01JUN2023 – Unofficial Summer Begins

In his ode to summer, “Dandelion Wine,” Ray Bradbury identifies June, July and August as summer.  And as opposed to the calendar and the astronomical basis for the definition of summer that it measures, every school boy of my generation knew it to be these same months.  And this year especially, the beginning of June is every bit as much summer as the more legitimate last week.  Today will be close to ninety degrees.  Nothing defines summer more than that Fahrenheit measure.  Ninety degrees Fahrenheit is summer.

And so, the laziness that is the glory of summer already holds me in thrall.  I have a laundry list of yard chores and yet I spend my time walking around the yard looking at flowers and bugs and listening to the birds quarrel over their nest sites and the fattest grubs.  Every once in a while, I’ll pull a weed but despite Camera Girl’s hectoring, I rarely carry the plucked plant to the mulch pile.  I usually just drop it where I found it.  Just too lazy to make the effort.  And that is the beauty of summer; giving in to the pleasure of lazy heat.  Every dog, every lizard knows the ecstasy of laying in the hot sun.  The heat bakes into your bones and the oven air scorches your lungs.  It’s remarkable.  And that is why the seashore is so perfect a summer setting.  It allows you to get that feeling over and over again.  You take the heat until it becomes unbearable, then a plunge into the cold water quenches the heat and you’re ready to do the whole thing over again.  The therapeutic effects of a week or two by the sea can sometimes offset a whole year of office drudgery and even a long New England winter’s worth of cold.

And while I’m at play in the fields of the Lord I can forget for a few moments all of the absurd nonsense that infects the present-day world around me.  I can forget the culture war and the collapse of western civilization and even the internet drudgery that I have embraced.  I don’t have to read what the pundits are saying and what the fake news is trumpeting.  I can forget about war drones following their GPS paths to destruction and watch their natural world analog as a dragonfly patrols the perimeter of the yard, as mechanical and precise as the machine but much more lyrical.

Later on, today I’ll get around to reading the awful news and the boring opinions of the pundits.  And I will have to be out and about on my list of chores.  But it was nice to be up and around early this morning and see the fields while it was still cool and moist.  All that moisture will be sucked up into the blast furnace of noon and I will take another walk to experience that too.  The grasshoppers and the bees will be about their chores and I’ll look for a good photo or two (or two hundred) and I’ll even knock an item or two from the chore list.  But summer’s begun and the living is easy.  Enjoy it if you can.

Capitol L Small A. Capitol F Small O Small N Small G.

I have an inordinate fondness for W.C. Fields’ comedy.  His henpecked, misanthropic “heroes” are among my favorite comedic characters.  Here’s a part of a scene from his movie “It’s a Gift.”  I’ve always thought that the insurance salesman sounds an awful lot like the talk show host Johnny Carson.

Podcast Musings on a Friday Morning

So, I started my Friday as I usually do, listening to the mellifluous tones of the ZMan Power Hour podcast while I exercise.  And as luck would have it, today’s show was made up of several segments about things in the news.  I like this kind of show because he puts his slant on these topics and it gives him a chance to be amusing at the expense of the clowns involved.

For instance, he commented on the recent Banking Sub-Committee meeting that featured Senator John Fetterman.  After a few clips of Fetterman attempting to articulate complete sentences about the recent bank failures ZMan opined that the real takeaway was that the Democrats want Fetterman there because having a brain damaged hobo in the Senate further disrupts the norms of our society.  After all, if the most powerful deliberative body in the world can include a man who can no longer master the use of the definite article, “the” in his sentences then why shouldn’t the country go for decades without negotiating a budget for the federal government.

And I get his point.  But the reward for me is listening to someone who can interlard his speech with a description like “brain-damaged hobo.”  There’s an eloquence, a style there.  We have to enjoy our lives and having someone as witty as that provides the opportunity.  And he has a number of these witticisms.  Some he borrows from impeccable sources.  He has taken Oscar Wilde’s phrase, “It would take a heart of stone not to laugh at …” and used it to very good effect on a number of occasions.  He invented that excellent trope “Xirl Science” where he reads from the published papers of mostly female practitioners of usually social sciences like “gender studies.”  The contents are sometimes hilarious in their use of pseudoscientific jargon and obvious lack of rigor or even coherence.  But my all-time favorite ZMan-ism was when he called David French an obsequious rumpswab.  It doesn’t get better than that.

