My Latest WP Pet Peeve

When I type a short comment
maybe just "Nice."
It can take me more key strokes
with Jetpack, like twice

I click on my name
then on my site
next, URL
but done-no not quite

New screen appears
where I confirm twice again
Before the reply
can even begin

Security is needed
to keep our sites safe
But this innovation
is one I would strafe.

Not Quite a Bumper Humper

He wasn't quite a tailgater,
easing his huge pickup truck
near my smaller car's bumper
then retreating
before the threat
became too aggressive
down the narrow
mountain road

After we both made 
a left,
I lost him
for a moment
in the turn.

He resumed his
elastic band following
close in
stretch away
snap back close.

I pulled off at the next driveway.
He revved his engine
roaring past me.

We had each shown the other
who was boss.

"Thanks!"  I shouted unheard
to his vanishing tail lights.

Putting the In in National

We are becoming a nation of
Intentional misinformation
Inability to see past our own needs and wants
Inaction when the majority want some signs of progress
Ineptness when attempting almost any problem solving like reasonable gun control
Incompatible behavior when dealing with anything we don't like
Incomparable damage to one of our greatest legacies, peaceful transfer of power 

Summer Solstice Poetry Retreat in Central Virginia

If any of you are within driving distance of the Charlottesville area, I would like to invite you to an intimate one day poetry retreat at the Mountain Light Retreat outside of Crozet. Limited to 10 poets (whether published or aspiring), Mountain Light is a wonderful place to recharge, reflect, and re-start your journey to the poems you have always wanted to write. This will be our fourth retreat, in what has become a group that meets 2-4 times a year (this is our second year).

Gathering of Poets | Wednesday, June 21, 9:00 am-3:00 pm

On the day of the summer solstice, we will meet to refresh ourselves with nature’s glories, to renew by trying some different forms of poetry, and to deepen our poetic selves through contemplation. Bring a poem of your own (8-12 lines) to share if you wish. Come at 9 to walk the new outdoor labyrinth, and enjoy a meet & greet with refreshments at 9:30. Poet Ray Griffin will facilitate the program beginning at 10 am. Bring lunch, water bottle, and journal, and wear good walking shoes. Reserve your space in this small group by contacting The $15 program fee may be paid on arrival.

What is Passion?

This poem on passion really resonates with me.

Caffeinated Philosophy

This poem was inspired by Wordy Weekend prompt #2.

Image from Pixabay

What is passion?

Perhaps it’s a bonfire, reaching up to the heavens

Or a river, steadily carving out its path

Ever finding a way, or making one

Or lovers sharing kisses at midnight

Skin melting into skin, bodies one

Or a man on a cross, asking forgiveness

For those very same who nailed him there

Or the tiger that hasn’t tasted meat in days

Scrawny and desperate, only one focus

The mother or father who throws themselves

Between a raised weapon and their beloved child

The writer who bleeds from his fingers

The painter who weeps onto the canvas

The musician that pours soul into her instrument

The teacher, underpaid, who chose her career

Not for money, but because she loves children

The doctor, overworked, hospitals understaffed

The policeman who keeps showing up even though

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Before D-Day, You Needed a Cradle

Amphibious landings, whether D-Day in Europe or the numerous island assaults in the Pacific Theater, required shipborne troops to be taught how to disembark from the ship, usually transferring to some type of boat or amphibious vehicle that conveyed them to the beach.

The US Navy accepted that challenge by creating the U.S. Naval Amphibious Training Base, Solomons, Maryland, 1942-1945. “The U.S. Marine Corps trained some of its troops that later landed on the Solomon Island in the Pacific; it was also here that the U.S. Army gained the experience necessary for the more successful landing on Normandy Beach in France.” p1. Preface, Cradle of the Invasion by Merle T. Cole, Solomons, MD: Calvert Marine Museum, 1984.

The mouth of the Patuxent River, near the Chesapeake Bay, may seem an odd choice for an Amphibious Training Base–there are no rough ocean waters that most soldiers, sailors, and Marines would face when disembarking from a warship, However, it was safer from the German submarines that routinely patrolled the Atlantic coastline during WWII.

For the trainees to experience both types of environments, Surf Training was implemented off Norfolk at the Amphibious Training Base at Little Creek.

The hastily constructed base was often inadequate to house the numbers of troops assigned there for training, as well as the thousands of contract workers that built and supported the base. It lacked many of the facilities that would be considered essential for any quality of life. From sufficient drinking water (there was competition for well water that also depleted water supplies for the local towns and farms) to barracks and chow-halls, most essentials were in short supply. In the summer of 1944, total aboard was over 10,000, while the capacity was 9,500. Initially, it was thought that there was no need for off duty entertainment or facilities like the USO, gyms, or libraries or even adequate medical facilities. The small town of Solomons lacked adequate facilities to meet those needs either.

