Labor Day #321 – 8/30/2016

“Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  Confucius

Welcome everyone to Drivel Over Coffee, the blog; the musings, the memories and the whatnot infused with the earthy aroma of French Roast Coffee with a dose of rant mixed in on occasion. My blog is my take on “Life As Seen Through Dog Licked Glasses.”

Our endless summer is about to reach it’s end. Not so endless it would seem. Of all holidays, Labor Day is the saddest one for me. Why you ask? It means we will not see the summer months again for 9 months. We are faced with fall which is no more than a transition period to winter. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fall tempered with the realization that winter follows. In Iowa, winter is not something we look forward to. Is there some way to stop the world at September?

Where did Labor Day originate? While most Americans likely consider Labor Day a uniquely American experience, but in all reality, Labor Day has its origins in Canada. Stemming from 1870’s labor disputes in Toronto, in 1872 a parade was held in support of a strike against the (ready for this?) 58 hour work week. As a result, 24 union leaders who were responsible for organizing the event were arrested under anti-union laws.

Remember – No White Clothes After Labor Day. Why, who knows. Speculation says that the well to do peoples would flee to the country retreats where they would wear light, airy, white clothing in place of the drab darker clothing of urban life.

Musings – It’s only Tuesday, people. It’s only Tuesday. Good grief this is

What a profound paragraph written in 1931 by Dr. Adrian Rogers.

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”


going to be a long week.

My plan for today? Same as always: Drink coffee and be sexy. On second thought, I am going to the patio, drink coffee, stare at the clouds and contemplate my navel. Haven’t done that for ages.

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

I was at the post office, when I see a blonde woman shouting into an envelope. I asked, “What are you doing?” The blonde replied, “Sending a voice mail”.

I hate it when I think I’m buying organic vegetables and when I get home I discover they’re just regular donuts.

Memories –    This time of the year, August and September are busy times in my mind. First thing that comes to mind is the Iowa State Fair. It was a grand adventure for a little farm kid. We would climb in the car early in the morning. Mom had made fried chicken and biscuits the night before. The picnic basket was packed with the chicken, biscuits, pie and others yummy food. We would get there early enough to park next to my aunt and uncle who were camping down there. They were showing livestock at the fair so they had great shady camping spots.

Off we would go; mom, dad and me in tow. We would see the butter cow, stop at every kiosk, watched a demonstration of a new-fangled gadget. I remember one would slice, dice, pare, trim and would cut through steel while still effortlessly slicing a tomato. Oh, yes we had to get one. Once at home, the gizmo would last a day or so. Lesson learned. Into the Varied Industries building we would go up and down every aisle. I was fascinated by all of the really neat gizmos. I collected every hand-out offered. This would usually consume most of the morning. As we headed back to the camp for lunch with the relatives, I would get a run at the Midway. I would do a few rides until my stomach got upset; next was the arcade and that was it.

Interestingly we did not pack one cooler yet we ate fried chicken, biscuits baked beans and etc. No one ever got sick. Go figure. The afternoon usually was a guys and girls thing. Dad and I would head over to the farm machinery area. We would inspect all of the equipment on display. It was like old home week because most of the neighbors were there too. The dealers would have huge tents with tractors and what-not on display. Getting up on the tractor and trying out the seat. Dad would nod his head that this one would be nice. The sales reps would spout the virtues of the equipment, had out a baseball cap with their logo on it, and take your name and address so they could complete a sale (they hoped). Meanwhile I had found the toy farm equipment. In the tents near the brochures for the equipment would be the counter with the toys for sale. If I played things just right, I could go home with one of these cool tractors or combines.

Supper was back at the campground. More chicken and so forth. We would go to the grandstands for a race of some kind after supper. I remember watching a “champ” car race. Champ car is what my dad called them. These were race cars like one would see at Indianapolis. Front end Offenhauser engines. They were loud and fast. I always fell asleep on the way home after one stupendous day.

It wasn’t too long until school started. Between the state fair and the start of school, mom and I would go to town and fill out my wardrobe with pants, shirts, underwear, and shoes for the school year. We would get the necessary schools supplies as well at the Ben Franklin’s store. I usually had to stop by Dr. Mullen’s office for a checkup, shots and physical – Yuk!!!

Finally, the big day arrives. The first day of school. Living on the farm meant that you had to ride the school bus to school. It would usually be a half hour ride on dusty gravel roads for the most part. I was dressed in one of my new shirts and jeans. Looked studly, man. Despite the shouting of the teachers, we ran to our rooms. At my school, the elementary grades stayed in one room all day with the same teacher. We grabbed a desk and began to organize, notebook here, pencil box there, crayons, scissors, so on and so forth. Once she had achieved some fashion of decorum, out came the new text books. This was my favorite. I would leaf through to see the new things we would be learning during the year. Ah, fond memories of that first day of school. It was all downhill until the last day of school.

The Rule of BACON

  1. There must always be bacon in the fridge. ALWAYS!
  2. There does not exist a food that does not go well with bacon.
  3. There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who like bacon, and those who will be used as fodder in the case of a zombie apocalypse.
  4. Even pigs like bacon. Fact.
  5. Crispy and chewy are both acceptable ways to cook bacon. Thou shalt not discriminate.
  6. 90% of the world’s problems can be solved by cooking more bacon.
  7. Bacon presents exactly zero health risks. Shut Up!
  8. If your computer is antiquated and slow, you can feed it bacon through the floppy drive to make it run faster.


What-Nots –A drunken man walks into a biker bar, sits down at the bar, and orders a drink. Looking around, he sees 3 men sitting at a corner table. He gets up, staggers to the table, leans over, looks at the biggest, meanest one in the face and says, “I went by your grandma’s house today and I saw her in the hallway buck naked. Man, she is a fine looking woman!”

The biker looks at him and doesn’t say a word. His buddies are confused, because he is one bad biker and would fight at the drop of a hat.

The drunk leans on the table again and says, “I got it on with your grandma and she is good, the best I ever had!”

The biker’s buddies are starting to get really mad, but the biker still says nothing. The drunk leans on the table one more time and says, “I’ll tell you something else, boy, your grandma liked it!” At this point the biker stands up, takes the drunk by the shoulders, and says… “Grandpa, you’re drunk… Go home

Herbie got busy last week, called the regulars to Jimmy’s Grill & Bait Shop for a meeting. Since Jimmy’s apparent difficulties, we have backed off going there every week. Frankly, with OSHA, Health Dept., the DNR and etc. hovering around there all the time, Jimmy’s disappearance, the rumors, and Mustard’s managerial style we just didn’t feel comfortable there anymore.

Herbie pleaIMG_0962ded with us to go out, have some Joe and try to get the latest scoop on what is to become of Jimmy’s. Turns out Jimmy’s absence was due to the fact that he was attending the Midwest Branch of the prestigious Corduroy Blue Cooking School. It is rumored to be right here on the southwest side of the City of 5 Smells. Seems Jimmy is trying to deflect criticism by improving dinner offerings. Jimmy prepared us a one of his new meals consisting of tomatoes, eggplant, onions, garlic, carrots, peppers, and potatoes, all ladled over a boneless, skinless chicken breast (locally raised?), and seasoned with his secret sauces and flavorings. (Shown at the right.)

We paired this dish with a pitcher of Blatz. Spud opted for his favorite – Pigs Eye. We all agreed that it didn’t pair well with either the Blatz or the Pigs Eye. I opined that most diners will opt for a premium brew such as Budweiser or a carafe of a white wine. Nevertheless, diners now have the availability of upscale dishes, such as the Vegetables via Ladle over Chicken Breast Charles. Diners still have the option of the old standby, a triple bacon cheeseburger, extra-large fries, and a pitcher of Blatz. All entrees including the upscale menu at the unbelievably low price of $8.

It was nice to get the update from Jimmy, sample his fine cuisine and visit with the Old Farts Club. The décor remains an issue though particularly when we are talking “fine” dining. I looked around but couldn’t notice a notable change. The stink bait was in the same display case with the hamburger patties like always, for instance. Time will tell how this all plays out for Jimmy and Mustard.

“It’s not that I can and others can’t, it’s I did and others didn’t.” Remember your Vietnam Veterans – All gave some, some gave all!! If I can make at least one-person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. Until we meet again -TA!