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.





Fucked Around and Found Out

6 02 2023

Frankfurt; Berlin

Today is the official tenth anniversary of the founding of the AfD.

And all because of Angela Merkel’s snark from 2010 over her handling of the ramifications of 2008 that hit Germany and the EU, wherein she used the word “alternativlos” (“alternative-less”), a shorthand way of saying that there is no alternative. Though in later years, it would come to be an untrue urban legend that she used the full phrase “there is no alternative.” Yet and still.

So someone went out and made one.

FAFO, Ang.

I realized last week that I’ve been (in an undisclosed way) affixed with the AfD for just about four and a half years now, which means almost half of the time that it has been existence. And just in that time, I’ve seen the riding high in April, shot down in May, back on top in June, the puppet, the pauper, the pirate, the poet, the pawn, the king, the up, the down, the over and the out.

There are some things that you can only learn by being there and pressing flesh, that you can not and never will get by merely consuming written and video content.

Luckily, this the tenth anniversary is coming during election time in Berlin, in its case, the do-over from the September 2021 clusterfuck. (As I look in the general direction of Arizona). Which makes the logistics of everything a lot easier.

Of course, there’s someone else who recently FAFO:





In Taut

31 01 2023

Merzig, Saarland

This is one of those things that may only seem to matter to the soil under my feet, but has more widespread relevance. So I’m going to bring it to the blog.

Sahra Wagenknecht has come onto Glenn Greenwald’s radar.

She is Germany’s equivalent to Tulsi Gabbard.

And I’ve been familiar with both her and the political backstory and background around her and everything relevant since, well, since.

Big but time:

Curb your enthusiasm.

First off, I’ve seen it over and over again in all the time I’ve been really paying attention. This or that person is initially said to be able to unite left and right wing populists. Except it never pans out. And that’s mostly because, eventually, the rubber hits the road, and they have to take sides on the kind of left-or-right issues that cause the very differentiation between left wing populists and right wing populists to begin with. If LWPs and RWPs were ever going to be so easy to unify, there would really be no such thing as LWPs or RWPs to begin with, no reason to distinguish the two from each other.

Second, left wing populists are as awful on “peoplehood” issues as anyone. Race, nationality, ethnicity, etc. For the greater part, (even though it’s not true for either Sahra Wagenknecht or Tulsi Gabbard), leftpops are nothing more Tim Wise who just so happen to be serious about economic populism. That factor matters because:

Third, in the individual case of Sahra Wagenknecht herself, her popularity is mostly due to the fact that she has not yet reached “put up or shut up” time. If she does go “public,” then, like I said, she’ll have to pick sides on all sort of issues, which will instantly reduce her popularity among either LWPs or RWPs or some of both. But the more important factor is this — If she advocates on the correct side of the National Question, then Official Germany’s hate machine will be turned on and turned right at her. Then she’ll be as “toxic” as those who have already embraced the NQ. It is only because she isn’t that serious yet, meaning the hate machine hasn’t turned on and against her, that she has the cache of attractiveness that she does. To put that another way, the mentality among some around here goes like this: “She would be able to do what the AfD can’t because the AfD is too ‘toxic.'” Except, like I just wrote, that mentality is a tautological trap. That, and, like I wrote above, LWPs tend to be as woke/left on NQ as anyone, which means that a majority of LWPs will instantly hate any NQ-correct LWP or wing-agnostic populist.

Fourth, she strikes me as just another hot new toy that the kids all want more than anything but then lose interest in ten minutes after they actually get it, then never play with it again. It’s because I’ve seen it all before, in fact, directly and within the last year. One name: Éric Zemmour.





Real Housewives of Cologne, Episode 25

31 01 2023

“FOR THE BEST”

Three years ago this month, the better half and I were planning what we knew would be a really important once in a lifetime event in our lives. But as we made our way through the month, reality hit. You already know the story — Long and short is that we got married sooner instead of later. And that was a matter of the stars looking out for us — If we would have scheduled the wedding day for even one Saturday later, it would not have been able to occur as planned. Because you all know what was starting to go on in the world in March 2020.

Three years later to the month. Yep, it has happened again. Reality has swooped in and messed things up for us.

I think you can figure out what it’s about and why.

St. Louis in July 2023 is going to have to wait until July 2024, that’s the “what.” The better half’s promotion and all we’ll have to do before she starts is the “why.” It became obvious during this month that’s about to end, that it’s going to be not as easy or seamless as we thought, and take up more of our time. And that the way things are shaking out, it’s going to eat up July. The logistics for us dillying around in St. Louis in July rather than being here and getting things arranged and ready just aren’t there.

And most of the problem has to do with actually finding a suitable apartment in the area, considering the housing shortage most urban areas of this country that’s only getting worse over time. For a lot of reasons, not the least of which is Wir haben keinen Platz.

So that’s the long and short of it. We’ve already canceled the flights, and later this summer, we’ll book again.

