Sarah Palin is allowed first dibs on Alaskan wolfpack kills.

calendar   Wednesday - May 25, 2016

Mr Painty

That’s me. Have roller, will travel.

Painting down at the clubhouse today, got all the doors and trim done. With the new fence, the new paved walkway, new umbrellas and a fresh coat of paint on everything, the pool is going to look really good this year.

Tomorrow is going to be almost hot, with lots of sun. Perfect day to slap some paint on the speed bumps. That yellow stuff is slow drying, so a nice bright day is just what’s needed. And I’ll take the extra hours, thank you.

And tomorrow night is bowling league. Ya know, I really ought to spare a little time and try and clean my ball. It hasn’t been cleaned in at least 50 games. Just saying.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/25/2016 at 02:09 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - May 18, 2016

a letter to JayD

Finishing off my day here with a nice cup of PG Tips. Thanks for turning me on to that. I take mine with a half spoon of sugar and a small splash of half & half, and leave the bag in until the mug is empty. Abhorrence, I know!! Tea done wrongly!! It packs a good strong flavor, but I drink it fast enough so that it doesn’t get bitter.

We’re having too much fun here. Looks like I might have to take my neighbors to the condo association board for adjudication. See, we have this radon remediation system in the unit, right? What it is, is a few great lengths of perforated 4” PVC pipe run under the foundation, and those pipes extend up through the walls to the attic, where an inline fan applies suction, and then sends everything out an exhaust pipe. Radon is a gas. Radioactive. So the suction pulls it right out of the soil and vents it out the roof before it can leach through the concrete floor and poison us inside. I think the whole thing is totally over-rated, but who am I? I don’t even worry about asbestos, or lead paint from 1967. Anyway, the exhaust pipe runs about 15 feet along inside the roof truss over the living room ceiling, then turns up and pierces the roof, leaving a standing pipe about a foot high there. And it howls. No kidding; hello, 15 foot pipe 4” across with lots of air flowing through it? It’s a bloody pipe organ. Duh. And the exit end of the pipe is at the same level as the back balcony on the upstairs-one-unit-over neighbor. So she’s complaining. I would too. Thing sounds like a B-17 flying overhead. Ok, I exaggerate. A B-16, maybe a B-15. But it makes plenty of noise, a standing note exactly the same pitch as a steamship horn, but only a bit more than conversationally loud. Still .... blllleeeeeeerrrrr ... 24 hours a day. I’d go mad.

After hours of online research, I found a solution; a glass pack muffler that attaches to the pipe end. Works real good I hear, reducing the noise 75%. Problem is, I’m not allowed to go on the roof to install it. And the maintenance guys aren’t allowed to mess with any part of any radon remediation system. And talking to neighbor lady tonight, her boss, a lawyer (subtle, ain’t she?) says us owners aren’t responsible for anything on the outside of these condos (which is true) so the association should pay for the muffler and hire a radon guy to come install it. At no cost to us. And I think he’s right. I never would have thought that way; I’m more of a “my place, my problem, my solution at my cost” kind of guy. So even though I’ve been working towards a solution behind the scenes with my boss the condo park manager (don’t forget I am now an official employee with my “road security” job in the mornings ... which also offers me the chance to earn extra money by painting the speed bumps when it isn’t raining [if, ever, some day please??]), having the association pay for the muffler and the work will require an Ok from the Condo Board of Trustees. So it is sort of like adjudication I guess. And it becomes Official. Agree that the problem exists and needs solving, accept my solution, and agree to pay for an authorized professional to do the intricate task*. I wonder how many months that will take to go through? Or if it stands a chance at approval?


this one works. 75% noise reduction, no flow restriction.

* So intricate: go up on the roof. take a hacksaw and cut the 4” diameter PVC pipe off about 4” above the shingles. Dab the stub with that smelly purple PVC primer stuff. Dab the inside of of the pipe connector end of the muffler with primer too. Dab the bottom of the inside of the muffler’s connector with a quick wipe of PVC cement. Press muffler down on to exhaust pipe stub. Wait 15 seconds for glue to set. Done. Total time: 5 minutes, including climbing 12 feet up the ladder. Attaching a screened top elbow or a rain hat to the top end of the muffler adds another minute to the job, but it keeps the rain and the bugs out.

Ok, hope that was entertaining. Get weller, faster.