I don’t always agree with all of the ZMan’s conclusions.  But his analysis of what’s going on is usually very insightful.  And his podcast is extremely well done.  The audio quality is good.  His thought process is clear and well enunciated and there is enough humor with the often-distressing message about our times to keep us from gagging on the medicine.

So, he did a segment on Tucker Carlson’s banishment from Fox News and their replacing him.  And while discussing this he made the point that eliminating Tucker Carlson may have also been a business decision based on the reality of cable news economics.  Not enough people are getting their news from cable channels to make it a lucrative business.  The highest rated news channels get one or two million viewers.  There are YouTube channels that get ten times that.  If Fox News pays Tucker Carlson millions of dollars a year, then there isn’t that much left for their bottom line.  And they would prefer to pay chump change to some kid to read off the teleprompter instead.  And I think he’s right.  They’ll be “retiring” all the high salary pundits and hiring kids who just want a job.

And that makes sense.  If a place like Twitter will give a megaphone to independent contractors like Tucker Carlson it may not be long before cable news is a thing of the past.  And that’s good.  The news channels have been shown to be a racket with their sham objectivity and their willingness to lie for the powers that be.  In a sense what I do is no different from what the pundits perform.  The only difference is the economics.  And honestly, that seems to be shifting too.

The ZMan provides a quality product.  The value proposition he provides is very equitable.  He provides entertainment and valuable information.  That’s much more than you get from many cable news shows.  So, it was a good lesson I took away.

Now to figure out a way to make it pay!

A Splendid Mother’s Day Post

Kudos to Menagerie over at Conservative Treehouse for a truly great post on motherhood.  Just reading it I decided I better be nicer to Camera Girl today  Happy Mother’s Day to all the real moms out there.  You deserve it.


Motherhood. Contrary to ridiculous claims otherwise, it starts with being a woman. Which starts with XX chromosomes and can never be changed.

It didn’t take God long at all in his creation process to get to the male, female, mother, and father part. I can see nothing confusing in his words.

What Is There to Say?

After a while we’ve said everything there is to say about the death trap we’ve walked into.  Everyone of us has read the umpteenth article on the managerial elite and the Global American Empire.  We’ve read the debates back and forth over whether this is a neo-religious cult or a cynical grift that the leaders of the Left have cooked up to keep the drones busy while they pilfer the treasury, or both.  It’s all been said.

So, what’s left?

Well, what’s left is us.  We still have to live.  We can’t just retreat to our living rooms, stop eating and die.  We’ve got things we want to do.  For some it’s family and responsibility.  For others it’s freedom and adventure.  But whatever it is we have to devote a certain amount of our energy to counteracting the intentional harm that our dysfunctional regime heaps upon us in innumerable ways day in and day out.  And chronicling these problems and pointing out the work arounds is one of the useful things that can be done by someone writing about our lives.

And we can pass along stories of victories and defeats.  Maybe one of our guys passes legislation to protect our side from some old or new atrocity.  Maybe some unlucky hero stands up to the thugs and gets railroaded into prison for the rest of his life.  All these things are useful because they teach us about what’s really going on.  Even if these stories find their way into the mainstream media the spin on them makes them almost unrecognizable.  So, the only place where you’ll hear our side of what’s going on is in some source like this.  And it’s the only place where the readers can comment on these events and give their own opinions.

And that’s another function of this activity.  It provides a means for like-minded people to speak their minds and pass information back and forth.  And that is valuable both as a means of communication and to improve morale.  Feeling alone makes our plight almost hopeless and if you can see that others are out there it encourages you to keep going.

And another reason that these sites are useful is that they provide a place for things that the outside world has eliminated.  As the world fills up with TikTok influencers cross-dressing their way into our hearts places like this can review movies and books that reflect the old way of thinking.  I can put up quotes by Thomas Jefferson and Rudyard Kipling that express thoughts that are strictly forbidden by modern leaders of government, academia and even the churches.

And finally, this site can allow us all to have a little fun from time to time by expressing our individuality.  One of the guest contributors can put up a photo or a story that means something to him.  And there may be a resonance in the other viewers.  There’s some camaraderie in being in a hated minority.  The plucky rebels can feel pride in standing up to the evil empire even if it’s just by calling out the crimes they commit.

