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Wednesday, January 27, 2016


     Here we are near the end of the first month of the new year. Today being Wednesday, it is time for another series of probing questions from our Hodgepodge mistress, Joyce Daley, from This Side of the Pond. Please join in on the fun. You'll meet many new and interesting people who are also Hodgepodgers. In any event I hope that you enjoy this weeks edition of the Hodgepodge.

1. Share a winter memory from your childhood. 
     When I was a young boy we had a typical northeaster snow storm. We constructed a ramp of snow from the back yard of the house accross the street from where I lived. The ramp went around the side of the house, over two walls and down the driveway. We took turns sliding down the ramp. Once the ramp got packed down and smooth we could slide from the back yard all the way to the street, about 200 feet. What a great ride!

2. What was on your blog this time last year? (Besides the Hodgepodge of course!) If you weren't blogging, what in the world were you doing with all that free time? 
    I have no idea what I was doing with all my free time. Other than the Hodgepodge I wasn't blogging much.

3. Ellen Goodman is quoted as saying, 'We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential.' 

Do you see more flaws or more potential in your life at the start of a new year? Have you done anything specific this month to address either one? Does the new year truly begin for you on January 1, or is there some other month of the year that feels like a fresh start and new beginning?
     I generally take a positive view and see more potential at the start of a new year. I also see my flaws and try to correct them throughout the year. Like the calendar, the new year begins on January 1st.

4. Who's an athlete you admire or respect and why?
     My favorite athlete as a young boy was Frank Malzone. Frank played third base for my beloved Boston Red Sox and wore number 11. He had the fastest throw from third base to first base in the Major Leagues at the time. He was everything a young boy could look up to and admire and emulate. 
     Sadly, Frank passed away recently. All his contemporaries and the current players who knew and spent time with Frank corroborated my opinion of the man. Today's athletes could learn a lot from Frank's example!

5. Do you like cream in your coffee? Whipped cream on your pumpkin pie? Cream cheese on a bagel? Sour cream on a baked potato? Cream of wheat for breakfast? Have you ever had a scone with clotted cream? Of all the creamy foods mentioned, which one sounds most appealing to you right this very minute?
    I'm going with cream in my coffee. I am not a fan of Cream of Wheat at all and I don't know what clotted cream is. Other than those two, I am a fan of the remaining cream references.

6. Where were you last kept waiting for 'hours on end'? Or for what felt like hours on end? How well did you cope?
     I don't recall a specific incident, but I do a fairly good job in anticipating when there's a potential for a long wait. I alway's have reading materials and a supply of music on my cellphone to keep me occupied. 

7. Believe it or not, when next week's Hodgepodge rolls around it will be February. Huh?!? Bid adieu here to January in seven words or less.
     See you next year, same time!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     My New England Patriots have fallen short of their goal of returning to the Super Bowl this year.   The Denver Bronco's were the better team on Sunday and deserved to win the game. It was a great game and my Patriots fell short by only two lousy points.  Oh well, life moves inexorably onward! Wait Til Next Year!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


     We have enterred a period where our daily high temperature stays below 30 and our lows are in the single digit. In short, it is freakin' cold and winter is here in earnest. We also have had a couple of minor snow falls, three inches or less. I am happy with snow not being as prolific as it was last winter. Other less enlightened types, AKA Snow Bunnies, are not as happy as the rest of us. 
     Today is Wednesday which, as you all know, means it's time for another Wednesday Hodgepodge. I hope that you enjoy this week's edition!

1.  Speaking of skating...when did you last 'skate on thin ice', 'skate over the details', 'encounter a cheapskate', or just plain skate?
     I often skate on thin ice. Most people have something that prevents them from giving voice to some of the things that they are thinking. I don't have one of those so I often say things that causes my beloved SWMBO to roll her eyes and to receive looks of sympathy from other people. My being 6'4" tall and 300 lbs I don't get punched in the mouth a lot, despite the fact that it is sometimes well deserved.

2. What would you say is the biggest problem of people your age?
     By the time that we unserstand a little something about how to live life,. .  our bodies, and often our minds, are incapable of taking advantage of our knowledge. Perhaps, that is another indicator of the wisdom of God.

3. What's your favorite accessory? Is it something you wear every day, often, or only on special occasions?
     I sometimes carry a Smith & Wesson revolver concealed upon my person from time to time.  I don't carry it every day, just when the spirit moves me. I am a firm believer that I am primarily responsible for defense of my family and myself.

4. January 20th is National Cheese Lover's Day. Are you a lover of cheese? What's your favorite dish made with cheese? Last thing you ate that contained some kind of cheese? 
     I am a cheese lover. I enjoy extra sharp cheddar cheese. My favorite dish with cheese in it is Lasagna.

5. What's something guaranteed to make you roll your eyes? 
     Listening to anything that comes out of the mouth of our President and/or his former Secretary of State.

6. Your favorite book series? 
     My favorite book series is anything by Tom Clancy. Since Tom has gone on to his eternal reward, I like Vince Flynn. Also, Vince has shaken off his mortal coil. My next choice is Brad Thor.

7. Why did you choose your profession? 
     I developed a profound appreciation for the U.S. Constitution and the freedoms that it guarantee's for us and our progeny. Spending my life defending that document, that idea, from all enemies foreign and domestic, seemed like a noble way to serve my community and support my family in the process. I did not get wealthy but I am very rich.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 
     I have been seeing a lot of stories in the news media where a child has been beaten to the point of death, or serious bodily injury. The children were younger than five years old in many instances and the offense for which they were beaten?  They had the temerity to act like children...they cried! 
     I cannot fathom what is wrong with these people who would injure a child in this way or to that extent. There is a special place in hell for such people! I am certain that God's heart is broken at the suffering of these innocents. I wish I knew an answer as to how to stop it. My inclination is to visit a similar beating upon the abusers but I fear someone has already beaten me to it while they were young.
     May God have mercy on these children!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


     When in the course of human events another Wednesday comes around, a people is endowed by the Hodgepodge creator with more insightful posers. We hold these truths to be self evident that once asked these posers must be adequately answered. And so, once again into the breech! Thanks to our Hodgepodge Mistress, Joyce Daley, for another Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1. Share one thing that really makes your day.
     On Tuesdays, SWMBO and I get to watch our granddaughters! Having a grandchild climb on your lap and sharing absolutely anything makes my day.  This Tuesday SWMBO printed out some "I Spy With My Little Eye" sheets which we then played with the girls. I just does not get any better than that!

2. Lots of these kinds of lists out there, but one found here says the fifteen most colorful places on earth are:

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy~Burano, Italy~Havana, Cuba~Rio de Janiero, Brazil~Chefchaouen, Morocco~Balat, Istanbul, Turkey~Menton, France~Jodhpur, India~La Baca, Buenos Aires, Argentina~Guanajuato, Mexico~Capetown, South Africa~Valparaiso, Chile~Wroclaw, Poland~San Francisco, California~and Pelourhino, Salvador, Brazil.  

Of those listed which would you most like to see up close and in person? Of all the places you've seen or traveled in your own life, what would you say was one of the most colorful?
     When it comes to colorful places there aren't any places that rival New England in the fall. The foliage is just that spectacular! My next choice would be Yosemite National park in California. The places listed above do not attract me at all.

3."Everything you want is on the other side of fear." Jack Canfield  In general, would you agree or disagree with that statement? Why?
     Ironically "fear" is one of those things that strongly motivates one person to change that which they are afraid. "Fear" will also as strongly motivate another person into maintaining the status quo lest they make the situation worse. I personally believe that Mr. Canfield has a fair point.

4. Imagine you're stranded on a desert island and dessert appears...what do you hope it is? Do you ever struggle to remember which spelling is desert and which is dessert?
     My three favorite desserts are, in no particular order, Ambrosia, Pecan Pie, and Pineapple Pie. I do struggle with the correct spelling of dessert. I have a dictionary app on my cellphone that is a tremendous help.

5. What song almost always makes you cry?
     Any song played on bagpipes...the sound is atrociously painful. Josh Groban's rendition of "You Raise Me Up" often gets a lump in my throat going!

6. January is National Soup Month.  Everything from soup to nuts, in the soup, thick as pea soup, souped up...which saying most recently applies to your life in some way? Explain.
  "In the Soup" seems more apropos at this time. It just seems things are busier than usual or than needs to be. 
7. Write a two word note to your younger self. What does it say?
     "Trust God!"

8. Insert your own random thought here.
       Did you watch the President's State of the Union speech? What did you think about it? I think that his perception of what's happening is far different than mine. My friends, we are a Nation in deep trouble. Our people at their core are a noble people. I know, I know I have said this before. I believe that it is true! However, the men and women who we send to Washington, D.C, are far less noble than the vast and mostly silent majority. May God have mercy on us!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


     How's the New Year going for you so far? Five days into it, for me it's "so far so good." I didn't make any resolutions this year, however, I am thinking about goals or changes I want/need to make to improve my life and myself. Thanks again to Joyce Daley for this edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. One has to wonder where she gets all these questions every week. Her questions are often akin to a conversation with a neighbor standing at the fence sharing a cup of coffee. So grab a cup of your favorite beverage, make yourself comfortable and enjoy!

1. Are you ready for new? Is 2016 likely to be very different than 2015? Do you want it to be?
     Not really. I have a large RC (Resistance to Change) factor. So I am more comfortable with the status quo. 

2. January 6th is National Technology Day. Currently, what is your single biggest struggle or frustration when it comes to technology?
     I struggle to master all the features of my new iPhone 6s. SWMBO and I upgraded our cellphones last November. She is much more gadget savvy than I am. It is amazing what modern smart phones are capable of. 

3. It's that time again...time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, and general uselessness) in 2016. You can read more about the decision making process here, but this year's top vote getters are-

So (at the start of every single sentence), conversation (as in hotly debated topics where we're invited to 'join the conversation'), problematic, stakeholder, price point, secret sauce, break the Internet, walk it back, presser, manspreading (common in larger cities where some men take up the entire bus or train seat by sitting wide), vape, giving me life (refers to anything that may excite a person or make them laugh), and physicality

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?
     The thing about language is that it tends to change over time. A couple of examples that come to mind is Classical Greek morphing into koine (common) Greek of the first century. Classic Parisian French morphing into Canadian French, etc.  The word "gay" being co-opted from meaning light, joyful or happy to meaning homosexual or lesbian. So I don't wish to see any words banished from use for any reason. I am unalterably opposed to political correctness or any abridgement of our right to free speech. I don't have any words that I would like to add to the list.

4. Share one of your current health related goals.
     I have two, lowering my blood sugar and reducing my weight.

5. Let's talk fifty shades of gray. As in the color. Gray is currently a popular color in home decor, paint, wardrobes, hair, wedding party attire, and more. Are you a fan? Do you have the color in some variation in your home or wardrobe?  Gray hair, the old gray mare, gray matter, gray area...which gray idiom can you most relate to right now?
     I'm okay with gray. My gray right now is Gray Hair. 

6. Certain foods are considered 'lucky' if eaten on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. Cooked greens to bring economic fortune, black-eyed peas or lentils also symbolize money, pork which symbolizes progress, fish for good luck, and if you're in Spain 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. Did you eat any lucky foods on the first day of the year? Is that a tradition in your home? Of the foods listed, which most appeals to you?
     SWMBO and I don't have a lucky food. Over the Christmas and New Year holidays we do traditionally enjoy my meat stuffing, egg nog and various pastry items.

7. What's the single biggest time waster in your life and what, if anything, will you do about it this year?
     I guess zoning out in front of the television is my biggest time waster. To deal with this waste of time I hope to watch less television and do something else, that is, replace watching TV with some other more productive activity.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
     SWMBO's cancer continues to be in remission, thank God. We are going for our four month follow up with the transplant director on Thursday. SWMBO's stem cells were harvested a couple of years ago and frozen. Our wish is that they remain frozen and it doesn't ever become necessary for the doctor to give them back to her. We thank everyone for your continued support and prayers.  
     Becke the Wonder Dog had a thorough check up by her Vet after her last siezure episode. According to the Vet none of the tests showed anything remarkable. Her blood work is fine. Her urine test is normal and her heart is beating strong. The Vet is unable to determine the cause of the siezure. So we continue to spoil her as she deserves to be.
     Happy New Year everyone!