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Musings

  • You know you’re in a cool group of folks when you mention that you’re stuck on a rather esoteric subject in a project and someone goes “Oh, yeah, check out <INSERT BOOK TITLE HERE>.  If it doesn’t have what you’re looking for, let me know.  I know a guy.”
    • Another sign is the presence of not only a plushy manatee, but also a life-sized plushy lemur, at the party.
  • You learn things when you spend time with your tribe.  This weekend, I learned that I really like Irish whiskey.  Irish whiskey, on the other hand, wants me to die horribly.
  • I need to sit down with a paper map and plot out the routing for my flights to and from Texas this past weekend.
    • I’ll have to make an unbroken salt circle around the map first.  I’m pretty sure that I’ll summon something rather sticky and irritated when I finish drawing that particular shape.
  • I was 2 for 4 in the “Screaming Baby on an Airplane” game this weekend.
    • One waited until we were almost at the gate to deplane before losing his mind. Not perfect, but nearly so.
    • The other one started whining when the engines fired up, cried as we took off, then screamed from Denver to Louisville.  Everyone was, or tried to be gracious, about the situation. I was amazed at this infant’s stamina.  He’s got a career as a marathon runner who does opera in his spare time.
  • Folks, if you’re going to fly a low-cost airline in this day and age, please be sparing in your use of perfume, cologne, and fermented fish sauce during your morning cleansing rituals.  Just because we’re crammed in like sardines doesn’t mean you have to smell like one.
    • I normally tell my children that someone should be slow dancing with them before they can be smelled, but we were almost at the point of cuddling while we sat 6 across on a widebody.
  • In the never-ending debate of “WhatABurger versus In-n-Out”, I have to say that when you want a tasty burger served with a side of great service and awesome french fries, you go to WhatABurger.  When you want a delicious, sloppy, grease-bomb and a tee-shirt, you go to In-n-Out.

Musings

  • Pool – An Old English word that means “A hole in the yard into which one pours money, time, and liability”.
  • It took two days for the installer to put the pool together, two days to fill it with the garden hose, and one day for Irish Woman to discover the first leak and the definite lean of the pump and filter.
    • I am afraid to say this out loud, because she can kill me with her mind, but not my monkeys, not my circus.
    • One good thing about this boondoggle is that someday, I will want to spend a lot of money on something she doesn’t want on the property, and all I will have to do is point across the yard to her industrial-size algae receptacle.
  • Somehow, a trip to the farm store to get a heavy duty extension cord turned out to be a purchase of an extension cord, a garden hatchet, two solar lamps, and a plastic hollow log.
    • We needed the extension cord because, of course, the pool installers got out here before the electrician did.
    • The garden hatchet is so that Irish Woman can repel boarders while she’s puttering around the yard.
    • The lights are so that Irish Woman can see her opponents while she putters around the yard.
    • The hollow plastic log…. Well, I’m not really sure what that’s for.  I’m sure it will have a purpose someday.
  • There is that magical moment, after four days of banging your head against a problem, when it finally goes away and you’re proud of yourself.  It’s not because you solved it, though.  Rather, you gain a feeling of great accomplishment for not choking the person who knew what was wrong, how to fix it, and yet did not pipe up or bother to write down their knowledge.  Allowing that person to walk away unscathed is the true achievement.

