Memorial Day Weekend

Rebellious Renee

I am fortunate enough not to personally have lost anyone to a war.  However, I will be laying down flowers at my father’s grave in a Veteran’s cemetery this weekend.  And while I’ll be thinking of him, I’ll also say a prayer for all the persons buried there who did make the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.  And yes, I’ll also be at Rick’s family camp for a barbecue.  A good weekend to all.

— Rebellious Renee is a Trail Mix Contributor

Look at the world as a big fruitcake …

By Blue Bronc

It wouldn’t be complete without a few nuts in it. (Old saying)

The world has stumbled and shuffled through all sorts of “interesting times” these past couple of months. It is hard to believe that only a small number of days ago Baltimore was in flames and winter refused to leave us. Now, it is summer, which has promised to disappear midweek. Which reminds me of “life goes on”.

Politics is the world I enjoy, it is always filled with characters and creatures; many right out of Night of the Living Dead, or was that Angry Red Planet? My time in politics showed me that ninty percent of all politicians are hard working people who spend many hours each day trying to make their districts better and America better.

What I also learned was there are those who had only themselves and a select money group in mind. They are the dangerous ones.

I am all giddy, although mid-day Sunday is normally not a giddy period, with happiness that the clown bus is getting a lot of attention. Say, you heard about that horse race? You mean between Rick (don’t google me) Santorum and Ted (don’t call me crusin’) Cruz? Not that one. The one where that Egyptian King won, in the snow and tornado, in suburban D.C.

The Republican leadership is concerned about all the clowns climbing on the clown bus. They are really concerned that it will topple over and crush all hopes of taking the White House in 2016. Plus, they are buying cases of adult diapers because the top heavy fruitcake special is starting to affect down ballot. Not that the Republicans in state houses and school boards have not made a mess in their own hideouts.

fruitcakeWe have seventeen months more to go. Will the supply of popcorn hold up to the demand? What about the scorecards? We have to have one just to know who is running, who is not running and who is said to be running even after saying they are not running.  And those select few who are said not to be running and they are not running.

A SWAG of the potential Republican lineup looks like as many as twenty-six are ready to redecorate the Oval Office. Not that they would have a chance of getting through the gate otherwise.  As is pointed out by reporters going by the false equivalency book, the Democrats are doing it two — that is, two people other than HRC.

The Brits showed us how the conservatives can win. First they have to be center right Democrats. That’s a knee slapper by golly. Those guys are so far right they need to use an arrow on a stick to point to right of center from off the picture.

Summer is starting and it is time to watch the show from the air-conditioned peanut gallery. A place safe from the spittle of flying lips, all trying to be more out of touch with reality than the others on that bus. I dare think it will be a boring summer because they are more alike than not. Maybe I will take up something for the summer that does not involve fruits and nuts.

— Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor

Out of the Mouths of Babes

By PatD
An idea from PBS Weekend Newshour: How to end the war with ISIL? war with women. Rosie the riveter becomes Fatima the femme fatale.

MARTIN HIMEL: ISIS warriors believe if they die in battle, they receive the 72 virgins of paradise, but if they are killed at the hands of female fighters, they go straight to hell. What do you think of an enemy that says they go straight to hell if they are killed by a woman?

Anit-Isis Fighter BERYTAN: When I fight against them, I feel stronger, empowered because when they see women, they go weak at the knees. Because according to their belief, they must not be killed by a women. When they see us, they prefer to run away not to be killed by us.

What a solution! Arm the ladies not with brooms and babies, but with bazookas.

— PatD is a Trail Mix Contributor

We Don’t Need a Gerontocracy When it Comes to Presidents


Now, with the spirited announcement by Bernie Sanders that he is ready to lead our Country into the next Decade, I’m questioning our collective judgement as voters and political hacks. Good old Bernie is younger than I, but still, he’ll be 74-years old in September.

In my opinion, that’s too darned old to be running for President of the United States. The stakes are simply too high. The Senate is the appropriate place for him; from that venue, his voice is clearly heard.

Matter of fact, I’m harsh. Call me an ageist, but I think that no citizen should enter the Presidency, or vice-presidency, at an age that requires service beyond their 73rd birthdays.

So, that’s pretty simple—65th birthday if one plans on two terms, or 69th birthday if one plans on a single term. In either case, a significantly younger vice president could seek the higher office at some future time.

We simply can’t say that so-and-so candidate is healthy and feisty today, but will he or she be that way six or seven years from now? When the phone rings?

Oh, yes, Bernie is not the only candidate whom I believe should be aged out.

— Flatus is a Trail Mix Contributor

How Do You Get To The Derby

Derby Rose Banner

By Jamie

If you are human and regularly visit Craig’s Trailmix you know that we have a tradition of picking horses for the Kentucky Derby.  To join in simply pick a horse for the greatest two minutes in sports for the prize of bragging rights about your good judgement.  Everyone is welcome, simply put your selection in the comments.

If you are a horse, the route is much more strenuous.  All the horses in the Kentucky Derby are three years old.  For the sake of equality in racing, every horse in the Northern Hemisphere is born on January 1 no matter the actual birthdate. Breeders try to get as close to this date in early spring as possible as a late spring colt can be handicapped in size for their first racing season.

If you want a horse for the Derby, you either breed one with your own horses or by arrangement with another breeder or buy one at the yearling sales. Either way you are looking for the best possible heritage. Any time you want to know a thoroughbred’s ancestry, you go to the and plug in the name. You will immediately get six generations of very carefully recorded genealogy with blue for the stallions and pink for the mares (probably much better lineage than the humans betting on them). Reading one of these charts for a Derby qualifying horse is like looking at the Who’s Who for great horses of the last 50 years.

In the last half of their second year, training gets serious and most will start racing the shorter distances towards the end of their second year. The main thing to remember about the Derby horses is that they are very young and the Triple Crown is one of the most grueling series of races. This is why a Triple Crown winner is so rare and except for the winner of the Derby, most of the other horses will not run all three and why they usually retire to stud within a few years rather than risk such a valuable investment.

Most of the horses aiming for the Derby will be highly trained but lightly raced. There are 36 Derby qualifying races where a horse can earn points towards eligibility. The most prestigious races take place in the late spring prior to the Derby. These are the Wood Memorial, the Florida Derby, the Arkansas Derby, the Santa Anita Derby, the Louisiana Derby, the Toyota Blue Grass, and the U.A.E. Derby in Dubai.

These are the horses this year that won those top seven races and why this year is considered one of the best fields in Derby history.

Materiality won The Florida Derby (March 28)
International Star won the Louisiana Derby (March 28)
Mubtaahij won the U.A.E. Derby (March 28)
Frosted won The Wood Memorial (April 4)
Dortmund won the Santa Anita Derby (April 4)
Carpe Diem won The Blue Grass (April 4)
American Pharoah won The Arkansas Derby (April 11)

The post position Draw was held on Wednesday afternoon and the morning odds for race day assigned. You have until noon Saturday (East Coast Time) to give me your choice in the comments.

Trailmixer PP Horse Jockey Odds
Jack, Solar 01 Ocho Ocho Ocho Elvis Trujillo 50/1
Jamie, Blue Bronc, Sturgeone, XR 02 Carpe Diem John Velazquez 08/1
03 Materiality Javier Castellano 12/1
04 Tencendur Manuel Franco 30/1
05 Danzig Moon Julien Leparoux 30/1
06 Mubtaahijtaa C. Soumillion 20/1
07 El Kabeir Cal Borel 30/1
Patd 08 Dortmund Martin Garcia 03/1
09 Bolo Rafael Bejarano 30/1
10 Firing Line Gary Stevens 18/1
11 Stanford Florent Geroux 30/1
12 International Star Miguel Mena 20/1
13 Itsaknockout Luis Saez 32/1
14 Keen Ice K. Desormeaux 50/1
Patd (alternate) 15 Frosted Joel Rosario 05/1
16 War Story Joe Talamo 50/1
17 Mr. Z Ramon Vazquez 50/1
Pogo/Renee 18 American Pharoah Victor Espinoza 05/2
19 Upstart Jose Ortiz 15/1
20 Far Right Mike Smith 30/1
AE Tale of Verve Will run if any of the first 20 drop out
AE Frammento


Derby Trophy

— Jamie is a Trail Mix Contributor


Kentucky Oaks Lilies

Oaks Logo

By Jamie

In this year when a lady is running to win the race for President, it might be nice to acknowledge that the Fillies for the Lilies have been running for their reward just as long as the stallions have been racing for Roses. Every once in a while a girl gets to run with the boys, but the real test occurs every year just before the Derby. On that day you can wear any color you want as long as it is PINK. Gentlemen wear pink ties. For the women it is head to toe overdoing it for the fun of it.

The first running of the Kentucky Oaks was on May 19, 1875 when Churchill Downs was known as the Louisville Jockey Club. The race was founded by Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. along with the Kentucky Derby. The Oaks and the Derby are the oldest continuously contested sporting events in American history, and the only horse races to be held at their original site since their conception. In the first race, the horse Vinaigrette won the then 1 1⁄2 mile race in a time of 2:39 3⁄4, winning a purse of $1,175. Since that race the Kentucky Oaks has been held each year.

Every year, the ladies attending try to outdo each other in hats and dresses and take a clue from an old musical Funny Face: Think Pink

Even the drinks are pink

1 1/4 oz. GREY GOOSE® Vodka
1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
1/4 oz. Triple Sec
3 oz. Cranberry Juice

This year on Friday, May 1,  the following fillies are in contention: Click on this link to see the pretty girls posing and who they thank for being this beautiful.

Here are the Post Positions and Morning Line odds.  Get your bets in by Thursday night.

Trailmixer Post Horse Odds Jockey
01 Forever Unbridled 15-1 M. Smith
02 Shook Up 30-1 R. Albarado
03 Include Betty 20-1 R. Homeister
04 Eskenformoney 20-1 J. Castellano
05 Condo commando 04-1 J. Rosario
Renee 06 Angela Renee 15-1 J. Velazquez
07 Lovely Maria 05-1 K. Clark
08 I’m A Chatterbox 04-1 F. Geroux
09 Money’soncharlotte 50-1 P. Lopez
Patd (Alt) 10 Oceanwave 30-1 R. Bejarano
11 Sarah Sis 30-1 G. Stevens
Jamie 12 Stellar Wind 07-2 v. Espinoza
13 Birdatthewire 06-1 I. Ortiz
Patd 14 Puca 15-1 J. Albarado
15 Peace And War 50-1 J. Leparoux


Lily Banner

A Great City Killed By It’s Own People

Blue Bronc

July 26, 1967.  I was a teenager, born in Detroit, delivering film to the news reporters, photographers and television crews (“film at 11″) because they had run out and the store I worked at always had the largest stock in the region.  My boss asked if I would drive from the store in Plymouth, Michigan to the middle of the Detroit riot.  It was one of those moments in life that few people ever get.  I said I would and began loading up my 1962 Ford Fairlane with boxes of 35mm film and cans of 16mm movie film.

I had my letter of introduction on my lap, it contained the magic words to let me inside the barriers.  At the first I got further directions on which streets to take to the news groups and which to avoid.  With a Jeep carrying soldiers armed with M-16’s and a 50mm machine gun mounted on the rear, on one side of me I drove on to deliver the cargo.

What I saw was as horrible as what we watched on the nightly 6pm news of the war in Vietnam.  The same soldiers were now in Detroit, I could only be shocked and horrified by the collision of these worlds.

My city was destroyed.  The death of Detroit was in front of me.

April 27, 2015.  I am in my middle 60’s watching a city, Baltimore, being destroyed by it’s citizens.  The reporters are saying the street news is the teens from a high school are burning their city down.  Baltimore was on the mend after years without industry; changing from a blue collar industrial town to a up and coming city for the white collar crew working in the tech world.

Will the criminals be brought to justice?  I expect so.  With today’s many ways to photograph and with social media being what it is, I think the criminals will face justice.

Will Baltimore survive?  Many thought Detroit would, but it did not.  The riots plus the white flight doomed a once great city.  Baltimore has people moving to it, not away from it.  Gentrification was taking over old, worn out blocks and making them nice.  The question is now if those moving in feel like staying or continue to move somewhere else?

I was starting to like Baltimore.  Now?  I fear we are on the knife edge.  Was there a racial divide like in Detroit?  Most likely there was some.  Was the violence and destruction the result of police actions?  Possibly.  The agitators would use any excuse to destroy.

— Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor