Sarah Palin's presence in the lower 48 means the Arctic ice cap can finally return.

calendar   Thursday - June 06, 2024

Once Again, The One And Only Post

June 6, 2024

Hello old blog.

Ok, mom is out of the hospital and into the rehab center for a couple days now. And they had to take her right back to the hospital for a post-op, so I’ll get up there Saturday I guess.

This is the 4th place she’s been since March. I feel like I should carry a Mom Data document with me everywhere, as they all ask the same questions and need the same information.  At least the hospital somehow magically found a bag that had her clothing and her glasses in it, and we found her shoes in her room at the memory care home when we went there to pick up clothing. Good chance she’ll be in the rehab center for exactly 3 weeks, at which point Medicare will slam the door again, and we can take her back to the memory care place. Which is actually just “around the corner” even if it’s in another state and 3 or 4 towns over. Go all the way up Grand Avenue, take a right on Chestnut Ridge Road, and go a few miles. And we’re there. Again.


Wifely’s frantically energetic sister came by and helped us with the community garage sale. She pretty much wanted us to take all our clothes and possessions to the parking lot and sell them for pennies. Sod off. It was a total bust, as it always is. Maybe if you’re the only house in town doing a sale that day it’s better, but when you have a couple hundred neighbors in the same condo park also having stuff on tables, and the entire town is doing it on the same day, plus the 2 towns right next door ... come on. Starved for customers. And nobody wanted what we had to sell, which was good stuff for reasonable prices. Not crap marked down to a quarter. I declined to sell my grandma’s pots and pans, a set of 6 1950s era RevereWare, all with lids. The good stuff, before they cheaped out in 1968 and then offshored to Asia in the 70s. I’ll find a collector site for those. Nobody wanted much of anything, not even the 5 pieces of well seasoned Lodge cast iron cookware or the razor sharp Japanese kitchen knives or the full set of Melanine Asian of plates and bowls from when we tried to get into sushi and miso soup in a major way. No takers for the heavy duty tortilla press either, used once. Whatever. Garage sales are a waste of time. I’m not a little kid anymore and have no desire to “play store”. I spent enough time working retail for real. So, never again for me.

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May 26, 2024

I’m taking a few minutes out of my life of endless disasters to make a short blog post. I simply do not have the time these days.

My mother fell down at the memory care center, while using her walker in the dining room. She broke her hip. Or fractured her left femur, up near the top of the leg bone but not at the ball end. She was in tremendous pain, so they got her to the hospital ASAP. (somewhere in the process she lost her glasses too). Surgery was Friday night and she survived it. We got up to the hospital to see her late Saturday morning, and she was still in strong pain and still groggy from the anesthesia. So it wasn’t a very good visit. The nurses did get her off of lying on her left side as she usually does, wedging her with some pillows. We spoke lovingly to her, held her hands, petted her head like a kitten, told her where she was and why, and did what we could to soothe her. Then she went to sleep, so we left shortly after that. We left her a note written on a paper napkin, so she’ll know we were there. And I’ll be back up on Thursday, armed with a card and a spare pare of her glasses for her. Hope she’s better by then, although from the hospital she will have to go to another rehab place for awhile. So I’ll have to negotiate a “bed hold” price with the memory care home. No way we’re going to pay full price for a month or two if she isn’t going to be there. Maybe 25%? The place is not at all full, none of these senior places are, so any income is better than none?


On the drive across the county to her house, on pure impulse we had lunch at El Bandido, a Mexican restaurant I used to go to all the time, back several forevers ago. It hadn’t changed much at all. I haven’t been there in more than FORTY YEARS.


The food and atmosphere was as I remembered it, although the prices had gone way way up since 1982. And they no longer serve Tecate or Modelo Negro cervesas. Come to think of it, the menu has been thinned down to just the typical Mexican dishes that gringos expect. All the real Mexican stuff is no longer offered. Not sure they even had anything with mole.


On that same drive across the county we noticed that 1) Suffern put in at least a dozen strip malls since I spent time there in the early 1980s. Most of these are out of business. Rockland County NY is a fairly prosperous place, and Rt59 is businesses large and small from the Suffern end (the former Avon factory and the closing of the Novartis pharmaceutical plant 8 years ago) to the Nyack end by the Hudson river. We were stunned by the amount of empty stores and vacant offices. Is this because of a demographic change? The only people we saw out walking around were a few Central Americans, along with family groups of ultra Orthodox Jews. Suffern did not used to be like this. Nor did “Chestnut Ridge” NY, a hamlet within a hamlet just to the south, which broke off from Monsey (already a densely Kosher area) to be yet another majority Orthodox community a couple decades ago (Rockland has long had two others, both gated communities).

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May 15, 2024

News From The Far Far North

I like the Barents Observer news site. Life is pretty slow up in the land of cold and darkness, so you only really need to check the site once a month. But you get a different perspective reading the stories of what’s going on, in a part of the world our media pays just about zero attention to.

1) Walruses are dying of bird flu on Svalbard (aka Spitzbergen), a little group of frozen islands 270 miles east of northern Greenland and 400 miles north of northern Norway.
Walruses eat birds? Who knew? But the bird flu is raging even in that far corner of the world. Polar bears eat walruses. Already at least one polar bear has died of bird flu on the other side of the globe up in Alaska. Because the bird flu is global. It isn’t just our chickens and cattle. Funny, it doesn’t seem to bother the pigs at all, but OTOH most of those are owned by China these days. Huh, helluva coincidence.


Looks like the Chicom/Fauci brigade cooked up a good one this time with the gain of function avian flu ... if you kill all the animals, people WILL have to eat the bugs. And die of starvation instead of Covid.

2) Russia always has a big deal military march on May Day. In the little town of Pechenga, a heavily militarized place on the Norway/Finland border, this year’s parade was small, and only children marched, some as young as 10. That’s because both the naval and army units of the town are fighting in Ukraine, and have suffered nearly 80% casualties. Grist for the grinder.

Meanwhile Russia is going door to door, town to town, to find any guy they can conscript into the military.

That is, when they aren’t executing their own soldiers.


No new news about mom, other than that she was released from the hospital TWICE yesterday. Seems she was throwing up after dinner, so they took her to the hospital. Don’t know what the hospital did, but they returned her to the memory home at 5am. Whereupon their nurse took her vitals, and found her blood pressure and oxygen levels extremely low. So they sent her right back. 10 hours later she was back again, and everything was ok. And that’s all I know. So I guess it was all pretty minor, though such news cost me half a night’s sleep. My thoughts ... she is so thin they may not be able to get a good blood pressure reading on her, and I’ve seen myself that the oxymeter finger thing doesn’t work well on her desiccated fingers, especially when her nails are untrimmed and are curling over the ends of her fingers, as they were once again when I saw her on Mother’s Day. So I’ll take the nail snips with me when I go up there tomorrow. After I do all the other things for my brother and the house that I need to do. 

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May 12, 2024

Happy Mother’s Day!

A big wish for a very happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. Hope your children treat you to a very special day. Or at least call and be nice.

I’m driving up in the rain to see my mom at the memory care home. Got her a couple little gifts and a gigantic card she can read even without her glasses. The center has a special event we’ll attend. Hope her dementia can take a time-out for a while. You never know.

After that I’ll probably go see my brother, do a couple things and talk finances. So far the window contractor has not come through with the necessary information for the window replacement building permits, so it’s not likely that I’ll stay overnight and be able to file the forms tomorrow. But I have to be back up there Thursday anyway, so he has a bit of extra time. I just want to get the forms in before the Spring rush starts, as the process time in now about a week, but can stretch to over a month when things get busy.

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May 9, 2024

Perhaps the blog is only mostly dead. And mostly dead means it’s still a little bit alive, right Miracle Max?

Ok, so the new fridge comes today. We’re just about ready, have the old one all cleaned out. Eating the last of the ice cream for breakfast. Icemaker water line is all set up. I still have to take the doors off the old one and remove the handles from the patio slider to make a wide enough opening to get it out and the new one in, but there’s room to spare ... at least an inch. The old fridge works just fine but it’s now 26 years old. So maybe there is a refurbishment place the delivery guys can donate it to. It’s


I’m nearly done with the details and forms for the building permit to get the windows replaced in mom’s house. Her town requires an awful lot of information, and the fee is based on the materials and the labor. Most other places don’t even require a building permit to replace your old windows, certainly not insisting on super-dooper low-E 0.27 glass or better. And almost nobody else charges you for labor.


Mom seems to be doing well in the memory care home. She has her moments of darkness, but they aren’t constant. And when she’s in her right mind we can have meaningful conversations. And sometimes she sings to her lunch. Dementia is a bitch. She may have even gained a pound or two, as the food there is better than the nursing home she was in previously. This place has her using her walker all the time instead of parking her in the lobby in a transfer chair like the other place did. So maybe she’s getting a little stronger, but she’s still super skinny, flesh and bones.

I go up there for Mother’s Day. Got her another pair of slipper shoes and another fun T-shirt and gigantic card you could read at 50 yards.  Then I go right back there Monday to file the building permit stuff, assuming all is in order and the contractor comes through with his promised information. Actually right now I’m considering staying over, which would save me 160 miles of gas and driving, and there’s always a bunch of things I can do at the house to help my brother out.


We get our huge (hah!) prize money from No Longer Cheap league tonight, then we’re going out to dinner with our current teammates and our previous teammates. I’m looking forward to it; we haven’t been out to a good restaurant in a while and I need a bit of enjoyment.

We are not bowling on summer league, for the first time in a very very long time. This will give my knees and my thumb some rest, which I need. And I have too darn many other things I have to get done.


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May 2, 2024

I’m sorry but this blog is all but dead. I’ve run this thing for 20 years now, and I have nothing left to say. Nothing new in my life, better or worse. I’m going to contact the hosting service and tell them not to renew it. I’ve lost the will. Granted, I think it just renewed at the end of March, so it’s going to be around until March next year. Who knows, maybe I’ll find something interesting to write about. It’s just pointless. The entire world is going to Hell as fast as possible, and this is no accident at all. And only one or two voices speak out and act out against it. The rest of us are ignored. So why beat a dead horse or keep banging my head on the wall?

I love all my readers and commenters, and thanks for sticking around year after year. I wish all of you the very best.

Oh, and while I did repair the 26 year old refrigerator, we went and bought a new one anyway. And it fits the opening we built for it, and it can come in and the old one go out through the kitchen slider without having to take the panes out. So something from the home improvement project actually worked right the very first time. Behold the miracle.

Peace. Out. Buy more ammo. Praise Jesus and live right.

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April 24, 2024

I transfer my mom from the nursing home/ rehab place to a memory care home tomorrow. I’ll get help from the staff at both ends getting her in and out, but she has been getting PT for over a month practicing exactly this. Get off bed or chair into a walker, walk around, learn how to back up and do K turns etc, then safely sit down.

This is going to be damned expensive. And this is a “lower cost” kind of place that isn’t a grubby rat hole. There are plenty of those around too.


My sleep is still messed up. I wake at 3am nearly every day, wide awake and anxious about the future. I lay there a couple hours but am not asleep. So I am only getting 4 or maybe 5 hours a night. Not good. If this continues after I get her in the home, I’m going to my doctor to get sleeping pills or Prozac or something.

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April 20, 2024

Funeral this morning for uncle Mike. He passed away the other day after a debilitating illness. He was only 74. Mike was a great guy, a real man’s man. We’ll miss him. God bless ya, Mike.

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April 19, 2024

I have been living in absolute hell for the past week and a half. And in regular hell for a month before that. But the avalanche of woes is getting under control. Finally. A little bit.

Mom’s rehab stay at the nursing home got cut by Medicare. We appealed. We lost. We appealed again. We lost again. According to them, she is fit and hearty, because their standards are something like, “not dead yet, therefore just fine”. So I worked my ass off trying to find a care home for her. Found a memory care place not far from their house. It’s newer, very clean, great reputation, and it’s only for memory care. Costs a little less than the fancy nancy places I’ve seen in the area, but it’s still a damn fortune. So we can afford tto keep her there about a year, maybe a little more. No choice other than home care after that, assuming she lives that long. Both the dementia and the physical wasting really came on strong this Spring.

Uncle Mike died. He was sick a long time. He looked awful at Christmas. Viewing is tonight, 130 miles away. Funeral is early tomorrow morning, 110 miles away in a different direction. I have put 2500 miles on my car going back and forth so many times to my mom’s place and her nursing home.  I’m run down from all the driving, in addition to everything else. Sorry Mike. We love ya, we’ll miss you, sorry you went so soon.

I have done a ton of cleaning at her house, and that barely scratches the surface. I was up there for 6 days an nights. My guess is that there are 3 30 yard dumpsters worth of nice crap, old papers, and semi-antiques to get rid of. Upstairs room and the basement are packed to the gills. And I’m the only one who can do the work.

Opened the windows at her house to get some fresh air in. The bottom of a front window fell out. Carpenter ants. Every one of them. And worn out seals on all the glass. So we had to get 10 new windows for the downstairs, pretty much an emergency. We put in high quality windows during the renovation, but that was 30 years ago. $12K right there. I’m duct taping them together and the windows are ordered and the work will start in June.

Our fridge at home is dying. Or dying again? Freezer works, fridge is room temperature. This usually means a clogged drain line, which is a real pain to defrost and clean out. Or it could be either of the temperature sensor switches that control the defrost. Anyway, the big black beast is 26 years old, so maybe the best approach is to get a new one at this point. Multi door, french door, whatever. We built the kitchen remodel with a water line for an ice machine, but not sure if we really want one. We’re not the kind of people who use ice much. So one more big fat expense. We bought a little mini-fridge to save our cold stuff, and we’re trying to eat down the frozen things still in the old fridge. But we’re still going to lose a fair amount of food. There’s just no room for it.

Just paid my car insurance. The bill has gone up 28% in the past year. OUCH. FJB, F all the crazy ass government policies that are destroying the country and bringing runaway inflation with it. Top to bottom wrong on everything, and this is all done on purpose. WTF.

Sure would be nice to get meniscus replacement surgery on at least one knee, but it’s a 3 month recovery, and I just have too darn many demands on my time. I’m the doer, the problem solver, the worker. For everyone else. Nothing for me. Oh well.

All the stress and mess got to me and I’ve gone back to smoking again. I had quit, again, for about 8 weeks. I can quit again. But not right now. I will try to limit myself to 1 every few hours. Holy crap, a pack of smokes is $14 in New York with all the taxes added in.


OTOH, I bowled a 552 series at Wednesday league in the semi-finals, and we took all 7. That puts us up against a real ringer team for the finals, so even with 86 pins handicap coming our way, we’d all better be focused every single throw. We’re in the middle of the pack, and if we tromp next week we’ll be in the upper part of the middle. Might make about $25 more each in prize money if we do. With my knees and arthritic thumb I don’t know if I’ll bowl after this year. It’s the one activity in my life I live for. So take it away from me. Thanks. 

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April 8, 2024

nd now to do battle with Medicare. They just denied further coverage , effective Friday, for my mom’s stay at the nursing home after less than 3 weeks. So we’re doing an appeal. Will have to pay the home’s per diem until a decision is reached. After that, who can say? I love not knowing the status of anything until the last damn minute.

WTH, I was going up to the home tomorrow anyway. Might as well spend the time there filling out forms and stuff.

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April 8, 2024

Also our roads are in great repair and there is almost no crime

Email from the county:


The cynical take is that our taxes have been far too high since 2015 at least.


Ok, so the 3 of us got together and tried to do a birthday get together for mom. We got big helium balloons, and a nice card, and made some positive inspirational message banners and signs to hang around her room, some with our photos and names on them, brought her some simple little gifts of chocolate and caramel popcorn, got her laundry squared away finally. And sadly, she was in bed, and was hardly in her head that day. She did know that Sunday was her actual birthday, so that was good. I’d seen her the day before and she was a touch out of it, sitting in her travel chair in the common area singing quietly to her lunch until I sat down and said hi, at which point she was able to focus on me, at the mental cost of being able to use a fork. 4 days before that I’d visited and we had a good conversation, and she could read things and hold a coffee cup on her own. So the dementia comes and goes, or something.


Teach your children well ... does anybody teach them anything?

So I got some pizza yesterday. Looked at the online menu and it says that credit card orders get a 4% surcharge. And I had a couple fives and ones and a $100 bill in my wallet. So I drove down to get the pie; the bill was $26.98. I gave the young girl $107 cash. She had no idea what to do and tried to give me the $7 back. I told her to just enter the money I’d given her, you’ll see what happens. Surprise!! My change was 4 $20s and 2 pennies. Told her I used to be a cashier when I was her age, and once you learn how to make change and what cash going in makes minimal change coming out you never forget. But, like, OMG; the register does the math for you. 

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April 3, 2024

Trying to put together a little thing for mom’s 89th birthday Sunday. Some balloons, a couple of cards, a door sign and a banner or two. Nothing extreme. Just to let her know we remembered her day and that we’re always there in spirit if not always in person.

And of course, we can only go up there the day before, early afternoon, and we can’t stay all day. Which is probably for the best, as she tires out pretty quickly.

I wasn’t there Easter Sunday, I was at the wifely’s dad’s house. We had a deep discussion about my mom, and they gave me some very good advice and a new perspective. So I’m far more settled than I was before. Cleaning up and cleaning out the house is still going to be a gigantic undertaking, but we’ve got a plan and have found at least one trusted person who can come and help with some of the cleaning.

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March 30, 2024

Happy Easter!

May your faith be strengthened and renewed.


Bowling Blogging??

We got whupped 2-5 both on Wednesday and Friday league this week, as everyone else but us suddenly remembers how to bowl in the last few weeks, making their tactical push towards the front of the pack. We got utterly smeared last night at “starter league” in which a family team flattened us. 20-something daughter threw a 619 series after totally coasting in game 3, shaving loads of points. Her guy, the SIL, with his 209 average, threw a 770 series and he was coasting in the 3rd game too. So he was almost 150 over average for the night. Dad is their anchor and bowled great the first 2 and then coasted in g3 to come out in the 650s. Mom is on the team to keep their handicap down, but even she was well over her 110 average in the first 2 games. Only reason we won g3 is because I was 15 over and our anchor pulled a 256 from somewhere and finished off the last 3 frames with X X XXX to put 90 pins up.

I don’t want to be in a “starter” league with bowlers who can hit an 800 series and coast to a 770. I guarantee you he now has the high series for the entire season. Go find a hardcore league. Problem is, any league will take anybody who shows up and pays. It’s a business, and there aren’t all that many league bowlers left. I know plenty of guys who are in 3 or 4 leagues. I’m in 2 and I’m not all that good. Wifely too.


We’re off to visit the nursing home again. I want to go, but I really don’t want to go. It’s hard and painful and heartbreaking to deal with, and I’m always a little afraid of what I’m going to find. But I go anyway, and sometimes we go together, because no one else is.
Too many residents in these places have been parked and deliberately forgotten about. The nursing home is 96 beds; in the log book the other day there were 5 visitors, and 3 were reps there on business. So just 2 people there to visit the patients.

March 26, 2024

I got to witness a late stage dementia episode yesterday. My first time. All the inner demons came bubbling out one after another. The anger, the yelling, the strings of words that made no sense, the fear and upset and tears. And the incontinence.

Well, eventually we got some room aides to come, they got her off the toilet where she wasn’t supposed to be, got her cleaned up and got a new diaper on her, and got her over to her new bed which is super low to the floor. They don’t restrain the patients there, either physically or through drugs, so they laid out some giant soft mats on the floor in case she throws herself off the bed. Again. I got her oxygen line set up, got her her stuffed red panda, and talked her down and got her calm. We dimmed the lights and she was going to nap, so it was time for us to go.

We left the place and felt like screaming. And had ourselves a good stiff drink when we finally got back home.

Her symptoms are classic. The repeating everything you say to her without understanding it, her talking about shreds of memory from her deep past combined with other shreds to form ideas of things that never happened that she talks on and on about, her repeating the same things over and over and over, and her instant emotional shifts. I don’t know who is in my mother’s mind but the real her gets out less and less. And that’s so painful to witness. To say nothing of her body just wasting away, even if she is eating pretty well lately. Ok, she can’t usually handle cutlery, or a plastic glass or a mug, so I sat and fed her little spoons of her lunch and sips of the things she had to drink. And she kept trying to eat the napkin again.

I feel hollow inside. As if grief and exhaustion and my frustration about how things ever got to be this bad (the trail goes back to 1995 at least) have just eviscerated me and I’m nothing much more than a shell at this point.

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March 21, 2024

Nothing major to report on mom’s condition. She is still in the nursing home and comfortable. She is eating well and can mostly feed herself. I think she can even hold a cup. She is getting some rehab physical therapy; I was at her first session and they were training her to go from a chair to her walker, walk about a bit, and from her walker back to a chair. They had her do some leg exercises with light ankle weights on. Given that she was lying in a hospital bed for 13 days and then in bed at the home another 2, I was impressed - verklempt! - to see her putting about in the hallways with the walker. The PT lady got her set up with an oxygen concentrator in her room, and a portable tank for when she’s doing PT. This keeps her O2 at or above 94%, which is good and helps keep her mind sharp. Or what’s left of it. The dementia is pretty strong. 91% is not enough for mental clarity; I know this, having O2 at home on my BiPap. 91 will keep you alive, but it’s borderline. She was reading 97% the last time I had her at her doctor, but those little finger meters aren’t the most accurate things. One will read high, one will read low, and if your fingernails are too long they won’t read at all.

I dusted off a really nice stuffed animal I bought her 30 years ago and took it to her, so she has a bed kitty critter to play with and hold. Actually it’s a Chinese red panda, life size and soft. So she can pet it and hug it and squeeze it, which will help her hands. PT is only for her legs, with encouragement to stand up straighter. Hand work counts as occupational therapy so it isn’t covered. Go figure.

We went to Walmart and bought her some inexpensive new clothes, so she has a couple outfits that are fresh and colorful. And I got her some low elastic socks to wear under her shoes, and we found the shoes. This is progress, believe it or not.

We’re heading up there tomorrow for a visit, and maybe I can talk to the PT lady to see what the goalposts are and what their time windows are as well. As long as she is making progress she can stay there. Otherwise it’s home Hospice with aides coming by. We’re getting set up for that at her house but it’s going to take quite a bit of work to clear space for a bed in the living room and get things cleaned up and thinned out. So we’ll have a visit, probably do a video Google Meet call with my brother via wifely’s tablet so mom can easily see my sibling at home. He’s wheelchair bound and has become weaker himself, so getting him out the door and into and out of a vehicle might be more challenge than it’s worth. We’ve got Meet set up but will test it with my brother before heading to the nursing home. The tablet has a stand so she doesn’t have to hold it or even touch it. And I want to find a good position for his cellphone so his face is fully visible and the phone doesn’t move around.


Yeah, so that’s my life lately. Knee pain still gets me, I’m still trying to bowl. We lost 2-5 Wednesday night, but won 5-2 Friday night. I threw pretty well, and managed a 203 in Game 3. Happy me. I’m going to have to bowl in shorts, as the damn knee braces need precise placement and constant adjustment. They go on tight, then my legs get compressed, so they shift to a bad position, OW OW OW. And the clasps pop out far too often. Try managing that under blue jeans. Not easy.

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March 21, 2024

Don’t Fear The Reaper. He’s Not Here Yet.

Mom is now in a nursing home experiencing the gentle wonders of palliative care. Palliative care means making someone comfortable. It’s the term the medical community uses when they don’t want to say “hospice”, but the two are synonymous. And hospice is letting people die in moderate amounts of peace and comfort. And that’s where we are now.

The hospital cured her of the bacterial illness she had. Another UTI. A urinary tract infection can mimic the symptoms of dementia or make existing dementia seem worse. And boy does it ever. So after a week with the IV in her arms delivering medicine and other good things, her mind came back to some extent. I was able to have a good visit with her and we could talk. OK, I did most of the talking, but she could follow what what being said and put in a germane comment now and then, or mention some related memory or something like that.

So after a week of mental anguish, several different approaches, and countless phone calls all over, the insurance company approved the decision that they had just refused a few days before, and she has been transferred to a nursing home. I was there when she was brought in, I was there to visit 2 days later, and I’m going back today. Ok, some visit will be done, I’ve a couple little presents for her just for fun, we’ll talk a little and just share the love.

And then I have a meeting with the social services director, where we have to work out “forward planning”, which is going to come down to “keep her dry and clean and change her diaper a couple times a day, feed her if she’ll eat, and let nature take it’s course.” This is going to break my soul because it feels like I’ll be signing her death warrant. I’ll be sentencing my mother to die. Murder by decree. But the truth is death is already very close; every time the phone rings my thought is that it’s The Call, and I’ve had that trepidation since July or thereabouts.

It breaks my heart to say it, but she has just wasted away to little more than skin and bones. Her body has no muscle left. She looks one of those concentration camp pictures from WWII. Well, almost.  I’m certain she weighs no more than 100lb, this woman who once stood 5’7” and a slender but comfortable 135. It stuns me how fast this all came about. A year ago on her birthday we were walking around the yard and she was noticing all the plants and trees and what needed to be done and what her yard guy could manage and so on. Even last Fall she could still walk around the house, go up and down the stairs, do some cooking and laundry, and live a fairly normal life considering she was a shut in.

And when it’s over, then I have to deal with my brother, her partner in crime. Him in his wheelchair and his issues. The house is a filthy nearly-hoarder pile of stuff. They could always buy more stuff, more furniture, more doo-dads, but nothing ever got thrown away. It a;; has to go. Easily 16 pieces of furniture, and 3 big dumpsters of clothes, and old stuff. Anybody want an electric warming tray from 1968? It still works. How about a 1981 bread machine? I would like to keep most of the tools, and the compound miter saw. But the Shopsmith Mark V and all it’s accessories (millions of them) has to go. Have to find a buyer who can come and take it apart and get it out of the house.

Then we have to sell the house, and assuming he’s still alive, which is not a guarantee giving his half a dozen major comorbidities, we will have to also sell our condo and move up to Warren County NJ or across the river into PA in the Bangor area. Find some place for the 3 of us, and live simple.

!!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!!

March 7, 2024

She was taken to the hospital an hour ago. Do not know what they can do, cannot get clear take from my brother’s texts. She cannot come back to the house at this point, he cannot care for her. Apparently her condition has deteriorated significantly since I was there Monday, and it was pretty bad then; much worse than when I was there 2 weeks before that. And it wasn’t good then either.

But he still isn’t willing to say that a home health aide won’t be enough. So what can I do?

!!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!!

March 5, 2024

End of her road approaching, one exit left

My mother is dying. This is a terrible thing to say, and a difficult and painful thing to accept. But it’s true nonetheless.  While her physical health is pretty good, her mental health gets worse almost every day, and her body follows along with it. As of this week she can hardly walk. She doesn’t have the strength to stand up from a chair or the couch even with the assistance of a walker to hold on to. She can’t dress herself, or undress herself, or do much of any personal hygiene. She’s pretty much lost all bladder control. Sometimes she can talk and sometimes she can’t, as the dementia ravages her mind. And she’s barely eating. She can’t manage a knife, fork, or spoon; she can barely manage a small cup. Even though the doctor got her appetite stimulant pills, she continues to lose weight. I took her to her doctor yesterday. She’s lost another 5 pounds since 2 weeks ago. There really isn’t anything that can be done. He’s putting us in touch with county hospice, who can do some kind of at-home assessment and give her some palliative care in the time she has left.

She’s lost the will to live, she’s lost the will to eat. Her mind is deteriorating at an alarming rate. 3 months ago she could walk around inside the house and follow most conversations; 5 months ago she could walk around out in the yard. She could carry on conversations and even do some light cooking and housework, and was at least a bit aware of the news and the outside world. 4 years ago she was driving, and was as sharp as she ever was. 3 weeks ago she could control her feet and legs enough to get in and out of my car, although she hasn’t been able to figure the seat belt for some time now. Yesterday getting her out the door, in and then out of the car, and up the elevator to her doctor was nearly impossible.

She will be 89 on April 7. I really don’t have much faith she’ll make it that long.

I cried and cried for hours when we got home last night. But there’s nothing that can be done. My brother lives with her, and will try to get her to eat and stay reasonably clean and fresh. And that’s it.

I can’t write anymore.

!!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!!

February 29, 2024

Happy Leap Day !!

Once upon a time, long long ago, I think today was known as the calends. Because it’s the end of the calendar. A free extra day. Because the “modern” calendar the West has been using since the Roman Empire is slow by around 6 hours a year, so every 4 years we add an entire day to mostly square things up again. And in general, that’s accurate enough. Ok sure, some bloodthirsty seriously anal Central American culture figured out a truly accurate system hundreds of years ago, but moving great big stone rings around was a pain, not to mention the constant upkeep on all those weird-ass looking carvings. And the buckets of blood. The lakes of blood. Um, no, I’ll keep my Timex, and we’ll add a day every once in a while. Much easier

Personally I think the entire world should just take today off. No work, no wars, no shopping. Have a drink or 3 and go back to bed. I dare say we could all use a day like that far more often than once every 4 years.

!!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!!

February 22, 2024

Ok, this works. Scale it up if you want more dough. Once well rested and matured, this is a super extensible dough that can stretch out to “windowpane” thinness, and will bake nicely in a 500-500 oven in just a few minutes.

Autolysed Poolish NY Style Pizza Dough

Autolyse, or autolysis, is the term applied to the way flour breaks down when wet. Without any yeast or any heat, damp flour will soften up and start to form glutens. This is a good thing. About an hour is long enough.

A poolish is a “pre ferment”, in which a little bit of commercial yeast is added to a good amount of some very wet flour and left alone for half a day or so. Not only does it use less yeast, it creates lots of flavor, as the little flour bacteria start to breed. It’s kind of halfway to being sourdough, but with supplied yeasts, instead of what occurs naturally on the wheat in the field. A poolish is very wet, often 100% hydration.

Hydratian level is the amount of liquid in a dough, expressed as a mass percentage of the total amount of flour in a recipe. So 100% hydration would have a certain weight of flour, and the same weight of water. 50% hydration means the water weight is half that of the flour weight. Another kind of preferment, called a “biga” often uses 50% hydration. Bigas can be harder to work with because they are very stiff, but they are also rather forgiving time-wise to their peak yeastiness, whereas poolish is pretty close to flour soup but the yeast peak is a more narrow time window.

A New York style pizza dough needs to be a bit firmer than a Neopolitan dough, but also not brittle; a NYC street slice is a long thing, and everyone folds it in half lengthwise so the toppings don’t drip off.

image  image

Makes a bit under 800 grams of dough, which is enough for 2 15” pies

Mix together
323 grams King Arthur Bread Flour
139 grams King Arthur All Purpose Flour

then put 300 grams of the mixed flour in your mixer bowl. Set the remaining 162gm mixed flour aside.
To the mixing bowl add 270 grams of warm water. 270/300 = 90% hydration, so this will be pretty soft. You don’t knead here, just mix it up. Rough mix is ok; you can do this with bare hands or a wooden spoon or the beater in your stand mixer.
Cover the bowl and let it sit for an hour. It’s just flour and water.
Next, dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast in 30ml of water, which is 1 fluid ounce. A good excuse to get out your cocktail jigger! Add this to the autolysed wet flour, then use the mixer to thoroughly mix in the yeast water. Cover, and leave it in the bowl on the counter for about 12-14 hours. When the poolish is ripe you will see plenty of little moon crater bubbles on top.

