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South of the Strait

Why is my page titled South of the Strait? Well I live in a far corner of the United States. I live in a small town south of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. If I was going to throw a rock across the strait it would land in Canada. I used to be an English teacher. I have worked in Westport, Port Angeles, and Sequim, Washington... and I did two years of substitute teaching in Coalinga, California.
I've moved around a lot, living in: Sterling,Kansas; Chicago; Jordan, Montana; Lemoore, California; Auckland, New Zealand; Spokane, Washington; Gambier, Ohio.
What do I write? For WordPress I used to print once a week for general comments. I wrote reviews of music concerts my daughter made me attend. (Each month she would want us to drive to Seattle to see a music group. I usually stood in the back watching weird stuff.) I also wrote about trips I have taken in Europe where I liked getting lost. I also wrote during the few months when my son was treated for cancer. (He is officially free of cancer of five years.) About three years ago I decided to stop writing blogs so I could concentrate on writing a few books. I have completed three books...or maybe four. I have now compiled my short stories poems and memoirs on Amazon. You can get it at Amazon now..."A Work In Progress"--Jon Eekhoff. I have been very close to getting a printed book called "Lost Summer" but I was never offered $1,000,000.00. (It's set in Paris, 1920's, with baseball, writers, artist, and actually true stuff.) I wrote a book about college basketball called "Laidlaw." It's kind of a mix of "Moby Dick" and a coach who is about to get fired so he takes his team out for a free drive around the West. My most recent book is "California Tales." These are connected stories about the missionary churches in California. They are sad, funny, inspiring, and odd. I had the entire book done in my head and had just one section to finish the next day...and that is when I fell 20 feet from my roof and landed on the cement. (Like a lot of men, I thought I could maintain my own roof instead of leaving it to the professionals.) I don't remember anything about my accident but I am told I was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Though conscious and responsive after surgery to remove part of my skull, I don't remember anything from my first month there. I spent another month of Harborview working on walking, speaking, and writing. That was two years ago. As a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) survivor, I could have quit writing, but I am not going to quit. I work with the University of Washington Speech and Hearing Clinic.
So, here I am. I am married and live here in Sequim with my wife Cheryl. Our kids live in nearby cities. Writing is now an exhausting exercise, but something I plan to keep working on.

A Shorter Week: 79-85 Days

Day 79:

Trump got his Supreme Court Justice through which is a win for Citizens United and continues the US on the path to kleptocracy. If you like your minimum wage jobs, polluting corporations, and loss of workers’ rights than this is a win for you. The republican Senate used the nuclear option to get him confirmed so that won’t come back to bite us in the ass, right? The bids for the wall are in and since Mexico isn’t paying for it, I’m hoping the winning bid ends up like the Stonehenge monument in Spinal Tap. Oh yeah, Trump’s bombing of Syria has us heading toward some kind of conflict with Russia. Maybe they’ll start leaking Trump stuff through Wikileaks now. I hear that Putin’s favorite spot to grab a bite when he’s in Australia is the Souvlaki Hut!

Day 80:

Interesting discussion on Sunday talk shows about how chemical attacks are easier to watch on tv than other types of attacks. The main point was that civilian deaths of children are happening every day in Syria but showing children dismembered by traditional bombs can’t be shown on tv because they’re too upsetting, but gas attacks presents the opportunity for news media to show civilian deaths in a less offensive way. In other news, the twitter hashtag #stuffITrustMoreThanTrump was trending yesterday and had some real gems. As odd as it seems, no one said Souvlaki Hut, but you know you can trust them to make you a great meal.

Day 81:

Trump met with the Chinese MP this weekend and I’m sure he kept his promise to “On day one I’m going to label China a currency manipulator.” I did notice that we aren’t at war with China so that’s better than I expected. We could be at war with North Korea soon as Trump and Un have a game of who can act the craziest. Trump’s plan of America first and global isolation isn’t really turning out like he promised but at least Mexico is paying for a wall and a souvlaki!

Day 82:

If Trump keeps up his busy Florida vacation schedule, he will surpass Obama’s eight years of travel in one year. That’s just a drop in the old bucket when Trump is in charge. We have big walls to build, taxes to cut, and wars to start. Who can remember the Russians influencing our election when we’re bombing them? The unfolding, behind the scenes conflict between Bannon and Kushner sounds like an old episode of Falcon’s Crest. Looking forward to Bannon’s tell all book titled, “Life as Jabba the Hut.” Speaking of huts, how about that Souvlaki Hut…I could use a good souvlaki.

