Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Present. Past or past perfect?

The Missus got me a Samsung camera for Christmas.  It is no wonder Sam sung.  I see his name on just about everything these days.  Of course, I think it should say "Sam sang," or perhaps even, "Sam has sung."

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Making Christmas Last

Wouldn't it be great if Christmas lasted all year long?

Letdown.  It's over; a lot of work for just one day.  Christmas is excitement leading to exhaustion.

  • It is possible for Christians to have a Christmas spirit that lasts all year long.  
Isaiah 9:6-7

For Christmas all year long

  1. Think about Jesus all year.  
  2. Have daily gift exchanges.
God's kingdom will not fade; no disappointment.  Christ's government will last forever.
We long for peace.  In Christ resides all authority and power forever.

Consider 1) the kingdom that is, and 2) the kingdom that is to come.
The first should be alive and well in our hearts and souls. "In my heart there rings a melody!"  The kingdom is in us.  Live selflessly.  In the second, we shall reign with Christ!

To make Christmas last.  (Matthew 2, the account of the wise men bearing gifts, worshipping the Christ child.)
A)  Christ is the center of our worship not just at Christmas, but all the time.  The worship of the magi was not about the season, but about the Person of Christ.

Christ needs to be center-stage in all the decisions of our lives.  Our entire lives are to revolve around who He is!

B) Gift exchanges every day.  By using our gifts, talents, we give them back to God.
  • It is easy to talk about, a battle to live.
Despite challenges, our focus remains on Christ.


Start putting God first every day.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday Morning

Friday, December 26, 2014

Now you see it. . .

And for Sony's "Interview," the greatest promo since Barnum put barkers in front of the sideshow tents.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas, Mrs. Warr

She is getting something for Christmas!  But it is possible that she thinks old Bob has forgotten her.  *Tehe*

I sneaked into the city while she was engrossed in one of her mystery novels, wrapped the puppy* while she was at the grocery store, hid it away until now.

So this morning, I will say Merry Christmas to her.  Saying the same to you now.  But I am not giving you a present.

*A manner of speaking only.  It is not really a puppy.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

20th Century Revisited

I wonder how I would have "turned out" had my mother posted "cute" pictures of me on facebook every time I turned a wheel, all her friends like, "Too cute," or "Precious."

I shudder to think.

Another of the many blessings of having grown up before cell phones, or digital pictures, or computers, or the internet; before facebook.  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Greatest Gift

God has so much for us.
Traditions are fun.  Christmas comes with lots of memories, some joyful, some painful.
Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

The people were looking forward to Messiah, kept the hope alive even as there followed these times with times of darkness, times of struggling.

Then: A baby was born!  John 1:1   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

But when he finally came, they missed it.  John 1:11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

Christ was nailed to the cross, he bled, he died for your sins, and mine.
John 3:16   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The Christmas story is not just about a baby, but it is about a person who came to save us.
A reminder:  Jesus is coming again!
The question is:  Are you prepared?  You have to be ready.  Believe; repent.  Turn your back on sin, turn your face toward God.  Stay prepared, we do not know when he will return.
God offers grace and mercy to all.
Christ is greater than any other gift.  The Gift cost God more than you can imagine.
We are undeserving.
Some need to make preparation; He will return.
Are you prepared?

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Yeah, right.

Ring-- ring.  It was the spouse's cell, and since I had seen it in passing and knew where it was, I answered it.
"Dees ees Mechrosoft techneecal department.  May I spik to owner of the computer, plis?"
"You are calling from where?"
"Thees ees Mechrosoft; they heff techneecal department.  May I spik to owner of the computer, plis?"
"What computer?"
Click (from the caller)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Where's your stylebook? or your speller?

CBS Evening News.

Reader says  ...the Pope's pivotal role...

Banner in background, Picture of the Pope, underneath which, in block letters
Pivotal Roll

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Humbug Theology: Discouragement

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch.

  • Do you feel like a Grinch?
  • Do you think anyone would describe you as a Grinch?
  • Have you ever been called a Grinch?
Unhappy people
  1.  believe life is hard.
  2.  believe most people can't be trusted.
  3.  concentrate on what is wrong.
  4. harbor jealousies
  5. strive to control life.
  6. worry
  7. gossip and complain.
So, are you happy?

When we pray, do we spend a lot of time on problems and little time on praising?

Isaiah 9:2-4  Emmanuel: God with us.  How great things are when God is with us!

Have you ever felt gloomy, had a bad day; felt everything you do is a failure?  Christ wants to bring you out of darkness and into His glorious light.  To do something in your life that changes everything, you must rejoice.

Pick up and move on; our joy is in the Lord!

His light pierces every shadow of darkness

Isaiah tells us what joy looks like.  He compares it to harvest time.  The preparation and sowing is labor intensive; harvest means everything:  the labor is not in vain!  Rejoice

Joy is not in the struggle of sowing, but in the harvest.  Sow in tears, but reap in joy.

That thing robbing you of joy:  God will do a work in you.  You pray in tears, reap in joy.

Too, Isaiah compares joy to victory in battle, the dividing of plunder and rejoicing in conquest.

