Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Unintentional Fake News

I was reading the Google news feed on my phone this morning and a story about the 30-50 pro assault gun meme popped up.  Apparently a fellow from the South who owns some property asked how was he supposed to shoot 30 -50 feral hogs that run into his yard in 3 to 5 minutes without an assault weapon.  He was inferring the danger to his children.  The article from "Slate" went on to agree he had a point.

Now this is where I do the predictable thing and talk about how his argument is stupid, great, or something in between.  No, I won't do that.  It is the background of this story handed to us as factually based I have a problem with.

Once the purpose of the article was solidly in place, a brief history of feral hogs unfolded, giving us their past and their present and the doom and gloom if their populations are not put in check.

One claim in particular caused me to check its accuracy.  "Now, 48 states have reported the animals’ presence..........." 

I had not heard of any feral hog sightings in Maine, and having actually followed the rise of the feral hog problem in previous years, I understood the problem to be one mostly located in the Sun Belt and not up in the frozen outback states nestled next to Canada.

 I jumped all over it and googled faster than you could say "Google It".  The first article that popped up was from a local paper, "The Portland Press Herald".  They claimed Maine has no feral hog issue as there are no feral hogs that have encroached into Maine. According to the article feral hogs only inhabit 39 states.

Fast forward now to my second Google.  An article in the "Central Maine Sentinel" told the story of a Russian boar killed in Somerset County in the yard of a very surprised farmer.  Officials were sure it was not born in Maine and it did not travel this far from another state.  It was most likely one that had escaped a state licensed game preserve.

So what is my conclusion in all this?  The people who write and deliver the news need to be especially careful now days to frame their stories in a way that does not give the wrong impressions.  In other words, report the facts that are not up for interpretation.  And if the facts are up for interpretation, say that.

Fake news is fake news even when it is unintentional.

Later ..............................................

Monday, August 05, 2019

Smoking Roaches Monday - Maggie and Sammie

Its been a beautiful morning here on Sam Page Road.  Sun's out, 60 degrees or so and the humidity feels almost non-existent.  I took my dynamic duo, Maggie and Sammie, for some leg stretching over to Mary's Woods across from my place.  Sammie is on loan from my daughter and her SO while they are off gallivanting who knows where.  I don't remember gallivanting so much as they are at their age.  But that is to be expected.  There is a lot I don't remember from 35 years ago.

Once safely cross Sam Page Road, I released both.  Maggie took off into the pucker and Sammie waited patiently for me to throw the Chuckit.  When I Chuckit, Sammie will fetch it at full tilt boogie until he can't run anymore.  His chest heaving hard, he finally collapses at my feet.  The ball from the last Chuckit firmly clamped between intimidating teeth that refuse release until , well, its been 30 minutes since we came back, and that damn ball is still in his mouth. A single minded mutt for sure. He loves his Chuckit.

Like me, Maggie does not understand the concept of Chuckit.  She watches Sammie run himself to exhaustion chasing a stupid ball.

"What a brain dead dog he is", she mutters to herself.  Maggie knows real fun.  She runs and runs, just to run until her eyes cross and her tongue is hanging out with her dog spit tricklin hard off the tip.

Sammie looks at her and thinks, "What a dumb mutt.  She runs and runs and gets nothin done.  Me, I at least bring the ball back every time, never fail, you can depend on me yes-sir-ree-Bob's your uncle."

Anyway, have a great Monday.  Just don't burn your fingers.



Sunday, August 04, 2019

The Right is to Blame

Two mass shootings in less than 24 hours.  Think about that for moment. ....................

According to Mother Jones, there have been 113 mass shootings or killing sprees in the States since 1982.  We can now add another two incidents and 29 more fatalities to the 1035 people killed since the early 1980s.

Some folks may try to minimize the effect of 1064 people killed in 37 years as a price of a free and armed society.  .......... Bullshit.    Others might counter that mass killings only happen a few times a year.  Again Bullshit.

The pace of mass shooting incidents has definitely picked up since 2016. In the 34 years prior to 2016, 78 incidents left 749 people dead.  That is about 2.3 incidents a year.  Since 2016 we have had 37 incidents with 325 people dead.  That works out to in an almost 4 year period, about 9.2 incidents a year.  And the pace is actually higher in the last two years.

