Is it growing

I hear scientific research supports that one part of a male’s anatomy continues to grow throughout his lifetime.  That excludes his belly.  I have not taken measurements, but I do scrutinize.  It does not appear this scientific finding applies to me.  At least not yet.  When it comes to my body, maybe I am not the one to ask because it is always my lovely wife that notices first when my belly is growing.  I have taken a now selfie and will at some point take another.  If I am able to confirm the findings of this shocking report, I will post the results.

Meanwhile, did you see that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has formed a Presidential campaign committee?  I thought George Clooney would be the first.  I read where pro-refugee George is moving his family back to the United States because he fears that Great Britain has become too unsafe – too many terrorists.  He has that Presidential look though doesn’t he?  I bet he could do well playing one if someone wrote him a good enough script.  Betcha didn’t know George does TV commercials that run in countries other than the US.  In my travels, I have seen them.  In America, I suppose he has to maintain his commercials are beneath me image.  Wrasslers and actors probably couldn’t screw Washington up any worse.   Who enters next Hulk Hogan?  Watcha ya gonna do America when Hulkamania runs wild over you?  No question the Russians are behind this.  And Lord knows half of Americans would vote for anyone – just because.   As for their growing body parts Hulk says make sure you take your vitamins kids.

They’re selling legal pot in Nevada including Amsterdam in the desert.  I don’t know if you have visited Las Vegas, but there are free drinks for gamblers and smokers are free to puff away on whatever it is they light up.  I wonder if casinos will offer the gamblers free pot.  Inebriated gamblers not as good as more inebriated?  I saw a headline discussing Nevada’s new drug problem.  They are experiencing a pot shortage.  I’ve been there.  Adding legal pot to that continuous carnival in the desert is not necessary.  Crazy already exists in copious amounts. As for body parts I believe I read that pot usage results in shrinkage.

Did you see the new case the 9th Circuit has?  It is an appropriate case for them.  It seems that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sued a publisher on behalf of a monkey.  A wildlife photographer placed a camera and the monkey pushed the button taking a monkey selfie.  PETA believes the monkey holds the copyright to the selfie photographs published in the photographer’s book.  I don’t know if anyone discussed this with the monkey.  If the monkey wins, who gets the royalties?  Reckon he gets paid in bananas?  Monkeys were not covered in the scientific papers discussing growing or shrinking body parts.  The 9th circuit however must have made a trip to Las Vegas for a little happy smoke.  For PETA, I am not sure I would know if they were one toke over the line.

Wrasslers for President, more legal pot, monkey lawsuits and body parts growing and shrinking.  There’s a lot going out on out there in America, but the news media appears unable to report these important stories.  I suppose they get more laughs writing and reporting their own comedy strips or endlessly bloviating about Russia.  Sorry, that was redundant.

I have taken another look.  I am convinced my ears have not grown at least during the time it took me to write this.  For the pot smokers et al I think it is brain shrinkage.  But I could be wrong.

Don’t bogart that joint my friend.  Roll another one just like the other one.  Pass it over to me. – Country Joe and the Fish

Hey PETA, can they call themselves fish?  I don’t believe fish smoke either.  How about a defamation lawsuit?

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

My garbage lives

At the direction of Suzie-Q I was clearing the kitchen trash can.  As I crushed an aluminum pop can and chucked it into the bag for recyclable pop cans I heard children voices in the background.  “When I grow up, I want to be a park bench,” proclaimed the soothing child voice.  With my back to the television, I thought that was an odd thing for a child to want to be.  It was certainly not a lofty dream.  I did get an image of a park bench with a senior citizen sitting there feeding the pigeons then I understood why a child might say that.  Obviously, the child did not realize the frequency at which senior citizens fart.

Then I turned around to see a plastic water bottle was sharing its life’s dream with me.  My garbage now has childlike innocence.  It is a personality that no caring adult could ignore.  It appears to have a soul and aspirations of greatness.  It’s all American garbage with lofty goals.  Well maybe not so lofty.  I think if I was recyclable garbage I would want to be a space ship – if I had a mind and could form thoughts.

I was sitting in the garage putting on my work boots.  The ones I wear for yard work.  That’s as near to the rest of the house that Suzie-Q allows them.  Nope, not even into the utility room that is only a few feet from the garage.  Looking at them admiringly I saw some lime residue, some fertilizer, some dead grass and dirt.  Macho boots with character I thought.  Then it hit me.  What if my boots were once one of those adorable little plastic water bottles?  What horrors had I visited upon this innocent plastic bottle child?  These are boots that have breathed lime dust, ingested weed killer, and endured heavy doses of really stinky deer repellant, in fact they still stink of it.  They have stepped in feral cat crap that is nearly as disgusting as the deer repellant, but the cat crap wins for linger.  The guilt I felt was almost too much to bear.  I walked straight outside and hosed them off top to bottom.  Then it hit me.  What have I done?  With the full force of my garden hose, I have washed this once innocent child water bottle with ice cold water.  Do you reckon I’m in trouble?  Do you reckon I should hit myself in the head with a chunk of firewood to jar me back to reality?

As I began my chores, I questioned the use of every machine and tool I used that day and could not help but wonder if one of those poor  innocent pieces of child garbage may have grown up to become a manure spreader.  The life of a manure spreader does not quite have the allure of say a park bench unless a wino pukes on it.

I am a little angry that someone decided to give my garbage personality.  Don’t I have enough sensibilities of others in this overly sensitized world with which to concern myself?  Why did you not make it a grumpy old curmudgeon?  One who might say, “I was once a shiny 1969 Cadillac until they smashed me into a chunk of metal and dropped me into the metal shredder.  Now, I sit here on a shelf as a can filled with stinking deer repellant – right next to the rodent poison.  Life just isn’t fair.  I would have been a happy pick-up truck.  But nope, not me, I had to trade personality, character and that glorious new car smell for deer stank.”

When I finished my work, I grabbed the bottle of water Suzie-Q left on the back porch.  I sat there and admired the little guy.  I sipped the cooling water and felt refreshed.  Then I crushed it flat, screwed the cap back on it and tossed it toward the recycle box.  I looked at it and gave it some life advice, “I know you want to come back as something grand, but reality is that you are more likely to become a toilet seat.”

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

Independence Day

“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” – Liberty Bell Inscription

The Declaration of Independence would not mean very much if men of resolve did not stand ready to seal it with sacrifice.

Every Soldier, a term I use here as representative of all branches of the Armed Forces of the United States, knows his purpose and his potential sacrifice. Yet, he Soldiers on each day. Often under difficult conditions and always holding on to the memories of loved ones, home, peace, freedom and better times. Those memories are why he serves. He never asks for much. He doesn’t ask for thanks. He has the gift of selfless service. He savors the smallest comforts that most of us take for granted – a hot meal, a phone call home, mail, a hot shower and even clean socks. A post card from a schoolchild, a simple thank you or the smiling face of someone helped is about all it takes to recharge his enthusiasm to meet a day that might be his last. He’ll say a prayer and shed a tear for a fallen comrade then remember him forever with a bond only soldiers know.

In peaceful surroundings, he’ll show a broad grin when a fifty gun salute is fired on Independence Day. Regardless of age, he still gets a little tingle when he hears the Star Spangled Banner, when the flag goes up at Reveille or when it’s lowered at Retreat. When someone defaces or burns the symbol under which he serves and sacrifices, the emotion he feels is anger. But, the anger turns to sadness. Sadness that some might not know how great and free our country is and the sacrifices made to keep it great and free. Then he’ll look you in the eye and say that is why I do what I do – so others can openly express how they feel in a free country. His wish is that they all understand this and him.

If you study the history of the United States of America, you’ll have trouble finding a significant period or event that did not involve Soldiers. In 1776, patriot politicians declared America’s independence. Patriot Soldiers delivered it. That’s what Soldiers do.

While you’re out in the back yard this weekend or at the lake, watching fireworks, eating hot dogs and watermelon. Take some time to make sure your children understand the significance of our Nation’s birthday. Make sure you tell them why we celebrate Independence Day. Above all, make sure you tell them about the men and women of the Armed Forces who enable us to celebrate and who have sacrificed to “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof”

Happy Birthday America! Have a great holiday everyone!

Copyright © 2007 JD Pendry

Freedom

‘Tis the star-spangled banner; O long may it wave  O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave! – Francis Scott Key, The Star-Spangled Banner (1814)

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress with representatives from the 13 original colonies declared independence from Great Britain.  Ultimately our Citizen Soldiers faced and defeated the super power of the day securing our freedom from an oppressive non-representative government.  It was their blood, spirit and determination that protected the American birthright of freedom – a God-given birthright to all humankind.

I have written about freedom often:  Spirit of Freedom, Our Foundation is the Spirit of Freedom, About God and Freedom, Freedom or Communism, While Freedom Slips Away, Hiding Behind Freedom, and others from time past.  Sometimes we take freedom for granted because it is ingrained.  It is the American way of life.

These essays have basic themes.  There is the fundamental principle on which our country was founded.  That is God-given freedom – endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights.  Freedom does not originate with men therefore men cannot take it from us.  However, through ignorance and apathy we can forfeit it.  Just because we were blessed to be born American, does not guarantee our freedom.  Generations before us sacrificed for our freedom and we owe it to them and future Americans to remain freedom’s guardians.

We have experienced gradual erosion by allowing government to intrude in our lives and individual liberty and give or take away what should be personal decisions.  We’ve allowed it to happen so incrementally that many of our younger generations do not realize freedom is leaching away – gradually shrinking while government grows.  In too many cases, we have seen our freedoms weaponized and with the aid of ideological courts turned against individuals and institutions.  On college campuses we have repeatedly witnessed the assaults on free speech.

Sir Winston Churchill addressed the problem we see today with free speech quite well:

“Some people’s idea of [free speech] is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage. (From a speech, October 13, 1943.)

When we get right down to it, all we have is freedom.  We may lose material possessions.  We may lose a job.  We may lose friends and even loved ones.  If everything else we hold dear is gone, we still have our freedom and the Creator who gave it to us.  As long as we hold on to that all other things are possible and we will overcome any adversity.

Kris Kristofferson in his song Bobby McGee summed up freedom like this:

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose, Nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’, but it’s free.

If everything else is lost all you have left is freedom and the Creator that gave it to you.  God gave us freedom He will not take it away.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14-27 (NIV)

Hold on to that as we celebrate the independence of the world’s exceptional nation.  It is exceptional because it is the only nation in the history of nations founded on the fundamental principle of God-given freedom and individual liberty.

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

And the deer ate my hostas

Washington. D.C. also known around here as Babylon on the Potomac, or for you Lord of the Rings fans maybe Mordor works better, is a complete mess.  Maybe a hobbit will happen by and push the whole shebang into an inferno.  Or maybe that old wizard with his pointy hat can do the job.

We hear lots of work across the aisle jabber and we have a party purportedly in control that can’t even work with the person across the table.  Democrats and Republicans are our problem.  The unquenchable thirst for power and control and television camera time is the problem.  One party trying to ensure failure of the other is the problem.  Democrats are lock-step obstructionists chasing Russian boogie men while the Republicans couldn’t hit a bull in the ass with a bass fiddle.  If you search for the gang that can’t shoot straight odds are you’ll find a picture of the Republican congress.  Senate work is incredibly tough work they tell us.  One hundred supposedly educated men and women sent to Washington to serve the people cannot sit down like adults and fix a problem they created by sticking their big fat federal government noses into healthcare where it did not belong in the first place.  I am beginning to believe that Congress should recess.  And stay recessed.  The Russians didn’t have to hack our government to screw it up.  The knot heads led by McConnell, Schumer, Ryan, and Pelosi are doing that just fine all by themselves.  Put us in control (pick your party) and we will fix it they said.  Bet that made your coffee shoot out of your nose.  There are a couple of things that may fix Mordor, a giant enema or pulling the swamp plug for example.  Go home Congress, stay home.  You won’t get anything done, but you sure as heck can’t break it any worse than you already have.

It frustrates me to no end to see such a disastrous operation and on top of that I walked out into the yard to discover that the deer ate the hostas.  Yep, all of them right down to the ground.  They bypassed the planet’s most pungent deer repellant.  The stuff stinks to high heaven and would probably gag a litter of polecats.  Road kill eating crows would avoid choice pavement pizza if this stuff was sprayed on it.  So I spent time researching deer resistant plants to fill up the shaded areas around the yard.  My hillbilly commonsense tells me unless it’s rocks, there is no such thing.  If hungry enough, deer will eat any vegetation.  I believe the herd that fertilizes my yard and rubs the bark from the trees must wander through a pot farm before they get here. They arrive with a big league case of the munchies.  Then nothing is safe.  I think even the feral cats hide from them.  So maybe I’ll have a rock garden with only rocks in it, a desert southwest landscape in the middle of green wild and wonderful instead of vegetation.  Rocks don’t need watering or fertilizer.  Either that or a tall chain link fence which always improves the landscape especially if topped with a roll of concertina.

Since Congress seems hell bent on controlling every aspect of life or fouling it up beyond repair (FUBAR), maybe I could ask them to solve my deer problem.  We could have some hearings, environmental impact studies, and more hearings to determine whether the deer are actually Russian drones and probably some more hearings to determine if these are Republican or Democrat deer, a select committee to investigate and certainly at the end of all of that a Special Counsel to determine who lied about it.  Several years down the road, I’ll be summoned to appear before a grand jury and at this point no one will even know what the original issue was.  Congress would pass legislation to declare my yard and those similar a national park and wildlife reserve and confiscate the property at fair market value of course, and require me to move into an apartment in town where there is no grass or flowers or deer.  They’ll replace my pick-up truck with a scooter and raise my taxes to pay for the necessary growth of federal wild life management necessary to care for the new game reserves.

Anyone seen Bilbo?

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

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