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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

OOPS! I ALMOST FORGOT TO HODGEPODGE, HODGEPODGE!



     Yesterday, my beloved SWMBO and I had our usual Tuesday visit with our granddaughters. As usually happens, by the time they are picked up by their dad everyone is tired. SWMBO, the two Littles and yours truly were spent but it was a good kind of tired. My point, you may be asking yourself, is that I forgot about the Wednesday Hodgepodge until late Wednesday morning. So better late than never, here's this weeks Hodgepodge.

1. Do your actions match your words? Elaborate.
     To be completely honest, not always. Sometimes I find myself going against my own advice. Sometimes situations arise where a different course of action is called for and so I adapt my response as the situation warrants. 
2. Sick as a dog, go to the dogs, dog days of summer, dog tired, it's a dog's life, every dog has it's day, can't teach an old dog new tricks...now doggone it which saying could most recently be applied to your life?
     I would say "dog tired" and "can't teach an old dog new tricks" apply to my life right now. I have been experiencing more fatigue these days and I'm not sure why. I recently went to the vet for a routine follow up and all systems are operating as designed. 
   Regarding the Old Dog/New Tricks thing, I tend to be set and comfortable in my ways and no matter how hard I try I cannot change my bad habits. I still persist in trying but it seems hopeless. It is similar to the conflict the Apostle Paul describes in the 7th chapter of his letter to the Romans.
     Just for the record "It's a dog's life" is not a negative thing in our house. Our dogs have a lavish and full life style. I should be so spoiled!

3. Your favorite book featuring a dog in the storyline? What makes it a favorite?
     There are two books that come to mind. WHITE FANG by Jack London and THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY by Shirley Burnford. I read both books during my youth.

4. What's something you hope to one day have the confidence to do?
      This is really a great question. This is really a difficult question. I am sure that there are things that I lack the confidence to try but I can't think of what they are. Maybe directly confronting someone who is out of line? I will have to ponder this question. 
    
5. August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day. So tell us a joke.
     Little Johnny was sitting on a park bench and eating a bunch of candy. An old lady was walking by and saw Little Johnny eating all that candy. She stopped and said "You shouldn't be eating all that candy at once. You could get cavities, acne and a stomach ache." Little Johnny replied "My grandfather lived to the ripe old age of 105 years." The Old Lady asked "Did your grandfather eat five candy bars at one time?" Little Johnny answered "No, he minded his own freaking business."

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     WARNING...DOUBLE STANDARD RANT! 
     Recently there have been two glaring examples of a double standard reported in the so called news media. The recent tension with North Korea and the kerfuffle in Charlottesville, VA. I'll dress only one of these issues this week.
     THE FIRST ONE: The nut job with a bad haircut leading North Korea made fairly specific threats that he was going to launch ballistic missiles on the United States. President Trump warned him, in no uncertain terms, that the United States was prepared to meet such an attack and respond with sufficient force leading to the destruction of North Korea. 
     Then some in the news media chastised President Trump for speaking so provocatively. They urged the president to not say anything that would make the bad haircut guy angry. They had nothing to say about the bad haircut guy  repeatedly speaking provocatively and threatening the United States and our allies with a nuclear attack.
     It is my humble opinion that if someone threatens to kill you, you would be wise to believe them and take reasonable steps to protect yourself. This is wise at the personal level as well as at the national level. I stand with the president on this one.
     



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

WELCOME AUGUST HODGEPODGE!



     Good morning to one and all. I hope that you are all well on this August Wednesday morning. The weather has been a bit unsettled this month. It rains, the Sun shines, it rains again, and so on! Mother Nature can't seem to make up her mind. This is not unusual for the Granite State.
     Our friend Joyce Daley has seen fit to publish another series of Hodgepodge questions. So, we might as well answer them. Therefore, here is this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1. Do you try to set rules for yourself about how you use your time? Explain.
     I do not set rules for how I use my time. I go as the spirit moves me and try very hard to be a good steward of my time because I really don't know how much time I have left. The fact is that none of us know how much time we have left.

