BLOG ON SEMI-HIATUS (Sticky Post)

3 09 2018

I have left St. Louis for job in Cologne, Germany.

This blog is in a state of semi-hiatus, as of September 4, 2018.

I’ll write posts here every once in awhile, just to update you all on how I’m doing, and my thoughts on whatever big news breaks. Our favorite doggy will chime in every once in awhile with his own guest posts. Other than that, expect posting around here to be not that frequent going forward.

All my other presences.

Reading material:

My Labor Day 2018 farewell post — My final post from St. Louis for awhile, perhaps ever.

My post from July 26, 2018, announcing my departure.

The preview of my Summer 2018 travelogue that I’ll probably never get to write in full.

My long and frequently updated post on my condition and recovery — A recovery which for all intents and purposes is complete as of December 14, 2019.

I proposed on December 14, 2019, and was married on March 7, 2020.  We welcomed twin sons into the world on December 22, 2020.  You can read about how it all happened and eventually future updates in that stead on my RHOC Series.





Real Housewives of Cologne, Episode 11

7 01 2021

“BABY FEVER IS CONTAGIOUS”

Considering the last year, maybe I shouldn’t have titled it quite that way…

Anyway.

Sixteen days after Frau. and I became parents, we learned today that we’re also going to be an aunt and uncle.

My sister-in-law and the soyboy-in-law are expecting. They broke the news to my parents-in-law this evening at supper, even though they gave us a heads up late morning, but wanted it to be a surprise for the grandparents-to-be-again that evening, the tests confirmed today. Preliminarily due in the second half of August, and that range would include the soon-to-be daddy’s 32nd birthday. Soon the docs will be able to narrow the range down.

***

I wrote this back on May 31 in this series:

This has relevance to those two other people that have been a serial feature in this the RHOC series: My sister-in-law, and her husband, the soyboy-in-law.

First off, the good news is that the one-two-three punch of our actually getting married, the Covid-19 lockdown, and our expecting, have finally forced my sister-in-law to give up on her treachery. But more than that, and while no actual words have been spoken to prove it, I can see in their body language that these three recent major events are making my sister-in-law and her husband to do good hard soul searching, to figure out what they really want out of life, and if whatever they decide for themselves going forward involves each other or nah.

So I’m going to make this prediction now: Two years from today, May 31, 2022, they will be either one of two things but not both: Parents, or divorced.

And then on September 1:

One last note: You’ll remember that I wrote in this series back in May, that all that has transpired over this year has not only forced my sister-in-law to give up on her quixotic treachery, but also it has forced her and the soyboy to do some deep introspection. I predicted that, two years hence, they would be either parents or divorced. Nothing has happened since then to make me think one is more likely than the other, but one major thing that happened while we were away on Flitterwochen is that he has made a career change, though to say that he made a “change” is misleading, because what he had before wasn’t really a career, just menial employment. Anyway, I can’t say here what it is, for security purposes, and I wasn’t even aware that one could make a living doing such a thing. But, he is, and already he’s making serviceable money, and because Cologne is one of the world’s centers for this relatively new industry, one that held a big annual trade show here in town over this past extended weekend, he certainly lives in the right city for his newfound profession. Though he will be doing going his fair share of travel. I will say that, as of now, both of them combined now make enough to sustain themselves and a potential baby, so that might be a hint that they’re growing closer together. But, by the same token, each one of them is now making enough to live well enough separately, so it could be just as much of a hint that they’re headed to Scheidungsgericht.

Though for the first time, I’m actually cheering for them to make it. Because I think it would be so neat if (fill in the blank for my planned name of my first son) and (fill in the blank for my planned name of my second son) eventually come to have one or more first cousins. Since I’m an only child, and Frau. has no other siblings, they, (or in theory, my sister-in-law with another man) are the only possible source of potential first cousins for fill-in-the-blank and fill-in-the-blank.

Last month, I think it was early in the month, I wrote on all my socials that both my father-in-law and my sister-in-law were acting strange. Frau. and I found out on Christmas Day why my father-in-law was; Those of you who have received and read my birth announcement already know what it turned out to be. And now I know why my sister-in-law was, because now I’m guessing that, by then, she missed her time of the month, combined with the fact that they were trying, inspired by Frau. and I, (baby fever is contagious, after all), and she already knew.

***

This is good news on several levels.

First, it means that my father-in-law, already on Cloud Nine because he’s now a new grandpa, is going to be a grandpa again. When my sister-in-law made the big announcement at dinner, knowing what was coming, I immediately went over to him and held him to the floor, to keep him from literally going into orbit.  While I was able to prevent that, he was so happy that he did something that I am told that he has never done out of a sense of happiness:  Cry.  And those of you who have read my birth announcement can already figure one big thing he’s going to do in the next several months in earnest.

Second, it means that my sister-in-law’s treachery is officially over. Now it’s perfectly apparent that they figured out in 2020 that all they ever will really have are each other. So why not make the best of it?  They got married some time in the relatively recent past for some reason, after all.  It also proves in the long run that my strategy of being persistently cold toward her, but never directly combative, and never pushing the matter out into the open, as the way to counter her treachery, was the right one.  Anything else, and I could have caused serious interpersonal damage, and none of this would be happening today.

Third, it means that my twin sons will have at least one first cousin pretty close in age to themselves. Something tells me though that, for Frau. and I, he or she will be somewhat kinda sorta de facto our third child.

Fourth, and most importantly, and pointing back to my my father-in-law cried tears of joy, if all goes well and Mother Nature does her proper job, the end result is going to be a family unit that was functional but unsettled and uncertain as late as the beginning of May 2019, to my parents-in-law seeing their older daughter finally find “the one” (after nothing but frustration in that department) and get married and have children, and their younger daughter and other son-in-law finally quit being semi-functional louts and get serious about each other and life in general, ending with having their own son(s) and/or daughter(s) — By September 1, my parents-in-law will be the grandparents of (at least) three.  His tears (and more so, let’s be honest, he kinda sorta fell out, which means a lot, especially for someone like him, whose emotional swings are very low amplitude, unlike his older daughter), were also about the consummation of the thing.  I would guess that every parent worth a damn experiences these emotions when they realize that all of their own children have or will soon have children of their own, grandchildren from all their children.

None of this seemed possible for them as late as May 1, 2019.  Just as none of this and more seemed possible for me as late as a year to the day before that.

All this because I came along and like a wild eight-ball set off a domestic chain reaction that now sees everyone all the better for it.

I think that my father-in-law and mother-in-law will, some time very soon tonight, before they go to sleep, before they turn off the bedside lamps, look at each other, one will say a certain phrase, and the other will agree, that at least roughly translates to:  “The kids are alright.”  Then probably sleep as well as they have in a long time.

I’m the best thing that ever happened to these people.

***

One interesting footnote here is how my mother-in-law, who picks up on everything, totally missed her younger daughter being pregnant, and didn’t see it coming. Middle aged or older women who are at least average in intelligence and perception really have an uncanny ability slash sixth sense about things. And my mother-in-law has these abilities in surplus. I now know that, after the first night I met the family in mid-August 2019, the pilot episode of this the RHOC series, later that night, she told he who would eventually become my father-in-law that I gave her a feeling that I was going to be “the one” for their older daughter in a way that none of Frau.’s other previous serious boyfriends ever did. You also know from this series that, on the night I proposed, only my mother-in-law saw that there was something more than met the eye to the evening. And, later on, as I would find out, she figured Frau. was expecting even before she missed her first time of the month. Later on, she was the first to speculate “Zwilling” (“twins”) out loud.

Yet, her intuition didn’t go off at all this time, and on top of that, I had a better long term read the subject matter than she did.  Odd one there.

***

Things are going so well for me and us.  Too well, as a matter of fact.

The comedown, whenever it comes and whatever it is, is going to be good hard and swift.  Though, considering my relatively recent life history, maybe I shouldn’t have put it quite that way…





On the Excitement in D.C. Today

6 01 2021

Washington, D.C.

I turn my head for one day, one FRICKIN’ day.

I actually had a short roadtrip today to Wiesbaden. This was my first any kind of extended time away from my wife and 15-day old sons since they were born. Eventually, there will be many more and much longer such trips. But ABL and I digress.

On D.C.:

I get what they’re trying to do, on several levels.

But I also know that an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure. The sorts of people who are engaging in exuberant protesting today are the kinds that are trying to administer (most likely ineffective) pounds of cure today, because they didn’t want to do the ounce of prevention a long time ago. Somewhat ironically, the people who wanted the ounces of prevention way back when are the kind of people who don’t have any interest in behaving so exuberantly today.

As a bonus, all I need are six words to explain what happened in Georgia yesterday:

Cocaine Mitch blocked the two grand.

As another bonus:

 

UPDATE 1/7

I’m going to get my new thoughts in really quick before this evening — And yes, you’ll soon read about that.  Don’t touch that dial.

(1)  Going into the interior of the Capitol, even those who didn’t actually do any damage while inside, was a line stepper. That’s one big difference between yesterday and the very similar Bundestag “storming” nothingburger back in August.

(2) There were a million and a half people there yesterday, and nearly all of them were able to resist the temptation to enter the Capitol. Which only makes it worse for those that did.

(3) Chatter about Antifa provocation. I think we’ll eventually find out that that was partially the case, but no more than a small percentage. But I go back to one item above — A million and a half people there, and nearly all of them were resilient to such provocation, which makes those that weren’t look all the more stupid.

(4) This wasn’t Trump’s fault, but he does need to get out in front of this in a yuge bigly public way.

(5) “Defund the Police” and “It’s just property” are now officially over.

(6)  Dear mainstream media — When you beg your own political allies to riot for a whole season, don’t be surprised when people who you all wish wouldn’t heed the message do just that. After all, sometimes, it’s not just dogs that hear the dog whistles.

(7)  If I was properly geographically positioned, I could have seriously seen myself going, but my instincts would have been not to get too close to the Capitol. Definitely not climb the steps, (which, by itself, isn’t a big deal), and sure as hell not go inside. There are things worth falling on your sword over, but the mere person of Donald John Trump isn’t one of them. The voter fraud issue obviously needs attention, but the million and a half people who did it the right way yesterday did just that, and visually served as a mass human asterisk affixed to the coming “Presidency” of one Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.

 

 





Real Housewives of Cologne, Episode 10

1 01 2021

“FATHERHOOD IS (GOING TO BE) HARD”

(1) How am I not going to spoil them? Even more daunting is how I’m going to undo their grandpa’s spoiling of them. Those of you who have gotten my e-mail announcement know that he already has, in a big way.

(2) It is inevitable that both I and their mother will favor one over the other, it’s just human nature. How am I going to engage in them to where they don’t realize it? Some of the worst and longest lasting family feuds are rooted in parents’ sibling favoritism.

(3) How am I going to be able to split the uprights and avoid the undesirable extremes of helicopter parenting on one end and total insouciance on the other? The former is how the world ended up with special snowflakes in constant need of safe spaces, and the latter is how we got street gangs.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that…

Note: In light of what I have come to learn recently, I’ve added a new axiom, number 79.





Happy New Year.

31 12 2020

Guest post by Puggg

Another one gone, another one starting, as usual, huh?

I wish I couldn’t be part of the crowd that is saying good riddance to 2020, but like most people, I am.

The coming year has good chances of another big advancement in my career, if it’s optimism you want.

New Year 2021 open thread.





Mal Lange Vorbei

31 12 2020

Twenty-twenty is going to be a year that everyone is going to remember for a long time. It’s just that, while most people will wish they could forget it, Frau. and I will hope that we never do. We may be the only two people who ever visit its island in the Archipelago of Last Years.

Twenty-twenty-one is going to be the year that I know reality reasserts itself, some how, some way, bringing us down from our high that was the year about to end. It’s also going to be a critical year for Germany, and a critical year for my work. A year where we’re burning a two-ended candle at three ends.

From Frau. and I and our nine-day old twin sons, we wish you all a Fröhliche Silvester und Neujahr.





How I’m Feeling Right Now

24 12 2020

Frau. and I have given this humanity thing another chance.

We were hoping for the stork to ride with Santa, considering how close our due date ranges were to Christmas, the first range was a bit after when it was presumed to be a single, but then moved up a week to a bit before when twins were confirmed.

