Father’s Day 2023

Ah, Father’s Day, that most inexplicable holiday in the calendar.  Children, wives and the fathers themselves walk around that day with confused expressions on their faces.  What are they all supposed to be doing, or feeling or even pretending to be feeling?

Everyone understands Mother’s Day.  The bond between mothers and their children is self-explanatory.  Even the act of becoming a mother to a child is one of self-sacrifice and love.  Even husbands are unable to be completely selfish on Mother’s Day.  We’re forced to acknowledge that our role in the circle of life is the easier side.  And we do.  Every man in a good marriage honors his wife on Mother’s Day and tries to show some class on that day.  And so, he encourages his children to gather around his wife and celebrate the nurturing nature of mothers.

But Father’s Day?  I mean, we try to be good fathers.  We spend time with our kids and teach them things and show affection.  But do we want to be applauded and be fussed over about our role in the family?

Honestly?  No.

What we’d prefer is to get up late, have a nice big breakfast, watch some really bad movie or go fishing or read a book then have a steak dinner and then watch another bad movie and go to bed.  Of course, this leaves room for variation.  Maybe instead of fishing you’d rather work on restoring an old car or head to the gun range or have a catch with your grandson or something.  And I even know some fathers who aren’t happy unless they’re doing home repair projects on their day off.  There’s a natural range.

One of my favorite fatherhood memories was taking my son to the north shore of Lake Champlain to fish for pike and bass.  It was a long trip and we didn’t know any of the local details for fishing so we tried a row boat which turned out to be a dicey thing on a lake with a particularly strong current.  But we caught some fish and ate some bad food and spent a memorable weekend together as father and son.

I guess it’s natural for us to think of our own fathers and try to figure out how we stack up.  My own father had six sons and he spent most of his time with us trying to stop us from hitting each other quite so much.  He was one of the most aggravated individuals I can remember.  He was just outnumbered was his problem.  But deep down I think he liked us most of the time.  And since I feel that about him, I would conclude that he was a successful father.

So really none of us get to decide if we were successful at fatherhood.  It’s the kids who get the last word (although the wives probably would like to add a footnote or two as usual).  So, if after they’re grown, they’re still talking to you and if from time to time they still talk about any of the things you did together, then a case can be made for you as a good father.  Anyway, that’s my take.

Men and Women – The Fish Pond Rorschach Test

I have known Camera Girl for about forty-eight years.  We met on a beach while each of us was skipping out on our respective high schools.  Physical attraction was the initial force that brought us together but over the years, we have interacted to the point where, we know each other as well as a man and a woman possibly can.  And yet our motivations, methods and objectives are, if anything, even closer to being diametrically opposed now than they were at the beginning.

I like to think that I base my plans on a somewhat analytical approach to accomplishing my objectives.  So, let’s say Camera Girl tells me that she wants a fish pond.  Before committing to such a project, I would first look at the pros and cons of such a goal.  I would ask my client what are the objectives?  How many fish and what type are desired?  What’s the budget for construction and maintenance?

Then I would look at the various options for constructing the pond.  Should it be a liner or a solid shell?  Should I build it or hire a contractor?  Where should it be set up with respect to the sun?  What safety considerations need to be weighed?  When does it need to be completed by?  What additional items (like a bench or some plants) are also required?  What modifications will need to be made to the property (power line, water line) to accommodate the pond?  And finally, how will the pond be impacted on by the surrounding wildlife?

Camera Girl, on the other hand, cleans out an old muck bucket that she has lying round the yard, buys a dozen “shiners” at PetSmart and tells me she wants me to buy a “solar” fountain on Amazon.com for $12.98.

I find this very disconcerting.  I explain to her that the “shiners” will probably die in the bucket over the course of the summer, the fountain is a piece of crappy plastic that will probably stop working after a few weeks and she’ll have to replace fish and water every few weeks.

This perturbs her not the least.  Our granddaughter will be coming over tomorrow and they like looking at the fish in the bucket for a few minutes every day.  And none of my arguments address this goal.

For she knows that if I were to undertake this epic project by the method that I favor, it would involve weeks of planning and months of installation.  Just digging the hole would take a week or two.  So, from her point of view my method has no upside.  A pond that was finished in September is worse than no pond at all.  The weeks when our granddaughter would be without the fish to interact with would be an epic failure.  Because by September she’ll be entering kindergarten and no longer around to enjoy the mega-pond that I would create.

