Thursday, February 18, 2021




     I don't know why anybody would live in the red neck state of Texas. Still, I have a niece and a couple of good friends who choose to do just that. As the temps plummet in the Lone Star State and the Texas energy grid fails, it's no help to be judgmental in people's choices of address. It's dark and the pipes are about to freeze. What do you do?

    Every news outlet (left and right) is covering the "once in a generation" cold snap that froze the instruments necessary to deliver the oil, natural gas, nuclear, wind and solar energy to peoples' homes. The notoriously independent state that stands apart from the Federal grid was not prepared and could not handle the sub-freezing temperatures. Rolling blackouts ensued. Anybody who has had the electricity go out during the winter months knows it is no fun. BUT......and this is a big needn't be dangerous or even uncomfortable. How helpless are you?

    In all the coverage of the Texas blackout I have not heard one mention of a wood or coal stove, kerosene lamp (or heater) or even candles. That idiot Texas Gov. Abott went on Fox News to blame renewable energy and the non-existent "Green New Deal." Once again--like the pandemic-- any hope of political leaders actually leading and giving citizens useful options in dealing with disaster is politicized and muddied. Their words are worse than useless; they are dangerous. So to all my friends and family in Texas, if you have electricity and internet required to read this, here's my advice.

 Be prepared. Climate change is the new earthquake or tidal wave. Put yourself in the shoes of your ancestors. A basic check list can save, if not your life, at least your comfort.

1. batteries, flashlight and sharp knife

2. wood or coal- stove to burn it 

3. kerosene- heater and lamps to burn it

4. candles and matches

5. sleeping bag, blankets and warm clothes

6. bottled water

7. ammo and gun to shoot it

8. bird seed (those squirrels hanging from the feeder are very tasty) hence the knife

   This short, relatively inexpensive list will get you through any black out in the depth of winter. Government and media seem to want to keep the citizenry helpless and dependent on patrician authority. We as a "modern" people have been lulled into this state by consumerism and global capitalism. Fossil fuel delivery that Texans are so proud of has failed miserably. It's a wake up call. Imagine how susceptible the grid is to cyber attack while you are googling wood stoves on Amazon. I'd suggest printing this blog out before the juice goes out again. Let me know if I've forgotten anything. Good luck. Stay safe. Stay warm. "Once in a generation" seems to come along every year.              

Monday, February 15, 2021





Cottagecore (also known under the name Farmcore or Countrycore) is an aesthetic inspired by a romanticized interpretation of western agricultural life. It is centered on ideas around a more simple life and harmony with nature. Specific themes associated are the survival of the environment, food, and caring for people. While the aesthetic is predominant on several social media sites, such as on Instagram and more recently TikTok, the community notably prospers on Tumblr. It is particularly popular within the *WLW community.

Despite a number of its followers taking an often progressive and subversive outlook on life, Cottagecore has been also criticized for its romanticism of eurocentric farming life. It has also been criticized in the context of North American and Australian settings, It is due to these connotations that the use of Cottagecore aesthetics has been adopted by the TradWives community and members of the far-right as forms of propaganda. This has led to media criticism despite their opposition to LGBTQ+ and anti-capitalist adherents of Cottagecore.

*woman loving woman

   I was turned onto this phenomenon a few years back. Before the internet grabbed it, magazines like Upstate Diary and DV8 had identified and targeted this susceptible audience of future Cottagecore acolytes. (see: This mindset of country falsity aimed at the urbanite has stuck in my craw for some time. 

    One of the earliest proponents of this fantasy lifestyle were the painters McDermott and McGough. These two cats lived in the same neighbor I did- the Alphabet City of the 1980's. They dressed and lived the part of "Victorian era" artists. As the rest of us were banging on our pipes for more heat, bundled up in Gortex waiting at the ATM in order to get cash to cop drugs, M&M were dressed in top hats trying to get that signature "crackle" on their paintings in a cold water flat. The successful painters aestheticized those "simpler times" as luddite dandies; pioneers of Cottagecore. 

    Fast forward 30 years: The groundwork laid by magazines, real estate agents and upstate chambers of commerce have taken the fantasy of Cottagecore and run with it during the time of a global pandemic. " inadvertent celebration of the aesthetics of colonialism, as well as the ways it often simplifies and underestimates the labor of farmers." There is nothing "inadvertent" about spreading this. Melania Trump in her bwana styling in Africa could not be more tone deaf. 