It didn’t turn out that way. But it worked out for the best, because we all got to come home earlier today, and they’ll wake up for the very first time of a morning in their own cribs in their own home tomorrow morning, Christmas morning.  And then they’ll see their grandparents’ house for the first time later in the morning for Christmas.  Over the river and through the woods…except…well…except both houses are west of the Rhine, so we won’t be crossing any rivers, and there aren’t much in the way of wooded areas in the most direct path between the two houses.

I just can’t stop looking at them.  I had all I could do to stop doing that long enough to write this post, and I want to get it done ASAP/PDQ so I can go right back.  I don’t think their mother actually has taken their eyes off them.  The new grandparents followed us from the hospital to here, and they themselves just left within the hour, that’s how hard it was for them to break away.  In spite of the fact that they’re going to be seeing them again tomorrow all day beginning in just a handful of hours.

I’m telling ya, these two little boys already have a lot of fans.

How I’m feeling right now? Well, someone born 335 years ago 225 miles nearly due east of where I currently sit, put it best, with the greatest song ever made, a composer that another famous composer born 250 years ago this month 18 miles southeast of where I sit once praised as the GOAT.  When I drove Frau. and our two new bundles of joy home earlier today, (yes, rear-facing Kindersitzen), I played it in the car.  It was therefore the first full length song my sons ever heard in their lives.  Needless to say, they’re already off to a good start in life insofar as musical tastes.

Another great composer, also born 335 years ago, around 80 miles away from the aforementioned, is on my mind. This, a 1972 stylized arrangement of one of his great works.

A few bonuses. The most perfect rendition of an English language Christmas carol ever.  And don’t try changing my mind.

The Ray Conniff Singers are probably the most underrated Christmas carol singers of all time. Their version of “The First Noel” (part of a longer medley, the RCS liked to do Christmas carol medleys) is really stirring and has a really low key power feeling.  The RCS marched to the beat of their own drum, both figuratively and literally;  With their Christmas carols and regular songs, they had quirky ways of riding beats and handling pitches and doing lyrical arrangements, which you’re about to hear.  The intro, sans the bells, makes me think I’m about to hear “Green Fields” by The Brothers Four (1960). The whole medley is worth the listen.  But I promise you you’ll be running back “The First Noel” many times.

Once again, many of you who are reading these words will get the special “Hello World” e-mail I’m planning on writing and sending some time next week. If you don’t think you’re on the list, contact me, and I’ll add you if I know you well enough and trust you.

(Real Housewives of Cologne, intermediate interlude.  For record keeping purposes)





Don’t Tell Anybody.

24 12 2020

Guest post by Puggg

There’s going to be a really special post here later today.

And Merry Christmas, everyone. Let’s make this one, rather than the one that is coming later today, the Christmas open thread.





Real Housewives of Cologne, Episode 9

18 12 2020

“LAST WORDS, BEFORE…”

Even though we’ve been on Baby Watch / Babybeobach for almost a week now, our official due date range starts on Sunday. So I’m going to take this last opportunity to get in my last words in this space before becoming a father.

By no means are these going to be royal babies, and certainly not ones on the direct line of succession for any throne. Yet and still, both Frau. and I are very happy with all the interest that a lot of people, people attached to her only, people in two countries attached to me only, and people attached to both of us, have in this imminent anticipated event.  It’s almost as if it is a royal baby watch. Thank you, everyone. Vielen Dank an alle.

We are as ready to be parents as any two people can be, and in fact, we think we have it in us to be the best parents of all time. My father-in-law is already in serious contention to be the grandpa of all time. Speaking of, I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something up with him in a good way. And I think there’s also something up with my sister-in-law, but I can’t tell whether it’s a good or bad thing.

When they arrive, they will be, all things considered, the two most improbable human beings on Earth. And I know many of you have had a front row seat with me through the years for some of those “all things.”  It wasn’t that long ago that I thought all this was impossibly out of reach.

Our sons will be advantaged in many ways and privileged in a few, but I think their most valuable advantage is that I’m going to be able to teach them all the things I had to learn the hard way, via the school of hard knocks, all the things that they don’t teach in any textbook. I’ll be able to immunize them (now there’s a current year-y concept) against life’s perfidy before reality has a chance to mug them. Whether they’ll pay attention is left to the hands of the fate of a relatively distant future.

I’m on the verge of having everything in life that I could have wanted and practically attained.





One Year Ago Today

14 12 2020

I asked a certain someone to marry me, and she accepted.

In this year, we’ve gone all the way from singles in a relationship to married about-to-be parents, with a memorable wedding ceremony and an unforgettable honeymoon in between, and then some. Of course, there have also been all the world’s problems, 2020 being as 2020-y as it can be. But we were like for the most part, devil may care. OTOH, one other thing I did one year ago today, if you remember, is buy my car. And the current year being what it was, it has far fewer kilometers on it one year later than I would have expected.

We’re now down to a single digit number of days, assuming she’s not way late. Even now, we’re on high alert. In the meantime, Frau. is eating everything in sight, including things I would have never guessed were edible, and she’s just, plain, huge. All the people of professional credibility and previous experience in these things tell me no no no, it’s just indicative that they’re twins, but I can’t help but think they’re going to be some really big boys.

Probably around a week or so after they arrive, I’m going to have a special arrival e-mail and send it to a long list of people. It will contain details I can’t reveal in public, so this list of people will be those I know and/or trust. Some of you reading these words are already on the list; If you want on, contact me, and I’ll add you if I know and/or trust you.

(Real Housewives of Cologne update)





Judge Takes Gardner Off The McCloskey Case.

11 12 2020

Guest post by Puggg

A news story about it.

This is the second time that she has had to be forcefully bypassed. The first time was with the Eric Greitens case. And we know how that turned out.





Sunday Open Thread.

6 12 2020

Guest post by Puggg

I’ll contribute this: An “adult white male” in Bevo, it’s bound to be Bosnian.

Now, bark away.





Something Something I Can Use

30 11 2020

Kalkar

Before any more of you e-mail and DM me:

Yes, I was there for the whole thing. Kalkar is close enough to Cologne, such that I commuted, albeit a pretty long one, in order to save what little accommodations there were and open for those who had to come a long way.

