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  • The 2024 Presidential campaign is cranking up, and as an independent voter, I must say that I am not impressed.
  • I expect the Democrats to do one of two things:
    • Nominate some horry harridan or simpering sycophant from one of the coasts in the name of optics and message.
    • Line up behind Joe Biden to prop him up long enough to toss his mangled carcass across the finish line, then pick the bones for as long as they can.
      • I would not bet money on VP Harris’ chances of being on the ticket. Stranger things have happened, and she will bring in black voters to some extent, but I just don’t see her sticking around waiting for Biden to keel over on live, international news feeds so she can assume the office.
  • On the other hand, I expect the Republicans to do one of two things
    • Renominate Trump after a long and bitter primary fight, thereby pissing off half of the electorate enough to motivate them to go the polls and pull the lever for anyone but OrangeManBad.
    • Not nominate Trump, thereby pissing off a good chunk of their base, demotivating them enough that they sit home on Election Day.
  • For each, I see very few third ways.
    • The Democrats could search the bowels of their party to find a reasonable, populist candidate that can connect with someone to the right of Stalin and younger than Methuselah. I’m sure there’s at least one or two left, somewhere. Perhaps they’re walled in somewhere in the basement of DNC headquarters, just waiting to be released back into the sunlight so they can be lambasted by the ‘right’ people in their party.
    • The Republicans could thread the needle and find someone enough like Trump that the Trump voting block will show up and enough not like Trump that the anti-Trump voting block doesn’t start screeching and throwing poo.
    • I don’t exactly have much faith that either party will be able to accomplish anything that slows down the rotation as we approach oblivion, but never say never.
  • Speaking of presidential politics, a thought occurred to me the other day:
    • In 2016, any Democrat except Hillary Clinton could have beaten Trump.
    • In 2020, any Republican except Donald Trump could have beaten Biden.
    • I have no idea what’s going to happen in 2024, but it’s going to make for some really interesting history in about 50 years.
  • On the economic front, I may be investing in a kayak. If we’re going to circle the drain, might as well have fun while we’re doing it.
  • Those who say that Biden is getting us involved in Ukraine in order to either enrich himself and his cronies, or to distract us from other issues need to remember to never assign to malice that which can be assigned to incompetence.
  • I am in a bit of a disagreement with my wife at the moment. You see, Irish Woman intercepted a box from Lucky Gunner the other day, and apparently its size was ‘deceptive’.
    • The disagreement is whether or not a grown woman can put her back out trying to lift a small box containing 1000 9mm cartridges.
  • I’ll be heading down to Nashville for a small ‘con this weekend. It’s a good chance to hang out with members of the tribe, recharge my batteries, and hear Southern American English with less twang in it.


  • Someday, when I have the extra money, right after I buy a flying pony, I will have a family crest put together. Not sure what imagery I will use, but it will probably have a bear in it somewhere. For the family motto, I’m thinking I’m going to have someone who knows what they’re doing translate “Sleep is for the weak” into Latin.
  • Irish Woman and I plan to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary next year by going back to Ireland.
    • My goal is to make my wife happy
    • Her goal is to introduce her son to Ireland and be there when he has his first beer.
    • I’ve already warned the lad about pretty Irish women and sweet, smooth, Irish beer.
  • Looking at the cost of airfare, and ye gods and little fishes, it’s dear. For what they want for an 18 hour flight to Dublin and back, with a 9 hour layover in beautiful Newark, it might be cheaper to pay someone to smuggle us over as livestock.
    • For those of you keeping score at home “9 hour layover in beautiful Newark” is not a romantic proposal, no matter the lady to whom you’re making it.
    • Does Aer Lingus have steerage? Might as well get the whole family history experience while we’re at it.
  • The news is breathlessly reporting how responsive and leaderish Joe Biden is because several more unidentified flying thingies have been sighted in the past few days, with at least one of them being shot down.
    • Here’s a hint – If he were a real leader, they wouldn’t be there in the first place, because we would answer in kind with something a little more festive.
    • Is there a Mandarin equivalent to “Fuck around and find out”? How about Mongolfier?
  • My bones tell me that the Ukraine war is going to come down to who gets tired of spending first. Will Russia get tired of spending young men and dwindling technical resources for land or will the West get tired of spending war reserves to make every square kilometer of ground gained by the Russians hideously expensive in blood?
  • The earthquake news out of Turkey is horrific. No matter how well you build, no building is going to do well when hit with multiple 7+ scale earthquakes.
    • An evil little part of my soul is wondering if Russia, who Turkey has been cozying up to a tad too much, will contribute as much aid and relief supplies as Sweden does. Sweden, you will remember, has applied for NATO membership, which Turkey has been blocking because….. Kurds, I guess?


  • There must be some way to mathematically describe wind strength and behavior based on the way hound dog ears flap when the pup puts her nose into the breeze.
    • This will require more thought. And coffee.
  • Irish Woman went on a cruise with some family and friends last week, and it did wonders for her attitude.
    • Apparently, the secret is no Internet access for several days, along with having rum punch on demand.
    • The magic formula appears to be 3 rum punches followed by a 3 hour nap. This procedure should be repeated as needed.
  • The disagreement on whether the end of the 8th grade is a life changing event or just changing of a school continues.
    • Irish Woman is following the Louisville tradition of celebrating ‘graduation’ from the 8th grade as if the Young Prince was finishing a rigorous course that will lead to all great things that she could ever want for him. Plus a pony. With ice cream.
    • I, on the other hand, being a sane, non-Lousvillian, look upon the end of the 8th grade as “Congratualtions. Let’s get pizza. The yard needs mowed tomorrow, kid”.
    • The difference in trouble, time, and cost between the two positions is staggering.
  • The new car arrived a couple of days early, so I officially own a Subaru hatchback. The hunt for bumper stickers has already begun.

Automotive Rumblings

So, in a few weeks, I’ll have a brand spanking new Subaru Crosstrek. First Japanese car I’ve ever owned. I’ll have to explain that to my great grandfather next time I see him.

I looked at the Forrester and Outback, but would have been waiting almost until April for one to come onto the lot that hasn’t been bought already.

Volkswagen lost out because they didn’t have a Jetta for me to test drive and wouldn’t have one until February, at the earliest.

Toyota lost out because I got snotty responses from both dealerships when I asked about Camry availability over the phone.

Honda lost out because all SEVEN salesmen who responded, repeatedly, to my internet query acted like that girl in high school who was just a little too driven to have a date for the Sadie Hawkins ball. In this market, if you’re that desperate to sell a car, something’s going on there, and I didn’t like the Accord I got as a rental last year enough to go into the dealership to look at them in that climate.

Chevy, Jeep, and Chrysler lost out because I’m not paying what they want for what they have to sell. I also took a peek at Volvo, Audi, and Mercedes, had a good laugh, and closed those webpages.

Ford had first pick, but they don’t make cars anymore. They make Mustangs, trucks, and malformed minivans. I have a truck, can’t fit my kid in the back of a Mustang, and already know how their crossovers look and feel. Plus, all of the reports I’m seeing of Fords getting sold missing parts put me off the brand this time around.

The Subaru salesman was a laid back dude, mid-twenties, who was cool with taking me for a test drive in their base model and shooting the shit for 15 minutes before being patient with me for an hour as we looked at all the options.

Did I strike a good bargain? Probably not. It’s a seller’s market, and he’s selling cars before they leave the factory. I got a couple of deals on add-ons, but that’s about it.

If I had waited 6 months, I think things would have been different. Things are starting to trend down in the economy, and new cars are the first things that take a hit and go on sale.

But, I need a good, reliable car for commuting and for a couple of long road trips coming up, and the cost of a rental for said trips was just a tad more than 10% of the purchase cost of a new car in the class I was looking for. The truck is 10 years old, has small nagging things, and the big nagging things are soon to come.

One good thing Subaru did was not tack several thousand dollars onto the purchase price because their cars are popular. Several other brands around here are doing that. So, they got struck from the list entirely.

Now, I just have to come up with a cool name for it. The truck is WeissTod, so the silver Subaru needs something with style.


