27 November 2015

Black Friday Follies...
Well, the turkey's been gobbled, and the leftover parade commences.
NOW, we all can OFFICIALLY start the holiday season, although, by the look of the ads in the papers over the last MONTH, you'd think otherwise.
Yes, we're at the end of the week at last, and even if it IS a bit on the rainy side, the mild conditions aren't as hard to swallow as political rhetoric and governmental lies, right?
Our Hoosierland weather will see the rain continue into tomorrow, with the morning temps of the upper 50s giving way to more "seasonal" conditions as we drop through the 40s by afternoon.
Great day to get out and SHOP (oh, puh-lease)...lol.
So, let's all get our cup of Friday Fortitude poured (I've managed to spill some whiskey in my hazelnut coffee..clumsy me), and see what's been going on outside our humble abodes...
*** First out of the umbrella factory is our "What the hell happens today, Bob?" feature:
November 27 -
(now THAT one's a KEEPER!)
(boy, could those in D.C. take a cue from THIS one)
(how apropos - right after Thanksgiving)
---It's also FLOSSING DAY
(seems like a no-brainer after yesterday's repast)
---And, it's MAIZE DAY
(no, it's NOT a pluralization of MAY day)
(Okay, now THIS one has got to be made up)
---And, it's BUY NOTHING DAY
(We do plan to celebrate THIS one at our house)
---It's also (sighs) BLACK FRIDAY
(more about this in a minute, so keep reading)
*** Since it's the weekend, let's see what's going on over the next 72 hours:
November 28 -
(Oh, I am on this one like white on rice!)
(time to shop someplace OTHER than a big box)
(Okay, what pot-smoking vegan hippie dreamed this one up?)
November 29 -
(it's better in PERSON, trust me)
---And, it's INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE (sorry, I sided with ISRAEL a LONG time ago, considering that from a BIBLICAL standpoint, we're ALL descended from the 12 tribes OF Israel)
"As you were, ladies"
AND, the IDF women are a LOT sexier!!!
And there you have it. Plenty of things to keep you OUT of trouble.
Moving on...
*** Next up, do you remember me talking about how "we" were being FORCED (by technology) to bow to whatever was coming down the pike?
Well, if not, let's recap:
As a few examples, let's look at light bulbs. No longer will we be able to have those incandescents around, because the GOVERNMENT wants us to use LESS energy (while those in power fly private jets and drive 10 MPG huge honking SUVs). And while I DO like SOME applications of the newer LED bulbs (for outdoor use only), I'm still not a fan of this "mandate".
Same thing with TELEVISION...they stopped making (and in many cases repairing) the tried and true CRT screen sets (much to my chagrin), and instead tossed all sorts of newer, "smarter" flat-screen LCD, Plasma and LED sets.
Looks like even we will have to bow to this one, because there is no other choice.
And I said a while back that "they" (the powers that now CHARGE us all for the broadcasts we USED to get FOR FREE over the airwaves) wanted to eventually do away with CABLE and SATELLITE TV.
We'll we're one step CLOSER to that happening, and you have NO SAY in it (as usual).
Here's a story that paints the picture:
Cripes, leave it to ANOTHER (unwanted) government agency (the FCC) to louse up another aspect of OUR lives.
Set-top boxes (used by cable and satellite companies) may be going the way of the dodo (thanks to those morons).
What they "want" (read will force) us to do is connect to the INTERNET for TV viewing.
Anyone else hear "Big Brother" coming down the hallway?
Sure the TV suppliers make money off of those boxes, but new "regulations" will attempt to make things into another crap-sandwich (hold the special sauce) for those companies.
And "we" get caught in the middle (as usual).
BTW, no one ever said WHAT those (formerly) FREE airwaves we USED to have beaming TV signals into our homes are to be used for, did they? Where did all those channel frequencies GO, anyway?
Stay tuned for more on this, because you KNOW the screws will be tightening. They always do.
*** Next up, how did Wifey and I manage yesterday?
Well, Wifey's teeth weren't bothering her as much, so she was able to eat some solid food (doc said it would take a day or two), so as usual, I took to the kitchen and "did MY thing".