It’s a long story with a lot of complicated moving parts, (duh, Germany, lol), going back to the end of May 2019, with a narrative hook that goes all the way back to September 2018, news that was hot in this country at the time I formally moved here. If I wasn’t so busy, I’d tell it right now.

But I’ll just give you the executive summary of what happened this weekend:

Certain people who should know better took what was before this weekend private family business and dirty laundry, and aired it out and threw it all out into the public.

In doing so, they may have crossed a Rubicon, even though Kalkar is on the Rhine.

I’ll also say here as a summary that the dirty laundry in question can be summarized with three words: Optics, East, West. In a sense, the AfD has imported the Great American Alt-Right Optics War of 2018.

And I’d be more pissed about this, if Frau. and I weren’t three weeks away from the most anticipated event of our lives. I haven’t even assembled the baby furniture yet, though that will have to be my upcoming weekend.





Lyda Krewson Quits.

20 11 2020

Guest post by Puggg

Open thread for the coming Thanksgiving week. Everyone around here saw the news this week that Lyda Krewson won’t seek another term as mayor in the city. I wonder if any of you have any sort of hint about what’s really going on there. That and other things. Whatever is on your mind.





Real Housewives of Cologne, Episode 7 Postscript

19 11 2020

“WHAT I DID ON MY SUMMER VACATION”

Enough time has passed since July for enough people to forget enough things so that I now feel comfortable telling you more precisely where we went for our honeymoon and how we went there.

I already mentioned here both before and after two of the places as hints: One was Transylvania, and the other Thessalonica. Along side of that, I also kicked a snarky line that involved Belgrade, and not because it wasn’t one of our stops.

Combine all that, and some of you can already probably figure out that the mighty Danube River had something to do with it.

And that it did: We went on a close to wire-to-wire cruise of the Danube, that started at Ingolstadt, and ended at Vidin, Bulgaria. Then over land the rest of the way, Vidin -> Sofia -> Thessalonica -> Bucharest -> Transylvania -> Chisnau -> Odessa -> Mouth of the Danube -> Bucharest. Flew home from Bucharest to Cologne, and the flight path took us over three of the major cities on the Danube where we made stops, (Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna), and furthermore, went straight over Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, one of my stops during the 2018 Voyage. That city has a German name, and when I say it, everything else will fall into place: Budweis. Yes, I’ve seen the original Budweiser brewery, and while I can’t say that they welcomed a native St. Louisan who has had five close relatives work at Anheuser-Busch with open arms, considering the long time controversy, they did take things in their stride. I should say that the original Budweiser as a beer is so much better than A-B’s that it’s an insult to the original even to think of comparing them, even if its brewery is hardly what you would call modern.

But I digress.

The flight back was also the first time that I used or even seen the Cologne-Bonn Airport (Köln-Bonn Flughaven), even though, at the time we landed, I’d lived in Cologne for a month short of two years.

A quick and dirty map:

Once we set sail east out of Ingolstadt, everything geographically was new to me. Even though I have already been to Austria, its stamp was already on my passport from Summer 2018. Apart from that, I got ten new stamps on my passport — Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, North Macedonia, Greece, Moldova, Ukraine. To add to the fourteen I had previously (Canada, Mexico, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Vatican City). To make now 24 overall. We even passed through a semi-autonomous region of Moldova called Transnistra, a slight slither between Moldova and Ukraine, I think the only remaining “country” that uses the hammer and sickle in its flag. It issues its own outbound passports but does not have passport stamps of its own. Seven national capital cities. Two significant seas: Aegean and Black. In fact, the Aegean was the first time my actual feet touched Mediterranean waters.

So, think of all the big name cities we visited: Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, (this honeymoon was brought to you by the letter B), Sofia, Thessalonica, Chisnau, Odessa. The culturally significant and stunning Transylvania region. All the places in between, and the bonus of seeing a few of of them again (plus one city from two years ago) from the air flying back. In spite of all that, there’s one thing that beat them all, and the thing I’ll remember from this honeymoon even if get to be a million years old with Alzheimers.

Frau. had already on much of this same trip, as a girl, and sights this stunning, she was more than happy to see them again, even though I know the reciprocation for a honeymoon involving many places she has already seen and been is going to be that I eventually take her to see St. Louis — Still now, I catch her looking up something-something St. Louis when I take a peek at her devices. She wants to see where her husband comes from, and I guess I should be happy for that by itself, even though I don’t think I can verbally warn her enough to prepare her for the whole experience, that what she is going to see in quite a few parts of St. Louis will shock her in ways she’s never been shocked. She’s been to America, but only New York and Chicago.

But, back to the honeymoon, as we were discussing what was to come, she looked at me at one point like my fly was open. I was like: WTF? One thing led to another, and she told me that she was surprised that I was missing something on the long trip we were about to embark upon, and she was surprised that I didn’t know about it, in spite of my reasonable command of geography. I asked her what it was, but she clammed up, wanting to save the surprise for when I actually saw it.

So, what was this thing that beat everything else that I’ve already stated, something that Frau. wanted to keep a surprise, and something I’ll remember even when I’ve forgotten everything else about this honeymoon?

Oh yeah, it was that good.

The Iron Gates Gorge of the Danube.

I just can’t, with any words even I could use, or the photos and videos I took. Nothing but actually seeing it could do it justice. I’ll just say here that it’s basically the part of the Danube that is around the Serbia-Romania-Bulgaria triple point, most of the river somewhat east of Belgrade on east and south to Vidin, where we disembarked from the river cruise.

And I don’t think you could find a better river cruise in the world than the real meat of the Danube.

***

On a more up to date personal note, this weekend is Frau.’s baby shower. Not the traditional sort of one; Remember, I said that we won’t be having one of those for the same reason we didn’t have a wedding registry, because we already had or could easily get the kind of things that you get with a wedding registry or a baby shower. But you’ll also remember that I said that Frau., her mother, my sister-in-law, Frau.’s grandmothers, and other various female in-laws, are going to have a baby shower type celebration that will involve many shipped in boxes of chocolates from Germany’s famous chocolate makers in Bremen. That happens this weekend. It also means that both mein Schweigervater and I will have some me time alone time, separately. I’m going to do a short roadtrip out of town and stop at whatever looks good and is open, considering the lockdown. I know that this will be the last lengthy substantial stretch of alone time that I’ll have for a very long time, and I’m going to use it to do two things: A lot of sleep, and a lot of clearing and resetting my head, to get ready for what’s to come.

Once this weekend is over, it’s down the stretch we come. In fact, Frau.’s maternity leave begins tomorrow, so she’s going straight from her last day of work for awhile to her baby shower then to maternity leave. It means that I’m going to make sure I enjoy this weekend’s me time. But before then, I’m going to surprise her at her work tomorrow afternoon with a rose and a few pieces of the kind of chocolate she’ll be eating all weekend. Keep that our little secret.

If all goes well, I’ll have attained everything I could have wanted out of life and reasonably could have attained, by the time you read a RHOC entry in this space. All the more remarkable considering how as late as about two and a half years ago, I had concluded that none of this was possible. Knowing what’s coming over this the final month and change, I don’t expect any posts here, and not much if anything on my socials.

This is truly it. It’s now or never.

And I wish you all a fröhliche Weihnachten, because I know I’ll be having one, my best Christmas ever.





Not Godwin’s Law

18 11 2020

Berlin

This is supposed to be a country that is always on the lookout for a resurgence of Naziism in order to smash it.

But:

(1) The Bundestag is seriously considering an “Infektionsschutzgesetz” (“infection protection law”) which in many parts reads like exact copies of the Enabling Act of 1933. The debate on it was today and continues this evening, which is why there were protests against it in Berlin today, see below.

(2) There is constant complaining about too much decentralized power and constant advocacy of the need to centralize it. Smells a lot like Gleichschaltung.

Not strictly parallel to Nazi-era history, but noteworthy nonetheless:

(3) The Berlin Police deployed “Wasserwerfer” (“water cannons”) today against peaceful protesters. Remember, water cannons and water hoses in the United States are supposed to invoke mental images of evil white Southern cops spraying high pressure water out of hoses at black civil rights protesters. The cops in Berlin and elsewhere have used them against Antifa, but only at the last moment.

(4) The Berlin Police did a near George Floyd maneuver today against an AfD member of the Bundestag.

So, you may be asking: When do the concentration camps start? That one’s easy. They won’t be necessary, because they’ve turned all of our houses, apartments and private residences into many mini-CCs.





This Is Like Lucifer Complaining That Satan Is Corrupting His Morals

16 11 2020

Jennings

The native city never disappoints.

And also, I’m glad I know how to use a VPN; Otherwise, American TV news station websites are blocked to barefoot EU-zone IPs, because of the whole cookie controversy.

Remember, what happened six years ago was so close to Jennings, and in fact, I remember writing in this space that that part of Ferguson had a really un-Ferguson-y feel and had way more of a Jennings feel, that, just shift events and circumstances six football fields in a southernly direction, and the St. Louis suburb that would be internationally infamous today would be Jennings, not Ferguson.





The Fundamental Question

9 11 2020

Washington, D.C.

At some point in the near future, be it January 20, 2021, or January 20, 2025, or some date in between, the person of Donald John Trump will no longer be President of the United States.

With the fact that the Trump Presidency will end, sooner or later, it has gotten my mind into a retrospective mood. There’s been one big chronic over-arching question on my mind in these the last five and a half years:

What explains the very widespread society-wide officially promulgated hatred of and contempt for him?

Because it’s unquestionably true that no other person who has been or was in very serious contention to be President of the United States in the post-WWII era has experienced anything close to the near-unanimous official vitriol that Trump has in these last five and a half years. Not even Richard Nixon. Hell, at least the national news media, which conspired against Nixon ever since he first ran for Congress, and succeeded when he was fool enough to obstruct justice over a third-rate hotel burglary, gave Nixon timely and contemporary credit for his foreign policy “successes” on China and ending American participation in the Vietnam War. (Even though the China “successes” really don’t seem that way today — Ed.) In contrast, as far as I can tell, the current year American official news media barely said or wrote “Abraham Accords.”

(Note that when I’m talking about “official vitriol,” I’m talking both about from official quarters, and above and beyond the usual red-blue partisan rancor, and above and beyond the typical raspberry-throwing that anyone with any kind of power inevitably experiences. Every President of the United States, from 1 to 45, has gotten it from someone or somewhere. What I’m about is what Trump has gotten delta the first 44.)

But I keep coming back to the same one-word question:

Why?

What’s the heat and energy source for something this widespread? Because it has to be a really serious heat and energy source, for it to be this widespread and for this long. You can boil a thimble full of water with a lighted match, but what Trump has been facing would boil all the Earth’s oceans away.

Why is it that Official America begged for, engaged in, and even semi-justified, blatant obvious naked voter fraud and election stealing in their attempt to oust him?

All the usual explanations are weak sauce, so don’t even waste your time trying to float them.

I have come up with three theories, both of which have their own problems, and first of which is probably too weak to explain, and second is taboo to bear:

(1) China. Official America in both the public and private sphere is just way too invested in China to tolerate this or any White House treating Beijing like an economic adversary.

(2) The second one, I’ve gotta go there. The Jews (as in official organized activist Jewish interests) are scared of him, for some reason. Now, if you’re looking for the capability to produce ocean-boiling heat, there you go.

(3) The natural cliquishness of human beings. You have to remember that Trump is the first President who was neither never elected to anything before nor a military general. Beyond that, Trump was never let his brain be fried in the ideological oil of the conventional “permissible” current era options. Ever since Trump made his first Presidential overtures in October 1987, his only points of consistency have been economic nationalism, some vague idea of civic nationalism, and hostility to the Asian economic rival du jour, with everything else being ultimately negotiable. Anyway, back to the point, cliques have a natural habit of wanting to repel outsiders as if they were a virus, even outsiders that are friendly to the Weltanschauung of the clique.

Now, peanut gallery, let’s see if you can come up with some as-good or better theories.





Sorry If I Can’t Cry

8 11 2020

Your Blogmeister’s German Desk

This was an almost perfect November weather wise weekend here in Cologne and The Region. Sunshine most of the daylight hours, more so yesterday than today. Usually, November is wire to wire cloudy, seeing the sun is more rare than teeth on hens.

So, you learn to cherish fall and early winter sunshine when you live in these parts.

That’s why Frau. and I spent as much time outdoors as we could this weekend, and as much of it as possible unplugged from the matrix.

