Thursday, November 24, 2022

A Twisted Happy Thanksgiving

Everyone looked up when Gramps limped in dragging a large bundle wrapped in black plastic. He dragged it over near the stove, dropped the rope and turned towards the expectant faces focused on him.

“Everyone; this year we feast. ……. Ma, I was able to get through the fence. Got a fat kill this year.”

GranMa got right to work. Signaling her youngest to help her, the two of them lifted the bundle and placed it on the picnic table that now served this clan as their table for every purpose.

“Well Jeb, wouldn’t take much to do better ‘n last year. That pitiful kill didn’t amount to shit once the bones had been picked out. …. Barely a decent bite for each of us.

She pulled a huge knife from the space between table planks and began cutting away the plastic.

Gramps scowled at GranMa and stumbled towards his chair. Settling in with a series of grunts and groans, he reached for his pipe.

“Woman, you know last year weren’t my fault, I was laid up. You sent little Jackie out. He did fine considerin you wouldn’t even give him a knife.”

“Fool kid woulda lost it and we only have three left. He did alright I guess. But that squirrel was kinda scrawny.”

Jackie looked up at Grandma with vacant eyes.

“Yeah Grandma, I kilt that squirrel with a rock…knocked him right out of that tree.”

GranMa did not hear Jackie. She was intent on unwrapping the fat kill Gramps was bragging about. She had cut through the line and wrap. She gasped as she peeled back the plastic. Stepping back quickly she brought her hand to her mouth.

“What’s the matter GranMa? What did Gramps bring us for Thanksgiving?”

GranMa shifted her eyes toward Gramps.

“You say you got through the fence? What fence? Not the one around the Big House?”

Gramps had by this time found his tobacco, stuffed it in his pipe and was creating quite a cloud around himself.

Yep. That would be the fence I got through alright. He pointed his pipe at the creature spread out on the picnic table.

He walked into me. How could I resist? Look at him with those fat legs. You cook him up right and we eat fine for the next coupla weeks, okay?

GranMa looked back at the critter she was supposed to cook and then back at Gramps.

“You know we could be in for it if they come lookin.”

“They won’t. You know that.”

GranMa looked at Gramps hard, squinted and pointed a crooked finger at him.

“How do you know old man? ,,,,,,, No one’s ever killed one of their kids.”

Happy Turkey Day Everyone! Not sure where this story came from ...... oh yeah. Recently on a TV series called "White Chapel", one of the sleazy characters had cooked a proboscis monkey. Obviously the image and scene stuck with me. Couldn't resist. 

Music today is a nice little ditty by Psychostick/Slipknot - " Give Thanks or Die ". Not your usual music of Thanksgiving. But it is somehow appropriate given the story above.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Bridge

Mark stepped out of Home Room into the noise and confusion of a school hallway between classes. He did not hesitate. He now knew where his first class was. He turned right and merged with the kids heading deeper into John Hanson Junior High's labyrinth of tight hallways connecting cramped classrooms. The old school was busting at the seams lately what with all the new residential construction going on in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Jimmy G and his crew stopped Mark near the boys bathroom next to the gym. Jimmy puffed up his chest and shoved Mark hard. His entourage of Elvis haired bad ass wannabe's tightened their circle around Mark. Their Ban-Lon shirts were seriously tucked into thin belted sharply creased Big Mac work pants that almost, but not quite, touched their perfect high top black Chuck Taylor sneakers. They were the local equivalent of ultra cool. They ruled the halls at John Hansen

"Jack here says you called me a punk. .... Right Jack?"

The cro-magnon buddy towering over Jimmy mumbled, "Uh, that's right Jimmy. He said you were a punk ass greaser."

Jimmy squinted at Mark and smiled. "So, what do you say asshole? Did you call me a punk?"

Mark had had his share of these new kid in school encounters over the last 7 or 8 years. He sighed and looked down at this scrawny excuse of a school yard bully. He could almost write the script for the next day or two in his life. 

Punk gets in the new kid's face and challenges him. New kid considers what to do. Does the punk have back up? If so, it won't matter if the punk is bad ass or not. His crew will have their way. Mark decided to speed the process along.The encounter was going to happen regardless. Sooner was better than later.

"Shit Jimmy, I guess I must have called you a punk ass greaser, if that is what Jack here said."

