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Wednesday, March 26, 2014


     March is supposed to go out like a lamb if it comes in like a lion. This year it is going out like a lion. Apparently Mother Nature didn't get the Lamb/Lion memo. Well, at least we still have the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Our friend Joyce has come up with another series of thought provoking posers. I hope you enjoy reading them and the responses to them.

1. March is known as the windy month. Which of the following phrases best fits your March so far...'throw caution to the wind', 'three sheets to the wind', 'run like the wind', or 'see which way the wind blows'?

     I think "Run like the wind." This has been a busy month. Our grandaughter turned five years old this month and her party was the highlight of the month. She is such a sweet child and I'm happy to report my daughter and son in law are doing an exceptional job raising her and her younger sister. 
     Also, we celebrate the 31st anniversary of SWMBO's 29th birthday. Her 29th birthday was her favorite so we keep celebrating that one. 
     We also had Doctor appointments to repair her broken nose and monitor her cancer remission. So we're fairly busy this month.

2. Your favorite green food? Your favorite dish made with your favorite green food?
     My favorite green food would be green bell peppers. I love greem peppers in salads, in stews and on pizza. My favorite way to have green peppers is stuffed with a mixture of hamburg, rice, onions and tomato sauce.

3. Ever been locked out of your home-car-office-anywhere? Do tell!

    During the early days of my law enforcement career we often had only one car on the road per shift. During one such shift where I was the "Lone Ranger" I responded to an apartment complex to take a theft report. We always lock our patrol car whenever we leave it unattended.
     I take my report and finish my business inside the apartment complex. When I return to my locked patrol car I learned, to my great embarassment, that I had locked my keys inside. I resolved the problem by calling an off duty officer who lived nearby to come and bail me out. I took a fair amount of ribbing from my colleagues as you might imagine. 

4. Yoda, Kermit, Shrek, The Wicked Witch of the West, Oscar the Grouch, The Grinch, or Mike Wasowski (Monsters Inc.)...of the green characters listed, which one's your favorite and why?

     I have to go with "Yoda." He is kind, wise and a beloved Jedi Master. Need I say more?

5. "The first task of a leader is to keep hope alive."~Joe Batten Do you agree? Why or why not? 

    I agree that keeping hope alive is one of the tasks of leadership but I question whether it is the first task of leadership. It seems to me the first task of leadership would be dictated by the particular circumstances that a leader finds himself in.

6. Share a favorite song with an emotion in it's title.

    I have a few songs that fit the bill "More Than a Feeling" by Boston; "Feeling Alright" by Three Dog Night; "Love Hurts" by Nazereth. The Boston song is my favorite.

7. What's a road trip you'd like to take?

    I would love to have the resources to be able to buy an RV and drive throughout the United States with SWMBO and the fur babies visiting all the National Parks from Arcadia National Park in the State of Maine to Yosemite National Park in the State of California and all points in between.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

     What do your think happened to the Malaysian Flight that was lost a few weeks ago? I will offer a few ideas that range from the ridiculous to the sublime. First the ridiculous...
     A UFO of extra terestrial origin came down and transported the plane and all souls on board to another dimension for reasons that are clear only to the aliens. Depending on whether the plane and all souls on board are returned safely will determine whether the aliens are up to nefarious purposes or benevolent purposes.
Next comes the conspiracy theory...
     The aircraft and all souls on board were hijacked, either by the crew, or some of the passengers, or a combination of the two groups. The plane was flown to a secret landing strip on a remote island in the Indian Ocean where the plane is currently under cover being retrofitted for use in an upcoming terrorist attack. The passengers are either being held captive or they have been terminated with extreme prejudice. Now the most likely...
     The aircraft experienced a catastrophic, cascading, terminal malfunction that resulted in the aircraft crashing into the Indian Ocean with all souls on board being lost in the tragedy.
     The fact of the matter is that we don't know and that we will never know what happened until the aircraft is located and can be examined by experts. Any reports until that happens are just speculation. I pray for the passengers, crew and their families that empirical evidence showing the truth of what actually happened is found soon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


     This will be the last Hodgepodge of the winter of 2013/2014. Joyce has come up with a bunch of thought provoking questions, some of which are difficult. Won't you join in on the fun. Copy the questions over to your blog and answer them. You'll get hooked just like I was. In any event, please...enjoy!

