Monday, July 31, 2017

Film Review: Dunkirk (2017)

Film Review: Dunkirk (2017)

Trigger Warning: No spoilers ahead.  The safety is on, so it can't go off.  See?

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Murder of Justine Damond and Dealing With My Own Prejudice

On Saturday, July 15th, 2017 around 11:30 PM, two Minneapolis MN police officers responded to a 911 call reporting a possible sexual assault.  The caller, Justine Damond, met the officers in an alley behind her home.  She approached the patrol car and started talking to the driver, officer Matthew Harrity.  While she was talking to the driver, officer Officer Mohamed Noor, who was riding in the passenger seat of the police car, shot her to death.  Noor fired at least one shot, possibly more, across officer Matthew Harrity's chest and out the open window.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Busted Chops in Columbus, or, Tooth Number Four Where Are You?

On Wednesday, the nineteenth day of the month of July in the Year of Our Lord two-thousand ten-and-seven during the day season, and in particular the hours of the mid-late-morning, I was passively gathering wool, slowly succumbing to the inanity of the talking heads on the idiot box, and idly wondering if anyone took any of their jejune notions with sobriety and a straight face, all while enjoying a leisurely breakfast consisting of a marinated portabella mushroom, onion, and cheese omelet, whole wheat toast with butter, black coffee, and a mildly strong bloody mary, when it happened.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

An Interlude, or Reminessing about the Bad Old Days in 1957

I graduated in 1970 and a half, mainly because the school system was sick and tired of me and most of officialdom hoped that I'd get drafted and sent to Vietnam, where I'd get shot and killed, or blown up by an anti-personnel mine, or burned alive, or something.  Sadly for them, none of that happened.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

R.I.P. Zeus

Mister Zeus, my little tuxedo cat, hasn't been doing well lately.  His digestive system wasn't working the way it should; he'd eat, but there would be no weight gain.  He'd be hungry all the time, but feeding him whenever he felt hungry was a bad idea, as he'd end up regurgitating the food.  He also had trouble getting around.  His joints were too stiff and sore to allow him to groom himself.  He negotiated the stairs on step at a time, pausing to rest about halfway up.  Although he hated being picked up and carried, he enjoyed it when I carried him up the stairs.  He'd lost so much weight that he was little more than fur and bones.  And he could no longer play with Danté, his buddy cat.  Danté would offer to play with him, and Zeus couldn't.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Gaming Night

I'm a gamer.  Board games, traditional games, FRP - I've played a lot of it.  When I moved to Columbus, Big Mike was kind enough to include me in the Bored Gamers, a group of men that meet on Monday nights to play games and have a good time.  Last night was no exception.

We congregated at Lash's house around 6:00 PM.  I was a bit late, coming in at 6:30.  Anyway, Big Mike, Lash, Marky-Mark, and yours truly ended up at a table playing Catan, while the rest of the players were at another table trying in vain to colonize Mars.  About an hour into the game, one of the players from the other room (followed by two others) comes in and asks Lash if he's got any beer.

"Yeah, in the fridge." Last replied.
Player One rummages in Lash's refrigerator and comes up with a bottle of Miller.
"Miller?  That's all you've got?"
"It's not mine." Lash starts to explain.  "Some guys left a six pack here last week."
"Miller?" Player One continues to complain.  "I can't believe it.  I drank this swill back in high school."
Big Mike looks up from sorting his commodities into promising groups, and addresses Player One.
"Let me get this straight," Mike begins. "You come into this man's home, you accept his hospitality, then you raid his refrigerator looking for beer, and then you have the audacity to complain about the brand of the free beer?  You, Sir, are a Dick."
Other players start to laugh.
"Yeah," I say, "Just put a six of Miller down on Short North and see how long it lasts."
More laughter.  I felt that Lash was vindicated.

