Sunday, May 27, 2018

Lest We Forget...

...the ultimate sacrifice of so many to secure our freedoms.  We owe a great debt of gratitude to those who have gone before us and served bravely and honorably in the defense of our country.

May God bless their families and their memory and may we who remain live purposefully and thankfully as we honor them.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are...
...God Bless America, ya'll...

And speaking of the pursuit of happiness...
...got out on the links this morning...gorgeous day...and I'm getting a little better as the season rolls along...
...not great by any stretch of the imagination...this should have been a one putt for par, but it turned into a two putt for bogey.

On the other hand, if I could consistently play bogey golf I'd be thrilled.  Mostly I'm just happy to actually be able to enjoy the round, and that my enjoyment is no longer tied directly to my performance.

It used to be; in everything in life.  Age and maturity have helped broaden my perspectives and opened the door to enjoying some things in life that previously I avoided.

So this holiday weekend has been busy with lots of work around the grounds...
...we now have a small goldfish pond in the courtyard, and we've been cleaning up, fertilizing, planting and landscaping all around our Half Moon Oasis...




An acquaintance tells me they like my writing but find it depressing...so I'm kicking around ideas for my next story, something you might find on the Hallmark channel at Christmas...

And as puerile as that may sound, I'm actually liking the story line so far...need a title and a few more details, but I hope to get started on my next novella this week.

But for now...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Windmill Island...

...Holland, Michigan...home of the only working windmill in the United States.  It was purchased in the Netherlands in the early 1960's, dismantled, shipped here and reassembled in time for Tulip Time in 1965.
Interestingly, the actual windmill starts above the brick where the walkway is...they had to elevate it in order to catch the wind above the canopy of trees we have here in the states.  In the Netherlands they do not have that kind of tree canopy, and the stiff winds blowing off the North Atlantic are much closer to the ground than the winds off Lake Michigan are here.

But the rest of it is original and dates back to the 1800's, and it is still used today to grind grain into various kinds of flour.
They have part of the blades that were in use during WWII and you can see the German bullet holes in them.  Windmills were often used as lookouts back then to spot the invading German forces.

The tour we took was very interesting and the way the Dutch constructed these huge wind machines is very impressive.  At one time there were more than 9,000 windmills in operation in the Netherlands but that number dwindled to 900 by the early 1960's...thus the one purchased by the Tulip Time organization was one of the very last to leave the Netherlands as they passed a law forbidding any more sales.

The view of the top...
...and the view from the top...

So that was Saturday's excitement as we visited Windmill Island with Karen's brother Tom and his wife Laurie who were in town for Karen's daughter Amy's reception.

Also took Mr. T out for a spin yesterday since another of Karen's brothers wanted a ride...
...everyone loves Mr. T...

Because a lot of Karen's family were coming into town for Amy's reception, Karen wanted the former carport / current bonus room / future guest room cleaned up as much as possible...no small task since at one time we had it stacked floor to ceiling with boxes from last year's move...but a roof leak over the winter forced us to clean out a lot of junk and tear down the ruined ceiling...

So with some concerted effort over the past few weeks we whipped it into somewhat presentable condition and transformed it into the Wild Hare Saloon...

Now we've got whiskey, women, music and smoke...

...no, scratch that...I'm thinking of Brooks and Dunn's Boot Scootin' Boogie...

...but we do have an esoteric collection of various and sundry and you can actually see the floor now.

...and we even have a public telephone.

When asked if it works I directed them to the printed instruction sheet:




Early this morning I trekked to the golf course hoping to beat the predicted rain showers...
...and in fact I did...beat the rain, that is...but not the course...as usual I fell victim to the dastardly links and my own appalling lack of talent...
...but even so I enjoyed some solitude, some exercise and a pleasant stroll through the country.

...and I actually did pretty well (for me) wielding the tools of my ignorance...really only hit 1 bad tee shot (may my Pinnacle Soft golf ball rest in peace in its watery grave) and a couple of ugly shots with my irons...

...was in and around the fairway most of the time and only lost that one ball.

As I strolled off the 9th green all was well with the world, so don't blame me if things are still screwed up.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Free Golf!

...but there's always a catch...course was so wet they were basically closed today...but the owner was there when I arrived this morning and told me I could walk / swim the course for free if I wanted to.

