02AUG2021 – Good Morning Gulag Archipelago!

Word today is that office workers in “health-related” fields in New England have reinstated masking requirements.  The local cable news is sounding the alarm that the delta variant is stalking the region and without masks and constant fear COVID wins.  Go Team Fear!  Of course the number of deaths seems to be completely petering out so I’m guessing that even the panic stricken New Englanders are having a hard time goading themselves into mandatory masking and the rest of the madness.  It’s sad to say but I think the delta variant is a bust.

Anyway, with my new emphasis on useful things I’m going to spend a good deal of today enjoying a beautiful early New England Winter day with temperatures in the high seventies and lots of blue sky.  I hope to get some more fiction writing done and some yard projects.  Yesterday Camera Girl lowered the boom on me and mandated that I clean out the gutters on the garage and pool shed.  This was an unsafe and unfunded mandate that required me to climb rickety ladders and face unknown dangers such as wasps, noxious fumes and repetitive motion injury.  When I finished I was hoping that at least there would be a sign or a banner declaring me “the real hero.”  Alas there was none.  The only acknowledgement I received was the news that cleaning out the gutter made the dog’s pen area “smelly.”  There is no justice.

Today I’m going to try and get some photos with the 200-600mm lens.  Camera Girl has been swooning over a family of rabbits that has been eating some of our hostas.  Since she won’t let me shoot them with a firearm I’ll see if I can get some shots with the camera.  Also birds and butterflies will be my other targets.

I can write some gloom and doom later but right now it’s too nice out to waste the time.  Go and enjoy the splendor.

A Message in a Bottle

A lot of you have seen the cartoon.  A man shipwrecked on a desert island writes a letter requesting help, seals it in a bottle and throws it into the ocean.  The punch line varies based on the philosophy or the humor of the cartoonist.  Maybe a bottle washes up with a sarcastic reply or maybe he is rescued and one day finds his bottle floating up to his home port or maybe his own bottle returns to him unanswered or maybe some pirates or cannibals find it and come to finish him off.  But the idea of sending out a cry for help to the world is a powerful concept.  It appeals to our feeling of solidarity with humanity.

In a way this blog is somewhat like that.  Trapped in my little corner of blue state America it’s easy to feel isolated and trapped.  Of course, that’s not completely true.  I have my friends and family and acquaintances that align with my way of looking at the world (for the most part).  And I can read the right-wing websites and even watch some of the non-leftist content on a few outlets that still haven’t cancelled it.

But in a lot of ways the world I remember is being erased and my world is contracting.  Thirty years ago public radio used to be fairly entertaining.  Now it would be like listening to fingernails on a chalk board.  I used to like watching a ball game occasionally.  Now it’s just another chance to insult me.  They’ve whittled away the things that made life fun.  Even the movies have become unwatchable.  And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

So, I had to invent my own game, my own fun.  I look at the world and I write out my thoughts and I put it into the bottle and I hit the enter key and it travels around the world and sometimes I get an answer.  It could be a yep or a nope or a pat on the back or even occasionally a middle finger but it’s an answer, it’s a voice, it’s an affirmation that the rest of you are out there.  It means I exist.  You comment, therefore I am.

So that’s the secret of this blog.  You all are the power source that make this blog work for me.  I get my motivation, my validation from your presence.  Even those who don’t comment but come back every week or every day or even several times a day reinforce my reason to write.  Sure, part of it is that I just enjoy the mental exercise of reasoning about the things going on in this crazy time we live in.  There’s value in figuring things out on paper (or pixels) and I think better when I write things down and I enjoy posting my reviews and my photos.  But I mostly enjoy sending out my thoughts and ideas out into the internet ocean and getting some bottles floating back with some replies.

So thanks to all you folks out there who show up and read my notes on the shores of this infinite ocean.  It’s nice knowing you’re out there and don’t be afraid to say hello if you have the urge to do so.  I can always use the company.  It’s an awfully big ocean.

