Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Year Dwindles Down

My house, so full of people a few days ago, is almost empty now.  Time to take down the Christmas tree and remove the colored lights from the house outside.

Only my eldest son remains and he is leaving for home in Spokane later today.  Then it will be just me, my remaining dog, my TV and my coffee pot.  I can live with that.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Writing as Therapy

For Christmas 1955, my mom bought me a Five Year Diary.  It covered the years 1956, 57, 58, 59 and 1960.  The pages were predated so I had to write every day to avoid a blank space.  I still have the diary.  I soon converted to one year hand-written diaries and kept them for 1961 - 1964.  It got me into the practice of journaling and I still do it to this day, but now it’s in the form of this blog and a Word file.  I still have all of the handwritten diaries, but hope to put them into Word format so they can be easily shared with friends and family.

Many therapists recommend keeping a journal.  It is good therapy, a way to figure life out and record a history of your failures and successes, your sorrows and joys.  I wrote about the assassination of JFK, Martin Luther King’s March on Washington, the first moon landing, and other historical events as they happened.

I generally want my personal journal to be separate from my blog, which is public.  When it is public you may have a tendency to self-censor, and to get the most benefit from journaling you need to be uninhibited in expressing yourself.  You are writing for yourself, not an audience, and that can make all the difference.

There is another journal that I would like to start, in the form of an autobiography.  It may or may not be public, or maybe limited to specific friends and relatives.  I don’t want my most memorable life experiences to be lost when I die.  It too will be in an online blog format.

Why make these journals in the form of online blogs?  Because if online, you can access them from your iPad or iPhone and post when the inspiration strikes, no matter where you are.  I have missed many chances to write when dependent on a laptop, but I always have my iPhone with me. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Peace on Earth

The Best Version of “A Christmas Carol”

I have read Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” several times over the years.  I know the scenes and dialogue pretty well.  Because of this I judge each film version based on 2 major criteria:  (1) how close the dialogue matches the book, and (2) how good is the acting.

Many pundits have claimed the best film version is Alistair Sims 1951 version.  I just watched it and found it a flawed and inferior production.  It invents scenes and dialogue that do not appear in the book:  Scrooge visits his sister on her deathbed, and does the same for Jacob Marley.  He meets Marley at Fezziwig’s and the two conspire to take over the business.  None of this appears in the book.

I found the acting amateurish and unconvincing.  The actors are merely reciting lines with little feeling or emotion.

The best version of “A Christmas Carol” is George C Scotts’ 1984 version.  The dialogue is faithful and the acting superb.

Be careful however, I saw a televised presentation of the Scott version today and it had been edited with key scenes cut out to shorten it.  Look for a pay per view version or watch the DVD.  Be sure to watch the complete presentation.

Note:  the 1984 version of “A Christmas Carol” can be viewed in its entirety at Paramount Plus.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Christmas Songs of Old

Ancient sages like myself sometimes take a break from deep and sagacious thoughts and concentrate on old memories.  Today I thought about Christmas songs from my childhood and youth.

I remember “the Singing Cowboy” Gene Autry.  He sang “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Here Comes Santa Claus,” and “Up On the Rooftops.”  

Bing Crosby sang “White Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland.”

Burl Ives sang “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Frosty the Snowman.”

Judy Garland sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” from the movie “Meet Me in Saint Louis.”

Dean Martin sang “Let It Snow.”

All these great artists are dead now, but their songs live on.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Elon Musk on “Wokeness.”

Elon Musk is a great inventor and entrepreneur.  He’s more than that:  he’s a great role model for American youth and an outspoken enemy of leftist bullshit.   I like this guy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

First Day of Winter

Today was the first day of winter, and it has been very cold here in Northern California at 53-54 degrees Fahrenheit.  That’s warm for most of the country but not here.

Two of my three sons are here for Christmas and the third will be here soon. The house is filled with relatives.  

Monday, December 20, 2021

Democrat Extremism and Habeas Corpus

Several dozen civilians who were arrested during the January 2021 protest in Washington D.C. are still in jail.  Almost a year has passed, and the prisoners have not been indicted or charged with any crimes.  This appears to be an infraction of the doctrine of Habeas Corpus, the right to know the charges against you and the right to a speedy trial.  These imprisoned citizens are in fact, political prisoners.  

What is Habeas Corpus?
writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person's release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention.

It appears obvious that the Democrat investigation of the Jan 6 brouhaha is an attempt to invent criminal charges against Donald Trump.  No doubt some of the desperate prisoners may hope to regain their freedom by playing along with the Democrat fraud.  We shall see.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Faith in God. Need it, Don’t Have It.

When I was 19, I camped out at a beach near Santa Cruz, California.  There was a blue tide that night, where the incoming whitecaps weren’t white, but a glowing neon blue.  The sea was full of dinoflagellates, microorganisms that glow blue.  It was eerily beautiful, and walking on the wet sand caused a flurry of blue sparkles around each footstep.

I sat down and watched the incoming waves and was suddenly hit with a powerful mystical experience.  My mind expanded, I felt a oneness with all of nature, and realized that there is no death.  I never felt closer to God than I did at that moment.  

I wish I could recapture the spirituality that I gleaned that night on the beach.  I need it, as I feel that my connection with the Divine has been seriously eroded from many traumatic events in the years since.  I pray but do not feel that I am heard.

Life - A Tale Told By an Idiot

Was Shakespeare right?

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

From MacBeth’s Soliloquy

Or in the cold language of the modern era, life sucks and then you die.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Beware of Anti-Trump “Concern” Trolls

Yesterday I had an encounter with “Ralph,” an anti-Trump commentator at the Power Line blog.  Ralph claimed to be a formerly enthusiastic Trump supporter who had voted for Trump twice, even campaigning for him.  Now, however, he realizes that Trump is a radical, “only out for himself, who will make the Republican Party unrecognizable, abandon Israel in favor of the PLO,” and become “similar to the Democrats.”  

