Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Not only am I in a ” basket” (Thanks Hillary),  I’m in a mess.

I’ve been without the steadying hand of my wife, Pat for a couple of years now, so sometimes I get out of hand. (I do miss her daily)  I live with my loving daughter and my kind and generous  son-in-law in Houston.  All’s well and will be well, except, but, golly gee, this darn crazy political year has found us in opposing thought and on opposite sides.  They are younger with sharper minds and yes,  probably more intelligent than mine. Frankly going on age 87,  I can hardly remember the next word I want to use.  I can’t begin to compete with them  coherently.  My daughter insists that I no longer hold the political values that she remembers growing up with.  Plus I have been provided with an I-pad by them and my also loving son and daughter-in-law. That led to “facebook” where I have found a whole bunch of friends and relatives not seen in many years, and gobs of former students whom I fondly remember.  I taught Am. Government and did some coaching (Wrestling and Football, and for crying out loud, it can’t be too hard to know you stand for Old Glory and the National Anthem).  Anyway my friends are all over the place in this 2016 election, and I don’t really want to offend anyone.  Generally, I have tried to avoid commenting on politics and religion.  (A former student posted recently [Jesus is Coming. I hope he gets here before the election].  Count me in on that one.) I’m not void of thought, but that has been why I have avoided political comments.  I notice a few more creeping in though.

Please let me feel a little bit good about myself to my daughter and yesteryear students.  I may have been successful or unsuccessful, that’s for others to decide, but I never intended to tell anyone what to think but that you should think and why you should think and to get involved in the process.  I think I may have had some success, dear disappointed daughter and  confused students who would have perhaps thought my personal election choices would be different.  The results comfort me as I see my children and former students thinking and engaged in the process.

Before explaining my present political preferences, I ask forgiveness and tolerance for poor grammar, punctuation, and writing skills, daughter, Julie and the  best Indian Hills English and Lit. instructor ever, Rhonda Simmons Eakins, Educator, Kay Bond Wall, Nurses, Welders, etc., plus any and all of you whom I missed that may have become teachers and all of you who write and express yourselves better than me. I have thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting with all, and seeing your families, and hearing of your careers and activities. (Even though it is most unlikely that anyone will ever read this)

I grew up in a Conservative, Republican family with the world in a Depression, followed by World War II.  Then after a couple of years of college, and a new war in Korea, I found myself in the Navy for four years.  (Best job I ever had, and always regretted not making it a career.) A few years and several changes of jobs and entrepreneurial efforts led me back to finish my college education.  Suddenly, like others, I was influenced by a new wave of Liberal thought.  Yes, I became a Democrat.

So my teaching days were dominated by a combination of belief in social obligations and responsibilities to citizens, by our government, as well as a respect for the great achievements by industry, agriculture and small business brought about by Capitalism.  I still believe, Socialism or any form of government is acceptable as long as  the people have a democratic  system in which they can  end it or choose the direction they wish to go.  If its broke, change it, if it works, don’t fix it.  After leaving teaching, I was engaged in owning and operating various small businesses mostly marginally successful.  I could be more specific but basically, I was in the real world again and yeah, more conservative.

 I no longer care about Republicans or Democrats, Conservatives or Liberals.  For thirty years they both are filled with professional hacks with the same old tax and spend policies that have decimated our economy.  Hillary has her own bag or “basket” of proposals that only take us farther down the tube with no way out

President Obama seems like a real nice man, but I am unimpressed with his accomplishments while President.  ObamaCare has given a few uninsurables a chance at insurance  if they can afford it.  Elsewhere it seems to be not working so well.  Foreign policy is a mess. Syria, Turkey, Iraq. and the Iranian fiasco, the whole Middle East,  North Africa, Eastern Europe, North Korea, etc.!  Where is the success.  A few less American troops in combat, but hundreds of thousands dead or displaced by ISIS or who knows,… which has brought about the immigration crisis in Europe and soon U.S. He has been insulted and embarrassed around the world, most recently in China (made to exit by the rear of the plane) and (called a s.o.b by the President of Philippines).  Racial relations are worse than when he took office.  He used a welcoming occasion for the President of Singapore to trash a political opponent, embarrassing his guest. Trade deficits are off the chart.  There are well paying jobs for some.  Poor average Joan or Joe hasn’t had a raise in 15 years.  Most have quit looking for work which makes the employment figures look better.  I think most will accept legal immigration.  Just enforce the law. I’ll think of a dozen more when I quit writing.   Increased taxing on more corporations driving them out of the country won’t fix it.  Hillary is too closely tied to these failed policies to consider her an option for me.

