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Wednesday, May 28, 2014


1. What news story are you following right now?
      I am following yet another government caused travesty. I am following the news regarding the treatment, or more correctly stated the lack of treatment, for our Nation's veterans. The president tells us that he is angry. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs tells us that he is "dam mad." In other words we are getting the usual bovine excreta from the government. If I could work my will, I would not spend another dime on the care or education of ANY illegal immigrants until the last veteran has been properly cared for. 

2. What's the last thing you wanted but didn't get?
     It was November 2012. I wanted a new president but I didn't get one! My opposition to President Obama has NOTHING to do with race and everything to do with his character (He repeatedly lies to us) and competence. He is incompetent! May God give us the leaders that we need and not the leaders that we deserve as apparently has been the case in our recent history.

3. May 28th is National Hamburger Day...when did you last have a hamburger? Other than your own kitchen or BBQ grill, where is your favorite place to go for a hamburger? And for all you non-meat eaters out there...when you're invited to a cookout what is the one side dish you hope is on the menu?
      The last time I had a hamburger was on Monday. SWMBO wanted me to grill some animal flesh so I grilled some BBQ Pork ribs and some hamburgers. When I go out for a burger one of my favorite places to get a burger is a locally owned restaurant called Cactus Jacks. They have a couple of specialty burgers that are most excellent.
4. How have your priorities changed over time?
     As a young boy my priorities were summer vacations and playing sports. As a teenager my priority was graduating from high school and girls, one particular girl as it turned out. After high school my priority was fulfilling my obligation to my country by serving in the military. Go Air Force! After my discharge my priority was working as hard as I could to provide for my beloved SWMBO and our two children and being active in the Lord's church. Today my priority is taking care of my beloved SWMBO, being active in the Lord's church and spoiling our grandchildren to the extent that we can. That is how my priorities have changed over the years.

5. What's a favorite memory with your grandparents?
     My maternal grandparents lived with us so I spent a fair amount of time with them. My favorite memory of my grandmother is seeing her in her rocking chair in the kitchen rocking gently while sewing, peeling potatoes or just being lost in her own thoughts, singing to herself.
     My favorite memory of my grandfather is my sneaking back downstairs after bedtime and going into his room and watching the Red Sox game with him. I really loved my grandparents!
6. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being fantastic!), how good are you at multitasking? Share an example.
     Minus three! I'm not a very good multitasking at all. I have to spit my gum out before I stand up and begin walking. So sad!

7. How would you summarize your highs and lows for the month of May?
     My highs of the month is tag teaming our granddaughters with my beloved SWMBO. The lows of the month is the ebb and flow of this incessant battle with our cancer.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     The History channel is broadcasting a three part series called the World at War. It begins with World War I and how that war affected the countries and the leaders of World War II and how WWI made WWII almost inevitable. As a fan of history, particularly the era between 1930 and 1947, this series has been well worth the time to watch it. It does a nice job of drawing the connection between both wars. I highly recommend it to you for your viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Everybody knows someone who is, or has been, afflicted with one of the many variations of the insidious disease we call Cancer. No two cancer patients are affected by the disease in exactly the same way. The family members of cancer patients are not affected in exactly the same way. The friends and co-workers of cancer patients are not affected in  exactly the same way.
My wife and I have cancer. I say my wife and I because we are one. The Bible describes married people as having left their respective families and becoming one with each other. My beloved SWMBO and I are blessed to be such a couple. We are one and have been one for over forty years!
SWMBO was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a type of blood cancer, in the Spring of 2012. She has gone through a number of different treatment regimens to bring the disease in check and to keep it in check. There is no cure! Some of these treatment regimens are quite debilitating physically and emotionally. Since being diagnosed we take each day as it day at a time. Some days are goods days. Other days are not so good days.

SWMBO loves to garden. She loves to plant flowers to try to beautify the front of the house. This year we put in a faux patio in the front yard. We set up chairs so we can sit together, drink coffee and watch the world pass by our house. 
    On Saturday we went to K-Mart so SWMBO could buy a couple of wide brim sun hats. Because of some of the medication she is taking, direct sunlight is not good for her.  That is sad because she loves to bask in the sun and feel its warmth.
We also went to Home Depot where SWMBO bought some more tiles for the faux patio, potting soil and several plants for the front yard. 
When we got home, I unloaded the tiles, the potting soil and the plants and placed them in the front yard as she directed. She came outside wearing one of her new hats and carrying her garden tool bag and she began planting the flowers as she envisioned where they would go. I was sitting on the couch inside the house and I could hear her happily talking to her plants. I also heard her talking to the dogs who kept her company. She was having a grand old time.
When you have cancer you have good days and you have not so good days. Saturday was a good day. SWMBO was able to do what she loves to do. I got to listen to SWMBO joyfully doing what she loves to do! Saturday was a good day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


1. Under what circumstances do you do your best thinking?
     In the quiet of my office with music playing in the background and late afternoon or early evening. I can be creative when under pressure but I prefer the quiet office scenario.

2. Are you a risk taker? What's one big risk you've taken?
     No, I am not. One big risk I've taken is I married my High School sweetheart. So far the risk has been worth it.

3. Some of the most common phobias according to the National Institute for Mental Health are-fear of spiders (arachnophobia), snakes (ophidiophobia), heights (acrophobia), fear of spaces from which escape is difficult (agoraphobia), fear of thunder and lightening (astrophobia), fear of dogs (cynophobia), injections (trypanophobia), social situations, flying (pteromerhanophobia) and fear of germs and dirt (mysophobia). True phobias affect only about 10% of adults, but of those listed which would you rate as your greatest fear?
     I am not phobic per se, but I do not like heights. I'd never make it as an iron worker or a roofer.

4. Are you settled or do you feel the need to move somewhere new?
     I am pretty well settled. However, with each passing winter more temperate climates become more inviting.

5. What is something you find annoying when dining in a restaurant?
     There are a couple of things. One is the waitstaff gathering around the table of a birthday boy or girl and clapping, singing and generally being loud and annoying. The other is when your server makes too frequent visits to your table to ask if every thing's alright. I prefer my server stop by once or twice after the entree has been served, keep the water/beverage glasses filled, and leave us the heck alone so that my dining companion and I can engage in an uninterrupted conversation while enjoying our meal.
6. Daffodil yellow, sunset orange, spring green, or sky blue...your favorite color this time of year?
     Sunset orange! I love a colorful sunset.

7. If you were going to take a holiday all by yourself, where would you go?
     A house on the ocean or a cabin in the mountains by a clear lake.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
    Today, the State of New Hampshire pays it respects as it lays another public servant to rest. Officer Steve Arkell was killed in the line of duty a week ago. Fortunately, this type of thing doesn't happen often. However when it does happen, it really impacts the entire state.  
     I have been retired from law enforcement for almost three years and whenever I read of an officer being killed in the line of duty anywhere in the country, I mourn for my fallen brother or sister, their family and their co-workers. When it happens in the state of New Hampshire that sense of mourning is much more profound.
     Officer Arkell leaves a wife and two teen aged daughters. He was a pillar of the community where he lived and worked and by all accounts was very well liked and respected. May he rest in peace!

Friday, May 16, 2014


No good deed goes unpunished! Just because something is simple, that doesn’t mean it is easy.              

       Last Friday night I emptied the garbage can from under the kitchen sink. When I removed the trash can I noticed that there was a significant amount of water at the bottom of the cabinet. I grabbed a flashlight and found the source of the water. The kitchen sink drain basket had sprung a leak. The gasket had apparently failed.
So, I mopped up the water and left a note for SWMBO telling her that the sink was out of commission until I could effect repairs. Unfortunately I had a church business meeting on Saturday morning so I would not be able to get to the repair(s) until after the meeting, sometime in the afternoon. 
The business meeting ran long and I did not get home until around 1:30 p.m. I ate lunch, talked with my beloved SWMBO and then got to work.
I got my work light, my tools and began. I removed everything from under the sink. I illuminated the underside of the sink to examine the damage and determined that the drain basket, slip nut and nylon gasket at the bottom of the tail piece had to be replaced. The slip nut got cracked somehow. It is real simple to remove the sink basket. You remove the tail piece by unscrewing the slip nut at the top and bottom, then pull it out.

Next thing is removing the drain basket. It is held in place by a brass ring nut. Remove the nut and the gaskets and the basket comes right out...simple, right? As it turns out the ring nut was fused with rust to the drain basket. When I applied torque to loosen the nut, the drain basket turned. Holding the drain basket still with one wrench and trying to turn the ring nut did not work. By the time I had tried everything that I knew to do to loosen the ring nut, I had about six hours and several scraped bleeding knuckles into the job. I quit, cleaned and dressed my knuckles and went to bed.
       The next day being Sunday we had church in the morning and it was Mother's Day so the repairs would have to wait until Monday.

So on Monday, to make a long story short, I used a rotary tool to cut the brass ring nut off. This did the trick. Once I had the old drain basket removed it took about an hour to install the new one and put the sink back into operation. SWMBO was pleased...and that’s what I live for!
So like I said just because something is simple that does not mean it is easy. This  sink repair is a good example of what I mean. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


1. It's still May, right? When were you last in the middle of something that might be described as mayhem?
     SWMBO and I have two granddaughters who visit us on occasion. Today's visit would be correctly described as mayhem. We watched the movie FROZEN. Apparently my grandbabies have seen the movie once or twice as they were almost able to repeat the dialogue verbatim. Then they decided to use your's truly as a jungle gym. They climbed all over me, jumped upon me and generally had a great time playing with and on their Pepere. After they went home, SWMBO and both dogs fell fast asleep. 

2. When did you last feel dismayed?
     I don't remember!

3. What's a food combination you like, but other people may find strange?
     I sometimes eat french fries dipped in mayonaise, some people find that strange. I'm given to understand that it is quite common in Europe.

4. "It is never too late to be what you might have been." Do you think that's true? Why or why not?
     I do not think it is true. There are some things that age becomes a barrier to accomplishing. For example, I am too old to become a fighter pilot or astronaut. I could not become a federal agent or a police officer at my age. Also sometimes people suffer disease or disabilities that preclude people becoming anything they might want. The word "never" makes this statement too absolute. If you change "never" to "sometimes not" then that statement becomes true.

5. US News and World Report listed the best historic destinations in the US as follows-Washington D.C, Philadelphia PA, Williamsburg VA, Charleston SC, Boston MA, Richmnd VA, Savannah, GA, Santa Fe NM, Yellowstone, San Antonio TX, San Francisco CA, New Orleans LA, and Charlottesville VA.

Of those listed how many have you seen in person? Which two sites on the list would you most like to see in person?
     I have visited, in person, Boston, MA; Washington D.C.; Santa Fe, NM,; San Antonio, TX.; and Charlottesville, VA. I would like to visit Yellowstone and San Francisco, CA.

6. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. If you had to participate in a single fitness activity for the next half hour, which activity would you choose?
     I would choose to take a bicycle ride.

7. What did you like best about the city, town, or neighborhood where you grew up?
     One thing I really liked is that the Merrimack River was about 100 yards from my front door. I spent a fair amount of my free time playing along it's banks with my friends.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Last Sunday we honored those special ladies who we are blessed and privileged to have in our lives. It occured to me that, as Christian men, we do all year long what most men do sporadically, if at all. 
     Critics of Christianity make the claim that Christian women are treated as inferior to men, that they are not honored or respected. Nothing can be further from the truth. We are commanded to love our wives with such love that we would die for them. We are to treat them and love them as we treat and love ourselves. We are to think of them as being better than ourselves.
     Over 40 years ago I made a promise to God to love, honor and cherish my beloved SWMBO until death do us part. That is one promise that I have kept and plan on keeping for as long as I have breath in my body.
     I hope all you ladies had a tremendous Mother's Day! 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


     This Sunday is Mother's Day. It is entirely appropriate and proper to honor those special ladies who put up with all our crap and love us anyway. Our friend Joyce, a very fine mother in her own right, has come up with another set of questions in keeping with the Mother's Day theme. 

1. Share something you appreciate (or something you appreciated as you were growing up) about your mother.
      My mother always encouraged me to do my best in school. She also had beautiful, long, wavy, hair which I inherited and which my daughter also inherited.

2.  A quote most commonly ascribed to Plato reads "Necessity is the mother of invention." When did this last play out in your own experience?
     My granddaughters visited Granny and me last week. The older girl convinced Granny that they needed to build a "Fairy House." Of course, the Fairy House needed a table and so it fell to me to construct one. A piece of cardboard, some scotch tape and a few tooth picks for legs, my granddaughter had a table for her Fairy House. She was very pleased! It made my day to see such a pathetic looking little table light up such a beautiful little face!

3. Share one of the earliest memories you have from childhood.
     I was blessed to have grown up with my maternal grandmother who lived with us in the same house. She was a devout saintly woman. I remember seeing her sitting in a rocking chair. She would rock gently as she peeled potatoes, mended some clothes, or did some other mundane and routine task. She also sang softly as she worked. I really loved my grandmother and being the youngest of three children, I was her favorite. My grandmother had great taste in grandchildren. (Insert tongue in cheek here!)

4. When did you last 'hit the mother lode'? What was it?
     My beloved SWMBO wants to construct a patio of sorts in the front of the house so that on warm summer evenings we can sit on Adirondack Chairs, sip iced tea and watch the cars drive past our house. To level the ground, I had to move some loam from a pile about 100 feet away, near the driveway. As I dug into the loam pile I struck the mother lode of worms. There were lots of them. I'll need to remember that should I ever go fishing this year.

5. What is/was your favorite dish mom made? Do you make that dish for your family/friends now that you're all grown up?
     One of my favorite dishes was Chinese Pie. Some people know it better as Shepherd's Pie. It's made with ground hamburg, corn and mashed potatoes. We still serve it today!

6. Mother May I? was at one time a popular children's game. It required no equipment or parts to play. What was your favorite childhood game where you could just turn up and play-no gear needed?
     There were two that were very popular in the neighborhood where I grew up. One was "Tag." The other was "Hide and Seek." We used to play them for hours.

7. Which TV mom (past or present) is your favorite, and why?
     Jill Taylor from "Home Improvement." She had to deal with three rambunctious growing boys and an idiot for a husband. She handled it all with grace and humor.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
      This is one of my favorite times of the year. The NHL is in the midst of it's Stanley Cup Play Off Season. It's a time when I watch hockey teams I otherwise would not watch. There is something different about playoff hockey than that of the regular season games.
     My beloved Boston Bruins are currently engaged in a best-of-seven-games series with the evil empire of the NHL, AKA the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens lead the series two games to one. My favorite professional hockey team is the Boston Bruins...and whoever is playing against the Montreal Canadiens! The Canadiens are the New York Yankee's of the National Hockey League!
     So please join me in saying "GO BRUINS!"