Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Catch Up

I haven't written much since whenever.  I've been busy and the holiday cheer has kept me safely depressed.  Sometime prior to Thanksgiving I discovered a recipe for eggnog that's a sure winner, and that I've published below the fold.  However, be warned.  I don't like Christmas – never did like it and likely never will – and I've included a sententious diatribe about Christmas which contains language and opinions that are unsuitable for children, fragile women and warm, sensitive men.

Keep reading if you're interested, continue to surf if you're not.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Restaurant Review:Grass Skirt Tiki Room

I was visiting Big Mike in Columbus last weekend, and when the clock was headed in the direction of happy hour Mike suggested we go and check out the latest edition to the Columbus restaurant scene: The Grass Skirt Tiki Room. I'm old enough to have experienced several Tiki restaurants and bars, so I was enthusiastically in favor of this selection. Here's what you'll find at the Grass Shack.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A few laughs

I haven't had much to laugh about lately, but that got fixed today.  Here's a couple funny stories for anyone interested.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Train Wreck

The old saying is that when it rains, it pours. I have a somewhat pithy rejoinder to that: Who says this is rain?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Foster Kids

Shotgun Bob and The Girl have acquired a new foster child whom I will name Albert.  This will be their third and very likely their last foster child.  The first foster child, Flounder (a large teenage female), became violent was returned to the system.  The next foster child, Feed Bag (an 8 year old boy with multiple problems involving his digestive tract in its entirety), was returned home to his mother by order of the State of Tennessee.  This is the same mother who tried to strangle him, thus putting Feed Bag into the system.  No, I'm not kidding.  Feed Bag arrived at Shotgun Bob's house with bruises around his neck from his certifiable mother and her methamphetamine dealing boyfriend.  The boyfriend may or may not be in jail, but the mother is now on anti-psychotic medication and therapy which makes her perfectly safe and fit to be a mother.  They say, anyway.  I'm keeping an eye on the Tennessee news.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Latest Centenarian News

I got the call around 11:00 this morning.  It was Main Lady, informing me that they are taking Centenarian off to Hospice.  Since Main Lady does not have both oars in the water, it falls to me, Mad Jack, to bring order out of chaos and catch Hell for doing so, then smile and reply, "Thank you Ma'am, may I have another?"

What else, right?  Well, I'll tell you, but first let me refer everyone to the official cast of characters so you can see who's on first, and let me also state right up front that you don't go to Hospice to get your chops cleaned.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veteran's Day 2012

My grandfather served in World War I as a radio operator in the U.S. Navy.  Times were rough back then, and I remember him telling me that he didn't have a mattress to sleep on; only a bare board, but he thought it was pretty good.

My father served in World War II and was stationed in the Aleutian Islands on isolated duty.  He was there 18 months, 12 months longer than he was supposed to be in isolation.  By the time he got back the other men said he was beginning to act a little odd.

My Uncle Bud served in World War II with the OSS, helping to organize the French resistance.  He carried his pistol in his hat, and was captured by the Germans several times.  Bud never served time as a prisoner of war.

Another couple who lived in our neighborhood served in Allied Intelligence, and were offered citizenship in the United States for their efforts.  They changed their names when they accepted, and although she would never speak of what happened 'over there', he would tell a few stories now and then.  Not much, but a few.  The thing I remember was that both people were friendly, multilingual and very, very security conscious all their lives.

Realistically, if these people and a lot of others like them hadn't served in the United States armed forces, we wouldn't be bitching about our lousy government today.

Here's my salute to everyone who has served my country, and who is serving now.  My sincere thanks for your service.

I Hate Hamlet at the Toledo Rep

I enjoy the theater, and by that I mean live theater with real people on a real stage in real time.  Even the special effects are real.  I haven't been to the theater in quite a while, so when Main Lady suggested we go take in a play at The Toledo Repertoire Theatre (16 10th Street, Toledo, OH 43604 (419) 243-9277) I was up for it.  I haven't been to The Rep in years and I'd forgotten most of what I knew about the place.

The play I saw is I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick - see also I Hit Hamlet - Behind the scenes at a Broadway fiasco by Paul Rudnick December 24, 2007 if you're insatiably curious.  Keep reading to get my opinion, then decide for yourself if you'd like to attend or stay home in the comfort of your living room with a good bottle of bourbon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cop Shooting - (ex) Officer Thomas White is Still Free

I've written about this case before, but until recently I haven't seen any news about the case.  Then I found something in The Toledo Blade the other day.

On May 23, 2009 in an act of cowardice, Ottawa Hills police officer Thomas White shot motorcyclist Michael McCloskey in the back, paralyzing him from the waist down.  Thomas White is completely unrepentant, as would be expected of any gang member shooting an innocent victim.  The victim shouldn't have been there, and that's all.

Hurricane Sandy

I've been in a hurricane before.  I actually went down to the beach to see what was up, and having seen what was what I returned to my apartment.  When I got up the next morning it was all over.  But, you see, that was in Jacksonville, Florida where people do not obey the State government's directives to evacuate.  Instead, they ride it out and then put up signs: You Loot, We Shoot.

My cousin 88 is in New York.  She's fine, and she's working from home.  I haven't talked to her about the storm news coverage very much, but I did get some second hand information from Uncle Sardonicus and Auntie Annie, who tell me that according to 88 everything's fine.  People are out going to work, no one is using the subway, the end of the world isn't here as yet.  Commercial news media reports train wrecks and ignores normal operation.

Out of all the coverage I've seen of Hurricane Sandy, here's the best graphic.  I have no idea who created this, but I'm giving the unknown artist full credit along with a hat tip and a hoist of the afternoon bourbon glass.

Mom in the ER

Just when things start to smooth out a little and I figure that the worst part of the highway is behind me, a rock grabs the oil pan.

Last Friday Mom complained about feeling dizzy, disoriented and generally weak all over and she hadn't been drinking.  No chest pains were involved, but between short discourses about settling the estate and the mess she'll be leaving me in ten minutes from now, I manage to get a coherent answer about taking a trip to the ER.

Off we go.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Range Report: Shooters of Maumee

Up until recently people in the Toledo metropolitan area had two choices for an indoor pistol range: Cleland's Outdoor World and The Bullet Stop.  That is no longer the case.

I'm happy to report that gun owners have another choice.  Shooters of Maumee is open for business, and the place is excellent.  Keep reading for a curmudgeonly run down on the facts, features and vicious rumors.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Many Happy Returns

I haven't had time or inclination to write much lately.  Mainly inclination.  I find the current political situation distasteful at best, nauseating the rest of the time.  I don't really believe that the election results will change my own situation at all, either immediately or in the future given that the difference between sixteen trillion dollars and thirty-two trillion dollars being purely imaginary, since there isn't that much wealth in the entire nation, even at today's inflated prices.

I failed to have a drink last night and I wanted one, which has thrown my mental state into a vague melancholy of the sort that is normally cured by a shot of the blues accompanied by a double shot of Gentleman Jack.  Red hot naked women are also a big help.

So.  Sixty years ago today at four in the morning my own dear mother woke my father out of a dead slumber to tell him it was time to go to the hospital.  Spurred by the completely untenable thought of Mom giving birth at home with only Dad to assist, the old sot hauled his pants and boots on, got Mom in one hand and her suitcase in the other and stuffed both in the car, then he high-balled it to the local hospital where the family sawbones was summoned by the staff in the emergency room.  Along about five or so I showed up.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Patriot Day

Today is Patriot Day, which should be a Federal holiday and is not.  On this day in 2001 my mom called me at Main Lady's house and told me we should turn the TV on.  We did, and Main Lady didn't get over her shock and sadness for a week.

