Category Archives: General

End of the beginning…

…beginning of the end?

Today, April 15, 2024, Donald Trump, ex-President and current Republican candidate for the Republican party, is in court facing his first actual, honest-to-goodness criminal trial.


Oh, and if it isn’t obvious… BEWARE… THERE BE POLITICS DISCUSSED HERE…!

So much crap has happened since he first announced his first candidacy against Hilary Clinton some, what, five thousand years ago now? Won the Presidency (thanks to the electoral college… he actually got less votes than Ms. Clinton), was impeached several times, had a disastrous presidency (I know there are those who don’t think so but… seriously?!?!), then lost to Joe Biden but refused to accept that fact and started his “I wuz robbed” campaign which continues to this day.

He’s already been found liable in two civil trails, one in which he was formally found guilty of sexual assault and another involving lying about the values of his properties and thus not paying the taxes owed. Between those two civil trails, he’s in the hole by nearly $250 million and counting. If the tax trail -on appeal though the monies proffered for the appeal are questionable and may wind up getting him in even more trouble (if that’s even possible)- ultimately loses its appeal, Trump will then owe somewhere north of $350-450 million on that trail alone…!

But here’s where the rubber hits the proverbial road.

In this case, which involves campaign financing illegalities -specifically paying off Stormy Daniels to deny an affair during a time where such an admission might have cost him the first election- Mr. Trump may well wind up being actually found guilty of criminal activities.

Remember: Trump’s one time attorney Michael Cohen served time in jail for elements related to this case.

So buckle up kids…

…I suspect we’re in for one hell of a ride. And it could well be the start of the end for Mr. Trump.

O. J. Simpson (1947-2024)…

Today comes the news that O. J. Simpson, running back extraordinaire for the Buffalo Bills back in the 70’s, then parlayed that to becoming an actor in both movies and TV commercials, and then…

…and then…

June 12, 1994 Nicole Brown Simpson, O.J. Simpson’s wife, and her friend Ron Goldman, were found stabbed to death.

The police investigated Simpson and ultimately were about to arrest him when we had this…

I vividly recall being at home and watching the infamous “Bronco chase”. O.J. Simpson, in the back seat of the car, chasing Al Cowling, Simpson’s friend and the driver, and supposedly a despondent Simpson saying he was going to end things.

He didn’t.

What followed was his capture, a trial that said more about us than him, and ultimately an acquittal… even when the evidence was incredibly strong as to his guilt in this brutal murder. There were names that came out of this farce, including the name “Kardashian”. Yup, the father of the Kardashian brood, Robert Kardashian, was a friend and “lawyer” for O.J. Simpson. It was speculated -and we can know no more- that he did this because he might have had knowledge of what Simpson did but as his lawyer he was couldn’t be forced to testify.

Robert Kardashian would die of cancer in 2003. He had long before -supposedly after the trail- stopped talking to O.J. Simpson and, once again, one can speculate as to the why.

After the trail, it felt like most people -even those who seemed so ecstatic that he was found not guilty- belatedly realized he likely was indeed guilty of this heinous double homicide.

Simpson found himself a pariah and the Goldman family pursued him in civil court and won big… though I wonder if they ultimately got whatever monies were awarded to them.

Simpson found himself in jail for nine years after being found guilty of 12 counts of armed robbery and two counts of kidnapping two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in Las Vegas in 2008.

It’s all such sordid, sordid stuff.

Somewhere along the line Simpson was supposed to release a book entitled If I Did It which supposedly was a “hypothetical” account of what “might” have happened the night of Nicole and Ron Goldman’s murder. There was understandable outcry when this book was supposed to be released and it wasn’t.

The Goldman family, through their lawsuit against Simpson, acquired the rights to the book and eventually released it. They retitled it If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer and it was released in 2007.

With the news of Simpson’s death, I feel absolutely no sympathy. He was, to my mind, guilty of the killings and the fact that he “got away with it” is one of the grand tragedies of recent times… as well as a shining example of how the legal system can be twisted and turned and where the sharp use of publicity and age old grievances -real though they may be- can be used to one’s advantage.

Having said all that above, one thing that has become better known since those murders is the issue of CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

In recent years we’ve come to know much more about this and have also come to realize CTE can very much have an effect on people who suffer from it lives. There are ex-football players who have exhibited extreme behaviors and emotions following the end of their playing days. One player, Junior Seau, committed suicide shortly after his career in football ended. In 2012 he shot himself in the chest and an autopsy revealed he suffered from CTE.

