Monday, May 31, 2021

Honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice

My great-uncle Francis. He almost made it. Germany surrendered
a couple months after his death. His parents had immigrated to the
Boston area from Italy. The original family name was Massino.

Updated 12:45pm: Holy fucking shit, this headline from The Babylon Bee...this is in response to both Biden and Harris posting messages earlier telling everyone to have fun this weekend without mentioning one damn thing about military sacrifice or what this "holiday" is really all about. 

May Words of Wisdom

I don't apologize for what I say, and if you're not going to apologize they leave you alone because what they really want is the power of the apology. If they can't achieve that, they'll move on to victimize the next voice. --Adam Carolla

If you think tough men are dangerous, wait until you see what weak men are capable of. -Jordan Peterson

People confuse me. Food doesn't. --Anthony Bourdain

Anybody who doesn't know that politics is crime has got a few screws loose. 
--James Ellroy

There should be special contempt for those who sit in safety and comfort, second-guessing at their leisure the split-second decisions that policemen had to make at the risk of their own lives. --Thomas Sowell

The healthiest people don't vaccinate, take zero medications, avoid fast food, exercise, and practice prayer and meditation. The establishment knows this. That's why they are targeting the unhealthy with a year of free donuts to get the vaccine. --Dr. Ben Tapper

There are two types of people in this world. People who think the government is looking out for their best interest, and those who think. --Nathan Fraser

If anyone says to me, 'This is what shouldn't be questioned!' Fuck, let's question it. --Ricky Gervais

Ours may become the first civilization destroyed, not by the power of our enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they are teaching our children. In an age of artificial intelligence, they are creating artificial stupidity. --Thomas Sowell

Note to self: You cannot control how other people receive your energy. Anything you do or say gets filtered through the lens of whatever personal shit they are going through at the moment. Which is not about you. Just keep doing your thing with as much integrity and love as possible. --Gina Carano

You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients. --Julia Child

Why is there so much effort being put into trying to find intelligent life on other planets, when there is a serious question about how much intelligent life there is here? --Thomas Sowell

"Finding yourself" is not really how it works, You aren't a ten-dollar bill in last winter's coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people's opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who your are. "Finding yourself" is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you. --Emily McDowell

I never thought I'd live to see the day when the right wing would become the cool ones giving the middle finger to the establishment, and the left wing becoming the sniveling self-righteous twatty ones going around shaming everyone. --John Lydon

You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right. --Rosa Parks

To sit alone or with a few friends, half-drunk under a full moon, you just understand how lucky you are; it's a story you can't tell. It's a story you almost by definition, can't share. I've learned in real time to look at those things and realize: I just had a really good moment. --Anthony Bourdain

Let me get this straight...Even if you get the still have to mask, social distance, and test negative to fly. It's experimental and they have no liability. Absolutely nothing changes. You might even test positive after it. Can't we just admit we're being played? --Judith Rose

We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and - in spite of True Romance magazines - we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely - at least, not all the time - but essentially, and finally alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don't see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness. --Hunter S. Thompson

The transformation of charity into legal entitlement has produced donors without love and recipients without gratitude. --Justice Antonin Scalia

I always want to give the victim a voice. One of my main tasks is to let the reader know the extent of the loss and what might have been if this person had been allowed to live. --Ann Rule

All that lunacy is temporary. It can't last. It's demented, so it has to defeat itself. You and I will just have to work a little harder for a while. That's all. --Ayn Rand

Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind. --Leonardo da Vinci

The people who wrote the Constitution were much smarter than the ones trying to abolish it. --Rep. Lauren Boebert

He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle. 
--St. Francis of Assisi

With each new sunrise we are given the chance for a new beginning. Put your worries behind you, take a deep and start again. --Unknown

The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity. --Rollo May

Everything the government is doing right now is designed to make you fat, weak, stupid, depressed, lazy, and reliant on crumbs they wipe off their  plates. Health replaced by pharmaceuticals. Education replaced by programming. Hard work replaced by handouts. These people hate you. --Ian Smith

Sunday, May 30, 2021

The kids are alright

Well, some of them are anyway.

Somebody's raising their rugrats right. Take this kid, for example:

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Character builder

This popped up on my Instagram feed this morning and I thought it would be helpful to get us out of our writing funk. And yeah, but "our" I mean "my". Not enjoying the dry spell.

Characters patiently waiting to spring to life, here I come!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021


Now they're doing Chase:

Um, I don't have any accounts with Chase. So there's that.

In case you get something like this, the email address is a dead giveaway:

Obviously a fake address. Don't fall for it.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Mostly peaceful Death Star

So, in response to this story, The Babylon Bee offered up this headline: 

From the article:

Dateline: Yavin, LOL.

There were some great comments on their Facebook page. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

This world has gotten so ridiculous, I kind of wish I was in a galaxy far, far away.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Ten years. A whole decade.

Last Saturday I was visiting my Mom's gravesite. Today is ten years to the day that my Dad passed away. It's been a whole decade. That's just mind-boggling.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Our tax dollars at work. And by work, I mean WASTE.

When I picked up my mail yesterday I noticed that one of the letters was from the Internal Revenue Service. Just dandy.

