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Musings

  • So, Joe Biden and wasshername are going to be in the White House here in a couple of weeks.  Guess we’ll just have to see how bad it can get.  I’m not hopeless, but I’m not exactly hopeful either.
    • Look for any progress made in the last 4 years to be washed away in a few months.  ObamaCare is coming back, the Iran deal will be back on the table, and contracts to tear down the border fencing will likely be advertised by the end of the year.
    • Republican resistance will either be stubbornly ferocious or they will fold like a cheap suit.  Guess where the smart money is placing their bets.
    • We’re about to find out if all those judicial nominations were worth it.
    • If you’re not donating to your favorite political and/or litigation group yet, what’s keeping you?
  • Made a trip out of town on Saturday to buy bacon.  You read that right:  I drove almost an hour from home to visit a little ma-and-pa store to buy bacon for Irish Woman.
    • When our grocery store is selling decent bacon for almost $12 a pound, and better bacon can be had for $5 a pound, it’s worth the effort.
    • Picked up some Amish butter, because Amish butter, and a few jars of locally-canned jam.  Elderberry jelly reminds me of something my grandmother would have made, and Traffic Jam (rhubarb, strawberry, and a few other things) just sounded scrumptious.
  • While I was out there, I stopped at one of the larger gun dealers in the area to see what was to be seen.
    • The store was busier than I’ve ever seen it.  Folks weren’t lined up out the door, but it was almost to that point.
    • There were AR-15’s to be had, but they were priced well above my comfort zone.  People were buying them.
    • Nobody seemed to be bothering with short-barreled rifles or suppressors.
    • The only surplus rifles I could find were old, rusty Carcanos, and those were priced at $250.
    • There was a nice selection of pistols, and prices were only slightly above what I remember them being this time last year.
    • Ammunition was thin on the ground.  I saw no 9mm, .45, or .38/.357.  There was also no 5.56, although there was a limited supply of .308 and 7.26×39.
    • There was also some .22, 7.62x54r, and .30-06, but that was all going for about 50 cents a cartridge.
    • .25 was available, but it was even more expensive.
    • There was no buck shot to be seen, and only a few boxes of slugs were available. They did have lots of bird shot.
    • If you’re looking for odd rifle calibers, you’re probably OK.  There was also a lot of 10mm for hand held boomenmachers, if that’s your thing.
    • I picked up a new bore snake, because happiness is a clean gun, and a couple pounds of coffee.   I’m not really in the market for a gun at these prices, and while I’d like more ammunition, I don’t need it in the calibers they had available.
    • When I checked out, one of the employees remarked that they are getting a shipment of ammunition in every day, but they don’t know what’s coming.  Their distributor is just sending what’s available.
    • Apparently a pallet each of 9mm and 5.56 were put on the floor yesterday morning.  The 9mm was gone in an hour, the 5.56 was gone in two.
  • Well, it looks like my days of working from home are coming to a middle.  Our return to work date has been pushed out a few more months.
    • I’m not complaining. I miss seeing some of my co-workers, and my reading is down a lot since I don’t have a commute with an audiobook every day, but being able to roll out of bed, have a cup of coffee, get cleaned up, and then get to work in less than an hour is kind of nice.

Thought for the Day

Good morning, Happy New Year.

Hindsight is now 2020.

That is all.

Go get some caffeine and report to the couch for the day.

