Of Civil War and Moe the Crow

What a beautiful day.  It hit seventy with almost constant bright sun, almost no clouds and, for once, no wind.  Walking around the yard today was idyllic.  The daffodils were mostly open and everywhere the tree buds looked ready to burst.

Now the calendar says it’s the middle of April but in New England that translates to the beginning of Spring.  And based entirely on my subjective criteria I hereby declare today the first day of Spring 2024 in the photogian calendar!

 

A raven has taken to chasing off Camera Girl’s pet crows (Moe the Crow and his stooges) and eating all the scraps that she puts out for them every morning.  Now, I’ve been a fan of ravens ever since I read a book called Ravens in Winter many years ago.  And after camping in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho, my admiration for them has increased.  Now that they have made their way to Compound, I am excited to have them around.  But I do feel bad for Camera Girl.  Moe has become a friend of hers.  When he sees her come to the water he comes down to the ground and she feeds him peanuts from the ground in front of her.  Ah, well.  Survival of the strongest.

Alright, enough of all that.  Had to get it out of my system.

I spent today catching up with some projects that had languished during my recent busy spurt.  I’ve got a contractor waiting on a contract and a check to repair the damage done by a 120-foot White Pine that flattened a part of the upper driveway fence.  A very sad story.  The highway crew cut the tree up on Friday and managed to cut the electric fence wire that keeps our canines from rampaging over the countryside.  The timing of the electric fence malfunction made it possible that it coincided with the earthquake.  But afterwards the physical evidence said, road crew.  I have so many enemies!

I saw some early reviews for the new picture “Civil War.”  The claim is that the movie isn’t just a hit piece against Trump.  I’d like to believe that but I don’t want to see it until it’s been reviewed by someone on the right side of the political divide.  I’ve been burned too often and refuse to pay to be insulted by Hollywood.  I’ve watched about ten reviews so I’m starting to believe it could just be a movie about how bad a civil war would be.  But the other factor that could keep me away is the heroes being journalists.  After all, how many good journalists have we seen in the last ten years or so?  One, two, maybe three?  Anyway, my research continues.  If anyone finds a right-wing movie review for it, please pass it along.

So, Sunday night I did surgery on my laptop.  The internal battery was dying so I had to figure out how to open the back on my computer and replace the battery without frying the system or cracking the motherboard.  As I mentioned a few days ago I bout my very own geek tool set and watched a few YouTube videos for similar (but not identical) laptop models and then bit the bullet and went in.

Everything went relatively easily until I attempted to pop the back off.  Most of it released but near one side of the hinge the damn thing was stuck.  Stuck good!  And this is just plastic so I was afraid if I put too much force on it the damn thing would crack apart.  So, I attempted to extend the pry bar deeper into the interior to give me better leverage but I was afraid that some internal component could be damaged and turn the whole computer into useless junk.  After what seemed like forever the stuck spot sprang open.  Afterwards I checked to see if I had broken anything.  I did find something that looked like part of a female coupling that broke loose.  I couldn’t find where it came from so I chalked it up to being one of those pesky “extra parts” that they put in complicate equipment and moved on.

Well, from there on everything went smoothly and the whole thing was back together in five minutes.  A few hours of charging and the thing was working flawlessly.  So now I am officially an IT worker.  I feel an irresistible urge to write a haiku in DOS.

There, I’ve gone about seven hundred and fifty words without mentioning the 2024 elections.  That feels pretty good.  I’m trying to figure out a good approach to write about the political situation strictly from a humorous perspective.  Since I have almost precisely zero practical effect on the outcome of the election, I feel that to entertain is the correct strategy.  But honestly, I’m still searching for the format and angle that pleases me creatively and would also provide enjoyment to the readers.  A work in progress.

So, I think I’ll go watch something fun.  Maybe Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes.  I like that movie.

