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calendar   Wednesday - May 15, 2024

Once Again, The One And Only Post

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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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 05/15/2024 at 08:55 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Monday - August 10, 2020

Still Here

No, nothing to blog about today, sorry.

But I’ve been to everybody else’s blog, leaving comments here and there.

Also, I’ve been looking, once again, at soundproofing materials. I don’t think I have a project here, and it would be very small one if I did. I just find the field interesting, how you can make a room or a machine much quieter through acoustic treatments. Sometimes it’s absorptive materials, sometimes it’s mass loading, plus all the research into shaped surfaces that break up reflections, and the multi-density viso-elastic materials. You can even get sound mitigating PAINT. Plus the usual quiet curtains, acoustic carpet pads, and stuffing the walls with fireproof rockwool insulation, and using thicker or decoupled wallboard. You can even get special wallboard with acoustic decoupling built right in. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/10/2020 at 10:09 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Friday - August 07, 2020

Ospreys are up, is Trump in town?

It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s ... A Frog? *


It’s kind of overcast today, low clouds. There still isn’t much air traffic around here, so when I heard the sound of something flying up there, I looked. It kind of sounded like a helicopter, and it kind of sounded like a jet. Except it wasn’t moving very fast.

And then I spotted a small dark spot moving through the clouds. It came out again, and yup, it was an Osprey, the unusual dual tailed tilt rotor boxy little aircraft that the Marines usually fly. Even far enough away so that it looked 1/4” long, I could still see the giant propellers spinning around. Pretty cool.

The only time I ever see or hear one of these things is when President Trump is visiting his place over in Bedminster, about 15 miles east of us.

Let’s check ...

BEDMINSTER, NJ — President Donald Trump is coming back to Bedminster for the second time in three weeks.

According to the President’s itinerary, he was set to arrive at Morristown Municipal Airport Thursday evening at around 9 p.m. after a day that was to include three separate stops in Ohio, including one at the Whirlpool Corp. manufacturing plant.

Trump was just in Bedminster the weekend of July 24-26. He was returning to Trump National Golf Club Thursday night, but it was not clear whether his stay would last the entire weekend, or whether it would include any tours of storm damage in the wake of the remnants of Tropical Storm Isaias.

Trump is expected in New Jersey this weekend. Temporary flight restrictions have been announced for Thursday through Sunday for Morristown, where Air Force One lands, and for Bedminster, which usually foreshadow a presidential visit.

Heh, this is more fun than bridge spotting. Easier too; all I have to do is listen.

 *   cultural reference if you’re too young to know this line. Scroll down a bit. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/07/2020 at 11:45 AM   
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calendar   Tuesday - August 04, 2020

TNB At Mansion Parties Across America

This kind of crap is why our NJ governor King Murphy is stepping back on his re-opening plan. The ferals mess up everything for everyone every time.

[ woo hoo, Firefox saved me! The power went off for a while right in the middle of this. But the post was still there when power was restored, so happy me. Life during a hurricane, no? ]

Commercial Party Houses Out Of Control, Killings, Robberies, And Neighborhood Mayhem

Wild pool party shut down by police at New Jersey mansion

A massive rager at a mansion in New Jersey’s richest zip code was shut down by cops over the weekend — and neighbors say wild Vegas-like blowouts have been regularly held there despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Hundreds of carefree revelers — most without masks — were spotted outside the home on Hemlock Drive in Alpine for what promoters called “The Lavish Experience Pool Party” Saturday night, NBC New York reported.

Cops eventually were called to break up the bash, which spilled out onto the street with zero regard for social distancing rules.

One person was seen taken away in an ambulance, while others were passed out drunk on the front lawn, the outlet reported.

A neighbor told The Post that the wild affairs have been a regular occurrence since May, at the height of the coronavirus crisis. She said she’s seen party buses dropping off people for the bashes — which are brazenly advertised on social media.

