Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits

This diagram of where your favorite news organizations rank on the neutral/most extreme and liberal/conservative spectrums has been updated.  I posted the first inception a while back and, in the interest of smart consumers of news I repost today.  Do with it what you will - I still think we tune in to those agendas that we agree with rather than pinpointing real factual news, but that's just me.  Maybe I'm wrong.      


As I was walking one early morning these notes of breakfast kept ringing in my ears.


I was truly amazed, and shocked, to discover the backlash on those kids' school walkout last week.  All they are wanting is common-sense gun laws to decrease the likelihood some nut with a military style assault weapon will take more kids out at school.  I saw with dismay state-run Fox and their nightly talking heads go out of their way to blast their position.  I further read several entries on Facebook, one in particular that was close to home, disagree with their stance saying they were probably just smoking a blunt and skipping school.  This kind of ignorance, prejudice and vitriol is sending this country to irrelevance.  Just imagine:  these freaks stand squarely on the Constitutional Amendment that allows you to buy rapid fire assault-type guns but then knocks the Constitutional right of peaceable assembly.



Dallas Playground, c.1900


I miss you everyday, Missy Marie.  Another anniversary of my heartbreak.


Now, after all these decades, you explain it to me in simple terms.

Seaton, c. 60's?


Stephen Hawking was one of those people I knew as a scientist/celebrity but never read his books or could quite grasp the science of black holes, but enjoyed the biographical movie that came out a few years ago.  I guess he was the Carl Sagan of this  generation.

I liked the story I read about him running over the toes of people he didn't like with his wheelchair.  Once, when demonstrating his chair to Prince Charles he twirled it around to demonstrate its capabilities and ran over his toes.  He often said he regretted never having the chance to run over Margaret Thatcher's toes.

Hawking, publicly anyway always denied these reports.  He said, "A malicious rumor.  I'll run over anyone who repeats it."


"How does it feel to be married to a loser?"

I think most Americans believe in fair play and honorable behavior. Whether or not McCabe needed to be fired is one thing but canning him mere hours before qualifying for his pension crosses the line.  let's not forget that the FBI, that quintessential American institution trump has chosen to go to war with,  has kept us safe from harm and terrorism for decades.  Good people who are suffering needlessly.  This childish vindictiveness is below a president. 


Adventures In Babysitting

Girl Scout cookies with the filling missing.

Baby wipes with each once folded nicely now removed and crumpled.  

You may very well ask, "Where's the supervision?" 

My response,  "Around."


Finally got the picture of the house they were moving to another location.



Some guy came up to me in Wal-Mart on Saturday and said I looked like Robert DeNiro.  I said "You talkin' to me?"  I don't buy it but it kind of made my day.  


So, Facebook has been implicated and admitted they sowed disinformation during the election and after.  I wonder how many people really care.  There was a time...


Come Out! Come Out!

Happy First Day of Spring!


Monday, March 19, 2018

Visiting The Villages

The current Mrs. Blythe roped me into escorting her to see her sister and brother-in-law two weekends ago.  I like an adventure as much as the next guy, even if it means a stop to see people.  As you all know, I'm a people person.  Ask anyone.  Whenever I've ever been around them: past, way-way past and present, there's always been a kind of gender segregation.  The guys are with the guys and the women are with the women.  I've never liked that set-up because then it means that instead of being a 4th, and can sit back and muse, I'm thrust into a couple deal and forced to actually engage in conversation.  It can be draining.  

But I like Bill, and really, always have.  He has always been decent to me and tends to be a talker, thus relieving me of the responsibility.  Besides, Bill and I share a passion.  He has around 10 old cars and I have one, too.  They live in The Villages, about 3 hours away from where I am incarcerated.

For those not aware of The Villages, it is a sprawling mega retirement city a family started in the 60's.  They are building at a phenomenal rate: 185 new homes per month.  The population is 125,000 and Forbes has listed it as one of the best 25 Places To Retire two years running.  They have 48 golf courses and three community hubs.  It is a golf cart community.  I couldn't afford their front door.  But I digress. 


Golf carts here even have their own roads, separate from cars.  

In the Community Center is a military museum, of sorts.  It's pretty neat.  The painting above is the work of Dwight Eisenhower.  He finished it and didn't like the unbalanced look of it so gave it to his White House valet. 

This is the leather case that Eisenhower used all through the War.  It is likely it contained some of the most important war documents, secrets and plans.

On the way back we stopped at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell.  Field after field of the single white marble stones.  There are a couple of Medal of Honor winners here and each one sacrificed something to provide us with our freedoms.  Let's not blow it.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Flashback Friday

Thursday night.

Dear Mona and all.
Blessed is he who expecteth nothing for he shall not be disappointed.
Ask and ye shall receive.
I've wanted a nice warm comfort just like the one you sent me and I want to thank you all a lot.
The gift that is given with the giver is fair but the gift without the giver is bare,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy god with all thy heart + with all they soul + with all thy strength + with all thy mind; + thy neighbour as they self.  Luke 10-27.   

That's my sentiments and thin(e) too.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delighteth in his way.
Though he fall he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.  Psalm 37:23-24
Thanks for the nice present + god bless you.



I enjoy a well written thank you note like anyone else.  I like to put a little thought in mine, too.  Mona was my maternal grandmother, and as I remember, a pretty neat lady.  She was, I think it is safe to say, all three of us boys favorite.  I have no idea who Mack was but he seems like a real downer to me.  Doesn't sound like he would have gone to Blackie's with us.  Hard to say what he would have said about the Blythe Boys, but the Bible has lots of places to start.  I'm thinking damnation and Hellfire, for example.  

Please, if I send any thank you's with scripture and chapter and verse, please send interventionists and a case of Miller Lite.  

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Our lives are measured by the hundreds of routines we fall in and out of as the years fly.  One of the routines I was firmly entrenched in while reading the Peoria Journal Star in the 80's and 90's was a block cartoon by GaXX XXXXXn.  It was called The FXr Xide.  Okay, guys, I have to confess:  I am putting on some of my favorites illegally.  He doesn't like his stuff on the web as he retired years ago and now lives off book sales.  I'm sure he has a legal team and they scan as much as they can looking for bootleg stuff posted.  Thus, I am trying to throw his "bots" off by not actually naming anything.  However, if you want more go to Amazon and there are three books of his stuff.  And if you don't want to shell out the money, go to Google and type in the name of the cartoon and punch "images".  Hundreds will come up.  

Like old TV stars, Bobby Bonilla and storage unit owners,  Mr. XXXXXn worked a few years, now sits back and gets a check every month for doing nothing.  But when he did work, it was magic.  I always liked the Gahan Wilson cartoons in my Dad's Playboy magazines.  This is Wilson on steroids.  And what's better,  it isn't at all dated.   Funny stuff.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits

On the same day I went to the Art exhibit at Straub Park, I ambled  through Vinoy and looked over to the St. Pete marina.  Heading out to a day on the water was this white cabin cruiser.

When I looked closer I noticed the big blue W.  This is for the Wombie, Bro Phil and all the Cubs fans who are getting excited for Opening day.  Because I know there are a couple of Cardinal fans who drop in periodically, I include this picture I took out of the Wombie's kitchen window when I was up there a few weeks ago.

Good luck to you both.  But better luck to the Metropolitans.


This could be a  newly mown hay field in Illinois by first look.  But it is actually seabed grass that has been uprooted and floating on top of the water in the bay.  I'm told it is a seasonal thing and the guys trying to find bait fish have a tough time because they hide underneath.


Sad to see a Sikh was physically dragged out of a public bar in Manchester, England.  In my studies of the worlds religions, Sikhism is the most godlike, placid and peace loving one around.


Neighbor Tim coming back from an outing during his trip to Jamaica.


I have decided to move once again.  I hired a guy to clean out the gutters last week.  He found this in one of the downspouts.  It is a black racer.  I'm an old racer.  Betcha I can get outta here faster than he can chase me.


During Trump's Pennsylvania rally last week I heard a lady in the crowd yell, "You're one of us!".   Wow. 


Wouldn't I love to see this.


Adventures In Babysitting

Were you there?  Friday was not the crowing jewel of my babysitting experience.

The diaper changing station is my bed.  Alfred doesn't always want to be changed.  Sometimes it will scramble to the head and play hard to get.  Experience has taught me that at these times trying to change will be far more trouble than it is worth, so I will simply leave.  In the past, when it gets bored enough under the pillow,  it will yell and let me know it is ready.  

Friday however, after a sniff revealed a change was in order, and when it scrabbled away, it remained more quiet than usual.  I was tempted to go take a look but I had just gotten comfy again on the couch, and, well, why start a ruckus?  

After several minutes of silence I crept back to my room and discovered...!  Were you there?  She had attempted to change her own diaper.  Were you there?  We are talking hazmat time.  "Stuff" was all over her, the bed, the pillows, the floor.  Like poor Richard Burton, my trauma remains.  Will I ever be the same?  When will she learn to use the potty?  Who will survive this travesty of nature?  Were you there?


