Sunday, April 22, 2018

Pub Chatter #161

     “Not my circus; not my monkeys.” It has been my mantra for the last two days as I deal with those unique conjurers of mystery known as Americans. There has been much head shaking, tongue biting and repressed opportunities this week in my continuing endeavor to assist my fellow man to thwart Darwin and his “survival of the fit” theory. However, I see my ability to help slipping away alongside my ability to care. The result for me is a willingness to let the monkeys fly!

     People have always wanted their own way free of any possible negative consequences. When I was young we were taught that we couldn’t have it. We were constantly reminded by our parents that there were other people in the world. Real people with real lives, real feelings, and dreams all their own. Moreover, these other lives and dreams were every bit as valid as our own. That is no longer the case.

     In the steady stream of parents and children I see every day, the parents are whipped puppies. Their little monkeys are firmly in charge and insistent that everyone must think as they do, value what they do, and celebrate whatsoever they imagine themselves to be; other people and opposing ideas be damned. The universe has shrunken to the size of an individual in which everyone wishes to be that rebel that plucks the forbidden fruit and boldly goes his own way. Meanwhile, it is imperative no one else dares do the same. Egos are large and in charge of their own imaginary universe and are perpetually pissed off at anyone who doesn’t play along.

     The result is a negatively charged world in which everyone has a complaint; has a lament; has an angry word and a bitter mindset. In a negative world, converts to a cause are won by shaming, holding enemies up to public ridicule, and the application of popular pressure by the Enlightened. It is not enough for these folks to offer an individual point of view. Their opposition must be silenced and destroyed. Like rabid dogs they win by biting, ripping and poisoning.


     We are not so far removed from a positive world that we cannot return. Remain calm my modern friends. Returning need not mean going backward in time. It can mean moving forward in a resumption of peace, respect, and personal freedom in a society that values every person’s worth as a human being. It means admitting the village has failed and a resumption of childhood under the direction of parents who are in control and equipped to introduce their children to a real world populated by real people.

     If we cannot do that, human history promises there will come a Ringmaster with a big voice and a bigger whip. He will corral the monkeys running wild under the Big Top. It will be his circus and they will be his monkeys. When that happens there will be order in the circus. Whether or not we like it when that happens is irrelevant. There will be no one to save us.    

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Pub Chatter # 160 Liberty

   “The best government is that which governs least” was the motto of The United States Magazine and Democratic Review. It was later famously paraphrased by Thoreau in his essay, Civil Disobedience and co-opted by writers as quoting various sources.

     The truth, however, like trees falling in the woods, rings with freedom even though we are not there to hear it. It is a truth that crosses political and religious lines that liberty and government are inversely proportional. The more a man is set at liberty, the fewer claims government has on his life and property. Whereas the more government is laid upon a man’s back, the less free he finds himself. Thoreau was keen on pursuing the ultimate improvement of government leading to perfect liberty; no government except a conscience. Thoreau was not a Christian and we can speculate on the faith of America’s first leader forever. One thing is clear, they all shared the biblical value of personal liberty.

     Thoreau’s reliance on conscience as a guide is in complete accord with Christianity as expressed by the Founding Fathers. Not Washington, Adams, and Jefferson---Jesus, Peter and Paul.
     “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the set at liberty them that are bruised.” Jesus saw the religious government of the Temple and their rigorous enforcement of religious traditions as a hindrance the individual liberty that leads men to God.

     Jesus proclaimed His burden was light. He had two simple laws and free exercise and obedience to those laws rested solely with the individual. Love God with all you have and love your neighbor as yourself.(the perfect law of liberty.) God was man’s only king and judge.
     The apostles agreed with this assessment of liberty.
     “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Paul
     “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” James
     “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.” Peter.

     The inscription on the Liberty Bell echoes the writing of Moses. “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.
     Every man to his possession and family---strangely, the wish of every man who cherishes liberty. No government is needed to instruct men how to do these things.Where, then, does government fit into this world? It is the function of government to protect the free exercise of individual liberty; to secure the lives and property of its citizens. Government exists to wield the sword of judgment against Cain; not to burden Abel with social programs, regulations, and taxes because evil exists in their world.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Pub Chatter #159 Niagara Falls

     Battered in turn by estranged pals, Curley gets up off the ground and declares, “Why you cowards, you’re afraid to say, Niagara Falls.” (Gents Without Cents--it’s on Youtube.) It’s a great comic bit. Poor Curley, he keeps saying the “wrong” thing. His verbal faux pas gets him battered every time, but he just can’t help but violate the peace by blurting out the forbidden words. It still happens, it’s simply no longer funny and the list of forbidden phrases has grown considerably. I don’t recall a time in my sixty-some years when catchphrases trigger such sudden and violent reactions.

     “White male! Slowly we turned....” And any chance of a rational discussion of gender or race is gone. A mental blood rage against the fascist oppressor replaces all those once cherished liberal notions of diversity and inclusion. Immediately there’s and us standing opposite them. We all know who is them. An imaginary wall of privilege precludes the white male from empathy because he has never had to struggle against stereotype. Strange how there has never been a television show featuring a bumbling, out-of-touch stooge of a father figure forever being saved by women and children.
     White males know no economic hardships. We all have high paying jobs where our good ol’ boy boss loves us and showers us with favors. Meanwhile, we are busy hoarding the nation’s wealth to keep it out of the hands of undeserving people of color and more talented women.

     What shall I more say, for the time would fail me to tell of Christians, Republicans, gun owners, conservatives (social and fiscal), and Trump voters who against the buffeting of popular culture continue to quietly work, pay taxes, discipline their children, and preach a fixed morality.
Like poor Curley, we were merely walking along minding our own business until we bumped into a guy with no pal.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Pub Chatter #158

  I didn’t become a know it all high schooler until 1968. The Vietnam war was going strong and people on both sides had strong feelings about what was happening. I’ve been thinking about this the last couple of days because I’m about to attend a rally and street march for the first time in my life. I remember seeing a lot of these guys

     I didn’t get to participate in their marches or shout cool slogans like “Hell no, we won’t go.” I didn’t think America should have been in Vietnam. Indochina was a French problem that the Viet Minh had already settled. The reason I was left out of all the excitement was that I was busy doing this:

     You know, shuttling those aluminum boxes from Vietnam back to the States. Sitting in the dark at the end of the runway wasn’t the safest place to, but it was a hell of a lot safer the where those guys were coming from. The reason I felt secure doing that was that I knew fellow Americans with guns were standing watch over me. Well, they were standing watch over the aircraft, but I like to think they were looking out for me too. I didn’t see one assault rifle. I was very aware of the defense rifles carried by Security.

