#30 – Random7, or Genie in a Bottle


Do you want to have some fun?  Are you just saying you want to have fun, or do you really want to have fun?

My posts are getting pretty heavy.  I thought I’d try something different.  The 7 or so people that read this blog seem to like these Random posts – a real crowd pleaser.  So let’s go!  (As always, I make no guarantees that I’m not repeating myself.  I suppose I could go back and look at the past 6 but eh….whatever.)

263.  Some advice – if you are ever granted 3 wishes from a genie in a bottle or lamp, your first wish always, ALWAYS, must be for unlimited wishes.  You’re welcome.

264.  To the people that only want to say ‘Merry Christmas’ – settle down.  ‘Happy Holidays’ is perfectly fine and is all inclusive and it really shouldn’t bother you that much.

265.  To all the people who don’t want people to say ‘Merry Christmas’ –  believe me I get it.  But maybe we should relax on it a little bit.  There are other battles to be fought – we cam get to that one down the road.

266.  I’ve changed my mind on #168.  I’ll play music as loud as I want.  Roll your window up if you don’t like it.  And I see you looking at me but I do not care.

267.  I’ve always liked the Beastie Boys.  I think their song Sure Shot is super cool – smooth.  I didn’t realize until recently that they name checked Rod Carew, one of the best and most underrated hitters in baseball history.  Made the song even cooler.

268.  Who is Sam Hill, and what, if you don’t understand something, did people (used) to say ‘What in the Sam Hill?’

269.  In addition to a cape, I think I’d like to get a cane and maybe a top hat.  Not a curved cane though, one of those straight fancy ones.  The ensemble would be my fancy wear for important events like weddings and funerals.

270.  Do you know where the term ‘bulldozer’ comes from?


271.  And ‘Head for the Hills’?  If it’s going down, why the hills?  Is it safer?

272.  Do you say ‘coo-pon’ or ‘que-pon’?  If you say the latter, what is wrong with you?

273.  I think they should make a prequel series to the Brady Bunch.  I really want to know what happened to Carols first husband and to Mikes first wife.  What’s the deal there?

274.  On the Brady Bunch, they only address the fact that the kids are step-kids and that Mike and Carol are step-parents to each other’s kids one time.  After that, it was just Mom and Dad.

275.  Are you aware of the Mandela Effect?  It’s probably not a real thing.  But (and this is true) I’ve felt for most of my life that there have been two female pitchers that have played major league baseball.  They played for either the Seattle Mariners or one of the Canadian teams.  They played in the late seventies.  One was left-handed I think and one was a submarine -type pitcher where the arm angle comes from underneath.  Neither one of them threw very hard – they relied on breaking pitches and control.  They were middle relief pitchers and did not play for very long.  They weren’t great but they weren’t awful either.  It’s weird to me that this didn’t happen because of the details I remember and that for the longest time it just felt like a fact and was not that big a deal.  I’m not sure I’ve ever told anyone about that and it seems real and super weird all at once.

276.  This is a cool little documentary series on Netflix I recently watched.  I like history and the etymology of things and it was super interesting.  I love Netflix.

277.  If I were to rank my all-time favorite MC’s, Chuck D would be #1.  I think I’d listen to him rap the phone book.

278.  These library boxes are everywhere in my neighborhood.  Is it only a Milwaukee thing or do other cities have them?  I like the idea and maybe I’ll get one.  But the ones I’ve seen never have any good books, and I’ve never seen anyone take a book out of one.  I’d want to put some cool books in mine but wouldn’t want anyone to take all my cool books.library-boxes

279.  I don’t know how they do it in your city, but Milwaukeeans have this habit of not going around people that are turning left.  So, a car is stopped waiting to turn left.  The car behind will stop too, waiting for the car to turn so they can go straight.  Instead of going around, they just sit there.  Cars line up behind, not knowing the first car is waiting to turn left.  So we all just sit there like assholes, not knowing what is going on in front of us.  The whole thing could have been avoided if the first car had just gone around.  It’s really upsetting.  What do they do that?  If you do that, what in the Sam Hill are you waiting for?  Go around!!

280.  I don’t think this is an original question, but it bears asking again – why the Braille at drive up ATM’s?  Have they been anticipating self-driving cars all of this time?

