Category Archives: Uncategorized

Life is Good

It started when Suzie-Q and I agreed (not such a rarity) it was time for new furniture in the Bunker annex – partial man cave partial family room.  The old recliner was broken in.  Sort of like an old wallet, over time it became comfortably molded to the contours of certain parts of my anatomy.  There was also that spot on the arm that I unconsciously but feverishly picked at during the Indians and Cubs World Series.  I was back at it again this year as those other teams in the Central Division refuse to fold.  If we kept it, I most assuredly would have by now got into the stuffing.  Then there was the oversized chair not quite a loveseat not quite a chair.  That was our movie night seat, except for the rare occasion when male bodily functions would cause one of us to temporarily relocate.  There was a large overstuffed couch sitting in the back of the room.  Just sitting and looking at me littered with fancy cushions.  They were not like the cushion on the recliner or the ones over in the movie night chair.  Those were twisted, scrunched and friendly.  It caused me to wonder why we even had a couch.  It taunted me.  I am just sitting here for you to look at.  Do not sit on me.  So I didn’t – ever.

I got out the tape measure and negotiations (spit flying, hair on fire, and knock down drag out brawl) began about what to buy and what to throw out.  First to go was an old wooden box I picked up from an Army property disposal site many years ago.  Its prior home was likely an Army motor pool as the keeper of maintenance records.  When I adopted it, it was painted Olive Drab (OD) green.  It is solid wood and they don’t make stuff like that anymore. Each drawer was the right size to hold old VHS tapes and DVDs.  I cleaned it up down to the bare wood and put a nice natural finish on it.  It’s been sitting there for years full of VHS tapes and DVDs that no one will ever watch again.  We compromised and the box now resides in the Bunker main.  Fortunately Suzie-Q’s collection of crystal, china, Hummels, little porcelain dolls and figurines, etc.  is all located upstairs which negated discussion about the future of my multiple Germany tours’ collection of beer steins, beer glasses, and beer coasters that litter the annex.

We settled on the type of furniture and went to visit some showrooms.  We ended up with a big ole sectional sofa and a sleek new recliner.  We started calling charities and found one willing to pick up our furniture donation on our time line.  We scheduled the pick up date for the old and delivery of the new.

Two gentlemen showed up on schedule to pick up the old furniture.  These were big men.  I mean like a stack of pancakes short of 400 pounds each.  It was hot and they were pouring sweat.  Adding to that, one of them was wearing some very strong smelling cologne, maybe a half gallon of it.  Did you ever wonder why that smell remains in your nose hours later.  It is almost like that very stinky deer repellant I use.  But there is another part.  The furniture guys had to work around the plumber who had to move his truck to accommodate theirs.  On the morning of the pickup, I went down to the utility room located just down the hallway from the annex.  There above my head, I discovered water seeping through the floorboards.  Turns out it was old capped waterlines lines that once fed the washer before we relocated the laundry to the basement.  The previous plumbers capped those lines at the top and somewhere in between there and the basement they were leaking.  They are now capped near the source.  The plumbers and movers managed to keep out of each other’s way.  Then Suzie-Q blessed me with the opportunity to vacuum – everything – twice.

The good ole boys delivering the furniture showed up when scheduled.  On the way in on the narrow street leading to our cul de sac, they took out some cables with their truck.  As apparently no one lost electricity or cable TV, we assumed it was an old telephone landline cable.  As they were hauling the furniture in, one of them tossed the very large cushion to the chaise into the room knocking a painting from the wall.  Not just any old painting, but one Suzie-Q and I bought in 1975 that has graced a wall in our home since.  The frame shattered.  She remained calm and offered the boys some water.  After everything was placed the way we wanted it the delivery boys left so fast, you’d think the law was after them.

It was a hectic couple of days.  It sort of reminded us of an Army moving day and we were glad it was over.  With everything done, we decided to call it a night.  It was calm and peaceful until a beeping noise woke me up at 0200.  There I lay wondering what in my house could be beeping at me at 2 AM.  It wasn’t a smoke detector, Co2 detector or natural gas detector because all of those are ear splitting.  It wasn’t the alarm because that too is ear splitting in its own special way.  The computer back up power supply beeps when the power is off, but the power wasn’t off.  I crawled out of the sack and found the source of the beep in the kitchen.  Our kitchen range was beeping.  Looking at the control panel, I pushed the cancel button.  The beeping stopped.  After a sigh, I turned to head back to bed and it starting beeping again.  This went on until I unplugged it.  The repairman said the control panel was shot and parts and labor combined would cost practically as much as a new one.  He was right, actually more than right.   Because of a sale, we got away cheaper than the repair bill.  The moral of the story; if your new fangled kitchen range starts beeping in the night save the repairman’s service call charge and just go buy a new one.