This morning while shaving it came to me:  Ralph is a “concern” troll, either a Democrat or RINO operative whose goal is to sow doubt among the faithful.  If he presented himself in his true light, no one would listen; but if he claimed to be a former strong Trump supporter, people might give him an ear.  He might crack their loyalty or belief in Trump’s candidacy, weakening Republican chances in 2024.

Concern trolls are not new.  We discussed them a lot when Bush was running for president.  You will see more of them in the comments section of conservative blogs where they try to undermine Republican resolve.  Watch out and beware!

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Milquetoast Republicans

The Republican Party is in the process of deciding who they are:  strong and committed, or weak, politically correct and anti-Trump.  Unfortunately, the blog Power Line seems to be leaning towards the latter, with anti-Trumper Paul Mirengoff leading the charge.  He seems to be vigorously supported by a toadie named Ralph, who has nothing good to say about Donald Trump.  Ralphie is perturbed that Trump criticized Bibi Netanyahu for Bibi’s slavish butt-kissing support of Joe Biden’s dubious electoral victory.

The problem with the GOP is its Milquetoast Republicans.  It’s time we wrested control of the party from these do-nothing weaklings and give the dirty Dems the fight of their lives.  If Trump runs in 2024, I will vote for him again.  

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

What do Jews Believe?

It recently dawned on me that I don’t know much about Judaism, so I have started looking into it.  I see important points with which I agree.  Could I be a Jew?  I think I could.  As part of my study I will try to ascertain why antisemitism has been so strong in the past and in the present.

There are Jews that I admire, and also some that I dislike, for their politics.  Perhaps I will discuss all that in subsequent posts.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Was Derek Chauvin Railroaded?

Derek Chauvin is the former Minneapolis cop who was found guilty of murdering black career criminal George Floyd.  Chauvin had Floyd face down on the ground with Chauvin’s knee on the side of Floyd’s neck to immobilize Floyd.  The knee on the side of the neck is not fatal or dangerous, it was accepted police procedure when Chauvin applied it.  It does not choke nor crush the windpipe, according to what I’ve read.  

Floyd did not die because of Chauvin’s knee, he died three hours later in the hospital, due to an overdose of Fentanyl. Here’s the dope on the dope:
Common brands: Duragesic, Abstral, Subsys

Narcotic - It can treat severe pain

Controlled Substance
High risk for addiction and dependence
Can cause respiratory distress and death when taken in high doses or when combined with other substances, especially alcohol or other illicit drugs such as heroin or cocaine.”

Note that Floyd was saying that he couldn’t breathe, both before and after Chauvin put him in the knee-hold.  It was the drug he took, not Chauvin’s knee that killed him.

What we see here is what I call the Dalai Lama effect:  the magic transformation of a thug into a high priest of purity and holiness as soon as he expires in police custody.  This must be done to absolve the black underclass from ever taking responsibility for their own terrible life choices, and to avoid having them burn down yet another town in a liberal state where police are too cowed to stop them.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Stormy Weather

It stormed all night here in Hollister.  Howling wind and splattering sounds of rain.  My cat crawled under the covers with me, so cold was she.

I am not listening to music or watching TV shows, don’t feel like hearing all that electronic noise.  The sounds of the wind and rain are soothing and relaxing.  They sound like eternity, or maybe nature.  I think I’ll have another cup of coffee, snuggle in my armchair with my blanket and think profound thoughts.  

Friday, December 10, 2021

La Vie En Bleue

“The shortness of life, so often lamented, may be the best thing about it.”

—Arthur Schopenhauer, 1789-1860 (perhaps the world’s most pessimistic philosopher)

Shopenhauer, a German philosopher, saw life as a painful experience with happiness in short supply.  He thought the best approach to it was not to seek happiness, but merely to limit the pain of life.  I think he had a point.  

There is a French song called “La Vie en Rose,” or life in the pink, seeing life through rose colored glasses.  Lately my life has been “La Vie en Bleue,” or life seen through a blue filter.  It no doubt seems worse than it is, being I am still grieving over the death of my dog.  I can do nothing except wait for my morbid mood to change, like the weather does periodically.   Meanwhile, I keep a nightly habit of writing in my blog, just before bed, in an attempt to dispell a few demons and find a bit of peace for my soul. 

Thursday, December 09, 2021

Going Home

For the past ten years or so I have had the habit of murmuring to myself  “I want to go home.”  It took me awhile to realize what this means.  It is a death wish.  Home does not refer to my earthly abode but my instinct of another home in whatever comes next.  I learned that this wish is often expressed by senior citizens like myself.  

I want to go home.  

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Fighting the Text Spammers

A few weeks ago I started receiving unwanted text messages on my iPhone and iPad.  They were advertising sites and subjects of a sexual nature.  I texted back the universal message that all ethical testers use, “Stop.”  That generally puts an end to the unwanted messages.  However, these spammer scum were anything but ethical and the messages kept coming.  I asked to be taken off their mailing list, but no dice.

I did an online search for a solution, and was advised to block the phone numbers sending the texts.  I did.  The messages stopped for a day and then started up again, with new phone numbers from the sender.  I blocked the new numbers but each day there were more.  I patiently blocked the new ones, thinking if I can’t stop the messages, at least I can make them work harder to send more.  I was at. war with the spammer scum and almost enjoyed the fight.  I was determined to outwit the spammers.

