Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Roxy and my rabbit


Being from Delphi, Ind., I belong to the Facebook group “You Know You’re From Delphi Indiana When…”

Michael George Griffey, who graduated from Delphi High School a few years after I did is a major contributor, having run a photography business and a newspaper in Delphi for several years and inheriting a vast and rich photo archive from local photographers who worked there in years past.

He posted this photo a couple of days ago and it opened the floodgates of memories for me, and apparently for a lot of other folks.

It’s the Roxy Theater, a movie house on the north side of the Carroll County Courthouse square and it was where I could be found most Saturday afternoons in my elementary and junior high school years. In fact, this could easily be a shot of me and my friends (but it’s not).

Every Saturday afternoon in the mid- and late 1950s, the Roxy had a matinee aimed at kids. There was usually a double feature of western or war or science fiction movies, complete with a newsreel, a chapter of a serial, and one or more cartoons.

They upped the ante on holiday weekends like Christmas and Easter.

I believe it was the Saturday before Easter 1954 when they drew for prizes during an intermission between the features. In due course, the number on my ticket stub was drawn and I ran down front to the stage where they handed me a real live rabbit. I don’t think I’d even touched a rabbit before that moment. Never having won anything before, I was feeling very very cool.

It being intermission, that meant I had to hold the rabbit through the second feature of the afternoon.

A few minutes into the movie, I noticed what I took to be raisins in my lap.

It was not uncommon for kids to throw things around the theater during these matinees, so I just supposed someone was throwing raisins. So I took to throwing them too.

It never occurred to me to eat them because I was brought up to not eat food that someone else had handled.

Imagine my chagrin when I got home and my dad explained that what I thought were raisins were really rabbit poop.

My dad built a small rabbit hutch for Bugs and he lived with us for several months. Rabbits being socially inept and not very interesting, I eventually lost interest and we released him into the wild where I suppose he was eaten by some predator.


Here’s another view of the Roxy from 1951. The theater was demolished and replaced with apartments in 1974.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mug Day at Boscos in Memphis


The Saturday after Thanksgiving is traditionally the day Boscos Mug Club members get new mugs for the coming year and get to take home the current year’s mugs.

Mug Club membership costs $60 a year and gets you your own personal boscos2014anumbered mug that lives above the bar when you’re not using it. You also get reduced prices on the beers from the Boscos microbrewery whenever you visit.

BMW riding friend Charlie Parsons acquainted me with this bistro and its mug club several years ago and I got my fourth mug today.

The Boscos Mug Club became considerably more exclusive this year because all of the other Boscos restaurants in Arkansas and Tennessee have closed.

So here is the 2015 mug – nice but nothing as spectacular as the 2012 mug that had a Mayan calendar theme.

westysOur Mississippi BMW friend William joined us and we had a pleasant lunch.

Afterward, Charlie took me to Westy’s Restaurant and Bar down by the Mississippi River and the Memphis Pyramid, which is taking its own sweet time in becoming the new Bass Pro Shops mothership.

Westy’s is famous for their hot fudge pie, topped with vanilla ice cream. It was stunningly good with a cup of coffee.

I don’t think I will need to eat until Monday.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Apropos of nothing… PIGS ON A HOUSEBOAT!


Sometime in the 1970s when I was on the State/Suburban Desk of The Indianapolis News, we got a tip that a farmer north of Indianapolis was using an old houseboat as a pig pen.

I called the guy, confirmed the report and arranged to drive up to his farm for a story and photos. If memory serves, he lived in Hamilton County, somewhere south and west of Strawtown.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful for Maria

pumpkin pie

Maria was up at 7 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning and by 9 o’clock had THREE of my mother’s recipe pumpkin pies baked.

I am supremely thankful!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mom’s pumpkin pie

recipe pumpkin pie[8]

My mother made the best pumpkin pie I ever tasted.

It was mellow, flavorful and not overly nutmeggy as lots of pumpkin pies turn out.

Happily, she left us the recipe and Maria has been able to replicate it perfectly on several occasions.

So here, as a Thanksgiving gift to everyone who checks in here from time to time, is Mom’s pumpkin pie recipe.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Finally, something that works!


I’ve been drinking a few ounces of warm milk with a teaspoon of cinnamon and a tablespoon of honey before bed nightly for the past two months and am sleeping better than I have for years.

I’ve know for a long time that cinnamon is great for diabetes and a bunch of other conditions. I even bought a big bottle of cinnamon capsules a couple of years ago, but never used them regularly.

