The Beginning....

The Beginning....
When William Least Heat-Moon toured the country many years ago, his steed, if you will, was a van that he named Ghost Dancing. His journey of America was 13,000 miles. His book is Blue Highways, A Journey Into America. My steed will be a Subaru WRX (traded for an XV Crosstrek). My travels will be, what in the past were called, the blue highways of Virginia. Years ago, maps showed secondary roads in blue. Yes, the ones less traveled.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Thank God! Roy Moore Lost!

We, it would seem, have little control over our intelligence. Well, if we work hard at it
I guess we can improve it. 

That said, being controlled by religion is one of the worst things that can happen. If we take religion and's what you end up with.

I give you Ted Crockett, spokesman for Roy Moore. And, these are the people who are governing us.

PLEASE watch this video!!!!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Trains, Trains, Trains...Two Amazing Stories....

I like trains. That said, the last time I rode a train was in the fifties. Yes, that was a while back. Went from Shreveport to Virginia Beach. What I best remember was the great food. There was a galley or kitchen and the folks actually cooked the food. Cloth napkins, heavy stainless utensils, the works. And, the coffee was great.

Where was I?

What happened in Japan when the train left twenty seconds, yes, twenty seconds early? Of course, there was an apology!!!!

And, here in the States there is a train station run completely by volunteers. Amazing, take a look here.

Are you a fan of trains? Well, you can sit at your computer and watch them.

Monday, October 16, 2017

From Bank Robber to Law Professor!!!!!!!????????

This is an amazing story. Additionally, it points out what our so-called criminal justice system is doing wrong. There are several more videos after the initial one of approximately 14 minutes. You should watch them all.

Here is the video, courtesy CBS.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Why You Should Buy All Your Pens From Cult Pens!!!!

Hi Folks,   

I occasionally have a comment about businesses that I think we should all know about. Yes, these are usually businesses that go above and beyond for customer service or have amazing prices. I have found a new one, Cult Pens.

I decided I wanted to buy another fountain pen that I don't
need. And, this one is a little pricey. By chance, I read a comment on Fountain Pen Network about Cult Pens and their great prices and service. At first, I was a little skeptical.

How is it, that a company in the UK can sell me a pen at a much lower price than I can buy from a US-based dealer? Actually, I can't answer the economics of it all....what I do know is this.

A well-known and respected US pen business list the M1000 with a special price of  $828. Yes, $828. The same pen from Cult Pens, including shipping from the UK, is costing me $417! Amazing, I would say.

The pen I'm buying is a Pelikan M1000. Yes, this is what is called a flagship pen. A huge giant of a pen. I have a Montblanc 149 which is Montblanc's flagship pen that I've always referred to as baseball-bat sized. These are large pens.

Now to the good part, if you will, about exemplary customer service. I asked that they check the pen. Make sure that it's not scratchy and no skipping and such. Well, got an email today, and in my words, they said that they checked both extra-fine (the size of the point/nib) pens they had in stock and they weren't happy with them and were sending them back to Pelikan and ordered more. This surely saved me a lot of aggravation.

If you folks need a pen go to Cult Pens. And, for any of you who don't own a fountain pen, Hey, go to Cult Pens and buy one.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Two Recipes for the Inept, Lazy, Cuisine Challenged, and Those Who Just Don't Care....

Yes, they are ordering my curry dish. Trying to decide on the wine.
Yes, I normally eat out one meal a day. I'm a lousy cook and usually mess up most meals that I attempt.

I like using stuff in cans. You don't have to worry about stuff spoiling and from can-to-can stuff seems fairly consistent.

Anyway, I hope you'll try and like my contribution to the world of gustatory exploration.

BTW, these recipes are for those who eat alone. Others, well...add more stuff. For we single eaters, should be two. three large bowls of soup or, for the curry two large plate fulls.

Chicken Soup...Stew

This will be either soup or stew depending on how much liquid you use.

