I was reading a news story about the Trump Putin press conference in Helsinki where our Twidiot-In-Chief announced to the world that he is Putin’s little bitch.

Who’s a good little boy? You’re a good little boy!
Note: If you aren’t an American, the Daily News has always been a conservative, rather right-wing newspaper. Not anymore.

He put Russia first and threw the entire US intelligence community under the bus. It was just one of the dozens of stories I read. Two interesting things popped out at me after reading them.

First, the word “Treason” was showing up all over the place, both on the television news and in the newspapers.

Second, one of the comments on one of the stories about Republicans defending this asshole ended with this: IOKIYAR.


What the hell does that mean? I know it’s internet slang. I know what most of the common Internet acronyms mean.

OMG – Oh My God

BRB – Be right back

WTF – Why the fuss?  (Why the Fuss? WTF?)

I even know some of the longer ones.

ROTFL – Rolling on the floor laughing

ROTFLMAO – Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off.

IMHO – In my humble opinion (Note: Nobody really means “humble”)

IOKIYAR? Never heard of it. So, I looked it up. It means:

It’s OK If You’re A Republican.

That got me to thinking.  Wow, this is a thing that happens so much, has become so pervasive in our world, that people have come up with an Internet shortcut to talk about it. Then I realized it makes perfect sense. The hypocrisy of Republicans has reached levels that were, until the last two years, unimaginable. For any political party. Ever.

The leader of the Senate can deny a sitting President a Supreme Court nominee for more than a year. Not even hold a hearing, yet he tells Democrats they have to be fair to the current nominee and confirm him immediately.

Hypocrite? Sure.


A Congressman, Trey Gowdy, can oversee dozens of investigations into Bengazhi, spending millions of dollars of your tax money to find absolutely nothing.

He can later demand the Mueller investigation be shut down immediately because it costs too much and all the evidence they have found must be turned over to them. Even though the DOJ never ever talks about or gives out information on what they are doing during an open investigation.

If a Democrat tried that, the Republicans would be screaming for their heads.


The current administration is ripping children as young as one-year-old from their parents at the southern border and putting them in “baby jails” while few (if any) Republican Congressmen have anything to say about it.

Beyond shameful?

Yes, but IOKIYAR.

The President of the United States told the world he is a traitor and sides with Russia over his own government. The Republicans said Russia is bad but said nothing about the President who said it.

Beyond shameful?

US President Donald Trump (L) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin shake hands before attending a joint press conference after a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. – The US and Russian leaders opened an historic summit in Helsinki, with Donald Trump promising an “extraordinary relationship” and Vladimir Putin saying it was high time to thrash out disputes around the world. (Photo by Yuri KADOBNOV / AFP) (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)



That’s the world we live in. It’s disgusting, immoral, vile, evil and unbelievable.

Every day I throw up a little in my mouth watching the news.  Many times, I’m ashamed to be an American.

So are a lot of other people.


Or as Republicans would say “Why the Fuss?”



I had an interesting conversation with a friend who is 14-years younger than I am. At 54, she is considering an early retirement. Burned out after years of 60-plus-hour weeks at her corporate job and also emotionally drained after nursing her mother through a two-year battle with cancer. Her mother died a few weeks ago.

So the idea of retirement is very appealing to her. She took a week off after her mother’s death.

Now she’s not sure. During that week off, she felt untethered, at loose ends. The lack of structure got to her. She felt so much better when she went back to work! She felt she still needs that regimen to her days. She still needs the sense of accomplishment and achievement, something she usually gets from her job.

I told her that if she feels that way, maybe she’s not ready to retire. The challenge of retirement is to create your own daily structure. You have to create your own goals and give yourself a sense of accomplishment.

That means you have to redefine ‘accomplishment’ and ‘achievement.’ In the corporate world, you are often balls to the wall busy for at least 10-hours a day. Success is defined as getting through your emails or getting the presentation finished on time. This is worlds apart from the life of a retiree.

For me, if I have a few hours of scheduled and/or required activity in a day, it’s a productive day. My friend might, initially, find this difficult. She might see this as a “wasted” day. She will have to change her perspective before she can have a ‘successful’ retirement.

The hardest thing for me is accepting hours of downtime in a day. I still need to give myself permission to read a book or watch a movie during the day. It has taken me years to feel okay about watching TV during the day!

It’s great to spend time playing with the dogs or talking to friends and family on the phone or via texting. These activities may not qualify as an ‘accomplishment’ in the traditional sense, but they are a rewarding part of my life. The goal of my day is to do things I find rewarding and fulfilling.

Add to these things my hours of reading and watching the news, my writing blogs and the numerous things I do for my audio theater group, and my days feel full.

My friend is much more of an outdoorsy, active person than I am. Her definition of a rewarding day would include a walk or a bike ride, gardening, a trip to the beach and maybe some time exercising. It might also include volunteer work, or part-time work, perhaps as an accountant, which was her original career. Whatever she does, she’ll have to redefine the parameters of a ‘successful’ day. That will be harder for her because she needs to feel ‘busy’ most of the time.

I function at a slower pace now. After decades of frenetic busyness, I cherish the ability to no longer have long lists of things I have to do. My lists do still include housework, laundry, running errands and taking care of the other logistics of life. These things can often be the focus of my day. My friend will have to substitute these mundane tasks for the lists of emails and calls she now has to deal with for work.

My husband has taken to retirement like a duck to water. He loves the news and watches MSNBC and reads online for hours a day. He also has a lot more work to do for our audio theater group than I do. Mostly on the computer, which is not my strong suit. So he is ‘busier’ than I am and has longer To Do lists than I do. In addition, he can spend hours and hours playing video games.

