December 31st

So long, 2010.

Usually I’m cheery and optimistic on New Year’s Eve, but this time around as the old year wanes I find myself in the grip of a tenacious bout of melancholy. I have a feeling 2011 is going to be, as they say, an “interesting” time.

But never mind that! For tonight, let’s raise a glass. Best wishes to you all, dear readers!


  1. JK says


    Glad that’s over with.

    And for this New Year? It’s gotta be something of a good omen if it begins on a Saturday.

    Posted January 1, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink
  2. the one eyed man says

    When we were teen-agers, we stopped at the gas station on Route 1 at Harrison Street so you could fill up. After doing so, you deliberately spilled some gas on the pavement, announcing that since you’re paying for the gas, you should be able to do whatever you please with it, including spilling some. I should have recognized this at the time as the nucleus of a political ideology which would grow over time.

    Best wishes for a great 2011, and let’s hope your melancholia is misplaced.

    Posted January 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    Good Lord, Peter, what a horrid recollection to bring up. I don’t remember that at all. I must have been all of about 17 at the time, and if the story is accurate, it was nothing more than youthful swagger and braggadocio. I then spent decades as a typical lefty, more or less, and only came round to a more conservative viewpoint in my middle years. And though I may hold sensible conservative views nowadays, they certainly do not in any way glorify waste or profligacy.

    But Happy New Year to you anyway, and yes, let’s hope my forebodings are misplaced.

    Posted January 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink
  4. the one eyed man says

    Not horrid at all: if you can’t indulge in swagger and braggadocio when you’re young, when can you?

    Although I can remember the event with perfect clarity, I’m having a little more difficulty remembering what car you had then. I’m thinking green Pontiac Bonneville. Am I correct?

    Posted January 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    Close. It was a ’65 Pontiac Tempest.

    But — and do forgive me if I seem unduly prickly about this — that incident, if indeed it actually happened (and just to be sociable, I’ll take your word), was most certainly not the “nucleus of a political ideology”.

    Posted January 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink
  6. When I was a teenager (1950s) I was lucky to get the keys to my Dad’s car. And if I needed to buy gas on those occasions, horror of horrors, I had to shell out 25 cents per gallon!

    Ah, the good old days …

    Posted January 1, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink
  7. Merry Christmas, Malcolm! Sorry for the belated greetings, but I’ve been busy.

    I’ll offer New Year’s greetings in a week or so — no time to do this at the moment.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted January 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink
  8. JK says

    Oh dear Lord, Malcolm and Peter…

    I knew that being a former mayor of Wasilla couldn’t be all to the story.

    Posted January 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Permalink
  9. the one eyed man says

    It would be nice if Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier could go there, so we could have the Thrilla in Wasilla.

    Posted January 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink
  10. Throw in Michael Jackson, and you’d have a Troika Thriller.

    Posted January 1, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Permalink
  11. Malcolm says

    I don’t think watching Muhammad Ali fight Joe Frazier would be much of a “thrilla” at this point, with or without the corpse of Michael Jackson in the ring.

    I can see it’s high time to get back to more serious topics around here!

    Posted January 1, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Permalink
  12. Malcolm says

    Jeffery, thanks for the greetings (take your time with the New Year’s one), and best wishes to you too.

    Posted January 1, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Permalink
  13. JK says

    I don’t know Peter – from everything I’ve heard – there’s an unusual (probably inherited) characteristic the residents exhibit – pissing petroleum by-products specifically.

    If one cannot exhibit the capability after puberty, they deport you to the lower 48. If one loses the capability during adulthood, Rupert Murdoch has a contractual obligation to provide “meaningful work.”

    Posted January 1, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Permalink
  14. I, JK, get the distinct impression you are trying to convey something of weight to this stream (treacle?) of commentary, as it were. Unfortunately, I have misplaced my Captain Video de-coder ring, so I’m not sure I catch your drift. My hunch is the feeling is mutual.

    No matter. To sleep. Perchance to dream. Ay, caramba!

    Posted January 1, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Permalink
  15. JK says

    Nope BigHenry, nothing weighty – I was just jesting at ‘maybe Malcolm’s action led to the Tea Party.’ Peter after all, did mention “the nucleus of a lasting political ideology.”

