Something to Post about.

ÖVERST Metal coffee filter

I just posted vlog 101. I tried one of those stainless steel, one cup at a time things that all the kids are using these days. Didn’t go well. You can see it by clicking here! I also talk about things in my live that make me crazy.

The weather still sucks. We had one nice day. It is starting to bring me down.

Started watching Baskets. Strange show. Not sure if I like it or not. I’ll watch a few more. It is one of those shows that everyone seems a little unpleasant, you know.

I’ve also been watching all The Venture Brothers episodes on Hulu. I’ve seen them all before, but I LOVE that show, so why not watch it again.

Donald Trump is an ass!

I am working on a video now called 10 thinks wrong with Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan! Maybe record it next weekend, or the following. Who knows.

Remember when Troy McClure said, “If a cow ever got the chance, he’s eat you and everyone you care about.” I just though about that, all cows are female.

Posted in Blogs, Coffee, Jeff's Life | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Videos

I’ve tried my luck at trying those “unboxing” videos that all the young kids are doing these days. Go to the video section (on the right) to check them out.

How things have changed. When I was a child, I would have been way to excited when I get something new to thing about making a video. But, of course, our video was 8mm film and very expensive.

Posted in Jeff's Life, Video | Tagged , | Comments Off on More Videos

Gordon’s Letter

Hey Jeff! Thanks for the question. Get a cup of coffee (hehehe…) and sit back, this might be a long ride. (I do teach a class on the US Navy in the 19th Century, so I may get a bit long winded here…)

To begin with, when the Civil War broke out, obviously the Confederate government had no navy whatsoever. They made a Department of the Navy, but other than having the property of the US Naval Shipyard at Gosport, Virginia (Hampton Roads) and the USS Merimac, which had been burned and scuttled there, they had nothing with which to protect the vital ship-borne commerce they needed to sustain their efforts at independence.

Frankly the US Navy wasn’t in much better condition. There had been a brief interest in funding the US Navy by Congress during the Mexican-American War of 1846-47, but by 1860 the condition of most of the ships was what might be referred to as “deplorable”. There was a ship-building frenzy in the late-1850’s to build ships like the Merimac With Lincoln’s election, and of course the events of Fort Sumpter, Lincoln called for a full blockade of the Southern ports. The trouble was, he really didn’t have sufficient ships to do that with.

Anyway, I was trying to put into the last paragraph that there was in fact a building program starting with USS Merimac of “steam sloops” that were both steam and sail, and the latest, highest-tech ships in the world. But that was all changing with developments in Britain and France developing “ironclads”.

Lincoln called for a blockade against the Southern ports and 3,500 miles of coastline, an impossible chore with what they had at the time. Of the Navy’s ships, only 12 were in home waters when the war broke out, with the rest of the 90 ships either in commission off protecting American interests and shipping in other parts of the world, or 48 of them simply sitting idle, with insufficient funds to keep them in active service. Since they continued to have to do that, Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Wells, was forced to build a navy pretty much from scratch, just as his counterpart Stephen Mallory in Richmond had to do.

To begin with, the Confederacy was able to import pretty much whatever they wanted to buy overseas, from wool cloth and shoes to muskets, cannon and gunpowder, all of which European contractors were happy to supply.

Faced with the enormity of the labor ahead of him, Wells went the normal route to attack an enemy’s shipping on the cheap, and that was by issuing “Letters of Marque and Reprisal”. Mallory of course did the same, as did some of the various states, North and South. A Letter of Marque was basically a license to become a pirate, as long as you only attack ships from the enemy of whoever issued you the license. A “Private Man of War” or “Privateer” was the usual name for such endeavours, and they worked for the short time necessary. For the South, as the North bottled up more and more of the ports it became harder and harder to fond prize courts to distribute the wealth taken by them, and for the North, the necessity lessened as the Navy grew. Both sides of course attacked their opponent’s shipping, rather than trying to simply prevent them from making it to port. No money in it from that angle.

Wells also bought a lot of ships for blockade duty that were simply converted merchant ships, including some ferry’s from New York. There are some interesting photo’s of weird looking ships mounting enormous cannon that hardly look seaworthy, and probably weren’t, but they were commissioned nonetheless.
Of note is the fact that, just like with the US Army, a majority of the officers of the pre-war USN resigned their commissions and “went South”. This led to a problem for the South of having a lot of senior officers with nothing to do, while in the US Navy, there were a lot of junior officers who were given the opportunity of a lifetime to rise in rank quickly. Most of the senior officers of the CSN were formerly senior USN officers, while a large number of senior USN officers were formerly USN junior officers. Interesting, and of course young men trying to make a name for themselves tend to do more outrageous things than old men trying to fight a defensive war.

AS the blockade became more of an impediment to Southern supply routes, they looked for a way to break it, and what resulted was dusting off a Mexican-War ere design for an iron-clad ship that eventually manifested itself as CSS Virginia, nee USS Merimac. The Merimac, which had burned to the waterline and then sunk at Gosport, was raised and refloated, her engines repaired as best as could be (she was in for getting those same engines overhauled, which hadn’t been done. Being underwater for 40 days didn’t help matters), and then the Confederates at the Navy Yard put several tons of railroad iron from Treadgar Iron Works in Richmond on her to make her an “ironclad”. I expect that you’ve done your research on her design, so I won’t get into that. Anyway, she was slow, low and menacing, but probably not “seaworthy” should she make it out of Chesapeake Bay. But then, she didn’t have to, she just had to prove a point.

I won’t get into too much about her joyful day destroying the Union Navy’s finest ships at Hampton Roads, but it is of interest that her nemisis, the USS Monitor, was of course on her way at the time. Pitting a “barn on a raft” versus a “cheesebox on a shingle” the next day was a turning point in Naval History, the first contest of ironclad vs ironclad, and it was a draw. Interestingly, the first fight between two ironclads, in 1862, was only two years prior to the LAST fight between two wooden warships, the USS Kearsarge and CSS Alabama. Naval technology was moving fast in those days!

The Confederates of course built more of them too, from the CSS Albemarle, which was quite literally built in a cornfield, to the CSS Tennessee, which contested David Farragut’s attack on Mobile, Alabama, the ironclads did their best to thwart the Northern invasion of the South.

There was of course another naval war going on, on the high seas (thus the Alabama vs Kearsarge) in which the Confederacy sought to cripple Union shipping via their commerce raiders. It worked pretty well, since a majority of US-flagged ships changed their registry during the war! I could get into detail about “Guerre de Main” vs “Guerre de Course”, but I won’t bug you with that. Suffice it to say that the captains of the commerce raiders, and the captains of the ships sent out to hunt them were happy with the game, while the admirals who wanted large battles fought with large ships on a large scale weren’t. Oh well, that’s how such things work. We had to wait four more generations for THAT sort of war to occur!

It was, in the end, a naval war fought to cripple the enemy’s commerce, or to prevent that from happening, on both sides. The US Navy went from something like 9,000 officers and men and 90 ships, 48 of them out of service, to 118,000 men and 600 ships in commission. From having only a very few “modern” ships to having the most modern navy in the world in 1865, it was an impossible feat that was accomplished by men who feverishly worked to build the US Navy to what it became. The Confederates were no less able, but suffered from far greater shortcomings in men with a background in sea service, and of course materiel. And sadly, after the war the US Navy went into what they called “The Doldrums” of going from the largest most modern navy in the world to one which, in 1880, couldn’t effectively take on Peru’s navy. But THAT little fiasco did bring the public’s attention to the plight of the Navy, and led to her resurgence and modernization, and in turn this allowed for the incredible expansion into a world empire in 1898.

I hope that this helps a bit! Let me know if I can be of more help. This sort of jazzes me up to do a pod cast about this stuff too! Heck, we could do one together some day…
Cheers!

Posted in Coffee With Jeff Special, History | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Nothing to do with Donald Trump

As Cheech Marin once said, “Responsibility is a heavy responsibility, man.”

The Elgin Dead LogoAnd so it goes. I’ve been away. I’ve had a few big things going on in my life. The first was the short film I posted earlier this week called, The Elgin Dead. I am really proud of this. We filmed the whole thing in four days and it was edited in a week. We also spent two evenings doing ADR work. About a third of the film’s audio was re-recorded due to extremely high winds. Every person that helped with this production was fantastic.

And now I am going to mention Donald Trump. Not for any political reason but just to be topical.

Why do people pay so much for coffee these days? Trust me people, it isn’t worth the extra dollars. You only do it to be cool.

Werewolf In A Girl's DormitoryAnyway, now that I am done with my latest short, I am working on a new one. I am thinking a werewolf who meets zombies. Yes, it will be another comic/horror film. Donald Trump will not be in my film. The two main characters in the film will be Finley and Simone. Finley is the werewolf and Simone is the psychiatrist who tries to help him. It will be funny, I hope.

If you have not watched my film, please do so. I think you’ll laugh once or twice.

Dementia 13Right now I am watching Dementia 13, Francis Ford Coppola’s first feature film. Very low budget film he made for Roger Corman. Actually, I have read that he was helping Corman with another film and asked if he could use the cameras and sets on the weekend to make his own movie, and Corman said yes. It is being remade but these days, what isn’t being remade, or rebooted. Am I right folks? As far as I know, Donald Trump will not be in the new version of Dementia 13.

Well, thanks for coming by. I’ll be here next Friday.

Posted in Jeff's Life | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Nothing to do with Donald Trump

The Elgin Dead

Here is a short film I wrote, co-directed and edited. I was filmed in just two weekends and edited very quickly. I do this once a year to raise money for an Animal Shelter. I hope you enjoy it. It is sort of The Wizard of Oz meets the Walking Dead.

 

Posted in Charity, Halloween, Video | Tagged , , | Comments Off on The Elgin Dead

What is Facebook? I mean, I know what is it, but what is it?

Facebook Thoughts

 

 

What is Facebook? I mean, I know what is it, but what is it?

Facebook Picture

My Current Facebook Image

I have some great friends and some great family, many of whom I keep in touch with through Facebook. That was why I first created an account all those years ago. That was the only reason I joined Facebook. I didn’t get onto Facebook to hear political or religious view. The thing is, I don’t think you should post things on Facebook that you wouldn’t say around a dinner table with your friends and family, and I know many of those that constantly post their one-sided views wouldn’t say those things if they were having a meal with those same people they are talking to on the internet. Hiding behind a keyboard that makes you feel safe, and that is not right.

Another group of people post their health problems. First of all, I am sorry to anyone who had serious health issues but, honestly, do I need to read about it? On the other hand, if it help them coup with what they are going through, than I say, keep posting. I will rarely reply. Maybe I’ll give you a crying emoticon, maybe I won’t. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel for you.

I don’t need to hear about what you are doing, or what you are eating, unless it is something special. Having breakfast at Dennys, wow, thanks for sharing… I’ll never say. Now, if you are at Gino’s East celebrating an anniversary or a birthday, I’m glad you shared.

Poker Talk

 

 

I have not been doing well at poker lately. I mean, the cards I have been being dealt are just awful. I think it three hours Tuesday night; I played three or four hands. I mean, it is Texas Hold’em, and every hand is like 9-2, or jack-3. SUCK! I think if it goes the same way this Tuesday, I’ll bluff a little. It is hard with our group, as we’ve got some very inexperienced players who don’t have enough sense to fold, you know.

pokerSo, after a whole night of folding, folding and more folding, I was down to under 100 chips with the blinds at 10-20. I was dealt a pair of nines with all the players before me folding and only two players after me, the small and big blind. I pushed it all in. I got called by king-six off-suit. See what I mean! But, surprisingly, my nines held up. Four of five hands later, I had ace-5 on the big blind. The table was five handed at the time. The flop was Jack-Queen-Ace with two clubs. Since no one raised pre-flop, I thought my ace might be good, and I needed another double up, so I went all in. I was hoping a straight draw would call, and miss. At this point, I was willing to take that risk. Everyone folded until the last guy (a good player) called. He had 10-king, so he flopped the straight. There were two clubs on the board and he didn’t have a club, and I did (my 5), and the turn was a club, so I had outs going to the river, but missed. Oh well, another night coming home with extra money.

What I am Watching

 

 

Been watching BoJack Horseman, from the beginning. All 4 seasons.

Crap Crap Crap

 

 

Art is everything and art is nothing. You are everything and you are nothing. It is all perspective. With the size of the know universe, billions of stars, billions of galaxies, statistically, you don’t exsist. To another speck of creation that to share life with, you are huge, you are everything, you are what make life worth living.

Once in a while I listen to the radio but not all that much. Why? Commercials. I hate radio commercials. They are all bad but the worse ones are those that attempt to be funny. They rarely are. If, be chance, they are a bit amusing, by they time you have heard it one hundred times, it is not so funny anymore. I have actually turned off the radio because of an advertisement that I can’t stand to hear.

When in the car, I still use an iPod. I got 40 years of my music collection of there along with some great podcasts and a few audio books.

Did you know that there in no Lost City of Atlantis? STOP LOOKING FOR IT! It has ever existed – NEVER! It was something Plato made up as part of a morality tale. Looking for Atlantis now is like people 200 years from now looking for the evil Death Star from Star Wars.

When Plato talked about Atlantis, he said he heard it, as child, from his Grandfather. Who heard of from Athenian statesman Solon, who lived 300 years before Plato? And he said he heard it from an Egyptian priest who said it happened 9,000 years before that. Most of what you hear about Atlantis comes from Edgar Cayce.

Posted in Jeff's Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on What is Facebook? I mean, I know what is it, but what is it?

I want to see the end

Why Pray

 

I was asked to pray for the people in the Houston area, for those that have been affected by Hurricane Harvey’s assault. While my heart goes out to each and every person whose life was ripped apart, I don’t understand the need to pray.

GodFor the sake of argument, let’s say there is a God, an all seeing and knowing god. Is he (or she or it) not the one who created the storm? Couldn’t he have stopped it before it reached land? If that is not the case, how can praying help? It seems that if God can help, he never made the storm in the first place.

So tell me, if God is responsible for all, it would appear that this omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence and omnibenevolent thing wanted the hurricane to do what it did. How could it be otherwise?

By the way, I am hoping for my heart that the people in Florida will be safe this weekend.

Let me get off my soapbox.

Short Film

 

The Time MachineI had an idea for a short film. A man invents a time machine with a purpose. Is it to prevent John F. Kennedy from being assassinated? No. Is it to kill Hitler before as a baby! No. He wants to stop John Lennon from meet Yoko Ono. He succeeds and then when he returns to the present, the universe is destroyed. OK, it is a bit like the Star Trek episode with Joan Collins. The show is like 50 years old, so I think it will be ok. I’ll just say it is a homage.

What I am Watching

 

Hey, new episodes of BoJack Horseman! Going to watch them all this weekend. Love BoJack. “Back in the 90’s I was in a very famous TV show…” Netflix cuts out the song at the end. NOT COOL NETFLIX!

My wonderful wife also bought me Ash Vs. The Evil Dead season 2 on Blu-Ray! Oh yeah!

My Life

 

 

So, we had this tree cut down. Well, we didn’t have it cut down, the city did. You see, last winter the snow and ice got so heavy about a third of it broke of and fell to the ground. It was near the roadside, so I guess the city thought two-thirds of a tree didn’t look good. So they chopped it down. It was a beautiful flowering tree that the whole neighborhood loved. After it fell, or a third of it fell, they acted like a family member died. Why am I telling you this? Well, you see the tree is growing back! All around the stump area, little trees have been popping up. We are letting one grow. Cool, no.

Speaking of GOD, I was thinking about the afterlife. I don’t believe in an afterlife. Usually I’m ok with that but sometimes… I would really like to see how this how human race/Earth thing turns out. I want to see the end. To think about it, the end might have already started.

Posted in Blogs, Jeff's Life | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on I want to see the end

Grow Old or Watch Everyone Die

The Walker and the Snake

 

 

A Lady and her snakeHe was as a man who had no right to call himself lonely. The sound of each footstep he took as he walked through the desert filled him with a peacefulness, like a form of mediation. The other sounds, like wolves and the wind, didn’t exist when he was on was of his morning treks.

The snake changed that. The kind of beast he saw was a type he didn’t know but he knew it was poisonous. Very Poisonous! Yet he wanted to touch it, to pet it, to make friends with it. That, of course, was not possible. “Why,” he mumbled to himself. He gazed at the creature. You survive by assuming I am your enemy. You bit first and never worry about who you bit. Nothing I say can change that.

The snake began to slide away. The old man just watched.

Winter is Coming

 

 

Winter_2Leafs in the yard, the first signs of the upcoming winter. I don’t mind the winter, the cold, the wind, the snow and all the rest, not so much. Others so. That is the part I hate about winter, the bitching about winter. I know people who spend so much of my time telling me how much they hate the winter. Why the fuck to you live in the Midwest if the yearly cold makes you cry like a selfish child he is forced to eat vegetables. Deal with the season like an adult or move south. An adult can chose have spinach or not.