It was just another uncomplicated week at Pendry manor.

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

Truth in Sarcasm

Stop piddling around the edges with these statues and get some real attention.  It’s time to demand the Dallas Cowboys remove from their hats the star whose origin is quite possibly The Bonnie Blue, the original Confederate States flag.   I wager the average Dallas football player or fan does not know nor has ever thought about the possible origin of the symbol  on the Cowboy’s helmet.   While we are at it we must also demand that Texans change their Confederate linked state flag which remarkably resembles the Confederate bars and stars, which for the ignorant is not as easily identifiable as is the detested Confederate battle flag.  But let’s not stop there.  Besides Texas, former Confederate states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas also need to discard flags with symbolism linked to their Confederate heritage.  The Confederate states of Virginia and South Carolina also need to discard theirs.  Along with them, the slave holding Border States of Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri can trash their flags too.  In place of them all I suggest a white banner declaring White Supremacist State of ____.   After all, are we not demanding that the scourge of the Confederacy be removed from American history and forever hidden from those offended by our past rather than encouraged by the potential of our future?  Are we not also ready to label any disagreeable person or group as white supremacists?  Of course as history would have it the willfully ignorant often mislabel people from the past and present.  Although whether it is ignorance or stupidity is debatable.  It is not debatable however that ignorant people do and say stupid things. I do know that the 1836 Republic of Texas Flag preceded the Confederacy but keeping with current trends let’s ignore facts that do not fit the story line.

We can’t stop there though, can we?  There must also be a societal cleansing.  Every American must submit to DNA testing to determine any ancestral link, no matter how miniscule, to the Confederacy or a slave holding family.  We must also ferret out anyone sharing a surname with a Confederate General.  Then we can begin the purge starting of course with ESPN sportscasters.  Is that not the ultimate goal?  Eradication of any person, symbol or thought that does not jive with yours?  Is not your utopia supremacy of worldview without divergence of thought where history begins with you?  Before you begin, however, contemplate this from Pulitzer Prize Winner James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era, (I am returning my copy to the fire proof vault because book burning can’t be too far off.) considered the most comprehensive one-volume account of the Civil War Era.  It may help you better select your targets as nothing, except the voting bloc, has changed over the years:

“Despite their marginality, the tiny number of black men who lived in the half-dozen northern states that allowed them to vote formed a solid Whig [Republican} bloc.  The Democratic Party’s professed egalitarianism was for whites only.  It’s commitment to slavery and racism was blatant in the North as well as the South, while Whigery grew in part from the same evangelical reformism that had generated the abolitionist movement.”

Well howdy, as we are prone to say over here in the hills.

There is another stop you need to make on your way to destruction of Confederate monuments, those honoring our founders and razing of the National Archives.  Stop fooling around the edges and just go for the big one.  Visit the former estate of Robert E. Lee.  Before the Civil War, it is the place he lived for 30 years.  Now we know it as Arlington National Cemetery.  There is a prominent structure sitting on the hill just above the Kennedy grave site.  It is visible from a distance.  For certain, you need to bulldoze it to the ground. It would make a spectacular fire for viewing from below.   It is Arlington House also known as the Custis-Lee mansion and the last time I visited it was full of Lee family artifacts.  It is also the Robert E. Lee Memorial (horrors) overlooking the national capital.  In case you are not up on your history, Robert E. Lee’s bride, Mary Lee was a step-granddaughter of George Washington.  Her father built the mansion intended as a monument honoring our first President.

There is much standing in the way of your quest for destruction including the American spirit of freedom so you better get after it.  Just keep in mind that there are many millions who are not going to stand by while you eradicate our nation’s history and attempt to destroy the foundation of our country.  Many of us gave solemn oaths swearing to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” And most of us sealed that with “So Help Me God.”  The oath does not have an expiration date.

