Sunday, September 29, 2019

Poetry Sunday

As we enter the last week of September and - one hopes - the temperatures begin to moderate from the beastly heat wave of the dwindling summer, this poem by George Bilgere seems appropriate to the day ...

by George Bilgere

In the summer twilight,
a couple of hours after dinner,
we like to take a walk.
The birds have turned in.
The air has finally cooled,
but the crickets and katydids
are getting so worked up
that the lightning bugs catch fire
a few feet above the lawn,
just where we left them
when we were kids.

Now and then
we pass another couple
from one of the green, old,
more or less identical
streets of our neighborhood
as they move through the atmosphere,
mystical and obscure,
their voices softly registering
the news of the summer.

Good evening,
we say to each other.
Lovely night, isn't it.
What a scorcher, we say
with gratitude and affection
for this shared mystery
of being human
on this dark little planet,
on one of the slender,
gracefully swirling arms
of one of the smaller galaxies.

Have a good day and enjoy the rest of your weekend as we ride this dark little planet on one of the slender, gracefully swirling arms of one of the smaller galaxies. More thoughts later.


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Cartoon Saturday

Welcome to Cartoon Saturday - this week, featuring cartoons about everyone's favorite Good Egg, Humpty Dumpty ...

Life imitates art ...

D'ya think? ...

Humpty's big family ...

Looking on the bright side ...

It was quite a scare for a minute ...

The autopsy ...

The mother's view ...

Sounds like the setup for a Twilight Zone episode ...

Well, she sort of called it right ...

The real test of single-monarch care ...

Have a good day and a great weekend. More thoughts tomorrow, when Poetry Sunday returns.


Friday, September 27, 2019

The Left-Cheek Ass Clown for September, 2019

Because Agnes and I are still on the road and can't plan on having an Internet connection available when we need it, I won't necessarily be able to identify cringe-worthy ass clowns in the current news; as a result, I've penned this award well in advance. It may not be up-to-the-minute, but it's well deserved nevertheless.

The Left-Cheek Ass Clown for September, 2019

is presented to

Chris Cuomo and Kayleigh McEnany

During his show on the evening of August 28th, CNN host Chris Cuomo asked Trump campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany: "Has the president ever lied to the American public?"

This question, and the several minutes of prevarication, verbal sparring, and mutual accusations of lying that followed, represent the worst of present day news coverage and analysis and political tap-dancing.

First, Cuomo asked a question to which he knew what the answer would be, and which was obviously intended only to set up the contentious argument into which the discussion degenerated. McEnany, for her part, would clearly never answer in the affirmative, regardless of the volume of evidence to the contrary. Cuomo's question was clearly intended to produce sound and heat, rather than to cast light on a serious issue. It was a spectacle worthy of the most cringe-inducing Fox News coverage.

Der Furor has a well-documented lack of acquaintance with the truth, ranging from the positive spin employed by every politician to the employment of out-and-out provable falsehoods, and he is backed up by a (publicly-funded) press office and a servile GOP ready to excuse the worst of his utterances. Unfortunately, the press does not aggressively call out Der Furor and his enablers for this, wrapping itself around the semantic axle of what constitutes a "lie" (generally defined as the presentation of a known falsehood with the specific intent to mislead or deceive the listener). The result: Der Furor continues to ride forward, propelled by a comfortable blast of hot air accepted as gospel by those who ought to know better.

And his efforts are immeasurably assisted by useless shouting matches like that which earns today's designation of Cuomo and McEnany as co-designees as the Right-Cheek Ass Clown for September.

Have a good day. Expect better from your news media and your political parties, but don't bet your life savings on it.

More thoughts tomorrow, when Cartoon Saturday returns.


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Musical Sunday

I've traveled a lot, and visited most of the states, but one of my favorite places in the US of A is the beautiful city of San Antonio, Texas. This song from country legend Charley Pride takes us there, too ...

Have a good day and enjoy the rest of your weekend. More thoughts coming.


Saturday, September 21, 2019

Cartoon Saturday

We're still on the road, but the cartoons are still here ... this week featuring cartoons about our love affair with the smart phone ...

We've all heard people using the 21st-century phone booth ...

Sometimes I really wish call-forwarding could work this well ...

Truth ...

Sounds right to me ...

When phones go bad ...

Good medical advice ...

21st-century traffic stop ...

Cell phones of the past ...

Waiting for Mr Right Number ...

Oops ...

And that's it for this week's Cartoon Saturday ... I hope it helped you get over the past week. Have a good weekend and come back tomorrow for Musical Sunday, when we go to San Antone with Charlie Pride. See you then!


Friday, September 20, 2019

Great Moments in Editing and Signage

Once more into the breach, dear friends!

Nothing like an accurate weather forecast ...

What could go wrong? ...

I don't think it's working ...

They either need a new sign designer or a better training program ...

Uh ... no, you don't ...

Well, that's what the Old Farmers' Almanac says, anyhow ...

What's a dead body or two when you're looking for a place to have a good time? ...

Well, they would say that, wouldn't they? ...

I think I know what I want for dessert ...

Truer than you know ...

And that's it for this collection of Great Moments in Editing and Signage. Why not come back tomorrow and greet the weekend with Cartoon Saturday? More thoughts then.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Poetry Sunday

As you know if you've been reading my blog for long I am fascinated by many things, among them history and language. And, in the case of this poem by Joan McIntosh, the curious things you learn when reading all the things that happened in a single year ...

