The Preakness And The Twain, Black Death In Black & White, Burning Flags While Burning Nothing, Best Laid Plans, Wall Mart Without Cash Registers, Holding Hands & Loving In The Rain.

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing


Had a friend point out that a few weeks ago when I talked about the Preakness in Baltimore, I did not mention anything about the riots that were taking place in that city. Actually the riots had subsided by the time of the horse race.


It is interesting to note that when it came time for the running of the Preakness, some of the most wealthy people in our society came to the city to watch the horse race.  The same city where just days before had been  partially destroyed by some of the poorest people of our society. And never the twain shall meet.


Over the Memorial Day weekend 48 people were shot in Chicago, 12 died. Over the same period of time 29 people were shot in Baltimore, 8 died. The questions seem quite straight forward. Where’s the outrage? Where’s Brother Al Sharpton? Why are the rioters not burning down the city once again? Why has President Obama not gone on TV to condemn these killings? They were all black people, both the wounded and the dead. And you know what, I’m willing to bet that you don’t know a single one of their names. They  didn’t make the news.  Why don’t these black lives matter? They matter to me, and I too don’t know their names.


Then comes a crazy 21 year old white man, does the unspeakable act of murder inside the church. Nine people die and the whole country explodes in righteous anger. Rightly so. But why not over the Memorial Day Weekend? 20 die on a hot spring holiday and we don’t give a damn. Just don’t make sense, how we pick and choose what to concern ourselves with.


Now we jump on a battle flag from the Civil War thinking that will end all our troubles. Just burn that flag.  And then someday soon……. Another flag, another cause…….. Another reason to be offended…… Another flag to burn.


Didn’t they try this burning thing one time with books? That didn’t work too well, nor shall burning flags.


Ever been in a situation where the best laid plans go off track. Not only off track, off the map off track.

It all started when the She said she wanted to go to Wall Mart. Usually that means a trip to Valparaiso IN. But this day I had documents to drop off to a client in Knox IN, so rather than backtrack, we decided to go the Wall Mart Store at Plymouth IN.


We left work late Friday afternoon in the rain and it continued as I took care of my business at Knox and continued toward Plymouth. Half way to our destination the soft gentle rain turned into a “slow down the car to 20 mph kinda rain.


The first two traffic lights at Plymouth were not working and the traffic on the 4 lane road was, as usual dealing with the situation very poorly. We were happy to see the traffic light at the Wall Mart intersection working. It appeared that all was well as we rolled into the asphalt jungle they call a parking lot. In the driving rain, all the “Blue Man” parking slots were filled with non blue man tags. So we were relegated to what seemed to be at least a ¼ mile from the entrance to falling prices.


We entered the building with an overall appearance of two drowned cats, both me and the She were in need of something very dry to wipe enough rain from our glasses to at least see where the shopping carts were located. Wiping glasses on the tail of my already wet shirt done little to eliminate the need for something dry to wipe the glasses. Guess it was the thought that counts in a situation like that.


The first item of interest on the list was something from the garden supply section at the far end of the building. Walking toward that location it became apparent that most if not all of the happy shoppers in the store were flowing along our direction of travel. The She thought she had the unusual traffic flow figured out when she said “There must be a sale in the garden section”. That’s when a kid walking beside us said “No, all the cash registers are out and there is a single manual cash register at the garden section and they’re telling people to try to checkout there.” And the rush was on.


The people inside that building were not happy Wall Mart Shoppers to say the least. One could feel the hostility in the room. Tension the size of fully wound alarm clocks walked the lanes and carried frowns you could see a mile.    Hundreds of  angry people were pushing and shoving their way into the garden section to fight for the right to check out come hell, high water, or no electricity.


We opted not to get involved with that already unruly mob, and chose instead to hold hands and  walk back into the rain looking forward to the ¼ mile trek back to the warm confines of Mr. Lincoln.  By the time we’d returned  to Knox we were dry enough to stop at one of the local restaurants for our evening meal. And so we did. It was dry inside, they had electricity and the cash register worked.


From the EastWing, The Preakness And The Twain, Black Death In Black & White, Burning

Flags While Burning Nothing, Best Laid Plans, Wall Mart Without Cash Registers,  Holding Hands & Loving In The Rain.


I Wish You Well,


Red Admirals Take Flight , Hummingbird Smiles, Dog and Cat and Vet, Tragedy At The Water’s Edge, Big Bate Bigger Fish

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.


As of the last several day it seems the whole world is filled with butterflies.  Mr. Bentley and I are big fans of riding the golf cart in the field south of the EastWing. Johnny has cut us upwards of a mile or so of two lane grass roads, so out field trips are a close up visit to Mother Nature.


One of the grass roads on the eastside of the property has an abundance of milk weed. In fact, the largest crop of milk weed I’ve ever seen growing at one spot. They are so profuse I call that section “The Milk Weed Fields”.  And there in  The Milk Weed Fields live the butterfly hordes of 2015. Thousands of those free spirits fly around us as we travel thru the milk weed fields. It’s a special site to be seen. Mr. Bentley and I take the trip often.


For all those who’ve asked do I know what kind of butterfly has overrun the area this year. The answer is yes. The Red Admiral Butterfly patrols the local skies sun up to sundown.  This year there’s an abundant crop to be sure. Many have told me the butterflies on  the mild weeds are the Monarch Butterfly. They are not. The Monarch comes later in the year, after the milk weed has grown it’s seed pod. That’s when the Monarchs come to visit. Guess we will see them in The Milk Weed Fields when their time has come.


Now don’t assume I’m an expert on butterflies, I’m not. But as a kid, I did have a collection of 74 specimens of both Butterflies and Moths. All my butterflies were logged into a book with both scientific and common name, and a little story about their life cycle. The whole collection was gathered in and around beautiful downtown Toto. At one time I knew all their names by heart. Today I’d  do well to say a dozen or so.


The hummingbird feeder is located close enough to allow me to view the little birds from my computer chair at the EastWing. Darkness comes and the happy couple are still coming to the feeder every few minutes. Now I don’t know what these little birdpeople have been up to, but did ya ever see humming birds smile? Yep, they’re smiling. Just one of the many blessings received daily at the EastWing, watching humming birds smile.


The annual trip to the Vet for Bentley and my new Sophia turned into a trip to be remembered. For the first time ever, Mr. Bentley was in the car with someone except me. Having the new Sophia in the cat carrier presented Mr. Bentley with a real dilemma. He was used to having both the back seat as well as the passenger seat in the front as his area to roam. On this trip he was limited to the front seat, buckled into the seatbelt. And like most spoiled kids, he whined most of the way there and back.


At the Vet’s office Bentley tried to get under my chair when the Dr. needed to listen to his heart. I ended up holding his head on my knee and the Vet sat in the floor beside the big dog. It all worked out. Bentley checked out A-Ok. Renewed the 3 year Rabies Shot, a year’s supply of heart worm / flea / and whatever else that one medicine supposed to take care of. And then Bentley’s good to go for another year.


The  New Sophia had a rather nasty allergic reaction to Lord knows what. She compounded the situation by  continuing to lick the ulcer. She got a Laser treatment to stimulate underlying tissue growth, a steroid shot and oral antibiotic for 14 days. Ever try to give a cat oral meds? And if you think herding cats is tuff…. try giving meds. Just joking, I have the medication ready, then wrap the New Sophia in a thick towel, uncover her head and insert the syringe between her teeth. Not as difficult as I’m making it out to be.  In a week, the results are striking. The wound has reduced to half its size, hair is growing back in and The New Sophia is well on her way to a full recovery.


It was with much sadness I read of a shark attack on two young kids on Sunday, June 14th   off the shores of Oak Island, North Carolina. It’s beyond me why anyone would ever want to go into the ocean.


If you stop and think about it, God made us as land creatures. Human Beings were never intended to venture into the oceans of our planet. There are things in the oceans that can and will kill the most strong of our species.  The way I look at it is if God wanted me in the oceans, I’d have gills. I don’t, so I don’t do oceans.


It’s important for those folks who may share a different point of view on getting into the ocean waters to keep in mind one simple fact.  Once in the water of any ocean, you are no longer at the top of the food chain. You become, in fact, bait. And we all know what happens to the worm on the hook. The fish are always bigger than the bait.


From the EastWing: Red Admirals Take Flight , Hummingbird Smiles, Dog and Cat and Vet, Tragedy At The Water’s Edge, Big Bate Bigger Fish


I Wish You Well,



From The EastWing, Where BobbyRay Comes From

Greetings to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.


As to where I’ve been lately, we’ll  talk about that some other time. But for right now, let’s talk of many things. The other day I was asked where I came from. That got me to thinking, really thinking ‘bout where did I come from…. way, way back, where did I come from. And then I thought….


We all originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunter/gatherers.  We lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.


The two most important events in all of our  history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. Beer required grain, and that was the beginning of agriculture.


The glass bottle and aluminum can were not invented yet, so while we  were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, we just stayed close to the brewery. That’s how villages were formed.


The wheel was invented to get man to the beer.


These two were the foundation of modern civilization and, together, they were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:  (1) Conservatives and (2) Liberals.


Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to barbecue at night while they were drinking beer.  This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.


Other men, who were less skilled at hunting, learned to live off the Conservatives by showing up for the nightly BBQ’s and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair-dressing.  This was the beginning of the Liberal movement. Some of these Liberal men evolved into women.  Others became known as girlie-men.


Some noteworthy Liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that Conservatives provided.


Over the years, Conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant.  Liberals came to be symbolized by the jackass for obvious reasons without a need for additional comment or explanation.


Many of today’s  Liberals like lite beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard Liberal fare. Another interesting evolutionary side note:  many Liberal women have higher testosterone levels than their men.


Most college professors, social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, film makers in Hollywood, group therapists and community organizers are Liberals.  Liberals even  meddled in our national pastime and invented the designated hitter rule, because it wasn’t fair to make the pitcher also bat.


Conservatives drink real beer. They eat red meat and still provide for their women.  Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, engineers, corporate executives, athletes, members of the military, airline pilots, and generally anyone who works productively.


Conservatives who own companies hire other Conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production.  Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans.


That is why most of the Liberals remained in Europe when Conservatives were going to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.


And that boys and girls,  ends today’s lesson in the world history of where BobbyRay came from.


I’ll bet that every Liberal reading this will  have a momentary urge to angrily respond to my story.

While every Conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be shared immediately with other true believers and to just piss off more Liberals…..   Just saying.


So let your next action reveal your true self.


From The EastWing, Where BobbyRay Comes From


I Wish You Well,


From The EastWing, A Winter Hard, Peeps Before Easter.

