Over at The Other McCain, Wombat has a Rule 5 link to a post at A View from the Beach about the trees the Maryland Forest Service will give to homeowner to plant for erosion control. Mrs. Hoge was involved in the Backyard Buffers program through her work with the Maryland Forestry Foundation and as president of our county’s Forestry Board.
Speaking of Mrs. Hoge and the forest, here’s a picture of her taken on a hike in the Catoctin Mountain Park, not far from Camp David.
My son brought another box of important papers up from the basement. This one contained a large stash of family photos. Here are some more pictures of Mrs. Hoge. The first pair are from 1979. Connie had been hired to run the sound system for the Sunday afternoon concerts at Centennial Park in Nashville.This is from 2002.And this is from 2010.
Today is the 41st anniversary of my marriage to Mrs. Hoge, and it is the 4th anniversary of her death.
During the last week of 2014, Connie went to an orthopedist complaining of back pain. It turned out that the cause was cancer in her spine, and the cancer turned out to be stage four metastatic breast cancer with no evidence of any tumor in her breasts. After back surgery in early 2015, she began chemotherapy, and when she began to lose her hair, she had her head shaved. She didn’t want to wear a wig, so she had an artist draw a henna tattoo on her head—a creative response showing her determination not to be overwhelmed by the disease.
The picture on the left was taken a few months before her diagnosis.
I’m thankful for those 37 years.
I miss her, but as I’ve written before, our separation is temporary. One of the things we share is a firm belief that
this perishable body must become imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable body will have become imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
I’ll just have to wait.
UPDATE—My son is working in the basement this morning. He’s going through boxes that have been in storage for years, culling them so that we can make room to store other stuff that needs to make way for some recording equipment upstairs. He brought me a box of old paperwork to go through. It was one of those boxes of “important” papers that is no longe all that important—mostly. It contained mortgage papers, deeds, etc., on houses Connie and I had owned in Tennessee and California. Nothing related to any real estate we’ve owned in the past thirty years. However, there was also a small pack of photographs that included prints and slides of our honeymoon. I rescued the photos and sent the rest to the shredder and dumpster. That find was an interesting gift for today!
My parents grew up in a small town in Tennesse. A few years after they married, one of my father’s cousins (actually, a first cousin once removed) married my mother’s sister. Their children are my first cousins on my mother’s side and second cousins once removed on my father’s.
Are you following me so far?
Both my father’s and my mother’s families arrived in the colonies prior the Revolution. A few years ago, one of my aunts on my mother’s side decided that she’d like to join the Daughters of the American Revolution. When she went looking for a Revolutionary War ancestor, she found that she (and my mother, of course) were descended from my father’s great-great-great-great-grandfather who had been in the Pennsylvania militia at Valley Forge. My father and my mother were fifth cousins. That means those first cousins of mine are also fifth cousins twice removed on my mother’s side and fifth cousins once removed on my father’s side.
It also means that I’m my mother’s fifth cousin once removed and my own sixth cousin.
And none of the family has ever lived in West Virginia.
Alas, we are no longer holding the gatherings of four or five generations of the family for a potluck on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. This year’s Thanksgiving dinner will just be for my son and me, not enough people to justify doing a whole turkey on the grill. We’ll have a venison roast prepared using one of the recipes Mrs. Hoge left for us.
Today would have been Mrs. Hoge’s 66th birthday. One of my favorite memories of our time together is of her 24th birthday. It was the first of her birthdays that we celebrated together.
Connie and I met at the Audio Engineering Society Convention in New York in 1977. We kept in touch over the next few months. In the summer of ’78, I had decided to move back home to Nashville, and Connie, who had just finished her B.A. in Audio Production at Indiana University, was also planning to move there as well. As part of tying up loose ends, she was finishing up an album project for a local Bloomington band, and asked me to help with the sessions. I had some free time between leaving one job and starting the next, so I spent a couple of weeks in Indiana working on the sessions. (The picture on the left is from a feature article about her from the IU campus newspaper.)
While I was there, I took Connie out to dinner for her birthday at one of the fancier restaurants in Bloomington. Instead of a birthday cake, she asked that we order Baked Alaska for desert. When it was served, Connie was delighted. She took real pleasure in the taste and smell of the dish and the feel of the simultaneous hot and cold. There was something marvelously attractive about her in that moment, and it was then that I realized she was the one I wanted to make my life with.
It took almost another full year of courtship to convince her to say, “Yes,” and a few more months to say, “I do,” and then we shared a wonderful 37 years together.
The New York Post reports that a study carried out by Colorado State University suggests that single men with cats may have more trouble attracting women than other men. OTOH, dogs, don’t seem to negatively impact a man’s attractiveness to women.
Maybe times have changed, or maybe the fact that we were both cat owners made it possible for the future Mrs. Hoge to find me attractive back in the late ’70s. Whatever the case, I’m thankful for my good fortune.
I don’t think that one could reasonably view this blog as prudish, but I do have some standards of decorum. I generally don’t allow crude, vulgar comments, but I do make exceptions when someone’s actual words are relevant to truthfully telling a story. Five years ago today, the comments on one blog post led me to respond with another post called Thanks for Making My Point for Me.
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If the Gentle Reader scrolls through the comment section for I’m Not Making This Up, You Know, he will find a large number of off-color comments, many consisting of childishly done cut-and-paste memes. They are a marvelous example of the impotence of Team Kimberlin and its inability to control the narrative. They have no facts to back their stories. They are now reduced to middle school name calling.
They are welcome to continue posting such proof of their desperation. Since most of it gets caught by moderation, they should be patient with me. I have real world commitments that can delay my responding to comments in moderation for several hours.
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One of the commenter to that second post noted
I have to say that I find Bill Schmalfeldt’s obsession with the details of the Hoges’ personal life quite odd. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to him that just because he has a horrible tendency to overshare, others don’t.
That said, there is certain information upon which the reader can infer. By his own account, Bill Schmalfeldt was repeatedly cuckolded by multiple wives. It seems that the previous Mrs Schmalfeldts weren’t getting what they needed from Mr. Schmalfeldt. The Hoges, in contrast, have been happily married for decades.
Indeed, Mrs. Hoge and I enjoyed 37 faithful years together as husband and wife. (Exactly 37, she died on our 37th anniversary.)
When the members of Team Kimberlin have run out of ways to annoy their perceived enemies, they fall back on telling lies about them. The TKPOTD from three years ago shows one example of such a stilly lie.
BTW, when Mrs. Hoge heard of Schmalfeldt’s grandiose offer, her first reaction was to chuckle. Then she said. “Tell him, ‘No thank you.'” or words to that effect. Well, to that effect, but perhaps a little stronger.
Being required to stay at home for the past month has resulted in occasional inconvenience, but hasn’t been truly bothersome. Attending church and other Zoom meetings over the phone had been my biggest annoyance. (Zoom isn’t installed on any of my devices because of security issues. I connect to those meetings with a landline phone.) My son happened to pick up toilet paper, paper towels, and other household staples at Costco a few days before things went nuts, and the stores where we shop have generally restocked well after the initial disruption. Working from home has actually been more productive because I’ve had fewer interruptions and meetings via Microsoft Teams usually have run more efficiently than face-to-face meetings. Doing The Other Podcast from Studio B here at Stately Hoge Manor is easier in some ways and more challenging in others than schlepping gear to an undisclosed location each week.
But yesterday, something about the shutdown finally truly bothered me.
Yesterday was Arbor Day.
My late wife Connie was deeply involved in issues related to natural resources, especially trees. She served as the President of our county’s Forestry Board and was a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council of Forest Sustainability. The photo on the left shows Connie in a hollow sycamore tree. It was taken while she was with a group of Forestry Board people measuring trees to determine the largest of various species in the county.
