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Bret's Blogisphere

I like to use my BLOGS to keep my friends informed of the daily Mess(es) that are going on with us and adding items of interest others might find enjoyable. Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to leave a comment. Bret

Posted:Jan 19, 2019 10:53 pm
Last Updated:Jan 19, 2019 11:04 pm


You won't be graded!

What do you think about toys in the bedroom?
Posted:Jan 19, 2019 6:14 pm
Last Updated:Jan 19, 2019 10:41 pm

On January 20-21, we’ll have the first full moon of 2019, and the first lunar eclipse of 2019 ( this is an eclipse-heavy year, with three solar and two lunar eclipses). It can be viewed from North and South America, Greenland, Iceland, Europe, northern and western Africa, plus the Arctic region of the globe. More details – and eclipse times for North America; The eclipse will happen on the night of the year’s first of three straight full supermoons, meaning the moon will be nearly at its closest to Earth for this January, as the eclipse takes place.

Here are the eclipse times for Canadian and U.S. time zones:

Atlantic Time
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 11:34 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse begins: 12:41 a.m. (January 21, 2019)
Greatest eclipse: 1:12 a.m. (January 21, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse ends: 1:43 a.m. (January 21, 2019)
Partial umbral eclipse ends: 2:51 a.m. (January 21, 2019)

Eastern Time
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 10:34 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse begins: 11:41 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Greatest eclipse: 12:12 a.m. (January 21, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse ends: 12:43 a.m. (January 21, 2019)
Partial umbral eclipse ends: 1:51 a.m. (January 21, 2019)

Central Time
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 9:34 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse begins: 10:41 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Greatest eclipse: 11:12 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse ends: 11:43 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Partial umbral eclipse ends: 12:51 a.m. (January 21, 2019)

Mountain Time
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 8:34 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse begins: 9:41 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Greatest eclipse: 10:12 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse ends: 10:43 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Partial umbral eclipse ends: 11:51 p.m. (January 20, 2019)

Pacific Time
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 7:34 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse begins: 8:41 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Greatest eclipse: 9:12 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse ends: 9:43 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Partial umbral eclipse ends: 10:51 p.m. (January 20, 2019)

Alaskan Time
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 6:34 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse begins: 7:41 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Greatest eclipse: 8:12 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Total lunar eclipse ends: 8:43 p.m. (January 20, 2019)
Partial umbral eclipse ends: 9:51 p.m. (January 20, 2019)

IF you don't wanmt to brave the cold... just peek out the window to enjoy!
National Popcorn Day
Posted:Jan 18, 2019 7:34 pm
Last Updated:Jan 19, 2019 9:36 pm

Popcorn, which is celebrated January 19th, is one of four types of corn—the others being dent, flint, and sweet—and it is the only one of the four that can pop. Its hull is thicker, which allows steam pressure to build up inside before it explodes. When it bursts open, starch comes out, and as it cools it turns into the shape we are familiar with. Popcorn kernels with between 13 and 14.5 percent moisture are ideal for popping, and 13.5 percent is the best. If 98 kernels out of 100 pop, it can be looked at as being good popcorn. Popcorn is a whole grain food, being made up of the germ, endosperm, and pericarp—which is the hull. It is low in fat and in calories; there are only about 31 calories in a cup of air-popped popcorn. It is also high in fiber, and is inexpensive.

Seventy percent of popcorn is eaten at home. Of that, about 90 percent is purchased as unpopped kernels. Of the thirty percent eaten outside of the home, much of it is eaten in theaters, sports stadiums, and schools. The main states that produce it are in the Midwest, and most of the popcorn eaten throughout the world is grown in the United States. Americans eat more popcorn than anyone else. About 13 billion quarts of popped popcorn are eaten annually, which is about 42 quarts per person. Another account even puts this figure higher. About two tablespoons of unpopped popcorn makes a quart of popped popcorn. It is most eaten during fall, and a lot is also eaten during the winter months, but not as much is eaten during spring and summer.

Popcorn has been used for thousands of years, and was first used by Native Americans in both South and North America. The oldest popcorn that has been found is between 4,000 and 5,600 years old, and was discovered in the Bat Cave in west-central New Mexico in 1948. The Aztecs were using popcorn when Cortes invaded Mexico in 1519, not only for food, but to decorate their headdresses and statues of gods. Kernels were also found in South American burial grounds in Chile. Some Native Americans believed that spirits lived inside popcorn kernels, grew angry when they were heated, and then escaped.

