Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Have you been watching what is happening across our beloved Nation? One of our liberties, our freedom of speech, is under attack. There are those who hold the notion that perceived offensive speech is equal to violence and that it is appropriate to meet such offensive speech with physical violence. What has happened to the principle..."I may disagree with what you say but I will defend your right to the death to say it."
We have no such problems here at the Wednesday Hodgepodge. It seems to me that opinions are expressed without reservation and are respected by all. Without further delay, here is this weeks hodgepodge.
1. What's something you'd rate a 10/10? Tell us why.
One of the few things that I enjoy in the winter is on a clear night, looking up at the stars. I never fail to be in awe of the awesome sight of the billions of stars strewn across the black sky. That is something that I rate at a 10/10 in my humble opinion.
2. What job would you be terrible at? What makes you think so?
I would be terrible at being a groundskeeper. I absolutely hate yard work and have to really motivate myself to get it done here at our (in our own mind) palatial estate. I also don't have much talent for groundskeeping.
3. When did you last take a fall? What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?
Last winter I was walking down our driveway to our mailbox and hit a snow covered icy patch and unceremoniously fell to the ground. Not only my pride was hurt. That was the last time that I took a fall.
I do not have an answer to the second part of this question. We are in the "pumpkin everything" part of the year up here in the Granite State. I like pumpkin pie and perhaps a pumpkin spice coffee once in a while but not to the extent that it proliferates at this time of the year. Although, come to think of it, it is apple picking season. I love a nice juicy Cortland apple with a piece of sharp cheddar cheese. It is one of my favorite snacks at this time of the year.
4. According to the Travel Channel here are some of America's best fall festivals-
National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland Maine), German Village Festival (Columbus Ohio), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe NM)
Have you ever been to any of the festivals listed? Which one appeals to you most? Does your hometown have any sort of fall celebration, and if so will you make it a point to attend?
I have not ever been to any of the harvest festivals listed above. I'm not really a harvest festival kind of person. I am not opposed to going but they hold little appeal to me.
5. What is your goodbye message to summer?
Well Summer, until next year. Thank you for enough water to keep our wells full. Thank you for moderate warmth for the most part. SWMBO thanks you for the days of the hot and muggies. I thank you that they were not excessive this year. All in all you have been good to us this year. If you happen to run in to Old Man Winter, please ask him to be kind to us this year and to go easy on the snow fall and to keep the freezing rain to himself. Take care Summer, I look forward to your return.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
TRIGGER WARNING: B.W.A...Blogger With Attitude! The Bill of Rights gives us the unfettered right to say whatever we want to say. It especially protects that speech which is deemed to be vile, obscene or offensive. There is a significant body of U.S. Supreme Court decisions affirming our right to free expression, particularly unpopular speech.
On many college campi if you want to express an opinion in public you must do so in a designated "free speech" zone and only in a free speech zone. If a speaker is invited to speak at some colleges at the invitation of a college group and that person happens to hold "offensive" views, demonstrations breaks out and to avoid an unpleasant incident such as violence or outright riots, the speaker gets disinvited.
These are just two examples of what is transpiring at colleges across the country. Both of these things are an affront to and a violation of our constitutional rights. These things must not be allowed to stand.
To make matters worse, if a person is going to speak and their views may cause some angst to their hearers, trigger warnings are given and a safe space is provided where students can go to avoid the trauma of hearing challenging views. This is outrageous!
Therefore, I for one will continue to be a B.W.A. and I will continue to be as offensive as I want to be. God help us!
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Good morning to all. I hope your Wednesday is going well. Hurricane Irma is finally dying and becoming less of a threat to life and property. She has done incredible amounts of damage and so far ten people have lost their lives. Now the recovery begins in earnest. An army of electrical workers has descended upon the state of Florida to rebuild and restore their electricity infrastructure. May God bless the people of Florida as they begin to recover and rebuild.
Not even the fury of a hurricane can stop the Wednesday Hodgepodge. So say a prayer for Florida and don't forget Texas and those impacted by hurricane Harvey. Grab a cup of coffee, tea or other relaxing beverage. Take a comfortable seat and enjoy the Hodgepodge.
1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.
I think that this cliche is mostly hyperbole. Pictures are valuable to spark a memory, to freeze time for a moment or to record an event. Like a lot of things pictures can be manipulated via photoshop and other editing software thereby presenting a false narrative. A case on point is the movie "Jurassic Park" where dinosaurs walked the earth and interacted with human actors.
However, a single photograph can spark a stream of memories that would easily take a thousand words to adequately describe.
2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?
I cannot say that I have. I did drive along the coast from San Diego to an area located just north of La Jolla. I would like to drive the entire PCH someday. What little I did see was beautiful.
3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is?
As Summer becomes Fall the cooler temperatures serve as a warning that much colder temperatures and, dare I say it, snow are not too far off. It's time to begin to batten down the hatches and to winterize the house and the cars.
The season transition that bothers me the most is Fall into Winter. I think it's because Winter is so challenging to navigate, especially as I get older. Winter seems to be the longest season of the year and the cold aggravates the arthritic joints in my knees and hands and makes it painful to move.
4. It's your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?
My birthday menu would be a nice Prime Rib cooked medium well done, with gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed mixed vegetables and bread rolls with butter. For dessert we would have Pecan Pie with whipped crime followed by "two fingers" of a nice Scotch Whiskey as we engage in conversation as we digest our meal.
I do sometimes misrepresent my age. "Lie" is such an ugly word, accurate... but ugly.
5. What's a life lesson you've learned recently?
No matter how badly you hurt, you must still move. Pain is Mother Nature's way of telling you that you are still alive. Somedays I am really alive. It also makes you better appreciate God's promise that in Heaven there will be no pain. In my youth when I was essentially pain free, this promise rang hollow, a kind of "that's nice" attitude. Today, by the grace of God, I am a wiser man.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
In previous blog postings I extolled the character of the people of Texas for their response to the devastation left by hurricane Harvey. I suspected at the time that Texans were not unique in this regard. The people in Florida have begun to prove that I was right, in the wake of hurricane Irma.
