June 30, 2024

Lucky man

Today marks my 40th wedding anniversary. 

When the minister there at the Methodist Church said “forever” I didn’t know he meant this long..,

My wife doesn’t find that joke amusing. 

Seriously, I’m lucky that I married my best friend. We have way more ups than downs, and contrary to several advice columns, I don’t feel like I have had to work at my Marriage much. Mostly, we save our infrequent arguments for stuff that is really important and let the minor stuff slide. After all, tomorrow is a new day.

Let me be clear, I know without a doubt, I am far more difficult to live with. The real me isn’t so different than blog me. Unfortunately.

June 29, 2024

Set an open course for the Virgin Sea


It is theme week here at the old blog

June 28, 2024

come aboard. we're expecting you.

 Remember this old show?

I watched an episode Sunday evening. Wow it is cheesy. I dug the show back in the seventies, until they introduced the kid into the cast. What were they thinking?

June 27, 2024

I don’t need no stinking debate

As I padded down to the kitchen to throw a pod into the coffee maker early this morning it occurred to me that cardinals seem to get up early. The robins were a few minutes late with their morning chirps. As the morning sky erupts in hues of pinks and lavender, the avian gossip tree is in full voice. Chirp, chirp, chirp. At least the  doves have taken their irritating cooing elsewhere so I don’t have to listen to that. 

Speaking of irritating hooting, I won’t be watching the debate tonight. There is no chance it will be a real debate. The partisan CNN hosts will prop up Biden at every opportunity and Trump will make it all about himself. He is the ultimate self-centered me,me,me guy. It is never about the voters.

Biden? He is the poster boy for incompetence. The facts are in evidence all around. Is anyone surprised the president refuses to take a drug test? Of course he will be full of aderol or similar to focus his attention for a couple of hours. 

Do you think athletes would voluntarily take a drug test if they had a choice? Don’t be naive. The president ain’t taking one either. 

Since both candidates are turds as human beings, focus on the policies. Are things going great with Biden? Do you like open borders, inflation, disastrous foreign policy, nitwittery posing as green agenda? He’s your man. Biden promises he’s going to raise your taxes. It’s what democrats do. Not only does everything cost more under this administration, Biden is going to make sure you have less money to buy it. Sounds like a great plan. Well he will take your money and pay off somebody’s student loan. There is that.

Is he sarcasm font working?

You watch and let me know how it went, okay?

June 26, 2024

Zero dark thirty

 I woke up at 4:00 again this morning. I’m getting a little tired of it. It is like my body has adjusted to a new, most unpleasant schedule. It isn’t like I’m going to bed earlier either. For much of my life I operated on 4 or 5 hours of sleep. For the past decade or so I have done much better; around seven hours a night. I’ve popped awake between four o’clock and five o’clock nearly every day the past three weeks. What do you do? The downside is I fight the urge to dose in the afternoon. 

In the other hand, this early rising gives me a topic to blog about. Anyone who has read this piece o’crap blog for long knows I really like to complain. Complaining may be my one true skill set. 

Have a great whatever day of the week this is.

June 25, 2024

It is trash day and this blog belongs in that bin

My morning routine is pretty simple and unvaried. I get up, throw on yesterday’s clothes and stumble downstairs to make coffee. I trudge back up the stairs, plop in the office recliner and peruse the interwebz. Then I do my best to crank out a post. That part is increasingly more difficult. 

If the last thirty-seven years (hyperbole) of blogging are any evidence, I will get over it this spate of non-creativity. Every time I decide I’m done, finished, over it, I get a surge of “I need to write about that.”  

So what? Indeed. How about some music? 

June 24, 2024

You know

It occurs to me that I might be one of four people in the world younger than 90 who actually likes ginger snaps.

June 23, 2024

Checking off the checklist

A summer thunderstorm rolled through in the pre-dawn hours. A cold less hot front is supposed to follow. Of course, I cut the grass yesterday. I don’t mind. Generally speaking I’m fine in the heat or the cold. Sure I get hot, but I can survive. It is the same with cold. Don’t get me wrong. I prefer to be in the sir conditioning when it is 95 with 98% humidity, but sometimes life doesn’t give us what we want. If it did, a check for $500 would show up on my mailbox Monday. 

I will get an electric deposit of $4.24 on the 30th. This is a royalty payment for selling a couple of books in April. Thanks to whomever bought my collection of words, sentences, and paragraphs. Hey, drop an me a review. I appreciate my reviews, but let’s be honest, I wouldn’t give it five stars and I wrote it! 

Have a great Sunday. 

June 22, 2024

It was a dumb idea anyway

I stared at the old blinking cursor for a bit today and decided instead of a weather report or something equally as boring I might try something a smidge creative on the old blog this morning. 

Okay,  “creative” might not be the best word, “innovative” perhaps? Maybe that is too ambiguous as well. 

Look I was feeling lazy and I decided to cut and paste an old post from June 22 from the archives. Haha wouldn’t that be funny? Reality says “nope.” Clearly, I have a life-long mental block when it comes to this date. Every single post from June 22 sucked. 

Yes. I know, suckage is not just on June 22 in my blog history. Dude, I need an editor. And someone who is erudite, pithy, and knowledgeable to write the content. 

But I have accomplished something today. I can certainly cut and paste this entry next year on June 22.

June 21, 2024

Tell me, how long you're gonna stay here, Joe?

It is six in the aye em, certainly a reasonable time to be up and about. I guess. Unfortunately I have been ensconced here in the office recliner perusing the interwebz since about 4:45. That is not reasonable. But so it goes. 

I could pretend I’m pseudo depressed. After all, the days are getting shorter. There will be fewer hours of sunshine today than yesterday. Sniff. Sob. Hey, it’s true. Would I lead you astray? It is only 187 days until Christmas. Ponder that. 

It is supposed to be hot today. Not only in actuality, but more so because it is SUMMER. The media acts like it is a new thing to be hot in the summer. Panic! In 200 days  or so they will be surprised to discover it is cold! Who knew? 

Anyway it is Friday and I am ready for the weekend. I have nothing planned, but I won’t be staring at a spreadsheet. 

Have a great Friday. Oh, as a parting gift you can have this stuck in your head like I have for two days:

You are welcome.

June 20, 2024

Darn you, Tippi Hedron


I have this water feature in my backyard beside my patio. I find it relaxing when I sit and ponder life, work, or the cigar I’m smoking.

Every bird in the Mudsock zip code seems to think the thing is their personal water fountain and bath tub. I have to routinely fill it with fresh water and clean out the filter on the pump because, well, they are dirty filthy nasty birds. 

What is the thanks I get for giving our avian friends access to water?

This, on my patio door:

Splattered through the screen.

Stupid birds.

Happy Summer!

June 19, 2024

In the Old Northwest

Today marks the federal holiday of Juneteenth. No mail today. Yawn. I have to work. No holiday for me! I have no issue celebrating the end of slavery in this country. That holiday should be December 18. But, whatever. 

Of course accompanied with Juneteenth are the never-ending calls for citizens who never owned slaves to give money to people who never were slaves.  The mayor of Chicago is the latest to take up the call for reparations. 

One of the few legislative victories of the dysfunctional  Congress of the Confederation of the US was the Northwest ordinance of 1787. It formed the Northwest Territory comprising the area that would come to encompass Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan,Wisconsin, and parts of Minnesota. In case you are Geographically challenged, Chicago would lie right in the heart of that area. 

Here is the thing, slavery was illegal in the Northwest Territory. Chicago was incorporated in 1837, some fifty years after slavery was outlawed in the area. What reparations are owed by Chicago to what ancestors of slaves that never existed in Chicago?

Now if you want to talk about the onerous Treaty of Greenville…

June 18, 2024

Messing with the kids

Yesterday my daughter e-mailed me again asking why I didn’t do something useful with my time.

Like sitting around the pool and drinking wine is not a good thing, I said.

Talking about my “doing something useful” seems to be her favorite topic of conversation.

She was “only thinking of me” and suggested I go down to the senior center and hang out with the guys.

