Monday, March 31, 2014


Beginning at the Capitol Building and working my way east to Arlington is a lesson in humility, respect and awe, current residents of the White House not withstanding.
Every building, statue and memorial merits its own post. I will try and temper my disgust for what many current "politicians" are doing to this nation, with the respect and love I have for my country, my founding fathers and my fallen countrymen and women.
I didn't write a word while visiting DC, I was trying to absorb everything I was seeing and feeling. My feelings ran the gamut of human emotion. Hate, love, fear, resolve, anger, joy, sorrow, exuberance, shame, pride.
I know I have a tendency to sometimes overstate things when I write, my biggest fear is that I come off as some pretentious asshole. I don't mind being thought of as an asshole, I am in good company there, it's the pretentious part I'm trying to steer clear of.
So for the record, I do not claim to be a writer. Yeah, no surprise there; I just claim to be honest. Well, at least I'm less dishonest than most who reside in this town, er district.

Honesty is a two edged sword, it is something we all claim to desire and possess. This week I stood at the marble feet of the pinnacle of honesty, Honest Abe.
I walked by a building that seemed to mock the concept of honesty, The Department Of Justice.
I saw another building that was in desperate need of a name change. The Department Of Treasury would be more accurately described as Warehouse Of United States I.O.U.'s.
The Internal Revenue Service building (at the risk of being audited) would be more aptly named Obama's Enemy List Accounting and Reckoning. 

I have wanted to visit DC for as many years as I can remember. For the last several years I have been waiting for the perfect time to go when the Cherry Blossoms were plentiful and the ne'er-do-wells were absent.
The Cherry blossoms come and go every spring, the ne'er-do-wells unfortunately seem to be perpetually in season.
When the last minute opportunity arose to accompany the young lady I'm dating and her son on a business trip to DC I jumped at the chance!

We would be staying just 1/2 mile north of DuPont Circle and a few blocks south of the Adams Morgan neighborhood in a historical significant place known locally as the Hinkley Hilton

This (smaller in real life) section of the hotel was almost another Dealey Plaza but for the heroic reaction of Secret Service and the highly skilled on-call Presidential surgeons.
This is what the scene looked like last Friday, I can imagine it took this hotel many years to overcome the unwanted infamy bestowed upon it. 

The White House was a mere 2 miles away from the Washington Hilton, easy walking distance if I had an abundance of time.
Working with four days and three nights meant taking advantage of DC's Metro system to save more time for walking between the sights of The Mall and paying respects to monuments and memorials.
One thing I found out real fast about DC, just because you can see it don't mean you can walk to it fast.
I could see the Washington Monument from my hotel room but it would take a spell to walk it.

I made the trip with Renee and her son . She had to attend a day and a half of seminars so me and Renée's son ventured out on our own and made the most of that time doing guy stuff like the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum among other sights.
Although Renée lived worked and studied in DC for five years. she had never been Arlington National Cemetery so we would wait till she was free to see that.

The sights and sounds of DC gave much food for thought and most things I saw and did got the squirrel cage in my brain rolling and I knew I couldn't adequately describe this trip in one or two posts. American History bored me to tears when I was a young lad in knickers listening to the Schoolmarm drone on and on about Redcoats coming and trying to get me to "remember the Maine".
It took not being required to memorize dates and names to make me enjoy learning about what it took for the United States to unite and the cost of freedom.
It took seeing what most of the world doesn't possess to make me appreciate what we do and price paid by others to get and keep our freedom.
Losing our freedom is the challenge we are facing now; It seems that's it's not a question of if but of when. I pray for political climate change. And soon!


Sunday, March 30, 2014


Drove home from DC last night and this morning. Have many thoughts about my first visit to our Nation's Capital I want to share. Feeling a little crunchy from the many miles in crappy weather. To be continued...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Yeah I kinda plagiarized the title of this post, sorry Joe.
So sue me, or make me Vice President. It just seemed to be a fitting title given the subject matter to follow.
Every since I moved to Greenwood and started my diet I having been wanting to chow down at the local Golden Corral. It's been many years since I have eaten there and for some reason I thought I was missing something. I kept telling myself that at some point I would reward myself for my weight loss and have dinner there, till tonight I hadn't felt like I was due that reward.
I spent last weekend in Loogootee. Friday before we left I was getting close to dropping the weight I had gained while in Fort Myers. Then the weekend of moms ham salad, The Schnitzlebank restaurant and Sundays spaghetti and meatballs took its toll.