Since I’ve been following the nighttime regimen of milk, honey and cinnamon, I no longer wake up in the middle of the night with acid reflux or an upset stomach. The result is deeper, more restful sleep and more energy throughout the day.

I bought this big 5 pound bottle of honey at Sam’s Club back in late September. By last week, the remaining honey had crystallized to the point where I couldn’t pour it. Happily, I ran into a guy who was selling Mid-South honey from northern Mississippi at the grand opening of the Kroger Marketplace in Jonesboro last Wednesday and asked him if there was a way to get the honey back into a pourable solution.

His answer: bring a large pot of water to a boil, remove it from the heat and put the bottle of crystallized honey into the water until the honey returns to a liquid state. I did it and it worked like a charm.

Incidentally, he suffers from the same digestive problems that I have and was excited to try the honey, cinnamon and milk remedy. I came away thinking that conversation was probably the reason I was drawn to Kroger that morning.

Here’s the site that inspired me to try honey and cinnamon:

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gone 17 years


This is one of my favorite photos of my father – a candid shot of him walking on the courthouse square in Delphi, Ind., headed for his office on a sunny weekday morning in the early 1940s.

Charles M. Flora would have been in his early 30s at the time, married since 1939 and living at 609 E. Franklin Street with his bride, Eileen. They were childless – I was born in July, 1945 and I believe my mother miscarried a baby girl before I was born.

This photo is appropriate today because my dad left this world on this date in 1997 at the age of 87. His last few years were spent in ill health and in a nursing home and he hated it.

My mom was called to the nursing home when he died and swore he stuck his tongue out at her when she went into his room. The facts argue against that, but I prefer to believe mom because that was something dad would have done.

There hasn’t been a day in the past 17 years that I haven’t thought about my father and wished I could share a thought or experience with him.

Mom adored him and only lasted a little shy of three years without him.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

51 years ago today

JFKI was a freshman at what was then Indiana State College (now Indiana State University) 51 years ago today.

I’d just had lunch in the Gillum-Sandison Hall dining room when I walked into the Gillum lounge and found a crowd of guys glued to the black-and-white console TV.

The news from Dallas was grim and we learned minutes later that President John F. Kennedy was dead.

I was a Kennedy Democrat at the time and thought of JFK as my president. So the news of his death was like a body blow.

Nobody knew what to do or say. Classes were cancelled and we all just wandered around like – well, to use an overworked word – zombies. The local rock and roll station, WBOW played funereal music all evening.

I ended up driving to Washington, D.C. with five other students. We drove all night and crashed at the University of Maryland Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity house.

We were somewhere in Maryland, approaching Washington, when we learned Jack Ruby had gunned down Lee Harvey Oswald. Reed McCormick, whose parents’ car we used, was an ATO active and I was a couple of weeks away from becoming an ATO pledge at the time, which got out couch space in the ATO house lounge.

We stood in a chilly line all the next night to file past the casket in the Capitol Rotunda and stood along the funeral procession route the next morning. It was a surreal experience. I had a cheap little box camera with me and got a few shots of the funeral procession, including the caisson and the horse Black Jack, with the boots backward in the stirrups.

That's me on the left, then Reed McCormick and then Steve Dolbow. Reed died of a heart attack in his Arizona home two years ago last April. Steve lives across Chesapeake Bay from the Capital in Easton, Md.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Yeah, it’s unconstitutional. What else is new?

Obama - Peeing on USI didn’t watch any TV news last night and I certainly didn’t waste any time watching Obama sanctioning illegal immigration on the basis of faux compassion.

We all know the whole point of the exercise is to damage America and create more Democrat voters.

And I’m doing my level best to stay away from the outrage being expressed this morning.

We knew this was coming. The guy has always hated people like us and the America we love. He told us all we need to know about him with his offhand remark about people bitterly clinging to their guns and religion.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Jack has been with us for three years

Three years ago today, Maria and I drove to Carthage, Mo. and the Briarbrooks Kennels where we chose Jack as our new puppy.
This video was made three days later when he was exactly 12 weeks old.
Jack comes from a long line of AKC champions and grand champions on both sides of his lineage. His forebears include two grandfathers who were Best of Breed at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
You probably can't see it in this video, but his posture and carriage are impeccable and he has a wonderful "fancy pageant walk," as we call it.
We waited about two years to file the AKC registration papers because we couldn't decide on a proper AKC registration name. I initially favored Jumpin' Jack Flash, but Maria vetoed it because it has Satanic connotations.
After watching his kind and nurturing behavior around little Dora, we settled on Briarbrooks Gentleman Jack Flora.
I'm glad we waited for the name.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Indianapolis-style grocery shopping comes to Jonesboro


Morgan helped to represent the Jonesboro Public Library last night at the pre-opening preview of the new Kroger Marketplace and came home raving about the amazing range of products and features.

