December 31, 2023

The Annual Year End Recap

Nope. Sorry, there will be no recap again this year.

If you are going out drinking tonight get a designated driver. 

Be safe and I will see you next year.

December 30, 2023

I hate candied yams

The coffee is hot. Classic rock is playing softly on the echo spy device. I am rocking gently in my recliner as I type with one finger on the iPad keyboard. Through the window the neighbor’s porch and Christmas lights shine through the early morning darkness. Life is good. 

Another year is winding down. It doesn’t really matter what the calendar says, the days roll on. I am grateful for the blessings in my life. The ability to spell would be nice. So would a winning lottery ticket. I would settle for my kids to have happy prosperous lives. 

Monday is the last work holiday until Good Friday. I will likely take down the Christmas decorations on Monday. The house always looks so gloomy after the bright lights and decorations are boxed up. Maybe that’s why the house down the street leaves their Christmas lights on until April. 

We are going to visit some friends this evening; a sorta early New Year’s celebration without the party. I might have one beer. Mostly we will play cards and yuck it up, telling the same old stories from four decades ago. 

In case I forget to mention it, thank you from the bottom of my heart for stopping by and reading. I know the old blog has slipped a bit lot in the old entertainment factor. Maybe next year will be better. 

Let’s wind it up with some classic Blues Brothers. While often viewed as a comedy act, you cannot ignore that the backing band was compromised of some of the best musicians around. That is Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn on lead guitar and Bass respectively. They were part of Booker T and the MGs (Green Onions) and the backing band for a slew of recordings in the sixties and seventies. 

December 29, 2023

Surfing the Square Wave

It has been a quiet work week. I have received about as many emails this week as I normally get in an hour or two. I’m sure I’ll make up for it next week. I’ve been working on round two of big customer quotes. That means I have been staring at spreadsheets and numbers all day, every day, without a break for phone calls, Teams meetings, or emails. Yawn. Trust me, it is more tedious than it sounds.  

On the bright side, I have 4 hours of vacation left and since it is “use it or lose it,” I have the afternoon off. The wife is heading to the Southside to meet a friend for lunch and shopping, so I will have the run of the house. Lest you think that is a big deal, she is gone every afternoon anyway watching the grandkids. So it goes. Maybe I’ll call up some hookers and midgets and stage a crazy toga party. 

Maybe I’ll take a nap. 

December 28, 2023

Future Us Will Look Back and Say Why

 In the not-so-distant future my grandkids are going to listen in amazement to stories of constant electricity. They will not believe there was a time we could flip a switch and virtually always get electricity. They will guffaw incredulously as we describe cars that could run nearly unlimited miles continuously, stopping only for a few minutes for more fuel. 

They will wonder at forbidden energy sources like nuclear power, gas, coal . They will drool as we describe the taste of steak or pork or chicken as they snack on Solient Red, Blue, and Green. 

They will wonder why we allowed Government bureaucrats and socialists to destroy our economy and country in the name of the always on the brink of disaster climate change religion. They will believe it was necessary, since we still will only have five, maybe ten years to fix the problem. All it will take is a little more sacrifice and more money for the global elites.

December 27, 2023

Hump Day Monday

Here we are on a hump day Monday. I told the wife I both was ready to go back to work and did not want to. I’m bored, but like the time off. 

I’ve long had an Echo on my desk, it helps Amazon and the government spy on me. It also provides access to streaming radio and music while I work. For Christmas the wife bought me one of the small ones with a screen. I can see news headlines and a clock in addition to the entertainment it provides. I think it is going to work out well. Plus, she got it remarkably cheap at Black Friday prices. 

I moved the device that was on my desk into the oldest granddaughter’s bedroom to replace the old echo dot that was there. 

I might as well log into work early, that way I can finish up earlier this afternoon.

Have a great day!

December 26, 2023

Sleeping it off

Well readers, Christmas is over and done. I hope Santa was good to you. The whole family got lots of presents, especially the Grandgirls. The whole clan gathered for a feast at my daughters, everyone was there except my middle child who lives a thousand miles away. It was a good holiday overall. 

It is back to work tomorrow with a light schedule. Most of the company will be on vacation.

 Regular meaningful blogging may return. Or not. I find it hard to work into a righteous rant these days. I keep thinking I can’t continue to publish useless boring posts, yet readership is at the highest in a long time. It is so weird. 

Have a great Tuesday!

December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas


A glimpse of the tree at the old homestead

Merry Christmas everyone.

December 23, 2023



Not this year


Maybe it would come true if Bing wished in song for a rainy Christmas. 🎄 

The first of the Christmas get together is tonight. It should be a lot of fun.

December 22, 2023

Getting romantic

 On this date 45 years ago, I went on the first date with the girl who is now my wife. It was the best decision I ever made.

December 20, 2023

Because it is awesome

 I have a lingering and perhaps imperfect memory of sitting on the floor watching this Christmas special. Mom was in the kitchen making candy. Every time she turned on the mixer the TV signal was scrambled, to my dismay. I don’t know why that popped into my head.

What? You thought I was going to rant on Colorado deciding Trump committed a crime without even a trial? Nope, we got Banana Republic status as a nation some time ago.  This is another manifestation of the end of the Republic. 

December 19, 2023

If stress powered the furnace we wouldn’t have a gas bill

In the midst of holiday madness we cannot forget the retail machine chug, chugs along. Last night at Target they had Valentines and St Pat’s merchandise. 


The wife discovered our daughter gave the exact same Christmas wish list to the SIL and us.  Everything we bought is a duplicate. Now the already stressed wife is in whatever you call next level of stress. 

The wife grew up dirt poor. It is important to her to get gifts for everyone—often going overboard. It doesn’t take a shrink to figure it out. It is the way it is. Lectures and reassurance from me doesn’t help. It never has. Christmas will be here soon and I hope her blood pressure drops accordingly.

Now for a change of topics.

Here is one of my favorite carols:

December 18, 2023

Stormy Monday

Here we are back to Monday again.  It’s like it rolls around every seven days or so.  I wish I had tales of excitement and wonder about the weekend to share with you on this cold, breezy Monday. I don’t. 

I wrote a few thousand words in a potential new book no one will likely read. Who knows if I’ll even finish? This tale is plotted and semi-outlined, unlike my last effort. It sorta wrote itself. “I know,” you say, “I could tell.” I need to do the work on the next one. I keep getting off track with research. The historian Barbara Tuchman once said that research is endlessly seductive, writing is hard work. Yes. On both accounts . 

This is going to be a busy work week. I better skip off the old blog and get at it. 

Enjoy your Monday. 

No music today. You deserve a break. 

December 17, 2023

But I can weather the storm

Well Readers, we are hitting the home stretch towards Christmas. Hanukkah is over. I suppose Kwanza is sometime. We have most of the presents purchased. I suspect the wife has gone way overboard with the grandgirls, as usual. 

It is raining this morning. We still haven’t had any snow to speak of, a flurry or two is it. So it goes. Warmer days means my furnace runs less.

Happy Sunday.

December 16, 2023

I’ve been good this year. Sorta

Today marks the oldest granddaughter’s ninth birthday. We are all going for dinner tonight then to see the big Christmas Light show at the State Fairgrounds. It should be a great time. It seems like yesterday she was born. 

I finished shopping for the wife’s presents yesterday. One gift she knows all about, she picked it out and stood there while I bought it - a new pair of boots. This way we know they fit and it was what she wanted. I’ll wrap them up and we will both pretend it is a big surprise on Christmas morning. 

I told her what I want for Christmas. It is the same thing I ask for every year and never get. It don’t cost nuthin’, but that doesn’t matter. She is always too stressed by the time Christmas rolls around to think about nekkid wrestling. Oh well, my birthday is in March, maybe I’ll get it then. 

December 15, 2023

Lovely Weather

Here we are on a beautiful Friday.  I am on vacation, kind of, sort of. Really big customer dumped a huge project on my desk, and I need to get a head start with the coming holidays. I suspect I will be at the desk for a few hours. So it goes. 

I plan on getting to the stores today to finish up some Christmas shopping before the wife uses up all of the money. Are her on-line fingers faster than my walking pace at the mall? Probably. 

Perhaps I will hie myself down to the cigar bar this afternoon. On the other hand, the temperature is supposed to get in the low fifties, perhaps I will just smoke one of my own stogies out by the fire pit. Maybe I will get ambitious enough to rake up the remaining leaves in the backyard.

Who knows? Have a great Friday.

December 14, 2023

Mystery kind of solved, and Velma and Shaggy had nothing to do with it.

Quite a while ago I was describing how I often find myself searching historical rabbit holes

I’ll wait why check the link. 

Really, I don’t mind. 

Look, the rest of this post makes no sense if you fail to get the backstory.

The subject of Reeses Mill has bugged me for a couple of years now.  I finally contacted the Boone County, IN historical Society, which forwarded my message to the Boone County Library. Seems that Reeses Mill is another name for The 'Burg, as my grandmother called it -- Mechanicsburg, IN. Located along Sugar Creek near the Clinton County line, my grandmother grew up on a farm outside of Mechanicsburg. 

There, our curiosity is assuaged. We can all sleep easy tonight. And don't even pretend you don't care.

Now I need someone to explain how my great-whatever grandfather was born in Ohio, migrated at some point to Cleopatra, Missouri, fought in the Civil War, and ended up back in Nowhere Indiana -- The 'Burg.

That question will probably never be answered, and I did not know enough to ask my grandmother when she was alive. 

Ah, the arrogance of youth.

December 13, 2023

Wayback Wednesday

Cell phone picture 2010

View of the Columbia River Gorge from the Vista House on the old Scenic Highway.  

I used to travel to Portland 4-6 times a year and I tried to drive the old 1917 highway as often as possible at least to Multinomah Falls. 

December 12, 2023

About Frosty

I built a snowman. I think he has anger issues. It warmed up today and he had a total meltdown. 

December 11, 2023

Random Ramblings

Here we are on a chilly Monday morning.  I hope you had a great weekend. I did. Nothing of note happened, but it was still okay. 

In these days of political strife and global divisiveness, can we all at least agree that Animal House is the funniest movie ever made? 

I threw a chuck roast into the crockpot yesterday. Some home-made mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and a couple of frozen dinner rolls made for a pretty good Sunday dinner. 

If we leave politics out of it, and imagine the defendant has a different last name - that he is a random rich guy - the fraud charges against Trump in New York seem a bit suspicious. Guy takes out a loan, says his assets are $X. Bank agrees. Gives out loan. Guy pays off loan, on time. Where is the issue?

If I go into the bank and say I want a loan and my house is worth $1,000,000. Isn't it up to the bank to tell me I am crazy? They will look at my house in the middle-class neighborhood in an aging suburb in central Indiana and determine my house is worth a fraction of that amount. Sure, if my house was in New York, or California it might be a million-dollar house (probably not even then), but it definitely is not worth that amount here in little old Connor Prairie. Where is the crime, where is the victim?

I may not be a huge fan of the Trumpster, but there is no doubt in my mind this fraud case is pure Banana Republic politics.

How about some music on this Monday?

Enjoy your day.

December 10, 2023

I'm Here to Help

 If you are looking for a great last minute Christmas gift you cannot go wrong with giving a copy of my super-wonderful first novel. Get a copy for yourself, if you haven't already, while you are at it. 

Buy It

You won't be sorry. If you are, I will give you your money back. 

December 9, 2023

In the new old fashioned way

 Happy Saturday! A light rain is gently falling outside, holiday music is softly playing on my smart speaker. My butt still hurts. Getting old is tough. At least I can mostly remember where I am and why I am in that room.  That's something the Most Popular President Ever seems to struggle with. Let's elect him again!

I had coffee on my vacation day with an old work colleague I haven't seen for a couple of decades. It was great to catch up. What is interesting is to compare career paths.  He started as an accountant but ended up where I thought my career would take me. 

I might have mentioned before I had no intention of going into sales. I believed my lot was in manufacturing; management trainee, customer service manager, production scheduler, production supervisor, master scheduler, materials manager, production manager, plant manager. I made it through the master scheduler role when corporate asked me to go into sales. I said "no". They said, "we will double your pay". I said "Yes". 

My friend started in accounting, did the production supervisor thing, moved to a different company and ultimately rose to plant manager and then in charge of all the plants in the Americas. He is now semi-retired. Good for him. I always say things work out like they are supposed to. I wouldn't change things. I love my job. Mostly. Okay, I like my job. Well, I don't hate my job. 

Anyway, the most interesting part of the conversation is my friend hooked me up with a contact I might find interesting. This guy is a salesman who has also written books. More to the point, we both sell the same widgets, but for different companies. How strange is that?

I need more coffee. Enjoy your Saturday. 

What? Sure, I will post some Christmas music.

The original lyrics were "for next year we may all be dead." Judy Garland refused to sing it, so they changed the words. 

December 8, 2023

Weekly Recap

Friday at last. This has been a busy week, even with a quick use it or lose it vacation day on Wednesday (I still have two more). 

That day off put me way behind at work, so I was still at it at 10 PM last night. Today will be busy too. So it goes. It beats not having work, that’s for sure. 

It looks like another busy weekend. The oldest granddaughter gets her black belt in Tae Kwan Do Saturday.  There is beaucoup Christmas shopping to do. 

For my Jewish friends:
Which hand is best to light the menorah?
Neither. Use a candle.

December 7, 2023



A day that shall live in infamy 
On December 7, 1941 the United States was attacked by an unprovoked antagonist against military and civilian targets in the territory of Hawaii. The death and destruction was even greater than that at the WTC and Pentagon attacks of 9/11.

Killed and Missing

Navy 2,008
Marine Corps 109
Army 218
Civilian 68
total 2,403

Navy 710
Marine 69
Army 364
Civilian 68
Total 1,178

Grand total of casualties = 3,581

This attack brought the United States into WW II, where the greatest generation saved the world for Democracy. Our thanks: hatred by the French and Germans, desecration of American graves in Normandy and displays in our own country that blame the US for Japan's attack. I have not forgotten the lives and sacrifices made by my forbears. Thank you. 

I will not forget Pearl Harbor.

December 6, 2023

I’d like to buy the world a Coke, but I can’t afford it

There has been a lot of commentary in recent years over the escalating tip culture. We all get the spinning iPad, give me a tip treatment at places far outside of the usual service industry. Why would I tip the guy at the miniature golf place or an on-line order? 

Lately, I have seen a pernicious trend that also affects the bottom line. Many sit down restaurants are now charging in excess of $3 for a soft drink. We went to a place last weekend that charged $4.25 for a glass of ice and a splash of Coke Zero. 

I get restaurants and bars are looking for ways to stay competitive as they are squeezed by Bidenomics, but sheesh. I can buy a couple of two liters for that price. 

December 5, 2023

Counting the Days

 Sixty-eight days until pitchers and catchers report.

December 4, 2023

Mom and Dad had this record on repeat

It is a new week. I hope you had a great weekend. I did. On Saturday some old friends came down. We went out to dinner then had a good evening playing euchre and sharing laughs. 

Sunday the grandgirls had a holiday dance recital. It was enjoyable. 

The weather was damp and cold all weekend. It is December, these things happen. 

Reading over this post so far I can see that while I had a good weekend it is boring stuff to read about. Sorry about that. I tell you what, let me know in the comments and I will return your subscription price. I call it customer service. Also, in the spirit of the times,  I will swing around the old iPad and you can leave me a tip. 

Have a great day.

December 2, 2023

Behold the greatness


Nothing else needs to be said.

December 1, 2023

Napoleon was not short

 I can understand the rash of negative reviews on Ridley Scott's Napoleon movie currently in theaters. I went to see it last night. 

I am no expert on Napoleon, but I would wager I know more about that period than the average bear. I have studied the Napoleonic Wars and the Revolutionary period quite a bit, not to mention the Emperor himself. The film condenses about two decades into a few hours, and that means a lot needs to be left out. The movie segues from one event to another without any context. In one scene the Corsican is defeating the British at Toulon, the next leveling canon at a Royalist uprising, then immediately we see Napolean in Egypt. There is nothing to describe what happened to bring each of these seemingly disjointed events about.  

I will not criticize the battle scenes as many a reviewer has; they are of course wildly inaccurate. For starters the Napoleonic Armies attacked in column, not line. But the point of the movie was not to show a military history, the battles are part of the narrative, not the story. If you want great battle scenes from the era, watch the 1970 epic Waterloo staring Rod Steiger and Christopher Plummer. 

In the end, the movie does not know what it should be. Perhaps Scott should have called the film Napoleon and Josephine, that is seemingly what the movie is about; the relationship between the two. Except then how do you account for the exposition on the Reign of Terror? I think Scott had more movie than he could fit in the allotted, already long, timeslot. I have no doubt a lot of context was left on the cutting room floor. This should have been a series, not a movie.

How do you tell the story of Napoleon in a single movie? He was perhaps the most charismatic leader ever born. He was a military genius, an organizational mastermind, a political savant, and an administrator of excellence. Parts of the Napoleonic code remain law today. He gave us the metric system. The way he organized armies remained the blueprint for a hundred years, used by friend and foe equally. His tactics survived in many armies right up until the advent of modern weapons (and proved a disaster for the French in both the Franco-Prussian War and WWI). 

There has never been an equal to the Corsican Upstart, and perhaps never will. It is no wonder an effort to capture the man in a simple movie is a failure. 

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