Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Stockings Were Hung...

(illustration by the talented Kris Walworth) the fireplace with hopes that this season would soon disappear.

Sentiments mine, not necessarily the illustrator's...always appreciate it when Kris takes time to grace us with another seasonally appropriate picture on our whiteboard.  Thank you, Kris!

Cyber Monday has come and gone, and we're still a matter of fact, we're Walking Tall...
...and yes, that is actually a picture of me on the cover...

Next goal: surviving the balance of Cyber Week...if we do, it's starting to look like there might be just the tiniest chance work won't ruin the entire Christmas season this year as it has pretty much every year since we dove into the wild wacky wonderful world of ecommerce.  Insert excited "woo hoo" here...
...ok, so that's a lot closer to what I really look like...I do have a little more hair than that... idea who that bad actor is.

On a more sobering note, attended the funeral of a friend's mother today...she was 104 (!) years old.

Think of that...born the year the Titanic sank...

...the Model T was the most popular car in the world...

...she lived through World War I, the Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, Vietnam...
...she saw flight progress from the biplane... the Moon Landing...

Taft was president when she was born, and her years spanned the administrations of Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama and President elect Trump.

She lived an amazing life in an amazing century and today loved ones and friends gathered to pay their respects.

As it says in Ecclesiastes 7, "the heart of the wise is in the house of mourning..."

And why is that?

Because we will all pass that way eventually.

As missionary Jim Eliot...

...who was martyred by the Auca Indians of Ecuador once said, "when it comes time to die, be sure the only thing you have left to do is die."

At peace with God through His Son Jesus Christ, Louise Roderick was ready and it was an honor to be present at her funeral today.

Later, mcm fans...

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Sunday, November 27, 2016


...the holidays...we've got some Thanksgiving leftovers (turkey and pheasant...delicious...) mixed in for good measure with fresh Christmas 2016 delicacies...gotta love the original aluminum Christmas tree and color wheel.  And don't forget the Santa hat tree topper...

No need to panic, Christmas fanatics...this diminutive four foot set up is not our main Christmas tree...
another view of our table top tree...
...the nine foot tree will be set up in the dining room this year...this one is in the living room mainly because the stone wall put the finishing touches on what was already a predominantly mid century modern look and feel.

I have three other aluminum trees, all six footers...could have used one of those, but to do so we'd have to move the credenza out of the room.

And while we could eventually jump through enough (hula) hoops to make that happen, I have a confession to make:

I'm just not that into the holidays this year.
Say it ain't so, George...
There.  I said it.

There are lots of reasons for that, none of which will be discussed here (for inappropriate "too much information" posts you need to head on over to fakebook).

So moving on...

The day before Cyber Monday, and all is not well at work at the moment...system issues that started on Saturday...have nailed down a probable contributor and will deal with it today.  We need systems to be stable and running efficiently to weather the storm that's about to be unleashed.
aka, Cyber Monday...
Ok, I think that should just about do it for extreme facial close ups.

Not much else shaking in my world at the moment...both my teams lost yesterday...Michigan gift wrapped a double overtime win for the undeserving buckeyes of ohio state...and Menominee got their butts whipped in fine fashion by a very good West Catholic team in the D5 state championship game.

That's four in a row for West Catholic...the beginnings of a dynasty.

But that game could have been very different had Menominee not insisted on shooting themselves in the foot early on with some key unforced errors.  They were very competitive early and were driving on the WC defense easily.

But unforced turnovers spelled their doom, and once Big Mo' picks a side it can get ugly in a hurry...and so it did.  Better luck next year.

And by the by...Menominee doesn't really run the Carlisle formation:
They rarely showed the unbalanced line pictured above.  Rather theirs is a blend of single wing backfield formations with a balanced line set.

Sorry; the tactician in me is showing.  Either way I was generally ticked off Saturday afternoon since both my horses pulled up lame in the big race.

Oh, here's that 9 footer in the dining room:
Karen putting the finishing touches on "her" tree...
Did I mention that it doesn't really matter if I'm excited about Christmas this year?  Karen is, so the house is undergoing the usual transformation, to wit:
my mcm grandfather clock with a seasonally appropriate chapeau...
ditto for this wall clock...
kitty found her spot under the least it's not in the tree...yet...
Guess that's about it for this edition of the Wild_Hare Atomic Monster Cafe...thank you for dining with us today and we hope to see you again very soon.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Thank you!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving...

...And God Bless Us, Every One!

Ok, so I may be mixing up my holiday stories a bit, but today's a great time to stop and consider the many blessings God has given us.

We naturally tend to focus on the and clothing and hearth and home...good health and loved ones, steady employment and leisure time...

But the older I get the more thankful I am for God's forgiveness and His gift of eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.  I'm a wicked sinner, but a forgiven one through faith in Christ.

For that I am enormously thankful, and so I say with complete sincerity, Happy Thanksgiving!

We have our usual complement of woodland friends this morning...
tree looks a little less leafy than last time I caught up with Mr. Squirrel...
...Mr. Squirrel is getting fatter...
...and Mr. BlueJay is enjoying the peanuts we tossed on the deck...

Karen's got the pies cooked and the bird ready to be oven-ized for three hours...the table is set and ready to host our feast...

And while it may not be ideal weather...
...we're still looking forward to the blessings of this day.