And maybe it will work out for the best in another way — Remember I wrote back here at the start of the month that we were vacillating on whether to bring the two bosses along with us or just leave them with their grandparents, as the timing of them processing their terrible twos temper tantrums and then being potty trained were going to crash right up against the month of July 2023. Well, all those problems have suddenly been obviated. In July 2024, they’ll be three and a half years old instead of two and a half, tantrums and potty training will be well in the past, and as three and a half year olds instead of two and a half year olds, they’ll be much more likely actually to remember what they will see. So it means that there will be no vacillation here, they will becoming with us in our July 2024 St. Louis vacation.

I have come to learn that usually these things do work out for the best in the long run.

I have in later digitized form a picture of myself dated October 1980 on the back in its analog form, so I was three and a half years old myself at that point, touching one of the Arch legs. Because they’ll be three and a half years old in July 2024, I’m going to be able to recreate the pic at the same point in their lives.

In a personal note, I saddle up and ride to Berlin tomorrow and will be there for two weeks. Their do-over election is upon us, and it’s happening at a really good time for Team Blue. The three things that are converging in the “for the best” direction: (1) The ongoing energy crisis and way increased energy expenses, here in what is on average the coldest time of the year in continental Europe, (2) The New Years Eve migrant fireworks riots, and (3) After that, and a few weeks go, there were more riots, this time, Antifa and Co. in Berlin rioted on behalf of Lützerath, that scene in turn was a mere 21 miles WNW of me. Hasn’t happened yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they go out and party again because Tyre Nichols. This will be my only extended business trip the first eight months of this year, barring something popping out of the woodwork. Which is going to help my domestic situation out a lot.

***

I hope I’m not dealing with a raisin in the sun.





Happy to Oblige

28 01 2023

Memphis

The riots the media requested have happened.

This is all so transparent, and tiresome.





Happy Retirement

25 01 2023

McLean, Virginia; Soulard

PJB is going to hang up his pen.

St. Louisans who are familiar enough with his history know that his first journalism job was with the old St. Louis Globe-Democrat. What is much less known is that, when he lived in St. Louis to work for the Globe, he lived in Soulard. Being mindful of the fact that Soulard at that time was nothing like it eventually became, and what it most likely still is. When PJB lived there, Soulard was hoosiertown. “Soulard,” of course, being French for “drunkard.”

Even though he left the Globe in 1965 to return to his native D.C. to join the Nixon for President campaign, he always considered St. Louis his second home. And the feeling was mutual, as yours truly was within a month of turning 19 years old during the Missouri Republican caucuses in 1996, helping him win Missouri, which was his only win after Bob Dole had pretty much wrapped things up.

He had to leave his native city to go to another for a major step in his career track. I know the feeling. It’s just that the city he came to and the native city I left happen to be the same city.

Happy retirement, Pat.





The Nineties Are the New Fifties

24 01 2023

Your Blogmeister’s German Desk

I wrote here back in July, upon the passing of Tony Dow, that the reason why the dork idyllic ’50s shows like LITB and others like them got a second life of popularity starting in the 1970s was because people in the ’70s suddenly got nostalgic for the ’50s, and that that in turn was mostly caused by the very existence of the Ford Pinto.

I’m starting to get the sense that the 1990s are becoming to our era what the ’50s were to the ’70s. Which is to say, the decade of antiquarian nostalgia, or better, the temporal obsession of good-ole-days-ism.

Am I just imagining things?





Cherished Pets

23 01 2023

Davos, Switzerland





Only Natural

23 01 2023

Miami

AR yesterday re-ran Gregory Hood’s review from a decade ago of Tom Wolfe’s final novel, Back to Blood.

I’m reposting a response comment I made there as one of those “for the benefit of posterity and the political archaeologists and historians of the future” thing.

“Michael Whalen” wrote:

Cubans are natural born conservatives… Hispanics are natural born conservatives… This group and that group are natural born conservatives… This nonsense idea has been with us approximately forever. James Michener addressed this idea decades ago in his novel, “Hawaii.” He tells us that the Japanese immigrants to the Islands would have been “natural born conservatives” had they not been systematically abused and taken advantage of by the White plantation owners. Everybody’s a “natural born conservative.” Yeah, right…

My response follows.

I first heard this phrase “natural conservatives” or “natural born conservatives” back when I first cut my teeth on politics. Even then, I thought it was kind of a silly mawkish phrase, and ever since then, I think less and less of it with each usage.

First off, I don’t think there is any such thing as a “natural conservative,” or a “natural liberal,” or a natural anything. At least in the sense that the “muh natural conservatives” crowd uses it. Now, what is true is that there are very demonstrable strong correlations between certain personality traits and political ideologies, and of course we can’t forget about the same correlations that sometimes present between ethnic groups and ideologies. So much so that one has to wonder which is the cart and which is the horse. That’s quite a different thing, though.

