Independence Day

My Flag Flies Every Day

On this prestigious day please play safe, and remember what the day commemorates, Independence for all. The men who signed the Declaration of Independence put themselves on the line for the new country. Had they failed to defeat Britain all of them would have been executed. Instead we have the strongest country in the world. Because of our strength, all other countries who wish to knock us off the pedestal are friendly enemies (is there such thing)? China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, are just a few of them with goals to defeat America and Capitalism.

Independence Day also celebrates the birthday of our country. We are now two hundred and forty-four years old as a nation.

Happy Birthday America

Who Is Next?

While watching the riots around the country last week I wondered how long it would be before the creeps began to pick on George Washington. Well, yesterday I saw an article that showed poor bronze George laying laying face down wondering what the hell happened. I am wondering the same thing. There is nothing that divides a country more then civil strife. I often declare myself a bigot, and a racist, but I live with black neighbors as well as brown and yellow. These people are fine people. All they want is to live in peace, raise their families and to have a good life, they are okay, or at least they appear to be. Frankfort is a magnet for minority families because of the fine reputation of our schools. They come here to give their kids the same chance as I gave mine. They don’t want their kids hooked on drugs, nor recruited into gangs. Yet, Frankfort has both of these problems within the boundaries. My own grand daughters told me exactly where they could go within the school to get drugs. It was a different place for different desires. I read the police blotter in the locals and the number one reason for being pulled over is to examine for drugs. Lately there has been an explosion of burgled cars and homes. I can only reason that these thieves are feeding habits. The number one house that gets robbed is one with doors unlocked, the same for cars. Stolen cars are easy pickings when the owners leave them unlocked with the keys in the console.

What we haven’t seen yet in our town is unpeaceful protesting, rioting, and looting. These activities seem to be organized by political groups mostly leftist or communist for the purpose of creating division between peoples. These are ruthless criminal types that will betray their country for money. Many are highly educated and brainwashed into leftist thinking that they have it bad. Never do these people listen to logic nor understand statistics about how more black lives are lost within their own community perpetrated by blacks. Black lives don’t really matter if it is a black killing a black.

Blacks are progressing in this country. Although because I, a white man has said it they will disagree. There have been myriads of laws passed dictating that blacks are equal to whites, trillions of dollars have been spent to make their lives better, and it has done so, but they don’t think it is enough, they want reparation too. This rioting and protesting will only end when the entire country is communist, poor, and starving. In other words, never. We will never succumb to communism peacefully.

This week I heard the term “Juneteenth” for the first time. The word is completely strange to me, but since that first time it is a ll I’ve heard. Evidently, it is a term used to commemorate freedom from slavery. Southern states have been celebrating this day, but not in my half of the country. There is now a movement to make Juneteenth a National Holiday. I suppose the day will rival the National Holiday of July fourth with picnics and concerts on the National Mall, fireworks, parades, and time off from work.  Hell, if we celebrate more and more none of us will have any time to work for a living. Life will be more acceptable if we didn’t have to work. What an awful four letter word work is.

Learning to Speak English

Being cooped up by the virus has pointed many of us to learn something new. I suggest we all use this time to unravel the mystery of the English language.
Subject: HOW does one learn English as a 2nd language?
Ode to The English Plural
We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?
Then one may be that, and there would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!
Let’s face it – English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren’t invented in England.
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes, we find that
  • quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and
  • a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
  • And why is it that writers write, but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?
  • Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?
  • If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
  • If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?
  • If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
  • Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
  • should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
  • In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
  • We ship by truck but send cargo by ship…
  • We have noses that run and feet that smell.
  • We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
  • And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
  • while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
  • You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a languagel”
  • in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
  • in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and
  • in which an alarm goes off by going on.
And in closing, if Father is Dad, how come Mother is not Mad

Day 61-SIP-KETO Be Damned

After two days of intense rain we have sunshine again. The wetland behind my house looks like a swamp, filled to the edge of my yard with water. The geese honk on a continuum, probably warning other geese to keep their distance. I haven’t seen any sign of babies yet, but I know they are there. My Mallard ducks are not in the pond, but I know they are close by. Yesterday, I watched the male sitting comfortably in a growth of sedum in the pouring rain with water running off its feathers like they were made from silicone. He was happy. I never saw his mate, but she may have been sheltering her clutch from the pouring rain.

I spent most of the day writing and watching videos. Later I descended into my shop and worked on intarsia. This project is turning out fairly well. It is the fastest I ever completed a piece, one week from pattern to production. Today, I will embellish it to make it uniquely mine.

The virus noise has changed its frequency and now smacks of how people are violating all the government recommended protocols for maximizing safety. For us in the Chicago area it was easy yesterday, because of the rain, but I sense a relaxation all around me. Traffic is heavier, there are more people walking the paths, more bicycles, more picnicking, more people shopping, as compared to a couple of weeks ago when we were still in full hunker. I will say one thing though, almost everyone wears a mask when in a building like a grocery store.

My phone went through an automatic update a week ago and I now have new feature on my weather program. I get a daily update of the latest COVIAD-19 confirmed cases. The very first report I saw showed 47 confirmed, and I was pleased that it was low. Then everyday since, the number has grown to a peak of 147 confirmed in a single day, and today it dropped again to 76. This tells me as I suspected all along that we are lagging New York and our epidemic is still on the rise. This is not the time to let our guard down. On the other hand, our businesses are really feeling it. Our little town has lost three businesses permanently. Thankfully, the sit down restaurants repurposed themselves into carry out places and are doing some business.

Last Friday, I treated myself to a restaurant meal. I dumped my KETO diet in favor of a good old fashioned Italian meal, chicken parmegian with mostacolli, topped off with the restaurant’s signature banana cream pie. KETO be damned, I needed that. Today, I am back on the regimen of low carbs, fat and protein. Since I haven’t lost any weight lately, I found a ketosis meter and test strips to see if I am really on a true KETO diet. My numbers so far have been .3 and .8 just barely in the range. Just like people relaxing the COVID-19 protocols, I have fallen off the KETO protocols. It is sad because I slowed to a crawl just five pounds short of my goal.

It is time for me to sneak off to the grocery store for the final ingredient in my mother’s recipe for stuffed cabbage, then the day turns into Cooking for Joe. I wish I had the sense to video my cooking, everyone could see how sloppy I am. Maybe that would be the title of my cooking videos “Cooking Sloppy With Joe.”

Day 60-SIP-Blogs, VLOGS, Videos, and Podcasts

As part of my routine of killing time everyday while in place and hiding from COVID-19, I listen to a lot of radio through my hearing aids. I have a blue tooth pendant that hangs around my neck that connects my iPhone to the hearing aids. Hell, I spent a fortune on that phone so I am going to get some use out of it, the same with the hearing aids. The system also feeds TV into my ears, and of course the telephone, i.e. if the connections are all made. What are the connections you ask? Number one the bluetooth pendant has to be charged and turned on, then it must be paired with the phone, once that is done I have to connect the phone to my hearing aids. It only took me two years of trial and error to understand and make all those connections. It all takes but 10 seconds to accomplish. Old folks don’t adapt too fast to these new fangled contraptions.

Another time waster is watching Youtube videos. My grand daughter kind of pointed me to that when I asked her what her favorite TV show was. Her response, “I don’t watch TV.”

“How do you find entertainment,” I asked?

“I watch Youtube videos.” That is what pushed me into watching Youtube. At first it was to learn how to cook. I found that if a recipe exists there will be any number of chefs making videos on how to combine the ingredients. I have gotten so spoiled watching cooking videos that now before I attempt to do anything I will search Youtube and watch other people do it. Some are fantastic entertainment and some are so so. What I’m learning about with this is that: 1. people make videos in the hope of making money, and 2. people would rather learn by watching than by reading and understanding a recipe.

Oma is a carbon copy of my mother.

Another thing I have become acquainted with through streaming are Podcasts. When my favorite radio programs are over and I am still in my shop grinding wood or glueing, I listen to Podcasts. First I found Fox News Channel with all my favorite people, and discovered that they are not broadcasting live news they are streaming podcasts and turning conversation into something entertaining and also educational. A favorite is listening to Dana Perino and Chris Stirewalt discuss politics, or history.

A few months ago I was in conference with my financial advisor. He asked me how I spend my time now that Peg is gone. I told hm I was struggling trying to find suitable TV that was worth watching, but that I loved reality programs. He told me about how new companies like Amazon, Netflix, etc. are now doing original programming to compete with network broadcasters. So, I checked out what Amazon has. Since I already subscribe for their Prime shipping service I also get what is termed their streaming service. Streaming allows a person to tune in to a program at the moment you are ready to watch it. There is no need to remember to watch at a specific time. You find a program, and click watch and it happens on the spot. Needless to say, I got hooked on a several of their original programs and love watching TV this way. It allows me to turn on the set when I am ready to see something and to see it immediately.

If all of this sounds old to you remember I am old and it takes longer for this kind of stuff to register as useful. Long gone are the days when I was entertained by a floor model radio that had a speaker as large a pizza that I sat in front of with my ear glued to the sound. Those were the good old days. The good old days are different now, we sit in front of a huge color picture screen with high definition picture and stream material we never could have imagined before.

The use of these new technologies has inspired me to wonder if I shouldn’t be getting into making videos and/or podcasts. Grumpa Joes Place is my number one vehicle to spout off steam and to talk without actually speaking. I like writing because words seems to flow from my mind easier than does speech. One of my speech problems is that I always say the opposite of what I actually mean. If I want to tell you to use your right hand to do something, it will come out as use your left hand. Or, if I want to tell you the sky is blue it will come out the sky is grey. I have done this repeatedly for years and I believe it is some form of dyslexia. Anyway, I want to try videos and podcasting as a form of expression. At this point though, I don’t know my rectum from a hole in the ground.

One Idea I have for a podcast is to promote Lions. I would interview Lions Club Presidents and discuss what he does with his club to serve the community. With over 46,000 Lions clubs in the world I think I have some work to do. One curiosity leads me to compare club size to town population. In the nineteen eighties Frankfort population was 2500 residents, but the Lions had 130 members. Today, Frankfort population is near 20, 000 residents and the single Lions Club has seventy members. Why so? Take another example, the La Moille, IL Lions club has thirty members and a town population of 750. What are they doing that is so different from Frankfort? I think I could use that kind of information to make an interesting video for Lions all across the world.

My body clock is running down and I have a lot of work to do before the main spring finally reaches the end and stops ticking. This pursuit however, may make life more interesting along the way. What ever I do, I’ll give you a report on Grumpa Joes Place in the future.

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