Cthulhu Attempts to Swallow the Sun and Fails Badly

The First Selectman was miffed about something.  Maybe his shadow appeared a little too portly or his reflection in a dank lake was a little too unflattering.  Whatever it was he attempted to swallow Earth’s star.  Luckily he’s not the Elder God he used to be.  All he got was a nasty burn around his mouth tentacles, a case of butthurt and a dose of reality.

I collected this shot at the moment of maximum effort.

Lazing Away the Day

The First Selectman Taking a Stroll

I couldn’t face talking about politics today.  I spent a good part of the day staring out a window at the huge snowflakes swirling around in the gale force winds that blew in circles around the compound.  At one point there was an inch or two of some combination of slush and snow on the grass and asphalt.  But by 2pm the driveways were miraculously clear.  So, I decided that my well thought out strategy of not doing anything had worked brilliantly and now I should go outside and take my victory lap with my snow shovel over my shoulder.  Hail the conquering hero!

These April snow events in New England are transitory oddball affairs.  The daffodils and hyacinths and hellebores can be buried in snow and ice but surprisingly these delicate flowers take no apparent harm from it.  Even the birds who you’d think would be devastated by the snow disrupting their feeding and mating activities seem unphased by the whole thing.  In fact, the crows almost seemed to be playing in the snow and clowning around.

Another fence post cracked in the fierce winds we had last night (thanks a lot First Selectman) and I made a mental note to fix the damn thing as soon as the snow retreats away from it.  Honestly, this winter has done a good bit of damage to the infrastructure, what with the pine tree landing on the upper driveway fence and the gutter cracking off of the pool shed.  My to-do list has been growing steadily.

And yesterday my laptop told me the battery is dying.  Of course, this isn’t one of those laptops that has the external battery, so now I have to do brain surgery on it.  So, I bought an electronics tool kit with the fifty screw driver bits, pliers, pick, static wrist band and two spudger tools.  Well, since I don’t know what a spudger is I guess I can’t let myself be caught short so two must be right.  Of course, the tools are going to show up a week after everything else so I hope the battery can struggle on for that long.  All in all, the world is crumbling before my eyes and honestly, I really can’t blame it.  Currently we’re being led by moochers and morons and it’s a miracle we haven’t gone over a cliff, lock stock and barrel.

But all things considered I’m calm and relatively jovial.  The First Selectman was glad to hear that folks still remembered the good works he did back in the colonial era and that his chronicler Howard Philip is still remembered as a kook with an overactive imagination who did give Batman a place to warehouse the lunatic criminals that cropped up so consistently in Gotham City.  Although how that managed to be in New England I’ll never know.  Maybe they thought placing it far away from New York City would be good for their nerves.  Or maybe they just moved the whole darn thing to Gotham over a long weekend or something.  Anyway, all praise to His August Cephalopodliness and long may he reign over Dunwich and please don’t let him raise my property taxes again.  Amen.

Farmer Cthulhu in Hi s Fields

Guest Contributor – Ed Brault – 04APR2024 – The Witch’s Curse

I grew up not too far from Dunwich; Danvers, MA, better known among the arcana-read as the real site of the Salem Witch trials. Back then it was known as Salem Village, while modern Salem was Salem Towne. Growing up I noticed that when a storm was forecast to bring, say nine inches of snow, we got 12. Or a Foot was forecast and we got 18 inches.

I finally had a chance to put this question to no less than Don Kent, meteorologist at WBZ-TV. He looked me in the eye and said “You’re from Danvers aren’t you?” I said yes, and just why is the weather so weird? He answered honestly “We don’t know…BUT…” and then he told me about how, during the Trials, one of the accused witches, on the way to the gallows, laid a curse on the town, that it should always suffer a harder winter than the rest of the county. And this curse WORKED! Even changing the town’s name didn’t help (That’s why the town seal says “Without the King’s Consent”. They did it without the approval of the Colonial Office.)
Best regards to the First Select-Entity. The Eldrich Powers are hard at work in other regions as well.

[Editor’s Note – The First Selectman sends his greetings to his cousins on the shore and hopes they are enjoying the weather they ordered a while back from his cousin.  Gurgle, glug, gurgle, gurgle glug glug glug.]

 

Reply from Tregonsee 314

I live just down the road from Danvers, Close enough that when the leaves are off the trees I can see the remaining building of the Danvers State Hospital (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danvers_State_Hospital )

the alleged inspiration for Lovecraft’s Arkham Asylum (amazingly there are now expensive Condos there, with only the historic main tower remaining as a shared space). Our little town was part of Salem Village but split in the early 18th century from Danvers. We also seem to share in that curse 🙂 . It has to be true Mr. Kent was one of New England’s top meteorologists for most of my life and if that was the explanation he had that is good enough for me, certainly nothing else makes sense,

Reply from photog

Tregonsee. there used to be a similar mental hospital in Worcester.

Likewise it was recently demolished leaving only a replica clocktower to mark its former presence. But when it stood it was an eerie reminder of a different world.

Voigtlander 10mm e-mount Clock Tower vertical angle

 

 

The Long National Nightmare of Me Being Way Too Busy is Over!

Today I finished up a weeklong marathon project that really made my life a misery and seriously cut into my on-line time to the detriment of this site.

Whew!!!

So here I am looking around and I see…

The same crap as the week before!

Hmmm.

Okay, there’s a claim that Biden’s poll numbers have gone up a point or maybe two.  Let’s grant that.  But his swing state numbers, both with and without third party candidates are the same or maybe even a little bit worse than before.  And inflation has gotten worse but the disastrous housing market is forcing the Fed to drop interest rates to try and generate some good news for Biden.  Which will make the inflation worse still.

And the Zoomers are really angry about Gaza.

Apparently, the big tent party is beginning to turn on its Jewish contingent because of Biden’s support for the Gaza War.  And this is causing pundits like the Ragin’ Cajun James Carville to hit the panic button.  His exact words were:

“I’ve been very vocal about this,” Carville said. “It’s horrifying, our numbers among younger voters, particularly younger Blacks, younger Latinos … younger people of color. Particularly males. We’re not shedding them, they’re leaving in droves,” he added.”

So, Biden has lots of election problems because the country has lots of problems and it’s too late to fix them before November.

And the border crisis is worse than ever and the criminal aliens are in the news every day.  And the cities are becoming war zones.

And now ships are crashing into bridges and destroying them.  I mean, you can’t make this stuff up!

Sure, this is more of the same.  But it’s like a train crash.  Once you’ve discovered that you have no brakes and you’re closer than some minimum distance “x” then you can’t avoid the crash.  But the closer you get to the impact the more terrifying is the view from the engineer’s seat.  So, I’m sure whoever is running the Biden campaign is in daily contact with the voting officials in Pennsylvania figuring out if they can add an extra five million votes to the Biden total on Election Day.

Well, enough election crap.  Instead something nearer and dearer to my heart; my novel (The American Archipelago: Book 1 – The Sniper).  Thanks to all who’ve been reading along and special thanks to those who have provided feedback.  Honest criticism is extremely valuable when you’re trying to make a story attractive to the publishers and compelling for the readers.

Anyone who has a taste for dystopian science fiction, I ask that you give it a whirl and leave some comments that reflect your take on the story, positive or negative.  And the more specific the better.

Here in Dunwich the weird is the rule and the weather is no exception to this.  It’s supposed to snow tonight and then rain will freeze up tomorrow night and create a Class IV Kill Storm. So tomorrow, after helping Camera Girl navigate the frozen tundra, we’ll probably hunker down and enjoy the sounds of squealing brakes and screeching cries on the road outside as the black ice claims numberless victims on the crater strewn back roads of Dunwich.  Afterward I’ll go out for the traditional gathering of the pocket change from the bodies of the crash victims and I’ll return as a conquering hero (of sorts) as I dole out this largesse to my minions (dog one and dog two) in the form of low-quality pressed rawhide that I purchase on the websites of third world competitors of Amazon dot com.

I’ve often wondered what would happen if a prolonged storm cut off the supply of these “treats.”  I fear that my minions might notice that there is a disturbing similarity between pressed rawhide and, well, me!  Me thinks Dog One has a lean hungry look about him.  Such minions are dangerous.

Well, anyway, enough yammering.  I’m back and on the job.

Dunk Tank Justice

Tuesday was a chaotic day.  We had snow, then rain, then sleet.  When I got out of work today my car was a popsicle.  But being a really lazy guy, my ice scraper was sitting at home where I left it, in front of the kitchen porch where it was definitely of limited value.  So, I used my bare hands to scrape this thick ice off my windshield and remove the ice from the roof and trunk.  Liquid water is an amazing heat transfer material.  The ice on the car was wet enough to make my caveman act extremely effective at freezing my fingertips.  So, there I am driving along trying to use the dashboard car heater to thaw my fingers enough to feel the steering wheel.

On the way home I filled up my five-gallon plastic gas can with some three-dollar gasoline and headed home to the horror that was my driveway.  Because there was still a freezing rain falling, I put on a raincoat.  And because my fingers were still kind of tingly-numb I decided that I needed to protect them from getting frozen again.  I made a glove sandwich.  I put a pair of thin Thinsulate gloves on and covered them with a pair of disposable kitchen gloves.  Not the tight-fitting rubber ones for doing the dishes but the loose clear thin plastic kind that restaurant workers wear when they handle cold cuts.  Then I put a pair of work gloves on top of this.  It worked like a charm.  Keeping the insulated glove dry kept my hands warm and the work gloves provided the strength to protect the thin plastic gloves from damage.  Edison the Man!

Snow blowers are pretty good with dry snow.  They’re so-so with wet snow and they’re pretty abysmal with slush.  And that’s what I had.  The slush would separate in the auger and form a cylindrical plug of solid ice that would slowly travel up the outlet and when it got to about a foot long it would break off and fall out of the chute and then a burst of watery slush would shoot out for about thirty seconds and then start to clog with ice again.  It took about three passes over the whole length to get most of the slush off the driveway and even then, it was still a mess.

Last week, I bought this fancy shovel which works better at pushing than shoveling the snow down the driveway.  It has a couple of handles at different points on its length and works really well for quickly clearing this heavy wet stuff.  I went over the whole upper driveway again with it.  This was slower and more tiring than the snowblower, but much more successful.  By the time the light failed at about 5 pm I had gotten the upper driveway and enough of the rest of the pavement cleaned up to the point where tomorrow I should be able to get in and out without trouble.  Camera Girl provided sufficient wifely verbal sympathy for my heroic efforts and also a hot meal that was greatly appreciated.

Afterwards I watched a few clips on the results of the Iowa caucuses and was happy to hear the Lefties on MSNBC caterwauling about white privilege and racism.  It’s interesting how even Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow only seem somewhat moronic when in the company of someone as profoundly stupid as Joy Reid.  She was jabbering away about how White Christians were plotting with Donald Trump to subvert the country and disenfranchise everyone who wasn’t white and Christian.

And I thought to myself, “If only Trump was this evil dictator.  I think I would submit to a purported dictatorship of these Midwestern, Elks or Shriners or whatever, if only they would promise to sit Joy Reid on the shelf of a dunk tank filled with ice water and gave me a dozen baseballs.  Now I’m not a monster.  I would allow her to be fished out between dunks and dried off and warmed up.  But I would consider it one of my finest moments if I managed to hit the target even once and consigned Joy Reid to the icy depths if only for a few moments.  And I thought, “That’s a pretty good idea.”  Dunk tank justice would provide satisfaction to the multitudes.  Imagine if every aggrieved conservative got a turn at freeze dunking Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden or Nikki Haley for saying really stupid things.  This would be a happier world.  Of course, some of the frailer losers like Pelosi might catch pneumonia.  But I’m willing to take that risk.