So, just for today I’ll omit the rant against the managerial elite and the Global American Empire.  They’ll still be there tomorrow.  Today I salute Orion’s Cold Fire and all of its denizens.  From the lurkers and the regulars to the ringleader himself.  Long may we meet and grouse about the world.

Dagon’s Spawn Goes for a Stroll

Dunwich is the home of more than just Cthulhu himself.  In addition to the First Selectman several of his fellow Great Old Ones inhabit the borders of the township.  For instance, several of Dagon’s descendants inhabit the various lakes, ponds and swamps that overgenerously hydrate the area.  As I’ve often mentioned I am adjacent to one of these swamps and from time to time one of its inhabitants sojourns through or near the grounds.

Today I was in the west field collecting the scattered remains of some cattle that a shoggoth must have devoured there when I heard the sound of tree trunks creaking and cracking under the strain of some horribly massive object forcing its way against them.  As I watched I could see some enormous white pines toppling over far off in the distance.  I cautiously made my way to the location where the trees had fallen and I saw a terrifying sight.  One of the Deep Ones, possibly Dagon’s oldest child was just finishing off the shoggoth as a small meal.  It was of course eating it alive and its victim was changing form and letting out the most horrifying sounds ever heard by a human ear.  Well, except for that time Kamala Harris laughed at one of Biden’s jokes.  That was worse.

When the Deep One was finished with its meal, it belched thunderously and the air was filled with a sulfurous fume that nearly finished me off before the wind changed direction.  Then it hauled its titanic bulk out of the mud and battered a path back into the deeper end of the swamp where it disappeared below the surface with a sickening sucking sound.

Later when the sun had set the foot prints began to glow with a sickly yellow phosphorescence and any creature, insect or amphibian that touched those glowing patches jumped away in pain and rapidly died.  And I happened to witness later that night when an enormous gas bubble broke the surface of the swamp and a yellow glowing fume drifted up.  All the leaves above the pond immediately shriveled up and fell into the water.  I guess the shoggoth was a little greasy even for one of Dagon’s kin.  I wonder if they make Alka seltzer in Great Old One size.

Luckily (or unfortunately) I had my camera with me during the event and I had the presence of mind to capture the great creature returning through the haunted wood.

I intend to send this photographic evidence to the Department of Cryptozoological Studies at Miskatonic University where I studied under the eminent dagonologist Clyde Crashcupp.  With his decades of study and razor-sharp brain he’s sure to earn at least a Nobel prize with this evidence.  I may have to lend him a tux.  He’s kind of a hermit and wears a rope to hold his pants up.

Well, I’d better get back to my chores.  There’s a family of ghouls in the neighborhood and I need to get the fences fixed before they wander by.

13APR2023 – OCF Update – Out and About

I had to leave the outskirts of Dunwich today early and only got back in the early afternoon.  Things were going well when I got a call from Camera Girl stating that her old Toyota Corolla refused to bring her home and she needed a lift home and AAA to send a tow truck (or as the locals call it a “wrecker”).

Well, what can you do?  When it rains it pours and so instead of getting down to writing I had to get Camera Girl home and supervise the overhauling of her stalled chariot.  So here it is after 4pm and I haven’t got a sentence of creative writing to call my own.  Just this sad story about a sad story.

But there was a bit of human interest even in this prosaic event.  When the tow truck showed up the driver was a little laconic for Camera Girl’s liking.  Apparently, she belongs to the “customer’s always right” school of automotive services.  And during our ride home she railed against the young fellow and demanded that he shouldn’t get a tip.

I reminded her that today it was 83 degrees out there and a tow truck guy by the end of the day is pretty tired and on a hot day probably a little irritable.  And not everyone is super chatty and chirpy at their work.  And sure enough, after the fellow performed all his work and delivered the car expertly and without incident, I handed him the tip and he thanked me profusely and shook my hand vigorously.  And he said getting a tip was a big deal for him.  What do these women know of the real world that men live in?  Nothing!

So even though the day is consumed and I have no output of any kind, save for this slender reed of a story.  I am unperturbed.  My morning’s expedition was a rousing success.  The outcome of this mission was the best possible one and now Camera Girl and I will celebrate with forbidden foods.  Pasta and sausage and meatballs and garlic bread will be consumed and afterward there will be Italian cheesecake and ice cream.  So, there will be great rejoicing at the Compound and the peasants will rejoice.  Huzzah!

Later on, I will catch up on my photos and quotes and songs for the day and read some of the news of the day.  Apparently artificial intelligence is on everybody’s mind right now.  Honestly, I’m hoping that at some point natural intelligence will resurface on this planet.  We’re being led to Armageddon by morons.  It’s morons leading morons as far as the eye can see.  Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, Gavin Newsome and on and on and on.

At what point will any of these people be held accountable for the horrendous train wreck they’ve made of this country?  Does this go on until we’re starving and freezing in the streets?

The only solace I can take is that for a huge number of people all of this is common knowledge.  None of them hold Joe Biden in high esteem.  If the next time he falls down the steps of Air Force One he manages to kill himself no one will shed a single tear.  In fact, there will be hilarity and mockery for months.  Of course, the joke will be on us because then Cackling Harris would be the Commander in Chief and that would definitely end in a nuclear holocaust.

Well, I’m digressing away from the point.  Tonight, is a night of celebration.  No more talk of Biden or auto repair bills or anything depressing.  So, I’ll try to catch up on things tonight and tomorrow but this is just how things sometimes go.

Goodbye Kaylee

Our dogs aren’t our kids.  Maybe if you’ve never had kids they can act as replacements for that relationship.  But it’s still a mistaken idea.  Our dogs are not our children.  They’re our dogs.  But that is not a trivial relationship.

Dogs are intelligent, empathetic and loyal creatures that mistake us for family.  And so, we have lived with them for possibly hundreds of thousands of years until it’s become true.  We’ve formed a symbiotic relationship that is full of satisfactions and frustrations, misunderstandings and camaraderie.  In short, they become a part of our families and our lives.

But they don’t live long enough.  About every ten years, give or take, we have to say goodbye.  And that is truly terrible.  Three times before I’ve had to bring one of our dogs to the vet to be put down and three times, I’ve had to dig a grave.  I won’t say those days were the saddest of my life because losing a parent or a sibling or a child is incomparably worse.  It’s worse but it’s akin to the same feeling.  It’s terribly sad.  It takes the heart right out of you and leaves an empty feeling that hurts.

Next week it will happen again.  Camera Girl walks around the house crying and I feel pretty rotten too.  She’s planning what treats; ice cream and cake; to give her.  I’m picking a spot for the grave and figuring out how to arrange everything.  We’ve been talking about all the funny memories we have of Kaylee over the years.  It’s unanimous that she is the most lovable and loyal of all the dogs we’ve owned.  She will be missed.

Maybe having animals that don’t live as long as we do provides a foreshadowing of what we all must eventually experience; death and loss.  Maybe there’s some good that comes from it.  But it still feels pretty awful when it’s happening.  It feels like cruelty and betrayal and that you’re at fault.  It seems like they should live longer, maybe twenty years.  But I guess it would come to the same thing; maybe worse.

So, this post is a part of the grieving process.  Keeping dogs is a fraught experience.  We put a lot in, we get a lot out.  But the ending is an emptying of our hearts that makes you wonder if you should bring another dog into your house and life.  We still have a younger dog.  For the last twenty plus years we’ve kept two dogs.  But now we think about whether we should get a puppy.  Right now, we’ve said no, we won’t.  But I wonder.  Camera Girl is a hopeless dog lover and I know she’s always thinking about a puppy.  We’ll have to let time pass before we think about those things but I won’t be surprised if she changes her mind.  Old habits.

I can’t imagine what it is like losing a child.  When I hear about children dying, I’m horrified.  I was lucky in that my children were robustly healthy and never experienced any terrible accidents.  So, I have an enormous amount to be thankful for.

But having to bury a dog is a loss in the family and a thing to note in sadness.  Goodbye Kaylee.

02APR2023 – Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly – The End of the Experiment

Back last September I posted on finding a Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar and feeding it on sassafrass leaves until it transformed into a chrysalis.

Well, yesterday it emerged from the chrysalis.

It’s kind of a crummy shot because it insists on staying by a very bright window so everything is overexposed.  But it’s a wonderful harbinger of spring.  and after Princess Sack of Potatoes gets to see it on Tuesday it will be released into the great outdoors and hopefully will be fruitful and multiply.

A small win for the forces of life against the dark powers of death.  I’ll take them where I find them.