In two days we set off for our Nations Capitol, the bastion of Democracy, well former bastion of Democracy.
Anyway I figured the diet would begin anew once we get back from DC so I figured what the hell, time to hit the Corral.
When I got there I immediately checked my smartphone to see if they had built a Walmart next door.
Inside the Golden Corral was every person I have ever seen in every Walmart I have every been to in my entire life.
No new Walmart's in the area but I swear Wally World must be running a shuttle service or something to this place.
With much trepidation I entered Walcorral, I paid the hostess/garçon my $10.79 and took a table close to the action.
I didn't notice the family sitting at the table next to where I had decided to make camp at first, I guess I was too busy dodging the overweight Walking Dead eating from their plates while walking the football field length buffet line and staggering toward their tables making their usual guttural gurgling gorging noises while tailings of flesh dangled from their jaws.

I claimed my table and steeled myself for the feeding frenzy. I made my way to what would be about the 40 yard line, this would be the carnivore section.
The carnage was impressive, Noah would have been pleased with the representation of the animal kingdom here. From the taste of it Noah probably knew most of these animals personally.
 I got back to my table with a non-embarrassing amount of food on my plate, sat down and started the insanity.
I was about halfway through the first round when I began to notice the very hefty family next to me.
The first thing that caught my attention was the little, (little is a relative term here) girl, she had two fist full of cotton candy. I said cotton candy! Cotton candy for Gods sake, I had no idea you could get carnival food at Walcorral.
Mom and dad were wallowing in the entrails of a wildebeest. I looked away in horror, undeterred I began my own eating ritual.

At first I kept my head down and ate at a normal pace for a human, minding my own business. But you know how it is when you drive by a horrible wreck, you tell yourself you're above that sort of thing and look straight ahead, then you give in and allow yourself to sneak a peak. By the time your along side the wreck, there you are staring with your head hanging out the window like a damned dog!
So it was with the family at the next table and the other Walkers in the place, the more I looked at them all, the more it seemed I was out of my element here.
They were huge and they were eating at an amazing rate. I would never get my fair share or my $10.79 worth at the pace I was going.
I moved to a larger spoon and dispensed with table manners. Second helping would require two plates and I began to see the wisdom of eating while on the move like the other Walkers.
Step chew, step chew, step chew, yes this could be done! 
My pace was improving now and the faster I ate the less I tasted whatever the hell it was I was eating and I think that probably was a blessing given the quality of food.

Now I was cleaning my plate and spiking it down on the corner of the tables end-zone just in time for the waitress/plate collector to scoop it up and return to the sideline.
As the night progressed, I had less and less interest in my fellow masticators and less and less disapproval for their eating habits and body structure. 
A line from the movie Jaws came to mind, "what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks."
So it was with us Walkers, we perfect eating machines. It's actually possible to empty your plate before you return to your table.

The next few hours were a blur, as things were winding down, I noticed that I had not only developed the Walkers gait, I now make the same guttural gurgling gorging sounds they do and I liked it!
As I shuffle to sit at my table for the grand finale of deserts with mass quantities of cotton candy stacked on top of my head like a Nubian queen, a feeling of satisfaction fills my soul as tightly as Noah's bill of lading has filled my stomach.
I damned sure got my share of grub and I sure as hell got my $10.79 worth from Walcorral.

Now for the ice cream, candy, cakes, pies and cookies, The memory of Jeff Goldblum and his portrayal of The Fly served me well. Dipping my proboscis in this collection of sugared regurgitation I finished off the last plate.
The family that had been at the table next to mine got up to leave, disgusted at the sight of me. The mom pulls out of her pants the napkin wrapped cookies she had planned to secrete out the door for a late night snack and leaves them on the table, shaking her head at me.

I slide the cleaned plate away and smile the smile of the satisfied, I am immune to their scorn, my hunger is slaked. Tomorrow there will be plenty of time to review how disgusting that $10.79 worth of so-called food was and there will be time to review how disgusting my eating performance was.
I don't have a moral to this story; for a year and a half I have been wanting to eat at that place.
What the hell was I thinking?! 


Saturday, March 22, 2014


Two road trips in one week. We leave Wednesday for DC, this weekend Mimi and Gabe were excited to come down with me to Loogootee in beautiful Southern Indiana.
Came down here for a visit with mom and to get her lawn equipment sorts out for eventual spring.
While down this way we will have no choice but to go 30 minutes farther south and visit my nephew in Jasper.
While in Jasper we will have dinner at Schnitzlebank; it's a German restaurant in very German town.
A lot of smaller towns seem to be dying on the vine. Jasper has a large industry and looks to be doing quite well.
As I said Jasper is a very German town, so much so that there are Hitlers living there. People with that last name, can you just feature that?
George Hitler, Billy Hitler, Heather Hitler. I just made up those first names but I'm sure there are comparable first names.