    I would propose a more realistic approach to country living, something I call Hickcore. The past week I've lived on a big pot of rabbit and beans. Dressed in a ratty bathrobe, holey slippers and long johns, I grab the pot of frozen rabbit from the back porch and place it on the wood stove as the coffee boils. A bloody rib cage from last month's deer hangs from a tree branch, serving as a bird feeder. Woodpeckers, chickadees, buntings and a big flicker spend most of their daylight hours gnawing the meat and suet off the bones. As the icicles creep towards the interior walls of my house I have to climb up on the roof to shovel off a foot of snow. I DO NOT do any of these tasks in period clothing or romanticize the process. The closest I get to adhering to a 19th century aesthetic is loading my muzzle loader and shooting a deer. It is not some vintage flintlock, but a scoped, modern rifle that loads down the barrel. Who needs coonskin caps and fringe jackets when the freezer is empty?

   I will resist naming the names of those I know who engage in the Cottage Core practices of raising chickens, obsessive bread baking, prancing through the clover in diaphanous granny dresses, spinning yarn from rabbits (instead of making stew) and knitting mittens from the family dog. You know who you are. I love you all. Some live it honestly. Others package and sell the lifestyle. It's just not my thing. Why romanticize hardship and commodify a way of life that doesn't exist? It's a fantasy. There's nothing romantic about frozen pipes, chicken killing foxes and empty cupboards. My outhouse never clogs up and when I run out of toilet paper I make do. My suggestion to Upstate Diary would be to print on a little softer paper. We in the hickcore community would appreciate it. 

     Back to nature movements are nothing new. The antipastoralism of Thomas Cole was misinterpreted and sold back to urbanite Americans as a call to come to the country for a visit in the 19th Century. Bring your pocketbook. Look at those vistas!!!! The servants will prepare a picnic lunch. In the sixties the hippies formed communes from Cali to Alaska. Few survive. The lifestyle was too much for most. Cottagecore is being used in exactly the same way. It is propaganda not reflective of the reality of frozen toes, chimney fires, cold toilet seats and unending winters. Stay home, warm those fingers on your laptop and play Animal Crossing. There's nothing aesthetic about my dull chainsaw blade or ice clogged drains. Just wait, Tenementcore may be next.                     

Friday, February 12, 2021




 I don't golf, but I know what a "Mulligan" is.  

"A mulligan is a second chance to perform an action, usually after the first chance went wrong through bad luck or a blunder. Its best-known meaning is in golf, whereby a player is informally allowed to replay a stroke, even though this is against the formal rules of golf."

     This is what Utah Sen. Mike Lee wants Trump to be granted after his impeachment. Following this definition Trump would be allowed a "do over." No harm, no foul would be adjudicated and with no consequences-- not only would a "January exception" be declared-- all future Presidents would receive a free pass to fuck up in the rough and play through. Cum stained dresses or illegal foreign wars--no problem. See ya in the club house for a gin and tonic.

    To anyone with a clear mind this sounds ridiculous. But as Trump's second impeachment trial unfolds this will most likely be the verdict. We didn't see that crappy shot. Maybe a wood this time? No amount of evidence, no video, no shit stained walls, no severed fingers or police officer's death will change the mind of the so-called Republican "jurors" sitting in judgement. Sen. Lee and his cohorts Ted Cruz and that nasty, old queen Lindsey Graham actually met with the defense team to discuss their strategy. The rules have obviously been buried in the sand trap. Using Trump's own words: "It's rigged."

    Trump's crimes run much deeper than inciting a few crackers running wild through the Capitol in buffalo hats. Instead of a toothless political impeachment, with no witnesses, Trump should be hooded, bagged and shackled, fitted with an oversized adult diaper and flown to the Haig. There, he should go on trial for crimes against humanity. The statistics don't lie. We are closing in on a half million deaths in America from Covid-19. Leading public health officials note that a cohesive Federal approach by the Trump administration, instead of a dereliction of duty, would have saved up to 40% of those lives. That sounds like genocide to me.