     Anyway, I’m planning on marching in Olympia on April 21st in a rally being called, March For Our Rights. I know it won’t be as memorable as the old days because the organizers have asked us not to stoop to the level of children and carry signs that say, F@#k You or call the snowflakes any other degrading things. I just realized I may need to ask their opinion of penis hats. Maybe I’ll just stick to my Second amendment hat. I haven’t owned a firearm in forty-five years, but I’m giving serious thought to actually purchasing one for the occasion--thinking AR15.

     The way I have it figured, if anything goes awry while using my First Amendment rights in support of my Second Amendment rights, I can always fall back on my Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights because nobody knows what those are. You’re never too old for new experiences. See you at the Capito

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Pub Chatter #157 -- a Dog Blog

     The size of our foster family is dwindling. Four of Hope’s puppies, Roscoe, Archie, Pepper, and Darla have found forever homes. Hope has just returned to us after being spayed. She is recovering nicely and we are happy that there has been some serious interest in adopting her. She really is a loving dog and deserves a good home. Like the puppies, it will be bittersweet to see them go.

     All in all, fostering has been a positive experience. Keeping ahead of seven puppies has been a definite learning experience. Just when you think you have them figured out and secured--they let you know it’s time to think again. Puppies, like people, will work day and night to clear obstacles and get to their goal whether it’s treats, escape or just getting to where their people are. It hasn’t all been easy, but it is rewarding and we are already making preparations to do it all again.

     My mind has put in some serious overtime trying to work out how my love for gardening is going to fit with puppy wrangling. The problems are myriad. Like how to keep Archie from uprooting my raspberries and still give him room to run and play. I’m putting in some raised beds, but wonder if that will be enough. He’s clever, curious, and persistent; a dangerous combination for my flowers. If only he weren’t so darn cute and lovable.

     Speaking of cute and lovable, take a look at the three still needing a forever home--one just like yours. You can read a bio and see videos of them on Journey Home Rescue’s page on Facebook. Meanwhile here’s a quick peek at Daisy, Bella, and Piper.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Pub Chatter #156--Blowing Smoke

    In ancient times we had a saying for everything. In my day, the popular response to receiving a meaningless gesture or an insincere compliment was to tell the giver of such a compliment, “You’re just blowing smoke up my ass.” It's a phrase I still employ. However, today I learned where the phrase originated thanks to a book entitled. Quackery. A history of the Worst Way to Cure Everything. There's a comfort in an awareness of history. 

     It turns out that in the eighteenth century a tobacco smoke enema was the recommended treatment for near drowning. Tobacco was blown through a bellows or tube into the rectum of the unfortunate victim. Tobacco smoke was believed to warm the victim’s body while at the same time stimulating respiration. There was even a society of rescuers carrying tobacco enema kits patroling the banks of the Thames in London.

     Of course, the treatment didn’t work. In fact, it actually was more dangerous to the rescuer than the drowning victim. If the daring rescuer unwittingly inhaled, he risked not only the harmful effects of tobacco but was at an increased risk of contracting cholera. The upside is that the death of tobacco enemas gave rise to the “vulgar” idea of mouth to mouth resuscitation which actually did save lives.

     I will feel safer on my next trip to London knowing no one is trolling along the Thames armed with an enema kit and ready to blow smoke up my ass if I fall in the river. The troubling side to this bit of history is that it is too easy for the modern enlightened ones and their liberal media friends to see conservatives as drowning ignorance and in need of rescue. The smoke they deliver to save us is administered in the same fashion of old with the same useless results.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Pub Chatter #155 Back to the Future


   Progress is a forward or onward movement (as to an objective or to a goal): a gradual betterment. So says Mr. Webster. Assuming he is correct, has prompted me to consider two things about modern progressivism. Where is it leading and is it making life better?

     I can only guess at progressivism’s final destination. However, the current direction seems plain enough to me. The onward press of progressivism is to create an amoral, asexual, tyranny of thought in a society that elevates self-righteous feelings over law, order and the rights of others. Weaving a complex philosophy laced with hypocritical, double talk, progressives first abandon then pursue viewpoints that suits the agenda of the moment. 

     “The government has got to do something,” is the rally cry of progressivism. The intent is to first shame, slander, silence, then legislate away any opposition in a headlong rush to move “forward” to governmental omnipotence. Their assumption is that forward is by definition better.

     But, is it? Is America better off now than it was nine years ago? Or fifty years ago? I don’t think so. We are a nation being bent to the will of a world that doesn’t give a damn about our history, tradition, or national interests. We are forever being told how superior Europe and Asia are by people with the freedom to emigrate but who are too dishonest or too lazy to better their situation by moving there. They prefer to enslave the rest of us to their rose colored insistence that we emulate the world our ancestors left long ago.

     I believe there is much that can be improved about America. However, I am not convinced the answer is to be found in a blind march “forward.” On the contrary, the answer lies in the past. I’ve made many mistakes in life. The best way to get back on the right path is to go back to the place where things went wrong and try again—older and somewhat wiser this time around.

         Perhaps if we went back to the moral and spiritual climate of days gone by when rational argument not the loudest shout guided us there would be fewer schools shot to pieces, fewer government leaders thumbing their noses at the law and the Constitution, and fewer people too offended to think clearly. Progressive will say that we geezers always think the old days were better. That’s true enough, but that doesn’t mean we are wrong.