“A few months ago, new neighbors moved in, renters,” the neighbor said. “They started having parties one weekend after another. They were bringing in full party buses, at least 100 people or more.”

Another neighbor who didn’t want to be named told NBC New York the house is practically doubling as a “nightclub.”

Several lifetimes ago I worked in Closter NJ, the next town over. Plenty of money in Closter, but Alpine is the home of serious green. Quite a number of famous movie stars, sports figures, and music legends live there, along with the cream of the fiscal crop.

They must be beyond furious that this kind of thing is going on in their extremely exclusive area.

House parties have definitely been an issue in NJ lately, and have been used as a COVID excuse by the government more than once.

But it gets worse ... much worse ...

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

Gangsters storm NFL star’s house Beverly Hills party and start robbing everybody, 1 dead, 2 wounded

A SHOOTING at a flashy Los Angeles mansion party held for an NFL star has left one person dead and two fighting for their lives, reports say.

A terrified partygoer filming as multiple shots rang out at the plush Beverly Crest pad said “a bunch of gangsters came in and robbed everybody and started shooting”.

The shooting occurred hours after cops were called to a gated community in Mulholland Drive after complaints from neighbours.

Scores of people were attending the party - prompting the police callout at about 6.30pm because of the ban on large gatherings in Los Angeles County during the Covid-19 pandemic.

But officers attending did not have a warrant to enter the property so were unable to break it up. Hours later, gunshots rang out at around 12.47am, sparking panic as revellers ran for the exits.

Three people were rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds, according to CBS. One person died from their injuries and two others are said to be in acritical but stable condition.

A man in his 30s and a woman in her 40s were among the victims.A fourth person suffered a non-firearm-related injury while fleeing, it’s reported.

Yet again, as always, this was a short term rental property in a really high end area, and the attendees were ... 100% non diverse. And ignoring every kind of anti-COVID rule in existence. And in two weeks they’ll all be sick. I’m really tired of this BS.

Plenty of pictures and much more to the story at the link.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/04/2020 at 10:37 AM   
Filed Under: • MiscellaneousRacism and race relations •  
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Just Mailing It In This Rainy Morning


I’m such a fan of the PO. Vilmar will understand.

Mail in ballots are flat out wrong, an opportunity rife for corruption. Ballot harvesting - an operative comes around your neighborhood to collect them all - is even worse. Guaranteed corruption.

Simple Solution?

Too afraid to vote in person? Hmmm ... I wonder if ... set up the polling place with one of those counters surrounded by plastic walls. Worker behind the desk all gowned gloved masked. Positive ventilation system blows air outwards. You walk in ... one at a time ... with your ballot envelope ... clerk checks the voter rolls, checks your ID / voter registration, you sign the digital screen with the just wiped wand/pen AFTER you’ve been verified and watched your ballot go into the locked and sealed collection bin. CCTV from 3 angles covers the entire event, cameras run all day, data saved to disk or chip.

Such an arrangement could be built in a couple hours for small expense. When the numbered collection box gets full, several people come in to seal up and evidence sign the old one, count the envelopes several times and sign to that, and put in a new box, identifying themselves on CCTV. GoPro vidcam wearing workers follow the box through the building to the evidence locker, past several locked doors and sign it in with a guard as witness.

The whole Deliver Your Vote process takes under a minute, and the collection box exchange and securing takes only a couple minutes.

No mailing, no lost envelopes, no boxes of votes that magically appear at the last second. This isn’t rocket science.

Of course this will be more difficult in the big cities. But any town or small city under ~~ 50K population should be able to do it. The whole idea is Chain of Evidence, just like the cops do. And CCTV and data chips are so cheap it’s just silly.

Yeah, some people really are not able to get out, and get over to the polling places. Prove it, and you can vote by mail. You “can’t” show up because it’s a minor inconvenience? TFB, then you’re not going to vote.

