Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Quick and the Dead Tired

This will be an uneven post. Here at stately Jarlsberg mansion, we not only had the tile guys descend on us with a vengeance, we were also surprised to receive visits from a carpenter, two plumbers, and some cabinet guys who took the fronts off all our kitchen cabinets AND the cabinet which held our microwave and oven. And still does - because they're gone too.

Since we don't have a stovetop installed either, we were looking at a future of food as cold as Nancy Pelosi's heart. Fortunately, we were saved by the miracle of capitalism (and Chinese slave labor) thanks to a $35 Sunbeam microwave oven from Target. We may still have to have hot dogs for every meal, but by gosh they'll at least be hot hot dogs!

Also, our contractor moved up the schedule a wee bit in several areas (the element of surprise is critical in keeping homeowners from seeing where the next punch will come from), meaning we have to completely empty the contents of the kitchen this evening (every cupboard, shelf, pantry, and hidey-hole) and then get started emptying out the rooms which are currently stacked to the ceilings with all our belongings. Including this one: the inner sanctum of Stilton's Place.

With all this going on tonight, we had to call the doggy daycare and ask them to let Penny (the official dog of Hope n' Change) spend the night rather than just enjoying her usual daytime play date. We then peeked at the online camera to make sure she was okay, and saw that she was doing nothing except watching the windows and doors for us to come pick her up. Guilt, thy name is stranded dog...

And speaking of dogs, the females are technically referred to as "bitches." Which segues nicely into this cartoon...

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, trump, hillary, penny, north korea, MTV, remodeling, antifa, berkeley

Per an idea from our good friends over at The Daily Gouge (who will be using a version of this cartoon today), here's Hillary's version of her debates with Trump as described in her upcoming compendium of lies, "What Happened."

She claims "he was literally breathing down my neck" (he wasn't), her "skin crawled," and she wanted to shout "Back up, you creep! Get away from me!" A line which had previously allowed her to dodge all male advances except, apparently, those made by Webb Hubbell.

Also in the news, the oxymoronic "peace armies" of Antifa raised more Hell in Berkeley to make sure "free speech" couldn't break out...

Hey, YOUR signs lie, OUR signs lie.
The image above should cranch the butthole of anyone who's ever read "1984." Shields emblazoned with "No Hate" and cartoon animals, carried by masked, armed thugs who've come to beat the crap out of anyone they don't agree with (while the police stand back with a nod and a wink to "give them space" to do their genuinely fascist thing).

At some point, a citizen is going to take poorly to being beaten in the streets, and is going to demonstrate to an Antifa member how the 2nd Amendment works. And unfortunately, this is exactly what Antifa and the Left are hoping for: a precious martyr. Frankly, we're surprised that they haven't fragged one of their own yet just to try to pin the blame on the evil Freedom of Speech lovers. And for all we know, that fallen Antifa member might wind up surrounded by 72 virgins - which is ironic because the same was true whenever he attended an average Antifa organizational meeting.

Regarding the Texas coastal cities (and soon Louisiana) coping with hurricane Harvey, we find the carnage heartbreaking but the many acts of heroism and neighborliness inspiring. We'll be making a donation to help as soon as we sort out a good and efficient charity (hint: not The Clinton Foundation), and we hope that the rain will just stop as soon as possible.  Way up here in north Texas, we've only gotten some very scattered showers of no importance.

What else? It seems worth mentioning that by actually shooting a missile over Japan, North Korea's Kim Jung Un is making a desperate plea for "death by cop" (or in this case, the World's cop). And we're growing more inclined to see his wish granted.

Speaking of useless blights on humanity, may we call attention to virtually everyone at the recent MTV Music Awards? Granted, this masturbatory self-celebration is always a pointless waste of time, but we can't really forgive them for the foul song they played to the gala's entire in-theater audience during a commercial break.

Here it is; the meat of the song kicks in at :28 and is Not Safe For Work, Not Safe For White People, Not Safe For Those With Heart Conditions, and frankly Not Safe For Those Uncomfortable with Black People Being Called Niggas (which, theoretically, makes us racists).