     “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Pub Chatter #154

     The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; people say it like these are all the same thing. This is not so. As demonstrated in courtrooms across the land, these are three very different things. Witnesses are instructed to tell the truth. They may, indeed, tell nothing but the truth. However, they are seldom permitted to tell the whole truth. Lawyers ask questions to present the truth in such a way as to confine answers to a perspective advantageous to his side of the case. Each side is selling a version of the truth meant to mitigate or intensify the actions of the accused.

     However, this tendency to sell a version of the truth is not limited to courtrooms. Human truth is pliable. A good storyteller bends and manipulates the truth, without breaking it, in order to produce a mental picture in the hearer’s mind. People do this because hard on the heels of the truth comes the consequences. The more motivated one is to shaping the consequences, the greater the effort to cast one’s tale in a favorable light.

     This has always been the way of man. Take the case of Adam and Eve. God comes along one day to find the couple hiding from Him. When God asks why they are hiding, Adam replies it’s because they are naked---true, nothing but true. Yet, not the whole truth. God presses for more.
     “Who told you that you’re naked?” God asks.
     Now the jig is up. There’s only one way Adam could know he was naked. He ate the fruit of the forbidden tree. He can’t lie to God so he highlights the “important,” and “relevant” parts of the truth.

     “The woman that you gave me. She gave it to me.”

     Again, true. It's just not the whole truth. It is the truth is told in a way to deflect blame, and with the blame; the consequences. It’s God’s fault for giving him this rule breaking woman. He has to live with her what else could he do but eat? God turns to Eve.

     “It’s the serpent’s fault,” she says. “He tricked me.”

     The devil possessed serpent seems to be the only one with no one to else blame. It is said that to err is human. To tell a version of the truth that blames someone else is even more human. The problem for Adam and Eve is that an abbreviated, slanted, version of the truth had no effect whatsoever on the consequences.

     America desperately needs the whole truth. The whole truth has room for two sides with different views. Each side has only to accept human imperfection in itself and its opposition. The consequences of having less than the whole truth and labeling it as “alternative” is moral decay and violent self-serving. It’s time for truth that lays a bit of the blame for our current state of affairs on both sides with a generous share at our own feet. Our leaders are not perfect, but whether from a district, a state, or the nation, they are the people we elected. We owe it to the nation to honor their office and support the laws of the land.

     Reelection bids, political ideology, and social programs need to take a backseat to our Constitution as written. That document is the truth we have agreed to live by. The writers worked hard to hammer out a rule of law we can all live by. No judge, jury, politician or citizen has a right to a private interpretation or to bend the agreed upon truth to serve his agenda. It’s time America and our Constitution became the agenda for all Americans. The whole truth will make America great again. The truth will make us free.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Pub Chatter #153 Common Core

    “There has no temptation overtaken you but such as is common to man.” The word “temptation” can readily be substituted by illness, trouble, problem or emotion. People may have different color eyes, hair or skin. They may have different ideas about government, pain and the things that drive them ape shit. The truth is we are more alike than we are different. Nowhere is this more evident than with than sniffling, sneezing, coughing, sinus blocking, head, and body ache maker the common cold.

     This is the season in which doctor’s offices, clinics, and emergency rooms are flooded by hordes of coughing customers each certain he/she has the worst infection ever recorded by man. Believe me, every case looks just like the last. Hence the term “common” cold. Stay calm and rest assured the world is full of people sharing your discomfort. If you are out and about, you are probably doing more sharing than anyone else.

     The one exception to the common cold is the dreaded man-cold. This is a debilitating illness that strikes males between the ages of 20 and 99. A man-cold requires the afflicted person to be waited on hand and foot because he is just too sick to function. The man-cold phenomenon has a cascading effect in which each individual case is worst than all the man-colds that proceeded it. Temperatures may soar to 99 degrees and noses get raw from tissue that is not soft enough.

     The truth is we all get sick, we all make stupid decisions, we all make mistakes that hurt. The government doesn’t need to take action. There’s no need to organize a march or to start a reality show. You may need a friend to confide in, but the world doesn’t need nor want to know. It’s not that the world doesn’t care. It’s that we’ve all been there and purchased the tee shirt. We all know the problem.

     I think it would be great if we turned things around and told everyone when we are feeling good; rejoice in life; daily count the things for which we are thankful. Spin the world toward the positive pole--we’ve all seen enough of the other side. Although I’ve rarely been accused of spreading them, smiles can be contagious. Trying spreading some of those around.


Friday, March 2, 2018

Pub Chatter #152 Kept Simple

     The world is a simple place with simple rules. Aristotle said, “The more perfect a nature is, the fewer means it requires for its operation.” The world may not appear perfect, but it was created that way. Things got complicated when men tried to rewrite the rules and meddle with the design. Born at odds with the design and unwilling to conform to the rules, men spend much of life swimming against the current while crying, “...Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” There are two rules that govern the life of man. Faith, culture, and circumstance may alter the way the rules are expressed, but not the spirit or meaning of the rules themselves.

     The first rule is internal. It is that every man is to love God with all his heart, mind, strength, and soul. He doesn’t matter who or what you believe God to be. Whether we admit it or not, every man has his God. Some men worship money; some a block of stone; still others make self into a god. Even the atheist is powered by his insistent faith in a non-existent God. Our vision of God drives us along the course that brings peace, happiness, and spiritual joy. That is why religious thinking and philosophy sound alike across the spectrum of faith.

     A line from Hamlet comes to mind. “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”Truth and fidelity to one’s self and one’s values are the marks a sound man of good report. His words, actions, and deeds are congruent because they flow from the same internal, spiritual spring. This does not mean peace on earth, good will toward men. On the contrary, it means division into like-minded groups. However, each group will be secure in its creed and thus able to tolerate the faith of others. I can only think of one religion that cannot tolerate the existence of others.

     The second rule is external. Do unto others as you would have others do to you. When I was a child we called it the golden rule. Though its practice has widely been forsaken, it is part and parcel of most religions and philosophies of peace. Moreover, it is the principle behind the proper care of the planet. Kind, gentle care for society and the environment by every man will indeed bring peace to earth. This care for our world and its people must come from within, it cannot be legislated or forced upon us by those claiming to be acting in our best interests.

     We cannot afford to wait for our neighbor to play by the rules before we get in the game. We must forge ahead, alone if need be, to lay hold on our own salvation. We can change the world by changing the tiny creature we all call, Me.  

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Pub Chatter #151

   “The Rebels Are Coming, The Rebels are Coming!” The cry rang out over Seattle yesterday ignited by the sighting of a rebel battle flag flying in a local citizen’s yard. Neighbors called the media hoping, no doubt, to rally the faithful to the defense of liberalism and the Emerald City way. Triggers were pulled, the populace sought safe havens, and righteous, moral, offense was readied. It all came to naught.

     Reports rushed to the scene to find this sight:
For the uninitiated intelligent, elite that’s the flag of Norway. It was flying in the yard of residents of Norwegian descent who were cheering on the home country’s efforts at the Olympic Games.

     But, what if it were a Confederate battle flag? How is that cause for alarm? How does that concern the media or the nosey neighbor? Are they really afraid thousands of rednecks are going to march in the streets flaunting their white privilege? If free expression offends you, close the curtains, put away the binoculars, and don’t look at it. Hell, buy your own and burn it on the front lawn. Just get the hell off your high horse and stop treading on the rights of free Americans to express themselves. You need not do it because you want to. Do it to prevent some guy like me from mounting a giant Stars and Bars in the bed of his pickup and driving up and down your street out of spite. ‘Cause that’s the way I roll.

     Feelings of offense do not, and cannot, in any way restrict on the free exercise of our civil rights. Freedom of expression is guaranteed to every American citizen (even unreconstructed rebels) by the First Amendment of the Constitution. When that right is ignored and trod under foot by opinion, well there’s always the Second Amendment. So, snowflakes suck it up. This is the sweet land of liberty---where even deplorable, mouth breathing rednecks have the right to an opinion.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Pub Chatter #150


    As heartbreaking as it is to say, mass murders by single shooters cannot be prevented. Anderson Cooper and friends on CNN can scratch their heads and wag their jaws about prevention endlessly and never come up with a reliable answer. A determined gunman who has no plan to escape the scene cannot be stopped except by sheer luck.

     The man contemplating such an attack has long ago given up any notion of abiding by the law. Outlawing guns will not keep a man bent on killing from obtaining the means to carry out his crime. Theft, fraud, forgery, assault, even a single murder are acceptable tools to obtain a weapon. If not a gun; a bomb or poison will do. The tree growing from this mental process has deep roots.

     The latest shooting in Florida is evidence that you can take precautions, but you cannot prevent this kind of tragedy. The school did everything right; controlled entry, guards, drills and still a gunman got through. The answer to the problem lies not with guns, heightened precautions or more laws. The solution lies within the hearts and minds of men.

     Moral and ethical restraints have been eaten away. Ironically, this has been done in the name of progress and an enlightened evolution in thinking.  In truth, there is nothing new with this mind set. Doing what one wants in the face of moral imperatives to the contrary is the oldest trait of man as we know him. We have different colors of skin, eyes, and hair. We worship differently. We think along varying cultural lines and speak different languages. However, in one thing we are all the same. That is in our certainty that the universe is trying to hold us back by denying us feed our own wants unfettered.

     A man who wishes to kill, will find a way to kill. We are inventive creatures. Don’t be deceived. The willingness to curse one another, and to verbally bite and devour one another, is a thin skin covering murderous intent. Mass murder doesn’t require insanity—just a little self-talk. Kindness, extended from a heart at peace with itself and others, is the only effective deterrent to violence and murder.   

Friday, February 9, 2018

Pub Chatter #149

   I want to say “thank you” to everyone who was concerned about my recent bout of self-exile. I'm a rather quiet, private sort who lets things build. Those of you laughing right now ought to be ashamed. Anyway, a series of unfortunate events led me to question the advisability of writing my blogs.

     I don’t need anybody to ask me, “Who the hell are you to try and tell me how the world turns?” I do that all by myself and with more sincerity than the harshest critic could ever do. When I write about Christianity, politics or human behavior, I am not spouting a party line or a particular organization’s dogma. I am not a disciple of the modern tenet that perception is reality. Reality requires no supportive agreement from anyone. Reality is eternally immutable. Truth does not “evolve” over time---it’s out there and it’s real.

     Truth can be harsh. It doesn’t accept rationalization or tolerate excuses. Truth shines a glaring light on every imperfection. As you may know, I am far from perfect. Contrary to claims some infer from my opinions, I have never entertained the notion of perfection. I feel my shortcomings and sins acutely and frequently. It’s simply that while I have the right to remain silent---I lack the ability.

     Kicking my own ass occupies a great deal of my time and energy because there is so much material to work with. The only consolation I can find is in the notion that a good man clearly sees how bad he is, while a bad man thinks he’s fine as he is.

     So the Colonel will be back soon and the Crusader right behind him. Thanks again for your kind words.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Pub Chatter #148

   I’d like to introduce my readers to some special people---the volunteers at Journey Home Rescue. I don’t back an organization until they are able to convey to me a sense of true devotion to their cause and a love for what they are doing. Until you put those things together non-profits simply do not work, at least not for those they say they support. The fact that I am an assistant to one of their volunteers and amateur puppy wrangler has nothing to do with it.

     Journey Home Rescue was founded in 2016, but the core members have over eighty years combined experience in animal rescue. If you are unfamiliar with animal rescue, these folks rescue and rehabilitate unwanted, injured, sick, abandoned and neglected animals. Often arriving just before the animals are euthanized by crowded shelters, they are literally lifesavers. That’s just where the job begins. Once rescued, dogs are provided with medical and emotional support while a search goes on to find loving responsible homes. The volunteers at Journey Home Rescue serve as a public resource on pet healthcare and ownership. It is all done by volunteers.

     Journey Home Rescue is a non-profit multi-state rescue headquartered in Washington. They also have rescuers in Idaho and Oregon. They rescue all type of animals in every state. Their reach is amazing. Faye and I live in Shelton, Washington and are fostering a female dog and her seven puppies that were rescued in Idaho. The volunteers for Journey Home Rescue transport dogs to wherever care and loving homes may be found. Rescue is their vision; animals their passion.