Jimmy's smile faded and his eyes opened up some. He had not counted on this answer. For a moment he was stuck for something to say.

Mark didn't miss this opportunity to press harder. "So what do we do now Jimmy? Get into a fight? And if so, where? I am the new kid. I don' know shit."

Jimmy hesitated. This moment of intimidation had not gone down as planned. He stepped back and poked a puny finger at Mark. "The Bridge - right after school. Your ass is mine."

Jimmy G and his small band of cronies shuffled away, occasionally turning and throwing dangerous glares in Mark's direction. Mark shrugged and headed to class.

"The Bridge" was found on the 1000 yard path that ran through a small strip of woods separating John Hansen Junior High from Oxon Hill High. It spanned Carey Branch, a small creek that spilled into the Potomac River a couple of miles away near Indian Head. It was also a gathering spot for the derelicts who attended both schools. They would gather, smoke cigarettes, sometimes drink, hassle the girls walking through and pick on whatever boy they felt needed it that day. It was often an unpleasant gauntlet for any student outside their clique.

Mark was one such student who found it unpleasant. But he used the path because otherwise walking home the long way would add 15 minutes to his journey. So far, all he had suffered while passing the bridge were some dirty looks, some smirks and a few "Hey New Kid, you suck dicks". Mark also used the bridge because he had learned that to walk in fear would only make his time here in Oxon Hill more difficult. Experience taught him that standing up and taking what came was the fastest way for any intimidation or bullying to stop. It had been his experience bullies did not long pick on people who resisted. Today was to be the day the bullies decided to mess with him. Mark was actually surprised it had taken them so long to tag him for attention. The new school year was in its 3rd week.

Mark was not immune to fear. He was anxious and uptight as he walked through the ball fields to the path that led to the bridge. His palms began to sweat the closer he came to Bridge. He accepted he might take a beating of some kind and was determined to get  it over with. His only problem was how to respond to Jimmy G's assaults. Jimmy was a true runt. Not a dwarf maybe. But if he didn't grow anymore, he would become one. Mark in all his five foot-eight grandeur, towered over jimmy G by 12" at least.

Still undecided about what to do as he came up to the Bridge, he needn't have worried. The decision was made for him. Jimmy broke out of the gaggle of Greasers standing around smoking cigarettes. Jimmy came fast, only giving Mark a second to set his feet. He smacked Mark in the mouth. The appropriate "Whoa's" and "You get him Jimmy" comments rose from the gaggle as they began to encircle the pair.

Jimmy had miscalculated. His blow barely moved Mark's face. Mark looked down at Jimmy. Instead of hitting him, he shoved Jimmy hard enough to knock him off his feet. The Gaggle went quiet and their circle tightened.

"I don't want to fight Jimmy. Fighting is stupid."

Jimmy stood up. "So you are calling me stupid, huh punk?"

Mark looked around. He noticed some bigger kids wearing the same Ban Lon shirt, Big Mac pants outfits hovering over the inner ring of Jimmy's friends. He assumed they were early departing high school kids who also used the Bridge as a go to hangout. They looked mean and ready to tear Mark apart. One of them shouldered his way through the younger punks and faced Mark.

"Jimmy's my brother asshole. He's a pain in my ass, but I won't let anyone hurt him." He dropped his head to Mark's level. "Got it  asshole?"

Mark did not respond. He knew that with all his previous experience as the "New Kid", this one was turning out to be nothing like he envisioned. For the first time, he was scared; really scared. There were a lot of kids sporting hair grease and Chuck Taylors here. They looked ready to live up to their reputations.

Jimmy's big brother moved in closer and again dropped his head close to Mark's ear.

"Look," he whispered, "let Jimmy rough you up some. You rough him up some. Nobody gets hurt after. Okay?"

Mark nodded his head, unsure that Jimmy's brother had that kind of pull over his salivating buddies.

Jimmy was wiping his hands on the dirty rear pockets of his previously perfect Big Mac pants. He once again charged Mark and in a flurry of fist flinging, managed to bloody Mark's nose. Jimmy retreated and grinned. "Whataya think now asshole? You gonna call me a punk again?"

Mark grinned also. The intimidating build up to this fight turning out to be such a minor altercation made him sigh with relief inside while outside he stood tall and did not cower.  "No Jimmy, I won't ever call you a punk again. ...... Now are we done?"

Mark started to walk through the crowd of Blocks. Someone blindsided him with a fist to his ear, knocking him down. Mark jumped up and spun around to see who had thrown the punch. Too many impassive faces, no one looked guilty; everyone looked guilty. Mark stood there a moment glaring at all of them and slowly backed the rest of the way out of the ring.

Life got easier for Mark after that. He had stood his ground and that had gotten him some respect. But what really turned it for Mark was when he tried out for the basketball team and was selected to play. The blocks didn't mess with the jocks as a rule. 

During B-Ball season, Mark was offered a membership of sorts in their crew. The only thing was he had to change clothes. They were not tolerant of the button down collar, wee-juns with tassles look. Mark bought a few Ban-Lon shirts and was already using Chuck Taylors, but he drew the line at wearing Big Macs. He always thought the huge pants legs looked stupid with spindly kid legs sticking out of them.


This fight did happen and I tried to describe it as accurately as I could. All the rest was created to try and make what was but one of a million stories of bullies a little more interesting. The next year when we moved back to Bethesda, I had to deal with two more bullies, one of whom really hurt me. The other, well, he never messed with me again. But that is yet another story to tell.

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


For today musical interlude, I picked "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam. I did not know it, but they wrote this tune in response to an incident at a school I think in 1991. A bullied student stood in front of his class and shot himself in the head. 

Yes, no encounter with bullying in my experience made me feel this desperate. And no, I don't think I could know or comment on how desperate someone can become after incessant bullying. I do know and have experienced bullying in my life. I am guessing most of us have. Yet it still happens.

Never underestimate the capacity of Humans to be complete assholes.

Started this post 12 years ago.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Waking Up Laughing

I have been living with an accountant for many years now. I won't pretend to know much about accounting, but after all those years together with my wife, who is the accountant, I probably know more than the average slob about accounting; enough to get into trouble faster than the average slob anyway.

Now that I have established my bona-fidees, apparently there is at least one passed soul who hangs some weight on my ability to answer a tax question for them.

I was in the midst of a dream that would be forgotten as soon as my eyes opened this morning. Yeah, the dream was concluding nicely when out of nowhere Slim Pickens asked me if a bicycle could be used as a tax write off. 

As is the case in most of my dreams I took his question in stride and answered as best I could with what little knowledge I had to apply to my answer.

I told him as far as tax deductions go, writing off a bicycle had at least two problems attached. 

First of all, the IRS does not usually consider recreational equipment as a business expense. Should Slim be audited, they would insist on documentation that supported the use of the bike was a legitimate business expense.

Second of all, I know bikes can be expensive, but using one as a deduction might not be worth the trouble of itemizing versus taking the standard deduction, unless he had other other deductions that would pass the limit set by the Standard Deduction rule. And besides, since he was dead anyway, how much money did he need to hide in the first place?

I looked at Slim. The look on his face was blank. I said, " So Slim, does this help you?" 

Slim cocked his head in that Slim Pickens way only he knew how to do, yanked the straw from his mouth and answered, "Shoot, I was sure I was gonna need some tax help this year and then you go and remind me I'm dead."

I started laughing and that is when I woke up. No better way to greet a new day than with a smile on my face.

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


The only tune that would be right for this post has to be "We'll Meet Again", sung by Vera Lynn. It is the theme from the film  "Dr. Strangelove: or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb". The image of Slim is from that movie. It is also I think, Slim's best role ever.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Send in the Clowns

And just like that, any Right Wing concerns over Inflation, the Border, and the price of gas have been forgotten in favor of the simmering witches' brew of conspiracies that have comprised most of the Republican agenda these past six years.

The GOP Collective held their first press conference after just squeaking into the majority in the House of Representatives. The first words that slithered out of their mouths were "Hunter Biden". 

Hunter Biden? Wow! The Right has allowed their overwhelming hate of the Left to remove any notion that useful legislation might be proposed from their side any time soon. Payback and stickin it to the Libs is their Number One Priority. In their minds, as small as they are, there is only room for one goal at a time. And Hate Trumps anything else. 

For the last 20 years, the focus of the GOP in Congress has degenerated to where their concerns are less about governing, and more about obstruction and revenge. Advancement of Conservative policy has taken a back seat to their quest to "own the Libs". Now we have a large group of Republicans in Congress who have either forgotten how to govern or have never learned how. So what do they make their first priority in their first Press Conference after the mid term election? 

