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Wednesday, June 25, 2014


1. What summer activity most takes you back to your own childhood?
     A family day at the lake. When I was a boy our family would meet our aunts and uncles and their families at a State Park with a lake, picnic tables, ball fields, etc. We'd get there early in the morning  and play all day. We'd swim, play wiffle ball, volley ball and other activities. The adults would play cards and drink adult beverages and grill burgers and hot dogs for lunch. It was really a great time.

2. What's your favorite summer smell?
    Fresh cut watermelon!

3. It's beach season in the US of how do you feel about sand?
     It is a necessary part of beach life. No matter what you do it comes home with you. It is part of the charm that is summer!

4. Sun tea, SunChips, sunflower seeds, Capri Sun, Sunny Delight, Sun-Maid raisins, sun-dried tomatoes...your favorite food or beverage with sun in its name?
     Sun Tea and Sun Chips.

5. What's your favorite way to cool off on a hot summer day?
     Sitting in an air conditioned movie theater watching a recent release.

6. Share a favorite song with the word sun or sunshine in it's title.
     "Here Comes the Sun" by George Harrison

7. Tell us about a time you had an exceedingly good or truly awful customer service experience. If it was awful, did you report it? Ever go back there again?
     When SWMBO had her stem cell harvested, we stayed at a Quality Inn in Lebanon, NH, about a mile from the hospital. The hotel manager and staff could not do enough for us. They made a difficult time somewhat less so. I did write a letter to the company commending the manager and staff for their service above and beyond the strict call of duty.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     When I was growing up I was taught that "honesty is the best policy." I was told that truth is important. Lately, however, truth does not seem to matter. The "Global Climate Change" debate for example. We find that scientist have been cooking the books. Some glaring examples are the report out of East Anglia, United Kingdom, was shown to contain false and made-up  information that supported their thesis that the planet was warming. 
     A recent United Nations report on global climate change was soundly criticized by environmental scientists as being rife with "bad science" and false data.
     Most recently, NASA and NOAA were criticized for knowingly using false data in a report supporting the idea that the planet was warming due to man made events.
     If a person has to resort to lies to make his case, then his case is false, that is, untrue. TRUTH DOES MATTER!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


1. Since you weren't Hodgepodging last Wednesday, how did you pass the time?
     I also took a hiatus from blogging.

2. What's the first word that comes to mind when I say marriage? Yes, one word. 
     E X C E L L E N T ! ! !

3. Summer officially arrives in the Northern hemishpere later this week. Does it feel like summer where you live? Describe your idea of the perfect summer day.
     It does feel like summer up here in New Hampshire. SWMBO is very pleased. The perfect summer day would be clear skies, temps in the range of the high 70's to mid 80's, low humidity, Hampton Beach or a mountain lake with SWMBO.

4. "Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability."(Sam Keen) Is laziness ever respectable? Do you have a lazy summer planned, or something semi-ambitious?
     Yes, laziness can be respectable. You work hard all year! When it's vacation time then laziness is very respectable. As far as summer plans go I don't have any.

5. Past or present, who's your favorite television dad? Why is he a favorite? Is he anything like your own dad?
     Tim Taylor from Home Improvement. Like most men he often misses the obvious but his heart is in the right place. My dad was fairly handy and like Tim was a good man and somewhat slow on the uptake.

6. June 18th is International Picnic Day...share a favorite picnic memory.
     SWMBO and I like driving up to Quechee, VT, and viewing the gorge and spending time up there. After a trip to Lebanon for medical treatment and follow up we drove to Quechee and had a picnic with the dogs by the gorge. There is a park nearby with walking trails that is very relaxing. It was a nice time,
7. The travel site Trip Advisor lists the top five islands in the world for 2014 as- Ambergris Caye in Belize Cayes, Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Marco Island Florida, and Lewis and Harris in The Outer Hebrides (Scotland). Have you been to any of these? Of those listed (and if price were not a factor) which would you most like to book for a holiday?
     Bora Bora for SWMBO, the fur babies and me.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Last weekend I was sick. Not circling the drain about to checkout kind of sick, but feeling like you are circling the drain about to check out sick. SWMBO channelled her inner "Mother Hen" and went into action. She insured that I was able to sleep when I needed to. She controlled my diet, my fluid intake, my blood sugar...everything.  She helped me combat bone rattling chills and navigate profuse sweat inducing hot flashes. She comforted my headaches, bone aches and other discomforts. 
     SWMBO was not happy that I was sick but she was so glad to be the caregiver for a change. Today I am about 95% back to normal. As I have mentioned on many occasion I do so love this woman. She is remarkable in oh so many ways.
     This random thought is an elaboration of #2 above and just paints a small part of the whole picture.  

Friday, June 6, 2014


Today is June 6, 2014. Three score and ten years ago the allied forces assaulted what was then known as "Fortress Europe." Adolph Hitler had spent years and materials  creating concrete bunkers, walls, steel obstacles and gun emplacements along the French side of the English Channel. Hitler was certain that an invasion was coming he just did not know where.

The D-Day Invasion of June 6, 1944, was fraught with errors and bad judgement on both sides of the conflict. For example, a significant number of the airborne troops who jumped into France the night before the invasion missed their assigned drop zones by miles. 
One group that missed their assigned drop zone landed in the middle of a French town that was occupied by German troops. Many of these brave Americans were killed by withering German fire before they hit the ground. 

The pre-invasion naval bombardment that was supposed to take out the concrete bunkers overlooking the landing beaches overshot their intended targets and failed to soften up the German defenses.
Some Allied Troops were landed on one beach, the wrong beach, and their support equipment did not follow them and was landed on their assigned beach.
The German Fifteenth Panzer Regiment was stationed near the Pas de Calais, the narrowest span of the English Channel. Hitler was convinced that the invasion would land at the Pas de Calais. Despite requests from his commanders in the field he would not commit the 15th Panzer Regiment to Normandy to repel the landings where the actual invasion took place. Had he done so, the invasion would have been successfully repelled and the invasion would have ended in disaster.
The German Air Force fighter planes were pulled back from the French coast to protect them from allied bombing raids. This made it impossible for the German Air Force to effectively support the German ground troops at the coast. 

Despite all these SNAFU's the invasion was successful by the narrowest of margins. The battles fought on D-Day could really have gone either way. However, the allies did prevail and established a beach head and thus began the fall of the Nazi occupation of Europe and the fall of Nazi Germany.

So on this seventieth anniversary of that great day, I remember those brave men who so valiantly served. I honor their memory. Most of all I thank them for stepping forward when their country called. I am proud to be an American, to be from a people that produced such great men. May God continue to so bless the United States. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


     Today SWMBO and I had the granddaughters coming over to visit. SWMBO thought that the backyard needed mowing and asked me to take care of it. Loving yard work like I do, I jumped at the chance. (If you believe that last statement, I have a bridge in NY to sell you.) So I mowed the backyard. What has all this have to do with the Hodgepodge? Absolutely nothing! Enjoy this weeks Hodgepodge anyway!

1. I've read several posts and status updates recently describing end of year school field trips. Do you remember taking school field trips as a kid? Where did you go and do you recall a favorite? For any parents responding today, have you ever chaperoned a school field trip, and if so where?
     I have never chaperoned a field trip. I remember going on one 8th grade field trip where we went to a theater in the round and saw a production of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar." At the plays opening the actors came running down the aisle to the stage from behind us. It startled us to say the least.
     As an adjunct college teacher I went on a field trip to Washington D.C. with students in the Criminal Justice Program. We toured the Law Enforcement Memorial, U.S. Capitol, the White House, The FBI Academy, The U.S. Supreme Court and other monuments. One year we were honored by then U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. Justice Souter graciously spent time with the students answering their questions and speaking to them about his experiences as a Supreme Court Justice. I suspect most of the students did not appreciate how significant or special a thing that was.

2. What's something you're tired of seeing online?
     The incessant pop up adds trying to sell one thing or another.
3. June is the month for roses. Which of the following expressions would you say has most recently applied to your life-'everything's coming up roses', 'there's no rose without a thorn', 'came out smelling like a rose', or 'wearing rose-colored glasses'? 
     I would have to say that there is no rose without thorns. Life is replete with examples of how good times are often accompanied by painful times. That's just life!
4. When grilling outdoors do you prefer gas or charcoal? Who does the grilling at your house? What's the last thing you ate that was cooked on a grill?
     Definitely Gas! It is so much cleaner than charcoal and there are no ashes to dispose of. I generally do the grilling at home. The last time we ate grilled food was on Memorial Day. We had pork ribs and hamburgers.

5. Are you afraid of the dark?
     Not really. I have spent the better part of my adult life working during the night hours so I am not afraid of the dark. I believe that I can avoid dangerous situations or if needed I can defend myself. Also, I am not above carrying a concealed firearm if prudence dictates that I do so.

6. Share a favorite song with a number in it's title.
     "25 or 6 to 4" by Chicago. "One" by Three Dog Night.

7. "Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."(C.G. Jung). Do you agree? Why or why not?
     I agree. I have often found that the traits that really annoy me in other people are the very same traits that upon reflection I generally find in myself. I really don't know why that is, but it is. So I have to say that Mr. Jung has a valid point.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     A man walks in to a butcher shop and he sees a showcase displaying bins with several types of brains. One bin had "Libertarian Brains" listed for $3.50 per pound. Another bin had "Conservative Brains" listed for $4.50 per pound. A third bin had "Progressive/Liberal Brains" for $129.50 per pound. The man asked the shopkeeper why the Progressive/Liberal Brains were so expensive? The shopkeeper answered " Do you know how many Progressive/Liberals you have to kill to come up with one pound of brains?" (Insert cymbal crash here)
     A man was ordered to apologize to a coworker for calling him a "stupid jerk!" The man went up to the coworker and said "I'm sorry I called you a stupid jerk. I thought you knew!" (Parum Pum!)

     Please understand that my anecdotes were meant to be amusing and not to give offense. If you took offense I apologize...I thought you knew! (Parum Pum!)