281.  Libraries don’t use card catalogs anymore, do they?  They can’t, what with computers and all.

282.  ‘Akimbo’ is an odd word.  Can ‘akimbo’ be separated from ‘arms’, as in ‘arms akimbo’?  If so, please use it in a sentence for me because I don’t see any other use for the word.

283.  It’s odd to me that Superman flies like he’s lying down.  He’s Superman – I don’t think he needs to make himself aerodynamic.  I think if I could fly I’d fly like I was standing up.  Also, he never flies sideways.

284.  I love comics and superhero movies, but I think we’re reaching an oversaturation point, or at least I am.

285.  I want to be part of the Zeitgeist, but have never been 100% sure of what that means.

286.  It’s somewhere in the Constitution that we are afforded a fair and speedy trial.  I don’t know that either one of those things happen anymore, if they ever did.  Also, I’d like a better definition of cruel and unusual punishment.

287.  Sports though – I think that grown men screaming and throwing tantrums because the do not like the way a official made a call is kind of infantile and ridiculous.  Act like a grown up.

288.  Brad Pitt is my favorite actor.  There, I’ve said it.

289.  Have I mentioned the famous Midwest racer Dick Trickle?  If I have, it bears repeating.  He was a car racer/driver, and his real name was Dick Trickle and that is awesome.

290.  My three favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, and Margaret Atwood.  My three favorite books are ‘The Martian Chronicles’, ‘Slaughterhouse Five’, and ‘A Handmaid’s Tale.’

291.  I used to tell people I’m like a duck.  Smooth sailing on the surface, but paddling furiously underneath just to try and get anywhere.  I don’t feel like that so much anymore.  Just once in a while.

292.  The best thing I have ever heard is when my daughter sings to herself when she doesn’t think anyone is listening.  She’s not a particularly good singer, but when she sings softly to herself it melts me.  She used to do it more when she was younger.  I’d listen in – I couldn’t always make out the lyrics but that didn’t really matter.  She does it sometimes now when she’s in the shower.  I wish I had a recording of it.  It’s just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard.

293.  There’s more but I can’t always remember.  As soon as I hit ‘publish’ I’ll remember more I wanted to say.  I write a lot of them down but then can’t find where I wrote it, or can’t read my own handwriting.  But remember, three wishes, the first one has to be unlimited wishes.  Once you get them, don’t screw it up, ok?

That’s it jerks.  Now go have some Merry Holiday fun!


Xmas Pig!!

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#29 – Aleppo

I know there’s a lot going on.  I know that there’s fatigue has set in on all the issues and problems.

I know you’re aware of Aleppo, at least in passing.  I know it’s in your Facebook feed, and on the news.

I know it snowed and your sports team played today and you have other things on your mind.

Its all hard to watch. Sometimes I don’t want to.  And what can you do about it?  What can I do about it?  Seriously, I’m asking.  Donate, I guess.  Write this I guess.  What of any consequence?

I know we are worried about who comes into the country.  I know we’re worried about terrorists and terrorism and we should be and I get it.

I know we’ve become afraid of refugees, and that refugee is now a code word.

Here’s some of them that we don’t want to let in, though.  Here’s some of the ones we want to stop from coming, at least until we “figure out what’s going on.”


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I’m not trying to make light of an issue.  We don’t want terrorists in our country.  But the kid holding his dead brother in the clip below.  I think that would help serve to radicalize me.  I’d be mad at the government, and any government that helped, and any that didn’t help.

Maybe if we helped they’d still turn on us.  Or maybe they’d be grateful.  I don’t know.  I guess it’s complicated with Russia involved, especially with our apparent newfound alliance with them.  I mean, we’re cool with Russia now, right?

A few weeks ago I watched this documentary on the White Helmets in Aleppo.  Maybe you’ve heard about them.  Maybe not.  Maybe some of them have ties to the bad guys, maybe not.  It’s a good watch.  I wonder, after Aleppo and all of Syria finally falls, who they will fight for next?  Who will they blame?

I guess regardless of what anyone can do it’s hard to watch it all going down. It’s all over Twitter and all the social media.  They’re begging for help.

I wonder.  What if Aleppo was Paris, though?  Or London?  New York or Chicago?  Or your city, wherever you are right now?  Where are all the social media profiles that say “Pray for Aleppo” like we did for all the other cities?
I’m not saying you have to care.  You don’t.  I do and I can’t do anything about it and it’s tearing me up.

This kid has been in the news.  He’s not even crying.  They’re not even crying anymore.


Remember this kid from awhile ago?  His family was trying to get out of Syria.  

The world paused, then shrugged.

Listen, I know there’s a lot of bad stuff in the world and we can’t stop all of it.  Why is Aleppo more important than anywhere else?  It’s not.  Except.  The Syrian government has the backing of Russia.  And now they’re trying to tell you that Russia, maybe they’re not so bad?  Russia.  Putin.

How can you not see it?

I just wanted to leave you with one last thing.  The US eventually closed down the borders during WWII because we worried about spies and saboteurs.  Not only, but Anne Frank too.


And round and around it goes.

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#28 – Rules and Regulations

I guess I just don’t understand how you can’t see what’s happening.

But it doesn’t seem that anyone’s coming off their vote, or their ideals of what they think they voted for.

The yelling isn’t getting us anywhere, I suppose.  If anything, it’s serving to further entrench our positions.

My white hot, blinding rage is fading.  It’s more red now, burning.  I hope it’s becoming focused.

IF everything was on the level, the up and up, then so be it.  The rules say that the Orange-One will be the next President.

I’ve written and deleted a bunch of words trying to lay out what I think is happening already, and what will happen to this country if we’re not paying attention.  I deleted them because I don’t think you care, and I won’t sway you anyway.

I feel like what has happened, what is happening and what will happen is above our normal Republican v. Democratic squabbles.  It’s bigger than that.

So even though you’re wrong, I feel like you are so wrong, I don’t begrudge you what you think you voted for.

But in the coming day, week, month, years we’re all going to be in this together.  Please pay attention.

How long will you stay on your side?  Will you follow blindly no matter what?  Will you be so stubborn, because you do not like the other side, at the expense of what we all agree on?

IF everything was fair and balanced, then the rules say that the great Oompa-Loompa-Elect has won and will, with the help of the people he is surrounding himself with, be the most powerful person in the free world, as they say.

But we have another set of rules that we all, all of us believe in.  We have this thing called the constitution.  Will you be so stubborn that you won’t call them out when they subvert it?  When they break it?  We, all of us have not done such a good job safe guarding it against the regular politicians.  Shame on us.

Are we, we all of us, Americans, going to pay attention now?

I’m going to leave this here.  constitution

It’s the US Constitution.  When was the last time you looked at it?  Really read it?  Maybe middle school?  Maybe never?

I look at it from time to time.  Not all that often, but I do.  It’s not a very exciting read.  It’s not like reading a novel, or maybe watching a reality show.  Sometimes I don’t agree with all of the things it contains.

But they are the rules.  We all like to reference the ones we like, the hot button ones.  But if you get into it there’s stuff in there for all of us.

So maybe as you see things come up, today and tomorrow and next week, take a look at it. You don’t have to look at all of it all at once.  You could even print it out.  No one will know.  Match it up to what is going on.  No news, real or fake, to sway you on what it says.

If I’m wrong about what’s happening, what has happened, what will happen, then it’s not really a big deal.  I’ll be wrong, and look stupid, and have to admit it.  That’s fine, I’m used to looking stupid.  I can deal with that.  If I’m wrong, it means they are following the rules.

But if you are wrong.  Wow, if you are wrong, we’re all fucked.  If you are wrong, the words contained in the Constitution, the words of the Founding Fathers that you like to refer to so much, will be meaningless.  We can all print the words out together and have a big bonfire.

You don’t have to change the reasons you voted the way you did, even if I think you are wrong.  All I’m saying is to be aware and to pay attention.  And to decide what it means to be American.  You, we are all going to have to decide what it is we really believe in, and not just pay lip service to it.  Or we may as be Russia.

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#27 – Steal this Blog

One year to the day I started this blog.  

What a shitshow.

We done fucked up ‘Murica.

Seriously, we fucked up.  

No really, don’t you people understand what we’ve done?

I fucked up.  I always thought I was engaged, that my words here, or to people, all the years of debating and arguing for the great liberal way.  But I’ve never really done anything of any substance, really, to help.  Smug in my righteousness and my belief that people are good.

But any substantive change, or any sustained change in this stolen country of ours has never been given.  It’s had to be taken from those who don’t want it to change, who never meant to give it to you in the first place.  And when change is affected, when people who don’t want to change feel pushed around, there is always a backlash.  How could we be so blind and complacent to not see it coming?  