While down this way we can take in the local sights. I want to take them by Hindostan Falls. Just slightly downriver from the falls is Flatrock. Hindostan was a thriving area in the 1800's.
On Flatrock you can see carvings in the stony surface that held the foundation of a large grist mill.
In those days the river was the transportation and lifeline of many towns. Some survived the transportation transformation, many didn't.
Hindostans' fate was not controlled by the industrial revolution, it died by more sinister hands, the plague.
Hindostan is just about 5 miles from moms place here in Loogootee. My father grew up a couple towns away in Newton Stewart. I wrote about that towns demise a while back. It died by the hands OT The Army Corps of Engineers when they dammed up Patoka Creek to produce Patoka Lake.
History class used to bore me to tears in school, well to be more accurate it bored me to sleep.
There are ways to bring history to life, and it fascinates me to stand in the remnants of these little ghost towns and try to imagine what life must have been like.
Some died with a bang such as Newton Stewart, some died with a whimper. Such was the fate of Hindostan.
Standing on Flatrock looking toward the toward Hindostan Falls, I wonder I wonder if that town would have made the cut and survived had not the tiny micro-oganism invaded the inhabitants.
Dirt roads, rickety buildings, main streets and grist mills come and go.
But the large flat rock and the falls survive, they both disappear and then reappear again when the river rises and falls. 

There's something profound about that. Don't ask me what it is.


Thursday, March 20, 2014


Francis (Frank) Underwood is possibly the most driven and effective politician of our time. Or anyone's time as far as that goes.
He likes playing chess, although I've never actually seen him play against anyone. He just stares at the pieces on the board and ponders his next move in real life.
Frank Underwood is an actor of extraordinary talents, most politicians are. He is resourceful and creative, he has risen from Congressional Majority Whip to Vice President and then the master stroke, the Presidency without getting one single vote Nationally.
An accomplishment that took great skill and cunning, also ruthless behavior, lies, backstabbing, conspiracies, blackmail and even murder. 
And he did it all in only two seasons!

 Of course I'm talking about Netflix's House Of Cards. If you don't have Netflix it is well worth subscribing to the online version just a couple of months and binge watch the 26 episodes. To say it is a cynical look at the goings on in Washington is one hell of an understatement. The protagonist Frank Underwood masterfully portrayed by the eccentric and incredibly talented Kevin Spacey is the very definition of an ultra cynic.

A refreshing aspect of this series, the most insidious and corrupt characters on this show are not Republicans, they are Democrats!
I know bizarre right?
To be fair, they don't portray the Republicans as heroes exactly, but the usual Hollywood fare portrays the Democrats as the second coming of Christ and the GOP as the Antichrist.
The characters are fictional but I when I see the POTUS who Congressman Underwood is undermining, the very flexible original president in the show, I think of our own President Gumby.
And Frank and Claire Underwood, the main characters, have a sham non-sexual (at least with each other), marriage. They are driven by greed of power and will stop at nothing to achieve it up to, lying, backstabbing, cheating, stealing and even murder.
The familiarity of these two has me checking the credits to see if Bill and Hillary were brought in as technical advisers. 

The opening credits of this show grabs your attention and causes me to hold the remote in my hand with my finger on the fast forward button but not able to >> past the beautiful montage of time lapse visuals of scenes artfully captured of our Nations Capitol.
The music that accompanies the blur of trains, cars head and tail lights and stars streaking by, is equally well done.
Watching this and the show as well, has lately sparked a renewed desire in me to visit DC for the first time.

Two days ago the lady I'm dating hit me with an intriguing proposal.
No not THAT kind of proposal! 
She works for a local University and had the opportunity to go to DC for a seminar. They of course are picking up the tab and she wanted me and her son to go with.
I jumped at the offer, it was short notice, (we leave Wednesday), but what the hell, I got nothing else going on.
 I would like to hold a summit with the POTUS while I'm there if time allows but that is doubtful. I have too many important things to do during my brief visit.
I have more interest in seeing the buildings of DC then the ne'er-do-wells that occupy them.

As I said earlier, I love watching the opening credits of this show. The DP of this show must be a brilliant cinema-photographer. 
The first time I saw the opening though, I was moved to anger at the last scene of this montage.
It shows the Capitol Building with the title of the show overlaid on the scene. It also displays the American flag..... upside down.
Then I remembered that this is permissible as a sign of distress, to elicit help in the event of danger to life or property.
The US Code Of Laws states:

                                                    THE FLAG CODE
"The flag should never be displayed with Union down except, as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property."
When you consider this law of The Flag Code, and you weigh this law against the recklessness of our lawmakers and lawbreakers in Washington, against a President who holds the Constitution of our land in contempt and mocks the foundation of our land that Americans have given life and limb to defend from 1776 to today. 
When you fear what is in store for America if we don't get adults back in charge of this country, ponder on this.
Yes we are indeed in distress......, but is it dire?

In the words of Colonel Nathan Jessup, "is there any other kind?"


Wednesday, March 19, 2014


This will not stand man, this aggression will not stand!

I can't help but think we would be better off with The Dude in the White House.

I think the regurgetated warning from Bush '41' as delivered by The Dude, " this will not stand man, this aggression will not stand!", would be more effective then the line delivered by President Gumby, "you know, I have one more election, then I can be more flexible".

Hmmm how much more flexible can you get than a quivering mass of lemon Jello?

In leu of this: "I've got a pen and I've got a phone"

I prefer this: "yeah, well you know, that's just like, eh...your opinion man"

All joking aside, I know Bush '43' once remarked that he looked Mr. KGB in the eyes and could see his soul and knew he could trust him. Hindsight being what it is you could say that Mr. KGB pulled the wool over Goerge Bush too.
Yes Bush 43 may have been overly pragmatic when it came to Putin, but, and this is a big but and I cannot lie, at that time the jury was still out where Putin was concerned.
He has since shown his true very red colors and has shown the world he has no soul.
It's one thing to be overly optimistic about bridging trust gaps with a former foe.
It's quite another to whisper to one of Putin's minions that he will fold like a bad hand of hole cards just as soon as he suckers America into voting him into office again.

Add to that the fact that Obama draws his red lines with disappearing ink,
You can say what you want about Bush 43, but when that man said don't do that or I'm gonna open up a Sams Club sized can of U.S. made whoop ass, you better hide the fucking can opener.

Alright I'm almost done here, this started out to be a nonsensical comparative between The Dude and the Dud. It almost escaped me that The Dude had a passion for White Russians.
I guess The Dude and The Dud do share similar tastes.

"All The Dude ever wanted was Crimea back. It really tied the Urkraine together."

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


"A writer writes, always." As quoted by Larry Donner to the adult aspiring writers. He used this phrase at the close of each class of would be authors he was trying to teach. But for months now, the only words pouring out of Larry's classic typewriter as he was attempting to write his own novel were "The night was.......". 
He couldn't think of the word "sultry" until Mamma spewed out "too damn sultry in here!".

If you recognize these quotes then you have seen the movie THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN and most likely you have watched it again and again till the VHS tape wore too thin to play anymore.
If you didn't recognize the afore mentioned quotes, then I implore you to beg borrow or steal a copy and spend the next 88 minutes laughing your ass off.
Yeah I know the movie is 27 years old, but Billy Crystal, Danny DeVito and Anne Ramsey (Momma), portrayed their respective comedic characters to side splitting perfection.

The few who take time to stop by and read this blog, that is when I actually write something, have been kind enough to prod me to write again. I have actually wrote some things in the intervening months since my last post and before that last post. It just never made it to the Vent.
Did I relocate to Utopia? Did I become Buddhist and reach Nirvana? Did I get a job with the Affordable Care website?
None of the above. 
I still have many things that I'm extremely pissed off about and need to vent. Not so much in my personal life, just mostly the same things that drive most of you crazy too. I wish I could say it begins and ends with the White House and the rest of the Leftist Dems. Sad to say that there are many Rhino Republicans that deserve my ire as well.

The truth is I don't have anything to add that would be as entertaining or profound as what I'm reading online these days.
Yeah, I know we can't all be Charles Krauthammer. 
I would settle for being as competent a writer as the people I know who either blog or have published books.
 Three people that I know personally who have gotten published, Distant cousin Gordon Grindstaff, a writer for a local newspaper, wrote some very humorous traveling memoirs,

 Odette Chase, the delightful mother of the delightful lady I'm dating,  who wrote This Child's War, a memoir of her experiences of living in a Nazi occupied French town as a young child.

and Bob Gates an old friend that stood up with me in one of my many weddings. 
He is an expert on the vintage racing era, mostly open-wheel racing. He has been published in many racing magazines, quoted by the likes of the iconic Indy racing historian Donald Davidson and Bob also published biographies on three late great race car heroes, Jim Hurtibise, Billy Vukavich and the one I'm reading now, Troy Ruttman.

I admire great writers and proud to know some personally. Although I can't hold a candle or pen to my favorite bloggers and author friends, I will attempt to resume my venting once again. After all the reason I started writing in the first place was not to try and entertain anyone. I began this blog as my own sort of mental therapy, to release my frustration, vent my pent up anger and in some way entertain myself.
I must remember that.

Thanks for stopping by!