Early colonists called popcorn "parching corn," "rice corn," and "popped corn," and it wasn't known as popcorn until the 1820s. It became popular during the holidays, especially with children and during Christmas, where besides being a snack it was also hung on Christmas trees. An early popular way of making it at home was cooking it over an open fire in a wire box with a long handle. In the 1870s, molasses was added to popcorn and popcorn balls began being made. They became one of the most popular confections, they were given as gifts, and ended up in recipe books.

Cracker Jack began being sold in 1896, and consisted of popcorn, peanuts, and molasses. It actually had been sold without the name at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. It soon became a staple at baseball games. The mobile popcorn machine was also first introduced at the Columbian Exposition, and became very popular with street vendors over the next half century, who sold popcorn at fairs, parks, and expositions. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries popcorn also was eaten for breakfast, similar to how cereal is eaten today.

As popcorn was cheap, it could easily be afforded during the Great Depression, and sales actually increased during the time period. It also became popular at movie theaters during this time, and continued to increase in popularity during the years of World War II. As television became popular in the early 1950s, less people went to movies, and less popcorn was eaten as well.

Percy Spencer discovered that popcorn could pop from microwaves, and by the early 1980s, many brands were producing microwave popcorn. One of the first brands to produce it was Golden Valley Foods in 1971. The invention of microwave popcorn greatly increased the consumption of popcorn at home.

Celebrate the day by eating popcorn! Make it with a hot air popper, with oil on the stove, over an open fire, or in the microwave. Have it at home or at a movie theater or sporting event. Make it into popcorn balls, or use it to make something else. Have some friends over and guess the amount of popcorn kernels inside of a container. Then count to see who was the closest, and pop the popcorn. In any event just enjoy some of that fresh popped goodness.

Christmas Past
Posted:Jan 17, 2019 5:01 pm
Last Updated:Jan 18, 2019 7:09 pm

I FINALLY got around to getting one of JD's Christmas presents framed.

An 1863 Confederate States of America $1,000 bond.

With all it's little clip and spend coupons. Every six months you'd get $40 interest. From the sounds of it even the little coupons were accepted in many places as currency.
NOT covered in the Lamestream Media
Posted:Jan 16, 2019 7:27 pm
Last Updated:Jan 17, 2019 3:51 pm

Back OFF if you're not into the political fray because this is a bombshell to the current US Government shut down. I will be copying and pasting direct from the article so that there are NO screw ups or misrepresentations.

The Daily Caller took the rare step of publishing an anonymous op-ed two days ago at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity was known to them and whose career would be jeopardized by its disclosure.

Federal employees are starting to feel the strain of the shutdown. I am one of them. But for the sake of our nation, I hope it lasts a very long time, till the government is changed and can never return to its previous form.

The lapse in appropriations is more than a battle over a wall. It is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good.

On an average day, roughly 15 percent of the employees around me are exceptional patriots serving their country. I wish I could give competitive salaries to them and no one else. But 80 percent feel no pressure to produce results. If they don’t feel like doing what they are told, they don’t.

Why would they? We can’t fire them. They avoid attention, plan their weekend, schedule vacation, their second job, their next position — some do this in the same position for more than a decade.

They do nothing that warrants punishment and nothing of external value. That is their workday: errands for the sake of errands — administering, refining, following and collaborating on process. “Process is your friend” is what delusional civil servants tell themselves. Even senior officials must gain approval from every rank across their department, other agencies and work units for basic administrative chores.

Process is what we serve, process keeps us safe, process is our core value. It takes a lot of people to maintain the process. Process provides jobs. In fact, there are process experts and certified process managers who protect the process. Then there are the 5 percent with moxie (career managers). At any given time they can change, clarify or add to the process — even to distort or block policy counsel for the president.

Saboteurs peddling opinion as research, tasking their staff on pet projects or pitching wasteful grants to their friends. Most of my career colleagues actively work against the president’s agenda. This means I typically spend about 15 percent of my time on the president’s agenda and 85 percent of my time trying to stop sabotage, and we have no power to get rid of them. Until the shutdown.

