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Wednesday, February 26, 2014


1. What is something you'll never forget about the age you are right now?

     The thing uppermost in my mind is the incessant battle with our cancer. Granted, and thankfully, SWMBO is in remission but the battle rages on. It is like we're on a carnival ride and we want to get off but we just can't because there is no end to this carnival ride. I will remember the laughs, the tears, the hugs, and the the sometimes lonely vigils that are all part of battling cancer whether you're the patient or the caregiver. SWMBO has and continues to battle valiantly. She is a most remarkable woman!

2. What's a household chore you've never done? How have you managed that???
     I don't think that there's any chore that I haven't done at least once. I hasten to add that I might not have done it correctly but I think I have done all the chores at least once.

3. Does nature shape our personalities more than nurture? Explain? 
     This is an interesting question. It seems to me that all of us are an amalgam of the two, nature and nurture. I think that the scales tip toward nurture being somewhat more. We all have innate gifts and talents that are a result of our genes. However, we become our best selves when we are taught how to properly use these innate gifts. If we are taught to use them to serve and help others we become a force for good in the world and make it a better place. If we are taught to use our gifts to the detriment of others we become a force for evil in the world and make it a less desirable place.
     Some people who come from less than ideal circumstances overcome their shortcomings and become exceptional people. Other people who are raised in privilege with the best of everything become vile human beings with little to no regard for anyone. In my humble opinion the difference in how they turn out is nurture, how they are trained and guided through life. 

4. Friday (February 28th) is 'Something on a Stick Day'...funny because Zoanna over at A Penchant for Pens recently sent me an idea for a question relating to this topic. What's your favorite food eaten on a stick? 

     This one is easy! I absolutely love teriyaki beef strips. Periodically SWMBO and I will order Chinese Take-out. We always get teriyaki beef and teriyake chicken with our order.  I also like ice cream novelty treats that come on a stick like Cream-sicles, Chocolate Ice Cream Bars, etc.

5. Which of your five senses do you treasure most, and why?

     I treasure my eyesight the most. I love to read, watch movies, watch the world around me. I love standing on a mountain and looking over the panorama that spreads out before me. I love a clear winter night and viewing the millions of stars that seem to go on forever. 
     I love looking into SWMBO's beautiful face. I love watching my grand kids play and interact with their parents. So definitely my sight!

6. What's the best music, theatre, or sporting venue you've been to? What made it great?

     It's no contest...Fenway Park. Besides being one of the oldest Major League Ballparks in the country with all the attendant history, in April 2005 I got to work the season opening game. I handed out baseball swag, magnetic schedules I think, and I got to watch the Red Sox players receive their World Series Rings and I also got to watch the game that followed. What made it special was I got to work with my daughter. It was a great daddy-daughter day. We got to walk around and explore the park and take pictures from several different vantage points. We sat on the "Green Monster" and stood on the field by the scoreboard. What a great memorable day!

7. It's the last week of the five words or less bid adieu to your February.


8.  Insert your own random thought here.

     The more I listen to, watch or read news accounts about what's going on in the country I become more concerned that we are in big trouble. The president continues to lie to the American people and continues to act lawlessly in the discharge of his office. He has a pen and a phone and according to him does not need the Congress.
     Our government consists of three co-equal branches. The Congress makes the laws. The President is responsible for executing those laws and the Judicial Branch is supposed to keep the other two branches true to the U.S. Constitution.
     There's the rub. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It specifically says what the government can do and what it cannot do. Our president is exceeding what he is empowered to do. The Congress seems to be powerless to stop him. It does not bode well for our Republic.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


     As I copy over this week's Hodgepodge questions it is snowing in the Granite State again. I think that we have had just about enough snow for one winter! I am running out of room in my driveway to place all this white stuff. Yuck! Well, thanks Joyce for another batch of questions. Enjoy this week's Hodgepodge and leave a comment. Better still answer them yourself!