Hindsight is always (almost always, anyway) 20/20, but in this case I think my criticisms are justified.  The United States of America had just been attacked by a cowardly group of religious fanatics.  Many people were murdered in this attack, and our government did not respond correctly.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Film Review: Bernie

Main Lady opted for pizza and a movie last night.  Naturally I was the one who got elected to pick out the movie, which means that if I get something I'd like to watch she'll whine that it's too violent for her and go out into the other room and sulk.  If I get something I think she would like to watch, it's guaranteed to be so boring that I may well fall asleep.  Then there will be a discussion of the film later on during which I'll encourage her to talk and keep my own opinions to myself.  This is more difficult that you might think, given that I'm supposed to have watched the film and been as enthralled by it as she is.

Anyway, I lucked out and rented the film Bernie, and I'm here to tell you that if you haven't seen Bernie, go rent it and watch the entire thing - and do not skip the credits.  The credits are the best part.  Keep reading for the links and lowdown, without spoilers.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Numbers and the Presidential Election

It happens every four years and it gets worse every single time.  Wake up, Mister and Mistress America!  You've got to run out and vote for the next President of the United States and a host of other issues, and remember - it is your very own Constitutional right to have a loud, uninformed and heavily biased opinion on everything.  Don't listen, don't read and for Heaven's sake, do not let the facts stand in the way of your feelings.

Before I decompose the rest of this rant, I want to issue a non-standard disclaimer, to wit: I am a long way from being a math major.  The results of very basic equations have always frightened me a little, particularly if I get a result that I didn't expect.  Having gone over the rough draft of this rant several times, I'm not certain that I'm right.  I am certain I need two fingers of bourbon before I go any further.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bad Journalism and Bad Marksmanship

My cousin 88 has an office in the Empire State Building in NYC, so when I noticed the shooting this morning I immediately concluded that cousin 88 was alive and well. If not, Uncle Parsimonious or Auntie Annie would have phoned. As it turned out, Auntie Annie did phone late this morning to convey a (for her) microscopically brief message that 88 was okay and the gunman had been shot to death by police.  Auntie loves to talk on the phone, but today she concluded with something along the lines of "I have to get off the phone now.  'Bye!"  Click.  Dead air space.

Intrigued by the brevity of her call I decided to read the news, and that's where I got a little spun up.  I read three articles in their entirety and scanned a few more, then I applied Ockham's razor (lex parsimoniae) and concluded that, as usual, commercial media bitched it beyond almost all recognition.  I'm not surprised.  I'm pissed off.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Officer Received Assistance

A few days back I wrote the post Officer Needs Assistance, which was actually a plea for Toledo Police Officer Sargent Stringbean, who was trapped inside a TV reality show (Glass House) along with a high-mileage blonde with big tits, a mouthy fat guy and a bunch of other folks.  There was a quarter million shekels at stake, and in order to pad his kick the illustrious Sargent Stringbean needed everyone's vote.

On behalf of Sargent Stringbean (AKA Sargent Kevin Braun) and his friends, family, in-laws and fellow co-workers, I would like to offer a very sincere thank you, along with a tip of the old fedora and a hoist of the afternoon bourbon glass, to all of you who took the time to vote for Sargent Kevin Braun.  Kevin won.

Congratulations to Kevin Braun

How's it feel to be a quarter-mil to the good?  Next round's on you, bro!

You can read about the whole business in great detail in Glass City sergeant wins $250,000 on 'Glass House'.  I find that this is fitting, Stringbean being from the glass city and all and him not being independently wealthy... at least, not before going on the show.  I think, though, that in the interests of full disclosure, professional reputation and moral integrity, I should state that if not for Sollecks and, to a lesser extent Partner, I would have voted for the blonde with the big tits and high mileage.  Hey, a woman like that could ruin a man - if he was lucky.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Blog Meme: Six Songs

I found this at Bayou Renaissance Man: Another blog meme - 'Six Songs Of Me' and decided to write about it.  My own six selections are not particularly enlightening, so feel free to get on with your life.  Should idle curiosity get the better of you, continue reading.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

From "victim" to Victimized to Victory

On November 21st, 2011 Lamar Allen and Joseph Hunter unsuccessfully attempted to rob Express Carryout on Mulberry Street in Toledo.  Both men were armed, one with a TEC-9.  The clerk, Bandar Abu-Karsh, did as he was told by the robbers.  He gave up the money and hid behind the counter - where he could hear the robbers discussing what to do with him.  The conversation was headed in a direction Bandar didn't care for (they favored killing Bandar), so Bandar got his hands on the 9mm pistol kept behind the counter by the store owner and popped up yelling "Surprise!  School's out!" and put some lead in the air.

On Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 (almost 9 months later) the dust finally settled and Bandar is now a free man.  Keep reading to find out what happened.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Officer Needs Assistance

At least I think that's the official radio distress call.  I could be wrong about that, so any law enforcement officers who are reading this, please do not hesitate to correct me.  The deal here is that one Toledo police officer has asked for a little help on behalf of another.  Keep reading to find the straight skinny on why and how - and no, it's not a plea for money.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Attention Please!

It seems that Gun Nuts is Hiring!, and naturally I believe that I, Mad Jack, am the best choice for the position. Not everyone may agree with me, but I don't care about them. I only care what Caleb thinks.

Anyway, if several thousand of my regular readers would follow the link over to Gun Nuts and recommend my mother's favorite son (that would be me, Mad Jack) for the position, I'd be grateful.  Reasonably grateful, anyway.

Failing several thousand, if two or three of you would recommend me I'd have a warm fuzzy feeling without the bourbon... and hey, we all need a new experience from time to time, right?

Why Gun Owners Worry About Gun Control Rumors

The Brady Bunch and their anti-freedom crowd allies have hit the jackpot and are at it again.  They've got James E. Holmes shooting up a theater followed by Wade Michael Page throwing lead in a Sikh Temple.  In the wake of this I've been getting one call to action after another from every gun rights group in the U.S., each and every one of whom has a different facet of the same agenda - collect money to fight the anti-gun zealots in Washington D.C. because (insert anti-freedom zealot of choice) is trying to (insert legalistic legislative rumor here).

The trouble is that all of these rumors sound like credible threats, and they shouldn't.  Here's why.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Chick-fil-A Debacle

I've been watching the news about Chick-fil-A and various protest movements, either in support or opposition, and I really don't get the fascination.  I did a little research about the company and its founder, then I read a few of the articles about the recent protests.  Here's what I came up with.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Miscellaneous Ramblings

I haven't felt like writing lately, mainly because I've been depressed over the complete and total failure of my efforts to lose weight and get into better physical condition.  By way of comparison my weight loss efficacy makes the Obama administration look like the second coming, complete with a guest appearance by an exulted heavenly choir singing Ludwig Van Beethoven's Ode to Joy .

All that aside, here are a few short rants and one or two paragraphs of gratitude, one way or another.

Monday, July 9, 2012

We're Hosed. Here's Why.