So, shaking my head and grumbling under my breath I look up this magnificent “fountain” and find a plethora of companies selling this same crappy plastic fountain and select the one that will deliver it for a total of $7.53.  This is my consolation.  I paid five bucks less for a piece of junk that probably won’t last through June.

But when all is said and done.  She has logic on her side.  That muck bucket pond is almost an optimized solution to the mission.  A little girl will sprinkle some fish food into it and watch the fish come up to get it.  And even if the fountain stops working and even if the racoons and the herons eat all of the fish on a weekly basis it will have served its purpose.

But my pond would be much better.

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.

Guest Contributor – Nostradumbass – 25FEB2023 – Rant on a Rant

A Rant for February Twenty Fifth

I so wanted this post to be true, but the main ingredient for the actions you state require the “parent” to actually be a parent…

just a start on commenting about this post:

If you have children, teach them what you want them to believe.

There are a good amount of teenage and welfare mothers that are teaching their children exactly what they believe, that being it is someone else’s responsibility to provide a home, food, clothing and health care, and it should not involve any costs or labor on their part. I think this lesson is being taught effectively.

Show them how to achieve the things they want.

The lack of principle, the ease of acquiring the largess of American good will is how the children of these mothers is shown.

The problem is now that the people that raised this version of parents were never actually parents to begin with. I’m not saying that this is true for all the current crop of parents, or even that they are the majority of the current generation, but there are enough that are, that they become “models” for the next generation.

The question becomes “Why should I work and bring home less than what the government will give me for doing nothing?”. That seems to be the current model.

A Rant for February Twenty Fifth

Winter has reappeared here in Dunwich.  The estimate is for up to eight inches of snow on Monday night.  Looks like I’ll finally break out the snowblower this winter after all.  But not yet.  Today I look out the window and a light snow is falling.  A fraction of an inch has accumulated and it gives the environs the correct veneer of New England winter to make the picture fit the calendar.

I read the headlines and what do I find?  All the same boring nonsense.  Inflation continues to impoverish us.  The Ukrainian war continues to impoverish us and kill Ukrainians.  Our incompetent federal government continues to impoverish our descendants unto the fourth generation and our monstrous Deep State continues to spy on and entrap Americans in false flag operations of their own manufacturing.  Really, it’s horror and tedium in almost equal measures.

But none of that is my topic for the day.  What I want to write about is the practical course of action for our people.  And that is to find the actions that you can take locally and do them.  Don’t think about doing them.  Don’t talk about doing them.  DO THEM!!!!

If you have children, teach them what you want them to believe.  Teach them by doing, not talking.  Show them how to achieve the things they want.  Help them in school.  Warn them about the propaganda they will hear in the classroom.  Help them to figure out their abilities and counsel them on figuring out what trade or profession they should get trained in.

And teach them patience and perseverance.  Keep them from picking up bad habits like wasting their time on frivolous on-line activities.  And socialize them.  Make sure they are comfortable interacting with their peers, the opposite sex and with adults.  Force them out of their comfort zone.    AND TEACH THEM TO WORK!!!!

Get involved in your community.  Find out how things get done.  Find out who runs the local government.  Volunteer for something with which you have some expertise.  Or if that’s not possible volunteer for something that anyone can help with.  Towns and local governments are always looking for help.  Pick something that can make your environment better.  There are committees for school, zoning, budget, infrastructure, etc.  Meet the local Republican committee and find out if they’re useful or useless.  And maybe even run for some very minor local office or position.  But at the very least find out who the people are who want to run your town or district.  And for pity’s sake at least make sure you vote for the ones who are least bad. Get to know what the problems are in your local area and decide if these are things that can be fixed and figure out whether they will make your life unbearable.

So this is me saying grab a hold of your life and your world and make it change in ways that make it better for you and yours.  You can’t fire Joe Biden or end affirmative action or lower the federal deficit.  But you can give your kids a shot at flourishing in whatever environment they’re in.  You can find out who really runs your town.  You can find out what kind of people they are.  You absolutely need to find out who is running your kids’ school and you damn well better find out what their teachers are like.

So, there’s my cabin fever rant for today.  Ahhh, I feel better already.

Dead Pile and the Angry Polar Bear

Today was a busy day.  Princess Sack of Potatoes wanted to play Dead Pile, and later on, The Angry Polar Bear.  The latter is a very taxing business where I chase her around the house growling and trying to carry her away to the “Ice Flow of Death.”  All that growling takes its toll on my larynx and the dogs go nuts trying to defend her from this seemingly homicidal activity of mine.  But one does what must be done.