Despite our problems as a nation, Americans continue to prove themselves to be a noble and compassionate people. I am confident that the people of Florida will recover from this disaster because it is in their DNA to pick themselves up and press on. It will not easy or quick but it will get done.
Please continue to pray for the people who have been affected by the two hurricanes. If you are able, please make a financial contributions from time to time to a relief/recovery agency throughout what is sure to be a lengthy recovery. It's the American way.
Thank you in advance! God bless you and God bless America. Also, ENOUGH WITH THE HURRICANES ALREADY!
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Have you seen where the Summer went? It was here just a minute ago! Here we are the day after Labor Day already.
In a lot of places the new school year has commenced. Parents are rejoicing everywhere! I hope that everyone has a productive and wonderful school year. I pray for our teachers and the Herculean task that they have trying to fill the young heads full of mush with valuable information under less than ideal circumstances.
It is of course Wednesday and therefore it is time for another set of probing questions that is the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce for another fine set of questions. Enjoy!
1. When you think about your future what do you fear most? Hope for the most?
When I think about the future I fear the continued deterioration of common sense AND common decency. What I hope for the future is that the character and selflessness on display in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana in the wake of hurricane Harvey would become so common place that it is no longer noteworthy when it happens.
2. September is National Chicken Month. How often is chicken on the menu at your house? What's a favorite dish made with chicken? What's something you're a 'chicken' about doing or trying?
We really like chicken at our house. We have chicken, on average, once or twice a week. A favorite chicken dish is Chicken Pot Pie.
Something that I am "chicken" about doing or trying is skydiving. I have never seen the positive side of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. In my humble opinion only two things fall out of the sky...bird crap and fools, and Mama didn't raise no fool.
3. What are three things you don't own but wish you did?
I really do not want for anything. SWMBO and I are fairly content with our lives with one or two exceptions. So, in no particular order of importance I would like to own (1) a portable ice maker. Our freezer is often too packed with food to use ice cube trays. It would be nice to be able to make our own ice as we need it. (2) A large weather tight storage shed. We would like a safe and secure place to store summer furniture and other seasonable stuff for the winter. (3) A BluRay DVD player. It seems everything is coming out is on BluRay these days.
4. Would you rather be a jack of all trades or a master of one? Elaborate. If you answered one, which one?
I would like to be a jack of all trades. It would be great if I do things for myself that I now have to rely on others for. It would be equally as nice to be able to share these skills with those who might have need of them.
5. Ketchup or mustard? On what?
I like both, depending upon the food. I use mustard for Ham, Hotdogs and Bologna sandwiches. I like ketchup on meatloaf, roast beef, french fries and onion rings.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
I mentioned in my introductory remarks above that the school year has begun. I am reminded that our founding fathers strongly believed that our citizens ought to be well educated. They believed that all citizens should receive instruction on the U.S. Constitution, how our government is organized and what was the intent of that organizational paradigm. Citizens should understand the limits imposed upon, and the specific powers granted to, the federal government. Citizens should also understand the power of the individual states and individual citizens.
Another area that needs to be brought back is a course in life skills. These are the skills everyone needs to be able to take care of themselves. Some of the skills needed are basic cooking, basic sewing, laundary, money management, basic housekeeping and manners.
I believe that if all students were well educated in these two areas, as well as the basics of Math, Reading, Writing, History, and Geography, and other disciplines, we would not have as many problems in our beloved Nation that we now have.
God bless our teachers and their students as the new school year begins.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Unless you are living in a cave completely off the grid you are aware of the devastation that has occurred, and is continuing to occur in southeast Texas as a result of hurricane Harvey making landfall. I cannot imagine the concept of rainfall being measured in feet as is the case in Texas. The photographs coming out of Texas are heart breaking.
I am happy for the weekly diversion from reality that is the Wednesday Hodgepodge. What I mean to say is that it is good to have something else to focus my attention on for awhile. Join me in prayer for our fellow citizens affected by hurricane Harvey and now...the Wednesday Hodgepodge.
1. Can you believe we're rolling in to the Labor Day weekend? What's a project you'll labor over this fall?
I cannot say that I am surprised about the arrival of Labor Day. It happens every year about this time. (Parum pum crash!) All kidding aside, the older I get the more quickly the time seems to pass by.
One project that demands my attention as the prospect of winter begins to loom on the horizon is getting caught up on the yard work. It has been difficult to give it the attention that it requires for a variety of reasons, some reasons being legitimate, other reasons not so much. #Ihateyardwork
2. Tell us about the best perks you ever had in a job?
One of the best perks of being a police officer was the things that I got to do that most people never get to do. I was assigned to work with the U.S. Secret Service on two occasions.
The first time was when then Vice President Dan Quayle came to Litchield NH. I got a peek behind the curtain and see what the Secret Service actually does to prepare for a visit and how they conduct themselves during the visit and during the aftermath of a visit.
The second time, I was assigned to augment a neighboring police department to help with airport security for a visit by then President George H.W. Bush. On this occasion I got to see some of the toys the Secret Service have in their vehicles that support a presidential visit. I also witnessed the communications set up and the make up of counter sniper teams.
At one point during his visit, as the president was leaving I was standing on the tarmac about 25 yards from Air Force One as the president got out of his limousine and boarded the aircraft. It is the closest that I have ever physically been to a U.S. President.
Both of those details made for a long day but it was a lot of fun.
3. August 31st is National South Carolina Day. Have you ever been to SC? Any desire to go? According to Southern Living, these are the top ten things to do in South Carolina...
Explore Charleston, bike, golf or relax on Hilton Head Island, see the beach and the boardwalk at Myrtle Beach, visit the state museum in the capital city Columbia, observe the wildlife and natural beauty of the Ace Basin, take a walk or hop on a trolley and check out Greenville's charming main street, visit Fort Sumter where the Civil War began, stroll through Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden in Bishopville leaving time to check out The Button Museum, also in Bishopville, see Morgan Island (also known as Monkey Island)-home to nearly 4000 Rhesus monkeys.
