Bluntness

I've also been told I have little tact, so if this offends you simply ride on.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Primary This

 A happy Saturday to everyone out there!

I am scheduled to work today, and tomorrow, and Monday.  Full eight-hour shifts, too.  The temps are forecast to hit the high 60s (F) today, so I sure our garden department will be busy.  This is the season of mulch.  We sell tons of it... literally.  I don't use it, possibly because my mom, using what I believe was an attempt at a French accent, always referred to it as 'mulsh.'  She did the same thing with charcoal, so when we grilled, we grilled with 'sharcoal.'

Weather wise, today is predicted to be nice.  Tomorrow?  Rain is supposed to come to town. 

I picked up Biggie's prescription for gabapentin and there was a price increase: 2 cents a capsule.  Everything goes up in cost, the income stays the same. 

One of the things I am truly grateful for is owning my home.  I have friends who are in the upper 60's who rent and are not going into semi-retirement because they will need to be paying rent for the rest of their lives.  I don't think renters ever realize that rent payment is never going to go away until it's too late for them to buy.  


And, of course, Primary season is approaching, taht wonderful time when voters decide who is going to run in the fall midterms.  In Pennsylvania, we have 2 out-of-staters vying to replace that loser, Pat Toomey.  Who will garner the nomination?  The Cracker Jack Crazy Thompson?  Or the Trump backed wonderful wizard of Oz?  Oh... wait, I'm wrong, it's Mehmet Oz.  The wizard wants nothing to do with this.

And if you think the Pennsylvania primary interesting, you'll simply love the North Carolina primary in which Madison Crawford is running to keep a failed political career alive.  I understand there is a video with Crawford's male scheduler groping Madison's crotch.  No, I haven't seen it, not that I think it matters.  While I would love to see him notch up the nomination for what would be a sure win for Democrats in November, I'm fairly certain he has racked up enough irreparable damage to lose.  Of course, we are talking about North Carolina republicans here, so at this point anything goes.




Friday, April 29, 2022

Weight and Truth

 Friday has arrived.  This is the last of 6 consecutive days off.  Tomorrow, I go back to work for 3 days.  Over the next couple of weeks, I'm being scheduled 3 days on, and 4 days off.  That's fine with me.  Business is slow, or at least it has been.  Prior to the pandemic, this time of year we would have been busy.  Warm weather translated to higher sales.  Trendy people thought about 'curb appeal,' mostly because HGTV told them this was important.  I've never fallen into that trap.  I don't need my house to look stunningly perfect.  

My trip to the VA went fine.  My bloodwork is in good shape.  I had a substitute doctor; my regular guy was at a funeral.  So instead of chit-chatting, I was shown graphs and told 'this is very good,' several times.  Normally, they give me a print-off.  That didn't happen, so I'll print them off later this morning.

Biggie's bloodwork, like mine, was fine.  They've approved his Carprofen for another 6 months.  His Vet wants him to have bloodwork again in November.  Oh, and they want him to 'fast' before it's drawn.  That will be difficult.

Oh, and I went to the movies last night to see The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Like so many other people, I am not a big Nick Cage fan, so there was trepidation.  Let's be honest, Cage's filmography is filled with titles that continually make you wonder just what the hell was he thinking.  That same thinking also applies to his personal life, but that's a different subject. 

Anyway, the idea of a self-obsessed actor playing a fictional (?) version of himself is... intriguing.  Most of us can only take so much of Nick Cage.  To be perfectly honest, the film succeeds not because of Cage, but because of Pablo Pascal, his co-star.  Javi's entrance flips the movie onto its head, and rather than a film about a fictional Nick Cage and his ego, it spins into a new direction.  Suddenly, it becomes a film about 2 cinephiles writing a movie about their friendship.  The chemistry between Cage and Pascal is very good, their comedic timing is almost impeccable as they play off each other.  They are very, very funny.



Finally, I don't know about you, but I think another really funny thing going on right now is the feud between Marjorie (I hate Catholics) Taylor something or other, and Bill Donohue (sp) is pretty damn hysterical.  He's a self-righteous loser who is in charge of the ultra-conservative Catholic League (sp), and he's pissed because she said Catholics were being run by Satan.  Of course, Billy boy is terribly upset.  He believed Evangelicals saw Catholics as equals.  Wrong.  While Evangelicals will encourage Catholics to vote Republican, they want nothing to do with them.  Your average protestant sees the catholic as a heretic.  Your average evangelical sees them as being damned to Hell.  This is a truth Billy boy will never understand.


Thursday, April 28, 2022

The Big Sucking Truck

 Well, it's Thursday.  I have my physical this morning, and I get my 2nd booster.  Oh, and there is some other stuff planned.

We had a freeze warning. We came close.  It's 37 (F) outside, though dawn's warming temperatures are creeping around us as I type.

The ghost has been at it again in my house.  I woke up this AM to find all of the lights hooked up to Alexa were on.  They were off when I went to bed.   There is the possibility I got up sometime during the night, went downstairs and gave Alexa the command, "let there be light."  Who knows?

Yesterday was odd.  Biggie had a Vet appointment.  They took blood to see how his system was handling the Carprofen.  $164.  Holy Crap!

Oh, and my neighbors had their house sucked, or I guess if you don't like that word, they had it vacuumed, or at least they had their duct work cleaned.  Believe me, it was very loud.

A big sucking truck

I guess the Republican members of the House had a private meeting yesterday at the end of which Kevin McCarthy got a standing ovation of support.  At least that's what was released to the media.  Is the report accurate?  Possibly.  However, none of us will ever know what was communicated beforehand.  One thing you need to be certain of, they are going to do their damndest to show a united front.  Do not doubt there is growing concern among Republicans that the big sucking truck called the January 6 Committee is going to clean their ducts.  Oh, and they know the sucking will be well underway by the time the mid-terms roll around.

 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Perry will Plead

 Well, a happy middle of the week to everybody out there.  The weather here in central PA is clear and cool.  Temp is sitting around 47 (F).  Looking out the window in the computer / workout room, I can see a breeze is rustling through the branches of one of the river birches I have planted in my yard.  There is a freeze warning in effect for tonight. For me?  It will, as usual, be a 2-dog night.

