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Wednesday, September 28, 2016


     Welcome to another Wednesday Hodgepodge. You will need to read my Random Thought to understand the title of this week's edition of the Hodgepodge. Thanks to our Hodgepodge Mistress, Joyce Daley, for another thought provoking series of questions. Now onto the this weeks edition!

1. Have you ever been to and/or lived near the desert? What did you think? Travel and Leisure lists the 'coolest' American desert towns as-

Palm Springs CA, Virgina City NE, Bend OR, Winslow AZ, Marfa TX, Grand Junction CO, Silver City NM, Moab UT, Taos NM, Yakima WA, Borrego Springs CA, Terlingua TX, and St. George UT, and Tubac AZ

Have you been to any of these? Would you like to visit a desert town? Which on the list would you most like to see?
       SWMBO and I lived on Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, New Mexico, back in the early 1970's. The back yard of our on base housing abutted a desert. The most beautiful sunsets that I have ever seen in my life were from my backyard. I have not been to any of the towns listed in the above question nor do I have a strong desire to do so. I have nothing against the towns, I just don't have a need to visit them.

2. What's a plan or project you've deserted in the past year?
     I have not caught up on the yard work at SWMBO and my palatial estate. Actually it is a modest sized house on 1.4 acres. 

3. Desert-dessert? Share two or three words you find yourself having to think twice about when it comes to spelling.  
     Counsel - Council

4. High and dry, like watching paint dry, dry run, dry as dust, not a dry eye in the house...which phrase can you relate to currently? Explain.
     I've got nothing!

5. How often do you frequent the dry cleaners? Starch or no starch?
     I don't use dry cleaners very often since I retired five years ago. I went "no starch" when it came to my clothes, shirts mostly.

6. What's a food or beverage you enjoy that's named for a place?
     I am going with "Chinese Pie." Frankly, I had trouble thinking of food named after a place. I look forward to reading everyone's answers.

7. Do you need solitude? 
     Sometimes, I do. I like/need to get away and spend time alone reading or praying or comtemplating life and it's difficulties. Most of the time I love being with other people.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     On Monday of this week SWMBO wanted to go leaf peeping in NH's White Mountains. As part of our excursion she wanted to drive to the top of Mt. Washington, New Englands highest mountain peak, via the Mount Washington Auto Road.  This so called road is barely wide enough for two cars to pass side by side. It is eight miles to the the top of Mt. Washington. There are no guardrails alongside the road and some of the drop offs are hundreds of feet down. Not being very fond of heights, I white knuckled the steering wheel most of those eight miles. I also did not get to enjoy the spectacular views during the ascent because I was "laser beam" focused on keeping our car on the roadway. 
     Once we reached the summit, we parked our car and walked up several flights of stairs to a visitor's center which had an observation platform from which the words "Wow! What a view!" inevitably falls from your lips. The views are truly spectacular. Visibility was about 100 miles. The temperature on top of Mt. Washington was about 30 degrees, 35 degrees colder than at the bottom. There were remnants of recent snowfalls at various spots around the summit.
     The drive down the mountain was as scary as the drive up. However on the way down we pulled over a couple of times for about ten minutes at a time to allow our brakes to cool. There are paved areas alongside the road for that very purpose. 
     If you're ever in the Granite State I recommend that you visit Mt. Washington. If you are not afraid of heights, try driving up the Auto Road. If you are afraid of heights there are a few shuttle vans that runs up and down the mountain during business hours. Another option is to ride the Cog Railway. It's a train specifically designed to make it up the side of the mountain. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


     Farewell Summer, you are gone way too soon...or does it just seem that way? It's kind of like these Wednesdays that keep coming around way too soon. Well, the Fall is, or will be, here today or tomorrow whether we want it or not. 
     Our friend Joyce Daley has gone to the trouble of posting another Wednesday Hodgepodge. The least that we can do is to participate and answer the questions.  So onto the Hodgepodge...

1. Thursday (September 22) is the first official day of autumn in this part of the will you welcome the season? I know some of you have been celebrating way too early, but it's official now so permission granted. House Beautiful recently listed ten ways to make your home smell like fall (you can read the list here) What's a scent you love this time of year and how will you add it to your home? 
     I love the smell of burning leaves but SWMBO doesn't allow me to burn them inside the house.  In the alternative SWMBO might light a scented candle. 

2. Apple pie or pumpkin pie? Apple cake or pumpkin bread? Warm apple cider or a pumpkin spice latte?
     I'll take either Apple Pie of Pumpkin Pie. I'll choose Pumpkin Bread. I will go with a warm Apple Cider.

3. Do you suffer from what is sometimes referred to as an afternoon slump? What helps ward it off before it hits and/or tell us what helps you shake it off once it's here?
     Some days I do slump, other days not so much. Usually a beverage of some kind, hot or cold, will re-energize me.

4. Ladies-how have your friendships with women inspired you or made you a better person? For the men here today- how have your friendships with men inspired you or made you a better person?
      Some of my friendships have been with men who live exemplary godly lives and motivate me to try and do the same.

5. Are you a people pleaser? If you said yes, do you think that's a good or bad thing? If you said no, do you wish you were more of a people pleaser? 
     I try to do what is right. If that pleases people, okay. If it doesn't please people, okay too. I am at my core a kind, empathetic and compassionate person. I don't deliberately try to hurt anyone, even those who may have hurt me. I try to be a positive in peoples lives because it pleases God that I do so.

6. The seasons are a-changin'...share a favorite song relating in some way to change (not necessarily seasonal change, it could be change of any kind).
     Jim Croce's "The Hard Way." It's a retrospective look over life and the realization that he took the hard way everytime. Another song with a similar theme would be Frank Sinatra's "My Way." Both songs state that they would not have done any other way, notwithstanding the difficulties encountered.

7. What do you wish would never change? 
     The carefree exuberance of my granddaughters. I want them to relish being children and not having a care in the world. I wish that would never change.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.   
     At the risk of being called an intolerant homophobe I think it's important to share the release of a report entitled "Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences," by Lawrence S. Mayer and Paul R. McHugh. Both authors are extremely well credentialed in the aforementioned sciences. These scientists have found that the most frequently heard claims about sexual orientation and gender identity are NOT SUPPORTED BY SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE. (Emphasis mine) The idea that sexual orientation is innate, that people are BORN THAT WAY, is not supported by scientific evidence.
     The Bible is very clear that God created man, male and female He created them. God also condemns homosexual CONDUCT in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament. If a holy, just God condemns something, that something must be a choice and not innate within us, like skin color for example. Once again science confirms what is found in the pages of the Bible that was written thousands of years ago.
     Now, you can choose to believe it or not.  I choose to believe that the Bible is what it purports to be and that it is completely true and correct.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


     Labor Day has come and gone signifying the official end of Summer. Of course, Mother Nature may have a differing view on that matter. Also, Hurricane Hermine made it's way up the east coast delivering rain to everywhere except where it was most needed, namely the Granite State. Other New England states could have used the rain too but I live in the Granite State.
     Well it is Wednesday and our friend Joyce Daley has come up with another series of questions A.K.A. the Wednesday Hodgepodge. 

1. What's changed in your life, home, or community since your last birthday? 
     My last birthday was in the month of April. Since then I have been reading more books. I am making my through the series of books written by Tom Clancy, in order as determined by their publishing date. I also have been reading books on church history, church leadership and patterns found in the Bible. I have also been playing my guitar(s) more often.

2. September is Classical Music Month. Do you like/listen to classical music? If so what's a favorite piece and/or who is a favorite composer? 
     I do enjoy listening to Classical Music. My favorites are piano concertos and String Quartets. I don't know composers or names of pieces but I do like certain compositions and know them when I hear them.

3. Besides The Bible, what's a book that has positively changed your life, relationships, career, or perspective? How so? 
     "The Book of Virtue" by Robert Bennett, the Secretary of Education in the Reagan/Bush years. It a reminder that we humans are seriously flawed but we possess within us the ability to exceed our own expectations. 

4. I read (here) these ten hobbies will make you a musical instrument, read voraciously, meditate regularly, work out your brain (puzzles, sudoku, board games, etc), exercise often, learn a new language, write your feelings down (blog, journal, just write), travel to new places, cook different kinds of meals, participate in sports actively

Are any on this list your current hobbies? Which hobby on the list would you be most inclined to try? 
     I currently read a lot. I Play my guitar often. I complete a crossword puzzle and/or a Word Jumble puzzle almost daily. I'll do a Sodoku Puzzle from time to time and I play "Brain Games" on the computer and I write! I wouldn't mind travelling to new places.

5. What sports traditions does your family have? 
     We are fans of the regional professional teams, Boston Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics, and of course the New England Patriots. 

6. In a few words, weigh in on the current football/National Anthem brouhaha. Keep it family friendly please.
     I believe that people have the right to protest injustice or oppression. I think that the current protests will evoke a lot of conversation, but I suspect these protests will do little to effect change in the issues that give rise to the protest. As I have stated before, exercising your right to protest by disrespecting our national anthem and our national symbol, the flag, doesn't shield you from being an "Ass Hat."

7. Where do you have loads of patience, and where do you most lack patience? 
     I am generally patient in most things. Where I most lack patience is when I ask a direct question and do not receive a direct answer to the question asked. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.
     Yesterday the Granite State held a primary election to select our candidates for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Governor and other statewide offices. SWMBO and I performed our civic duty and exercised our franchise. Of course, we usually cancel each other's vote by voting for different candidates. I don't know why she votes wrong so often! (NOTE- If SWMBO needs to know that I said this, I'll tell her myself!)
     I love this country, despite its problems. I relish the freedoms that we all have. Our liberty makes us the envy of the world.  
     I still haven't decided whether I am going to cast a vote for president in November. I will vote in the election on November 4th but maybe I'll leave the choice of president to the rest of you. Choose wisely!