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.
Really, really cold in November. No snow in December.  A January thaw. Then all hell breaks loose in February. Good thing February has only 28 days. I don’t think I could have taken 31 days of February.  Of course if you take the first three days of March and tap them onto February. Oh well, there ya go. February has 31 and it seem they are all the same.
Few things are more exciting than watching the final days of a long, cold winter melt into springtime. So it was today at the EastWing, working at the computer looking onto the south lawn, for the first time in a long time I see the grass. Not very pretty grass but grass never the less.
Last week I was reminded by an EastWing friend from Kentucky  that I had promised to retell the Peeps of Springtime story last spring and did not. So could I make good on that promise this year.  Below is part of a larger story from April, 2010. Hope you enjoy the rerun. It was fun to revisit both the Peeps of Springtime and once again walk in the warm waters of South Fork.
I’m so enjoying the sounds of springtime nights.  So much so that the other night I decided to go out and visit those little sounds of the night. They’re frogs, ya know, those sounds that come to your ears from the darkness, from the nighttime. Those sounds come from little frogs called Spring Peepers.
Little fellers, them Spring Peepers, smaller than your thumb. But happy boys indeed, happy to be alive in the springtime.  All the sounds from all those little boy frogs remind me of sleigh bells ringing.  In fact, these little guys are called the Bells of Springtime. They’re certainly  music to my new ears, those Bells of Springtime. This year, with my new electronic hearing aids, is the first time I have heard the Bells of Springtime in a long time, a long time, and it’s still pretty music to my ears.
When the crushing cold of winter starts to yield to warmer times, as it does every year, even when we think it’ll never end, it does, and on a cold night, the wind is still, and the frost is heavy. The moon, a bright yellow ball hanging in a cloudless sky. While the air is so crisp ya can break with a hammer  a movement starts under the dead leaves of autumn past. Life resurrecting.
First one eye, then the other, one leg moves, then the another.  In a matter of minutes  everything is working just the way he left ‘em when he dug deep under the leaves to freeze  to death for the winter. The little frog is coming back from a place between death and darkness, the twilight zone of frogs.
A Bell of Springtime is tuning up to ring.
I almost forgot to tell ya an interesting thing ‘bout not only the Peeps but all frogs.  It’s the way they survive the winter. Now frogs have the ability to make their own kinda anti-freeze. I’m already starting to see some of my emails next week, laughing ‘bout the frog anti-freeze joke.  Before ya start laughing, ya better check it out, ‘cause I’m telling ya I know a lot ‘bout frogs.
‘Cause one time when I was little, my Uncle Hagins took me frog hunting when I was at  Southfork in the summertime.  Now we didn’t go hunting for Peep or regular frogs, oh no,  we went hunting for the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork.
 Now ya gotta hunt these Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork in the creek bed where it’s dark and almost scary.  At  the place where the air smells like snakes and the sun never shines ‘cause the hills are too close together.  The only thing there is the water, the smell of snakes, and maybe even the real snakes there too,  and the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork, and some times, empty pop bottles.
We went right there, my Uncle Hagins and me. We went to hunt the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork. And it didn’t take long to find ‘em. We found their trail a long ways before we got to the place where the air smelled like snakes, ‘cause that’s where Uncle Hagins said the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork lived.
When Uncle Hagins showed me the Giant Bullfrog Tracks, at first I thought that it was a person’s footprint in the mud, but Uncle Hagins showed me the difference, ‘cause he knew ‘bout Giant Bullfrog Tracks and stuff like that. Uncle Hagins said if we just kept following those tracks it’d lead us right to the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork.
To tell ya the truth, I was almost scared, but I knew that my Uncle Hagins wouldn’t let anything bad happen to me, ‘cause I was his favorite nephew, and he had a lot of nephews,  so I just walked a little bit closer to him and didn’t tell him ‘bout me being almost scared an all.  ‘Cause when you’re seven years old and out hunting Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork where it’s dark, that’s almost like being a man, so ya can’t say you’re afraid of anything. But I was, almost.
Then Uncle Hagins said “BobbyRay, you smell snakes?” That really, almost, made me scared. I said “yah” Uncle Hagins said “me too” I could hear my heart beat in my ears, but I wasn’t scared.
Uncle Hagins had in his hand a gig. Now a gig is a long stick with a prong on one end and it’s used to catch fish or frogs, and today we were gigging the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork.  Well when I thought my chest  was gona break  from my heart beating so fast in my ears, but  Uncle Hagins throws his gig into the water, runs over and pulls up this Giant Bullfrog of Southfork, stuck right there on the prongs of the gig.  Uncle Hagins takes the Giant Bullfrog of Southfork off the hooks and no sooner than that, he throws again and in less than a minute we have two Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork.  Uncle Hagins gigged two more Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork in just a few more minutes.
Then he said it’s my turn to gig a Giant Bullfrog of Southfork. Well, the pole of the gig was a lot taller than me, but I was bound and determined that I was gona gig a Giant Bullfrog of Southfork, or die from a snake bite trying right here in the waters of Southfork.
Two time I tried to throw the spear, but it didn’t go far enough.  So Uncle Hagins said that maybe if we both held on at the same time maybe that would work.  Now don’t ya know, the very first time me and Uncle Hagins threw that spear together it struck a Giant Bullfrog of Southfork.  We had to throw five or six more times before we got another hit, but finally another trophy.
With 6 Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork in hand, Uncle Hagins said that he thought that was ‘bout all we could carry home. We started out for home with Uncle Hagins carrying his four Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork and me carrying my two Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork.  That didn’t last long, after ‘bout a hundred yards or so, I had to stop and rest, ‘cause these Giant Bullfrogs were ‘bout to weight me down to the point where I couldn’t go no more.  We rested a little while an started for home again, but same thing, ‘bout a hundred yards or so, I’m wanting to stop and rest from the heavy weight of these Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork.
Uncle Hagins said, the way he figured it, at the rate we were going, we’d get home ‘bout Christmas Time, if we were lucky, so he had to do something different. Uncle Hagins cut down two Willow Trees, one bigger  than the other.  On the bigger one, he cut a notch on each end.  He took the smaller tree and took all the bark of it, and threw the skinned tree away.  Uncle Hagins took the bark strips and tied up three Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork into two bundles, he then hooked these bundles over the ends of the pole with notches. He raised one end of the pole with the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork and told me to help lift the other as he raised it to his shoulders. And I did, as Uncle Hagins picked up all the six Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork on his shoulders. We didn’t have to stop any more on the way home.
Talk ‘bout being surprised.  Well they sure were surprised to see so many Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork. Uncle Hagins told ever body how good I was at gigging Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork, and how he was just lucky to get two and how I gigged four, I didn’t tell anybody the difference. I just thought maybe Uncle Hagins forgot who got who.
One of the down sides of hunting the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork, is when ya catch ‘em, ya gotta clean ‘em.  I’m not gona talk much ‘bout that, ‘cause that’s not as much fun as the gigging part.  When ya do the cleaning, it’s kinda like cleaning fish, but ya don’t hear your heart beat in your ears though.
Now the thing that people eat from Bullfrogs are Bullfrog legs. Now regular Bullfrogs have little Bullfrog legs smaller than chicken legs.  Not the Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork, these Bullfrog legs were the size as  big hams, each one weighing maybe 10 pounds apiece.  Since the Bullfrog legs were so big, Lou said we should smoke ‘em in the Smoke House like Uncle Hagins did the hams when it was time to kill the pigs. Everybody thought that was a good idea.  That night we put the cleaned Giant Bullfrog Legs of Southfork in the coldspring and went to bed. I could hardly sleep, thinking ‘bout me gigging those four Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork just like Uncle Hagins said.
The first thing in the morning me and Uncle Hagins wrapped the Giant Bullfrog Legs and hung ‘em up on hooks from the top of the ceiling in the Smoke House.  Then Uncle Hagins  build the fires under the Smoke House, he  knew how to do all that stuff, my Uncle Hagins knew how to do a lot of really neat stuff. He was my favorite uncle, and like Uncle Hagins having a lot of nephews, well I had a lot of uncles too.
I don’t remember how long they had to stay in the Smoke House, but we left Southfork and went home, and I started into the first grade at Weeksbury. We didn’t go back to Southfork till Thanksgiving.  When my Aunt Gladys and my mama cooked our Thanksgiving Dinner, we didn’t have turkey, and we didn’t have goose, we had two Smoked Giant Bullfrog Legs.  There were ‘bout 15 or 18 people there for dinner, and most everybody took leftover Smoked Giant Bullfrog Leg home for supper.  Big frogs, those Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork.
But getting back to this frog anti-freeze thing, during the winter, a frog’s body temperature falls and its metabolism drops. Its heart can even stop beating and start again in the future. Too bad we the people can’t do that little trick.  And we think we know magic. ‘Course we can do a lot of things frogs can’t.
Many frogs dig into mud or deep holes to escape killing frost, but some do practice controlled freezing. They produce excess sugars or starches to prevent damage to sensitive tissues while the remaining water in their bodies turns to ice. The North American wood frog, including the Peeps, live as far north as Alaska. They can survive with 65% of the water in their body frozen solid. I guess ya could take those little fellers, put ‘em on sticks and have  Peepsicles.
Now those Giant Bullfrogs of Southfork, to this very day, don’t ever worry ‘bout freezing in the wintertime, no, they just build themselves a campfire, sit around and tell stories ‘bout how a little boy used to wade in the waters of Southfork looking for ‘em in the summertime. In the company of his Uncle Hagins, who he loved the most.
Stay safe in Iraq and Afghanistan.
From The EastWing, A Winter Hard, Peeps Before Easter.
I Wish You Well

From The EastWing, Inside A Snowball

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.


My office at Robert Howard Company Inc. is six miles from the EastWing, door to door. It usually takes me 10 to 12 minutes either way depending if I get tied up in North Judson rush hour traffic.


On the morning of February 14th the travel time to the office was 25 minutes without rush hour traffic.  By the time I arrived there I had already decided to get my work and go back home. The time in the office was devoted to taking care of the Office Cats, Miss Kitty & Little Brother, the official greeter of RHCO INC.


With the Office Cats short term future secure, I loaded up and hit the trail back to the EastWing. The decision to be made was the direction to travel, east or south. The distance was the same, the difference was the depth of the ditches along the way. To the east encountered three sections of deep ditches while to the south there were no ditches along the way. W chose the south bound lanes.


I almost forgot to tell you, the big lake just 50 miles north of the EastWing was in the process of another classic Lake Effect Snow Storm. This one destined to be remembered for the ages…. Actually it was not the snow as much as the wind. A devil wind from the northwest drove the snow parallel to the ground at times higher than the legal speed  limit for Starke County Roads.  It was into the wind and weather that I left the office and started home.


South bound and down at a hefty 15 mph for just a little over a mile and then encountered the first of 12 white-outs.  Now for my friends who may have never encountered such, just let me say it like this. Imagine you’re driving in your car with poor visibility to begin with, then within two seconds all windows in your car are painted white. On the outside, painted white. Your car is now inside a snowball. You’re inside the car, inside the snowball and you no longer have control of your destiny. You are no longer a driver of your car, you are a passenger inside a snowball, inside a car.   A total of 12 such snowballs engulfed Mr. Lincoln before we reached our safe and sound EastWing.


You stop your car as fast as you can inside a snowball. You sit with your foot pressed hard on the break. You turn on the emergency flashers. Then realize the only ones being seen are the two little arrows flashing and clicking on the instrument panel you’re looking at.  You hope everybody else on that road also stops. You wonder how long the white out will last. You wonder what if the wind doesn’t stop blowing.  The desire to move your car is so great that just as soon as you’re able to see  a few feet in front of the car, you’re once again rolling down the road. Soon another snowball eats your car.


