April 14, 2024

I don’t know

Every day I come here and crank out a post. It usually takes me anywhere from five to ten minutes to throw up my mediocre drivel. It always takes another five minutes to think of a title. I’m not kidding. 

Usually I use lyrics from whatever song I might post, but if it is straight prose, then I am stuck. I don’t know why it is such an issue.

That extends to my other writing endeavors as well. My first book is called Suburban Moon for absolutely no reason other than it came to me in a dream and I mentioned in these pages once that if I ever write a novel that would be the title. Otherwise, it has nothing to do with the story. 

Sure, I could throw up some English Major gobbledygook about how the main character went through phases and changes like the moon, but we both know that is pure college crap.

The working title of my next book, should I ever get it done, is Tales of the Wooden Pineapple. Not only is it stupid and trite, it has nothing to do with the story. And no, I doubt it will be the final title. I just can’t think of anything better. Ben Hur, Gone With the Wind, and Harry Potter are all used by lessor authors. 

Yes that is sarcasm. 

Maybe when I’m done I will give a synopsis and have a contest to come up with a title. All fifteen of you can offer a suggestion. “Expensive Toilet Paper” is not a valid offering. I’ll put the winners name, if I choose one of your titles, in the acknowledgments. You can see your name in print and at least five people might read it! You will live forever. 

Seems like a plan, unless a title comes to me in my dreams.

April 13, 2024

Take a look at my life

It is a fine Saturday. We are off in a bit to attend the youngest granddaughter’s first soccer game of the season. Watching a bunch of four and five year olds run haphazardly around the grass is the only thing that makes soccer palatable. 

There I said it. Soccer is barely ahead of golf, bowling, and competitive napping as the most boring sports ever to watch. If you disagree you are obviously very wrong. 

We are going to hang out with some friends this evening. Dinner somewhere followed by an evening of euchre and laughs are scheduled. 

Our fortieth anniversary is coming up in a couple of months. The wife is making plans for a big vacation of some sort. I set the expectations too high when I took her to Hawaii for our thirtieth. I’ve explained to her that vacation was possible through lots of frequent flier miles and hotel points, neither of which I accumulate at an astonishing rate any longer. My days of spending three or four nights a week in a hotel or flying thirty or forty times a year (or more) are in the past. 

Anyway she wants to do something fun beyond a week in a timeshare rental or a hotel at the beach. Me too. All it takes is money. And a valid passport. I have one. She doesn’t. Maybe I’ll go by myself. 

Anyway, she is thinking about a cruise. I said that would be great if we can find one in our budget. We’ve been on three cruises and enjoyed every one of them. Within an hour she found five possible trips. 

I think I got sandbagged. 

April 12, 2024

My neighbor is building a giant ark, should I worry?

It’s a Friday two-fer today to celebrate the seemingly unending rainfall. But first, I wish I felt bad about OJ kicking the bucket. I don’t. I’m certain he will be judged appropriately in the hereafter. 


I suppose you have to be of a certain age to appreciate that one.

On to the Friday Music:


And





April 11, 2024

It is not just Dollar General , Target steals from their customers too

 

Exhibit One for the prosecution is right here.

There was a big sign on the shelf at Target last night indicating Coke products were buy one, get one half off. Regular price was $7.99. You could mix and match.

If my history major math is right, the total cost should be $11.99 for two 12 packs. If you take a 25% deduction from each, then each would be $5.99. Pretty much the same price for two. I won’t quibble over a penny or two. How does Target determine the price is $6.30 (or $6.31)? And why are they different?

Lest you think I was mistaken about the sale price, take a look at the receipt. It indicates the price was $7.99 and “Buy 1 get 1 50%”. When we rang up the 12-pack, the wife checked the screen and it rang up at $5.99 each. Then magically, when we totaled to check out, the price changed to $6.31 each. We did not discover this until we got home.  And yes, the wife entered her frequent shopper card so that was not why we were cheated. Also, sales tax was collected at the end so that does not account for the discrepancy.

In addition, two more items rang up higher than the shelf price. 

Sure, the price gouge on the Cokes was only about sixty cents, but it is the principal. The wrong shelf price can be checked to bad employees or incorrect pricing in the system (still inexcusable) but the change in price on the Coke products is deliberate. Target Stores stole from me. 

If I took a five finger discount on a candy bar they would be in their right to hold me responsible, including prosecution. Why is this different?

If anyone can explain why I am wrong I will be happy to apologize.

April 10, 2024

All the good things in life

My youngest granddaughter, who will be five on her birthday next month, loves to play hide and seek. In one variation she plays, she hides various toys and then I have to find them. The next round I hide the toys for her to seek. Hunting always involves her using the mini Maglight she takes from my desk drawer. 

I don’t know, those are the rules. 

Yesterday she asked me to play and I told her I had to work, but she could play Barbie’s in the office. She grabbed the flashlight and started hiding stuff. I reminded her I could not play. 

She said “It’s okay, Paw, I close my eyes when I hide the toys.” And I checked. She did. 

It was so cute and hilarious I gave in and played for a few minutes. Don’t tell my boss.

April 9, 2024

Worth it

 I survived the big eclipse. I have to say it was most awesome here in the center of the path of totality. It was like a 360• sunset. Not full on dark, but a deep twilight. A couple of planets could be seen in the sky. The birds shut their pieholes for a few minutes. The wife and I sat in lawn chairs in the driveway and watched. We were lucky the sky was clear and we had a great view. 


April 8, 2024

I don’t even have jet off to Nova Scotia to see it

Today is the Big Day. They (the all powerful mysterious “they”) have been hyping the big total eclipse for a year. We are slated to hit total darkness around 3 pm local. I have a regularly scheduled conference call with my boss at that time. I’m trying to decide if it would be unprofessional to ask to change the meeting to see semi or total darkness?

The eclipse will likely be the most thrilling three minutes I have experienced since the last time I had sex. I don’t want to miss it.

If you think I’m going to post that atrocious Bonnie Tyler song since it is eclipse day you are at the wrong blog. It is not going to happen. The closest you will get to a musical reference is in the title of this post. I don’t care for that song either.

I am glad the eclipse hype will be in the rear view mirror after today. Local kids even got a snow eclipse day off school today. 

An eclipse happens about 250 times a year. It is not an unknown phenomenon. Based on the hype you would think we were ignorant savages straight out of a cave in the woods. Authorities are recommending we carry water, food, and blankets in our cars. They recommend we fill up our gas tanks. WTH? It is an eclipse, not Y2K!

One report warned to keep your dogs in the house lest they stare at the event and go blind. Seriously? When is the last time you caught your black lab staring at the sun or admiring a particular cloud formation? How about never. I think your pet is safe. “Yo, Rover, that cloud looks just like a whale.” “Sure does Spot, But I think my eyes burn from watching the moon move in front of the Sun. Hey, does my ass smell funny?”

Happy eclipse day if you live, like I do, in the path of totality. Jeez I hope it is a while before I have to hear that phrase again. 