As you can tell by the descriptions, death has become a part of her imagination.  Of course, all those who end up in the dead pile are the bad animals, never the good ones.  And the Ice Flow of Death has only ever been fatal for the polar bear and even then, he always seems to be brought back for an encore.  It’s funny how little kids imagine things for which they have very little experience.  Other than a hermit crab, her little world has been untouched by death.  At least as far as she is aware.  She’ll be spared knowledge of actual deaths that have occurred while she was too young to even understand the concept.

Of late Camera Girl has introduced the concept of dog heaven to cover the eventuality of what to tell her when our older dog does die.  And she is very curious about it, “Will Kaylee have anyone to play with?  Will she get her favorite treats?”  All these were manageable reactions.  But then she asked about herself going to heaven.  That was a bridge too far.  We assured her that she wouldn’t be going anywhere for a long, long, long time and she should stop thinking such things.

And that passed.  Now we’re back to the cheerful mayhem of dead pile where bad velociraptor and evil giraffe get their comeuppance but never is heard a discouraging word.  She has introduced some innovations that may be a form of humane treatment or possibly just safety precautions.  Now before any of the bad animals are hurled onto the dead pile, they are first “put to sleep.”  This sounds suspiciously like pet euthanasia.  I hesitate to ask where she got this idea.  Maybe one of her friends had a dog or cat that had to be “put to sleep.”  But we’ll let it slide for now.  Dead pile has been wildly popular but I think the first waning has begun.

And just in time.  It’s rather repetitive.  And it’s time for the princess to begin to read.  We’ll start with the ats (at, bat, cat, fat, skip gat, hat, mat, gnat, pat, sat, forget tat and finish with vat).  And then we’ll do a few more families and it’ll be on to Dr. Seuss.  We’ve got to hurry because before you know it it’ll be September and she’ll be off to kindergarten.  And then she’ll be too old for The Angry Polar Bear and too sophisticated for her old pastimes.

Well, that’s the way it should be.  Her world is opening up.  School and friends and all the joys and sorrows of childhood.  And I have to wonder if she’ll remember all our games and play.  She is a very intelligent child.  Maybe her memories will last.  I hope so.  I feel that my existence is bound up in the memories of those who are close to me.  My children and grandchildren will be the extension of my impact on this world, just as I passed on the existence of my parents and grandparents to them.

It’s a great privilege to get to interact with your descendants.  You can see their traits and sometimes recognize yours and your spouse’s.  You can tell them stories and things about themselves and about their parents and you can share things that you enjoyed when you were young.  Yes, it’s a rare treat.  It’s the payoff for all the hard work you did raising your own kids.

Well, it was a good day.  Busy but good.

Here’s a Post About What’s Wrong with Modern Churches

Bear Grylls is a reality tv personality.  He does a lot of wilderness survival stuff.  And from what I read in this article he’s hawking a couple of books and probably some other stuff too.  But a lot of what he’s saying here is quite true.  What he says about the modern churches rings true for me.

“He expressed his distaste for what he called “religious language,” sanitizing messages in such a way where people “can’t be honest, can’t express doubt and can’t fail.” The Church, he said, is “the place to have doubts and questions.”

“Look at the early Church. It was a roomful of people eating and drinking and doubting and struggling and arguing,” he said. 

But the Church today, he said, has gotten away from that. 

“Probably most of the people in the congregation have substance abuse, and probably most of their congregations struggle with porn and all that sort of stuff,” he said. “What a relief it is when a pastor can stand up and go, ‘Welcome to the hospital, folks. Here we go. I’m just standing alongside you on the road, failing our way through, but reaching out of desperation for life and love and redemption. Let’s look outwards, and love other people, and we’re in it together.’””

Religion is the next frontier that has to be reclaimed from the Left.  And the sooner the better.  There’s very little of it left to fix.  Most of the churches are beyond repair and need to be abandoned.

 

Guest Contributor – pigpen51 – 16JAN2023 – Reply to What’s Wrong With Modern Churches

Men and Dogs and Women

A7 III with Sigma 150 – 600mm MC-11 adapter

Dog is man’s best friend.  But woman is dog’s best friend.  Or should that be mommy.  I went with Camera Girl to the vet’s office with Kaylee, our older dog.  She’s a 13-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer and she’s starting to wear down.  Camera Girl loves her dearly and has been very worried that she won’t make it through the winter.  Now this seems like an unnecessary concern.  Other than progressive arthritis and a certain amount of mental confusion she seems relatively healthy.  She still enjoys her food enthusiastically and can keep up her normal activities, only at a slower pace.

But because of her concerns I went along in case any bad news was forthcoming.  When we got there, we entered the office and the receptionist began engaging in the typical female baby talk that is reserved for pets.  Then we got to the examination room and the vet tech came in and she too commenced with the mewing and cooing that passes for woman to dog communication.  And finally, the vet showed up and she also began the embarrassing babbling.  Now I will admit that both the tech and the vet were pretty adept at their medical tasks.  They vaccinated Kaylee and cut her nails quite skillfully.  And the vet convinced Camera Girl that Kaylee will make it through the year at least.  But as a man it was pretty comical listening as three grown women coaxed and comforted a large dog as if it were a three-month-old infant.

Now, full disclosure.  I have a very soft spot in my heart for all our dogs past and present.  And since I’ve had to be the one holding them when the vet puts them to sleep for the last time, I know exactly how close is the bond between a man and his dog.  Of course, they’re not human and certainly not our children.  But they think they are.  And that obligates us to treat them as family.  Since they lack the wherewithal to be responsible for themselves in human society, we become their guardians and keepers.  So that’s the logical underpinning for our position.  But the emotional relationship is much, much closer to a parent-child relationship than anything else.

So, fine.  We treat them in many ways like children.  But why do these women pretend they’re talking to newborns?  Dogs have the intelligence of a young child in many ways.  And they have the ability to respond to verbal commands and prompts of all kinds.  Why do these women chirp at them in this embarrassing manner.  As a mother and grandmother Camera Girl has always been quite good at teaching and disciplining little children and once they’re beyond a year or so she speaks to children in English with a minimum of singsong and baby words.  Why does she insist on using it for dogs.  In fact, why can’t she discipline her dogs as well as she did her children?

For the majority of our married life, I’ve been at the office during the week and she was home with the kids and dogs.  And without exception she has spoiled every one of our dogs rotten.  All of her cooing and babytalk is useless in getting the dogs to obey her.  Finally in desperation she asks me to take over and I have to growl at the dog to get obedience.  And this is a very bad situation.  For larger sporting breeds bad training can be dangerous.  But my protests have always been in vain.  She just can’t treat a dog as anything but a baby.

But at last, there will be a changing of the guard.  When in the fullness of time we need to get a new puppy in the house I will be home much more of the time than formerly and I intend to train this dog.  And it will be a revelation to Camera Girl.  This dog will obey my commands immediately and unerringly.  This dog will be a manly chap who will eschew all baby talk and respond to the curt guttural syllables reserved for a dog in the field.  Sit!  Heel!  Down!  He’ll be used to good solid pats to the ribs when he succeeds in his chores and maybe a scratch behind the ear while we’re watching tv together.  I’ll allow this dog a modicum of self-respect as a carnivore in good standing.  No goo-goo gah-gah.  Sure, I won’t stop Camera Girl from chirping at the dog and lavishing affection on him but I will not allow her to undermine the training.

A man and his dog.  A woman and her dog.  So different.

With Visions of Sugar Plums Dancing Over Their Heads

Christmas Cooking, Sony A7 III, Sony 90mm f\2.8 macro lens

 

The last week before Christmas.  Now Camera Girl must marshal all her powers to coordinate the schedule of buying and cooking the feast.  Today she came home with a ham, chopped meat, escarole and some of the other ingredients of the various courses.  The roast beast won’t arrive until the end of the week.  And the pies and cakes won’t be baked or bought for a few days more.  I was explicit that there must be a good quality vanilla ice cream in copious quantity to complement the pies.  And very good coffee to wash it down.

The mashed potatoes, corn, crescent rolls and the stuffed mushrooms are all last-minute items that won’t be started until Christmas Eve but they’ll add their dimension to the meal.  And finally, I demanded chestnuts and that rope of dried figs that no one ever eats.  Camera Girl, being the frugal woman that she is, complained bitterly that chestnuts now cost $8 a pound.  But I was adamant.  I never liked them as a kid but my father-in-law always had some out at Christmas and after trying them a few times I actually developed a taste for them.  As for the dried figs, they’re so hard that they’re almost inedible but somehow it wouldn’t be Christmas without them lying around on the table so I demanded them too.

And this year I’ll show my little granddaughter the trick with the mandarin orange skin and a lighted match.  The oils in the skin are flammable and she’ll be amazed to see it ignite around the match when I squeeze the skin near it.  And this year I think I’ll try to get the kids to join in a penny ante poker game with me.  Camera Girl has an old bucket of pennies.  There must be a thousand of them and we can play for hours without any serious money changing hands.

