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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

INSURANCE KERFUFFLE HODGEPODGE!


     Good morning everyone! I hope that you are all well. I hope that your new year is going well, also. 
     The change of the new year brought with it a change in helth insurance for my beloved SWMBO and I. With the change in health insurance came the usual adjustments to the usual change in policies and procedures of the new company. In a word...UUGHH!
     The good news is another Wednesday is upon us and therefore another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Take a break from your week and relax as you enjoy the Hodgepodge. 

1. What keeps you blogging?
     There are acouple of reasons why I blog. One is that I enjoy crafting sentences trying to express my thoughts as precisely as possible. I also have some fairly strong opinions and enjoy giving voice to them through the written word. Last, and by no means least, I have enjoyed getting to know my fellow bloggers through the Wednesday Hodgepodge. I relish the diversity of opinions and personal experiences that have been shared through the Hodgepodge.

2. Some people like to travel in the winter months. Do you enjoy the beach in winter? According to Southern Living the best U.S. beach towns to visit this winter are-

St Simons Island (Georgia), Hilton Head (South Carolina), Bald Head Island (North Carolina), Seaside (Florida), Bay St. Louis (Mississippi), Cape San Blas (Florida), South Padre Island (Texas), Folly Beach (South Carolina), Chincoteague (Virginia), Duck Key (Florida), Nags Head (North Carolina), and Fairhope (Alabama)

Have you been to any of the towns listed (in any season)? Which on the list appeals to you most this winter? 
     SWMBO and I do not do a lot of traveling at any time of the year. I'm sure that visiting a warm water beach during the dead of winter would be a nice break from the deep freeze. 
     We have not visited any of the beaches mentioned...ever. We would like to at some point.

3. What's a song you're embarrassed to know all the lyrics to? Are you really embarrassed or do just think you should be?
     I do not think that I am embarrassed to know the lyrics to any song. I cannot think of a reason why I should or would be. I enjoy music from artists that some people think are not "cool." A few examples are Air Supply, Barry Manilow, and Celine Dion. I am not embarrassed about it. I just like what I like and I am the sole arbiter of what is cool, that is, what is cool to me.

4. When you were a kid what's something you thought would be fantastic as an adult, but now that you're an adult you realize it's not all that fantastic?
     When I was a child I thought that being the master of my own destiny would be fantastic. I thought having the freedom to come and go as I like, to eat what I like, to not eat what I don't like and to stay up as late as I want would be fantastic. Then I grew up and found out too late that adulthood is a trap and that there is no escape from it.

5. Share a quote you hope will inspire you in 2018.
     "Knowing is not enough; We must apply. Wishing is not enough; We must do."  Possessing knowledge is a good thing. Wisdom is knowing how to apply that knowledge. Furthermore, we must engage, we must do, if we are to accomplish anything. The curse of procrastination is that it puts off "doing" and nothing gets done as a result. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     President Trump inartfully expressed the opinion that the United States should admit people to the country who have skills that will enhance our country and to not admit people who are essentially unskilled and who would become a burden to this country. He was advocating for changing to a merit system to obtain entry to our country rather than a quota system where we admit a predetermined number of people from a given country.
     I agree with the President that there are countries that are less desirable then others. Case in point, remember all the celebrities who promised to leave the United States and move to another country if Donald Trump was elected. Not one of the celebrities chose a country to flee to whose citizens don't have access to a quality education and are forced, through no fault of their own, to live in squalor.  The Presidents choice of words, although crude and profane, were accurate. 
     Facts are troublesome things. One fact, the president was not denigrating any people. He was describing the conditions under which they are forced to live.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

PELLET STOVE LOVE HODGEPODGE


     Good morning everyone. How's your new year going so far. I hope that everything is going well for you and yours. We are finally getting some respite from the bitter cold. However, the bitter cold is sure to return. I thank God for our wood pellet stove and the wood pellets fuel to keep it cranking out those BTU's.
     Thank you Joyce for another interesting Wednesday Hodgepodge. I urge you to join in on the fun. I hope that you enjoy this weeks post.

1. January is National Mentoring Month. Have you ever had a mentor? Been a mentor? How would you rate the experience?
     When a new police officer is hired, they are required to attend a sixteen week Police Academy. After graduation they are assigned a Field Training Officer (FTO) for another few months. This FTO tailors the training received at the police academy to the specific policies and procedures of their police department. 
     This is a classic mentoring relationship. This mentoring continues well after the new police officer completes their field training. I have been mentored and I have been a mentor.

2. What current trend makes no sense to you?
     One trend that I find troubling is the current practice of bringing up events that occurred decades ago and using those events for the sole purpose of destroying a person's life. I find this to be grossly unfair. People change over time and most people are not the same people today that they were thirty or more years ago. 
     In criminal law there is a statute of limitation. This law prevents bringing a prosecution after a specified period of time. There are exceptions, however. For example, there is no time limitation on bringing a murderer to justice. 
     In short, with few exceptions, no one should be held responsible for conduct that was committed decades earlier.

3. I saw a cartoon on facebook highlighting a few 'weird' things that make you happy as an adult. The list included-writing with a nice pen, having plans cancelled, freshly cleaned sheets, eating the corner brownie, cleaning the dryer lint screen, and sipping coffee in that brief time before anyone else wakes up. (Credit for the cartoon goes here) Of the 'weird' things listed which one makes you happiest? What is one more 'weird' thing you'd add to the list?
     I would have to say, of the things listed, I go with the sipping that first cup of coffee in the morning. Having the corner brownie is a close second.

4. What's the last good thing you ate?
     Chines Pie! I made some Chinese Pie, A.K.A. Shepherds Pie, for my beloved SWMBO and me. We also had salad yesterday (Monday).

5. Describe life in your 20's in one sentence.
     SWMBO and I were young adults with very young children.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     In January 2017 I had to have my furnace replaced at great cost. This January that brand new furnace was not running right. It sounded like a clothes dryer with a couple of balls tumbling within it. Our oil company came and repaired the furnace. The technician diagnosed the problem as a partially clogged fuel filter. He replaced it. I hope that this takes care of the problem. 
     Thank God for our wood pellet stove.
     Enjoy the rest of your week everybody.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

IT'S A NEW YEAR, SO FAR SO GOOD!


     Today is January 3rd already. This year is just zipping by. I know that for me, 2017 went by way too fast. I expect that 2018 will probably go by a bit faster. 
     I hope that you all had a magical and wonderful Christmas. My beloved SWMBO and I further wish that you all have a healthy and prosperous New Year. We pray that you all experience the best that God and life have to offer.
     Thank you Joyce for starting us off with another year of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Your efforts and dedication to these weekly essay questions is very much appreciated.
     Now, here is the first Wednesday Hodgepodge of the New Year.

1. It's that time of year again...time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, or genera uselessness) in 2018. You can read more about the decision making process and word meaning here, but this year's top vote getters are-

unpack, dish (as in dish out the latest rumor), pre-owned, onboarding/offboarding, nothingburger, let that sink in, let me ask you this, impactful, Cofefe, drill down, fake news, hot water heater (hot water doesn't need to be heated), and gig economy

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?
     It seems to me that language is always evolving and that words are chosen and created to convey ideas. It is up to those trying to convey their ideas to choose or to make up the best words that most accurately conveys the idea that they are trying to express. 
     I do not have a problem with the words people use. I do, however, take exception to some of the notions that people use those words to convey.
     Here is a rhetorical question that occurs to me. Is it not the height of hubris for Lake Superior College to proclaim itself the gatekeeper of the English language by suggesting some words should not be used anymore, that they should be banished from the language?

2. What's something you need to get rid of in the new year?
     There are two things that come to mind that I should get rid of. The first is procrastination. I am enshrined in the Procrastinators Hall of Fame. I wish that it was not so.
     A second thing I need to get rid of is my lack of movement. I need to move more in this new year. I need to keep my body physically moving to stave off the law of entropy that effects us all.
     I'll try to keep you all posted on how I am doing throughout the year.

3. Where do you feel stuck?
     I feel stuck in my writing. I still have the desire to write but I seem to choose other pursuits instead. I hope to change that in this new year also.