1 can chicken 10 ounce
I can tomatoes (I use either a large can of stewed tomatoes or a smaller can of diced tomatoes with peppers.)
1 can diced potatoes with skin on (if available)

onion (however much you want to use...suggest at least half of medium size)
chicken broth or bouillon cube
Rosemary (this folks makes the dish...experiment as to how much to use)

some olive oil and saute onion
toss in broth or bouillon cube (my experience is that you don't need an entire cube...break off a piece and go from there) chicken with liquid, Rosemary, a little water (maybe a half cup-only add water at this time if you're using a bouillon cube...if you're using chicken broth you may need a little water later if it's too salty) and tomatoes
let simmer for a few minutes until Rosemary is blended
take a taste. Does the broth have enough chicken flavor...too much? This is the part you don't want to screw-up. There's a fine line, if you will, between the chicken taste and saltiness caused by the chicken broth or bouillon cube. Remember, the carpenters' adage, "Measure twice cut once."
OK, once you've got the taste where you want it, throw in the potatoes. A few minutes later you're ready to fill your bowl.

Quick and Simple, My Version of Thai Red Curry

Ahh, made this for the first time last night. This has possibilities.

1 can chicken 10 ounce
1 medium/large onion
1 small can mushrooms
Thai red curry (on impulse I bought a bottle of this at Aldis yesterday)


OK, quarter the onion and saute in olive oil. Don't overcook. You want the onion to be crunchy.
Hold the chicken liquid from the can of chicken.
Add the chicken and drained mushrooms.
Now, slowly add the curry. Remember the carpenters' adage.
You want to add curry and the liquid from the chicken until the taste is right.

Serve over a bed of rice. I think jasmine works best for this dish.

Edit: For those of us who aren't real cooks....

If you want to thicken the liquid use a little cornstarch. 

Also, the next time I make this, I'm going to add some cashew nuts and just before serving I'm going to add chopped scallions.

Monday, September 11, 2017

F**k a Cow!!!!!

It's 3:39 AM, September 9, 2017. Hurricanes, Irma and Jose, are attacking our country, killing people, destroying property, making people flee their homes, and George Noory at Coast-to-Coast AM (during the week, 10 PM to 2 AM PST) is telling people to clear their minds so that they can make Hurricane Irma diminish and go off the coast and away from more destruction.

Just concentrate, he says. Yes, that will do it.

Nothing else to say at this time.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Is it Possible for a Comma to be Worth an Estimated $10,000,000?

Do you folks know about Oxford or serial commas? Some use them and some don't. I try my darndest to write as well as I can, trying to write grammatically correct prose ( the ordinary language people use in speaking or writing).

Newspapers use the Associated Press style guide. And, they do not use Oxford or serial commas.

(1) Johnny loved chocolate, ice cream, peanut butter, and hot dogs.

(2) Johnny loved chocolate, ice cream, peanut butter and hot dogs

You may notice that in (1) there is a comma after peanut butter. Yes, that's the sometimes pesky Oxford or serial comma.

I use serial commas.

Here's the Boston Globe article about the $10,000,000.

The Hurricanes Are Here and Coming, Harvey Just Struck and Others are on the Way, Causing Death and Destruction. Are You Praying?

This article will save me a lot of time and aggravation. 

I had thought about an article similar to this one, however, this writer does a far-better job than I would have.

As I best understand it, this photo is from a hurricane several years ago (not Harvey), and the house in the photo was the home of two young children who were killed!

If you're a believer, please take a few minutes and think it all through. Folks, religion makes no sense. Period. And, if you need some help, look up: cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias, and motivated reasoning.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Please Read this Post!!!!!

Sophie, RIP.... January 15, 2017
Well, it's the Fourth of July weekend and my neighbors were posting on our neighborhood forum about fireworks and their pet's behavior because of them. Several mentioned Thundershirt and one mentioned essential oils. 