Finally I searched the iPhone apps and found several that claimed they would stop unwanted spam texts.  I chose one called SMS Spam Filter.  It has both a block list and an allow list.  For each phone number I added the area code and the first 2 digits of the phone number.  If the number began 1(201) 508, I added only 1(201) 50.  This prevented the spammers from using a slightly different number like 1(201) 509.  If they did, it wouldn’t matter since only the 1(201) 50 would be enough to block the spam.  I also noticed all the texts were from either hotmail or cricketwireless accounts, so I added hotmail and cricketwireless to the block list.  I also added certain terms in the messages like “sex,” “slut” etc to the block list.

I had to set this up separately on both my iPad and my iPhone, because texts would get through if I did not.

Next, I activated the filters by going to settings, messages, and message filtering Unknown and spam; then selecting SMS Spam Filter to activate.

It seems to be working as the spam texts have finally stopped.  Take that, spammer scum!

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

80 Years Ago Today

Eighty years ago today the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, sinking American ships, destroying planes and killing American military personnel.  It was a sneak attack and we were unprepared for it.

Today our biggest threat is from Communist China, who are building up their military at a furious pace.  They are preparing for war.  It seems there will always be a tyrannical totalitarian power, anxious to capture and control more peoples and territory.   Taiwan is in danger, as is the Ukraine in danger from Putin’s Russia.  Matters are not helped by the fact we have a fool in the White House with no credibility as a leader.  

Monday, December 06, 2021

Why Religion Sucks

I like Jesus, the man and philosopher.  His birthday is worth celebrating every December 25th.  Nevertheless, I have serious problems with Christianity.

In a nutshell, the story of Jesus is this:  God made man as a human being, with certain traits, needs, desires, and temptations.  But God didn’t like his imperfect creation.  When humans do human things, also called “sin,” like adultery, fornication, lying, etc, then humans must be punished by being thrown into Hell, a Lake of Fire, and suffer ghastly torment for all eternity.  In other words, God is punishing us for his mistakes.  Seems a bit harsh and unfair to me.

To escape this punishment, you must believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he was raised from the dead, and that he died for your salvation, I.e., the remission of your sins.  Believing all this is problematic for me, since it happened 2,021 years ago and they didn’t have videotape, newspapers or keep great records back then.  Of course, you may believe on faith, and faith isn’t as weak as atheists would have you believe.  Faith is just another way of knowing, sometimes at least.  

Somewhere in the New Testament it says that “there is no remission of sins without the shedding of blood.”   So Jesus had to suffer a horrible death for things he didn’t do, to satisfy this God’s bloodlust and desire for revenge.   What kind of monster god is this?  Not one that I choose to believe in.   

I am not, however, an atheist.  Have no fear:  you are already an immortal soul and you don’t need saving.  I prefer the eastern theory of birth and rebirth, the soul learning more with each incarnation until it may escape the cycle of reincarnation and remain in Heaven.  When wise people are referred to as “old souls” this is what they are referring to.  

Don’t agree with me?  You don’t have to.  No one knows for sure what our time in this realm really means.  Hopefully, we will eventually find out.

Sunday, December 05, 2021

Sick of Twitter? Try Gettr

There is a new social media platform that closely resembles Twitter.  It’s called Gettr and it’s growing quickly. I have an account now using Stogie2 as my sign in name.  Many well known conservatives have opened accounts there now.

Check it out.

Disqus Sucks as a Commenting System

Disqus is a great security system, if you want to be protected from reader comments and messages.  Since I installed it many months ago, comments to my blog have slowed to a trickle.  When I do get a rare comment, I have to jump through the same hoops as anyone else in order to reply.

Those hoops include a login, password and captcha screen before you can get through.  If you get the password or login name wrong, you won’t get an error message until after you’ve gone through the captcha maze. 

Today or tomorrow I am sending Disqus into oblivion.  Commenting should be easy and straight forward, and not require a phd in programming.

Whatever happened to Tinsel (Fake Icicles) on Christmas Trees?

Our Christmas tree is up.  However, it doesn’t seem as pretty or as magical as Christmas trees as those in my past.

My wife pointed it out when she mentioned that she missed tinsel, the fake icicles of years gone by.  The hanging silver colored strands on every bough reflected the lights and gave the tree a lovely ambiance.  But you can’t find them in stores anymore.  Perhaps for ecological reasons, stores stopped carrying them.

I searched and found some.  I ordered a box of 2000 strands for $6.00 and change.

Saturday, December 04, 2021

The Love of a Dog

I have watched several YouTube videos on coping with the death of a beloved dog.  People experience deep grief when their dog dies.  I am not unique in that regard.

Here is one such video.  It’s worth watching.

Home For Christmas: the Best Place to Be

I feel for the sojourners who find themselves far from home in the Christmas Season.  Like truck drivers, military personnel, traveling business people.   Strange vistas,  unknown towns, hotel rooms, restaurants.  Cold and snow.  Surrounded by strangers.

God bless them all.  May they soon be cuddled with their spouse, kids and dog, by a warm fire with a Christmas tree nearby, glowing with colored lights.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Another Day, Another Post

After neglecting this blog for nine months, I am posting regularly again.  The reason is that I use my iPad far more than my laptop, and I finally have an app that allows me to post from my iPad.

I got my iPhone 13 today.  It’s my first new phone since my iPhone 7, which I am retiring.  New toys always cheer me up, and I need cheering up, absent my beloved dog, Bogie.  I hate the futility of grief.  It’s the mind struggling to solve an insolvable problem, the irreversible absence of a loved one.

For the past few months I realized that Bogie’s departure was near.  He was 14.  So at night, preparing for sleep, Bogie would curl up at the foot of my bed. I would pet him and tell him:  “I love you, you don’t know how much I love you.  When you die, take me with you.  We’ll go to Heaven together.”

Unfortunately, Bogie couldn’t wait for me to join him in his final journey.  I hope to catch up with him later on.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Religion and the Nature of Reality

What’s It All About Alfie?

My grief over the death of my dog, Bogie, has me in a strange but contemplative mood.  

What is the nature of our reality?  Why are we here?  How are we here?  What happens to us when we die?

Philosophers have contemplated these questions for thousands of years.  If God wants something from us, what is it?  Why hasn’t He been more clear and transparent about it?  Yeah, yeah, we have the Bible.  I’ve read it and the questions remain.  I have problems with the Christian tale and promise of salvation.  I may go into it at some point, but I have no desire to undermine anyone’s faith.  I am not on a crusade to destroy anyone’s religious beliefs, with the exception of Islam and certain Christian sects that kill people through ignorance and fanaticism.  Like Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Christmas Time Is Here

Our lights are up on the house.  Maybe I can talk my wife into getting a Christmas tree tomorrow.

I love this time of year.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Coping With Pet Grief, Advice from Spark of Life

If you are in grief over the loss of a pet, you are not alone.  An organization called “Spark of Life” deals with grief and has a video on it.  See YouTube link below.

Charley Brown and Linus Van Pelt

Life is largely a pain in the ass, moving from one painful episode to another.  How, then, can we achieve a measure of happiness?  For me, it’s the satisfaction of creating art in graphic form, using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.  Here’s one I created last year using both those programs, Illustrator for drawing the figures, Photoshop to create snowfall.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Grief is the Worst Psychic Pain of All. How Can We Endure It?

I still grieve for my dog, Bogie.  I hate grief, it is the worst psychic pain of all.  How can we deal with it?  I think it’s similar to the flu.  You just have to suffer through it while waiting for it to pass.  In my home I see Bogie everywhere, in the back yard, in the living room where he lay in front of my armchair where I watch TV, at the foot of my bed where he slept most every night of the last twelve years.  I am waiting for scar tissue to cover the gaping wound in my soul.

I know there are many people suffering even more terrible grief than I, like the families in Waukesha, Wisconsin who lost six family members who were run over by a car that plowed into the Christmas parade that they were part of.  I have a friend, a Lutheran pastor, whose 14 year old son committed suicide over some personal pain he was experiencing. He was a talented kid who was a lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol, a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans, and his parents’ only child.  I can’t imagine how painful that must be to his parents.  Also, My best friend for sixty years lost his only son in a car crash in 2001.  My grief pales in comparison.

May God grant us all peace and release from such unbearable pain.

Rose Kennedy had this to say:  “It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’  I do not agree.The wounds remain.  In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens.  But it is never gone.”

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Ghost-Filled Holidays

I’m not such a bearer of Good Tidings and Cheer this holiday season of 2021.  I am still grieving for my dog who died on October 6.  That sadness bleeds over onto my memories of family and friends who are no longer in this world.  Life goes by fast and I am in the final stages of my own.  I don’t fear dying, I fear living without those I love still around.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Hope y’all have a warm and lovely Thanksgiving.  It’s just me and my wife this year, kind of sad and boring.  Kids are all living miles away.   

We visited two of our three sons in Los Angeles this week, and drove home to Northern California on Tuesday.  We were amazed at the massive amounts of trucks on the freeway, numerous caravans, or so it seemed.  This may reflect a reopening of the supply chain and a rush to catch up commercial shipments.  If so, we may be able to do Christmas shopping after all.

The hateful left is very angry that three of their felon foot soldiers were shot by Kyle Rittenhouse (clearly in self defense) and he was not boiled in oil for it.  The wart hogs on the View were especially rabid and irrational.  

I tested my commenting system, which is a Disqus system, and found it absurdly difficult to use. Few want to jump through many hoops to comment, and I don’t blame them. I will either fix it or replace it soon.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Kyle Rittenhouse: Justice Is Done and the Left’s Pissed Off

Yesterday the Jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial delivered their verdict:  Not Guilty on all charges.  While folks on the right celebrated the triumph of justice, the left threw a riot in Portland and its pundits denounced the “racist” verdict and the triumph of “white supremacy.”  Since both the shooter and the shot were all white, the racial accusations were even more false and irrational than usual.

Screwball Democrats in Congress expressed a desire for a federal charge against Rittenhouse, to continue their worthless crusade against anyone who fights back at leftist violence and extremism.  The three thugs that Rittenhouse was forced to shoot represent the dregs of society who were in Kenosha to burn, wreck and ruin businesses and vehicles.  Rittenhouse was there to put out fires, remove grafiti from a school, and defend businesses from arson and vandalism.  The riot began as a leftist effort to protest the justified police shooting of yet another black criminal, one Jacob Blake, who accosted the cops with a knife, even though repeatedly advised to drop the knife and surrender.  Blake survived his wounds and is hopefully recuperating in a cozy jail cell somewhere.  

Once again we see how sides are chosen in yet another Democrat riot:  the left always supports the violent thugs over their intended victims,  always  criminality over lawfulness, and evil over good.  They are the sworn enemies of civilization.  

Behold the three (rotten) apples of leftist eyes.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Life, Death and the Hereafter

On Life and Death

I am not a member of any religion but I do believe in a higher power.  Some call it simply the universe, the source, or God.  I’m not a fan of this life on Earth, because of the existence of death.  I’m now 77 years of age and I have seen so many of my friends and relatives die.   One day they’re here and the next day they’re not.  Where did they go?  Did they have immortal souls or is that just a happy myth?  Absence a body, can they still have memories, retain their personalities, still think?  Do they know they’re dead?