Second, one thing that occurred to me in the beginning years of the Alt-Right and our countersignaling against normiecons, lamercons and neocons, was this: I have never heard any liberal in the United States use the phrase “natural liberal,” neither at all, nor in the same sense of speaking as normiecons use “natural conservative.”

So let’s bring these two things together to say the quiet part out loud:

“Natural conservative” is and has always been nothing more than American lamestream conservative copium over the hard cold reality that non-whites aren’t buying lamestream conservatism. (Which would explain why libs don’t use “natural liberals,” because they know they have institutions and demographics as winds blowing to their backs.)

That and a dash of self-righteous entitled conceited arrogance, that somehow the “beneficent” natural order of the universe is for everyone to be a lamestream conservative, and that this that or the third malevolent force or effort is/are why that is not actually the case in the real world.





Cognitive Dissonance

22 01 2023

Atlanta has become the new Lützerath.

This pic causes me much cognitive dissonance.

+

Otherwise, open thread.





Only Winning Move

22 01 2023

Detroit; Nashville

Steven Crowder versus Ben Shapiro.

Easy.

The pot and the kettle are calling each other black.

Just my fancy way of saying that I don’t think either one is really any better or worse than the other. In spite of the fact that, because of the parenthetical factor, so many in our sector are reflexively siding with Crowder. When I don’t think they should be so quick.

It really doesn’t matter who started it. Both have already lost because of the beefing. There’s only one thing you wind up smelling like if you willingly roll around in dog shit.

Also it’s not as if our own sector hasn’t already provided 87 million cautionary tales in that direction. And one very thankful counterexample — Jared Taylor has always avoided our sector’s beefing and drama like it was Ebola. Furthermore, I’ve noticed that he won’t want that much to do with anyone who is that way, and if you start being that way after not having been that way, he’s going to come close to forgetting totally that you ever existed. Prime example: Nick Fuentes once spoke at an AR conference. Notice I wrote “once.” And it’s going to stay “once.”

All in all, you have to remember the WOPR Doctrine.





Rescue

19 01 2023

Wellington, New Zealand

Why accelerationism is stupid, part way too many to count.

Jacinda Ardern’s political career would have been over a long time ago.

What temporarily rescued it?

Right.





Sloppy Blue

16 01 2023

Jefferson City

Without tapping the few networking contacts I have remaining and will return my calls from my days as a lobbyist around the Missouri General Assembly, here’s my hot guess to what’s going on with this dress code hysteria:

Younger Democrats in the General Assembly who have been newly elected in the past few years have lazy and sloppy dress habits.

And someone wants them to shape up.

Trouble is, this is the current year. Which means that asking any young/-er/-ish Democrat/liberal to conform to a standard is going to be some sort of ism or phobia, you can bet your bottom bitcoin on that. You do you, my truth, lived experience, and all that.

Classic and very geographically appropriate song reference in the title.





Pithy

12 01 2023

Your Blogmeister’s German Desk

I just came up with a pithy way to a point that until now would have taken me a lot of words to ring out.

Consider these two theories:

A) Because black Africans refuse to use contraceptives

B) Because Catholic clergy are opposed to contraceptives

Now, let’s consider this question:

“What explains the Subsaharan black African high fertility rate and population explosion?”

(Note: To the extent that we’re even allowed to think about this and even classify it as a problem. Here in the real world, any official discussion of this is done very carefully, and nuanced, and tippy toe.)

Now, to the question, which theory is true? And which theory will get your mainstream career canceled if you say it in public?

Nuff said.





They’re Coming Around

10 01 2023

Washington, D.C.

Victory dance time.

You don’t say.

It’s not as if anyone could have seen this coming.

Really, they’re starting to figure it out.

Fuck a late Rush Limbaugh. I’m on the cutting edge of societal evolution.





Tiptoeing Through Today’s Tulips

9 01 2023

London

The news over the impending British nurses strike is getting me to thinking.

“No, not that! Anything but that! Don’t know you that when you think, you weaken the world?”

***

Did you hear the joke about this guy in his early sixties? Yeah. His 35-year old son still lives in his basement.

He just got approved for his fifth cash out refi.

Now, let’s see who groks the joke. Though I wish it actually were more of a joke and less so reality.

***

I happen to think that the high cost of real estate in the developed world is currently the single most underappreciated issue. And the main reason why it’s underappreciated is that the people who benefit from real estate being both so expensive and continuing to appreciate have almost all the clout, whilst those who are hurt by it have almost zero clout.

Then I keep reading about the coming nurses strike in Britain, largely having to do with salaries not keeping up with energy and housing costs on The Island.

***

Bold but probably easy prediction:

Within the next few years, expensive real estate and housing, the energy crunch and expensive energy, the growing mountain of private and public debt, the “sudden” return of inflation, and mass migration pressure, are going to intersect and collide and really throw the economies of first world developed nations on their backs for awhile. The Perfect Storm.

It’s because bubbles always pop.

Now let’s see who groks the other Easter egg in this post.





Restroom Trick

4 01 2023

Washington, D.C.

Enjoy the Schadenfreude while you can, because I know how it’s going to end.

Because we saw this exact same movie eight years ago.

Incidentally, this same kind of “restroom trick” was used here, and namely, in the federal state of Thuringia, to do an end run around what was supposed to be a state “governor” from the FDP (“Free Democrats”) with the assistance of the AfD.





In With a Bang

2 01 2023

Berlin

Reports are rolling in from all over.

While there was nothing as bad or akin to 2015-2016, this NYE was probably the worst in many German cities since then, and almost entirely due to vibrants attacking first responders with firecrackers, with many house and structure fires as collateral damage. Most of the action was in Berlin, but it happened in many cities.

And now I know the real subversive reason why there have been all these calls to cut off the sale of fireworks before NYE. The environment is being used as the plausible excuse and rationalization.





Future to the Back

1 01 2023

Your Blogmeister’s German Desk

Welcome 2023.

If all goes well, in the middle of the year that has just started, my eyes will do something which it will have not in nearly five years by the time we get to mid-year, and my feet will do something that it will have not in the same period time, which is, see and trod upon the soil of my native city.

Like I’ve been saying, for the better half, this is going to be all about seeing where her husband comes from, and for my better half’s husband, it’s going to be about tying together loose ends and a lot of closure and maybe even a fence or two to mend, as I left a lot of things unresolved when I sorta hurried away from St. Louis just after Labor Day in 2018. That, and I have to consider the possibility that this will be the final time my feet will ever be on St. Louis and American soil.

Like I’ve also said, when I took this job, I anticipated it to be only a several year thing, then return to St. Louis for good, with it being a big resume rhinestone and a lot of lessons learned. Never did I think it would become all of what it has. Even still, before leaving St. Louis just after Labor Day in 2018, I prepared myself that several people to whom I was saying goodbye, that it was going to be goodbye forever, in terms of in the flesh. Even back then, when I thought that it was going to be a mere two, three or four year gig, there are still a thousand things that could have gone wrong, especially considering that “gig” was and continues to be in a country with a lot of Seventh Century Truck Drivers of Peace (Insh’Allah).

Then there was the matter of the reality that my recovery was at that point nowhere near complete; I was still wheelchair bound for the most part, and with the ever present risk that what recovery I had experienced up until that point would reverse itself and then totally finish me off; TBI is medically funny and unpredictable like that, the brain being the final frontier.

So I was thinking then that I might be the one who kicks the bucket.

Turns out that it was all three of my mother, her sister and my younger uncle who have passed on since I left. So for them, it actually was goodbye forever. And of course I never considered that it wouldn’t be one of the thousand things that could have gone wrong that would keep me away from St. Louis for much longer than I thought, but the one thing that did go very right.

Remember, getting everything I ever wanted only cost me everything I knew.

There’s a part of me that’s going to wonder if I’m going to be able to recognize the place. Whether it’s just going to have the superficial appearance of my native city, but in substantial reality be as alien as Fezelinigiblauten-9.

But we have to get through a whole half a year before any of that, which includes dealing with the terrible twos that are now officially two, and continuing potty training, and now apartment hunting in Wiesbaden and hopefully finding something then furnishing it for our second residence, as the better half starts her new job after we return from St. Louis.

We have not yet decided on the matter of bringing Frick and Frack with us or just leaving them with Oma und Opa. We don’t have to make the Louis Farrakhan until about three months from now. But my own intuition predicts that we won’t be bringing them, because their terrible two temper tantrums are worse than ever, and I don’t know how quickly they’ll progress in potty training. I don’t foresee either being fully and favorably resolved by six months hence.

***

Speaking of 2023, I’ve been waiting for this particular year to come for fourteen years for this particular reason, and a prediction I made back in 2009.

In 2007, I started seeing the name “Shaq” and “Shaquille” show up in crime blotter news. It didn’t take me long to figure out why. It was that, back in 1992, one Shaquille O’Neal turned pro, with his curious first name. Therefore, lots of black women gave their newborn sons at the time that first name. So, by 2007, 15 years later, they were 15 years old and were starting to commit crimes and get publicly identified in certain circumstances.

Here’s the prediction, which I want you back in the ‘States to be on the lookout for this calendar year:

2008 plus 15 equals 2023.

The names “Barack” and “Barack Obama” starting to show up in the crime blotters.





On Andrew Tate

30 12 2022

Bucharest

The news has forced my hand.

I already had opinions about Andrew Tate before now, and one of them I think helps to explain yesterday.

First off, if ever you doubted the power of the Streisand Effect, well, then, quit. Because, by now, most people who have heard of him didn’t even know who he was until they started canceling him this past spring and summer. I was somewhat familiar with him even pre-Streisand, because he’s closely linked to other RP manosphere creators. Yesterday’s news will only serve to introduce way many more people to him.

Second.