The store opened for business at 8 a.m. today. There was a promise of generous gift certificates for the first 100 shoppers. I thought about going for it, but decided there would probably be more than 100 hard-core shoppers who got there insanely early.

That said, I arrived about 8:10 a.m., so I was present during the first hour of operation.

It may seem mundane to most people, but this state-of-the-art Kroger supermarket is a very big deal for northeast Arkansas. As of this morning, Kroger dominates a local grocery market they previously shared with Bill’s Fresh Market, Harp’s, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Hays, Cash Saver, etc. This has to be a Maalox moment for the folks planning to open an Aldi supermarket a few blocks south of the new Kroger Marketplace.

newkroger05The place was crawling with Kroger employees eager to hand out maps of the store and guide you to whatever you wanted.

My first quest was for Kefir, a probiotic yogurt-like drink that occasionally appeared in the specialty dairy case at the old Kroger.

I tried the regular dairy section first, then asked a couple of Kroger guys in suits about it. They blinked like deer in the headlights, being unfamiliar with the product, and sent me off in the general direction of the specialty dairy case.

A helpful Kroger lady led me the last few yards to a plentiful supply of Kefir.

newkroger01I noticed there was a whole aisle full of heavily discounted weekly specials – this week aimed at Thanksgiving with cranberry stuff, nutmeg, sugar, yams, chicken broth, etc.

newkroger03The Deli section is impressive, with a salad bar, sushi, and an amazing olive bar.

newkroger02There’s even a smallish section of products commonly available in European markets, but rarely seen here, including Heinz Spotted Dick, a pudding that is popular in Britain.

There were free samples galore and I ended up buying $66 worth of stuff, including a $14.99 meat and cheese tray for Maria’s office.

And on my way out the door, a guy thrust a free package of Thomas’ English Muffins into my hands.

The new Kroger Marketplace has all of the essential elements of the Meijer and Marsh stores we have sorely missed since we moved here from Indiana. It almost feels like going home.

The only thing missing is beer and wine. The huge section occupied by bottled water makes me think they were ready to offer adult beverages if the statewide alcohol sales measure had succeeded in the election earlier this month.

I'm so happy Sean found this place

Keep watching after the first clip ends for more glimpses of Sean, his Rock & Roll Bed & Breakfast and, of course, his sweet pittie Honey Pie.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

California dreaming


The temperature was a brisk 19° here this morning and only 30° at 11 a.m., making me yearn for some Big Sur sunshine. The temperature at my favorite restaurant – Nepenthe – is a pleasant 65° right now.

This photo was shot a few miles south of Nepenthe with the Big Creek Bridge in the background in the summer of 1994. (Yikes, that was 20 years ago!)

I’m not sure what the guy with the camera and tripod is aiming at, since he’s looking out on a rather hazy Pacific Ocean.

This turnout on Calif. 1 just south of the Big Creek Bridge is one of my mandatory stopping places whenever I visit the Big Sur coast. I sit on the same big rock and soak in the amazing mix of wildflower fragrances and salty air, doing my best to burn it indelibly into my brain for mornings just like this.

I can’t think of more pleasing vistas and a more agreeable Mediterranean climate than the Big Sur coast.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Great idea, Homer


Behold the World’s Largest Christmas Tree as it appeared from the observation deck of the City-County Building in downtown Indianapolis in December, 1967.

The idea of decorating the Soldiers and Sailors Monument as the World's Largest Christmas Tree was the brainchild of Homer Heusing, an executive of American Fletcher National Bank (later Bank One, later still CHASE) whose office on Monument Circle overlooked the monument.

The monument had been decorated on a smaller scale since 1945, but the big tree lit up for the first time in 1962. I had the pleasure of interviewing Homer for The Indianapolis News in November, 1967.

The first time I saw the big tree was in December, 1966 when I was beginning my journalism career at the Tipton (Ind.) Tribune.

I was abusing Romilar, a popular cough medicine that contained a synthetic morphine, with my friend Steve Power. We were driving downtown in Steve’s mother’s VW beetle and Steve approached the Monument by a circuitous route. When he finally turned on to Meridian Street and the Monument hove into view, my drug addled senses had me momentarily believing IT WAS A REAL TREE!