James said Consider it pure joy when you face trials.
  • Temptation attacks our weak spot, comes from the temptor, or from within.
  • Trials come to test strength, and to strengthen; from the Lord.
The joy of the Lord is our strength.  Hardships and struggle precede joy.

Advent:  celebration of Him whose coming brought light and joy to the world.  
Advent: points to His coming again.  He will reap the harvest of believers.  We are victors in Christ.

The question is:
Is everything good between you and the Lord?

"If you have no joy, there is a leak in your Christianity somewhere."
--Billy Sunday

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Friday, December 12, 2014

Culture in Fly Over Country

I believe I just heard this on the local news.  The Board of Directors of the Museum of Art just announced a new rate structure for admission.  Adult ticket goes from zero dollars to eighteen dollars.  Can that be right?  What is the percentage of increase? The mathematician would say that is undefined.  The sociologist should say it is unconscionable, effectively further limiting cultural opportunities for those who have the fewest such opportunities in the first place.

Or am I reading this all wrong?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Humbug Theology: It's All Good

Humbug Theology:  It's All Good

To the contrary, the Christmas season is a time of Chaos and Distress.
Isaiah 9  Christ is the Prince of Peace.  If we are to be like Him, we must have peace filling our lives.

Life is crazy.  The stress of the season takes over and fills every aspect of our lives.

Even in the church, Christmas often is not what it is meant to be.

Peace is defined by tranquility.  Shalom means to be well or whole.

All is well-- wherever Christ is Lord, there is peace.

"Christ not only prayed for peace, he bled for peace.  He paid for peace."--Thomas Watson

Peace is a gift we have failed to unwrap.  When you are overanxious, ask "Is He Lord of my life?"  When He sets up rule in your heart, there is peace.

Ask these three things.
  1. Is there peace between you and God?  (Colossians 1)
  2. Is there peace in your own heart? (2 Thessalonians 3)
  3. Is there peace with others?
Psalm 34:41 Seek Peace and pursue it.
We need to seek Christ, and pursue Him.

Lay aside everything, so that all may be well.  Thus with chaos all around we may respond "It is well."

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

(The congregation responded with singing "It is Well."  Very moving.)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Debate 101

Panelist:  I really don't understand why this issue is so controversial.

  • Just the sort of thing one wants to present in a discussion.  It is an expression of extreme arrogance.  If you don't agree with my opinion, then you are flat wrong.  Guaranteed to short-circuit any rational discussion.
As a point of interest, I agree with the position this individual was taking, but her statement is inappropriate in a debate.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Only the rich know that money can't buy happiness.--Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Rispetto, 2011

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Humbug Theology

Praise and Worship
The Message

Humbug Theology

The holiday season brings out the worst in us.  This is humbug theology.

When things are actually kind of exciting, sometimes things just do not go according to plan.

Outside we have it all together, but inside is like the Griswold's turkey.

The heart is a desperate place where hope lived before disappointment set in. It does not have to be that way!

The eighth chapter of Isaiah depicts doom and gloom, but chapter nine begins "Nevertheless."  A light has dawned!  There will be no more gloom.  Our hope is founded in the "nevertheless."

As we search the news, it is no wonder we suffer gloom and despair; it seems overwhelming.
When our expectations are not met we get discouraged.

The only hope: a glimpse of the Light of Christ.  The Light of the World will pierce the darkness and give hope.

The situation may not be all that important in the big scheme of things.  Hope in the Lord.  The situation is not final.

If you keep your eyes on Jesus you have nothing to worry about.  We win, if we remain faithful.

C.S Lewis said, "Hope is the continual looking forward into the eternal world."

God, the eternal God, has eternal plans, and you are in the midst.  "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose." --Romans 8:28 KJV

When you are discouraged, when you are in your darkest moment, remember
God is working!

Align your life with what God is doing, then there is hope.

"Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness."

Start now to battle against the humbug.  Focus on the Hope of Christ!

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Friday, November 28, 2014


The passionate person can be ruled by inflaming his passions.
The thinking person is a free person, and dangerous.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Blessings

Thanksgiving Day. A national holiday, a day set aside specifically for the purpose of reflecting on our blessings and expressing thanks to our Creator and Provider for the blessings we have.

Are we truly thankful? And should our thanks be expressed only on a designated day? Thankfulness is an attitude of the heart; to be thankful and to give thanks is a choice. We need to be in such a posture every day of our lives, come what may.

I find the phrase "give thanks" thirty-four times in the KJV. The phrase "praise the Lord" appears thirty-two times. Doesn't it seem that we are under a very powerful injunction to choose thankfulness and offer praise and thanksgiving?

Thankfulness is expressed by the words of the mouth and by the works of the hands. Be thankful: praise the Lord. Be thankful: help someone.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Bargain, Anyone?

Yeah, but I've had twice as long to have to feed myself, too.

Now, I take advantage of "senior discounts" (though as I have pointed out before, I am not fond of the euphemism).  Nevertheless, I rather admire this merchant's business model.  I think vendors should know the value of their goods and services and charge accordingly to each and all.  Coupons, loss leaders, come-ons, and twofers are definitely among some of my least favorite gimmicks in today's world.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

SoulShift: Consumer to Steward

We need to flip the pursuit of happiness upside down.

Philippians 4:10-20  We find that Paul, rejoicing and in thankfulness, is concerned not with what he could gain, but with that he could give.  Paul related so well to the church at Philippi because a spirit of giving was in its nature.

What is in your nature?  Are you about getting, or giving?  Are you consumer or steward?


  • What's in it for me?
  • Never satisfied.
  • Live by "checks and balances" ideal.
  • Will only give out of abundance.
  • Lack inner fulfillment.  In relationships, suck life out of others.
  • Have sense of entitlement.
  • I'm in it for Him; how can I serve?
  • Content with circumstances.  "I have Christ; I have enough."
  • Thankful for what they have.
  • Wise and honest in their business dealings.
  • Faithful in tithing.
  • Generous with resources.  Use what they have to bless others.
Giving and Receiving
  • Poured out-- yet full.
  • Gratitude not for consuming, but for serving.
How content are you?

Words from John Wesley: "Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can."

A Thanksgiving Message
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Shift: Me to We

The scripture from Philippians 1:3-6, 27

Must find a balance between solitude and community.

Purpose of solitude: to build one's relationship with Christ, our identity is shaped an formed.

The ability to function in unity is dependent on the relationship built in solitude.

We must know who we are before we can contribute to community.

Solitude is absolutely important.  How much time do you spend alone with God?

Community:  personal relationships meeting together for partnership; a place of spiritual belonging, where you feel bonded together in love.

The characteristics of community:  love and unity.  An organization purporting to be community that has not both of these characteristics is not the real deal.

Solitude---------> Community-------------> Service.

Jesus, alone, prayed throughout the night.  In the morning  He called the disciples together.  In the afternoon He sent them forth to serve.

Unrealistic expectations: 1) Everyone should always get along, and 2) everyone should always agree.This DOES NOT define unity.

True unity is found when we submit to one another in service to Christ.  Ephesians 5:21

Forgive.  Celebrate Christ who brings us together.

Shift: Me to We.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday Morning
These few lines do not begin to represent the depth of the message as delivered.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Home Economics

"Hon, would you stop at the store and pick up a few items.  I don't really need to shop this week."

"Sure.  What do you need?"

"Pick up my 'script, get a half-gallon of whole mile, a packet of shredded mild cheddar, and a couple pounds of hamburger."

"Not a problem."

In the store.  Meds, check.  Cheese, check.  Milk, check.

Then to the beef counter.  Prices of hamburger range from $5.49 to $8.99?  You cannot be serious. Serious as death, and that may come sooner rather than later if these grocery prices keep escalating at the current rate.  Yikes!

I drove to the meat market where their 92% ground chuck was $5.99, exactly one dollar the pound more than those beautiful center-cut pork chops.  But I am faithful, and reliable.  So I bought three pounds, or $17.97 worth of hamburger and went on home.

Probably a fortuitous experience.  Perhaps need to find some way to infuse a bit more cash into the grocery budget.  But really, rob Peter to pay Paul?  Gotta eat.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Lifetime Renter

Herkimer and Matilda Bitterman have lived next door since they married fifteen years ago.  Herk and Tildy are good neighbors, keep the place up nicely, and don’t bother me unduly.  Herk will borrow a tool now and again, but he always returns the item by and by.  The Bittermans rent the house from Herk’s father.  Now the elder Mr. Bitterman, “Bitty” to his friends, is married to Herk’s high school classmate, Lyla.

Six years ago when Bitty told his son he was going to marry Lyla, Herk said, “Dad! What are you thinking?” 

“That,” replied his father, “is none of your business.”

And that was so.

I once asked Herk why he rented.  Wouldn’t his dad sell him the house, I wondered.

“Here’s the deal.  Dad has the monthly income from the rent.  Part of his retirement package, you see.  If I bought the house, Lyla would go through the money in a week.  Then where’s his income?”

“Your dad could sell it to you on contract.”

“True.  But it would pay out eventually, income stops.”

“But your father is surely going to pass before Lyla does.  Then she’ll get the house, and you will be out of luck.”

“Not at all.  Dad’s will specifically conveys the house to me and Tildy.  Lyla gets the house where 
 they live and the IRA.”  Works for everyone.”

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Grammar Policeman Arrests Self

Filling the gas tank, cold rain and wind blowing.  Glanced across the street.  New message on the sign at the corner of our restaurant. (I call it "our restaurant" because we typically eat there twice a week.)  Egregious grammatical error.  I reach for the camera.  "Ha," I think, "I'll post that."

Nobody likes a smart-aleck.  And everybody despises a pedantic smart-aleck.

I am trying to be more tolerant, more loving; less critical, less pedantic.

And in this endeavor, less is more.

Ouch! Just sprained my arm patting myself on the back.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Herkimer Bitterman stopped by his dad's house to drop off his rent check.  Dad invited him in, so they were sitting at the kitchen table having coffee.  Herk's stepmother, Lyla, came in, "Hi, Herky! So are you going to our twentieth class reunion on Saturday?"

"Are you?"

"Sure.  I wouldn't miss it for the world."