What is the one common denominator that might explain this outrageous increase in mass shootings over the last four years?  I would conclude it was the poisonous political and social atmosphere Donald Trump pumped up to a boil when he disrespected the country with his presence.

And instead of helping to rein in this pitiful excuse for a national leader, his party, the GOP, sit on their hands, look down at their feet, or actually root this asshole on.  And the Right claims to know a patriot when they see one.  They haven't had that ability since the Rich took over the party in the late 1800s.

Later ...................................


Friday, August 02, 2019

Comrade Meetch and Vlad's Bitch


When Moscow Mitch  blocked the two recent election bills, the Donald came to his defense, telling reporters last Tuesday (7/30/19), 

“Mitch McConnell is a man that knows less about Russia and Russian influence than even Donald Trump. And I know nothing!”

Again Trump lays a whopper on us and we don't even blink.  Not anymore anyway.  It is impossible for anyone to "know less" about anything than Donald, I'm Vlad's Bitch, Trump.  I believe the man takes pride on how empty his cranial void is.  Nobody is this stupid unless its on purpose.  Trump had to and continues to work overtime on keeping his stupidity sharp and ready for any issue he might be needed to not have a clue about.

And it appears the GOP proletariat has embraced the clueless-ness and the stupidity of their chosen leader.  Together they wallow in ever deepening pools of nincompoopery.  They have been offered life jackets, yet they still refuse.  They would rather tread water waiting to drown than accept the help of those awful Socialist loving Democrats.  

A sign of the GOP's intractable course of stupidity, is their record of marketing that stupidity through retail sales of racist hats and Russian Love tee shirts. Their their drooling minions eat it up.

No better example of the brain dead nature of the Right is the "I'd rather be Russian than a Democrat" tee shirts and the uninformed reasoning of the two guys made famous when they were photographed  wearing the Tees at a Trump rally.

Of the shirts, one of the two, Tim Alicie said,

"We're not traitors by any means. And we're not Russian spies or cult leaders, ....."


"........ We've been working with Russia with the [International] Space Station, and doing a lot of things with Russia, not just that," Alicie added that critics of the Russia shirts "need to be a lot better informed."


Now there's some irony for ya.

Later ...............................................

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Deaf Jesuits - Revisited


The Deaf Jesuits - Revisited
For Turn Back The Clock Tuesdays
First posted - 11/25/05

I was involved in an interesting discussion the other day. Apparently I have been missing out on the evolution of Christian Music. No longer is it a musical backwater. Several billions of dollars are spent each year on every genre. There's everything from Bible thumping Metal to Country without the crying in my beer, my dog died and she's a two bit whore lyrics. Instead, the lyrics bring the Lord's message to us through music more hip to the times. The tunes that were sure to put us to sleep before we warmed the pews on Sunday are dead in the water. Never to be resurrected.

Anyway, some fellow who killed his girlfriend or wife recently had just finished listening to some Christian Metal band when he decided to do the deed. Now that's interesting. I would like to think this guy was too close to the edge to begin with. Primed and loaded. What he listened to was not relevant.

The person I was discussing this with had a different idea. He wondered if the recent religious pop was but a sign Satan had indeed breached the Christian wall. He wondered what the tunes sounded like played backwards. He was sure too much Christian indoctrination had made this guy go homicidal. He wondered if that much redemption, resurrection, we are all sinners destined for the pit and other holier than thou messaging is very healthy to the spiritual side of ourselves. He went on about how it seems the religiously endowed are precariously balanced on the tipping point between sanity and insanity and anything could push them over the edge.

I said, "Well Duh! The tipping point is there for all of us. Most of us are just lucky enough to miss finding it.  If it ain't music, it's a dog that talks to us, aliens in our head or the color green.  That guy was working hard to go crazy anyway.  His music just reinforced the urge. But he was crazy first and foremost."

We ended our conversation sure the other was clueless and went our way.

Later I checked into the Christian music phenomenon and noticed something odd. It appears the most growth in any religion has been in the Evangelical side of Christianity. Baptists ( the dancing kind), Fundamentalists, Methodists, and of course those wacky anti Catholics, the Episcopalians are all hip to the new wave Jesus save me Alternative music. Noticed by their absence was the lack of any attempt to brighten up the music of Catholics. Are Catholics just too stuffy and rigid to embrace the new rage? Or is it just that the Pope has not decreed a decree allowing all good Catholics the right to listen to previously sinful beats.

Let's face it, some music is hedonistic and evokes thoughts that run counter to keeping everything in it's place and safe from self gratification. All no-nos to the boys in Rome. But just think how much ground the Pope would re-gain if he dumped the stale and dusty hymnals of old for a newer and hipper set of tunes to draw em back into the Lord's fold.

I think Catholics need to jump on board with some new twists on admittedly some of the worst church music ever devised by Man. I even have some catchy band names to get em started.

~The Flagellating Monks - probably work best as a quartet. The lead singer can whip himself into a frenzy as he croons. A papal nod in the direction of the S & M crowd. After all, we's all God's chilluns.

~ Archie Bishop and the Pope Pushers - Focus on light pop with an emphasis on the show. Lyrics don't have to be audible, just sound inspiring and heartfelt. Typical audience - the Blue hair set.

~ Immaculate Conception - This trio will astound all who come to hear them. With no instruments or singing, music will just happen.

~ The Deaf Jesuits - The hook for this group is signing the lyrics. In order to appreciate them, you have to be able to sign along.

~ Hail Mary and the Mothers of God - Basic run of the mill light pop, pre-teen messaging. Emphasis on keeping your hands off yourself.

~ The Rhythm Methods - A capella group for the mature Catholic. This group proves you don't need instruments to make music.

~The Celibates - An edgier sound from this group proves a winner with the Pope and his crew. Probably won't catch on with the mainstream Catholic however. Rated PGB-15 ( Parental Guidance for Boys under 15)

~The Nattering Nun - Sister Delmonica wails her gold record hits, "Don't touch yourself there" and "Stick your hand out, I want to Smack it". She keeps the faith, keeps the message simple, but most of all she keeps it clean and entertaining.

~Father Blues and the Soul Redemption - Blues band doing Jelly Roll Morton covers with only most of the lyrics changed. Hard hittin guitar riffs with a brass section of Dominican monks second to none.

~Jesus, Mary and Joseph - A trio who owe much of their style and delivery to the folk group from the 50s and 60s with almost the same name. Real Hootenanny delivery.  Joseph played by transgender Sister Dan.

~Christ on a Crutch - A group whose goal is to reach the physically and mentally challenged. Their hit, "Your legs may be missing, but your heart belongs to God" will bring a tear to almost any eye.

~Confession - A techno remix group who will only admit who they ripped their latest tune off of from behind the closed curtain. Their niche tunes evoke deja vu all over again.

--------------------------------------------

I have just re-read this after some small tuck and stitch done on it.  I don't care if it is good or bad, funny or not funny.  I will say that if I had written this in some countries say like Iran for instance, I would probably be sitting in some jail cooling my heels because I had offended some asshole's notion of what Allah would be offended by.  And regardless of  the poor choice we put in charge here in the US, I can still write stuff like this and not fear any repercussions from the government.  Its called counting blessings and no matter what else, we still have more than most.

Keep it "tween the ditches ...............................................

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Dominion of Vegetables


“They want to create a race of soulless creatures on this planet.”

“They” are the supporters of the Luciferian plot to change Human DNA by making us eat meatless hamburgers at our favorite fast food joint.  The man speaking in his radio voice from God is none other than the good Rightwinged Reverend Rick Wiles of the Armageddon Gonna Ged Us Church and owner of the End Times Bistro, where the meat is red and made by God’s own hand.

Rick, it appears, is convinced Satan has incorporated and assimilated cooperative minions within the food industries to move Humanity away from eating God’s creatures and toss them to the evil mercies of the Dominion of Vegetables, which we all know is owned and operated by Lucifer himself.

I say Rick might just have latched onto something big here.  Something trying to fly below our radar.  But now that Rick has pushed this devilish plan to destroy our souls out into the light of day, we have no excuse to ignore it any longer. The ramifications of its potential success are just too dire for the Human Race.

It’s about our survival people! 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Smokin Roaches Monday - Honest Memories

"Two minds processed through chemical blenders attempt to find clarity or even vague translucence to their weak grip on whatever reality is left after dropping three hits of Sunshine acid each."

That was the first line I wrote today for my Smokin Roaches  Monday post for July 29.  I had planned to recount some dumbass drug moment from my past.  But 300 or so words into it, I stopped and read what I had written.  It was garbage.  Not worth the effort to post and maybe not even worthy of being the subject of  a conversation.  Yet here we are.

I constantly have to remind myself as the years stack up, that nothing but reruns of fond memories will often cloud the reality of what comprised my past.  No better example exists than my life under the influence of the many substances I dabbled in.

During the period I was deeply involved in substance abuse, I was sure I was having the time of my life.  What a wonderful world this was to stagger through and hardly remember much of.  Yeah, those were surely good times.  Times not to be forgotten nor remembered either.

What I do remember is performing a self appraisal the summer of 1972 just before sayin fuck this shit and hitch hiking home to Maine to get away from the lifestyle and the idiots I shared it with.  I was into hitting up pharmaceutical Methedrine and back alley Heroin.  I had become weary of the constant drag the drugs had on me and my life.  Every day was an evil cycle of looking for drugs, scoring drugs, doing drugs and coming down off drugs.

I have some regrets in my life.  My time with hard drugs is not one of them.  I did what I did and regretting it now is just wasting some of the time I am running out of.  All I try to do now is remember to not put on my rose colored glasses so often and remember my past with some balance and some honesty.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ..............................................................

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Secret Progeny


Sometimes, while watching a movie or reading a book, I will stop a moment and wonder how close to reality is this story of fiction I am currently enjoying?  While some tales seem to knock out any hint of being realistic, other stories make you wonder if this could happen in real life.

Well, I have proof now that a good piece of fiction can envision the future in uncanny ways.

I point you to the image in the upper right.  Just what are the odds that twin poster boy Aryan assholes, Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, could become world leaders at the same time?  And that they came with similar messages and identical monkey cage antics?  

The answer is, there are no coincidences.  Their appearance on the world stage was foretold in the novel, "The Boys from Brazil", by Ira Levin.  It was made into a movie two years later that starred Laurence Olivier and Gregory Peck.  

"The Boys From Brazil" was about a Nazi hunter (Olivier) chasing down the notorious Dr. Josef Mengele, well played by Gregory Peck.  Apparently Mengele had, through in vitro fertilization, impregnated 12 women with eggs containing Hilter's sperm.  And in his sick mind, he did what he could to make sure their lives followed exactly Hitler's childhood years.  It was a good movie.  Not great, but I would watch it again.

I believe we are looking at two of the twelve secret progeny of Hitler.  Don't let their goofy bullshit fool you.  These two are dangerous with a big D.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ..........................................................

Friday, July 26, 2019

Moscow Mitch


 Moscow Mitch McConnell blocked Democrat sponsored election meddling bills yesterday.  His claimed partisan politics by Democrats rings hollow given that he had been key to lifting sanctions on a Russian mafia/business oligarch so he could get a piece of the $200 million aluminum plant to be constructed in his home state of Kentucky.

Folks may wonder why I hate the Right so much.  The over abundance of sleaze bags like Moscow Mitch found in the GOP is a good place to start.  Sure, the Democrats have their share, but, hands down, no one can do sleaze like a Republican can. 

Later ....................................................

Monday, July 22, 2019

Smokin Roaches Monday - Mon, July 22, 2019

When I was an unmarried man of around 22, livin and partying paycheck to paycheck, I decided I would save my roaches and only smoke them on Mondays.  Mondays were the suckiest day of the week and roaches were the suckiest part of a joint.  Maybe dealing with the both of them at the same time made some kind of early 1970s sense.

It was not difficult to justify such actions.  My only responsibilities, showing up at work on time or close and paying my share of the rent, groceries and power.  The rest of my time and energy was generally spent on useless mind numbing endeavors satisfying my self indulgent urges.  Back in the day, no one could numb a mind like I could.

