29 May 2017

Monday Musings - Memorial Day Edition...
Welcome to the start of another week; a rather somber start however, for we take time to remember those who fought and died to make our nation (and the world) free. Still, this IS a day worth such an observance. More about that later on...
Our Hoosierland weather for today sees a cessation in the rain for most of the day, with a small chance of a scattered light shower. Temps will top out around 75 degrees, and hardly a gust of any wind outside. We do need some time to dry out, so what say we get the day started with a nice refreshing drink to quench our thirst and fuel our American spirit, as we see what's been going on elsewhere, hmm?
*** First off of the flagpole is our "What the hell happens today, Bob?" feature:
MAY 28 -
---it's National Coq Au Vin Day
(chicken, wine, mushrooms...sounds like a winner to me)
---It's National Paperclip Day
(such a small item, and yet so many uses)
---It's MEMORIAL DAY
(stay tuned for my "closing argument". on this)
*** Next, our weekend around the "Fortress" was a bit on the unusual side. Allow me to explain...
Grocery went normal, even though the store was more crowded than usual (holiday weekends do that stuff), and we got home without a problem. Wifey went up to the mall for her "nail job",  No problem there.
After she got home, I took to cleaning out our gutters, which REALLY needed it, in spite of the gutter "guards" many of which seems to be M.I.A.!
This guy's SMART - does it in the FALL! (note to self)
Hauling that big-ass ladder around wore me the hell out (gotta remember, I'm not still 35 years old). But I did get a LOT of crap cleared and the (brackish) water flowing DOWN again.
I even started my car...and forgot about it for OVER an hour...!!!
What a wonderful EXHAUST smell I discovered.
That's what being tired and distracted will do to you. Had to open the doors to ventilate the CO from there.
Yep, in the garage, engine running, burning fuel. That's what I get for NOT using the timer I always use to give me a 15-minute window for doing this. A victim of my own chiding - called FOCUS.
Anyway, no harm done (that I know of), and the battery is certainly CHARGED now...lol.
But, we weren't finished yet.
Pop's okay.
Around 6 PM Wifey got a call from her Dad's senior care facility (Vincnnes). Seems he was having chest pains and trouble breathing. A choice was made to take him to hospital and Wifey took to getting ready for a run down-state to be with him.
I (somehow) felt this was not necessary, and was pretty much opposed to having her on the road on a VERY busy weekend and having to deal with Indy traffic with the race there and all.
Well, she left anyway, leaving me a worrying mess, and after about two hours into her "jaunt", I get a call from Wifey's aunt saying her dad had run out of SINUS MEDS and that was the cause of his discomfort and NOT a heart issue. I told her aunt to ring up Wifey to tell her. Wifey calls me back and I said come on back home...which she did, but not after riving the Interstate for FOUR hours (plus). There goes a half tank of fuel we bought earlier in the day, but she got home after 10 PM, a bit tired.
I was just relieved to NOT have her out there this weekend, and told her my gut feeling was not to go in the first place.
You don't always have to acquiesce to fate every time it knocks at the door.
Sunday found Wifey starting out fine, but (uh, oh)...then having a migraine for a better part of the day (enough to make her sick, in fact), So much for dinner, but it had to be some leftover stress from the previous day. That'll do that to you, maybe not immediately, but later on.
I will say the Indy 500 was worth the watch. Great to see another 1st time winner (Takuma Sato - Japan). I always like the underdog in this race, and Sato came close in 2012 (but I did like Dario more - he's of Scottish lineage...sorry).
And Sato's win marks another win in the racing belt of the Andretti family...always good to see that.
As for what today brings us...we'll take it as it comes, and not before. As for dinner? Home made mac and cheese and hamburgers for today. Nothing fancy...just tasty.
*** Next up, let's see what's been going on at "Kitten Corner"...
"I haz a dubble?"
Well, the kids certainly related to our less-than-normal weekend.
After Wifey left to drive t6o Vincennes, they stayed close to me until she came home.
Then, they hung around her. In between that, they took to watching outside, making sure everything was fine.
Playing peek-a-boo.
And yes, they still get those "chasing-crazies" at least once a day.