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/18/2016 at 02:34 AM   
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calendar   Monday - May 16, 2016

Losing the Past

There was a major fire in town yesterday. One of our historic buildings - and Clinton is chock full of them - caught fire early Sunday morning and burned all day. Units from 5 fire companies fought the thing, draining the South Branch of the Raritan River (which is just yards away) to do the job. Alas today, there isn’t much left except burnt beams and roasted bricks. The building was historically young, at a mere 125, but it was very rich in history, having been used as everything from a vaudeville music hall to a car dealership over the years, and currently housing a couple medical offices, a hair salon, a couture shop and several other small office businesses. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries.


Fire caused extensive damage Sunday to a historic music hall building in a riverfront town in New Jersey.

Firefighters arrived at about 9 a.m. at the building in Clinton to find flames tearing through the upper floors.

The Clinton Music Hall building, now known as Clinton Center, was once a 300-seat venue for music, theater and film. Today, it’s home to several small businesses.

The blaze caused the third floor of the structure to collapse, fire officials said.

A multi-alarm fire burned the former Clinton Music Hall on Sunday morning.

The fire broke out around 8:30 a.m. in the four-story building on Main Street. The building had a 300-seat theater in the rear and offices on the lower floors. Firefighters were bringing in water from the water treatment plant to douse the flames according to the Hampton FIre Co. Station 13 Facebook page.

The NJ Advanced Media news website reported that a collapse of the third floor forced the evacuation of the building. Pictures of the building show a large section of the roof missing.

New Jersey Fast Traffic said that the fire forced the closure of exit #15 off Route 78 for Route 173 in Clinton.


The first alarms for the fire that destroyed the interior of the historic Clinton Music Hall at 23 W. Main St. on Sunday < href="">sounded a bit before 8 a.m.
A spokesman for the Clinton Town Police Department could not be reached for comment. A service that monitors police radio frequencies said most of the mutual aid trucks were sent home by 3:49 p.m. Sunday. Kania said the last fire trucks were there until nearly 6 p.m.


CLINTON TOWN - A touch of nostalgia wasn’t the only element lost in Sunday’s fire that destroyed the historic Clinton Music Hall on West Main Street.

Splitenz Salon Studio, Hunterdon Pilates, the dental offices of Dr. Hal Bergeron and an attorney’s office were destroyed in the four-alarm blaze at the building that once housed some of the premier entertainment acts in the country before the turn of the 19th century.

I don’t understand the hose layout here. The two black lines are suction, one feeding the truck directly and the other feeding the gas powered pump.
So the one white line on the right is also a feeder to the truck. What does the middle white one do? It can’t be attached to the pump. And why are they squirting water back if they need desperately to fill up?
I’d know this stuff if I was a fireman, but I’m not. I can’t even understand why they had to drive the tanker trucks back and forth, since the river was only about 100 yards from the blaze. Don’t they have that much hose?
Whatever. Thanks for helping out guys, and for keeping the rest of the street, including the lumber yard next door, from going up as well.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/16/2016 at 11:55 PM   
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Bad Day Today

We had an hour or two of mild sun today, then the clouds and the rain moved back in. And it’s getting colder. Not enough to snow, oh please no, but not what I’d call a Sunday in May. The whole condo park had one of our two annual garage sales yesterday, and as is so often the case, it was mostly rained out. Don’t ask me how they always manage to pick a bad day, but at least 5 of the last 6 have been cold and wet.

My poor old Saturn is doing the mysterious no-start thing again. Starts up, runs fine, take a short drive to the gas station. Shut the engine off for a couple minutes and it won’t restart. Oh, I don’t mean it turns over and won’t catch. Turn the key and nothing happens. Not even a click. Wait about 10-15 minutes and try it again, and it starts right up. And then it starts whenever you want for several weeks. It’s a mystery.

Poor Dizzy, our little blind cat with the neurological problem. She hasn’t had a seizure in 11 days. Today she had two, 12 hours apart. I was able to catch her and hold her during the first one, petting her and trying to comfort her even though she clawed me pretty good. We saw the second one coming. Suddenly the cat was pressing her face against the couch really hard, and we started to reach for her, but with only a few seconds warning we didn’t make it in time. She went racing around the living room, her body twisting on her and making her fall down and slam into things. I just managed to head her off and get hold of her, and it was over. Both times she’s been ravenous afterwards. Fine by me. Go eat, I’ll use the time to clean out my latest wounds. Poor baby. We got another pill into her and she’s fine again. Tomorrow I’ll call the vet and see if we have to up her dosage once again.

