Friday Night Think Tank: Red, White, and Blue Deep Thoughts

flagIt was a weird Friday, Modern Philosophers.

For some reason, my office was open even though tomorrow is Independence Day and most of America was closed for business.  Even odder, I didn’t take the day off despite having plenty of vacation time.

Needless to say, I could not wait for it to be 5:00 so I could celebrate my independence from my desk and head out to enjoy my freedom.

I’ve been in a Fourth of July frame of mind since I returned to The House on the Hill, so let’s keep it going in the Think Tank tonight.  I’m wearing my red, white, and blue toga while enjoying a slice of apple pie.  Are you ready to join me?

This week’s topic: What comes to mind when you think of Independence Day?

This is a holiday that really gets my Deep Thoughts going.  It puts me in a patriotic frame of mind and conjures up so many happy Summer memories.

I went grocery shopping on the way home tonight, so once again, Independence Day will be about grilling hot dogs and hamburgers and eating apple pie.  It’s the most American of holidays, so it makes sense that food would be a big part of it.

The Fourth of July is also about baseball.  I’m watching the Yankees right now, and will set tomorrow’s grilling schedule around Saturday’s 1:00pm first pitch.

The Yankees and Independence Day will be forever linked in my mind.  I still remember watching Dave Righetti’s Fourth of July no hitter when I was a kid.  We were at a pool party, and we all crammed into the hosts’ living room to watch the ninth inning.

As I wrote in a recent blog post, I went to a Yankees game on the Fourth of July the year Independence Day was released.  After a day at Yankee Stadium, I spent the evening in the movie theater watching Bill Pullman save the planet.

Statue of LibertyMore than anything, though, Independence Day makes me think of fireworks.

While I don’t like it when idiots set them off randomly during the year, I do really enjoy it when professionals put on a show to celebrate America’s Birthday.

I can see the fireworks show without leaving The House on the Hill, and I will be out on my porch for it tomorrow night.

The colors, the pageantry, the way they light up the night sky…so glorious.  Who doesn’t love the rockets’ red glare, and the bombs bursting in air?

What about you, Modern Philosophers?  For those of you who are not American, answer this one as if I were asking you about your country’s special holiday…

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Bill Pullman Finally Opens Up About Saving Earth From Aliens

MSDINDA FE002On the eve of the greatest achievement of his career, Bill Pullman sat down with this Modern Philosopher to give a rare interview about the time he saved our planet from an Alien invasion.

“I don’t really like to talk about the events of that particular Independence Day,” Pullman said softly as he sipped a Snapple on the front porch of The House on the Hill.  “I still have horrible nightmares about losing my wife and seeing so much of the planet’s population and national landmarks annihilated.  It’s far too painful.”

So why now?  Why talk about it on this particular Fourth of July weekend?

“My therapist said it might help me sleep if I were to talk about it,” the handsome actor explained with an embarrassed smile.  “It would be nice to finally put it all behind me.”

What does he remember most about the events leading up to that fateful July 4th?

“It was hot, both literally and figuratively,” Pullman replied with growing confidence.  “My approval ratings were down, and my advisers were telling me I was in danger of becoming the least popular President since Richard Nixon.  I didn’t want that to be my legacy.”

Bill IDSo it was fortuitous that the Aliens arrived?

That earned me a nasty look.  “Seriously, Austin?  You think it was good luck that an Alien Armada tried to wipe us off the face of the planet?”

I apologized for my question, and asked Pullman to continued however he wished.

He flashed me a charming smile.  “Sorry about that.  I know you’re just doing your job.  Every once in a while, though, that crazy cowboy who left the Oval Office for the cockpit of a fighter jet just comes out and takes over, you know?”

I nodded my understanding and took a drink of my Snapple, not wanting to interrupt.

“I remember just knowing,” he recalled with a glimmer in his eye.  “While everyone else was panicking, I just knew I had to keep my daughter safe, had to look out for the American people…even the ones who disapproved of me, and I had to save the planet from those grotesque Aliens hell bent on our destruction.”

Pullman admitted that his advisers were dead set against his leading the attack, but nothing on the planet or from outside of it, was going to stop him.

Bill flag“I knew what had to be done,” he said with a simple shrug as if talking about changing a flat tire.  “During my entire Presidency, I never felt more Presidential than I did when leading that attack.  More Presidents should give that a shot.”

He laughed at his joke, and quickly made sure I knew he wasn’t wishing an Alien attack on President Obama or an future resident of The White House.

“It ended up being a great day in this planet’s history, and it made Independence Day  an even more important holiday for the American people,” Pullman told me with a confident shake of the head.  “Of course, I avoid firework shows like the plague because they set off my PTSD, but I still love the Fourth.”

Does he think his achievements in repelling the Alien invasion make him the greatest President of all time?

Will JeffPullman smirked and laughed nervously.  “That was not a one man show.  I just happened to be the face most associated with the rebellion given my office.  This planet would be under Alien rule if it weren’t for Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and the rest of my supporting cast.”

Pullman grew quiet and seemed more interested in talking about life in Maine than his achievements on Independence Day.

