Easter Choices

My wife and I planned to go to a sunrise Easter service at a local cemetery. My wife wanted to go, because she’s a good person of faith. I wanted to go, because I was hoping it would be spooky in the cemetery. Considering we were expecting 30 relatives at our house for Easter, we chose to do other things at sunrise on Easter Sunday to prepare for our guests. As I cleaned our basement Saturday night, I made the choice to watch some episodes of Expedition Unknown on the Discovery Channel which involved Jesus, Moses, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. I think that fulfilled my Sunday obligation.

We had some younger kids coming over on Easter, so I busted out the games. In the basement, we had air hockey, Twister, and Hungry, Hungry Hippos ready to be played, and they were. Thanks to some wonderful weather, I set up a few games throughout our ample backyard. However, choices were made by our guests to specifically not play one of the games. So, now is your chance to play a game and see if you can choose the game not played by our guests. Here are 3 of the games: badminton, bags, and ladderball.

Which game went untouched?

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Shaping American Consumerism

My work whiteboard is officially empty.

If you are looking for a way to really excite your blog readers, start off with a blank picture. But seriously, the empty whiteboard does have some significance for me. It means I’m officially sliding toward retirement. My small import/export medical business has had a good 15 year run, but it is grinding to a halt. I knew the end was coming due to circumstances beyond my control. And now it’s here … about 20 months too early before I start taking retirement benefits.

In the meantime, I’m doing some work as a product tester. Yes, people pay me for my opinion. This is incredible to me because I am used to my family not even wanting me to express my opinion.

Just recently, I have worked with some very large to small little start-up companies who have paid me to express my opinions on such fascinating products as:

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Merry Arrestmas

During this Arrestmas season, have you noticed how Republicans won’t say, “Merry Arrestmas” and will only say “Happy Holidays” or “Fuck off?” Come to think of it, they always say the latter to me. Dare I suggest that Republicans are waging a War on Arrestmas?

Okay, so I vowed in my last post not to go back to Trump coverage, but a friend sent me this today.

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At a Crossroads

I haven’t blogged for over a week. It would have felt good to take a blogcation except I was sick. Not that you cared. I didn’t receive one Get Well Soon balloon bouquet from any readers. I’m telling myself that maybe you tried but encountered some difficulties getting it to me.

Or, it may be due to what I hear is a helium shortage. Thanks, Biden. It’s hard for me to confirm such a shortage, because helium is an invisible gas.

A huge reason that I couldn’t blog this past week is because of writing.

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Ecstatic to See Ex-XTC as EXTC in Concert

I challenge you to say that title 3 times fast. It almost didn’t happen for me. I have been recuperating from a nasty bout of acute bronchitis. Take my word for it that there’s nothing (a)cute about it. I spat something up onto the driveway from the depths of my diseased bronchi and watched in horror as it scurried under my car. I think it has latched onto the undercarriage of my vehicle and is tracking my travels, waiting for an opportunity to pounce.

But I felt just good enough to make the trip into Chicago to meet my oldest son for a concert. Yes, I survived yet another trip into Chicago, aka a crime-infested hellhole per Fox News. I parked on the street for free and had a pleasant walk to City Winery where we had a delightful dinner and saw EXTC in concert.

Before I get to EXTC, I pointed out to my son that the band from his first ever concert would be playing a show soon at City Winery.

He was unimpressed and claims he can’t recall the concert from when he was two years old. Sounds like someone is running from his past rather than embracing it. Anyway, back to last night’s show …

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My Ironic Fall

On top of the disappointment of Arrestmas apparently not happening today (yet another Trump lie), I took an ironic fall down some stairs last night. I have a thing about shoelaces being tied as I have tripped before on my untied laces. Before I headed upstairs late last night to bed, I made sure to tie the laces on my slippers. Once I got upstairs, I realized I needed to return downstairs, which I did without my slippers. No need to worry about tripping on untied laces, right? Ironically, I didn’t need laces to trip and tumble down the last few stairs with enough ruckus to wake the whole household.

I’m okay, but the fall may have shook me enough that I slept through my new alarm clock that was unable to rouse me this morning.

And I still can’t find my bed melon!

Angle From Mar-a-Lago on Arrestmas Eve

One of my favorite John Prine songs is “Angel From Montgomery,” although I slightly prefer Bonnie Raitt’s cover to Prine’s original. And when the two of them shared a stage and that song shortly before Prine’s passing, well …

That’s where I got the title for today’s blog post. Yeah, I know I spelled angel wrong. I’ll get to that later. But this is not really a music post, and it has nothing to do with Prine, Raitt, or that song. However, I felt I needed to post something positive and beautiful before foisting this picture upon you on Arrestmas Eve.

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New Music for Old Rockers – Thinking About This Song

I came later in life to an appreciation of Beck as a musical artist. I think it was his 2017 album Colors that really got me on the Beck train. It’s such a fun, vibrant pop album for adults. He dialed back the pop just a bit for Hyperspace in 2019, and then went somewhat quiet. He has put out one single a year since then, and “Thinking About You” is 2023’s absolute gem of a single.

I love the stripped-down arrangement using an acoustic guitar to lead us on a gentle journey through this beautiful song. And the lyrics? How about these to start the song?

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My Clean Freezer Challenge Diet

I’m sure you all fondly remember such harmeless social media challenges as planking, eating Tide pods, dumping buckets of ice over your head, and bleach enemas. Oh, wait. That last one wasn’t a social media challenge but Trump’s suggestion to kill COVID. Disregard that one.

But I have stumbled upon what I think will be the next viral challenge. I’m determined to clean out our freezer, and what better way to do that than to eat my way through all the frozen food? I’m certainly not going to throw out perfectly good, ice-encrusted expired food. While that may be prudent, it is also wasteful.

I found 3 bags of these in the freezer.

Wow, no antibiotics, EVER! That’s great. So, I guess they didn’t slaughter chickens that were under doctor’s care trying to recover from sinus infections. Good to know. I normally don’t eat poultry or red meat, but to save a buck, I find I can set aside my morals with uncomfortable ease when there’s food about to be wasted.

There were 2 patties in each of the 3 bags in the freezer, enough for 1 meal per bag. I dove right in. I used my mountain climbing pickaxe to free the patties from their icy shrouds. After 3 days, the bags were empty and patties devoured. I was soon to be a bit empty myself. Take a look at the expiration dates on each bag.

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Write Right Now

I haven’t written much other than this blog recently. Personal and professional issues keep getting in the way. And an election is coming up. I was grateful when a writing buddy emailed me a link to a short story writing contest. No, I don’t think I’ll win.

Editor’s Note: Ugh, he’s feigning modesty again. This egotistical dummy is 100% certain he’ll win. You can be sure when he loses and the contest judges burn his entry in disgust, he’ll feign shock and surprise.

Anyhoo, I do have an idea for a short story. And the contest is 5 bucks to enter. Cheap, like me!

It involves writing to an artistic prompt, specifically this painting.

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Icky Pop

Nobody is exempt from the ravages of time and aging … except maybe for QB Tom Brady. Nobody can cheat death … except maybe for Rolling Stone Keith Richards. I am no exception. As I age, I am finding that even my wrinkles have wrinkles. I get it. We get old. We get gross.

I accept that fact as I go concerting, seeing a mix of new and old acts. The old acts show some mileage and tread wear. That’s right, they look tired. See what I did there? I used some tire analogies and then the word tired?

Editor’s Note: He thinks he’s so clever. He’s not. Those “clever” tire references are nothing more than retread puns. See what I did there?

Anyhoo, Iggy Pop came to town this weekend. I would have liked to see one of the pioneers of punk, but he played the Salt Shed, a new music venue with no seating unless one wants to pay a lot more. I don’t. It’s probably for the best.

If I ever walk around the house without a shirt, my youngest daughter will cry out in despair, “Put a shirt on!” Now I know why. Here’s 75-year old shirtless Iggy on stage at the Salt Shed.

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March March

It’s March, so it was time to march today in our town’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. I was supposed to ride in the back of a snowplow with other St. Charles Township elected officials, but with snow in the forecast, the township canceled so that all snowplows would be ready for snow removal. That’s actually very responsible but no fun. Instead, I marched with fellow Kane County and St. Charles Township Democrats.

The group of Democrats marching has grown quite a bit over the years. This year we had 2 US House representatives, an Illinois House representative, various Kane County elected officials and board membes, and me as the sole elected township official. In addition, we had Democrat candidates for our upcoming municipal election in April and many other local Dems. We’re kind of a big deal now.

Can you see me in the back holding the “Be The Change! Vote Democrat” sign? Barely, right? Why did I get stuck in the back? Well, I am tall, and I also looked ridiculous. See for yourself …

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Glass Half Full

I hope all my children have a “glass half full” attitude as they go through life. My middle daughter displayed her positive attitude today when she declared, “Good thing your car seats are black.” That was after she spilled a glass half full of coffee on my passenger car seat. I am perfectly capable of grasping the concept of a “glass half full” attitude. I would prefer in the future that my kids don’t literally use “glass half full” visual aids to make their points.

Solving the Daylight Savings Time Problem

I got a chuckle when I stumbled across this March calendar schedule on Twitter.

Cute. But losing an hour sleep this coming weekend is a real problem for some people. It is undeniable that losing an hour of sleep (or Netflix streaming time for you insomniacs) is unpleasant and upsets our circadian rhythms (good name for a band) quite a bit. Fortunately, I have a solution that should make the transition to Daylight Savings Time easy. Here’s my simple 61 step plan to ease into Daylight Savings Time.

  • Step 1: Start Daylight Savings Time on March 1st.
  • Step 2: Set the clocks ahead by 1 minute on March 1st.
  • Steps 3 through 61: Repeat Step 2 for 59 consecutive days following March 1st.

Who’s going to miss 1 minute per day? Nobody!

My Artsy-Fartsy Weekend

I like the arts, but I’m definitely no patron of the arts. More of a patron of the farts than anything. Claude Monet is my favorite artist, but when it comes right down to it, I may not be able to tell a Monet from a Manet from “Mony Mony.” However, I found myself at an art exhibit Friday night where a neighbor had a painting exhibited. That’s me on the right looking almost lifelike.

Besides my neighbor’s painting, there were other works of art I also liked. Here’s one I think I remember seeing in the movie Beetlejuice.

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Ball of Confusion

I’m confused.

Editor’s Note: Duh! As if we didn’t know that.

Anyway, I’m gearing up for our local municipal elections in April in which our gaggle of St. Charles Township Democrats are supporting the campaigns of local moderate to progressive candidates for school board, library board, park board, etc. There is a hard right wing extremist group calling themselves Awake Illinois that also has candidates vying for seats. They are well known for their anti-mask, anti-vaxx platform and for crashing school board meetings and the public library without masks when masks were required.

They have other wacky ideas and are in general opposed to what they call “woke” culture. That’s where my confusion comes in. Can’t we consider them woke if they are part of Awake Illinois? Should they perhaps have chosen Asleep Illinois as their group name rather than a name suggesting they have been woke?

Editor’s Note: Why not sleep on it? Your readers are already.

Not Weighting for Spring

It happens to me twice a year. When the weather turns cold, I gain weight. When the weather warms up, I gain weight. I’m not quite sure why it works that way, but I am sure that it is damn annoying. It’s especially hard to accept in the spring after I have been doing this all winter with slices of pizza.

Springish weather has arrived early in Chicagoland this year (thank God), so I’m trying to get a jump on that weight gain as the seasons change. I don’t ever remember cycling in February before, but I made it out 4 times on my bike last month on my way to a planned 500 miles this season. How far did I get?

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