The thing about winter, it makes the spring so much better. How can one really enjoy the warm breeze without making it way through January in Chicago.

And winter isn’t so bad, really. Not at all. No yard work in winter, just the occasional shoveling. And there is something wonderful about shoveling. Good exercise, yet, but more that that. The feeling of getting back inside the house, feeling the heat on your skin, slowly stripping off the cold, wet layers. Coffee never tasted so delicious as it does after shoveling on a cold day. And the pride in seeing you driveway totally clear!

2001: A Space Odyssey is a fantastic film. There, I’ve said it.

Rock and Roll Flashback

 

 

I am going to see to bands from my past tomorrow Foghat and Blue Oyster Cult at the Walworth County Fairgrounds. I saw both of these bands back in the late 70s and earlier 80s. Both were headliners and sold out big halls. Now I see them both at a county fair for five dollars. Maybe I will post some picture next week.

Death

 

 

I came to a realization today. You have two choices in life, grow old, or watch those around you die. I think of my wife and me. In many ways, I would like to go first because I don’t know if I can handle her going before me. Yet, then I leave her all alone. Damn, that sucks. What about my brothers and sister. Do I have to deal with their death? Not if I go first. One of the five of use will have to deal with the death of the other four. Damn, that sucks.

Now you’ve got e depressed. Thanks! Bye!

Posted in Blogs, Jeff's Life | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Grow Old or Watch Everyone Die

Time to Grow up World

How Old Are We

 

I was on Facebook the other day and I saw a post about something called CatCom. This event is something like Comic-Con but for cat lovers. I saw, on this Facebook page, many people dressed as cats. My first thought? “You are adults, right?”

I think that every time I see picture of Comic-Com I think the same thing. How old are we?

It all started with Rock and Roll. Rock and Roll is a very simplistic form of music. It’s music for children and for the first 10 or so years of Rock and Roll, it was for children, or teenagers. But then those teenagers turned into adults and they were totally unaware that the silly music they listened to and seeped into their brain and kept them in a state of arrested development. And it gets worse and worse, as each generation gets older. Now adults think it is OK to pay a LOT or money to walk around a large hall, dressed up in a Supermancostume of a superhero or comic book character, and pay even more money to get an autograph and a celebrity.

Someone wrote on Facebook, “You have to grow old but you don’t have to grow up.”
That is the problem!

When I think of Comic-Con, I think of Superman. When I think of Superman, I think of George Reeves. I wonder if he would have enjoyed Comic-Con!

the_solar_eclipse

 

 

the solar eclipseAnyway, I went to see the eclipse with my wife last weekend. Had a great time. We went to Columbia, Missouri. The great part was, we couldn’t find any viewing glasses but the area we found for viewing had them for $1 a pair. Totality was something that was overwhelming, seriously overwhelming. It was way to short.

The problem started once we left. We didn’t know if we should spend the night or drive home after it was over. We made the HUGE mistake with the choice of driving home. Traffic was awful. It took us 14 hours to make an 8-hour car ride. We got home a 4:40am. It sucked! Let me say that again, it sucked. But I would do it again and I will in seven years.

Crap Crap Crap

 

 

Got a nice letter from a listener of my podcast the other day. That is two shows in a row! Yes!

This has been a busy week, so I didn’t have Music Monday or any of the rest. They will be back next week. Work as been a pain in the butt. I didn’t even get a chance to work on a new song on guitar! I was hoping between this blog and my video stuff, I would be able to retire and do Internet stuff all day but it is looking like this isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

So, I’ve got a pub crawl tomorrow, I’ll let you know about that next week. Actually it is called a Paw Crawl because it is to raise money for an animal shelter. Always doing my part, you know.

I watched the film Doctor Strange the other day. I must say I didn’t care for it all that much. Not only am I not a fan of these Superhero films, but even less a fan of the origin stories. Boring! I really believe they are popular because most adults are still children.

Posted in Blogs, Jeff's Life | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Time to Grow up World

My Podcast for your Listening Pleasure

Coffee with JeffHello there! My name is Jeff and I host a podcast called Coffee With Jeff. On this week’s episode, I walk about the legendary Soapy Smith, a cone man of the old west. It is only about one half of an hour long. If you could be so kind, why don’t you click on my face to the right and that will take you to it. I will be your friend for life!

Posted in Podcast | Tagged , | Comments Off on My Podcast for your Listening Pleasure