If you look for it, you can find humor in almost any situation, and if you do, it can be a great stress relief.  That has really come in handy on many occasions…


Taking the path of least resistance only leads to a life of least virtue, least integrity, least trustworthiness, least growth, least accomplishment, and least reward. If any. 

See? I do have my serious moments…


Ah… Cockroaches. The “forever” bug…


The amount of effort one is willing to expend in the preparation of breakfast is directly proportional to the amount of hunger one is experiencing at that particular moment. 


Breakfast. The most important meal of the day. 

This morning, though, I’m not really hungry. But if I was really hungry, what would I eat?

This is the question that has plagued me for thousands of years, “What do I want for breakfast?” I never have a definitive answer to that question. 

Judy never has a problem deciding how to start her nutritional day. And she is creative and unafraid to explore new culinary possibilities.

For example, this morning I slowly maneuvered my way into the kitchen, drawn by an odor of which I had not previously been aware, only to spy a frying pan hosting an egg and something I never would have imagined – two halves of a banana nut muffin cut, not top to bottom, but across the center, with the “ragged” sides buttered up and facing down to the hot pan.

Soon the naked surfaces of the muffin had sufficiently toasted. She then gently slapped the egg between the two halves, wrapped it into a napkin, stuck it into a bowl, gathered up her many purses and went out the door headed to work.

Do people really do that? I honestly don’t know, but Judy did. 

This left me alone to contemplate my own breakfast needs, wants and desires. What do I want for breakfast?  What shall I make? How shall I make it? As mentioned above, I’m not really hungry, and… and… and…    

I think I have just had an epiphany! 

I just realized that…

The amount of effort one is willing to expend in the preparation of breakfast is directly proportional to the amount of hunger one is experiencing at that particular moment. 

Hmmm… I should contemplate food more often… 

Well, as excited as I am about my newfound life lesson, I’m still not hungry and, therefore, still not any closer to figuring out what to fix myself to Break my overnight Fast which, after all, is the whole purpose of breakfast in the first place. 

So many options; so little ambition…




Click here to catch up on everything and have some idea what the heck is going on…  and start with Part 1 (one).

Click here to go to Part Seven (7)… so you know where we left off – even though it has nothing to do with what you are about to read.

Well, Friends, It’s been almost exactly two years since our last foray into the amazing world of cows and a lot has happened since then.

But I digress…

Since so many of my wife have brought it up, I have decided to embark on yet another amazing treatise on bovines. This time concentrating on benefits and practicalities of possessing a cow, not for fuel, not for milk, not for the much-required supply of lawn fertilizer, but simply for the joy of having a cow friend with whom to play and commiserate during those times when everybody is mad at, and nobody wants to be around, you.  

Yes, friends, everybody needs a pet, and I submit that a cow could be a great pet. 

Consider this: How friendly could a cow be if she knew that she would never wind up on a hot griddle or between the two halves of a bun?

Imagine your life with a pet cow…

(Dream sequence music starts here)

There you are, arriving home from a particularly difficult day at work and you know that your wife will be upset with you because, as you just realized, you forgot to stop on the way home to pick up the twenty-four pack of Muscle Milk she asked – no, demanded – you to get. Starting to sweat profusely at the thought of walking into the house without the Muscle Milk, you pull into the driveway. Cautiously, you exit the vehicle. Praying, you start to make your way to the front door and, upon arrival, you hesitantly reach for the doorknob. Using your left hand, you turn it counter-clockwise (because that’s the way your mother taught you to open a door) and, with a grimace, you slowly, gently (just as you pronounce the word, “Amen.”) push… open… the door…

Suddenly, to your shock and everlasting gratitude for prayers answered, you see your best friend – Daisy – running at full speed and leaping into your arms to greet you! Daisy is not your wife. Your wife is Hildegard. Daisy is your beloved and cuddly pet cow, and she is happy to see you!

And, despite nearly being crushed to death, and the destruction of your house and most of the furnishings inside, you are happy to see Daisy!

