Thanksgiving 2023

So, we’re hosting most of the family this year.  Camera Girl has outdone herself with five different pies and a twenty-five-pound turkey.  I predict that by the end of the feast I’ll be almost immobile.  But I’ll try to keep the grandkids amused with various holiday traditions.  At some point I will break out the “March of the Wooden Soldiers” and maybe “Gulliver’s Travels.”  Of course, both of these are 1930s vintage versions.

Hopefully we’ll head down to the first floor to play some pool and later on will come the pie and ice cream and coffee and some penny ante poker.  And I’ll ask my grandsons what’s going on at school and what’s happening around town.  I’m sure I’ll be brought up to date on whatever Pokémon acquisitions the youngest one has negotiated.  I’ve never really figured out what Pokémon actually is.  I assume it’s similar in intent to how we collected baseball cards as kids.  All I know is that there are thousands of different cards and some are “worth” thousands of dollars.  But to whom?

We’ve had our first dusting of snow.  It changed into rain in the morning and I went out with the shovel and cleared the slop off of the driveway.  And that’s necessary.  It freezes at night now and that slushy mess would have turned my driveways into skating rinks by tomorrow morning and that is something I don’t need on Thanksgiving.  So, we’ve broken the ice, so to speak, and have now transitioned into winter.  Of course, I’m way behind on my yard work.  And this makes it worse.  But it’s Thanksgiving so I’ve absolved myself of all blame and won’t think about it until Monday (or Tuesday).

It’s interesting.  Two recent international elections seem to be indicating a deep dissatisfaction with the Left’s incompetent economic and social programs.  Maybe 2024 will be more than just an American protest year.  Maybe the genie is out of the bottle and a whole lot of people are fed up with dysfunctional, incompetent, delusional Leftist ideas in general.  If it is we’ll see much more in the way of signs in the coming months.

Biden’s minions keep popping up in the Times and the Post announcing how the economy is turning a corner and how wonderful everything is becoming.  The latest hype is that inflation is reversing and now they have to be careful not to cause deflation.  The delusional nature of this nonsense is absurd.  It flies in the face of everyone’s knowledge of the cost of commodities in the recent past.  Everyone who has to run a household knows that everything is now vastly more expensive.  Things like cold-cuts have now become prohibitively expensive for many families.  Even staples like bread and vegetables have to be purchased with an eye out for sales.  But the Biden evangelists keep up the happy talk hoping that the stupid will buy into the lie.  As jaded as I’ve become with fraudulent elections, I’m still curious to see if a point might be reached where even the people faking the elections might think it was in their interest to get the Democrats out of power, if only out of fear that the economy might completely collapse under the weight of complete incompetence.

Well, for one day we won’t worry about the cost of food.  There are going to be pumpkin, apple, coconut custard, sweet potato and chocolate pudding pies with whipped cream and ice cream and who knows what other desserts.  There’s going to be turkey and sausage stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy.  And another whole list of side dishes that I can’t even remember, but I know there will be candied yams and two kinds of buttered rolls.  So, I have a lot to be thankful for.  I hope your holiday goes well and I will check in from time to time.

Late Night photog

photog – Welcome back to the show.  During the commercial break Senator Spekanaty had to leave to catch his flight back to DC.  But our next guest will be sure to please.  Of course, after his tour de force performance at the fourth Republican 2024 presidential primary debate he needs no introduction.  Give a big welcome to Great Old One, Cthulhu.

Off to the side of photog’s desk a large video screen lights up and shows the six-hundred-foot-tall squid-headed dragon seated on his throne inside his lair.  At his side is a hundred-foot-high glass bowl containing about forty live humans cowering at the bottom.  While speaking to the late night tv show host the eldritch god would occasionally reach into the bowl and pop one of the people in his mouth, much as one of us would eat a peanut from a bowl while speaking on the phone.

CTHULHU – Thank you photog.  You’re much too kind.  I merely provided a much-needed clarification on how to ensure civility and avoid confusion during these political debates.  If a pathological liar like Christie is allowed to continuously muddy the waters with misinformation about the possibility of reforming the federal government, why, people are liable to lose faith in the basic goodness of public servants.  In good faith I couldn’t allow that to continue.  Also, I was feeling a might peckish and he looked juicy and delicious.

photog – But weren’t you afraid that devouring the former governor of New Jersey would strike the wrong note when you were trying to represent Donald Trump to the audience of that debate?

CTHULHU – Why photog I don’t see how that could be.  For weeks everyone has been complaining about how candidates like Christie and Pence were wasting space on the stage that the front-runners should be using to explain their platforms to the Republican voters.  Pence had the decency to bow out.  Since Christie refused, I merely gave him an assist.

photog – So you feel no remorse?