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

Stand up or take a knee

Last year, the National Football League threatened to fine players for wearing cleats honoring 9/11 victims.  Before that came the Tim Tebow Rule banning players from putting Bible scripture on their eye black.  Now we have players who show disrespect to our national anthem, our flag and our country.  Spineless owners and a feckless NFL commissioner insist that these America protesting players have the right to freedom of speech.  Not so, I guess for the players who wanted to honor 9/11 victims and their Christian faith.  There is just something upside down about that.  Before owners and the commissioner stop the political protests at sporting events, they will stop playing the anthem because ahead of anything else, they fear being labeled.  They are cowards.

For the protesting players, you privileged and wealthy men living in the only country in the world where you could enjoy such wealth and prestige for playing a game, I have a request.  When the honor guard brings the colors on to the field and the anthem is played, turn away from the cameras and toward the fans who paid exorbitant prices to watch your football game.  For some of them, it may be a once in a lifetime event.  Take your knee or raise your fist to them.  If you can well up some courage, look them in the eye and let them know that you detest them, their country, their flag and their national anthem.  Get right up next to the stands when you do it, you big strong courageous men who have never served anything but your ego.  What have you done for our country?  For the communities that you feel are so oppressed?  How have you used your millions and fame to make a difference?  Maybe you have the solution for the south side of Chicago.  Or maybe you are just attention whores.  Here is an idea for you.  Why don’t you just walk out and stay out until all of the problems you perceive are solved.  Then we can see if anyone misses you.  See if football can survive without you.

You disrespect every man and woman that has served or is serving in our United States Armed Forces.  You disrespect every man or woman who has sacrificed life or limb defending you and the way of life that you find so deplorable.  These gallant people drawn mostly from the middle class of our country possess more courage and character in a pinkie than you can well up from your full sized self.  Most of them will never have the money to attend an NFL game.  The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Police Officers and First Responders meet the challenge every single day behind the lone ideal of preserving liberty.  Preserving the ideal that allowed you, like any other American from any walk, to be what you wanted to be – the ideal that has allowed us to overcome our problems while standing on our feet not taking a knee.  You do not measure up to their standards, not by a long shot, but they will continue to defend you while you show contempt for our country.  Find me one other country on this planet where that happens.

Have you watched how poorly Hollywood is doing?  They are calling this year a box office bust.  Ratings are down.  People aren’t buying tickets.  Americans are tiring of Hollywood hero Captain Americas showing their ignorance.  We watch movies for entertainment.  We are not interested in a red, white and blue movie hero character on one side that on the other side shows his utter contempt for half of America.  When you add that to the point that 90 percent of Hollywood production is pure garbage, you can understand the decline.  So, when a failing NFL quarterback takes a knee because his own pride is hurt and you other social justice warriors follow along in blind solidarity you should not be shocked when the NFL ratings tank.  When ratings tank, revenue drops, and people stop buying tickets, stop wearing your team jersey… they just stop.  They stop paying your salary.

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

I need my stuff

Suzie-Q does not often venture into the Bunker.  For when she does, I have a little stool with a cushion sitting over near the door.  When I worked from home, at a real job as opposed to what I do now, she would pop in for a visit.  We’d talk a little and share a snack while she looked around.   She always concluded that I have too much junk.  She’d take a look at any of the number of plastic milk crates I have filled with coax, Ethernet cables, stray USB cables, wire of unknown sources, and orphaned remote control units and that is just the stuff you can see at the top level and ask why I didn’t get rid of that junk.  I told her someday I may need that stuff.  And that goes for all of my crates full of stuff, which I need because all of the file cabinets are also full of stuff I might need – someday.

Then she’d look at my work area and ask how I was able to get anything done as my desktop was completely covered.  I need all of this stuff to do my work I’d proclaim.  Besides, the important stuff is sitting on servers miles from here and only a mouse click or two dozen away.  This is also why I have my feet resting on a back up uninterrupted power supply for when the juice flickers off as it is known to do here in the hills.  I convinced her that what I really needed was more desktop space and she needed to allow me to add a new section to the built in desk.

With visions of saw dust and power tools littering the visible portion of floor there was a palm to the forehead, rolling eyes and an aye-goo. You men blessed with a Korean bride will understand that expression.  For others, think of Hooah! It can mean just about anything from total agreement to eye rolling exasperation.  Suffice it to say she was not expressing agreement.  We finally compromised on one of those Chinese manufactured glass computer tables.  I got it assembled, finally, and placed it.  It is now completely covered with stuff I may need someday  including an  EMP proof Royal manual typewriter and my 1970’s vintage solid state radio (not EMP proof) and there are at least two milk crates sitting beneath it along with a couple of plastic containers of stuff that won’t fit into the file cabinets.

