All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.



Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!

10/01/2014

Exercise

The first time I met my wife, she was an aerobics instructor at my health club and I was an out-of-shape new member.

After one grueling workout, I gasped, “This is really helping me get toned.”

She looked me up and down.

Feeling self-conscious, I added, “Big men run in my family.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Apparently not enough.”

9/27/2014

Pleasure

A man relishes certain pleasures.

There are certain things we enjoy.  Truly enjoy.  Experiencing those things gives us a moment of happiness and genuine joy.  Pleasure.  Gratification.  Delight.  Satisfaction.  Fulfillment.

Some things fulfill a need that is biologically necessary.  We need food.  We take pleasure form certain specific foods.  My favorite steak is the porterhouse.  Logically I can explain why I am delighted with the combination of the two most tender cuts of beef, the rib eye and the tenderloin.  What more could a man want than a large meaty piece of tender juicy steak cooked to a tad under medium rare?

Other foods I simply enjoy, not because they provide nutrition, like protein but because they provide a eating experience I covet.  Eggplant and deep fired mushrooms (with horseradish sauce) have little to offer biologically, but man are they good.

Activities like fishing or hunting can provide a rational benefit but mostly we do them for other reasons.  I enjoy hunting and do it.  I eat what I kill.  The same is true with fishing.  Except, I've caught way more fish than I have bothered to clean and eat.  I used to make a pilgrimage up to Northern Ontario to fish.  You could only eat so much fish there before you tired of it.  They only let you take a certain amount home with you.  Yet I was never more pleased than when I had a 100 fish day.  All but a handful of those fish were thrown back.

SEX.  As soon as every man reading that last sentence saw it, he pictured it.  Men instantly know and categorize sexual experiences.  Every man knows the distinct differences between inadequate, better than nothing, OK, good, great and AMAZING sex.  We also know which of the categories we are likely to experience this weekend.

Intellectually we have things that intrigue us.  For me its theology and science.  I'm not an expert in either of those subjects but I derive pleasure from both.

Entertainment has its place as well.  Be it hobbies, sports, TV, or surfing the net; we do it because we like it.  We have our toys too.  Sometimes they are expensive, sometimes not.  Substances, like coffee, tobacco and alcohol are a source of pleasure.

Pleasure brings fulfillment.  It doesn't have to be permanent.  Most things are not.  We get hungry again.  We need more sex.  There is always next hunting season, or another ball game, or more to learn.

Pleasure.  If time, money, freedom health, etc are not barriers what would you do with yourself?  What would bring you pleasure?

9/25/2014

Ruminations

It's hard to believe that September is almost over.  I've not been able to spend much time on the blog. 

The month started out with the in-laws moving in for two weeks.  I say moving in because a weekend is a visit or even a week but two weeks is too much.  This proved to be a mixed blessing.  On one hand the MIL helped put up a bunch of peaches and tomatoes.  They also tore out and installed new floor in my back room.  On the other hand two weeks.

I've come to the conclusion that my wife lies to me.  She knows I hate having her folks come and do projects.  She also knows I hate having them here for a long period of time.  It seems to me that she originally told me they'd be here for "about a week" and the only project was installing a new dishwasher.  A fortnight and a new floor, new front storm door, new garage door jam, dishwasher install and my FIL working up my garden latter and they left.

I wasn't around for almost the entire time.  I don't know if Mrs Ipsa conspired with my boss or not, but we have been shorthanded at work and I logged somewhere in the vicinity of 50 hours of overtime during the two weeks the in laws took over.

I'll take the OT, I need the money, and the new floor, it looks good.

Last week I took a three day weekend and the family (my side this time) went on a "camping" trip in Colorado.  Note to Waterboy: Mrs Ipsa reminded me as we were passing your house that I still have freezer bags that belong to Water Girl, from a shipment of tamales I picked up last visit.  I'd be happy to mail them back to you.

The camping trip went well.  A good time was had by all, especially all the kids who got to play with their cousins.

God was especially kind to my family this trip.  There were 5 traffic incidents that we narrowly avoided which would have been vary serious.  Divine Providence is a great blessing.