Some months ago I was perusing Bayou Renaissance Man and realized I'd been reading the same three paragraphs over and over again, and my comprehension was inversely proportional to the time I'd spent reading.  Somewhat depressed, I poured another drink and found my way over to Fred Reed's little slice of Internet heaven, intent on cheering myself up.  It was there that my worst secret fear of all time was confirmed, and it has nothing to do with Main Lady's satisfaction or happiness.  Some place or other Fred observed that the average man is doing good to find his way home every night.  I tend to agree with him on a sort of intuitive 'sounds logical to me' level.  Doing a little research I was interested to discover a politically incorrect and socially insensitive chart listing IQ groups and corresponding descriptions.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Out of Order

The blog's author, Mad Jack, is out of commission.  Without going into details the trouble seems to be systemic to the entire digestive tract.

Mad Jack's significant other, Main Lady, suggested that Jack adopt the BRAT diet and stay with it until he was feeling his normal, curmudgeonly self again.  Although she explained the diet to Jack, his mind is like a sieve.  A twisted, rusted out sieve.  Jack believed that BRAT stood for:
  • Bourbon
  • Rye
  • Absinthe
  • Tequila

and it doesn't.  It stands for:
  • Bananas
  • Rice (white rice only)
  • Applesauce (in moderation)
  • Tea and Toast
Fortunately the supermarket is still open.  Jack will be back later in a different state.

Thank you for reading.
- White Dog

Monday, July 2, 2012

My Race Car Ride Along

About a week ago I got some email from Lash, Big Mike's ex-roommate (since Mike bought his own home), inviting me to join him at the sports car races.
We will be racing at Mid Ohio Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I run four sessions each day; it's no problem to get you out for a ride on one of those sessions if you are interested.
Red hot damn on a Saturday night!  Yes, I'm interested.  I'm way out in front of 'interested' --  I'm right there at the head of the line.

Lash owns a Mustang GT which he often races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and the Mustang comes complete with a passenger seat.  Now, if I can just fit into the passenger seat and if Lash has a seat belt extender, I'll be all set.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Day at the Range

I haven't been to the range since I qualified for my Ohio CCW permit, which I'll write about later on.  So when Big Mike told me he'd be in town over the weekend and asked me if I'd like to go shooting, I naturally answered in the affirmative.

One way or another we got into a game of 9mm eight ball.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The World We Live In

I found this one courtesy of The Smallest Minority: Every word out of their mouth was, 'We don't care.'  In short, an elderly unemployed lady without health insurance decided to grow her own food in her own yard.  When some silly son-of-a-bitch complained to the city government, the city sent out a work team and cut it all down.  Now Denise Morrison is suing the city.

The Beginning Revisited

During the month of February of 2010 I started up Mad Jack's Shack with an essay about Main Lady's neighbor, noted horticulturist and seasonal entrepreneur, Clay Hausenfleck.  You can read about Clay and his exploits here - Who Knew That This Would Be The Start Of Something.  The short of it is that Clay and his family moved into their new house on November 30, 2005, but times were tough and they were about to get a whole lot tougher.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Congratulations Lucas County Sheriff

I went to a funeral today (next post) and the procession from the church to the cemetery was somewhat lengthy.  Thirty-six (36) cars started off from the Bethany Community Fellowship parking lot and drove three and a half miles to Ottawa Hills Memorial Park - right through one of the busiest parts of town.  Putting this in perspective, if the average length of an automobile is 16 feet, that's 576 feet of Tokyo Beer Cans if the cars are hooked up nose to tail, like a freight train.  Which they aren't.

If the drivers of this procession allow one car length between vehicles, the entire parade stretches 1,152 feet.  That's one thousand, one hundred and fifty two feet of rolling Christian mourners who are all on their best behavior.  Now since the average man is doing good to find his way home every night, and since no one has ever been taught how to drive in a funeral procession... am I the only one to see a disaster in the making here?

Everyone managed to get out of the Bethany parking lot without bending any fenders and without allowing any gaps in the procession wider than, oh I don't know... call it three car lengths.  Wide enough so that some moke waiting at a green light will not bother waiting around to see if there's more procession before hammering the throttle and getting on about his oh-so-important big hurry.

We head West on Alexis from Flanders, and that first turn is where the fun starts.  You see, in the bad old days (1965, for instance) there wasn't any traffic light at Flanders and Alexis.  In fact, back in the old days anyone heading West on Alexis Road had a solid two mile stretch of highway with no traffic lights, starting at Secor and maybe ending at Whiteford, unless you timed it right and made the light at Whiteford and Alexis.  Flanders was just an insignificant cross street.

Which averaged one accident per week during the summer, and these were all injury accidents.

Old habits die hard, and when a traffic light was finally installed at Flanders and Alexis the accidents began to decrease and the panic stops and moving violations increased until things sort of stabilized.  So today, when the irate drivers on Alexis are having their circuit boards shorted out by staring at a green light and a funeral procession, the right foot wants to win the argument and cut through the line.  Because I'm in a hurry.  I need to go!  See?

About three blocks Southbound on Talmadge I see a Lucas County Deputy Sheriff finishing up a call at an abandoned home.  She's standing next to her patrol car watching the parade with a Holy Moley look.  Fortunately for all of us, the deputy took some initiative and ran interference for our wagon train all the way to the cemetery, keeping cretins, horn testers and other mental midgets in check.  It's just so amazing to me how quiet and polite people are when the police are present.

I didn't get the lady deputy's license number or photo, which is kind of a shame.  She is a handsome woman with long blond hair in her middle twenties, about five foot six, medium build.  I'll send some email to the Lucas County Sheriff and see if it finds the right officer.  In the meantime, here is my official thanks to the blond deputy, along with a tip of the old fedora and a hoist of my afternoon bourbon glass.

Thank you, Officer.  You made our lives a lot easier and safer.

R.I.P. Hall Derkin

A friend of mine passed away last Monday (June 11, 2012).  Hall Stewart Derkin was born in the city of brotherly love on April 27, 1918.  He served in the US Army during World War II, attaining the rank of Captain.  He was married for 65 years, raised three sons and helped to raise an unknown number of grandchildren.  He owned his own business and was one of the three founders of a church; Bethany Community Fellowship in Sylvania, Ohio.

That's the facts.  Here are a few things I admired about Hall, along with a few links.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hit and Run, The Conclusion

A long time ago, a little while back, a South side genius got screwed up on everything he could lay his happy hands on and manged to wander into Sylvania, Ohio, where he drove through Main Lady's front yard with reckless abandon, smacked into her happy home and promptly took to his heels.  You can read all about it if you've a mind to in this entry: Hit and Run, which comes complete with photos.

The other day Main Lady got a call from the Sylvania Court.  It seems that the wheels of justice have finally completed one revolution, the guilty party is going to be sentenced and has she ever been reimbursed for the damage this pinhead caused?  No, she hasn't.  Curiosity prompted me to see what was up, and after a complex search here's what I was able to find out.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day - Monday, May 28, 2012

My thanks to all the men and women for their military service to the United States. I don't thank any one man or woman in particular.  They all did the best they could and they all endured misery.

I would like to give special recognition to those people who came out of military service disabled.  Thank you for your service, and I am truly sorry for any difficulties you are suffering today.