2. Monday was National Lighthouse Day. Have you ever visited a lighthouse? If not, do you have any desire to see one up close? Of the 10 Most Beautiful that made this list which would you most like to see in person-

Lindau Lighthouse (Germany), Fanad Lighthouse (Ireland), Portland Head Light (Maine), Yaquina Bay Light (Oregon) The St. Augustine Light (Florida), Peggys Point Lighthouse (Canada), Start Point Lighthouse (England), Tower of Hercules (Spain), Bass Harbor Head Station (Maine), and White Shoal Light (Michigan)

When you've been away, what's your 'lighthouse' telling you you're on the right road home?
     I have never visited a lighthouse up close. There is a very popular lighthouse in southwestern Maine. It is called the Nubble Lighthouse. SWMBO and I have visited it on a number of occasions. I don't really have a strong desire to visit lighthouses. 
     I don't get the last question. Oh well!

3. What have you unintentionally stopped doing? Is this something you need to pick back up and begin again, or is it something you need to let go of for now (or even permanently)?
     Normally, when I stop doing something it is because I chose to stop doing it. I cannot think of something that I stopped doing that I should begin doing again. I sometimes get behind in my Bible reading from time to time but I just pick up from where I left off. 

4. We've had a full week of August. Share a GRAND moment from your month so far.
     One grand moment is the sixth anniversary of my retirement from a 30+ year law enforcement career. Still living the dream with my beloved SWMBO!

5. Tell us one song you love with the word 'baby' in the title.
     "Don't Worry Baby" by the Beach Boys.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
     North Korea is creating a serious international kerfuffle. How serious is it? Last weekend the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to impose economic sanctions upon that imprisoned nation. That means that both Russia and China supported the imposition of the sanctions.
    As you know, Korea has been improving its ballistic missile technology. It is now believed that they possess the technology to reduce the size of a nuclear weapon which could be launched inside one of their missiles.
     I pray God that cooler heads will prevail and that North Korea will cease their bellicose programs and rejoin the community of nations. Enjoy your week!




Wednesday, July 26, 2017

IT WAS A DANK AND DREARY DAY HODGEPODGE!



      Besides being an awful first sentence for a novel, the title of this blog post is an apt description of the past two days here in New Hampshire. Last week we were being broiled alive by the hot and buggies. This week the temperatures have dropped into the 50's and 60's with raw, wet weather. It is a truism that if you do not like the weather in New Hampshire just wait awhile, it is sure to change. 
     Another Wednesday has come upon us which means our friend, Joyce Daley, has a few questions for us to answer. Joyce has an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Also, the Wednesday Hodgepodge is a great way to get to know some very remarkable people. Join us! You will be glad that you did.
 
1. We've reached edition number 315 here in the Wednesday Hodgepodge. So tell us, what were you doing at 3:15 yesterday? Is that typical? On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being low and 10 being high) what's your energy level usually like at 3:15 PM?
     At 3:15 pm yesterday I was picking up our two Chinese Crested dogs, A.K.A. "The Littles," from doggie daycare. This is routine, Monday through Friday. As regards my energy levels, I would give my energy level a six or a seven, trending upward. I am not a morning person. I strongly dislike mornings and am not at my most affable or efficient in the morning. I am most productive from late afternoon until late evening.

2. A frisbee, a tantrum, a towel, a party, a punch, or a curveball...which have you most recently thrown or had thrown at/for you? Elaborate.
     I have not had any of the listed items thrown at me nor have I thrown any of the listed items at anybody.

3. What are three things that would help you right now. Tell us how or why.
     The three things that would help me most right now, in no particular order, are: (1) A new pair of knees. My knees are severely arthritic and in pain most of the time. It is painful to walk or stand for long periods of time; (2) Continued prayers for my beloved SWMBO and her battle against multiple myeloma cancer; (3) Winning the lottery would be helpful. I don't want to be filthy rich mind you. I just want to get a little dirty.

4. Do you think you're strong? Why or why not? What makes you strong?
     I think that I am like most people. I am strong in some areas and weak in other areas. I am strong in my devotion to God and in my love for SWMBO and our family. I believe that I am strong because I am convinced from reading the Bible that it is important for me to be strong in those areas.
       