I don't think I mentioned this but I managed to spend a morning in traffic court too.  I'm fighting a ticket.  After spending nearly the entire morning listening to a worn out judge go case by case through a docket of dismay, repeating verbatim the same reading of charges and taking pleas, I was called.  I affirmed that I was the respondent and then I said, "Your honor, I wave reading, I'm pleading not guilty and will be representing myself".  The look on the judges face that he wasn't going to have to re-read the traffic code for the 27th time that morning was priceless.  I wish I had the presences of mind to say, "Your honor, I'm prepared to argue on the merits but, I've not had a speeding ticket in 18 years and I was hoping to preserve my record".  Had I said that, right then, I'm 99% certain that I would have had the ticket dismissed.  As it is they bound me over for trial in December.

We finally got a new guy hired at work.  This week the boss is going out of town.  I'm back to working six 10.5 to 12 hour days.  Which worked out well since my folks followed us back form Colorado for a visit.  They stayed 5 days and left this morning.

Hunting season is just days away.  The dog isn't ready.  I have no ammo loaded.  I've not checked the zero on any of my guns.  I need to clean the truck, the garage, my shop, etc.

I can't tell how much of this post is an update and how much is me venting.  I've been very blessed.  More than I deserve. 

My arm is still messed up from last months misadventure at the gym.  Which means I've not lost any more weight.  Then again I have plenty of food.  I rediscovered how much I hate driving in traffic.  We were able to take not one but two family mini-vacations this year.  I've been working more than I'd like.  I got to avoid a house full of relatives.  More importantly I have a job, lots of good men don't. My family annoys me (both sides FWIW).  They are all still alive and able to get around to visit.  I'm wasting time in court on a ticket.  I have access to a semi-fair legal system.

Every area of my life that I might potentially complain about has an area of blessing.  God preserved me and my family from harm on the roads last weekend.  He preserves, protects and provides every day in ways that I don't notice until I start to complain.  Then I am humbled.  In my discomfort I am more blessed than most of the people that have ever lived on this earth.

"The Lord is my portion, says my soul".  Thank you Lord for blessing ungrateful fools, which I have been.  You have blessed me for more than 40 years.  Truly you are worthy of honor, glory and praise.  Please accept mine.

9/24/2014

Pizza Delivery

"What's the usual tip?" a man growled when a University of South Carolina student delivered his pizza.

"Well," the student replied, "this is my first delivery, but the other guys said that if I got a quarter out of you, I'd be doing great."

"That so?" grunted the man. "In that case, here's five dollars."

"Thanks," the student said, "I'll put it in my college fund."

"By the way, what are you studying?"

"Applied psychology."

9/19/2014

Nothing to See, No Reason to Sue

I've officially had it with this story, and the way it is being reported in the Mainstream and Christian Media.

N.C. Dunkin' Donuts bakery sued for religious discrimination

ASHEVILLE, N.C – A Dunkin' Donuts franchise here will go to federal court to answer charges that it refused to hire an Asheville man who could not work on Saturday because of his religious beliefs.
Darrell Littrell, a Seventh-Day Adventist, applied for a job as a donut maker at the Citi Brands' Arden manufacturing plant in December 2012, the suit alleges. He was later interviewed by the company's plant manager.
In January, 2013 the manager offered Littrell the donut maker position, and told Littrell to report to work the next day, a Friday, at 3 p.m., the suit said.
Littrell said that he could not start work on Friday afternoon, since Adventists observe a Sabbath from sunset Friday until sunset Saturday. The manager then withdrew the job offer to Littrell, the commission alleges.
My first bone to pick with this is the way some media sources are reporting this as if it is a giant battle for equal rights for Christians.  It's not.  It never will be.  Jehovah Whiteness and 7th Day Adventists are not now, and have never been Christian denominations.  They are offshoots of a religious movement known as Millerites.  Yes back in 1833 some Millerites held traditional Christian beliefs.  That isn't the way it is now.  Today both groups deny basic tenants of  Christology.  This means they cannot be by definition Christians.

There is of course no reason to expect the Mainstream Media to make that distinction or care.  Christian media sources, should be able to get the story right and not pretend that this EEOC filling is some sort of cosmic battle between good and evil.  It's not.  It's not even a minor battle between religious freedom in general and corporate insensitivity.  David isn't going up against Goliath here.  Quit trying to make the story into something it isn't.

My second bone to pick has to do with the story and lawsuit.  If  a man applies for a job, and he knows he has certain religious beliefs that he cannot violate, he might want to bring those up before he is told to report to work.

Here is what I think happened.  Times are tough and jobs are hard to come by.  Darrell Littrell saw a job advertised.  He wanted the job and applied for it.  He interviewed.  It went well.  The boss seemed to like him.  Darrell forgot to mention that there is a 24 hour period of the week he can't work.  No sense being disagreeable about work hours before getting the job.  For some reason it slipped Darrell's mind to ask what shift he would be working.

Then something good happened, Darrell was offered the job and told to report to work.  The problem was that Darrell suddenly remembered that he needs sundown Friday to sundown Saturday off from work.  So despite the fact that he needed the job, he told the boss he couldn't go to work.  The boss figured Darrell didn't need the job that badly and withdrew his offer.

This is not discrimination.  Dunkin Donuts is a 24 hour a day, seven days a week business.  Obviously they need people to work on the Sabbath.  I think the boss knew that he needed people to work the weekend.  That's why he hired a guy to work on the weekend.  Darrell springs the news he can't work the weekend as soon as he is offered the job, and the boss says "OK, I'll get someone else".  Darrell still wants the money from the job, he just doesn't want to show up and work the weekends, so he got himself a lawyer.

Too bad for Darrell.  The job is working on the weekends.  Maybe if that was a problem you should have mentioned it before you got the job offer.  Nobody is discriminating against you because you don't want to work.  Nobody is questioning your deeply held religious beliefs.  They have a job that involves working the weekend.  You don't want to work the weekend.  They don't have a job you want to do.  There is no reason to sue them.

So what would the  "reasonable accommodation" required by the law, look like in Darrell's case?  Well according to Darrell's POV someone else would have to work his shift.  That means the company would either have to hire someone to do it, or force another employee to work it. 

If Darrell believes that working on a Sabbath is a sin, why would he insist on having someone sin on his behalf?  If Darrell believes in fairness, and I'm assuming he does since he is arguing that it's fair for the company to let him have the day off, why would he think it's fair to disrupt another employee's work schedule?  Don't other people have a right to enjoy the weekend too?

9/17/2014

Home Run

Fred Reed takes a swing at his 50th high school reunion and knocks it out of the park.

When We Were America

There was nothing special about the class of 1964, or about King George High, except for those of us who were in it. Our yearbook looked like ten thousand others across America, portraits with acne removed in the photo lab, the basket ball team exactly like everybody else’s, the cheerleaders conventionally glorious, conventional adolescent good-byes in ball-point pen—but without misspelling or bad grammar.
The names in the yearbook are just names: Sonny, Rosie, Butch, Kenny, Joyce, Cecil, Ricky, Kit. Just names. But. But, but, but. With any of these people you could leave your keys in the car—we did—or the front door unlocked—we did. We had one cop in the country, Jay Powell, a state trooper, and he had little to do. The high school did not have metal detectors or police patrolling the halls. We had none of the behavior that now makes these things necessary. It wasn’t in the culture. We could have raped, killed, robbed, fathered countless illegitimate children like barnyard animals. We didn’t.
It wasn’t in the culture.
That tag line,  "It wasn’t in the culture." sums up the entire article.  Take a walk down memory lane in what was once America.  I know Freed is remembering it right.  I wasn't there in 1964.  I know he is right because of this line: "Sex had occurred to us, but didn’t occupy our thoughts except when we were awake."  I never spent much time in Virginia, but I do still remember what it was to be young and with a girl who made me glad to be a boy.

Take a gander at Fred's piece.  It's worth your time.