To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before

Well I just received my “23andMe” reports on my Ancestral DNA. The reports have confirmed many of my presupposed ideas that my heratige is 53% Scandanavian; 12% British/Irish (bringing in the Viking element), 28% French/German, and the remainder broadly Northwestern European. I already knew this as a result of my one and only trip to Denmark where I was able to trace three generations of Scandahouves on my father’s side (going back to the early 1800). The Vikings landed in Ireland/England in the early days.

Apparently I also contain 283 of 2,872 Neanderthal Variants (nearly 10%) , which is higher than 58% of 23andMe’s other customers (the most being 400). What does that mean? I probably have straight hair, which I do. I’m probably tall, which I guess I am at 6′-2″. I don’t know much about the other 281, they didn’t go into that much detail.

The 10% Neanderthal Variants thing started me thinking though. This means somebody in my family tree swung down and had sex with a Neanderthal at least 40,000 years ago, and I’m still taking the hit for it today.

So…..to all the girls I’ve loved before, especially those of you who screamed “You Neanderthal”, at the end of our date, you were right. Who knew.

Tiger Fallout

Tiger Fallout

I am really incensed by the treatment Tiger Wood has been afforded by our esteemed prime time and tabloid news stations. “Tiger Wood found asleep on the highway in his vehicle”, “Tiger Wood found drunk driving”, endless postings of his mug shot, his DUI testing; stumbling, nearly fallling down, has no idea where he is; on and on the inuendo flies, and now signs like the above begin to appear. Late nite “comedians”, starving for material, see a gold mine in Tiger Woods Monday arrest. It happened last Monday, and the assination still continues through the rest of the week. WTF!!!

OH BTW, TIGER’S BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL WAS O.OOO. HELLO? HELLO!!! YO!!! O.OOO. What is it about O.OOO the you late night comedians, and the you other news comedians don’t understand? WTF?

Tiger Wood is unarguably the best (winningest) golfer the world has ever seen, a philanthropist, a mentor and a Wheaties Box hero to millions and millions of children. Yes he made a monumental mistake, of catastrophic proportion; cheating on his wife, dating miriad questionable women. Tiger Wood stood up and paid dearly for his mistake, as the press so diligently reported, ad nauseum, during his days of persecution.

Tiger’s father dragged his bouncing baby boy out on to the golf course at age three, and wouldn’t let go of him be until Tiger became the winningest player ever. I have no facts to support this, but I imagine that at age three, Tiger’s undeveloped body wasn’t ready for what it was put through, and as a result he began to physically fail at a very early age. Operation after opearation, failure after failure, the toll mounted. I can imagine that all the invasive operations he has suffered; knees, shoulders, back, have left him with a high level of physical pain that requires medication and treatment. This is not an excuse for his actions on Monday. Who would let him get into a car in this condition? Did the condition come on after he had gotten into the car or was he in that condition before he got in? Did he understand the drugs he was taking? Was he under post operative care? Why aren’t these questions being asked?

Tiger Wood does not deserve to be protrayed as a Drunk; he has earned and deserves better than that. The truly bad people in the world, i.e. those who would capitalize on the misfortune and the fortune of others, need to be exposed for what they are, low life sociopaths who lack moral compass.

 

 

The Gape Gap

Tooth Gap

I was born with a gap between my two front teeth. Looking back at pictures of my marvelous mother, I noticed she had a gap as well. My wife and I have opted to look into the 23andme DNA studies, and one of the questions of her was, “do you have a gap between your two front teeth”.  Armed with this information and a lifetime of tight lipped smiling, I ponder the meaning of “the Gap”.

The French call gapped teeth “dents du bonheur” or “lucky teeth”. Some folks use them for party tricks, seeing who can shoot water the farthest. Others think that gapped teeth are mysterious, having links to the animal world. Some say gapped teeth give you a sense of humor, while others think they are the height of fashion, especially today. There are myriad products on the market to “close the gap” or “hide the gap”, which suggests a level of shame.  Everyone has their own ideas which keeps me searching and searching.

