C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year 2019

Well, fellas, another year has rolled by, much too quickly it seems, and here we are at the gate of 2019 already.  What my grandmother told me is true:  the older you get, the quicker the years go by.  It is a curious fact that Time moves too slow for leaping youth, too fast for tottering age.

I'm glad to report that 2018 was, all things considered, a pretty happy year for us.  The weather was milder than usual, finances were a bit easier, and M.P. recovered fairly rapidly from his operation last January.  Of course his first thought was to get back into the kitchen, so we have had many and various toothsome feasts since then:  a lot to be thankful for.

The world is in a frightful state - but then, isn't it always?  When I started this blog ten years ago, I thought it a great opportunity to set the world straight on all sorts of matters; but alas, I'm sorry to report that all my best typing has done no good, and the world continues roaring down its heedless path, ignoring all good counsel, even from wiser heads than mine.  The Golden Rule, the Golden Mean, good sense, and good humor are all a drug on the market in this present age, it seems.

The leafless branches outside my window testify that the eternal cycle of growth, maturity, and decay continues on and on, as much for civilizations as for individuals; yet somehow, even in the darkest periods, the human race always finds a way to continue on, for better or worse, through successive tides of change.  Since I have no posterity to worry about, I suppose there is no point fretting over things I cannot change.  Hence, I blog less and rant less.  Why waste my breath?

But I am gratified now and then to discover that goodness and kindness still exist, side by side with wickedness and cruelty: pinpoints of light in a dark night.  At any rate, much as I deplore the many awful things that happen in this frenzied, frantic, foolish age, I am too old, tired, and poor to do anything about them.  So I just do the little good I can do for those nearest me, and leave the rest to the mercy of Providence.

As someone once said, in the midst of a world of sorrow and absurdity, we must each cultivate our own garden, and be content with that.  Like the flowers, fruits, and leaves, we all of us have our day in the sun, and then we are no more; but others will take our place.  The cycle of Time rolls on unperturbed in its steady course, with or without our consent, and no doubt that is as it should be.  The flowers do not understand why they should fade, nor the leaves why they should wither; but fade and wither they must, as night follows day and winter follows summer.  The whys and the wherefores are not given us to comprehend in this world; instead, the spark of life is given us for only a day in the grand scheme of things, to make of it what we will.  We must therefore enjoy what we have while we have it, without squelching someone else's chance at happiness.  It takes many flowers to make a lovely garden.

So here's wishing my truckbuddies, all and singular, a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.  Drinks are on the house!

Or feel free to BYOB:

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sunday Drive: Bach, Air on the G String

The exquisite Bach tune, as performed by the duo 2Cellos:

Friday, December 28, 2018

Waitin' for the Weekend

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Royal Navy Wants YOU

This just in:  Christmas greetings from the officers and crew of HMS Ocean, formerly the flagship of the Royal Navy.

Most amusing, to be sure. But more than that, I dare not say.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Queen's Christmas Broadcast, 2018

Her Majesty the Queen delivered her annual Christmas message today via television to Britain and the Commonwealth.


Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas 2018

Earthrise - photograph of our blue planet taken from lunar orbit by the crew of Apollo 8, December 24, 1968.

Christmas greetings and warm wishes to all my truckbuddies around the world.  May the Good Lord bless and keep you all.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Waitin' for the Weekend

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Season of Giving

A guest post by my truckbuddy Tim from England, now resident in Spain:

The Season of Giving 

Decorating the House by xTh13teeNx here at Deviantart . . . always a favourite!

Late October, 2016:

"My, my, who’s getting to be a big boy den?  Yes oo is, yes.  Oo's a big Wuffy Ruffy?" 

Piers rolled his eyes; listening to Chris doing baby talk was like listening to fingernails scraping on a chalk board.

"Does oo like a tickle?  Oo does?  Ha, ha, ha!"

Chris and Piers were relaxing in their home, codenamed the Deuce of Hearts.  Their GSD puppy, Ruff, lay on his back at their feet; his legs in the air.  Chris bent down and rubbed Ruff's belly again.

"He's growing so fast.  I think it might be time for Danny to give Ruff the facts of life lesson Ace.  You know, like we had at High School?  Blow-up dolls, fumbling with condoms on bananas."

Piers raised his eyebrows.  "Er, well I don't know what you were taught; we had some poor young TA slotted for the job, cute guy.  I still remember his red face when he . . . er, anyway it's rather different for animals, it's more an instinctive thing.  And besides, I don't think Ruffy needs our help or training from Danny anymore."

Continued after the jump . . . .

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sunday Drive: The Holly and the Ivy

A favorite of M.P.'s:  the traditional English carol, as performed by American pianist George Winston with wondrous style and speed.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Waitin' for the Weekend

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

In Memoriam: George H. W. Bush, 1924-2018

The nation mourns today as a state funeral is held at 11 a. m. Eastern Time in Washington's National Cathedral for the forty-first president, George Herbert Walker Bush.  In the afternoon, the former president's remains will be flown back to Houston, where a private funeral service will take place tomorrow morning; in the afternoon, he will be laid to rest beside his beloved wife Barbara (1925-2018) on the grounds of his presidential library at Texas A&M University in College Station.

Mr. Bush led a long, active life of service to the nation before, during, and after his tenure as president.  One of the so-called "greatest generation," he was the last president to have served in World War II, and indeed, the last to have any memory of that war.  A full account of his public service is found in his Wikipedia article, and the following news videos recount the highlights of his life.

While I disagreed with some of his politics and was never what you might call a fan of Mr. Bush's, I remember him as a fundamentally decent man who honestly, competently, and faithfully served the nation as president, maintaining the long continuity of constitutional government in our Republic. All of which used to be simply taken for granted in presidents, but is sadly no longer a certainty.

After the stone-cold chill of the Reagan years - the plague years - I was impressed with Bush's call for a "kinder, gentler" America; and I thought his call for a "thousand points of light" - i.e., a spirit of volunteerism for the good of the whole country - was also a fine thing. I won't attempt here to review his time in office, which has long since been overshadowed by more recent, more disquieting events. But I will mention that it was during his presidency that your Head Trucker, along with several thousand other gays and lesbians, picketed the White House, a memorable occasion in my own history, which perhaps I will relate at more length another time.

Mr. Bush, like every other president, may have had his flaws and shortcomings; but I believe he was a good and conscientious man who was faithful to his constitutional duties as president:  perhaps not the greatest president, but certainly far from the worst. May he rest in peace.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Sunday Drive: Christmas Is Coming

The Blue Truck is now back online after a week-long and strangely unfathomable internet outage. Funny how something that 20 years ago we had no concept of, and never even thought about, is now so necessary to household happiness, all day every day. (Oh Mary, don't ask.)

But to get this blog back on track:  by request, the well-known theme from A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio:

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