Happy Thanksgiving 2022 to Everybody

What a splendiferous day.  Camera Girl, working on her early food preliminaries, busy as a bee and supremely skilled.  Me, lazier than a lion in the noonday sun, puttering around, anticipating the feeding frenzy to come.  I research anything that comes into my head.  I find solutions to problems that I’ve put off solving for years.  I’m profoundly contented.

I finally made a walkaround outside a little while ago.  That good, late afternoon sun, every photographer’s friend as it transmutes everything it touches into gold, gives me some subjects for my camera.  A frost-burned rosebud, a dying stalk of millet, some seared oak leaves on a branch.  Quite unspectacular subjects but with an obvious relevance to the season.  The walk was invigorating.  The fresh air did me good.

Tomorrow will be a full day of family.  I won’t spend much, if any, time on-line.  Which is all to the good.  The site daily content is all pre-loaded.  Hopefully the world will have the good grace not to explode until after I’ve enjoyed my holiday.  So, everyone will be so good as to amuse themselves tomorrow while I give thanks for all the wonderful people and things with which God has seen fit to populate his universe.

If something important or amusing strikes me and I decide to throw it onto the site tomorrow I hope most of you will be too busy or too groggy with food to notice.  There will be plenty of time on Friday or Saturday to catch up with my pearls of wisdom(?).

I’ll have to say the results of the elections have made me unexpectedly upbeat for the future.  I feel like the future is up to me to create and that greatly energizes me.  No more waiting for saviors or depending on luck.  I feel like the world is for those who seize the moment and wrest the future they want out of the indifferent present that we see around us.  The American dream was shown to be just that.  The fellowship with our American “brothers” on the Left has been revealed to be a lie.  But this revelation is liberating.  An open enemy is so much less dangerous than a false friend.  None of the Bushes or McConnells or Bidens or Obamas can surprise us anymore.  We know just how evil they are and we can anticipate most of their attacks at this point.  So, there’s no reason to think of them at all on a day of thanksgiving.  I’ll think about all the good people that I’ve heard about or met in the last year and I’ll be thankful for blessings that I know I’ve enjoyed.

I hope everyone out there eats and drinks way too much of some delicious things.  I hope that you have a chance to talk to some folks that mean something to you.  I hope everyone has time to think about this life and the good things that we should be thankful for.  And I hope you have a chance to enjoy yourself and relax.  I intend to stay up late tomorrow after everybody goes home and watch some old movies and get up late and then eat a lot of leftovers.

God bless you all.

Some Republicans Finally Embracing Pro-Family Economics

Even the stupid party is finally waking up to the fact that we can help our side by embracing public policy that favors stay at home moms.  It requires a degree of intelligence to craft laws that help one-paycheck families without feeding the machine that currently sucks up trillions of dollars for the sake of welfare cases.  But it can be done.

This article describes the outline of policies that would support working families that want mom at home to make it a home for young children.  Child tax credits and other forms of tax relief are a beginning.  But what is needed is a new way for government to measure economic prosperity.  The raising of children as an economic outcome has to be valued as a higher good than the economic value produced by forcing a woman into the workforce so that she can pay for her children to be attended by day care centers and pre-K education.

And once people start looking at the hidden costs for making children prohibitively expensive, we can quickly find the money needed to prevent it.  The United States compensates for the low child birth rate by allowing enormous numbers of illegal immigrants.  These are poor, uneducated and often criminal individuals who require enormous support payments in the shape of government support for housing, food, schooling and health care costs.

If all these dollars were transferred to ensuring that American parents have what it takes to afford a middle-class existence on one salary there would be plenty of money left over to pay down the national debt.  According to the article, even that idiot Mitt Romney is open to some of the ideas that pro-family economics espouse.

So, here’s a tiny white pill to make the day a little better.

Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Puppies of War

So, what to write about today?  Creepy Uncle Joe buying votes in the mid-terms by canceling student loans?  Meh.  Handicapping the mid-terms?  Boring.  Now there were a few headlines that caught my attention.  Donald Trump implores the senate Republicans to dump Mitch McConnell as leader when they take back the Senate.  Now that’s a great headline.  And it’s good advice.  But what’s there to say about it other than it’s a good idea.

And my current personal projects aren’t really that universal in their appeal.  Right now I’m trying to learn enough PHP and MySQL coding to automate some very time-consuming changes to my website.  The book I’m working from is about a thousand pages long and I’ve just gotten past the introduction so it’ll be a tough slog.

I haven’t read or watched any interesting stories in the last few days.  And I’m way behind on my photo work and the fiction writing.  The whole system is falling apart.

So, what’s causing all this havoc?  Well, we’ve been overrun for the last week (and will be into next week) with grandkids.  The little devils have successfully invaded the Compound and are monopolizing Camera Girl’s time.  Worse still they’ve subjugated me too.  When I’m not overseeing their infestation of the swimming pool, I’m forced to play chess with one of them or read stories to another.  And they even have me ferrying them around to the neighboring towns for tennis practice or school open house or whatever.

Actually, it’s kind of great.  My third oldest grandson is becoming a pretty decent pool player and a very good chess player to boot.  And tonight, my little granddaughter asked for three extra bedtime stories from her old grandfather instead of from Camera Girl.  It seems that she likes the same stories I read to her mother more than thirty years ago.

Really the only downside to all this babysitting is the lack of time.  It turns out I really do need time to write the stuff I post here.  There’s no way to multi-task while you’re refereeing young children at play.  They’re just too dynamic and need to be monitored pretty closely to prevent bickering from exploding into fisticuffs.  I have to rule with an iron fist.  Well, it’s probably more like a lot of haranguing by me but you get the idea.

But honestly, the political scene is just status quo.  After the FBI’s gestapo tactics against Trump there’s not much to say.  We know where things stand and we’re just waiting to see whether the electorate repudiates the Democrats or acquiesces in our new status as a banana republic.  So that just leaves me cultural and general interest topics to write about until the feds do something even more outrageously unconstitutional.

And of course, that’s bound to happen in the next week or so.  Biden is desperate to change the story away from runaway inflation.  He’ll attempt to bribe some other constituency with another illegal executive order.  The only question is whether it’ll be transgender polo players or normalizing monkey pox at America’s gay bath houses.  So, bear with me.  Things will return to normal soon and I’ll be back to decrying civilizational collapse again before you know it.

The Big Heat

This early in the Dunwich winter (August 1st to June 30th), we can still have temperatures in the nineties.  Today the grandkids and their friends were in the pool and so we vacuumed it last night.  And Camera Girl’s garden is filled up with various squash varieties; zucchini, spaghetti and butternut.  I took a look at it today and found a medium sized frog hiding among the squash.  I guess he was working for me keeping the bugs off the vegetables.

And the last of the daylilies are blooming like crazy.  In another week they’ll be gone.  So, the swallowtails and the monarchs are flitting around them like their lives depended on it.

And the heat was like a wave of energy radiating from the grass and the plants.  I could feel it in the skin of my face and the hair on my arms.  It seared my lungs when I breathed it.  It made me feel intensely alive.  So, I took a bunch of photos of flowers and butterflies and a couple of the frog.

Looking over the various news items is depressing.  Not because things are getting worse but simply because they are so pathetic.  There is a consensus that no one wants Joe Biden running for re-election, not even Democrats.  But the powers that be haven’t figured out how to force Creepy Uncle Joe into a hospice.  I think they’ll probably get a veterinarian to put him to sleep.  It would be cheaper.

Most of the opinion pieces today align with what I expect the publication’s readership would want to hear.  Lots of cheerleading.  As I said, even though things are trending in our favor right now, I find myself a little down due to just how abysmally bad the state of the world is.  What can you say about the state of the world when we’re forced to choose sides between the Chi-Coms and Nancy Pelosi?  How do you win that bet?

I was having a discussion with an old friend and we were sort of talking about this same thing, the pitiful state of the world.  And I was making the point that we have to stop expecting a big victory that will fix all these awful things.  These awful things are the baseline conditions of our times and it’s up to us to fix them in our own lives.  Sure, we can hope to elect better leaders but what we have to do is find solutions in our own lives.  Your kids are the only future there will be for your world view.  Teaching them what you believe to be true and right is your best chance of saving them from the groomers.  Giving them a good education is the best way of preparing them for making a decent living.  Helping them get on their feet is the way to pay forward the help you were given by your parents.

Of course, I was preaching to the choir but I thought it was worth saying it out loud.  Sometimes we can let ourselves get discouraged and then we need to put things in perspective.  Regardless of what Washington or the Blue State leaders say is policy, we have access to our kids and we can do an awful lot to shape their minds and souls.  And we need to make that our priority.

Saying those things out loud actually helped my mood.  I walked away from the computer screen and spent some time annoying Camera Girl.  I could sense that she needed valuable feedback from me on what she was making for dinner and stuff.

Next week we’re going to spend a day and a night up in Old Orchard Beach, Maine with the grandkids and their parents.  This will be a kind of revival of sorts.  About twenty-five years ago we started going there with our kids in the summers.  There’s an old-style amusement park with rides, bad fried food and crooked carnival games.  The beach is actually quite nice and compares favorably to any of the other East Coast resorts in terms of white sand and clean water.  I’ll get to walk down the beach with Princess Sack of Potatoes just as I did with her mother when she was that age.  And I’ll probably have to carry her when she gets too lazy to walk back.  The littlest boy will fly a kite on the sand and dig a sand castle.  And if I’m not careful I’ll be pummeled by him in the bumper cars at the amusement park.  And all of that is the fun part of paying forward what my parents and grandparents did for me.  Spending time with these people is the reason we do all this.  Otherwise, we might as well give up and let the whole world go to hell.

The Real Conservatism

June is the month of graduations.  And right on schedule I attended two graduations this weekend.  The first one was a very minor but poignant event.  Our littlest grandchild, Princess Sack of Potatoes was finishing up her year of gym class.  Camera Girl and I dutifully showed up at this august occasion and watched through the glass as our little athlete tumbled and climbed and performed the baby steps version of gymnastics on balance beams and parallel bars and rings.  We applauded and made all the right noises while she and her variously gifted team mates impressed their parents and relatives.  Afterwards she got a heavy iron star shaped medal spray painted with gold to wear around her neck and then we all went to our favorite local steakhouse and enjoyed some red meat.  I got the ribeye.

Then today was a more important milestone my oldest grandson graduated from high school with high honors and full scholarship to the local college of his choice.  As was fitting for this more serious occasion, the ceremony took a few hours, if you include the process of showing up early enough to get good seats and parking spots at the outdoor ceremony.  The girl who gave the valedictory address was appropriately eloquent and choked with emotion.  Although some gusts of wind threatened to blow away the pages of her speech and her graduation cap.  But Camera Girl and I agreed that the speeches were well spoken and heartfelt, as the moment required.  We took the requisite photos as the diploma was handed to our young scholar and I even captured the capstone shot of the class tossing their caps into the air.  And afterwards we once again headed to that same steakhouse and partook of red meat.  This time I just had a burger since my son-in-law was paying and I am not unaware of the costs in raising four children in today’s brutal economic situation.

And when we got home Camera Girl and I agreed that it was the perfect weekend.  Of course, tomorrow is Father’s Day, that least understood holiday on the calendar.  When we’re young we would make a card for our father and later on we would buy him a tie and maybe at some point later in life we would get him some artifact that might be associated with one of his pastimes or for home improvement.  Now that I’ve reached grandfather status Father’s Day is sort of a stretch.  My sons-in-law are the objects of this ritual and they will be forced to express gratitude for the well-meaning but mostly useless gifts.

But all fathers know that the true gift every father is looking for is represented by the ceremony I attended today.  When a father has a son who makes the transition from boy to man that is the reward for years and decades of working to make him a functional member of society and hopefully puts him on the road to being able to have a family of his own.  And in a similar way, when a daughter grows up and starts a family of her won it is the realization of this same process.  It is the continuation of the human race.  We provide them a good home and try to teach children what a family is about and hope they’ll try to copy this pattern and produce their own home in the future.

By any definition of conservatism, that is the most essential component of conservative life; to replicate the circle of life.  To conserve the family.  In fact, regardless of what we do in the political realm as far as constitutional freedoms and rights, if we don’t manage to reproduce our families into the next generation then we have failed utterly and our story ends there.  We’ll have to step aside and let someone more adept at human relations take a whack at it.

Tomorrow I’ll get calls from my kids and maybe my grandkids (although that’s a usurpation of their fathers’ prerogatives of the day) and I’ll be pleased as can be that they remember me on the day.  But the great victory is counting those grandchildren and being allowed to share a little in their lives and their accomplishments and knowing that the circle continues and some part of me lives on both genetically and in the traditions and memories that we have built.

Whenever I talk to them, I stress (probably excessively) that they have family that cares about them and will be there if they need help.  I want them to know they are part of a group that they can depend on and that can depend on them too.

So Happy Father’s Day.  Make some memories with those kids.  It’s probably the most important work you’ll ever do as a conservative but more importantly as a man.

08MAY2022 – Mother’s Day and Other Stuff

Last night we went over to one of my daughters’ houses for a Mother’s Day dinner cooked on the grill by one of my sons-in-law in honor of all the mothers in the family.  Steak, salmon, chicken, baked potatoes, string beans, the whole enchilada.  He’s military so survival skills are his forte and cooking ranks high among them.  After dinner was the ice cream cake and coffee.  Superb.  And for once Camera Girl didn’t have to cook a thing.  Probably her favorite party of the year so far.

My granddaughter is three and a half now and so she’s finally old enough to start joining in with the younger boy cousins in running amok in the back yard and the basement.  I’ve never seen a little girl so happy to be shooting and being shot with nerf rockets.  It proves that she’s one of the big kids now.

Seeing how great all these kids are turning out is a remarkable source of pride for me.  Of course, all the credit goes to Camera Girl.  For all of her myriad annoying qualities she is the quintessential mom and grandma.  Her instincts and her conscious efforts are all aligned around nurturing children.  Of course, she’s much more laisse faire about nurturing husbands.  Well, I guess no one’s perfect.

But it struck me reading all the nonsense about the Left rallying around abortion that these people are out of their minds.  They’ve bought into a death cult that emphasizes short term convenience over sharing in the most rewarding institution in human relations, a large multigenerational family.  And based on what I’ve been reading the present generation doesn’t seem as enthusiastic about abortion as the baby boomers were.

The various leftist opinion writers discussing the abortion panic are none too optimistic about either preventing Roe v. Wade being struck down or using the event as a successful rallying cry for the November mid-terms.  They’ve gone through several stages of opinion on the whole issue and currently they’ve ended up at frustration.  It’s frustration that they can’t move the needle on the Republican advantage in polls for the mid-terms and frustration that the voters, other than a noisy but narrow segment are unexcited by the SCOTUS opinion.  It has escaped their notice that Antifa rioters don’t raise families or even engage in heterosexual relationships.  To paraphrase a feminist expression, Antifa women need abortion like a fish needs a bicycle.

And speaking to some folks on our side, those who were most worried about a mid-term backlash against the SCOTUS decision now see the wisdom of direct action.  One fellow admitted that plowing forward with the actions that we’ve said we’ve always wanted to see accomplished is the only way anything will ever get done.  Hearing that was especially satisfying for me.  I’ve been saying for years that pussyfooting around these actions is tantamount to surrendering to the Left.  All it has done is acclimate the succeeding generations to permanent Leftist hegemony.  Fighting these policies even if the battle goes back and forth is progress.  Whining about not being ready until we have overwhelming odds in our favor is a fantasy that guarantees perpetual inaction.

So today I sent out invitations for the Memorial Day Weekend family barbecue.  There I will see most of the closest relatives I have assembled together at the Compound for food and drink and hordes of children and grandchildren running around in circles and jumping in a swimming pool.  We’re slowly putting all of the COVID nonsense in the rearview mirror and moving our lives back where they belong, together.

Happy Mother’s Day.

How Do We Last Until 2025?

A single day doesn’t seem to go by without some new Biden caused or related disaster occurring.  War, famine, pestilence, financial collapse, you name it.  The only thing missing from the list is an asteroid strike and I’m sure that the Biden team has their stupidest man working on it right now.

But seriously, these are going to be trying times.  Like everyone else I’m counting the pennies and figuring out how to reduce costs and pay for growing bills with shrinking assets.  It’s going to be extremely difficult in the weeks and months ahead.  And let’s face it, regardless of what kind of blowout the Democrats suffer in November there will be a Democrat in the White House torturing us until early in 2025.  That’s a very long time.  We won’t get through it by trying to hold our breath all the way through.

We’re going to have to be protect ourselves from all the nonsense they’ll do to break us down.  Each of us will have to do the best we can to roll with the punches and avoid being ground down by the myriad of problems these people create; money problems, crime waves, propaganda aimed at our children, more COVID fascism possibly.  We’ll have to be smart and strong.

But just as important as all these things is maintaining morale.  Your spiritual health is just as important as your physical health.  You’ve got to make time to be happy.  And that’s especially true if you are working harder to keep from falling behind.  Take some time out every day and do something that nourishes the mind and soul.  Call up an old friend and find out how he’s doing.  Visit an aged relative and bring a little joy into her day.  Buy a good book and take twenty minutes out of your day to read it.  Take a course in something you’ve always wanted to learn.  It doesn’t have to be at a college.  It could be an on-line course.  If you’re isolated by circumstances then join some activity at a local club.

Of course, if you have a young family, then make time each day to help your kids with all the things they are doing.  Make sure you know what they are thinking about.  Find out what problems they are dealing with.  With the COVID masking still going on at schools make sure they’re dealing with the stress reasonably well and let them know things will be getting better very soon.  Talk at the dinner table and try to keep their morale high too.  Find other families that you can plan outings and events with that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

And plan for the future.  Look forward to better times.  Make a list of improvements you want for your future and then start to figure out a plan to accomplish one of them first.  Don’t start with the one where you become a billionaire.  Figure out the one where you lose twenty pounds or replace the kitchen floor or get a promotion at work.

All of this is a plan to keep a positive attitude and get yourself and your loved ones through some tough times that are coming up.  And most importantly get out of the house and feel the sun on your face once in a while.  Cabin fever is a real thing especially in the cold latitudes but everywhere else too to some extent.  And of course, I’m part of the problem, but get away from the computer once in a while.

One day Joe Biden will be in the rear-view mirror.  But until then maintain your sanity and nourish your soul by balancing the stress with some fun.  Doctor’s orders.

28FEB2022 – OCF Update – February 28th, That Unusual Day

 

February 28th must have a complex.  It’s the only day that doesn’t know from year to year whether it will be followed by February or March.  But you say to yourself, “Why doesn’t it just consult the calendar?”  Don’t be ridiculous.  Days of the year don’t have calendars or even hands to turn pages.  Ridiculous.

I’ve always resented the fact that they add an extra day to February.  No one wants more days in February.  If you want to add a day add it to August.  Every school child in the world would bow down and worship you for postponing September an extra day.

But here we are, a Non-Leap Year, March waiting in the wings and even the COVID maniacs in New England facing up to the obvious that everyone hates them and they’ll have to give up the mask madness.  I found a classic car event in mid-March and I’m already looking forward to getting some good shots for the site.  Ah spring is in the air.

So, I looked at the news today; Ukraine, SOTU, KBJ, Ukraine, SOTU, KBJ, Ukraine, SOTU, KBJ as far as the eye could see.  Well, I need a break from this stuff.

So today I introduced Princess Sack of Potatoes to the mysteries of the visible electromagnetic spectrum.  I intended to get her a nice high quality glass prism for the class but Camera Girl explained to me that pre-school children and glass aren’t a good mix.  So, I bought some plastic prisms and we had to make do with some pretty sorry looking spectrums.  But it did the trick.  She was very interested in trying to make the colors herself.

I began a lecture on the wave/particle duality of the photon and was preparing to discuss the quantum aspects when she dropped the prism on the floor and walked away to play hide and seek with Camera Girl.  Well, I’m sure Isaac Newton didn’t really hit his scientific stride until at least four so there may still be time.

Today was another bright, sunny but cold day.  I decided to take a walk around the property in my tee shirt just to assert my dominance over the decrepit winter season.  After the first seven minutes it seemed less and less of a good idea so I beat a slow, dignified retreat back to the comfort of central heating.  But a defiant pose was struck.  A tone was established in my relationship to 2022.  I definitely have the upper hand.  From here on in I reestablish my direct control over the whole of my domain.

What this actually means is pretty soon I won’t have any meaningful excuse for not doing the outdoor repairs and other chores that I neglected back in November.  But that’s acceptable.  This will be a normal year.  No COVID crap delaying implementation of normal activities.  Even that supply chain nonsense is fading in the rear-view mirror.  Sure, everything will be twice as expensive; lumber, hardware, paint.  But do-it-yourself is an inherently frugal strategy.  Even in my mechanical ineptitude I foresee great progress on the Master Punchlist that every homeowner maintains (if only in his heart).

So welcome March, that changeable and blustery month with its St. Patrick’s Day (Camera Girl’s birthday) tradition of Corned Beef and Cabbage and, despite the inevitable New England Nor’easter snow storms, the beginning of garden work.   This year I hope to add a vegetable garden closer to the house.  All this carrying around of hoses seems very inefficient and possibly if the garden is closer to the house the rabbits and the other varmints might leave us some of the produce.

The calendar doesn’t reflect it.  Nor does the six inches of snow on the grass but in my heart, spring has sprung!

Praying Mantises, Children’s Books and Pa – Part 7 – The Next Generation

Well as Milo intimated a month ago, our rescued Mantis has laid an egg case.

Currently the proud mother is still alive although I suspect that after laying her eggs her life span may be limited.  I’ll put the egg case in a cold area for the winter and then put it outside in spring.  Princess Sack of Potatoes will probably equate this phenomenon to the story of Charlotte’s Web that we recently watched.  Well, I’ll have to say the project has really paid dividends.

Here’s mom.