(Exit dream sequence music starts here)

See what I mean? Having a cow as a pet could be a beautiful thing. 

“But,” you say, “I already have a cat.”

Many of us have pet cats. Judy and I have had several. Most recently, a feral that figured out how to get into the house through the doggy door in the laundry room.

Judy named her “Lucinda”. I felt that she was appropriately named because I believe that “Lucinda” is female for “Lucifer”. 

But that’s another story for another post…

Let’s look at cats and cows for a minute. For now, let’s not concentrate on the differences, between the two, let’s look at the ways in which they are the same, or at least similar. For example, the words Cat and Cow begin with the same letter of the alphabet:


If you think about it, this is a great start.

How else are they the same, or similar?

They both speak in languages that begin with the same letter:


Yes, again we see how they are the same. Cat’s say “Meow” and cows say “Moo”. With a little practice, I think they could probably talk to each other and get along quite well. They could have some great conversations about the weather, their favorite sports teams and even about how much they love their owners. 

Also, they both have four legs and a tail. They can go for long walks on the beach together, discussing the origins of the universe all the while swatting away flies. 

Now, let’s investigate some of the challenges that might arise when, in lieu of a cat,  you have welcomed a cow into your home. 

  1. A cat will use a litter box filled with cat litter to deposit former meals. However, cow litter is not easily available in most grocery or pet stores. In fact, you may also have an issue finding an appropriately sized “cow litter box”. 
  2. You will need a larger space in which to place the litter box and store the litter.
  3. Even after obtaining the necessary litter products and successfully placing them, you will have to train the cow in the proper utilization of the items in question. This may take a bit of doing as most cows are not familiar with waste elimination etiquette. 
  4. Many felines are quite affectionate. You may find them occupying your lap, your bed or the back of your sofa. If you find a cow who likes you, you may have to get a larger lap, bed or sofa to accommodate this, albeit loving, intrusion. 
  5. For those who have multi-story houses, while a cow can probably climb stairs, it’s probably best to keep them on the bottom floor of your home. Especially if you lack cow-capable umbrellas. 

And now for some of the possible benefits of adopting a cow as a pet (aside from the obvious energy resource possibilities of owning a cow).

  1. You will never lose your cow when it attempts to hide (hyde?) in the house. It won’t fit under a bed, sofa or behind the toilet.
  2. You won’t have to worry about finding dead animal puzzles in the hallway, bedroom, laundry or dining room. Cows are not known for hunting birds, ground squirrels gophers, lizards, snakes, rats or anything else not larger than themselves.
  3. A cow will never hide in the bookshelf, waiting for you to pass by so it can leap out and land on your back, sliding down, claws extended, rendering your flesh shredded from your shoulders (possibly exposing and/or damaging or completely obliterating the supraspinatus, subscapularis, infraspinatus and/or teres minor musculature) to your ankles when you least expect it. This lack of aggression may also lead to fewer heart attacks. 
  4. The likelihood of tripping over your cow in the dark is actually quite remote. This makes the chances of broken bones, sprained ankles or accidental death from this type of accident equally remote.  
  5. Finally, the smell alone is enough to keep away unwanted visitors (although, a slight increase in the fly population may be a minimal risk). There is little danger, however, of keeping away those who really like you. They will understand you and will be willing to accommodate your affinity for “exotic” pets as long as they stay off their laps. 

And now for the real reason for this plea…

There are plenty of cows available for immediate rescue/adoption. And let’s try to remember what happens to cows kept only for their utilitarian existence. Once they are no longer fulfilling their “purpose”, they are not simply discarded… They end up on your hamburger bun or covering your new sofa… (Or if they are unfortunate enough to live just outside New York City or other metropolitan areas within driving distance of a hunting preserve, across the hood of your neighbor’s car who thinks he just shot a deer.)

So what do you say, my fellow Bovine enthusiasts? Is it time for you to do whatever it takes to save a cow who, otherwise, has no future? Take that next step and adopt a cow.

After all, the worst that can happen is that you could end up with a nice chair…

Until next time (probably another two years), 



And for the reading impaired…

To go to the beginning of this riveting series, go here…




How I Quit Smoking…

May 31, 2019

“What???”, you say! “You smoked???”

I know that it’s hard to believe, right? I mean, hard for anybody who knows me. But, yes, it’s true.

And here is my story in its entirety. Nothing left to the imagination. Every sordid detail of my previous life as a smoker. Puff by puff. 

How I started smoking…

In 1969, I joined the United States Navy. (Interestingly, I was actually drafted after I joined, drafted again when I was in boot camp and drafted a third time while I was in Vietnam. But that is another story for another time…)

In November and December (and January and February the next year – yes 13 weeks of boot camp because I got there the day after the cutoff for Christmas leave, and they didn’t count three weeks as “time served”) while in boot camp, The early mornings – 0500 to be exact – were a bit chilly. Even in San Diego. 

Many (most) of my shipmates were smokers. I wasn’t. But I did have cold hands and I took note of the fact that many of my friends kept their hands cupped around their cigarettes. 

Having observed what they were doing I enquired as to the reason for this practice and was informed that it was done in an effort to add a little heat to their freezing phalanges.

This, in turn, caused me to consider the temperature of my own manual extremities, and I decided to give it a shot.

I requested a cigarette and a light from one of my comrades, and was, happily, granted one of each.

How I got hooked…

I lit up. I puffed. I encircled my hands around the lit end of the thin cylinder of finely cut tobacco rolled in paper (stogie). I immediately noticed the pleasant increase in warmth which now enveloped the inside of, not only my fingers but the palms of my hands as well.

As small improvement as this may seem to those of you who have never been in the situation, this was a vast improvement in comfort for a guy who was still in the middle of the “tear down the boy” stage which precedes the “build a new man” stage of military basic training. In short, it was GRAWESOME.

For the following two days, I repeated the same tactic of bumming a cigarette and a light from a willing contributor to my new bad habit. It was most enjoyable. (Interestingly, I didn’t actually inhale, so I never had the cough-cough-hack-hack symptoms associated with new, first time smokers.)

How I quit…

On the third day, after my new found “usual” warm up in the early morning hours, we had an inspection. As usual, I was impeccably prepared and standing at attention as the company commander approached from my right (his left). He finally arrived directly in front of me, face to face.  He looked me in the eyes. He investigated my face for any trace of unwanted facial hairs. He checked my mouth for any indication that I might be enjoying the moment (wayward smile). 

And then he lowered his gaze a bit, At which point his face suddenly snapped back up even with, and moved to within a micron of my own, and began screaming at never before naturally achieved decibel levels:


“Yes Sir!”

“WELL DID SHE TEACH YOU HOW TO _ _ _ _ _ _ _  FASTEN A _ _ _ _ _ _ _ BUTTON???”

“Yes Sir!”


“I must have been thinking of something else, Sir.”


“Uh… Did you ask my mother, Sir?”

After breaking the previous sound-volume record, his decibel level, somehow, got even higher. 

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO_ _ _ _ _ _ _ OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, YOU STUPID _ _ _ _ _ _ _  SMART_ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ SON _ _  _  _ _ _ _ _!!! I DID NOT ASK YOUR MOTHER! I LOOKED AT YOUR _ _ _ _ _ _ _ SHIRT POCKET!!!”

I just stared into his eyes. I believe that if eyes could foam, his would have been frothing heavily at this point.


“No Sir.”


“You could extinguish my smoking lamp, Sir.”

For the longest fifteen seconds of my life, he simply stared into my eyes. He then turned to the man standing next to him, taking notes, and said, “Yoeman, make it so. This man’s smoking lamp is out.”

And that is how I quit smoking. And never started again… 

I mean really, would you?


Spring has most assuredly sprung at our house as evidenced by Judy’s photography. She LOVES creating photographic records of the wonders of nature found on our property! And who can blame her?