I rolled past the EastWing at maybe 2 or 3 mph and never knew where I was until I’d reached the east end of the property. There a small wooded area split the devil wind just enough to allow me to realize the I’d passed my house.  Within seconds another white-out made me stop and think. One thing for sure, you never want to back up in a white out, so I just sat and waited until a little break in the intensity of the wind, then went a ¼ mile or so to the next neighbor, turned and felt my way back to the EastWing.


Home at last, home at last. Thank God, Home at last. I do believe that even atheists say prayers in a white out, just in case they’re wrong, and don’t want to take the chance at being on the wrong side of the rope at the big finish. But oh well, they’d just call it hedging the bet. I call it scaring the crap out of ‘em.

Did me, I prayed.


Stay safe in Iraq and Afghanistan.


From The EastWing, Inside A Snowball.

I Wish You Well,


From The EastWing, Doing Well, Taxing ObamaCare, Paying More & Getting Less, Old School Teachers & Me, Big Snows & Little Snows & Cops & Robbers.

Greetings to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.


With all the inquires of the last week, as to the state of my health just let me say, I’m good. The reason we did not visit last week is to be honest, I was just too lazy to say hello. (insert smiles here).  The real truth was the volume of work to keep pace with the opening of the electronic tax filing season with IRS. We didn’t get overwhelmed, but not underwhelmed either.


For those who have yet to file their income tax returns for 2014, you may be in for the shock of “ObamaCare”. In the Office of RHCO INC. during the last couple weeks we’ve seen about everything that can  play out with this “Affordable Care Act”, known far and wide as ObamaCare. The options are many and the additional taxes you may pay are varied based on many different factors. Many will be surprised, some will have no problems at all


It doesn’t matter on which side of the issue you lie when it comes to ObamaCare, It’s gona cost you more, lots more for your health insurance, and you are gona get less, much less for your money.  Of all the social legislation to provide assistance for the lower economic group in our society, this ObamaCare thing has failed the worst of anything I’ve ever seen.


I’d like to see some bleeding heart progressive that that one on. Just point another piece of social legislation that has failed worse than ObamaCare. As a conservative friend of mine once said “Go ahead punk, make my day.”


It’s difficult to visualize a system that requires you to buy a product, then fines you for not being able to afford the required product. That’s the jest of how the ObamaCare system works for many, many people. For the first time since this thing came into existence the general public is just now starting to take note of the major problems. The reason it’s now garnering the spotlight in the minds of many is simple. Now it’s costing fines in the form of additional taxes. For many it’s costing more than ever for health insurance. The annual deductable is beyond their ability to pay  for many taxpayers.


In the office, so far this tax filing season, we’ve seen monthly ObamaCare Insurance as high as $1,850.00 for a family of 2, that’s $1850.00 per month. We’ve also seen deductible coverage as high a $10,000.00. And some of the horror stories as to the mix ups in the sign ups I won’t even talk about.


So now for all those who voted for all those who voted to pass the ObamaCare law, thanks a lot for nothing. You were wrong then and that vote remains wrong now. It’s interesting to note that not a single republican voted to enact the Affordable Care Act. It’s also interesting to note that over half of those who voted to pass that law in the United States Senate are no longer in the United States Senate. That alone speaks volumes for a mistake in judgment on the part of men who would have rather kept their seat in the U. S. Senate


The amount of additional work in preparing 1040 taxes this year is a choir to be worked into the system. Taxpayers are just not waking up to the fact that they cannot file their Federal Income Tax without addressing their participation or lack of participation in the ObamaCare Program. In 2010 when this law was enacted, people like myself read and understood the law. We knew that the 2015 tax filing season would be tuff to deal with. We were right on that call.


In the above paragraph I should have used “problematic” is place of the word “tuff”. That change is to appease one of my most loved and oldest critics of what I have had to say from the EastWing. An old retired high school English teacher living in central Nebraska has graded my words from the EastWing for some 10 years or so.



About one a month or so, I’ll get a report card style email something like this:


STORY TITLE:____________________________





( I sometimes get a smiley fact it it’s a good grade) It just goes to show ya, one never gets too old for a smiley face.


Now I’ve never met this ole girl in person, but it seems we’re friends for life, and I guess we are. Once asked her why she picks on me with such poor grades and she said “The nights are long in Nebraska, you help me wile away the hours, or maybe you just make my day.”


But should I skip one Sunday Evening visit, like last Sunday, I can count on the first email read Monday Morning is coming from Nebraska. I guess old school teachers never stop being school teachers, they just stop going to the class room. I’m glad she’s a friend of mine.


As we visit here in the EastWing this evening in the middle of a sizable snow storm, I’m reminded of how last weekend was such a bomb for two men who so desperately wanted to show the world that they were in charge of everything. But it just didn’t work out well.


The weekend of January 24 -25 was to be the worst snow storm in the history of New York City. The mayor of that city started shutting the place down days in advance of the storm.  The governor of New York State started shutting down the state in concert with the mayor of New York City. The storm did not materialize and the criticism piled high on both the mayor and  governor.


But you got to look a little closer at these two to get a different prospective on their actions. From their point of view it was important that the come across as strong and decisive leaders of their government. The mayor of New York City has ever cop in the city ready to pee on his boot whenever they can get a change. He is desperate to  demonstrate he is in charge. The governor of the State of New York is in one of the most corrupt political systems in the nation. A system second only to Chicago, home of the current president.


The democratic political leader in the state of New York, the Speaker of the House, has been arrested by the federal marshals on charges of massive corruption. It’s interesting to note that the original investigation into these charges was started by the current governor. A sham investigation to eliminated rumors of problems within the state government. When the investigation did in fact turn up the real mess, the governor shut down the investigation. His response was, “I started the investigation, I have the authority to end it.” Turns out he did not.


The investigation was picked up by the US Attorney in Albany, New York, and the rest is history so to speak.   Too bad they don’t send this guy to Washington DC, he may find a little extra work there.


Stay safe in Iraq and Afghanistan.


From The EastWing, Doing Well, Taxing ObamaCare, Paying More & Getting Less, Old School Teachers & Me, Big Snows & Little Snows & Cops & Robbers.


I Wish You Well,


From The EastWing, Sharpton & Capone Brothers Under The Skin, A Court Jester Fixes The Movies, The Secretary of State in concert to teach the world to sing.

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

It’s interesting to note that Al Capone owed $150,000.00 in back taxes to the IRS and he was sent to prison. Al Sharpton owes $4,500,000.00 in back taxes to the IRS and he gets invited to the White House. Now I don’t know about you, but to me that just don’t seem right.

Best I can surmise, Rev. Al has become the official Court Jester for the Obama White House. Of course having a court jester is most appropriate when you consider the fact the Secretary of State of the United States took an acoustic guitarist to Paris to perform “You got a friend” as a explanation for the President of the United States not going to Paris with the rest of the world leaders to show support for the French in their fight with Islamic terrorist. Oh, I forgot our president does not say “Islamic Terrorist” ‘cause that might offend an Islamic Terrorist somewhere to be called an Islamic Terrorist by the President of the United States.

The latest con game to come from the White House official Court Jeter, Al Sharpton, is the funny story reported by the Washington Times. They report that Reverend Al announced he was holding an “emergency meeting” to discuss Hollywood’s all-white list of Oscar nominees and talk about possible action against the Academy Awards’ powers-who-be.”

“The movie industry is like the Rocky Mountains,” he said in a statement reported by Business Insider. “The higher you get, the whiter it gets. … I have called an emergency meeting early next week in Hollywood with the task force to discuss possible action around the Academy Awards.”

Now bear in mind this is only the second time in the last 20 years that only white folks were nominated for best actor, actress or director Oscars, so it’s not like there’s a continuing pattern of racism here.

But I’ll tell you where there IS a clear pattern of racism. It’s in the NFL, the National Football League!
I did a quick review of the starting line-ups for the four playoff teams (Seahawks, Packers, Colts and Patriots) and 65 percent of those players are black. I’d say that’s a little lop-sided. Considering blacks make up only around 14 percent of the U.S. population, I wonder why Rev. Al has not  resolved this racism issue in the NFL.

And don’t get me started about the racism in the NBA! If you want to talk about no diversity in honoring excellence, look at the recipients of the Most Valuable Player awards over the last 58 years.

It’s shocking! Seventy-eight percent of all MVPs in history have been black! Boy, I’d say the NBA is way too black. We ought to hold an emergency meeting to discuss possible action against the NBA, right Al? Lets march on this one. I mean it’s simply not FAIR. In the NBA, it’s like outer space Al — the higher you get, the darker it gets.

I’m sure after the White House Court Jester fixes the movie industry he’ll turn his attention fixing tools to the NFL and the NBA once I’ve pointed these problems out.  It’s a good thing Tiger Woods already fixed the Professional Golfing Association, else the jester’s work would be piling up.

Getting serious here for a moment, of all the blunders this current administration has created in the past six years, ignoring the world wide show of solidarity by many leaders of the free world has to rank right up there with some of the antics of former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin. And we all know of his miscalculations of world events.

Then when you think you’ve seen it all, Our Secretary of State takes a guitar player to Paris to sing You’ve got a friend….. WOW ! What in the world are these people thinking about.   Although I do recall that  in the past when asked about the National Anthem, the President did say he would prefer “I’d like to teach the world to sing”. I guess they’ve started.

Guess now all I gotta do is set back and wait for the email to bring all the fire calling me a racist for calling Rev. Al a Court Jester. Well all I can say to that is in the medieval courts there was always one fool, seems that today we have at least a pair probably three of a kind,  or maybe even a full house. All bets are down.

Stay safe in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Sharpton & Capone Brothers Under The Skin, A Court Jester Fixes The Movies, The Secretary of State in concert to teach the world to sing.

I Wish You Well,



From The EastWing, Loving The Winter Time, Greek Mythology, Plough Monday, Weather lore

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.


Well sure enough, last week we talked about how there was no snow at the EastWing during the month of December, and then it happened. Happy New Year had hardly been said when the snow started. With the snow came the cold and with the cold came the volumes of “I hate winter”.


I love winter. The  only reason I never go to Florida or south Texas or Arizona in the winter time is I love winter. Always have as long as I can remember, and Lord knows that’s a long time. A long time of loving winter. Over the years we’ve had both friends and family repeatedly ask that we come to the warm weather during the winter time. The answer has always been no. Guess I got hooked on Snow Angels as a little hillbilly boy in downtown Toto, back in the day, and never wanted to leave the snow.


It brings a heartwarming smile every time I’m still receiving  emails telling me how right I am to refuse to jump into the “Happy Holidays” camp. Even though we talked about that a few weeks ago, it takes sometime four or five weeks and I’m still getting emails on a topic. Sometimes I have to go back and re-read what we were talking about in order to respond to the emails.


Had a client in my office last week that asked me did I know the origin of the name of the first month of the year. He was surprised that I did know about the Roman god Janus.  Now Janus is pictured as  two-headed, and both heads having a beard. One head looks forward, one head looks back. Janus was in charge of the temple of peace. The doors of the temple of peace were only open during times of war. The temple of peace was a place of safety. It was the place where new resolutions were formed. Our practice of making new year resolutions comes from this temple of peace.