Today, on Facebook, the above photo flashed out at me, as I scrolled the days posts, and the meaning of “the Gap” came crystal clear to me. Gaps are beautiful. Don’t you agree?

Memorial Day and Red Meat

BBQ

All you self righteous pundits who have played the guilt cards and chastised us this Memorial Day, about Bar-B-Ques, parties and such, GET A GRIP. It is true that Memorial Day has a much deeper meaning, but you miss the point. Ten to one most of them have not lived through a war that threatened the very base of those outdoor pastimes. I lived through WWII as a child, praying our boys would “beat the hun”, that they would be safe in doing so, and selfishly worrying if I was going to be okay. Red meat was a rarity in our home during the war, and Bar-B-Ques were unheard of. For over four long years of my childhood, the war slogged on, our boys persevered and were victorious. I remember how glorious was the day the war was over.

Every Memorial Day I find the best piece of beef I can afford, throw it on the Bar-B-Que and let it smoke and sizzle. I savor the juicy meaty flavor and firery aromas and thank God and every Allied soldier, that has laid down his life for my right to indulge.

So……you snowflake talking heads, who want to make me feel bad about celebrating Memorial Day with a Bar-B-Que, listen up. Unless you are a vegan, (which you probably are), next Memorial Day (one of the two biggest BBQ days in America, and there is a reason for that) go out and buy the best piece of red mead you can afford, grill it up and salute the great men and women of our great society that have given their lives for you and the freedom you have to do that. Stop the guilt crap for crying out loud.

Floaters? Who Needs Em?

Floaters

One day when I was learning to fly, my flight instructor asked me what the pattern altitude was for an airport at which we were preparing to land. In order to answer I had to locate the airport in my Jeppesen Pilot Manual. That was easy, it was in big, bold print and easy to find. Next I had to locate the runway elevation and then add 400 feet. I hemmed and hawed for what seemed a lifetime and sheepishly looked over to my intrepid instructor, Gary Jestice and said, “Print’s too small”. “That’s it, no more flying until you get glasses”, He harumphed with authority. So I started wearing glasses when I was 40 and lost at 6500 feet.

The glasses got thicker and thicker as time went on, when along came cateract surgery. I first registered my desire to have cateract surgery when I was about 67 or so. Dr. Janet, my supersweet Optometrist, who I taught to make fresh pasta, told me she didn’t like to recommend cateract surgery until age 75 or more. Finally the day arrived and 20-20 returned. Everything went fine until I started to develop an irritating haze. No problem, Zap, Zap with another laser and it was gone, or so I thought.

Two years of marvelous, clear, un-squinting vision ensued. One morning I woke up and there were two worms swimming in my right eyeball. “Floaters? What the hell is a floater?”. I asked. That happens when your eyeball tears away from your retina. Dr. Janet and I looked at the orange eyeball photos she began to amass on her computer, and sure enough, there they were, floaters. I asked a million questions, fearing some worsening condition and the upshot was, “Live with them, the cure is worse than the condition.”

Living with a floater is easier said than done. For the first week I would swear that something was skulking in my peripheral vision so I constantly jerked my head to see what is was, …… nothing. When the one in my left eye occured, I was sure there was a small bug crawling across the arm-rest of my Lazy Boy, and I constantly looked down, but he scooted off before I could swat him.

Eventually your brain says, “These aren’t worth looking at.”, and they drift off out of your field of vision. I imagine that the drifting off will continue, but I wonder what it will be like when the area they drift to gets filled up with so many of them that they have nowhere else to go but back into your field of vision. I’ll worry about that when it happens, I suppose.

To Blog Or Not To Blog?

Blogging

Blog: a website that contains online personal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks, videos, and photographs provided by the writer; also :  the contents of such a site; i.e. Blogger.

Thoughts and ideas often come to me, that energize me in such a way that I have to share them. It’s not that they are necessarily earth shattering, or momentous or colossal, rather inescapable , inexorable and unstoppable. I get a burning NEED to put pen to paper and (via Word) and share.

I haven’t felt that need, of late, because I am so bummed by the current political commentary that it has invaded and decimated my yearning to communicate.

I have subscribed to the local newspaper (where and when I could) for nearly forty years, avidly reading the news, chuckling with Mallard Fillmore, and puzzling the crosswords. Peter Jennings was a fixture on my six PM TV fare and I replied him a fond “Goodnight” at the end of each broadcast. Since his early death from cancer, “over 9/11”, I have searched for a replacement, finding no one, save Bill O’Reilly, to take his place (and we see what happened to him – ‘come back Bill, wherever you are’).

I can’t stand the Political news segments on any of the uber biased liberal prime time news stations; and since USA today came to town and liberalized our moderate newspaper; I have none of my lifelong habits to fall back on, the habits that gave me a sense of stability, patriotism and belonging.

In eight years, my world has been turned upside-down, sideways and backward; not a good place to be at my age.

I have ordered Will Shortrz’s puzzle books, found comickingdom.com/mallard-fillmore on line, watch local TV News and have found a new sense of self, order and serenity. F— the Prime Time Political News reporting.

I hereby promise to continue to share my thoughts and ideas with any of you that care to listen, and do it lovingly, enthusiastically, and devotedly.

Gorsuch And Such

Justice

“So Judge. How do you judge the cases that come before you?”, asks D-NY.
“I judge all cases that come before me on their merit and the rule of law”, replys the esteemed Judge.
“No Judge. How would you really judge the cases that come before you, after all you were appointed by President Trump, you must have some agenda,” asserts the D-NY.
“Senator, as I said, I judge all cases that come before me on their merit and the rule of law”, the esteemed Judge reiterates.
“C’mon now Judge, you must have an agenda somewhere. It’s ok, you can tell us”, D-NY drills, over his glasses with smiling, evil eyes.
“Senator, with all due respect, I have always, and will always judge cases that come before me based strictly on their merit and the rule of law”, says the exasperated judge.”Most of the time I like the outcome, and often I don’t; but I always look to the law for my answers.”
“I can see we are not getting anywhere with your evasive answers, lets move on”, D-NY snorts.

“So Judge. If a case involving abortion were to come before your court, how would you decide?” Asks D-Ca.
“With all due respect Senator, it is against my ethics to answer that question, except to say, I would judge on its merit and the rule of law”, the stalwart Judge answers, going on his eighth hour of continuous questioning.

“So Judge. This immigration ban business will probably come before the High Court. How will you decide?” D-VT asks, yawning and looking at his watch.
“With all due respect, I can’t say how I would decide until I have weighed the merits, and studied the rule of law on the case”, Answers the bleary-eyed, exhausted Judge.

“So Judge. Blah, blah, blah?”, Asks the Senator D-MT.
“With all due respect Senator, I would have to weigh the merits and study the rule of law”, The Judge answers, head bobbing.

“So Judge. Judge? Excuse me, Judge?” Injects the Senator D-CO. “Can someone wake the Judge. I have a very important question for him.”

Shame, shame and double shame on you D-Senators in the Gorsuch Hearings. There is nothing more we can expect from a judge than his blind committment to the rule of law. But that doesn’t fit your agenda does it. Your bias has nothing to do with Merrick Garland, it has nothing to do with President Trump, it has nothing to do with the rule of law, and it actually has nothing to do with Judge Neil Gorsuch. The Democrats are shamelessly bent on stopping everything the new Administration puts forth. Shame, shame, shame on you Schumer, Leahy, Feinstein, Tester, Bennett and the rest of you. You disrespect the country and you disrespect me.

“With all due respect, which isn’t much, You are bringing this great nation down, and, sadly, you don’t care what the consequences are” the author comments.

Growing Older

Growing Older

As I grow older, I realize that it is a time in my life to savor. The obvious why, is that time is running out. The less obvious why, is the realization of how little I have learned during my lifetime. Let me give you a case in point.

For 78 years I have been peeling banana skins from the stem end. It seemed obvious to me to grab the stem, bend it backwards and boom, the peel splits and peels right off. Actually that happens alot of the time, but when the banana is fresh and new, often the stem won’t snap, and that pesky peel splits, lengthwise, and mashes the stem end of the fruit. You’d never ask someone how to peel a banana though, would you? They’d probably tell you to go ask a monkey, or some smart aleck answer like that. So for 78 years, I have blissfully struggled.