Pretty good Game Of Thrones episode tonight. Sansa met Jon ("and now my watch is ended") Snow at Castle Black and is going to become a warrior queen, leading Snow and the Wildlings down to Winterfell to wreak vengeance on the Boltons. With surprise reinforcements from the Vale on the way too! And Melisandre, the Red Priestess, is now on Snow’s side. With two hot redheads behind him, how can he loose? Not bad for a dead guy. Excellent way to move Daenery’s story along too. Miss Kahleesi ain’t going to no old folks home, no sir. Not even Trump can work a “you’re all fired” the way she can.

Right. Me for a shower and then bed.

PS it’s 39°F outside. Welcome to the middle of May.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/16/2016 at 02:04 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - May 14, 2016

gardening with gloves on

All the little outside kitties spent the entire winter using my garden’s shady bit of ground as a litter pan. Now the soil is all torn up and loaded up with cat poop.


I’m going to have to put up a little fence, drop 3” of new soil on top of everything, followed by mulch after I plant. And then put down a thick heavy layer of Kitty No Schitz. I’m sure such products exist at the nurseries.


Hmmm ... I found a site that says shake cayenne pepper around and lay out crumpled chicken wire on the ground. Sounds good to me, except I wouldn’t be able to put in seedlings through the chicken wire.

Hmmm ... Buy our product in a spray can.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/14/2016 at 01:17 PM   
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calendar   Tuesday - May 10, 2016

You must be a…



Posted by Somnambulist57   Canada  on 05/10/2016 at 03:48 AM   
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calendar   Sunday - May 08, 2016

body rhythms

Good grief. It’s 5am. I’ve been wide awake since 3. Had a nice strong mug of coffee at 4, and now I think I’ll go back to sleep. So I can get up in 3 hours.

I must be getting old. Damn. I used to be able to sleep 7 or 8 hours at a go. Heck, in college I swear I could sleep 14 hours at a clip. Now I “power nap” for no more than 4, usually 2 1/2 to 3. Problem is, 4 or 5 hours later I want to get back under the covers again.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/08/2016 at 08:06 AM   
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calendar   Thursday - May 05, 2016

another off day

At least I didn’t spend the whole day sleeping again. I don’t know from allergies to p-new-monia, but I’ve got a rotten tight cough that makes my mornings miserable.  And, joy of joys, it’s rained for the past week, and it’s still raining now. Looks like we picked up about 4” in the past couple of days.

All the semi-feral kittehs have come out of their soggy dens on the hillside and have taken over all the chairs outside here on the covered patios. We’ve got covers and padded cushions and stuff on them for just that reason. I guess I’m Ok with that; they stay dry and mostly they sleep all the time. Tipsy surprised me today by bringing her entire brood up here and claiming the old down blanket on the wicker chaise. We had thought she had 3 kittens, a whitish calico, a ginger, and a grey/black tabby, and then we saw her with two little dark tabbies. So, 4 kittens. But today she had THREE itty bitty gingers along with the others, and I think that makes 6. Six teeny tiny little puff balls, OMG. Squee!! Baby cats, 5” long. She has to lie on her back to nurse them all at once. Now add in the 2 or 3 young adult gingers living the high life down in the KatSpa all inclusive resort down on the main patio, plus visits by grubby old MomKat (aka Scowler) who stops by a couple times a day to dry off and mooch some kibbs. Things are quickly spiraling out of control. No more. When this giant bag of kibble is gone, that’s it. Winter will be over, hopefully it will warm up and dry out, and the kittehs can get back in the bushes and start catching mice again, of which we seem to have a limitless supply.

I got into a heated political debate with Bernie while working the guard shack this morning. He is not a Trump supporter. I’m not really sure if I am or not; I can see both sides of that coin, and I don’t know if it’s one I want in circulation. Anyway, B’s contention is that some survey says that most of Trump’s supporters are uneducated rednecks. That’s so biased, I told him. A lot of what Trump says resonates with me, and I’ve got a box full of degrees. A box full? Yeah ... 5 Associate’s, a BS, X credits towards a Master’s, 2 graduate level technical training certificates, each equal to about a semester’s study, and who knows how many mini-certs for all the “employee development” training we used to get back in the day. So what? So why are you here? he comes back with. What? Why are you sitting in this little hut in the rain if you’ve got all this education and ability? He’s right. I quit the rat race. There was no niche for me and I could never learn to play the basic dishonest corporate game. They squeezed me out, but I left almost willingly; I like to work and create and make things better, not rot my days away going to empty meetings and regurgitating buzzwords. But I threw my life away. Thanks old man. Put me in a dark funk for the rest of the day.