I won Catan quite neatly, by the way.  Big Mike was counting on Lash to keep me in check, and he didn't.  So right out of the blue, surprise-surprise, I won one.  Driving home, I reflected that I don't win all that often.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Brief Interlude

Main Lady had just announced that she was leaving for St. Louis just as soon as she could sell the familial palace in Sylvania, Ohio, and pack the six over-loaded moving vans full of crap that she'd accumulated over the past ten years, more than half of which she inherited from her dear old mother's estate.  So I'm not only single, I'm single and completely unattached.  Moreover, I have no baggage - I'm not going to let her rent space in my head.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy July 4th - 1776 to 2017

On Thursday, the 4th Day of the Month of July in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred Seventy-and-Six, a group of erudite, audacious, white men assembled and with all due ceremony, signed the United States Declaration of Independence.  You can read about it at this link: The Declaration of Independence from US History.  I claim to be distantly related to one of these men -  Thomas Jefferson, who drafted the Declaration of Independence, became the third U.S. president, and was responsible for the Louisiana Purchase.

We can only imagine the thoughts that were running through the minds of the men who signed this document, which amounted to a strongly worded shout of defiance to King George III, coupled with a coarse gesture generally reserved for divorce lawyers, rude drivers, and I.R.S. agents.  They knew they were in for it, and they knew that a significant portion of the local populace was against them.  Being fairly intelligent, they likely also knew that the vast majority of people didn't give a tinker's damn one way or the other.  Looking back, that may be hard to believe, but that's the way it was.

The good guys won that one, and it wasn't easy, and it wasn't any fun.  Most times it was pure misery, and Lord help you if you stopped a rifle ball, because if the ball didn't kill you, the doctor would.  Those that the doctor missed or couldn't get to often died of infection.  You could also cash in your chips from exposure, meaning the environment killed you.  Some people froze to death, a few drowned.  Then there was good old fashioned, everyday illness.  The common cold could advance to pneumonia, which was often fatal.

Right in the middle of this hard life, people got together and started a revolutionary war with a larger country.  I can't help but think that they had to be pretty tough.

So today I'll raise my glass and toast those tough men and a few women who prized freedom from oppression so much that they were willing to suffer for it.  Any fool can die for it; but to get up every morning and get right back to working on the revolution took a rare type of individual, and that's what I admire most.

Here's a tip of the old fedora and a hoist of my afternoon bourbon glass - here's to freedom!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time, a Prince once asked a beautiful Princess, "Will you marry me?"

Sunday, July 2, 2017


I've mentioned before that Big Mike doesn't just make a cup of coffee; he buys green coffee beans, roasts them himself, and proceeds from there.   Glen, the proprietor of Filthie's Thunderbox heard about this and was on it faster than a Jack Russel Terrier after a big, fat, rat.  What follows is a link and a second hand lecture about coffee beans, roasting, and brewing your own coffee.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Security and Shooting

Some time back, Big Mike attended a public event of some kind (maybe a hockey game, but who knows?) at a major stadium in Ohio (notice how vague I'm being - it's intentional).  The promoter of the event decided for reasons of sanity to shake everyone down with a metal detector prior to allowing them inside.  Any recreational substances or prohibited items found during said shakedown would become the property of the shakedown artist private security personnel.  Mike was carrying a nice, razor sharp Spyderco knife that he didn't feel like giving to some dumb rent-a-doughnut-muncher, so he cheated and smuggled it in.  I should note at this point that as a result of Mike's timely defeat of the so-called security system, nothing bad happened.  Well, who would have ever thunk it?

His LAST Round of Golf

While golfing, I took a quick turn to avoid hitting a chuck hole, and accidentally overturned my golf cart.

A very beautiful and attractive golfer, who lived right there on the edge of the golf course, heard the noise, came running out of her villa and shouted, "Are you okay?"

As I looked up I noticed she was wearing only a silky see-through bath robe which was partially open, revealing what appeared to be a VERY nice figure.

"I'm okay I think," I replied as I pulled myself out from under the twisted cart.

She said, "Please follow me to my villa so I can clean and bandage that nasty scrape on your head, then you can rest a while, and I'll help you upright the cart later."

"That's mighty nice of you," I answered, "but I don't think my wife will like me doing that!"

"Oh, come on now," she insisted. "We need to see if you have any more scrapes and treat them if so."

Well, after all, she was really pretty and very, very persuasive. Being sort of shaken and weak, I finally agreed, but repeated, "I'm sure my wife won't like this." We walked to her place just a 100 yards away, and after a couple of Scotch and waters and the bandaging, I thanked her and said, "I feel a lot better now, but I know my wife is going to be really upset, so I'd better go now."

"Don't be silly!" she said with a smile, letting her robe fall even more open. "Stay for a while. She won't know anything, and by the way, where is she?"