Did Simpson suffer from this as well? Did it affect his mood and/or possibly contribute to what he may have done with his wife and Ron Goldman?

In the coming days, perhaps there will be an autopsy and perhaps it will be found that he also did suffer from this.

Either way, it doesn’t excuse his actions and it doesn’t make up for what happened to two innocent people back in 1994.

Trumpian Monday…

POLITICS… Beware!!!

So I wrote a few days back about Monday and the bond Trump has to pay -which was supposed to be $464 million dollars and… it was reduced by the New York appeals court to $175 million and he was given ten days to secure this amount and…

…I don’t get it.

I suppose there are many who don’t either. I thought the whole point of posting the bond was to secure the judgment amount while the appeals process was playing out.

Assuming Trump can get this lower amount of money for the appeal and further assuming he has the rest squirreled away somewhere, what’s to stop him from trying to burn through it while the appeal process goes on?

Again: Wasn’t this amount supposed to essentially lock up the judgment amount so that if the appeal fails, the victim(s) of the fraud perpetrated by Trump would get their restitution?

I dunno.

I did see some pundits say the amount is very high and, to be clear, many of his properties are in the United States and, specifically, within New York and perhaps because of this -and the fact that there are people overseeing Trump’s finances now- they felt there was no way he would get around this judgment if and when the appeal process is exhausted. Prosecutors could then just take over the properties and -hopefully- that’s that.

And I suppose $175 million is still a pretty high amount.

So why do I feel like Trump has yet again gotten something no other defendant gets when facing the legal system?

I have to say… the moment we no longer have to deal with Trump and his… stuff… anymore can’t come soon enough.

The final countdown…?

Warning: Politics!!!!

If you’ve followed the news even a little nowadays you know that Donald Trump is facing a whirlwind of legal challenges even as he’s running for President yet again under the Republican ticket.

He’s so far been losing judgments yet at times “winning” by having trials be delayed.

On May 9, 2023, Trump was found liable for defamation and sexual abuse against author E. Jean Carroll and she was awarded $5 million in damages. Trump, never a shrinking violet, went on to talk and talk and talk about this verdict to the point where she sued him a second time for defamation. On January 26, 2024, Trump was found liable for defamation against Ms. Carroll and awarded a whopping $83.3 million in damages.

Trump appealed this verdict but, to do so, he had to produce a $91.6 million bond… which he did. In New York, you see, you can appeal verdicts but you have to put the money (plus some 10%) down in case you lose the appeal. It’s a way of ensuring the victims know the money is there for them the moment the appeal is exhausted and does not allow the guilty party to forever stall and appeal the verdict.

In other words: Pay up before you appeal or else you can’t appeal.

There were plenty of people wondering if Trump had the money to pay for this appeal but he did manage to get it… even as very quickly the company who provided the bond was exposed and, apparently, that caused enough consternation within the company, Chubb Insurance, the CEO was forced to defend the action…

Chubb CEO defends backing Trump appeal bond in E. Jean Carroll case

The fact is that Trump -whether you like or loath him- is increasingly being viewed as a financial risk and there are those who invest in Chubb that viewed this bond as a financial risk.

Welp, Trump had another case go against him, this one also from New York and involving civil fraud. Mr. Trump lost the case and was ordered to pay $454 million. This case involved years of questionable financial dealings and, once again, if Mr. Trump wants to appeal the case, he can certainly do so… provided he offer a $454 million bond.

This bond is due March 25… a whopping four days from today, and…

Trump’s lawyers say it is impossible for him to post bond covering $454 million civil fraud judgment

It would appear, according to the above article, that there is no bond company willing to cover this amount and Mr. Trump doesn’t have the liquid assets to cover it himself… this despite boasting under oath during one of these cases (I forget which) that he had some $450 million in such assets.

So the clock is ticking and, should Mr. Trump not be able to post this bond, by Monday New York Attorney General Letitia James, the woman who successfully prosecuted Trump, can start seizing his assets.

It’s a fascinating fall for Mr. Trump, whether he manages to post that bond or not, and one can’t help but note that the man brought this all on himself.

Like it or not, getting into politics shines a bright light on you. Running for, and being elected President shines an even brighter light on you and you really, really must make sure your past is clean because inquiring minds will start to look through your past…

I wonder if this is the start of the end for the Trump financial empire. It’s possible, certainly, he finds a way to wiggle out of this and gets someone -maybe someone close to him- to pay the bond.

But $454 million dollars is an awfully large amount of money and there are other cases -criminal cases- to come.

All while Mr. Trump runs for President.

There was a time even one of these scandals was enough to fell any potential candidate. Mr. Trump, to his credit, seems to know no shame and pushes on despite everything falling around him.

I’m damned curious to see what happens Monday.

Please let karma be real…

…because after the last two weeks, I’m in need of some good stuff happening.

First though: Sorry for the dearth of posts. It’s been unreal how busy I’ve been the last few weeks and, in particular the last couple of weeks starting from just before Christmas. I’ll get to that in a moment.

But its just been unreal busy for me. I’ve finished up the 4th draft of my latest novel and finally feel like I’m seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. The novel is solid and feels like what I was hoping it would be.

There is a second work I’m involved in though that one features less of a day to day input on my part. The hardest stuff I’ve already done and when I do work on it, it’s after my partner has done his part. Don’t mean to sound all cryptic about it but when the time approaches, I’ll give more information.

Suffice to say, I believe in the first half of this new year there will be not one but two pretty cool works released, my latest novel and the first part of this secondary project.

Now then, what happened from just before Christmas:

I have another job (yet another) and this one decided to take the proverbial shit in the bed the Thursday before I was heading out to see my daughter in another state.

I got a call at 1:00 am that Thursday super early in the morning of a strange power failure. I headed out there and spent from 1:30 am to 12 noon dealing with electrical issues. In time I finally found out that a transformer a building over had blown and caused a power failure through 1/2 our building… as well as the other buildings on the block.

Our power company sure did take its time time finally arrive by close to noon and work on it and get things going again. But in our building, the elevator was out and I had to call the elevator company to get it rebooted… even as I discovered one of our employees had gotten themselves trapped in the elevator (thank the gods it wasn’t a client…!).

Thinking that was it, I finally headed home.

Morgan Freeman voice: That wasn’t it.

For the next week plus while on “vacation” I was literally on the phone each day dealing with the repercussions of this transformer’s failure. Our phone system? Half-fried. Our internet modem? Fried as well.

From a distance I made calls and dealt with all those problems plus the fact that we were at the cusp of Christmas and finding people to fix these problems, I feared, would be really hard.

So now another week passes and finally I had one day without having to call the business. Then another.

My daughter, who was sick the week before, started feeling better. Then, just as we were about to fly out and back home, she took a turn for the worse.

So bad she wanted to stay at her house and have us take a taxi or Uber to the airport.

However, it was too late for either and I drove us there with the intention of letting her rest then she could drive her car back home. We get to the airport and she’s feeling really bad. So bad that we tell her to immediately go to Urgent Care to get looked at.

She takes off and for the next hour plus we’re seriously considering having one of us turn around, not take the flight back home, and go taxi ourselves to the Urgent Care.

My daughter, it turned out, had Influenza. We think she was first sick with a cold, got better, then somehow caught the influenza.

Urgent Care gave her fluids and drugs and sent her home and we flew back, not totally content with the situation but knowing we had to get back to deal with our home, pets, and jobs.

This was December 31st.

We get home and I’m exhausted.

I think its just exhaustion from dealing with the problems due to the transformer blowing throughout my “vacation” and then the last minute issues with my daughter.

It turned out to be something else.

I caught the influenza from my daughter. And I was really, really freaking sick from it. Like barely-able-to-get-out-of-the-bed sick. But I had to. You see, there were still things to be dealt with regarding that blown transformer and burnt out equipment…!

I, like my wife, was vaccinated for the flu but I think the stress of dealing with all this shit got to me and on Monday the 1st of January I was feeling bad and by Tuesday even worse. That day it was my turn to go to Urgent Care and get medications.

Today, Sunday the 7th, I feel like I’m over most of it.

As I said above, I hope there is such a thing as karma because truly I could not have ended 2023 and entered 2024 in too much worse shape than I have.

Let’s see if the rest of 2024 treats me a little kinder…!

Otherwise, let me very belatedly say: Hope everyone has had a great holiday and New Years!

No such luck for me but c’est la vie!

Oh Donald…

Yesterday Special Counsel Jack Smith unveiled his case against Donald Trump for the events leading to, and following, the January 6th insurrection.

This is pretty big deal and it feels like all the major investigations into Trump and his various activities are coming to a head. He’s got cases in Florida, now in Washington, and it appears he’ll be facing indictments in Georgia as well.

…and yet there are still a vocal minority, perhaps some 30% of the country, that would still vote for this man and at least so far he’s leading the Republican field for the nomination to run for President.

As John Lennon sang… strange days indeed.

Dog days of (early) summer…

First, apologies for the dearth of posts.

It’s been an awfully long month for me, being very busy with all kinds of things that have, frankly, been exhausting and trying.

On Saturday, June 24th we had the -incredibly- second year anniversary since Champlain Towers South half-collapsed, taking with it 98 people, including my parents.

It’s both hard to believe that so much time has passed and equally hard to believe we’re still dealing with estate issues and other elements cascading from this tragedy. I can’t help but think the relatives and friends of the others who passed away are likely dealing with similar issues and… my heart goes out to them.

It’s been a rough road and those wounds don’t hurt quite as sharply as they did back then… though they still hurt like hell.

Let’s hope for the best in the remains of this year.

It’s all politics, all the time…

Truly I don’t like to write about politics. It feels to me its a subject that unfortunately devolves -often- into an “us versus them” mentality, with each side defending their turf while finding things to insult about the other.

But so much has happened in the last few days it’s hard not to mention politics.

First up, Donald Trump and the E. Jean Carroll case. From

Jury finds Donald Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation in E. Jean Carroll case

I obviously was not in the room with the jurors -who took a grand total of two hours- when they made their decision, but it seems to me what sunk Trump was that old Access Hollywood “grab them by the pussy” bit he was recorded saying… and the fact that Ms. Carroll’s situation sure did seem to follow those words from Trump himself.

Ms. Carroll was awarded some $5 million and, of course, Mr. Trump went quietly into the night…

Yeah right…

So CNN decides to have a “town hall” meeting with Trump and the timing couldn’t have been better/worse. It came yesterday very soon after the jury’s decision and, of course, Trump being Trump he goes off and says a bunch of crap, including again going after Ms. Carroll, who may well be in her rights, should she choose to, to sue Trump yet again.

But that’s not all. Trump again professes the election he clearly lost was somehow “rigged” (he knows better) and again showed himself to have loyalties toward Putin and against Ukraine and…


It really gets to be a little too much after a while, no?

The second big story involves George Santos, freshman in the House of Representative and serial fabricator who was arrested for a host of financial irregularities and fraud (who knew?). From

George Santos pleads not guilty to federal indictment and says he won’t resign

It doesn’t surprise me that he pleaded not guilty and less surprising he says he won’t resign. If nothing else, he has little to no shame at all.

What is depressing, but surely predictable, is the fact that Representative Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House, has avoided saying anything about this situation or Trump’s.

McCarthy’s Speakership exists on the very thinnest of margins, and losing Santos would surely create problems for him in terms of trying to legislate.

But it again makes the entire Republican party look… sleazy.

Not that many of them seem to care at this point.

Mona Lisa bridge… located?

Fascinating story I found this morning written by Barbie Nadeau and Jack Guy and presented on…

Historian claims to have located mystery Mona Lisa bridge

Click on the link for the full story -as I noted, it’s quite fascinating!- but the very famous Leonardo Da Vinci painting Mona Lisa has, in its background, a river and bridge…

The bridge is on the right side of the painting and just above the Mona Lisa’s left shoulder.

As the article states…

(The bridge has been) a source of debate for centuries, the village of Ponte Buriano, a suburb of Arezzo in the Tuscany region of Italy, is so convinced the bridge behind Mona Lisa is the Ponte Buriano that they’ve made it a key feature of their local tourism campaign, even laying claim to the bridge on the village’s welcome sign.

Not so fast, Ponte Buriano!

Historian Silvano Vinceti claims the structure of the bridge suggests it is not the one in Ponte Buriano but instead “the Romito Bridge in the nearby Tuscan town of Laterina.”

He notes the number of arches on the bridge at Laternia more corresponds to what’s in the painting versus that in Ponte Buriano -which has more arches- and…

…it’s all so damn interesting, provided Da Vinci was painting from “real life” regarding the background versus something he simply came up with in his imagination, which I imagine is another possibility!

Either way, a fascinating read!

The collectable market…

I’ve long been fascinated with the market for collectable items, and those which are viewed as valuable.

So when I stumbled upon this article by Zoe Sottile and presented on, I had to give it a look…

A rare “wanted” poster for John Wilkes Booth after he assassinated Lincoln sold for over $160,000

The headline for the most part says it all but I encourage you to click the link and read the details. Seems this particular wanted poster is a rarer version that some that came subsequently but before Booth was found and killed some five days after the assassination of Lincoln.

Because Booth was captured so quickly, there was obviously only a very short period of time these wanted posters with the three chief suspects, including John Surratt and David Herold (who were listed as accomplices), were made and distributed.

This particular wanted poster was handed down through the generation by a single family and they decided it was time to sell it.

Fascinating, fascinating stuff!