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Thoughts on the Day

  • Woke up to the sound of wind whipping through the trees and ice pellets pattering against the window.
    • Yesterday, it was sunny and 72 degrees. Today, it was gray, wet, and cold enough to make the Kentucky people whine.
  • The puppies enjoyed their first snowfall. The fake weiner dog even enjoyed it when her stomach scraped the white stuff a bit.
  • The miniature American Psychohound thought it was the best thing ever.
  • As luck would have it, this morning was the morning to walk a neighborhood and leave flyers for “Scouting for Food”. The half inch of ice was being supplemented by wet snow as we walked.
  • For our anniversary, I got Irish Woman and me tickets to Churchill Downs. I bought a higher tier so that we could sit inside and eat something approaching real food. Considering the weather, I’m glad I did.
    • For $80 a head, we got a nice warm place to sit and a buffet.
    • Even with the bad weather, I’m not sure I got good value. The room was about half full, but the buffet was regularly empty on at least half of its items.
    • Also, when I pay that much for a meal, being told “Oh, the coffee is over there. Paper cups are right next to it. Help yourself!” is not what I expect. For $80 a head, I expect Juan Freaking Valdez himself to bring me a bone china chalice filled with the nectar of the gods.
    • The track conditions were, understandably, horrendous. Most races had more than one horse scratched voluntarily due to the risk of running. I can’t blame the owners. Most of those horses are worth more than my house, but it only takes one slip and all they’re good for is dog food and fertilizer.

Thought for the Day

Not sure who I’m stealing this idea from, but this isn’t originally mine. It’s just been rumbling around in my head for the past few.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[a]39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

Turning the other cheek is usually portrayed as a good person allowing someone else to harm them and not responding out of kindness and forgiveness.

I’ve always looked at it as not caring enough about the other person to give them the satisfaction of a response.

To me, it’s more of a statement for me to remind someone that they are so insignificant to me that even an insult or minor attack isn’t worth the effort to notice.

“You, flea, are not worth the calories it would take to scratch.” and all that.

Of course, your mileage may vary. My ability to ignore someone changes depending on a lot of variables, and I did inherit my grandfather’s temper.

And for you “What would Jesus do?” folks, just remember that in certain circumstances, flipping tables and literally beating the bejeezus out of them is perfectly acceptable.

Thought for the Day

Scene – Liboman, the Dishonest, stands upon his ivory tower. He looks down upon the destruction his own actions have wrought upon the land. Aghast, he beholds the approach of his enemy, TheVoteren, sovereign of the wide world.

Liboman, the Dishonest – Shall we not take council as we once did? Shall we not have peace? Can we not both admit that we all erred, and that our errors were made in haste, but in good faith?

TheVoteren – We shall have peace… We shall have peace when you answer for the burning of the livelihoods of good people! When you answer for the children who cannot read for want of schools! For the grandmothers who died alone on the altar of the foul god OrangeManBad while their families watched from afar! We shall have peace when you and your pious mumblings of forgiveness and kinship hang from a gibbet for the sport of your own thugs!

TheVoteren spits upon the ground to wash the taste of bile from his mouth.

TheVoteren – Then, wizard, shall we have peace.

End Scene

With all apologies to Peter Jackson and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Thought for the Day

We were breaking down the Halloween setup at the end of the driveway, and I was playing spooky music to set the mood. I wanted to get everything in before the next round of rain came through.

This started playing after Monster Mash, and The Young Prince perked his ears up.

“The Exorcist?” he asked with an impish smile.

I grunted. “Yeah. I think this is what your mom and I danced to it at our wedding reception.”

Just then, a peal of thunder and a flash of lightning split the sky. I felt a burning sensation at the back of my head. Turning around, I spied the love of my life trying to bore a hole in my cranium with her mind.

Ah, love. Sweet, sweet love.

