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Wednesday, December 30, 2015


     It seems like it was just 12 months ago that we were writing our last Hodgepodge of the year! As I get older time seems to pass by more rapidly. I'm certain that my experience is not unique. I thank Joyce, our Hodpodge Mistress, for her effort to come up with these questions every week. Her questions often challenge us. They sometimes evoke wonderful memories or humorous musings. Visit her blog page "From This Side of the Pond" and join in on the fun. 

1. Share a favorite memory/moment from the week of Christmas.
     SWMBO and I had a wonderful Christmas dinner, just the two of us. We had a beef roast with all the trimmings. We are so happy in each other's company. We love cooking and dining together. The fur baibies were not too intrusive and we ate in relative peace.

2.  If someone wrote a book about your life based on the past year, what genre would it fall under? What would the title be?
     It would have to be a Romantic Comedy and the title would be "Turtle's Bone!" The title is an enigma and "No!" I won't divulge the secret.

3. What made you feel patriotic this year?
     Nothing specific comes to mind. I feel patriotic when I see the stars and stripes unfurled blowing in the wind. I feel patriotic when I read about the exploits of our Navy Seals and other Spec-Ops personnel. I feel patriotic when I see a serviceman, or woman, come home early from a deployment and suprises their family. 
4. What experience from this past year would you like to do all over again?
     I would not like to do much from last year over again. Our year was taken up with medical appointments and managing a beloved pet that is experiencing the throes of canine geriatrics. We got away for a day or two and visited a favorite vacation spot in Vermont. That would be kind of fun to do again.

5. What song lyric sums up or is a reflection of your 2015?
     "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen. This year has just gone by too fast!

6. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate 2015?  (10=stellar) Why?
     I'd give it a 5 or 6. Nothing extraordinary, just an average, wonderful life, despite the items mentioned above in question #4.

7. What part of the upcoming year are you most excited about?
     I am not excited about any part of the year. I look forward to the Super Bowl, the Red Sox reporting for Spring training, March madness and the Boston Marathon. All of these things have one thing in common...they are the death knells signalling the end of winter. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.
      We have three dogs, a yellow Labrador Retreiver and two Chinese Cresteds. Our Labrador is 15 years old and is having a hard time negotiating daily life. She joined our family 11 years ago. 
     One of the Cresteds joined our family a couple of years ago. The othe Crested joined our family earlier this year.
     The Labrador, Becke the wonder dog, is progressively experiencing difficulty walking. She can no longer do stairs without my assistance. She can no longer walk on linoleum floors without her hind legs giving out. She has a hard time getting comfortable on her bed(s). She has one in the living room and one in our bedroom. She has given us unconditional love for as long as we have had her. We now will endeavor to do the same to her in her twilight years. Our pets really do become a significant member of our families.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


     Welcome to the week before Christmas Wednesday Hodgepodge. It astounds me that another year has come and is almost gone already. I must be getting old! Thank you Joyce for these weekly writing prompts. Many are challenging. Others are just fun and still others are thought provoking and often calls to mind wonderful memories. I hope that you enjoy this week's edition.

1. What's your biggest 'first world' problem?
     In my humble opinion our biggest "first world" problem is "National Security." It takes two forms. First, there is an entity who is at war with the United States. That entity, Radical Islam, is intent on bringing death and mayhem to our shores. Our leaders have essentially said "We're not playing, our war is over." It does not matter if we decide not to effectively engage the enemy, the enemy is going to engage us, and sooner rather than later.
     The second form is our unsecured borders. Our government, whether run by republicans or democrats, have failed to secure our borders and control who is admitted into our country. Every civilized country on the planet secures its borders and yet, we seem to be afraid of offending people if we secure our borders and really vet who gets in.

2.  Each year Time Magazine names a 'Person of the Year', someone who has 'for better or worse...done the most to influence the events of the year.' It was recently announced they've named Angela Merkel Person of the Year for 2015. You can read more about this year's selection here. Your thoughts? If you were in charge, who would you declare Person of the Year? 
     I suppose that it's an interesting exercise to try to come up with who had the greatest impact on events during the year that is about to end. In my view it is largely subjective and ultimately meaningless. Angela Merkel is as good a choice as anyone. Other candidates might be Pope Francis, or Vladimir Putin, Fed Chairman Janet Yellen, Kim Kardashian, and on and on and on ad nauseum.

3. Do you have a nativity set in your home? If so share it's history and how you display the pieces.
     We do have a nativity set in our home. It has been a part of our Christmas decor for the better part of 40 years. It's a simple cardboard manger with the usual players. Over the years we have lost the original cast and pressed ornaments (camel) and one or more of the Magi. We display it where ever there is space to accommodate it.

4.  Do you make an extra effort to give back in some way during the holiday season? How do you encourage those who need encouragement this time of year?
     I try to make an effort to give back year round and not just at Christmas. I encourage people appropriate to the situation at hand. I empathize, offer suggestions and sometimes I'm just there holding their hand or being silently present.
5. Who is your favorite person to shop for? Why?
     I don't have a favorite person to shop for because I don't particularly like shopping.

6. What's the last delicious thing you ate?
     At a recent Christmas Party there was a particular pie that had cream, caramel, nuts, and other stuff that was absolutely delicious!
7. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is________________.
     Singing Christmas Carols! Songs and music have a special power to lift the soul and lighten the heart.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     There have been a couple of troubling trends here in the Granite State. The NH State Police have made several arrests of people who were driving in excess of a 100 miles per hour. One "Rocket Scientist" was clocked driving 80 miles per hour a couple of hours after making bail on his getting arrested for driving in excess of 100 miles per hour. He said that he was angry at how much he had to pay to get his car out of the impound lot.
     Another trend has been people driving the wrong way on the interstate highway. One woman drove almost sixteen miles northbound in the southbound lane before NH State Troopers were able to stop her. Of course, significant alcohol consumption was the wrong way drivers, not the Troopers. 
     The surprising thing is that in all the incidents of excessive speed and wrong way driving, no one was killed. It has got to be Divine providence at work! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


     Today we are having unseasonably mild temperatures...AND LOVING IT! Last year at this time we had snow rectum deep to a bull moose and the bitter cold to go with it. If we could get just a "little" snow for the Christmas holiday, you know the Currier & Ives kind of snow, that would be good. 
     Another Wednesday is here and therefore another Hodgepodge ensues. So join the battle and express your thoughts and experience the fun. Thank you Joyce!