Connie died on Thanksgiving Day, 2016. On Arbor Day, 2017, a group of friends planted a sycamore tree in her honor in a county park. The Gentle Reader should not be surprised to learn that I go by the park from time to time to see how her tree is doing. Yesterday, was the first Arbor Day that I missed going. The park is closed.
Over at Instapundit, Helen Smith has an Amazon link to a book titled How to Cook a Wolf. (BTW, that link should provide credit to Instapundit if you buy the book.)
That title reminded me of the first gift I bought for Mrs. Hoge. We met in New York, and for our third date we went walking around midtown Manhattan together. One of the places we stopped was a Barnes & Noble store. We found this book on the remaindered table. She thought it looked interesting, and I bought it for her.
This episode of Blogsmoke first ran four years ago today.
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SOUND: MODEM CONNECTING FADES UP TO FULL MIKE—SINGLE SHOT—RICHOCHET
MUSIC: UP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 1
ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) Around Twitter Town and in the territory of the net—there’s just one way to handle the harassers and the stalkers—and that’s with an Internet Sheriff and the smell of “BLOGSMOKE”!
MUSIC: THEME HITS: FULL BROAD SWEEP AND UNDER—RECORDED—CUT 2
ANNOUNCER: “BLOGSMOKE” starring W. J. J. Hoge. The story of the trolling that moved into the young Internet—and the story of a man who moved against it. (MUSIC: OUT)
JOHN: I’m that man, John Hoge, Internet Sheriff—the first man they look for and the last they want to meet. It’s a chancy job—and it makes a man watchful … and a little lonely.
Back in 2002, Brett Kimberlin fronted a band named Epoxy and released a CD called Nothing Else. The story he spun promoting the album was that it contained songs that he had written while he was being held as a political prisoner in the federal prison system.
The band consisted of Brett Kimberlin on guitar and vocals, Wade Matthews on Bass, and Robbie White on Drums. The genre of the album is someplace between grunge and punk, neither of which are among my favorite musical forms.
Let me first comment on Mr. Kimberlin’s voice. I had heard his speaking voice in court, and I understand why some people refer to it as whinny. His singing voice reminds me of the silly voice that Weird Al uses on tracks such as Eat It. Mrs. Hoge, who listened through the CD with me, said, “Eddie Haskell.” On most of the tracks his voice was off key, usually flat.
Most of the songs could have been filler tracks on a generic grunge album. Some of the alienation in them seems to be more appropriate for a 17 year old, not someone 30 years older. Mr. Kimberlin was in his late 40s when the recording was made. However, three of the songs stood out. Vicegrip was actually interesting musically. Donuts had clever lyrics. It’s about lousy prison food and would probably get a nod of approval from G. Gordon Liddy.
Then there’s the last cut Keyhole. It was outstandingly bad. Mrs. Hoge and I met while we were in the music business, and during her career as a recording engineer, she recorded more gold and platinum records than I did. Her comment was, “If you’re gonna mike a guitar that close, you should use a better guitar and make sure it’s in tune. And get a better guitar player.”
While he didn’t do especially well with the acoustic guitar on Keyhole, Brett Kimberlin is actually a reasonably good guitarist. He probably couldn’t cut it in Nashville or LA, but could make a living in a minor market (such as Seattle) or playing the Holiday Inn circuit. Indeed, the world would be a better place if he did ignore the usual advice and give up his day job.
Nothing Else by Epoxy (Pollen Records, $16.04 from Amazon) is interesting because of who recorded it, but I can’t honestly recommend it for the musical experience it offers.
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This exchange from a somewhat delayed comment is a favorite of mine—
In one of his multitude of LOLsuits, The Dread Deadbeat Performer Kimberlin complained that the reporting here at Hogewash! was interfering with his business as a musician and composer. Certainly, the review above could be characterized as adverse. OTOH, the Gentle Reader can check out the Op-Critical and Justice Through Music video still lurking on YouTube and form his own opinion concerning TDPK’s talent and commercial viability as a musician.
In another of his LOLsuits, The Dread Deadbeat Pro-Se Kimberlin claimed that part of his job description at Justice Through Music Project included filing lawsuits “seeking redress in federal court for violations of his civil and statutory rights.” Considering his track record, it may be that his day job has given up on him.
Left-wing organizer Saul Alinsky’s Rule 5 states that “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” Kamala Harris set herself up for a dose of ridicule by allowing this obviously staged picture to be tweeted.Pro Tip #1: Experienced cooks don’t leave the packaging for raw chicken lying on a kitchen counter.
Pro Tip # 2: If you want an article of clothing to appear to be something used everyday, wash it at least once in order to remove the “just out of the box” creases.
Stacy McCain’s Rule 5 states that “Everybody loves a pretty girl.” Here’s a picture that ran in the Carroll County Times several years ago when Mrs. Hoge was running a personal cheffing business.
One of reasons for the failure of Brett Kimberlin’s campaign of brass knuckles reputation management has been this inability to recruit a decent PR flack to promote his cause. Matt Osborne’s effort, especially as editor of Breitbart UnmaskedBunny Billy Boy Unread, has been a dud. OTOH, it looked pretty good compared to the mind-bogglingly stupid work we’ve seen from Bill Schmalfeldt. The Cabin Boy’s™ crudeness is perhaps exceeded only by his knack for sticking his nose into business not his own. The TKPOTD for two years ago today dealt with one of his invasions of someone else’s privacy.
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Looking over some of the Cabin Boy’s™ recent spewings on Breitbart UnmaskedBunny Billy Boy Unread and his other wastes of bandwidth, it appears that one of the burrs under his saddle is my ignoring of his offer to make his Rolodex of NIH contacts available for helping Mrs. Hoge’s find medical care when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I can only shake my head at his silliness.
First, Mrs. Hoge was receiving very excellent care from a team of physicians and other medical professionals associated with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Carroll Hospital Center. Moreover, she was also receiving care and support from the medical professionals in our extended families, including two pathologists (one a breast cancer survivor herself) and an oncologist.
Second, Schmalfeldt had sent me a no-contact order. If I had contacted him, I would have opened myself up to a possible peace order, and given the Cabin Boy’s record of untrustworthy behavior, I chose not to take that risk.
Bill Schmalfeldt knows lots of things that simply aren’t so. He will continue to rant about them for a while longer and to make a bigger fool of himself.
For a while.
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There was a third reason why I didn’t waste my time seeking medical information from the Cabin Boy™. When Mrs. Hoge first heard of his offer, she laughed, and then she asked me to ignore it.
Meanwhile, Karma seems to be cashing in some of the Cabin Boy’s™ chits that she’s been holding.
In re you new ad—The last time I shaved was the morning of our wedding day.
When Mrs. Hoge and I first met, I had just returned from active duty as an Army Reservist, so my chin whiskers were gone, but my mustache was intact. By the time we met again I had regrown my beard, and it remained intact throughout our courtship. However, she suggested that I shave off everything except my mustache for the wedding.
Our wedding was scheduled for the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the small Indiana town where her grandparents lived. I drove her up from Nashville on the weekend before and went back to Tennessee on Sunday to go to work on Monday. I shaved my beard on Monday. On Wednesday, I drove up to Indiana. Connie greeted me at the door with a big hug and kiss. After a prolonged hug, she stepped back with a quizzical look on her face. After a few seconds, she spoke, and the first words out of her mouth were, “Grow it back after the wedding.”
Yesterday, I posted a snapshot of Mrs. Hoge that was taken before we were married. I found it while I was going through some family files. Later yesterday evening, I came across some newspaper clippings of stories about her. Here are couple more pictures. The first is from an 1977 Indiana Daily Student story about her being the first person to graduate with a B.A. in Audio Production from IU.
The second is from a 2000 Carroll County Times story about Westminster’s Personal Chef, a business she operated for about ten years.
On Arbor Day, 2017, the Carroll County Forestry Board planted a sycamore tree in Bennet Cerf Park in Westminster as a memorial to my late wife Connie and her service to forestry. This evening, a plaque identifying the tree and its purpose was installed.