CTHULHU – Remorse?  No.  Maybe a slight gall bladder attack.  Chris really packs a punch when it comes to the triglycerides.  Woof!  But look, we’ve got to get our message out.  Lots of people have lost faith after the events of 2020.  We’ve got to show we’re serious about reforming the federal government and clearly working within the bureaucracy’s rulebook is only going to result in the same failures we saw before.  Clearly bold and innovative methods are necessary.

photog – And eating up thousands of employees of the administrative state is that method?

CTHULHU – Hey look.  I’ve been restructuring dysfunctional organizations for a couple of billion years now both within this space-time continuum and without.  And I’ve never seen anything that gets the job done faster and better than chowing down on the dead wood that are standing in the way of progress.  And in fact, think of how this method also works to decrease the deficit and debt situation.  Every civil servant I eat is one less parasite drawing a salary and eventually a pension from the US Treasury.  It’s clearly a win-win.

photog – But couldn’t you just fire them?

CTHULHU – How cute!  You think that Washington works that way.  Trust me, you’ll be dead and buried before any FBI, IRS or State Department hack gets fired by the next Republican administration.  No, it’s eat them or nothing.  There’s no third way.

photog – Well, I guess you know what’s best.  But can you tell the audience of any other innovations that the Trump administration is planning to unveil before the election?

CTHULHU – Certainly photog.  After paring down the bureaucracy by 80 or 90%, I intend to make it my priority to reform the tech industries.  To that end I will be spending several weeks visiting the headquarters of Alphabet, Meta, Microsoft and various other social media companies.  I think I should meet face to face with Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates and their peers.  I have a few “suggestions” that I want to bat around with them.  I have this theory that if I show up looking in the 50th story window of their C-Suite offices that good things are bound to happen.  Now granted, I’m fairly sure that these fellows will end up lodged in my alimentary canal.  But we all need a dream.  And my dream is that one day these people will take a hint and do what I want them to do and avoid being eaten.  Sure, it won’t happen tomorrow or even ten years from tomorrow but eventually if I eat enough of these people Darwinian selection will lead to a better class of tech giants.  And that is my dream.

photog – Well, all I can say is may your dream come true.

CTHULHU – Sure, sure.  But hopefully not anytime soon.  With the skyrocketing price of meat in Biden’s America I have to eat as many dead-enders as I possibly can.  A Great Old One’s gotta eat.

Anyway, photog, I’ve got to cut this short.  I’m due in Brooklyn for a rally by the Pro-Hamas coalition of ethical hipsters.  I figure between the craft beers and the hummus dip I can eat a swath through them and really clean up most of Park Slope.  I hate hipsters.  I love eating them but I detest their annoying illogic.

photog – Well thanks Cthulhu for your time.  And come back any time.

The image of the Great Old One folded his front claws together in a sign of humble farewell and the screen went dark.

photog – I guess that’s all the time we have left.  I’d like to thank our sponsor Soylent Green for their patronage and add my personal tribute to their delicious line of energy products.  Remember, “When you want to feel keen, remember to eat green!”  Good night, everybody.

Cthulhu’s Letter to the Editor Goes Viral


Dunwich’s own First Selectman Cthulhu found himself at the center of a controversy when he was interviewed as part of the NY Times Biden/Trump presidential election poll.  At the conclusion of the interview the pollster asked the First Selectman how he would rate Joe Biden’s presidency on a scale of one to ten.  Instead of providing a number he stated that because of the absurd increase in the price of fast food he wanted to grill Biden over a slow fire and then devour him bit by bit as painfully as possible.

The pollster dutifully reported this threat to the Secret Service who alerted the FBI.  Once a warrant was fabricated, a breaching tank and a full retinue of agents was dispatched to perform a no-knock arrest.  Unfortunately for them breaching tank full of agents is just like stuffed lobster to Cthulhu.  After roasting the tank over his sacrificial fire for a few hours he popped the top and speared the contents and dipped them in cocktail sauce before crunching them down.  It was so good that he couldn’t resist a second course so he went on a road trip.  He strapped a big net about the size of a hot air balloon onto his back and headed for FBI headquarters.  Ripping the roof off the J. Edgar Hoover building he scooped up most of the upper echelons of the Bureau and began the trek home with his dinner crying and screaming for help.  Along the way crowds of Americans lined Cthulhu’s path cheering, pointing and mocking at the netted Stasi agents howling in fear.

