16JUN2022 – Dunwich Complainer – Campaign Season

I attended the Dunwich Republican Town Committee (DRTC) meeting last night and it was all aflutter with excitement about prospects for electoral victory.  Enormous dissatisfaction with taxation and economic hardship along with blatant partisan power grabs by the Democrats both locally and at the state level had convinced many of the committee members that this was the moment when the tide would turn and Dunwich would be delivered from the Democrats and a new order would prevail.

Needless to say, I sat in the back benches and kept quiet.  The report to the committee on elections stressed that victory would be assured if we could just get our candidates through the approval process this week.  All that was needed was the Selectman Interview and the fee payment.  The committee responded with hearty applause and the candidates were welcomed to the floor to say a few words.  These four men were new to the community but enthusiastic about taking their places as selectmen and guiding Dunwich to a new day.  Their spokesman displayed their application paperwork with attached checks and more applause broke out.  This further enthused the spokesman and he went on to say that the interview was scheduled to take place at this meeting and the interviewer would be the First Selectman.  The spokesman read from a card and had some difficulty with the First Selectman’s name, “Cuh Thu Luh or something?  Must be Samoan I guess.”

Silence descended on the crowd and I shrank even lower in my seat and edged over to the emergency exit.  At that moment First Selectman Cthulhu squeezed his bulk through the bulging auditorium double doors and ponderously plodded up to the dais.  Without a word he snatched up the application forms from the candidate spokesman in one hand and with his other arm he funneled the candidates into his mouth and noisily chewed, crunched, mumbled and swallowed the screaming men down his voracious gullet.  After one fairly loud and malodorous belch he turned around and plodded back out of the auditorium.  As he reached the doors his booming voice was heard to say, “I’ll have these checks deposited in the Dunwich Rainy-Day Fund later today.”  This latter reference was slightly insulting.  The Rainy-Day Fund was the First Selectman’s euphemism for his whiskey allowance account.

The rest of the meeting was slightly more subdued.  It was agreed by one and all, that electoral gains were probably not in the cards for 2022 but that the steering committee would go to work immediately drafting a strongly worded rebuke against the First Selectman for interfering in the internal affairs of the DRTC.  It was also unanimously decided not to publicly distribute this rebuke but maintain it as an attachment to the meeting minutes and password protect it.  After smelling salts and sedatives had been distributed to the women members and some of the less stalwart men a motion was passed to concentrate all of the committee’s time and energy to making the Labor Day Jamboree the best goldarned jamboree the town had ever had.  It was also agreed unanimously that future meeting would be held in a venue that lacked double doors.

07JUN2022 – At Play in the Fields of the Lord

Today was a day to get some stuff done out in the yard.  I had to do some measurements to figure out some volume and pH control problems for the pool.  Where’s that slide-rule?  Then I had some ultra-glamorous weeding to do, followed by fertilizer application.  I had to replace some components on the hoses I use for watering the gardens and I had to disassemble the lawn mower to find out why it was smoking.  Stupid mice.

But while I was doing that stuff, I checked on the elecampane (Inula) I planted in the spring.  It’s finally starting to actually grow.  About time!  I checked out the barn swallow nest and followed the parents darting back and forth and spotting from a tree for insects and keeping an eye on the nest.  Probably still on the lookout for that stupid blue bird pair from last month.

I went and looked at the sequoias and metasequoias and marveled at the growth they’ve put on since I planted them.  I spotted the first garter snake in two years.  After they were mysteriously absent the whole of last year one popped its head out of the day lilies and shot back in after seeing me.  I’m glad they’ve returned.  Otherwise, the frogs and toads might get too uppity.  I noted that the wolfsbane was doing better in one location than the other.  Maybe I should move it.

I turned over a muck bucket full of weeds near Camera Girl’s mulch pile and a couple of field mice or voles skittered away.  There are a lot of mice around this year.  That has me thinking of a new project.  I’m thinking of buying some black rat snakes and breed a few clutches of eggs a year and release the hatchlings around the yard, especially in the rock wall.  I think they’d improve the rodent ratio around here.  A big black rat snake can get over seven feet long and not only could eat plenty of mice but chipmunks and squirrels would be on the menu too.  Raising the rat snakes would take up time for cleaning and feeding the buggers but if I could establish a population, it would be well worth the effort.

When I finished outside, I read through the news articles.  Same old, same old.  When Camera Girl got back from the supermarket, she said it’s not so super anymore.  In fact it was depressing.  The half empty shelves were stocked with food almost too expensive to buy.  I commiserated with her and told her that hopefully this situation will get the Democrats fired sooner than later.  She said some very uncharitable things about Dementia Joe and I chuckled.