Not a huge dinner but we have PLENTY of leftovers. I take after my Mom on this one - she always made a decent-sized dinner on Thanksgiving (for the three of us).
And I'm not ashamed to say I can cook with the best of 'em.
It's a humble affair for us. But, I do this not in spite of the empty chairs we have around the table, but BECAUSE of them. I remember times when we had more mouths to feed, more people to chat with during dinner, and a larger family at the table (there were times back in Philly, where we had close to 8 people some years, counting visiting relatives and/or friends)
It's a time of mixed feelings for me, but it's also tradition to do things the right way.
Not to mention that we have another squirrel stopping by, and I have named this one BASHFUL.
"I don't know you, but I like you"
He comes within two feet, but no closer, so I have to drop the peanuts for him to grab. He doesn't take them and run, either. He will sit and eat them, and come back for another.
I was thinking "Son of Wrinkles"? Maybe.
(I can use the company, because I miss the little guy)
We still have PATCHES coming around now and then, so that's a good thing, too.
Then there's ZIPPY - the squirrel that will eat birdseed UNTIL you open the door to give him peanuts. Then, he takes off out of the yard like he was shot from a cannon...LOL.
I said "You can't get fed the good stuff if you don't come and get some". Such a duffus.
We also had a titmouse (with all those sparrows and wrens) and even had a hawk sitting on the fence a couple days ago.
"I heard there was FOOD here".
(that explains why no OTHER critters were around...heh)
We're more than willing to feed most any critter that decides to come by, as long as they STAY to get fed.
*** Next up, yes, it IS BLACK FRIDAY, and we ALL know what that means.
But, do you know the ORIGIN of the term?
Well, you can blame my place of birth for this one. That's right, it's all Philadelphia's fault.
And here's the WIKI to prove it:
The PPD (Philly Police) used the term to describe all the traffic jams and scores of people coming into center city for shopping the day after Thanksgiving, so there was no "endearment" ever attached to the term.
This dates back to 1961, and we used to hear that all the time back then (and even before that)
Rochester (NY) police also coined the term, so, if you want to attribute it to ANYONE, then it would have to be law-enforcement. Cops have this wonderful knack of naming things...LOL.
Philly police also had a BLACK SATURDAY, too (day after black Friday, obviously).
Even the city's Dep Rep (Abe Rosen) was unable to have that (Black) Friday renamed, and he was a big PR guy there.
Black Friday also came before the traditional Army-Navy FOOTBALL game which used to be held in Philly.
(Yeah, it was a logistical nightmare on the streets in and around center city)
The modern connotation of Black Friday has come to refer to the time of year when retailers would be "in the black" on their profit ledgers. Black ink instead of all the red they saw the rest of the year.
(believe that if you will)
Today, it ALSO signifies the dark side of society, with chaos abounding,and rising violence as shoppers become their own worst nightmares.
Now who'da thunk THAT, hmm?
There are more NEGATIVE aspects to this day:
--- Unreasonable demands on retail staff.
--- Health and safety risks due to insufficient staff for crowd management.
--- Selling "derivative" products with lower specs made JUST for Black Friday (bait and switch)
--- Many employees left with no alternative (work all weekend or be fired)
Yeah, 'Tis the season to be JOLLY...right?
(not with all THAT crap going on)
And now you know why "I" have no (personal) interest in all this day AT ALL...it's where and how I was brought up.
*** Last back to "Fortress"...I have no problem with the holiday season.
Normally, I would attach a provision there, but we all know the score.
Holidays bring out BOTH the best AND the worst in people.
Why retailers look to this day as a time to pit person against person beats the hell out of me.
Stores revel in this "competitive" nature of mankind, and all for some "baubles and trinkets".
Life is about so much more than "stuff", if people would only step back and see for themselves.
But, it's never about that these days,
It IS all about stuff...all sorts of stuff, and stuff that's on sale.
(I'd be wary of anything sold on Black Friday, because it's not REALLY one sale)
Retailers mark things UP before Black Friday, and then put them on "sale", which means it still is more than when it was on sale earlier in the year, or it's discontinued merchandise (many times) - this year's model, making way for NEXT year's stuff.
