Sunday, January 15, 2017


It means "friend" or "comrade" in Russian. I first remember hearing the term on an old TV show called "Hogan's Heroes" when the prisoners were trying to convince the Germans that the Russians were advancing quickly from the Eastern Front. Probably something we should learn as "Fearless Leader" moves into the White House. Hey, the Russians are his friends, especially the guy with the Napoleon complex, Vladimir Putin. They are both "very smart" according to themselves. These men are faced with the task of leading about 460 million people to a better life. Yes, they are, but that is not what seems to hold their attention. Here are a few bits of entertainment.
These men (I use the term loosely) are more impressed by themselves and think more of themselves than anyone else.

No matter how often Trump denies his relationship with Russia it still doesn't change anything.

I realize there is nothing new here and all we can do is wait for all the impeachable offenses to occur. The man's lack of class and junior high maturity level will not cease to be an embarrassment for the rest of us. Let's just hope he doesn't do too much damage before he is gone or gotten rid of.

The good news is that the Women's March on Washington needs three times the number of buses than the inauguration itself. There are dozens of groups locally and nationally that are organizing to remind the President elect that he did not win the majority of votes and that a lot of his ideas and attitudes are not okay and will be fought as long as he is in a position of power. We will also stand against his political allies in the house and senate as long as necessary.  

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ihop and the gang

Our "new" cat is called Patch by some members of the household, but Ihop by others of us. Some might want to call him Tripod. When we first spotted him in the yard he seemed to favor his front right leg. After feeding him for a few weeks and getting closer to him he finally gave in to curiosity and came over for a touch. Once the feral cat has come into physical contact it is yours. That is rule number four in the Feral Cat Rule Book by which they all adhere. It has happened with Callie and Mommalaid who were also feral. Those two, however, neglected to let us know that they were pregnant until after the "Touch" moment which leads me to think along the lines of cat conspiracy. There is a subheading in the rule book about that.

We applied dewormer and flea-go-away within a few days of the touch" moment before we were willing to bring him indoors to let him socialize with the rest of the family. He got reasonably comfortable in a cat carrier before we hauled him off to the vet to get him examined and neutered. The vet believed that he had likely been run over as his elbow was shattered and had embedded gravel as did one of his back legs. The front right leg had to come off, but it didn't seem to bother him too much. It's just that he moves with a hopping motion and hence his name.
He moves fast and is the youngest of the herd. He is also the most gregarious of the group wanting to be everyone's friend and playmate. He is also underfoot and suspects any sound of cans or jars being opened as a sign of food for him. In the above photo you might notice that the tip of his right ear is shorter than the other. Life in the wild is tough. But he's happy now And warm.

The rest of the gang:
 Orange Mammalaid

 Callie and Blue Kitty
 Orange Ruffie
 Beevis (the butthead)

Here they are all doing what they do best. Taking up space and sleeping 20 hours a day.

Monday, January 2, 2017


In the autumn of 2016 I decided to take a course in pottery at the Art Colony.I had spent quite a lot of time at the wheel waaay back in college to the point where I was reaching competency. After 40+ years away from it, however I needed a refresher in order to be able to do anything at all. I went in with a little confidence, but quickly realized that there was a lot I didn't remember at all. At least clay still felt like clay, the wheel still went around, and the kiln is still as hot as lava.

The class was being taught by Joan, who is quite accomplished and a very good teacher and my classmates for our class titled "Pots for Presents" were all enthusiastic.
The idea of the class was to make gifts for the upcoming holiday season and see just what we might be capable of. It was scheduled for a couple of hours on Tuesday evenings for about 6 or 8 weeks and if you could come in any other time you were welcome to do so. In fact we were given 24 hour access to the studio. Unfortunately, most of our lives are too busy to be that dedicated which was also a bit frustrating. It was a process starting with remembering or relearning how to center the lump of clay. This progressed through the class from being a fifteen minute thing to less than two minutes enabling more throwing time.

We tried making simple pots to mugs to "square" casserole type dishes to jars with lids. We could go in slightly different directions while still learning and relearning some basics. It is amazing how much I had forgotten in four decades. Not unlike how much I can forget in four days or four hours.

The results were amazing. Not necessarily great, but pretty good considering. Here are some of the results.
Ellen with one of her favorites.
Priscilla with one of hers.
Joyce looking at Priscilla's work.
Joyce's black pots and my stuff, mostly.
Some of mine.
Me with a blue plate and my other stuff. Hey, it's my blog!
The class with Joan taking the photo. Standing next to me is Suzy who took all the other pictures because someone didn't remember to bring his camera. That was one of those remembering things I referred to earlier. Sometimes my thinking thingy doesn't do me any favors.
Suzy's very cool casserole dish.

Just after we took this it was potluck time and we enjoyed a repast using our own dishes. Joyce outdid herself with the food she brought, but in typical North Shore potluck tradition we ate very well.


Sunday, December 4, 2016


I'm need a break. Not just from blogging, but from a lot of things. I'll still get a chance to read yours, but I need to refresh my mind. I am aware that this is a difficult time of year for many people other than myself and we all have our reasons. I may need just a few weeks or maybe a little more, but I will be back. After the solstice my attitude will brighten, the days will lengthen, and I will no longer let the bastards get me down.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Winter has finally come to the North Country. Not to be confused with the country north of here which would be Canada. For the United States (as long as they're still united) we are the northern edge and a lot of Canada actually lies south of us.

The transition to winter was quite abrupt this year occurring in less than two weeks. We had a windy day on the lake, but the day after was still good enough to get some pictures. When the skies clear, the temperature drops, and the dusk can get kind of pretty. Click on the pics to embiggen.

Even after the sun went down there were still some waves rolling in. There were quite a few photographers and people wandering around, but being that it is off-season for tourists, most of them were locals. The colors get more intense this time of year.

Then it was the Supermoon rising in the east. At this time of year it is also called Hunter's moon, Frosty moon, or Full Beaver moon (I know what you're thinking!). It was big and bright and I am sure you saw many pictures of it.  This is one shot from across the harbor and over Coast Guard Point.
This is also the time of year when shipping tends to stay closer to shore in order to avoid the heavier winds out on the lake. I am not sure, but this looks like the Indiana Harbor, which is a thousand footer with a 105 foot beam. Sometimes I can identify them by their profile.
Then we had a howling blizzard last Friday night and had to play at  the Winterer's Gathering dance at North House Folk School. Travel wasn't recommended, but about fifty people showed up. Last year it was about 200. Winds were gusting to 50mph and the temperature was around freezing, so the precipitation varied from snow to freezing rain and back again. It added a challenge to the evening. It snowed again yesterday and added a little more and made driving more exciting than most would prefer. It looks kind of pretty this morning here on the farm.
It is definitely winter now and will be for the next few months.

People have their favorite music for the holidays and my favorite for this one is Alice's Restaurant. It is about 18 minutes long, but tells a great story. At about the same time this came out I started driving and turning into a grownup. I'm almost one now. Maybe just a few more years.

Happy Thanksgiving to us here in the United States!

Saturday, November 12, 2016


So now we have a new President-elect in this country. Half of the voters chose a man who, by his own words and actions has marginalized a large part of the population of this country. Muslims, refugees, immigrants, LGBT people, people of color - anything other than white - the disabled, women of all types and in so many ways from health care to their appearance, and who knows how many others. I can't remember them all as there have been so many.

I get that there may be other reasons, like Mr. T (no disparagement to the REAL Mr. T*) isn't a Washington insider, but then most of the incumbents (Washington insiders) were put back into office. What's with that? I also get that Hillary has a lot of baggage and may not be seen to be a suitable president, but she knows how things work, or don't, in the political landscape. She knows when to keep her mouth shut and her temper under control where the president-elect is often out of control and reacts like a thirteen year old bully. That will not bode well in the international scope of the world. Don't forget that the rest of the world knows a lot more about us than we know about them.

The president-elect promised to rescind the ACA (Obamacare) in it's entirety last week and take millions of people back out of the rather lame health care system that we have. This week he is backtracking on that. We'll have to wait and see what his base thinks of that broken promise.

By the way, I know he is not technically the president-elect until the Electoral College votes, but it is easier than calling him by name, so it will have to do for now. I will not forget that he insisted that the current president was not born in the United States and maintained that for years until very recently when he denied ever saying it.

The evangelical support he got makes me rethink what a Christian is supposed to be. Certainly not the loving and caring follower of Jesus who said something like, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," at his sermon on the mount. That must mean something else to his Christian supporters.

I guess the point of all this is that a KKK supported, fear-mongering, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, racist, got elected by the voters to be the next president of the United States. I am not okay with that now nor will I be in the future. I am glad that at least half the voters did not vote for him and I will not support him nor the people that are his base. I will do everything I can to be sure something like this doesn't happen again and help folks to see the error of their ways.

For all those disenfranchised and marginalized Americans and residents in this country I am wearing and will continue to wear a safety pin so they know they are safe around me and know that they are not alone.

* P.S. I did not mean to insult this man by using the name Mr. T which rightfully belongs to him.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Mule on the Hill

Day after day alone on the hill
The ass with the foolish grin
Is keeping perfectly still
But nobody wants to know him
They can see that he's just a fool
And he never seem to notice
But the mule on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round
Well on the way, his head in a cloud
The ass of a thousand voices
Is talking perfectly loud
But nobody ever hears him
Or the sound he appears to make
And he never seems to notice
But the mule on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

Oh, round, round, round, round, round
And nobody seems to like him
They can tell what he wants to do
And he never shows his feelings
But the mule on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round
Thank you Beatles