     But more important than what journey Home Rescue does is why they do it. It can be summed up in one word---Love repeated over and over again. They began as four Facebook friends two in Washington, one in Oregon, and one in Idaho, who shared a love for dogs and a vision. Love and vision are great to have, but until you add action they amount to little. These folks have engaged their love and turned it into action. 
     “For me, I don’t know how not to help dogs,” said Karen one of the organization’s founders.
     Her journey as a rescuer began with a blind, hairless Sharpei and has continued with special needs dogs. Five of these share her home today.
     My wife, Faye is new to the organization, but not to rescue. She has worked largely with snow dogs--huskies and malamutes. Two are spending the rest of their lives with us; a third dog visits when he can. This is her first foray into the care and feeding of puppies.

     I have written repeatedly here on the blog that nothing is free. Fostering dogs does not cost the foster parents money. Journey Home Rescue pays for the food, supplies, and healthcare. However, no monetary expenditure doesn’t mean free. Fostering is a huge investment in time, poop scooping, and love. Faye says the reward she gets is well worth the investment. I believe everyone connected to Journey Home Rescue would agree.

     Journey Home Rescue is a nonprofit animal rescue operating under IRS Section 501(c)(3). Your donations are tax deductible. Saving dogs is the heartwarming result of your giving. I urge you to “Like” their page on Facebook and donate if you are able. If you’d like to know more about Journey Home Rescue, please email them at I think you will be glad you did.

Placement decisions are made based on the best interest of the individual dog by different variables and are based solely on the individual needs of the dog as determined by the rescue.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Pub Chatter # 145 Dog Blog #7

   Today is the last day to submit applications to adopt one of the seven puppies we are fostering. It will be sad to see them go, but we are hoping for the best forever homes for each of them. They are still a wiggling, tail wagging mass of fur claws and sharp teeth moving in seven directions at once, only now personalities are really starting to emerge.

     Piper and Darla are high energy like Hope, their mother. They are fast, smart and inventive. Daisy and Roscoe are the biggest of the seven. They love to snatch up a toy and see who will give chase. They are not above throwing their weight into a tackle and both love to pester Snoop. Pepper and Bella are more laid back. They like to sit at my feet and get pets while watching the others get soaked in the rain. Then, there’s Archie. Archie is well---he’s Archie there’s no other way to describe him. He likes to chew on rocks, shred puppy pads, and hide from Snoop in the tunnel. He likes to sit on the edge of the patio and keep watch over the others in a way that reminds me of the old cartoon of the sheepdog watching the flock while the coyote tries to make off with the sheep.

     We are coming up on second puppy shots and they are supposed to be ready for their forever homes at the end of February. They are all great little dogs and capable of stealing any heart. Momma Hope will be staying with us a little longer. She is going to be spayed before heading on to a new home. She is just now learning how to be still and allow humans to love her. I think she likes it. She is ultra high energy and fast as lightning. She fearlessly takes on our 120-pound malamute, Snoop in play battles none of the other dogs dare to try. I think she is going to make someone a terrific cattle dog or a hunting companion.    

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Pub Chatter #144

     I hear people talk about the high cost of healthcare today. I agree that healthcare is very expensive. However, I am given to wonder about the cost in relation to wages. I honestly don’t know if today’s health care consumes a larger proportion of the family budget than it did when I was a child, and then a young parent. I could study statistics and find out, but I’m not that interested. I do think the present perception is that the cost is less than yesteryear.

     I have come to that conclusion--right or wrong--by observing how families utilize healthcare services today. The willingness of families to access health care is far greater than it once was. A large number of arrivals at the urgent care where I work have tried no home remedies or over the counter medicines. They feel bad for a day or two; they go to the doctor with no attempt to help themselves.

     My parents avoided taking us to the doctor like it was a financial disaster akin to flood or fire. It was only after they were convinced that they could not hold back the waters or extinguish the fire that we resorted to professional health care. As a young parent, I can testify this was exactly the case with taking our children to the doctor.

     Young adults today don’t know any better. They just don’t know what is serious and what isn’t. They Google the symptoms and head for the nearest professional with worst case scenarios playing full speed. There’s no practical knowledge to fall back on. Yes, I know, I’m a nurse, it’s all simple, right? Wrong. I didn’t become a nurse until I was forty years old and my children were finishing high school. I fought the battle like everyone else.

     Not long ago pain was a part of life. You skinned your knee and it was acceptable for it to hurt for days. Our parents reinforced that belief. “Quit crying, it’s not broken (bleeding, serious),” was common and sound parental advice. Pain is no longer acceptable in either illness or treatment. Some parents bring their children in solely for professionals to give medications the parents cannot get their child to take because the kid will cry and spit it out. My parents had their own special treatment for such situations---it also caused tears, but the medicine was taken.

     There’s one other difference---time. It’s not the same anymore and the human body’s healing mechanisms haven’t kept pace with the times. A cold still lasts from seven to ten days with rest and fluids. Our electronics gadgets have not changed that; they have only made us impatient with the process. Furthermore, there’s nothing in the Emergency Room or Pharmacy that will change that by much. Antibiotics take days (not hours) to work their wonders if they work at all. Some medications take weeks to achieve full effect. That’s hard to understand when we are now frustrated when Facebook doesn’t load instantly.

     There’s no real point to this speculation except my constant internal questioning as to why people act the way they do. It’s kind of amazing really because when I was young I knew the answers. Now, I simply shake my head and mumble to myself.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Pub Chatter #143

      Let me tell you about the time I died. Don’t be like that. I’m being serious here. I know, I know, how can I tell the story if I’m dead? To tell the truth, I’ve wondered about that myself. The best I can come up with is that there are different levels of dead. It makes sense when you stop to think about it. In ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation your heart is not beating. There’s no pulse. You are dead, but not all the way dead. Apply a sudden blow to the chest from an EMT’s hairy fist or a jolt of electricity and ---boom, you’re back. Then, there’s asystole, the familiar flat line. No one is going to shock that back to life. In some cultures, the line between dead and alive is even more ambiguous. It’s kind of hard for me to say those beliefs are wrong. I mean; here I am.