I guess maybe the cruel and unusual punishment standard of justice might forbid dunk tank justice.  But I tell you, I don’t see why we couldn’t get a constitutional amendment to cover it.  And I’ll bet if Joy Reid thought that she could get dunked in ice water for saying things as stupid as what comes out of her mouth currently, maybe she’d take up some more noble profession, like rodeo clown.  But unfortunately, being a rodeo clown takes brains, of which she has not a scintilla.  Well, how about doorstop?

OCF Update – 19DEC2023 – Where the Hell is photog!

Apologies to all my readers.  The power, phones, internet and magic have been out in Dunwich for the last day and a half.  I’m just using an off-site computer to send this message.  I’ve angered Cthulhu with all my mockery and he has summoned the winds and boy oh boy did they clobber me.  A hundred and fifty foot White Pine landed across the upper driveway and took out part of the fence.  Try cutting through that with an 18″ triangle hand saw.   Well, I have some stuff to post (A Biden Carol – Part 2) but I hope the power and internet are back on soon at home so I can post it.

My apologies for the site lull.  I’ll have to join Elon Musk’s Starlink or something.

Cthulhu

Damn you Cthulhu!!!

Late Night photog – 3 – Cthulhu Fills In

Cthulhu – Well we’re back.  And for those tuning in late I’m Cthulhu and I’m filling in for photog while he explains some things to the FBI in DC this week.  Well, we hope it’s just this week because, honestly, I do have better things to do than amuse his audience, I can tell you that.  But enough complaining.  We’ve got a great show tonight.  I’ve provided my own band this week.  I’ve got George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty of the Stationary Wilburys and they’ll be singing their new song, “Come on Down Bob, it’s a Dry Heat.”  And later on, I’ll be talking to Sadaam Hussein about his new book, “They Weren’t Kidding!”

But now let’s give a big hand to that master of disaster, Henry Kissinger!  Hey Henry, how the hell are you?

Kissinger – Funny you should put it that way, Cthulhu.  It is a bit hot down there for my liking but I won’t bore you with my problems.  All in all, it’s been an interesting experience.  I’ve had a chance to catch up with Dick Nixon and some of the other boys from my salad days.  Good times.  But really my next assignment is what I’m interested in.

Cthulhu – What’s that Henry?

Kissinger – I’m doing contract work for the administration down there.  Apparently, Lucifer is short on strategic thinkers, at least modern ones.  Would you believe it, Metternich was still on the job down there.  He never got anything done but just kept repeating “Might through Right! Might through Right!”  Hopeless old bird.  I don’t know what people saw in him.

Cthulhu – What kind of strategic planning does Hell need?

Kissinger – Trust me.  Everyone needs planning.  Recently Black Rock reduced our ESG score because we hadn’t assigned pronouns for Baphomet on his infernal stationery and business cards.  Those guys are brutal and they just don’t give a crap who they hurt.  So, I busted my hump first day, right out of the chute and got BR to cut us a little slack until I had a chance to reform things.  Luckily for the Prince of Darkness I know where the bodies are buried at Black Rock so everything worked out.  But I tell you there’s no rest for the wicked.  Literally!

Cthulhu – Tell me about it!  Last month I was returning from laying waste to a stellar system inhabited by fungoid beetle beings.  You know, real eldritch Great Old Ones stuff.  And accidentally I tracked in a little plutonium from the finale.  Well somehow the EPA and the NRC got wind of it and now they’re all up in my business and they’re even threatening to pull my NGO status and shut down my cult.  Bureaucrats.

Kissinger – Well, I don’t want to interfere but my contract with Lucifer isn’t exclusive and I still have lots of friends in Washington.  If you’d like, I’ll straighten the thing out for you.

Cthulhu – Why, that’s mighty nice of you Henry.  How can I repay you?

Kissinger – Funny you should ask.  There’s one thing I could really use is a flunky down here.  I need someone with absolutely no scruples, an inveterate liar and low intelligence as a whipping boy in my dealing with his Satanic Majesty.

Cthulhu – You want Biden?

Kissinger – In a word, yes.  He’s not due down here for ten more years but if you’ve got the bandwidth, it would really help me out if he could be delivered in early 2025.

