January 6 Select Committee Hearings

There is a lot of unpleasantness being broadcast on national television and streamed live online these days.  It is painful to watch and hear the testimony of those closest to the January 6 riot in Washington.  The first episode featured those who defended the Capitol and did all they could to keep Congressmen, Senators and […]

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Cadillac* Surgery

I began noticing a loss of visual acuity three years ago.  Road signs, even on Interstate highways, beckoned me closer before I could heed their instruction.  Birds became more difficult to identify or even spot in trees and shrubs.  This drove me to experiment with how bad my uncorrected vision became around 8th grade.  Back […]

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Comics and Critical Thought

I haven’t written in a couple of months since undergoing eye surgery. I may never reach the promised outcome I was expecting, but the healing process deserves another 6 or 7 weeks. Astigmatism doesn’t go away overnight. My next blog will address that process and my mostly painless but somewhat depressing experience with it. The […]

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My Favorite Ukrainians

Kat worked with a ballerina/bodybuilder/engineer/seamstress when she was employed selling wedding and prom fashions. We then lived in fashionable north Raleigh, NC. Kat’s friend’s name is Marina, and her money was earned by altering dozens of dresses a month; these almost always were rush jobs because with one week to go the bride’s diet that […]

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Here’s to Good Captain Clack

Rock’n Roll just lost another legend, Gary Brooker, lead singer, piano player, and principal composer/arranger of Procol Harum.  Cancer got him at 76, but first he lived a full life.  They shared gigs with The Beatles and Rolling Stones, and Brooker did some studio work with former Beatles post-breakup, and toured with Eric Clapton in […]

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70 Years of Fitful Racial Progress

In 1963 my grandmother was sobbing when I got home one cold November day in my first year of high school.  President Kennedy had been assassinated a few hours earlier.  She had just watched LBJ’s swearing-in on Air Force One.  I knew about it – who could speak of anything else, even in Spanish class, […]

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Casablanca

80 years ago, on January 23, 1942 a now classic movie premiered to low expectations.  Humphrey Bogart didn’t like his role, and the screenplay was considered a bit too cliché-ed.  Bogey had always played a tough guy, but here he was just a saloon operator, in French Morocco and yet everyone on screen spoke English.  […]

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Jackson’s Favorites, July 2016 through December 2018

You can find these by going to the black Search box under a big picture on the entry page to Life on the Blue Highways.  There is a light gray Search box; ignore it.  Go to the white box next to the black Search box.  In the white section thereof, key in the name or […]

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Every Day Is January 6 Now

One year after the smoke and broken glass, the mock gallows and the very real bloodshed of that awful day, it is tempting to look back and imagine that we can, in fact, simply look back. To imagine that what happened on Jan. 6, 2021 — a deadly riot at the seat of American government, […]

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Our Most Important Post Ever

Eleven months and 14 days have passed since this nation inaugurated a new president, despite all the machinations of the former guy and his faithful band of suck-ups.  My blood pressure has been notably lower after Joe Biden took the reins of government, and it’s safe to say he has handled our Covid plague more […]

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A Rhythm & Blues Opera in 2:21

Yesterday the monthly rent was due on our site at Top of Georgia Airstream Park.  After writing the check I lugged it up the hill to pay, and the lyrics from a song famous over 60 years ago came to mind … “I’m gonna pay a debt I owe”. Near the end of first grade […]

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Dental Hygiene in the Time of Covid

Subtitle:  A Rant with No Pictures Kat had a toothache and recently visited the dentist we trusted in Campbellsville, KY.  X-rays were taken but none of the usual suspects were found, let alone rounded up.  She was given a ‘scrip for Amoxicillin, which she took on their schedule.  Kat felt better for a few days […]

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the BSO at tanglewood

Tanglewood is an outdoor concert venue in Lenox, MA, the traditional summer home of The Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Summer Music Festival.  This is a lovely garden spot for picnicking while listening to great music in the Berkshires.  A few weeks ago Kat and I were lucky enough to witness a 10:30 a.m. […]

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vermont lobster rolls

Kat really wanted to get up to the Maine coast, but we have things to do that must be done this August in Campbellsville, KY.  We settled on seeing Niagara Falls, Cooperstown NY, and most of Vermont this July.  The Falls will get its own post, and the Baseball Hall of Fame now has its […]

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The Baseball Hall of Fame !

We visited daughter Stephanie in Massachussetts but could only line up a couple of five night stays in a nearby campground.  (Given the temperatures and seemingly inevitable fires out west, this makes perfect sense.)  She had purchased airline tickets and had Airbnb rented to visit her brother George Bret in Texas not long after our […]

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Salman Rushdie on Great Fiction

This is my shortest post ever.  Attention spans are only so long.  Although laconic in speech, I become loquacious in print.  But I am going to do something I have never done before:  I will recommend a 4,000 word read.  Salman Rushdie wrote this in the New York Times a week ago.  Yes, the same […]

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Can There Be Too Much Freedom?