Musings

  • Only mad dogs and Norwegians go to the grocery store two days before Christmas.
  • I literally had six items on my shopping list, plus several gift cards.  I ended up with a half a truck-bed full of groceries.
    • Not sure why, but that old “Make sure your larder is full” feeling came over me when I was in the produce aisle.
  • At this time of year, communication is key.  For example, Irish Woman and I both bought large bunches of rather ripe bananas today.
    • Guess I’ll be making a batch of banana bread tomorrow, and introducing Boo to banana smoothies in the new food processor.
  • Irish Woman and Boo made some jam thumbprint cookies, along with their normal frosted sugar cookies.  I just finished up two dozen each of snickerdoodles and peanut butter cookies.  If I’m feeling froggy tomorrow, it’ll be time to whip up some chocolate chip cookies and the aforementioned banana bread.
    • Food like this will eventually kill me, but I’ll die happy.
  • Irish Woman and Boo spent part of their afternoon going to the neighbors and delivering boxes of donuts from one of the local shops.  From what they told me, their deliveries were quite popular.
  • The weather has finally decided that it’s December, just in time for me to have time to go for walks.  Guess I’ll be that weird neighbor who gets out on the road rain or shine, because if I don’t get out of this house soon, I’m definitely going to be called the weird neighbor, just not for good reasons.

Musings

  • It’s the most wonderful time of the year, with ice pellets falling and customers calling and WAKING UP AT 5 AM TO GET ON A 6 AM CONFERENCE CALL ONLY TO BE TOLD THAT THEY INVITED ME BY MISTAKE!
    • I was invited to the follow-up meeting the following morning AND ONLY SAID 3 WORDS THE ENTIRE HOUR!
    • Some days I think I should have listened to my mother and gotten a job as the piano player in a whorehouse.
  • One problem with not being a Christmas person is that it falls to Irish Woman to decorate the house.  Most years, it’s Whoville and my sanity and electric bill both have issues.
    • This year, due to most of our Christmas junk still tucked away in stacks of identical cardboard boxes, it’s more minimalist.  By more minimalist, I mean that only about 50% of the surfaces in our home have something seasonal laid upon or tacked to them.
    • I have hope that my requests to not purchase more yuletide dreck will be granted.  It’s a forlorn hope, but a hope nonetheless. Maybe there’ll be a Christmas miracle or something.
  • It would appear that the best way to meet the new new neighbors is to just wait for them to bring Moonshine or Derby home after they’ve decided to do some unscheduled, unaccompanied exploring.
    • Another hit seems to be when the neighbors come out on a frosty morning to see why a strange man in bear-print pajama pants, an old tee shirt, and no shoes, is jogging a couple of yards behind a labrador retriever at 7 in the morning on a Sunday.

Musings

  • If you answer “I’m free most nights and weekends” when I ask when you can meet with a vendor, please don’t be surprised when I schedule a meeting with the vendor for 7 PM on Tuesday.
  • Note to Self – If we want to survive until the end of this year, the words “Brown lumps in gray sauce or gray lumps in brown sauce?” should not go through our lips when entering the kitchen and smelling dinner.
  • I took my semi-annual look at my retirement account, and if things keep going well for the stock market, adjusting for inflation, I should be able to retire sometime in my mid-80’s.
    • When I hit the milestones that allow me to retire from the current day job, I think I’m going to explore a new career as a reprobate.  That seems to pay well, at least for those reprobates with titles like ‘Senator’ and “Congressman’.
    • My 401K grew by about 25% this year due to the, IMHO, overheated stock market.  The feeling I have in my gut right now is the same as I have when I’m in the first car on the rollercoaster and we’re approaching the crest of the first big hill.
  • As the holidays approach at breakneck speed, we are all thinking of what to give our loved ones.  This year, be practical – give those you cherish ammunition, magazines, and booze.
    • I’m not saying things look bad when I look into my magic 8 ball, but I’m considering cutting a piece off of an old flag and putting it into my wallet, just in case.
  • Irish Woman and I had our annual “Please don’t buy me anything for Christmas”…. ‘discussion’ the other night.  I took a different tack this year by listing all of the things she and the kids have bought me for Christmas over the decades that met their fates at Goodwill or the bottom of a dumpster when we moved this year.  I’m hoping that this message convinced her that there is absolutely nothing I need nor want and that a good breakfast and some quiet music is all I ask for on Christmas morning.
    • It’s a forlorn hope, I know, but maybe one year I’ll wake up to a hug, a hot cup of coffee, and nothing more waiting for me.
  • Irish Woman tried to convince me to just buy her a bottle of the shampoo she loved back in the 80’s for Christmas, and I laughed in her face.  I don’t have much to live for, but I’m not going down like that.
    • Might as well watch her unwrap a set of steak knives and then go take a nap.

