The Fireside Post
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A Vet on Jules Street

From a facebook post by my Brother’s son:  A Vet on Jules Street (A haibun) It seems like an odd duality really, in regards to time. Memory can do this. I’m taken back to when I was a boy sitting on my Grandparent’s front porch on Jules Street; so many years ago, but just yesterday. […]

23May2016 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Sadness, Depression, Grief, The Deep Struggles of Life

Let’s get personal about the issues of sadness, depression, and grief.  I can see these things playing out in my family – my parents, siblings, in-laws, my children, my nieces and nephews. These sensations are not all-or-nothing.  There seem to be degrees of sadness, a continum.  My personal life has covered the spectrum.  I believe […]

17May2016 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Shouts of Despair Go Unheard

I work with others.  Mostly volunteer work – but I find my self in the horrid trenches of the front line battle against despair.  The Four Horsemen of Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, and Despair march the earth seeking human souls.  What do I see?  What do I hear? Last week a man happened upon me – […]

17May2016 | | Comments Off on Shouts of Despair Go Unheard | Continued
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Where is Woody Guthrie

It was hot. And dry. The wind blew and a dust storm raged. People finally just started calling it a dust bowl. The Midwest was overwhelmed with drought, the country overwhelmed with depression. People got tired. They got hungry. They got desperate. They could not feed their children. But they heard a story, a story […]

15May2016 | | 4 comments | Continued
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“…misogynistic narcissist or the underwhelming oligarch?”

My son, Bryan, used the title of this post in a sentence the other day.  He was referring to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  Well?  What do you think?  I looked up the words to be sure I understood what Bryan was suggesting – very interesting. Donald Trump is a misogynistic narcissist – among other […]

4May2016 | | 1 comment | Continued
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“…an organized, nationwide system of care…”

Civilized industrial nations have searched for many years for an appropriate response to public health.  Individual health care financing in the United States was somehow attached to one’s job as a part of the benefit package.  A good job came with good health insurance.  By 2008 there were fifty (50) million individuals without health insurance. […]

18Apr2016 | | 3 comments | Continued
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More Notes On Political Correctness

We have insisted for a while now that ‘political’ correctness’ is simply about manners.  My standard line is simple:  political correctness was one thing in my fourth grade classroom with Mrs. Kingsborrow, another thing on the elementary school playground, and quite another in my mother’s kitchen.  The political right wing of America is embroiled in […]

13Apr2016 | | Comments Off on More Notes On Political Correctness | Continued
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The “Shoulds” of Life Have Me Down

I have been a responsible man for most of my life.  Some would challenge that point – because my failures have stood out like atomic bombs.  As a Senior Citizen I don’t face too many life changing events or decisions.  But I do have some responsibilities and those become the burrs under my saddle – […]

10Apr2016 | | Comments Off on The “Shoulds” of Life Have Me Down | Continued
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Karma and Life Lessons

Shorthand, I know what it is, but can’t read it. Many years ago at Lowy Enterprises. I received a promotion to work with Dave in Accounts Receivable. At high school I refused typing and shorthand because I didn’t plan on being any man’s secretary, Hah. So, one of my new jobs was to take dictation […]

5Apr2016 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Anger Disguised As Political and Religious Reasoning

Most of the extremist people I know, left or right, have troubled backgrounds.  There is no other way to say it.  Today I am going to use a dear troubled friend as an example.  Of course, the name has been changed.  Some will argue that this is mere anecdotal reasoning and thus not comprehensive enough […]

7Mar2016 | | Comments Off on Anger Disguised As Political and Religious Reasoning | Continued
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Our Social Media Audience Influences What We Share

Coming to you straight from St. Joseph, Missouri – a place I call home.  Our homes are built on many years of experience.  What appears to be clutter is often a memory of time gone by.  Most of my social media ‘friends’ are from around northwest Missouri.  St. Joseph schools educated me, work took me […]

3Mar2016 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Another Senseless Death from Drug Addiction

Another young man from St. Joseph died this past weekend – apparently from long term drug addiction.  I knew him.  I knew him when he was about seven years old.  I also knew his family.  He was second generation drug addict.  Not his parents, as far as I know, but many of his aunts and […]

2Mar2016 | | 1 comment | Continued
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The Progressive Vote Will Not Be Cast For Hillary Clinton

NPR and MSNBC want you to believe that it doesn’t matter who the nominee is. Tow the line anyway. the person, the character of the nominee is irrelevant. Fox News wants you to believe the same thing. They are wrong.