That’s fine with me, Modern Philosophers.  I’ve always thought actions speak louder than words, and Bill Pullman’s actions on that Fourth of July speak volumes.

Happy Independence Day!

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The Angel Wore Red, White, and Blue


The Hopeless Romantic in me wishes you all a Happy Independence Day. Hope you enjoy this one from the Archives…

Originally posted on The Return of the Modern Philosopher:

Angel RachelI was out on the porch of The House on the Hill, grilling a burger for a quiet Fourth of July lunch, when the goosebumps began their patriotic march across my body.

“Should I throw a burger on for you?” I asked my guest without having to turn around to know she was there.

“You knew I was here?” the familiar voice replied.

Of course I knew.  My body only reacted this way when it was near the most beautiful creature I’d ever met.

“I’m just wondering where you’ve been for the past three weeks when I’ve really needed you,” I snapped at her as I calmly flipped my burgers.

“Please turn around and look at me,” Rachel the Archangel pleaded.

I sighed, lowered the flame on the grill, and slowly did as she requested.  I was surprised to discover that Rachel’s usual all white garb was today red, white…

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England Offers To Take Back US; Americans Laugh At Wacky British Humor


Tomorrow is Independence Day, so I thought I’d share this one from the Archives. Who doesn’t love British humor?

Originally posted on The Return of the Modern Philosopher:

DeclarationAccording to multiple sources in the White House, this Modern Philosopher has learned that British Prime Minister David Cameron made a most unusual call to President Barack Obama this morning.

Instead of the expected Independence Day well wishes, the Prime Minister was weepy, perhaps even slightly intoxicated, and made an emotional plea to the President for the United States to return to British rule.

“It was like something out of an 80s romantic comedy,” one of my sources told me.  “The President was laughing about it later, and even acted out the Prime Minister’s side of the conversation in a crazy British accent.  I never realized the President could be so funny.”

DAvid CameronAnother source picked up the story and added more details.  “Cameron was bawling like a baby.  He said that the economy in his country was in the WC, which I think is British slang for the toilet, and…

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Don’t Fear What’s On The Other Side

sky 1The voices beckoned,


He take

Another journey

Across the bridge.

He knew

His body was willing,


His heart

Might never


Be ready.

He’d fortified the walls,


His defenses,

And given

His vital organ

Ample time

To heal.

Time had taught him

That tempting

The Fates

Often meant

Picking up

The shattered pieces

Of his




He was in no mood

For yet

Another round

Of jigsaw heart.

sky 2The voices reasoned

With him,


The wounded hero

That quitters

Die alone.

They told him

Not to fear

What was on

The other side.

But could he trust them?

So often,

They’d led him


Preying on

The hopeless romantic,

Who loved first,

And reasoned

Only when

It was




The sky

Looked as if

It were giving him

A warning.

How ominous,

How frightening,

How tempting.

Like love,

The sky

Summoned him,

And he

Obediently answered

Its siren call.

Across the bridge

He strode.

Only time

Will tell

If the voices

Have finally

Been kind

To the




Of Love’s Battlefield…

Posted in Dating, Humor, musings, Philosophy, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Popular Prescription: Patriotic Porch Pie

PharmacistDoctors are so quick these days, Modern Philosophers, to write out a prescription for a magic pill that can cure whatever ails you.

I am big supporter of Magic, but the kind conjured up by Witches, not dispensed in tablet form by a doctor.

I’m a little unclear as to where I stand on Witch Doctors at this point, but that is a series of Deep Thoughts for another blog post.

I must admit, Modern Philosophers, that the dark clouds rolled in yesterday afternoon, and have remained with me for the past twenty-four hours.  Sometimes, I can sleep myself out of a funk, but I had some horrible nightmares last night, and woke up unrefreshed and still in the chilly embrace of a grumbly mood.

Having to get up early for a meeting didn’t help, and by the time lunch rolled around, I had resigned myself to the fact that it was going to be one of those days.  Without a regular source of sunshine and love to run off to for help, my options were to either ride it out (while hoping not to cause too much damage along the way), or to come up with a solution to clear away the clouds and let the warm sun in again.

pie 1I chose to be proactive and wrote myself a prescription for Patriotic Porch Pie.

Sure, comfort food might not always be the best way to go, especially when I’m trying to lose some weight, but apple pie popped into my head and stubbornly refused to leave.

In the process, it pushed out the thoughts that had me moping around, dragging my feet, and forgetting how to smile.

With Independence Day right around the corner, what could be more patriotic than a little apple pie, Modern Philosophers?

pie 2I suppose I could add whipped cream and Snapple to the cart, and really get All-American about it.  For the record, those giant Monkey Boy feet that crept into the shot (they couldn’t be avoided as they are so huge!) are not part of the deal.

I know what you’re thinking, Modern Philosophers: “Austin, you’re not a doctor.  You shouldn’t be self-medicating to deal with the dark clouds.”

You’re right.  That’s why I called my PCP, Dr. Jekyll, and asked him to sign off on this plan.  Dr. J wasn’t available, but I did speak to his associate Mr. Hyde, who assured me that Patriotic Porch Pie was definitely what I needed.

pie 5The pie certainly seemed at home out there on the front porch of The House on the Hill.  I made sure to only take the prescribed first dose, even though I was tempted to increase my serving…not because I was that down, but because the pie looked that good.