Speaking of greed.  I see where Carlos Gonzalez turned down a three year 45 million dollar contract last fall, only to re-sign for only 8 mill this week.  Don't ever believe them when they say its not the money.  It always is.


I like foreign films.  I saw Incendies, an Afghan film, last week.  I know you won't watch it so I'll give you the details of its ingenious plot.  A mother of twins has died.  At the reading of the will the executor, her boss and an attorney, tells them they must find their father and brother with few clues as to their whereabouts.  They discover in their search that she mothered a boy by a Sunni and thus disgraced the family.  Her brothers killed her boyfriend and the baby was given away.  Later we find out that she assassinated a tribal leader and sent to a prison.  She was tortured and continually raped by a fellow.  That person was her son who had been given away and he was the one who fathered the twins.  Follow?  An amazing plot, a sorrowful film and, unfortunately, plausible.  


Well, they did the best they could, bless their young idealistic hearts.  But the kids of Stoneman-Douglas weren't able to sway America's politicians that assault guns should be for the military only.  No hike in minimum age, no bump stock ban, no relegating assault weapons to military use.  Nothing, again.  Everyone caved, including Trump.  Only the Florida legislators passed anything and guess who is suing them?  Guess who will win? The NRA is simply too strong and has bought our government so completely that now we will move on without having done anything. 

Like I say, if the politicos didn't do anything about the 20 or so 6-year olds slaughtered at Sandy Hook, we won't do anything at all. "We, the NRA, do hereby claim Washington D.C.,  in order to form a more perfect Union."

Noah Pozner was one of those 6 year olds.  This is the eulogy she wrote for him on the day of his funeral.

The sky is crying, and the flags are at half-mast. It is a sad, sad day. But it is also your day, Noah, my little man. I will miss your forceful and purposeful little steps stomping through our house. I will miss your perpetual smile, the twinkle in your dark blue eyes, framed by eyelashes that would be the envy of any lady in this room.
Most of all, I will miss your visions of your future. You wanted to be a doctor, a soldier, a taco factory manager. It was your favorite food, and no doubt you wanted to ensure that the world kept producing tacos.
You were a little boy whose life force had all the gravitational pull of a celestial body. You were light and love, mischief and pranks. You adored your family with every fiber of your 6-year-old being. We are all of us elevated in our humanity by having known you. A little maverick, who didn’t always want to do his schoolwork or clean up his toys, when practicing his ninja moves or Super Mario on the Wii seemed far more important.
Noah, you will not pass through this way again. I can only believe that you were planted on Earth to bloom in heaven. Take flight, my boy. Soar. You now have the wings you always wanted. Go to that peaceful valley that we will all one day come to know. I will join you someday. Not today. I still have lots of mommy love to give to Danielle, Michael, Sophia and Arielle.
Until then, your melody will linger in our hearts forever. Momma loves you, little man.
From uncle, Alexis Haller, of Woodinville, Wash.:
On Friday, Dec. 14, we tragically lost a most beloved member of our family. Noah was a 6-year-old little boy, and he was so dear to all of our hearts.
Words cannot express the unfathomable loss we feel.
Noah was a wonderful son and a loving brother. He was kind, caring, smart, funny, and sometimes even a little mischievous. He liked to tell his sisters that he worked in a taco factory; when they asked him how he got to work, he would give them a funny look as if to say he knew something that they didn’t.
Noah was a little kid. He loved animals, video games and Mario Brothers. He was already a very good reader, and had just bought a Ninjago book at a book fair that he was really excited about reading. He was also very excited about going to a birthday party he had been invited to. It was to take place on Saturday, Dec. 15.
Noah loved his family dearly, especially his mom, his dad, his big sisters Danielle and Sophia, his big brother Michael, and his dear twin Arielle. He called Arielle his best friend, and she was – and always had been.
If Noah had not been taken from us, he would have become a great man. He would been a wonderful husband and a loving father. He would have been a backbone of our family for years to come. His loss, and our loss, are deep indeed.
It is unspeakably tragic that none of us can bring Noah back. We would go to the ends of the Earth to do so, but none of us can.
What we can do is carry Noah within us, always. We can remember the joy he brought to us. We can hold his memory close to our hearts. We can treasure him forever. And all of us, including the family, the community, the country and the world, can honor Noah by loving each other and taking care of each other. That’s what Noah would have wanted.
Noah, we love you so much, we miss you dearly, and we will never, ever forget you.