A Plea for Indulgence

Yesterday and Today (and if I’m being honest the last week) has been crammed with responsibilities that have wreaked havoc with my site responsibilities.  Even the sacred “photo of the day” and “quote of the day” have been negatively effected.

I beg for patience today while I’m away from the Compound on a mission of the highest familial importance.  I promise to catch up tonight and set all omissions straight.  In the meantime I wish everyone to have as good weather as we are currently enjoying and spend the time “at play in the fields of the Lord.”

Summer Solstice 2022

Well, here we are.  The longest day of the year.  And every minute of daylight is already spoken for.  We’ve got a party coming up on Saturday to celebrate my grandson’s high school graduation.  And Camera Girl has a list of chores as long as my arm!

Cut the lawn, install air conditioners, clean the barbecue grill, buy some gasoline, weed the garden, and on and on and on.  Normally I like to set aside the solstice to quiet contemplation of our small place in the limitless grandeur of the cosmos.  But I guess instead I’ll be scraping grease off of a barbecue rack.  I don’t suppose Aristotle had to put up with this kind of stuff.

But that’s alright.  The party isn’t the only thing on the list.  I have to get some supplies for the Yellowstone trip and this is the week when I have to figure out what lenses to pack.  And that means I have to do some testing of lens quality.  I have to decide whether I can just bring the manual 10mm Voigtlander lens or do I have to take the 12-24mm Sigma too.  Autofocus is not very important for landscape lenses but having the long side of the 12-24 might be useful under some circumstances.  I’ll have the 35mm 1.4 along but there’s a big difference between 24mm and 35mm.  I’ve decided to leave the 200mm macro and the 135mm 1.8 at home.  The 90mm macro is much faster and brighter than the 200mm and the 200-600 lens will cover all the telephoto requirements.  If I’m being honest there’s a good case for taking the 10mm, 35mm, 90mm macro and the 200-600mm lenses and nothing else.  But something tells me I’ll drag the 12-24mm along just for the sake of completeness.

Camera Girl has been kind of upset over a hawk that’s been killing the birds that come to her feeders.  So far, it’s done in two mourning doves and a chipmunk.  And insult to injury, it plucks the feathers off its victims before taking them away.  I’m sympathetic to her feelings for the birds.  She really enjoys watching the various species that are attracted to the feeders.  But my sympathy doesn’t extend to chipmunks.  They’re just striped rats in my book.  They’ve dug a couple of tunnels on this hill on one side of the house and have had a population explosion.  I’ll gladly pay that hawk a buck apiece for every chipmunk head it delivers.

I saw that DeSantis had a press conference where he countered the White House’s complaints about his administration not ordering vaccine for the 6 month – 5-year-old Floridians.  DeSantis very reasonably stated that the evidence that the regulators were pointing to for approving the vaccines for such young children was extremely unconvincing and so just as with the 6 to 11-year-olds, Florida wasn’t recommending people vaccinate their children.  He also wasn’t preventing it.  It would be a private decision between parents and their physicians.  Once again DeSantis comes away looking like the only grown-up in the room.

I guess we’ll have to wait a while longer for the Supreme Court to spill the beans on their decisions.  It will be interesting to see if Roberts manages to frighten any of the conservative justices away from overturning Roe v. Wade.  I’m also interested in how the Second Amendment case turns out.  These are very important cases.  A lot depends on their outcome especially with the mid-terms coming up.

Well off to the salt mines.

I’m Calling Out This Charles Lipson Guy

Back on the 14th of May I wrote a post called “The Five Stages of Grief – Part 1.”  Now I see that some guy named Charles Lipson has a post up at some rag called “Newsweek” entitled “The Biden Administration’s Five Stages of Grief.”

In my post I said, “People say that the five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  I think I have detected these stages in news coverage of the Biden Administration.  The Left is grieving for the loss of Joe FDR Biden’s New Deal Moment, the Great Reset, the Build Back Better Rip-Off.  If you think back to last year I remember when prices started to rise and the headlines were full of denial.  Do you remember how they claimed that the Fourth of July cookout was something like $1.47 cheaper than the year before?  And then there was the meme about inflation being temporary.”

Now here’s something from Lipson’s post, “Take inflation. The former administration spokesperson, Jen Psaki, initially denied rising prices were a problem. When that became laughable, the administration reframed the problem as a temporary one.”

What the hell!  When I want to talk about an idea that someone else has written on, I always give attribution and cite the work and put a link back to the original article.  But this Lipson guy did none of these things.  What the hell!