1.  Many families have a story they love to tell every year around a holiday. Does your family have one? Are you the star of that story, or does another family member take center stage? Share your story if you want.
     We don't have a specific story but we do reminisce about different events in our past. A couple of examples would be the account of our daughters birth in England or visiting my dad and watching him play chess with his grandkids. All of a sudden he'd disappear with the grandkids. He took them out for ice cream. Those are just two of several stories we revel in.

2. Are you afraid to speak your own opinion?
     HECK NO! I refuse to allow "political correctness" or anything else to deprive me of my 1st Amendment Right to free, unfettered expression. I do not deliberately seek to offend anyone but I am certain that there are those who find my views to be offensive. Too bad...for them!

3. Pantone has announced the color of the year for 2016, and for the first time have chosen two shades-rose quartz and serenity. Hmmm...did you know serenity was a color? You can read the thought behind their selection here, but essentially it's blending the warmth of rose quartz with the tranquility of a very soft shade of blue. So what do you think? Are these colors I'd find in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in these shades to either place in the new year?
     I have trouble being interested in "color." It's muck akin to my interest, that is my lack of interest, in flowers.

4. If you could be in a Christmas carol, which one would you choose? Why?
     It would have to be "The Little Drummer Boy" because I have a great sense of rhythm. 

5. December 9th is National Pastry Day. Will you celebrate? When did you last purchase something from a bakery? What's your favorite treat that falls under the heading of pastry? Do you make it yourself or buy from the professionals?
     SWMBO and I will probably partake of some type of pastry. Cream Horns are our favorite. The last time that we bought some pastry was today.

6. When it comes to holiday decorating_____________________________.
     I can take it or leave it! SWMBO loves it...therefore, we decorate!

7. When did you last laugh so much it hurt? Explain.
     I can't remember. We tend to laugh a lot because I'm silly. I love making people laugh by telling a joke or saying outrageous things. I envision that my funeral will be a laugh riot with lots of "Do you remember when he...." stories being told about me and my time on earth.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     My prayers go out to the San Bernadino community this week. I also feel a sense of pride in the way law enforcement, my former profession, ran towards the sound of the guns and thereby kept the body count down and resulted in the rapid capture of the two responsible murderers/terrorists. 
     Some of the people who were killed in the attack died using their own bodies to shield their co-workers from gunfire. Their sacrifice is not unusual of other Americans in similar circumstances. Americans are a noble people who willingly sacrifice themselve for others. God bless their families as they mourn the deaths of their loved ones.
     May God bless America and protect us from those who would seek our destruction.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


     We are in the waning days of the year 2015 A.D. That's right! I said A.D. and not that C.E. crap...but I digress. Are you thinking New Years Resolutions or is it too early? At this time of year I spend most of my time doing Christmas shopping/planning or helping SWMBO with Christmas Shopping/Planning or trying to answer that annual question "What do you want for Christmas?" I always have trouble answering this question because I do not want for anything. Well, it's Wednesday so onto this week's Hodgepodge!

1. Did you watch The Charlie Brown Christmas special Monday night? Who's your favorite Peanuts character and why?
     I did not watch the Charlie Brown special on Monday. My favorite Peanuts character is Linus. He seems to have a quiet wisdom within him and you got to love his "blankie."
"Most psychiatrists agree that sitting in a pumpkin patch is excellent therapy for a troubled mind."~Linus  

Would you agree? 
     I would agree. This kind of makes my point about his quiet wisdom. Sitting alone, away from the cares of the world and the cares of your world can be very therapeutic.

2. Describe a sound from your childhood. What does this sound bring to mind? 
     The sound of a tenor voice wafting through the house in the mornings. My dad had a beautiful tenor voice and would sing while he shaved or performed some other task in his morning routine. It signified that the day has officially begun and I needed to think about getting up and starting my day.

3. You've won a trip to a winter wonderland...would that excite you? Which one of the following would you most want to experience (or which one would you dislike the least)-see the Aurora Borealis in Norway, stay in Sweden's Ice Hotel, go dogsledding in Lapland Finland, take a winter wildlife safari in Yellowstone or celebrate Winter Carnival in Quebec? 
It's the Aurora Borealis in Norway, please. It may not be exciting, strictly speaking, but it would be spectacular. I am certain of that!

4. Who or what keeps you humble? 
     My grandchildren keep me humble. If they ask you to do something with them, you generally do. It's the same thinking that no matter how big and tough you are, when a child hands you a toy phone you take the call and talk to... ? 

5. What part of preparing for Christmas do you like the most? Explain. 
     Christmas Cookies and Egg Nog! Our tradition is to have cookies and egg nog available as we decorate the house. By way of full disclosure, I have a bit of a Scrooge like attitude when it comes to Christmas preparation.

6. Gingerbread-yay or nay? Is making a gingerbread house part of your family holiday tradition?
     I can take it or leave it. Mostly I leave it so making a gingerbread house is not part of our Christmas tradition.