As much as we hate to (ahem) denigrate an obviously brain-damaged, Tourette's-afflicted rapper who likely can't wipe his own ass without help from a cellmate, we condemn this song and the overpaid coke-snorting executives at MTV who thought it appropriate to associate with their brand.

Which actual Americans should. Forever.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Pardon is Such Sweet Sorrow

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, Trump, pardon, Arpaio, media, bias, impeachment

We're frankly enjoying the agonized screams of outrage from the Left over President Trump's pardoning of former sheriff Joe Arpaio for committing blatant, willful acts of law enforcement. The rabid media coverage of this non-event is both terrifying and ludicrous - in other words, entirely predictable.

The Washington Post's piece is headlined "What Authoritarianism Experts Think (of Trump's Pardon)," making us wonder who the hell "authoritarianism experts" even are, and what kind of reportage starts with seeking them out for opinions.

Or consider's article "Trump's Pardon of Joe Arpaio Is an Impeachable Offense," which relies rather heavily on the hope that readers will only look at the headline, and not the actual story which rapidly falls apart.

It hilariously starts with this absolutely meaningless generalization: "Donald Trump has done many things that, once fully investigated, may prove to be impeachable offenses. We don't yet know all the facts, so final judgment on most of Trump's actions will have to wait."  Wow, we wish we had $10 for every vagary and weasel-word in that statement!

They then dive into the meat of the article: a law professor's theory that the pardon could be an impeachable offense (not "is" as the headline declared), adding that even the law professor "admits that this is a novel theory and, with respect, it simply won't fly." Well that's an interesting nugget to bury in the fine print.

Current estimates are that 11 trillion gallons of rain will fall on Texas because of hurricane Harvey. As nightmarish as this is (and please keep the victims in your thoughts), it's still less than the amount of BS our country is inundated with on a daily basis.


stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, remodeling, paint, fumes, tiles
"You may notice a slight odor from the paint for awhile."
Our master bathroom was painted yesterday, apparently with some concoction that is one part "Classic White" pigment to 99 parts nerve toxin. Seriously, the fumes from this stuff sear your throat no matter where you hide, and has impressive staying power. We should be throwing cans of this stuff to break up Antifa riots - and screw the Geneva conference.

Our contractor also informed us, with great solemnity, that our home is afflicted - perhaps terminally - with three distinctly different textures on the walls. We apparently have "crow's feet" (a trashy 70's look), "trowel wipes" (which means it looks like diarrhea-afflicted trolls smeared their butts on the wall), and a tiny, blessed bit of "orange peel" (which we're assured is "fashion, not fad!") to redeem us with any blind visitors who use braille to judge our walls and overall worth as human beings. Fortunately, it's not too late to turn all of the textures into "orange peel" by forcefully throwing money at our walls and ceilings. Wow - dodged a bullet on that one!

Mind you, the work on the house has only just begun. One of the next steps will be laying wood-look porcelain tiles pretty much everywhere. So far, this has involved moving all of the furniture from half of the house into the other half of the house, making individual rooms look like we're barricading the windows and doors with our belongings to keep zombies out. In the newly-cleared areas, expensive miracle plastic is being bonded to our concrete foundation to control a longstanding moisture incursion problem we've had because our house was mistakenly built over an ancient Indian sweat lodge.

So today (Monday) the tiles start going down on top of that plastic, but - surprise! - there's a little wrinkle there, too.  In order to create the natural look of wood, there is considerable variation between the tiles. Most are fine, but in every box of 20 tiles, there are 3 or 4 repeating patterns which need to be pulled out before they are permanently glued where our non-blind guests can see them.  And guess whose job it is to stand in a hot Texas garage, tear open the filthy boxes, and sort all 2000 or so tiles one by one before the tile guys need them?

The offending tiles, by the way, have become quite recognizable as they come out of the box. One is basically half-black ("The Barack"), one has a disturbing pattern of concentric whirls ("The Twilight Zone"), and another is The One With Two Highly Noticeable Black Dots Which Will Drive Us Crazy When We Spot Them All Over The Floor ("The OCD").

Even looking at this picture, we're getting the willies
And yes, the basic tile color was chosen to match that of Penny's constantly shedding fur. We may be crazy, but we're not impractical.