It was funny, right?  The Orange Menace was a cartoon.  I’m admitting I didn’t take him or his chances very seriously, right up to last Tuesday.

But my smugness and my overestimation of the people of this country is inexcusable.  I wish apologising would be anything other than hollow words, as hollow as these words I’m typing now.  

I really haven’t done anything still, except to swear and badger people on the internet.  

These words are nothing – words are nothing, except when they’re backed up by action, especially in situations like these.

But the only action I want to take right now is to punch someone in the face.  I’ll admit I’m not thinking straight.

Or maybe I am.  Maybe the high road is not the right road anymore.  We’ve been taking, or have been thinking we’ve been taking the high road all this time.  And they went low, lower than any candidate since George Wallace.  They don’t care about our supposed niceties.  

What did you think was going to happen? Did you think people wouldn’t be pissed? And now, after 8 years of obstructing and shitty snide ass remarks (thanks Obama) you all what – you want us to all reconcile?  Get along?  Hold hands and sing folk songs?  The line is so firmly and deeply drawn in the sand it’s going to be a fucking moat.  

So you’re not racist, sexist, or any “ist”.  Maybe your President-Erect isn’t either.  But his words and your vote has enabled and given voice to those who are.  They think it’s ok.  They don’t have to hide.  They don’t have to use code words anymore.  They’ve been legitimised, or feel like they have been.  Did you think about that?  Did you care?  Or were you just naive?

Or worse, you are racist.  So there’s that.

I was a kid during Reagan.  I was smug and righteous and slept walked through Bush and Clinton and Bush again.  

See, it never really affected me.  I’m a regular old white guy.  I’m usually going to be ok.  

But now you’re fucking with my family.  I have a transgender niece.  My nieces and nephew are of African heritage.  My aunt is a lesbian.  And President-Elect Reality Show has talked shit about all of them, and given a voice to people that hate them.

I have a daughter.  You may too.  Look your daughter in the eye and tell her how you voted the way you did.  How he said he grabbed or can grab pussy.  Or how he taunted women because they menstruate.  Or how he assaults women, but got elected anyway.  Or etc etc etc.  

I had to lie to mine and tell her it’s going to be ok.  So fuck you very much for that.

The hardest things part has been knowing that people I’m related to voted this way.  People who I share genetics with.  People I’m friends, or friendly with.  I know I’ve “offended” some of them.  I don’t want to yell at them.  But I’m really really really angry with them.  And I’m not sure how that’s going to work.  Really, I’m not sure.  

We’re all to blame.  We didn’t take it seriously enough.  We’re at worst overt, at best complicit. 

So what can I do?  I’m not sure yet I’ve never done anything before except pay lip service to my so called ideals.  All I’ve done so far is be super angry and listen to angry punk rock songs at work so I don’t get into any arguments.  I have to find a way to be constructive.  Or maybe destructive, too.  

Listen, this isn’t funny anymore.  He’s not funny.  And the people he’s surrounding himself with are awful awful people.  It’s been one week and we’re at each other’s throats.  Don’t you see?  Hillary would have just been regular old corrupt.  You could have obstructed her just fine.  This is not good.  This is so altogether different.  How can you not see that?

Jesus, what have we done?

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#26 – Earworm, or Quart is in Session

I listen to music like I do everything else – all in or all out.

Generally I’ll get stuck on a genre, or a band, or more likely a particular song.

If I’m digging a song I’ll wear it out.  I’ll listen until I get sick of it and can no longer stand the sound of it.  It takes me a long time to get sick of a song, though, so can listen to it for a long time.  It’s kind of like the episode of SpongeBob when he had the Earworm and listened to this song over and over:

If you can find this full episode I highly recommend it.

So here is the song currently creating an earworm in my brain.  I’ll probably only listen to it 1000x more before I get sick of it.  It’s indicative of my current mood.  Check back around Thanksgiving for an update.

With lyrics:


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#25 – Thisclose

It was super foggy on my drive in to work today.  It looked like this:

I felt foggy too.

I don’t have much rage anymore, but I could feel it this morning.  It was palpable.

The sun can out not too long ago.  The fog burned off.  It looks like this currently:

I don’t know that the rage is gone.  Maybe it’s subsiding a bit.

With every word I’m typing it’s becoming clearer, though.

I’ve been wrestling with it for awhile now.  I think, though, that I’m not going to vote for Hilary Clinton. I’m not.