Solomon’s traditional employment of oyster dredging and canning was further decimated by the destruction of the oyster beds caused by the training base and the need for anchorage for both transport ships and landing craft.

To read more about the training base and it’s impact on the small community of Solomon’s Island click here.

On Watch“, 8-foot-tall bronze statue unveiled in 2007 by Maryland artist Antonio Tobias Mendez. It commemorates the US Navy Amphibious Training Base in Solomons, MD. It is located at the end of Dowell Road in Solomons next to the Calvert Marina.

The Rhythm of the Chant

Eight of us sat
on chairs 
in a circle
around a flickering
candle pillar.

From the CD player,
a voice sang
" I will show you things
that you have never known."

Several of us
tapped the rhythm 
with our feet.

the candle's flame
swiveled and swayed,
flickered and flared 
to the same rhythm.

Who Should Park in a Handicapped Parking Spot?

The library had not opened
Yet the spots in front were full
Only the handicapped spot was empty
Into which the work truck pulled

Two grinning young men
Both seemed young and fit
Emerged from the cab
Thinking nothing of it

I was right behind them
One vehicle too late
So a multi-stair walk
Became my new fate

Using both railings
I managed the stairs
Grateful to do what I had to 
Because the louts didn't care

That the convenient location
Where they chose to stop
And ignored the sign
That said Handicapped spot.

Sea Otter God

What if there’s actually a sea otter 🦦 God.

Jewish Young Professional

We all want to believe 
that good deeds matter,
karma, justice - all that jazz
that’s been parroted all our lives – 

but sometimes, I wonder if life is just 
a Ferris roulette wheel balancing
on the belly of a sea otter God 
who plays with the world like a beach ball, 

and we hope to stay angled towards 
the golden sunny rays of good fortune 

and away from the murky blue underworld, 
but it’s all a bit of chance, and all you can do
is bob on the gray waves 
with no idea of what will happen.

The Big Wheel by Marc Chagall. From W3


dVerse, W3

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If You Bray Together, Do You Stay Together?

On the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend, we visited White Hall to feed the donkeys. Buddy was grazing in the front pasture. Bob hee-hawed and Buddy raised his head to see if it was really us. Bob waved the food dish and hee-hawed again. Buddy rasped his response, which drew Holly and Vroman’s attention from behind the shed.

They all ambled towards the fence, with Vroman leading the trio. His calico coloring is morphing into larger areas of brown and his soft fur has become coarser as he has aged.

Holly looks pregnant again and seems out of sorts with both males in her family. Buddy moved to one side after he got his first bite of cooked carrot. Both Holly and Buddy jostled noses with Vroman, as he is as eager to eat both carrots and cookies as the adults. My guess is that he is now fully weaned.

They got peanutbutter cookies and coconut cookies. There were no complaints and no refusals to eat any of the the offered desserts.

Kilroy was Here!

From a forwarded email.

Finally, we know! 

Kilroy was here…

He is engraved in stone in the National War Memorial in Washington, DC,
back in a small alcove where very few people have seen it.
For the WWII generation, this will bring back memories.
For you younger folks, it’s a bit of trivia that is a part of our American history.
Anyone born in 1913 to about 1950, is familiar with Kilroy.
No one knew why he was so well known, but everybody seemed to get into it. 

So who was Kilroy?

In 1946 the American Transit Association, through its radio program,
“Speak to America,” sponsored a nationwide contest to
find the real Kilroy, offering a prize of a real trolley car to the person
who could prove himself to be the genuine article.
Almost 40 men stepped forward to make that claim,
but only James Kilroy from Halifax, Massachusetts,
had evidence of his identity.

‘Kilroy’ was a 46-year old shipyard worker during the
war who worked as a checker at the Fore River Shipyard
in Quincy. His job was to go around and check on the
number of rivets completed. Riveters were on piecework and
got paid by the rivet. He would count a block of rivets and
put a check mark in semi-waxed lumber chalk,
so the rivets wouldn’t be counted twice.
When Kilroy went off duty, the riveters would erase the mark.
Later on, an off-shift inspector would come through
and count the rivets a second time,
resulting in double pay for the riveters.

One day Kilroy’s boss called him into his office.
The foreman was upset about all the wages being paid
to riveters, and asked him to investigate. It was then
he realized what had been going on. The tight spaces he
had to crawl in to check the rivets didn’t lend themselves to
lugging around a paint can and brush, so Kilroy decided to
stick with the waxy chalk. He continued to put his check
mark on each job he inspected, but added
in king-sized letters next to the check, and eventually
added the sketch of the chap with the long nose peering
over the fence and that became part of the Kilroy message.

Once he did that, the riveters stopped trying to wipe
away his marks. Ordinarily the rivets and chalk marks
would have been covered up with paint. With the war on,
however, ships were leaving the Quincy Yard so fast
that there wasn’t time to paint them. As a result,
Kilroy’s inspection “trademark” was seen by thousands of
servicemen who boarded the troopships the yard produced.

His message apparently rang a bell with the servicemen,
because they picked it up and spread it all over
Europe and the South Pacific.

Before war’s end, “Kilroy” had been here, there,
and everywhere on the long hauls to Berlin and Tokyo.
To the troops outbound in those ships, however,
he was a complete mystery; all they knew for sure was
that someone named Kilroy had “been there first.”
As a joke, U.S. servicemen began placing the graffiti
wherever they landed, claiming it was
already there when they arrived.

Kilroy became the U.S. super-GI who had always
“already been” wherever GIs went. It became a challenge
to place the logo in the most unlikely places imaginable
it is said to be atop Mt. Everest, the Statue of Liberty,
the underside of the Arc de Triomphe,
and even scrawled in the dust on the moon.

As the war went on, the legend grew. Underwater demolition
teams routinely sneaked ashore on Japanese-held Islands in the
Pacific to map the terrain for coming invasions by
U.S. troops (and thus, presumably, were the first GI’s there).
On one occasion, however, they reported seeing
enemy troops painting over the Kilroy logo!

In 1945, an outhouse was built for the exclusive use of Roosevelt,
Stalin, and Churchill at the Potsdam conference.
Its’ first occupant was Stalin, who emerged and 
asked his aide (in Russian), “Who is Kilroy?”

 To help prove his authenticity in 1946, James Kilroy
brought along officials from the shipyard and some
of the riveters. He won the trolley car, which he gave to
his nine children as a Christmas gift and set it up as a
playhouse in the Kilroy yard in Halifax, Massachusetts.

 And The Tradition Continues…

Bless you World War II Veterans!

Don’t Review My Books, Ban Them Please

I owe this idea to when he commented about the ALA Top 10 Books Banned in 2023 “Love this annual entertainment and the giving of free publicity to authors. I wish someone would ban a few of my books 🙂”

If you really want to help me out
Don't review my books, please ban them
It will stir up a lot more sales
flame of controversy fans them.

Goodreads and other reviewers 
may bring me some new readers
but it is a banning controversy
that gets me on news feeders.

And if my books get publicly burned
then more  book pages will later be turned
by folks to only want to hear and see
the very latest controversy.

Journey Through Hallowed Ground Byway.

I started noticing this sign a few years ago, once I got on Route 20 between Chancellorsville and Charlottesville. It passed by Madison’s estate, Montpelier, and ends at Jefferson’s estate, Monticello. It seemed a bit of a hyperbole for just Madison and Jefferson.

Reading today’s blog post from Memoirs of a Country Vet,, reminded me of the route so I looked it up.

Experience the fascinating historical and cultural landscape that is the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, a 180-mile long, 75-mile wide region stretching from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia.

What is the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Americas byways?

The 180-mile Journey Through Hallowed Ground byway corridor from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Monticello, Virginia, is “Where America Happened.” It is said that this three-state route, spanning Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, holds more historic sites than any other in the US.

Pennsylvania is a border state, just north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Gettysburg was a pivotal battle of the Civil War, and the last time that Robert E. Lee’s Confederate forces were able to launch an offensive in the North. The three day battle of Gettysburg, 1-3 July 1863, was not a sure victory for either side until Pickett’s charge on the last day.

If you are fortunate, you may be able to walk that battlefield and see how the uphill site actually undulates with dips and rises.

About 90 minutes north of Washington, DC, touring the Gettysburg battlefield is a regular event for both US and foreign military stationed or visiting the National Capital area. Both the National War College and the Eisenhower School of the National Defense University send their students up there each spring.

The Route generally follows “PA Route 394, US Route 15, US Route 15 business, VA Route 20, VA Route 231, VA Route 22, and connecting Routes to Monticello.”

If you would like more information about this route, click here.

Dog Tags–a Tradition Going Back to the Civil War

Before the prevalence of DNA testing, identifying war dead was an even more difficult task. Soldiers were often buried in mass graves, near where they fell in battle, Or they died in unknown places, where the bodies remained until discovered years later, often by chance. Dog tags were one of the earlier ways to identify the bodies (when/if found).

To read more about the evolution of dog tags, click here.