The client was surprised that I knew about Janus. I was kinda surprised about how much I remembered about Janus. I didn’t tell the client I studied Greek Mythology for two semesters at The Ohio State University a while back. One of the neat things about Greek Mythology, it’s just telling stories.


Did you ever hear about Plough Monday? It’s the first Monday after Epiphany (January 6) was the day for the in times of old  to return to work after the holidays. Now  no work was actually done on this day, Plough Monday, ‘cause it was a holiday. The men all dressed in clean white smocks decorated with ribbons, the men dragged a plow (plough) through the village and collected money for the “plow light” that was kept burning in the church all year. Often men from several farms joined together to pull the plow through all their villages. They sang and danced their way from village to village to the accompaniment of music. In the evening, each farmer provided a Plough Monday Supper for his workers, with plentiful beef and beer for all.

Another interesting thing in January is the name of the full moon for the month. The Full Wolf Moon is January’s moon. Some of the American Indians also called the January full moon the Snow Moon, but most used the Full Wolf Moon for January. The name of the Full Wolf Moon came about from the howling of the wolves in hunger on the long cold January nights.


Due to the nature of January weather, the month contributes much to the weather lore world.

“Always expect a thaw in January”  “Fog in January brings a wet spring”  “He who drops a coat on a winter day will gladly put it on in May”  “If on January 12th the Sun shine, it foreshows much wind”


Just keep those little jewels in mind  and you may be surprised at how many will demonstrate some degree of accuracy.


While we’re talking ole time stuff, I may as well throw in some that are near 100% accurate whenever they occur.  Also just watch these and you’ll be as surprised as I was when I first started watching such things in downtown Toto.


“The higher the clouds, the finer the weather”.  If you spot wispy, thin clouds up where jet airplanes fly, expect a spell of pleasant weather. Keep an eye, however, on the smaller puffy clouds (cumulus), especially if it’s in the morning or early afternoon. If the rounded tops of these clouds, which have flat bases, grow higher than the one cloud’s width, then there’s a chance of a thunderstorm forming.


“Clear Moon, frost soon.”  When the night sky is clear, Earth’s surface cools rapidly—there is no cloud cover to keep the heat in. If the night is clear enough to see the Moon and the temperature drops enough, frost will form. Expect a chilly morning


“When clouds appear like towers, the Earth is refreshed by frequent showers”.

When you see large, white clouds that look like cauliflower or castles in the sky, there is probably lots of dynamic weather going on inside. Innocent clouds look like billowy cotton, not towers. If the clouds start to swell and take on a gray tint, they’re probably turn into thunderstorms.

“A rainbow in the morning gives you fair warning.” A rainbow in the morning indicates that a shower is west of us and we will probably get it. Morning rainbows are rare but I’ve never seen one without it raining within the hour.


Now I didn’t really intend to go off on weather lore and Greek Mythology this visit in the EastWing, but sometimes ya just gotta go with the flow.


Stay safe in Iraq and Afghanistan.


From The EastWing,  Loving The Winter Time, Greek Mythology, Plough Monday, Weather lore


I Wish You Well,


From the EastWing, A No Snow December, Hoping Buzz Words Buzz Off, Murder 110th

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Did you notice that it did not snow in December? At least not here at the EastWing. We thought that kinda strange and so we looked. I can say for a fact that last month was the first December since 1968 where no snow fell at my location. Now if you really want to get into the weather facts of no snow in December, well, South Bend IN had a record low snow fall in December of 0.2 inches. The previous low snow fall record for South Bend was 0.5 inches, that set in 1912. With that being said, guess it’s safe to say we just had the lowest snow fall at the EastWing in well over 100 years.

As I sat this Sunday Afternoon in the EastWing watching blowing snow and falling temperatures while reading the National Weather Service warning of bad time to come here in the next 24 – 48 hours, I think oh well, only two months till spring. January and February, ‘cause everybody knows we start spring at the EastWing come March 1st.

As December, with its no snow, and 2014 slipped into their proper place of things that used to be, I was hoping some of the stuff that seem to annoy me would also go slip sliding away.

Buzz words such as “transparency”. I’ve heard that spoken so much I’m sick of the sound. Seems that it was to be the most transparent administration in the history of the republic. Or so the presidential candidate Obama promised in 2008. Hope and change along with transparency. Now we all know how both of those worked out.

“At the end of the day”. Much like transparency, I’m really sick of hearing people say “At the end of the day”. The phrase adds nothing to the conversation at hand, and does in my opinion make the speaker of such phrase, at the end of the day, look and sound stupid. Some words just don’t advance your argument in the way you are hoping.

A few years ago the democrat talking points on a particular issue included the word “gravitas”. I’m not even sure I now remember what the issue was to begin with, but do remember the stupidity of bombarding the air ways with every democrat saying gravitas every chance they could get.

Now if you may not be familiar with the phrase talking points, that’s when someone in the democrat system decided what to say about an issue, passed the statement along, and then everyone who had the slightest chance of getting in front of a TV camera memorized the talking points, and then performed much like the old vaudeville act of the Organ Grinder and the Monkey on the string. When the camera came on they made sure to say Gravitas and smile into your living room TV, as if they knew what they were talking about.

As for me, at the end of the day, those folks showed a lack of transparency and did not demonstrate the proper level of gravitas to garner my attention or support.

Just so the next time you hear gravitas, you’ll know where it came from.

Word Origin and History for gravitas . Noun.

1924, from Latin gravitas “weight, heaviness;” figuratively, of persons,”dignity, presence, influence” (see gravity ). A word that became usefulwhen gravity acquired a primarily scientific meaning.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

A friend of mine recently sent me an interesting set of statistics. I thought I’d share with you. It’s from the World Health Organization and it’s the murder statistics for the whole world. It’s the rate that we kill each other per 100,000 of us per year.

Honduras at 91.6 per 100,000 leads the world in murder rate !

With all the push for gun control in our nation, you’d think the United States would be near the top of the leader board, maybe # 2 or 3, surly in the top 5. Most defiantly in the top 10. Wrong, wrong, and wrong. The United States murder rate is 4.2 per 100,000 That ranks the United states in 110th place on the world list. That ranking in its self may be a surprise to many.

But Wait There’s More !!! All of the 109 countries with a higher murder rate than the Unites States, well those countries all have 100% gun control bans making it illegal for regular citizens of those countries to own guns.

The only nation that did not make the list is Switzerland. For a simple reason, they did not have any recorded gun murders during the time measured in the study. As strange as that may sound, keep in mind that in Switzerland the law requires every adult to own a gun and maintain marksman qualifications on a regular basis.

For all those preaching total and complete gun control in the United States, you may want to reconsider your position. If not you may want to consider relocating to Switzerland. At least you’d be safe there.

Stay safe in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From the EastWing, A No Snow December, Hoping Buzz Words Buzz Off, Murder 110th

I Wish You Well,


From The EastWing, Jumping On Merry Christmas, Kicking A Butt Off An Airplane Texas Style, A Star Story Named Bethlehem

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

The sun had not yet risen on the Christmas Morning and the emails brought admonishment for the use of “MERRY CHRISTMAS”.

In no short order I was told the importance of being all inclusive in respecting the “rights” of others when it comes to the use of offensive language such as Merry Christmas. It was recommended that I pursue some type of sensitivity training that will allow me to better communicate with all friends of the EastWing. It was pointed out that as the “Leader of the Band” at the EastWing, my role is to put aside my personal antiquated opinions and strive to communicate on a more diverse level with those EastWing friends who do have a more modern way of viewing the world.

First of all, for those over 1,000 emails that simply said MERRY CHRISTMAS. I thank you one and all. For those 46 emails that has an issue with MERRY CHRISTMAS, tuff. It always amazes me that people living in a society where Merry Christmas has been the main greeting for the holiday for longer than we’ve been a country, and now along comes some folks who think they’ve invented smart. They have not.

For many, refusing to say Merry Christmas can get one in a world of hurt. Just ask the feller who was thrown off the plane in Houston TX when he made a big deal about when one of the flight attendants said Merry Christmas to him. The Captain tried to calm him down, to no avail. As he was lead from the plane by security people, all passengers stood and cheered. They should have all shouted MERRY CHRISTMAS.

As a star gazer I’m forever being asked what I know about the Star of Bethlehem. First of all, I didn’t see it, only heard about the star. With that being said, I do know a little about that star.

The Star of Bethlehem remains a mystery to both astronomers and historians. There are many contributing factors, including the uncertainty of the actual date of Christ’s birth and the terminology used to describe celestial happenings more than 20 centuries ago. For instance, any celestial object bright enough to attract attention was apt to be called a star. Therefore, the object we seek may not have even been a star.
Four theories have been advanced to explain the star. One is that it was an unusually bright meteor or fireball streaking toward the horizon. But such fiery streaks only last for several seconds at most; hardly long enough to lead the Wise Men halfway across the Orient to Bethlehem. Although certainly it would have been quite an interesting camel ride! Even better than Hump Day.
Another theory suggests that the star might have been a bright comet. But we must say no to that as well because comets were considered to omens of evil. They were considered to presage famine, flood, an epidemic or some other disaster.

Not so easily dismissed is a nova or supernova outburst; dying stars having a final fling of glory before descending the long road to ultimate extinction. The appearance of a very bright nova would certainly attract the attention of sky conscious people. Then, after several weeks or months of such prominence, it slowly fades back into the night sky. In the case of a supernova, a massive star literally blows itself apart, putting forth an energy output equivalent to a hundred billion stars or more. It can suddenly blaze forth in the night sky with a brilliance rivaling Jupiter or even Venus; perhaps even be glimpsed in broad daylight. Truly a celestial announcement worthy of the birth of the King of Kings.
Unfortunately, ancient Chinese records do not show any such bright nova or supernova appearing in the sky some 2,000 years ago. These ancient Chinese records of the night sky are extremely accurate in all other respects. So when looking for that very bright supernova back then, if the Chinese say not there, I believe ‘em.
That only leaves the planets. A conjunction of two or more planets would undoubtedly be watched with great interest by the Wise Men and might have been interpreted by them as a sign in the heavens. In February of 6 B.C., Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars formed a triangular configuration very low in the western twilight sky soon after sunset. If you have visited a planetarium for the traditional Christmas show, you may have experienced the thrill of seeing these worlds approach each other as the projector races back in time to recreate this celestial picture.
Taken literally, however, the account of the star in the book of St. Matthew actually calls for two “stars.” One to start the Wise Men on their long journey, the other appearing when they arrived in Bethlehem. Perhaps the signal for their star came on August 12, 3 B.C. with the two brightest planets, Venus and Jupiter rising in the east at dawn and appearing just 12 minutes of arc apart. Planets this close are very striking, if they do not differ too much in brightness.
Interestingly, in the book The Bible as History (Bantam 1983) by Werner Keller, it is noted that in the original Greek the words used for “in the east” are a technical term meaning “heliacal rising” or an observation in the eastern sky before sunrise, nicely explaining the ambiguous phrase in St. Matthew.
Venus then disappeared into the solar glare, but Jupiter remained in the sky for the next 10 months, accompanying the Wise Men on their westward journey until on June 17, 2 B.C. another, even more outstanding conjunction with Venus took place, this time in the western sky after sunset. At sundown only the sharpest of eyes might have split them and two hours later at minimum separation they were just 36 arc seconds or 0.01° apart. The two planets would have appeared to merge their light into a single brilliant beacon; an extraordinarily rare occurrence! And since the Wise Men were traveling westward, one could say that the “star in the east” went (as St. Matthew noted) “before them.”
While I believe that these two close conjunctions of Venus and Jupiter offer the most plausible astronomical explanation for the Star, there are problems with it, since each occurred after the generally accepted date for the death of King Herod (April 4 B.C.), who met with the Wise Men before they proceeded to Bethlehem. Scholars who reject as mythical the story of Herod and favor a later date for Christ’s birth are inclined to regard the star as a myth too.
Or perhaps it was after all, truly a miracle star? A celestial apparition unique in the history of man. Astronomy has taken the search for the origin of the Star of Bethlehem as far as it can go. The final decision is yours to make.