I did this and when I got home last night, I decided to teach her a lesson about staying out of my business.

I e-mailed her and told her that I had joined a parachute club.

She replied, “Are you nuts? you are 73 years old, and now you’re going to start jumping out of airplanes?”

I told her that I even got a membership card and e-mailed a copy to her.

She immediately telephoned me, “Good grief, where are your glasses! This is a membership to a Prostitute Club, not a Parachute Club.”

Oh man, I’m in trouble again; I really don’t know what to do… I signed up for five jumps a week.”

The line went quiet and her friend picked up the phone and said that my daughter had fainted.

Life as a senior citizen is not getting any easier but sometimes it can be fun.

June 17, 2024

Start me up

I had a great Father’s Day. My boys called me up to wish me a happy day. My daughter made a great dinner with steak and spuds. Desert was peach cobbler - she knows I love peaches. In fact, the wife took me for ice cream in the afternoon and I had…peach ice cream! 

In other news the Cubs are sucking these days. It’s not a new thing, they’ve been bad for most of my life. I don’t expect them to win a World Series every year. Actually averaging more than three hits a game would be nice. 

It is going to be hot this week. Temps are forecasted for the  90s with high humidity. The weather people want to panic. I opine it is summer. 

Since I regularly comment on the weather when I have nothing to write about (most days) a perusal of the old blog for June of most years will show entries complaining about the heat. 

So it goes. 

I have a conference call with some people in Germany. Gotta go. Have a good Monday.

June 16, 2024

Happy Father’s Day

 …to all you Dads out there. 

I miss you , Pop.

June 15, 2024

There is a house in New Orleans

It is a glorious Saturday here at the old homestead. Birds are singing, rabbits are hopping, squirrels are chattering, and chipmunks skulk around the flower beds. Classic rock plays softly on my spy speaker while I hunt and peck on the keyboard. 

What? I see you waving your arm in the air. Yes, you can go to the restroom…no? Oh, yeah, I did say not to expect a post today. Hm. Well, Surprise! 

Geez, now what do you want? Uh huh. Yes. Well actually I never promised a quality post, now did I?*

And you aren’t getting one either: a quality post. You are getting words and paragraphs. Hey, sometimes in life you get what you pay for. At least I’m not spinning around that tablet looking for a tip. I’m not saying I would not welcome some cash if you want to send it, I’m just not asking. I suspect not many of you would look askance at an unexpected windfall. 

I am reminded of a time back in junior high. I found a five dollar bill in the hallway. I took the money to the office. It was probably somebody’s lunch money. All I could think about is how I would feel if I lost my lunch funds. Some of my friends thought me a fool to give up found cash. Some fifty years later I still do not regret my decision. Of course ever-cynical me is pretty sure the lady in the office pocketed the fiver thinking “Hey, free money!”

B This attitude probably explains why my bank account totters on the edge of negative far too often in the days prior to payday. That and Bidenomics. But you knew that.

* read this if you want a quality post.

June 14, 2024

When all else fails

My writer’s block extends to this journal. Here is some music:

Have a great Friday.

I wouldn’t get my hopes up for a Saturday post.

June 13, 2024

Do not believe your lying eyes

The press propaganda arm of the Democratic Party wants you to believe all is well with the economy. They shout to heaven that inflation was only 3% last month and that is good because it could have been higher. What it really means is that figurative dollar on your debit card bought you 3% less than it did last month. 

Me? I bought gas and groceries. Don’t try to tell me everything is rosey and all we need is a little more Bidenomics to make everything glorious. I doubt you are that dumb either. 

The bottom line is everything is up 20-30% since Biden took office. Don’t believe the talking heads when they try to convince you that our senile chief executive is doing a great job. Look at that receipt from the grocery store and make an informed decision come November.

June 12, 2024


I was set to write a screed about one Biden guilty of gun charges while another bumbles through a “we need more gun control laws” speech on the same day.  I won’t. You can find just such an editorial all over the web, 

Instead, let’s just listen to more music. 

This is quite possibly one of the saddest songs ever penned:

June 11, 2024

Ain't gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lie

If you stopped by for meaningful content today you are out of luck.

Listen to some old rock music instead.

June 10, 2024

If this is the best I can do on a Monday it will be a long week

June 2024

Today it is expected to be chilly for a Monday in June. I’m not worried, regular summer heat is forecasted to arrive my mid-week along with lots of sun. 

The day lilies along my patio sure do not mind the weather. I snapped this picture yesterday while I was relaxing with a nice cigar on the patio. 

We had a good weekend, I cooked up a birthday dinner for the wife Saturday. Sunday we went to have a steak at Texas Roadhouse. We used a gift certificate sent by the oldest boy for his mom’s birthday. 

Work entered my head early this morning and I couldn’t get back to sleep. So here I am typing boring drivel for you in order to avoid firing up the laptop at 5:30 am. The good thing is I have a weekly afternoon meeting with my boss on Monday afternoon, so I will not have to fight the urge to fall asleep at my desk this afternoon!

June 9, 2024


Sixteen year-old William Ayres was sure he could be one of the greatest gunfighters of all time. He longed to see his name and exploits written about in the dime novels. Just what he would do to become famous, he was not sure, but he knew it involved being good with a gun. He practiced every day with his old Navy Colt, drawing and dry firing until he was sure he just might be the fastest man alive with a gun. All he needed was cartridges and opportunity to prove himself.  

Every day William went into the woods outside of Jefferson and practiced. He would draw and pull the trigger in one smooth motion. He mimed firing until he could save up for ammunition. William was worried about his nickname. Billy the Kid was taken. He thought he would go by Six Gun Bill or maybe the Jefferson Kid.  Ayres was reluctant to refer to himself as “Kid”.  He was slight and small of build. His features were boyish and a bit feminine. His gun was manly enough he thought.

Ayres took a job far beneath his self-worth when he agreed to drive some hogs to the railroad chute on the west side of Jefferson. His handful of greenbacks allowed him to buy a box of shells. He was amazed when he finally got to fire his revolver that he could not hit his target. He learned from the dime novels that all of the great gunfighters could hit an ace on a playing card with their six-shooter as easily as pointing a finger. He tacked a playing card to the trunk of a slim maple tree and convinced himself he just barely missed and he was fast enough to fire twice while his opponent was still drawing his gun from the leather holster. Finally, William Ayres hit the trunk of the maple right above the playing card and the Jefferson Kid knew he was ready to take on the wild wooly west.

He didn’t want to ruin a playing card anyway, he convinced himself. William had never played poker, but he knew the rules and was sure he would be good at it. There was no reason to ruin a deck of cards, he decided. After a while he became sure he missed the card on purpose. William stood and emptied the gun quickly into the trunk beside the other bullet from a distance of about eight inches. He smiled smugly. It felt good. That’s the way a true gunfighter can shoot.

The next morning William walked into the bank, pointed his gun, and robbed the teller of just over forty-five dollars. Ayres stole a horse and rode rapidly out of town. He first headed east then circled back to the west, sure he outsmarted any Sheriff’s posse. The self-minted Jefferson Kid was convinced he was now on the road to fame and fortune.

Two weeks later The Jefferson Kid spent the last of his coins to pay a fare to cross the Mississippi River into St. Louis. He was broke, tired, and humiliated. Bad luck started when he lost almost twenty-five dollars somehow. It must have fallen from his pocket buying supplies. Then, who knew it cost so much to stay in hotels and eat in dining rooms and boarding houses? The last place he stayed wanted a dollar to put up his horse in the livery barn for the night. Then his horse threw a shoe and he had to pay a blacksmith to replace it.

William rolled a drunk for a crumpled banknote and  pocket change. He made a dry camp next to the Missouri River in St. Charles, shivering in his blankets in the damp air. That evening The Kid entered a poker game in a riverfront dive and lost all of his cash in just a few minutes. He accused the winner of the hand of cheating. “You want to take that back, boy?” asked the man in the nice black suit, his eyes narrowed in anger. “I will allow you spoke in haste, being so young and all.”

William greedily eyed the modest pot in the center of the table. “I ain’t no boy, I am the Jefferson Kid, also known as Six Gun Bill, and I don’t take kindly to cheaters,” William spoke, his voice cracking just a little. Two players on either side of the poker table scooted away out of the line of fire. The tall man in the suit stood up. William palmed his gun as he half-rose from his chair. He felt the slug hit his gut before he had his gun half out of the leather.  He fell sideways from his chair, the shock and pain beyond anything he ever imagined. Tears filled his eyes as he moaned in agony. His stomach felt like it was on fire.

“Six Gun Bill? More like Slow Gun Bill,” quipped the tall man. The laughter hurt the kid almost as much as the bullet lodged in his abdomen.  The tall stranger gathered up the pot and walked calmly out of the tavern. William Jefferson died three days later, crying for his mother, in intense pain. He was buried in an unmarked grave.


Fifty years later, Jacob Wyatt winched the trunk of a big maple tree onto the slide and adjusted the saw blade. He began to cut long boards from the heartwood. He heard a strange metallic sound on the previous cut. He leaned over the trunk to watch the blade as he pushed the log forward again. The big blade hit a chunk of lead from several bullets buried deep in the heart of the tree. The log kicked back suddenly and with force, striking Jacob in the head. He fell back, the saw blade screaming into the afternoon. A bullet from the gun of the Jefferson Kid had finally killed a man.

June 8, 2024

You'll find a woman, yeah, and you'll find love

 The morning sky is hues of pink and lavender as the rising sun pushes back the darkness. It is a chilly start to this Saturday. Today marks the wife’s redacted birthday. I’m sure it will rain for a bit sometime during the day. It always seems to rain on her birthday. 🎂 

My daughter and her family are coming over for dinner. They are bringing cake,. I’m making my famous lasagne. Kid number 3 has to work and kid number two is in Colorado. The wife is always thrilled to see any of her children and grandchildren. Even if she sees or talks to them nearly every day. 

A squirrel and a rabbit are both munching grass and weeds in the front yard, each seemingly unaware of the other. I’ve no doubt the chipmunk is eyeing both skeptically from the shelter of the flower bed. It is a veritable rodent zoo around here. 

Enjoy your Saturday.

June 7, 2024

Bob Dylan told us times were a changing

We went to a funeral yesterday. It was for a good friend’s mother. She was in her eighties. Still , it is difficult to lose a loved one.

I wore a suit and tie. I was the only one there dressed in a suit, except the employees of the funeral home. The wife wore a dress. Some people had on ties, a few wore coats. Most were dressed in decent clothing. I do not expect anyone to go buy new clothes just to go to a funeral. 

I do think the guy who showed up in filthy shorts and a dirty T-shirt wearing a baseball cap to be not only inappropriately dressed, but disrespectful. I guess I’m just an old “Get off my lawn” guy, but it is too much to ask that you not look like you just finished mowing the lawn before you head to the funeral home?

June 6, 2024

June 6

"The most difficult and complicated operation ever to take place" 
The above quote is by Winston Churchill.


Joseph Stalin said 
"The history of war does not know of an undertaking comparable to it for breadth of conception, grandeur of scale, and mastery of execution."

June 6, 1944. Not many under the age of 40, or maybe even 60, know the importance of this date. D-Day. The assault on Normandy, an operation that has never been equaled in the anals of history. The landing location was kept a secret, the Hun was stunned to the very core. Yet it was a close thing. Read the fine history of D-Day by Stephen Ambrose. Did you think Private Ryan was graphic? Read the words of the men at Utah, Gold, Juno, and Omaha beaches.

Nearly 175,000 Canadians, British, and Americans landed on D-day, at a cost of more than 10,000 casualties. We do not know for sure. It was only after several days of fighting that role calls were made, paperwork completed. Over 6,600 Americans were casualties, over 2,000 of those were on Omaha Beach and 2,500 were from the Airborne troops. These men sacrificed to save the world from the likes of Hitler. They freed Europe and saved France from its own traitorous Vichy Government. 