When the agency is full, employees held liable for poor performance respond with threats, lawsuits, complaints and process in at least a dozen offices, taking years of mounting paperwork with no fear of accountability, extending their careers, while no real work is done. Do we succumb to such extortion? Yes. We pay them settlements, we waive bad reviews, and we promote them.

I get it. These are their pets. It is tough to put them down and let go, and many resist. This phenomenon was best summed up by a colleague who said, “The goal in government is to do nothing. If you try to get things done, that’s when you will run into trouble.”

The first thing we need out of this is better security, particularly at the southern border. Our founders envisioned a free market night watchman state, not the bungled bloated bureaucracy our government has become. But we have to keep the uniformed officers paid, which is an emergency. Ideally, continue a resolution to pay the essential employees only, if they are truly working on national security. Furloughed employees should find other work, never return and not be paid.

Secondly, we need savings for taxpayers. If this fight is merely rhetorical bickering with Nancy Pelosi, we all lose, especially the president. But if it proves that government is better when smaller, focusing only on essential functions that serve Americans, then President Trump will achieve something great that Reagan was only bold enough to dream.

The president’s instincts are right. Most Americans will not miss non-essential government functions. A referendum to end government plunder must happen. Wasteful government agencies are fighting for relevance but they will lose. Now is the time to deliver historic change by cutting them down forever.

********************* Boiled down into my words***********

These people are deemed "Non-essential" for a reason. NEXT article is from the American Thinker yesterday.Trump's shutdown trap? By Thomas Lifson


Has President Trump suckered Democrats and the Deep State into a trap that will enable a radical downsizing of the federal bureaucracy? In only five more days of the already "longest government shutdown in history" (25 days and counting, as of today), a heretofore obscure threshold will be reached, enabling permanent layoffs of bureaucrats furloughed 30 days or more.

Don't believe me that federal bureaucrats can be laid off? Well, in bureaucratese, a layoff is called a RIF – a Reduction in Force – and of course, it comes with a slew of civil service protections. But, if the guidelines are followed, bureaucrats can be laid off – as in no more job. It is all explained by Michael Roberts here (updated after the beginning of the partial shutdown):

A reduction in force is a thoughtful and systematic elimination of positions. For all practical purposes, a government RIF is the same thing as a layoff. ...

Organizations must stick to predetermined criteria when sorting out what happens to each employee. They must communicate with employees how and why decisions are made. ...

In deciding who stays and who goes, federal agencies must take four factors into account:

1. Tenure

2. Veteran status

3. Total federal civilian and military service

4. Performance

A lot of procedures must be followed, and merit ("performance") is the last consideration, but based on the criteria above, employees already furloughed can be laid off ("RIFed") once they have been furloughed for 30 days or 22 work days:

When agencies furlough employees for more than 30 calendar days or 22 discontinuous work days, they must use RIF procedures.

An employee can be terminated or moved into an available position[.]

This seems to be what was referenced in this remarkable essay written by an "unidentified senior Trump official" published in the Daily Caller, which vouches for the authenticity of the author and explains that it is protecting him from adverse career consequences should the name become known. I strongly recommend reading the whole thing.


If this was the plan all along, it would explain why President Trump goaded Chuck and Nancy in his televised meeting with them a few weeks ago, boasting that he would claim credit for the shutdown. How could they resist a prolonged shutdown when he made it so easy to blame him?

President Trump has proven that he is a "disruptor" who changes the framework of thinking on major issues by refusing to accept the "givens" – the assumptions of how things always have been done and therefore always must be done.

So who is the "senior official"? I don't know, but I think Stephen Miller is the sort of bold thinker who might volunteer to telegraph the strategy just five days before the deadline. Give Chuck and Nancy something to think about and probably reject as unthinkable. Then they can't complain that they weren't warned once the trap is sprung.

Just Remember President Reagan and his handling of the airtraffic controllers...
National Bootlegger's Day
Posted:Jan 16, 2019 6:20 pm
Last Updated:Jan 17, 2019 10:13 am

On January 17, 1920, the 18th Amendment officially took effect nationwide. If you're not up to snuff on your American history, the 18th Amendment was known as national Prohibition. It called for the banning of the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcoholic beverage. It even banned "intoxicating liquors", except for those used in religious services, of course. Led by the Temperance Movement, Prohibition was officially ratified on January 16, 1920 and fell into place the next day. Today, January 17 is known as National Bootlegger's Day.

The Temperance Movement began in the early 1800s in an effort to promote the complete abstinence of alcohol from public life. Popular in religious groups, and heavily motivated by religion, churches paved the way for the group's platform to take hold. The national organization began in 1895 after decades of lobbying, and finally, the Volstead Act, or the Eighteenth Amendment, was passed on October 28, 1919.

President Woodrow Will vetoed the National Prohibition Act, but Congress overrode the veto. It was set to begin on January 17, 1920. Only two states rejected the amendment: Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Of course we all know what follows. Distilling illegal liquor reached a fever pitch in the 1920s, whether in decadent city speakeasies or in the hills of Tennessee. For most families, distilling liquor wasn't about breaking the law, it was about making ends meet. Poverty threatened to break apart rural families at the seams (read more about that here), and often, moonshining was just another way to put a little extra food on the table.

Why is January 17 listed as National Bootlegger's Day? Apart from the beginning of Prohibition, January 17 marks the birth of Templeton Rye. A rye whiskey made in the small town of Templeton, Iowa during Prohibition as a way for farmers to supplement their incomes, it was considered some of the highest quality. The liquor circulated throughout the United States, and was a frequent offering at Michigan, Chicago, Kansas City, and Omaha speakeasies.

Interestingly enough, January 17, 1899 was Al Capone's birthday. Big Al who only drank "The Good Stuff", drank Templeton Rye, which is just part of its legendary history. With the gangster's seal of approval, it became known colloquially as Capone's Whiskey and thirsty Americans deprived of regular liquor sales began to rave about its smoothness. In 2006, Templeton Rye Spirits officially launched and have begun to embrace their Prohibition-era history with bootleggers, Al Capone, and its nickname.

Back to legal production with the help of Master Distiller Meryl Kerkhoff, who passed away in 2010, Templeton regained its prestige in the American whiskey market. Aged in charred new oak barrels, Templeton Rye is more than just a whiskey, it's a piece of Midwest history made right here in Iowa.

Posted:Jan 15, 2019 8:59 pm
Last Updated:Jan 16, 2019 11:31 pm

The best way to fight off the chill of a cold and snowy day is with a big bowl of hot and spicy chili. JD wanted my home made chili from scratch so I brought up a jar of my tomatoes, opened it and dumped it into the kettle with some hamburger. I added about a cup of dry pinto beans and red kidneys. Here's where the trickery set in. The store wants $4 for two red sweet bell peppers which pisses me off to that for cooking.

Our Dollar Tree store has a 14 ounce package of Frozen Pepper Stir Fry for $1 !!! If the peppers are going to be cooked I will use that in place of the fresh peppers. The package contains a nice blend of red, yellow and green bell peppers and onions... just what I . I put it through the food processor with an additional small onion and I have the right amount of diced veggies. I add my spices and a half jar of water allowing the soup to set and simmer the whole day.

We both had 2 or 3 bowls of hot and spicy chili for supper last night.

But tonight was the real treat second day chili with hot dogs simmered into the mix for Coney dogs with Chili. I put the wienies into the soup last night to simmer in. Topped off with shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese is the ideal winter time treat.
National Bagel Day
Posted:Jan 14, 2019 6:48 pm
Last Updated:Jan 15, 2019 8:11 pm

National Bagel Day is devoted to bagels, and bakeries and stores that offer them discounted or free bagels on this day! It is unknown exactly how bagels got their start. One story says they were invented in Krakow, Poland, where they appeared in the city's community regulations in 1610. This account says they were given as gifts to women in childbirth.

Bagels are yeast buns made of light or dark flour, with a hole in their middle. They are boiled—although many are now steamed—and then baked, which gives them their taste and characteristics; they are crispy and shiny on the outside, and chewy on the inside. They are dense and heavy, which has earned them the nickname "cement doughnuts."

Two of most popular varieties of bagels are the Montreal and New York styles. The Montreal has malt and , but no salt; it is boiled in honey-sweetened water, and is always baked in a wood-fired oven.

The New York has salt and malt, and is boiled in water before being baked in a standard oven. It isn't as sweet as the Montreal, and it has a smaller hole.