April 7, 2024

Birds are singing in the dark


Yesterday was a busy day. I blogged. I wrote a couple of thousand words in my new novel. I watched some TV. After lunch I ventured outside to do some yard work. I came in and showered again, since even though it was chilly, I worked up a sweat. I settled on the couch to watch the Cubs lose to the evil Dodgers. And then I watched most of the Purdue game before and during dinner. 

This morning looks like a repeat— blog, write, TV,  yard work, baseball. Ho hum. 

Geez I forgot my coffee was so hot, I nearly scalded my tongue. Sorry to interrupt the absolutely riveting tale up to this point. Where was I?

Yeah, I don’t care either. Maybe this will be a little more entertaining:


Have a great Sunday

April 6, 2024

One thing leads to another

 I’m pretty sure this song from the execrable Police 


Inspired this other 80’s ditty:


I’m just sayin’.

The Eighties were a weird time.

April 5, 2024

Freeze Warning

Mom always said if I cannot say anything nice, to not say anything.

The Biden Administration…anyth…

Enough said.

How about some Friday music instead? What would you like to hear? What? Yeah you aren’t here in my office so you can’t put in a vote. Sorry about that. I considered some more music from Traffic, but maybe that’s not for everyone. 

Try this on for size:



April 4, 2024

There were three men came out of the West

 Hola Blognation. I’m late to the site today because I slept in. I slept in because I stayed up late. I stayed up late because I’m on vacation today. There is your cause and effect lesson for today. In other words, I don’t know why she swallowed a fly. 

On Tuesday it hit seventy degrees, although it was rainy. It snowed yesterday. It may snow again today. Clearly, Mother Nature is bi-polar and off her meds*. 

The granddaughters are spending the night so we need to find something fun to do. The wife suggested bowling. We shall see and I will report if I remember. On the other hand I do not know why you would care. 

Anyway,  I’m off work until Monday and I’m going to make every effort to not pay attention to emails, phone calls and Teams messages. We shall see.


*I read this somewhere and I would give attribution if I could remember where. I apologize. 



April 3, 2024

Musical Interlude

 The Kinks do not get the credit they deserve.



April 2, 2024

Actually it was a Scotcheroo


 Is there an issue shooting insulin in my stomach while eating a chocolate covered Rice Krispy Treat?

Every illegal vote is one stolen from you

 I know you don’t read links. Read This One.

They are stealing elections people. Look, I use my tin foil for cooking stuff on the grill, not a hat. There is a reason the democrats want open borders.

April 1, 2024

This one is on your President.

The Taliban has resumed public flogging and stoning of women who commit adultery. Keep in mind the definition of the crime includes getting raped assaulted, or going out unescorted. 

Biden made the deal to vacate Afghanistan and turn the country over to these fundamentalist zealots. He knew their history.

This is on him. 

I wish this was an April fools joke. 

H/T — MC


March 31, 2024

He has risen

It is not about the eggs and bunnies. 

March 30, 2024

Well my friend, I'm lonely too

Thunder rumbles in the distance as a fairly heavy rain falls. It is still dark. The coffee is hot as I sip between thoughts and pecking on the keyboard. 

It was a nice spring day yesterday and I did some work outside since it was a work holiday. I cut up some large branches that dropped from the big willow. I repaired the privacy fence board that broke from the branches. That big tree needs to come down, but it is going to cost thousands to drop it. I suppose it will fall one giant branch at a time. 

I took a break to have a nice stogie and read a little bit, then I power washed the front porch and put out the wicker chairs. In all it was a productive day. 

We are going to host Easter Dinner. I have to help do a little cleaning this afternoon. I still need a few things from the grocery. Some friends are coming over tonight for cards and laughs, so we need to make some snacks. 

That’s it. No snark, no politics. Well, kind of. I had a political post up for about one minute. I decided to save it for Tuesday. 

I do not think I have posted any music from Journey before. Who knows  and I’m too lazy to check because it doesn’t matter. Here is one of my favorites:


March 29, 2024

March 28, 2024

I have ideas

I am going to open a retail store for suburban soccer mom Hallmark movie watching types. I’ll sell wine and lingerie and call it Fill Your Cups.

March 27, 2024

More waste of time

 I watched a squirrel in the maple tree outside my office window. He ate some emerging leaves then stretched out on a branch and apparently took a nap. I think that is a good idea. Unfortunately, I don’t think my employer would agree. 

Real baseball starts tomorrow. The Cubs dart the season against the defending champs. I guess we will find out soon if they are contenders or pretenders. 

There is one more day to work this week. I get a Good Friday off as a holiday. I need a break. 

Biden has claimed he rode a train many times across the collapsed Key Bridge in Baltimore. The bridge only handles cars. He is either a liar or confused. Neither is a trait you want in your president.

I suspect some of you will disagree about that too. 

Break Time

How about some classic rock?



March 26, 2024

Joe Biden has just supported terrorists

The Biden Administration has done a lot of despicable things. The way they stabbed Israel in the back yesterday at the UN is an all time low.

Biden is clearly on the side of terrorists. 

This is akin to telling the US to just forget it after 9/11

Spit. I’m ashamed of this President.

March 25, 2024

Power corrupts but not as much as money under the table

It is Monday. You knew that already. I had a righteous rant mostly composed in my mind about the Biden Administration’s latest attempt to force us into electric cars, but I won’t write it. Why bother? We all know electric cars suck and none of want one. The government is going to govern us good and hard until we comply. 

Corrupt imperialistic government can be found at every level. Locally, the zoning commission just approved a massive ugly apartment complex right next to a nice housing subdivision despite the overwhelming opposition of the neighbors. Nobody wanted the development except the farmer who made millions from selling the land and the developers who will build crappy apartments that will fall apart in a decade. Oh, and the corrupt officials who might get a kickback after approval. I’m not saying they did. I’m saying it has happened before. 

Generally if you smell dog crap there is usually crsp around somewhere, whether you are talking EVs or apartments. Thus ends the sermon.

March 24, 2024

My current desktop background is waterfalls of the world and other stuff of no interest to anyone

 I finally did some writing for the first time in about six weeks yesterday. As is often the case, I have to do a little research in my effort to get the story at least a little bit accurate for its historical content*. I hope no one needs to look at my search history on my phone, because it is going to be a little hard to explain a search for women's underwear in the 1930's. 

Yes, I told my wife that and she laughed. She reminded me of the time I explained to her why the Can Can dance was so controversial and outrageous and it wasn't because the dancers were kicking their legs up in the air, per se. 

Anyway, I wrote some stuff. Is it any good? Probably not. I hope there is a nugget or two of 'good enough' hidden in the pages of mundane prose to make it a worthwhile read. Someday. If I ever finish the thing. I think this story is better than the last one. It is different, anyway. I will say that there a few passages in the previous book that I am proud of, and think aren't too bad, hidden by a lot of "get on with it" filler.  Your mileage may vary. 

If you aren't sure, you probably should just buy the published book and decide for yourself. There is a link over there on the right. No, there will be no audio book forthcoming. No one wants to hear my lispy twangy reedy nasal voice reading anything. 


*Yes, I have even checked the weather for the days the story is set so I can get it right.  It is probably a little much, I suspect. But I know it is accurate, so there is that.


March 23, 2024

Guess Who?

 How about some classic rock for a Saturday? Guess Who is the artist?






March 22, 2024

Lots of water under that bridge

On this date in 2005 I threw up my first post. I had no idea what I was doing. The post was nonsensical and self-serving. Me, Me, Me. 

Nothing has changed.

Nineteen years, nearly 8,000 posts, and almost three million visits later, I am still wasting time with this stupid blog. The quality of my work has not improved. The quality of my visitors has. Since nearly every single visit in those first days months was...me, the situation could only get better.

Thanks to all of you who stop by. I lack the vocabulary to adequately express my appreciation. Know that it is heartfelt.

March 21, 2024

Going Old School

 


We used to play this back in the Stage Band when I was in high school with the dinosaurs.

March 20, 2024

Great Expectations

 I am watching the cul-de-sac closely today. I expect a veritable convoy of Amazon, UPS, FedEx, and USPS trucks to stop by the house with deliveries. Of course each of you sent me a gift to mark my birthday. 

You did, right?

Oh.


March 19, 2024

Gift of me

At a bit after 11:00 this evening spring will officially, well, spring on us. Here is a thing to try: you can stand an egg on its end for a minute or two right at the time of spring. Go ahead, try it. 

Yesterday we had snow flurries. Today it is chilly with near record cold. So it goes. Weather experts say we will get a hard freeze tonight.

There is basketball starting this week. I don't care. Take that NCAA. 

I am taking a much needed day of vacation tomorrow. Except for the conference call I agreed to early in the morning. I am a great guy like that. 

I suspect you feel like your life is so much better after reading this post. I know I feel that way writing it.

March 18, 2024

It occurs to me

I married my wife for her looks. 

Just not the ones she’s been giving me lately.

March 17, 2024

You know what you can do with your fake holiday?

I am not wearing green. I am not doing any of that fake St. Patrick's crap. I am not eating corned beef. I am not eating soda bread. I sure as heck will not swill Guinness. I refuse to even eat Lucky Charms today. It is a matter of principle. 

St. Patrick came from what is now England for goodness sake. He was likely British of Roman heritage. Learn some history. 

He was a slave.  I suppose reparations are in order for everyone of British Roman ancestry. 

If Patrick really ran the snakes out of Ireland that was a good thing. Of course he did not, but I hate snakes so there is that. 

March 16, 2024

Money for Nuthin'

I haven't forgotten about you. Last week was a busy, busy week at work. Yesterday I started at 5AM and finally shut down my laptop around 4:30 in the afternoon. Under Bernie Sanders insane 32 hour workweek proposal I would have made beaucoup bucks this week. I had full days of work, and a  conference call with China every evening. Every single night. I will next week too. The good news is my big quote/bid was finished and submitted on time yesterday. 

Have you read about Commie Bernie Sanders' plan? You can tell the guy has never worked a day in his life outside of the public trough. I suppose I have to explain it yet again. Businesses do not exist to provide jobs. Repeat that phrase until you get it. A business exists to make money. They hire people to help them make money.  If a business could get by with no employees it would. A business (at least before government mandates -- spit) only offers benefits like holidays, insurance, etc. so that they can attract good people to come to work for them. They pay the market rate for workers that allows them to get the level of competency they need to get the product out the door. No more (again unless they are forced to by government mandate -- minimum wage). 

Sanders believes a company should pay for forty hours of work for thirty-two hours of actual work. If you work more than eight hours you get time and a half -- for the FULL day. More than twelve hours then you get double time for the whole day. Think inflation sucks currently?  Go to Bernie's plan and see what happens.

Of course idiots with no economic understanding will think this is a great idea. The same people who think a $15 hour minimum wage is terrific but do not understand why a Big Mac meal now costs $18 will love getting paid for not working. 

Heck, I would like to work 32 hours and get paid for 40. I suppose we all would. I am not opposed to money. I like it. I wish I had more of it. I am also not an economic illiterate and understand nothing is free, that a business has to make a profit to survive. Employees must contribute to the bottom line or they are not needed. Unless you work for the government. Then you just take money from my paycheck in order for you to get a paycheck of your own. If you do not like that characterization, then you need to think on the whole money supply situation a little more and maybe leave the room while the grownups talk.

March 14, 2024

March 13, 2024

You did ask nicely

 What?

Sure, I’ll post up some Blind Faith:




March 12, 2024

Grab a a Kleenex

Blogging will take a backseat for the next several days. It is just the way it is. Not only am in a funk creativity-wise, I’m buried at work. 

I hate it and you are likely fighting tears of outrage and disappointment. We will both survive.

No, I’m not about to drop some Gloria Gaynor on you. 

I will give the gift of Pure Prairie League though:



March 11, 2024

Supporting the LGBT Cause

 I have gone from indifferent to a supporter.



March 10, 2024

Pointless

Three words: stupid time change. Four words: stupid unnecessary time change. 

How about some classic country music to salve our anger? There is a lesson in this song.  



March 9, 2024

The stuff you see


Sometimes a pictures does not tell a story, it takes words. That picture over on the right is just such a case. It was a hurried snapshot taken from the back seat of a Buick van hurtling down a Chinese highway at seventy-plus mph. 

We are driving along and I’m watching the un-scenic scenery whiz by. Suddenly our driver shouts something in Chinese and starts laughing. 

He points at the white SUV in front of us and puts hands together moving them apart and together like an alligator mouth, making an ahnk, ahnk noise. The driver grabbed his phone and took a picture.

It only took me a second to grab my phone as well. Go ahead, embiggen the picture. That is, indeed, a couple of bags filled with ducks hung from the back of the car. Yes, they are alive. The one on the left had his head poked out watching the same un-scenic scenery I was viewing. 

Hey, if I need to take a couple of ducks into town I’d be reluctant to let them loose inside my car. Duck poop is, well, fowl. Ingenuity is not a unique American trait. 

That was the funniest, best part of my trip.

March 8, 2024

Notes From My Field Trip

 

2024 Guangde, China
On the surface, China is modern. Their highway system is wide, smooth, efficient. The cars are modern and sport badges you recognize: BMW, Benz, Toyota, GM, Ford., Nissan.

Construction cranes dot the skyline building high rises everywhere you look. 

Citizens wear fashionable western clothing, often name brands. 

Then you remember often these name brands are knock-offs or made to a different standard than you might buy in Germany or Ohio. 

You forget the wealthy live really, really well, while the poor are really, really poor. If you think there is a wealth gap here, take a gander at the average Chinese factory worker compared to middle management vs the owner class. 

Factory workers spend the day at their desk if they are office workers or at their machine in the factory wearing heavy coats because the factory is not heated. I had to wear my coat the whole time I was there to keep warm. 

China looks like a modern western country on the surface and women have a hole in the floor for bathroom facilities. 

I remember my visit to Beijing back in 2013 or 2014. I stayed in a modern western hotel (Sheraton?) a few blocks from the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. As we left in our little bus to tour the Great Wall, we passed a government building hosting some ministry or another. The building was gorgeous. The boulevard we were on was wide and one-way. We circled the block to head the opposite direction. The back of the building was a contrast to the facade. Rust streaks ran down the walls from falling gutters. Stonework was crumbling, trash made unsightly piles against the walls. 

That is China, it looks great on he surface but is a crumbling third world country behind the fancy exterior.

The people are kind and funny and hard working. They want what we all want, security and a better life for their children. The people are not their government. 

March 7, 2024

burn,baby, burn

Today we salute Caresse Crosby, publisher, socialite, and inventor. Was her invention a great thing or the bane of society? That is not for me to say, I have never used it. I have fought to get it unlocked, and have found it frustrating. I leave it to you to decide if she is a hero or not.

March 6, 2024

This post is why my content is free

Looks at the blinking cursor. Uh...frowns. Do not write about the weather. Does anyone care why I spent the day at various doctors Monday? Not really. Are there any interesting stories from my trip behind the Bamboo Curtain? Nope, I worked pretty much the whole time. No sightseeing at all beyond what I saw from a car window — buildings and highways and manufacturing plants. Pizza for dinner last night, who cares? Politics, I think 37 years of blogging leaves no confusion about where I stand. 

You know what this means, right? Yes music!


It hate to question the integrity of Dick Clark, but no mics on the singers. The guitar is not plugged in. There is a piano, but no organ. No bass. No drums. I suspect lip syncing  is involved.

March 5, 2024

Patience

I'm still trying to get caught up. Patience please.

March 3, 2024

We’ve Got to Quit Meeting Like This

I’m considering getting out the smoker and doing some BBQ today. It is going to be an exceptional spring day here in Hoosierdom. We shall see. If I had that new pellet smoker I wanted for Christmas it would be a sure thing; smoked something would be on the dinner table this evening. 

There are four guys on the industrial sales team where I work. My boss went with me to China, so half of the team was in the Dallas airport Friday night. As we cleared customs, my boss checked his messages. He chuckled and told me another of our team just happened to be connecting through Dallas from Mexico that same exact time time. We had a long layover, so wandered over to the B Terminal for an informal 3/4 of the team meeting. 

Travel is strange like that. Once one of my former Boy Scouts from when I was an Assistant Scout Master sat across the aisle from me on a trip to Portland, Oregon. We have run into people my wife knows from Indiana multiple times while on vacation in Florida. I met my buyer and his quality manager from one of my big customers once in the business class lounge at the Shanghai airport. We were on the same flights back to Indy. 

Life is sometimes strange and wonderful.

March 2, 2024

Back Home Again, in Indiana

I rolled into the driveway just before 2am local time. It was a 31 hour day, with maybe less than an hour’s sleep (doze is probably a better word). Two days like that in six makes your body confused. It was the longest March first I have experienced. 

I woke up at around 6:00 in the morning in Shanghai. Did emails, showered, and ate breakfast. I then goofed off, read, and did work: the paying kind. I met up with my boss for coffee. I worked a little more, going over some data with him.

We headed to the airport a little after 1:00 pm. It is still March first. We stood in a massive line to check into our flight. Went through Chinese customs. Then security. We ate a light and late lunch and finally boarded the flight to Dallas. It was 6:00 pm on March first. We flew and flew. I watched a movie. Ate. Watched another movie. Tried to sleep without success. I looked for and tried to watch the worst movie ever. I finally dozed a little. At some point we crossed the International date line somewhere near the Alaska / Russia border. That means it is now...March First. We keep on flying. I hate my airline seat. We eat again. I read. I finish one book and started another. Breakfast is served. We arrive at Dallas. It is March first. By the time I clear customs, go back through security (I know it doesn’t make sense). It is near 6:00pm on March f-ing first. 

I’m in the same position, sitting in a airport gate waiting area at six PM on March first on the same day. I know, it’s quickly getting TLDR. I boarded another plane around 8:30. My butt has become allergic to airplane seats. I squirm in discomfort the entire flight. Got to Indy just before midnight on March first. Yes, it was a 30 hour March first.  The plane is delayed on the tarmac for about twenty minutes. I rode the bus to the airport economy lot, found my car. I forgot I need to get gas. Said bad words I will not repeat. Ultimately got home around 1:45 am on what now was finally March second. 

I’ve heard so many times: I wish I had your job, that travel seems like fun. You think?

What? Yes the trip was fine. It was cold and wet, in the thirties and forties. More on that later. 

You don’t want me to go back to boring weather reports do you? Let me save a little blog fodder.

March 1, 2024

well that took a dark turn


By the time you read this I should be ensconced within a flying tube winging my way eastward across the Pacific. I write should because I really have no idea if I am flying home or not. 

No, I’m neither drunk nor on drugs. You may or may not know google is banned in the People’s Republic of China. That means no blogging on the blogger platform without jumping through many VPN hoops. Since I don’t blog on the company computer, this entire post was written, wrapped, and canned before I ever left home. 

If you are a person who looks for the dark side of any situation, I might have died in a fiery crash on the way over to the Worker’s Paradise.  A number of calamities may have struck while transversing the country. I might have been delayed in returning home on schedule. That happened to me the last time I was in China. I was asked to stay an extra five days so I could hand carry samples back. These things happen. 

Maybe I will post tomorrow. Maybe I won’t. If you read in the paper of a downed airplane on the Indy-Dallas-Shanghai-Dallas-Indy loop, well then....

That took a dark turn. I have no concern about flying. I should post on Saturday. Live posts, not the canned crap you have been getting all week. 

Okay, maybe it will be Sunday before I post again. I will not get home until we’ll past midnight Friday/Saturday. Fighting jet lag and the 12 hour time difference will leave me wiped out Saturday. 

You might notice I did not post anything about the weather. That’s because I cannot tell you with accuracy what the weather will be a week or more in advance. The weather forecasters cannot either. I 
don’t have the right crystal ball for that. I guess those magic weather balls are all in the hands of leftist climateers. They claim to know about the weather five, ten, or even fifty years in the future. 

Sorry, if this is my last post I gotta end with a poke at the lefties who are ruining life for freedom loving Americans. 😎

February 29, 2024

You probably shouldn’t be roaming the interwebz at work anyway

 One evening a man was at home watching TV and eating peanuts.

He’d toss them in the air, then catch them in his mouth.

In the middle of catching one, his wife asked a question, and as he turned to answer her, a peanut fell in his ear.

He tried and tried to dig it out but succeeded in only pushing it in deeper.

He called his wife for assistance, and after hours of trying they became worried and decided to go to the hospital.

As they were ready to go out the door, their daughter came home with her date.

After being informed of the problem, their daughter’s date said he could get the peanut out.

The young man told the father to sit down, then shoved two fingers up the father’s nose and told him to blowhard.

When the father blew, the peanut flew out.

The mother and daughter jumped and yelled for joy.

