Tag: Group Writing

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Bryan at 51

 

This is part of the Group Writing for January

So, another trip around the sun, and I am 51. There is no “well I was just in my 40’s” arguments. That is now over a year ago. Nope, I am into my sixth decade of life. I lived through a near-crippling lower back problem that left me lame and needing physical therapy to learn to walk again at the end of my 40’s. I can wake up after a poor night’s sleep and feel almost as lousy as if I did not sleep at all. I take off my glasses to read. I have been on a statin for 11 years now. And, one knuckle in my right hand is starting to hurt for no reason about once every three days. We won’t talk about fighting the pounds. But, if I am honest, the sense of time passage has not really been based on physical age.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Old and New: In a Pickle

 

pickle fermentation2021 puts conservatives and anyone right of Jane Fonda in a pickle. Some very bad old ideas are back in new and far more weaponized forms. Yet, the future does not ultimately belong to the left, nor need the next few years. We can bend the arc of history with time and effort. Speaking of time and effort, let’s talk pickles.

I grew up in a family that had a large vegetable garden every year, yard space provided. This necessarily led to freezing and canning. For whatever reason, cucumbers were never, to my memory, a part of my mother’s garden. We had plenty of squash, and tomatoes in places where they would ripen. Zucchini squash was shredded and packed into small freezer containers for use all through the winter months, hopefully used up just about when the next season’s crop was small, tender squash. Tomatoes went into larger Mason jars as stewed tomatoes, or chutney or governor’s sauce for meat. It took me a few decades to follow the family canning tradition.

I started canning about three years ago, driven by a surplus of lemons from a friend’s lemon tree and a desire to reproduce a tomato jelly recipe I had discovered at a microbrewery. I like good beer and started home brewing after my initial Army tour in West Germany, when it was West Germany. Put a pin in the home brewing. Accordingly, I also like trying new small breweries’ products. The Sleepy Dog Brewery had a tasting room at the front end of their brewery and food trucks on high volume nights. This included a pizza oven trailer, supplemented with pretzel dough buns topped with cream cheese and tomato jelly. So, a great deal on the right kind of tomatoes merged with a recipe search, generating my first batch of tomato jelly.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Mamaw Reviews

 

New ideas are borne of new experiences. New experiences require a willingness to move. That could be a new job, new house, new food or even new books or movies. Being flexible of mind and willing to consider new perspectives built this country and makes us better men and women. I see a lot of that on Ricochet. New ideas being filtered through the old.

My mom turned 87 last year. A former matron and dispatcher in our small town, she’s a nervous wreck around her grandchildren and tough as nails physically or mentally. She declined an offer out of high school to move to DC and work with the FBI; and instead started a family here in the rolling mountains of Southwest Virginia.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

There has been a great deal of good writing over the years, inspired by monthly theme cues. Maybe you missed some, or joined more recently. Instead of searching on tags, just bookmark this post. This index will capture all of them in one post, updated monthly. A big thank-you to past keepers of the themes; […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

January 6 is the twelfth day of Christmas, so I am not out of season with Christmas music. Yup, the Twelve Days of Christmas are not part of Advent, the weeks leading up to Christmas. Rather, the Christian church, both east* and west,** commemorate this ancient feast day twelve days after commemorating Christ’s birth. To […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Auld and New Lang Syne

 

The song most associated with the (western) New Year is a Scottish tune with lyrics coming from Scottish folk roots. The words, as we know them, come from Robert Burns. The poet claimed he had found the words, yet he most likely wrote a significant portion himself, riffing on older sources. Here, then are a series of recordings, from the dawn of voice recording to this year, so that we do not forget the old times in the rush of the new.

The earliest recording I found was from 1910, performed by Frank C. Stanley:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Hey you! Yes, you. Each month, Ricochet members like you share a few thoughts, a bit of knowledge or creativity, playing off a theme. Sometimes it is no more than a concluding line or a throw-away to shoe horn their post into the theme. We are very casual about that. The whole point is for […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘Tis the Season for Evictions [Updated]

 

justice and COVID-19Mitch and the Gang, along with the leader* of the House Republican’ts, happily played Grinch to all but their paymasters in the corporate elites. They continued to willfully extend the pain and harm to all the Americans they not so secretly hate for electing President Trump twice. The forgotten Americans must be shoved back down the memory hole if the GOPe is to rise again to its lucrative faux leadership role. So, the uncounted Americans facing eviction from home or loss of a small business got only a Life Saver pealed off from a Life Savers® roll into their stocking.

The federal moratorium on home evictions was only extended to the end of January 2021. It was to be left to the 2021 Democrat-controlled new House and Senate to leverage the government-created personal and business debt crisis into a leftist bloodless revolution. Thankfully, President Trump has effectively vetoed this insult to non-elite Americans. He should do more than demand $2,000 per person; he should answer more of the pork-barrel with a non-partisan populist demand for government to assume some of the private debt imposed by government edict.

Member Post

 

Goal-setting is a common theme I seem to return to here on Ricochet, and as 2020 is nearing its end (and I’ve been setting up my 2021 bullet journal), I have been thinking about what my goals will be for next year. I don’t like to call them “New Year’s Resolutions” for some reason. Maybe […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Since President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump now have some level of natural immunity, having experienced a bout of the Chinese virus, it fell to Vice President Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence to lead the nation in the Warp Speed vaccination program. They did so, in a public event, a ceremony of sorts, […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ‘Tis the Season for Bad Christmas Music

 

The Christmas season brings with it holiday music: some quite good, some not so good, and some wonderfully bad. Every wave of popular music brings with it eventual Christmas singles or albums. Singing stars, and others, seem drawn like the wise men following the star. Consider a few examples, but do set your beverage down before listening, as some are inadvertently merry and bright.

We start, of course, with disco. At the tail end of the disco craze, you could expect orchestras to show they are with it. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra did not disappoint, recording a medley, “Hooked on Christmas” in 1981. The Universal Robot Band released “Disco Christmas” in 1977, straddling street cred and sentiment. Then there were the combined efforts of various session musicians and disco labels. Salsoul released the 1976 album whose cover art you see here. I think the Salsoul OrchestraChristmas Medley” is better than the philharmonic attempt. All of these are better than the perhaps earnest attempt by Charo: “Mamacita, Donde este Santa Clause.” Then there is the album by Mirror Image, a group of studio musicians, turned out Disco Noël with “Silver Bells” as you’ve never heard it before:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

One hundred fifty five years ago, the 13th Amendment became part of the United States Constitution, with Georgia’s ratification vote. This year, there is still involuntary servitude around the world, and not as punishment for crime. Indeed, President Trump’s State Department highlighted the well-documented problem of women forced into marriages, shipped into Communist China for […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘Tis the Season, but…

 

Traditions linger on…for a time. I had a friend, I have been known to call him my Mentor, even though at times the lessons went the other way. Sherm was born on the exact same day as Alex Trebek. He retired from his corporate job back in maybe 1995 to run a couple of small businesses that he and his wife had. We would go up and visit them. They were closer to the country, probably a good sixteen miles north and ten east of us. Their businesses were complementary: an ice cream shop and a candy factory and retailer. The candy had big days from September through May, and the ice cream was big during the summer. At some point, they decided to buy a place for the candy factory. They had intended to keep the ice cream and candy retailer in the same place but their landlord at the old shop got wind they were looking around, so he tripled their rent. They moved into the new factory and took the retail candy business there as well, but closed down the ice cream business. They sold all of the ice cream equipment.

Somewhere along the way, maybe even before Sherm had retired from his corporate job, my wife and I started giving out gifts of half-pound boxes of chocolate from Sherm’s factory for Christmas. We gave a box to each family member, brothers, and sisters, step-brothers, step-sisters, parents, nieces, and nephews. The box count went between twenty-five and sixty over the years. Then we might get larger boxes for various places, such as a two-pounder for our chiropractor’s office. Everyone in my family plus people at church and other friends have looked forward to that little half-pound box every year, it was really very good chocolate.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

There are many days open this month. I especially encourage new members and those who have not posted in a while to join in this month’s Group Writing theme, “‘Tis the Season.” I really do not want to break out the bears or disco music. Help make Ricochet merry and bright this season. Stop by […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Thanks for Friends and Family

 

As we enter the American winter holiday season, from Thanksgiving through New Years Day, thoughts turn to friends and family. Even for those bereft or apart from those who love or especially like them, the days on the calendar occasion strong emotional responses. Just ask a bartender about their business later on Thanksgiving and Christmas days. So it is fitting to pause, reflect, and give thanks for friends and family.

Family:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘Tis the Season – Potterdopoulos, Mother

 

In the fall of 1977, I proposed to my then- and long-time girlfriend, Janet. We set a date in May, over six months away, which my soon-to-be mother-in-law explained was barely enough time to make proper arrangements. That meant Janet and I would have to spend the Christmas of that year introducing the other to various out-of-town relatives. Everyone from both families was coming to Ann Arbor, MI, that Christmas to meet the other’s intended. We were both the first child from our respective families to get married – which signaled a generational shift which both of us had been oblivious to when I made and she accepted my proposal.

It meant sitting through two Christmas dinners, one in each household. Her family had Christmas dinner at noon; mine at 6 p.m. (Somehow tucking away two massive dinners was less of a challenge in your late teens and early 20s.) I met her menace of uncles and aunts at her parents’ place at midday. (All of her father’s numerous brothers were well over six feet, and wanted to assure themselves I would do right by their innocent niece. I am not sure how well I succeeded in assuring them, but I survived the dinner.) Then it was time for Janet to meet my family.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ‘Twas the Season in West Germany

 

I experienced Christmas 1987 through 1989 in West Germany, in the heart of Bavaria, serving as a young Air Defense Artillery officer in the Army Reagan rebuilt. This was just before the influx of disillusioned East Germans and other relatively lawless former Warsaw Pact people, corrupted by the poison of living compromised lives under communism. West Germans were rule-followers. Ordnung muss sein! There must be order! The affirmative answer to “is everything alright?” “Alles ist in Ordnung.”

Everything is in order. One result was that private and public spaces were clean, neat, in order. At the same time, we and the British Army of the Rhine (by its name still an occupying force) had our boots firmly on the backs of a people who had shown a particular penchant for mass violence against others. So, I got to experience German culture and society at its best. I remember two German traditions and an American military tradition.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: ‘Tis the Season, and the Clock Is Ticking

 

Tick. Tick. Tick.

I live in an apartment complex. It has great advantages. Something breaks? Call maintenance. Grass needs cutting? Someone else does it. There are pretty flowers on the grounds spring through autumn, and I never have to lift a finger to dig in the hard ground. (It would probably do me a lot of good to do it, but it’s not going to happen.) It’s nice to have things taken care of.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Hey you! Yes, you. Each month, Ricochet members like you share a few thoughts, a bit of knowledge or creativity, playing off a theme. Sometimes it is no more than a concluding line or a throw-away to shoe horn their post into the theme. We are very casual about that. The whole point is for […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Thanks for Excellence

 

November 2020 offered two shining public examples of humans “being best:” one on a racecourse in Turkey, the other racing up from Cape Canaveral to meet the International Space Station. Formula 1 went racing in Turkey on Sunday, November 15, in the rain. The unworldly talent, Lewis Hamilton, started in sixth position and stayed there for much of the race. Then the unexpected happened, as might have been expected.

Closer to home, in all the ground clutter of Democrats trying to steal our republic, you might not have noticed that Space X Crew Dragon roared off the launch pad with four astronauts aboard on November 16. We can be thankful for the individuals and entire systems that produce such amazing achievements while noting that they are gravely endangered by the global leftist movement, to which they at least pay lip service.

Space history: