilly morning. I’ve already been out to pick up something from the store the wife forgot in her run last night. Today is cookie and candy day. The wife will be heading over to our daughters’s house to make holiday treats. The granddaughters will help with the fun. I am doing my part. After I brought home the milk chocolate chips this morning I loaded all of the ingredients for crock pot peanut clusters into the cooker. Three hours plus cooling time from now they will be done. 

We went to a birthday luncheon with the granddaughter yesterday. We all had a great time. After, the wife and I headed out for Christmas shopping. In truth, I drove and stayed out of the way while she shopped. I bought her a new pair of boots she desperately wanted. I will wrap them up for her. No surprise, but it is what she wants. 

We won’t speak of the football game. 

Enjoy your Sunday.

December 16, 2022

On a positive note

Today marks my oldest granddaughter’s birthday. She is eight. How crazy is that? It seems like her mom’s eighth birthday was only yesterday. I don’t feel so old until I look in the mirror or think about my little girl having her own little girls. Truth is written right there on my face. Then I realize I am getting old.

I’m not here to offer up a depressing post, it is a good day! 

I have today off work. That didn’t keep me from answering a few overnight emails this morning and I will desperately try to avoid my phone today. As I was reading emails last night, the wife pointed out the only time I have ever taken off completely from work was when we were on a cruise and phone and internet were unavailable. That revelation is admittably a problem.  

Dang it, every time I try to discuss something it skewers negative. If I want to be positive I clearly will steer clear of politics today. 

The weekend looks to be hectic as we procure the final Christmas gifts. I doubt I’ll be able to watch the football games, since the wife has made other plans for us. So it goes. I can record it and watch later if it is worth doing so. I managed to watch games at a later time during the time I spent in retail hell a year or two ago. Shiver. I don’t even want to think about those days.

Okay, I clearly cannot stay positive on this Friday. Here is what you came for:

December 15, 2022

it's been a long, cold, lonely winter

 We have had a very long spate - a couple of weeks - of very cloudy, gloomy weather. There is often fog and drizzle. It seems forever since I have seen the sun. I remarked to my neighbor when I was out fetching the mail yesterday that it felt like I was living in Michigan. * He said, yes but without the good breweries. Indeed. 

I am generally in a good mood, but lack of sun just depresses me. I can deal with the cold, snow, ice, and wind, but  I really need some sunshine to buoy my spirits. 

On the bright side several positive factors might come into play to mitigate my ennui. I have tomorrow off work; a use it or lose it personal day. Next week is a short week, I’m using another 1/2 day of personal time on Thursday with Friday a holiday. In addition, the long-range forecast hints at a chance for a white Christmas. What is bad about that? 

You would think that last revelation would be a hint for today’s Christmas song. You would be wrong. You might guess from the title of the post I am deviating from holiday tunes and going with Here Comes the Sun. Nope. This one is for You:

*Michigan, surrounded by the Great Lakes seems perpetually cloudy in the winter to me in my hundreds of visits there. Residents can confirm my perception.

December 14, 2022

Away in the Manger

Last night we went to see our youngest granddaughter in her pre-school Christmas program. Yes, it was a Christmas program, not a holiday show, since it was at a church. 

There is nothing that illustrates the meaning of Christmas more than a bunch of 2,3,and 4 year-olds singing Christmas songs. I have to imagine God was smiling. I know I was grinning the whole time. The sweetness factor was unbelievable. The kids were dressed in their finest and behaved magnificently. Some really got into the singing, some froze in unimaginable stage fright, staring straight at the crowd of several hundred parents, siblings, and grandparents, unmoving the whole time. It was a hoot. 

This is the stuff of Christmas memories.

December 13, 2022

Old guys at the doctor

Three elderly men are at the doctor’s office for a memory test.

The doctor asks the first man, “What is three times three?”

“274,” came the reply.

The doctor rolls his eyes and looks up at the ceiling, and says to the second man,

“It’s your turn. What is three times three?”

“Tuesday,” replies the second man.

The doctor shakes his head sadly, then asks the third man,

“Okay, your turn. What’s three times three?”

“Nine,” says the third man.

“That’s great!” says the doctor. “How did you get that?”

“Simple,” he says, “just subtract 274 from Tuesday.”

December 12, 2022

Getting spicy at the pepper mill

It was a lazy Sunday for me. The local football time was off yesterday. I watched snippets of a game or two, mostly I watched a couple of movies. I vacuumed everywhere, I put some stuff in the attic. Supper was as easy as can be; I dropped a chuck roast in the crock pot. A couple of hours before dinner I peeled a couple of spuds and added them.  I heated  a couple of frozen dinner rolls in the oven and a can of corn on the stove. That is about as no-effort as one could expect for a dinner. I dragged out the Christmas dishes, because why not? Those all had to be hand-washed but since so little effort went into what turned out to be a great meal, who cares? 

In all it was a borrrring Sunday. 

I hope your weekend was good, now back to work, it is Monday.

Mom and Dad had this album.

December 10, 2022

dressed in holiday style

We find ourselves staring at the little blinking cursor on this gloomy Saturday morning. In a stream of consciousness word salad, I wonder why the androgynous Me Me Mes like to refer to themselves as “they” instead of a more egocentric “we”? It would sure be easier to absorb grammatically. To be honest, I don’t see me addressing any singular person as “they”. If you think you are multiple people then you need help. Please note I used the “we” to start this paragraph as a sarcastic Royal “We”. I don’t normally refer to myself in the third person, yet it is still perfectly acceptable for you to call me Your Royal Highness. 

One of the downsides of working from home is that your work is always “there”. It is with great self-control that I don’t head up to the office and work today. I put in more than ten hours yesterday —completely destroying the stereotypical perception of how a sales guy spends a Friday afternoon. 

We are starting negotiations with Really Big Customer and there are numerous spreadsheets and number crunches and beaucoup analysis under construction. I hate to leave off in the middle, and that is especially true when a weekend intervenes. I’ve taken this highway many times in the past. I’ll bust my hump over the next few work days, putting in ten or twelve hours getting the analysis done well before the deadline. Then I’ll present it to my boss and other interested parties who will get back to me in their own good time. I can’t help myself. I have a bulldog mentality that keeps me focused on a project until it is finished. 

Sometimes that bulldog in me is good. I attack a problem and get things done. Occasionally, it is a detriment as I can’t let things go. You might have seen that aspect of my personality on occasion here at the old blog. I have worked to mitigate that trait over the years, ever since I overheard  a supervisor describe me as a bulldog to a high-up corporate type early in my career. The boss was highly flattering and critical in the same conversation. They didn’t know I was in the next cubicle, they thought I was at lunch. I skipped my break to work on a problem. I was customer service manager for a widget factory in a Fortune 500 company at the time. I was still less than thirty years old. 

That’s enough rambling about me, even though it is a fascinating subject. I’m pretty sure you stopped by for the Christmas music, didn’t you?

December 9, 2022

Ahhhh! We are all gonna die!

Recent headlines proclaimed we have only a handful of years (yet again) to adopt draconian climate control measures or life as we know is over. Climate experts flew in their private jets to Saudi Arabia to lecture us on our wastefulness. I am sure you saw the headlines.

Yesterday I read an article about the discovery of ancient DNA beneath the permafrost in Greenland. Part of the story contained this gem:

Previous paleoclimatic records show the ancient ecosystem was 10 to 17 degrees Celsius (18 to 31 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than modern-day Greenland. The DNA evidence could provide researchers clues on how these life-forms survived under extreme temperatures.

Yet the climateers claim we have to be concerned over a potential 1.5 C increase in temperatures over the next century. Mastodons roamed Greenland near the Arctic Circle, but we are doomed? 

Has anyone noticed every single climate proposal results in transferring money to poor countries at the expense of more prosperous nations?

December 8, 2022

Original Oiled Onionskin Origami

 Since her new husband is so old, Jenny decides that after their wedding she and Roger should have separate bedrooms because she is concerned that her new but aged husband may over-exert himself if they spend the entire night together.

After the wedding festivities Jenny prepares herself for bed and the expected knock on the door.

Sure enough the knock comes, the door opens and there is Roger, her 85 year old groom, ready for action.

They unite as one.

All goes well, Roger takes leave of his bride, and she prepares to go to sleep.

After a few minutes, Jenny hears another knock on her bedroom door, and it’s Roger, Again he is ready for more ‘action’.

Somewhat surprised, Jenny consents for more coupling.

When the newlyweds are done, Roger kisses his bride, bids her a fond good night and leaves.

She is set to go to sleep again, but, aha, you guessed it – Roger is back again, rapping on the door and is as fresh as a 25-year-old, ready for more ‘action’.

And, once more they enjoy each other.

But as Roger gets set to leave again, his young bride says to him, I am thoroughly impressed that at your age you can perform so well and so often.

I have been with guys less than a third of your age who were only good once.

You are truly a great lover, Roger.’

Roger, somewhat embarrassed, turns to Jenny and says:

‘You mean I was here already?’

December 7, 2022


 Eighty one years ago Japan launched a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor launching us into WWII. 

Except for old people or history buffs like me, I am not sure the day lives on in infamy too much.

And that is sad. 

December 6, 2022

Just wash that shirt already

If I have learn d anything over the past year or so it is that I need to cast aside superstition. It seems the shirt I wear, or the smelly socks I pull on, or the hat on my head has nothing whatsoever to do with the final score of a given athletic contest.

Who would have thought?

December 5, 2022

The feel and precision of a chainsaw


More from the Sharper Image catalog.

Is “precision” what comes to mind when you think of a chainsaw? This seems more like an old SNL (back when it was funny) skit than a real product.

December 3, 2022

There'll be much mistltoeing

Whew! It is windy today; yesterday too.  One of he wreaths blew off a second story window so it will be back up the ladder when the strong winds die down. The wreath that blew down was one from the lighted window at the center of the house. On the upstairs left is my office. Those windows sport holiday wreaths too.

We motored down with my daughter’s family to see the Christmas Light spectacle at the State Fairgrounds last night. The grandgirls loved it. I dug it myself. 

The weather is expected to clear by early afternoon, but it will not climb out of the thirties. I could rake the heavy layer of leaves blanketing the backyard. I could stay inside where it is warm...too bad that privacy fence keeps those leaves from blowing away on blustery days like this. So it goes. Yes, there are a few leaves in front too. No need to point it out.

Have a great Saturday. Here is a little music to get you in the mood. You didn’t think I’d forget did you?

December 1, 2022

That ain’t no Hank Williams song

 A typical cattle drive lasted three to five months in the old west. A cowboy made around forty bucks for tedious and often dangerous work. One of the longest cattle drives ever was fraught with danger. Rustlers, corrupt townspeople, marauding Indians, and nasty weather plagued one big herd during its nearly eight year drive. 

The cattle drive was helmed by Gil Favor who kept his cows and his cowboys under a firm hand as trail boss. Young cowboy Rowdy Yates was often delegated to help handle trouble along the way. 

I am, of course, talking about the TV series Rawhide. Airing from 1959 to 1965 the series was the sixth longest running American western according to Wikipedia. The series made a star of young Clint Eastwood who portrayed Rowdy Yates. The series’ 217 episodes were all filmed in black and white.

The best part of the series was the theme song and obviously the reason I’m writing about Rawhide today.

Who can forget the great Blues Brothers cover:

November 30, 2022

And poof! They were gone

Let’s see: cold, very windy, spaghetti for dinner last night, work, had the retina bleeders tasered in my other eye yesterday, Biden is an idiot, the Colts suck, and Christmas decorations. The usual topics are covered in as much detail as you care to have. 

I’m watching the neighbors leave for work, house after house. I will momentarily walk from my recliner to my desk to start my work day. It is a commute of about seven feet. No shrugging into a heavy coat and huddling in a cold vehicle while the heater warms up for me. 

Yesterday, I was rooting around in a large mass of files my boss sent me after I was hired. I found the folder I wanted, clicked to unzip the file and blippity blop all of the files are gone. Kaput. I looked for the original email with the drop box link and I cannot find it either. I know I put it in an email folder so I could “easily “ find it again; where? I don’t know. Now you know my task for this morning — recover those files. 

Have a great Wednesday.

November 29, 2022

Old old old

 Martin and his wife Debbie walk into a dentist’s office.

Martin says to the dentist,

“Doc, I’m in one heck of a hurry I have three buddies sitting out in my carwaiting for us to play golf, so forget about the anaesthetic, I don’t have time for the gums to get numb.

I just want you to pull the tooth, and be done with it!

Today is Friday and we have a 10:00 AM tee time at the best golf course in town and it’s 9:15 already…

The dentist thought to himself, “My goodness, this is surely a very brave man asking to have a tooth pulled without using anything to kill the pain.”

So the dentist asks Martin, “Which tooth is it sir?”

Martin turned to his wife and said,

“Open your mouth and show him dear…….”

November 27, 2022

Old Ladies

 Two little old ladies, Connie, and Jean, were sitting on a park bench outside the local town hall where a flower show was in progress.

The short one, Jean, leaned over and said, “Life is so boring. We never have any fun anymore. For $10 I’d take my clothes off and streak through that stupid, boring flower show”!
“You’re on!” said Connie, holding up a $10 bill.

So, Jean slowly fumbled her way out of her clothes.

She grabbed a dried flower from a nearby display and held it between her teeth.
Then, completely naked, she streaked (as fast as an old lady can) through the front door of the flower show.

Waiting outside, her friend soon heard a huge commotion inside the hall, followed by loud applause and shrill whistling.

Finally, the smiling Jean came through the exit door to the sounds of a cheering, clapping crowd.

“What happened?” asked Connie.

“I won $1,000 as 1st prize for ‘Best Dried Arrangement’!”

November 26, 2022

Soon the bells will start

I slept in this morning. I’m a tad late to the old blog. This demonstrates the freshness of the prose. No canned post for you today. 

Don’t you feel special? 

I put up the outside lights Wednesday afternoon. I plugged in every string to make sure they worked before hanging them on the roofline. When I turned them on after I was done, one section was out. I might have muttered curse words under my breath. Of course, the recalcitrant section was in the middle, right over my front door, so it was glaringly obvious. We went after dinner Wednesday night to find another set. 

Yesterday, I replaced the bad set of lights. After we went to the cemetery for my grandson’s birthday we came home and started working on the inside decorations. We put lighted garland up the stairs. And I helped the wife with some other stuff. She decorates the whole house into a Christmas wonderland straight out of a set for a Hallmark movie. 

It is now Saturday and we will probably do more decorating and cleaning today. I don’t mind, anything is better than raking the mass of leaves in the backyard. 

In the spirit of things:

November 25, 2022

It has been five years


Happy Birthday, Little One.

November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving


Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving. 

Thank you for reading. You have no idea what it means to me.

November 23, 2022

over the river and through the woods

No hump day for me this week. My work week ended yesterday with an evening conference call to China. I’m off work until Monday!

That just means I’m off paid work. I still have work to do here. The Christmas stuff has to be drug from the attic. I will put up the outside lights today. I will help the wife do the inside. We have to wrap lighted garland up the stairway, put up another tree, and clean in general. 

Tomorrow I have to make several side dishes to take to my daughter’s for the thanksgiving feast. She is having 15 or 16 people for dinner. I couldn’t get that many people in my house. It occurs to me, as the lyric from the title song to this post run through my head, that I do, indeed have to go over the river and through a woods (albeit a sparse one) to get to thanksgiving dinner. I won’t be going to grandmother’s house, but rather to granddaughter’s house and that fits the tune as well.

If the rain holds off I have a backyard full of leaves to rake at some point. 

It will be nice to be off work.

Now, some sad news. Since Thursday is Thanksgiving, I will not be posting a theme song Thursday feature. I know. Your sad face says it all. Be brave. 

Enjoy your day.

November 22, 2022

If there is ever a time to listen to my advice

I am not the smartest man in the world. No one would ever accuse me of being romantic. There will never be a Hallmark movie based on my life. When it comes to gift giving I rely heavily on the wife telling me specifically what to get her. 

I have been married for nearly forty years and I know one thing, do not pay attention to this ad in the Sharper image catalog, I do not care if it is on the “Gifts for her” page:

Click to embggen

Let me zoom in:

Do not buy this as a gift for your wife, mother daughter, girlfriend, or partner. Trust me here guys. 

November 21, 2022


 A woman was driving through the countryside late at night when her car broke down. About a mile down the road, she came to an old farmhouse. Two men came out.

“Can we help ya, miss?”

“Yes, my car broke down about a mile back. Could you drive me to the nearest town so I can get a tow truck?”

“The town’s all shut up right now, but we can take you in the morning. You can spend the night with us.”

The woman thought: “Well, I really don’t have a choice. Besides, I can handle myself.” So she agreed.

“You know, miss, we’ve only got one bed in this house, so you’ll have to sleep with us…”

The woman thought to herself that she liked the look of these two country boys, and consented to sleep with them.

As they were taking their clothes off, the woman said, “By the way, you DO have protection, don’t you?”

“Protection? What’s that?”

“You know, condoms.”

“Well, what’re they for?”

“It’s so I don’t get pregnant.”

“We’re simple country folk, miss. I’m afraid we don’t know about those things.”

“Well, it just so happens that I have two here in my purse. Here, put them on.”

“Hmm… well, alright,” they said.

The three of them got into bed and did their thing all night. The next morning, the brothers drove the woman into town, where she got her car repaired, blew them a kiss, and drove off.

About a month later, the two brothers were sitting out on their porch watching the sun set, looking sweaty and uncomfortable. Suddenly, one of them turns to the other and says “Ed, do you remember that lady that drove through here about a month ago?”

She was real good, wasn’t she?”


Say, do you really care if she gets pregnant?”

“Not really.”

“Well, then, let’s take these darn things off!”

November 20, 2022


Affirmative Action has gone too far when sale prices are based on skin color 

I guess they have white sales in February.

Queue the hate mail in 5...4...3...

November 19, 2022

I’m sorry, so sorry

I’m sorry if the title to yesterday’s post put that awful song into your head. It did mine. 

On occasion I go against popular opinion. This post is a case in point.

The Beatles White Album sucks and is even worse than the loathsome Sgt. Pepper album. There, I said it. Only Blackbird and While my guitar gently weeps  (one of the most beautiful songs ever) are worth listening to on the White Album. George should have been allowed more than 2 songs per album. His music was better at that point in time. 

The early Beatles stuff I dig. I have grown more appreciative over time for the last two albums. That stuff in the middle—no thanks. 

Your opinion may vary. If it does, then you are wrong. 

November 18, 2022

Rocky had come equipped with a gun

It was about 10:30, not quite bed time. I stepped to the kitchen for a drink of water. I had a piece of trash to throw away. The trash can is at the end of the counter, beside the patio door. I stepped on the peddle that raises the lid. As I glanced down, I noticed a pair of eyes staring at me. A raccoon was standing on the patio watching me through the glass. We stood staring for a bit. He turned and sauntered away, He didn’t run. It was like he was king outside, I could have the house. Why he was in my backyard, I don’t know. 

The wife said she saw three raccoons out there last week. Foxes, raccoons, opossums, chipmunks, owls, hawks, songbirds — we live in a regular suburban zoo. At least we don’t have cobras in our shoes.

After that we would need a cleaning crew to clean the carpet when I crapped myself in fear.

November 17, 2022

If not for the courage of the fearless crew

Even as a kid I noticed the giant plot holes. Why did the passengers bring their luggage on a three hour boat tour? An evening gown? Are you kidding? I suppose they scavenged wire and hose from the Minnow, I get that, but how did they cut and plane wood for tables? How did they make bowls? Why did the professor bunk by himself?  Who was the first unlucky girl to get hit on by the lonely horny men — Ginger or Mary Ann? What magic fabric kept their clothes from rips, tears, and general wear, their shoes intact? What happened to the bloody soccer ball? 

Whoops, wrong castaway.

Gilligan’s Island originally aired from 1964 to 1967 and has lived on in reruns since. The show ended after season three with the gang still marooned.

No doubt Gilligan’s Island is an iconic theme song:

November 16, 2022

Hey Sweetheart

 An elderly lady was invited to an old friend’s home for dinner one evening.

She was impressed by the way her lady friend preceded every request to her husband with endearing terms such as:

Honey, My Love, Darling, Sweetheart, etc.

The couple had been married almost 70 years and, clearly, they were still very much in love.

While the husband was in the living room, her lady friend leaned over to her hostess to say,

‘I think it’s wonderful that, after all these years, you still call your husband all those loving names.

The elderly lady hung her head.

‘I have to tell you the truth,’

she said,

‘his name slipped my mind about 10 years ago, and I’m scared to death to ask the cranky old a$shole what his name is.’

November 15, 2022

Zippity zap

It is morning. I’m off in a bit to once again get bleeders in my retina cauterized via laser. I had this done back in March. Not a great experience, but not too awful either. In my follow up check last week it was determined I have a hemorrhage in one place and several other bleeders in my left eye, so it is zap, zap, zap again. I get some more done in n my right eye in two weeks. Diabetes, the gift that keeps on giving. 

All told, this will make the seventh procedure of one type or another on my left eye between cornea transplants (yes, plural) and retina zapping. And it will be number three on my right eye later in the month. 

On the bright side, I see pretty well and a significant amount of the latest problem is self-imposed. Considering I was legally blind in 2016 and my vision is corrected 20/30, I can’t complain. How bad was my vision before the cornea transplants in 2016? Try the second line on the eye chart bad. Just think, I was driving the highways forty thousand miles a year! 

A mix of snow flurries and sleet is expected this morning for my trip to the eye doc. I have my darkest sunglasses handy for the trip home with dilated eye. 

On the bright side, it is payday. 

November 14, 2022

Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day

In an effort to actually post, I’m throwing this up. I may get time for a real post later. Monday mornings are increasingly hard to do my hobby when work dumps on me. 

Right now I’m in the middle of a crisis involving parts and inventory managed by Germany, produced in China, and shipping to Brazil. In fact, the situation has reached a level of concern so high up at REALLY BIG customer I’ve had to get my boss involved. And that pisses me off. 

So there you have it. 

November 12, 2022

It is beginning to look...

This is the current view out my back door. 

I guess I should have put up the outside Christmas light Thursday after all...

Weekend Funny

Two guys are driving along in a car when they see two dogs mating in someone’s yard.

The driver says,

“That is great. My wife and I do that every night.”

The passenger replies,

“My wife is conservative, she likes it the old-fashioned way. But if you tell me how you get your wife to do this, I would like to try it.”

The driver says,

“Give your wife two drinks and she will be all set.”

The next morning they’re cruising along and the driver asks,

“How was it?”

The passenger answers,

“It was great, but it took my wife ten drinks.”

The driver looks at him funny and says,

“Ten drinks?”

The passenger says,

“Yes. After two she was more than willing to make love that way, but it took her eight more to get her out on the front lawn!” 

November 11, 2022

Your character tells the world you are a real man. Your beard is mostly the exclamation point.

 Happy Veterans Day. Thank you to everyone who put on the uniform to keep America safe.

We’ve had a great couple of days, weather-wise. I briefly considered putting up the outside Christmas lights yesterday. but it is just too early. Still, it would have been pleasant to put up lights in seventy degree weather as opposed to forty degrees. Now things are going to return to seasonal coolness. There may even be a few flurries this weekend. I’m going to regret not doing the decorating when it was warm.

I’m going to put our vacuum cleaner up for sale. It is gathering dust. 

Yes, I went there. Shaddup, you will repeat it. 

I’ve been growing a beard for the past 11 days. There’s plenty of salt and a little pepper. Alright, it is pretty much all gray and white.  I suppose I look like George Clooney, without his good looks or sex appeal. The wife says it makes me look really old. I think she is right. My face looks strange every time I look in the mirror. I last grew a beard back in the early eighties, in my college years. At that time I just grew an Abe Lincoln affair, no mustache. I’m certain no pictures survive. This time I’m doing it all. I think My last beard lasted a couple of months. I doubt this one lasts as long. I forgot what a pain it is to keep it trimmed. Besides, the wife hates it. 

Enjoy your Friday.

November 10, 2022

Be Careful Out There

Hill Street Blues aired on NBC from 1981 to 1987. The police drama was nominated for 98 Emmys and won 26. The police drama was set in the fictional Hill Street precinct. Most episodes depicted a single day in the life of the officers and staff. 

The theme song was released as a single and reached #10 on the charts.

This show was a regular watch for the wife and me in the day.

November 9, 2022

Where things stand

It appears we are heading to a 50/50 Senate and a slight Repub majority in the House. A split government that does nothing is not a bad thing from my point of view.

More importantly, maybe we can go forward with candidates on the red team that like Trump policies without Trump. Because no matter what you think of the guy, he is unelectable. Folks will flock to the polls to vote against him, just like many of us did to cast a ballot against Hillary in 2016.

On the blue team, maybe a self-reflection will clue the politicians that Americans are not keen on anti-cop agendas and pushing child sex mutilation. If the Dems push reasonable abortion measures, they will get support. Letting “period people” abort a baby up to birthday minus 1 day, not so popular. Abolishing  the filibuster to push through policies without bipartisan support will be a mistake the Democrats will rue in the future. 

deep thoughts

Reason 6246 to hate all politicians: when they crafted the Do Not Call list, they exempted political calls and texts. My phone has blown up for three weeks. I’m glad yesterday is done.

November 8, 2022

I’m more than 100 feet from the poll

It is Election Day. Go vote.

Do a little research about the candidates.

Vote straight ticket if that is your thing.

Vote for the best candidate, if that makes sense.

Vote against someone if that seems like the thing to do. This seems to be my default the past several elections, sadly.

Ask yourself if you are better off or worse off today than you were the last time you voted and pull the proverbial lever accordingly.

Remember, neither guy who ran for President last time are on the ballot. The policies of one of them is, though. 

If you are apathetic, you get what someone else voted for. 

November 7, 2022

Late, but I am putting in minimum effort

After going through the line at a crowded mall cafeteria,

The three rambunctious teenage boys found they were forced to share a table with a kindly looking old lady.

One of the lads decided to have a bit of fun at the woman’s expense and, nudging one of his buddies under the table, suddenly remarked,

“Did your folks ever get married?”

“Nope,” replied his tablemate, picking up the put on.

“How about you?”

“They never bothered,” answered the first young man.

“That’s nothing,” interrupted the third,

“my mother doesn’t even know who my father is.”

The elderly woman looked up from her coffee and said sweetly.

“Excuse me, but would one of you little b@stards please pass the sugar?”

November 5, 2022

Stumbling down memory lane

I have started working again on a very old story. I first published this in several installments back in May 2011. You can go peruse the archives if you want more. It is very rough, and I wrote it entirely from stream of conciousness. I have not even corrected the grammar or spelling.

May 11, 2011

I stare at the paper plate full of rubbery Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. It is the sauce kind, not the skinny powder stuff. Nothing but the best for me! I am a little surprised to find myself eating. Usually, I drink my lunch. I feel a little sick.

Typical. The sick part anyway.  The food -- not so much.

The clock on the wall ticks an even staccato but the hands do not move. The battery has just enough juice to drive the little motor: tick, tick, tick, but not enough power to move the hands from a perpetual 9:23. AM, PM it does not really matter. Eventually it will tell the correct time.

I don't remember fixing the food. I have eaten some of it. An unnatural yellow smear marks the spot I scooped the pasta with my fork. The fork is clenched tightly in my right fist. Kraft cheese sauce coats my tongue. I give a little shudder and bile backs up in my mouth. I swallow it back down.

Real men don't puke. Even I have standards.

I see a bottle of beer on the table. There is also a glass of water and a bottle of Tylenol next to it. I am more than a little confused. Alcohol weeds choke my brain.

I lift my chin from my chest. I must have blacked out for a minute. The fork is in my lap. The macaroni mocks me. The light is dim. Four of the six bulbs in the light over the table are burned out. The blinds are firmly closed.  I do not know if it is day or night. I feel like I am swaying in my chair. I reach for the beer, but it is just beyond my grasp.

"Not until you eat". I squeeze my eyes shut for a second and then search for the body that goes with the voice. I don't want beer anyway. I know that voice.

I am in that half-drunk half hungover state I deplore. Dee- plore. The word rattles around my throbbing skull. I try it out loud. "Deplore". I screw my eyebrows into what my mind thinks is a haughty sneer. I imagine my nose is a thin blade above an Errol Flynn mustache.  I purse my lips and try it again. "Deplore". The effort hurts.

"What did you say, Daddy?"

My little girl is here. I don't want her to see me like this. I gag and and dry heave a little trying to stifle it. I really do not want her to see me like this. Little girls should not see their parents all weak and helpless and pathetic. I am so ashamed.

Of course, she is not a little girl anymore. She has a house and family of her own. Me, I just have my place and a collection of empty liquor bottles thrown at the general direction of the trash can. I push the joystick on my chair.  Nothing happens.

"I unhooked the battery." she says.

 I tell her I need a real drink. She just stares me down. I tell her I have to piss. She tells me to eat.

I try to take one more bite of the Kraft Dinner. I throw it up down the front of my faded gray Cubs T-shirt. I want to cuss and swear.

Instead, I cry.

I close my eyes to stifle the tears. I see an image in my brain.  A tall cool glass with fruit and an umbrella. A beach drink. I breath deeply. I can almost taste the rum and juice and froth. I wish I had one in my hand now, only without the umbrella and fruit and juice and rum. A tall glass of sweet whiskey screams my name. I want it. I need it. Desire. I try that word out loud too.


Desire and deplore.  The cycle of my life.

November 4, 2022

A bit of everything

Etta James famously sung “At Last”, and that is exactly how I feel about the arrival of this promising Friday. The weather promises to be warm for November. The oldest granddaughter is out of school today so I think the wife is going to take the girls to the zoo.  Me,  I have to work. I may try to knock off early this afternoon. 

I had to get up early for a meeting yesterday morning. I was sitting in the old recliner in my office, sipping coffee, slowly starting my work day. Imagine my surprise to hear an owl hooting just outside. I think I know what has happened to the swarm of chipmunks and rabbits that used to live around here. Between the neighborhood fox and the owl, it is a dangerous place. Depending on the size of the owl, the three raccoons that were lined up at the patio door Sunday night may be a late night snack at some point. Isn’t an owl hoot outside your window a harbinger of death or disaster? 

We were looking at a store display of Christmas trees last night. One of the trees was flashing in crazy patterns of reds, greens and multi-colored lights. On and off, climbing up the tree, now one color now the next, sometimes the lights were white, sometimes steady for a few seconds in a crazy LED display. The wife stared for a moment and moved on to a stately tree with soft white lights. My wife is strictly  a white Christmas lights girl. She glanced back at the flashing light spectacular and laughed. “My mom would have loved that one”, she said.

She is right, my long-gone MIL loved flashing multicolored lights, one string blinking at a different rate than the next. She even had a revolving tree stand and loved to coat the tree in silver tinsel icicles. That is what makes Christmas decorating fun, we all have different tastes. 

It won’t be long before it is time to drag the stuff from the attic and spruce up the house into a Christmas wonderland, inside and out. The wife goes overboard, but the house always looks great, like a Hallmark movie house or a show place when she is done. 

November 3, 2022

I know all the words to this one

Peter Gunn was a Private Eye series that ran from 1958-1961first on NBC then on ABC. It was created by Blake Edwards and starred Craig Stephens. I can say I have never watched an episode. But I can state that the series had one terrific theme song. Written by a Henry Mancini (who often teamed up with Edwards), it is a Jazz and blues staple.

Even the Blues Brothers covered the tune;

On this date in 2016, in the early hours of the morning, the Cubs won the greatest baseball game ever played. 

November 2, 2022

The President caused it and hates the effects

I guess this stuff is too hard for the President. I’m not sure why, I am certainly no economist, I was a history major for goodness sake. 

Let’s say you own a business making little vases that allow you to wear flowers in your hair if you go to San Francisco. We have looked at this business model before. You decide that you have to make money and choose a paltry 2% profit margin. After costs, taxes, cost of goods sold, etc., you decide that all those costs equal $1. You set a sell price of $1.02. That means you will make two cents for every vase. 

Are you with me? That means if you sell 100 vases you made two dollars. 

Now imagine that because the government restricted the supply of raw materials, the cost of your vases went up to $2 each. You still want to make your lousy 2% margin, so you now charge $2.04 for each vase. 

If you sell 100 vases your profit will be $4. Your profit margin did not change. There was no windfall profit. Your percentage did not change. You just want to make the same percentage profit as before. 

Now we shall put another layer on the cake. What if no one traveled to San Francisco for a couple of years because of, let’s call it a pandemic. After restrictions are lifted everyone wants to go. Demand for you little vases doubles, even at the higher cost. Now you sold 200 vases. At the same profit margin, 2%, you now made a whopping $8. 

I ask again is this windfall profit or just capitalism at work? Should you take less profit because your costs went up or demand increased? Should you never earn more than $0.02 per vase? 

I’m just asking for a friend in the oil business.

October 31, 2022

A graveyard smash


The three year-old granddaughter drew this portrait of me Friday. You can embiggen for a better view including the yellow smile and accurate capturing of my baby blue eyes (a trait she shares). She explained the squiggly line is, and I quote; “the wrinkles on your forehead”. 

Yes, I feel old, why do you ask.

I went to the doctor this morning. He was less than happy about my A1c. I wasn’t happy either. I drowned my sorrow with a Twinkie on my way home.  

That’s a joke. 

Halloween is upon us. The grandgirls will be out dressed this evening. Me, I’ll be costumed as a grumpy old man. I fully expect visitors at the homestead to be less than a half-dozen. I’ve finally convinced the wife to buy candy accordingly. 

I fully expect you to limit your pranks to the harmless chucking of shelled corn or at worst a roll or two of toilet paper strewn across tree branches and bushes. No soaping windows or destruction please.

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