Taken a few minutes ago

For a while yesterday, I thought accomplishments might be few and far between, but that wasn't to be the case.  Laundry was done, some yard work, a 12-mile ride on the bicycle, and I froze much of the cake I baked.  Had I not done that, I'd have been picking at it constantly, and by sometime this afternoon a majority would have been eaten.

Have you noticed that as the time approaches for the January 6 committee to begin public hearings, Republican governors and legislatures are ratcheting up their attack laws?  This is not by coincidence.  You see there is this little group down in Washington called the January 6 Committee and they've begun to publicly dot their cross their t's and dot their i's. Barely a day goes by without some news organization publishing texts or taped conversations.  In the darkest part of their hearts, the Republican party is beginning to realize they're on the road to failure.  There is so much anger and hatred being directed at McCarthy right now, it's only a matter of time until he flips.  

And Scott Perry of Pennsylvania?  His texts to Mark Meadows sing the sour notes of mental derangement's score.  The bit about the 'Brits controlling the election,' now, that is a real winner.  Don't tell BoJo that, he'll wonder how they could have screwed up such a wonderful opportunity.  And, how about the bit where he asks Meadows in a text 'why we just don't work with the Italian Government?'  For those of you who don't know, this is what an insurrectionist sounds like.  At present, Perry has refused to talk to the January 6 committee.  He will change his mind.  And when he does, he will plead the 5th over, and over, and over again.



Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The non-debate

 Rain is in the forecast for today.  Temps will reach the mid 60s (F) and then begin to drop. We will be chilly for the rest of the week.  That's fine.  I will turn the heat back on probably since highs are only supposed to be in the mid 50s (F).  That's cool.

Yesterday was busy.  Lawn got mowed.  2.20 miles on the treadmill.  Olive oil cake baked.  As well as the garbage being taken to the curb, several other things made it there as well, including a very old shop vac.  As usual, the pickers passed down the street overnight and many of the 'other things' were moved from the curb to the backs of pickup trucks.  Except for the shop vac.  Someone took the top vacuum section and left the bottom cannister section.  Very Interesting.

Here's a picture of the cake.  I skipped the lemon and added ricotta cheese, dried cherries, and almond extract.  It's tasty, but I should have used cream cheese rather than the ricotta, which made it overly moist.


The Republican candidates for Pennsylvania senator held a debate last evening.  Two things were apparent: 1. all 5 of them believe attacking the other candidates was more important than talking about either credentials or policy; 2 now is not the time to move on from the 2020 presidential election, though McCormack did say Biden is the problem.  Evidently Oz frequently mentioned he Trump's endorsement.  He was also the one most vehement about Trump losing Pennsylvania, so I'm guessing he had to bow down before Trump and swear eternal allegiance to The Big Lie in order to get that endorsement.

And, finally, yesterday Ron DeSantis signed a bill creating an 'election police force,' meant to ensure the integrity of elections. I don't doubt for a second that this is the Republican equivalent of the Gestapo.  You see, Ronnie wants to run for president in 2024, however his chances of success would be far less likely if he loses in his run up for a 2nd term as governor.  His every action has one purpose, to unite the Republican base in Florida.  To do that he has attacked Disney's Right of Free Speech, calling the woke.  He has also eliminated the voices of 2 voting districts whose majority was black.  He is going to do everything within his power to keep minorities away from the polls.  You see, he believes that is the only way he can win.  Prepare yourselves for The Big Lie (part 2) when he loses.


Monday, April 25, 2022

The dark side of 'none of the above'

 Well, hello to a brand-new week, hopefully one filled with accomplishments.

If I have to tell the truth about yesterday, well, I was pretty much of a slug all day.  One of the bad things about living with dogs, who normally sleep 18 hours a day, is that they are ready to doze away an hour or so the minute you say the word nap.  I try to avoid taking naps on most days, not yesterday, though.

Loading the Rosetta Stone course for German into the new PC is the only thin worth mentioning.  I bought the course 11 years ago, back before Rosetta realized they could make more from subscribers than from selling a course with 5 discs.  Like most Rosetta language courses it's terribly weak because they give no rhyme or reason as to why things are done, however it is good for working your accent.

I did snap another picture of some of my tulips.


I saw in Le Monde this morning that, when it came to voting for either Macron or Le Penne, 3 million ballots were left blank, which is the same as saying "none of the above."  While indignant voters may believe this to be a good way to protest, it really says more about failure than anything else.  Had Le Penne won, she would have started making dramatic changes; a president can do horrific damage in just a few years.  Take NATO.  She hates NATO, as does Putin, as does China, as do most wannabe authoritarian governments.  This is not because NATO is bad.  Nope.  What most people don't realize that when problems arise, like the Ukraine, NATO joins forces and becomes the Largest Super Power in the World.  A united NATO has the largest GDP, they have the largest army, and... they do have nuclear capabilities.  This is why Sweden and Finland want to join NATO.  

Speaking of the Ukraine, I saw where  Russian ground forces are again running into problems.

And, finally, I saw that Kevin McCarthy is traveling south to the border today.  Why, you ask?  Because Kevin knows the MAGA base doesn't care if he is covered in shit as long as he feeds their hunger with tons of anti-immigration red meat.  With the rest of the country looking at him and saying WTF, he is desperately trying to hold onto the base.



Sunday, April 24, 2022

That's fine with me

 Well, a happy Sunday morning to everybody out there.  I am starting 6 consecutive days away from work today.  If I were working fulltime, I'd call this a Staycation since I'm not going anywhere, however, since I'm a part-timer now, I'll just call it a a non-scheduled work week.  I'm scheduled again next Saturday, the same the Kid's Workshops restart.  Can you tell how excited I am?

The temps today are forecasted to reach the high 70s (F) to low 80s (F), so I'm betting I'll be turning on the window A/C units upstairs.  We might get a late afternoon thunderstorm, again, that's fine with me.  My outdoor plans as limited.  Tomorrow the temps are supposed to drop back into the mid 60s (F) for the rest of the week.  I can deal with that, too.

I'm thinking of extending the veranda by the side of the house.  That would be laborious, which means it's a good way to burn calories.  Burning calories is always good.

One of the things that I realized as I was moving files to the new computer was the number of pictures I have of Lily.  While I talk a lot about Biggie, the shots I have of her vastly outnumber the pics I have of him.  He was not happy, so I took this one as he shot me the stink eye while he brooded away on the futon. 


The French election is today.  Le Pen is close enough that she could swing an upset.  People will vote for her because they hate Macron and his mask and vaccine mandates.  The fact that Le Pen has some serious ties to Russia, and Trump's blow bro Vlad doesn't even cross their minds.  They aren't even considering that if she were to win, they might end up with some 'friendly' Russian troops stationed in France to 'help keep the peace.'  For them, the bright side is not having to worry about mask or vaccine mandates, and they are far worse than Russians in Paris.

We have the same problem in America; people not wanting to wear masks or get vaccinated.  That's fine with me.  We now know that unlike chicken pox or mumps, Covid has no lasting immunity.  Like the common cold, you will get it again, and again, and again.  I know of 3 people in my store who've had it twice, and for 2 of them the second time was worse than the first time they had it.  The one person who had milder symptoms the 2nd time had chosen to get vaccinated.  I'm getting my 2nd booster on Thursday, which is fine with me.  


Saturday, April 23, 2022

Playing with himself

 Work 1 day, and then off for 6.  That's my schedule beginning today.  I'm happy with that. The weather is supposed to be rather unimpressive: tomorrow and Monday temps will be in the mid to upper 70s (F), but then there will be storms again and the temps will drop.

Yesterday, I rode over 11 miles in Norway, along a fjord.  Very Nice!  Today, prior to work, there will be a fast walk on the treadmill.  That's all I will ever do, fast walks, 3.3 - 3.6 miles per hour.  I will never break into a jog, or sprint.  That's running.  I ran when I was in college.  I really hate running.  I have a friend who runs over 100 miles per week.  He goes into the zone.  I was never able to hit the zone, mostly because the one thought racing around my mind was "I hate this shit."

I made it toasted cheese sandwich for lunch yesterday, not tomato soup, though.  Still, it was tasty as hell.


One of the writers for Newsweek, Jeffrey Toobin, said yesterday that DeSantis was going to win his war with Disney.  Y'all remember Jeff?  He also writes for the Murdoch owned New York Post?  He's also the guy who was put on leave by CNN for playing with himself during a Zoom call.  People on that call got to see a little jerkin'.  Anyway, Jeff's preachin' that America is fed up Liberal values being shoved down their throats.  He evidently has no problem with those on the right shoving their conservative values down America's throat.  Like so many people in this country, Jeff doesn't understand that America is Centrist.  The culture wars being brought by the Ultraright are an attack on that Centrist position.  They are attempting to shift America into a Socially Conservative Zone they can dominate.  I really think that what Jeff needs to do is to give up his day job, and go back to simply playing with himself.


Friday, April 22, 2022

Retaliation

 Friday has arrived, as if you didn't know.  Being that it is Friday, I'm not working.  I did tweak my availability yesterday.  Monday and Thursdays will be the only days I can work a full 8-hour shift, while on Saturday and Sunday I can't be scheduled before noon.  This is good, since they're starting up Children's Workshop again.  For those who say, "how wonderful you hold a workshop for kids," remember, this generosity has more to do with merchandising and marketing than providing a 'fun' diy moment for kids.  

I got up early yesterday for my bloodwork, and as a result, went to be early last evening.  So... this morning I got up early because...  And I still got almost 7 hours of good sleep.  What can I say?  I like getting up early.  

Right now, the sun is shining.  Temps are supposed to go up to 70 (F) today and tomorrow they're supposed to climb higher.  Then, as has been the case for several weeks now, they're going to drop back into the 50's (F).  An associate at work was complaining "we're not going to have a spring; we're going to go right into summer."  I didn't point out that this is exactly what spring is, moderating temperatures, some days warm, some days cool.

And, as expected, Florida's Republican legislature handed Disney what they think is going to be some Payback yesterday.  They took away Disney's self-governing status.  As a result, Disney will have to pay taxes.  DeSantis thinks they're going to cave as a result.  He believes they're going to blink and bow down to him.  Disney will probably write-off those taxes when it files its federal taxes, thanks to the tax bill passed by the Republicans in the United States Senate.  Who will pay through the nose?  The constituents who put the Florida Republicans in power. 


For those of you who don't understand, this sort of thing that happens under authoritarian governments led by dictators.  It's the sort of thing that happens in Russia.  Obviously, DeSantis aims to be the American version of Putin.  Next thing you know, he's going to be riding around on a horse with his shirt off. 

Speaking of Putin, what about those French Elections.  So many were upset by Macron and his Covid rules, well, now they can go to the polls and vote for a Russian sympathizer, Marine Le Pen.  It's taken a lot of Russian money to get her this close to the presidency.  Think of her as Trump in a skirt.  Be careful what you wish for.  What you get may be far worse than you dreamed possible. 


Thursday, April 21, 2022

They Should Have Taken Off Their Shirts

 So early in the morning, and yet so late in the day, for met at least.  You see, I've already been out and about.  I had a blood draw scheduled for 0715 this morning.  Oh, and I had to fill the little pee cup.  Fun stuff, you know?

Yesterday was filled with accomplishments:  8 miles on the bike, cleaned and vacuumed the upstairs, moved the new PC to a better spot on the desk, and several loads of the ever-present laundry.  Oh, and a snapped a pic of some of my tulips.


Oh, and I went to see The Secrets of Dumbledore last evening.   My feelings?  Hhhhmm, which is better than a meh by a small amount.  It's been at least 3 years since I saw the 2nd part of this trilogy which wasn't supposed to be a trilogy.  What?  Yep, after the first film made a bundle upon release, the producers decided to stretch the story out for 3 films.  Bad idea.  Not enough source material.  Still, they decided to stretch the running time out to almost 2.5 hours.  Bad idea.  Also, three years saw whatever interest I had invested in the characters completely dissipate.  Eddie Redmayne gets top billing, but Jude Law is the title character, and the story is about him stopping Grindewald (sp), who's now played by Mads Mikkelson rather than Johnny Depp.  The special effects are strong, the story, however, is weak.  Things might have improved if, perhaps, the men had started taking off their shirts.