7. What's one thing you want to start, do, or complete before the calendar rolls into a new year? 
     Nothing comes to mind. It's not because I don't have such items, it's just that it has escaped my consciousness.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
     Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, once observed that if you repeat a lie loud enough and often enough people will come to believe it no matter how outrageous the lie.
    I am reminded of Herr Goebbels during this time in our history when the notion is put forward with a straight face that bad weather is more of a threat than an organized fanatical militant group who repeatedly announces that they are coming to kill us and then prove their intentions by their actions. If they succeed than it won't matter how severe the weather gets because we will all be dead!
     Herr Goebbels observation is also relevant given the level of political discourse during this silly season more commonly known as the election cycle. It seem to me that our politicians are more interested in scoring debate points than they are in the truth of what ails our society.
     What is really sad is that the more news I read, the more news I watch, the more convinced I become that Herr Goebbels was right!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


     Here we are, the day before Thanksgiving. Man, this year is passing by way too quickly! This being Day 25 of "A month of gratitude" I am thankful for the Wednesday Hodgepodge. I enjoy interacting with fellow bloggers from around the country. I enjoy reading the different perspectives on common issues. So, again I say, thank you Joyce for coming up with these questions week after week. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

1.What's something you wish you knew how to do, but feel like it's too late to learn?
     I wish I had learned to fly, and safely land, an airplane. I really do enjoy air travel. One of my favorite software programs is a flight simulator where I get to safely fly various types of aircraft from the safety of my home. If I crash and burn, I hit the reset button and I get a brand new aircraft, fueled and ready to go. I would have like to have learned how to do it for real.
2. Your least favorite thing to shop for? Why?
     The least favorite for me is shopping with my beloved SWMBO for her unmentionables. I feel like a fish out of water in those particular departments of the store. SWMBO seems to like to take great joy in my discomfort by taking her sweet time in selecting what she wants.

3. How has the celebration of Thanksgiving today changed from when you were growing up?
     The main difference is that some stores are open on Thanksgiving Day for earlt Christmas gift shoppers. The whole Black Friday madness did not happen when I was growing up either. It is sad, really!
4. What's something that when other people see it, reminds them of you? Explain.
     When they see a dashingly handsome, brilliantly witty, remarkably intelligent and well groomed man, they can't help but think of me! If you believe that you haven't visited my blog page and read my profile!
5. If you could guest star in a TV show, what would it be and why?
     I guess any "Cop" show would be my choice. I have over thirty years of training for the role. Now if only I could act!

6. Have you ever farmed or spent any time on a farm? Are there farm stands in your little corner of the world and do you make it a point to shop there? If so, what item do you particularly like to buy from a roadside stand or farm shop?
     I have never farmed, nor have I ever lived on a farm. We do have farm stands in our town as well as in most of the surrounding towns. My favorite purchase is corn on the cob. We have the best corn on the cob in the world.

7. What's something you've experienced recently that made you feel a sense of awe or wonder?
     Today SWMBO and I watched our grandgirls. They wanted to go outside and jump onto a pile of leaves. We still have plenty of leaves on the ground so I raked up a big pile and let them jump to their hearts content. Something as simple as a pile of dried leaves brought such joy to two of the cutest beings on the planet and that I had something to do with their being here is awesome. SWMBO and I are truly blessed.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     Have you ever considered the level of technology that is available to the average human being. Take your smart phone for instance. There is more computing power in that cell phone than there was in the NASA computers that landed men on the moon and brought them back safely. We have cars that communicate with satelites to determine their position. We have gadgets that will map out a route to any place you want to go. Ten years ago these gadgets and gizmos were the stuff of imagination in the minds of science fiction writers.  Now they're common place.
     Can you imagine what will be available ten years down the road? It boggles the mind. What are your thoughts? What would you like to see?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


     I hope that this Wednesday finds you all to be well. Thank you Joyce for another set of thought provoking questions. My beloved SWMBO is battling a cold. We are hoping that we don't play "Who has the cold?" like we did a couple of months ago. Well onto this week's Hodgepodge questions!

1. What's surprised you most about your life, or about life in general?
    There's two things that surprises me about life. First is that SWMBO & I continue to live life like we're newlyweds. We have been together for over forty years and we love each other way more than when we first started. We still hold hands. We still love being in each other's company. We just are truly best friends. Our marriage is one of our greatest blessings.
     The other thing that surprises me is the basic innate goodness of most people. When you read a newspaper or watch tv news you can get the impression that people are vile, evil beings. The fact of the matter is that people step up, often at great sacrifice to themselves, to help their fellow human being. 

2. Among others, these ten words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year...awesomesauce, beer o'clock, brain fart, buttdial, cat cafe (apparently this is a real thing), fatberg (gross-read the definition here), fat shame, hangry, Mx (gender neutral), and skippable. 

Your thoughts? In looking over the list, which word do you find most ridiculous? Which word would you never in a million years say out loud? Which word would you be most likely to use in conversation?
     No thoughtd really. I can't see me using any of the aforementioned words in my writing. I don't see me using them in my speech either. Maybe, "brain fart" because I have a fair amount of them, but not the other words. 

3. Do you like gravy? Is there a food you'd rather not eat unless it comes with gravy? Do you make your own or buy the canned or store-made variety? Turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, biscuits and chocolate gravy, pot roast and gravy...which one on the list is your favorite?
     I love gravy! I don't know of any food that I wouldn't eat because of a lack of gravy. My favorite food with gravy is Pot Roast. Although, I love turkey and gravy, sausage gravy, and mashed potatoes and gravy.

4. Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you ever had a plan fall into a trillion pieces? Explain.
     I have a plan. Whether I need a plan depends upon what I am doing. Sometimes I need a plan, other times I don't. Yes, I have experienced plans falling into a trillio pieces. 