I don’t really have any problem with his message, other than the occasional nitpicks. It’s just that I really wonder if most people who consider themselves big fans of his really care about his message. What I’m trying to say is that I wonder if they’re fans of his message or if they’re just fans of his lifestyle, the yacht, the private jet, the supercars, and if they’re just cargo culting around the message because they think it’s how to get the lifestyle. And while you can’t blame Tate for that per se, what is undeniable is all his flaunting and flossing for public and creative consumption. To put it another way, if message was what one really cares about the most, then one should try to eclipse out as many other things as possible. It’s why I don’t care about design in this space, which is why this blog has had the same ancient design theme since God knows when. And I have no desire to “modernize” it, in spite of the fact that WordPress gives me all the tools and options to do so.

Maybe Tate figures that he has to floss his lifestyle in order to get people to at least give the message a fair hearing. Problem is, that kind of tactic rarely works.

Third and most critical.

I think I know the real reason for the investigation and the arrest. It’s something which I saw as heavy weather ahead for him when I first found out that he was living near Bucharest. He, BTW, is a dual American/British citizen, ICYDN.

As you know, Bucharest was one of the stops on our honeymoon. And in fact, we ended it by flying from Bucharest back to Cologne. So I’ve seen enough of it. And I know that, for most of its denizens, the lifestyle and standard and quality of living is, to put it diplomatically, quaint and modest. While plenty worse cities can be found, so can plenty better. Clearly second world.

To set this up, all I have to do is look in the mirror. Cologne is a first world city (in spite of its demographic problems) in a first world country (for how much longer, who knows), no doubt about it. But I come here from a country that is of a perceived status as “higher” than the one I’m in, and continues to be in all real essence an occupying force in both hard and soft power terms. And here I am married to a local native woman, and we have children.

I get “looks,” and I get “looked at,” from those who happen to know or come to figure out that I’m a dreaded American, even though I am of DNA and ethnic constitution almost as good as a real native, and I very much look the native part, (on both counts down to the specific region), unless you look very closely and know what to look for. Until I open my mouth, then all doubt is removed. I wasn’t born yesterday, so I know why I get those “looks” from quite a few German men who are in the relative age range of my own self and my wife. It’s the look of resentment and jealousy, that this “occupier” is befouling one of their women.

It’s as old as the hills. Foreign man takes native woman, native men get angry.

And remember, insofar as standard of living, the United States and Germany are way closer to each other than either is to Romania. And my wife and I came into our marriage relatively equally yolked. Also now you already know that my wife’s yolk is about to get a lot bigger than mine. So it’s not as if I was some rich dude from a rich country swooping down into the land of the damned to rescue a damsel from what would have been a lifetime condemned to grinding destitution.

When I found out that Andrew Tate is living near Bucharest, I thought to myself as a hot take: “Oh God. I hope he’s not dumb enough to be boinking the local chicks. Because, if he is, he’s just painted a big target on his back, and he’s almost going to be a dead man walking. A big percentage of the men in and around Bucharest are going to be hunting his head.”

Because, whatever the power and SES differential that manifests as a result of me being in Germany married to a German woman that in turn causes these “looks” of resentment that I get around here, the differential is way way WAY worse when the man is close to filthy rich flaunt all his shit Andrew Tate carrying both USA and UK passports and living in a second world southern/eastern European country. At least I have the comfort of knowing that the “looks” I’m getting are coming from cucked out urban western German soyboys too cowardly to act upon them (notwithstanding the ever present threat of beta male rage), even though any other time I wish they weren’t cucked. Tate doesn’t have that luxury; he is generating red hot hatred among men who are in no way cucked or defenestrated. I figured that sooner or later one or more of them would pay him a “visit.”

Yesterday, they “visited” him. Except they made it an “official” visit. Which was very smart on their part, because it means that, for public consumption, the Romanians are 100% on the side of the angels and Andrew Tate is 100% on the side of the devil. Hardly anyone will be able to see this for the opaque charade that it is, and you’re reading one of the scant few people who can and do.

This is my way of saying that Andrew Tate dindunuffins, except not have any common sense and tact as a rich man carrying two rich country passports while living in a very second world country.





Real Housewives of Cologne, Episode 24

30 12 2022

“MY PERFECT WIFE’S PERFECT HUSBAND”

Giant life-changing news incoming.

Right when we started potty training the two hostages to fate and fortune at the beginning of the month, the better half told me that she got the strange feeling that something was “up” at her job, simply because of the strange ways her closest and close enough colleagues and other people in the sphere of influence were behaving.  Though she had no hint of whether it was “good” up or a “bad” up.

Fast forward to the 19th, which was the final Monday before Christmas Day, and this year, a sad half century anniversary I already told you about.

At the salt mines, they gave her a Christmas present that day. It was what looked to be a box the size of a regular sheet of paper, but pretty thin. Gift wrapped with the bow, the whole nine. And it was some exquisite wrapping paper with an exquisite bow, too, so good that it was a shame to have to unwrap it at all. When she bought it home that afternoon, she told me that they wanted her to put it under the tree wherever she would be on Christmas morning, and leave it there until then and not open it up until Christmas morning, scouts’ honor. So I took it to my parents-in-law the next day, and put it under their tree.