   None of this will happen. Unless there is an alien invasion of Galactic Court Judges Trump will start running for President-- or at the very least flex his political muscles-- the day after he is acquitted. Any other verdict and subsequent Trump move would be a complete surprise. Accepting this, my proposal would be that a National Holiday be declared for January 6. "Mulligan Day" would allow every U.S. citizen a chance for a do over. Parking tickets? Shoot an illegal spike (or bald eagle)? Litter? Beat the wife? Abuse the kids? Murder the neighbor? No problem. Pick one of the previous year's crimes, fill in the proper paper work, submit to the Federal authorities and your crime will be officially forgiven. The pardon is in the mail. Take that bloody nine iron and give it another swing. Good luck. We forgive you. You are very special. Keep your eye on the ball. HAPPY MULLIGAN DAY!


Got my first vaccine shot yesterday. Special thanks to BOAF musical director Sara Nightingale!              


DescriptionA mulligan is a second chance to perform an action, usually after the first chance went wrong through bad luck or a blunder. Its best-known meaning is in golf, whereby a player is informally allowed to replay a stroke, even though this is against the formal rules of golf.

Sunday, February 7, 2021




 Borrowing a line from South Park, I realized today I have no team to root for in the Super Bowl. Not being anything close to what could be described as a "sports fan," I didn't even know who was playing today until I saw a bit last week on SNL featuring Tom Brady in a Tampa Bay uniform. What kind of choice does one have- cheering on a Trump supporting quarterback like Brady or rooting for a team that still features an Indian on their swag, while loyal KC fans utilize the "tomahawk chop?" The only thing worse is the media that ignores both.

    Not following football--it's deer season-- I usually catch up on the teams during the playoffs. Then I decide by geographical location who to cheer on. I always pick SF, because I lived there, or any east coast team. If the teams reside in the heartland it's a toss up. But this year is different. Both teams have an element of disgrace surrounding them. Brady and his old team the Pats were always associated with Trump. Owner Robert Kraft, known for his bust at a Florida massage parlor, is a true Trump buddy, and fellow sex addict. Brady is slippery. He admits being friends with Trump and a long time golf partner, but tries to steer clear of the politics. As some in the media point out, a black athlete would not be afforded the same cover for his political views. What team does Colin Kaepernick play for these days?

   Forget rooting for Tampa Bay. That leaves KC. Indigenous rights groups have been protesting white, corporate, sports teams' appropriation of Native imagery and downright racist names like "Redskins" for decades. Now known as the "Washington Football Team" (catchy) this DC franchise finally bended under the pressure of the 2020, post George Floyd murder BLM protests and changed their name. The "Washington Rednecks" would have been a natural. The generic element seems to be a big FUCK YOU to the entire world. GO Football team? Other sports teams like the "Indians" "Braves" and "Chiefs" remain. Dig into high school and collegiate sports and it's much worse. Does the media cover this issue? Only on Indigenous News. The rest of the country has the usual blinders on.

  I've seen every Super Bowl since 1967. Today I will be boycotting the game. The choice between a Trumpie quarterback and a racist franchise doesn't seem like much of a choice. Who won? Who cares? Let's hope the Puppy Bowl fairs better. I'm rooting for the three legged rescue mutt. GO SPOT!


Friday, February 5, 2021




       "Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history. The Black History Month 2021 theme, “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” explores the African diaspora, and the spread of Black families across the United States."- History Channel

   I'm all for this monthly designation. I would also like to see a "HUMAN" or "Black and White Supremacy History" month. Before your head explodes let me explain myself. My proposed month would not focus on the glories of nativist "white history," rather probe and investigate global, historical interaction between the races. What society misses in couching a monthly celebration as a particular race's struggle- black, Indigenous, etc- is the commonality of humanity. Slavery has been around since the very beginning of mankind. Only recently (within the past 500 years) did white, western Europeans racialize it and reap its massive profits. It is an all too human problem.

     Less than 100 years before I was born a white Osterhout in Texas was purchasing a black slave. She had one name- Hasty. Less than 100 years! In historical terms, this is like yesterday. What would make one human think they could "own" another as late as 1850? Obvious reasons are legal and reliance on the doctrine of so-called "states' rights". As one family of Osterhouts (who happened to be black) in Lenox, Mass., was hob- nobbing with W.E.B. Du Bois, owned property and a business, working for the ultra-rich, another black family was property in Texas. 100 years! 