I challenge you Charles Lipson, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Chicago (if that is your real name!) to do the right thing and give attribution to Orion’s Cold Fire and apologize for your scurrilous behavior.  Have you no sense of decency sir?  Have you no shame, at last?  There you are at your fancy university in your la de dah city of Chicago taking the food out of Camera Girl’s mouth.  I challenge you to a debate.  Who is the greater pundit thee or me?

Well, I feel better now.  It’s good to get this thing off my chest.  Okay, let me go see what I can “borrow” from someone else now.

This’N’That on Thursday

Sunday is the family jollification (or shindig) so I have once again been a virtual serf to Camera Girl.  She had me getting the pool and the pool accoutrements brought up to her standards.  This involved extraordinary amounts of cleaning, water chemical treatment and just plain stoop labor.  Then I had to sweep and clean the deck and first floor and organize all the “stuff” that would be in the way.  In many ways she is reminiscent of Ivan the Terrible with her fondness for the cat-o-nine-tails and branding iron.  But somehow I have performed the herculean tasks she set me and I now can look around at the happenings of the day and see if I have anything salient to opine.

With respect to the school shootings in Uvalde the Left, as expected, has lived down to expectations and beat the gun control drum endlessly.  Beto O’Rourke has demonstrated his vile self-serving callousness by crashing a meeting for the grieving town of Uvalde to grandstand his stupid gun control act.

An interesting phenomenon seems to be occurring.  It looks like the usual leftist press outrage over mass shootings or abortion don’t seem to have the usual Republicans panicking as they typically do.  I think the public is outraged out and even the spineless GOP cowards are figuring it out.  When you have inflation emptying your bank account and crime running rampant in the streets it’s hard to come up with additional outrage to care about the New York Times’ talking points on some tragedy.  So even though the Left is trying to talk themselves into some kind of narrative where Roe v. Wade plus school shootings equals salvation for the Dems in the mid-terms I don’t think the polls are even budging.  Good.

I noticed that Dementia Joe’s Approval Rating has taken another hit.  On Tuesday Reuters had him at 36% Approve / 59% Disapprove.  The Real Clear Politics average (below) has him at  40.5% Approve / 55.2% Disapprove.  And that’s because even NPR has him 40% / 56% and Politico has him 42% / 56%.  These are in the tank fellow mouthpieces for Biden and even they have to admit he’s despised by the country.

My theory is that when his approval rating stays below 35% for a month there will begin to be a move by the Dems to find his replacement.  But to be fair I’m sure they’ll wait till after the mid-terms before they start baying for his blood.


Polling Data

Poll Date Sample Approve Disapprove Spread
RCP Average 5/2 – 5/25 40.5 55.2 -14.7
Rasmussen 5/23 – 5/25 1500 LV 42 56 -14
Reuters 5/23 – 5/24 1005 A 36 59 -23
YouGov 5/21 – 5/24 1332 RV 44 51 -7
Politico 5/20 – 5/22 2005 RV 42 56 -14
Harris 5/18 – 5/19 1963 RV 41 55 -14
Quinnipiac 5/12 – 5/16 1421 RV 38 55 -17
Gallup 5/2 – 5/22 1007 A 41 54 -13
NPR/PBS 5/9 – 5/13 1213 RV 40 56 -16
NBC News 5/5 – 5/10 790 RV 42 54 -12
Monmouth 5/5 – 5/9 751 RV 39 56 -17


I’m curious to see how Juneteenth goes this year.  I’m guessing it won’t get as much play as last year.  It doesn’t feel like a winner to me and right now the Dems are looking for some wins.  Maybe they’ll rediscover the Fourth of July for some reason and start waving the racist Stars and Stripes.  Should be interesting.

Well, we’ll see what new horrors await us tomorrow.  But I’ve got some fun ahead of me this weekend so I’m sort of content.  See you tomorrow.

Camera Girl Angers the Lightning God

Many years ago, when Camera Girl was just a simple housewife.  This was before she became a jet-setting companion to a high-powered photographic dynamo; me.  One day while I was at work, I got a call from home.  She informed me that the fire department had to be called because our electric stove had malfunctioned and burst into flames.  The highly professional volunteer firemen had heroically dragged the stove out of the house and it was lying on the driveway like some stricken beast brought low by forces beyond the control of nature.  And she further informed me that the meat loaf was still in it and unless I wanted to try carbonized beef we would need to eat out.  Now, I know for a fact that she’s always disliked electric stoves and ovens.  She claims that only gas stoves provide the kind of temperature control she needs to cook food correctly.  I’m not saying she sabotaged that stove but it is true she was glad to get a new one.  Even if it was also an electric model.

Well yesterday lightning struck again.  At about 4 pm I heard a loud crackle of electricity like something out of the Frankenstein laboratory scene coming from the kitchen followed by Camera girl screaming something incoherently.  I ran into the kitchen to find smoke pouring from the oven.  I shut the power to the oven and turned on the vent fan above the stove.  Then I took the smoke alarm off the wall and put it where it wouldn’t go off.

Sure, enough for the third time in her career as chief cook and bottlewasher in “Chez photog” the heating element in one of her ovens failed.  This time I was there so the fire department wasn’t needed.  I could see the element was cracked and the sound I’d heard was power arcing over the gap.  After gently coaxing Camera Girl off the ceiling fan, I comforted her in her terror and convinced her that all would be well once we got our local appliance store to send a serviceman to install a new element.

But when I called them, it wasn’t as simple as that.  After providing them with the stove’s model number they informed me that they would have to order this critical part.  And when I asked them when they would be able to send someone to install it the pleasant young fellow on the line said, “In three or four weeks.”   I dared not tell Camera Girl that her stove would be out of service for a month so I asked the guy how difficult would it be for me to install it myself.  He thought it would be quite simple and foolproof.  So tomorrow morning I’ll go and pay fifty bucks for this replacement part and spend some part of the day installing it.

Obviously, this is a double-edged sword.  On the up side, I get to save a hundred fifty bucks in service call charges and appear to be a competent and self-sufficient alpha male.  On the down side if I louse up the installation Camera Girl will mock me mercilessly.

Well, there’s nothing to be done about it.  I must rise to the challenge.  I was thinking of watching some episodes of the Honeymooners tonight to see if I can get any pointers from Ralph Kramden’s technique handling Alice’s bouts of sarcasm.  What’s the worst that could happen?  Where did I put that fire extinguisher?


04MAY2022 – OCF Update – A Week on Twitter

So I’ve been “tweeting” for about a week now.  I think I begin to get the attraction.  I think it’s the ease of putting an idea in front of a large audience very quickly and easily.  And also the speed with which you can see results.  Seconds after I put up a photo it’s been clicked on.  The downside is that there’s so rarely much feedback.

Another facet of the experience is seeing people you know or you’ve heard of putting up their thoughts.  Maybe you even interact with one of these well-known characters.  There is an attraction to that.

So the experiment continues.  Elon Musk hasn’t invited me over to share my thoughts on improving Twitter yet but I’m sure he will in a day or so.

Improving My Mind

Watching Joe Biden turn into a mumbling moron with stuffed artichokes for brains has reminded me that for us older folks it’s use it or lose it.  So, I’ve initiated a cultural renaissance right here in Dunwich.  I’ve got three very different reading projects going on.  They are:


  1. Northmen: The Viking Saga, AD 793-1241, by John Haywood
  2. The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Oriented Deliberation in View of the Dogmatic Problem of Hereditary Sin, by Søren Kierkegaard
  3. The Bounty Trilogy: The Complete Series: Mutiny on the Bounty, Men Against the Sea & Pitcairn’s Island, by James Norman Hall (Author), Charles Nordhoff (Author)

The Kierkegaard book on “Anxiety” is the most questionable project.  I took some courses in philosophy as an undergraduate and found them to be highly annoying.  They seem to spend so much time and effort splitting hairs that by the end, all of the audience has walked away in boredom.  And they employ so much specialized jargon that the notes for the vocabulary sometimes outweighs the text itself.  But I want to give this guy the benefit of the doubt.  He claims he wants to make philosophy more about what we need to do as human beings and less about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.  I figure the least I can do is slog through the argument.

The Bounty trilogy is just a book I’ve always meant to read and now have finally gotten around to.  And so far, it’s a good one.  I’m finding that the 1930’s Charles Laughton movie is pretty close to the text.  It’s an exciting adventure story that has the added advantage of having actually happened.  It is a fictionalized account but it is based on the documents left by the protagonists and by their descendants.  Other than the myriad of parts of a sailing ship that I don’t know the names of the book is a fast read.  I’ll have a review of this when I finish.

The Northmen book is something I’ve been interested in learning more about for a while.  I was writing a sci-fi/ fantasy story that used Valhalla as a plot element and I just kept running into aspects of Norse mythology and history that I wasn’t up on.  This book looked to be a way to fill in some gaps and also provide me with some information I’ve always been interested in.  The Scandinavians had a very large impact on several different aspects of European and by extension world history.  I feel like I should know a lot more about their origins before I start introducing them and their culture into my stories.  I’ve just gotten started with the book but already I’ve learned a bit about the origins of the Goths, Burgundians and Vandals that I didn’t already know.

As I said yesterday, our whole lives shouldn’t be railing against the progs.  As the ZMan says, a negative identity does not provide a basis for a viable society.  We must pursue the actions and goals that have intrinsic value.  If we are claiming that the Left is trying to destroy our way of life by denying us the opportunity to do things that we value then shouldn’t we be doing everything we can to do these things?  Otherwise, it’s all just cant and posturing.

So, stretch your mind and learn something new.  Then figure a way to make some of it relevant to your life.

02APR2022 – OCF Update – A Nice Quiet Day

This morning’s post was kind of depressing.  Talking about the awful situation we’re in is always grim.  But today was a beautiful day.  Chilly for sure, but bright sunlight and reasonable breeze.

Camera Girl and I took our morning walk in the woods.  She was a little feistier than usual but being a man of even temper and enlightened disposition I resisted the impulse to cut a switch and administer a husbandly correction as is my right by biblical pronouncement.  But it was a close thing.  Instead I gave her a lecture on the mistakes of allowing women to vote, wear shoes, learn how to read or talk back to their fathers and husbands.  She was sullenly silent but I’m pretty sure I got through to her.

There were lots of folks out fishing from the shore and on boats on the pond and on the lake.  There was some kind of public service sign asking fishermen to catch and release the stocked trout.  Well, this seemed kind of silly.  Sure, some people do this.  But the people who want to eat fish are going to keep them.  After all, they’ve paid their license fee and go through all the hoops needed to have the tackle and bait and drive to the lake and maybe own a boat and all that entails.  And then they have to read how the fish are filled with lead and mercury and probably viruses only known to Lord Fauci.  But then they still have to be harangued by tree-huggers because they want a fish dinner.

When I saw a guy throwing a pretty small fish into his bucket I gave him the OK sign and a conspiratorial smile.  He looked perplexed and maybe slightly annoyed.  Well some people are slow.  On the walk back to the car I opined at considerable length about this fishing do-goodery to Camera Girl.  She didn’t seem to hear me.  Probably some hearing loss going on there.

So today was a good day to take care of some annoying paperwork that needs doing.  And I planted some seeds in an indoor planting tray contraption.  We watched a tv show (an episode of Amazon’s Jack Ryan series) and listened to some music.  All in all a quiet but satisfying day.  And not once did I worry about that moron in Washington and the awful stuff he’s working on.  I took care of my own life and enjoyed the beautiful world that God gave us all day.

There’s plenty of time to fret and bellyache about the pod people next week.  For now I’m living large and enjoying the good life.  Have a good Saturday night.

25MAR2022 – OCF Update

Today was a fiction writing day, or rather reading day.  I’ve reached the 25% mark on the book and so I reread the thing to see if it was any good.  Surprisingly, I thought it was very good.  I would read it!  Of course 25% is just a beginning so there’s plenty of stuff to figure out and more characters to introduce but the story is defined and the feel of the book has been established.  And the ending is coming into sharper focus.  I think I’ve decided to end this first book with a definitive bang.  It means I will have upped the ante in a really big way but I think it’s the way to go.

I figured 25% was the correct point to make sure the book wasn’t terrible.  But it also tells me I’ll have to pick up the pace.  In fact one of my friends said I need to declare a finish date and stick to that.  That seemed harsh to me which means it’s probably true.  I just checked the start date of the document and I’ve been working on this thing for six months!  So I need to pick up the pace for sure.  My goal is to finish the first draft by June 30th.  That only three months but I feel I have to push myself.  That’s about 6,000 words a week which is a good amount but not impossible.  But what it does require is at least two days a week devoted just to writing.  So discipline will need to be instilled.  Unfortunately that is my weak suit.  Well growth is painful.

Other than that today, it’s been a pretty nice day here and we went for a walk in the woods.  Camera Girl found a dead mouse near the front porch and told me how bad she felt seeing it.  I reminded her that she’s terrified of mice and that the mouse’s family is out there eating her bird seeds that fall to the ground below her feeders and living in my tool shed.  This made her shudder and she walked away greatly conflicted.  Women suffer from emotional thinking which speaks well of their sentiments but serve them poorly when it comes to taking practical steps to deal with the world.  If I didn’t put my foot down we’d have racoons, opossums, foxes and deer lvivng on the porch and the animal food bill would break me.

I haven’t seen any interesting news today.  Just the same blah, blah, blah.  I’m sure Biden will say many stupid and incoherent things in Europe this week and Putin will be blamed for almost everything since original sin reached humanity but I haven’t detected anything new going on.  When I see something good I’ll put something out.  Till then enjoy the weekend.