So today is a day for getting stuff done outside.  Not very good for writing on the blog.  Later on I have to find the next author for the Quotation of the Day.  I think Mr. Hobbes has had enough days for his say.  Who will be the next H?  Tomorrow I’ll write something mordant and wise about our political situation.  Today I’ll enjoy a June day with sunshine and warm weather.  I could do worse.

A Great Victory for the Muse of Home Repair

Forsaking my usual patron deity, the great goddess Atrophia, I made a burnt offering of 2X4s and a mitre box at the altar of  Δόμος Επίδοσις, The Muse of Home Improvement.  The smoke was propitious.  An eagle flew from left to right across the sky and dropped a 3/8″ hex head socket at my feet which I took as a sign from Zeus that all was well.  Filling my chariot with lag bolts, drill bits, pry bars, extension cords, two throwing spears and a two-ply bull-hide shield I thundered onto the plain of battle prepared to perform mighty deeds of valor.

My enemies fled before the baleful fire that flashed from my eyes.  I grabbed my weapons, jumped from the chariot and attacked on the run.  Within an hour I was victorious.  All my enemies were vanquished and I raised a trophy of the spoils of war.  Epic bards and rhapsodes will sing the praises of this day for millennia to come. Go pound sand, Achilles.

Translation:

That fence post support worked like a charm.  The post is straight and solid as a rock.  And the steel should last long after I’m mulch in the ground.  But there was no parade.  No hecatombs  burned in my honor.  Sometimes it barely pays to be a demi-god.

Summer All in a Day

Someone here in Dunwich flipped the Winter/Summer switch and now instead of shivering under a mountain of blankets at night I’m throwing off the sheet and turning on the ceiling fan.  Well, that’s as it should be.  Summer is brief and anything in the eighties is okay by me.

Camera Girl and I have been planting vegetables and a few flowers.  But today I finally ordered some thornless red raspberry plants for her.  She is a thrifty woman which I guess I should be grateful for but sometimes it paralyzes her if prices outrage her internal value measuring mechanism.  Somehow, she thinks people shouldn’t charge money for plants.  When this hesitancy goes on for too long, I step in and buy whichever choice I think she’d like to have the most.  Otherwise, she’d end up missing the season and be unhappy which would go against my internal value measuring mechanism.

Currently I’m studying the vagaries of lag bolt, pilot hole diameter as it relates to the designation of hard vs. soft wood.  I have been collecting the hardware I need for the latest battle in the war on decay.  Current my side is losing.  If the rain holds off tomorrow, I will venture out with sledge hammer, drill, hex driver and steely determination to set the world straight again.  Or at least several fence posts.

I consider this foray a proof of concept.  If successful, this will pave the way for a permanent solution to my fence problems.  If it fails, I must contemplate drastic measures involving steel posts and concrete which would be expensive and extremely time consuming.  But, ever the optimist, I refuse to even consider the possibility of defeat.

Camera Girl has been spotting critters around the yard.  She and the hounds have cornered some frogs and toads.  And yesterday she spotted a snake in her garden.  Her description was puzzling.  It was about a foot long and relatively thin but she said it was solid yellow.

We had a complete lack of garter snakes in the yard last year which was highly unusual.  I theorized that a warming event in the middle of the winter might have awakened the garter snakes and caused them to fail to survive the subsequent cold snap that followed.  Anyway, Camera Girl’s description sounded like an extremely unusual color and pattern for a garter.  I speculated that it was some kind of aberrantly light phase of the brown snake of which we have a generous number here.  I claimed skepticism of her description but she reminded me that I’m color blind so I deferred to her chromatic superiority.  I will search out this strange creature at some point.

So, I’m mostly enjoying the Summer of Dopey Joe.  Despite suffering through the annoyance of dealing with unreliable appliances from China and shortages of spare parts due to the “supply chain breakdown” I am still mostly cheerful.  Of course, if rolling blackouts become the outrage of the month in August that would tick me off.  But it would also give us a shot at winning some of the New England states in November.  And that would be an especially sweet cherry on top of the schadenfreude parfait.  There are hints of congressional and senate seats that might flip.  These would be transitory gains.  New England is permanently blue.  The people live at the center of the Cathedral.  But if just for a moment, as some sort of involuntary reflex, they vote for a Republican it would be a barometer of the depths of incompetence of the Biden Administration and a harbinger of disaster for the Democrats in 2024.

And that’s something I always want to celebrate.  Now where is that sunscreen?

Huzzah!!!! I’m a Gosh Darned Capitalist at Last.

I finally figured out how to sell stuff at Fine Arts America and I’ve added the link to that button at top that says “Stuff to Buy.”

All this stuff is a pain in the neck but I guess it’s the first step to becoming fabulously wealthy.