Day 83:

Where to begin? Spicy Spicer touches the Third Reich rail during his press conference. Trump is moving an “armada” toward Korea. I hope the armada has trimmed their sails and doesn’t end up like the Spanish one. Carter “I don’t know who that guys is” Page has been named as the Trump adviser who was being watched by the NSA/FBI. Tump is talking tough with Syria, Russia, and North Korea all at the same time because we have a “bigly” army with the best weapons. Rex Tillerson is in Russia trying to avoid or start WWIII, or maybe he’s there to make an oil deal for the apocalypse that will follow. I’m going to start loading up my underground bunker with souvlaki!

Day 84:

Trump campaign manager and Hollywood mafia contract killer lookalike, Paul Manafort appears to be the leading contender for the “First Trump Advisor to End up in Prison” award. Trump connected businesses loaned Manafort $13 million after Manafort left his post as Head-Liar. Betsy DeVos removed protections from people with student loans because…because…because who needs student loans to pay for college. Doesn’t everyone just get money from their inheritance? I’m betting DeVos spends more on her haircuts in a year than most families sending their kids to college earn. Oh yeah, we are probably starting WWIII with North Korea, or Syria, or__________________, good thing Mr. Trump has realized that NATO is a good thing, that China can’t just stop a crazy man in North Korea and that Healthcare is complicated…what this guy doesn’t know could fill a pretty big sandwich. The good news is that souvlaki has lots of room to stuff all the problems of the world between a single flat bread. Yum!

Day 85:

Little fingers Donnie told “his army” to drop the world’s largest bomb on Afghanistan yesterday. The Mother of All Bombs costs as much as a year of PBS funding, but spending money on blowing stuff up makes so much more sense. Anyone else think Trump’s obsession with big things has a connection to his personal life? I do. It probably won’t matter because North Korea might have the only leader obsessed with big things more than Trump. Get two guys with “private” issues in a conflict and pretty soon the globe is a smoking ash tray. Maybe Un and Trump should get some of those pills Jimmy Johnson hawks on late night TV. 

15 short days to get to the first 100, when we can look back on how Trump made America Great Again. You know what would make America Great Again in my book? More Souvlaki Huts!

A Shorter Week: 86-92 Days

Day 86:

Trump’s back in Florida this weekend as the US and North Korea play a really scary game of “I know you are, but what am I?” Two leaders with two bad haircuts are trash talking their way toward Armageddon. I think Trump is hoping to end the world before he has to turn in another secret tax form. In other news, Trump is not going to release who visits the White House. The swamp is really happy about that change. Drain the swamp! Lock her up! Build a wall! Eat a souvlaki!

Day 87:

North Korea’s rocket launch took off just like the Trump Presidency, it self-destructed before getting off the launch pad. Behind closed doors, Trump killed retirement protections for poor folks and killed federal dollars for women’s healthcare because government is bad unless you’re spending tax dollars on war. Marches wanting Trump to release his taxes took place all over the US (70% of Americans want to see them) and Trump took to twitter to say that nobody cares. I predict that when his taxes get released/leaked we’ll see something interesting and possibly worthy of impeachment. (You heard it here first.) you know what else I’m on the forefront of? Souvlaki!

Day 88:

The Carl Vinson is being chased around the North Korean peninsula by a Chinese warship and a Russian warship…what could go wrong? In unreliable news that I read over the weekend: Sounds like Carter Page went to Russia with a tape recording of Trump who asked for help with the election. “You help me with crooked Hillary and I’ll cut the sanctions on Russia.” The tape has been referred to in conversations between Page and Manafort that were recorded by the NSA. I’m betting this rumor turns out to be true…or at least as true as anything Trump says. You know what tastes best with the truth? Souvlaki!

Day 89:

The Trump taxes fiasco continues to build. His supporters don’t seem to care, “What difference does it make?” Umm…he’s about to propose changes to the tax code, maybe we should know why. It isn’t like there has been a list of things Trump has pushed for personal gain…or is there a list? Oh, yeah there are some folks suing him for breaking the emoluments clause. Speaking of weaselly behavior. Where’s Rudy Giuliani? I hear he might be working with the FBI to spill some beans to save his own neck. The irony is delicious. You know what else is delicious? Souvlaki!