Funny thing, Wifey was playing with Violet and the laser pointer. I was coming in from doing some hedge trimming, and the cat had a head of steam. I stopped in the family room...Violet didn't and wound up with a spread-eagle CLING to my camos, digging into both thighs. The look on my face must have been priceless, as was the picture itself (of anyone had a camera, that is)...LOL.
I can see the headline now:
"Daddy told me he was okay".
"Velcro Cat Removed From Owner's Thighs by Paramedics"...LMAO. 
*** Next, let's spend some time with our "Tales Of Midnight"...
Resting between rainstorms.
We didn't see much of him when the rains hit, and understandably so. He didn't get soaked, so his other spot is keeping him dry enough. He NEVER missed a meal yet, however. Gotta love such "dedication".
Oh, and he's a very good "supervisor" when it comes to trimming foliage...guards the tools well enough and never takes his eyes off of you.
He is always fast to give you a "leg-rub" as a job well done acknowledgment.
He also naps off the patio so soundly, that birds have a chance to come for seed ON the patio itself.
*** Last back to the garage...Memorial Day is a day with more importance attached to it than many people realize.
They're too busy practicing the freedom they enjoy, without nary a thought connected to the WHY behind their freedom.
All the sacrifice by all those exceedingly brave armed forces personnel over the history of our nation make such a thing possible, even to the uninterested and uninitiated,
One might say a blatant lack of respect shown by thee people.
It's not about sales at a store, or even a cookout, or fireworks...it's about a stoic resolve by those in uniform who served, fought, bled and died on battlefields of both here and nations abroad that make those cookouts and sales possible.
My Dad was keen on letting me know this when I was young, and I have forgotten it over six decades. All the parades we attended as I was growing up tend to stick with you.
When we take the time to observe this day, we do so with a purpose, and that is to remember the fallen, as well as those who came back to their families. We remember what they did, the conditions in which they performed, and the sacrifices they made JUST so everyone else could sleep a little easier at night, and breathe a little freer each day.
To those who served, the securing and preservation of freedom was a "job that needed to be done", and one in which our armed services performed in an exemplary manner.
To every other John and Jane Doe across our nation, I would remind them that such valor and honor is an example that we can ALL learn from, even if a uniform is never worn. We must all rise to the occasion, and embrace our freedom, rather than exploit ot or waste it upon frivolous pursuits.
Freedom is as precious gift as the time we are all allotted on this good earth. It's never guaranteed, and often must be fought for...and the price can be costly to bear.
Let us all bring to remembrance those who fight for our freedom, which makes our nation the special one out of many, and let us thank God every day for His divine providence along these lines.
Have yourselves a good Memorial Day.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.

26 May 2017

Friday Follies...
Welcome to our Memorial Day weekend.
I wouldn't put the umbrella away just yet, however.
Although today will see us drying out a bit from all the rain, we're due for more later this evening into tonight.
Our Hoosierland weather for today will bring us partly to mostly cloudy skies to start off, then a good possibility of some sun by afternoon, followed by more clouds and then...the rains return after that (so we're being told).
At this rate, maybe we should start pairing up the critters and looking for sales on wood and nails at Menards?
Perhaps not.
In any event, let's take this time to get ourselves a cup of glass of Friday Fortitude poured and parked close-at-hand, to better prepare for what this day (and the weekend) has in store...
*** First off of the rain-swollen rivers is our "What the hell happens today, Bob?" feature:
MAY 26 -
---It's National Blueberry Cheesecake Day
(cheesecake? say no more)
---It's National Don't Fry Day
(With all this rain, that'll be hard to do)
---It's National Heat Awareness Day
(and that's why we invented air conditioning)
*** Next, and since we have arrived at week's end, let's see what the following 48 hours brings us...
MAY 27 -
---Saturday is National Cellophane Tape Day
(remember, it's NOT waterproof)
---It's National Grape Popsicle Day
(one way to turn your tongue purple)
MAY 28 -
---Sunday is National Brisket Day
(never met one that I didn't enjoy yet)
---It's National Hamburger Day
(ANY day is good for hamburgers)
And there we have it...all the things leading up to our Memorial Day (on Monday).
Be sure to observe responsibly and always have a designated observer.