5. November 19 is National Play Monopoly Day. Do you own the original or some version of the game? Do you enjoy playing Monopoly? How likely is it you'll play a game of Monopoly on November 19th? Ever been to Atlantic City? Ever taken a ride on a railroad? Is parking in your town free? Last thing you took a chance on?
I do not own any version of Monopoly. It is fairly unlikely that I'll play any version of the game of Monopoly on Monopoly Day. I have never been to Atlantic City. I have taken a ride on a railroad. Parking is mostly free in the town where I live. The last thing I took a chance on was I bought a MegaMillions lottery ticket. I did not win!

6. A song you like that has the word (or some form of the word) thanks in the title, lyrics, or meaning?
     "Thank You for the Music" by ABBA. "Thank You" by Alanis Morrisette.

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude....what is something you're taking for granted that when you stop and think about it, you're grateful for?
     I have often taken my relationships for granted at diferent times in my life. My relationship with God, my relationship with SWMBO, my relationship with friends have all at one time or another been taken for granted.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     Prayer and best wishes to the people of France, especially those affected by the recent terrorist attacks.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


     Today we as a Nation pause to remember and thank all of our fellow citizens who have worn our Nation's military uniform. Americans are a noble and generous people. I thank God for blessing us with such generous people who volunteer to serve and protect us for a few years...and more! I hope that you all enjoy this edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. In two or three sentences tell us what Veteran's Day means to you?
     I served on active duty during a period when the Vietnam War was winding down. I remember many a veteran coming home and being treated with contempt. Thankfully, that dos not happen much anymore and anyone who is willing to fight and die for this country deserves, and is treated with, respect. 

2. What's your favorite film with a patriotic theme woven into the storyline?
     I like all the "War Movies", Patton, Midway, The Battle of the Bulge, Heartbreak Ridge, Full Metal Jacket. I don't really have a favorite!

3. Flu shot-yes or no? If you answered no, do you plan to get a flu shot? If not, why not? Have you ever had the flu?
     Flu shot-Yes! I had pneumonia a few years ago and since then my Primary Care Doctor recommends that I get a flu shot every year. Ironically, most times after getting the shot I come down with a case of the flu!

4. I've seen lots of people posting pictures of their Christmas trees up and decorated. Many stores have had Christmas on display since well before Halloween. Red cups are back at Starbucks, sans the holiday decor, and that has some people up in arms. What are your thoughts on all the holiday ruckus this second week of November?
     Bah Humbug! As the founding member of the E.S.A.S. (Ebenezer Scrooge Admiration Society) I hate the crass commercialism that is Christmas in America. Ebenezer had a valid point when he observed that Christmas as practiced in his day was a false and commercial holiday.

5. What 'critter' are you most afraid of encountering unexpectedly? Why that one?
     A wolverine because pound for pound they are the most vicious animal in North America!

6. Do you like building things? What's the last thing you 'built'?
     Not especially!

7. In keeping with this month's theme of gratitude...what are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?
     I am most grateful for my beloved SWMBO! She makes my life shine like the Sun! Her presence reminds me that life is beautiful!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     The United States Marine Corps celebrated their 240th birthday yesterday. I am thankful for these valiant warriors who bravely stand between us and that which would cause us harm. These men and women stand ready to visit great harm upon those who would dare to try!  Semper Fidelis you valiant and tireless sentinels.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


     Here it is...November already. This year has flown by very quickly, or at least that is how it seems. This November, some people are listing one thing that they are grateful for on each day of the month. This being Day 4 of the month, today I am grateful for the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Though this weekly exercise I have vicariously met some remarkable people. I enjoy learning about other people and their lives, beliefs, preferences and so forth.
Please join in on the fun!

1. Besides Thanksgiving, something you're looking forward to on your November calendar?
     Nothing comes to mind!

2.  If I gave you a thank you card right now who would you send it to and why?
     I would send it to an elderly couple in our the church. They are usually the first to step up to cook a meal for a fellowship, or man the kitchen at the churches summer camp for kids, and every other service project. They are exemplary people and always go the extra mile of service.

3. Of the breads listed, which one's your favorite...bagel, cinnamon, sourdough, garlic, banana, biscuit, pita, Naan, or plain old fashioned white bread?
     I love a banana bread, especially if it has nuts in it. I also enjoy a good garlic bread. I like the tase of garlic.

4. What's something you have in abundance? Is that a good thing?
     I have too much fat and too much sugar in my system. It is definitely not a good thing. I am taking steps to address both situations. Prayers for success are appreciated.

5. November 5th is National Love Your Red Hair Day. Are there any redheads in your family? Who's your favorite redhead?
     My favorite red head was Red Skelton. He was one of the funniest men who has ever lived and he worked clean. I don't think I have a favorite red head who is currently alive.

6.  The travel website Busbud recently calculated the most Instagrammed spot in every state. Go here to see what made the list where you live. Are you happy with your state's #1? If not what do you think should be the most photographed spot in your state? Have you snapped a photo there? If you live outside the USA answer as it relates to your state, city or province.
     The White Mountain National Forest, especially in the fall, is a terrific choice. As a Granite Stater I'm okay with this choice.

7. I'm going to try to have something related to gratitude in this spot each week during the month of November. Here's this week's question-
What's something you've learned about yourself this year that you're grateful for?
     I recently took a "Spiritually Gifted" test to determine what my God-given spiritual gifts are. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that given my gifts I am where I belong and I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I am grateful for that.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     I am still a bit disillusioned with out political leaders. It seems to me that our elected officials are more devoted to serving the interests of their particualr party than they are in serving the interests of the American people. They pay lip service to serving the American people. I used to be that each party had different views on how to address the problems we have. They were Americans first and loyal party members next.
     It is almost as if they don't care about solving the problems that plaque us. They seem more interested in exploiting them for their political and personal gain. I guess that I am just getting too cynical in my old age. That doesn't mean that I'm wrong. God bless America...please!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


     Well the World Series has begun. Am I the only one feeling kind of "ho humm" about it? Halloween is this Saturday. Our church is holding something called "Trunk or Treat." This will be a first for us. Few of us have never heard of Trunk or Treat so it should be interesting! Today being Wednesday, it is time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. I hope that you enjoy this week's edition!