Another easy dinner featuring Maesri Thai green curry in a can. Make 2 cups of rice. Skin and bone a big chicken breast and a couple drumsticks or thighs, cut the meat into little bits. Chop up half a big onion. Or all of it. Into the pan with both and a splash of oil to slightly brown up. Add the curry paste. Stir to coat. Add a whole can of coconut milk (always get the first pressing stuff) and set it all to simmer. Want heat? Drop in 2-15 dry red Asian chilies. Take a 12oz bag of Asian Stir Fry frozen veg and a big handful of either frozen okra slices or green beans. 2 minutes in the microwave to thaw it all, then add it to the pan once the chicken has simmered for a bit. Add another can of coconut milk. “Add fresh kaffir lime leaves” it says on the curry label. Yeah right, I just happen to have a lime tree growing right here in my ass. No. I took a slice of lemon and gave it a squeeze over the pan. Good enough. Ladle the meat and sauce onto a plate full of rice, done. Serves at least 5. Once the chilies have softened you can eat them for some zing, but you don’t have to. Dead easy dinner, and it’s actually pretty good.

If it ever dries out I’m going to try to fix the power window in my car. I made it through the winter once we got it closed, but I really want to be able to open it again when it warms up. I’ve got a spool of wire so I can run power right from the battery. Now I need to locate my little Allen wrenches so I can take off the inside fascia of the outside mirror so I can get the door panel off. Then I can actually test the motor and inspect the gears and tracks and stuff.

Ack. It’s time for bed and I have at least 4 loads of laundry to do. Hey, tomorrow is another day.

[ oh shit, sinus eruption. Coughing fit. crap. Can’t hack this stuff loose, dammit. ]

No new word on Peiper. Aww, I miss him and think about him all the time. Hope he’s recovering fully.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/05/2016 at 02:33 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - April 27, 2016

Super Tuesday: 5 takeaways

Trump rolls
Trump watched Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich form an alliance to divide and conquer states as they try to stop his march to the Republican nomination. He answered them with a 5-for-5 night and declared himself the winner of the nomination.
“I consider myself the presumptive nominee,” Trump said during a speech-turned-news conference in Manhattan’s Trump Tower. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s over.”
He declared Clinton easy to beat—easier than the likes of Jeb Bush and other Republicans he’s dispatched so far.
“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton was a man, she’d only get 5% of the vote,” Trump said. “The only thing she’s got going for her is the woman’s card, and frankly, women don’t like her.”
What about Cruz, his toughest primary challenger, who is vetting vice presidential candidates? “He’s wasting his time,” Trump said.

Clinton gets close to clinching
Big wins in Pennsylvania and Maryland have Hillary Clinton ready for a true pivot to the general election, and that means first trying to unify the Democratic Party.

Republicans are warming to Trump
The good news for Trump went beyond the size of his victories. Exit polls showed that Republicans appear to be warming to the idea of him as the party’s nominee, too.
Fewer Republican voters said they were casting protest votes. And Trump is the only candidate that a majority of Republicans in the states with exit polls—Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut—said they’d support in the general election.

Sanders’ superdelegate pitch
Far behind in the delegate count, Sanders turned his attention to superdelegates Tuesday night, making a direct pitch to the elected officials and party power brokers who largely support Clinton to change their minds.
“What we are seeing are national polls which have us 15 or 20 points ahead of Donald Trump—far more than Secretary Clinton,” he said at a rally in Huntington, West Virginia.

Ted Cruz is all about Indiana
Cruz knew it was going to be a bad night—so he ignored it.
Instead, he held a rally in the historic Hoosier Gym in Knightstown, a central location from the 1986 basketball classic “Hoosiers,” taking the stage 20 minutes before any polls closed, and any results were announced.


Just grabbing a few bits from this, reading over the results for the first time since I just got home from work about a half hour ago.
That line of Trump’s about Clinton and the woman card seriously had my husband and I in near tears laughing.
Neither one of us had really been paying attention to the primaries today (we voted in the KY caucus last month) so we had no idea what was happening today.
Dear GOD, this election is shaping up to be one for the record books in entertainment. 


Posted by Severa   United States  on 04/27/2016 at 09:00 AM   
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What? Didn’t I put something up today? Crivens. Crap. I thought I had something. Must have dreamed it.