Here are a few of her quick shots from her phone…

While the photos above are nice, my personal favorite is the video below.  My favorite part is her heartfelt commentary… Absolutely heartwarming – to me, anyway…

Murphy Patrick Harrigan O’Kammerer – June 2004 – May 13, 2019 


I have often pondered, over the past three years, one week and one day, the fact that “God” spelled in reverse is “dog”. If God is love, and I believe He is, then can it be said that “Love is dog”?  Today, you would have a hard time convincing me otherwise…From “The Max Factor – The Final Chapter

Today, you would still have a hard time convincing me otherwise…

I actually started this a week ago, the day Murphy died. The truth is that I had a hard time collecting my thoughts. I had and still have, a lot of them, seemingly scattered far and wide.

I spent hours collecting photos to include with this post. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of them.

I have started new paragraphs and new stories about Murphy, over and over.

Nothing seemed “enough” and at the same time, everything seemed “too much”.

So now I start over with a bit of a different perspective on what I want to say…

Over the past week, I have noticed a few things.

I have noticed that there is no dog prancing into the bedroom in the morning coming over to my side of the bed and standing with his front paws on the edge staring me in the face, letting me know it’s now day time and I am lazily lying under the warm covers.

I have noticed that his food bowl no longer seems to become empty before I finish filling it up with his favorite dog food. So I have stopped filling it.

I have noticed that there are no new clumps of hair on the furniture and carpet where he was just lying down.

I have noticed that his toys have not moved an inch.

I have noticed that he is not lying in wait at the sliding glass door in the dining room when I walk by on my way to the front door upon my arrival home.

I have noticed that he doesn’t follow along, keeping an eye on me through the windows to that door.

I have noticed that he isn’t there when I open the door.

I have noticed that I don’t wear him like an article of clothing when I go from one room to another, or from one side of the room to the other, inside the house.

I have noticed that he doesn’t excitedly follow me out the door when I leave the house.

I have noticed that he isn’t right there with me as I trim tree limbs, wack weeds, mow grass or feed the fish in the ponds.

I have noticed that his head isn’t resting on my thigh while I eat breakfast, lunch, dinner or in between meal snacks.

I have noticed that he isn’t sitting, staring up at Judy as she fixes dinner.

I have noticed that the trash can under my desk is not dumped over when I come into my office.

I have noticed that he isn’t nudging me in an effort to follow him to the “anywhere he wants to go”.

I have noticed that he’s not in the back seat of my truck as I drive down the road toward adventures unknown.

I have noticed that there is no dog poop on the back lawn, where it’s not supposed to be in the first place but somehow manages to move there from where it was originally deposited  – you know, where it’s supposed to be.

I have noticed that he is not there as I walk along our normal route around the neighborhood.

I have noticed that there is no doggy grin anywhere in the house car or yard.

I have noticed that he is not lying on the floor next to my chair keeping watch as I type this…

I have also noticed that my heart is somewhat schizophrenic – It hurts from the loss, but it smiles from the memories…

He would have been fifteen years old next month, and we really thought he would make it. Although he had certainly slowed down a bit over the past year and his hearing was suspect, he was still alert, happy and able to get around well. He had passed his last checkup with above average test results (for his age).

And then, in the middle of the week before last, I noticed that he started not eating his breakfast until later in the morning. He was a bit more lethargic than usual. This became progressively worse into the weekend. He was drinking massive amounts of water. He stopped eating and started vomiting everything.

He stopped coming outside – he would come to the door with me and stop there.

We decided we would call the vet as soon as they opened on Monday morning.

I spent each night lying with him on the floor until the wee hours of the morning. Not letting him be alone, letting him know that I was there and that I love him.

Sunday night, he became disoriented, walking in circles. As he licked water from his bowl, he started licking the air.

We knew it was time…

Monday morning he could barely walk. I carried him to my truck, which I had prepared ahead of time with the blanket that he came to us with – his favorite blanket – spread across the back seat. I placed him there and put a bowl of water on the seat next to him.