1. Are you comfortable with silence? If you're home alone, do you like silence or do you need regular background noise? Do you seek out times and places to be silent? What's your favorite place to find silence/be silent?
     I am very comfortable in my own company. I do enjoy silence, however it is virtually impossible to get away from all sound in this day and age. One of my favorite places to find silence is hunting in the woods. There is still sound from afar off but it is as quiet as I can find.

2. October 28th is National Chocolate Day. Can't let that go by without a mention now, can we? Will you celebrate? How? Let's say you can have one of the following right this very minute... a cup of hot chocolate, a strawberry dipped in chocolate, a bowl of plain chocolate ice cream, or a slice of chocolate pie...what's your pleasure?
     I'm going with a hot chocolate...with petit marshmallows.

3. How do you feel about blue jeans? Favorite thing in the world to wear or nope, don't own a single pair? How often do you wear blue jeans in a typical week? Do you own a blue jean jacket?
     I love blue jeans. I wear them several days a week. I do not own a blue jeans jacket.

4. Are you superstitious? If so, in what way?
     I am not really superstitious. I may be a little stitious but I'm definitely not super stitious!

5. If you had to come up with a costume using only things you have on hand right now, what could you come up with? 
     A police officer, a farmer, a hobo!

6. What scares you a little? What do you do when you feel scared?
     SWMBO getting angry! I become more tactically aware when I feel a little scared. I may arm myself depending on the circumstances. Better to have a weapon and not need it than to need a weapon and not have one.

7. Perhaps today will be the day I ______________________________.
     ...apply for a part time job.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     This past weekend we had a Gospel Meeting at the church building. We had a speaker come in from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His name is Doug Hamilton and he is the preacher for the Camp Hill church of Christ, Camp Hill, PA. 
     Doug presented a series of lessons on Spiritual Giftedness and how to use your particular spiritual gifts to share the Gospel. I really enjoy a well crafted lesson and I'm here to tell you that Doug Hamilton has got skills! I particularly enjoyed how he "married" passages from the Old Testament with passages in the New Testament thereby demonstrating the consistency of the Bible narrative.
     I'll be writing more in future blog posts so stay tuned. Enjoy your Wednesday! 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


     This is the time of year that like the proverbial squirrel storing nuts for the winter we gather wood pellet fuel. On Monday SWMBO and I had a delivery of a ton and a half of wood pellet fuel, 75 forty pound bags. It's a lot of work to un-pallet them and stack them in the garage. At least SWMBO will be warm for most of the winter. Being Wednesday, it is time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge. I hope that you enjoy this week's edition.

1. October 21, 2015 is Back to the Future Day. Did you see the movie? The sequels? In the second film, Doc takes Marty into the future to prevent Marty's future son from making a mistake. They leave 1985 and land on a 'skyway' on October 21st, 2015. So tell us, what were you doing in the fall of 1985?
     I have seen the trilogy and found them to be entertaining. In the fall of 1985 I was in the fourth year of a 30 year law enforcement career. My kids were 12 and 9 years old respectively. SWMBO worked as an Nurse's Aid in a nursing home. Wow! That was thirty years ago, a half a life ago!

2.  If time travel were possible, would you want to go to the future? The past?
     I am a History buff so I would love to travel to the past to observe some of the great events of history. I would love to see Jesus in person, seeing His miracles or watch Him interacting with the crowds. I'd love to be at the grave and see the resurrection first hand. There are so many historical events that I would love to witness. Definitely, travel to the past. The future will take care of itself.

3. We're not flying cars, but some of the technology imagined in the 80's film has indeed come to pass in real life 2015-flat screen TVs on the wall, tablets, fingerprint recognition, video conferencing, online banking, 3-D movies, motion controlled video games, drone cameras, and smart glasses (Google glass).  Do you worry technology is growing at a rate so fast we'll soon be unable to keep up with it's demands? Do you think the Internet does more harm than good? 
     Technology is growing at an amazing rate. I think that we can't keep up with it's demands now. We apparently do not have the wisdom to appreciate the unintended consequences of our technical advances. I don't know if the internet does more harm than good. One thing is certain with regard to technical advances is that it does not take long for someone to find a way to pervert such advances, not limited to the internet,  for evil.
4. Your favorite dish prepared in a slow-cooker? Your favorite fast food?
     SWMBO makes a pork chop chilli that is absolutely the best. The longer it cooks the hotter it gets. I guess my favorite fast food is a burger & fries. Burger King is my preferred drive through.

5. No time like the present, down time, face time, pressed for time, in the nick of time, make time, mark time, or just in time...which timely saying most relates to your life right now? 
     All of the above, depending on the day and the time of day!

6. Tell us about a place you went as a child or younger person that's no longer there or is now something else. How does that make you feel?
     I'm going with drive-in theaters! As kids we'd dress in our jammies and sit in the back seat to watch the movies. Inevitably I fell asleep before the end of the second feature. There was always a double feature.

7. Describe your comfort zone.
     Sitting on the couch with SWMBO and the fur babies watching a movie.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     Winter is rapidly approaching here in NH. A lot of New Englanders strongly dislike winters but would not be happy living anywhere else. Winter is the price we have to pay for the privilege of enjoying the other three, fabulous seasons. Even in winter, New England has a beauty and a charm like no other place around the globe. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


       It is the middle of October, the ides of October. It is also Wednesday which means it is time for another exercise in self reflection, remembering the past, opining on current events and thoughtful contemplation. Our host, Joyce, does a remarkable job coming up with these questions every week. I urge you to join in on the fun. Go to Joyce's blog page to learn how. Enjoy this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge.
1. What's something that has recently 'tried your patience'?
     I went to the "Vet" for a routine follow up exam and to get some prescriptions renewed. I went to the grocery store to do our food shopping. I stopped by the pharmacy to pick up my prescription. The doctor's office sent in the wrong prescription. I completed the food shooping and proceeded to the check out. My purchases were rung up and bagged when I discovered that I did not have our debit card. AAARGH! That tried my patience!
2. Do you think patience comes to us naturally or is it something you have to learn as you grow? On a scale of 1-10 generally how patient are you? (1=I blow up at the drop of a hat and 10=I've got all the time in the world).
     I believe that patience is learned. Some people have the ability to learn patience better than others, but it is learned. On the scale of 1-10 I fall around 7, I think. Some days I drop to around 4. I generally roll with the punches despite my level of aggravation.

3. Share about a time when you felt like you could fly. Or a time you wished you could fly. Or a time you felt like you were flying.
     I enjoy powered flight. I once was able to pilot a Cessna with the aircraft's owner seated beside me. A friend from church owned his own Cessna 172 and graciously offered to take a couple of us up for a flight. It was exhillerating! When I was in the Air Force, I had an opportunity to fly a jet simulator. That is the ultimate video game! I completely enjoyed both experiences.

4. Your favorite song with the word fly in the title or lyrics, or your favorite song that relates to flying in some way?
     A couple of songs immediately come to mind. "Fly Like an Eagle" by the Steve Miller Band and "Gonna Fly Now" (The Theme from Rocky). A favorite church song is "Fly Away."

5. What's in your fall picnic basket and where are we picnicking in your neck of the woods this time of year?
     In my picnic basket is a thermos filed with hot apple cider. I also have a roast beef sub, chips, extra sharp cheddar cheeze and a couple of Cortland apples. I am picnicking at the top of one of the several mountains enjoying the colorful foliage.

6.  Carpentry, electrical, plumbing, landscaping...which skill would you most like to possess and how would you put that skill to use today?
     I'd love to be competent at carpentry, electrical and plumbing. I am not a fan of landscaping. I would use my skills to effect repairs and upgrades in my house. I would also use my skills to help others with repairs at their residence.

7. What's something you think is too expensive to justify buying lately?
     The deli in our grocery store has a chicken salad that is wonderful. The price of this chicken salad has risen to almost $10.00 per pound. That is too expensive for my tastes...pun intended.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     In the Granite State we are experience the annual invasion of the "Leaf Peepers." This is both good and bad. It is good because many of the tourism related businesses profit from the influx of people and their dollars. It is bad because the people who are driving the leaf peepers are also leaf peeping while driving. Many of these leaf peeper drivers come from the state due south from NH. Their driving skills, under the best of circumstances, draw a huge vacuum, or put simply...SUCK! Add the added distraction of leaf peeping and these drivers become more of a hazard than they usually are.
     So if you have occasion to visit the Granite State to enjoy our world reknowned foliage, please drive carefully and watch out for those aforementioned hazardous leaf peeping drivers! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


     I must confess at the outset that with all the horrendous flooding going on in the Palmetto State, I am pleasantly surprised that there is a Hodgepodge this week. Joyce must have posted it wearing scuba gear. My thoughts and prayers go out to those families who have lost loved ones and to others who have lost all their possessions in the floods. Lord, have mercy! Now onto this edition to the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. It's October so let's get this out there first thing...have you jumped on the all-things-pumpkin bandwagon? How so?
     I have not jumped on the bandwagon per se, but I have sampled some pumpkin spiced coffee and Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Cheese Danish thingy. SWMBO bought some Pumpkin Coffee pods for our Keurig coffee maker.

2.  "We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse to ourselves that we fancy things are impossible." Francois Duc De la Rochefoucauld  

What's something you once thought impossible, but in hindsight see as more a matter of lack of will?
     There are many things in my life that I'd thought I would never do. Life is a funny thing though, and as it turned out I have done them. For example, I never thought that I would ever teach a class. Several years ago it was my pleasure to be an adjunct instructor in a local college Criminal Justice program.  I taught courses in Police Patrol Procedure and Constitutional Law. I take pride in the fact that several of my former students are now employed as police officers.  

3. The rose is America's National Flower, but every state also has its own (click here to see the list). Are you happy with yours? If you were in charge what would you declare your state's flower? If you're outside the U.S. what bloom would you like to see labeled as your country's national flower?
     Flowers-Smowers...I'm not really a flowers person except for those occasions when I give them to SWMBO. Other than that I have no opinion on this matter.

4. What have you lost interest in recently?
     Major League Baseball! My beloved Red Sox closed out their season in Cleveland on Sunday and are done until next year.

5. In your opinion, who's the best living musician?
     Wow! That is really a tough question. Do you mean by instrument? Do you mean overall? Also, by what metric do you arrive at that decision? I don't know! Great question...but I just don't know!

6. S'mores-love 'em or no? Ever make them indoors? Last time you sat around an outdoor fire? Are making s'mores and sitting round a fire pit on your autumn bucket list? Do you have an autumn bucket list?
     I am not a fan of stores. I don't hate them, I just don't ever feel like "You know, a smore would just hit the spot right now!" I enjoy sitting around a campfire and talking with friends about life, love and memories.