Along came the 1980s.  I woke up one morning and I was a married homeowner with a little shitwiggle scooting around on her bum, pulling cat hair and beating the dog.  Life conspired against me and forced my nose to the grindstone.  Just like that, a fine tradition a decade old disappeared faster than a nickel bag at a keg party, anywhere USA.

It appears I once again have few if any real responsibilities. I can reinstate Roach Monday.  Unless there are any objections, I will officially note that "Smokin Roaches Mondays are now back in business.

Don't burn your fingers ...................................................

Anaxyrus americanus

Ran into this little guy on the trail across Sam Page in Mary's woods this morning.  He or she hopped into my leg as Maggie ran by us hurrying to whatever smell came next to the stupid canine.  So, I had my Kodak moment for the day without looking for one.  I like it when the image of the day just appears without any thought or planning on my part.

According to The Frog Lady, This little guy or gal is an American Toad, the only species of toad we have here in Maine.  I had one that lived in my basement and garage for over a decade.  He got so big, he could only manage a couple of inches when he hopped.  Eventually he could not make it up the three steps to the garage and I found him all shriveled up at the end of a winter.  Miss that little guy.

It would seem I only have a talent for snapping pictures of critters or plants too slow or stupid to beat feet when I am near.  I really like plants, they sit still for the most part.

So, its the slow, numb, and dumb I am able to chronicle.  And  and that's just fine. 

Remember, Life may be better under a Sunsetter

On the other hand, Life is worse in a hearse.



Tuesday, July 16, 2019

At the Dentist

I did not get a cavity until I was in college.  And when I went to the dentist, he was awed by the fact it was a baby tooth with the cavity.  I still had several I had not lost yet.  Last one fell out when I was in my mid twenties.

So, knowing I had tough teeth, I spent these many years testing them with neglect, tortuous use, and generally poor stewardship.

In recent months I began a dental restoration project.  On a bimonthly schedule, each visit brings me closer to the teeth I used to know but are now but flitting memories. Nothing can be done to bring back that glittering Hollywood smile I had at some brief moment in time back when I was a punk.  Dr Sloan assures me though, another solid set of chompers is more than possible.

The punishment I have put my molars and company through the years has been sad.  But all of them hung in there and gave me very little trouble but for a crack here or there, a chip after too many bottle openings, manic ice chewing, and some wear due to night time teeth grinding.  Add in the spotty dental hygiene and the few and far between Dental visits, and its a wonder they are not all junk.

Another one of the unsung and unnoticed pluses in my life, my great teeth were taken for granted.  And while I have few regrets, the mistreatment of my dental buddies is certainly one of them.

Later ........................................

The Billy Graham Rule


Another Evangelical running for office has invoked "the Billy Graham rule".  Robert Foster, a Republican running for governor in Mississippi, has declined a female reporter's suggestion she go for a ride along with him as he campaigns across the state because of a promise to his wife that he would never be alone with another woman.  If the female reporter brings a male escort, he would cheerfully accommodate her.

Vice President Pence invoked the same rule a few years ago.  It was a bogus gesture then, and continues to be again.  Both Pence and this upstart Foster give the impression of piety in front of the flock.  And that is fine and may indeed play well in Mississippi.  But with the morality platform of the Christian Right now flushed down the toilet when they embraced Trump, well, Foster’s token gesture for the media comes off as laughable as anything Trump has done.

Piety it appears is something malleable and fluid when a Right Wing Thumper utilizes it.  They wear it when in public like Joseph wore his Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. 

Keep it ‘tween the ditches ……………………………………..
_________________________

And BTW - I hear the musical "Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat is quite popular among Christians of all shapes.  I wonder though how the "rainbow" motif used in some shows goes over with the stiff backed Old Testament types.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Self Absorption

It is true for me anyway.  I always miss something as soon as it is gone.  Missing, whether god or bad, the pessimistic contrary retro grouch part of me worries that any change in my life, even a temporary pain the ass moment, will be hard to deal with.

My five year old computer has never given me any trouble.  Finally last week, an evil electronic trespasser entered without permission and messed with my stuff.  Well entrenched, they started partying like there was no tomorrow. Pop-up ad festivals combined with arbitrary illogical Malware notifications from outfits I did not know began clogging the gulliwots of my computer.