Which is most appealing to you today? If you're a SC native, resident, or frequent visitor what would you add to the list?
I have never been to the Palmetto State. Hilton Head Island and Myrtle Beach appeal to me should I ever have the opportunity to visit.
4. Beef, pork, country-style, barbecued, baby back, spare or short...your favorite kind of rib? What's a dish you enjoy that really 'sticks to your ribs'?
My favorite rib is barbecued pork spare ribs with medium hot bbq sauce. A dish that I really enjoy that sticks to my ribs is homemade, AKA SWMBO's, beef stew. It is simply AWESOME!
5. What's one important skill you think every person should have? Why?
One important skill that every person should have, and there are several other needed skills besides this one, is the ability to sharpen tools. This includes kitchen knives, hunting knives, chisels, axes, and any other tool that holds an edge.
When it comes to getting things properly done, sharp tools are essential. Knowing how to sharpen tools is also a much needed and valuable basic survival skill.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
In my opening paragraph above I indicated how heart broken I am over the pictures coming out of southeast Texas. Here I'll share my pride in the conduct of many of our fellow Americans in general, and Texans in particular.
This disaster has required "All Hands on Deck" to deal with the devastation and to save lives. The U.S. military and first responder agencies have conducted themselves in such a way as to reflect great credit upon themselves and their respective agencies, going above and beyond to the strict call of duty in many instances. No surprise there.
What has reinforced my hope in the American people are the every day Americans who have risked their lives to save their neighbors and fellow Texans. Neighbor helping neighbor is the order of the day. There is no regard given to race or gender or political affiliation or any of those things that so often divide us.
Another group of Americans deserving of thanks are those who have come from the far flung corners of America bringing bottled water, food, and other disaster relief supplies to the Lone Star State.
Then there's the "Cajun Navy," those private citizens who own small boats who responded to the area and are going from house to house looking for survivors. Several thousand survivors have been rescued to date.
This proves my thesis that the American people are a noble and compassionate people...period! So, my fellow Americans please pray for all of those who have been affected by hurricane Harvey and if you are able, donate to a relief agency. God bless Texas! God bless America!
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
I sincerely hope that all of you are having a wonderful week. On Monday there was a cosmic event that held everyone's attention for a couple of hours. You may have heard of it. You may have even seen it. Yesterday my beloved SWMBO and I had our grandgirls visit for a few hours. Color Granny Happy!
Today is Wednesday which means that our friend, Joyce Daley, has more questions for us to ponder and answer. So on to this weeks Wednesday Hodgepodge...
1. Did you watch the solar eclipse? Your thoughts? Sun Chips, Moon Pies, Starburst candies, a Blue Moon beer, a Sunkist orange, or a Milky Way candy bar...what's your favorite eclipse related snack on this list?
SWMBO and I watched the eclipse being streamed over our electronic devices. We watched while sitting together on a glider on our back deck. It was a very nice time.
From the list that was provided I'm definitely going with Moon Pies. Up here in the Granite State we call them "Whoopie Pies." I absolutely love Whoopie Pies.
2. What are you 'over the moon' about these days? What's something you enjoy doing every 'once in a blue moon'?
I don't think that "these days" I'm over the moon over anything. My beloved SWMBO comes to mind but I'm always over the moon about her. I'm over the moon about my grandchildren, but that's not new either. SWMBO and I are liking the fact that we are able to interact with out church family more these days. We have really missed them during our quarantine/home confinement. So that's about all.
3. Tell us about something in the realm of science that interests you. How do you feed that interest?
I am an aerophile. I love all things having to do with powered flight. I sometimes will go to a nearby regional airport and listen to the Air Traffic Control radio traffic on my scanner and watch planes land and take off. I am amazed at the size of some the aircraft and how gracefully they land and take off. It's amazing that they can get off the ground, much less fly.
4. What are a few things you remember about going back to school as a child?
I remember getting new clothes, pencils, rulers, pens and notebooks. I also remember getting a new book bag. It was exciting to begin a new school year.
For the most part I enjoyed school.
5. I've seen several versions of this around the net so let's make one of our own...share with us five words that touch your soul and briefly tell us why.
Unconditional Love, Forgiveness, Perseverance, & Faith. These are the things that should make up one's character. God is the perfect model of all these things. We would do well to be as much like God as is humanly possible.
These words touch my soul for that very reason.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
My beloved Red Sox are playing some pretty good baseball of late. They are in first place in their division. The took three out of four games from the dreaded Evil Empire over the weekend. The Sox have had an impressive month of August so far. Their rookie third baseman, Rafael Devers is hitting like Ted Williams and fielding like a seasoned veteran. I pray that their good play and success continues through the post season and they win another World Series Championship. GO SOX!
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Yesterday, my beloved SWMBO and I had our usual Tuesday visit with our granddaughters. As usually happens, by the time they are picked up by their dad everyone is tired. SWMBO, the two Littles and yours truly were spent but it was a good kind of tired. My point, you may be asking yourself, is that I forgot about the Wednesday Hodgepodge until late Wednesday morning. So better late than never, here's this weeks Hodgepodge.
1. Do your actions match your words? Elaborate.
To be completely honest, not always. Sometimes I find myself going against my own advice. Sometimes situations arise where a different course of action is called for and so I adapt my response as the situation warrants.
2. Sick as a dog, go to the dogs, dog days of summer, dog tired, it's a dog's life, every dog has it's day, can't teach an old dog new tricks...now doggone it which saying could most recently be applied to your life?
I would say "dog tired" and "can't teach an old dog new tricks" apply to my life right now. I have been experiencing more fatigue these days and I'm not sure why. I recently went to the vet for a routine follow up and all systems are operating as designed.
