Dennis E. Powell's View from Mudsock Heights

Dennis E. Powell is crackpot-at-large at Open for Business. Powell was a reporter in New York and elsewhere before moving to Ohio, where he has (mostly) recovered. You can reach him at dep@drippingwithirony.com.

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This One Was a Real Celebration

By Dennis E. Powell | May 04, 2022 at 2:37 PM

It started before the pandemic, but the pandemic let it take root and become the norm. We don’t often have funerals any more, at least not religious services in which we mourn the departed and beg God to welcome our dead friend or relative into the splendor of eternal Heavenly life. Instead, the obituary now frequently ends with “A celebration of life will take place at a later date.”

It's Time for Smart Homeowners

By Dennis E. Powell | Apr 27, 2022 at 10:40 PM

Science fiction literature is full of situations where electronic devices become self aware and begin making their own decisions. Some of us, I suppose, have come to think that it’s ultimately inevitable.

Linux, Signal, Proton, and Security

By Dennis E. Powell | Apr 20, 2022 at 10:00 PM

Just now, as is the case each morning, I opened a terminal window on my computer’s desktop and typed a command: “apt update”. The window filled with characters as each of several online “repositories” was checked. Soon I was given a list of the software packages, including the operating system itself, that had security updates and bug fixes available. There being some, I then typed “apt upgrade” and a minute or two later those fixes had been downloaded and installed.

Escapes, Both Mediocre and Great

By Dennis E. Powell | Apr 13, 2022 at 9:03 PM

The last couple of years brought us a desire to escape from the real world, maybe more than ever before. Due to the circumstance that led us to seek a hiding place, many of the refuges from reality we’ve traditionally sought weren’t available. We didn’t have movies at movie theaters. We didn’t have concerts. We lost sporting events. The attempts to provide substitutes were poor replacements for the real thing.

My Local Newspaper Slips into a Coma

By Dennis E. Powell | Apr 06, 2022 at 11:04 PM

It is sad to see a newspaper die. It is sadder still when that death is a particularly gruesome suicide. For just under 15 years I was associated with a small paper in my small town. I wrote a weekly column — this column — for all of that time; for four rewarding years I was also the paper’s photographer.

A Story of a Friend

By Dennis E. Powell | Mar 30, 2022 at 10:32 PM

The phone call came exactly when I needed it. It was Bob Bernstein, with whom I’d never before spoken, calling from Rhode Island. “You haven’t been online, so I figured you might be having a problem,” he said. Indeed I was.

Start Your Inflation Garden Now

By Dennis E. Powell | Mar 23, 2022 at 9:42 PM

You probably don’t remember it first-hand — I don’t — but during World Wars I and II people established what were called “victory gardens.” The idea was that if people grew some of their own food instead of buying it, it would free up supplies to feed our fighters in Europe and the Pacific. It’s time to revive the practice, though for a different reason, and this is the time of year to plan and prepare. Food prices are rising, due to a phenomenon we wouldn’t have imagined a year or two ago: we have actual food shortages.

Tales of Shamelessness and Fear

By Dennis E. Powell | Mar 16, 2022 at 8:59 PM

The phone rings in the White House and Bugout Joe Biden, his pre-existing cowardice now exacerbated by geriatric enfeeblement, answers. White House aides let him answer it himself because it’s the hot line from Russia, and every day at about this time it rings. Biden answers, the voice on the other end, Vladimir Putin, says, “BOO!”, and except for Biden’s attendant having to get him a fresh Depends, no harm is done.

The Price of a Weak Leader

By Dennis E. Powell | Mar 09, 2022 at 12:20 PM

It is said that those who can’t, teach. To which I’d add that those who can’t, and who also can’t teach, become bureaucrats. If they clean up well, their path to the loftiest halls of government is clear.

Let Actions Have Consequences

By Dennis E. Powell | Mar 02, 2022 at 8:48 PM

The scene is a familiar one. Vladimir Putin is at the desk whence he has uttered his increasingly deranged speeches over the last few weeks. An off-camera voice is heard. “Vladimir Vladimirovich, it has been determined that you are impaired in your thinking. You are psikh. Given your advanced age and the unlikelihood of cure, the remedy is to be one with which you are familiar.” Does a flash of panic appear in the former KGB lieutenant colonel’s eyes?

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