My highest recognition goes out to the families who lost a son or a daughter, and in particular to the mothers of those men and women.  Certainly it's true that the fathers suffer also, but I believe that men tend to cope with the loss of a child a little better or easier than women do.  It isn't a part of the natural order of things that a mother should have to bury her children, and I am very sorry for your loss.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Griffin's Hines Farm Blues Club - Revisited

On Saturday May 19th, 2012 I drove out to Hine's Farm to see Carl Weathersby. I haven't been to Hine's Farm in a long while and I felt I was overdue for a double shot of ribs and good old blues music. Sadly, I've had better. Here's why, with spoilers.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

When Lawyers Go Bad: The Conclusion

I wrote about the disbarred attorney Linda S. Cook in my post titled: When Lawyers Go Bad. The local scandal sheet picked up the story but failed to run it to the goal line: Ex-Sylvania lawyer guilty of attempted records tampering - 8/25/2011.  Today I got some email from a person unknown to me asking about Linda S. Cook and her possible whereabouts. Having an hour or so to kill I decided to see if I could find out just what did happen to this wayward ex-servant of the Court, because the last I heard she was staring at a year and a half in the big house, courtesy of Judge Gary Cook (no relation).  After a little searching I discovered what happened.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tennessee Walking Horse Scandal

I was born and raised on a horse farm in Ohio.  We had American Saddlebred horses which we showed in fine harness, three gaited and five gaited classes.  My father was an accomplished horse trainer, and I spent about half of the first 25 years of my life inside a stable.  I learned a lot about horse and the care they required.

One evening at a horse show in Columbia City, Indiana I was watching the show with my father when he abruptly turned his back to the ring.  I was surprised.

Restaurant Review: Avenue Bistro

Avenue Bistro
6710 W. Central Ave., Toledo, OH
(419) 841 - 5944
(419) 842 -1435 (Fax)
Mon - Thr: 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Fri - Sat: 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Sun: Closed

Being at loose ends for lunch I decided to try Avenue Bistro again.  I used to patronize Avenue Bistro for lunch on an irregular basis, often with my attorney Johnny the Hammer, but I discovered that the owners refused to heat the place during the winter and last February the dining room was an ice house so I swore the place off.  Things have changed a little since then, and for the better.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Film Review: A Better Life (2011)

A Better Life

Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 98 min
Genre: Drama

Tomato Meter: 85%

Cast overview, first billed only:

Demián Bichir as Carlos Galindo (Our Hero!)
Eddie 'Piolin' Sotelo as Himself (Our Cameo Celebrity!)
Joaquín Cosio as Blasco Martinez (Our Important Character!)
José Julián as Luis Galindo (Our Hero's Loyal Son!)
Nancy Lenehan as Mrs. Donnely (Our Pretty Much A Nobody!)
Gabriel Chavarria as Ramon (Our Other Latin!)
Bobby Soto as Facundo (Our Other Latin!)
Chelsea Rendon as Ruthie Valdez (Our Hot Latino Gang Banger Girl!)
Trampas Thompson as School Security Officer (Our School Security Officer, Without Whom The School Would Be Insecure!)
Tim Griffin as Juvie Officer (Our Authority Figure)
Valorie Hubbard as School Secretary (Our - what? She's playing a school secretary.)
Dolores Heredia as Anita (Our Other Heroine!)
Isabella Rae Thomas as Linda (Our Other Important Part!)
Carlos Linares as Santiago (Our Nasty Hombre!)
Robert Peters as Truck Driver (Our Truck Driver!)

If you're looking for a film that you can watch without getting bored out of your mind and that will make your girlfriend tear up and get pissed off at the world, well... this is as close as you're going to get.  Keep reading to find out why, without spoilers.

Friday, May 18, 2012

On being ostracized...

In the past I have worked in the IT industry on contract, meaning that I'm not a permanent employee.  I'm only on site until the job gets done or someone fires me, whereupon I shake the dust from my heels and go find another job.  My very first job as a contractor was at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, where I learned that I wasn't just a contractor; I was a scum-sucking contractor.  I learned a lot of other things as well, in particular that if you actually worked and took on extra responsibility people would think that you're valuable and keep you around while other people would take an instant dislike to you for no discernible reason.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Restaurant Review: AMango

AMango Restaurant
5228 Monroe St.; Toledo, OH
Hours: Wed - Mon 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Closed Tuesday
(419) 517 - 0261

Flowers in May

While taking Excellent Rachmaninoff for his afternoon canine constitutional, I assembled my camera and the flowers in Main Lady's front yard.  The results exceed my own standards of mediocrity, so I'm posting them here.  I hope everyone enjoys them.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Got pain?

Call your State of Ohio elected official - they know everything.

Well, the morons in Columbus have managed to do it again.  Just when I was willing to believe that they couldn't do anything dumber, they proved that I had no idea what I was talking about.  Now they're trying to regulate the drugs an emergency room can prescribe for pain, and the urgent care facilities are enthusiastically doing their very best to hitch their own float to this parade.

That is, if you believe commercial media.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Police Shooting

This goes under the heading of murder by cop with a sub-heading of our completely screwed up justice system.

On December 14, 2009 Toledo police officer Diane Chandler shot and killed Linda Hicks.  I've written about the shooting of Linda Hicks or referred to it twice, once in Police State and again in Here's an offer you can't refuseI believe that the shooting was completely unjustified.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Flowers for Leontien

I caught this meme from Scriptor Senex at Ramblings from my Chair.   Evidently there's a nice young lady named Leontien at Four Leaf Clover Tales who lives on a dairy farm in Indiana and who's having a rather nasty time of it.  A few bloggers are wishing her well by posting a picture of a flower and providing link to her site.  It seemed like a worthy cause to me, so here's my own contribution.

My best wishes and prayers for you, along with a hoist of my afternoon bourbon glass and a tip of the old fedora.

Philosophy of Carrying a Concealed Weapon

I think my views on the Second Amendment are known to everyone who's read my collection of diatribes, but just to make sure allow me to repeat myself.  The Second Amendment states that:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
That means that if I can bear the armament one way or another, my right to do so is recognized by the United States Constitution.  It also means that I'm allowed by the law of the land to carry my weapon of choice in any manner that amuses me to do so.  So, should I want to carry a Micro Tavor under my coat, complete with sound suppressor, laser sight, folding stock and any other Tennessee go faster I can buy and bolt on to it, that should be perfectly legal and should be protected by the Federal government.  Not everyone sees things this way, but I do.

Having settled the legalities of gun ownership and concealed carry once and for all, the real question becomes should I or shouldn't I carry a concealed weapon - and that's what I'm going to write about here.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

and I thought I had problems...

Main Lady and I went out dancing Friday night (last night as I write this) where we met a couple we've known for a few years whom I'll call Landlord Larry and Made Mary.  Landlord Larry is a retired something or other and got into the landlord business some years back.  Having made his millions he's trying to get out, but no one is buying.  Being a landlord has been a real learning and growth experience for Larry, and he's become very adept with common household repairs, landlord tenant relations and monthly collections.  Once when I asked about the landlord business Larry informed me that if you don't collect the rent right away the average tenant will conclude that you're not interested in that money this month, and will go stock up on beer, wine and pot.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Life: I hear a train coming

Lately things have been just a little on the hectic side of the fence.  I don't know just how far back I want to go with this, but...

Centenarian is getting worse.  No surprise here, the lady is well over one hundred years old.  When the old chassis started to fail Main Lady took Centenarian to the ER where she was examined and admitted with a problem in the boiler house.  She stayed three days and came out in worse shape than she was in prior to being admitted.  That's the beginning...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Book Review: Triple Tap by Fred Reed

Triple Tap (Dawson DC Metro Mysteries) on Amazon by Fred Reed

Fiction, File Size: 370 KB, Print Length: 164 pages, $2.99 USD, Copyright 2012 Violeta de Jesus Gonzales Mungia
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
ASIN: B007956J0O
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Lending: Enabled

I enjoy reading Fred.  The man's work resembles Hunter S. Thompson on 151 rum and steroids instead of Prozac and white wine.  This never imitated, rarely admired style carries over into Fred's fiction, which is no real surprise, and while the results of Fred's efforts are unlikely to gain him a nomination for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize or the Warwick Prize for Writing, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction isn't out of the question.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Walk in the Garden

Things in the neighborhood are a little chaotic these days. I may write more about the situation later on, but for now let me just say that drinking is not a good idea as I may have to operate with a clear head.  As I sat in front of my computer the other day I noticed this bird having a great time eating the insects he was finding in the lawn just outside my window. I have no idea what kind of bird he is, but he looks fancy.