      It started out like any other day. I hit the snooze for the fifth time still struggling to get my eyes open.
      “Get up,” my wife growled and slugged me in the back.
      I jumped out of bed; blindly reached in the closet for clothes and dashed out of the house still struggling to get my coat on. Steering with my knees, I had my tie knotted by the third stop light. I dodged around a couple of secretaries standing in the hall and slid into my desk as the second hand reached the twelve. It was time for a coffee break.

      Experts say bright computer screens are a hindrance to sleep. Proving them wrong, once again, I nodded while pretending to work until noon. Benny and I decided to go to an Italian place down the street for lunch. He had linguine. I stepped out of character and went for the Alfredo goat cheese and spinach ravioli. I was back at my desk by 1:15, refreshed and ready.

      I looked over the Bimmel file and put it back in the “Not now”folder. I was searching for something a bit easier to start out with when a scream pierced the air.


      The sound was followed by automatic rifle fire. I peeked out my office door. I coast was clear. I ran---right into Benny. It took a moment to untangle our limbs.
      “The other way,” I told him. “C’mon.”
      We made it to the first floor unscathed only to find a second terrorist had the front door blocked. We took refuge behind one of the receptionist’s desks. I groaned as my stomach began to rumble and churn.
      “Oh no, not now,” I whispered.
      “Seriously?” Benny asked. “Now?”
      The Bible says there’s a time for every purpose under heaven, a time to fart and a time to refrain from farting. Well, not quite exactly like that, but you get the idea. Unfortunately, my digestive tract has a mind of its own and is not much on Bible reading. Still, I prayed.

      My prayers were answered. The passing of silent gas was never so welcome. It didn’t last. I heard the terrorist inhale deeply. Footsteps, he was searching.
      “Mara?” the terrorist said. “Mara is that you? Where are you, you naughty little goat? I know you’re here somewhere.”
      From the corner of my eye I saw guy with a dish towel on his head searching the desks on the other side of the room. I shoved Benny to his feet. He bolted for the front door with me on my heels.
      “Infidels, come back with my goat.”
      The glass doors shattered in front of us. Bullets flew above our heads. I leaped through the now empty door frame and ran into the street. Curses and gunfire followed. Benny’s quick and has this big 'fro. I kept my eyes on that hair and ran. Suddenly, Benny went down to one knee. I thought he was hit, but my despair turned to joy when I saw the black and white parked in the middle of the street. I’m not politically inclined. I hurdled over Benny as he sat there on one knee.

      I was by the cops before they opened fire. From the shelter of a parked car on the far side of the street, I pause for a look back. A round took Abdul in the center of his chest. His arms flew up into the air as he twisted with the impact. His finger closed on the trigger in a death grip and the weapon came to life. Lead filled the air above the narrow street. The terrorist went down, but not before he inflicted more damage. The wild shots ripped through the support struts of the giant donut atop Jerry’s Donuts. The ten-foot pastry crashed down from the roof and rolled down the street.

      It was the first time a donut ever ate a cop. Both policemen were down, their cruiser crushed and covered with giant sprinkles. The donut was launched into the air. It bounced on the corner of Lemon and Maple and continued rolling down Maple Street.

      In the intersection, a semi with Lays printed on the side swerved to avoid the runaway donut. The truck jackknifed. The back end of the truck clipped a Dominoes delivery driver. The doors of the truck flew open strewing Maple Street with hundreds of bags of assorted Fritos and Cheetos. The odor of corn, chili, and processed cheese filled the air. I was surrounded by the sound of wailing sirens.

      I wasn’t out of danger yet. The Dominoes driver hit a light post and was spinning out of control right for me. Someone was calling my name.

      “Jack, Jack wake up.You’re having a nightmare. I told you midnight junk food would kill you. Don’t you ever listen?”

Pub Chatter #142

      As days go Monday gets a bad rap. It’s not altogether unearned. Mondays are bad news where I work. All the accumulated sickness and disease that developed over the weekend becomes unbearable on Monday. This holds true even on Monday holidays. Today, I’m giving a big shout out to last Monday. Somehow in the middle of the mother of all Mondays, the clouds parted and the sun shone down again. This is Washington, so you know I’m speaking metaphorically.

     I tend to whistle ( or hum ) while I work. I think it works sort of like the little valve on top of a pressure cooker. A co-worker at my last job said she knew when I stopped humming---shit was about to get real and she gave me a wide berth. On reflection, I found what she had to say had merit.

     Three or four months after arriving here in Washington, the humming stopped completely. I didn’t really notice at first. The occasional shocked look on the new faces around me didn’t seem to register. Thing got bad and things got worse, I guess you know the tune.

     Suddenly, in the midst of a shit storm Monday---I started humming. I don’t know why. I don’t know how. I don’t really care. I’m back and that’s what matters. I’ve kind of been riding the high and haven’t gotten the usual volume of writing done, but it’s only a matter of time. I think quality will benefit as well. Y’all will have to be the judge of that. I’ll give you a sample later tonight.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Pub Chatter #141 ---- Dog Blog #6

     We are about to start week three of our foster experience with Hope, her seven puppies, and Journey Home Rescue. The puppies all have names now. They are filling out and venturing all over the backyard. Journey Home is now accepting adoption applications. By the time they are ready to go to their forever home, the puppies will have microchips and their first shots. Hope will be spayed before going to a home.
This is Daisy

     This little family was days away from being euthanized. Thank you Journey Home for stepping in to rescue them. Puppies are hard work, but the effort has been very rewarding. I can tell seeing them go to forever homes will be bittersweet for all of us.

     Hope is slowly, but surely conquering her anxiety. Our Ottoman has become her comfy napping place. She gets along well with others and is very good at coming when called. She and Snoop have become playmates. However, Hope has the same problem I do when playing with Snoop---convincing the big guy that playtime is over. The difference is Hope is still young and full of energy. She can still play almost as long as Snoop.