"As the first men jumped, they crumpled and flopped into the water. Then order was lost. It seemed to the men that the only way to get ashore was to dive head first in and swim clear of the fire that was striking the boats. But, as they hit the water, their heavy equipment dragged them down and soon they were struggling to keep afloat. Some were hit in the water and wounded. Some drowned then and there... But some moved safely through the bullet fire to the sand and then, finding they could not hold there, went back in to the water and used it as cover, only their heads sticking out. Those who survived kept moving with the tide, sheltering at times behind underwater obstacles and in this way they finally made their landings.

Within ten minutes of the ramps being lowered, Company A had become inert, leaderless and almost incapable of action. Every officer and Sergeant had been killed or wounded... It had become a struggle for survival and rescue. The men in the water pushed wounded men ashore, and those who had reached the sands crawled back into the water pulling others to land to save them from drowning, in many cases only to see the rescued men wounded again or to be hit themselves. Within twenty minutes of striking the beach Company A had ceased to be an assault company and had become a forlorn little rescue party bent upon survival and the saving of lives." 

Official Unit Report, Company A, 116th Infantry, 29th Division. 

On the backs of these men and the rest of the "Greatest Generation" that we owe our freedom today. Thank God for them in your payers tonight.

June 5, 2024

Goose, gander, politics

You know Hillary and her campaign were fined for actually using campaign money to cover up the Steele dossier. They hid the expense as “legal fees”. Her campaign headquarters were in New York. 

Since this is almost precisely what the New York DA went after Trump for, will we see indictments against Clinton in the coming days? Or was the Trump prosecution purely political?

Next up, should we discuss when Obama paid off his racist preacher Jeremiah Wright to get him to keep quiet until after the election because every time Wright opened his mouth Obama’s poll numbers dipped? I think that is the definition of hush money.

Yeah, yeah, Orange Man bad. 

June 4, 2024

Boo Hoo

 I mentioned a short while back I was having pain in my “good “ foot. Last night  I was making onion rings and I stepped up on a chair to fetch my mandolin from high in the cabinet. Suddenly, I felt a pop and had an excruciating pain in my foot and ankle. I limped around the kitchen preparing supper. After dinner the pain did not subside. I swallowed couple of Advil before bed.

By bedtime my foot was slightly swollen, and still hurt. I found an old ankle brace and strapped it on. Around three in the morning the pain woke me up. I fought it awhile, then moved into the office recliner so I could elevate the limb.

You may remember a few years ago stress fractures from my high arches turned into a significant break in my right foot that required surgery to repair. Yeah, my left foot feels like that this morning. Maybe I pulled something. Maybe it is plantar fasciitis. Maybe it is my hypochondria. Maybe I’ll call the doctor. 

I don’t have time for this right now. The yard needs mowed. The girls have swim meets and dance recitals. We have a 40th anniversary trip coming up. I need to be fully mobile. 

I know, I  need some bread and cheese to go with my whine. There are people with real medical issues out there. Here I am crying about a sore foot. 

June 3, 2024

Feeling 80(s)


I once saw these guys in concert. They opened for the GoGos

June 2, 2024

Judging by the cover

Sitting at the mall yesterday and four women walked by. It was clearly three sisters and the mom. All the sisters were in their forties or fifties. Based on their demeanor, attitude, frowny faces, and haircut, I venture every one of them was named Karen. 

I’m just sayin’.

June 1, 2024

Discounts and free stuff for you

I know you have been dying to read my novel Suburban Moon. Here is what I am going to do to make that happen. Starting today, the kindle version will be a mere $1.99. You can’t hardly even get a Snickers bar for that price, and my book will last a lot longer than a mouthful of peanuts, nougat, and chocolate.

I didn’t say it was as good as a Snickers bar, I said it will take you longer to consume. 

You can even get a FREE kindle reader for your tablet or computer if you need one. How is that for a deal?

Hey, if you take advantage of this deal, or maybe already read the piece o’ crap book, leave me an honest review over there at Amazon, okay?

What? You want further incentive? Here is a music video. 

There you go.

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