Too long.

 Posted by at 13:43  Reflections
Nov 172016
 
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It’s one thing to be cantankerous when the world seems under control and quite another when you are sinking into chaos.  The past year has revealed the mission of the progressive takeover of the Democratic party as our President continueimagesd the destruction of the American way.  Cocky and rebellious is fun when you still have hope that all is not lost. Cocky and rebellious sucks when one by one the lifeboats sink and the ship goes farther
and farther under water.

Trump was not my first choice for President and I was so mindf***ed by the chimera of Republican orthodoxy that he seemed not only a ridiculous choice but an impossible one.  Despite my despair at the state of government after 30 years of Republican refusal to stand for principles and the progressive encroachment on every aspect of American life, I still had some faith in the self-identified  conservative aristocracy which had claimed to know the way even though they refused to take any action.

Today I am liberated.  I cancelled my subscriptions to ‘conservative’ publications.  I reject virtually everybody that I had respected and I unabashedly endorse and support Donald Trump to make our country great again.

Ralph

Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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Feb 232015
 
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A lot of Thanksgiving days have been ruined by not carving the turkey in the kitchen. 
Kin Hubbard 

Carving your first turkey is a rite of passage. 

Real men know how to carve a turkey

You grow up watching your father carve the turkey on Thanksgiving.  It doesn’t seem like a big deal because you’re a kid.  It’s just a grownup thing and you don’t pay any attention.  Your main priority is stuffing yourself silly and staying under the radar. It isn’t important to observe how that turkey meat gets sliced off the carcass.  That’s just a detail.  You don’t notice or appreciate the finer points of carving.  You don’t keep score about how even the slices are, how many times the knife slips or how artfully arranged the final serving platter might be because you are a spectator with no skin in the game.

This goes on for years. 

You move from grade school to high school and then on to college always staying on the sidelines and never considering the possibility that your turn is coming.  Then suddenly and with no warning the world shifts.

You get married. 

When Thanksgiving comes around again, your bride presents you with her first roasted turkey. She stands proudly at the table beaming expectantly at you- the man of the house.  She is obviously expecting you to carve it.  Not only that, she has invited her folks so you have an audience.  There is that beautiful golden bird, steaming and fragrant sitting on the dining room table.  There are your in-laws watching intently.  There is your lovely bride proud at pulling off her first Thanksgiving feast and gazing at you trustingly.  It’s your turn.  You pick up the carving knife and realize that you don’t know what to do.

Panicking, you realize that your father let you down. He never took the time to take you aside and explain the facts of life.  He failed to guide you through the mysteries of manhood by sharing the secrets of carving a turkey and you begin to sense a pattern.   You remember your wedding night and realize that it’s not the first time he left you unprepared and this time you have an audience.

Well with all the eyes watching, you forge ahead and it isn’t a pretty sight.  By the time you finish, the turkey might as well have been attacked by rabid wolves and the serving platter is a mess.  Instead of tidy slices of meat, it looks like pulled pork.  Meat clings in tatters to the carcass. Skin and drippings ornament the tablecloth.  Drumsticks hang precariously off the serving platter. It’s bad but there is nothing to do except plow on.

After an eternity it’s over.

Relieved, you pass the platter around and sit down.  You have avoided catastrophe.  Sighs of relief break out around the table and your mother in law tells your wife that her turkey is perfect.  Life goes on. You can’t look at your father in law.  He thought you were stupid before today. You don’t want to know what he’s thinking now.

Since my first turkey carving trauma, I have been an avid student of turkey carving.  I experimented with various techniques hoping to develop mastery.  I relived that day over and over in my mind trying to correct my errors.

In the end, however, turkey carving mastery eludes me.  My carving skills haven’t improved much since that first turkey.  Much as I might envy and emulate those master carvers at fine restaurants, my techniques remain flawed and my execution is messy.   I tell myself that if I carved two or three turkeys a day, I’d be good at it too but down deep I am convinced that it is just a reflection of my inadequacies.  Real men instinctively know how to carve a turkey.  I got dealt a bad hand.

Now I change the play.

They tell you when life gives your lemons, make lemonade. They say if you don’t have what it takes to play the game, then change the rules.  Who says that carving the turkey is part of the Thanksgiving dinner program?  Who decided that exposing the man of the house to ridicule and embarrassment contributes to the event?  No one!

So I’m playing by a new rulebook these days.  If the old rules make me look bad, it’s time to make up my own.  These days I carve the turkey in the kitchen.

Ralph

Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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Feb 232015
 
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Well hello there!  I know at least 2 of our regular readers just fell off of their chairs when they saw that I had written this article and not Ralph.  It has been a long time since this site has been much of anything except Ralph’s other blog.  But fear not!  Ralph is not the only one ready to Cantankerify your brains.  I have grand plans of a series about Mother in Law’s that has taken a month to get the venom out of.  More on that to come.

Yes

Cover of Yes

So gentle readers I am back.  And here is what I have noticed.  One of the key words for this site is Old.  Yes, old.  And I am getting old.  Granted, I am almost 38 and in the grand scheme of things, that is not considered old.  These days, even Bob and Ralph are not really considered old, retired or not.  But, I am getting old.

Long time readers of any of my blogs (links here to my other blogs…..well maybe not) know that 5 years ago my 1 year old daughter ended up in kidney failure.  2 years of dialysis, a kidney transplant, and 3 years later we took her on a Make A Wish Trip to Disney World(can’t help that link it is the whole trip).  That whole experience during those 5 years aged me.  Enough to be a viable member off this blog, even if not old yet.

Life has thrown me some cement curve balls the past couple of years and I can’t catch very well.  So I have been knocked down bleeding, but I still have managed to stand back up.  But it ages me further.  So here I sit, with 4 kids growing up, a pile of bills (that could really use some help from you if you happen to be shopping at Amazon.  Just click to Amazon through my link over there in the sidebar.  Thanks.)  an attitude that is becoming more and more cantankerous, and a body that just feels old.

Ralph is always jealous of the sweet music that emanates from the kettlebells.   I still like using the things but my rapidly aging body keeps telling me to slow down.  I have finally got my elbow back to useful after 2 weeks.  And then there are the grey hairs, and the unwanted ear hair that my wife seems to find great pleasure in curling with her fingernails if I don’t get it trimmed fast enough.

(St Mary and St Barlok)Monument to Sir Ralph F...

(St Mary and St Barlok)Monument to Sir Ralph Fitzherbert,d.1483,and his wife:detail of tomb-chest. Ralph’s children are shown on the side of the tomb. first three are Richard, Thomas and John – this is John who was Ralph’s heir. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And the need for sleep.  And it goes on and on.  And it will not end until someone is nailing shut my pine box.  One of the most disturbing things that my wife and I have been looking at over the past little while is what to do with our kids if something happens to both of us.  That is a, well necessary thing but good hell it is depressing.  And then looking at life insurance for both of us, and on the kids.  Not to mention retirement savings.

As much as I hate thinking about it, one of these days, hopefully about 65 years in the future, I will be gone.  My kids will need that life insurance to pay for the funeral or at least the dynamite to blow me up with.  And maybe they will have a bit left over at the end.  There is insurance for that as well.  Now I am bumming myself out.

We all get older.  in reality it all happens at the same rate.  There are still 365.25 days in a year and the years go by one after the other.  The adage is still true, “The only certainties in life are Death And Taxes.”  And they will tax the hell out of you when you die.  Bah.  I need to get with Ralph and have him teach me how to not feel so old.  But for now, I have kids to raise.  16 more years and the wife and I are buying a 1958 Corvette  2 seater and cruising the country….sans kids.

I had better get writing, but first some liniment and a nap…..in the middle ages I would be an old man…and most days lately, I feel like it.

What about all of you out there reading this?  How do you feel?

Anyway, here is to more blog post from someone other than Ralph, as much as we love his take on things.

-Justin

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Justin

Justin is the young Coot with a Cantankerous Soul who continues to be educated by older, more cootish Ralph and Bob. His Cantankerosity is his own.

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Feb 232015
 
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Français : Un Starbucks à Paris (France)

Français : Un Starbucks à Paris (France) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quelle Horreur

What I like about traveling is seeing new places, learning how people live in other countries and finding out a few things about myself along the way. At least that’s the way I tell the story. In truth what I like most is when I can visit an exotic place without adjusting at all. I prefer the comfortable over the new.

It’s that way most of the time. I remark about the abundance of McDonald’s, carefully avoiding any patronage. I have smeared at Starbucks. I laughed at how we never heard anything but American music in Belgium. But even the most opinionated of culture snobs is forced to confess that things can get too strange. And so, as we start our second week in France, I find myself asking, “Where are the Starbucks?” Continue reading »

Ralph

Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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Feb 232015
 
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Thursday is the day Thanksgiving.  The day where we give thanks.  We give thanks to each other and the country and generally blow smoke up each others asses.

This post is no different.  Today the Coots would like to thank everyone who comes here and reads this silly blog, or as it should be called, Ralph Carlson’s second blog.

Personally, I would like to thank Ralph for keeping this thing afloat and running.  I would like to thank Bob for pretending to care about this site.   Continue reading »

Justin

Justin is the young Coot with a Cantankerous Soul who continues to be educated by older, more cootish Ralph and Bob. His Cantankerosity is his own.

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