     If you are interested in adoption email or Like them on Facebook-     Below is Pepper.

Pub Chatter # 140

   Spent the evening watching the pink hats march in Seattle and Olympia. Damn these people are filled with venom and hate. Of course, they don’t see it. Self-righteousness makes for poor vision. In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis said that a good person is aware of his faults; he knows how bad he is. An evil person sees their self without faults or shortcomings. That little bit of wisdom always seems to play in my head as I listen to snarling people rant about all the hatred, bigotry, and racism that surrounds them and holds them down.

     Love is more difficult to practice than indifference and hate. The tradeoff is that it is more rewarding. Love isn’t silent, however, love doesn’t parade itself. It doesn’t wear a sign saying, “Look at me.” Love bears the wrong done it without surrender. Love does not demean or degrade, not even for the most righteous cause. Love makes no demands.

     Our government has been shut down by those who see themselves as saviors of the downtrodden. They have sold it to the media and sound the trumpet before their benevolence around the clock while vilifying any who disagree. Be not deceived by their self-applauded, nor their so-called altruism. Love is just and justice requires atonement. The “dreamers” are not children, have not been children for years. Neither all they all the college students their benefactors hold up to the public. Their parents entered this country as criminals, maintain them as criminals, and passed on the heritage of lawlessness to these adults who continue to thumb their nose at the laws all the rest of the world obeys.

     Go back to the beginning; enter through the door and then, you will be welcomed. A corrupt party in the government just might extort an amnesty for you, but this will never win you welcome or make you Americans.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Pub Chatter #139

Dog Blog #5

     We are coming to the end of our first week with Hope and her puppies. Everybody is beginning to get settled in. The puppies have begun to explore the entire backyard and produced some amazing sights. Yesterday evening Snoop, our 120 pound Malamute lay down on the patio and let all the puppies swarm on top of him. He really is a gentle giant. Hope is a little less anxious beginning to play Snoop. Getting that much dog wrestling around the living room gets a little loud.

     HyDee loves having dogs her size running around the yard even if they do pull her beard. All seven pups at once is still a bit much for her taste. She uses a whiskey barrel planter as a fortress against the swarming horde. That won’t last long. In another week they will be able to climb in too.

     We are seeing personalities begin to emerge as the puppies get acclimatized to their new surroundings. We are going to be writing bio’s for each of them in the near future to give prospective parents an idea of what to expect. Taking a puppy into your home involves work, commitment, and some expense. I say that not to deter people, but to prepare them because it is the dog that ultimately pays the price for their human’s unpreparedness.

     Dogs are not something a person can morally toss away when the novelty wears off or because they become too much work. They are living, feeling, creatures that form strong attachments to their people. They meet you at the door and miss you when you leave. They will love you when you aren’t very lovable; comfort you when you are blue. Every day they earn their title as man’s best friend.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Pub Chatter #138

     I judge people every day; it’s my job. If you happen to be the sickest person in the Emergency Room, you may welcome my judgment. I am the triage nurse. Who gets care first is my decision so I damn well better have good judgment, lives depend on it. I am not swayed by race, religion, or beauty. I am prejudice in favor of the very young and the very old and have no trouble sleeping with that. I judge, but I do not condemn.

     Those who say they do not judge are either willfully ignorant or liars. Life is a series of judgments that we must live with forever. Our greatest failures and greatest successes are direct outcomes of our ability to discern and act on our judgment. It is when we allow our judgment to sanction condemnation that we have overstepped our humanity in favor of self-proclaimed divinity.

     Personal liberty is the freedom to formulate our own judgments and decide our own values. Unless we are willing to allow each person to do the same, no one is free. I am a gray-headed, fat, white male. You may look at me and think, “Freaking geezer.” You are welcome to do so. Furthermore, you are not required to throw your arms around me and embrace my geezer-hood. When you deny me the right to be a freakin’ geezer or deride me for my choice, you are not judging--you are condemning me for not adhering to your idea of what a person should be.

     This means we do not have to believe alike, look alike, or act alike. We do not have to like people who are not like us. However, we must allow one another the freedom to be who we chose to be. The polarized factions in our society live to condemn, demean and ridicule others as a means of climbing to the top of the moral scale.

     I leave you with a thought from C.S. Lewis. He wrote that a good man knows how bad he is and the better the man, the more clearly he sees his own faults. An evil man thinks he is perfectly okay.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Pub Chatter #137

Dog Blog #4

   Great day on the foster front. Puppies got their shots and everybody did well with the trauma of it all. Next up--microchips. The puppies are venturing farther from the house, climbing the rock wall around the patio, exploring the garden spots and using the automatic watering bowl. The entire group is beginning to form bonds. HyDee has adopted one pup and runs from the rest. The little black pup has chosen Snoop as a surrogate father and playmate. We were especially glad to see Miss Hope and titan touch noses today. That was a big step forward.

     Miss Hope went to see the vet today. She has been extremely anxious since she arrived. The anxiety seems to be triggered by the sound of passing cars. As the crow flies, we live about a half mile from State Hwy 3 and when she is outside the almost constant sound of traffic causes here to race back and forth across the yard. It’s like pacing at flank speed. Cars passing on the street outside our house escalate the behavior even further. We have encouraged her to sit next to us and supplied a generous amount of petting and love. The last few nights Hope has been sleeping on a dog bed next to Faye to help socialize her. I don’t think her previous home environment or foster care stop was very good situations for her or the pups, but Hope is showing it most of all. She was started on doggie trazodone today and we can already see improvement.

     With continued love and attention, she is going to make somebody a great companion. I think she could be a champion Frisbee or agility dog. She is quicker than an illegal border crosser. We would like to do some on leash training and maybe take her to a quiet parking lot to desensitize her to cars. Slowly but surely she is learning house manners. We have a doggie door and to my knowledge, she has never had an accident in the house. All that and a good looker too.

     Have your pet spayed or neutered. Don’t buy, adopt.    