And you know, she’s never looked more beautiful than she does now, in the two years in change that I’ve known her. The sun is really setting her face off well these days. My parents-in-law tell me that they’ve never seen her more consistently happy and content. And I can tell you the same is true for me.

Just a month and a half away, now. I’ll have everything in life that I could have both wanted and reasonably attained.

Sorry if I can’t or don’t feel like joining everyone else in all the rage and sorrow.





The Most Likely Scare Scenario

5 11 2020

Washington, D.C.

Something that does not involve a lot of blood spilling or dueling administrations with one in exile and with split international recognition.

The unresolved states don’t send electors to the Electoral College next month. There aren’t 270 EC votes therefore for anyone for President and anyone for Vice-President. Trump’s term as President and Pence’s term as VP expire on January 20 at noon ET. At that moment, there would be no EC-designated replacements for them. So it would mean, according to the Presidential Succession Act, the Presidency defaults to the Speaker of the House. Democrats look like they maintained a majority there, so the new House will convene earlier in the month and retain Pelosi as Speaker. But then Republicans mount a court challenge on the constitutionality of the Presidential Succession Act, which is said to have always been on shaky constitutional ground. However, out of the interests of “stability” and “unity,” the Republican appointees that have “grown” and “evolved” while on the bench find it constitutional.

UPDATE 11/6

With the Democrats’ unexpected numerical losses in the House, and the final tally may be razor close, though most likely in the Democrats’ favor, there’s already talk about ousting Pelosi. Though I have my doubts; I’ve heard that song before too many times; I know how it ends. But if it isn’t Pelosi, whoever it is would become President if this scare scenario happens.





Pro Tip

4 11 2020

London; Columbia, Missouri

If you don’t have any legal influence over American Presidential elections in any way, meaning that doing so is unethical and a conflict of interest if you do, put a little bit of dough on the 50-1 that the British books are giving Josh Hawley to win it all in 2024.

Take it from me, as someone who was a ground floor charter adopter of Hawley’s political career five years ago. He’s got serious steam under his feet. Meaning this 50-1 number is a hell of a value bet.





Running Backwards Faster

4 11 2020

Washington, D.C.

Off the bat: As I start to write this, right around 2 PM Wednesday in Germany, it’s still not called. So I’m going to write this with the assumption that, as the uncalled states go, the current leaders in the uncalled states stay unchanged. I’ll also presume that the projections of Republicans hold the Senate and Democrats hold the House don’t change.

***

As I wrote here two days ago, this was the first American Presidential election cycle in my conscious observant lifetime of these things that I was unable to watch the American prime time vote counting and state-calling, because my new time zone meant that I was asleep.

One of the things that fell out of the design of that is that, because I wasn’t doing what I had in the past, sperg out over percentages, raw votes and numbers, I’m able to get to the big fundamental moral of the story sooner than I would if my sperging would have made me miss the forest for the trees for awhile, which it did in the past.

***

I’ll start with the conclusion:

Both Trump and Biden lost.

It’s just that Trump won because, while Trump ran backwards, Biden ran backwards faster.

***

I’ll conclude with the reasoning:

It’s as easy as the two contradictory overriding themes that various V-Dare writers have been pushing all year (or longer) both being true at the same time, with the fact that one was truer than the other making the ultimate difference, as these two things worked against each other in the conventional red-blue political calculus.

One was the Peter Brimelow and James Kirkpatrick (et al.) worrying that Trump wasn’t as strong with the white vote nationally as he was four years ago. I thought that was all Shy Tory Syndrome. The truth turned out to be in the middle. But it was true enough not only to prevent Trump from expanding the map, but it also meant Wisconsin turned back to blue. And the sort of whites he lost 2020 delta 2016 were I think mostly because he outsourced his early years economic agenda to Javanka and Paul Ryan. What an irony there; Ryan, from Wisconsin, not only couldn’t help Romney carry Wisconsin in 2012, but may have been part of the reason why Wisconsin flipped from red to blue this year.

The other was Steve Sailer, who has for a long time been trying to warn the knucklehead Blue Team that their turning their party over to the black undertow and associated concerns only serves to piss off very important critical decisive marginal voters, especially among non-black non-whites. Hence, Florida.

So, what you have in both factors is Trump running backwards with the Javanka/Ryan economic agenda, but Biden running backwards faster with BLM.

As far as that goes, still want to believe that BLM is that popular? Now there’s were a lot of Shy Tory Syndrome comes in.

***

Other observations:

(1) Like I wrote above, the Shy Tory Syndrome glass turned out to be a glass half full or empty. I was saying it was going to be a big factor, many in our sector thought it wasn’t there at all, but the reality was in the middle. That is also true for what happened yesterday as well: The Electoral College results turned out to be in between realistically optimistic pro-Trump maps and the Blue Team-cheerleading news media. As of right now, the only state changes are Wisconsin and Arizona, both red to blue.

(2) This feels like the photographic negative of 2012. A whole lot of money, hype and screaming, but in the end, the White House and the Senate remain in the same party’s hands, while the House remains in the other party’s hands.

(3) I don’t think Covid had a statistically significant effect, either in terms of people blaming Trump or Biden, or reducing turnout.

(4) As far as the Summer of Floyd, that also turned out to split the difference, and cause both to lose. Really, Trump was betting on the De Gaulle 1968 scenario. His team had the right era, but the wrong continent. A better analogy is Detroit 1967 — There, the three elected politicians with direct executive authority to stop it didn’t want to do so, because they feared that it would somehow benefit the other two, and the three of them had an intense three-way hatred of each other for varying reasons. The JFK protege Irish Catholic Detroit Mayor, Jerome Cavanaugh, the moderate Republican Governor, George Romney, (there’s that name again), and of course LBJ. LBJ and Cavanaugh hated each other for the same reasons LBJ and JFK hated each other. And at the time, Romney was considered a strong front runner to win the Republican nomination in 1968 and challenge LBJ, so that explains their beef. Then there were the internal Michigan and Detroit reasons behind the Romney-Cavanaugh feud. Anyway, neither one of the three would pull the trigger, and this let the riots fester. And, as it turned out, neither one of them would ever win another election in their lives ever again.