1Mar2016 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Thank you for your donation

Thank You!!! We are grateful you find value in our content.

20Jan2016 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Is Ted Cruz The Republican Obama?

Bear with me please.  Barack Obama stormed the castle in 2008.  He conquered the dragon – and no one saw it coming – well, perhaps Dick Durban.  But everyone today concedes that Obama is a masterful politician.  Like him or not, agree with him or not, Obama came to play hardball.  He came with masterful […]

15Jan2016 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Mixed Blessings, Home Remodeling, and painting the carpet

I have been furiously cleaning house for visitors over the holidays.  I am faithful about this chore, every eleven years I clean the house whether it needs it or not.  This time it is so bad that I decided the best way to cover the dirt was to simply paint it. I have been painting […]

22Dec2015 | | Comments Off on Mixed Blessings, Home Remodeling, and painting the carpet | Continued
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Jelly and Rocket Science

Someone I love has a favorite expression, “it’s not rocket science”, he will say this when someone is having difficulty understanding his direction. Last Summer I attempted to make Elderberry Jelly. It had been nearly two decades since the last time I made this loved delicacy. Nearly every where I have lived as an adult, […]

19Dec2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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A Rebuttal of Trump Criticism….

My colleague, Nancy, posted this on facebook – we thought it rose to the level of an observation worth documenting and sharing.  Two videos follow – one with Chuck Todd and a second with excerpts from a ‘focus group’ that seems to portray Trump supporters as fearful, less educated, and naive Americans. (Note:  Nancy is […]

15Dec2015 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Does Race Really Matter?

Transcript from Walla Walla Union Bulletin, Walla Walla, Washington December 20, 1950 Seattle (AP) – A blow on the head with a baseball bat in a neighborhood altercation was fatal Tuesday to Merritt Scotten, 33 year old Seattle pipe fitter. He died of a skull fracture Saturday night. Leon W. Venson 28 a neighbor has […]

25Nov2015 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Barking Dogs and Refugees

Nearly thirty years ago, I was living through a particularly rough patch of life. My husband and I were divorcing. All the usual ugliness that comes with divorce was going full force. My family was literally diminishing before my eyes. My oldest son was in the Navy on board the USS Forrestal which was in […]

18Nov2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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There is No Such Thing As Christianity – Only Christians

al-Qaeda, ISIS, ISIL, Sunni, Shiite, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Mosque in St. Joseph, Missouri – all seen as representative of Islam.  Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Jehovah Witness, 7th Day Adventist, Presbyterian, Clarksdale Missouri Baptist, Mormon, and United Methodist – all seen as representative of Christianity.  These diverse religious organizations claim the mantel of their respective […]

16Nov2015 | | Comments Off on There is No Such Thing As Christianity – Only Christians | Continued
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Terrorism – Let Go and Let God?

The world walks a fine line between revenge and justice, discrimination and acceptance, fear and love. There will be no justice until we all stop acting out of fear.  Promoting Islamophobia is an act of fear – not faith. These are serious times for serious people. Clearly religious wackiness on both sides only serves to […]

15Nov2015 | | Comments Off on Terrorism – Let Go and Let God? | Continued
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The Cost of Illegal Immigration

Sometimes, I think with my heart and project my motherly instincts and experiences in an effort to understand others. In the case of illegal immigrants, I have often thought, if I were a Mexican mother living in the deplorable poverty and enduring the crimes that, reportedly, occur in Mexico. If the opportunity came, I would […]

13Nov2015 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Starbucks vs Christmas Cheer or Lack of

OK, here’s my tilt on the subject. I don’t recall Starbucks declaring an affinity to any religion. Not that they haven’t, I just haven’t heard anything about it. They are a business in the business to make money by making coffee. I have never had a Starbucks product. Probably never will, I find spending more […]

12Nov2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Social Regulation, Political Correctness, Merry Christmas, and the Media

Sometimes we hear someone huffing with anger, “I can say Merry Christmas if I want to!!!”  And they are correct in their assertion – while being incorrect in their anger.  Some act as if Congress passed a law against saying Merry Christmas – no such thing has happened, and it will never happen in the […]

10Nov2015 | | Comments Off on Social Regulation, Political Correctness, Merry Christmas, and the Media | Continued
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Ben Carson Humor – 2015

Ben Carson is that neuro guy – which seems to be an enigma given his loose tongue.  No matter – there are some really creative people running around with high tech opportunities to mix humor, politics, and technology. Enjoy:  

9Nov2015 | | Comments Off on Ben Carson Humor – 2015 | Continued
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Life After Tuberculosis

As suggested by a good friend and cousin of mine, I will try to shine a light on a personal experience regarding Tuberculosis, the “Curse of King Tut”. The year was 1965 early Autumn. My mother’s estranged husband was taken to Mount Vernon, MO. This was at the time a ‘sanitarium’ for individuals with ‘lung […]

31Oct2015 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Tuberculosis and Political Correctness

My father was born in 1923.  His would be considered an upbringing in poverty.  With many children in the home, the depression, and some abuse of alcohol by his father – life was difficult.  Difficult lives are almost always made more difficult by prejudice.  In a strange twist of irony, political correctness in the early […]

22Oct2015 | | Comments Off on Tuberculosis and Political Correctness | Continued
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Walking the Roof of Methodist Hospital – Circa 1972

It was literally ‘the good old days’.  Data Processing.  No MIS or IT or IS.  We processed data – and the data came in the form of punched cards.  Everything was ‘batch’ processing – almost no ‘real time’ interaction.  But that is an aside for the purposes of this post.  This story is about walking […]

17Oct2015 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Political Correctness – Applying Manners Across The Board

I grew up in a lower class mixed race neighborhood.  At age twenty-two, with no college training, I went to work in an office, wearing a coat and tie.  I was rude and crude.  But I have to say that by today’s standards we were all somewhat rude and crude – times change and polite […]

14Oct2015 | | Comments Off on Political Correctness – Applying Manners Across The Board | Continued
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Mr. Mullinax

I was once a young man, in a land far away. Well, about two miles from where I sit today.  Methodist Hospital hired me as a Computer Operator three weeks before my first child was born.  Actually, Larry Koch hired me – he was the Computer Operations Manager.  His boss was John Mullinax.  John was […]

13Oct2015 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Stop Fighting

Most of us do not know how to fight.  Sadly, most of us think we do know.  We are proud of our wit, our sarcasm, our humor at the expense of others.  If not, then we act as if we are in control – proudly and falsely saying that we would not ‘stoop to that […]

9Oct2015 | | Comments Off on Stop Fighting | Continued
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Perceptions and Homemade Bread

Before I get much further, I just want to say this is not, a crying in your beer or milk, sob story of a life in poverty. Now that’s out of the way and here we go. I am the second child of the nine children my mother gave birth to. If my mother was […]

4Oct2015 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Quotes from Yogi Berra

1. “It ain’t over till it’s over.” 2. “It’s deja vu all over again.” 3. “I usually take a two-hour nap from 1 to 4.” 4. “Never answer an anonymous letter.” 5. “We made too many wrong mistakes.” 6. “You can observe a lot by watching.” 7. “The future ain’t what it used to be.” […]

24Sep2015 | | Comments Off on Quotes from Yogi Berra | Continued
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Ladies and Gentlemen, Germans and Gents….

Another song from childhood: Ladies and gentlemen, Germans and gents, Cross-eyed mosquitoes and bowlegged ants, I come before you because I am not behind you to tell you something I know nothing of. One bright day in the middle of the night two dead boys got up to fight back to back they faced each […]

6Sep2015 | | Comments Off on Ladies and Gentlemen, Germans and Gents…. | Continued
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A Horse, A Flea, And Three Blind Mice

I learned this song as a child, taught it to my children and some grandchildren. A horse and a flea and the three blind mice were sitting on a tombstone rolling dice, the horse fell down and landed on the flea, oops said the flea there’s a horse on me. Boom Boom aint it great […]

6Sep2015 | | Comments Off on A Horse, A Flea, And Three Blind Mice | Continued
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I Am Woman, Stand By Your Man – Helen Reddy vs. Tammy Wynette

Helen Reddy gained notoriety on her first hit “I Am Woman” (1972).  Her hit stood in stark contrast to Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man” (1968). Released just four years apart – these two songs reflected the division in a changing culture from the 1960’s to the 1970’s.  In 2015 we stand at another reflection […]

27Aug2015 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Hammering Bill Cosby

Judd Apatow is a comedian – with skills perhaps not equal to Bill Cosby – but astoundingly accurate when portraying the beleaguered comedian. Apatow uses Cosby’s own style to hammer home a point – a point that must be made. This routine is entirely appropriate and dead on: Here is the link  

21Jul2015 | | Comments Off on Hammering Bill Cosby | Continued
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Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road? SARAH PALIN: The chicken crossed the road because, gosh-darn it, he’s a maverick! BARACK OBAMA: Let me be perfectly clear, if the chickens like their eggs they can keep their eggs. No chicken will be required to cross the road to surrender her eggs. Period. JOHN McCAIN: My […]

12Jul2015 | | Comments Off on Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road? | Continued
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When Sadness Overwhelms Us

All of us experience grief.  As children we see our grand parents pass.  We lose our pets, great aunts and uncles.  We lose games of school sports.  We fail to make the team.  These are the experiences that help prepare us for the more grave loss of parents, siblings, spouses.  Sadly some of lose our […]

11Jun2015 | | Comments Off on When Sadness Overwhelms Us | Continued
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When Seniors Look For Love

OK – right off I have to admit that I am a senior.  That is the demilitarized zone between middle age and elderly.  This is but one account of love in a life well lived, and the hope for love yet to come.  Life has bestowed many blessings on this old man.  Good women have […]

10Jun2015 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Blonde Jokes

“An old, blind cowboy wanders into an all-girl biker bar by mistake… He finds his way to a bar stool and orders a shot of Jack Daniels. After sitting there for a while, he yells to the bartender, ‘Hey, you wanna hear a blonde joke?’ The bar immediately falls absolutely silent. In a very deep, […]

31May2015 | | Comments Off on Blonde Jokes | Continued
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Stupid Jokes (jokes about being stupid)

Captured from the internet: Recently, when I went to McDonald’s I saw on the menu that you could have an order of 6, 9 or 12 Chicken McNuggets. I asked for a half dozen nuggets. ‘We don’t have half dozen nuggets,’ said the teenager at the counter. ‘You don’t?’ I replied. ‘We only have six, […]

31May2015 | | Comments Off on Stupid Jokes (jokes about being stupid) | Continued
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Puns

We picked these up from the internet: .. A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months. .. When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A. .. The batteries were given out free of charge. .. A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail. .. A will is a dead giveaway. .. […]

28Jan2015 | | Comments Off on Puns | Continued
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Advice From Farmer John

Farmer John and I do not always agree on politics – but he does have some simple but wise thoughts about life.  I found this posted on facebook: Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong. Keep skunks and bankers at a distance. Life is simpler when you plow around the stump. A bumble […]

15Jan2015 | | Comments Off on Advice From Farmer John | Continued
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Trial of John Doy

TRIAL OF JOHN DOY.In the month of January, 1859, Wm. A. Newman, of Platte County, had a favorite servant to run away from his home, in Weston, to Lawrence, Kansas. Dick being an active, intelligent and skillful carpenter, Newman offered a large reward, and in the month of February, 1859, at a point fourteen miles […]

9Jan2015 | | Comments Off on Trial of John Doy | Continued
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“It Was So Cold…” (Cold Jokes)

From the internet: It was so cold . . . we had to stop eating with metal cutlery. Some people walked around for days with spoons or forks stuck to their tongues! It was so cold… hitchhikers were holding up pictures of thumbs! It was so cold… roosters were rushing into Kentucky Fried Chicken and […]

8Jan2015 | | Comments Off on “It Was So Cold…” (Cold Jokes) | Continued
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The Absurdy Of Private Humor

My friend has a girlfriend – she lives in another State.  I assumed that refers to geography rather than a mindset.  He told me that he called her and they talked for two hours.  He called the next day and she reported that she is running out of minutes so she cannot talk again until […]

10Dec2014 | | Comments Off on The Absurdy Of Private Humor | Continued
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Sexting, The Secret Codes of Youth

I am right up front on this one.  I had no idea.  But this should come as no great surprise to anyone.  Perhaps a degree of initial shock – but after some brief contemplation – not surprising.  R U getting this?  The coded language of texting and internet chatting had to contain sexual references.  Sex […]

9Dec2014 | | Comments Off on Sexting, The Secret Codes of Youth | Continued
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“Let It Begin With Me”

Occasionally we hear quotes, slogans, sayings, something that seems innocuous on the surface, but resonates with wisdom upon further inspection.  Al-Anon, a program for the families and friends of Alcoholics, has official slogans which are raised to the level of proverb, of wisdom, of scripture in the program.  One such saying is “Let It Begin […]

8Dec2014 | | 4 comments | Continued