When Suzie-Q came back she was not pleased.  She told me she was under the impression that I was going to clean the dumpster.  I reminded her that it was the bunker not the dumpster and I thought it was looking rather spiffy.  She concluded that all I did was relocate my junk.  With my arms crossed and smiling, I told her it was an old Army trick.  This time it was aye-goo you’re crazy.  She told me that soon there would be no room to sit.  I agreed and moved her stool out into the hallway. Yes, that was a bad idea.  On the return, it bounced off my leg and that shiny glass table.  I was apologizing profusely when the cushion hit me in the head.  Good thing she threw the stool first.

To calm the waters, I decided I needed to take her to lunch.  When we went into the garage, she looked around and told me I needed to get rid of some junk saying there was barely room for the car.  Before I suggested that we could buy one of those teeny tiny smart cars, I agreed with her assessment that some of the junk needed to go.  But first, I told her, I need to put in some more shelves.

© 2017 J. D. Pendry

Swamp Rats

Grand Old Party?  I find nothing grand about you.  Out here in the hinterlands most of you are called Republicans in Name Only (RINOs).  I have a different take.  I don’t believe you are RINOs.  I believe you are the Republican Party and probably always have been.   Current events have merely exposed you for who you are.  A large overbearing pachyderm in bed with lobbyists, corporations, billionaires and pretty much anyone else who will continually feed your bottomless wallets.  In turn, you legislate for them and crap on Middle America, which in case you haven’t noticed is not doing so well in recent years.  You are allied with career “civil servants” anchored at the top and throughout our federal agencies and to your kindred spirits in the braying jackass Democratic Party.  There are no viable political parties left in America.  There are only “interests” none of which address my concerns or what is in the best interests of my country.  Collectively you are the swamp rats – lifelong politicians and wannabes. You have lost any sense of America and Americans.  You are the Washington establishment.

Americans are tired and disillusioned.  That is why we elected a non-politician and the America first message.  It is the message that touched the hearts of the forgotten people of this country.  The middle class is the strength of a nation.  Without a strong middle class we are just another third world has been.  You have blocked the America first agenda.  It is the American people’s agenda that you despise.  The people you are charged to represent.  It was we the people who rejected a pile of establishment Republicans and said no more to the Clintons.  I believe you forget that it is the people who either accept or reject you as their representatives not the other way around.  You do not get to have an agenda other than ours.

So now you block and delay and you want us to believe that you were surprised that McCain was a no vote – on anything.  Following years of promises of all that you could accomplish if we voted you in charge, you now tell us that it is just the “democratic process” when you are unable to come up with any sort of plan for anything.  The democratic process is not intentional and abject failure.  Do you think we don’t see – think we are blinded by your brilliance?  Do you think that we do not know that your delays and failures are just time killers until your special prosecutor can create a storyline that helps you finish the coup?  And you believe somehow that this will turn out well for you.  In my lifetime, I have never witnessed a more entrenched group of failures that is supposed to represent the people who elected them.

We know how you think.  We have learned how you play the game.  We know that you try to sway how we think with polls.  That did not work too well for you and it will not again.  We understand that half of our voting age population never votes and that half of the half that does vote is ignorant.  You and your media cronies play on that.  What did the Obamacare architect declare?  We had to count on the stupidity of the American people!  Together you promise the immeasurable like hope and change or moving us forward.  Forward?  Toward what?  When we were promised things that are measurable and things that hit us right where we live, we chose.  Do you think we will forget?  Do you think we will accept that the democratic process is why we do not have viable healthcare, tax reform, secure borders…?  The forgotten people and history will be unkind to you.

There is a seething anger out here.  And it is not from the little brown shirt fascists in black hoodies that you send out to attack other protestors or shut down speakers with which you don’t agree.  The anger is from the people for which you are showing total contempt.  It is the super majority of Americans who want you to do your jobs and who don’t want our country to become Venezuela.  Now is your time to deliver or begin working on your memoirs.  Americans have had it with you swamp rats.

© 2017 J. D. Pendry