5. Do you enjoy reading historical fiction? What's your favorite book set sometime in the past?
     I do like historical fiction. I enjoy reading anything set in the World War II time period, 1939-1945. Sadly, I don't have a favorite book.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     My faith in the kindness of humanity took a serious broadside hit this past week. There was a report of some young people who broadcast a video of a man in a wheel chair who got himself into a retention pond and drowned. The young people were heard mocking the drowning man as he drowned. 
     Have we sunk so low as a people that we can't make a simple phone call to summon help in situations where we cannot or will not render aid ourselves. Are we so anxious to get our fifteen minutes of fame? If so, God help us!
     One of our principles as a people is that life is priceless and that all life is valuable. Apparently those young people did not get that memo! May God help them before karma comes and bites them in the "donkey."
     May God bless all of you who are reading this post in some special and tangible way. 


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

SWEATING MY "DONKEY" OFF HODGEPODGE!



     The "Hot & Muggies" are the order of the day this week in the beautiful Granite State. High heat and humidity have moved in for awhile. That's okay though, SWMBO loves it and is very comfortable. She has become very good at walking around the puddles of sweat that used to be me and should she miss one, thankfully she is a very good swimmer. (I know, EWWW! Right?)
     Well, hot and humid or not, today is Wednesday and our friend Joyce Daley has seen fit to publish another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Here we go...

1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.
     Growing up, I never knew my paternal grandparents. They passed away before I was born. I did however live with my maternal grandparents. I was very close to both of them. My grandmother was French Canadian an didn't speak much English so I grew up speaking French. My grandfather was a devoted Red Sox fan and he slept in the front, downstairs room of our house. I often snuck downstairs after bedtime and watched a Red Sox game with him. That was kind of our special thing. 

2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?
      As a child I was attached to my tonsils. Then one day, at the promise of endless ice cream and ginger ale, they were ripped out of my throat. It was a cruel hoax to play on a child. Who could eat or drink when your throat was in such pain? It was pure evil!

3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.
     My beloved SWMBO and I are blessed to live in the idyllic setting of the foothills of the Uncanoonuc Mountains. They are a pair of mountains. Not as grand as the Grand Tetons out west but their name means the same in the language of the indigenous peoples who lived in this area hundred of years ago. Indigenous men seemed to be fixated on women's breasts because there are so many mountains named after them. But I digress...There are plenty of trees on, and around, our not so palatial estate. It makes for some real fine country living.

4. Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?
grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats 
Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?
     I am not a fan of sour candies. I would say that lime is my favorite of the listed foods. I like key lime pie and I'll occasionally drink lime in an ice cold lager beer on a very hot day on rare occasions. In place of beer I'll drink club soda with a lime wedge instead.
     I have never eaten a kumquat to my knowledge and I would not know a kumquat if I was hit by one.

5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.
     July 1st also marked the 45th trip around the Sun as man and wife for my beloved SWMBO and me. 
     So far this has been a difficult year. SWMBO's recovery from the stem cell transplant is ongoing but at a snails pace. SWMBO, being a type A+ person tries to do more than her body will allow and she pays the price for it and needs a day or two to recover. 
     On a good note, we have been cleared by SWMBO's oncologist to attend church again as long as we avoid people who have colds and other ailments. It does us both a lot of good to be with our church family again.
     So in summary, we are doing okay and making the best of life and handling what comes our way as we always have,...together and in faithful trust in the loving providence of God!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     This weekend the dreaded Evil Empire (Yankees) visited Fenway Park for a four-game series with my beloved Red Sox. The Yankees have a rookie right fielder named Aaron Judge. He stands 6'7" tall and weighs 270 lbs. He looks like a NFL linebacker! He's a big boy! He has some real skills and he seems to be a good man. His only negative from what I saw this weekend is that he is a Yankee. 
     The series was split at two games each. One of the games is under protest and may have to be played again but it was a good weekend all the same.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

GRANITE STATE SUMMER HODGEPODGE


     Summer is well on it's way here in the Granite State. We have been having a greater number of thunder storms this summer some of which have been quite violent. Last year we were in drought conditions. This year we are not. Lightning is Nature's fireworks display and is stunning in appearance. We have been blessed with a number of awesome displays.
     The Wednesday Hodgepodge is also stunning but in a different way. It's Americana on display. Voices from all over the country giving opinions and recounting their life experiences on display. Thank you Joyce for your continued efforts in providing this weekly pause from the rigors of life. And now, the Hodgepodge...

1. When was the last time you chatted with a neighbor? About what? (sharing that last bit is optional)
     It''s been awhile since I have chatted with a neighbor. We often exchange pleasantries in passing but the opportunity to engage in extended conversation just hasn't presented itself. When we do speak it is usually concerning work/retirement, family and current events.

2. River, lake, ocean, or waterfall...which one are you most like and why?
     I think that I am most like a river. I am always moving forward. Sometimes I am smooth and placid, other times I am rough and choppy but I am always flowing on. Sometimes I am overflowing and affect those around me. Sometimes I am low, revealing things that were usually hidden. Yeah, I think that I am a river.

3. July 13 is National Delaware Day. Ever been to Delaware? Delaware is called 'the first state' because it was the first to declare independence from the British. What's your state's nickname and does that moniker make sense to you? If you were in charge, what nickname would you give your home state?
     I have driven through Delaware but I have never visited there. My state is called the Granite State and the name makes great sense to me. There is granite everywhere. It also fits the character of the people who live here. We are a hearty and independent minded people. Our state motto is "Live Free or Die." Our state constitution explicitly gives us the right to revolt and overthrow our government should the government ever come to oppress the population. You gotta love a state like that.

4. What dish did you contribute to the last pot luck meal you attended? Do you have a go-to recipe for pot luck suppers?
     The last dish that we brought to a pot luck was a fruit salad consisting of watermelon, strawberries and blueberries. I do not have a go-to meal, it's generally pot luck.

5. What is your number one tip for a brand new parent?
     Think "Tag Team." It took two of you to create this new life and it will most certainly take the two of you to raise and care for the little bugger. Sometimes your partner needs to tag out and get some relief . There will be times when you need to tag out for the same reason. There are no "Your Job/My Job" tasks. Both of you are responsible to get the jobs done. Love each other, support each other and take time for each other.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     Lately things have been difficult for New York law enforcement. A NYPD officer, a 12 year veteran and mother to three children, was assassinated while sitting in her department vehicle. 
     Two days ago a New York State Trooper was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance. 
     Men and women willingly answer the call to serve by laying their lives on the line to make their communities safer and a better place to live. They, more than anyone else, understand that they may be required to make the ultimate sacrifice and do so without hesitation. 
     God bless the men and women who serve in law enforcement. May God watch over them and protect them and bless their families. Please say a prayer for your police officers and their families this week. 
     Enjoy the rest of your week.



Wednesday, July 5, 2017

THE WASHINGTON KABUKI THEATER HODGEPODGE!


     A belated happy Independence Day to all of you out there in Hodgepodge Land and elsewhere. America celebrated its 241st birthday yesterday. Upon reflecting upon the Declaration of Independence I come away with a few thoughts. First, the Declaration is an amazing document. It is, in my humble opinion, one of the finest documents ever written by man. Next, the men who signed the Declaration, by signing it, committed the capital offense of treason against the British Crown. Knowing this, they signed it anyway. Third, the men who signed the Declaration pledged their lives, their property and their sacred honor. 
     When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to participate in another Wednesday Hodgepodge, we do...

1. When and where were the best fireworks you've ever seen? Speaking of fireworks...do you know your hot buttons? The things people can say and/or do to set you off? When was the last time someone pushed one of your hot buttons?
     I have seen a fair amount of firework displays in my life but none of them stand out as exceptional. I've witnessed a few lightning storms that were remarkable.
     As far as hot buttons go, I am pretty laid back and am not easily angered. One thing that is sure to evoke a reaction from me is any perceived threat to my beloved SWMBO or other family member. It's been a very long time since anyone was dumb enough to push that button.
  
2. Have you hosted any outdoor summer parties this year? Attended any? What makes for a great outdoor party?
     I have not hosted or attended any outdoor summer parties. I have attended one or two outings where it was just SWMBO and me and another couple. I think a great outdoor party has three ingredients; (1) Great Food, (2) Great Music, and (3) Wonderful People.

3. What does freedom mean to you?
     Freedom means the ability to worship God as I choose, when I choose and how often I choose. Freedom means the ability to go where I choose, when I choose, for as long as I choose.  Freedom means the ability for me to say what I want, how I want and about anything that I want. Freedom means that I can associate with whoever I want and I can choose to not associate with anyone I choose. 
     Freedom means doing all the aforementioned things without fear of reprisal from any level of government.  