No one can be sure but studies of the near death experience give us hope that these things are true.  Better yet, these experiences indicate dogs and cats and other animals also make it into the heavenly realm.  I hope so, I sure want to see all of my dogs and cats again.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Awaiting the Verdict in Kyle Rittenhouse Trial

The trial of Kyle Rittenhouse has ended and the jury is out.  Kyle shot three leftist rioters during the August 2020 riot in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Videos and witnesses show Kyle acted in self-defense in fear for his life.  Most responsible pundits say Kyle should be acquitted.  He is charged with murder and other charges.  

The left really wants Kyle found guilty.  They support riots and rioters, hate this country and are determined to change it into a left wing authoritarianism,  either socialist or fascist.  Various leftist spokesmen have threatened more rioting and violence if Kyle is acquitted and this may result in a compromised verdict born of fear and juror intimidation.  I very much hope that Kyle is found not guilty of all charges.  

We are in a civil war with the far left, though it has not yet grown into open violence, the various riots not withstanding.  

Older Than Dirt

Today is my birthday.  I am 77 years old, the same age my father was when he died in 1991.

I have outlived my two brothers, Ted and Dennis.  Ted died at 76 in 2019 and Dennis died at 72 in 2020.  

To outlive my father I need to survive until March 9, 2022, when I will be one day older than he was when he passed.  I figured this out using an Excel spreadsheet.

I certainly do not fear death.  However, my health is excellent for my age and I suspect I am fated to suffer this mortal coil until my eighties.  

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Illustrations of Grief

I found a couple of graphic illustrations of the grief I feel for my dog, Bogie.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Sadness and Grief: My Dog Bogie died.

The most beloved dog of my life died on October 6. Bogie was my constant companion for 12 years, dying of lung cancer at the age of 14.  My grief over his loss has been the worst of my life and the pain deep and terrible.

Yes, he was old and it was just his time.  Nevertheless, his absence is glaring.

Bogie was diagnosed on a Monday and died the following Wednesday. So it was sudden and unexpected.  We were driving him to the vets to be put down but he died in the back seat just as we arrived.  We had to watch him in his death throes, and it was devastating and traumatic.

The pain is less now, 5 weeks later, but has been replaced with an omnipresent feeling of sadness.  


Testing my blogger app

Checking out my blogger app

Friday, March 26, 2021

Dems Want Statehood for District of Columbia

One of the current Democrat schemes to ensure Democrat majorities in perpetuity is to make DC a state with two new Democrat senators.  We know that DC is perpetually far left and will always vote socialist.

DC is the socialist foul stink hole of Washington.  How appropriate for Democrat prospects.  

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Another Muslim Mass Murder

Muslims committing mass murder in the United States is almost commonplace.  There was the Fort Hood massacre, the Orlando Pulse atrocity and the Boston Marathon terrorism.  This week another one occurred in Boulder, Colorado, where ten innocents were shot to death.

Democrats, who have their brains in backwards, generally react to Muslim atrocities by inviting more Muslims in.   And, of course, advocating repeal of the Second Amendment.  

The obvious solution always evades them:  ban Muslims, not guns.

Sunday, March 07, 2021

Stoicism and Marcus Aurelius

Lately I have been drawn to the philosophy of Stoicism, as famously taught by the ancient Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius.  Stoicism teaches that it is not external events that make us unhappy, but our reaction to them.  You can avoid unnecessary, fruitless stress and worry over events and situations that are beyond your control, and achieve serenity in the process.  For example you can alleviate anguish over Biden’s destruction of the economy through a stoic response.  At times you must “trust the universe” to deal with such situations.

Of course you should do everything that is under your control to avoid unpleasant outcomes.  However, when the outcome is beyond your direct control, stressing over it has no purpose.  Accept it and move on.

Marcus Aurelius

Saturday, March 06, 2021

Grief Takes Many Forms

For the past two years I have experienced my severest depression of all time, praying for my own death, beseeching my dead father to “come and get me.”  Today there was a slight break in the clouds and a small ray of sunshine came through.

I took a three hour nap and when I woke up I felt better.  Then I realized my death wish was simply borne of my grief for my two brothers who died in less than a year of each other.  Grief takes many forms and mine has resulted in a feeling that I want to join my brothers on the other side.

I’ll be with them in time.   No need to be impatient.  Meanwhile I need to seek a reason and a purpose for remaining in this realm, to be happy.  I’ll work on that.

The Last Farewell - Lyrics - Roger Whittaker

One of  my favorite songs is "The Last Farewell" by Roger Whittaker.  It was popular in 1974 when I was separated from my sweetheart while living and working in Arizona.  The song reminded me of her.  I still love the song.  I came home and married the sweetheart.

Here it is.  Enjoy.

Friday, March 05, 2021

“Always On Watch” husband Dave Dies

Dave, husband of blogger “Always On Watch” died yesterday of natural causes in Virginia.  RIP Dave and condolences to AOW, his wife who cared for him since his debilitating stroke several years ago.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Secession and Historical Ignorance

There’s a YouTuber called Timcast who is generally conservative, but yesterday he really pissed me off.  He opined that secession of states is illegal and revealed some of the most ignorant and naive notions about the War of Northern Aggression, the kind of 3rd grade pap we were all taught in childhood.  Jeez, some people never learn.

Dr Seuss and Secession

Dr Seuss has now fallen prey to Cancel Culture madness, to political fanatics who see anything and everything as “raaacist.”  The insanity continues to worsen and we need to separate ourselves from it.

Speaking of separation, the subject of red state secession is being discussed more and more by conservatives and Republicans.  I fully support this remedy for healing the body politic.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Magic "D" as a Voting Guide

 Democrats are people who generally have no understanding of economics, culture, history or the Constitution.  They are ignorant voters who are motivated by a kind of political religion:  only vote for candidates with the magic "D" after their name, D standing for Democrat, of course.

Why not vote for the candidate most likely to make your life better, as in more prosperous, secure and generally more well off?

Here are the attributes that make most sense for any candidate.  He or she supports the folloing:

1.  Prosperity, More Jobs, a Strong Economy.  Renegotiating trade agreements that are unfair to the United States.  Sane tax and spend policies that do not encourage jobs to seek overseas tax havens.

2.  Energy Independence.  Not having to rely on Arabic and other hostile countries for our energy; having lower and more stable prices at the gas pump.

3. Secure Borders.  Preventing huge caravans of foreigners from pouring into our country to exhaust our welfare and other resources,  while bringing in disease and crime.

4,  A Strong & Ready Military.  The world is a hostile place, with countries who despise us like China, Russia, Iran and various other despotisms.  Coupled with a sane foreign policy, of non-intervention in foreign disputes, this is a must for our phsycal security from outside attacks.

5.  Anti-Corruption.  There are many American office-holders who are on the take, who support foreign interests over our own, for payoffs in money and other wealth.  This is what corruption is.  

6.  Supportive of Sane Cultural Norms.  Not given to support every weird, unnatural and destructive behavioral fad that comes down the pike.  Like the belief that gender is decided, not by biology, but by personal preference, or a belief in catastrophic global warming requiring trillions in new taxes to combat what is essentially a myth.

As a Democrat, are you ready for fewer jobs, less economic opportunity, higher gas prices, higher crime rates, political corruption, inflation, and higher taxes?  Is voting for the "Magic D" worth it?

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Loose Cannon Joe Biden and CPAC

 Life sucks and then you die.  My younger brother Dennis died a year ago today.

Last Wednesday they buried Rush Limbaugh in St. Louis, Missouri.  They may as well bury the USA right next to him.  We're done.  Even the evil Democrats know that Joe Biden is a loose cannon, as they are trying to relieve him as sole possessor of the nuclear football.  Maybe they're afraid the old goat will start a nuclear war.

Conservatives are meeting in DC for CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) this weekend and discussing what to do and whom to bash now that the USA has been virtually ended.  I have little interest in a bunch of rah-rah flag-waving speeches.  In light of the fraudulent and stolen presidential election, in which a highly competent president was exchanged for a fool, politics cannot proceed as usual.  A right wing radical plan is needed.  One that involves secession and/or nullification of Democrat legislation, a flat refusal to obey or go along with the insane policies of the left.  

At the very least, practice passive resistance.  When we are commanded to do something, just don't do it.  Don't accept or use "woke" social criteria and language.  Don't pretend men dressed as women are actually female.  They are transvestites and suffer a kind of mental illness.  They may or may not deserve sympathy for their affliction, but not credibility or even respect.

Realize that "Black Crime Matters" and that is what mostly endangers black lives.  Don't give credence to the "Black Lives Matter" frenzy.  The millions of dollars of businesses and property in Ferguson, Baltimore and St. Louis mattered too, when they were burned to the ground by rampaging blacks, enraged that some black thug got his just deserts.

Don't honor or give credence to "Black History Month."  It will end as February comes to a close, but the concept of celebrating someone's skin color is repugnant and divisive, and also very left wing.  It's secret message is "You're different and separate, live with it."  If you're black you're a victim, and if any other color, you're an oppressor.

More cheerful reporting later.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Rush Limbaugh Dies; Life Goes On; Preparing for Death

Sad event this past Wednesday, February 17:  the great Rush Limbaugh died of lung cancer.  I will miss his voice on the radio.

Perseverance, out latest Mars probe, landed safely on the red planet.  That was a relief since there is always the danger a probe will crash. 

I have been doing back to back tax returns for the past couple of weeks, too tired t post anything here.

When the tax season is over, I plan to start planning for my own death, by going through all my belongings and figuring what to bequeath, give away or throw away.  I am not in imminent danger of dying but at age 76 there is always that possibility.  I have kept diaries and journals since I was eleven years old and I would like to transcribe the best of the manually written ones into Word files to distribute to my kids and grandkids.  Most of the journals are already in Word format, but I want to go through them and delete or edit any comments that might hurt anyone close to me.

I really don't want to do taxes after this season.  I need to find a way to end it without totally pissing off my wife, who thinks we can keep doing taxes until we are a hundred years old.  It's time to downgrade our living style, sell this house in this ruinously expensive state and move somewhere  sane.

Next year I will be 77.  My dad died at 77, my older brother at 76, my younger brother at 72.   My mom died at 85 and I think I take after her.  If so, I will have to endure this existence longer than I would like.

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Democrat Hatred Reaches Alarming Levels


The second sham impeachment trial of Donald Trump begins soon.  It's purpose is to convict Trump on false charges so that he cannot seek election in the future.  What terrible misdeeds did Trump perpetrate to earn such Draconian punishment?

Nothing, actually.  His four years in office were amazingly good for the American people, and that has embarrassed the ineffective and incompetent Democrats, who fear losing much of their political power for many years to come.  That fear is so great that they resorted to political extremism and sedition to remove Trump from office.  

My Covid illness is in its last stages and I return to work tomorrow.  Back to doing taxes.  I am not looking forward to it.  I would almost rather have Covid.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Who Will Be the First to Secede?


Secession movements are active across  the USA, most importantly in Texas.  However, many realize that the fraudulent election of 2020 pretty much killed off any pretense that we are "united" states, especially with utterly fascist plans by the Democrats to outlaw free speech and punish those who disagree.

The truth is, individual states don't have to go along with the new fascism of Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.   These radicals do not have the right to rule -- they only do so with our express consent, and we can withdraw our consent.

So what do we do when the radical Democrats pack the Supreme Court, open the borders, outlaw fossil fuel production and invalidate the Second Amendment?  We just say NO.  WE DO NOT CONSENT.  We are removing our states from the jurisdiction of the far-left, unAmerican and anti-American PARTY OF TREASON, the Democrats.

I have chosen as a symbol of the Right of Constitutional Secession, the Bonnie Blue Flag, first used by the Southern states in the secession of  1861.   The flag features a Single Star, representative of your state that you have retrieved from the Union to again stand alone in political independence and self-governance.

Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that Bears a Single Star!

My Covid Battle

 I am slowly recovering from my Covid infection.  I have been dizzy and faint for days and given to long naps.  

We are experiencing one heck of a rainstorm here.  My backyard is flooded.

Friday, January 22, 2021


My test results came in today,  I tested positive for Covid-19.  

For the past ten days I have been sick with it.  It feels like a cross between a cold and the flu, but mostly like a cold.  I had an ear ache for a few days and still have the sniffles.  Feel dizzy and faint.

Will I die?  No such luck.  

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Fighting Covid; Blog Cleanup; Links

 i am still waiting for my Covid test results.  I think i probably have the virus as I have been ill for a week now with little to no improvement.

Today I deleted a lot of old links from my blog.  Those that remain are ones I can heartily recommend.  

Now I am off to the television set and my big armchair while I await inspiration as to to posting and graphic art.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Blog Cleanup; Looking for My Next Clipart Project

 I am in the process of cleaning up my blog roll, deleting old links that no longer work, or represent sites I rarely visit or read.  

I am now looking for ideas about possible clip art projects.  My recent King Tut project was the best and most satisfying graphic art that I have yet created.  I would like more projects with that degree of difficulty, that also express thoughts, feelings or memes about the demise of the United States.  I will give it some thought.  Suggestions are welcome.

Final Day of Greatest American President

Today the sun sets on the Trump Administration.  Gone is the greatest economy in my lifetime.  Energy independence and border security are under dire threat by the grinning fool selected to take over for the far left tomorrow.

Meanwhile, today I will be tested for the Corona Virus, and I'm pretty sure I have it.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Eye of Horus

Horus is a lesser-known god in the pantheon of ancient Egypt.  He was sort of the B Team.  However, he did contribute one great symbol that often adorns the walls of tombs and temple pillars and obelisks.  That symbol is known as the Eye of Horus.   It is recognized as a symbol of protection, royal power, and good health. 

Back in the seventies when King Tut was becoming popular this symbol was often used as the motif for articles about the king.  I liked the look, it struck me as cool and jazzy.  I assumed it was a modern creation by some hip graphic artist in Greenwich Village or San Francisco.  I was surprised to learn that it's a symbol thousands of years old.

I drew this with Adobe Illustrator.

Weird Things Going On In DC

 It seems the military has 20,000 troops guarding buildings in Washington DC in preparation for the installation of the phony president, Joe Biden.  It's a "consciousness of guilt" scenario -- the Dems know that they have committed a treasonous overthrow of our electoral system and are expecting extreme pushback because of it.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

WE DO NOT CONSENT: The Doctrine of Secession


A long established dictum of government, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, is that a government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.  The Fascist-Democrat takeover of the nation, now underway, does not recognize or validate that dictum.  Indeed, they have declared war on the rest of society that refuses their socialist/globalist quasi-dictatorship.

The Democrat election theft, the censorship and deplatforming of conservative writers, pundits and politicians, the calls for reeducation camps for Trump supporters and the take away of their children, all indicate the seriousness of our current situation.   Extremists now have control of the federal government.

As for the dictum, our position should be clear:  


Based on this, I will now dedicate this blog, for the foreseeable future, or until I am deplatformed like the rest,  on the advocacy of secession of conservative states.  Our union with tyranny has come to an end, it's time to recognize this fact and seek peaceful solutions.


Tuesday, January 12, 2021


 The United States is now governed by the most seditious, hateful and virulent anti-American cabal in our history.  We shall witness the rapid disappearance of our liberties, as is now happening.  There is little chance of recovering the America we once knew through elections and votes.  This is because the Democrats will simply steal each new presidential election and censor all conservative argument by control of the media, including and especially social media. 

Our greatest avenue of escaping leftist tyranny is through the secession of states.  Think about it:  if we could convince leftist states like California, New York, Massachusetts and others to secede, i.e. to leave the United States and form their own union, the remaining states could then end socialism and live in peace under the Constitution as originally intended by the Founding Fathers. 

However, the leftist states will do no such thing, so we should do it for them:  secede, take our states out of the corrupted union now forced upon us, and create a new union of red states, governed by the original Constitution, with a reliable Supreme Court, a fair media, fair and honest elections, and universities that teach traditional American values rather than Marxism. 

This isn't as crazy as you may think.  It has been done before, when the states left the Articles of Confederation and affirmed the new Constitution.  They essentially left one political union for a new one.  We can and must to the same.

If the leftwing states won't leave us, we must leave them.  How and when to do this should be an important discussion among patriot groups everywhere.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Digital Iron Curtain Descends: Amazon to Terminate Parler Today

Parler's servers are hosted by Amazon, but Amazon is going along with the mass censorship movement of the Far Left.  So Parler will soon be inaccessible to millions of its users.  Geller has the details here

The modern left is fueled by hatred, vindictiveness and a desire for revenge.  They are determined to punish anyone who supported or worked for the Trump Administration.  They are political fanatics and extremists.  Forbes, supposedly a bastion of free market capitalism, has declared war on any company that hires former Trump supporters.  Forbes wants those supporters and cabinet officials to suffer public ostracism, unemployment, economic deprivation, and humiliation.  

Pamela Geller is spot on in her description of the new liberal fascism:

The unholy alliance between government and big business is fascism, and I mean the literal definition of the word: Fascism is authoritarianism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy.

Kudos to Daniel Greenfield for coining the apt description "the Digital Iron Curtain."

Massive Leftist Attack on Free Speech

 Yesterday all the leftist social media outlets, i.e. Twitter, FaceBook and Apple, moved to eliminate conservative thought and argument from the internet.  Twitter eliminated numerous conservatives from their platform, not only the President of the United States, but Dan Bongino, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Fitton and many others.

Most are going to Parler instead, but Apple has eliminated the Parler app from their App page, insisting that Parler must enact censorship rules acceptable to the leftist corporation, or no one will be able to download the Parler app anymore.  However, you can bypass the wormy Apple by accessing Parler on its web page at

Yesterday I deleted both of my Twitter accounts and will access that site no more.  If you have a Twitter account, feel free to do the same.

Friday, January 08, 2021

KING TUT: Original Clip Art by Stogie Using Adobe Illustrator

The Death Mask of King Tutankhamen. 
This one took me a while, several hours over several days.  It took my mind off the Democrat Fraudulent Election.

When Howard Carter opened King Tut's sarcophagus in 1923, he found a wreath of dried flowers placed on the forehead of Tut's burial mask.  Flowers that were placed there by his grieving widow 3,000 years before.  

Update:  I improved the beard, made it lighter in color and braided, like the original death mask.

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

The Demise of the United States of America

There were massive protests in Washington DC today, against the fraudulent election.  Mike Pence was a major disappointment, simply going along with the electoral vote counting process as if it were normal and legitimate.  There is massive anger directed at Pence by conservatives on Twitter, as well as at other sell-out Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham.

Could Pence have refused votes from fraud states?  Maybe not, but he could have tried.  Also, he could have requested a ten day extension of the electoral vote counting process, but he did not even bother. If this weakling thinks he has a shot at the presidency in 2024, he is fooling himself.

We have been defeated by fraud and bad faith by the left, but it is only a battle and not the war.  We can and will start a new political party, e.g. the "Patriot Party."  I hope so, I need to be able to register to vote and I will not remain a Republican, the other half of the Uni-Party.  I used to worry about the lack of effectiveness in voting for a third party, but it beats not voting at all.  What have we got to lose?  Nothing.

Monday, January 04, 2021

The Republican Party Has Got To Go (and be replaced)


I am one of those who identify closely with the Confederacy and the South when it comes to the "Civil War," or as we prefer to call it, the War for Southern Independence.

So which party do we support?  Not the modern Democrats, who stand for everything we despise.  So the great majority of us vote Republican, the party of the tyrant who invaded us and conquered us so many decades ago.  We don't like Abraham Lincoln but for the sake of party unity we generally keep quiet when other Republicans mouth off about the glories of Lincoln and the Grand Old Party and all its mythical values.  It's depressing to see so many people so ignorant of history, as they praise a monster who ran a reign of terror and replaced our voluntary union with an involuntary one.

However, I think that is coming to an end.  More and more conservatives are seeing the Republican Party for the big government cheerleader it really is, and so many Republicans whose only loyalty is to their seat in Congress and all the perks that go with it.  There is more talk of replacing the Republican Party with something better.  I would love a new conservative party that is not tainted with the stink of Abraham Lincoln.

Back to Work: Tax Season Starts Today

 Bummer, I have to start work today, doing taxes.  With Covid and Newsom's ridiculous prohibitions, it will be a challenging tax season.  A lot of tax returns will be prepared virtually, with clients sending their tax documents to us through a secure server, with reviewing and approving the completed return the same way.  Many clients will not have to come into the office.  Face to face meetings will be rare, or conducted via video camera.

I'd rather stay home and work on Adobe Illustrator projects, but that doesn't pay the bills.

I have my biggest and best Illustrator project in progress and I hope to post it this week.  It will feature King Tutankhamen.  

I find ancient Egypt fascinating, mainly because of its art and sculpture.  Massive temples and statues carved out of stone with primitive tools, boggles the mind.  Many of these artifacts are thousands of years old.  The massive Great Sphinx was staring out across the sands two thousand years before Christ walked the Earth.  King Tut was dead a thousand years before the same event.  Wow.

Friday, January 01, 2021

EGYPT - Original Clip Art by Stogie (That's Me)

I created this clip art just for fun.  I used Photoshop to add the brick texture but everything else is from Adobe Illustrator.

The more I make the better I will get, theoretically.  You learn by doing. 

Pence Powerless to Stop Biden's Inauguration?

 I have read the opinions from a couple of lawyers, one at Legal Insurrection and the other at Powerline, that Pence does not have the Constitutional authority to reject any electoral votes, no matter how fraudulent.  We are heading into a Biden forced presidency.  The only possible solution would probably be Trump activating the Insurrection Act and, declaring martial law and forcefully reversing the fake election.

Would I support such a solution?  You betcha.

Happy New Year (Clip Art)

I knocked out this clip art for Happy New Year.  I don't want champagne glasses and fireworks, I'd rather focus on peaceful nature on January 1st.

Time for coffee.


The Cold Gray Dawn of a New Year

The morning of a new year never seems cheerful or hopeful or optimistic.  Not for me, anyway.

It's cold, the sky is gray and overcast.  How will I spend the first day of 2021?

I will work on graphics.  I want to create my second clip art creation.  What shall it be?  Happy New year?  Nah, overdone.  Blogging?  Maybe.   

Update:  Okay, here's an ankh.  It is an ancient Egyptian symbol associated with King Tut.  It is the symbol of life.  It looks a bit like a Christian cross, but it is not.  In the 1960s hippies wore them around their necks.  It wasn't difficult to make it in Illustrator.  Decided to start off with something easy.

UPDATE:  I flared the arms and foot a bit to look more like an actual ankh.