Politically speaking, bouncing off of riots is playing with fire, pun intended.

So I think the Summer of Floyd hurt both Trump and Biden, because Trump came off as weak and politically vindictive by not using Federal resources to stop it, and Biden was seen as the head of a political campaign that was seeking to benefit from the violence. Like I wrote above, it hurt Biden more than Trump in the long run, because of the marginal constituencies that blamed Biden more than Trump. Or, to put it another way, once you go black…

Too, three of the last four biennial election cycles have been such that black undertow activism has hurt the Blue Team.

(5) Now, can Official America FINALLY come around to what I’ve known for seven and a half years, that online and social media don’t matter that much?

***

Now, both parties are going to have to do a lot of soul searching. There will be a lot made publicly about the Squad vs Establishment food fight in the Blue Team, but, the truth of the matter is that their brain trust is going to have to figure out how to make their team less dependent on black voters, both in the primary and caucus season, and in November. Over at Team Red, not only do they have to figure out honestly why they gave back some of the Great Lakes 2016 delta 2012 whites, (and I already provided the answer), but they’re going to have to find a way to thread the needle to get back and hold onto and keep those WCW and UMC suburban whites, especially women. That latter group I think was mostly responsible for Arizona. (And, ironically, a woman getting bounced out of the Senate.)

***

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I’ve got a whole life to get back to. Now that it’s November, I can now officially say that, next month, if all goes well, I’ll be a father, and thus I’ll finally have everything in life that I could have wanted and reasonably attained, especially remarkable because I would have been crazy to think that this was ever attainable as late as April 2018. I’ll also add that I’m doing No Nut November this month, for the best of reasons. Then again, I’ve been doing the No Nut thing for awhile, and it’s very likely going to be well past November that I’m going to keep on doing it.





Bonk on the Prediction

1 11 2020

Washington, D.C.

So it’s really going to happen.

In spite of my prediction. One that I made, shortly before that day, and at the time and in the place that was the last time I ever played golf.

I would have thought that someone or something would have gotten to him by now.

The first Presidential election results night I can consciously remember as such was 1984, age seven, and the next one, 1988, age 11, was the first where I really understood the nuances of what was going on, not only then, but also the primary and caucus process earlier in that year and starting in late 1987, when a certain someone first started sounding like someone who seriously wanted to run for President.

This will be the first cycle where I will be unable to watch the live results, for the obvious time zone differences. The way the conventional wisdom talking heads are running their yammers, the outcome probably won’t be known in short order. So, when I get up at six in the morning my time, it’ll be midnight in the US East, 11 PM in St. Louis. So it probably won’t be resolved even by then.

***

Speaking of elections, there’s already talk of delaying Germany’s Federal elections next year, which, statutorily, must take place on or before October 24, and on top of that, six federal states also go next year. Why? Because virus, of course. I happen to think virus is the excuse; I think the real reason is that the C-Duh-U is trying to buy more time, not only around the conventional set of politics, affairs and news that it can’t control, but also because replacing Merkel as party leader is turning out to be big damned clusterfuck and a daily soap opera; congruently, supposedly because virus but really because internal party politics, the C-Duh-U’s party convention has been pushed back to January.

***

Open thread for predictions and last minute news. Etc.





Popcorn Grabbing Mood

28 10 2020

Berlin

Just watched the press conference about the new restrictions and lockdown measures, which will actually be worse than what they were back in the spring. Angela Merkel and Markus Söder, the Minister-President of the Bavarian state, basically the Governor of Bavaria, were shooting thousand yard stares at each other, as if they were trying to say each other with body language that the other is going to get the blame for this. Söder for his part is in major contention to replace Merkel as party leader, and that saga is its own current month daily soap opera in this country. Mainly a food fight between those who want to pretend to be a little bit patriotic in order to coopt the AfD, and those who don’t even want to pretend, and want to go balls to the wall all four barrels publicly on The Great Replacement.

Anyway, it’s not all bad news. You see, with Flickenteppich and Gleichschaltung on an apparent collision course, we may FINALLY be able to settle irresistible force vs immovable object after all these millennia.

And I’d be more pissed if I wasn’t having the best year of my life, with the best yet to come.

***

Okay, you cried uncle.

Flickenteppich: The parts literally translate to “patched carpet,” together the word means “patchwork quilt,” and it’s a modern day mild political pejorative about how there’s supposedly too much division and fragmented political power along the lines of the federalist system. As you can figure, it’s being said and written a lot this year.

Its antonym is also a pejorative, albeit a much stronger one and a far more famous one, and strangely, one that hasn’t been officially used, much less officially preened about, here in the current year. Gleichschaltung. Its parts literally translate to “equal shifting” or “switching,” together the word means “phasing in” or “coordination,” and as a proper noun, it referred to the NSDAP program of eliminating federalism and localism in the 1930s and exercising national power in a truly unitary sense. As one of you wrote when I discussed this some time back, the grand irony is that Mustache Man Bad would have been deported back to Austria after the failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, the Weimar government in Berlin wanted it, but the Bavarian state had enough veto and federalist power to keep it from happening. You’ll also remember last year, in the very short time when St. Louis’s city-county reunification plan was officially presented and considered, I sarcastically called it the Louschaltung.

That’s why I’m in a popcorn grabbing mood.





Politics, Culture and Streams

27 10 2020

Los Angeles

David Cole’s latest.

Cole and I are on the same wavelength.

The Breitbartesque axiom, “politics are downstream from culture,” I think is a deceptive half truth. The late great Sam Francis also made the same point, and, in the years since he’s been gone, it’s one of my rare posthumous disagreements with him.

The problem with that bon mot isn’t that politics aren’t or are never downstream from culture, it’s that those who repeat it mean it in the sense that politics are always and only ever downstream and culture is always and only ever upstream.

In reality, politics can be downstream from culture, or they can be upstream from culture. Likewise, culture can be upstream from politics, or downstream from politics.

The better way to think about it is this: Politics and culture have a dynamic relationship with each other, in that they can both influence each other and be influenced by each other. Expressed symbolically, let politics be P and culture be Q:

P <=> Q

Note: If this sounds familiar, then it should. This the logical biconditional is how I think of the relationship between black murders and black funerals, and it’s increasingly my conceptual framework about the relationship between poverty and crime, in that it’s too simplistic to believe that one is always and only ever the cause and the other is always and only ever the effect.