4. July is National Cell Phone Courtesy month...what annoys you most about people's cell phone habits?
     There are two cell phone habits that annoy me. First, are people who persist in using their cellphones while driving, in clear defiance of the law. Second, are people who are conducting business at a counter or other place and who don't have the courtesy to suspend or end their call while conducting their business. 

5. What's your current summer anthem?
     "Turn the Page" by Bob Seeger.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
     The "Swamp" continues to flourish in our Nation's Capitol. I seem to remember that part and parcel of the campaign promises of most of those running for office during the last election cycle was to "drain the swamp!" It seems to me that the swamp level is rising. 
     The attempt to replace Obamacare, which is imploding, is a HUGE disappointment. The Republicans, you remember them, they're the party in power, cannot get it's act together. The Democrats are predictably conducting themselves as obstructionists. 
     In short, it is the same old Kabuki Theater that the American people voted against during the last election cycle. God help us!



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

HOT WATER BLUES HODGEPODGE !



     A very pleasant Hodgepodge Wednesday to everyone. A thank you to Joyce Daley, our Hodgepodge Guru, for her efforts in bringing us the Hodgepodge questions every week.
     The world is still going crazy. Our country is still going crazy. My beloved SWMBO is still going crazy and she's taking me with her. In short, situation normal, all fouled up! 
     Here's the Hodgepodge!  

1. The first day of summer rolls in later this week. What are ten things you'd put on your list of  quintessential summer activities? Will you try to manage all ten this summer?
     Ten things? Here goes...(1) Beach trip(s); (2) Fishing; (3) Light reading; (4) Yard work; (5) Trip to the Mountains; (6) Trip to the drive-in; (7) Yard work; (8) Spontaneous Naps; (9) Trip(s) to the lake; (10) Did I menton Yard work?

2. Do you collect seashells when you're at the beach? What do you do with them once you get them home? What's your favorite place to comb for seashells? How many of these 'best beaches for hunting seashells' have you visited? Which one would you most like to visit?

Calvert Cliffs State Park (Maryland), Jeffrey's Bay (South Africa), Sanibel Island (Florida), Shipwreck Beach (Lanai Hawaii), Ocracoke Island (North Carolina), Galveston Island (Texas) and The Bahamas
     I don't collect seashells. If I did collect seashells, my only options would be the NH, MA, and Maine beaches. I have not visited any of the listed beaches. I wouldn't mind visiting any of the listed beaches at all. I would probably add a few beaches in the Caribbean Sea.

3. At a snail's pace, shell out money, come out of your shell, go back into your shell, drop a bombshell, happy as a clam, clam up...which 'shell' phrase could most recently be applied to some event or circumstance in your life? Explain.
     "Shell out money" seems to be applying to us this year. We've been hit with the ancillary costs associated with SWMBO's cancer treatments that are not covered by insurance. Earlier this year we had to replace our furnace and water well expansion tank. Now, it appears that our well water softener is on the fritz and our washing machine is about to give up the ghost. Sheesh! This is turning out to be a very expensive year.

4. What summer activity do you dislike? Why?
     I hate yardwork! Why? Because I hate yardwork!

5. What's something you see as quickly becoming obsolete? Does that bother you?
     "Free Speech" and it bothers the #@$&*%$# out of me. One of our guranteed rights is the right of free expression. However, the notion that offensive speech is not permitted is being enforced through violence on college campi throughout our beloved nation. "Safe Zones," or "Free Speech Zones" are concepts NEVER contemplated by our founding fathers.
     The United States Supreme Court has explicitly ruled that offensive speech is protected speech. 
     Therefore, if what I write or say offends you, understand that I am a repeat offender.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     Neither the U.S. House of Representatives nor the U.S. Senate are capable of conducting an investigtion. It is absurd to think that a room full of people with no expertise or investigative experience limited to five minutes to ask questions will get to the bottom of anything.
     I watched several of the recent hearings and heard people testify under oath that there is NO EVIDENCE that the president did ANYTHING illegal. That's not stopping them from throwing millions of dollars down a rat hole through the special prosecutor who has been appointed to look into the fact that the president did nothing illegal.
     Like Jeff Foxworthy says..."We are a nation founded by geniuses and run by idiots. SHEESH!