*** Next, and speaking of observing, you never know when God will show you something you need to see. I do believe that the Almighty DOES reward patience along those lines.
Here's a prime example...
Remember those little (bad-ass) neighbor primates that were tossing rocks and other assorted things around?
Well yesterday, they took to gathering stones, then running inside the fenced yard so they could toss them OVER the fence (and at passing vehicles, no less).
One FWCS bus went by, and although my vision was blocked, I could HEAR the stones hit the side of the bus, which did not stop. I got my camera, thinking "this could be interesting". Didn't have to wait long.
A minivan drove past, and I heard stones hit THAT, only this time, the vehicle pulled OVER and a white male got out.
He heard the kids rustling and he actually ran around to the back of the property where he confronted them.
He must have given those hellions some talking to (a couple minutes worth), but I couldn't hear anything. The man went back to his minivan and sat there for an additional 5 minutes. I thought he might have called the police (my phone had been in my hand since the bus got hit). Within 10 minutes, the van left (slowly), and the kids did NOT go back to rock-tossing.
Will this "cure" them of such behavior? I doubt it, but it might make them think twice about doing it again anytime soon.
Hell, I'd be happy if it JUST made them think, as this doesn't seem to be one of their behavioral traitss.
Still, it's times like this you KNOW there is a God.
*** Next up, I hear our own governor was in town touting Indiana's park systems. Here's the story:
http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/20170526/in-city-holcomb-touts-indianas-park-system
Foster Park, Fort Wayne. Does NOT suck.
Funny, that study I mentioned yesterday said both Indy and Ft. Wayne were close to the "bottom" of the list when it comes to parks. Someone doing a bit of  "damage control" here?
Oh, we're talking STATE PARKS...and not all the "local" ones.
"Clifty"? Kinda NIFTY.
So, we EXCEL at state parks, but kinda suck with city parks (where our money regularly goes)...that would make some sense, I suppose.
Better to waste our money locally than statewide, right?
*** Next, we have a name for the proposed makeover of the G.E. campus. Here's that story:
http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/20170526/ge-campus-project-gets-fitting-name
So the name will be "Electric Works"?
The way things go in this city, I wouldn't even call it "The Electric Company"...lol.
Sesame Street is getting a bit "warmer", but is no doubt copyrighted.
Electric Works sounds like a bloody UTILITY company...wonder if they'll charge us a "rate hike" for that? Just what we (don't) need.
*** Next up, the FWFD was busy recovering dead bodies from a river and pond. Here's the details:
http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/20170526/2-bodies-1-in-pond-1-in-river
The one body was found floating in the Maumee at the Tecumseh St. bridge, caught in a logjam.
The other was found in a pond at Lakeside Park, not that far away.
That should keep the coroner busy with some overtime.
What cracks me up, is that officials call that logjam a "strainer" (?!?)
Wonder how that will impact any riverfront development?
*** Next, time to drop by our "Kitten Corner"...
"Iz the ground drying OUT?"
The kids were a little manic early on, but settled down into their own "groove" during the rest of the day. They like the window perch as much as the patio door, and often take turns between napping to make sure all is as it should be. I didn't have a problem with that at all.
"I'm trying to nap here."
Late evenings, they both came into the living room, with Violet choosing the sofa to sleep, while Gallifrey chose one of the chairs there. And Wifey always gets a feline "escort" to bed.
*** Next up, let's visit our "Tales of Midnight"...
Our furry buddy spent much of yesterday drying out (as did we all), and stayed in our back yard near the fence.
He has become a mainstay around the "Fortress", and I caught him sitting out front last evening (before he headed off to wherever he goes overnight) looking as if he were protecting our house. Too dark to get a good picture.
He sat there like he owned the place, in fact.
*** Last back to our rain barrels...I like the (proper) traditions surrounding Memorial Day weekend.
It was always a time for some reflection, and maybe it's because Dad was in WW2.
Maybe it was due to the fact that we lived in a free country, and that the powers that sought to wage war had been soundly defeated, making such continuance of freedom possible.
Perhaps it had something to do with all the sacrifices made by America over our history. Such sacrifices were not solely relegated to those fighting battles both here or abroad, but to all the civilians, pulling together to make our fight for freedom (both for ourselves as well as for other peoples around the world) a noble struggle, as it should be remembered.
I never view Memorial Day as just another sale at some store, or another cookout, and certainly never a time where you blast some crap music from your car or home stereo at ear-bleeding, house-shaking levels, or blow off several hundred bucks worth of "fireworks".
Sadly, many today do just that, and never take into account the REAL meaning of this observance.
Tell that to ALL those buried at places such as Arlington, where the Old Guard have been placing small AMERICAN flags on every grave there.
For all THOSE souls is what Memorial Day is for, and should be honored as such.
Take a couple minutes to remember that this weekend. It won't cost you anything but your time, and you'll come away from it a better person for the experience.
Be well, make a difference to someone today, and as always...
Stay SAFE out there, America.

25 May 2017

Thoughts For Thursday...
I like rain as much as the next guy, but REALLY...do we need THIS much? All I want is to keep the neighborhood kids and the boomcar drivers indoors. Yesterday certainly did both...and then some.
At least it's going to be letting up...some time later on.
Our Hoosierland weather for today finds us with cloudy skies, temps only topping out in the mid-60s and yes, a good chance of some more rain (the low pressure system is rotating anti-clockwise). Weird, huh?
Anyway, let's take this time to get ourselves a cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa (or maybe even a tall glass of juice or soda) as we see what's been going on elsewhere, hmm?
*** First out of the gully-washer is the answer to yesterday's WHO SAID THAT? quote:
"He that is angry without cause, shall be in danger; but he that is angry with cause, shall not be in danger: for without anger, teaching will be useless, judgments unstable, crimes unchecked, To be angry is therefore not always an evil." 
This was spoken by Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 7 March 1274), who was an Italian Dominican friar, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. And here is his WIKI:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Aquinas
But be warned, this is a lengthy read, but worth your time.
((Thomas Aquinas is considered one of the Catholic Church's greatest theologians and philosophers. Unlike many currents in the Church of the time,  Thomas embraced several ideas put forward by Aristotle—whom he called "the Philosopher"—and attempted to synthesize Aristotelian philosophy with the principles of Christianity. The works for which he is best known are the Summa Theologiae and the Summa contra Gentiles. His commentaries on Scripture and on Aristotle form an important part of his body of work. Furthermore, Thomas is distinguished for his eucharistic hymns, which form a part of the Church's liturgy.))
And if wonder where the quote comes from, here you go (from the WIKI on Righteous Indignation):
((St. Thomas Aquinas, in the question on anger of his Summa Theologiae, quotes the Opus Imperfectum in Matthaeum, "he that is angry without cause, shall be in danger; but he that is angry with cause, shall not be in danger: for without anger, teaching will be useless, judgments unstable, crimes unchecked," and concludes saying that "to be angry is therefore not always an evil."))
Like I said, it's a long WIKI, but one which sheds a lot of light upon Christianity.
*** Next up, time for our "What the hell happens today, Bob?" feature:
MAY 25 -
---It's National Brown Bag Day
(a staple when I was going to school)
---It's National Missing Children's Day
(a sad fact in our society)
---It's National Tap Dance Day
(and in the rain, you can be another friggin' Gene Kelly)
---It's National Wine Day
(I know a few people who were WAITING for this one)
---It's Red Nose Day
(no clowning around when driving in this weather)
---Also, it was FORTY years ago today (got nothing to do with Sgt Pepper's Band, either). when the first STAR WARS movie premiered.
Now THAT was an event - got to go to an afternoon matinee...packed house and a whole lotta "WOW" to go around. Sci-fi has never be the same since.
May the Force be with us...always.
*** Next up, a story about a girl's stolen bike:
http://wane.com/2017/05/24/surveillance-cam-catches-boy-swiping-bike/
This took place around 1330 hrs on the near NE side of town. The homeowner just installed video cams (and a damn good thing he did).
A kid swipes a bike right from the person's property...bold as brass. And I would think that car that went by was driving the kid around and dropped him off to steal the bike.
So, WHY wasn't the kid in school, and where might he live? My guess would be SE. Seen kids not in school often enough just where we live. They can't all be "sick" that frequently.
You've heard me say this often enough; there are people who have nothing to do BUT drive around and watch other peoples' houses for crimes of opportunity.
Some even walk around.
The predators strike every time..like sharks in the water.
*** Next, well I suppose our drinking water will suffer due to these heavy rains. I can imagine all the crap that is in our rivers now with this rain event.
Wonder when or if we'll hear anything about THAT?
And speaking of our fair city, there was this article in today's paper:
http://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/20170525/study-ranks-city-parks-at-bottom
Our city PARKS are near the bottom of a study list? How's that possible with ALL the money being dumped into them?
((For the second year in a row, Fort Wayne's park system was ranked among the lowest in the nation in an annual ParkScore study by The Trust for Public Land. 
Fort Wayne's park system ranked 98th out of the 100 largest cities in the U.S., tied with Indianapolis at the bottom of the list as Gilbert, Arizona, didn't participate. The city received the same ranking in The Trust for Public Land study last year, which was the first year Fort Wayne was included in the survey. ))
Of course, our "good old boy", Al Moll had to weigh in on this:
(("It's impossible to measure Fort Wayne's park accomplishments by simply focusing on the ParkScore criteria", Parks Director Al Moll said.)) 
So how DO we measure it, Al?
((“We respond to the interests of the citizens and our benchmarks are specific to their needs. Furthermore, our city has expanded significantly and the new suburban developments have plenty of playgrounds, golf courses, pools and trails which aren't counted in the Park System Ratings,” Moll said. “Adding more parks to those neighborhoods would just be a duplication of efforts that our community hasn't requested and would be costly.”))
Ahh...well that explains everything, doesn't it?
((When adjusting for cost of living, Moll said Fort Wayne spends about $102 per resident, which is above the national average.)) Nice to know our money IS going someplace, even if we can't really take advantage of it to the degree we would prefer.
*** Next up, it would be nice to have a list of road closures around town (due to all the rain), but "challenge" for many.
Lafayette St.high water
I do know that even on the SE side, streets have high water on them, such as Rudisill. That's one way to deter crime, I guess. Drown the bastards.
I'm not seeing any list (now) to speak of. I suppose that will make the daily commute a challenge.
(later on, I did find one at the News-Sentinel website)
Haven't heard anything about school delays, but those buses have a high ground clearance, so no problems there. The issue is with the educators that have to get TO those schools to teach.
*** Next, time to stop by "Kitten Corner"...
"Thatz a lotta rain coming down."
Nothing for the furballs to do yesterday but watch the rain come down, and take a nap while doing so. I always found the sound of rainfall to be conducive to sleep. Apparently, our cats think likewise.
"Lotsa, lotsa rain out there."
Other than that, and a little chasing each other early on, they came trhough the day well enough.
*** Next up, Let's look into our "Tales of Midnight"...
A meal before it really came down.
Our furry outdoor buddy did get wet during the day, but not soaked to the skin (a good thing). He was there to get fed the several times I went out, except once in the early afternoon.
Another meal during the rain showers
He came by later, and stayed under the patio table for a while until the rain REALLY came down, and then he took off across the street to the garage where he stays overnight.
As could be expected, he was back over HERE for morning eats. He is reliable, if a bit on the damp side.
*** Last back to the deluge...people are often bold at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.
And not bold when they should be.
All too frequently, people will not speak up when they need to, like the way Christians are lambasted at every turn from the leftards and atheists. Turn the other cheek, as it were.
Good in theory, but usually bad in practice...although it can be said that it's better to walk away from stupidity more times than not.
People in general, and kids in particular today simply do not have the level of respect they should toward others, and yet, by the same token, pretty much demand the same respect they deny others for THEMSELVES.
That's a nasty habit to get into, and one which brings along a whole lot of societal problems.
We see that in schools, and especially in neighborhoods.
Acceptable behavior these days is a far cry from what we HAD when I was young, and ';m appalled by it.
I'm not being an old fart here, either. Fair is fair. Our society has lousy behavior traits today.
Has to be a lack of ethics and morality...their compass is pointed in the wrong direction.
We need to get back the civility we used to have, before things get worse (which they will).
And the sooner we all begin doing that, the sooner we can get back to being a lot more compassionate towards our fellow citizens. That you can bank on.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.