    The year I reckon to’ve been 1973 and prior to the OPEC clamp-off. I realize you’d need to know something about me – at the time I was living in Wichita and a company, Koch Industries (HQ’d in Wichita) that year made some heavy investments near and around Wasilla.

    Some few years before, they’d bought into a pipeline that runs from a bunch of refineries located just north of Wichita and coincidentally, passes near the location Peter listed.

    I’m not BigHenry, the least offended incidentally by your observation – I am all too aware that very few are able to follow my thought processes. That’s why, if you’ve noticed, only very rarely does Malcolm respond to a comment I’ve made on Waka.

    He has my email address where certain sorts of phrasings for questions (WTF!!?) help to maintain the respectability of this esteemed website.

    I will admit though, getting awakened by tornado sirens yesterday morning probably exacerbated my already chaotic neural network.

    Posted January 2, 2011 at 1:06 am | Permalink
  16. JK,

    I am glad no offense was taken, for none was intended. I was just trying to partake of the seemingly trivial banter to, presumably, lift our host’s spirits

    Posted January 2, 2011 at 10:25 am | Permalink
  17. JK says

    Me too BigHenry (lifting the spirits of our host, I mean) and in that vein – Malcolm need not hold himself solely responsible for the rise of “a lasting political ideology” – Stalin played a part too [slide 7].

    Incidentally, that “pipeline running from a bunch of refineries just north of Wichita?” Well, it’s stranger than one might at first imagine. Guess whose grandfather was born in the town named for the oilfields north of Wichita?

    Now whether the Brothers Koch felt a twinge of guilt that led them to bankroll the Tea Party is anybody’s guess.

    Posted January 2, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink
  18. BFF, JK.

    BTW, my friends call me TheBigHenry, the definite article being an integral part of my nickname. If you are interested in this personal back-story, you can read it here.

    Posted January 2, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink
  19. JK says

    Well, TBH – actually you left a link to your site sometime back – it’s bookmarked in the same folder as this one. I occasionally visit but make no comments. I don’t mean to be unsociable (and I do in fact enjoy visiting) it’s just that I must take care where I leave footprints on site-meters.

    Posted January 2, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink
  20. I, JK, completely agree with the need for caution in these times that try men’s souls, not to mention women’s bodies. One can never be too careful about venturing beyond the pale of sanctioned political correctness, as received from our Fount of Constitutional Wisdom and Conventional Hopey-Dopey. Moreover, the Fount’s holder of prosecutorial powers is most displeased with cowardly Americans’ questioning his monochromatic view of blind justice, and is not inclined to be generous and forgiving.

    Sorry; got a little carried away.

    Y’all be cool.

    Posted January 2, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Permalink
  21. JK says

    I do hope, ‘The Big Henry’ (whose name you have in common with my own paternal’s and somewhat maternal’s Jesse Aaron) – and which I hope not to get thus barred from commenting here – that I give a “flying, ahem” whether the:

    “Fount of Constitutional Wisdom and Conventional Hopey-Dopey”

    has any shrift whatsoever on what I type in comments here – (recognizing my IP might be blocked) & since I know the host to be on the road just now [giving me a certain leeway] – just for dramatic purposes, you be Scarlett and I be Rhett.

    If you’ve objections, heck, I’ll be Scarlett and you can be Rhett.

    Posted January 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink
  22. After careful consideration of your meticulously camouflaged message, JK, I suspect we are in complete agreement, but I would hesitate to bet the farm on that.

    As to which one of us is to be Rhett or Scarlett, “I don’t really give a damn”, which, I am sure, is part of your message.

    BTW, do you know why Jimma Carter wants to switch names with his dog? No?

    His dog’s name is Bozo.

    Posted January 2, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Permalink
  23. JK says

    While I’ve not seen the reports on Bozo, I (personally) wouldn’t hesitate to “bet the farm.”

    Only because my Republican Daddy took care, despite his personal tastes – which I’d note, he opened only one – took care to save the case of “Billy Beer” for posterity.

    My guess is – he knew PBS was bound to produce a show called “Antiques RoadShow.”

    And Daddy was “Republican when Republican When Republican Wasn’t Cool” (in Arkansas anyway).

    We need to stop here “The Big Henry.”

    Tears flow as I recall all the friends [and Daddy] I’ve lost during the preceeding month. That’s not to say of course, you don’t recognize steganography when you see it.

    Posted January 3, 2011 at 12:06 am | Permalink

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