31JUL2021 – OCF Update – Last Day of July

Tomorrow is the official first day of winter here in New England.  I’ll start up the snow blower and dig out my shovel, close up the storm windows and turn on the heating system.  I’ll put away the shorts and shortsleeve shirts and dig out the thermal underwear and mukluks.  It was a good summer although there was a lot of rain.  But now we have to get down to the serious part of life, surviving the horrors of winter.  We’ll be cheered by some of the winter holidays like Labor Day and Halloween but we’ll be ever conscious of the threat we face from frostbite and cannibalism.  Camera Girl made some veiled hints about there not being enough meat on my bones.  I sleep with one eye open and my right hand trailing onto the floor where the axe handle is there if needed.  Trust but verify.

Actually it’s been very pleasant the last couple of days.  Low eighties, high seventies and sunny except it rains at night, which is fine by me.  I’ve never seen the grass this green at the end of July.  All in all, pretty remarkable.  Camera Girl had a special plant of hers come up and bloom for the first time this year.  She says it’s called a moon flower.  It’s shaped like a giant white trumpet.  Something like an enormous morning glory flower.  Interestingly it blooms at night.  I’ll put up some photos of it soon under a separate post.  She was very excited about it and it was nice to see her so happy about it.

In related news some of the Elecampane seeds I planted may finally be sprouting.  Not sure yet because the sprouts are too small to tell.  I have more seeds and may put some more in dirt just in case but it’s encouraging to see something starting.

All kidding aside, today is the last day of July and that is a milestone around here.  The kids start getting anxious about school and with this nonsense about masking again I can’t blame them.  Maybe people will come to their senses and spare their own flesh and blood this nonsense.

Well, lots going on, more to come here.  Stay tuned.

 

30JUL2021 – OCF Update – It’s All Been Said

Last night I was putting up some photos from last fall for the daily photo and I had some quotes to download (some Thomas Edison coming up).  Then I was thinking about what to write for a post.  But without anything new in the news I had nothing new to say.  We’re in a bad place and it will continue like this for a good long time until something gives.

The Left is running most things and if they want to continue locking down the blue states and weaponizing the federal government against us, there’s not a damn thing we can do about it.  For the people lucky or smart enough to be living in the red states it’s different.  They can make changes to protect themselves from the feds and the Left.  DeSantis and Abbott are making some of the right noises.  Maybe we’ll see some sort of breakthrough that will spark some large scale realignment.  But right now it’s holding actions and some small efforts to clean up the mess.

And that’s not much to write about.  Abbott and Garland may be headed for a confrontation over Abbott’s executive order to criminalize transporting illegal aliens.  If it does come to a fight that will be interesting.  Seeing one of our guys standing his ground would be something to talk about.  But right now it’s just posturing on both sides.  So I’ve just said all there is to say.  DeSantis is going after the tech companies over anti-right discrimination.  But with the federal courts running cover will it stick?  If he does stick to his guns that might look like something interesting too.  But once again, to be continued.  So you see my dilemma.  There’s just not enough meat to make a stew out of.  It would end up just a thin soup with no flavor.

I’ll be putting together some culture pieces but those take time and thought.  So things are a little slow on the site right now.  But I think that’s better than just banging away at the same old themes.  Writing about the revolution when nothing good is afoot is sort of silly.  And since we’re deep into the silly season the next big news will probably be in September when all those blue states kids are going to be headed to the classrooms trying to breath through a gag.  Who knows, maybe one of the blue state governors will try to save his hide by leaving his state open and deny the teacher’s unions cover.  Or maybe a bunch of cities will start electing republican law and order types to save themselves from being savaged by Saint George Floyd’s disciples.  But I figured I’d explain the drop in output.  I’m also doing some fiction writing which also takes up a good chunk of time for writing and even plot outlining.

But for those who enjoy the content here I promise to be more resourceful and find interesting things that don’t depend on our political leaders doing the right thing.  Based on historical trends that would be a losing strategy

29JUL2021 – OCF Update – Not Much Going On

I’ve been reading through the news stories.  There’s not a lot there that’s “new.”  Will the stimulus be six trillion or one trillion?  Will the blue states force their slaves to wear masks again?  Will Nancy Pelosi declare all Trump voters white supremacists?

How exciting.

Honestly, I’ve got nothing today.  I’ve been thinking about what I should do locally.  I sent an e-mail to my local Republican Town Committee to see if they do anything useful.  I was told that they get together once a month so I’ll see them in about three weeks.