Plain bagels are the most popular type of bagel, followed by sesame bagels. Other popular types have onion flakes, poppy seeds, or fruit such as blueberries or raisins.

Celebrate the day by eating a bagel...or a few bagels. Head out to a bakery or a coffee shop to pick some up. Eat them with cream cheese, or get creative with toppings. Use bagels to make a sandwich, or to make mini pizzas—There are endless possibilities to the types of bagels you could eat and what you could put on them, so there is no shortage of ways to celebrate the day.

Ratification Day
Posted:Jan 13, 2019 5:46 pm
Last Updated:Jan 14, 2019 11:39 am

Tomorrow is the 235th anniversary of the ratification of the Treaty of Paris on January 14, 1784, at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland by the Confederation Congress. This act officially ended the American Revolutionary War

Peace negotiations began in April 1782, and continued through the summer. Representing the United States were Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Henry Laurens, and John Adams. David Hartley and Richard Oswald represented Great Britain. The treaty was signed at the Hotel d'York in Paris on September 3, 1783, by Adams, Franklin, Jay, and Hartley.

1. Britain acknowledges the United States (New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia) to be free, sovereign, and independent states, and that the British Crown and all heirs and successors relinquish claims to the Government, property, and territorial rights of the same, and every part thereof;

2.Establishing the boundaries of the United States, including but not limited to those between the United States and British North America;

3.Granting fishing rights to United States fishermen in the Grand Banks, off the coast of Newfoundland and in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence;

4.Recognizing the lawful contracted debts to be paid to creditors on either side;

5.The Congress of the Confederation will "earnestly recommend" to state legislatures to recognize the rightful owners of all confiscated lands and "provide for the restitution of all estates, rights, and properties, which have been confiscated belonging to real British subjects" (Loyalists);

6.United States will prevent future confiscations of the property of Loyalists;

7.Prisoners of war on both sides are to be released; all property of the British army (including slaves) now in the United States is to remain and be forfeited;

8.Great Britain and the United States are each to be given perpetual access to the Mississippi River;

9.Territories captured by Americans subsequent to the treaty will be returned without compensation;

10.Ratification of the treaty is to occur within six months from its signing.

Only Article 1 of the treaty, which acknowledges the United States' existence as free sovereign and independent states, remains in force. The borders of the USA changed in later years, which is a major reason for specific articles of the treaty to be superseded.

Due to the severe winter of 1783–1784, only delegates from seven of the thirteen states were present in Congress. According to the Articles of Confederation, nine states were required to enter into a treaty. One faction believed that seven states could ratify the treaty; arguing that they were merely ratifying and not entering into a treaty. Furthermore, it was unlikely that the required delegates could reach Annapolis before the ratification deadline

Thomas Jefferson's faction believed that a full nine states were required to ratify the treaty. Any less would be trickery which Britain would eventually find out, giving it an excuse to nullify the treaty. Jefferson stated that it would be a "dishonorable prostitution" of the Great Seal of the United States.

Jefferson was elected to head a committee of members of both factions and arrived at a compromise. Assuming that only seven states were present, Congress would pass a resolution stating that the seven states present were unanimously in favor of ratification of the treaty, but were in disagreement as to the competency of Congress to ratify with only seven states. That although only seven states were present, their unanimous agreement in favor of ratification would be used to secure peace. The vote would not set a precedent for future decisions; the document would be forwarded to the U.S. ministers in Europe who would be told to wait until a treaty ratified by nine states could arrive, and to request a delay of three months. However, if Britain insisted, then the ministers should use the seven-state ratification, pleading that a full Congress was not in session.

In the event, delegates from Connecticut and South Carolina arrived at the last moment, and nine states ratified the treaty. Three copies were sent by separate couriers to ensure delivery. Thus officially ended our Revolutionary War.
Posted:Jan 12, 2019 8:13 pm
Last Updated:Jan 15, 2019 9:17 pm

After a full day of rummaging and shopping.

My brain is not working to produce a noteworthy blog. No historical point of interest or holiday event is crossing my mind.

I spent the last hour or so on the phone with my friend Alex from Chicago... so about all that comes to mind is SEX.....

Do you mind if we have another Weekend SEX Quiz???

Do you prefer sex

in the morning

in the afternoon

at night.

To link to this blog (OnDaFence) use [blog OnDaFence] in your messages.