Hillary has suggested nothing much except more of the same. Then there are the lies and confusion surrounding Hillary and all the investigations of her, as Sec. of State, the emails, and the Foundation.  Worse for me is her “hate Trump” diatribe, and the expression of contempt for his followers that is supposed to result in “together a stronger America”.

As for Trump, we might have done better.  I wish he hadn’t made derogative statements of John McCain, former and current Presidents, and opposing primary nominees.  He has been consistent in making outlandish mistakes.  As a forgiver, I can attribute  his weaknesses to not being a professional forever politician. Frankly that may well be what I and others have found intriguing.  Yes I’m warming to his candidacy.  Really, I don’t see him as a Republican or even a Democrat (which he has been), Conservative or a Liberal.  That could make him acceptable to a lot of people.  The middle is not the worst place to be.  “Free trade is a slogan, not a reality”. Fair free trade sounds like something to reach for. I want jobs for people.  I want responsibility  toward the national debt.  How can you fault him for wanting to apply the law, in regard to immigration.  I want to restore our military and provide for those who serve.  Its jobs, jobs, jobs.  Good for men, good for women, good for college grads, good for Unions, good for minorities, legal (and illegals as long as they’re here), good for retirees depending on workers to keep Soc. Sec. viable.  And for heavens sake, in comparing Donald to Hillary, well for me,  I’ll take Trump every time to make this a better , safer country.  He has a lot of rough edges.  Some people want apologies and you don’t get many from Mr. Trump.  I just want solutions.

With macular degeneration, poor typing skills, a warped mind, and a weak bladder, it has taken a long time to write this (two days).  I don’t feel like a racist, bigot, everything phobic, deplorable. Hillary said only half were in her basket and then said, she shouldn’t have said half.  I think she meant all.  I don’t feel like a bad person…. but, having already been labeled as “white trash” for complaining about one’s malicious untrue charges  against Candidate Trump, and now labeled as a  Deplorable, I will have to accept whatever comes down.

Now you know!  Sorry to all on the other side and if Jesus doesn’t get here in time, I do hope we can still be friends.  I will be voting for Trump,….. if I don’t vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian or Jill Stein of the Greens.  And, Steve, Julie, and good friend Jim Mahan, as well as, long ago friend, Stacey, I will respect & honor Hillary Clinton if she becomes our next President.

Love ya’ll,












Read Full Post »

Des Moines Mayor’s Conference on Climate Change.

Concerning Mayor Cownie’s statement. —-  Page 1A D.M. Register on Tues. May 13, 2014.  Expressing great satisfaction regarding a coming scheduled Panel on Climate Change, the Register quotes the Mayor.  Cownie said: “ Humans are causing the planet to warm.  And it is expected to continue without action.”

There you have it.  The Mayor has it right on.  Humans are the cause.  I wasn’t invited to the conference, however I offer my unscientific solution.  Reduce the human population.  And now, some possible suggestions where to begin.

  1.  Most, but maybe not all Lawyers.
  2.  Congress and why not all, well maybe not all, Politicians Federal, State and City.
  3.  Anyone with an annual income of over a million dollars annually. (Who can’t live on a million bucks a year)  We can discuss accumulated net worth later.
  4.  Old people.  No need for anyone over 80.  (Can easily change this to a lower age, perhaps to include anyone drawing Social Security or using MediCare.)  Think of the benefits resulting from this alone.  Not only will it help save the planet, but could actually help save the country from economic demise.  We might even be able to honor our commitments to our Veterans.

Regarding those drawing Social Security, did I mention that I am 84 years old.  Of course I will step up willingly, but reserve the right to whimper.  That much at least.

  1.  Many but not all people who do research and development of things that result in living longer.  We could add others who create new things and ideas that eliminate jobs, such as robots doing things humans used to do. (Might help the economy, but not the life of glaciers or Polar Bears, and butterflies)
  2.  Most but not all Republicans.  Often considered not smart enough to understand what is best for the country.
  3.  Most but not all Democrats.  Often considered wanting only that which someone else will pay for.
  4.  All, Over Zealous Conservatives and Liberals.  (Could include Limbaugh, and many College and University Professors.
  5.  Some but not all Farmers that don’t shape up, concerning soil abuse and water pollution.
  6.  Some but not all city folks who complain about farmers, but do the same thing in town. Too much waste, overloading the landfills, and running all those air polluting lawn mowers, blowers, trimmers, etc.

Golly!  The possibilities are endless.  We could bring back tobacco and Coal, both of which helped keep the population in check. And If we can eliminate half the population, I would expect some improvement in the area of global climate change, at least in the short term.  As science has already presented, many things occur over very long periods.  ( ice ages,  continental drift, etc.)  In the short term, it is reported that solar storms, sun wobbles, and other activities on Earth like volcanic activity could affect climate change.

Of course we haven’t mentioned the necessary need of international acceptance and participation in addressing Climate Change particularly with the Human reduction solution.  Also, there is the suggestion offered by one Presidential hopeful that he recognizes Climate Change but doubts any law offered thus far, would do anything for the climate, but could harm the economy.  He may well, have a thought, not as ridiculous as some would have us think.

I too, have a thermometer and rain gauge along with a wet basement at times.  Therefore I also recognize climate change.  I remember also the dust bowl, the heat and drought, as well as the bitter cold and deep snows of the Nineteen Thirties.  Also remembered, are the floods of 1947, countless hurricanes, and other notable weather events.  I even remember walking   to school in all kinds of inclement weather. (Okay, so I lived across the street from the school)

It does appear that these extremes are happening more frequently.  Thus, the need for all of us to do whatever we can to improve the situation is obvious.  We can continue developing alternative energy, but with the masses depending on the most available energy sources, it hardly seems realistic to destroy the fossil fuel industries that we have come to depend on.

Bless President Eisenhower and the Interstate Highway system, but development of an efficient public transportation system might have been a better way to go.   So without two or three cars in every driveway, and without millions of trucks running every direction, many things might have been different and other problems created.  Who knows?

Returning to the original statement of the well intentioned Mayor, humans are the problem. Yes, they are.  Good luck in getting the climate changed with conferences, new laws, etc., but B+ for trying.  There are just too many humans and they most likely aren’t going away.  Did I mention that 84 year old minds can be less than stellar?

Read Full Post »

“We’re from Iowa. and we don’t care about no damn polls.”

Now I know I said I was done “bloggin” and here I am again. Will quit again as soon as I’m done not quittin’ unless I decide to not quit again, but probably won’t. I just wanted to wrap up the Iowa Caucus.

At last, the end of the robo calls – hopefully. The last one, 30 min. before the scheduled time of the Caucus, informed us that there was still time to stop Romney.

As you know, it was a photo finish with Romney winning Iowa by 8 votes over Rick Santorum. In Wapello County,(our county) Romney finished 5th behind:
Santorum 199
Ron Paul 196
Newt 152
Rick Perry 119
Romney 103
Bachmann 74
Huntsman 8
Palin 2 (write ins)
Now there usually aren’t that many Republicans in Wapello County so the answer is, because we allow anyone to re-register anywhere, anytime, Dems and Independents probably decided the results.

The Iowa caucus results are not always very reliable in either party. Iowa Dems of course put Obama in the drivers seat 4 years ago..(“How’s that workin’ out for ya?” as Sarah Palin might say). In Wapello County (4 years ago) I caucused with the Biden Group..(how’s that workin’ out for ya?) in which Wapello went overwhelmingly for John Edwards (remember him?), Hillary was a distant second, and Obama a far distant third. Me and the other guy in the Biden Group finally moved into the Hillary bunch as less than 15% would be classed as un-committed, elgible for “committment” I guess. As it turned out we sort of got a sort of “half President” when Obama selected Biden as his Veep.

Republicans, 4 years ago went for Huckabee, as McCain was no where to be seen, having voted against Corn for gas. After last night, Perry says he will go home to reassess, having spent $400 per vote received in Iowa (about 5 million for 12,600 votes) Bachmann held a press conference and dropped out of the race. Romney flies to New Hampshire and Santorum (having spent $19.00 per vote received) will presumably drive to N.H. in his dust covered pickup to champion a reason to go to war with Iran, likely to a less than enthusiastic electorate. Ron Paul, — who knows? (makes a lot of sense most of the time) but ???. Newt will pout and complain (with reason) about the negative treatment received in Iowa. Romney, Perry, Bachmann, and especially Paul, plus a lot of money for ads coming from nobody knows where and claimed by no one, and denied by everyone, destroyed Newt. Some of the ads were generated by Super Pac money (sometimes maybe Democrat funded) which our “wise Supreme Court” has said is perfectly fine (free speech, don’t ya know?).

Guess that about does it for the Iowa Republican Caucus. I didn’t participate in the Democratic Caucus, but hear that no one objected to Obama being the Nominee. I find myself longing for the old days when the National Political Conventions selected the candidates in a smoke filled room 3 or 4 months before the November election. The results seemed just as good or better than the current circus like process. (and a hell of a lot cheaper and a lot fewer nuisance phone calls).

Most of the (mostly ill informed) folks are all livin’ off the government with some kind of assistance or have one of the only jobs available anymore (government [state or national] jobs). No need to upset the apple cart or stop the gravy train with such nonsense as a “financially sound government.” No need to look out for yourself when government help is always near by. After all, its Mayan 2012 and we all know what might happen in Myan 2012.

Not much else happening around here. Kind of exciting finding a coupon in the paper for a special offer for Men’s Depends. As the coupon would result in substantial savings, I just had to take advantage. The order was placed and shortly I received an email thanking me for the purchase and advising me that I could track the shipment by Fedex with a special link provided. (Sometimes around here, one can track my underwear even without a link to Fedex) Anyway I will be anxiously tracking and awaiting my underwear shipment. I think I can almost hear a muffled chuckle from daughter Julie at my revealing this excitement. Son Tim may be a little embarrassed. But be sure, good wife Pat will be mad as a little wet hen when she reads the details. (“You don’t need to tell people that!”) Aside from that, she and I will celebrate 61 years of marriage on Friday Jan. 6, 2012.(Not too bad) After seeing a notation on the calendar, I finally realized why she wanted to dine out on Friday.

Yes, I have definitely decided that I will quit blogging unless I decide differently. For sure, I don’t Twitter, Tweet or do Facebook and that’s not likely to change unless it does, but don’t think it will for now anyway.

Looking for and hoping for 62 years with my happy and cheerful bride. Bye — for now at least.

Read Full Post »

Oh My!

Goodness, I see that I haven’t posted for a full year.  My last, was to acknowledge my dear daughter’s birthday one year ago.  I am terribly afraid that I just might have to offer a repeat of last years thoughts.  Apparently,  I failed to recognize, son Tim’s birthday, good wife Pat’s, all the son’s and daughter’s in-law, and a bunch of grandkids, and others as well.  Not doing so pretty well am I.   It had been so long that I had even forgotten just how to get something posted.  I think I finally have made it, even though it is not much of an offering.  Seems I’m pretty much out of the blogging business.  Guess a phone call will have to suffice.  I love you all, but today (Feb. 25th) is Julie’s Day.  Happy Birthday sweetie.


Read Full Post »

Dear Julie,

My artistic, graphic, and photo skills aren’t so great, so I’ll just use a few words to say:

Happy Birthday to the nice lady who never forgets the rest of us on our birthday, anniversary, or special occasion.  Enjoy your day.  You are, of course, my favorite daughter.

Love, Dad

Read Full Post »

Gee, we voted for “change” and had no idea of the benefits that would result.  Initially, there was no better time for change as the entire world accepted the fact that all hate could be centered on the one man who was responsible for every evil deed ever done, GW Bush of course.  True also, we had been governed by an inept and irresponsible Congress containing Republicans, who indeed had long abandoned the principles of the party and any semblance of regulation.  Never fear.  The Lone Ranger was near.

Now we could forever negotiate peace.  No need for bad War.  Those funds could be used to repay those who supported and loved the new change.  Well, maybe there was a little matter to settle, in the good war in Afghanistan, or Pakistan, Iran, South Korea, or wherever.  Aw heck, 911 was a long time ago.  We don’t have the stomach for war anymore and certainly wouldn’t want to pay for it or accept the draft so that the same warriors don’t have to go over and over.   Such an inconvenience.  Never mind.  The real war to be fought is for Universal Health Care, Climate change, Transparency in government, defeating Capitalism where ever it exists or shows its head, particularly if it is a financial institution or insurance company.  Oh, there are scores of other issues to be solved like the auto industry and business that left the country for some reason or other, maybe including unsustainable pay benefits.  Those Capitalists, all they think of is profit.  We can overlook the fact that some way, we have become a rather great country with a fair amount of a standard of living that seems to have more people wanting to come in, than wanting to get out.  Just the ones who have taken advantage of  the rest of us and made all those gobs of money, decide to live on the Riviera or someplace safely away from Uncle Sam.

 I seem to be rambling incoherently, so will continue with incoherence.  As I understand it,  the world was crashing because of the stupid Bankers and something called the Sub-prime debacle.  Our new President and newly elected Congress with power to do anything was finally able to make the correction.  We have been advised that the big banks and AIG Insurance company were responsible because of GW Bush of course.  But they were also our only salvation, so the Government would have to “bail” them out.  The problem seemed to be that the government by nature, has no money, but they do have the power to steal (oh, I mean get)  it from the people.  So far we have been able to get about 90% or so of what they get, from the people who have money because they stole it (I mean got it) from the people they underpaid while providing jobs for them, or cheating the people they deal with. The rest of it came from the better paid employees and small business owners who for the most part seem to be living pretty good and all want to eat out on Friday night and make it hard to get into Applebees.  Then there is a pretty good number who seem to be living okay but pay no taxes, like me and good wife Pat even though we use nearly all the services of government, including the nice check we get each month from Social Security and Medicare.  Next, there seems to be quite a few who don’t have jobs but would like one and would willingly pay taxes and buy health insurance if they had one.  Finally there is a bunch that can’t work through no fault of their own and need help.  And second finally are the derelicts who wouldn’t work if it were offered and will never contribute anything.  The realization is that with all the money the government gets, it still isn’t enough and they speak of trillions of dollars of debt. (that’s a bunch of zero’s).  Never mind.  Problem solved.  Pay the bankers billions or trillions of the debt money.  The President and Congress with all its power has stood up to them with the condition that we be allowed to call them “fat cats and scumbags” and can denounce their obscene salaries.  After that they will be allowed to repay the bail out money, restore the obscene salaries, and resume the still unregulated practices that nearly brought us down.  One has to assume that we will be revisiting this problem.

Now we all know that there is a problem with health care and the President has resolved to correct this problem and appears on the edge of complete success.  If you have ever had to deal with an insurance company over a claim you darn well know what he means.  Not just health but any kind of insurance.  Those rascals are hard to deal with.  If you are prone to too many accidents, forget it.  If your home sits on a river bank that floods every spring, forget it.  Pre-existing health conditions, forget it.  We are told there were 30 million people without health insurance.  Perhaps either they had pre-existing problems, they couldn’t afford it or just didn’t want it till they got sick or hurt.  Then it became a pre-existing condition.  Anyway the first thought, and I concur, was to establish a single payer, public option which would eventually drive out the evil insurance companies.  I am concerned however with what we are to do with all those working in the health insurance industry and concern over the fact that the Post Office and Amtrak are not resounding examples of government managed financial success.  Not to mention the fraud and corruption and unsustainable coverage with Medicare and Medicaid.  However Medicare has worked well for us.  Seems like it would make sense to go after the existing fraud, adjust the premiums if necessary and keep it for us and all those who come after.  Nearly everyone not destined to have an early death will grow old with a reduced income.  The advisability of having everyone living such extended lives and figuring out how to care for everyone is a topic for another time.  May be time to bring back tobacco, and coal furnaces.

 Again our new President and Congress with the power to do anything has stood up to the evil insurance companies.  We have promised each Senator and Congressperson millions to billions for their vote on the Health Bill to spend as they see fit within their state in the hope that the electorate will notice and send them back to Congress.  The Insurance Companies are to be allowed to stay in business.  Their commuted sentence is that again we will be allowed to trash them by calling them “fat cats and scumbags”.  Thereafter, if they promise to do better about the denial of pre-existing condition coverage, they will be allowed to get the rewards of about another 15-20 million new customers, all of which apparently would result in extremely profitable situations and the company’s stock can rise to the moon.  For some reason they now say there still will be 15 million without insurance.  Never mind. We have stood up to them and demanded they do better.  They no longer laugh out loud at us, but are forced to “snigger” smugly on their way to the evil bank.  Aside, the best solution I have heard is to make the Insurance Companies regulated utilities and then regulate the hell out of them.  That might have been done with an 8 or 10 page explanation instead of 3000 pages with 160 new agencies and heaven knows what.  Did I mention that the only money the government has is what they get from its citizens and adding millions of people and benefits can become costly.

Next comes those pesky carbon foot prints.  This will be the most vexing, most expensive and job threatening issue at least in the beginning.  We have put off energy and environmental issues for 50 years.  This appears to be a means to transfer the nation’s wealth to the rest of the world and a gigantic step towards moving to a more just socialistic society within the world.  I don’t want to sound too anti-socialist.  We have become what we are because of democracy and capitalism through decades of trial and error.  However one easily sees the inequities of wealth and greed without regulation.  Regulation and or socialistic controls can make it more fair for everybody.  But overdo it and we become lethargic, lazy, selfish and finally reduced to nothing more than a post-soviet like society.  While I believe we need to reasonably protect the environment, switch to alternative energy and do whatever it takes to preserve the economic well-being, I am a skeptic as to what can be done to change the climate.  Until we figure out how to control Sun spots, storms originating on the Sun, or elsewhere in the universe, controlling the persistent wobble of the earth on its axis, magnetic concerns, etc., I fear we cannot prevent whatever is to happen to earth when the time comes.  Moving to another planet may be less of a problem than preventing the destruction of earth at some point in time (way beyond our time, I hope),  2012 be damned.

 About those lobbyists, all 68 per person in Congress.  Looks like we dealt with them also. Wouldn’t want to enable all those companies to compete across state lines and perhaps bring down premiums.  Wouldn’t want to deal with Tort reform.  Best way to handle those bastard lobbyists is to just ignore them.  After all, what’s wrong with taking their money.  When they don’t have any left, we will have them right where we want them.  Campaign reform.  Same solution.  Make the promises of reform and get on to more important issues, like my long desire to abolish the Republican Party.  After all there are two or more registered Democrats to every registered Republican.  So, who needs them.  They can be Democrats like the rest of us.  Inter-party squabbles could be lots more fun.  Or help stamp out handicapped parking.  Make em walk like the rest of us. 

“Aint change wonderful”.  Have a good day!  Let’s go make fun of Sarah Palin or Joe Biden.

Read Full Post »



Charles M. Province, a veteran of the US Army, is the sole and single Founder and President of The George S. Patton, Jr. Historical Society. He is the author of “The Unknown Patton”, “Patton’s Third Army”, “Patton’s One-Minute Messages”, and numerous other War writings.

This poem appeared in today’s (Veteran’s Day) newspaper and the word Soldier had been replaced with the word Veteran.  Guess it works either way.

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

©Copyright 1970, 2005 by Charles M. Province

Thanks to all Veterans and to all members of today’s Military from a proud Veteran of the U.S. Navy Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor,  ComSubPac, 1951-1955.

Read Full Post »

More Bryson!

I am still somewhat wound up over my recent renewed interest in reading.  I reported in my last blog, of the circumstances that led up to this.  Because I enjoyed the book by Bill Bryson, and some of you also, were reading that book, and others of you had enjoyed other books by Bryson, I recently went to our public library to find more that I might read.  Of course I have already mentioned the problem I have with reading books, that I just can’t stay awake.  Never a fast reader, except perhaps during those periods during my education, by assignment or while seeking a degree.  I did enjoy History and Political Science as a student and teacher and the substantial reading that was involved.  However, for the past 30 years, there has been little accomplishment in book reading, even as I was occasionally urged by family and friends to read this or that.  Thanks again, Tim and or Merry for introducing me to the Bryson offerings, and to Julie for her suggested Internet pieces.

I do not want to exclude the fact that there are thousands of other good authors and interesting subjects out there to explore.  However, I may not get to them.  You shouldn’t press your luck with new book gifts or suggested reading.  For now, I am having too much fun with Bill.  The library revealed so many Bryson books that surely they will last me until my demise.  At 79, any extension of that event could be chancy at best.  The 250-300 pagers will be the favored selections, but I have already brought home a 900 plus pager which was mentioned as an enjoyable read by Grandson, Joel.  You all, no doubt, will be waiting with baited breath, to see if I am able to return it to the library in the specified lending time.