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Pub Chatter #136

Dog Blog #3

   I discovered today that Missy’s real name is Hope. I’m going to call her Miss Hope. She did great yesterday allowing me to insert her microchip. Today, we gave her some calming treats today as anxiety seemed to be getting the better of her. Snoop decided to help and engaged her in some roughhousing that sounded like thunder in our little living room. We are working hard to get her to just sit still beside us for some petting.

     Some of the pups are getting better at that too. We took pictures today to send to Journey Home Rescue. I will be posting these shots and some short bio’s here a few at a time. I hear they will be ready for adoption near the end of February. They are weaned and putting on weight every day. It’s not surprising. They attack the food dishes like CNN reporters after a Trump tweet. They still have to get their chips and puppy shots before being adoption ready. 

     HyDee, overcome by curiosity, let the puppies up close today. She decided their bouncing and tail wagging meant to play. Being a Schnauzer, barking is an essential part of everything HyDee does. The puppies were a little put off by the noise but continued to chase after her. Snoop came up with a new game for the puppies in which he tries to pick them up and when they roll over and submit---he wins. I’m surprised at how gentle he is with them. He is a bit of a klutz. Titan and Sam give the wiggling, scratching kids a wide berth. There is just too much energy in those tiny packages.

     Tomorrow---puppy shots by Nurse Jack.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Pub Chatter #134

Dog Blog #2

   Today we made progress getting the puppies settled in and establishing a routine for feeding and outside time. Everyone was more at ease. The puppies took time to enjoy the yard and chase the older dogs around. One pup got up the courage to bounce up to Snoop and try to get the big guy to play. Snoop was a good sport and very gentle with the puppies. Our other three dogs are still not sure about the wiggling, little nippers with razor sharp teeth and claws like needles.

     Tomorrow is picture day. The puppies will get individual pictures and numbers. It’s tempting to name them as personalities are emerging, but we have to stick with numbers for now. They will get their forever names when they are adopted. In the days ahead we will be sharing with you the personalities we see.

     The puppies have their own room in the house with a piece of plywood blocking the open doorway. Today we had our first puppy escape. I was surprised by the culprit. My money was on the little black pup who had already demonstrated climbing abilities. But, the winner was a little dapple male. He has scaling the wall down to about 30 seconds. We had to raise the bar. So far, no more escapes.  

     More puppy pictures to come. Meanwhile, please like Journey Home Rescue on Facebook and keep following Missy and her puppies progress.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Pub Chatter #135

Dog Blog #1

     Faye and I have set out on an adventure. We are fostering a mama dog named Missy and her seven, count ‘em, seven puppies in conjunction with Journey Home Rescue. Missy and the pups arrived on Sunday night just a day after the adoption of our own rescue dog, Snoop.

     Snoop is a 120 pound Alaskan Malamute. He’s just over a year old. He’s had a few run-ins with the law for escaping his yard and exploring on his own. Nevertheless, he’s a good boy, full of energy and loves to play. I do need to find him a new chew toy. My hands are worn out. I think he has managed to trod on everyone’s toes at least once so far. He doesn’t seem to realize how big he is until he wants something and puts all his weight into pushing for it.

    Missy and her pups arrived last night from Portland. After a brief introduction to our backyard, they came to dinner. Now, we have a couple of real chowhounds of our own, but the seven prong attack on the pups food dish put them to shame. One little one finding now room to get her head into the dish simply climbed on top of the pile and bored down from above. She ends up standing in the bowl.

     The big dogs haven’t quite figured out what to do with the wiggling, wagging balls of fluff. Sam is ignoring them as long as they stay away from his place on the couch. Snoop barks and wants to play with them. The huge Malamute bouncing around her pups terrifies Missy. Titan seems rather bored with the whole process. HyDee is confused. She’s torn between the fascination with having others her size and apprehension over their constant swarming energy.

      Missy is a sweet dog. She loves attention and is high energy. She looks to me like an Aussie Shepherd/Whippet comb. We tried a baby gate to block a door and give her and the pups their own space. Missy immediately jumped over it and announced that for her next trick she’d like do something difficult.

   It’s been a full day, to say the least. Baths for seven stinky puppies was the second order of the day. The first? Well, we all know how cute puppies are, but the thing new puppies owners quickly come to find out is that puppies are pooping, peeing machines. Kennel patrol is a continuous process. Like with all children the most wonderful time of the day is when they are all taking a nap. Like now, ahhhh, peace and quiet.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Pub Chatter #133

   There was a bit of an uproar in my little hometown this week. The owner of a local consignment shop was asked to sell an authentic WWII Nazi flag. I don’t know if she was being mindful of the recent flap over a shop owner’s right to do business or not do business with whom they please. It’s a moot point really since the government has declared itself the final arbiter of business decisions. Anyway, whatever her feeling may be, she put the flag on a sale display which resulted in death threats and an avalanche of wounded snowflake feelings.

     Somehow the very people who would force a shop owner to display a rainbow flag over the owner’s objections have no qualms about requiring a shop owner to refuse to sell a Nazi flag. Am I the only one to see how hypocritical this is? Hypocrisy aside, such reasoning demonstrates a clear deficit of logical thought.

     Although I have not personally examined the flag, pictures and reports indicate this is no nylon, mass-produced flag suitable for a KKK rally. It is likely a war souvenir brought home by a WWII veteran. Some people have said it belongs in a museum. That’s probably true, however, there is a large, profitable market for WWII memorabilia and serious collectors are not squeamish about which side the artifact came from. Buyers and sellers are marketing historical collectibles, not political ideologies or racial hatred.

    The sad part of all this is that there are so many pampered, weaklings looking for something to offend them so that they may exalt their victimhood. This kind of attitude seeks only to feed the ego and elicit sympathy where none is due.

     I stand for the Stars and Stripes. I served in the military that flew it. I am known to salute the Stars and Bars too. The US is the greatest country world and I’m proud to be American. It is honesty that compels me to admit that ours is not the banner of sainthood. I believe that men have pillaged, murdered and even committed genocide, under that banner. But, it’s my banner and if it offends you, too damn bad. That flag is still a symbol of freedom in a land where business owners once had the right to do with their businesses as they willed.

     Oh, by the way, does anybody know if that Nazi flag is still for sale?