To the remaining flour, add an mix in 12 grams of salt, 1 teaspoon of instant yeast, 2 teaspoons of white sugar.  Pour this onto the poolish along with 2 teaspoons of Extra Virgin Olive oil. Mix on low speed for a minute or two, then knead on speed 2 for only 3 minutes. This slack dough will not require much kneading at all!

Now cover it up, leave it on the counter for 90 minutes, then into the fridge for at least 8 hours ... 2 or 3 days is fine; the longer it’s in there the better the flavors you’ll get.

When it’s time to make some pizza, dip both hands in plain all purpose flour, and carve off about half the dough, and work it. The flour on your hands will dry things out just a bit (it might take 2 dips in the flour) and leave you with a very soft dough you can play Pizza Guy with to your heart’s content. You can stretch this stuff out and out and out, to the point where you can easily see light through it. Windowpane!

and it tastes good too.

!!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!!

February 20, 2024

Maybe, maybe I might be starting to get well. Or less sicker?

I have been very sick for 3 weeks now. A few days into the huge doses of Augmentin and the Prednisone, along with a ton of vitamins and some Mucinex tablets, and I might be turning a corner. Might. Not quite as much coughing, nose running much less.

The initial positive reaction was just initial; it’s still a fight and it doesn’t always go my way. but I’m doing everything I know how to do.

Sorry, that’s about all I have.


Ok, I tried making pizza dough yesterday. And then found out later that there is a tremendous difference between a Neopolitian dough that’s designed to bake up in a minute in a 1000 degree oven, and the more or less New York style dough that will do well in a typical home oven which tops at at perhaps 550 degrees.

And all that other baker stuff ... use a biga, use a poolish, do an autolyse, do a chilled 72 hour ferment ... oh gak, a bit more than I could handle. But that was yesterday. Today I feel up to experimenting with a small amount of flour and water, enough to make one decent sized pizza when all is said and done.


I might do some kind of beef and bean burrito thing for dinner. Keep it fairly small. Not sure what kind of cheese we have or how much. Beans and chiles, no problem there!

!!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ !!!!

February 17, 2024

Another week of light posting. Another week of being sick. Ok, I finally broke down and went to the local clinic. The extremely young woman PA set me up with some strong antibiotic and a heft 12 day dose of prednisone. Both prescriptions together cost me $2.26. Got home, took the first dose of each, and within an hour my nose is not running and I am not coughing and my chest is not congested. Son. of a. Gun.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/06/2024 at 02:31 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Wednesday - August 19, 2020

Gee, Oops

A total non-surprise. We saw this coming back in early March. The richer you were the earlier, faster, and further you ran. Problem is, it’s worse than anyone thought at the time.

NYC Ship Sinking, Rats Long Gone

New York City is home to 118 billionaires, more than any other American city. New York City is also home to nearly one million millionaires, more than any other city in the world. Among those millionaires some 8,865 are classified as “high net worth,” with more than $30 million each.

They pay the taxes. The top one percent of NYC taxpayers pay nearly 50 percent of all personal income taxes collected in New York. Personal income tax in the New York area accounts for 59 percent of all revenues. Property taxes add in more than a billion dollars a year in revenue, about half of that generated by office space.


The budget for a city as complex as New York is a mess of federal, state, and local funding sources. It can be sliced and diced many ways, but the one that matters is the starkest: the people and companies who pay for New York’s poor are leaving even as the city is already facing a $7.4 billion tax revenue hit from the initial effects of the coronavirus. The money is there; New York’s wealthiest individuals have increased their net worth by $44.9 billion during the pandemic. It’s just not here.


While overall only five percent of residents left as of May, in the city’s very wealthiest blocks residential population decreased by 40 percent or more. The higher-earning a neighborhood is, the more likely it is to have emptied out. Even the amount of trash collected in wealthy neighborhoods has dropped, a tell-tale sign no one is home. A real estate agent told me she estimates about a third of the apartments even in my mid-range 300 unit building are empty.


Fewer than one-tenth of Manhattan office workers came back to the workplace a month after New York gave businesses the green light to return to the buildings they ran from in March. Having had several months to notice what not paying Manhattan office rents might do for their bottom line, large companies are leaving.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/19/2020 at 10:52 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsPandemic Pandemonium •  
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The ‘Rona Song

Leave it Country music to be perfectly topical and metaphorical at the same time

When the dogwoods start to bloom
And the crickets hum their tune
That’s usually about the time
That I feel most alive

But the news has all been bad
And the whole world seems so sad
I ain’t had much else going on
So I sat down and wrote this song

I miss my mom, I miss my dad
I miss the road, I miss my band
Giving hugs and shaking hands
It’s a mystery I suppose
Just how long this thing goes
But there’ll be crowds and there’ll be shows
And there will be light after dark
Someday when we aren’t six feet apart


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/19/2020 at 10:27 PM   
Filed Under: • MusicPandemic Pandemonium •  
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Follow Me !

One of the benefits of our universally computer driven modern world is package tracking. Mated with theoretically optimized routes and warehousing, we now can get our deliveries much faster than in decades past. For the impatient, most of the deliver services allow you track your boxes or letters step by step as they wend their way in your direction. [ OTOH, this also allows you to watch the Post Office send your stuff all over the country willy-nilly, leave it at distribution centers for days or weeks at a time, and sometimes take days to move something just 7 miles from one center to the next, and then take a full week to deliver it a whole 42 miles away. Sorry, my pet peeve, after recently pulling my hair out when a letter took more than a month to get delivered. Just wait until the whole country tries to vote by mail this November. Guaranteed disaster. ]

Now UPS has brought out “Follow Me”, a real time, self-updating, GPS driven mapping application, that let’s you see the big brown truck driving all over with your package in it. Not sure if this is going to help or hurt, because most people won’t realize that there are 300 other boxes in that truck, and yours is almost guaranteed to be last in line. It was already a bit frustrating just following the data, watching my box go from Florida to Edison NJ in hardly over a day, but then on to Allentown PA, right past my home, and then have to go on to another truck to come back to NJ days later and to get delivered ... later today?  Maybe. “Out for delivery” for 3 days? Oy vey.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/19/2020 at 09:22 AM   
Filed Under: • Big BusinessDaily LifeHigh Tech •  
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eye candy, high plains edition


I thought I posted this the other day, but it seems to have evaporated. Whatevs.

Anyway, this is actress Kelsey Asbille Chow. She had a small but regular role in the One Tree Hill drama a few years back, and was in the 2017 film Wind River. Currently she has a supporting role on Paramount’s cowboy drama / Kevin Costner vehicle Yellowstone.

We watch Yellowstone, it’s great, and it’s interesting to see her character developing from a whiny liberal into someone more normal. That’s going to be long journey. She is super attractive though. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/19/2020 at 09:08 AM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candy •  
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calendar   Monday - August 17, 2020

Flowers For Algernon?

Leftist InstaHate For COVID Flower Cure

because Trump mentioned it


Funny, I kind of thought it was the President’s job to keep people aware of new possibilities and to give them even temporary hope. But the Left may be right on this one. Like the blind squirrel ...

Most Americans have been praying for a cure to the Chinese Communist Party virus. Such a prospect turns out to be horrifying, however, if you are a Deep State bureaucrat, someone invested in open-ended and lucrative research into unpromising medicines or vaccines and/or a political opponent of President Trump.

Hence the vehemently hostile response of a leftist publication called Axios to information about Oleandrin, a natural supplement that has proven in clinical experiments and limited human trials in Texas to crush the CCP virus. Rather than celebrate this development and call for an urgent effort to validate such findings with widespread, life-saving trials, Axios touted the uninformed criticisms of naysayers determined to snuff further work on this apparent breakthrough.

To the alarm of some government health officials, President Trump has expressed enthusiasm for the Food and Drug Administration to permit an extract from the oleander plant to be marketed as a dietary supplement or, alternatively, approved as a drug to cure COVID-19, despite lack of proof that it works.