1. What's the biggest change since your childhood in the way people think or act?
      One of the biggest changes is the lack of respect for authority. As a child if a teacher reported to my parents that I was not completing my work or I was misbehaving, my parents would take corrective action with me. Today it seems that parents hire a lawyer and sue the school district for having the temerity to hold their child accountable.
     Another change is how people interact with police officers. Over the past couple of weeks several NH police officers were assaulted in the line of duty. It used to be a fairly rare occurrence, particularly in NH. However, it seems to be happening with more frequency. 
     Neither one of these happenings bode well for society.
2. The Olympic Biathlon involves cross country skiing broken up with either two or four rounds of target shooting. Which part of that would stress you out more? Or would you love them both equally?
     I would be more stressed out about the skiing part. I have never been on ski's and have never had the urge to learn how to ski. I love the shooting part because I like to shoot and have some skill as a shooter.

3. February is National Canned Food Month...what is your most often purchased canned food item?  What was in the last can you opened?
     The most frequent canned good purchase is either vegetables or soup. The last can I opened was two cans of tuna so that I could make my special tuna salad recipe. SWMBO loves my tuna salad.

4. What river (anywhere in the world) would you most like to cruise?
     I would like to cruise the Danube River in Europe. I think that the historical impact that river has had on the development of civilization, art, etc. would appeal to me.
5. It's the middle of the night and you can't sleep...what do you do? Count sheep? Toss and turn? Watch television? Or do you get up and do something productive?
     If I can't sleep I generally turn on the TV and channel surf. Other times I get up and try doing something productive like reading a book or working on a sermon or Bible Study.

6. How important is keeping your cool?
     Keeping ones cool is very important. I have learned through experience that ones ability to think clearly and react properly goes down as emotions and temper goes up. This is particularly true in stressful situations. People are better able to perform during emergencies if they can maintain a calm demeanor.

7. I've got white stuff on the brain so why not run with it? White lie, wave the white flag, white knuckle it, white wash a situation, or white as a sheet...which phrase could most recently apply to your own life in some way?
   "Wave the white flag" definitely. I surrender to winter! Enough with the snow carpet bombings! I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     At the beginning of winter most people look forward to the first snow fall. When it happens they cannot wait to get out and play in the white stuff. As the winter progresses the appeal of a fresh snowfall tends to abate. By this time of year, after ALL the snow we have received, the number of these people diminish. I think that the majority of people just want the incessant snow to STOP! 
     However there are those "certifiably nuts" people who relish more snow. These people are CRAZY! They will argue that snow is beautiful and is lots of fun to play in. THESE PEOPLE ARE NUTS! 
     I am running out of room in my driveway. Many more snow storms and SWMBO and I will be snowbound until spring. I will be shovelling snow until June at this rate. So after serious reflection I have come to the conclusion that winter should..."DIE WINTER, DIE!!!! Other than that I have no strong feelings on the subject!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


    Valentine's Day (AKA Shot Through the Heart by Cupid's Arrow Day) is this Friday, hence the title of this Hodgepodge blog entry! Joyce from "From this Side of the Pond" never disappoints with the latest series of questions. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, have a seat and enjoy this week's edition of the Hodgepodge. Better yet, fire up the old computer and join in on the fun!

1.What makes love last?
    It seems to me that this question suggests that love is finite, that you get so much and then it's gone or that we have just so much love to give and then we're out. I do not believe that love wears out. I believe that we choose to stop loving…for whatever reason.
    My beloved SWMBO and I have been in love for 42 years. We continue to choose to love each other no matter what. So, to my way of thinking, what makes love last is our decision that it will last!

2. The Beatles made their US debut fifty years ago this week. Are you a fan? If so, what's your favorite Beatles tune?
   I am definitely a fan! I listen to an "All Beatles All the Time" station over my I-Heart radio I-Phone application. I prefer their earlier stuff, up to and including Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. I don't have only one favorite Beatles tune. "And I Love Her", "If I Fell", "No Reply", "The Night Before" are a few of the ones I find myself singing when alone in my car or at home doing chores.

3. Valentine's Day-your thoughts? Do you celebrate in any way? Do anything special for the people you love? Expect anything special from the people who love you? 
    I will give SWMBO a tasteful greeting card and a small box of chocolates. I don't expect anything special from people who love me.