Damnation, all I do is sleep lately. Narcolepsy, allergies, resurgence of that old Lyme disease? Beats me.

Try again tomorrow.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/27/2016 at 04:00 AM   
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calendar   Friday - April 22, 2016

Peiper Update

I just got off the phone with Jen.

Jay was released from the big hospital to a local rehab center, but was there for only a day and a half before he had to go back. I gather he needed a few more tubes stuck in him for proper drainage or irrigation or some such.

Poor old Peiper is NOT a happy camper right now, but it sounds like he is mentally alert and in stable but serious condition.

That’s all I have.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/22/2016 at 02:43 PM   
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calendar   Tuesday - April 19, 2016

flower power

We’re having a very confused Spring here after our oddball winter. Everything is opening at once, and everything is opening early.

So here are a few pictures of the paring lot garden, with nearly everything in bloom at once. I went out of my way to put in bulbs that would open and grow are various times, so that the whole place would have something blooming from April to October. Alas, not this year.




So you can see just how far I got with things last year. It’s still pretty raw. I haven’t laid down any mulch, I haven’t even raked the area out, I didn’t get rid of all those stones I sifted out. And now I’ve got a litter of kittens living under what’s left of the pallet of soil. Right. Well, it will get better. And there will be a nice strip across the front with annuals. And some lilies off on the right side. And so on. And so on. I’m giving myself a couple of seasons to get it squared away; I’m no professional gardener.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/19/2016 at 03:24 PM   
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calendar   Sunday - April 17, 2016

must be spring break

beats me where all the posters have gone. I thought I had three helpers there for a bit.

Ah well. It’s not like I have been spending much time here lately. It isn’t a case of writer’s block, or even one of boredom. Well, boredom with politics and world events, maybe. But not with the old blog, per se.

No new word from Jen, so I guess Peiper continues to recover in hospital. Poor guy. Let’s hope there’s no lasting brain damage. And I STILL haven’t written him. I am the worst friend evah.

Right. Things are looking better for my mother and brother ... there’s an awesome story there that’s been going on for the past couple of months, but it’s theirs to tell or not. But it’s awesome, and even has explosions in it.

Kitteh keeps having her little seizures, so she’s up to a half pill in the morning and another half at night. Poor Dizzy.

My gardens are waking up with vigor. The daffys are up and roaring, and the tulips aren’t far behind. Hyacinths are all fat and happy and aromatic. Sweet. No deer damage this year, hurray!! Crocuses are out, although smaller than I expected. I think even the lilies are sending up fronds all over. But the “super tough” Russian bush didn’t make it through the winter, and I’m not seeing any growth at all yet on the ornamental grasses. But hey, it’s still early in the season. I’ve got to get out there and do some weeding, haul some more rocks away, lay down some more mulch, and dig out the front strip of dirt and replace it with straight up black topsoil to build the bed for the summer annuals. And I can see how my impatiens bed was used as a litter pan all winter long by the patio cats. Maybe I’ll just drop a couple bags of fresh soil over that and plant from there, instead of digging around in the poop pit with my hands. Thanks kittehs. Thanks a lot. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/17/2016 at 01:15 PM   
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calendar   Monday - April 11, 2016

spring groove

Looks like today is shaping up to be a perfect early Spring day. Excellent.

A memory floats up out of the deep past ... baked to the edge, spending sunny afternoons just groovin’ in the light with friends. All freedom, no responsibilities. Just reveling in the glorious aura of youth, without even realizing it. We were beings of pure light and energy, indestructible, blameless, and certain the future was ours to grab and shape and bend the world around us. And it would be easy. And why not, since our horizons ended just past our fingertips. Troubles, news, and politics were what happened on our parent’s TV. Personal stimulus was what mattered. Music was vastly important. Even if the lyrics were mean or nasty; as long as the beat was there it was awesome. Make it louder!! Playing sports. Mud and sweat. Getting wasted. Driving fast. Dancing to the new sound. Donna I Wanna in those little denim cut-offs and a tank top two sizes too small, standing up to rock out in a convertible flying down the highway, her waist length raven hair streaming out behind her like the flag of sexuality it was. Spring!

I can’t count how many lifetimes ago that was.

I got some sensory stimulus today. Turned off the heat, opened the windows, cranked up the stereo. I realized we’ve hardly played the Big Rig since we’ve had these cats. And on the rare times we did, it was at a very mellow level. Kittehs got a dose of Rock today. They’re hiding under the bed at the other end of the condo.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/11/2016 at 04:19 PM   
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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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