So while you're enjoying them, please take heed to Brewster Rockitt and do not make this common mistake:

Rather, let us remember what President Ronald Reagan said a way on back in 1982...

"I have always believed this anointed land was set apart in an uncommon way, that a divine plan placed this great continent here between the oceans to be found by people from every corner of the Earth who had a special love of faith and freedom."

Well said, Mr. President.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Thank you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


...Preparations...table setting...getting ready for the big day.

Karen is an excellent cook, and even though we won't have a houseful...probably Jon, maybe Micah and Ryan...she'll still make a delicious meal full of Thanksgiving goodness.

I'll do my best to stay out of the way and be available to help any way I can.

When we do sit down to feast, we'll give thanks to God in heaven for the food before us, the family around us, the love between us, and His Presence among us...then enjoy the bounty He has graciously provided.  Gotta love this holiday.

Of course, the next day and following will be a study in chaos at work as we do battle during the "black Friday / cyber week" wars.
Thankfully we're not in retail sales, but we're right next to it since we're wholesale and online ecom,

Assuming we survive the following week, we'll do our best to navigate the rest of the holiday season...
...enjoying a good ol' fashioned, mid century modern Christmas...replete with aluminum Christmas tree and color wheel.  How cool is that?

Tonight right after work we had a WMS (warehouse management system) team dinner at Knickerbockers...
That's the greeter, so you get an idea what you're in for during the evening.

Here are a few of the victims...
...I did say "a few"...there are others not seen in the picture...and no, they were not devoured by the door dragon.  He actually behaved himself.

Karen did some calling around today and we may be doing a book signing at Barnes and Noble during December...

...they help out by advertising, posting on their FB page, calling teachers in the area (since ours is a kids' book), etc.

I'll be honest...with very modest sales, it would be intimidating to show up at our own book signing event and listen to the crickets while we wait for someone to, y'know, actually ask us to sign a book.

On the other hand, the store manager looked up our titles on Amazon and was excited about the fact that a) we wrote a series of kids' books, and b) would be willing to do a book signing at their store.

Thinking about's not like I have some other master plan working to drum up sales...though we did sell another set of all five PMT books - paperbacks - today.

It's fast approaching the witching hour and there's no debate on the question of me needing my beauty sleep, so...

Later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on!

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Thank you!

Saturday, November 19, 2016


...Snowflakes...and I'm so excited I could spit.

But I won't because spitting is a nasty habit; so sayeth my mom back in the day.

Even so, I'm not happy about this development, though we all knew it was coming:
It was 61 degrees and rainy last night, forecast to be 28 degrees and snowing this morning.  As they say 'round these parts, if you don't like the weather just wait a minute and it will change...and so it did.

I guess Kitty knew what was coming, too, bc she snuggled up in front of one of the fireplaces for warmth:

Of course, it might have been wiser to pick the one that actually produces heat:

No one ever accused Kitty of being a genius.

another view, sans Kitty...
Apropos of the season, a heartfelt Thank You to those who have purchased Papa's Model T books from the Atomic Monster Cafe recently.
ad in the Model T Ford Club of America magazine

I sincerely appreciate your interest and would love to hear from you.  All honest feedback, positive or negative, is welcomed.

Thank you!

Today my favorite high school football team, Menominee, is playing in the semi-finals against Frankenmuth.  Love the single wing offense they run...

...and am hoping they cruise into the state championship game next weekend.

Go Menominee!

Today is the 153rd anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.  It has been well said that Lincoln captured in four minutes the essence and solemnity of the occasion that Edward Everett, featured speaker and famous orator, only skimmed in two solid hours of non stop bloviating.

Lincoln's 272 words stand immortalized in concise greatness, whereas Everett's 13,600+ words of bloated rhetoric are rarely read and largely forgotten.  Yet another instance where excess was confused with significance.

Brevity is not just the soul of wit, it is often the purveyor of brilliance.

The text of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address follows:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Thank you!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

'Twas The Week...

...'fore Thanksgiving...and all through our house, we had fowl 'round the hearths...

...and nary a mouse...(with apologies to Clement C, Moore)

Those are the three metal birds I ordered from the Garden Fun website...a turkey and pheasant (top pic) and a quail (bottom pic on the right).

They're beautiful and seasonally appropriate for Thanksgiving.

But sadly, this is THE forgotten holiday.

Doubt me on that?  Here's what every store looks like two weeks or more before Thanksgiving:
That happens to be Bath and Body at the mall a week ago, but they're all the same.

Very annoying.

And a crying shame, too, because we should all make a point of pausing and giving thanks to God in heaven for His mercy and grace and bounteous provision.

In 1863 Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday, in the midst of the bloodiest war in our history.
Lincoln at Sharpsburg
That might seem like odd timing to some, but beseeching the Lord God Almighty during times of great crisis is always the best plan...and giving thanks is always the right thing to do.

Hey, here's an exciting tidbit:

It's now 10 days after the election, and the ONE state that still has not been able to count up their votes in the presidential election is...drum roll please...MICHIGAN!

O yez O yez O yez, ladies and gentlemen, the ONLY state in the union that still has not mastered basic math, that is so incompetent and inept it simply cannot tell who voted for whom...if you seek an ignorant peninsula, look about you...MICHIGAN!


later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on!

Get your paperback books here:

Get your ebooks here:

Thank you!