4. January is National Soup Month. When did you last have a bowl of soup? Was it made from scratch or from a can? Your favorite canned soup? Your favorite soup to make from scratch on a cold winter's day?
     I love a nice hot soup on a cold winter's day. So far we have been experiencing a winter cold that we have not experienced in New Hampshire in many years. We have not had temperatures above freezing since the beginning of December. My wood pellet stove has been running 23 hours per day. (I need an hour to turn off the stove and let it cool so I can remove the ash.) 
     My favorite canned soup is a vegetable soup. My favorite homemade soup is some kind of meat with a hodgepodge of vegetables. A nice corn chowder goes down nice too at this time of year.

5. Tell us one thing you're looking forward to in 2018.
     I am looking forward to SWMBO and I making it to the New Year of 2019.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     "Life is what happens when you're making other plans." or "Man plans and God laughs." These two quotes talk about the uncertainty of life. There are always unforeseen things that crop up and force you to make changes that you never anticipated that you would have to make. I suspect that the year 2018 will be no different. "Change" is the immutable constant of life.
     Fortunately for the Christian, change is nothing to be feared. God says 365 times in the Bible "Do not fear." When God repeats Himself that many times we ought to listen. 
     Therefore, as you navigate the inevitable changes that will surely come your way in the coming year, I commend you to the God of the Bible. He really cares for you. Happy New Year to all of you!




Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A MERRY CHRISTMAS HODGEPODGE!


     Next Monday is Christmas 2017. I sincerely hope and pray that all of you have a blessed Christmas and that the upcoming New Year gives you all the best of health and prosperity. In short, Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year.
     As it is another Wednesday, it is time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. I do so appreciate this weekly distraction and time of thought and reflection on the issues on our Hodgepodge Mistress, Joyce Daley's, mind. Thank you Joyce and a special Merry Christmas to you and yours. 
     Now...the Hodgepodge!

1. Where have you found unexpected magic or delight this holiday season?
      All the magic and delight has been expected this holiday season. Therefore, the unexpected stuff is yet to be.
    
2. What's your favorite type of holiday gathering? Will you/have you gathered in your favorite way this month?
     I prefer the smaller type gatherings. The church has an adult Christmas Party that is outstanding. Unfortunately, SWMBO and I were unable to attend this year.

3. Time has named 'The Silence Breakers' (women who came forward with stories of harassment)  'person of the year' for 2017. Would you agree? If not, who do you think deserves the title?
     I do not agree with the Time selection. Then again, I have never been too impressed with the publication which selected the likes of Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev and Ayatollah Khomeini as their person of the year. 
     I believe that the person of the year should be President Donald Trump. Considering all that he had arrayed against him he was able to get a new Supreme Court Justice and 57 Federal Court Justices appointed and confirmed by the Senate. 
     He has withstood a hostile press and is doing what he promised the American people he would do. Ninety percent of his coverage has been negative our false.
     He had to respond to the aftermath of two hurricanes that caused extensive damage which will require years to recover from. 
     Therefore, I believe that President Trump is the person of the year.

4. How did you spend your time this year? Are you happy about that? Elaborate
      Most of this year was spent dealing with health issues, SWMBO's and mine. I am not happy about it at all. I am glad that we have good insurance and great support from family and friends. I would rather have spent my time in other pursuits.

5. Bid farewell to 2017 in ten words or less.
     So long! Farewell! What a trip its been!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I wish you godspeed if you're traveling over the holiday. I wish you the best of health and prosperity. 



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A SNOWY NEW ENGLAND HODGEPODGE!


     Well, it is official! The house interior has been decorated for Christmas! The Christmas tree is up and decorated. The garland has been strategically strung. The army of snowmen and nutcrackers have been deployed for duty.  Christmas stockings have been lovingly hung from the fireplace mantel. We are ready for Santa Claus' visit.
     Being Wednesday it is time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce Daley for another fine series of questions.  

1. 'Hurry less, worry less'...what's your strategy for making that happen this holiday season? How's it going so far?
     My strategy is to employ a philosophy I call "Constructive Apathy." I choose to not get amped up over minor issues that can take on monumental proportions during the holidays if you let them. It is kind of like that "Don't sweat the small stuff" cliche and remembering that it is all small stuff. 