I’ve been struggling with some plot problems in my sci fi book but I think I’ve got a handle on it.  I’ve been trying to decide if my character will fake his own death and go underground to protect his family from retribution by his evil left-wing enemies.  I’ve decided I like it.  Now to build the details of the hidden revolutionary headquarters.  I’m trying to decide if it should be in the Rocky Mountains or right out in plain sight under the prairie.  I’m thinking geothermal energy would be the least improbable as an energy source for this super secret base.  Anyway I’m getting something thought out so today won’t be a total waste from an intellectual viewpoint.  Other than that I’m battling an algae outbreak in the swimming pool.  The algaecide I was using wasn’t very efficacious.  I’ve ordered a copper based solution which I’ve always heard is the gold standard.  Camera Girl has been critiquing my algae brushing technique.  Apparently she thinks it lacks authority.  So it’s back to the salt mines.

I’ll have something up later once my brain has a chance to percolate.

Normalcy Restored

That lying sack of crap, Anthony Fauci M.D., stole a year from us.  And more than a year.  He smashed millions of small businesses that took lifetimes to build up.  He drained away the life savings of a generation of hard-working people.  He interrupted and marred the education of tens of millions of children.  He imprisoned a nation of 330 million and delayed marriages, births and every hope and dream of a nation.  And the most horrible thing is that it was for no benefit whatsoever.  The same people who would have died from COVID did die and are dying despite all of the useless torture that was inflicted on the healthy population of our country.  He is a tin-pot Pol Pot.  May he roast in Hell.

But yesterday was a renewal.  Almost all the descendants of my parents were gathered together in one place and time and enjoyed a party that included all the familiar and life-affirming rituals of a summer get together.  And even the weather blessed us with perfection.  Eighty-two degrees, bright sun with just a few wispy clouds, bone dry air and a refreshing breeze.  Just warm enough for some people to go in the pool and just cool enough to let the young at heart toss around a baseball or play a few lawn games with their kids and grandkids and even let one person watch her great-grand-children play.

Camera Girl in her culinary wisdom decided that instead of a barbecue she would cook the traditional Southern Italian peasant feast.  Ziti baked with cheese, eggplant parmigiana, meatballs, sausage and to start with, our version of an antipasto.  Huge portions were devoured with zeal and fueled loud and animated shouting about amusing and nonsensical things.  And in my earshot, there was not a moment of political discussion or anger.  Spirits were higher than high.  The highlight of the day for me was a four-way catch with two of my grandsons and a nephew.  I haven’t really had a good long baseball catch since forever.  Even the afternoon sun that was directly in my eyes I found enjoyable.  I actually felt young again.  Maybe today my shoulder is a little sore but it felt fine while we were out in that golden sun.

When my younger daughter showed up with her little 2 ½ year old girl the baby was terrified by all of the old fat strange-looking men shouting to be heard over each other in the meal hall I set up with folding tables and chairs.  After all, she has spent her entire conscious life in lockdown and hardly saw anyone but her parents and grandparents.  A cacophony of sound and strange faces truly frightened her.  But her mother was smart.  She took the baby outside on the deck and then into the swimming pool that she loves and there she was able to meet and play with the other children and slowly by degrees bring her back to the crowded areas where even the loudest old men were, at this point, too gorged with food to make much noise or even move.  So even that residue of the Fauci curse was lifted.  From two to ninety-two everyone was partaking in an old-fashioned family get together.

And I will be honest when I say that the relief to finally all get together made this the most enjoyable, least stressful gathering I can ever remember.  By the time the pie and ice cream and coffee were finished and sun was long below the horizon everyone was satisfied and ready to gather their children and say their goodbyes and head back on the road to home.  But promises were made to get together at the other homes for other occasions and other holidays.  Labor Day and Thanksgiving and Christmas lie ahead.  And we have broken the ice and hopefully we won’t allow that creepy little man to steal anymore of our lives away again.  It’s over and normal life has returned.

23JUL2021 – OCF Update – The Prisoner Speaks

I’ve been washing venetian blinds all morning and am still only half done!  I’ve calculated that there are 450 individual slats to clean by hand one at a time.  Camera Girl is a harsh mistress.  Pardon my absence.  I will catch up as soon as I am released from bondage.

