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.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Sunday Drive: The Beach Boys

It's been too damn hot this summer to even think about outdoor recreation of any kind, least of all lying out on hot sand, sizzling like a sausage.  But now that the daily high temps have climbed back down to a balmy 100 degrees, a cool dip in the ocean - followed immediately by a quick dash into a shady bar well stocked with ice-cold refreshments - begins to seem a pleasant thought again.

We live hundreds of miles from the ocean, so that's a no-go, but as a public service the Blue Truck presents a playlist of beach music from the guys who invented it.  Pick your favorite tune, spin the record, and remember how nice it was to be young and breezy - perhaps with a long-ago summer romance thrown in for good measure.  Enjoy.


Saturday, July 30, 2022



There is no good reason for Pelosi to visit Taiwan now.  We are already in an unwinnable, half-ass war with Russia, which is a major blunder (can you say Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan?) - now she and Joe Biden want to start one with China?


This is so wrong, for many reasons.  It will not make Taiwan safer.  It will not make China less militant, but more so.  It's just a stupid election ploy.

I am rapidly losing confidence in the current administration, especially in its conduct of foreign affairs.  I could say much more, but the main point is self-evident to anyone with a brain.

That's my 2c.


Friday, July 29, 2022

Waitin' for the Weekend

How's this, Frank?



Wednesday, July 27, 2022

What I'm Watching: The Crash of 1929

A fascinating PBS documentary about the great crash of 1929.  First aired in 1990, it features film clips of the time and interviews with people who were involved with the stock market then, or their descendants - including the son of Groucho Marx.  Not a textbook history, but a very entertaining film about the fads, fears, frauds, and follies of the human race that are still very much with us.


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Delicious Dishes

A little distraction from heat and headlines for you:  M.P. and I watched this demonstration film years ago, and were later happy to discover that these tools are still available in kitchen-supply stores.  Our set lives in a box on the cookbook shelf, and M.P. uses them from time to time - especially the garnishing knife for making waffle fries and the other tool for making corkscrew potatoes.  Fun stuff.


Bonus:  Here's "Pastrytown Wedding," a color cartoon from 1934.  Pretty trippy.


Sunday, July 24, 2022

Friday, July 22, 2022

Waitin' for the Weekend

Who wants to play ball?


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

House Passes Respect for Marriage Act


In an historic vote, the House of Representatives yesterday afternoon passed the Respect for Marriage Act, 267-157.  All Democratic members voted for the bill, and so did 47 Republicans.  Seven Republicans abstained from voting.

The bill enacts into federal law the right to same-sex marriage and to interracial marriage.  Specifically, it does four main things:
1.  Repeals the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which permitted states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages.

2.  Requires states to give "full faith and credit" to marriages of "two individuals" validly performed in other states, regardless of "race, sex, ethnicity, or national origin."

3.  Requires the federal government to recognize all such marriages.

4.  Gives federal courts power to enforce these provisions.

Full text here.

Search the official roll call here to find out how your state's representatives voted.

Having read the text of the bill, it seems to me that it does not force any state to perform same-sex marriages; but every state has to recognize them as valid marriages.  However, I am not a lawyer, and this blog post is not legal advice.

To become law, the bill must next be passed by the Senate and signed by President Biden, who has already said he is ready and willing to do so.  At this time, it is not known when the Senate will take up the bill.  In order to avoid a filibuster, 60 votes will be needed to pass it in that chamber, split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats.

Still, this is quite a remarkable vote, and calls for at least a wine spritzer to celebrate.  I well recall that when I came out in college more than 40 years ago, the idea that gays could have any legal relationship was just a sweet, idealistic fantasy.  

But I have lived to see this day.


Monday, July 18, 2022


We've been slow-roasting down here in Texas since the middle of May, and today the heat is the worst yet.  M.P., who is hardly a delicate flower, said just walking out to the mailbox and back - about a car length from the front door - was almost unbearable. It's 110 in the shade as I write this, and nearly 80 degrees in the house, even with the central a/c and four fans going.  I hope all my truckbuddies are managing to stay cool.   

I'm sitting here in my boxers with a fan blowing on me, glistening as I type.  What's that?  Will I post a selfie?  Oh hell no - at my age, it's too gruesome!

For the record, the maps give you the big picture at 5 p.m. Texas time today - click to enlarge.


Sunday, July 17, 2022

Saturday, July 16, 2022

What We're Watching

I have some new Pork Boys pictures of recent dinners to post, but just haven't got around to doing it yet.  I plead heat exhaustion:  it's been over 100 degrees down here every damn day since the middle of May, most unusually.  