1.  Thursday marks the first day of celebrate would you rather plant a garden or go for a walk in the woods? Would either of those activities be possible on Thursday where you live?
     Neither of these activities would be possible due to the eighteen inches of snow that still remains in our backyard. If it were possible, however, I would take a walk in the woods and then plant a garden.

2. When did someone last spring something on you? (or when did you last spring something on someone?
      I've got nothing! I can't remember the last time something was sprung on me. I don't spring stuff on others, especially my beloved SWMBO!
3.  We often think of spring as a time for new beginnings. What's something you'd like to start doing this spring?
     I need to exercise more so I'd like to start riding my 10-speed bicycle more. I also should blog more often. Those are two things I'd like to begin anew.

4. Where do you like to sit in a movie theatre? When did you last sit there, and what were you watching?
     Because I have long legs SWMBO and I sit in the top row at the top of the stairs so I have ample leg room to stretch out. We don't go to movies often but the last time we did go was to see Iron Man 3.

5. When you meet someone for the very first time, what do you want them to think about you?
     I would like people to think that I am kind, polite and fun to be around.

6. March is frozen food month (yes, really!). Besides ice cream (gotta make you think a little) what's your most often purchased frozen food item?
     SWMBO and I buy frozen vegetables a lot. We love stews and stir fry meals. Frozen veggies are perfect for either one.

7. What's something you avoid?
     Confrontation, pointless arguments and of course, manual labor!

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
     You may recall that in a prior post I mentioned the death knells of the winter season. The Super Bowl is the first. Next comes the pitchers and catchers reporting for MLB spring training. After that comes St. Patricks Day. The final death knell is the NCAA Basketball Tournament known as "March Madness." Well, the game brackets have been published and the tournament is about to kick off, or should I say Tip Off marking the end of another winter. This has been a difficult winter because of the persistent cold and copious snowfall.
     I for one am glad to see this winter pass into the history books. DIE WINTER! DIE!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


     As I write this Hodgepodge entry we are expecting another snow storm where it is predicted that some parts of NH will receive from ten to twelve inches of snow. WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH! Hence the title of this weeks Hodgepodge! I hope we do not get slammed again. Thank you Joyce for another set of interesting questions. Enjoy, better yet, participate.

1. Do you have an interest in learning about your family's heritage? Why or why not? If you know a little bit about your roots, share an interesting piece of trivia or a fun fact about someone who goes way back on your family tree.
     I have a friend who traces one's heritage as a hobby. He is the current president of the American-Canadian Genealogical Society. I am of French Canadian ancestry. As a surprise he traced my family roots back to the early 1700's. My forebears apparently lived in a small village in the area of what is now Trois Rivieres, Quebec. Family tradition indicates that we were devout Roman Catholics which is not unusual for French Canadians. 

2. Branch Rickey, the baseball exec credited with signing Jackie Robinson, is quoted as saying-

"Luck is the residue of design."
Agree or disagree? Why?
     I agree! I like to read biography's of famous and successful people. The one consistent fact in all the biography's that I have read is that no one achieved fame or success without years of preparation. Sometimes that preparation took the form of formal education. Sometimes it took the form of working in various disciplines, working their way up the ladder. Sometimes it was a combination of the two. It never happens "overnight!" It always takes years of hard work and preparation.

3. In the town where you currently reside, what's your favorite green space?
     There is a road that runs parallel to a small river. Both the road and the river meander through the countryside. I think that is my favorite green space.

4. Who is your favorite comedian?
     My favorite comedian who is still living would be "Dave Allen." My favorite of all time is "Red Skelton."

5. March is National Nutrition Month, and almost everyone needs to improve their diet in some way.  What about you? How can you improve your nutrition on a daily basis? Will you try?
     I can improve my diet by eating more vegetation such as fruits, vegetables and nuts. I have been trying for many years with some success and I'm sad to say more failure.