Day 90:

I need to make a correction an earlier post. The USS Carl Vinson (the Armada?) was not heading to North Korea and being followed by China and Russia. It was in the Indian Ocean, thousands of miles away. My source, Donald Trump, had given me bad information…I should know better by now. The business dealings of the Trump family are coming into conflict with Big Daddy’s governing. Ivanka met with the Chinese PM and now her business is getting more Chinese trademarks. Too bad the guy who owns Souvlaki Hut can’t get the same kind of protections, but maybe his dad wasn’t as brilliant and bigly smart as the Donald. I’m not sure if Tiffany Trump is married or not, but I hear China is a growth market for souvlaki. Just a thought.

Day 91:

It was a tough day for the old Donald. He lost a good media friend, Bill O’Reilly. The two men cut a swath through the fields of political correctness and snowflake land. The two men share of love of false hyperbole and sexual assault. Now, the cheeto stands alone. Jason “My haircut looks like a chia pet” Chafitz has announced that he is going to leave the house and spend more time with his family…in other words, run for Governor of Utah where he can shout “Benghazi” when anyones asks what his plans for the future are. Chris Christie’s favorite musical artist, Bruuuuuuccccccceeeee, has released an anti-Trump song. I haven’t heard it yet, but I’m betting there’s a part that mentions souvlaki!

Day 92:

Jeffro Bowdeen Sessions Jr/Sr has expressed his distaste for a Pacific Island that is making his job difficult. Someone needs to tell Mr. Sessions to take off his pointy white hat and maybe make the eyeholes bigger so he can see that Hawaii is a state in the USA, and, just in case he doesn’t realize it, states have judicial systems. 

In other news, Mr. Trump is quickly approaching his first 100 days, I know I didn’t think we would make it either. This calendar milestone has sent him into a panic of promises so that he can add something to his list of one accomplishment (appoint someone to the Supreme Court). Right now, it looks like he has latched back onto the Zombie Healthcare bill that will strip 24 million people of health coverage and give wealthy folks a big tax break. Sounds great. You know what also sounds great? Souvlaki!

A Shorter Week: 93-99 Days

Day 93:

The Russian hangman’s noose looms above the Trump administration. Carter Page, Manafort, Betsy DeVos’ brother, and Flynn all seem to be involved in something not so good. Media reports are increasing which probably means Trump is getting an itchy Twitter finger. 

Trump had the three idiots of the apocalypse visit the White House (Kid Rock, Ted Nugget, Sarah Palin). There were some great photo opportunities which I was certain were photoshopped, but I was wrong…they are that stupid and disrespectful. You know what else is stupid? Having something other than a souvlaki for lunch.

Day 94:

New polls released today show that Trump’s approval rating has hit an all-time low. 75% of Americans don’t trust him. I wonder why? Maybe it was the wall that Mexico was going to pay for, or the replacing of Obamacare with something better/cheaper, or maybe it was the Armada he sent to North Korea that was actually in the Indian Ocean, or maybe it was the American steel that was going to build the pipeline, or maybe it was the number of advisors who have gotten money from Russia, or maybe it was when he said Obama wiretapped him, or maybe it was when he said that Pavarotti was a good friend, or when he said NATO was obsolete, or when he said he didn’t know Steve Bannon before the campaign, or when he said 3 million people voted illegally, or when 69% of his statements have been rated Mostly False-False-or Pants on Fire by Politifact, or when he said his crowds were the largest ever, or…I could go on for a long time, but instead…what isn’t a lie is that souvlaki is delicious.

Day 95:

A budget showdown between the republicans and the republicans and the democrats and a wall could come to a head this week. Trump is showing his usual leadership by holding a rally where he will probably brag about winning the election and announcing that Guatemala is now going to pay for the wall. If you want to feel really uncomfortable about the future watch John Oliver’s piece on Ivanka and Jared Kushner…I wish my dad had donated $2.5 million to Harvard. (Not really, I wish he had $2.5 million to donate to me.) Mike Pence should be back from his “countries Trump couldn’t find on a map” tour. One of his stops was Australia, home of the Souvlaki Hut! I hope he dropped in and got a taste of freedom.

Day 96:

Trump said yesterday that he didn’t think North Korea was a strong as they think they are. (This is called projection.) North Korea said they would blow up the Carl Vinson with one bomb. Trump gathered everyone together to brief them on North Korea…anyone else think this isn’t going to end well? 

