Friday, December 31, 2021

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

tolkien wander are lost

On the other hand it doesn’t mean they aren’t.

being there a story of chance gardner

Take Chance the Gardner, aka Chauncy Gardiner, a simple-minded man whose world has been defined by what he has seen on television and observed in the gardener. It turns out a simpleton in a well tailored suit  with a firm handshake can dupe the powerbrokers in Washington D.C.. Thus they take Chance to be some sort of savant even though what he says is complete nonsense.

Quite the allegory for our time.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 27: U.S. President Joe Biden walks to Marine One on the South Lawn before departing from the White House on December 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden are traveling to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for the New Year's holiday. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)Definitely not being there

The Deep State roots run deep so it will take a very, very deep frost to kill them.

being there rootsAs long as the roots are not severed, all is well.

Still it’s New Year’s Eve…a new year, new opportunities; we may as well dream.

tolkien wander are lost



Thursday, December 30, 2021

Bingeable Vintage TV Shows That Remind Us How The West Was Won

Yes, it’s Throwback Thursday. When you are as old as I am 2004 doesn’t sound like much of a throwback at first…until you consider it was nearly 18 years ago. That’s the year Boston Legal debuted. I had already sworn off network TV at that point so I missed it, although friends kept telling me it was really good. I stumbled across a few episodes somewhere a couple years back and mentally put it on my watch list and finally got around to it last summer when it popped up on Prime. Disappointingly it included commercials that can’t be skipped so we skipped it, waiting for a commercial-free format.

And then my brother sent me this clip the other day, which reminded me why I added it to the watch list in the first place.

Denny Crane channels his inner Liberty Valance

Now I’m committed. Strangely Denny’s wild, wild west attitude seems even more fitting today than when the show was made (shoutout to Democrats everywhere!). We watched the first 2 episodes last night – with commercials, when you commit you commit – and it really is as good as everyone said. And the commercials are better made and not as frequent as regular network TV. I’m still slightly surprised the networks could still crank out such smart, fun shows as recently as 2004, but happily so.

So that’s my throwback binge show suggestion for the New Year, what’s yours? Perhaps we should assemble a list of bingable old shows to get us through the winter which the Brandon administration promises as an upgrade from last year's COVID “dark winter” to this year's “winter of death” for the unvaccinated. Although honestly, everyone I know who has been diagnosed with COVID so far this winter has been vaccinated.

Speaking of which, I’m off to my scheduled COVID test this morning which I presume will be positive although my symptoms are still minimal. I don’t know about other states but Utah has a rationing system for the monoclonal antibodies, or mAbs, and while Raj qualifies on all counts he still couldn’t get an appointment until next Monday even after checking every available site and option. Thankfully, and most likely due to prayers so I thank you all, the University of Utah called last evening to slot him into a spot that opened up Friday morning. It’s down in Salt Lake and the weather is supposed to be treacherous but we’ll make it, being experience hands in nightmarish winter mountain driving conditions.

So that’s how we’re spending our New Year’s Eve. And possible watching an episode or two of Boston Legal.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Carry On Troops

Welcome chick and feather day. It’s a cold one round these parts.

chicks on the loose

It’s going to take a lot of syrup of soot,

coffee shop syrup of soot

aka coffee,


to get things rolling around here today.

So I respectfully request you carry on by yourselves.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

We’re All Bozos On This Bus: Episode 372


You remember Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of the New York Times 1619 Project which reimagined and revised the historical narrative of America. Now Nikole, being a journalist, is by definition a writer of creative fiction, and her 1619 Project is clearly an example of the genre. Using her mutterings as a basis for actual educational purposes is laughable. Yet here we are: the 1619 Project served to give “intellectual” lift to educators to include Critical Race Theory (CRT) in it’s curriculum.

Hannah-Jones told Meet The Press on Sunday that education should be left to teachers and educators – which she admittedly is not one of, her degrees being in African American Studies and Journalism.

Hannah-Jones argued on NBC Sunday that parents and lawmakers should leave the question of what to teach in schools up to teachers and administrators. “So I think we should frame that question properly,” she ​said. “And I don’t really understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught.​”

Her position clearly and succinctly delineates the looney liberal concept of government’s role in your life: give us your money and we’ll decide what’s best for you. But despite her admission of not being an educator herself, she has no qualms about her propaganda being used as the basis for schools’ history/CRT curriculum. And you parents: you should just shut up. You’re not qualified to say what your children should be taught.

Much better you let Bozo handle that important responsibility.

_mediumHannah-Jones, sporting her Bozo look while impersonating an educator

Monday, December 27, 2021

Monday, Snowy Monday

It’s Monday; I have to keep reminding myself because my internal calendar is totally whacked. It’s still dark out so I don’t know how much but I do know it snowed overnight as I heard the snowplows go through starting at 4:30. So far they’ve done 4 passes, 2 on each side of the street, so I’m guessing a respectable amount.  

Emma Haworth (British) Swan LakeEmma Haworth, Swan Lake

The sun is expected shortly after dawn, before the next storm comes through later this afternoon.

Gustaf Fjaestad - Snow Covered Road with Fence, 1930.Gustaf Fjaestad, Snow Covered Road With Fence

And wouldn’t you know it, now that Christmas is over along comes this perfect gift: it can speak for you when verbalizing may be inappropriate.

seriously who doesn't need some of these finger pins

I hope the creator patented this design, because clearly it’s worth a fortune. I don’t know a soul who couldn’t use one…or more. Although gifting them could prove tricky as I can see how they might inadvertently send the wrong message to the recipient. So maybe it would be best just to gift them to yourself and wear them whenever you are likely to be entering an enemy camp – which these days is everywhere.

Alternate lapel pin, for those who wish to be a bit more direct:


Sunday, December 26, 2021

Boxing Day: You’ll Need A Plan

And all of a sudden here it is Boxing Day,

boxing glove santa

and ironically it’s not Caturday.

cat in the box

As we’ve discussed in the past the name, origin and traditions of Boxing Day are disputed, as are most things these days. But in America it’s traditionally been a day set aside for post-Christmas-sales shopping and returns. Back in the olden days (pre-cooties) people would swarm back to the cheerfully over-decorated malls they had sworn just one short week ago to never, ever return to in search of bargains. Amazon has negated the need for such suicidal behavior. Now you can pick up bargains on stuff you don’t need, don’t want and likely will end up giving away before the Fourth of July from the comfort of your own home.

I am certain that many of us are just anxious to wrap up this year which has been another dumpster fire from start to finish thanks in no small part to our resident Oblivious-in-Chieftain. You’ll be pleased to know that the man who recently embraced a constituent’s “let’s go Brandon” sentiment with apparent enthusiasm has also been named to the list of “World's Most Admired” men of 2021. Which perhaps tells you everything you need to know about the state of the world these days. Joe Biden, “champion of the little guy,” has a plan for everything from Building Back Better to World Peace. All we have to do is get out of his way and let him implement “the plan.”

tyson3Happy Boxing Day Joey, I hope your plans go awry.

Oh, and just a reminder: Kwanzaa starts today. You remember Kwanzaa, the bonus holiday founded by a felon with the intent of dividing Americans by alienating blacks from the Christian holidays that unite us. So far that plan seems to be working.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas 2021

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.


For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Raj and I would like to wish all of our wonderful friends here a very, very Merry Christmas. We all deserve to set the world’s burdens aside and simply embrace the beauty and miracle that is Christmas.            

We send our love to each of you and wish you all a wonderful Christmas. Fill it to the brim with all the merry and the bright you can muster. For we are blessed.


And even though it’s Christmas it’s still Caturday, so:


Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas Eve 2021

My Christmas Eve posts of the past have been some of my favorites, starting with the very first one in 2009. You remember - the year the Obama’s decided they simply must continue their family tradition (est. 2008) of spending 2 weeks over Christmas at a luxury resort in Hawaii on somebody else’s (ours) dime. Raj did a short video of that trip that I think I’ve used every Christmas Eve hence so tradition demands I use it again. Mele Kalek-Obama: (iMotus, make several cameos in this short musical so watch for me!)

Amazingly the opening sentence in that 2009 post is still mostly true, only the dates have changed:  

Santa and his elves are hanging around D.C. just long enough this morning to vote on how much they’re going to charge for shipping and handling on this year’s free gifts.

Then there was the year that the seeds of the BLM movement were sown and it became clear that there was no winning the Left’s race war.

I can’t keep up with the ever shifting sands of racism and political correctness. One day Santa is okay, butt his sidekick, Black Pete is unacceptable. The next day it’s Santa himself is unacceptable: too white, too fat, too privileged:

white chocolate santa

In the twinkle of an eye, only black Santas matter:


Some years we did mostly recipes and cute stuff to eat and drink:

elf cupcake

marshmallow polar bearsinstructions here

Or sometimes I focused on highly inedible cute stuff like these adorable Marshmallow Men that came with their own Christmas story.

Marshmallow Men-1

Warning! Cute little men made of confections are NOT, repeat, NOT edible!!!! And likely not a good idea if wee ones are around. Those wacky magazine editors in the 60s – they had absolutely no regard for human life.


I’ve tried to keep Christmas Eve as politics-free as possible, but that grew more difficult as the country’s deep divide grew ever deeper and people began to dread even seeing certain rpeople/relatives over the holidays:

I see the country is as divided over Hallmark movies as it is over politics. It’s like asking people whether your  eggnog/Tom and Jerry should be dusted with nutmeg or cinnamon.

Of course your Dem and Never-Trumper relatives think that everything, including Christmas, is about President Trump. Remember Newsweek’s top Christmas week story back in 2017?  How Trump and the Nazis Stole Christmas To Promote White Nationalism. Things have only grown worse since then so let’s hope families either abstain from discussing politics or simply refuse to engage in bait-setting scenarios with warring members of their tribe. A truce for Mom’s sake would be nice.

Then last year came the cooties.

Alas, COVID has pretty much solved that problem in most blue states for us. By more or less banning Christmas gatherings of more than 6 people it should be easy to avoid bumping elbows with the enemy camp this year. But do pay attention as that is how the left prefers to settle all grievances: strictures and mandates.

And if our betters get their way they’ll never leave. And that brings us to Christmas Eve Present doesn’t it? Progressives are still rallying around the Day of Grievances (now expanded to every day) and (surprise!) some locales still are still under strictures and mandates that some want to expand and worsen.

Raj and I have decided to Christmas in our Rocky Mountain bunker, where we are currently under a 3 day heavy snow storm warning. It’s the first time ever, and only the second time – last year being the first as Raj was still having issues with knee replacement #1 – that we haven’t done Christmas with large extended families. Since we’ve never been here for Christmas I don’t have any actual Christmas decorations here. I spent more than an entire day unstringing/restringing 2 pre-wired Christmas trees I bought nearly 20 years ago that stopped working maybe 5 years ago. I’m convinced they were wired by institutionalized psychotic Chinese slaves. Raj took pity on me and helped with the second tree. There are no ornaments and they are sloppily strung, but it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here.

trees3Charlie Brown has nothing over me. Oh, and I hate LED lights

So now that my “decorating” is done I’m going to make cookies and hot chocolate.

As for Christmas Eve Future  - well, who knows?  I say we all go to sleep tonight with hope in our hearts and dream a little dream. Maybe, just maybe there really is a Santa Claus out there to grant our wishes. 

[santa_monkey2%255B5%255D.jpg]Merry Christmas Eve Janice the Elder, wherever you are!

I wish you all good health, good travels, good friends and good cheer and a very Merry Christmas Eve, wherever your sleigh may take you.

christmas window vignette

Thursday, December 23, 2021

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Socialist Christmas Edition

Weren’t we just talking about Sweden’s Gävle goat aka Gävlebocken 2 weeks ago? Why, yes, we were.


Unfortunately, Sweden's giant straw yule goat is like catnip for arsonists; it’s been torched again.

sweden yulegoat burning 2001

The Gävle Goat spokesperson says she doesn't understand why people want to destroy it. I see her point, BLM doesn’t even have a field office in Gävle. A lot of people just shrug it off as part of the tradition. Socialists - of all colors and stripes – do seem to enjoy destroying tradition.

washington statueAppropriately enough, this defaced statue stood in Druid Park

The problem might be the Swedes commitment to postmodern deconstructionism. The very first year the goat  statue was installed (1966) someone burned it down on New Year's Eve. Through the years assassins - one dressed as Santa Claus and one as a gingerbread man — have shot the goat with burning arrows, doused it with accelerant or simply flicked their Bic. In 2010, someone attempted to abduct it with a helicopter. And in years where it’s too damp with snow they’ve been known to resort to smashing and stomping it to death, the ultimate expression of disapproval. During its 53-year-history, the goat has only survived unscathed 15 times.

sweden-yulegoatThe bones of the goat are all that remain after the torching

Some people have suggested that perhaps the whole concept of a horned, cloven hoofed animal representing Christmas is what drives grown men (current suspect arrested is 40) to vandalism. Nah, I’m going with it’s the socialism. 

fox-news-tree-on-fire-2-.pngWarning: progressives remain deeply committed to bringing socialism to our shores.

Socialism is why we can’t have nice things anymore. I don’t want to be more like Sweden.I want to be more like America (was). And remember: Rudy the Red-nosed Reindeer is also a horned, cloven hoofed animal representing Christmas. Don’t shoot Rudy with arrows.

reindeer happy dance gif

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

3 Days Till Christmas: Let’s See Your Eggs

joy tot he world birdie

It’s feather and hens day around here.

eggs chicken

So, with apologies to Robert Herrick, allow me to say:

Gather ye eggs while ye may.

Old time is still a-flying;

And this same egg that smiles today

Tomorrow will be fryin’


Let’s see some Christmas Day breakfast recipes from you slackers: for goodness sake there’s only 3 days to make our plans!  I’ve posted my Pear Gruyere Strata a zillion times already, there must be  other festive Christmas breakfast make-ahead dishes out there. Let’s see them. Otherwise we’ll be stuck noshing Grinch kabobs again.

christmas grinch kabobs

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Winter Solstice 2021

It has come to my attention that today is Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere: the planet’s tilt brings the South Pole closest to the sun meaning the North Pole is tilted away from the sun,hence the Arctic Circle is shrouded in darkness for nearly a full day and the rest of the northern hemisphere experiences the longest night of the year.


Of course that means that today also marks the beginning of lengthening days and shortening nights – so yay. And as for Joey and his “dark winter” well, put it where the sun don’t shine.

Anyway, it being December 21st (and happy birthday to my nephew and sister-in-law) that means that there are only 4 days till Christmas and I find myself here in the snowy mountains with no tree, no decorations, no plans or supplies for Christmas dinner and still suffering a bit from the trip, the altitude and the lack of humidity. One simply does not pluck a flat-lander from a state surrounded on 3 sides by water and plop them into a high mountain desert with zero humidity and expect their sinuses not to revolt.

But like a withered flower placed in a vase of warm water I’m slowly rehydrating. The whole house humidifier takes a full day to spread it’s moisture about and I forgot to turn the portable humidifier in the bedroom on the night we arrived and suffered for it all day yesterday. Things are much better today, thankfully, as I have a lot of shopping and errands and trimming and other Christmas tasks to tend to.

So even if it’s not cold and snowy where you are, may your solstice be beautiful, hushed and solemn.

     Copy of The cold was our pride, the snow was our beauty. It fell and fell, lacing day and night together in a milky haze, making everything quieter as it fell, so that winter seemed to partake of religion in a way no other season did, hushed, solemn. ~ Pa

And may your Christmas plans make themselves. Since I don’t think mine will I need to get my butt in gear. Those cookies aren’t going to bake themselves. Especially without any sugar, flour or butter in the house.

scottie dog cookiesAren’t they cute?

Okay, unless you’re Robin, these cookies aren’t going to get made at all. I’ll be lucky to squeeze out a few Spritz.


Monday, December 20, 2021

Time to Hunker In The Bunker

We landed at the Rocky Mountain bunker yesterday afternoon. We were blessed with 3 days of fair skies and no weather events other than the usual wind gusts of 60 mph going over the Continental Divide between Cheyenne and Rawlins WY. 

I can report a few things from the road: gas is expensive everywhere, even in Wyoming where it was once a fraction of the price in other states. As the bargain prices began to disappear a few years back I can only assume their legislature passed a higher gas tax.

It’s hard to believe there is a shortage of truck drivers. In all the years we’ve travelled the I-80 corridor east to west I’ve never seen more semis on the road than this trip. We left on Friday and encountered  an unbroken line of tractor trailers on I-94 from Detroit to Chicago and it didn’t thin out much from there. Saturday, generally a light day for truck traffic, was more of the same from Iowa to Cheyenne. Sunday, more of the same in Wyoming which in the past is a wasteland with little traffic any day of the week. Maybe that’s why they raised their gas tax.

Otherwise the labor shortage seems real. A quick milk, eggs, bread run to the local grocery store upon arrival revealed that they are offering jobs at $24 an hour to handle incoming freight – that’s nearly $50,000/yr to move boxes of food from a truck to the storage area. And I will guarantee you the sign will remain up for weeks if not months. People  around here didn’t like to work even before the cooties provided government bonuses to stay home.

While there were people in masks, masks everywhere I’m pleased to report the vast majority of Americans appear to have eschewed them in favor of free face.


And finally, I can state categorically that I’m getting too old for this. I’m still exhausted this morning although I went to bed on EST not MST, Also, I’m still feeling a wee bit oxygen deprived, although that could be due to a caffeine deficiency as well. So after my coffee and a post my immediate plans are to go back to bed.

I do hope you’ve all got your Christmas plans in place and have completed your Christmas shopping as time is growing short. 

christmas shopping time line

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Let’s Go Brandon: Christmas Edition

The real cause of the “supply chain problem” threatening to muck up Christmas this year has been revealed.

Christmas supply change

To make matters worse Santa tested positive for the cooties and has been placed in isolation for 10 days so won’t be able to make the rounds this Christmas Eve. The powers-that-be replaced him with Brandon, who doesn’t seem quite up to the task as he can’t find his way out of a brown paper bag with a bread crumb trail leading the way. 

And the eight tiny reindeer? They’ve been replaced by the best team of donkeys Brandon could find for his fantasy flight: Inflation, Immigration, Taxation, Stagflation, Cancellation, Negation, Agitation and one tiny Haitian.

My suggestion: Do your own shopping this year; and don’t leave your gifts under the tree this Christmas Eve as Brandon is more likely to take your presents than he is to leave them. He gets confused these days you know.


Saturday, December 18, 2021

Sentimental Saturday: On The Road

Hello and goodbye from Des Moines, where everything on the New West Side is shiny and bright.

Every office park, retail center and neighborhood is alit with a bright swath of LED lights.

christmas lights west des moines

Which is beautiful but makes me nostalgic for what seemed a much simpler Christmas time of my youth. These watercolors of old Grand Rapids downtown encompass most of my Christmas shopping haunts of old - before the suburban malls displaced downtowns (only to shut down themselves several decades hence) and Macy’s bought the few surviving regional department stores. Bigger but definitely not better by most measures.

Herpolshiemer’s, Wurzberg’s and Steketees’s were all locally owned department stores offering everything from fine clothing to fine china. Along with that there was always a candy counter and a small restaurant or “tea room” serving up the obligatory chicken pot pies.

hepolsheimers paintingHerpolsheimer’s


wurzburg's arlene faye helder grand rapidsWurzberg’s

Woolworth’s and Kresge’s were national Five and Dimes:



And Sears was the original and possibly last of the stores to offer literally soup to nuts.


Off course all these businesses are now long defunct. Sears was the last hold out but it’s death throes were too painful to even think about.

So let your Caturday Before Christmas begin. We are heading out for Cheyenne this morning so have fun with your own hometown Christmas Memories today.

**All images found on Pinterest. They are watercolor paintings of old downtown Grand Rapids by Arlene Faye Helder.  She once sold prints of her notecards on Etsy but it appears she’s no longer doing so.