Penny, The Heartbroken Dog Who Lost Everything (soon to be a very sad children's book)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Wreck of the Houseperus

"I've got good news!" our renovation contractor said. "Owing to a change in schedule, we can actually begin demolishing the rest of your home tomorrow instead of weeks from now!"

"Good news," in other words, is very much in the eye of the beholder. We now have to desperately scurry around and prepare every stick of furniture to be moved out of harm's way - including taking apart our insanely complex home entertainment system which, we're guessing, will never really go together again because it was assembled by the much younger and more technically savvy guy that we were 20 years ago. These days, we don't know HDMI from Shinola.

We have to unplug all of those bafflingly-connected electronics so that our entertainment center can be broken down and moved. It's a huge piece of custom furniture that in earlier times might have served as the towering centerpiece of Druid rituals.

The sudden change in schedule also forced a whirlwind of buying today: appliances, doors, locks, toilets, and more. Even now, our wallet is whimpering like a mournful puppy and economists are rejoicing at the sudden uptick of economic activity in the nation's heartland.

All of which is to explain why we don't have any real political commentary today, other than the fact that we basically like what Trump had to say about Afghanistan, and we loved the NY Times's spit-flecked outrage over the fact that Trump, unlike his loathsome predecessor, didn't talk specific troop numbers, specific strategies, or declare an automatic "pullout date" for our nation's enemies to pencil into their day planners.

Well played, President Trump.

And now, with hopes of giving you at least a LITTLE something to laugh at, we present an Earwigs cartoon (the frazzled subject of which looks a lot like our self-portrait at the moment). Don't be surprised if you see a LOT of these for awhile...

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, trump, afghanistan, ny times, renovations, remodeling, earwigs, hairy worm


It was unintentional, but the picture in today's Earwigs turned out to be prophetic. Here's the home entertainment situation I had to wrestle with...

Monday, August 21, 2017

Putting On Our Apocalypse Glasses

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, eclipse, nazis, glasses, remodeling, trump

Seriously, you're going to put your vision into the hands of America's sworn enemies and the Dollar Store?!

And since Nazis are very popular in the news right now...

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Okay, one more, just for fun...

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Today is "eclipse" day, which we're having sort of a hard time getting excited about. Not that we don't like looking at shadows, but come on - what's the big deal? At least one "news" outlet we saw referred to the eclipse as "historic," and many sources are calling it a "once in a lifetime event" despite the fact that the next total eclipse in these parts is just 7 years from now. Which, granted, may seem like a lifetime to Trump haters.

As far as we're concerned, the moon's shadow is always somewhere but we just don't see it, in much the same way we don't see a random Chinaman taking his morning poo on the far side of the world. Both are hard-to-see sights unless you're in exactly the right place at just the right time. Even so, we wouldn't go out of our way to catch either one (nor would we observe either without protective eyewear).

Then again, maybe we're just grumpy because this is the week that our personal "Apocalypse glasses" need to be put on during the home remodeling. The master bathroom has come a long way (on Friday, workmen finished tiling the floor of our master closet and the result is breathtaking - in part because it was supposed to be carpeted) and today our giant, expensive granite countertops are arriving - producing a near total eclipse of our wallet.

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, eclipse, nazis, glasses, remodeling, trump
Alas, Formica, I knew you well...
Putting in the kitchen countertops means tearing out our stove, our sink, disposal, and our dishwasher - none of which will be replaced for days at the very least. Seriously, we're going to be living like North Koreans. Well, North Koreans with access to fast food.

On the positive side, the coffee machine will now be perking in our only working bathroom, which should prove to be a time-saver (assuming that, in an historic first, the aforementioned Chinaman hasn't beaten us in there).

Friday, August 18, 2017

Glaring Idiocy (A Single Malt Diatribe)

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, trump, nazis, eclipse, mainstream media, vet ranch

We only WISH there were glasses which could filter out the blinding, glaring stupidity which radiates constantly from mainstream "news" sources. But sadly, such filters are exclusively internal and, rather than shaded pieces of plastic, are composed of actual functioning brains. In other words, they're inaccessible to virtually everyone on the Left.

An aside: we've had a busy and sporadically frustrating day, and now find ourselves in the position of writing this blog post under the (very welcome) influence of our 3rd scotch. And not our usual sleazy-ass scotch: this is a pretty tasty single malt aged in an old Sherry cask.

And we earned it fair and square. Not just from the home construction stuff, which is frustrating but going smoothly enough. But from the brain-frying level of insanity galloping through our news media and popular culture at the moment. We're referring specifically to the total meltdown related to Donald Trump saying that all violent, racist hate groups are bad, and the President's apparently unforgivable assertion that he likes to have facts before making broad pronouncements.

As if that wasn't bad enough, various "business" advisors to President Trump have very publicly dumped him and their positions giving counsel on creating jobs in America, because they don't want to run the risk of being branded Nazi-sympathizers.

In other words, the Left has managed to create a ridiculous fantasy which now makes it less likely that Donald Trump can energize our economy and create jobs to the degree we'd all hoped. And how does Wall Street feel about that? Predictably, it's running around in headless chicken fashion. Seriously, every day that the media accuses Trump of Nazi sympathies - or suggests that he's now ripe for impeachment - we personally lose thousands of dollars from our retirement account, and it pisses us the hell off.

Mind you, we're not among the "evil rich" who can laugh (no doubt haughtily) upon losing a few grand here or there. No, we're members of the "unlikable upper middle class" (white privilege division) and when that kind of cash is lost just because liars have bullhorns, it tends to rankle.

(We pause briefly to stare at the page and ask ourselves two questions: 1) are we getting away with this commentary, and 2) should we go for that 4th scotch...?)

As if the news wasn't bad enough, we had the horrific ISIS terror attack in Barcelona today in which dozens were mowed down by a speeding van, hostages were taken, and more. About which, CNN had the unbelievable gall to ask "was this a copycat attack modeled after Charlottesville?"

THAT, my dear friends, is the sort of asinine question that sends good men back to their scotch bottles. And yes, that means we just poured a 4th glass.

We're not going to get deeper into the Trump foolishness: he's right, they're wrong, he's said and done the appropriate things, and we fully support him. Okay, his tweet about General Pershing's anti-Muslim pork-tainted bullets was a bit over the top, but we're going to let it go because A) his comment was amusing, and B) we should really be doing that.

Seriously, we propose the creation of designated "war pigs" who donate blood for the purpose of contaminating terror-targeted bullets. Pigs who are given the best treatment that America can give them for their entire lifetimes. First class slop, party privileges with pretty porkers, blue skies, green grass, and cool mud.

(Note to self: they're on to you - the scotch is definitely starting to show.)


All of the above is depressing, and we're about to depress you even more. But stick with us - we think we've got a way to make it all better at the end!

Today, daughter Jarlsberg, who is as good and sweet a soul as any ever put on this Earth, encountered an unconscious kitten baking under the hot Oklahoma sun. She tried to get the poor little creature to a veterinarian in time...but it was too late.

This was painful to her, and to her parents. What the hell kind of world is this, anyway?!

Well...maybe it's a pretty good one. Because even though she couldn't save that kitten, daughter Jarlsberg subsequently gave money to some charities that will help other little animals.

And then we did the same - writing an accompanying little note that in the kitten's too short life it had still made a difference by inspiring others to act.

Not only did it make us feel a little better, it sort of delighted us to think that all of the Left-wing loonies who are currently rock solid sure that we're Nazis would be stunned to know that we're really soft-hearted animal lovers who (unlike the Left) are willing to give up our OWN hard-earned cash to help rather than simply demanding that others do it.

The charity we support is called the Abandoned Animal Project, affiliated with the Texas-based Vet Ranch. They're genuinely great people who make wonderful Youtube videos like this one...

We're not going to exert any pressure on you to make a donation (at the link above). But if you would like to send $5 or $10 to help abandoned animals, it's an inexpensive and thoroughly enjoyable way of giving a metaphorical finger to those on the Left who don't actually have a shred of altruism or charity in their miserable little hearts.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Trojan Condemn

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, trump, charlottesville, condemn, white power

Construction workers are whooping it up with power tools in the other room, so today we'll concentrate on providing funny pictures and only a few words, what with THINKING BEING DIFFICULT OVER ALL THE NOISE.