The young man insisted that it was nothing and the daughter brought the young man out to the kitchen for something to eat.

Once he was gone the mother turned to the father.

The mother said,

“That’s wonderful. Isn’t he smart? What do you think he’s going to be when he grows older?!”

The father replies

“From the smell of his fingers, our son-in-law!”

February 28, 2024

February 26, 2024

February 25, 2024

She helped me with my suitcase

 


Some beautiful music for a Sunday morning.

February 24, 2024

A process of maturation

It doesn’t happen often. I deleted a long screed right before publishing. It was the kind of rant that was commonplace in these pages in the past. Those kind of posts engendered lots of comments. In some cases they were popular. It may be what draws you here still, looking for a political or cultural opinion. Forty-seven years of blogging here is proof positive I am often willing to throw my thoughts out there and live with the ramifications. Sometimes, I have learned, it is not worth it. Could I be finally growing up when I’m just weeks short of my...let me do the math...62 birthday? 

Or have I become a coward? 

Let me summarize the post like this: if everything is racist, nothing is. I will leave it at that. 

For the record, this is a fresh post, not prewritten days or weeks ago. As proof, there is a dusting of snow outside. I couldn’t know that in advance, could I? Keep that in mind this week. 


Am I the only one who who finds it disturbing Frank is singing a love song with his daughter? 

Happy Saturday.

February 23, 2024

Contacting Customer Service

Happy Friday, blogateers. I have been buried in work, the paying kind, so my efforts here have been somewhat sparse. Send me a self-addressed envelope and I will return the unused portion of this week’s subscription fee. I’m all about customer service. 

Sure, we block pretty much every unknown number here at our one hundred percent American call center, but your call is important. Sorry, due to the high volume of calls your wait time may be longer than usual. Please leave a message and I will return your call at my earliest convenience.The best way to contact me is to send an email that does not get caught in my spam filter. It is probably best not to use that silly hot mail email address I remember to check about once every two months to reach me. Try this number instead: 867-5309. Ask for Jenny.

February 21, 2024

Been there...

 An elderly couple were sitting outdoors at a cafe when they noticed an old man who seemed to be having trouble crossing the street with an ungainly shuffle.

The man said to his wife, “He surely has bad arthritis to walk like that.”

His wife replied, “No, that’s definitely old time rheumatism.”

They couldn’t agree so the man decided to ask the old man.

He walked over to him and said,

“Excuse me, sir, but my wife and I saw you having difficulty crossing the street and I told her that you have arthritis but she insisted that you have rheumatism.

Which one of us was wrong?”

The old man said, “The three of us were wrong.”

“Three of us were wrong? How so?” asked the man.

To which the old man replied,

“You were wrong when you said I had arthritis, your wife was wrong when she said I had rheumatism, and I was wrong when I thought I just had to pass gas.”

February 20, 2024

I want you, I need you

We were at Walmart last evening picking up some stuff. I tried to convince my wife we needed a new TV. I want bigger, better, fancier. The one I chose wasn’t even that expensive, relatively speaking. 

In truth, even had she told me to buy it, I wouldn’t have. She is far more likely to buy stuff than I am. I go into wallet seizure at the idea of spending hundreds at a time for anything. Our current TV works fine, is really big enough for the room - it’s not tiny at 55”. And while I would like a 4K picture, our screen is pretty good. 

It’s all about want vs. need. 

Boy, the picture on that TV was nice. *


*During one of my periods out of work about a decade ago, I worked at Best Buy. I know how the manufacturers and store feed a far better picture into the TVs than you can get at home. 

February 19, 2024

More Weekend, Please

Here we are, another Monday. I am part of the workforce who does not get President’s Day off. It is probably a good thing, based on repeated “bings” on my phone  alerting me to work emails last evening and night. 

I binged the Martin Scorsese documentary about George Harrison on Max yesterday. Harrison is my favorite Beatle. He lacked the vanity of McCartney and the narcissism of Lennon. Frankly, his solo music was far better than anything put out by the others in their solo careers. 

Here is a semi-non sequitur true anecdote. I was in London when George Harrison died. I bought a copy of London Times that day. I left it laying on the desk in my hotel room. 

If you have an HBO Max subscription, the movie is well worth your time, especially the part with Ringo Starr at the end. 



February 18, 2024

History in song. Sort of.

Time to lighten things up. I was perusing the interwebz while listening to classic country music on the super spy smart speaker on my desk just now when a song came on I’ve never heard. Ever. 

Who knew? 


Yes, by the sausage guy. 


PS. If you bought my book or even got it free last month, leave me a review on Amazon. Even a bad review is welcomed. We can only improve when our shortcomings are recognized. Of course if you found it reminiscent of early Hemingway, you can tell me that too!😎

February 17, 2024

I Keep My Eyes Wide Open All the Time

We got the first real measurable snowfall of winter yesterday. By the end we probably got on the plus side of five inches of the white stuff. 

The roads were a little slick until the plows got out, but it wasn’t a big deal in the end. I went out around 8PM and shoveled the driveway and sidewalks. Mostly it as a big ho hum snow event.

For Capital City just to my south, it is a big deal. After a fairly mild winter — it hit the sixties last week — they have this snow on the weekend the city is hosting the NBA All-Star game. So it goes. Not that I really care. I do not suppose I have watched an NBA game in twenty years. 

I’m not a lawyer. I haven’t stayed in a Holiday Inn Express for a couple of years.* Can someone, anyone explain just what Trump did to get fined hundreds of millions of dollars by that New York judge? Oh, I know they claim he overstated the value of his collateral. But here’s the thing, Trump took the loans, he paid the loans on time, the banks gave the loans and got back their principle and interest. Everybody won. Everybody made money. The banks even testified they agreed with the stated value. How is there a crime without a victim? 

If I go to the bank and demand a $2 million dollar mortgage for my little hovel, no banker in the world is going to lend me that kind of cash, no matter how good or poor my credit rating is, without doing some serious evaluation of my assets and collateral. Even a pawn shop looks up the value of an item before they give a loan. 

No matter what you think of Trump, and there is plenty to dislike, you have to objectively look at this skeptically. Especially when the prosecutor vowed as an election promise she was going to get Trump for something, anything. The trial next month is equally specious. There was an uproar yesterday when Putin’s main challenger died in prison, many arguing he was prosecuted for political reasons. I’m not sure I see a lot of difference in what Democrat partisans are doing to Trump. It all started with the Russia collusion farce, and hasn’t stopped. 

Again, I would vote for almost anyone with the right politics over Trump. But recent events sure have a distinct Banana Republic feel to them.

Look, your opinion may vary. Tell me in the comments. You will be wrong, but I’ll read what you have to say. 


*There used to be an adverting campaign where people could do extraordinary things after staying in a Holiday Inn Express. 
 

February 16, 2024

it is supposed to snow today

Today is my mom’s birthday. She would have been 84. I miss my mom. I got my dry sense of humor from her. As a youth, my sloppiness, lack of organization, and general lackadaisical attitude must have driven her insane. She loved me unconditionally anyway. 