Rumblings

  • Here in Kentucky, the judicial elections are non-partisan, and judges tend to not advertise or express political sentiments. That can make having an informed opinion at the polls harder for the voter.
    • Today, one of the judicial candidates made my life easier and convinced me to vote for their opponent when they produced a rare commercial attacking their opponent, who has not advertised as far as I know.
    • I am impressed by how clearly they described their opponent’s agenda and how quickly they convinced me to vote for said opponent.
    • Bravo, candidate X, bravo.
  • Elon Musk, he of the rockets that land as God and Robert Heinlein intended, is rumored to be planning a 75% layoff when he takes control of that hive of scum and villainy, Twitter.
    • It appears that this is, understandably, causing a wave of anxiety amongst Twitter employees. I mean, who wants to be laid off from your phony-baloney job?
    • I have some advice for the Twitterers. Take these ideas for what they are.
      • Learn to code. OK, I’m being a bit flippant here, but hear me out. If you’re working at Twitter, I’m going to assume that you’re at least somewhat technical. If you’re already a hardcore coder, then concentrate on getting better. You’ll either become essential and survive the bloodletting, or you’ll improve your odds of landing on your feet. If you’re not a coder, a new skill will look good for your resume. At least, you’ll be able to show that you made a desperate, last minute attempt to be more relevant after your position of 27th Assistant Understudy to the Chief Zampolit for Meme Verification is found to be surplus to requirements.
      • Learn that your job is not who you are. I mean, sure, everyone wants the glamorous title and lifestyle of a cubicle-dwelling, 18-hour workday having, no life to speak of outside of the Internet troglodyte, but that’s not everything you are. Embrace your inner self, and recognize that sweeping the streets of San Jose or San Francisco is better than starvation. Just ask the former employees of DEC or pets.com.
        • OK, well, cleaning the streets of San Francisco will be pretty terrible, but you get the idea.
        • Maybe you can take all of the skills you got playing skeeball in the Twitter break room for 8 hours a day and use them to launch your own business. I can see it now: Rent-A-Goof. Customer calls up and a slovenly Twit comes over to harangue them about their carbon footprint, privilege, and dietary choices. You’ll make millions!
    • If you survive the coming layoffs, consider yourself lucky and get on with it. I suggest pressing your nose to that grindstone until you start to smell smoke. Nobody says this is the final round, and you haven’t even seen Musk’s final form yet.
    • If you don’t keep your job, for God’s sake, don’t move home to Nebraska to look for work. Stay in California and continue to vote for and be Gavin Newsom’s problems. Decent people in the Heartland don’t need an influx of irrational, petty, opinionated children nowadays.

Rumblings

  • The mid-term elections are coming up soon. It’s that semi-annual season of hope where we all think that we’re going to vote our way to a better tomorrow
    • Some cynics see this as Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. I see this more as Bullwinkle exclaiming “This time for sure! Presto!”
    • The 2024 Presidential race starts the day after the 2022 mid-term. I’m already investing in futures in canned food and shotguns in anticipation of a principled, disciplined, and collegial election.
  • The war in Ukraine is in its third trimester, and things seem to be swinging back Ukraine’s way at the moment.
    • Ukraine is liberating large chunks of territory in the face of crumbling Russian resistance. Soon, the cliche about French rifles, never fired and only dropped once, will be superseded by something to do with Russian tanks
      • Russia is mobilizing dozens of fresh troops to throw into the fight. By fresh, I mean either old enough to remember that Brezhnev was a hard man, but a fair man, or young enough that we should soon see a tearful documentary on Vice about the use of child soldiers from the slums of Nizhni Novgorod.
      • My prediction is for a long, cold winter and a bleeding sore of a conflict for the foreseeable future. I call it my “Second verse, same as the first” perspective on modern warfare.
  • Putin says that all options are on the table, including the use of ‘special weapons’. With all the attention being given to the possible use of either tactical or strategic nuclear missiles, I hope somebody on our side is tracking the locations of nuclear 152mm and 203mm artillery shells.
    • Nothing says “I love you” like a brigade firing for effect with 2 kiloton glow-in-the-dark pushka pills
    • Fire enough of those at a city, and eventually one of them will work.