Now here at the EastWing, we’ve always believed in miracles.
Stay safe in Iraq and Afghanistan.
From The EastWing, Jumping On Merry Christmas, Kicking A Butt Off An Airplane Texas Style, A Star Story Named Bethlehem

I wish you well,


From The EastWing, A Winter Solstice, The Speed We Go, Rudolph Retold Again

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

It’s kinda neat to think that as we visit this late afternoon here in the EastWing, winter came by. Actually the start of winter was at 5:03 PM, EastWing Time. Guess I better say something about the Winter Solstice else my star gazing friends will get all over my case.

However, they do get on my case often for not saying enough about stargazing when we all visit in the EastWing. Then when I do say something, they’re on my case because, I don’t use scientific or astrological terminology in describing what ever I’m talking about. Don’t do that for good reasons. It’s not that I don’t know the words, I just don’t like to have to explain what some of those big puppies mean. Now I don’t know about you, but for me, I hate when I read something and don’t understand it’s meaning. I try to avoid that as much as possible.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice days are the ones with the fewest hours of sunlight in the whole year. The reason for such short sunlight is the angle of the tilt of the earth. On this day, we’re tilting 23.5° It’s like we’re leaning away from the sun. As a result we get less heat and less light. But not to worry, in six months we go the other way, then here comes summer, oh happy days of summer.

Just today I was asked how long does the winter solstice last. Sounds like a simple question with a simple answer. As much as I’d like to say simple answer, it’s important to look at where we are in this grand scheme things when it comes to the winter solstice.

Along with orbiting around the sun at 66,600 mph, the Earth is also rotating at its axis at about 1,070 miles per hour. So we are at the same time hurtling around the sun at 66,600 mph while sitting on a rock that is spinning at 1,070 mph. On top of that, our whole solar system is rocketing through space around the center of the Milky Way at around 559,234 mph. On top of that, our galaxy is hurtling through space at around 671,080 mph, with respect to our local group of galaxies. On top of that, for all we know, our entire Universe is hurtling through some unknown medium at some other ridiculous speed.

Now with that being said, imagine if you will, you see a marker in front of you much the same as if you are driving on the interstate. The marker you see is the Winter Solstice. You pass the marker at full speed. Now imagine the same story but use the speeds in the above paragraph, and you’re coming at the marker in time. The winter solstice passes quick. A vapor in time.

This is the True Story of Rudolph.
A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night. His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bob’s wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.

Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and asked, “Why isn’t Mommy just like everybody else’s Mommy?”

Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to be different for Bob. Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he’d rather not remember.

From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression.

Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn’s bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums.

Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938. Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn’t even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn’t buy a gift, he was determined to make one – a storybook!

Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal’s story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose.

Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn’t end there. The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book.

Wards went on to print, “ Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer ” and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph.

That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book. In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May.

The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn’t end there either.

Bob’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry.

“Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of “White Christmas.”

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn’t so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.

Before we visit again in the EastWing, Christmas will have come and gone. Unlike the winter solstice Christmas stays all day and night. It is my prayer that all friends of the EastWing will pause in quite thanksgiving for the reason we celebrate. Christ The King.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, A Winter Solstice, The Speed We Go, Rudolph Retold Again

I Wish You Well, And Merry Christmas from


PS: Oh I almost forgot, now don’t anyone get crazy and send me emails saying I should not be saying MERRY CHRISTMAS. That’s a bunch of crap. I don’t have a single Jewish Friend who is offended by MERRY CHRISTMAS, and yes I do have many Jewish Friends. The only ones who could be offended are those who truly miss the message, so once again MERRY CHRISTMAS !

From the EastWing Predicting The Future, Michigan Woes, Me & Brother Al Just A marching

Greetings to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Just as sure as Dorothy lives in Kansas, this story of an old man and a Marine is destined to play out in a couple years. Then when it does, you’ll remember where you heard it first.

One bright sunny day in January, 2017, it’ll be on a Tuesday, an old man approaches the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue where he’d been sitting on a park bench. He says hello to the U.S. Marine standing guard and says, “I would like to go in and meet with President Obama.” The Marine looks at the man and says, “Sir, Mr. Obama is no longer president and no longer resides here.” The old man says, “Okay,” and walks away.

The very next day the same man approaches the White House and says to the same Marine, “I would like to go in and meet with President Obama.” The Marine again tells the man, “Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Obama is no longer president and no longer resides here.” The man thanks him and again walks away.

On the third day, the same man approaches the White House and speaks to the very same U.S. Marine, saying, “I would like to go in and meet with President Obama.” The Marine, understandably a little agitated at this point, looks at the man and says, “Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Obama. I’ve told you already that Mr. Obama is no longer the president and no longer resides here. Don’t you understand?”

The old man smiles, looks at the Marine and says, “Oh, I understand that. I just love hearing it said.”

The Marine snaps to attention, smartly salutes, and says, “See you tomorrow, SIR!”

And so goes the legacy of a man who brought “Hope and Change” to the political forefront. It worked as a campaign slogan. Yet in the real world the Obama Administration has been a major mistake in the eyes of many. And now the political party responsible for putting this hope and change deception in place is abandoning the dear leader in droves. When Nancy Pelosi abandons the President, there’s trouble in River City and everybody knows it. Whether they want to admit it or not, everybody knows the end has come to this crap called hope and change. It didn’t work due to the man in charge and his reliance of “Chicago Style Politics”. Surrounded by Chicago political cronies and radicals such as Al Sharpton, so goes the Hope and Change.

As predicted from the EastWing way back in 2009, “this administration will make the Jimmy Carter Presidency look good”. And so it has. The only one truly happy with the job performance of the hope and change guy is Jimmy Carter.

A few weeks ago, in conversation with a former resident of Michigan, I was informed that Michigan has the highest population of Muslims in the United States . Also when President Obama took office the United States paid several millions of dollars to have a large number of Palestinians , ( All Muslim ), immigrated here from Palestine . Why? We don’t pay for other persons to immigrate here, and I’m sure that some of those Muslims moved into Michigan with the large current number of Muslims already established there.

So now in Michigan, when you call the Public Assistance office you are told to “Press 1 for English. Press 2 for Spanish, or Press 3 for Arabic” I did call and sure enough, press 3 and you get, what I assume to be Arabic. For sure it was not fluent Hillbilly, my native tongue. CHECK IT OUT YOURSELF – Here is the number 1-888-678-8914. When given a choice press 3.

Every time you add a new language to an American program it requires an additional number of persons fluent in that language to process those persons who refuse to learn English in order to live here at an additional cost to the taxpayer! Why are we even allowing persons to immigrate here who cannot provide for themselves, and putting them in our welfare system?

Press 3 for Arabic. WOW!!! This seems to have happened clandestinely , for, as far as I know, no public announcement or opportunity to vote on this was offered to the American people. They’re just adopting an official stance, and very likely using tax-payer money for it, in various capacities, without public knowledge or approval.

When did the ARABIC option sneak into our culture? Will we soon have to listen to our governmental offices, stores, and other venues offer us the option of “pressing 3 for ARABIC?”

As for me, I’d rather press 4 for HILLBILLY. But don’t think that will happen, ‘cause I’m a discriminated minority. Maybe I’ll just riot and call my friend and brother, Rev. Al. We’ll show em.

Stay safe in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From the EastWing Predicting The Future, Michigan Woes, Me & Brother Al Just A marching

I Wish You Well,


From the EastWing, The Baby Girl Maggie L, Talking About A Yule Log, For Some Businesses A Time To Die, Things That Go Away.

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Happy times in the EastWing. A new baby girl, the first grandchild, Maggie Lucille, has arrived. My son, RJ is a proud papa, and me and the She likewise, proud Grandma and Grandpa. I’m not going to bore you to tears with pictures and all sorta stuff, but I’ll just say I will tell you the story when it’s time…. The only part of that story written so far is the title. “THE SPOILING OF MAGGIE L”

And so once again it’s soon to be that time of the year when a burning Yule Log is symbolic of the light that will return after the dark days of early winter and gives us an excuse to gather with dear ones before a roaring fire.

The tradition is an old one, going back to the Druid custom of choosing a large log from an apple or oak tree, lighting it afire, and praying that it would burn forever. In England, the log was selected months before Christmas. Because it was believed that all who brought it in from the woods would be protected against harm for the ensuing year, everyone lent a hand, making the event itself a festive time.

Custom also decreed that a piece from the previous year’s log be saved to light the new log. As the Yule Log burned, everyone danced and cavorted in its heat and warmth, safe in the knowledge that the evil spirits would stay away for another year.

Now I don’t know about you, but me and the She, well me and the She, we just don’t dance and cavort quite as much as we used to. Seems like other things take priority over that cavorting. Although I’m not opposed to such, from time to time.

Every year about his time, someone publishes a listing of businesses expected to close during the following year. Some are correct and as always some are wrong. Russell Stover Candies, Ball Park Hot Dogs, Jimmy Dean Sausage, Zynga, are only the first half of the list.

Most people have heard on the first four and very, very few have ever heard of Zynga. And that’ port of the problem. Zynga is the company that provides those stupid games on social media. More specific, the face book games. Only one major success for this company. For my Face book friends who play Farmville, you can thank Zynga for bringing that product to you. It turns out that Zynga is much like those who don’t survive in the record recording business. How may “One and done” artist do you know in the music business.

After reading of the early demise of some of my favorite things (candy, hot dogs, & sausage) I got to thinking if I could make a listing of thing that will surly disappear in our lifetime.

1. The Post Office: Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills, just like mine.

2. The Check: Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with check by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check. This plays right into the death of the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business, and the demise of the check will be one of the culprits.

3. The Newspaper: The young people today simply doesn’t read the newspaper. They certainly don’t subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.

4. The Book: You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages Many said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. They wanted the hard copy CD. But quickly changed their mind when it was discovered that one could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, can’t wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you’re holding a gadget instead of a book.

Just a side line on the book going the way of the dodo bird, The She, and avid reader, now reads her latest book on her iPad. For some reason we call the iPads Doter Doters.. Don’t know why, just do.

5. The Land Line Telephone: Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you don’t need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they’ve always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes. Have you noticed the shrinking of the Phone Book?

6. Music: This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It’s the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is “catalogue items,” meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, “Appetite for Self-Destruction” by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, “Before the Music Dies.”

7. Television Revenues: To the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they’re playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it. It’s time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch
online and through Netflix.