As a quick note I listened to ZMan’s Friday podcast and it was on “The Book of Five Rings.”  The book’s author was a 17th century Japanese swordsman named Miyamoto Musashi.  The book is ostensibly on the strategy of sword fighting but is actually a meditation on the philosophy of living in the real world.  I thought his podcast was extremely interesting and I’ll have to read book soon.  I wish the podcast was much longer it took my mind off the drudgery I am enduring.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

22JUL2021 – OCF Update – The Curse is Lifted

Three full days without a drop of rain.  Huzzah!  Today I saw a pale bedraggled brown snake look up at the sky and I thought I heard a hiss of relief.  He was sunning himself on one of the bricks I need as a support for a big old air-conditioner I use for bigger parties in the summer.  I regretfully moved him out of the way and he resentfully moved on.  Such are the small disappointments of life that we all must sustain even brown snakes.

Camera Girl is cooking meatballs, sausage and making a huge red sauce to use on the pasta dish for Saturday.  This is big stuff.  She’s got about thirty pounds of meat and the hissing of the cooking meat sounds like some industrial process whenever she takes one of the pans out of the oven.  Forces are being applied and profound sorcery is at work.  I’m giving her some space today since this part of the effort is crucial.  I have my plate full anyway.  Cleaning and installation of the A/C is something I like to do just right.  The unit is too heavy to be supported by the window and I never bought the chain hoist I wanted to get especially for this task.  So it’s a manual operation and my back isn’t as young as it once was so preparation and planning are crucial.  Luckily I’ve been studying the techniques that riggers use for installing 60,000 to 80,000 pound components.  It’s quite an art.  But I did notice that having a huge powerful young guy with a back of iron is one of the crucial components of a successful rigging operation.  Well I’m a guy so that’s one out of five.  And I am motivated so I predict success with only slight damage to life and limb.

I saw this morning that Tyler from Portly Politico was hoping that I had landed a personal interview with Hungarian prime minister Victor Orban.  Now I must admit that would be quite a coup for me.  But I’ll start smaller.  Maybe I can get an interview with Max Morton.  He’s a fellow who has contributed a number or articles at American Greatness and I find myself in wide agreement with his opinions.  But I haven’t managed to contact him so far.  We’ll see.

The Hungarians, Poles and a few of the other Eastern European countries have emerged as the most enlightened places for people interested in resisting the global Left.  Wouldn’t it be interesting if the former Soviet Bloc nations end up being the free world.  Life is strange that way.

Well, after I finish my chores I’ll look around and see what I want to write about.  The sun is shining and I’m feeling mighty optimistic so don’t be surprised if it’s something upbeat.  I just finished re-watching the final 2nd season episode of Star Trek, “Assignment: Earth” and will write the review today.  That’s the one with a very young Teri Garr.  Of course it has its Star Trek goofiness but it at least has a discernable story to tell so it will get a pretty good mark.

More to follow later.  Have a great day.

The Fellowship of the Betrayed

Let’s face it, we’ve been betrayed.  Not since that fateful night in Gethsemane has anyone been treated worse by “friends.”  I suppose if we were smart, we would shut up, play the woke playbook and start collecting CRT bonus points by attending a BLM riot in black bloc and burn down some poor neighbor’s small business.  That would be the smart play.  I’ve seen plenty of people do it.  I can think of one particular fifty something white guy who has embraced the whole thing.  He spends his work day giving training sessions in unconscious bias and white privilege.  It truly is enough to turn your stomach.  So, I guess I’m really not smart.

Good.  I’ve picked my side.  Now what?  Well, how about make the most of it.  Last Saturday I had the first meet up with the local group of deplorables.  Just some of the guys who were the Coffee Walk back during the 2016 election and their wives.  We had some good food and spent the night talking about life.  Kids and grandkids, work and family, even a little bit of politics.  It was pretty damn great.  We enjoyed it so much we’re already planning the next one.

And the on-line equivalent of that is the comments I get on this site.  I send out my thoughts and if they resonate with someone, he tells me what he thinks.  Now, I’ve never met any of these folks in the flesh but we can talk, we can share opinions maybe compare experiences.  I find this enjoyable, worthwhile.  I wish there were a thousand times more of you all out there.  I especially like when you talk to each other.  That really is the final goal, creating a network.

Taking this to its logical conclusion, smart people should be organizing a platform where this network can be focused on creating some concrete progress toward advancing our social and political goals.  As a for instance, suppose there was an effort to harness tens of millions of consumers to support or boycott some company based on its behavior toward our constituency.  Let’s take Coca Cola as a for instance.  Imagine if one hundred million people coordinated a boycott of Coca Cola for a whole year.  I think it just might drive them out of business.  But even if it didn’t, the damage that would be done to that company would frighten the hell out of all the other Fortune 500 companies.  And the same kind of action supporting a company that treats our people with respect would have an equally powerful effect.

Full disclosure there are websites who are trying to do this very thing.  The Media Action Network tries to coordinate e-mail campaigns against offenders and in support of allies.  But they don’t have the reach that an organization would have if it managed to mobilize the whole Trump electorate.  But that’s the dream, to see all of the deplorables joined together in a cohesive network and using that massive financial and political clout to accomplish concrete goals that would improve our day to day lives.  Imagine if we could scare the whole Fortune 500 into backing off their BLM support.  Imagine if we all quit Facebook on the same day and never opened it again.  I imagine it would knock half the value off the stock overnight.

So, this is my dream, to be part of the fellowship of the betrayed, to be part of a group that just doesn’t take our erasure by the Elites lying down but bands together to fight back.  My contribution is minuscule.  But it’s what I can do until something better emerges.  If you like my idea leave a comment.  If you disagree leave a comment.  Either way I learn something.

20JUL2021 – OCF Update – The Weather Gods Relent

Finally, finally, a day without rain.  So I went out there and cut the grass.  Although not all of it.  About two thirds of the west field was still too soggy to cut.  But the rest is done and now I’ll get back to work.

A week ago I was in a store looking for a baseball glove.  I have my grandsons coming over on Saturday and I want to be able to have a catch.  I’ve been using one of their spares and it’s a little on the small side.  So I looked at some gloves at a local store and they’re all made of pleather?  I was outraged.  The salesman called it vegan leather.  I walked out.  Finally I found a real leather glove.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  With MLB supporting cop killers and disrespecting the flag and anthem I’m done with them too.

But now I can enjoy baseball the way it’s supposed to be.  Tossing around the baseball with my son was one of my favorite memories.  It brings me back to having a catch with my Dad.  He never had much time and we mostly played with the other kids but every once in a while he’d throw the football or the baseball around with us and invariably he’d pull something in his back or neck or whatever.  He’d put on a big show of being injured and beg off from the game and just watch us.  Mostly he’d yell warnings that we better not break any car windows on the block we lived on.  But it was still something I remember fondly.

Camera Girl has given me a new list of demands.  I must sweep the basement, vacuum the window blinds and clean up all the junk so we can have thirty people on Saturday in splendor.  We’ll see about that.  Calls are coming in about food that people are bringing and Camera Girl is getting kind of uppity when I ask about the arrangements.  I think she’s trying to pick a fight with me but I’m too wise for that.  I told her that she can serve the food in a trough if she wants, as long as we feed the guests I’ll be good with it.  My family isn’t too picky about meal protocol as long as the food is tasty and plentiful.  And I’m sure both of those will be true.  The whole family hasn’t gotten together in two years.  So this is going to be kind of great.

And miraculously (although maybe I’m trusting too much to the accuracy of weather forecasters) the weather is supposed to be sunny and in the mid-seventies.  That should make the party very comfortable for everyone including the cook and the busboy (me).  So the summer has reappeared just in time to make the family get together great again (FGTGA).

The news cycle right now is full of the usual nonsense that the Democrats talk about.  Four trillion dollar stimulus bills that they hope to use for illegal alien amnesty and other horrors that they hope to inflict on us.  Good inflation and delta variants and Bezos in Space and Ben and Jerry’s joins the PLO.  The silly season is in full swing.  The runaway Texas democrats have infected Pelosi’ and Biden’s staff with the plague.  Let’s just say there’s no good news and the bad news is just too stupid to talk about.  Enjoy the summer and enjoy your life.  I’ll let you know if something interesting comes along.