Thoughts on the Day

  • Taking your youngest son to see Sabaton is one of the pleasures of parenthood. His only other concert experience was Jimmy Buffett with his mother. Some would say that this takes him to two extremes. I disagree. This just rounds out his experience.
  • The crowd at the concert varied from 10 to 60 years old. Some wore Metallica or Judas Priest tee shirts that looked old enough to be original, some wore Sabaton tee shirts that still had the tags on them.
  • Concerns about walking through downtown Cincinnati unarmed at around midnight went away when I realized that I was walking them with about a thousand people as equally amped up on heavy metal as I was.
  • Parents, always remember to check with your teenager before leaving the hotel room to make sure they have all their stuff. In fact, make them show it to you. This morning, I got to walk an extra block back to the hotel and tip the nice man at the front desk so that the Young Prince could go back up to our room to fetch the cell phone he swore he had in his pocket.
  • To round out a Swedish weekend, we breezed through IKEA for a couple of hours. I picked up a few things, rediscovered how much I love lingonberry jam, and bought several things I didn’t know I needed.
  • The Swedish meatballs at IKEA were just as good as I remember them. Better than I make them, not as good as my grandmother’s recipe.
  • Apparently the new puppies were not enthused by our absence. Irish Woman reports that Sophie May, the faux-weiner dog, was clingy. Ellie May, the American psycho hound, on the other hand, became rather mouthy.
  • Woke up in my nice warm hotel bed this morning to a text from my wife stating that it was freezing in the house and that she was turning on the furnace. I strenuously objected to her plan and pointed out that the icicles hanging from her nose would melt away once the sun came up.

Signs

Signs you love your children –

You get up at 6 AM on a Saturday morning to bake banana bread so you can take it along as a treat for your daughter in Saint Louis.

You mule half a case of Ale 81 and several rolls of Purnells Whole-Hog sausage across two states because you can’t get that stuff in Saint Louis.

You go help park cars at the University of Louisville home opener football game as a fund raiser for your youngest’s Scout troop the night before driving to Saint Louis.

You serenade said youngest with “Der Kommisar” sung in a Russian accent while he’s trying to wake up.

Has it only been 24 hours?

Went to bed at about 9 o’clock last night. It was one of those “I don’t really remember going to bed” kind of nights. It’s been a heck of a week.

Got woken up around 11 when the lights got flipped on and my wife was yelling something about a tornado warning.

Years of being woken up with no notice by screeching sergeants, privates who have done something stupid, crying babies, and alarms telling me the baby isn’t breathing kicked in, as did my adrenal gland.

A quick reference of the weather map on the Pad of Many Eyes showed that a tornado warning was,indeed, in effect. One detail my loving wife did not include was that said storm was two, count them, two counties away and would not even ruffle the cover on her pool for at least an hour.

Since I was up anyway, I rolled out of bed and ventured out into the living room. I heard the sound of my youngest son running up the basement steps. Further inspection showed that he had already taken a load or two of his favorite things to the basement.

This category, apparently, did not include his school books, nor did it include any of his clothes. There was a small pile of electronic doodads and books in front of the couch. A quick inspection of said sprog showed him to be clothed in an old tee shirt and a pair of boxer shorts.

A short conversation later, which ended with me utilizing the Big Voice, had him going to his bedroom to change into pants and to retrieve his school things. Another short conversation later convinced him that I meant jeans or something like that. Planning for worst case scenarios did not include him surviving the tornadopocalypse wearing Scooby Doo sleep pants.

I changed my own clothes and then made sure that the emergency radio had batteries and that the basement television was tuned to our favorite local news channel. Said channel had gone over to breathless explanations of where the storm was and where it would be in the next few minutes.

A couple minutes of listening to that led me to a couple of conclusions –

1. We still had at least 30 minutes before the still air outside would start to stir.

2. While there were indeed some rather stiff straight line winds headed our way, there was little data to support the reports of a tornado, and no evidence whatsoever that anything, tornado, alien rocket ship, or errant wide body jet, had touched down.

Since my lady love survived one of those rare moments where the Lord cared enough about Kentucky to reach down and smite it in her youth, I humored her by making a cup of Berry Zinger tea, transporting a few things of importance to the basement, then resting on the couch and sipping tea while watching the security camera over her pool to see when the breeze picked up.