She once typed up a saying, had it laminated, and stuck it on my bulletin board in my room. It read:

If a task is once begun, never leave it ‘till it’s done. Be the labor great or small, do it well, or not at all.

Clearly,  I needed that lesson driven into my thick stubborn skull if she went to that much trouble to help me. The fact I still remember that poem is a tribute to her efforts. These days I never leave a project to the last minute if I can help it. The boss never has to follow up on a task he has assigned me. 

When my mother died, I posted a semi-eulogy here. Everything in it was true, but I didn’t explain clearly that while my mom was a perfectionist of the highest order, she possessed a tremendous capacity for love. 

While I frequently disappointed her, Mom always helped me out of a tight spot. 

Mom loved my kids and doted on her great-granddaughters. I’m not sure anyone grieved more when my grandson passed away. 

I miss you mom. Happy Birthday.

February 15, 2024

makes me want to just let my SUV idle for an hour or two.

WTH? Climate assholes threw a pink powder all over the case housing the Constitution. These terrorists deface a national treasure and the security guards LET THEM. Why weren’t these assholes thrown to the floor and cuffed the instant they started throwing whatever? And why are we letting them rant? For goodness sake, the so-called guards are more interested in getting everyone else out, but not the f-ing CRIMINALS, 

What’s the difference between these dirtbags and the people who invaded the Capital on January 6?

I swear I live in a different world. I would have tackled these little pieces of shit myself, if the guards will not, 

Spit. I going to throw a few plastic straws in the trash, use a plastic bag at the store, and find some coal to burn in my fire pit. Screw the climateers.

February 14, 2024

In the air

 Happy Hallmark Valentines Day. 

Here’s some appropriate music:



February 13, 2024

soon

 


Pitchers and catchers report this week.  We are still six weeks from meaningful games, but Baseball season is coming.

February 12, 2024

maybe later

Bippity bopity boo, I have no post for you.

February 11, 2024

Change of Pace

 

January 2024

Instead of nonsensical rambling, how about a picture of a January sunrise from my backdoor?

February 10, 2024

What I really need is a quality ghostwriter

Sinatra is playing softly in the background as I type one-fingered on the iPad. Yesterday was gorgeous. It was sunny and warm, almost spring-like. Today, still warm, but cloudy. 

Look, I get it. I agree. Why in the world would you care about my weather? Unless you live here in Mudsock, the weather report is meaningless drivel, a filler, a lazy start. “How’s the weather?” is not even a good icebreaker in real conversation, why would I constantly fall on that old trope to start nearly every post for nineteen years? 

I wish I could promise to stop leading with meaningless weather reports. It probably won’t change. 

Look at that, talking about talking about the weather filled up another worthless post. We all win! 

Time for musical roulette. Checking my music library on shuffle, this is the next tune. Wow! This is a departure from the usual fare. How can you not dig this old tune? I am pretty sure I saw this on Hee Haw. I must have.



You might not have heard, there hasn’t been much news about it, there is a football game tomorrow. 

Sadly, reading this blog is very much like having a conversation with me. Except I have a south-of-seventy nasal midwestern twang and a slight lateral S lisp I cover pretty well. I don’t have a voice for radio nor a face for television. I guess I’m perfectly suited for anonymous blogging. 

February 9, 2024

fighting against fame and fortune

It is finally Friday and it looks to be a good one, weather-wise. I can see blue skies and a scary fireball-like thing in the sky I vaguely remember seeing sometime late last year. It is supposed to get into the 60s later. Maybe I’ll play hooky and try to have a cigar this afternoon. Unless work interferes. These things happen. 

I was sitting here thinking. If laziness  ever becomes an Olympic sport I will try for fourth place. I don’t want to have to climb up on that winners podium. 

Yeah, I stole that. You can too. 

I got my picture for my passport renewal the other day. The youngest granddaughter looked at it and promptly said “You look old.” Thanks kid. 

I may look old, but at least no prosecutor has told me I’m too old and senile to prosecute. That proclamation may be worse for Biden politically than a criminal charge. Biden did not help himself in his angry rambling televised rebuttal. He mixed up Mexico and Egypt. 

I suppose both countries have pyramids, so it might be understandable. 

No, not really. 

How about some Friday music?

Hah! Not today.

February 8, 2024

Dear Neighbor(s)

It is February 8th. It is time to unplug your Christmas lights. It’s cold, so you don’t have to take them down, but you can unplug those lights that are half burnt out. You can let the air out of the blow up Santa. 

You can use the lights again next year. There is no requirement to leave them on until they burn out. 

It’s okay. 

February 7, 2024

On the road again

I’m up early this morning. I have to hit the road in a bit. That was a regular phrase in past days around here. Now, not so much. Where I used to travel several days a week, now it is more like several days a year. Today's trip will be a quick jaunt to Chicago and back. The term “quick” is relative anytime you have to deal with Chicagoland traffic. This time I’m heading right downtown to the loop, so I will also have to deal with parking. Even worse, once I arrive I will have to deal with government officials to get an emergency passport renewal. I pray for patience. 

I don’t mind traveling, but I cannot say I miss it. I’ve been all over the world and the US, but at some point it is another hotel room on the industrial side of town. It is another fast food lunch or dinner by myself in a nondescript chain restaurant. 

I really do not miss flying. If I never stepped foot in an airport again I would be content. I’ve flown in the neighborhood of one thousand flights. That is fewer than some road warriors, more than most people. I’ve spent more hours in the Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Portland airports than you can imagine. Let’s not even discuss the abominations that are O’Hare or the New York area airports. Alas, I’ll be flying again at the end of the month. So it goes.

Lest you think this is a big complaint fest, I have loved my life on the road. I like driving in the car by myself as the asphalt sings under my tires, watching the corn and bean fields pass through my windshield. The small towns and highways are the true heart of America. The interstate gets me where I need to be quickly. It gets me through the cities with the least hassle. It is the lonely old US Highways and state routes that call me. That, I miss. 

But I really like being home for supper with my wife every night. 

February 5, 2024

We all get hosed again, but not Ukraine

The Senate has rolled out their joke of a Border Bill. The entire first part of the bill has nothing to do with protecting the border, it is about giving more money to Ukraine, which tells us all the true priority. It is essential to protect Ukraine’s border. Ours, not so much. 

This bill still allows 1500 5,000 illegals  to enter a day. Every day. If they are a “family” then they don’t count to the numbers. Then the border can only be closed  under this emergency act so many days a year, starting at 200+ and declining down to 180 days total in three years, when the entire bill sunsets. You are still looking at 300,000 beaucoup illegals entering every month. That’s nearly  THREE MILLION  TWO MILLION ILLEGALS a year for my fellow math challenged history majors.

The only court that can litigate the bill is the ultra-liberal and open borders favorable DC Federal Court. 

Finally, the President can override the provisions at will. Yes, he can just say, “nope” and the border remains open. 

In other words, this so-called border enhancement bill is worthless. It does nothing but send money to Ukraine. 

The stupid Republicans in the Senate will vote for it and the American taxpayers and citizens will get screwed yet again by our corrupt, feckless representatives. 