Cthulhu – Hey no problem.  I’m supposed to ease him out of his gig this year so consider it done.  But I tell you; dealing directly with him is no picnic.  Even I feel contaminated after dealing with that skunk.  Well, to each his own.

Kissinger – Thanks.  But I better be going.  I don’t want to be late for my morning lake of fire immersion.  If I’m last, I get stuck next to Hitler and Stalin and then it’s just bitch, bitch, bitch.

Cthulhu – Everybody, Henry Kissinger!  Give him a big Late-Night round of applause.

Late Night photog – 2

photog – Welcome back.  While you were watching that fascinating laxative/ADHD commercial my guests were comparing notes on libel cases they had going on.  President Trump was discussing the slander that has been making the rounds on the cable channels and other cesspools of the mainstream media.  Mr. President, are the accusations and fantasies about you setting up a fascist dictatorship in your next term something you’d be likely to pursue through a lawsuit.

Donald Trump – Negative, photog.  All of that chatter is protected by the first amendment.  I’m a public figure.  They’re allowed to say almost anything.  I’m reduced to just waiting until I’m in office and then we’ll see what’s what.

Cthulhu – I disagree Donald.  You’re really limiting your options.

Donald Trump – What do you mean CMan?  How can I get around the prerogatives of the press?

Cthulhu – Well, for instance if someone blasphemed against my eldritch self, I’d start by forcing nightmares of cosmic horror to haunt his every sleeping and waking moment.  In these nightmares he would experience the sensation of his flesh being slowly eaten away by a corrosive bath of slime that started at his feet and worked its way up to his head.  Then when he hadn’t had a moment of peace for two weeks, I’d send a parasite to crawl into his ear one night and begin slowly to gnaw away at his brain.  Eventually only his skull would be left.  It’s a fan favorite I highly recommend.

Donald Trump – Well, that was my plan B.  But this is network tv and I don’t like to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak.  But tell me CMan, doesn’t the FBI come looking for you when you say these kinds of things in public like this?

Cthulhu – They used to Donald back in the good old days.  And it was very exciting because with all the diversity and inclusion that the FBI has been practicing the variety has been amazing.  They’ve even added capon to the menu.

photog – Capon?

Cthulhu – I think they call them post-op trans-women agents.  But potato/puhtata.  They’re wonderful with a tobacco sauce marinade.  I like them cold with beer so I pop them in the fridge for a day or so.  I just wait for them to stop screeching and I know they’re ready.  And then I put them in a bowl and watch some old favorites on TCM.  I’m a sucker for those old screwball comedies.  Or a good old adventure story like Gunga Din or Kim.  But they must be running out of capon, uh agents.  None have shown up for months.

Donald Trump – CMan, not being a Great Old One I don’t have the leeway you do with respect to the criminal justice system.  I’ve got to admit it sounds kind of exciting.  Well, not the cannibal stuff, but the brain eating bug thing.  That probably solves a lot of problems.  There are at least a half dozen or so prosecutors and judges that would really benefit from having about half their brains eaten away.

Cthulhu – I tell you what.  I’ll FedEx my copy of the Necronomicon with a post-it on the page with the spell for the brain bug and you see what you think.  No pressure.  I’ve got a website that’ll only charge you by the amount of brain that gets eaten.  You can stop whenever you want and you won’t even get a lot of spam bugging you for more business.

Donald Trump – That would be great CMan.  I doubt that any of them has more than a few ounces of brains anyway so I’m sure I’ll be able to swing the payments.  Although I will say, things have been kind of tight lately.  I had to sell off the gold toilet and downgrade to silver.

Cthulhu – Damn shame.  Sorry to hear it.  Well don’t worry.  I read the other day that you’ll be instituting a fascist dictatorship once you’re reelected.  I’m sure you’ll recoup your losses afterwards.

Donald Trump – Well, I hope so, but these things are tricky.  For every Franco there are probably ten Pol Pots so you never know.

photog – I’m sorry to break up this discussion but we’ve got to go to commercial.  Take it away, Study-Lax.