Musings

  • Well, Irish Woman’s pool is finally starting to happen in ways that involve more than writing checks.
    • Oh, the check writing will never end, but now other things are happening too.  See if you can spot where this makes me a happy bear.
    • I will be paying to upgrade the electrical service on the house because the 1979 breaker box in my basement is full.  Apparently we need electricity for the world’s most expensive cattle trough, and my suggestion to hook up an exercise bike and a generator was vetoed.
    • I cannot have the plumber out to add a new outdoor water spigot where I want it because pieces and parts of the above ground cistern have been stacked in my garage and I am forbidden to touch them.  That means that my darling Irish Woman will have to string together a couple hundred feet of hose to fill her artisanal sump once it’s assembled.
    • The excavating company was out yesterday to do site prep.  I now have a 24 foot hole in my yard, ranging from half a foot to 2.5 feet deep.  Luckily, the limestone shelf upon which Kentucky rests is just a tad deeper than this.  Around here, the sound of a jack hammer is ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.
    • The dirt from said hole is piled up in a nice berm between the hold and the street. Irish Woman, the love of my life and mother to my spawn, says that it will be planted with flowers and grass so that it screens her bluelight-special-looking above ground pool from the street.  This is a desperate scheme to convince me that we are not shooting the value of our new property behind the ear by doing all this.
    • I, on the other hand, am considering where to site the AT-4 and M-60 teams on it to keep the Soviets from advancing across the black top.  Let the godless Communists stay on their own side of the street.
    • Additionally I have about a ton each of gray and brown sand piled up at the end of my driveway.  You know, that little bit of concrete that makes it easy for me to get my truck in and out?  Yeah, not usable for the foreseeable future.
      • I do know where I can get some sandbags, and the boy needs his character built a tad.  Hmmmm.
    • The nice man, and I’m not being sarcastic about this, he’s a saint, from the excavating company had a really rough day yesterday.  First, he had to deal with me. That alone earns him a lot of brownie points.  Second, he was sideswiped on the freeway during one of his multiple trips to get stuff for the project.  The dude who hit him apparently didn’t stop, so he has to deal with a hit and run report to the police and his insurance company.  Next, he backed his trailer over a retaining wall and flower bed next to our driveway.  I’ve been assured by my darling wife that this will be fixed at some point in the vague mists of the future.  Finally, Irish Woman brought him a couple of burgers when she discovered that the poor man had not had lunch.  Unfortunately for him, he discovered that Burger King is now serving Whoppers a nice medium-rare after a couple of bites.
  • I am assured that this addition to our house will make She Who Will Not Be Denied happy for the rest of her life, and that she will take care of it and it won’t be a bother and it will bring peace and tranquility to our house.  Now, look closely and you can see my excitement about this project.
  • I am assured that at some point, I will be able to put in a sauna, which is what I want.  I’m sure that license to do this will be granted by Lady Voldemort a couple of weeks before my doctor tells me that saunas will kill me.
  • Cleaning up the highway with the Boy Scouts went very well.  There is a cadence to these things:
    • The boy discovers a piece of trash nestled in the grass alongside the road.
    • He and his pals examine the bit of flotsam, poking it with various sticks and grabbing utensils.
    • He then attempts to pick it up with said grabbing tool.  He gets extra points for snagging it in the most inconvenient manner.  This will necessitate multiple tries and debates on the best method between him and his compatriots.
    • He then announces what he found.  Loudly.
    • The advertising jingle for the product, if known, is then sung or chanted at least once.  If it has a tag-line, he will sing this out for several minutes after, or until something else catches his attention.  Marketing works, my brothers and sisters.
      • Mothers, who are along to act as speed bumps by standing a couple of inches out into the road wearing bright clothing, will be mortally embarrassed by how many beer commercials their sons know by heart and by pointing out how many of the brands they have at their house.
    • If the article is not identifiable, is rather gross, or is at all interesting, a debate will ensue between him and the Scouts nearest him to ascertain the object’s identity and discuss it at length.
    • The object will then be placed into a trash bag.  50% of the time, he will want to present a dissertation on his findings to the adult holding the trash bag.  The other 50% of the time, the trash will be dropped on the ground, causing the cycle to begin again.
  • Spring break began yesterday.  I am puttering around the house today, and we will be heading off to the mountains for a few days.  Irish Woman told me that she rented a cabin.  My vision of what we are going to be staying in was a few rooms, roughly furnished, with electricity and running water.  What she rented is a 3 story, 3 bedroom/bath wooden house with a gas grill and both a jacuzzi and pool table.  There’s nothing like roughing it for a few days.
  • Pictures from the rental agency include several outside, second story posts with rather prominent claw marks in them, so I’m guessing that either there is a local bear population that has learned that suburbanite tourists equal easy food or that the raccoons in the area have mutated.  More on this to come after we get back.

Musings

  • Apparently, the project plan for my latest endeavor at work was written by Kafka.  After a 3 day cocaine binge.  During a practice run of the Apocalypse.
  • We’ve hit that beautiful part of spring here in Kentucky where it’s too nice to stay inside, but too chilly to hang out on the deck and work.
  • Getting sick was not on my agenda for the week.
    • Woke up Monday with a bit of a headache and feeling pretty crummy.  Since I have it on good authority that I am allergic to everything that grows in Kentucky, and the snow has melted, I assumed it was hay fever.  Took two allergy tablets and a 10 hour nap.
    • Woke up on Tuesday feeling like something scraped off the bottom of a burn barrel in Tegucigalpa. Still had my sense of taste, but a low-grade fever, chills, body aches, and headache all came to party.  After a telehealth visit with my doctor’s APRN, during which I self-reported my own vitals, I drove to the doctor’s office and got tested for flu and Covid.  Upon returning to my 3-bedroom-ranch-of-solitude, I took a random assortment of medications and vitamins, drank a hogshead of cold water, and passed out until Wednesday.
    • Woke up Wednesday feeling slightly less subhuman.  What woke me was a cheerful message from my doctor’s office that I was negative for both flu and Covid.  So, I assume that I either have plague, malaria, or a head cold.
    • By Thursday, all I had was the feeling of being run over, repeatedly, by a wooly mammoth in heat, along with the inability to speak in much more than a hoarse growl.
    • Today, I’m just tired and back to being my wonderfully grouchy self. It’s sort of a cross between a bear, a cape buffalo, and a siamese cat.
    • Irish Woman is glad that I’m up and around, but has reminded me that I am not on the “can have a pissy attitude this week” roster at the moment.  She has offered, on multiple occasions, to adjust my attitude if that’s what I need.  Where would I be without her?
  • The components for Irish Woman’s pool arrived this morning.  All of the things I had ‘organized’ in the garage were ‘reorganized’ to make room in front of the garage door for sundry boxes, bags, bundles, and bull—-.  She is convinced that she will be floating around, drinking a fruity drink, by Kentucky Derby.  I am convinced that I will never find anything in the garage ever again.
  • This weekend’s activities include picking up trash with the Boy Scouts along an overly-used two-lane rural highway, an archery tournament with Boo, hopefully putting 75 strawberry plants into dirt, doing the weekend laundry and housecleaning, and watching at least one classic monster movie for family time.  Everyone always told me that things would start to slow down as I got older.  If I ever get my hands on those lying so-and-so’s, I’m going to be on the 11 o’clock news as the quiet neighbor that never had trouble with anyone until ‘the incident’.

Musings

  • Note to self – When your wife asks if you think she’s pretty, do not answer: “Were I not a married man, I would take you in a manly fashion” unless she’s as big a geek as you.
  • Asked at the dinner table – What’s the difference between a hormone and a pheremone?
    • DaddyBear’s Answer – A hormone makes it so you can grow a mustache.  A pheremone makes you not care if she has a mustache.
  • I’m not saying that putting the strawberry beds together wasn’t hard, but when you’ve slapped boards together to make dirt-holding containers in which to grow a cup and a half of produce every year as often as I have, it comes pretty easy.
  • The blackberry frame I put up, apparently, resembles a gallows.  Hey, you build what you know.
  • You know you’ve married the right woman when she agrees that a used bourbon barrel would make a good addition to our patio furniture.
  • Went to the big gun store this weekend, and they actually had a lot of ammunition.  An ammo can of .308 was as much as a decent rifle in .308 used to cost, but hey, there’s ammo.
  • One good thing about all the work to remove movies and books that some find problematic is that it motivates me to check to see if I already own a physical copy of it and correct the situation if I don’t.

Musings

  • Now that the latest round of political silliness is over in Washington, I’m looking forward to previews of next season. Here are some leaks that I’ve been able to make up from whole cloth get from insiders:  SPOILER ALERT!
    • That crafty Jill Biden (Secretly a doctor, not sure if witch or otherwise) is going to do an homage to Weekend at Bernie’s, except this time, Bernie Sanders is actually going to be helping her wheel her husband around the West Wing.  Hijinks will ensue as Kamala Harris continually tries to find, fix, and fornicate her way to the top.
    • Nancy Pelosi will start a major subplot as she desperately searches for a virgin, or at least someone of semi-questionable virtue, in Washington DC to sacrifice on the altar of eternal decrepitude.  Mitch McConnell will play the part of a greek chorus as he stands by and clucks his tongue at her.
    • Kamala Harris, safe from Pelosi’s machinations, will continually up her game as she tries to knock Joe Biden out of the White House.  This will be filmed in a series of shots where she talks directly to the camera and describes her latest scheme to bump the old man off.  Think Scooby Doo meets Spy versus Spy meets Pinky and the Brain meets Dirty Jobs.
    • The Christmas episode will be fantastic.  Dr. Jill and the entire White House press corps will decorate Grandpa Joe, with Jen Psaki circling back around to place a bright red star on top of his pointed little head.  Kamala Harris will feature heavily in this episode, as Willie Brown appears as the “Sugar Daddy of Christmas Past”.
    • The season finale will be off the hook.  Literally.  The episode will center around Joe losing the nuclear football and ripping the red phone to the Kremlin out of the wall during a tantrum started when he is denied a second pudding cup after his morning nap.  The entire cast will search the White House high and low as a clock counts down to when a badly-worded Groundhog’s Day presidential proclamation will unleash nuclear armageddon.
  • I’d like to thank the National Weather Service for announcing a winter weather advisory at 3:11 in the morning.  I’d like to thank the local emergency announcement program for alerting me, via text message and robocall, to the coming descent of white death onto the hellscape of the greater Louisville area at 3:12 in the morning.
    • For various reasons, my mind equates “phone ringing at 3:12 AM” as “somebody is hurt, someone has died, or work is on fire”.
    • After acknowledging both the telephone call and the adrenaline dump, I fell back into a stress-dream-filled sleep for a few hours.  There’s no sleep like “Hey, you remember that one time something happened and you can’t even tell a therapist about it?” dreams.
  • Irish Woman is trying to set me up.  “I don’t need anything for Valentine’s Day” indeed.
    • I know my darling wife is likely to be involved in my death somehow, but I’m not going to make her inevitable acquittal that easy.
    • For the record: pearl stud earrings, pearl and diamond pendant necklace, and lavender roses.

Musings

  • In a couple of weeks, Irish Woman and I will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the day we met.  Where has the time gone?
    • Flirtation when Irish Woman and I first met – “Are you single?”
    • Flirtation today – “You’re going to miss that finger when I bite it off.”
  • Irish Woman wants a pool.  I do not want a pool.
    • We compromised.  The pool will be installed in March or April.
    • I will say this – I have no plans to ever get in the pool.  I may be a stubborn ass, but I’m a principled stubborn ass.  I will be content to sit on the deck and watch her clean the pool.
  • Plans for the garden –
    • Build four 2 foot by 8 foot by 1 foot raised beds.  Fill with dirt, peat moss, and acidifier, then plant tomatoes and peppers
    • Build 3-tiered 4 foot by 6 foot x 3 foot strawberry bed
    • Build and plant herb garden
    • Acquire and plant 3 to 5 blueberry bushes, probably in bourbon barrel planters
    • Plant blackberry patch after constructing something for them to grow up
    • Possibly plant some cherry trees
  • Writing continues, slowly.  I’m outlining several different things at the same time, and writing another.  Either my output is going to be a (brief) firehose this year, or I’m not going to get a darned thing done.
    • Novellette/Novella in the Via Serica series.
    • Next in the Boogeyman series
    • Several short stories for a collection I’m thinking of putting together.
    • Maybe, possibly, one more Minivandian.
    • Another project that is very much in the nebulous “Hmmm, I wonder if I can do something with that?” phase.
  • I had to go into my office to get something the other night, and I realized just how little I miss the commute and long trek in from the parking lot.  Maybe working from home semi-permanently isn’t such a bad thing.
  • We are hoping that Boo will be able to attend Boy Scout and Fish&Wildlife camps this summer.  If he can’t, I will set up a tent in the backyard for him, then use the dogs to drive wildlife through his campsite at all hours of the night so that he gets something of the experience.  If I can’t find wildlife, I will dress the dogs up and stampede them over the top of his tent.

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.
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