We'll start by patting ourselves on the back for the title of today's cartoon, because what the media has been demanding from Trump really is a "Trojan Condemn" - they want him to make a statement of condemnation which implies or admits that he's previously been in league with moronic, racist hate-mongers who were not Democrats.

Frankly, Trump has said enough already - maybe too much. After all, it's not like the media is going to give him a fair shake no matter what he does...

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By the way, as far as we know PETA hasn't said anything about pets and the eclipse, and we don't think there's any reason to worry because animals aren't dumb enough to stare at the sun.

People are dumb enough, though. Case in point...

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We just got back from Lowe's where we were picking out exterior doors, lock hardware, toilets (we're going with the one that promises it can flush a bucket of golf balls, just in case we overindulge in Titleists some drunken evening), appliances, mirrors, and range hoods. Pshew!

But earlier today, the bathroom cabinets got installed...

The area to the right is the "pony wall" which is, even as we speak, being tiled. It will provide the basic structure for our new shower stall, the door to which will open over by our master closet on the far right.

You can pretty much figure what's going on with the cabinetry; it's still waiting on the granite countertops, sinks, paint, and confederate flag decals.

You might well look at all of this and say "Wow, you're certainly making progress!" But remember, this is just the part of the house they're finishing first so we'll have a place to pee, poop, shower, and weep privately while the entire rest of the house is being turned inside out. So most of this adventure is still ahead of us. Most of the payments, too - but we're doing it for America!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sorry, Virginia, There Is No Sanity Clause

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, trump, Charlottesville, alt-right, Antifa, BLM, terror, car, media, race
Having a grating time - wish none of you were here.
If there was a Stupidity Olympics, it might well look like what the world saw in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend. Idiots came from all over to participate in the Games, with oversight (and we use that word in every possible sense) and rules administered by as striking a bunch of ideological nitwits as you could ever hope to assemble in one place.

It isn't easy to comment on exactly what happened because the incendiary events became perfect fodder for alleged journalists (and politicians) to say whatever the hell they wanted to whether it was factual or not. Hurricanes only wish they had this kind of spin.

According to the mainstream media, Donald Trump's enthusiastic embrace of Nazis and the KKK inevitably manifested in a White Power hate rally. And when lovable Leftists peacefully protested, a number of them were deliberately mowed down by the speeding car of a White racist causing one death and many serious injuries. So horrific was the racist violence that a police helicopter fell out of the sky just from watching the carnage, causing the tragic deaths of two officers - but upping the tally to "3 killed in violent confrontations" in reports throughout the entirely delighted media.

 But that's not exactly what happened. Although truthfully, we don't know exactly what happened (how could we?) but do know a lot of things are being underreported and misreported.

• The "Unite the Right" rally was planned ahead of time in coordination with the ACLU, a proper permit was obtained, and no matter how odious the nincompoop group's views might be, they had a First Amendment right to assemble peacefully and speak.

• Officials of Charlottesville (along with Virginia governor and longtime Clinton hack, Terry McAuliffe) presciently "predicted" violence before the event, perhaps because they were welcoming the imbecilic armies of Antifa and BLM with open arms - after which they illegally (according to an actual judge) tried to move the event before revoking the permit entirely. Unsurprisingly, and perhaps intentionally, chaos ensued.

• Antifa and BLM came looking for violence, then caused it - throwing stones and water bottles, pepper spraying alt-right types, and occasionally just beating people bloody (although in fairness, some in the "Unite the Right" crowd clearly came to rumble, too). Seemingly, the police did little to stop this and might (we emphasize might) have been instructed to step back to allow some politically useful carnage to take place.

• A 20-year old loser who might (we emphasize might) be a Nazi-sympathizer drove his car into a crowd at high speed. If it was his intent to injure people, then he is a terrorist - no more, no less - and should suffer the appropriate consequences. 

In other words, every aspect of this clash of the dunderheads was a fustercluck of the highest magnitude. Hateful cretins of many races, creeds and colors came to clash - influenced far more by the media's rhetoric than anything ever said by Donald Trump, and certainly not endorsed by the President in any way.