Naturally the voter rolls would be up to date, matched against the tax records, the credit card company and cell phone address lists, coroner data and the III criminal database etc. As I’ve said a hundred times before, registration closes at least 30 days prior, no exceptions.

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

Crivens, it is REALLY pouring out there today. Since long before dawn. Thankfully it’s cooler, and so far not a breath of wind.  But if the big wind shows up later, after 8 -10 hours of ground saturating rainfall, we’re going to lose a lot of trees. Not cool.

The tropical storm winds were reaching the state by 8 a.m. Tuesday and were expected to increase quickly as Isaias was moving through at 33 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

Heavy rain and the potential for flash floods continues to be a significant threat, but that threat has shifted west as the aniticipated track of Isaias shifted west overnight.

The Jersey Shore is expected to be spared the heaviest rainfall though 1 to 2 inches are still possible. The north and western parts of the state, including Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex counties, are still forecast to receive more than 4 inches of rain.
The state got a taste of the storm Monday evening as a patch of thunderstorms moved through. A wind gust of 70 mph was recorded at the Robert J. Miller Airpark in Ocean County, and one of 59 mph was recorded at Neshanic Station, according to the weather service’s Mount Holly office.

Neshanic Station is just across the county line here in Somerset County. It’s a sleepy little crossroads semi-rural kind of place, off the beaten track but only a mile or so from a major highway. Situated on the banks of the South Branch of the Raritan River, just a mile or two of where both north and south branches join and flow down to Rutgers, it was a mill town and a produce shipping point back in the long ago day.

There is a rather rare double span lenticular bridge there in perfect condition, with a very old derelict 2 span Pratt through truss RR bridge on one side, and a high plate girder RR bridge, still used daily, a bit downstream on the other side.

There are only about 100 lenticular bridges in the whole country, many are derelict now, and most of them are single span. Binghamton NY has a 3 span one, and Middlesex County CT has a 5 span one. All of these were built 135 years ago by the Berlin Iron Bridge Company.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/04/2020 at 08:56 AM   
Filed Under: • BridgesGovernmentMiscellaneous •  
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calendar   Sunday - August 02, 2020

Nobody Says The “B” Word. Or The “J” Word.

AirBnB To Restrict Party House Rentals In NJ

Airbnb has cracked down on “party houses” throughout the state of New Jersey as the world continues to attempt to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We stand with Governor (Phil) Murphy, and we support his call to action to stop parties and promote behavior that respects the public’s health,” said Chris Lehane, SVP of Global Policy & Communications for Airbnb. “We ban party houses and will not tolerate irresponsible behavior on our platform. We know that there is still more work to be done, we ask that neighbors contact us as soon as possible through our Neighborhood Support Hotline, to directly communicate any concerns, which will help us continue to effectively enforce our party house ban.”

As part of this, 35 listings across New Jersey that have received complaints or otherwise violated policies on parties and events have been either suspended or removed from the Airbnb platform, officials said.

Additionally, Airbnb recently shared out restrictions on some U.S. guests under the age of 25 from booking entire home listings in their local area. As a practical example, if they identify a 20-year old guest who is located in Hoboken, the systems are set up to restrict that user from booking a house, apartment or other entire home listing in Hoboken for a 1-night reservation the following weekend unless they have a history of positive reviews on Airbnb.

However, if that same 20 year-old is booking a stay to visit family in Ocean City, the restriction would not apply.

This kind of thing has been in the news quite a bit lately. It seems some folks have figured out that they can rent a nice place in suburbia for a night, put out ads in da hood, charge people to attend, and make a pile of quick money.

The party animals descend, cause an all night ruckus, trash the house, mess up the whole neighborhood, and go away. Streets parked solid, cars up on folk’s lawns, all kinds of misbehavior, fireworks, and often as not “random” gunfire.