Regarding the Old Dog/New Tricks thing, I tend to be set and comfortable in my ways and no matter how hard I try I cannot change my bad habits. I still persist in trying but it seems hopeless. It is similar to the conflict the Apostle Paul describes in the 7th chapter of his letter to the Romans.
Just for the record "It's a dog's life" is not a negative thing in our house. Our dogs have a lavish and full life style. I should be so spoiled!
3. Your favorite book featuring a dog in the storyline? What makes it a favorite?
There are two books that come to mind. WHITE FANG by Jack London and THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY by Shirley Burnford. I read both books during my youth.
4. What's something you hope to one day have the confidence to do?
This is really a great question. This is really a difficult question. I am sure that there are things that I lack the confidence to try but I can't think of what they are. Maybe directly confronting someone who is out of line? I will have to ponder this question.
5. August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day. So tell us a joke.
Little Johnny was sitting on a park bench and eating a bunch of candy. An old lady was walking by and saw Little Johnny eating all that candy. She stopped and said "You shouldn't be eating all that candy at once. You could get cavities, acne and a stomach ache." Little Johnny replied "My grandfather lived to the ripe old age of 105 years." The Old Lady asked "Did your grandfather eat five candy bars at one time?" Little Johnny answered "No, he minded his own freaking business."
6. Insert your own random thought here.
WARNING...DOUBLE STANDARD RANT!
Recently there have been two glaring examples of a double standard reported in the so called news media. The recent tension with North Korea and the kerfuffle in Charlottesville, VA. I'll dress only one of these issues this week.
THE FIRST ONE: The nut job with a bad haircut leading North Korea made fairly specific threats that he was going to launch ballistic missiles on the United States. President Trump warned him, in no uncertain terms, that the United States was prepared to meet such an attack and respond with sufficient force leading to the destruction of North Korea.
Then some in the news media chastised President Trump for speaking so provocatively. They urged the president to not say anything that would make the bad haircut guy angry. They had nothing to say about the bad haircut guy repeatedly speaking provocatively and threatening the United States and our allies with a nuclear attack.
It is my humble opinion that if someone threatens to kill you, you would be wise to believe them and take reasonable steps to protect yourself. This is wise at the personal level as well as at the national level. I stand with the president on this one.
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Good morning to one and all. I hope that you are all well on this August Wednesday morning. The weather has been a bit unsettled this month. It rains, the Sun shines, it rains again, and so on! Mother Nature can't seem to make up her mind. This is not unusual for the Granite State.
Our friend Joyce Daley has seen fit to publish another series of Hodgepodge questions. So, we might as well answer them. Therefore, here is this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge.
1. Do you try to set rules for yourself about how you use your time? Explain.
I do not set rules for how I use my time. I go as the spirit moves me and try very hard to be a good steward of my time because I really don't know how much time I have left. The fact is that none of us know how much time we have left.
2. Monday was National Lighthouse Day. Have you ever visited a lighthouse? If not, do you have any desire to see one up close? Of the 10 Most Beautiful that made this list which would you most like to see in person-
Lindau Lighthouse (Germany), Fanad Lighthouse (Ireland), Portland Head Light (Maine), Yaquina Bay Light (Oregon) The St. Augustine Light (Florida), Peggys Point Lighthouse (Canada), Start Point Lighthouse (England), Tower of Hercules (Spain), Bass Harbor Head Station (Maine), and White Shoal Light (Michigan)
When you've been away, what's your 'lighthouse' telling you you're on the right road home?
I have never visited a lighthouse up close. There is a very popular lighthouse in southwestern Maine. It is called the Nubble Lighthouse. SWMBO and I have visited it on a number of occasions. I don't really have a strong desire to visit lighthouses.
I don't get the last question. Oh well!
3. What have you unintentionally stopped doing? Is this something you need to pick back up and begin again, or is it something you need to let go of for now (or even permanently)?
Normally, when I stop doing something it is because I chose to stop doing it. I cannot think of something that I stopped doing that I should begin doing again. I sometimes get behind in my Bible reading from time to time but I just pick up from where I left off.
4. We've had a full week of August. Share a GRAND moment from your month so far.
One grand moment is the sixth anniversary of my retirement from a 30+ year law enforcement career. Still living the dream with my beloved SWMBO!
5. Tell us one song you love with the word 'baby' in the title.
"Don't Worry Baby" by the Beach Boys.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
North Korea is creating a serious international kerfuffle. How serious is it? Last weekend the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to impose economic sanctions upon that imprisoned nation. That means that both Russia and China supported the imposition of the sanctions.
As you know, Korea has been improving its ballistic missile technology. It is now believed that they possess the technology to reduce the size of a nuclear weapon which could be launched inside one of their missiles.
I pray God that cooler heads will prevail and that North Korea will cease their bellicose programs and rejoin the community of nations. Enjoy your week!
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Besides being an awful first sentence for a novel, the title of this blog post is an apt description of the past two days here in New Hampshire. Last week we were being broiled alive by the hot and buggies. This week the temperatures have dropped into the 50's and 60's with raw, wet weather. It is a truism that if you do not like the weather in New Hampshire just wait awhile, it is sure to change.
Another Wednesday has come upon us which means our friend, Joyce Daley, has a few questions for us to answer. Joyce has an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Also, the Wednesday Hodgepodge is a great way to get to know some very remarkable people. Join us! You will be glad that you did.
1. We've reached edition number 315 here in the Wednesday Hodgepodge. So tell us, what were you doing at 3:15 yesterday? Is that typical? On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being low and 10 being high) what's your energy level usually like at 3:15 PM?
At 3:15 pm yesterday I was picking up our two Chinese Crested dogs, A.K.A. "The Littles," from doggie daycare. This is routine, Monday through Friday. As regards my energy levels, I would give my energy level a six or a seven, trending upward. I am not a morning person. I strongly dislike mornings and am not at my most affable or efficient in the morning. I am most productive from late afternoon until late evening.
2. A frisbee, a tantrum, a towel, a party, a punch, or a curveball...which have you most recently thrown or had thrown at/for you? Elaborate.
I have not had any of the listed items thrown at me nor have I thrown any of the listed items at anybody.
3. What are three things that would help you right now. Tell us how or why.
The three things that would help me most right now, in no particular order, are: (1) A new pair of knees. My knees are severely arthritic and in pain most of the time. It is painful to walk or stand for long periods of time; (2) Continued prayers for my beloved SWMBO and her battle against multiple myeloma cancer; (3) Winning the lottery would be helpful. I don't want to be filthy rich mind you. I just want to get a little dirty.
4. Do you think you're strong? Why or why not? What makes you strong?
I think that I am like most people. I am strong in some areas and weak in other areas. I am strong in my devotion to God and in my love for SWMBO and our family. I believe that I am strong because I am convinced from reading the Bible that it is important for me to be strong in those areas.
5. Do you enjoy reading historical fiction? What's your favorite book set sometime in the past?
I do like historical fiction. I enjoy reading anything set in the World War II time period, 1939-1945. Sadly, I don't have a favorite book.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
My faith in the kindness of humanity took a serious broadside hit this past week. There was a report of some young people who broadcast a video of a man in a wheel chair who got himself into a retention pond and drowned. The young people were heard mocking the drowning man as he drowned.
Have we sunk so low as a people that we can't make a simple phone call to summon help in situations where we cannot or will not render aid ourselves. Are we so anxious to get our fifteen minutes of fame? If so, God help us!
One of our principles as a people is that life is priceless and that all life is valuable. Apparently those young people did not get that memo! May God help them before karma comes and bites them in the "donkey."
May God bless all of you who are reading this post in some special and tangible way.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
The "Hot & Muggies" are the order of the day this week in the beautiful Granite State. High heat and humidity have moved in for awhile. That's okay though, SWMBO loves it and is very comfortable. She has become very good at walking around the puddles of sweat that used to be me and should she miss one, thankfully she is a very good swimmer. (I know, EWWW! Right?)
Well, hot and humid or not, today is Wednesday and our friend Joyce Daley has seen fit to publish another Wednesday Hodgepodge. Here we go...
1. Growing up, were you close to your grandparents? Tell us one or two specific things you remember about them.
Growing up, I never knew my paternal grandparents. They passed away before I was born. I did however live with my maternal grandparents. I was very close to both of them. My grandmother was French Canadian an didn't speak much English so I grew up speaking French. My grandfather was a devoted Red Sox fan and he slept in the front, downstairs room of our house. I often snuck downstairs after bedtime and watched a Red Sox game with him. That was kind of our special thing.
2. What's an item you were attached to as a child? What happened to it?
As a child I was attached to my tonsils. Then one day, at the promise of endless ice cream and ginger ale, they were ripped out of my throat. It was a cruel hoax to play on a child. Who could eat or drink when your throat was in such pain? It was pure evil!
3. When you look out your window, do you see the forest or the trees (literally and figuratively)? Explain.
My beloved SWMBO and I are blessed to live in the idyllic setting of the foothills of the Uncanoonuc Mountains. They are a pair of mountains. Not as grand as the Grand Tetons out west but their name means the same in the language of the indigenous peoples who lived in this area hundred of years ago. Indigenous men seemed to be fixated on women's breasts because there are so many mountains named after them. But I digress...There are plenty of trees on, and around, our not so palatial estate. It makes for some real fine country living.
4. Do you like sour candies? Which of the 'sour' foods listed below would you say is your favorite?
grapefruit, Greek yogurt, tart cherries, lemons, limes, sauerkraut, buttermilk, or kumquats
Have you ever eaten a kumquat? What's your favorite dish containing one of the sour foods on the list?
I am not a fan of sour candies. I would say that lime is my favorite of the listed foods. I like key lime pie and I'll occasionally drink lime in an ice cold lager beer on a very hot day on rare occasions. In place of beer I'll drink club soda with a lime wedge instead.
I have never eaten a kumquat to my knowledge and I would not know a kumquat if I was hit by one.
5. July 1st marked the mid point of 2017. In fifteen words or less, tell us how it's going so far.
July 1st also marked the 45th trip around the Sun as man and wife for my beloved SWMBO and me.
So far this has been a difficult year. SWMBO's recovery from the stem cell transplant is ongoing but at a snails pace. SWMBO, being a type A+ person tries to do more than her body will allow and she pays the price for it and needs a day or two to recover.
On a good note, we have been cleared by SWMBO's oncologist to attend church again as long as we avoid people who have colds and other ailments. It does us both a lot of good to be with our church family again.
So in summary, we are doing okay and making the best of life and handling what comes our way as we always have,...together and in faithful trust in the loving providence of God!
6. Insert your own random thought here.
This weekend the dreaded Evil Empire (Yankees) visited Fenway Park for a four-game series with my beloved Red Sox. The Yankees have a rookie right fielder named Aaron Judge. He stands 6'7" tall and weighs 270 lbs. He looks like a NFL linebacker! He's a big boy! He has some real skills and he seems to be a good man. His only negative from what I saw this weekend is that he is a Yankee.
The series was split at two games each. One of the games is under protest and may have to be played again but it was a good weekend all the same.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Summer is well on it's way here in the Granite State. We have been having a greater number of thunder storms this summer some of which have been quite violent. Last year we were in drought conditions. This year we are not. Lightning is Nature's fireworks display and is stunning in appearance. We have been blessed with a number of awesome displays.
The Wednesday Hodgepodge is also stunning but in a different way. It's Americana on display. Voices from all over the country giving opinions and recounting their life experiences on display. Thank you Joyce for your continued efforts in providing this weekly pause from the rigors of life. And now, the Hodgepodge...
1. When was the last time you chatted with a neighbor? About what? (sharing that last bit is optional)
It''s been awhile since I have chatted with a neighbor. We often exchange pleasantries in passing but the opportunity to engage in extended conversation just hasn't presented itself. When we do speak it is usually concerning work/retirement, family and current events.
2. River, lake, ocean, or waterfall...which one are you most like and why?
I think that I am most like a river. I am always moving forward. Sometimes I am smooth and placid, other times I am rough and choppy but I am always flowing on. Sometimes I am overflowing and affect those around me. Sometimes I am low, revealing things that were usually hidden. Yeah, I think that I am a river.
3. July 13 is National Delaware Day. Ever been to Delaware? Delaware is called 'the first state' because it was the first to declare independence from the British. What's your state's nickname and does that moniker make sense to you? If you were in charge, what nickname would you give your home state?
I have driven through Delaware but I have never visited there. My state is called the Granite State and the name makes great sense to me. There is granite everywhere. It also fits the character of the people who live here. We are a hearty and independent minded people. Our state motto is "Live Free or Die." Our state constitution explicitly gives us the right to revolt and overthrow our government should the government ever come to oppress the population. You gotta love a state like that.
4. What dish did you contribute to the last pot luck meal you attended? Do you have a go-to recipe for pot luck suppers?
The last dish that we brought to a pot luck was a fruit salad consisting of watermelon, strawberries and blueberries. I do not have a go-to meal, it's generally pot luck.
5. What is your number one tip for a brand new parent?
Think "Tag Team." It took two of you to create this new life and it will most certainly take the two of you to raise and care for the little bugger. Sometimes your partner needs to tag out and get some relief . There will be times when you need to tag out for the same reason. There are no "Your Job/My Job" tasks. Both of you are responsible to get the jobs done. Love each other, support each other and take time for each other.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
Lately things have been difficult for New York law enforcement. A NYPD officer, a 12 year veteran and mother to three children, was assassinated while sitting in her department vehicle.
Two days ago a New York State Trooper was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance.
Men and women willingly answer the call to serve by laying their lives on the line to make their communities safer and a better place to live. They, more than anyone else, understand that they may be required to make the ultimate sacrifice and do so without hesitation.
God bless the men and women who serve in law enforcement. May God watch over them and protect them and bless their families. Please say a prayer for your police officers and their families this week.
Enjoy the rest of your week.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
A belated happy Independence Day to all of you out there in Hodgepodge Land and elsewhere. America celebrated its 241st birthday yesterday. Upon reflecting upon the Declaration of Independence I come away with a few thoughts. First, the Declaration is an amazing document. It is, in my humble opinion, one of the finest documents ever written by man. Next, the men who signed the Declaration, by signing it, committed the capital offense of treason against the British Crown. Knowing this, they signed it anyway. Third, the men who signed the Declaration pledged their lives, their property and their sacred honor.
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to participate in another Wednesday Hodgepodge, we do...
1. When and where were the best fireworks you've ever seen? Speaking of fireworks...do you know your hot buttons? The things people can say and/or do to set you off? When was the last time someone pushed one of your hot buttons?
I have seen a fair amount of firework displays in my life but none of them stand out as exceptional. I've witnessed a few lightning storms that were remarkable.
As far as hot buttons go, I am pretty laid back and am not easily angered. One thing that is sure to evoke a reaction from me is any perceived threat to my beloved SWMBO or other family member. It's been a very long time since anyone was dumb enough to push that button.
2. Have you hosted any outdoor summer parties this year? Attended any? What makes for a great outdoor party?
I have not hosted or attended any outdoor summer parties. I have attended one or two outings where it was just SWMBO and me and another couple. I think a great outdoor party has three ingredients; (1) Great Food, (2) Great Music, and (3) Wonderful People.
3. What does freedom mean to you?
Freedom means the ability to worship God as I choose, when I choose and how often I choose. Freedom means the ability to go where I choose, when I choose, for as long as I choose. Freedom means the ability for me to say what I want, how I want and about anything that I want. Freedom means that I can associate with whoever I want and I can choose to not associate with anyone I choose.
Freedom means doing all the aforementioned things without fear of reprisal from any level of government.
4. July is National Cell Phone Courtesy month...what annoys you most about people's cell phone habits?
There are two cell phone habits that annoy me. First, are people who persist in using their cellphones while driving, in clear defiance of the law. Second, are people who are conducting business at a counter or other place and who don't have the courtesy to suspend or end their call while conducting their business.
5. What's your current summer anthem?
"Turn the Page" by Bob Seeger.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
The "Swamp" continues to flourish in our Nation's Capitol. I seem to remember that part and parcel of the campaign promises of most of those running for office during the last election cycle was to "drain the swamp!" It seems to me that the swamp level is rising.
The attempt to replace Obamacare, which is imploding, is a HUGE disappointment. The Republicans, you remember them, they're the party in power, cannot get it's act together. The Democrats are predictably conducting themselves as obstructionists.
In short, it is the same old Kabuki Theater that the American people voted against during the last election cycle. God help us!
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
A very pleasant Hodgepodge Wednesday to everyone. A thank you to Joyce Daley, our Hodgepodge Guru, for her efforts in bringing us the Hodgepodge questions every week.
The world is still going crazy. Our country is still going crazy. My beloved SWMBO is still going crazy and she's taking me with her. In short, situation normal, all fouled up!
Here's the Hodgepodge!
Ten things? Here goes...(1) Beach trip(s); (2) Fishing; (3) Light reading; (4) Yard work; (5) Trip to the Mountains; (6) Trip to the drive-in; (7) Yard work; (8) Spontaneous Naps; (9) Trip(s) to the lake; (10) Did I menton Yard work?
2. Do you collect seashells when you're at the beach? What do you do with them once you get them home? What's your favorite place to comb for seashells? How many of these 'best beaches for hunting seashells' have you visited? Which one would you most like to visit?
Calvert Cliffs State Park (Maryland), Jeffrey's Bay (South Africa), Sanibel Island (Florida), Shipwreck Beach (Lanai Hawaii), Ocracoke Island (North Carolina), Galveston Island (Texas) and The Bahamas
I don't collect seashells. If I did collect seashells, my only options would be the NH, MA, and Maine beaches. I have not visited any of the listed beaches. I wouldn't mind visiting any of the listed beaches at all. I would probably add a few beaches in the Caribbean Sea.
3. At a snail's pace, shell out money, come out of your shell, go back into your shell, drop a bombshell, happy as a clam, clam up...which 'shell' phrase could most recently be applied to some event or circumstance in your life? Explain.
"Shell out money" seems to be applying to us this year. We've been hit with the ancillary costs associated with SWMBO's cancer treatments that are not covered by insurance. Earlier this year we had to replace our furnace and water well expansion tank. Now, it appears that our well water softener is on the fritz and our washing machine is about to give up the ghost. Sheesh! This is turning out to be a very expensive year.
4. What summer activity do you dislike? Why?
I hate yardwork! Why? Because I hate yardwork!
5. What's something you see as quickly becoming obsolete? Does that bother you?
"Free Speech" and it bothers the #@$&*%$# out of me. One of our guranteed rights is the right of free expression. However, the notion that offensive speech is not permitted is being enforced through violence on college campi throughout our beloved nation. "Safe Zones," or "Free Speech Zones" are concepts NEVER contemplated by our founding fathers.
The United States Supreme Court has explicitly ruled that offensive speech is protected speech.
Therefore, if what I write or say offends you, understand that I am a repeat offender.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
Neither the U.S. House of Representatives nor the U.S. Senate are capable of conducting an investigtion. It is absurd to think that a room full of people with no expertise or investigative experience limited to five minutes to ask questions will get to the bottom of anything.
I watched several of the recent hearings and heard people testify under oath that there is NO EVIDENCE that the president did ANYTHING illegal. That's not stopping them from throwing millions of dollars down a rat hole through the special prosecutor who has been appointed to look into the fact that the president did nothing illegal.
Like Jeff Foxworthy says..."We are a nation founded by geniuses and run by idiots. SHEESH!
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
This week Summer 2017 has come with a vengeance. It has gone from unseasonably cool temperatures in the 50's with rain, to the hot and muggies of late Summer. Yesterday was our third day in the 90's, officially making it a heat wave. SWMBO is happy and doesn't have the decency to sweat, uh...um...excuse me, I meant to say "to glow." As for me, I have been "glowing" like a pig.
Our Hodgepodge Mistress, Joyce Daley, is back with another Wednesday Hodgepodge after a brief hiatus last week. Joyce has been publishing the Wednesday Hodgepodge for over six years. It must be challenging to come up with a theme and the questions related to the theme. Joyce has been masterful at the task. Please join in on the fun. You'll be glad that you did.
1. The Hodgepodge lands on June 14th this week, Flag Day in the US of A. Do you fly your country's flag at home? Sometimes, often, or every single day? Have you ever visited the city of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia)? Did you make a point of seeing The Betsy Ross House? Have you ever made a trip to Baltimore? If so, was Fort McHenry on your itinerary? (where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write The Star Spangled Banner)
No, I don't fly the American Flag at my home. I often wear an American Flag lapel pin on my suit or sport coat. I have never visited the cities of Philadelphia or Baltimore.
2. Red flag or white flag? Which have you encountered most recently? Explain.
When I was in military basic training and it got to be dangerously hot, they would fly a red flag indicating that all strenuous physical activity was suspended for the day. The last three days have been a red flag day. I stayed inside and tried to stay cool.
3. Are you a stay in the car listen to the end of a song kind of person? What kind of person is that?
I do stay in the car sometimes until the end of a song. Not just any song though, it has to be one of my favorite songs.
4. What are some of the traits or qualities you think a good dad possesses? In other words, what makes a good dad? What's an expression you associate with your father?
I believe that a good dad possesses unconditional love and patience for his children. He also possesses an attitude of forgiveness and encouragement. The phrase that I associate with my dad that comes to mind is something that my dad would always say when we were playing chess. After I made a move and just before he lowered the boom on me he would say "That's a good move just in case you don't know it." Within three moves I heard him announce "checkmate!" thereby winning the game. The day that I officially became a man was the day that I finally beat him at chess.
5. What's one rule you always disagreed with while growing up? Is that rule somehow still part of your adult life? Is that a good or bad thing?
I really don't know!
6. Insert your own random thought here.
I haven't been able to get out much since SWMBO's stem cell transplant. SWMBO and I have been essentially quarantined, staying at home for the most part for the last 100 plus days. Upon reaching the 100th day post transplant we have been given a bit more latitude.
I have a friend with whom I share a special bond. We love to share a meal and just talk about all manner of things. We discuss our families, current events, books that we've read, grandchildren and a plethora of other wide ranging issues. We're also able to have frank discussions about how we are doing personally, i.e. physically, emotionally, spiritually and so forth.
This morning I was able to meet with this friend for breakfast at a local restaurant. What a great time we had! It's been months since we've been able to meet together and talk.
God has lavishly blessed me with the people He has put in my life. This friend, of whom I speak, is one of these special blessings.
You may count yourself blessed if you too have such a friend!
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
I hope that you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. As a nation, we have been tremendously blessed with having so many of our fellow citizens freely give their full measure of devotion by laying their lives on the altar of freedom. Thomas Jefferson once observed that the tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots. This past weekend we honored these patriots.
Today being Wednesday we participate in the the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce for another edition of the Hodgepodge.
1. What makes you feel accomplished? Explain.
I feel accomplished after cooking a full meal of meat, potatoes, and vegetables. I also feel accomplished after reading a difficult book, one that requires you to keep a dictionary nearby and necessitates reading the same paragraph or page more than once to comprehend the passage.
2. If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? Tell us why.
If I had my own talk show I would have, in no particular order, (1) Victor Davis Hanson, Historian and political commentator. He's a fascinating speaker who provides a wide breadth of knowledge and a historical context to what's happening today; (2) David Grohl, former drummer of the grunge band "Nirvana" and leader of the rock band "The Foo Fighters." David has a devotion to, and knowledge of, Rock & Roll history. His documentary "Sound City" describes the history of a defunked recording studio in Los Angeles, CA, where many of the icons of Rock & Roll recorded. The Foo Fighters album and documentary "Sonic Highway" is a tour around the country paying tribute in song to each region's contribution to music; (3) Billy Graham, Evangelist. Need I say more.
3. Do you have a great burger recipe? What's in it? What do you like on a hamburger and where is your favorite spot to order one out?
I do not have a great burger recipe. I do not have a favorite burger place either. My favorite burger has lettuce, tomato, cheese, onions and bacon with a dollop of ketchup and/or mayonnaise.
4. What's the biggest anxiety producing thing you do on a regular basis?
The biggest anxiety producing thing that I do these days is navigating the highs and lows of combatting SWMBO's cancer. She has been absolutely remarkable in her courage and attitude and perseverance in her fight against this pernicious disease. It's the carnival ride with ups and downs, highs and lows that you just cannot get off no matter how much you may want to.
5. This is the last Hodgepodge of May. Tell us about your summer plans.
SWMBO and I haven't made any specific Summer plans as of this writing. I think that we'll take a day or two and do something. Maybe another trip up Mount Washington, this time on the Cog Railway. Who knows?
6. Insert your own random thought here.
Yesterday was a good day. SWMBO got to have a visit with our granddaughters. It has been way too long of an absence. They love to do crafts together. This week's craft was creating tie-dyed tee shirts. I placed a tarp on the garage floor (rain was predicted) and off they went. Each girl made two tee shirts apiece. SWMBO made two shirts apiece for each of us. It was great to see her and the girls so happy. The girls hands and arm and legs looked like a rainbow. They had a lot of fun! However, it did take a toll on her energy. She is paying for it today. Was it worth it? You bet you sweet "donkey" it was! We live for days like this. I hope that you enjoy the rest of your week!
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
SWMBO & I are closing in on 100 days since her stem cell transplant. We will be seeing her oncologist to flesh out exactly what that means. Thus far we have been essentially quarantined in the house to avoid the possibility of her picking up any germs that may tax her new immune system. Her immune system has rebounded significantly. We are hoping for some relaxing of her restrictions so we can go back to church, Bible small group, and even a restaurant. So thank you all for your past and continued prayers.
Are you like me? Are you a luddite struggling in a high tech world? I'm surprised that I'm able to navigate the technological requirements to get the Wednesday Hodgepodge posted. Lately, I have been mostly unable to grab Joyce's new Wednesday Hodgepodge pin and post it to my Hodgepodge entry without narrowing my page margins, and once narrowed, I'm unable to widen them to their normal width. Today is an exception.
This is just one of the many tech related problems that plaque my luddite existence.
Well, enough whining; Now for this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Join us, I guarantee that you will meet some amazing people in the blogosphere!
1. What color is prominent in your home? Are you glad about that or wishing you could cover it up or remove it?
When it comes to decorating the house SWMBO has complete discretion, with the exception of one room...my office. That is the one room in the house that has been declared an "Estrogen Free Zone!" That said, the predominant color in our home is a moderately light shade of green. As far as being glad goes, if SWMBO is glad, I'm glad.
2. What's something you'll NEVER do again?
I will never drive the White Mountain Auto Road again. I drove it last summer because SWMBO thought it would be a fun thing to do on our vacation. She had a ball taking in the views! I was focused like a laser beam on the road trying to keep from driving over the edge. There are no guard rails and the drop offs are precipitous. The trip is about eight miles of white knuckle driving...each way. Next time, I'll pay to ride in a tour van that makes frequent runs or I'll ride the Cog Railway that also makes several runs per day. Then maybe I'll be able to enjoy the view(s).
3. Tell us a couple of ways you fit the stereotypes associated with your gender, and a couple of ways you don't.
The ways that I fit the stereotype is that I take care of all the "man stuff" around the house, like taking care of mowing in the summer and shoveling in the winter. I make sure that there's gas in the car and the auxiliary generator is maintained and stuff like that. I am also very protective of my beloved SWMBO.
A couple of ways I don't fit the stereotype is I'm not afraid to show emotion. I also do stuff around the house that are stereotypically woman's stuff. For example, I do the food shopping, cook meals and wash the dishes and clean the kitchen, and I do laundry, sometimes correctly.
4. May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. Have you ever owned a motorcycle? Ever ridden a motorcycle? If the opportunity presented itself would you hop on a motorcycle and go for a ride?
I have never owned a motorcycle nor do I have the desire to own one. I have ridden on a motorcycle a few times, both as the rider and as the passenger. Being the rider is much better. If the opportunity presented itself I would most likely pass. I enjoy my life too much to risk it.
5. If someone wanted to understand you, what should they read, watch, and listen to?
I am like the Chinese. I am inscrutable. I am an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a riddle.
If you seek an understanding of me, I can't imagine why you would, read the New Testament, particularly the Epistles. Watch any of the cop shows, NYPD Blue, Law & Order, Blue Bloods, to name a few. Listen to the music of the 60's and 70's...Creedence Clearwater Revival; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Kansas; The Beatles; & Boston and such like.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
On Monday there was another terrorist attack. This time it was in Manchester, England. A suicide bomber detonated himself outside the venue of an Ariana Grande concert killing 22 concert goers and wounding over 50 people. ISIS has taken credit for this attack.
These victims were kids who were having the night of their lives before their lives were changed forever.
These evil, murderous and ungodly animals need to be removed from the planet. They want to meet Allah, So I pray God that the military forces of the world's freedom loving nations unite and arrange that meeting very soon. They need to be removed from the planet, terminated with extreme prejudice, and sent across the river Styx. Other than that, I have no strong opinions on the matter.
Join me in prayer for the dead and the wounded and for their families. Please prayer for England as they mourn this cowardly attack and begin their recovery. Thank you!