Musings

  • Note to self – Never trust a labrador retriever with cranberry nut bread on his breath.
    • Corollary – Always buy twice as much seasonal baking supplies as you think you will need.
  • Note to self – Never try to do business with the bank where you set a very hard to remember password before you’ve had at least one pot of coffee.
  • Note to self – When you find yourself failing the “Prove you’re not a robot by clicking on pictures” test for 10 minutes, it’s time for another pot of coffee.
  • Note to self – Shutting off the main water supply valve to the house was probably overkill when replacing the water filter on the “Oh my god, how much did they spend on that?” refrigerator, but it was a heck of a lot easier than trying to move said appliance and find the one right next to the fool thing.
  • Mathematical and Budgetary Grumblings:
    • The new filter is good for 300 gallons.
    • A gallon of water weighs about 10 pounds, or 160 ounces.
    • There are 20 8-ounce glasses of water in a gallon.
    • 20 glasses of water per gallon times 300 gallons equals 6000 glasses of cold, refreshing, filtered water for your son and wife who can no longer drink water straight from the tap for some reason.
    • At $33 per filter, that comes to about half a cent of additional cost per glass of water.
      • That, of course, assumes that my time to purchase and replace filters is worth nothing.
    • If I had asked to spend half a penny every time I needed to wet my whistle as a child, I would have been smacked upside the head until I got my mind right and went outside to drink from the hose.
  • Catching the fencing contractor relieving himself in the neighbor’s tree line makes for some laughter on the job site after the Irish Woman admonishes him.
    • Having the neighbor catch said contractor in the tree line leads to DaddyBear baking some treats and a visit to the neighbor’s back porch.
  • Moonshine and Derby love the new fenced in back yard.  The other dogs in the neighborhood, who are smart enough to be allowed to go out into their own backyards to read the newspaper without triggering a canine Amber Alert, came over to investigate the new thing and new dogs.  A good time was had by all, and the new furry friends all went home after ‘marking’ the new fence several times.
    • Poor Moonshine then spent the better part of the the morning recycling bowl water to reclaim his fence.
  • You know, after 20 years as a couple, you’d think my wife would know the answer before asking “Honey, would you have a problem having bears close to our cabin?”.

Musings

  • Irish Woman was delighted this morning when I called her my angel.  The context was ‘angel of death’, but she takes what she can get.
  • It occurs to me that the large number of people who treat politics as a blood sport are about to find out what blood tastes like.
  • Folks who do shady stuff in the dead of the night need to remember that there are cameras everywhere and the Internet is forever.
  • There’s nothing like starting a new project that requires expert knowledge and years of experience at your shiny new job, but you’re still at the ‘My blocks won’t stay on top of each other when I throw my juice box at them!’ level of expertise.
  • I am learning to take non-verbal queues quite well.  For instance, when the dude in charge of the crew installing our new fence looked me in the eye, and said, “Thanks, but we’re good.  Don’t worry about lunch or coffee or anything like that.” I correctly understood that to mean “No, really, we just want to get this job done and get out of the cold.  Go away, please.”
  • The life of a mammal is hard around  here.  Why, just today, Moonshine had to decide whether to lay on the carpet in the living room and watch the guys work in the back yard on his new enclosed toilet, or to lay on the carpet in my office and watch me make money so I could buy his dog food.
  • DaddyBear’s “Summon Cold and Wet Weather Spell” – purchase the components for an outdoor fireplace, light exactly one fire in it, then watch the sleet roll in.
  • The yearly ‘disagreement’ over what to get each other for Christmas has begun.  Normally, I default to getting Irish Woman jewelry, and she buys me ammunition.  Unfortunately, the price of lead and copper is approaching the low end of jewels and silver, so I’ve ruled that out. 
    • I will point out that there have been no protestations from her that would preclude me from acquiring more ‘twinkle’, as she calls it, to adorn my beloved wife.