At least that's what it said on the envelope. When I got upstairs, I opened it up to see this:

Was this really necessary? Yeah, I got the payment. Thanks. It will go a long way toward patronizing stores and restaurants that aren't in business anymore thanks to the economic shutdown for a flu with a 99%+ recovery rate, even for people my age. It also helps now that gas prices are going through the roof with no end in sight. I filled my car the other day and paid $3.89/gallon, and that was the least expensive gasoline at a discount station. And now you're wasting our tax dollars on a stupid self-congratulatory and completely unnecessary letter and postage? As a taxpayer I'd like to know how much money was wasted sending these letters out. Then again, maybe I don't; it would be depressing.

Yeah, you gave the American people a mere fraction of what many of them lost in the past year, and that's only the losses that can be quantified in dollars. Thanks for the crumbs. Pat yourself on the back, big shot.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Mother's Day 2021

Paid a visit yesterday for Mother's Day. Crazy that it's already three years. On the 14th it will be ten years - a whole decade - since my Dad passed away, and that's even crazier. 

The Brother and I took one of Mom and Dad's friends from high school with us. Her parents are buried at the same place, as is my godfather, so we visited them as well. Lots of people and decorations at the cemetery, which really is a beautiful place. Then we went to lunch and had a pretty nice time. It's a treat to be able to go inside a restaurant again. Who knew that would ever be a thing?

All in all a good day. Hoping those of you who still have your Moms around have a wonderful day with them!

Monday, May 3, 2021

Screening: "Fargo"

In celebration of the film's 25th anniversary, Fathom Events presented Fargo on the big screen this weekend. You can also catch it on Wednesday evening.

Fargo (PolyGram Filmed Entertainment/Working Title Films, 1996)
Starring Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, John Carroll Lynch and Harve Presnell
Directed by Joel Coen
Written by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay
Also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Macy), Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing

The perpetually inept Jerry Lundegaard (Macy) - the type of person my Dad used to charitably describe as "not one of life's winners" - needs money and lots of it, so he has come up with a hair-brained scheme to have his wife kidnapped for ransom. The idea is that his wealthy father-in-law Wade Gustafson (Presnell) will pay the $80,000 ransom, which Jerry will split with his partners-in-crime, and who will also get to keep the tan Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera that Jerry has stolen from the dealership owned by Wade, where Jerry is a salesman. What he doesn't tell kidnappers for hire Carl (Buscemi) and Gaear (Stormare) is that he plans on telling Wade that the ransom is actually one million dollars, the balance of which Jerry plans to keep after paying Carl and Gaear $40k.

The unfortunate Jean Lundegaard is successfully taken from the family home but things go awry later that night on the way to the remote hideout in Minnesota when the Ciera is pulled over by a state trooper because Carl forgot to affix the temporary tags to the new, stolen car. Carl makes a bumbling attempt to bribe the trooper that falls flat. When the trooper discovers Jean hidden in the back seat, Gaear shoots him in the head. While Carl is attempting to drag the poor man's body off the road a young couple drives by, sees the horrifying scene, and takes off...with Gaear in hot pursuit. The bypassers lose control of their car, crashing off the road, where Gaear dispatches them to the great eyewitness beyond.

Carl advises Jerry that "blood has been shed" and demands the full $80k ransom. To make matters worse for Jerry, Marge Gunderson, the visibly pregnant Brainerd police chief, is now working the triple homicide and she'll eventually catch up with Jerry and the kidnappers, culminating with the infamous woodchipper scene. McDormand's portrayal of Marge, initially presented as a sweetly competent woman but eventually revealed to be fearlessly relentless in her pursuit of justice, earned her a well-deserved Oscar.

Some Fargo facts and trivia:
  • Fargo lost Best Picture, Director, Cinematography and Film Editing to The English Patient, and Supporting Actor to Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire).
  • Despite being the main character, Marge Gunderson doesn't appear onscreen for a half hour, meaning she only appears in the last two-thirds of the film.
  • Fargo was not based on a true story as claimed onscreen at the beginning of the film, but was inspired by the 1986 Connecticut murder case in which Richard Crafts murdered his wife Helle, then attempted to dispose of her body parts by running them through a rented woodchipper. However, there was no botched kidnapping involved in the Crafts case.
  • Richard Jenkins and Bill Pullman were considered for Jerry. Macy originally auditioned for the role of the ill-fated state trooper, but campaigned hard for the role of Jerry.
  • The Fargo body count is seven. Two were killed by Carl: Wade Gustafson and the parking booth operator. Five (the state trooper, the two people in the passing car, Jean Lundegaard, and Carl) were killed by Gaear.
  • Norm's duck paintings were actually painted by "those Hautmanns" who are real-life brothers and friends of the Coens. They have won multiple wildlife stamp competitions.
  • None of the movie was actually filmed in Fargo, North Dakota, and only one scene - the opening scene where Jerry is setting up his wife's kidnapping - is set there. All other scenes take place in Minnesota, except at the end of the film when Jerry is discovered near Bismarck, North Dakota.
  • Fargo has a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which means there were actually critics who gave it negative reviews. Jerks.
  • The woodchipper now resides at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitor's Center. You can take your picture with it, in fact they'll give you a fake leg so you can re-create that scene.