Where does that leave me?

I see three options.

  • Don’t vote.
  • Vote #JillStein.  Might as well be a vote for Trump though, right?
  • #VoteTrump.  I’m serious.

I can’t, we can’t go back to the Clintons, can we?  They’re slippery as hell.  The get away with shit.  Even if they are not guilty, they are guilty.  They are status quo.  They are big banks.  They’ll say what you want to hear, even while they contradict what they’ve said before.

That’s what Trump does.

Trumps words and the Republican platform and people that embrace it whole heartedly is what’s wrong with the the country.  It’s odorous and counterproductive.

The Clintons say the right things.  A Clinton presidency will be beyond contentious.  It will be plagued by scandal, just like the last one.

It’s easy for me to say this.  A Trump presidency will not affect me, not at first anyway.  They won’t come for me, or build a wall because of me.  Not at first anyway.

Bernie Sanders has sold out.  That “revolution” is over.

Maybe, though, a #TrumpPresidency is what we need.  Maybe we need to be exposed.  It’s already leaked out, the country’s gross underbelly.

Hate, racism, division never really went away, did it?  It was just hiding, waiting in the weeds, marking time.  Don’t call it a comeback.  It’s been here for years.

Maybe it’s time for a full resurgence.  Maybe we need to see the ugliness in full in the bright burning sunlight of the day.  Maybe we need to stop fooling ourselves, that either one of these choices is a choice at all.

What am I going to do?  Protest?  Hit the streets?  Pick up a weapon?  I won’t.  I don’t have it in me.

But I’m not, I can’t vote for the easy choice.  I don’t think I can look my daughter in the eye, with everything we talk about, with everything I tell her I stand for, and #VoteHilary.  I won’t be able to look at myself.

Maybe we need to burn it down. Figuratively.  Probably figuratively.

I’m not sure I’m brave enough to actually fill in the line with my pencil where it says “Trump” when I go to vote in November.  I’m not sure I’m brave enough not to vote, either.  I have a bit of time – not long, but a bit – to decide.

I’m not voting Clinton, though.  I can’t.  Maybe I’ve gone crazy.  Maybe I’m the only sane one left.

What do I stand for?  What do you?

Sometimes when you sit down, maybe you’re standing up after all.

Vote your conscious.  We all should.  If we still have one.


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#24 – 45 Blocks

I’ve been walking the neighborhood for a few weeks now – the weather is nice and I’m trying to get my midsection down from round to not as round.I live around here, in the city of Milwaukee.  

Yesterday, about 45 blocks away, this was happening:

45 blocks doesn’t seem like much – I could get there in 10 mins or so if I drove,  right?  It might as well be a world away.

The violence after a police shooting – see the story here, if you want http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/14/us/milwaukee-violence-police-shooting/

I thought about it as I walked.  I’m not a fast walker, and I’m a bit out of shape.  I couldn’t have been gone longer than 20 mins, and only covered from 78th to 84th, down 84th to Burleigh, back to 78th and home.  

  • During those twenty mins I saw 5 black kids and one black adult playing basketball on one end of the playground at the 81st St school, while a middle aged white guy practiced his jump shot on the other end
  • Two little white girls roller skating between the courts
  • 3 joggers, one white guy, one white woman and one black woman, at different times on different blocks 
  • A white teenage boy skateboarding 
  • A white family of 3, the son not more that 6 or 7, pushing his wheelchair in front of his parents as they walked.

You can see a lot of stuff in my neighborhood if you look close enough.  A lots been going down in MKE over the past year, just like it has been in the rest of the country.



The Governor has called up the National Guard.  I guess they’re on standby.  http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000004591091/governor-walker-calls-in-national-guard.html

I sit now in my backyard.  You’d swear we lived in the suburbs or something.  It’s something to hear about stuff in the news – Ferguson, Baltimore, Dallas, etc.  This is not that, not yet, and maybe not at all.

Milwaukee is a pretty segregated city, but you wouldn’t know it if you walked around my neighborhood.  http://www.governing.com/topics/politics/gov-milwaukee-most-segregated-polarized-place.html

45 blocks.  That’s nothing.  I wonder how to get this 

to look like this 

I’ll keep walking the neighborhood and seeing what I see.  I wonder if those 45 blocks can be bridged, and if not, which picture will I be more likely to see in my neighborhood in the future?

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