Sunday, August 20, 2017

On Vacation

on Hilton Head Island until August 27th ...

pics and exposition to follow over the upcoming days ...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Lakeside Park

Nice bittersweet tune by Rush I listened to a thousand times around 1987 or so. Lots of memories mashed up in this song, memories of Seaside Heights, Wildwood, Lake George …

Midway hawkers calling “try your luck with me”
Merry-go-round wheezing the same old melody
A thousand ten-cent wonders, who could ask for more?
A pocketful of silver, the key to heaven’s door

Lakeside Park
Willows in the breeze
Lakeside Park
So many memories
Laughing rides
Midway lights
Shining stars
On summer nights

Days of barefoot freedom racing with the waves
Nights of starlit secrets, crackling driftwood flames
Drinking by the lighthouse, smoking on the pier
Still we saw the magic was fading every year

Lakeside Park
Willows in the breeze
Lakeside Park
So many memories
Laughing rides
Midway lights
Shining stars
On summer nights

Everyone would gather
On the twenty-fourth of May
Sitting in the sand
To watch the fireworks display
Dancing fires on the beach
Singing songs together
Though it's just a memory
Some memories last forever

Friday, August 11, 2017

21 Ducks Animation

My eight-year-old daughter’s cartoon production company.

The sky’s the limit, they say …

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hey Blogman! Y No Posts?

Good question. Short answer: Nothing to write about.

No, it’s not writer’s block. Or maybe it is. Just that nothing has caught my attention, shouting, “Write about this on the Hopper!” Or maybe stuff has, it’s just that I haven’t been able to come up with a hook. Normally (usually in the shower) I’ll be thinking about something that’s piqued my attention of late and a line or two will come into my head. I’ll compose most of the post standing with shampoo in my hair but will forget 95 percent of it by the time I sit down to write at lunch or whenever, except for those first one or two lines.

That hasn’t happened in a while.

I’ve been in the thick of World War II, specifically the War in France, 1944. Watched Saving Private Ryan last weekend with the girls. Big mistake to watch it with Patch. Not having seen it in 17 years I forgot the sheer gore of Omaha beach. She lasted seven or eight minutes, but Little One watched the whole thing and was fascinated by it. This led me to blow the dust off Rick Atkinson’s third book of his liberation trilogy, The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-45. As with his previous two works, an excellent, compelling read. I am already at page 225 of the 640-page history. Will be sad upon its completion. But I understand Atkinson’s turned his pen toward the Revolutionary War. That will be something I will eagerly devour.

In a funk physically and mentally. I have a big birthday coming up, and I’m not at a happy place. Overweight, under-exercised, riddled with insomnia, engorged on junk food to cope on a daily basis, dissatisfied with work and where I’ll be at the half-century mark. Maybe I should buy a Lamborghini and dump the Mrs. for a twenty-something? Nah. Need money for that, money I don’t have. Sigh. A large chunk of my day is spent searching for something to relieve this self-induced pressure. Some form of motivation. Some new way of looking at things. Unsuccessful so far.

Looking forward to six or seven days’ vacation down in Hilton Head, visiting the in-laws. We’ve rented a house – the wife calls it a “villa,” so I have no idea what she’s got us into - as her parent’s house is too small for the four of us and our logistical nightmare. So that’ll be cool. Plus, they generally leave me alone. Sure, I’ll go to the pool and the beach with the family, but I get a lot of time to peruse used book shops, go for walks, watch baseball with my father-in-law, stretch out on the couch and listen to classical music. I’ll be finishing up The Guns at Last Light down there, and I’m also bringing a Silverberg epic and a book on string theory. Should be very stimulating.

Also, the in-laws are excellent cooks and love – love! – freely-flowing wine. And I may have to re-introduce my father-in-law to some ice cold German beer.

Patch is gloriously up over her head in Greek mythology. The same bug bit her sister three years ago. Wonderful – I remember my fascination with the subject forty years ago, especially with the slim Edith Hamilton paperback. We all watched some of 1963’s Jason and the Argonauts, and now my children view that creepy Harryhausen scene where Talos comes to life as a highlight of childhood.

Little One suffered through the stomach flu earlier in the week, but none of us caught it. She was up to 1:30 am with her twelfth trip to yak at the commode. My wife shouldered the main comforting duties, but I was up for the whole thing, and didn’t get to sleep until 4. Then had to wake up at 6:30. And, approaching the half-century mark, my body doesn’t bounce back as quickly as it did at the quarter-century mark. I’m still so tired I could fall asleep right now at my keyboard.

Too many HAVES on my back right now. Have to jump start the tax stuff for my job in December. Have to take 18 hours of education for it, in fact. Have to get a physical. Have to have the heart checked out. Have to get the – shudder – colonoscopy thing done. Have to get Patch to her travel soccer practices, starting tomorrow. Have to get Little One to the track to run. Have to get me to walk the oval while she’s running. Have to this, have to that. Ugh.

I think tonight after everyone’s gone to bed I’ll put on the headphones and listen to some Sibelius. Or Dvorak. Or Haydn. Or Rautavaara. Or Debussy. Or …

Monday, August 7, 2017

An Intriguing Definition

MUSIC expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.

- Victor Hugo


This might be my favorite elucidation of all time; one that shall be memorized for possible retrieval at the next cocktail party where I might have had one drink too many.

I like it.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


Is the Church converting the world, or is the world converting the Church?

How utterly depressing ...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Our Legislative Masterminds

“The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.”

- G. K. Chesterton, c. 1924

Mm-hmm. Seems about right, even a century later. See recent activities in Washington centered around the “Affordable” Care Act.