I’ve got my favorite Christmas DVDs at the ready and several albums of Christmas music on tap.  And no one should be sick this year because everyone has already been stricken with the Chinese Bioweapon recently.  I don’t know that I’ve ever had a sugar plum but I’m pretty sure there’ll be all kinds of chocolates and mints on the table.

Sure, everything is about twice as expensive as normal and that old dimwit Biden keeps gassing off every few days about Ukraine or gay marriage or trans-something-or-other but I’m satisfied that this will be a good Christmas despite him and the rest of the grifters who run the crime family that fleeces us.

It’s still Christmas, friends, family and food and that’s a pretty good combination.  I can no longer feel any community with the degenerates that surround us and plot bigger and uglier ways to degrade the good things in the world.  But I feel kinship with the normal people that work hard and raise their kids and try to make the world go round.  With them I can hope for a Merry Christmas and we’ll worry about the New Year later.  Where’s that sweet potato pie?

The Culture Wars Are Won One Child at a Time

Legislating morality and thinking that will be enough to protect children is a mistaken idea.  The individuals who seek to prey on young people are working at the personal level and they need to be stopped at the same personal level, one on one.  Excluding these individuals from access to your children has to be done by design and diligence.

Look who has access to your kids.  The biggest pools of access are in the schools they attend.  There you have the school boards who set policy, the principals who oversee the operation and the teachers and other functionaries like librarians, nurses, teacher’s aides and administrators who directly interact with your children.  Figuring out how to evaluate the records and personalities of these people is far from a trivial exercise.  But this is your responsibility.  You’ve got to utilize any and every resource available.  Do a search for best practices in evaluating schools for safety risks like sex offenders among the staff.  Demand to see the curriculum and actual course materials that your children will be studying.  Find out what outside personnel and resources will be used in any enrichment activities the school plans for the coming year.  Talk to the teachers individually and engage them with frank questions about their perspectives about anything that the teachers might try to use to interject their personal beliefs on your children.  Note these teachers’ appearances and mannerisms.  Are they unusual looking?  Do they behave at all abnormally?  Look for danger signs.  An obvious one is an LGBTQ individual.  Worse still is someone who presents as transgender.  If the school is terrible, then look for an alternative.

And the schools are not the only danger zones.  Day care and after school activities such as gym classes, dance classes, sports, scouting, swimming lessons, self-defense classes, art classes, music lessons are all things that must be investigated to feel confident that the personnel are safe and to be trusted.  And even then, remember that other children are also to be taken into consideration from a risk point of view.  Will your child be supervised in a responsible manner by the personnel present.  Or alternatively will you be present to take care of the supervision?

And finally, the other reservoir of concern are your children’s friends and their families and parents.  Leaving your kids with strangers is extremely irresponsible.  Get to know your kids’ friends and their families.  Friends have an enormous influence on growing children.  Peer pressure about sex and drug use are extremely hard to overestimate.  Kids are horribly suggestible well into their twenties.  But do your best to exclude the worst examples among their peers that you can.  And the best way to do this is to dominate their free time with activities and playmates that you have planned and vetted.  One of the best ways for you to do this is to volunteer for the supervision of the activities that your kids will be participating in.  Coaching kids’ sports teams is a great way to see which kids are odd or abnormal.  Also, you’ll get to meet the other parents and try to distinguish the good from the bad.  But remember your knowledge of other people will always be limited.  Always be careful of the situations you leave your kids in when you can’t be there.

And finally come up with a program for making your kids aware of the dangers that they may be exposed to when you’re not around.  Have appropriate discussions with your kids about the strange things that have begun to infect the world.  Somehow, you’ll have to explain some of the abnormalities that have become commonplace in the modern American landscape.  You’ll have to explain things like homosexuality and transgenderism and how they can protect themselves from the people attempting to normalize these behaviors to children.  You’re going to have to find resources to explain these concepts in ways that don’t frighten kids but at the same time allow them to adopt a posture that allows them to keep away from it.  That is far from a trivial assignment.

This is an enormous amount of work.  You can make it easier by living in a state like Florida that is starting to legislate against schools teaching perversion to young children.  But even in a “safe” state the burden is still on you to ensure that dangerous predators don’t manage to get access to your children.  But if you’re a parent, that is your job and if you’re successful you will win the culture war in the most important sense of the term.  You’ll have protected your child from the sexual confusion and nihilism that is the worst damage that the Left inflicts on children.  And you’ll maximize your chances of someday having grandchildren that will need to be protected too.  But then you’ll have raised children that will be up to the challenge of being those parents.