Wednesday, September 30, 2020

After watching the debate fiasco last night.....a few random thoughts

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all …

The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic …

There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.


Monday, September 28, 2020

Sensory Deprivation Chamber

Dilbert is the gold standard in explaining life in the corporate office setting.  We laugh at them because it hits so close to home.  Take the above for instance:  


Yep, welcome to my personal "sensory deprivation" cube! least I get paid!!

Friday, September 25, 2020

Ponderings about while getting old....

I sat down last night for a webinar concerning Social Security.....Social Security!  Isn't that what old people get?   Then it hit me...I am no longer 24...I am on the high side of 57 and not slowing down.  I am "becoming" one of those folks I have always said "Yes Sir" to when talking.  

I am becoming the "Sir".  That is a lot to think about once you realize it.  

My wife constantly asks me "How old are you?"  My stock answer is "12, because the same things I found funny at 12 I still find hilarious."  For the life of me I still think of myself as 24 years old...        until I look in the mirror.

Because, and I will be honest with you, this is what I see in the mirror in the morning when I am getting ready for work.  Then the vision shifts to "reality" and I see me now.  

And the words of the Dalai Lama haunt me.  
That eternal question.....have I "lived" the best life I could or can?   
I served with Honor in the United States Marine Corps for 21 years.  
I have been married for 23 years and have two beautiful, smart, and talented children (mothers influence obviously).  
I have provided for my family in the best way that I could.  

Have I driven a car 200 mph at Bonneville?  No.  
Have I hiked the Appalachian Trail?  No.  
Have I traveled the United States as a vagabond with no schedule or destination?  No.
Are those dreams?  Yes.
Are they the keys to "success" in life?  No.  

Have I "lived"?  I would like to think the answer is yes.


Thursday, September 24, 2020

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Thoughts on the subject.......

I long for a time that no longer exists.  There are times when "progress" absolutely is the worst thing ever.

Truth.....from Herman Munster of all people!  

This goes with the first picture.  The world I grew up in no longer exists.  I wonder if my Father had the same thoughts as he saw me growing up and straying the way I did?  To be able to talk with him again....

One last thing.  I lifted this from Chant du Depart blog and it really sums up my feelings.  I have a bad feeling about the rest of the year and early next year.  Wuhan, Corona, COVID...small potatoes compared to the nonsense this election will bring to us:

I’m sick of Covid-19.

I’m sick of blacks vs. whites.

I’m sick of Democrats vs. Republicans.

I’m REALLY sick of the media.

I’m really sick of the wearing a mask debate.

I’m sick of no one being allowed to think what they want & feel how they do without offending someone.

I am sick of the people who are out there jumping on the bandwagon just to spread hatred. And start riots, looting & destroying others properties.

I am sick of blaming the world for the sins of a few.

You want to support Trump? You do it! It’s your choice!

You want to support Biden? You do it! It's your choice!

You want to believe in God? You do it! It's your choice.

You want to believe in magical creatures that fly around & sprinkle fairy dust to make life better? Awesome... you do it!!

BUT how about being MATURE enough to be able to deal with the fact that everyone doesn’t have the same exact mind-set as you. Having our own mind-set is what makes us all individuals and beautiful. If you can’t handle that fact....oh well!

I don’t have to agree with everything you believe in & YOU don’t have to agree with me.

It's your choice! It's our own choice!

So be a decent human being.

Have some respect.

You don't have to like it or agree. It's your choice!


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Taking a break

Wife and i decided that the big city was driving us both bonkers and we needed a break to decompress.  We wanted to go camping but this Wuhan thing has everyone outh there nowadays.  Wasn't a tent site available inside a 5 hour drive from home.  So on a whim I looked up cabin rentals.  then this gem showed up.   200 year lod cabin, been in the same family for over 100 years.  built in 1803, rebuilt and "modernized" (lights, indoor plumbing, kitchen) in the 1980's.  

3 1/2 hours from home, 100 bucks a night (each bedroom was 100 bucks a night so if using all three...300 bucks a night).  

Picked up the keys and drove down the road.  instructions were interesting "Drive north on county road across the bridge.  Look for collapsing house on right hand side of road and take next left.  When you come to the fork in the road stay right and follow to house".  

The pic above is the gate to the place.

Here is the cabin.  Those beams were damned impressive.  All hand hewn.  Reading about the restoration, they numbered all the beams and took them down, built the new foundation using native rock in the area and rebuilt it.  It is actually two cabins joined together.  The current owners stated that her great grandfather was tired of a small place so he took apart another cabin from down the road and joined them together...over a 100 years ago!  Funny thing was that if you wanted to go from one cabin to the next, you had to go outside to go to the other side!  He only built the porch to cover you as you walked from one to the other!

This, right here, this is where the World Championship Porch Setting Finals should be held.  Just a beautiful scene across from you while sitting there.  They have all the old horse drawn farm equipment sitting out there.  You can hear the breeze through the trees, the cows mooing at the farm next door, the birds singing....

This is a two sided fireplace.  The other side is in the master bedroom.  The arrow and spear points displayed her great grandfather found on the property as a young boy (property was originally 200 acres, now is 70).  The mantle piece is a slab of cedar her great grandfather acquired.  After a storm he was walking around and came across a huge old cedar tree that had fallen.  He asked the owners if he could have some of the wood and salvaged two slabs to make the mantles out here and the other in the master bedroom.