But, we knew it had to be something really special, and was also then that we knew that this “up” had to have been a “good” up.

It’s just that none of her speculative options in the six days between getting it and finally opening it turned out to be correct.

I’m going to apologize in advance for this narrative being difficult to read. I have to be really circumspect and opaque, just so that I’m not made.

For awhile, my wife has had two different “hats” to her job. The major way during normal hours, the minor way sorta moonlighting. The major way she does it is that which she has wanted to do since she was a little girl. The minor way is something into which she slowly discovered and evolved, because she and lots of people around her figured out that it was something at which she was good. She’s actually better with the minor hat than the major hat, and she’s good enough at the major hat to make that a profound statement. And she has known for some time, well before she met me, that, eventually, the day would come that the minor hat would become the only hat, and in the process, she would have to quit the major hat. It’s just that she loves doing the major hat so much, it was her childhood dream and passion come true. But, the minor hat which she knew would eventually become the only hat is, like I said, one with which she is much better, and it’s more crucial and critical work, against the background of the stars.

On Christmas Day, that day came.

Inside the bow and the exquisite wrapping paper and bow was a small box, which was itself exquisite and an heirloom, holding inside…

…Promotion paperwork.

A BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG YUGE BIGLY time promotion.

For a job in Frankfurt.

This is the kind of offer you just don’t say no to, you don’t turn down.  In spite of it meaning something of a distance move.

Deja vu, because it’s the very same feeling I myself had four and a half years ago. I’ll get to that.

But, the day she knew would come has arrived sooner than she thought.

***

On one level, it’s going to break her heart that she’ll soon no longer be doing her job in the major hat way.  Like I said, she loves it that much, it was her childhood calling, and honestly, she’s really good at it.  According to herself, her coworkers, her supervisors.  She will be missed in that capacity.

On another level, also means that there’s going to be another big change for all of us.

Remember that minor dilemma I had a few months ago? Turns out that fate is going to help me solve it.

We will be looking for and hopefully finding an apartment in or around Frankfurt, and hopefully and specifically Wiesbaden. And that’s where we will be living during a normal sort of business week. That will be fine by me, as you already know, because Wiesbaden suits me like a comfortable glove. I should add that even not counting the giant raise she’s about to get, (once it kicks in, she’ll be making an order of magnitude more money than I), we already have way more than enough income to maintain both it and our current Cologne apartment. Therefore, we’re going to have and maintain both at the same time, because we’ll be back and forth a lot, both together and separately. The drive from Cologne to Wiesbaden is like driving from St. Louis to Columbia, so it’s no big deal. I’ve now done it so often that I could do it blindfolded.  In fact, during the Great Summer 2018 Voyage, the very road that most directly connects the Frankfurt region to the Rhine-Ruhr Region, A3, was our first “distance” haul.  No way then I could have known that that I’d be seeing and then myself driving that drag many more times.

But I think you know what else this portends. It means some semblance of serious geographical distance between my sons and their beloved Opa, and also vice versa, on a day to day basis, for the first time in their lives. Opa und Oma won’t be that close by anymore, and again vice versa, during typical weekdays.

My father-in-law is a hustler, so he both understands and agrees. No problems from him. After all, it’s his older daughter’s career ambition and ladder climbing, her hustle.  And we all couldn’t help but realize the irony that, precisely two years ago to the day that my wife opened up that little box, he himself had another YUGE BIGLY Christmas present of the long term financial benefit sense to his newborn grandsons.  Those of you who received my birth notice know what it was.  Yet and still, and in spite of his outward stoicism, (what else is new), I know it’s going to sting him to a degree.

OTOH, this is going to be a big and I’m also guessing painful adjustment for those two. Being mindful of the fact that they’re going to be experiencing this in the middle of their already terrible terrible twos and in the middle of potty training (unless potty training gets done by mid-year). But it’s something that was bound to happen, sooner or later.  The band-aid eventually had to be ripped. But, hey, it’s not as if they’re not going to see him on most weekends. It might serve as a lesson for them to appreciate Opa und Oma all the more. And it might be just what it takes for them to absorb the lesson of the primacy of their parents, and especially the paternal primacy of their father, even with my “bad cop” role.

Officially, she’ll start when we get back here from St. Louis, which means in August. So, one of the things we’ll have to get done during the first half of this year and before that big trip is finding a place in Wiesbaden (or, if necessary, somewhere else close to Frankfurt, or God forbid in Frankfurt itself), signing the paperwork, getting things set up, furnishing it (keine IKEA, danke). Thankfully, the first half of this year is going to be a relatively easy slog for me when it comes to my own line of work, with only one really one long-ish business trip on the road, February in Berlin.