Reading History a Year at a Time 
by Joan McIntosh 

Lord Byron died the very year
that sperm were proved,
beyond all doubt, to be
essential to fertilization.
No more virgin births. That year
Beethoven’s Choral Symphony
astounded the air. He was guided
gently to face the audience
that rose in an ovation
he couldn’t hear. Tears
were everywhere. Who remembers
J.L. Prevost or J.B. Dumas
or knows how they unraveled
the mystery of sperm? That same year
workers finished the Erie Canal
and Simon Bolivar was proclaimed
Emperor of Peru. The canal workers
didn’t know or care about Peru
nor did they hear the “Ode to Joy.”
My great-great grandmother was born
that year, to later travel the length
of the canal. Three hundred million
sperm swim up the birth canal.
A few thousand reach the oviduct.
The ovum chooses one (on rare
occasions more). Then, as usual,
life went on. Joseph Aspdin developed
Portland Cement while the U.S.
House elected John Quincy Adams when
the voters couldn’t make up their minds.

Have a good day, and read a little history. It can't hurt ... especially if you're interested in the damage currently being done to our country by those who don't learn from it.

More thoughts coming.


Saturday, September 14, 2019

Cartoon Saturday

We're still on the road, but you still need your weekly cartoon fix from ol' Bilbo ... no theme this time, just a potpourri of random cartoons from my general collection ...

Yes, I can see how that would be intriguing ...

It's not as much fun as it used to be when you could slam down that indestructable bakelite desktop phone ...

Good highway planning ...

That's a more realistic approach to diversified banking nowadays ...

You know that's how it works ...

Dollhouse play, updated ...

Most appointees in Der Furor's administration don't ...

When nature catches up to technology ...

I can verify, based on personal experience, that this is how it works ...

At my age, it's always good to have one of these available ...

Have a good day and a great weekend. Poetry Sunday is tomorrow, along with more thoughts. See you then.


Friday, September 13, 2019

The Right-Cheek Ass Clown for September, 2019

We are on vacation and with limited Internet connectivity, and so it's not possible for me to keep up to the minute on the most immediately-deserving Ass Clowns; therefore, I'm reaching back to the end of August for one of the most incredible examples of boundless ass-clownery I've seen in ages.

I am presenting the award for

The Right-Cheek Ass Clown of the Month


Texas State Representative Matt Schaefer
(R, District 6)

Here's the background: On August 31st, a murderer cruised the highways around Midland-Odessa, Texas, firing randomly at other persons after shooting his way out of a routine traffic stop. Over a period of a few hours, he murdered seven people and wounded 22 others before being shot and killed by police. Among those wounded was a 17-month old toddler who was shot in the face. 

The incident generated the usual useless blather of "thoughts and prayers" from spineless politicians and calls for controls on guns - generally a non-starter in Texas, where on the following day a series of new laws went into effect which loosened the already-minimal gun restrictions in the state.

In response to the traditional calls for action on guns, Rep. Schaefer on the night of the murders unleashed an unhinged six-part tweetstorm that is worth reproducing in its entirety (capitalizations are in the original):


“Do something!” is the statement we keep hearing. As an elected official with a vote in Austin, let me tell you what I am NOT going to do. 1/6

I am NOT going to use the evil acts of a handful of people to diminish the God-given rights of my fellow Texans. Period. None of these so-called gun-control solutions will work to stop a person with evil intent. 2/6

I say NO to “red flag” pre-crime laws. NO to universal background checks. NO to bans on AR-15s, or high capacity magazines. NO to mandatory gun buybacks. 3/6

What can we do? YES to praying for victims. YES to praying for protection. YES to praying that God would transform the hearts of people with evil intent. YES to fathers not leaving their wives and children. YES to discipline in the homes. 4/6

YES to supporting our public schools. YES to giving every law-abiding single mom the right to carry a handgun to protect her and her kids without permission from the state, and the same for all other law-abiding Texans of age. 5/6

YES to your God-given, constitutionally protected rights. YES to God, and NO to more government intrusions. 6/6



It's hard to know where to begin, so I'll start with the Bible ... which you will search in vain for the chapter and verse in which God gives humans - even Texans - the right to own guns.

Let's continue with the part about how well prayers have worked in stopping the scourge of mass murder  in this country.

Then let's go on about how easy it is to identify "all other law-abiding Texans of age."

And then the flat rejection of "red flag" laws, which are a rational, law-based approach to minimizing potential violence, and which appear to be effective (at least based on initial evidence).

I could go on, but it's no use. An individual like Representative Schaefer will never listen to reason or rational argument, as this series of tweets clearly shows. One hopes that the citizens of Texas will eventually wake up and realize that the days of totin' yer shootin' iron on the lawless frontier are long over ... but I'm not holding my breath, and neither should you.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers, the Right-Cheek Ass Clown for September, 2019, is Texas State Representative Matt Schaefer and his "God-given" right to own unlimited and uncontrolled weaponry.

He thinks of himself as a big shot, after all.

Have a good day. See you tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday. More thoughts then.


Sunday, September 08, 2019

Musical Sunday

You can have your rap, your hip-hop, and your hard rock ... this is the kind of music I grew up loving ...

Of course, Der Furor wants to build a world of his own, too, but I think this one's better.

Have a good day and enjoy the rest of your weekend. More thoughts later.


Saturday, September 07, 2019

Cartoon Saturday

Agnes and I are on the road, so you'll need to find the bad news on your own. Don't worry, there's plenty. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy this collection of cartoons featuring really awful puns ...

They're looking for a story with an interesting wrinkle ...

I have it on good authority that they don't cause cancer ...

Oy, vey ...

I think Q needs a new job ...

I hope they get over it ...

They must be pretty strict around there ...

He'll waltz right down to the garage and bring it back ...

It's about the only reform we're likely to see ...

The unacknowledged downside of Der Furor's replacement for NAFTA ...

If you get this one, you're probably at least as old as I am ...

Thanks for coming by to share the groaners. Be sure to come back tomorrow for Musical Sunday ... more thoughts then.