    The larger reason for this societal disparity is skewed ideology, propaganda and supremacist thought; a basic disregard for the truth. White people in Texas, backed up by religion, media, military and civic government, thought they were human and that black people (and Indians) were less than human. This mass hysteria allowed the brutal unfairness of slavery to flourish, not only in Texas, but wherever it was legal. White people convinced themselves that slavery at its worst was necessary, based in scripture and, what some would describe as "altruistic." Racism bled into the rest of the country unimpeded. 100 years! 

    Today, when the conversation turns to race (esp. in February) it is one of power and powerlessness, abuser and victim. This conversation is necessary and should not be denied. But the deeper dialectic should be one of humanities failures as a species. The susceptibilities of homo sapiens to embrace lunacy as "truth" has never been more apparent than today. Words like "supremacy" and "exceptionalism" are being debunked, as they are simultaneously being embraced by a dangerous fringe, bubbling to the surface. We need to face what made us think we had the right to enslave another in the first place and not repeat our mistakes as history regurgitates. We are a sick species in need of balm. March looks good for this designation. Truth will out.


    My 2020 interview about the black Osterhouts on the Janus Adams Show airs again Sat. at noon on              


Thursday, February 4, 2021




 Opening shot: Billy Bobbie Brown walks out of her Lower East Side apartment building, pushing her little daughter in a stroller and eating a candy bar. She takes the wrapper and absentmindedly tosses it into a garbage can alongside the building. 

Camera pans to a man in a green uniform watching intently as Billy Bobbie chews her candy bar. Camera follows as the young woman turns to walkup Ave. C. The uniformed man follows.

"Miss." he says with authority. "Can I see some ID?" 

Close up: Billy Bobbie furrows her brow. "Huh?" she says in surprise. "Who are you? What did I do?" The baby in the stroller stirs.

The uniformed man flashes a small badge. "Sanitation police. Do you live in that building? Let's see some ID."

     Billy Bobbie does live in the building but as she is new to the apartment, she realizes that all her ID has her previous address on it. "Sanitation Police?" she echoes. "I don't think I have to show you any ID. You aren't real police." At this the uniformed man face grows red as his blood boils. He slams the young woman against a car and cuffs her. Then he gets on his radio. "I got her!" he barks into the radio. Sirens can be heard coming in all directions. The baby screams. Screen goes black.


    Friends and family greet Billy Bobbie as she emerges from the gates of Sing-Sing Prison. After years of appeals a former tenant has come forward with Billy Bobbie's lease and it is finally proven that she had every right to throw her candy bar wrapper in that garbage can. But the damage is already done. Billy Bobbie will never be the same. The 2020 election is in a week. Her voting rights restored because of a wrongful conviction the now freed, middle aged woman, can't wait to see her daughter and exercise her voting franchise. But first she has to go to the dump. The sanitation police have Billy Bobbie under intense surveillance. They do not accept her innocence. She'll slip up they assure the media. Billy Bobbie is unaware of the scrutiny.

    Drone shot above highway: a line of individuals can be seen in orange jumpsuits, methodically moving along the highway. Each person carries a "grabber" stick. Camera zooms in. Cut to robot "litter cam" searching........searching...... in high grass.....finally a coke can is spotted and grabbed. Camera follows grabbed can into bag and pans up to the picker. It's Billy Bobbie.

Flash back 

    Election day 2020. Billy Bobbie's car is filled with stinky garbage. Her daughter (who she hasn't seen in years and has an unnatural fear of garbage) is coming to visit. Billy Bobbie just has to drop off her bag of fish heads at the dump, then pick up her daughter at the bus. The two will vote together for the first time. But there's a problem. The dump is closed on election day. What can she do? She looks around. The place is deserted. Nobody will notice. As she tosses the bag of fish heads in the bushes sirens can be heard coming from all directions. Drone shot of sanitation police converging on the dump. Billy Bobbie is taken into custody....again! Her daughter votes for Biden.


  As a repeat offender Billie Bobbie gets life without the possibility of parole. One of the fish heads contained a GPS device and her dog Lassie turned state's evidence. It was all a set up. Donations to the Billy Bobbie defense fund can be sent to Hunting With Super Models, care of Mike Osterhout. FREE BILLY BOBBIE NOW!

Any similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.     


Tuesday, February 2, 2021





  1. an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.

 It took me a while to figure out what a meme was. Not having a cell phone or ever having sent or received a text message, I was a little behind the curve. All of a sudden people were communicating by meme and gif.  

  1. a lossless format for image files that supports both animated and static images.

Even the definitions need definition. What the fuck is "nongenetic means" or a "lossless format"? In my understanding a meme is an image-- usually accompanied by text-- that is spread over the internet at a "viral" rate, making people scowl, laugh or nod in general acceptance that WE are all in on the joke. Case in point: the Bernie Sanders "mitten meme." Funny? I guess. Meme? Definitely. 
   Last week, as a bunch of us gathered, safely social distancing for cocktail hour, the subject of memes came up. Even people who never use social media seem to like memes. I get sent memes all the time. Most are stupid. I see memes like those corny posters from the 1970's picturing a cute kitten dangling from a tree branch with a bowl of spaghetti on its head, declaring Hang in There! GNJohn disagreed (surprise) schooling me that a true meme was an image, or part of an image, that is repeated ad nauseam in cyberspace. I stuck by my guns. If the internet had been around in the '70's that stupid kitten would have been hanging on everything from Nixon's nose to Johnny Wad's boner....a meme by any other name.
    Just to prove his point GNJohn sent me fodder for a my next meme-- a picture of me bicycling through the neighborhood a few years back. Feel free to lift it and spread across the internet with your own tag line. Know what I meme?      

Monday, February 1, 2021


 Photo: George Holz


     I live in a house that was a former horse stable, turned into a church meeting house and much later a deer hunting camp. My property only had three owners- the Methodist Church, the Accerra family and me- over a period of 150 years. Old postcards from 1913 show the posts and beams of the open walls where carriages parked for church services. When the church sold the property in the 1950's the Acerras built a screened porch and cut the place up into little bedrooms. When I bought the place in 1995 I gutted, insulated and made the place livable......sort of.

    I was at the top of my game as a restoration carpenter in 1995, but looking back there's plenty I did wrong. In a hurry, as winter approached, I jacked up the house, dug footing drains by hand and put in a laid "dry" stone foundation. Mistake #1- I should have used mortar. Mistake #2-  I left the old fir flooring (with no sub floor) and was unable to properly insulated under the house. The ceiling was insulated with 3" "fluff" and 1/2" foam core. I should have paid for rigid to be blown in. Everything was done ad hoc, in a hurry and on a very tight budget.

     26 years later here I sit, wrapped in sweaters, long johns and overalls as a blizzard blows out of the Northeast. My feet can be so cold it feels like I'm sitting in a tree during deer season, not on my couch. Yesterday I awoke to a smoldering wood stove. I threw on another log as I made coffee with gloves on. Then I noticed the smoke pouring from the stove pipe where it exits through the roof. It was 10 degrees outside. For the next three hours I battled the clogged stove. The fire was too hot to clear the pipe and the house was filled with smoke. Eyes burning, coughing up my lungs, I shoveled out the hot coals and dumped them in the snow, hoping none fell on the bone dry floor. The battle was on.

    By the time I had climbed the roof, opened all the doors, unclogged the stove pipe that was stuffed  solid with ash, it was after noon. Now the danger was frozen pipes....and finger tips. It wasn't my first rodeo.  As the storm approached I kept at it. This morning the pipe is clear and the stove is cranking. 10 inches of snow has already fallen. The house is warming up with the snow insulation. I have two yoga mats under my feet and an electric heater warming my tootsies. Per Shewho's suggestion I purchased two dog collar cones. These are the kind you put around your pet's neck to keep it from licking a wound. I put one around each shin. Now the heat is trapped by the cone allowing my feet a warm plastic vessel to reside in. It's a little tough to walk around the house and the plastic high water bell bottoms freak Cheeky out, Nonetheless it's working. Cheeky looks at me as if to ask, don't they make those cones small enough for a cat's feet? I don't think so. Duct tape and yoga mat booties are next. You gotta do what ya gotta do. It's a long winter.