Spit.

If you think this bill is great, I recommend you live the open border concept personally:




February 4, 2024

And not a word I heard could I relate

Some friends came to visit last evening. We met for a sandwich and then we came back to our house. We played some cards, ate way too many snacks and generally had a good time. I’m sure the wife welcomed an opportunity to have a conversation with someone over the age of nine who was not me. 

Sorry. I got sidetracked for a bit while I was thinking about something else. I did not mean to leave you like that. 

It is supposed to warm to around fifty Fahrenheit today. I can see frost on the neighbor’s roofs, so it is a cold start to the day. 

There is no football today, so I have to find something else to do. My cousin asked me to send her family history slash genealogy information I have. I think I will do some scanning this afternoon. 

Sounds real exciting, doesn’t it? Next week I might watch paint dry.

We’ve done hippy music, jazz, and country. How about some rock music? [you do understand that was rhetorical? You have no choice in the matter]. If there was a top ten list of my favorite songs this would surely make the list. Of course my list would change every time I thought of a new song. I have nearly one thousand songs on my phone, for goodness sake.  I dig every one of them. 

Anyway:



February 3, 2024

Round about ten we all got to talking

I had an idea for a post when I went to bed. It was still there when I woke up this morning. Somewhere between making coffee and reading a few blogs the notion went poof! into the graveyard of good ideas. 

Sometimes life works that way. 

Do not be too sad, you got six posts yesterday. 

We’ve done some hippy music and some jazz. How about some country?



February 2, 2024

Seize the day with an iron grip

 Happy Groundhog Day.

Here we find ourselves on a Friday, awake and ready to seize the day. I suspect you clicked here first thing as you entered the interwebz to see what words of wisdom, what pearls of humor, what political insight I brought forth this morning. You will not be disappointed.


Unless you expected any of that. Have you not been reading here of late? What were you thinking? 

As an alternative, get your jazz fix:




I will admit this is pretty much the only jazz tune I can stomach. 


Seize the day with an iron grip

 Here we find ourselves on a Friday, awake and ready to seize the day. I suspect you clicked here first thing as you entered the interwebz to see what words of wisdom, what pearls of humor, what political insight I brought forth this morning. You will not be disappointed.


Unless you expected any of that. Have you not been reading here of late? What were you thinking? 

As an alternative, get your jazz fix:




I will admit this is pretty much the only jazz tune I can stomach. 

Seize the day with an iron grip

 Here we find ourselves on a Friday, awake and ready to seize the day. I suspect you clicked here first thing as you entered the interwebz to see what words of wisdom, what pearls of humor, what political insight I brought forth this morning. You will not be disappointed.


Unless you expected any of that. Have you not been reading here of late? What were you thinking? 

As an alternative, get your jazz fix:




I will admit this is pretty much the only jazz tune I can stomach. 

Seize the day with an iron grip

 Here we find ourselves on a Friday, awake and ready to seize the day. I suspect you clicked here first thing as you entered the interwebz to see what words of wisdom, what pearls of humor, what political insight I brought forth this morning. You will not be disappointed.


Unless you expected any of that. Have you not been reading here of late? What were you thinking? 

As an alternative, get your jazz fix:




I will admit this is pretty much the only jazz tune I can stomach. 

Seize the day with an iron grip

 Here we find ourselves on a Friday, awake and ready to seize the day. I suspect you clicked here first thing as you entered the interwebz to see what words of wisdom, what pearls of humor, what political insight I brought forth this morning. You will not be disappointed.


Unless you expected any of that. Have you not been reading here of late? What were you thinking? 

As an alternative, get your jazz fix:




I will admit this is pretty much the only jazz tune I can stomach. 

Seize the day with an iron grip

Here we find ourselves on a Friday, awake and ready to seize the day. I suspect you clicked here first thing as you entered the interwebz to see what words of wisdom, what pearls of humor, what political insight I brought forth this morning. You will not be disappointed.

Unless you expected any of that. Have you not been reading here of late? What were you thinking? 

As an alternative, get your jazz fix:




I will admit this is pretty much the only jazz tune I can stomach. 

January 31, 2024

Wherein I Just Complain

It happens a lot this time of year, in recent years anyway: I lose all interest in blogging. In ‘21 I quit for most of January. It seems my writer’s block has extended even to this piece o’crap blog. 

Edit: I erased several hundred words complaining about boredom, blah, blah. How about I tell you I got nuthin’ today and we leave it at that? 

More Edit: Read This . Fuzzy writes what I should, if I was not so lazy. Except he writes it with far more erudition than I ever could. 

January 29, 2024

F Joe Biden

 What he said

I know you don’t click links, you need to here. 

Ignore my previous post, it was just filler. 

This is a question we should all ask. Biden says he will shut down the border as soon as he gets funding for Ukraine. Of which country is Biden President? 

Let’s go Brandon, indeed.

Monday again

I fried up some chicken for dinner last night. Mashed spuds and gravy and some corn rounded out the meal. To be honest, I am not overly fond of chicken. My wife’s mother made the best fried chicken. The wife says mine is pretty close. I do like making and eating mashed potatoes and gravy. I have a definite weakness for potatoes. That is not good for my diabetes, that is for sure. 

I discovered my drivers license expires in March. Not only do I need a new passport,  now that needs renewed as well. I suspect m going to need new glasses before the eye test. It’s always something. 

How about some music to get your day started? 

You don’t really have a choice.


My goodness this is pure tripe. Not the tune, the post. 

Sorry.

January 28, 2024

Things you find in old posts

I have to be honest, I have no recollection of writing this. According to a response I made to the comments, the story came to me in a dream the previous night. Please ignore the punctuation errors.

January 12, 2013

Christmas dreams

It was just a few days before Christmas.  The kids were all gathered on the carpet for story time. You could feel the electric energy in the room. Some were literally bouncing on their little bottoms. Nearly every one was bursting to shout out the answer to the question I had just asked. 

"Tell me what you want for Christmas.” Nineteen kindergarten-sized hands shot into the air, and as usual, Billy could not wait to be called on and blurted out his desire for an iPod.  McKenzie said she wanted a red sparkly sweater. Jorge wanted a dog.

Callie waited until almost last. She announced in a small voice that she and her Mom just want an ordinary life. 

"An ordinary life?" I asked 

"Yeah." I could barely hear her. "A mom, a dad, a house, a car. Food to eat. A plastic armadillo."

Life has been tough in this west Texas town. The foundry closed two years ago.  The drought wiped out the cotton crop.  Almost every one of my students got free lunch and breakfast from Government assistance. More than half came from broken homes. Two lived with their grandparents. Three had at least one parent in jail.

After Callie spoke there was silence for a few minutes as the little minds thought about it. Billy raised his hand. For the first time all year he waited on me to call on him. "Mrs. Simon, can I change my wish?"

"Sure Billy.”

"I don't want an iPod anymore, I want an ordinary life".  Echoes of "me too" bounced off the wall as a dozen voices shouted out the same desire. McKenzie started crying. She only wanted a red sparkly sweater. I told her it was OK. 