#Kostenlosöffentlichesverkehrsmittel

27 10 2020

Rural Northern Hesse

Another one of my long term type predictions is starting come more and more true.

Me, November 4, 2019:

I have written this prediction elsewhere, but I see that I have not yet written it here in this medium. So this news, and the fact that it revolves around fare dodging on public transportation, or as the Germans put it ironically, a Schwarzefahrer, gives me the opportunity to do that for the record.

Within the next several years, Wokeness Inc. will start demanding that intra-city public transportation be free of charge for everyone. I understand that this demand has already been lodged in relatively fringe SJW circles, but I think it will actually cross the blood-birdbrain barrier into the left-of-center mainstream in the next few years.

I was remiss then not to make it more clear and obvious that the reason for this demand, at least in the United States, is that enforcing laws against fare dodging has a disparate impact on black babies’ bodies.

Yesterday, a bunch of greenie weenie and far left types held overpass protests, mainly in and around Frankfurt and Wiesbaden, to protest the extension of the Autobahn route A49, hence the #KeineA49 (“No A49”) hashtag. All it is, is building about 30 miles of new freeway in rural northern Hesse to close a gap, so that vehicle traffic between Frankfurt and Hamburg has a more straight shot, and it would also create an alternative for traffic between Frankfurt and Berlin, and probably also help Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen.

You’ll also note the English language hashtag.

Other than the fact that there’s too much English in Germany, one could have done “Nein Autos” in place of “No Cars” without worrying about space, there’s a reason why English was used in #FreePublicTransport. It’s because, if they would have used German, it would have been…

(Scroll up)





They Are Lacking In Diversity.

23 10 2020

Guest post by Puggg

County Browns homicide detectives, celebrating their 94% clearance rate.

I guess by now you can already figure out what the big stink is about.

“If there was ever a case of a picture representing a thousand words”, said someone with the County NAACP. He also said that “It speaks volumes to the fact they are lacking in diversity”.

And you know, I agree with all that. Successful, productive, the picture representing a thousand words, lacking in diversity. It all goes together. It fits very well. It’s like you have to pick either diversity or productivity, but you can’t have both.





Debate Night Open Thread.

22 10 2020

Guest post by Puggg

Okay puppies, what did you all think?

I’ll just leave this as an open thread. I’ve still got a lot in my inbox, and it fills up as fast as I get stuff out of it.





Time, The Great Vindicator

21 10 2020

Me, February 14, 2018:

My spidey sense informs me that de Leon actually does differ from Feinstein on Israel and Military-Industrial Complex.

Me, July 18, 2018:

Two, taboo issues that are representative of the left’s own internal schism.  Remember my analysis of Dianne Feinstein vs Kevin De Leon? I told you there, and it applies in NY-14-D, that military-industrial complex and Israel were factors, even though it is impermissible in polite political society to talk about the latter.  Jenny from the Block [AOC — Ed.] in NY-14-D, just like Kevin’s Underground Rave in CA-Jungle, was smart enough not to come out against the MIC and Israel in public, but was clever enough to have underground subordinates do that on her behalf and behind one or more layers of plausible deniability.  Though the late breaking news in the last several days is that Jenny from the Block is starting to get more comfortable in being public with her anti-Israel sentiments.  Whether it’s Kevin’s Underground Rave or DiFi in the Senate from California, or Joe Crowley or Jenny from the Block in the House from NY-14, they would vote alike close to 100% of the time in the Senate or House.  So when it comes to Democrat-left internecine politics that are so obviously contentious and divisive in public view, I infer that taboo issues are the underground heat and energy source.

Me, August 8, 2018 (as a comment):

One point I missed is that if you swap out Clay for Bush, the voting record would be 99% the same. But the differences between Clay and Bush are what I’ve been saying for months that they are in these internecine Democrat-left politics where the title card combatants otherwise seem to be identical: Military Industrial Complex, and Israel. I think Bush would vote against MIC and Israel in ways that Clay would not.

As you know, Cori Bush was able to knock Clay off this year.

A tweet from yesterday:

S. H. T. F.

But it’s not as if I didn’t warn you.





Just a Heads Up

8 10 2020

Berlin

Tomorrow could be a really big hot and intense in Berlin.

They’re going to try to evict a bunch of Antifa/anarchist types from a hovel in a gentrifying part of the former East Berlin, where they’ve been essentially squatting for nearly thirty years, pretty much since the first second after legal reunification.

Plain words, I’m expecting blood.

This is one of the prime examples of why I say that matters of housing and gentrification are a big heat and energy source for far left street militancy and activism, on both sides of the Atlantic. I’m just cynical enough to think that all their talk about trans-LGBTQ-cisheteronormativity-femiminst-genderqueer-microaggression-ism-phobia housing collectives slash safe spaces is nothing more than these people realizing what pushes buttons and what sells in the current year. Sure, these kooks might actually believe this tripe, to an extent. But more than anything, they just want to be able to live very inexpensively in the heart of major cities, (to look at them is to know they can’t hack it anywhere else), and are mad that people with money are making their previously “affordable” hovels less so.

That’s why they’re couching their selfishness in social justice-y and woketard rhetoric — It’s a form of chessboard maneuvering, so they can put themselves on the side of the “moral” angels, and therefore, any attempts to evict them and any attempts to use force to that end will be morally evil. Especially in the city and country where this is going to happen, you can get away with a whole lot if you can convince enough people that the attempts to prevent you from doing those things is fascism.





Wooden Beats Schoolmarm, By Default

8 10 2020

Salt Lake City

I watched about a half hour of the replay of Pence-Harris this afternoon.

Neither one clearly won on content.

So it came down to presentation.

Pence was his usual unoffensive wooden self. But that beat Harris just by default, because she came across as a preachy preening desperate schoolmarming borderline cult leader.

I’m sure she reminds a lot of people of that one annoying teacher they had in the latter half of elementary school, somewhere between the third and the fifth grade, the one that got on your nerves about how you weren’t allowed to use the restroom whenever you wanted, and constantly correcting you on your slight errors in the use of punctuation.

If Kamala Harris were a somewhat more intense version of her last night self last night, she would have been: