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!



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.


  1. WaterBoy12:44 AM

    Glad you were able to get out and enjoy the outdoors a little with the family. As the old cliché goes, nobody ever died wishing they had worked more.

    We were all set to go camping one more time this weekend, until her cousin passed away suddenly. She's flying up to Minnesota for the funeral, instead.

    No worries about the freezer bags. Bring 'em down with you next time and take home some more tamales.

  2. Can I have tamales too? Yum...

    Maybe a trade for cigars...

  3. Res,

    I am thinking that the reason your FIL stays with you for longer than you would like, is that doing some of the handyman chores around the house is his way of helping you out. That generation is not big on tooting their own horns for the most part. They just pitch in and help. That is what families do for each other.

    My FIL is the kind of guy who just pitches in and helps when he sees a need. It is like they can't help it. Your in-laws can see that you and their daughter are so busy trying to raise their grandbabies, that sometimes it leaves little time for doing some of the basics around the place.

    This is his way of helping you out. He is telling you in his own way, he knows exactly what kind of burden you are carrying Res.

    I also suspect that he is not the type of guy to just sit around on his duffer for that whole time, he wants to stay busy. What better way to do that than to help make your, and his daughter's life, a little bit easier? And when they are gone from this earth, you will have tangible memories of them, not just the "remember that time we went to ______ with the grandparents" that have no actual results to show for it.

    All the memories that your family will have of those grandparents are going to be priceless. You are a lucky man to have such in-laws.

  4. WaterBoy, there is not much better than homemade tamales. I have heard that it can be such a big production, how many dozens do you make at a time for the freezer?

    Do you freeze them prior to cooking, or cook them first then freeze? I would dearly love to make some but I would put them into the freezer. I just don't know when that step comes, pre-cook or after cooking.

  5. WaterBoy

    A local restaurant near me makes the most amazing pumpkin sauce for their enchiladas. It is just such a tasty slice of heaven in every bite. Not spicy at all, but just incredible.

    A year ago I figured out a good combo for my own homemade red sauce for cooking enchiladas. I haven't bought the canned stuff in a long time.

  6. The Old Sarge10:14 AM

    I have to agree with Susan about your FIL helping out. Beats the heck out of sitting around and boring you with things you'd rather not hear about.

    OTOH, as Mark Twain put it: "After 3 days, fish and visitors begin to smell". :-)

  7. Just so ya'll know the stated reason for helping out was so the house would sell faster and we could move back near them. I'm not looking to sell the house or move on the same side of the Mississippi as them. I've been the bad son in law ever since I made my wife move out west with me.


    Water Girl has a wonderful tamale lady. I used to get some fantastic verde tamales form her. The best way to make tamales is to find a Mexican women who is at least 60 years old with 50 years tamale making experience. Then pay her whatever she asks, normally around $15 to $20 a dozen.

  8. WaterBoy12:38 PM

    Susan: "I have heard that it can be such a big production, how many dozens do you make at a time for the freezer? Do you freeze them prior to cooking, or cook them first then freeze? "

    As Res noted, we don't make them ourselves -- we get them from the Tamale Lady who visits her hair salon each week (I don't actually much care for tamales myself, but my wife and son rave about them, so it appears she knows what she's doing).

    WaterGirl buys them freshly cooked, then freezes them for future use. After thawing, they can be reheated in the usual manner. If you decide to make your own, that is probably the way to go.

  9. WaterBoy1:02 PM

    black: "Can I have tamales too? Yum..."

    In which part of the country do you live? If there is an appreciable population of Mexicans there, chances are you can find someone selling them as above.

    If not, you can also order them online. Manuel's and Tucson Tamales are just two such enterprises.

    A third option is pick some up if you travel to such an area. We visited my BIL in Seattle, and brought back some crab that he had personally caught, cleaned, and froze. If it's frozen in advance, and you pack it well, it will usually keep until you get back home (if it has started to thaw already, put it in the fridge to finish thawing and eat it the next day).


  10. Susan1:43 PM


    I do have access to a wonderful lady who conducts the manufacture of tamales as a family project.

    She and her family makes several hundred at a time then divides them up among the families. If you are only doing this once or maybe twice a year, it isn't such a scary project.

    They are so very good. I have several recipes for making my own which look very good. I may finally do that this winter.

  11. Res Ipsa3:16 PM


    I would be happy to have you send me three or four dozen and taste test them for you. That way you can get an unbiased opinion on how they turned out. :-)

  12. Anonymous4:00 PM

    Res Ipsa: "Susan, I would be happy to have you send me three or four dozen and taste test them for you."

    ...just don't expect to get your freezer bags back too soon.

    Oops, did I say that? ;)

  13. Res Ipsa9:59 PM

    If she'll send me tamales I'll send her your bags to ship them in.

  14. The Old Sarge11:11 AM

    Res, I feel your pain. I moved from Maryland to New Mexico to get the hell away from my own family.

    That was almost far enough.

  15. New Mexico isn't too bad. My sister lives there which is why we all got together in CO its almost an equal drive to get together.

  16. The Old Sarge11:59 AM

    Yeah, I *really* miss the food. Gotta get me some green chiles soon, or I might just die.

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