4. Steak or have to choose. Now that that's settled, how do you like it?
    I prefer a nice New York Strip steak cooked medium well. Yumm!

5. The Hodgepodge lands on the birthdate (February 12th) of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America. Lincoln is quoted as saying, 'Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test his character give him power.'  Do you agree? Why or why not?
    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Our founding fathers knew this all too well and did their level best to construct our system of government in such a way that the tension existing between the three equal branches would keep our lesser angels in check. President "Honest Abe" believed this as well evidenced by this quote. Our nation is seriously lacking in people of such character today.

6. Honest Abe's image is featured on the US penny (1 cent coin) so I'm wondering...what do you do with your pennies (or your country's equivalent)?  It's been suggested the US stop making the penny, and two bills have been introduced proposing just that, but neither were approved. What say you?
     I still pick up pennies and save them in a "Penny Jar." When the jar gets filled I convert them to more convenient forms of cash and take SWMBO out to dinner. It still takes 100 pennies to make a dollar.

7.  Do you think pop culture deserves serious study?
    Yes, I do think that pop culture should be studied but not us, but rather by the people who come after us. I do not believe that we can accurately assess our culture from the present. For example, in my humble opinion we really did not begin to fully comprehend or appreciate the societal upheaval that was the 1960's until we looked back from the perspective of the late 1970's or 1980's.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
    I have been thinking about the humanity of Jesus Christ. What I mean is that I have been considering some of the events in His life and considered how He might have felt given how we might feel in the same circumstances.
   We can infer from a reading of the Gospels that Joseph, His earthly father, probably died sometime before Jesus began His public ministry. In my mind I see Him, with tears in His eyes and a broken heart, comforting His mother Mary and His siblings at the gravesite.  
     While on earth, Jesus chose twelve men who became His disciples, His Apostles and I believe His closest friends. One of these friends, Judas, conspired with His enemies to arrest Him. In my minds eye I see tears in Jesus' eyes when Judas kissed Him in the Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus said "Do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?"
    I see Jesus walking through the courtyard and His eyes meeting Peter's after Peter denied knowing Him three times before the rooster crowed. Peter was one of His three closest friends and even though Jesus told Peter that he was going to deny knowing Him, it had to cut Jesus deeply for that prophecy to have come true.
   As Christians I think that we sometimes fail to fully appreciate the extent of the humanity of the God-man, Jesus Christ. Think about it and see where your thoughts take you! May God bless you on your mental journey!

Monday, February 10, 2014


      IT'S BEEN 50 YEARS since the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan variety show. The Ed Sullivan show was a staple of my family's Sunday evening television viewing regimen. My family was not unique in this regard. Many times I would hear my parents talking with relatives, neighbors or friends about what had been on a recent Ed Sullivan Show or what was going to be on the next Ed Sullivan Show.

If you were a professional singer, comedian, musical group or novelty act appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show often made your career. The Ed Sullivan Show was very popular among the television viewing and gave the aforementioned professional entertainers national, if not worldwide, exposure. An appearance on this popular show often made one's career.

In 1964 an upstart musical group from Great Britain took America by storm. Four men, John, Paul, George and Ringo, arrived with great fanfare. Their plane was met at the airports by screaming crowds of young men and women straining to catch just a glimpse of these British invaders. Their motorcades were often surrounded by screaming, adoring fans. Security had to be extremely tight because their followers would go to amazing lengths to breach security and try to get into their hotel rooms.

If you're a Beatles fan, this week's retrospective, of the initial assault of what came to be known as the British Invasion, was pleasantly nostalgic. I am a Beatles fan, especially of their early music up to and including "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show gave them worldwide acclaim. The influence of their music continues to influence popular music like few bands have done before, or since, their arrival on the scene.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


     Last Sunday was Groundhog Day and today, Wednesday, we in New Hampshire are being inundated with snow. YUCK! It is also time for another series of questions. I urge any male bloggers to join me in participating in the weekly Hodgepodge. I think I may be the only man to participate weekly. Come on in, the waters fine!