And pick up it did. After about 20 minutes, rain started to patter down, then started to patter sideways. It did this for about 10 minutes, then it fell vertically, the way it ought to.

Eventually, I found myself alone in the basement, as the rest of the family had gone back to bed.

I fell back to sleep, secure in the knowledge that I will never perish from the weather while unconscious. Irish Woman really should have been a meteorologist, but she would have based her prognostication upon how her bones felt, the level of panic rising up her spine, and what the bones say when thrown properly.

Anyway, woke up late this morning just a tad on the grouchy side. For some reason, coffee just didn’t sound good, so I abstained. Instead, I made another cup of herbal tea.

That may have been a mistake.

Irish Woman, being a charter member of Our Lady of Eternal Home Improvement, was moving everything in the laundry room so that she could hang yet another rank of cabinets. You see, the only limiting factor I hold when it comes to controlling the amount of stuff we own is storage. She had the brilliant idea to add 150% to the carrying capacity of our laundry room, thereby making room for more stuff.

Did I mention that I didn’t have coffee this morning? Just as the little caffeine gnome in my cerebellum started pounding on the walls of my cranium, my wife started banging on the walls of my house.

Just at that moment, I noticed that Moonshine, our Labrador Retriever, was leaving a rather dense cloud of fibrous material behind him as he walked across the living room. It’s spring, when a dog’s soul is full of warmth, sunshine, and mud, while his coat is gone with the wind.

So, after finishing my tea, I bundled Moonshine into the truck, and trundled the two of us off to the pet store for a bath. Yes, I have a bathtub, but this isn’t my first rodeo. I would rather pay to use someone else’s tub than spend weeks fishing clumps of fur out of my plumbing.

After parting with $12 of my hard earned money in exchange for a receipt and four towels, I took the hound into the Chamber of Wet Dog Hair. Said chamber is basically a fenced in concrete block shower stall with gallon bottles of shampoo and conditioner.

Being a water dog, Moonshine detests baths. Not “I’ll put up with this, but will shake.” It’s more of a “I will do everything in my power to avoid this, and will actively try to drown you while it’s in progress.” The pet store provides a nylon apron, but they really ought to provide bunker gear. I was going to get at least as wet as he was.

I thought about this as I placed my phones and wallet upon the table usually used to groom dogs that aren’t the size of small ponies. I then remembered that it was 30 degrees cooler outside than it had been yesterday and looked forward to getting from the door to the truck.

Moonshine was as cooperative as ever as I led him into the shower and connected his leash to an eye bolt embedded in the concrete. This had the same effect on my dog as a cowboy opening the gate does on a bull in a rodeo. I am glad to report that I was able to hold one for more than the prescribed seven seconds, during which I sprayed him, me, the shower, the ceiling, him again, then my own boots just for style points.

Hair started to come off of him immediately. First, it fell off in bits, then in clumps. The soapy scrubbing and scratching included in a bath caused my hands to resemble those of Lon Cheney, Jr., during a full moon. Eventually, a soapy felt built up on the shower floor, which did nothing to improve the acoustics.

Did I mention that that Moonshine doesn’t like baths? All this work was accompanied by him singing the aria from The Exorcist, which was noticed by the nice family using the stall next to us to groom their small, poofy, well behaved pooch.

After a thorough rinse, which was punctuated by several fits of shaking that got the very last dry bit of me wet, it was time to towel my canine off and attempt to use the blow dryer. As much fun as the bath was, using the hair dryer was an adventure all by itself.

10 minutes of kung fu and canine opera later, he was dry enough he wasn’t dripping anymore. I declared victory and prepared to go home.

I quickly raked up the fur that I could get to, rinsed everything off, and plunked down $10 for the poor kid who was going to have to clean all this up, and off we went. Negotiations for a treat started immediately, as the bulk containers of biscuits were just a few feet outside the bath area. I ended up giving the store an extra $5 to recompense them for what Moonshine was able to slurp down before I dragged his head out of one of the bins.

Why are things like that left at dog head level in the first place.

I was shivering by the time I had the hound strapped down in the truck and scooted around to my own door. After a round of ‘you’re cute, but not cute enough to lock me out of my own truck”, I re-unlocked the driver’s door and turned on the heater.

Moonshine continued to sing the song of his people as I headed out to the highway. Seeing that the Commonwealth has decided to rip up the interstate, again, I decided to take country roads back to Casa de Oso.

Did y’all know that if you take a wrong turn on Kentucky back roads, it’s hard to realize your mistake for at least 15 miles? I mean, every curve looks like every other curve, and the next thing you know, you’re crossing the Ohio river.

So, there I was, 30 miles from home and getting further away with every moment. The hound was singing along to the latest Dan Carlin podcast and dropping an excessive amount of fuzz on my upholstery. There wasn’t a drive-through coffee in any of the itty bitty places we passed through, so I couldn’t even slake my thirst with a little hot bean juice.

I realized my navigational mistake when I came to a T intersection. The helpful sign, or what I could make out of it after mentally filling in all of the bullet holes, was that if I went left, I was going to Cincinnati. If I went right, I was going to Lexington.

Not being entirely gormless, I chose to stay in Kentucky and took a right. After another half hour of driving over hill and dale, I eventually found a road I recognized. 45 minutes later, we returned to our neighborhood, which allowed Moonshine to vocally greet every other canine that he recognized.

After walking through the rain to bring Moonie inside, I got my own shower, changed into comfortable clothes, and tried to remember how I, a cat person, ended up being the one to take the dog for a shower.

I eyed the coffee maker longingly, but decided against using it. Irish Woman returned home with lunch, and I partook of it at 2:57 PM.

With a warm belly full of Thai food and no caffeine, I started feeling rather droopy. It was at that moment that I got a reminder that I have to work tonight at 1 AM, so off for a ‘short nap’ I went.

Four and a half hours later, I awoke to the intoxicating scent of Italian sausages cooking with onions and peppers. Dinner conversation was boiled down to ‘Did you sleep well?” answered by grunts.

So, now I’m comfortably full, yawning, and doing math on how much more sleep I can get before having to get up in the middle of the night to work.

How was your day?

Rumblings

  • I wonder how long it will be before we’re forced back on the 55 MPH national speed limit, told to put on a second and third sweater instead of bumping up the thermostat a skosh, and excoriated for lighting our homes with more than one light bulb at a time.
  • I’m fortunate that my employer still allows me to work from home for the most part. When that changes, my budget for fuel is going to climb and my current state of ‘Yeah, this sucks’ will turn into ‘Yeah, SYS$PoliticalPartyInPower sucks.” Well, more than it is now.
  • I’ll know the energy crisis is real when I see wealthy people carpooling in their Gulf Streams to green energy conferences while wearing sweaters.
  • Idea for a sociological study – Someone ought to look for upward trends of YouTube traffic on videos that show how to make food from the Great Depression. We’ll know when we’re in trouble when a lot of people start looking for ways to cook like Great-Grandma did when all she had was two old carrots, a couple cups of macaroni, and a squirrel to feed a family of 8.
  • Question – What is going to be the impact of food aid to the average middle-class American when it comes in the form of uncooked rice, cooking oil, and dried vegetables and the only thing made in an lot of American kitchens is reservations and mixed drinks?
    • In a land of defunct InstaPots, banned microwaves, and pizza delivery that comes with a $25 fuel surcharge, the new rulers will be those who know how to actually use their pots, ovens, and Brillo pads.
  • I’ll know the Ukraine crisis is a big deal to the U.S.Government when we start hearing comments about how we only oppose the Russian government, not the hard working, honest Russian people.
    • We’ll really know it’s a crisis when we see the sons and daughters of wealthy people and politicians going to Canada and Switzerland for a few semesters of study abroad while their parents start visiting rural and inner city schools to expound on the benefits of serving the nation.
  • Am I the only one that thinks a lot of what Putin is saying isn’t meant for you,me, or even the current occupier of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? He’s trying to sound tough, resolute, and righteous to Russians, and he’s doing a good job of making sure that his voice is the only one they hear.
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