"Then no," said Herkimer.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Shift: Self to Others

Paul's letter to the Phillipians, 2:19

  • Moxie is completing whatever you started..
Paul, a strong spiritual mentor.
Paul's moxie to serve God:  Relentless
Paul's every action was motivated by his service to God.
  • Three types of people
Goats.  Stinky, nasty, noisy, annoying; reluctant to make changes; sour, self-focussed.  They taint the air with their disgusting mean attitude.

Sheep.  Look a lot like goats.  Are struggling with their desires vs. what God wants them to be.  Need direction.

Shepherds.  Live among the sheep; lead, protect.  A shepherd smells like the sheep.
The shepherd is available; the shepherd is trustworthy.
The shepherd is a mentor; the shepherd has moxie, long-term commitment.

God is calling us to be shepherds, to care for others.
  • Shift: From what you need to what others need.
A shepherd has a flock.  No sheep: no shepherd.

Who is your flock?

Pastor Joe Deckard
Sunday morning

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Just Kidding

She:  Would you like a dish of these strawberries?
I:  I'll save mine for my nine o'clock ice cream.
She:  If I ate ice cream like you do, I'd weigh 500 pounds.

That evoked an image.  Oh, yeah/no.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Everyone is an Expert

So many things today rubbed against the grain.  Scarred the surface? No! Ate deep into my brain,  A rant?  You don’t want to read it  Certain sure that you don’t need it.  Upset with everything, this mental midget.  I’m sure you’d label me an idjit if I spouted off here.  But it would be sincere.

The pony in the pile: The laundry is folded, the bed is newly made, fresh linens, and I have only to wait for bedtime!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I have a 6 x 9 spiral notebook with a rather attractive multicolored cover which I pressed into service as an address book many years ago.  Many, many years ago.  This is my personal address book featuring friends, family and acquaintances, all people whom I thought enough of to preserve their addresses for quick and easy access.  (Yes, it is more efficient than digital address books.  Not open to debate.)

As time passed, I found myself marking various names thusly: /DEC, sometimes followed by a date.  In this manner I have kept track of those close f, f, and a who have preceded me in death.  I was addressing an envelope a few days ago, and on a whim I thumbed through the pages and counted the /DEC notations.  41 names so marked.  41 people I cared enough about to enter in my collection of personal friends.

Mortality: It's for everyone!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

He Chose You

Scripture: Philippians 3:4-16

You have one task:  Keep your eyes on Jesus.

We were in a place we've no business to be; He took hold of us.

He has called us Heavenward.  We are to live up to what we have already attained.

We no longer live as slaves to sin and death, but as joint-heirs with Jesus!

The Shift:  From slave to child.

He chose you; He is not stuck with you.
(nt: think adoptive parent choosing the child)

You can be redeemed!

A reminder of how special you are.

Now, don't gloat.

Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Work, Work, Work

Worked my way through school.
Worked my way through parenthood.
Working my way through senility.
I guess there shall always be work.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

DIY: Or, What I Learned

and What the Next Generation Learned

1950s:  Never hire anything done that you can do for yourself.

2000s:  Never do anything yourself that you can hire someone to do.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Are You Listening?

"Everyone wants to be heard;
no one wants to listen.

"We want a God who answers prayer,
but Who requires very little of us.

"The more you fall in love with God
the more you will want to hear what He has to say.

"God is not Google.  You don't approach Him with questions, but if you will listen you will gain wisdom and discernment."

--Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday Morning 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"The punters know that the horse named Morality rarely gets past the post, whereas the nag named Self-interest always runs a good race." ~Gough Whitlam, writing in the London Daily Telegraph on October 19, 1989.

 Australia's 21st Prime Minister, Edward Gough Whitlam,
 11 July 1916 - 21 Oct 2014 RIP

From Leah's Golden Thoughts

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Dateline Indianapolis
News at Six

Reader:  The superintendent said the cellphone policy change was necessary because parents need to be able to contact their children.

Me:  Bull oney.  I taught school for thirty-one years, and so far as I know there was never a student who had a telephone with him.

I suppose that might have been Dick Tracy in the back row holding his wrist to his ear.  Doubt it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Shopping for Sundries

Little grey-haired lady, five foot nothing, in front of me at the checkout.  Writes a check while the clerk is ringing up the goods.

"Thirty-nine eighty-nine."  The woman completes the check, and as she hands it to the clerk she observes that "It is going to be seventy-five today!"

"Who's seventy-five?"  LGL looks puzzled.  I interject.

"The temperature.  The temperature is going to be seventy-five today."  Then I go on, "Some of us wish we were seventy-five again."

LGL turns to look at me, smiles, and nods her head.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

And the Beat Goes On

More "smart phone" antics.

Mrs. W's smart phone has taken to rapping.  No, not that kind of rapping, but rather the kind Poe observed in "The Raven."

"Knoknoknok."  Seriously.  For no discernible reason.

She fusses with it for, oh, a long time. (Remember the "time saving" mantra when computers were being foisted on introduced to us?)  And then she called tech assistance, who, long conversation reveals, knows no more than she does.  She lays phone on table and goes about other more pressing business.

The dog is lying on his rug.  "Knoknoknok."

Dog jumps up, "Barkbarkbark!"  Which is his normal response to someone at the door.

"Growl!"  Which is my response to this whole business.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Whilst sitting at the computer attempting to work up a blog post, Mrs. W is sitting across the room with her "smart phone."  I hear

"Say again.  I did not understand."  A few seconds, then

"Say again.  I did not understand."  Then Mrs. W's voice

"Shut yourself off.  I don't want to talk to you now."


The woman is not only talking to a device, she is having a conversation with the blinking thing.

Oh, dear.  Perhaps this responsive thing is the reason she is recently paying more attention to it than she is to me?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cryin' in Their Beer

I have heard that incensed fans who paid bucks to attend the Toby Keith show the other evening want their money back.  Want their money back?  They are surprised that a man whose repertoire consists largely of songs in praise of the joys of booze is too drunk to properly perform his songs?

If you are one of those fans, shut up, already.  You got what you paid for.

Caveat emptor.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sadly, This is for Real

Saginaw, Michigan

Pay your last respects from the convenience of your car.
Drive-thru viewing of the dearly departed.

Nothing says me, me, me like a pretend-visit to a funeral home.
"I am still here, and you are not.  Nanner, nanner."  *Vroom*

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hop on Soda

Mrs. Warr and I were finishing our supper, a nice bowl of chili.  I got up to get a cuppa.  She said, "Could you get me a soda, please?"

I reached into the cabinet, set the bicarbonate box next to her bowl on the table.  I said, "You'll want a glass of water to take that with?"

I was being totally sincere and trying to assist her digestive process.  She accused me of being a smart-aleck.  "You knew," she stated inaccurately and incorrectly, "that I wanted a root beer."

She did not ask for a root beer.  She asked for what she got: soda.

[Small differences in cultural backgrounds make huge differences in communication.  I have never referred to pop as "soda."  And conversely, . . . ]

Thursday, September 4, 2014

< 16

Seems our senators, who have nothing better to do, are debating the issue of whether or not to call for a name change of the Washington Red Skins.

Only sixteen of the senators have come out specifically stating that they think it none of Congress's business.  This might lead one to believe that there are sixteen senators intelligent enough to represent the people in Congress, until, that is, one looks at some of their stances on other topics, which narrows the field considerably.

Conclusion: The number of capable senators < 16.

(And when did it become the purview of the government to name businesses in the private sector?)

Monday, August 25, 2014


Earlier this month we went to Ouabache State Park.  Many, nay most of our cohorts insist upon and persist in pronouncing the name "Oh-botch-ee," which of course, is incorrect.  I am about to give up, though, for no matter how many times I say the name correctly, or point out the error of their ways, they keep it up.

It is pronounced "Wah-bash," just as you would say if it were written "Wabash."  Guess my friends are Francophobes, or something.

You do know that Ouagadougou is the capital of Berkina Faso.
What? You didn’t know there was a country called Berkina Faso?

(Why did I insert that in this post?  1) Because Ouagadougou is also of French derivation and the "Oua" is pronounced as it is in Ouabache; and 2) For your edification.  You have learned a geography fact of which you were unaware, haven't you?)

Ouagadougou is pronounced, roughly, "Wah ga da ga."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

We All Have a Condition

The recall notice from GM says, "Your vehicle has a condition in which the transmission cable may fracture.  When the fracture occurs,. . ."  followed by possible dire outcomes.

Now the thing that got my attention was that the letter says, "When. . .".  It does not say "if."  Seems to be a strong element of certainty there, right?  Then they tell me "PARTS ARE NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE.  When parts become available. . ."

No certainty there, is there?  The parts will, at some unspecified and uncertain time magically "become available"?

Image result for 2007 g6 gtI have another recall letter regarding an entirely different issue on the same vehicle, same story.  I received it two months ago.  Haven't heard anything further on that one, either.

Just for smiles, imagine, if you will, all the millions of vehicles which have "a condition" encountering the "when" simultaneously all over this land.

Monday, August 18, 2014

All Thumbs

Just saw the Pure Talk commercial in which the mother takes away kid's cell phone, has him hold out his hands, and breaks his thumbs off.  And I guffawed.

Never better solution have I seen to the endemic problem of our society.  The opposable thumb brought us our civilization; it has now destroyed it.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Noise, anyway.

We used to have hymnals, an organist and a pianist.  The congregation sang in four-part harmony.
Now we have overhead projectors, words, no music on screen; guitarists, drummer.  The congregation sings in 200-part disharmony.

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord."

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cooking Lesson

"Do you like eggplant?"

"I. . ."

"Listen to this.  Slice eggplant into one-and-a-half inch thick slices."

"Slice it parallel to its equator, or parallel to its polar axis?"

"Slice eggplant into one-and-a-half inch thick slices.  Salt each slice on each side, set aside and allow them to weep for thirty minutes."

"It's making me cry, just thinking about it."

"In a one-and one-half quart saucepan,"  and here she starts to list ingredients.  Tomatoes, basil, cheeses, and I say,

"Aha! The cover-up.  Disguise the taste of the vegetable!"

She continues with the entire rigamarole, ultimately "covering the slices with the sauce."

"And that," I say, "is eggplant parmesan.  If you'd cover five slices of white bread with the same sauce, they would taste the same."

She keeps insisting that I should take an interest in cooking, learn a thing or two, "in the event that something happens to me and you have to take care of yourself."  Well, it's the thought that counts; and it is a loving thought.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

summer afternoon; and evening

rain falls in buckets
 that’s not right, it’s bucketsful
and a whole lot more

JD Tuesday night
Oldsters eat for two-thirds price
Count me; I’m hungry.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


The Fisker Karma stopped right beside me at the red light.  My mode of transportation, a $79 bicycle, his a $100,000+ electric hybrid automobile.  Same red light, same wait.  But then, in all honesty, when the light changed, I was looking at his rear end two blocks down the street before I had gone 100 yards.

So why do I mention this?  Because I am envious?  Not in the least; but because it is the first time I had seen an actual Finnish electric auto in our town.  Pretty thing, I'll give them that.

Here is a picture and further info if you have not seen one.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Love in the Second-degree

Her parents died, first her mother, then two years later, her father.  Shortly after Father passed, she came home from a three-day visit with her sister, only to find her husband's personal items gone, he nowhere to be found.  But he did leave a note, "I want the divorce."

A few days, she tracked him down and confronted him.  "Thirty-two years of marriage and three children, and now this. Why?"

His response?  "I loved your parents so much that I married you.  Now that they are gone, there is no reason for us to stay together."

btw, true story, pretty much.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Customer Service

Very colorful item, eye-catching, one might say. 50-foot hose, accordions to 32 inches!  The old kinky hose needs replacement anyway.

Bought the thing, took it home.  Unpacked, hooked it up, and before I could actually spray my flowers, the fitting on the male end popped right out of the hose.  I'm not big on repairing new products before I can use them.  Back to the store.

"What's wrong with it?"

"The fitting popped out the end of the hose."

The lady pulls the package open, grabs the fitting in one hand, hose in the other, and, as I told her, it slipped right out.  She jammed it back in, closed the packaging.  As she is getting my refund cash from the register, I hear her, almost muttering, "There is nothing wrong with it."

"Okay," I said, "put me down as dissatisfied customer."

"All I care about is that it is okay.  I can sell it to somebody else."
There you go, I think.  Create another dissatisfied customer.  I took my money without giving her the well-deserved ethics lesson, for after all, I just wanted my money back.

Monday, July 21, 2014


So nobody figured out that if we let the deconstructionists take over, everything falls apart.
--Church Curmudgeon

Exactly so. 1) If we let the deconstructionists take over, everything falls apart.
2) Nobody has figured this out. Except for me and the Curmudgeon. Come on, Folks. Get on board.
Too, I mean this generally, whether we are speaking of literature, history, philosophy, you name it. A pox on it, and on its twin, postmodernism.

There are absolutes. Like it or not.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Buggy Buggy Ride

I had forgotten some of the pleasures of a Summer Evening drive in Hoosierland.  You know-- the corn towering so high on both sides the road, creating a green tunnel through which one hurtles toward the destination.  The glare of the sunlight through the windshield as the sun lowers directly to the driver's eye level.  The bugs.  Oh, the kabillion bugs confronting the vehicle, yet, as the spouse says, "they won't have the guts to do that again."  But their legions of comrades will.

So, on the two hour drive home last night, I stopped twice to wash and clean the windshield.  Yes, indeed.  One had best have towels and water, and detergent, too.  Arrived safely home, parked in the driveway.  Tired.  Went in, flopped to rest a bit.  Ten minutes before dark, back to the car, wash water and terry towel.  Clean those things off, for tomorrow they will have embedded themselves more or less permanently into the finish.

The joys of evening drives in the Hoosierland summer.

Monday, July 14, 2014

People Watching, Episode #?

The couple, mid-forties, walked into the restaurant, he in blue jeans, she in a pretty summer frock, each with a ponytail.  His, brown, tied below the baseball cap, hung just past the shoulders; hers, a striking blond, loosely tied at the nape, hung two inches below her knees.

We having all finished our repast at about the same time, they paid at the register just ahead of me.  As I stepped up to pay, I noted the cashier's eyes, big as saucers, followed the mane as it walked out.

"Wonder how much that weighs?" I ventured.

"I was wondering how on earth she washes it," replied the girl.

Monday, June 30, 2014


Redding up in the kitchen after lunch, listening to the last clip of the noon news.  Reader says, words to this effect, A recent survey of people, largely "Millennials,"  asked the participants to rate the importance of their smart phones in their lives.

Many said the smart phone was more important to them than was their toothbrush.
Deodorant came in a distant also-ran to some folks' smart phones.
Most said they could not survive twenty-four hours without their phone.
Several said they would give up chocolate and alcohol in exchange for the return of their phone if it were held for ransom.

My thoughts?  Jesus referred to the religious leaders of his day as "a generation of vipers."  Much less innocuous, perhaps, but I think I am living amongst a generation of idiots.

Look.  Technology has its valid uses, but no one should become a slave to it.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Social interactions


"We can disagree and still be friends."

"Yes, I disagree with much that you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"


"We can disagree and still be friends."

"No we can't.  If you don't agree with me, get stuffed."

Sunday, June 15, 2014

That's my take

Running around on 1.76 acres of grass for ninety minutes is great exercise.  For the participants. As a spectator sport: pathetic.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


I received a letter yesterday from my primary care physician announcing that she has joined a medical group practicing solely within her specialty.  This means she will no longer see her patients for whom she has served as gp.  My records will be transferred to a practice conducted by an individual of whom I have never heard.  Of course, I have the option to select another provider.

Since I had visualized our relationship continuing until she signed my death certificate a couple of decades in the future, my first thought was that I had been "fired."

I am so selfish.  It is not about me.  It is a choice she is making for her benefit, as well as for the benefit of those who will need her services in her area of specialization.  Too, I recognize that she is considerably older now than I was when I laid aside my work entirely.  She is entitled to retire, should she so choose, and certainly she is entitled to lighten her terribly heavy work load.  It is a credit to her love for the community that she has chosen to continue practicing at all.

I wish you well, Dr. Mary.  

Now to find a doctor.  Anyone know a good geriatrician?

Monday, May 26, 2014


Once in a great while, one gleans something from tv that is worthwhile.  Case in point, a line from a "Criminal Minds" rerun expresses my sentiments exactly:
Progress is a wonderful thing; it has just gone on too long.
I am not a Luddite, have no urge to smash things with a sledge hammer.  Usually.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ford Ain't What She Used to Be

Mrs. W and I bought a car.  It takes two days to buy a car.  Yes, it does.  It may take much longer than that to learn to use it, even though those days included a session with a computer techie, in-car instruction, which of course I didn't remember by the time the tires were rolling along the pavement.

So, they sent us home with Owner's and User's manuals totaling 556 pages, plus a twelve-page "quick guide."  And.  And a web address where further information and instruction may be obtained. Seriously?  Yes, it is true.

I haven't read a 556 page book since Michener died.

All I really wanted was a reliable carriage with four wheels and luggage space sufficient to haul a few groceries for the spouse to drive to and from the market.

We didn't buy a car, we bought a computer with speakers, and lights, and bells and whistles.  And I am notoriously inept with that technology.

But I suspect the Missus will soon enough be rolling merrily along, chatting with her new vehicle!  Of course it talks.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Digital World Goes Around the Bend

Retro iPhone with Rotary Dial

$0.99 iPhone App Creates A Working Old-Fashioned Rotary Dial Phone on Your iPhone.

Yet another example of what goes around comes around.  And around, and around.

Children and their toys.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Small Town Churches

Visiting a small town today, driving around enjoying the ambience of small-town life.  We passed a nice building, "Ford Street United Methodist Church."  Up and down a few streets, admiring the architecture and so forth, presently passed a large, old stone building, a few blocks away from the aforementioned building.  This one, "Trinity United Methodist Church."

"Man," I said, "it looks like the Methodists own this town!"

"Probably there was a split over the color of the carpet," said Mrs. Warr.

Laughter from both occupants of the car.  But upon reflection, one has to conclude that that might not be funny.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014

I came very close to failure to mark Earth Day.  Laundry (clean the clothes, put the phosphates in the water) vacuum and dust (burn some coal to power the cleaner) and other activities in support of my life style had kept me occupied.  But now having a moment to check the funnies... the last remaining bastion of truth in our day, I stumbled upon this, which reminded me that it is Earth Day!

Do good; stay clean; and don't kill any moat monsters, even if they are not endangered.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

The big city may boast of its bright lights, its sophistication, its busy-ness; the city that never sleeps.

We may live in "fly-over country:" scarcely noticed,
seldom respected.  But who makes the food for the city?

How cool is it that I live in a place where the local
newspaper publishes good news:  the true Good News,
the Gospel of Jesus!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Some New

Yard Decor.

In recognition of our amphibian friends.  What do you think, Lin.  Is it too tacky?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Life's Little Disappointments

Next-door neighbor left his garden hose reel between our houses, hose strung out twenty feet, still attached to the bib:  left it there all winter.  Hard winter it was, too.  Surely a man, busy as he might be, could have found a few minutes to drain and roll up the hose before the big freeze.  No.  Surely his hose will burst, will leak in many places come Spring.

Nope.  He turned the hose on the other day to water his new tree. Not a problem  Not a leak.

One of life's little disappointments.
For me, I mean.

Oh, and taxes.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Man Walked into a Bar

That is usually the way it works.  But the measure of the man is in how, or if, he walks out of the bar.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Now. It is Spring.

Today the first full blossom in the yard this Spring!  As usual, I go all wow! jeeping-wilkers! as though it is some sort of miracle.

It is a miracle!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Another "Entertainment" Crock

As a rule I despise, well, okay, dislike awards programs on the tv.  I have a lot of good reasons, not the least of which is they are self-congratulatory puff pieces, signifying nothing.  And they go on, and on, and on.

So in spite of this knowledge, I watched the opening scenes of the ACM awards program this evening. And here is another really good reason to dislike the stuff.  The writers put together a string of really snarky "jokes" wherein famous "artists" or others are the butt of the joke, then get a star of the stature (now diminished) of a Blake Shelton to read them on stage and before the camera.  Nasty.

Someone needs some "sensitivity training" wherein they are taught the difference between light-hearted good fun and the truly despicable.

Or maybe that's just me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Why, you ask, do we not compost?  Oh, but we do  It is a community effort, you see.

This week's efforts in the yard

From the yard to the municipal compost pile, in return for which I may replenish the soil in the garden with "processed" material from past years.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Next: Technology Replaces People

A few days ago over on String Too Short to Tie I was on a rant about the video review of referee calls in NCAA basketball.

Now it is major league baseball.  And today, opening day 2014, the first on-the-field ruling has been overturned on video review.  Said review being made in a suite in New York City, hundreds of miles from the scene of the action.

It is wrong for the same reasons I cited in the basketball screed.  But, oh, well.  It is baseball.  So what if there is a two-minute, or seven-minute, or forty-minute delay, for that matter.  Baseball is brief seconds of intense excitement separated from the next such burst by aeons of inaction, anyway.

Reckon the "reviewers" check the line with Las Vegas before conveying the ruling back to the field? Nah, never happen.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Hard Sell. No, Thanks.

Value City Furniture has restyled itself VCF.  I see no problem with this.  They are reshaping their business model, aiming at a new demographic, very possibly.  Like the shark, keep moving or suffocate.  What I do have a problem with is the loudmouth huckster they have put on the toob to promote them.  I snap the set OFF when he comes on.  No kidding.  It makes me want to throw the saltcellar through the screen.  But I settle for turning the set off.  

People hire folks to burnish their image, then shoot themselves in the foot. 
 I not only don’t wish VCF well, I wish them  ill.  And I hate myself when I get that way.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

More on Aging

"There is another thing that happens when one gets old. He muddles in nostalgia and wonders what might have been. Or even what was".  -- vanilla, 4/24/12

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

If A and B, then A and B

No longer do thieves merely skulk at night, but now, they openly rob in broad daylight.

What am I implying?  Nothing.  The statement is simply a fact of life.  The picture is a pretty snapshot I made this morning on the way home from town.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday Ramblings

Well, I suppose after all the fussing and back-biting there will one day be a vote, and the President will get his ten dollar and ten cent "minimum wage."

Then the people at the entry level, or at the bottom of the totem pole will get a boost of something over 33 percent in their wages.  Don't require me to do the math, that is close enough for this diatribe.

Then the people at the next level up will need to get a one-third increase in their wages, I mean we can't work for what the newbies get, we've been here and worked our way up.

Then the people at the next level.  Well, you see where this is going.

Then the manufacturers and merchants will have to raise their prices for reasons too obvious for us to go into.

I am no economist, but I think this is termed "inflation."  Everybody is no better off.

Oh, the government's coffers will swell.

Isn't that swell?

Then where do I get my 33% increase in income?  Oh, my social security check may increase one or two percent.  It usually does.  This year it went up almost enough to cover the increase in the Medicare premium.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

'Snoo in Perfect?

"Good King Wenceslaus
looked out on his feets uneven.
There the snoo lay round about
all kerchoo achievin'."

"What's snoo?"*

Another coat of white applied to the mountains
of snow that surround us.  Everything is pristine,
white and cold.

*Walt Kelly for the Perloo Society

Friday, February 14, 2014

This Page

This sort of thing doesn't literally drive me crazy.  But it reminds me that I am dealing with people whose competence is suspect.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


February 13-- At 2:24 P.M. today, the heat pump kicked on!  The heat pump does not operate unless the ambient air temperature is 32o or above.  This is the first time it has run since February 1.

Fortunately the gas company has supplied us with the wherewithal to keep warm.

Icicles form on the eaves as the snow on the roof melts.

High tomorrow: 22o.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Next Year

I’ve no record book or almanac in front of me, but how many times have we heard all the ballyhoo and bushwa about the “superbowl” only to observe on the first Sunday of February that one or the other of the teams fails to show up?

Friday, January 31, 2014

Just Like You

A phrase I hear often in advertising, "for people just like you,"  or alternatively, "millions of people just like you."  Stop it.  Right now.

I may be insanely jealous of my own identity, but this makes me furious.  I want to break something.

There. Is. No. One. Else. Just. Like. Me.

Shut up.

Monday, January 27, 2014


The idea that all men are created equal loses everything if you believe that men were not created.  --The Church Curmudgeon

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Not So Good

Our leader has now stated that, in his opinion, marijuana is no worse than alcohol. 773H, that's hard to dispute, but does that make it a good thing to add mary jane to john barleycorn?  There's a marriage bound to produce undesirable offspring.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Under the Bus

I looked under the bus, and he is right.  Everyone, except you and me, and the guy hollering, "He threw X under the bus," is under the bus.  Oh, wait.  Is that you I see under there, too?

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Got out for the first time in six days.  Roads not good, but made it to town.  Went into the bank.  One teller, with a customer.  Next customer waiting turns, looks at me as I enter queue.  "Are you still alive?"  he asks, with obvious amazement.

Yeah, that's a cheery greeting.  I mean, I understand that thirty years ago when I was his principal he no doubt thought I was ancient then.  So no surprise that he was surprised.

But a "I thought you died years ago" is not a great start to one's day.

Forty-something Clod: 1
Old Guy: 0

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Years Day at the Bittermans

Tildy told Herkimer that any Christmas goodies left after today would be thrown in the trash.

Then she ate all the chocolate fudge.