Speaking of which, in case you’re wondering, then, no, this move won’t hinder my work at all. In fact, it’s going to help me marginally that I’ll have residences in both Cologne and Wiesbaden. As long as I’m physically ten toes down in western Germany in terms of a residence, I’m fine. The only question from a paperwork standpoint is whether we’ll have to change our primary legal residence to Wiesbaden that we’ll be living there during normal business weeks; It will depend on the law. All it would really mean is that my wife votes in Wiesbaden, our drivers’ licenses get changed to our eventual Wiesbaden address, and our cars have license plates that start with WI instead of K.

Hey, now that I think about it, I realize that I’m about to become a Hessian. Insert the relevant chapter from American Revolutionary history here.

***

During the last week, as we’ve been on and off discussing all this, what all this means, the checklist of things we’re going to have to do, and the big changes in general, at one point, she started to say something that translates to, and paraphrased: “I don’t think you know what it’s like to…” And then she stopped herself and corrected herself and said, “But you do.”  Squared, maybe cubed.

Full circle.

That’s why we were made for each other.

Remember, everything we wanted cost us everything we knew.  Both of us.





2022 In Review Open Thread

30 12 2022

Opine on the year that is about to retire to the Archipelago of Last Current Years, or anything else.

I maintain that the most important election this year for our sector and movement was France in April, because of all the lessons learned and previously unresolved questions relevant to our sector and movement answered, and showing what it’s going to take to punch it all the way through in a sociopolitically complex environment, in spite of the binary outcome not being what we wanted. Unlike Italy in September, though, as you all know, Italian politics are always volatile.

The most untimely passing this year was Roger Fredinburg, also back in April.

Heads up: Two more posts following this one today. Next one, which will go live in a few minutes after I give it its last coat of paint, is revealing some big life changing news. Then after that the news from yesterday has forced my hand to put in my two cents on Andrew Tate, including what I think is really going on wrt the investigation and arrest. So I’ll have to write that probably this afternoon.





Greek Tragedy

26 12 2022

San Francisco; Austin; Washington, D.C.

Elon Musk buying Twitter was the very thing that was necessary in order to expose the very reason why Elon Musk should not have bought Twitter, and the whole thing might wind up ruining Elon Musk and Twitter.

Post Christmas and down week open thread.

Note: Some time before 2022 officially departs to its allotted island in the Archipelago of Last Current Years, I’m going to have some big life changing news here. Don’t touch that dial.





Merry Christmas.

23 12 2022

Guest post by Puggg

And stay warm, if you can.

If you’re wondering what pugs eat on Christmas? Ham, of course!





Real Housewives of Cologne, Episode 23

22 12 2022

“TWO MUCH TWO EARLY”

As you already know, they got a head start on their terrible twos.

This is why this their actual second birthday today is going to seem anticlimactic.

So, I guess what today will be good for is the anniversary of getting my left hand squeezed on and off for fourteen hours. I’m still feeling that, and I guess I always will.

We formally started potty training at the beginning of the month. That and their temper tantrums combined, well, let’s just say that I can’t wait for their third birthday and the big settling down that will hopefully come some time in the next 365 days.

Though in spite of it all, I wouldn’t have them any other way. I’m going to miss all this when it’s done, as insane as I might think myself now for thinking this. Just as I miss them in the previous major stages of their lives, and wish I could have one more day of them as what they were as newborns, and infants, and toddlers, just for auld lang syne.

On top of all that, I still believe to this day that they’re the two most unlikely people on the face of the Earth.

And also, quit laughing at me. Yes, that means you.





A Frustrating Anniversary

19 12 2022

Cape Canaveral, Florida

Today is the 50th anniversary of the final day of the final Apollo mission.

Which means that, now, it has been a whole half century since any human being has been beyond low Earth orbit.

If you’re reading this from back there in December 1972, then I regret to inform you that this post is not a practical joke. The American space program in terms of manned missions and exploration is about to go thud.





Revenge of the Nerds

12 12 2022

Your Blogmeister’s German Desk

I have written this in shorter form both in this medium as comments and also on my social feeds from time to time.

But I want to ring my thoughts and theory all the way out, mainly for the benefit of the political archaeologists of the future who might read this in their academic efforts to make sense of the ways and events way back in the late 2010s and early 2020s.

***

When I was a kid, I was something of a nerd.

I can see all of you running to find some pearls to clutch. “Naw, no way!,” I can hear you all saying in unison.

In spite of your incredulity, insert the Kurt Angle Axiom here.

And while I was teased for being that way, I was never what one would legitimately call bullied for it.

However, the teasing still got to me from time to time.

And one thing my mother and various adults in my life who were sympathetic to my plight kept telling me over and over was something like this:

“Wait it out. One day, you’ll be able to get your get back at them. Because they’ll be coming to you asking for a job.”

Hold that thought.

***

Like I said, I was never bullied. But then again, I was only sort of a “standard issue” nerd.

To understand these things, consider this analogy:

Take all the people who you would consider to be nerds.

Then, among that group, take out the people that they consider to be nerds.

Then, among that group, take out the people that they consider to be nerds.

Those are the people who can and do work at Google.

The nerds’ nerds’ nerds.

And because they were nerds cubed, it means that they probably were actually feloniously bullied when they were kids.

But they almost surely got the same “wait it out and get your revenge” advice that I got. Because if I got it, then it must mean that it was a very common line of advice back in the late ’80s.

***

See where this is going?

The nerdiest nerds who were bullied the worst now have the most power to exact their revenge. They’re sitting on top of mainstream social media delete keys.

And when they read right of center political commentary, they have flashbacks to their bullies and tormenters, and closely associate the two.

Because community guidelines.

***

I point you back to a nontroversy nothingburger (“nichtsbrot,” lit.: “nothing bread,” in this country) “scandal” in this country from about two years ago. Some officers who belonged to the special operations unit of the Frankfurt division of the Hessian state police (“Frankfurter-SEK,” SEK = Sondereinsatzkommando, “special operations force”), were caught sending patriotic chat app and social media messages to each other and to outsiders.

One of the journalists investigating the matter, of course from a hostile posture, actually got triggered by the sight of a pull up bar in the unit’s clubhouse.

No cap.

(And yes, you read that right. I’m 45 years old and saying “no cap.” I’ll go self-flagellate now.)

It was then I figured out what this was all about. It wasn’t really about the left-right or extreme-mainstream politics of the matter, as such. This was nothing more than, well, you read the title. Boy in gym class who couldn’t do as much as one pull up got teased and maybe even bullied by boys who could. Fast forward thirty some odd years, and boy who couldn’t is now a journalist, boys who could are now cops.

Revenge time.

***

Consider the possibility that it’s the same in SV. That a lot of this what seems to be politically charged censorship and cancellation is far more, well, you read the title, than purely about the pure politics.

The bullied have become the bullies. Just like molestation victims often eventually become molesters themselves.

And also, it’s not so crazy to think that people never really get out of middle school.





Brittney Griner

8 12 2022

Moscow; Washington, D.C.

Aside from all the other reasons we’re all pissed off about this, I can add one more:

We’re being told here in Europe that buying even one cubic centimeter of natural gas from a Russian source would practically destroy human civilization. So much so that the sky high energy prices here are causing businesses that survived everything Germany could throw at it for the last century and a quarter, and sometimes much much longer, to close. The sorta bakery/cafe here in die Domstadt where my wife and I met for the first time on September 10, 2018, was closed for that reason when we tried to go there this past September 10 to mark the anniversary.

Yet, giving The Merchant of Death, a well known international arms trafficker, back to Moscow, wouldn’t be a threat to world peace and stability?





If You Don’t Know Me By Now

8 12 2022

San Francisco; Austin; Washington, D.C.

On Elon spilling the beans about the Feds bullying Twitter over the Hunter Biden laptop news, at least to the extent that the anti-Trump deep state and Twitter’s executive leadership at the time weren’t already in lockstep.

By now, this should not be surprising, and is nothing more than late breaking news from August.

And my overarching assessment has not changed. Yes, all this was done. But no, it ultimately didn’t matter, and I don’t think anything would be different today had this sort of suasion not occurred.

Because…





Just Suddenly

7 12 2022

Got a call within the last two hours. Caller ID showed that it was a relative from and in St. Louis. So I knew it had to be bad news.

My eldest aunt. During the day yesterday. Old age/natural causes. She was 94.

And she was the firstborn of all my maternal grandparents’ children, and the one that lived the longest both in terms of chronological age and the calendar.

That’s the thing about dying of old age. There is no “gradually then suddenly” to it. It’s just suddenly.

So it means the Grim Reaper has now collected my mother and all of her siblings. First it was my elder uncle (July 2013, age 83), then my younger uncle (June 2019, age 72), then my mother (January 2021, age 81), and now my elder aunt (December 2022, age 94). Probable heart attack, confirmed heart attack, dementia, old age, as COD, respectively.

That clock ain’t stopping for nothing.

Comma, Mr. Trump, and Mr. Biden.





Attention and Cents

6 12 2022

Your Blogmeister’s German Desk

Thinking about the current daily soap opera that nearly everyone in the sector is obsessing over.

I think it points to a sad reality that is unfortunately the new normal.

In my day, attention was usually a byproduct of an actual accomplishment. Or if you happened to luck upon attention for a less ideal reason, you used it and tried to turn it into some later and eventual real accomplishment.

Now, attention has become the accomplishment in and of itself.

Which means that we old heads could sit back here and ask, for example, Kanye, Milo, Nick and/or Sneako, what they think they have or are going to accomplish through any of these stunts and theatrics and histrionics. But all we would be doing is both asking and answering the question.

Maybe one day, these people will grow up and realize something I learned, that sometimes, in fact, more often than not, there is more value in not being famous and not being paid attention to instead of the opposites. That being just an important nobody is the best somebody to be.

But, in this era where everyone has a worldwide connected communication device in their pockets, I know I’m wishing in one hand.