And finally, if you seem to have noticed a lot of Republican attacks on the LGBTQ community lately, you're not alone.  Mid-terms are coming up and they're throwing any red meat they can at their base to get them riled up and to the polls.  You see Donnie (the Orange Anus) Trump just ain't hitting the high notes anymore.  He's endorsed a New Jersey Muslim for the Senate seat in Pennsylvania.  Tennessee just kicked another one of his endorsements off the ballot because she failed to meet the state's requirements.  He threw a poorly attended rally.  Oh, and he just walked off of an interview with a desperate Piers Morgan over questions about The Big Lie.  They're savior is showing his charlatan colors and the Republicans need someone to attack, and... well, Hillary's isn't running and Hunter Biden's laptop has no legs.




Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Conservative Attacks

 Yesterday was cold and breezy.  That being said, I'm pleased with my accomplishments.

I took the Cannondale X6 into the bike shop for their 'trade and sale' event.  At this point in my life, there isn't even a bad reason for me to own 2 bikes.  While old, the bike is in pristine condition, but again, it is old, so I figured try to get $150 to $200.  I was more than a little surprised when they asked if I'd set the top price at $300.  Of course, I said "sure," but was even more surprised when, after the owner took the bike back into the shop, to have him hand me a receipt putting the top price at $375.  Even though that would be very nice, I doubt if it will sell for that much.  Still, the surprise was nice.

Laundry was done, I put in 2 miles on the treadmill, plus some rearranging and cleaning of the exercise/computer room.  Even though Microsoft provides good security, I was thinking about getting some additional free virus support for the new PC.  Avast has good reviews, so I downloaded the free version.  However, when I went to try out a game I'd downloaded from Microsoft's Game Pass, Avast blocked it.  We're talking Microsoft's Game Pass here, not some hole in the wall software company, so Avast was uninstalled rapidly.  I also had to uninstall the game and redownload it because when Avast blocked it, it blocked it permanently.

And how about the Conservative attacks on Disney?  Their hypocrisy is coming straight from Hell.


Republicans had no problem with Disney as long as campaign donations flowed into their coffers, however, once that started changing Conservatives turned rabid.  Truthfully, social conservatives have long had a problem with Disney's stand on diversity.  You see, they want Disney to hate the same way they hate, the same way Jesus tells them to hate... oh... wait a minute.  Jesus doesn't tell them to hate.  It's one of the other guys, one of the disciples, perhaps Saul, who changed his name to Paul because Saul sounded way too Jewish.  Social conservatives want you to turn off Disney.  Cut the cord!  They want you to believe you'll be damned if you watch the next season of The Mandalorian.  Can you hear me laughing at them?


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Slapped

Wow, I cannot believe my weekend has arrived already.  Seems like only yesterday I went back to work... for a day, and here I am with another 2 days off.  In two weeks, I'm taking more than just a mini vacation, more than just 3 days in a row.  I've taken myself off of the schedule for a full 5 consecutive days.  This semi-retirement thing seems to be working out quite nicely.

And I saw this about the Kardashisluts this morning and thought Bob might find it amusing, I know I did.  It seems like the Kardashisluts are being sued by a former Kardashislut who claims they ruined her career (or something like that).  Jury selection for the trial began yesterday and potential juror, after potential juror, spewed the ugly truth about them.  Evidently many, many people are biased against these whores, and they had to sit in the courtroom and listen to people calling them trash.  Of coure, being publicly slapped by the little people will change nothing. I had a good, hearty laugh out of it.

Something that's been flitting across my brain for the past week or so concerns the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.  Not the fact that it's killing thousands of innocent people, which it is, rather it's the realization that the longer the invasion drags on, the more incompetent it makes Putin look as a leader.  This is especially true when you understand he believed this was only going to take a few days.  The longer this war continues, the more a loser he looks like.  Should he resort to weapons of mass destruction, he will be defined as the ultimate loser.  The world will both hate him, and mock him, as the ultimate failure.  The world will see him as nothing more than a tiny man with a Napoleon Complex desperate to prove he's as tall as... well... as Xi.


Finally, I got another big hoot this morning when I saw that Marjorie Taylor Greene is spitting bullets because the lawsuit to take her off the ballot is proceeding.  I do not doubt for a second that reality is going to slap this bitch multiple times, not that she will ever learn anything.  To do that, she would have to realize she's nothing more than a shit stain of a human being.









Monday, April 18, 2022

Tremblers

Well, a happy Monday morning to all of you out there in blogger land!  I do hope all of you had a nice day of respite from the travails of the world.

One of the things I did yesterday, other than lazing around, was finish going through Dave's notes and suggestions on The Body in Repose.  The input I receive from both him and the other three proofreaders / editors provides the essential polish for turning a rough manuscript into a published book.  Tuesday the manuscript will be on its way to Kris, whose finely tuned notes will only add to the sheen.  Oh.... shit... did you just feel that?  Was it a trembler?  Or is something beginning to happen down in the French Quarter?

Here's sort of what the final set up for my Alienware PC looks like (ignore my breakfast on the left).  I've changed the lighting from teal to purple, since I've never really been a teal person.  The only other change I'm contemplating is moving the unit to the left side of the desk.  Right now, I'm still up in the air about that move.


I saw an interesting article this morning regarding Evangelicals and how some of the younger generation are leaving because of the politicization of those older Cracker Jack Crazies.  There is trouble in that crazy, little world.  As one pastor questioned:  What do you do when you believe God put Trump in the White House... and then God loses?  Not only did He lose, He allowed The Big Lie to spread among the faithful.  I'm sure the idea of Trump being sent to destroy them is a concept that will never occur, I mean, how could their beliefs be wrong?  Now they are desperately trying to ignore the tremors ratchetting back and forth across the Evangelical movement.






Sunday, April 17, 2022

Non-Traditional

 Holy Crap!  It's Easter!  And I'm off.  Not that I have any great plans for today.  For eats, I'm going to be making the non-traditional ham, and cheese green bean casserole because... well, you know we all need a little ham on Easter.  

Our Garden Center was busy yesterday, but otherwise the store was not so busy.  Our sales are not that bad, they're just returning to what they were pre-Covid.  For corporate and the stockholders, I'm sure that's not a good thing.  They've already begun jacking up prices.  All they care about is keeping the stockholders happy.  The cost of a single share of stock is the only thing they prioritize.  Trouble brews when that stock price drops and so they will screw over, and eventually sacrifice, the very consumers they depend upon.  

The Non-Traditional Dinner

And for those of you who don't know, my religious beliefs are rather Non-Traditional, though to say I have no religion would be false.  Everybody has a religion; some are traditional, and some are not.  The monotheistic religions are geared towards consolidating power with either one or several individuals in charge, in case you didn't know.  They are authoritarian by nature.  They also offer the golden carrot of 'eternal life.'  An unbelievable number of people have absolutely no clue as to how long eternity is; they think of it as a long, long time.  They don't understand that a long, long time is short compared to eternity.  I have a huge problem with people believing they are so special they deserve eternal life.  All you need do is look how we treat each other to realize none of us is that special.  My Non-Traditional desire is that I live a long time in relatively good health, with a relatively solid mind, and then pass into eternal sleep.  Peace and quiet?  Believe me, that's a very good way to end things.


Saturday, April 16, 2022

Egg Salad

 2nd day with the new computer.  Remember when you could switch your browser with just a click of a button?  Not anymore.  Microsoft doesn't want you using anything other than Microsoft, something I don't want to do.  Google is easier to organize, whereas Windows 11 seems cumbersome, oh, and I hate that their favorites are now on the right side of the screen.  One of the really good things about this upgrade is that I've decided up update my passwords.  That was challenging at time, but... well, most of them were 10 to 15 years old (son of a bitch).

Yesterday, the weather was fine.  The dogs and I spent some time outside, they laid around soaking in the sun while I pottered, without Harry (stop groaning).  The lawn was mowed.  

I do have to work today, which is good.  There are a few things I want to pick up at the store, like a bag of dirt.  One of those elephant ear plants might make it into my shopping basket as well.

Sunday is a scheduled day off.  If I don't finish the most recent edits on The Body in Repose this evening, they'll be done on Sunday.  And then the manuscript is off to the final editor, yippee! 

As I said yesterday, I made egg salad.  Here's a picture of the prep.


I saw where that dimwitted governor Abbott has rescinded his truck search.  In a stunt which was supposed to embarrass the administration, he ended up looking like a losing fool.  In reality, he created a useless blockade that had fruit and vegetables starting to rot in trucks.  His AG, Kenny Paxton, said it was a success.  You know who Kenny is, don't you?  The Texas AG who has soooooo many legal issues?  Who's being seriously investigated?  I wouldn't be surprised if one of these days we hear that Kenny is going to retire to Puerto Vallarta.



 



Friday, April 15, 2022

Old is New Again

 Okay, so this is my first entry using the new computer, something which is going to be a learning experience.  I'm still adjusting the settings.  Windows 11 is different.  Personalization will be interesting.  As with every other time I've upgraded, certain things transfer over easily.  Other?  Well, I'm used to having the NYT and Washington Post in task bar, so I've got to figure out how to do that.  One of the good things that happened is old... really old pictures are now available.  Pictures I'd forgotten about.  Like this one, taken in 2004 of me standing next to a John Deere tractor.  That's right!  This is what I looked like 18 years ago!   Son of a bitch!


Other things were accomplished yesterday besides setting up the new computer:  bread was baked, egg salad was made, my dahlias were planted. In fact, I didn't begin setting the new PC up until late afternoon.  

And what about old Ronnie DeSantis trying to turn Florida into an authoritarian state?  For those who didn't hear, Ronnie is making a very Putenesque move.  Two voting districts that are heavily populated by black voters who vote heavily Democrat are going to be gerrymandered into non-exitance under a map he, himself is drawing up. I can only wonder how long it will be until he begins to poison his opponents because you know, he's not going to want anyone running against him.  That old racism is again rearing its ugly head, and this time that evil goes by the name of DeSantis.


Thursday, April 14, 2022

Elton in Hershey

 Okay, so instead of going to the movies last evening, I went to see Elton John in Hershey, about 15 miles away.  This is the continuation of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour.  The tickets were bought over 2 years ago - then along came Covid and then the show was postponed, and the wait began.  The show was sold out, however the 2 seats to our right were 'no shows' so we had some spreading room.  Arena seating is not known for either comfort or space.   Remember, clicking on the pictures will embiggen them.

 About 5 minutes before the show, the camera guy showed up.


And then, of course, with the intro for Pinball Wizard playing loudly, Elton arrived.


For a 75 year old man he still has a lot of gusto.  His set-list is most of his hits, but not all, there was no Honky Cat, no Daniel.  Instead, we got to hear other, better songs like Burn Down the Mission, and Have Mercy on the Criminal, songs that were never FM radio popular.


He played the hyper-fog effect Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding, most definitely my all time favorite (I played Funeral for a Friend as my audition song when I pledged Phi Mu Alpha).


And there it is, a nice pictorial post for today.  Tomorrow?  I'm probably going to unload on DeSantis, now won't that be fun!



 





Wednesday, April 13, 2022

When the Universe is no bigger than your Ego

The temps are supposed to hit the mid 80s today.  That's hot for mid-April.  The record is 85 (F).  Forecasters are letting us know, perhaps because we might tie that temp, or possibly top it.  Thunderstorms are forecast for this afternoon.  I am so glad I put the A/C units in the upstairs windows, they will keep the temps moderate.  I can live with that.

Sometime during the night, the number 12 switch on my circuit breaker flipped: living room, dining room, and bedrooms had no power when I woke up.  The only things using electricity were the two aquariums.  However, something odd happened when I flipped the circuit back on:  the ceiling light in the dining room came on.  Why is that odd?  The ceiling light has no wall switch, a remote control is used to turn it on and off.  I haven't used the remote control to turn the ceiling light on in weeks.  So why, when I turned the power back on, did the ceiling light come on? (Key eerie music).

Most of us understand that the universe is large... very, very large.


There are those, however, who have no concept of its vastness.  Who are these people?  Well, I've decided that religious people don't get it, especially those with extreme beliefs.  For them, the universe will never extend farther than their property line, or their apartment walls, or their ego.  Ego, you ask?  Yes, you know what I'm talking about?  Those people who believe their success to be a blessing, Like Scottie Scheffler.  He recently won some sort of golfy thing and Jesus came in to play for his victory (pun intended).  You see, in Scottie's mind he is totally incompetent in the game of golf.  His victory was a blessing because of his extreme religious beliefs.  His religious universe will never be any larger than his ego: that makes him special.  No matter what other evils are going on in the world, he was chosen to win golf tournaments, because of his beliefs, they make him a good golfer.  So far in 2022, Scottie has earned around $7.5 million playing golf.  You see, Scottie's ego is telling him the deity he believes in has prioritized golf over a war in the Ukraine, and a ruthless dictator in North Korea who has set himself up as an alternative deity.  In case you're wondering, Scottie is not alone.  We have a problem.








Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Cool Down

 Guten Morgen!

Yes, I am still working on my German, and I can say more than those two words.  I've tried several different courses.  Right now I'm using Babel and I do seem to be learning, perhaps because this is the first course to actually explain where there are so many ways to say the definitive article 'the' in German.

Yesterday I was by myself at the flooring desk for most of the day.  No problems.  Business is slow right now, much slower than it was in February, which is normally the slowest time of the year.  And it's not just our store, it is all across the district.  Prices have gone up, but I believe that might only be a small, partial reason.  Another part of the problem is, I suspect, credit card debt; if you sign up for one of our cards the interest rate is a (holy mother of god) 26%.  Most importantly, I think, is the fact that during the Covid Years people spent umpteen $$$ on home improvements and have decided that now is a good time to apply the brakes.  Most only have so much disposable cash, and as I said, that credit rate is a real killer.

I had an email from FedEx this AM telling my my new computer will now be arriving on Thursday.  Excitement is building.  I went with a liquid cooling system, rather than air, which means it will look like this on the inside.

Aren't you happy I show pictures like this rather than pictures of naked people?

I saw where the once liberal Lachlan Murdoch, the heir apparent to the sinister Rupert, has changed his tune.  He gave a speech back on March 29 in which he claimed Australia's traditional values were under attack.  While he mentioned that Australia is one of the most openminded countries (?), went on to stress how censorship was ruining those values.  He continued this thread by bringing up  Facebook's attempt at limiting Wuhan conspiracy theories before moving onto Hunter Biden's laptop.  He cited a poll (?) which claimed over 50% of Americans would not stand up and fight if Russia were to invade the US.  But then, what else should we expect from the man who pays Tucker Carlson to be Putin's Puppet?  Truthfully, his complaints were not about censorship, as much as they are about his belief that mass media is needed to create and sustain authoritarian governments, authoritarian governments run by the wealthy.  I think we need to cool Lachlan down by shading him with some serious taxes, otherwise he will be just another rich guy looking for another puppet state to control.  



Monday, April 11, 2022

The Train Wreck is a'commin'

 Let the new week begin!

Yesterday was so, so busy at the store.  Because of call-offs, though, I spent the last 3 hours of my shift as a cashier.  Thanks to my previous stints in management and HR, they paid dearly for that 180 minutes.  Not that I minded.  Thirteen years ago, as International Paper was on the verge of shutting down xpedx, its distributary branch, I began my career with the orange, home improvement retailer as a part-time cashier.

When I checked my email this morning, there was a notice from Dell that my Alienware computer, due to arrive on May 12, was shipping early.  The new arrival date is this Friday, April 15.  Now, isn't it a good thing I'm scheduled off?  Usually I end up going into work late, or calling off when ever a big ticket item is getting delivered.

And even though the editing is going full steam on The Body in Repose, I'm also working on The Body Under Ice.  There are a number of lyrics used in The Body in Repose because there were numerous situations where they fit in.  Such frequent occasions don't arise in the new book, though I'm fairly certain there's going to be a karaoke night at Hennepin's.  Now, if you've read some of my work, you probably know Max Sullivan can not dance.  He doesn't even come close to having a sense of rhythm.  But can he sing?  You'll have to wait until karaoke night at Hennepin's to find out.  And what might he happen to sing?  How about this little ditty?


And, of course, Liz Cheney dropped a little bomb yesterday.  I'm sure the January 6 committee has so much shit on Trump.  At least 2 charges might be sent to the DOJ.  Will they actually arrest him?  Probably not.  He will leave before that happens.  Next month the shit the committee has gathered will start to float to the surface.  Where as the Benghazi hearings were nothing more than red meat for the Republican base, Americans across the board will find these hearings fascinating.  People like to slow down when they pass an automobile accident; they want to catch a glimpse of the morbid, grizzly details.  These hearings are going to be a demoralizing train wreck for the GOP.  People are going to look at the corruption leading up to the insurrection, and scratching their heads, and saying 'you've got to be fucking kidding me.'


Sunday, April 10, 2022

The Mistake

 As expected, yesterday was slow at the store.  We had storms again.  Not steady, but sudden downpours.  There was wind and the temperature chilled.  We have a 'frost' warning for tomorrow morning.  We are, after all, still in early spring.  This coming Thursday, the temps are predicted to hit 80 F; that might be the day the Central Air gets turned on.

After Monday's 8 hours, I'll be off for the rest of the week, so I'll hit that warm Thursday.  I do believe the time has come to pull out my lawnmower.  Yes, it's that time of year.  My rose bushes have lots of leafage, but no buds as of yet.  My nectarine tree has lots of blossoms, but that happened last year I ended up without a single nectarine.  If that happens again this year, I'll have to introduce it to my friend the chainsaw.

France is voting today.  While there is the possibility Macron might lose, keeping him in office would be far better than having LePen, a far right extremist.  She's not as corrupt as Trump, but her ultra conservative policies are certainly not what the French need, unless, of course, you want a government that leans towards authoritarianism.

Even though it's release date isn't until 3 days after my birthday, the hype train for Starfield is beginning to crank into high gear.  The full onslaught will begin at E3, in June, though Bethesda is already beginning to drop bits pieces on a weekly basis.


And the hot mess from Hell, also known as the GOP is beginning grit its teeth.  You see Kevin McCarthy, like Trump's blow brow Vlad, made a terrible, terrible miscalculaiton.   You see, Putey baby thought he'd sweep through the Ukraine in 3... maybe 5 days.  Wrong.  And McCarthy decided that if he couldn't put attack dogs, like Ron Johnson, on the committee there was no need participating.  In May, the hearings are going public and there are no venomous vipers on board to try and squelch what the public sees and hears.  Now McCarthy understands this is not going to be a little jaunt in the park.  The only Republicans on the committee are Cheney and Kitzinger, and they are going to impale Trump, and his cohorts, on a terrible spike of sedition.  McCarthy knows these hearings will electrify the voting public.  He also knows a majority of Americans are not going to look kindly on the party which tried to turn Trump into an authoritarian dictator.  


Saturday, April 9, 2022

May 12

Well, hello Weekend.  I'm talking about the two days, Saturday and Sunday, not the guy who got pissed off because he didn't get a Grammy nomination a few years back.  I didn't see, did he get a nomination this year?  Or has he already begun to cycle past his relevancy?

A lot was accomplished yesterday. I rode 4 miles on the bike and realized I needed to do some more rearranging.  That took up a bit more time than I had been expecting.  The camera and mic are now set up downstairs in preparation for the YouTube channel.  I'm sort of excited... but only sort of.

One of the things that surfaced during my rearranging, was this:  Back in 1977, while at Lebanon Valley College, I direct West Side Story.  Here's my program, with the tatters of my 'opening night' boutonniere still pinned to the cover.


And I ordered a new gaming PC as well:


The new computer is not due to arrive until May 12, which gives me plenty of time to prep the stuff I want to transfer, and decide what I want to store in the 'cloud.'  Honestly, I can't wait.  The speaker jack faded out yesterday.  My speaker system is now connected to the headphone jack in the front of the PC, which still works.   More wires = less fun.

 

Friday, April 8, 2022

History

 Welcome to Friday... one of my days off.  Yesterday, we had a lot of rain.  We've had April showers on and off for several days now, however yesterday the rain was steady.  There were times when, sitting at the flooring desk, I could hear downpours pounding over head.  Of course, that meant I got to hear the occasional customer complaining about 'all of this rain.'  We've had this showery, drizzly, not quite rainy weather for about 3 days.  If we weren't getting the rain, and their lawns weren't rapidly turning green, these same people would be complaining about 'how dry it is!'  Why do so many people feel the need to whine?

I had an odd night's sleep.  Restlessness.  Not quite dreaming and not quite sleeping.  Politics seemed to play a big part, not solid thoughts I could focus on, and not disturbing at all, more like a silent presence that kept causing me to roll over.  I'm sure part of the reason was my PC.  I have a CyberPower gaming PC upstairs which is between 7 and 8  years old.  In computer years, that's old.  My last PC was a Dell and that worked well for about 6 years... and then died a sudden death.  Prior to that I had an large iMac which lasted 14 months before the hard drive decided to consume itself.  Rather than let that type of history repeat itself again, I've been looking at getting a new PC while this one is still on it's last legs.

And, of course, yesterday another type of history was made.  Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first black woman join the Supreme Court.


I was at work when they vote was held, though I watched later.  One thing that stood out in the joy of that moment: the sight of bitter, white Republicans walking silently out of the chamber like spoiled 12 year-old losers.  They have no decency, no respect for anything they cannot dictate.  History will look poorly on them.  They will clutch and grasp onto the past with their old, dying hands until time buries both them and their beliefs.


Thursday, April 7, 2022

Batty to be back

 Well, after two days off, I'm back.  

And what did I do on those two day?  Nothing really.  Put some time in on the treadmill.  Wrote a little.  Talked on the phone with friends.  Mostly, however, I just enjoyed time with the dogs.  Like most of you who have dogs, or cats, I will talk to them.  I learned a long time ago that dogs will sit and listen to your every word.  Cats?  They will give you that bored, 'are you soon finished?' look.

I did go see Morbius last evening.  I liked it, thought with a run time of 100 minutes, I thought it a bit short.  There are a lot of clips on the trailer that didn't make it into the final cut, perhaps they should have since the reviews are... soft.  Of course, what's not to like about Jared Leto spending about half of that run time shirtless, or quasi shirtless?  And for those of you Dr. Who fans, Matt Smith also had screen time buffed and shirtless.  I was expecting it to be darker, and it wasn't.  Since I've never read the comic on which the movie is based, I don't know how it stacks up to what was written.  In case you're wondering, there will be a sequel with Michael Keaton as Vulture.


I read where Amy Cony Boney was out in California an once again said the Supreme Court was not political.  Either this woman is delusional, or she's become a pathological liar like so many Conservatives.  If you repeat a like often enough, people will begin to believe you.  By they way, the Supreme Court just upheld a ruling against the Clean Water Act because it's better for corporations to make money than it is for you to have clean water.

One of the things that is really beginning to grate me in a terribly bad way is the frequency with which fascists, like Marjorie Taylor Failure, label every one who isn't a fascist as a communist.  Honestly, I don't think she knows just what a communist is, simply equates everyone who isn't for conservative, authoritarian as being one.  She is not alone.  The entire far right wing of the GOP labels everyone who isn't rabidly conservative lumps everyone into that category.  For them, there is no such think as a Centrist.  If you're registered as an Independent, they call you a communist.  The only way to shut these people up is to vote them out of office.  When that happens, they will begin to regionalize, moving to the states where their hatred will slowly fester into extinction.   Our most important goal right now is toe ensure these fascists do not take over control of either the House or the Senate.  The only way for America to succeed is for the Centrists to take it back.  



Tuesday, April 5, 2022

BRB on Thursday

 It's cloudy,

and it's drizzly,

and I've decided to take a break

from my blog

on my weekend,

which just

so happens 

to be Tuesday and 

Wednesday.

Here's picture

of dogs

on a couch

for you

to look at

until I get back.



Monday, April 4, 2022

Precisely

 A new work week has arrived.  Notice my exuberance.  

They are forecasting rain for my weekend, which begins tomorrow, with high temps in the mid 50's (F).  Hopefully, I'll get some yardwork in between the showers.  Dahlias need to go into the ground in the front yard.  Lots of tuplipy things are sticking out of the dirt already.  And there are the dahlias.  My peonies are also sticking their buds above the soil.  And, of course, my roses are filled with budding leaves.

The Grammy's were on last night.  Meh.  I didn't' watch.  Pop music is so ephemeral.  No matter what you might want to believe, the timeless songs are very few and very far between.  Time has no problem burying trendy musical hooks.  I got into a discussion with a gent at the store about this very subject, and he said "look at all the great things BeyoncĂ© is doing with music!  She'll be around forever!"  I replied, "they said the same thing about Madonna."  And he said, "What?  she's old!"  And I said, "precisely."

And tell me, does this look like the face of the most evil man on the planet?


I saw where someone had Tweeted that Joe Biden said "Rupert Murdoch is the most dangerous man in the world."  I believe that's a rather precise definition.  At 91, he maintains control over Fox News, and this bitter, old man has always desperately wanted to be a key player in politics.  He was a problem in the UK that was only solved by a legally forced separation: he was basically buying politicians.  The same thing is happening in the US with the Republican Party.  Here he buys them with frequent appearances on Fox News.  His mouthpieces are pro-Putin, and pro-Republican, spewing out lie, after lie, after lie.  As a result, the GOP, much to his delight, relies upon him.  That is precisely what he wants.  If there is any joy in American politics, it's that the political party he owns is blindly stabbing itself in the eye, and in the back, and in the foot, and, thanks to Loser #45, in the heart.


Sunday, April 3, 2022

Now Serving

 Sunday has arrived.  I've just finished eating my breakfast: oatmeal with peanut butter, almonds, and honey.  Yum.  I do have to work today.  Not so yum, yum.

Yesterday business was very steady, almost constant, which is good.  Many of the stores in the district have not been as busy as they were.   The Covid pandemic has moved to being endemic.  Here in the US there are between 700 and 800 Covid deaths every day, most of them being unvaccinated Republicans.  They will never learn.

I don't know if I mentioned it, but Biggie was running around with the stuffed T-Rex yesterday.  That's a big improvement.  Both sitting down and stairs are still difficult.  He has a Vet appointment for the end of this month, so I'll ask if increasing his dosage of gabapentin will help.

And I'm am slowly getting a YouTube channel up and running.  Right now it's called The Writer's Block.  I'm still working on things like camera location, and microphone placement.  And I can't decide if I want to film myself, or stay off camera and just narrate.  Being the quietly shy, unopinionated, and rather reclusive person that I am, this is a big decision.

Elton John's 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' show in Hershey is less than 2 weeks away.  I'm thinking that for this show I might buy myself a pair of twinkling eyeglasses... just to fit in, you know?  Or... neon would be pretty freaking neat!


And, of course, it seems that rarely a day goes by when some tasty tidbit of bad news falls regarding the GOP and the Republican Party.  Not that bad news isn't percolating for the Democrats.  The Washington Post published an article on Hunter Biden which was factually incriminating, not nearly as terrible as the insurrection, but red meat, none the less, on which the Republicans will pounce, and then wag at their base.  To combat this, the January 6 Committee needs to start dropping slabs of red meat the Centrists and Progressives can chow down on.  The only way to bury a bad headline is to dish out a serving of something juicy as hell; serve the MAGAs a piece of their own pie, but serve it a la shit.


Saturday, April 2, 2022

Moments

 Hello weekend, what ever that means.  There was a time when everything shut down on the weekends, that is no longer the case.  Many who have a Monday thru Friday full time job, now work part-time on weekends so whatever pertinence the weekend has is now relative.  Things are always changing.  Will actual weekends ever come back for a majority of American workers?  I doubt it. 

Yesterday, on my day off, I did relatively nothing... well, that's not totally true.  Laundry was done, the bathroom was cleaned, I did my grocery shopping at my local Giant.  

Oh, and Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Arts and Sciences.  It's kind of a little late for his fettered anguish and tears.  Slapping a comedian on live world wide television because you didn't like their joke is more than an 'oh... Shit!' moment.  Thanks to that moment, so much dirt is being shoveled about the Smiths, that his fans are experiencing and very serious WTF moment.  I wouldn't be surprised if his next staring role isn't going to be his Sharknado 37.

My peach tree is blossoming.


I understand that old, and very white, Mitch McConnell is doggedly trying to upset the apple cart for Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the Supreme Court.  Well, I don't see why anyone should find that surprising.  I wonder if he's worried she might Clarence (I'm an Oreo) Thomas look phony.

And yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a single item bill capping the cost of insulin at $35 and 193 Republicans voted against it.  They didn't offer and substantive arguments as to why they wanted to kill the bill.  Of course, we do know they love their corporate greed more than they do life.


Friday, April 1, 2022

Sad

 Friday, and I slept in because I stayed up late watching TV.  Both Halo and Picard are on Paramount, which I believe owns CBS.  I like Halo, good science fiction action.  Picard?  The series is becoming less about Picard and more about the rest of the cast, perhaps because Patrick Steward is 81and is beginning to sound elderly.  I also watched Moon Knight... meh.  I might end up passing on it.  I know there are those who will watch the show just see see little Oscar Issacs running around in his super hero suit, I am not one of those.

What a shame about Bruce Willis.  While never being a stellar actor, quite a number of his performances moved people.  I can remember sitting in a very crowded theater watching Armageddon  only to have my attention turn to the large, muscular gentleman sitting in front of me sobbing when Willis chooses to stay on the asteroid and die.


And the Ukrainians blew up some oil tanks... in Russia.  I'll bet that made Vlad sad.  I understand Vlad's government is also attempting to accommodate Loser #45's plea for dirt on Biden.  Of course, the Kremlin knows the truth in that saying 'repeat a lie often enough and every Republican will believe it.'  The 74% of Americans who realize this is pure horse shit understand the GOP chose to compromise themselves years ago.  Conservatives will sacrifice everything in their attempt to get the power they crave.