Yesterday I ran into a casual acquaintance from our long, long Waiting-Out-Covid stay at the Airstream campground in the Georgia mountains.  He is retired law enforcement and seems to have his head on straight.  His wife operates a medical clothing store, and rumor has it that hers is a background in nursing.  He and I […]

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D. U. M. B.

We have met some interesting characters on the road, along with a few who are closer to disturbing.  Last week a fellow from Colorado parked his late model Airstream two sites north of our shined up older ‘Stream.   He had a couple of rare show dogs, little guys when full grown and one of them […]

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Guilty Pleasures

Two months ago I gave up on finding available vaccinations on the internet and instead began calling Ochsner’s Covid telephone number.  I began rising around 7:00, getting caffeinated, then dialing and dialing.  Success eluded me for days.  Then on one fine Wednesday, it occurred to me that they likely only staff that telephone number for […]

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Louisiana’s First Real Estate Developer

Bernard de Marigny (1785 – 1868) was born into wealth and as the oldest son, in accordance with Louisiana’s primo geniture inheritance laws, pocketed most of his parents’ wealth upon their passing.   Most of that fortune was a plantation on the northern border of the New Orleans French Quarter.  Marigny was in his teens and […]

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Gourmets in feathers

20 years ago we bought a lovely home in fashionable north Raleigh, did some fixup, then worked hard to boost the ratings of an inherited series of bird feeders.  We began work on a 12’ high clothesline strung between two trees with loops from which to hang feeders.  There was a suet feeder nailed to […]

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A Renegade Mardi Gras

We are camped outside Madisonville, LA in a clean, scenic state park campground, Fairview – Riverside.  In some previous years we have been in the Riverside section as the Krewe of Tchefuncte paraded past us, going first upriver and then a bit later, right back down.  These are not fishing boats, no, no, typically costing […]

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The Election, Looting of the Capitol, and Occam’s Razor

(A better and longer version of this appeared Dec. 11 in The Washington Post.  A better and shorter version came out Dec. 10 in the Fergus Falls Daily Journal.) You and I both had hoped that by now I would be done with Donald J. Trump.  But January 6 blew that up.  I apologize:  I […]

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Incidental music for an election

Incidental Music is the background sound to every ballet.  (One of my liberal arts electives was Music Appreciation; you learn so much minutiae there.) A long time reader pointed out there are neither pictures nor music in our after-election post.  And in my sleep these old tunes came to me.  Posted first is my third […]

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A Bad Case of Election Fatigue

I went to bed early and angry Tuesday night. “How could the polls have been so wrong?” Then it got worse as this realization dawned “I don’t understand the country where we live.” Just like four years ago, Wednesday after Election Night I tried to sleep to noon, but failed. Instead of coffee I had […]

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Musings on the 2020 Election

During an ABC town hall, Biden was asked what it would say about the country if he were to lose. “Well, it could say that I’m a lousy candidate, and I didn’t do a good job,” Biden said. After pausing for the applause of an amazed audience (“What? A humble politician? Whoa!”) Joe continued. “But […]

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Harris, Pence, and a Guest Star

Kat and I are feeling much less paranoid about November 3 and its potentially world-changing outcome — one way or another. In the past two weeks or so we have learned Trump paid no income tax for a whole bunch of years out of the past 20, that in his two most recent returns he […]

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Fear, Loathing, and Sourdough

We can’t travel since so many states quarantine the bozos who travel from a covid hotspot like Georgia. And travel won’t be close to safe until someone develops a proven, effective vaccine for this virus. Thus we have found ourselves with lots of time on our hands, but don’t really feel like handling library books. […]

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Checking In and All Lives Matter

It is past time to include the black ones. Kat and I are still healthy, and still fearful.  Our campground has become a small town with perhaps 25% vacant sites on weekdays and at most 10% on weekends.  Many of the semi-permanent campers are from hotspots Florida or Texas, and most of the weekenders work […]

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Jesus Just Left Chicago

We’ll get to that in a moment.  We remain alive and well in our snug little Airstream campground in the Georgia mountains on the banks of the singing Chattahoochee River.  We are well, but this state is becoming a hotspot for C-19, thanks to our governor who reopened everything a day after Trump told him […]

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Update from the Top of Georgia

The Top of Georgia Airstream Park is becoming my old hometown a/k/a  Mooringsport, LA.  We have come to know several neighbors and maybe too well, but we all still try to do the social distancing thing. One of the first we came to know (Kat meets them; I am introduced later) was Laine and her […]

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Camping in a National Petri Dish

Georgia’s governor Brian Kemp puts on a daily warm-up act as a lead-in to Trump’s regular medical sitcom.  (Why are Republicans doing all they can to pre-empt actual news?  It must be because the real news is so bad.)  Anyway, on April 19, Kemp mused on camera that although risky, it might be good to […]

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Sheltering in Place

Two weeks ago we left a perfectly good campground in Carlos, Texas.  Why?  A central Texas summer is not something many people enjoy.  And things had become a bit dicey for full-time RVers.  The Corps of Engineers and BLM had just closed all their campgrounds and boondocking areas.  Many state parks had closings scheduled, “until […]

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Covid-19 Comes to Texas

As a rule Texans fear few things.  They respect funnel clouds and shotguns, and dread losing a football game to LSU or having a Democrat in the White House.  But the novel coronavirus has them sitting up, paying attention, and doing a lot of hand-washing, if not -wringing.  Yet as of March 7, 2020 the […]

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Magnolia Ridge Campground

Kat and I just spent four lovely days at this Corps of Engineers Park on the shores of B. A. Steinhagen Lake between Jasper and Woodville, Texas.  The sites are mostly well-spaced with 30 amps and water for the princely sum of $9 a night with your America the Beautiful card.  Nobody played loud music, […]

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I Did Our Tax Return … On Paper

  Thirty years ago, way, way back in my days as an Early Adopter, I paid $19 for a CD’s worth of TurboTax Premium, 1990.  Its ease of use just blew me away.   It knew the law, was a whiz at math, and spit out a beautiful printed return (e-filing was not yet a thang) […]

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I Believe the President

Marie Yovanovitch, our retired ambassador to Ukraine, wrote an excellent opinion piece published today in the Washington Post.  In it she spoke of the current peril to our democracy, and how “freedom isn’t free” and that it is not up to our military to keep us free from ourselves.  She says that if we all […]

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Bea Hate Me

I’m a Progessive.  Bea is a Republican.  She visits this blog for reasons unknown. Bea has posted a series of nasty comments about an earlier post, Impeachment and Mr. Rogers.  And  for lack of factual content in her comments, I consigned them to Trash. Bea was not pleased. Bea, every word I wrote in “Impeachment […]

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Museum of the American Indian

Months ago I wrote about three of the four museums we toured this summer in D.C.  I have fought writer’s block in my efforts to create something honest and interesting about the fairly new addition to The Smithsonians on Native Americans.  This morning I awakened from what the first Americans would describe as a “vision”, […]

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Walt’s Beach

I wrote this two years ago and somehow never posted it.  Better late than never? We are in Pensacola, camped within a mile or two of where we interred a bit of an old friend’s cremains.  Yesterday would have been his 74th birthday. Kat, the Magic Bugger, and I are two days into our scheduled […]

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Impeachment and Mr. Rogers

One of the best and worst aspects of retirement is that one has the time to spend a day or a week watching televised coverage of the Congressional Impeachment Inquiry.  Kat and I have seen at least 95% of the hearings of the Intelligence and Judiciary to date (Dec 6, 2019).  From everything that we […]

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The African American Culture and History Museum

This was the best attended of all the DC museums we visited, if you’re speaking of the audience being honored at that museum.  There were smiles everywhere and I do hope these kids leave feeling better about their chance of success in today’s world.  I am an old white guy and I will say this: […]

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Hurricane!

Back in June Kat ordered a replacement oven/range for Kat’s Cradle’s original.  Its grates were badly corroded, and the burners had grown new fire-spouting orifices here and there.  Plus the oven door is attached now by only one screw — the other recently lost its purchase.  The time had come to replace it.  On Labor […]

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Sarah Duke Gardens, Durham, NC

A cool front blew through town yesterday bringing rain, winds, and an overnight low of 62 degrees.  By Sunday the rain was over and conditions were perfect to take a short ride to visit Duke Gardens.  It was partly cloudy but Kat took some magnificent pictures.  Most of them were in the Asian Garden section […]

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National Gallery of Art

We and our kids visited the National Gallery of Art in December, 1993.  Congress was in recess and in those few days before Christmas, tourists were scarce and metered parking spots were plentiful.  We had a great trip!  We ended it up with an evening in Colonial Williamsburg — they put on a parade and […]

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Outdoor Sculpture Gardens in D.C.

(One of the perks of writing a blog that no one pays us a nickel to write is that we can damn well do what we want, when we want, and in What Order.  So my story of our DC trip will be published when the photos are edited.  And that means from end to […]

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Here’s Where We Have Been

30 years ago I tore some cartilage and eventually had arthroscopy to smooth it out. 15 years ago I first noticed pain climbing stairs. X-rays revealed bone on bone contact where cartilage should intercede: “The only solution for this is knee replacement. We should do it soon.” I had a wise internist who thought otherwise. […]

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Arnaud’s or Tujague’s?

After six Februarys of camping within 30 miles of the French Quarter, not to mention 15 years of working in walking distance of those 156 blocks, I have come to realize that Kat and I have not dined at some of the classic NOLA restaurants. Emeril’s and Prudhomme’s various locations blew in like hurricanes, only […]

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Fontainebleau, 2019

Kat the lady mayor, the cat Brunswick, and Jackson (me, myself, and I), just wound up our annual two week visit to Fontainebleau SP in Mandeville, LA.  Six years back this was our first experience living in 200 square feet, unless you count college dorms, where we did not live together, or even in the […]

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