I got home a little late that evening.  I stopped by store to grab some chicken for supper. I pulled into the drive. Most of last week's snow had melted leaving only gray and black lumps in shady places and along the edge of the gravel driveway. A plastic armadillo was in the yard.  Last summer they had appeared at WalMart and the little plastic rodent replicas were the yard decorating fad of the summer. 

I could see the Christmas tree through the living room window. My husband was smiling at me through the glass. I was pretty certain Emily and Tommy were watching Spongebob on the TV screen.  I felt a tear on my cheek as I realized all I really wanted for Christmas was my very ordinary life. 

January 27, 2024

A man has to know his limitations

 The coffee is hot. Classic rock plays softly in the background. The neighborhood houses are black lumps against a dark blue-gray sky. I rock slightly in the un-reclined recliner looking out the window at nothing.  It is cold, but not too cold outside. It is comfortable in the old office. 

I usually block off Saturday and Sunday mornings to write. Today, I’m in a lazy mood. I should sit at the computer and write. I don’t want to put in the work. I’ve hit a writers block wall of my own design in my latest novel. I ended the last chapter and started the current one with exposition, not action. I have stated that things happened, not described the happening, if that makes sense. 

For example, I might write that the basketball team lost a tough game in the State basketball tournament. I should describe the hot, sweaty, loud, raucous, competitive atmosphere of Hoosier Hysteria in the gym from the old days of single class basketball. The days when entire towns showed up on Friday night to see the team on the hardwood. I should write what the fans did, describe the smell of popcorn in the lobby, the sweat of the railroad worker crammed on the bench seat next to you. 

See what I mean? I wrote one sentence when I should have written a hundred words. By the same token, I write a hundred words when one sentence would suffice. It is the endless editing and rewriting that sucks the fun out of it. 

I know what I want to happen. I’m just too lazy to do the actual work. As the historian Barbara Tuchman once said, “research is endlessly seductive, writing is hard work.” I’m not talking the writing like here at the old blog, this is ridiculously easy. I sit and words flow stream of consciousness fashion right onto the electronic page. Narrative writing is difficult. I’m afraid I was only moderately successful in my first book. I learned from it. And to Tuchman’s point, since the current novel takes place in the past I am drawn and sucked in by the research. Do I really need to spend two hours researching the history of the Nickel Plate Railroad and the machinations of Jay Gould and the Vanderbilts? 

Oh, I know I can write prose. I can craft sentences that flow, that describe, that are easy to read. Writing an actual story, that is a completely different animal. There were a couple of passages in my first book I thought were good writing. There was also some complete crap. There are chapters and passages that do nothing to push along the narrative. I should have taken an figurative red pen and marked them with a big red X. 

None of this is compliment fishing. Rather, as Clint told us, “A man has to know his limitations.” I know mine. And a big one today is that I don’t want to do the hard work of writing. I think I’ll read a few blogs, then saunter off to watch something, anything on TV. 

January 26, 2024

I have questions

There are at least a dozen robins flying around and chirping in my front and back yards. Don’t robins fly south in the winter? Is spring here already? 

It is Friday, I’m not going to break my brain thinking about dumb birds. How about some music?



January 25, 2024

Perusing the Headlines

Let me see, PETA wants to replace Puxatawney Phil with a giant gold coin because the erstwhile groundhog is not an accurate weather forecaster and Groundhog Day is mean or something. PETA, huh? That reminds me to lay out some steaks for dinner.

In Canada, a fifty year-old man who identifies as a teen girl has joined a girl’s swim club and is competing. He is part of the team, sharing the locker rooms with girls as young as 13. Why any parent allows their kid to remain on that team is a mystery to me. Do these girls have dads? Are any of their mothers feminists? Has all logic and decency disappeared from Canuckistan?

The SCOTUS has determined Texas cannot enforce the border when Joe Biden will not. Now some Democrat Congressmen are urging Biden to nationalize the Texas National Guard to stop the Governor from securing the border. Read that again. Sitting US Congressmen, who swore to uphold the Constitution, are arguing for open, unfettered, illegal immigration. 

The NFL will feature the “Black National Anthem” before the Super Bowl. As far as I know, the Star Spangled Banner is the only National Anthem. What if a white-skinned player kneels during the Black National Anthem? Would he just be exercising his right to peaceful protest? I propose we play the Wabash College fight song before the Big Game. We can all get behind that.


I better stop. My blood pressure is rising. Is it too early to drink?

January 24, 2024

There is truth in the nonsense

 Ahhhooogha....Ahhhooogha...the fog horn sounds a mournful warning over Mudsock this morning. I can hear the lonely ship bells of the big freighters anchored in the icy White River cutting through the silence. Ding ding, ding ding as a warm breeze moves across the slowly thawing ground. It is still dark, only the neighbor’s porch lights cutting a weak yellow beam through the fog. 

I sip my coffee. The furnace kicks on to bring warmth to the blogroom. Soon I will fire up the old laptop and slave away at my desk as Bob Cratchet babbles away over the pitiful exploits of his family one desk over. Scratch, scratch. Why won’t Bob use a computer? 

Ahhhooogha.....Ahhhoooga....the foghorn sounds a mournful warning...


What? Do not push me. The Captain and Tennille are just a click away. I’ll do it, so help me...

January 23, 2024

Feeling Mean

It is raining. I have a headache. I’m feeling grumpy as a grizzly bear on a bender. 




Take that and like it.

January 22, 2024

Wide Right

Monday yet again. At least you aren’t the placekicker for Buffalo or Green Bay. They probably should make sure that everything is cleaned out of their locker when they go to the facility today. I doubt either will be back next season. 

We are expecting a big warm up this week, finally breaking the freezing mark for the first time in a couple of weeks. There is a chance of freezing rain overnight then a nice warm front. I’m sure that weather will herald the apocalypse for the global warming crowd. 

It occurs to me that Leftists may hate Christianity, but they do have their own version of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse : Climate Change, Racism, Homophobia, and Orange Man Bad. They insist we bow and repent with fervent belief as strong as any Christian Charismatic snake handler. Can I get an Amen?  

That is enough for what promises to be a cloudy wet start of the week. Stay strong. 

January 21, 2024

Have a nice trip

It looks like I’ll be heading back to Asia next month. I’m not sad about it, but I would be content to never go back too. Despite spending close to a month in China in various trips, I still can’t use chopsticks. I have some, I guess I need to practice before I go this time. It looks like this trip will last about a week. I won’t be able to blog, so I’ll try to put up some canned posts before I go. I suppose you won’t be able to tell the difference. 

What? You don’t believe me? Every single post* this week was prewritten, including this one. The actual time is 2;24 pm on 01/18/2024. 

Why yes, I have a burning need to be right. Why do you ask? 

I have to get my passport renewed ASAP. That probably means a trip to Chicago to walk it through in person. I know, it is all great, right? The good news is my Chinese visa is still good. 

How about some music?



*edit: except Friday’s effort.
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