7. Your favorite small town? Why?
     SWMBO and I like Quechee, VT. It has a gorge that is spectacular. There is a wonderful "Fine Dining" restaurant in town called "Simon Pearce." The restaurant is located in a glass factory that makes high end glassware. Sometimes while dining you can watch the craftsmen at their work. There's also a store called "Scotland By The Yard." They sell Scottish tartan fabric of all the clans of Scotland and everything else Scottish. SWMBO is part Scottish. It really is a nice place to get away to.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     I wrote a blog post last week blasting President Obama for using the murders at UCC in Oregon for advancing his political agenda, specifically gun control. Well not to be undone, one of the current democratic candidates for president also politicized this tragedy during a campaign stop here in the Granite State. I was shocked! I didn't see this coming at all! (Just Kidding)
     LISTEN PEOPLE - The fact about the gun control agenda is that, at it's core, it is about CONTROL and not GUNS per se! 
     One of the statements that the former Secretary of State made that was chilling was that she would use the power of her office as president to bring forward gun control measures that would/could not pass congressional muster by means of executive orders. She must understand the concept of "rule of law" since she is an ivy league trained lawyer. 
     We are endowed by our Creator with the unalienable right of Liberty. Do not sit by and allow anyone to infringe upon that God given right. This woman is NOT qualified to be president!

Friday, October 2, 2015


     Yesterday a man walked into a Community College in Oregon and started shooting students. At last count thirteen people are dead and more are injured. This rampage ended because an armed police officer bravely entered the school, confronted the shooter and stopped him by shooting him. 
     Before we knew what actually happened, President Obama lost no time is getting in front of the news cameras bemoaning his inability to pass "sensible gun safety laws." He went on to say that the evidence shows that strict gun safety laws are effective in stopping this kind of violence. He further bemoaned the fact that the United States is the only civilized country that has the problem of mass shootings.
     This is "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor" misinformation coming from the mouth of the Commander in Chief. Why anyone takes seriously what the President says is beyond me. He has been shown to be lying outright time and time again. This time is no different. 
     Chicago, IL, and Washington D.C. have some of the strictest "gun safety" laws in the country and, if the President is correct, should have the lowest incidence of gun violence. The FACT is that both Chicago and Washington have very high incidences of gun violence. The body count during a Chicago weekend often rivals the body count in Afghanistan, a war zone.
     Study after study has shown that areas that do not restrict gun ownership have lower incidences of all crime. These same studies show that areas that have strict gun restrictions have higher levels of crime. 
     The primary reason why this is so is that restrictive gun laws only disarm law abiding citizens. Criminals do not obey gun laws, non-criminals do! 
     I think it is reprehensible that when these horrible events happen and before we know what actually happened, someone gets their face in front of a camera to use the tragedy to move their agenda forward. The President's conduct in this instance is beyond contempt. The President is simply wrong!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


     We are getting some much needed rain here in NH. Not that I'm complaining but it would be nice if we got the rain in installments and not all at once. I'm just sayin'! Also with the cahnge in temperature SWMBO and I have been fighting head/chest colds. Today is Wednesday and of course it's time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce for your efforts.

1. Something on your October calendar that makes you smile?
     Halloween, when little children increase their cuteness by wearing all manner of costumes. This year our church is doing "Trunk or Treat." I'm not sure exactly what that is but some people are excited to participate.

2. Food for the soul or music for the soul...which camp are you in? Tell us why.
     I'm in both camps. I love to eat good food and I love to listen to good music. My soul is enhanced by both!

3. What are two or three things you've learned recently as the result of an online search?
     I learned about Sadducees, Pharisees, Priests and Essenes. I was preparing for an adult Bible class that I agreed to teach.

4. Share your favorite game day recipe. You can describe it, post the how-to, or add a link to the actual recipe. 
     I keep it simple, I order pizza or have Salsa and Tortilla Chips with a cold beverage.

5. What are your five essential steps for creating the perfect morning routine?
    There is no such thing as a perfect morning routine. I am not a morning person in any way, shape or form.

6. What small thing have you taken note of today?
     I noticed that I needed to pay our car insurance bill.

7. Sum up your September in seven words or less.
     Cancer scare...Cancer sucks...Scare resolved...Whew!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     To elaborate on my answer to Question #7, in late August we had a routine follow up appointment with our local oncologist where we were told one of SWMBO's protein counts was significantly elevated which is one of the indicators of a flare up of her cancer. In late September we drove up to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) to meet with the director of the Transplant Department. This too was a routine follow up appointment. We were told that SWMBO was still in remission, that the doctors at DHMC look at a panel of fourteen proteins in addition to the one that was elevated. We were further told that the one that was elevated was not significant enough to cause concern. SWMBO, thankfully, is still in remission. Whew! Thank you all for your prayers and expressions of concern.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


     Well, Summer 2015 is just about in the history books. Boy, it went by fast. Fall is upon us in NH. The leaves are changing color and the nights are getting cooler. Today's is also Wednesday which means Joyce Daley has some more questions for us, better known as the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Enjoy!

1. What have you 'fallen for' recently?
     I like watching Penn & Teller's "Fool Us" program. Magicians appear on stage and try to fool Penn & Teller with their magic tricks. If the fool Penn & Teller, they get to open up for them in their theater in Las Vegas, NV. Penn & Teller are seldom fooled. Me on the other hand, fall for the trick every time.

2. What's something you're 'squirreling away' for later?
     Treasure laid up in heaven!

3. How do you like your apples? Sweet? Tart? Crisp? Cooked? Apples are one of the superfoods for often do you eat an apple either plain or as part of a favorite recipe? What's your favorite variety?
     I love a crisp apple. My favorite is the Cortland Apple. I particularly like to eat slices of Cortland apples with slices of sharp cheddar cheese. I eat apples fairly often.

4. According to Fodor's the ten best fall foliage trips in the US of A are-Aspen Colorado, The Catskills New York, The Berkshires Massachusetts, Columbia River Gorge Oregon, Green Mountain Byway Vermont, Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway New Mexico, Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, Upper Peninsula Michigan, Lake of the Ozarks Missouri, and Glacier National Park Montana. Which would you most like to visit this fall and why?
     I think Fodor doesn't know what they're talking about. How can you possibly have a top ten list of foliage trips and not include the White Mountains of New Hampshire? 