So naturally I did...
...and it was definitely wet, but still very enjoyable...actually parred this par 3...
...because my tee shot put me on the fringe and I managed a two putt.

Did the same thing on #6, a short 200  yard par 4...on in 2 and a 2 putt for par.  Bogeyed 3 others, and the other 4 holes aren't worth talking about...

...but given my modicum of talent and the limited time I have for this game, my expectations are never too high...

I'm only using 4 clubs...a cleek, mashie, niblick and putter...
...my brassie having been banished as a bad influence on the other clubs...so it's "simple golf", and it never fails to provide some solitude, some exercise and a very pleasant stroll - or swim - through the countryside.

#1 son and a grandson did in fact come over yesterday and do some more demo on the the remnants of the ceiling in the guest room...so now we're rushing to get things painted before this coming Friday...Karen has a "family event" and a few of her brothers might come over...so of course she wants the place to look nice.

I think it looks spectacular, but what do I know?

There are currently 3 deer at the feeder...
...and for some reason 2 of them are mooning me...kids these days...

Just about time for the season finale of Timeless...
...a show Karen got me hooked on...it's not fabulous, but it's about time travel and for whatever reason that has always been a thing with me...as a number of my stories and books illustrate.

so...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Work Resumes...

...on the guest room project...

There is progress, but it's a slow go at the moment.  Today #1 son and one of his sons are coming over to cut out the last remaining vestiges of the ceiling...they already tore down most of it when we had the big leak...but there are a couple of corners that still need the tender care and loving touch of a sawz-all.

Mother Nature Janitorial Services continues tidying up the landscape from the ravages of Ol' Man Winter...hate to say it, but he left the place a mess on his way out the door...
...but she's doing a pretty nice job with the color palette selection...all those greens and pinks and blues and whites...

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
...it's high noon and I reckon' this spread ain't big enough for all of us, my deer...

...although so far, it actually does seem to be working out ok.  Harmony; always a surefire way to kill a good storyline.

And while we're on the subject of bad literary devices, Gary Brookins nails the writer's lament:

A subtle difference between Karen and me...here's what I do for a quick meal:
...your basic sandwich.

Here's what Karen does for a quick meal:
...that's scrambled eggs with cheese, avocado, tomatoes and melba toast.  Even if you don't eat it, it's visually appealing...she's a culinary artiste...

I'm happy to report early sales of Last Flight are booming...
...I sold one...yeah, you know who you are...if you end up liking it, do me a favor and leave a good review on Amazon...if you don't, please contact me and tell me why...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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

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Friday, May 4, 2018

May Is The Payoff...

...for enduring a long Michigan winter...everything greens up...
...the flowers start blooming...
...and it's God Bless America once again...
...plus, in a gesture of cross-cultural good will toward all the Dutchies whose territory we non-Dutchies have invaded, we have in our courtyard a single, solitary tulip:
...the botanical variety, not the theological kind (Total depravity; Unconditional election; Limited atonement; Irresistible grace; Perseverance of the saints; for all you non-5 point Calvinists out there...)

In the "wahoo" department, finished my novella, Last Flight...
...now available on Amazon in paperback or kindle...the e-reader version is cheaper, the paperback version looks cooler due to the old style typewriter font...

...and I'm happy to report that so far it's being very well received.

In an interview with the Cowtwiddle Times, literary critic Biff Bifflemeyer was quoted as saying, "Any chance of getting a decent cup of coffee 'round here?  For the love of gravy, what kind of diner is this?"

When informed he was actually in the holding cell at the Uncertain, Texas sheriff's office, he said, "I am?  How much did I drink last night?"

At that point the interview ended but word on the street is he's really going to like my latest effort.  I guarantee it's not outside the realm of possibility that you might, too.  Hey, can't rule it out; could happen...

Moving on...

Was standing on our back patio the other evening and snapped this pic of the moon...
...and earlier that day we had a visit from some deer friends we hadn't seen in a coon's age...
Bambi...

Bambi 2...
Tomorrow kicks off Tulip Time here in Holland...started a way on back in 1929, so this is the 89th year...
...and they expect 600,000+ people to attend during this week long celebration of Holland's Dutch heritage...

Exciting if you're making money off it, not quite so fantabulous if you're trying to get around the city and live what in some quarters passes for your normal life...we'll see how  this year goes...gotta love them tulips...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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

Get your paperback books here:



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