I had to stop for gas on the way, and I took a picture of my best friend…


We arrived at the vet… I took one final picture…


I carried him into the office. The girls behind the desk asked “Murphy?”. I said “yes” and broke down, sobbing in front of several other pet owners. Fortunately, they had a room all ready for us and walked us to it.

I’m not going to get into all the play by play. Too hard.

The doctor diagnosed kidney failure. It struck me that I should have picked up on that because of my own kidney failure a few years ago.

He asked me if I wanted to be in the room. I said yes.

They took Murphy to another room to prepare him and brought him back. I held him, Stroking his head and back, talking with him, letting him know I love him…

The doctor proceeded as I held him. He checked him out and said, “he’s gone.” He said that he was glad that I stayed. Not a lot of people do that. I told him that I had made Murphy a promise that when the time came, I would not let him be alone, I would stay with him and be there making sure he knew he was loved…

I asked the doctor if it would be possible to go out the back door. I had already made the other pet owners uncomfortable enough for one day…

They led me out…

I think that the main trait of a dog is that of unconditional love. It certainly seemed to be true with Murphy and it was true for Max before him. Would that humans could all learn that…

I think that, maybe, there are two things that a person should aspire to in this life. The first is to be the man or woman that God made us to be. The second is to be the man or woman that your dog believes you to be.

And I have to wonder, are they both the same? Maybe not, but I think they may be pretty close…

I thought I would finish with some happy memories…





bw Murph

Murphy jumping for j.jpg









 I just woke up with a start and realized it’s Tuesday morning at 2:57 AM. That’s not unusual because Tuesday at 2:57 AM happens almost every week at our house. 

I also just realized that that means that last night was Monday night. Monday night also occurs most weeks.

Sadly, I also just remembered is that I was supposed to go to choir rehearsal Monday night at 7:00 PM. 

I honestly don’t remember exactly what I was doing at 7:00 PM last night. I was either slipping into a hot bathtub with a load of Epsom salts or I was watching the season one (from 1961) finale of Supercar starring Mike Mercury, but I am quite certain that I was not at the Church singing.

I should probably send some sort of apology to our choir director for gelling on choir practice. I do, however, think I have a couple of pretty good excuses reasons for forgetting.
  1. I really needed the Epsom salts.  Really.                                                                                           
  2. I distinctly remember not seeing the season one finale of Supercar, starring Mike Mercury when I was ten years old. That has haunted me for the last fifty-eight years and I had a chance to get rid of my recurring nightmares about having not done so. 
Oh, I suppose it could be attributed to some sort of senior moment thing, but I like my reasons better.

At any rate, Now I’m up and awake. Normally, I would go back to bed and lay there in the dark for an hour or so and wonder why I am not asleep. However, these are not normal times and I’m not sure how that would work out.

Especially since I just remembered that I also missed the season two (from 1962)  premiere of Supercar, starring Mike Mercury.

Popcorn, anyone? Anyone? Anyone at all?

Today, Friday, May 3, 2019, I embark on a new weight loss program. This program will run until next Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at about 9:00 PM. 

When Judy gets home from Chicago.

That is all.

Some days I’m not the sharpest knife in the electrical outlet…


About the only thing I hate more than auto-correct is fat-finger-syndrome. Mostly because I can’t blame it on auto-correct.


Shopping done. 

Groceries loaded.

Seatbelts fastened.

Ignition on. 

Spaces in front of me empty.

Next row clear.

Gearshift in drive.

Pulling forward. 

Turning right.

Judy: “You’re going the wrong way.”

Me: “I’m going the wrong way?”

Judy: “Oh! No, you are going the right way. I said the wrong thing.”

Me: “You did.”


Me: “You owe me an apology.”

Judy: “I’m sorry.”

Me: “You’re welcome.”

Hello there, Coffee Moron, here…


If you have ever wondered where coffee comes from, here’s a video which will give you an idea. (I chose this video because my beloved daughter does a lot of the ‘splainin’ in here…)

Take it away, Jennifer!

Kevin Ross: In Search of the Perfect Brew