With puffed chests and serious eyes, these master Right Wing tacticians claim that one of, if not their first act of governing will be going after Hunter Biden (Joe Biden really), then Pelosi, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and every Democrat who has ever stood against them. And while the GOP stands around, happy in their obstructionist and acrimonious circle jerk, the Democrats, as they have for over 20 years now, will be spending at least some of their time trying to manage the insanity of running a government.

The leadership of the Right cannot seem to get past the bones they have been chewing on for so many years. Looking forward is tossed out in favor of trying to bring back the worst of the Past and make it even worse. The GOP, in its current configuration by being overloaded with MAGA- Maniacs and wacko Christians; well, it seems The Grand Old Party is racing towards irrelevancy at break neck speed. The same old stupidity the Right has been focused on these past six years have given a sizable majority of Americans a serious headache. Much of America is now disgusted with the Right. 

The GOP's serious shift to the edges of conservative sanity, combined with them now allowing the Christian Nationalists to own their messaging, has already caused a major draw down on the numbers of actual conservative intellects. And with Christianity losing members faster today than ever before, I see this embracing of the worst of Christianity as a lose-lose proposition for the GOP. But try to point out the mistakes they are making and the result is being labelled a "Libtard" and added to some Winger's enemies list somewhere. The GOP has lost its collective mind and its future does not look good.

They just can't drop their hate and it is going to be their ruin. And because of the damage they have been responsible for over the years I hope I am right. The GOP does not deserve to be in charge of anything.

Regardless, that first press conference claiming mid-term victory over the Democrats was a hollow affair full of only bravado and no substance. It was an event to raise the spirits of a party who knows there was no real victory. They know they had their asses handed to them. Their chest thumping claims of payback will most likely end up as more of the same obstruction the GOP has used in the past. The Democrats own the Senate and the White House for the next two years. What that means is most likely more of the same shit we have had to deal with over the last 20 years.

So have no fear, nothing looks to change much. The same old assholes pulling the same old stupidity while pissing on each other's shoes. It's sad really.

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

** - Cartoon up top from Rolling Stone


Before I even picked a tune, I remembered Judy Collins' hit, "Send in the Clowns" . The point of the song may not quite fit, but the title damn sure does. 

Monday, November 14, 2022

All That I Yam

Nancy, one of my Yooper friends, posted the image to the right on Facebook this morning. I have Internet known Nancy and her husband of many years for I am thinking over 12 years now at least. It may be longer, I don't know nor do I give a shit. 12 years is certainly long enough to have decided whether I like this couple from the upper peninsula of Michigan, even if we have not met face to face. It has also been enough time to verify that the image perfectly matches the image of Nancy and Ray I carry in my mind. If you do not like what they are about, give em a minute to pull down their britches so you can kiss their asses.

Maybe that is why I like them so much. I guess we really do surround ourselves with folks who seem to carry similar attributes as we do or that we perceive we do. 

I never really appreciated that the adult I became depended quite a bit on what I dealt with as a child. Of course I know the time spent as a child can have both positive and negative effects on how that child navigates the world as an adult. But for the most part it seems we point out the big, easy to notice negatives or positives of a childhood as the drivers for the adult that results.

What I am appreciating now as an old codger are the under the radar facets I began turning into character traits that would determine what kind of human I would become as I aged out. The image points up one positive or negative trait that I now see had a major impact on my life going forward.

I changed locations as a child like some folks changed their underwear. I learned early to not be surprised that while we had been where we were now for over a year, it was again time to move on as my family was constantly looking for the grass that was always greener somewhere else.

The result of this nomadic lifestyle was I had to develop techniques for myself that helped me slide into the local elementary school social scene as seamlessly as possible. I figured out quickly that breaking into a well run clique was often more trouble than it was worth. So I became comfortable being the loner, the new kid who would always be the new kid no matter where he went. I got so I actually looked forward to a new town, new people, etc. But along the way I found that I got along better with this never ending list of strangers when I did not care to be part of their little groups. 

Oddly that seemed to make me more popular sooner than if I had hung around waiting to be picked to join. I never really did understand the why of it, and I still don't. But not giving a shit about what people think about me has served me well. And though I am sure I have lost the friendship of acquaintances and companions over the years, I feel it was worth it to not eat myself up with anxiety for not fitting in. I became comfortable in my own skin.

We each find our own way no matter how much we seem to depend on others to help us. There is no right way through Life. It is a personal trip that employs many influences which may depend on a support structure of family and friends or not.  The trick as I see it now, is to never use my childhood negatives as an excuse for the kind of adult I have become. I am a combination of good and bad that brought with them the appropriate experiences I hopefully learned from the first time I experienced them. 

Regardless, as Popeye, that old nautical sage once said:

"I yam what I yam. That is all that I yam."

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


Musical choice today is a Phil Collins tune I think he wrote for a Animated film by Disney- "On My Way" . Never saw the movie, but the tune seems appropriate.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

The Big Red Tinkle

Paul LePage, an ex-governor of Maine and now just another ex-candidate for governor of Maine, had his ass soundly kicked  on Tuesday, Nov. 8th by Janet Mills, a woman much tougher and smarter than he is. It tickled me no end knowing that Asshole Lepage seemed about to cry and later flew off the handle when he realized he was not going to squat in Blaine House again. The wonderful insult to injury Janet inflicted on him is she won  by over 12 points. 

A parting comment of his at his non concession / concession speech pointed up a classic mistake of Republicans assuming that for every American, money is everything. It went something like this: 

"... We missed the message. It's about Abortion not Heating Oil."

Well Paul, I wonder if you even understand the irony of that statement. Asked and answered there big fella. Good job. But something tells me that you, like so many Republicans, cannot or will not understand that material comforts are not always the only thing folks consider when standing in the voting booth. You Wingers have inextricably tied your patriotism to the tail of Capitalism as it slithers,sneaks and sniffs around for any profitable tidbit to add to the already deep pockets that are never satisfied.

There are more of us more interested in the long term health of our country than how much we pay for gas tomorrow. Many of us look to  long term solutions for the bedrock problems everything else is tied to.  Focusing on the piss-ant most recent annoyances and on lies is what the Right focuses on. Selling fear rather than offering solutions is the GOP's stock in trade. It's no wonder your Red Tsunami turned into some Winger octonageranian's weak red tinkle at a gas station in Florida. 

Inflation will go away, but will rear its ugly head again . Crime will go away and probably go up again.  But turning the USA into a one party country like the Right seems bound and determined to do may mean the type of democratic government we have become used to may be gone forever. Admit it, the Right is only patriotic to itself.

Hopefully Paul, you will quickly weasel your way back to Florida.

And Paul, don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out. 


Of maybe more interest to others following politics in America is:

None of the candidates running for Congress in District 2 received over 50% of the vote. Ranked Choice Voting will be used for the second election in a row to determine a victor in CD2.  Neither Jarad Golden at 48.2 %. (D) ,Bruce Poliquin at 44.9%, nor Tiffany Bond (I) managed to surpass  50%  of the votes. Ranked Choice Voting will now toss the lowest tally of this three way race and distribute their second choice votes to one or the other of the 2 front runners still standing.

Ranked Choice Voting explained by me, so I'd check the facts if I were you. But this is how it works here in Maine from what I know after two elections of experiencing it. 

  • In the general election, on the ballot is a list of the candidates vying for the same spot. The number does not matter. 
  • Next to the list of candidates are columns and circles to mark later. They are tagged with "1st Choice", "2nd Choice", "3rd Choice", and so on until the total number of candidates have a corresponding total number of choices listed.
  • Mark your first choice. 
  • Look over the rest of the field and rank them from 2nd through to the last choice. You have the option of not marking any if you want.
  • The general election takes place- votes counted and await the next step.
  • If a candidate has over 50% of the vote, the election is over. (Kinda like Overtime in the NFL - if you get a touchdown on 1st possession - game is over.)
Post Election
  • If no candidate has over 50% in the general election, Ranked Choice Voting  kicks in.
  • The first thing is removing the last place candidate from the field.
  • The ranked votes for the dropped candidate are then distributed to that Ballots rankings still in play.
  • If no one hits that magic 50%+ mark, the candidate with the next lowest tally is yanked.
  • Ranking begins again and continues until someone lands over 50%.
Final snaps of my synapses on this issue - I just made pot brownies and  just had to lick the bowl ........ It is a rule you know.

Anyway ...................................
  • The idea of Ranked Choice Voting is the candidate with widest appeal overall wins. 
  • RCV is the best recent attempt to thwart the 2 party stranglehold this country has suffered under for hundreds of years
  • Puts some electoral power in minority cause blocs of voters.
  • It's a no brainer - RCV Rocks!
Yes, I have to close it down now. I guess I left more brownie mix in the bowl than I thought.

Later Gator ...........................................................


Even though this song has nothing to do with politics, that has nothing to do with why I picked this tune.

Here's David Bromberg's cover of  "Send me to the 'Lectric Chair".......... Enjoy


Wednesday, November 09, 2022

What Red Wave ?

I guess it was after Gore lost to Bush, the Lesser in 2000 that I stopped staying up all night for an election. If I was going to have to deal with bad news, why torment myself with the slow, excruciating pain of watching the upcoming disaster unfold in real time and in front of me? Staying up late and punishing myself was not going to change any outcome. 

I had played my minor part earlier in the day. ..... Calm down asshole and move on. It will be what it will be. 

Instead of the masochistic pleasure or pain of watching potentially tragic events unfold, I watched episodes of "Utopia", the original British version on Amazon Prime. As has been my habit since becoming an old fart some years ago, I knew after an hour or two on the couch with the TV droning, I'd be out by 10:00 PM and comatose a half hour later; but only as long as I stayed away from live TV. I have no stake in entertainment TV but feel I have plenty at stake on Election Night.

Much to my surprise and pleasure, I woke up to the news that the Right Wingers, who had predicted in loud boastful voices, a terrible Red tide would sweep over our grand land and no Democrat would ever be elected again .......... Well it appears the Right is busy trying to avoid eating the crow America has set out for them. 

Since all the results are not in yet and may not be for awhile, it is apparent that the over the top goals the Right set for this election fell far short of a good time. This was not an election for control of the government so much as it was an election about Democracy, the Two Party system and it's irritating habit of hugging the Middle. The insanity that has taken over the Republicans these past couple of decades will have to wait for the next election to try to again defeat Democracy and the Democrats. 

As for the Democrats, well, they dodged the worst of a bullet. We will know soon how deep the wound is, but overall Democrats should be grateful. They were saved by Independents and I am assuming some crossover Republicans to keep the nation from sliding off the edge and into the abyss on the Right.

All in all, a better result than I had envisioned. 


When I voted around 4:00 PM yesterday, I was the 1000th citizen of Acton to vote. They made a small to-do of it and I felt my face go red as I scrambled for the exit. In our small sliver of America, a midterm election of that turnout is a very high count. As yet, I have no clue what four more hours of voting added to the total.

The parking lot up to the Town Hall was packed. I actually had to wait outside in line a minute or so. It was almost too much. Took me five minutes to vote. Well, I never ...............


Could not find the one tune that reflected my mood today. Was lookin for an upbeat, but not overly enthusiastic........ Well, I obviously did not find one ....... Wait a minute.

I was scrolling through the titles of songs in my play list in the hard drive and low and behold, the perfect tune popped up. It is not my habit to highlight two songs from a the same band so close together but I called for an exception and since I make the rules, I offer up "You Can't Always Get What You Want", by the Rolling Stones.

I think this song points up perfect;y the results of yesterdays's election.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

My Red Face Comeuppance

Take a moment to look over the image to the left. ...... I'll wait.

I posted this without the current edit four years ago on Facebook. I even signed it. I was obviously not happy with Nancy Pelosi. But if memory serves, she was the tip of the spear of my unhappiness with the leadership of the Democratic Party over all. At that point it seemed the GOP  and Trump were running roughshod over the Democrats. I considered Nancy too nice, too civil, too grandma wonderful.

Hmm ...........

I am setting the record straight now and admitting I was wrong, so wrong about Ms. Pelosi. 

It is four years later now and Facebook offered to repeat this ill conceived meme with one of their regular "you posted this x number of years ago, would you like to share again" suggestions.

My first thought was too let it die whatever death old meme's suffer when no one posts them again. But I thought maybe I owed Nancy more than just feeling a tinge of guilt for questioning the size of her juevos. 

What she has managed to do these past four years in the face of outrageous anger, lies, and threats from the Right has made me a convert. Nancy is one tough old broad and I love her. She has fought the good fight, fought the smart fight, and been a burr under that saddle I thought the Right was riding as they mounted their next Crusade to turn this nation into sad imitation of what it started out as.

I won't rattle on, there are dragons to slay today and I hope to help in that effort. I just wanted to admit in public that I once questioned the hard nosed intensity of this woman who always spoke civilly even when she threatened to punch a Winger in the nose.

Here's hoping she will still be Speaker of the House tomorrow and not a lame duck one.

Keep it 'tween the ditches , and VOTE ferchrisakes. It's the only ammo we have to foment change.


On a day as auspicious as this one is likely to turn into, I can think of only one song that might be appropriate. And yeah, being true to my Libtard ways, here is Woody Guthrie's, "This Land is Your Land"

Saturday, November 05, 2022

Going Manic

Before the year 2000, I never thought about Depression.  I knew folks suffered from it.  I watched both of my parents deal with it as they approached the end of their run on the planet. Before 2000, I had not yet felt the crush of the dark pit as it wrapped itself around me.

It was in 2001 or 2002, I was talked into being part of the first run of Interferon based therapy for Hepatitis. The regimen called for a year of many painful self injections and pills that made me feel about as shitty as a human can feel. It was pure unadulterated misery for me. I lasted a couple of months.

Seems of all the nasty side affects, down at the bottom of the list in print so small, I had to read it with a magnifying glass; there it was.  11% of the trial patients experienced suicidal ideation.  Of course, I did not find this out until I had already attempted suicide.  Of course, being a rookie, a NooB, an inexperienced suicide hobbyist, I failed.  Half ass attempt for sure, but it certainly scared the shit out of me.  I dropped out of the program.

Ever since my run in with those bad pharmaceuticals prescribed for my hepatitis,  I have had to deal with on again, off again bouts of depression. Thinking back, I was probably depressive to a degree before the medicine, it was only after taking the meds,  the depression magnified and now dealing with it is a constant concern. I wake up many mornings and wonder if today is the start of another depression bender.

The up side........ yeah, there is actually an upside I think .............. The upside is that now, as if to balance out my life's biorhythms, the low notes are offset by wonderful high notes.  I get to experience the joy of mania.  Up is often really up; I'm flying, thoughts move so quickly I have trouble getting a handle on them.  But when I am able to grab one, my focus is impressive.  I guess even bad medicine can have a silver lining.

A friend asked me a few years back what did Depression feel like.  I am sure everyone has their own notion of what it is or isn't.  But I told him that for me it was like existing as nothing, or maybe a kind of non-existence with my eyes open.  Nothing matters.  Nobody cares, least of all me.  The out there world is a fantasy land that is maybe or maybe not just a figment of my imagination.

Hmm .........

And that brings up an entirely new subject. Is Reality nothing but a group figment of our imaginations?

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


A song I have always felt was about what I called "being low" when I was younger was "Paint it Black" by the Rolling Stones. When I looked it up with google, they agreed. So enjoy this tune from the mid 1960's.

Friday, November 04, 2022

Times of Degeneration

Back in the early 1970s, college campuses were a melting pot of the possibilities of the Future mixed in with the traditions of the Past.  

The Hippies represented what was the Present and what was coming. The Pat Boone kids, with their clean cut hair-doos and their Ah shucks, the Lord is my Shepard attitudes were doing their best to resist the tidal wave of the rampant hedonism of the  Anti-American Pinko Commies who many perceived to be overrunning college campuses coast to coast. Free Love had been invented, but getting laid was still a crap shoot on any given night down to the Rathskeller.

New ideas and concepts clashed with the old tried and true Leave it to Beaver ideals Americans had been convinced were what had made America the greatest country on the planet.  Blacks were flexing their muscles. Future draftees were burning their draft cards while women began burning their bras and gays were slowly leaving their closets.  The stodgy what used to be was being replaced by the hip new what is coming.

The only common thread tying all the college kids together was they were all horny and looking to occasionally step away from reality or hedge their bets for an overnight lay by ingesting copious amounts of the Demon Rum or Satan's Weed; oftentimes both.

Flash forward to today. 