Here’s a copy of the link if you’d like to go to my page there and heckle me.

https://fineartamerica.com/art/pho+tog?searchType=artistname

 

Here’s a Sample From My Unfinished Sci-Fi Book

Here’s a sample of a book I’m currently about a quarter of the way through.  If you look at the Header of the website there’s a new link to “Stuff to Buy.”  That where I’ll embed links to books and photogrpaphy I’ll have to sell soon.

 

 

The American Archipelago

Book 1 – The Sniper

Chapter 1 – An Object Lesson

Joseph Boghadair was set up at a loophole in a small prefabricated metal building at the top of a mountain that contained the Icarus Mine.  His .50 caliber sniper rifle was trained on the narrow road that led up to the mine.  He could see a line of black SUVs about a mile and a half down the road and he was getting ready to start firing on the convoy.  His first shots took out the engine of the lead vehicle thereby halting the convoy.  His second volley took out the engine of the last car in line thus trapping the rest of the vehicles between.  Then at a more leisurely pace he took care of the other eight vehicles.  By this point the passengers were crouching behind their disabled cars and randomly firing handguns and assault weapons in Joseph’s general direction with almost no discernible results.

After about half an hour a few of the men in black body armor attempted to reach a stand of trees about 300 yards away to their left.  Joseph put a few well aimed rounds in front of their path and they quickly retreated back to the supposed safety of their not so mobile autos.  Joseph snorted wryly at their shyness.

An hour after that a helicopter approached the mountain from the opposite direction to Joseph’s loophole.  Walking over to a window on the other wall he could see a distant Blackhawk approaching at relatively high altitude.  Joseph then began his preparations for their reception.

Between crew and troops, the Blackhawk had a dozen men on board.  And more importantly it had a couple of hellfire missiles.  From a very safe distance away it targeted Joseph’s position and fired.  The missile struck precisely on target and obliterated the steel structure almost completely.  All that remained was the foundation of the structure around the mine shaft, now clogged with debris.

The Blackhawk landed about three quarters of a mile from the mine entrance.  At this point the agents hunkered down behind their vehicles began to stream toward the helicopter.  By the time they reached the aircraft the troops had exited and were waiting for their rescued brethren to arrive.

FBI Special Agent in Charge, George Chastain assembled both teams and briefed them on the updated mission plan.  “We will proceed to the mine head and look for any human remains.  We will collect whatever we can retrieve for lab analysis and attempt to seal the mine head until qualified personnel can be assembled for recovery operations.  It is presumed that the target, Joseph Boghadair was killed by the missile strike but we will take no chances.  He was an extremely dangerous individual and should not be approached by anyone without backup and prior approval from leadership.  In addition to his war record it is believed that Boghadair is responsible for the shooting deaths of forty-six people in the last six months with thirteen of those people being FBI personnel.  No one enters the mine until remote sensing equipment is brought in.  Alright, proceed.”

The agents formed two groups.  Apparently, SUV agents and helicopter agents must not bond very well.  But before they were more than a hundred feet from the helicopter a series of incredibly powerful explosions shook the ground and knocked them off their feet.  And while they were holding onto the ground for dear life, they could see that the high ground where the mine head was located collapsed into the earth.  The roar of that collapse was more frightening than the initial earthquake and some of the agents hid their heads under their arms in abject terror.  When the mountain stopped shaking the men started to collect themselves and stand up.  When they looked around them, they were astonished.  A circular pit had opened up centered on the mine head.  It was a thousand yards in diameter and so deep that only blackness could be seen at its center.  Several cracks had formed outside the circular pit.  One of these had nearly swallowed the Blackhawk.  It was on its side and half buried in the crevice.  Its rotors were fractured and it wouldn’t be flying away from this landing.

Chastain went over to the edge of the crater and just stared down into the blackness below.  Then he went back to his team and started giving orders to begin a retreat from the stricken mountain.  He was trying to think of what he was going to tell his boss.  Nothing reasonable came to mind.

Anxiety as an Indicator of Engagement in Life

A very old friend sent me this link.  My family is almost defined by its perpetual state of angst.  So the relevance of this video to my perspective was immediately apparent to me.  But I think it may be interesting to a large cross-section of people in our modern angst-filled world.  Basically Kierkegaard’s theory was that anxiety was a necessary part of life and the way to ensure that it didn’t destroy one’s ability to function was to focus on pursuits that were passionately important so that this passion would sustain someone to the completion of his objectives.

15APR2022 – OCF Update – Good Friday All Around

Life is good today.  It rained hard last night and now it’s a bright sunny day.  Now that’s the way to arrange the weather!  My thanks to the Man Upstairs for this indulgence.

