Monday, May 17, 2021

The Lilacs Have Gone By.

 I look for this column every year in May, when the lilacs "go by" here. Posting it here so I won't lose it.

June 22, 1996

ELLEN GOODMAN and Boston Globe

The lilacs have gone by. I take note of this with an unexpected snap of regret as I take my morning commute from the kitchen to the driveway.

The flowers had made their annual appearance on the bushes that stand beside my backdoor. For two weeks, they had permeated the air with a seductive promise.

I planned to take up their offer, to spend time in their company. But now the last of the blooms has turned a crusty deadhead shade of beige. And I had paid only the most transient of visits, enjoyed only a contact high, a small whiff of their possibilities.

This morning, it is the absence of lilacs that finally stops me in my tracks. I brake belatedly to pay the toll of attention to what is now missing. A year's worth of lilacs, an entire life span of flowers.

I repeat the phrase in my mind: The lilacs have gone by. It is what gardeners say. But in fact, the lilacs stayed in one place and I had gone by them, hurrying, on the way, on the move.

Behind me in this small city garden there are irises in bloom. The peonies are on the way, the ants already feasting the sweet sap off their buds. They will be followed by day lilies and black-eyed Susans, by asters and fall. Is it seasonal, this consciousness of the racing pulse of daily life? Is the awareness of flowers "going by" more than a banal metaphor for transience? Is it, rather, some alarm coded into our DNA as if it were a clock?

The days are still lengthening, but lately my friends have been wistful about time, the common currency of their lives. They talk of spending too much time on what are dubbed essentials. Too many hours seem to be taken out of their week, as if the week were a paycheck, too much withheld before they get to some small luxury, a moment of discretionary spending.

At lunch last week, a woman not given to maudlin cost accounting had figured out on her actuarial table that she has probably 30 more chances to see the pink ladyslippers in the woods. Thirty is a lot said the woman who is approaching 50 herself. But it is also, suddenly, finite.

This morning, dangling out of my briefcase is a plastic bag of excess black-eyed Susans that I dug up in a rush last night. Flowers for a friend. On the phone last week, we talked about the sense of channel-surfing through life. Work, click, kids, click, parents, click, errands, click. With split-second timing it was possible to cover everything - but only if we stay on the surface. What happens when life becomes a list, we asked each other? When even the pleasurable things become items to check off? What happens when we are getting through the days? What are we getting through and to? But our thoughts were interrupted by call-waiting.

Sometimes, you catch a glimpse of something in human nature that longs to spend time lavishly. To relish as well as to produce. On a late spring morning, there is a wistful reminder in this natural datebook. How quickly things "go by."Life and lilacs.

Write to Ellen Goodman at The Washington Post Writers Group, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071

Friday, May 22, 2015

Memorial Day 2015 Great Uncle William

" The conduct of the American troops since their entry into the sector of Baccarat, their strength
under fire, their ardor in the conflict, is, in every respect worthy of praise."
 A worthy read of the history of the 168th Infantry and a list of the dead with information about each man.
 Included is my Grandfather's older brother...
STALEY, William A. page 91, photograph, 102434
Private Company L
Died May 30, 1918 at Baccarat, France, in Evacuation Hospital No. 2. Buried May 31st in
Baccarat Cemetery, Grave No. 90. Relative's address: Miss Alva Staley, Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Staley did not recover from the shock of the tremendous explosion in the gas attack in time to get
his mask on and died a short time later.
 Private Staley died as became an American soldier,
enduring his suffering without a word."

Forever 18.

Later Buried at Council Bluffs, IA

Friday, July 18, 2014

Showtime, what a great game!

From the twitter feed of
Kevin White @KWhiteOWH
-Showtime, Ankeny, Iowa. Thomas Jefferson (14-24) vs. Ankeny (17-19) in a Class 4-A substate baseball opener.

-Matt Brophy for TJ (5-2, 2.22); Nate Schweers for Ankeny (5-2, 1.88).