I was watching the Nat Geo channel the other day; it was a series about our closest animal relatives, the chimpanzee. We are 96% alike, BTW, according to the people that know this sort of stuff. I was carefully watching one of the chimps, sitting on a treelimb, peeling a banana. He held the banana in one hand, and with the other, without incident, rapidly peeled the skin. I pressed the rewind for another, more scientific, look. Bing, bang, boom, the peel was off. I rewound again and I noticed the stem end was pointing down. I rewound again and this time, tapped the slo-mo button and sure enough the mystery unfolded.

He held the banana with the stem end down, with the other hand, thumb and forefinger, he pinched the opposite end and pulled. I learned three things. You are never too old to learn; second, if you want to learn the right way to do something, ask and expert; third, laugh at yourself, you are funny.

INTERSTICE – A Word To Remember

Interstice

Interstice: a small gap that lies between things.
Pronounced: In-tur-stiss.

I really love words, and this is one of my favorites. To me, the word itself describes exactly what it is. Inter; meaning between, among; Stice; meaning, I don’t know, but it sounds like a ‘small space’ to me. I like saying the word.

Why, in the name of all things holy, would anyone know that word, much less care about it. Well if you are a Civil Engineer, and you have taken a Properties of Materials course, you had to be exposed to the word, if not; you probably, never in a lifetime, would run across it. So what is it all about.

Concrete is made up of 1.) Large aggregate, 2.) Small aggregate, 3.) Sand, 4.) Cement and 5.) Water (There are other things like ‘water reducers’, ‘accelerators’ and ‘retarders’; collectively ‘additives’ – not for discussion here). If you filled a bucket full of the first three ingredients you would have a fairly solid, dense mixture, strong enough to stand on, but if you turned the bucket upside down, you would be left with a pile of loose rocky materials that would ultimately blow away. The reason this happens is because the interstices between the various aggregates are void and filled only with air. Nothing holding the group together.

You need to add a slurry of the materials 4 and 5 to fill the tiny interstices between the aggregates to form a tight, solid mass as the water drys, or hydrates. Voila! Concrete. Who knew?

SEDITION, An Old Word That Needs Reviving

Sedition
SE.DI.TION
səˈdiSH(ə)n/
noun
Def. Conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state
Is SEDITION illegal?
Sedition is the crime of revolting or inciting revolt against government. However, because of the broad protection of free speech under the first amendment, prosecutions for sedition are rare.
Sedition is an old word, that in my opinion, needs to be revived. The First Amendment guarantees that we, United States Citizens, have freedom of speech. It is a guarantee that I have hung my hat on many times in the past, and a right that under no circumstance can be denied. We must all feel that we have a right to express ourselves.
A Senator’s Oath of Office:   “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
Having offered all of the above, I believe, in my heart of hearts, that Charles Ellis “Chuck” Schumer stepped beyond the First Amendment and went against his oath of office during a NYC Rally against President Trump’s recent immigration order. Schumer, within his rights and oath of office, laid out his beliefs that the immigration order went against everything that America stood for. So far, he is within his First Amendment Rights and just barely within his Official Obligatatory Oath. However, he then pumped and riled the crowd to a frenzy, and at its peak, repeatedly pounded the podium, screeching and screaming, over and over again, “DUMP TRUMP, DUMP TRUMP, DUMP TRUMP”. By doing so, Schumer, in my opinion, overstepped his bounds, revoking his Constitutional Rights and invoked an ACT of SEDITION.
We, law abiding, tax paying, well meaning United States Citizens, have heard so much of this type of oratory lately that we tend to shrug it off as “dissatisfaction and reaction by the losing opposition”. Well, enough is enough, for me at least. The President of the United States is the Constitutionally anointed leader of these United States, which Schumer, and others of his ilk, have Constitutionally sworn to defend, and to bear true faith and allegiance.
“SEDITION”, I shout at the top of my register. Schumer needs, as a minimum to be censured and as a maximum removed from his Senate seat.