A beautiful day for a walk in the woods.  A good telecon with a business consultant.  Useful actionable advice.  Progress on all fronts of the business effort.  No new roadblocks appearing.  Domestic tranquility continues.  Plans for the summer Yellowstone trip coalescing nicely  Some books and movies to finish up for reviews. Projects around the house and yard coming along fine.  What can I say?  Life is good today.

Of course, in the larger world, that sleazy dopey wrecker in the White House continues to dismantle the United States of America with alarming speed.  The economy continues to shake itself to pieces with costs soaring into the stratosphere and staple supplies disappearing from store shelves on a random basis.  Disorder stalks the metropolitan areas and international relations are becoming strained even among supposed allies.

But today is Good Friday.  For Christians a time to reflect on the things that are most important in life.  Most fundamentally, on our families and friends.  Jesus spoke mostly of love.  Right now it is paramount that we love and protect those we care about.  Protect them from the coming storms.

But right at this moment we can also share some happy moments with them.  Sunday we’re getting together at the house of one of my daughters.  All of my grandchildren will be there and all but one of my children.  We’ll eat way too much fattening food and I hope we’ll have a chance to throw a baseball around.  But the forecast isn’t promising.  Cold and wet is the forecast.

But that matters not at all.  We’ll talk about what the kids are up to and applaud their sports victories and condole the losses.  We’ll talk about upcoming college admission.  We’ll talk about vacation plans and trips on the new boat that’s in the driveway.  and there will be talk about dinosaurs with my youngest grandson who is a connoisseur of all things saurian.

And I know Camera Girl is going to bake a ricotta cheesecake for the holiday and that is one of my favorites.  And even though I’ve switched from coffee to tea this year I will indulge in some good coffee for the occasion.  And I intend to revel in the chaos of five grandchildren playing (and fighting) all around me.  And I intend to participate in the games of whatever variety they choose.  Last time we got together they had me try out an virtual reality contraption called an Occulus.  I bought this for them a couple of years ago and I was surprised at just how realistic the illusion it produces is.

It’s funny how these holidays provide so much continuity in our lives.  It’s comforting to have these rituals to ground us and those we love in a familiar pattern.  And for me Easter is a pivotal point in the year.  Long New England winters finally release the landscape around Easter and people can go outside and breath a little fresh air.  It’s the beginning of outdoor life.

Everyone enjoy the day especially those who are religious.  And get a little air and sun if it’s around.

14APR2022 – OCF Update-Camera Girl Finally Frees the Slaves

Winter, Sony A7 III, Voigtlander 10mm f\5.6 lens, 22APR2021 – Photo of the Day

Today was a day of toil.  About a week ago Camera Girl was  in her garden, supposedly turning the soil with a pitchfork.  I say supposedly because after ten or fifteen minutes of effort the pitchfork was still stuck in the ground and the ground was having the best of the argument.

Finally she gave up and complained bitterly of her fate.  Being the gentlemanly parfait knight that I am, I mocked her.  I said, “Sure women are always saying how they can do anything a man can but apparently that doesn’t apply to pitchforks.”  She sot me a look that seemed to imply something about the quality of that night’s dinner.  So I displayed magnanimity.  I said, “You poor weak creature, I will turn the soil for you, only not today.

Well, apparently “not today” was today.  So I went out to the west field and starting singing road gang spirituals.  And to be honest, between the matted weed roots and the stupid liner that someone put in the soil was incredibly tough and heavy to turn.  But three hours of working like a hired field hand got it done.  About half way through it occurred to me that I could have rented a rototiller.  But by the end I was so satisfied with myself that it was worth it.  I showed up afterward in the kitchen drenched in sweat and covered with dirt but extremely pleased with myself.

I preened in front of Camera Girl and lectured on the difference between man’s work and woman’s work.  I mentioned that I left some clean up of weeds and liner next to the garden.  And that she should get that squared away as soon as possible.  She mumbled something under her breath but I pretended not to hear her.  Then I headed up for a well deserved shower.

Remarkably shortly after i finished working the skies opened up and it poured to beat the band.  Probably some of the seedling I put in this week may be washed away.  But some of them will make it and I ‘ve got more for next week too.  As long as we don’t have a repeat of last spring when it rained for forty days and forty nights, things will be fine in the garden.

This year we intend to grow a lot of butternut squash because Camera girl makes a great chicken soup with it.  And we’ll grow lots of zucchini and eggplant.  This year we’ll put in some thorn-less raspberries and I might move my blueberry bushes to make it easier to protect them from the birds.  Most years they get more than I do.  And I have to remember to put out the egg cases that the praying mantis laid over the winter.   I sure don’t want them hatching in the house.

So it was a work day but I’ll be sure to find something to be outraged about in the news when I check it out.  Enjoy your Thursday night.