Far be it for me to mention how certain types were prominent at nearly all of these events. Although if you read the stories carefully and ignore the “representational” picture in the above story ...
“The party was reportedly held as a celebration of Liberian Independence Day and featured free food and alcohol and a twerking contest.”
“Darius Edwards, 24, of Brooklyn, has been charged with two counts of assault by auto, eluding, obstruction and possession of marijuana”
“Yaakov Weiss, 40, of Jackson, who owns the home, and Patience Guanue, 23, and Alicia Hinneh, 22, both of Newark, were issued summonses for violating the governor’s executive order limiting gatherings to 500 people or fewer “
“The party was advertised on Instagram as a “mansion party,” and included free food and alcohol”
“It took all of Jackson’s on-duty police officers, along with help from the Freehold, Howell and Lakewood police departments, New Jersey State Police, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, to clear the crowd”


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/02/2020 at 07:53 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - August 01, 2020

NHL Stands Together

Nobody Kneels. Nobody.

Players from the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Dallas Stars, and Nashville Predators all stood to honor the playing of the national anthem in recent games.

Not one single player kneeled.

On Tuesday, players for the Flyers and Penguins stood together in solidarity before their exhibition opener in Toronto.

The respective teams stood together on the blue lines to show solidarity — and the Penguins made sure the message was clear.

In a tweet, the beloved Pittsburgh team wrote, “The Penguins and Flyers, two of the fiercest rivals in sports, united in solidarity this afternoon, to stand up against social injustice, racism, and hate.”

On Tuesday, NBC Sports reported that the Boston Bruins and the Columbus Blue Jackets had the same plans for their game Thursday night. And the two teams did, indeed, gather — arms linked — in a circle.

“Over the past several months we have been trying to educate ourselves and learn more about racial injustice in our country and around the world. As a team we have decided to lock arms during the playing of the United States and Canadian Anthems as a sign of solidarity with the Black community,” a spokesperson for the Bruins told the outlet.

“This action is solely intended to be a positive sign of support for the Black community, and a way for us to use our platform to help end racism,” the statement concluded.

I think it’s very important to note that these men are standing up and speaking up, not being disrespectful. And they’re not saying they’re supporting BLM, they’re supporting eliminating racial injustice.

And I’m fine with that. Granted, it’s an empty gesture. Especially in empty stadiums. But it’s better than nothing. Let’s see if they actually do anything more than this.

As long as they don’t go all nutso Aunt Jemima Syrup and AOC on everything. And don’t forget that racism works both ways.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/01/2020 at 12:15 PM   
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calendar   Thursday - July 23, 2020

another downpour

It’s raining again, unbelievably hard. And it’s almost time to leave for bowling. Of course!

Honestly, it’s hard to believe it’s raining this hard. I can hardly see across the backyard. Total deluge. There will be flooding. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/23/2020 at 05:32 PM   
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calendar   Wednesday - July 22, 2020

Birthday booze

So it’s Stephanie’s birthday today. Yay Steph. She’s 65. OMG. We’re going up there to visit and celebrate on Sunday, so I’ll do my weekend cleaning Saturday night. I’ve shifted my Thursday cleaning to Wednesday so I can do mini-summer bowling league. I think I like Wednesday better anyway.

It’s my brother’s birthday too, woo hoo. He’s younger than she is by a few. But we were up there this past weekend and did b-day then. Chocolate cake, ice cream, fresh sourdough bread.

I have no idea what to get her for a gift, but I think it’s high time her birthday got prominence. Everyone else’s does, except hers and mine. We always go over there to visit, and she cooks, serves, and cleans up. I know she likes to do that, and she’s a really good cook, but I’d like to give her a bit of celebratory respite, nome sane?

I suggested we get take out lobster, as you still can’t sit down to eat in a restaurant in their state or in mine. Such BS. And late July is THE time to get Maine lobsters. A nice 2 - 2 1/4 pounder would be perfect. With a few dozen steamers, some corn on the cob, blueberry pie and some blueberry muffins. Lots of melted butter. A real Maine clambake, hot coals and stones in a pit on the beach, layers of seaweed, and an old chunk of plywood over the hole. Rinse it down with Schlitz beer. Pure heaven. But no, he’s got gout these days, so no lobster for anyone. Crivens.

I remember that she used to like chocotinis. That was ages ago, easily 15 years. I know that booze is a bit impersonal, but other than new tennis or golf balls, what does she need? She gave up curling years ago, just after I found out where to get the big stone things they use. And I don’t think she does the off road bicycle thing anymore. I don’t think they go fly fishing anymore either. And Frank has a closet full of his fancy scotches, but what’s in there for her? So I’m thinking a broad spectrum chocotini kit just for her. Quality chocolate chips, a bar of high end dark chocolate, some Godiva liqueur, some Baily’s, a decent Triple Sec, a good vodka, Kahlua, white or dark creme de cacoa. Chocolate or vanilla vodka, or is that overkill? Because it turns out that there are as many recipes for chocotinis as there are for chicken. Infinite. So cover the bases? Who makes a chocolate shaver?

Guess I’ll have to find some beer and make pretzels. It’s expected that I show up with some kind of bread product. But I’m getting tired of making my 4 flour sourdough. And I’m not sure if an Entemann’s knock-off is the right thing. I haven’t made one yet, even though I have what looks to be a great recipe, and I don’t want to bring a first time bake anywhere, just in case. The pretzels I could make in my sleep, I’ve done them so many times. And they are world class good, but you have to eat them within a few hours of baking. Don’t know if the “newlyweds” are coming or not. They’re both retired now, so they can’t use the “we have to go down the shore every weekend to our beach shack” excuse anymore. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/22/2020 at 10:49 PM   
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calendar   Monday - July 20, 2020

sap be gone

sometimes the internet is right about things.  I had a bunch of sap drips on my car from parking under the pines. Rubbing alcohol took them off instantly. I used a clean microfiber towel, wet the end, and just rubbed them lightly. 99% gone. I’ve also read that a steam gun can do the job, but I haven’t tried that yet. And “claying” will get anything left. I don’t clay, so that’s out.

But the alcohol thing works pretty great, and it’s cheap. After I was done I went straight to the car wash around the corner, just in case alcohol wasn’t good to leave on the clearcoat for long.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/20/2020 at 10:49 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - July 18, 2020

still here, just busy

Not much to say, just got too many things to do. We started mini summer bowling league Thursday. It’s a no-tap league, which we weren’t aware of. Whatever, it’s still some practice time before winter league starts. It’s being done with social distancing, which makes things kind of strange. But we’ll manage, and as time goes by (fingers crossed) the restrictions will lessen. Yeah right.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/18/2020 at 09:16 AM   
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calendar   Thursday - July 16, 2020

Yesterday’s News Today!!

Been pretty busy around here lately, and I seem to get tired a lot faster than I used to, back in the day.

Bits And Pieces

Here ya go: Tall buildings are sexist. This is what passes as a college professor these days. Ignore the high cost of urban real estate, ignore the efficiency of multistory buildings. Nope, these things are built to celebrate erections. Whacko!!

You should have followed the process. UK removes illegally placed BLM statue after just 1 day. It’s a pretty good statue, although I don’t know if celebrating radicalism is a good thing. Actually, it turns out that Ms. Reid is just a person, one of the thousands who protested. But after the old statue of Edward Colston was torn down and drowned on June 7, she climbed the plinth and stood there looking all Black Power and had her picture taken. So it’s very symbolic. And, of course, by erecting the statue illegally, and having it taken down, more publicity is achieved, and the mantra of oppression and victimhood is enhanced.

I’m interested in how such a detailed and very lifelike statue was made so quickly. It’s resin, so my guess is it was either cast or created with one of those 3D printers, with data points collected by one of those 3D laser scanners. Or perhaps created by laser ablation of a solid block of material . Impressive technology, all of it.


Another college professor spying for China, caught trying to run away with stolen data. China is asshoe. So is Song Guo Zheng.

Song Guo Zheng, 57, was arrested Friday, May 22, 2020 as he landed in Anchorage, Alaska. He was about to catch a flight to China when he was taken into custody.

According to the FBI, Zheng was involved in a scheme to use approximately $4.1 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to bolster China’s research in the areas of rheumatology and immunology. Zheng is also accused of making false statements to cover up his involvement with China while working at multiple universities, including Ohio State.

I didn’t know we had any flights going to China, not even from Alaska. I thought President Trump put a COVID stop to that a few months back.


900 days running with no mishaps and NO CARBON EMISSIONS AT ALL . The Candu [ love the name. Can Do!! ] nuclear reactor works just fine. Wind power, solar power, tidal power just don’t cut it, and our nations have become too built up for any more hydroelectic dam projects. Nuke is the only way forward. We’ll just bury the spent fuel rods somewhere deep and stable, and let the radiation bacteria eat it up.


George Floyd Officer’s Body Cam Footage Released (view by appointment only).. Transcripts of two of the involved officer’s cam footage were released the other day. Floyd was stoned out of his head, uncooperative, COVID positive, multiple co-morbidities, overdosing on fentanyl. Still, the cops should have found some better way to restrain him. Always consider the optics.


Something to read, an essay of the obvious at American Greatness.

In a way never seen before, America has gone mad.

The Democratic Party, having left the likes of Henry Jackson and Daniel Patrick Moynihan far behind, is being steered by the ideology of Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. It’s in thrall to a Maoist mob. It’s tacitly (and sometimes not so tacitly) accepting wholesale destructiveness. It’s in bed with the Black Lives Matter terrorist group, contributions to which end up in party coffers. While the party lets Bolshevik bullies get away with violence, it vilifies decent citizens who try to defend themselves and demonizes cops who simply want to do their job.
We can’t even be sure that the best president of modern times will win reelection over a doddering fool in thrall to our society’s most dangerous elements.


I smell a push for more gun control coming. NJ Governor Alarmed By Increase In Shootings

Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday he’s concerned about a sharp increase in fatal shootings amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Col. Patrick J. Callahan, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said the state’s fatal shootings have increased 19 percent over last year’s year-to-date number, rising from 84 to 100 victims.

He said there were 39 shooting victims within the past week, with 13 succumbing to their injuries.
Murphy said New Jersey is “not immune to what we’re seeing around the country in terms of this lethal cocktail of being pent up,” with people coming to grips with closures and unemployment amid the hot summer.

Murphy said New Jersey, like the rest of the nation, is dealing with the fallout over the death of George Floyd, and the country is showing anger and frustration over the lingering “stain of racism.”

“The cocktail could not be more challenging,” Murphy said. “You’ve got gobs of people out of work. You’ve got small businesses that have been crushed.”

Murphy said many people also face numerous mental and physical health challenges as they deal with the consequences of the pandemic.

“That’s almost an unprecedented combination of factors,” he said.

Meanwhile, movie theaters in the state lost their bid to reopen, while more states have been added to NJ’s quarantine list. Also meanwhile, the state is investigating a fatal police shooting. Suicide by cop, the Morristown police had to shoot a guy who had sliced himself and was threatening his mother with a gun. OK, it was an Airsoft gun, but those things look totally real. Especially if you paint over the orange band.

The man fatally shot by police on Tuesday in Morris Township was brandishing an “airsoft” pistol that resembled a Beretta firearm, the state Attorney General’s Office said on Wednesday.

Timothy O’Shea, 24, died at 5:41 pm at Morristown Medical Center, according to a statement from authorities.

Police from Morris Township, Morris Plains and Morristown had responded to a 911 call at 4:14 pm reporting a domestic disturbance on Fairchild Avenue. The caller said a person at the residence had cut himself and had a gun.

“Uniformed officers of the three police departments responded to the residence on Fairchild Avenue where Timothy O’Shea lived. Upon arrival, officers encountered the 911 caller and took that person into safety.

“Shortly after, at approximately 4:19 p.m., officers encountered Timothy O’Shea, who was holding a pistol and bleeding. During the encounter, one officer fired his weapon, striking Mr. O’Shea,” the statement said.

Police rendered medical aid until EMS personnel arrived to transport him to the hospital. The pistol that was in O’Shea’s hand was a replica Beretta 9mm airsoft pistol, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

Replica airsoft pistols resemble the real thing, but they fire plastic projectiles. Airsoft weapons use a gas propellant and are similar to BB guns, but their less-harmful ammunition has made them popular for target practice, war games, and police- and military training.

By federal law, imitations of real guns are required to have orange-colored plugs on their barrels to set them apart. It was not immediately clear if this weapon had such a marking.

There was no riot, no protest, and the story hardly made even the local news, because O’Shea was white. Tru dat!


Meanwhile, way down the shore in Wildwood Nj, an obviously edited Rodney King style video is getting people upset. He dindu nuttin, as usual. But the end of the vid does look like police abuse.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/16/2020 at 09:19 AM   
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calendar   Monday - July 06, 2020

Fiat Lux

A Less Than Bright Idea?


I finally got around to changing the bulb in one of the recessed light fixtures in our bathroom. It’s been out for months. With all these 3rd generation LED bulbs, they last so long I don’t even remember where the spares are kept. So after looking through the closets and drawers, I remembered that I’d see a pack of them out in the gigantic mess we call our garage when I was looking for some tool or something last week. So I went out and got them. A little dusty, the generic package unlabeled and slightly water stained. Brought them in the house, took one out and screwed it in. And the instant I did that the lights went out.

Aw crooop, what have I done?

So I spent a few minutes using the flashlight from my cellphone to check all the breakers, and then realized that power was out to the whole place. Power was out to the whole condo park. It had happened at that exact instant.

We had a line squall moving in; the wind kicked up from nothing, clouds sprang up, the sky got dark, the temperature dropped 15° in a couple of minutes ... and then the downpour began. One of those short intense summer rains, it was over in a couple minutes. And then the power came back on. So I checked the bulb, and it was working just fine. Yay me.

But what is this, why is it so yellow? Reach up to check it, and the thing is hot! WTH? And then I figured it out: this was an actual lightbulb. Not an LED, not a CFL, not one of those halogens masquerading as a bulb, but an actual incandescent lightbulb. 60 watts, 770 lumens, Sylvania. How many years has that thing been around? They were dead and gone ages before we moved in here 8+ years ago the day before Hurricane Sandy. They went away under Bush 43, right? 2006 or before? Wow. It felt like a “hey let me take my other car” moment and finding an Egyptian chariot in the garage. Something from antiquity.

It’s a nice comforting light. Let’s see if it lasts. IIRC, those old bulbs had a life measured in hours, not in decades. And there’s only one left in the pack. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/06/2020 at 02:53 PM   
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calendar   Wednesday - July 01, 2020

Speed Blogging

Sorry, no time for this today. Here’s a few links to news stories

•   Scientists cure lab mice with Parkinson’s by accident. This could be big, but it will take lots more R&D.

•   Summer snow dumps 6-8” in high rockies. Must be global warming again.

•   CHOP gets the chop in Seattle. Plenty arrests made. I’d treat them as invaders or traitors. Either way, here’s the gallows.

•   Harvey Weinstein buys his way out. $19 million, cases dropped. Did you every really believe #MeToo was about anything other than money??

•   China is asshoe. Hong Kong eaten up like Dim Sum. Life under communism: new “security” law is ex post facto. Bye bye freedom.

•   And the arrests in Hong Kong begin. China reneges on agreement made 20 years ago. And this is a surprise to whom??


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/01/2020 at 11:01 AM   
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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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GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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