A couple of important points: the imbeciles who really are neo-Nazis and White supremacists are despicable, but there aren't that many of them. Happily, inbreeding shortens their life spans.

Similarly, the blockheads of Antifa and BLM are probably lacking in real numbers, although their influence gets magnified by favorable press coverage and the seemingly endless depth of George Soros's pocketbook.

Unfortunately, with the intent of forcing Donald Trump out of the White House, the mainstream media continues to turn up the heat and create the illusion that the majority of Americans have pledged allegiance to one pinheaded side or the other. By doing so, they maneuver citizens (albeit hopeless ignoramuses) into gladiatorial combat, with actual bloodshed - no matter who caused it - seen as a victory.

And nothing that happened in Charlottesville is more sickening, or more frightening, than that.


Reader JRMD posted this in the comments, but I want to be sure that everyone can read it. More insight and background here than I've seen anywhere else!

JRMD from Virginia said...
From the heavy heart of Central VA I can tell you why it happened.
The Charlottesville 'Clown' Council is 100% far left to the point they can't stand straight.
The black 'vice' mayor (Bellamy) came to C'ville as a teacher, member of the gov's. education board and a council electee. His baggage included uncovered racist tweets (especially against white women) and on-line posts. When these were brought to light he left his teaching position (rather than be fired) and resigned from the governor's edu. bd.
HOWEVER, since he was so pro black and anti white, the clown council and the idiots in C'ville not only left him on council but made him vice mayor.... paving the way for his future political aspirations. (Heaven help the fools!) (Over 80% of them voted for Hillary, so you know they have problems.)
C'ville formed a commission to study the Lee and Jackson statues after one of Bellamy's students said they scared her when she went through the parks. An obvious set-up to everyone but the C'ville croud.
The commission, after months of study and public meetings, advised the council to leave the statues in place and add plaques to explain that part of history.
The council rejected the commissions findings and voted to remove the statues.
Thus - the KKK and Alt Right rallies.
The KKK came, spoke briefly and left. They were attacked by anti-protesters. 28 of them were arrested for violence..... not 1 KKK member.
The lefties and the clown council supported the claim of police brutality because tear gas had to be used to quell the protesters attacks on the KKK AND the police. They objected to the arrests and said the police should have been more patient and that they antagonized the protesters by wearing their riot gear. Interestingly - NONE of the 28 have been to court to face their charges..?? Swept under the rug????
Kessler (Alt-Right Movement) applied for a permit to protest the statue removals. The application was for Lee Park at the base of the Lee statue. Certainly not off-limits as that was where most of the anti-statue rallies were held by the lefties.
The clown council sat on the permit until the last minute and approved it - if held in McIntire Park, on the outskirts of town.
Surprisingly the ACLU and Rutherford Institute jumped in to file a suit based on the violation of free speech.
A Federal Judge held a night hearing and blocked the order to relocate.
That had to P O the clown council.!!!!
As both rally participants and anti-rally protesters formed early Sat. AM, skirmishes broke out due to the protesters throwing frozen water bottles, soda cans filled with concrete, bottles of excrement, etc. at rally members in the park and attacking those trying to get to the park.
Hundreds of police and national guard stood by and did nothing to stop the abuse.
It quickly became obvious that they were not only remembering the flak the took for stopping the KKK rally violence but also had the intent, most likely directed by the clown council, to let it happen until it could be declared an 'unlawful gathering' and shut it down. So much for 'Serve and Protect'.
The rally was shut down shortly after after 11AM - an hour before it was scheduled to start. A couple protesters were arrested.
The Alt-Rt supporters left the park and the anti-rally protesters pranced around the 'once-upon-a-time' grand city of Charlottesville, VA proclaiming a victory.
The lack of quick and decisive action by the police to quell the violence perpetrated by the protesters was the cause of all the problems and will result in future problems as the 'white supremacist' groups have vowed to return - ready to take care of themselves.
Charlottesville's actions (and INActions) has stirred up a hornets nest.