Driving the news: The experimental botanical extract, oleandrin, was promoted to Trump during an Oval Office meeting in July. It’s embraced by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell, a big Trump backer, who recently took a financial stake in the company that develops the product.

OMG, if Mike Lindell is behind it, you know it’s deathly anathema.

Oleandrin is an extract from the oleander plant. Researchers have suggested that it could be useful to treat cancer because of the way it affects cells, and that it could enhance the effects of other cancer therapies.

Professor Sharon Lewin, the director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity at the University of Melbourne, is an international authority on antiviral drugs and has a laboratory working on COVID-19.
Asked about oleandrin’s potential efficacy as a COVID-19 treatment, Lewin told Axios, “Oleandrin looks to have antiviral activity at high doses in a test tube model. You’d certainly want to see more work done on this before even contemplating a human trial.”

A July 2020 study from the University of Texas at Galveston shows, in a laboratory setting, that oleandrin can inhibit the coronavirus in monkey kidney cells. This study has not been peer reviewed and one of the authors of the study, Robert Newman, is chairman of Phoenix Biotechnology’s scientific advisory board — the company developing the oleandrin product.

The bottom line: Scientists around the world are in a race for cures, treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. Government regulators are investigating hundreds of products. When a biotech executive like Whitney can take his case directly to the president, it casts doubt over the scientific rigor of the drug development process.

From the research study:

Using Vero cells, we found that prophylactic oleandrin administration at concentrations down to 0.05 μg/ml exhibited potent antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, with an 800 fold reduction in virus production, and a 0.1 μg/ml dose resulted in a greater than 3,000-fold reduction in infectious virus production. The EC50values were 11.98ng/ml when virus output was measured at 24 hours post-infection, and 7.07ng/ml measured at 48 hours post-infection. Therapeutic (post-infection) treatment up to 24 hours after infection of Vero cells also reduced viral titers, with the 0.1 μg/ml dose causing greater than 100-foldreductions as measured at 48 hours, and the 0.05 μg/ml dose resulting in a 3578-fold reduction.The potent prophylactic and therapeutic antiviral activities demonstrated here strongly support the further development of oleandrin to reduce the severity of COVID-19 and potentially also to reduce spread by persons diagnosed early after infection.

In years past the FDA has been dinged for major slow walking and foot dragging when it comes to testing and approving new medicines. Many drugs are available to the rest of the world that are not yet available to us. With this pandemic that slowness has become an issue, but I don’t think the best idea is to throw caution to the wind and let anything fly. That way leads to snake oil. There has to be some level of significant proper, fair, testing.

OTOH, the Axios article does mention how this could easily be marketed as an herbal supplement, which could NOT focus on any curative ability. To which there’s an easy work around; “We’re NOT ALLOWED to mention that this cures Covid, and thus cannot recommend a dose of 2 pills a day for 2 weeks. This product is for dietary supplemental use only, and we bear no responsibility for it’s use in any other manner.” kind of advertising.

OTTH, shouldn’t President Trump know by now when to keep his fat mouth shut?

Oleandir is poisonous !!! !! !

Consumption of even one Nerium oleander leaf can be fatal. Onset of toxicity occurs several hours following consumption. Symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, cyanosis, hypotension, hypothermia, vertigo, respiratory paralysis and death.

However, a carefully controlled tea made from the flowers could be an effective cancer and AIDS treatment. But more trials are needed!!

A hot water extract of the plant, known as Anvirzel™, has been developed as a potential treatment for cancer, AIDS, and congestive heart failure. It consists of a mixture of oleandrin and the glycone oleandrigenin. Experiments suggest that a combination of Anvirzel and cisplatin may be more effective than cisplatin monotherapy . In an earlier study, Anvirzel appeared safe in humans when injected intramuscularly, although adverse effects such as injection site pain, fatigue, and other GI symptoms were reported.

Anvirzel™ is not an approved cancer treatment in the United States. Until more data regarding its efficacy and toxicity are available, this product should not be used outside of clinical trials.

Anvirzel may be a modern version of a medicinal extract of oleander that goes back to the dawn of history.

Historical records prove that Oleander plant has healing powers; thus it was highly regarded by the Mesopotamians in the 15th century B.C. During the age of the Babylonians up to the Romans it was used as a relieved for hangovers. To the Arabs it has better worth since the plant was used for cancer medication in the 8th century A.D.

OTOH, the Romans also used it to commit suicide.

I looked up the entry at Wiki ... and I think I’ll pass on this one. There may be too much risk in a cure made from just a little bit of deadly poison.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/17/2020 at 01:06 PM   
Filed Under: • pandemic and epidemic diseases •  
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The Death Of NYC?

This is what happens when you elect a communist as mayor. One who encourages rioting and lawlessness. Riots after weeks of extended lockdown. Retail is dying. Populations are fleeing. Violence is everywhere, at unprecedented levels. It’s anarchy and depression.

Beirut DeBlasio


De Blasio’s New York has finally hit an all-time low: the once bustling city is now on the verge of looking like a demilitarized zone. Between the pandemic and the riots in the city, iconic 5th Avenue now looks more like a dystopian nightmare in a recently shot video posted to Twitter.

The video follows a car driving down a deserted 5th Avenue, with almost all of the area’s high end stores boarded up and shut down. There are few people seen on what is usually a busy street.

“Look at everything. Everything’s boarded up. Even the hotel. Boarded up,” the video’s narrator, who is obviously fed up with how the city looks, says.

He continues: “This is all Manhattan, boarded up. Have you ever seen Manhattan look like this? The media will not report this.”

“Everything boarded up. They don’t want to show this to you people because they’re afraid. Saks 5th Avenue - boarded up from end to end. They put up barbed wire. Everywhere you see boards, windows are gone. Look at New York City - what happened,” he says.

The video runs over 2 minutes and shows dozens of boarded up businesses.

Check the video. Manhattan is boarded up. Block after block of high-end retail closed down and barricaded.

This isn’t exactly new. Similar video from more than a month ago.

No, it’s not a war zone — it’s Manhattan.

Video shows once-bustling Big Apple streets nearly deserted and dotted with boarded-up, spray-painted and bashed-in buildings after days of looting.

The footage taken Tuesday and Wednesday in Midtown and Soho shows the windows of popular stores shattered while others — such as Burberry, Sephora and Sunglasses Hut — are covered in plywood to protect against looters.


Only a handful of masked pedestrians and police officers are seen walking on eerily empty sidewalks. Some plywood panels put up by shops were tagged with graffiti reading, “Justice for George Floyd” — the black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground for nearly nine minutes.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many Big Apple retailers have been closed for months prior to protests over Floyd’s death.

These riots happened at the end of May ...

Sidewalks across the SoHo neighborhood, Union Square and Fifth Avenue were covered in broken glass. Multiple police cars had been burnt to nothing but ashes. Stores, including a Duane Reade, Urban Outfitters and Swatch, were looted. Banks were ravaged. An Equinox gym had been broken in to. Graffiti covered retailers’ logos up and down some of the glitziest shopping districts, which normally would be hosting a hotbed of tourist activity this time of year.

The New York Police Department has since said it arrested almost 350 people Saturday evening, following protests across parts of Harlem, Brooklyn and Staten Island. NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a press conference held Sunday that more than 30 officers suffered minor injuries due to clashes with demonstrators.

It’s now the middle of August. More than 11 weeks later. And these businesses are still closed, still boarded up. Whatever stock that wasn’t looted has been sold online.

Do you really think these storefronts are coming back? Even if the beneficent dictator of NYC allows them to open, with 25% customer capacity and ridiculously paranoid levels of isolation and plexiglass protection inside the stores? Somehow, I kind of doubt it.

Greatest city in the world, killed by policy in half a year. This was not an accident.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/17/2020 at 09:11 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeDemocrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsEconomicsPandemic Pandemonium •  
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Very Funny Officer

So I got another ticket yesterday. Me and my red car manage to get pulled over a couple times a year. Yes, I’m an inveterate speeder, but I do it properly. I don’t tailgate, I don’t cut people off, I use my turn signals, I almost pass anyone on the right, and of course my car is in perfect working order and my papers are current. And I don’t go flying around corners on two wheels, or anything close to reckless driving. I’m just an impatient driver, like everyone else in the state.