Despite the dark clouds lingering over my head, it was a gorgeous Summer afternoon here in Maine.  I got off work early, so there was plenty of time to head out to the porch and enjoy my prescription before dinner.

pie 4Trust me, I understand that I can’t always turn to apple pie when I’m down in the dumps, but it’s good to know that I have coping skills, and do know when I need to take action.

This was my first grumpy day in quite some time.  I’ve actually been surprised at how long the happy clown has remained out in public, while the sad clown has stayed hidden.

I know I’ll never be truly happy while my heart is so empty, but maybe I’ve gotten better at being alone.  Or at the very least, I’ve evolved into a being who understands that being single doesn’t mean I’m a total loser destined to be alone forever.

I think.

pie 3So the next time the dark clouds are stalking you, Modern Philosophers, I highly recommend you write yourself a prescription for Patriotic Porch Pie.

Not only will it improve your mood, but it will also make you feel like a true American (for my non-American readers, you can either insert your own nationality there, or simply feel free to feel like a true American).

I’m not sure what the future holds, but right now, I’m in a very good place.

How do you cope, Modern Philosophers, when you’re not having the best day?

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Cows Demand Equal Milking Rights

cowsAn international organization of cows,  Bovines Against Monopolized Milking (BAMM), today demanded equal milking rights for their kind.

“If you’re gonna milk us, we’re gonna milk you!” Betsy, the BAMM spokescow, proudly told this Modern Philosopher.

Scores of cows pounded their hoofs and mooed loudly in solidarity with Betsy’s statement.  According to the literature handed out to the press corps, the large field in which the news conference was held was populated by cows from twenty-three countries.

“How do you think it would feel to have some stranger with cold hands yank on your udders repeatedly and take your milk, all without asking?” Betsy asked.  “I don’t think you’d like it one bit.  In fact, I believe you would charge them with sexual assault.”

Truth be told, Modern Philosophers, Betsy was right.  I don’t want anyone yanking on my udders and stealing my milk.  What kind of monsters are we?

“My fellow sisters have no problem with sharing our milk if you are willing to make some changes to the process,” Betsy explained once cooler heads prevailed and all the stomping and mooing had subsided.

cow milk“First off, we’d like to be asked if it is okay to touch us and take our milk.  If we consent, we’d like the person completing the task to either warm his hands or wear gloves.  Does that seem too much to ask?”

I told Betsy and her fellow BAMM sisters that it didn’t seem at all outrageous.

“We’d also like to be paid,” Betsy continued, and the other cows shouted their agreement with her statement.  “We know that the price of milk is steadily climbing, and farmers are making money hand over fist, pardon the pun, from our product.”

What would cows do with money, though?  And if they were paid, wouldn’t that drive up the cost of milk and perhaps decrease its popularity in such a bad economy?

“We don’t want money,” Betsy explained with a roll of her eyes as she used her tail to swat away a fly on her hindquarters.  “We want better grass to eat.  The good stuff that they use on the big name golf courses, soccer pitches, and baseball diamonds.  And we want better accommodations.  Barns are so low class, cramped, and smelly.”

milklandov2“Milk is a huge business, so Big Milk can find a way to pay us if they want our precious Moo Juice!” Betsy bellowed.

That got the BAMM crew all worked up again, and they let loose with a chorus of moos that shook the field.

Of course, Betsy saved the best for last.  We all knew it was coming, but it still sounded shocking to hear it actually come out of the spokescow’s mouth.

“Finally, if you’re going to milk us, you want to milk you,” Betsy purred.  “And I’m not talking the fat ugly farmers in their ugly smelly overalls.  We want beautiful, scantily clad milkmaids with ample bosoms.  This one is a deal breaker, so if we don’t get to honk some hooters, the world needs to get used to eating dry cereal and finding something else into which they can dunk their Oreos.”

I could not find any large breasted milkmaids to comment for this article, Modern Philosophers, but I was able to speak to the next best thing…cheerleaders.

cowboys“I ‘d be okay with it,” cooed Tami.  “I mean, cows are so adorable, so like if they weren’t all dirty and smelly, I’d be totes cool with it.”

“Me, too,” added Brandee.  “I absolutely love milk, and I’m proud of my breasts, so I wouldn’t mind letting the cows cop a feel.  It’s the right thing to do.”

Clearly, this is a very small sample of the ample breasted population, but as a milk lover, I’m willing to put in the time talking to cheerleaders to see if they’d go along with what the cows are demanding.

I’d want the cows get what they want because milk is a very important part of a healthy diet, and I’m really not about to start drinking the milk of another animal.

Of course, I do feel like we are misleading the cows somewhat.  If their biggest concern is being milked without compensation, then that means they are really in the dark about what happens when cows disappear from the farm.

burgersPart of me wants to come clean, Modern Philosophers, but then there’s the part of me that wants to let them savor this little victory.

Plus, I really love cheeseburgers, and I’d hate to find out what sort of compensation the cows would demand for that!

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