This account is as factual as it can get. I watched it happen.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Jarlsberg Diaries: Voices In My Head

The use of the name "Halburton" was coincidental, and does not imply Dick Cheney's endorsement.
Between home construction and threats of nuclear annihilation, I'm throwing another curveball your way today - although as always, I hope you'll find it a fun one!

As I've mentioned here in the past, for many years I was a radio writer and producer, and sporadic voiceover artist - always with an inclination toward comedy. I love the medium of sound, love old time radio, sound effects, theater of the mind, and all the rest. Frankly, it's a mystery that I'm not already doing some kind of podcast.

In any event, when I wasn't writing, reading, and recording funny commercials in the radio station's production room, I was doing my own nutty projects...a pattern which would pretty much define the rest of my working life, continuing right up through today.

With all of that being said, I present this 4 minute opus called "Mr. Halburton & Little Scotty: The Ventriloquist Act." Every voice you hear is mine. It's probably safe for work, albeit weird. And there's no real picture with this video: it's meant to be enjoyed as a "theater of the mind" piece.

I recorded that over 30 years ago when there was no such thing as digital audio. We used reel-to-reel tape machines (not even multi-track), and editing was done with grease pencils, razor blades, and sticky splicing tape. Sound effects were played "live" during the recording from turntables and cart machines (radio equipment that looked like old 8-track tapes and players for your car).

It was while working at this radio station that I met Richard Stone (who was doing the audio production when I signed on, and who taught me the craft). We became close lifetimes friends - and giggling idiots in the studio - until he passed away far, far too early. He eventually won multiple Emmys for composing wonderful music for television and film, and is best known for his "Carl Stalling" type musical creations which backed the beloved "Animaniacs" cartoon series (along with other projects from Warner Brothers). One of my fondest memories is of watching Rich direct the Warner Brothers Orchestra as they recorded his music.

The character of "Little Scotty" was actually born in a session in which I was just ad-libbing with Rich. I did a very sad (but painfully funny) monologue about him having something called "Blochner's Syndrome," a mysterious but incurable illness. Who knew that 30 years later I'd still be exploring the same vein of humor in "Johnny Optimism?"

Anyway, advertising and audio production took me to Dallas and eventually opened the door for something a little bigger...which then opened the door for something substantially bigger. But those are stories for another day.

For now, I still love creating audio and keep promising myself I'll get back to it. 

Maybe right after all the home renovations and, from the looks of things, a brief nuclear war.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

North To "I'll Blast Ya"

North Korea has apparently managed to miniaturize nuke warheads to the point that they'll fit into ICBMs way sooner than the "experts" expected (the same "experts" who assure us that Barack Obama's buddies in Iran are far from finishing their nukes), and a vacationing Donald Trump has declared that if Kim Jung Un doesn't quit screwing around, he'll be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."

Considering that there aren't many funny things we can say about this (the cartoon above quite likely being proof), we present an even more surreal than usual edition of Earwigs...


Our first two days of renovation went pretty well in stately Jarlsberg manor. On day one, a small army of workmen enthusiastically ripped everything out of our master bathroom. And we mean everything...

Tuesday, after some extended jackhammering, ripping, and rending, a carpenter roughed in the "pony wall" which will define the boundaries of our new shower stall (rising from that area where a Russian periscope is currently peering out of a hole in the ground), and on Wednesday we think there's a plumber coming to do something unknown which will almost certainly be noisy and expensive and keep us from being able to use toilets anywhere in the house.

We'd say more, but Happy Hour has just arrived without a second to spare.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Nobody Knows The Rubble I've Seen

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Okay, we'll admit it - we're just using the story of Kim Jung Un's latest threat to "end the USA" as a segue into our talking about the renovations on the Jarlsberg mansion which are beginning today with the disconcertingly named "demolition phase."

The overall plan for our home renovation will involve destroying and rebuilding pretty much everything except the master bedroom (giving us a place to live for the next couple of months). So today, workmen are destroying the master bathroom so that it can be rebuilt first - thereby giving the Jarlsberg family a place to pee, poop, and shower (hopefully not all at the same moment) while the rest of the house is getting the wrecking ball.

We've already been inundated by a million little choices - each one of which strikes us as offering infinite room for error. Faucets, shower hardware, senior grab bars, tiles, granite slabs, light fixtures and toilets to name just a few things. And by the way, even picking out toilets is harder than we would have thought: it seems that besides all of the other features toilets now boast (pee vs. poop power flush options, heated bidet jets, self-closing "no slam" seats, LED lights, bluetooth speakers and wi-fi) they come in two basic shapes: an extended oval bowl, or a tinier circular bowl.

This is not an inconsequential difference for those of us who appreciate the extra space afforded by the larger bowl (we have metaphorically referred to this as wanting all of our fishing tackle to fit in the boat) yet we have been informed in no uncertain terms that of the three toilets being replaced, only one can be man-sized. Although any of the three would still work for Obama.

But enough about that - we mainly just wanted to make the official announcement that over the coming weeks Stilton's Place is likely to contain a significant amount of personal venting about the questionable joys of remodeling along with our usual sporadic commentary on whatever is passing for news.

We hope you'll enjoy the ride!

By the way, they HATE it when you do this in the toilet showrooms.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Statue of Limitations

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In a truly delicious exchange in the White House briefing room, CNN "reporter" Jim Acosta proved himself to be a complete and utter ass when attempting to challenge Trump senior policy advisor Stephen Miller on proposed changes to our immigration laws.

Miller basically mopped up the floor with the self-righteous and thoroughly ignorant Acosta, and if you haven't seen it you really need to click that link.

The revised immigration policy would give preference to applicants who can speak English (ie, assimilate) and who have actual job skills beyond the ability to breed. In an earlier time, this would have been called "common sense."

But the thoroughly offended Acosta angrily maintained that poetry trumps policy (no pun intended), citing the Emma Lazarus poem "The New Colossus" which is found at the base of the Statue of Liberty and, as we vaguely recall, proclaims that the really best immigrants are tired, poor, wretched, tempest-tost (sic), disease ridden (sick), drug mules, potential terrorists, rapists and pedophiles. All of which leads us to guess that Lazarus was no stranger to the bottle.

Acosta did not, however, seem to have a problem with the fact that the poem can only be read by those who speak English - whom we'll continue to invite through that golden door.


You're welcome. And yes, that's really her.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Chip Happens

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Preparations for home renovation (6 days until demolition starts...) and frankly incomprehensible news stories dictated that we go the Earwigs route again today. As we've warned, the content on this site may be pretty eccentric for awhile - not that it wasn't before.

To clear the way for the upcoming work on the floors, walls, kitchen, and bathrooms we've been divesting ourselves of furniture which has served us well for many years (soon to be bargain priced at a Salvation Army store near you!), leaving us with large amounts of unfilled space. And nothing to sit on in much of the house. And no tables for dining, sorting mail, or playing Boggle. It's all pretty disorienting (even when cold sober, which occasionally happens) and soon to get much, much worse.

As we've said before, we're reasonably happy to be energizing the economy by paying through the nose for this renovation, but we can't admit to being too keen on the recent discovery that investment income pulled from our personal account to pay for all of this is likely to incur an additional 3.8% Obamacare tax surcharge (above and beyond capital gains taxes and increased annual Medicare payments) to punish us for our frugality, personal responsibility and, in all likelihood, our shameful white privilege.

Good work on not even repealing that, GOP.

There's a reason we call our toilet "John."

BONUS: Now That Smarts

We jokingly (or not) mentioned "white privilege" above, little knowing that we're apparently guilty of something even worse: "cognitive privilege." 

According to an article in the University of Iowa's student newspaper, "the accident of having been born smart enough to be able to be successful is a great benefit that you did absolutely nothing to earn. Consequently, you have nothing to be proud of for being smart."

In other words, anything you've "earned" by virtue of being smart is simply a matter of "winning life's lottery" as Obama used to say, and you're not really entitled to keep those earnings when there are so many stupid people who would enjoy spending your money after they've blown through their own.

We wish the concept of cognitive privilege was simply a brilliant satire being foisted off on the Left, but sadly satire itself appears to be a dying construct in the age of the cognitively disadvantaged.

They WANT to protest, but putting words on signs is hard.