In NJ, everyone speeds. Everyone. Nearly everywhere. The only place we make up for it is in those 25mph zones near schools, parks, and downtown. People generally do about 17 in those.

NJ has a scheme in place on the highways. They “let” you drive 65mph, but fines are doubled. Should there be a traffic cone by the side of the road, or a permanent sign saying that bit of highway is also a construction zone, fines are doubled again. So getting a speeding ticket on the highway can be a darn costly experience.

Generally, highway traffic moves at 75mph in good conditions, even in the slow lane, but on the weekends it flies. 85 is typical, 95 is not unheard of, with cars maybe two lengths apart traveling in packs.

And NJ keeps points for 5 years, with a big long list of how many points for whichever of the 65 or so moving violations they have. Get more than 6 in a 3 year period, and get an extra fine to pay. There are a fair number of 0 point offenses, but they are not on the list. Good luck trying to find them, although we all know that the seatbelt one and the red light camera one are no-pointers.

How many points are on your license? Like many other states, you have to pay the DMV to find this out. Gosh, wouldn’t you think that this would be part of their regular job? Available online for free, given that this is a microscopic database inquiry? Heck no.

But there’s a game involved. There are a good number of offenses that don’t have points. Just a fine. So most cops short circuit the plea bargaining process, and give you a break and just write you up for some 0 point offense. It puts donut money in their coffers, nobody wastes time going to court, an you just go online and pay the fine with your credit card.

So I got pulled over for doing 85 in a 65 zone on a demarcated highway. I wasn’t racing, or playing artful dodger, or zooming down the road alone. I was just cruising along with traffic. The Statey did his job in about 2 minutes and I was back on my way.

He wrote me up for the 0 point offense of Delaying Traffic.

Haha, very funny.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/17/2020 at 08:23 AM   
Filed Under: • Daily Life •  
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calendar   Saturday - August 15, 2020

Rhubarb !!!

She came home from work with an armload of rhubarb that a coworker had brought in from their garden.

I haven’t had rhubarb in ... probably 45 years. Pretty sure my parents used to grow it in the vegetable garden, but that’s loooong ago in the past.

So we’re making strawberry rhubarb pie, and, since we have so much of the stuff, we’re making a strawberry rhubarb crumble as well. Both are a great excuse to get hold of some good vanilla ice cream.

Rhubarb has an unusual taste, but it’s one that I’ve always loved. Can’t wait to get to baking things up and trying them out. Might even have enough to send her to work Monday with another crumble.


Oh goody, and I guess I’d better go look outside. Amazon says my copy of Law of Nations and John Locke’s Two Treaties of Government were delivered today. Along with my new Solo 2L hand sprayer, as the old one died after a decade of use.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/15/2020 at 05:41 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeFood •  
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Fauci Gets One Right

Fauci: Voting In Person OK If Social Distancing Done

Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser for the White House coronavirus task force, said this week that there is “no reason” Americans are not able to vote in person for the 2020 presidential election in November.

Fauci emphasized that voting in person would not need to be avoided as long as voters followed CDC guidelines and maintained social distancing.

“I think if carefully done, according to the guidelines, there’s no reason that I can see why that not be the case,” Fauci told ABC News. “If you go and wear a mask, if you observe the physical distancing, and don’t have a crowded situation, there’s no reason why shouldn’t be able to do that.”

Fauci noted, however, that those who are at high-risk if exposed to coronavirus or have a compromised immune system should stay indoors and use mail-in voting.

OK, 99% right. I think most absentee ballots should be dropped off well ahead of time at the polling centers, logged in, and signed for ... once proper ID and voter registration is checked. The USPS is highly leftist, so I would not trust them too much. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/15/2020 at 01:04 PM   
Filed Under: • FREEDOMGovernment •  
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calendar   Friday - August 14, 2020

toldja so

As reliable as the coming dawn, the willfully stupid and the left biased media and “the experts” have once again yelled real loud to subvert the proper understanding of the law. And that noise will do the job.

I said it yesterday: This application of the Constitution will be ignored and denied by the media and everyone else. Because “birthers”. People are so terrified of being called a name that they are willing to ignore the law, the history of the law, and the true meaning and intent of the law. That’s beyond sad. It’s beyond cowardly. It’s apathetic, pathetic, and bathetic.

And here it is.

Trump slammed for not rejecting conspiracy theory Kamala Harris is ineligible for vice presidency
Biden campaign calls Trump comments ‘abhorrent’

That’s right; it’s a conspiracy theory. And he’s abhorrent. Because he referred to a statement made by somebody about the natural born issue, and then said he didn’t know if that was correct or not. So slam him for even implying that this could be a problem.

And then the lies come out by the bucketful. And the overwhelming noise of indignation and implicit raycis drown out the truth, once again. We are totally fucking doomed.

President Trump would not reject a conspiracy theory Thursday that Kamala Harris is ineligible to serve as vice president because her parents were born outside the United States.

Asked about the unfounded and widely refuted claims during a press briefing at the White House, Trump responded, “I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements” before adding, “I have no idea if that’s right.”

Harris is a United States citizen born in California in 1964, making her eligible to serve as president or vice president under the Constitution. [ Fox you are wrong ]

However, a professor of law at Chapman University, John C. Eastman, wrote a piece for Newsweek this week after she was named to the Democratic ticket questioning whether Harris is a “natural born citizen” because her mother was born in India and her father was born in Jamaica.

[ Editor’s note: Some readers reacted strongly to this essay, seeing it as an attempt to ignite a racist conspiracy theory. ]
The fact that Senator Kamala Harris has just been named the vice presidential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has some questioning her eligibility for the position. The 12th Amendment provides that “no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.” And Article II of the Constitution specifies that “[n]o person except a natural born citizen...shall be eligible to the office of President.” Her father was (and is) a Jamaican national, her mother was from India, and neither was a naturalized U.S. citizen at the time of Harris’ birth in 1964. That, according to these commentators, makes her not a “natural born citizen"—and therefore ineligible for the office of the president and, hence, ineligible for the office of the vice president.

Newsweek also ran a counter essay by noted lawyer Eugene Volokh. IMO, as its typical for greasy lawyers, and all lawyers are greasy because the law is merely a tool to them, and not something held sacrosanct, Volokh makes his counter from the wrong direction. He’s throwing shade and puffing smoke, and emphasizing aspects that have no real bearing. Argument by non sequitur. 

Some people have argued that Kamala Harris is ineligible to be vice president of the United States. The Constitution requires presidents and vice presidents to be “natural-born citizens”; Harris was born in the U.S., but her parents (who had come to the U.S. to study) weren’t U.S. citizens at the time. Does “natural-born citizen” include Harris, and others like her?

It does. “Natural-born citizen” was a familiar legal phrase to the Framers—an adaptation of the English term “natural-born subject.” Sir William Blackstone, an English treatise writer who (in Justice Scalia’s words) was “the Framers’ accepted authority on English law and the English Constitution,” explained:

Natural-born subjects are such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England, that is, within the ligeance, or as it is generally called, the allegiance of the king. ...The children of aliens, born here in England, are, generally speaking, natural-born subjects, and entitled to all the privileges of such.

It’s possible that “natural-born citizen” has since been broadened to include children of U.S. citizens born overseas (a 1790 Act of Congress specified that, “The children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural-born citizens").

He is wrong. It is not an adaptation of natural born subject, even though natural born citizen shares two of the three words with the other concept. Oh, and that 1790 Act was overturned in 1795, which he fails to mention. Even the best lawyer is a weasel dick. They argue for or against a topic. Searching for and declaring the actual truth has nothing to do with it.

What is a natural born citizen? It is someone born in this country whose parents are already citizens of this country. Period. Full stop. And that’s all there is to it.

I am a natural born citizen because I was born in this country and both my parents were born here as well, and their parents were citizens when they were born which thus made them natural born citizens. All my grandparents were born here too, although one of them might not have qualified as natural born because her parents came here from Germany, and I have no idea who things worked in the 1890s and I don’t know if they were naturalized citizens by the time granny popped out. But that was generations ago, so it isn’t germane.

It seems we go through this every presidential election cycle. I think what is needed is a SCOTUS decision. And that will never happen, because an honest decision, true to original intent would also torpedo the anchor baby concept that’s been around for 4 decades now. And probably squash the legality of dual citizenship too. And we do not have brave, honest, true Americans on the Supreme Court who are willing or able to make bold, proper decisions. Without the slightest doubt in my mind, this should be a 5 minute, 9-0 decision, made for clarification purposes alone - not delayed forever until some case with standing worms it’s way upwards.

I’m going to add this to my list of life truths:

•  Sulfur is properly spelled sulphur.

•   Eohippus is the Dawn Horse. No other taxonomy name is correct. There is no relation to the rock hyrax, so putting the original horse in the order Hyracotherium was a mistake.

•  The big long dinosaur was a brontosaurus

•  A shark is not a fish, dammit, it is an elasmobranch. Real fish have scales, gill pumps, and a swim bladder. Creating a new intermediate order called “bony fishes” to include both is cheating, especially if you don’t also include dolphins who, by that redefinition should also be fish. Fish who are mammals. No, this is wrong.

•  Ok, I now grudgingly nearly accept that Pluto is not an actual planet, “merely” a dwarf planet or planetoid, because somebody either moved the definition goalposts or because science has advanced enough to go there and find out how big the thing actually is. Pluto 1473 miles across, 2/3 the size of our moon. Mercury still counts as a planet. Mercury is 1516 miles across, a whopping big 43 miles larger. Oh puh-lease. So my grudgingly is very grudgingly. OTOH, given that Pluto has 5 moons, one moon called Chiron which is half the size of Pluto, perhaps it should be called a double planet or a multi-planet.

•  A natural born citizen is someone who is born within the desmenses of a country and both of whose parents are already citizens of that country.

I got so worked up about this yesterday I went out an bought a copy of Law of Nations, and while I was at the digital bookstore I got a copy of the writings of John Locke.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/14/2020 at 10:43 AM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsStoopid-People •  
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calendar   Thursday - August 13, 2020

Of course she isn’t, but you’re uninformed and intellectually lazy so she’ll get away with it

Here we should be going again with the natural born citizen thing. And just like Obama, Kamala Harris does not qualify as such.  Not that most anyone else can understand the concept, or knows that it is very important to care about this and why. So should be going won’t even get off the ground. This will not even be brought up in passing, much less discussed, debated, and ruled on. It. Does. Not. Exist. Because ... raycis!!!

Les ancres ne sont pas les naturelles

( The anchors are not the naturals )

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

14th Amendment, Section 1, 1868

It is abundantly clear that “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” means exclusively subject to the jurisdiction thereof, which means not in any way beholden to the whims or powers of a foreign government. This was clearly understood by all until fairly recently.

Yes, she was born in the USA. Neither of her parents were citizens at the time. This makes her an anchor baby. According the the 14th Amendment, anchor babies are not citizens. This isn’t a “strict” reading of the amendment, it is a plain reading thereof. Original intent is easy to find in the Congressional Record of the day. The only “reason” that they are considered such these days is due to a single footnote in the 5-4 1982 SCOTUS decision Plyer v. Doe, added to the majority opinion by Justice Brennan:

“no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment ‘jurisdiction’ can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful.”

This weakening of the meaning of jurisdiction within the 14th - that it sees the term as meaning subject to the laws of this nation, and not solely subject to those laws (ie not being also subject to the laws of some other country, as is the legal situation of illegal immigrants) - was a part of the Plyer case, which dealt with Texas’s claim that school funding should not be granted to illegal immigrant children. And of course, Brennan’s footnote comment overlooks that such illegals have no right to be here at all.


Harris’ parents were a citizen of India and a citizen of Jamaica. While she herself was born in California, and shortly thereafter went to Canada, where she spent nearly all her formative years, she qualifies as a citizen by the anchor baby misconception. Being a citizen does not make you a natural born citizen.

The entire concept of natural born citizen comes from a French book called The Laws of Nations, which was written in 1758 and is the only book or exterior document referenced in the US Constitution. It was used extensively by the Framers, far more than the code of English Common Law, which they strongly felt did not apply to the USA, although they borrowed large parts of it ... as our own law.  Anyway, in The Laws of Nations it says:

“Les naturels, ou indigenes, sont ceux qui sont nes dans le pays, de parens citoyens”

A direct translation is “The natural, or indigenous, are those who are born in the country, of parents who are citizens”.

While there was an 1797 update to the english version of the book, which clarified that line to read “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”

This is a rather strict definition. To be a natural born citizen, you need to be born here and both your parents need to be citizens when you are born. Not just born here, and not with just one parent a citizen, regardless of where you were born.

Later extensions to the concept allowed “here” to include territories of the country (eg Guam and Puerto Rico), areas controlled by the country (eg military bases), land considered part of the country that was in other countries (eg consulates and embassies), and things controlled by the government of the country (eg military aircraft and ships that happen to be outside the confines of the country at the moment of birth). This is how John McCain, born at a military base in another country, was deemed a valid candidate.

[ “naturels” is the masculine form of the word, “naturelles” is the feminine form. French is so sexist, but both words mean the same thing. ]

Merely being born to two citizen parents is insufficient. Merely being born within our country is insufficient. This is a precise and sharply focused concept, and about the only time it every applies is when someone is considering running for President or Vice President, although it should probably apply to any elected representative who could possibly be in the chain of succession.

This application of the Constitution will be ignored and denied by the media and everyone else. Because “birthers”. People are so terrified of being called a name that they are willing to ignore the law, the history of the law, and the true meaning and intent of the law. That’s beyond sad. It’s beyond cowardly. It’s apathetic, pathetic, and bathetic.

Read more if you want, in great detail with clear explanations of case law over the years, plus how we’ve now been lead astray, when and by whom:


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/13/2020 at 11:25 AM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat Leftists •  
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calendar   Wednesday - August 12, 2020

Walter White Moved To Holland?

Netherlands Cops Find Giant Crack Cocaine Lab In School


Dutch police have uncovered what they described as the biggest cocaine laboratory ever discovered in the Netherlands, leading to the arrest of 17 suspects from Colombia, Turkey and the Netherlands.

The drug lab was hidden at a former horse riding school in Nijeveen, some 75 miles from Amsterdam, police said in a statement Tuesday.

Police raided the riding school on Friday, discovering tens of thousands of liters of chemicals and 220 pounds of crack cocaine. Sleeping quarters and recreation areas were also found at the site.
The facility was equipped to produce up to 440 pounds of cocaine a day, officials said.

The facility was equipped to produce up to 440 pounds of cocaine a day, officials said. (Politie Landelijke Eenheid)

“This is the largest cocaine laboratory ever found in the Netherlands,” police chief Andre van Rijn said in the statement.

Van Rijn said the lab was equipped to produce 330-440 pounds (150-200 kilograms) of cocaine a day, with a street value of $5.3-9.4 million (4.5-8 million euros).


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/12/2020 at 11:29 AM   
Filed Under: • Crime •  
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TLH? Typical Leftist Hypocrites

This sounds like it could be one of those urban legends.

How Dare You!!

An anonymous poster on Reddit’s “Am I the A--h---” subreddit said he started a meat-eating club at his job in response to a coworker’s vegan-only club.

He claimed that one of his colleagues started a vegan dinner club exclusively for their coworkers following a vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian diet. Other coworkers “will not be able to join the club,” the poster said the group’s “statement of purpose” read.

In response, the poster claimed that he and some other meat-eating coworkers started a burger and steak club to go out and try new restaurants each week. They only allowed meat-eaters to join. However, members of the vegan club filed a complaint with the company’s human resources department.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/12/2020 at 11:20 AM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeFood •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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