I had reached the limit of my computing knowledge.  Running defrag operations, rifling helplessly through the help files and unplugging were not going to work this time.  My sorry quiver of band aids,cold compresses, and aspirin let me down.

A specialist was called.  I disconnected the tower and set it on the front porch.  Tteddo came by and picked it up.  Tteddo always set me straight.

As I waited impatiently for my computer, I was reduced to suffer the agony of writing this on my phone.  All the while pissin and moaning about how my Life sucks right now.

Hmm.

Actually, after that first effort to wallow in self pity, I smiled and thought about how I had become that which I ridiculed and laughed at 24/7, a self absorbed American.  Which of course is what I am. At least I know one when I see one.

So, while the computer underwent some serious cleansing, I shifted my self absorption to other modes of self aggrandizement.  No umbrella needed.  I calmed myself with a scotch on the rocks, a couple of pulls of Maine's finest doob and wait for Tteddo to deliver.  Soon it did not not matter.  Nothing did.

Later ...................

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Book of Trump

I thought all we had to worry about on the religion front was some evangelical Christians wanting to anoint Trump as their savior from the clutches of Satan.

But then along comes Miriam Adelson, a billionaire Jewish philanthropist, who wants to add "The Book of Trump" to the Bible.  I assume she would like it added to "The Old Testament", in that the Christians co-opted that book from the Jewish "Tankh".  She and her casino owning husband are all about Jewish this and Jewish that.  They do not understand why the average Jew hates Trump.

Trump has definitely made the Adelsons happy.  He gave Miriam a Presidential Medal of Freedom. And just to add the final cherry, a few weeks later he moved the US embassy in Israel for them and then topped it off by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capitol.  The reasons were standard Trump globity gook.  I suspect the real reason was the Adelsons gave him $25 million for his campaign in 2016.

Miriam's husband is Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire owner of the The Sands casino in Las Vegas.  He and his wife have donated more than any other Republican donor over the last two elections.  They gave Trump $25 million for his campaign ion 2016.

The Adelsons are the perfect owners for Trump.  A match made in Heaven. .......... UH, well, maybe not in Heaven.  Probably some smoky backroom in Vegas.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ......................................................

Cutting the Cord

Pipe Tobacco, a blogging buddy of more than a few years, asked me to write about my experience "cutting the cord".  That is, what has it been like to drop Cable?

I cut our monthly media bill from $230 / month with Direct TV down to just under $100 / month using a mish-mash of streaming channels, Sling TV, Neflix, Amazon Prime, and whatever stuff comes with Roku.  I picked Roku because, well, it was supposed to be easy to hook up.  And indeed, it was.  It seems to work fine as long as we are using Wi-Fi units that are in good working order.  Changing out that last one made the kitchen TV perk right up.

I am now trying to come up with the best antenna system for local TV reception.   I placed puny single TV antennas on each TV.  Depending on location, we pull in from 8 to 19 channels. I want to bring them all under one antenna so they all pull the same.  A central antenna in the attic is what I am going to try next.  But that's for later.

The package we had with Direct TV was somewhere near the top packages offered;  260 plus channels or some nonsense like that.  Problem was, a good 25% of them were infomercial channels and another 10% were religious or political in nature. And the unwanted channels were sprinkled in among the rest so we had to constantly skip all the dead weight to find the channels we wanted.  Cable cutting has definitely made surfing easier. Well, channel surfing being easier might be overstating some.  It is different and I don't have to deal with channels I know offer me nothing.

The learning curves apparently are not over yet even after having been cable free for a month now.

Each streaming service has its own idiosyncrasies that make navigating, saving, and watching enough different that some irritating rules can frustrate in minor ways.  I am still smoothing out my awkward remote use.

Streaming can be sometimes frustrating when right as the climax of that awesome murder mystery goes into full bore shoot everyone dead action, the evil circling the drain icon stops everything as the machine reboots the stream.  That problem led to my first lesson.  Have good Wi-Fi performance or hard wire each TV into the Internet.

Switching between offerings like from Antenna to SlingTV , then over to Netflix uses more remote muscles.  So if you are weak wristed or have a serious problem focusing, maybe cord cutting is not for you.  It does require more effort to use it. But it isn't like going from a riding mower to a push mower.  Still easy peasy, sit on your ass and switch those channels to your heart's delight.

Overall, I am not looking back and missing Cable.

Later ............................................................

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Don't Mow Til the Black Eyed Susans Come

I had written up an elaborate tale filled with near death escapes and being snatched and whisked away to another dimension.  All in an effort to get around the fact that what is really to blame is I had  become less than a slug, lower than a sponge clinging to a reef, but just above a comatose sloth.

It was just three or so days ago I took off the snowblower and attached the mower deck.

I know.  I know.  I have heard it all before.  I have rationalized it all before.  The fact is   I just hate mowing grass.

This year's excuse was,

"I don't want to mow until the Black Eyed Susans come."

My wife just rolled her eyes.  But you know what, I'm gonna go with it.  The picture tells me I'm right.  Besides, I want a new cover photo for FB.


Keep it 'Tween the Ditches ................................................

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Wi-Fi Mania


Okay, I stepped completely out of my comfort zone awhile ago. I entered this "no dimwits allowed" zone knowing I own an overall success rate that is mixed at best, with the big money usually betting  I will be leaving, tail tucked between my legs, sucking up what little machismo I have left and asking, yeah that's right, asking a girl to help me out. 

Girls have always been the bane of my existence.  From the first one who successfully made me eat dirt in grade school to the one I live with now.  All of them over time, have proven they are every bit as much of a man as I am and may actually be carting around a bigger set of maracas.  I learned early to respect their gender.  

Well, this time I was bound and determined to not let setting up a new Wi-Fi gizmo force me into a fetal position while crying for my mama.  It was close.  It was maddening.  It was not something I would want to do again tomorrow.  But I did it.  And I survived.  Best of all, I did not have to plead for help and suffer the look my wife has ever ready to throw in my direction when I act like a helpless male and whine like a little girl boy.

I never guessed Wi-Fi gizmos wore out, but apparently they do.  I did notice the one in my office was not as strong as the one in BA's office.  Seemed its range was only around 20-25 ft.  It really became an issue when we decided to cut the TV cable cord.  The TV in the kitchen was just not streaming steady.  We were getting the circle the drain icon way too often and then the streaming would cease.

I looked up solutions online and found some that needed the disk that came with the Wi-Fi to run a diagnostic.  Like I know where the disk is for this WiFi gadget.  We bought it 10 years ago.  That's two or three computers ago.

Anyway, I lost an hour I will never get back bulling my way to success.  And in my world, an hour lost to a computer snafu is chump change.

Later .................................................................

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Not Everyone Believes the Holocaust Happened


An email sent by the principal of Spanish River High in Florida told a mother who was asking about the curriculum for teaching the Holocaust, 


He followed up later with,  "I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in a position to do so as a school district employee."  He also added that he felt the same about slavery.

He later claimed the emails (note the plural signifying multitiple emails) were hastily written and not very well thought out.  The local school district did not respond to further inquiries by Yahoo.

I am told by the Left that I am supposed to be sensitive and accommodating to those folks of different views on Life.  I am told by many on the Right that facts do not matter.  There are always alternative facts.

Have we gone mad?  Have we decided to collectively take a stupid pill and deny the parts of Reality we do not like?  Sure looks like it to me.

Accommodating stupidity is not something I am at all comfortable with.

Which brings me to my daily whine - Evangelical Christians.  Nobody knows how to warp the truth and re-wrap it into a newer and better Truth than Evangelicals.  Religious zealotry makes it easy.

In an article in The Atlantic titled "The Deepening Crisis in Evangelical Christianity" , Peter Wehner starts off with a quote from Ralph Reed, Faith and Freedom Coalition founder and chairman that reasserts what we heathens are still shaking our heads over. 

"There has never been anyone who has defended us and who has fought for us, who we have loved more than Donald J. Trump. No one!'