6. Which of these green expressions have you 'experienced' in recent weeks -green with envy, green thumb, green around the gills, or give the green light? Explain.
     I would have to go with "Green with envy." I am envious of the warm temperatures of southern Florida and southern California where my son and his family live.

7. Where is one place you don't mind waiting? 
     I don't mind waiting in a bakery or restaurant. The smells of these places are usually amazing and make any wait fairly pleasant.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     I am concerned about the education of our children. I believe that the time has long passed when the 'Education Establishment" is more concerned about educating our children than they are about gaining and maintaining more power and wealth for themselves.
     If you were to take a look at the rise in how much we spend per student now compared with how much we spent per student years ago you would see that we spend significantly more today than what we spent is past years. However, our students are less educated now than in years past.
     Private schools spend a half to two thirds as much as public schools do per student and the private school students are much better educated than the public school students. Why is this so?
     In my humble opinion the amount of money spent has never and will never be the main factor in determining the quality of an education. Rigorous instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic, history, geography, and critical thinking, along with practice and application, and fair, measurable standards will…in my humble opinion!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


     March is coming in like a lion this year. Our temperatures are about 20 degrees lower than they should be at this time of year. To make matters worse there is a shortage of pellet stove fuel. Colder temps and no wood pellets to supplement the oil heat makes it difficult to keep my beloved SWMBO warm and cozy. I shall endeavor to persevere! 
     Now on to this week's hodgepodge questions. Our friend Joyce from From This Side of the Pond has come up with more interesting questions. I hope you enjoy reading my answers.

1. The expression 'mad as a March hare' originated with a fictional character who is distracted and frantic. When were you last 'mad as a March hare' and what was it that made you that way?
     I cannot remember a time when I was mad as a March hare. I am sure that there must have been times when I was. I generally do not harbor grudges. I deal with whatever is bothering me and move on.

2. Mardi Gras this year falls on Tuesday, March 4th. Have you ever been to Mardi Gras, and if so what did you think? If not, do you have any interest in going?  Purple, green, and gold are the colors of Mardi Gras. Which one is most prevalent in your wardrobe? How about in your home?
     I was stationed in Alexandria, Louisiana, in the late 70's. I never went to Mardi Gras primarily because the revelry associated with the event is not consistent with a Christian lifestyle. I really had no desire to go. Purple is the most favored color. In our home our bedroom is purple.

3. Are you old fashioned?

4. Do you carefully plan your vacations, or do you prefer the days to be more spontaneous?
     We like to go as the spirit moves us. We decide each morning of our vacation what we want to do. We do not like a strictly regimented vacation so we don't do a lot of planning. 

5.  March is National Sauce Month...what's your favorite sauce, and what do you most often top with this sauce?
     I love a Medium hot, Newman's Peach flavored Salsa. I like it with tortilla chips or sometimes for a change I'll have it with pork rinds.

6.  What's something that easily brings a tear to your eye?
     When my granddaughter hugs my legs and says "Pepere, you're the best!" Also, I love "A Christmas Carol" and when Scrooge wakes up on Christmas morning a change man I get a tear sometimes. I love stories of redemption.

7. If you could own any sports team, which one would it be and why?
     The Boston Red Sox of course. They are such a storied franchise. I am such a fan!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Last Monday, SWMBO fell at work and fractured her nose in two places. Today she had surgery to effect repairs. For me it was a busy day. I began by dropping SWMBO and both dogs off at her work at 7:30 a.m. I then had to get the grocery shopping done. 
     At 12:30 p.m. I picked up SWMBO and Becke the wonder dog at SWMBO's work. While SWMBO was in surgery I took care of Becke. Then while she was in recovery I had to pick up August Rush, our Chinese Crested, from daycare. I then returned to the hospital and sat with SWMBO until she was recovered enough from the anesthesia and the surgical procedure to be discharged.
     I drove SWMBO and the fur babies home around 6:30 p.m. then after feeding the fur babies and seeing to it that SWMBO was comfortably ensconced on the couch, I went to the drug store to get her pain killers. 
     SWMBO is now resting comfortably. The surgery went very well. The fur babies are sleeping too! I am worn out! It has been a full day!