But we don't always dine in state at the dinner table; in late years, we've developed a custom of sometimes watching old movies on my laptop while we eat dinner in the kitchen.  Here are three comedies from the Golden Age of Hollywood that we enjoyed this week - maybe you will, too.

1.  A Night to Remember, 1942 (Not to be confused with the other Night to Remember about the Titanic, made in 1958.)

Starring suave and studly Brian Aherne and gorgeous Loretta Young as a young married couple who move into a Greenwich Village apartment house that turns out to be a comic hotbed of blackmail and murder.


2. A Woman of Distinction, 1950 

Starring our gal Rosalind Russell (later "Auntie Mame"), Ray Milland, and Edmund Gwenn (aka Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street), in a collegiate comedy about a busy dean who says her career is more important than romance - until a tall, handsome visitor who won't take no for an answer brings her lofty ideals down to earth with a bump and a splash. Includes delightful cameos of Lucille Ball and Gale Gordon, who at the time were stars of the radio sitcom My Favorite Husband (the forerunner of I Love Lucy). 


3. It Grows on Trees, 1952 

Starring the delightful Irene Dunne and Dean Jagger in a whimsical laugh riot about a middle-class couple struggling to raise a family on a tight budget until a couple of newly planted trees begin to bloom, causing wonderment - and a national scandal.  This was Miss Dunne's last film role before she retired from acting.


Friday, July 15, 2022

Waitin' for the Weekend



Thursday, July 14, 2022

Lost, Not Stolen

For the record:  A report entitled Lost, Not Stolen, written "by conservatives for conservatives" and signed by several retired Republican senators and federal judges, was released today, documenting in great detail the failure of Trump partisans to prove the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen.  NBC's Morning Joe presents an interview with two of the authors:


Excerpt from the introduction to the report (emphasis mine):
We therefore have undertaken an examination of every claim of fraud and miscount put forward by former President Trump and his advocates, and now put the results of those investigations before the American people, and especially before fellow conservatives who may be uncertain about what and whom to believe. Our conclusion is unequivocal: Joe Biden was the choice of a majority of the Electors, who themselves were the choice of the majority of voters in their states. Biden’s victory is easily explained by a political landscape that was much different in 2020 than it was when President Trump narrowly won the presidency in 2016. President Trump waged his campaign for re-election during a devastating worldwide pandemic that caused a severe downturn in the global economy. This, coupled with an electorate that included a small but statistically significant number willing to vote for other Republican candidates on the ballot but not for President Trump, are the reasons his campaign fell short, not a fraudulent election. 

 Donald Trump and his supporters have failed to present evidence of fraud or inaccurate results significant enough to invalidate the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. We do not claim that election administration is perfect. Election fraud is a real thing; there are prosecutions in almost every election year, and no doubt some election fraud goes undetected. Nor do we disparage attempts to reduce fraud. States should continue to do what they can do to eliminate opportunities for election fraud and to punish it when it occurs. But there is absolutely no evidence of fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election on the magnitude necessary to shift the result in any state, let alone the nation as a whole. In fact, there was no fraud that changed the outcome in even a single precinct. It is wrong, and bad for our country, for people to propagate baseless claims that President Biden’s election was not legitimate. 

 In the past 30 years, those tasked with administering our elections have helped create a modern election system in which we can and should have confidence. In all fifty states and at the national level there are transparent recount and election contest procedures designed to allow candidates to investigate and litigate claims of voter fraud and corruption. Those procedures have been tested in every presidential election since at least 2000 and have been found in every instance to be sound and reliable. The Trump Campaign and its supporters had full access to these remedies and used them in 64 proceedings in the states we examine, and in each instance, their claims of fraud and miscount failed. Our review of each of these Trump charges affirms that the 2020 election was administered by trained professionals who reaffirmed their established track record for fairness. 

The performance of the system in 2020 was all the more remarkable because of the extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which precipitated changes on an unprecedented scope and timeline. Some of those changes may have created possibilities for fraud, but there is no evidence that those risks materialized in reality; nor did they result in dampening voter participation—quite the opposite. Nonetheless, moving forward, the states should redouble their efforts to strengthen the integrity of our voting systems and make it as easy to vote and as hard to cheat as possible for persons of every circumstance. 

We urge our fellow conservatives to cease obsessing over the results of the 2020 election, and to focus instead on presenting candidates and ideas that offer a positive vision for overcoming our current difficulties and bringing greater peace, prosperity, and liberty to our nation.
The full text of the report is here.


Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Shame on You, Pete

Pete Buttigieg (49405495202)
Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikipedia
Some time ago, your Head Trucker concluded that the only person left in the Administration with good sense was Pete Buttigieg, the Secretary of Transportation (who is young enough to be my son).  But now I see I was mistaken.

My truckbuddies will have already read about Buttigieg's defense of the protesters outside the restaurant where Justice Kavanagh was dining the other day, citing their First Amendment rights.

Now I have no high regard at all for Kavanagh and the other Trumpists who voted to overturn Roe - and by direct and indirect statements, threatened also to undo the whole concept of a constitutional right to privacy that has been settled law for half a century, and which underpins many other rights that have come to be accepted as normative - like the right to contraception, and to same-sex marriage, to name but two.

It was a nasty thing those five justices did, who voted to overturn Roe and have precipitated us all into a constitutional crisis whose full extent and effects have yet to be seen.

Nevertheless, no matter how much I despise a public official's acts, I cannot endorse hounding and harassing him in the ordinary course of private life - whether at home or in a restaurant or store.  This is a repugnant thing, and I will give you three good reasons why:

1.  It violates the Golden Rule - often summarized as "Do as you would be done by."  Although it was stated by Christ, it is not an exclusively Christian rule; in fact, it appears in the same or very similar form in the teachings of just about every religion around the world, and even among primitive tribes without a set of scriptures.  Even oh-so-modern atheists are sometimes heard mouthing it.

2.  But if course, if you don't give a flip for anything even remotely connected to religion, well then, surely you must consider an invasion of privacy to be at the very least a violation of the good manners you learned at your mother's knee.  What's that, you say?  Free speech trumps good manners?   Well, I can only reply that my mother also taught me that Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right.  Free speech is not the only right, and it does not justify doing anything you feel like doing, to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

And how do you justify disturbing the peace - a crime - of the other people in the neighborhood, the restaurant, the store?  Perhaps you will say that the end justifies the means - a favorite line of dictators.  But just exactly what good result will come of your disturbance?  What exactly will it accomplish?

3.  And if all that rings no bell with you, how about this:  if it's just fine and dandy to harass the hell out of people at their homes and in restaurants, why then, what's sauce for the goose is certainly sauce for the gander, is it not?  This nasty behavior invites retaliation in kind.  Suppose a crowd gathered outside the Buttigieg home, or around the place where Pete and his husband were dining, shouting ugly words and carrying signs - would you like to see that happen?  Say what?  Oh, you wouldn't?

Well, I guarantee you it will be happening if you and Pete and the rest of the good liberal folks don't wake up and stop this stupidity.  It's a great way to spark that civil war we have all heard rumors of.

I've warned about this kind of stupidity before.

Shame on you, Pete.  I thought you were a bigger, better, wiser man.  Now I don't see anyone under 80 on the Democratic side to admire.  You were my last hope.  

The Democratic Party that I knew is changing beyond recognition and dwindling rapidly into insipid uselessness - a cake left out in the rain.  It makes me ill to see what is happening to my party and to my country, the steady erosion of common decency, the fragmentation of society, the descent into madness.  I really hope I don't live to see the final act of this tragedy.

My hat is off to the valiant Liz Cheney, though - one of the few Republicans left with moral character and BALLS.


Sunday, July 10, 2022

Sunday Drive: Summertime Blues

As performed by Alan Jackson, 1994.

It's hot down here!  Click to enlarge.


Friday, July 8, 2022

Waitin' for the Weekend

Hairy men are hard to find these days. Supply-chain issues, ya know? Here's the best I could scrounge up this week. 



Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Pick a House: Spanish Style

In the 1920's, Spanish-style homes were much in vogue and were built in all parts of the country, though they seem most appropriate in warm-climate states that were originally colonized by the Spanish, such as Florida, Texas, and California.  These homes were designed in all sizes, but today I will show you just two smallish ones, offered as ready-cut houses by Sears and Montgomery Ward.  If you had to pick one to live in, which would you choose?

(Click to enlarge any picture; then from the lightbox, right-click to open a really big image.)

Wards, 1930:

Sears, 1928:

Above is a Google Maps image of a Sears San Jose in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  Unusually, it was built with brick veneer instead of the customary stucco.  M.P. thinks the short, closed-off tower is stupid and looks ridiculous; I think it's distinctive.  What do you think?

You can see more exterior and interior pics of this San Jose as well as others from around the country at Sears House Seeker.


Sunday, July 3, 2022

Sunday Drive: America

So many things I could say about my fears for the nation and the world just now - but I will let the song express my hope and my faith.

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