8. The “Things” That You Own(Your Stuff): Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in “the cloud.” Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest “cloud services.” That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. So, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider. In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That’s the good news. But, will you actually own any of this “stuff” or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big “Poof?” Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.

9. Joined Handwriting (Cursive Writing): Already gone in some schools who no longer teach “joined handwriting” because nearly everything is done now on computers or keyboards of some
type (pun intended)

10. Privacy: If there ever was a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it will be privacy. That’s gone. It’s been gone for a long time anyway.. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, “They” know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits.. “They” will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again and again and again. All we will have left that which can’t be changed…….are our “Memories”. Logic is dead. Excellence is punished. Mediocrity is rewarded. And dependency is to be revered.

Stay safe in Afghanistan and Iraq.

From the EastWing, The Baby Girl Maggie L, Talking About A Yule Log, For Some Businesses A Time To Die, Things That Go Away.

I Wish You Well,


From The EastWing, It’s about Time

Greetings to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.


Last week we talked about our EastWing rule of “There’s a time for everything and Nothing is done before it’s time”. Got an interesting email last Thursday asking how we know when it’s time. Well, there is no short answer to what seemed like a simple question. The answer is going to get long and complex real soon when you start looking at where and when mankind first started tracking time.



Today, the most widely used numeral system is decimal (base 10), a system that probably originated because it made it easy for those people to count using their fingers. The civilizations that first divided the day into smaller parts, however, used different numeral systems, specifically duodecimal (base 12) and sexagesimal (base 60).

Thanks to documented evidence of the Egyptians’ use of sundials, most historians credit them with being the first civilization to divide the day into smaller parts. The first sundials were simply stakes placed in the ground that indicated time by the length and direction of the resulting shadow. As early as 1500 B.C., the Egyptians had developed a more advanced sundial. A T-shaped bar placed in the ground, this instrument was calibrated to divide the interval between sunrise and sunset into 12 parts. This division reflected Egypt’s use of the duodecimal system–the importance of the number 12 is typically attributed either to the fact that it equals the number of lunar cycles in a year or the number of finger joints on each hand (three in each of the four fingers, excluding the thumb), making it possible to count to 12 with the thumb. The next-generation sundial likely formed the first representation of what we now call the hour. Although the hours within a given day were approximately equal, their lengths varied during the year, with summer hours being much longer than winter hours.

Without artificial light, people of this time period regarded sunlit and dark periods as two opposing realms rather than as part of the same day. Without the aid of sundials, dividing the dark interval between sunset and sunrise was more complex than dividing the sunlit period. During the era when sundials were first used, however, Egyptian astronomers also first observed a set of 36 stars that divided the circle of the heavens into equal parts. The passage of night could be marked by the appearance of 18 of these stars, three of which were assigned to each of the two twilight periods when the stars were difficult to view. The period of total darkness was marked by the remaining 12 stars, again resulting in 12 divisions of night (another nod to the duodecimal system). During the New Kingdom (1550 to 1070 B.C.), this measuring system was simplified to use a set of 24 stars, 12 of which marked the passage of the night. The clepsydra, or water clock, was also used to record time during the night, and was perhaps the most accurate timekeeping device of the ancient world. The timepiece–a specimen of which, found at the Temple of Ammon in Karnak, dated back to 1400 B.C.–was a vessel with slanted interior surfaces to allow for decreasing water pressure, inscribed with scales that marked the division of the night into 12 parts during various months.

Once both the light and dark hours were divided into 12 parts, the concept of a 24-hour day was in place. The concept of fixed-length hours, however, did not originate until the Hellenistic period, when Greek astronomers began using such a system for their theoretical calculations. Hipparchus, whose work primarily took place between 147 and 127 B.C., proposed dividing the day into 24 equinoctial hours, based on the 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness observed on equinox days. Despite this suggestion, laypeople continued to use seasonally varying hours for many centuries. (Hours of fixed length became commonplace only after mechanical clocks first appeared in Europe during the 14th century.)

Hipparchus and other Greek astronomers employed astronomical techniques that were previously developed by the Babylonians, who resided in Mesopotamia. The Babylonians made astronomical calculations in the sexagesimal (base 60) system they inherited from the Sumerians, who developed it around 2000 B.C. Although it is unknown why 60 was chosen, it is notably convenient for expressing fractions, since 60 is the smallest number divisible by the first six counting numbers as well as by 10, 12, 15, 20 and 30.

Although it is no longer used for general computation, the sexagesimal system is still used to measure angles, geographic coordinates and time. In fact, both the circular face of a clock and the sphere of a globe owe their divisions to a 4,000-year-old numeric system of the Babylonians.

The Greek astronomer Eratosthenes (who lived 276 to 194 B.C.) used a sexagesimal system to divide a circle into 60 parts in order to devise an early geographic system of latitude, with the horizontal lines running through well-known places on the earth at the time. A century later, Hipparchus normalized the lines of latitude, making them parallel and obedient to the earth’s geometry. He also devised a system of longitude lines that encompassed 360 degrees and that ran north to south, from pole to pole. In his treatise Almagest (A.D. 150), Claudius Ptolemy explained and expanded on Hipparchus’ work by subdividing each of the 360 degrees of latitude and longitude into smaller segments. Each degree was divided into 60 parts, each of which was again subdivided into 60 smaller parts. The first division,partes minutae primae, or first minute, became known simply as the “minute.” The second segmentation, partes minutae secundae, or “second minute,” became known as the second.

Minutes and seconds, however, were not used for everyday timekeeping until many centuries after the Almagest. Clock displays divided the hour into halves, thirds, quarters and sometimes even 12 parts, but never by 60. In fact, the hour was not commonly understood to be the duration of 60 minutes. It was not practical for the general public to consider minutes until the first mechanical clocks that displayed minutes appeared near the end of the 16th century. Even today, many clocks and wristwatches have a resolution of only one minute and do not display seconds.

Thanks to the ancient civilizations that defined and preserved the divisions of time, modern society still conceives of a day of 24 hours, an hour of 60 minutes and a minute of 60 seconds. Advances in the science of timekeeping, however, have changed how these units are defined. Seconds were once derived by dividing astronomical events into smaller parts, with the International System of Units (SI) at one time defining the second as a fraction of the mean solar day and later relating it to the tropical year. This changed in 1967, when the second was redefined as the duration of 9,192,631,770 energy transitions of the cesium atom. This recharacterization ushered in the era of atomic timekeeping and Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

Interestingly enough, in order to keep atomic time in agreement with astronomical time, leap seconds occasionally must be added to UTC. Thus, not all minutes contain 60 seconds. A few rare minutes, occurring at a rate of about eight per decade, actually contain 61.

I told you it’s gona be a long and complex answer and sure enough.

Stay safe in Afghanistan and Iraq.

From The EastWing, It’s about Time

I Wish You Well,


From The EastWing, Studying For The Test, IRS & ObamaCare & Emails Lost, Laying Tile & Paying The Price, A Time For Everything, Buffalo Snow & Mama’s One Lane Sidewalk, The Birthday Party

Sorry for the late post, time got away. ld

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

For those who inquired as to where I was last Sunday evening, I thank you for asking. The truth be known, I was up to my eyes in final testing for the annual educational compliance requirements for the Internal Revenue. Even though it is still possible to prepare income tax returns for other people, while have no education or training. That seems to me kinda like blind leading the blind.

Those of us who provide accounting and tax work all year long, do in fact continue to receive additional training and education on the tax laws as they are created. And the Lord knows the created a lot, a real lot this year for 2014. It seems very few people actually realize how the Obama Care Law will be enforced. It’s the IRS that will collect your final bill on your mandatory health insurance.

The same IRS that was accused a while back of doing dirty things to people and groups who had a different point of view that the current President. In fact one lady thought to be the ring leader of such dirty tricks, well just a few days after her involvement came to light, her computer “crashed” and all her emails were lost forever. Then in a few days it turned out that seven of the people whom this lady sent emails as part of a routine practice, well their computers also crashed, and all was lost. Such a sad story.

Even the main man at the IRS sat in front a congressional committee and told ‘em no can do, all is lost and gone forever. But now guess what, some 30,000 emails have been found. In fact found just a couple days after the election in early November. WOW! It’s a miracle at the IRS.

The same IRS who just recently found the forever lost emails is in charge of the administration of the financial aspects of ObamaCare and making sure you pay your fair share and you get what’s coming to ya. And we all know that when the IRS determines what’s your fair share, it what’s left, not what’s right.

Some of the rules we live by here at the EastWing allow me and the She to explain away most anything and everything and not have to spend a undue amount of time contemplating many of life’s mysteries. Simply put, “There’s a time for everything, and nothing is done before it’s time.”

A couple Sundays ago I laid new floor tile in the laundry area. This is an open area comprised of not only the laundry but also the basement entrance as well as access to one of the bathrooms. It’s one of the area’s first seen when entering from the west. So laying new tile in that area was an impact on the whole overall appearance of the west side of the house.

Thirty years ago I could have completed that project and not even blinked an eye. Today, not so much so. Just the simple act of kneeling down and standing up, and kneeling down and standing up for the number of times required to put the new floor in place left me sore all over. Left me sore in places I didn’t even know I had places as well as those places I’d forgotten would get sore if you lay new tile. They got sore. Oh well, at least the job is done and normal tile replacement is like once every twenty five years.

After I was all done with the last tile in place, and we were admiring how much the new tile improved the overall appearance of that area of the house, I commented “Why did we wait so long to change the tile?” Then with a smile that said it all, the She said “It wasn’t time”. And so one of the rules of the EastWing kicked in. It just wasn’t time.

As I set looking out the EastWing windows and see end of autumn laying on the gardens, dimly lit be the yard light high on the NIPSCO Pole, my thoughts turn to those poor souls in Buffalo NY and their ordeal of trying to survive with 8’ of snow. Yes, that’s right 8 ft. of snow. Never think you have problems with the weather until you have to deal with 8 ft. of snow.

Here at the EastWing we have difficulties handling 1 ft. of snow much lessen 8 ft. The only person I knew who maybe could have handled that much snow was my Mama. When Mama lived at Toto, the snow never got more than 2 inches on her walkway. No matter how bad the storm, when the snow piled up to the magic 2 inches, Mama shoveled . The blizzard never got too severe to keep my Mama from maintaining her sidewalk duties.

Course you gotta keep in mind, Mama’s sidewalk was only about 25 feet long and what I called a one lane sidewalk. Many years ago Mama said she needed a sidewalk and I told her I’d make her one. One day after work, I went over to lay out the sidewalk and build the form to pour the cement. Good thing I laid out the sidewalk by string before I started digging. Mama came out, looked at the string outline and said “What are you building, a garage?” Told her that was a normal sidewalk width. She got her snow shovel and said “Build me one this wide”. And so Mama got her one lane sidewalk. As long as Mama lived, her one lane sidewalk never saw more than 2 inches of snow.

This Sunday the birthday party was at the Red Lobster. Both the beautiful She and # 1 Son have birthdays two days apart. Usually it’s just one big party and all is well. And so it was once again, surrounded by family, surrounded by strangers in the middle of Red Lobster, the birthday party was a happy, happy time. No singing chain of servers wishing they did not have to clap and perform a stylized rendition of the birthday song. No, none of that, just a good meal, good conversations and good times with family.

Stay safe in Afghanistan and Iraq. And so it is once again we have unfinished work in the desert sand of Iraq as well as Afghanistan. Too bad the Commander In Chief did not take any advice from any of the military people available to him, but listened only to someone’s singing Lord Kumbia.

From The EastWing, Studying For The Test, IRS & ObamaCare & Emails Lost, Laying Tile & Paying The Price, A Time For Everything, Buffalo Snow & Mama’s One Lane Sidewalk, The Birthday Party

I Wish You Well,


From The EastWing, Sophia Would Have Been Proud, The Thing That Catholics Do, Thoughts of a clothesline

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Sometimes in life you don’t even need to say I told you so. One such time occurred last week. Sophia would have been proud. I still miss that Damn Republican Cat.

A couple weeks prior to the election an email came to the EastWing containing interesting information which I choose not to pass along to my friends at that time. Yet it does speak volumes for this country and the dedicated people who make this nation great.

A Charity Hospital run by the Sisters of Charity in New Orleans, along with the Upjohn company developed the plasma system in the 1930’s that saved many, many lives in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and in the middle east to this day.

During the Civil War most of the nurses were nuns, on both sides, they were nuns..

Even if you are not Catholic, this is eye opening:

When the Catholic Church was founded, there were no hospitals. Today, one out of five people in this country receive their medical care at a Catholic hospital.

When the Catholic Church was founded, there were no schools. Today, the Catholic Church teaches 3 million students a day, in its more than 250 Catholic Colleges and Universities, in its more than 1200 Catholic High Schools and its more than 5000 Catholic grade schools.

Every day, the Catholic Church feeds, clothes, shelters and educates more people than any other organization in the world.

The new Obama Health Mandate could end all this and the tax payers would have to make up the loss.

Also, all Catholic adoption services will come to an end… a true human disaster.

There are more than 77 million Catholics in this country. It takes an estimated 50 million Catholic votes to elect a president.

I am asking all of you to go to the polls in 2014 and be united in replacing all Senators and Reps with someone who will respect the Catholic Church, all Christians, and all Religions.

Mr. President, you said, “The USA is not a Christian Nation”. You are wrong – we are a Christian Nation founded on Judeo-Christian values allowing all religions in America to worship and practice freely….something that Islam will never do.

Oh, by the way, on MUSLIM HERITAGE IN America ….Have you ever been to a Muslim hospital, heard a Muslim orchestra, seen a Muslim band march in a parade, know of a Muslim charity, ever seen Muslims shaking hands with a Muslim Girl Scout, or ever seen a Muslim Candy Striper volunteering in a hospital?

Have you ever seen a Muslim do much of anything that contributes positively to the American way of life? ,,, Me neither.

Looking back at the election results is does appear that the message to go to the polls and support those who will support the Catholic Church, all Christians, and all Religions, do so on election day.

Some of my EastWing friends probably have never even seen a clothesline, much less use one. For those of us who had the pleasure of knowing how that piece of Americana operated, I propose the following rules engagement.

1. You had to hang the socks by the toes… NOT the top.

2. You hung pants by the BOTTOM/cuffs… NOT the waistbands.

3. You had to WASH the clothesline(s) before hanging any clothes – walk the entire length of each line with a damp cloth around the lines.

4. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang “whites” with “whites,”
and hang them first.

5. You NEVER hung a shirt by the shoulders – always by the tail ! What would the neighbors think of shirts hanging by the tails?

6. Wash day on a Monday! NEVER hang clothes on the weekend, or on Sunday, for Heaven’s sake!

7. Hang the sheets and towels on the OUTSIDE lines so you could hide your “unmentionables” in the middle (perverts & busybodies, you know!)

8. It didn’t matter if it was sub-zero weather… clothes would “freeze-dry.”

9. ALWAYS gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes! Pins left on the lines were “tacky”!

10. If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.

11. Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.

12. IRONED ??!! Well,,,, that’s a whole OTHER story!

Now some final thoughts about missing my Mama’s close line.

A clothesline was a news forecast, To neighbors passing by,
There were no secrets you could keep, When clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link, For neighbors always knew
If company had stopped on by, To spend a night or two.

For then you’d see the “fancy sheets”, And towels upon the line;
You’d see the “company table cloths”, With intricate designs.
The line announced a baby’s birth, From folks who lived inside,
As brand new infant clothes were hung, So carefully with pride !

The ages of the children could, So readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed, You’d know how much they’d grown!
It also told when illness struck, As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe too, Haphazardly were strung.

It also said, “On vacation now”, When lines hung limp and bare.
It told, “We’re back!” when full lines sagged, With not an inch to spare!
New folks in town were scorned upon, If wash was dingy and gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows, And looked the other way.

But clotheslines now are of the past, For dryers make work much less.
Now what goes on inside a home, Is anybody’s guess!
I really miss that way of life, It was a friendly sign
When neighbors knew each other best… By what hung on the line.

Stay safe in Afghanistan and Iraq

From The EastWing, Sophia Would Have Been Proud, The Thing That Catholics Do, Thoughts of a clothesline

I Wish You Well,


From The EastWing, Trick or Treat, Flash Cards & Popcorn Balls, Attack On Halloween Candy, Attack On Football, When The Fat Lady Sings

Greetings to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Halloween came and went, and once again all the news media warned everyone about the dangers of pins and needles inserted into Halloween Candy. Did anyone ever hear of anyone ever getting pin or needle inserted Halloween Candy? I’m not aware of any. Yet I’ve heard that warning most all my life.

Now back in the day, when we done heavy duty Trick or Treating in Downtown Toto, the thought never crossed our minds there could be something in the treats. And even if there was, it got eaten so fast it didn’t matter.

But I’ll tell ya something worse than pins and needles in the Halloween Candy. Those damn Popcorn Balls, that’s a lot worse. I hated those things. Now there was an old lady living in Toto at the time and every year when we knocked on her door, PLOP! Right on top of all the good stuff, landed a big sticky popcorn ball.

By the time you got home, everything inside the bag was stuck to the popcorn ball. I’d take the popcorn ball out and give it to my little Sister, Kaye, she’d eat anything. I’d also share half of the candy with Kaye. Guess Sister Kaye actually got more than half. She got half the candy plus the popcorn ball.

Now days in our society there is always someone more enlightened than the average folks like you and me. It’s these people who drive me crazy. They’re always “looking out for our best interest”. Yeah Right! Two days before Halloween I heard one such person talking on the radio pushing “alternative treats” for Halloween. She said our society has become too fat for her licking, and a way to gain control of this out of control population obesity is to insist on alternative treats of Halloween.

I’m hopping you’re setting down for this little jewel, ‘cause I’m not making this stuff up. Something this bizarre cannot be made up. It can only be born in the dark bowls of stupidity. FLASH CARDS. Yes, Flash Cards of math problems, or possibly flash cards for teaching music, or small personal LED Flash Lights as an alternative to the flash cards. Now I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have the Popcorn Ball.

Sure seems like there’s a war on Halloween Candy. Did ya ever notice how many social culture wars we have going on at the moment? War on Poverty has spent more than a Trillion Dollars and the poverty level remains the same. War on Drugs, same money spent as war on poverty, now more drugs than ever. War on women, now I’m not even going to guess how much is spent on that one. But I do think the She contributes to that spending spree.

Another American classic coming under attack is football. Yep, football. At every level this game is under attack from both the same forces in our society who want to control Halloween Candy. Now if you think I’m joking, here’s the challenge. I predict that football as we now know it being played will vanish within two decades or less.

The first game of American football was played on November 6, 1869, between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton. And the rest is history so to say. Professional football came along a bit later. It was 1892 when the first football game was played where someone was paid money to play the game. Now not everyone was paid, just one guy. But I bet the next game everyone shared in the bounty of what would become the largest of American sports.

It seems hard for me to understand how the people who play football and get the crap knocked out of them never put two and two together and decided this punishment is not good for my health, short term or long term.

And so an enlightened society will soon evolve into the communal agreement that football is bad for your health and needs to be changed to something more civilized. The game may change by regulation. The game may change by law. The game may just become too violent to show on TV. After all, we do know that violence has been removed from both the movies as well as TV.

Maybe football will evolve into a game comparable to Ring Around The Roses. Another possibility is something like the ever popular Easter favorite, The Easter Egg Roll. Either way, football’s days are numbered. Just waiting till the fat lady sings.

Stay save in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Trick or Treat, Flash Cards & Popcorn Balls, Attack On Halloween Candy, Attack On Football, When The Fat Lady Sings

I Wish You Well,


From The EastWing, Killing Time, Lawyering Up With The Ebola Czar, Bird Feathers & Harry Reid

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Next Sunday, November 2nd it will again be the end of Daylight Saving Time for this year. Many of us will be muttering to ourselves as we wander around resetting all of our various clocks — on the thermostat, clock radio, microwave, and stove, among other places.

Sure, you’ll get an extra hour of sleep by turning back the clock by an hour in the fall. But if you have a regular day job, you’ll be getting home in the dark instead of in daylight come the following Monday. Why do we do this every fall? And why do we dial forward the clock by an hour every spring? It’s like dumb and dumber.

Daylight Saving Time has been around for most of the last century, but there’s no really good reason why we should continue with this crazy clock turning. The U.S. government started moving into and out of “Daylight Saving Time” during World War I to copy the Germans, who said they were doing it to save fuel. When the war ended, the U.S. government wisely repealed the law since it proved unpopular. During WWII, it came back — again with the notion that it would somehow conserve resources.

After the second war, the U.S. converted factories from making bombs to making cars and consumer products. The GIs came home. But Daylight Saving Time just stuck around. Many polls show that people want to stay in Daylight Saving Time year round, or at least just stick with either Standard or Daylight time and stop switching clocks around. Two states, Arizona and Hawaii, already keep their clocks the same all year long.

We may have reached a tipping point to end the clock-changing madness.

First, the U.S. Department of Energy issued a report in 2008 that examined the impact of extended Daylight Saving Time. A four-week extension would save approximately 0.5% of electricity per day for the country. Put in perspective, it’s enough energy to power 100,000 households for a year.

The second strong case for staying in Daylight Saving Time year round is that we can save lives. A recent study shows the switching of clocks in the spring causes a 25% jump in heart attacks in the few days following the switch, confirming earlier research that point out the shift in time can disrupt the quality of sleep and biological rhythms.

Taking away an hour of sleep and jolting you awake in the predawn darkness is simply bad for your health, especially if you are elderly or have a heart condition, researchers noted.

So here’s the question: If you have a chance to save lives and save electricity, would you do it?

Sure you would, right? But you haven’t, and neither have I. Why? Maybe because we’re all a little too sleep deprived and discombobulated to do something after all that clock-changing.

Last year, a member of the Missouri legislature proposed moving the state to permanent Daylight Saving Time if 19 other states would join its effort. The state House voted to approve the measure, HB340, but it didn’t go anywhere in the Missouri Senate.

This idea is smart and worth revisiting. The hard part is how to get this idea more traction. Here’s an alternative proposal: Legislatures pass a bill whereby if at least 31 other states pass similar bills, their state will then switch to permanent Daylight Saving Time. With Arizona and Hawaii already in, that adds up to two-thirds, or 33, states. Thirty-three is the number of states needed to pass a constitutional amendment, and while this is not a constitutional issue, it seems like a good standard to meet.

So how can we convince all these local governments to take on this initiative?

We need help from students, who can create interdisciplinary projects combining science, math, social studies and government, to show why we need to get rid of this outdated concept. If we all pitch in a little, we’ll be able to save energy and lives.

But put another way, it’s just about time. And Lord knows we all could use a little more.

Sure had lots of emails decrying the choice for the Ebola Czar. A lawyer for a medical crisis is much worse than the fox guarding the hen house. It’s the fox guarding the hen house while holding the key to the front door.

Seems I recall that lots of those lawyer fellers made themselves millionaires by handling a medical crisis. Now I’ve got nothing against lawyers in general. They, like everyone else, have a job to do in this life. Some good, some bad, and some real bad. I heard one time, the real bad lawyers try their damnest to get elected to public office. By the looks of things in this country, it would appear that most have succeeded in that quest. Now I’m not saying that Harry Reid is a real bad lawyer, I’m saying he’s been in public office longer than he was a lawyer in the private sector. I’m sure he’s never used his public office for personal gain. I’m also sure that if asked, he would say no he has not. I also heard in lawyer school, they teach you how to lie like a champion.

Last week I indicated the selection of the Ebola Czar was a political decision and nothing else. An EastWing friend in Colorado had a different point of view. He made a argument on the statement made and did not try to kill the messenger like most folks who disagree with what I have to say. In response to that point of view, I’ll propose this and hope someone remembers and holds me to task if I’m wrong.

If a lawyer for a medical job, then why not a doctor or dentist for a lawyer job. It’s the right thing to do. And it will create a level playing field. I guarantee the appointment for the replacement of the Attorney General will not be a doctor or a dentist. Should a replacement be necessary on the Supreme Court, I’ll also guarantee it will not be a doctor or dentist, or even a tattoo artist. Although either would be better suited than what’s there right now.

Guess the president will have to consult Harry Reid. It’s a “Birds Of a Feather” thing, you know.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Killing Time, Lawyering Up With The Ebola Czar, Bird Feathers & Harry Reid

I Wish You Well,


From The EastWing, Ebola Fears, Loving The Fall, Proboscis Drawing Blood, The Hummingbirds Say Goodbye, The Man Cat Assumes The Role.

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Every news cast on every channel along with all print media and talk radio lead every opening broadcast with Ebola horror stories. WE DO NOT HAVE AN EBOLA PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS IN THE UNITED STATES. We do have public concern because of a panic driven story by the public news media.

Stop and think about it for a few seconds. Three people have been diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. One person has died.

During the time that Ebola news has held the public in a state of mild panic, our nation has experienced over 1,400 people dying of flu and double that number die of cancer. More than 400 people have been shot and over 50 of those have died on the city streets of Chicago.

The point being, at this point Ebola is not a public health issue. Should that change, I’ll be the first to yell “wolf” on the Ebola matter. What this does do is point out how unprepared our health care delivery system is for handling such a disease as Ebola. More importantly it illustrates in spades how the CDC (Center for Disease Control) has been turned from a true guardian of the public health to another political tool for the current administration.

All can rest well knowing we now have an “Ebola Czar”. A person selected by the President, not for his knowledge of medicine or the health care delivery system, rather for this ability to dole out money for the “Shovel Ready Projects” when the Obama Stimulus Package hit the streets. Shovel Ready Projects which the President later admitted did not even exist.

So now maybe we’ll throw a few billion dollars toward a crisis generated by the news media. Then the story will go away as yet another Hero Czar will ride into the sunset. Much like that hero czar that road into the sunset from the IRS. Don’t remember her name, seems it was Lois, or something like that. With this administration, it’s truly amazing how fast they want us to forget their hero czars.

One of the really nice things about early autumn is that time between when the calendar says fall and the world turns cold. That last week of September and a couple weeks or so into October. For many, it’s the perfect weather. 60 – 70’s during the day and 40 – 50° at night.

In early autumn it’s fun waiting for the mosquitoes to go away. This year they have been a particular problem. Many times over the years here at the EastWing the mosquitoes have been held in check by the lack of rain in late August and early September. Not so much so this year. The time this year when I’d expect the little fellers to dry up and blow away, it rained some 17” in that late August – early September time frame. Then a whole new crop came on.

Mr. Bentley and I drove the golf cart across the road into the field and by the time we were back home both were suffering from anemia. These late blooming mosquitoes don’t just stick you with their proboscis. Oh no, they carry razor blades, open up a hole and use a straw.

Now not everybody knows how these little fellers works, so I’ll just take a second and share some info on why these little ones cause us so much misery. It’s the girls that do all the biting. Yeah, the girls do all the biting. They have to because in order to lay those little eggs in the outside standing water that everyone tells ya to dump out, and ya don’t, that’s the water I’m talking about, they must have a chemical in human blood. It’s the red part the girls are looking for. The stuff called hemoglobin keeps the world mosquito population happy and all the rest of us itching away in the summer time.

Hemoglobin is part of the makeup of our red blood cells. It’s the red part. Without the hemoglobin our red blood cells don’t work right. And when the red blood cells don’t work right, well you don’t want to go there. If you doctor ever told you that you have low iron, then prescribed iron pills. You were being treated for low hemoglobin. Course sometimes when hillbillies are feeling a little puny, we just suck on a rusty nail. Tuff bunch.

The time has come for my pretty little hummingbirds to fly away. They came to the south window of the EastWing three weeks ago. Just a little after the first light of day they came to the window, hovered within a few inches of the glass, a short 3’ from me. Close to 10 seconds the hovered. We said our end of summer goodbyes, then George & Molly flew away. I know they’re gone because the hummingbird feeder has not been touched since. I’ll leave the feeder up another week, but I’m sure George & Molly are gone. They told me they’d be back when it’s once again springtime in the valley.

One of the most amazing metamorphosis I’ve seen in some time is not the butterfly and the Milk Weed, it’ Spike The Man Cat. With the passing of my dear Sophia, The Man Cat as assumed the position of Official Man Cat of the EastWing. In the past, Spike spent most of his time by himself. He seldom ever had a need to even be in the same room with me. He had well established petting times thru out the week when he would come and present himself for petting. Otherwise Spike stayed away.

Did ya ever have a cat that takes every step with you? The Man Cat does. When I sit at the computer in the EastWing, The Man Cat lays at my feet. It’s not enough to lay close, his head must lay on my foot. At bed time, it’s Spike outside the bathroom door, then hops onto the foot of the bed. I may have to look into Spike’s background to see where he came from. Don’t even know if he’s Democrat or Republican.

It would be nice to have a Republican Cat around again. Sure hope he’s not a Democrat. Lord knows we’ve got enough of those around already. We’ll see, but kinda worried. Seems Spike does lay around a lot just sleeping, and when awake looking for handouts.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From The EastWing, Ebola Fears, Loving The Fall, Proboscis Drawing Blood, The Hummingbirds Say Goodbye, The Man Cat Assumes The Role.

I Wish You Well,


From The EastWing, A Progressive Love Song, The Name Game

Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the EastWing.

Have you ever been so wrong on the side of so right? Well yours truly mush have been on the wrong side of right this past week. A most damning email pointed out the ills of my way of thinking when it comes to the true progressive wishes of our society. After much thought and consideration of the benefits which we all will receive when the true progressive faction  sweeps across our great land. I join the cause. I’ve seen the light. I’ve been converted. I intend to spread the word far and wide. I will do my part to ensure the progressive way of thinking is preached to all who will listen. I am a soldier in the battle for the hearts and minds of those less enlightened poor souls who have yet to see the way.  Can I get an amen on that?


With the above statement being made, I now agree with our Native American population. I am highly insulted by the racially charged name of the Washington Redskins. One might argue that to name a professional football team after Native Americans would exalt them as fine warriors, but no, oh no. We must be careful not to offend. In the spirit of political correctness and courtesy, we must move forward and right the wrongs inflected upon these Native Americans. We now mustalso turn our attention to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians. They too must change their ways and repent for their past sins to the Indians.


And what about those Washington Redskins making fun of skin color. Once again a big corporation is picking on the least of our brothers.  Shame on them. And also shame on those  Cleveland Browns for the very same reason.  They both must change their ways for the benefit  of mankind. All too long these two have been making fun of skin color and no one has spoken up to correct such an appalling  wrong. This cancer must now be removed from our society.
The Carolina Panthers obviously were named to keep the memory of militant Blacks from the 60’s alive. So, as a white boy, I’m now offended by this name. That Carolina Panther name just has to go.

The New York Yankees offend the whole southern part of the country. Do you see a team named for the Confederacy? No! And for good reason, there is no room for any reference to that tragic war that cost this country so many young men’s lives.  Those damn Yankees must choose another name.

I am also offended by the blatant references to the Catholic religion among our sports team names. It’s totally inappropriate to have the New Orleans Saints, the Los Angeles Angels or the San Diego Padres. Even though I’m Catholic, I still know that these names are offensive to the non believers in our society.  We must protect their feelings while they’re here on earth. Course when they go to HELL, well they just went where the Lord thought best.

Then there are the team names that glorify criminals who raped and pillaged the whole world. We are talking about the horrible Oakland Raiders, the Minnesota Vikings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Pirates! It’s clear that these teams represent the worst in our society and must be retrained to become productive members of the community in which they live.


We must always be on the lookout for organizations sending the wrong messages to our  village children. Yes, I have bought into the Hillary Clinton theory that “It takes a village to raise a child”. The San Diego Chargers promote irresponsible fighting or even unbridled spending of funds you don’t have. Such a wrong messages to send to our children. These messages cannot be tolerated in a progressive society.

The New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants both promote obesity, a growing childhood epidemic. Such a wrong message to our children. The Cincinnati Reds promote downers/barbiturates. Another wrong  message to our children.  These professional sports teams need to be sanctioned by the First Lady of the United States for doing such damage to the youth of our nation, in particular their dietary needs.  At the very least, she should draw a line across home plate, and when it’s crossed then ask her husband to impose sanctions.
The Milwaukee Brewers. Well that goes without saying. Underage alcohol use has forever been a problem in our society. Too long we have looked the other way and allowed this Milwaukee baseball team to promote alcoholism. This must stop. I’m offended beyond words at this blatant effort to push alcohol to our youth.

So, there you go. WE PROGRESSIVES cannot stand by and watch as sports teams, from sand lot to professional, continue to lay waste to our society by such offensive names. Something must be done.


In order to make sure everyone gets their fair share, it would be necessary that  all sports teams, from sandlot to professional, and residing east of the Mississippi River, need to select a name from the vegetable group. All sports  teams residing west of the Mississippi River, from sandlot to professional, they will select a name from the fruit and nut group.  This name selection process can help meet the President’s goal of having a level playing field for all. And besides, it’s the right thing to do.


Much thought and consideration has gone into proposing  the western states choose names from the fruit & nut group. After all, we do know there’s lots of fruits and nuts out there in California.  Does the name “Nancy Pelosi” sound like a nut?


Stay safe in Afghanistan.


From The EastWing, A Progressive  Love Song, The Name Game


I Wish you well,