Awakened from his nap by Dr. Jill, Biden considered launching a missile attack on the squid-headed dragon but what with the Ukraine debacle he thought better of it and instead called for a truce.  And during a gaffe-filled and incoherent address to the American public Biden seemed to imply that eating the FBI agents would be its own punishment for Cthulhu.  But he did thank Director Wray for his service and wished him luck during his upcoming and horribly painful enmunchening.  He finished off by relating the time he was stuck in the Cyclops’ cave and had to use wine to intoxicate the giant before blinding him and escaping.  No joke.

Unfortunately for the First Selectman eating all those FBI agents together was too much for his system and he developed a debilitating case of gout.  His left big toe swelled up to the size of a Volkswagen Beetle and he’s been limping around town like an old Beefeater.  But he’s learned his lesson and says he’s swearing off cocktail sauce.  From now on all of his FBI agents will be boiled, not roasted.

When the NYT pollster was reached for comment on the whole kerfuffle he only said, “Look we understand this is a heated election race but if we have to resort to devouring FBI agents every time, they respond to threats against a sitting president then the terrorists win.  I didn’t exactly know what he meant by that but the New York Times used to be a newspaper so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and sent his contact information to Cthulhu.  After all pan-fried pollster is considered the other, other white meat.

A Golden Fall Day

I look out on the golden sunshine on this summerlike day and rejoice that whatever madness the psychos on the Left have inflicted they still haven’t altered reality.  There are still seasons and sunsets.  The beginning of October means the last of the roses finish off and the Montauk daisies are beginning to bloom and, in a week or two, the wolfbane will open its purple petals and the lycanthropes of Dunwich will assemble to howl at the moon and pull up Camera Girl’s vegetable garden.

But out in the big world all kinds of crazy things are going on.  Republicans and RINOs are engaging in jousting contests to see who will control the Speaker’s gavel.  This is a situation without precedent in the modern age of Washington.  We’re in completely unknown territory and virtually anything seems possible, all the way from incredible disaster to surprising improvement.

Meanwhile, Biden and his handlers are attempting to convince their paymasters that it’s too late to change horses in midstream.  But the rank and file of the Democrat party are seasick from all the turmoil that Dementia Joe’s policies have engendered.  They look at the polls and realize they’re part of an enormous chunk of the country that wants it to stop.  The food and gas inflation, the sky-high mortgage rates, the food costs, the endless billions being shoveled into the Ukraine war, the violence in the cities, the rolling blackouts and the attacks on normal parts of life like gas stoves and gasoline cars, the homeless and the illegal aliens living on the streets and in the parks.  Even Democrat mayors and governors want an end to the millions of illegals flooding their cities.

And the Justice Department and the FBI have made a mockery of justice by their openly partisan and obviously concocted indictments against Donald Trump.  Every week they come up with a stupider basis for attacking the former president.  Now they’re going after him because they say he overvalued his properties when he used them as collateral in a loan application.  As if corporations don’t do their own due diligence when they loan money!  This charge is so absurd, that it boggles the mind that they could find a prosecutor corrupt enough to claim it.

So, as we march on into the fall, the drumbeat of doom and gloom echoes throughout the land.  Well, that’s as much as to say, situation normal.  There’s really nothing much for our side to do except avoid taking any responsibility for the trainwreck the Democrats have created.

The only positive act that can be performed is refusing to feed Zelensky any more money for his minions to steal.  Let that murderous boondoggle play itself out without us taking an accessory role.

Wait a minute, there is one other thing.  Refusing to approve an extension to the Patriot Act seems like the only really important accomplishment that the Republican House can perform.  Let it expire finally.  The fallout will probably be a false flag attack by the CIA.  But what can you do?  Our side can announce the expected attack ahead of time as a likely ruse and assume the American people have seen enough in the last few years to recognize when they’re being had.  After all the CIA is allowed to spy on foreigners.  They should have stopped the 9-11 hijackers before they ever got on those planes.  Any attacks by foreigners, including illegal aliens is handleable by the FBI without the need for the domestic spying built into the Patriot Act.

Well, that’s enough for now.  There are still a bunch of razzberries and grape tomatoes to pick and I’m waiting for the HVAC guy to replace the oil pump on my heating system.  I leave everybody to enjoy the rest of the day and contemplate the “state of the union.”  It should be an interesting season.

Wise Penelope

Περίφρων Πηνελόπεια – Wise Penelope

Can you read wisdom in that gaze?  I’m not sure.  But Penelope she is.  Or Penny for short.  And her mistress, Camera Girl. possesses the virtues of Odysseus’s celebrated wife in abundance; patience, cleverness and faithfulness.  So Penny it shall be.

Is that the face that launched a thousand ships?  Well no.  But maybe a thousand smiles.

Summer Critters 2023


This summer has been a particularly bad time to get out and take photos around the grounds and in general around Dunwich. It basically rains all the time. And I mostly don’t care to walk around in the rain.  Oh, I’ll do it from time to time just to escape from imprisonment but I’m not one of those people who enjoys “soft weather,” nope.

But we have had a few sightings of the local vertebrate fauna.

Starting with the lower rungs we’ve had the usual frogs and salamanders

And a few snakes

And more than our fair share of turtles

Including an attack on the main dwelling by this evil creature

With respect to birds I got this shot in a week or two ago in the puddle of a Great Blue Heron

And of course Camera Girl’s flock of turkeys show up for the casual photos around the bird feeder area.

As for mammals this year has been sort of barren of the unusual

We’ve had some rabbits breeding in the fields

And a fox or two.

But yesterday something new surfaced.

I was walking in the yard and as I passed the front shore of the puddle I saw vigorous rippling motion in the water and then a long thin outline breaking the water repeatedly.  The impression was of a weasel shaped creature but of a decently large size.  My impression was it was too large to be a mink.  And it was very aquatic in its motions, very graceful.  It was surfacing and diving in a continuous circle.  Every once in a while I could see the yellow color of a fish being dragged up to the surface.

I think it’s a river otter.  I tried to take some photos but they were pretty bad.  I only had a 90mm lens and it was relatively far away from the shore I was on.

I told Camera Girl to be careful about letting Little Evil Dog (LED) chase after anything near the water.  Weasels in general are incredibly fierce and LED is far from a great warrior.  I’d hate to see him become lunch for a large aquatic weasel.  It would be embarrassing for all involved.

Now I understand otters are tremendously able hunters of fish and the puddle is none too large.  I could imagine this creature emptying it of fish in a matter of a few days.  This would probably doom the giant snapper that also resides in the puddle.  A regular disaster for the ecosystem.  Ah, whatever.  We’re Darwinists here in Dunwich.  Survival of the fittest is our motto.  So bring it on otter and I await the outcome.  Let God and the Devil sort out their crews.

Real Artificial Intelligence

Many people have heard at some point in their educational careers that in 79 A.D. Mount Vesuvius erupted and completely buried the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum that were located at the foot of the volcano.  Vesuvius is located adjacent to the present Italian city Naples.

What most people are unaware of is that during excavations of Herculaneum in 1752 a building was discovered that contained ancient books, or more accurately, papyrus scrolls.  Unfortunately the heat from the lava flow had reduced these scrolls to carbonized lumps.  For the last two hundred years and more scholars have attempted to unroll these carbonized scrolls and read their text.  The painstaking work has only been minimally successful and mostly they’ve managed to find a small amount of text while basically destroying the scrolls.

But now modern medical imaging technology and advanced machine vision and machine learning techniques have combined to produce a possible way to read these ancient books.  Using x-ray tomography images that look through the burned books can help identify layers where ink appears on the papyrus.  Combining this with computer mapping of the ink locations the scroll can be “virtually unrolled” to reveal the text on the ancient remnant.  The proof of concept has now been performed on a small bit of the scan.  The challenge is to do this for the bulk of the document.  It is a daunting task because of the terribly distorted shape of the scrolls.

Now a million dollar prize has been offered for any silicon valley type who is savvy enough to take the scans and turn it into a readable text.

For most people this is meaningless.  Interest in even the books written a few years ago pales in comparison to watching a “TikTok” video of some vapid “influencer” describing her workout routine or grapefruit-papaya diet or other earth-shaking events. These old arcane texts have no bearing on their lives.  And the scrolls currently unearthed are the works of an unimportant Roman philosopher.  But it is believed that the rest of the unexcavated building is the repository of a very large private library that may contain many lost works by the best classical authors of Greece and Rome.  The lost tragedies of Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides and the comedies of Aristophanes and lost histories that we currently only know the names of would be immensely interesting to scholars and also people like me who find remarkable relevance in these testaments from thousands of years ago.

So the fact that finally there seems to be some real progress on this project that has gone on for centuries, I find fascinating.  But my skeptical nature also forbids me from allowing unbounded enthusiasm to blind me to the likely outcome; failure.

So I share this with you, my readers, to let you know what I find to be the real progress that “AI” can provide to the world.  Not ChatGPT which just automates the nitwittery found on TikTok but instead the brute force restoration of books that were burned to a crisp by a volcanic eruption almost two thousand years ago.  A computer program guided by state of the art imaging technology plucking lost works from antiquity out of a pile of ashes.  That’s magic.