2. Do you have a list of to-dos that need accomplishing in order to prepare your home and/or property for the winter season? What are some of the jobs on your list? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone to accomplish these tasks?
     There are a number of tasks that need to be done to prepare for the winter season. Just to name a few, turn off and insulate the outside water faucets. Order and then stack a pallet of wood pellets (seventy five 45-pound bags). Order our heating oil (500 gallons). Remove the window and door screens and install the glass panes. Clear off the rear deck and store the furniture for the winter. I do most of it myself.

3. According to dietitians surveyed, the most popular health foods for 2018 will be -turmeric, sprouted foods (bean sprouts, breads with sprouted grains, etc), veggies in place of grains, dairy free milk, and pulses (lentils, chickpeas, etc).  What's the first thought that ran through your head when you read this list? Of the foods listed which one might you add to your regular diet? Also, can milk really be dairy free? Is it still milk?
     The list sounds like fad diet stuff. I get the vegetables. I love vegetables both raw and cooked. I am not sure about the other things on the list.

4. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. According to the Pantone site 'Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking pointing us to the future.' What say you? Do you like the color purple? Did you see the movie or read the book-ha!?  Is purple a color you wear often? Describe for us one purple item in your home without using the word purple.  If you were in charge of such things what color would you select for 2018?
     I am okay with the color purple. I have never seen the movie. I do not wear the color often. One of our artificial Christmas trees is the color that shall not be mentioned. Nobody in their right mind would ever put me in charge of selecting colors.

5. Favorite book read this year?
"From Angel to Man" by Barric Kent. It is the first book in a trilogy. I know the author and have spoken with him at length about his novel. It is a quick read.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.
      What do you see when you look at your Christmas tree? When I look at our Christmas tree I see the history of our life. 
     We shared our first Christmas together as man and wife in 1972. We were in the U.S. Air Force, stationed in New Mexico. We were poor as church mice. We bought a paint by number wooden Christmas ornament kit. Those ornaments still adorn our tree. 
     We still have a crumpled brown construction paper deer that our son made in grammar school.
     We have a hand painted glass Christmas ornament that we obtained in the United Kingdom while we were stationed there. 
     Every ornament on our tree evokes a memory of the time when we obtained the ornament. Our Christmas tree is a nostalgic walk through history, our history. SWMBO and I have been lavishly blessed. Have a wonderful week. 



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE...HODGEPODGE!



     Today is camel day. How do you like your camels...one hump or two? I hope that your hump day is going well so far. Being hump day it is also time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thanks to our Hodgepodge Mistress, Joyce Daley, for another series of probing questions.
     I urge you to participate. You will not be sorry that you did. In any event, enjoy this weeks offering.

1. What title would you give this current chapter of your life?
      "We Keep Getting Back Up!" Sometimes in life you take some hits. Some of those hits ring your bell, others knock you off your feet, so to speak. A wise man once said that you never lose a fight if you keep getting back up.
     When the hits keep coming, you know, those financial set backs or a bad  report from your doctor, or the loss of a loved one, you keep getting back up.
     SWMBO and I keep getting back up !
  
2. December 6 is National Microwave Oven Day. Who knew? Besides popcorn and coffee reheats, what's the most common thing you microwave? Could you get along without a microwave?
     I suppose the most common thing that we reheat in the microwave oven are all sorts of leftovers. The "radar range" is very convenient but I think we could survive, that is, get along without one.

3. If you could insert yourself into any Christmas carol and experience the lyrics in real life, which Christmas carol lyric would you choose and why?
     My choice is "O Little Town of Bethlehem." I envision myself walking through its starlit streets until I came upon a manger on the outskirts of the tiny hamlet and witness the birth of the baby Jesus, Christ the Lord.  I would love to see that "new parent" look on the faces of Joseph and Mary as they held their new born Son for the first time. I imagine the sound of the heavenly hosts singing "Hallelujah, Glory to God in the Highest! Glory to the new born King!" I also can see in my minds eye the shepherds coming in from the fields to behold that which the Angel told them about, the Savior, a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger...with a look of awe upon their faces. What a wonderful experience that would be.

4. Describe the most beautiful drive you've ever taken.
     SWMBO and I are fortunate to live in NH. It is a beautiful and scenic state. The most beautiful drive we have ever taken was a sunny fall day through the White Mountains. We drove through Franconia Notch and the Kancamangus Highway, NH Route 112. The views of the surrounding terrain is awesome. It speaks volumes of the majesty of God.

5. What's something on your Christmas list this year? (an actual list or figuratively speaking, either one)
     I really don't have a Christmas Wish List. SWMBO and I started a tradition when we became empty nesters where we buy one gift for each other. This tradition avoids the whole "I spent more money on you than you spent on me" competition with the attendant bad feelings. 
     For example, one year we bought a new high definition television. Another year we bought new iPads. This seems to work for us.
   
6. Insert your own random thought here.
       One of the things that continues to amaze me at Christmas time is the thought that Almighty God, the Creator of all that has been created, left eternity and lived among us as a human, and a humble human at that.   He subjected Himself to all the laws of physics. He experienced things that are common to all of us. He got cold. He got hungry. He felt pain. He felt love. He laughed. He cried. He was like us in every way except one...He was still God. He was God in the flesh, but He was still God.
     Can you imagine how much love that God must have for all of us that He would do that? I cannot! So, during this Christmas season I urge all of you to consider the spiritual ramifications of the Christmas Holiday. I urge you all to truly keep Christ in Christmas.
     May God lavishly bless all of you!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A POST THANKSGIVING DAY HODGEPODGE!


     Good morning to all and to all a good morning. I hope that you all had a blessed and memorable Thanksgiving holiday. Are you sick and tired of turkey leftovers yet? SWMBO and I spent the dat with some dear friends who live close by. Thank you Doug and Linda for your hospitality and great food.
     Thank you Joyce Daley for your weekly series of questions. Thank you for your Wednesday Hodgepodge and for granting us fellow Hodgepodgers the privilege of participating. Here is this week's episode. I hope you enjoy you visit.

  
1.  What's something blogging has taught you about yourself?
     I have learned that I write better than I speak. I think the reason why is that with my writing I can revise and extend my remarks. I can think and evaluate more fully what I commit to paper. When I speak I only have one shot to get it right. Once it is spoken, it is out there, unpolished and often times flawed. Blogging has clearly taught me this truth.

2.  Leftovers...are you in the 'reheat and eat' camp or the 'put them in the fridge until they spoil and then toss them' camp? What's your favorite thing to have leftover? What can you not abide as a leftover?
     I am in the heat and reheat camp. I also sometimes eat leftovers such as Turkey or meat cold. Another thing that I like eating cold is my meat stuffing. It makes a wonderful tasting sandwich.
     That said, I have left things in the fridge so long that they turned into an awful, moldy, space alien like substance. EWWW! 
     My favorite leftover is chinese/shepherd's pie. I don't know about what I cannot abide as a leftover.

3. 'Me time'...your thoughts?

     I love being with people. I am also one of those people who are comfortable in their own company. Many years ago I was told that boredom is self inflicted. I believe that is true. We have all manner of things to stimulate us when we are flying solo. I like to read, play music, and watch TV to name a few. I also like to sit alone and just observe nature and get lost in my thoughts or spend time in prayer. Boredom is indeed self inflicted.

4. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?
     The reasons why people come to me for help are as varied a the people. Sometimes it for advice for a personal problem. Some times it is a question about a teaching in Scripture or my opinion on something they heard or read about a teaching in Scripture. 
     I seldom get consulted on home repair or automotive issues due to my lack of skill in those disciplines.

5. If your childhood had a smell what would it be? Tell us why.
     My childhood would smell like onions frying in a cast iron pan. Our house often smelled of onions cooking. My grandmother, who did most of the cooking, almost always began by peeling, slicing and cooking onions.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
     I can hardly believe that the year 2017 is almost done, but a quick glance at the calendar confirms that it is. It is at this time of year that I look back and think about my year. I think about goals that I have achieved and the goals I have fallen short of achieving. I think about the New Year and what goals that I want to achieve. Some goals will be carry overs from this year. Other goals will be new.
     Being a seriously flawed individual I have a lot of room for improvement. I am not perfect and let me add as an aside that those of you who seem to be perfect who seem to have everything together are particularly annoying to those of us who aren't and don't.
     How about you? Have you achieved all of your goals for 2017? Are you thinking about your goals for 2018?  
     I urge you to set reasonable, achievable goals and to work towards them. Do not spend your life wandering through it aimlessly. Set at least one goal and take steps to achieve it and then set another goal.
    Have a great week!