The article continues with some of the excuses the Evangelicals are using to cover up and justify their hypocrisy.  Jerry Falwell Jr, a well established Evangelical apple who never even left the Jesus tree said, 

"Conservatives & Christians need to stop electing ‘nice guys.’ They might make great Christian leaders but the United States needs street fighters like @realDonaldTrump at every level of government b/c the liberal fascists Dems are playing for keeps & many Repub leaders are a bunch of wimps!"

Never mind that his reference to Dems as fascists is wrong on so many levels and using commie or socialist would be a better fit, it is obvious that of all the enemies the Evangelicals have to pick from, they consider Liberalism to be the new scourge out to destroy Christianity and allow Satan to rule us as he will.  

Take a moment to consider what that means.  North Korea, Vladimir Putin, Muslim backed terrorism, and even those evil Canadians take a back seat to Liberals in the Christian quiver of things to be afraid of.  Again, Wow!

After a fine synopsis of the current political trend in Evangelical Christianity, Peter Wehner then opens up regarding his own heart felt Christian views and discusses how this trend is doing more damage than good for the Christian movement.  Sacrificing their ethical and moral base for short term political gain will only hurt them in the end.  He reaches out to Karel Coppock, a pastor in the state of Washington who was integral in his "Christian Pilgrimage".  Karel tells him this stunt the Evangelicals are pulling is driving away a whole generation of potential Christians.  

"We’re losing an entire generation. They’re just gone. It’s one of the worst things to happen to the Church."

His concern dovetails nicely with my notion that the leaders in the Christianity network here in the States are shooting themselves in the foot and causing harm to their movement for years to come.  And all because the movement has become a one trick pony concerned not with overall Christian values but centered only on Pro Life and the political power to defeat the evil abortionists.  Their notion that Life is only important while it gestates in the womb really negates all the possibility of good they could be doing by not inserting themselves into the world of politics.  Just look to the Muslim world for how wrong it is for religion and politics to mix.

And people wonder why I hate organized religion.  Organized religion is where taking stupid pills on a weekly basis is not only not frowned upon, but advocated.  

Keep it 'tween the ditches ................................................................


Friday, July 05, 2019

Who Cares About History?

Don't laugh, but I caught a small part of Trump's teleprompted in his best monotone 4th of July speech a few minutes ago.  Now we all know the Donald is not a student of history.  And I guess it was too much to expect that he had at least one history buff on his staff of idiots.  Somehow missing the final edit was a series of monumental and grade school "oops my bad's" in less than 100 words.

He starts off okay I guess with some jumbled background on the Revolution.  It quickly goes sideways when he tells us the Continental Army took over the airports and they stormed the ramparts of Ft. McHenry and under the rockets red glare, were victorious over the British.

Never mind the "airport" remark.  After all, electricity had been recently discovered.  Could airplanes be far behind? I am sure the speech writers thought is was not only possible but probable.  Who needs to fact check when you are part of the greatest Administration in history?  Right?

Airports aside, the big sticking point I have is this wrong war thing.  Fort McHenry was not built until the late 1790's, and the rocket's red glare Francis Scott Key wrote about as he lounged deckside on the HMS Minden and watched Fort McHenery take a shellacking all happened on September 3, 1814.

Ft. McHenry was the war of 1812, not the Revolution.  It was also a war we did not win.  The British handed us our asses in a hand basket.  Matter of fact, Francis Scott Key witnessed the bombarding from the deck of a British ship that was sailing under a flag of truce to meet with the British for an exchange of prisoners.  The British had already sacked and burned Washington and were enjoying crumpets and tea I assume while laughing at this upstart country who decided they could take on the Wanker Bullies.  At least they went back to England knowing they had been in a fight.

What bothers me the most about our leaders showing such disrespect for our history is that they are supposed to be the smartest of our populace.  The tip of the ice berg so to speak.  Pitiful, just pitiful.

Later .....................................................
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An afterword

Blog Fodder has pointed out that the US did indeed win the War of 1812.  I disagree.  But I will agree that it may be considered a wash.  Life returned basically to where it was before the war.   The successful invasion and then withdrawal of British soldiers is my barometer for deciding this war was lost by the US.  Though I do agree, our ability to stand up again to the British instilled some pride and carried us forward for many years.