-Jackets go in order. Brophy works around a two-out HBP. Scoreless after 1.

-Thomas Jefferson has six batters and six strikeouts. Scoreless after 1 1/2.

-Nice play 2b Jacob Jones on a ball up the middle with 2 out and man on 1st. Flips to 2nd to end it. Scoreless after 2, TJ/Ankeny.

-8 TJ batters, 8 strikeouts.

-Wow. Big senior lefty Nate Schweers strikes out all 9 TJ batters first time through the order. Scoreless after 2 1/2.

-Schweers 2-run 2B with 2 outs and 2 strikes puts Ankeny up 2-0.

-11 TJ batters, 11 strikeouts.

-12th batter, Jonathon Love, puts 1st ball in play, reaches on E-3. But Schweers gets his 12th K in 13 batters to end the inning.

-Schweers 2 Ks and a comebacker. 14 Ks among 15 outs through 5. 2-0 Ankeny.

-Run-of-the-mill 3-4-3 putout helps TJ keep Ankeny off the scoreboard again. 2-0 Hawks through 5.

-TJ's Brandon Schnider breaks up Schweer's no-hit bid with 2 down in the 6th with a 2B over the RF's head.

-Williamson infield 1B. Jackets have tying runs aboard, 1st and 3rd, 2 down.

-Love a bloop single behind 1st. Schnider scores and Midkiff waves home Williamson, who scores to tie it.

-Great baserunning by Love on the play. Bloop 2B, takes 3rd on throw home, scores when throw from RF goes to backstop. TJ leads this game 3-2

-We are going to the bottom of the 6th. TJ which had 14 of its 1st 16 batters whiff, leads 3-2.

-It was also great baserunning by Williamson on that play, scoring from 1st on a blooper, and Midkiff gets kudos for sending him.

-BB and sac bunt for Ankeny. Man on 1st, 1 down.

-F-9, 4-3. TJ is 3 outs from victory, leading 3-2 after 6.

-Schweers has 17 Ks through 7 innings. He'll be the loser unless Ankeny can come up with a run in the B7. Here we go.

-Brophy strikes out the 1st batter. 8 and 9 batters coming up.

-Lenzini squirts a 3-2 pitch through the right side for a single.

-Outstanding pressure play by SS Love, who goes to his right and fires to 2nd for the force. Two
down, man on 1st.

-Capesius strokes 0-1 pitch to left for a single. 1st and 2nd, 2 down

-Flies out to RF. Final score: Thomas Jefferson 3, Ankeny 2.

-Sports. Amazing.
Kevin White @KWhiteOWH
-@EvanBlandOWH   (Tweet from Norwalk-Lewis Central game)
News of TJ's 3-2 upset win over Ankeny making plenty of Norwalk folks happy. "We're playing at home," a player screams.
 So was Ankeny :-)
Go Jackets!

Monday, January 14, 2013


 I could almost agree to licensing every gun owner, if every VOTER were licensed.
 A licensed voter should have the same level of self control, knowledge & competence as gun owners are required to have with their weapons.
 Ballots are greater than bullets, historically have led to greater destruction, and should be handled with greater care.
Before you get angry and indignant about 'voter's rights' you should know this, the natural right to self protection (keeping and bearing arms) is protected from infringement by the 2nd Amendment.
There is no constitutional right to vote.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Twas the night before SCOTUS

Twas the night before SCOTUS,
and throughout Twittersphere,
2/3 rds are hopeing -overturn will be here !

@delrayser put out cookies and milk
Ginsberg's lactose intolerant,
he'll leave her some Silk.

@jamestaranto cant sleep , with excitement he's filled,
keeps HA HA HA HA-ing till each lefty is drilled.

When what to my twinkling monitor appears
but thousands of Tweets saying SCOTUS draws near

Chief Justice Roberts,
leaps out of his sled
with a thousand page decision
"Obamacare's dead"

Then he jumps to the limo ,
away he does dash,
as Barack's crown achievement
comes down with a crash.

"Down death panels,
down mandates,
down HHS discretion"
 and Progs did cry out ,
from every direction.

and as commerce clause faded
 in morning's new light,
Thank you SCOTUS from all
 for getting this right.

---I hope.
Crap, I'm turning into Aaron Sorkin,

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

There's No "I " In Teamster

Song Lyrics from Nat.lampoon's "There's no "I" in Teamster"
Presented in honor of the Labor Day threat from Junior Hoffa:

There's no "I " in Teamster cause Teamsters are a team
There's no "I " in Teamster, it is a union dream
There's no "I " in Teamster, there is an "M"& "E"
'Cause Teamsters were made for you and me!

There's an "R" and "A" in Teamster, there also is a "T"
But there are no rats in Teamster, they disappear magically
We're a brotherhood of men who share a common line,
That's why Teamsters have no rats.

There's "S","A","M" in Teamster you can be sure of that,
I' ve known a lot of fine 'Sam' s , not one of them was a rat,
Except for Sam Gravada , who turned State's evidence
And Sammy The Rat they turned up dead.

There's no "I " in Teamster cause Teamsters are a team,
You're 'wid' us or 'agin' us, there is no in between,
It's better to be with us, you can just ask Sammy The Rat,
If you could make his headless body talk,
If you could make his headless body talk!

~~~Zune , Rhapsody, and Amazon have this avaliable, if you want the tune,
the rest of the album looks awful, though...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Captain America

Saw it with my Wife, High School aged daughters at midnight last night.
My Wife liked the romance, the girls loved the movie,

I did too.

All of these patriotic virtues are displayed by the 90 lb. Steve Rogers.
I got a little misty eyed at scenes in Camp Lehigh from that gutsy, determined underdog.
When he gets transmogrified into Captain America, the hero he has always been on the inside becomes visible to all.
Nice Stan Lee cameo. Nuff said.
Do stay all the way through the stirring music in the credits to see a preview of 'The Avengers'.
The Girls weren't familiar with the story, and were a little confused by the ending in the modern day and ( as avid romance novel readers) were sad that Steve missed his dance.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Growthless recovery

I'll take Bush's "Expanding Recession"" over Obama's
"Growthless Recovery"

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Everybody say freedom !

"Happy Happy Happy #4thofjuly"

I love to see the fresh patriotism of immigrants.
It gives me hope for the future of America.
It's a Beautiful country.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Obama was raised Indonesian,

As a young man lived quite Dionysian.

From Wright, Ayers, Dohrn,
Alinsky; he learned scorn

For governance not strictly Keynesian.


Thursday, November 25, 2010


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today,
and creats a vision for tomorrow.

-Melody Beattie

For the past 9 years, Bellevue,NE Wal-Mart associates design, plot, and till a mile-long message to the men and women flying in and out of Offutt AFB:

"Shotton said his message offers gratitude for the pilots and flight crews who take off and land from nearby Offutt Air Force Base. He said the people at the base have christened the area Freedom Fields.

"Thank you for freedom," he said. "Again, we take that for granted so many times, and thank God we live in a country we do, and thank God you all are doing what you do." "

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Review of Window Lift Motor

Originally submitted at Advance Auto Parts

Product Features:

  • 100% computer-tested at 3 points during the manufacturing process
  • Engineered for reliable performance
  • Assembled with precisely the correct amount of lubricant
  • Designed for quiet operation and a l...

Learn from my FAIL

By Terry_Jim from Council Bluffs,IA on 10/10/2010


3out of 5

Pros: Fits and functions

Cons: Reuse old bolts clips, Difficult to attach reg

Car & Truck: Auto Enthusiast, Casual Driver

A fine , fitting, functional motor, BUT: If you haven't done this job before, buy the entire regulator and motor for easy installation. Otherwise,first tape window closed, remove old motor-without removing regulator- install new motor on door, use 2 hands to release spring tension from regulator, and 2 hands to remove the plastic spool and whatchamacallit from the old unit and put on new.
I was 2 hands short, and the spool came unwound, resulting in an epic struggle that caused me to buy the entire unit- which comes with new bolts and door panel clips, neither of which come with this motor.


My Review of Window Regulator

Originally submitted at Advance Auto Parts

Dorman Window Regulators are direct replacements that have been redesigned to improve known failure points.

Don't just buy motor, BUY THIS

By Terry_Jim from Council Bluffs, IA on 10/10/2010


5out of 5

Pros: Includes EVERYTHING, Easy To Use

Cons: Fragile Door panel clips

Car & Truck: Casual Driver

I bought just a motor, but the regulator came apart when I was installing it. after an epic 3 hour battle, I purchased this. Unlike the plain motor, this kit has everything you need- new bolts for the motor and regulator, new door panel clips, heck, even the bag it comes in can be used to replace torn up plastic lining the door. If you havent done this before, you wont save money by buying the barebones replacement motor. If it's time to replace the motor, replace the regulator too and save yourself some time and struggle.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

YOU BLEW IT UP!! , Oh , never mind...

You half expect to see Charlton Heston beating the sand here , don't you ?

"Oh my God. I'm back. I'm home. All the time it was... We finally, really, did it. YOU MANIACS!

Around the bend from our place, on the new beautiful 24th Street bridge over Interstate 80
in Council Bluffs, the Iowa West Foundation (the philanthropic organization funded by casinos) has paid $3,000,000 to erect 4 pointy,twisted, partialy rusty structures.

When we saw the first rusty, jagged spires of "Odyssey" erected, the kids said that they looked like the Shards-O-Glass pops in the satiric anti-tobacco ad.

The bridge is at the first exit in Iowa on Eastbound I-80 from Omaha, Nebraska.
I thought those prickly things were like wrapping Council Bluffs' (and Iowa's) welcome mat with barbed wire.

Title: Paley’s “Odyssey” Creates a Destination in Council Bluffs, Iowa from Iowa West Public Art on Vimeo.

The artwork is complete, and NOW I see the important artistic statement in the completed structures. There is a message of warning here, and "Odyssey" is the perfect name.

As Circe warned Odysseus about the Sirens in Homer's "Odyssey" (Thanks, Yahoo search) Paley's "Odyssey" sculpture warns travelers what happens to those who follow the siren call.

They look like shipwrecks.

Consider the shipwrecked lives of gambling addicts- the folks casinos depend on for as 30%-50% of their revenue.
It took Tens of Millions of dollars lost at casinos for IowaWest Foundation to spend $3 Million to fund this display, making Paley's Odyssey fitting, and an ironic bite of the hand that fed him.

Art,It IS indeed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

BP Gulf Claims Money

BP has pledged $20 Billion to help pay for the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon accident.

President Obama has instructed that BP not be involved with the distribution of that money.

If you believe you have a claim which is
not being paid adequately,
or in a timely manner,
call the Gulf Repayment Hotline:
-a tip of the hat to Rich Galen,
BP How to make a claim BP clean up fund BP reembursement money BP damages BP oil spill claims

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Miss Teen Beauty Queen

Making Dad Proud.

Note the "tan line" where her gloves were.

Go, go, goalie!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Worry ?

To paraphrase LBJ,
When the latest MAD Magazine arrived in the Oval Office,
BHO said, "Well, that's it.
If we've lost Alfred E. Neuman,
we've lost the idiots."

Monday, February 01, 2010

The National Debt Road Trip

The folks at Political Math likens the growth of government debt to a road trip.

For most of the first 150 years the car idled along at 5mph
Then in the depression and WWII FDR upped it to 40 mph.
Truman backed down the debt at -20 mph
Avg. was 3 mph till Reagan 50mph.
GHWB 63 mph
Clinton 18 MPH
GWB 64 mph the fastest in history.

Obama's own 8 year plan
shows that he plans to drive the debt car at 174 mph.

My brother said "Obama accelerates to 174,
puts his feet up on the dash and complains at how fast the last guy was speeding ! "
See the video here:

Another great illustration:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Misplaced obsession