Unfortunately, there were no fires allowed in the house.  Due to the historical nature of the house (it is listed on the National Register of Historical Places) no open flames or smoking is allowed.  Can't blame them, I am sure those timbers are so dry by now a random spark would set that place ablaze.

An old surry buggy we found in the equipment shed.  

I am sure this bell tolled for many a dinner time back in the day to call the men and kids in from the fields for supper.  

The current owner of the house (fifth generation I believe) had lots of history all over the place in the house and had it all documented in a booklet.  She had the room and what the history of all the pieces in that room were.   there was a book that was filled with pictures of the rebuilding, original letters from the Civil War, pictures of family members, just history everywhere.  

All in all it was an outstanding relaxing time and the wife and I are good to go for another round!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Maps Part II

Scares me to think that all someone has to do to win the Presidency is win those few areas in blue.

How a country could allow itself to be completely and utterly taken over by gangs overseen by drug lords is beyond me.  I am guessing that the vast majority of the government is on the take.

The areas highlighted in red have more population that the areas in gray.  

The top three maps I found funny.  Here in Virginia we have a town called Disputanta.   Yep, it was named after the dispute they had over the naming of the town!
I was on deployment once to Norway (in the dead of winter of course).  We were next to a town called "Hell".  The locals could not figure out why we thought it so funny but they played up to it and made money off it.  They hosted a walk from "Hell" to "Heaven"...somewhere I have a picture of me sitting on a "cloud" surrounded by St Peter and his bevy of Norwegian "angels"!

Thursday, September 10, 2020


I have always had a thing for maps.  I like to look at them and see the little details embedded in them.  In our dining room we have a National Geographic map mounted and framed of the world in 1939, just before WWII.  I will stand there and notice all the different information contained on that sheet of paper and am amazed. 

Maps can tell you many things about the world, your country, your state, even your town.  Things you never knew about the very place you live shows up on maps.  Look through historical maps of your area and you will find ghost towns, businesses that are no more, or even how your town grew over the years.

When I am reading books about war, it helps to have the maps of the area available to be able to trace the movements of the units.  I find them essential in helping me understand the nuances of the battle, unit movements, significant actions.  I find it really annoying when more maps are not put into the books or if the ones that are enclosed are not of significant detail. 

So onto a few I have found recently that really intrigued me:

The map above shows the areas of the world you can use Google Street View function in Google Maps.  Notice the most part of Asia, great part of Russia, and the majority of Africa and Canada are black.

I found this interesting showing the land usage in the continental United States.  

This is a map of North Korea around the Chosin Reservoir.  I was reading a book called "One Trumpet No Drums" about the 1st Marine Division and the pull back from the area and really needed this map while reading so I could track the movement of the units.  Of course, I did not have it and had to use Google Maps to sort things out (sort of).  A friend I lent the book to found this map and sent it to me.  Of course, I re-read the book with the aid of the map and it was much more informative.   

 I used to work for a shipyard, Colonnas Shipyard, in Norfolk Va.  It is the oldest family owned shipyard in the United States having started in 1875 or so.  I found this old map and found that shipyard on it!  Notice the second bridge from the right....that cluster of ships.  That is where Colonnas started.  Started out simply with a single railway type ship hauler.  Now has 1 railway (used primarily to haul barges out), three floating drydocks, and what used to be the largest travellift.  It can haul out a vessel up to 1000 tons.  That monster services 15 other "gray beams" with small Navy ships, tug boats, barges....about anything really.  We counted up the number of vessels that could be "parked" at Colonnas once...over 28 ships at one time!  Not to bad for a small family owned shipyard!

The population in the red areas exceeds the population in the grey.  Amazingly enough, the red areas pretty much damned near mirrors the Democrats base.

If the states were sized by their populations.  I need to be in one of those upper mid west states (Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota) instead of "California on the East Coast" Virginia.

Add this map to the one above.  This map shows the "nosiest" places in the US.  Please note the states I talked about above are some of the quietest.  Hmmmm

Pretty cool map of the status of land and forces before WWI began.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Random thoughts for a Tuesday

This is the background on my work computer.  I tend to find myself thinking about the men who stormed those beaches.  First thing I wonder is what they think of the nonsense that is going on these days with the country.  The second thing I wonder about is how difficult it was to carry their balls around in wheelbarrows their adult lives.  Cause storming a beach with either Japanese or Germans firing machine guns and artillery at you takes the biggest set of balls I can imagine a man having.

I wonder about this as well.  There are elements in our country that want to burn it all down.  I have news for you, the same news my Dad told me, the same thing I told my kids....No one owes you anything in this world.  You only get what you are willing to work for.  No one really cares two shits about you or your feelings.  

True words spoken.

Another thing I am amazed at.  People actually think that the government will suddenly give them back the rights they have ceded over to them in the false hope of "security" and "safety."  The ONLY time the government has EVER given back something they have taken was when they repealed Prohibition with the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution.  You think you will ever be able to go through a security checkpoint at an airport and not take off your shoes?  Or not show an ID?  HA!!

And I do not consider myself "old."