I cannot say the populations of college campuses break down now in similar demographics as they did back in the early 1970's. I can certainly attest to the notion that similar mindsets have bridged the five decades since I wasted time in college getting wasted. The issues of then are still not settled business among many citizens now and continue to be thorns in the side of the American experience.

The dates have changed. The mentalities have not. The Left still pushes us to tomorrow, the Right wants to hold us back. The Left likes Capitalism to a point. Most see it as a necessary evil. The Right seems to love Capitalism and its captains more than they love the country. These truths are a constant that have been with us since our beginnings over 200 years ago. 

A noticeable difference between the conversations of then and now are the levels of intractability our opposing views have attained. We used to have heated discussions and when people tired of arguing, they often found consensus or they walked away. Today, we don't have conversations, we shout at each other and seldom find common ground. Instead, we dig our heels in even when the facts tell us we are wrong.

Yes, the biggest difference I notice today is the lack of respect we give facts. We have begun favoring our own interpretations of facts or ignoring them completely. It seems our political realities are being framed by our political faith that all too often leaves little room for the facts we should be using to frame our plans or views in the first place. This leaves us with fewer workable bipartisan actions and more built up partisan acrimony.  The one reality almost all of us used to live in has now had to make room for other realities that only exist in the minds of the beholders. 

The words my high school English teacher wrote in my junior year yearbook seem so, so more prophetic now than they did when he wrote them in 1969:

" These are critical times. Degeneration is around the corner.  ....... WATCH! "

I think it is safe to say we have entered the times of Degeneration, yet many of us fail or refuse to see it.

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


I had narrowed my musical choice down to four songs, three by Buffalo Springfield and one by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. One group provided members for the later group, so the musicality is very similar. It was a tough choice. I listened to all four several times each. 

What I did was, post all four. "Ohio" and "For what it's Worth" may be be the most famous of the four.  All four are great and always take me back to those days of upheaval in the 1960s and 70s that sadly seem to have reared their ugly little heads once again.

Post created from a very rough draft from February, 2009

Thursday, November 03, 2022

The Firebrand

Cult members with adoring eyes and clinched fists surround their new messiah. They want to touch him, but he pulls away. That is okay. Just to be near him is enough. 

Their eyes glaze over as he tells them he gets them and understands the tragedies that make up their lives. He promises the impossible and they believe him. They are sure this Heaven sent messenger will set them free and smite down all those who they have been programmed to blame for all their troubles.

The Orange One smiles. He knows now these minions here in East Bumfuck, Alabama are his to do with as he pleases. He has stirred the mob up into a single mouth frothing frenetic maniac. Just a few more words of imagined dangers to really set the hate and discontent accompanied by appropriate hand and arm flourishes and these brain dead stooges will be ready to mount the new crusade that will make him king.

He smiles his best insincere smile, steps back from the podium, raises his arms and does a victory lap in his mind. As he turns to step off the stage, his handler gently grabs his arm to guide this new pretender looking for a throne to the back stage exit and into the limo.

The Firebrand settles his imposing figure into the plush leather seat in the rear of the limousine and leans back. Looking up at the crushed velour fabric ceiling, he mutters to the limo driver, 

"Did you smell the crowd behind me? Sure hope the next crew bothers to take a shower. ........Damn I love the Stupid, just wish they washed occasionally." ........... Where we off to now?"

"Uh, no sir, I noticed no bad smells. I was with the limousine.....  The itinerary says Mobile sir, but it has been canceled. I have been told to head back to the plane."

The Orange One continues to stare at the ceiling. He wonders why Mobile has been canceled. As if he is a mind reader, the limo driver anticipates his next question.

"Your man in Mobile said there was not enough people there and he knows how much you hate small crowds."

"Well okay then. .........  I'm feeling like McDonalds. A Big Mac and fries would be just the thing right now. Oh, order a vanilla shake while you're at it."

"Sir, I am not allowed stop anywhere but the hotel or the airport, you know that."

"Don't tell me what I know."

The Orange One leaned forward and through the sliding window separating him from his driver, he hissed,

"By the way driver, when we get back to the plane, you are fired."

"Yes sir." 


** Thanks to Duff Moses for the best political cartoon I have seen in years.


I had chosen the music for this post before I wrote it. I offer up "Megalomaniac" by Incucbus. Perfect for this post, especially if turned up to wow. Enjoy.