  • I have made an executive decision – At the end of January, the puppies will graduate up to ‘critter’. At the end of July, they will be fully matriculated to ‘dawg’.
    • Moonshine, the Wonder Lab, has retired to “Throw Rug” status, also known as “Hound Emeritus”.
  • If some darned varmint doesn’t stop digging up my front and side yards, I’m going to have to invest in some rather extensive anti-varmint technology. If it isn’t fixed by the 4th of July, there shall be gunpowder involved.
    • Sophie keeps trying to fix the problem herself, but her solution involves extensive excavation, which is what I’m trying to avoid. She wants to dig down, the mole is trying to dig up, but both ways leave me with a lawn that looks like the Somme battlefield.
  • The hunt for a new, smallish car continues. For the first time in my life, I’m considering a Subaru. Ford still gets first pick, but they’re a bit thin on the ground at the moment, and what is there appears to have been hand crafted by Hmong tinsmiths out of the most exclusive Tasmanian unobtanium.
  • In today’s auto market, it’s hard to find the Goldilocks car. This one is too big, this one is too small, this one is too much, this one is too cheap, but this one is juuust right.
    • Looking at the lots and online inventory, my choices appear to be “Car” or “No Car”, take your pick.


  • Moscato – Noun – Hipster word for Ripple.
  • Remember, gentlemen, to be gentle when disagreeing with your wife about the fashions she puts your son into. Describing the flannel jacket she bought for him as looking like the couch one would find in the ladies room in a Red Lobster probably wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done.
    • Answering her protests that the colors in said jacket were earth tones with “I’ve been around the world and I’ve never seen dirt that color before” probably wasn’t too swift, either.
  • Took said son out to buy him some new school shoes. Since we were there, I also bought him a pair of hiking boots. An admonition that the school shoes were for school and doing things with his mother only, and the hiking boots were for everything else seemed to fall on deaf ears. That is, of course, until I warned him that failure to heed this new edict would result in dire consequences involving ketchup and shoe strings.
  • Christmas and New Years went well. My goal was to be low key and not psychotic. So far, so good.
  • We went from the mid-40’s to 10 below in 48 hours, then from 10 below to the mid-60’s in 24 hours. The arthritis demon has been doing a conga line up and down my body for two weeks.
  • Ellie, our miniature American Psycho Hound is lucky she’s cute. So far, she’s chewed up a dozen USB cables, several Christmas presents, and the frame to my bed.
  • Her sister, Sophie the Faux Dachshund, on the other hand, has only tried to chew up my desk once. When confronted, she looked me in the eye and asked me ‘What desk?”
  • Come spring, I will be driving to North Dakota and back, following it up the week after with a drive to Texas and back. I am hoarding Audible credits in preparation for these trips.
    • The boy and I are well into the Monster Hunter International series, and I think I will follow up with Galaxy’s Edge or maybe a relisten to the Lord of the Rings.
  • I’ve looked at how much it will cost to rent a car to do these drives, and ye Gods and little fishes, that’s a chunk of change. It almost makes sense to buy a new car instead. I’ve been considering something smaller than an F-150 for the commute when we go back to the office, and this might be what finally pushes me into that decision.


  • Irish Woman asked me today what I wanted for Christmas. I told her I just wanted a hot meal and the love of a good woman.
    • This may be my last transmission. Tell my children I died well.
  • I got an email that one of Irish Woman’s presents won’t be here for Christmas because apparently the camel train from Outer Mongolia was intercepted by Hmong raiders or something.
    • When I told Irish Woman that she had to come up with something else, she said we could just buy a new dishwasher instead.
    • I told her to pull the other leg. It’s got bells attached to it.
  • In other news, our dishwasher has died and our microwave appears to be on the downhill slide toward recycling.
    • The dishwasher was manufactured in 2009, the microwave in 2008, so I’d say that both we and the former owners of the house got good value out of them.
    • Have y’all priced out appliances lately? Sweet Jebus, but they’ve gotten pricy. My first three cars didn’t cost as much as a new dishwasher and an in-the-wall microwave do now.
  • We’ve reached that wonderful time of year here in IndiUcky where it’s too warm to snow, but cold enough that the rain just sucks the life right out of you.
    • Luckily, I have an ample supply of Vitamin D and corn liquor to see me through.
  • Question for y’all – Have you just about given up on going to the theater to watch a movie? We went a few months ago, and I really didn’t enjoy it anymore. Unless the movie has special effects or cinematography that absolutely requires the big screen to appreciate it, I’d rather just stay home and rent a film. And since I’m about done with Star Wars, Harry Potter, the MCU, and the DCU, I don’t see me dishing out $70 or more for the family to enjoy a matinee.


Well, it’s that time of year again. That wonderful season where those of us who just want to get through it without felony charges plaster a fake smile on our face and avoid human contact unless absolutely necessary.

I returned from a Scout campout on Sunday to find that the infection of holiday herpes, AKA Christmas decorations, had begun its inexorable infestation of my home. The old dining room has an artificial arboreal zombie, complete with seizure-inducing twinkling lights.

The liquor cabinet had been cleared off and the Holy Family, complete with resin Baby Jesus, has been planted in a bed of fake garland. Apparently, Our Lord and Savior has to be born inches from my stash of corn liquor.

So now, when I go to get a bottle of demon rum out of the cabinet in order to quell the voices in my head, I have to look our Lord and Savior in the eye as I decide if this is a nice, mellow Jim Beam evening or a howl-at-the-moon cask strength Wild Turkey kind of night. So, I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Just remember kids, if you mix top shelf hooch with Coca Cola, you will make the Baby Jesus cry.

The draping of my abode in Christmas dreck will only get worse as we approach the 25th. It will be a gradual ramp up over the next couple of weeks, followed by a frenzy of midwinter decoration starting two days before Christmas.

The discussion of when I will find time to drive around Louisville to find a bourbon-soaked fruitcake made by Trappist monks (not a joke) has already started. Last year, it took two evenings, a tank of gas, and stops at 8, count them, 8 purveyors of holiday horror to find one and bring it home.

I will admit, it was tasty when served with a cup of hot coffee laced with a little Kentucky blessing.

At least my shopping is almost done. I may have overstepped when I told my wife that if she didn’t tell me exactly what she wanted and send me links to make the purchase, she was getting steak knives. She acquiesced when she noticed I wasn’t laughing along with her.

The boy is getting a couple of small things from me and a gift card. This is how things will go until the final Christmas before his 18th birthday. He will then get one of the biggest gifts I’ve ever given him – luggage.

Girlie Bear already got her present – cash. She was quite pleased with it, as expected.

So, for my fellow prisoners of Christmas conscience, keep your chin up. Good luck, and I’ll see you on the other side when we will be spending the first week of January helping our friends and family who are really too old to drink like that.


  • It’s a good feeling when the puppy wants to get playful at 9:30 PM. It’s a good stress reliever playing fetch in the living room/kitchen for an hour.
  • It’s not so good for the stress when you discover that the reason the puppy is so energetic that late at night is because she got into the basement storage room and ATE AN ENTIRE MRE, INCLUDING THE VANILLA CAPPUCCINO POWDER.
    • That explains the athletic prowess, including sprints, both high and long jumps, and the ability to move faster than the human eye can see.
  • Remember those cute signs about how an unattended child will be given an espresso and a puppy? Well, last night, we had both of those in one package.
  • She’s fine, and no, she didn’t get into the chewing gum. I monitored her all night long, and no gastrointestinal or cardiac issues noted.
  • In other news, I am going to be spending some time replacing the lock on that door. Either it’s faulty, or my puppy has advanced infiltration skills.

Thought for the Day

Gentlemen, “When are you going to learn to not touch the hot stove again?” is not the response your wife is looking for when she needs to ‘talk’ about her frustrations with her latest volunteer effort.

Repeating that question several times in the course of a discussion does not improve it, either.

Just nod, grunt approvingly, and agree with her at appropriate intervals. In the long run, it’s the best course of action for both of you.

Remember, ‘tis better to be happy than to be right.

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