Tom is the poster child for retirement. On most days, he doesn’t need to leave the house (or the boat, for six months of the year) to be happy and fulfilled. He occupies himself with activities that bring him pleasure and/or a sense of accomplishment. They may not be your definition of a happy day, but they are his.

That’s the key to a gratifying retirement. Knowing yourself and creating a life that gives you what you need and want. Easier said than done.


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Oh so many choices!

Take your pick. Garry actually went out to take some pictures today, but didn’t get as many as usual. First, because he got caught by a fan who was also a photographer and by the time the conversation ended, the sky had darkened considerably. Blue and gray had turned almost black and dark. Rain was coming!

A truck or a mural. An octopus, whale, or a rich color of blue. Or, for that matter, water! It’s going to be a very rewarding experience I’m sure!

I find I have no whales or octopi. I’ve very good on trucks and while I lack any murals, I do have some mosaics. And I’m totally sure I’ve got a plethora of blue.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Two trucks doing road repair. Actually not doing anything, but in theory, road repair.
Photo: Garry Armstrong – Trucks in downtown Douglas
It’s a mosaic because we don’t have any murals. But it’s an old one and it’s all about shearing sheep and marketing the wool. The best of Uxbridge!
Blue spiderwort
A very blue counter in an old Mendon diner

THINK IT’S GONNA RAIN – Marilyn Armstrong


I wasn’t going to post again … but I looked outside and it’s as dark as night. I guess we are getting some rain today. Finally. It’s about time!

As as the thunder rolled, the rain started pouring down.
Photo: Garry Armstrong, taken as the weather began to close in.

And now, it’s raining. Hard. It’s still very dark outside. Maybe we’ll get that cooler air they’ve been promising.

#FOWC IS PRESENT- Marilyn Armstrong


I’m sleepy. Maybe it’s the grey day outside or maybe I haven’t had enough caffeine yet. Regardless, a challenge when I’m already challenged might be more of a challenge that I can presently meet.

My day began when I got a call from the dog groomers reminding me that Duke and Gibbs are up tomorrow. I knew that, but I said “thank you” for reminding me. Because I might as easily have forgotten. I forget everything these days.

On Mic

As I was drifting back to sleep, the phone rang again. It was (I swear this is true) the producer for an Irish (child of Netflix) production company that wants to do a story about Boston’s busing kerfuffle (the word of the day a few days back, but it seemed like a fine time to throw it into the heap) during the 1970s  through which period Garry was very involved in the reporting.

Garry always wanted to be a movie star. Maybe he’s going to get his chance?

I grant you it’s a little late in the game, but I pointed out Garry is a serious ham and always enjoys a chance to get back on camera. If we can work around the surgery issue, I’m certain he’d be present and know his lines.

The only thing is, he will still be swathed in bandages when the group comes over from Ireland at the beginning of August. Maybe they’ll come back again and grab Garry on a second round? When he isn’t wearing bandages? And maybe can hear a little?

It has been a busy week and barely begun. As I expected, I don’t have the time to write the number of posts I normally do, so this must suffice.

Later, gang.

This is an Hilarious Spoof of our Esteemed POTUS

I always loved Gilbert & Sullivan! Now, even MORE.

lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

Thanks, Forgottenman, for bringing it to my attention.  There is a brief ad at the beginning you can cancel after a few seconds.

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After a lifetime of being hard of hearing, then much more hard of hearing and eventually, downright deaf, Garry goes into the hospital this coming Friday for cochlear implant surgery. It is supposed to be a “day surgery.” The actual operation, including preparation and setting up anesthesia and whatever tests they might run means it will most likely take around three hours.

About an hour after waking from sleep, Garry should be ready to come home.

Not surprisingly, he’s anxious about the surgery and worried about the changes he will need to make. We will both be making a lot of changes. All of this isn’t going to happen all at once.

There will be a month just waiting for the bandages to come off and another two weeks before the new “equipment” is installed. Then, over a period of months, as Garry should regain real hearing for the first time in his life.

Life will, I fondly believe, get better. But it’s also going to take some getting used to!

Share Our World

Since we are approaching the hottest part of our summer in the northern hemisphere, what’s your favorite ice-cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet flavor?  (Those of you who live down under I’m sure you remember what it is like in the hot summer months).

Definitely yogurt. And our personal favorite is black raspberry swirl!

How often do you people watch?

Here in Uxbridge, hardly at all. There aren’t a lot of people around to watch, especially not in this part of the neighborhood. But when we are in a mall or the grocery store — someplace where you can see people — then we watch.

When we are taking pictures, Garry is the one who usually shoots people. I think it’s a remnant of television shooting.

If you had a choice which would be your preference saltwater beaches, freshwater lakes, ocean cruise, hot tub, ski resort or desert?

I love saltwater for swimming. It’s “bouncier” than fresh water. But I don’t like having to get the salt out of every tiny part of me. So I guess you can say I like both, for different reasons.

Swimming on a cruise ship gives you saltwater to swim in without the sand. I guess I should pick that. Except we are nowhere near going cruising.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? 

I found my inability to know what day of the week it was hilarious. I’ve also been enjoying our very retro retreat into favorite old Westerns. The news has been so appalling and it seems to get worse each day. We need to get our heads back on straight and remember other days and other times.

It’s not easy to do this time around. We have to work at it. So it has become a daring combination of as much baseball as we can push into one day, followed by at least one good western. Now that we’ve signed up with “FilmStruck,” Garry has easy access to all those old movies he loves. Mind you, we already OWN half of them.

Maybe more than half. More like 75%. But he really likes not having to fiddle with the DVD. Having all these movies “on call” is an improvement. Also, many of them have been very nicely cleaned up for both sound and picture.