Wednesday, August 31, 2011

T-Mobile, AT&T, and DoJ

The U.S. Department of Justice sued to block AT&T’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA, saying the deal would "substantially lessen competition" in the wireless market. The complaint was filed today in federal court in Washington.

The which I sort of alluded to in a post on String Too Short to Tie several weeks ago.

Hurry! Hurry!

email is the new snailmail-- far too slow for today's whippersnappers.

...and did you know that phone etiquette now requires that you text in advance to let someone know you are going to call them?
Yeah, right. That'll be the day, ooh, ooh, ooh, uh.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Why is it that I know the phone numbers of Empire Flooring and Ken Nunn, atty at law*, but I don't know my own cell number?

*Neither of whom I have ever called.

Home Economics

Last month, I (a) gave AT&T free money, or (b) my cell phone usage cost me $38.06 per minute. Which way should I parse this?

Monday, August 29, 2011

En garde! Thrust and Perry

What governor of my second most-favorite state just a few months ago wanted to withdraw from the Union, now wants to be president of the very country from which he was threatening to secede? Or did I miss something?


Stifling, humid, hot
Cicadas sang me to sleep
Robin's song woke me.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

On the Web

Herk said that he told Tildy that she and her mother should have a website where they could post their best ideas. Said they could call it "Wikiwacky."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Campers' Club

Old people leave their comfortable homes to drive a hundred miles each way in their 35 foot RVs to park within fifty yards of each other and play cards on a picnic table for three days. What?



The earthquake in the DC area this week prompted the President to inform us that the epicenter was along the previously little-known Bush's Fault.

Someone else claimed that it was the result of the early statesmen of our country rolling over in their graves.

Und so weiter.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kids Playing in Neighbor's Yard

tunny bits, said roscoe.
you mean "tuna" bits, roscoe?
no, dan rabbit, i mean tunny bits.
oh, rabbit it is then. would you like fries with that?
flickin ratzen katzen jimmin rammin. don't you unnerstans nuffin?
now that's some mighty fine cussin, right there.
I'se not yore cuzzin, cuz'n, said roscoe.
then whufore is you swearin up such a swear?
jis funnin witcha.
ain't funny, roscoe. nock it off.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Tale of Two Governors

We've long chosen our entertainment idols more on the basis of looks than on the foundation of talent.

We pick our political leaders the same way, apparently. "Well, he looks presidential." The two republican front-runners surely bring that to the table if nothing else.

It is a well-known fact that "looking good" is more important than any other factor in success.

And looking good and being rich is aces up.

Monday, August 22, 2011

True Story

Lucy said, "Madame Jeannine gave me partial credit on a French quiz when I hadn't studied the animal names. I wrote "le oink, la moo," etc...She said at least I got the feminines and masculines correct.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


In Luke 5 we find a very tired Peter who had been working all night with no results. Nevertheless, though skeptical, he is obedient to the call of the Master to "launch out into the deep" and lower the nets.

Then when the miraculous haul is brought in, Peter bows before Jesus and says, Go hang out somewhere else, for we are not on the same wavelength. You are holy and I am a rapscallion.

Jesus then tells Peter that he will make him a "catcher of people" rather than a fish catcher.

Then, Peter leaves all, forsakes everything he has ever known and follows Christ.

What must we forsake in order to be Christ followers?


Herk's Not a Fan of TV

Herk dropped by last evening. Told me Tildy was watching "The Good Wife." Said he was glad to see her getting into self-improvement programs.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ogden Nash

Why did the Lord give us agility,
If not to evade responsibility?

--Ogden Nash, American poet,
August 19, 1902 - May 19, 1971

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bitterman's Dictionary

To do over and over again something that doesn't work is the definition of something-- I've forgotten what it is.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


School starts today in the hometown. The state has decreed that "cursive writing" is no longer required to be taught in schools. I suppose that at some point in the past it was decreed that cuneiform would no longer be taught; and look where that got us.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Initially, I Thought...

ED, LowT, OCD, ADD, RA, AFib.

Getcher NSAIDS here. Or go see Alice.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

sheesh is petitioning for the marriage of Bert and Ernie. r u kidding? They're puppets, for crying out loud. Get a life. And keep it out of our kids' entertainment media.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Or, Same O', Same O'

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"

About Herkimer's Past

Herk told me that when he was in high school he took his Dad's current wife, Lyla, to the prom.

"Well," he said, "she wasn't Dad's wife then. She was just Ly. She sat in front of me in social studies class."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Yard Work

Third day. Crabgrass, weeds, mosquitoes, ants, gnats. Bumblebee. Finger strength gone, holes in gloves. Quit.

Child of Desire

My sister's novel is published! Tate Publishing announced Thursday that the title is available through their house on-line bookstore. It will be in Barnes and Noble and other outlets on November 8. It is available both in print format and as download for digital readers.

Are we proud of our little sister? I should say so! I was privileged to have been one of her "readers" to whom she entrusted her first draft for comments.

"All you gotta do is..."

my wife says. Thirty-eight out of thirty-nine times she couldn't do it (nor could I), and yet in her idealized and highly over-simplified view of how things work, "all I gotta do" is...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

High School Sports Season

has started again. If you don't want to be yelled at and pushed around a bit, don't turn out, Pudd'npop.

The rest of you, work hard, give it your best, and good luck!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lemon Aid

The Missuz and I, listening to the not-yet two-year-old washing machine clunking and clanking and wheezing:
I: Something seriously wrong with that thing, or is it supposed to be that noisy?
She: I think we got a lemon, like everything else we buy.
I: No doubt. I think we were put on this earth to absorb the lemons so someone else wouldn't have to.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The "Tea Party" downgrade...

Teen Learns Economics from Washington

Herk and Tildy's son, Teen, getting his financial house in order:

Hmmm. Last week I spent $5. I owe Dad 14, but he'll lend me more.
Next week I'll spend the same, except I'm adding 2 for jelly beans and 2
for a new app. Total $9.

Dad says okay; I'll loan you 2 more. But you'll have to cut your spending.

Okay, I say, No problem. I can live without the jelly beans. I'll cut 2.
(I'll spend 7, and look! I cut $2. (9 - 2 = 7).

What? You're saying I spent less last week; how is that a cut?
Shut up, already.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Again

I was taught from childhood that Sunday is a "day of rest." But now. Now Sunday is the only day of the week in which I have to rise before a specified time, dress in a manner appropriate to public outing, leave the house, again at a specified time, and park my creaky old body in a cramped box called a "pew."

The worship leader is helpful, too. "I invite you to stand," he says, "as we raise our voices to the Lord on hymn number 453. On the first, third and last verses!" It is not an "invitation." It is a directive. And what heresy was the poet promulgating in the second verse? And why does the lyricist always put the heresy in the second verse? Can you recall a time that you actually sang the second verse in church?

But wait! He will "invite" us to stand again to sing the first and last verses of ...

I am very attentive during the sermon. I take notes during the sermon to help me follow attentively. I like the sermon; or I may not like it, but I hear it and hope to heed the word.

Do you know a church where the minister stands up, says "good morning" and then says follow with me as I read from God's Word the basis for today's message, which he then delivers, "invites" the congregation to stand for the benediction, says a brief prayer and walks out?

I might just go to that church.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

More Whining

"Any man says he can't read women is seriously vision impaired. The only thing written there are two big letters about the size of the top line on the eye chart:


--Herk Bitterman

Friday, August 5, 2011


Okay, is it solar flares messing with me, or is this just another of Xfinity's "Constant Guard" screwups?

Forgive Me

I was watching the national weather and it occured to me that I should be truly grateful for the blessings I enjoy. I have whined about the weather being too hot, too dry too long (which it has been).

But when the meteorologist pointed out that it had been over 100 degrees for 36 straight days, with more predicted to come, in Dallas and environs, I thought about the fact that many people live with much less pleasant circumstances than we have here. Tuesday's 115 was really over the top.

Oh, Lord forgive me when I whine. I am so blessed. The world is mine.

Bwa, ha, ha, ha!

I read yesterday afternoon's post to the wife. She could barely stop laughing long enough to say, "Bite me!"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Go Like This,"

my spouse says, these words accompanied by much specific hand-waving and gesticulation. (Think "air guitar.)

I am working on whatever project.

Later: "Got'r done!" I say.
She: "Uhuh. And after I told you exactly how I wanted it."

Sometimes there is even the follow-up "I'd rather not have it done than to have it done like I didn't want it."

Blatherer on the Tube

"There is no such thing as a frivolous lawsuit."

This person's profession is _____________.
(One guess per person.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Around four o'clock this morning, I heard rumblings of thunder in the far distance. Closer came the noises, now visible the flashes of lightning. At 4:25 the sky burst open, and the refreshing waters fell! It rained for half-hour.

Thank you, Lord, for the showers.

I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. --Ezekial 34:26

Snarkiness is placed in abeyance this morning as I offer this prayer of gratitude for the rain!

Who is D.B. Cooper?

The question has tantalized us for forty years. The FBI says it now has new information, and the identity may be revealed.

  1. I prefer it remain a mystery; he will "live" forever as a legendary bad man about whom endless speculation will continue to fascinate and entertain.

  2. I want to know every detail. Did he die? Does he still live? Who were his parents? What size hat does he wear? Yadda, yadda.

Vote (1) or (2)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

If Only

Can you even imagine what a wonderful world it would be

if when people had nothing to say they didn't say it?

One Nation, Indivisible

Remember when you were a kid you would roll a drop of mercury out onto the sidewalk, then hit it with a hammer?

. . . . . .

. ..

From O to . . . . . .

. . .

instantly. Some force has hit our nation with a hammer. Liberal progressivism? Progressive liberalism? Hardheadedness? Unwillingness or inability to be reasonable?

(I know what you are thinking. He played with mercury? Addled his brain, it did. Oh, yeah? We collected scrap lead, melted it down and made our own sinkers, too. Know how to make shot?)

Monday, August 1, 2011

1986 THS Class Reunion

"The THS Class of 1986 will celebrate its 25-year reunion at..." *

No. Stop! My Baby, that would be my youngest child, graduated with that class.

Twenty-five years? 25 years? A quarter-century? 25...

*Article in local newspaper today.

Farewell, July...

...we hardly knew ye.

(Because you kept us holed up inside the house, your miserable "heat indices" being too high to brave. Our camping was scratched, our discontent grew. You are the driest July in the annals of meteorological record keeping. You have left us, parched, brown, and miserable. Thanks.)

Learning from TV

A possible problem with watching "House" is not that the characters aren't believable, but rather that people might get the idea that they represent the practice of medicine as it really is.

An even bigger problem is the chilling realization that that may be the case.