(At 284 feet, it’s still not as tall as the tallest Giant Sequoia known – “Hyperion,” which stands 379 feet 4 inches tall in Redwood National Park, California.)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Defrosting the freezer

freezer work light

The Wi-Fi temperature sensor (black wire at the top of the photo) has been reporting disturbingly high temperatures in the garage freezer for the past couple of weeks, signaling the need for defrosting.

We’re tackling the problem this morning.

That’s not blood on the bottom of the freezer – it’s juice from bags of cherries we brought back from Indiana in July.

I shifted the frozen meat and vegetables into a couple of coolers and set up a high-intensity work light to get some heat into the freezer, since the ambient garage temperature of 45° was too cold to quickly melt the slab of ice on the back of the freezer.

Remembering Pete


Pete was our first Aussie. He came into the world on Nov. 5, 2005 and left it two years ago today when his liver betrayed him.

His dad was a miniature Australian Shepherd and his mom was a full-size Aussie, so Pete was smaller in stature than standard dogs of his breed.

He was a wonderful, affectionate, sensitive boy who loved us unconditionally and he left a hole in our hearts when he died. He also ruined us for any other breed of dog, which is why we have Jack and Dora today.

Here he is leading Ruthie on a merry chase around the back yard on March 20, 2008.

We’ll never forget you, Pete, and we look forward to seeing you again someday. You too, Ruthie.

Friday, November 14, 2014

November in Indiana

harvested field

This is one of my favorite autumn images of Indiana and I just made it my Facebook cover photo.

The windmill is in a freshly harvested field on the north side of Ind. 47 just east of Darlington, Ind. and I shot it in 2007 just before I became an Arkansan.

The wide range of tonal detail results from editing the image with HDR software.

The temperature was 24° here this morning, but the trees in northeast Arkansas are still in their fall colors – some of the oaks hang onto their leaves all winter long – but I suspect things are looking November-bleak in my old Indiana homeland. Just like this photo.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

They can’t complain about never being photographed


I like to say I had Homer Simpson’s style of parenting, but I did a damn good job of documenting my sons’ lives with photography.

I’ve been sifting through tens of thousands of images on black & white and color negatives and color slides in recent months and as a result, hundreds of previously unseen images are coming to light.

Darkroom printmaking is laborious and time-consuming work, not to mention expensive and demanding a level of skill I never took the time to cultivate. Consequently, lots of images that might have been difficult to print never got the attention they deserved.

My Nikon Coolscan IV transparency scanner and Photoshop changed all that and now I can share more of Sean and Steve’s early days.


Here’s Sean on the kitchen floor at my parents’ house with Snoopy the Humane Society dog eyeing him and my mother loading the dishwasher.


And here’s Steve throwing a ball to me in the back yard of our home at 5009 N. College Ave., in Indianapolis.


This is my mother’s first-year (1964½) Mustang. Sean and Steve took it for a spin when we visited my parents in Delphi, Ind. on Thanksgiving, 1986.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Countdown to Kroger


I drove by the new Kroger store location this morning and tried to get a good shot of the countdown clock. Unfortunately, the LED display operates at a frequency that defies complete capture by my iPhone 5.

But you get the idea – 6 days, 9 hours, fifty-something minutes and some seconds until the Nov. 19 Grand Opening.

Why do I care? It appears this will be a huge store with way more variety and services than the old Kroger a block north on Caraway Road. Unfortunately, the universal alcohol sales measure on last week’s ballot failed, so this remains a dry county and there will be no beer and wine department at Kroger for the foreseeable future.

The cold front has reached the Mid-South and the temperature here stands at 37 overcast degrees with no likelihood of reaching the forecast high of 43.

I went to St. Bernards Health & Wellness with the intention of working out, only to discover I failed to put a t-shirt into my gym bag. Since I’ve been feeling chilly all morning, I decided not to waste the trip and I spent a half-hour marinating in the hot tub before showering and heading to Starbucks to cash in an empty coffee bag for a free cup of dark roast.

The Wifi sensor in our garage freezer has been nagging me via iPhone text messages for the last day or two about the worrisome lack of frigidity – 29.1 degrees at the last report – so I’m going to see what I  can do about that this afternoon.

Never a dull moment, eh?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Old School Midterm Election


This is how democracy used to work in small-town America – tamper-proof paper ballots marked in the privacy of a voting booth.

There are photos I shot on Nov. 1, 1966 during the mid-term election at Tipton, Ind.

I was in my first newspaper job, working as a reporter for the Tipton Tribune, a six-day-a-week daily serving Tipton County, north of Indianapolis.


There was never a discussion about photo IDs because that technology was years in the future. Besides, in a place like Tipton, everyone was a registered voter and everyone knew everyone else.


When you finished marking your ballot, you folded it and handed it to the man who put it into the ballot box that was probably used for voting since Woodrow Wilson or before.


After the polls closed, the county clerk and his deputies, along with party officials and the press, sat around in the clerk’s office waiting for the poll workers to count the votes and bring it the ballots and their tallies. That’s Hamilton Rigg, my editor, with his back to the camera.


Here’s “Ham” Rigg totaling up the votes on an old mechanical adding machine in the Tipton County Clerk’s office. I think it was on the second floor of the County Courthouse, but my memory may be faulty.


A sack of ballots from one of the precincts arrives at the clerk’s office. I love this shot.


One of the clerk’s deputies on the right (I can’t recall her name) goes over the vote tallies with one of the precinct workers.

Counting paper ballots is a time-consuming process and it was late in the evening before the first precincts came in. The final totals weren’t known until well after midnight.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Caveat emptor

ss dagger

A Facebook friend sent me this Craigslist ad this morning, wondering if I was interested.

Considering that Tom Wittmann, one of the foremost German militaria collectors and dealers in the country, is offering a Röhm SS dagger for $22,995, the $600 asking price is a huge red flag. Legitimate SS daggers go for $2,000 and up.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

This made me smile

sgt peper sean

This photo made me very happy when I saw it on Facebook first thing this morning.

It’s an homage to the album cover art for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, staged by Sean and more than 20 of his friends who showed up at a party at his Rock & Roll Bed & Breakfast to celebrate his birthday.

Sean is the one in the pointy silver party hat in the middle of the back row – I think – it’s kinda murky.

I was a little concerned and his pit bull Honey Pie (bottom left) might be lonely way out there on Sauvie Island. Apparently I need not have worried.

Sean has carved out an ever-enlarging niche in the lively Portland music scene and that makes me happy and proud.

sean party

Saturday, November 08, 2014

For you WWII history buffs

reichparteitag mapClick on the map above to see a PDF version in glorious detail, including a supplementary map on the reverse side.

This was among the items my late father-in-law brought back from World War II. Capt. Phil Kroon served in the 144th Field Artillery Group and ended the war in Austria.

Sometimes you just have to sleep on it

corsairThe Amazon Vine Program sent me the new Corsair H2100 Wireless Dolby 7.1 Gaming Headset this week for evaluation and review.

I’m not much into video games, but the prospect of a high-end (MSRP $99.99) set of headphones for music and videos and maybe Skype appealed to me.

The package arrived yesterday afternoon and I began the setup process, the first task being to get a full charge in the build-in lithium battery.

That took until about 7 p.m. Downloading and installing the supporting software and getting the computer to install the appropriate drivers involved a couple of extremely time-consuming reboots.

I broke away at 8 p.m. to watch this week’s episode of Grimm, followed by a movie and finally got back to the setup work about 10:30 p.m.

That’s when the real frustration set in: The Bluetooth connection appeared good – I could work the volume control on the headset and see the volume slider on screen move up and down, but there was no sound.

I read and re-read the quick start guide that came with the headset, checking and re-checking each step until I was absolutely convinced that I’d done everything right. I turned the headset on and off several times, wondering if the Bluetooth connection was the problem and finally went to bed about 11 p.m., still unable to get sound from the headphones.

When I woke up this morning, it was with the thought that the problem was in the computer settings.


Sure enough, it turns out I needed to get into the Sound control and designate the headset as the default sound device.

Suddenly, the headphones sprang to life and all was right with the world.

I judge an audio device partially on the basis of whether it shows me something new in my music that I never knew was there. The Corsair H2100 passes the test, revealing instrumental details that previously eluded me.

There are doubtless better headsets out there for the audiophile, but they would be wasted on me because of tinnitus and loss of frequencies through age and hearing abuse. These headphones are comfortable and they sound great to my 69-year-old ears.

I haven’t tried the microphone yet, but I expect it works fine.

It would be really cool if I could pair the headset with my iPhone 5 for music and conversation, but it appears that isn’t possible.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Happy Birthday to my firstborn


Forty-seven years ago today, at 3:45 a.m., my son Sean drew his first breath in a delivery room at Coleman Hospital in Indianapolis.

He has never failed to impress me and he makes me more proud than I can ever say.

Happy birthday, Sean!

It was my birthday, but not my town

us 50 01

July 14, 2001 – Rich Nathan and I were on the first day of our campaign to ride the entirety of U.S. 50, which runs from Ocean City, Md. to Sacramento, Calif.

Rich, of course, shot the photo. That’s his red BMW R1100RS in the background.

It was my first visit to Flora, Ill. According to, Flora, Illinois was named after the daughter of one of the founders, so it’s not a surname. Flora, Indiana is named for my forebears, who were the first white settlers in Carroll County. There are also towns named Flora in Ohio and Mississippi.

We left Indianapolis a little after 7 a.m. and finally went to ground at a Day’s Inn in Ottawa, Kans. about 9:30 p.m., having covered 660 miles.

We did the eastern leg of U.S. 50 on the third week of October.

us 50 10

Here we are at Ocean City, Md.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Reviving the generator!

Before she left for work this morning, Maria implored me to check with the small engine repair shop that just relocated to new quarters down the road from us about getting our generator working.
The last time we needed it was June 6 when we were without power for almost two days. That's enough time for a lot of stuff to go bad in the refrigerator and freezer.
We ended up borrowing a generator from our neighbors, who had one to spare.
But with winter only about six weeks away, Maria is keen to have us prepared for power outages.
The generator is way too heavy for me to lift into the back of one of our SUVs and I'm not even sure it will fit, so I decided to try some starting fluid.
I've never used starting fluid before, but I figured I could puzzle it out. That said, I dragged the generator out into the driveway so as not to burn the house down if things went bad.
I gave it a squirt in the general vicinity of the carburetor and yanked on the cord. To my amazement, the engine fired, ran a couple of seconds and died.
I repeated this sequence about five times before the engine started to run on its own and took off at full speed once I moved the choke lever to the Run position.
I don't know about Maria, but this is a huge relief to me to know that, even if the beast doesn't want to start on the first or the 20th pull of the cord, I can make it go with a $3 can of starting fluid.
I have it humming along in the driveway now, running the tank dry so I can refill it with fresh gas and fuel stabilizer for the next time the lights go out.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

It’s Shadenfreude and I’m proud of it


Scanning nearly 600 of today’s newspaper front pages on the Newseum web site (, this one jumps out.

The New York Post is known for its lurid front pages and headlines, but this one is such a gleeful expression of schadenfreude (German for “pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others”) that I was naturally drawn to it.

simpsons_nelson_haha2This is the first time in the six years since Obama was elected that I have felt anything approaching hope and optimism for the country’s future.

Emperor Obama will almost certainly try to do as much damage to the republic between now and the end of his term as he possibly can, but one hopes the Republican-controlled House and Senate can promptly counter his vengeful edicts.

At the very least, GOP control of the Senate means Obama can’t replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg with one of his loony tune Marxist cronies, like for instance Eric Holder. Ditto all of his other Federal judge appointments for the next two years. Knowing that the Supreme Court won’t drift further to the left, for the time being anyway, is a huge relief.

Now, let’s bring home that $2 billion that U.S. corporations have sheltered overseas, green-light the Keystone pipeline, clean the vipers out of the IRS, the DOJ, and the VA, and shine a spotlight on the administration’s shameful role in Benghazi. Oh, yeah, and let’s restore the armed forces, secure the borders and smash ISIS.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Early birthday present for Sean

sean espresso

My son Sean is a recording engineer/record producer/audio genius whose home on Sauvie Island northwest of Portland, Ore. is a rock & roll bed & breakfast where musicians can sleep over and enjoy the pastoral ambiance so conducive to creativity.

His 47th birthday is coming up on Friday and I was trying to think of something to give him. His younger brother Steve turned 44 on Halloween and his gift was easy, since he has a fairly current wish list on

I enjoy the Mr. Coffee espresso machine that Steve gave me years ago. In fact I enjoy it damn near every morning with a mocha cappuccino.

I figured an espresso machine would be a nice amenity for the r&r b&b, so I arranged for the current version of the Mr. Coffee machine to appear at his home this afternoon and he sent me this photo of it in his kitchen.

Reading the listing on today, I came to the realization that the package does not include a stainless steel frothing cup. I assumed it did because mine did. No problem. says a stainless steel cup will be delivered to Sean on Thursday.