Giving Thanks

For those of us in the United States, today is Thanksgiving.  It’s our annual post-harvest festival where we gather to feast on turkey and all the trimmings, watch some TV, and just spend some time together.

Hopefully, we also take a few moments to reflect on the past year and give thanks for what we have.

Right now, even with everything going on in the world, my family has a lot to be thankful for.

I’m thankful that we are all healthy and whole in a year where that is not a given to too many people.

I’m thankful that both Irish Woman and I are employed and that our son does not have to go without in a year where that is not a given to too many people.

I’m thankful that I live in a country where we contest elections with words and legal filings, not with bullets and machetes.

I’m thankful that we’ve realized our goal of moving to a new home.

Finally, I’m grateful that I have this outlet and the many friends and family that it’s brought to me over the years.  Y’all are a bright spot in a dark world, and you’re much appreciated.

So, for all of you out there, thank you.

Musings

  • After filling half a freezer with various pieces of cow, I can now attest that Oreo-Cookie Cows, raised on Kentucky bluegrass, are mighty tasty.
  • When your wife comes home to a pan-seared, 2 inch thick boneless ribeye, homemade (sort of) macaroni and cheese, and a running dishwasher, yet is still run down and tired, you know that she had a bad day at work.
  • The new gun safe has arrived.  Luckily, the combination was not locked inside when it was delivered.  The instructions on how to open it with said combination, however, were.
  • Due to an increase in Covid-19 cases in the area, Boo’s private school leadership decided to do off-site instruction for the next couple of weeks.
    • I got “The Look” when I commented that there was a perfectly good public school right up the road that wasn’t letting our kid go to school just as well as the multi-thousand-dollar-a-year private school wasn’t letting our kid go to school.
    • Actually, I’m rather impressed.  Boo has video-conference classes starting at 8 every morning, has daily assignments that must be completed and uploaded to the school’s website on time, and has a rather heavy homework load.
    • I’m told that I am not allowed to fulfill the role of creepy, but wise, janitor for him, nor may I act out my vice-principal disciplinarian dreams while he matriculates in our kitchen.

Musings

  • Diamonds may be forever, but rubies put fire into Irish Woman’s eyes.
  • The restaurant manager at dinner last night spent almost as much time discussing the method for cooking my steak as I did eating it, and that was not an insignificant hunk of cow.
  • Putting most of my books onto bookshelves made the new house start to feel like home.
  • Today we picked up a used table-top PacMan console.  Boo was almost as excited to see it as he would have been to see a new Xbox.
    • It goes into the corner of the basement reserved for Irish Woman’s toys.  The jukebox, other video game, pinball machine, and air hockey table welcomed it with open arms.
  • Note to self:  When the instructions for the fire pit tell you to make a circle 49 inches across, they mean 49 inches across.  Not 48, not 50.  49.
    • Addendum – Having to unstack 36 concrete pavers so that you could adjust to an even 12 pavers per layer, instead of the 13 you put into the first two layers, is considered suboptimal performance and a failure of the in-process quality control system.
  • Scraps of kiln-dried cedar paneling are almost explosively flammable. Old pallet wood that’s been sitting on an outdoor shelf at BIGBOXHARDWARE for a couple of weeks, not so much.
  • Apparently, a field mouse and her family hitched a ride in the bed of my truck in the pallet of pavers from BIGBOXHARDWARE.  I informed Miss Mousie that she had to vacate the premises by the time I was done building the fire pit.  If she did not do so, I would be forced to introduce her to Crash, the Psychotic, and his fascination with ‘playing’ with things small and fuzzy.
  • Sitting next to the fire, enjoying the warmth and a few moments of sanity, was worth the rather rushed scramble to get the fire out and and everything put away when the cold front, with its gusts of wind and abrupt rainstorm, washed over us.
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