Talk about a crazy crossroads.
A vicious cycle of supply and demand, with YOUR wallet or purse at the heart of it. I say why even bother?
An INFORMED and PATIENT consumer knows more than an uninformed impulsive consumer. (any day of the year)
Better to step away from Black Friday, and just enjoy creation sans the hassles.
Life has enough hassles already, so why add to them, right?
Do have yourselves a great weekend.
Be well, make a difference to someone today, and as always...
Stay SAFE out there, America.

26 November 2015

Thoughts For Thanksgiving...
Welcome to that favorite time of year when we gather families together to share the bounty that we are fortunate to have - a time of blessings we have received, and that we can share with others.
We'll get to that in a minute, but we have some business to take care of first, don't we?
Our Hoosierland weather will be somewhat inviting, with a mild day that sees us with a high of around 60 degrees.
We will be stuck with increasing clouds, though and breezy conditions.
That should not cause our day to be diminished, though...right?
*** First out of the oven is the answer to yesterday's WHO SAID THAT? quote:
"There is one day that is ours. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American."
This was spoken by none other than William Sidney Porter, better known as O. Henry, an American short-story writer (11 Sep 1862 - 5 Jun 1910) and here is his WIKI:
It's not that long a read and worth a few minutes of your time (like after dinner today while you're waiting for dessert).
And yes, he was the person who wrote "The Gift Of The Magi".
What's interesting is that HE is the one who coined the term "Banana Republic" in his work Cabbages And Kings (1896) which described the country he was living in at the time (Honduras).
He actually fled America because of an embezzlement charge from a bank we worked at in Texas, Wasn't really proven, either..
It's an interesting read about someone we all learned about in school.
*** Next up, time for our "What the hell happens today, Bob?" feature:
November 26 -
See, there IS a day JUST for cake.)
It's a protest day created in 1970. Here's  the WIKI:
I'll say no to Paul instead.
(okay, who's the damn liberal vegan hippie that dreamed THIS asinine thing up?)
(and that DOES include TURKEY, so there!)
*** Next up,  let's skip all the crap going on in the world and concentrate JUST on what this day means.
It's a day when we give thanks for what we have.
But, in recent history, we've lost some of that meaning, and much of it has to do with the commercialism of the holidays.
Hey, I'm all for the capitalism that drives our country, but WE need to shut it down once in a while.
We need to take stock in OURSELVES and thank God for what HE bestows upon each of us.
As we get older, today takes on a more somber meaning - those we used to see around our dinner table are no longer with us, and the number of empty chairs grows higher.
But, if it were not for them when they WERE with us, we would not become who we are.
Living in the USA, we have so very much to be thankful for, and yesterday I touched on a very few of them (personally). We owe everything to our Creator, but many never seem to see that.
There are some that follow another path, and never content themselves along it, rather choosing to incite, confuse, lash out, and otherwise carry the baggage of anger, instead of any modicum of civility and kindness.
This time of year should keep us ALL mindful of the many blessings we enjoy, those who fought and died to secure those blessings, and those who brought us up to understand how IMPORTANT today really is (and not to get some 30% off sales).
It's about AMERICA (as O.Henry stated)...it's about US, and our relationship with the Almighty, and it's about family.
Let us strive to always keep such things at the forefront of who we are.
So, from our house to yours, may you ALL enjoy the many blessings this day has, and may God enjoy  HIS place at YOUR table this day and always.
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving.
(and stay safe out there, America).

25 November 2015

Humpday Happenings...
Middle of the week, and it's the day BEFORE Thanksgiving.
So, what all are YOU thankful for...and why?
We'll visit that in a minute, but let's take a look at that forecast.
Our Hoosierland weather will see us with more warming up and sunny skies today and breezy conditions.
Temps will reach a high of around 50 degrees, and no precipitation on the immediate horizon.
Not a bad way to greet a Wednesday, is it?
So, let's get our morning drinks poured and parked alongside as we see what is going on in this crazy world.
*** First off of the analyst's couch is our WHO SAID THAT? quote:
"There is one day that is ours. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American."
I think this only fitting given the turmoil we seem to encounter on many of those other 364 days of the rolling year.
So, WHO sad that, anyway?
The answer at the top of tomorrow's post.
Meanwhile, back at some "banana republic"...
*** Next up, is our "What the hell happens today, Bob?" feature:
November 25 -

(better than jello imho)
---It's also BLASE DAY
(certainly a day to give less of a damn about something, and NOT to be confused with Comrade mayor DiBlasio of NYC, who doesn't give a damn about our country all that much)
(I never need a reminder to shop, and neither do you)
(Oops, sorry, I thought it meant something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...lol)
Wonder if bow ties count?
Because we know there are some that feel that bowties are cool.
(I wish they'd use the shorter WHITE RIBBON DAY instead)
The only violence against ANY women I would sanction, would be if a woman was bent on stabbing, shooting or otherwise maiming me and wanting to cause harm to me or Wifey...then, all bets  (and gloves) are off.
*** Next up, and speaking about violence against women, they caught the two perps that broke into that Indy home and shot to death the pregnant wife of a young pastor there.
Here's the story
Young black males (possibly involved with gangs) committing burglaries...yeah, I called that one the day it came on the news. just had a "feeling"
When you live where Wifey and I do, and see the antics, you KNOW who is responsible...and who isn't.
The thing about this that pisses me off, is that these two have plead NOT guilty...
You're kidding me, right?
Give 'em the death sentence and be DONE with them. No more revolving doors in the judicial system
Such animals don't deserve the breathe the same air as everyone else.
*** And on the flip side of this skewed narrative, we have two cities facing "protests" from the Black Lives Matter group of assholes.
Here's the story from Minnesota:
Now, this comes in the wake of the Jamar Clark shooting (by police) and the most recent report has FIVE others shot near where the (Black Lives Matter) protests were happening.
Police there have arrested three involved in that fracas.
And here's the story from Chicago:
Damn, that's one nasty-ass "protester" trying to egg on a CPD officer, isn't it?
Wonder why there's NEVER any protests about all the BLACK LIVES being snuffed out by OTHER BLACKS in the community? Only the lives that are taken by POLICE are the ones that "matter"?
Whatta crock of bullshit!
Thing is, we're  concerned about terrorists from OUTSIDE our country getting INSIDE...while we have a more clear and present danger ALREADY in our midst.
Calmer heads don't seem to be prevailing in these situations, except on the side of law-enforcement.
This can happen in ANY city across America, and most likely will, given the nature of hostilities between certain sectors of the black community and police.
If people would just OBEY THE F$CKING LAWS, none of this would occur, but for some, doing the RIGHT thing is not only a moral impossibility, but obviously a social one, too.
Moving on...
*** Seems that Turkey knows how to shoot at things...like Russian fighters that continually cross over into Turkish air space. Here's that story:
That DEFINITELY left a mark.
NATO is taking a stand WITH Turkey on this one, and that's got Putin's undies in a bunch.
(bullies tend to react that way)
I think it's nice to see Russia given a black eye, although shooting at (and killing) one of the pilots from that plane is not being a "good sport", but warfare tends to block such things in the minds of those waging it.
Besides, the Turkish air force has a LOT of our "hardware" both on the ground AND in the air.
They're even working on a 5th gen fighter, called the TAI-TFX.
Not a bad looking ship, Has elements of both the F-22 Raptor and the Northrop YF-23.
And the Swedish firm SAAB has a hand in the development of this aircraft.
Yeah, those guys "came to play"...and they have "us" to thank.
Here's the WIKI on them - see for yourself:

And, you just HAVE to admire an air force that has the SAME emblem on their aircraft as the TARGET store LOGO, right?
Could we call this akin to what the movies anf television refer to as "product-placement", and, who gets any royalties, the TAF or Target?
On the eve of "Turkey Day", we have the country of Turkey gobbling up a Russian fighter, and with good reason.
The irony here is so good, it has to be fattening...just like tomorrow's dinner, right?
*** Next, Wifey and I trekked out to get her some oral surgery (OMSA) yesterday, and to say I was trying to NOT have an anxiety attack, would be an understatement.
Whatever cleaning stuff they use gives me flashbacks out the wazoo...and the FTW airport uses it too (must be popular and cheap). Once it gets up your nose, it STAYS there, trust me.
Anyway, she checked in, the Doc came and got her prepped (IV to knock her out) and I waited in the outer area.
Seemed like a long enough time when the nurse came and said she made it through fine and was recouping in a side area.
Yep, Wifey was definitely "out of it", but was starting to come 'round.
Short answer - ENOUGH!
Took a few attempts to sit up.
So, the final verdict was ALL wisdom teeth pulled, sutured up, ice pack strapped around her face, and a good case of the "staggers"...and it only cost a little over 7 Franklins (half of the total).
Nice job if you can stand the blood.
So, we drive home, an Wifey is getting more "awake" by the minute.
I stop at Walgreens to get her prescripts filled while she waited in the car. If it was going to take longer than 10 mins, I'd come back, but the pharmacist there said he could do it right away - cool.
That only cost under $10, and I made a friend there. Nice older black man who asked if I was in the military (had my camos on, what else?). I told him I "DID used to work for the federal government - treasury dept", and he thanked me...took me by surprise. Told him I did my small part (that was a GS-4 position in those days). Anyway, when he headed away from the pharmacy counter, he wished my wife well.
On my way out, I saw him in another aisle and wished HIM a happy thanksgiving.
Had a little trouble with the "handshake" - I was "out of practice" and told him I was VERY old school...lol.
We laughed and waved to each other
Good people.
I never get tired of them, no matter what ethnicity they are.
So, Wifey is home, got her pain-killers, cold-pack face wrap (that we refreeze every hour), and is on warm soft foods today.
Yesterday, nothing but room-temp Rush Limbaugh's "Two if by Tea"...heh.
Applesauce and pudding were also okay.
She slept on the family room sofa, and I slept in the living room, in case she needed anything.
She had some scrambled eggs this morning.
Went down okay, she said.
Her cheeks are a bit puffy, but the swelling will subside in a couple days.
Nowhere CLOSE to this...
Gonna take the better part of a week to get back to being "normal" again...just hope she's not any LESS "wise" from losing those 4 wisdom teeth.
*** Next up, still nothing on Mr. Wrinkles, but our other squirrel friend, "Patches" came by today. LOT more tentatively). Hell, we take what we can get. I have the peanuts...and the patience.
This is our "Patches"
Looks like the hind leg is better, because he's a bit more active, and he will ALSO take a peanut from my fingers (albeit a LOT more tentatively, and not AS often.).
Hell, we take what we can get. I have the peanuts...and the patience.
*** Last back to the out-patient facilities...times like what I experienced yesterday help bring home the fact that I did indeed have MUCH to be thankful for.
I have always been a WORRIER...you know the type. That's me in a nutshell.
But all the concern I have tends to make me AWARE, and CAUTIOUS, and able to "sess up" a situation.
And, believe it or not, I AM thankful for that, whatever it costs me.
When we stop to take some time and realize WHO we have become in life, that list of thankfulness gets pretty damn LONG, doesn't it?
It's not JUST the people who have touched our lives - parents, the mentors, educators, friends, co-workers and the like. It's all those "people passing through", as I like to call 'em. They're the ones you meet only ONCE, and they make an impressions on you (and hopefully you on them). The unknown souls in our lives...I'm thankful for THEM, as well.
I'm thankful for whatever money is in the pocket, a roof over the head, food on the table, all the basic necessities of living, many of which we take for granted every single day.
I'm thankful for friends, who are few and far between, but I appreciate them more this way.
I'm thankful for God's gift of life...DAILY.
I'm thankful for having God allowing me the opportunity to enjoy His creation as best I can.
And, I am thankful for our country, that has provided the freedom and liberty to pursue all the possibilities
that life has to offer all of us. Without that, things would be a lot worse, right?
It's only proper that we spend some time in quiet thought (or prayer) to remember everything and everyone  that got us to this point in time..
Have yourselves a great and Happy Thanksgiving. We'll catch you on the flip side.
And remember that a multi-dessert event is NEVER to be passed up.

Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.