5. The topic of legalizing marijuana was raised in the most recent televised political debate so let's wade in too. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Four states have legalize marijuana for recreational use. Your thoughts?
     I support laws that make legal "Medical Marijuana." I am opposed to legalizing the drug for recreational use. I base my opposition on thirty years of law enforcement experience. Marijuana is not as innocuous as alcohol no matter what the so called experts may tell you. It is definitely a gateway drug to stronger drugs like heroin, meth amphetamine, etc. 
6. Are you okay to watch a movie already in progress or do you need to always see it from the beginning? How about jumping into a TV series somewhere in the middle? Is that okay? 
     I'm okay to watch a movie already in progress and jump into a TV series somewhere in the middle.

7. Thursday (September 24) is National Punctuation Day. What rule of punctuation trips you up most often? What rule of punctuation, when broken by someone else, bugs you the most?
    There are rules? When did punctuation get it's own holiday? The world really has gone nuts!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     My beloved Red Sox are playing better ball for all the good it's doing them. They will still end up near the bottom of the standings. My beloved New England Patriots have won two games in a row. I hope the Patriots go undefeated all season through the Super Bowl and make Roger Goodell choke on the Lombardi Trophy as he presents it to Robert Kraft. Other than that I have no strong opinions on the matter.  

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


     As I write this it is 0013 hrs, 09/09/2015. I am watching episodes of the West Wing on Netflix. My beloved SWMBO and the fur babied are safely ensconced in the land of Nod. Today is officially Hodgepodge Wednesday so...onto the Hodgepodge! 

1. Last thing you did on the spur of the moment?
     SWMBO and I packed up the fur babies and went to a nearby lake. Enroute we stopped at a burger stand to pick up some food to eat while we enjoyed the beauty of the lake. We walked around a little bit. We shared our food with the fur babies, of course. It was a nice little outing.

2. How well informed do you feel about the current Syrian refugee crisis?
   I watch the news coverage and read newspaper accounts so I am probably as well informed as the next guy. It is a tragedy that was predictable.

3. What have you changed your mind about? 
     I really don't know. Being always right as I am I can't imagine changing my mind about anything. I mean, if I'm always right why would I change and be wrong? If anyone believes the preceding two sentences they need to cut back on their naivite meds.

4. A medium sized non-poisonous snake found it's way into the pool trap this weekend. If you'd been sitting poolside would you have fished it out? Gone running? Called for help? Pretended not to know? Continued swimming?
     I'd fish it out because SWMBO would not stop screaming until I did.

5. September 10th is National TV Dinner Day...what's your idea of a great TV dinner? (Or at least a pretty good one!) 
     Sirloin steak with gravy, mashed potatoes and corn. Yumm!

6. Samuel Johnson is quoted as saying, "Courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a man has that virtue, he has no security for preserving any other." Would you agree? Where have you seen that played out recently? What's the second greatest virtue?
     I agree with Mr. Johnson. The lady clerk in Kentucky who went to jail rather than violate her principles is a good example of "Courage" in action. I believe the second greatest virtue is integrity. Integrity is the second greatest because it often involves the first virtue, courage.

7. What are three words you have trouble remembering how to spell?
     Cut and paste the answer to question #3 here. Just are three of the many words I often misspell:  "kaleidoscope," "paraphernalia," and "acquaintance."

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     I am sure that it comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I am NOT a fan of our former Secretary of State who is currently running for the Democratic Presidential Nomination. If this woman ever gets elected as President we are doomed as a Nation. This woman possesses neither courage nor integrity. All her public life has been characterised by shady deals, lies and malfeasance. This woman is a millionaire today because of such shennanigans. Thus ended this rant!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


     So here it is September already. Summer has gone by way too quickly! Today is another Wednesday Hodgepodge day. Thank you Joyce for another set of questions. Enjoy this weeks edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. What's on your September calendar? Anything fun? 
     SWMBO and I are planning a get away towards the end of the month. We don't know the particulars as yet. It will involve going away for a day or two.

2. You might be described as a natural born _____________________?
     Nice Guy! I try to be pleasant with everybody, even those I don't particularly like. I seldom return a slight in kind. I tend to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. I think I read that in a book somewhere.

3. September is National Courtesy Month...what one act of courtesy would you most like to see more of in your home, town, or the world at large? 
      I would absolutely love it if people would stop shooting policemen! I would also like to see the "Black Lives Matter" go away!

4. Eager beaver, chicken out, clam up, or let the cat out of the bag...of the phrases listed, which one have you related to most recently? 
     "Clam Up!" I often keep silent to avoid a confrontation, especially if it's over something I consider to be silly.
5. What's your movie theatre snack protocol? Do you chow down on snacks during the previews or wait until the movie begins? Do you buy snacks or refuse to pay those kind of prices? What's the last movie you saw in a theatre? How many thumbs up would you give it?
     When SWMBO and I take in a movie we have to get popcorn and a beverage. Sometimes I splurge and get some peanut M&M's. I think the last movie I saw in a theater was "American Sniper." I'd give it five thumbs up on a scale of one to five.

6. Henry Ford is quoted as saying, "Nobody can think straight who does not work. Idleness warps the mind." Agree or disagree? Why?
     I disagree! Often quiet times of contemplation results in new ideas and ways to improve on things.

7. What's the last job you completed or task you performed where you had to 'work like a dog' until it was finished?
     Completing this year's A to Z Blogging Challenge was such an endeavor!

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
     We have a Double "A" professional baseball team in a nearby city. They're an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. SWMBO and I attended a game this evening, courtesy of a friend who had tickets that they couldn't use. We had a wonderful time together and the home team won by a score of 5 - 2 making our evening even better! A night out together without the fur babies was just what we needed!