Zimmerman - Martin Shooting

I've been resisting writing about this for a while, mainly because whatever I write is largely pointless. Beat and Release wrote about the Zimmerman shooting here, in This One Tells the Entire Story where he correctly predicted that Zimmerman would be arrested and charged.  The unsurpassed curmudgeon Fred Reed is the only author I've read who actually nails the problem - twice.  I recommend you read We Are Screwed - A Thought Possibly Not Unique to Fred and Some Things Detwaddled before you brace yourself for a long, hot summer.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Film Review: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Rated: R
Running Time: 95 min
Genre: Horror | Thriller

Tomato Meter: 92%

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kristen Connolly as Dana (Virginal Hottie!)
Chris Hemsworth as Curt (Our Hero!)
Anna Hutchison as Jules (Our Hottie!)
Fran Kranz as Marty (Our Other Other Hero or Something!)
Jesse Williams as Holden (Our Other Hero!)
Richard Jenkins as Sitterson (Mad Scientist Number One)
Bradley Whitford as Hadley (Mad Scientist Number Two)
Brian White as Truman (Resident Hunchback)
Amy Acker as Lin (Another Bad Person)
Tim De Zarn as Mordecai (Frightening)
Tom Lenk as Ronald The Intern (Our Intern!  Whom no one will miss when he dies.)
Dan Payne as Mathew Buckner (Buckner Clan - Dangerous!)
Jodelle Ferland as Patience Buckner (Buckner Clan - Dangerous!)
Dan Shea as Father Buckner (Buckner Clan - Dangerous!)
Maya Massar as Mother Buckner (Buckner Clan - Dangerous!)
Naomi Dane as Japanese Floaty Girl (okay... this is hard to explain.  See for yourself.)
Ellie Harvie as Military Liaison (background extra)
Patrick Gilmore as Werewolf Wrangler (Our Werewolf Wrangler!)
Brad Dryborough as Chem Department Guy (Some Other Guy - I think he dies or something)

The things you have to know and understand about this film is that the title is a little unfortunate, it isn't a slasher film like some people claim, and that it was written and produced by Joss Whedon.  This is the same Joss Whedon that created Serenity, Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This film has Whedon's fingerprints all over it and it's his finest effort to date. Here's why, without spoilers.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My Life: Dog Walk Photos

I enjoy walking the dog.  Even when it's raining I enjoy a nice dog walk.  Here are a few of the photos I've taken as Excellent Rachmaninoff and I enjoy our daily canine constitutional.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Readers from Australia?

I posted a review recently of Marcella's Ristorante and much to my surprise I got a comment from someone in Adelaide, Australia.  The responder is Adelaide Venues with eponymous interests and he's referenced a place called The Marquis, which
...brings a contemporary Parisian experience to the centre of Adelaide. Experience boutique wines by the glass matched with a French inspired kitchen.
It's nice to see that someone is bringing civilization to the outback of the land down under.  Someone pass me my tucker-bag, saddle and stock whip; I'll hit the turps tonight, then I'm waltzing Matilda this month and next.

Easter Sunday and Familial Relations

I made it through Easter Sunday dinner, and I know exactly how I did it, too.  I wrote about my misgivings here, in Family Rant.  That survival knowledge will be very useful later on when The Girl shows up with Shotgun Bob for the next holiday circus - very likely Thanksgiving.  That gives me time to plan out an alternative strategy; a sort of 'Plan B' in case 'Plan A' slams head on into a runaway train hauling 87 tons of dynamite.  It's always good to plan ahead.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Life: Myth and Main Lady

In 1998 I accepted a contract with the State of South Dakota to assist in alleviating their Y2K crises.  Not much happened on New Year's Eve, but there were a few events leading up to the big party in 1999 that got me a full week of the silent treatment.

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Life: Communication

I feel that accurate communication is important in most relationships, and by this I'm referring to people other than the mental midgets and drunks who cut me off in traffic and to whom I express my displeasure.  Main Lady is enthusiastically agreeable about this, and I try my best to be supportive of her position.  So when she rattles on and on about one thing and another, instead of instinctively zoning out and giving a non-committal grunt whenever I detect an expectant pause I do my best to follow along.  The other day I decided I'd had enough of following and wanted to lead.  I ended up pissing her off.

This is not my fault.  The real blame lies with Main Lady's neighbor, Johan Nagel-Pfünder.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Restaurant Review: Marcella's Ristorante - Pizzeria - Wine Bar

Marcella's Ristorante - Pizzeria - Wine Bar
615 N High St
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 223-2100
Sunday - Thursday: 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Friday - Saturday: 4:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Restaurant Review: Windchimes Chinese Restaurant


Windchimes Chinese Restaurant
5742 Frantz Road
Dublin, OH 43016
(614) 792-0990


Last weekend I headed South to Columbus, Ohio where I visited with Big Mike and generally had a great time.  The only thing that bothers me about my otherwise excellent visit is the same thing that bothers me every time I make the drive from Sylvania to Columbus along U.S. 23, and in fact continues to plague me with the same sort of nagging you generally associate with your least favorite ear worm.

What is this thing?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Definition of Terms

At times I may use some terminology that others find clever, appropriate or inspirational.  In order to give credit where credit is due while simultaneously pointing persecutors at the innocent, here are a few terms and the point of origin as best I know it along with a brief definition.

Revised September 2017.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

George Zimmerman: Wanted $10,000 Reward

I thought that the commercial news media pushed the Zimmerman - Martin shooting over the top.  I still think that's true, but I've revised my estimation of just where the top is.

George Zimmerman vs. Trayvon Martin: No Winners

On Sunday, February 26, 2012 at around 19:17 hours George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin to death.  Relying on the commercial news media for something bearing a close resemblance to unbiased reporting in this case is every bit as futile as Mad Jack trying out for the US Navy SEAL Team.  Carefully picking out facts among the garbage yields a few clues to the incident as it happened, most of which is being ignored by commercial media in favor of racist outrage, screeds about police cover-up and sensationalism at its finest.  Adding fuel to the fire is the omnipresent, opportunistic Brady Bunch (spit spit) and aided by Al Sharpton.  What a field day for commercial new media.

The question isn't whether or not Zimmerman shot Martin.  Ostensibly, the real question deals with the justification for the shooting, but I think the real question is: What are the ramifications of the fallout?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Centenarian Update

As of this morning Centenarian is out of the hospital and back home.  During what was supposed to be her last evening at the hospital, Centenarian fell out of bed and landed on Main Lady.  Both women are okay, but the hospital staff decided to keep Centenarian for another night.

During the intervening time, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail arrived.  One by air, one by bus and one by Interstate 80-90.  Ding Bat flew into town sometime last night.  I could tell because the ducks in the park started spinning in the water.  Counterclockwise.

Hospice came by and delivered a hospital bed and a wheelchair, which is nice.  Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail tried to put the hospital bed together and Mopsy got her fingers pinched.  The delivery man came back and had the bed together in ten minutes.

Centenarian is doing pretty well at times, not so well at others.  She feels vaguely nauseous most of the time, which I'm told is caused by some of the medication she takes.  Some of it has codeine in it.  I suggested we each take a few pills, chase it with some whiskey and go play with my gun collection.  The Hospice worker was horrified.  Ding Bat was terrified.  Main Lady started to laugh and quickly smothered it.

It was real nice to see Main Lady's eyes light up and see her smile again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rant: Crap We Should Never Put Up With

Without working at it, I was meditating over the roar of the idiot box the other night when I remembered that The Anointed One had actually done something that would make life marginally better for the people he's supposed to be representing.  Himself had signed the CALM Act last December which is supposed to force television broadcasters to lower the volume of the commercials on TV.  Right now the volume is designed to blast the viewer back into beta state brain waves from the flat line that is the result of watching ten minutes of the average situation comedy.  It must work or they wouldn't do it.  Naturally the restrictions are formulated by the FCC and the TV broadcasters have one year to figure out how not to comply - so this isn't any better than nothing at all.

The thing is, The Anointed One was going to do all kinds of good things for the great unwashed once he moved into the double-wide on Pennsylvania Avenue, but he hasn't.  Here are a few suggestions for Himself that, if implemented sometime prior to November of 2012, would likely guarantee His re-election in a historic landslide.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Family Rant

As they say, you can pick your friends but you can't pick your family.  I have often wondered if I'm truly related to Shotgun Bob, or if he'd really adopted.  Maybe Mom found him in a garbage pail and took him home.  That would be just like Mom; she's always doing nice things for people.

Some time back I got a nice surprise in the mail which brought home the differences between the relatives I have and the ones I wish I had.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Latest News: Centenarian

In brief, the fire is out.  At 5:30 this morning Centenarian woke up and demanded her breakfast.  She evidently healed up during the night and is back to her old self.  She'll be evicted from the hospital tomorrow morning.

I am happy, but not nearly as happy as Main Lady, who is attributing this miraculous recovery to Divine intervention.

Well, what else?

I predict that the fallout from this one is going to be amazing, as Ding Bat tries to cover up and deny any bad behavior just before going into damage control, and Main Lady concludes her shopping on Amazon for a suitable attack dummy for Excellent Rachmaninoff to practice on.  Me, I'm shopping for a top shelf bottle of bourbon.

My sincere thanks to everyone for your wise words, kind thoughts and prayers.  

Here is a tip of the old fedora and a hoist of the happy hour bourbon glass to you, one and all.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Latest News

Centenarian is in the hospital with congestive heart failure, so lately I've been a little preoccupied running thither and yon to fulfill Main Lady's needs as best I can; she could do worse for a gopher than my mother's favorite son.  The prognosis is that Centenarian will be discharged Monday, March 19.  The old lady is sleeping a lot and has trouble waking up; her heart is functioning at 10% and she doesn't want to eat.  All of you who have been through this scenario one way or another don't need to be told where this is headed - and it doesn't involve a spur of the moment trip to Disney! in Orlando.

Main Lady made the phone calls to the family yesterday, and that's when the fun started.  Lord give me patience.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Events Around the Yard

Things haven't been going so well lately.  For openers, Que Bee One and Cottontail had to put their dog Banana Nose to sleep.  If you have a dog or a cat, you'll very likely outlive your best friend.  This doesn't make things any easier, but that's what you should be telling yourself before you adopt that dog you've always wanted.  Anyway, I was sorry to hear about Banana Nose.

Still on the subject of bad news the cat, Mojo, isn't doing well either.  I wrote about Mojo here: Of Dogs and Cats.  In Mojo's case he was adopted when his owners couldn't care for him, and he's had a very good life since then.

Then there's Zeus.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Danny Brown: Injustice Rally

I read the Toledo Free Press every once in a while.  For one thing the price is right.  This morning I stumbled across a worthy cause and thought I'd give it a free plug.  Here's a link to the story:  Jurich: ‘I am Danny Brown’ by Stacy Jurich
In 1982... Brown was wrongfully convicted of a murder and sentenced to life in prison. In 2001, he was released based on DNA results...
Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates refuses to exonerate Brown and yet will not retry him. His case now rests in limbo...
On Friday, March 16th at 8:00 AM there will be a rally for Danny Brown at Third Space, 137 North Michigan Street, Toledo, Ohio.  At 9:00 AM demonstrators will march several blocks to the Lucas County Courthouse and encircle the courthouse.  On Saturday, March 17th at 3:00 PM there will be a fundraising party to help Danny Brown publish his memoirs.   The fundraiser will continue until 5:00 PM and will include light refreshments along with a question and answer session with Danny Brown.  The organizers suggest a minimum donation of $5, but if you can give more than a fin they won't turn it down.  There's more information below the fold.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rant: The Obvious

They say that when a high-brow meets a low-brow
Walkin' along Broadway
Soon the high-brow
He has no brow
- Crazy Rhythm
Music by Joseph Meyer and Roger Wolfe Kahn, lyrics by Irving Caesar
I read Slash dot once in a while, although I don't know why.  Call it amusement, but it's likely closer to relief from boredom.  The site is supposedly a refuge for the more intelligent among us, the presumption being that all the other folks are either screwing around on facebook, downloading free music from the pirate site du jour or surfing porn sites.  Slash dot users have a very high opinion of themselves and their ability to contribute to world order as we should know it, but that's nothing new.  Today, for instance, I learned that the average person is too dumb to make democracy work, among other equally vacuous topics.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Congratulations to the Sylvania Township Police

Sargent Robert Colwell of the Sylvania Township Police Department was off duty when he saw a suspicious vehicle pulling out of a parking lot.  Sargent Colwell followed at a discrete distance, and when opportunity presented itself Sgt. Colwell called for a uniform car to pull the suspicious vehicle over.


You can read all about it in Off Duty But Alert.  My sincere congratulations along with a tip of the old fedora and a hoist of the morning bourbon glass to Sargent Robert Colwell for an outstanding job.  I also congratulate the men and women of the Sylvania Township Police Department.

You guys are great!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gun Safety and Personal Safety - A Dichotomy

When I was nine years old my parents bought me my first firearm, an Ithaca M-49.  Let us pause briefly while any anti-freedom Moonbats reading this are revived and the howls from the Brady Bunch spit spit are stifled by the Sargent at Arms.  Now then.

I opened the package on Christmas morning, and before Christmas dinner my father sat me down and had a short talk with me about safety.  I'd been shooting dad's .22 rifle for several months, but that was always under adult supervision.  This was my very own rifle and now I was on my own.  Although he didn't really enumerate them, what dad told me about in no uncertain terms were the Four Rules of Gun Safety.  Here they are, with credit to Jeff Cooper:

  1. All guns are always loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
  4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

These rules are designed to keep gun owners from shooting each other.  This is what was drilled into me from the age of nine and it's what I practice today with special attention paid to rule number two, and that is where the problem begins.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Call 9-1-1

A long time ago I called 9-1-1 to report a crises in progress, namely a violent, drunken woman who was outside my home and trying to get inside and make my life miserable.  Or something.  The woman in question was an ex-migraine who hadn't quite fully accepted her new role.  I have no patience with drunks, especially violent drunks, but I knew an entire department of upstanding men and women who did - and I'm not talking about grade school teachers.  The Sylvania Township Police have all the patience in the world, plus they are unfailingly kind, helpful, thrifty, goodnatured, witty and experienced.  They know how to deal with drunks.  So I called nine one one and explained the situation to the helpful voice on the other end of the line, requesting a car for one along with reservations for a room with a view.  Then I sat back and waited.

45 minutes later the phone rang.  It was the Sylvania Township Police department.  They couldn't find my house.  No, I'm not making this up, but I wasn't all that surprised either.  My home is difficult to find and the police haven't been out here in many, many years.  The thing is, a lot can happen in 45 minutes.

Shooting "Victim"

Let's say that you're a clerk at a convenience store in a bad part of Toledo.  For your protection the owner of the store has installed security cameras, which is what Toledo Police Chief Navarre advocated.  Being a somewhat practical man with more than a modicum of common sense, the owner has also install a 9mm handgun under the counter - also for your protection.  Nice, huh?

All you (the clerk) want out of life is what most men want.  You want to finish your shift and go home, have dinner, maybe have a drink and pat momma on the ass.  One morning around 10:00 you run into a little opposition.  Two black gang bangers come into the store, pull out their guns and start yammering away at you.  For your part, you pick up the handgun that the owner has thoughtfully provided for just such an emergency.  The three of you put lead in the air, and when the smoke clears the authorities find one robber dead right there.  The other robber sought safety in flight.  The local bird cage liner announces that the victim of the shooting was the robber that you ventilated.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Water Buffalo

One of my readers took exception to my use of the term 'water buffalo' (here) on the grounds that it is a common racial epithet used to refer to African American women.  I didn't agree, and after doing some research and inviting public opinion from an elite cadre of contributors on a local Toledo site (ToledoTalk) I haven't changed my mind.

All that being the case, the research provided me with a nice walk through history.  Along the way I learned the origin of the term 'water buffalo'.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend Update

The plan last weekend included Big Mike arriving in Toledo on Friday night.  We'd go shooting on Saturday, followed by a civilized lunch around 3:30 or 4:00.  Sadly -
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley

Big Mike's car broke down and he had to leave it in the shop.  I got the bad news Friday night, then Mike called me back on Saturday afternoon around 3:00 - just before my afternoon snort.

General News and Ramblings

I don't lack for inspiration.  The trouble is that if I write about politics or religion I'll go off on a rant that likely to get my own little slice of literary heaven darkened by the owner of the service and my name will surface in the middle of some report that's produced for the government by the government and understood by no one in the government.

So I'll just go rambling along and see where I end up.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

On Employees, Employment and Labor Unions

Maybe I'm just in a bad mood, but I stumbled across a link to an article from Westxdesign about what employees need most. I don't know who wrote this incredible drivel, but the author should spend six months as an agricultural harvesting technician on a farm in Delta, Ohio during the tomato season. What is really frightening is that I think some people actually read crap like this and believe it for the gospel truth. Keep reading for the article and my commentary.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Main Lady's mother, Centenarian, is 103 years old and still able to get around on her own.  That condition isn't going to last forever, and in fact I'm not laying any odds on the old freighter making 104.  All that aside, Centenarian has a rather large home packed full of antiques (the real deal here), family heirlooms, high quality housewares and junk.   Separating the wheat from the chaff is not always obvious - for instance, when my own grandfather cashed in his chips we had an estate auction in which one of the items was a wooden cabinet that none of the family would have bothered to chop up for kindling... it fetched $350 at auction.


What I'm looking for is someone to walk through the house, point out the valuable stuff and estimate a price.  I'm willing to pay for the services, but the last time I got involved in something like this I encountered a snake oil salesman that was almost as slippery and underhanded as I am, and that is truly saying something.  That couple (a tag team match) tried making quick buys on valuable items just as a favor between friends.  I declined.  The man, by the way, was a minister who dabbled in politics and professed to be an expert in antiques.  I got him off by himself told him very quietly that if I ever saw or heard of him coming near my loved ones again I'd put some buckshot in his behind.  He got offended and left.  So does anyone have any recommendations?  I need to find someone who is not a thieving, thimble rigging snake oil salesman and does, in fact, have the answers to the questions I'm posing?

Centenarian is local to Sylvania, Ohio.

Happy Saint Valentine's Day!

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet...

That's from Romeo and Juliet during the famous balcony scene.  I'd have thought that the two families could find some way to bury the hatchet that did not involve another family member's back, but as everyone knows that wasn't the case.  I once dated a girl whose family didn't care for me.  The relationship didn't last long, although she did hint around about eloping in the middle of the night.  I had better sense, even back then.  Several years later I discovered that it wasn't me personally, it was her parents.  They were both a little neurotic and were busy pretending to be something they weren't - namely, filthy rich.  And so, you see, since my family was not rolling in the dough it would naturally follow that I, young Mad Jack, was not good enough for their daughter, but then neither was anyone else in the immediate vicinity.  Oh well, c'est la vie.

I'm happy with Main Lady, who sent me a nice valentine yesterday.  For my part, I sent valentines to Main Lady, Centenarian, Mom and Mopsy, who is in town this week.  Later on today we'll congregate for champagne and hors d'oeuvres.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 14 is Starbucks Appreciation Day

The Brady Bunch, a demented sub-group of the anti-freedom moonbat crowd discovered that the friendly folks over at Starbucks coffee shop are refusing to ban firearms from their premises.  Clearly that ain't right, so the moonbat powers that be directed their loyal sycophants, the National Gun Victim's Action Council (NGAC), to boycott Starbucks on St. Valentine's Day.

By way of retaliation for attempted oppression and to keep the Brady Bunch awake nights, Ohioans for Concealed Carry launched a counter attack with Starbucks Appreciation Day, the idea being to go on down to your local Starbucks and buy a cup of joe.

I support the right to bear arms, and by that I mean any armament an adult chooses borne in any manner the adult chooses and done so wherever the adult is legally allowed to be, armed or otherwise.  So to show my opposition to the Brady Bunch, I'm going to stop by Starbucks tomorrow and have a cup of coffee.  After that I'll buy Main Lady a nice gift certificate to Starbucks.

How do you like them apples, Sarah?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Film Review: The Woman in Black (2012)

The Woman in Black (2012)
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 95 Min
Genre: Drama | Horror | Thriller

Tomato Meter: 64%

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emma Shorey as Fisher Girl (Necessary Child)
Molly Harmon as Fisher Girl (who starred in the immemorial film Kitten in a Cat Trap)
Molly Harmon as Fisher Girl (don't blame me, IMDB lists her twice)
Sophie Stuckey as Stella Kipps (Our Hero's wife or something)
Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps (Our Hero!)
Misha Handley as Joseph Kipps (Our Her's Young Son)
Jessica Raine as Nanny (Our Hero's Nanny)
Roger Allam as Mr. Bentley (Possibly a central plot character, possibly not)
Lucy May Barker as Nursemaid (Forgetabble)
Indira Ainger as Little Girl on Train (Little Girl on Train. What? That's what she is.)
Andy Robb as Doctor (Eh.)
Ciarán Hinds as Daily (Our Hero's Sidekick or Something)
Shaun Dooley as Fisher (Another Fisher)
Mary Stockley as Mrs. Fisher (Some other kind of Fisher)
Alexia Osborne as Victoria Hardy (Ah... don't remember)

If you're in the mood for a good old Hammer style horror film, then go see The Woman in Black and you won't be disappointed.  If not, then go see One for the Money or some other piece of vacuous tripe and free up a seat for the rest of the world.

Keep reading for my considered opinion on The Woman in Black, without spoilers.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Restaurant Closed

I wrote about Ski's Polish restaurant here - Restaurant Review: Ski's Restaurant - and although I didn't go into much detail I did say I'd never eat there nor would I ever recommend the place to my family or friends.  I wouldn't recommend it to my enemies or elected officials either.  So when Main Lady pointed this out to me in yesterday's paper I was pleasantly surprised.

Farewell to Ski's
After five years of business... Ski’s Restaurant is calling it quits.

Good riddance.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Own Prediction

While enjoying my morning bourbon I thought to peruse History Mike, who is one of my favorite writers.  He hasn't written much lately, but today this erudite academic has published his annual prognostication, appropriately entitled Super Bowl XVLI Prediction.  I am thus inspired to make a prediction of my own - but what would it be?  Such things are supposed to be ambivalent at best; charitably described as nebulous at worst.  I continued searching and found nothing.  Clearly more inspiration is called for, so I refreshed my glass.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Life:How Time Flies

Doesn't time fly when you're having fun?  Seems like you just get started with a favorite activity and it's time to quit and do something else.  Like shoveling eight inches of wet snow off the driveway and the front walk so that the company coming over for dinner tonight won't get stuck in the snow or get their feet wet.  Time is funny that way.  Years ago I was instructed that if I wanted to count accurately in seconds, I could say the number followed by the phrase one-thousand, as in one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand... this is supposed to provide accuracy instead of subjectivity.  Just try it the next time you're in your dentist's customer care chair while he revs up his favorite drill and waits for the Novocaine to take effect.  Try to remember that the time is subjective.

I ran across a few old 35mm slides and had them digitized.  I was reminded about the passage of time and how things happen without any of us realizing it until too late.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ohio HB 14

The geniuses in Columbus have done it again.  Ohio is one of the few States governed by people backward and ignorant enough to declare a dog dangerous or vicious solely on the basis of its breed, and populated with sheeple stupid and apathetic enough to believe their lies and keep them in office.  Twenty five years after enactment, lawmakers decided to change the law and ended up screwing the pooch.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gun Blog Meme:Five Firearms

I was surfing, reading and minding my own business when I stumbled across something I couldn't resist that wasn't a pile of naked hotties on a beach down in French Tahiti.  Bayou Renaissance Man tripped over a meme for gun owners courtesy of Robb Allen over at Sharp as a Marble entitled Your Five Most Wanted. The Cajun Scholar decided to run with it, and you can read his efforts at  Bayou Renaissance Man: Oh boy, a gun blog meme!

Never one to rain on a parade involving critters, girls or guns I decided carry the meme right along.  Read on as it amuses you to do so.

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Life: Saturday Night with the Oldies

I no longer think I'm getting old; I know it as fact.  When I asked Main Lady what her ideas were for Saturday night, her response was not attending a soirée with a group of Bacchanal devotees dressed in costume, nor did she advocate a quiet evening at home watching a good film on DVD and eating pizza.  Her suggestion?

"Why don't we go to the supermarket?  I hear they are having a wine and cheese party over at the Anderson's... what do you think?"

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Robert Burns Dinner in Review (Updated)

Robert Burns turned 254 last weekend.  Robbie was born January 25, 1759 and died on July 21, 1796, reportedly of complications following a tooth extraction.  Just think about that for a second.  He was an accomplished poet, a learned scholar, a first class rake hell and a vocal sympathizer of the French revolution.  Burns was truly without peer, so much so that upon learning of his daughter's engagement to Robert Burns one father fainted dead away.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Restaurant Review: Barley's Ale House No. 2

Barley's Ale House No. 2
Barley's Smokehouse and Brewpub
Ale House No. 2
1130 Dublin Road
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 485 - 0BBQ (0227)
Mon - Thurs 11:00 AM - close (kitchen closes at 10 PM)
Friday 11:00 AM - close (kitchen closes at 11PM)
Saturday noon - close (kitchen closes at 11PM)
Sunday noon - close (kitchen closes at 8:30PM)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Restaurant Review: Starliner Diner

Starliner Diner, Front Entrance

Starliner Diner
5240 Cemetery Road
Hilliard, OH 43026-1501
(614) 529-1198
Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday
9:00 am - 3:00 pm; 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday • Saturday
9:00 am - 3:00 pm; 5:00 pm - 9:30 pm
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Closed on Monday

Friday, January 20, 2012

Our Screwed Up Justice System:The Fackelman Deal

Say you're a fifty something red blooded American male driving your car all by yourself on a two lane blacktop up in Michigan.  It's the night season and you're minding your own business.  A car full of teenagers approaches you from the opposite direction and one of the little choir boys nails your windshield with a bottle of water.  What do you do?  I mean ultimately, what do you do after the startled exclamation and the inevitable thoughts about retribution?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On Strike

I'm on strike today (Wednesday, January 18, 2012) in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA).  For further information click here:  Suffice to say that I like freedom, which the government does not like.

Monday, January 16, 2012

CCW: The Light Goes On

I'll repeat myself yet again.  If you feel the need, by all means pack your pistol with you.  Your right to do so is guaranteed to you in the Bill of Rights, specifically in the Second Amendment.  Not everyone believes the same way I do.  Case in point, Main Lady's eldest little darling (Flopsy) stands firmly against guns and all that they (the guns, I would guess) stand for.  Now me, being a warm, sensitive man of the '90s (and here I'm referring to that era that began in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety and terminted abruptly at the beginning of the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand - the time span, not my age and not my mileage.  Get it?) - as I was saying, a warm, sensitive man of the '90s as well as being considerate and generous into the bargain, I would often instigate a short discussion on gun control with Flopsy, generally referring to some local news item, then I'd suffer the anti-gun tirade in my usual quiet, tolerant manner - then I'd invite Flopsy to go out shooting with Big Mike and I.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Life: Generally...

Generally speaking, WTF?  I've managed to find a couple road blocks over the past week, and I'm beginning to wonder if this is just bad luck or if I'm having trouble adjusting to the new world order.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Worthy Reads

Here are a few worthy reads that I've stumbled across, one way or another.  I found these sites enjoyable, but the average person may not.  For all that, the average person is very likely to be offended.  The average moonbat may suffer a complex of some sort and require extra sessions of group therapy for the next six months.

My Life: Holidays in Review

I've concluded that I've managed to survive another holiday season.  I'm referring to that segment of the year between December 20th and January 5th which comes around every year and slams into me like the Southbound Orange Blossom Special recycling a 1967 VW stalled out on a railroad crossing at four in the morning.  I think my problem is that I lack adequit preparation.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Restaurant Review: Simms Steakhouse

The View from Simms Steakhouse

Simms Steakhouse

11911 W 6th Ave
Golden, CO 80401
(303) 237 - 0465

Monday - Thursday 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Friday and Saturday 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Sunday Brunch 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Sunday Dinner 10:00 am to 9:00 pm

Happy Hour Monday through Friday 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Lounge opens daily at 4:00 pm

I had occasion to travel to Denver, Colorado recently - I wrote about it here: RIP Uncle Ballbat. What I haven't written about was the restaurant my two cousins (BigNewz and Gong) treated us to. Here's the straight skinny on Simms Steakhouse.

Restaraunt Review: Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse

Hyde Park Steakhouse Foyer

Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse
6360 Frantz Road; Dublin, Ohio 43017
(614) 717 - 2828
(614) 717 - 2710 (FAX)

Bar Opens Daily At 4:30pm
Happy Hour: Monday - Friday 4:30pm - 6:30pm
Monday - Thursday 5:00pm - 9:30pm
Friday and Saturday 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Closed Sunday (available for private events)