A CNN report: thousands of Avatar fans write in an internet fan forum that they are depressed, even suicidal when they find that real reality is not as fantastic as a fantasy CGI cartoon movie.

In related news, from the Night At The Museum forum:
"Why can't dinosaur bones and wax figures come to life after sunset?
I may end it all."

In related news, from the Princess and the Frog forum:
"Why can't I live as a frog in a swamp with an alligator who plays the trumpet like Louis Armstrong?
I could just die."

In related news, from the Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel forum:
"Why don't the chipmunks in my neighborhood sing and dance, instead of biting, clawing, and peeing all over my hands when I try to put them in the clothes I made for them?
I'm going to jump off a bridge."

Seriously, though, can I get a pair of Barcaloungers upholstered in Na'vi hide? Because if you can't live in a world with furniture covered in blue leather flecked with otherworldly bioluminesence, why would you want to live?

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Police stop generous Ind. 5th-grader with $10,000
(AP) – 22 hours ago

SELMA, Ind. — Police say a fifth-grader handed out about $300 to others on the bus ride to his eastern Indiana school. Problem is, they say, the cash was among some $10,000 he took from his grandparents' safe.

Delaware County Sheriff George Sheridan says the boy was riding the bus to Selma Elementary School when he handed out the money on Friday, the last school day before Christmas vacation began.

Children who received the ones, fives and twenties told teachers and the principal, and the sheriff's department was called.

Officers found the boy carrying the rest of the cash, which was returned to his grandparents. Police weren't certain what he intended to do with the money or how he got it from the safe.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

The boy misses the point of generosity.
Is it a gift if it costs the giver nothing?

In a related story, the Senate votes this morning for a 'generous' health care take over that will cost them nothing, as they and their staff, and their families wont participate in it.
It builds a framework for the sort of liberty stifling, European styled, soft fascism that will cost my children, and their children, the American Dream- Freedom to succeed or fail .

You will hear the Senate majority call this a "Christmas gift" to Americans, a newsie already called Senate passage,"A Christmas gift to the President". They have that Selma,IN 5th grader's understanding of gifts. They are reaching into the pockets of unborn generations to give this. It cost them nothing except an extension of the usual 3 day work week of the Senate.

Generosity? Look at the Christmas story for true generosity.

The God who made us,
willingly gave of himself,

gave his Son.

We, the undeserving needy
can turn to Him ,
and receive his gift:

Redemption, Salvation, New Life.
Precious gifts
that cost Him the lifeblood of His Son.

Freely given, freely received.

Merry Christmas, friends.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Big 'Ol Box Of Rocks

I'm sure I speak for big brothers everywhere when I say,
"Nuh Uh, Santa. She's lyin' !!!"

Presented in UltraTechnaVistaPana Lazy Half S Vision

Too cute, "Box Of Rocks" by the Song Trust.
Here is a beautiful song called "Bring Him Home, Santa".

You will cry,
it's O.K.

You're welcome,
Merry Christmas.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Opposite of Depression

A psychologist, noting the upswing in counseling appointments around the holidays said something profound-
"The opposite of depression isn’t ‘Yippee!’
The opposite of depression is gratitude."

Read this article.

Happy Thanksgiving Day !!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Hey, I got one ahead of the curve!!

It isn't often you can visit here
and read something ahead of the curve
(or even a recent post)
and don't think it will happen again, but it happened September 14th.
read " O "- The Mini Series.
The only thing missing are styrofoam columns.

THIS WEEK catches up.

A platter of fresh Guinea pigs for them!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I Never knew they were getting $billions in my stimulus bill.

"Knock, Knock."

Who's there?


"ACORN who??"

"C'mon, Mr President, open the door!"