Here was my response:

"Fireworks and pets...a few thoughts...
Just before the fireworks start. I sit my pets down and explain what fireworks are. I further explain that we have a few neighbors who are not considerate and must act out their juvenile behaviors. And, I truly hope they don't blow off a couple of fingers, blind themselves, or set their houses on fire. Now, if for whatever reason, the pups get nervous, yes, I then use essential oils. I start with a twelve-ounce tumbler. I add five ounces water, two drops essential oils, and then five ounces of bourbon. And, usually, the night goes well for the pups and me. If you feel the urge to rush off and buy a Tundershirt, please read this first. Remember folks, testimonials are not evidence. Magic remedies for pet anxiety and stress!!!! Take a look here. Hope we all have a great holiday weekend and that our pets remain calm. And, folks, be a little skeptical...."

Yes, I visited SkeptVet so I could find the links I wanted. Actually, I ended up spending a couple of hours there. And, I found this terrific article by Alison Averis. PLEASE, read this. It will give you a lot of insight into the so-called world of complementary, alternative, and integrative medicine. Please, you owe it to yourself!!!!

Friday, June 9, 2017

OK, What Can I Say...Yes, I Bought Another Car!!!! Pretty Sure This Will Be My Last Purchase....

I must have some, as yet-to-be-diagnosed mental illness that makes me buy cars. Hmm. Or, maybe I just like cars and have a severely-impaired impulse control.

Anyway, I first got interested in the Prius when my friend, Eddie, bought one a couple or so years ago. Eddie, well...has a ton of cars including a Corvette, Miata, and a Datsun Z something or other. So, I wondered, What's up with the Prius? Eddie has had nothing bad to say about his car. And, though I think he may drive the Miata once in a while, I think he usually drives the Prius. Eddie also has several friends who have Priuses. One has driven 90,000 miles in the past two years. They all report they run forever with only basic maintenance. And, nope, none have had to replace the battery.

Anyway, over the past couple of years, I've quizzed Eddie about his car and read a bunch of road tests and such.

And, I recently succumbed to the Siren Call of the Prius.

I'll spare you a long version of the buying process and only say, that over the past years I've bought four cars out-of-state; three in Maryland and one in Delaware. One of the main reasons is the local so-called documentation fee of $700.

I had briefly met Pauline six months or so ago. Recently, we had one phone conversation and several emails. Then I went by and drove a car and a few days later, mine came in (they swapped with another dealer). Pauline made the process painless. And, I got a darned-good price (Toyota had some great rebates).

Though I've only had the car a couple of weeks and have barely driven it, there is surely no buyers' remorse. The car is great....comfortable, quiet, decent handling, and no complaints. And, of course, there's the unbeatable gas mileage.

If you live in the Tidewater area and are interested in a Prius or a
Toyota product, give Pauline Pitman a call at Charles Barker Toyota. Mention my name and she'll give you 50% off (just joking).

Pauline, I would say is a Prius expert. She's worked at Charles Barker for 17 years and has owned Priuses since they first came out. Yes, every generation and presently drives the fourth generation.

EDIT: I have a lot more to say about Priuses, but...this comment or posting started to take on a life of its own and I thought I'd get this finished and will add another posting about Priuses shortly (I hope).

OK, I give. I've messed with this post for at least an hour. And, for some reason, I can't get the print all the same size. Over the years this has happened a couple of times. Sorry, folks....

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The 2017 Isle of Man TT is Underway. Nothing Tops the Isle of Man Race...Nothing!

Here's the promo from the Isle of Man.

And, lest you think you can get away from the racing virus, once infected, well, you are wrong. Take a look at this video. This gentleman is 92. Yes, 92!!!! Stan Dibben won a sidecar championship in 1953....

Here's a New York times article from a few years ago.

Can't get enough. Here's another....

Guy Martin is my hero. He holds several world records for speed...including, bicycle and sled (snow). He's an amazing young fellow.

OK, just one more.... Best Moments of....

Honest, this is the last. A little of the downside of the races. A doctor interviewed as well as a rider from the States who was injured....

OK, this may or may not be the last. These are truly interesting and are from the police department's viewpoint showing eveything they have to do in opening and closing roads and so on. Well worth the watching....  Two parts.



Friday, May 19, 2017

This Has to be the Best-Ever Deal on Internet Service, Period!!!!!!

OK, folks. I fess-up. I borrowed this from the Internet.

OK, so how did I end up finding 4G Community?

Short version...I was using a 22GB internet service at $95 per month. (Note: I don't watch TV and have a basic flip, bundling I wasn't looking for.) Each month I kept telling myself to get a cheaper/less expensive service. Finally, I spent a few hours and found 4GCommunity.

Amazing rates are quoted. The one I was interested in was $250 plus a membership fee of (I think) $15. So, what do you get for $265? One year of unlimited Internet usage and the Hotspot device (a small gizmo that gets you connected). Amazingly, the second year is only $168.

For those of you who aren't familiar with a Hotspot device, you can haul this around with you and as long as it's charged and there is service you have the Internet.  

I was a little hesitant to sign on with them. Why? First off it just seemed to be too good to be true. Also, for tech support and information about the program, there are limited hours that you can seek help. Yes, daytime hours only and no tech support on Sunday.

I left a message on the information number. My call was returned a day later. OK, I'm feeling a little better about these folks.

I found a forum where several folks mentioned them and reported the service worked as advertised. Yes, that was good to read.

Also, asked myself, Do I really need 24-hour tech support? The Hotspot I have now has been running for about a year. Yep, just plugged it into the charger and that was that. The one I have now I will occasionally have to restart it if I can't get connected. Just turn it off and back on. So, no, I don't really need 24 tech support.

OK, I signed up...

My Hotspot got here in just a few days. Yippie. OK, I tried to get connected and couldn't. Dang. Sent off an email to tech support. Kept fiddling around...the magic code or what-have-you was hard to read. This is shown on the Hotspot gizmo. Yes, old eyes and small print. I was leaving off a small a that looked like a period or something. If I hadn't goofed up on that, it'd been working in a couple of minutes.

Tech support? Yes, they called me in about 8/12 hours. Though everything was working fine had a nice conversation with Scott, about 4G.

And, that's my story folks....

EDIT: You might even be able to use this for phones, though I surely don't know.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Fountain Pen Hospital is the Best!!!!!!

OK, first off, I own a ton of fountain pens. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these are pens that use
actual ink. In fact, many must be filled from bottles of ink. For some reason that I can't quite fathom I started collecting Retro 51 pens (though Retro makes fountain pens that use liquid ink, most of their pens are rollerballs/ballpoints) a few months ago. A couple of days ago Retro introduced a new model: Shark Alley. Decided I had to have one and they are making fewer than 800. Sooooooo, off to Fountain Pen Hospital I go.

In just one day many dealers were already sold out. That said, Fountain Pen Hospital showed they were taking orders for their shipment that was due to arrive shortly. I placed my order online, Friday, March 10, 2017. 

Amazingly, an hour or so later (after they sent an email showing my order) a gentleman called me to let me know that my order would be shipped not later than Monday. The gentleman was personable, pleasant, and professional. Dang, I thought, this amount of personalized service for a $41 rollerball pen! About an hour later another email. Yes, my pen is on the way.

Just felt I had to give these folks (sorry, the oaf I am, didn't get the gentleman's name) some recognition. When we want to complain about bad experiences we usually do...but, we often ignore great service and give no credit when it's due.

Fountain Pen Hospital has been in business since 1946. They are one of the best-known pen shops in the US (and I'm sure they do business internationally). Give these folks a call for your pen needs.   1-800-253-PENS. Also, check out the collection of terrific pens at Retro 51. Great for yourself or as gifts.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

I Now Have Three Books Available on Amazon and other Online Bookstores....

Two of the books are 55-word stories and one is limited to six words. All three have stories or comments about religion, relationships, life, and the human condition.

The first one has been available for about five years. The two latest were just finished over the past week.

The first one, Fifty-Five 55-Word Stories, though I like the stories, looks like it was thrown together by an amateur, which it was of course. The book has limited font sizes and just about no bold print and the categories of stories aren't grouped.

The two books just published recently have a more professional look. However, I still like all of the stories. And, stories are why we write books.

There are @ 288 of these!

On Amazon, there are sample stories for all of the books.

If you take a look and have questions, send me a note,, and put in the subject line, Book.

This link will take you to the books.