Trump’s famous negotiating skills are being tested by the silly, artificial 100 day deadline that he promoted about a zillion times when he was running for office, but this was before he found out that being president was hard…and healthcare was complicated… and that China couldn’t just stop North Korea…and that Melania didn’t love him…and that tanning booths make you look like an orange raccoon…and that Mexico isn’t paying for a wall…and that the budget ceiling would need to be raised on his 100th day or he’ll get blamed for shutting the doors of government. It’s tough being a lying windbag, but it’s harder being the leader of the free world. Who knew? 

One thing no one is confused about is the deliciousness of souvlaki.

Day 97:

Michael “Lock Her Up” Flynn had a bad day yesterday. Flynn will probably be the first member of the Trump armada to be convicted of a crime. I’m guessing he won’t be the last. Trump has had another set-back in his plan to write executive orders that are unconstitutional. Another “so called” judge told him that he couldn’t punish sanctuary cities by cutting off taxes. This made little Donnie really, really mad. You know what else made him mad? Nobody wants to pay for his stupid wall. Mexico said no, the taxpayers are saying no, congress is saying no…what he needs to do is take us all out furniture shopping, then he can grab us by the southern border. You know what grabs me by the southern border? Souvlaki!

Day 98:

The negotiator and chief has been at it again, this time it was NAFTA. First we were out, and now we’re back in. What did we gain from this great deal? Nothing. You know who is going to get something from Trump’s tax plan? Well, his family. My family will get about $10, his family $4 billion. That seems fair. Oh, wait, he doesn’t pay taxes. North Korea has announced they are going to arm four million little kids with atomic weapons. That seemed like an odd threat, but who knows maybe they have atomic diapers in NK. The FCC chairman is moving to eliminate net neutrality. I’m sure that will make the internet better…and selling everyone’s browsing history…what could go wrong? It’s times like these that I fall back on the one truth that I can trust…souvlaki = tasty.

Day 99:

Just one day left for Trump to notch a few marks in the accomplishment belt. It’s a pretty big belt with one notch so far. Trump has warned of a “Major, Major” conflict with North Korea…is it just me or was he channeling a little Catch 22 there? This got me thinking, has there ever been a dictator with a normal haircut and facial hair? Stalin had a big mustache, Hitler…no need to explain that one, Kim Jung Un’s haircut is something else, and then there’s Trump. He hasn’t reached dictator statue yet, but the hairstyle certainly leans that way. I’m not sure where Trump stands on NAFTA this morning, but I’m betting that if it means Ivanka won’t get to sit next to Justin Trudeau any longer then Trump will probably be staying with NAFTA. “Daddy…don’t be mean to Justin. He’s so cute.” You want to look as good as Justin? Start eating souvlaki!

Day 100

Winning…Winning…Winning. It’s time to count up the wins. Remember when you weren’t tired of winning? Those days are long gone. Let’s count them up: 

Mexican paid for walls: 0

Hillarys in jail: 0

Largest crowds: 0

Sean Spicer Meltdowns: 8

Extremely Vetted Muslim bans: 0 for 2

Wiretaps by Obama: 0

Jobs for Jared Kushner: 1,000,567 

Evidence of 3 million illegal voters: 0

Obamacare gone: 0

Replacement for Obamacare (better and cheaper): 0

Swamp drainage: 0

Racist gnomes in cabinet: 1

Term limits on Congress: 0

NAFTA canceled: 0

Treason investigations: 3

NATO gone: 0

Bloated Jabba the Hut advisors: 1

China labeled Currency Manipulator: 0

Taxes Simplified: (Not sure how to grade this because a single double spaced sheet of paper has been presented to the American people.) I’m going to grade that a .0001

Coal Jobs back: 0

American steel used in pipeline: 0

Infrastructure fixed: 0

Supreme court appointee: 1

Betsy DeVos fixes public education: 0 (I’ll give her credit for zero bear attacks while Education Secretary.) 

Affordable Childcare: 0

Wars started: 0 (If we get through the next 100 days without a war, I’ll be really surprised.)

Advisors working for Russia: 3, maybe 5, possibly 7

Rounds of Golf: 19

Times Trump has touched Melania since election: 5

Hours spent in tanning booth: 400

Hours spent taking photo ops: 30

Hours spent watching Fox News: 600

Hours spent signing legislation: 0

Hours spent signing Constitutionally illegal executive orders: 7

Hours spent eating chocolate cake: 13

Hours spent finding pants that don’t make him look fat: 70

Hours spent Tweeting: 113

Hours spent Tweeting false information: 112.5

Hours spent furniture shopping with ladies not his wife: 7

Family member hired: 2

Hours spent playing with Kim Jong-un doll: 14

Hours spent honking semi-truck horn: .6

Hours spent wishing he had a souvlaki: 24,000

Day 101

Donnie Big Tie skipped the White House Correspondents’ dinner and went to Penn for an election rally. People cheered him on as he explained how he was going to keep creating those coal jobs and opening those steam train factories. He invited President Dutarte to visit so he can learn how to move to the next stage of kleptocracy. Maybe Duarte can swing by Australia and pick up a souvlaki on the way.

Day 102

So just for the record, here are the leaders Trump has praised: Duterte, LePen, Putin. Here’s the leader he refused to shake hands with Merkel. Does that strike anyone else as odd? In other news, North Korea says they are going to shoot off another rocket, Trump says if that happens there will be bigly, bigly trouble. The zombie healthcare bill (only millionaire zombies will be able to use it from the sounds of it) is back roaming the halls of congress. The best part of the bill is that congress will be exempting themselves from having to use it…now that’s leadership for ya. My plan is to eat healthy and never get sick, so you know what that means? Souvlaki!

Day 103

If you were worried, I would run out of things to write about each day have no fear. Donnie Raccoon Eyes had a bigly, bigly day yesterday. He walked out on an interviewer who asked him about the wiretapping charges against Obama. We learned that Andrew Jackson, slave owner and racist, could have prevented the Civil War…maybe we’d all be driving big trucks and flying confederate flags too…oh, that’s right some people still do that: Poor Precious Snowflakes! Maybe the history classes at Trump’s military academy (which was just like being in the military, except for the getting shot at, having to go to other countries, being in danger…that kind of stuff) weren’t too rigorous. Maybe his friend Frederick Douglass could help him study today. I hear he’s doing great things. The worst news of the day was that Trump is cutting the school lunch requirements, because you know what the country needs, more kids eating bad food. If I ever become president, you know what will be on the menu every day! Souvlaki!

Day 104

A couple days ago, Donnie Vienna Sausage Fingers praised Kim Jung-un for being a really, really smart leader. Yep, what can I say? Add Un to the list of crazy people Donnie likes. Somebody better tell him that Stalin and Hitler are dead or we might end up with another Frederick Douglass incident. On the government front, Donnie Big-Tie Little-Undies didn’t get funding for his beautiful wall. He said that the government needs a good shutdown because he keeps losing. Mike Pence told him that the government shut down valve was in the basement of the White House, so if you aren’t getting hot water in your White House shower this morning you now know why. 

Hillary appeared and blamed a bunch of people for her losing the presidency to an oversized, orange, ingrown toenail. 

The house voted to help the working class by eliminating overtime pay. Now the company you work for can use comp time to eliminate overtime pay. They also get to determine when that comp time is used…oh, nothing could go wrong with that. I hope you coal miners are enjoying the return of your jobs. You know where people work overtime for the love of the job? The Souvlaki Hut!

Day 105

After yesterday’s testimony by FBI Director Comey, I’ve decided that the investigation is either a slow rolling paving machine that will crush all of Trump’s cabinet, or it is one of those movies where one person infects the whole world with a fatal disease. One thing is certain, Anthony Wiener’s libido has caused some pretty serious problems. Maybe he can get some counseling for a pre-existing condition if he lives in a state where they’ll cover that. The house republicans are working on their healthcare plan to replace Obamacare. Some states might cover pre-existing conditions and others won’t, so they have said people might have to move…now that’s leadership. Oh, they are also exempting themselves, because you know, they are so valuable to America. A lady who laughed at Jeff Sessions during his senate confirmation hearing is being prosecuted and could spend a year in jail. I understand decorum is important, but this is unfair, it’s hard not to laugh at Jeff Sessions. Anyone who looks like an elfin, racist bobble-head doll makes it hard on anyone with a sense of humor. The White House is asking for Stephen Colbert to be fired because he said something offensive and disrespectful about Trump (it was pretty funny though). I don’t know if it is more offensive than spending three years saying that the president was born in Kenya and lying about finding some really, really important information that proves Obama is lying. You know what isn’t a lie? That souvlaki is delicious.

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