1. Are we always responsible for our actions? Are there any exceptions?
   We are always responsible for our actions. Our responsibility may be mitigated somewhat if we act upon information that was deliberately misrepresented to us. Even then, we are ultimately responsible for our actions but somewhat less so. Due diligence requires that we make every effort to insure that the information upon which we act is true and accurate.

2.  Has anyone from your home town become famous?
     I was born in Lowell, MA. Three famous names come to mind: Bette Davis, the great American actress; Jack Kerouac, author of "On the Road"; and Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson's longtime Tonight Show sidekick.

3. January was National Slow Cooker month. Do you own a slow cooker/crock pot? Did you use it last month? What's a favorite dish you make using a slow cooker or crock pot?
     SWMBO and I have three crock pots in three different sizes. Baby Pot, Mama Pot and Papa Pot. SWMBO recently blogged about them at "Life Through Bifocals." I have two favorite meals. SWMBO makes an incredible Beef Stew. She also makes a Pork Chop Chili that will clean out your innards like Drano cleans out a clogged pipe. By that I mean it burns going down, clearing out your sinuses in the process. It also burns coming out, if you know what I mean. It tastes really, really good though!

4. How do you feel about private companies collecting data about you?
     I have become convinced that the days of having personal privacy is over. The most intimate details of our lives that are stored on any computer is vulnerable. That said, I don't mind if a company stores the kind of things I buy from them or how often I shop and stuff like that. I do object to them collecting data which invades my privacy, stuff I would prefer to keep confidential or that is not intended for public consumption.

5. The Games of the 2014 Winter Olympics kick off with their opening ceremony this coming Friday....will you be watching? Which Winter Olympic event would you most like to see in person? Have you ever been to Russia? Any desire to go, Olympics or otherwise?
     I love the Hockey competition. I prefer the earlier Olympic games when only amateurs were allowed to compete. Now the NHL takes a two week hiatus so that some of their players can compete for their respective nations. SWMBO loves the figure skating.

6. Share a good or bad sports related memory from your childhood or teen years.
     I played little league baseball as a young boy. I was a pretty good first baseman. My team was in the league playoffs. It was the bottom of the last inning and I caught a game ending foul ball that secured our victory. Unfortunately, my team lost the rubber game of the playoff, but that catch was an exciting moment in my young life.

7. What's a must have song for you on a work out play list? If you don't work out, run, swim, bike, walk, or anything else that could be construed as 'exercise', then what's a song that motivates you to at least get up off the couch?
     There's a lot of songs that get my blood moving. Foreigner's "Dirty White Boy" and "Hot Blooded"; Deep Purple's "Highway Star" and "Space Truckin"; Roy Orbison's "Only the Lonely" and "Pretty Woman"; Styx "Too Much Time On My Hands" and "Blue Collar Man" and "Renegade"; The Eagles "Life in the Fast Lane" and "Already Gone" just to name a few!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     I have been thinking about Divorce recently. No…SWMBO and I are doing fine. In fact we're closer now and more in love than we have ever been. I have been thinking about some of the self deluding things that people say when they choose to divorce.
     "We have just grown apart." In my humble opinion this just means that you have stopped trying to please each other like you did when you were dating. Also, when you are dating someone you tend to overlook a bunch of stuff that for some strange reason becomes intolerable after you are married.  Don't kid yourself, you have stopped trying because you chose to stop trying.
     "We have become different people!" You were different people when you started dating. You were different people when you got married. You are both different people now. The one constant in the universe is change. You are both going to change. Your interests, your abilities, your bodies, etc. will change over the years. Change can be properly managed if you choose to do so.
     "We don't love each other anymore."  You have chosen not to love each other anymore. Love is a verb! Love is a choice! Nuff said! 
     "It is better for the kids" This is the worst of all the self deluding statements! The one unalterable fact about divorce is that no matter how amicable the divorce may be, the kids are ALWAYS adversely affected. I have seen this first hand in my career as a police officer and have dealt with the very real consequences of the fallout from "amicable" divorce.

     I understand that there are times when Divorce is unavoidable for a variety of reasons. I am not trying to be judgmental or even self righteous. I just know what a blessing marriage is or can be. In my humble opinion Divorce is bad and nobody wins, especially the kids!