Bryson is primarily a travel author with travels and books from throughout the world.  However, it is his humor that I enjoy, but if one is not careful, they might broaden their knowledge about the designated subject.  His science endeavor, A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING, surely will not be filled with the humor that I have found in LIFE AND TIMES OF THE THUNDERBOLT KID, and A SUNBURNED COUNTRY, but who knows.  What little progress I have made in the 900 page History of nearly everything has been quite cleverly written and actually has enlightened me on subjects of interest in such a way as never before.  I have enjoyed the Science Channel’s studies of the origins of the universe and the two compliment each other.

Provided you are not put off by a modest amount of profanity and crude graphic description,  and I don’t think anyone I know is likely to be offended, I do believe one can gather a great deal of enjoyment from the Bill Bryson books.  I’ll try not to bring up the subject again.

Read Full Post »

Happy Birthday, dear daughter Julie.  What a month February is for our family.  So many birthdays.  It is not very nice of me to remind you that you are now half-a-hundred.   Does it feel like you have now lived 21 percent of the period from our nations founding in 1776 until now?  I think I did the math correctly.  Of course that makes me well over 3/4 of a hundred and having  lived over 1/3 of the time from 1776 if I did.   I just thought some of these facts surely could in some way be linked to your diligent genealogy studies.

Anyway, I can’t produce the outstanding tributes to ones birthday that you have been so successful in offering, but I do wish you a Happy Birthday and we love you very much.   I’m not too clever with the photo’s and such.  All I have, are  probably ones you have supplied me.  I especially like this one.


Happy Birthday and thanks for all you do for us

Read Full Post »

I recently was privileged to celebrate my 79th birthday.  Goodness, that in itself is privilege enough, but I was honored to have my daughter and son-in-law spend a few most enjoyable days with us.  My son and his wife were not able to be here but did send a gift of a book which I have found to be thoroughly enjoyable.

Now, I am not illiterate, but just don’t read many books.  Newspapers I read, magazines I try to read, and I search and read lots of things on the computer except when dozing off to sleep.  Books, no matter how interested I am, never get beyond three to a few more pages before I begin to nod.

My wife insists that I have no sense of humor, and I agree that we seldom find the same things that we think are humorous.  However, I have been fully captivated and have found this book of which I speak to be absolutely hilarious.  This is a must read.  At least for anyone born in the 50’s or before.  Now, it may have more comical effect for males rather than females, for those who have lived in Des Moines (or at least the state of Iowa) rather than elsewhere, but I think anyone and everyone would enjoy the book, even my sophisticated grandchildren who were neither born in the 50’s nor lived in Iowa.  I would concede however, that not having lived during that era, would diminish the appreciation of “THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE THUNDERBOLT KID.”

I began reading on Friday, and continued the brief periods of reading interlaced with nodding, dozing, and napping until completing the book early Sunday evening.  Also, to relax the developing eye strain, I would watch TV sports or news and then work soduko puzzles for awhile.  After all, we are talking 268 pages of paperback here.  Don’t ask me how I could be laughing so hard until my eyes watered, and then fall asleep, but that’s how it works. 

Bill Bryson is the author.  His father was Bill Bryson Sr. who was a very long time sports writer for the Des Moines Register and Tribune whom I read for many years before his death.  His mother also worked long time, for the R&T as well, as the home furnishings editor.  Thus, young Bill, with an older brother and sister,  was left to his own devices for much of his pre-adult years.  This is not unlike my own childhood, and the fact that nearly all of his recollection of the city of Des Moines and the state of Iowa are known to me, may make the details special to me.

There are sentences after sentences of hilarity in which I could barely contain myself.  Of the 14 chapters, probably 10 will keep one heartily laughing.  Then there are a few chapters, on more of a serious nature to describe disconcerting politics of the period.  Of course there is always other unpleasantness as well, and the final chapter is almost a bit sad.  One should be aware that the book contains some rather raucus description and that there is irreverance as well.  One may observe the love and respect he has for his parents, while also offering ridicule and disrespect as well.  Haven’t we all been there?

I always hated having to write book reviews, but here I am suggesting that you stop whatever you are doing and find this book.  Honest to God, you will laugh and enjoy.  http://www.randomhouse.com/features/billbryson/flat/home.php

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »